Article Archive

August 2006


Past Issues

Keeping Up With Technology

New Heat-Staking Press Is Servo Driven
The new Servostaker from Sonic & Thermal Technologies Inc. (Sonitek), Milford, Conn., is an all-electric heat-staking press with servo drive and new digital controls.

Valve Pins Go Electric
A new hot-runner valve-gate system with electric pin positioning allows for pin movements as small as 0.001 in. and up to 1 in.

New BMC for High-Heat Auto Headlamps
A new thermoset polyester bulk molding compound from IDI Composites International, Noblesville, Ind., is designed for injection molding standard and high-intensity discharge (HID) automotive headlamps.

Irradiated LLDPE Foam Can Extrude Profiles
Foam profiles have been successfully extruded by a major producer of packaging foams from 100% LLDPE, which typically doesn't have the melt strength required to support cellular structures.

Oxygen Absorber for PE Is All-Organic
An FDA-approved, all-organic oxygen-absorber masterbatch for LDPE and LLDPE food-packaging films reportedly provides better clarity than typical metal-based oxygen absorbers.

TPO for Large-Part Thermoforming
Barriers to large-part thermoforming with TPOs reportedly have been overcome by a new material introduced at NPE 2006.

Novel Approach to Fast, Conformal Mold Cooling
A new approach to conformal cooling is said to speed molding cycles 20% to 50% and eliminate hot spots and variations in mold surface temperature.

PLA Shrink-Wrap Makes Its Debut
Plastic Suppliers Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, last spring began producing the first cast and tentered TDO shrink film made of corn-based PLA (polylactic acid) from NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn.

This EAOT Is 'Programmable'
A new line of "programmable" robot end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) allows for remote adjustment to handle different-sized items with just one EOAT.

More Efficient FR Agents for Flexible PUR Foam
Two new flame retardants for flexible urethane foam are said to be significantly more efficient than their predecessors.

New Melt Indexer and Thermo-Mechanical Tester
Two new test instruments that extend the line of C.W.

Fine-Particle SBR Impact Modifiers
A family of fine and ultra-fine styrene-butadiene rubber tougheners derived from recycled tires is available from a new supplier formed earlier this year.

New PTT and TPE Biopolymers
DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., is perhaps the first supplier to introduce engineering resins and TPEs based on renewable resources.

Release for Low-Gloss In-Mold Painted Parts
A new water-based mold release is designed specifically for low-gloss in-mold painted trim for auto interiors.

Soy-Based 'Green' BMC Targets Automotive
Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. (BMCI), West Chicago, Ill., has unveiled a new "green" BMC made from soy-derived polyester resin plus thermoset regrind and natural fibers.

Degassing with Strands Between Extruders
An unusual cascade extrusion line for reclaiming large volumes of low-bulk-density polyolefin waste comes from Davis-Standard Corp., Pawcatuck, Conn.

New Way to Solve Mold-Filling Problems
"In-Mold Adjustable Rheological Control," or iMARC, is a new tooling concept that provides an externally adjustable means of varying how melt flows in a cavity without in any way restricting the flow (unlike valve gates, for example). Now in beta testing, iMARC is a further development of the Melt Flipper technology from Beaumont Technologies, Inc., Erie, Pa.

Electrostatic Pinning Makes a Clean Cut
A new blown film winder from Addex Inc., Stoughton, Mass., uses a cutover with a serrated knife that comes up out of a long slot in the lay-on drum and shoots sideways, making a clean cut.

First Profiles of COC
The first profiles made of Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) were extruded last January by Ensinger-Hyde, Washington, Pa., using five different grades of COC from Topas Advanced Polymers (formerly part of Ticona), Florence, Ky.

New Screw Improves Mixing
The new Fusion II screw from Xaloy Inc., Pulaski, Va., is said to enhance chaotic mixing relative to earlier designs and thereby improve color or additive dispersion as well as melt homogeneity.

200 Sensors Find Missing Ply In Battery Film
A maker of laser and capacitive thickness gauges for film has developed an unusual system for high speed detection of a missing layer in 1-meter-wide, three-layer polyolefin film for lithium batteries.

Long-Glass ABS Targets Automotive
Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich., has launched Magnum Brace, a long-glass ABS for instrument panels, door modules, tailgate inner structures, air ducts, and other structural components.

Phenolic Inserts Replace Brass or Stainless Steel
A thermoset molder has come out with threaded inserts of glass-filled phenolic that reportedly can replace metal inserts at lower cost and with numerous performance benefits.

Starting Up

Your Business in Brief - August 2006
CMS Buys MattecToronto-based CMS Software, a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, has acquired Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio, a supplier of manufacturing execution systems (MES) software for plastics.

Olefin Prices Take a Breather
Midsummer brought a sudden pause in price escalation—at least for polyolefins—after a storm of increases announced in June.

Your Business Outlook - August 2006
Mastiogale’s latest blow molding market study shows modest growth for industrial products.

Close-Up on Technology

Laser Scanning Saves Time and Money for Digitizing Parts and Molds
Blow molded product designers and moldmakers are finding laser scanning to be a fast, accurate, and cost-effective method to replicate molds and create new designs for highly contoured and complex parts such as beverage bottles.

New Olefin Block Copolymers Stretch TPE Processability and Cost Performance
A developmental family of novel olefin block copolymers (OBCs) from Dow Chemical Co. is lauded as a breakthrough in olefinic thermoplastic elastomers due to a unique block structure, which reportedly delivers novel combinations of end-use properties and processability at a “cost-in-use” competitive with materials such as TPVs, TPUs, and styrenic block-copolymer (SBC) TPEs.

New Materials Extend Reach of Rapid Prototyping
Stronger, tougher, stiffer, faster, and better-looking materials reflect the growing interest in rapid-prototyping and rapid-tooling technologies that can significantly decrease product development time and cost.

Fluid Cooler Offers Alternative to Cooling Towers or Central Chillers
When it comes to cooling extruders and injection and blow molding machines, the vast majority of plastics processors in the U.S. choose cooling towers.

Troubleshooter

How to Clean a Flashed Hot Manifold-Part One
As I rounded the corner of our shop, I was confronted by a large flock of white shirts gathered around a mold on my bench.

Features

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Compounding
Much of the compounding news at the NPE Show in Chicago in June ad-dressed the growing trend among extrusion processors to become compounders.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Thermoforming
Several new processing technologies unveiled at NPE point to thermoforming’s growing capability to produce in-mold labeled and decorated plastic parts.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Extrusion
 NPE 2006 presented a bevy of features to make film, sheet, pipe, and profile extrusion more efficient.

My Best of NPE 2006
When I attend a show like NPE, people are always asking me, “See anything new?

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Injection Molding
Advances in electric drive technology were evident in nearly every injection machine builder’s booth in Chicago.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Blow Molding
Among new blow molding developments at the show was an innovative coextrusion system for the growing small-engine fuel tank market.

Strategies

A Custom Molder Takes the Next Step
The question John Winzeler keeps asking is, “How do you take the next step?” In the last two decades, he has transformed the Chicago metal-stamping company he inherited from his father into a high-tech specialty molding business focused only on plastic gears.

CW Brabender
HammerTek
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