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December 2012

Close-Up on Technology

Enhanced Gas-Assist Molding Shortens Cycles, Cuts Downtime
A pair of new technologies, one proven at several molders in Europe and a second just now ready for commercialization, is said to improve on current gas-assist injection molding techniques with up to 30% faster cycles and up to 90% reduced downtime for maintenance of molds and gas injectors.

Mobile DeDuster Solves Pellet-Quality Problem
Pelletron system eliminated streamers were gone and cut the dust level down to a range of 30 to 50 ppm.

Processor's Edge

‘Tough Jobs’ Are More Than A Slogan for Innovative Former
Family-owned thermoformer known for tackling difficult challenges.

Know How

How to Specify A Resin Dryer
To dry your polymer correctly you need a dryer that is properly designed and working properly. Here are my suggested specifications, for a two-, three- or four-bed desiccant dryer, the most common types used.

Is It Glass Filled or Glass Reinforced?
Here is how to tell the difference.

Screw Design Is a Matter of Balance
In order to achieve a balance between feeding, melting, and pumping it’s necessary to use proven calculations and/or tested empirical data in the design of each section.

The Importance of Air Valves In Accumulator-Head Blow Molding
Proper air usage is an important part of making good blow molded parts.

Starting Up

Copolyester Used in Pneumatic Tube Carrier
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new application of proprietary Tritan copolyester from Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., has been developed by Baltimore-based Pevco, a manufacturer of hospital pneumatic-tube delivery systems used to transport patient-critical materials between labs, pharmacies, blood banks, operating rooms, and emergency rooms.   The new Pevco TEC-6 pneumatic tube carrier was designed specifically to be made with Tritan, according to Pevco’s director of product development and marketing Steve Dahl.

Extrusion Process Produces Lens Array
Process promises opportunities for extruders to make lens arrays for smartphone and other electronic displays, solar concentrators, optical diffusers, security products, etc.

Flexible Package Takes Aim at Rigid Containers
Leading sheet processor Clear Lam Packaging, Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill., made three announcements during October’s Pack Expo International show in Chicago.

Injection Press Converts to Injection-Blow
A simple way for injection molders to get into blow molding of small containers for food, beverage, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications has been introduced through a collaboration of Engel Austria, the injection machine supplier (U.S. office in York, Pa.,) and Italian injection moldmaker Cantoni S.r.l.

Meredian Starts Up World’s Largest PHA Biopolymer Plant
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Biopolymer manufacturer Meredian, Inc., Bainbridge, Ga., recently started up what is believed to the world’s largest production facility for PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate). At full production, the plant is capable of annual output of about 600 million lb.

Modified MDO Gives Higher Film Yields
Hosokawa Alpine American, Natick, Mass., is offering new machine-direction orientation (MDO) technology that is said to dramatically reduce the amount of film to be edge-trimmed compared with other MDO designs.

PolyOne to Buy Spartech
Major compounder PolyOne Corp.has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Spartech Corp.

VW Adopts PP Intake Manifolds in Two Car Engines
Glass-reinforced PP with proprietary heat-stabilization enhancement has emerged as a competitor for nylon in air-intake manifolds of two Volkswagen car engines: a three-cylinder gasoline engine in Brazil and Europe and a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine produced in China.

Weyerhaeuser & Ford Develop Cellulose-Fiber TP Composites for Automotive
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Forestry products producer Weyerhaeuser in Federal Way, Wash., has introduced a proprietary, patent-pending thermoplastic composite with cellulose-fiber reinforcement derived from wood.


Best Methods of Molding Undercuts
Producing plastics parts with undercuts presents distinct challenges for molders.

Molded Spool Specialist Sees Growth Opportunities in Extrusion
Spools, reels, and more spools…and now custom profile extrusion has been added to the mix.

News in Materials & Machinery at SPE Blow Molding Conference
New barrier materials for small fuel tanks, tooling developments for large, flat, and odd-shaped industrial parts, new all-electric machines for large containers, and gravimetric extrusion control for bottles are some of the topics discussed at the recent SPE Blow Molding Div. annual conference in Pittsburgh.

Take a Look at Vision Mold Protection
In today’s ultra-competitive manufacturing environment, a surprisingly often overlooked process improvement is mold protection.

Keeping Up With Technology

ADDITIVES: Highly Concentrated Black Masterbatches for Automotive
Americhem Inc., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has launched a new line of highly concentrated, low-aniline, nigrosine black nylon masterbatches suited to automotive under-hood and other applications where retention of physical properties is important.

AUXILIARIES: Parts Separator Is Sturdy, Quiet & Costs Less
Dynamic Conveyor, Muskegon, Mich., recently improved the design of its tumbler parts separator to offer greater durabilitwww.dynamicconveyor.comy at a lower price.

INJECTION MOLDING: All-Electric Multi-Component Presses Debut at Fakuma
One of the new introductions at the recent Fakuma exhibition in Germany was the launch of an all-electric multi-component series by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery (U.S. office in Norcross, Ga.). The new IntElect multi line starts with a multi 350 model of 350 metric tons and will be followed next by a multi 220 (220 m.t.). Features include extended ejector travel, hydraulic core pull with a servo-driven pump, optional wide platens, and optional turntable with motor drive integrated into the new NC5-plus controller.

MATERIALS: ‘Biovinyl’ Compounds for Wire & Cable
Nearly 50 new PVC compounds that incorporate new biobased, non-phthalate plasticizers and other formulation enhancements that address the “green” concerns of wire and cable users will be introduced commercially in the first quarter of 2013 by Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I.

MATERIALS: Anti-Static TPEs for Consumer, Electronic Goods
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Four antistatic grades have expanded the Maxelast line of styrenic-based TPEs available from Alliance Polymers and Services LLC, Romulus, Mich.

MATERIALS: Biocomposite Uses ‘Green’ HDPE
WEB EXCLUSIVE: RheTech, Inc., offers a new grade of RheVision biocomposite using sugar cane-based HDPE supplied by Brazil’s Braskem (U.S. office in Philadelphia, Pa.). The initial product is RheTech’s first “green biocomposite,” in that it uses both bio-fiber and a biobased polymer.

MATERIALS: Black Ultem PEI for Durable FDM Parts
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., has introduced black Ultem 9085 for direct digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping by users of its Fortus 900mc or 400mc 3D Production Systems, which are based on the company’s patented FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology.   Previously only available in tan color for FDM parts, Ultem 9085 polyetherimide (PEI) from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., is said to offer high strength, heat and chemical resistance, and excellent FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) rating, particularly important to the automotive and aerospace industries.

MATERIALS: Halogen-Free Nylon 46 for Electronics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: DSM Engineering Plastics of the Netherlands (U.S. office in Evansville, Ind.) has added two new halogen-free compounds of high-temperature Stanyl nylon 46 that are specially designed for connectors, sockets, and other electronic components.

MATERIALS: New Clear Medical TPEs
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Several new grades of clear SEBS-based TPEs from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Rochester, Ill., are designed for medical products such as grips for medical and dental utensils and knobs and buttons for medical equipment.

Resin Prices

Softer Resin Prices Expected
Softer prices can be expected for all four commodity thermoplastics as the year ends, a trend that may continue in the first quarter of 2013, for some resins, at least.


Automotive Outlook: Steady Improvement in 2013
One of the true bright spots in the economy over the past 24 months has been the automotive industry. Our forecast for 2013 calls for another solid increase of 6% to 8%.

Getting to Know More About You
Maybe you’re doing some neat things too. Don’t be shy about letting us know.

CW Brabender
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