Co-Founders Bob Cree and Rick von Kraus Advance State of the Art in Blown Film
Newark, N.Y., September 10, 2019 – Addex Inc., a leading supplier of high-performance blown film cooling equipment, is celebrating 30 years in the plastics industry. A technology-driven equipment manufacturer, Addex has been at the forefront of the latest advancements in blown film equipment since its founding in August 1989. The company, co-founded by President Bob Cree and former president and current Chairman of the Board Rick von Kraus, has steadily grown from humble beginnings to its current position as a global manufacturer of blown film equipment.
Through direct-to-customer sales and strategic partnerships with leading processors throughout the world, Addex continues to successfully meet the needs of processors in its core market - the blown film packaging industry. Success has been built by our great team, which continues to innovate and lead our company to new heights in terms of quality, performance, and professionalism,” said Cree. “We’ve recently focused vertically with blown film cooling as our core business mission, and we work very hard to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology and engineering.” Cree has played a leading role in the company’s growth and evolution by directing the company’s research and development activities and product development efforts since its inception.
Addex entered the blown film industry in 1989 with the introduction of the first hybrid analog/digital microprocessor-based Internal Bubble Cooling (IBC) control system, which was fueled by Cree’s personal interest in building computers. The IBC went 100% digital in the early 2000s - a patented industry first - along with the addition of a “quick-changeover" feature, high-speed servo valve, and split sensors to deliver the fastest reaction time in the industry, ensuring the tightest possible layflat control.
In 1994, Addex launched its patented horizontal oscillating haul-off, functionally named Gauge Band Randomizer (GBR), which included anti-web wander and anti-camber features - again industry firsts. In 2009, the GBR line was extended to operate vertically while integrating a patented equal and opposite accumulation of film to eliminate line speed variation common to vertical designs.
Another key milestone came in 1995 when Addex made a significant advancement in gauge control, introducing the patented Internal Gauge Control (IGC), an internal-to-bubble, IBC-based gauge control system. With resolution in excess of 360 zones and advanced measurement capability, the control capability within 1 deg. of resolution is still the best resolution in the industry. In 2004, in response to processors’ need for a simple-to-operate, cost-effective gauge control system, the company introduced the fully manual Manual Gauge Control (MGC) with individually-adjustable control bolts, as well as Addex’s patented External Gauge Control (EGC), which cuts controllable thickness variation by over 50%. In 2013, the tandem external gauge control was introduced, adding a bubble stabilizing lower ring to sit “flat to the die” and increase output rate.
In 2001, Addex’s foray into die design produced the patented REDI die—a side-fed, stackable die. Cree used the concept of regular division of the plane to interlace flows of polymer through the die, aptly named the REDI die. The REDI die is Cree’s die of choice on the Addex R&D line since it is modular and streamlined, allowing it to process difficult-to-run materials.
Most recently, Addex has taken an industry lead with the introduction of its patented air ring design called Intensive Cooling, which has eclipsed all previous industry developments in terms of increased output and bubble stability, becoming the first major advancement since the company narrowed its product mix to focus exclusively on blown film cooling.
Introduced at K 2016, Intensive Cooling began as a stackable configuration of two to four cooling elements, which were fully enclosed and mounted between the die and the air ring. Using air from each cooling element flowing in opposite directions to create a vacuum, bubble stability was greatly improved, which in turn led to massive output gains. The output gains were too great for the retrofit market, however, so the company replaced the lower lips in an Addex air ring with just a single, aerodynamically-designed Intensive Cooling element. This change placed output into the sweet spot for retrofits, delivering a guaranteed 10-15% (or more) output increase that older lines could handle. Addex licensed the original stackable design to other OEMs for use on new lines, while penetrating the retrofit market with these easy-to-operate, down-on-the-die Intensive Cooling air rings. The company has sold over 100 Intensive Cooling air rings into diverse applications from bag making, to lamination films, to barrier—and is especially popular when combined with the company’s EGC automatic profile control capability.
Addex continues to innovate and is now entering Phase 2 of Intensive Cooling development. The company is examining the design of other components in the blown film process, such as the main air lip design, air collars and IBC—all to optimize total system performance in combination with Intensive Cooling. Addex will showcase its Intensive Cooling technology at the upcoming K 2019 exhibition (Hall 17/C41) Oct. 16-23 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Today, Addex supplies some of the most sophisticated blown film cooling technologies capable of producing films at the highest possible output and stability, with the lowest possible gauge variation. Addex’s dedicated focus on blown film R&D has resulted in approximately 30 U.S. patents (or patents pending), including many cooling-related patents such as Intensive Cooling air rings, Automatic and Manual Profile Controls that yield high-quality films, and an All-Digital IBC Control with Quick Change Feature that significantly reduces scrap.
About Addex Inc.
Addex Inc., based in Newark, N.Y., USA, was founded in August 1989 as a supplier of high-performance components for blown film production. Today, Addex focuses on leading-edge cooling technologies with its patented very high-output cooling, automatic and manual gauge controls, and IBC control systems. For more information, visit www.addexinc.com.
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