PT Blog

“A lot of our customers are still confused,” says Cheryl Sayer, director of engineering at Kortec. “They think it’s two-shot overmolding—sealing off on plastic instead of steel—rather than the skin and the core being injected simultaneously.”  

That simultaneous injection means there is no cycle-time penalty resulting from waiting for one injection unit to finish before the other can start, and it also doubles mold output compared to traditional two-shot molding where a substrate is molded in one cavity and then transferred to another (or the mold itself must rotate) and a second material is overmolded. “If you can co-inject,” Sayer says, “you automatically double the cavitation of a tool.”

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If anyone needs a reminder of how truly global the plastics industry is—K 2019 (October 16-23; Düsseldorf, Germany) will surely do so. The last K in 2016 recorded 3,293 exhibitors from 61 countries, attracted 232,053 trade visitors, including 71 percent from outside Germany.

As a tradition, Messe Düsseldorf invited around 80 journalists from 32 countries for the K 2019 Preview from July 1-3. During 12 press conferences held by K exhibitors over three days in Düsseldorf, there was plenty of product news.

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Held in Houston in early June, sustainability loomed large as a major theme of the seventh Global Plastic Summit (GPS2019), with nearly 300 attendees from several countries. Key panel discussions on the topic included presenters from IHS Markit and PLASTICS, the hosts of these conferences, and companies representing the industry across the chain—from resin suppliers, to processors to brands.

Examples included the keynote panel, titled Sustainability. Moderated by Lyn Tatem, v.p.  IHS Markit and publisher of IHS Chemical Week, it included: Nova Chemicals’s v.p. of PE markets Greg DeKunder; PepsiCo’s v.p. of global sustainable plastics Burgess Davis; Westfall Technik’s v.p. of procurement and sustainablitly Allison Lin; Mars PetCare’s global commercial lead for packaging Barnaby Wallace; and, ACC’s managing director Keith Christman.

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Curtain About to Rise on Extrusion 2019 Conference

One thing about being the first in the marketplace with an idea or products: imitators are sure to follow. But Plastics Technology’s annual Extrusion Conference, which launched in 2015 in Charlotte, N.C., was not only the first, but is and was the best.

This year’s event will take place Sept. 17-19 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. The agenda is all set; once again we’ll have a program packed with extrusion’s illuminati. Once more we’ll have three morning sessions devoted to “general” extrusion topics—issues like screw design, material handling, purging, coloring, size reduction, and more—that are germane to your operation regardless of what is formed in your die. And we’ll have four concurrent sessions on two afternoons that drill down to more specific kinds of extrusion: Film, Sheet, Pipe/Profile/Tubing and Compounding.

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Denmark is evidently a hotbed of innovation in robotics, and especially the burgeoning new field of collaborative robots, or cobots. U.S. injection and blow molders are already becoming familiar with lightweight, articulated-arm cobots from Universal Robots of Denmark. (See, for example, here and here.)

UR cobots are compatible with grippers from a Danish firm, OnRobot, which recently acquired another Danish maker of cobot tooling, Purple Robotics.

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