Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar picked up these news items about machinery and materials at the European trade show Fakuma 2006, held Oct. 17-21 in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Unilog gains speed, improved features
Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH introduced its new-generation injection press controller, the Unilog B6, featuring improvements in user-friendliness, speed and precision.
The B6 replaces the 7-year-old Unilog B4. The new controller features a 15-inch touch-screen monitor, and a central input and display field for process control. Other features include the selection of languages and systems of weights and measures. An on-line help feature also is included.
The Unilog B6 runs on Windows XP, so the controller can work with peripheral equipment and communication interfaces.
Hellwig Series 260 grinds scrap parts
Hellweg Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG presented its 260 Series of granulators, for central grinding of scrap parts.
The granulators also can process materials with high temperatures during feeding, thanks to very good heat conductivity.
Angled-cut rotors enable good feeding, and can be fitted with different rotors after each use. An open rotor can be used for granulating film. A closed, three-blade rotor is used for grinding up sprues of light parts. A five-blade rotor can be used for grinding sheets, molded parts or hollow parts, such as bottles and canisters. Additional filling segments can be installed to run startup lumps or other big pieces.
Materials can be fed into the 260 from a low height.
Hellweg is based in Roetgen, Germany.
In-mold lid labeling cuts heat-seal step
AG of NÃ¤fels, Switzerland, showed in-mold labeling with a twist at Fakuma - molding a margarine tub lid with an airtight foil that seals the lid directly to the tub.
Usually, the additional foil is heat-sealed onto the tub in a second step, Netstal said.
Netstal molded the lid on a SynErgy 1200 press, running a two-cavity mold.
Also at the show, an all-electric Elion injection press molded a medical sleeve on a 32-cavity mold. A hydraulic core-puller, fully integrated into the machine, handled the complex product ejection.
Netstal officials are preparing for the Swiss company's 150th anniversary in 2007.
PET separator works on electric charge
In the world of recycling, even tiny amounts of PVC can ruin a batch of PET bottle flake. Hamos GmbH of Penzberg, Germany, showed its EKS-PET electrostatic separator that removes the PVC from shredded, washed and dried PET flakes.
The mixture of materials gets electrically charged, and the PET particles take on a different charge than the PVC particles. The PVC particles are then electrostatically removed from PET in a high-voltage field. The resulting stream of PET is very pure, so it can be used for new PET bottles, high-grade fibers or films, according to Hamos.
The EKS-PET separator also can work with several other types of plastic, such as high density polyethylene and polypropylene, polystyrene and ABS, PVC and PE, and PVC and rubber.
Leistritz controller targets small lines
Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH introduced a new controller, the MacromateXX Basic, for small extrusion lines.
Features include 19 heating and cooling zones, melt temperature measurement, four adjustable drives to run the extruder, side feeder, dosing units and pelletizer.
Meanwhile, Nurnberg, Germany-based Leistritz reported it has sold more than 50 of its Maxx twin-screw compounding extruders since introducing the machine in March 2005. The firm showed a ZSE Maxx at the show.
Compounder using carbon nanofibers
Fakuma 2006 saw the launch of carbon nanofibers by specialty compounder Electrovac AG.
The company in Klosterneuburg, Austria, created Electrovac Nanofibers, to produce and process the nano-scale graphite tubes. Electrovac Nanofibers, which claims to be Austria's only producer of carbon nanofibers, owns patents covering their production.
Electrovac offers a broad range of compounds or masterbatches filled with the carbon nanofibers, including styrene acrylonitrile, ABS, polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane, thermoplastic elastomers, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon 6, nylon 12, PET and ethylene vinyl acetate.
El-Exis shows off super cycle speeds
When Demag Plastics Group officials say the S in El-Exis S means speed, believe it - as the firm molded polypropylene drink cups in less than a 2-second cycle.
At Fakuma 2006, an El-Exis S with 150 metric tons of clamping force turned out the drink cups on a four-cavity mold, at a cycle time of 1.93 seconds. The parts were whipped out by a side-entry robot from German automation supplier Waldorf Technik GmbH & Co. KG
El-Exis presses are hybrid machines that combine electric and hydraulic drives. Schwaig, Germany-based DPG has sold 700 El-Exis presses since introducing the machine.
Also at Fakuma, DPG molded protectors for syringe needles on a 100-tonne IntElect injection molding machine equipped with a portable clean room from German supplier Max Petek Reinraumtechnik. The parts were self-packed into plastic bags at the press.
In other news, Demag Plastics Group announced that Willem Veerman, a 33-year company veteran, is heading its packaging team, the first in a series of market-focused teams DPG is setting up.