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Simple is beautiful

In the space of just five years, Haitian has gone from being a local injection moulding machine builder to the biggest in the world both by volume and turnover. One of the brains behind this success is Prof. Dipl-Ing. Helmar Franz, Chief Strategy Officer and Member of the Board of Haitian International. We set out to discover from him the secrets behind the dynamic rise of Haitian. “Simple is beautiful” is the credo which runs through practically all his statements, whether he is discussing machine development, production or after sales service.

The interview on Haitian’s stand at the K Fair with Prof. Dipl-Ing. Helmar Franz (centre) was conducted by Waldemar Schmitke (opposite) and Alexander Büchler (right). On the left is Sonja Haug, Longo Communication


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Slim, light, robust

High-gloss or matt surfaces with no visible weld seams can be produced using the well known variothermal process, that is a rapid heat & cool system. This technology, now based on induction heating, was further developed by Roctool in Le Bourget du Lac, France, using electro-magnetic fields to bring the surface of the mould to the desired temperature particularly fast. This makes a variothermal injection moulding process possible and parts that have a class A surface. Heinz Rasinger, Head of the Teletronics Business Unit for Plastics at Engel in Schwertberg, Austria, demonstrated this using the example of a thin-walled organic sheet housing cover.

Heinz Rasinger, Head of the Teletronics Business Unit for Plastics at Engel


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Sweet polyethylene

In 2010, Braskem introduced green polyethylene on the market, and has been expanding its product range ever since. Producing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) on an industrial scale, the portfolio will shortly be supplemented by a green low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Green polypropylene (PP) is on the company’s agenda for the near future. All of these products are made from a renewable resource, sugarcane ethanol. Marco Jansen, Renewable Chemicals Commercial Director Europe & North America, explained the specifics of their product range to Plastics.

Braskem booth at the K show (photos: Braskem)


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Concentrating on seven strategic markets

On the occasion of K show, Plastics met Martin Pugh, Senior Vice President and Business President for Plastics at Styron, and asked him about trends and applications for the styrenics, polycarbonate and compounded and blended products. Styron was a first time exhibitor at K 2013. The company was showcasing its plastics solutions in key strategic markets centred on the theme “Powering Ideas. Delivering the Future”.

Martin Pugh, Senior Vice President and Business President for Plastics at Styron at the K show 2013


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Packaging gets the bio effect

Solvay attended the K show with its five plastics business units consisting of Specialty Polymers, Engineering Plastics, SolVin, Benvic and Acetow. The latter announced the introduction of Ocalio cellulose acetate bioplastic manufactured using wood pulp, an entirely renewable resource obtained from Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified forests. We talked to Marc Michels, Strategic Marketing Director, and Louis Cozzari, Business Development Manager, both Solvay Acetow, about the features of their first bioplastic developed for packaging applications. We went on to discuss trends in material developments at this year’s K.

Marc Michels, Strategic Marketing Director (left), and Louis Cozzari, Business Development Manager (right), both Solvay Acetow, showing colourful samples of the cellulose acetate bioplastic at the Solvay booth


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‘i3 undoubtedly represents a step in the right direction’

Cars need to lose some weight, but in so doing the safety of the vehicle's occupants must not be jeopardised. At the department for lightweight structures at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt, Germany, components and systems in fibre reinforced as well as non reinforced plastics are investigated to reflect a holistic approach in relation to material, design, production and operation; prototypes are built and evaluated in terms of their system reliability. Plastics met Prof. Dr-Ing. Andreas Büter and talked with him about the challenges presented by electro-mobility.

CFK composite wheel for e-cars (photos: Fraunhofer LBF)


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Perspectives for plastics

Booth C43 in Hall 06

Lewis E. Manring offers insights from two perspectives. For DuPont Performance Polymers (DPP), he drives the technology map and heads up the R&D and Technology teams. For the DuPont Corporation, he guides the Technical Strategic Direction for one of the three Scientific Domains – Advanced Materials. Plastics met him on the occasion of the pre-K press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland and spoke with him about the past and the future of polymers in automotive.

Side impact beam made from PA66 with continuous glass fibres (photos: DuPont)


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A great performance

The most important sales market for WPC in North America is decking; these are floor coverings for outdoor applications, such as the porch, terrace or external staircase, where WPC replaces genuine wood which has been impregnated by boiler pressure. Today's customers search for good looks, ease of use and high performance from their decking materials, according to Paul Bizzari, VP of Innovation with TimberTech Decking and Railing. We ask Bizzari about future WPC trends, and we also report on a tourist attraction which has been given a high tech makeover by Timbertech.

Trend colours are earthy tones found in nature such as TimberTech's new Earthwood Evolutions Terrain; here in Silver Maple. (photos: TimberTech)


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An extrusion line to celebrate the 25th anniversary

Plastilit Produtos Plásticos do Paraná, based until last month in Palmeira, Brazil, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and inaugurated a new 90,000m2 plant in Fazenda Rio Grande. Existing extrusion lines were transferred and a new line from Battenfeld-Cincinnati added to enlarge production capacities of the Brazilian company which is ranked the 4th largest producer of PVC fittings, pipes, and hydraulic accessories in the country.

Battenfeld-Cincinnati extruder at Plastilit’s Fazenda Rio Grande plant (photo: Battenfeld-Cincinnati)


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A new dimension in PET packaging film production

Until recently, manufacturing biaxially oriented polyester film (BOPET) was commonly based in two-step technology. Step one was to produce the polyester resin as pellets, and step two was to convert those pellets into BOPET film by extrusion and subsequent film casting and stretching. The direct film casting technology (DFC) combines economy of scale with a significant simplification of the processing. Plastics spoke with Ludwig Eckart, COO Sales & Project Management, Brückner Maschinenbau, Siegsdorf, Germany, on DFC lines, its technology and its markets.

Ludwig Eckart, COO Sales & Project Management, Brückner Maschinenbau, Siegsdorf, Germany (photos: Brückner Maschinenbau)


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