Plastics News reporters gathered these auxiliary equipment stories at NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago.
Thermal Care shows chillers, cooler, PLC
Niles, Ill.-based Thermal Care Inc. launched new products at NPE2009 including a line of air-cooled portable chillers, adiabatic fluid coolers, and programmable logic control units for central cooling and pump tanks.
Thermal Care also said it is seeing significant business from processors that are upgrading their chilling equipment and getting rebates on the equipment purchases from their local electrical utilities. Thermal Care helps customers become aware of the rebate opportunities, and supplies information about the energy efficiency of replacement equipment so processors can document anticipated savings to the utility.
On the product front, Thermal Care introduced its Hybrid adiabatic fluid cooler. A news release said customers were interested in the ability to use a fluid cooler to provide cooling year round with limited water consumption and without glycol, which results in significant water and energy savings.
The new integrated Panasonic PLC systems use color touch-screen technology to give customers better monitoring and control capabilities over cooling systems. Multiple temperature-control loops ensure consistent reliability and efficient operation by instantly reading and reacting to system load fluctuations. The PLC can change parameter as ambient conditions change to optimize performance, the firm said.
Ritemp mold cooling takes global partners
Australian mold-cooling company Ritemp Technologies Pty. Ltd. is taking its business global, with new technology partners in North America, Europe and Asia.
The firm uses the phase change between liquid and vapor to cool molds, rather than relying on water turbulence, allowing molders to use only 3 gallons of water - a fraction of normal water usage. The improved cooling performance improves overall cycle time by as much as 51 percent in one case study cited by Ritemp.
Ritemp began using its cooling technology in Australia in 1999 and in North America in 2006. Now it is becoming a global player, said Scott Molnar, global account manager for the Americas.
Mold maker StackTeck Systems Ltd. has a Ritemp technology development center in Brampton, Ontario, and featured Ritemp at its NPE booth. Other technology partners include Matrix Technology Specialists Ltd. of Hong Kong and Mumbai-based Unimark.
We now have the infrastructure available to take this globally, said Ritemp director Bob Parrington.
Addex touts material savings, faster lines
Stoughton, Mass.-based Addex Inc. manufactures several products for controlling material flow and reducing gauge fluctuations during blown film extrusion specially designed multilayered tooling dies, internal and outside cooling units that incorporate vision technology, a newly designed oscillating haul-off, and a new continuous gravimetric blending system.
Nearly all were displayed at NPE2009, where company officials seemed optimistic about the future of their business.
All of the innovations are material-savings devices that control gauge throughout the entire manufacturing process, ensuring product quality, and ultimately allowing customers to speed up their lines.
It's not only raw material savings, President Rick von Kraus said June 23. You can save downstream by being able to speed up the process. In some instances that savings is as much as 30 percent, he added.
Ultrasonic systems inspect pouch seals
Tuckahoe, N.Y.-based Packaging Technologies and Inspection LLC introduced its inspection techniques to plastics-based medical, pharmaceutical and food packaging manufacturers.
Wherever possible, the firm incorporates nondestructive testing that reduces scrap, increases line speed and finds defects more reliably than other methods, company officials said.
Among the technologies PTI showed at NPE was seal checking for pouches.
The firm's Seal-Scan inspection system evaluates and analyzes seal integrity with precision and repeatability using ultrasonic inspection, rather than visual inspection, which is less reliable, or peel strength, which is destructive.
Packaging Technologies and Inspection uses an ASTM-approved vacuum decay technology to test sealed packaged goods.
The company also produces high-speed, on-line bottle and container testing.
OptiCheck targeting blow molded bottles
Agr International Inc. launched the OptiCheck vision inspection and gauging system for blow molded polyolefin containers.
Competition for bottle suppliers is becoming very intense and customers are looking for cost reductions but it's the companies with the quality that are getting the contracts, said product marketing manager David Dineff.
OptiCheck is an off-the-shelf modular vision system developed specifically for container inspection and capable of functioning at rates of up to 36,000 bottles per hour. It can handle containers up to 15.5 inches high and 8 inches in diameter.
The Butler, Pa.-based firm also showed the seal surface/finish inspection version of the system; a similar-sized wall defect management unit also is available.
For finish gauging, the OptiCheck system uses a three-camera imaging system to provide 360 degree coverage of container finishes from 20-80 millimeters in diameter. A dedicated camera is included for seal surface checks. The OptiCheck sidewall module uses four cameras and can check for common defects in translucent materials, including folds, contamination, color and thickness variations.
Dineff said customers have been using the system for around six months with good results.
New slitter/rewinder for smaller converters
Parkinson Technologies Inc. introduced a new slitter/rewinder. The Genesis 700 is well-suited to small and midsize converting operations, according to Parkinson President and CEO Peter Termyn.
The equipment is designed for converters looking for cost savings and flexibility by bringing converting in-house. It also meets the needs of rolled-goods suppliers that need incremental converting capability in an efficient footprint, Termyn explained.
The Genesis 700 can unwind rolls 40 inches in diameter and rewind 30-inch rolls. It features full programmable logic control at an attractive price level. It has a touch screen and is easy to install, according to Termyn.
The Genesis 700 is expected to help fuel Parkinson's international sales since it meets the needs of smaller and specialty converters in fragmented markets. Interest in the slitter/rewinders is especially strong in Latin America, Termyn said.
Parkinson is headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I.
NPE is big success for Henschel mixers
Teknor Apex Co. of Pawtucket, R.I., ordered two large Henschel mixers at NPE2009. The mixers will be used on a new advanced technology compounding line.
The Henschel Mixer Division of Reimelt Henschel GmbH announced the news June 25. The two large mixers, each consisting of a high-intensity mixer and horizontal cooler mixer, dramatically boost the capacity for PVC compounding, according to Henschel.
Compounding flexible and rigid PVC grades for demanding applications requires consistency and uniformity in mixing, Henschel said in a news release.
Reimelt Henschel recently was acquired by Zeppelin Silos & Systems GmbH of Friedrichshafen, Germany. In North America, Zeppelin has four locations for sales, systems engineering, customer support, service and spare parts.
Zeppelin employs 670 and generated 2008 sales of 240 million euros ($338 million).
Reimelt Henschel GmbH of RÃ¶dermark, Germany, employs 570 and posted 2008 sales of 104 million euros ($146 million).
Intravis technology check PET preforms
Intravis GmbH operated its new vision inspection system for PET preforms at its NPE booth.
Sample- Pre-Watcher is designed to provide a continuous quality analysis. The system includes advanced operational software and camera technology and an innovative hardware design.
Preforms are fed into the Sample- Pre-Watcher and undergo inspection at five stations. The inspection measures critical dimen- sions, and does spectrophotometric color analysis and analysis of the presence of ultraviolet blocker and barrier material. The system also checks for several aspects of preform defects. It can be used in-line or off-line, said the Aachen, Germany, company.
Thermo Fisher 1Plus can scan film, sheet
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. showed its new 1Plus scanner for applications ranging from cast film to vinyl calendering.
It can measure sheet width up to 12.4 feet. Basis weight is measured by krypton and strontium sensors. Direct thickness is measured by non-contacting X-ray and infrared sensors. Moisture weight is measured by an infrared sensor. Up to 2,000 measurement profile points can be examined.
Other features include advanced roll report capability and powerful diagnostics, the Wilmington, Mass., firm said.
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