October 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Hot-Runner News at K 2007
While a number of exhibitors at the “K” show in Dusseldorf are keeping their new entries under wraps until showtime later this month, some suppliers have released a few details on their new hot-runner components and controls.D-M-E will introduce the Bacchus hot-runner system for crates and packaging.

New Resins and Modifiers for Extruded Profiles
Among new developments discussed at the Profiles 2007 conference in Charlotte, N.C., were high-melt-strength polyolefin elastomers for use as ingredients in TPO compounds that can compete with TPVs and flexible PVC.

Robots Make News at K 2007
Low-cost dual-arm servo models, zippy side-entry units for IML, and heavy-duty versions for large parts are some of the new robot models that will be on view at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf later this month.Ilsemann will unveil a new high-speed IML system for cups and a high-speed side-entry robot that will retrieve and stack tumblers from an eight-cavity mold in less than 3 sec.Sepro Robotique and its new North American marketing arm, Sepro America LLC, will unveil a new dual-arm version of its Axess series of low-cost servo robots as well as its Model 4060 beam robot, which becomes the largest in its Generation IV family.

Smaller, Thinner Connectors Drive LCP Growth
Strong demand for smaller and thinner electrical components that must withstand higher temperatures is pushing the envelope for suppliers of liquid crystal polymers (LCPs). This trend has prompted development of a new range of ultra-high-heat materials that boast high flow for thinner walls and faster cycle times in lead-free, surface-mount connectors.LCPs’ predominant market is still connectors, but suppliers of these premium-priced resins are looking to diversify into electronic packaging, automotive lighting, and consumer goods like cookware.

Processor's Edge

Blow Molders Save Big On Compressed Air
Molders of PET containers are paying special attention these days to the large amounts of compressed air used in their blow molding operations and the huge energy cost associated with generating it.

Starting Up

Your Business Hourly Rate Survey - October 2007
Average custom injection molding machine-hour rates rose 1% from Dec. 2006 through June 2007, according to responses to our latest semi-annual survey by 88 molders nationwide.

Your Business In Brief - October 2007
Bayer Sells Its Share of ExatecBayer MaterialScience AG in Germany agreed to sell its 50% share in Exatec LLC, Wixom, Mich., to its joint-venture partner, GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., just prior to the sale of GE plastics to SABIC of Saudi Arabia.

Your Business Outlook - October 2007
After a solid gain of 12% to 15% in 2006, market demand for vinyl fencing and decking products is down 9% for the year to date.

Your Business Pricing Update - October 2007
Despite roaring exports and some slight increases in monomer prices, slow domestic demand is keeping a lid on polyolefin and PVC prices for the moment.


Auto Glazing: Film, Coinjection & Coating Technologies Advance
Hard-surfacing options for molded plastic glazing now include plasma instead of wet coatings–and replacing coatings altogether with in-mold film lamination or multi-layer coinjection.

Branched PVDF Gains Melt Strength For Film, Blow Molding, Thermoforming
Chain branching opens up lots of new processing opportunities for these fluoropolymers.

Specializing in Commodities
I was as astonished as anyone to learn that Saudi Basic Industries would buy GE Plastics in an $11.6-billion deal that was completed Aug. 31.

The Future of Vinyl Siding Fighting Back with Foam, Fiber Composites, and Even Paint!
Under attack from fiber cement, PVC siding makers are exploring different technologies to shore up their future.

Keeping Up With Technology

3D Laser Scanner Inspects Complex Parts
A new automated inspection system is designed to inspect complex injection molded and cast metal parts.

Air-Cooling Device Doubles Bubble Diameter
A tiered IBC device and air ring from Kuhne GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Norwich, Conn.) enlarges the diameter of blown film bubbles as much as two-fold, using very high air pressure and optimized air-channel distributors.

Another New Supplier Of PEEK Films
Films based on KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire modified PEEK from Solvay Advanced Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga., are now offered by Ajedium Film Group LLC, Newark, Del.

Auxiliaries Gravimetric Inventory Management for Pellets
Responding to demand for a method to weigh and store virgin or reprocessed pelletized materials, Process Control Corp., Atlanta, has come out with the Gravimetric Inventory Management System.

Controlled Cooling of Asymmetrical Profiles
For cooling some profi les, the old-fashioned way is better.

Correction on Mold Simulation
In our August cover story, we incorrectly stated that Moldex 3D injection molding simulation software from CoreTech System Co. of Taiwan is represented exclusively in the U.S. by EPS Flowtek, Napierville, Ill.

Disposable Sleeve For Web Cleaning
Inspired by the disposable silicone-rubber sleeves used to cover rollers that handle webs after corona treatment, Jemmco LLC in Mequon, Wis.,developed disposable TPE sleeves as a less expensive alternative to rubber-covered rollers, which also require time and labor for cleaning.

Enhanced Process Aids for 'Challenging' Polyolefins
Two new fluoroelastomer processing aids for polyolefins are said to eliminate melt fracture, reduce extrusion pressure, amperage, torque, and die build-up.

Extruded Shingles Look Like Hand-Cut Wood
An unusual process invented by The Foundry in Franklin, Ohio, makes high-end PVC siding that looks like hand-cut wood shingles, complete with saw marks.

Faster Pipe Die Changes
A new compact die head with a spiral-mandrel distributor allows die changes without time-consuming recentering.

First Aluminum Mold For Heat-Set Bottles
What is said to be the first aluminum mold for heat-set PET bottles has been developed as an alternative to stainless steel.

Gravimetric Control of Coex Layer Thickness
K-Tron Process Group, Pitman, N.J., has developed its first gravimetric extrusion controls, designed for durable applications like multilayer films or sheet for automotive use or wire and cable coatings, where the thickness of critical functional layers may have to be guaranteed.

Gravimetric Inventory Management for Pellets
Responding to demand for a method to weigh and store virgin or reprocessed pelletized materials,Process Control Corp., Atlanta, has come out with the Gravimetric Inventory Management System.

'Greener' Liquid Phosphite Contains No Nonylphenol
A novel liquid phosphite antioxidant is said to offer a more worker-friendly alternative to the workhorse secondary antioxidant, TNPP, while providing very similar cost-performance.

High-Performance Color Instrument for R and D or QC
A new benchtop spectrophotometer for both laboratory and production use reportedly measures the full range of human color perception in seconds.

Hyper Drive For Seven-Layer Film
Esde Maschinentechnik GmbH in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, will show the first high-speed, high-output extrusion system for seven-layer barrier film at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf this month.

Metal-Filled Acetal For Food Conveyors
A new acetal from DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., is formulated with a proprietary metallic filler for molding chain-link food-processing conveyors.

Micro Press to Debut at K
A new all-electric injection press called the e-micro 10, with a clamp force of 11 tons, will be unveiled this month at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf by Engel Canada Inc., Guelph, Ont.

Mold Release for Energy-Absorbing Foam
A specially formulated mold release is designed to protect molds from aggressive PUR foam formulations used for energy-absorbing automotive applications.

Molded-In Hook Fasteners Hold Auto Headliners
Two U.S. automotive headliner applications are new and dramatic demonstrations of a unique technology that allows incorporating Velcro-style hook fasteners into the surface of injection molded parts.

New Choices in Cavity-Pressure Sensing
New strain-gauge cavity-pressure sensors, including a smaller, 125-lb model, come from D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich.

New Device Optimizes Parison Thickness
A patent-pending device from Uniloy Milacron, Tecumseh, Mich., modifies parison thickness in specific angular positions and thus reduces the weight and cycle time of extrusion blow molded containers.

New FR ABS for Static Dissipation
A new flame-retardant ABS from Techmer Lehvoss Compounds, Clinton, Tenn., offers static dissipation for housings and enclosures of consumer appliances and office and industrial equipment.

New TPO Excels in Dimensional Stability
A new TPO is said to offer greater dimensional stability than its predecessors.

New Tunnel Gates Ensure High Part Surface Quality
A new line of tunnel gates designed to ensure high part surface quality comes from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C.

New Twin-Screw Element 'Combs' Natural Fibers
KraussMaffei Berstorff in Germany (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) worked for over six years with Hannover University of Applied Sciences to develop a process for compounding undried natural fibers.

Novel Glass-Based Special-Effect Pigments
A new range of unusual glass-based effect pigments is said to be suited to plastics applications in packaging, household goods, and leisure items.

Now There's a PP For Ice Cream Tubs
A new freezer-grade PP has made its U.S. debut in ice cream packaging.

On-Site Screw and Barrel Inspection Service
An in-plant screw and barrel inspection service to determine the causes of poor part quality or reduced output is newly available from General Plastex, Barberton, Ohio.

Pad-Print Inks Certified For Medical Devices
USP Class I and Class VI certified inks for pad printing on medical devices such as catheters are newly available from Pad Print Machinery of Vermont, East Dorset.

PBT Shines in Headlamp Bezels
A PBT grade optimized for auto headlamp bezels has been introduced by Lanxess Corp., Pittsburgh.

PLA Sheet Boasts Strength and Clarity
A new line of bioplastic sheet products from Spartech Corp., Clayton, Mo., is made of polylactic acid (PLA) resin from NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn.

Servo Robot For Small Presses
A top-entry servo robot for small presses is new from Sailor Japan, represented here by Sailor Automation Inc., Placentia, Calif.

Silicone Surfactants For Flexible Foams
Five novel silicone surfactants that boast enhanced performance with flexible and molded PUR foams are available from Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich.

Simple Interface for Strain-Gauges
A new strain-gauge signal conditioner that provides users with a simple machine interface comes from RJG Inc., Traverse City, Mich.

Single-Heater Sprue Tip is Easy to Manage
A new hot-runner sprue-tip design featuring a single heater rather than a more complex dual heater is new from Alba Enterprises, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Single-Loop Temperature Controllers in Two Sizes
New single-loop temperature controls in 1/16 DIN and 1/8 DIN sizes are available from Dynisco, Franklin, Mass.

Stainless Steel Toughens New Date Inserts
Two new series of dating inserts are made from 420 stainless steel to withstand mold temperatures up to 300 F.

Tight Pressure Control For 'Lite' RTM
A new sensing device from JHM Technologies Inc., Fenton, Mich., provides precise injection-pressure control for “Lite” RTM processing.

Trim Handling Systems Come with Static Control
Edge-trim handling systems for web converting and printing are now available from Precision AirConvey, Newark, Del., with a fully range of static-neutralizing and charging accessories.

Ultramarine Pigment Is Acid Resistant
An acid-resistant ultramarine blue pigment has been further optimized for use in outdoor applications ranging from stadium seating to automotive parts, which can be exposed to acid rain.

Vinyl Esters for Corrosive Environments
Corrosion-resistant vinyl ester resins are now available in the U.S. from Cook Composites and Polymers (CCP), Kansas City, Mo.

CW Brabender
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