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Luxus Calls For The Auto Industry To Re-Think Its Material Choices

8th September 2017
 
Technical compounder Luxus will be showcasing its high-performance PP based compounds range, able to deliver technical properties to rival some more expensive engineered polymers in demanding auto interior components. All on stand E50 at the Engineering Design Show, 18th-19th October 2017.  

Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus explains: “We believe that modern PP compounds will encourage auto engineers to completely re-think their materials choices. The adoption of advanced additives means that PP based compounds can now be used where previously the technical properties of the application would have demanded costly ‘off the shelf’ engineering polymer.

“The ‘off the shelf’ (unmodified) polymer is currently chosen at the design stage, since it offers a known performance - despite some properties being irrelevant to the application itself.  This means that when cost considerations come into play later, there is an option instead to create a workable, yet more economic PP compound that is tailor-made to component specifications.

“Modern high-performance PP compounds therefore, can create a superior product compared to the individual components in the typical polymer mix. A profit opportunity that the automotive industry is only just beginning to realize.”

The industry’s need to satisfy increasing targets set by ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV), producer responsibility regulations are also being addressed by Luxus. The compounder has recently secured £1.29m investment funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative to commercialise a range of novel near-infrared (NIR) detectable colourants for adoption in automotive applications and other markets.

Luxus leads a consortium for the commercialisation project known as NIRSort, with support from fellow Nordic polymer processing partner, Polykemi and global plastics manufacturer One51.

Each year 3.5 million tonnes of polymer are scraped in the UK alone, since black and some other coloured plastics cannot be picked up by recycling sorters. As these products contain carbon black that reflects very little or no radiation rendering it ‘invisible’ to sorting machines in recycling plants.

Adoption of this technology will enable NIR sorting operations to segregate black and coloured plastics they produce from streams to a purity that they will be useable in highly engineered polymers. This will allow manufacturers to meet their obligations, reduce landfill and contribute to lifecycle analysis requirements too.

Finally, Hycolene™ an environmentally positive, advanced lightweight, scratch resistant thermoplastics range developed for Class ‘A’ auto interiors will also be showcased.
The range is low density, while offering up to 60 per cent recycled content with the option for prime grades too. Hycolene™ satisfies the rapid cycle times now set by OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers while delivering at the same time significant Co2 reduction benefits.

http://www.luxus.co.uk

Ends
For further information please contact Sasha Stewart at Straight Talk PR – email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk or tel: 07764 346 896.

Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics compounding and recycling company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.

Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 
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Luxus Calls For The Auto Industry To Re-Think Its Material Choices
8th September 2017
 
Technical compounder Luxus will be showcasing its high-performance PP based compounds range, able to deliver technical properties to rival some more expensive engineered polymers in demanding auto interior components. All on stand E50 at the Engineering Design Show, 18th-19th October 2017.  

Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus explains: “We believe that modern PP compounds will encourage auto engineers to completely re-think their materials choices. The adoption of advanced additives means that PP based compounds can now be used where previously the technical properties of the application would have demanded costly ‘off the shelf’ engineering polymer.

“The ‘off the shelf’ (unmodified) polymer is currently chosen at the design stage, since it offers a known performance - despite some properties being irrelevant to the application itself.  This means that when cost considerations come into play later, there is an option instead to create a workable, yet more economic PP compound that is tailor-made to component specifications.

“Modern high-performance PP compounds therefore, can create a superior product compared to the individual components in the typical polymer mix. A profit opportunity that the automotive industry is only just beginning to realize.”

The industry’s need to satisfy increasing targets set by ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV), producer responsibility regulations are also being addressed by Luxus. The compounder has recently secured £1.29m investment funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative to commercialise a range of novel near-infrared (NIR) detectable colourants for adoption in automotive applications and other markets.

Luxus leads a consortium for the commercialisation project known as NIRSort, with support from fellow Nordic polymer processing partner, Polykemi and global plastics manufacturer One51.

Each year 3.5 million tonnes of polymer are scraped in the UK alone, since black and some other coloured plastics cannot be picked up by recycling sorters. As these products contain carbon black that reflects very little or no radiation rendering it ‘invisible’ to sorting machines in recycling plants.

Adoption of this technology will enable NIR sorting operations to segregate black and coloured plastics they produce from streams to a purity that they will be useable in highly engineered polymers. This will allow manufacturers to meet their obligations, reduce landfill and contribute to lifecycle analysis requirements too.

Finally, Hycolene™ an environmentally positive, advanced lightweight, scratch resistant thermoplastics range developed for Class ‘A’ auto interiors will also be showcased.
The range is low density, while offering up to 60 per cent recycled content with the option for prime grades too. Hycolene™ satisfies the rapid cycle times now set by OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers while delivering at the same time significant Co2 reduction benefits.

http://www.luxus.co.uk

Ends
For further information please contact Sasha Stewart at Straight Talk PR – email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk or tel: 07764 346 896.

Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics compounding and recycling company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.

Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

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Luxus Led Consortium Secures £1.29M EU Funding For Novel Near-Infrared Detectable Colourants
20th July 2017
 
UK leading technical compounder Luxus has this month, as part of a new consortium, with fellow Nordic polymer processing partner, Polykemi and global plastics manufacturer One51 secured a £1.29m (€1.47m) investment, co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under grant agreement No 760642).

The funding supports NIRSort, a new commercialisation project that aims to replace carbon black and many other pigments with a range of novel near-infrared (NIR) detectable alternatives for adoption by Europe’s packaging, automotive and consumer durables manufacturers.

Each year 3.5 million tonnes of polymer are scrapped in the UK alone, since black and some other coloured packaging cannot be picked up by recycling sorters. As these products contain carbon black that reflects very little or no radiation rendering it ‘invisible’ to sorting machines in recycling depots.

This two year project will be led by Luxus in collaboration with global processor Polykemi. Polykemi will participate by formulating, processing and testing materials. The resulting materials will be then further evaluated for use in innovative packaging material via Polykemis subsidary, Scanfill.

The third consortium partner is rigid plastics manufacturer, One51 selected for its injection moulding manufacturing expertise.

Dr Christel Croft, technical director, Luxus, explains: “This pioneering project is based on the previous successful work to identify NIR detectable alternatives to carbon black from specialist additive and masterbatch supplier, Colour Tone whom Luxus acquired earlier this year.

“It aims to develop a range of colourants for polymers that will enable NIR sorting operations to segregate black and coloured plastics from waste streams to a level of purity that they are useable in highly engineered polymers.  Potentially even in our light-weight, high scratch-resistant polypropylene (PP) compounds range, Hycolene™ for example. 
                                                           
“We have defined a programme of development, designed to identify formulations with optimal cost effectiveness in packaging recycling and to extend the technology across to WEEE* and end-of-life vehicle applications, each of which has its own specialist requirements.”

The requirements for sorting and segregation of polymer types within waste streams are intensifying:
·         Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) regulations - increasing the responsibility for the supply side to identify the materials they provide into commercial streams; extending this responsibility through to the point of recycling. 
·         Stringent recycling targets are forcing recyclers to process increasingly difficult materials that they could formerly lose as scrap.
·         Increased volumes and high labour costs are moving the industry to reduce manual segregation and increase shredding; this requires more sorting facilities so cost becomes an issue.
 
According to the ERP regulations, ‘obligated businesses including retailers, brand owners, packaging convertors and fillers are responsible for obtaining evidence that plastics packaging recycling has taken place’. The routine failure of these plastics to be identified and recycled presents an urgent problem for producer industries in their efforts to comply.

The most immediate market need is for food packaging, which typically has a three to 12 month cycle from ‘make-to-waste’. While waste from consumer durables goods (WEEE) however, has a mean-life of five years and ‘end-of-life’ automotive vehicles (ELV) 13 years, both also require solutions to prevent the continued build-up of potentially unrecoverable polymers.

Dr Christel Croft, continues: “Our market strategy is based therefore, on a continuous positive development cycle or a ‘circular economy’ approach. This is where the packaging industry will use virgin detectable polymer to make its packaging and this with its product life of under a year, is recycled into high quality engineered plastics for the manufacturer of automotive and consumer durables to use - without waiting for returns from their own ‘end-of-life’ materials.”

Black plastics alone represent around five per cent of packaging (one million tonnes) and 30 per cent of WEEE* and vehicle polymers (two million tonnes), none of which can be recycled. A further million tonnes of coloured waste containing carbon black is also lost to landfill or incineration in the UK each year. 

*WEEE – waste electrical and electronic equipment directive and *EOLV – end of life vehicles directive
Supporting image – Black PET food trays featuring the novel near-infrared detectable colourant.
 

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Luxus Acquires Colour Tone Masterbatch
8th March 2017
Technical plastics compounder Luxus has expanded its operations with the recent acquisition of the South Wales based Colour Tone Masterbatch Ltd.
 
Colour Tone Masterbatch currently employs 50 staff with a turnover of £5m. This innovative additive manufacturer focuses on the delivery of high quality service and bespoke colours, in universal, commodity and engineered polymers, as well as custom additive blends.
 
The acquisition will enable a strategic realignment of the businesses allied with improvements in production capabilities at its site in Bedwas Caerphilly. Tony Gaukroger remains as a non-stock holding Director and the company will continue to operate autonomously as before.
 
Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus, comments: “We are delighted that Colour Tone Masterbatch is now a part of Luxus. This strategic investment is a natural progression of our 20 year working relationship. It will enable us to significantly enhance our offering to deliver highly engineered coloured polymers that our global client base requires, providing the strongest possible market position."
 
In recent years, Colour Tone Masterbatch was selected to support a WRAP funded project that aimed to develop the materials technology required to substitute carbon black pigment commonly used in black food packaging with infra-red reflection (IRR) black pigment. Since recycling sorting systems are unable to detect black carbon as it reflects little or no light at all. This results in over one billion black plastic trays being sent to landfill or incinerated in the UK each year.
 
Peter Atterby continues: “The project validated that IRR pigments could allow near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to sort black plastic packaging waste. They reproduced as near as possible the shade and opacity of carbon black, instead of the less commercial ‘brown black’ achieved in previous trials proving that materials technology can deliver a solution to this serious landfill issue.
 
“We now have the opportunity to capitalise on the technological synergies in both companies. Since the original NIR project, a new masterbatch with the same IRR pigment has been devised for numerous applications including the prevention of heat build-up for example. This provides the opportunity to shape the technical properties of thermoplastics used for auto interior components including steering wheels, seats and instrument panels for example.                              
 
“Since the masterbatch is NIR detectable too, another key advantage is that it can positively contribute to automakers’ ‘end of life’ requirements as the black plastic can be easily identified for sorting at a recycling facility. This means that in the future Luxus high performance engineered polymers such as the ‘next generation’ Hycolene™ thermoplastics range may be available in an NIR detectable version.”
 
This is just one of the opportunities this strategic acquisition will make possible. By combining the technical strengths of the two companies it will result in more innovative new products to cater for emerging market and client needs.
 
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Supporting image: From left to right – Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus and Tony Gaukroger, Director, Colour Tone Masterbatch
For further information please contact Sasha Stewart at Straight Talk PR – email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk or tel: 07764 346 896.

Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

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Luxus Celebrates Success As The Hycolene™ Commercialisation Project Completes
11th January 2017

Technical compounder Luxus celebrated yesterday the completion of its €1.4m Recyclite project, co-funded by the EU’s Eco-Innovation initiative, at the Brackenborough Hotel, Louth, Lincolnshire. The three year project to help commercialise its environmentally positive, advanced lightweight, scratch resistant thermoplastics range for Class ‘A’ auto interiors will come to an end later this month.
 
Luxus along with its fellow project partners - Tier 1 moulder International Automotive Components (IAC), major auto manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover and bespoke twin screw manufacturer Coperion have helped support the development of the Hycolene™ thermoplastics range through a series of technical trials – proving the technology’s potential at full commercial scale.
 
Underlining the need for eco-innovation entrepreneurism in Europe on the day was guest speaker Didier Gambier, head of department, Department B – LIFE and H2020, Energy, Environment, Resources, The Executive Agency for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, The European Commission. While Matt Croucher, environment manager, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT ) focused on the UK market with highlights from its ‘2016 New Car CO2 and Automotive Sustainability’ reports, confirming that new car emissions had hit their lowest ever levels.
 
Launched in 2008 the Eco-innovation initiative was part of the EU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP), set up to support innovation among SMEs and to improve their competitiveness. It helped to bridge the ‘gap’ between research and the market.
 
Luxus technical director, Dr Christel Croft explains, “We’re pleased that the commercial potential for Hycolene™ was recognised by the EU and our fellow project partners three years ago. This crucial investment and the dedicated industry expertise it required, has enabled us to make a fundamental step change in our technology, as we have replaced filled compounds with ‘next generation’ reinforcing additives.
 
“Offering excellent tensile properties these additives do not detract from the appearance of a moulded compound, yet their adoption reduces weight by up to 12 per cent per part and significantly improves scratch resistance too, satisfying stringent industry standards.
 
“Hycolene 16818 offers a much lower density than currently provided, while still delivering up to 60 per cent recycled content with the option for prime grades too. The result is that the material satisfies the rapid cycle times now set by OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers whilst having significant Co2 reduction.”
 
Rob Crow, materials innovation manager, Jaguar Land Rover. ‘Through our involvement in the Recyclite project, Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated first hand that Hycolene™ 16818 can meet our key structural requirements for use in Class ‘A’ interior applications, whilst delivering a significant improvement in scratch performance over conventional talc filled polypropylenes.’ 
 
Looking ahead Luxus will be developing additional Hycolene™ grades, including an even higher impact version with excellent scratch resistance and further colour options. Its capacity to produce the new compounds will be helped in the future by working in close partnership with both local and global sources to access (PP) recyclate – the same lightweight performance can be achieved too in prime grades.
 
Luxus managing director, Peter Atterby said: “This project has enabled us to become a true ‘Eco-innovator’, Hycolene™ produces 26 per cent less CO2 per tonne over the life cycle of the vehicle compared to virgin compounds for example. By helping to also preserve limited natural resources, we are reducing the vehicle’s carbon footprint and contributing to automakers vehicle ‘life cycle analysis’ requirements. As we inevitably move towards a future legislative regime that will include more than simply tailpipe emissions alone.
 
“Beyond its ‘green’ credentials, we have engineered what we believe is the next generation in performance leading polymers. Hycolene™ has exceeded expectations offering an enhanced surface finish where it matters most – in the auto cockpit and cabin.”
 
“Our advanced thermoplastics technology, developed for Europe’s auto interior applications is of benefit to many diverse global markets too. We’re developing an extrusion grade to bring the advantages of Hycolene™ to the heavy equipment industry, such as earth moving machinery manufacture to coaches, buses and HGVs for example.
 
“We’re also investigating cosmetic packaging, particularly black bottles where improved scratch resistance at the point of sale is required. We intend to incorporate a near infrared (NIR) detectable version to enable effective post-consumer recycling, as it will contain no carbon black – this is just the beginning of what Hycolene™ can achieve. Without the support however, of this EU initiative and our expert partners, we as an SME wouldn’t have been able to bring to market this innovative new compound.”
 
Ends

Image - Didier Gambier, Head of Department, Life and H2020, Energy, Environment, Resources, The Executive Agency For Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, The European Commission

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HYCOLENE™ ACHIEVES ACCELERATED MATERIAL PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS
26th October 2016
 
Advanced lightweight scratch-resistant thermoplastics (PP) range Hycolene™ engineered by Lincolnshire based technical compounder Luxus, has recently satisfied rigorous accelerated materials performance trials with Tier 1 moulder IAC*. These latest trials conclude the material validation process required for Hycolene as part of the €1.4m Eco-innovation funded Recyclite commercialisation project (www.recyclite.eu).
 
The aim was to provide a theoretical equivalent of real-time ‘vehicle life’ for Hycolene (grade 16818), to satisfy fellow project member, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering standard. The materials trials followed previous positive performance, delivering high scratch-resistance; lightweight benefits and a rapid cycle time in the spring of this year.

The chosen ‘A’ class interior test component for this latest trials was a current Jaguar Land Rover instrument panel (IP), which was exposed to in market service temperatures expected for IP assemblies, for several weeks ending in June 2016. The tests were managed by IAC’s laboratory and an independent test house which compared the results against an industry standard thermoplastics grade.
 
Accelerated material tests were completed as auto manufacturers require all interior plastics components to be more resistant to sunlight and heat as part of an overall goal of achieving a 10 year vehicle life. Weathering requirements have also become more severe as larger, aerodynamic windshield designs for example, have increased the sunlight exposure of many vehicle interiors today.
 
Luxus technical director Dr Christel Croft explains the trial process: “Firstly, we took panel gap measurements both pre and post-tests to determine if there was any degree of component movement. UV resistance was also critical, with only minor fade allowed and no other colour tone change. A non-uniform colour change was unacceptable in these trials – Hycolene 16818 passed all the agreed criteria.
 
“Any occurrence of tackiness; grain loss; blistering; distortion; cracking; crazing; fibre deterioration; wrinkling; waviness; milking or spotting would have led to a rejection. We along with our Recyclite project partners are satisfied that Hycolene has once again exceeded expectations.”           
 
Peter Middleton, CBU director at IAC, adds: “We are pleased that Hycolene has proved to be a fully developed and durable composite able to meet the requirements of this trial. We believe this composite now has the potential to be successful at full commercial scale for auto manufacturers that demand advanced lightweight and scratch performance in either sustainable recycle content or virgin grades for the vehicle’s life.”
 
Ends

For further information please visit www.recyclite.eu or www.luxus.co.uk
*International Automotive Components (IAC)
Supporting image – Dr Christel Croft, Technical Director, Luxus

Luxus Ltd    
    
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 
 

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LUXUS SUPPORTS INAUGURAL LOUTH AND HORNCASTLE JOBS FAIR
Louth based technical plastics manufacturer and recycler, Luxus will be looking to fill apprentice lab technician and machine operator vacancies at the inaugural Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair, 9th September 2016, at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth, Lincolnshire.

Luxus is a privately owned £25m turnover business with 150 employees; it’s been at the forefront of high performance sustainable thermoplastics development for over 50 years. Its client base includes major automotive manufacturers, Renault-Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and BMW.

The plastics manufacturer will be looking to fill its SEMTA* apprentice lab technician roles this autumn. Supported by the national Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards initiative, its apprenticeships provide work based technical training and assessment.

Apprentices are expected to complete a Level 3 NVQ Diploma directly relevant to their role with the opportunity to progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering. Working in Luxus’ state of the art Technical Centre, lab technicians ensure that its products meet rigorous specifications at each stage of production providing clients with the best possible quality materials and service.

Simon Thompson, quality manager at Luxus said: “We’re looking to use the opportunity the new jobs fair provides to get our name out into the local community; to attract new ‘talent’ right across the business to fill future engineering, laboratory and production roles.

“We want to showcase our business to school leavers, graduates and jobseekers. Many of whom don’t realise the true extent of our business, a world class plastics manufacturer right on their doorstep. A Luxus apprentice will also be on hand to provide a true insight into the business.”

Skills are vital to the engineering and advance manufacturing sectors such as plastics. According to SEMTA ‘The STEM sector needs 160,000 engineers, scientists and technicians per year by 2020 and 15% of SEMTA’s sector companies have skills gaps’.

Simon Thompson continues: “The skills ‘gap’ in engineering is a very real concern; the SEMTA apprentice programme is helping us to ensure that our apprentices develop a skill set that is relevant to our needs, helping to secure our future.”

If you are interested in working for Luxus please join us at the Jobs fair or visit www.Luxus.co.uk or find @LuxusLtd on Facebook.

Ends

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk

*Science Engineering Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA*)

Luxus Ltd
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only independent UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.

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