Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar gathered these items from the Plastics Encounter Southeast show, March 23-25, in Charlotte, N.C.
Plastics Encounter draws 2,126 to N.C.
Plastics Encounter Southeast drew 2,126 people - 1,604 attendees and 522 exhibitor personnel to the Charlotte Convention Center.
The trade show featured more than 180 exhibitors, training seminars and 21 speakers, who addressed topics such as product design, lean manufacturing, automation, innovation, employee training, outsourcing and the global economy.
Plastics Encounter Southeast, sponsored by Plastics News, was part of what the organizers billed as Mega Plastics Week in Charlotte, March 20-25. The week included the Industrial Designers Society of America's Southern District Conference, the 23rd annual conference of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics Division, and MoldMaking Technology magazine's Southeast technical conference.
Negri Bossi reveals its latest presses
Negri Bossi USA Inc. announced its largest-ever injection molding machine - the Bi-Power line with clamping forces topping out at 3,300 tons - and new high-speed packaging presses called the PX line.
Bi-Power presses have two platens and come in a 1,650-ton wide-platen size, followed by presses of 1,980 tons, 2,530 tons and 3,300 tons. The maximum shot size is 1,600 ounces.
Negri Bossi added bushings to the moving platen, to support the tie bar and the platen, giving the big presses good alignment and reduced platen deflection.
The high-speed PX packaging machine boasts an injection speed of 1,000 millimeters a second. ``Thin-wall packaging needs a fast injection rate,'' said Liam Burns, general manager of Negri Bossi USA in Newark, Del.
PX presses use hybrid technology. Electric power drives functions like the clamp movement and screw drive. But to drive injection, Negri Bossi uses hydraulic power, bolstered by accumulators.
Beefy platens minimize mold deflection.
Burns said the hybrid design means PX machines consume 50 percent of the power required by hydraulic injection presses used to mold packaging.
Negri Bossi will feature both machines at the K 2004 show this fall in Dsseldorf, Germany.
Diamond America touts extrusion die
Extruder maker Diamond America Corp. said its new Multiflow Cascade extrusion die dramatically reduces costs for material changeovers, by providing a balanced, even distribution of material across the die-face.
President Thomas Allen said the Multiflow die can be used in several applications, such as strand pelletizing, cast film and sheet.
The contoured surface of the channels means the resin flows smoothly, without building up in some areas or getting hung up, which can happen with coat-hanger dies, according to the company in Tallmade, Ohio.
The die design provides an identical shear history of all material, regardless of its position across the die - done by directing resin, rather than restricting the flow at various locations in the die.
Roger Rosbury, president of RD Plastics, a color concentrate house in Leominster, Mass., said the company used to require 1,500 pounds or more of virgin polyethylene to flush out the die during color changes. The Multiflow has reduced that to as little as 300 pounds.
Comet introduces ERD, Xpert dryers
Dayton, Ohio-based auxiliary equipment maker Comet Automation Systems Inc. introduced its ERD Micro and Xpert dryers, which use a patented compressed air as a lower-cost alternative to desiccant drying.
Designed to be mounted in the feed throat of an injection press, the ERD is Comet's smallest-ever dryer, according to Sam Rajkovich, manager of advanced systems. ERD dryers come in sizes that can run from 2-80 pounds an hour.
The ERD Micro, with hopper sizes from 1-3 liters, is suitable for small parts and micromolding.
When compressed air is expanded to atmospheric pressure, the dew point decreases to a low level. Subsequent heating of the process air reduces the relative humidity, and this dry air is then passed through the resin.
The compressed-air method allows for very fast material changeover, Comet said.
A control panel is built into the side of the unit. ``What you've got here is a really sophisticated microprocessor here on the side of the machine,'' Rajkovich said.
An on-board model allows remote monitoring and software updates. Several dryers can be linked together for remote operation.
Comet also showed its Plus-E mold protection device, a small camera vision system and monitor for injection molding.