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North Carolina’s PCE gets high-end compounding line; adding RocTool line, too

North Carolina's plastics processing industry has seen rapid growth in the past decade, much of it the result of transplant carmakers who settled there and have since expanded. Population growth in the region also spurred the building and construction markets plus others which grow with a population, such as packaging.

North Carolina's plastics processing industry has seen rapid growth in the past decade, much of it the result of transplant carmakers who settled there and have since expanded. Population growth in the region also spurred the building and construction markets plus others which grow with a population, such as packaging. In synch with the growing influence of plastics processing in the region, the Polymers Center of Excellence (PCE) in Charlotte, NC, is growing rapidly, including its most recent addition: a state-of-the-art compounding line from manufacturers Automatik Plastics Machinery GmbH and Leistritz Extruders.

PCE's new compounding line from Automatik and Leistitz
PCE's new compounding line
The new compounding line at the Center includes a ZSE-50 MAXX co-rotating twin-screw extruder from Leistritz, and Automatik's Sphero 70 pelletizing line with a Centro 150 integrated water system and dryer. This isn't some lab line; it's rated at 2000 lbs/hr throughput. The system is controlled to permit PCE to perform small batch trials or longer experimental production runs. The line is augmented with Brabender loss-in-weight feeders capable of metering pellets, granules, fibers and powders.

Chartered to provide applied research, and educational/vocational assistance to the North Carolina plastics processing industry, PCE offers compounding, material testing, and injection molding capabilities. It also offers classes for introduction to plastics processes and vocational training.

In related news, MPW has learned that the PCE will be home to a new RocTool inductively-heated molding line. As explained in this article from last December, RocTool's inductive heating technology facilitates rapid heating and cooling of injection molds, which helps prevent warpage and makes for better surface appearance.

PCE plans on June 2 to hold a free event at which visitors can see that new RocTool line in production, and no doubt also will be able to check out the new compounding system. Contact [email protected] for more information on this event.

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