In May 2016, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics and Nordmeccanica announced the launch of a revolutionary lamination technology, using both adhesive and machinery hardware advancements.
Symbiex solventless adhesives, Dow’s new ultra-fast curing adhesive technology, combined with the innovative Duplex SL One Shot lamination line from Nordmeccanica, redefines packaging lamination, offering converters best-in-class conversion efficiency improvements, shorter time-to-market and total conversion cost reductions.
‘We are excited to launch this breakthrough technology at drupa, just 18 months after the signing of the joint development agreement with Nordmeccanica,’ comments Greg Bunker, global business director for Dow Adhesives for packaging, textiles and hygiene. ‘By combining our adhesive development know-how with Nordmeccanica’s machine pioneering, we succeeded in introducing the biggest innovation in packaging lamination in 50 years.’
The new machine is available globally and in South Africa though Nordmeccanica’s local agent, Conequipt.
Dow and Nordmeccanica worked together to reimagine the current conventional lamination process and address some of its fundamental limitations. Among these limitations were combining fast curing, which requires a fast-acting adhesive, with outstanding pot life, which requires a slower-acting adhesive.
Vincenzo Cerciello, VP of technology at Nordmeccanica Group explains: ‘With Symbiex and the Duplex SL One Shot laminator, we are able to slit just 90 minutes after lamination, compared to today’s 24-hour standard. This is an exciting development and game-changing innovation for the lamination adhesives market.’
Other benefits include:
- Conversion efficiency improvements: no mixer and no pot life concerns
- Lower cost-in-use: reduced line downtime and curing inventory
- Ability to form a package in less than one day from lamination, and achieve food compliance within one day for most film structures
- Very high web speeds, and may offer increased speeds on metallised and foil laminations versus conventional solvent less
- No misting and better wettability
- Eliminates adhesive scrap
- Reduced line downtime for cleaning, reduced curing inventory
- Bond-quality checking possible 30 minutes after lamination
Packaging lamination redefined
Compared to a conventional lamination line, the Duplex SL One Shot laminator features a unique system to handle the solventless lamination process, enabling the two adhesive components to come into contact as late as possible in the lamination process.
With two independent high-precision coating stations, the two films are pressed together only in the lamination nip station where the curing of the adhesive takes place. This process eliminates the need of a mixing unit and any pot life concerns, and offers reduced line downtime and easy cleaning.
‘We were able to overcome the pot life constraint by moving the start of the chemical reaction to the lamination nip, and to develop the fastest two-component solventless adhesive seen in the market today,’ says Marco Re Fraschini, technical service and development leader for EMEA at Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company.
‘Prior to this technology development, if a converter needed to supply laminates with fast turnaround, they would have had to use solvent-based, water-based, or another alternative cure method. Symbiex adhesives and the Duplex One-Shot provides excellent bonding with no volatile organic compounds, much reduced energy consumption, and fast-curing. This enables just-in-time delivery,’ emphasizes Cerciello.
Accelerating innovation to market
‘Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Dow and underpins our commitment to delivering technical know-how and advanced solutions to our customers,’ continues Bunker. ‘This breakthrough technology redefines today’s standards in solventless adhesives, enabling converters to accelerate innovation into the value chain through a simpler and more flexible lamination process. It improves their competitiveness and responsiveness to meet today’s fast-paced market needs.’
‘Innovation is also in the DNA of the Nordmeccanica Group,’ stresses Antonio Cerciello, the Nordmeccanica Group’s group president. ‘We constantly think outside the box, focusing our efforts on bringing new design, new technologies and new advantages to converters. We have always been innovators at the forefront of our industry, and that is what makes us different.’
‘I am proud of our collaboration with a key partner like Dow; it is what we need in a complex environment to continue delivering reliable and effective innovation.’