Now that the K2013 is history, exhibitors are back at their desks. In the booths of the Messe Düsseldorf are crews with cranes and forklifts dismantling exhibits. For exhibitor Windmöller & Hölscher, the K proved once again to be positive and productive. The company received enthusiastic feedback from customers regarding new technologies presented at the booth as well as at the simultaneous in-house Expo at company headquarters in Lengerich. The K reaffirmed its position as the world’s leading forum for the plastics industry, proving that exhibiting is well worth the effort.
While the total number of visitors to K 2013 was roughly the same as at previous shows, Windmöller & Hölscher noted higher traffic in the booth on most days than in the past. The professional staging of the new VAREX II blown film line played a major role in this. „With this system, W&H sets a new standard in blown film extrusion,” says Managing Director, Peter Steinbeck, commenting on responses from customers on the futuristic design of the new line.
The company was particularly pleased with the many new relationships that were formed. The Expo set its own attendance records, with over 800 visitors from 64 countries. In earlier days, some projects were decided on the spot. Since this has long not been the case, W&H was astonished by the number of sales that were made at the show. Additionally, many substantive requests as well as intensive discussions and negotiations with customers from around the world have given the company reason to be optimistic about post-show business.
To build suspense and attract visitors to the booth, W&H promoted the unveiling of its new blown film line, known before the show as „E-24“. Expectations were high. Many visitors found walking through the „experience tunnel“ to the new VAREX II line to be jaw dropping. The line’s minimalistic and elegant design combined with its increased output, higher energy efficiency, improved ergonomics and maintainability made a big impression.
The VAREX II was shown producing a 5-layer, 2200 mm wide, 40 micron shrink film at 1000 kg/hr using the MAXICONE P die, which was specially designed for working with polyolefin.
The new and innovative ARCTIS air ring played a significant role in the line’s performance. It has a new air supply, which cools film faster thus increasing output. Its unique integral design also allows for greater accessibility to the die.The new design was carried over to the FILMATIC S II winder, which produced perfectly wound rolls at the show.
Progress was also evident in the new automation system. Aside from the well-known modules EASY-CHANGE (autopilot for size changeovers), PROFILE BOOSTER (accelerated line start-up) and PURGE ASSIST (automatic purging of extruders and die), W&H unveiled EASY-WIND for for optimum roll quality and ENERGY MONITORING for displaying energy usage of all line components. The established ISP module for the collection and storage of all production parameters has been extended in the new PPC (Production Planning and Control) module, a new feature permitting decentralized job preparation and in conjunction with an ERP system, such as SAP. Order specifications and product formulations can be directly transmitted from the on-site ERP system to the extrusion line, without the operator having to enter any order data locally.
W&H also presented a second blown film line at the K: the OPTIMEX. The OPTIMEX was launched in 2009 for the middle segment. The 1800 mm OPTIMEX line demonstrated the production of gusseted stretch hood film for transportation load stability, clearly conveying the message that W&H continues to develop its 3-layer portfolio for modest budgets as it furthers its market position.
The in-house EXPO in Lengerich offered a supplemental, in-depth look at W&H technology. Visitors were able to not only see machines for film production, but also printing presses and converting machine, giving a comprehensive picture of the entire process chain.
Altogether, 6 extrusion lines were run at the Expo. They included, four blown and 2 cast film lines, all running different products. In addition to a VAREX II (producing 3-layer film), the FILMEX cast film line, configured specially for stretch film, ran a 300 mm, 33-layer, 12 micron Super Power stretch film for load stability at speeds of 600 m/min and with a net output of 1200 kg/h. Fully automatic small roll job changes were made on the newly developed FILMATIC PS winder.
The printing lab attracted visitors with demonstrations of the MIRAFLEX CM 10 and VISTAFLEX CL 8 flexographic presses as well as the HELIOSTAR SL/SE 8 gravure press. An additional MIRAFLEX AM 8 was used to demonstrate the COREMATIC for automatic small roll handling.
For manufacturers of sacks made from heavy duty films and woven polypropylene fabrics, W&H offered a special treat: two tubers from the POLYTEX range as well as the CONVERTEX and CONVERPINCH bottomers – all for robust packaging of building materials and pet food.
Lengerich/Germany based Windmöller & Hölscher is an internationally leading manufacturer of flexible packaging machinery and equipment. The product line encompasses blown and cast film equipment, flexographic and gravure printing presses, machines for surface finishing and processing of paper, films, and woven plastic fabrics, as well as FFS (Form-Fill-Seal) packaging systems.