been invented yet?actuallyhotmelt granulesHave free-flowingWehave theanswer!

We can save our clients production time and money with our granulated hotmelts.

Nadia Kursawe, Global Business Team Manager Masterbatches & Plastic Additives, and Process Technician Jan Malachowski explain in an interview how LEHVOSS has revolutionized hot melt production.

Jan Malachowski

Process Technician,

Nadia Kursawe

Global Business Team Manager Masterbatches & Plastic Additives


Ms. Kursawe, with your new hotmelt granules you appear to have created something paradoxical: non-sticky hotmelt adhesives. What’s the secret?

Kursawe: We know from many client conversations that dealing with hot melts aways comes with its own set of problems: the granulate can form lumps during transport or storage and is hard to dispense correctly when filling the machines.

Malachowski: That in turn has an impact on the processing qualities. Due to irregular dosage when adding the granules, the thickness of the layer of hot melt can vary. This leads to unnecessary rejects or even to standstill for the machine to remove the sticky residue – and we all know there is nothing worse than unproductive downtime.


That means your hotmelts not only have advantages when it comes to handling, but also a clear financial upside?

Malachowski: Yes, avoiding excess waste and machine standstills can be easily quantified. The easier handling of the granules during refilling also saves on personnel costs.


That sounds as though you see yourselves not just as product developers but also as problem solvers for your clients?

Kursawe: Absolutely. In our LUVOBATCH® business unit, we put our decades of experience and expertise to use, in order to understand our customers’ processes and optimize them together.


What’s the secret behind your non-sticky hotmelt granulate?

Malachowski: I’m afraid I can’t tell you. But I can let you in on this much: thanks to a certain finishing process of the dried granules, we ensure that the round or cylindrical particles only begin to unfold their adhesive capacities when they are heated during production. Until then they remain granulated. You could compare it to a packet of gummy bears: they are also coated to ensure they don’t stick to each other in the bag.


Did you develop this new process on the company site?

Kursawe: Yes, at LEHVOSS in Hamburg we have our own production line, which we also use for Toll Compounding. We get to test every hotmelt formula in practical application on these machines. We also work closely with machine manufacturers to improve the processing procedure.

Malachowski: For testing purposes we use 500-kilogram batches. Based on these samples we check to see whether the material values and material behavior correspond to what the customers want to achieve with their hotmelts. For example, we carry out continuous moisture monitoring and undergo laboratory checks to ensure all legal requirements are met, especially regarding food contact.


As you mentioned food contact – is food packaging the most important application for your hotmelts?

Kursawe: It’s certainly one of our core competencies. In the LEHVOSS Group we have a dedicated department, “Safety and Environment”, which tests all masterbatches and additives before they are finally approved. We are genuine experts when it comes to safe food packaging. But there are many other great uses for hotmelts. Our products are also used in the automotive and furniture industries, as well as by manufacturers of electrical appliances and energy producers. After all, nowadays people don’t use screws to hold things together anymore but use glue instead.


Keyword: Toll Compounding. How does that work?

Malachowski: In this area our consultation expertise is also at the fore. We start off by looking at the desired formulas and, where needed, make suggestions for improvements. We are also able to judge quite quickly whether the desired hot melt can be processed on the existing equipment without a hitch. In extensive test series, we check all process parameters directly on the machine. This results in the shape and size of the granules, the melting behavior, and the type of drying and post-treatment.


How long does the whole process take?

Kursawe: We need less than three months from the initial conversation to delivery of the granulate. When it comes to formulas that we don’t need to adapt, it’s even faster.


Are the clients allowed to be present during the testing or is it all “top secret”?

Kursawe: Transparency is part of our culture. We get clients, mechanical engineers and our process technicians together to achieve the best possible results. Everyone learns from each other, creating far closer relationships than is usually the case in Toll Compounding.

Transparency is part of our culture. We get clients, mechanical engineers and our process technicians together to achieve the best possible results.

Nadia Kursawe, Global Business Team Manager Masterbatches and Plastic Additives, Lehmann&Voss&Co.


What does the end of the process look like? What happens when the granulate is ready?

Kursawe: We deliver the desired amount in 25-kilo cartons with PE liners to protect the contents, worldwide. That means good storage is assured for several months.


Mr. Lindlahr, you’ve been working at LEHVOSS for more than 36 years; you are basically part of the inventory. What has changed in these years and where do you think the plastic industry is going, looking to the future?

Lindlahr: The experience I’ve garnered over these years does of course helps enormously when it comes to being able to react quickly to market shifts. The most important topic in the coming years will be recyclable hotmelts and film. Until now the problem has been that multilayered film that also contain an hotmelt adhesive layer can only be separated at great effort and cost. We have to find a solution for this, to ensure that every layer is recyclable, making the packaging itself reusable. The second challenge will be processing the recycled materials in a qualitative way, to ensure satisfactory properties for new products.

The most important topic in the coming years will be recyclable hotmelts and film.

Jan Malachowski, Process Technician Lehmann&Voss&Co.


That sounds complicated.

Lindlahr: Yes, it is, but we remain optimistic. Our R&D department is working at full speed.


Ms. Kursawe, what do you consider to be the biggest challenge in the coming years?

Kursawe: I agree with my colleague. The topic of sustainability will be a particularly tough challenge for our industry. One example is the current ban on perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds in food packaging in some US states. Something similar is currently being discussed at EU level. We are already working on this, even before the legislation has been passed, in order to have a solution at the ready. Our first attempts look promising.


Do you think that packaging film will continue to play a major role?

Kursawe: Yes, definitely. Especially when it comes to packaging unit sizes, the increase in single households means that packaging needs to be tailored to these needs and be practical to handle. So that will certainly continue to be a growth market.

PlasticAnswers: Ms. Kursawe, Mr. Malachowski, thank you so much for talking to us.


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