Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023 - 19

Plastics News, October 20, 2023 * 19
Continued from Page 1
costs, which makes them hesitant
about making new machine investments.
These have been main
reasons for this development. In
other words, the market is really
under pressure - and it's a tough
market, " he said.
Nonetheless, KraussMaffei is
looking toward the future with
confi dence.
" Because there is one thing we
are convinced of, no matter what:
Sustainability will remain in focus
in the coming years. And, as
KraussMaffei, we have the solutions
the market needs, " Von
Varchmin said.
Sustainability drives
Sustainability continues to gain
momentum in the plastics manufacturing
industry, a trend that
KraussMaffei has long been part
of. The company can look back at
more than 30 years of experience
in the research and development
of recycling technology and can
supply equipment suitable for
mechanical, solvent-based and
chemical recycling. Thus, the circular
economy can be considered
a pillar of the company's strategy,
Von Varchmin said.
" We consider ourselves a solution
provider for high-quality recycling
facilities. Within our technical
innovation center at Laatzen,
[Germany,] we constantly conduct
trials for different forms of mechanical
or advanced recycling, "
added Franz-Xaver Keilbach, global
product and application owner,
circular economy/recycling. " Our
single- and twin-screw extruder
systems, whether used in combination
or separately, achieve high
quality and high throughput for
polymer waste streams. "
For KraussMaffei, recycling will
defi nitely remain an area of focus.
It views the upcoming legislation
on mandatory recycled content
in products and packaging as an
opportunity for further development,
Von Varchmin said.
" It is important that our plasticizing
units and screw designs are
able to handle even low-quality
material, as, when the demand for
recycled materials rises in the future,
good-quality material is likely
to become scarce. We need to
ensure that no matter the quality
of the recycled material, our customers
can still produce quality
products, " he said.
For now, however, the overall
economic situation has also noticeably
affected the progress toward
the circular economy.
" The pace has slowed down,
and the time required to make
decisions for projects has increased, "
Keilbach said. " We do
see some positive progress, such
as PureCycle's achievements with
its solvent-based recycling facility.
We are at a point where recyclates
are becoming available,
also in high qualities. We are convinced
that such applications will
have a very positive impact on future
projects within the transition
toward a circular economy. "
One of the best and newest examples
of KraussMaffei's ongoing
focus on sustainability is the new
lifecycleValueCalculator. This digital
tool allows plastic processors
to determine the economic and
ecological impact of a machine
and digital or life cycle service
product over its entire product
life cycle. The user must follow
six intuitive steps to quantify the
Solvay launches new
grades for EVs, circularity
By Frank Esposito
Plastics News Staff
Solvay Group has launched
two new grades of Ryton-brand
sulfi de (PPS) Supreme
resins aimed at
e-mobility applications.
Offi cials said that the
new grades " bring enhanced
ts in e-mobility applications. "
The new PPS
grades are made with 100
percent renewable electricity
and complement
Solvay's Amodel-brand
Supreme resin launched
in 2021.
The new grades were
offi cially launched earlier
this month. " These new
materials are meeting
new needs, " Nicholas Batailley,
e-mobility marketing manager,
said at Fakuma. " They don't just
offer incremental improvements. "
Potential applications for the
new materials include connectors
and other under-the-hood parts
in electric vehicles. The new
grades are made in the U.S. and
compounded at plants in Europe.
Batailley said they're being sampled
by Solvay customers in all
Hall B4,
regions. Outside of EVs, the new
grades could fi nd homes in electrical/electronic
Also at Fakuma, Brussels-based
is debuting
Echo brand, which includes
all of the fi rm's
circular materials. Batailley
said the Echo line encompasses
bio-based or
recycled-content grades
of PPA, polysulfone, polyphenylene
sulfi de and
similar specialty resins
made by Solvay.
Amodel grades now
can contain up to 25 percent
recycled content.
Batailley said that Solvay
is working to
that amount to 75 percent
by 2025.
Batailley said Echo
materials " can be used
with no compromise on
performance. " He added that currently
more customers are looking
for recycled-content materials but
that interest in bio-based materials
is increasing.
Globally, Solvay has almost 100
production sites and employs
more than 23,000. The fi rm is in
the process of splitting into two
companies, including one named
Syensqo that will include Solvay's
plastics businesses.
as-is situation and improvement
potential for a specifi c application.
The lifecycleValueCalculator
is available free of charge in the
customer portal pioneersClub
from KraussMaffei.
Aside from this, in the injection
molding machine space,
KraussMaffei has launched a new
screw for MuCell applications with
30 percent higher plasticizing performance,
which is on show at the
booth in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
" In addition, we advanced the
topic of MuCell and recyclate in a
research project with the Schmalkalden
University of Applied Sciences, "
he noted.
Another area in which the machinery
manufacturer is collaborating
with academic and other
partners is on such issues as the
processing of recyclates with
higher viscosity.
" Our DCIM [direct compounding
injection molding] technology,
for example, is the right
choice when it comes to challenging
materials. The DCIM process
combines injection molding and
compounding in one process. A
single-screw extruder takes over
the material preparation, which
makes the process economically
attractive, especially for smaller
components with a shot weight of
50 grams to 2,000 grams. Material
savings of up to 50 percent per
kilogram can be achieved. Recyclates
can be easily processed, "
Von Varchmin said.
What about customization, another
important theme in the industry
today? At KraussMaffei, the
modularization of the product portfolio
is an ongoing effort, and this
makes it possible to adapt fl exibly
to different customer demands. But
Von Varchmin emphasized: " Flexibility
is something the company
has always striven for with our focus
on holistic turnkey solutions
aimed at maximizing the effi ciency
of the whole production cell. "
New business division
still evolving
Asked about the fl edgling additive
manufacturing business division
at the company, Von Varchmin
said it is " still evolving at full
throttle " after the market launch
of the two printers last year at K.
The company is maintaining extensive
communication with customers
and partners to advance
these products and solution offerings
in terms of quality and productivity
on an industrial level.
" With the offi cial start of sales
of our powerPrint in July of this
year, we have taken a signifi cant
step forward in our AM business
by producing customer parts -
print-on-demand service - in
line with the highest industry and
quality standards. The unique
multilaser technology of our precisionPrint
will be a very exciting
topic at Formnext this year, " Vice
President of Additive Manufacturing
Rolf Mack said.
KraussMaffei has also created
solutions to address the dearth of
skilled operators in the industry.
With options like smartOperation,
even nonprofessional operators
can easily start up a machine
or production cell, including the
automation, by pressing a button.
" It's like operating a coffee
machine, " said Von Varchmin.
" Once the program has been programmed
within the machine control,
the operator is guided from
step to step without having to
do anything else in terms of programming.
Even the night shift
can stop and start the machine. "
Another innovation that has
not yet been launched - it is currently
being developed - is an
exchange between the injection
molding machine control and injection
molding simulation. This
enables the parameters set in the
3D simulation program to be automatically
transferred to the injection
molding machine control.
" You don't have to start again
from the beginning but can use
the parameters from the 3D software.
It makes it easier for the operator
in a new process to be able
to make use of existing data, " Von
Varchmin said.
Looking ahead
Sustainability will continue to be
an important focus for the machinery
manufacturer. But, according to
Von Varchmin, there is something
else that needs to be mentioned.
" As European manufacturers,
we build machines to last for 2030
years - machines with low
emissions, that are energy-effi -
cient. We are required to do so,
and we also support this. And we
have customers who are telling
us that this is important. But we
see that they then buy cheaper
machines that only last for seven,
maybe eight years, with a far
greater carbon footprint. To us,
that is not sustainable.
" The European machines must
meet all kinds of standards, fulfi ll
all kinds of conditions, show all
kinds of certifi cates, " he added.
" My message would be: We need
a better balance and a more level
playing fi eld. Then we can see
who is truly sustainable. "
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023

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