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While RIM (reaction injection molding) holds only a sliver of the share of the polyurethanes market, Romeo RIM Inc. (www.romeorim.com) was a big winner at the recent Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Technical Conference held in Phoenix last week. It is a well-deserved industry recognition of the company’s nearly four-year development efforts.

Clare Goldsberry

October 2, 2013

2 Min Read
Romeo RIM wins Polyurethane Innovation Award

While RIM (reaction injection molding) holds only a sliver of the share of the polyurethanes market, Romeo RIM Inc. (www.romeorim.com) was a big winner at the recent Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Technical Conference held in Phoenix last week. It is a well-deserved industry recognition of the company’s nearly four-year development efforts.

Paul Condeelis, VP of business development for the Romeo, MI-based RIM and LFI molder, described the innovation as a “long-fiber injection (LFI) material system that combines structural foam polyurethane with 35% glass content using long glass fibers (up to 2 inches) to create a light-weight structural part that accommodates in-mold decoration.”

Romeo-RIM-Double_Shuttle_Press.jpg

Romeo RIM's double-shuttle press.

The result is the largest double-shuttle LFI molding system in the world. The system was developed with LFI process inventor and machinery producer KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH; materials supplier Bayer MaterialScience AG; and paint supplier Sherwin Williams Co. to produce class A LFI parts right out of the mold.

   
The development was done in two stages, Condeelis explained. “First, the material itself was developed. Due to the glass concentration, class A surface finishes were not feasible in the past,” he said. “All layers use polyurethane to ensure proper adhesion. A barrier coating layer hides the glass and also provides a smooth, class A finish.”
   
The LFI IMD system, which has been commercialized, is 90 x 76 x 28 ft and produces an 11 x 11-ft part every 15 minutes. It also has robotic in-mold painting capabilities using a seven-axis robot, and is capable of changing up to five different paint colors on the fly. The upper platen can rotate 90 degrees in 45 seconds and handle 40 tons of weight.
   
Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI, congratulated Romeo RIM on winning the 2013 Polyurethane Innovation Award. “Romeo RIM’s innovation – which is three years in the making – is an excellent example of how a company’s commitment and passion to realize a novel idea brings new technologies to the marketplace,” she said. Nearly 950 people attended the 2013 Polyurethanes Technical Conference in Phoenix, AZ (Sept. 23-25), which featured 68 technical presentations.

Romeo RIM produces a variety of RIM and LFI parts such as the RIM molding of the HELP energy absorbing bumper system for bus transit systems; a RIM DCPD Air Deflector for the heavy truck industry; an LFI fiberglass cab roof for the agriculture equipment industry; a PU solution for front and rear fascias and quarter panels for the automotive; and manufacturing-process optimization utilizing LFI of PU spa cabinets for the leisure industry.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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