PT Blog

The intersection of advances in additive manufacturing (AM) and thermoplastic composites technologies—a growing trend touted by industry pros—is nicely exemplified by the recent experience of The Chocolate Factory, Rotterdam, Netherlands. The company runs a network of packaging machines, with its daily throughput relying on the smooth operation of a simple, yet crucial, hook-shaped metal part that lifts wrapped chocolate bars onto a conveyor belt. A problem occurs when the part malfunctions—frequently enough that it necessitates replacement three times a month. Since each replacement part is handmade, delivery can take a month or more.

A solution from Stratasys, Minneapolis, Minn. was recently unveiled when the company announced that Dutch 3D service bureau Visual First is using the company’s FDM Nylon 12 CF carbon-filled thermoplastic—containing 35% chopped carbon fiber—to replace those hook-shaped metal parts. The ability to 3D print machinery replacement parts on-demand, in this case using the Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer, has significantly reduced machine downtime, ensuring production line continuity for the company.

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During Molding 2018 (Feb. 27-March 1; Long Beach, Calif.), a panel discussion was held centered on workforce development in the plastics industry. Specifically, how can the plastics industry collaborate and coordinate on bringing talented new people into its workforce? The panel featured Jason Holbrook, sales manager at KraussMaffei, John Berg, director of marketing at Sussex IM, Michael Engler, president at AMA Plastics, Alex Beaumont, director of business development at Beaumont, Rao Neelam, plant manager at Comar and PT’s Tony Deligio and Matt Naitove.

It was a lively panel that lasted for about an hour. If you missed the panel, we recorded the entire discussion via Facebook Live and the video is available to watch any time on our page. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/Plastics-Technology-665364476816698/

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A new scientific study addresses this question. The somewhat eye-opening answer? 10 times comes according to ESE World of The Netherlands, leader in the use of recycled plastics for the manufacture of containers for wastes and recyclables for over 30 years. The company’s advanced procedures and processes in the cleaning, additives and processing of the material enable it to make products from recycled plastics that boast the same quality as those made of virgin material.

ESE established a controlled experimental model at its production facility that enabled virgin HDPE to be reused 10 times. After each step, the material was analyzed in cooperation with external research institutions using state-of the-art methods.

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Cold pressed-in inserts can be an economical alternative to thermal or ultrasonic-installed threaded inserts for plastics processors. This application method is designed for post-mold installation where the inserts are “cold-pressed” into the plastic part.

Requiring only a simple press, they eliminate the need for any auxiliary equipment, but it’s important to consider your application’s requirements first…READ MORE.

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The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Product Design and Development Division (also known as PD3), Bethel, Conn., has created a new technical conference which will focus on plastics design for injection molding and 3D printing. “Successful Plastic Part Design”, which will take place March 6-7, 2018 in Gurnee, Ill, at the Holiday Inn Gurney Convention Center, will be headlined by two key industry pros and Plastic Technology columnists.

PD3 organized the conference in collaboration with the Society’s Chicago and Milwaukee Sections. As noted above, John Bozzelli and Michael Sepe will lead a series of in-depth sessions that will address all aspects of the design process for injection molding.

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