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May 2012

Close-Up on Technology

All-Electric Blow Molding Is Reaching the Tipping Point
After years of talk, all-electric blow molding machines seem poised to make advances.

New PET Stretch-Blow Machines & Applications Debut at NPE
Italian stretch-blow molding machinery builder Siapi ( had a lot to talk about at NPE2012 last month in Orlando, Fla.

New Player, Familiar Name In Downstream Extrusion Equipment
Bessemer Series debuts at NPE2012.

Taiwan Machine Builders Aim for Higher-End Applications
Major Taiwanese injection and blow molding and extrusion machinery OEM s plan to broaden the appeal of their brands by providing higher-end technology solutions at prices competitive with European or Japanese machines.

Processor's Edge

Thrifty California Processor Dries PET with 'Waste' Heat
Southern California can be a challenging environment for manufacturers, not least because of concerns about the cost and availability of electrical power.

Know How

All About ‘Cushion’
What it means. Why it's important.

Biopolymers: Time to Take A Deep Breath
Are we looking at all of the implications associated with developing this new 'crop' of polymers?

Salt and Screw Cooling
With both, watch how much you use.

Starting Up

‘RollTrusion’ Mates Rolled Metal & Extrusion
Crosshead extrusion is the typical means of coating plastics on relatively small substrates such as wire.

Another Big Backer for Biobased PEF Bottles
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Avantium in the Netherlands has signed its second major partnership for using its new catalytic process to convert plant sugars into furanic precursors for a new polyester bottle resin.

Bayer to Buy Arkema’s PC Sheet Business
Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, will acquire the U.S. polycarbonate sheet business of Arkema Inc., Philadelphia.

Chevron Phillips Announces PE Plant Location
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., The Woodlands, Tex., has chosen a site near its Sweeny facility in Old Ocean, Tex., for two new polyethylene plants to accompany a planned 3.3-billion-lb/yr ethane cracker at Cedar Bayou in Baytown, Tex.

Foaming Developments Aplenty in Extrusion
At NPE2012, Macro Engineering and Technology, Mississauga, Ont., launched new technology to  extrude foamed films in what it describes as an “environmentally friendly process” that uses inert gas as the foaming agent.

High-Flow Nylon Carries the Load in New Fork-Lift Truck
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New I-ton hand pallet truck (HPT) from Lifter S.r.l. of Italy (U.S. office in Marietta, Ga.) is the first pallet truck in the world made of nonmetallic material.

New Way to Characterize Moldability Of Resins & Part/Tool Designs
Experienced injection molders have long known that a resin’s melt flow index (MFI), measured under very low-shear conditions, provides very little information about how it will process under many orders of magnitude higher shear in an actual mold.

Now You Can Refurbish Twin-Screw Elements
Two suppliers of twin-screw compounding extruders announced at NPE2012 that they are now offering screw-element refurbishing services.


Achieve Process Transparency with In-Mold Cavity Sensors
In plastic injection molding, the primary objective is to manufacture dimensionally and structurally consistent parts, independent of the molding machine being used.

Better, Not Bigger, Is How Copol Wins In CPP Film
Small player in a large market speaks in a loud voice.

Cooling Water: Minimize Demand by Reducing Heat Gains
In March, we introduced the subject of energy savings through cooling-water management.

How to Spec’ Screws & Barrels For Running Corrosive Materials
Here’s a guide to specifying screws and barrels that will last under conditions that will chew up standard equipment.

MATERIALS AT NPE: All Market Sectors Benefit from Large Crop of New Materials
Higher-performance and easier processing PE film resins for packaging, a one-pass crosslinked PE for photovoltaic (PV) wire and cable, several higher-performing nylons and TPEs, “greener” plastics, and enhanced styrenic and PC resins are among the new materials that made their debut at the big show in Orlando, Fla., last month.

Keeping Up With Technology

AUXILIARIES: Cool & Dehumidify Your Plant—With Saltwater
As we head into the summer, many processors will be facing a season of not just heat but rising humidity, which can make for less comfortable working conditions on the plant floor.

AUXILIARIES: Hand-Held Plasma Treater
A new universal atmospheric plasma treater from Enercon Industries, Menomonee Falls, Wis., enables hand-held surface treatment of a wide variety of materials and applications.

AUXILIARIES: Hand-Held, Super-Accurate Micrometer
The new High-Accuracy Digimatic Digital Micrometer from Mitutoyo America Corp., Aurora, Ill., is billed asthe first micrometer to offer 0.1-μm resolution, making high-accuracy measurement possible in a hand-held tool.

AUXILIARIES: High-Pressure, High-Output Airlocks
New HP650 and HP850 airlocks from Mac Process Inc., Kansas City, Mo., can handle high-rate, high-pressure conveying applications such as pellet take-away at the discharge of compounding extruders.

COMPOUNDING: Laboratory Ribbon/Paddle Blender
New Ribbon Blender Model 42NSD-1S from Charles Ross & Son Co., Hauppauge, N.Y., is a multi-purpose unit equipped with interchangeable double ribbon and paddle agitators.

EXTRUSION: Compact Coex Line for Medical Tubing
A new coextrusion line from American Kuhne, Ashaway, R.I., features one 12-mm and two 16-mm microextruders mounted on a common base.

EXTRUSION: World’s Tiniest Blown Film Line
Labtech Engineering from Thailand (which has several U.S. distributors) displayed at NPE2012 what it says is the world’s smallest, fully functional blown film line, equipped with a horizontal extruder.

MATERIALS: Biodegradable PLA Blend for Mulch Film
WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF has expanded its line of biodegradable resins with a grade for agricultural films.

MATERIALS: New Flexible Noryl Grades Meet EU Cord Standards
WEB EXCLUSIVE: SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has filled out its portfolio of Flexible Noryl PPE alloys for wire and cable with two new grades that meet Europe’s HD 21.14 S1:2003 standard for AC cords.

MATERIALS: New Source of Rigid PVC Compounds
Sylvin Technologies Inc., Denver, Pa., a compounder of flexible and semi-rigid PVC, has now expandedinto rigid PVC compounds.

MATERIALS: Olefinic Elastomer Makes Better PP Drink Cups
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Polypropylene has the edge over PET and PS for clear thermoformed drink cups because of its heat resistance, allowing it to be used for hot beverages.

MATERIALS: Silver Antimicrobial Compounds
New ColorRx Antimicrobial (AM) compounds from LTL Color Compounders, Morrisville, Pa., contain a silver-ion antimicrobial additive and are available in a wide range of polymers.

MATERIALS: Super-Low-Gloss Acrylic With Soft Touch
WEB EXCLUSIVE: What’s said to be the lowest-gloss of any PMMA on the market, plus a pleasant soft touch, are offered by new Altuglas HFI-10 Super Matt from Arkema’s Altuglas International, subsidiary (U.S. office in Bristol, Pa.). The unique matte finish of this resin when extruded is retained after thermoforming.

TOOLING: Flexible Dry-Ice Mold Cleaner
Cold Jet, Loveland, Ohio, introduced the latest model in its SDI series of dry-ice mold-cleaning machines at NPE2012.

Resin Prices

Price Relief in Commodity Resins
Combination of slowed global demand, build-up in resin suppliers’ inventories, and projected drops in feedstock prices are expected to provide some price relief at least through the second quarter.


NPE2012: A Humdinger
Miss anything? Follow this publication and website to catch up.

Pressure Building in Packaging
There are many packaging related issues that are best solved, or can only be solved, by plastics products. This is where processors should concentrate their efforts.

CW Brabender
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