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Articles from 2016 In May


StackTeck adds technical sales support in Southeast Asia

Stacktech

StackTeck Systems Ltd. (Brampton, ON, Canada) announced a recent addition to its global sales and marketing team: Mr. Suthipote Limpiviroj will be supporting the Southeast Asia market as StackTeck’s Regional Sales Representative, based in Bangkok, Thailand.

From left to right: Henry Rozema, Suthipote Limpiviroj and Vince Travaglini.

As a recognized innovator in the design and manufacture of injection molds for the rigid food container, beverage closure, medical and consumer products packaging industries, StackTeck has experienced significant growth in the region and has invested in an experienced technical sales representative to support its activities.

“We have made significant investments in engineering, machine tool technology and testing facilities and are pleased to add regional sales expertise with a focus on support to our customers in Southeast Asia,” said Henry Rozema, Vice President, Business Development and Innovation.

StackTeck’s headquarters are located in Canada, with additional sales representation in both Mexico and Colombia. With over four decades of mold-building innovation, StackTeck is a global provider of high-volume production injection tooling solutions for a range of applications including thinwall packaging, caps, closures, medical, and consumer packaging, as well as complete system integration, in-mold labeling (IML) systems and mold bases. StackTeck has dedicated R&D, testing and mold sampling/process validation facilities, and also provides plastic part design, prototyping, engineering and manufacturing capabilities.

Multi-market demand spurs Plastic Molding Technology investments in equipment

PMT Toyo press

Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT; El Paso, TX) announced new investments to expand the company’s molding capacity and capabilities. PMT’s investments include a new all-electric injection molding machine, along with a crane system and auxiliary equipment, to support new projects and an expansion of growth in key market segments. The machinery and auxiliary equipment investments were made as part of a $1.5 million facility-wide improvement project planned through 2017.

The 500-ton Toyo press is the largest PMT has ever installed.

Representing a move into a new tonnage range, PMT installed a 500-ton Toyo Si-500-6, which is currently the largest press at PMT. The Toyo has an integrated touch screen programmable logic control system, and is outfitted with 3-axis robotics and a NovaTech dryer system. To support this larger tonnage press, PMT also invested in a 5-ton overhead crane system, installed to ensure safer and faster mold changeovers. With a lift capacity of up to 10,000 pounds, the crane system is the largest yet, and will support the 500-ton press as well as two existing 390-ton machines. The 500-ton press will support new projects with a current automotive customer, while growing PMT’s business offerings in molding larger parts for both new and existing customers.

PMT also invested in two 200-ton EC200SXV50-8s from Toshiba Machine. The twin presses free up capacity for molding demand in this popular tonnage range, and give PMT a boost of efficiency for technical molding applications. Both presses were outfitted with new auxiliary equipment, including NovaTech NovaWheel desiccant dryers and custom 3-axis robotic cells, according to PMT’s information.

“As we continue to see growth with some of our key customers in molding larger, highly technical plastic parts, PMT maintains our commitment to continuous improvement,” said PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis. “It’s important to evolve with our customers’ needs by continually upgrading our plant floor and equipment—replacing machinery with more energy-efficient models, ensuring all areas conform to 5-S standards and using our cutting-edge software system.”

PMT’s machinery repertoire previously focused on smaller-tonnage presses, more than 60% of which historically are under 110 tons. The addition of the 500-ton press gives PMT increased flexibility in the size of parts produced at the facility.

PMT operates on a 24/7 schedule, running 59 injection molding machines ranging from 40 to 500 tons, producing more than 150 million parts annually. More than half of all presses are now efficient all-electric models.

Coca-Cola launches Glacéau Smartwater sports cap

Coca-Cola launches Glacéau Smartwater sports cap

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE; Atlanta, GA) has launched a new sports cap packaging format for its bottled water brand, Glacéau Smartwater, following a £14 million spend at its manufacturing site in Northumberland.

The investment went towards building a high-speed, fully automated water processing and bottling line that will more than double production capability for Glacéau Smartwater to 56,000 bottles per hour, from the previous line’s capability of 18,200 bottles per hour. It will support production of the new sports cap format for the brand, which Coca-Cola said is worth more than £21 million.

The new sports cap, which will be available on 850ml packs, will pop up on store shelves this month and has been introduced as a result of consumer demand for instant consumption formats, where Glacéau Smartwater is ranked among the five biggest brands.

Opened in 2014, the facility in Morpeth is CCE’s only site to produce Glacéau Smartwater that uses spring water from an underground aquifer – also the source of Schweppes’ Abbey Well brand. This is then vapour distilled before electrolytes are added to give smartwater its crisp, clean taste.

Jane Buckley, Operations Director for CCE Morpeth, said: “This is an exciting milestone for our Morpeth operations. At CCE we are dedicated to supporting local manufacturing across the country and this latest investment in new production technology, is a statement of our ongoing commitment to the Morpeth region.

“Here in Morpeth we have a proud history of producing high quality water for consumers across Great Britain, and Glacéau Smartwater has been a successful addition to this portfolio. Its unique, vapour distilled proposition stands it apart from other bottled water brands. Bottled water with sports caps are in growth, ahead of the rest of the instant consumption water sector so this latest innovation offers real room for our retail customers to capitalise on this trend.”

Million-dollar investment drives growth at Omega Plastics Group

Omega Plastics

Omega Plastics Group, located in northeast England with sites in Blyth, Washington and Hartlepool, is investing £1 million ($1.27 million) in new equipment across its three sites. The investment is supported by a £200,000 grant from Let’s Grow North East and £60 million from a regional growth fund program operated by business services company BE Group and Newcastle accountancy firm UNW LLP.

Alan Franklin, Managing Director at Signal Plastics, and the company's new Negri Bossi machine.

Omega Plastics Group was established in 2015 following the merger of Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics.

The first stage in the investment program is a 1,300 ton Negri Bossi injection molding press and overhead robotic equipment installed in the Washington facility. This £400,000 machine enables Signal Plastics to produce more and larger parts for the automotive sector, where it is a Tier One and Two supplier to various manufacturers including Aston Martin and Nissan.

Alan Franklin, Managing Director, said: “We’ve made this investment on the back of increased demand from the automotive industry. It’s a significant development in the growth of the business, but we’ll see the rewards not just in terms of the extended product offering we can make to customers but also in making our process more cost effective by improving our energy efficiency.”

Andrew Frost, Project Adviser, commented: “It’s very encouraging to see northeast companies like Omega Plastics Group investing in new state-of-the-art equipment, which, as well as driving growth, is also creating new, highly skilled jobs within the business. It’s great that Let’s Grow has been able to play a significant role in helping the company to achieve this.”

In April, Omega Plastics Group marked its 10th anniversary by being accredited to ISO/TS 16949:2009, the global quality standard for the automotive sector, and confirming that it remained on course to record a 50% increase in turnover this year to around £8.5 million.

SPE announces winners of Plastics for Life Global Parts Competition at ANTEC 2016

Delphi

The annual ANTEC, which was recently held in Indianapolis, is the largest event organized by SPE (Bethel, CT) and the world’s leading plastics technical conference. It also featured the third annual Plastics for Life Global Parts Competition showcasing innovative parts and products selected from a range of parts that had already won competitions at other SPE events during the past year. In addition, a People’s Choice award was presented to the part that received the greatest number of votes from ANTEC attendees. Drum roll, please . . .

Grand Prize: Plastitel Inc. (Laval, QC, Canada)

Vacuum-thermoformed TPU pods serve as the support surface of the IsoLibrium patient bed from Stryker Corp. The pods are the main support surface of the IsoLibrium bed, facilitating patient mobility and ensuring regular movement. This aids in the function of vital organs, reduces bed sores and improves circulation. Two major challenges were ensuring a minimum thickness on each individual pod and accurately measuring them.

Sustaining Life: Delphi Automotive PLC (Gillingham, UK)

An over-molded polyamide heated-tip fuel injector for Honda Motor Co. has an electrical heater within the injector that is energized by the vehicle controller, rapidly heating the ethanol fuel and thereby dramatically improving vaporization while reducing emissions. By enabling reduced fuel consumption during engine warm up, these injectors also offer reduced emissions in ethanol and gasoline applications. Total hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions were reduced by 40 to 70%.

Protecting Life: Promogroup (Milan)

A plastic/metal hybrid floor rocker honeycomb reinforcement for the 2015 Fiat Chrysler Jeep Renegade is designed for high-energy, high-speed side-impact crashes. It reduces component weight by 45% versus its steel counterpart, or 1 kg/vehicle, with the added benefit of a 10% cost reduction. This new technology sets a precedent for similar applications across the body structure, including 30 to 40% mass reduction for each reinforcement, performance comparable to high-strength steel and ease of assembly.

Quality of Life: Sonoco Plastics (Hartsville, SC)

The VariBlend dispenser sits atop a two-compartment, 39-ml blowmolded bottle. A new design locks securely to ensure the package will travel without leaking and maintain its integrity. Consumers can select different formula strengths by turning the dial on the dispenser, satisfying demand for product personalization and freshness. Six positions exist, or brand owners can set fixed ratios. Keeping products separate until time of use keeps them fresher longer. This winning component is designed for products that come in multiple strengths, require ingredient segregation, offer shade/color selection or need mixing and blending. The product was submitted by toolmaker FGH Systems (Denville, NJ).

Improving Life: Productive Plastics Inc. (Mt Laurel, NJ)

Nine pressure-formed parts for an MRI medical scanning device used both cast and machined molds to ensure no-shrink tolerance and CNC linear tolerances for molded-in dimensions. All parts utilized pushers to pre-stretch materials. Use of Sekisui’s Kydex T sheet made it possible to maintain the required wall thickness and consistency over multiple runs. The parts include undercuts and are formed in mating parts to better line up for fit. The assembly allows for the parts to fit a separate metal frame that is assembled at the staging location. This custom hardware reduced the amount of tools needed to install and service the device and reduced the total time required for installation and service.

People’s Choice: SureCan Inc. (Salt Lake City)

The 2.2- and 5-gallon blowmolded gasoline can makes it possible to direct how and where fuel is dispensed via a rotating nozzle, thumb trigger and hand support grips at the bottom. The thumb safety trigger securely seals the vent on top of the can. The thumb button assembly is made up of two main parts: The thumb button itself and the safety trigger. The vent does not open or release any air unless the safety trigger is pulled straight back and then depressed with the main thumb button. On average, the SureCan releases fuel at a rate of about 2 gallons per minute.

Dow and Nordmeccanica partner on breakthrough lamination technology

Dow and Nordmeccanica partner on breakthrough lamination technology

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (Midland, MI) and Nordmeccanica S.p.A. (Piacenza, Italy) are collaborating on a lamination technology, using both adhesive and machinery hardware advancements. The technology, which was announced this week at the Drupa show in Dusseldorf, Germany, is a combination of Dow’s Symbiex solventless adhesives and Nordmeccanica’s Duplex SL One ShotT lamination line. The joint venture redefines packaging lamination, offering converters best-in-class conversion efficiency improvements, shorter time-to-market and total conversion cost reductions. 

"We are excited to launch this breakthrough technology at Drupa, just 18 months after the signing of the joint development agreement with Nordmeccanica," said Greg Bunker, Global Business Director for Dow Adhesives for Packaging, Textiles and Hygiene, "By combining Dow's adhesive development know-how with Nordmeccanica's machine pioneering, we succeeded in introducing the biggest innovation in packaging lamination in 50 years."

Unlike conventional lamination lines, the Duplex SL One ShotT laminator offers a unique system to handle the solventless lamination process, enabling the two adhesive components to come into contact as late as possible in the lamination process.

With two independent high-precision coating stations, the two films are pressed together only in the lamination nip station where the curing of the adhesive takes place. This process eliminates the need of a mixing unit and any pot life concerns, and offers reduced line downtime and easy cleaning.

"Dow and Nordmeccanica worked together to reimagine the current conventional lamination process and address some of its fundamental limitations, namely combining fast curing, which requires a fast-acting adhesive, with outstanding pot life, which requires a slower-acting adhesive," added Vincenzo Cerciello, VP Technology at Nordmeccanica Group, "With Symbiex and the Duplex SL One ShotT laminator, we are able to slit just 90 minutes after lamination compared to today's 24 hour standard. This is an exciting development and game changing innovation for the lamination adhesives market."

PTFE-based markings won’t affect diameter, performance of plastic medical devices

Visimark Surface Solutions

Surface Solutions Group LLC (Chicago) provides a range of coating technologies specifically designed for medical device applications. In particular, the company has developed a banding technology called VisiMark that applies PTFE-based markings on a PTFE-coated substrate so that physicians have visual verification of the depth of insertion of a cannula or other medical device. The company will feature this technology and other products in booth 868 at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East in New York City on June 14 to 16.

VisiMark technology produces a permanent, high-contrast mark in a variety of color combinations. The marking does not significantly alter the thickness of the medical-grade PTFE coating on the device and it maintains a smooth surface with a low coefficient of friction. The markings cannot become dislodged.

Co-located with PLASTEC East, MD&M East is UBM America’s largest East Coast medical technology trade show and conference. The event recently announced a partnership with the MedTech Association, a New York–based trade association for the bioscience and medical technology industry. The inaugural New York Medtech Week will run on June 14 to 16, 2016, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Polyurethane part and parcel of the “Beautiful Game”

Polyurethane part and parcel of the “Beautiful Game”

With the European Football Championship 2016 fast approaching, it is high time to take a closer look at the official match ball that will be the center of attention this summer in France. First of all, it comes as no surprise that once again, the new ball - the EURO “Beau Jeu” - should be a co-production of Covestro and Adidas. After all, the two companies are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: sports goods manufacturer adidas and materials supplier Covestro have been collaborating on the development of footballs now for a total of thirty years, and have accumulated a wealth of know-how and experience along the way.

The next thing to notice is that the Beau Jeu, French for “beautiful game”, incorporates the best elements of the Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 Soccer World Cup- it features the same panel design- but surpasses it in terms of grip and its properties in play. The improved ball control and stable flight characteristics of the Beau Jeu, as well as its water resistance, are all thanks to its outer shell.

Which is precisely where Covestro comes in.

 “The ball’s outer shell consists of a total of five layers based on polyurethane raw materials from our Impranil line,” said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Covestro. “It starts with the outermost skin, a full underglass print that prevents abrasion of the printed layer.”

The extraordinarily durable white surface of the ball is decorated in the French national colors, blue, white and red. It covers the underlying intermediate layer, which protects the ball against external influences and lends it unusually high elasticity. Beneath that is a polyurethane foam with millions of microspheres that ensure outstanding flight characteristics. A polyurethane adhesive bonds the top layers to a special polyester-cotton fabric that serves as a substrate.

The current world champion, Germany, who, in 2014 became the first European side to win the World Cup on South American soil, has been familiarizing itself with the behavior of the new ball, as have the other competitors in the tournament, since November 2015. However, the Beau Jeu had its premiere in the world’s first digital soccer stadium, the adidas Future Arena in St. Denis, where computer-animated stands simulated 50,000 spectators. Obviously, the true test will come on June 10th, when the European Soccer Championship kicks off.

The first bets on who will be the top scorer the upcoming UEFA EURO ’16 in France have already been placed…

Polyurethane part and parcel of the “Beautiful Game”

Polyurethane part and parcel of the “Beautiful Game”

With the European Football Championship 2016 fast approaching, it is high time to take a closer look at the official match ball that will be the center of attention this summer in France. First of all, it comes as no surprise that once again, the new ball - the EURO “Beau Jeu” - should be a co-production of Covestro and Adidas. After all, the two companies are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: sports goods manufacturer adidas and materials supplier Covestro have been collaborating on the development of footballs now for a total of thirty years, and have accumulated a wealth of know-how and experience along the way.

The next thing to notice is that the Beau Jeu, French for “beautiful game”, incorporates the best elements of the Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 Soccer World Cup- it features the same panel design- but surpasses it in terms of grip and its properties in play. The improved ball control and stable flight characteristics of the Beau Jeu, as well as its water resistance, are all thanks to its outer shell.

Which is precisely where Covestro comes in.

 “The ball’s outer shell consists of a total of five layers based on polyurethane raw materials from our Impranil line,” said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Covestro. “It starts with the outermost skin, a full underglass print that prevents abrasion of the printed layer.”

The extraordinarily durable white surface of the ball is decorated in the French national colors, blue, white and red. It covers the underlying intermediate layer, which protects the ball against external influences and lends it unusually high elasticity. Beneath that is a polyurethane foam with millions of microspheres that ensure outstanding flight characteristics. A polyurethane adhesive bonds the top layers to a special polyester-cotton fabric that serves as a substrate.

The current world champion, Germany, who, in 2014 became the first European side to win the World Cup on South American soil, has been familiarizing itself with the behavior of the new ball, as have the other competitors in the tournament, since November 2015. However, the Beau Jeu had its premiere in the world’s first digital soccer stadium, the adidas Future Arena in St. Denis, where computer-animated stands simulated 50,000 spectators. Obviously, the true test will come on June 10th, when the European Soccer Championship kicks off.

The first bets on who will be the top scorer the upcoming UEFA EURO ’16 in France have already been placed…

Japanese supplier promotes novel modifiers for impact, tribological improvement

Japanese supplier promotes novel modifiers for impact, tribological improvement

A range of novel graft copolymers from Japanese company NOF Corp. consisting of a polyolefin or polycarbonate as the main chain and a vinyl-based copolymer (i.e., one with a double bond) as the branch polymer imparts various properties to a variety of resins when used as modifiers in dosages of the order of 5-10%. The branch polymer may be styrenic, a methyl methacrylate, or an acrylonitrile-styrene entity, for example.

Additive confers scratch resistance (above) to polypropylene and TPO grades used in auto interiors. The photo below shows an unmodified compound.

One particular grade, Modiper A1100, when added in a 10% dosage to polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin, reduces abrasion loss in gears by half compared with grades employing a PTFE modifier. PBT is being increasingly applied in gears in the auto sector. Modiper series modifiers can also be used to modify polyacetal (POM), polyamide (PA) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) gears, bearings, door hinges, rails and other mechanical components according to NOF.

Another Modiper grade, AS100, can reduce the risk of squeaking from POM gears as well as reduce abrasion loss. It can also reduce such noise in sliding and moving parts such as interior mirror covers and arm rests molded from materials such as PC/ABS and ABS.

A further application of the Modiper A series is impact modification, examples of which include connectors and housings. “In the auto sector, wire harness connectors must exhibit good thermal impact properties over a temperature rang spanning -40°C through to 120°C,” says Yasuhiro Ohara, Manager, Fine Polymer Group at NOF. “A 5-10% loading of Modiper A4300 will ensure no cracking occurs as a result of thermal shock.”

Modiper also functions as a compatibilizing agent for alloys such as PC/PET, PC/PBT, PC/ABS, and PBT/ABS. Other functionalities it is known to deliver are paintability improvement, adhesion improvement. flowability improvement, weatherability improvement and as a dispersant for inorganic fillers, pigment, and additives.

NOF has also utilized its polymer grafting expertise to develop scratch resistance improvers such as Nofalloy KA832 for use in car exterior and interior trim components molded from polypropylene (PP) or TPO. The additive also improves the elongation and Izod impact properties of PP.

NOF offers technical service for Modiper and Nofalloy out of Shanghai (China), Frankfurt (Germany) and White Plains, NY.