Western Washington University acknowledged the arrival of new processing equipment and dedicated a plaque recognizing Merrill Roth's contributions to the Bellingham, Wash., school's plastics engineering technology program.
Negri Bossi USA Inc. of Newark, Del., consigned a 70-ton all-electric injection molding machine with an Amico wireless remote monitoring system, installed the equipment in mid-May and supported startup and training sessions, said Liam Burns, general manager. The machine's polymer-cast base consists of quartz minerals, the chemical baryta and a 15-percent epoxy binder. Negri Bossi USA is a business of the Imola, Italy-based Sacmi Group.
As part of an 18-month research agreement, the technical center of Bellevue, Wash.-based truck manufacturer Paccar Inc. funded purchase of a reaction injection molding machine that arrived in February. For Paccar's purposes, WWU researchers will try to better understand RIM processing of dicyclopentadiene from Metton America Inc. of La Porte, Texas. Eventually, WWU will own the press.
A National Science Foundation grant funded purchase of, for plastics-specific work, a differential scanning calorimeter and a thermogravimetric analysis instrument, both from TA Instruments of New Castle, Del. WWU installed the DSC, TGA and other equipment in a new interdisciplinary material characterization facility.
Roth, an industry legend, began supporting the WWU program in 1979, among other things, bringing interns from the school to his Hillsboro, Ore., plant and contributing for an instructor's expenses to attend a K show in Germany.
In 1996, he funded an annual $2,500 WWU scholarship as a memorial to his spouse of 57 years, Ivy, who died in a 1994 automobile accident. Now, fully endowed annual scholarships go to plastics engineering students, one female and one male.
Starting in 1998, Roth, with his son Rod, rented a bus, provided meals and organized annual tours of different plastics processors in the Portland, Ore., region for a group of WWU students. This year's trip is Oct. 20.
``The goal is to expose them to real-world-type issues,'' said Rod Roth, president of R&D Plastics LLC in Hillsboro and a member of the WWU plastics advisory committee.
Merrill Roth, an avid amateur pilot, died in October at age 94. Compression and injection molder Grant & Roth Plastics Inc. was formed in 1946 and sold in 1989.
The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. supports collaboration between industry and WWU. ``Once a year, our Pacific Northwest Chapter invites people to a luncheon meeting [to] link up industry and the university,'' said Frank Capolupo, director of SPI's Western Region in Irvine, Calif. The on-campus activities occurred May 18.