Sulapac® key feature: Mass-producible

Sulapac materials (granules) can be processed using existing plastics converting  equipment, such as injection molding machines and extruders. This enables large scale production without significant investments to new machinery and makes sustainability an easy choice.

 

Background

Mass-production refers to manufacturing of large quantities of standardized products often using an automated mechanical process. This means efficient production of similar products that fulfil pre-set quality requirements, and usually comprise detailed design of material and information flows, as well as effective alignment of subprocesses.

 

Key feature

Sulapac materials can be used on customers’ and partners’ existing converting lines to replace conventional plastics, such as polypropene. The processing of Sulapac materials (granules) is possible with traditional plastic product machinery and technologies, including injection molding and extrusion. Thus, to use Sulapac materials, no big investments are needed, only some minor adjustments of the existing equipment, tooling, and processes are required.

Sulapac’s business model is based on partnerships and factory as a service concept, meaning we do not own any production facilities but partner with existing production plants. This business model enables localized manufacturing of the end-products, and as our business grows, also the material production can be taken close to the customer.

F.ex. the Sulapac Straws are produced with existing conventional extruders. The straw dimensions and quality are comparable to those of polypropene (PP) straws. Furthermore, the manufacturing of Sulapac Straws can be integrated to automated packaging systems of straws with various sizes.

 

Criteria and validation

Important parameters in mass production processes are, among all, i) process speed, i.e. bringing the volume/cost of equipment time at maximum and ii) quality of the products i.e. minimizing the amount of scrap produced during manufacturing. By adjusting the converting processing parameters, these can be optimized for Sulapac materials. Sulapac team offers technical support for efficiently adjusting the converting processes and machinery.

Over seventy converters in different countries all over the world have processed Sulapac materials successfully with injection molding machinery with only minor adjustments.

Sulapac Straws have been successfully produced by extrusion, including the feature that Sulapac granules were fed into the machinery in the same automated way as PP granules.   The implementation of the Sulapac granules did not require changes in the set-up procedure of the straw machine, and the set-up time was found to be equivalent to that of PP. According to the manufacturing operator, production using Sulapac granules did not require more cleaning than production using PP granules and continuous production was possible. The production of Sulapac straws has thus represented a drop-in solution for conventional straw production with crude oil based plastics.

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