Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at several multidiscipline trade shows held Feb. 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.
Toshiba introduces micromolding press
Toshiba Machine Co. America of Elk Grove Village, Ill., introduced a 5-ton press for micromolding liquid silicone primarily for medical applications.
The demonstration unit was sold to medical molder Sil-Pro LLC of Delano, Minn.
The all-servo-electric injection molding machine costs about $58,000 with the latest V21 touchscreen, closed-loop controller and extends Toshiba's silicone processing line, started with a 110-ton unit in 2000, said Tony Codet, the Ontario, Calif.-based global product manager for Toshiba America liquid silicone molding.
``We see [liquid silicone molding] as a tremendous, growing area, probably 200-300 percent for the next three years,'' he said.
Toshiba ran shots of 0.116 gram in molding demonstration parts. The barrel is rated for up to 7 grams. As part of the demonstration, Fluid Automation Inc. of Wixom, Mich., added a $13,000, fixed 1-1 ratio, cartridge-feed system and controller for micromolding and prototype uses.
Nissei hits milestone for presses shipped
About 19,000 Nissei injection molding machines have been sold in the United States over several decades, said Tomohiko Naito, president and chief executive officer with Nissei America Inc. in Anaheim, Calif.
On Jan. 27, parent firm Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. of Nagano, Japan, marked global shipment of its 90,000th machine since production began in 1957.
The U.S. market for presses may remain flat this year ``because all of the [information technology] and computer business moved to China,'' Naito said.
Nissei will demonstrate all-electric machines at NPE this June in Chicago.
Pacific Plastics buys 10th injection press
Pacific Plastics Injection Molding of San Diego added a 500-ton Van Dorn machine in January and now has 10 presses, with 28-500 tons of clamping force.
The custom molder is designing and fabricating a self-contained, second-shot molding module that can be attached to any of four small-ton presses, mostly for medical applications.
``A number of overmolded parts would be more favorably produced with two-shot molding,'' said President Jae English.
Two-shot molding ``is a very competitive market dealing with the Chinese, and we are constantly thinking of ways to have a competitive advantage.''
Formed in 1980, Pacific Plastics employs 30, occupies 14,800 square feet of space and received its ISO 9001 certification in January.