chief technologist of JSC Selena
This time at the world largest demonstration of technical innovations in plastic processing industry - at K-2004 exhibition in Duesseldorf - there were no basically new suggestions presented in the packaging sphere, in comparison to such products as PET blown bottles, multilayer barrier films or stretch films that were so innovative at their times.
Nevertheless all the participants of the exhibition that presented their innovations displayed a distinct tendency towards increase of capacity and useful operation time of all types of equipment and showed striving for reduction of defective products as well as for improvement of all characteristic features of the products manufactured. Thus they respond to ever growing demand for plastic wares all over the world, to the rising interest in polymer materials and equipment and to the consumers" willingness to invest money in new projects, including high-tech ones.
Practically all new equipment introduced at the exhibition was completed with up-to-date computerized control systems that promptly respond to every disturbing factor. The fact, that there is an increase in total number of parameters regulated and that requirements for any possible divergence from quality standards of the products manufactured are becoming more strict, presupposes that the staff working with such equipment is able to program the operation mode of the process at the starting stage promptly and correctly, as well by any adjustments of the operation line. The number of parameters on modern highly efficient lines reaches up several thousands, and all of them should be programmed first of all by an operator, and the control system is only capable to monitor and correct the parameters and to revert them to the initial programmed indices.
Every modern highly efficient and computerized line to a great extent facilitates manual operations. But at the same time it requires the staff to have highest qualification and work experience, to follow rigorously operation conditions and application of raw materials and consumption stuff only of a high quality. A highly efficient line presupposes as well other requirements to the corresponding production periphery, and that is not only larger sizes of production and storage space for raw materials and ready-made wares, but also higher requirements to all the types of auxiliary equipment - loading, packaging and all other equipment for packaging materials post processing - cutting, welding, laminating, printing and so on. That is why a purchase of a highly efficient line is worth only to a producer sure of his position in the market, who can not only afford considerable capital expenses but is also involved in a settled system of cooperation in a certain market segment.
At every exhibition equipment for polymer films production attracts the greatest attention of the visitors. That is not only due to its impressive size (very high installations for tubular films and lines for flat gap extrusion that take considerable space), but also thanks to the opportunity to see the whole film production process, from loading polymer pellets to the extruder, forcing the melt from the molding die gap, stretching the film sheet along guide rolls - to a ready-made film roll with its diameter increasing just under visitors" very eyes: Only what is going on inside the extruder and extrusion die remains a secret, although it is the most important thing in the technological extrusion process. It is construction of extruders and molding dies (for all that there is no unimportant assembly in an extrusion line) that in general determinates quality of manufactured products.
All the machinery constructors that were participants of K-2004 have an enormous experience in elaboration and production of various types of extrusion equipment, they are constantly working out their own innovations taking into consideration consumers" specific wishes, they also advance new effective suggestions proposed by other producers of similar types of equipment and they affirm they are ready to offer a whole line of various machines. However, every company always has the most preferable and usually thoroughly selected variants of completed installations, as well as separate assemblies.
Taking into consideration great variety of polymer film producing equipment exhibited we introduced just some innovations offered by the following companies from Europe, Canada and Brazil: Reifenhauser und Co. KG, Windmoeller & Hoelscher, Kuhne GmbH, Kiefel Extrusion GmbH, Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH, Bruckner Maschinenbau GmbH, Alpine, Brampton Engineering Inc., Macro Engineering &Technology Inc., Dolci Extrusion, Bandera Luigi S.p.A., Macchi S.p.A., Ghioldi S.r.l., Gruppo ColinesR, A. Carnevalli & Cia. Ltda, Dr-Pack Kft, BFA Plastic GmbH, esde Maschinentechnik GmbH, Dr. Collin GmbH.