PT Blog

How Serious Is Freudenberg Medical About Lean Manufacturing?

I’ve visited loads of processors who talk up their lean journey and staying on the path of continuous improvement, but Freudenberg Medical’s injection molding operation in Baldwin Park, Calif., goes way past lip service when it comes to lean.

The Baldwin Park facility will be the focus of our On Site article in July, and in that, I touch on how it uses lean to meet the attention-to-detail insanity that is medical molding, but I thought I’d share one anecdote from my tour that didn’t make the story.

Read More
High-Perfomance Nylon Beats Aluminum, Rubber in Auto Air Conditioning Lines

As our June cover story indicates, new materials for automotive continue to emerge for more and more areas of the vehicle. A broad range of nylons is among them, including high-performance versions such as amorphous-based and long-chain nylons. The latter include most notably nylon 610, 612, and 510. Which brings me to a first-time automotive application that utilizes a blended long-chain nylon that was recently unveiled by power-management company Eaton.

The new Polymer Air-Conditioning Conveyance System (PACCS) lines are said to be a cost-effective and lightweight alternative to the aluminum tubing and rubber components used in traditional lines. Made of a blended long-chain nylon, the PACCS design reportedly results in a 20-50% weight reduction compared to the traditional lines. The PACCS lines are characterized as more bendable and flexible for greater packaging efficiency and safety benefits in crash conditions, capable of withstanding high-system pressure, and offer chemical resistance to all oils and refrigerants.

Read More
New Materials, Applications Among Highlights of SPC Bioplastics Converge Conference

I had a terrific opportunity to attend an action-packed full-day new conference, Sustainable Packaging Coalition—SPC Bioplastics Converge,  organized by the environmental non-profit GreenBlue on June 1, in Washington D.C. In addition to some promising advances in new materials and applications highlighted below, there were also interesting discussions that brought together individuals from across the supply chain.

A brand panel addressed the topic:

Read More
Unilever Introduces Process to Recycle Multilayer Sachets

A major brand is once taking on a big initiative toward reducing plastic waste: Unilever announced it is working with partners on a new technology to recycle sachets (aka multi-layer flexible packaging consisting of a thin film of plastic and aluminum). Called the CreaSolv Process, this technology has been developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany and is inspired by an innovation used to recycle TV sets.

Billions of single-use sachets are sold every year, particularly in developing and emerging markets. But without a viable recycling solution, the packaging ends up in landfill or as litter.

Read More
Looking for a Measure of Demoldability? Here’s a New Approach

You may have found something that worked, but it may have taken time-consuming and expensive trial and error. A German research institute may have found a better way.

At the recent annual Technology Days expo hosted by Arburg in Lossburg, Germany (details here), one machine exhibit showcased a four-year development effort by KIMW Forschungs-GmbH, a venture of Kunststoff Institut Ludenscheid. As explained by KIMW managing director Frank Mumme, this work is directed at helping molders determine the best mold finish or coating to achieve desired release of parts from injection molds.

Read More