A new feeding mechanism keeps operators away from pull rolls on thread-up and makes a safer, more compact film casting machine. Bruckner Formtec GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Greenville, S.C.) is the first to apply standard safety features adapted from higher-speed biaxial-orientation lines to PP cast film. These features include integrated pull rolls, oscillating trim knives, and a safer, three-step thread-up. Operators feed a band attached to the film while the rolls are stopped. The rolls are then started, pulling the band and threading up the film. Finally, the band and threading film are removed from the winder. Bruckner has sold the first unit for 4.2-meter-wide film. It costs no more than a conventional casting unit but is one-third shorter (5 to 6 meters vs. 8 to 9 meters). It has six to nine pull rolls, depending on the number of corona-treating stations. It's expected to run trials in Bruckner's lab this summer.
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