The stretch and shrink film industry is among the fastest growing and most dynamic flexible packaging segments in Europe, and has been studied by Andrew Reynolds, Research Director at Applied Market Information. Consumption of stretch and shrink film is now in excess of 2.1 mln tpa in Europe. Reynolds will be giving the opening address at the 7th international conference, Stretch & Shrink Film 2010, to be held from 26-28 April 2010 n Madrid. Typically the attendees account for over 1.6 mln tons of polymer purchase.
AEP Industries will outline issues for the North American stretch film market, and EuropackNE Ind e Com de Prod Termoplasticos will review the industry in South America. There will be a separate study on the structure of the Polish market by PHP ICC NESKOR Sp. z o.o. Strategic challenges will be discussed by John Campin of AMI, and a personal global view will be given by Mr. Poon Khim Ang of the Malaysian company Thong Guan Plastic & Paper Industries.
There are new materials in the market including metallocene PE from ExxonMobil and next generation plastics for collation shrink from Dow Europe. Italian suppliers include ENI Polimeri Europa. Film performance can be enhanced with the right additives, such as the new stabilisers from Chemtura, and with styrene-butadiene copolymers from Chevron Phillips Chemicals.
Manufacturing technology is advancing. Macchi has studied blown film coextrusion trends. Cast stretch machinery has been improved by SML, winding by Gloucester Engineering and cores have been optimised by Sonoco Alcore. Testing is important to maintain quality control: Davis Standard has been working on blown film thickness measurement. Highlight Industries is developing test methods for both field and laboratory use. The conference will cover the main stretch applications for pallet wrap and silage wrap as well as addressing issues in the collation shrink, pallet shrink and the stretch hood arena. Beumer Maschinenfabrik has expertise in stretch hooding.