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Re-shuffling the cards in the PET market

Source:International Plastics News for     Date:2020-10-13
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The all-new NETSTAL PET-LINE from KraussMaffei High Performance celebrates its world premiere this year. The first NETSTAL PET system featuring lateral removal offers full compatibility with existing side-entry moulds and after-cooling stations. It also impresses with an excellent output and energy efficiency, optimised processing of PET recyclates and a new operating unit.  


"By switching to side-entry we are re-shuffling the cards within the PET world. The NETSTAL brand is now also a perfect alternative for users whose production layout focuses on machines with lateral removal and who have a corresponding stock of injection moulds," explained Renzo Davatz, CEO of KraussMaffei High Performance AG. The all-new NETSTAL PET-LINE offers full compatibility with legacy side-entry moulds and associated post-mould cooling stations. Kicking off the new series is the machine model equipped with a clamping force of 4,000 kN and a 6000 injection unit that consequently enables the use of moulds with up to 128 cavities. The coming years will see the launch of further models to optimise coverage of all common beverage applications.



Efficient and environmentally friendly production

At first glance, the laterally positioned post-mould cooling station is the most obvious feature of the new preform system; however, a closer look reveals numerous other optimisations. "The NETSTAL brand is a promise! Our customers expect us to provide high-performance machines that they can reliably, sustainably and successfully work with for many years. Fully in line with our value proposition, we have finely tuned the all-new PET-LINE to deliver minimum operational and unit costs," stressed Mr. Davatz. "The proportion of recycled PET will increase further in the years to come. For this reason our focus in terms of application is centered on the optimised processing of rPET," explained PET systems product manager, Stefan Kleinfeld. A new screw design was developed for the high-performance, two-stage injection unit. Preform moulders benefit from an expansive process window and a robust plasticising process during the processing of up to 100% rPET. Intrusion and automatic metering ensure a homogeneous and consistent melt quality, low AA values, minimal IV drop and gentle material feed.


NETSTAL machines are equipped with toggle levers. This principle also applies to the all-new NETSTAL PET-LINE: Operating within the fully electric driven clamping unit is a dynamic 5-point dual toggle lever. At 1.9 seconds, the lock-to-lock time at 4,000 kN of clamping force is below the magical 2-second mark. Annual output is increased further through the shorter cycle times. "Thanks to the particularly smooth, high-precision kinematics of the clamping unit, reliable and mould-friendly operation is guaranteed under production conditions," said Mr. Kleinfeld. The exceptionally robust design ensures years of reliable continuous operation at high capacity and constant speed, while being energy efficient. "The preceding model with top entry was ultimately by far the most energy-efficient machine on the market. Now, with the all-new NETSTAL PET-LINE, we have once again succeeded in significantly reducing energy consumption. A development that is not only easy on the pockets of our customers, but also on the environment," explained Mr.  Kleinfeld. Removal can be equipped with up to 4 post-mould cooling stations. The exceptionally efficient interior and exterior cooling guarantees a consistent premium and uniform preform quality.



Intuitive and reliable operation

The new NETSTAL PET-LINE also sees the world premiere of the latest generation of aXos controller technology. aXos 9 combines the former aXos design with an innovative operation concept that once again considerably increases the level of user-friendliness. The new operator panel comprises a central touchscreen flanked by haptic keys. Navigation between the individual settings occurs exclusively via the touchscreen. In contrast, all the axial motion is triggered exclusively via the haptic keys. 


SMART OPERATION is a series feature on the new NETSTAL PET-LINE. Unveiled two years ago, the feature comprises four keys that are used to intuitively operate the system within a production environment. Clear information and colour indications enable simple, fast and reliable process control. "During production, operation using SMART OPERATION always follows the same principle, regardless of the preform being manufactured. Preform production is consequently prepared and started using just two keys. Production operators can therefore be quickly trained. "The volume of written process descriptions, checklists and instructions at the machine is drastically reduced," said Mr. Kleinfeld. For customers that means a further augmentation of production readiness and system availability. Development of SMART OPERATION incorporated important insights gained from medical injection moulding applications. "In medical technology, compliance with certified manufacturing processes is an essential criterion. SMART OPERATION now also effectively prevents operational errors in PET applications," declared Kleinfeld.


The coronavirus pandemic has made the presentation of a new machine series enormously challenging. "Personal contact is an important factor in our business. The planned launch event in Näfels with several hundred guests unfortunately had to be called off early on. Instead we have organised exclusive presentations in Näfels and digital visits for all those customers and potential customers who are unable to travel to there," explained Mr. Overbeek. The hybrid event is scheduled to cover a period of three months. With immediate effect, the new NETSTAL PET-LINE and the specialist team from KraussMaffei High Performance AG are available to carry out exclusive presentations in Näfels in compliance with a comprehensive safety concept. Alternatively, online meetings are also possible in which even the demonstration of a running machine can also be easily incorporated.



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