Article Archive

May 2008


Past Issues

Close-Up on Technology

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.

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.

Features

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Strategies

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.

Troubleshooter

IML is for Large Parts, Too
The same economic and functional advantages that make in-mold labeling (IML) a growing trend in injection molded packaging are expanding its uses in large parts for durable goods as well.

Qualifying an Outside Molder? Look at the Tool Room
If custom molders were judged on curb appeal alone, this one would always be flush with work. Appointed in colonial brick encasing large smoked-glass windows and surrounded by balmy landscape and a lawn that looked good enough to eat, this stately plastics plant just screamed money. Surely they must be doing something right. But once past the glitz, the show was over.

How to Minimize Problems With Gravimetric Blenders
The first and best way to avoid blending problems is to choose the right gravimetric blender for the application.

Keeping Up With Technology

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Static Eliminator for Wide Surfaces
The new 48-in.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Starting Up

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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