Article Archive

August 2000


Past Issues

Features

Dryers Close-Up

Several dryers introduced at NPE 2000 in Chicago in June offer new technologies that claim to be several orders of magnitude more efficient than conventional hot-air dryers with desiccant beds.

High-Volume Thermoplastics

NPE 2000 offered up new HMW-MDPE and HMW-HDPE film and molding resins with enhanced mechanical properties, plus new VLDPE resins, a hexene LLDPE with improved stiffness/ strength balance, and an LDPE for high-speed extrusion lamination. News in polypropylene included a grade for thin-gauge thermoforming, a resin specially tailored for blown film, and a novel family of PP-based copolymers for use as polymer modifiers and compatibilizers. Other show news included several advanced HIPS grades and an amber precolored PET for beer bottles.

CAD & CAE

NPE 2000 offered a brand-new option for processors and mold designers: the ability to “rent” flow analysis on a pay-per-use basis over the Internet.

Injection Molding

These two show-goers found what they needed at NPE. See what solutions the 2000 exhibitors have for your manufacturing problems. The following eight articles (and stories elsewhere in this issue) supplement prior show coverage in our May, June, and July issues. Look for still more NPE news next month.

Blow Molding

The latest introductions in extrusion blow molding focused on faster color changeovers, higher bottle production, and integration with form-and-fill operations. In PET stretch-blow equipment, new models showed enhanced capabilities, such as making a 90-liter container from 100% recycled PET, molding PET jars and bottles on a standard injection-blow press, and stretch-blowing a wider range of resins. There was also news in downstream deflashing technology.

Thermoforming

New capabilities for continuous roll-fed forming machinery were unveiled at NPE. They include forming heavier sheet, forming lids with a tamper-evident band, and producing in-mold decorating preforms with preprinted sheet. Tooling also advanced with a new and easier way to keep the forming inserts and trim-in-place punch level after the punch is sharpened.

Engineering Thermoplastics

NPE 2000 saw the debut of many new nylons, ranging from 6 and 66 types that are tougher, easier to process, and lower in density to a brand-new class of branched nylons with outstanding physical and rheological properties and a long-carbon-fiber grade that combines high electrical shielding with flame retardance.

There's More to the Internet Than E-Commerce

I am not in love with the Internet. I don’t “surf” for fun, but only to get information. For me, it’s just a tool—an often-frustrating but highly useful tool. The evidence I’ve seen in recent weeks, and especially at the NPE 2000 show in Chicago, indicates that plastics processors won’t get very far without this tool in the near future.

Extrusion

At this year’s NPE, new processes to put wood flour into plastic were virtually everywhere—several even start with undried flour.

Compounding

Compounding news at NPE included a wealth of new batch and continuous machines to mix in high loadings of wood flour, glass fiber, carbon black, and more exotic fillers. One new batch mixer can melt blend wood-flour compounds without the need for an extruder or continuous mixer. A number of new pelletizers were also introduced.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Blow Molding
The latest introductions in extrusion blow molding focused on faster color changeovers, higher bottle production, and integration with form-and-fill operations.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Compounding
Compounding news at NPE included a wealth of new batch and continuous machines to mix in high loadings of wood flour, glass fiber, carbon black, and more exotic fillers.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: High-Volume Thermoplastics
NPE 2000 offered up new HMW-MDPE and HMW-HDPE film and molding resins with enhanced mechanical properties, plus new VLDPE resins, a hexene LLDPE with improved stiffness/ strength balance, and an LDPE for high-speed extrusion lamination.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: CAD & CAE
NPE 2000 offered a brand-new option for processors and mold designers: the ability to “rent” flow analysis on a pay-per-use basis over the Internet.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Engineering Thermoplastics
NPE 2000 saw the debut of many new nylons, ranging from 6 and 66 types that are tougher, easier to process, and lower in density to a brand-new class of branched nylons with outstanding physical and rheological properties and a long-carbon-fiber grade that combines high electrical shielding with flame retardance.Also new at the show were extrusion-grade and reinforced PPS, new PPS alloys, and new sources of high-heat, reinforced polyphthalamide, PEEK, and syndiotactic polystyrene compounds.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Injection Molding
These two show-goers found what they needed at NPE.

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Thermoforming
New capabilities for continuous roll-fed forming machinery were unveiled at NPE.

Starting Up

Your Business in Brief - August 2000
Equistar to Boost LDPE CapacityEquistar Chemicals LP, Houston, is undertaking a 70-million-lb/yr capacity expansion at its high-pressure LDPE resin plant in Morris, Ill.

Hourly Rate Survey - August 2000
Hourly Rates Rose in First QuarterCustom injection molders’ machine-hour rates rose 0.9% on average in the first quarter of 2000, after holding flat in the last quarter of ’99.

What Processors Thought of NPE 2000
 As always, I found the show to be [bigger] than the last time and physically daunting.

Pricing Updates - August 2000
PP Price Hike Barely Makes DentPolypropylene prices generally have stayed the same despite recent attempts by suppliers to raise them 3-4¢/lb.

Close-Up on Technology

NPE 2000 News Wrap-Up: Extrusion
At this year’s NPE, new processes to put wood flour into plastic were virtually everywhere—several even start with undried flour.

CW Brabender
HammerTek
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