PT Blog

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.”

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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.

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This is the fourth in a series of blogs based on 2019-2020 research conducted by market-research firm Mastio & Co., St. Joseph, Mo. on key markets for processors of polyethylene film. There will be 10 articles in all, two a week. The first five will offer Mastio’s analysis—based on interviews with processors conducted direct by the Missouri firm—with film processors representing the five largest PE film markets. The second batch of five will be focused on the five fast-growing PE film markets.

The first of these blogs analyzed the stretch film market. The second focused on consumer/institutional product liners. The third discussed T-shirt bags. This blog will look at the institutional can liner market, based on Mastio’s findings.

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Use This Check List to Get Your Machine Properly Installed

Buying a new or used injection molding machine is always an experience. Often there is a time crunch to get it ordered and delivered. A non-repairable breakdown, unexpected new business, a new rush job for your best client, and other circumstances can make for near panic to get a new or used machine installed and running as soon as possible.

Finding time to make a complete list of the machine specifications needed, canvasing the suppliers for what is available by your target date, and negotiating price can make almost anybody frantic. Once the order is placed, the panic subsides a bit and, unfortunately, many molders do not start planning right then for the installation. All they can think about is the price and worry about paying it off. Do not miss the opportunity to plan and prepare for the installation as this is a significant time- and money-saving opportunity. Installation is no simple task and there are a multitude of details. What are they and how do you get a handle on them before the machine arrives?

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BOPE Takes Aim at BOPP & BOPET Films

Within the last couple of years, biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPE) has emerged as a major potential contender in packaging designed for recyclability. As is the case with the longer-running trend of all-PE blown-film packaging (e.g., standup pouches), the drivers for this monomaterial option are sustainability and the circular economy. Nova Chemicals is among the companies leading in development of BOPE.

At the 2019 K show in Düsseldorf, SABIC  launched a new LLDPE for BOPE films. The company showed examples of BOPE standup pouches suitable for confectionary and snacks; frozen, fresh and dried fruit and vegetables; and packaging for personal-care products. BOPE boasts good printability, high mechanical properties and toughness, as well as very high seal integrity. SABIC’s new material also enables BOPE film to provide controlled, linear tear direction, thus making the package easy to open.

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