January 2009

Close-Up on Technology

Automotive TPOs: Improved Processing, Better Appearance
Last Fall’s annual SPE Automotive TPO Global Conference in Sterling Heights, Mich., heard presentations on new formulations that cut cost by eliminating the compounding step and that bridge the gap between molded-in-color and painted parts.

New Molds, Materials and Machines At Fall Rotomolders’ Show
Huge new shuttle and carousel machines, expanded availability of CNC-machined aluminum molds, and new resins and additives highlighted the recent Rotoplas ’08 exhibition and 33rd Annual Fall Meeting of the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) in Rosemont, Ill.

Processor's Edge

Getting Control of Materials Handling
“It has made my life a whole lot easier,” says Steve Holdren, technical manager. “It’s a night-and day difference,” agrees maintenance manager Matt Dzambazi.

Starting Up

Market Outlook - January 2009
Mastio & Company’s most recent Injection Molding Markets Study forecasts slow growth in the next two years for injection molded appliances, furniture, housewares, and consumer electronics/telecommunications.

Your Business In Brief - January 2009
Teknor Apex Gains Exclusive License For Starch-Blend BioplasticsLast month, Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Montreal-based Cerestech, Inc.

Your Business Outlook - January 2009
Domestic output of injection molded packaging decreased by 6% in 2008, and the decline accelerated as the year ended.

Your Business Pricing Update - January 2009
With demand for all commodity resins exceedingly weak, and feedstock prices fallen through the floor, there appears to be nothing to stop resin tabs from shrinking further in 2009.


Bio-Resins Tackle Durable Applications
Bioplastics were initially created for single-use applications like packaging and hotel key and gift cards.

Getting Started on Energy Management
You have to start somewhere—but where?

Modular ‘Adaptable Automation’ Makes IML More Economical
Five years ago, in-mold labeling was just gaining traction among North American injection molders as a one-step approach to decorating without secondary operations.

Keeping Up With Technology

‘Super’ Sight-Glass Magnets
Fine and weakly magnetic ferrous contamination can be removed as it is fed to hopper loaders with new Super Strength Sight Glass Magnets from Eriez, Erie, Pa.

Additives and Colorants For Healthcare Uses
A new series of colorants and additives for healthcare products comes from PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio.

Alternative to Pressurized Froth Systems for PUR Processing
A new equipment line has been developed to provide an alternative to pressurized froth processing for PUR cavity-fill applications and injection of rigid foam into parts such as insulated shipping containers, coolers, preformed structural panels, entry and garage doors, picture frames, cabinets, refrigerator panels, and insulated pipes.

Clear Bio-Based Nylon For Eyewear Frames
Arkema Inc., Technical Polymers, Philadelphia, has introduced Rilsan Clear G830, said to be the first transparent, bio-based nylon.

Color Masterbatch Adds Aluminum Look
A new color masterbatch is said to offer an upscale, trendy alternative to brushed aluminum.

Competitively Priced Inserts, Fasteners
Conex Metals in Mumbai, India, is a global supplier that offers a wide range of competitively priced brass and bronze molding inserts and fasteners for plastics molding.

Cost-Saving, High-Load ‘Super’ Concentrates
A newly patented process is said to bundle high loadings of colorants and additives in concentrates at levels not previously achievable.

Energy-Absorbing GMT For Bumper Beams
Switzerland’s Quadrant Plastic Composites (U.S. office in Northville, Mich.) has introduced a glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) sheet with steel-fiber reinforcement for highly energy-absorbing parts like auto bumper beams, one of which is expected to go commercial this year.

Enhanced All-Electrics and New Six-Axis Robot
A new all-electric machine line has a new clamp design and controller that reduce platen deflection and dry-cycle time compared with its predecessor.

Epoxies for Wind Blades
BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., has begun supplying epoxy systems for composite wind blades.

Flow Diverter Shuts Off Defective Cavities
 Flow of melt to individual mold cavities in a family or other multi-cavity mold can be selectively blocked or opened with a new Sprue Adjuster device from i-Mold Molding Innovations GmbH in Germany (distributed here by DMS, Oldcastle, Ont.). The device allows molders to shut off feed to a cavity producing defective parts, avoiding the need to sort out rejects.

HDPE for Auto Fuel Tanks Resists Bio-Diesel
A family of HDPE resins boasts improved resistance to bio-diesel fuels and is poised for use by makers of automotive fuel tanks.

High-Speed Leak Tester
A new multi-channel leak detector reportedly achieves unprecedented test speeds for lower-cost leak testing in high-volume production.

Hybrid Melt Distribution For Coex Pipe Dies
It’s not unusual to extrude pipe with a lattice basket die, then feed the pipe through a succession of crosshead spiral-mandrel coating dies to add functional layers.

Inspect Up to 8 Profiles At Once
The first visual device capable of inspecting four profiles at once was recently built by Pixargus GmbH in Germany to check for dimensional defects.

Larger Hot-Water and Oil Temperature Controllers
Mokon, Buffalo, N.Y., has added larger models of hot-water and oil circulating temperature control units (TCUs). The Hydrotherm II water TCU, which has stainless steel as the main component for wetted surfaces, is now available with up to 12-kw heating capacity and pump sizes up to 3 hp and flow rates to 60 gpm.

Level Sensors Resist Interference
New capacitive hopper level sensors from Turck in Minneapolis are designed specifically for plastics.

Low-Cost, High-Performance Temperature Controller
The RB series of high-performance, single-zone temperature controllers from RKC Instrument Inc., S.

Mixing Tip Is Easy on Thermoplastics and LSR
A new mixing tip suited to both thermoplastics and thermosets, including liquid silicone rubber, was introduced at the IPF show in Japan by the Japanese parent of Fisa Corp., Shelbyville., Tenn.

Mold Better Parts At Lower Pressures
A new “Zero-Molding” system of software and components is said to improve injection and clamping functions and machine setup, with the aim of reducing part defects and productivity loss.

Mold Release for Low-Gloss Auto Parts
A new mold-release coating is said to achieve superior results in molding low-gloss urethane automotive parts like steering wheels, armrests, and other interior components.

More Collapsible Core Sizes
Five new sizes have been added to the standard line of collapsible cores from D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich.

New Barrier Approaches For Wide-Neck Jars
New monolayer and multilayer designs for hot-fill barrier packaging have been developed for oxygen-sensitive foods such as pasta sauces, salsas, and fruit.

New Family of Plastomers For Modifying PP
The first two of a new family of propylene-butene plastomers is said to feature outstanding compatibility with PP for improving the flexibility, softness, toughness, transparency, and stress-whitening of PP or TPOs.

New Forming Method Is ‘Sheetless’
A novel thermoforming process developed by LRM Industrial LLC, Rockledge, Fla., a joint venture of Nova Chemicals and Envirokare Tech Inc., makes large parts in one step without roll stock or cut sheet.

New Presses for LSR, Nanotubes, Pulp/Starch
A new variation on a hybrid-electric press, as well as special machines designed for liquid silicone rubber (LSR), thermoplastics compounded with carbon nanotubes, or a paper pulp/starch mixture were introduced at the IPF show in Japan by Nissei Plastic Industrial Co.

New Source of Crosshead Dies For Wire and Cable
JoeTools Inc. in Carrollton, Ga., is an 18-month-old company founded by Joe Dixon, formerly of wire/cable makers Draka and General Cable.

New Source of Machines For Auto Glazing
A new line of large hybrid-electric coinjection machines designed for automotive glazing was unveiled at the IPF show in Tokyo by Mitsubishi (represented here by MHI Injection Molding Machinery Inc., Bensenville, Ill.). Its emR line ranges from 1540 to 3300 tons and has a horizontal rotary table and two opposing injection units, with all major motions driven by servomotors.

Nylon 46 for Bright LEDs
A new nylon 46 from DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind., is aimed at high-brightness LEDS used in chip carriers for mobile phones, PDAs, and notebook PCs.

Openable, Cleanable Silicone Feeder
Strip-fed roller feeders for cold extrusion of silicone rubber are normally hard to clean.

PP Sheet Gains Cold Impact Strength
Compression Roll Drawing (CRD), a patented machine-direction orientation (MDO) technique used for years to make tough plastic strapping, can add cold impact strength to PP sheet as well.

PUR Shows Potential in RTM
Use of polyurethane resin is being pioneered for RTM and its vacuum-assisted variation (VARTM) by BaySystems, a Bayer MaterialScience company, Pittsburgh, as an alternative to unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester, or epoxy.

Smallest Masterbatch Pellets Yet —for Bottles
Americhem Inc., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has introduced what it says are the smallest color and additive minipellets ever.

SMC for Mass Transit
A new SMC from IDI Composites International, Noblesville, Ind., brings low flame/smoke/toxicity to mass-transit electrical applications such as third-rail insulators and canopies, stand-off insulators, contactors, and traction-motor brush holders.

Specialty Olefinic TPEs Get Food-Contact Approval
Three grades of Vistamaxx propylene-ethylene copolymers from ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Houston, have received approval from the FDA for use in flexible and rigid food packaging applications.

Tank-Mounted Viscosity Sensor
A newly designed tank-mounted viscosity sensor for both water- and solvent-based applications such as printing, glues, and adhesives operates at atmospheric pressure, has removable wetted parts, and is said to reduce ink or coating consumption by up to 20%. Available from Norcross Corp., Newton, Mass., the MXBOC viscosity sensor is suitable for tanks 7 to 26 in. deep.

Test Crosslinking of PEX Pipe In-Line
The first non-destructive test device to indicate the level of crosslinking in PEX-A (peroxide-cured) HMW-HDPE pipe for hot water and in-floor heating was recently sold by Inoex GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Lancaster, Pa.). The vision-based device is mounted in the extrusion line after the crosslinking oven and cooling-water bath. (Crosslinking makes normally opaque PE more translucent.) Optical testing isn’t designed to replace chemical tests of crosslinking, but to give early warning of a change in the process to permit prompt correction, since off-line chemical tests on cut samples may take days to yield results.

Tough, High-Flow Acetal
A new acetal from DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., combines high impact and mechanical performance with high flow (7 MFR), which improves weld-line strength.

Transparent LSR For Auto LED Lenses
Momentive Performance Materials, Albany, N.Y., has introduced highly transparent liquid silicone rubber (LSR) for optical applications like automotive LED lenses.

CW Brabender
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