EVANSVILLE - Berry Global is investing in second Reicofil R5 line for its facility in Nanhai, China, as it looks to add capacity to serve the fast growing Asia healthcare market.
The investment is targeted to meet forecasted market and customer growth and will be focused on high performance applications in the desired healthcare markets.
The new line will be installed at the Nanhai, facility, which, after starting up its first R5 line earlier this year, is strategically positioned to serve customers in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia region. Current projections for the startup of the second line is third quarter of 2022.
“We are committed to further partnering with our customers to pursue growth opportunities around the world. The added capacity achieved through this asset is a next step in advancing our market leading position in healthcare material solutions,” said Curt Begle, President of Berry’s Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division. “This investment comes on the heels of the successful commercialization of the first of its kind R5 asset in Berry’s Nanhai, China, facility, serving the high-loft soft material needs of the premium hygiene markets throughout the Asia region.”
Berry says it will be the first company in the world to secure two R5 lines. Once installed, the site will be critical in the manufacturing of healthcare nonwoven materials, primarily surgical drapes and gowns.
It’s now 15 years since the Reicofil 4 system was introduced and it has subsequently more or less become the industry standard for the high volume production of spunmelt fabrics (spunbond, meltblown and composites), certainly for the disposable hygiene market.
The company unveiled its Reicofil 5 at the 2017 INDEX exhibition, a system which draws heavily on Industry 4.0 concepts and is likely to establish the same leading position in the next 15 years.
With the R5, throughput for spunbond fabrics is now up to 270kg per metre of beam width and meltblown to 70kg per metre width. According to Reifenhäuser Reicofil, this equates to a 35 per cent overall increase in output, so producers can run their lines at maximum speeds, even with high weights. RF5 is also capable of processing significantly finer filaments; up to 20 per cent smaller diameters with standard polypropylenes than was previously possible, and less than one denier is now achievable with metallocene grades. For regular denier fibres, this means increased uniformity, strength and softness can all be achieved, the company notes.
The RF5 is also said to be very easy and intuitive for operators with a contextualised interface which significantly reduces complexity. Operators first view the key parameters and via customised dashboards are able to configure an individual interface containing all of the information that is relevant to them.