Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West and Plastec West shows Feb. 5-7 in Anaheim, Calif.
Lansmont Corp. adds Calif. testing center
Lansmont Corp. has added an Irvine, Calif., technical service center for product and packaging testing. The firm's primary business is making test equipment.
Lansmont has operated a similarly equipped Western center in Sunnyvale, Calif., for a decade and maintains another center in Lansing, Mich., said Dave Huntley, director of Western technical services. ``We do a lot of plastics testing'' on reusable containers, 5-gallon water bottles, cargo pallets, food pouches, electronic devices and other products.
Lansmont systems test a product for sensitivity to vibration, shock, impact and environmental elements and use instrumentation for data acquisition and analysis.
George Stoddard joined Lansmont as director of global sales and marketing in September.
``We are helping pallet manufacturers come up with a better plastic pallet, and we are looking into transferable technologies in packaging industries and how to apply them to more traditional testing methods in the plastics industry,'' Stoddard said.
The privately owned Monterey, Calif.-based business started in 1971 and employs 75.
Demag Ergotech USA demonstrates robot
At Plastec West, Demag Ergotech USA of Strongsville, Ohio, gave the first domestic commercial demonstration of a robot fully integrated into a 110-ton press's machine control.
The turnkey package including the three-axis servo robot, which removed polypropylene syringes from an eight-cavity mold and dropped the parts into a container.
Robots fully integrated into Demag systems have existed widely in Europe for a decade, and several operate in captive United States plants, typically connected with Europe-based original equipment manufacturers, said John Ward, national sales manager for Demag Ergotech USA. Efforts to bring the integration program to the United States began in 2001.
Longstanding cooperation between units of parent firms Demag Ergotech GmbH of Schwaig, Germany, and Wittmann Kunststoffgerate GmbH of Lichtblaustrasse, Austria, created the linkage.
The Demag integrated robot lists for $42,610, and the demonstration press for $127,000.
RPT offers software for robotic hardware
Trimming system manufacturer Robotic Production Technology of Auburn Hills, Mich., moderates a laser beam's power and heat in radius-cutting of plastic materials.
RPT added easy-to-use software tools to complement six-axis robotic trimming hardware, said Chuck Russo, chairman and chief executive officer.
A laser operating at a full 200 watts generates too much heat in slowing down for a radius adjustment. RPT incorporated speed-of-travel predictions into the sophisticated software. Other RPT expertise includes waterjet cutting, router trimming, and material handling.
The firm was formed in 1985, employs more than 100 and had 2000 sales of about $30 million. Russo said last year's sales were lower, but he projected that new applications would result in 2002 sales exceeding $30 million.
Recently, RPT named Janine Krasicky as marketing manager and Dave DiBiase as sales manager.
IQMS, Omnexus plan network introduction
By May, IQMS and Omnexus plan to introduce a private connected network for companies and public trading.
Now in development, the software will link with IQMS EnterpriseIQ program. IQMS and Omnexus, an Internet marketplace with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, formed an alliance in June.
Meanwhile, on Dec. 3, IQMS distributed the first release of JobShopIQ software for manufacturing, accounting and project management. Some job-shop operators wanted a different kind of automation system for tooling vs. injection molding.
A stand-alone JobShopIQ system starts at $18,000, which is less than generic manufacturing software packages, IQMS said. JobShopIQ costs $1,000 for an EnterpriseIQ tooling module user and $3,500 for other EnterpriseIQ users.
Privately held IQMS of Palo Robles, Calif., employs 55, up from 45 on March 31.
Cyro starts selling acrylic compound
Cyro Industries introduced Cyrolite Med 2 acrylic-based multipolymer compound, incorporating alcohol and lipid resistance for molding medical devices. Two customers began testing the compound last summer.
Cyro brought out a product in 1998 to compete with lipid-resistant polycarbonate and, subsequently, created the first Cyrolite Med, which included alcohol resistance.
``But it was pretty expensive,'' said Peter Colburn, Cyro technical manager for polymer products. Additional improvements resulted in Med 2, which is less expensive and also resists alcohol. The material can be used in injection molded intravenous accessories such as spikes, connectors, lures, Y sites, adapters, fittings and filter housings.
Separately, Cyro displayed a new, acrylic-based multipolymer that shows stress whitening if tampering occurs in a package. An addict, for example, can push the needle through a package and access the narcotic in a prefilled syringe. The multipolymer XT375TE will show evidence of such tampering. Cyro modified the color tint to make any intrusion more visually evident, Magaziner said.
Cyro of Rockaway, N.J., is a joint venture of Cytec Industries Inc. and Degussa AG's Rohm GmbH.
Caco Pacific adds software to system
Caco Pacific Corp. of Covina, Calif., has added new software to its compact mold-mounted control system, dubbed Interactive Process Manager.
Caco Pacific's proprietary IPM is intended to operate as a brain for a mold, controlling hot-runner temperatures and communicating with primary processing and auxiliary equipment.
Initially developed several years ago, IPM is suitable for any operator of a 240-volt, J-type thermocouple system.
Cool Polymers forms Cool Shield division
Cool Polymers Inc. formed a new unit, Cool Shield Inc., on Dec. 1 to apply the firm's thermally conductive materials within the electronics market.
Cool Shield focuses on using the materials in heat-sink systems, electromagnetic-interference shielding and thermal interfaces. Typically, metals and ceramics lack Cool Polymers' attributes.
Privately held parent Cool Options Inc. in Warwick, R.I., employs 59, the majority in the Cool Polymers unit.
Dima offers HyToggle to the U.S. market
Press distributor Dima Inc. of Paramount, Calif., is launching the HyToggle two-platen thermoset injection molding machine in the United States.
``We finished the first machine in September for test purposes,'' said Phillip Kim, Dima chief executive officer, adding that the firm is ready to sell the hydraulic toggle machine.
Units come with clamping forces of 297-715 tons and shot sizes up to 100 ounces. The price starts at $64,000. The HyToggle, mounted on a modular platform, uses Barber-Colman, Siemens, Bosch and Vickers components.
After the toggle closes the platens, four pneumatic cylinders lock in the mold halves for repeatability. Each platen has six heat controllers.
Parent firm Dongshin Hydraulics Co. Ltd. of Pusan, South Korea, has made molding machines since 1969, began exporting to the U.S. market in 1987 and established the Dima unit in 1999. Dongshin makes presses with clamping forces up to 5,500 tons.
Dima is selling presses combining Magnum LLC's variable-speed drive and Dongshin's Vector inverter motor. The combination can save 50-70 percent on electricity vs. a standard toggle press, Kim said. A variable-frequency drive working with an inverter motor controls use of hydraulic oil through reduced electromotor rotations.
AIM Plastics buying molding machine
By August, AIM Plastics Inc. of Clinton Township, Mich., plans to purchase a two-shot molding machine to make more medical and consumer products.
The firm added three presses in early 2001, now operates 10 machines of 22-350 tons and began Class 100,000 clean-room molding in October.
AIM and sister firm Accurate Injection Molds Inc. employ 24 and moved a year ago into a 20,000-square-foot facility that more than doubled previous space. That facility also is in Clinton Township, near Mount Clemens, Mich. The tooling side has added two new machining centers since October.
About 80 percent of AIM's production is for non-Michigan customers, and 85 percent is in medical, ``so we have ridden the [economic] storm well,'' said AIM President Craig Fisher. The company also expects automotive to rebound.
``The next four to five months look like they are going to be very productive for us,'' said Fisher.
Nanomolding makes seed-sized products
Equipment maker Hull/Finmac Inc. of Warminster, Pa., has added ``sesame'' nanomolding machines with injection molding clamping forces of 800 and 3,000 pounds. The respective prices are about $58,000 and $62,000.
Usually using silicone rubber for medical applications, the machines can mold small parts such as a catheter tip or a blood filter with thin-wall sections. The sesame name comes from the machine's ability to mold a part as small as a sesame seed with a runner minimizing material consumption.
The company is looking at applications outside the medical industry, which might involve thermoplastic resins, said Robert Boland, Hull/Finmac sales manager.
Engineering services firm Murray Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., licensed the patented technology exclusively to Hull/Finmac in October. Hull/Finmac expects to complete the first machine sale by the end of February to a captive medical-device company.
Murray has ``designed a lot of small medical devices and needed a way to mold them,'' Boland said. ``They designed and built this machine a few years ago.''
Subsequently, various firms have shown interest, and Murray proceeded with prototype work before linking with Hull/Finmac.
``We build some injection molding, compression, transfer molding and deflashing machines,'' Boland said. ``Most of our work in the past has been in the thermoset arena.''