Plastics machine manufacturer, SML, is now providing equipment for protective clothing
In answer to the call from the Federal Government to boost the production of protective clothing in Austria, the plastics machinery manufacturers, SML, are now making a pilot plant available for the production of laminates for protective clothing. Production can be carried out on an industrial scale on an ultra-modern extrusion line at the company’s site in Redlham. This plant is otherwise only made available to customers as a demonstration line and for product development.
"Normally our business is to develop and manufacture machines for the global plastics and packaging industry and not the production of materials – however these extenuating circumstances require extraordinary measures", Karl Stöger, the Managing Director of SML, explains. By producing laminates for protective clothing, the company is, first and foremost, assuming its social responsibility.
Know How in Upper Austria
As a technological leader in the field of extrusion lines, SML opened its new company headquarters, including its development department and production facilities, in Redlham just one year ago. All of its know-how is pooled at this site. Given the company’s extensive competence in the field of process engineering, SML's employees are of course also able to produce a wide variety of different materials independently on the lines that they manufacture.
Patented production process
The line currently in use for the production of materials for protective clothing is an extrusion line for coatings and laminates. It is equipped with the DoubleCoat process patented by SML. This process has had a trailblazing impact on the production of, in particular, thin laminates and membranes. "The materials we are now producing are laminates combined with what are known as “monolithic membranes”. In contrast to many of the other laminates used, these form an extremely effective barrier against viruses and bacteria," Mario Höllnsteiner, the responsible product manager, elaborates. The materials produced by means of the DoubleCoat process are also characterised by their very high breathability and elasticity. In addition to laminates for protective clothing, this line can also be used to make materials for functional clothing, breathable hygiene applications or covers for operations in the medical field.
Yes to Austria as a plastics location
The plastics industry and the manufacturers who supply it with machines are a factor of key economic importance. The current health crisis has also underlined the importance of plastics which have come under criticism in recent months. If used responsibly, plastics are a vital part of our civilisation. With the construction of its new company headquarters at the site in Redlham (in the district of Vöcklabruck) only last year, SML has demonstrated its strong commitment to this location in Upper-Austria for development and production. The current situation highlights significantly how important it is to retain a functioning plastics industry in Europe instead of relocating it to other countries.