Plastics News' senior reporter Bill Bregar picked up these new product announcements at Plastec Midwest/Plastics USA and other trade shows that ran concurrently Sept. 23-25 in Rosemont, Ill. The shows, all produced by Canon Communications LLC, included Assembly Technology Expo, Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Electronics Assembly Show, National Manufacturing Week and the Green Manufacturing Expo.
StÃ¤ubli introduces new range of robots
StÃ¤ubli Corp. debuted its heavy-payload range of TX200 articulating-arm robots, which can handle loads up to 286 pounds, with a reach as far as 8.25 feet. StÃ¤ubli ran a prototype at the Assembly Technology Expo.
The big, six-axis robots can move at 41 feet a second.
``It's one of the largest StÃ¤ubli robots that we've manufactured to date that is of an all-enclosed construction,'' said David Arceneaux, development and marketing manager.
TX200 robots can handle large automotive parts such as door panels and bumper fascias, Arceneaux said at the company's booth.
The large robots can be mounted to the side of an injection press, or sit on top and reach down to remove the parts.
StÃ¤ubli's robotics division is based in Duncan, S.C.
Bosch Rexroth shows new motion products
Bosch Rexroth Corp.'s Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies group showed several new motion products at its booth at National Manufacturing Week:
* BKK bridge modules can span long, unsupported lengths. They are designed for extremely high torsional stiffness, to minimize deflection in uses where the module is not fully supported, such as Y axes for gantry systems.
* VKK feed modules bring high load capacity and low moving mass to Cartesian or gantry motion systems that include vertical axes or horizontal actuators.
* The eLine compact modules are available with both belt and ball screw drives, aimed at medical, packaging and small handling applications.
* The modular TS 5 assembly conveyor transports loads weighing up to 660 pounds. On the energy-efficient drive system, a ``king shaft'' powered roller design requires no lubrication. The TS 5 can be configured to transport goods either on a work-piece pallet or directly on a continuous roller conveyor.
* The camoLine provides a modular, building-block-style design for applications such as material handling, pick-and-place robots, palletizing and inspection.
Bosch Rexroth Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies is based in Charlotte, N.C.
Sodick Plustech adds LSR machines to line
Sodick Plustech Co. Ltd. of Yokohama, Japan, now offers liquid silicone molding capability to its V-Line of two-stage injection molding machines. The company also offers models with super-high-speed injection of 1,500 millimeters per second, according to Len Hampton, national sales manager at Plustech Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill.
Sodick Plustech calls the LSR machines the Sil-Pro Series. Clamping forces range from 5.5-242 tons on the horizontal Sil-Pro machines, and 22-165 tons on the vertical presses.
Instead of a reciprocating screw, Sodick Plustech presses use a V-style plasticizing unit that separates the functions of melting and injection. An electric-driven screw, mounted at an angle on top of the injection barrel, plasticizes the resin and feeds the melt into an injection chamber, where a hydraulic cylinder pushes a plunger forward to seal off the system.
There is no backflow. The V-Line is equipped with a patented back-flow prevention and bypass nozzle. The feeding screw front-loads the plunger cylinder with a fresh supply of new melted resin for each injection, giving ideal melt quality, the company said.
Hampton said the machines use a small, lightweight plunger for injection, giving a very quick response of just 0.007 second from stop to maximum speed.
Express prototypes created by new resins
Express Pattern Inc., a rapid prototyping service bureau that also makes short-run investment casting patterns, exhibited at Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
The company, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., showed prototypes created from new resins for stereolithography: DSM Sonos WaterClear, a clear material; and DMX-SL 100, a durable resin that creates detailed and accurate parts.
Partners Tom Mueller and Dave Flynn co-founded Express Pattern in 1999.
Wisconsin-based Xten reaps various honors
Xten Industries LLC, a custom injection molder and contract manufacturer in Kenosha, Wis., was named to the list of Future 50 Companies by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, for companies that show strong growth in sales and employment.
Xten also announced that Inc. magazine ranked the company as No. 3,134 on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing U.S. private companies. The list is ranked according to the percentage of revenue growth from 2004 through 2007. Xten reported a growth rate of more than 110 percent.
Xten exhibited at the Plastec Midwest show.
Transducers Direct trumpets lower cost
Transducers Direct showed its new TD1000/1100 series of pressure transducers, used for hydraulic systems on machinery. They are fully digital, in a patent-pending design.
Redundant sensing elements means TD1000/1000 transducers come with a backup, so they can operate longer, said Rob Matthes, president of Transducers Direct in Miamiville, Ohio.
Another feature: an IP-69K rating seal is available, allowing the transducers to withstand a high-pressure wash-down.
The TD 1100 can handle four times over rated pressure. The TD 1000 is two times over pressure.
Matthes said the goal of Transducers Direct is to provide high-quality transducers at a lower price. For example, the company offers a line of very thin digital displays, priced as low as $80. Prices start at $195 for its melt pressure transducers.
Matthes said the company makes some products and uses private-label suppliers for others.
Teknor TPEs come with tech resources
Teknor Apex Co. rolled out its Medalist program, aimed at providing thermoplastic elastomer compounds to medical-device manufacturers, along with a body of tools and information for designers and processors.
Teknor Apex, of Pawtucket, R.I., exhibited at MD&M Midwest.
``While Teknor Apex has long supplied medical-grade compounds, the comprehensiveness of the Medalist range and the technical resources that accompany it will enable customers to use our program as a single source of elastomers,'' sales director Andy Claytor said.
The initial range covers 33 compounds. Shore A hardness covers a broad range, from 5-86. Clear, translucent and opaque formulations are available.
``All 33 Medalist compounds have been tested for compliance with ISO 10933-5 cytotoxicity standards and are free from animal-derived materials, vinyl, phthalates, latex and additives not directly required of medical applications,'' said Lisa Charno, medical market manager.
Dukane touts iQ line's fast data processing
Dukane Corp. introduced its iQ line of ultrasonic plastic welders, which the company claims has the fastest data-processing rate in the industry.
That means the iQ will process the weld data power, distance, force, frequency and time twice as fast as older-series equipment, with a higher weld consistency and accuracy.
The produce line includes 40/30-kilohertz models that have a low-mass precision slide designed for delicate, tight-tolerance, small applications. The company also offers 20-kHz presses with the Dukane Ultra rigged H-frame support for high-force applications.
Dukane, of St. Charles, Ill., also showed its iQ series software, which has Ethernet capabilities for remote access from anywhere in the manufacturing facility.
The company also introduced a Dual ServoWeld spin welder for welding circular parts that have a tight-tolerance requirement for both the orientation between the parts being welded and the overall final welded assembly height. A second servomotor replaces the pneumatic Z-axis drive that was Dukane's earlier spin welder.
Dukane also has a lean work cell for manual assembly of plastic parts, using ultrasonic welding, spin welding or heat staking.
Dyna-Purge trumpets compound's savings
The Dyna-Purge Division of Shuman Plastics Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., introduced its improved Dyna-Purge SF purging compound.
The purging compound works faster and requires less material than other commercial purging compounds, claimed Tim Cutler, Dyna-Purge business manager. It lowers purging costs up to 46 percent compared with hybrid mechanical/chemical and 40 percent vs. mechanical abrasive brands.
Under the product introduction, Dyna-Purge is offering a free 10-pound sample.
Vero USA combines mold-design software
Vero USA Inc. of Wixom, Mich., has integrated Visi Flow into its Visi series of software for mold design.
Visi Flow enables the user to design a part from scratch and or make changes to existing parts, design molds, analyze the part and the mold, and transfer the data to manufacturing, using the same software.
Vero said traditional three-dimensional flow simulation has been too expensive and runs too slowly, even on powerful computers.
Visi Flow simulations run extremely fast to make 3-D mesh models, even on standard desktop or laptop computers, the company claims.
A patent is pending on the proprietary hexahedral 3-D mesh, which allows analysis of complex part geometry.
Microscopy college releases schedules
The College of Microscopy doesn't have a football beam, but McCrone Group Inc., a maker of high-powered microscopes, has announced its 2008 and 2009 course schedules.
McCrone Group, based in Westmont, Ill., runs the college in a 40,000-square-foot teaching facility with state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories and a 140-seat auditorium.
Some of the classes are predictable, like sample preparation and scanning electron microscopy. But others are designed for law enforcement fiber identification and the microscopical identification of white-powder unknowns, for example.
At the trade show, McCrone demonstrated a plastics application. A microscope was set up to view a cutaway sample of a seven-layer film, showing the composition of the film and layer thickness.