PT Blog

Vacuum conveying systems are often at the heart of a plastics processing operation. That’s why every second of downtime is detrimental, either for routine maintenance or as a result of equipment failure. 

With Novatec’s PumpSense, sensors are attached to the pump, constantly measuring vacuum pressure, vibration and temperature. The sensor data is collected by a data hub and is then sent via router to cloud-based servers running MachineSense Crystalball analysis software.

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Held April 24-27 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Shanghai, Chinaplas 2018 saw 180,701 attendees pass through its turnstiles with 47,900 of those hailing from 150 different countries and regions, according to show organizer Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. The show set new records for attendance—up 16.4% from last year’s event in Guangzhou—as well as exhibit space.

In terms of gross hall capacity in square meters, the NECC trails only Germany’s Hannover Exhibition Center in size globally (460,000 m2 vs 400,000 m2). Chinaplas 2018 put that larger space to use, adding 100,000-m2 (over 1 million square feet) in exhibition area compared to the most recent Chinaplas in Shanghai in 2016. The show covered a total of 340,000-m2 (3.659 million ft2). A total of 3,948 exhibitors were on hand.

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Over the past 12 months, both die and mold shops have experienced strong capacity utilization (90% and 81% respectively), according to a first quarter survey by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and Harbour Results, Inc., (HRI). In the Automotive Tooling Barometer, Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of HRI, is bullish on 2018 but sees a correction forthcoming.

“Although we believe 2018 will be a strong sourcing year for the automotive tooling market, we are seeing some indications of a return to more normal sourcing levels in the near future,” Harbour said.

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Covering not quite 14,000 square miles—about 2000 square miles bigger than the state of Maryland—the country of Taiwan had an outsized presence at NPE2018. In total, nearly 80 exhibitors in Orlando came from Taiwan, with the majority—51—located in the South Hall.

David Chien, newly appointed director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami shared statistics and technology from the island nation at a special event during the show: Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0. Chien noted that Taiwan is now the 5th largest exporter of plastics machinery to the U.S., with annual sales to the country exceeding $64 million. In 2017, Taiwan generated more than $1.9 billion in revenue from the rubber and plastics industries globally, with that figure up 12.8% compared to 2016. The Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0 event was organized by the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

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By: Heather Caliendo 16. May 2018

New 3D-Printed Airless Bicycle Tire

A new 3D-printed airless bicycle tire promises to make flat tires a thing of the past. Berlin-based 3D printing manufacturer BigRep says it printed the “world’s first” airless bicycle tire using its Pro FLEX material, a TPU-based filament.

BigRep says it successfully tested functionality on the streets of the German capital. The airless tire was a successful prototype to demonstrate the ease and speed at which flexible spare parts can be 3D printed. BigRep believes this world-first application showcases the potential of 3D printing to develop new complex geometries that cannot be achieved using traditional production methods.

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