An in-mold painting demonstration is drawing crowds to Ube Machinery Inc.'s exhibit (Booth S2086), as NPE-goers are grabbing Class A motorcycle side covers using the Imprest process from the Japanese injection press maker.
Normally, plastic automotive parts need to be painted outside of the mold, in a separate step. That means painting is not usually done at NPE, Ube said.
But Imprest does it all right inside the mold. After the part is molded, the tool is opened, liquid paint is injected and the tool is closed again. The process does not produce any volatile organic compounds, according to Ube.
Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams Co. supplies the paint.
Ube is giving NPE visitors an early look. While Imprest is being used in Japan, the technology will not be available in the United States until 2005.
Jason Forgash, Ube's regional sales manager for injection molding, said Imprest needs to be used on an Ube all-electric injection molding machine because of the high precision of the press.
In other news, Ube officials announced the company has started to build all-electric presses at its U.S. headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.