Flexible solutions keep costs down
As converters are being forced to react to new market situations they increasingly demand flexible solutions that allow faster changeover of raw materials, says Reifenhäuser
Reifenhäuser Extrusion is recording a remarkable increase in incoming orders for thermoforming sheet extrusion lines featuring production capacities between 700 and 1500 kgs/h. Ten lines of this type used for the production of drinking cups and deli containers of polypropylene (PP) and cups of polystrene (PS) for the dairy industry have been sold since the K 2010 show.
There are further projects on hand. The great interest in these lines is mainly based on the flexibility required by the market. Soaring raw material costs, smaller orders from customers and a strong pressure on end user prices – which has even been increased as a result of the global financial crisis – are forcing producers to rapidly adapt themselves to new market situations. This is only possible to a limited extent using high-performance, single-purpose extruders that are optimised for processing a specific raw material recipe.
Product changes require costly and time consuming machine resettings which can frequently only be realised by installing a new screw – if available.
“Single-purpose extruders were discussed as an upcoming trend before the financial crisis,” comments sales manager Michael Beckhoff. “Now it seems that a more differentiated view on this subject is being taken since there is an increased demand for flexible solutions instead of high performance for a single product.
“Our order books clearly reflect this development because Reifenhäuser lines provide the flexibility requested. Our customers are not bound to the manufacture of a certain product or large quantities but if necessary, they can rapidly change to other raw materials without any problem.
“In addition, they are flexible in reacting to new market requirements and can handle small orders efficiently.“
Medium speed range
Reifenhäuser thermoforming sheet lines are designed for a medium speed range which allows the processing of a large spectrum of raw materials including polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polylactide (PLA) – with one and the same screw.
Thanks to its modular concept, the line can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the customer without compromising on flexibility. Furthermore, for the production of finished cups, an automatic in-line vacuum former can be integrated into the system.
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