Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV)

Successful gravure printing on recycled BOPE films

Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV): Successful gravure printing on recycled BOPE films
As part of the IKV's PlasticBond project, BOPE film with a recycled content of around 30% was successfully printed on a Rotomec gravure printing press (Source: IKV)

The Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, has achieved a significant milestone in the field of film printing. As part of the PlasticBond project, BOPE films with a recycled content of around 30% have been successfully gravure printed using a Rotomec press.

Polyethylene films are less rigid than materials such as polypropylene and tend to stretch during the printing process, which can affect the quality of the printed image. The behaviour of recyclates during processing is also difficult to predict. Nevertheless, IKV was able to achieve high quality results by making adjustments to the printing process. The Institute would like to thank all the partners involved for their committed collaboration: Gascogne Flexible Germany, hubergroup, Brückner Maschinenbau, Reifenhäuser Group, Pöppelmann, Arburg, Interzero, Henkel, Carbon Minds and the Manufacturing Technology Institute (MIT) of RWTH Aachen University.


The PlasticBOND project

In the PlasticBOND project, IKV is working with a dynamic and creative consortium on the characterisation and processing of recyclates from household collections. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the aim of PlasticBOND is the sustainable optimisation of plastic packaging using digital technologies. A total of 10 partners from different parts of the value chain are working together to develop a general description model for the evaluation of plastic packaging. At the same time, the impact of the use of recyclate with different material qualities and varying proportions of recyclate on the manufacturing processes and their influence on ideal process control will be analysed. Collaborative models for the secure exchange of relevant information are being developed to increase the general exchange of information, track material flows and store sustainability data on raw materials and products.

The Institute for Plastics Processing

The Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) is Europe’s leading research and training institute in the field of plastics technology. Based on a holistic approach, the IKV develops new solutions for the plastics technology of the future. Approximately 300 people are involved in research and development, including 80 scientists, 50 administrative staff and 180 student assistants. The IKV is an innovation driver and research partner for the plastics industry. Extensive knowledge and many years of experience in all areas of plastics technology give the IKV a unique position in Germany. There are many possibilities for cooperation with IKV. Partners use IKV’s expertise in publicly funded joint industrial research projects, in bilateral industrial research and through IKV services such as consulting, plastics testing and failure analysis. As part of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, the IKV is embedded in the RWTH and is responsible for the academic training of young plastics engineers. The IKV conducts basic research in interdisciplinary cooperation with other institutes. This often forms the basis for further joint industrial research. The IKV focuses its research on the key topics of additive manufacturing, integrative plastics technology, plastics industry 4.0 and lightweight construction. In its research projects, the IKV looks not only at individual processes and products, but also at entire process chains and integrated processes and products. By taking an integrative approach to component design, materials technology and processing, IKV scientists achieve optimal solutions in terms of research and for their industrial partners.