New Film Resins’ Performance Demonstrated by Several Equipment Makers at K 2016
3. November 2016
Take a look at a video discussion between ExxonMobil Chemical and W&H on processing the new Exceed XP resins.
I had the opportunity along with my colleague Heather Caliendo to meet with ExxonMobil Chemicals’ experts on the company’s new Exceed XP family of high-performance LLDPE resins, produced with a proprietary catalyst. Four grades of this family were first launched at Chinaplas in April and two more were unveiled at K.
We found it impressive that eight major equipment manufacturers were demonstrating these materials and their processing technologies. Among them was Windmoller & Holscher (W&H), which was running an Exceed XP food packaging film grade using quick change-over technology with ExxonMobil’s Enable 4020 performance polymer collation shrink film. Take a look at Heather’s video with ExxonMobil Chemicals’ Larry Gros, global polymers product & applications development manager and W&H’s Martin Backmann, division manager R&D extrusion equipment discussing the new polymers.
Following this video, Gros and his team gave me the opportunity to meet with Alex Dam, executive v.p. of Thanh Phu, a leading Vietnamese manufacturer of laminated flexible packaging. This very savvy processor has aimed to address the market’s demand for a more recyclable alternative for laminated packaging.
In collaboration with ExxonMobil experts, Thanh Phu first produced a package that can be recycled in the same collection stream as PE by using Exceed XP and Enable mLLDPE polymers and their proprietary film conversion technology. “This is a true synergy between material science and conversion technology innovation. We have changed the cradle-to-grave cycle into a more responsible cradle-to-cradle concept…out aim is to have a full PE alternative to conventional laminated solutions without compromising performance, while maintaining an attractive cost-efficiency ratio.”
Dam told me that his plant is outfitted with the latest processing technology including W&H’s Varex II 3-layer with inline MDO blown film line and their Heliostar S gravure presses for flexible packaging. He characterized MDO-Exceed XP formulated laminates as having very similar optics as OPP or PET/PE laminates, and noted that when an Exceed XP film is stretched, improved clarity and stiffness result.
He also touted Exceed’s XP excellent processing, noting that they have run a 25-micron MDO film with a +-1 micron deviation, which has two times the strength of a 50-micron film and at half the thickness. He confirms that about 60% of their film formulations are made of mLLDPE but for some products, they will go to 80% or 100%. The gravure printer can be used to back print as the resultant film is very stiff and strong.
Thanh Phu has produced commercial packages for both feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products and baby diapers for both Japan’s Unicharm Corp. and Kimberly-Clark, New Milford, CT. The company is considering the exploration of an all-PE package for frozen uncooke seafood to replace the current nylon/PE laminate package.