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February 2016

Close-Up on Technology

Several ‘Firsts’ Among 2015 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards
Of the nine award categories, thermoplastics captured five winners.

U.S.-Made High-Melt-Strength PP Tackles Wide Range of Applications
Total’s new HMS-PP signals both increased interest in the material and a source of domestic production.

Why Blum Went All Tiebarless
One of the first adopters of tiebarless injection machines a quarter-century ago uses them exclusively, both here and in Europe. One reason is their ability to handle oversized molds with awkward projections on smaller presses.

Processor's Edge

MES Helps Molder Tackle Plant Efficiency
New central computer system dramatically improved operating efficiencies and slashed costs for a molder of tackle boxes and other types of cases.

Know How

EXTRUSION: Venerable Maddock Mixer Still an Extrusion Workhorse
Variations to this decades-old mixing section are widely used, but processors should carefully analyze these designs and not assume they will perform better.

INJECTION MOLDING: Improving Barrel-Temperature Measurement and Control
Proper thermocouple placement and contact area are crucial, as is wire maintenance. But remember that barrel temperature and melt temperature are not the same

MATERIALS: The Problems with Single-Point Data: Part 9
Time—and not just temperature—governs the behavior of materials under load. Both must be considered when evaluating a polymer for an application.

TOOLING: Repairing Molds in the Press: Part 3
This is the final part of a series on tooling in the press. This column will cover repairs that can be accomplished in the press.

Starting Up

A.T. Kearney, Moser Spar Over Latest Reshoring Study
"Over before it started" or still surging? Global consulting company, reshoring guru take sides.

Another Project to Make 100% Biobased PET Bottles
A second team pursues all-renewable beverage bottles based on plants.

Bekum America Corp. Announces Promotions
Steven London is named president and Chief Operating Officer.

Carolina Color to Distribute LIAD Feeding Systems in U.S.
Carolina Color Corporation Inc., Salisbury, N.C. has signed a distribution agreement with Israel-based LIAD Weighing and Control Systems Ltd., to offer the latter’s advanced auxiliary feeding and blending systems to the U.S. market.

ChemChina to Buy KraussMaffei Group
German plastics machinery maker to remain in place after purchase by China's largest chemical group.

Chemical Regulation Reform Clears Senate
In a move hailed by SPI, the ACC and other trade groups, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to reform the country’s 39-year-old chemical regulation: TSCA.

Chinaplas Marks 30th Edition in Shanghai This April
There is a long-held Chinese maxim about being around for three decades: “At 30 one stands firm.”

DSM Opens West Coast Office
To support the consumer electronics business, DSM Engineering Plastics expands U.S. footprint.

Engel to Host Technology Symposium in Southern California
Presentations from market leaders, partner booths and live machine demonstrations on tap in Corona, Calif.

Former Laminating Exec Starts Own Sheet Business
Apex 'fills void' by furnishing high-gloss sheet for laminating.

Graham, Conair Team Up To Boost Medical Tubing Technology
Suppliers to house each other's equipment in their respective extrusion labs.

Huber Expands FR Portfolio with Newest Acquisition
Acquisition of Albemarle's mineral flame retardants business is Huber's fourth and largest such endeavor within five years.

Lanxess Completes Nylon & PBT Compounding Expansion
A second production line at Lanxess' North Carolina site doubles production capacity.

Newcomer in Hot-Stamping Machines
Automator America has introduced a new line of hot-stamping presses in the U.S.

PLA Sheet for Signage and Folded Cartons
Bi-Ax is the first manufacturer in North America to convert NatureWorks' Ingeo PLA resins into film and sheet.

PolyOne Acquires Maker of Colorants for Fibers
Expanding its specialty colorants and additives portfolio, PolyOne now offers colorants for the fibers industry.

Portuguese Blow Molder Expands Kansas City Plant
Logoplaste will invest $35 million to expand its facility in Kansas City, making it the company’s new U.S. manufacturing and distribution hub.

Proxy Biomedical Announces Expansion
Irish medical implantable devices manufacturer to double cleanroom facilities as part of expansion that will be completed in the second quarter of 2016.

PTi to Expand Headquarters
The sheet extrusion machinery supplier will invest $10 million in an expansion that will nearly double manufacturing space and capacity at its Aurora, Ill. headquarters.

Several "Firsts" Among 2015 SPE Auto Innovation Award Winners
Of the nine categories, thermoplastics captured five winners.

Sun Chemical Forms New Advanced Materials Division
PPS compounds for electronics from parent company DIC now available in U.S.

Uway Builds, Displaying Huge HDPE Sheet Line at Ohio Open House
Sheet builder offering by-appointment open house during month of February

Victrex Invests in PEEK Composites
To support industrial and medical sector applications, Victrex embarks on downstream manufacturing projects for UD tapes and composite plates..

Processor's Business Index

December’s Index: 43.6
Mid-size plants expand for fourth month out of five. And compared with one year ago, capital spending plans are up 32%.


A Film Processor’s Guide to Understanding Materials & Equipment
Process engineers need to have a fundamental understanding of three areas: the material properties, the basic design parameters of the extrusion equipment, and the process window of the equipment.

Add Some Science To Your Purging Practices
Applying scientific methodology to purging techniques is safer and more beneficial than operating ‘on-the-fly’ or using home-made remedies.

Compounder Finds Niche in Recycling
Combining compounding and recycling in one step is helping take Buckeye Polymers to the next level.

FROM ROBOTS TO ‘COBOTS’: Next-Generation Automation Arrives in Plastics Processing
So-called ‘collaborative robots’ are a new category of ‘human-friendly’ automation that can work safely side by side with people, unprotected by guarding.

What’s the True Cost of Buying A ‘Low-Cost’ Mold Overseas?
The head of a Canadian moldmaking company exposes the limitations of focusing solely on initial purchase cost when considering mold sourcing in China.

Keeping Up With Technology

ADDITIVES: FEP Foam Concentrates for LAN & Coaxial Cables
AGC Chemicals' new FEP foam concentrates enhance foamed LAN and coaxial cable insulation.

COMPOUNDING: Pellet Dryer-Cooler-Classifier
Said to be suited for a wide range of polymers.

EXTRUSION: High-Power Pullers For Large Pipe, Profiles
Heavy-weight construction ensures vibration-free pulling.

EXTRUSION: Multi-Layer Lab Line
R&D system for cast film, coating and lamination.

FEEDING: System Automatically Refills Liquid Color
Riverdale Global's new automatic liquid color feeding system reduces downtime.

INJECTION MOLDING: More Exact Color Metering for LSR
Very exact volumetric dosing within 0.02%.

INJECTION MOLDING: More User-Friendly Process Monitor
More monitoring channels and digital outputs, and software features to make it easier to use.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Electric Press Series Geared for Mid-Sized Molding
Highly spec'ed presses handle bigger, heavier molds for mid-sized automotive and other parts.

INJECTION MOLDING: Simplifying Process Monitoring
Press one button to save good-part process values and automatically set SPC limits.

MATERIAL HANDLING: Easy-to-Spout Bulk-Bag Unloader
Designed, engineered, and built to address specific dust reduction, and process operation efficiency requirements.

MATERIAL HANDLING: Self-Cleaning Filter/Receiver
New option for handling dust.

MATERIALS: Fiber-Optic Cable Compound Offers High Flame Retardance, Low Shrinkage
Teknor's newest polyolefin-based cable compound costs less yet meets stringent requirements for general-purpose jacketing applications.

MATERIALS: Enhanced Copolyester Filament for 3D Printing
Eastman and colorFabbs launch enhanced next-generation 3D filament.

MATERIALS: High-Flow Elastomer Enhances PP Processing
ExxonMobil Chemicals' newest propylene-ethylene elastomers are aimed at enhancing processing of PP compounds in food packaging.

MATERIALS: High-Heat Stabilized Nylons for Electronics & Automotive
Lanxess has developed a new metal-free heat stabilizing system for its Durethan nylons.

MATERIALS: High-Strength LSRs for Medical Applications
Nusil's new LSRs boast tensile strengths of up to 50% greater than existing LSRs.

MATERIALS: PC Film for Shatter-Resistant Touchscreens
SABIC's new PC film resin is said to be virtually unbreakable.  

MATERIALS: PC Film Offers Exceptional Formability,
Reportedly outperforms alternatives for complex thermoforming applications.

MATERIALS: PP Powder for Laser-Sintered Robot Grippers
Light weight, toughness, and lack of water absorption are advantages.

MATERIALS: PPA for High-Performance Electrical/Electronics Uses
Evonik's new PPA is aimed at high-end LEDs found in headlamps, flat-screen TVs and moveable lens module units for smartphones.

TESTING: Measure Light Transmission of Plastics & Metalized Films
Tobias Associates' new instruments can measure densities of metalized films and a variety of plastics.

TESTING: Oxygen Permeation Tester for High-Barrier Applications
Mocon's new oxygen permeation analyzer quickly and accurately measures OTR of high-barrier materials.

THERMOFORMING: Pre-Heating Oven For Thermoforming PC, Acrylic
Heats up to 550 F.

TOOLING: High-Speed Cycle Counter
Unit runs up to 9,999,999 shots.

Resin Prices

PP Bucks Trend to Flat or Lower Prices
Lower feedstock costs, slowed demand in early first quarter are likely to keep most prices stable.


Learn More … About Injection Molding
Register now for the Molding 2016 conference and get up to date on all technology issues related to your business.

Market Watch

Is Medical Poised for Growth?
Spending has skyrocketed, and production is due to follow.

CW Brabender
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