Flexible extruders for thermoforming sheet lines on the advance

Reifenhäuser EXTRUSION is recording a remarkable increase in incoming orders for thermoforming sheet extrusion lines featuring production capacities between 700 and 1500 kgs/hr. Ten lines of this type used for the production of drinking cups and deli containers of polypropylene (PP) and cups of polystrene (PS) for the dairy industry have been sold since the K 2010 show. And there are further prospective projects on hand. The great interest in these lines is mainly based on the flexibility required by the market. Soaring raw material costs, smaller orders from customers, and a strong pressure on end user prices which has even been increased as a result of the global financial crisis are forcing producers to rapidly adapt themselves to new market situations. This is only possible to a limited extent using high-performance, single-purpose extruders that are optimised for processing a specific raw material recipe. Product changes require costly and time consuming machine resettings which can frequently only be realised installing a new screw - if available. Michael Beckhoff, sales manager at Reifenhäuser EXTRUSION says: "Single-purpose extruders were discussed as upcoming trend before the financial crisis. Now it seems that a more differentiated view on this subjet is being taken since there is an increased demand for flexible solutions instead of high performance for a single product. Our order books clearly reflect this development because Reifenhäuser lines provide the requested flexibility: Our customers are not bound to the production of a certain product or large quantities, but, if necessary, they can rapidly change to other raw materials without any problem. In addition, they are flexible in reacting to new market requirements and can handle small orders efficiently." Reifenhäuser thermoforming sheet lines are designed for a medium speed range which allows to process a large spectrum of raw materials such as Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) und Polylactide (PLA), with one and the same screw. Thanks to the modular concept, the line can be tailored to the specific requirements of the customers without compromising flexibility. For the production of finished cups, an automatic in-line vacuum former can be integrated in the system.
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