PT Blog

On Oct. 10, Euromap—the European association of plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers—published the first drafts , or “Release Candidates,” of three OPC-UA based interfaces for mold-temperature-control devices (Euromap 82.1), hot runners (Euromap 82.2), and LSR dosing systems (Euromap 82.3). The first is an update of a Release Candidate first published in February; the others are brand-new. These interfaces are intended to standardize data-exchange capabilities for different equipment manufacturers.

The first finished OPC-UA specification was Euromap 77, defining interfaces between injection molding machines and MES (manufacturing execution systems) programs. It was published last May. An expert group is working on an interface for extrusion lines—both the line as a whole and its separate individual components. First drafts are expected to be published by the end of this month. (For more details, see here.)

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Commodity resin pricing trends, perhaps particularly in fourth quarter, are always interesting. A combination of higher raw material prices for crude oil, ethane and ethylene; strong demand; and the impact of tariffs helped drive prices of PE, PS, PVC and PET upwards at the end of third quarter. PP, meanwhile, moved slightly down.

Overall projections for the remainder of the year are for flat pricing with the potential for a slight uptick in the cases of PVC, PET, and PP, according to purchasing consultants from Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi), Fort Worth, Texas; senior editors from Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW,); and CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago. Here’s a look at projections for each.

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Proper venting is essential to molding a defect-free part. Without it, air and gas are trapped in the mold, compressing and heating as the cavity fills. Ultimately, this can negatively impact the injection molding cycle in three major ways: higher risk of part defects; higher cleaning and maintenance costs; and longer cycle times.

Trapped gas is one of the most common causes of part burns and can also lead to short shots and voids; blemishes; and discernible knit lines that weaken the part.

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By: Heather Caliendo 10. October 2018

Plastics Pipe Institute Talks Recycled Plastics Use

There is a lot of coverage on the use of post-consumer plastics in packaging, but there’s another recycling market that is not widely discussed: pipe manufactured with recycled materials. 

Check out my below Q&A with Tony Radoszewski, president of the Plastics Pipe Institute, Dallas, TX, where he discusses recycled plastics in pipe applications; how recycled materials perform; and his trip to Washington, DC as part of the 2018 Plastics Fly-In.   

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It is always exciting to report on new technology, particularly when it both offers high performance and also is “kind” to the environment. Naturally, single-use food and beverage packaging advances are at the top of the heap of interest as so much of it is consumed on a daily basis and then wasted, and market demand for reusable and more easily recyclable replacement solutions is rising.

Among an increasing number of resin companies that are taking a lead in this sustainability direction, often through partnerships with new technology startups, is Austria’s Borealis (U.S. office in Port Murray, N.J.), recognized as a leader of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. The company recently announced a new strategic alliance with Bockatech, a UK early stage Greentech R&D firm and provider of its patented EcoCore technology—a new plastic molding technology for sustainable packaging.

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