Trexel Inc. and Milacron enter into partnership agreement for MuCell injection molding technology


Trexel Inc., the exclusive provider of MuCell Microcellular foam injection molding technology, has recently signed a partnership agreement with Milacron that allows the company to incorporate the MuCell technology into its injection molding equipment offering.

Under the agreement, Milacron will receive the rights to resell the Trexel MuCell SCF gas dosing equipment directly to its customers under the Milacron, Feromatik, Uniloy and Mold-Masters brands while transferring the operating rights under Trexel's patents to the end user without any added fees or costs.

Trexel's partnership agreement with Milacron allows Milacron to incorporate the MuCell technology into its injection molding equipment offering.

"We are very excited for Milacron to offer their customers turnkey MuCell technology solutions," said Steve Braig, president and CEO of Trexel Inc. "Milacron, Ferromatik and Mold-Masters provide injection molding systems across all major end user markets globally. Uniloy is a leading blow molding machinery manufacturer and we look forward to partnering with them in developing blow molded automotive lightweighting solutions."

Braig explained to PlasticsToday that when Trexel began to market the MuCell process to the injection molding industry 15 years ago, the company signed several license agreements with the world's leading injection molding machinery manufacturers to provide "MuCell compatible injection molding machines." A MuCell compatible injection molding machine includes a MuCell plasticizing unit but not the MuCell gas dosing equipment. Customers need to deal (quotation, purchase order, installation, training, etc.) with the injection molding machine manufacturer and Trexel separately.

"In the last couple of years, we have expanded on these relationships and entered into a few select OEM reseller agreements with the world's leading injection molding machine manufacturers including, Arburg, Engel, JSW and KraussMaffei," Braig said. "These companies can provide a turnkey injection molding system including the Trexel MuCell gas dosing equipment directly to their customers, including the automatic transfer of the Trexel patent rights, at no additional cost to the end user. This results in greater value and convenience for the end user. Milacron is the newest Trexel partner that can provide such turnkey systems."

Bruce Catoen, Milacron's Chief Technology Officer, commented, "We believe that Milacron is uniquely capable to provide the complete melt distribution and control solution for MuCell systems. Our extensive portfolio of primary processing equipment, combined with industry leading hot runner and control systems will allow MuCell technology to expand into new and untapped markets."

The patented Trexel MuCell foaming technology involves the introduction of precisely metered quantities of atmospheric gases (nitrogen or carbon dioxide) to create a foamed part, resulting in high quality precision and engineered plastic components, while greatly reducing production costs associated with lower material consumption, shorter molding cycle times and reduced machine clamping tonnage requirements.

"Together with our partner Trexel, Milacron has proven the viability of MuCell in blow molding, co-injection, higher surface finish parts and high cavitation packaging applications," added Catoen. "The lightweighting, low tonnage, reduced warp and sink benefits of MuCell can now be exploited in markets that were previously not possible. This is a very exciting opportunity for both companies and we are extremely happy to be partnering with Trexel."

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