Senior reporter Bill Bregar gathered these news items from the Society of Plastics Engineers' Annual Technical Conference, held May 4-8 in Nashville, Tenn.
Antec drew 2,500 people to the Nashville Convention Center this year.
That was down from 3,225 who came to Antec 2002 in San Francisco, and 3,000 at the 2001 Antec in Dallas. Still, Antec officials said the Nashville event drew a respectable number - in the wake of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and hostilities in Iraq, which kept some international visitors away, and tornadoes that swept through Tennessee during Antec.
SPE leaders continue to reach out internationally. SPE presented a charter to the new Portugal Section at Antec 2003. The society also announced a new section in formation for Spain.
Impact Analytical touts package tests
Midland, Mich.-based testing laboratory Impact Analytical introduced a three-step way to detect for odor and taste in water packaged in plastic bottles, and announced its new barrier properties lab for food packaging.
The dedicated barrier properties area can test for gas and vapor transmission in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. Impact Analytical can evaluate flat films as well as flexible and nonflexible packaging.
Impact Analytical's three-step detection process can be done on any type of food packaging. The system identifies and quantifies the agents at fault for odor and taste, down to the low parts-per-billion level.
PerkinElmer unveils its updated software
PerkinElmer Inc. of Boston said the new version of its Pyris thermal-analysis software includes a calibration wizard that simplifies the preparation of test samples and operation of instruments.
Pyris now supports the Diamond TG/DTA and its autosampler, recently added to the PerkinElmer line through a partnership with Seiko Instruments Inc.
AccuCure can track real-time reactions
Tison Technologies LLC of Arden, N.C., was pitching a patented technology, AccuCure, that tracks chemical reactions in real time, including cross-linking systems such as thermosets, and instantly signals when it is complete.
Tison Wyatt said his invention can simplify and slash the cost of making polymers and plastic parts.
Tennessee county woos plastics firms
David Harper, SPE's president in 1995, and local government officials manned a booth touting Macon County, Tenn., as a location for plastics factories.
The county scored one recent victory - Nestle Waters North America Inc. is building a bottling plant in Red Boiling Springs, Tenn. The plant will employ about 200 people when it opens next year.
Plans call for Nestle to blow mold PET water bottles and injection mold preforms at the site.
SPE expands Toolbox to include extrusion
SPE is adding extrusion to its Plastics Technician's Toolbox.
SPE introduced the seven-book Toolbox series at the 2002 Antec. The first three volumes focus on fundamentals needed by all plastics technicians. Books four through seven cover injection molding. Now, SPE plans to debut an extrusion ``drawer'' for the toolbox in December, according to Nancy Herdegen, manager of plastics education services. She said authors recently have started to submit chapters.
The extrusion material will include information on single-, twin- and multiple-screw machines, continuous mixers and kneaders. It also will include a unit on processing and a CD-ROM with rule-of-thumb calculations and extrusion solutions.
Environmental papers deadline approaching
SPE is calling for papers for its Global Environmental Conference, set for Feb. 18-19 in Detroit.
Final abstracts of 200 words are due by Aug. 10. Final papers are due by Oct. 15. Contact Michelle Mikulec, GPEC technical chairwoman, at (313) 274-9712.