These features as well as other components of the machine could be viewed in detail at the Starlinger booth by means of an augmented reality application. "A sack producer plays in the top league with this conversion line", confirms Hermann Adrigan, Sales Director at Starlinger. "Our customers are well aware of this - we have already sold the first ad*starKON HX lines here at the exhibition."
Also the introduction of the REICO*STAR block bottom valve sack, made of PP-coated spunbond nonwoven and developed by Starlinger in cooperation with Reifenhäuser Reicofil, generated a lot of surprise on the market. Being a total lightweight in this product field, it is perfect for safely packaging dry bulk goods such as cement, granulate, seeds, animal feed or chemicals.
The idea to employ the versatile thermoplast PET as a base material for woven sack production prompted Starlinger to develop a technology for PET tape production. To use the advantages of this material for heavy-duty packaging and fabrics, Starlinger deployed a special construction team to work intensively on the technology for the extrusion and weaving process in the last years. "A big asset of PET, in addition to the other positive characteristics such as its high creep resistance, is its recyclability", explaines Reinhard Lechner, Product Manager PET at Starlinger. "Theoretically, you can reuse PET endlessly, because quality losses in the recycling process can be recovered. With our technology we are now able to produce PET tapes directly from bottle flakes. This makes it an interesting application not only for woven bag producers, but also for recyclers."
That the new technology - as well as the new ad*starKON HX - is generating keen interest in the packaging sector is not only reflected in the crowds that visited the Starlinger booth at the K exhibition, but also by the number of attendants to the Starlinger Open House: more than 300 existing and prospective customers visited the company's facility in Weissenbach outside Vienna.
K 2016 also proved to be a success for Starlinger viscotec. The company's division for PET processing and refining closed the sale of a viscoSHEET PET sheet production line to Mexican recycling giant GREEN Mind during the exhibition. The line produces high-quality PET sheet out of up to 100 % recycling material, which can also be used for food grade packaging. Virgin PET, PCR pellets, bottle flakes and in-house production waste can be processed directly. With this investment, GREEN Mind makes a step towards vertical integration and enters the packaging market.
Doing away with the stink
Food packaging, films, fuel tanks, detergent bottles or containers for cleaning agents - if used plastic articles like those are recycled, the produced regranulate has, in many cases, an unpleasant odour - often generated by the previous content, often by impurities - which greatly reduces the possibilities for its further use. Starlinger recycling technology tackles this problem, presenting at K a process that reduces odours during and after recycling significantly. At the "smelling table", which was set up at the Starlinger booth in Hall 9, visitors could try it out themselves: four smelling stations filled with materials before and after the Starlinger odour reduction process were set up so people could "smell the difference". "Odour is a burning issue for a lot of plastic recyclers", says Paul Niedl, Head of Sales Starlinger recycling technology. "Many visitors who came to our booth specifically wanted information on our odour reduction process because they have to deal with this problem and had heard about our solution in the run-up to the exhibition." The first line equipped with the Starlinger odour reduction technology has already been sold and will be installed and commissioned in the near future.
In addition, Starlinger presented the Rapid Sleeve Changer, a newly developed filter unit which is of interest especially for producers and recyclers of polyester filaments and biax films. Equipped with a nonwoven filter medium, the filter allows finest filtration of the melt down to 15 µm. The dirty filter elements can be replaced without interrupting the recycling or production process. The Rapid Sleeve Changer uses special sleeves instead of conventional candles, which reflects positively on the running costs. The sleeves are replaced within minutes; this allows using recycled material even for finest filtration of 15 µm while ensuring highest machine uptime.