Attended by Simon Pollock, W&H area sales manager for Southern Africa, and numerous international customers, the event showcased W&H’s diverse machine portfolio, including blown and cast film extrusion lines, flexographic and gravure printing presses, multiwall and PP woven sack machines, and form-fill-seal (FFS) bagging lines.
Highlights included an Optimex blown film line with a working width of 1 800mm and specially-fitted side-gusset unit that was put through its paces to produce a new-generation three-layer stretch hood film.
Developed in collaboration with Dow Chemical, the film has excellent optical properties and holding strength as well as puncture resistance – achieved without the use of costly EVA resins.
The Optimex blown film range has also been extended to include a specially-tailored FFS film line with a working width of 650mm. Ideal for the heavy-duty sack sector, it delivers high-quality three-layer film tubing at an output of 350kg/hour. The model on show also included a Multicool FFS high-output air ring with W&H’s latest air flow and internal cooling system, providing bubble stability.
A contemporary Optimex FFS in-line printer that supplements the heavy-duty sack machinery was also introduced. Available in four or six colours it delivers high-quality printing on front and back of film tubing.
Addressing trend-setting film requirements
W&H also demonstrated the Maxicone P die, specifically designed for production of five-layer collation shrink films, used predominantly for beverage packaging.
Maxicone P works by distributing functional properties among the individual film layers giving each layer extra strength. Its impressive capabilities, which allow for significant film downgauging, were put to the test on a Varex blown film line, complete with an advanced Opticool air ring cooling system.
Recording outputs up to 1 000kg/hour the Varex delivered a high-quality, lightweight shrink film at minimal cost.
In the food sector, thermoformed packaging plays an ever-increasing role; and precision processing during moulding and sealing is critical for the manufacture of functional and economical packaging. Besides good thermoforming, shell film requires high thermal resistance to withstand the high temperatures required for short sealing times. W&H tackled these requisites with a demonstration of its latest Aquarex blown film water-quench technology, producing a seven-layer asymmetric barrier film with impressive forming and sealing properties.
Rounding out the food applications was an innovative nine-layer, high-barrier lidding film for thermoformed shells with a coextruded polyester sealing layer that can be sealed directly on to a PET shell.
This complex nine-layer film was run on a Varex blown film line. Various raw materials such as LDPE, EVOH and PETG were run, demonstrating the line’s versatility.
‘The W&H open house offered customers a taste of what’s new in the market,’ Simon comments. ‘These leading-edge systems continue to evolve and I’m sure W&H will deliver more exceptional extrusion and printing developments at K2013 in Düsseldorf later this year,’ he concludes.