1. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE EUROPEAN COATING AND CONVERTING MARKET FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Josef Döing: We are a broad-based manufacturer of machinery that develops plant concepts worldwide for a wide range of applications, from the wallpaper and floor covering industry to the decorative and pharmaceutical film industry. Especially in the segment of self-adhesive films, the European coating market plays a very important role for us. In recent years, we have therefore set the course for many developments in the field of converting.
Esa-Matti Aalto: Coating and converting is our core business. Polytype Converting is deeply rooted in this business and has been serving the market with tailor-made technology solutions for over 50 years. As a European company, the European market is our home ground and remains our most important market.
2. WHAT WILL YOU BE FEATURING AT ICE EUROPE?
Josef Döing: For the first time, we are exhibiting together with Polytype Converting GmbH at the fair and presenting the entire converting portfolio of the Ol brich Group. For several years now, we have refrained from ex hibiting real machines at our stand. The units are simply too large and contain customer-specific elements that we want to protect. Instead, we use multimedia possibilities to present our technological competences to the visitors of the fair. In addition to coating, printing and varnishing, this also includes drying, laminating, embossing/smoothing, calendering, winding, packaging and drive and control technology. At ICE Europe, the film industry will, of course, be in the foreground, but we will also meet customers from the floor covering and wallpaper industry as well as technical textiles. In addition to the sales team, technical staff and our international sales partners will also be on hand to give our visitors an insight into our range of products and services at our stand. Together with Polytype Converting GmbH, we are now even stronger on the market; we can complement our technologies in the best possible way and since our merger two years ago we have steadily increased our market share. We offer our customers and interested parties the opportunity to test the production/finishing of their products at one of our five pilot plants, under conditions that are as close to production as possible.
Esa-Matti Aalto: For us, ICE Europe will be a symbol of the merger of Olbrich and Polytype-Converting. Accordingly, we will exhibit on a joint stand where our customers can convince themselves of the competences of the Olbrich Group. In the field of innovations, Polytype Converting will present the ≪Anti Misting Tacker≫ system developed by and in cooperation with the company Eltex. This system eliminates the silicone misting that occurs during silicone coating and enables our customers to achieve high savings potentials, increased safety and significantly reduced cleaning and downtimes in production. In addition, our experts are happy to provide our customers and the specialist public with detailed information on the latest developments in coating and drying technology.
3. THIS YEAR THE SHOW WILL PROVIDE EXTRA COVERAGE TO EXTRUSION RELATED ISSUES. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS AND WHICH OTHER TOPIC WOULD YOU LIKE THE SHOW TO PROMOTE IN THIS MANNER?
Josef Döing: Although we do not build extruders, we have already realized many projects together with partners. Examples of applications in this area are the coating and laminating technology, but the topic of extrusion is also used especially with regard to calender technology, where we can now name a few references. In addition, we can see that extrusion can open up further areas of application, especially in terms of recycling. Another topic that we would like to see addressed in this form is industry 4.0 and energy efficiency. We have been addressing these topics for a long time and see potential in the further development of plant networking or the design of energy-efficient plant concepts.
Esa-Matti Aalto: Although extrusion is not one of the core business areas of our company, we are also active in this field with integrated solutions. In this context, we certainly see close parallels to the topic of ≪packaging≫ and ≪recycling≫, which includes both extrusion coating and liquid coating. Functional coatings are becoming increasingly important in the packaging sector today as they provide a real alternative to non-recyclable laminates andcomposites. Here Polytype Converting offers a variety of futureoriented technology solutions.
4. WHICH TRENDS DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE AT THE SHOW?
Josef Döing: As we have just mentioned, we are very interested in and looking for innovations and solutions regarding industry 4.0 and energy efficiency. We are also working intensively on digital printing for the development of single pass printing applications such as wallpaper for instance. Here, too, we expect current trends at the exhibition.
Esa-Matti Aalto: As mentioned above, the focus will certainly be on recycling and packaging as such. The topic of plastics and the pollution of the oceans is more present today than ever before. The entire converting industry is actively working on solutions to improve sustainability in terms of resource conservation and recyclability.
5. FROM WHICH DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATIONS WOULD YOUR AREA IN THE INDUSTRY BENEFIT MOST?
Josef Döing: We, as machinery manufacturers, accompany developments and promote innovations. With the help of our state-of-the-art technical centre, we de velop new products and processes together with our customers and test them under production conditions that are as realistic as possible to ensure a stable production line. The development of innovative plant concepts is a priority for us, which is why we are always on the lookout for optimizations and improvements. For the future, we see potential in making products even better and safer for the end consumer. The avoidance of harmful substances, energy efficiency and the use of bioplastics are just a few of the catchwords we spontaneously come up with. Basically, however, nothing changes: we have been working for the innovative world market leaders of various industries for decades. This is only possible if development and innovation – in addition to top quality – are always in focus.