PHOTO:The latest Rajoo ‘Multifoil’ 5-layer line at Nylopack’s spotless factory in Roodekop, Johannesburg, has a dual air ring, achieving the result that gauge variation is extremely low. Nylopack has now pushed through the 500 tons/month barrier and is seen as one of the top co-ex film manufacturers in the region
SPECIALISED films manufacturer Nylopack has recently installed its third major five-layer line from Rajoo, establishing itself as one of the leading co-ex films manufacturers in Southern Africa.
The new 5-layer ‘Multifoil’ system for non-barrier film differs from the previous Rajoo blown film systems, the 5-layer lines for barrier films installed in 2014 and last year. The latest arrival is for the manufacture of stretch hood films (i.e. non-barrier) and was virtually a new undertaking for Rajoo, based in India – as it is, indeed, for Nylopack too.
Nylopack, operating out of Roodekop, Johannesburg, went for virtually the same specs which proved so successful with the previous Rajoo machines, with controls from PlastControl of Italy and the extruders based on the technology of Hosokawa-Alpine of Germany. Ahmedabad-based Rajoo has been cooperating with these European OEMs for some time – and the results are showing: it has sold extrusion lines into over 60 countries.
“The last supplied line is a very special system with quit a few special features to make stretch hood film, which is a very critical application in terms of process as well materials being used for this application,” said machine supplier Jinesh Shah of Rajoo.
With the two previous co-ex lines, Nylopack has been producing barrier films with the inclusion of either an EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer) or polyamide (nylon) mid layer, with LD or linear encasing layers up 250 microns thick. The EVOH or PA layers achieve very low permeability and act as a gas barrier to prevent oxygen penetration; the film structures are based on customer formulations.
Different factors have come into play with the new extruder, with a combination of linear and LD and including metallocene grades which allow for down-gauging whilst achieving improved performance, specifically in tear and puncture resistance.
Nylopack focusses on niche markets, running films with proprietary formulations using mainly imported materials, with the latest initiative continuing on the same path.
Multifoil lines are available with advanced automation features like integrated GSM control, gravimetric blending and dosing, contact/non-contact type IBC system with pneumatic/digital correction, automatic thickness control, fully automatic centre-gap-surface winder and integrated process control. A range of system solutions can be configured to adapt to the ultimate processing needs.
The Nylopack team, headed by Pieter Rossouw, has been busy: it has overhauled all the company’s extruders, including some fairly old equipment, to the point where it is difficult to spot the difference between new and old … although there is no doubt that the three big co-ex lines are new, with current star of the show being the latest Multifoil co-ex film line, which can produce a 1200mm layflat film.
Nylopack is co-owned by Rossouw and investor Theo du Toit, one of the veterans of the industry. Du Toit was one of the co-founders of East Rand Plastics, which at one time in the 1980s was the biggest tonnage material user in the country (ERP is now part of Transpaco group). Nylopack has been operating since 2012, when the partners bought a number of co-ex systems from Huhtamaki in Springs, after the Finnish corporation exited the multi-layer films market. All the machinery purchased then has either been fully refurbed or sold off. Du Toit has in recent years become one of the most active investors involved in the industry; he and his partners also own Plastiprofile (which operates from premises adjacent to Nylopack) and Venture Plastics, which the consortium recently purchased.
There aren’t obvious synergies between the businesses, other than that all are among the industry leaders in their respective sectors.
Nylopack has recently gained FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) 22000 accreditation. The implementation of this food safety operational system was mainly at the behest of its customers, as accreditation to the standard meant they did not need to conduct individual compliance audits.
It was a challenging undertaking for the 55-strong team involving virtually every aspect of the operation at the Roodekop plant. Now even the washing of the workers’ overalls is handled by a professional laundry service.