April 2011

Close-Up on Technology

Energy-Saving Hydraulic Press Varies Pump Speed and Volume
Novel press line debuts at Negri Bossi open house.

Processor's Edge

A Legacy Built on Automation
Automated molding cell pays off big for Florida processor.

Know How

Know the Three F’s Of Profile Tooling Design
Designing an extrusion profile and ultimately the die design and sizing equipment cannot be executed successfully without a full understanding of the customer’s quality expectations or specifications.

Solving Feed-Related Surging
Understanding the causes of surging can help troubleshoot and correct it.

Why Non-Return Valves Leak
We all recognize that the non-return valve is a problem. The question is where is the research to figure out how to correct this so we have a better shot at making more consistent parts

Starting Up

Heinz Ketchup Converts to Biobased Bottle
The sauce is red, but the new bottle is green—i.e., based partly on renewable plant-based feedstocks.

Husky to Buy Closure Mold Maker
Husky Injection Molding Systems.

Microcellular Foam Molds 'Impossible' Parts
At the Molding 2011 Conference in San Diego last month, sponsored by Executive Conference Management (, Markus Lettau, director of sales and application engineering for custom molder Empire Precision Plastics, Rochester, N.Y., discussed some of the unique capabilities of microcellular foam molding.Empire has three injection presses equipped for the MuCell foam process licensed by Trexel Inc., Woburn, Mass.

Nanolayers Come to Tubing
Nanolayer technology, an active area of development in films, is also making its way to tubing extrusion.

Recycled Resin Prices

Recycled PET Pricing Is Unsettled
WEB EXCLUSIVE: On the East Coast, RPET prices continue to climb, although somewhat slower than they have been.


Time for a New Look at Liquid Color?
Liquid colorants are growing more popular with processors looking for a competitive advantage. Though perhaps not for everyone, they can offer more economical letdown ratios and work especially well with heat-sensitive materials.

What to Look for in a Modular, Reconfigurable Conveyor System
Although traditional fixed conveyor systems have been one of the leading factors in lean management over the last two decades, they have lost their luster—not just to those who control the purse strings, but also for engineers who have long dealt with the headaches of inflexible systems, long lead times, and production shutdowns while the systems are installed.As conveyors have become a necessity on the plant floor, conveyor manufacturers have attempted to respond to end-users’ needs for flexibility by creating truly modular, reconfigurable systems.

Keeping Up With Technology

AUXILIARIES: New Barrier Coatings for Containers
Cavonic 3D Coating Technologies and InterTech Rx, LLC have combined to bring new barrier coating technology to North American processors of rigid containers.

EXTRUSION: Winding Systems for Sheet
New sheet winding systems from Processing Technologies International, LLC (PTi), Aurora Ill., comprise cantilever, A-frame, turret, and automatic designs.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Way to Mold Hollow Parts
In a collaborative project, Engel of Austria (parent of Engel Machinery, York, Pa.) has developed a new in-mold assembly technique for injection molding hollow parts.

MATERIALS: Long-Glass Nylon Gets a Handle on Folding Knives
WEB EXCLUSIVE: When Leatherman Tool Group decided to introduce a new folding knife line with improved features, its customers were very clear about what they wanted.

MATERIALS: More High-Flow Nylons & Better Property Simulation
WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF AG in Germany (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) reports two new additions to its recently launched Ultramid B High Speed nylon 6, as well as improved computer simulation to take better advantage of its weight-saving potential.

MATERIALS: New Alloys for Auto Interior Trim
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new polycarbonate alloys have been introduced for automotive interior parts by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass.

MATERIALS: New LSRs Stick to High-Temp. Thermoplastics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, Inc., Akron, Ohio, has expanded its Select-Hesive LIMS KE2090 series of self-adhesive liquid silicone rubbers for thermoplastic overmolding.

MATERIALS: PP Compounds with Bio-Fibers
WEB EXCLUSIVE: RheTech, Inc., Whitmore Lake, Mich., has come out with a new line of “biocomposites” consisting of polypropylene reinforced with waste biomaterials—initially, wood fiber, rice hulls, and flax fiber.

MATERIALS: Rotomolded Boat Crossed the Channel
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A rotomolded polyethylene boat set a Guinness World Record for the fastest pedal-powered crossing of the English Channel—7 hr, 6 min—in May 2002.

BASF Corp., Wyandotte, Mich., introduced what it calls “the world’s softest TPU.” Elastollan Soft has 38A Shore hardness.

MATERIALS: Starch + Recycled PP = High ‘Green’ Content
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New blends of thermoplastic starch (TPS) and recycled PP reportedly enable processors to incorporate 95% “green” content (biobased plus recycled) while obtaining physical properties comparable to virgin PP.

MATERIALS: Super-Tacky TPE for a Tight Grip
WEB EXCLUSIVE: For handles and other components that require a secure grip and improved feel, Star Thermoplastics Div. of Star Alloys & Rubbers, Inc., Broadview, Ill., has come out with “super-tacky” StarGrip-X 5000 series TPE alloys.

Resin Prices

Prices Trending Upward for Commodity & Engineering Resins
Entering this year’s second quarter, prices of four commodity thermoplastics were largely flat but poised to move upward, driven by higher feedstock costs.

Prices Up for Nylons, Polyesters, Acetals & More
WEB EXCLUSIVE: This month, prices are due to rise for engineering thermoplastics, composite thermosets, and UHMW-PE:•DSM Engineering Plastics said it would hike nylon 6 resins early this month by 12¢/lb, following a similar move by BASF in March.


Follow Me on Twitter (And the Hidden Heroes, Too)
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Practical Processor
Cleaning flat dies; injecting hollow parts.

Wood On Plastics: Economic Pressures Shift Consumption Patterns
While the economy has been expanding for most of the past two years, it is far from clear that it has entered a “self-sustaining” phase.

CW Brabender
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