The POD nickname is becoming familiar to the film extrusion business as a definition for five-layer coextruders specifically dedicated to the production – at high capacity rates – of non barrier structures.
Macchi: Successful Trailblazer of POD Lines
May 5, 2014
The advantages of five layers vs. the more traditional and ubiquitous three-layer films are two-fold. On one side, there is the possibility to achieve an economy benefit on the formulation cost, due to the intrinsic possibility of coextruding with extremely thin skin layers. On the other hand, the availability of targeted and application-fit resins is performance-maximized by virtue of their use in pure form.
Main industries with a keen interest to benefit from this new way to look at polyethylene film for collation shrink applications are the beverage, canning and cosmetic ones, together accounting a share of more than 85 percent of the total market consumption reported to be, in the EMEA countries, a reality close to a million tons per annum. The beverage business, alone, takes 50 percent of it.
On the machinery side, Macchi says it prides itself to have acted as a trendsetter, and the current results are successfully confirming an industry trend to replace three-layer systems with five-layer ones.
The demonstration of a powerful 1000 kg/h system during the last K Show in Düsseldorf has generated a wave of interest that initiated a fall-out of an increasing number of purchase contracts. In a business climate still far from being bullish, the relatively simple collation shrink film is anyway instrumental for the packaging of first necessity staples, so its 2 percent annual grow is a global figure that does not pass unobserved.
Furthermore, in the effort to make available the 5 layers POD concepts also to other businesses, Macchi is offering a full array of machine patterns, set up to cater for the needs that are covering the width spectrum that starts with 500mm FFS tubular heavy-duty bags, to three target-specific web layflat sizes, respectively set at 2200, 2500 and 3200mm wide.
During a recent open house event held at the Venegono facilities, Macchi demonstrated, along with a set of three POD lines in different stage of manufacture, a wide-web line for techno-agricultural applications on its way to a Lithuanian customer and a very versatile and more traditional three layer system dedicated to produce a broad array of filmic substrates for the packaging and converting Industries of Centre Europe.
In 2012 a cautious estimate about the market share to be accounted for the POD applications was guessed to be about 3- to 5 percent of the total machinery sale volume.
The current data, as far as Macchi business is concerned, show a clear steer toward this kind of line configuration, with a figure close to 20 percent of the Company throughput. The POD concept is definitely grown of age and now starts to challenge the three layer business. It has excellent reasons to become the new industry standard.
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