April 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Melt-Oscillation Molding Enhances Part Properties
Research into a new melt-oscillation approach for injection molding has yielded a means of enhancing mechanical properties without use of fillers or additives.

Polystyrene Ionomer Extrudes More Easily
Total Petrochemicals in Houston has invented what it calls a “breakthrough resin technology,” believed to be the first commercial styrenic ionomer.

Processor's Edge

How to Become the World's Biggest Rotomolder
Where do you suppose the world’s largest rotomolding company hails from?

Starting Up

Your Business in Brief - April 2007
Lyondell Sells Its Millenium TiO2 UnitLyondell Chemical Co., Houston, has agreed to sell its Millennium Inorganic Chemicals subsidiary in Hunt Valley, Md., the world’s second-largest producer of titanium dioxide.

Your Business Outlook - April 2006
For the fifth consecutive year, our Pipe Business Index registered an overall gain in 2006, expanding 2% over the previous year.

Your Business Pricing Update - April 2007
Polyolefins, PET, and PVC were on the way up last month, as resin suppliers sought to recover margins shrunken by lackluster demand and higher feedstock costs.


How Big Is the Plastics Trade Deficit?
You may have an anxious feeling that the United States is being flooded with plastics imports and that the water is steadily rising.

Medical Tubing: Tinier Than Ever And Much More Complex
Medical tubes are becoming ever smaller and thinner while adding new features like high-tech material combinations, more wire braiding/wrapping, and heat-shrink sheathing for strength and kink resistance.

Structural Foam: As Parts Grow Larger, Robots Do the Heavy Lifting
Besides its safety advantages, automation stabilizers and even reduces cycle times, boosting production and cutting scrap.

Thermoforming: Ready for In-Mold Labeling?
After several fits and starts over the last decade, thermoforming IML appears ready for prime time, thanks to improvements in output and labeling technology. For now, the action is mostly in European packaging.

Thermoforming: Ready for In-Mold Labeling? - Illustrations Of IML System
The following photos illustrate the IML system for thermoforming developed by Marbach and Gabler.

Keeping Up With Technology

Adaptable Cutting Chamber Makes Grinders Versatile
New CBW and CGW Series granulators from Conair, Pittsburgh, have interchangeable back plates that modify the cutting chamber from a "super-tangential" to a "restricted tangential" confi guration.

Basic Roll-Fed Unit For Short Runs
A new standard roll-fed thermoformer comes with "basic" features and is available for quick delivery from stock at a price of $269,000.

Bigger Hybrid Presses
Three new models have been added to the FNX line of hybrid presses from Nissei America, Anaheim, Calif.

Clear PP Sheet Grade for Form-Fill-Seal Packaging
A new polypropylene impact copolymer reportedly offers high transparency, a wide processing window, and good stiffness for sheet used in form-fi ll-seal (FFS) packaging trays.

Color Refinement Yields Upscale Coffee Canister
A selective coloring technique helped deliver a rich, upscale look to Folgers new extrusion blow molded, multilayer coffee canister.

Conductive SEBS TPEs Offered in North America
Conductive TPEs from Premix Oy in Finland are now available in North America through TPE Solutions Inc., Shirley, Mass.

Customized Nip Stations For All Sorts of Webs
New custom-engineered nip stations can be confi gured for a wide range of web converting applications, including laminating, thermal bonding, heating/cooling, pulling, and squeezing.

Extruder Line Converted To Four-Motor Drives
Several extruder OEMs offer the four-motor, high-torque CMG drive from K&A Knoedler GmbH in Germany-but only on a single small extruder size, typically 90 mm.

Faster Palletizer For PET Bottles
A new palletizing system for PET bottles is claimed to be 50% faster than previous systems.

Glass Roving for Pultrusion
StarRov 908 is a new direct-wound fi berglass roving for pultrusion from Johns Manville Engineered Products, Waterville, Ohio.

Ground Transporter For Massive Molds
A new in-plant heavy-load transporter allows molders to move tools weighing from 30 to 300 tons without the limitations of overhead cranes or in-fl oor rail systems.

Hot-Runner Control for Many Zones
The new Z1230 line of hot-runner temperature controllers from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C., comes in six-zone increments from 48 to 96 zones.

Hot-Runner Nozzles Have Spare Heater and T-couple
A new line of screw-in hot-runner nozzles has two heaters and two thermocouples to ensure continuity of production in case one element fails.

Improved Rubbery EVAs For Wire and Cable
A new line of TP elastomeric EVAs is said to have fewer large gels than other EVAs, suiting it to critical wire and cable insulation.

Iso Polyester Brings 'Class A' Finish to Boats
Above-the-waterline parts on pleasure boats can now have the same "Class A" glossy fi nish as automotive exterior body panels.

Magnetic Separators At an Economical Price
The new ProGrade Series of magnetic separators from Eriez Magnetics, Erie, Pa., is said to offer premium performance at a low price.

Mini Six-Axis Robot Mounts 'Anywhere'
A new six-axis "mini" robot designed for parts handling, machine tending, and assembly is new from Fanuc Robotics America Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich.

Modular Conveyors Grow Longer and Wider
With the addition of a vertical take-up module, DynaCon modular conveyors from Dynamic Conveyor Corp., Muskegon, Mich., can be twice as long as ever before.

More Propylene-Ethylene Plastomers and TPEs
Eight new grades of propylene-ethylene plastomers and TP elastomers reportedly offer an outstanding combination of clarity, heat-sealability, elasticity, softness, processability, and compatibility in blends in fi lm, sheet, and molded products.

Multi-Color LSR Parts From a Single Barrel
A new patent-pending technology that produces three-color molded parts from liquid silicone rubber using a single barrel is a new joint development from Toshiba Machine Co., Elk Grove, Ill., and M.R.

New Range of Benchtop Capillary Rheometers
A new line of benchtop capillary rheometers is aimed at QC and R&D labs.

New Surface Treatment Doubles Screw Life
A new screw encapsulation process said to double the life of a new or rebuilt screw is available from Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio.

New-Style Motors on 9-Layer Blown Film Line
Twenty-fi ve permanent-magnet synchronous torque motors from Siemens power a nine-layer blown film line being built by Macchi in Italy for a customer in Eastern Europe. (Macchi North America recently moved from Guelph, Ont., to Gainesville, Ga.) The new "syntorque" motors are said to offer high torque plus energy savings.

Nylon 66 with 60% Glass
A high-strength nylon 66 with 60% glass loading is new from Techmer Lehvoss Compounds, Clinton, Tenn.

Outdoor Chillers Provide 'Free Cooling'
A line of packaged, air-cooled central chillers from 50 to 250 tons offer the option of totally integrated "free cooling" for winter energy savings.

Pad Printers for Medical And Clean-Room Use
In response to growing demand for pad printing in medical applications, Teca-Print USA, Billerica, Mass., is now offering two printer models-X3 and X5-that reportedly comply with clean-room specifi cations.

PC Sheet for Signs
A new grade of polycarbonate sheet is designed to increase the visibility and appearance of illuminated signage.

PET Color Concentrates Need No Drying
Two new lines of color and additive concentrates for PET are based on compatible resin carriers that reportedly eliminate the need for predrying due to their low moisture absorption.

Plasticizer Okayed by FDA
A "universal" plasticizer for PVC, polyurethane, and NBR rubber has received approval from the FDA for use in products that come into contact with aqueous-based foods.

Prepreg Boosts Electrical Performance
New NP114 prepreg of epoxy resin and DuPont's Nomex aramid paper is available from Norplex-Micarta, Postville, Iowa.

Process Monitoring Added To PET Preform Systems
Under a joint marketing agreement, quality-management and process-monitoring systems from AGR TopWave LLC, Butler, Pa., will be available from Husky Injection Molding Systems, Bolton, Ont., as part of its turnkey injection systems for PET preforms.

Redesigned Nine-Layer Die
Eight years after delivering its fi rst commercial nine-layer spiral blown film die, Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co., Gloucester, Mass., launched a second generation of its multilayer spiral dies last year.

Release for Rotomolding
A proprietary water-based, semipermanent mold release formulated for rotational molding is claimed to provide a consistently cleaner mold with less build-up.

Rigid Integral-Skin Foam Moves Into Larger Parts
Rigid microcellular polyurethane integral-skin foams produced with the RIM process are making inroads into larger parts than ever before.

Shut-off Nozzles Upgraded
A line of spring-actuated needle shut-off nozzles has been redesigned for improved performance in high-temperature, high-pressure molding.

Single-Screw Compounder Has Grooved Barrel
Advanced Extruder Technologies (AET), Elk Grove Village, Ill., has introduced what is thought to be the fi rst single-screw compounding extruder with a grooved barrel.

Software Optimizes Coex Tubing Die
A twin-center-sleeve die for coex tubing, which distributes melt via coat-hanger fl ow channels over a central mandrel, has been used for years to make multilayer PVC pipe.

Software Turns Recycle and Wide-Spec into Standard Compounds
Patented formulating software was recently modifi ed to help compounders blend recycled and wide-spec materials into stock PE grades, based on properties such as MI, density, ESCR, and a processability index based on shear behavior.

Stretch-Blow Unit Now Makes 5-L PET Bottles
The capacity of a reheat stretch-blow molding machine for 2-liter PET bottles has been expanded to allow production of 5-L bottles.

Thermoplastic Honeycomb Cores for Infusion
An extruded polypropylene honeycomb core material is available in new forms aimed at infusion molding.

Touchscreen Feeder Control
A single-feeder operator interface with lighted touchscreen LCD display is new from Schenck AccuRate, Whitewater, Wis.

Twin-Screws Extrude Wood/Plastic Profiles
A special metering section, originally developed by B&P Process Equipment in Saginaw, Mich., for corotating twin-screw compounding, is being used for the fi rst time for direct extrusion of wood-composite profi les.

UV-Cure Powder Coatings Protect Vinyl Flooring
A novel protective surface fi nish for industrial vinyl fl ooring uses uvcured powder coatings.

CW Brabender
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