Article Archive

October 2011




Past Issues

Close-Up on Technology

Extrusion & Injection Molding in One Automated Process
A large German manufacturer of hoses, cable ducts, and other extruded automotive components recently expanded its activities into the white-goods appliance sector.

New Conference Explores Bioplastics in Packaging & Durables
A new bioplastics conference emerged this June with the launch of the Bioplastek 2011 Forum on Bioplastics Today and Tomorrow, held in N.Y.C. and organized by Schotland Business Research, Inc., Skillman, N.J.

Features

On Site: Evolution of a One-Stop High-Tech Thermoformer
A company that started as a toolmaker has evolved into a thermoforming solutions provider

How to Keep Your Conveyor Running Smoothly
Low-profile conveyors are ubiquitous in industry, typically used in 24/7 applications in packaging, assembly, labeling, inspection, and sorting. Here's how to keep them up and running.

Central or Portable? Flexibility Favors ‘Discrete’ Chillers
Why might discrete chillers be a solution in your plant? In a word: Flexibility. Here is the lowdown.

Central or Portable? ‘Off-the-Floor’ Central Chillers Cost Less, Provide Processing Gains
In deciding whether to use portable or central chillers, there are a variety of variables to consider. Here are the key issues.

Strategies

Mold Maintenance Training Eases Molder's Growing Pains
Automation Plastics in Aurora, Ohio (automationplastics.com), is a 32-year-old custom injection molder with 50,500 ft² and 30 presses from 35 to 700 tons.

Troubleshooter

Why & How to Assemble Parts While They’re Still Warm
For any molder seeking to maximize productivity and efficiency, carefully managing inventory and warehouse space is a key concern. One way to address this challenge is to assemble parts directly out of the mold, when they’re still warm.

Keeping Up With Technology

INJECTION MOLDING: Multicomponent Molding Plus Advanced In-Mold Assembly
An advanced injection system for molding and assembling multiple components in one machine and mold will be demonstrated at the Fakuma show in Germany later this month.

INJECTION MOLDING: New 'Universal' Nozzle Tip
Responding to molder requests for a reliable and economical nozzle tip that is a universal design and helps control or eliminate stringing, drool, cold slugs, nozzle freeze-off, and sticking runners at the sprue, Molders Choice, Solon, Ohio, has added a new offering to its catalog of aftermarket parts.

INJECTION MOLDING: New-Generation Closure Machine Saves Time & Energy
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., has launched a new generation of its HyCAP hybrid electric/hydraulic molding system for high output of beverage closures.

INJECTION MOLDING: Everything You Always Wanted in a Shutoff Nozzle
Compactness, durability, and low cost—everything that has been missing in many typical shutoff nozzles—are delivered by the new Mini-Shut nozzle, according to Md Plastics Inc., Columbiana, Ohio (mdplastics.com). Injection molders have used melt decompression to avoid stringing and drooling.

EXTRUSION: Blown Film Air Coolers
Mokon, Buffalo, N.Y., has expanded its BFC Series of blown film air coolers, which are now available from 600 to 9000 cfm.

COMPOUNDING/MIXING: Rugged, Compact Two-Roll Mill
The new cart-mounted Prep-Mill from C.W.

AUXILIARIES: Expandable Surge Bins for Central Conveying Systems
MSB series Modular Surge Bins from Novatec, Baltimore, come in capacities from 30 to 70 ft3 (850-1980 liters) and provide expandable material storage space for central conveying systems.

AUXILIARIES: Material-Handling Control Doubles in Capacity
The FLX material-handling control system from Conair, Cranberry Township, Pa., is available in a new, larger configuration to serve up to 64 loaders and 20 vacuum conveying pumps.

AUXILIARIES: Hopper Loaders Tailored for Powders
A new series of powder hopper loaders is available from Motan, Inc., Plainwell, Mich.

AUXILIARIES: Upgraded Color-Matching Software
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas Inc., Ramsey, N.J., has made version 3.6.4 of the Colibri color-matching and formulation software available to the North American market.

AUXILIARIES: Servo-Controlled Ultrasonic Welders
Dukane Corp.’s Ultrasonics Div., St.

AUXILIARIES: More Options in Hot-Water Mold-Temperature Control
Two new developments from Single Temperature Controls, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., broaden the capabilities of hot-water mold-temperature control.

MATERIALS: Clearly Tough: Higher Impact Styrene-Acrylic Copolymer
Zylar 960 is a styrene-acrylic copolymer that achieves a higher level of practical toughness without sacrificing clarity.

MATERIALS: New LSR for Optimum Fire Protection
At this month’s Fakuma show in Germany, Wacker Chemie AG (parent of Wacker Chemical Corp., Adrian, Mich.) will introduce two new liquid silicone rubber grades that achieve UL 94V-0 flammability rating without abrasive fillers.

MATERIALS: PPA Grades Eliminate Corrosion in Automotive Electronics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New Amodel Electronic (AE) grades of polyphthalamide (high-heat polyamide) from Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC are said to eliminate corrosion issues in conditions of high heat and humidity for automotive sensors, connectors, electric motors, electronic control housings, bobbins, solenoids, and other electronic devices.

MATERIALS: Mineral-Filled PP Replaces PVC in Profiles
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New mineral-filled PP compounds from Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., are said to be cost-effective alternatives to semi-rigid PVC in cove bases and moldings for building and construction, protective edges, and “U” and “J” profiles for diverse uses.

MATERIALS: New Grades from BASF & Styrolution at Fakuma
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Several new materials for automotive and electronics will be highlighted by BASF later this month at the Fakuma 2011 show in Germany.

MATERIALS: Clear, Flexible PLA Blend for Blown Film
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A clear, flexible resin that’s biodegradable and has a high content of renewable resources has been introduced for blown film by FKuR of Germany (U.S. office in Cedar Park, Tex.). Its new Bio-Flex F 2201 CL is a blend of PLA biopolymer and a biodegradable copolyester.

MATERIALS: Lower Cost TPEs for Medical Uses
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new, lower cost alternative TPE is available for medical applications from physical-therapy straps and medical pads to PVC-replacement tubing.

MATERIALS: Automotive TPV Improves Flow & Aesthetics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Santoprene 121 XXM200 TPV is a high-flow series for automotive parts requiring improved appearance and easier processing, such as glass-encapsulated weatherseals for quarter lights and side fixed-glass applications.

MATERIALS: Biocompatible LSR for Radiation Sterilization
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Injection molding biocompatible silicone valves whose slits won’t close up or “heal” during radiation sterilization is possible with new Silpuran 6610/40 LSR from Wacker Chemical, Adrian, Mich.

ADDITIVES: Foaming Agent for Bioresins
Ecocell GT from Polyfil Corp., Rockaway, N.J., is a new grade of the supplier’s Ecocell endothermic chemical foaming agent, in this case tailored for bioresin extrusion applications.

TOOLING: Roundness/Cylindricity Measurement
The new Roundtest RA-H5200 Series roundness/cylindricity measurement system from Mitutoyo America Corp, Aurora, Ill. is said to be both accurate and flexible.

Know How

The Strain Rate Effect
The rate of loading for a plastic material is a key component of how we perceive its performance.

Benchmark Your Extruders For Quicker Processing Fixes
Not recognizing output reductions and resolving them quickly can cost a lot of money. Benchmarking your machines will help.

Calculate Shot Size Vs. Barrel Capacity
It may seem like a dull topic, but it will overcome the emotional experience that follows when you put a new mold into a machine and you find out there is not enough barrel capacity to make a full shot.

Starting Up

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Do Flow Simulation ‘in the Cloud’
Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, Calif., has just made available a new version of its Moldflow Insight software that takes time-consuming meshing and analysis functions off your desktop and performs them at a remote data center accessed via the Internet.

Rodon Beats the Heat with 'Green' Cooling Towers
Custom molder The Rodon Group recently upgraded its plant in Hatfield, Pa., with three new cooling towers that replaced units that had been in service for 25 years.

New/Old Player in Compounding Machines
Two machine builders, each with more than 60 years’ experience in compounding, have united to furnish continuous mixing equipment.

'Beastly' Line Adds Sheet Extrusion Flexibility
They call it the “The Beast,” a new sheet line installed recently by custom extruder Rowmark in Findlay, Ohio (rowmarkllc.com). It’s nearly as long as the new 175 x 75 ft facility built to house it.

Veteran Compounder Is Now Sold on Twins
Since 1967, FD Plastics in Leominster, Mass., has been supplying processors with color concentrates made with single-screw extruders.

Extruding Drug-Impregnated Film & Rod
The lines between polymer and pharmaceutical processing continue to cross.

New PC Sheet Offers Blast Protection for Buildings
Going a step beyond the bullet-resistant security glazing familiar in banks and taxicabs, a new type of “structural envelope” based on a special polycarbonate sheet laminate from Bayer MaterialScience LLC, Pittsburgh, is said to establish a new level of bomb-blast resistance for building structures.

Styrolution Opens for Business
WEB EXCLUSIVE: On Oct. 1, Styrolution became a free-standing corporation, owned 50:50 by BASF in Germany and Ineos Holdings Ltd.

SABIC Joins Automotive Innovation Joint Venture
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has agreed to purchase an equity stake in INPRO, a joint venture dedicated to collaborative innovation in automotive production.

First Production-Ready Thermoplastic Wheel
WEB EXCLUSIVE: At the Fakuma show in Germany this month, BASF AG will show off what’s said to be the first all-plastic car wheel that’s ready for high-volume production.

Resin Prices

Commodity and Engineering Resin Prices Softening
As we enter the fourth quarter, price relief has already been felt in the four major commodity thermoplastics and four large-volume engineering resins.

Recycled Resin Prices

RPET Prices on the Rise
After what looked like a little softening in the RPET market in mid-summer, prices have climbed back up where they are expected to stay at least through October.

Hourly Rates

Custom Molding Levels Off
Our midyear survey of custom injection molders showed hourly rates still rising, despite a leveling off of the recovery.

Column

Practical Processor
Your processing questions answered.

Wood on Plastics: Flat to Modest Growth in Consumer Products
It is difficult to forecast the demand for most types of consumer products in the coming year without using the word 'slog.'

Tap into the Experts
Get answers in Plastics Technology's Knowledge Centers.

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