Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these items from Replitech North America, held June 2-4 in San Francisco.
Calif. cassette reuser considers expansion
A Chatsworth, Calif., reuser of cassettes is evaluating acquisition of a grinding machine for about $87,000 and the possibility of adding injection molding capability in late 1999.
Last year, Intermedia Video Products LLC processed about 30 million cassettes and generated sales of about $7.5 million.
``We expect to double both sales and units in 1998,'' Patricia Ratner, chief executive officer, said in an interview.
Original equipment manufacturing studios, duplicators and Video Software Dealers Association members provide Intermedia with bulk quantities of used, defective and damaged cassettes. Video cassettes account for more than 80 percent and professional-grade mastering formats for most of the remainder.
Intermedia erases content, packages blanks and sells cassettes under the company's Ecopac brand name. Contract grinders recycle some cassettes.
Intermedia formed in July 1995 and employs 90-100, many through a Los Angeles County work training program for disadvantaged and developmentally disabled people.
Interactive has applied for grants to fund the boost in capabilities and to deal with a need for space beyond the existing 40,000 square feet. The grinding project's budget totals $128,000 for plant improvements and equipment.
Arburg Inc. improves California tech center
Arburg Inc. is setting up a new showroom, increasing part availability by 30 percent and creating a 20-person training room in its Westminster, Calif., technical center. Completion is scheduled for the end of July.
``We will use our existing 15,000 square feet more efficiently,'' Anthony Codet said in a June 3 interview.
Codet is western and southwestern regional manager, covering 29 states.
Arburg will display at least seven injection molding presses with clamping forces of 17-220 tons. The center will offer mold tests and machine demonstrations, Codet said.
Recently, the region boosted its staff to seven, adding Dick Komlofske in Portland, Ore., as a serviceman and Dave Labert and Ivo Kokan as Westminster-based sales representatives.
Arburg Inc. of Newington, Conn., has other technical centers, in Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Spartanburg, S.C.; and operates as the North American sales and service subsidiary of Arburg GmbH + Co. of Lossburg, Germany.
Va. firm's Divx discs get new PS packaging
Seeking to differentiate its product, Digital Video Express LP of Herndon, Va., has contracted with Queens Group Inc. of Long Island City, N.Y., to supply its Q-Pack to package Divx discs now taking aim at the nascent digital versatile disc market.
International Packaging Corp. injection molds the high-impact polystyrene case with a two-part hinge on 300-ton presses in its Fort Wayne, Ind., plant. A Queens plant in Indianapolis prints the paperboard and assembles the Q-Pack for shipment to replicators such as Nimbus CD International Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., for automatic loading. New tools will permit molding a Divx identifier on each Q-Pack.
Digital Video plans to launch the Divx format initially in the San Francisco Bay area and Richmond, Va.
A user buys a Divx disc for a few dollars for limited-time use on a Divx player that is connected to a phone line to buy additional viewing periods later, according to William Plumb, Queens corporate design director.
Axxicon Molds shows new sprueless system
Axxicon Molds Eindhoven BV's new Ringflow sprueless mold system for optical media carriers was run at Replitech on a Netstal Discjet 600 press with an initial cycle time of 3.7 seconds. By the end of the year, the firm is targeting a cycle time of less than 3 seconds.
In the past three years, the unit of Axxicon Group NV of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has invested about US$600,000 in developing the mold system, Chris van Dijk said. Van Dijk is manager of optical disc products at an Axxicon unit in Norcross, Ga.
Axxicon is establishing beta sites this spring in advance of the system's initial deliveries in late 1998.
``Material goes in hotter,'' and the result ``allows better processing capability,'' said Robert Hayes, director of sales and market development of data products in Fort Devens, Mass., for the Nafels, Switzerland-based Netstal-Maschinen AG business unit of Mannesmann AG's plastics machinery group.
Absence of a sprue eliminates the cost of a couple of grams of wasted polycarbonate per disc and expands the process window, Hayes said. The system replaced the sprue bush with a hot-runner system with a valve gate at the center.
The system reduces possible damage to a disc stamper from a sprue collapsing into the mold. Axxicon plans pricing to be comparable to existing molds.