Augsburg, Germany — Machine builder Hosokawa Alpine AG introduced vacuum technology to improve production of high-performance oriented films.
The company's next generation of machine direction orientation (MDO) technology is equipped with a vacuum roll that builds on 20 years of experience in developing ways to optimize production of high-quality oriented film, according to Holger Niemeier, head of the blown film division at Hosokawa Alpine.
"This will significantly improve the production of fully recyclable mono-material films and contribute to the packaging solutions of the future," Niemeier, who is also a board member, said in a news release.
MDO technology is based on monoaxial orientation, which lets processors specifically modify the optical and mechanical properties of the end product to improve barrier properties, optics or film thickness.
Depending on the MDO design, the film runs over eight to twelve rolls, two of which are stretching rolls. The second of these is now a vacuum roll with a porous surface. The vacuum inside guides the film tightly against the stretching roll to improves flatness and prepare the MDO film for lamination or printing.
Hosokawa Alpine says its MDO technology is a crucial component in the production of high-performance mono-material composites made of polyethylene. Until now, in order to generate certain product properties, composites of different materials were produced, which cannot be fully recycled. Films made from pure PE composites are a more environmentally friendly concept for packaging because they can be fully recycled after their original use and reused in the circular economy for end products without material loss.
The MDO technology combines sustainability and resource conservation, according to Hosokawa Alpine, which also points to the new vacuum roller reducing the neck-in by up to 70 percent. Neck-in refers to the reduction in usable width due to the material being pulled apart.
For more information, go to www.hosokawa-alpine.com.