March 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Biopolymers Strive to Meet Price/Performance Challenge
High expectations for biopolymers— an emerging class of materials derived at least in part from biological activity—are being tempered by the realities of the marketplace.

Clean and Upgrade Recycled PET
Two recently developed technologies are said to make high-quality PET recycling more economical.

Non-Contact IR Analysis Simplifies On-Line Quality Control
A new method of mid-infrared analysis allows on-line monitoring of both the composition and physical properties of a plastic while it is being compounded or extruded.

Processor's Edge

Two Recyclers Build Better Mousetraps
Josef Soellner and Werner Kruschitz are entrepreneurs who run established, multi-plant plastics recycling operations in Europe.

Starting Up

Your Business In Brief - March 2007
Huntsman to Exit EPS, PP, & PEHuntsman Corp., Salt Lake City, will sell its U.S. basic chemicals and polymers business to Flint Hills Resources, Wichita, Kan., sub. of Koch Industries Inc.

Your Business Outlook - March 2007
After declining 6% in 2005 and another 2% in 2006, North American production of plastic film will increase 4% in 2007.

Your Business Pricing Update - March 2007
Polyolefin prices were poised to rise again this month as suppliers aimed to implement a series of price hikes.


In-Mold Assembly: The New Frontier for Multi-Shot Molding
The drive to eliminate secondary operations is pushing multi-shot injection molding a step farther—toward assembling separate components in the tool via snap-fits, welding, and co-molding of incompatible materials.

Taste and Odor: Understand the Role of Colorants and Additives In Food and Beverage Packaging
Do you know how masterbatch ingredients, processing, storage, and handling can affect taste and odor in packaged products? Here’s an introduction to the numerous factors in organoleptic properties and how they are measured.

What Price Blow Molding?
 What’s an hour of your machine time worth?

Keeping Up With Technology

Cavity-Pressure Monitor Sends E-Mail Messages
A new option from RJG Inc., Traverse City, Mich., alerts personnel by e-mail if a machine goes down or starts producing reject or suspect parts.

Ceramic Seal Isolates Fast-Cycle Hot Runners
A hot-runner seal made of a new ceramic suited to high-temperature, high-pressure, fast-cycling applications such as packaging is offered by Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont., as an optional alternative to its standard seals.

'Cleaner' Mold Release Leaves Less Residue
A new semipermanent release agent for closed-mold composites is said to minimize mold residue that requires downtime for cleaning.

CNC Milled Air Ring Improves Air Flow
In response to rising costs for sand casting its aluminum air rings for blown fi lm, Future Design Inc. in Mississauga, Ont., turned to CNC milling air-ring sections out of aircraft aluminum plate and then assembling the plates with epoxy and fasteners.

Coinjection-Blow System For Barrier PC Bottles
Multilayer injection-blow molding technology has taken a leap forward with the commercialization of a barrier polycarbonate bottle for medical use.

Conveying Control For 48 Receivers
A new controller for multiple vacuum pumps, valves, dust collectors, and up to 48 vacuum receivers is available from Process Control Corp., Atlanta.

Crystallizing Pelletizer Expands CPET Supply
A new crystallizing pelletizer for PET pellets from BKG GmbH, a unit of Kreyenborg Group, Lawrenceville, Ga., has seen its fi rst two U.S. installations and four more are on order, all for PET resin producers.

Cut-in-Place Tooling for Tamper-Evident Packaging
A new thermoformed tamper-evident food package is the first use of innovative trim-and-place tooling said to provide greater accuracy and manufacturing efficiency.

'Dry Water' Cooling For Extrusion Blow
A new cooling system for extrusion blow molding incorporates chilled moist air to boost production by up to 30%. The Compressed Air Chiller (CAC) Dry Water system from Fasti GmbH in Austria targets large containers (20 liters or more) and technical parts.

Dryers for Small Machines
Two suppliers recently came out with smaller models of dryers aimed at low-throughput processing on small machines. . Economical compressed-air membrane dryers are now available in sizes for injection molders of tiny medical components.

Epoxy Plug-Assist For Clear PP Cups
A new epoxy plug-assist material reportedly provides improved surface finish for forming clear PP cups.

External Mold Locking Unit for Larger Tools
A new latch locking unit is designed for larger injection molds with multi-stage plate sequencing, such as three-plate types.

Fail-Safe Material Feed For Coextrusion
A new concept is said to simplify feeding large numbers of extruders with many different materials in highly layered cast and blown film lines.

Giant Coex Blow Machine To Run Engineering Resins
Engineering resins such as PPO alloys and nylons are now being tested on the industry's largest coextrusion blow molding machine, owned by Fralo Plastech Mfg., Syracuse, N.Y.

Higher Torque for Small Twin-Screw
The smallest twin-screw extruder from Berstorff Corp., Florence, Ky., has been redesigned with rectangular barrels and higher torque.

High-Gloss HDPE Color Masterbatch
A proprietary combination of a specialty HDPE and a high-gloss color masterbatch is said to yield PET-like gloss in molded packaging for personal care, cosmetics, and food markets.

Hot-Runner Upgrade for High-Cavitation Molds
A redesigned hot-runner nozzle targeting small parts in highcavitation molds is new from Polyshot Inc., West Henrietta, N.Y.

Ionomer for Food Wrap Has Enhanced Permeability
A novel family of ionomers boasts breakthrough performance for fresh food packaging that requires selective high permeability to oxygen and moisture.

LCP Offers Increased Heat Resistance
A new liquid crystal polymer (LCP) offers a higher operating temperature and greater fl owability for connector and lead-free surface-mount applications.

LSR Machines Promise Flashless Molding
A new line of Japanese-built machines for LSR molding reportedly ensure fl ashless molding without short shots or overpacking.

Luxurious Metallic Colorants
A line of color concentrates is said to provide a luxurious metallic look to health and beauty-aid packaging.

Mini Mixhead for Precise Low-Volume Pours
A mini-volume PUR mixing head boasts highly precise processing at very low throughput rates.

Mold Maintenance Software Upgraded
MoldTrax 4.0 is the latest version of a mold performance and maintenance documentation system from mold-maintenance expert Steve Johnson (see Mold Shop, p. 57). His fi rm, MoldTrax, Ashland, Ohio, formed an alliance with Progressive Components International Corp., Wauconda, Ill., which now offers his software along with its own mold-management software.

New FR Nylons Target E/E Uses
Four new fl ame-retardant nylons are rated UL 94V-0 for injection molding electrical/electronics components.

New In-Mold Coatings Said to Surpass Gel Coats
Low-emissions, spray-on in-mold coatings from Cook Composites & Polymers, Kansas City, Mo., are based on new, undisclosed chemistry and claimed to offer major advantages in aesthetics and performance over conventional gel coats.

New In-Mold Decorating Approach for Car Doors
A new process reportedly can produce an automotive door panel with molded-in cloth trim while maintaining the cushioning property of the foam layer under the cloth.

New Sensors and Controls For Temperature, Pressure
New and updated sensors and controls for temperature and pressure were recently announced by Gefran, Inc. (formerly Gefran ISI), Winchester, Mass.

New Tabletop SCARA Robot
A new ultra-compact SCARA-type robot for tabletop automation has been added to the high speed high-precision line from Staubli Robotics, Duncan, S.C.

Now Extrude Profi les of Wood Fiber & Melamine
Extrusion of thermoset wood-plastic composite (WPC) profi les with developmental melamine resins that have a thermoplastic processing window was presented at the WPC 2007 conference in Seattle last month by Agrolinz Melamine International GmbH and WoodKplus, a quasi-governmental research group, both in Linz, Austria.

Prehardened Tool Steels Introduced for Molds
Two prehardened tool steels for plastic molds are offered by Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C.

Process-Control System For Rotary-Table Molds
Monitoring and control of the operation of rotary-table molds is a new option on the Priamus Monitor data-acquisition system from Priamus System Technologies LLC., Brunswick, Ohio.

PUR/Polyurea Spray Coat For Industrial Roofs
A sprayed thick-fi lm coating system is designed for the demanding environment of industrial roofs.

Quick-Change Line for Cosmetic Tubing
A completely redesigned extrusion line for cosmetic tubing reduces product changeover time from hours to minutes, says Boston Matthews, Norwood, N.J.

Real-Time Production And Quality Monitoring
A new real-time production and quality monitoring system is the fi rst such introduction from Sumitomo Plastics Machinery (America) LLC, Norcross, Ga.

Soft TPU for Hose, Tubing
A low-durometer TPU from Noveon Inc. (now Estane Engineered Polymers), Cleveland, has been introduced for demanding hose and tube applications.

Stiff, Tough, Clear PP For Rigid Packaging
Two specially tailored polypropylenes are said to provide a much-needed combination of stiffness, toughness, and clarity for rigid packaging.

Super-Barrier Film Matches Glass
Applying a combination of organic and inorganic barrier materials in submicron layers to a substrate of BOPET film creates a gas and moisture barrier that is effectively impermeable (0.0001 cc/m2 of oxygen in 24 hr), according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Engineering and Packaging in Freising, Germany.

Tough Resin for Rapid Mfg. Now Comes in Black
An easy-to-process, durable material for rapid manufacturing that is said to offer the toughness of PP or ABS is newly available in black.

Ultrasonic Welder Boasts Space-Saving Design
More details are available on the new X-Press 20-kHz integrated ultrasonic welder introduced at NPE 2006 by Sonics & Materials Inc., Newtown, Conn.

Weigh Feeder for Additives
Avoid under- or over-feeding of costly masterbatches by loss-inweight metering.

When a Rough Foam Surface Is a Good Thing
Foam surfaces roughened with pockmarks left by gas bubbles are usually considered a cosmetic fl aw.

Wide 'Ag' Film Line Can Gusset or Not
A three-layer coextrusion line for up to 65-ft-wide agricultural blown film has an unusual option of moving gussets.

CW Brabender
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