November 2011

Close-Up on Technology

Do Flow Simulation 'in the Cloud'
Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, Calif., has just made available a new version of its Moldflow Insight software that takes time-consuming meshing and analysis functions off your desktop and performs them at a remote data center accessed via the Internet.

News in Auxiliaries & Tooling at Fakuma Show
Late last month, Friedrichshafen, Germany, hosted Fakuma 2011, the largest European plastics show of the year, growing to be second in size and importance to the K show in Dusseldorf.

Processor's Edge

If He Built It, It Will Run
This compounder builds its own machines.

Know How

How Fillers Impact Extrusion Processing
Their addition can significantly change the processing properties of a polymer.

Plasticating Rates: Your Profits Are at Stake
To get the best cycle time you need the right machine, and few molders take the time to specify this critical component of the process.

The Effects of Stress
Previously we have discussed the effects of temperature and time on the long-term behavior of polymers. Now let's take a look at stress.

The Scoop on Blow-Pin Stands, Pre-Pinch Units & Parison Spreaders
Spend time to identify the right accessories.

Starting Up

Amcor Continues Assault on Glass with Hot-Fill PET Jars
Leading PET blow molder Amcor Rigid Plastics, Manchester, Mich. (, is continuing its push to replace glass in hot-fill food products with new 24-oz, round, wide-mouth jars.

Blow Molded Drainage System Keeps Your Basement Dry
Blow molder Meredith-Springfield Associates, Inc., Ludlow, Mass. (, recently developed a novel solution for homeowners who suffer foundation flooding from gutters and downspouts.

'Dryer-less' PET Sheet System
Processing Technologies International (PTi), recently took the wraps off its “dryer-less” twin-screw PET sheet extrusion system at its headquarters in Aurora, Ill.

Material Selection Can Save Energy Cost in Production
WEB EXCLUSIVE: At October’s Fakuma 2011 show in Germany, BASF and Arburg teamed up in a demonstration of energy-efficient injection molding.

Molding 2012 Conference Hits the Hot Topics
Medical molding, liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding, micromolding (even of LSR), energy management, biopolymers, and sustainable, “green” molding—these and more topics of highest interest to injection molders today will be presented at the Molding 2012 International Conference and Exhibit in Miami, Fla., Jan. 22-25.

NatureWorks to Build World-Scale PLA Plant in Thailand
WEB EXCLUSIVE: NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., the world’s first and largest supplier of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers, has received an investment of $150 million from PTT Chemical Public Co.

Recapturing a Piece of the Toy Business
A U.S. custom injection molder serving the textile, appliance, furniture, and construction industries is expanding into a business once thought lost forever to low-cost, overseas processors—toys.

Sunroof Module Is All Short-Glass PP
The first fully integrated automotive sunroof module made entirely of short-glass PP replaced long-glass PP and short-glass ASA/PBT on the 2010 Cadillac CTS.

World's Largest Acetal Plant Opens
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ticona (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) has started up a new acetal plant in Frankfurt, Germany, that is said to be the largest in the world, with capacity for over 300 million lb/yr.


Add a Layer of COC to Boost Polyolefin Film Properties
As a discrete layer in coextruded polyolefin film, cyclic olefin copolymer provides higher modulus, greater heat resistance, improved thermoformability, and increased barrier

Benchmarking Simulation Software: How One Molder Did It
Injection mold simulation has become a standard tool for molders and mold designers.

Get to Know Your Gravimetric Blender
The introduction of gravimetric blending technology has impacted virtually every corner of plastics processing. Here's what you need to know to keep them operating at their best.

Keeping Up With Technology

AUXILIARIES: Energy-Saving PET Dryer
New PCT3 Series desiccant dryer from Universal Dynamics, Inc., Woodbridge, Va., is designed to minimize energy use at every stage of the drying process.

EXTRUSION: 'Dream-Come-True' Extruders
SML Extrusion Technology, Ft.

INJECTION MOLDING: Servo Pump on Smaller Machine
So far, Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pa., has offered its latest drive technology on machines from 35 to 90 metric tons.

MATERIALS: ‘Crash-Optimized’ Nylons for Automotive at Fakuma
WEB EXCLUSIVE: At the recent Fakuma 2011 show in Germany, BASF AG (U.S. office in Wyadotte, Mich.) introduced three new members of its “crash-optimized” nylon 6 family.

MATERIALS: Low-VOC Acetal Improves Vehicle Air Quality, Reduces Weight
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Fowlerville, Mich., developed the Tenac-C Z-Series low-emission acetal copolymer for the seat-adjuster comfort mat in the lumbar support for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

MATERIALS: Nanostructured Acrylic Sheet Bridges Cast & Extruded Properties
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New Altuglas ShieldUp nanostructured acrylic sheet from Altuglas International (a unit of Arkema Inc.), Philadelphia, is said to combine the toughness of extruded acrylic sheet with all the other properties of cast sheets.

MATERIALS: New LSRs for Automotive & Electronics
WEB EXCLUSIVE: At the recent Fakuma 2011 show in Germany, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Albany, N.Y., introduced three new LSR systems.

MATERIALS: Novel TPE Earns FDA’s Okay
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The first TPE based on cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) has received Food Contact Notification (#1104) from the U.S.

MATERIALS: Premium Automotive PC/PET from Recycled Sources
WEB EXCLUSIVE: What’s described as a “premium” PC/PET alloy for horizontal automotive body panels is made from the “highest quality post-consumer and post-industrial recyclates,” according to Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh.

MATERIALS: Tray Tables Up! Carbon-Fiber/PEI Replaces Aluminum
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New LNP Thermocomp EC006PXQ and ED008PXQ specialty compounds were recently tested in a proof-of-concept study validating their use to replace aluminum in aircraft food-tray arms.

MATERIALS: Ultra-Soft TPVs Can Replace EPDM Foam for Seals
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new PP-based Sarlink thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) are said to provide the first practical alternative to EPDM foam or sponge in automotive seals, construction weatherstripping, gaskets, and other profiles requiring high resilience.

Resin Prices

Prices of Commodity Resins Are Lower and Headed Down
Prices of PE, PP, PS, and PVC were on the way down last month after remaining flat or slipping slightly in September.


Packaging Outlook: Moderate Growth in 2012
Our forecast for the U.S. market for plastics packaging in 2012 is positive, but the overall growth rate will be moderate by historical standards.

Teach Your Customers The Hidden Costs of Offshoring
They might not realize that' low cost' isn't all that it appears to be.

CW Brabender
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