June 2010

Close-Up on Technology

New Approach to PET Drying To Debut This Fall at K 2010 Show
An Italian maker of auxiliary equipment has come up with a new system that combines several unusual concepts to make high-volume PET drying faster and more consistent with lower energy use.

New Machines & Processes Unveiled By Wittmann Battenfeld
 At an open house in Kottingbrunn, Austria, last month, Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH showed what it has been doing to make good on its pledge to reinvigorate the venerable Battenfeld name and its reputation for innovation.

Know How

Determining Maximum Mold Cycle Counts
The first production meeting with my new employer went something like this: “We want you to establish a preventive maintenance program that is based on cycle counts for all our molds.” Before I could launch into an explanation of how best to determine maximum cycle counts, I was hit with this: “So, how many cycles do you think our molds can safely run before we need to clean them?”Leaving my crystal ball at home and unable to get my x-ray vision working, there was no way to answer that question with any accuracy.

Extrusion & Thermal Properties: Not Just for the Lab Guys
Do you really need to know how thermal properties of polymers affect extrusion?

Know the Basics of Machine Evaluation, Part I
Ever wonder how many shots are made each day via injection molding?


Getting Started in LSR: Understanding the Materials, Part I
Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding is a long established process but it is enjoying an upsurge in interest for medical, automotive, infant care, and general industrial applications.

How to Get Peak Performance & Efficiency Out of Your Extrusion Line, Part I
A lot of things must be in place to achieve what I like to call efficient extrusion.

Refine, Redesign, Retool: Re-engineering as a Business Model
It’s an unusual business model: “We take existing products or manufacturing processes and try to make them better.

Keeping Up With Technology

Additives for Biopolymers
Three companies recently introduced new colorants and modifiers for bioplastics:Arkema Inc., Philadelphia, has found that its Biostrength 700 melt-strength enhancer enables faster string-up, a wider processing window, and more consistent thickness in blown films and extrusion coatings of polylactic acid (PLA). Previously, the additive had been used in PLA calendering, injection molding, and other types of extrusion.PolyOne Corp., Cleveland, introduced OnCap Bio Impact T, an impact modifierfor PLA that also maintains transparency.

Carbon Nanotube-Enhanced Plastics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: In one of two recent announcements about carbon nanotubes, Arkema Inc., Philadelphia, has received EPA approval for commercial sales of its Graphistrength carbon nanotube (CNT) masterbatches in the U.S.

Coextrude Soft-Touch Skin onto HDPE Bottles
New technology for multi-layer bottles coextrudes a thin skin of soft-touch TPE onto HDPE.

DuPont Divests LCP & PCT
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ticona Engineering Polymers, Florence, Ky., will add to its portfolio the Zenite liquid-crystal polymer (LCP) and Thermx PCT polyester product lines of DuPont Performance Polymers, Wilmington, Del.

Fast-Cycling Machine for Packaging
New RV 53C vacuum forming machine from Illig, South Hill, Va., offers speeds up to 45 cycles/min, nearly twice as fast as the previous version, and is made for small-to-medium production of packaging for food and other items.

Fiber-Optic Connectors Tuned to Specific Wavelengths
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Specialized grades of Ultem polyetherimide thermoplastic have been developed by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., to aid in development of one-piece fiber-optic connectors to replace more expensive and complex multi-part connectors.

Lower-Warpage PBT/ASA Compound
WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF Corp., Engineering Plastics, Wyandotte, Mich., has come out with an even lower warpage version of its already low-warp Ultradur S4090 GM13, a PBT/ASA blend.

Metallocene MDPE for Tough, Stiff, High-Clarity Films
Downgauging potential and outstanding processability on LDPE and LLDPE filmlines are claimed for new Enable mPE 35-05CH, a metallocene MDPE fromExxonMobil Chemical, Houston.

Modular Micro-Injection Unit
The German parent of Arburg, Inc., Newington, Conn., has come out with a new micro-injection module that can be mounted on a standard machine base and also can be removed quickly to allow the press to be returned to conventional molding.

New Clear, Tough Styrenic
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ineos Nova, Channahon, Ill., has launched Clearblend, a new family of impact-modified styrene/acrylic copolymers for injection molding.

New HDPE for IBCs
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Novapol HB-W646-U is the latest HDPE from Nova Chemicals Corp., Pittsburgh, for large-part blow molding.

Non-Halogen LCPs for High-Temp. E/E Uses
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new halogen-free liquid crystal polymer grades for electrical/electronic parts are said to be cost-competitive and to avoid processing issues encountered with high-temperature nylons.

Servo Robot for Large Machines
A new three-axis, servo-driven beam robot for presses of up to 1000 tons has a payload capacity of 55 lb, horizontal stroke of 98 in., telescoping vertical stroke of 78 in., and strip stroke of 43 in.


Be Inspirational…
Or at the very least be inspired.

In Twin-Screw Compounding, Distinguish Between ‘Disease’ and ‘Illness’
 The concept of troubleshooting in compounding can be defined in terms of a problem (or problems) with compound quality or as a problem with the compounding process.

Industry & Technology News: June 2010
Paper Mate Launches Pen of PHA BiopolymerA high-visibility success for the newest commercial biopolymer is the debut of the Paper Mate Biodegradable pens and pencils from Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Atlanta.

Modest Investment, Big Payoff For Blown Film Plant
In blown film, there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat.

Resin Buying Strategies: Resin Prices Head South
Lower prices for all four major commodity thermoplastics were the trend from late April to mid-May, with good potential for further downward movement this month and beyond

The Practical Processor: June 2010
Your processing questions answered

Wood on Plastics: Consumer Products Creep Toward Recovery
The outlook for many segments of consumer products is reminiscent of the Beatles’ song “It’s Getting Better All the Time.” So far in2010, consumer spending has exceeded most analysts’ predictions at the end of last year.

CW Brabender
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