April 2006

Close-Up on Technology

Molder Saves Energy and Maintenance Headaches With New Type of Quiet-Running Chiller
The first plastics molder to use a radically new kind of chiller was looking for improved reliability to keep its plant running 24/7.

Moving Die Parts Change Profile Shapes 'On the Fly'
Change one tubing lumen into two, or two lumens into three, or even split one tube into two in a “Y” shape: These are some of the dramatic alterations that can be made “on the fly” with a novel articulated die concept available for license from Specialty Silicone Fabricators, a medical tubing maker in Paso Robles, Calif.

Processor's Edge

With This New Process, You Can't Be Too Thin or Too Fast
Minneapolis custom molder Midwest Plastics Components (MPC) hopes that helping to pioneer a novel high-speed injection molding concept will give it a leg up in the emerging micro-molding market for precision thin-wall parts that weigh less than a gram.

Starting Up

Flat or Slipping
Prices of most commodity resins were flat or slipping downhill in February and March.

Your Business in Brief - April 2006
Details Set for Bioplastic PlantArcher Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Decatur, Ill., and Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., have selected Clinton, Iowa, as the site for the first commercial plant to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastic.

Your Business Outlook - April 2006
According to our Injection Molding Business Index, total output by domestic injection molders held close to steady in 2005.


Auto Glazing: Window of Opportunity for Molders
This emerging market promises to be big but challenging. Polycarbonate car windows require specialized machinery, high-end processing capability, premium polymers, advanced coating technologies, and innovative mold and runner designs.

Slip Agents: Extended Performance Range for Polyolefin Films
Newer specialty slip masterbatches go beyond traditional capabilities to provide greater thermal stability, reliability, and ability to hold COF steady during laminating.

Small Fuel Tanks: New Emissions Rules Spur Hunt for Barrier Solutions
Coex blow molding has the inside track, but makers of small gas tanks and jerry cans are also looking at fluorination and other monolayer systems. Rotomolders, too, are considering multilayer alternatives.

Why It’s So Good To Be in Plastics
Give me one good reason why you like being in the plastics business.

Keeping Up With Technology

All-Gearless Motors Run Blown Film Lines
At the Milan Plast show in February, Macchi SpA of Italy ran a coex blown film line driven entirely by energy-efficient gearless motors-probably a world first.

Buy/Sell Used Hot Runners on the Web
Polymer Cleaning Technology (PCT), Hillsborough, N.J., which cleans and repairs all brands of hot-runner systems, has launched "The Hot Runner Trading Page" at

Control Up to 24 Pumps for Vacuum Conveying
Enhanced graphics are provided by a new conveying-system controller that can handle up to 24 vacuum pumps, 128 loading stations, and 128 purge valves.

Crosslinkable SBCs Resist Heat and Oil Swell
Septon Co. of America, Pasadena, Texas, has come out with the Septon V9000 series of hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers with crosslinkable hard blocks.

Cure UV-Curing Problems
The first inexpensive device to test the efficiency of different uv wavelengths for curing inks and adhesives is newly available from UV Process Supply Inc., Chicago.

Dual Strands Raise PVC Fence Output
Three Austrian die makers have built new, large dual-strand dies to boost output of PVC fence and other profiles.

Economical Vertical Presses for Rubber
New vertical injection machines for silicone or other rubber molding come from Technical Machine Products (TMP), Cleveland.

Encapsulate Electronics With RIM PUR
New RIM polyurethane technology for encapsulating the sensitive electronics of power supplies such as chargers for cell phones or electric toothbrushes is said to provide a watertight seal and protect against electric shock.

First Ceramic Screw for Abrasive Materials
The world's first full ceramic screw for extrusion of abrasive, highly filled materials was developed this year by H.C.

First Qualified Moldmaker For 'Spin Stack' Tools
Under a new partnership agreement, German moldmaker Braunform GmbH (U.S. office in Pinellas Park, Fla.) will build molds using the rotary Spin Stack tooling system from Gram Technology of Denmark (U.S. office in Scottsdale, Ariz.). Gram's Spin Stack concept typically uses four-sided indexing core sets between the stationary and moving platens to allow for multi-component molding with decorating, coating, and/or assembly.

Free Cost Estimator for Molds and Parts
"Quick-Sight Estimator" is software designed to quickly estimate injection mold and part costs.

Free Simulation of Blown Film
The Center for Advanced Engineering, Fibers and Film at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., has developed a simulation model for the molecular behavior of LDPE and LLDPE in blown film and is making it available to processors for free in exchange for feedback on how it performs.

Gearless Motors Go Larger
Baumuller's DST line of gearless, synchronous, permanent-magnet torque motors, first seen on a lab machine at the K 2004 show in Dusseldorf, is now available in larger models with an integral thrust bearing (normally built into the gearbox of standard motors). The German motor builder (U.S. offices in Bloomfield, Conn.) offers gearless motors for shaft heights of 200, 260, and 315 mm.

Giant Tandem Compounders
Two huge tandem twin-screw compounding lines are on order from Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer in Germany for delivery in early 2007 to Saudi Arabia.

Hydraulic Machines Boast Greater Speed and Accuracy
A new series of horizontal hydraulic presses with improved controls and valving technology comes from Arburg Inc., Newington, Conn.

Improved Compressed-Air Membrane Dryer
Numerous improvements to compressed-air membrane dryers from Baltimore-based Novatec, Inc., will be on display at the NPE show in June.

Large-Part Thermoformers Headed to GE's Labs
GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has contracted Germany's Geiss AG (U.S. office in Elk Grove Village, Ill.) to build two advanced thermoforming machines to expand the use of GE's engineering thermoplastics in large parts.

Light-Stable PET for Personal Care Products
A new PET resin that has an FDA-approved uv absorber bound into the polymer chain is designed for consistent quality in cosmetic and personal-care packaging.

Low-Cost Additive Feeders To Debut at NPE
Two new augerless additive feeders boast high accuracy at about 25% lower cost than competing units.

Low-Cost, Full-Featured Compounding Controls
A new line of "Smart Controls" for extrusion compounding will be shown at NPE on a new size of co-rotating twin-screw extruder from Entek Manufacturing Inc. in Lebanon, Ore.

Low-VOC Surfactant For Flexible Foam
A silicone surfactant designed to provide wide processing latitude in flexible PUR foams is also said to sharply reduce volatile emissions.

Make More PET Bottles in the Same Floor Space
A new two-stage rotary stretch-blow machine from Krones Inc., Franklin, Wis., offers higher output in a compact machine footprint for production of PET bottles up to 1.5 liters.

More Efficient Colorants for Building Products
A new family of 14 light-stabilized colorants is available in multiple forms and resins for a wide range of interior and exterior building products.

New Presses Save Energy and Cycle Time
New compression presses from Dieffenbacher North America Inc., Windsor, Ont., are said to reduce energy consumption by at least 50% while also trimming cycle times.

New Source of Hot-Air Welding Tools
Abbeon Cal Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif., is the new U.S. supplier of hot-air welding tools from Forsthoff GmbH of Germany.

New Stretch-Blow Process Slashes PET Bottle Weight
Bottle manufacturer Graham Packaging Co., York, Pa., has developed a proprietary stretch-blow molding technology that cuts the weight of hot-fill PET monolayer bottles without design changes or loss of performance.

New TPEs Bond To a Range Of Nylons
New TPE specialty alloys slated for introduction at NPE in June are claimed to provide superior bonding to most types of standard and modified nylons in overmolding applications.

Plasma Barrier Coating Brings Cost Advantages
A new plasma-enhanced coating/ vapor-deposition (PECVD) process, called PlasmaStar, is claimed to be a low-cost barrier solution for PET and PP bottles.

Polybutadiene-Based TPU Is an Industry First
A new TPU from Sartomer Co.

Pre-Measured Packages Simplify Purging
New PurgePacks from Bricor Products Inc., Chino, Calif., are pre-measured bags that deliver an exact dose of liquid purging compound.

Quiet Trim-Removal Systems
Plastic film and sheet producers can reduce sound levels in pneumatic trim-removal systems with a new elbow device from Precision AirConvey, Newark, Del.

Shorter PP Casting Unit
A new feeding mechanism keeps operators away from pull rolls on thread-up and makes a safer, more compact film casting machine.

Specialty TPE Beats TPU in Roller Skates
Processing and performance advantages led the largest remaining U.S. roller-skate manufacturer to choose a specialty olefinic TPE over other materials for the cushions of its skate trucks.

Spirex to Supply Glycon Non-Return Valve
Glycon Corp., Tecumseh, Mich., has agreed to allow Spirex Corp., Youngstown, Ohio, to make and sell the Glycon QSO (quick-shutoff) non-return valve.

Stronger, Stiffer Glass Lightens Windmill Blades
Wind-energy turbine blades can now be made longer, lighter, and lower in cost without need for expensive, hard-to-get carbon fiber.

Syndiotactic PS Is Back
Idemitsu Kosan Co.

Take-Away Unit Speeds Bottle Changeovers
A new automated take-away system for PET bottles is said to provide increased throughput and flexibility.

Tandem Molds Get Simpler, Better Locking
A simple and more efficient locking system has been developed for TandemMould, a patented stack-mold system that opens and closes two mold faces in alternating sequence.

Tieberless Line Offers New Features, Lower Cost
The new Victory Standard series of tiebarless horizontal hydraulic presses from Engel Canada Inc., Guelph, Ont., costs about 10% less than the Victory Tech and Victory Power versions of similar size.

White Masterbatches For Film and Blow Molding
Three new high-melt-index TiO2 masterbatches originally engineered for injection molding of thin-wall PE containers have been adapted for film extrusion and blow molding.

CW Brabender
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