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February 2014

Close-Up on Technology

Additives News at K 2013
More economical, higher performing, sustainable, and more finely tailored to specific applications—those features summarize the key advantages claimed for new additives showcased at K 2013.

Blow Molding News at K 2013
All-electric machines of all types were the stars of the show, but there were a number of other noteworthy developments.

Materials News at K 2013
There was no shortage of interesting materials developments at K 2013, in particular high-performance engineering thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites—much of them geared to automotive/transportation.

News in Hot Runners & Tooling at K 2013
Molds that break speed records for specific applications; hot runners for medical, packaging, and automotive parts; temperature and valve-gate controllers; and standardized mold components constitute a large grab-bag of news in the tooling category for injection molding at the Dusseldorf show.

News in Robots from K 2013
Injection molding Cartesian robots are being made lighter and faster, but with greater payload capacity and vibration resistance. Six-axis articulated robots are being made easier to program.

Recycling News at K 2013
New developments combine recycling and compounding in one step. Plenty of news at K in size reduction and de-labeling.

Thermoforming News at K 2013
New machinery and tooling developments for thermoformers debut at K.

Processor's Edge

MRPC Takes ‘Holistic’ Approach To Scientific Molding
Last year this family-owned molder made a major commitment to Scientific Molding by starting a training process involving all employees.

Know How

AC Drives Take Hold
With progress in electronics and the introduction of the flux vector drive using complex control algorithms, AC drives are now equal to or better than DC drives for most applications.

How to Set Barrel Zone Temps
Start by picking a target melt temperature, and double-check data sheets for the resin supplier’s recommendations. Now for the rest...

Melt Flow Rate Testing—Part 7
Here is why the melt flow test is not universal.

Starting Up

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING: Slew of New Developments in Materials, Equipment
Three companies unveiled new developments in additive manufacturing and prototyping as 2013 came to a close, a testament to this technology's vibrant growth.

ADDITIVES: A.Schulman Acquires Prime Colorants
To grow its custom color capabilities, A.Schulman, Akron, Ohio, has made yet another acquisition, of color and additive concentrates maker Prime Colorants, Franklin, Tenn.

ADDITIVES: Plastics Color Expands
Plastics Color's 40% expansion by year's end will boost capacity for color concentrates, compounds, and custom functional masterbatches at its headquarters plant.

APPLICATIONS: First Ultra-High Barrier Renewable and Recyclable Packaging Makes Inroads
Plantic's high-barrier renewable and recyclable packaging is ideally suited for fresh food products and will soon make its large-scale commercial debut.

APPLICATIONS: High-Heat PLA in World's First Bioplastic Touchscreen Computer
The high-heat-resistant PLA compound used for the housing of the first bioplastic touchscreen computer is based on lactides from Corbion Purac.

APPLICATIONS: Ultra-High-Flow TPV Enables Thinner Instrument Panels
TPV with an exceptional high melt flow rate simplified the deployment of soft, injection moldable instrument panel skins across global platforms for the 2014 Nissan Sentra.

BLOW MOLDING: Lighter PET Water Bottle Doesn’t Squish
New PET preform and bottle designs are said to create a super-lightweight 0.5-liter bottle for still water that not only weighs 34% less than the average commercial bottle of this size, but also achieves 32% more topload strength than the lightest commercial bottle.

INJECTION MOLDING: Arburg Builds New U.S. Offices
Arburg Inc., the U.S. branch of the German injection machinery manufacturer, has started construction of a new U.S. headquarters building in Rocky Hill, Conn., six miles from its current location in Newington, Conn.

INJECTION MOLDING: Bosch Rexroth Takes ‘Tech Tips’ to Social Media
Bosch Rexroth a major supplier of hydraulics, pneumatics, and electric drives and controls, has taken to social media to connect its engineers with users of its technology.

MATERIALS HANDLING: Mac Process Merges with Schenck AccuRate
Two majors in dry bulk handling combine forces.

MATERIALS: Invista Starts Pilot Nylon 12 Production
A new producer with its own unique precursor adds security to nylon 12 supply.

Plastics Color Expands
Plastics Color is expanding its headquarters plant by 40%, which will boost capacity for color concentrates, compounds, and custom functional masterbatches before year's end.

Plastics Color Expands
Plastics Color is expanding its headquarters plant by 40% which will boost capacity for color concentrates, compounds, and functional masterbatches before year's end.

TESTING/MEASURING: Laser Design Distributes Tomelleri Portable CMMs
Laser Design is now the master North American distributor for the Space Arm coordinating measuring machines from Italy's Tomelleri Engineering.

Ultra-High-Flow TPV Enables Thinner Instrument Panels
Asahi Kasei's ultra-high-flow TPV simplified the deployment of soft, injection moldable instrument panel skins across global platforms for the 2014 Nissan Sentra.

Processor's Business Index

Trending Up Despite a Slip
Despite a slip in December, processors are still generally doing much better now than a year ago.


Don’t Overlook Gate Location
Molders take heed: Gate location is the root cause of many molding difficulties. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor by spending some time and thought in determining the best gate location. Here’s what to look for.

From Printer to High-End Extruder: Colormasters Sets Sights on Collation Film
When long-established printing and converting company Colormasters was putting together a strategic plan for growth, it added blown film processing to the mix.

Mold Simulation: Get Best Results With Good Materials Data
Want the best results from your flow analysis software? Of course you do. But you stand a better chance for success if you pay particular attention to the material data used by the software.

Keeping Up With Technology

ADDITIVES: 'Quiet Attitude' Pastel Colorants for Packaging & Consumer Goods
These tones reportedly provide a "visual tactility", encouraging the consumer to reach out and touch.

Auxiliary Equipment: Powerful Ion Gun Neutralizes Dust
At 87 psi, it reportedly can rapidly neutralize an area at a 12 in. distance in fewer than 0.7 sec.

Compounding: Strand Pelletizer for Long-Fiber Compounds
High-speed series is also easy to clean and adjust.

DECORATING/PRINTING: New Machines for Laser Marking
All laser marking machines in the new M-Series have electric height adjustment so they can be operated either seated or standing.

Extrusion: Basis Weight Sensor For Thin Films
Offers processors accurate, higher-resolution basis weight readings for webs and films between six and 7000 g/m²

Extrusion: Gauge for Battery-Separator Film
Sensor is able to measure the thickness and basis weight of clear, voided, porous and translucent films.

Extrusion: Higher Output Line For PVC Cling Film
Line produces film from 8-16 microns thick for both hand-wrap and machine-wrap applications.

INJECTION MOLDING: More Compact Hydraulics For Hot-Runner Valve Gates
Incoe Corp. introduced HEM miniature hydraulics to actuate valve-gate systems at the recent Euromold 2013 show in Frankfurt, Germany.

INJECTION MOLDING: PET Preform System Upgrades Boost Output, Energy Efficiency
Husky Injection Molding Systems has launched its next-generation HyPET HPP5 preform molding system, which incorporates numerous enhancements that reportedly allow for up to 12% productivity improvement.

MATERIALS: LSR Sticks to More Thermoplastics
Next-generation LSR will bond to additional engineering thermoplastics.

TESTING: Handheld Surface Analyzer for the Shop Floor
This instrument can determine the wetting properties of a surface and provide a number that correlates to cleanliness, treatment level, and adhesion of a surface in seconds.

TOOLING: Now, Cooling Lines Can Cross Each Other Cost-Effectively
According to Hasco, it is now possible for the very first time to have cooling channels in a mold cross each other on the same plane in a flexible and inexpensive manner.

Resin Prices

Commodity Resin Prices Rising
Prices of PP and PS moved up in December and were poised to move up again last month. Price hikes also were on the table for PVC and PE.


Less Noise, More Melody
Check out the series of e-newsletters authored by the venerable editorial team at Plastics Technology.

Market Watch

Slower Growth for Medical Market
If there were ever a recession-proof industry, it would be medical.

CW Brabender
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