One of the leading manufacturers of blown film lines, Macchi has been successful in India with several notable installations. It added a pair of installations in the past two years – one near us in North India and another in South India. At K 2022, it showed its new R-Flex line, which is the latest of its innovative Pod Flex system (polyolefin dedicated), specifically designed for very high productivity and for the use of ‘secondary’ that is regenerated or recycled raw materials.
The 5-layer R-pod Flex line demonstrated continuously throughout the show is made for producing sustainable speciality films with reduced thickness, perfect sealing, and excellent optical and mechanical properties. While the technology is capable of extruding recycled materials up to 1200 kilograms an hour at 2500 millimetre net width, at K it was shown running Dow’s LDPE Revoloop PCR raw material at 1,000 kilograms an hour, which, as far we know, made it the most productive blown film being run at the show.
The new line contains a fully automatic and integrated six-component batch gravimetric system with active loading control to reduce the time for material changeover and blender cleaning. The new design and mix of extrusion screws give greater flexibility in the processing of materials, including both polyolefin and regenerated and a greater extrusion capacity in 65/80/120/80/65 configuration. There is a continuous type screen changer to avoid machine downtime during filter changes. The new TE556 Coex-flex series extrusion head is specifically designed to manage both polyolefin and regenerated film formulations on the same line. The new R-pod Flex line allows extremely rapid job changes and, at the same time, minimizes production waste.
As Matteo Spinola, the sales and marketing director of Macchi, told us, “It is not easy to run recycled materials. PCR has a lot of defects that can destroy the bubble and break the film.” As we learned from other manufacturers also at the show, recyclate materials give off fumes and odours, which in the case of the Macchi line at the show were being removed by a double gauge fume extractor. Crucially, the POD blown film line demonstrated at K2022 also contained a small MDO annealing and stretching unit to help the film output slightly relax and grant film planarity. The output film could be used both for industrial applications and for stand-up pouches.
Macchi’s new twin face-to-face rewinders make them easier to remove and capable of producing small rolls efficiently. The fully automatic, double-station, BoPlus winders with axial drives for gap and contact winding in a face-to-face configuration are equipped with a new Smart Load system for automatic reel handling in the special twin configuration.
Spinola explained that the company’s blown film lines are IoT-ready and production data is being continuously monitored and extracted in real-time by the new line supervision system with integrated OEE monitoring, production breakdown analytics, and maintenance prediction functions. The software generates graphics using artificial intelligence for maintaining the recipe formulations and efficiency curves. The condition of the line and components are monitored for predictive maintenance and in case of a severe failure, there is a black box to bring the entire system back up.