Reifenhäuser Extrusion Systems is debuting its new Coextrusion Adapter Flex for cast, sheet, and coating extrusion – designed as a cost-effective yet highly flexible system for ‘perfect’ film profiling – at NPE 2024.

Apparently, Reifenhäuser’s coextrusion adapters let manufacturers adjust individual layer tolerances for precise film profiling, ensuring that only the necessary raw material is processed and keeping production costs down. At the same time, the Flex variant is set to achieve the ideal layer thickness and unlock highly flexible production at low investment costs.

“The new Coextrusion Adapter Flex enables producers to quickly switch between different film structures or layer thicknesses,” says Tim Bänsch, product manager at Reifenhäuser Extrusion Systems. “It therefore offers significantly more flexibility than the Fix version, but at the same time foregoes some Pro features in favor of an attractive price position.

“The Flex version is therefore our new - in the best sense of the word - mid-range model, which offers an optimum price-performance ratio, especially for producers with a changing product mix.”

Compared to the Fix model, the Flex version allows producers to use adjustable profiling inserts to change the film profiling on the system. Alternatively, once the appropriate setting has been found, single-piece inserts can be used for particularly sensitive materials like PMMA or PC; their static geometry is set to enhance the film quality.

Channel packages can apparently be used to change the layer structure at speed; for example, from ABA to ABB. The shear speeds relate to the percentage layer structure – e.g. from 10/80/10% to 20/60/20% – and are set automatically.

Film profiling cannot be carried out during the extrusion process or be fully automated, unlike the Coextrusion Adapter Pro model. However, the Flex’s reduced range of functions reduced its price, while its compact design is expected to be beneficial in retrofitting existing systems with limited installation space.

“The Flex coextrusion adapter is the perfect choice for producers who want to switch regularly, independently and quickly between different film profiles and layer structures on their line,” Bänsch adds. “With our profiling inserts and channel packages, the changeover is quick and uncomplicated.

“For multi-layer composites with highest demands on the quality of layer thickness distribution, we recommend our Pro version, which also allows profiling during operation and can be adjusted fully automatically and mechatronically via electrical actuators using our PAM automation option.”

The Flex coextrusion adapter is being showcased at booth W6751 at NPE in Orlando, Florida, until 10th May.

Back in 2022, Reifenhäuser revealed its Precise, Autonomous, Mechatronic (PAM) automation option for coextrusion adapters and slot dies in flat film and sheet production and extrusion coating. Expected to enhance both cost and efficiency, PAM automation is set to ensure that production can commence quickly, increase output, and improve overall equipment efficiency.

More recently, Robopac Machinery showcased five stretch film wrapping solutions for the fruit and vegetable market – including a shrink-wrapping machine, a compact automatic rotary table, and a series of side-driving taping machines – at this year’s Fruit Logistica.

ValTara’s Breezy Wrapper, meanwhile, brings horizontal flow wrapping and vertical bagging together into one machine – automatically adjusting films to the length of a tray or container during the wrapping process.

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