Uflex, which is a major packaging equipment manufacturer in addition to being a global polyester film manufacturer and a flexible packaging materials supplier, held an open house at its engineering division assembly hall the week before Christmas. Flexible packaging converters rated the innovative extrusion laminator developed by Uflex that was demonstrated live highly, since it contains several features such as the three axis movement of the extruder and autopasting of the infeed and outfeed at full speed. The imported T-die is capable of a stable die curtain of 6 to 35 microns.
Extrusion lamination plays an increasingly vital role in the flexible packaging industry since it does away with adhesives in the lamination process. The co-extrusion lamination process serves a number of flexible packaging segments including snack foods, aseptic packaging, coffee, dairy, pharmaceuticals and cement industry. The open house led to a good number of enquiries for the machine. “We are getting more visitors for extrusion lamination machine in comparison to the CI flexo press that we are also showing. We have 4 to 5 machine orders with us already. In fact, we are not taking any more orders till we satisfy the first customers,” says Ajay Tandon, president and chief executive officer of the Uflex Engineering Business.
The strong demand for the just launched co-extrusion lamination machine from a number of converters stems from the live demonstrations where they saw the quality of output as well as the quality of manufacture for themselves. One converter that we met during the open house, said that the Uflex laminator compares with imported co-extrusion laminators. At the same time, it is cheaper to use and should deliver superior output at faster speeds.
Unlike other extrusion lamination machines available in India, this machine has been grabbing attention due to it’s ability to precisely control and produce extrusion coatings. It looks to be a promising replacement for demands that were currently being met by imports from China, Taiwan, Korea, and other European nations. “With this open house, I think we should definitely get an additional 4 to 5 orders although it is not always an easy process since the sale of capital goods are never decided across the table. It takes time for every purchaser to zero in on a particular product because of the availability of various other options. Several factors need to be kept in mind, while there is a lot of discussion about the specifications and barrier properties needed. A set of options is carefully examined for a particular application while the return on investment among other factors is also considered. Thus the strike rate is not always cent percent,” explains Tandon.
The sturdily structured Uflex co-extrusion laminator is equipped with a hydraulic screen changer to increase uptime and can handle web widths up to 1300 mm with a mechanical speed of 250 meters a minute on OPP, PET, paper, nylon, polyethylene, foil and CPP substrates. It has a T-die for easy clean-up and better Roll Profile. The machine can be provided with twin extruders and with 3 axis movement for the T-die which provides precision for the co-extruded layer.
Automated Uflexo CI flexo ready
Just a year ago the Uflex engineering division showed us a bare steel structure in the initial stages of assembly that was to eventually become its wide web CI flexo press. The 8-color flexo gearless press is now ready and awaiting trials that are likely to take place in January 2018 in the presence of the company’s Italian technical collaborators.
The Uflexo CI press contains a large number of automation features for easy cleaning and maintenance. This extends to the quick changeover of print jobs with several steps in the release, change and lock-up of plates and anilox rolls sequentially automated. The automatic wash-up is integrated with the inking system and controlled by independent PLC software. There are several other quality features in the press with the first machine also incorporating an LED UV coating and curing system after printing.