Article Archive

January 2014




Past Issues

Close-Up on Technology

More Growth & Equipment Investment For Processors This Year
Gardner’s research projects that processors will invest around $3.3 billion in primary machinery, auxiliary equipment, and molds and related supplies this year, about 10% more than its projection for 2013.

Features

Injection Molding at K 2013: Doing More with Less
More productivity with less energy consumption and capital investment; more operations in the machine or manufacturing cell with less time, labor, energy, and capital—these were the common themes of injection molding exhibits at October’s K 2013 show.

Auxiliaries at K 2013: More Efficient, Flexible & User-Friendly
It’s hard to generalize about auxiliary equipment, but a few trends stood out at K, including: greater energy efficiency, ease of maintenance and cleaning, controls that provide more real-time and historical process information and greater ease of use.

Extrusion/Compounding at K 2013: Having It All
Extrusion processors no longer need to chose among speed, quality, and flexibility, based on exhibits at K 2013.

EVCO Plastics at 50: Still Thinking Big
In its first half-century, EVCO Plastics has grown from one half-ounce injection machine in a basement to a $130 million company with 148 presses and 900 employees at nine plants in the U.S., Mexico, and China.

Strategies

Molder Puts the ‘Art’ into Decorating
Custom molder took its expertise in in-mold coloring, IML, and IMD to the next level with the launch of a new division, Artistry of Plastics. The operation utilizes a proprietary technique, trade named Fabric Fusion, which merges resins with textiles to create a unique seamless product design.

Know How

Melt Flow Rate Testing—Part 6
Once degradation has been established, the discussion inevitably turns to how it happened. It might be expected that the answer to this question is widely known. Not so. The good news is that the influences that cause polymer degradation during processing are few.

How to Establish an Acceptable Range for Pressure at Transfer
Pressure at transfer tells you the viscosity of the resin, providing the fill time is the same. Monitoring pressure at transfer—or better yet, the integral under the pressure vs. time curve—provides insight into the process.

Telltale Temperatures
Here's how to get a 'feel' for a screw design without actually seeing it. And how to use this information.

Starting Up

Milacron Boosts Aftermarket Business
Milacron LLC, Batavia, Ohio, expanded its aftermarket business in extrusion last month with the purchase of American Extrusion Services.

Exxon to Film Processors: Go With Five Layers
For a company that did not exhibit at K 2013, ExxonMobil Chemical certainly was busy at October’s Dusseldorf trade show. Material from the Houston-based resin giant was running on a handful of film lines producing everything from five-layer collation-shrink blown film to five-layer hygiene film, three-layer lamination film, and 33-layer nano-cast stretch film.

Husky Buys Another Moldmaker
Husky Injection Molding Systems recently acquired Schöttli Group in Switzerland, a moldmaker specializing in medical and closure molds.

Processors Find Their Place at K 2013
Sprinkled among the 17 halls, often overshadowed by the billion-dollar machinery and material suppliers surrounding them, were no small number of processors.

PlasticComp Extrudes LFT Pipes & Profiles
The system uses crosshead profile dies to coextrude fiber tows and unidirectional tapes as continuous axial reinforcement in the extruded profile.

DuPont Spins Off Fluoropolymers, TiO2
DuPont Co., Wilmington, Del., intends to separate its Performance Chemicals segment into a completely separate company about 15 months from now.

Resin Prices

Commodity Resin Prices Up, Engineering Resins Steady
Strong year-end demand, somewhat tighter supplies of polyolefins, and a spike in feedstock prices with the possibility of more to come for PS, PVC and PP, have already brought higher prices to commodity resins, and continuing upward pressure will likely generate further hikes. Meanwhile, despite strong demand in the automotive market, prices of the four largest-volume engineering resins have been flat or slightly lower.

Recycled Resin Prices

Recycled Resin Market Expected to Be Strong in 2014
RPET prices are expected to rise this year. Recyclers expect a strong year for R-HDPE, too.

Column

The Shale Gas Game Changer
Processors and resin suppliers alike believe the availability of low-cost feedstock will present huge opportunities in the North American plastics market.

Market Watch

Packaging to Grow Modestly in Early ’14, Faster in Second Half
The use of plastics packaging is closely tied to the production of consumer goods.

Processor's Business Index

Processor Business Rebounding
Index climbs for the first time since March.

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