Thermoset resin maker Ashland Performance Materials has purchased SmartTrac-brand composite-based monitoring technology from Signature Control Systems Inc.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal between Dublin, Ohio-based Ashland and SCS of Denver. Ashland said the technology will allow customers to accurately measure the curing point of parts molded from the firm's unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins.
Doing so will increase customer productivity by at least 10 percent, Ashland business development manager Tom Trexler said in a Dec. 17 phone interview.
``The value proposition is in productivity improvement,'' Trexler said. ``Curing takes place inside the mold, and this technology allows the molder to know where the part is in the cycle. Before, the molder had to add extra time to make sure the part was cured. If he opened the mold before the part was cured, the part had to be scrapped.''
The technology works by placing an electronic sensor into a hole drilled into a mold. Ashland now can provide customers with a turnkey system that includes all the needed machinery and monitoring equipment. SCS first launched the system in 2003 and has 100 systems installed.
Trexler said he anticipates that the technology will be popular with compression or injection molders making automotive or electrical parts who are looking for ``consistent cure quality.''
``Customers who work with sheet or bulk molding compounds or resin transfer molding processes can realize significant cost advantages by using this technology to improve cycle time and reduce scrap,'' Gary Landsettle, Ashland Performance Materials Americas sales director, added in a recent news release.
Ashland Performance Materials is a unit of specialty chemicals maker Ashland Inc. of Ashland, Ky.