Demag will expand machine size-range
Demag Ergotech USA this year will expand the size-range of its Ergotech EL-EXIS S series of injection molding machines, from 60-350 tons of clamping force, the company announced at Plastec West 2001, held Jan. 8-10 in Anaheim, Calif.
Demag Ergotech announced it will add three new clamping-force sizes. Previously, the range went from 100-250 tons.
EL-EXIS machines use electric drive to run screw rotation and mold opening. Injection and three secondary motions — core pull, ejection and carriage movement — are powered by an accumulator-driven hydraulic system. The company said the machines offer high precision and quiet operation with low energy consumption.
Demag Ergotech is based in Strongsville, Ohio.
Tel. (440) 876-6455, fax (440) 876-6464, e-mail [email protected] demagergotech-usa.com.
Milacron retrofitting presses with MuCell
Milacron Inc. has begun retrofitting existing Milacron injection presses with the MuCell microcellular technology, said MuCell's developer, Trexel Inc.
Trexel, of Woburn, Mass., said that Morton Custom Plastics Inc. of Harrisburg, N.C., has hired Milacron to retrofit up to 40 of its injection presses with MuCell over the next two years. The first retrofit, a 1993 Milacron press, was completed in late 2000 and returned to Morton's factory in Lebanon, Ky., where it runs tests for customers.
Trexel said microcellular molding cuts cycle time and cuts part costs.
Morton President Paul Schmitz said the company thinks demand for the MuCell-made parts could develop rapidly in Morton's markets of appliance, aerospace, lawn-care equipment, electronics and off-road vehicles.
Tel. (781) 932-0202, fax (781) 932-3324.
Video cameras catch machine malfunction
Proactivity Inc.'s A.I.M.E. technology uses digital video cameras mounted on a plastic processing machine and linked to special software.
When an alarm signals because of a machine malfunction, the cameras automatically record up to 6,000 frames of digital images, which are stored for later review. Technicians can see what happened to cause the problem.
"It's like having a 24/7 maintenance guy who doesn't sleep," said Marc Natali, founder and chief executive officer of Proactivity, based in Morristown, N.J.
The recorded information also can be used to train new employees and develop a library of problems and corrective action. The system also can be monitored from a remote location.
A.I.M.E. stands for Automated Industrial Monitoring Equipment.
Tel. (908) 725-3777.
Higher-output mixer raising firm's profile
A new higher-output continuous mixer is helping to raise the profile of the low-key Lehighton, Pa., company, Technical Process & Engineering Inc.
The company said its new Extended Free Rotor Mixer can turn out 15-20 percent more material than its standard Free Rotor machine.
H. Slayton Altenburg, who founded Technical Process in 1979, visited Plastics News in Akron, Ohio, to explain the new mixer. The counter-rotating continuous twin screw mixer is comparable to a Banbury mixer.
Altenburg, a mechanical engineer, worked at machinery maker Farrel Corp. and then for compounder Ametek Inc. He left Ametek to found his own machinery company in Lehighton.
Initially, Technical Process & Engineering machined spare parts for compounding extruders and rebuilt older machines.
"Then we started to put together complete machines and brought out the free rotor," Altenburg said.
Today the company manufacturers mixers, single screw extruders and dies.
The Free Rotor name comes from the fact that the two mixing rotors — which are similar to the screw on an extruder — are set up "free" between two spline couplings on each end of the shaft. Features of the machine include three temperature-control zones, for improved mixing of heat-sensitive additives such as foaming agents, flame retardants and organic pigments. On larger machines, a clamshell design allows quick, 20-minute rotor changes without dismantling the machine.
For the new Extended Free Rotor design, Technical Process added two extra conveying flights to the mixer. According to company literature, that acts like putting the ram down on a Banbury mixer to push more material through.
Altenburg said the extra flights reduce the axial rotation of material and boosts the shear between the rotors. The result: Instead of turning in circles with the screw, the melt flows down the shaft.
Another improvement is a larger feed throat, which accommodates fluffy or hard-to-feed materials.
Altenburg said his company employs 20 and has sales of $2 million to $3 million a year.
Tel. (570) 386-4777, e-mail [email protected]
Merritt Davis shows its new MD extruder
At Plastec West 2001, Merritt Davis Corp. displayed a new MD Series extruder for precision applications, such as medical tubing.
The company showed an air-cooled MD extruder with a 11/2-inch diameter screw and a 24-to-1 length-to-diameter ratio.
Screw diameters on the complete series range from three-fourths of an inch to 21/2 inches.
Merritt, of Hamden, Conn., used a patent-pending H-frame design, with the extruder centered over four legs that are linked with a crossbeam. The company claims the H setup gives a more stable base than the traditional tripod-mounted design.
Standard features include a one-piece housing and a double reduction gear box rated at 30 horsepower. A 15hp, alternating current vector drive package provides smooth operation for extruding medical products.
The stainless steel hopper boasts a design that improves material flow, eliminating dead spots. The feed throat and screw are chrome plated.
The extruder line has an Xaloy 102 barrel.
Tel. (203) 230-8100, fax (203) 230-8989.
Machine constantly can form 3-D shapes
Kemco Plastics Corp. introduced its Kemcast machine, which continuously forms extruded material into three-dimensional shapes.
The Kemcast equipment forms patterns on one or more faces, with or without surface textures.
The machine does not repeat the pattern for 20 to 30 feet. It handles a range of sizes from two inches square to panels four feet wide.
Kemco Plastics, based in Mission Viejo, Calif., said prices range from $150,000 to $300,000 for a Kemcast machine to make products from one to two feet wide.
Tel. (949) 770-4147, fax (949) 454-9360.