Engel says Variomelt improves productivity
Engel North America's Variomelt technology heats and then cools injection mold-cavity surfaces during each cycle, before the mold opens. The process lets molders know when the cavities are hot enough to deliver a high-quality part surface with no weld lines, or when the cavities are cool enough to speed cycle times.
Engel's dynamic temperature-control systems keep mold-wall temperature above a resin's crystalline temperature while cavities are being filled. Then Variomelt quickly cools the mold to solidify a part, significantly reducing the chance of molded-in stresses and defects, Engel said.
The injection press maker added that Variomelt also fosters accurate nanostructures, from microscopic, pyramid-like shapes on light-guide panels to nanosized elements in electronic parts and microfluidic devices.
York, Pa.-based Engel said the technology also makes it easier to fill thin-wall parts and cuts cycle times for molding lenses and other thick-wall parts. For example, Variomelt cuts cycle time 30 percent when molding a 30-millimeter-thick polycarbonate lens.
Tel. 717-764-6818, fax 717-764-0314, e-mail [email protected]
Sodick Plustech wins best product award
Japanese injection press maker Sodick Plustech Co. Ltd. won a Japan Brand Award from Tokyo's Business & Technology Daily News. The award recognizes the 10 best products for 2010.
The newspaper picked Sodick and two other companies, out of a total of 70, for the award, given to products that represent unique Japanese technology that leads the worldwide market.
Sodick won for its 650-ton horizontal injection molding machine, model TR650EH2. The press can mold a 40-inch LED monitor with a super-thin-wall back-light guide, a highly precise part.
The two other Japan Brand Award winners include the Toshiba Regza-brand of three-dimensional television and Panasonic's integrated line of 3-D products.
Sodick Plustech's U.S. unit, Plustech Inc., is in Schaumburg, Ill.
Tel. 847-490-8130, fax 847-490-3192, email [email protected]
Systec press line getting larger sizes
Sumitomo SHI Demag Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH has expanded its line of hydraulic Systec injection molding presses up to 1,300 metric tons of clamping force.
This year, the Schwaig, Germany-based company will expand Systec machines further up to 2,000 tonnes. The Systec series starts at 25 tonnes.
The company's U.S. unit, Sumitomo Plastics Machinery, is in Norcross, Ga.
Tel. 678-892-7900, fax 770-441-9168.
TriVolution merges extruders' strengths
B&P Process Equipment and Systems LLC has introduced the TriVolution Kneader, a reciprocating kneader that incorporates the benefits of a twin-screw extruder an innovation B&P calls Tri-Kneader.
Larry Slovin, president and CEO of B&P, said engineers at the company in Saginaw, Mich., wanted to make major changes to the Ko-Kneader, developed more than 60 years ago. The solution: the Tri-Kneader concept.
B&P historically focused on the twin-screw extruder, which is the dominant machine for the compounding market. The Ko-Kneader took a back seat, company officials said. But B&P said the Tri-Kneader combines the high-torque, high-shear capabilities of the twin-screw extruder with the finesse compounding capability of the Ko-Kneader, coupled with its high free volume and short length to diameter.
With the TriVolution, B&P has achieved multiple oscillations per revolution. With each stroke of the screw shaft, the mixing flights of the screw interface with stationary pins lining the barrel wall.
The Tri-Kneader can be run in a very-low-temperature mixing configuration, according to B&P, and can be configured as a high-shear-intensity mixer.
Tel. 989-757-1300, fax 989-757-1301, email [email protected] ess.com.
Toolmakers certified for MuCell process
Warren, Mich.-based toolmaker Proper Group International Inc. has completed training for the initial class of MuCell-certified tooling engineers and designers.
Trexel of Woburn, Mass., and Proper Group announced their partnership to train MuCell-certified mold makers last fall.
Proper Group toolmakers now can design molds for the MuCell process, which adds microscopic bubbles to plastic melt using nitrogen or carbon dioxide gas.
Contact Trexel at tel. 781-932-0202, fax 781-932-3324.
Monitoring system enhances technology
Sheet-line maker Processing Technologies International LLC has developed a system to monitor intrinsic viscosity for PET.
Company officials said PTi developed the system to complement the high-vacuum twin-screw extruder technology being offered for dryerless PET sheet lines. Italy's Bandera Luigi Costruzioni Meccaniche SpA developed the process, which is offered in North America only by PTi.
Bandera has installed more than 80 of the dryerless lines around the world. PTi is installing a dryerless sheet line capable of running PET and polylactic acid at 2,500 pounds an hour, at its headquarters in Aurora, Ill. The line will include the intrinsic viscosity monitoring system.
Tel. 630-585-5800, ext. 137, email [email protected]
Grinder helps lens lab handle plastic strings
Essilor Laboratories of America Inc./Omega Optical Laboratory in Dallas used a Taskmaster TM8500 inline grinder from Franklin Miller Inc. to handle stringy waste material produced while machining polycarbonate blanks into prescription lenses.
The strings would build up around the separation auger, locking it up, then the drive belt would burn off and the system would shut down, the company said. The Taskmaster grinder chews up the strings into small pieces that pass easily through the catch basin and transfer pumps.
We spend only 30 minutes a day cleaning out the basket, said Brent Teichman, senior maintenance manager.
The Taskmaster TM8500 is a twin-shaft grinder that employs two counter-rotating cutter stacks that intermesh at close clearance to shred solids into fine bits.
Franklin Miller is based in Livingston, N.J.
Tel. 800-932-0599 or 973-535-9200, fax 973-535-6269, email [email protected]
Gearless extruder removes impurities
American Kuhne Inc. of Ashaway, R.I., showed a thermoplastic elastomer bump tube extrusion line, including its newest- generation of gearless, modular medical extruder, at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show earlier this year in Anaheim, Calif.
The gearless medical extruder is suited for clean rooms and other controlled environments because it eliminates impurities from drive-belt dust and gear oil, reducing potential contamination, according to the company.
American Kuhne's newest-generation modular extruder includes a high-torque, low-speed, synchronous alternating-current motor, with integral thrust bearing that directly drives the screw. The firm said the combination of the permanent magnet motor and no gearbox boosts the extruder's energy efficiency by at least 10 percent and runs very quietly.
Tel. 401-326-6200, fax 401-326-6201, e-mail [email protected] can kuhne.com.
Deadline nears for decorating entries
June 1 is the deadline to enter the In-Mold Decorating Association's annual awards competition.
Awards are based on creativity in design, engineering and innovation, in seven categories: part design, thin-wall packaging, injection molded part, blow molded part, IMD durable product, label design and best product family.
Winners will be recognized at the In-Mold Labeling and Decorating Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for Nov. 16-17 in Phoenix. Package Design Magazine will feature winners in its October issue.
IMDA is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Entry details are available at www.imdassociation.com.
New Maguire blender offers fast changes
Maguire Products Inc.'s WSB 260R4 gravimetric blender has four removable hoppers for fast changes of minor ingredients.
Aston, Pa.-based Maguire is making the fast-change blender technology available in a medium-capacity blender that can run up to 900 pounds of material an hour. The WSB 2604 has six hopper bins, including two large bins for natural resin and regrind, and four bins for minor ingredients that can be removed for fast changes of colors and additives, and easy cleaning. Materials in the large bins are dispensed using slide gates; the removable bins use vertical valves.
In other news, Maguire has named Tecnos Plasticos its agent in Brazil. Tecnos Plasticos has a sales staff of 15 and 11 technical service specialists at its headquarters in São Paulo and offices in other key regions of Brazil.
Tel. 610-459-4300, fax 610-459-2700, e-mail [email protected]
Course addresses science of molding
A new online course, Establishing a Scientific Molding Process, is available from A. Routsis Associates Inc. of Dracut, Mass.
The course's in-depth data prepares students to make appropriate, cost-effective decisions when establishing or improving a scientific injection molding process.
A scientific molder is a skilled worker who acts upon facts and data, and does not depend on guesswork, said President Andy Routsis.
Tel. 978-957-0700, fax 978-957-1860, email [email protected] tive.com.
IQMS officials say 2010 best year yet
IQMS Inc., which makes enterprise resource planning software, reported its 2010 sales increased 30 percent over 2009, marking the best year in its 21-year history. However, the company did not release actual sales figures.
According to the Paso Robles, Calif., company, it picked up 42 new clients and had a 98 percent customer retention rate.
While manufacturing is on the upswing or recovery, IQMS customers continued to make strides by increasing production, said President Randy Flam.
IQMS said more than 300 people came to the 2010 user group conference, the highest attendance ever for that event.
Tel. 805-227-1122, fax 805-227-1120.