DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 21/ISSUE 6
ENGEL’S ORGANOMELT PROCESS STARS AT K 2019 DRIVEN BY PERFORMANCE
EPPM SWERVED INTO DUPONT’S BOOTH AT K 2019 TO TALK AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS.
EPPM WAS INVITED TO MEET WILMINGTON MACHINERY PRESIDENT RUSS LA BELLE AT K 2019.
IN THE MOOD
PLASTICSEUROPE DELIVERED A PRESS CONFERENCE FROM THEIR BOOTH AT K 2019. EPPM WAS THERE.
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IN THIS ISSUE DECEMBER 2019
Philip Law of the BPF introduces the December edition with his views on plastics in the environment, as well as on the determination and resilience of the plastics industry.
YEAR IN, YEAR OUT
Rob Coker sets the scene for EPPM’s sixth and final 21st anniversary edition, looks back at his K debut, and looks forward to the new year.
ENGEL shares how K 2019 was the catalyst behind its nextgeneration, lightweight composites and big steps in the organomelt compounding process.
Driven by performance EPPM swerved into DuPont’s booth at K 2019 to talk automotive applications, environmental concerns, and public perceptions with Jeroen Bloemhard and Patrick Cazuc.
The light stuff Solvay’s Mark Wright spoke at K 2019 about the advances in plastics for automotive applications.
MOULD AND TOOLMAKING
EPPM remembers some of the highlights from the world’s largest plastics trade fair.
Versatile with style At K 2019, Jomar’s Ron Gabriele shared the versatility, efficiency and sustainability qualities in the TechnoDrive 65 PET machine.
Pro-motion MOOG’s Florence Le Roy discussed the reasons for returning to Düsseldorf for K 2019.
Blown ranger EPPM met Wilmington Machinery President Russ La Belle at K 2019.
A question of quality EPPM was invited to TOMRA's booth for a press conference with Dr Volker Rehrmann.
The makers’ market Rob Coker spoke with ISTMA World President Bob Williamson to learn how tooling is, and always will be, key to the manufacturing process.
K 2019 REVIEW
In the mood PlasticsEurope delivered a press conference from their booth at K 2019. EPPM was there.
PRINTING AND DECORATING
Fresh prints Tom Lavrijssen of Netherlands-based packaging solutions company iPB Printing spoke with EPPM at K 2019.
lastics will be thought of as the material of the 21st Century. Their major benefits such as being lightweight, recyclable, strong and resource efficient, while permitting freedom of design, remain undimmed. Throughout 2019 the reputation of plastics in the face of regulatory, media and NGO pressure has been of particular concern. The British Plastics Federation and our members took the view that the broad attack on single-use plastics posed a challenge to the entire industry and we have been working tirelessly to correct many of the misperceptions people hold. In the UK this year we have responded to government consultations on taxing packaging based upon recycled content, extended producer responsibility, standardising collection schemes (the UK has 39), and introducing deposit return schemes. Our discussions are ongoing, and we remain hopeful that our evidencebased views will resonate within a debate that has become somewhat hijacked by those with an anti-plastics agenda. Times are changing and the industry needs to be prepared to change and adhere to best practice too. This year the BPF developed a tool called Packscore – for brands, retailers and designers to use at the earliest stages of packaging design – to assess whether packaging can be easily recycled and adjust the
2019 has been a challenging year, but our industry has and will continue to rise to that challenge helps companies prepare for Brexit in whatever guise it may take.
Director-General of the British Plastics Federation Philip Law introduces the November/December edition with his views on plastics in the environment, as well as on the determination and resilience of the plastics industry. product’s features to ensure it can.
necessarily mean ‘better for the environment’.
In addition, we published Recyclability by Design in conjunction with RECOUP to show how designers and manufacturers can maximise recyclability, with tables summarising best practice for the packaging’s components.
PREPARED The other issue we have faced is the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which affects the industry almost everywhere but is felt most acutely within the UK. The BPF has a Brexit Taskforce, designed to be a microcosm of our membership, which has been extremely valuable.
For the more informed general public, as well as journalists, MPs and the industry’s more curious customers, the BPF published Understanding the Debate About Plastic, which distils the key issues into a short, accessible document. A keynote the industry needs to communicate is that ‘plastic-free’ does not
We’ve produced many relevant documents since 2016 that have been warmly received by a variety of government departments. Most recently, we published Preparing for Brexit: Practical Guidance for the Plastics Industry, which
A survey we conducted in October asked what respondents considered the best Brexit-related option for their business. Four per cent wanted a no-deal Brexit, 41 per cent wanted a deal, and 55 per cent wanted to remain in the EU. That said, the data showed 78 per cent of British companies have taken steps to prepare for a worst-case, no-deal scenario. 2019 has been a challenging year, but our industry has and will continue to rise to that challenge. Whatever 2020 will bring, and whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU, we will remain a vital, thriving industry that continues to adapt and innovate.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Year in, year out Dear readers, Welcome to the sixth and final 21st Anniversary edition of EPPM, where we cease looking back over the past 21 years and turn our gaze to the future instead. Both the decade and the editorial year draw to a close, but what a year it has been. A year ago I knew little about plastics. They were merely the pots, packs and bags that arrive in their billions in supermarkets, as well as the things discarded by roadsides and seasides. They were the toys and trinkets found in Christmas crackers and tossed aside. I knew nothing of the multitude of materials and engineering applications and, after almost a year working alongside materials scientists and machinery manufacturers, salespersons and CEOs, I'm catching up and observing plastic in new ways – as a material fit for the future. I have done more travelling this year, including my K debut, and have seen more of Europe than in the past ten years combined. I therefore needed a new book to read when it came to K 2019 and, being a sci-fi fan, bought Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle to distract me on the flight. Strange parallel with current events in that one of the book’s central characters poses as a European plastics industry professional as he attempts to subvert the machinations of a sinister government that could ruin everything – for everyone … but enough about Brexit, let’s bring the focus back to K 2019. I write this in the Press Centre at Messe Düsseldorf with burning feet and worn shoes, but it has been worth it to catch up with many contacts, as well as creating new ones in all sectors, where every link
on the value chain plays its part to reduce the disposability of plastics. I mentioned in the previous edition how K 2019 would bring memories back from my time as a janitor, and the smell of warm blown film in Hall 17 was exactly as I remembered it – only now I'm convinced that manufacturers are doing more (much more) than they were in the 1990s with regards to sustainability, energy efficiency, and circular economy. With so many high-tech highlights to take back, I will here focus on what’s in the publication, and save the rest for the review section – before which I invite you to enjoy this edition’s feature on Automotive applications, for which I also attended the Composites in Motorsport event, alongside fascinating interviews with K exhibitors. For the return of the Moulding and Tooling feature, I caught up with ISTMA World President Bob Williamson during a short stay in Ljubljana, and introduced myself to Jacob Lof of Netherlands-based toolmakers Thermoware at K 2019. For the Blow Moulding feature, I met with JOMAR’s sales manager Ron Gabriele, the management team at Kautex Maschinenbau, and giant of the machinery sector Russ La Belle, President of Wilmington Machinery, who was as welcoming and as friendly as he was fascinating and humble. The Printing and Decorating feature also returns with news from Berry Superfos and FMI, as well as a brief interview with iPB Printing’s Marketing Manager Tom Lavrijssen. See you in 2020. Rob Coker, Editor
The editorial year draws to a close, but what a year it has been
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From back catalogues to the future ROB COKER MARKS THE PUBLICATION’S 21ST ANNIVERSARY FOR THE LAST TIME BY TURNING AWAY FROM THE ARCHIVES AND LOOKING AHEAD AT WHAT TO EXPECT IN EPPM MAGAZINE NEXT YEAR.
ver the course of 2019 and in my first five issues editing EPPM Magazine, I have primarily poured through numerous back catalogues in search of articles and images to compare and contrast with my own vision for the publication for the 21st Anniversary feature, as well as for the more noticeable changes that have taken place within the plastics industry since the end of the 20th century. This being the final installation marking the milestone year, I thought it would be apt to focus on the future instead. 2020 is not only a new year, but a new decade, into which EPPM will take its new look, format, and general outlook. Many of the longstanding editorial features such as Injection Moulding, Automotive, and Temperature Control will come with us. Others, however, will remain behind as we move towards a new era – for ourselves, and for plastics. The decision to say goodbye to a specific Circular Economy feature was made under the assumption that all features, and therefore all plastics manufacturing, will in many ways intrinsically highlight circularity anyway. Also remaining in 2019 are the Additive Manufacturing and Printing and Decorating features in order to make room for new features, including the use of plastics in Building and Infrastructure, an additional Packagingbased feature, and new developments in Process Control and Industry 4.0. PAN-EUROPEAN NETWORKS One of the most notable additions will be the introduction of a Country Focus in three of the six editions, beginning with
a focus on China in January/February, so look out for some awesome designs reflecting this. With new media partnerships negotiated, new events and trade fairs to attend, and a whole new network to meet and greet, the travelling element will continue much the same as it has done this year (the number of magnets on my fridge growing exponentially), with trips planned for Brussels, Barcelona, and Birmingham, amongst many others – who wants to sit in an office all day every day anyway? Not I, which is why I’m looking forward to adding to my K trade fair debut with my JEC World, Equiplast and Fakuma debuts, all of which and more will be found in the publication throughout 2020.
I hope that that’s enough to whet your appetite for the future. All that remains for me to say is a huge thank you to all our clients, contributors and collaborators over the past 21 years, and for the past year in particular – here’s to the next 21 years.
Many of the longstanding editorial features will come with us. Others, however, will remain behind
Another dimension K 2019: ENGEL’S ORGANOMELT ENTERS A NEW DIMENSION WITH ULTRA-EFFICIENT THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITES AND TARGETED LOAD DISTRIBUTIONS.
At K 2019, ENGEL took some big steps toward the development in large-series production of thermoplastic-based lightweight composites. The injection moulding machine manufacturer and systems solution provider used the organomelt process to produce demo parts that reflect the latest innovations for automotive applications – specifically, car door modules. The production cell ENGEL exhibited is the first in the world to use infrared radiation to heat and form three organic sheets of differing thicknesses, as well as shaping a high-quality visible surface in the same injection moulding process stage. The system was equipped with three ENGEL easix articulated robots operating simultaneously – another debut feature. “Thermoplastic composites are growing in importance when it comes to lightweighting in the automotive industry,” said Dr Norbert Müller, Head of ENGEL’s Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies. The consistent thermoplastic approach makes it possible to efficiently integrate the forming and functionalisation of fibre-reinforced prepregs, which reduces unit costs, and the use of exclusively thermoplastic polymers makes it easier to develop recycling strategies. “Returning composite components to the material loop at the end of their service life is one of the priorities for ongoing development in the electric vehicle sector,” Müller added. GREAT POTENTIAL ENGEL’s answer to the need for sustainable mobility is organomelt, in which fibre-reinforced prepregs with a thermoplastic matrix such as organic sheets and tapes are heated, inserted into the mould, formed and directly overmoulded with thermoplastic. The welldeveloped process has already been used in high-volume manufacturing.
As this process undergoes further development, ENGEL is working with customers and partners on the production aspects of designing composite components with a targeted load distribution. “In the future,” Müller continued, “several different prepregs will be combined for each component to tailor the lightweight construction characteristics to the relevant component’s shape, as well as the different stresses on individual areas inside the component. The production cell at the K show clearly demonstrated that great potential.” The moulding process exhibited at K was developed in partnership with automotive supplier Brose. This is currently the only system in the world that can simultaneously process three different shaped organic sheets between 0.6-2.5mm in thickness in a fully automated process involving integrated IR ovens. The different stresses on the individual component areas can be dealt with due to the targeted selection of organic sheets on the basis of load distribution – an outcome that Brose helped to ensure through a variety of simulation processes. The demo part produced at K is more rigid in its window frame area than on the inside of the door. ULTRA-COMPACT IR OVEN INTEGRATION One of the challenges with processing organic sheets is the heating of the prepregs. The time they take to heat and cool depends on their thickness. Heating the material quickly without damaging it is important, as is a fast and straightforward
Returning composite components to the material loop at the end of their service life is one of the priorities for ongoing development in the electric vehicle sector
between the oven and the mould, as well as saving space since the oven does not need separate floor space. Both IR ovens were developed and manufactured in-house by ENGEL. These, and the easix robots, are fully integrated with the IMM’s CC300 control unit and can be centrally controlled via the machine’s display.
transition to the mould for the heated prepreg. The organomelt production cell featured at K is based on a duo 3660/800 injection moulding machine and includes two integrated IR ovens for this reason. There is a vertical IR oven positioned directly above the clamping unit to heat the organic sheet, which is only 0.6mm thick. This way, the thin organic sheet reaches the mould quickly, ensuring that it has not yet cooled and thereby impossible to form. A standard, horizontal IR oven on a pedestal above the moving platen is used for the two thicker organic sheets. This arrangement shortens the distance
Two of the three easix robots are available to handle the organic sheets. These are located next to one another above the clamping unit. While the first robot is responsible for handling the two thicker organic sheets, the second takes care of the thinnest. During the entire heating process, it holds the organic sheet in front of the vertical radiation field so that it can be placed into the mould after the set heating period is over. The third robot is located next to the clamping unit to remove the moulded part, whilst moving one of the three organic sheets into the mould for the injection moulding process. The organic sheets, which were obtained from Chinese raw material producer Kingfa, are made of glass fibres and use polypropylene as their matrix material. When the mould – built by Georg Kaufmann Formenbau – closes, the organic sheets are formed. Immediately afterwards, they are over-moulded with glass fibre-reinforced polypropylene within the same mould. Reinforcing ribs are shaped on the back of the component, while a leather-look grain is shaped on the visible side. “When directly over-moulding the organic sheets, we can achieve an outstanding grained leather look, which was previously seen as impossible
when it came to organic sheets,” Müller concluded. “In that regard, we’re laying the foundation for producing large structural thermoplastic door structures using the organomelt process.” AN EASY-TO-MANAGE COMPLEX PROCESS The production solutions developed by ENGEL at its Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies are distinctive for their high efficiency and costeffectiveness – both essential requirements for high-volume production applications. Walter Aumayr, Vice President of ENGEL’s Automation and Composite Systems Division, said: “ENGEL’s considerable expertise in automation plays a major role.” With three ENGEL easix articulated robots all operating at the same time, the organomelt cell provides a state-ofthe-art example of integrated composite processing. This high degree of integration makes this the most complex production cell that ENGEL has ever showcased at a trade show. “The more process stages we incorporate and the more individual systems a production cell includes, the more complicated the process as a whole becomes,” Aumayr added. “As a systems solutions provider, ENGEL has ensured that there is a consistent operating logic and joint data management throughout the cell, making it far easier to use articulated robots.”
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS AUTOMOTIVE DRIVING TEXTILE DEMAND CURRENT GLOBAL AIRBAG YARN DEMAND SITS AT 164 KTPA AND IS EXPECTED TO REACH 237 KTPA BY 2025, ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT FROM WOOD MACKENZIE.
ommenting on findings in the ‘Global Airbags Report 2019’, David Hart, Wood Mackenzie Consultant, said: “The steady structural growth of the airbag business is driven by long-term increases in global car production and by rising airbag fitment rates per car … Although the most basic cars may have just two airbags, the more comprehensivelyequipped can have ten or more. The airbag business looks set for significant growth. Even with the current stagnating automobile production, enhanced safety systems are key pieces of product differentiation." The airbag market was pioneered in the advanced economies of Europe, North America and Japan. However, airbags are becoming an increasingly essential component in cars even in costsensitive emerging economies.
The traditional structures within textile supply chains have supported profit centres at each manufacturing step – polymer, yarn, fabric, airbag and module. Enormous cost pressures in the automotive sector increasingly make these horizontal structures uncompetitive. The early development of the airbag business has relied on PA 66 for a strong and resilient yarn. However, polyester is typically half the cost and has been seeking a route into the airbag market despite its rigidity. Over the past decade, polyester has started to make progress in certain airbag categories and is likely to continue to increase its current share. On-board safety systems exist to protect from human error. Autonomous vehicles will have no such fallibility, rendering the automobile and its AI the safety system.
CLARIANT FOCUSED ON IMPROVING AUTOMOTIVE SUSTAINABILITY WHEN HOSTING A PRESENTATION BY JOACHIM MELZIG, DIPLING. KUNSTSTOFFTECHNIK, BMW GROUP, DURING K 2019.
MAKING LIGHT WORK:
Clariant and BMW present lightweighting success at K 2019
itled ‘Injection molding of structural foam. A Clariant and BMW success story’, the presentation took place on the Clariant booth, with Melzig explaining how BMW has used Clariant’s HYDROCEROL chemical foaming agents (CFAs) in the dashboards in almost all of their vehicles. The additive reduces weight and improves mechanical properties, as well as forms a key component in BMW’s effort to reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel economy and cut the amount of polymer material used. Laura Carrillo, Clariant’s Head of Market Segment Automotive in Europe,
said: “HYDROCEROL chemical foaming additive masterbatches play a critical role in a Clariant-wide programme to support a more sustainable plastics industry. According to published reports, BMW was able to reduce the weight of their dashboards by 20 per cent with our HYDROCEROL. This weight reduction is important as part of the overall lightweighting strategy.” HYDROCEROL is activated by heat and releases gas, which forms a cellular foam structure from inside while the outer skin remains solid. Because the gas displaces the polymer, less plastic is needed to produce
Image copyright: BMW Group
an acceptable part. HYDROCEROL can be processed on almost any commercially available injection moulding unit. In BMW’s case, the density reduction was especially dramatic because CFAs were used in combination with core-back technology – a process that opens the mould slightly to further reduce pressure and allow the foam core to expand.
GRATOMIC MODIFIED TYRES OUTPERF CANADA-BASED ADVANCED MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT COMPANY GRATOMIC INC. HAS ANNOUNCED POSITIVE RESULTS FROM EXTENSIVE TESTING OF GRAPHENE-ENHANCED TYRES, VERSUS GLOBALLY RECOGNISED, PREMIUM BRANDS.
he company believes these results represent a breakthrough in tyre technology that warrants deployment into the global market. The 18-month development programme included a six-month terrain test in which grapheneenhanced tyres and premium tyres from
a globally recognised brand were fitted to high-mileage, commercial light vehicles, which primarily travelled on UK roads, with performance data logged throughout the test period. The results concluded that the Gratomic tyres, enhanced with surface engineered graphenes, produced
a greater than 30 per cent increase in wear resistance, equating to an additional 30 per cent mileage. Industry experts employing standard dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) revealed a significant improvement in rolling resistance, indicating a greater than 30 per cent improvement in
SEKISUI CHEMICAL to expand European presence JAPANESE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIER SEKISUI CHEMICAL IS SEEING A GROWING DEMAND FOR HIGHPERFORMANCE INTERLAYER FILMS AND THERMAL MANAGEMENT MATERIALS THAT REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS AND ENHANCE FUEL EFFICIENCY, COMFORT AND SAFETY, AND ARE ESPECIALLY RELEVANT FOR EVS.
EKISUI is therefore building a new production line in the Netherlands for interlayer films due for completion by the end of this year. Work is also scheduled to commence on a new plant for thermal management materials next year. CEO Masayuki Suda said: “The automotive industry is facing a once-ina-century revolution, and we can contribute to this, especially in e-mobility, with our heat management and thermal solutions. Our products are essential for our customers to keep pace with these trends and remain competitive.” SEKISUI has been a strong automotive partner for many years, with products that combine sustainability, innovation and efficiency. This was recognised at the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when SEKISUI CHEMICAL was listed once again among the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. LIGHT FANTASTIC With more than 70 years of experience in the production and processing of plastics, lightweighting is at the heart of SEKISUI’s work. Europe, where trends are progressing at a faster pace, is at the centre of the future automobile industry. The European market is therefore increasingly important for SEKISUI, which is why the company wants to strengthen its presence here. SEKISUI currently has a production facility in Spain, and three production facilities plus a research centre in the Netherlands.
FORM PREMIUM BRANDS fuel economy. Gratomic Chairman and Co-CEO, Sheldon Inwentash said: “We see these results as
a breakthrough in tyre technology and safety. We look forward to deploying nanoengineered graphene-
enhanced passenger and light commercial tyres into the global market.” Gratomic is an advanced materials company focused on mine to market commercialisation of graphite products. In response to market demands, tyre manufacturers are seeking fuel-efficient solutions employing graphene-enhanced tread formulations, along with innovative tread pattern designs.
NEW EVONIK EPOXY COMPOUND SHAPES UP THERE IS GROWING DEMAND FOR LIGHTWEIGHT, STRONG AND STIFF COMPONENTS, WITH CFR PLASTICS OFTEN USED IN PLACE OF METALS. THESE HIGHPERFORMANCE MATERIALS ARE EXPENSIVE TO MANUFACTURE AND OFTEN CANNOT BE PRODUCED IN THE HIGH UNIT VOLUMES REQUIRED.
heet-moulding compounds (SMCs) have been used for decades to make plastic components in large volumes, but until now have not been suitable for comparable lightweight construction purposes. The epoxy resins typically used in carbon to give high strength and stiffness are hard to apply in SMCs and have therefore not been used in the automotive market. Evonik has succeeded in developing VESTALITE S, an epoxy hardener that eliminates these issues in compounds. Together with Lorenz Kunststofftechnik GmbH, and based on the proven SMC recipe of this thermoset manufacturer, a material has been developed that meets all requirements for lightweight construction, including flame resistance. Peter Ooms, Sales Director at Lorenz Kunststofftechnik GmbH, said: “[U]p until now these thermosets were difficult to work with and the mould material was hard to
shape, which greatly restricted design freedom. Glass-fibre reinforced epoxy SMCs were impractical, and therefore never really reached market maturity.” VESTALITE S exhibits improved mechanical properties and is readily workable. This prototype epoxy SMC can be used instead of steel or aluminium in applications such as battery housings and was presented at K 2019. This new semifinished material meets safety requirements and offers plenty of design freedom for a high degree of component and functional integration, which results in lower costs, lower weight, and higher safety.
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AUTOMOTIVE TAIWAN-BASED URBAN SCOOTER DESIGNER GOGORO INTRODUCES ITS SUSTAINABLE, ELECTRIC, FULLY RECYCLABLE VIVA SMARTSCOOTER RANGE.
VIVA – A smaller, lightweight smartscooter from Gogoro
ogoro has announced the Gogoro VIVA Smartscooter, which defines a new category of lightweight scooters and delivers the Gogoro riding experience in a compact and versatile design. “VIVA was created to live at the intersection of urban transportation and self-expression,” said Horace Luke, Founder and CEO, “and designed to empower a new era of commuters around the world to make cleaner sustainable energy choices.” VIVA leverages Gogoro’s Smartscooter leadership and sophistication, utilising its efficient electric powertrain, smartphone connectivity and
battery swapping in a lightweight urban design – VIVA weighs just 80kg and yet has more than 21 litres of storage space. Its body is made of solid-core, recyclable polypropylene that is scratch-resistant and customisable. Optimised for shorter, urban journeys, VIVA uses a single battery – a first for a Gogoro Smartscooter – that provides up to 85km in range per battery swap, and Gogoro’s iQ System provides connectivity and intelligence that continues to evolve with the rider. The Gogoro VIVA Smartscooter has been available in Taiwan since October and will begin rolling out to global markets in 2020.
TEIJIN ARAMID STRENGTHENS POSITION WITH CAPACITY INCREASE TEIJIN ARAMID HAS ANNOUNCED THE SECOND ROUND OF ACTIVITIES TO INCREASE ITS PRODUCTION CAPACITY.
y targeting a more than 25 per cent capacity increase in five years (beginning end 2017), Teijin Aramid continues to proceed with its disciplined process in order to keep up with growing market demands. After the first phase of capacity increase through debottlenecking, the company is now progressing to the investment for innovation phase in a variety of markets in order to finalise the capacity increase by 2022. The capacity increase will be used as an opportunity to invest in new technologies that reduce CO2 emissions, and Teijin Aramid is committed to setting the tone for a more sustainable way of working. Twaron products are in high demand due to their lightweight, durable and strong features. These aspects also allow Teijin Aramid to provide customers with solutions that enable more sustainability. The capacity increase will take place in the two Netherlands-based factories in Delfzijl
and Emmen. Delfzijl is the production site for monomer and polymer and the plant in Emmen is used for spinning. The increase is expected to result in more new jobs in the region. CEO and President Gert Frederiks said: “Twaron is an incredibly versatile product. It allows us to enable innovation ranging from car tyres to space crafts. As the industry leader, we continue to invest in production developments to ensure innovators in a range of industries can continue to push boundaries. At the same time, we want to push our own boundaries, and use this opportunity to modernise our own
production sites with a sustainable approach. Our end goal is to have a sustainable and circular supply chain.” The company aims to achieve this through energy efficiency and greener raw materials, and by working alongside customers and partners to bring sustainable solutions to the market.
Twaron allows us to enable innovation ranging from car tyres to space crafts
Image: © Gogoro
by performance WHILST K 2019 WAS IN FULL THROTTLE, EPPM SWERVED INTO DUPONT’S BOOTH TO TALK AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS, ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, AND PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS WITH GLOBAL VP FOR PERFORMANCE MATERIALS JEROEN BLOEMHARD AND GLOBAL STRATEGIC MARKETING LEADER FOR AUTOMOTIVE PATRICK CAZUC. Alongside materials selection for lightweighting, what does the future of plastics in automotive applications look like from the DuPont point of view? Cazuc: There are plenty of opportunities with thermoplastics in vehicles; the drivers and the trends that we see around lightweighting and electrification display numerous examples of applications that would not exist in a combustion engine. So, electrification is driving new use for thermoplastics as well as technical changes in, for example, electrical insulation, where thermoplastic is at its best. That’s definitely driving the penetration of thermoplastic in the market. If you look at a car today there are still many metal parts that could be replaced. It’s difficult to see a limit as to where we can go with the use of thermoplastics in these key applications.
Bloemhard: We really don’t see any limitation and feel very excited about the future use of performance materials in the automotive industry. Most of the trends driving the industry transformation, and our innovations, are favourable to the use of plastics, including for lightweight and reduction of CO2 emissions. Plastics have had a poor image. With these applications, are plastics coming into their own? Could they be looked at favourably again? Bloemhard: I don’t know how much the general public understands about how much plastic there is in cars. If you talk to a person on the street about what has been enabled by plastics and what they would not have without them, I think they’d understand. Perhaps, the plastics industry could think about the broader message to be created and highlight what specialty plastics bring to day-to-day life, whether in the car, phone, appliances at home, or healthcare devices. There is certainly room to reposition and highlight the benefits of these performance materials (including engineering plastics) in transforming industries and improving lives. Cazuc: The unvarnished reality is clearly that you cannot make cars as efficient or as comfortable as they are expected to be without the use of thermoplastics. Their proper use is also a caveat: using the right material in the right place, understanding the application thoroughly, which end use, and making sure the choice is right. The design has a lot to do with this too, and
how you design these applications. As does the discussion about sustainability and how you redesign the applications. This is an important dialogue in which to get involved. In the packaging world, design is where the circular economy process begins. Is it the same in the automotive world? Cazuc: The circular economy again comes back into the application you are designing. There are some designs in plastic that are efficiently done, and the effective use of plastics allows us some recycling – but the difficulty is always in the economics. Is the material easily recyclable? Yes. Any thermoplastic can be recycled. The access to the part, the dismantling and extracting of the part, cleaning the part – these are all things that require special infrastructure and can also be counted among the limits of using metals in automotive applications. Thermoplastic is an enabler of more efficient, more environmentally friendly vehicles in terms of reducing fuel consumption and emissions through lightweighting and electrification. If the public saw these high-end engineering applications for plastics and how they beneﬁt society, could the tide then turn for plastics? Cazuc: As an engineering material plastic is certainly appreciated by the industry, but not marketed well enough as such to the public. It is extremely difficult for us to advertise that because we don’t do plastics that go into packaging. Engineering is where DuPont plays and
adds value; it’s what we create, in close collaboration with our customers. In terms of public awareness, plastics in packaging is really only the tip of the iceberg. Bloemhard: In the plastics industry, going from low- to high-end plastics, I think we have to address both. We have to address the benefits of what plastics bring to society and at the same time keep investing in designing smart and efficient applications, while managing the material lifecycles. We have to look at both ends of the spectrum, in order to find the best solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Cazuc: Looking at CO2 emissions too, for example, along the full chain of production, through automotive plastics, the end user can contribute to environmental protection. The public perception is also driving regulation, which is very sensitive. The difficulty is in making sure the public and policymakers understand the complexity of the whole situation, but I think the automotive industry has stepped up to the challenges. Bloemhard: It’s a business case. The way we design our material applications and generate innovation through collaborations is really about enabling the industry to
in turn enable the end user to benefit from these products. It’s really about the end application and the positive outcomes on society: driving advanced and more efficient mobility, enabling better connections across the world, and designing smarter healthcare for positive patient outcomes. So really it is about what we enable through our materials expertise, and it’s a very powerful way to do it. It’s our core business. It’s saying: “Look what plastics can do”, and it’s driving innovation in automotive, aerospace, healthcare; it’s everywhere – and it’s not going away.
We really don’t see any limitation and feel very excited about the future use of performance materials in the automotive industry
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ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER K 2019, ROB COKER DROVE TO OXFORD, UK, FOR THE COMPOSITES IN MOTORSPORT CONFERENCE. HERE HE PICKS OUT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS.
LIGHTWEIGHT, AUTOMATE, INNOVATE Drawing comparisons with aerospace, that same flexibility is not available for motorsport: “What is it that the motorsports industry is looking for? Extreme lightweighting – which is why we use composites and carbon fibre for high production flexibility – and the necessity to quickly increase part productivity. If a car breaks down you need replacement parts as soon as possible.”
hris Hamar of Gordon Murray Design noted how the automotive industry is at a turning point with electrification changing the market. “Cars still need to get lighter,” he said, “whilst still meeting performance standards. With battery electric, we have an opportunity to rethink the architecture of vehicles.” Regarding how much composite, as well as the nature of its use and what can be leveraged from the motorsport heritage background for domestic vehicles, Hamar drew upon other trends originating from the consumer – noise, vibration and passenger safety, which are much more difficult criteria to satisfy than design and architecture, according to Hamar. “Motorsports brilliantly contributes to safety chambers in automotive. A demonstration test recently done by Faction Health & Safety Group took a small family vehicle from the 1990s and put it through today’s crash test standards. All the passengers would have been killed.” The value of composites in safety features is immediate. FACE THE FLAX Gareth Davies of materials solutions developer Composites Evolution continued the discussion by confirming that once the applications are developed, ensuring their relevance to performance takes priority. “We are makers of things that can accelerate that process,” he said. “The question is, how can we support an industry as high in expertise as the motorsports industry?” As in the more traditional plastics industries, collaboration along the value chain was Davies’ answer: “We’ve got to be able to work with people and take the shortest, quickest steps towards implementing our technology. We had to do this with flax.”
Both composite and automotive engineers wondered ‘why flax?’, since its use is more common in textiles. Part of the Composites Evolution solution was in sustainability: “There are drivers in motorsports that say they would like to have more sustainability … nobody shouts about it, but it’s important that we start to work with different elements. You may not agree with using flax in motorsport, but if it reduces the industry’s carbon footprint it’s hard to argue with.” On day two Christian Fleischfresser of Cevotech changed the topic somewhat from design to manufacturing, and asked whether the motorsports industry is the right industry in which to automate. With low production volumes and high part complexity, the industry is continually prototyping to stay ahead of the competition: “The current automation solutions don’t seem appropriate for motorsport manufacturing,” he said.
With these in mind, Fleischfresser said Cevotech has something to offer – fibre patch replacement – a flexible platform for manufacturing complex composites. “The hardware and the software make it possible to bring this technology to the market. The benefits are in manufacturing numerous complex composite parts with CNC milling machines, and you can replace individual patches so you can tailor the orientation of the fibres for each part.” With much innovation in materials and manufacturing for automotive, motorsport remains a dynamic testbed for future applications.
AUTOMOTIVE EPPM SAT DOWN IN SOLVAY’S BUSY BOOTH AT K 2019 WITH MARK WRIGHT, GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING MANAGER FOR SPECIALTY POLYMER/COMPOSITE MATERIALS, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ENGINEERING PLASTICS PRODUCTION FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR.
THE LIGHT STUFF WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN DEVELOPING SOLVAY’S AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS AND HOW ARE THEY BENEFITTING THE INDUSTRY? The background to my position began a few years ago when Solvay identified the synergies between thermoplastic specialty polymers and composites. Solvay needed to identify the right customers and applications where our thermoplastic composite solutions would drive maximum value. The history of composites within Solvay is associated with a long heritage of thermosetting materials in aerospace applications, where you’re looking for lightweighting and more performance. The performance of the part is the main driver, which is quite reassuring if you fly because it’s nice to know that the plane has parts designed for optimum performance. That’s where the thermosetting business has been; for automotive, you’re looking for where that same selection criteria made sense, which we found to be in Formula 1, super cars and premium luxury. The benefit Solvay delivers is formulation expertise to thermosetting chemistry to maximise part performance. Solvay has a strong presence and activity in high-performance cars for structural parts where performance needs to be tailored. If you go beyond Formula 1 into supercars, these brands can also derive value from the use of carbon fibre. The key to understanding why current thermosetting technology is not going into further serial automotive production – it all comes down to the part cost. Production of up to tens of thousands of parts are more efficient to be manufactured in composite, but
you will get to a point, depending on part complexity, when metal solutions become more costeffective. Industrialisation of current thermosetting technology is how Solvay is changing the status-quo. Technology is driving out that human labour element in favour of automation, which means higher levels of material utilisation, thus reducing total cost of ownership. HOW ARE THE MATERIALS AND PRODUCTION PROCESSES AFFECTING THIS STRATEGY? With thermoplastics, the PEEKbased materials have been used in aerospace for some time. But now, in automotive, we’re making new uni-directional tape based around PPA or PPS. We have our own internal production and application development capabilities and see that the type of customers we need to engage with are those already known to Solvay. Purely injection moulded materials are the heritage of Solvay in the automotive sector but have limitations when it comes to applications that have a complexity of load case. What we envisage is for the uni-directional tape to extend the range of metal replacement capabilities by strategically placing it to manage the complex load cases. The tape can then subsequently be over moulded in a standard injection moulding process. If you look at thermoplastics injection moulding, that maturity and trust of the supply chain is there. The key task in
thermoplastic composites adoption is to understand which parts have the value for the products, and I think we’re in a fairly unique position through the investments we’ve made in the application centre in Brussels, which will be launched next year. COLLABORATION IN YOUR SECTOR IS AS IMPORTANT AS IN ANY OTHER? Absolutely. I have personally looked at and analysed many automotive parts but without the true knowledge of current and future system requirements that comes from collaboration, it’s almost impossible to fully understand customer needs and technical requirements. Carbon fibre, for example, is used for particular reasons: you use it strategically where you need to but optimising how much you use
is key. This is where collaboration and co-operation enable optimisation in the automotive value chain. I’ve been in automotive for 20 years and I know the materials and the applications, but not enough to do this without collaboration. From the materials side, we can do it all ourselves, but converting that into something useful and valuable for the customer needs partnerships. Without identifying and validating that value, noone will buy. The right materials with the right design and the right process makes things possible; the right partnerships make things valuable. Let’s find them. Customers are demanding lightweight solutions, but carbon fibre is for optimising lightweight performance. That lightweight, optimised design with rigidity and stiffness is what we’re trying to find in Solvay, but it will take the whole supply chain to create that trust and make it happen. REGARDING THE RECENT MEGATRENDS IN AUTOMOTIVE: EXCITING OR FRIGHTENING FOR MATERIALS SUPPLIERS? I think there’s a bright future as long as we find the right applications for our products. On the thermosetting side, when you start industrialising there should be paths of integrating hybrid or multi-materials solutions too. It’s hugely complex, but I am excited by it. The new applications in e-mobility are totally new, so there is a natural excitement in it. It’s an exciting time. You’ll see people who see themselves as pioneers, they’re the type of people you want to find. But you’ll also have fast followers and those that will be left behind.
Collaboration and co-operation enable optimisation in the automotive value chain
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU ARE HOPING TO FIND AT K? K is all about planting seeds. I’ve been talking to a lot of OEMs and tier suppliers, and there is no immediate answer, but lots of interest. We may follow up along the line but what’s important is that they know, which is why we exhibit at such trade fairs. The immediate benefit is difficult to measure, but promoting and sharing knowledge about our materials and capabilities is priceless.
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MOULD & TOOLMAKING NEWS Meusburger helps mould success at K 2019 AT THIS YEAR’S K SHOW, THE MEUSBURGER STAND FEATURED THE NEW CONFIGURATOR FOR HOT RUNNER MOULDS. THE NEW CAVITY PRESSURE SENSORS, AND MANY OTHER MEUSBURGER PRODUCTS, INCLUDING THE UNMISSABLE HOT RUNNER AND CONTROL SYSTEMS, WBI KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND ERP SOFTWARE.
verything at the Meusburger stand revolved around the new configurator for hot runner moulds. The complete mould base, including hot runner manifold, can be customised with just a few clicks and shipped in the usual high quality. In addition, the required components and matching accessories can be ordered directly from Meusburger. During K, many visitors to the Meusburger stand learned about the benefits of the new configurator. PROCESS RELIABILITY Meusburger also presented the new cavity pressure sensors, which represent a further step in industry 4.0. They offer maximum flexibility through direct or indirect cavity pressure measurement and are compatible with all
common piezoelectric pressure sensors. Another benefit is the small installation spaces ensuring high mould design freedom. The PSG branded product range for hot runner and control systems also interested visitors. As a digital addition, WBI Knowledge Management presented its software developed for the Knowledge Management Method, through which knowledge can be collected, shared, developed and saved. At the same time, the ERP software SEGONI.PPMS was presented and used for efficient production planning, focusing on companies with individual production structures in mould, die, and jigs and fixtures construction. In these ways Meusburger helped customers achieve sustainable success.
CLARITER, AN INNOVATIVE GLOBAL GROUP THAT IS LEADING THE WAY ON CIRCULAR ECONOMY WITH A RANGE OF PATENTED TECHNOLOGY AND CLEAN-TECH SOLUTIONS TO CONVERT PLASTIC WASTE INTO HIGH-GRADE, PURE PRODUCTS, HAS BECOME THE MOST RECENT GLOBAL PARTNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL TOOLING AND MACHINING ASSOCIATION (ISTMA).
CLARITER JOINS ISTMA AS GLOBAL PARTNER
he ISTMA Global Partners Program will provide additional visibility and networking opportunities for Clariter, enabling its participation in meetings and networking reunions, as well as by providing special conditions for participation and sponsorship of numerous industry events organised by ISTMA. Collectively, ISTMA member associations represent more than 8,000 companies and over $70bn
(~€63bn) in annual sales. ISTMA World is responsible for the central co-ordination and organisation of all international activities. The ISTMA Europe Fall Meeting took place on 11 November in Brussels. The programme included attendance and participation on the seventh edition of the European Tooling Forum, organised on the following day. Organised by ISTMA Europe, and in close cooperation with European Tooling Platform, the
event emphasised the relevance of the tool, die and mould-making Industry among official bodies and bureaus, with a special focus on representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission.
VASANTHA PLANS AUSTRIA TOOL ROOM INDIA-BASED MOULD MAKER VASANTHA TOOL CRAFTS PVT. LTD. HAS ANNOUNCED ITS PLANS TO BUILD A NEW MOULD-MAKING FACILITY IN AUSTRIA. THE NEW FACILITY IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN OPERATIONS BY SPRING 2021.
ayanand Reddy, Founder and Managing Director of Vasantha, said: “This is a step in the right direction to support our continued growth in Europe. This is a major investment by Vasantha, which will focus on delivering
innovative first-class quality moulds to our global and European customers, combined with local service.” The new plant will have the capability to independently design, manufacture, assemble and test its own moulds, and the company estimates that an investment of €12m in the facility and production equipment will be required over the next 18 to 24 months. Once fully operational, the company expects to create approximately 80 full-time jobs in the next three years. Vasantha is a stateof-the-art tool room
with a global presence and the capability of handling the large and complex programmes that the moulders and OEMs of today’s markets demand. Vasantha has pioneered many breakthrough innovations in the design and manufacturing of plastic injection moulds and has one of the most sophisticated mould-making facilities in the whole of Asia, with an excellent track record of building high cavitation and critical customised moulds to meet the everincreasing requirements of the customers.
MOULD & TOOLMAKING NEWS
MOULD FRIENDS ADDILYS, A JOINT RESPONSE FROM ADDUP AND IPC FOR THE LARGESCALE DEPLOYMENT OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING IN TOOLING AND PLASTICS PROCESSING, IS A DEDICATED PLATFORM FOR UPGRADING ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING IN TOOLING.
he AddUp Group and IPC have combined their technical skills and complementary expertise to create ADDILYS with the goal of providing manufacturers with global solutions, from advice through to maintenance, including tooling design, demos and manufacture. The partnership also aims to enable customised and optimised thermal solutions, particularly for plastics processors, through the use of ‘conformal cooling’, made possible by high-performance 3D metal printing. These technologies lead to increases in productivity that benefit all actors across the manufacturing chain, from mould maker to end user. AddUp and IPC engage all the material and human resources needed to ensure the agile and efficient deployment required. This new entity will be headquartered in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, France. Through its unique HUB strategy, tailored to specific sectors, AddUp, the French leader in metal additive manufacturing, brings its product and process
skills in additive manufacturing, its highperformance machinery, and its ability to adapt to user needs. IPC (Plastics and Composites Manufacturing Technical Centre) offers sound knowledge of the plastics sector and its skills in optimised thermal solutions, and the design of printed moulds to enable plastics processors to improve cycle times and productivity. ADDILYS CEO David Muller said: “ADDILYS is THE trade response for plastics processing and tooling users. Combining 3D printing skills with the expertise of trade users, the company provides and offers an optimum response for technical solutions." Vincent Ferreiro, AddUp Director General, added: “As pioneers in the development of 3D printing solutions for manufacturing, and thanks to the experience gained from our shareholders, Fives and Michelin, we are convinced that creating this platform with IPC will enable manufacturing industry actors that use moulds to access an innovative services offering that is able to add enormous value.”
COOLING FOR TOOLING SIGMA ENGINEERING GMBH DEMONSTRATES THE PREVENTION OF DEFORMATION OF A PART BY ANALYSING THE POSITIONING OF THE COOLING CHANNELS.
IGMA Engineering uses one of the key technologies from SIGMASOFT – Autonomous Optimization – to enable a multi-criteria optimisation of the whole injection process in a fast and efficient way. SIGMA was consulted to help reduce the deformation of a part made of 20 per cent mineral PP after moulding. As it had to be assembled on a bumper, the part should not have had any docking defects or gaps. Thus, tolerances were tight. The first thing evaluated was the homogeneity of the cavity temperature and its effect on the part. A first simulation in SIGMASOFT over 10 cycles permitted
the analysis of the deformation and its causes: a significant hot spot on the moving half of the mould. Regulation of this area was difficult due to the shape and wall thickness. After consultation with the mould maker, the position of the closest cooling channel was modified with a new drilling to improve cooling. The plan was to save the cavity and optimise the cooling effect by evaluating the exact position of the cooling channels. In SIGMASOFT Virtual Molding, the drilling geometry is parameterised to move along the Z axis of the model. The virtual DoE functionality, included in SIGMASOFT Autonomous Optimization,
calculated all possible drilling positions. The deformation is described via the distance between the walls of the part, using position sensors, making an automatic determination possible. The comparison of the two simulations, initial and optimal, shows the gain on the dimensional tolerance part, and deformation is reduced from 1.4mm to 0.5mm. With the help of SIGMAinteract, all results were directly shared with the project partner and customer who, due to the virtual Design of Experiments, was able to begin production. The modification carried out was low-cost and made it possible to save the existing cavity block.
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MOULD & TOOLMAKING WHILST VISITING THE SLOVENIAN CAPITAL LJUBLJANA, ROB COKER SAT DOWN WITH ISTMA WORLD PRESIDENT BOB WILLIAMSON TO LEARN HOW TOOLING IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, KEY TO THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS.
THE MAKERS' MARKET HOW IS THE TOOLING INDUSTRY BENEFITTING FROM THE NETWORKS CREATED THROUGH ISTMA WORLD? Through creating cohesion, members working together, special projects, events and simply getting to know each other. Projects for the sake of projects are not always helpful, the principal behind ISTMA is building connections. WHAT IS ISTMA’S STRATEGY FOR FOSTERING AND DEVELOPING INNOVATION? ISTMA itself doesn’t create innovation but encourages it. 4IR for example – which is an event, by the way, not a technology – is a period in which industry must become aware of how all these new developing crossover technologies can have an impact. One of our principal jobs is to encourage industry not to fear it. Disruptive technologies are only disruptive if you allow them to be. Think ‘catalyst’ or ‘opportunity’ rather than disruption. If you want to hang on to the old ways of doing things – good luck to you. SPEAKING OF OLD WAYS, HOW MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE IS TOOLING NOW COMPARED TO WHEN ISTMA WAS ESTABLISHED? Unimaginably and immeasurably. Digital technology has created so many opportunities even the way you approach and see development is shifting. If you talk to the old school, they will talk about teaching basic skills and theories. You might still need to teach fluid dynamics, but do you need to know how to build a steam engine anymore? No. The only things likely to remain constant in this evolving marketplace are digital roadmaps. We will always be the industry that
creates the means by which everything is made. But how that is done will continue to evolve. THE TOOLING INDUSTRY IS CONNECTED TO EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY? Absolutely, there’s no such thing as manufacturing without tooling, and the mistake that is often and easily made is that tooling is a commodity you buy – not true. It’s highly specific. Most of the manufacturing efficiency of any product is directly linked to the tooling. If you don’t get your tooling right, your cost of manufacture will increase. It’s not the cost of the tooling that’s important, it’s the cost of the part. Without tooling you won’t make the part. WHERE WILL AM TECHNOLOGIES TAKE THE INDUSTRY GOING FORWARD? In the short to medium term, AM is going to be part of the traditional manufacturing approach; long term, we may see replicators that make the finished product. Will we focus on building a better replicator? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me. How far away is it? I can’t be sure, but the world of Star Trek is coming.
frightened that the marketplace is evolving. If that means replicators become a reality, someone will have to manufacture the replicators, and that will be the tooling industry. I’m not saying replicators are going to be a reality, but it’s a high possibility. WHAT ELSE CAN THE TOOLING INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTE TO MANUFACTURING ECONOMIES? HOW CAN IT HELP DEVELOPING ECONOMIES, FOR EXAMPLE? If you don’t have a tooling industry you can’t have an efficient manufacturing economy. They are symbiotic. If you have a manufacturing economy that hasn’t got its own tooling industry, you’re depending on somebody else and risking giving them insight into your manufacturing efficiency, so don’t be surprised if they then make better tooling and market your own products in competition. ISTMA is apolitical, so we encourage member associations to establish good relationships with the government of its country, and assist in understanding the criticality of the tooling industry. It’s the key responsibility of the national association to be the voice of their industry.
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MOULD & TOOLMAKING THE BRIGHT MOULDS AND MACHINERY ON THERMOWARE’S K 2019 BOOTH CAUGHT EPPM’S EYE, SO WE APPROACHED FOR A QUICK CHAT WITH SALES MANAGER JACOB LOF.
Life’s a niche TELL ME ABOUT K 2019 AND HOW IT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL FOR YOU SO FAR? Even after three days we’ve barely managed to process the many people who have shown interest. We’ve been in this business for 40 years; people know us for our dry-moulding machines, our tooling for EPS food disposables, and parts for medical and automotive applications. In today’s market, where EPS disposables are reconsidered, we still see our customers finding their way to new business. We help by using our tooling and moulding technology for their other applications with other materials. Besides EPS we can apply with our machinery thin wall applications in EPP, EPE, ETPU, bio-based foams and some copolymers. ARE YOU LOOKING TO MAKE THE MOULDING AND TOOLING PROCESS AS SUSTAINABLE AS THE PRODUCTS AND MATERIALS? It’s the other way around actually. In the past our customers have been very costdriven in that they required low energy consumption and material saving at low production costs. It turns out that our expertise is more relevant than ever – not just for food disposables but for any foam application. We even managed to improve our own technology by reducing the mass of the moulds and the energy usage by 40 per cent. Our customers value the shorter cycle times and improvements on the whole production capacity of our machines.
WITH THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY BEING A MAJOR THEME AT K 2019, HOW DOES THERMOWARE CONTRIBUTE? I’m glad K 2019 brings a circular economy theme. As a machine builder in the plastic industry we realise our contribution goes through our customers. We see some of our customers struggling with the worldwide attitude change towards EPS, but with our technology we help customers grow their business or reduce important risks.
We simply don’t need the media headlines. We’ve always been a market leader in a well-defined niche and we still don’t consider other wet-moulding machine builders as competitors. Our main customer base is still centred around thin-walled food disposables. For 40 years we’ve been the market leader in this niche that covers only three per cent of the total EPS packaging market. Today, thin-walled applications are growing. Thermoware does not need to expand its proposition as our niche is growing with new materials, new applications. As a specialist in thin-walled particle foam processing, customers usually know how to find us.
We also made our machines future-proof. We expect our customers to monitor the development of new particle foam materials very closely, as we do. These developments are important milestones towards the circular economy. Hence, we are committed to making any material processable on our equipment using our sustainable dry-moulding process. It needs no explanation. We value our good relations with material suppliers worldwide.
HOW FAR AWAY THEN ARE YOUR NEW TARGETS FOR THE SHORT TERM? They are very close. Our strength is our flexibility and our size helps us to maintain that. It’s important as today’s customers are exploring and investigating new technologies and opportunities. Providing them with the appropriate support and service is crucial for reaching our new targets – especially for the short term.
COMPANIES SUCH AS THERMOWARE DON’T GET THE MEDIA HEADLINES AS MUCH AS THE BRAND OWNERS. HOW ARE YOU GETTING THESE MESSAGES ACROSS TO YOUR CLIENTS AND COLLABORATORS?
The market of particle foam is changing rapidly. Nonetheless, this K show has shown that Thermoware is ready – now and in the future.
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BLOW MOULDING NEWS NEW COATING SUBSTANTIALLY ACCELERATES COLOUR CHANGE W. MÜLLER HAS FURTHER REDUCED THE ALREADY FAST COLOUR CHANGE TIMES OF ITS EXTRUSION DIE HEADS.
he latest innovation is the flow channel coatings from surface finishing experts Dreistegen GmbH, which increase the mobility of masterbatch residues on the walls of the plastic-holding channels. Technical Service Assistant Guido Knipp said: “It can take hours for standard extrusion die heads to complete this process … simply because of the problem of changing colours. This is why we’ve always taken this critical factor into account in the development of our extrusion heads.” With a special coating developed in partnership with Dreistegen, the family business was able to generate the acceleration. The coating is a ‘metalamorphous functional layer’ applied to the surface of the flow channels in a complex physical process. This causes the plastic to flow in a laminar fashion to the edge areas. The more flowfriendly surface means existing pigment or viscous masterbatch residues can be rinsed out faster.
FLEXBLOW HAS BEEN PRODUCING THE MOST FLEXIBLE TWO-STAGE STRETCH BLOW MOULDING MACHINES SINCE 1994. FlexBlow enters single-stage market with Beauty series
n the occasion of its 25th anniversary, FlexBlow is now launching its special Beauty series – a bespoke two-stage response to changing industry needs. As well as a zeroscratch philosophy, the cosmetics market now requires an increasing variety of container shapes, colours and necks in everdecreasing batch sizes.
complete changeover from cosmetic bottles with an oval, narrow neck to shallow, widemouth jars within 30 minutes. FlexBlow’s innovative pick-and-place solution allows in-feeding of any wide-mouth preform, including shallow shapes, and direct integration with
a parallel injection system, all to minimise the possibility of scratches on the preforms. Because in cosmetics elegance is everything, the Beauty series of machines comes in an aesthetic white colour and flaunts a premium exterior design.
MAXIMUM VERSATILITY FlexBlow has therefore developed an integrated solution that enables
BEKUM OFFERS MAGNETIC QUICK-CHANGE SYSTEM FOR MOULDS AND BLOW PINS REDUCTIONS IN THE SIZE OF PRODUCTION RUNS AND EVERPRESENT COST PRESSURES REQUIRE MORE FREQUENT PRODUCTION CHANGEOVERS AND DEMAND INCREASING FLEXIBILITY FROM BLOW MOULDING MACHINES.
he changing of blow moulds and blow pins is complex and set-up procedures have a direct impact on the productivity of the plant. Where articles
being produced are changed often, a quick and reliable method that allows blow moulds and tools to be changed as quickly as possible using magnetic clamping technology and without the need for any additional adjustments is valuable. The magnetic quick-change system for blow moulding machines, available for the first time from Bekum, enables mould changing in just 15 minutes per clamping unit – without the need for tools or special mould carriages. Using a compact integrated roller table, moulds are inserted into and
removed from the front of the machine – meaning there is no need to leave space at the sides and allowing more machines into the production area. Moulds can be transported using either a fork lift or a crane. All that is required is a magnetic mould platen back to be able to integrate existing moulds into the system, usually simply and costeffectively. Electrical energy is only required for the clamping system during magnetisation and demagnetisation. The clamping function is guaranteed in the event of a power outage.
ST BlowMoulding unveils new website ST BLOWMOULDING HAS BROUGHT ITS NEW WEBSITE ONLINE. CHARACTERISED BY SIMPLE AND INTUITIVE GRAPHICS, IT CONTINUES THE COMPANY’S COMPLETE IMAGE RENEWAL INVOLVING ALL CORPORATE COMMUNICATION.
t’s also a symbol for the constant strive for renewal and improvement, the company added. Available in three languages (English, Italian and German), the website presents the company to existing and new customers. The user is welcomed by the new company slogan ‘Moving forward, by your side’, expressing the values of ST BlowMolding being open to innovation and collaboration. The promise of ST BlowMoulding is to be present from design to implementation, passing through all phases in which technicians and customers co-operate. ST BlowMoulding also presents after-sales services that follow the machine throughout its entire lifecycle and give added value to the customer. ST BlowMoulding provides solutions for all market requirements and dedicates a specific page to each of these applications.
? BLOW MOULDING AT K 2019, JOMAR CORPORATION’S SALES MANAGER RON GABRIELE SPOKE TO EPPM ABOUT VERSATILITY, EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN THE STYLISH TECHNODRIVE 65 PET MACHINE. HOW IS K 2019 TREATING YOU? So far so good. We’re seeing a lot of new customers and interest in our PET 65 machine. This is Jomar’s first machine specifically built to process PET. Some IBM machines run PET but in a four-station machine, ours is a threestation machine combining a core rod conditioning station and ejection station. IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE MACHINE’S FOOTPRINT? Jomar is known for small footprints in IBM because our plastifier is oriented vertically. Our machines are probably 30 per cent smaller than comparable IBM machines. The combination of the third and fourth stations doesn’t really affect the footprint, but it does reduce the cost of tooling. HOW ABOUT EFFICIENCY? Our plastifier is more efficient, although it’s more accurate to say we’re intruding the plastic rather than injecting. The force of the screw plastifies and fills the cavities. Other IBM machines create a meltpot and then ram it in, so our system is a bit more energy efficient, and puts less stress into the material.
HOW DOES THIS MACHINE HELP IMPROVE THE OPTIMISATION PROCESS? It is 4.0 capable. Our servo-driven hydraulic machines are 4.0 ready and are exporting data. The PET 65 is not quite as ready, but we are working very closely with Bosch Rexroth on that.
A lot of Jomar’s market share comes from converting traditional EBM bottles to IBM – bigger FMCG bottles are converting due to higher quality and sustainability. IBM bottles are more efficient because there’s no secondary process – we’re ‘shoot and ship’. As soon as the bottles come off the machine, they’re ready. There’s no deflashing, trimming, grinding and reintroducing that into the melt stream, so our process is more sustainable and energy efficient. There’s no contamination either, which is a constant headache for EBM manufacturers. We’re receiving more requests for PET. Most PET bottles are made through ISBM, but we’re proving we can work with PET. Not in the same way, but for small, thick-walled applications. You can run a PET cosmetic product and just by changing the screw and the mould, you can run a pharma product, perhaps a traditional EBM bottle and of course any IBM products. Our overall message is versatility.
The versatility and ease of switching back and forth is really a huge selling factor for this machine
IT’S AN ATTRACTIVE MACHINE, WHAT WAS THE THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND THE DESIGN? To make it more eye-catching. We want to make it obvious that it’s a new machine with new technology. It couldn’t look like the same old machine. HOW MANY BOTTLES WILL THIS MACHINE PRODUCE IN SAY AN HOUR? The bottle we’re running is a 50ml perfume bottle and this machine will make a little over 1,700 bottles an hour. At the previous K show we came with our servo-driven hydraulic machines – this machine’s predecessor. This size machine didn’t really benefit from converting the motor to servo-hydraulics, but what we did like about the new Intellidrive we applied to our Model 65, so the Technodrive was born. WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GAIN FROM PRESENTING THIS AT K 2019? We’re hoping traditional IBM makers may have an interest in getting into cosmetics or expanding their portfolio in bottles. The versatility and ease of switching back and forth is really a huge selling factor for this machine.
AGR INTERNATIONAL RECENTLY INTRODUCED ITS MOST POWERFUL INTEGRATED VISION INSPECTION SYSTEM, PILOT VISION+, TO MEET QUALITY MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGH-SPEED PET BOTTLE PRODUCTION.
ith a special focus on containers with high percentages of rPET, the Pilot Vision+ system is designed to work in conjunction with today’s high-speed reheat stretch blow moulding equipment. As part of Agr International’s Process Pilot family of products, it can be used along with the Process Pilot automated blow moulder management system. The combination of Pilot Vision+ and Process Pilot provides bottle producers with the ability to not only detect random defects, but manage the process to maintain precise material distribution, even with light, difficult-toprocess bottle designs. The Pilot Vision+ system is a modular vision-based inspection system that mounts inside today’s high-speed reheat stretch-blow moulding equipment. The compact design of cameras and lighting components, and its operating speed of up to 100,000 bottles/hour, make it compatible with most blow moulder models and brands. The open architecture allows for simultaneous management of up to six cameras in multiple locations. These are typically configured in preform inspection in the oven area, bottle seal surface, base and sidewall inspection immediately after mould removal.
With the increasing use of rPET, challenges in colour consistency can be an issue. In the Pilot Vision+ system, the preform cameras ensure that colours are within acceptable ranges. Another tool designed to address rPET issues is the Pilot Vision+ system’s ability to learn multiple reference image sets for colour inspection. This makes it possible to process a preform supply with slight colour variations and manage ranges by accepting those that match the reference images, while rejecting those that do not.
SPECIAL ATTENTION TO PREFORMS, COLOUR AND RPET The preform inspection module of the Pilot Vision+ system makes it possible to identify defects that are visible in the preform, before the bottle is blown. Multiple cameras provide the imaging for 360º preform sidewall inspection, as well as end cap and gate. Optics, LED illumination and image analysis routines are optimised to identify preform defects that impact bottle integrity, particularly the black specs and particle contamination sometimes associated with rPET.
The Pilot Vision+ system also offers a number of tools to assist operators with set-up and management. These include adjustable ROI tools, digital image filtering, zone scaling and the ability to display live and historical inspections images. To aid operators in monitoring line status and assessing production trends, detailed defect and reject information, and production-run data summaries, are continuously updated. Defects are mould/spindle correlated and categorised using colour codes for quick and easy identification. The Pilot Vision+ system is available as a standalone system, or in tandem with Agr’s Process Pilot automated blow moulder management system.
The Pilot Vision+ system is a modular vision-based inspection system that mounts inside today’s high-speed reheat stretch-blow moulding equipment
Experience Quality Reliability www.extrusionhead.com
1. Outer Layer - Virgin & Color 2. Middle Layer - e. g. PCR & Regrind 3. Inner Layer - Virgin
The benefit of our ReCo-Technology: • Material cost savings through the utilization of regrind material • Conserving resources when using PCR, a foamed middle layer or bio-based materials • Reducing the need for virgin and masterbatch material results in additional cost savings
Omya Technical Polymer Applications omya.com
Omya Engineered Materials firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOW MOULDING EPPM WAS INVITED TO MEET WILMINGTON MACHINERY PRESIDENT RUSS LA BELLE AT K 2019. EDITOR ROB COKER ASKED HIM ABOUT THE HISTORY AND THE FUTURE OF THE COMPANY, AS WELL AS SOME OF THE TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS HE HAS BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER THE DECADES.
n a modest booth in the US Pavilion at K 2019, Russ La Belle was seated having just returned from a lunch meeting with an old friend. I had barely finished welcoming him to Europe when he launched, with gusto, into the history of Wilmington Machinery, which goes back to 1979, he said, when the North Carolina-based company manufactured the six-layer barrier bottles and
lown ranger coextrusion systems for American Can. Shortly thereafter La Belle and a modest team of engineers began manufacturing for Continental Can and Owens-Illinois. “These were the three biggest blow moulding companies in the US at the time,” La Belle added. “We started out furnishing co-extrusion systems with their own rotary blow moulders and die head technology.” Making my K debut, I was keen to discover what the Wilmington President took away from his own.
We didn’t invent rotary blow moulding… but I do think we perfected it Russ La Belle, President
“I came to K show shortly thereafter and found that people wanted the whole machine. This was in the very early 1980s. By 1982 we had produced our first machine. That’s the first blow moulding machine from Wilmington (inset) – a 12-station rotary blow moulder. The die head was imported from Japan, which is where multi-layered blow moulding began. Today we build our own die heads. This particular machine is a three-layer machine for lever Brothers’ detergent bottles. It had IML on it and went direct to the filler. This was the first time I’d seen recycled material put into a centre layer, which they could do in detergent packaging, but not food packaging.
“These were all electric machines, so it was fairly pioneering for the time. In this machine each mould had three cavities. In operation, the extrusion system would move and you could mould any one of those three sizes without changing the mould. It also had IML so you could change the label on the fly.” IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU WERE ABLE TO ADDRESS ANY EFFICIENCY AND CAPACITY ISSUES EARLY ON. WEREN’T MOST MACHINES HYDRAULIC AT THAT TIME? The shuttle-type machines were largely hydraulic, but Wilmington’s were camactuated with a motor driver rotating, and the extruders were all electric. I’d say 99 per cent electric in total. HOW DID THE EUROPEAN MARKET REACT TO THAT? The European market didn’t have a lot of interest as Europeans tended to use smaller packages and a different closure technology with a calibrated neck, limiting the market. But Wilmington’s motto is ‘Machinery that fits’, so we’ve been collaborating with partners in Europe and across the world for many years now. IT’S A SHAME YOU COULDN’T BRING MACHINERY TO THE SHOW THIS YEAR. HAVE YOU BROUGHT MACHINERY TO K IN THE PAST? I’ve never brought machinery to K. Some think we’re custom machinery builders – we’re not. We design and engineer ‘Machinery that fits’. It’s engineered
machinery engineered directly for what each customer wants to do. We could have as few as 12 moulding stations and as many as 60, so it never made sense to bring an individual machine here. WHICH DESIGN AND ENGINEERING FIRSTS CAN WE ATTRIBUTE TO WILMINGTON? We pioneered the notion of radial positioning. If I was running a litre-sized mould and wanted to run a two-litre size, I don’t want the moulds to be the same length. All we do is move the clamp and fix it to the axle to accept shorter moulds. That’s something we pioneered from the beginning. You still change the mould, but you change the position too to reduce flash on an extrusion blow moulder. Flash costs money, so anything you could do to minimise it is a saver. We didn’t invent rotary blow moulding – that goes back to American Can, Continental Can, and Owens-Illinois – but I do think we perfected it. The good news was that I already had relationships with those three companies and was able to go back to them and ask what it was they liked and what they didn’t like, and I got some very good pointers about radial positioning.
AND HOW HAS THAT IMPROVED PRODUCTION CAPACITY? What we’ve done is add increased flow capacity to the moulds. We’ve got a greater percentage of mould close time and our cooling time is faster for more bottles per minute. Better cooling and better mould close times improve capacity. FINALLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS? We’re always on the lookout for new accessories, for example, in the calibration side of the business, and for people interested in recycling their materials themselves. We’ve sought such niche markets from the beginning. We’ve been application-driven manufacturers of market- and technology-driven goods. This makes us nimble, and flexible. We don’t say “this is what we got, take it or leave it”; if we don’t have something, we will say that too. Most people who come to us don’t need rotary blow moulders as they
don’t have the volume, and the investment is substantial. We give them the ability to lightweight the bottle using less material, less flow speed, less labouring – then their bottle costs drop. The custom moulders are our bread and butter. I’m very proud to have had customers in the top three at more or less the same time – that was somewhat unprecedented, and we did something different for each. I’ve seen commodity machine producers in the US fold – I’m not saying we’ve had the perfect strategy, but it’s been successful so far. It seems like it’s going to sustain us into the future. You have to be reinventing yourself all the time, but what you don’t want to be reinventing is your business philosophy. I said years ago that I would never joint venture with anybody and that I didn’t want to compete with those who buttered our bread – others have done that and have probably made a lot more money, but I didn’t want to disrespect those machinery builders. In other words, we’ve kept our noses clean and its kept us in business.
TRANSFORMING COLOR WORKFLOWS For more information about our color management solutions, visit xrite.com
ThankingYou us at K Show for visit
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BLOW MOULDING EPPM WAS INVITED TO A PRESS BREAKFAST AT KAUTEX MASCHINENBAU’S BOOTH AT K 2019, WHERE MEMBERS OF THE MANAGEMENT TEAM HAD SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, TOGETHERNESS, AND CHANGES – BOTH WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE COMPANY.
EO Dr Olaf Weiland said: “Our motto is creating change together and we’re meeting at a time when a lot of changes are happening. From a Kautex Maschinenbau perspective, the two major changes we have seen are the decline of our automotive business and the growth of our packaging business. “We started to invest in packaging 10 years ago and have built some success in that market … The decision we have taken having seen all these changes happen is to massively increase the orientation to the packaging market. A couple of years ago we perceived packaging as a second strong leg, but nowadays it’s clearly the number one leg. I said it’s a story of success, but there is still quite a long path along which our company is going.” WHAT WILL FOLLOW “It’s clear that we have to improve performances and accelerate delivery to be perceived as someone who leads,” Weiland continued, “not just on the technological side but the behavioural side too. It’s a clear priority for the future. So, it’s time to think about what will follow. We have taken the decision as a management team to name Thomas Hartkämper as my successor. This is the first time we have announced it, and I’m extremely happy.”
Weiland and Hartkämper have been friends for more than 20 years, with the former describing the incoming CEO as a team player and someone who could easily be the most visible example of customer orientation in Kautex in the future. Weiland ended his address by formally welcoming and congratulating Hartkämper, as well as thanking him for his presence at K 2019. The Kautex leadership team is well aware that all changes must be faced together, whether in sustainability or digitalisation, and well aware of the joint responsibility they face. Hartkämper said: “I am happy to be here at Kautex and working together with the team. I have been here for 17 days, and these have been the most intensive 17 days in my business life. We have already created a great team and defined new visions and targets.” JUST THE BEGINNING With his simple, key message – ‘Be one’ – Hartkämper means to inspire everyone at Kautex into unification with the company, customers, and partners to create change and added value together. “That bottle is the perfect example,” he continued, referring specifically to the
L-R: Thomas Hartkämper COO; Andreas Lichtenauer, Managing Partner; Marco Stühmeier, Global Customer Service director; and CEO Dr Olaf Weiland
recycled content within. “Our partners have put in a lot of teamwork to come to this point. The project started two years ago. It’s not something we came across by accident, or because of recent political discussions.” In its growing role as a packaging solutions provider, Kautex will begin to shift focus to the sustainability and recycled content of the final products, and one of the most strategic elements the company has undertaken is the ability to build its own die heads. When asked why that was so important, Hartkämper said: “Now we have the whole plastic mould under control, this is just the beginning. Lightweighting and recycling opportunities are growing; now we have the basis, as well as the vision, to go fully electric and use recycled materials.”
PRINTING & DECORATING NEWS ECO-FRIENDLY LIGHT ACTIVE PIGMENTS FOR FAST AND DURABLE LASER MARKING
aser technology plays an important role in the world of industry 4.0, with laser marking recognised as one of the most effective technologies for fast and permanent marking and coding. It also offers solutions for a wide range of markets, including clean and contactless permanent marking, a high velocity on suitable materials, solvent resistance, and humidity and abrasion resistance. Many plastics have poor absorption properties, some are even transparent to laser light. Budenheim’s BUDIT L series has highly efficient wavelength-absorbing ingredients that can be easily dispersed in all polymers. They are appropriate for NIR lasers and transform the light energy to thermal energy, resulting in a change of colour in the polymer. Depending on the energy level, different visual effects and shades can be generated on the polymer surface. The antimonyfree BUDIT L series is approved for food and medical use and designed as an easy to add and process masterbatch, which – due to the low loading level – makes marking transparent polymers possible.
Avery Dennison challenge won by MetroWrapz for second year AVERY DENNISON GRAPHICS SOLUTIONS HAS ANNOUNCED THAT METROWRAPZ OF HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, HAS EARNED THE KING OF THE WRAP WORLD TITLE FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR.
he company pushed creativity to the limits with its ‘Creature from the Wrap Lagoon’ wrap, transforming a 2017 Acura NSX. The King of the Wrap World award was presented at the Avery Dennison booth during the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and marks the end of Avery Dennison’s global 2019 Wrap Like A King
Copyright: Avery Dennison, PR439 Challenge. Senior Marketing Director Oliver Guenther said: “MetroWrapz once again earned the Global Wrap King title, against a more competitive field than ever. It is inspiring to see them continue to take our materials to new heights.” According to the MetroWrapz team, the inspiration for the wrap
came from the 1954 film of the same name, and required full use of the team’s skills to set new standards for speed of application and quality of finish. They used Avery Dennison Conform Chrome Silver Film with DOL 1370 Lustre laminate to create a realistic skin, enhanced by amphibian hues of yellow and green.
Supreme Wrapping Film ColorFlow Series in Gloss Fresh Spring added a finishing touch to the wheels, and rippling swamp water was placed along the rocker panels. MetroWrapz added accents of red reflective, and a custom-cut acrylic dorsal fin on the roof. Other continent finalists were WrapStyle s.r.o. (Europe); Shanghai DC Town Auto Service Co., Ltd. (North Asia); Winguard Paint Protection Specialists (Australia/ /New Zealand) and Sharpline Signs and Graphics (South Africa). All entries were judged on the difference between the before and after pictures, installation skill and quality, overall look and appeal, and uniqueness.
FLINT GROUP EXPANDS THERMOFLEXX AT LABELEXPO
uilding on the success of ThermoFlexX digital imagers and Woodpecker Nano screening technology, Xeikon Prepress is launching a new, integrated prepress solution for digital flexo plates. Since Xeikon Prepress joined Flint Group in 2015, the two divisions developed highly automated imaging devices and invested in mutual R&D projects. Woodpecker
Nano, a technology to create surface microstructures, is one such innovation launched as a result of expertise exchange between Xeikon Prepress and Flint Group’s Flexographic division. Uwe Stebani, General Manager of Xeikon Prepress, said: “After joining Flint Group, we were in the unique position of having the expertise of one of the leading plate manufacturers combined with our
own vast experience, which is unseen in our industry. As we have optimised ThermoFlexX imagers and developed Woodpecker Nano surface screening, we are now going for the next level to integrate and combine these with new innovations.” The two divisions focused on efficiency in the packaging prepress value chain to introduce an integrated imaging system, producing highquality flexographic printing plates while increasing productivity.
Flint Group Global Commercial VP Friedrich von Rechteren added: “Our respective knowhow in firstclass imaging devices, surface screening and photopolymer flexo plates enables us to introduce innovative solutions to the packaging prepress market. Our aim is to create the greatest value for our customers.” Flint Group Packaging announced the innovation at Labelexpo 2019.
PRINTING & DECORATING Digital Printing for Packaging Market to witness steady growth IN TERMS OF REVENUE, THE GLOBAL DIGITAL PRINTING FOR PACKAGING MARKET IS PROJECTED TO EXPAND AT A CAGR OF APPROXIMATELY SIX PER CENT, ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS AT FUTURE MARKET INSIGHTS.
n August, Future Market Insights published a report that includes global industry analysis for 2014-2018 and opportunity assessment for 2019-2029. In terms of revenue, the global digital printing for packaging market is projected to expand at a CAGR of approximately six per cent during the forecast period, owing to numerous factors. Digital printing for packaging reduces turnaround time and provides quicker response time for printing compared to conventional methods, and digital printing technology for short print runs with customised marketing communication in packaging offers benefits to print service providers and packaging converters in the form of controlled inventory levels. This makes digital printing for packaging desirable for high-quality graphic applications. The global market is anticipated to expand twofold in terms of volume by the end of 2029.
EUROPE HOLDING ITS OWN North America holds more than a quarter share of the global digital printing for packaging market, with China also a leading manufacturer. In South Asia, India has emerged as one of the key regions. Though a matured market, Europe represents a substantial incremental opportunity for the digital printing for packaging market. This can be attributed to the upsurge in demand for aesthetic printing solutions in the region. Label and tape manufacturers usually prefer short printing runs, and digitally printed folding cartons are widely used, which is driving the growth of the digital printing for packaging market. In Europe, the UK is expected to witness high growth, while Germany is anticipated to be prominent in market value share and incremental opportunity. Key market players profiled in the report include Landa Corporation, Xeikon NV, Mondi Group, and DS Smith Plc, among others.
Europe represents a substantial incremental opportunity for the digital printing for packaging market 38 WWW.EPPM.COM
THE SUPERLIFT CONTAINER FROM SUPERFOS, A BERRY GLOBAL COMPANY, IS PROVIDING A UK CONFECTIONERY COMPANY WITH A STRIKING AND TAMPER-EVIDENT PACKAGING SOLUTION.
SWEET SUCCESS WITH STRIKING TUBS
angerine Confectionery was looking for a high-quality, colourful, and creative pack to re-launch its Barratt seasonal range of the UK’s favourite sweets. The vivid colours of the SuperLift tubs, made of widely recyclable polypropylene, provide strong shelf standout and have generated fantastic in-store backing with feature space and promotional support, which has led to an increase in demand. According to Russell Tanner, Marketing Manager and Category Management Director at Tangerine Confectionery, consumers love the sweets – and the quality of the tub: “The great finish of the tub
helps to display the vibrant fun side of our brand. We have seen a really strong sales performance. Last year’s sales have been clearly positive and, with a move to the Superfos tub, we have gained additional distribution in the market.” The use of inmould labelling for the decoration allows plenty of creativity and Superfos worked with Tangerine Confectionery to help achieve a visually appealing pack. For the artwork design, Tangerine arranged a joint session for its design agency and Superfos, enabling amendments to be made and sign-off to take place on the same day.
The re-launched Barratt sweets are being sold in the UK and Australia in 750g tubs with a popular Retros variety available in a 630g version. Tanner added: “Previously with other seasonal packaging options, we have seen a few problems with tamper-evidence. Now with the solution from Superfos, there are no more complaints in this area. The SuperLift solution is a great match to our brand; a premium product. It has a very strong shelf standout and makes a perfect gift … This was something we wanted to push with the new tub, and we have been absolutely successful with it.”
PRINTING & DECORATING AFTER RUNNING AROUND MESSE DÜSSELDORF FOR FIVE DAYS, EPPM WAS HAPPY TO SIT DOWN WITH MARKETING MANAGER TOM LAVRIJSSEN OF NETHERLANDS-BASED PACKAGING SOLUTIONS COMPANY IPB PRINTING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PRINTING ON PLASTICS.
TELL ME ABOUT THE PROCESS OF GETTING THAT DESIGN ON TO THAT PRODUCT? We mainly use the UV Flexo-Printing technology, so we print from a reel and cut the film to the correct shape, when it then becomes a label. We have two kinds of printing technique: one is UV Flexo, which is 80 per cent of our labels, and the other is digital printing for our cups. WHICH IS THE MOST EFFICIENT METHOD AND WHICH DO YOUR CUSTOMERS PREFER? It depends on the size of the order. If you order 10,000 per label then Flexo will be more efficient because our Flexo printer has more width and can go faster. Even though the set-up costs are higher, it’s more efficient because the quantities required will be higher. Graphic quality is pretty much equal in both so there appears to be no specific preference from the part of our customers. It all depends on what the customer wants. We only make labels for the injection moulding process, so the label – our end product – goes to the customer and they process them into the injection moulding machines. WHAT DO YOUR CUSTOMERS LOOK FOR IN TERMS OF QUALITY? The graphic quality should be top priority, but for in-mould labelling the processability is also very important. We deliver the labels as a package and they
go into the injection moulding machine where a robot will pick up a label at a time. If they are not produced well the robots could take two labels rather than one and the process breaks down a little. So it’s very important to separate the labels and we can do this through the substrates and lacquers, as well as by using the right separation technique.
recyclable. Additionally, we have some foils that are biodegradable and efficient – but these are not that big in commercial use as yet as they are pretty expensive, nor are they as good as regular plastics in terms of quality and durability. We are aware of the trend so we do have some foils that are both biodegradable and durable.
HOW HAS THE K TRADE FAIR TREATED YOU THIS YEAR? Very well actually, we’ve moved to a different spot since 2016 and the location of the booth is much better. Many people are visiting. We’ve had a good few days with new leads and new opportunities every day.
FINALLY, CAN WE EXPECT YOU AT K 2022? For sure.
HOW DO YOU ASSURE YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO MEGATRENDS IN SUSTAINABILITY AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY? Of course, in plastics it is a hot topic. What we can do is, for instance, when our customer has a PP cup, we ensure the label is also PP and therefore fully
When our customer has a PP cup, we ensure the label is also PP and therefore fully recyclable
Material ingredients for a safe and sustainable future Halogen-free flame retardants, polymerisation control, foaming, laser marking and welding
Watch me if you scan www.budenheim.com/clip4plastics
BUDIT速 F Foaming
Chemische Fabrik Budenheim KG | Budenheim | Germany www.budenheim.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
PRINTING & DECORATING MAINTAINING BRAND QUALITY IN SOME INDUSTRIES IS A CHALLENGE THAT TAKES COLLABORATION, AS WAS THE CASE FOR FRYLITE.
IRISH FRIES ARE SMILING
or more than thirty years Frylite has supplied customers with a range of cooking oils, as well as waste collection services. Manually handling and transporting naturally has an effect on label quality, as does the intensive caustic chemical cleaning process, and so the Ireland-based company considered how best to ensure the labelling maintains the same quality as the products. “The labels just didn’t survive,” said Quality Manager Aoife Doherty. “We have a lot of manual handling and our labels were constantly damaged. They often peeled off or they didn’t retain their shape. The colours faded, they tore – you name it. They simply weren’t practical … Replacing the labels after each use was tiresome and time-consuming. We were determined to find a new solution. Which is why we contacted Corcoran.”
THE VALUE CHAIN APPROACH Corcoran Products supply a wide range of bespoke PP and PET packaging solutions to a variety of industries. But Derek Lennon, Commercial Manager at Corcoran Products, admitted that the challenge was one that required more than a tailored solution, as well as a collaborative approach: “We tried everything, and we had almost given up hope.” Following consultation with injection moulding specialist HK Plastics and inmould label solutions provider Verstraete IML, a solution that would stand up to the rigorous washing process was found. Jan Van Iseghem, Regional Sales Manager for Northern Europe at Verstraete IML, said: “With reverse IML labelling, the printing is placed between the
IML packaging and a thin polypropylene film. This means the print is secure, protected from tearing and the rigours of transport and handling, and able to stand up to high-pressure cleaning, heat and chemicals without a problem.” Doherty added: “We could see that Verstraete IML, Corcoran Products and HK Plastics understood exactly what we needed the labels to do. They were as committed to perfecting the process as we were.” Lennon said: “They didn’t hesitate to make adjustments, run tests, go back to the drawing board and run through the whole process again … We all worked together to create a label that meets Frylite’s needs.” NUMEROUS BENEFITS The reverse IML labels have enabled Frylite to wash and reuse the buckets over and over without label quality loss or image fading, which not only helps maintain the excellence standards expected by its customers, but contributes much to sustainability and the circular economy since the buckets have a much longer lifespan before recycling becomes necessary. As an added bonus, the reverse IML process has helped Frylite improve brand familiarity and shelf presence. “Wherever you go in Ireland,” Doherty concluded, “you’ll see the Frylite brand … It’s impossible not to recognise a Frylite bucket as a Frylite bucket.”
Kurz at K:
INNOVATION, DECORATION, INTEGRATION DURING K 2019 LEONHARD KURZ PRESENTED WITH A FOCUS ON NEW DESIGN AND FUNCTIONAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE, CONSUMER ELECTRONICS, HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES, AND COSMETICS INDUSTRIES.
sing a new process called IMD PUR, Kurz showed the combined use of IMD (in-mould decoration) and PUR (polyurethane) technology for automotive applications. A front panel was decorated and overflooded with PUR in the same clamping unit on an Engel duo 2460/900 injection moulding machine. The novel design effects achieved with this process were demonstrated by means of a radiator grill concept. Aside from its avantgarde design, the concept also illustrated the technical feasibility of the process for exterior applications. PERSONALISED PLASTICS Sophisticated designs were applied to cosmetic containers at high speeds in a live demonstration on a printing and finishing machine from the Kurz subsidiary Isimat. The machine is equipped with two processing stations for indirect digital printing and metallisation, which can be used to print personalised designs with extraordinary metallic
effects. A series of holographic designs with a relief or depth effect, which can turn the cosmetics packaging into a real eye-catcher and underscore the brand’s value, was also shown. A TOUCH OF CLASS Kurz has several innovative design ideas for the consumer electronics sectors. Mood-setting effects and backlighting create a symbiosis of light and colour design. Sleek, soft-touch surfaces or tactile structures combined with modern designs enable the optics and the haptics to meld. Such futuristic exhibits invited many designers and manufacturers to the Kurz booth. The company also showcased facts and figures that prove that Kurz’ decorative coatings do not impact the recyclability of plastics.
S FOR THANK IT @ IS YOUR V IN K SHOW ORF LD DÜSSE MIXING NOZZLES CO 2 / N 2 DOSING UNITS
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Decoration solutions to visually enhance recycled plastics were presented in the VDMA Pavilion, as was background information on a successful project for decorating parts with recycled content.
Such futuristic exhibits invited many designers and manufacturers to the Kurz booth
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MIDDLE EASTERN PLASTICS NEWS NATPET showcases materials advances and partnerships at K 2019 SAUDI ARABIA’S NATIONAL PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIAL CO. (NATPET) SHOWCASED STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AT K 2019.
achine manufacturer FANUC Deutschland GmbH ran NATPET grades on its K Show booth, making parts from medical-grade R40MLT-MG resin. The longstanding co-operation with Milliken Chemical, which began more than eight years ago with the aim of improving optical properties of random copolymer and other PP grades in thermoforming, was also on show. CCO Jamal Malaikah said: “We believe this joint development has added value to both firms, and we believe there is good reason for further co-operation.” NATPET has also become the sole owner of Bonar NATPET Geosynthetics to supply PP fibres, becoming the geotextiles market leader in the Middle East.
SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF INNOVATORS, INVESTORS AND GLOBAL LEADERS AT THE THIRD ANNUAL FUTURE INVESTMENT INITIATIVE (FII), SABIC VICE CHAIRMAN AND CEO YOUSEF AL-BENYAN SAID THAT INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION AMONG GLOBAL BUSINESSES WILL BE CRUCIAL TO MEETING THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
SABIC CEO: INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION NEEDED TO MEET SDGS
he event asked the question: ‘What’s next for global business?’ and covered a range of topics around the future of energy, the workforce and technology. Speaking on a panel about ‘Investing for Impact’, Al-Benyan focused on the SDGs while highlighting SABIC’s achievements in sustainability: “I have said before that there are disruptive forces reshaping our industry, our customers and our world. We see these as opportunities to build partnerships and devise innovative solutions that respond to these challenges.” SABIC recently launched the TRUCIRCLE initiative that links the company’s innovative circular materials and technologies and seeks new partnerships. The programme includes bio-based polymers, mechanically recycled polymers, and SABIC’s flagship certified circular polymers, which are made from the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste. Circular polymers,
Vision 2030 through local and international investments and helping to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.
Al-Benyan added, are a key to fulfilling a circular economy and stemming the flow of plastic waste into waterways and ecosystems. SABIC has also made strides in reducing emissions from its industrial processes to the extent that Mr. Al-Benyan told attendees was “equivalent to planting over 11 million trees”. These efforts are a crucial part of SABIC’s 2025 strategy, which includes a unique SDG roadmap addressing 10 goals that build sustainability throughout the value chain. SABIC’s efforts make it a strategic contributor to Saudi
We see these as opportunities to build partnerships and devise innovative solutions that respond to these challenges Dhahran Bulk Plant Copyright: Saudi Aramco
SAUDI ARAMCO ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO FLOAT ON TADAWUL
audi Aramco, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company, wholly owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul. The move is anticipated to become the world’s biggest IPO. With headquarters based in the Gulf city of Dhahran, the company has an estimated worth of $1.2 trillion (~€1.1tn), although government officials in the Saudi capital Riyadh put the estimation closer to $2tn. The country is looking to sell shares in the oil firm due to attempted reductions in reliance on fossil fuels, as well as diversifications in the country’s economy at the request of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under the Vision 2030 strategy.
2019 REVIEW Brown Machine Group introduced new turnkey solution at K 2019 BROWN MACHINE GROUP UNVEILED PRODUCT AUTOMATION CAPABILITIES AT K 2019. The equipment demonstrated lip rolling, counting, wrapping and case packing, in-line and as a turnkey system. The new servo-driven LR-2020S Lip Roller is the first of its kind for this application with servo drives and an HMI control system, which provides unlimited recipe storage. The cups feed through a four-stop oven and advance into the lip rolling screws. Once rim rolled, the cups are conveyed to the Nalle Automation System (NAS) Counter and Wrapper system, which utilises a geardriven counting device and introduces precounted cups into the staging area. Here lowtemperature jaws are used to cut and seal the sleeves of products. In the last stage, the NAS Case Packer positions the sleeves into a pre-set pattern. When the machine receives its signal to advance, it boxes the sleeves and conveys them away. With a compact footprint and adaptable into existing automation, the LR2020S strengthens Brown Machine’s goal of advancing turnkey solutions.
AT K 2019, MILLIKEN FOCUSED ON ENHANCING PLASTICS WITH ‘COLOR, CARE, CLARITY AND PERFORMANCE’.
illiken Chemical attended K 2019 under the theme of ‘Enhancing plastics with Color, Care, Clarity and Performance. Together’. With an eye on advancing the circular economy, visitors wanted to know how to increase reduction, re-use and recycling activities, and limit waste generated by production. Herrin Hood, Global Marketing Director of Milliken’s Plastics Additives Business, said: “Waste reduction and the recycling of plastics are necessary megatrends impacting today’s consumer products sector. As we all work to limit excess plastics use, support the recycling of PP and move toward a circular economy, Milliken is fully supporting these efforts with sustainable technological innovations.”
There are many possible approaches to tackle these issues, and those visiting Milliken’s booth discovered various ways in which the company’s advanced plastics additives and colorants are helping. TAKING CARE TO ENHANCE THE PLANET Milliken’s aim is to assist in ‘enabling plastics to improve people’s lives and transform the impact plastics have on the environment’, and in aligning itself with the chemical industry’s Responsible Care initiative, Milliken is helping customers lower their
carbon footprints, reduce dependence on single-use plastics, and reduce overall waste. Milliken has thereby partnered with PureCycle Technologies to advance closedloop recycling of PP resin. Using technology developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble, PureCycle plans to open a plant employing a patented recycling method that restores virgin-like quality to waste PP resin. This will enable the recycled material to become truly circular and be reused in its original application, as opposed to having to be downcycled into lowervalue products.
© 2019 Milliken & Company
DAVIS-STANDARD HAS REPORTED THAT PARTICIPATION AT K 2019 RESULTED IN SALES OF MORE THAN $17M (~€15M).
DAVIS-STANDARD SALES EXCEED $17M AT K 2019
he new orders represent the full spectrum of DavisStandard’s product lines, including orders for pipe and tube systems, blown film systems and coating and lamination systems. In addition to complete lines, there are several developing projects for equipment and technology upgrades to existing product lines.
“Our K booth exceeded expectations with productive customer meetings, new sales and promising leads,” said Jim Murphy, DavisStandard President and CEO. “Our brand message ‘Where your ideas take shape’ has resonated with customers as we work to build and promote sustainable solutions that support the
circular economy. We anticipate additional business as a result of K in the months ahead.” This was the first time Davis-Standard exhibited at K with the newest members of its global brand, Maillefer, Brampton Engineering and TSL. Each has added a new dimension to DavisStandard’s robust line of equipment and aftermarket services.
EuPC, PlasticsEurope and PRE oppose Italy plastic tax DURING K 2019, THREE PRESIDENTS OF EUROPE’S PLASTICS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS AGREED TO OPPOSE THE ITALIAN TAX PROPOSAL OF €1,000 PER TONNE OF PLASTIC PACKAGING.
enato Zelcher of EuPC, Javier Constante of PlasticsEurope and Ton Emans of Plastic Recyclers Europe all agreed that the proposed ‘Plastics Packaging Tax’ would be detrimental to the market and the consumer, and would put the economic situation of 50,000 workers in jeopardy, as well as the survival of 2,000 SMEs, according to the Italian Federation of Workers (Filctem Cgil). The National Federation of Consumers (Federconsumatori) estimates that such a tax would mean an increase of household spending of €140 per year. Zelcher, who is also the CEO of Crocco SpA, added that the measure penalises the products and not the behaviours, and will slow down all recent circularity efforts.
2019 REVIEW DURING K 2019 EPPM VISITED THE BOOTH OF PRECISION MOTION CONTROL COMPONENTS SPECIALISTS MOOG TO DISCUSS WITH MARKETING MANAGER FLORENCE LE ROY THE REASONS FOR RETURNING TO DÜSSELDORF FOR THE WORLD’S LARGEST PLASTICS TRADE FAIR.
Pro-m ti n WHAT MOTIVATES A MOTION CONTROL COMPONENTS SUPPLIER TO KEEP RETURNING TO K? We are here to reassure our clients of our stable market position and to reaffirm our strong commitment to the market, as well as to introduce ourselves and our recently developed products to potential new partners. AND WHAT WOULD SUCH EXISTING AND POTENTIAL PARTNERS DEMAND FROM YOUR PRODUCTS? Our customers are OEMs so when they’re creating new machines it’s important for them to have systems and components in their motion control solutions that are always constant and consistent in quality. The precision of valves, for example, can ensure that the process is not interrupted, and that the quality is constant. It’s about productivity and energy efficiency, which are both important for sustainability. We have hybrid electro-hydrostatic pump unit actuation systems that help reduce impact on the environment because the hybrid needs less oil. Less oil means less leakage; less leakage means less downtime. They’re more compact too so they have smaller footprints, which – when combined with quality – equals hydraulic precision and efficiency. In terms of specificity, we are willing to customise as we have many experts with a lot of knowhow in the market, we
can thus find which is the best kind of solution for their application. It’s really about dialogue and partnership with our customers. HOW DOES SUCH COLLABORATION BENEFIT MOOG, AND WHAT DOES IT ENABLE THE COMPANY TO GIVE BACK? We deliver energy efficient products. What we don’t do is tell our customers what to do with them. We give them expertise and collaboration so we can find the best possible solutions together. HAVE THESE NEW PRODUCTS BEEN DEVELOPED AS A RESULT OF PRESSURE FROM ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS OR THROUGH TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS? It’s a technological advancement. And not all of our products are used in the plastics industry because our expertise is in motion control, which has the same precision requirements in, for example, the metal industry. WOULD ANY OF MOOG’S FELLOW EXHIBITORS HERE AT K HAVE THESE COMPONENTS IN THEIR MACHINERY? Yes. Injection moulders such as Engel have the e-corner where you can see a small digital valve unit, for which we offer support too. It is user friendly and enables predictive maintenance. Arburg uses some of our valves too.
HAS THIS VISIT TO K BEEN SUCCESSFUL SO FAR, AND WILL YOU BE RETURNING AGAIN IN THREE YEARS? Yes, and probably. It has been successful and a good step to be exhibiting again. It is important to be there for our clients because, as I said, we are very committed to the market and we are here to show this.
The precision of valves can ensure that the process is not interrupted, and that the quality is constant
CHANGING THE GAME IN PLASTICS
THE COLOUR AND APPEARANCE EXPERTS AT X-RITE AND PANTONE SUMMARISE THE FACTORS THAT MADE K 2019 A SUCCESS.
2019 surpassed our goals and expectations, and we would therefore like to thank the hundreds of customers who stopped by our booth to talk about their colour and appearance needs. We heard from many attendees and customers who are transitioning to digital workflows to improve manufacturing efficiencies, reduce waste, and support sustainability efforts. At X-Rite and Pantone, we are dedicated to providing colour management solutions for every step of the digital workflow, starting with how colour is communicated, formulated, managed and controlled in production. K 2019 gave us an opportunity to highlight our latest solutions, including the new MA-5 QC spectrophotometer. This is the lightest and fastest multi-angle device on the market to accurately evaluate and control metallic colours and special effect finishes commonly used in plastics. While metallic, pearlescent, and other complex finishes are beautiful and help brands stand out on the shelf, they introduce new colour measurement challenges in the manufacturing process. The MA-5 QC helps manufacturers achieve precise measurements on difficult
to measure plastic samples, like curved plastic parts, toys, and bottles. When combined with our EFX QC software, customers have a comprehensive quality control solution that communicates colour tolerances across the supply chain. Advanced data tracking and analysis allows operators to quickly identify trends for continued process improvements. You can learn more about the MA-5 QC on our website. Special effect finishes go beyond just colour to appearance. To help industrial and packaging designers ensure consistency between digital prototypes and final physical products, X-Rite Total Appearance Capture (TAC) Ecosystem makes the process easier. At K, customers were intrigued to learn how X-Rite can help capture, communicate and visualise precise digital presentations of physical materials in the virtual world, resulting in virtual renderings with the exact optical characteristics of the physical material. This helps improve every step of the product development process to reduce design approval cycles and accelerate time to market.
tackle all your colour management needs in design and production - we are here to show how our solutions are changing the game in plastics.
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First impressions EDITOR ROB COKER REMEMBERS HIS K DEBUT.
t turned out to be true when everyone in Europe’s plastic manufacturing industry told me that K 2019 was going to be big. What I was not prepared for, however, was wandering footsore around a space the size of my home town for five days in weather that was mostly awful in Düsseldorf this year – but these mattered little to attendees and exhibitors alike as they networked their way around, each looking for their own particular highlights. What I had been looking forward to most – aside from getting out of the office and seeing both old and new contacts face to face (and the freebies) – was the showmanship and effort put into each booth, and the things that struck me most were exactly those. Every booth, regardless of size, was attractive and welcoming, as well as imaginative and lively, and each contributed accordingly to the whole experience. From booths that took twenty minutes to look around, such as Covestro’s, Reifenhäuser’s, and Windmöller & Hölscher’s, to small and medium-sized booths hosted by SigmaSoft, NGR, and Sepro Group – clearly too many to remember and list here – each brought tailored innovations, its own style, and a keen mission to do business. I tried – I really did – to see every booth, or at least every hall. I failed. A combination of sore feet and scheduled meetings prevented me, as did the many hours transcribing audio for this edition. It was no holiday, but an unforgettable experience nonetheless.
It was no holiday, but an unforgettable experience nonetheless
It was as much a festival celebrating the good things that plastics and industry players are capable of contributing as it was a trade fair. With dragons and robots, spaceships and continental lager – and a Blues Brothers tribute band on the Baerlocher booth – it was right up my street. Would I do it all again? Sure. Now I know what to expect, I know it will be both entertaining, innovative and informative, if exhausting.
A QUESTION OF QUALITY
WHEN EPPM WAS INVITED TO TOMRA’S BOOTH AT K 2019 FOR A SPECIAL PRESS CONFERENCE WITH EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CTO DR VOLKER REHRMANN, IT WAS DIFFICULT TO REFUSE.
ounded on circular principles, TOMRA was responsible for the first reversible vending machine, as well as the first sorting machines for recycling – the two product lines in its circular economy division. These have grown and made the Oslo-based company a global leader with very high market shares around the world.
The main markets are in Scandinavia, Germany, Australia and some US states, where it enjoys approximately 70 per cent of the market share. EPPM was keen to hear what Rehrmann had to say about the contributions of a market-leading machinery producer to the circular economy.
We can make excellent quality out of dirty plastics coming from residual waste. We can do it today
Dr Volker Rehrmann
CIRCULAR ECONOMY ON A HIGHER LEVEL “We see our solution as the missing link in the circular economy,” Rehrmann began, “so we established a specific division to look for holistic solutions in co-operation with others in the value chain. It’s true that only by working together can we solve these issues. “What happens to plastics in a linear economy is shocking. After so many years of recycling, an enormous amount is still leaking into nature. Not in Europe, per se, where this number is very low, but it’s still a significant problem. Furthermore, 40 per cent of plastic packaging is landfilled. From our point of view, we need to do much better. 14 per cent is burned, which is better than leaking into nature, but is it better than landfill? It creates energy but also CO2 emissions. “Just 14 per cent of collected plastics makes it into a recycled product, and the reality of plastics recycling today is downcycling. K 2019 is all about how we can change that, and how we can do more. If we don’t manage to upcycle the plastics, there will be no change. There is not enough demand for downcycled plastics. The only way we can close the loop on plastics is by upcycling, by bringing the quality back to virgin-like quality. “Again, we are sending clear messages that some would argue against, but for us it is very clear – we need legislation.”
On considering how much progress has been made in recent years, Rehrmann admitted that he had never seen so much, but the appropriate legislation is required to make more: “If you want to close the loop,” he continued, “you need transparency on the materials level. If you want to produce new plastics from old plastics, you need to know where your feedstock comes from.” Product design is another field where strides are being made, and public opinion is driving that: “Product design needs to begin with recyclability. We have to change the aesthetics too, if necessary.” Remembering not to focus too much on products, Rehrmann invited his audience to consider the theme of the trade fair itself, and to notice the ubiquity of circularity and co-operation. “This was why we went into business 25 years ago,” he said. “It was as true then as it is now. So why do we care so much now? It all started with consumer awareness. Consumers are suddenly aware of what is happening. We see all these terrible pictures of plastics in the ocean and nature and we cannot close our eyes or run away anymore. Consumers have realised we can’t continue in that way. And, because consumers are aware, legislators are aware. They have set high targets and are taking it very seriously. Commitment is no longer voluntary; companies have to act positively, and countries all around the world are watching Europe.” Organisations and foundations are addressing the global agenda in what Rehrmann described as “a very good way” through commitments and pledges regarding how much plastic they will recycle and how much they will use in
their products, so, certainly for him and TOMRA, a circular economy makes sense now that the world is consuming more than the Earth can give. “It’s not sustainable,” he added. “We must learn to reuse. Everything we do in circular economy has a positive effect on SDGs, and on climate change.” NO COMPROMISE ON QUALITY “We have tried to make the message simple: capture lost materials. 86 per cent is lost from recycling. We need to capture it and introduce proper recycling infrastructure. Landfilling and incineration should exclude plastics through a separate collection system. Germany was first to do this and it has gone well in making people aware that plastics can be removed. So, we need to address the plastics that are lost. This can be done today. If the world wants it, we can give it. We can make much more plastic available for recycling. Once you have the plastics, the question becomes one of upgrading it to a level of quality similar to virgin material.” What Rehrmann then revealed was that TOMRA’s work through partnerships has made it possible to upgrade materials, and handed out branded paper clips made from dirty plastic as proof. The key is hot-washing and sorting, he said. “If you use the best technology at every step and don’t compromise on quality, you can produce near virgin quality materials. Much is still in the planning stage, but what we call the advanced mechanical recycling process involves the best technology available.” Having the technology available is all well and good, but there are mindsets to contend with too: “Mindsets need to change to ‘quality, quality, quality’,” Rehrmann concluded. “We can make excellent quality out of dirty plastics coming from residual waste. We can do it today, but mechanical recycling remains the one area where more innovation is needed. There is investment going in and a lot of start-ups entering the arena, but it’s only part of the solution. We need a combination of mechanical and chemical recycling. People are working on it, risks are being taken, and the good news is companies are ready to invest.”
AFTER A SUCCESSFUL FIRST DAY, PLASTICSEUROPE PRESIDENT JAVIER CONSTANTE, ALONGSIDE REGIONAL DIRECTOR DR RÜDIGER BAUNEMANN, WELCOMED A CONGREGATION TO THE PLASTICSEUROPE BOOTH FOR A PRESS CONFERENCE ON DAY TWO OF K 2019.
IN THE MOOD
One of the questions put to me before the K Show was ‘is the plastics industry in a bad mood?’,” Baunemann began. “I can say that it is definitely not. We are looking forward to a bright future and I’m here to give you some facts and figures that we have been working on and have updated for this event.” Facts and figures are key to the work undertaken by PlasticsEurope, all of which were compiled and released in a brochure titled ‘Plastics – the Facts 2019’, which Baunemann invited attendees to take away. “You will see how the situation is in Europe,” he continued, where plastics production decreased from 64.4 million tonnes in 2018 to 61.8 million in 2019 – and that downward trend will continue: “Plastics manufacturers are suffering from weak economic development [with] important industries showing weak to clearly negative growth rates.” Despite these trends, Baunemann reminded his audience of the situation we enjoy in Europe as leaders of the circular economy discussion: “There is no part of our daily lives where plastics doesn’t make an impact. Whether in packaging, building and construction, or the automotive industry, plastics are being kept out of the environment … We are always asked about the latest trends in landfilling and, although slow, I can assure you it’s going in the right direction.”
STAYING TOGETHER With the positivity, however, came the concessions. There is a still a long way to go in Europe, Baunemmann concluded, as he gave the stage to Constante and the effects of voluntary commitments. “A few years ago,” Constante began, “the plastics sector came together to define a voluntary commitment and find new solutions. Why? To find a focus, impart understanding, and provide a clear message that we are here to stay.” The K Show was built around the idea of presenting the benefits of plastics for society and humans. But this, according to the PlasticsEurope President, is no longer the major area of discussion: “At K 2019, we will talk about how the plastics industry can grow in two areas: avoiding waste, and the circular economy.” The circular economy didn’t exist 10 years ago, which is why the voluntary commitment is so pertinent today. Constante continued by reaffirming Baunemann’s optimism: “It’s not easy to tackle the problems, but this K show will show us the different ways in which we need to work. If you need proof, look at my colleagues here. You’ve never seen so many solutions for plastic waste and circularity as is happening here at this show. “We cannot do it alone. We need the co-operation of the value chain and governments. Unfortunately, without the science, we cannot manage the waste,
and we hope that the waste management system improves in order to help provide the solution. But we are not in a ‘bad mood’ as was asked. We are not complaining about the challenges because we know we are on the right track – we see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is as yet intangible, but we are fully committed and fully engaged with serious companies that are working together to find a solution.”
The K Show was built around the idea of presenting the benefits of plastics for society and humans, but this is no longer the major area of discussion Javier Constante and Dr Rüdiger Baunemann
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he European Commission awarded €50,000 each to three social innovation projects in October through its 2019 Social Innovation Competition. The first of these was Czech Republic-based MInimum WAste (MIWA), an innovative circular distribution system for food and non-food products with reusable packaging. Situated in the Czechia capital, Prague, MIWA operates a system that simplifies and improves the distribution and sales of packaging-free goods by utilising reusable capsules and in-store modular units to prevent packaging waste before it happens. Known to the business as ‘precycling’, the project aims to provide a wrapper-less experience for shoppers, which reduces costs as well as potential littering/landfilling. All necessary information usually found on a wrapper can be found on the app instead, which contributes to data acquisition and market trends for retailers, and improves the image of producers as an environmentally conscious, sustainable brand. The second winner was Portugal-based SpraySafe, an edible preserving spray applied to food in order to eliminate the need for plastic packaging. Created by researchers at the Centro de Invesigação de Montanha (CIMO), Bragança, and based on natural, sustainable ingredients, SpraySafe challenges
EPPM MAGAZINE TAKES A BRIEF LOOK AT SOME OF THE NON-PLASTIC PACKAGING SOLUTIONS EMERGING ACROSS THE CONTINENT AND WINNING RECOGNITION FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
The European Social Innovation Competition clearly shows how we can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing European society through innovation – Elżbieta Bieńkowska plastic waste by acting as a coating, as well as a direct substitution for films, wraps and containers. Third amongst the winners was the Spain-based
VEnvirotech project, a biotechnological startup that produces two polyhydroxyalcanoate (PHA) bioplastics, called PHB and PHBV, using bacteria. Similar characteristically to PE or PP,
PHB and PHBV VEnvirotech materials achieve the transformation of the organic wastes into PHA bioplastics, which are biodegradable in the environment and compatible with the human body. Situated in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, Barcelona, VEnvirotech aims for biodegradable bioplastics from organic wastes within the same price range as fossil fuel-derived plastics. TAKING ON THE BIG CHALLENGES Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “The European Social Innovation Competition clearly shows how we can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing European society through innovation and entrepreneurship. The ‘Challenging Plastic Waste’ theme complements other important European initiatives [that] rely on the active participation and co-operation of business. I would like to congratulate especially the three winners and to thank all of the participants for their entrepreneurship, ingenuity and enthusiasm.” Launched in memory of Portuguese social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 associated countries.
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