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July 2, 2003

4 Min Read
In Process


When Western Plastics (Portland, TN) needed to free up floor space, the first targets it saw were the 24 press-side dryers and 48 gaylords cluttering the shop. The custom molder of components for the automotive, lawn, appliance, and consumer markets knew that the quickest way to clear the space would be to install a centralized material handling, drying, and conveying system.Western checked out Novatec (Baltimore, MD) and its MCS-124 multistation, PLC-controlled material handling system to address the floor space problem.

After installation, Western moved the 48 1000-lb gaylords to a central location, and the 24 drying systems, one for each press, were replaced by three main dryers that were also moved to a central location in a material mezzanine.

John Brimm, materials manager at Western, says moving the gaylords not only freed up space, but reduced manpower requirements and gave Western room to perform secondary operations and install automation.

By taking all those dryers off the shop floor, Jim Hutzel, director of operations, says routine maintenance such as replacing filters and buying spare parts was minimized, and ambient air temperatures in the shop have decreased since the dryers were removed. Pleased with the drying and conveying performance of the new system, Western has plans to add its blending operation to the central system control.

For more information on this centralized material handling system and equipment, contact Novatec at (410) 789-4811 or visit them on the Web at www.novatecusa.com.


Billed as the only polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) stock shapes with a glass load of more than 30 percent, a new line of 40 percent glass-reinforced linear PPS rods and plates were introduced to the North American market.

Produced by Ensinger-Hyde, a division of Ensinger Inc. (Summit, NJ), the rods and plates are designed for demanding applications since they have double the tensile strength and triple the flexural modulus of unfilled PPA, which is often used in comparable products.

The semifinished rods have diameters ranging from .25 to 4 inches, and the plates feature thicknesses of .25 to 2 inches. Fortron PPS 1140L0 from Ticona, a division of Celanese, is used. The line has been introduced as a lower cost alternative to pricier resins like 30 percent glass-filled polyetheretherketone (PEEK), which is priced as much as two-thirds more than Fortron.

Special extruders and tooling were developed to handle the abrasiveness of the filled material and create parts suitable for use in the aerospace, medical, electrical/electronic, food, and packaging markets.

Within these markets, Fortron PPS has been applied in surgical scissors handles, electrical insulators, housings, etching heads used for semiconductors, chain guides, pump parts, and other industrial components. For more information on Fortron PPS contact Ticona at (800) 833-4882 or visit www.ticona.com.


When a project came along recently that required two-component technology, the Rudolf Reidel GmbH & Co. KG needed the flexibility of Windsor?s retrofittable two-component system to take on the project. The part was a curved handle for a Siemens Dynapower vacuum that required a hard ABS substrate with a soft-touch TPE grip.

Using Windsor?s PlugXPress unit model WKT 1, Riedel converted a Battenfeld injection molding machine into a dual-material machine with an L-shaped configuration. A mold with valve gating was applied to manufacture the two-shot parts consisting of 220g ABS and 30g TPE.

The tool features one core puller and the overall cycle for the product is 50 seconds. Demolding the curved part proved difficult, however, and eventually necessitated a series of revolving undercuts.

For more information contact Windsor Kunststofftechnologie GmbH at +49 (6181) 900310 or visit www.windsor-gmbh.de.


With nearly 50 tons of scrap created daily, Faerch Plast, a European thermoformer of food-grade packaging, needed efficient size reduction equipment. The company processes 35,000 metric tons of material for its tray production annually, creating 1.2 billion parts with a revenue of k80 million. The company?s goal was to have one-half of all the material it processed be regrind, and it used Vecoplan machinery to achieve that standard. Faerch installed eight of Vecoplan?s One-Step units with a throughput of 500 to 800 kg/hr each and the ability to process Faerch?s 300-kg batch feedings.

Faerch wanted to automate the process as much as possible; however, the company would need to segregate the scrap from its 100 variations of resins and colors stored in the plant's 90 silos. The company positioned the granulators on a basement level below the presses and enclosed them in acoustic booths with electromagnetically operated access covers to keep noise levels at 70 to 75 dbA.

The granulators themselves work by using a knife rotor in conjunction with a feeder attached to a load-sensing ram. This monitors reduction and advances material into the cutting rotor accordingly. The granulators also feature water-cooled rotors and a bearing flange. For more information contact Vecoplan at +49 (2661) 62670 or visit www.vecoplan.com.

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