French plastic bag imports continue to outpace exports.

French imports of polyethylene bags are much higher than the exports of this product, according to Packaging in France, Pira International's market report.

The amount of total imports of polyethylene bags increased from 69,000 tons in 1991 to 73,600 tons in 1992 and dropped to 67,200 tons in France's 1993 recession.

Exports were 17,600 tons in 1991 with increases to 17,900 tons in 1992 and 22,500 tons in 1993.

While Germany and Italy were the main supplier countries of polyethylene bags, Far East countries were also important suppliers of polyethylene bags.

Thailand supplied 2,100 tons in 1989, 4,300 tons in 1991, 6,500 tons in 1992, and 4,400 tons in 1993. Malaysia supplied 4,300 tons in 1989, 7,300 tons in 1991, 7,200 tons in 1992, and 7,400 in 1993. Singapore supplied 1,500 tons in 1989, 2,800 tons in 1991 and 1992, and 2,700 tons in 1993. China supplied 1,100 tons in 1989, 1,300 tons in 1991, 2,900 tons in 1992 and 3,900 tons in 1993. Indonesia supplied 1,200 tons in 1991, 3,600 tons in 1992, and 3,700 tons in 1993.

* Following recent successes, M&Y, Twickenham, Middlesex, England, manufacturers of trim-handling systems, is expanding marketing and sales operations in Spain and Portugal.

Systems have been installed at Torraspapel SA, Girona, Spain, Sarriopapel Y Celulosa SA, Zaragoza, Spain, and Papeis Inapa, Setubal, Portugal.

An aluminum sweep-up system has also been designed for Industria Navarra del Aluminio SA, Spain.

The Torraspapel, Sarriopapel and Inapa installations involved the design and manufacture of systems to serve Jagenberg winders and included the installation of M&Y's space-saving material-discharge units and air-velocity controllers.

At Torraspapel, a system was designed to take trim from a Jagenberg Vari-Roll high-speed winder that incorporated two slitting stations, pretrim and final trim. Separate trim systems with M&Y's patented air-velocity controllers were supplied for each slitting station. The conveying distance from the winder to the pulper is 100 m. The winder operates at speeds of up to 1,800 mpm, and the maximum weight of paper being handled is 280 gsm. Maximum trim width is 100 mm per station.

* 1 major supplier of hot-stamping foil has upgraded its equipment to handle the thin, sensitive coated films used in thermal-transfer printers.

Peerless Foils, East London, England, has recently installed a 635 TTR slitter produced by Dusenbery Europe Ltd., Bedford, England.

According to Peerless, tension control is vital for the production of quality thermal-transfer ribbons, and the Dusenbery 536 maintains precise control in each of the three key operations of unwind, slitting and rewind.

* A Swiss company has been supplying machines specially designed for production of laminated packaging materials, using solventless, 100%-solids adhesives.

Polytype AG's, Fribourg, Switzerland, latest development is the P3-LF machine for duplex solventless laminated materials. The four-roll trolley on this machine is suitable for solventless and conventional adhesives, so the same machine can operate with solventborne adhesives, solventless adhesives or water-dispersion glues.

Their LF-Triplex machine is used for the production of two- or three-layer laminated materials in a single operation. To allow duplex production to be continued at current hourly rates, the LF-Triplex has been designed so it can be marketed at a price only slightly exceeding that of a duplex type.

The patented system provides for the application of adhesive and combining of three substrates in one integrated coating/laminating head. During the complete process of coating and lamination, the webs maintain contact with a driven roll. All the webs are maintained in a relaxed condition so subsequent tunneling or delamination will occur as the substrates relax in the rewind reel, according to the company.

The system makes it possible to combine two substrates and apply a barrier coating or varnish at the same time as an alternative to bringing in the third substrate.

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