When, in 2014, new owners took over Collin Lab & Pilot Solutions, a family-owned company headquartered in the Bavarian city of Ebersberg, one of the first goals was to expand, restructure and modernize the company's product portfolio.
The results were amply demonstrated at Fakuma 2017. CEO Friedrich Kastner pointed to various new developments on display, emphasizing that at Collin, the common denominator and key theme behind all developments, was modularity.
"We produce lines of different sizes — our range goes from small-scale lines for basic research and medical technology and pilot lines up to production lines. What our customers want is upscalability. Essentially, we deliver plug-and-play systems. You can start with an installation for producing five-layer film, but, because of our modularity, extruders can easily be added to go up to nine layers."
One of the latest developments is a blown film line that has been completely updated and technically optimized, Kastner said, and is equipped with a new take-off unit, lay-flat unit and winder.
The company was also showcasing its PolyTest line of inspection and testing devices. Kastner demonstrated the "multi-inspection" unit, consisting of a chill roll unit with a roll mill for optical and mechanical film inspection including a film winder and optionally an upstream rheological measuring section. It allows for real-time monitoring of the melt viscosity, statistical error in the film, color monitoring, detection of foreign polymers by NIR analysis and determination of stress-strain values in a film tensile test.
"The line is used for the analysis of different plastics material and mixtures, but also for the processing of virgin materials, compounds, masterbatches or the analysis of recycled plastics material," Kastner said.
"It's ideal for testing recycled material. It provides continuous sampling and online analysis of the material, which, after all, is usually made up of a mixture of post-consumer waste. It shows the different material fractions, calculates the e-modulus and much more. We've also targeted it, cost-wise, at the typical recycler, so the price is an accessible one," he explained.
The last stop on the stand was at the new die, designed for modular, flexible use.
"This die is used to produce medical strands and catheter tubes. Because it is flexibly designed, customers can use it for the production of a wide variety of blown films," Kastner said.
He concluded: "Modularity in every single layer — our product philosophy is perfectly reflected in our new die."