At Arla Plast we have developed and fine-tuned the extrusion techniques for plastic sheets since the 60’s. We have developed the professional knowledge over many years, the machinery resources, the feel for quality and the willingness to always do a good job. Our experience ensures that you receive a product which satisfies your needs.
Good product quality is our primary target to be a good supplier, but this is not enough. Thanks to the cooperation with our customers and suppliers we have learnt the meaning of high flexibility, delivery precision and good service in order to build trust and long term relations.
Today Arla Plast is one of the leading extruders of plastic sheets in Europe. But that is not good enough. Every day we strive for becoming better by developing new materials, new quality specifications and taking care by lowering our environmental impact. All in order to become and to remain your best long term partner.
Today we are 200 employees working at Arla Plast and we are represented in 30 different countries. Our turnover is ca 700 MSEK.
Our three production facilities are located in Sweden and Czech Republic. We have 15 extrusion lines to produce the plastic sheets and the multiwall products.
Quality and flexibility are two key words for our production. Our production is usually based upon customer specific orders. We strive for speed by quick changeover of shifts between production runs. We try to meet the specific needs of each customer in terms of product, packaging, pallet size and delivery method.
At Arla Plast we have the process knowledge how to extrude plastic sheets.
The process in brief
The material enters through the feed throat and comes into contact with the screw. The rotating screw forces the plastic beads/granules forward into the heated barrel. The desired extrusion temperature is rarely equal to the set temperature of the barrel due to viscous heating and other effects. In most processes, a heating profile is set for the barrel in which three or more independent controlled heater zones gradually increase the temperature and the optimum is ca 270 degrees C of the barrel from the rear to the front. This allows the plastic beads/granules to melt gradually as they are pushed through the barrel and lowers the risk of overheating which may cause degradation in the polymer
The material passes through a filter plate where the pressure is built up, thereafter it is pumped through a two meter wide nozzle (die). To create sheets the flow of material is led through rollers to be tucked into the right thickness. The distance between the rollers in combination with the speed of flow decides the thickness. During the rolling the material is converted into sheet form that is allowed to cool down. The sheet is cut into requested length and a protection masking is attached on one or both sides.
The sheets often are built up from several layers of plastic material that are created by using several screws at the same time (co-extrusion). This way we can use recycled plastics in the core of the sheet and at the same time put new material on top. Other possible usage of this technique is for adding a thin layer of UV-protecting particles on top of the sheet or for putting a top layer of acrylic on an ABS sheet. There are many possibilities to adapt the sheet structure according to customer’s demand!
Managing colours for extruded sheets is an expertise area for Arla Plast. By mixing colored pellets (masterbatch) with the normal resin we can create coloured sheets with both opaque as transparent characteristics. We have advanced colour laboratory to measure and analyze consistency and deviations in colour.
Besides extrusion of sheets we also offer cutting and routing of sheets as additional services.
Quality through competent personnel
It takes years to become a skilled extrusion operator. To support the production we have a well-equipped laboratory where necessary tests and analysis can be performed. We also use a special optical quality room facility for measuring dioptries of transparent polycarbonate and PETG sheets.
It is a challenge to maintain the colour tone between different production batches. We developed a colour laboratory to measure, analyze, improve and control colour.
The history of Arla Plast
Arne Larsson, the founder of Arla Plast, started what would become one of the leading extruders of plastic material in Europe – Arla Plast.
Arne was working as work shop manager for a Scania dealer in the North of Sweden. He left this safe position to start his own company. The biggest challenge for the automotive industry was corrosion and Arne was quick to realize the potential in replacing thin steel sheet by glass-filled plastics.
To get around the sales monopoly of the car manufacturers, Arne started selling to the emerging market for accessories and spare parts for cars.
The question was where should the new company be located? In autumn 1968 Arne visited a number of possible locations – among them Borensberg in Östergötland. Borensberg commune was interested to attract this new business and the beautiful scenery made the decision inevitable. Arne and his family moved from Norrbotten in the North of Sweden to Borensberg in the south.
Further product development introduced ABS to replace Glass Filled Plastics. Arne started purchasing ABS from Formaterm in Virserum.
In 1973 Arne purchased the first ABS extruder to produce ABS himself, this was the beginning of Arla Plast as an extruder. Andrénplast in Gothenburg was one of the first customers. They are still today one of the most important customers for Arla Plast, which shows the importance of good, long-term relationships.
Saab was one of the first customers buying part for the Saab 99 Turbo car. However, the first cold winter caused problems for the front spoilers as the ABS cracked frequently.
During the search for a new and stronger material Arne found Polycarbonate (PC) – a plastic material that is virtually unbreakable.
Arne started extruding black PC on the only extruder he had – a Mapo machine. The product quality from this line would not be accepted in today’s market, but this early production gave valuable experience to extrude PC and allied products. The Mapo machine was later sold and replaced by better machinery.
In 1993 Arne’s son Kenneth joined the company. During the 90’s the company grew rapidly. Many markets were developed parallel with strong production investments in Borensberg. The first plant outside Sweden was built year 2005 in Kadan, Czech Republic.
Recycling of material
30 years ago Arla Plast pioneered recycling concept by taking back polystyrene and ABS waste from our customers and then using the material to produce new sheets. The sheets were produced by the introduction of the co-extrusion process. The virgin material was co-extruded on top and bottom of the sheet with recycled material in the middle of the sheet.
Today this technique is widely used in our industry. At Arla Plast we have developed the recycling process over many years and our ambition is to continue to recycle material frequently in order to minimize the environmental impact.
Recycling of plastic waste brings cost reduction for our customers at the same time as the amount of waste is minimized. “Zero kilo disposed” is our motto. Arla Plast aims to minimize the effect on our environment. Even small improvements can have a big effect. When planning future investments we apply a”replacement principle”, which means that new and more environmental friendly techniques replaces old ones.
Arla Plast Certificates
Arla Plast is certified for quality, environment and work environment according to ISO9001, ISO 14001 and AFS2001:1/OHSAS 18001. We have high quality standards when producing PC, PETG and ABS.
Please click below to view our certificates as pdf files.