Plastics News correspondent Michael Lauzon reported the following items from the Plast-Ex 2004 trade show, held May 3-6 in Toronto.
Instron showcases testing software
Instron featured its new Bluehill testing software.
The fully integrated, modular system has a Weblike design for an easy-to-use interface. New features allow the user to cut and paste graphics and results. Four major tabs separate testing, test method definition, reporting and system administration, thereby improving test productivity.
The Canton, Mass., company also showed its 3300 series cost-effective mechanical tester for tensile, compression and flexural properties.
PlantStar interface available for Arburgs
Syscon-PlantStar announced it now has a host interface option for Arburg injection presses. South Bend, Ind.-based Syscon claims the system provides data collection for up to 50 process variables per shot and downloads stored machine setup parameters from the PlantStar data server to the Arburg machine controller. The Arburg option is the latest in PlantStar interfaces compatible with a range of injection press brands.
Teknor color program provides accuracy
Teknor Color Co. installed a GretagMacbeth Enterprise Color Management program to speed turnaround time and provide real-time customer support.
The system comprises a ColorEye 700A laboratory bench, XTH hand-held spectrophotometers and a NetProfiler Internet-based application for remote management of a spectrophotometer network, according to GretagMacbeth LLC of New Windsor, N.Y,
Teknor of Pawtucket, R.I., chose the system because of its accuracy and inter-instrument agreement, noted John Wood, Teknor's technical manager.
Meantime, Teknor Apex debuted flexible vinyl profile compounds that can be run at lower temperatures.
The firm said at Plast-Ex that typical processing temperatures of new Apex compounds are about 300° F, about 50° F lower than earlier profile extrusion products. This enables processors to increase throughput by 15-25 percent, the Pawtucket company claimed. As well, the compounds maintain close tolerances and gel-free surfaces.
Because cooler material is more viscous, it can pass through sizing equipment at higher speeds while maintaining target dimensions, according to industry manager Philip Morin.
The new compounds span a range of hardnesses and are available in clear formulations, lightly mineral-filled and moderately filled products.
Davis-Standard touts Maco control system
Davis-Standard's new blow molding control system was displayed at Blowmoulding Parts & Systems Inc.'s booth.
The Maco 6500RS has three modes of synchronous shoot-and-fill control. They include a synchronized parison drop via the lead head, synchronized parison drop via shoot time and manual individual head control.
BMPS President Peter Tordy announced three business alliances at Plast-Ex. The Concord, Ontario, firm will be a global distributor for Hunkar Technologies Inc.'s new generation of parison programmers and servo-valves. It also will be a global distributor for equipment retrofitter Advance Electrical Systems and for bottle blow molder Container Corp. of Canada and its new polypropylene bottles.
Engel injection press is water assisted
Engel featured a water-assisted injection molding system at Plast-Ex.
Engel's Watermelt technology is well-suited to hollow pipes and complex ductwork typically found in automotive applications, noted technology manager Andreas PÃ¶ttler. There are two water injection points that allow running water through the part to speed up cooling and cut cycle time by as much as 70 percent, he said. On display were auto handles and tubes molded from glass-filled nylon 66.
PÃ¶ttler claimed Engel was one of the pioneers of water-assisted molding and it offers a wide range of equipment and controls. The system typically uses up to 2,900 pounds per square inch of water pressure, more than sufficient to help fill out the part. Unlike gas-assisted molding systems, Engel doesn't charge royalties for its technology. Other advantages include eliminating the cost of gas and less chance for defective parts, he claimed.
Processors get grip on magnetic clamps
Magnetic mold clamps are becoming more popular as processors strive to cut mold-change times, according to Peter Stephen, president of Stephen Sales Group of Markham, Ontario.
Stephen's booth featured a 500-ton Demag press with magnetic mold clamps that was producing polypropylene flower pots. Among the firms Stephen Sales represents are Demag Plastics Group and magnetic platen producer Tecnomagnete Inc., which supplied the magnetic clamps on the booth's injection press.
Using magnetic clamps makes sense when a company changes molds as few as three or four times a week, according to Jerry Gagnon, operations manager for Tecnomagnete of Sterling Heights, Mich. Payback can be a year or less.
Housewares producers are big users of magnetic clamps, Gagnon said in an interview at Stephen Sales' booth. Besides quick changes, the equipment allows use of different size platens. More than 4,000 injection presses ranging from 40-5,000 tons have Tecnomagnete's Quad-Press magnetic clamps installed, the firm claims.
Tecnomagnete recently developed new couplings and controls. Its TC multiple coupling speeds up connecting the press and mold. The firm claims it is compatible and interchangeable with most equipment on the market. The new IPC control system allows the machine operator to read the real power generated by magnetic modules as it varies with different installed molds. It evaluates size of the mold, real contact surface, air-gap conditions and other properties.