Research and development for film stretching technology
25 years ago in autumn, on the occasion of the leading international plastics trade fair "K 1998", Brückner Maschinenbau inaugurated a technology centre at the Siegsdorf site. It was to house the laboratory equipment already in use as well as a completely new type of pilot line on which films could be stretched simultaneously for the first time with the aid of linear motors.
The aim of the technology centre was and is to research and further develop film stretching technologies as a prerequisite for innovative film applications, e.g. in food packaging as well as in solar modules, capacitors, flexible screens or membranes for lithium-ion batteries. The globally unique facility soon developed into a meeting place for raw material manufacturers, converters, film producers and even brand manufacturers, who can rent the technology centre for their test projects.
For Brückner, this was an important milestone on the way to becoming the world market leader. Michael Baumeister, Managing Director CTO: "By bundling development and synchronising the various company divisions, we were able to identify technological trends as well as market opportunities at an early stage and often place our technologies as trendsetters in the global market."
The equipment of the technology centre, which has been constantly expanded and modernised over the years, with a pilot plant, laboratory extrusion, laboratory stretching frames as well as a chemistry and film laboratory, enables almost all types of film stretching and the processing of a variety of polymers and biopolymers. All known stretching methods can be used: monoaxial in machine direction (MD) or transverse direction (TD), biaxial sequential or biaxial simultaneous.
In this way, raw materials can be tested for their stretchability, new film concepts developed, small series produced for sampling and entire production models run through. The films produced can be immediately tested in the film and chemistry laboratory – for prompt feedback on sample production.
Expansion of the technology centre at the site planned
Changing framework conditions and ever new areas of application place high demands on the entire film industry. The legally required use of recycled materials and bio plastics, films for energy production and storage, or membrane technologies for water treatment are just a few examples. Brückner Maschinenbau intends to meet these challenges with a significant expansion of its technology centre.
The most important innovation besides the modern infrastructure is an additional pilot plant to increase the availability of testing capacities and to reduce waiting times for customers quite significantly.
Senior Manager New Business Development Markus Wolfertstetter: "For some of the biggest challenges facing our industry, this expansion of the pilot plant will be of utmost importance. I am thinking, for example, of the linking of new film types with the requirements of digitalisation in the service of the circular economy or CO2-neutral and waste-free film production. Research and development will also become even more important for technical film applications – we are ideally equipped for the future with this expansion."
All the necessary steps for the expansion are to be completed by mid-2026.
“It is always a great pleasure working with the full Brückner team in the technology center. We have had a strong collaboration for several years now and the high-quality, professional support, excellent pilot facilities and in-depth technical discussions have been key in advancing our developments in BOPE. We’ve come a long way from the initial trials we ran together and now it is great to see how this work is being implemented on the new, industrial lines.”
Martin Hill, Packaging and Specialty Plastics Technical Service and Development, Dow Chemical Ibérica S.L.
“It’s been our privilege to collaborate with the team at the Brückner Technology Center on many projects over the last 25 years. The team’s technical knowledge, experience and creativity have been invaluable inputs on every experiment run, and the efficiency of the lab has made working there a joy. We want to thank you all for your skills, cooperation, professional approach and for your hospitality. Congratulations on 25 years of excellence at Brückner Technology Center and our best wishes for the future.”
Tom & Cagla DeAngelo, owners Thomas Frank Associates, LLC
“Finally, the success of developing HDPE material for BOPE film has been proven at Bruckner's facility.
We would like to express our gratitude to Bruckner for their excellent collaboration and for providing their world-class lab facilities here. Congratulation again to your 25 years old anniversary.”
Kanyanut Narkchamnan, LDPE Research & Development Leader, Thai Polyethylene Co., Ltd.
“I would also like to thank you again on behalf of our team for the two very interesting days. The fact that everything went relatively smoothly is certainly thanks to your very well-rehearsed team. I am already looking forward to the next time.”
Christoph Michel, Research and Development, Taghleef Industries.
“Thanks a lot for the complete and detailed trial data. Again, I would like to thank you and the Brückner team for the great support and hospitality provided during these demanding trials.”
Carlos Rodríguez Giraldo Research and Development Eng., Taghleef Industries.