Italian compounder Sirmax Group, long known for their expertise in polypropylene compounds, engineering plastics, thermoplastic elastomers and recycled polymers, last year also moved into the production of renewably-sourced compounds with the acquisition of a 70% stake in Venice-based Microtec Srl. Its acquisition is part of a three-year expansion and sustainability plan aimed at, among other things, responding to emerging needs in the market with innovative solutions in line with a circular economy approach.
Microtec manufactures plant-based compostable compounds that are sold under the brand name BioComp and are mainly targeted at single-use applications.
Sirmax has now considerably expanded production capacity of these BioComp materials at the Mirotec facility with the purchase and installation of two Fast Track ZSK extruders from extruder manufacturer Coperion.
Coperion’s Fast Track options considerably shorten the lead times for new extruders. The company has modified and developed its production process - synchronising process steps and an optimised supply chain - and can now offer a selection of ‘Fast Track’ machines. Thanks to a modular design, a wide range of combinations is available.
Coperion has now delivered and installed two ZSK 70 Mc18 twin screw extruders to Sirmax, both of which were especially designed for processing bioplastics, a mere five months after the order was placed.
“We can manufacture a broad palette of sustainable compounds that optimally expand our current Sirmax product portfolio in harmony with our multiproduct strategy.,” said Massimo Pavin, CEO at Sirmax. Thanks to the fast delivery of the Coperion extruders, we have succeeded in markedly expanding our production capacity for sustainable plastics on very short notice.”
The new extruders are each equipped with 70 mm screw diameters, ZS-B side feeders and ZS-EG side devolatilization. They have been built exclusively with proven, high-quality components, including the high-performance drive and high-quality materials for the process section that ZSK extruders are famous for, Coperion emphasised.
Both extruders have already commenced production. The extruders are being used to manufacture compounds based on starch biopolymers, co-polyesters (PBAT), polylactic acids (PLA), and polybutylene succinate (PBS) - materials mainly used in the blow moulding and in the injection moulding market.