SAN DIEGO — A Japanese firm has developed a process to rotomold polycarbonate street lamp covers and is seeking a North American licensee for the technology. The recent Association of Rotational Molders conference in San Diego heard the first public North American discussion of the concept.
In 1996, a local government asked Konan Tokushu Sangyo Co. Ltd. of Konan, Japan, to find a way to replace existing glass covers.
Last year, a Japanese processor used a Konan-developed gyro-space dual-axis rotational machine to make the first product.
"Our flagship business is tooling, but to utilize our very specific toolings, we must educate the processors," Jeffrey Shimizu of Mississauga, Ontario, said in an interview following his ARM presentation. "A lot of processors are not equipped with engineering services to design their own equipment, so we have to go that extra step."
Shimizu will be general manager of KTX America, now being established to tackle the North American market.
The machine's heavy-duty motors manipulate the oil-jacketed tool on two axes around a concentric point for the high-temperature application.
Rotation at speeds up to 50 revolutions per minute disperses powder evenly inside symmetrical objects. A typical speed is 30 rpm.
A gyration machine, control panel and central heating unit costs $350,000, and an initial nickel shell tool is about $50,000.