December 2008

Close-Up on Technology

Air/Water Cooling Die Doubles Output of PE Pipe
A new high-output extrusion die for large HDPE or PP pipe (110 to 2000 mm OD) combines water-cooling of the melt before it leaves the die with air cooling inside the pipe.

Productivity Improvements Star At SPE Blow Molding Conference
New and innovative techniques to help processors reduce energy consumption, eliminate secondary operations, and raise productivity were center stage at the recent SPE Blow Molding Conference in Bartlesville, Okla.

Processor's Edge

Robots Manage Logistics For Entire Packaging Plant
Inventory management may be too important to be left to people.

Starting Up

Recycled Resin Prices At Year-Ago Levels
Like virgin resins, recycled plastics prices were going through the roof all year long.

Your Business In Brief - December 2008
New Top Global Player in AcrylicsMitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, is set to acquire Lucite International Group Ltd. of the U.K. by the end of January.

Your Business Outlook - December 2008
Already a familiar sight on European store shelves, the eye-catching appeal of "IML" is gaining traction among North American injection molders. The latest tooling and automation designs can handle the higher volumes needed here.

Your Business Pricing Update - December 2008
Weak domestic demand, crumbling exports, and plunging feedstock prices brewed a “perfect storm” driving down commodity resin prices in the fourth quarter.


Automotive Plastics Adding More Value in Tough Times
The dramatic global downshifting in automotive manufacturing hasn’t put the brakes on plastics innovation, if recently announced developments are any indication.

Global Warming: New Challenge for Polyurethanes?
‘Zero-ODP’ is no longer enough. Now, PUR foamers are being asked to consider blowing agents with ‘low-GWP’ (global warming potential). Another environmental push is to expand use of bio-based polyols in rigid and flexible foams. Both were key topics at this year’s PUR conference.

Injection Molding: Taiwan Machine Builders Focus on All-Electrics, Hybrids and IML
There was a brand-new emphasis at this year’s Taipei Plas, the premier plastics exhibition for Taiwanese injection machine builders.

Thinking Seriously About Costs
No time like the present for some comprehensive cost control, right?

Keeping Up With Technology

All-Servo Inline Former Boasts Faster Cycles
A new servo-driven inline former from Modern Machinery of Beaverton Inc., Beaverton, Mich., reportedly delivers high repeatability and 50% faster cycles than pneumatic/hydraulic units.

Box Filling By Weight For Modular Conveyors
A new box weigh-filling module is the latest addition to modular conveyor products from Dynamic Conveyor Corp., Muskegon, Mich.

Cable-Free Sensors For Cavity Pressure
A new line of cable-free cavity pressure sensors is said to simplify sensor handling and mounting while increasing flexibility and reducing maintenance.

Compact Pad Printers
A new line of pad printers is said to be small but full-featured.

Contact-less Temperature Sensors Unveiled
A new line of cavity temperature sensors that do not contact the injection molded plastic is new from Priamus System Technologies LLC, Brunswick, Ohio.

Decorative PC Sheet For Aircraft Interiors
Decorative laminated polycarbonate sheet for aircraft interiors is new from Boltaron Performance Products LLC, Newcomerstown, Ohio.

Developmental ‘Reactive Pellets’ For Making Bio-Polyester
Combining glycerine (a byproduct from processing vegetable or animal fats) with an organic polyacid like citric acid can make bio-derived polyesters.

Die-Flow Simulation Now Runs Faster
Ansys Inc. in Canonsburg, Pa., recently released new Version 3.12 of its Ansys Polyflow simulation software, which allows it to make flow and pressure predictions two to five times faster than before.

Easily Expandable Conveying Control System
New FlexMaster conveying control system from Novatec, Inc., Baltimore, is designed for easy expandability at low cost and with minimal wiring.

First PES Foam Core
More details are available on the industry’s first extruded polyethersulfone foam core material, commercialized earlier this year by Sweden’s Diab International (U.S. headquarters in DeSoto, Texas). Divinycell F offers low water absorption, heat resistance up to 420 F, and excellent flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) performance for aircraft interior storage bins, window reveals, and bulkheads.

First PP Honeycomb Core For Closed Molding
A new polypropylene honeycomb core from Plascore Inc., Zeeland, Mich., is reportedly the first one suitable for closed molding processes like vacuum infusion, light RTM, and vacuum-bag molding.

Gaylord ‘Sweeper’ Leaves Few Pellets Behind
If you’ve ever had trouble getting your money’s worth of resin out of the bottom of a Gaylord box, a new device is said to solve that problem without wasting operator time or need for a cumbersome box tilter.

High-Flow PBT Shortens Cycles
Cycle-time reduction of 30% is claimed for a new high-flow PBT from DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del.

High-Gloss Mold Release For Sanitary Ware
A new semi-permanent mold release from Axel Plastics Research Laboratories, Woodside, N.Y., is aimed at production of sanitary ware and other high-gloss parts.

High-Speed, Side-Entry Robot Hefts Heavy Parts
More details are now available on a new high-speed side-entry robot that trims mold-open time by 20% due to higher acceleration.

Hot-Runner Controllers Add Full Diagnostics
Full diagnostics designed to protect against errors in hot-runner wiring and cable connections is new for both the Temp-command series and HRD series of hot-runner controllers from PSG Plastic Service Group, Stevensville, Mich.

KraussMaffei Adds Larger Hydraulic Presses, Robots
The ClassiX series of hydraulic injection presses from KraussMaffei Corp., Florence, Ky., has been expanded with a new model that is now the largest in the line.

Long-Glass PP Concentrate For Automotive Parts
A new 60% long-glass PP concentrate is aimed at injection molded automotive applications, particularly front-end modules, door plates, and large profile extrusions.

Low-Cost Flat Dies And Feedblocks
A new line of flat dies and feedblocks is being introduced into North America as TruFlow by Maag Pump Systems, Charlotte, N.C.

Melt-Strength Enhancer, Impact Modifier for PLA
Two new acrylic additives for packaging made from polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer have been introduced by Rohm and Haas Co., Philadelphia: Paraloid BPMS 250 melt-strength enhancer reportedly improves processing of PLA and its alloys used in clear packaging such as thermoformed clamshell food containers.

Metallocene PP Copolymer Provides High Clarity
A developmental metallocene-based PP copolymer for injection molding is said to provide superior clarity in applications such as food and beverage packaging, food-service trays and covers, drink cups, pitchers, storage containers, CD/DVD cases, and medical devices.

Mold Release for XLPE Rotational Molding
A new water-based mold release has reportedly proven particularly effective at releasing rotomolded crosslinked PE.

More Bio-Based TPUs
Spain’s Merquinsa (U.S. office in Seabrook, N.H.) has expanded its range of bio-based TPUs with new grades ranging from 85 Shore A to 60 Shore D.

More Flat Steel Products
Hasco America, Arden, N.C., has extended its flat steel range with a number of additional products.

New Materials for FDM Prototyping
New material options for FDM (fused-deposition modeling) rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing systems are available from Stratasys, Inc., Minneapolis.

New PC/Polyester for Metal-Plastic Hybrids
A new PC/polyester blend from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, meets the demands of thinwall overmolding onto metal for consumer electronic devices.

New Sizes of Sino-U.S. Twin-Screw Compounders
Earlier this year, Century Extrusion, Traverse City, Mich., launched its Apex corotating twin-screw extruder line in sizes with center distances of 40 to 95 mm.

Options Expand in LFTs
Two suppliers report greater availability of long-fiber thermoplastics (LFTs). First, European-developed Stamax long-fiber PP pellets are now available in the U.S. from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass.

PP-Like Photopolymer For Rapid Prototyping
A new line of photopolymers for rapid prototyping is said to offer PP-like toughness, strength, and flexibility.

PUR-Coated Composite Lumber Resists Fading
LifeTime Lumber was unique when it was launched in 2003 as a thermoset polyurethane filled with fly ash reclaimed from coal-fired power generation.

SAN is New Option For Medical Parts
BASF Corp., Styrenic Plastics, Florham Park, N.J., is introducing its first SAN material for medical applications such as specimen holders, vacuum bottles, and nebulizer housings.

Small Filament Winder For Prototype Work
A new filament winding machine from McClean Anderson, Schofield, Wis., is designed for research, prototyping, and small-part production.

Stretch-Film Winder Cuts Over in 3/4 Second
Davis-Standard LLC’s Converting Systems group in Fulton, N.Y., recently delivered its first high-speed, four-spindle “Black Magic” S4 center winder in North America.

Two-Shot Press Overmolds TPE, LSR, or Rubber
A new all-electric multi-shot machine with a rotary table designed to overmold LSR, rubber, or TPE onto a rigid thermoplastic or thermoset (like polyester BMC) was introduced at Fakuma by Billion of France, represented here by Oak Tree Consulting, Dundee, Mich.

Universal Masterbatches For Overnight Delivery
Clariant Masterbatches, Holden, Mass., now stocks over 80 of its most popular heavy-metal-free universal color concentrates for fast delivery in quantities as small as 25 lb.

Upgraded Software for Viscometers and Rheometers
New Windows Vista-compatible software is said to extend the capabilities of viscometers and rheometers.

Vertical Machines with Rotary Tables Go Larger
Two larger vertical rotary-table machines have been added to the Golden Edition hydraulic series from Arburg Inc., Newington, Conn.

CW Brabender
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