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November 2012

Close-Up on Technology

‘Light’ Grooves Offer Big Boosts in Film Processing
Blown film is main target for technology billed as an option to smooth bore feedthroats in extrusion.

Processor's Edge

ISO Poly Avoids Economic Woes With High-Value Films
Positioning itself on the high end of the blown-film market helped insulate this blown film processor from the recent economic downturn.

Know How

PBT & PET Polyester: Part 2 The Performance Factor
All things being equal, PET will outperform PBT mechanically and thermally. But the processor must dry the material properly and must understand the importance of mold temperature in achieving a degree of crystallinity that allows the natural advantages of the polymer to be realized.

The Cost of Doing Nothing
Most people usually associate costs with doing something.

Top 10 Reasons Why Molders Fail At Implementing ‘Scientific Molding
What is Scientific Molding? And why do molders seem to have such a difficult time embracing its concepts? Here are some thoughts on the matter.

What Output Should You Expect?
You can get a rough estimate of the potential output if you know the drive horsepower of your machine and the thermal characteristics of one of the materials you’ll be running.

Starting Up

Alliance Polymers Introduces Own Line of TPEs
Alliance Polymers and Services LLC, Romulus, Mich., distributor of Elastollan TPUs from BASF and Maxelast SEBS-based TPEs from Polymax of China, is introducing the first TPE products of its own.

Coperion Bought by Owner of K-Tron
It has been a big month for plastics machinery acquisitions.

KraussMaffei Group Sold to Investors
In late September, Onex Corp., a Toronto-based private-equity firm, agreed to acquire the  KraussMaffei Group of Germany for around $735 million from Madison Capital, which had owned KraussMaffei since 2006.

New Device Senses Extrusion Melt Pressure Directly
A new type of melt-pressure sensor from Dynisco Plastics, Franklin, Mass., is said to be the first such device to sense pressure directly, without using mechanical structures or liquid-fill media.

New Owners for American Kuhne
The Graham Group, York, Pa., last month announced it had bought controlling interest in American Kuhne (AK), the Ashaway, R.I.-based manufacturer of extruders, screws, and integrated extrusion systems.

New Plants for Engineering Resins
Two suppliers recently announced plans to increase capacity.

New Plastic ‘Lumber’ Uses No Wood
Intended to expand the property profile and application potential of polymeric wood substitutes, a new technology is available for license to make lightweight plastic lumber-type products that contain no wood fiber.

Nylon Replaces Metal in Auto Transmission Oil Pan
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A 60% glass-reinforced nylon 6 from Lanxess LLC, Pittsburgh, has replaced steel sheet in the extremely flat, yet very stiff S tronic transmission oil pan on the new Audi R8.

PP Compounds Used in First Thermoplastic Lift Gate in New Renault Clio
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The new Renault Clio sports what’s said to be the first all-thermoplastic, mono-material lift gate on a commercial vehicle.


Mack Puts It All Together
To be “more than a molder”—it’s an ambition held by many top plastics manufacturers.

The New Lightweights: Injection Molded 'Hybrid' Composites Spur Automotive Innovation
A thermoplastic composite technology that emerged just a couple of years ago promises to make dramatic strides within the next two years in automotive mass production of structural components.

Understanding Gravimetric Blender Accuracy & Payback
Accuracy is one of the least understood aspects of blending. The differences between batch and continuous blenders, how blend accuracy is calculated and controlled, which blender type is more accurate, how much accuracy is really required, and how payback is calculated are discussed here.

Keeping Up With Technology

ADDITIVES: Expanded Line of PVC Lubricants
Struktol Company of America, Stow, Ohio, has expanded its V-Series line of lubricant additives for rigid PVC calendering and sheet or profile extrusion.

AUXILIARIES: Dose Liquid Additives Gravimetrically
Processors using liquid colors and additives can now reportedly benefit from the accuracy and simplicity of gravimetric metering technology by virtue of the TrueFeed LQ liquid feeder from Conair, Cranberry Township, Pa.

COMPOUNDING: Twin-Screw Extruder for Highly Filled Compounds
KraussMaffei Berstorff, Florence, Ky., has optimized its ZEUT-R twin-screw extruder series by adding features to allow processing of compounds with up to 80% filler.

EXTRUSION: Adjust Chill-Roll Height with a Simple Ratchet
A ratchet-activated height-adjustment device raises and lowers the cooling and polishing rolls relative to the sheet die.

EXTRUSION: Pelletizer Facilitates In-House Recycling
New SB Series pelletizers from Milacron, Batavia, Ohio, let molders pelletize scrap themselves, eliminating many problems associated with third-party handling and processing of regrind.

INJECTION MOLDING: Beefed-Up Mid-Sized Robot
Wittmann Battenfeld, Torrington, Conn., has added another new model to its W82x Series of linear servo robots.

MATERIALS: Biobased PHA Enhances Processing & Performance of PVC
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has developed a series of biobased PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) copolymers that act as plasticizers, impact modifiers, and processing aids for rigid and flexible PVC.

MATERIALS: New Amorphous PET for Easier Extrusion Blow Molding
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Aspira One, a new amorphous PET from Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., reportedly provides an optimal balance of recyclability, product performance, processability, and aesthetics compared to existing PET resins used in extrusion blow molded handleware and large bottles.

MATERIALS: New Line of High-Performance Polyester Compounds for LED TV Applications
Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, Alpharetta, Ga., has introduced a new class of high-performance polyester compounds that are said to deliver higher heat and light stability than competitive materials for LED television uses, as well as general indoor/outdoor lighting applications.

MATERIALS: New PC Can Replace Aluminum in LED Cooling Elements
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Stepping up development of new tailored materials to meet the increasing demand for PC resins in LED lighting systems, Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, has produced new grades with high thermal conductivity for cooling elements used for thermal management of LEDs.

MATERIALS: New PPE Meets Global Regulations for Potable Water Systems
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A 30% glass-reinforced PPE alloy newly offered globally by Sabic Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., complies with both current European and global sustainability regulations governing materials used in potable water systems as well as new, tougher regulations that go into effect in 2016.

MATERIALS: Total To Launch New Generation EPS Insulation Bead
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Total Refining & Chemicals’ Polymer Div. (U.S. office in Houston) will enter the EPS business with a new generation of EPS resins in 2013.

Resin Prices

PP, PS, PVC Prices Up, But Not for Long
A soft landing is expected for the four commodity thermoplastics as the year comes to an end.


Packaging Outpaces Overall Economy
Global market demand for processors of plastics packaging will grow at a rate of 4% to 5% in 2013 and beyond. Emerging markets and developing countries will experience the fastest growth, but gains in the developed countries will also be solid.

Recommended Reading
Two articles about the current state of manufacturing--and how to fix it--caught my eye.

CW Brabender
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