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September 2015

Close-Up on Technology

Betting on Biopolymers
A new injection molding business is focused 100% on compostable, plant-based polymers.

Captive Molder Gives New Blenders A ‘Whirl’
By updating presses with multi-component blenders, Whirley Drinkworks drastically slashes colorant costs.

New Materials Offer Cost, Performance Advantages to PEEK in Automotive
Two new families of PAEK offer combination of economy and performance for demanding automotive applications.

Processor's Edge

Advanced Styrenic Lets Molder Shed New Light On Automotive Part
Polyoptics teamed up with Styrolution to develop a ‘breakthrough’ process for light guides.

Know How

EXTRUSION: Barrier Screws and Mixers
For some reason, there are a lot of barrier screws in operation with high-shear mixers, when a distributive mixer is usually a better choice.

INJECTION MOLDING: Understanding Machine vs. Plastic Variables
Why setup sheets, DOEs, validations, etc. may not yield the results they should.

MATERIALS: The Problems with Single-Point Data
In plastics, notched Izod and Charpy test results have been complicated by the way they are reported.

RECYCLING: Recycling’s ‘Vision’ of the Future
Optical sorting technology continues to help push advances in plastics recycling.

TOOLING: The Impact of Hydraulics on Tool Design
Here are more tips on using hydraulically actuated devices on your tools.

Starting Up

American Starlinger-Sahm Moves into New Headquarters
New HQ in Fountain Inn, S.C.

American Water Works Association Will Release Updated C906-15 Standard
The update will include enhanced performance high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resins - PE4710.

AMUT And Bulk Handling Systems To Provide Equipment For Unifi Recycling Plant
The new bottle processing plant will produce about 75 million pounds of recycled PET materials when it begins operation in June 2016.

BASF to Spin Off Pigments Business
By the second half of 2016, BASF plans to have spun off its pigments business into a new entity.

Erema’s U.S. Expansion Nears Completion
More than doubling in size, and due for completion this month.

Frost Effect Applied to First Plastic Water Bottle
Ampacet "frosted-look" special effects additive 'lands' on first-ever frosted water bottle.

High-Moisture Barrier sHDPE Gets Increasing Play in Flexible Food Packaging
sHDPE from Nova Chemical offers excellent moisture barrier in "easy open" cereal and cracker packages.

Kansas State Opens First Bulk Solids Innovation Center
It's the first research facility of its kind in North America.

Mack Molding Appoints New VP of Procurement
The company promoted Marc Colety, a 20-year veteran of the company, to the role.

MHG Now Largest PHA Supplier With Commercial- Scale Fermenter
Up to 60 million lb capacity now available.

Minnesota Technical College Expands Its Academic, Equipment Offerings
A medical tubing extrusion line, all-electric injection molding machine, and medical extrusion certificate are the latest additions to Hennepin Technical College (HTC) Plastics Engineering Technology program.

RadiciGroup Now Nylon Producer in Mexico
With new acquisition, RadiciGroup Plastics makes entry into Mexico and Central America.

Reduction Engineering Scheer Names Canadian Distributor
15-year plastics veteran will sell the company’s line of pelletizers and pulverizers.

Rhein Chemie Now Merged Into Lanxess
Rhein Chemie Additives now a business unit of Lanxess.

RKW Danafilms Changes Name To RKW North America
Company says the new name reflects its commitment to the North American market.

RTP Bolsters Compounding Capabilities Through Acquisition
RTP's newly integrated acquisition will especially focus on black masterbatches and carbon black thermoplastic compounds for a several industries.

Superior Die Set Announces New Hire And A Promotion
Brandon Haffelder joins as a process engineer and Derrick Gilane, outside sales engineer, will now represent the company in Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.

Trexel President And CEO Resigns To Start Consulting Firm
The firm, Eventus Global, will advise small and mid-sized plastic companies in expanding its global market presence.

Ultra-Light PET Bottle Expands Range for Hot-Fill
Hot-fill PET bottles now approach aseptic bottle weights.

Unifi Upgrades Recycling Plant
Its first backward integration into processing baled bottles instead of ground flake.

Victrex Acquires Kleiss Gears to Bolster PEEK Gears Growth
PEEK resin producer buys specialist in injection molding gears.

World's First Plastic Rear Axle Transmission Crossbeam
The plastic rear axle transmission beam developed by ContiTech and BASF weighs 25% less than the die-cast aluminum beam it replaced.

Processor's Business Index

Contraction Accelerates for Third Month
Index has been trending down since last March.


A Very Small World: Micromolding at Makuta
Makuta Technics sweats the tiny details so it can run ‘lights out’ most of the day.

CLOSING ALL THE LOOPS: ‘Talking’ Machines Pave the Way for Processing Plants of Tomorrow
At the convergence of smarter equipment, open communication protocols, and more powerful networks, a new shop floor emerges where groups of intelligent machines work seamlessly as integrated systems.

Keep Extruder Barrels Aligned…And Production on Target
A misaligned barrel causes a lot of trouble. Laser alignment is being used now to keep things on the straight and narrow.

Mold Maintenance Hand Skills: It’s All about Connectivity
It takes a blend of brawn and brains for any tradesman or repair technician to become a craftsman or journeyman. And these skills can be learned.

Overcome the Challenges in Winding Flexible Packaging Film
Not all film webs are created equal. This creates challenges for both winder and operator. Here’s how to handle them.

Keeping Up With Technology

ADDITIVES: New Food-Contact & Environmental Certification for Plastic Additives
Four additives suppliers have recently received food-contact and environmental certifications for industry workhorse additives.

ASSEMBLY: Next-Generation Structural Adhesives for PVC, ABS, Acrylic
3M's new structural acrylic adhesives boast a faster cure time, expanding process work time up to 25 minutes.

COMPOUNDING: New Process Creates Diamond-Like Pellets
Special temperature control makes smooth pellets that "shine like diamonds."

EXTRUSION: Control System for Extrusion
They provide both heat-only and heat/cool control.

EXTRUSION: New Head Needs No Fasteners
No fastening hardware speeds cleaning and restarting.

INJECTION MOLDING: Hot-Runner Controller With Touchscreen
Controls up to 128 zones.

INJECTION MOLDING: Mold Clear Lenses Without Yellowing, Black Specks
Plasticating system tailored for optical-grade polycarbonate.

MATERIALS HANDLING: Device Protects Rotary Valve
Monitor detects metallic contact between rotor and housing.

MATERIALS: Correction on Wire Compounds
Halogen-free, flame-retardant compounds.

MATERIALS: Nylon 66 Compound with Outstanding Low-Temperature Toughness
Teknor's newly enhanced nylon 66 compound exhibits 50% greater notched Izod impact strength at -40 C.

MATERIALS: Partially Biobased PP Compound for Injection Molding
What appears to be the first commercially available partially biobased PP compound is newly available from FKuR.

MATERIALS: Styrenic TPEs Perform Like TPVs in Window Gaskets
TeknorApex's new styrenic block copolymer TPEs, to be launched at FAKUMA 2015, boast comparable performance to TPVs widely used in window gaskets.

MATERIALS: Three New TPEs to Debut at FAKUMA 2015
At next month's FAKUMA 2015, Kraiburg will feature new TPEs for consumer and automotive applications.

MATERIALS: TPEs for Nylon Grips with Better Oil & Abrasion Resistance
PolyOne's new GLS Versaflex OM TPE offers 'significant' enhancement to existing TPEs in terms of oil and abrasion resistance.

PARTS HANDLING: Variable-Height Conveyors
Height is adjustable by hand crank or electric motor.

THERMOFORMING: Higher-Speed System, IML Unit Unveiled
Machine with larger forming area and versatile IML system.

TOOLING: New Mold Steel Has Higher Heat Transfer
Higher heat transfer plus hardness equal to H13 steel.

TOOLING: New Nano-Diamond Mold Coating Protects Steel & Aluminum
New balance of corrosion and abrasion resistance, plus good lubricity and suitability for aluminum tools.

WELDING: Upgraded Anniversary Edition Ultrasonic Welder Launched
New look, additional safety features and more featured in Herrmann's new edition of its HiQ Medialog ultrasonic welder.

Resin Prices

Commodity Resin Prices Soft, Except for PP
The price trajectory for PE, PS, and PVC appears to be downward but firmly steady for PP.


What Comes Around Is Going Around…Very Quickly
The game is changing. Reshoring is occurring at a rate faster than most expected.

Market Watch

Growth in Auto Production to Slow in 2016
Trends in leading indicators explain why.

CW Brabender
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