Archive for September, 2010

Finnish nonwovens player inaugurates Binzhou plant

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Ahlstrom Group, a leading developer and manufacturer of nonwovens and specialty papers, celebrates the inauguration of its new facility in Binzhou, Shandong province, in northeastern China. The plant produces transportation filtration materials and currently employs 170 people. Ahlstrom acquired the plant from Purico Group which it announced earlier this month.

According to Ahlstrom’s President & CEO Jan Lång the acquisition plays a significant role in Ahlstrom’s growth strategy in Asia.

“In addition to Ahlstrom´s strong footprint in Europe and the Americas, we have lately started to establish a solid manufacturing platform in Asia as well. Ahlstrom´s strengthened presence in China will also help us to better serve our global customers based in the area, increase our market share and build a platform for further growth in the region. As China is among the world’s fastest growing major economies and the the industry of filtration media for transportation is growing at an annual rate of over 10%, the market in the country is expected to grow significantly in the coming years”, Jan Lång says.

In addition to the Binzhou plant, Ahlstrom has three other manufacturing sites in Asia: one in Hyun Poong, South Korea, one in Mundra, India, and one in Wuxi, China. The Hyung Poong plant also manufactures filtration materials for automotive industry where as the Mundra plant produces nonwoven fabrics for the medical market and the Wuxi site for dust filtration. In addition to the manufacturing plants, Ahlstrom has sales offices in nine major cities in Asia. Altogether, Asia currently accounts for about 10% of the Group’s net sales. (more…)

Oerlikon Barmag to unveil mono-filament systems at K2010

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

At this year’s “K2010” plastic trade fair, Oerlikon Barmag will be unveiling mono-filament manufacturing innovations. Between October 27 and November 3, the company will be presenting solutions for the economical production of artificial turfs and other mono-filaments in Düsseldorf.

To permit the economical production of artificial turf production using LLDPE, HDPE and polypropylene yarns even in smaller batches, the mono-filament systems market leader has developed a state-of-the-art compact system that enables production – with an output of between 100 and 150 kg/h – at approximately 50% of the normal capacity of a standard system.

The space requirements were decisively reduced as a result of an innovative 3-level hot-air oven for 1-step drawing and 2-step thermosetting of the mono-filaments. In terms of the quality of the mono-filaments, the Chemnitz-based scientists now offer an uncompromising new development and the compact mono-filament system will appeal both to niche providers and to research facilities that wish to manufacture smaller volumes of artificial turf yarns at attractive prices.

Fine-mono-filament system for high-tenacity industrial PP yarns
Also being launched at the Düsseldorf fair is the fine-mono-filament system MFE 3, which manufactures polypropylene multi-filament yarns with tenacities that have never been achieved to date (Fig 2). This system permits the production of ropes and industrial fabrics, for example, that are light and that simultaneously offer consistent tear resistance.

With a tenacity of a little more than 10 g/den, this product lies between the polypropylene and polyester (up to approximately 8.5 g/den) multi-filament yarns currently available on the market and yarns made from polypropylene and polyester or similar raw materials (in excess of 20 g/den). By appointment, both systems can be viewed and examined in operation during the trade fair at the Oerlikon Barmag site in Chemnitz. (more…)

Ahlstrom may close Scottish line

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Ahlstrom has started consultations with employees and customers to investigate future options – including a possible closure – for its spunlace composite production line number 23 at the Chirnside plant in Scotland.
Ahlstrom The consultations affect a maximum of 11 employees.
The company says the production line is currently under-utilised and the level of activity is not enough to make it economically viable. It produces nonwovens used in medical and wipes applications as well as for the automotive industry and if a closure results, Ahlstrom will serve its customers from other lines.
The Chirnside plant employs about 225 people and is part of Ahlstrom’s Food and Medical business area.


SCA inaugurates new Russian plant

Monday, September 27th, 2010

SCA On September 20th, SCA – the world’s third-largest hygiene company – inaugurated a personal care plant in Russia. The facility is located in Veniov, in the Tula Region south of Moscow. The investment is valued at approximately €85 million and is the first of its kind for the local production of personal care products in Russia and the CIS region.
The Veniov plant will manufacture Libero baby diapers and TENA incontinence care products to meet the growing market demand for hygiene products in Russia.
The new facility complements SCA’s Sovetsk tissue plant, which is located in the same region and was inaugurated in February 2010. Tissue products – sold under the brands Tork and Zewa – are also produced in Svetogorsk, close to St Petersburg.
“We expect profitable growth for all of SCA’s hygiene-product categories in Russia and the CIS region,” said Jan Johansson, SCA President and CEO. “The new Veniov plant brings us closer to our customers, significantly reduces transport volumes and enables us to more rapidly satisfy customer needs. Russia is a market with strong brand preferences, which suits us well.”
In total, SCA employs about 1,100 people in Russia, including approximately 200 in Veniov.


Nonwovens can replace wovens – an influential retailer needs to take the risk

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

The main route to future growth for spunmelt nonwovens is likely to be in the development of ever more textile-likematerials to replace woven fabrics.

This was the view expressed by Arnold Wilkie, president of US extrusion specialist Hills Inc., at the recent Edana Nonwovens Symposium in Baveno, Italy.

It is a view widely held by industry analysts. All of the technology is already in place, and the mass-market economics certainly make sense. It now just appears to need somebody, somewhere – probably in Asia – to make a visonary leap and take the risk of investing considerably in a sophisticated spunmelt nonwovens plant to replace what an entire armoury of weaving machines can do.
The aim should be convincing the end-buyer – the retailer –  that the established channels have existed for too long, and can be changed quickly and fairly easily.

The ability to add a sustainability element – through, say, the replacement of polypropylene with PLA, in addition to considerable energy and raw materials savings – could prove an irresistable sell-on to consumers.

What are the retail visionaries waiting for? (more…)

A. Schulman Expands Commercialization of POLYBATCH® DUL Matte Masterbatch Products for Soft-Touch Packaging and Consumer Applications

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ — A. Schulman, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: SHLM) today announced additional commercialization of its POLYBATCH® DUL matte compounds for satin-like, soft-touch packaging and consumer applications for the European market.

The POLYBATCH® DUL products enable OEMs and plastic converters of flexible and rigid products to differentiate their products with a luxurious, high-quality look and feel.

“We are particularly proud of how we are able to bring these POLYBATCH®  innovations to the market, an effort that has been led by our European Technical Team, using the state-of-the-art pilot extrusion line in our Belgium facility,” said Bernard Rzepka, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of A. Schulman, Europe. “These masterbatch products can be used with both polypropylene and polyethylene resins, and are running on a variety of processing equipment, including blown/cast film, blow molding and thermoformed sheet.” (more…)

Teknor Apex develops PLA masterbatches

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Posted September 2, 2010

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (Sept. 2, 8:40 p.m. ET) — The bioplastics division of custom compounder Teknor Apex Co. has developed three new pelletized additive masterbatches designed to enhance the processing and end-use performance of polylactic acid bioresins.

One of the new alloys is designed to improve the impact resistance of PLA, a second to improve the strength of PLA and a third to function as a mold release in injection molding operation, said Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives for Teknor Apex, headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I.

According to Teknor Apex, its Terraloy 9000A masterbatch improves the impact resistance of PLA by a factor of ten to fifteen times in extruded tape samples.

The company said its Terraloy 9001 modifier increases the pull force that can be applied to PLA by three-to-five-fold and broadens the processing window of PLA in extrusion blow molding, blown film, cast film and sheet, and thermoforming.

Terraloy 9002A acts as a mold release in injection molding operations and as a release agent in cast film or sheet extrusion, according to Teknor Apex.


Cereplast and Sezersan Enter into Agreement to Bring Bio-Based Twist Film Packaging to the European Marketplace for the First Time

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Breakthrough Technology Offers Twist Films Made from 100% Biodegradable/Compostable Material

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sep 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Cereplast, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!cerp/quotes/nls/cerp (CERP 3.55, -0.08, -2.20%) , a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, compostable and sustainable plastics, announced today that it has partnered with Sezersan Ambalaj (Sezersan), a subsidiary of Asc Group in Turkey, to produce bio twist films made from Cereplast Compostables(R) resins. The first-of-its-kind, patented product will serve as wrap packaging for a variety of food products distributed throughout Europe.

The Sezersan bio twist film will be manufactured using Cereplast Compostables(R) 7003 bio resin, designed to provide high strength, toughness and process ability for products. Under the terms of the multi-million dollar agreement, Cereplast will begin monthly shipments of 100 to 150 metric tons of bio resin in December 2010. The new bio twist film has substantial form memory capability (dead-fold behavior) and is heat sealable. The film is also thinner than other twistable product and may be made into opaque or semi-transparent, film-like material. The bio twist film will be used as packaging for a variety of brands in the food industry in Europe. (more…)

P&G pushes the limits of two-stage ISBM

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Published in Packaging World Magazine, September 2010 , p. 60
Written by Pat Reynolds | Editor
P&G teams up with an innovative resin supplier and a specialist in high-performance packaging to commercialize a PP preform for stretch blow molding.

A breakthrough in injection stretch blow molding technology (ISBM) lies behind the recent introduction of a new laundry product from Procter & Gamble. Introduced first in Europe under the P&G Ariel brand and a few months later in the U.S. under the P&G Tide brand, the new bottles are significant because they’re stretch blow molded from preforms that are injection molded from polypropylene, a resin not usually associated with reheating and blowing preforms. Previously, preforms used in ISBM have almost always been made of PET.

Click to Enlarge

“Our two years of research and development—which combined design innovation, new high-performance PP resins, and excellent ISBM expertise—have culminated in the development of a new benchmark in household product packaging,” says Patrick Etesse, research fellow at P&G’s Global Packaging & Device Development R&D group in Brussels. The judges in the 2010 Ameristar Packaging Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals, were impressed with this breakthrough, as well. They named it an Ameristar winner in the Household Category. (more…)

'Unique' kit said to speed conversion from glass to light-weight PET

Monday, September 20th, 2010

By Mike Stones, 17-Sep-2010

Related topics: Packaging

A new two-step, reheat stretch-blow molding machine could speed the industry’s transition from glass to light-weight PET for wide-mouth, hot-fill food containers, claims to its manufacturer, Atlanta-based Nissei ASB.

The company’s vice president and general manager, Jamie Pace said: “The market for wide-mouth hot-fill food containers appears ready to make the conversion from glass to lightweight PET. And we have unique technology that will meet the demand of this high-growth segment.”

Sustainability advantages

The HSB-6M molding machine enables the production of PET jars which can be filled at temperatures above 90 deg C (194 deg F). The hot-fill PET jars deliver a major weight reduction and many sustainability advantages over glass including reduced freight costs and lower carbon footprint, said the company. (more…)