June 2006

Close-Up on Technology

First Foamed LSR Molding Uses Direct Gas Injection
Updated horizontal and vertical presses and robots were some of the attractions at the annual conference and technical exhibition of Arburg GmbH in Lossburg, Germany.

New Materials and Methods for Optical Discs
The so-called “format war” has finally hit the streets.

New Way to Rotomold Foam/Solid PE Parts
A captive plastics processor is willing to license its new technology for rotomolding polyethylene parts with foam and solid layers.

Processor's Edge

Helping Multi-Shot Molding Taxi for Takeoff
Multi-component molding remains a niche market in North America, yet one with explosive growth potential.

Starting Up

Polyolefin Prices Flare Up Again
 In the first four months of the year, commodity resin prices took a breather from their relentless uphill march.

Your Business in Brief - June 2006
ExxonMobil Ends Mytex Joint VentureExxonMobil Chemical Co. , Houston, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. terminated their Mytex Polymers joint venture on June 1.


They’re All Coming to NPE
Once upon a time, NPE stood for National Plastics Exposition—but not any more.

What to See at NPE 2006: Blow Molding
Show-goers will see a range of new blow molding equipment that offers higher speeds, more cavitation, and faster changeovers.

What to See at NPE 2006: CAD/CAM and CAE
The newest generation of 3D simulation software takes aim at screw designs as well as hot-runner, mold, and part design.

What to See at NPE 2006: Chemicals and Additives
Compounders, molders, and extruders will be treated to a wide range of new additives at NPE 2006.

What to See at NPE 2006: Compounding and Mixing
Throughput capacities are going up for compounding equipment of all types.

What to See at NPE 2006: Control and Monitoring
Web-based or wireless monitoring, combined temperature and pressure sensing, cost-saving modularity, and better ways to display and report process and production data are some of the advances in control and monitoring that will be presented at this year’s NPE.One development that could have the broadest implications is Watlow’s new EZ-Zone ST modular “integrated architecture” for temperature control loops.

What to See at NPE 2006: Decorating, Printing and Finishing
While there is plenty of news at NPE this year in pad, screen, dry-offset, flexo, and inkjet printing, as well as laser marking, hot stamping, heat-transfer decorating, and some less familiar technologies—the real star of the show is summed up in two words: “in-mold.” Responding to excitement in automotive, appliance, and electronics industries, at least 19 companies are showing materials or equipment for in-mold film-insert decorating or labeling (IMD, IML) for injection molding and thermoforming.

What to See at NPE 2006: Extrusion
The new factor in extrusion machinery at this NPE is the influx of Asian suppliers.

What to See at NPE 2006: Heating and Cooling
Most of the news at the show is in fluid-circulating mold-temperature-control systems.

What to See at NPE 2006: Injection Molding
Energy-saving all-electric machines will continue to be a big draw at NPE, where new designs or upgraded models will be found in virtually every press maker’s booth.

What to See at NPE 2006: Materials
Fewer thermoplastic materials suppliers will make the trip to Chicago this year.

What to See at NPE 2006: Materials and Parts Handling
Dryers, feeders, blenders, loaders, metal detectors, level sensors, mechanical and pneumatic conveyors, silos, bins, pumps, filters, valves, box fillers, bag dumpers, and materials-handling control systems constitute one of the biggest categories of products on display at NPE.

What to See at NPE 2006: Polyurethanes and RIM
Despite the small number of polyurethane and RIM exhibitors, you will find some interesting new materials and equipment technology.One highlight will be a novel aliphatic PUR cast elastomer technology said to enable production of highly transparent parts with unique property profiles.

What to See at NPE 2006: Recycling and Scrap Reclaim
Recycling and reclamation are once again hot technologies—this time because of high resin prices.

What to See at NPE 2006: Thermoforming
Like many other NPE exhibitors, thermoforming equipment suppliers are taking less machinery to this year’s Chicago event.

What to See at NPE 2006: Thermosets and Composites
There is only a small contingent of NPE exhibitors in the thermosets and composites segment, but they will discuss several new advances, particularly in materials.

What to See at NPE 2006: Welding, Bonding and Assembly
Systems integration and compact size will be central themes of welding exhibits at NPE, where a wide range of new products will be displayed.

What to See at NPE 2006:Testing and QC
There’s never been a better time to outfit your lab or QC inspectors with testing and measuring instruments.

Keeping Up With Technology

Cotton/Abrasive Tools For Light Mold Cleaning
Repair and maintenance of steel or aluminum molds or dies can be achieved with a new line of grinding tools used for light cleaning and finishing or minimal metal removal.

Draw Injection Profiles With Your Fingertip
A new way to display and adjust recovery, injection speed, hold pressure, and mold stroke is standard on the latest Polaris control from Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont.

Extreme Filtration
Maag Pump Systems Textron, Charlotte, N.C., has adapted "candle filters" for extrusion.

Highest Torque Gearbox
A gearbox developed by Zambello Riduttori in Italy (U.S. office in Wayne, N.J.) is said to offer the world's highest torque for twin-screw compounding.

High-Output Molds for Barrier PET Preforms
New developments in preform molds for oriented mono- and multilayer bottles of PET and other materials were announced by Mold & Hot Runner Technology (MHT), Hochheim, Germany.

Improved Parts Handling for Molders
Several new developments in parts handling will be shown this month at the NPE show in Chicago by Harvard Factory Automation (HFA), Harvard, Ill.

Improved SBC Is Cost Saver for Packaging
An enhanced grade of BASF Corp.'s Styrolux styrene-butadiene copolymer (SBC) is claimed to reduce production costs for foodservice and packaging products such as clear cups, trays, utensils, and lids, as well as blisters and OPS.

Linear Reheat PET Unit Sets New Production Mark
A new linear reheat stretch-blow machine from Siapi S.r.l, San Vendemiano, Italy, produces 6000 to 20,000 PET bottles/hr.

Little Coextruder, Big Energy Savings
The second extruder built in North America with a gearless permanent-magnet torque motor is a new coextruder from Addex Inc., Stoughton, Mass. (The first machine of this type was built a few months ago by Davis-Standard.

Mold Debugging Software Handles More Mold Layouts
New version 1.2 of "5 Step Process" mold-debugging software from Beaumont Technologies Inc., Erie, Pa., incorporates new graphics and adds 12 new multi-cavity mold configurations.

Mold Releases Are Free of Flammable Solvents
Three new non-flammable mold releases from IMS Co., Chagrin Falls, Ohio, are alternatives to formulations containing flammable or chemically aggressive ingredients.

New Conductive Additives Give Better ESD Control
New conductive additives from Eeonyx Corp., Pinole, Calif., are said to offer better resistivity control and come in a range of colors.

New Technologies Improve Plastic/Metal Hybrids
Two new bonding and material technologies have been introduced to expand the use of hybrid plastic/metal composites for automotive applications.

New Thickness Gauge Reduces Signal Errors
New portable magnetic thickness-measurement devices for molded containers have integrated digital signal processing for high-precision lab or production use.

New Toughened Nylon Is Easy to Color and Process
A new family of nylon 6 compounds from Clariant Masterbatches North America, Millington, Md., offers an unusual combination of toughness, easy processing, and good surface finish.

Novel Servo-Drive System Powers Vibration Welder
A new linear vibration welder from Forward Technology, Cokato, Minn., boasts a special servo-drive system that significantly raises performance of a small machine.

Novel Trimmer Meets Tandem-Blow Demands
A new in-machine spin trimmer developed by M.C.

Plastic Stacker Hinge Is Less Costly Option
Plastic stacker hinges are an industry first and are a more cost-effective option than metal for use in upstacking systems for in-line thermoformers.

Powder Priming of SMC Nears Commercialization
A unique research collaboration has resulted in the development of interrelated technologies that allow sheet molding compound (SMC) to be powder primed.

Reheat Stretch-Blow Unit Targets Smaller Markets
At the NPE show this month, W.

Robotic Trimmer/Router Handles Deeper Parts
A new robotic routing, trimming, and knife deflashing system handles increased heights on thermoformed parts.

Self-Cleaning Slide Gate Seals Pressurized Lines
A new slide gate for dry bulk-solids metering is designed to prevent leakage of air pressure in pneumatic conveying systems.

Small, Low-Cost RIM Machines
Two exhibitors at this month's NPE show in Chicago will be showing new high-pressure RIM systems designed for low throughput and low cost.

Spherical Carbide Makes Thicker, Tougher Cladding
Thicker carbide cladding for twin-screw barrel sections uses spherical carbide particles in a nickel alloy, while such cladding typically uses less-expensive angular carbide particles.

Sprue Gripper Goes Large
A new, larger sprue gripper and gripper finger set are available from EMI Plastics Equipment, Wickliffe, Ohio.

Static-Mixing Tip For Low-Shear Materials
A new two-part static-mixing tip developed by Westland Corp., Wichita, Kan., reportedly creates gentler or less chaotic mixing than a typical static mixer.

Updated TCUs Simplify Mold Cooldown and Purging
Two hot-water temperature control units (TCUs) have been redesigned to provide increased mold-purging capacity and automatic cooldown.

Water Cooling with IBC
A cylinder of water-cooled metal inside the bubble of a dedicated blown film line producing heavy-duty shipping sacks increases output by 30-40%, to over 600 lb/hr, says Kiefel Extrusion GmbH in Germany (U.S. offices in Wrentham, Mass.). Kiefel's Enhanced Cooling Package (ECP) is a module about 1.8 meters tall, which keeps the IBC air cool, rather than being heated by the bubble.

White Masterbatch Is Highly Weatherable
For applications that require maximum weatherability, a new white masterbatch is formulated with a durable grade of TiO2.

CW Brabender
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