First-Ever Conference Planned on Conformal Cooling

By: James Callari 22. August 2014

Robert A. Beard & Associates, Inc. a well-known provider of technical, engineering and management support for plastics and Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI), a global leader in plastic-based package development is announcing the inaugural 2014 Conformal Cooling Conference.


The conference, Injection Molding Technology for Increased Efficiency and Profitability,  is aimed at helping OEMs, injection molders, and moldmakers to learn more about the advantages of conformal cooling.


The event will take place on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at Automation Alley, Troy, Mich. Fees are $ 495.00, which includes lunch and any conference related materials. The session will begin 8:30 AM, with registration open at 8:00 AM.


Beard calls conformal cooling of injection molds "a game changer in the molding industry." Typical cycle reductions of 20% - 40% can be realized, lower reject rates are accomplished because of uniform cooling and stronger parts are achieved through lower molded-in stress.


“This technology accelerates the speed of heat transfer and does so more evenly on curved and complex geometry than with conventional molds. This results in improved quality and increased profitability,” states Beard. Click here for an article Beard wrote on the subject in the June 2014 issue of Plastics Technology.


Presentations will include:


  • Jeff Higgins, Moldflow Corp.: The Design & Analysis of Conformal Cooling Channels.


  • Reiner Westoff, Contura MTC GmbH: Vacuum Brazed Conformal Cooled Molds and  Rapid Heat Rapid Cool Process.


  • Augustin Niavas, EOS GmbH: Direct Metal Laser Sintering DMLS.


  • Doug Hepler, Polyshot: Vacuum Brazed Hot Runner Manifolds and Design Guide For Conformal Cooled Molds.


  • Barry Sutherland, North Coast Industrial Imaging: Technologies & Techniques For Troubleshooting Conformal Cooled Molds.


Report: Packaging Still Growing

By: James Callari 13. August 2014


Some have suggested that packaging is virtually recession-proof because of its connection to food. The Great Recession proved that might not be exactly true, but the contract packaging business still seems like a good market in which to stake a claim.


The third edition of the Contract Packaging Association's  The State of the Contract Packaging Industry revealed that: 


  • Since 2008, the contract packaging industry has more than doubled in growth.
  • The most prolific industry segments served by the contract packaging industry are food and beverage, but the personal care and pharmaceutical industries are poised for extensive growth through 2018.
  • Since 2008, the contract packaging industry has moved toward a workforce of full-time employees as opposed to using temporary labor yet the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have a major impact on companies providing employee healthcare.

To ensure the confidentiality of those who participated in the report, the Contract Packaging Association secured the services of SAI Industrial LLC, the independent research firm, which conducted the research for the two previous studies.


For questions about the study email Mary Von Qualen

Molder PMT Named Manufacturer of the Year

By: James Callari 2. July 2014

Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT) was named was named Manufacturer of the Year at the 10th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit, held June 6, in Palm Beach, Fla. The El Paso, Tex. injection molder was named the top honoree among companies with revenues of less than $1 billion, and also received the Operational Leadership Award and the Sustainability Leadership Award.


PMT was selected based on its development and implementation of transformative projects that demonstrated innovation and best practices. PMT earned the Operational Leadership Award for its commitment to wide-ranging continuous improvement programs, which have yielded measurable results and contributed positively to quality, service, and overall company performance. PMT’s ongoing sustainability initiative has focused on reducing energy consumption and operational waste through various strategies, including the development of proprietary technologies that reduce the amount of electricity used by molding presses.


 “We are honored to receive these awards, which reflect positively on the entire plastics industry as well as our many PMT team members, who helped develop and implement the programs that earned us this recognition,” said Charles A. Sholtis, PMT’s CEO and owner (pictured). “These honors simply reinforce that the plastics industry is at the forefront of best practices in manufacturing.”


PMT was nominated by IQMS, Paso Robles, Calif., whose enterprise resource planning software solutions were said to have helped to power the injection molder’s initiatives related to both continuous improvement and sustainability.  


Collaboration Yields First Transparent, Conductive PC Film

By: James Callari 3. June 2014


SABIC Innovative Plastics and Cima NanoTech have collaborated to develop what’s billed as the first-ever transparent conductive polycarbonate film that could open applications in consumer electronics, household goods, automotive, architecture and healthcare, many of which currently use glass.


In development since late 2013, the film is cast by SABIC, Pittsfield, Mass., from Lexan in thicknesses ranging from 75 microns to 5 mm. A silver nanoparticle conductive coating, which comes as a wet dispersion from Cima NanoTech, is then continuously coated in a roll-to-roll process in a post-extrusion step. While curing, the coating then “self-assembles” into a random mesh-like network on the substrate (see image above).


Based in St. Paul, Minn., Cima NanoTech calls its technology SANTE, short for Self Assembling Nanoparticle Technology for Electronics. It’s said to be 10 times better than indium tin oxide in providing high transparency with ultra-low electrical resistance. It is also claimed to be mechanically robust, allowing the film to be thermoformed.


The new film is designed to provide “next generation” functionality, officials from SABIC and Cima NanoTech maintain. One major target is touch screens, states Jon Brodd, Cima NanoTech’ s CEO, where the film can reportedly speed up response times. The film is also said to offer “no-line” anti-fogging for automotive windows, and better EMI shielding effectiveness for electronics. It can also be used for transparent WiFi/Bluetooth antennas used in smartphones, tablets, laptops and all-in-one computers, adds Matt Gray, dir. marketing for Sabic’s consumer electronics business.           


Gray says the new film is currently available for customer trials. SABIC extrudes the film itself while the coating is applied by an undisclosed partner company in North Asia. Gray says SABIC  is exploring applications with Cima NanoTech for Lexan sheet.


Before its collaboration with SABIC, Cima NanoTech had used the coating primarily with PET substrates.


Maruka Opens Florida Tech Center

By: James Callari 22. May 2014

Maruka USA, the exclusive North American distributor of Toyo and FCS injection molding systems, will celebrate the grand opening of their new Technical Center in Largo, Florida by hosting a roundtable discussion between legislators and business leaders on the future of the state’s plastics manufacturing industry.


Scheduled for May 29, the Future of Florida Plastics Manufacturing event will cover job creation, workplace retention and tax benefits available to manufacturers and other businesses in the state.


The event is being co-hosted by 5 Nines Automation, the sales organization serving Maruka customers in Florida and a leading provider of robotics and automation solutions to the manufacturing market.  Steve Fage, founder of  5 Nines Automation, says the panel discussion will help processors learn how they can benefit from Florida's  Sales Tax Exemption Bill HB 7007. Passed on May 1, the bill provides temporary sales and use tax exemption for purchases of certain machinery and equipment.


After the panel discussion, Fage will lead a tour of the Technical Center’s training facility.  Dale Bartholomew, Maruka product manager, will then present a live demonstration of a plastics manufacturing work cell featuring an all-electric Toyo injection molding system, Yushin RCII-250 robot with indexing conveyor, and Conair self-contained loader, thermolator and 3-ton air cooled chiller. Throughout the event, equipment suppliers will be on hand to offer assistance and answer technical questions.


The event will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, followed by dinner. visit the Five Nines Automation website.

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