Summer is winding down, alas, and since 2014 is not a K year, some of you can look forward to trooping off to Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastics processing in Friedrichshafen, Germany, come October. Exhibitors have started sharing information about what they will be presenting at the sold-out event, and it's no surprise that medical applications will be prominently featured, as they afford companies with an opportunity to show their technical expertise and ability to meet rigorous customer requirements. One example is machine maker Netstal (Näfels, Switzerland), which will be molding ultralight petri dishes in an 8+8 cavity mold on an Elion 3200-1000 system.
The 90-mm-diameter petri dishes will be produced on the show floor at a cycle time of less than 3.7 seconds using a mold supplied by Schöttli (Diessenhofen, Switzerland). The medical-grade polystyrene material has a mold flow rate of less than 3.5 g/10 min. In this collaborative project, process automation is achieved using a handling device supplied by Geku (Diepenau, Germany); Motan (Friedrichsdorf, Germany) is handling material preparation; and the cooling device is supplied by Single (Hochdorf, Germany).
Working with its partners, "Netstal offers turnkey solutions that meet the demands of speed, cleanliness, and cost effectiveness in the production of petri dish systems ranging from 2+2 to 16+16 cavities," explains Patrick Blessing, Head of Business Unit MED at Netstal, in a prepared statement. "We offer solutions from the granulate to packaging." Variables such as the integration of corona treatment systems, differentiated stacking heights, or tubular bag labeling can be easily accommodated without measurably affecting process speed, adds Blessing.
Nestal will be a presence throughout the show floor, demonstrating the production of a 7.3-g polypropylene container on an Elion 2800-1000 with a four-cavity mold and in-mold labeling at the Roth Werkzeugbau (Wöhlsdorf, Germany) stand and the molding of a polycarbonate bottle opener on an Elion 800-130 at the stand of Geku (Diepenau, Germany).
Fakuma returns to the Friedrichshafen Messe from Oct. 14 to 18, 2014.