Sprinting forwards for the first six months of Italian import-exports of plastics and rubber

Excerpt: the largest market share in India's injection moulding machine market, and it says its factory in Ahmedabad, India, makes more moulding machines than any other Milacron factory globally.

Sprinting forwards for the first six months of Italian import-exports of plastics and rubber machinery

THE statistical analysis performed by Assocomaplast (Italian trade association, part of CONFINDUSTRIA, representing over 160 companies) on foreign trade data provided by ISTAT regarding the first six months of this year, reveals – in comparison to January-June 2014 – a markedly positive performance for Italy's exports and imports of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds.

The growth recorded since the first months of 2014 has continued this year and actually has increased: by the end of June 2015, the rise in purchases from abroad approached 17%. This provides further reassurance of economic recovery for the domestic market, though it cannot yet be described as a glittering performance. Sales outside Italy increased by 7.5%. The trade balance also improved.

“Such trend” remarked Alessandro Grassi, President of Assocomaplast, "is in fact in line with the results revealed by our latest sentiment survey throughout our membership of the current status of business.”

The survey revealed a climate of moderate optimism, both as regards recent results – in July, 50% of the interviewees indicated an increase in orders with respect to a year ago – and as regards outlook, with 44% of interviewees expecting further expansion, and 45% expecting a consolidation of its turnover over the current six-month period.

“These indicators also show an improvement with respect to earlier surveys," said Grassi.

From the point of view of equipment types, the largest volumes of imported injection moulding machines, flexographic printing machines and moulds – to mention those making up the largest proportion of the total, though the same applies to other types of equipment – were recorded for Germany, the country that confirms its role as principal supplier of technology for Italy.

Germany, historically also the most important destination market for Italian exports in this sector, confirms its position from this point of view as well. German processors purchased Made in Italy plant for a value of almost 200 million euro (+19% with respect to the first six months of 2014).

In terms of geographical macro-areas for sales overall, there was a notable increase in business from EU countries and the NAFTA group. Amongst the UE countries there was an increase of sales in Germany, as mentioned previously, but also in Spain and the Czech Republic. As regards North America, the most significant result was the 36% increase in exports to the United States, along with the by no means negligible figure of +15% in Mexico. Encouraging results also arrived from Brazil, with a 17% improvement that induces hope at least for stabilization, in contrast to the reductions seen over the last four years. The further decline in exports to Russia (-39%), still negatively affected by the problems caused by the Ukraine crisis, comes as no surprise. Negative values were also seen for India (-24%), where Italian suppliers are finding it difficult to make headway notwithstanding the market's potential, and China, where there are marked swings in performance from year to year.

Getting more from less…

…Asia's utmost green sheet extrusion line you can now own, Rajoo creates a new footprint

A new design double barrier screw geometry has resulted in an extremely energy efficient sheet extrusion line. A 40% power saving is no mean achievement.

Commodity markets always pose a commercial challenge for businesses. Innovations to get more out of every rupee is always welcome. In one such approach, Rajoo today presents Lamina e Asia's greenest Sheet Extrusion Line.

A meaningful innovation as this would only help the PP/PS disposable container industry to be competitive in their price sensitive, yet rapidly growing market as well as assist them in improved profitability in business.

Power continues to hog the number two spot as the most significant cost component, after raw materials. The research and development team at Rajoo worked hard to find a solution. A new design double barrier screw geometry has resulted in an extremely energy efficient sheet extrusion line. A 40% power saving is no mean achievement.

The 65 mm/700 mm width sheet line with an output of 255 kg/hr (with 50% PP regrind) consumes a minimal power of 0.25 units/kg, whereas the 90 mm/700 mm width sheet line with an output 320 kg/hr (with 50% PP regrind) consumes power as little as 0.22 units/kg. Unbelievable but true.

'I am delighted that while this line adds the much needed commercial allowance for companies into processing of PP/PS disposable containers; it also saves energy, a precious resource. Sustainability continues to be an important agenda for Rajoo not only through its activities, but also through its products', emphasises Khushboo Chandrakant Doshi, Director, Rajoo Engineers Limited.

This universal machine can be seamlessly operated with available thermoformers for an end-to-end solution. A growing market for semi-flexible packaging, an attractive ROI with the Rajoo Sheet Extrusion Line Lamina e (minimal capital and operating costs), proven Rajoo post-sale-support and technical assistance, will help in your business success. With this Lamina e Sheet Extrusion Line, engineering at Rajoo moves a notch higher. Another first for Asia from Rajoo!

Based in Rajkot, Rajoo Engineers Limited, having made a modest beginning in 1986, has today emerged as an undisputed global player in blown film and sheet extrusion lines. Owing to its focused efforts in blown film, sheet extrusion lines and thermoformers, the Company enjoys premium market position in this segment. Being a technology driven Company, product innovations, adaptation, world-class quality, state-of-the-art workmanship, increased energy efficiency and high levels of sophistication and automation have become the hallmark of Rajoo products during all these years, positioning the Company's products on a global platform, competing with the established world leaders. With representations in many countries of the world and customers in over 53 countries, the Company's exports have multiplied after its debut in the international market in 1990. (www.rajoo.com)

Automatic rim rolling machine

Continuing the roundup of machine accessories, built by WM Wrapping Machinery SA, to optimize the production of thermoformed articles, today we examine the groups' automatic rim rolling machines for conical cups and containers.

These rimming units are widely used in the production of disposable cups, which can be made from various materials: Polystyrene, Polypropylene, APET or PLA.

Disposable cups, in most cases, are required to have a rolled rim around the upper part, the mouth, of the cup. This operation rounds off the edge, folding the lip under the rim, to make contact with the lip more comfortable when drinking from the cup and giving the cup greater rigidity at the same time.

Disposable thermoformed plastic cups can be produced on thermoforming machines known as "form-punch" machines i.e. performing the process of forming and punching out the perimeter of the cup simultaneously in the same station. These machines have a tilting lower half-mould which rotates by 75 degrees, allowing the automatic extraction of the products from the mould, their stacking and transport, in a continuous feed, to the subsequent operations of the line. Or alternatively, using a thermoforming machine with a large forming area in combination with a separate high speed horizontal trim press for cutting the perimeter of the cups, which is therefore secondary to the forming stage.

The selection of one system rather than the other is related to the raw material that will be used. Polystyrene has good dimensional stability and a very low shrinkage rate during cooling and this allows the cups to utilize the separate second stage trim press option. For polypropylene it is necessary to form and cut in the same station, to avoid inaccuracies in the perimeter cut due to shrinkage of the material during cooling that can occur between the forming station and a separate trim press.

There are also plants defined as "in-line", with very high production capacities, which also incorporate the sheet extrusion process. These lines start with the raw material in granules and finish with the packaging of the finished product. So it's therefore a true production island.

WM Wrapping Machinery SA designs and manufactures both of these production systems described above.

In the case of the most common, 200cc disposable cups, a line for polypropylene produces about 125,000 pieces/hour while a line for polystyrene can' reach up to 200,000 cups/hour.

It goes without saying then that WM has created two different types of automatic rimming machine, each intended for one of the two types of lines described above and each adapted to the characteristics of the material to be processed. So to put it more simply, one rim roller for polystyrene cups and another for polypropylene and PET.

The two units differ mainly in the length of the rim-rolling screw (longer for polypropylene cups and shorter for polystyrene cups) and also the system of infrared heating which, for the polystyrene is housed in a tunnel before the entrance of the cups into the rim-rolling cylinders, and for polypropylene the heating extends along the length of the three rim-rolling screws, creating a closed chamber through which the stack of cups passes.

Once rimmed the cups exit from the screws and are automatically transported by a conveyor belt to the downstream units for counting, film sleeving and subsequent boxing operations.

When the cups come out from the punch and die mould or in- line trim press, the upper edge is formed into an inverted U shape. The size and thickness of this edge are critical and must therefore be carefully considered when the mould is made and these parameters must be constantly maintained during the thermoforming process to ensure a perfect flange and an adequate uniform aesthetic appearance.

The rim-rolling screws are obviously the heart of the system and the profile of the grooves that constitute the thread of the screw are produced according to the type of cup, the stacking step and the material with which the cup has been formed, taking into account the dimensional shrinkage of the material.


Image 1) Cup prior to rim rolling - Image 2) Rim rolled cup


Image3) Rimming machine

It should be considered that there is a very wide range of cups with different diameter openings, just think of the difference between the classic coffee cup and a glass of beer. For this reason, the rim-rolling screws can easily be changed according to the design of the cup and readily adjusted in relation to the cup's diameter. The rimming machine can be quickly retooled by the operator in a few simple steps, to make fast, easy and safe production changes.

WM Wrapping Machinery SA has more than twenty years experience in the design and application of these ancillary units, which complete its thermoforming machines, whether they are in the "in-line" with extruders or "off-line" fed from material on the reel.

Davis-Standard shifts blow molding machinery production

DAVIS-STANDARD LLC has moved its accumulator-head blow molding machinery operation from Bridgewater, N.J., to a leased 20,000-square-foot facility in leased space next to its Black

Clawson plant in Fulton, N.Y.

Davis-Standard, the machinery manufacturer based in Pawcatuck, Conn., has signed a lease agreement with Universal Metal Works in Fulton. Officials of both companies plan to host an open house on Oct. 2.

Davis-Standard two years ago moved its Egan blown and cast film manufacturing operation from Bridgewater to Fulton. Most recently, Davis-Standard announced Sept. 4 that it bought Gloucester Engineering Co., the maker of film equipment in Gloucester, Mass.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment, but in a news release issued Sept. 14, Floyd Backes, Davis-Standard's director of operations for New York and New Jersey locations, said: “The UMW facility is exactly what we needed in terms of space and location. We are grateful for their helping us make the Fulton expansion a reality.”

He said the space at UMW “enables us to relocate our blow molding business … supporting ongoing efforts to achieve cost- effective manufacturing and superior customer service.”

UMW Vice President John Sharkey said the collaboration “makes sense for our manufacturing operations and our customers.”


Davis-Standard LLC has moved part of its blow molding machinery operation to Fulton, N.Y., from Bridgewater, N.J.

Universal Metal Works is a custom metal fabrication company, based in Fulton.

New pretensioner increases operational reliability for twin-screw extruders

THERE is often scope for optimization with the small, inconspicuous work steps. Recently, a new hydraulic device has been facilitating the screw tensioning in KraussMaffei Berstorff twin-screw extruders and ensuring reproducible installation and pretensioning.

Reliable torque Transmission

"The processing tasks are becoming increasingly complex, and require higher and higher filling levels, higher throughputs and greater efficiency. That's why more and more powerful drives are being used in twin-screw extruders to enable ever higher torques to be transferred to the screws," says Michael Behling, development engineer at KraussMaffei Berstorff. "In order to be able to ensure the reliable transmission of the torque, not only special, heavy-duty screw shaft materials and an optimum gear geometry are required, but also reliable tightening of the screws in the shaft," Behling continues.

Until now the common practice has been to tighten the segmented screws with a torque wrench. However, this method is subject to certain tolerances and, in the case of reconfiguring, involves a large amount of time.

Correctly tightened at the press of a button

The new pretensioner from KraussMaffei Berstorf applies an always reproducible, defined tensile load to the screw shafts, but no longer any torsional stress. It is easy to operate: The operator selects the correct pressure from the machine documentation and clamps the screw outside the extruder in the pretensioning device.

The system consisting of screw mandril, screw part and screw cup is reliably tightened at the press of a button in the elastic range using a high-performance hydraulic pump. In this condition, it can be easily installed in the procedure part. A good bit of preliminary work went into this: The materials, resulting expansion coefficients and geometric lengths and structural sizes were factored in the calculation on a cold screw when defining the required hydraulic pre-load pressures.

Less cleaning required

In addition to the time savings, the hydraulic pretension provides another positive “side effect” with clear cost benefits: The defined pretension forces prevent the melt from infiltrating between the screw part and screw mandril. This avoids time- consuming and cost-intensive work such as disassembling or cleaning the extruder.


Photo1150923PMEXTHANhydraulictensioning_device: The new hydraulic screw pretensioning device reliably tightens the system consisting of screw mandril, screw part and screw cup in the elastic range.

Thanks to a well-conceived series design, we can cover all extruder sizes of the ZE BluePower, ZE-UTX and UltraTorque (UT) series with three pretensioning devices.

Latest BOBST developments in gravure technology for coating applications presented during Symposium and Open House in Italy

A latest generation aluminium coating line at Bobst Italia's production plant in San Giorgio Monferrato, ready to be delivered to its new owner in Europe, provided the perfect opportunity for BOBST to hold a major two-day event that would gather in Italy local and international players from the converting industry.

The symposium sessions were held in the morning at a conference venue in the hills of Monferrato close to Bobst Italia's facility. BOBST specialists and guest speakers from Taghleef Industries and Actega Rhenania addressed the technical advances and opportunities that the latest coating and drying technologies, substrates and coating formulations offer to meet the challenges faced by today's converting industry.

Detlef Merklinger, Head of Product Line Coating for BOBST, welcomed the guests, together with Michele Vitiello, Managing Director of Bobst Italia. He then introduced BOBST Business Unit Web-fed and the organization and activities of the Coating Product Line he has been managing within the Business Unit since his appointment in June 2014. BOBST's core competences in coating are found at Bobst Italia, which is also the Group's center of excellence for gravure printing, laminating and extrusion coating technologies. The current BOBST range of coating machines reflects the over 50 years of know-how and experience that the company boasts in coating applications and the numerous installations that have been put into operation worldwide since 1960. Detlef Merklinger also introduced the competences of BOBST in terms of technologies that are most relevant for coating lines: winding, coating, drying, laminating, web handling and automation.

These main competences were subsequently looked into in more detail in the presentations that followed.

Gianni Zanatta, Product Manager, Product Line Coating, Bobst Italia, presented BOBST's range of gravure coating systems, from the traditional open doctor blade system to the state-of-the-art pressurized enclosed chamber doctor blade system. The detailed presentation went through the pros and cons of each system depending on the application. Based upon the analysis and comparison of the performance of numerous parameters, including speed, changeover time and cost, the advantages of the pressurized enclosed doctor chamber system were demonstrated.

Mirko Rinco, R&D Manager, Coating Product Line, Bobst Italia, spoke about the BOBST development of a floatation and a roller type, dryer for temperatures over 300°C. This innovative dryer for high temperatures was also showcased on theROTOCOAT aluminium lacquering machine shown during the open house in the afternoon. This presentation looked in depth into the pros and cons of conventional drying systems and described the BOBST proprietary drying technology, which combines both impingement and floatation nozzles. The design criteria, working principle, technical data and advantages in terms of accessibility and maintenance were all presented and analyzed in order to demonstrate how BOBST dryers provide the perfect combination of drying efficiency and web stability.

Alexandre David, Sales Manager, Coating Product Line, Bobst Italia, concluded BOBST's presentations by introducing the aluminium lacquering machine shown at the Open House. This ROTOCOAT machine was developed to handle a number of different applications which include: wet lamination for the production of cigarette inner liners; 2-stage lacquering for products like foils for chocolate; and 3-stage lacquering for products like foil for cheese. The line has also been pre-prepared to include dry lamination in the future, in order to expand the range of applications that can be run on the machine.

BOBST's presentations were complemented by insightful presentation speeches given by representatives of Taghleef Industries and Actega Rhenania.

Emanuela Bardi, Junior Product Manager at Taghleef Industries, looked in depth into bi-oriented polypropylene films. After explaining their production methods and component properties, she went on to illustrate the importance of film coatings, as well as their different types, ranging from sealability and machinability coatings, through to barrier, conversion, functional, enhancing and tactile coatings. The advantages of these coatings were presented, including not only the additional barrier, or enhanced mechanical, properties of the substrates, but also their impact in relation to further processing of the film, such as better printability and higher machine speed.

For Actega Rhenania, a company of the Altana Group, Michael Lucas, Head of R&D, and Stefan Brandhoff, Technical & Area Sales Manager took the floor to present the company's coating formulations for substrates in the packaging and printing market, and applications for flexible packaging for products like consumer goods, pet food and pharma, as well as rigid solutions such as bottle caps and can ends. The first part of the presentation dealt with the different types of coating profiles, whilst the second focused on very useful and practical information about good housekeeping from pre-press to on-press and post-press which enable best performance of the coating formulation and application process. Examples of troubleshooting were also given.

After lunch, the event moved to BOBST's production plant to see the ROTOCOATaluminium lacquering machine, an impressive double-deck, 45 m long, 8 m high production line. The machine features three coating stations for direct gravure coating with closed chamber doctor blade and semiflexo coating, along with three dryers which can reach up to 350°C air temperature depending on the application requirements, over a total dryer length of 45 m.

The demonstration on the ROTOCOAT was a dry run to exhibit the line's web handling capabilities in processing a sensitive 20 micron, 1020 mm wide aluminium foil reel at 400 m/min with perfect, defect-free, rewinding. The performance of BOBST gravure coating technology was then shown during a wet run on the CL 850D coating and laminating line in Bobst Italia's Competence Center.

This successful two-day event was the latest occasion for BOBST to show the scope of its commitment to the development of state-of-the-art solutions for the coating industry.

InnoREX Project to Advance Extrusion & Injection Tech. for PLA Production

GROWING demand for more sustainable solutions is reflected in growing production capacities of bioplastics. According to the current state of the art, metal-containing catalysts are needed to improve the polymerization rate of lactones, posing a hazard to health and the environment.

The Plastics Technology Center, AIMPLAS, along with eleven other enterprises and technological European centers, has launched the InnoREX project, financed by the 7th Framework Program funds and coordinated by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology - ICT.

This ambitious project seeks to develop a new technology of PLA production (polylactic acid) that will improve its homogeneity and exclude the use of metallic catalysts that were necessary until now.

Furthermore, it is expected to obtain energy savings and a single monolayer packaging that may be processed by both polymer processing, the extrusion and injection technology.

To ensure short market entry times commercially well- established co-rotating twin screw extruders will be used as reaction vessels. The reason commercial polymerizations are not yet carried out in twin screw extruders is the short residence time and the static energy input of the extruder, which allows no dynamic control of the reaction. Again, these obstacles will be overcome in InnoREX. The project will use the rapid response time of microwaves, ultrasound and laser light to achieve a precisely-controlled and efficient continuous polymerization of high molecular weight PLA in a twin screw extruder. Additionally, significant energy savings will be achieved by combining polymerization, compounding and shaping in one production step.

Parallel to all this, the project includes a detailed analysis of the packaging life cycle. The prototype obtained as a result will be a single thin walled monolayer packaging (of a thickness possibly not exceeding a millimeter) intended for the food sector, processed through injection or extrusion to obtain a thermoforming and film packaging to be used when there are demands of lower thickness.

AIMPLAS role within the project is mainly related to the study of processability (injection and extrusion) of developed PLA grades. Mechanical, physical and thermal characterization of prepared packages by injection molding, and extrusion cast- sheet and thermoforming. It will also include an extensive development of additivation strategies.

The project, which started in December 2012, will run until May 2016. In addition, AIMPLAS will organize on October 20th a workshop at their premises, addressed to suppliers of raw materials, end users, researcher centers and universities and it will be focused on the project main objectives and its developments.


Ferromatik Milacron hands over 10001st injection moulding machine

FERROMATIK Milacron India Pvt. Ltd. on 2nd September, handed over the 10,001st injection moulding machine made at its factory in India, to Cello Group, the prominent plastics processor in India. Cello is one of the country's largest plastics processors, with a joint venture partnership with global giant Bic in the writing instrument business.

“A number of analysts predict that by 2020 India will be 2nd to only China in the global polymer processing market,” said Milacron CEO Tom Goeke, in a statement announcing the delivery to Cello.

Milacron's CEO, Tom Goeke further stated, “This is a significant milestone in our India based operations. India continues to be a global plastics processing powerhouse. A number of analysts predict that by 2020 India will be 2nd to only China in the global polymer processing market.” Goeke detailed the importance of the Indian market to Milacron, “Milacron places great importance in the Indian market and we're uniquely equipped to serve it in ways our competition simply cannot with our ability to deliver the entire spectrum of services to the plastics industry.”

On September 2, 2015, Milacron's manufacturing team in India presented its 10,001st India manufactured injection molding machine. The Milacron Hydron Servo 150 machine was presented to Mr. Ghisulal Rathod, Chairman, of Cello Group by Ron Krisanda, Milacron's Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Plastic Processing Technologies at the Vatva, Ahmedabad facility.

Mr. Rathod expressed great satisfaction with the 18-year relationship between Cello Group and Milacron. Rathod commented, “This relationship is based on mutual benefits and progressive growth, and has resulted in Milacron supplying more than 200 injection molding machines to various factories of Cello Group in India and Africa.” He further added, “Technology and great service are pillars in the foundation of success for any organization and Milacron embodies these traits at its core.”

At the function, Ron Krisanda thanked Cello Group for their unwavering support of Milacron, “India is poised for quantum growth. Milacron's Indian operations currently have the top market share in the region, and position us well to expand globally.”

Milacron's Managing Director in India, Shirish Divigi, went on to discuss Milacron's plans to expand the company's service offerings in the region, “Milacron has an aggressive growth plan for the future. We plan to introduce new value added products and services. Milacron is focused on strengthening its team to provide faster response times. We plan to station Service Engineers closer to the customers' operations. Our primary goal is to provide complete life cycle support and management services to our customers.”

To meet the increasing demand in India and support existing customers, Milacron's Vatva, Ahmedabad facility will complete its current expansion project (announced August 21st, 2014) on January 1st, 2016. The expansion will allow Milacron to increase its annual output of 1,500 injection and blow molding machines to 2,100 machines per annum, a 40% increase.

Ferromatik Milacron is a key part of Milacron's manufacturing footprint in emerging markets, with the factory doing a solid export business to Africa too. It is reported to having the largest market share in India's injection moulding machine market, and it says its factory in Ahmedabad, India, makes more moulding machines than any other Milacron factory globally.



Ferromatik Milacron hands over 10001st injection moulding machine

FERROMATIK Milacron India Pvt. Ltd. on 2nd September, handed over the 10,001st injection moulding machine made at its factory in India, to Cello Group, the prominent plastics processor in India. Cello is one of the country's largest plastics processors, with a joint venture partnership with global giant Bic in the writing instrument business.

“A number of analysts predict that by 2020 India will be 2nd to only China in the global polymer processing market,” said Milacron CEO Tom Goeke, in a statement announcing the delivery to Cello.

Milacron's CEO, Tom Goeke further stated, “This is a significant milestone in our India based operations. India continues to be a global plastics processing powerhouse. A number of analysts predict that by 2020 India will be 2nd to only China in the global polymer processing market.” Goeke detailed the importance of the Indian market to Milacron, “Milacron places great importance in the Indian market and we're uniquely equipped to serve it in ways our competition simply cannot with our ability to deliver the entire spectrum of services to the plastics industry.”

On September 2, 2015, Milacron's manufacturing team in India presented its 10,001st India manufactured injection molding machine. The Milacron Hydron Servo 150 machine was presented to Mr. Ghisulal Rathod, Chairman, of Cello Group by Ron Krisanda, Milacron's Chief Operating Officer, Advanced Plastic Processing Technologies at the Vatva, Ahmedabad facility.

Mr. Rathod expressed great satisfaction with the 18-year relationship between Cello Group and Milacron. Rathod commented, “This relationship is based on mutual benefits and progressive growth, and has resulted in Milacron supplying more than 200 injection molding machines to various factories of Cello Group in India and Africa.” He further added, “Technology and great service are pillars in the foundation of success for any organization and Milacron embodies these traits at its core.”

At the function, Ron Krisanda thanked Cello Group for their unwavering support of Milacron, “India is poised for quantum growth. Milacron's Indian operations currently have the top market share in the region, and position us well to expand globally.”

Milacron's Managing Director in India, Shirish Divigi, went on to discuss Milacron's plans to expand the company's service offerings in the region, “Milacron has an aggressive growth plan for the future. We plan to introduce new value added products and services. Milacron is focused on strengthening its team to provide faster response times. We plan to station Service Engineers closer to the customers' operations. Our primary goal is to provide complete life cycle support and management services to our customers.”

To meet the increasing demand in India and support existing customers, Milacron's Vatva, Ahmedabad facility will complete its current expansion project (announced August 21st, 2014) on January 1st, 2016. The expansion will allow Milacron to increase its annual output of 1,500 injection and blow molding machines to 2,100 machines per annum, a 40% increase.

Ferromatik Milacron is a key part of Milacron's manufacturing footprint in emerging markets, with the factory doing a solid export business to Africa too. It is reported to having the largest market share in India's injection moulding machine market, and it says its factory in Ahmedabad, India, makes more moulding machines than any other Milacron factory globally.