Conair reveals line of self-tuning controllers
Conair Group introduced microprocessor controls on their new water temperature controllers, maxTrac and maxTrac Plus.
The Thermolator units continuously tune themselves to keep stable control, even under varying load conditions, Conair said. The units feature a proprietary ``autotune'' capability.
Thermolaters are available in sizes from three-fourths horsepower to 71/2 horsepower.
Conair guarantees its TW-1 and TW-2 controllers for four years. The control panel can be located up to 50 feet from the unit.
Conair is based in Emsworth, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
Tel. (412) 312-6000, fax (412) 312-6320.
Method heats resin outside of extruders
An engineer from Toledo, Ohio, is working on a new extrusion method that uses external heating, not the screw, to heat resin — a process he claims can cut electricity usage by 30-50 percent and give precise control.
The inventor, James Machen, is a semiretired mechanical engineering professor at the University of Toledo. He has formed Extrusor Group to develop the technology.
Machen is completing the third prototype machine.
Two-thirds of the heat that melts the plastic comes from heater bands.
A series of 10 lateral fins transfer heat inward from the barrel walls into the melt. The fins replace a torpedo that is used to heat resin on an earlier prototype.
The screw, which has deep flights, acts only to convey and mix material. That is a major change from traditional extrusion, in which mechanical friction from the turning screw heats the plastic.
``I'm using [the screw] only as a feed section,'' Machen said.
Machen said external heating is much more precise than a screw. It can be fine-tuned more accurately.
At first glance, the Extrusor machine seems to hark back to the early days of extrusion and injection molding, when heater bands heated the material and a plunger rammed it forward. But Machen said the difference is his machine uses a flighted screw. The resin flows straight through the barrel, giving low residence time.
Another benefit is a small machine size, thanks to a very short screw. The motor size is two-thirds smaller than a comparable extruder.
The inventor thinks the Extrusor would be attractive to companies that process heat-sensitive resins.
Traditional extrusion often overheats the material, which then must be cooled again.
Tel. (419) 535-0522, fax (419) 535-5698.
M&C control system monitors pressure
A new injection molding control system from a Wyandotte, Mich., company, M&C Advanced Processes Inc., uses pressurized air inside the mold cavity and nozzle.
M&C calls the technology gas counterpressure, or GCP.
GCP ``makes the cavity measurable,'' said Milko Guergov, president of M&C in Wyandotte.
BCP measures a process variable M&C calls ``internal melt pressure.''
Using pressure transducers, the system constantly checks changes in pressure, then adjusts injection pressure to achieve a preset pressure profile.
According to M&C, each section of the part solidifies under the same pressure, thereby reducing stresses molded into the part.
At NPE 1997 in June, M&C demonstrated the gas counterpressure system on machines running in the booths of Cincinnati Milacron Inc. and Engel North America, Guergov said. He said Milacron, Engel, Toshiba Machine Co. America and Van Dorn Demag Corp. are offering GCP as an option on new injection molding machines.
GCP also is available as a retrofit onto existing machines, Guergov said.
Tel. (313) 284-9212, fax (313) 284-9482.
Spirex valve design diverts adhesive wear
Spirex Corp. said its new F-LOC nonreturn valve eliminates adhesive wear problems that can happen with conventional sliding-ring valves.
F-LOC's interlocking design has an interlocking ring that turns with the retainer and the plasticating screw as they rotate. Adhesive wear problems are eliminated because the ring does not rotate against the front seat of the retainer, according to Youngstown, Ohio-based Spirex.
Spirex recommends F-LOC for most shear-sensitive, high-viscosity resins. Options are available to make the nonreturn valve more resistant to abrasion and corrosion.
Mike Durina, Spirex vice president, said the company created F-LOC to fill the gap between the firm's Auto-Shut valve and the traditional sliding-ring design.
Tel. (330) 726-4000, fax (330) 726-9437.
Movable granulator for profile extruders
German granulator supplier Herbold Zerkleinerungstechnik GmbH has developed a movable granulator for profile and tubing extruders.
The granulators grind waste and feed it back into the extrusion line.
The smallest unit, the SML 22/30 FV, can grind 220 pounds of plastic an hour. It can accept profiles and pipe with diameters up to 3.2 inches.
The largest granulator, type SML 45/101, has a very large feed opening to accept parts such as corrugated plastic pipe as large as 20 inches wide. The machine can process up to 3,300 pounds an hour.
Herbold said the granulators also can be placed beside injection molding machines.
Resource Recycling Systems Inc. of Smithfield, R.I., represents Herbold Zerkleinerungstechnik.
Tel. (401) 232-3354, fax (401) 232-5425.
AIS pad printer can hold up to 5 colors
Automated Industrial Systems Inc. of Erie, Pa., has paired its pad printer, the Madag Sigma, with a an integrated conveyor called the Pressor Linear Transfer 150, to create a system called Sigma TLE150.
Automated Industrial Systems designed, manufactured and mounted parts-handling fixtures to the machine.
The Sigma pad printer can accommodate up to five colors. With each cycle, a part is loaded, three parts are printed and the machine ejects a part.
The company said an easy-to-read control panel comes standard in three languages.
Tel. (814) 838-2270, fax (814) 833-5661.
Moldflow announced Release 9.4 software
Plastics simulation software maker Moldflow Corp. has announced Release 9.4 of its Dynamic Series.
Lexington, Mass.-based Moldflow said 9.4 allows the user to analyze a broader range of complex parts with greater accuracy, such as highly ribbed parts and fiber-filled materials. The software now can analyze warpage and stresses of parts with partially filled ribs or surfaces, and models that have valve gates.
Moldflow also has made the system easier to use.
Short shots that partially fill ribs and surfaces can be analyzed with Moldflow's MF/Warp, MH/ Stress and MF/Shrink software.
Tel. (617) 674-0085, fax (617) 674-0267.
Scientific Process offers Extrud program
Scientific Process & Research Inc. has introduced a Windows 95/NT version of its Extrud software that simulates single-screw extrusion.
Extrud 97 has tabbed controls to set up run options, choose the type of resin and pick screws, extruders and operating conditions. A new grid interface makes entering screw geometry easy, according to the Somerset, N.J., company.
Extrusion variables, with tabbed folders, are divided into these titles: material properties, friction, screw, extruder, operation and die geometry.
Extrud 97 has a help system.
Scientific Process & Research's Extrud program allows the user to see what is happening at any part along the barrel and screw. The software produces a process summary that shows problems and suggests solutions.
Tel. (908) 846-3477, fax (908) 846-3029.
Superior's slide lock now made in 3 sizes
A patented slide lock from Oak Creek, Wis.-based Superior Die Set Corp. now is available in three sizes for mold builders.
A new, oval, two-piece unit handles up to 50 pounds. It measures 21/4 inches by 1 inch.
A smaller version, 11/2 inches long and less than three-fourths of an inch wide, can handle up to 25 pounds.
A third slide lock that is smaller than a dime is circular and holds 8 pounds.
Tel. (800) 588-6040, fax (800) 657-0855.