Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these news briefs from the UBM Canon trade shows, held Feb. 8-10 in Anaheim, Calif.
New Dyneema fiber targets medical use
For colored, implantable sutures, surgeons now have a choice between traditional, dyed polyester and a permanently colored fiber of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene.
DSM Dyneema, a unit of Royal DSM NV of Heerlen, Netherlands, developed the UHMW PE version, known as DSM Dyneema Blue.
We are the first to come out with color without sacrificing performance, said Felice Szeto-Wong, DSM Dyneema business development manager for orthopedics.
DSM Dyneema said Dyneema Purity Blue provides better contrast during arthroscopic surgeries, particularly involving white tissue. In addition, a surgeon is better able to differentiate sutures on multiple anchors.
The company makes the fiber in Heerlen. In the U.S., Teleflex Inc. of Limerick, Pa., earned Food and Drug Administration clearance for its Forced Fiber-brand sutures with Dyneema Purity Blue fiber.
DSM plans to move fiber production in 2012 or 2013 from Heerlen to a new medical building in Greenville, N.C.
MTD makes headway with LSR objectives
MTD Micro Molding of Charlton, Mass., said it anticipates a March launch for lights-out operation of its first injection molding machine for liquid silicone rubber a 20-ton Sodick.
We received the press in August and have worked toward commercial applications, said Brian Matachun, MTD Eastern technical sales director.
In addition to the LSR project, MTD operates 10 micromolding cells, each with a 20-ton Sodick.
Over five years, we have averaged annual increases of 50 percent from molding sales, Matachun said, projecting continued gains during 2011.
MTD works out of more than 20,000 square feet of space and has 20 employees, including 10 mold makers.
The company manufactures molds for internal use.
In October, Ron Noggle joined MTD as Western technical sales director.
New business spurs Plas-Tech expansion
Plas-Tech Engineering Inc. of Lake Geneva, Wis., is adding business requiring upgrades in molding and process capabilities, and space.
People are bringing back technical molding business from China, Scott Smith, vice president of sales and marketing, said in an interview.
Plas-Tech added a Class 8 mobile clean room in December, a 70-ton JSW electric Plas-Tech's first vertical press in September, and a wireless enterprise-resource-planning system from IQMS Inc. in July. The firm's 2010 capital expenditures exceeded $200,000.
In addition to the vertical machine, Plas-Tech operates 12 JSW electric horizontal presses, with clamping forces of 40-310 tons.
Plas-Tech has 20 employees and recently increased its manufacturing white room space 20 percent to 21,000 square feet and, separately, boosted its office space 30 percent.
The company is certified under ISO 9001:2008 and is working toward ISO 13485 certification.
Auxiliary equipment manufacturer Conair Group Inc. of Cranberry Township, Pa., added Turner Group Inc. of Vashon Island, Colo., in partnership with Pacific Plastics Systems Inc. of Mission Viejo, Calif., to fill open sales territories in western North America.