September 2004

Close-Up on Technology

Loads of New Additives and Colorants to Debut at K 2004
Several categories of new polymer additives will be unveiled at this year’s largest plastics show—K 2004 in Dusseldorf, Germany, next month.

New Process Combinations Extend Injection Molding's Capabilities
A new tooling and process concept that seeks better control over multi-cavity molding, and another that achieves new capabilities with novel blends of multiple process technologies were themes presented in papers at the 22nd Colloquium held by the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Aachen, Germany.

Processor's Edge

Small Is Beautiful
Chris Kasmer, operations manager and co-founder of LTL Color Compounders Inc. in Morrisville, Pa., likes to point to a single green plastic button on the keyboard of his computer when he describes what LTL does: “We color that.” LTL stands for “less than truckload,” and his firm lives up to its name: An entire production run of a particular color may be no more than 50 lb.


A Big World of Plastics Out There
The United States may be a superpower militarily, economically, and—as last month’s Olympics showed—athletically.

K 2004 News Preview: Blow Molding
One of the most interesting innovations in blow molding at K 2004 will be a top-and-bottom blowing system that is said to double bottle output.

K 2004 News Preview: Compounding
Compounding news at the K Show includes the use of alternative motors to save space and raise output on twin-screw machines.

K 2004 News Preview: Extrusion
At K 2004, at least a half-dozen European machine builders will show new direct-drive extruders running gearless—or nearly gearless—drives with substantially higher rpm and output rates than conventional extruders of the same size.

K 2004 News Preview: Injection Molding
The diversity of electric machines will be on display at this year’s show, with several new all-electric versions in direct-drive and belt-driven versions.

K 2004 News Preview: Materials
Quite a few new polyolefins are being featured at this year’s show, with a particular emphasis on specialty PP and PE materials.

K 2004 News Preview: RIM/Urethanes
 New equipment at the K show will include several mixing heads for flexible foams and RIM, mixing/metering machines, a gas loading device for rigid integral-skin foaming, and a low-pressure potting unit for electrical components.New PUR materials include a new insulating foams for oil and gas pipelines, thermal encapsulation of car engines, and a steel/PUR composite for maritime and civil-engineering structures. New mixheads galoreKrauss-Maffei is unveiling new mixing heads for various PUR applications.

K 2004 News Preview: Thermoforming
Thermoforming innovations at K 2004 include several new trim-in-place units for packaging, the first in-line packaging system with an infrared scanner that automatically adjusts oven temperatures. and improved halogen heating that works better with preprinted sheet.High-speed packagingIllig of Germany will introduce the RDK 80, a high-speed automatic trim-in-place pressure former whose advanced servomotor control is said to allow very precise setting of variable platen strokes and speeds.

CW Brabender
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