Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these items from Nepcon West, held Feb. 23-25 in Anaheim, Calif.
RTP rolls out material for conductive sheet
Specialty compounder RTP Co. of Winona, Minn., introduced a family of five conductive thermoplastic compounds for use in making thermoformable extruded sheet. RTP adapted a process from its experience in compounding injection molding materials.
RTP's PermaStat technology gives the sheet permanent anti-static protection without using a black additive, and the material will not scratch off, said Connie Hawkinson, marketing communications manager. The resulting clear or transparent material can be converted into thermoformed packaging for electronics and medical applications.
Thermoformers avoid the secondary step of painting or spraying on an anti-static coating.
A user can view the contents without opening the package, thereby avoiding possible contamination. The family includes compounds containing ABS, glycol-modified PET, acrylic, polycarbonate or polystyrene, and embedded anti-static material.
RTP employs 750 and, in addition to its Minnesota site, operates plants in South Boston, Va.; Dayton, Nev.; Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; and Beaune, France.
Firm sees Maine Poly as industry platform
Banking investment firm JPB Enterprises Inc. of Columbia, Md., aims to use Maine Poly Inc. as a platform to expand in the flexible packaging and printing markets.
JPB's merchant banking unit bought the extruder, printer, converter and graphics house in Greene, Maine, in June.
``We are always looking at acquisitions,'' Peter Frazier, Maine Poly president and chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.
A Nepcon West exhibitor, Maine Poly's division for electrostatic-dissipative packaging accounts for one-fourth of the firm's sales, Frazier said. The ESD division sells static shielding and conductive, dissipative and anti-static films. A division converting and printing plastic bags generates the remaining sales.
Maine Poly employs 250 and occupies 100,000 square feet in two Greene facilities, one for each division.
Nepcon West facing competitive show
Some large electronics equipment manufacturers are backing a new trade show that will compete with Nepcon West in California next year. The new show, APEX, is scheduled for March 14-16 in Long Beach, following Nepcon West, set for Feb. 27-March 2 in Anaheim.
``Some of the core equipment manufacturers have joined together with the IPC to launch a new trade event,'' Robert Stewart said at a Feb. 22 news conference.
Stewart is a vice president with Reed Exhibition Cos. of Norwalk, Conn., which organizes Nepcon West.
He identified the key operations as Cookson Group plc's electronics division in Providence, R.I.; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.'s Panasonic factory automation unit in Franklin Park, Ill.; Philips Electronics NV's electronic manufacturing technology unit in Alpharetta, Ga.; Siemens AG's electronics assembly equipment unit in Norcross, Ga.; and Dover Corp.'s Universal Instruments Corp. subsidiary in Binghamton, N.Y. Each exhibited at Nepcon.
The major firms, as the Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturers Association, reorganized last year within the IPC trade group of Northbrook, Ill. Now, the member-driven IPC SMEMA Council appears positioned to draw off some Nepcon West revenue.
``We have dramatically reduced exhibit space cost and have implemented rules and regulations that these companies wanted,'' Stewart said, noting the defections open more space at lower rates for other exhibitors.
More than 900 exhibitors filled about 350,000 square feet at Nepcon West '99.