PT Blog

New Mold Grease Smooths Operations for Troublesome Tool

Ask tooling managers to identify their “problem child” tools, and they can quickly rattle off a list of their shop’s difficult molds and each one’s particular issues. William Duffield, tool room supervisor at Erwin Quarder Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., is no different. After coming to the custom molder at the end of 2017, he sought out the company’s most headache-inducing molds as he worked to augment the company’s preventive-maintenance program.

Erwin Quarder is a full-service injection molder with 32 presses from 50 to 400 tons and just under 100 employees. A primary line of business is overmolding electronic leads for the automotive sector, and most parts are fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand small. The Michigan plant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Erwin Quarder Systemtechnik GmbH in Germany, which also has facilities in Mexico and Asia. 

Read More
New to Using Color Concentrates? Follow These Tips to Improve Results

As younger engineers and buyers enter the plastics industry, there is a need to provide the next generation with the right fundamental knowledge and awareness to produce high-quality colored plastic parts. Designers and brand owners understand the importance of choosing the right color to ensure their products stand out from the competition. Yet they often may not have enough fundamental knowledge and awareness to produce quality colored plastic parts, and turn to their processing partners for help. With a focus on highly loaded color pellet concentrates, here is a guide for processors of rigid packaging and building products on how to specify the colorant,  along with examples of how processors in these markets are using new color technologies to give their products a boost. Most of the principles discussed here generally apply to other end-use markets as well.

Choosing colors for your products is a critical part of the development cycle. Designers and processors looking for ideas or trends can use sources such as Color Marketing Group, Pantone, paint companies, magazines, and social media.

Read More
New Bioplastics Could Lead to Tougher, More Versatile Medical Implants

Based on a type of nylon, is a new bioplastic recently developed by U.K.’s University of Birmingham that is said to be tough and strong and also easy to process and shape for use in medical implants.

According to the researchers, the material’s shape memory properties enable it to be stretched and molded but able to reform into its original shape when heated. This makes it useful for medical devices such as bone replacements, where minimally invasive surgery techniques require additional flexibility in implant materials.

Read More
Custom Molder Helps Entrepreneurs Choose Optimal Colorants for Successful Product Launches

Eight-year-old product-development startup and custom injection molder Blue Ring Technologies in Davie, Fla., has helped several small to medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs flesh out their product ideas so they can be manufactured efficiently using technologies such as 3D printing, cutting-edge engineering, cost-effective tooling and injection molding. According to its young founder, Joaquin Prendes, color is a critical factor in getting new products noticed, so his team takes extra time to review color options that best match the resins being used. Two products successfully brought to market included the use of the proprietary G2 highly-loaded colorant system from Chroma Colors, McHenry, Ill.

Blue Ring’s 8000-ft2 facility is equipped with Haitian and Milacron injection presses, CNC and EDM machines, and rapid-prototyping equipment. Says Prendes,“We use 3D printing for prototypes before building the tool for molding. This allows us to both test and get an idea of the size and feel of the physical part. We offer 3D printing technologies such as FDM, SLA, and PolyJet. We select which printer to use depending on the requirements, material, tolerance, and size of the prototype to create.”

Read More
Captive Molder Seeks Bigger Footprint in Custom Business

“Man cannot live on reels alone.” Those words, spoken by Thomas Walker, president of Pittsfield Plastics Engineering, LLC (PPE), explains the captive spool and reel molder’s many initiatives over the last few years to bolster the custom side of its business. The most recent of these efforts includes the addition of a 1204-ton injection machine with a shot capacity of 155.6 oz from Absolute Haitian. (see Processor’s Edge, March 2020). But over the last five years, PPE has made a run of enhancements, both cosmetic and technical, to its plant in Pittsfield, Mass., to better position itself as a high-end custom molder.

The company started in 1968 as a mold maker but in short order branched out into injection molded spools and reels. Its founder, David Chiorgno, sold the business in 1997 to Walker and Tom Holmes, chairman and financial advisor. A large percentage of its business is still proprietary spools and reels, says CEO/CFO Bruce Dixon. These come in a wide array of styles and sizes that are sold to the wire, tape, cable, solder, textile, and other industries.

Read More