Get answers in Plastics Technology's Knowledge Centers.

Drying, conveying, blending/dosing, electric injection molding, sheet extrusion…if you have questions in any of these areas, we can  help you get answers. For free. On this website.

By clicking on any one of these five links, you will be brought to special sections on our website called Knowledge Centers, where you will be able to learn the ins and outs of these technologies, ask questions of experts in the field (or access frequently asked questions), see videos of equipment and systems in action, get troubleshooting tips, and learn best practices. All at the click of a mouse.

We launched these Knowledge Centers a couple of years ago, and they are the most heavily trafficked pages on our website. I think that’s because they provide processors with the kinds of practical, everyday insights from leading industry suppliers that help them run their plants better.
In the coming months, we expect to be rolling out more of these Knowledge Centers. One on feeding is in the works right now. While these Centers are sponsored, nowhere will you see the sponsoring suppliers’ spec sheets, pricing, or anything else that is marketing-oriented. That is not their purpose. They are intended to complement the rest of Plastics Technology editorial content by providing access to information dedicated to improving plastics processing, which happens to the tagline on the cover of the magazine you are holding right now.

Let me give you an example of a real-life question and answer that appears in our Plastics Drying Knowledge Center:

Q: I can understand the variable-frequency drive on the blower, but how does the output of the heater vary with it?

A: Heat consumed is a function of the temperature rise of the air and the quantity of air heated. This is shown in the equation: Q (kW) = 0.0003228 × scfm × ΔT. You can reduce the heat consumed by both reducing the air heated and reducing the temperature difference of the heated air. Typically the temperature that the air is heated to is fixed by the material. However, overcooling by using too much or too cool air in the dryer cooling system can lead to an increase in the differential temperature and higher energy consumption. The best control system controls the air flow and the cooling system to both maintain proper air flow and prevent overcooling.

And here’s a Q&A from the FAQ section of the Electric Injection Molding Knowledge Center.

Q: Will I have a problem with high pack pressure and times?

A: Newer electric machine designs have motors and drives with more power capability than ever before. While an electric machine being overmatched has become a very infrequent issue (less than 1%), there are still cases where the combination of part design and resin types can cause the injection motor to become overloaded. If there’s some question about this possibility in a given situation, machine builders, including Milacron, frequently have some alternative designs to address the issue. If you have a concern, you should share the details up front with your machine manufacturer.