Food safety by PROHACCP and LATI

Food safety by PROHACCP and LATI

Recalling a food product from the market can have very serious consequences for the supplier and production chain involved.
Whole sectors can suffer considerable damage to their image and reputation if polluted foodstuffs are allowed to go on sale, and this situation can have huge legal and economic repercussions, which are potentially fatal for the companies involved.

For this reason, the prevention of any form of contamination of food and beverages has become a top priority in the processing and packaging of products destined for human consumption. Preventing contamination can be a complex undertaking, especially when it comes to guarding against tiny, undetectable fragments of materials, such as plastic chips from work tools or foreign particles. Transparent plastic fragments can easily find their way into drinks and solid foods, where they may go undetected both by visual inspection systems and magnetic detectors.

When the safety barriers fail in this way, recall campaigns have to be mounted, and these often turn out to be far more expensive than it would have been to put in place appropriate preventive measures. PROHACCP is a Polish manufacturer of food industry safety systems that meet the strictest international standards, such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), BRC and IFS.
The PROHACCP catalogue includes technical articles made with plastic materials detectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines. These include inspection kits, pens and highlighters, containers, paper clips and bulldog clips, tapes, label holders, PPE, cutters and hinges.
The compounds chosen by the specialists at PROHACCP include the MDT (magnetically detectable thermoplastic) grades developed by LATI for use in the injection moulding of products for food industry safety.
Magnetically detectable thermoplastics belong to a broader family of materials obtained by dispersing large quantities of fillers, detectable by magnetic detectors or X-rays, in various polymeric matrices, such as ABS, HDPE, PP, PA and PPS.

The materials formulated in this way can be supplied in blue, as traditionally required by the food industry, but also in other colours according to the customer’s requirements, for example, to customise or differentiate between the articles used. Naturally, it is possible to optimise the level of detectability so as obtain consistent and reliable compromises between traceability, mechanical strength, dimensional stability and resistance to temperature and chemical aggression.


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Whitecroft lighting chooses LATI thermally conductive compound heat sinks

The combined skills of LATI and Protool Plastics Group were instrumental in enabling the successful use of polymer heat sinks in Whitecroft Lighting’s innovative new Mirage 3 range of luminaires.  LATI is the leading European producer of thermally conductive polymer compounds and utilises advanced analytical software to simulate the thermal performance of heat sinks.

The combined skills of LATI and Protool Plastics Group were instrumental in enabling the successful use of polymer heat sinks in Whitecroft Lighting’s innovative new Mirage 3 range of luminaires.

LATI is the leading European producer of thermally conductive polymer compounds and utilises advanced analytical software to simulate the thermal performance of heat sinks.

The Protool Plastics Group is a leading UK injection moulding company with particular expertise in the production and tooling requirements of polymer heat sinks. Whitecroft Lighting is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of commercial lighting, providing tailored lighting solutions for commercial, industrial, healthcare, education and residential applications.

LATI’s thermally conductive compound LATICONTHER 62 GR/50 is already used by some of Europe’s leading lighting manufacturers in production of heat sinks. This material is a compound of Nylon 6 polymer together with graphite flakes, producing a thermal conductivity of over 10 W/mK.

When Whitecoft Lighting decided to develop the Mirage 3 range of luminaires, the design flexibility and production freedoms conferred by using polymer heat sinks based on LATICONTHER seemed like the natural fit.

With the intention to offer a range of different light output levels, it was important to be able to confirm that the product would be capable of dissipating the heat generated, and still be designed to enable efficient manufacturing. This is where the combining of LATI and Protool’s joint knowledge base was pivotal in producing designs that were fit for manufacture and meeting the requirements for heat dissipation where light levels of up to 4000 Lumens were to be generated.  The Mirage 3 range, utilising 3 different sizes of heat sinks, was successfully launched in January 2020.


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Sustainability and CSR: EcoVadis raises LATI’s rating

Sustainability and CSR: EcoVadis raises LATI’s rating LATI S.p.A. actively supports and promotes Sustainable development and Corporate social responsibility (CSR).

LATI S.p.A. actively supports and promotes Sustainable development and Corporate social responsibility (CSR).

As the 2018 Global Risk Report shows, companies, especially ones in the manufacturing industry such as LATI S.p.A., must give due consideration to the environmental, social and economic risks, inevitably intertwined at international level, that the future will bring. Accordingly, the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainability have all become strategic issues for modern businesses.

LATI S.p.A. uses the EcoVadis platform to evaluate its own performance with regard to CRS and sustainability. Since 2014, LATI S.p.A., urged by several strategic customers, joined the EcoVadis global reporting progamme. Being part of this progamme allows the company to measure its performance in relation to 21 indicators spread over the following categories: Environment, Labour and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. EcoVadis assigns a score of between 0 and 100 and also gives the company a dedicated scorecard with specific comments, thereby enabling it to identify and rate areas where there could be room for improvement.

On February 26th, 2020, EcoVadis published LATI S.p.A.’s 2020 scorecard. After years of constant improvements, this year saw the company given a silver rating in recognition of its overall score of 64/100, which is up nine points on last year’s result. This score places LATI at the 93rd percentile for its particular manufacturing sector (manufacture of basic chemicals, fertilisers and nitrogen compounds, plastics and synthetic rubber in the primary form industry). The company is thus:

  • in the top 7% in terms of overall score
  • in the top 13% in the Environment category
  • in the top 26% in the Labour & Human Rights category
  • in the top 24% in terms of Sustainable Procurement
  • in the top 4% for Ethics

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LATIGEA awarded the ‘OK biobased’ conformity mark

LATIGEA awarded the 'OK biobased' conformity mark, the winning grade LATIGEA B01 L/07 GREY:2865, part of a family of innovative thermoplastics compounds derived from annually renewable sources, has been awarded the independent 'OK Biobased' conformity mark released by the internationally renown TÜV Austria, a laboratory specialised in environmental claims

The winning grade LATIGEA B01 L/07 GREY:2865, part of a family of innovative thermoplastics compounds derived from annually renewable sources, has been awarded the independent ‘OK Biobased‘ conformity mark released by the internationally renown TÜV Austria, a laboratory specialised in environmental claims. Due to the careful selection of its raw materials, LATIGEA B01 reached the top level of the OK Biobased classes, the exemplary Four Stars, usually the privilege of plain biopolymers.

Furthermore, the certification body officially recognised its 100% Biobased content thanks to a formulation that includes reinforcements having natural origin such as wood fibres from sustainable sources.

This certification is based on analysis carried out at independent laboratories using the 14C dating method, a sophisticated analysis that is able to discern the old carbon, like that one derived from oil, from the young or contemporary carbon e.g. from plants. LATIGEA B01 carbon footprint is then considerably lower than other plastics and its production releases 60% less greenhouse gasses than traditional polymers.

On the other hand, in common with the other thermoplastics, it maintains the property to be potentially recycled either during industrial manufacturing and when disposed at the end of its life.

Such excellent eco-profile is just one of the key characteristics that make LATIGEA B01 L/07 GREY:2865 a winning grade: first of all its look, an appealing cardboard-like appearance that communicates directly to the end user, without the need of green statements, its genuine environmental value.

This feature has been highly appreciated for the production of every-day consumer goods such as disposable pens, labware, toothbrushes, etc. In any case, alternative versions coloured with natural pigments as well as bright and transparent editions are available. Secondly, it is made of a polymer, derived from corn starch, that is biodegradable according to ISO 14851 and 14852 at the conditions specified in these International standards and, at the same time, is surprisingly durable and stable at room temperature.


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Beyond the limitations of PLA

Beyond the limitations of PLA with ABS and PETg, PLA remains one of the most widespread polymers for 3D printing filaments because of its affordable cost and ease of use

Along with ABS and PETg, PLA remains one of the most widespread polymers for 3D printing filaments because of its affordable cost and ease of use.

However, this polymer has technical limitations that make it unsuitable for more extreme and functional applications. Its weak points indeed include poor resistance to heat, UV rays and hydrolysis.

With the benefit of LATI’s R&D experience in special products, the LATI3Dlab team has spent a long time developing a new product for the “AM” family of materials, specific for Additive Manufacturing. The product is LATIGEA AM B20 UVH TES/10, a PLA-based engineered compound which, while preserving the process conditions typical of PLA, is able to remedy all the usual shortcomings of this polymer.

The characteristics of the grade proposed are excellent:

  • Improved filament processability, even in the printing phase;
  • Excellent mechanical resistance and filament flexibility, no longer subject to breakage;
  • Limited shrink and excellent dimensional stability;
  • Resistance to UV rays and hydrolysis, which makes the material usable also for outdoor applications;
  • Rapid annealing (just a few minutes at 100°C for the 3D printed piece), ensures even better mechanical performance and thermal resistance at over 100°C (compared to the 50-55°C of traditional PLA);
  • Exceptional aesthetics (almost indistinguishable deposition layers) and excellent colourability;

LATI3Dlab is available to clarify your doubts or answer your technical questions and provide samples for testing or validation.

info@lati3dlab.com

www.lati.com/Lati3dlab


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LATI receives the BAQ 2019 quality mark

LATI receives the BAQ 2019 quality mark

Confindustria awards the BAQ 2019 quality mark to LATI Industria Termoplastici.

Confindustria the Italian manufacturers’ association, values the commitment of companies who train new generations through the BAQ quality mark which recognizes enterprises for their efforts to create high quality school-work projects that foster collaboration with technical colleges (ITIS) and commercial schools (ITE), broadening the scope of studies and adding the acquisition of specific skills for the workplace.

LATI receives the BAQ 2019 quality mark The BAQ quality mark (in Italian, Bollino per l’Alternanza di Qualità) was created with the aim of:

  • Promoting partnerships between schools and enterprises;
  • Creating conditions for schools to create paths of growth for youth;
  • Raising the quality of school-work programmes involving students.

In addition to providing opportunities for the enterprises, partnerships with schools are also a great responsibility.

In 2019 LATI S.p.A. hosted students at the company’s premises who learnt about production processes, safety, technical and chemical notions, and administration, with the aim of preparing young people for their future.

We would like to thank the students who have demonstrated a serious approach and interest every time they have come to work at our company.


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LATI with Tamara Molinaro in the WRC2

LATI with Tamara Molinaro in the WRC2

Everyone loves a success story. That is why, today, we have decided not to talk about innovative polymers and compounds, but instead about two very different but equally striking experiences that ultimately brought together their two protagonists — two women who share the same profound values and the same readiness to rise to a challenge.

Let us begin with Michela Conterno, CEO of LATI, a leading Italian company in the field of thermoplastic engineering compounds. It was 2009 when Conterno agreed to take the helm of the family business, a complex reality in a demanding industrial setting, at a time when the economic crisis was at its height. Setting out to build on all the company’s assets, and exploit its wealth of experience, as well as the expertise of its skilled workforce and management team, she saw the company achieving remarkable results both in terms of revenue and market position. And yet this highly focused pursuit of results was not allowed to distract the company’s management from other, equally important goals: corporate welfare, worker safety and environment protection, and hefty investment in the local area, so as to further consolidate the capacity and structures of the company.

Running parallel to this story, although in an entirely different setting, is that of Tamara Molinaro. Born in 1997, she grew up surrounded by the racing engines that were prepared at her parents’ engine shop, G.Car Sport of Villaguardia (Como). Already in the driving seat at just 12 years of age, she was quickly spotted by champion drivers, such as Gigi Galli, and iconic figures in the rally world, such as Group B driver Michèle Mouton. Able to draw upon the extraordinary experience of her family, as well as considerable professional support, Tamara fielded her talent, notching up a series of successes that led her, in the space of just a few years, to compete in the WRC2 championship at the wheel of a Citroen C3 R5, and also saw her excelling at rallycross (in the TytanRx competition).

Michela and Tamara’s stories really do provide food for thought. Both are women whose achievements stem from the enterprises built with determination and commitment by their respective families, and who have more than proved themselves in traditionally male dominated fields. Both have enjoyed great success thanks to their ability to manage their own resources, and both have shown the value of female leadership, when this is based on an ability to involve one’s team, also in decision making.

This piece is certainly not about paying lip service to “token females”: it is about recognising and acknowledging two women who embody the power of dreams and the determination to pursue them.

This affinity is behind LATI’s decision to run with Tamara Molinaro in her coming competitions. Its support will undoubtedly further boost her enthusiasm and raise her expectations.


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LATI takes flight with ICARO2000 hang gliders

A dream, to be lived again and again. This is how Christian Ciech, hang gliding instructor and several times world champion, describes the unique experience of free flight.

It is an experience that, to be enjoyed to the full, demands apparatus that is absolutely safe, comfortable and flawlessly designed, just like the gliders offered by Icaro2000 of Sangiano (Varese) a leading company in the construction of hang gliders, helmets and accessories that hired Ciech and other sector experts.

Over years of activity on airfields (in both a teaching and a competition capacity), Icaro2000 has gained enormous expertise, which it constantly applies to the development of a series of hang gliders that have repeatedly topped the podium at world-level sporting events.

These impressive results are the fruit of ongoing efforts to improve the entire hang glider structure, with the focus placed as much on the reliability of the aircraft as on the pleasure to be derived from using it, even in extreme conditions.

Always acutely aware of the crucial importance of ensuring the hang glider’s personal safety, the technical team at Icaro2000 recently decided to strengthen the wing fixing system, completely revising the design of the hooks used to attach the sails to the hang glider frame.

The collaboration of the company Plastì based in Barasso (Varese) – www.plastisrl.it, – which operates the field of plastics processing and also engineers items aimed at the sports market, proved essential in optimizing the performance of components made of engineering polymers.

First of all, the compound used to make the new fixing devices had to provide extreme mechanical strength, lightness and versatility. Naturally, it also had to be tough, in order to guard against the risk of brittle failures due to impulsive stresses transmitted from the wing to the supports holding it. Last in the list of requisites was excellent resistance to environmental conditions, humidity and solar radiation.

In the end, Icaro2000 and Plastì opted to use LATAMID 6 CUVHPX10 G/35, a structural compound for injection moulding obtained from a high polymer PA6 base that is toughened and stabilised to withstand heat and weathering. The real strongpoints of this material are its mechanical strength, conferred by the glass fibre reinforcement, and the excellent toughness of the elastomer dispersed in the matrix.

The performance of the new fixing devices is far superior to that of the previous solution, which was also based on reinforced polymers. As a result, a safe wing-frame anchoring is guaranteed even in situations in which, previously, the sail risked becoming detached. The final tests, passed with flying colours, included special flight manoeuvres and simulations pushing the test aircraft to the frame’s structural load limit.

All this provides a further illustration of how LATI customers are able to successfully use structural compounds in various challenging, cutting-edge applications.


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LATI3Dlab

LATI officially enters the world of Additive Manufacturing
LATI officially enters the world of Additive Manufacturing, this is why it has created LATI3Dlab, set up as a true R&D laboratory whose objective is to develop specific borderline technical products for the AM market: high performance polymers, with carbon fibers, with advanced functional properties, like being thermally and electrically conductive, self-extinguishing, radio-opaque, identifiable by metal detectors, as well as mechanical and self-lubricating properties; all, as needed, developed ad hoc to the specifications of customers, whether filament manufacturers or users in technical and industrial fields.

After an initial phase focused on developing aesthetic products and resins with limited thermal, mechanical and functional needs, the Additive Manufacturing market is today blossoming, among both 3D print manufacturers as well as users, linked increasingly to the industry and to the production of small series featuring customised or functional properties.

Backed by its seventy-five years of experience in technical compounding for injection moulding, LATI R&D for some years now has been committed to developing compounds for 3D printing, and regularly supplies major Italian and European filament manufacturers.

However, the special requirements of 3D printing and the need to develop increasingly complex and challenging formulas has prompted the Varese-based company to invest further in this sector.

This is why it has created LATI3Dlab, set up as a true R&D laboratory whose objective is to develop specific borderline technical products for the AM market: high performance polymers, with carbon fibers, with advanced functional properties, like being thermally and electrically conductive, self-extinguishing, radio-opaque, identifiable by metal detectors, as well as mechanical and self-lubricating properties; all, as needed, developed ad hoc to the specifications of customers, whether filament manufacturers or users in technical and industrial fields.

For contact and other information: info@lati3dlab.com


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Self-extinguishing compounds for electric mobility

Self-extinguishing compounds for electric mobility, allow you to face the danger of flame and fire with low environmental impact

The advent of electric vehicles for public and private transport is a process that is now very much under way. Indeed, it is forecast that by 2040 a good 35% of registered cars will be electric powered, either battery powered (BEVs) or plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

All the major car manufacturers and internal combustion engine specialists are now seeking to diversify their production, so as to be able to accommodate this completely new and revolutionary technology.

This historic transition throws up numerous challenges to be met, the main one being the safe management of the significant electrical voltages and currents present in these vehicles.

All the structural parts, the batteries and the systems controlling and transporting electrical energy must, in fact, be able to guarantee maximum user protection at all times: when the vehicle is running, when it is being recharged, and when it is parked, not to mention in the event of accidents.

Clearly, then, the use of materials resistant to electrical voltages and able to cope with the fire risk associated with the presence of short circuits, or simply the high temperature of metal parts, is fundamental.

For all these reasons, self-extinguishing plastic compounds are now rightly taking their place in the automotive world, emerging as ideal products from which to make charging systems, as well as supports and housings for electrical and electronic parts, engine parts and batteries.

Furthermore, knowing the most important parameters to monitor, namely flame retardancy, glow wire resistance, thermal and physical aging, resistance to environmental conditions and creeping currents, dielectric rigidity and mechanical strength, is just as important as choosing the right material. The decision-making process is complex and calls for highly specific skills.

LATI, strengthened by half a century of experience in the world of self-extinguishing compounds, is ideally placed to offer car designers valuable know-how, experience and the best materials.

The aim is to generate effective solutions such as those fielded by the major players in the E&E and rail transport sector with which LATI has always collaborated – solutions able to give excellent results even in situations that are, from the regulatory standpoint, extremely complex and demanding.

Thanks to LATI’s self-extinguishing compounds, born of years of research and ongoing improvement, it is now possible to address the fire and flame hazard problem through solutions that, in addition to their low environmental impact, are modern and versatile, in other words, suitable for creating complex geometries of any size, as well as structural elements and other functional parts.

The LATI range self-extinguishing grades covers all resins, none excluded: PA and PBT for traditional applications, PPS and PPA for high temperatures, PEEK for extreme conditions.


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