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December 2013

Close-Up on Technology

Headlines from the K 2013 Show
Here’s just a taste of the innovations on display, a selection of the top headlines not covered in our September show preview.

Web-Enabled Auxiliaries Save Time And Shoe-Leather in Molding Plant
Internet connectivity for plastics equipment is a relatively new and growing technology. Here’s how it works at Samtec.

Processor's Edge

Custom Thermoformer Relies On Robotic Trimming
Fully robotic, six-axis trimming has improved speed and quality while cutting costs for this former.

Know How

Don’t Overlook the Feed Section
Most extrusion screw designers often do not design the feed section with the same rigor as other sections. This is odd since nothing goes through the screw that doesn’t first go through the feed section.

Melt Flow Rate Testing—Part 5
There are two points in the manufacturing supply chain where a determination of average molecular weight (MW) is important. The first is when the material is first received by the molder. The second is after molding.

Minimizing Black Specks
Black specks in molded parts are one of the most infuriating problems to resolve on the shop floor. Here's how to fix them.

Starting Up

Ascend Starts Up World-Scale Nylon 66 Compounding Line
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ascend Performance Materials has started-up a world-scale 66.1 million lb/yr nylon 66 compounding facility in Pensacola, Fla.

Clear, Heat-Resistant PLA Films in Development
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Dutch producer of lactic acid and lactides Corbion Purac is joining forces with U.K.’s Innovia Films to develop PLA film that is both transparent and resistant to high temperatures.

First Use of PP Foam on a Center Console
WEB EXCLUSIVE: BMW Group is the world’s first car maker to use PP expandable-bead foam as a visible contour material on a center console.

Medical Device Nabs Thermoforming Award
A thermoformed medical device from Ray Products won first place in the Heavy-Gauge, Pressure-Formed category at the SPE Thermoforming Div. annual parts competition, held recently in Atlanta.

Mitsui Expands PP Compounding for U.S. Automotive Markets
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Mitsui Chemicals’ Advanced Composites, Inc. affiliate, Sidney, Ohio, has completed the second phase of its 46.3 million lb/yr expansion of PP compounds and TPOs to meet U.S. automotive demand.

Mobile Wireless Speaker Overmolded with Specialty Silicone-Based TPE
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The new UE Boom 360°-sound mobile wireless speakers from Logitech International, Newark, Calif., are said to be the first with durability provided by TPSiV (thermoplastic silicone vulcanizate) from Multibase, a Dow Corning company.

News Aplenty In Extrusion
Last month brought a spate of developments that extrusion processors should find interesting.

NIOSH-Industry Collaboration for Safe Use of Nanomaterials
NIOSH has created a field studies team that aims to establish partnerships with companies that produce or use engineered nanomaterials in order to expand and share knowledge of appropriate health and safety practices.

Nova Plans PE Capacity Expansions
At October’s K 2013 show in Dusseldorf, Nova Chemicals, Moon Township, Pa., unveiled details of its PE capacity plans.

PlastiComp & DSM Developing Biobased Long-Fiber Composites
WEB EXCLUSIVE: PlastiComp, Inc., Winona, Minn., has entered into a partnership with DSM Engineering Plastics (U.S. office in Birmingham, Mich.), to develop biobased, long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) composite materials for automotive and other performance-driven markets.

PS Recycling Project Launched in Montreal
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), along with the city of Montreal and other partners, is embarking on a polystyrene recycling project that it hopes will be a model for future endeavors of this type.

Solvay Invests in Thermoplastic Composites
Solvay Specialty Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga., announced at the K 2013 show in Dusseldorf that it has reached an agreement to acquire a financial interest in Canadian-based Aonix Advanced Materials, Ottawa, Ont.


AGS: A Molding Business Built on Recycling
AGS Technology Inc. in Schaumburg, Ill., was started in 1995 with a simple concept: to be the low-cost custom injection molder of automotive parts by using recycled plastics formulated to exacting quality standards.

There’s No Lid on This Processor’s Creativity
For this lid maker, the keys to success are speed, flexibility and ingenuity.

Web Connectivity: the ‘Missing Link’ To Molding Machines & Auxiliaries
Web services technology is being utilized today by many molding companies to enhance their molding operations performance, expand uptime, and obtain supplier support in shorter time for very low cost.

Keeping Up With Technology

MATERIALS: New PEKK Copolymers Offer Easier Processing
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Arkema says its newly developed Kepstan 6000 PEKK copolymers offer a low melting point and slow crystallization rate for injection molding and extrusion in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and oil and gas.

MATERIALS: New SEBS Molding & Extrusion Compounds
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new SEBS product lines have been launched by specialty compounder S&E Specialty Polymers LLC, Lunenburg, Mass., for automotive, wire/cable, battery, and footwear markets.

Resin Prices

Commodity Resin Prices Flat to Soft
Prices of the four major commodity thermoplastics are projected to be a bit lower or remain flat (especially in the case of PE) as the year comes to an end.


Construction Activity to Increase
Residential home spending up 20% over first three quarters compared to 2012.

Moderate Contraction, But Spending Plans Grow
Business is flat but processors indicate uptick in spending plans.

Welcome Aboard, Tony Deligio
Plastics Technology expands editorial team.

CW Brabender
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