NPE registrations falls, exhibitors up
CHICAGO As of 3 p.m. on June 24, the total number of registrations at NPE2009 was 42,317, down about 30 percent from 2006, according to show organizer the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
The number of companies sending attendees is 18,218, down about 17 percent from 2006, according to SPI.
With very difficult economic times and travel reductions due to the H1N1 pandemic, buyers and sellers alike are sending smaller teams to work industry trade shows this year, and NPE is no exception, said Gene Sanders, SPI senior vice president of trade shows, in a news release.
Despite the fewer number of people at the show, Salvador Ortega, business development manager in South America for bioplastics manufacturer Natureworks LLC, told Plastics News he was pleased with the quality of the contacts at the show.
The number of attendees may be down, but the people at the show are the decision makers at the companies, Ortega said.
That parallels what SPI said attendees have told them. The exhibitors on the floor have told SPI officials that attendees are serious buyers getting right down to business on the show floor, said SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux in a news release.
The number of exhibiting companies at NPE2009 is up roughly 200 from 2006, to 1,851. However, a number have opted for smaller-sized booths, as the square feet of exhibit space is 977,000 square feet, down slightly from the approximate 1 million square feet of space exhibitors purchased in 2006.
Evonik booth gets medical attention
CHICAGO A stream of medical product companies has visited the NPE2009 booth of Evonik Degussa Corp., the Parsippany, N.J. unit of German materials group Evonik Industries (Booth S5062).
Jeff Smith, director of technology and market development in the group's high-performance polymers division, said there had been a very good response from medical device attendees and some had specifically sought out the Evonik booth.
The company's Vestakeep M range of polyetheretherketone materials comply with ASTM F2026 standard for short-term surgical implant applications.
The range includes the medium viscosity Vestakeep M2G, high-viscosity Vestakeep M4G and the powder grade Vestakeep M4P.
NPE attendees showing interest in Vestakeep M materials were varied and included dental-product makers.
PEEK is increasingly favored in medical products as an alternative to metals and other materials. Evonik says its performance is distinguished by its biocompatibility, and resistance to chemicals, X-rays and steam sterilization. It also is strong and has very good wear and impact resistance.
PTi introduces its Titan Plus controller
CHICAGO Processing Technologies International LLC (Booths N77056, W115032) is showing for the first time its Titan Plus sheet production controller.
Like PTi's Titan controller, Titan Plus is based on the rugged Allen-Bradley ControlLogic software platform and the PanelView operator interface. The new Titan Plus is the Aurora, Ill., firm's new generation of reliable, modular and scalable control systems designed to provide operators with full line control, diagnostic and trending capabilities.
Using a two- or three-screen console that swivels 180 degrees, the operator can more easily make changes on the machine; for example, adjusting the gap on the chill rolls. Using Videogapt technology, a live video feed from cameras on the machine can roll on one screen, while the operator can make gauging adjustments and see the results on the other screens.
Titan Plus also has voice annunciation: When problems occur, a voice tells the nature of the problem in English, Spanish, Russian or Chinese.
American Kuhne offers gearless extruder
CHICAGO American Kuhne Inc. (Booth N56033) is displaying a new gearless extruder designed to run at conventional single-screw speeds. The price of motors is coming down, making such equipment more cost effective, said Steve Maxson, sales manager for the Ashaway, R.I., company. Gearless extruders are 10-15 percent more efficient at conventional screw speeds and present a smaller footprint and fewer maintenance issues.
Also on display is a modular extruder especially designed for medical and other short-run work. Barrel sections can be removed and replaced and cleaned out. Modules can be changed in 15 minutes or so, according to Michael Brocato, aftermarket manager. Barrel sizes can go up to 4 inches.
For inline thermoforming, American Kuhne unveiled a high-speed, high-output sheet extruder that has a 72 millimeter screw. With a direct-drive motor the extruder has nominal capacity of 4,850 pounds per hour of polystyrene and 3,970 pounds per hour of polypropylene.
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