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Showtime! Like good parties, leading trade shows are always something to look forward to, as they bring together a lot of fine people who share common interests. This month’s NPE will be no exception as about 1500 companies are taking the time and trouble to strut their stuff at North America’s largest plastics industry event. Let them entertain you with the new and enhanced equipment and materials they have to offer.

MPW Staff

July 16, 2009

57 Min Read
NPE Preview: Where the resin hits the road

Showtime! Like good parties, leading trade shows are always something to look forward to, as they bring together a lot of fine people who share common interests. This month’s NPE will be no exception as about 1500 companies are taking the time and trouble to strut their stuff at North America’s largest plastics industry event. Let them entertain you with the new and enhanced equipment and materials they have to offer.

Last month’s NPE preview was extrusion-heavy; this issue we’re leading off with injection molding, though there is plenty here for everyone, regardless of the process. 
 
INJECTION MOLDING

Cost-efficient automation and all-electric molding
Molders visiting the Arburg stand will be presented with six exhibits as the manufacturer highlights its performance spectrum and its competence in cost-efficient high-tech solutions. “At the NPE 2009, our focus is on the performance of the fully-electric Alldrive series, the integration of robotic systems in the field of complex production cells and also the advantages of the central Selogica control system,” says Friedrich Kanz, the manager of Arburg’s U.S. operations, describing this year’s trade fair appearance.

The servo-electrically driven axes of the Allrounder A enable simultaneous machine movements and the resulting short cycle times. Efficient servo-electric drives and the toggle-type clamping unit help limit energy use. At the NPE, the company will run a number of applications, among them a two component (thermoplastic and LSR) part on a fully electric Arburg 570 A (220 tons). An Allrounder 520 A with a clamping force of 165 tons also will be molding during the show, with both machines fitted with a vertically operating robot system, Multilift V, which the company also manufactures. The largest of the Arburg all-electric presses, an Allrounder 720 A (352 tons), only recently introduced to the market at the company’s Technology Days event, will have its first trade fair appearance at the NPE.

In addition to increased component complexity, the trend is also towards miniaturization. Arburg will also be micomolding at NPE with a hydraulic Allrounder 170 S (17 tons) running gear wheels weighing just 0.0001g on an 8-cavity mold.
Arburg, Booth S46048

Milacron maintains presence at NPE
At presstime, processing machinery manufacturer Milacron had not provided details on the contents of its stand at NPE but asserted aggressively that it intends to maintain a prominent presence at the show. The company just announced its sale to a consortium of new owners, and is working to exit Chapter 11, so it’s not as if they don’t have plenty on their plate.

“Despite the financial challenges we are all facing, one thing that has been clear is the unwavering support from the industry for Milacron,” said the company’s CEO, Dave Lawrence, about his firm’s presence at NPE. “The trend for some industry suppliers is to pull out of the show, but we feel that being there for our customers, and continuing to support the industry that has been so good to us, is the right decision.”

The company did say it will focus especially on its technologies aimed at energy and scrap reduction, sustainability, and other cost saving efforts.
Milacron, Booth S24012

Engel amps up for NPE
With each of the machines on its stand displaying power usage, Austrian injection molding machine supplier Engel will make energy a focal point in Chicago, as it hopes to “electrify” NPE2009. After introducing the two-platen duo pico machine model at Fakuma last fall with a fully hydraulic set-up, Engel will show a 500-ton model with its ecodrive technology at NPE2009, saying the drive package provides energy savings of up to 60% over a conventional fully hydraulic machine in that size range. Additionally, if a machine has on-board hydraulics like hydraulic core pull, molders won’t have to add a hydraulic power pack. The duo pico at the show will have an electric screw drive and servodriven hydraulics for the clamp, which only draw power as needed. In addition to energy savings from 45-60%, Engel says the system runs quieter.

Engel will also introduce a software feature called the Integrated Energy Calculator, which displays the energy consumption of each of those machine’s motions, including mold close, nozzle, injection, and holding pressure, among others. It then allows molders to optimize a machine’s motion profile, without impacting cycle time. Available with Engel’s newest CC 200 control system, the company says it has seen the software generate energy savings of between 15-25%.

The company has also partnered with Waldorf for a pipette molding system with integrated takeout. Run on its all-electric e-max platform, the system will boast additional energy savings through the use of an Xaloy induction-heated barrel. The cell includes takeout from a side-entry robot, as well as automated inspection.

Running what it believes will be the largest machine on the show floor, Engel will mold an automotive door panel on a 1000-ton machine using its core-back expansion process. The company is partnering with Trexel here, using that company’s MuCell microcellular foam technology to impart extreme stiffness to the part, while cutting weight. Engel says its patented platen-parallelism system, where pressure pads give a readout over the controller of the parallelism, compensates for any discrepancies to create parts that are consistent throughout.

Engel will also use a 420-ton all-electric e-motion to run a 72-cavity closure mold in a 5-second cycle. With this application, Engel wants to stress energy consumption, showing customers they can run some high-cavitation parts without less-energy-friendly hydraulic toggle systems.
Elsewhere, an all-electric e-motion combi two-component machine will mold a cell phone cover, with Engel saying it underscores its leadership in multicomponent. The company will also run a liquid silicone rubber (LSR) application in its booth, utilizing the e-max platform, while hot runner supplier Mold Masters will use an Engel machine to show off a new hot runner system.
Engel, Booth S24000

Husky highlights service, hot runners, and packaging at NPE
For injection molding machine, tool, and hot runner supplier Husky Injection Molding Systems “it all starts with the part” at NPE2009, and those parts start in the mold. On the basis of that theme, Husky will show an expanded “full-featured” range of its Altanium temperature controls. The system can control 2 to 24 zones, with full functionality, including an improved interface, portability, diagnostics, and an optional networking feature.

The company will also expand its Pronto line of hot runners to include 350, 500, 750, and 1000 models, adding a 350 model for throughputs under 50 g/sec. All sizes offer flexible plate sizes and interface position, with both hot tips and valve gates. Also in hot runner technology, the company will display the UltraSync synchronized valve-stem actuator. This allows the nozzle to get closer to the cavity and ensures all nozzles fire at the same time for more consistent parts.

On the aftermarket service side, Husky will highlight its predictive maintenance offering, called Pro-Act. The company describes the program as a series of customizable, multilevel service contracts. Introduced in early spring, the company says the offering has already generated positive response. The service area is one of three in Husky’s 16,000-ft2 booth, joined by tooling and systems.

On the machine or system side, Husky will launch a purpose-built line for closures. Called HyCAP, the system at the show will run a 72-cavity closure mold with a sub-3-second cycle. The company will also represent its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) technology, with a HyPET 300 system running a 72-cavity preform mold in less than 6-second cycles. The company says its High Performance Package (HPP) improves cycle times by 15% by making 13 total improvements to the entire cell, targeting everything from the dryer to post-mold cooling. Elsewhere at NPE2009, automation supplier CBW (S32031) will run an inmold-labeled (IML), thin-wall barrier package for salsa in a 5-6 second cycle on a Husky.
Husky Injection Molding Systems, Booth S36009

Helping slash that energy bill
Like many processing machinery manufacturers, KraussMaffei views NPE as an apt opportunity to showcase the energy-savings potential its machines offer processors. The manufacturer’s AX injection molding machine series, for example, is said to offer up to 60% greater energy efficiency and a 25% smaller footprint than comparable modern hydraulic machines. All-electric and in clamp-force sizes ranging from 50-350 tonnes, these toggle presses are called “operator friendly,” and “owner friendly,” too, with prices pushed down and delivery times short.

The AX rounds out KraussMaffei’s product portfolio, adding a lower-priced electric machine series for standard applications to the company’s lineup. The AX features a centrally lubricated, five-point toggle for the clamp and a moving platen on roller bearing guides, which it says can reduce friction up to 80% compared to a sliding-support design. The water-cooled converters are regenerative-capable, harvesting braking energy. Pick your own supplier or let KM also mount one of its own robots on a molding cell based around the AX.
KraussMaffei, Booth S36000

Jupiter visible from McCormick
Absolute Haitian will bring three machines to Chicago for NPE2009, including the U.S. introduction of its Jupiter Series two-platen hybrid. Joining the Model JU 12000/8400/j integrated machine and robot cell, will be a Mars 181-ton hybrid-electric toggle machine and a 135-ton all-electric Zhafir Venus machine. The Jupiter will mold a thick-walled laundry basket and use an energy monitor to display what Haitian calls significant energy savings, particularly during the cooling stage of the cycle. The Mars MA 1600/660 machine will also include energy monitoring and highlight its KEBA 4030 controls, while the Venus 1200 runs a high-speed application, with remote monitoring of the Sigmatek machine-control features. Zhafir is a wholly owned all-electric machine brand of Haitian International Holdings Ltd., and Absolute Haitian is the exclusive North American distributor of Haitian. The Zhafir series of all-electrics is available from 44 to 461 tons.
Absolute Haitian, Booth S50031

Mold-Masters’ “Purpose-Built” kit
Hot runner manufacturer Mold-Masters says it will take a new program of equipment to NPE, purpose built to address specific customer needs in the closure, medical, multimaterial, and PET markets. These products have been engineered to provide rapid color change and fill balance, fast molding cycles, tight pitches, low energy consumption, and high levels of reliability. All will be covered by the company’s 10-year warranty program.

“It is clear to us that the generic hot runner solution does not address the specific needs of today’s sophisticated moldmakers, molders, and OEMs,” said Jonathon Fischer, president and CEO of Mold-Masters, in an NPE preview announcement of these new hot runners. “At NPE, the industry will see how Mold-Masters has aligned and tailored their products to meet these specific customer needs and thus add more value.” He added, “With over 300 CNC machine tools across four major facilities, the company has unmatched capacity to meet aggressive deliveries regardless of the program size.”
Mold-Masters, Booth N77020

Kortec touts multilayer OPP, thinwall, and PET advances
As multilayer technology expands outside the beverage market into glass and metal can replacement for foods, Kortec Inc. hopes to display that advance at NPE2009, bringing clarified oriented polypropylene (OPP), thin-wall moldings that aim to replace metal or thermoformed plastic, and multilayer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. In addition to glass or metal replacement, Kortec says its technologies can unseat existing extrusion blowmolded (EBM) or thermoformed plastic containers. Samples of all of these multilayer products will be on display at its stand, including Gamma-Clear OPP. Kortec, through an exclusive license with Ball Corp., is the worldwide distributor outside of North America for the EVOH barrier technology that is being promoted for hot-fill or retort food and beverage applications. ThinWall, which will debut at the show, is described as a high-barrier package for lightweight cups and containers.

The company will also display its mainstay multilayer PET technology, which it says is gaining industry-wide acceptance. According to Kortec, approximately 20% of the world’s installed multilayer PET bottle capacity is running its 144-cavity systems.
Kortec Inc., Booth S39084

Get that temperature under control
If that is one of your goals, then check out Thermoplay’s new Th-m6 series of temperature controllers. Key features include synchronous heating of all the zones so that no delay in the heating start of the nozzles is required. An autoslave has been added in case of TC failure so that each zone can be linked to another with similar thermal behavior, which Thermoplay says is a more accurate alternative to open loop mode. The TC includes a leakage alarm to warn of leakage from a nozzle, and “collective modification,” so that temperature settings, and all control and alarm parameters, can be modified immediately for all zones by pressing a button on the panel.
Thermoplay, Booth 75056

Global LSR molding services
Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molder Silcotech has processing facilities in Canada, Switzerland, Spain, China, Bulgaria, and India, and hopes at NPE to meet new customers. It also offers moldmaking services. Industries it supplies include medical, automotive, household appliances, mobile, sanitary, and electronic.

The company offers two-shot capability (silicone on plastic or silicone on silicone) to open design possibilities and help limit defects, labor and costs.
Silcotech, Booth 62034

LSR moldmaker makes NPE debut
One of the ‘newbies’ at NPE is Austrian moldmaker Rico (full name is Rico elastomere projecting GmbH), which hopes to dazzle attendees with its moldmaking skills for processing of two-component parts of thermoplastics and liquid silicone rubber (LSR), a field in which the firm claims to be one of the pioneers and in which it has worked since its founding in 1994. The company also makes molds suitable for two-shot injection molding of LSR with metal, LSR + LSR, and even thermoplastics plus LSR plus metal inserts.

Claims Gerhard Kornfelder, one of the three directors at Rico, “Rico has built up a huge knowledge base relating to hard-soft composites during the last years. We know exactly how materials behave and adhere to one another. Machines, molds, and materials have to be matched as closely as possible. No weak points should appear in this triad.” He adds that the company has noticed increasing interest from North America, prompting its decision to exhibit at NPE this year.
Rico, Booth W128040

Boy’s ‘ultra compact’ machines
Injection molding machine manufacturer Boy is getting very small with its newest range of presses, the XS, available initially with 10 tonnes of clamp force in both standard and vertical configurations.

The new machines take up just 0.81m2 of floorspace (0.63m2 for XS V vertical model). “The Boy XS…incorporates all of the features of our larger machines, but is even more compact,” says Alfred Schiffer, managing partner at the company. The machines come equipped with a 12-mm plasticizing unit and Boy’s Procan Alpha control. According to Boy, the machine’s design makes it most suitable for single-cavity parts processing up to a shot volume of 8.0 cc.
Boy Machines Inc., Booth S50054

Opening the door to Janus
Negri Bossi is introducing to the market its Janus series of hybrid injection molding machinery, with a VJ320-2100 Janus machine to be in operation at NPE, according to Bill Duff, national sales manager for Negri Bossi USA. The company already offers hydraulic, hybrid, and full electric presses, but says this new series combines the best of both motion technologies. Direct-drive servo-electric actuators are employed for mold clamping functions and screw rotation, and a smart pump hydraulic system is used for injection, ejector/core, and carriage phases. This combination allows the machine to have full overlap movements, while providing application flexibility through the various configurations that can be made using variable delivery smart pumps and accumulators to provide for high-speed filling of the molded part. There are no ball screws in the injection and ejector units. 

The Janus series will be offered in eight clamp sizes from 160-900 tonnes and with shot capacities from 3.8 oz to more than 225 oz.
Negri Bossi, Booth S50020

Micromolding well established at Battenfeld
Long one of the leaders in the manufacture of micromolding machinery, Wittmann Battenfeld is introducing a new generation of its Microsystem machines, with the new line offering two clamping forces, two sizes of injection units, and the addition of various modules. The new production cell will be based on the existing Microsystem 50, which will be shown at NPE2009 and offered until the next generation is available for purchase.

The company’s Microsystem 50 is well established in the micromolding world, and  Battenfeld claims its combination of pre-plasticizing, using a plasticizing screw with subsequent plunger injection, allows even the tiniest part-weights to be realized with a high degree of accuracy. Production with the Microsystem 50 offers approximately 50% shorter cycle times and energy savings that are about two-thirds that of conventional injection molding, claims the manufacturer.
Wittmann Battenfeld, Booth S42000

Ultra-precision from Sodick
Sodick Plustech slates an NPE debut for its Micro Molding Series and LSR Sil-Pro Series of injection molding machines. As with all Sodick machines, the latest additions employ its patented V-Line Processing System whereby the melt is first plasticized, then introduced to the tool using a plunger. Sodick also offers the option of a linear motor-actuated hydraulic valve with a measurable response time of as little as 2 msec on its machines to achieve solid acceleration and deceleration performance, and quick and accurate V-P switchover.
Sodick Plustech, Booth S9078

Automated hot runner analysis
Arguing that a hot runner control alone is not able to detect the sensitivity of the individual nozzles because it lacks a closed loop control, Priamus added a hot runner balancing tool to its Priamus Fill hot runner control system. This tool determines automatically the sensitivity of each nozzle. Cavity temperature sensors placed in the cavity check how the flow behavior of the melt changes when the individual nozzle temperatures have changed by a certain value. This analysis shows to what extent the individual nozzles can differ.

Also added to Priamus Fill has been an additional control algorithm in order to control the melt flow of the shut-off nozzles. The different flow behavior of the individual cavities is compensated by automatically adjusting the delay time to open the nozzles. As a result, sequential molding applications can be controlled, weld lines can be selectively moved, and multicavity molds can be balanced automatically. Priamus predicts it will find favor among LSR molders, for instance, as LSR processing often brings with it significant flow differences which have to be balanced.
Priamus, Booth N87010

New valve-gate controller offered
Ontario’s Mold Hotrunner Solutions Inc. introduces the Rheo-Pro CV08 mold-mounted valve-gate sequence controller, said to be compact, user friendly, and appropriate for balancing family molds and stack molds. It offers time-based control of up to eight pneumatic valve-gate circuits. Units are available with up to 64 valve control zones. As opposed to conventional standalone valve sequence controllers with air or hydraulic hoses connecting to the mold, this controller is mounted directly on the mold to minimize setup time and to eliminate the risk of plumbing errors during mold setup.

MHS also intends to introduce a new multi-tip valve-gate nozzle for micro parts and its Rheo-Pro SG-series multi-side-gate nozzle for medical parts.
Mold Hotrunner Solutions Inc., Booth S36081

Supérieur hot runner control
France’s SISE is presenting a series of injection molding process control solutions at NPE2009. Included are its World Series of single-zone hot runner control systems that are compatible with all standard U.S. mainframes, and feature user-friendly click-and-rotate control buttons plus an LED display screen. The M-Series of multizone hot runner control systems can handle between 16 and over 200 heating zones, feature an external laptop or touchscreen Windows-based interface, and can store settings. Finally, the IS Series of valve-gate control systems is capable of controlling up to 20 valve gates and up to five openings and closings per cycle. An external interface is also available, and individually triggered valve-gate movements are also possible.
SISE Plastic Control Systems, Inc., Booth W130038

Precisely monitor mold operation
The new CounterView Mold Counter helps processors proactively monitor mold activity. Using a non-resettable, mechanical, seven-digit counter to record the number of mold cycles, it relies on a sensor that detects when the mold has closed. Each mold cycle triggers the display to increase or decrease the counting mechanism based on user preference, for precise, reliable data.
It mounts easily to accommodate changeovers for different mold insert heights and has a maximum operating temperature of 250ºF. The product offers internal, external and parting-line mount options and is available in both inch and metric standards. Each D-M-E CounterView includes a unique serial number on the front face of the unit. Tied to this number is a unique URL that can be used to access a tooling database. The website (www.MoldMonitor.com) allows users to view information regarding specific tools at any time. MoldMonitor.com can be used by anyone granted access rights by the tool’s administrator.
D-M-E, Booth W103000

Add labels and gaskets in the mold
Bound for Lake Michigan’s shores is the inmold labeling/inmold gasketing injection mold developed by Austrian moldmaker ifw, which will display the mold in cooperation with molding machine manufacturer Wittmann-Battenfeld at its stand. MPW covered this technology in last month’s issue in the Processing Trends section.
ifw, Booth S42000

R&D shows off its one-stop shop
Injection- and blowmold manufacturer R&D and Leverage, the in-house design shop it has formed, will greet NPE attendees with its one-stop, full-service plastic packaging solutions capability, from conceptual designs to consumer audits, prototypes, unit tool development, and production molds. “We’ve anticipated the future of our industry and created a holistic approach to integrated, plastic packaging solutions that is unlike any other,” said Rex Luchtel, CEO of R&D.
R&D/Leverage, Booth S20089

Zahoransky scores 500th sale
German moldmaker Zahoransky recently sold its 500th injection mold with the company’s signture hydro-mechanical needle shut-off systems to an unnamed U.S. manufacturer of medical products. The first hot runner molds with hydro-mechanical drive were developed for toothbrush molding in 1996, and the technology continues to make its mark. For applications in the pharmaceutical industry, the drive can also be constructed pneumatically or with a servomotor, with an oil-free stationary mold half.

The hot runner system is driven via a hydraulic/pneumatic cylinder or a servomotor mounted to the outside of the mold, depending on the application. Mechanical drives are particularly advantageous for thin-sectioned applications, as all gates open and close simultaneously.
Zahoransky USA, Inc., Booth S18056

Fully integrated flow simulation
Vero USA is releasing the latest iteration of its injection molding simulation software—Visi Flow 17—at NPE. The package features full integration with surface and solid modeling tools, comprehensive two- to five-axis machining strategies with high-speed routines, two- and four-axis EDM, and a mold-design package. Visi Flow 17 uses a patented hexahedral hybrid mesh technology to provide accurate results at extremely fast speeds, while it also has a powerful CAD capability that makes evaluating design changes easier and faster. Model preparation and analysis time have been reduced to minutes, and simulation of gas-assist, sequential, and co-injection molding is also now possible.
Vero USA, Booth W133047

Schottli showcases 96-cavity mold
Mold manufacturer Schottli AG will showcase its expertise with a 96-cavity injection mold for the production of “X-Light” screw caps that weigh only 1g, 40% less than comparable caps. The mold will be running at Demag Sumitomo’s stand (S50000). Production cycles were reduced by 25% to 3 seconds, and the X-Light meets requirements such as cost-efficiency and low material consumption.
Schottli AG, Booth S1024

Increase productivity, reduce waste

The new BHP shut-off nozzle from Herzog AG was developed as a power-actuated bolt nozzle with a single, large melt channel that provides an advantage when processing shear-sensitive materials, because no material degradation will occur due to the fact that shear stress is eliminated inside the nozzle. This will reduce the amount of scrap and wasted productivity. The BHP’s controllable, secure shut-off functionality reduces cycle times, particularly in combination with hot runner systems.
Herzog AG, Booth S23028

Keeps molds in their place
Burger & Brown Engineering will feature its new Smartline Mold Carrier and Alignment System, designed to support the center section of stack molds and heavy single-face molds through a system of rollers and tiebar saddles mounted atop a greaseless roller housing. The roller surfaces provide a stable base for repeatable alignment during the molding process. In addition to the standard rollers and saddles, spacer blocks, sleds, quick-change keyways, and associated parts are made to order for each application, with press size, mold size, cooling water lines location, and more taken into consideration when designing each system. Smartline means a clean molding environment and reduced maintenance costs.
Burger & Brown Engineering, Booth N85048

Plastisud opens North American site
Just before the show, Plastisud (Castelnaudary, France), a moldmaker for packaging and medical applications, announced the opening of its new technical sales and service office, Plastisud Americas, located in Burlington, ON, near Toronto. Nick Lewis, a veteran in the injection and blowmold business in North America and Europe for more than 15 years, manages the new office. Plastisud specializes in high- cavitation molds, including stack molds, and molds for IML.
Plastisud, Booth W129038

StackTeck’s prowess on display
StackTeck will provide information on its latest innovations in injection molds for the thin-wall packaging, caps and closures, consumer disposable, medical packaging, and electronics application markets. Featured will be the company’s new patent-pending TRIM technology, a system dedicated for IML projects (more on TRIM in our January 2009 issue, page 16). The IML pilot cell is available for customers’ projects and will include a Netstal SynErgy 3500 machine and a CBW IML robot that can be configured for all different types of IML parts.
StackTeck, Booth S54049

New mold polishing products
Boride now offers its mold polishing products in fine grits, with the Polisher’s Choice stone now available in 900 and 1200 grits. The AO, an all-around aluminum oxide stone, comes in 800, 1000, and 1200 grits. The AS-9 is engineered for hand stoning EDM scale surfaces, and is now available in 800, 1000, and 1200 grits.
Boride Engineered Abrasives, Booth W99014

MoldMAX V reduces scrap, time
New is MoldMAX V, a copper nickel silicon chromium alloy with an average hardness of 28 HRC and thermal conductivity approximately four-five times greater than P20 tool steel, according to the supplier. Typical applications for MoldMAX V include cores and cavities of injection and blow molds, application for which the firm says it meets customers’ needs to reduce both material scrap and machining time.
Brush Wellman, Booth W130032

Add it up with PX5 tool steel calculator
International Mold Steel, a supplier of specialty mold and die steels, is introducing its online calculator to provide a tool steel comparison of PX5 vs. P20 or 4140. Before using the calculator, a user is directed to read the time savings available with this firm’s PX5 material on a Makino Wave Test Cut (provided by Makino). Also offered are suggestions to ensure a conservative estimate of total machining savings, helping mold shops determine production savings.
International Mold Steel, Booth S8060

Mold, part estimation simplified
Transcat Kunstsofftechnik, a supplier of injection molds and mold-and-die manufacturing cost-calculation software, is offering Version 5.1.15 of its CalCard cost-estimating software. The company says this newest version makes estimating even the most complex molds easy and accurate through its analytical approach, which does not depend on empirical data but calculates every case from scratch. CalCard’s latest version also provides a 3D model of the part to be manufactured as a basis for the calculation. It also analyzes the geometries and makes mold layout recommendations.
Transcat, Booth W104009

GRZ grippers grab tiniest parts
This supplier of modular end-of-arm tooling components will introduce its GRZ family of grippers for handling parts from very small to those that are heavy and bulky. The line includes Mini and Micro GRZ Grippers, including the Micro GRZ 10-6 that weighs just 8g. The new Mini GRZ 10-8C comes with a built-in sensor and weighs only 14g. SAS GRZ 20-22 and GRZ 20-22C are larger grippers for heavier parts.
SAS Automation, Booth N67063

Accurate conveying with ease
Dynamic Conveyor will be offering new conveying solutions through its expanded line of DynaCon modular conveyors. Two box-filling systems will be introduced, the Over/Under and Inline, to allow user-defined fill rates and ensure accuracy up to 0.3 oz and smooth transfer of boxes weighing from 0-200 lb. These systems offer quick disconnects between conveyors and are automated to allow for unattended box filling by cycle count or weigh count.

The DynaCon Tumbler Separator is said to separate parts/runner combinations not possible with standard tumbler or drum separators. The new 4-inch Profile Conveyor Module is designed to meet tight space restrictions and is suited for removing parts from under presses, taking scrap into grinders or moving parts into cleanrooms.
Dynamic Conveyor, Booth S4043
   
Keeping watch on tool cutting
The TolTec Microimage Measurer from Gesswein verifies the accuracy of mold measurements during the moldmaking process while the mold is still in place on the processing machine. It eliminates the time-consuming routine of having to remove, measure, and replace the mold. The system includes a combination of 15-inch LCD high-resolution image controller and choice of 30X, 55X or 250X lenses, and allows easy changeover from tooling head to lens. It is compatible with a variety of host machines (CNC, EDM, etc.) and clamps (3R, Erowa, etc.).
Gesswein, Booth N82015

ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION

Axxess 3-axis robots extended
Sepro America LLC will display its new Axxess 7 Beam Robot, targeting presses between 20 and 80 tons with what Sepro calls high-performance capabilities at competitive pricing for 3-axis servo robots. Available for shipment since April 1, 2009, the new Axxess 7’s standard horizontal stroke is 1000 mm (38 inches) but can be extended to 2000 mm (72 inches). An 800-mm (32-inch) vertical stroke is standard, as is a demolding or strip stoke of 400 mm (16 inches). Maximum instantaneous speed is 3 m/sec for the vertical stroke, and the robot has a payload capacity of 3 kg (6.6 lb). Axxess robots allow simultaneous motion on all three axes, and a “Y-free’ function for the programmed release of the strip-axis motor, allowing free movement of the robot arm and load-free ejector tracking. In addition to the Axxess Range, Sepro visitors can view its Generation IV robots.
Sepro America LLC, Booth S46031

Swift, accurate pick-and-place
At Wittmann’s stand, molders can see the company’s latest introduction, the W710 T and W710 TS pick-and-place pneumatic robots. Fitted with telescopic Y-arms, these are designed for applications requiring minimum height clearance, and for which robot automation may not have previously been considered. Both robots include the SA7 microprocessor control with LCD display.

Wittmann emphasizes these are not limited to applications with low height clearance. The pneumatic telescopic Y-axis provides strokes of either 800 or 1000 mm. The fixed kick stroke on the pneumatic X-axis prevents collision with the hopper or other components on the injection molding machine. The motor driven Z-axis is available with strokes of 1500 or 2000 mm.
Wittmann, Booth S42000

Dual-arm robot multiplies axes
Motoman Inc. will highlight its slim dual-arm SDA10 robot at NPE2009, with the technology using 15 axes of motion (7 axes per arm, plus a single axis for base rotation) to take on part extraction/transfer, assembly, clip insertion, machine tending, packaging, and other complex tasks that formerly could only be done by people. The company says its internally routed cables and hoses reduce interference and maintenance, while easing programming. By using an actuator-based design, the motor, encoder, reducer, and brake for each robot axis are combined in a single package Motoman says is smaller than traditional AC servomotor drives. The SDA10 robot has a 10-kg (22.1-lb) payload per arm; 1970 mm (77.6 inches) of horizontal reach; and 1440 mm (56.7 inches) of vertical reach per arm. Repeatability measures ±0.1 mm (0.004 inch).
Motoman Inc., Booth S18093

Sytrama robot line extended
Sytrama has redesigned its G Series robots to suit smaller injection molding machines, ranging from 40 to 300 tons—a move it feels will open up a wider range of applications. The 61-91 G series robots, which will be displayed at NPE2009 by Sytrama’s North and Latin American distributor, Dri-Air Industries Inc. (East Windsor, CT), feature a strip forward design that is said to prevent interference of the strip stroke with a machine’s hoppers, feeders, and blenders. The strip forward design ranges up to 600 mm, increasing the variety of tools and parts the robots can work with. In terms of footprint, the robots have a beam-mounted control cabinet, reducing the amount of floorspace required. The SCP control pendant has a color touchscreen, left or right-handed operation, three-position safety switch, and built-in ready-to-use programs.

The G Series also features digital AC servos with encoders on three axes; one vacuum and one pressure circuit, each with part detection; 12 spare inputs/outputs; end-of-arm-tool quick electrical and pneumatic disconnects; pneumatic 90° flip wrist; and traverse beam with linear bearings.
Dri-Air Industries Inc., Booth S34067

EXTRUSION

Trash bag production made easy
CMD will demonstrate its 1270GDS Global Drawtape Bagmaking model as its leading system for production of drawtape-style trash bags. The 1270GDS offers production speeds of up to 183 m/min (600 ft/min), and take-off options for rolled or folded bag dispensing and now features optional print-to-seal registration for the production of printed bags or film.  The entire system is sized to fit in a conventional ocean freight container. The Global Drawtape System can be configured with the company’s Model 0330HSW Global High Speed Winder to produce drawtape-style bags on a roll, banded for retail merchandising.
CMD, Booth S12028

American Maplan’s range wide as a Kansas prairie
Extrusion equipment maker American Maplan is promoting its capabilities in pipe processing with a range of products including the SS-90 single-screw extruder for production of polyolefin pipes; the high-throughput TS100/2 counter-rotating twin-screw for vinyl pipes and profiles; RK1.25 dual PVC pipe head; PO125VSI polyolefin pipe head; the HFR2-10 quick-change PVC pipe head; the spider-design RM2-10 PVC pipe head that is said to provide enhanced physical properties and processing capabilities; and various static screw designs for both single- and twin-screw extrusion. The stand also features a sample of the largest HDPE pipe ever extruded in the U.S.
American Maplan, Booth S18008

Highly filled compounding
Austrian processing equipment maker MAS is offering what it says is a new conical co-rotating twin-screw extruder design that it claims gives advantages in compounding of highly filled resin with calcium carbonate, talcum, masterbatches, and WPC (Wood Plastic Compound), as well as for extrusion of cast sheet, and pipes and profiles. It can also be employed for a wide range of recycling applications. MAS says that the NCT’s conical design has a higher volume at the intake section and permits greater torques than cylindrical extruders. The intake volume of the extruder is significantly higher than the output volume. This gives a higher screw-fill level, which results in high throughput rates at low screw speed paired with low melt temperatures.
MAS Maschinen- und Anlagenbau Schulz, Booth S32048i

CDS presents custom downstream machinery line
This manufacturer of custom downstream profile extrusion equipment will unveil new products specially designed for the medical industry, which it says will be in the standard configuration with various options adaptable to customer needs. It meets cleanroom standards, and offers added features such as retractable reservoir maintenance access drawers for its vacuum sizing tank, to help speed cleaning and maintenance.

CDS also will be exhibiting a portion of its downstream equipment line, capable of handling standard, custom, and large profiles, pipe and tubing, and other applications.
CDS, Booth S32078

Dynisco’s complete systems for extruder lines
New production introductions from Dynisco allow it to provide complete extrusion -control solutions from pellet to finished application. Previously the company was a supplier of discrete pressure and temperature sensors and controls for extrusion. Matthew Carrara, VP, says recently Dynisco began offering complete, integrated process- and quality-control solutions. Among the new elements is the Opt-Trol system that integrates control of most extrusion lines. It offers adaptive, auto-tuned temperature, pressure, and speed control as well as differential control and process-variable trending provided on a color touchscreen operator interface. It is available for new equipment or retrofits. On the sensors and instrumentation side, Dynisco is showing its SPX-L pressure sensors. These employ a technology to reduce error brought on by conditions in and around the process. By applying algorithms to a non-linear signal, it improves linearity by up to 80%, says the company, and reduces the combined error by 25% to ±0.20% full-scale output.
Dynisco Instruments, Booth N69063

Crammer feeder upgrade for twin-screw units
Featured will be NFM’s TEM Series of co-rotating, intermeshing twin-screw extruders, which offer high torque per free volume and high screw speed—the highest of any commercially available system, claims the company. The TEM Series is adapted for use in a wide variety of compounds and processes. Highlighted for NPE will be NFM’s TEM extruder with a newly designed crammer feeder for direct feeding and compounding of low-bulk-density and non-free-flowing materials such as fluff from recycled carpet, foamed materials, and fine or odd-shaped particles.

TEM extruders’ typical compounding applications include polymer blending, color concentrate, composite alloying, and high filler loadings of up to 80%. The TEM Series is available in sizes ranging from 26-mm lab scale, to 240 mm for large-scale production.
The company also recently reinvested in its Ohio extrusion lab with new extrusion, feeding, and pelletizing systems.
NFM, Booth N77015

Increasing its machining capabilities
Officials at C.A. Picard Inc. say the company is increasing its capabilities and positioning itself for greater growth in the twin-screw extruder wear parts business.  The company manufactures screw elements, barrels, and shafts for twin-screw extruders. By next month it will have installed a new 5-axis machining center for producing twin-screw barrels in diameters greater than 300 mm with very short lead times. In addition, new production capabilities are in place for manufacturing involute spline shafts. Both of these changes are designed to decrease order lead times and improve manufacturing flexibility. This will be the first NPE in their current positions (both promoted in January 2009) for Mark Fink, president of the U.S. subsidiary of the company, and Harold Buff, sales manager.
C.A. Picard Inc., Booth N67502

Sheet line aims for global appeal
Sheet-extrusion system supplier PTi will use the international profile of NPE2009 to launch its new global offering, the Globaline. Targeting overseas markets where business is more fragmented, and smaller runs more frequent, the Globaline operates in throughputs from 300 to 1500 kg/hr, compared to traditional PTi sheet systems at upwards of 10,000 lb/hr. The system uses a 4.5-inch main extruder, and will offer sheet outputs of 1m (40 inches) and 1.5m.

Developed over the course of a year, with the initial announcement made at a PTi open house last year, as well as the 2008 Society of Plastic Engineers’ thermoforming conference, the Globaline has removed some bells and whistles for a global cost position. Providing a pre-engineered product gives it further price and delivery advantages. It’s also targeting markets in Latin America and Eastern Europe where labor costs are lower, so that for processors some manual configuration isn’t cost prohibitive. Tailored for polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate, the system also includes a package to run biopolymer polylactic acid (PLA). In particular, the system can run thin-gauge PP, which is currently a hot product due to price and density advantages. The system can be paired with a horizontal roll stand that precisely controls the die/nip gap—key for running PP.

The company will also display its Titan control system, which offers ergnonomic design, an Allen Bradley touchscreen PLC, and the ability to integrate measurement devices. In addition, alarms can be linked to a pre-recorded alert so instead of a siren a voice alert specifically states the machine’s issue. Available in English, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, the program can also send an alert page or e-mail. At the show, visitors can use the control’s process simulation software to walk through operation and set up. PTi, Booth W115032 (part of SPE thermoforming pavilion), N77056

Dryer offers patented technology
Crown Machine will unveil its Super Belt Dryer, a pellet dryer that removes water, dries, fluidizes, and classifies in one self-contained unit. Eliminating centrifugal dryers, the technology is “kind to pellets.” The system works for underwater, water-ring, and strand palletizing, with throughputs from 50 to 50,000 kg/hr. An auto-clean cycle allows rapid product changes through the use of a patented high-velocity water-stripping technology. The company promises black-to-white color changes in 15 minutes, compared to the time-consuming shutdown, disassembly, and stripping required by centrifugal systems. Crown says it is ideal for difficult to dry materials and micropellets. The unit also has a servo-controlled underwater pelletizer that precisely controls the cutting blade’s pressure on the die face. The company will also offer information on how its patent-pending rotary dryer and tapered-screw densifier can assist polymer scrap recyclers.
Crown Machine, Booth S38060

Die head for sensitive materials
Blown-film extrusion line supplier Kiefel will be part of the Brückner group’s 6500-ft2 stand in McCormick’s South hall, showcasing a film die head that handles low volumes of sensitive materials gently under conditions of low volume and pressure. The company will also display its Perfect Cool Vario and Perfect Cool Duo high-output cooling devices. Kiefel has developed these systems for large throughputs, greater bubble stability, and optimum film strength. Kiefel will also stress service at NPE2009, promoted by a new group headed by technical director Jochen Hennes that allows customers to optimize production under operating conditions. Kiefel, S21039

Low-carbon-footprint film
Saying that since environmental concerns have leapt to the forefront for the market, Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG will present a system for efficient, flexible, and environmentally friendly film production. The system will utilize a twin-screw extruder to eliminate resin pre-drying, and offer gentle resin melting and improved melt quality due to degassing ports. The TDO heat-recovery system reportedly saves up to 270 kWh of energy by reusing exhaust heat and absorbing condensate to improve film quality, while direct drives save further energy by eliminating gearboxes, flat belts, and other transmission devices. The line regenerates energy in a multiple-drive system, with water-cooled motors saving air-conditioning power and improved insulation cutting heat loss. On the recycling side, Brückner says direct flake feeding optimizes recycling by avoiding additional re-extrusion via a re-granulation plant.

Brückner positions multilayer films as a greener replacement for laminated packaging structures, saying they reduce material usage, weight, energy consumption, and material transport. The company will discuss films up to seven layers, including opaque, density-reduced barrier films; transparent BOPP barrier films with EVOH layers; and metallized ultra-high-barrier BOPP films with improved barrier values.
Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Booth S21045

Data monitoring, control combine
A simulation of its Integrator PRO, a demonstration of the DS5 (Davis-Standard Secure Service Support System), and information on the Integrator C system are part of Davis-Standard Converting Systems Group’s control demonstration during NPE2009. Integrator PRO combines line control and data monitoring, specifically targeting high-level converting in cast film, blown film, extrusion coating, solvent and aqueous coating, and drying. The NPE simulation will show several applications as well as features designed to improve line management and efficiency.

DS5 also provides remote equipment service via Internet connection, and during the show, the system will connect to a line in D-S’s Fulton, NY lab, with demos conducted each day at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Integrator C is a replacement for CMR systems, offering control and monitoring of all system functions, including improved temperature control, drives, gauge interfacing, reporting, and recipe management.
Davis-Standard, Booth N71006

Film and sheet prototype service
Need small-quantity extrusion prototypes for multilayer cast-film and sheet products? Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) will announce its ability to produce just such prototypes with a two-week turnaround, as well as a limited number of thermoforms. Available in 10- to 40-lb lots, the prototypes range up to three materials and five layers. Materials include, but are not limited to, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), and barrier polymers like ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVA) copolymer and nylon. The company will also take on biomaterials like polylactic acid (PLA). PTI believes the prototypes will be valuable to companies across the supply chain, from resin and additive manufacturers, to film and sheet producers, to converters and packagers.
Plastic Technologies Inc., Booth S26081

Inline film coating
Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG will introduce a process in Chicago where both sides of a sheet of film can be coated in one step, with the active substances landing directly on the film’s surface. The film can be further processed immediately, and the company says the quality and coating effectiveness are increased while material, energy, and storage costs are significantly reduced.

In many instances, active substances are mixed in with film granules as a batch and then extruded as a functional layer. In this process, active substances like antistatic agents must first migrate to the surface before they can be effective, consuming time and storage space.

With Weitmann & Konrad’s technology, films are coated inline with active substances applied to the surface in minimal volumes via small drops. The company says the process is non-contact and uniform. If necessary, the droplets can be applied with a smoothing-roll unit to a closed film and dried with hot air.
Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co KG, Booth 67105

RMS on blown-film lines
The theme of Addex’s NPE presentation is exactly that: raw materials savings (RMS) on blown-film lines. The company offers equipment designed to help processors achieve that goal, with its Total Control System (TCS) composed of integrated components that can be installed together or one at a time. Each component is assigned an RMS value equaling the percentage of annual raw material savings.

In order of their RMS value, the components that make up the TCS are its patented automatic and manual gauge controls; a patented DIBC (Digital Internal Bubble Cooling) control system; the Gravex continuous gravimetric blending system; and the REDI (Regular Division) die. Get the scoop on all of these at the company’s stand.
Addex, Booth N77063

Web gauge out-foxes flutter
Mahlo will introduce its DFI Beta Sensor as part of its QMS-12 web-gauging system, where DFI (Dynamic Flutter Independent) offers complete insensitivity to web flutter throughout the entire measurement gap; the smallest beta sources and high measurement performance; and fast scanning speeds with high defect detection.

Mahlo says inconsistent flatness in web, whether it’s cast, extruded, or calendered film, results in measurement errors with traditional transmission sensors like x-ray or beta gauges, with backscatter sensors sometimes even more sensitive to web movement. The new, patented DFI Beta Sensor is reportedly not affected by web flutter, passline change, ripples, sag, or edge curl, measuring accurately throughout changes in loft, density, or thickness. 

While older beta-gauge designs can use heavy absorbers on their beta detectors to reduce the effects of web position change in the measurement gap, the Mahlo DFI uses a multiple-detector technique that captures the full measurement signal regardless of where the web is within the gap. The resulting measurement is determined only by the basis weight, not by the position of the web in the measurement gap. 

Eliminating heavy absorbers or radioactive sources, Mahlo supplies its Kr85 DFI with only 260mCi or smaller sources. With the Mahlo DFI, measurement gaps can be increased without worrying about additional web movement.
Mahlo America, Booth N64009

Purging for film and sheet
Blown-film and sheet extruders can utilize a new commercial purging compound (CPC) from Neutrex that’s specifically designed to clean blown-film and sheet lines. Highlighted at NPE2009, Purgex 461 Plus is a special blend designed for cleaning extruders that are frequently purged. The product can be used in some lines without removing the screen pack, with the overall result being shorter cleaning cycles, lower purging material costs, and greater process reliability. Supplied ready-to-use, Purgex 461 Plus can handle color and/or material changes and the removal of residual contamination in the extruder, screen-pack housing, and die/manifold. In addition to removing all types of color bodies, it can also clear carbonized material and degraded resins. Purgex has also seen success in purging newer biodegradable and compostable polyethylene resins. A blend of linear low polyethylene carrier and FDA-approved non-toxic active ingredients, Purgex 461 Plus is supplied in pellets without fines and carries an operating temperature range of 250°F to 450°F (120°C to 232°C).
Neutrex Inc., Booth N67059

AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT

Conair dryer gives processors control, saves energy
A new drying system from The Conair Group promises quite a bit: it is said to help users save energy and produce good parts more efficiently. Called the EnergySmart Single-Stage (ES-1) system, it was developed for processors of PET, PC, ABS, and possibly also other plastics requiring high drying temperatures. It updates from the established two-stage EnergySmart system and applies it to a less-costly single-stage dryer which can handle resin throughputs between 400-5000 lb/hr  (182-2273 kg/hr).

Monitors help ensure air temperature, dew point and airflow are regulated so that just enough heat energy is added to the bed of material in the drying hopper to maintain an optimum temperature profile. The controls can fine-tune the airflow, temperature, and dew point to maintain a stable temperature within the hopper regardless of throughput changes or variations in material temperature or ambient conditions. “It’s like cruise control on a car,” says Jamie Jamison, product manager, dryers. “Once you’ve established the right conditions, you simply touch the control screen and Optimizer Mode takes over.”
The Conair Group Inc., Booth S42031

Efficient drying, conveying, and mixing of materials
New for materials-handling machinery manufacturer Motan at NPE2009 is its beside-the-press Luxor 50 dryer, joining sizes from 80, 120, and 160. Utilizing twin, high-capacity desiccant beds for continuous drying, the Luxor 50 and 80 models have a single blower to supply dry air for the process and regeneration circuits.  The Luxor 120 and 160 models have separate process and regeneration blowers, and all models dry in a closed loop mode for an extremely low dew point.

Motan continues to expand its beside-the-press equipment offerings, adding dosing and mixing units, with the compact, gravimetric dosing and blending unit, Minicolor G, and standalone Metro material loaders. The Minicolor can be used to add granular masterbatch and additives for injection and blowmolding, and extrusion.

Motan will also highlight its fully automatic Metrolink coupling station, which can supply up to 15 processing machines automatically with up to 16 material options, as well as its ETA drying technology, where unused heat from the drying bin is returned directly to the bin via a heat exchanger. Depending on material grade and consumption, Motan says the technology can reduce drying costs by up to 40%. For blending, the company will display its GRAVInet control and Gravicolor Gravimetric blender for throughputs up to 2000 lb/hr. The company’s IntelliBlend technology optimizes start-up conditions before a batch is made, determining the best order for all components of the set recipe. During metering, rates are updated as bulk-weight variations and material-dependent flow properties are considered.

The company is also offering a chance for attendees to get hands-on with its media kiosk where visitors can operate WEB-compatible units, such as GRAVInet, LUXORnet, and METROnet. Show goers who would rather experience a pellet’s journey to the molding machine, can put on 3D glasses and experience the trip on one of the large plasma screens in Motan’s booth. Motan, Booth S12025
 
Feeders, dryers and more from Wittmann
The eponymous manufacturer of auxiliary equipment naturally is bringing a broad range of equipment to NPE. This will include the latest generation of its Feedmax-brand material loaders. The cylindrical part of the center section of these has been slanted to offer a greater cross sectional area of the loader and thus speedier cleaning. Also, the screen is fixed to the lid and rotates out of the interior when the lid is opened, and is automatically placed in the correct position between the material inlet and vacuum outlet when the lid is closed, so that a user, if standing on the machine, does not need to handle a separate screen. When cleaning the screen the lid can be removed from the hinge and blown off with compressed air.
Wittmann, Booth S42000

ProFlex flexes again with new unit
For Schenck AccuRate, this NPE is the opportunity for it to officially add the new Model 6000 to its ProFlex C feeder line. Like others in this range, it is designed for extrusion processors and compounders. It offers feed rates up to 212 cubic feet per hour.  Its drive motor assembly and material discharge positions can be exchanged to accommodate different mounting and clustering requirements for up to eight feeders. It includes an angular-cut discharge nozzle to reduce pulsation at low speeds. Its eight-point external agitation system can be adjusted without influencing screw speed. Servicing the feeder can be done from two different sides.
Schenck AccuRate, Booth S6069

Hot metal elimination
Bunting Magnetics is unveiling a high-temperature, machine-mounted all-metal (ferrous and nonferrous) separator (MMS) that can handle temperatures up to 300°F and mounts on the throat of extruders, injection-, and blowmolders. A fast pneumatic rejection mechanism aided by precise timing results in accurate cycling and conservation of good material. The MMS is designed especially for choke-feed applications where the product is at a higher than normal temperature. It bolts directly to the in-feed of processing equipment and supports the weight of hoppers and other auxiliary equipment.
Bunting Magnetics, Booth N64010

Even better water temp control
Mokon is showing an expansion of the Hydrotherm II circulating water temperature control system for heating capacities up to 24 kW during NPE. It is now available in ratings from 208-600V, pump sizes from 0.5-3 hp, and flow rates from 15-60 gpm. The addition of the 18- and 24-kW systems provides customers with a slightly larger cabinet to allow for higher capacities, energy saving automatic high-low heat selection, additional options, and larger casters to permit easier portability. To improve serviceability, heaters can be removed from the back to allow better tool access. The overall number of fasteners has been reduced to minimize service time.
Mokon, Booth S40059

New filters for cooling water
Miller-Leaman will introduce its self-cleaning Turbo-Disc Filter, designed to remove particles and other contaminants from process cooling water used in injection molding and extrusion operations. The Turbo-Disc filter is designed for full-flow or side-stream (complete with a pump) use. The lightweight three-dimensional polypropylene disc media is available in multiple micron sizes.
The company will also introduce its Helix Filters, designed for the same purpose, and available with a polypropylene disc media (Helix HD Series) or a stainless-steel screen (Helix HS Series). The filter housings include pressure-gauge ports so a customer can monitor the differential pressure across the filter, telling him when the filter needs to be serviced. The filters are available in three sizes.
Miller-Leaman, Booth S55015

Water filters boost uptime
Tekleen Automatic Filters Inc. says it offers a cost-effective solution for problems with cooling-water filtration. Process cooling water can be contaminated with airborne dust, pollen, algae, plastic fines, and pipe scales, among other pollutants. While cooling the machinery, dirt particles can settle on warm surfaces and foul the heat exchangers, chillers, compressor heads, and pipes. This results in excessive heat increases, and product quality decreases. Tekleen filters are installed in-line and don’t interrupt the main flow, even during the 4-10 seconds rinsing time.
Tekleen Automatic Filters Inc., Booth N87027

Drop-in replacements ease work
PSI-Polymer Systems offers processors its ‘Pump Exchange Program’, an expansion of the company’s existing repair/rebuild plan for gear pumps, screen changers, and static mixers. It provides service and repair of Dynisco, MAAG, and Normag pumps. “The Pump Exchange Program takes our repair program a step further by allowing companies to send us their used gear pumps for credit toward new PSI pumps,” says Rob Martin, general manager. “Depending on the condition of the used gear pump, they can save up to 40% on the cost of a new, replacement PSI pump.”
PSI-Polymer Systems, Booth N67069

WELDING/JOINING TECHNOLOGY

Energy savings, high performance
Herrmann Ultrasonics will feature ultrasonic welding equipment it says can reduce energy costs, improve productivity, and is user-friendly and safe. With the new HiQ machine for 20, 30, and 35 kHz, customers can reduce downtime, have the flexibility of a programmable effective stroke and automatic start activation, enjoy intuitive user navigation with EasySelect and Expert mode, and realize generator output of 1200-6000W. Six modular auxiliary functions can be ordered as options, such as clamping system, pneumatic hold-down device, and shuttle table.
Herrmann Ultrasonics, Booth S54031

Sonics & Materials offers new ultrasonic assembly system
Sonics & Materials Inc. will bring its new e-Press ultrasonic welding system, complete with electric stepper motor drive and programmable parameters. This system offers welds to a depth tolerance of +/-0.0003 inch (0.08 mm). It is available at the 40-kHz frequency with 400 or 800W power and also at the 20-kHz frequency with 1200, 1700, 2200 and 3500W.
Sonics & Materials will also be demonstrating its new hand-held ultrasonic plastics welding systems that can be set to weld in digital time and/or constant-energy modes, as well as continuous-duty mode, for maximum control and versatility. The systems are available in both 20- and 40- kHz frequencies with 500W power.

Also to debut at NPE is Sonics’ new microprocessor-controlled power supply, now featuring a full-color digital touchscreen display for easy access and navigation through control and monitoring menus.
Sonics & Materials, Booth S16048

Compact laser staker joins metal to plastic
LPKF Laser & Electronics has developed a new method for fastening metal parts to plastic components called laser staking that realizes positive-locking joints between two components. A typical application is fastening printed circuit boards to plastic housings. The injection molded component usually has vertical fingers that are pushed through holes in the PCBs so that they protrude above the surface. The joining partner is a rivet head that is placed on the tip of the plastic finger. The laser beam shines through the rivet head and the finger absorbs the energy of the laser beam and heats up and is plastified. A regulated pressing force is then used to create a positive-locking join between the two parts. Almost all thermoplastics suitable for laser welding can be used.
LPKF Laser & Electronics, Booth S2040

Tight welding spot?
Extol will introduce a smaller-diameter module suited for PC board-type assembly and limited access/tight centerline staking applications at NPE2009. The company’s new 20-mm InfraStake is a smaller diameter module and joins the company’s InfraStake and InfraWeld processes. The company also offers servodriven spin welders and high-speed hot-plate welder products lines.
Extol Inc., Booth 10045

RESINS, COMPOUNDS & ADDITIVES

Axel’s new additive helps TPO stay tough
MoldWiz INT-701S, a new additive from Axel Plastics Research Laboratories Inc., meets the automotive industry’s goals for improving the scratch and mar resistance of TPO and other polyolefins, according to the supplier. This proprietary additive is the second, 100% active scratch-and-mar additive in powder or pellet form that Axel has recently developed in response to the automotive goals to resist scratching at 15 newtons of force.

Like the product introduced by the company last year (MoldWiz INT-35CPD), INT-701S has demonstrated the capacity to resist scratch whitening at up to 15.4 N when tested by ASTM D7027-05 method and 13N in Ford Five Finger testing, and scores well even when these plastics have low loadings of rubber, talc or other fillers. The supplier has evaluated MoldWiz INT-701S for its compatibility with UV stabilizers and witnessed that reflectance values meet automotive standards with no visual indication of film or droplet formation.  

Additional testing of INT-701S at loading levels ranging from 1-3% has proven that the additive has no negative impact on melt flow or cystallinity, despite demonstrating an improvement in impact resistance.
Axel Plastics Research Laboratories Inc., Booth N86042

Sabic puts focus on teaching
As part of its NPE offering, plastics supplier Sabic will host a series of 30-minute customer seminars on a range of topics, including new materials and processing techniques, healthcare, metal replacement, and sustainability. These sessions will be held in a special theater in the company’s stand.

The supplier’s NPE presence brings together its complete portfolio, from LNP’s compounds and Sabic’s polyethyelenes, to Sabic Innovative Plastics’ (the firmer GE Plastics) well-known Ultem, Valox, and other engineering thermoplastics. Among highlights will be new high-flow grades of Valox polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resins, said to offer double the flow of traditional glass-filled PBT, and new blends of polycarbonate (PC) resin that can eliminate the need for hard coating.
Sabic, Booth W123011

PolyOne charts broad market path
With a stand in the West Hall and a kiosk as part of the Emerging Technologies pavilion (also in the West Hall), PolyOne will be able to showcase a broad section of its portfolio, which includes business units for Color and Additives, Specialty Engineered Materials, PolyOne Distribution, GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers, and Geon Vinyl Compounds. New product introductions will include biopolymer compounds, BPA-free blends and bio-based TPEs, as well as information on the company’s recently announced push into the long-fiber-reinforced compounds’ market. The company’s materials see use in a range of markets, and it intends to highlight this in displays devoted to end-use markets like healthcare, consumer goods, packaging, E/E, appliances, B&C, and transportation.
PolyOne, Booth W113021

New pigment promises whiter-than-white color
Officially introduced at the European Coatings Show in March and now commercially available in North America is Glacier Frost White, a white pigment developed with what the supplier, BASF, describes as a new generation of titanium dioxide-coated synthetic mica flakes. With a bluish reflection color, Glacier Frost White creates white to black shades without a yellowish appearance.
Synthetic mica is absolutely transparent, and is free of natural impurities, such as iron oxides. Because of this, it offers better luster and brightness than traditional pigments and outstanding sparkle effects in all shade areas.
BASF, Booth W127020

Lab tests calcium carbonate concentrate formulations
Heritage Plastics will launch its Technology & Testing Laboratory for custom calcium carbonate concentrates formulations at NPE2009. Designed to improve the performance and productivity of plastics applications, the additives have been used for products like StyroCal—a line of calcium carbonate concentrates for polystyrene—that increase productivity, performance, and raw materials savings. The new lab will specializes in product enhancements and reductions in carbon footprint and costs. Testing will include tear and impact strength, top load, stiffness, and dimensional changes. Prior to final trials, Heritage says it confirms that all high-performance characteristics are achieved. Heritage also has a portable test kit that can be taken to your plant to monitor concentrate loading levels and any changes in processing, cooling behavior, cycle time, and energy inputs.
Heritage Plastics, Booth W107022

PC purging
Processors running polycarbonate (PC) can utilize a new purging compound specifically formulated to clear the high-temperature resin. Chem-Trend’s Lusin Clean 1500 is actually PC based, helping it in purging screw, cylinder, nozzle and hot runner systems running the engineering thermoplastic. Chem-Trend says it’s particularly good at removing black carbon specks and milky streak defects that can occur as a new product run begins. The company says field trials in production settings indicate Lusin will increase efficiencies and decrease downtime, thereby lowering costs. In addition to automotive molders running PC headlamp housings, Lusin Clean 1500 is also well suited for companies in the medical and food and beverage markets that demand clarity. In the manufacture of color PC products, it assists with complete purging prior to the introduction of a new color.
Chem-Trend, Booth S1040

SMAs, crosslinkers, and more
Sartomer Co. will showcase styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) resins, ionic crosslinkers, and functional polybutadienes, including thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), at NPE2009. In addition to its product offerings, Sartomer will also present two technical papers at the concurrent ANTEC conference and unveil its new Plastics Concepts technical digest—a free publication offering application notes for plastics modification. Sartomer will also give away one $100 American Express Gift Card daily. Attendees must submit their business cards at Sartomer’s booth to be eligible.
Sartomer Co., Booth W124043

Greener TPUs
Adding to NPE2009’s green tint, Spain’s Merquinsa will bring its recently launched plant-derived and recyclable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to Chicago. Pearlthane ECO recently underwent a lifecycle analysis that indicated it will result in 40% less CO2 emissions. Beyond plant-based TPU products, Merquinsa will display its full range of TPU specialties that are used for applications ranging from sports and leisure and consumer goods to melt coating and film and sheet applications.
Merquinsa, Booth W131043

Dry-specification, food-contact, and outdoor color pigments
Three new ultramarine pigments will debut in Chicago from Holliday Pigments, including a standard version, a very dry specification for high-pigmentation concentrates, and a low-dust offering. Part of the company’s Premier and Prestige ranges, the additives will be exhibited alongside Holiday’s U.S. distributor Brenntag Specialities (Stand N66063), and they complement Holliday’s low-dust Prestige range; its 6118 and 6119 (Premier BC and Premier BCR) grades for food-contact applications like caps and closures; and the new acid-resistant 6117 (Premier XAR) for exterior end uses like stadium seating.
Holliday Pigments, Booth N66063

More help finding your materials
Internet-based materials guide IDES has recently introduced a number of new programs to its already broad-based offerings. It is in the process of launching a new version of its Prospector plastics search engine to help processors and designers more efficiently research materials, analyze resins for specific design applications, and buy plastic from suppliers. It also, working with Firehole Technologies, late last year launched a searchable database of composite material datasheets called Prospector:Composites, designed to help engineers quickly locate technical property information about composite materials. Last year also brought forth a search machine to help identify available bioplastics. The firm has more on tap.
IDES, Booth W128031

Works harder than Mr. Clean
Sun Plastech is demonstrating the use of Asaclean purging compounding at its booth during the show. The material, from Asahi Kasei Chemicals, is said to be a more cost-effective means of cleaning extruders and injection molding equipment than using virgin resin. The compound product removes tough deposits and is said to deliver good cleaning ability while having very low-residue characteristics. It can also be used for hot runner cleaning and machine shutdowns.
Sun Plastech, Booth S54037

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