Cost saving solutions in turbulent times for raw materials
Water is the lifeblood of humanity. Clean drinking water is by no means a given everywhere. Water supply and drainage is a worldwide problem in which plastic pipes play an important role. Whether for sanitation or transporting water over great distances to reach arid areas, in all of these solutions, plastic pipe is the most durable and safe. Like almost any other raw material, Polyvinyl Chloride, the main material in PVC plastic pipes has hugely increased in price. Next to price, availability of sufficient material is an additional problem...
Did we find any substitute to this material?
As the graph a, attached to this article reveals, in the October of 2021 PVC recorded its peak price in the last five years, reaching USD 12.435 per metric ton. Whereas for instance, in October 2016, the price per metric ton was around USD 5.000.
While looking at graph b, at what is happening since October 2022, it is evident that the PVC price is remarkably starting a new lift.
Moreover, on the other hand, different parties, such as Statista, or Walletinvestor (see graph c) forecast even higher prices of PVC for the coming years. All this arises major complication for companies, such as producers of plastic pipes, which among others use PVC as their main manufacturing material (PVC, but also alternative materials such as PP and PE contribute about 80% of the cost of the production of plastic pipes).
All this in mind one would wonder what is the solution? The answer is simple but the application of it is not. The solution is either to substitute PVC with another material or to minimize its use in production. Thus, to date, does the world have a more sustainable alternative than PVC for the production of pipe? Not yet, at least not one that would replace PVC in resistance, durability or being less expensive, which brings us back to our main problem, the increasing prices of plastics. Then it remains the second solution, minimizing the use of PVC, without sacrificing properties. Reducing overweight and reducing virgin materials while maintaining performance.
Rollepaal, the leader in pipe extrusion technology, comes in to offer two material saving solutions:
1. PVC-O technology:
With the patented RBlue technology, we help pipe producer to deliver the highest quality pipe with the lowest possible production costs. RBlue PVC-O reduces material consumption up to 64% compared to UPVC pressure pipe. Doesn't it sound impossible? Yet in order to establish trust, and control quality every RBlue line is equipped with wall thickness scanning technology that operates in conjunction with gravimetric material feeding to automatically reduce overweight without any operator interference. In short, together with low scrap rates and continuous production, the result is the lowest possible cost per meter. You can find out more about Rollepaal RBlue PVC-O technology here.
2. Rollepaal Multilayer Die heads:
The technology is based on the principle of symmetrical branching of the melt to feed the layers. Symmetry in melt feed guarantees the best layer distribution, because all flow lines have equal length. Few of many benefits of Rollepaal Multilayer Die heads are: excellent skin distribution to maximize material savings, best performance in the market in skin - core ratio, outer- and inner skin ratio adjustable, thin coating application PVC and PO. Briefly said, with this technology pipe producer can save up to 35% virgin material. To find out other benefits of Rollepaal Multilayer Die heads click here!
With these technologies, we at Rollepaal believe that we are fulfilling our promise to contribute actively to the success of our customers and our enviornment by offering sustainable cost saving solutions.
CCO, Rollepaal Pipe Extrusion Technology BV
- Polyvinyl chloride futures chart - investing.com. (n.d.). Retrieved Feb 15, 2022 & Jan 11, 2023 from https://www.investing.com/commodities/pvc-com-futures
- PVC Prices Globally 2022 - Statista, (n.d). Retrieved Jan 11, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1171131/price-polyvinyl-chloride-forecast-globally/
- Pvc stock forecast: up to 12125.50 vnd! - walletinvestor.com. (n.d.). Retrieved Feb 15, 2022 and Jan 11, 2023 from https://walletinvestor.com/hose-stock-forecast/pvc-stock-prediction