DuPont Exits PET Container Resins
DuPont Co., Wilmington, Del., is getting out of PET container resins by selling certain of its U.S. Polyester Enterprises businesses and manufacturing assets to Alpek, the petrochemical group of the Mexican industrial conglomerate ALFA S.A. de C.V. The sale includes a 300-million-lb/yr PET plant in Fayetteville, N.C., plus polyester facilities in Wilmington and Charleston, S.C. DuPont ranks sixth in North America among PET container resin producers. DuPont will license Alpek to use its PET resin manufacturing technology and the Melinar and Laser+ brands.
Jana Labs Buys Pipe-Test Business
Jana Laboratories, Inc., Aurora, Ont., has purchased the pipe-testing business of Specialized Technology Resources (STR), Inc., Enfield, Conn. Jana Labs specializes in chemical-resistance and burst testing of plastic pipe. The merged business reportedly will be the largest independent test laboratory for plastic pipe in North America.
New Collaborations Advance Plastics Training Software
Among the latest developments in training materials for processors are a number of new joint efforts:
- Paulson Training Programs Inc., Chester, Conn., a major developer of plastics training programs, has partnered with Compuplast International Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., to develop and market a new series of extrusion process-simulation software. Compuplast is an extrusion CAE software developer. The new products will be based on Paulson’s SkillBuilder training philosophy, which emphasizes immediate application of classroom knowledge.
- Paulson has also teamed up with Bosch Automation Technology, Racine, Wis., to promote two training products from Bosch. The first is Teachware, a self-paced interactive CD set for training on hydraulics, pneumatics, and PLCs. Textbooks and CAD software for hydraulic and pneumatic circuit design are included. The second product, called Hardware, consists of actual Bosch industrial hydraulic and pneumatic fluid-power components. The package features both basic components and complex closed-loop electronic control valves. Ladder-logic wiring and PLC programming components are included.
- This spring, Paulson began offering an injection-molding seminar through the Society of the Plastic Industry’s Plastics Learning Network (PLN) satellite delivery system. The seminar, “Injection Molding Troubleshooting and Simulation,” features simulated molding practice for all participants using Paulson’s SimTech injection-machine simulator and Paulson’s Skillbuilder injection molding lab lessons. The 10-hr seminar is divided into four sessions over a two-week period. Ten additional hours of out-of-class work on the simulator are required for the course, which costs $775 for SPI members and $995 for nonmembers. For information, contact Barbara Darby at SPI (864) 239-2939.
- Meanwhile, A. Routsis Associates Inc., Dracut, Mass., has released a new interactive training series on Basic Measuring Tools. The four course CD-ROM series teaches the essentials of handling, applying, and reading the most common gauges. The primary audience is production and inspection personnel, supervisors, group leaders, and set-up personnel. Course topics include Fundamentals and Linear Tools, Micrometers and Dial Indicators, Fixed Gauges, and Surface Plate Equipment. Employees can work at their own pace and can post questions and comments during the course
Gusmer Consolidates PUR Equipment
The Gusmer Machinery Group in Lakewood, N.J., has consolidated its polyurethane equipment business units into one global company. Gusmer Corp. in Lakewood (spray equipment), Gusmer-Admiral, Inc. in Akron, Ohio (RIM and pouring systems), and Komo Automation in Sauk Rapids, Minn. (automated PUR production lines), now have centralized administration under the name Gusmer Corp. Manufacturing, engineering, and sales for the new Admiral Equipment/Komo Automation Div. remain in their former locations.
Dyerich Enters Color Compounding
Dyerich PolyConc, Paterson, N.J., has made its entry into the custom color compounds business with the recent opening of a 18,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility. The company previously marketed pigments to plastics and other markets.
The new compounding facilities are equipped to deliver custom matches in 24-48 hr.
Global Packaging Firm to Buy Sidel
Pending EU approval, Tetra Laval SA, a giant Swiss-based packaging company, will own 91% of the shares of Sidel, the French maker of stretch-blow molding machines. Tetra Laval says Sidel will be a separate stand-alone division of Tetra Laval, which also owns Tetra Pak, a global packaging company that makes PET preforms and bottles. Tetra Pak also makes stretch-blow machines.
Former BFGoodrich Materials Unit Renamed
PMD Group, Inc. in Cleveland, formerly the BFGoodrich Performance Materials Segment, is now named Noveon, Inc. It produces Estane and Estaloc TPUs, EstaGrip TPEs, Stat-Rite antistatic alloys, and TempRite CPVC.
New E-Alliance for Medical Devices
A new collaborative website designed to speed development of medical devices has been launched by Conferos of Woburn, Mass. Called c-Medica (www.c-Medica.com), it is backed by Conferos’ advisory-board members Dow Plastics and the Medical Device Manufacturers’ Association. The site provides a secure project workspace where CAD files, databases, project schedules, and other information can be stored and readily accessed on a 24-hr, seven-day basis by product teams worldwide. The site is intended to make it easier for medical-device manufacturers to coordinate with suppliers earlier in the design process and thereby reduce development time and cost.
UL Develops Standard For Plastic Pallets
A new standard for plastic storage pallets has been issued by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Inc., Northbrook, Ill. The new UL 2335 standard was created to classify plastic pallets to meet requirements of the recently revised National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 13. That change allows plastic pallets to be treated like wood pallets if test data indicate that the burning characteristics of the plastic pallets are equal to or better than wood.
UL 2335 consists of two fire-performance tests: an idle pallet storage test and a commodity storage test. The idle pallet test involves burning six 12-ft-high stacks of pallets beneath a sprinklered ceiling. Test parameters are the number of sprinklers activated, stack stability, time for fire to extend to the end of the array, and maximum temperature of a steel beam over the fire. The commodity storage test uses a calorimeter to measure heat release from burning pallets loaded with Class II commodities such as bottles of non-flammable liquids or non-combustible foods stored in paper or wooden containers.
UL has already tested wood pallets to obtain baseline data for comparison with plastic pallets. UL also offers a small-scale pre-test to assist manufacturers in evaluating plastic pallets before committing to the more costly UL 2335 program. The pre-test uses pallet raw material—including pellets or regrind—and a small cone calorimeter. For more information, contact Joe Hirschmugl at UL (847) 664-1508.
Ferromatik Milacron Opens Energy Resource Center
In June, Ferromatik Milacron North America, Batavia, Ohio, opened its new Energy Resource Center (EERC) in Cincinnati to educate molders about the benefits of all-electric injection machines. Milacron says these benefits include energy savings, faster cycles, greater precision and repeatability, higher cavitation, lower clamp tonnage, and simpler mold design. The center will be outfitted with all-electric machines capable of molding small parts, PET preforms, and parts as large as 5-gal buckets.
The ERC can compare cost and productivity of a molder’s existing process with all-electric molding. The ERC can even run production lots to document these comparisons.
Ferromatik Milacron also offers interactive calculation of energy-savings on its new website, www.all-electricsaves.com. The Energy Calculator section has a window that provides the average cost of energy by state. Users can determine how much energy they will save if they use Milacron’s Powerline or Roboshot machines. To calculate savings, users input data on the material to be used, shot size, cycle time, clamp tonnage, throughput rate, and annual operating hours. Users also input utility rebates, costs related to maintaining a hydraulic system, housekeeping issues, and machine investment details. The on-line calculator generates an investment summary that compares a user-selected Milacron all-electric model to a hydraulic model. A 10-year calculation of total operating savings and net present value of those savings with an all-electric machine is displayed in a printable chart. Phone number of the ERC is (513) 536-3388.