September 2006

Close-Up on Technology

New Materials on a Fast Track for Molded Auto Glazing
Injection molding of polycarbonate automotive window and roof glazing is an emerging market that offers weight savings up to 50%, greater styling freedom and potential for parts integration (ribs or brackets) that glass cannot match.

Novel Vacuum Calibrators Raise Sheet Output and Quality
Flat vacuum-calibrator plates, typically used to extrude hollow profile sheet, are showing up in new forms and new uses.

Processor's Edge

Learning to Master In-Mold Labeling
As in-mold labeling, or IML, attracts a growing following among U.S. molders, some are finding that mastering a complex new technology is no small task.

Starting Up

Prices Rise As Leaves Fall
After a mid-summer respite from price increases in commodity resins—with some prices actually declining—processors face rising prices again heading into fall.

Recycled Materials Face Market Glut
In recent months, virgin resin markets began to slacken in tandem with slower housing starts and automobile sales. While recycled resin markets were not affected immediately, they are now starting to feel the slowdown, at least in PET and HDPE.

Your Business in Brief - September 2006
Japanese TPE Maker Coming to U.S.Riken Technos and Mitsubishi Corp. of Tokyo have established a joint venture, Riken Elastomers, in Hopkinsville, Ky.


Composites: Lightweight Materials Take on Bullets and Bombs
Topping the news from the year’s biggest composites show are PP ballistic panels, “stealth” composites, thermoplastic RTM, new tooling concepts, microwave curing, “instant” SMC, and laser projection for QC and ply layup.

Confessions of a Trade Show Fan
I admit it: I like trade shows, especially big ones like NPE.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Brains and Brawn - New Robots Are Handier Than Ever
Injection molding robots introduced at NPE pushed the work envelope for speed, reach, payload capacity, ease of programming, and ability to handle more sophisticated tasks.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Materials
From PPs for frozen-food packaging to nylons and alloys that withstand the heat of circuit-board soldering or automotive paint ovens, NPE 2006 was rich in news of commodity and engineering resins and TPEs.

Keeping Up With Technology

Better Prediction of Foam Cell-Size And Distribution
New simulation software for foam profile extrusion models gas-bubble size and distribution using sophisticated math models known as "population balance," which estimate how bubbles form, grow, merge, and collapse, much the way the age distribution of people can be predicted in a population.

Blow-Trim Breaks into High-Volume PET Jars
Amcor PET Packaging, Ann Arbor, Mich., is making extensive use of blow-trim technology to boost production rates for PET food jars.

Coil Heaters Last Longer In Pelletizer Dies
Starting about two years ago, Gala in Germany (U.S. office in Eagle Rock, Va.), retrofitted coil heaters in underwater pelletizer dies to replace cartridge heaters and found that the coils lasted far longer than cartridges.

Color Clear Plastics Without Swirls
New liquid colorant technology for clear plastics such as ABS, PC, PS, and acrylic is said to allow for much lower use levels than traditional colorants.

Color, UV and Biocide in One Pack
What is said to be the first biocide-containing color masterbatch has been introduced for wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking and other building profiles based on polyolefins and rigid or flexible PVC.

Compact Laser Welder Has a Rotary Table
A compact laser-welding system with an integrated rotary index table is new from LPKF Laser & Electronics, Wilsonville, Ore.

Crosslinked PE for Cable and Radiant Floor Heating
Two new grades of crosslinked PE, one for XLPE electrical cable and one for under-floor heating pipe, are newly available to the North American market from Borealis Compounds LLC, Port Murray, N.J.

'Dittering' Cast Film Cuts Edge-Trim Waste
To wind flatter rolls of cast film with less edge trim there's now an alternative to oscillating the film as it's wound.

Faster Tool Changes For Stretch-Blow Units
R&D Tool and Engineering, Lee's Summit, Mo., has introduced a new quick-change lower blow mold assembly for one-step stretch-blow molding machines such as those from Nissei and Aoki.

Feeding Fluff, Powder, and a Pinch of Pellets
When an extruder feed system combines pellets with powders and/or regrind flake, the powder and flake are usually the minor ingredients in the mix.

Foaming PVC Profiles Both Inside-Out and Outside-In
An unusual hybrid profile die from Greiner Extrusion US Inc. in Meadville, Pa., combines Celuka PVC foam extrusion technology with free foaming.

Glass-Filled PEEK Meets FDA Specs
A new series of glass-filled PEEK grades from Victrex USA Inc., Greenville, S.C., are FDA-compliant for food-processing and related industrial applications.

Hand-Held Torque Tester for Closures
A new water-resistant, hand-held closure testing device measures the application and removal torques of closures at the bottle filling line.

High-Clarity Antiblock for Polyolefin Films
A new antiblock masterbatch for polyolefin films is said to maintain low haze and high clarity better than conventional antiblocking agents.

High-Power Charging Bar For Film and Sheet
A new charging bar for web pinning and temporary bonding uses long-lasting tungsten electrodes in a unique configuration that reportedly achieves 20% higher charging currents than standard bars.

High-Speed Hydraulic Presses from Taiwan
A line of fast-cycle toggle presses for precision molding is being introduced here by Edex Machinery Enterprise Co.

In-Die Rollers Press High Relief into Profiles
Markram AB in Sweden is offering for license its patented technology for impressing much deeper relief into an extruded profile than is possible with embossing rolls.

Machine Maker Adds Maintenance Software
Predictive maintenance software that can monitor machine characteristics such as power consumption, vibration, temperature and oil cleanliness in order to identify potential machine problems before failure occurs is new from Husky Injection Molding Systems, Bolton, Ont.

New Heat-Set Cylinders Provide Long Life
New Series BCZ2D heat-set nozzle cylinders from PHD's Plastic Packaging Components Group, Fort Wayne, Ind., are designed as drop-in replacements for use in Sidel's Series2 heat-set reheat stretch-blow machines.

New Low-Gloss ABS For Auto Interiors
New Magnum SLG (super-low-gloss) ABS from Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich., reportedly provides superior scratch and mar resistance in interior applications.

New Mixing Screws For Specialty Jobs
Three mixing-screw geometries available with various compression ratios and L/Ds are new aftermarket products from Demag Plastics Group Corp., Strongsville, Ohio.

New Nylon Compounds Are Laser Weldable
Glass-filled nylons are the first in a series of new laser-weldable compounds from Techmer Lehvoss LLC, Clinton, Tenn.

New Package Combines Mold Base and Hot Runner
Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C., is now offering standard or custom mold bases as a package together with a hot-runner system.

New SMCs Target Lighting, HVAC
New polyester SMC materials for commercial lighting and HVAC parts come from IDI Composites International, Noblesville, Ind.

New Sprue-Bar Design For Stack Molds
A new split sprue bar for stack molds reportedly eliminates stringing and drooling and keeps the molding area clear for free drop of parts or easy robot access.

New Twin-Screw Lab Model
A corotating twin-screw lab extruder introduced to the U.S. at NPE is the first lab model from C.W.

PBT Made from Recycled PET
GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has developed a novel process to manufacture PBT resin using 85% post-consumer PET waste to produce materials that are virtually identical to standard grades.

PE Pipe Reinforced with Cross-Ply Oriented Tape
A reinforced pipe technology called HexelOne, developed by Solvay SA in Belgium, was sold last summer to Egeplast Werner Strumann GmbH, a producer of PE pipe in Greven, Germany.

Permanent Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor for Heavy Film
A non-migratory vapor corrosion inhibitor designed for heavy-duty PE and PP films used to package military equipment, engine parts, steel pipe, and other steel parts has been launched by Techmer PM, Clinton, Tenn.

Pipe Calibrator Can Change Wall Thickness
A new adjustable calibration sleeve from Inoex in Lancaster, Pa., can change pipe OD and wall thickness over the full range of pressure categories for one nominal pipe size without interrupting production.

Process and Production Monitoring In a Single Package
A new software and hardware package that integrates process control and production monitoring on one platform is available from RJG Inc., Traverse City, Mich.

Production Monitoring For Large and Small Shops
A new manufacturing execution system (MES) and upgrades to an entry-level production monitoring system were introduced at the NPE show by Syscon-PlantStar, Div. of Syscon International, South Bend, Ind.

Recycled Tire Rubber Toughens Extruded Pencils
The first extrusion application using a new very-fine powder grade (200-mesh or 55-micron) of recycled tire rubber as an impact modifier is expected to be a black pencil of recycled HIPS and wood flour coextruded with a graphite-filled core.

Robots for Cutting, Trimming and Assembly
The recent NPE show in Chicago saw the debut of several new 5- and 6-axis articulated-arm robots and programming software for secondary operations.

Software Centralizes Process Monitoring
A new process information system that combines comprehensive process monitoring from each injection machine with central data collection is new from Priamus System Technologies LLC, Brunswick, Ohio.

Super-Tough BMC Replaces Metal Under the Hood
A new bulk molding compound is said to have four times the impact strength and triple the tensile strength of standard BMC.

Variable-Volume Pump for RIM Metering
A new variable-displacement axial piston pump designed specifically for high-pressure pumping of polyol and isocyanate was introduced at NPE in Chicago by Bosch Rexroth Corp., Lehigh Valley, Pa.

World' Largest Compressor Handles High PET Output
Ingersoll-Rand's Industrial Technologies Div., Davidson, N.C., claims to have brought out the industry's largest air compressor for PET stretch-blow molding.

CW Brabender
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