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NPE2009: Preview — Take the 'L' to elevate your company's plastics innovation

Here, and continued in our June issue, is advance notice on some of the products and services you can look forward to seeing during your visit to the NPE2009 trade show next month in Chicago. Always an outstanding event, this year’s show looks to be better than ever as it couples so much new equipment and materials with a bevy of top-notch conferences and events, including SPE’s annual Antec conference.

Here, and continued in our June issue, is advance notice on some of the products and services you can look forward to seeing during your visit to the NPE2009 trade show next month in Chicago. Always an outstanding event, this year’s show looks to be better than ever as it couples so much new equipment and materials with a bevy of top-notch conferences and events, including SPE’s annual Antec conference.



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Sadly, some processors won’t be able to attend NPE, but that is all the more reason to peer through these pages to ensure you do not miss anything.

One final note: some companies were "trading up" to new stand locations at press time; we’ve done our best to verify locations. Get elevated.

EXTRUSION

Properties increase as layers do, but material required stays the same (1)

Extrusion Dies Industries LLC is promising NPE2009 visitors an innovation in flat extrusion-die systems that makes it possible to multiply key functional layers in cast film and sheet to improve properties without increasing overall thickness or raw material content. Dubbed “microlayer” technology by EDI, the advance will reportedly allow extrusion processors and converters to increase impact strength, elongation, oxygen, moisture barrier, and other properties to improve potential applications ranging from industrial wraps to rigid and flexible barrier packaging. Utilizing the layer multiplier flat-die system it has previously promoted, which was designed and patented by The Dow Chemical Co., the flat-die system transforms sandwich structures from a standard coextrusion feedblock into a system in which one or more of the layers has been subdivided into multiple microlayers, but the thickness of the resulting coextrusion is no greater than if the original sandwich had been transferred directly from the feedblock to the extrusion die. The company says it has further adapted the layer multiplier to selectively multiply only functionally critical layers in a coextrusion, such as the barrier layers. EDI says the results in oxygen barrier, for instance, are “synergistic effects” that reduce oxygen ingress from three to five times in comparison with a conventional barrier coextrusion.

In a standard rigid barrier package container, there is a single barrier layer, while a layer-multiplier structure would have four micro-barrier layers. The amount of barrier material is the same in both structures, but the oxygen transmission rate for the single-barrier layer structure is reportedly substantially greater than for those with the four-barrier layer structure. In the same way, EDI has demonstrated similar improvements in stretch film’s tensile properties by alternating multiple layers of “performance” materials with commodity resins. Extrusion Dies Industries LLC, Booth N85007

Gauge control, air ring measure thicknesses, make adjustments

Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. will introduce a new blown-film gauge-control system at NPE2009 based on its D10 PRO automatic dual-lip air ring and a flat-gauge sensor that can measure individual layer thicknesses. This supplier of blown-, cast-, and sheet-extrusion systems says the D10 PRO uses a patented valve to redistribute cooling air supplied to the air ring to make film-gauge corrections. Macro says this makes the system efficient compared to other automatic air rings since no additional air is needed, or wasted.

The D10 PROflat system uses a flat scanning system that reads film thickness after the bubble has been collapsed, instead of a scanner rotating around the bubble’s perimeter. The system’s software was developed in collaboration with ThermoFisher Scientific and takes into account the rotation of the primary nip’s randomizer to extrapolate the precise location where the film passed through the air ring. Feedback signals allow the air ring to adjust airflow to correct the gauge. Speed is key as the flat scanner completes a full scan in seconds, as opposed to rotating systems that can take minutes. By gathering gauge data faster, quicker corrections are made and less scrap is generated. Macro Engineering & Technology Inc., Booth N71020

Feedblocks allow film structures up to nine layers


Maag Pump Systems will display its new line of dies and feedblocks at NPE2009, including the TruFlow line, with dies for film, sheet, foam, PVC siding, and double-wall constructions. Dies come in standard sizes from 8 inches to 18 ft wide (20 cm to 5.5m), with options such as automatic gauge control. The dies have TruFlow feedblocks for structures up to nine layers. Maag will also display its extrusion pumps, screen changers, and static mixers, with pumps available in four standard models for thermoplastics and two standard models for elastomers. Screen changers come in nine models from manual slide plates to continuous, self-cleaning piston-type changers. Packaged systems combining one or more of these components with controls, adapters, drives, and more are available. Maag Pump Systems, Booth N77069

D-S technologies run the gamut

Davis-Standard LLC’s NPE2009 stand will display the full spectrum of extrusion and converting technology it serves, with new offerings in controls, extruders, roll-stands; and feedscrews, barrels, and end products. New at the show will be the MACO 6500RSE control for blowmolding (an upgrade from the MACO 6500RS introduced in 2005), as well as the DS-eTPC control, which will be mounted to a 2.5-inch (60-mm) Super Blue extruder. The DS-eTPC touch-panel control system has been improved to include a coordinated one-line drive control and has new features to support customers across all product lines. An EX Express roll-stand system, which D-S says can produce sheets with hundreds of layers, will also be at the company’s stand, as well as HPE adjustable and horizontal extruders. D-S will also feature a new extrusion coating product line available in three models—300, 450, and 750 m/min.

D-S’s Converting Systems Group will be showcasing pelletizing technology recently added to its Black Clawson Converting Machinery brand, including a new air-ring pelletizer; a pelletizer retrofit design to increase capacity; a new die-plate design; and a conversion kit to double the life of the knife assembly on existing Black Clawson Converting Machinery pelletizers.

To promote its improved controls, D-S will exhibit three extruder models, including a 2.5-inch (60-mm) Super Blue with a DS-eTPC touch-panel control, an HPE-150A, and HPE-125H. The DS-eTPC replaces discrete temperature controllers, temperature indicators, pressure indicators, pressure controllers, drive operators, and drive indicators with a color touchscreen with built-in PLC.
Examples of lab equipment on display will include the Killion KLT extruder and a lab-size blown-film line. D-S says the KLT’s footprint is so small that it can fit into the trunk of a car. The blown-film line being exhibited will feature an HPE extruder, spiral mandrel die, KXP air ring, and a low-cost winder. D-S will also provide information about JMC Killion Laboratories.

D-S says a new ram stuffer feed section at NPE demonstrates the efficiencies a ram-feed extruder can have compared to a compactor or other designs. The feed section’s larger opening can better handle variations in feed materials and a more aggressive plunger-head design, which compacts the amount of material fed to the feedscrew. The company offers retrofit kits for existing ram stuffers. Davis-Standard LLC, Booth N71006

American Kuhne with new designs (2)

Going gearless, NPE exhibitor American Kuhne is offering an extruder designed to run at conventional single-screw speeds (typically 100-150 rpm) powered by a high-torque motor that eliminates the need for a gearbox. Maintenance is reduced and the unit, so says the company, offers processors a 10-15% improvement in energy efficiency. The company’s 72-mm, 33:1 L/D extruder on display is capable of running at 1500 rpm while processing polystyrene or polypropylene at output rates that are claimed to exceed a conventional 6-inch extruder. American Kuhne, Stand N65033

Extrusion tools for technical goods (3)

Extrunet, a first-time NPE exhibitor of complete extrusion lines from extruder to downstream equipment, is highlighting its ‘exflex’ tooling systems for technical extrusion markets. These are manufactured to simplify the production process and reduce component costs such as adaptors and cooling bath/vacuum tanks, says Michael Mühlgrabner, the company’s managing director. Tools are offered for single or dual strand extrusion. Approximately 65% of the tools made are for processing rigid/soft vinyl or for ABS. “We manufacture tools for all different thermoplastic materials, which are based on standardized components to ensure shortest possible changeover times as well as reduced costs when further tools are ordered,” he says. Extrunet, Booth S33048

FFS machine among W&H highlights

Processing equipment builder Windmöller & Hölscher is presenting its Topas form-fill-seal machine for free-flowing bulk products. It features a die-cutter, edge sealing, and mitered corner-sealing unit, and it can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes of product with fill weights between 5-50 kg (11-110 lb). Its compact design permits it to be mounted on rails, wheels, or on an air cushion system. Also exhibiting at the stand is BSW Machinery, which will demonstrate new solutions in woven polypropylene bags. The company’s AD proTex bags and raffia sacks made on BSW equipment offer good tear strength and moisture resistance. They can package cement, fertilizers, grains, and pet foods. Windmöller & Hölscher, Booth S32014

Cincinnati Extrusion: pipe, profile innovations (4)

Vienna, Austria-based Cincinnati Extrusion is showing a line of processing equipment including the Argos 72 parallel twin-screw extruder, Konos 50 conical twin screw, Alpha 45 single-screw machine, static screws, and profile dies. Highlighting the stand is the KryoS pipe head, a modified spiral mandrel distribution pipe head that incorporates a temperature-control cooling section prior to the die set. This reduces polymer melt temperature by as much as 25%. Lower melt temperatures lower the amount of sag at the die exit, thereby helping to form a truer, rounder pipe. KryoSys is available for pipe diameters from 110-200 mm (4-8 inches), in wall thickness up to 150 mm (6 inches). Production output is to 3500 kg/hr (7700 lb/hr). The KryoSys concept also helps reduce the cooling length of the line by up to 50%, says the company. Heat energy removed from production is utilized to preheat incoming resin. This reduces drive energy needed for the extruder. Cincinnati Extrusion, Stand S18008

Pelletizing by a new name (5)

Show visitors looking for Rieter Automatik pelletizing equipment need only look for the stand with the new company name, Automatik Plastics Machinery. There they will find the BAOLI dry-cut strand pelletizer tailored for the North American market. It is available in three basic machine sizes with operating widths of 100, 200, and 300 mm. Special cutting tools permit a throughput rate up to 3000 kg/hr for PET and PBT compounds. Also on display is the SPHERO underwater pelletizing system with a special knife-head design and optimized flow conditions within the cutting chamber for spherical pellets. It has a throughput up to 18,000 kg/hr. The DURO500 belt dryer is designed for abrasive and sensitive products. It can be used with either underwater or strand pelletizers. Automatik Plastics Machinery, Booth N81009

High polish for PET films (6)

For PET thermoforming films, processing equipment manufacturer SML is offering polishing stacks with special roll technology to ensure high-quality surfaces. The horizontal arrangement of the rolls favors film production with low stress. At higher outputs, increasing cooling capacity is provided, mainly via the middle roll. To remove as much heat as possible, special roll design is employed through a reduction in the roller shell thickness. The unit also offers special motor-driven gap adjustment, gap force and linear load measurement, drive technology to reduce chatter marks, and tempered rolls for high-heat applications. SML/Starlinger, Booth S34072

Measurement made easy (7)

Adding thin barrier and functional layers on thin pipe is increasingly necessary, but ensuring that the layers meet end-user standards is often difficult to achieve. Conventional ultrasonic measuring equipment often shows limits at about 0.2 mm. Now Inoex offers a technology that drops the measuring limit to 0.05 mm. This permits good wall-thickness control and precision during extrusion. It is an ultrasonic sensor combined with algorithms and digital measuring techniques. To date, ultrasonic measurement was based on the determination of ultrasonic transit times inside a product. Through digitalization, the complete signal can now be recorded. This is said to improve signal evaluation. Inoex, Booth N62126

Get help on cored rolls

Cooper Machine & Tool is introducing its Tapeless Cantilever Turret Winder at NPE with two fixed cantilever airshafts that require no tape to affix film to the core. Operators should have an easier time sliding empty cores on and finished rolls off, says the company. This model is for winding small-cored roll products up to 60 inches wide, 10 inches in diameter, or weighing 65 lb. The company also features a rotary cutter for cutting individual patterns during continuous inline operation. It can cut large trash bags with T-shirt or wave-cut handle tops, as well as custom patterns. Cooper Machine & Tool, Booth S14023

Handling, converting technologies displayed

Parkinson Technologies Inc. will update its primary winding and stretching machinery at NPE2009, in addition to launching a new machine in its converting product line. The company’s Dusenbery brand will offer a new machine for small-to-medium-scale converters. The machine has full PLC controls and high-speed differential slitting and rewinding for converting flexibility. The company will also highlight its patented Positran surface winding, Superflex stretching for plastics orientation, and compression roll drawing (CRD) orientation technology. Parkinson Technologies Inc., Booth N75027

A good seal is money in the bank (8)

By effectively holding vacuum, custom shaft seals can help processors increase their output and also help prevent shaft damage from abrasion, prolonging machinery life and reducing downtime. Woodex says its Meco-brand seals are available both on new equipment (factory-installed on Coperion ZSK extruders, typically used in compounding applications) and as retrofits on older equipment. The seals are available in a variety of materials for housings and wear parts so that compatibility can be achieved with most chemical environments and process temperatures from -60° to 500°F (-50° to 260°C). They can be designed elastomer-free to eliminate problems caused by aromatic hydrocarbons and other aggressive chemicals.

Many of them are designed so as to allow for fast retrofits and rebuilds without removal of screw shafts. Meco Shaft Seals division of Woodex Bearing Co., Booth S1011

NDC extends system to blown-film lines

Three years after introducing its TDi (Total Distributed Intelligence) system for online thickness measurement and control systems, NDC Infrared Engineering will extend it to blown-film processes at NPE2009. The non-nuclear FG710S infrared film sensor is mounted after the collapsers and measures the various components in barrier film structures, including nylon, EVOH, and sealant, with up to four components measured simultaneously. NDC’s GBS sensor offers thickness measurement and can be mounted directly on a rotary scanner at the bubble, or in a stationary position in the collapsing frame. Blown-film application support includes a polar profile plot for each material component being measured; a die bolt display to assist the operator in achieving flat profiles; and a layflat display to indicate finished product quality. NDC Infrared Engineering, Booth N67039

Film analysis system gauges properties

Goettfert Inc. will introduce a redesigned analysis tool for cast- and blown film that gauges optical and rheological properties. The laser distance measurement head is adjustable, and the setup can be optimized to cover a range of materials and surfaces. In addition to a simple good/bad analysis, the system has advanced functions like statistical analysis, including averaging, minimum/maximum values, and eccentricity. A multi-angle, gloss-measurement tool covers dull to high-gloss surfaces, and the intelligent calibration and continuous self diagnostics, are said to ensure the long-term stability and precision of the data. Goettfert Inc., Booth W139041

Measure ROI on trim systems

Visitors to Precision AirConvey’s stand can try a new ROI (return on investment) calculator for determining payback time on an automated trim system for film/sheet. The pneumatic conveying system manufacturer says the ROI calculator considers dozens of input parameters to compare a plant’s current operations to the same facility following a trim-system installation. Variables including the cost impact of a slitter; extruder downtime; raw material and reclaim waste; waste hauling and disposal; and other manual handling are calculated in terms of labor, time, productivity, and product quality.

To determine the ROI on an automated trim and waste handling or waste reprocessing system, the company also offers a preliminary form that can be completed online here. Precision AirConvey, Booth S56012

Precise thickness measurement minimizes material wastage

ISIS-Sentronics will debut its StraDex 80 for contactless, multilayer thickness measurement of films and coatings at NPE. A new sensor reduces the minimum measurable thickness of individual layers from 12 µm to 4 µm and at the same time increases the sample rate to a maximum of 20,000 depth scans per second with line speeds of up to 1000 m/min. The StraDex sensor enables processors not only to measure the total thickness of films and coatings, but the thickness of individual layers of complex multilayer films with high precision as well. The StraDex 80 can even cope with slightly opaque layers. ISIS-Sentronics, Booth N58074

Welex running APET at McCormick


Extruder supplier Welex says the highlight of its NPE2009 exhibit will be a 4000-lb/hr World Standard coextrusion line that will run 60-inch-wide APET sheet for fruit, vegetable, and bakery packaging. The line includes a vented 6-inch Mark III extruder with Universal barrier screw and a 2.5-inch coextruder. Each extruder utilizes a Welex gear pump, static mixer, and screen changer. On the main extruder, a PSI double-bolt continuous-hydraulic-model screen changer is used. Extruder outputs are combined in a Welex modular three-layer feedblock, and for sheet measurement, a Welex Autoflex automatic profile control die and NDC gauging system are included. An Evolution model sheet take-off with 12-, 24-, and 24-inch diameter chrome cooling rolls will finish the sheet, which will be silicone-emulsion coated in a Welex bath system. End trimming and a centerless-disc-design, dual-shaft indexing turret winder complete the line. Welex says following NPE, the line will be the fifth delivered to an existing customer.
The company will also introduce a new line of high-speed extruders at NPE, including the Welex HS300. A 3-inch 40D vented extruder equipped with a 600-hp AC drive, the system runs at 1500 rpm and has an output of more than 4000 lb/hr. Welex will also introduce the Econotruder screen interface in Chicago. Welex Inc., Booth N65000

Environmentally friendly pressure and temperature sensing (9)


Gneuss is introducing its tried-and-tested measurement technology to North America, comprising a complete line of melt-pressure and temperature sensors, including instrumentation, for plastic extrusion applications. The Gneuss NTX non-mercury series of melt pressure transducers and transmitters have no disposal limitations in terms of hazardous waste. Additional benefits are said to include excellent response, repeatability, and higher accuracy up to 0.15%. The sensors are rated to temperatures of up to 930°F. NTX series sensors are interchangeable with other brands. Another Gneuss innovation is the new DAP series heated-tip option, to reduce the risk of diaphragm damage during installation and removal. Gneuss, Booth N65039

Precise pipe diameter inspection (10)

To further enhance accuracy and repeatability while increasing measurement rates, Zumbach Electronics is introducing CSS (Calibrated Single Scan) technology for its Odac laser diameter pipe scanners. With scan rates of 2400 scans per second and beyond, each scan is identified and individually calibrated for optimum accuracy. A dedicated processor analyzes the integrity of each scan in consideration of product surface, dirt, and water droplets, and further compiles the measurements to provide minimum, maximum, and average diameter, in addition to ovality and flaw detection. Zumbach Electronics, Booth N75039

Scrap reclaim integrated with material handling, controls

The Conair Group Inc. extrusion division will display integrated materials handling and control systems, as well as new film-scrap reclaim equipment, as part of an initiative aimed at improving productivity and profitability in extrusion lines. The company one year ago began to expand its offerings for extruders. The fruits of that labor will be on display in Chicago in the form of what Conair calls three new “productivity and profitability solutions.” These include the TrueWeigh extrusion control, TrueBlend EXT gravimetric extrusion control blender, and the ScrapSaver inline extrusion scrap reclaim system. The TrueWeigh extrusion control is a gravimetric system for monolayer and coextrusion lines that uses control logic to maintain dimensions and weight-per-length regardless of changes in raw materials, bulk densities, ambient conditions, or processing variables. The TrueBlend EXT combines blender operation with the TrueWeigh gravimetric extrusion control technology to reduce overall system cost and give operators single-point access to control extruded product. Conair’s ScrapSaver is an integrated system that reportedly delivers material, including up to 25% film-scrap regrind, to the extruder without hang-ups, surging, or clumping. The Conair Group Inc., Booth S42031

COMPOUNDING/MIXING

Mixer helps nano dispersion (11)

For production of polymer nano-composites, Draiswerke offers its Gelimat thermo-kinetic mixer/compounders for good dispersion and distribution throughout a polymer matrix. Because small amounts (typically 2-4%) of these nano-additives (such as clays, graphite, silver, carbon nanotubes, and micronized precious metals) are used, good overall dispersion can prove difficult.
When material enters the compounding chamber on this machine, it is subjected to intensive mixing action. Friction causes the temperature to rise and rapidly compound the material to a pre-determined condition. High agitator speeds convert the kinetic energy into thermal energy, which then melts the polymer. Draiswerke, Booth N62136

Small size still gives high output (12)

The newest addition to Farrel’s CP series II compounder line, CP125, provides small-scale production yet utilizes the same extrusion and frame design of the full-size industrial units. CP125 is suited for lab, pilot plant, or small-scale production. It has a nominal output of 80-150 kg/hr. It can process polyolefin-based compounds with high mineral filler content, additives, color masterbatches, and polymer-elastomer blends, as well as applications that require high-intensity mixing at low processing temperatures. The counter-rotating, non-intermeshing rotors permit fast color changes. The rotor’s geometry allows high fill levels and gives good temperature control. Farrel, Booth N67006

Twin-screw technology highlights Leistritz stand (13)

Processors interested in twin-screw extrusion technology will find a number of offerings at the American Leistritz booth. The company has planned live demonstrations with its Nano-16 extruder processing microbatches of just 20g and 100g. The unit has segmented screws and barrels and a control/data acquisition package with a torque-sensor load cell integrated into the drive train. It replicates operations of larger scale equipment with a free volume of only 0.9 cc/diameter.

Also there is the ZSE-40 MAXX extruder, being presented for the first time in North America. It combines high speed and volume with increased torque. It features a 1.66 OD/ID ratio and an asymmetrical splined screw-shaft design for good power transmission. The company is also offering NPE attendees, in a mini-theater area at its stand, a twin-screw extrusion tutorial. American Leistritz, Booth N77046

Entek brings machines, expertise to Chicago

Entek Machinery Inc. will highlight machinery, parts, and application solutions at NPE2009. On the machinery side, Entek will bring an E-MAX 27-mm twin-screw extruder to NPE. Sized appropriately for lab compounding or low-volume production, the E-27 features a co-rotating twin-screw design and is one of six sizes available. The company will also highlight the Entek Plus spare parts/services business it launched in January 2009, promoting Entek’s processing knowledge and wear-parts technology, with Entek Plus representatives on hand. The Extrusion Solutions display will show attendees how Entek customers are using its machinery for bioresin processing, compounding, wood/plastic compounding, and other applications. Entek Machinery Inc., Booth S71063

THERMOFORMING

Illig line up and running (14)

Thermoforming machine manufacturer Illig brings one of its RDK 90 lines to NPE, where it will be processing bowls made from APET film on a 16-cavity tool at rates of 55 cycles per minute. Visitors stopping by to see the line also can take note of the new machine control system, Thermo Line Control, that is said to offer integration of all modules of the thermoform process. See this story from the April issue of MPW for more on this. Illig, Booth 38079

BLOWMOLDING

Medical processor running lights-out blowmolder


Extrusion blowmolding machine maker Kautex says it has designed and is building the largest long-stroke machine of its type, a Model KLS14-100D. This dual-station machine will be producing 16 3-layer containers at 85-mm center distance in each station. Processors can change molds easily, reports Kautex.

Kautex also will be taking interested visitors to a local medical device processor that has harnessed a conventional shuttle line (Kautex’s Model KCC20D) into a lights-out production cell. Resin is fed in one end, and 100% fully leak tested, weighed, and capped hospital urinal containers are boxed, palletized, and discharged on the other end.

The company also wants to discuss its retrofit programs, which it says help “breath new life” into older machines with complete control system, parison die head, and extruder upgrades. Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH, Booth S42067

Expect a new line of bottle Q/A kit (15)

This supplier of process and quality management equipment for the plastic container industry will use NPE to unveil a new line of vision-based products for both PET and polyolefin bottle processors. Demonstration models will be on display at the show along with complete technical details. In addition to the new products, Agr will also display its established PETWall Profiler system, which helps processors obtain in-the-machine wall-thickness profiling for 100% of blowmolded containers produced. The version demonstrated at the show will be complete with a new camera-based inspection option for base, sidewall, and seal-surface defect detection. Agr International Inc., Booth 16154

Wheel adds news models (16)

Graham Engineering Corp. will exhibit a rotary MINIWheel blowmolding machine at NPE2009, displaying the machine’s rotary portion and a complete five-material, 6-layer extruder system and controls. Graham expanded the wheel line from only 12-station systems to include nine- and 10-station versions on the basis of customer feedback. Graham says this allows customers to run larger containers than could be accommodated on the original 12-station design. The MINIWheel is a compact version of Graham’s established wheel design, with the new iteration specifically targeting co-extruded plastic containers in high-growth areas such as flavored milk, organic drinks, coffees, teas, nutraceuticals, yogurts, and other hot-fill packages or ones that contain oxygen-sensitive food products and require a barrier.

Small enough to ship in a standard shipping container, Graham says the MINIWheel can make fiscal sense even for midsized blowmolders more accustomed to five- or six-parison, double-sided shuttle machines. The MINIWheel has all-electric drive technology and mechanical timing mechanisms for consistency and repeatability. The high-speed parison programmer uses a low-flow hydraulic power unit for the servo valve to control the die gap. The hydraulic unit typically pulls less than 1% of the total system power when the machine is in operation. Co-extrusion configurations up to six layers are possible for the metric-sized 28:1 L/D extruders and flowheads. Graham Engineering Corp., Booth S46039

Low-cost SBM options offered

Making its latest appearance at NPE is stretch blowmolding machine (SBM) manufacturer Wei Li, which is planning to show its most popular model of PET/PP SBM series, named WL-MP02. These come with heating lamps, built inside the heating zones, which are designed to heat preforms while using minimal energy consumption. With the open-top design, natural airflow can be introduced into the machine as hot air raises and cool air enters the bottom of the machine. According to Wei Li, it offers a low-cost option to single-stage injection stretch blowmolding machines. Wei Li, Booth N62041

COMPRESSION MOLDING

Dieffenbacher with LFT-D technology

Dieffenbacher offers its compression molding machinery in a number of configurations, including a new line developed to permit processing of visible components with long-fiber reinforcement in a direct process, without a subsequent application of paint. Local reinforcements with very high glass-fiber content are processed with a fiber-reinforced PP compound to lend the required rigidity and strength to structural components. The company also is offering new hydraulic presses, the Compress ECO and the Compress PLUS, as energy efficient means of forming composites. Dieffenbacher, Booth N71087

MEASUREMENT & TESTING

Trace impurity analysis gets efficiency boost (17)


Shimadzu Scientific Instruments plans to unveil the GPC-AccuSpot-AXIMA gel permeation chromatography (GPC) mass spectrometer for quick analysis of ultra-trace substances such as impurities and additives in plastics.

Until now, the steps for plastic analysis with so-called GPC-MALDI analysis required a tremendous amount of time and effort, taking up to 10 hours. The new AXIMA system accomplishes the same tasks in three hours. AXIMA’s Polymer Analysis software also calculates monomer unit molecular weight, end termini masses, polydispersity and average molecular weight.

Also from the company is its Autograph AG-X Series of testing machines to measure loads from 100N to 100 kN using a single load cell, eliminating the need for jig replacements. All necessary data can be captured in a single test while achieving precision within ±0.5 percent. Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Booth N87036

Coordinate measurement with multisensor approach (18)


The latest member of the SmartScope family of multisensor dimensional measurement systems from Optical Gaging Products is the SmartScope Flash 302, offering 300 x 300 mm of XYZ travel on a benchtop machine. The unit also features a mechanical design, with machined-in axial straightness and perpendicularity and a patented twin-Z elevating bridge for structural integrity and metrological stability. An automatic measurement routine for one part is repeatable for a batch of fixtured parts, providing throughput to support production requirements. SmartScope Flash 302 is suitable for video metrology, with a laser pointer speeding video measurements through rapid feature location. A through-the-lens (TTL) laser provides accurate, non-contact surface focus points and surface contouring, while touch probes are available for hard-to-image parts. Optical Gaging Products, Stand S1037

Cost competitive 3D measurement (19)

Micro-Vu is introducing its new Excel 650 series of multi-sensor measurement machines comprising 10 new models that accommodate large parts or multiple smaller parts for 3D measurement. The systems are said to feature rapid and accurate measurement using new optics, a substantial granite base, closed-loop motion control, and high-resolution encoders. Machines feature a large, 650 x 650-mm XY capacity and larger Z capacities of 160 mm, 250 mm, and 400 mm. The machines use a gantry stage design allowing parts to remain stationary while the XYZ movement of the sensors takes place above the parts. Micro-Vu, Booth S54017

Portable color measurement the light and easy way (20)


The MiniScan EZ portable color measurement instrument can be used on the plant floor, the production line, or outdoors to measure the reflected color of plastic products. Its ergonomic design features a rubberized handle that provides sure-handed carrying and helps eliminates user fatigue when measuring a large number of samples. The measurements can be stored in memory for printout or download to a PC. Features include a button pad for thumb-tip navigation of all functions. It weighs 2.25 lb. HunterLab, Booth N83021

Optical and contact measurement combine (21)

Carl Zeiss IMT now offers a coordinate measurement solution for the quality assurance and initial sampling of small, complex parts with its O-Inspect multisensor measuring system. Operators can alternate between optical and contact measurements without interrupting the CNC measuring run. An optical sensor is employed for small features and soft or sensitive materials, but also when part throughput is important. Large bores and contours are scanned or inspected using point-to-point measuring. Automatic or manual stylus change is possible, and the sensor also recognizes the stylus, eliminating the need for recalibration. Carl Zeiss IMT, Booth W91042

Moisture and solids analysis made easy, and faster (22)

Arizona Instrument has added to its line of moisture and solids analyzers with the Computrac MAX 4000XL, which brings a more user-friendly interface and a slew of additional features designed to offer the end user faster throughput, greater control of testing conditions, and more comprehensive test data. For example, a color screen displays separate graphs for rate of moisture evolution and total moisture evolution. Faster throughput is also possible via a forced-air cooling system that allows the instrument to cool from test temperature to idle temperature 25% faster. Arizona Instrument, Booth W137033

Tactile and tensile testing (23)

Dynamic Mechanic Thermal Spectroscopy (DMTS) is used by the Eplexor system from Gabo Qualimeter for the study of material properties of elastomers, plastics and reinforced plastics. The Eplexor system can measure forces of 25N up to 4 kN and elongations of a few microns up to 50 mm over a temperature range of -150°C up to 1500°C. Gabo will also show the Gabotack for auto-analysis of elastomers. Tacking forces down to 10 mN can be detected, while up to 50 data points per second are recorded. Gabo Qualimeter, Booth W120040

Automated measurement systems

Avid Corp. will show its new ABTIS 1000 automated bottle wall-thickness measurement system as an alternative to hand-held thickness measurement devices. The ABTIS uses an optical probe to measure wall thickness around the circumference and base of PET bottles.

Avid will also introduce the APTIS 1000 automated preform concentricity measurement system as a solution to detect bent core pins during the manufacture of lightweight PET bottle preforms. The APTIS 1000 can measure the concentricity (TIR) of 144 preforms in less than 70 minutes. Avid Corp., Booth S1031

SIZE REDUCTION/RECYCLING

Updates aplenty at Erema

Erema will present a Model 906 T plastics recycling system with new features including touchscreen controls and modifications to the cabinet and machine that improve safety and enable more efficient operation. The machine is designed for reclaiming LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, and PP in both rolls and loose materials. The company also will highlight its KAG 605 trim recycling system, also now available with an optional touchscreen. The KAG 605 is the midrange model of three offered. It is capable, depending on material, of production rates of approximately 150 lb per hour. Material can be fed directly or via a trim removal system, nip rolls, or a conveyor belt. Erema says 90 KAGs already are in use throughout North America. Erema, Booth S12162

Co-mingled regrind magnetically separated (24)

Eriez is now applying its PolyMag Process to the separation of multimaterial plastics. By including as little as 1% of the PolyMag Additive, similar to a colorant loading, a resin becomes a candidate for magnetic separation. Sequential 3D blowmolding, two-shot injection, co-extrusion, and overmolding processes frequently produce scrap made up of dissimilar plastics that need to be separated for maximum recovery efficiency and cost savings, notes Eriez. After granulating multimaterial moldings using a standard granulator, the regrind is run through a PolyMag Separator. The end result is a high percentage of resin separation in less time. Eriez, Booth S4053

Phoenix’s rPET rises for post-consumer ashes

Phoenix Technologies, sister company of Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI), will promote its LNOc PCR rPET (post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate) system at NPE2009. PTI will be responsible for global licensing of the technology, which Phoenix bills as its first commercial rPET system for the production of food-grade resin. The line, which will be operational in the second quarter of 2009, will create 10 million lb of resin/yr for use in blowmolding, injection molding, and thermoforming applications.
The LNOc process relies on Phoenix’s patented “extremely small particle size” technology. The company says smaller particles enable quicker decontamination compared to other processes and result in faster output and energy savings. The “c” in the brand name refers to the “compacted” resin that is the end result. Phoenix has teamed with Conair (Stand S42031) to build modular LNOc processing cells, including a grinder to convert rPET flake into particle-size powder; a compactor to compress the powder into pellets; and a standard resin dryer. Plastic Technologies Inc., Booth S26081

Full size-reduction range on display

Vecoplan will bring a range of size-reduction equipment to Chicago, including a VH continuous-feed horizontal model; three standard hopper-fed vertical U models; two XL models for bulky feedstock; an FF (Film & Fiber) model; and a KT model featuring the HiTorc energy-saving drive. The VH18/60 CP machine, which is designed to grind lineal scrap like PVC siding, window frame extrusions, moldings, and composite lumber, will represent machines in Vecoplan’s horizontal series at NPE. A 16-ft vibratory conveyor, which is standard on all VH models, will be installed with the shredder at NPE.

The RG32/20 U, RG42/30 U, and RG52/60 U will be shown as examples of Vecoplan’s multipurpose, vertical machines. RG42/60 XL and RG70/200 XL will give attendees hands-on experience with processing bulky feedstock, and the RG62/200 KT will display Vecoplan’s HiTorc drive. The KT reportedly reduces power consumption up to 85%, while increasing throughput by up to 100%, and offers controlled stop while eliminating gearboxes, fluid couplings, and belts. The RG52/150 K FF on hand will show off Vecoplan’s patented SureCut rotor. Vecoplan LLC, Booth N67016

Grinder and shredder on hand


Granutech-Saturn Systems Corp. will display its Roto-Grind and Saturn Shredder lines at NPE2009. The company says the systems are suitable for polypropylene purgings, rigid high-density polyethylene (HDPE), cast nylon, and thin film, as well as scrap from other fiber-based processes. The systems come in eight models and sizes ranging from 20-400 hp, with electric or hydraulic drives, and a choice of cutter options. All models feature ram-feed technology for maximum throughputs in a single-shaft single-rotor design. The Saturn shredder features a high-torque low-speed dual rotary shear design as an alternative to guillotine shears for primary size reduction. The system is available in sizes from 50-1000 hp, with direct-electric and electric-hydraulic drives. Granutech-Saturn Systems, Booth N84021

PRINTING & DECORATION

Introducing the KP Line (25)

Pad Print Machinery of Vermont debuts its new KP line of pad printers with the KP-08, which replaces the XP-08 midsize pad printer. The KP-08 prints between one and five colors with 90-mm ink cups, or can be configured as a one- or two-color machine with 130-mm cups. The KP-08 can be customized with a linear or elliptical conveyor, a rotary table, or to print 360 degrees. Standard on all pad printers from the company are fixture tables for precision printing, hermetically sealed ceramic ring ink cups for quick color and art changes, and touchpad controls that allow simple programming changes. Pad Print Machinery of Vermont, Booth N75020

Isimat’s new hybrid printing machines (26)


Isimat will showcase its new TH 8130 eight-color hybrid machine for printing of flexible tubes. The machine features Flexo printing stations and screenprinting stations, with the stations being interchangeable. The first TH 8130 will be delivered to an English tube manufacturer in October. The new RS 5480 is a five-color servo-based screenprinting machine for printing onto cosmetic jars of oval, triangular, and square shapes. The first RS 5480 will be delivered to a North American customer in May. These advances in decoration of cosmetic packaging, especially jars and flexible plastic tubes, will be new to the North American market. Isimat GmbH, Booth N62040

RESINS, COMPOUNDS & ADDITIVES

Non-halogenated PA6 compound offers lower density (27)


A new 25% glass-fiber-reinforced nylon 6 compound provides injection molders with an alternative to halogenated flame retardant (FR) formulations. Chemlon 225 GVNH has a UL 94 flammability listing of V0 at thicknesses down to 0.032 inch. (0.8 mm). Its comparative tracking index is 600V, higher than most comparable compounds with halogenated (typically brominated) FR formulations, reports the compounder. The new compound is also 14% less dense, yielding lighter parts.

Currently it is UL-recognized only in black formulations but it is expected eventually to provide a broader range of colorability than brominated FR systems and non-halogenated ones based on red phosphorus; these typically permit only dark colors. Chem Polymer/Teknor Apex, Booth W92020

The joy of soy

Anyone who keeps track of recently launched ‘sustainable’ materials will have noticed how often soybeans play a part in these developments. The United Soybean Board (USB) is at NPE to see if it can help processors develop even more such materials, or drive their interest to materials already available.

“The U.S. soybean checkoff looks for industry partners to grow demand for our product by partnering with them to research and create new soy technologies,” says Todd Allen, USB’s new uses chairman and a soybean farmer from West Memphis, AR. For instance, soy foam, first used in the Ford Mustang in 2007, now sees uses in John Deere vehicles, and other vehicles from Ford. Soy-based materials see use in shoe soles from Timberland, reaction injection molded automotive exterior applications, hybrid foam for furniture and bedding, and more. United Soybean Board, Booth W130053

Get coatings, or just coated

Whether a processor needs coatings or wants to outsource coating of its parts, Exxene says it can fit the bill. The company is a supplier of clear coatings for plastics and glass as well as an applicator of its coatings. Types of coatings offered include abrasion resistant, flexible abrasion resistant, index match abrasion resistant, tintable abrasion resistant, anti-fog coatings, hydrophilic coatings, photochromic coatings, ESD coatings, anti-static coatings, hydrophobic anti-fingerprint treatments and more, for thermoplastics including polycarbonate, nylon, and acrylic. Exxene, Booth S10638

Cereplast brings Compostables


Biobased resins supplier Cereplast will promote an extended range of its Compostables material, including Compostable 5001, designed for extruded foam applications such as thermoformed meat trays, egg cartons, and plates. The company will also display its Compostable 3000 product for blown-film applications such as liners and bags, and its Cereplast Hybrid Resins, which mix biobased materials with traditional petrochemical variations, including two injection molding grades: Hybrid 101 (high impact) and Hybrid 103 (higher melt index). Cereplast Inc., Booth W11B mpweditorial@cancom.com

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