CHICAGO — Many manufacturers like to show off the latest gadgets — especially those products with the biggest ``wow'' factor — at trade shows.
But at Plastics USA in Chicago, Van Dorn Demag Corp. first wanted to talk about pesky little things like leaks.
Not that leaks are little things to injection molders.
They cost money, increase safety risks and take valuable time to fix, Patrice Aylward, marketing communications manager for Van Dorn said at the Chicago show, held Oct. 6-8. That's why Van Dorn is committing to a three-year, leak-free guarantee for its new, U.S.-built machines.
``Molders have been asking for a leak-free machine for a long time,'' Aylward said. Despite many technical advances and variations in the design of injection presses, molders ``don't really care if a machine is electric or hydraulic; they just don't want it to leak,'' she said.
But getting its plants ready to commit to a three-year guarantee took a two-year engineering and design effort at Van Dorn's Strongsville, Ohio, headquarters.
``We're just reaching the point where we feel comfortable'' offering the guarantee, Aylward said.
Through in-plant training and cooperative developments with its customers and its own suppliers, Van Dorn has been able to achieve ``tighter and tighter tolerances and higher-quality machines,'' she said.
Design changes include the use of fittings with O-rings instead of the more-common threaded variety.
The guarantee covers Van Dorn's HT, HP, Caliber and Newbury vertical product lines, and is effective on all machines shipped after Oct. 15.
Van Dorn did have some high-tech, high-wow factor gadgets on display, too.
Van Dorn, as North American distributor of machines built by corporate sister Demag Ergotech GmbH in Schwaig, Germany, displayed an electric Ergotech machine with two injection units.
One unit shot thermoplastic material into a rotary-mounted mold, while the other overmolded a seal of liquid silicone. The same mold has to cool the thermoplastic to set its shape, and then heat the silicone to set its shape.
Advanced control logic helps the machine balance the competing temperature needs for that application, Aylward said.