Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

‘Easy-Molding’ Nylon Compound Targets Metal in Cars
Metal-replacement opportunities continue to emerge as fuel economies become more critical.

Microcellular Foam with Heat-Cool Makes Class-A Glossy Parts
A high-gloss surface equivalent to automotive Class-A solid molding can now be achieved with the weight savings and other benefits of microcellular foam molding, thanks to a new licensing agreement between Trexel Inc., Waltham, Mass., and Ono Sangyo Co.

Multi-Layer Injection Molded Tubs Take on Thermoforming & Metal Cans
Kortec Inc., Ipswich, Mass., a supplier of multi-layer injection molding technology, is launching an altogether new system for making rigid barrier containers.

Features

Micro Molder & Mold Maker Succeeds by Specializing
 How small is small? How small is micro? How about parts weighing as little as 0.00012 g and measuring no more than 0.038 in. (1 mm) long?

How to Select the Right Pelletizer
To find the best solution for your production requirements, start with assessing the status quo, as well as defining future needs. Develop a five-year projection of materials and required capacities. Short-term solutions very often prove to be more expensive and less satisfactory after a period of time.

Cyclic Olefin Copolymer Enhances Polyolefin Blends for Film Packaging
Cyclic olefin copolymer (COC ) is an amorphous thermoplastic that is finding increased utility as a blending agent in polyolefin packaging films for medical, consumer, and industrial markets.

Strategies

Sustainability Is Not a Buzzword For Thin-Gauge Thermoformer
At a time when many processors either pay lip service to environmental concerns or hope the “greenwashing” zealots will grow weary and turn their attention elsewhere, Dordan Manufacturing Co. Inc. leaves no stone unturned in an effort to get the truth out about plastics and the environment.

Keeping Up With Technology

INJECTION MOLDING: Faster, More Versatile Line of Electric Presses
Featuring a greater range of shot sizes, 20% faster dry cycles, and 30% more clamping rigidity, the EC-SX series of all-electric presses was introduced by Toshiba Machine Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.

INJECTION MOLDING: Larger Toggle Press Introduced
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery (U.S. office in Strongsville, Ohio) has continued adding to the larger end of its Systec hydraulic toggle press series.

INJECTION MOLDING: Feeder for Solid Silicone & BMC
A new rotary conveyor for continuous feeding of solid silicone rubber or BMC thermoset compounds is available from Engel, York, Pa.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Metering Systems for LSR
Two European suppliers of liquid silicone rubber metering systems have come out with new versions in the past year.

INJECTION MOLDING: Wemo Robots Available from Ewikon
Wemo Automation AB, the Swedish manufacturer of servo-driven linear and swing-arm robots, has appointed Ewikon Molding Technologies Inc., Rockford, Ill., as the exclusive independent distributor and technical-service center for Wemo in the U.S. and Canada.

INJECTION MOLDING: Versatile Electric Sprue Picker
The new electric Integralpicker V from Arburg, Inc., Newington, Conn., is said to be a low-cost but very fast and repeatable sprue picker.

INJECTION MOLDING: Fast, Compact Mold Monitor
With a processing time of just 0.03 sec, and a surface area slightly smaller than a regular sheet of paper, the new PE-400 mold monitor from Comet Plastic Equipment, LLC, N.

INJECTION MOLDING: High-Pressure Injection Nozzle
The German parent of Plastic Service Group (PSG), Stevensville, Mich., has come out with a new Fox VS spring-loaded injection nozzle for pressures of up to 3000 bar (43,500 psi). Adjusting the spring pressure reduces interference with the injection process—that is, needle shutoff backpressure can be set from 220 to 350 bar (3190 to 5080 psi). The externally mounted spring allows a relatively large melt channel for this compact unit, reducing pressure loss and accommodating a wide range of melt viscosities.

EXTRUSION: Nine-Extruder Sheet Line For Yogurt Cups
A new customized nine-extruder, five-layer sheet extrusion system for production of multi-colored, striped sheet for thermoformed HIPS yogurt cups is said to be one of the most unusual and sophisticated packaging sheet lines on the market.

EXTRUSION: Monitor PET I.V. In Real Time
Processing Technologies Inc.

EXTRUSION: Gearless Extruder Is Quiet, Energy Efficient
American Kuhne, Ashaway, R.I., has introduced a gearless extruder aimed at medical tubing.

EXTRUSION: Flexible Six-Layer Tubing Die
New six-layer Series 800 tubing dies from Guill Tool & Engineering Co, W.

EXTRUSION: Blackflush Screen Changers and Longer- Life Gear Pumps
New model CSC/BF-PE backflush screen changers from Maag Pump Systems (now called Maag Automatik, Inc.), Charlotte, N.C., offer fully automatic filtration and screen cleaning at consistent throughput rates.

EXTRUSION: Safety-First extrusion Melt-Pressure Sensors
Gefran, Winchester, Mass., has expanded its Impact series of melt-pressure sensors with new versions designed to increase the safety of extruders in compliance with new international regulations.

EXTRUSION: On-Line Sensor for Thick Sheet
New OptiMike from NDC Infrared Engineering, Irwindale, Calif., was developed to meet the need for accurate but cost-effective measurement of thicker and foamed sheet that would otherwise require nuclear gauges.

EXTRUSION: Rupture Disks Prevent Die Blow-Out
GPMS (Global Plastic Molding Supplies) extruder rupture disks, newly available from DME, Madison Heights, Mich., prevent pressure buildup from blowing out a die by rupturing when pressure reaches a pre-determined level, thus relieving pressure without damaging equipment or personnel.

BLOW MOLDING: Low-Cost All-Electric Shuttle Machine
Magic MP of Italy (magicmp.it) is launching a new line of all-electric machines engineered to compete in price with Asian machines.

BLOW MOLDING: ‘Universal’ Extruder Retrofits
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Kautex Machines Inc., North Branch, N.J., is offering a high-performance extruder retrofit program for all types of exrtrusion blow molding systems at what is said to be a reasonable price.

THERMOFORMING: Flexible Former Improves Heat Control
The 2500 Ultra represents a new generation of in-line thermoformers from SencorpWhite, Hyannis, Mass.

AUXILIARIES: Versatile Dry-Material Feeders
The newest Mechatron dry material feeders from Schenk AccuRate, Whitewater, Wis., offer complete disassembly from the non-process side of the feeder, which eliminates the need to remove upper extension hoppers, bins, bulk bags, and IBCs to clean or maintain the unit.

AUXILIARIES: Insulated Blender Separates PET Regrind & Virgin
The new high-heat TrueBlend blender from Conair, Cranberrry Township, Pa., allows PET processors to keep recycled and virgin materials separated until just before they are fed to an extruder or molding machine.

TOOLING: Corrosion-Resistant Aluminum for Molds
Alpase Inc., Downey, Calif., is now offering M-5 aluminum mold plate using standard 5000 series aluminum alloy.

TOOLING: New Mold Components at Amerimold Show
A number of new mold components were shown at last month’s Amerimold expo in Rosemont, Ill., sponsored by Gardner Publications, publisher of Plastics Technology and Moldmaking Technology magazines.

MATERIALS: ‘Breakthrough’ PVC Resin for Plastisols
WEB EXCLUSIVE: It’s not every day that you hear about a new development in PVC resins, but PolyOne Corp., Cleveland, has announced what it calls a “breakthrough development in formulating vinyl plastisols.” New Geon FIT (Formulation Improvement Tool) homopolymer resins are said to improve rheological characteristics and enhance air release of plastisols for better processing.

MATERIALS: PP Resists Stress Whitening
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Thermylene SWP (Stress Whitening Prevention) is a new specialty compounded polypropylene that reportedly won’t show signs of stress whitening when subjected over time to pressure and wear and tear.

MATERIALS: Vinyl Elastomers for Wind-Turbine Cable Jacketing
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two high-performance vinyl jacketing compounds from Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., are said to withstand harsh cold, exposure to lubricants, and other challenging conditions encountered by control and power cables within the nacelles high atop wind-turbine towers.

MATERIALS: Super Heat Resistance for New TPI Blend
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: “Unprecedented heat resistance” and “exceptional dimensional stability for thin-wall molding” are claimed for a new amorphous thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) blend from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass.

MATERIALS: Acetal & PBT for Medical Components
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF AG (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) brought out three new engineering resin grades for medical components.•Ultraform N2320 003 PRO is a new injection molding grade of acetal with a higher viscosity for thick-walled components that require high mechanical strength.

MATERIALS: ‘Universal’ TPE for Overmolding
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: Injection molders can simplify inventories by using a single TPE that is said to adhere to a wide variety of thermoplastics in overmolding.

MATERIALS: PC & Acrylic for LED Lighting
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new line of UL-listed polycarbonate and acrylic diffusing compounds for LED lighting are available from LTL Color Compounds, Morrisville, Pa.

Know How

Overfeeding Can Cause Surges, Too
Surging can be caused by feed restrictions, as covered in another column, and also by over-feeding or under-melting, discussed here.

Feed-Throat Temperature Control
It's the 'zone zero’ for injection molding.

Starting Up

HPM Nameplate Revived
Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. of Hong Kong paid $325,000 in late March to win the rights to HPM’s name, designs, and customer lists during a two-day auction at the Mt.

Solvay Agrees to Buy Rhodia, Combines Its Plastics Units
Solvay of Brussels, Belgium, signed an agreement last month to offer a friendly cash offer for Rhodia of Paris, France.

Extrusion Vet Guthrie Supplies Recycling Equipment
Long-time extrusion industry executive Sandy Guthrie has started his own recycling equipment company.

The Rotomolded Boat that Crossed the Channel
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.

Styron to Become Trinseo
Styron LLC, Berwin, Pa., the company formed last June from the former Styron Div. of Dow Chemical Co., has decided to change its name.

Dow Forms New Plastics Div.
Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., has combined its remaining plastics businesses into its new Performance Plastics Div.

More Compounding Expansions
In addition to three compounding expansions reported in March, three more have emerged:•Lanxess Corp., Pittsburgh, recently broke ground on a new compounding facility in Gastonia, N.C.

Eastman Discontinues Two Plasticizers
Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., will no longer offer diethyl phthlalate (DEP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) plasticizers as of the end of this year.

Toray Produces Biax, Metalized PLA Film
Oriented films producer Toray Plastics (America), Inc., N.

REPI Plans U.S. Liquid Color Plant
Italy’s REPI S.p.A., a producer of liquid color and additive concentrates, plans to build a facility in Gastonia, N.C.

FDA Gives OK to Novel RPET Extrusion System
German equipment supplier Gneuss (U.S. office in Matthews, N.C.) last month received an unrestricted non-objection letter from the U.S.

Pepsi Develops First 100% Biobased PET Bottle
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., says it has developed the world’s first PET bottle made entirely from plant-based, renewable resources.

Film Insert Molding Adds Antennas to Cell Phones
 WEB EXCLUSIVE: One of two recent developments in polycarbonate films allows cost-effective integration of antennas into cell phones via printed electronics and film insert molding (FIM), also known as in-mold decorating (IMD). Bayer MateriaScience AG in Germany (U.S. office in Pittsburgh) has applied for a patent on a method of using printed electronics on PC films, which are then back-molded into cell-phone housings.

Coke & Heinz Cosponsor Bioplastics Conference
WEB EXCLUSIVE:  In a somewhat unusual move, two major consumer brands will cosponsor next month’s BioPlastek 2011 Forum on Bioplastics in N.Y.C.

Resin Prices

Another Huge Hike Hits PP
Sticker shock is pummeling polyolefin buyers as PP nearly repeats the unprecedented price surge of January, and PE prices are also flirting with a double-digit increase.

Hourly Rates

Custom Molding Still Recovering
Custom injection molders continued their recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 in the second half of 2010, though at a slower rate than in the first half.

Column

The Practical Processor
Your processing questions answered.

Wood On Plastics: Aerospace Reaches Cruising Altitude
Overall production of aircraft/aerospace products and parts in the U.S. has been relatively stable during the past few years.

Your Checklist for Survival
Where do you line up?

CW Brabender
Carr Lane
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