BASF has added a flexible laboratory coating and laminating facility to its coating center to boost developing of adhesive systems for flexible packaging, labels, tapes and functional film coatings.
The center, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, aims to increase capacity for customer tests to speeds up development of new products and adapt existing adhesive formulations to new carrier methods.
BASF said it will boost its position in water-based adhesive systems and UV acrylic hotmelts and took one year from planning and assembly to operation.
The universal laboratory coater produces exact, reproducible coatings of water-based and UV acrylate hotmelt systems, only requiring a minimum quantity of one kilo of adhesive.
Coating experts closely cooperate with all relevant BASF R&D centers for adhesive raw materials and the respective regional business units.
The competences and experiences of those who work in technical service, development, research and laboratory are assembled at the site, said the firm.
The centerpiece of the center is the existing pilot coater for dispersions with a coating speed of 1,800 meters per minute.
A BASF spokeswoman told FoodProductionDaily.com the firm's goal was to speed-up product development and decrease time to market.
"The adhesive market is an innovation-driven market.
"New applications, new materials / substrates, new requirements in a faster sequence, all this requires a faster reaction of raw material producers like BASF."
The spokeswoman added the laboratory coater allowed a broader and faster screening of different adhesive prototypes.
"In the past we needed to produce at least 150kg of an adhesive prototype in order to be able to test it on our large pilot coater.
"Now we only need 1kg samples in order to test them on our laboratory coater.
"The general goal is to further improve the performance of water-based adhesives in order to further increase the application range of this ecofriendly technology."
BASF invests more than €800,000 every year in the modernization and maintenance of its adhesive coating facilities.
“By expanding our coating center, we are able to further strengthen our technical leadership and innovation power when it comes to water-based adhesive systems and UV acrylic hotmelts,” said Dr. Jürgen Pfister, head of dispersions for adhesives and fiber bonding Europe.
The company supply raw materials for rigid and flexible plastics, foams, paper, cardboard, carton as well as labels and closures to the packaging industry.
BASF posted sales of about €73.5bn in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of 2011.