Plastics News reporters gathered these items from K 2004, held Oct. 20-27 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Otto MÃ¤nner adds engineering division
Otto MÃ¤nner group is building an extension to its plant in Bahlingen, Germany, that will unite two buildings housing separate operations making molds and hot runners.
The extension, already under way, will house a new division dedicated to engineering and consulting. It should be ready before midyear 2005, said David Broadhead, director for technical support and sales at the firm's U.S. operation, Manner International in Norcross, Ga.
The company is gearing up to offer project engineering, prototyping, product development and turnkey systems, Broadhead said. ``Lots of customers used to have their own engineering departments, and now they are outsourcing,'' he said.
At K 2004 in Dusseldorf, MÃ¤nner unveiled a small montoring device, called MoldMind, that fits onto the mold. It works something like the black box on an airplane and is intended to help shift supervisors and quality control people associate problems in production with changes in mold conditions. Inputs register each cycle and cycle time, manifold temperature and mold plate temperature.
The data is secure - it can be viewed at any time, but not changed. MoldMind holds up to five years of data and costs about 670 euros ($864).
Asahi Thermofil UK boosts PP capacity
Asahi Thermofil UK Ltd. is adding a new polypropylene compounding line that will increase the annual capacity of its plant in Hampshire, England, to almost 90 million pounds.
Managing Director John Gilder said the capacity is needed to meet ``new business across the board'' at the 110-employee plant.
Sales volume for the firm is up about 10 percent this year, and he said he expects that trend to continue into 2005. The business, a unit of Asahi Kasei Group of Tokyo, also expects to do more business in Poland and Eastern Europe, he said.
He added that Asahi also is considering more compounding capacity for a Thermofil plant in Marseilles, France.
India's Rajiv Plastics enters nano market
Rajiv Plastic Industries, a maker of color compounds and concentrates based in Mumbai, India, plans to introduce a line of nanocomposite materials in 2005.
Technical director Hemant Minocha said the move ``will open up many new markets'' for Rajiv, which operates plants in Mumbai and Silvassa, India.
Rajiv also recently installed two new injection molding machines for testing in Mumbai. Minocha said the 75-employee company posted sales of about $6 million in 2003 and expects that total to be up 15-20 percent this year.
Automotive is the largest end market for Rajiv, which was founded in 1978.
Honeywell lubricants target PVC extrusion
Improved PVC extrusion is the goal of a new line of lubricants introduced by Honeywell Specialty Materials of Morristown, N.J.
The lubricants, marketed under the Rheochem brand, can increase PVC extrusion speeds by 20-40 percent, said specialty additives General Manager Barry Russell.
Four grades of the new lubricants currently are available - two for tin stabilization PVC extrusion and two for calcium zinc PVC extrusion.
Honeywell Specialty Materials posted sales of $3.2 billion in 2003. The business is a unit of Honeywell International Inc., also based in Morristown.
Graham's China unit shipping shuttles
Graham Machinery Group has begun shipping Hesta Graham shuttle-type extrusion blow molding machines made in China.
Last year, Graham set up a wholly owned subsidiary, GMG Shenyang, in space rented from Rim Polymers Industries Pte. Ltd., in Shenyang, China.
Rim Polymers, in Singapore, has been GMG's agent in the region since 2000. It will supply most of the components for the new machines.
The first unit was shipped to a Shanghai firm in fall 2004, said Joe Spohr, Graham senior vice president for international sales.
He said York, Pa.-based Graham intends to build a full range of Hesta machines in China, similar to those the company makes in Germany. The firm will target customers in China and Asia predominantly but isn't ruling out other locations, Spohr said. He added that Graham may make components and assemblies for other products in China, but that is a long-term objective.
Last year, Graham said it would manufacture its line of industrial accumulator-head blow molders in Asia with Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd in Taiwan. But that agreement ``didn't go anywhere,'' Spohr said.
At the Dusseldorf show, Graham introduced a new, German-made, medium-size Hesta, the HFD 490.