Plastics News reporters Bill Bregar and Steve Toloken reported the following news items from the Plastics Show Philadelphia, held April 7-9 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Molder introduces 2-chamber system
Vertech Systems Inc., a Houston company that makes vertical injection molding machines, introduced a loading system called the Vitro DC.
The loader works on the just-in-time principle. A baffle inside the tube divides it into two halves, keeping the loading side from the vacuum side. A patent is pending on the two-chamber arrangement, according to President Mike Noggle.
A clear Pyrex section of the tube lets the operator see inside. The Vitro DC can be used as a single station or as part of a central system. It comes in capacities of 8, 32 and 64 ounces.
Vertech began production last year. The company's vertical press features a pair of molds that shuttle in and out at an angle, instead of the traditional side-to-side shuttle tables used on vertical machines. That makes it easier to use robots, and lets the operator remain seated, Noggle said. Vertech machines also can run more quickly, he said.
Noggle said Vertech will sell the Vitro loader separately, or as an option on its machines. At the show, a machine was making screw drivers and letter openers.
Boy debuts new-size injection machine
Boy Machines Inc. of Exton, Pa., unveiled a new-size injection molding machine, with 33.7 tons of clamping force.
The hydraulic press, called the 30M, replaces Boy's 28.2 ton machine. It boasts increased tie-bar spacing of 11 inches horizontal by 10 inches vertical, and a bigger clamp stroke of 11.81 inches.
Boy added a new platen support to improve clamp guidance on the two-platen press.
A closed loop Procan 2 controller runs the press.
The 30M press has a closed loop Procan 12 controller. Another model, the 30D, comes with Boy's Dipronic controller.
Boy's Procan 2 controller has a faster response time than earlier models, because it has a comparator that controls outputs instantaneously. Controllers without a comparator scan all points on a cyclical basis, so they run slower.
Boy also showed its 14.2-ton press, first displayed in January at Western Plastics Expo in Long Beach, Calif.
Methods Plastics buys building for expansion
Sudbury, Mass.,-based Methods Plastics Machinery, which distributes Shinwa Seiki injection molding machines from Japan, purchased a 176,000 building in Acton, Mass., in March.
Hunter R. Kissam Jr., director of sales and marketing, said the company was running out of room at its 125,000-square-foot warehouse in Sudbury. In addition to Shinwa Seiki injection presses, Methods also sells metalworking machines from Fanuc and Matsura, and other suppliers.
``Methods has been growing. We've just been very busy and needed more storage space,'' Kissam said.
Kissam said some Shinwa Seiki presses will be housed in the new building, but final plans for the space have not been announced. The company bought a tractor-trailer truck to haul machines between the two facilities.
True Precision mulls plan for expansion
Custom injection molder True Precision Plastics wants to spend $1.5 million to $2 million to build a larger facility near its current factory in Leola, Pa.
The Leola-based company is leaning toward building a new site but is also considering existing buildings, and hopes to make a decision in May or June, said Vice President James Hirsch.
The small molder has 20 machines from 20-440 tons at its very crowded 33,000-square-foot facility, but wants a factory with up to 50,000 square feet that could be expanded to 60,000 square feet, he said.
The expansion, which the firm hopes will be completed by the year's end, will include three to five additional molding machines, Hirsch said.
The privately held company serves varied markets but about 20 percent of its business comes from molding parts for a Harley-Davidson Motor Co. plant in York, Pa. True Precision is owned by Hirsch, Simon Lever and Bob Holbrook.
Topcraft expands its technical center
Topcraft Precision Molders Inc. has expanded its technical center it opened in August, adding four toolmakers and equipment, including two electric discharge machines.
The Warminster, Pa., molder established the technical center, also in Warminster, because its customers are increasingly outsourcing design work, said Topcraft President Robert Piazza Sr.
The expansion includes additional computer numerically controlled equipment, equipment for first article quality inspection and level 3 production part approval process, which is important for automotive molders, he said.