Techmer PM in Clinton, Tenn., is expanding its capacity, adding to its processing lab, and launching a new analytical services business. A recent visit to the custom compounder of colors, additives, and engineering materials revealed that it is now offering its considerable laboratory capabilities for custom analyses with its extensive stock of instruments for mechanical and thermal testing, chemical analysis, and flame, weather/UV, color, and other testing. Techmer recently received ISO 17025-2005 accreditation from the American Assoc. for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) in the field of mechanical testing of plastics. Techmer’s new subsidiary is called Polytest and its full range of capabilities are listed at polytest.com.
Meanwhile, Techmer is in the process of tripling the floorspace devoted to its processing laboratory to around 25,000 sq ft, part of which will house its first three-layer blow extrusion molding machine. Capable of blowing up to 55-oz bottles, the machine will be installed by year’s end.
Techmer is also adding compounding capacity, with a new 50-mm Coperion twin-screw ordered to occupy 10,000 sq ft of additional production space being added to the current 181,000 sq ft total. Two existing lines are being moved into the space as well, to make room for the enlarged processing lab. The expansion is due to be completed around the end of the year.
(865) 457-6700 • techmerpm.com
“We’re a short-run operation, focused on quick delivery,” says Per Flem, owner, president, and CEO of Cincinnati custom injection molder Recto Molded Products. He says a typical run is from as little as 2 hr to a day. Recto’s business model is also founded on cost-saving efficiencies, especially energy efficiency. That’s why Recto wraps its machines’ injection barrels with insulation blankets—but only the back half of the barrel. Flem explains that a changeover, for example, from polycarbonate to polystyrene, takes some time for the hotter downstream end of the barrel to cool down about 100° F merely by dissipating heat to the ambient air. Such cooling would take much longer if that part of the barrel were insulated. There is a similar degree of cooldown necessary in the insulation-wrapped rear zone of the barrel, but water cooling at the feed throat helps accelerate cooling in that area.
(513) 871-5544 • rectomolded.com
Chinese machine builder Guangdong Jinming Plastics Equipment Co., Ltd. and blown film die maker BBS Corp., Spartanburg, S.C., are collaborating on commercializing BBS’s Modular Disk Die. At press time, Jinming was scheduled to display an 18-in. Modular Disk Die with micro and nano-layer capability at the K 2010 show in Dusseldorf. BBS founder Henry Schirmer reports that the die has produced film with 75 nano-layers and 8 micro-layers in lab trials. Last year, BBS introduced a device called a Layer Sequence Repeater, which takes two or three layers created by the modular disks and repeats the layers over and over in a nano-layer stack.
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After remaining stable through the summer, recycled PET prices were firming in early Fall (at least on the East Coast) as virgin PET tabs were rising. Prices for lower-value RPET grades dropped slightly in the third quarter but were starting to go up again. Higher-value grades were expected to go even a little higher. Post-consumer flake was particularly in demand on both coasts. In the West, Chinese buyers reportedly were snapping up virgin as well as flake because of strong demand.
“Processors now have the choice of buying washed flake in the high 50¢/lb range, or buying virgin resin in the low 60s,” said one source. Therefore, recyclers selling flake cannot push prices up or they will be competing directly with virgin prime and wide-spec.
|Clean RPET From Bottles