Bayer Polymers LLC's (Booth N5149) technical staff believes there's something to be said for having everything under one roof.
That belief led the unit to upgrade and consolidate its Americas technical center in Pittsburgh. The 50,000-square-foot center includes an array of testing equipment used in Bayer's plastic, polyurethane and coatings businesses.
The largest of the center's many pieces of equipment is an 880-ton Kraus-Maffei injection molding machine. A multipurpose, 350-ton press allows Bayer to do work in gas-assist, thin-wall and multicomponent areas. The company also does twin-shot coinjection work on a 310-ton injection molding machine at the site, according to Mark Witman, director of the site's plastic injection molding technology center.
The center gained personnel and equipment last year when Bayer closed its lab site in Indian Orchard, Mass. The site had focused on styrenics-based applications. About 20 lab personnel have made the move from Indian Orchard to Pittsburgh.
Other testing highlights at the center include:
* A three-layer coextrusion line to test film laminations and multilayer structures.
* A thermoforming pilot facility that can test products such as end caps for the recreational vehicle market.
* Film development machinery for film-insert molding, high-pressure forming and vacuum forming.
* Injection molding lines devoted to compact disc and digital versatile disc work.
* An application engineering lab that can test the effects of fatigue, burst and high-speed impact on parts made of Bayer resins. The lab also includes a 9-foot-by-16-foot, walk-in environmental chamber, where temperatures ranging from 185Ã¸ F to minus 40Ã¸ F can be achieved for testing purposes.
A long-fiber technology lab also recently opened at Bayer's polyurethane application development center, which is in a separate building on Bayer's campus. In addition, Bayer has 25,000 square feet of testing space off-campus, including a compounding lab that operates four extrusion lines.
In the future, Bayer expects more projects to be coordinated globally with similar labs in Germany, Japan and China. Witman said work for parts made for Nissan Motor Co. using Bayer's plastic/metal hybrid material was done at all four major lab sites, as well as at an automotive center in Detroit.