Testing | 2 MINUTE READ

NPE2018 New Technology Focus: Robots Come to Materials- Testing Lab

Range of new testing machines include first-display of automated system that can run day and night.


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Tinius Olsen (W723) is showing new, scalable, fully automated robotic systems.  According to the company, automation of materials testing is now viable for plastics processors who may have thought they needed a certain production volume to move away from manual testing; they can benefit from productivity and repeatability, testing anything from packaging containers to medical drug dispensers. The company can deliver dedicated or combination systems that test tension, compression, flexion, or hardness, whatever the material or the quantity.

The company is also showcasing the newly developed streamlined design for its MP1200 melt indexer with selectable weights that reportedly makes the process of melt flow testing a lot easier and quicker. The new system provides a time-saving and safe way to configure a melt flow test. Weights are held and selected from a weight cylinder holder and are automatically delivered onto the piston in a controlled way. The user does not have to lift any weights manually and can be assured of increased throughput. The weight cylinder holder rotates away from the test area, enabling removal of the piston and ample access for cleaning.

Weight configurations based on polymer and testing standards are selected. The desired weight is chosen by simply pulling the “plate spade” from the weight cylinder holder and pressing it into the desired slot. This ensures a very safe way that requires no user handling.

Zwick USA (S29035) is introducing the Amsler HIT line of drop weight testers, which feature an energy range of a few joules up to 100,000 joules, supporting tests on specimens as well as components. Zwick is also exhibiting its complete range of plastics testing machines.

A new series of hardness testers is being launched by Mitutoyo America (S19131). The latest addition to the company’s HR-530 series of Rockwell hardness testers are the HR-530 (maximum specimen size height of 250 mm/8.46 in. and depth of 150 mm/5.91 in.) and the HR-530L (maximum specimen size height of 395 mm/15.55 in. and depth of 150 mm/5.91 in.). 

C.W Brabender (W2983) is featuring its 2016-launched Meta Torque Plasti-Corder torque rheometer, which features Allen-Bradley PLC field technology, the popular RheoLink software program, and RFID (radio frequency identification) self-recognition of attachments.

The latest addition to the MetaVue family of spectrophotometers from X-Rite Inc. (S19037), said to be the first non-contact instrument for industrial applications that combines color imaging with spectrophotometry to characterize today’s most complex materials, including plastics, is making its debut here. MetaVue VS3200 is reportedly ideal for the lab or quality-control operations and offers unmatched versatility and color accuracy for the measurement of plastic samples, liquids, powders and gels.

Konica Minolta Sensing (S10027) is featuring its 2016-launched CM-25cG compact, hand-held spectrophotometer with specialized features for automotive interiors. It has a 45ºc:0º geometry and reportedly a true high-performance 60º gloss sensor for simultaneous color and gloss measurements of automotive interior trims and materials with many “world first” features. The unit’s perfect circular optical system reportedly achieves the highest accuracy and repeatability levels, especially on textured or structured surfaces, regardless of measurement direction.

A lower-cost CT (computed tomography) scanner ($200,000 vs. $500-700,000) for measuring and inspecting plastic parts is being debuted by Werth Inc. (S30079). Said to be ideal for small-to-medium molding shops, TomoScope XS is a small  yet powerful system with features found in much larger units.

The U.K.’s Torus Measurement Systems (S10073), is doing regular demonstrations on its latest plastic packaging inspection system used extensively for dimensional and destructive testing to meet the quality demands of customers, and allow for inspection of a broad range of bottle shapes. 


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