July 2009

Close-Up on Technology

First Microlayered Commodity Films
Advanced microlayer feedblock technology, used for over a decade to put dozens or hundreds of alternating layers into specialty films, has passed a new milestone.

Polyphosphonate: New Flame-Retardant Cousin of Polycarbonate
A new thermoplastic made by a polycondensation process similar to that used for polycarbonate offers high clarity, inherent flame resistance, and broad potential for copolymerization with PC and alloying with styrenics and polyesters.

Processor's Edge

Aluminum Tooling Proves Its Mettle
Can aluminum tooling enter the race for high-volume automotive injection molding?

Starting Up

Commodity Prices Up Sharply
Resin makers have taken the gloves off on price increases for many commodity materials.

Your Business In Brief - July 2009
Materials Suppliers Shift To Toll CompoundingTwo producers of thermoplastic molding and extrusion materials are shifting from in-house compounding to outside toll producers.


Adjusting to the 'New Normal'
I'm a Baby Boomer, part of the Youth Generation that never thought about getting old.

NPE News in Additives
Colorants were the most numerous class of additives making news at the huge triennial plastics exhibition last month in Chicago. Some of the new colorants were aimed at specialized applications, from natural-fiber composites to laser marking, while others were for aesthetic special effects, such as color shifts and diamond-like sparkle.

Keeping Up With Technology

Acrylic Sheets Now In Multi-Color Laminates
WEB EXCLUSIVE Laminated combinations of acrylic sheets in different colors, or clear and colored, are new available from Acrilex, Inc., Jersey City, N.J.

Adding Muscle to an ‘Economy’ Machine
The upgraded Ecoformer KMV 53E in-line vacuum former from Kiefel GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Hampton, N.H.), has considerably higher forming pressure and slightly larger forming area than its predecessor, model KMV 50.

Additive Enables All Colors To Mold at Same Speed
A new “color-leveling” additive allows injection molders to run all colors in polypropylene at the same cycle-speed settings without adverse effects on shrinkage or warpage.

Additive in Blowing Agent Makes EPS Photodegradable
A natural flavor component used in food products reportedly can make EPS bead foam packaging degrade rapidly when exposed to sunlight.

Additives Make PET Degradable
WEB EXCLUSIVE A couple of new additives have emerged to make PET bottles biodegradable.

Amber Colorants For PET
WEB EXCLUSIVE Penn Color, Doylestown, Pa., recently came out with two new amber color concentrates for PET pharmaceutical bottles.

Antimicrobial for LSR
A new silver-based antimicrobial additive designed for use with injection moldable liquid silicone rubber comes from Milliken Chemical, Spartanburg, S.C.

Antimicrobials for Thermoplastics
Chroma Corp., offers a variety of organic and inorganic antimicrobial additives in masterbatches or fully compounded materials.

Automate Production Of Woven Sacks
The “cb*starKON” sack-making machine, introduced by Starlinger & Co. of Austria at NPE last month, is reportedly the first automated process to convert woven PP into square-bottom sacks.

Automatic Foam Insulation Of PEX/Aluminum Pipe
WEB EXCLUSIVE Maillefer SA of Switzerland (U.S. office in Kingsport, Tenn.)has designed an elaborate system for in-line production of foam-insulated PEX/aluminum/PEX composite pipe for a European producer.It saves hand-wrapping pipe with foam insulation for hot-water use inside hollow walls.

Central Granulator Built For ‘Adaptability’
Ability to be reconfigured for changing needs is one major design concept behind the new T500 Series central granulators from ACS Group, Schaumburg, Ill., parent of the AEC/Nelmor, Cumberland, Sterling, and Colortronic brands, all of which will offer the new models.

Continuous Gravimetric Blender Feeds Multiple Powders
Process Control Corp., Atlanta, has brought out its first continuous gravimetric powder blender.

Dual-Arm Servo Robot For Stack Molds
A new single-beam robot suited to stack molds and applications requiring two vertical arms was unveiled at last month’s NPE show by Wittmann Battenfeld, Torrington, Conn.

Enhanced Cavity-Pressure Monitoring and Control
CoMo Injection, a cavity-pressure monitoring system from Kistler Instrument Corp., Amherst, N.Y., that controls the injection process in real time, has several new enhancements.

Expandable Mold Cavities at NPE
Progressive Components, Wauconda, Ill., introduced a new standardized line of expandable mold cavities at the NPE show last month.

Fast Centering for Large Pipe Dies
A fixed ring of ultrasonic sensors mounted on the first calibrator reportedly allows much faster die centering and start-up of large pipe extrusion lines, drastically reducing scrap.

High-Precision Ultrasonic Welder
In May, we reported that Sonics & Materials Inc., Newtown, Conn., would introduce at NPE its new e-Press ultrasonic welder, designed to provide precise, repeatable welds to the exact final dimensions of a part.

High-Speed Packaging Press
A new accumulator-assisted toggle press for high-speed packaging and in-mold labeling (IML) made its U.S. debut at last month’s NPE show.

Hot-Fillable PET Bottles Now 20% Lighter
A new lightweight PET bottle for hot-fill applications requiring smooth walls has been developed by Graham Packaging Co.

Larger 3- or 4-Station PET Former
The new FFG 920-ADV machine from Amut SpA in Italy (North American office in Woodbridge, Ont.) is the largest so far in Amut’s FFG series of in-line formers, which use “plug-and-play” tooling for complete tool changes in under 30 min.

New Neck Finish and Closure For Edible Oils
The trend to lightweighting caps and neck finishes on PET bottles for still and carbonated beverages has now spread to edible oils.

New North American Entry In Oriented PVC Pipe
WEB EXCLUSIVE Montreal-based PVC pipe producer Ipex Inc. recently became the second processor in North America to make oriented PVC pressure pipe for municipal water and sewer applications.

New Polyketones Offer Lower Cost Or Higher Performance
Two new developments in high-performance polyketone resins offer a choice of lower cost or higher performance relative to existing PEEK materials.

New Press, Screw, Robot All from One Source
The Victory line of tiebarless hydraulic machines from Engel Austria (U.S. office in York, Pa.) has been extended with a smaller, lower-cost series available at present only in Europe.

New Reciprocating-Screw Units Save Time and Energy
WEB EXCLUSIVE Two new reciprocating-screw extrusion blow molders are said to offer reduced energy use and shorter dry cycles.

New Sheets of TPO and Recycled PETG
WEB EXCLUSIVE Spartech Corp., St.

New Thin-Wall Approach And Other Tooling News at NPE
Lightweighting injection molded parts is the aim of a new Thin Recess Injection Molding (TRIM) process introduced at NPE last month by Stack Teck Systems Ltd., Brampton, Ont.

New, Affordable Non-Return Valve
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new three-piece, ring-type check valve for general injection molding applications comes from Zeiger Industries, Canton, Ohio.

PE Film Reclaim System Works for PLA, Too
Processors making PLA film and sheet, especially oriented PLA, have kept mum about how they reprocess their scrap.

PEEK Color Masterbatches and Precolored Resins
WEB EXCLUSIVE More than a dozen standard colors are now available in Renol masterbatches for PEEK resins from Clariant Masterbatches, Holden, Mass.

Plastic and Cow Manure Make Boards for Farm Use
After more than six years of R&D, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the Univ. of Wisconsin, both in Madison, have developed a composite for high-strength profiles made of 50/50 and 40/60 blends of cow manure and HDPE or PP.

Productivity Upgrades For All-Electric Series
WEB EXCLUSIVE Several new improvements and options have been added to the Roboshot S2000i-B series of all-electric injection molding machines from Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio.

Rotary Airlock Conveys Abrasive Materials
WEB EXCLUSIVE A rotary airlock valve for bulk conveying systems is said to be designed for highly abrasive materials.

SMA Oligomer Boosts Flow of PBT
Sartomer Co., Exton, Pa., says it has discovered a new use for its SMA 1000 low-molecular-weight styrene maleic anhydride oligomer.

Software Optimizes Robot Takeout Time
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new software function that optimizes the takeout path of a beam-mounted robot is part of the new R8 control from Wittmann Battenfeld, Torrington, Conn., that was introduced to the U.S. at the NPE show in Chicago last month.

Stepper Motors Drive Valve Gates
A new line of hot-runner valve gates is driven by an electric stepper motor rather than hydraulics.

Two New Static Ionizers
WEB EXCLUSIVE Two new products for neutralizing static and keeping dust off parts have been introduced by JDV Products, Inc., Fair Lawn, N.J.

Vinyl Alcohol Polymers Are Moldable and Extrudable
Two companies claim to have achieved a long-sought goal by launching vinyl alcohol-based thermoplastics that are injection moldable and extrudable while retaining the water solubility and biodegradability of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). One of the new products is a PVOH compound; the other is a new vinyl alcohol copolymer.

Vision System for Mold Protection
WEB EXCLUSIVE A vision inspection system introduced late last year protects molds by detecting errors in real time.

Web-Based Energy Monitor Tracks Plant Usage and Cost
A new company, Agentis Energy, made its debut at NPE 2009 last month with a web-based interface that enables plastics processors to monitor the energy consumption of every electrically powered device in the plant and use that information to minimize energy costs.

CW Brabender
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