Historically focused on supplying auxiliary equipment for plastics extrusion, Process Control Corp. in Atlanta has formed a new Molding Div. to serve injection molders. The new unit is headed by James Martin, formerly of Van Dorn Demag and Classic Plastics Machinery.
The new division offers two smaller Guardian Series gravimetric batch blenders of 1.25-kg (pictured) and 2.5-kg. Process Control has re-entered the desiccant dryer market with a line from 30 to 2500 lb/hr. The firm also offers materials-handling equipment from truck and railcar unloaders to silos, day bins, and central vacuum-conveying systems.
Eurotherm Gauging Systems in Billerica, Mass., a maker of web-thickness gauging and control systems, has changed its name to EGS Gauging, Inc. Last April, the firm was purchased in a management buyout from its former parent, Eurotherm International. The new name completes the transition of the company to independent ownership. EGS Gauging will be exhibiting at the NPE show in Chicago in June. Its new website is www.egsgauging.com.
The new hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) format from Sony/Philips not only promises to bring back the “warm” sound of vinyl records, it also represents the breakthrough of cyclo-olefin copolymer (COC) into the CD market. SACDs use new recording technology that increases the resolution of digital music by more closely following the original analog waveform. According to Sony, the result is more faithful to the original. SACDs can hold more than four times more information than a CD.
Only Sony Music in Japan, Sonopress in Germany, and Crest National in Hollywood, Calif., have SACD production lines up and running. Sony’s Terre Haute, Ind., plant should be making SACDs soon.
Unlike the DVDs on which movies are recorded, a hybrid SACD (which includes a conventional CD layer to play on standard equipment) is not symmetrical in the placement of the metal and plastic layers. As a result, it is more vulnerable to warpage caused by moisture absorption, which would render the CD portion unusable, explains Robert Freedman, senior v.p. for technical operations at Crest National. Polycarbonate reportedly does not have the moisture resistance needed to keep the disc flat, but COCs do. Sony’s SACD project director David Kawakami says COCs offer low birefringence. COC also helps SACDs function by absorbing less laser light.
To use PC rather than convert to COC would require sputtering an additional barrier layer of silicon oxide onto the exposed face of the SACD to prevent moisture absorption and maintain flatness. That extra step is very expensive and very slow, says Freedman. Sonopress reportedly started out using this method but then converted to COC. Sony Japan is also using COC. The COC resins being used are Zeonex and Zeonor from Zeon Chemicals in Japan (U.S. office in Louisville, Ky.). Ticona in Summit, N.J., another maker of COCs, had no comment at press time. Zeon (800) 735-3388, www.zeonchemicals.com
Domino Plastics Co., Inc., Setauket, N.Y., has a new website (www.domplas.com) for buying and selling excess and scrap plastics. The site is reportedly updated several times daily to show material lots in stock and their offering prices.
Sun Chemical Corp., Fort Lee, N.J., has acquired the high-performance organic pigments business of Bayer Corp. in Pittsburgh. The sale includes manufacturing in Bushy Park, S.C. The affected products have been transferred to Sun Chemical’s Cincinnati-based Performance Pigments Group. They include Indofast carbazole violet, Perrindo perylene maroons, Palomar phthalocyanine blue, and Quindo quinacridone red, violet, and magenta pigments.
In response to FTC requirements for this acquisition, Sun Chemical agreed to divest its current perylene products line to Ciba Specialty Chemicals Group in High Point, N.C. Bayer will continue to produce and market other colorants, including Macrolex dyes, Pigment Yellow 150, and Bayferrox iron oxide pigments. Not included in this acquisition are organic pigments that Bayer produces in Mexico and Germany.
Recycler Conigliaro Industries in Framingham, Mass., has opened the first U.S. commercial plant for shredding and recycling mattresses. The plant is located at Conigliaro’s 90,000-sq-ft facility in Framingham. Mattresses are shredded there and the contents (wood, urethane foam, cotton, steel) are collected and sold. The Conigliaro recycling plant opens at a time when landfill space in Massachusetts is at a premium. The number of operating landfills in the state is less than 10% of the number that existed in 1990. “The possibility of banning items such as mattresses and box springs from landfills is very real,” says Greg Conigliaro, president of Conigliaro Industries.
According to Conigliaro, approximately 150,000 mattresses are thrown away each year in Massachusetts. “Right now we can recycle mattresses at the rate of one a minute, or 140,000 a year.” Depending on the type of mattress, the plant can reclaim 60% to 90% of the mattress components.
Conigliaro Industries receives mattresses from universities, colleges, hospitals, and mattress manufacturers that take back old mattresses when delivering new ones. “They pay a small fee for us to recycle the mattresses they deliver. Selling the recycled materials generates the remainder of our income,” says Conigliaro.
Last month, Tetra Laval of Switzerland acquired Sidel S.A. of France. Sidel is a major supplier of PET stretch-blow molding machines as well as bottle filling, capping, packing, and overwrapping equipment. Tetra Laval owns the Tetra Pak global business of aseptic packaging and PET preforms and bottles. The merger plan was first announced in March 2001 but later blocked by the European Commission. Then last October, the European Court of Justice overturned the EC’s decision, allowing the acquisition to proceed.
Wittmann, Inc., Torrington, Conn., has opened two new technical centers—one in Saline, Mich., and the other in Elgin, Ill. They will offer training, product demonstrations, sales, service, and spare parts for Wittmann’s complete line of robots, granulators, materials handling, and water cooling. Wittmann now has six demonstration sites in North America.
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., has merged its Robotics and Systems Integration business units into a new Automated Systems Group. It will specialize in complete system solutions for injection molders. “We want to be more than a hardware supplier,” says Bruce Catoen, v.p. of the new team. “Our mandate is to supply innovative systems using our own equipment as core components, while partnering with leading mold, automation, and auxiliary-equipment suppliers. We can manage the project from concept to commercialization.”