Düsseldorf, Germany — Lengerich, all systems go, we are clear for takeoff …
The rocket launch metaphors are in solid booster mode on the stand of Windmöller & Hölscher KG Maschinenfabrik (Hall 17/A57) even though the Lengerich, Germany-based manufacturer's countdown doesn't signal a rocket about to blast off. There are no plans to build the first-ever blown film extrusion line on the moon.
Instead, the impressive audiovisual show accompanies a live demonstration of W&H's Turboclean technology.
Launched (no pun intended) at K 2016, Turboclean is a technology to improve changeover times for the company's Varex II blown film lines. The rocket metaphors aim to emphasize this speediness of the resin purging system.
During the live demonstrations, which run several times daily, the audience can see the changeover from a blue, 40 µm five-layer collation shrink film to a red, 50 µm five-layer food packaging film in just 12 minutes. The company claims this is a savings of 28 minutes compared with a manual changeover.
Part of the fun of the live demonstration is watching the operator at his Turboclean station, basically a big white box with 11 hoses, looking somewhat like an oversized telephone operator's patch bay. Changing one polymer for another is as simple as moving a hose from one connector to another.
But this isn't the whole story, as Falco Paepenmüller, head of W&M's extrusion unit, explained: “Turboclean is not just a box. It's a concept that contains hardware components [sensors, valves and so on]. It contains IT software. And, in the end, it's a whole package that makes the machine more efficient and more profitable to the end user. It is imitating a process that the operator used to do by hand, in sequence, that we now do in parallel.”
Paepenmüller added: “We introduced Varex II in 2013 as the next generation of blown film line. And now we've added on, with our Packaging 4.0 ideas, the idea of Turboclean, which gives additional profitability to the line itself because you can do every change significantly faster than you can do it by hand.