Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 21

Plastics News, October 17, 2023 * 21
Plastics Recycling Europe calls for 'urgent measures' to protect industry
By Beatriz Santos
Sustainable Plastics
Low demand and high imports
are a threat to the European plastics
recycling industry, Plastics
Recycling Europe said in an Oct.
12 statement.
" If urgent measures are not taken
to alleviate the pressure on recyclers,
there is risk that Europe
will fall short of achieving its legally
binding and newly proposed
recycling and recycled-content
targets, " the industry body said.
Falling prices for recycled resins,
high energy prices, rising infl
ation and a tight macroeconomic
situation across the globe have
had dire effects on the European
recycling industry. Polymer prices
Continued from Page 1
developments and disruptive
leaps, people and technology,
regional ties and global growth, "
Hehl said in an email. " Along the
way, there have been plenty of
technical milestones. "
Hehl pointed to the Allrounder
invented in the early 1960s, which
made it possible to have one machine
in various working positions
thanks to a pivoting clamping unit
and reversible injection unit, and
the Selogica-brand control system,
which came out in 1982 and set
standards in plastics processing.
" We still develop and build our
own machine control system to
this day, " Hehl said.
In 2013, the Arburg portfolio
was expanded by the Freeformer,
an industrial 3D printer that
was the fi rst to additively process
standard plastic granules.
Ten years later, the company's
motto, " There is only a Plan A, "
encompasses not only technology
but also energy effi ciency, sustainability,
climate protection, digitalization
and the circular economy.
Still, it's Arburg's people, be they
family or industry experts, who
made " this unique success story "
possible, Hehl said, singling out
not only Arthur and Maria Hehl
and their sons but also " many loyal,
committed and expert employees,
or rather companions. "
" Substance
over style was
always very important to the
founding fathers Arthur, Karl and
Eugen Hehl - and certainly one
of Arburg's early success factors, "
Hehl said. " This maxim still holds
true today for the managing partners
of the third generation, that
is, for my cousin Renate Keinath,
my brother Michael Hehl and me. "
Hehl also told PN about staying
true to the Swabian tradition
of Germany, managing to avoid
even one production stoppage
in turbulent times, and how the
advances of machine builders to
create a circular economy must
be supported by the entire industrial
sector and society.
Q: In 2021, a big goal for the
Fakuma event was simply for
everyone to safely gather again
during the pandemic. What will
make Fakuma 2023 a successful
event for Arburg in your view?
Hehl: As always, I'm very much
looking forward to Fakuma, which,
as you know, is particularly dear to
us and has always lived up to our
have plummeted by up to 50 percent
since the beginning of 2023,
according to PRE, with the declining
cost of virgin material relative
to recycled plastics taking its toll
on the recycling industry.
" The future of the recycling industry
is at stake, and immediate
in form of
measures is needed to avoid a
shutdown of recycling plants
across Europe, " PRE President Ton
Emans said. " Ceasing recycling activities
would have knock-on effects
on jobs, overall economy in
Europe and the environment. "
European recyclers are seeing
drops in sales in the double digits,
according to Sustainable Plastics
sources. The possibility of
closures in the chemical industry
expectations so far. We appreciate
the " family " atmosphere and the
opportunity to provide visitors to
Friedrichshafen with in-depth and
personalized support and advice.
Naturally, the quality of the
contacts is a crucial factor for a
successful trade show. I am sure
that our exhibits and innovations
will once again strike a chord with
trade visitors this year.
We will be continuing our successful
communication line " There
is only a Plan A " at Fakuma 2023,
combined with our celebration of
" 100 years of the Hehl family company. "
This enables us to demonstrate
that we have always had
a " Plan A. " This brings together
everything we have to offer on important
topics such as energy, sustainability,
digitalization and automation.
And that's quite a lot. We
will show our customers how they
can benefi t from our products,
solutions and services - and also
from our decades of experience.
The highlight will be the world
premiere of the Allrounder 520 H,
the next size in our hybrid Hidrive
series. Thanks to new machine
technology, it is particularly good
at saving energy and conserving
resources and is effi cient in production,
user-friendly and reliable.
I am also particularly excited
about our arburgSOLUTIONworld,
where our experts will provide information
and advice focused on
the meta-topics of energy, effi ciency,
the shortage of skilled workers
and future orientation.
Q: How did past generations
view sustainability? Is this generation
focused on it more than ever?
Hehl: A look back at the 100of
general has
recently been
raised by representatives in Germany,
after the government failed
to meet demands for cheaper
electricity prices for industry.
The downward price pressure
on recycled PET is particularis
required in the way we handle
it. Plastic is a recyclable material
that doesn't belong in the trash
and certainly not in the environment,
but must be sorted by type,
collected, processed and reused
as often as possible.
our company
shows that the responsible use
of resources and energy have always
played an important role for
us. It has always been true that
according to good, thrifty Swabian
tradition, we only consume
as many resources as we need
at any given time. Today, we use
modern terms to describe this,
such as sustainability, climate
protection and circular economy.
These ideas were already rooted
in Arburg's DNA, which was
shaped at an early stage. We have
now brought all these activities
together in our comprehensive
arburgGREENworld program.
For the current generation,
sustainability is an important issue.
Unfortunately, plastic is often
wrongly equated with waste.
However, the problem is not plastic
itself. Instead, global change
Q: What was the early impetus
to keep Arburg's supply chain
within such close proximity that
72 percent of supplies come from
Germany, and 66 percent of
them from Baden-Württemberg?
Wasn't the company ever tempted
by lower prices overseas? Was
that a tough discipline or simply
sensible business decisions?
Hehl: We have been and continue
to be very successful in
our strategy of relying on short,
stable supply chains. In this respect,
price is not the only decision-making
criterion for us. We
instead also prioritize quality
combined with strong, trustbased
and long-term partnerships
with our suppliers, who have an
important role to play, too. This
has benefi ted our customers and
us as well - especially in times
of material shortages and supply
bottlenecks. Thanks to these
partnerships, we have had no
production stoppages in these
recent turbulent years and have
been able to deliver at all times.
At the same time, we are continuing
to work closely with partners
from industry and science
to develop our products and processes
sustainably - in terms of
energy and production effi ciency,
resource conservation and, of
course, the carbon footprint.
Q: What kind of progress do
you see being made to achieve a
circular economy? Do you think
the industry is still taking its
fi rst baby steps, as they say? Or
do you feel some good progress
has been made and the circular
economy is coming together and
will be achieved?
Hehl: A lot has happened in the
past few years. As a machine manufacturer,
we have recognized
and understood this crucial global
problem and are playing our
part in fi nding a solution - with
technical solutions for processing
recyclates, for example, and for
marking and identifying products
so that they can be returned to
the cycle.
Q: What else needs to happen
to create a circular economy in
your opinion?
Hehl: Technical solutions alone
are not suffi cient. To complete
the cycle of recyclable materiFile
ly precarious,
as converters
have increasingly
opted for
cheaper virgin
polymer rather
than recycled
material. Since
early 2019,
clear recycled
PET pellet prices
have been
higher than virgin
PET. Recycled
PET once again saw the largest
price decline in August, with
clear fl ake prices falling by 100
euros per metric ton and clear
food-grade pellet prices down by
90 euros per tonne.
als globally in the best case, and
in any case as far as possible,
alongside many other factors, an
appropriate infrastructure for circular
economy is required in the
individual countries. Here, we are
part of a solution, but part of one
that requires strenuous endeavors
by society as a whole and by
the entire industrial sector.
Q: What does the latest technology
offer for injection molding
with recyclates?
Hehl: A key question here is
how post-industrial and post-consumer
recyclates can be processed
reliably despite fl uctuating
material quality. We will be
showing machines at Fakuma that
are equipped with great hardware
and software solutions, such as
the recyclate package and the
" aXw control RecyclatePilot " control
feature, thereby enabling recyclates
to be processed reliably.
However, with our expertise, we
can not only support our customers
in the processing of recyclates
and alternative plastics, but ideally
also one step earlier, during
product development. This is
where the topic of design for recycling
is becoming increasingly
important because the course for
a successful product cycle is already
set in the design phase.
Q: The hybrid Hidrive, which
combines an electric clamping
unit with a hydraulic injection
unit, launched this year with the
470 H model amid the celebrations
of 100 years of the Hehl family
company. Now the 520 H is being
introduced. In what ways are
these hybrid machines a product
of a century of Hehl tradition and
in what ways have they advanced
with Hehl innovations to meet
future needs? What applications
are they best suited for?
Hehl: At Arburg, we have always
developed and brought to
market products that already
meet tomorrow's requirements
today. This is also the case with
the new Allrounder H series I
mentioned earlier. These hybrid
machines with new machine technology
signifi cantly reduce acquisition
and operating costs as well
as the carbon footprint.
The new Allrounder H machines
were not developed for specifi c applications.
Rather, they are of interest
to companies that are looking
for an energy-saving alternative,
appreciate an electric clamping
unit and know how economical the
hydraulic injection unit is.
In a representative survey conPRE
attributes the declining
market situation to " the lack of
a level playing fi eld, " which has
seen PET imports to the European
Union increase by 20 percent
from the second quarter of 2022
to the second quarter of 2023,
resulting in low demand for European
recycled PET. Data obtained
through PRE surveys suggests
that these market dynamics have
led to a 10 percent decrease of recycled
PET production in Europe
during the same period.
The association is calling for enforcement
mechanisms, like the
introduction of an independent
third-party certifi cation system,
to level the playing fi eld between
European and non-European plastics
ducted at the Anniversary Days
in March 2023, 96 percent of the
more than 300 respondents rated
the new Allrounder 470 H machine
as extremely attractive as a replacement
for hydraulic and also
electric machines. Eighty-fi ve percent
were convinced right away
that the new hybrid Allrounders
were a good fi t for their particular
operational application spectrum.
So we have hit the mark.
Q: The Fakuma anniversary
exhibition area will have a replica
of the C machine in operation.
What does this machine mean to
Hehl: Since Arburg's success
story as an injection molding machine
manufacturer began with
the C machine, this machine is, of
course, an important exhibit in the
" 100 years of the Hehl family company "
area at Fakuma. The fi rst series
machine was built in 1956, and
the thousandth C machine was
sold as early as 1959; over time,
the number even exceeded 10,000.
Q: Fakuma will be the closing
event of the Hehl family company
centennial year, a year that
was fi lled with gatherings and
parties all over the world and a
well-attended concert. How will
this celebration come to a close?
Hehl: There will be no special
anniversary celebration at Fakuma
itself, as we have already celebrated
100 years of the Hehl family
company in grand style with
customers and partners at more
than 30 events around the world.
But we are " closing " our sensational
anniversary year mentally,
as it were, at this trade show.
Q: What are some of the big
opportunities that lie ahead for
Arburg in the next 50-100 years?
Hehl: In the future, we will continue
to be a market leader and pioneer
in important topics, with an
even greater international reach
while remaining close to our customers.
We will continue the fundamental
successful concept of
the past years: Think, analyze and
implement something consistently
if we are convinced of it! For us, the
customer is always at the center of
our considerations. And we want
to make it as easy as possible for
[them] to do business with us and
be successful with our products.
This is how our family company
has continued to develop and
adapt itself and its portfolio over
the course of its 100-year history
and what we will continue to do
in the future - as an independent
and strong family company.

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023

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