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April 2015

Close-Up on Technology

‘Breakthrough’ Technology Allows for Super-Swift Sheet-Thickness Changes
New system uses a single-point adjustment to change the lip gap and modify the lip land length at the same time.

New ‘Dry’ Process Puts Circuitry on Plastics
Laser ablation and plasma etching team up to apply thicker conductive layers without a ‘wet’ plating process.

Recycling Conference Focuses on Changing Recycle Streams
E-plastics study shines light on a growing segment of recycling—its makeup, collection rates, and end-uses.

Processor's Edge

Putting the ‘Flexible’ in Flexible Film Processing
This blown film processor is no stranger to change when it comes to finding new markets with novel products. Its latest: barrier films.

Know How

Extrusion: What’s the Best Way to Vent?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and they must be evaluated before making a decision.

Injection Molding: How to Get Rid of Bubbles
First find out if they are the result of trapped gas or a vacuum void. Then follow these steps to get rid of them.

Materials: Analyzing Filler Content
The process is considered simple. But things aren’t always as they seem.

Tooling: Clearing Up the Mysteries Of Mold Texture
It’s a subject not widely understood by molders and it affects more than just part appearance.

Starting Up

3D Printing Filament from Recycled Plastic
Recycled ABS filament from a new start-up.

A.Schulman To Acquire Citadel Plastics
In yet another acqusition, A.Schulman marks a significant strategic milestone as it continues to transform itself.

Biggest-Ever Chinaplas On Tap in May
More than 3200 exhibitors will fill 26 exhibit halls May 20-23, in Guangzhou.

Blow Mold 10,000-Liter Tanks?
Mammoth machine has a 660-ton clamp and 726-lb accumulator head.

Five Straight Years of Plastics Equipment Shipments Growth
One week before the sector’s biggest show, the U.S. plastics industry reported a surge in equipment shipments for the full year and final quarter of 2014, with solid momentum maintained heading into 2015.

Flexicon Doubles in Size
At 40 years old, bulk materials-handling equipment supplier builds out.

Ineos Combines Its Styrolution and Ineos ABS Businesses Here
Ineos is bringing together its Styrolution and Ineos ABS business activities in North America by end of year.

Mack Moves Into Medical Disposables With New Cleanroom
At a customer’s request and after a $2 million investment in people and technology, custom molder and contract manufacturer Mack Molding, Arlington, Vt., is making its first foray into high‐volume, single‐use medical components.

Make Bottles by Vertical Thermoforming
Sheet is formed into a tube and then into bottles.

New York Bagmaker Expands to Texas
Can liner firm Aluf adds capacity in Lone Star state.

Nypro Ramps Up Cleanroom Injection Molding in Texas
Nypro Healthcare initiated cleanroom injection molding at its Coppell, Texas facility in August, as the division of Jabil readies to launch a finished medical device.

PlastiComp Partners With Xenia To Develop Applications For Carbon Fiber TP Composites
At JEC Europe 2015, PlastiComp and Italy's Xenia announced partnership to advance applications of carbon fiber reinforced TP composites.

PPA Adds Four to Membership Roster
Group also names Gail Bristol new president.

Processors Align to Offer FFS Solutions
A maker of forming films for packaging and a maker of lidstock films join forces.

Screw, Barrel Innovator Paul Colby Dies
Entrepreneur who built Spirex into a leading producer of screws and barrels was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2009.

SPE to Honor Service Members, Fellows at ANTEC During NPE2015
The Society of Plastics Engineers will introduce six new Honored Service Members and five new Fellows of the Society during ANTEC 2015, 11 individuals joining two very select groups.

Strong Interest Compels SPI to Expand NPE2015 Startup Garage
Citing “overwhelming marketplace interest,” SPI has enlarged its Startup Garage to host 16 firms, accommodating more new ventures as well as potential investors, buyers, distributors and partners.

Trexel’s Braig Re-appointed to U.S. Manufacturing Council
Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturing and recommend ways to ensure that the U.S. remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing across the globe.

Woodland Adds Thermoset Molding Press
Press is said to ensures quality and repeatability shot-to-shot.

Processor's Business Index

First Contraction Since December 2013
A temporary pause after 15 straight months of expansion?

Recycled Resin Prices

R-PET Prices Remain Low as Virgin Prices Start to Climb
R-PET pricing is still soft, but perhaps not for long.


Developing Tomorrow’s Containers Today: Inside Amcor’s Rigid Packaging R&D Center
How award-winning package design, full-service laboratory facilities, and game-changing process development support a world-class injection and blow molder.

Five Steps Toward a Flawless Flat Film Start-Up
A poor line start-up benefits no one … except your competitors. Follow these five steps to get your film line fired up seamlessly.

Get the Most Bang For Your Purging Buck
More processors are turning to purging compounds to clean their machines and speed up changeovers. Here are tips on how to avoid typical trouble spots when using them.

When Robots Make Sense For Part Packaging
Here are nine issues to take into account before automating your end-of-the-line part-packaging process.

Keeping Up With Technology

AUXILIARIES: A Full Range of Updated Auxiliary Equipment Featured at NPE
Temperature controllers, dryers, conveying systems and blenders included.

BLOW MOLDING: All-Electrics Debut in North America
Double-shuttle from Italy has servo-driven robot and parison programmer.

BLOW MOLDING: Tiebarless Suction Blow Machine
Molds complex 3D shapes with low flash.

BLOW MOLDING: Versatile Wheel & Reciprocating Blow Molders at NPE
New wheel offers "unusual flexibility," and is joined by recip-screw extrusion machine.

COMPOUNDING: Cutter-Hub, Blade Design Boost Pelletizing Output
Design can accommodate more blades per hub.

COMPOUNDING: New Name In Underwater Pelletizing
Small but feature-rich underwater unit.

CONTROL & MONITORING: User-Customizable Temperature Controls
Customize the operator display, in any language or colors.

DECORATING: Digital Printer Raises Bar For Decorating Plastic Tubes
At NPE2015, Italy's Martinenghi featured its new Michelangelo digital printer for decoration of cylindrical hollow plastic and aluminum bodies.

DECORATING: Direct Digital Printing On PET Bottles
High-speed, contactless printing eliminates labels.

DRYING: Vacuum Dryer Adds Load Cells for Greater Accuracy
Load cells provide continuous control of the resin level in the vacuum chamber and retention hopper.

EXTRUSION: Economical Temperature Controls
Two heat-only, heat/cool, or indicator-only devices.

EXTRUSION: Lab Extruders In New Configurations
They include horizontal compounding line.

EXTRUSION: Output-Boosting Cooling System
Reifenhauser also to display new control panel at NPE.

INJECTION MOLDING: ‘Universal’ Robot Gripper System
Newest German robot EOAT supplier shows its latest components.

INJECTION MOLDING: Coinjection, LSR/TP Overmolding & New Two-Platen Presses at NPE
Milacron pulled out the stops at the largest booth in the show.

INJECTION MOLDING: Faster, More Compact Electric Press
Also two new hydraulic presses from Taiwan.

INJECTION MOLDING: First Cross-Platform Internet Training
Training that's available via phones, tablets, PCs, and Macs.

INJECTION MOLDING: New ‘Ultra- Fast’ Robots
Takeout times under 0.5 sec at an "affordable" price.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Connectivity Programs For Work Cells
Standardized Ethernet protocol for injection machines, robots, and auxiliaries.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Premium Hot-Runner Line
All-stainless and cleanroom-ready.

INJECTION MOLDING: Nitrogen Generator for Gas-Assist Molding
All-in-one package offers precise control.

INJECTION MOLDING: Valve-Gate Pin-Speed Programmer
Prevent melt hesitation and air entrapment.

MATERIALS: Continuous-Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Sheets
Flame-retardant PC composite sheets for consumer electronics.

MATERIALS: Novel Weatherable Capstock Alloy; Low-Density PVC Foam Compounds
At NPE2015, Aurora Plastics showcased a new PVC/acrylic alloy capstock and low-density cellular PVC foam compounds said to set new standards.

MATERIALS: TPEs for Food, Beverage Contact
Premium-quality grades with low odor and extractables.

PARTS CONVEYING: Italian Auxiliary Equipment Supplier Comes Stateside
MB Conveyors to exhibit for the first time in the U.S. at NPE2015.

SIZE REDUCTION: Tangential Granulator’s Special Cutting Chambers for Large Items
New line of tangential granulators comes in two series.

THERMOFORMING: 'Fastest-Ever' PP Cup Former
Reportedly first machine that can run PP cups faster than 50/min.

THERMOFORMING: High-Output Lid Former
Unit also features a range of energy-saving features.

TOOLING: 3D Printed Molds & More Tooling News at NPE
Mold inserts made of plastic, larger mold bases, new pre-machined insulator sheets, and more.

TOOLING: Magnetic Mold Clamps for Quick Tool Changes
Double magnets boost clamp force and temperature range.

TOOLING: Upgraded Mold Maintenance Software
New spare-parts inventory and hot-runner maintenance pages.

Resin Prices

Resin Prices May Have Bottomed Out
With continued declines in feedstock and energy costs through much of the first quarter, commodity and engineering resin prices fell too.


Are You a ‘World-Class’ Processor?
Participate in Plastics Technology’s industry-wide benchmarking survey and you might find out.

Market Watch

Electronics Should See Stronger 2015
For the first time in roughly a decade, the domestic electronics industry could be poised for some real growth this year.

CW Brabender
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