SA Plastics

Polywrap commissions high-tech Colines cast line

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PHOTO: The new Colines ALLrollEX® 1000 line at Polywrap is one of the most sophisticated cast film lines installed in South Africa to date; it can process up to 700kgs/hr and has a footprint of just 10x10m by 7m high; the line was recently installed at the plant in Saxenburg Industrial Park

POLYWRAP, the Cape Town pallet wrap and shrink film manufacturer, has taken a major leap forward with the installation recently of a state-of-the-art cast film line from Colines of Italy.  The ALLrollEX® machine offers a highly automated solution and can, virtually effortlessly, produce stretch film that is far clearer than the films produced on the blown film lines used by the Blackheath-based company to date.

Part of a substantial investment by Polywrap, the ALLrollEX 1000 machine has enabled Polywrap to considerably increase production of stretch film pallet wrap.

The new machine exemplifies the technological progression in stretch film production achieved by Colines. The co-ex line produces 3-layer film up to 1m wide and includes several features, specifically reduced energy consumption and a far smaller ‘footprint’ than has been customary with cast film extrusion systems up till now. It can manufacture films from 10-35 microns, plus winding technology has been improved to the point where even very thin films of just 11µ can be consistently manufactured.

Polywrap, which has been in operation since 1999, originally produced mono films on blown film systems, and increased capabilities to the point where it could manufacture co-ex films up to 2m wide. It has been looking at the Colines technology since about 2008, but the scale of the investment required was obviously a deterrent, said Polywrap managing director Ben van der Touw.

The company has partnered with Pelmanco Recycling in a relationship which has proved beneficial to both. The companies operate from opposite sides of Muskat Road in Saxenburg Industrial Park.

The businesses have grown in tandem over the near two decades since the partnership commenced, although both Rabie and Van der Touw conceded that the market has become more competitive lately.

After an extended research period it was decided to embark on the cast capex project during 2016. The partners decided on using Italian technology: besides the fact that the machine cost was somewhat less than an equivalent German system, Van der Touw and Rabie liked Colines’ technical solutions – plus in their view the machine is simpler to run and offers exceptional efficiencies. Colines has also succeeded in reducing production scrap to extremely low levels (the ALLrollEX system in fact ‘auto-recycles’ all the trim film).

One of the features of the ALLrollEX system which is proving most beneficial is the automated thickness gauge control: Polywrap can now guarantee that all films produced on the machine have a maximum variance of just fractions of a micron, which was unheard of until just recently. Running at throughputs of up to 700kgs an hour, that’s no mean feat.

www.polywrap.co.za