Blog


Want a Look at Custom Injection Hourly Rates?

By: Matthew H. Naitove 23. July 2014

We’re just waiting for your response to begin calculating average machine-hour rates at midyear for various machine sizes and sections of the country. Apparently, some of you need reminding that a survey is not worth reporting unless it is based on enough data points to make it credible. The midyear report still needs more of you to take 5 minutes to fill out the survey here.

 

If you haven’t looked at our twice-yearly hourly rates survey, see the latest results (for fourth-quarter 2013) here. See why so many custom molders tell me they find it valuable—apart from the fact that this is the only source of such data. So click over to the confidential survey and enter your data—anonymously!

Haidlmair Is Looking for a U.S. Moldmaking Location

By: Matthew H. Naitove 22. July 2014

Austrian moldmaker Haidlmair GmbH is making no secret of the fact that it is seeking a manufacturing location in the U.S. Said CEO Mario Haidlmair, “If somebody is interested in partnering with us, we would be pleased to learn more.” Haidlmair is a family-owned firm started in 1979 and grown to over $50 million annual revenue. Besides large bins, it is strong in automotive, large appliances, and technical parts, but its particular specialties are beverage crates and pallets. The company currently has an office for sales, service, and mold repair in Lake Geneva, Wis., and a second service center in Phoenix, Ariz. (Pictured: Mario Haidlmair, center, with his father, company owner Josef Haidlmair, left, and sales manager Roland Gradauer, right.)

Relief for Hot Summer Toolrooms

By: Matthew H. Naitove 21. July 2014

June's Amerimold 2014 show in Novi, Mich. featured lots of mold components and other hardware and software for moldmaking and repair. But DME Co., Madison Heights, Mich., broadened the concept of toolroom products. It showed off new offerings designed to make workers more comfortable and productive in hot toolrooms during the summer.

One example was Squiche electrolyte drinks in powder “fast packs” or sticks to dissolve in water. Also available are new fans for cooling work areas. Supplied by Airmaster Fan Co., Jackson, Mich., these include floor-mounted pedestal models and ceiling-mounted versions, as well as water-misting fans.

Nanodiamonds 'Shine' As Thermal Fillers For Plastics

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 21. July 2014

Nanodiamonds (NDs) might sound extravagant for use as thermal fillers in plastics, but Finland’s Carbodeon (U.S. rep. is SiliconSense of Nashua, N.H.) has made significant strides by refining its functionalized nanodiamonds which can deliver a performance increase of 20-100% and allow similar performance improvements with 70% less ND use, greatly reducing their cost.

 

Carbodeon CTO Vesa Myllymaki says the company is now selling its uDiamond nanodiamonds (ND) in either their powder or dispersion form. “As dispersions, the ND particles are fully dispersed in chosen liquid media—as such, they are available as their primary particles without agglomeration. What this means is that the customer can benefit from the entire available surface area of NDs, giving better performance with less material and cost.  While the company is not currently selling the NDs in masterbatch form, this is one of the future options. The company is targeting manufacturers of thermally conductive polymers and compounds as well as thermal filler manufacturers, as NDs can be formulated with established thermally conductive fillers such as boron nitride and alumina.

 

The performance achieved by uDiamond fillers is a combination of diamond’s extremely high thermal conductivity, Carbodeon’s ability to optimize the ND filler affinity to a range of thermoplastics and other thermal fillers, and its improvements in ND filler agglomeration control.  Says Myllymaki, “With the ability to control these parameters, the nanotechnology key paradigm of ‘less gives more’ can truly be realized.” He notes that the active surface chemistry inherent in detonation-synthesized nanodiamonds has historically presented difficulties in utilizing the potential benefits of the 4-6 nm particles, making them prone to agglomerations. Carbodeon functionalizes the surface of NDs with a patented graphite-based coating so that the particles are driven to disperse and to become consistently integrated throughout the plastic.

 

Late last year, the company published data showing the conductivity of nylon 66-based thermal compounds could be increased by 25% by replacing 0.1% by wt. of the typically maximum effective level of boron nitride (45%) with NDs. In addition, the company recently was granted a patent on nanodiamond-containing thermoplastic thermal composites.

While still more costly than boron nitride or alumina, the enhanced NDs can be used in applications such as thermoplastic LED secondary heat sinks as co-additives with existing fillers. “While there are certain limits on, for example, boron nitride loadings, the overall performance can now be pushed forward with a minimum replacement of existing filler material with our NDs. If a customer wishes to reduce the standard filler concentration but retain certain thermal performance—either to reduce component weight or excess wear of production tools-- according to our calculations, it is cheaper to do this with NDs than with boron nitride materials,” he says. 

Study Urges Companies To Disclose Data On Plastic

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 16. July 2014

A new report, Valuing plastic; the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer good industry, reportedly represents the first-ever assessment of the environmental costs of plastic in business. It calculates the amount to plastic used by stock exchange listed companies in sixteen consumer good sectors and assesses levels of corporate disclosure on plastic. It aim is to help companies understand the risks and opportunities of plastic and build a business case for improving its management.

 

Prepared by natural capital analyst Trucost, it was commissioned by the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) and the United Nation’s Environmental Program (UNEP). Trucost calculates the total natural capital cost of plastic in the consumer good industry to be more than $75 billion/yr. The cost comes from a range of environmental impacts including the harm done by plastic litter to wildlife in the ocean and the loss of valuable resources when plastics waste is sent to the landfill rather than being recycled.

 

The consumer goods sectors assessed are: athletic goods, automobiles, clothing and accessories, consumer electronics, durable household goods, food, footwear, furniture, medical and pharmaceutical products, non-durable household goods, personal products, retail, restaurants and bars, tobacco, toys and soft drinks.

 

When I attended the Plasticity Forum 2014 last month, Trucost CEO Richard Mattison gave this overview:

 

• The analysis identifies a range of risks and opportunities facing companies that are intensive users of plastic, as well as investors.

• The toy, athletic goods and durable household goods sectors use the most plastic in products per $1 million revenue.

• The retail, restaurant and tobacco sectors use the most plastic per $1 million revenue in their supply chains.

• Food companies are by far the largest contributor to the total natural capital cost of plastic used in the consumer goods industry—over $75 bn/yr, responsible for 23% of the total.

• The toy sector has by far the highest natural capital intensity, at 3.0% of revenue.

• Companies in the food, soft drinks and non-durable household goods sectors have the largest natural capital costs in absolute terms.

• Companies in the toy, athletic goods and footwear sectors have the highest natural capital intensity.

• Over 30% of the natural capital costs come from greenhouse gas emissions released upstream in the supply chain.

• The impacts of plastic vary around the world, based on background conditions and management practices.

• Levels of disclosure on plastic are poor. Only around half of the 100 companies assessed reported at least one item of quantitative data on plastic.

• Currently, there is no correlation between a sector’s disclosure rate and its plastic intensity or absolute natural capital cost due to plastic.

 

Mattison explained that in order to provide a sense of scale, the report sets out to quantify the physical impacts of plastic use translated into monetary terms. This metric can be seen as the current value-at-risk to a company, should these external impacts be realized internally through mechanisms like strengthened regulation, loss of market share, or increased price of raw materials and energy. This metric can also be used to understand the magnitude of the tangible benefits to stakeholders, including shareholders, of using plastic in an environmentally sustainable way.

 

Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.

 




« Prev | | Next »

RSS RSS  |  Atom Atom


Copyright © Gardner Business Media, Inc. 2014 All rights reserved.