The following items were gathered by Plastics News' West Coast correspondent Roger Renstrom during the Plastec West/Medical Design & Manufacturing West shows, Jan. 29-31 in Anaheim, Calif.
Maguire Products touts loading device
Maguire Products Inc. of Aston, Pa., introduced an advanced method of loading material into an MGF-brand gravimetric feeder.
The method allows metered feeding of a colorant or additive into an injection molding or extrusion machine with accuracy that exceeds that of a volumetric feeder, the company said.
The loading device transports the material to the feeder from a gaylord, drum or other container and is a direct descendant of Maguire-made Venturi-type loaders. Upon a controller's signal, the loader rapidly fills the feeder once rather than continuously or intermittently. The signal occurs when the level of the color or additive has fallen to 10 percent of the feeder hopper capacity.
The MGF feeder costs no more than a comparable volumetric feeder, and the new loading device is less expensive than other loaders used with feeders, said Frank Kavanaugh, Maguire national sales manager.
Mokon announces outdoor chiller unit
Mokon of Buffalo, N.Y., is adding an outdoor-environment operating capability to the line of stationary portable chiller systems in its Iceman SC series.
Outdoor air-cooled scroll systems will be available with capacities of 2-10 tons, said Robert Kennery, Mokon vice president and general manager.
Mokon's portable chiller systems can handle process cooling requirements down to 5° F. Developed to meet a customer's need, the outdoor-enabled unit will cost about $10,000.
Separately, Mokon has a blown film cooler that it began redesigning and developing in July at a converter's request for a packaging application. Mokon introduced the unit in late 2007, said sales manager Jeff Malon. The cooler can operate on product lines with airflows of 600-7,500 cubic feet per minute.
Mokon is a division of Protective Industries Inc.
New Novatec hopper provides clear view
Auxiliary equipment firm Novatec Inc. has incorporated a swing-out glass hopper to its GlassVu vacuum-loading system.
The GlassVu system provides a full view of resin loading and consumption. Contained within a metal frame, the see-through hopper adds an extra dimension for installations at the processing machine throat.
A user can mount the swing-out hopper on a machine with one hole at the base plate and, in the full swing-out open-hopper position, another for draining residual material and providing access for easy cleaning.
Now, the loader, receiver and machine-mount hopper elements of the GlassVu system have large midsections of 5-millimeter-thick borosilicate glass, providing clear views of the filling process.
Baltimore-based Novatec makes resin dryers, blenders and pneumatic materials-handling systems.
D-M-E cold runners come to N. America
In a technology transfer, mold tooling systems manufacturer D-M-E Co. of Madison Heights, Mich., has expanded its North American product line with the addition of a cold-runner system for molding elastomers.
Processors inject elastomers at lower temperatures than plastics and cure the material by heating the mold. The result is a need for a cold runner system, according to Milacron Inc. subsidiary D-M-E.
D-M-E, which began selling the system in Europe in the early 1990s, expects North American demand to grow for equipment to mold liquid silicone rubber, high-temperature vulcanizing silicone rubber and other elastomers for automotive, medical and household components.
D-M-E manufactures the cold-runner systems in Mechelen, Belgium, and has sold more than 600.
RJG Inc. simplifies flx software system
RJG Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., introduced a simplified eDart flx-brand software system for molders wanting entry-level capability for automated short-shot part containment.
The flx base price, at less than $5,000, is considerably below the cost of RJG's original eDart software system, released in 2000.
An flx system offers automatic sensor recognition and scaling, auto-zeroing of cavity-pressure sensors and automatic job selection. RJG began distributing the product in January and has shipped several systems.
Separately, an RJG production-monitoring partner, Intouch of North Hampton, England, will open a U.S. office. Intouch initially plans to operate from RJG's site in Traverse City.
Ritemp controller regulates mold heat
A mold temperature controller from Ritemp Technologies Pty. Ltd. overcomes variations in mold-surface temperature.
The controller extracts heat from the mold and converts it to the latent heat of vaporization, literally cooling by evaporation.
Ritemp, of Edwardstown, Australia, will license the technology to injection and blow molders. The controller can simplify the cooling circuit and, in turn, reduce design engineering time and mold-construction costs, the firm said. Ritemp cited commercial applications with cycle time reductions of 20-50 percent.
Terry Schwenk, owner of Process & Design Technologies LLC of Kenosha, Wis., represents Ritemp in North America.
U.S. firms win back overseas business
Some customers are transplanting work from Asia back home to North America, according to managers of several plastics firms.
Joe Blase, national sales executive of Hansen Plastics Corp. in Elgin, Ill., said the benefits of moving back are numerous. For starters, he said, shipping costs drop, representatives don't have to be sent overseas to resolve problems, and a firm's cash flow increases once it no longer must prepay overseas suppliers.
In January, Hansen began delivering injection molded irrigation equipment parts that an unnamed customer relocated from China. The work, including seals made of DuPont's Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer, had been in China for about five years, according to Blase. But ``the parts were not round, and there was constant change in molds,'' he said.
To handle the new demand, Hansen added 275-ton and 165-ton two-shot Arburg hydraulic presses in early February, he said. The firm runs 34 presses from 28-440 tons.
California firms Pacific Plastics/Injection Molding of San Diego and Advanced Engineering & Molding Technology Inc. of Riverside also report that they have snagged work being relocated from Asia.
Pacific Plastics said it is injection molding an ear pod, previously made in China, that is part of a consumer audio system marketed in waterproof cases.
``We project shipping 40,000 parts [per month] by March,'' said Pacific President Jae English.
Michael Bluff, general manager at Advanced Engineering & Molding said the injection molder has gained work transferred from Ningbo and Shenzhen, China, including a light sensor.
Bluff said Advanced budgeted $200,000 this year - an 80 percent increase from 2007 - to market itself to North American firms manufacturing in China, in hopes of winning business.