Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

3D Part Inspection Is a Snapshot Away
A non-contact inspection system uses digital photography for accurate three-dimensional measurement of plastic parts.

New Approaches to Structural Foam and Overmolding at SPI Conference
New methods for molding better structural-foam parts and for overmolding incompatible materials won the awards for best technical presentations at April’s 2006 Plastics Parts Innovation Conference of the SPI Alliance of Plastics Processors (APP) in Columbus, Ohio.

Features

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Recycling and Scrap Reclaim
NPE was full of new equipment and systems for recapturing valuable in-plant scrap and post-consumer/post-industrial plastic waste. Recovery of PET packaging and film or fiber waste were particular areas of emphasis, as were lots of new granulators, from the world’s biggest to micro-size and even ‘clean-room’ models.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Chemicals and Additives
There were new additives for every need at NPE 2006: Make your plastics prettier with new colorants. Make them stronger with new fillers and reinforcements. Make them lighter with foaming agents. Or just make them go away with improved purging agents and biodegradable masterbatches.

It’s Not All Going Abroad
Plastics processors can’t help wondering what kind of business is “safe” for domestic manufacturers and what will be the next to flee to China, India, or some other lower-cost region of the world.

Strategies

PET Reclaimer Moves Downstream
When Nadim Bahou headed Envipco’s West Coast business of granulating PET bottles through “reverse vending machines” in the early 1990s, he saw there was a shortage of PET grinding capacity in the region.

Keeping Up With Technology

Welding Machine Maker Expands U.S. Presence
 Sonotronic Inc., a German-based supplier of laser, hot-plate, and ultrasonic welding equipment, has expanded its North American operations.

Reheat Stretch-Blow Machines for PLA Bottles
New reheat stretch-blow molding machines are specially designed for low-volume production of water bottles made of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) resin.

Kit Upgrades Older Materials Test Units
A new upgrade kit adds state-of-the-art electronics to older tensile-test frames.

Beefed-Up Shutoff Nozzles
The HP line of needle shutoff nozzles from Herzog AG in Switzerland (represented here by Xaloy Inc., Pulaski, Va.) has been redesigned for higher strength and easier assembly.

Two-Stage Ejector Mounts Off-Center
A new two-stage ejector system designed for off-center mounting is said to be particularly useful for large molds that require high ejection forces.

First Integrated Trimmer And Leak Detector
Belvac Production Machinery Inc., Lynchburg, Va., and Air Logic Power Systems LP (ALPS), Milwaukee, have teamed up to offer an industry first-a combined rotary trimmer and leak detector.

Large-Bed Hydraulic Press
Advanced controls and internet communications are among the customized features built into a large-bed hydraulic compression press recently delivered to an automotive molder by Greenerd Press and Machine Co.

Thermoplastic Tapes for In-Mold Reinforcement
New unidirectional and bidirectional tapes of continuous glass fiber impregnated with polypropylene or PE are designed to be used as preformed inserts to reinforce polypropylene/PE parts produced by injection or compression molding or thermoforming.

Injection Moldable LSR Bonds to Thermoplastics
A new grade of liquid silicone rubber is tailored for silicone-to-thermoplastic two-shot or insert overmolding.

Hexene-Based HDPE Improves Pipe Fittings
A special injection molding grade of HDPE, specifically designed for PE100 pressure-pipe fittings for gas and water, is said to be a better alternative to the extrusion grades currently used.

High-Precision Pressure Tester For Plastics Containers
A new container and pouch tester with high-precision pressure and temperature-compensated volume-expansion test capabilities was launched last month at NPE in Chicago by AGR TopWave, LLC, Butler, Pa.

Fast Screw Changes Boost Wire/Cable Output
Gearless, synchronous, permanent-magnet torque motors have at least two advantages for wire and cable extruders-energy efficiency and quiet operation.

TPVs Harmonize Auto Weatherseals
Two new Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) from ExxonMobil Chemical are claimed to provide a more harmonized appearance in automotive weatherseal applications by more closely resembling other elastomer materials with which they are used.

New Technologies for Viscoelastic PUR Foams
Viscoelastic (VE) flexible urethane foams are growing in popularity for pillows, mattresses, and furniture due to their special properties.

New Polyarylamide Offers Low Warpage
Solvay Advanced Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga., has launched a new low-warp polyarylamide (MXD6 nylon) that offers improved vibration resistance and excellent surface finish.

Robot Controls Get Simple Plastics Interface
A graphical user interface with simpler programming for six-axis robots is new from Kuka Robotics Corp., Clinton Township, Mich.

Valve Gate Is Gentler to Glass Fibers
Two new types of valve-gate cylinders designed to retain maximum glass length in a molded part are new from Synventive Molding Solutions, Peabody, Mass.

Dual-Mold Former Is Adapted for PP
G.N.

Toughened Adhesive for High-Temperature Plastics
A new toughened, one-component, heat-curing epoxy adhesive and sealant is designed for high-temperature plastics, including PPO, PPS, and nylons.

Urethane Punch Plate Allows Faster Trimming
A new quick-cut trim tool from Commodore Technology, Bloomfield, N.Y., features a polyurethane punch plate on the moving side for faster trimming of PS foam trays.

Dual-Zone Temperature Control for Hot Runners
A new dual-zone hot-runner temperature controller costs less than twice as much as previous single-zone controllers.

New PEEK Blends With PBI Fiber
New Victrex T-Series products from Victrex USA Inc., Greenville, S.C., are blends of PEEK and polybenzimidazole (PBI) fibers for high-temperature applications requiring high strength, wear, hardness, and improved creep and heat resistance.

Miniature Sensors For Cavity Pressure
For small molds, new miniature cavity-pressure sensors are said to be easier to install than previous mini sensors.

Fluoro-Oxidation Makes Wood-Plastic Paintable
Treating the surface of wood-plastic composite (WPC) boards with fluorine gas in the presence of oxygen oxidizes the surface so that ordinary paints and primers adhere as they do to natural wood.

Conductive Grades Meet Hazardous-Use Demands
A new line of conductive thermoplastic compounds from RTP Co., Winona, Minn., meets the strict demands of Europe's ATEX Directive (94/9/EC) and EN 50014 standard.

High-Output Compounding With High Wood Content
Entek Extruders, Lebanon, Ore., got its start in building twin-screw extruders for its own processing of highly filled compounds for battery separators (50% silica, 14% oil, 20% UHMW-PE, and the rest additives and colorant). Now it is applying that experience to twin-screw design for processing high filler loadings in wood-plastic composites (WPCs). The firm recently demonstrated new screw and processing technology with two vacuum vents for 25% higher output of WPCs.

Pelletizing Made Easier for Unskilled Operators
Typically, pelletizers are controlled by the compounding extruder, and start-up-especially timing the arrival of cooling water and hot melt at the die holes-requires very skilled operators.

Mixer/Extruder Combo for Wood-Plastic Profiles
A proprietary mixer piggybacked on a 10-in. hot-melt extruder is making hollow HDPE profiles containing 40% wood flour.

Perform Direct Slitting/Winding Of Stretch Film Rolls
A new shaftless turret slitter/winder makes individual stretch-film rolls 4-, 5- or 6-up directly in-line with film production, thus saving the secondary step of rewinding from a master roll.

New EMI Compounds Protect Electronics
A full line of EMI shielding compounds for electronic enclosures is new from Premix Thermoplastics Inc., Milton, Wis.

Spray-Coating Robot With Enhanced Motion
A new articulating-arm spray-coating robot was demonstrated at NPE last month by Fanuc Robotics America, Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich.

Dual Gates for Thin Parts Keep Core Pins in Line
A new "Double Gate" system prevents core-pin deflection when molding long, thin parts such as pipettes.

Magnetic Mold Clamping for Smaller Presses
A new magnetic clamping system for quick mold change has a thinner platen and smaller magnetic poles to suit smaller presses.

Low-Cost, Inkjet Printhead Controller
A new easy-to-use, low-cost inkjet printhead controller for marking extruded plastics such as vinyl siding and pipe was exhibited at NPE in Chicago last month by Matthews Marking Products, Pittsburgh.

Inspect Molded Caps At 3200 a Minute
A new optical quality-control system is said to inspect up to 55 bottle caps/sec or 3200/min.

New Controller for Water Injection
The latest generation of control equipment for water-injection molding from PME Fluidtec, Germany, is its most compact yet.

Starting Up

Summer Storm of Price Hikes
Soft or flat prices in the first five months of the year ended with a thunderclap in June.

Recycled Resin Prices Heading for a Turnaround
After a spring of soft prices, signs point to firming and possible increases ahead. Housing starts are down, but automotive manufacturing seems to be holding its own. Both markets are big users of recycled plastics. Stronger prices for virgin resins also suggest higher recycled resin prices lie ahead.

Your Business in Brief - July 2006
Georgia Gulf to Buy Royal GroupGeorgia Gulf Corp. in Atlanta, the third largest PVC producer in North America, agreed in mid-June to buy Royal Group Technologies Ltd., Woodbridge, Ont., a major producer of PVC building products, for $1.6 billion.

Your Business Outlook - July 2006
Nearly a year later, the U.S. plastics industry is still feeling the effects of last year’s disastrous hurricane season, but most processors appear to have found ways to manage.

CW Brabender
Carr Lane
HammerTek
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