Article Archive

May 2006


Past Issues

Keeping Up With Technology

Robots for Cleanrooms And Large Parts
New robots designed for cleanroom applications or for high-speed operations on larger injection presses were introduced last fall in Japan by the parent company of Yushin America Inc., Cranston, R.I.

HMW-HDPE for Fuel Tanks Arrives from Japan
An HMW-HDPE copolymer with established use in Japanese auto fuel tanks is now available here from Ineos Olefins & Polymers USA, League City, Texas.

Vacuum Lifter Helps Demold Large Parts
The VT Series tube lifter from Anver Corp., Hudson, Mass., enables one person to remove large, bulky thermoformed parts from the mold.

'Banana Split' Slitter Leaves No Scrap
Instead of losing ribbons of bleed trim between rolls when slitting film into smaller widths, the Reinhold winder div. of Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp., Lincoln, R.I., has fitted two "banana"-type driven rollers with synchronized speeds after the knife slitters.

Barrier Soup Cup Gives Long Shelf Life
Huhtamaki Consumer Goods in Portadown, U.K., has developed a new single-serve barrier container for soup that features a novel heat-insulating design and meets shelf-life requirements of up to 20 months.

Biobased Polyols for Flexible Foams
Commercial volumes of plant-derived polyols are now being sold to large producers of flexible PUR foams for the automotive, furniture, and bedding industries.

High-Speed SCARA Robots Arrive
Two compact SCARA-type pick-and-place robots combining high speed and high payload capacity were unveiled recently by Toshiba Machine Co.

Quiet Trim Waste 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.

Economical Tabletop Universal Tester
New modular, tabletop universal testing machines are said to be smaller and less expensive than competitive units, making it practical for more labs to perform low-force tension, compression, and flexure tests on plastics, films, packaging, and other products.

Extensometer for Stretchy Plastics and Elastomers
A new extensometer for electromechanical testing instruments is designed to measure strain to rupture in highly extensible materials.

Versatile New Modifiers for Reactive Extrusion
A new family of materials is said to allow production of new types of acrylic or styrenic block copolymers, as well as improved versions of existing copolymers with tighter control of molecular weight and sequencing of monomer units.

Non-Lead Stabilizers for PVC Wire and Cable
Three new calcium-zinc heat stabilizers for PVC wire and cable are said to perform better than previous lead substitutes and to be priced competitively with lead systems.

New Ways to Keep Out Tramp Metal
Two new products from Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan., are said to do a better job of keeping tramp metal out of your process.

Robots for Routing
Robotic Production Technology (RPT), Auburn Hills, Mich., in cooperation with Fanuc Robotics America, Rochester Hills, Mich., has introduced six AccuTrim robots for path-intensive waterjet cutting and routing.

Automotive SMC Gets Improved Paintability
Three new polyester resin formulations for automotive SMC are said to incorporate reactive toughening that dramatically reduces "paint pops" without sacrificing stiffness or strength.

Breathable Medical Film Kills Microbes Fast
An antimicrobial additive made exclusively for medical technology designer Etcetera LLC in Northampton, Mass., is being developed for antimicrobial plastic films.

PEEK Tubing Is Now Heat-Shrinkable
PEEK tubing with a service temperature of up to 482 F has been available to replace stainless steel for weight reduction, chemical resistance, and lubricity.

Resilient Pultrusion Resin Runs Faster
A new resilient terephthalic polyester for pultrusion is designed to match the properties of isophthalics while allowing 10% to 20% higher line speeds.

Top-Mounted Robot for Low Ceilings
The 7 Series of three-axis servo robots from Wittmann Inc., Torrington, Conn., has been extended with a new model for plants with low ceiling clearance.

Hot-Runner Control Mounts on the Mold
A 155-zone hot-runner control that mounts right on the mold is new from Moldflow Corp., Framingham, Mass.

Convert Grooved to Smooth Feed In 3 to 5 Hours
A new extruder feed section allows conversion from a grooved to smooth bore in three to five hours, says Macro Engineering & Technology Inc., Mississauga, Ont.

Easier Integration of 6-Axis Robot with Press
Kuka Robotics Corp., Clinton Township, Mich., offers a new injection molding function package that allows customers to integrate its six-axis robots with any injection press with reduced installation and engineering time.

'Universal' Impact Tester
A pendulum impact tester that can perform Charpy, Izod, tensile impact, and Dynstat tests is new from Zwick USA, Kennesaw, Ga.

Get Cleaner Cuts In Stretch-Film Roll Changes
Two machine builders recently launched new knife cutters for cast stretch film that avoid making a fold-over flap when changing rolls.

Flexo Printer Has 10 Color Decks
The latest flexographic printing press from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp., Lincoln, R.I., features 10 color decks, higher speeds, and wider printing widths.

Hot-Runner Controller Adds Mold ID Capability
A new mold-identification function has been added to the TTC hot-runner temperature controller from Gammaflux L.P., Sterling, Va.

Software Upgrade Improves Press Setup and Monitoring
New versions of software that automates and optimizes setup and control of injection molding and that provides real-time production management are available from Moldflow Corp., Wayland, Mass.

Nylon 6 Nanocomposites: Tough + Stiff + Barrier
Nylon Corp. of America (Nycoa), Manchester, N.H., has two new nylon 6 nanocomposites that reportedly provide novel combinations of toughness, stiffness, and barrier properties.

More Compact Controller for Hot Runners
A new hot-runner temperature controller that is one-third the size of standard systems and has a handy control pendant (pictured) is new from EMI Plastics Equipment, Wickliffe, Ohio.

Compounding with 50 percent Glass Microspheres
Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer in Germany (U.S. office in Ramsey, N.J.) has applied for a patent on a process for compounding and direct extrusion of plastic filled with hollow microspheres.

TPE, Acetal, Nylon, LCP For Medical Devices
DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., has introduced 12 new grades of TPE and engineering resins for non-implantable devices and diagnostic or pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.

Ultrasonics Take Aim at Pouch Sealing
Herrmann Ultrasonics has installed an ultrasonic pouch-sealing system for application development at its Schaumberg, Ill., headquarters.

Low-Cost Vision Sensors With Six Inspection Tools
Two new low-cost, all-in-one vision inspection sensors combine multiple analysis tools in a single compact frame. "PresencePlus" P4 Omni and P4 Omni 1.3 vision sensors from Banner Engineering Corp., Minneapolis, can inspect for multiple features using GEO, gray scale, blob, edge, and object software routines.

New Source of X-Ray Web-Thickness Sensors
A new x-ray backscatter sensor, Model 318 from NDC Infrared Engineering Inc., Irwindale, Calif., reportedly measures film and sheet thickness from one side of the web with the same performance as NDC's two-sided nuclear beta transmission gauge.

Non-Hazing Mold Release For Soft TPOs
A new proprietary processing aid for molding high-impact, soft-touch TPOs is said to provide enhanced flow and excellent release of parts from mold cavities while leaving parts residue-free.

Releases for Rigid and Energy-Absorbing Foams
Ready-to-use mold releases and dilutable concentrates for PUR rigid foams and rigid or semi-rigid energy-absorbing foams are new from Chem-Trend North America, Howell, Mich.

Pellet Moisture Sensors Get ASTM Approval
Pellet moisture analyzers that employ relative-humidity sensing technology are now approved under a new standard adopted by Philadelphia-based ASTM in late 2005.

First BASF Biopolymer Is Based on PLA
BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., has introduced its first biodegradable plastic based on a renewable raw material.

Temperature-Activated Films Keep Produce Fresh
Apio, the food technology unit of Landec Corp., Menlo Park, Calif., has developed a breathable membrane for fresh produce bags that has a built-in temperature-activated "switch" that adjusts its permeability to oxygen and CO2 to compensate for the increased respiration rate of produce as it gets warmer.

Multiple Degating Made Easier
 A new Rotational Degater that allows cutting of multiple gates on different surfaces is new from SAS Automation, Xenia, Ohio.

Machine Control Gets Programming Upgrade
New programming wizards, data screens, and pushbuttons for machine movements are some of the upgrades to the new Mosaic control now standard on all injection molding machines from Cincinnati Milacron, Batavia, Ohio. (It is also an option on Cincinnati Milacron extruders-at no extra cost on twin-screws.) Introduced this month at NPE in Chicago, the new control has enhanced setup capabilities with more filling stages, plus the ability to transfer between stages based on multiple parameters.

Features

NPE 2006 News Flash
Injection MoldingSimplified Hot Runners Save Time & CostA new lower-cost hot-runner alternative to valve gating is suited to less critical cosmetic applications where users need predictable and reliable gate opening but not sequential gate operation.

NPE News Preview: Blow Molding--Higher Speeds, More Cavities, Faster Changeovers
Improving productivity while minimizing capital cost and floorspace will be central themes of blow molding exhibits at NPE 2006.

The New ‘Light Crude’
At some point in the not-too-distant future, the factories that produce plastics may be of the single-celled, microscopic variety.

Starting Up

Your Business Outlook - May 2006
Mastiogale’s most recent polyethylene film market study forecasts modest growth for the retail packaging market.

Your Business in Brief - May 2006
Ampacet Boosts Capacity in OhioAmpacet Corp., Tarrytown, N.Y., has added a new twin-screw compounding line at Heath, Ohio, that increases capacity there by 20%. The new line will produce custom color concentrates for injection and blow molded packaging. Bayshore Vinyl Bought by MexichemBayshore Vinyl (formerly the Bayshore Group), Tennent, N.J., has been bought by Primex, a unit of Mexichem, a large chemical company based in Mexico City.

Sluggish
Demand for most commodity resins was generally lackluster in the first quarter and the beginning of the second.

Troubleshooter

Don't Let IBC Problems Burst Your Bubble
Under-blowing of air in internal bubble cooling (IBC) systems for blown film can cause the bubble to suck in or actually collapse.

Close-Up on Technology

Molding Conference Highlights Wood Fibers, Spinning Mold Cores, and Modular Automation
Processing guidelines for molders interested in exploring the burgeoning field of wood-plastic composites was one hot topic at the Molding 2006 International Conference and Exhibition, held recently in Las Vegas by Executive Conference Management.

Magnetic Separation Simplifies Multi-Material Scrap Recovery
Recent trends to-ward multi-material molding, hard/soft overmolding, and dual-durometer coextrusion create growing volumes of scrap that is difficult or impossible to reuse.

New Modular Design Simplifies Temperature Control and Cuts Cost Per Loop
A brand-new physical package is said to take much of the headache and expense out of buying, installing, and maintaining temperature controls for machine barrels, thermoforming ovens, hot-runner manifolds, and a host of other plastics equipment. “No more crowded, messy, and cumbersome control panels.

Smaller EPS Beads Make Thinner Walls In Cups, Casting Patterns and Cushioning
Smaller is proving to be better in several different areas of expandable bead molding.

Strategies

All-Electric Plant Gets World-Class Results
In mid-2004, Delphi Connection Systems, part of Tier 1 automotive supplier Delphi Corp.’s Packard Electric operations, flipped the switch on a new 190,000-sq-ft, $58-million plant in Vienna Township, Ohio.

CW Brabender
HammerTek
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