PT Blog

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment, was officially unveiled at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali on Oct 29.

Signatories include companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally. They include consumer businesses such as Danone; H&M group; L’Oréal; Mars; PepsiCo; The Coca-Cola Co.; and Unilever; major packaging producers such as Amcor, as well as materials producers including Novamont, Borealis and NatureWorks. There were also members from the collection, sorting and recycling industry including SUEZ, TOMRA Systems, Loop Industries and more. 

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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. This can lead to short shots, voids, blemishes and other defects in addition to issues caused by residue buildup in vented pins.

So what do you do when conventional venting methods just don’t work?

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So far, work on formulating standard Industry4.0 interfaces between devices and computers has focused on injection molding. The first final interface based on the OPC-UA communications protocol is Euromap 77, published in May, covering data transfers between injection machines and MES computers (see prior blog). Next, Euromap, the European association of plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, published trial or “Release Candidate” versions of three parts of Euromap 82 covering mold-temperature controllers, hot runners, and LSR dosing systems (see this blog).

But this week saw publication of seven Release Candidates on extrusion. These describe the extrusion line as a whole and specific components. They define data exchanges between the components of an extrusion line and MES systems:

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In this first-of-its-kind competition held by the The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division, the winners have been announced.

The competition’s goal was to encourage students to consider a career in thermoforming by engaging them in a fun design project, according to Mark Strachan, former SPE Thermoforming Division Chair and organizer of the Student RC Car Race and Competition.

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There was a time in the not-so-distant past that many moldmakers could be their own suppliers for individual components, tasking lower-level staff with fabricating one-off metal pieces needed for new tools. These days, however, with tool rooms shorter staffed and new orders keeping the mold makers a company does have quite busy, shops are looking to source components they might have formerly machined themselves.

“When you look at what’s happening in the industry—with less and less skilled labor for moldmaking—that requires things to be more standardized so you can actually buy purchased components whereas before you would have maybe an apprentice make them,” explains Jason Murphy, president and CEO of Next Chapter Manufacturing. “Moldmakers find it more cost effective to buy these types of components vs. manufacturing them themselves, and then they can focus on other areas, like cavity inserts, as their specialty.”

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