Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

Micro-Layers Enter Blow Molding
Taking coextrusion blow molded bottles beyond six layers while maintaining conventional wall thicknesses is at the core of a new micro-layer approach developed by Dow.

More Hydraulic Presses Get Energy-Saving Servo Drives
Injection molders who want to save energy costs have a growing number of alternatives.

Features

Production Aluminum Tooling: What's Holding You Back?
It might be time to pursue aluminum molds in applications where traditional P20 steel has been specified without giving serious thought to any alternative.

Intrusion Molding: Does It Affect Part Properties?
In plastics molding, there is always a tradeoff between maximum part-size capacity and investment for a larger-capacity machine.

On Site: Where Art, Science, And Customer Focus Meet
Business strategy at Danafilms involves a mix of art and science in blending resins, designing layer structures, and operating flexibility for both short and long runs.

Get Smarter About Melt Filtration
As quality specifications become tighter and the need to use more recycled materials becomes more prominent, more and more extrusion processors are examining their options in melt-filtration technology. Here's some help in evaluating your options.

Strategies

‘Lean’ Versus Quality Management: They Don’t Have to Conflict
A 'Lean Compliance' system allows an organization to focus its lean initiatives in a way that also improves its quality management system.

Troubleshooter

Don’t Just Be a ‘Replacer’
To be a skilled troubleshooter is about understanding how your molds function, paying attention to the details, establishing a consistent troubleshooting method, and using historical data to guide your tooling replacement decisions

Keeping Up With Technology

INJECTION MOLDING: Automated Mold Changer Integrated with Press Controls
Engel Machinery Inc., York, Pa., is offering its first automatic mold-changing system with a controller utilizing the company’s CC 200 press control.

INJECTION MOLDING: Smaller Two-Platen Press for High-Volume Packaging
The German parent of KraussMaffei Corp., Florence, Ky., has come out with the smallest model in its MX hydraulic two-platen series, aimed at high-productivity molding of caps and closures with high-cavitation and stack molds.

EXTRUSION: Profile Lines for Auto Seals
A new extrusion line is designed specifically for profiles that combine polypropylene and/or TPEs of different hardnesses.

EXTRUSION: Screen Changer Seal for Low-Viscosity Materials
PSI-Polymer Systems Inc., Conover, N.C., has introduced a new seal for its piston-type screen changers and diverter valves.

BLOW MOLDING: Higher Output Screw for Reciprocating Machines
A new line of feed screws is said to provide higher throughputs, lower melt temperatures, and improved mixing on reciprocating-screw extrusion blow molders.

AUXILIARIES: Dryers' Color Touchscreen Is Now Standard
Color touchscreen control is now a standard feature (with no price increase) on medium and large models of NovaWheel Dryers from Novatec Inc., Baltimore.

AUXILIARIES: Batch Control Terminal for Compounding
The IND780batch stand-alone batch controller from Mettler Toledo, Columbus, Ohio, is said to provide advanced batching control technology while adhering to the ISA SP-88 Batch Standard.

AUXILIARIES: Fast, Reliable FT-IR Chemical Imaging Analysis
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Waltham, Mass., has launched a new imaging attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory, offering enhanced spatial resolution and high-speed data-acquisition capabilities for FT-IR chemical imaging applications.

ADDITIVES: Antifog Keeps PP Sheet Clear in the Cold
New VF-P05 antifog masterbatch from Polyvel, Inc., Hammonton, N.J., is said to be highly effective in refrigerated conditions, as well as in hot environments.

MATERIALS: 'Crash-Optimized' Nylons for Cars
At the recent Fakuma 2011 show in Germany, BASF AG (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) introduced three new members of its “crash-optimized” nylon 6 family.

MATERIALS: Low-VOC Acetal Improves Vehicle Air Quality, Reduces Weight
Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Fowlerville, Mich., developed the Tenac-C ZSeries low-emission acetal copolymer for the seat-adjuster comfort mat in the lumbar support (pictured) for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

MATERIALS: Ultra-Soft TPVs Replace EPDM Foam Seals
Two new PP-based Sarlink thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) are said to provide the first practical alternative to EPDM foam or sponge in automotive seals, construction weatherstripping, gaskets, and other profiles requiring high resilience.

MATERIALS: New LSRs for Automotive & Electronics
At the recent Fakuma 2011 show in Germany, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Albany, N.Y., introduced three new LSR systems.

MATERIALS: Greater 'Flexibility' for Silicone Extrusion
Extruders of silicone rubber tubing and profiles are offered what is said to be unprecedented flexibility and convenience with the new Sil-X-Shin silicone elastomers from Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, Akron, Ohio.

MATERIALS: New Blow Molding Resins at SPE Conference
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new materials were presented at the recent SPE Annual Blow Molding Conference in Chicago.

MATERIALS: EVOH/Nanoclay Barrier Compounds Coming Soon
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Nippon Gohsei of Japan has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Nanobiomatters Industries S.L. of Spain for the exclusive use of Nanobiomatters’ O2Block Barrier nanoclay additive in EVOH compounds.

MATERIALS: New Purging Compound Good for Hot Runners
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Klenz is a new chemically reactive purging compound that is recommended for injection molding—including hot runners—as well as blow molding and extrusion.

MATERIALS: Soft TPE Offers Scratch & Dust Resistance
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new SEBS-based TPE offers a degree of softness plus scratch/mar resistance and reduced coefficient of friction, which is said to minimize pickup of dust and debris in dirty, dusty environments.

MATERIALS: Cast-Film TPE Tailored for Disposable Gloves
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A styrenic-based TPE developed expressly for disposable gloves is new from Alliance Polymers & Services LLC, Romulus, Mich.

Know How

The Importance of Melt & Mold Temperature
Molders should realize how significantly process conditions can influence the final properties of the part.

What Percentage of Barrel Capacity Should Your Shot Size Be?
The answer combines both experience and science, and it may be one of those molding details that gets overlooked but could be stealing a chunk of your profits.

How Much L/D Do You Really Need?
Just like selecting the extruder size and drive combination, the L/D should be carefully evaluated.

Starting Up

Control Machinery from Your Smartphone or Tablet
If you believe that new online gizmos and gadgets aren’t suited for manufacturing, think again.

Microcellular Instrument Panel Wins SPE Grand Award
The largest automotive component ever molded with the MuCell microcellular process—and also the first instrument panel ever molded with this process—won the Grand Award at the 2011 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition last month.

First Production-Ready Thermoplastic Wheel
At the recent Fakuma show in Germany, BASF AG showed off what it says is the first all-plastic car wheel that’s ready for highvolume production.

Rotomolded Multi-Layer Fuel Tank Earns EPA & CARB Certifications
A new three-layer fuel tank reportedly offers better impact strength than metal tanks and eliminates their potential for leaks at welds, seams, and fastening points.

Pipe Maker Gains Flexibility with Ultrasonic Control System
The recent addition of an ultrasonic gauging and control system is credited by pipe extruder Charter Plastics Inc., Titusville, Pa., with increasing its production flexibility.

Mobile Six-Axis Robotic System: Relocation Made Easy
Six-axis, jointed-arm robots are gaining popularity in molding for their extreme flexibility and ability to perform a number of operations within a single press cycle.

FKuR and Braskem Sign 'Green' PE Compounding Agreement
Braskem, a major Brazilian producer of polymers and chemicals, has signed an agreement with German bioplastics compounder FKuR Kunststoff GmbH that will enable production of customized grades of Braskem’s BioPE.

Lanxess to Produce First Bio-Based EPDM
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The world’s first partially bio-based EPDM rubber is expected to be produced by Lanxess AG of Germany (parent of Lanxess Corp., Pittsburgh) by the end of this year.

Injection Molded, Long-Glass Thermoplastic Concrete Forms
WEB EXCLUSIVE: An unusual application for long-glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic is injection molded concrete forms measuring up to 3.7 x 2 ft.

Free Smartphone App Calculates IV for PET Blends
WEB EXCLUSIVE: PET Packaging specialist Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) has launched a free app that calculates the intrinsic viscosity (IV) of blends of virgin and recycled PET.

Resin Prices

Commodity Resin Prices End Year with 'Soft Landing'
Prices of PE, PP, PS, and PVC declined further last month.

Column

Of Harry Moser, Sewing Machines, And Reshoring
If you have lost business to China or other low-cost nations because of “price,” Harry Moser can help you.

Wood on Plastics: Construction Outlook: Stable in ’12, Growing Again in ’13
Trends in recent months suggest that these sectors are stabilizing, but overall home prices remain weak, and there are millions of foreclosures set to hit the market in 2012. This will hold prices down through the coming year.

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