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Check out the new hardware at 'Plastics USA.' (Society of the Plastics Industry exhibition at Chicago's McCormick Place on Oct 1992) (Technology News: Plastics USA)

Here's a sampling of new products to be introduced next month at SPI's first Plastics USA show at Chicago's McCormick Place. We asked the more than 300 exhibitors to provide advance information on first-time product introductions at the show. Their replies include a smattering of major machinery, but the bulk of this show's news will be in auxiliary equipment, components, and secondary processing.


A wide-platen, gas-assisted, 300-ton hydraulic-clamp machine will be introduced by HPM Corp., Mount Gilead, Ohio. The new H300 includes 30-in. clamp stroke, 40-in. open daylight, and standard 26 x 26-in. or optional 30 x 30-in. distance between tierods. With 48-oz injection capacity and the combination of wide platens and Gain Technologies' gas-assist technology, the H300 is said to mold parts usually possible only on machines of 500 tons and above.

A new 385-ton hydraulic injection machine (Model 390-MG-II), equipped with MAC-IV controller, will be introduced by Mitsubishi, represented here by MC Machinery, Wood Dale, Ill.

A retrofit package of proportional hydraulics and machine controls, reportedly equivalent in performance to new machinery, will be shown by Classic Plastic Machinery Co., a remanufacturer in Brunswick, Ohio. Designed to improve molding repeatability and provide more control over the process, the package includes closed-loop process control and SPC.

A 55-ton hydraulic press, the first of a new line of small-tonnage HP machines, will be demonstrated by Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co., Strongsville, Ohio.


A picker for sprues and small parts will be introduced by Wittmann Robot and Automation Systems, Torrington, Conn. Model W60, designed for injection machines up to 300 tons, is said to pivot easily to enable mold changes and offers many standard features, such as wrist rotation. Also, Wittmann is introducing a new drive system for its W152 parts-removal robot, which will provide operating speeds approaching 100 in./sec. Optional servo drives provide speeds over 200 in./sec. This new design, with the telescoping vertical axis, allows below-centerline part placement.

New side-entry and high-speed beam robots will be featured by Conair Martin, Agawam, Mass.


A new inside-center-gate nozzle to be shown by JPI Technologies Inc., Bolton, Ont., is said to be capable of gating nozzles through narrow cores with a minimum of heat transfer to the core. It can be installed in a bore as small as 0.394-in. diam., with a length of up to 6 in. The surrounding core can be completely water-cooled without minimizing the nozzle's heating performance. This type of nozzle is said to be suited to caps and closures that must be gated inside through the core. It's also possible to install these nozzles in unscrewing mechanisms.

A new edge-gating probe will be introduced by Spear System, Inc., Camarillo, Calif. The probe has the firm's patented heater tip that turns on to melt the gate open and off to seal the gate.

A new "idle/run" option for the Conductor Series hot-runner temperature-control system allows a molder to reduce the setpoint of all the control modules in a mainframe with a single flick of a switch. It will be shown by Fast Heat Element Mfg. Co., Elmhurst, Ill.

A 24-v system has been added to the 5-v and 220-v hot-runner systems supplied by Gunther Hot Runner Systems, Park Ridge, Ill., the company's new North American location. A universal microprocessor controller will be available for all three voltages.

A new, compact quick-mold-clamping system for both vertical and horizontal injection machines will be introduced by Kosmek (USA) Ltd., Bridgeview, Ill. The GS clamp is more than 40% smaller than conventional mold clamps and features several new concepts, including an internal locking system that prevents release of the mold in the event of hydraulic system failure. A new anti-friction design prevents the clamp from jamming against the mold plate.

A new high-strength aluminum tooling alloy, Alumec 89, will be introduced by Uddeholm Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill. It's said to have better hardness and tensile strength than the widely used 7075-T651 aluminum alloy, and lower levels of internal stress to minimize distortion during machining.


A newly developed software product called The Manufacturing Manager will be introduced by Data Technical Research, Jacksonville, Fla. It is a comprehensive, fully integrated manufacturing, distribution, and financial management package written in "Progress" language, which is said to make the software hardware- and operating-system-independent. Features include pop-up windows, multiple screen overlays, on-the-fly file maintenance, and user-defined windows and reports. A quotation module calculates product pricing and costs. Order-entry and release-entry modules automatically update information for the production-scheduling module. The scheduling module provides forward and backward scheduling and production capacity planning for all production machines and secondary operations. A variety of material planning, manufacturing efficiency, utilization analysis, and product costing reports are also available.

New shop-floor management software called the Factivity package, from MDSS, Inc. of Cleveland, is a collection of modules for scheduling, lot tracing, preventive maintenance, labor reporting, job dispatching, time performance analysis, job costing, and electronic data interchange (EDI). Factivity modules may be bundled with MDSS MRP-II and various financial packages to form complete systems.

The Focus 2000 Production and Process Management System introduced two months ago (see PT, Aug. '92, p. 23) will be shown for the first time by Syscon-PlantStar, South Bend, Ind. The system uses a relational database and graphical user interface under the X-window system, allowing the user flexibility to design and customize screens and add functions and applications to the database.

Several new enhancements to the Shotscope Process and Production Monitoring system will be introduced by the T.G. Branden Corp., Wilsonville, Ore. A remote monitor now provides SPC information and shot profile overlays to the operator at the machine. New software modules include an easy-to-use Job Scheduler, a Statistical Quality Control module that automatically compares part measurements to shot parameters, and a Process and Production Summary module for the portable Shotscope S9000 system that provides summary reports on out-of-spec parameters, machine efficiency, job order status, machine operating status overview and downtime summary.

A new version of the EPM Series 5000 Plastics Monitoring System will be introduced by EPOS Corp., Auburn, Ala. Schedule updating and production reporting functions have been enhanced. New features of the Schedule Edit are a chart of current and future jobs, schedule "rippling" capability, and a "what-if" simulation calculator. Production reporting includes a pair of user-definable report generation packages.


A training system for injection molding is available in English and Spanish from D.C. Wilson Co., Bloomington, Minn. A company employee or trainer attends seminars on teaching injection molding, and is provided with all of the materials necessary to deliver a training program. It's a text-based system that includes instructor training, illustrated text, workbooks, visual materials and factory-floor exercises.


APV Chemical Machinery Co. of Saginaw, Mich., will showcase a new twin-screw compounder for engineering resins and other sophisticated jobs. Called the HP-4000 Series, this corotating model employs a twin motor drive that is said to transmit high torque through a balanced gearbox to the twin agitator shafts. The HP-4000 also features redesigned feed ports and vacuum vents in the same barrel construction as previous models.

A new travelling cutoff saw with servo control, Model C-420SC, will be introduced by R.D.N. Manufacturing Co. of Wood Dale, Ill. Intended to replace earlier pneumatic models, the new unit consists of a servo motor with microprocessor control and a precision ball-screw drive for saw-table motion. Reported benefits include closer tolerances, easier setup, faster table travel, faster cut cycles, and improved table-travel control at low rates.

For reclaim operations handling light feedstocks, a 3.5-in. extruder ram-feed section has been developed by Davis-Standard Div. of Crompton & Knowles Corp., Pawcatuck, Conn. It has a throat opening 12-14 times the size of a standard unit.


A new noncontact gauging system for profile/tubing extrusion called the Ultramike System 6000 Concentricity Gauge will be introduced by LaserMike, Inc., Dayton, Ohio. It uses ultrasound to measure both concentricity and wall thickness. Though designed to work as a stand-alone system, it can also be used in conjunction with the company's O.D. gauging systems to provide simultaneous control of wall thickness, O.D. and I.D., as well as full SPC reports. The System 6000 features accuracy to |plus or minus~0.2 mils over a 2-mil to 1-in. wall-thickness range. The system employs digital processing, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and oscilloscopes. The System 6000 also fits into cooling troughs to ease retrofitting. Other features include graphic display of product cross-section, keyboard interface and hard-disk storage of setup information.

In addition to extruder temperature control and production management, the new Farex-Mighty-5E process controller from Syscon-RKC, South Bend, Ind., handles all motor-related functions. And a single system can reportedly handle multiple lines with up to 104 control zones, 12 motor drives, and 36 analog inputs. Syscon-RKC will also have its New Century Series of digital temperature controllers on display.

A new thermal imaging system for webs will be introduced by Square D Co.'s Infrared Measurement Div., Niles, Ill. The ScanIR system is designed to work on-line, providing thermal imaging in real time. The system measures and calculates spot and zone temperatures ranging from 100 to 3200 F across the full web width. It can then output temperature data for up to 10 spots or 10 zones directly to industrial computers and programmable controllers for closed-loop process control. For thermal imaging, ScanIR scans across a moving web, measuring 10 times/sec for a total of 2000 samples/scan, or it measures 50 times/sec for 400 samples/scan. Its imaging software provides two- and three-dimensional displays.


Atkins Technical of Gainesville, Fla., will introduce a battery-powered thermometer built into a clipboard along with a display and probe connector. It's designed for taking mold, melt, barrel, and platen temperatures on the run. Its range is -100 F to +1000 F, and accuracy is |plus or minus~2|degrees~F or |plus or minus~0.25% of reading.


In stretch-blow molding, Bekum Plastics Machinery Inc., Williamston, Mich., will show its recently developed, double-sided reheat-blow machine for the first time in the U.S. The concept is to shuttle molds up to the preform from the two sides of the machine, the way a shuttle-type blow molder catches a parison. To Bekum's knowledge, this is the only small machine that applies this principle to stretch-blow. Bekum's RBU-445 can produce 4500 bottles/hr, nearly double the output of the single-station original RBU-225 (2500/hr). Heating units are modular and removable.

In downstream equipment for blow molding, MTM Systems Inc. in Beaverton, Ore., is introducing a new semiautomatic deflashing and neck-finishing machine for small custom bottle makers. Model 4009 takes manually loaded parts, removes top and tail flash and finishes the neck automatically. But it can also be fully automated with a pick-and-place unit to meet higher production needs.


A new developmental in-line thermoformer with in-line trim-in-chains station (the first machine is being built for the show) will be shown by Irwin Research & Development, Inc., Yakima, Wash. The trim station layout is new for Irwin: instead of a separate, horizontal trim press, the new model has a vertical steel-rule-die trim station with the chain rails extending from the forming through the trim station. Trim platen is driven at all four corners for high accuracy. The first model will accommodate 28 x 40 in. tools, with 6.5 in. depth of draw above and below sheet line.

For both industrial and packaging thermoforming, Portage Casting & Mold Inc. of Portage, Wis., will show its new bimetallic mold technology for the first time (see PT, June '92, p. 110). Bimetallic molds use highly conductive Ampco 940 alloy from Ampco Metal Inc., Milwaukee, for mold inserts that can take higher heat in order to provide greater surface or logo definition, for example.


A new line of portable water chillers with capacities ranging from 24,000 to 60,000 Btu/hr will be introduced by Rite-Temp Manufacturing, Inc., Rogers, Ark. The chillers have closed evaporator tanks that reportedly improve operating cost efficiency while eliminating downtime from contaminants entering the system and problems resulting from low or uncertain water pressure, evaporation or overflow.


A line of Holzmag grinders from Eurohansa Inc., High Point, N.C., will be shown for the first time in North America. The German-made grinders reportedly offer low power consumption and their electronic controls allow automatic batch feeding.

A line of granulators with redesigned hoppers to allow either manual or robotic feeding will be introduced by Conair Wor-Tex, Agawam, Mass.

And look for a new robotic-feed, low-profile granulator from Ball & Jewell Div. of Sterling Inc., Milwaukee. It has a low-rpm motor and high-inertia drive, reportedly giving cleaner regrind with fewer fines. Its robotic-feed hopper has an anti-flyback feature. Two feed-throat sizes are 8 x 12 in. and 8 x 16 in.


Two new vibrating fluid-bed drying systems--one for compounded plastic pellets that dewaters, dries, cools and screens in one unit; and one for granulated PET, HDPE and other films that can dry without melting or fusing the plastic will be introduced by Carrier Vibrating Equipment, Inc., Louisville, Ky. The latter system was said to have been developed for recyclers who require versatility and tight control over various types of material.

A portable drying/blending/loading system for virgin and regrind material is new from Dri-Air Industries, Inc., Vernon, Conn. The system has dual hoppers for drying virgin and regrind separately. Afterward, the materials are blended via volumetric feeders. Mixed material is then conveyed with dry air to a press-mounted filterless receiver.

A small, beside-the-press drying/conveying system will be formally introduced from Conair Franklin, Franklin, Pa. Initial details on this "MDC" positive-air-pressure system were discussed at the recent Western Plastics Exposition held in Long Beach, Calif. (PT, Aug. '92, p. 15).


Aquatrac, a new moisture analyzer for plastic pellets, will be unveiled by C.W. Brabender Instruments Inc., South Hackensack, N.J. Moisture content is automatically calculated and displayed digitally. Also available is an optional printer and analog output. Brabender explains that Aquatrac uses a calcium carbide or sodium-lead reagent; since the principle of analysis is chemical, no calibration is required for each different resin batch tested. The unit can detect moisture content as low as 0.001%.

Brabender is also introducing a new software module for its PL2000 torque rheometer, which is designed to measure dynamic torque. The new Rheological Evaluation Program is designed to enhance data acquisition for SPC. The program evaluates the apparent and/or corrected viscosity, using a round capillary die assembly, and enables the operator to collect data on shear rate, shear stress, and viscosity profile.

Another new polymer moisture analyzer known as the Mark 1 will be exhibited by Omnimark Instrument Corp., Tempe, Ariz. Omnimark is the exclusive distributor of the Mark 1, manufactured by Denver Instruments Co., Arvada, Colo. Priced at around $6500, it measures resin moisture as low as 0.01%, with resolution to 0.001%. The device automatically initiates the heating test after the resin sample has been added. It has a built-in printer and programmable memory that stores up to 10 sets of testing parameters.

Three new series of tensile and universal testers will be displayed by Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Inc., Columbia, Md. The AGS-D Series (5 to 1000 kg) are compact, bench-top units. The UH-A Series (10 to 400 tons) performs tensile, compression, transverse and bending tests with automatic electrohydraulic control of test loads. The AG-E Series (100 g to 100 tons) performs static and dynamic testing with automatic storage and recall of test parameters.

In addition, Shimadzu also is unveiling a new quench-cool differential scanning calorimeter known as the DSC-50 Q.

For quality checks on part dimensions, a new vertical profile projector comparator, known as Precision 12, will be introduced by the Instrument Group of Nikon Inc., Melville, N.Y. It makes x-y measurements of specimens measuring up to 6 x 2 x 3 in. When outfitted with a digital or dial micrometer, z-ax-is measurements can also be read.

SpectraLight II, a new collapsible aluminum color-matching booth is being introduced by Macbeth, div. of Kollmorgen Instruments Corp., Newburgh, N.Y. It's said to represent a new generation of technology in calibrated light booths. The new booth provides five different light sources at the push of a button. The company says these meet or exceed all domestic and international standards for color matching and evaluation.

Macbeth also is introducing ColorChecker 545, a portable, hand-held spectrophotometer. The new unit is designed to provide quick pass/fail color measurements in the field or on the shop floor, providing the accuracy of many benchtop units.

A new semiautomated drop-weight impact test cell, known as the Specimen Feeder System, comes from Dynatup General Research Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif. It integrates an automated specimen feeder, environmental conditioning unit that holds 100 samples, impact tester, and data-acquisition system.


A new, advanced power supply for its 900 Series of ultrasonic plastic assembly and equipment is being introduced by Branson Ultrasonics Corp., Danbury, Conn. The new power supply is a 2000-w, 20-kHz unit that features a unique circuit design, offering performance standards not available on any other ultrasonic power supplies in the industry, according to Branson. The company declines to reveal additional information on the technology.

A new mobile welding workstation, designed to meet the production needs of both single- and dual-head applications will be introduced by the Ultrasonics Div., Dukane Corp., St. Charles, Ill. The company will also exhibit recent software upgrades for its Ultra-Com microcomputer welding control and monitoring system.


For decorating plastics, a new sealed-ink-cup pad printer, which eliminates solvent evaporation and helps maintain constant ink viscosity, is being displayed by Teca-Print USA Corp., Billerica, Mass. Microprocessor-controlled TPS-101 has a max. rate of 4000 cycles/hr. This is a single-color printing system, but future plans call for multicolor capability.

United Silicone Inc., Lancaster, N.Y., is introducing a new model UP 450 pad printer; special features include a covered inkwell to prevent solvent evaporation, and quick-lock cliche positioning, which allows cliches to be changed without tools or inkwell removal.

Expanding its line of sealed-ink-cup printers, Trans Tech America Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., is unveiling its new Hermetic 90 unit. The new machine is a cam-operated pad printer with an adjustable four-axis work table. It's designed for quick changeover and has a print area of 80 mm and max. speed of 3600 cycles/hr.


Several new automated hot-stamping machines will be introduced by General Foils Inc., New Milford, Conn. The firm is a leading Japanese supplier, new to the North American market. Among its displays will be cylindrical-surface hot-marking machines, golf-ball robotic heat-transfer machines, three-dimensional machines, and marking units for cable and plastic pipe.


An ionizing air blower for 3-D parts is new from Tantec Inc., Schaumburg, Ill. TurboClean blowers neutralize static charges with high-velocity ionized air to clean parts before painting, printing, laminating or coating.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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