Article Archive

March 2006


Past Issues

Close-Up on Technology

All-Electric Presses Get Direct-Drive Upgrade
The Elma all-electric machine series from Negri Bossi USA, Newark, Del., has been renamed and upgraded for faster injection, more precise and repeatable movements, and reduced maintenance.

Make Polycarbonate Flow Easily Without Losing Toughness or Clarity
Here’s a whole new way to boost the flow of polycarbonate without the drawbacks of other flow modifiers.

Blade System Puts Ribs Into Structural Blow Molded Parts
A novel blow molding process incorporates movable blades within the tool to create a ribbed structure for load-bearing automotive parts.

Features

Detecting, Repairing & Preventing Water Leaks
Part I of III

Microlayer Films: New Uses for Hundreds of Layers
Early microlayer films gave an iridescent shimmer to decorative packaging. The newest films with hundreds and even thousands of layers are designed for gas barrier, uv blocking, electronic displays, and high-strength window-glass laminates. As applications grow, more processors want in on the action.

The Cheapest Place To Process Plastics
If you’re looking to site a plant where operating costs are low, you can’t do better than the Fayetteville/Rogers, Ark., metropolitan area with close runners-up being Little Rock/North Little Rock, Ark., and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Gear Molding: Where It's Headed
Plastic gears are growing larger, more precise, more complex in geometry, and more powerful. High-performance resins and long-fiber compounds are aiding this evolution.

Polyurethane Composites: New Alternative to Polyester and Vinyl Ester
High toughness, fast cure, and no styrene fumes are taking urethane composites beyond SRIM into pultrusion, filament winding, vacuum infusion, and spray-up.

Strategies

Material Handling and Drying Are a Molder's 'Central' Issue
The benefits of centralized material handling have been demonstrated for decades, yet somehow the message continues to come slowly to mid-size processors like Jackson Products Inc of St.

Troubleshooter

Smart Handling of Regrind Can Improve Your Bottom Line
Dealing effectively with regrind has been a tough challenge for most blow molders ever since the process was invented.

Keeping Up With Technology

New Way to Dry PET Will Debut at NPE 2006
At the giant NPE show in Chicago this June, Baltimore-based Novatec, Inc. will introduce what it describes as a "revolutionary" new dryer/crystallizer for PET.

Accumulator Model Boasts Parison Suction Capability
Uniloy Milacron Inc., Tecumseh, Mich., has unveiled its first accumulator-head blow molder with parison suction capability for producing under-hood automotive ducts.

Electric Toggle Presses Get Clamp-Force Control
The NEX series of all-electric machines from Nissei America, Anaheim, Calif, has been upgraded with a new version of its TACT controller offering closed-loop clamp-force control plus faster injection speed and response.

Economical Hot Runners
The new BX series of affordable hot-runner nozzles from Mastip Technology Ltd. of New Zealand (U.S. office in Richfield, Wis.) is suited to applications with low to medium cavitation where in-press tip replacement and close cavity spacing are not required.

Centering Unit Now Fastens From Both Sides
A centering unit for mold pins from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C., has been improved for easier use.

CNC Band Saw Cuts Sheet With Less Waste
The MZ Project Band Sawing Center from Solid Wood Systems, Inc., High Point, N.C., combines a three-axis CNC band saw with a five-spindle, point-to-point boring unit for fast and efficient cutting of plastic sheet and panels.

Clear, Tough Copolyester For Medical Devices
A new brilliantly clear copolyester boasts excellent impact strength together with chemical resistance, dimensional stability, and low shrinkage-properties suitable for medical applications such as injection molded drug delivery devices.

Flax-Filled Foam PVC Decking
Pro-Cell LLC, Foley, Ala., has developed a unique foamed PVC deck board that is 30% to 40% lighter than competitive decking and is designed to span 16 in. between joists.

PP-Like Resin for SLA Rapid Prototyping
An opaque white stereolithography prototyping resin that simulates the look and feel of molded PP is new from 3D Systems Corp., Valencia, Calif.

PP Copolymer for Returnable Containers, Pallets
A new polypropylene copolymer is said to provide the toughness and stiffness required for returnable containers, trays, nestable totes, and pallets.

Servo Robots for Mid-Size Presses
Four new models have been added to the 7-series of three-axis servo robots from Wittmann Inc., Torrington, Conn.

Polar PE Wax Couples Natural Fibers in HDPE
A new highly polar metallocene PE wax grafted with maleic anhydride is designed for bonding and compatibilization of natural fibers in polyethylene composites.

Purging Compounds for PE Film and Molding
Two LLDPE-based purging masterbatches designed for LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE blown and cast film and injection and blow molding are newly available from Ingenia Polymers Corp., Houston.

Suction Blow Molder Is Largest in Series
Kautex Machines Inc., North Branch, N.J., has introduced the largest machine in its line of suction blow molders.

Conductive Acetals Are Also Colorable
A new line of acetal copolymers with electrically conductive and static-dissipative performance include brightly colorable grades.

Soft-Touch TPUs Have Broader Hardness Range
TPE Solutions Inc., Shirley, Mass., is offering a new series of TPU alloys that are said to expand the hardness range available for overmolding and coextrusion.

Biggest U.S. Pipe Line
An extrusion line for 63-in.-diam., smooth-walled HDPE pipe, reportedly the largest in the U.S., was installed last November at an undisclosed customer by American Maplan Corp., McPherson, Kan.

Unusual Bottle Marks a Giant's First Step
Amcor PET Packaging, Ann Arbor, Mich., a leading blow molder of PET bottles for food, liquor, and other beverages, recently marked its initial entry into the personal-care field with a unique 15-oz container for Method Home's body wash.

Safer, Non-Heated Resin Cleaning Solution
A new non-solvent resin cleaner is longer lasting and does not require heating, unlike others on the market.

Cold Runners For LSR
A standardized cold-runner system designed for use in molding liquid silicone or other thermoset rubbers is new from D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich.

TPU Boasts High Moisture Permeability
A new polyether TP urethane from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, features very high water-vapor permeability, suitable for film coatings on fabrics.

Clear, Non-Tacky TPU for Cure-in-Place Pipe Lining
A new proprietary technology reportedly can produce TPU resins having a very low coefficient of friction (COF) without any lubricants, waxes, or fillers that cause blooming or reduce transparency.

Long-Fiber Concentrate Has 80% Glass Loading
A new long-fiber polypropylene concentrate contains 80% glass loading by weight-reportedly the highest long-fiber content available.

Coating Enhances In-Mold Labeling
A lightly applied adhesive coating on the surface of in-mold labels ensures that the labels stay in place and that "tie-tack" is neutralized.

No Ballscrews or Belts on New Electric Drive
A novel servo-electric plasticating and injection system for presses up to 250 tons reportedly delivers more power and higher injection speeds with faster acceleration than conventional ballscrew and timing-belt arrangements.

Boltless Flat Die Splits Hydraulically
Taking a concept from hydraulic toggle closing for massive dies used in rubber extrusion, Extrusion Dies Industries (EDI) LLC, Chippewa Falls, Wis., designed and built a new concept for rapidly releasing the clamp force on a flat die without bolts.

Copper Chill Roll Needs No Chiller
A new patented, copper chill roll for cast film reportedly cools so much more efficiently than conventional steel rolls that it provides dramatically higher output for the same roll diameter or allows a smaller roll to be used for the same output.

'Pre-distortion' System Aids Printing On Deep-Draw Formed Parts
When printing images on sheet to be thermoformed into signs, retail displays, packaging, or consumer products, graphic designers must take into account the optical distortion that will occur when the flat printed image is formed into a 3D surface.

Thinner Stretch Film Goes Much Farther
Intertape Polymer Group, Bradenton, Fla., recently introduced a new five-layer, single-sided cling wrap for machine pallet wrap.

First Clear Aseptic Pouch
Tetra Pak of Switzerland (U.S. headquarters in Vernon Hills, Ill.) began testing the world's first totally clear, high-barrier aseptic pouch in Mexico last year.

Process Monitor Makes Data More Useful
The newest version of Shotscope process monitoring and analysis software from Moldflow Corp., Framingham, Mass., has better display, control, and reporting functions.

High-Efficiency Dryers for Medium Throughput
Three levels of higher-capacity desiccant dryers are now available in the SDF Series from Sterling, Inc., New Berlin, Wis.

Die-Drawn Wood-PP Boards Are Stronger and Lighter
A continuous die-drawing process is being used on a pilot scale to make large profiles of 30% to 35% wood flour in PP.

Shredder Gobbles Trim From Dimpled Sheet
An edge-trim shredder developed by Hellweg Maschinenbau GmbH in Roetgen, Germany, is believed to be the only one designed to feed trim from dimpled sheet.

Laboratory Twin-Screw Takes Pellets
A very small laboratory-model twin-screw extruder has been introduced by Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer, Ramsey, N.J.

Antifog for PP Film/Sheet
A new antifogging masterbatch is designed specifically for PP film and thermoformable sheet.

Tackified Fabrics Ease RTM & Vacuum Infusion
The Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics (SGTF) Composites Group, Niagara Falls, N.Y., has launched a range of "put-in-place" reinforcing fabrics with a light coating of low-tack adhesive on one or both sides.

Ceramic Screw Handles Highly Filled Materials
A ceramic screw with exceptional corrosion and wear resistance for molding highly filled polymers may soon be introduced for commercial use.

Mold Locks and Retainers Fight Abrasive Wear
Two new series of tooling components designed to reduce friction and wear come from Progressive Components, Wauconda, Ill.

New All-Electric Press Breaches 3000 Tons
All-electric machines in two new massive sizes are now available from Ube Machinery Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Purging Agent Saves Molder $2600 Per Purge!
A dramatic demonstration of the economic value of efficient machine purging-especially in these days of high resin prices-was obtained from a commercial test at a U.S. injection molder.

Extra-High-Flow Nylon 46 For Small Connectors
The Stanyl nylon 46 line from DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind., has been expanded with a new high-flow series called Stanyl Super Flow.

Extreme-Duty Gears
Century Extrusion, Traverse City, Mich. (recently acquired by CPM Holding, Waterloo, Iowa), is introducing a new series of gear boxes with 20% higher torque and 250 bar of operating pressure.

Milacron Offers Magnetic Platen QMC Option
The Quad-Press magnetic quick-mold-clamping system from Tecnomagnete of Italy (U.S. office in Troy, Mich.) has been added to the list of factory-integrated QMC options for Milacron machines.

Starting Up

Pricing Update - March 2006
PE, PS, and PVC prices remained flat or softened further in February, aided by slack demand and lower feedstock costs.

Recycled Prices Soften
Virgin resin prices started to soften at the end of 2005, and recycled resin prices have followed suit. Most reprocessors believe the big price hikes of the last couple of years have probably ended, but prices still are likely to rebound by April, since demand for many materials increases in the spring and summer.

Your Business in Brief - March 2006
New Firm Gets Ticona’s Topas COCTopas Advanced Polymers (TAP) is a new joint venture that has acquired the Topas cyclic-olefin copolymer (COC) business of Ticona.

CW Brabender
Carr Lane
HammerTek
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