May 2008

Close-Up on Technology

First Commercial Recycling Process For Electronics Waste
A 23-year-old Dutch plastic recycling firm, Plastic Herverwerking Brabant (PHB) BV has become the first supplier in the world of a complete commercial altered-density-media system tailored to separate the plastics in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Since last October, PHB has operated a WEEE recycling system sized for 33 million lb/yr and averages about 4400 lb/hr of reclaimed material from 11,000 lb/hr of waste input.

Sequential Hard/Soft Injection Molding with Water Assist
In 2004, the value of pairing two-material injection with water assist was demonstrated in production of two-layer automotive pipes and ducts (see Learn More). Further potential for this combination of advanced techniques in sequential injection of hollow automotive parts with rigid and flexible sections is being developed at the German Institute of Plastics Processing (known as the IKV). Water injection technology (WIT) was first developed at the IKV in the 1990s.

Processor's Edge

Precision Molder Takes on LSR
Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) injection molding makes up just 10% to 15% of U.S. medical or automotive applications that are also served by high-consistency silicone rubber (HCR), EPDM, latex, natural rubber, TPEs, flexible PVC, and even porcelain ceramic. Nonetheless, LSR molding is attracting growing interest (see Learn More), enough to prompt the formation of a new division dedicated to LSR by GW Plastics in Bethel, Vt.

Starting Up

Economic Outlook - May 2008
Plastic bottle demand will pick up gradually in the second half of this year as the U.S. economy, particularly consumer spending, slowly regains momentum.

Hourly Rates Rose in Second Half
Custom injection molders raised their machine-hour rates an average of 1% from June to December 2007, according to responses from 93 molders to our latest semi-annual survey.

Market Outlook - May 2008
Mastio & Company’s most recent Injection Molding Markets Study reports modest but respectable growth for 2008.

Your Business In Brief - May 2008
New Custom Compounder for Medical & Consumer MarketsArkadia Plastics, Inc., New Britain, Conn., is an 18-month-old custom compounder of a broad range of thermoplastics, with an annual capacity of up to 10 million lb.

Your Business Pricing Update - May 2008
Commodity resin producers keep pushing for price increases, but their success is limited by weak market demand and soft prices of many monomers.


Injection Molding Compounders Molders Get Control Of Their Materials
The combination of an injection molding press and a twin-screw compounding extruder represents a new paradigm for processors: They create their own materials as they mold them.

Optimize Barrel Temperatures For Barrier Screws
Extruder operators often don’t compare the barrel-zone temperatures to the recommended processing temperature for the resin being run.

PUR Machinery Gains in Versatility and Economy
Polyurethane equipment at K 2007 in Dusseldorf showed incremental advances in cost-effectiveness and ability to handle a wide range of applications.

Resin Database Goes Global
This month marks a new phase in the evolution of Plastics Technology’s online plastics materials database.

Thermal Cycling of Injection Molds Boosts Surface Quality
In the injection molding process, tool temperature is an important factor in achieving high-quality parts.

TIME TO LEARN ABOUT Dynamic Optimization of Extruder Barrel Temperatures
Determining the optimum barrel-temperature profile is one of the most important tasks in extrusion.

Keeping Up With Technology

‘Plug and Play’ Extrusion Controls
New retrofittable extrusion controls from Gefran, Winchester, Mass., are the firm’s first ready-to-use, integrated extrusion controls.

‘Universal’ Blowing/Nucleating Agents
A new universal masterbatch of an endothermic chemical nucleating and blowing agent is designed for foam injection molding and extrusion.

Adjustable Calibrators For Bigger HDPE Pipe
KraussMaffei in Germany (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) is building a larger version of its QuickSwitch fully automatic, adjustable calibrator for pipe diameters from 250 to 450 mm OD.

APET Sheet Comes Straight from the Reactor
A giant PET resin plant scheduled to start up later this year in Salalah, Oman, will produce the first calendered APET sheet using melt directly from a reactor.

Biocompatible ABS for Medical Rapid Fabrication
A new ABS rapid-prototyping and production material is designed for surgical instruments and medical, food, and pharmaceutical processing applications.

Chrome-Finished Film Stays Bright After Forming
Soliant LLC in Lancaster, S.C., a maker of paint-replacement films for in-mold decorating, has been winning awards for its “bright film” technology, which looks like chrome, since the film was introduced three years ago.

Clarified PP Surpasses Standard
Two new PP random copolymers are the first of a new family of resins with unsurpassed clarity, according to Sunoco Chemicals, Philadelphia.

ERP System Adds Three Scheduling Choices
Three new software options for basic to sophisticated factory-floor scheduling have been added to ERP software from Syspro, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Even Out Flow from Backflush Screen Changer
The German parent of Kreyenborg Industries, Lawrenceville, Ga., has built a new device to maintain uniform flow to a die or pelletizer during backflushing of a screen changer.

Extruded Sorghum Loosefill
Technology to foam granular sorghum protein into loosefill “peanuts” was first developed in the early 1990s by Biofoam Corp. in Phoenix, Ariz.

Extrusion Head for Fuel Tanks
In March, we incorrectly reported that W.

Faster Closure Molding Demonstrated at Chinaplas
At the Chinaplas show last month in Shanghai, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., demonstrated “the industry’s highest-output system for finished water closures,” according to Mark Fitzpatrick, business manager for closures.

First Liquor Bottle With Built-in Handle
The first PET liquor bottle with a built-in handle has been developed by Amcor PET Packaging, Manchester, Mich., for McCormick Distilling Co., Weston, Mo.

Flexible Weigh Feeder For Extrusion, Compounding
Designed for flexibility in mounting and clustering, the new ProFlex C feeder permits interchanging the drive-motor and material-discharge positions.

Gently ‘Kneading’ Long-Glass Compounds
A new way to blend long-glass fibers into plastic melt without either abrasive machine wear or damage to the fibers is offered by Entex Rust & Mitschke GmbH in Germany (represented here by Triad Sales, Greer, S.C.). Entex uses its planetary-roller extruder to melt the resin and feeds the melt into the gap between a pair of large-diameter, counter-rotating rollers, where the cut fibers are added.

High-Clarity Antiblock And Clarifier for PE Film
Two new proprietary additive concentrates are aimed at production of high-clarity PE films.

High-Speed Robot For Thin-Wall Parts
A new high-speed, three-axis, all-servo traversing robot for thin-wall products and presses from 80 to 275 tons is new from Wemo Automation of Sweden, represented here by Duotech Automation Technologies LLC, Fowlerville, Mich.

Hybrid Robots Handle Up to 22 lb
A new line of hybrid servo/pneumatic robots suited to presses from 50 to 550 tons comes from Star Automation Inc., Menonomee Falls, Wis.

Lightweight Prepreg Tape
A lighter thermoplastic prepreg tape from Polystrand Inc., Montrose, Colo., was unveiled at the recent JEC Composites show in Paris.

Machine Monitoring with Remote Real-Time Access
WEB EXCLUSIVE Remote real-time monitoring of up to 24 injection presses from any internet-enabled device is a new capability from Toshiba Machine Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Metal-Coated Carbon Fiber For EMI/RFI Shielding
Metal-plated carbon fiber for composites is now commercially available from Electro Fiber Technologies LLC, Stratford, Conn., div. of Technical Fibre Products Ltd., Newburgh, N.Y.

New Cooling Screw For PLA Foam
The HHT (high heat transfer) cooling screw from Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering Inc. in Auburn, Calif., has recently been modified with a flight configuration designed specifically for PLA foam.

New Dry-Ice Blaster Cleans Molds Faster, Easier and at Lower Cost
A new generation of dry-ice blasting machines is said to provide non-abrasive mold cleaning more cost-effectively than ever before and with greater speed, reliability, and ease of use.

New Foam Molding Process at SPE ANTEC
WEB EXCLUSIVE At this month’s SPE Annual Technical Conference in Milwaukee, Thorsten Krumpholz of the German Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Aachen will present a new physical foaming process for standard injection machines.

New Source of Flame Retardants
A broad range of flame-retardant additives, including smoke suppressants, char formers, and oxygen blockers, from South Korea’s Kum Yang Co., Ltd. are newly available in the U.S. and Canada through RitChem Co., Inc., Pleasantville, N.Y.

New Thermal and Valve-Gate Nozzles and Controller
A thermal-gate nozzle that’s the smallest in a line designed for hot-half applications, a valve-gate style for single-nozzle applications, and a multi-zone hot-runner temperature controller are all new from Mastip North America, Slinger, Wis.

New TPO Sheet Is Easier to Process
New thermoformable TPO sheet from Spartech Corp., Clayton, Mo., reportedly offers improved processability for RV, bus, truck, and marine applications. “Extreme” sheet products comprise three grades that provide a wider processing window, better sag control, and enhanced aesthetics, Spartech says.

Non-Migratory Slip Masterbatch
WEB EXCLUSIVES A new slip-additive concentrate is specially formulated for critical applications like multilayer barrier and lamination film that require non-migratory properties and a controlled medium coefficient of friction (COF). Available from Ingenia Polymers, Houston, IP1069 is a pellet containing a proprietary blend of additives said to be inherently non-migratory.

Nylon 4T Makes Debut
The industry’s first nylon 4T was introduced recently by the Dutch parent company of DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind.

Optimization Package For 3D Printers
A new Optimax 3D printing optimization software and hardware package from Israel’s Objet Geometries Ltd. (U.S. office in Billerica, Mass.) is said to automate resin management, improve resin utilization, reduce the risk of human error in loading and unloading of cartridges, and ensure model quality on very long runs.

PETG Sheet Provides Non-Glare Satin Finish
Sheffield Plastics Inc., Sheffield, Mass., has introduced Vivak PETG sheet with a non-glare satin finish for graphics, point-of-purchase displays/fixtures, and indoor signs.

Plastic-Wrapped Hopper Cuts Dryer Energy Use
A new energy-efficient drying hopper from Dri-Air Industries Inc., East Windsor, Conn., features a non-conductive plastic outer cover that reportedly provides some heat insulation.

Portable Chillers From Taiwan
Portable air- and water-cooled chillers from 3 to 40 tons, built by Shini Plastics Technologies in Taiwan, are now available here from Shini USA, the plastics division of Budzar Industries, Inc., Willoughby, Ohio.

PVC Compounds For Medical Markets
PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, launched its first PVC compounds specifically designed for the healthcare industry.

Record-High Output Of Window Profiles
Profine GmbH in Troisdorf, Germany, is one of the largest window-profile makers in the world.

Retrofittable Extrusion Controls
West Control Solutions, Gurnee, Ill., is offering a new compact, retrofittable PLC-based extruder control, designed to replace obsolete PLC controls or discrete pushbutton controls for individual functions on an extruder.

Rheometer Has New Look, Smaller Footprint
WEB EXCLUSIVE A workhorse research and production-floor QC rheometer that offers both controlled rate and controlled stress measurement has a brand new look plus a smaller diameter spindle shaft, smaller water-jacket accessory and direct control of temperature from the keypad on P1 and P2 cone/plate models.

SBC Resists High-Heat Compression Set
A new styrenic block copolymer from Kraton Polymers, Houston, reportedly offers reduced compression set and improved stress relaxation at temperatures above 70 C (158 F). Molecular weight of Kraton G1633 is 50% higher than that of standard SBCs and its compression-set value approaches that of some olefinic TPVs.

Software Simplifies Full-Color 3D Printing
WEB EXCLUSIVE New software is said to prepare 3D data files for full-color 3D printing automatically and with unprecedented ease.

Static Eliminator for Wide Surfaces
The new 48-in.

Take Total Control of Web Static
WEB EXCLUSIVE A novel static-control system that features a newly designed narrow-web profile static bar and microprocessor-controlled and monitored power supply is said to put users in “total control” of static electricity.

Test Drive Films With Hundreds Of Layers
A special lab for customer trials at Extrusion Dies Industries LLC in Chippewa Falls, Wis., is equipped with EDI’s latest layer-multiplying feedblocks for making microlayer films with dozens or even hundreds of layers.

Thermal Limit Monitor Adds Accuracy, Flexibility
A new custom version of the TLM-8 thermal limit monitor is available from Watlow, St.

Thermoplastic Starch Blends From a New Source
New polyolefin-starch masterbatch blends for film and injection molding boast a substantial reduction in “carbon footprint” over resins such as PE, PP, biodegradable polyester, or PLA.

USP Class-VI Compliant Color Concentrates for PEBA, Nylon 12
WEB EXCLUSIVE New color concentrates are designed specifically for PEBA (polyether block amide) and nylon 12 resins used in medical applications.

UV and Heat-Curable Adhesive
WEB EXCLUSIVE A one-component, clear, non-yellowing polymer system designed for bonding, sealing, coating and encapsulation applications is both UV and heat curable.

UV Laser Marker For Wire and Cable
A new UV laser wire and cable marking machine is said to be particularly suited to aerospace, automotive, and electronics parts.

Valve Gate Nozzles Now with Four Drops
Pneumatically controlled valve-gate nozzles from Manner International LP, Norcross, Ga., designed for direct side-gating of tubular parts or applications that require lateral injection, have been extended from a two-drop system to include a four-drop configuration.

CW Brabender
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