AlphaMAC is a solution provider in Fluid Packaging. The company’s main business is to design and to produce extrusion blow-moulding machines, but they are also a service provider for EBM machines on a global scale and they trade and supply all sort of engineering lines within packaging segment. AlphaMAC was born in 2019 from a group of people with multi-decade experience in the field of extrusion and blow moulding machines and with the aim of bringing innovation to a consolidated technology, guaranteeing high reliability and efficiency over the years and simplifying the use of the machines, thus becoming a reference point on the market. AlphaMAC is a company of the IMA Group, a group of companies specialized in automatic packaging machines in different sectors and which has been on the market since 1961, with more than 40 production sites around the world, 6.000 employees, with an annual turnover of 1.5 billion euros. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? AlphaMAC: We cater to a wide range of market segments within fluid packaging: Food products, mainly milk-based (yoghurt, aseptic milk, derived products);Household chemicals;Personal Care and Cosmetics;Lubricants;Pharmaceutical. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? AlphaMAC: We recently introduced to the market an innovative solution for the production of plastic containers for industrial applications, a full-electric machine with integrated quality control stations to deliver zero defect products, with the use of a robotized anthropomorphic arm, which is up to day a quite singular and advanced solution in the EBM technology. It is in fact the only machine on the market with such an integral solution in a very compact layout. AlphaMAC Executive VP The machine in its full-optional version includes: in-mould pressure control to detect macro holes or container malformation with direct reject.weighting station with gross and net weight measurement in order to keep under control the process stability.deflashing on the horizontal position to assure the collection of the flashes by gravity, especially with sunken handles.twin post cooling stations, for an extended internal cooling, neck anti-ovality and bottom cooling.leak detection by pressure differential.vision control with multi camera system, for aesthetical defects on the walls of the containers, for example black dots.scanner to check neck ovality and diameter, handle shape and dimension, presence of eventual residual material inside the neck or flash in sunken handles. E.E: What are the ranges of products? AlphaMAC: We offer a wide range of machines for the production of containers from 50 ml up to 30 lt, with the use of a variety of polymers, with particular attention to recycled materials (PCR) and with innovative solutions for new bio-compostable materials. The range is basically divided in 3 families: single station machines, ideal for small-medium size converters and end users with flexible production of limited quantities (up to 5 lt volume size), guarantees fast format changeover operations and compact space with its in-line layout.double station machines, intended for users with different production needs from medium to high capacity (up to 5 lt volume size), characterized by its wide versatility and an excellent quality / performance / price ratio and guarantees a high overall efficiency value.machines for industrial applications (from 10 lt to 30 lt), designed for users operating in the industrial segment, including aggressive chemicals with high safety objectives (UN certification). Available in single or double station based on the production capacity needs. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? AlphaMAC: The plastic bottle packaging market has been consolidated for some time: however, it remains the most cost-effective solution, in terms of TPE (tones of oil equivalent) compared to any other proposal on the market and with the global population growth, its use is set to increase even more in the next years. There are many ways to use plastic in a sustainable way, processing for example bio-based or biodegradable materials to replace fossil or using post consumers resins but also reducing the energy needed to produce and eliminating defects at each phase of the production chain. Alphamac is active in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and the United States with its own offices and local assistance and in all these territories the demand remains constantly growing. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? AlphaMAC: At this time, it is in a phase of strong change, with the advent of fully electric and remotely managed machines and with the use of ecologically compatible materials. Bio-materials and the use of recycled and post-consumer materials are now a problem, but they represent an opportunity for those who will be able to seize it. High density polyethylene in particular must be used in the minimum possible quantity and it must be recycled with a “circular” process. PCR material (Post Consumer Resin) must be used in the maximum possible quantity established by European laws or the various local markets and could be used in bulk with virgin material or with multilayer techniques where convenient: in both cases it is necessary to totally control the process, through the functionality of the extrusion blow-moulding machine. Alphamac is strategically attentive to market indications and strongly involved in the innovation of packaging for fluid products, with cutting-edge projects aligned with future regulations on sustainable industry. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? AlphaMAC: Innovation is the dominant figure in all Alphamac products, starting from the HMI of its machines, intuitive and newly designed to be more than ever user friendly and connected to all the peripherical system of the EBM line. Machines have nowadays a very low energy consumption thanks to innovation of our automation partners and the high quality of the solutions that we adopt in our systems. Another big part of innovation is the total quality control of the containers thanks to in-built systems and the level of automation and connectivity which allow to keep under control and better plan the production batches for final users. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? AlphaMAC: This yead has been and remains a difficult period for the international market due to the pandemic and the socio-economic situation generated by the same. Of course, there are interesting opportunities, as in all crises and Alphamac has significantly increased its activity and volume of business this year. However, we have a medium-term vision and we work for the future of the segment to which it belongs: fully automated and flexible production lines, with limited energy consumption and with specialized but numerically reduced staff. Alphamac this year also particularly looks at and invests in research for the reduction of the weight of plastic containers and for the extensive use of materials from post-consumer (PCR) and for bio-compostable materials.