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Saving Time and Energy




Packaging is often an integral part of a product. But changing environmental conditions are presenting producers and product developers with new challenges. Plastics packaging manufacturers are striving to meet the latest functional, design, cost, and sustainability requirements through innovative material developments. At the request of this customer group, Grafe Advanced Polymers GmbH, based in Blankenhain, Germany, has developed an additive masterbatch flow improver to help achieve resource-optimized production of plastics packaging.


Mode of action: the flow improver has a significant influence on the processing properties of the polymer. This is due to two complementary action mechanisms. Through the positive effect on crystallization properties, temperatures and cycle times can be substantially reduced.


Advantages: in the first place, a reduction in machine temperature of around 30% cuts direct energy costs. In addition, less waste heat is produced, which improves working conditions around the machine. The machine can also be restarted more quickly after stoppages or set-up. The accelerated crystallization ensures faster cooling of the component and so permits cycle time to be optimized.


The additive masterbatch can be used on all current machines and is suitable for injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding. The flow improver is added during the process, generally at a rate of about 3 to 5%. It can also be combined with dyes in a masterbatch.



Tailored to the End Product


This masterbatch, tailored to the end product, offers processors new technical and commercial options. Lower energy consumption and faster cycles have a direct influence on the cost structure and contribution margin for the packaging. The resulting unit cost optimization allows producers to adjust their price policy individually to the requirements of the market and so creates an enormous competitive advantage.


Assuming that the value of the contents (e.g. in the case of convenience goods) determines the value of the packaging, then the increased efficiency achieved with the flow improver opens the way for attractive cost-saving options, e.g. in food packaging. The cost ratio between the contents and packaging changes.


Overall, it may be concluded that resource-optimized production of packaging has a far greater effect on product cost structure than simple cost optimization. The ecobalance of the end product is also improved, providing added value in terms of carbon footprint and sustainability, which can be realized through variable marketing concepts and additional marketing potentials.


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