Eriez Manufacturing Co. has created an automated way to separate multiple resins from a single part and is seeking sales opportunities in an auto industry increasingly investing in two-shot molding.
The system, first introduced by the Erie, Pa.-based auxiliary equipment maker in July, places an iron oxide additive in one of the materials, then uses a magnet to separate that resin from other plastics.
The equipment allows molders to recover more scrap in house, saving money in the long run, said John Collins, manager of Eriez's Polymag Division, during an Oct. 11 interview at the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoplastic Olefin conference in Sterling Heights.
``When you boil it right down, it's about cost savings,'' he said.
The company has made a few components for the plastics industry in the past, but focuses more on the mining, materials- handling and agriculture industries. The increasing use of multimaterial molding in the auto industry, however, prompted an interest in its magnet-based automated separation systems, Collins said.
Auto interior suppliers have begun producing multimaterial instrument panels, door panels and other parts, and three-dimensional blow molding has created functional systems combining both hard and soft plastics to fit within the tight confines under the hood.
Rather than scrapping an entire part or relying on expensive hand labor to separate the resins, Collins said the Eriez system can be added to a standard recycling grinder and separate out resins with the iron oxide content as part of a routine scrap process.