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September 2012

Close-Up on Technology

New Machines & Processes for Medical, Automotive, Packaging, Electronics
Engel’s technical symposium in June attracted 2700 visitors from 35 countries to two days of technical presentations and 18 injection molding exhibits at the company’s plant in St.

Processor's Edge

A Sprinter, Not a Marathoner
“We set the standard for how short-run is done.” Asked to explain his company’s motto, Ron Kirscht, president of Donnelly Custom Manufacturing, replied, “We’re a sprinter, not a marathon runner.

Know How

Establish a True ‘24/7’ Production Process
New or existing mold trials need to produce a production-worthy process that will run 24/7.

How Do You Like Your Acetal: Homopolymer or Copolymer?
Acetal materials have been a commercial option for more than 50 years.

The Power-Law Coefficient
By referring to the power-law coefficient, the effect of barrel override in the metering section of many screws can be explained and anticipated.

Starting Up

Expansions in TP Composite Materials
Polystrand, Inc., Englewood, Colo., is starting up a new and larger production facility for continuous-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites in Montrose, Colo.

High-Flow PEEK Makes Small, Intricate Pipette Tips
WEB EXCLUSIVE: An unfilled grade of Victrex 90 Series high-flow PEEK from Victrex USA was used to mold small medical pipette tips.

Laser-Transparent PBT in Novel Air-Flap Control Unit
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A 20% glass-reinforced grade of Ultradur LUX laser-transparent PBT resin from BASF is being used for the housing cover of a novel air-flap control actuator developed jointly by Germany’s Tier 1 supplier Rochling Automotive and motor developer Precision Motors Duetche Minebea.

Metabolix Finds New Production Partner For Mirel PHA Biopolymer
Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has signed a letter of intent to produce its Mirel biopolymer at Antibioticos, Leon, Spain.

MuCell Extrusion Gains Dow and Styron Film and Sheet Technology
MuCell Extrusion LLC, Woburn, Mass., made two moves last month that further expanded its capabilities in flat film and sheet foaming.

NASA's 'Mars Rover' Has Many 3D Printed Parts
A Fortus 3D printer from Stratasys, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., was used by NASA to help build a next-generation rover capable of supporting two humans on near-earth asteroids and Mars.

Noryl GTX in India’s First Injection Molded Plastic Fenders
WEB EXCLUSIVE: India’s first injection-molded plastic fenders are featured on the new global XUV500 SUV from Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M). They are made of Noryl GTX, a PPE/nylon blend from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass.

Octal Expands in PET Pellets for the Americas
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Octal Petrochemicals of Oman (U.S. office in Dallas) has started full production at its new PET plant, the second phase of a capacity expansion targeted specifically targeted for North and South American markets.

Surlyn Ionomer Overmolding of Cosmetic Jar Has Distinctive Printing Effect
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The kaleidoscopic visual appeal of Surlyn ionomer from DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, Wilmington, Del., was exemplified last month at Luxe Pack 2012 in Monaco by Italian cosmetics packaging designer Lucchese Design.

TPE Adheres to Acetal in Earpieces of Safety Glasses
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Sporty new Pheos safety glasses from Germany’s Uvex feature earpieces made with a soft-touch Thermolast K styrenic TPE compound from Kraiburg TPE GmbH (U.S. office in Duluth, Ga.).

TPU Powders for SLS Prototyping & Manufacturing
Germany’s Bayer MaterialScience (U.S. office in Pittsburgh) and Solid Composites GmbH have partnered to develop TPU powders for SLS (selective laser sintering), a digital rapid-prototyping and additive-manufacturing method for fabricating 3D structures by using a laser beam to sinter thin layers of powdered materials.

Two Partnerships to Produce Biobased Butadiene
Last month saw the formation of two partnerships to produce biobased butadiene.


Energy Miser: For Energy-Efficient Water Cooling, Raise Temperatures to Cut Demand
Many plants use chilled-water temperatures that are far lower than are actually needed by the process. This has a direct effect on the cost of chilled water.

Making Old Bags New Again
This year, leading film processor and bagmaker Hilex company reprocessed 25 million lb of post-consumer material in its Bag2Bag recycling program.

Understanding Automation for Pipette Molding
While simple looking enough, the pipette can be challenging to process. They generally have to be produced in high volumes without sacrificing quality due to their demanding applications. Automation is key to making this happen.

Keeping Up With Technology

AUXILIARIES: Loader’s Slide-Out Drawer Eases Filter Maintenance
New Filter Drawer available on DuraLoad vacuum receivers from Conair, Cranberry Township, Pa., eliminates the need to remove the receiver lid to perform routine screen inspection and maintenance.

EXTRUSION: Extruder Minimizes Heat Losses And Air Currents in Process Area
New Backdraft extruder from American Kuhne, Ashaway, R.I., has a reverse-air cooling system suited especially to blown film that removes heat and undesireable air currents from the extrusion area for optimum bubble stability while also improving energy efficiency.

EXTRUSION: Novel Melt Pump Feeds Two Die Heads from One Extruder
The twin-outlet Extrex GPD pump from Maag, Charlotte, N.C., reportedly simplifies pipe and profile coextrusion and foaming applications by allowing processors to use just one extruder to feed two die assemblies.

INJECTION MOLDING: First All-Electric Turning-Stack Mold
What’s said to be the first all-electric turning-stack mold technology will appear next month at the Fakuma 2012 show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

MATERIALS: LSR Grades for Baby Care
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new liquid silicone rubber (LSR) grades for fast production of soft yet bite-resistant silicone pacifiers and bottle nipples were recently launched by Germany’s Wacker Chemie (U.S. office in Adrian, Mich.).

MATERIALS: Recycled-Content PS for Foodservice
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Houston-based Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc., has launched two new polystyrene grades with recycled PS content.

MATERIALS: Translucent Long-Glass TPU for Structural Applications
WEB EXCLUSIVE: PlastiComp, Winona, Minn., recently announced what it claims is a compounding breakthrough with a translucent long-glass reinforced TPU compound for molded structural parts.

Resin Prices

PE , PS , PVC Prices Rise While PP Tabs Dip
Prices of PE and PS rose in August, and PVC prices were set to move up this month, while PP prices did the reverse.


Boosting Business in Tougher Times
Here are some interesting tidbits about increasing your business in a sluggish economy.

Demand for Consumer Products Gradually Improving
The market for U.S.-made consumer products is steadily improving, just not at a very rapid rate. Our forecast calls for this trend to continue through the end of this year, with annual growth for 2012 coming in at just under 2%.

CW Brabender
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