Plastics News reporters Angie DeRosa and Rhoda Miel gathered the following news briefs during NPE 2003, held June 23-27 in Chicago.
DVT improves upon its vision systems
DVT Corp. rapidly is upgrading its vision-inspection systems to meet manufacturers' increasing requirements for efficiency, while partnering with other equipment makers to integrate its units.
Just in the past year, the Duluth, Ga.-based company has penned agreements with Yamaha Robotics and the automation and drives group of Siemens AG to place its cameras and vision systems into those companies' machines.
DVT's SpectroCam units, meanwhile, allow precise inspections on the line to ensure that finished parts meet customers' specifications, said Bob Settle, marketing director. ``This is a totally different market than it was even three years ago,'' he said.
The company's Legend SpectroCam can cope with texture variations of the same color, he noted.
Yamaha Robotics of Edgemont, Pa., started shipping the first of its industrial robots equipped with DVT systems this summer. Siemens will begin selling its DVT-equipped machines in North America by 2005.
Process Control Corp.
expands with blender
Process Control Corp. is thinking outside extrusion.
The Atlanta auxiliary equipment supplier tackled NPE 2003 with one booth in the North Building and another in the South Building to show that it has branched out to serve the injection molding market.
Process Control has developed two small Guardian Series gravimetric batch blenders for the division that officials say offer the same performance and ease of use as larger models. According to a company news release, the blenders have been designed to provide high accuracy on metering and mixing, resulting in cost savings because of lower let-down ratios on expensive additive materials, lower material usage and less scrap.
The firm has served extruders since 1967, but growing into molding made sense, said Steve Buckley, vice president of project engineering and marketing.
``We had to downsize our current product lines to get into this, and that will be ongoing,'' Buckley said in a July 23 telephone interview.
Process Control added a sales manager specifically for injection molding.
moves to plastics
Tech Mark Inc. is moving its foil technology into the plastics extrusion business from its traditional home in the woodworking industry.
With plastics taking more of the market from wood in everything from window frames to mirrors and interior trim, it makes sense to transfer some of the wood decorating systems to plastics as well, said Joseph Moriconi, national sales manager for Tech Mark of North Little Rock, Ark.
``There are a lot of decorating capabilities out there,'' he said. ``We know the market and the potential is there for it to probably double.''
Tech Mark's foil technology can provide the look of metal or stone to an extruded product, either in-line or off-line, he said.
3DT LLC introduces
Wisconsin firm 3DT LLC has debuted a system for corona treatment of blow molded and injection molded bottles.
The BottleDyne can be placed to work either on or off a production line on the manufacturing floor, keeping up with line speeds up to 7,000 parts per hour, said 3DT President Morten Jorgensen.
The units are on casters and plug into a 220-volt electrical outlet, allowing manufacturers to move the unit easily, he said.
Serigraph consults on
Serigraph Inc. is offering customers expertise in designing in-mold decorating systems.
Through IMD1, which debuted at NPE, the company will offer its information services in inks, films and forming and how those systems interact with injection molding, helping to cut cost, production time, logistical issues and environmental worries.
The West Bend, Wis.-based company said it helps companies launch products faster and provides molders with information upfront so they have a better idea of decorating options.
Emhart clip system
Emhart Fastening Teknologies helped one automaker reduce costs and improve overall sound quality. Now it is looking to sell the same basic system to other carmakers.
Emhart, part of Black & Decker Co., created a one-piece, thermoplastic polyester elastomer clip to hold fuel and brake lines for a BMW AG vehicle, replacing a system previously produced using a combination of plastic and rubber.
Rather than use rubber to absorb vibration, the Emhart-designed clip has a one-material, honeycomb structure. The system reduced tooling investments by 50 percent and weight by 10 percent, said Randy Leedy, product manager for Emhart's Mount Clemons, Mich.-based automotive division.
Emhart operates 60 injection molding presses in Mount Clemens along with production facilities in Japan and Germany.
H-P Products offers
H-P Products Inc. has set its sights on the plastics industry.
The Louisville, Ohio-based firm made its debut at NPE 2003 with Instalok Couplings, which the company hails as a major breakthrough in compression couplings. Officials showcased the product with its booth, created from tubing connected with the couplings.
The patent-pending device is made from a solid piece of tube and has fewer components to handle than standard couplings, officials said. The single-piece structure also boasts a 20 percent overall lower cost compared with traditional couplings, H-P said.
H-P Products launched as a converter of residential furnaces to gas and has grown to a supplier of tubular components for industrial vacuum, carrier pneumatic and pneumatic conveying systems. Currently, the firm derives about 10 percent of its business from the plastics industry, with a goal to grow that figure significantly, officials said.