Are You an Injection Molding Expert? Do You Want to Become One?

By: Tony Deligio 8. October 2015

From March 29-31 in New Orleans, the Molding 2016 Conference & Exhibits will gather leaders (and newbies) from across the injection molding supply chain, including molders, OEMs, and machinery, material and tool suppliers. If you’re a molding expert, learn about the very latest advancements in the field. If you’re new to molding, get a firmer handle on this dynamic, advanced manufacturing process.


Molding 2016 is currently accepting paper proposals for the conference; so if you’re an expert in a particular aspect of molding, we encourage you to submit an abstract today. General conference topics will include:


  • Adding Value: Automation, Assembly and Packaging
  • Molding Specialty Materials (LSR, bioplastics, metals/ceramics)
  • Tooling (including components and hot runners)
  • Additive Manufacturing (should molders add additive manufacturing; how will it compete with molding)
  • Market Specific Advances/Trends in Medical, Automotive, Electronics and More
  • Auxiliary Equipment Advances


Save the date, propose a paper and start planning for Molding 2016!  

Don't Be Left Out: Register for Extrusion Conference 2015

By: James Callari 7. October 2015


The thing with most successful companies is that they get involved.  This is no different among plastics processors. They stay on top of new technology by reading publications like this, by attending trade shows like NPE, K, Chinaplas, and others. They send their people out for training wherever possible…or develop the tools themselves.


And they attend conferences.


A quick look at the processors who have registered for Extrusion 2015 reveals a veritable who’s who in film/sheet; pipe/profile/tubing; and compounding. Companies like Toray, Placon, RJ Reynolds, Zip-Pak, Sonoco, Printpack, 3M,  Dart, Scholle, Klockner Pentaplast, Raven Industries, Ethicon, Triad Polymers, Asahi Kasei Plastics, North Star Windows, Johns Manville, Apeldoorn Flexible Packaging B.V, Charlotte Pipe, A. Schulman, and lots more.


At the end of Plastics Technology’s two-day conference, to be held Nov. 2-3 at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. , these and other companies will hear presentations from experts in virtually every aspect of extrusion, and will come away armed with tips, techniques and best practices that could possibly help make their companies more efficient and competitive.


Put yourself on equal footing by registering to attend this landmark event. Mingle with the more 60 speakers who will be presenting technical papers, and the 40 companies who will be exhibiting.


Download complete agenda details. Check out all of the companies that are exhibiting.  In terms of registration, click here to see the pricing details (the Early Bird discount has expired). We also have special pricing if your company is thinking of sending more than three people. Ready to register? Click here and begin that process.


In terms of accommodations, while the Omni is the show hotel, but it is sold out. As a result, we have negotiated a similar discounted rate with the Aloft Charlotte, which is nearby.

Don’t be left out.

Shiny New Hot-Runner Plant Is High Tech Showplace

By: Matthew H. Naitove 7. October 2015

Palletized manifold production.


Over 200 guests at the official opening of HRSflow North America, the newest manufacturing location of the Italian hot-runner firm, were treated to a two-hour tour of the spanking new facility, whose 40,000 ft2 house CAD/CAE design capabilities, six CNC machining centers, a quality-control lab, and a 1000-ton injection press for mold trials (see Starting Up). John Blundy, president of the operation, says, “It’s the most modern, innovative plant in North America for producing hot runners.” Blundy is a 40-year veteran in the injection molding business, including 15 years at Incoe.


Robot unloading nozzles from lathe.


On the manufacturing floor are three CNC milling systems and three lathes, including a palletized system that can run load up to seven manifolds to run “lights out.” One lathe can run for two days unattended, thanks to an automatic bar-stock loader, auto tool changer, and six-axis robot that removes finished nozzles and places them in a storage rack. Finished components are stored in a Modula automatic storage/retrieval system. Upon entry of a job’s barcode, the system picks all the components for an assembly and packs them in a box. Assemblers work from 3D CAD models on a screen in this paperless plant. A new step in final assembly is a 3D scan of the assembled system with a handheld laser scanner; any interferences or variations from print are displayed in color on a screen. The final quality check is a warm-up to confirm that heaters and thermocouples are functioning properly, as well as cycling the valve cylinders and performing a vacuum test to check that the manifold is airtight.

Paperless production system.


The new plant’s metrology lab has a touch CMM system to perform 100% inspection of all system components, automated via barcode, something that’s not common in the industry, according to plant manager Andrea Zigante.

Laser scan of final assemblies.


Design capabilities at the new plant include CAD systems, Ansys engineering analysis, and mold simulation via Autodesk Moldflow and Moldex 3D software, including ability to analyze warpage, fiber orientation, coinjection, and injection-compression. HRSflow also performs thermal and pressure-drop analyses on all new system models. In addition, HRSflow created its own mathematical models to predict color-change phenomena. For example, simulation of interior door panels guided system design to permit a predicted change from black to gray in 9-10 shots and from gray to black in five shots.

1000-ton injection press for mold trials.


Other software tools include tooling standards that ensure that designers incorporate, for example, hydraulic components for a mold that are compatible with the type of injection press it will run on. And once a system is in the field, HRSflow technicians have access to new web-based troubleshooting software available 24/7/365.

Up Close And Personal With Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer Robot

By: Heather Caliendo 6. October 2015


Without fail, whenever there are robots in a booth at a trade show, people are going to stop and stare. And that was no exception at the Rethink Robotics booth at the recent Pack Expo Las Vegas. During the show, Rethink Robots showcased both its Baxter and Sawyer robots. 


Baxter, the company’s category-creating first product robot, can be used for injection molding. For instance, Crescent Industries uses Baxter to work alongside Crescent team members on the company’s injection molding press. Baxter shifts quickly between parts and products and ensures that feeding and unloading the press remains on schedule. By engaging Baxter to load and unload the injection molding press, Crescent Industries plans to shift its employees to more complex jobs and supervisory roles, which helps to improve efficiency in other areas. 


At the show, Rethink Robotics announced that its collaborative robot Sawyer is now available for purchase. Weighing about 19 kg (42 lb), Sawyer features seven degrees of ‘freedom’ with a 1260 mm meter reach that can maneuver into the tight spaces and varied alignments of work cells designed for humans. Its compliant motion control allows it to “feel” its way into fixtures or machines, even when the position varies slightly.  According to Rethink Robotics, this enables the company’s adaptive repeatability that is reportedly unique in the robotics industry and allows Sawyer to work precisely (+/- .1 mm) in semi-structured environments, while operating safely next to human co-workers. Rethink says that Sawyer starts with a base price of $29,000.


Like Baxter, Sawyer is powered by the software platform, Intera. It features the same iconic “face” screen (with a refreshed and even more expressive design) that helps it communicate with co-workers, along with the train-by-demonstration user interface. Sawyer runs on the same version of Intera as Baxter, and will continue to evolve and improve with regular upgrades. Sawyer is designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing and other precise tasks that have historically been impractical to automate.


I took some video of Sawyer working with packaging during Pack Expo–take a look!


Global Fiberglass Market Study Projects Continued Growth

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 5. October 2015


A comprehensive examination of the global fiberglass market—where it’s at and where it’s headed, is the topic of the latest report from India-based market research firm MarketsandMarkets (M&M). Fiberglass Market by Type (Roving, Yarns), by Application (Composites, Insulations) & by Region—Trends & Forecasts to 2020 defines and segments the fiberglass market with analysis and forecast of the market size. The report projects the global fiberglass market value to reach $15.57 billion by 2020.


M&M says the current market is largely dominated by the developed markets. Asia-Pacific and North America collectively held 78.1% of the global market share in 2015. Asia-Pacific is the dominant market globally. The growth is due to the increasing applicability of fiberglass in various industries such as building & construction. The industrial development of the region is driving upwards the demand of various composite materials used in this market sector.


Meanwhile, North America is one of the fastest-growing consumers of fiberglass—a trend that is expected to continue in the near future, Asia-Pacific is the biggest market for fiberglass, accounting for a share of about 55% of the total market size. In terms of volume, China is the highest revenue-generating market for fiberglass in Asia-Pacific. And, it appears to be the faster-growing market for fiberglass in that region. Continuous product development by the participant companies are boosting the market applications base for fiberglass, thus increasing volume consumption. Among some of the prominent players are China’s Jushi Group, U.S.’s Owens Corning, and France’s Saint-Gobain Vetrotex.


Asia-Pacific and North America are at the forefront of the global fiberglass market, with China and Japan the key markets in Asia-Pacific. China consumed more than half of the demand for fiberglass in that region followed by Japan where consumption is growing at a steady rate. Despite some production capacities present in developing countries, such as China and India, these capacities have proven to be more export-oriented than in the favor of promoting domestic growth for fiber glass. China has developed significant market share in the global fiberglass market, however the competition from carbon fiber and rock wool restricts this market growth.


The report categorizes the global fiberglass market on the basis of application—composites, insulation and others with each application  further described in detail with forecasted volumes and revenues; , type—roving and yarns; and geography—North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW. It forecasts volumes, revenues, and analyzes trends in each of the submarkets. 

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