Fully automatic injection molding machine

product_jan_02 (10K)A compact, precision, automatic molding machine has a twin-cylinder hydraulic 10-ton clamp with a vertical injection unit, permitting the use of molds that apply a parting line injection design.

The compact design requires 11 sq ft of floor space. The machine can be placed near assembly areas and can be integrated into a product assembly line. It is offered with a 1- or 2-oz-capacity injection unit.

The Model 60 has a direct hydraulic clamp that is locked when closed through a system of check valves. The machine has a clamp axis potentiometer and a programmable mold-protect feature to ensure that the machine will not cycle with any obstruction in the mold. The final clamping pressure is adjustable to permit the use of small, delicate molds at lower tonnages. A multistroke hydraulic knockout is supplied, which may be started during clamp open to eject on the fly. An optional stationary-side ejector can be used to independently eject runners. An air-blast system is also available for automation.

The compact injection units have a direct hydraulic screw drive. The flat-tip nozzle can be supplied with either a straight orifice or a shutoff, nondrool design. Selectable screw decompression, sprue break, and adjustable screw and injection speeds are among its other features.

The 5-hp motor drives an immersed 5-gpm gear pump. A heat exchanger is provided in the 12-gal reservoir, as is a return line filter with a monitor connected to the machine alarms. The machine?s sequences and parameters are controlled by a PLC and LCD touch-screen operator interface. All positions, temperatures, hydraulic pressures, and times are set in the screen. The control?s settings can be stored in the machine?s memory for future selection. Up to 36 eight-digit alphanumeric setup recipes can be stored.

Mini-Jector Machinery
Newbury, OH
(508) 359-7200; www.mini-jector.com

Central chillers

TX Series central chillers take up 25 percent less floor space than previous models. The chillers include two independent refrigeration circuits with manifolds and service valves on the evaporators and condensers to allow for routine maintenance without downtime. Stainless steel brazed plate evaporators require less refrigerant and are said to have better temperature response time. The water-cooled units have PLC-controlled electronic water regulating valves with solid-state sensors for reportedly close control and stable system operation. Screw compressors have few moving parts and low torque to better tolerate liquid slugging than chillers with reciprocating compressors. TX chillers are available from 80 to 212 tons in air-cooled, water-cooled, or remote-condenser models.

Thermal Care Inc., Niles, IL
(847) 966-2260
www.thermalcare.com

Editorial: Trade: Free, fair, or foul?

WELCOME TO 2003!

The year 2003 should be an exciting one for the plastics industry and PM&A. We?ve seen a couple of tough years in plastics manufacturing, but signs are pointing to increased utilization numbers and a greater need for capacity. This is great news for processors and for the companies supplying them. We?re all looking forward to a return to prosperity and a healthy, growing plastics industry.

One important element in the return to growth is NPE, the triennial National Plastics Exposition trade show that everyone is expecting to be a catalyst for 2003. The wealth of new products, the convergence of all facets of the industry, and the congregation of industry participants always lead to a boost as new technologies become available to help processors be more efficient and profitable.

PM&A will be your best resource for learning about the new products and services introduced at NPE. Starting in March, we have a myriad of helpful tools, a great lineup of editorial, and a super online website, NPE Online Expedition, to help you manage all the information that will emerge from this spectacular show. Our goal is to maximize your time at NPE and help suppliers tell you about their products and services. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Our NPE Online Expedition launches first. This interactive website allows NPE attendees to plan, a real necessity with a trade show this large. You?ll find a real-time look at the current list of exhibitors, names of individuals who will represent them at their booth, and what they will display in their exhibit. You can e-mail companies to set appointments, identify your must-see booths, develop a calendar, and talk to other processors to get NPE tips. Look for exhibiting suppliers that are reaching out to you with enhanced online listings with additional information and product news. In addition, the NPE Online Expedition will be live in our booth to help attendees while they are at the show! Also in March, Merle Snyder and his editorial team will begin their unique editorial coverage of NPE 2003 in the magazine and our new website at www.pma-magazine.com.

How else can we help? PM&A is producing two useful guides to the show. The Product & Exhibitor Locator will be included with our June issue. Out before the show, it is a complete directory of exhibitors and their product/service information. Easy to carry, you can peruse this directory weeks before your trip. Or if you?re like most of us, you?ll read it on the plane ride, in your hotel room, and at breakfast before you head over to McCormick Place.

It can be overwhelming to walk in and see the size and breadth of NPE. We?ve developed a new tool to ensure that valuable, consistent new product information makes it back to your place of business. PM&A?s Evaluator Guide contains buying criteria for each major product category. Behind that you?ll find blank evaluation forms so you can collect data as you travel from booth to booth. It will be easy to carry, eliminating loose sheets of paper with notes! Use it to draft show reports and make purchasing recommendations once you return home.

Besides our NPE tool kit, what else is new for PM&A in 2003? We are proud to announce our new and expanded website, www.pma-magazine.com. Our new site shows you the current issue as well as an archive of past issues, past Buyer?s Guides, product releases, Infolink (our online reader service), plus much more. There are Networking Forums for all the major plastics processes where you can reach out to your fellow processors on a myriad of topics. Please take a moment to check it out and save the URL to your favorites list.

It has been a year since we published our first issue of the magazine. I hope you?ve found the changes we made to the only new product tabloid for the plastics industry beneficial and of value to you. Our goal at PM&A is to offer the plastics industry the best new-product tabloid with a strong editorial component. Let us know if we?ve succeeded in creating a ?what with? marketplace, where buyers and sellers meet to do business. I look forward to your comments. Please e-mail me at kevin.o?grady@cancom.com or call me at (310) 445-3705.


Kevin O?Grady
Publisher



TRADE: FREE, FAIR, OR FOUL?

Free trade is like apple pie and motherhood. Who could be against it? Actually, most of us are against it, as regards ourselves or our industry, and think it?s just the right thing for somebody else and their industry. In other words, we want the government to intervene to protect us, but not necessarily anybody else. That way lies protectionism. Certainly some think of government intervention as desirable, as long as it is exerted on their behalf. One attractive concept is the ?level playing field.? The trouble is that a level playing field means protection for me, but not necessarily for anybody else.

So what is free trade? Free trade would allow the exchange of goods, services, and money completely unfettered by external regulation or influence. But what is the opposite of free trade? Enslaved trade? Non-free trade? Dictatorial trade?

Free trade has become a buzz word/phrase for an economic condition that has rarely, if ever, existed in pure form anywhere in the world. The issue of free trade has become a divisive concept in the plastics processing industry. It need not be so. The currents of change in international markets are affecting all of us?not only processors, not only moldmakers, not only any other group.

Free trade is an economic concept, but it gets thoroughly mangled in the political process. Almost everybody is in favor of free trade until it is their ox that is getting gored. But we all have to face economic change, whether we like it or not.

The path to today?s economic conditions has not been smooth. The (former) U.S. machine tool industry wanted protection. They didn?t get protected, at least not in time from their point of view, and they got trashed. We still have plenty of machine tools in this country, but they aren?t labeled ?Made in the U.S.? That may be unfortunate, but it may also have been inevitable. The steel industry is going through competitive traumas of its own.

The U.S. government routinely pronounces its devotion to the concept of free trade. It then proceeds to act counter to that concept in every way thought to be politically advantageous. This is politics as usual.

Free trade is at risk of being a casualty any time you see these words (for example): grant, subsidy, rebate, tax abatement, incentive, tax credit, deduction, or tariff. Those practices shift the competitive advantage, one way or another.

The U. S. is being massively hypocritical regarding free trade with its agricultural subsidies. A friend with agricultural interests told me a while back that the common citizen just doesn?t understand why farmers need help when they are riding around in $30,000 (now probably $50,000) air-conditioned tractors. He was right. I don?t understand.

?Fair trade? is probably a more realistic goal than free trade. But fair trade is a moving target. There are no easy solutions. Parading around under the free- trade banner, or even the fair-trade banner, is easy to do, but won?t solve real-world problems. As Shakespeare wrote 400 years ago in Macbeth: ?Fair is foul and foul is fair.? It?s still true. What?s fair to one is foul to another, and vice-versa.

What can processors do? First, look for a technology or business advantage that can?t be swiped easily, legally or otherwise.

Second, pursue your role in business aggressively. Drifting may have worked in the past, but now it?s time to go after it, hammer and tongs.

Third, do as the moldmakers have done. Gather information. Get it in the hands of elected and appointed government officials. The moldmakers? motives could be challenged. They want protection in one form or another. But whether they get it or not, they have seized the initiative and done what can be done. They gathered information, and put it where it might do some good. That?s being a constructive part of the democratic process.

As for our role here at PM&A, we will continue to focus on products and technology that will help North American plastics processors be competitive, now and in the future.

Best wishes for your continued success.


Merle R. Snyder
Editor

Getting leaner with ERP systems

Shortly before moving into this 65,000-sq-ft facility, WM Plastics implemented a fully integrated ERP system to improve its customer service and plant efficiencies.
WM Plastics is a 35-year veteran of custom molding for telecom, consumer goods, and business machine customers. When the company began planning its move to a 65,000-sq-ft facility in 2001, managers decided to take a look at the software systems that ran the company. What they found was a $50 accounting package running a $20 million operation, and not too well at that. Two years later, after a switch to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, efficiencies are up in areas from customer service and production scheduling to plant management and material resource planning.

The journey WM Plastics took in switching from simple accounting software to a customized ERP system (The Manufacturing Manager, or TMM, from DTR Software International) exemplifies a trend among molding operations toward lean manufacturing. Investing in and implementing such systems are one of the cornerstones of the lean manufacturing philosophy.

According to Frank Macino, VP of engineering at WM, it comes down to serving the customer. “To be competitive, we need systems and technology that provide customers with the best service,” he says. “If we don’t serve them, someone else will. Buying the software doesn’t make you money. We make money by producing parts and shipping them in a timely manner to customers. Technology is a nonvalue-added item. The value comes in how you use the technology to serve the customers.”

From the time WM cut a PO to the time the company went live with the new system, a short four months elapsed. “That’s rather quick in terms of an average, but we had a choice to go live either before the move or after, and we decided to go before the move,” he says. “Our troops were elated to get a new system.” For one, the old software was supposed to be plastic specific, but fell short in terms of benefits. Also, the system used to crash frequently, and it was difficult to extract data.

Switching to a customized ERP system has allowed WM Plastics to keep a tight rein on every job, including demanding parts such as these fan blades.
Cautious Choices, Big Benefits
In the process of selecting software, WM created a cross-functional team that grilled every supplier under consideration. “We had gotten burned seven years ago,” says Macino, “and wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.” For the most part, the team said the same things to each vendor: Here’s what I do on a day-to-day basis. How do I do those things using your software? How easy or difficult is it to do them? For example, in the area of plant management, how do we schedule all of the machines?

The DTR package was selected and immediately after WM installed the software, managers held several meetings on the floor. They asked technicians what information was needed to do their jobs, and then asked them how they got that information. “I was amazed at how hard it was,” he says. “Now we put reports together and put that information in their hands at the beginning of the shift.”

Macino believes the changes that took place after implementing the ERP system have all been good. “Our customer service team takes orders, and frequently needs to check up on orders as well as move due dates around. Our old software made it difficult to do this. With TMM, for the first time, we truly have an accurate production schedule. If a customer calls to check on an order, customer service will get accurate information out quickly, with no call backs.”

Production scheduling has also gotten easier. Plant managers drag and drop orders around the schedule to maximize efficiency. A bar represents each job, creating a visual grid. “This makes scheduling jobs faster and more efficient for us. Now we can look at the schedule and match up jobs that make sense—for example, in terms of materials, jobs that are all clear, all whites, or all blacks on the same presses mean less downtime.”

A production schedule report is printed up every morning so the foreman can see press-by-press activity and when jobs will finish. Materials staging and mold staging for the next job are also listed. WM personnel can customize the information that appears in each job bar with items such as PO number, tool number, part number, and so forth.

“This is graphic as opposed to verbal scheduling,” says Macino. “We set up color codes. Any job due in seven days or less is yellow. Three days or less is red.” The color codes help to avoid pulling the mold too quickly before production is finished, or too late, so that there is no overrun and no underrun. “Perhaps the best part is that our people are not hunting for information. Material handlers, setup technicians, anyone who needs to know can access this information.”

Another area in which WM has seen efficiencies is MRP, or material resource planning. In the past, the company had a monstrous Excel spreadsheet created by one employee who spent three quarters of every day maintaining it. Now, he manages by exception. He looks at the situation five to six weeks out and asks what materials he will run out of in that time frame. That sets his priorities for the day—he examines what materials are required, and then the system calculates what is needed for each job. This alone has saved 3 or four 4 hours a day, and jobs are no longer late because materials aren’t in the plant yet.

The Payoff
Macino estimates an ROI for the system at less than two years. “Think about all the soft costs. What does it cost you to run out of material, be late on the order, or spend 3 hours on a spreadsheet? What does it cost you to overrun or underrun?”
Accurate reject reporting and a graphical interface allow WM to pinpoint problematic jobs. Managers review job costing reports and try to find the ones that are not running up to par.

WM plans to put in monitoring systems on the presses to track production and rejects, and to take out the reporting element. One more step is bar coding to make it easier to track inventory and reduce manual transactions. “We can do this with our current system,” he says.

Selecting the Right ERP system

As VP of sales and operations for DTR, Gail Larson is often asked, “How do I ensure that I’m selecting the right ERP software solution for my company?” Her answer, summarized below, may help you in your quest for a good systems software fit:

  • Choose the project team. Leadership from the project team is key to a successful selection and implementation. The team should have representatives from key areas of the company with manufacturing and cost accounting playing a leadership role. Executive management and the project team together identify key areas to be targeted for improvement.

  • Establish a budget and timeline. The old adage, “It takes money to make money,” applies to ERP software, too. Implementing an integrated software application takes an investment of time, people, and money. Implementation costs are generally driven by the number of users and the complexity of your business operations. Trying to get by with minimal hardware capacity or implementation support is penny-wise and pound-foolish. 

    It is equally important to establish a timetable for your decision and implementation targets. Establishing a decision target date helps to keep people focused while preventing “analysis paralysis.”

  • Implement change wisely. Once the project team has been established and the key issues identified, it is time to announce the project to the company as a whole. Change produces anxiety and often resistance. One way to make change easier is to make everyone in the company feel that each has contributed to the selection process. The team can do this by soliciting input about problems or ways to improve performance from the ultimate software users.

  • Conduct product demos. Participating in product demonstrations is a time-consuming and often confusing task. Good preparation is mandatory. You should evaluate each product against your list of requirements. Remember, flash is exciting, but functionality runs your business. Don’t lose focus on the areas of your business that need improvement. Insist that the vendor present plastics-specific examples of its software’s features, but don’t require that a vendor use your particular part numbers or bill of materials unless it is unable to illustrate the feature with sample data.

    Also, allow time for more than just product demonstration. Each vendor should be required to discuss the following: hardware requirements; implementation strategy; plastics-specific experience of consultants and trainers (check to be sure they work for the vendor and aren’t subcontractors); product support procedures and staffing levels; future development plans and how users channel requests for modifications; and opportunities for user networking and continuing education, including user conferences.

    Gather feedback from the team immediately after each demonstration, and write it down. When all the demos are completed, it is unlikely that anyone will be able to remember with accuracy how each product accomplished specific functions. “Liking” a product is too often the result of the salesperson’s presentation skills or the artwork of the graphical user interface.

  • Contact information
    WM Plastics Inc., Cary, IL
    Frank Macino; (815) 578-8888
    www.wmplastics.com
    fmacino@wmplastics.com

    DTR Software International
    Jacksonville, FL; Gail Larson
    (904) 281-1118; www.dtr-software.com

    Modulating valve improves mold-temperature controls

    Offering improvements to cycle time and part quality through temperature regulation, Advantage Engineering introduces its Sentra temperature controls. These controls use a third-generation Advanced Valve Technology (AVT) modulating valve to meter in cooling water while eliminating the water hammer caused by on/off solenoid cooling valves.

    The AVT valve has a stainless steel valve body that is resistant to contamination damage. The square-drive stem transfers motor movements through a one-piece coupling. A replaceable O-ring stem seal gives the valve extended service life and reduces maintenance needs. A rigid mounting flange provides a secure attachment to the cooling cylinder, eliminating alignment issues that can result in uneven stem wear and poor valve performance. A one-piece coupling attaches the valve body to the stepper motor/gearbox assembly. The valve components are protected by a high-temperature ABS drip cover.

    The AVT components are said to improve process temperature control, reduce maintenance needs, increase reliability, and extend life.

    Advantage Engineering Inc., Greenwood, IN
    (317) 887-0729; www.advantageengineering.com

    Modular ozone generator improves laminate adhesion

    A line of modular ozone generators for use on extrusion coating and laminating lines is said to improve the adhesion of laminate and allow increased production speeds. The generators apply ozone to the web at the laminating or coating nip, reportedly doubling or tripling bond strengths, compared to those without ozone treatment.

    Ozone treatment is said to allow increased production speeds without using bonding agents, adhesives, solvents, or primers. It works with extrusion coating and laminating applications including polyethylene extrusion lamination, foam/vinyl lamination for automotive trim and other applications, pressure laminating of decorative films on consumer products, and laminating of other difficult materials onto vinyl or foam.

    The ozone-generating portion of the system is isolated from the other components to minimize corrosion due to ozone leaks from the reactor. The ozone reactor uses ceramic-coated components for corrosion resistance. The power supply, ozone reactor, and cooling system components are each enclosed in their own cabinets and mounted to a portable, steel-frame cart.

    There are two generator models: The LC-2000M is a 2-kW, 30-cu-ft/min system, and the LC-5000M is a 5-kW, 60-cu-ft/min system with a dual-chamber ozone reactor. Both systems have regenerative blowers for ozone reactor air supply, and closed-circuit water-to-air cooling systems so that reactor cooling is not a function of process air flow. Power for both systems is supplied by a CPT Series solid-state, high-frequency, high-efficiency power supply.

    Corotec Corp., Farmington, CT
    (860) 678-0038; www.corotec.com

    Film and fiber grinder

    product_jan_02 (10K)The ReTech RG52FF rotary grinder is designed to shred flexible materials that tend to self feed. Especially suited for one-pass size reduction of films and fibers being reclaimed for extrusion, the FF Series has built-in metering capabilities and thermal monitoring controls. The unit uses two-stage auxiliary reduction, a reinforced close-tolerance screen, and a wedge-style fixed counter knife. Specifications include: 1000- to 4000-lb/hr throughput, 52-by-58-inch hopper opening, 3.5- to 6-cu-yd hopper volume, 15-inch rotor diameter, 74 main and 29 auxiliary cutters, 90- to 150-rpm rotor speed powered by a 150-hp drive motor, two-speed hydraulic feed ram, and a machine weight of 10,000 to 12,900 lb. The machine uses 460V, three-phase, 60-Hz power.

    Vecoplan, High Point, NC
    (336) 861-6070; www.vecoplanllc.com

    Molders Economic Index: Manufacturing growth slow despite upturns

    We have consistently projected a choppy economic climate with some months showing solid improvements and others showing dramatic downturns.

    The flood of positive economic news that crowded the media in late November and early December can easily confuse molders. Keep in mind that these were all macroeconomic reports. What matters to you is the health of manufacturing.
    At the time of writing this report—early December—the macroeconomic picture had improved dramatically. But is this a temporary uptick? Where will your market be in January and February?

    Manufacturing Still Down
    U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in November for a third consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, AZ) said. Its index of business activity was 49.2 in November, a slight improvement from the 48.5 reading in October, but still below 50. A reading above 50 signals the manufacturing sector is growing; a reading below 50 suggests the sector is contracting.

    Specifically, the survey showed a slight decline in new orders and a continuing contraction in employment among manufacturers. Production, however, showed more strength, particularly in the furniture, tobacco, textiles, chemicals, and food industries.

    Our index for November 2002 shows a corresponding contraction, and we still predict that the overall manufacturing sector, specifically injection molding, will not show any significant improvement until February at the very earliest.

    Although manufacturing is in the doldrums, the dominant U.S. service sector surged in November while worker productivity grew at a rapid clip in Q3.

    ISM reported that services logged their best reading in six months and marked a huge surge in new orders that could bode well for future growth. And productivity grew at the fastest pace in nearly three decades on a year-over-year basis, as companies wrestled to improve profits by making the most of existing resources.

    ISM said its index of activity in the nonmanufacturing sector surged to 57.4 in November, handily beating a reading of 53.1 in October. It was the 10th straight month that the index was above the 50 mark that divides contraction and expansion.

    The U.S. Dept. of Labor reported that workers outside the farm sector boosted Q3 productivity by 5.1 percent over Q2. Overall output per hour surged 5.6 percent in the 12 months ended in September. That was the strongest yearly increase since the 12 months that ended in Q1 1973.

    Automotive: Some Weakness
    Zero percent finance charge incentives and other measures did not create a surge of car and light truck sales. The outlook for the next three months is modest, while imports of molded car parts are surging. This means that Mexican, U.S., and Canadian automotive parts molders will not see tangible growth in orders and output for at least three months.

    In November 2002, compared to November 2001, car sales declined 9 percent and light truck sales declined  16 percent. Note here that the Detroit Big Three, which make up the bulk of the orders to NAFTA-territory automotive molders, saw sales decline by 18 percent overall, while Asian importers saw sales decline a more modest 5 percent. European imports actually showed a minor increase.

    Positive News
    In November, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce revised upward GDP growth to 4 percent from 3.8 percent for Q3 2002. Stronger inventory building by businesses, more robust spending by the government, and an improved trade picture were the major reasons behind the boost to the third quarter GDP. Yet manufacturing lagged and so did capital spending in manufacturing.

    What will Q4 show? We believe growth will be just a bit more than 1 percent as early indicators show weak holiday sales. Yet the stage for a solid recovery may have been set, and you should see corresponding increases in orders this spring.

    The Commerce Dept. reported that business investment in equipment and software grew at a 6.6 percent rate in Q3, twice as fast as in Q2, providing an encouraging sign. But businesses continued to cut investment in new plants, offices, and other buildings in Q3. A sustained turnaround in capital investment is a necessary ingredient for the economy’s full recovery.

    Durable goods orders bounced back in October, rising 2.8 percent, the Commerce Dept. reported in late November.  Strong demand for machinery and equipment for communications and transport aided this rebound, which was the biggest gain since July and followed a revised drop of 4.6 percent the previous month.

    Orders for computers and electronics products posted their largest increase in a year, rising 6.2 percent, with communications equipment surging at the fastest pace since January 1997. Nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft, surged 5.3 percent after a sharp fall in September. Orders excluding those for defense rose 3.8 percent.

    Housing Strength
    More good news came from the housing market. Sales of previously owned homes shot up in October 6.1 percent to the third highest monthly level on record as house hunters scrambled to take advantage of low mortgage rates in an uncertain economic climate. The big jump pushed sales of existing homes to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. That tied with April as the third-highest monthly level on record.

    We anticipate a solid increase in orders to molders of appliances and furniture components, electrical parts used in housing, and small appliances. This string of solid order increases will be in place for at least four months.

    The strength in housing has continued all year. The Commerce Dept. reported that construction spending edged up a modest .3 percent in October with the strength centered in a big gain in construction of schools, hospitals, and other nonresidential buildings. The latter categories imply high-volume orders for molders active in all parts of the housing markets.

    Price Pressure in Electronics
    NAFTA-territory molders for electronics complain mostly about one issue, apart from slow orders—continuous pressure to cut prices.

    This pressure, which means North American molders surrender more terrain to imports or give up almost entirely on profitability, comes from a very competitive electronics market. Average prices for desktop PCs have dropped to less than $500, and prices for printers and scanners have also declined sharply.

    Positive News on China?
    China is grabbing an ever-growing share of manufacturing business away from the U.S. and Mexico, but in the long-term the pressure of low-cost imports from China into North America may lessen some.

    China expects to have at least 13 percent growth per year in all types of vehicle production for the next five years. Chinese automotive parts makers, however, are not expected to grow as strongly (11 percent annually in the next five years) and consequently will look to the domestic market to help boost sales and revenue.

    The Chinese automotive parts molders can’t grow faster than that because they have trouble locating the needed investment capital to boost capacity. This will open the door to U.S., European, Japanese, and Taiwanese parts makers who have more investment options.

    Agostino von Hassell (avonhassel@aol.com) of The Repton Group, New York, NY, prepares this index. MEI is a record of production statistics, indexed to the base period of July 1994 as 100. In January 2001, we began tracking, for comparison, the Federal Reserve Industrial Production Index. Historical data is provided for both indexes, as well as for key markets.

    Rotary thermal assembly system works on multiple planes

    product_jan_02 (10K)The 2040 Rotary Thermal System can perform production tasks that might otherwise require multiple assembly stations. In a single cycle, the 2040 Rotary can heat stake or heat insert on multiple planes. These processes can be performed on large parts or several smaller parts. The closed loop thermal control circuit consists of a heater probe with a built-in thermocouple and a microprocessor-based digital display temperature control. A cam-driven indexer takes parts from the fixture loading position to the press position.

    Toman Tool Corp., Viroqua, WI
    (800) 839-9006; www.tomantool.com

    Mold operating system creates threaded parts without hydraulics

    product_jan_02 (10K)
    T
    he Programmable Electric Rotating Core (PERC) System replaces the hydraulic systems used for unscrewing molding applications and the manufacture of threaded parts. It is said to improve cycle times and overall control of the unscrewing mold.

    The PERC System was developed for cleanrooms and other sensitive plastic molding operations. It eliminates the need for oils, hoses, and their connections. The system reportedly provides fast, accurate, and efficient core positioning with many turns and programmable speed profiles. It?s suitable for use with electric molding machines and is compact.

    A custom-designed gearbox transfers power to the cores, which can rotate 32 times in an eight-cavity mold. The system has two programmable d-c servodrive motors and a control and power cabinet to house the electronics and power couplings, and can be configured in a vertical mode.

    B A Die Mold Inc., Aurora, IL
    (630) 978-4747; www.badiemold.com