If you want to know what’s the next big thing in injection molding—and who doesn’t?—I can think of two places to look: Dusseldorf and Cleveland. Dusseldorf, Germany, is the home of the biggest plastics show on the planet, K 2007, Oct. 24-31. As you will find throughout this issue, it will be a stupendous display of innovation from more than 3000 exhibitors from 50 countries. Not everyone can make it to the show, of course, which is why we have prepared a hefty preview of the major news attractions in injection molding and many other topics. Even if you can’t get over to Dusseldorf next month, who can afford to ignore new barrel-heating technology that does away with burned-out heater bands and cuts energy use up to 70%? Who doesn’t want to know about new all-electric presses priced on a par with hydraulics? Or about in-mold coating of parts with a clear, scratch-proof finish? Or about sterile molding within the footprint of the machine? Or, if you make PET preforms, about new competition from high-speed, continuous compression molding?
If you can’t get to Dusseldorf, what about Cleveland? Later this month, Sept. 19-20, Plastics Technology will present the “Leading-Edge Molding Conference,” where 20 speakers will discuss technical trends you can’t afford to overlook, such as in-mold assembly, long-fiber compounding and molding, biopolymers and wood-plastic compounds, auto glazing, and micro-molding. They will cover some of the same technologies that will draw crowds at the K Show—like in-mold coating, LSR molding advances, and brand-new technology for insert molding RFID chips into plastic parts.