News Details

New Pilot Plant Line for Packaging Industry

The latest addition to the battenfeld-cincinnati Germany GmbH pilot plant in Bad Oeynhausen is a multifunctional thermoforming sheet line. The complete extrusion line is equipped with cutting-edge ma- chine components and can produce sheets and thin boards made from new materials, recycled materials, bioplastics, and combina- tions of materials. “The new pilot plant line will enable our custom- ers to develop new types of sheets or optimize their existing prod- ucts – something that is becoming increasingly important in the context of “design for recycling”,” says CTO Dr. Henning Stieglitz. The core components of the pilot plant line are the high-speed ex- truder 75 T6.1, the STARextruder 120-40, and the Multi-Touch roll stack with a width of 1,400 mm. The three modern units clearly demonstrate that the specialist in sheet and board extrusion is com- mitted to developing and improving its individual components and, hence, its complete extrusion lines on a continual basis and is con- stantly adapting to changing requirements in the industry. The ex- trusion line comprises the two main extruders and a 45 mm co- extruder, each with a multi-component dispensing unit, melt pump, and screen changer, a feed block for B, AB, BA, or ABA layer struc- tures, as well as the Multi-Touch roll stack with subsequent winder. Depending on the configuration, the line can achieve a maximum output level of 1,900 kg/h for PP or PS and around 1,200 kg/h for PET with line speeds of up to 120 m/min.

When pilot plant tests are carried out, the relevant machine compo- nents are combined in line with the product specification. If materi- als such as PS, PP or PLA are to be processed into sheets, the high- speed extruder is used as the main extruder. The tried-and-tested compact processing machine with a screw diameter of 75 mm and a processing length of 40 D is very energy-efficient and now offers better performance levels than ever before. High-speed extruders 

ensure optimum melt characteristics and  enable rapid product changeovers. The STARextruder, on the other hand, is ideal for pro- ducing PET sheets from new or recycled materials. The single-screw extruder with central planetary roll section processes the melt very gently and achieves exceptional degassing and decontamination rates thanks to the large melt surface in the central section. “The STARextruder really comes into its own when processing recycled materials, as it reliably removes volatile components from the melt. When it comes to the possibilities that this system can offer in the context of the circular economy, there is still a huge amount of un- tapped potential,” says Dr. Henning Stieglitz.

The Multi-Touch roll stack ensures outstanding sheet quality regard- less of the raw materials used. The special functional principle of this type of roll stack means that the top and bottom of the sheet or board can be cooled almost simultaneously, thus achieving much better transparency and flatness. At the same time, the tolerances can be significantly reduced due to the increased number of effec- tive nips. Reductions of 50% to 75% can be achieved. The two main precalibration rolls are arranged in a 45° position – ideal for PET processing.

Many of the key issues facing the packaging industry at the moment relate to the recyclability of its products. Mono-products with a cor- responding properties profile, alternative material combinations, or bioplastics are just some of the options being considered in the con- text of “design for recycling”. Dr. Stieglitz: “We are confident that the new pilot plant line will not only demonstrate our machine ex- pertise in this sector, but will also provide our customers with a special service, enabling them to work together with us to produce and test optimized sheets under production conditions.”