March 2006

Development Of The DitteringĀ® Technique

In the early 90’s COLINES® had the feeling that the multilayer barrier film would exceptionally grow for complex applications in fields such as foodstuff, medical, pharmaceutical packaging, etc. Also, COLINES® realised that the technology available at that time was not appropriate for the production of good quality barrier film, even with low cost-effective aspects due to high incidence of the lateral trims which cannot be recovered. With the purpose of facing the two above issues COLINES® has founded in 1993 the company B-PACK® thus obtaining the possibility of demonstrating to its customers the extrusion lines in operation and at the same time of developing the raw material know how for barrier film production (this means: correct choice of raw materials to achieve appropriate recipes). In 1994 the first 5-layer cast extrusion line with 5 extruders was put in production, followed by the CPP film line. To be underlined that for the exclusive production of CPP film afterwards (in 1996) a new company named B-PACK DUE® was created, nowadays producing 20,000 tons per year. The setting up of this new B-PACK® company involved significant investments targeted to achieving in the shortest possible time an adequate technological level to the advantage of COLINES® as machine manufacturer and the operative profitability as main aim of B-PACK® . The first years have been really challenging with inadequate results, thus requiring further consistent financial investments. The existing innovative market of the coextruded film was lifeless and completely not receptive, consequently we concentrated our efforts on research and development activity to optimise the production with profitable results. The critical factor substantially conditioning the production costs and thus sales difficulty was since the very beginning identified as the percentage of scraps. As a consequence the line in production became the laboratory to develop new technical and technological solutions targeted to scrap reduction. In 1998 the first applications involving scrap reduction were developed and tested. In 2002, after several trials a technique has been achieved, which permits to recover in line the material originally considered production scrap. Still nowadays our competitors are offering 7 and 9 layer cast film lines, equipped with encapsulation system but nonetheless giving no production guarantee. This is the evidence that without specific experiences it is practically impossible to obtain an effective fine-tuning of this system. COLINES® obtained excellent results in finalizing the encapsulation process with the DITTERING® system, exclusively with the support: - of B-PACK® that taking advantage of the film production activity has gained over the years a deep knowledge of raw materials and developed the know how for barrier film production - of its own experience accumulated over the many years of activity in the manufacture of extrusion lines - of the close synergy with Companies such as CLOEREN INC and ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS, giving a valuable contribution to meet this sought-after goal with their specific technical and technological expertise On the market such a high synergy level is impossible to find and the results are evident and available for the benefit of all converters. The advantages of this system have been evident and significant from the very beginning. The economic saving is estimated around one million Euro per year. As a result, new investments have been undertaken at B-PACK® winning the role of leader in Italy and of important player also on international markets. The current year 2004 has seen a new BARRIERCAST® 7-layer, fitted with 8 extruders, encapsulation and DITTERING® system entering full operation together with the beginning of works to enlarge the production facility by further 4,000 sq.mts, thus obtaining a total area of approx. 9,000 sq.mts For the next years 2005-2006 a second BARRIERCAST® 7-layer line with 8 extruders, encapsulation and DITTERING®, system is expected to be put in production together with a 5/7 layer BARRIERBLOWN® line.