Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar picked up these product announcements at Plastics Encounter Indianapolis, which was held Sept. 17-19.
Toshiba Machine sells EC all-electrics
Toshiba Machine Co. America of Elk Grove Village, Ill., announced sales of its fully electric injection press, the EC line, to two molders.
Ideal Tool Co. Inc. of Meadville, Pa., bought four EC presses, each with 65 tons of clamping force. Ideal also bought sprue-picker robots, conveyors and press-side granulators to go along with the new Toshibas.
The four EC machines mark the first all-electric presses purchased by Ideal Tool. ``From initial reports, the Toshiba presses are consuming a third of the power when compared to our similar hydraulic machines,'' said Barry Stainbrook, a salesman at Ideal.
Ideal Tool molds parts for the automotive, medical and telecommunications markets. The company also builds injection molds. Including the four Toshiba ECs, Ideal Tool runs 16 injection molding presses, with clamping forces of 50-300 tons.
Toshiba also sold a 180-ton EC press to Icon Injection Molding, a Phoenix custom molder that specializes in making parts for the Taser stun gun for Taser International in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Icon Injection Molding already had three other all-electric Toshiba ECs with clamping forces of 65, 110 and 240 tons.
Boy donates press to Indiana center
Boy Machines Inc. of Exton, Pa., has donated an 80-ton injection molding press to the Plastics Technology Center in Angola, in northeastern Indiana.
The PTC targets courses at people already employed in the plastics industry, helping them upgrade their skills, said director Denny Springer.
The hydraulic-clamp Boy, scheduled for delivery in October, will be located next to a 75-ton all-electric press from Sumitomo Plastics Machinery of America LLC of Norcross, Ga.
Students will use the Boy press. Also, Boy will be able to bring its staff and customers into the PTC laboratory for training.
The PTC began offering plastics courses in early 2001.
Gain compressor replaces hot runners
Gain Technologies Inc. displayed a nitrogen compressor for gas-assisted injection molding, and President Michael Ladney touted the process as an alternative to hot runners for molding car fenders.
Gain's German partner, Factor Maschinen & Anlagentechnik GmbH, manufactures the compressor. The machine can run gas-assisted molding systems on five injection molding presses.
Ladney said Gain, of Sterling Heights, Mich., wants a piece of the growing plastic fender market. Most fender molding uses hot-runner molds, with a large number of injection drops. But Ladney said gas-assisted molding eliminates the need for hot runners. ``Why do we use hot runners when we don't need them?'' he asked.
The Gain booth showed several fenders, including fenders for a Volkswagen Beetle and a DaimlerChrysler S-Class and other large automotive parts molded with gas-assist, such as a front grille for a Jeep Cherokee and an Audi dash panel insert.
Comet has `Pulse' on blending system
Comet Automation Systems Inc. introduced a small gravimetric blender called the GraviMix Micro, with the Auto-Pulse system.
The blender can be installed directly on the injection press, small extruder or a small blow molding machine. It can blend up to four components, at a throughput rate of 77 pounds an hour.
The hoppers come off for easy cleaning and material change.
The Auto-Pulse system maintains accuracy even on small quantities, according to the Dayton, Ohio, company.
Patt takes coating project step further
An internal project to harden the metal rotating disk in Patt Filtration's continuous screen changers has led the company to launch a new business for coating feed screws and other metal parts, Patt announced at Plastics Encounter Indianapolis.
Patt's parent company, PHM Filtration Inc., has restructured by creating two divisions, Patt Filtration and the new unit, Patt Ionics.
The key to Patt screen changers is a disk that holds a series of filtering screens and continuously rotates through the plastic melt. The disk must remain tightly sealed to the plastic extrusion. But after turning for months and years at a time, grooves would get worn into the disks, said Jack O'Connell, U.S. sales director for Patt Filtration.
Engineers at the company in St. Eustache, Quebec, hardened the screen by nitriding and coating parts with titanium nitride. The success of these efforts led PMH Filtration to research other heat treating processes.
They hit on a technology called Micropulse, a pulsed plasma-assisted surface treatment for metals. The process was on display in Indianapolis.
Here's how it works: The metal parts go into a chamber. Oxygen is eliminated. The nitrogen and other gases are introduced into the chamber. Using a high-speed pulse, nitrogen ions are accelerated into the metal part, so they embed in the surface of the metal and create an extremely hard surface.
The problem with the Patt filtering disks was solved. ``It worked so well that we started to solicit business,'' O'Connell said.
Patt sells Micropulse machinery systems to do the hardening.
Pelletron deduster gets better casting
Pelletron Corp. plans to begin using cast aluminum for the body of its deduster, a device that removes dust, fines and fluff from resin pellets.
The one-piece casting will replace the current fabricated body, said Brian Keck, product manager.
The casting will give the deduster a cleaner look and will reduce production costs, Keck said at Pelletron's booth during Plastics Encounter Indianapolis. He said the first dedusters with cast parts will be available in October.
The change marks an evolution for Pelletron, a company in Lancaster, Pa., that was founded in the early 1980s by Jerry Paulson, a mechanical engineer. He was working at a large company, developing patented processes for bulk material handling, but left to form Pelletron.
Pelletron officials initially targeted compounders and resin manufacturers. But they discovered that plastic processors also need the technology.
Today the company has sales of about $3 million and 10 employees. Pelletron subcontracts out fabrication of the dedusters.
Plastic pellets go through some abuse on their journey from rail car through resin conveying systems, to processing machines. They collide, and bump against the walls of the pipes at high speeds, creating tiny particles that cling to the pellets, held by static electricity. Those contaminants can cause burn marks or discolorations, air bubbles and other cosmetic problems.
The compact Pelletron dedusters work by breaking the electrostatic bond between the pellet and dust particles. First, the material flows down through a hopper and goes over a screen, called a wash deck. Air blows up through the deck, lifting out the fines, which are vacuumed away.
Second, a ring surrounds the feed throat, generating an electromagnetic field through the unit. ``We're using that to disrupt the static attraction between the pellets and the fine dust,'' Keck said.
At Plastics Encounter, Pelletron showed a P1 Mini-Deduster, a small unit that removes contaminants smaller than 100 microns. The company also recently announced a free testing program, offering to dedust up to 50 pounds, or 1.5 cubic feet, of sample material. There is no cost except for shipping.
ACS debuts controller, robot, granulators
ACS Group of Wood Dale, Ill., introduced several new auxiliary equipment products, including a new Sterling temperature controller, a Sterltech robot and a Ball & Jewell line of granulators.
ACS also touted its new agreement with RDN Manufacturing Co. Inc., to distribute RDN's downstream equipment for extrusion, such as vacuum calibrators, water baths, pullers, cutters and saws.
Sterling's Micro temperature control unit automatically gives temperature control up to 250° F. It comes with stainless-steel pumps in one-half or three-quarters horsepower. The price starts at $1,370.
The compact Ball & Jewell granulator is named the 61/2 Series. It was designed for small injection molded and blow molded parts, small extruded tubes and profiles, plus sprues, runners or edge trim. Another feature: easy access to clean out the granulator, with no tools required.
The Sterltech SRA series of robot reduces costs for end-of-arm tooling and makes parts removal easier. It incorporates a one-axis, servo-driven motor. SRA units also have Sterltech's wrist rotation device, with an air shut-off pin.
Kice blower offers higher load rating
Kice Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan., introduced its P.D. Blower for its fines-removal system.
The P.D. Blower has a heavy-duty design and a strong shaft. It operates at low speeds.
Thanks to an extra drive bearing, the blower has a higher load rating.
The P.D. Blower is matched to Kice Air Power units.
Ewikon sprue nozzles are heated externally
Ewikon Hotrunner Systems of America Inc. released a new line of externally heated hot sprue nozzles, with a 230-volt operating voltage for direct gating of parts in single applications.
The line is called the HPS III, in models SE and KE.
The SE handles higher temperatures. An adapter with an integrated heating element and thermocouple, with a separate locating ring, ensures proper connection to the machine nozzle, according to Ewikon.
Interchangeable, threaded tip inserts allow a high range of gate design.
KE nozzles position the sealing in the shaft area of the nozzle.
All HPS nozzles have interchangeable thermocouples, heaters and tip inserts.
In other news, the company in East Dundee, Ill., expanded its VT series of nozzles with a new compact valve gate, targeting packaging and medical markets.
The nozzle is fully compatible with the standard HPS III-t, externally heated manifold system.
Ewikon also introduced a new generation of hot-runner controllers, called the HPS-C range. The new controller can run systems of 5 volts or 230 volts; the company's standard controller only operates 230-volt hot runners.
Alba hot-runner wires are free from hassles
Alba Enterprises Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was selling ``hassle-free'' hot-runner wiring.
Its new system of TimeSaver terminal boxes used a special comb inserting tool, and to insert wires quickly and easily into their relative zone locations. There are no screws.