September 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Induction Barrel Heating May Use Up to 70% Less Energy
Dramatic energy savings, greater reliability, and much faster response than conventional heater bands are being claimed for an alternative that will debut at next month’s K 2007 show in Dusseldorf.

New Additives and Colorants To Debut at K 2007
The world’s largest plastics show next month in Dusseldorf will highlight an unusual mix of new polymer additives, including some based on novel chemistries that reportedly set new levels of performance.

Processor's Edge

Making Safety Profitable
Worker safety and health are every molder’s responsibility, but the approach taken by Mack Molding Co., Arlington, Vt., helped it gain significant production and revenue returns.

Starting Up

Your Business In Brief - September 2007
GE Plastics Becomes Sabic InnovativeThis month, the sale of GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is expected to be completed.

Your Business Outlook - September 2007
The Federal Reserve Board provides a monthly index of U.S. production of motor-vehicle parts.

Your Business Pricing Update - September 2007
Most commodity resin prices —except for PP—took a breather in August, though some hikes were pending for September.

Your Business Recycle Pricing - September 2007
This summer was busy for HDPE and PET recyclers, with no sign of the expected slackening of demand caused by the housing market slump. Export prices were stable. “We’re coming into the busy season right now,” says one recycler, “so all materials are pretty much in demand. I expect the market to remain steady for the rest of the year. Prices may even go up a little.”


Two Places to Look For What’s Next
If you want to know what’s the next big thing in injection molding—and who doesn’t?—I can think of two places to look: Dusseldorf and Cleveland.

What's New at the Show in BLOW MOLDING
There will be a strong emphasis on energy savings in blow molding machinery at K 2007.

What's New at the Show in COMPOUNDING
Compounding machinery news at the K Show next month focuses on more torque, more output, and sometimes both, for kneaders, mixers, and twin-screw extruders.

What's New at the Show in EXTRUSION
It’s all about higher speeds and higher outputs at this year’s “K” show in Germany.

What's New at the Show in INJECTION MOLDING
At the big “K” Show next month, top billing goes to new all-electric machines aimed at every segment of the market, from general-purpose to high-end.

What's New at the Show in MATERIALS
The major thrust in new materials at K is engineering thermoplastics for automotive, appliance, medical, and electrical/electronic parts.

What's New at the Show in PUR/RIM
At this year’s K show, look for the launch of fiberglass/polyurethane pultrusion into window frames, as well as several new high-efficiency mixing heads, MDI prepolymers for cast elastomers, and an energy-absorbing PUR foam for car bumpers. PUR pultruded windowsBayer MaterialScience will showcase polyurethane pultrusion technology, which recently has penetrated new applications.

What's New at the Show in THERMOFORMING
Continuous in-line packaging systems will be the main emphasis in thermoforming at K 2007.

Keeping Up With Technology

3D Printer Makes Multi-Color Prototypes
A new high-definition 3D printer can produce prototype models in a variety of colors (white, blue, or dark gray). The XT 3-D Modeler is the latest addition to the In-Vision 3-D family of "office-friendly" rapid-prototyping machines from 3D Systems Corp., Rock Hill, S.C.

Add-On Capacitor Reduces Peak Power Load
An add-on power unit that delivers stored energy to the machine at start-up as a means to cut power demand is new from Battenfeld of America, South Elgin, Ill.

All-Electric Press Targets Cell-Phone Light-Guides
A special all-electric machine designed for producing light-guide plates (used in cell phones) as thin as 0.3 mm was unveiled by Niigata Machine Techno Co.

Barrier Coating Unit Debuts In the U.S.
Ball Corp. in Broomfield, Colo., is the first U.S. bottle blower to run a Plasmax 12D barrier coating system from SIG Plasmax GmbH in Germany, parent of SIG Beverages USA, Hillsborough, N.J.

Biggest Blown Film Die Ever Made for PVC
Macro Engineering & Technology, Inc., Mississauga, Ont., has built what is believed to be the largest coex blown fi lm die for PVC in the world-24-in. diam. to make 6-meter-wide, threelayer PVC geomembranes and greenhouse covers.

Crammer-Fed Twin-Screw Reclaims Film and Fiber
In the past two years, KraussMaffei Berstorff, Florence, Ky., has built a handful of large crammer-fed twinscrew extruders for reprocessing PET or nylon fiber or polyolefin film scrap at up to 3000 lb/hr.

Extruder with Planetary Section 'Dries' PET
A single-screw extruder with a bulge in the middle for a multi-screw planetary section is said to degas undried PET fl ake and extrude it directly into strapping, film, or other products.

Faster Output of Single-Serve Bottles
A new line of high-speed Combi machines from Sidel Inc., Norcross, Ga., is said to produce 17 PET bottles/sec or about 61,200/hr.

Flexo/Screen Printer For Tubes
A new servo-driven, hybrid flexo and screen printer boasts unmatched flexibility for tube decoration.

Gas-Assist Controller Gets an Upgrade
Programming software for the top-of-the line gas controller from Cinpres Gas Injection Inc., Whitmore, Mich., has been improved for greater ease of use and operating efficiency.

Impact Modifier for PLA
A proprietary impact modifier is said to toughen PLA (polylactic acid) biopolymer without sacrificing clarity.

Improved Resin and Software For Rapid Prototyping
An new FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) rapid-prototyping and rapid-manufacturing system from Stratasys, Minneapolis, reportedly builds significantly better parts than previous entry-level FDM systems in terms of both strength and feature detail.

IR Camera Gauges Film Thickness on Temperature
A new thickness gauge can calculate film thickness from surface temperature.

Liquid Colors for Clear Thermoplastics
A new line of liquid colorants is aimed at extrusion, injection, and blow molding of clear thermoplastics like PC, PMMA, SAN, ABS, and PETG at low letdown ratios of 0.25% or less.

Mold Sealer Eases Release Of Low-VOC Marine Resins
A new semi-permanent mold sealer can be applied to metal or composite molds for marine applications with unsaturated polyesters, vinyl esters, DCPD resins, epoxies, and rigid polyurethanes.

MuCell For Small Presses
Microcellular foaming of smaller precision parts, such as for electrical/electronic applications, is now possible with the introduction of the Series III MuCell system from Trexel Inc., Woburn, Mass.

New High-Temperature Wear-Resistant Resins
New grades of high-temperature thermoplastics have been tailored for wear resistance in long-term use at 120 to 265 C (250 to 510 F) and brief exposure up to 280 C (535 F). These new grades have been added to the lines of KetaSpire PEEK, AvaSpire modified PEEK, and Ixef MXD6 nylon from Solvay Advanced Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga.

New Machines and Powders For Laser Sintering
A small laser-sintering system that produces nylon or polystyrene parts or prototypes directly from a CAD file, as well as upgrades for two systems that make larger parts, are new from Electro Optical Systems (EOS) in Germany (U.S. office in Novi, Mich.) Its Formiga P 100 model (photo) is a new compact model for direct manufacturing of parts and functional prototypes.

New Mold Components to Debut at K 2007
Several new injection mold components have been introduced by D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich., and will also be highlighted at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf next month: Off-the-shelf packages of helicalgear devices for stack-mold centering that simplify the design and manufacture of stack molds.

Olefin Block Copolymers Approved for Food Contact
Infuse thermoplastic olefi n block copolymers (OBCs), unveiled by Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich., a year ago, are now reported by Dow to comply with all requirements for food contact of the U.S.

PE for Micro-Irrigation Gets 'Fingerprinted'
Three new polyethylene resins are designed for hose and tubing used for microirrigation in landscaping and agriculture.

PLA/Biopolymer Blends Reduce Brittleness
Patented technology developed at the Univ. of Mass.-Lowell for melt blending polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer with 20% of any of several biodegradable aliphatic copolyesters (U.S.

Planetary Section Vents New RPET Line
Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH in Germany has built the fi rst example of a new multi-stage extruder to make premium APET sheet without predrying.

Plantwide Machine Monitor Gets New Display Options
The ability to see production data for a specific machine from any point on the manufacturing floor is a new capability added to the PlantStar real-time production and process monitoring system from Syscon-Plantstar International, South Bend, Ind.

Plastic Lead Replacement For Radiation Shielding
A new line of high-specifi c-gravity compounds from GE Plastics/LNP Specialty Compounds, Exton, Pa., are intended for lead replacement in radiation shielding.

Robot for Stack-Mold IML
A new high-speed, side-entry robot for in-mold labeling (IML) with a stack mold, and a new flexible IML system designed for low-volume applications, are both new from Ilsemann Automation, Sharon Hills, Pa.

Sensor Guards Molds From Excess Clamping
A new piezoelectric quartz strain transmitter designed to prevent over-clamping of mold halves in injection machines is new from Kistler Instrument Corp., Amherst, N.Y.

Single-Screw Extruders With Quick-Change Barrels
An unusual series of modular single-screw extruders with interchangeable barrels is being introduced in three sizes at the K Show in Germany next month by American Kuhne Inc., Norwich, Conn.

Streaked Clear Capstock Gives WPC Profiles Depth
A translucent capstock of an acrylic/ASA alloy with streaks of coloring coextruded over foamed wood-fi lled ABS profi les gives them depth of color like wood grain.

Terephthalic Match for Iso Resin in Pultrusion
A new low-styrene, uv-stabilized terephthalic polyester for pultrusion comes from Reichhold Inc., Research Triangle Park, N.C.

TPU Gives Hoses Clarity and Hardness
A new ester-based TPU from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, offers transparency, high hardness, and good extrudability for hose applications.

Versatile Corona Treater And Power Supply
A new corona-treating station with interchangeable magazines can operate as a bare-roll, covered-roll, or dual-dielectric system.

CW Brabender
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