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Articles from 2012 In March


FDA won’t ban BPA in food packaging

The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food, it was announced Friday.

The agency said that petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions on BPA.

The National Resources Defense Council petitioned the FDA to ban BPA as a food additive, including all uses in food or beverage packaging, to "protect consumers from the health effects of BPA."

Physiologically, BPA mimics the hormone estrogen and some scientists believe it can be harm to reproductive and nervous systems. In addition, about 90% of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies, according to the Endocrine-Related Cancer Journal.

However, recent studies by government researchers suggest it's very unlikely that BPA poses a health risk to people, according to reports.

When the FDA failed to respond within the required timeframe, the environmental group sued the agency. Last December, a federal judge ruled that the agency had to respond by the end of March.

Good teamwork: Plastics in Sports exhibits showcase plastics influence on sports

NPE2012 hopes its new exhibit will be a slam-dunk.

NPE’s Plastics in Sports exhibits will show the teamwork between sports and plastics. The exhibits will display how the technological achievements in plastic materials, molding, equipment, designs, and processes have advanced various sports.

“We are going to show the entire supply chain and how plastics are making sports safer and better,” Gene Sanders, SPI’s senior VP of trade shows and conferences told PlasticsToday. “It’s a fun way to create, not just an interesting place to go see, but also provide education to the entire industry and how they all contribute to the betterment of the sport.”

For years, plastic technology has played a crucial role in the safety, protection, and performance of sports. From the evolution of the golf ball, to the science and technology behind building race cars, to protecting the participants in sporting events, plastic technology has enabled athletes to reach their potential in their respective sports, while at the same time helping to protect them from injury, SPI stated.

The Plastic in Sports will feature exhibits and demonstrations in five areas of focus:

Golf – The 19th Fairway – West Hall

In this demonstration area, visitors will be able to view vintage equipment from clubs to balls, and will see the production of golf balls, either via video or live.

Contact Sports – West Hall

Sure, sports are physical in nature, but protecting a player is crucial. Head injuries to athletes are of growing concern and are even altering the rules that govern these sports.

In this area, visitors will see demonstrations of the impact of baseballs on batting helmets and the technology behind their improvements, as well as demonstrations for football helmet testing and analysis.

After watching these demonstrations, visitors can see the equipment that was used in past decades and how lucky today’s athletes are that they don’t have to endure their sport with these limitations in technology. Visitors can even buy a hot dog at the concession stand as part of the sports theme.

Playing Surfaces – West Hall

It all started with the Astrodome in Houston, where sport scientists attempted to grow grass in a domed stadium in order to keep out the elements. When that failed, they reverted to a new artificial turf, then dubbed as “Astro-turf.” Since this time, new and improved surfaces have been popping up, using plastics synthetic material to make playing more enjoyable and to help reduce injury. NPE invites visitors to take off their shoes, and see what it is like to walk or run on these products made for football and other field sports, tennis, volleyball, etc.

Sportswear – South Hall

From pads to full-length body suits, from socks to insulated materials, visitors will see what’s new in clothing and materials made for sports.

Active Sports – North Hall

Exhibitors will take their displays to the “extremes of the sports world” to demonstrate the reaches product development has allowed games and competition to go: snowboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing.

NCAA Men’s watch party

The NCAA Men’s basketball championship game is one of the most viewed sporting events in the U.S. Since the game takes place on the first day of the NPE show, NPE will host a party at the OCCC to watch the big game.

Sponsored by Gardner Publications, this event will be filled with TV’s, games, and light snacks, as well as soft drinks, plus a cash bar.

Date:

Monday, April 2, 2012
7:00 PM - 11:45 PM
Location: OCCC West Building, Level 4 Valencia A Ballroom

Pack your questions: ANTEC to offers more than 500 presentations at NPE

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC annual technical conference is also making the move from Chicago to Orlandno, once again running concurrently with the triennial NPE plastics event, with preregistration running ahead of 2009 levels. ANTEC 2012 will offer 550 technical papers in 40 different areas of plastics, including a new non-halogenated flame retardant track, according to Barbara Spain SPE’s online program specialist.

Spain told PlasticsToday that the 550 papers are a combination of podium speeches and interactive/poster presentations, as well as 85 student posters, split between 30 undergrad and 55 graduate, and a combined total of 572 presenters.

The Non-Halogenated Flame Retardants SIG (special interest group) is new to the program this year, according to Spain, who noted that the Plastic Educators Division has “an exciting program this year.” Spain noted that about 30% of the sessions are combined sessions with more than one division/SIG presenting in a joint session. ANTEC registration, after Feb. 29 and onsite, runs $825 for SPE or SPI members, with nonmembers charged $1025. Students with ID pay $125, while speakers and moderators pay $500.

In addition to individual papers focusing on one aspect of one particular process or technology, ANTEC will also give a platform each day for one plenary speaker to offer a broader overview of a market. On Monday, April 2, Frank Doerner, VP materials, processes & structures technologies at Boeing Research & Technology, will present such an outlook in his presentation, “Polymer Composites for Aerospace Applications – Past, Present and Future.” Doerner plans to address the gap between “the development of new technology and its implementation into viable products.”

On Tuesday, Helmut Heinson, managing director sales at German injection molding machinery manufacturer Arburg, will take a holistic, global view to the molding production process in an address entitled, “Competitive Advantages Through Efficient Production?Reducing Unit Costs.” Heinson plans to show how careful consideration of product design, mold technology, machine technology, peripheral technology, process integration, process control, production planning and global differences can help your company be more competitive in what is now a global business.

Christopher Musso, a partner with McKinsey’s Chemicals and Product Development group, will provide Wednesday’s plenary session on “The Path to Successful Commercialization of New Materials.” Musso notes that the successful marketplace launch of new materials is “notoriously difficult,” often taking more than a decade for companies to recover the investments they made during development. Musso plans to “expose the pitfalls of commercialization,” give ways to avoid them, and in the process, shorten new material commercialization time by up to 50%.

In addition to plenary presentations each day, ANTEC will also offer daily Technology Forums, tackling Polymers in Energy and Renewable Energy on Monday, in a group of presentations organized by 3M and Mexico’s Center of Advanced Technology (CIATEQ).

On Tuesday, the Technology Forum focus shifts to Polymer Applications in Health, led by moderators Sadhan C. Jana, Prithu Mukhopadhyay, and Len Czuba, who describe this forum as highlighting “materials and processes that are far from commercialization, but rich in science and novel concepts,” including presentations on drug delivery, resorbable materials, orthopedics, implants, devices, and tissue engineering for grafting and implants.

On Wednesday, Dow Chemical’s Stéphane Costeux and Maggie Baumann of G.H. Associates will lead a forum entitled “Emerging Green Technologies.” One stated goal of this forum is to help promote exchange between industry leaders and academic experts, as those constituencies join with policy makers to address the increasing energy consumption necessary for development of the emerging world and global population growth, while reducing the use of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions.

Student speed interview session

Looking towards the more immediate future of the industry, SPE will also have several student-oriented events as part of ANTEC. These include a Student Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 4, as well as a Student Speed Interview Session on the same day. Sponsored by SPE and Gros Executive Recruiters, the interview session will target students ready to enter the workforce or those looking for an internship with leading plastics industry companies.

Along the same lines, SPE will also allow students, recent grads, and young professionals looking to make a career change to ask some questions, in a forum called, “Everything you’ve always wondered about the plastics career field, but didn’t know who to ask.” Also on Wednesday and running from 10-11:00 AM in room S330CD, this discussion will be moderated by SPI 2011-2012 president, Russell Broome.

Panelists will include Jamie Mosberg from Global Recruiters of Wilmington; David Peterson, Direct Recruiters; Tom Galvanek, MRI Chatham Group; Nick Fountas, JLI Boston; and Sarah Tomasetti, Gros Executive Recruiters. Per SPE, “During this panel discussion, experts from the top plastics-recruiting firms will answer these questions and more. All SPE students and professional members are welcome to attend this informative event. Bring your questions and ask the experts.”
 

Vaupell and Trexel Announce Collaborative Agreement on MuCell

Like nearly all transportation industries, the aircraft industry’s goal is to reduce the weight of aircraft to save on fuel costs and extend the mileage range. This week, at the Aircraft Interiors (AI) Expo in Hamburg, Germany, Vaupell, a global supplier of plastic interior assemblies to OEMs and Tier 1 aerospace manufacturers, announced a partnership and collaboration agreement with Trexel to develop and advance its MuCell microcellular foam molding for weight reduction in aircraft interiors.  

Speaking from the AI Expo show floor in a telephone interview with PlasticsToday, Mike Hamm, Vaupell’s VP of Aerospace and Defense, said the announcement in the AI show daily has garnered Vaupell a lot of attention from customers and potential customers. “We’ve had a lot of people come by at the show to ask us about the MuCell process after reading the announcement in the AI show daily, so it’s been great to introduce this new technology at the show,” said Hamm. “If we could achieve an 10% additional weight reduction in aircraft interiors—from a design standpoint that would be huge.”

Hamm noted that the aerospace industry has been focused on lightweighting for years and this week at the AI Expo, that focus has become greater. “Weight is becoming major issue and it’s all about fuel efficiency and the commitments that Boeing and Airbus have made to their customers,” explained Hamm. “For example, the Boeing 787 airframe is manufactured with lightweight composite materials. There’s also a big move toward metal-to-plastics conversion, and anything to do with lightweighting.” 

But, Hamm also pointed out that lightweighting has its challenges. “We’ve gone to thinner and thinner wall sections with injection molded components, but we’ve gone as far as we can go without losing structural integrity,” he said. “We continued to look at different technologies and had our eye on MuCell. After researching it we determined that MuCell brings not only weight reduction but design freedom along with additional benefits that helps us overcome our structural challenges.” 

Vaupell works with several high-temperature engineering thermoplastics that have inherent processing challenges. “The materials we’re processing are fairly challenging materials to process,” Hamm said. “These materials don’t flow well, so we believe the process benefits of MuCell will be an enhancement.” 

Vaupell uses Sabic’s Ultem aerospace grades, a Lexan FST, Solvay’s Radel grades for aerospace interior applications, and some exotic materials such as PEEK and modified PEEK materials from Vitrex and Solvay for exterior aircraft components. These materials have extremely strict requirements for flame, smoke, toxicity and heat release in aircraft applications, so any changes to the material such as the chemical additives for foaming, might have the potential to inhibit the properties required.

“A lot of material suppliers have worked on chemical blowing agents that would work on the these high-temperature materials, but have never been able to develop any that could take the extremely high processing temperatures,” said Hamm. “With MuCell’s microcellular foam process using nitrogen we were able to use this technology with these high-temperature materials, and our initial tests show that MuCell doesn’t impact these strict property requirements. We did burn tests and had favorable results.” 

Brent Strawbridge, VP of North American Sales and Marketing for Trexel, commented: “We’re excited about the opportunity to bring the benefits of significant lightweighting, design freedom and outstanding part performance inherent in the MuCell process to the world’s premier supplier of plastic components for aircraft interiors. This is our first partnership with a Tier 1 aircraft supplier.”

Strawbridge also told PlasticsToday that MuCell has a lot to contribute in the metal-to-plastics part conversions. “We can do for the aircraft industry what MuCell did for the business equipment industry a number of years ago when the technology first came out,” he explained. “What couldn’t be achieved in solid injection molding, they can achieve with MuCell along with some processing techniques like expansion molding.”

Hamm added that there is also the potential of taking some existing parts and using the MuCell process. “We won’t be able to take advantage of the design freedom, but we can take advantage of the immediate weight reduction,” he said. “We’re currently identifying some applications where we can use MuCell.” 

Vaupell, which has six operating divisions and a joint venture in China, will be taking delivery of its first MuCell system in about four months at its Agawam, MA molding facility. “We’ll be working with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers and keeping them abreast of our progress in this area,” noted Hamm. “We do a lot of interior components and assemblies that add weight to an aircraft, so the MuCell technology is meaningful. We feel that we can get to that 8-10% weight reduction and still have the necessary structural integrity for some applications. We’re excited about the MuCell process.”

Kuka Robotics to debut shelf-mount series of robots at NPE2012

Kuka Robotics will make the North American debut of its KR Quantec K shelf-mounted robots at booth (#213).

The Quantec series of shelf-mount robots include the KR Quantec K120 R3900 ultra, which weighs in at 270 kg, and has a reach of 2900 mm and payload capacity of 120 kg, and the KR Q Quantec K Prime shelf-mounted robot suitable for payloads ranging from 90 kg to 210 kg.

“The new Kuka Quantec K shelf-mounted robots are about 12% lighter making the new series significantly easier to mount on injection molding machines,” the company stated in a news release. “With the latest state-of-the-art drive technology and the new KR C4 controller, the Quantec K robots achieve 25% shorter unloading times.”

Another feature of the new shelf-mounted robots is that axis 2 is located 400 mm further forward, significantly expanding the working envelope forwards and downwards. The hole pattern for installation on the shelf has remained the same and the flange is identical, ensuring compatibility with predecessor models.

Additional demonstrations

The Kuka Robotics booth will also feature the KR 60-3 HA in a simulated foam milling display. The KR 60-3 HA is ideal for detailed milling of mold cavities, mold pockets, and mold polishing.

Kuka will also demonstrate a plastic bottle handling and packaging cell with the KR 5 sixx utilizing an ATI tool changer.

With the help of the ATI tool changer the KR 5 sixx will demonstrate its ability to switch efficiently between plastic bottles and an Apple iPad, the company stated. The KR 5 sixx is a small robot with an IP 65 classification allowing it to stand up to dust and water exposure, making it suitable for fast handling applications and clean room situations.

UPDATED: Milacron under new ownership

, the private equity firm that bought the plastics stalwart out of bankruptcy in June 2009. Avenue's acquisition of Milacron was approved by the bankruptcy court on June 26, 2009 during that year's NPE, with this new deal announced just days before NPE2012 opens. The transition was planned, according to a Milacron spokesperson who told PlasticsToday that Avenue's acquisition focus is on distressed companies. Now that Milacron is on surer footing, the spokesperson said that Avenue "began looking for an investor like CCMP that would be able to take Milacron to the next level."

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Milacron's management team will continue with the company, which will remain headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As a corporation, Milacron's 2011 sales increased to $780 million, according to the company spokesperson, climbing more than 20% over 2010. The added revenue has allowed the company to inject cash into its businesses, reinvesting $10 million of capital in 2010 and another $20 million in 2011. There has also been $10 million spent on research and development, primarily targeting new products. Global staffing as of February 2012 stood at 2848, up 233 from February 2011.

Founded in 1884, Milacron has 22 facilities and more than 2700 employees, the company supplies injection molding, structural foam molding, blowmolding, and extrusion equipment, as well as mold and machine components and industrial fluids, through its two key business areas. The company's integrated business units include Milacron Plastics Machinery, Ferromatik Milacron, DME, Uniloy, Milacron Americas Aftermarket, and CIMCOOL Fluid Technology.

"We are delighted to welcome CCMP to the Milacron team, especially given their exceptional experience investing in and supporting the growth of plastics and industrial companies," said Dennis Smith, CEO of Milacron. "Today Milacron's growth prospects are stronger than ever. With renewed financial stability and CCMP's support, we expect to continue to expand our market share, extend our global reach, and invest in technologies to meet our customers' needs around the world over the long term."

CCMP's portfolio companies are spread among consumer/retail and media, energy, industrial, and healthcare. Plastics related investments include Berry Plastics, Klöckner Pentaplast, Kraton Polymers, and M&H Plastics.

What's the future of medical mold making in the US?

In large part, the future of medical injection molding in the United States depends on its ability to innovate in leading-edge mold manufacturing. Mold designers and manufacturers must respond to requirements for more cost-effective medical device components, high quality parts, and smaller parts, in addition to other trends.

One of the long-time leading players is Bill Kushmaul, who started Tech Mold in Tempe, AZ in partnership with Steve Uhlman, founder of Tech Plastics (eventually the Tech Group) in 1972. Initial targets included

,m
The future is bright for US mold makers, although more medical devices are being made in China, says Kushmaul.
electronics and personal computer markets. Over time, the company began focusing on high-volume, high-cavitation molds for packaging (caps and closures, dispensers), the medical disposable industry and personal care/consumer markets.

Tech Mold is the mold maker of choice for two recent demonstrations in hot runner side gating for syringe molds. Mold-Masters developed Melt-Cube, a linear side gating system that allows 20% higher pitch density than circular systems and is designed for easy tip replacement in the press.  Tech Mold built the mold for a demonstration at NPE2012 (April 1-5) in the CBW booth (#3169), where a 16-cavity automated system will be producing a 5-6cc polypropylene medical syringe with IML that integrates graphics with anti-piracy features. Tech Mold also supplied the mold for a Husky Injection Molding Systems demonstration of its  Ultra SideGate hot runner at  the Fakuma International Trade Fair in Germany last October.  The mold was running polyoxymethylene (POM) resin producing a 0.5 gram medical cap with 1.25 millimeter wall thickness.

Plastics Today discussed the future of mold making for the medical market with Kushmaul on the eve of NPE2012 in Orlando, FL (April 1-5). He stresses that he comes from a perspective of a manufacturer of very high-cavitation molds for the medical disposable market, and that the medical market comprises many more opportunities for mold makers including lower cavitation molds for other types of medical devices, durable instrumentation, and other applications. Many opportunities are emerging, for example, in micro molded medical products, as reported by Plastics Today.

PT: What's important to your customers today? 

 Kushmaul: Faster cycle times, higher output/throughput. They want more parts faster but with a greater level of quality and accuracy, not just cavity-to-cavity tolerance accuracy but dimension-to-dimension accuracy.  And they want these higher-cavitation molds to fit within the same footprint as their current molding machines will handle - they don't want to buy new molding equipment to achieve this.

What's driving medical OEMs back into the molding business after bailing on this 20 years ago?

Twenty years ago Baxter closed its molding facility in Southern California and put all the work into the Tech Group's medical molding facility.  The cycle for this activity tends to be about five years on the short cycle end and 20 years in the long cycle for companies to alter their business model with respect to whether they 'make or buy.' It's a 'make or buy' wheel. The medical OEM has its own molding operation because they feel it gives them control, so they invest in state-of-the-art molding machines and in-house molding. Then they realize that they're giving their molding operations free rent in their facility, and that they'd rather invest in their medical business - designing new products, marketing and selling their products, and that manufacturing takes a lot of resources they'd rather put other places.

So they go to the custom molders, which means buyers get involved and their job is to buy cheaper and cheaper, and ultimately tooling becomes the realm of the custom molder, and the mold maker is left dealing with people at the OEM who might not have engineering expertise to understand the role of the mold maker in the overall success of the product.

Today's trend is to outsource moldmaking from the OEM. However, the OEM is placing more and greater demands on the moldmaker for tighter dimensions and features, with minimal costs.

The medical moldmaking business has seen a complete paradigm shift, and these greater demands being made on the mold maker that supplies these high-volume medical molds has added time to the design process that ultimately eats into the lead time for the mold build. Then on the back end, you have the mold validation process to meet FDA requirements which in many cases takes longer than the actual mold build. Tech Mold has a molding facility in which we can validate molds either in our machines or in the customer's machine that is shipped to us for the validation process.

This makes it tough for small shops to serve the medical market on this level. They're stretched for resources and in many cases don't have the equipment. The types of molds that Tech Mold builds can be extremely large and complex. Bigger molds mean a bigger risk.

What types of molds are in greater demand for you from your customers?

Obviously larger cavitation and  stack molds that can increase productivity without the need to add more presses; we also see the need for in-mold assembly and two-shot molds;  we are also working with press suppliers to pursue cube molds; overall higher cavitation for faster cycles with higher CPKs.

We're also building a lot of prototype molds to evaluate marketing's projections and expectations for a new product, and to launch a product. In one case a customer purchased four, four-cavity full-scale prototype molds to evaluate then launch the product prior to building a high-cavitation production mold. That's where the real innovation starts.

Generally, the expectations from customers have become greater over the past decade. In many cases, as large corporations have thinned out their workforce, they expect more of us as their moldmaker, to solve their problems that the OEM's engineering staff used to work out before they came to us.

Do you see any specific threats to the medical market in the U.S.?

China is still the looming economic giant.  China is still a threat, even to the medical market. There are more and more devices and disposables being manufactured in China. When a health-care worker came to our shop last fall to give us all our flu shots, he had a box full of syringes with 'made in China' on the box. How much influence will China have on the medical industry remains to be seen.  But that's what will impact the moldmaking business.  I personally believe the business will be dynamic in the future, and looking through 2012 glasses it looks bright.

Hopping mad: Easter egg packaging under fire in the UK

Easter is fast approaching, and just like any holiday, it's a time for family gatherings, comfort foods, and indulging in plenty of chocolate. That's how I spend every Easter, at least.

Growing up, I never gave a thought to what it takes to package all my candy indulges, but over in the UK, some believe Easter egg-makers have a not-so-sweet packaging problem.

Jo Swinson, a UK politician, said chocolate Easter egg manufacturers are contributing to vast amounts of plastic waste produced during the holiday weekend.

Swinson, a long-standing campaigner against "excessive and wasteful" packaging, said commercially produced Easter eggs generate an estimated 3,000 tons of UK waste each year.

Swinson's report about Easter egg packaging found that, on average, only 38% of Easter egg boxes are taken up by chocolate, the rest is purely packaging.

Eleven eggs from different brands, including Mars, Nestlé, and Cadbury, as well as products from UK stores such as Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, were weighed and measured according to the ratio of chocolate egg to packaging, and for recyclability, according to the report.

The report criticized some manufacturers for using plastic packaging that is not easily recyclable. Sainsbury's Taste the Difference egg contained incorrect information on the plastic packaging, which indicated that it is recyclable though it actually is not, the report said.

"A few manufacturers are hiding behind green credentials with packaging that isn't easily recyclable by the majority of consumers," Swinson stated. "Manufacturers know that their plastic boxes aren't widely recycled and yet they continue to use them, despite other companies showing how Easter eggs can be packaged with a mind to efficiency and recyclability."

As soon as the report was released, many candy egg-makers defended their practices.

"M&S is committed to packaging reduction and has already met its Plan A target of reducing its packaging by 25%, a year ahead of plan," stated the M&S spokeswoman.

She went on to state, "This year we will use 6% less packaging on our Easter eggs than last year, 80% of our carton board is now from recycled or sustainable sources and 100% of the PET plastic we use is recyclable, too. Overall, 91% of all our food packaging is now recyclable."

The report did acknowledge some brands have taken steps to reduce packaging and use renewable materials. The Easter egg that was ranked highest for recyclability was Montezuma's Easter egg, which the report called, "an innovative design made of just two parts, a biodegradable outer shell and recyclable foil wrapping."

Just recently Nestle UK & Ireland announced it converted to 100% recyclable packaging on its Easter egg confectioneries by replacing rigid plastic with cardboard.

Nestlé said that the sustainable project, which removes all plastic packaging from all its eggs, took six years to complete, and that it is the first major confectioner to accomplish this task.

What do you think about the uproar about Easter egg candy packaging in the UK?

Chinese resin imports rebound in February after New Year lull

 
China's polymer imports posted a noticeable rise from 1.134 million tons in January 2012 to 1.478 million tons in February 2012, a jump of 344,000 tons month over month, according to the Chinese Customs data. The new February figures were the highest for the month going back to 2001, according to ChemOrbis.
 
Apart from major exporters such as Saudi Arabia (295,423 tons), South Korea (260,605 tons) and Taiwan (172,766 tons), the U.S. (99,611 tons), Thailand (95,866 tons) and the United Arab Emirates (89,400 tons) were the top polymer exporters to China in February 2012, with all of these countries increasing their total export volumes to China when compared to the previous month. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Japan almost doubled their total polymer exports to China over the month while Iran's polymer exports to China fell to only around half of the level seen in January.

Priamus to demonstrate new modular line of software for injection molding at NPE2012

Priamus has released a new modular line of software to enable “complete” control of the injection molding process. The system, called the Fillcontrol, can distinguish the proper flow of the melt, as well as compression, cooling and shrinkage during the process.

Priamus will demonstrate the new Fillcontrols at NPE2012 as follows:

Bauer Plastics Technology Group, booth (#1221): Control of the gas-assist process.

Krauss-Maffei Corp., booth (#1503): Complete process control via automatic adjustment of machine parameters to maintain part characteristics.

By the use of an interface with the molding machine, machine parameters are automatically adjusted so that consistent molded part characteristics are continuously maintained, the company stated. Cavity pressure and cavity temperature sensors provide the input information for these adaptive controls. Process and subsequent part reproducibility occur independently of the location or molding machine.

“This process can simplify mold transfers, start-ups, and production runs and greatly increases profitability for manufacturing operations,” the company stated in a news release.

With its modular platform, the Fillcontrol system can be configured to meet specific application needs. Combined with the new digital Priamus BlueLine devices, basic process monitoring through complete process control can be accomplished.

The Priamus control package also includes automatic balancing and control for hot runner molds.