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K'92: here comes the big one!

For plastics processors, it's the Show of Shows--2087 exhibitors from 38 countries, including 72 from the U.S. It would be impossible for us to preview all the new products being introduced by all those companies. So we have concentrated on primary processing equipment and materials from exhibitors that do business in North America and which provided us with advance information. (More K'92 news next month.)

INJECTION MOLDING

Energy savings will be a big theme at K'92, reflecting higher relative energy prices in Europe than in North America. Look for lots of electric servo motors and new all-servo-electric machines. Gas-injection processes will also be prominently displayed by several machine builders. Besides lots of new machine models, and even whole new lines, there will be news in robots and hot runners.

NEW ALL-ELECTRICS

Energy-saving electric servo drives will be present in profusion, most dramatically evident in the first two all-electric machines from European suppliers. Klockner Ferromatik Desma (U.S. offices in Erlanger, Ky.) will unveil its all-servo-driven Elektra 100 (110 tons). The machine has a four-point twin-toggle system and dry-cycle time of 0.7 sec. The ejector is driven by a crank slide, and can operate during mold opening. The injection stroke is actuated by means of a crank shaft driven by a planetary gear, which is said to minimize flywheel effect and keep acceleration time short. "IQT" controls incorporate SPC functions.

In the same vein, Battenfeld (West Warwick, R.I.) will unveil the first model (55 tons) in its new all-electric CDK-SE series. It's available with Battenfeld's novel Unilog Tc40 "transputer" control (see PT, March '92, p. 13).

An 88-ton, hydraulic-clamp Battenfeld CDC-series machine will be energy-optimized with an optional three-phase servo motor that automatically adapts its speed to the oil requirements of the process and displays energy consumption on the Tc40 control. The Tc40 also supports the patent-pending "active" nonreturn valve on this machine.

Cincinnati Milacron's Plastics Machinery Div., Batavia, Ohio, plans to introduce a third generation of its ACT all-electric machines with a new control based on a 32-bit RISC processor, resulting in better repeatability and faster response. A 33-ton ACT machine will mold compact disks with the aid of a high-speed robot having a takeout time of 0.5 sec.

The company will also show off the industry's first color flat-panel LCD display screen, which Milacron sources concede will be an expensive option until growing demand from the laptop computer industry brings prices down.

Milacron sources note that its "Variable Power" energy-saving brushless d-c drive option has received a much more enthusiastic reception in Europe than in North America. It will be demonstrated on a 1500-ton Vista machine, the largest ever to have this feature. Two variable-speed d-c brushless motors drive variable-volume pumps, for energy savings of 35-60%.

The energy-saving theme will be sounded by MIR of Italy (MIR USA Corp., Leominster, Mass.). An RMP 675/E toggle machine will include an electric screw drive motor, which reportedly saves 30% of energy consumption. (Klockner and Battenfeld recently began offering electric servo screw drives for the same reason). In addition, the machine will have a special feeding device for recycled material. An RMP 200 Ecologica toggle press is also said to feature energy-saving and low-noise operation.

SMALL MACHINES

Several new machine models and options will be on hand from Arburg (Berlin, Conn.). Arburg's "Vario-Principle," whereby a horizontally traversing injection unit can be positioned at any point along a horizontal slot in the fixed platen, is available on Allrounder V, C, and M series machines. Two new sizes of Allrounder V machines will be introduced. A new, "inexpensive" version of the 470V with 143-ton clamp will also be on hand. The Allrounder M series has been expanded to include a new model with die space of 14.5 in. square. And a new rotary-table machine capable of producing different molded parts on several stations simultaneously will be shown.

Newly designed controls also will be shown by Arburg, as well as special molding applications, such as gas injection and processing powdered metal and ceramics.

Battenfeld's modular CD Series machines from 11 to 105 tons now constitute three families--CDC, CDK, and CDK-SE--all sharing the same basic frame and offering a choice of injection and clamp modules. The original hydraulic-clamp family is now called the CDC series; its former four-point clamping system has been replaced with central hydraulic clamping.

The CDK toggle line that appeared in 1990 has a new 38.5-ton addition that will be on display; the line formerly started at 55 tons. The CDK toggle mechanism now uses maintenance-free, "dry-lubricated" bushings that eliminate the need for centralized lubrication of all bearings, providing a "cleaner" machine.

And, as noted above, there's now an all-electric CDK-SE series. The new Tc40 control an option on all CD presses.

For tight spaces, Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. of Japan (Nissei America Inc., Anaheim, Calif.) will demonstrate its 10-ton AS10-1V machine with vertical injection and clamping. Clamping is pneumatically powered.

HEAVY METAL

On the large end of the machine scale, Klockner has a new vertical hydromechanical clamp system for K-series machines of 1430 tons and above. Two pressure bars apply clamping force to the moveable platen. Both of the clamping cylinders are located on an adapter platen for actuating the clamping platen. The system is said to allow the clamping platen to be moved to locking position in the shortest possible time. It drops in free-fall within 0.4 sec and then is slowed by hydraulic shock absorbers. This requires a small volume of oil, so pressure is built up in just 1.3 sec--70% less than fully hydraulic machines, the company says.

Sandretto (Farmington Hills, Mich.) will bring out a new NH line of hydromechanical-clamp presses of 1500 tons and above. It will be similar to Sandretto's LH line, but with a simpler configuration.

Remu of Italy (now owned by Stork of the Netherlands and distributed by Genesis of Mississauga, Ont.) will display its new 2500-ton HMSY hydromechanical-clamp machine, producing multicavity automotive bumpers.

MORE NEW PRESSES

Klockner will introduce a new K series from 154 to 1100 tons. These hydraulic-clamp units have an overhead tank, direct screw drive, modified bed design for flexibility in parts removal, and IQT control with color screen.

Battenfeld will show off three sizes of its new BC-T Series, which starts at 110 tons. They feature a completely new central hydraulic clamping system that is said to provide faster operating speeds and better mold protection.

Two new models of 550 and 660 tons have been added to Battenfeld's toggle-clamp BK-T Series. Tc-40 "transputer" control is now available on all BK-T machines.

Two new BA-T hydraulic-clamp models will reflect the redesign of that series. On models up to 440 tons, hydraulic pumps have replaced the accumulator system (now optional). Larger machines have an improved three-phase servo drive, which is also recommended for the upper range of BK-T machines. A 200-ton BA-T press will demonstrate a quick-mold-change system on a monorail between a four-station mold magazine and the machine.

A new SM toggle line, available in 550-, 750-, and 1000-ton versions, will be displayed by Sandretto. The machines will include a new control system. In addition, Sandretto will also present information on its Logi-Gas system for gas-assisted injection molding. The company has about 75 Logi-Gas units operating in Europe, although it has yet to offer the system in the U.S.

MIR will show its recently introduced MPO series with direct hydraulic clamp. All MIR machines will be shown with the latest Captrol 2 controls. A rapid mold-clamping system with magnetic platens will also be shown.

Also on hand will be a 280-ton TS toggle machine equipped for gas injection from Stork Plastics Machinery of The Netherlands, (represented by Genesis, Mississauga, Ont.).

NOVELTIES IN THERMOSETS

Impressive new capabilities in thermoset injection will be demonstrated by Fahr Bucher (represented here by Bucher Inc., Buffalo Grove, Ill.). A new Bucher 700-ton model TS 700/4200 MC3 hydraulic-clamp polyester molding press will be equipped with an in-mold dielectric sensor and ICAM real-time control software from Micromet Instruments, Inc., Newton, Mass. The controls will both minimize molding cycles and ensure quality on each cycle by automatically triggering demold once the dielectric spectrometer senses sufficient cure of each part. The press will also have a newly developed Poly 210/360 automatic polyester feeding device.

A Bucher SGA 170 D machine will be equipped with additional hydraulic pistons in the moveable platen for molding high-precision parts using a "precision injection-compression" process. Glass-reinforced phenolic pulleys of 2.73-in. diam. will be molded to tolerances of |plus or minus~0.2 mil.

Other Bucher introductions will include a new MC3 machine control, based on a Siemens PLC. Features include a PC operator interface with SPC and graphics capabilities.

SPECIAL MACHINES

A "sandwich" injection machine suited for using recycled material will also be introduced by Nissei. The machine has two injection cylinders, the first to inject two skins of virgin resin, the second for the core of recycled material.

A three-station injection machine will demonstrate three different technologies from Hettinga Equipment Inc., Des Moines, Iowa. One station will demonstrate a new self-clamping mold, which eliminates the entire clamping unit, and reportedly reduces the machine cost by half. The other stations on the same machine will demonstrate composite molding and the company's proprietary Helga gas-assist process.

A fully integrated Pack-Line 1 production system for containers will be demonstrated by Netstal-Machinery (Fitchburg, Mass.). The high-speed, open-loop MP 580/150, 165-ton machine will be equipped with a new microprocessor control.

MIR will demonstrate multi-component molding of thermoplastic and liquid silicone rubber on its model HLSR 135/C.

ROBOTS

Several new parts removers and sprue pickers will be on hand at the exhibit of Wittmann Robots & Automation Systems, Torrington, Conn. A new high-speed W60 picker can handle payloads up to 2 lb. The unit, designed for machines up to 300 tons, comes standard with vacuum circuit for small-parts handling, as well as wrist rotation. It pivots for mold changes.

Wittmann's W102 high-speed robot is now available in an all-electric version. For machines up to 175 tons, it's equipped with variable-frequency drive motors and can operate at speeds of up to 93 in./sec.

Wittmann's W150 series now offers a choice of four electric drives: standard frequency, "enhanced frequency," standard servo, and high-speed servo. The new W152 model, which has an a-c servo on all three main axes, is capable of speeds up to 216 in./sec without sacrificing placement accuracy. The W152's vertical arm can place parts below the molding machine's centerline, down to floor level.

The company's W200 and W300 models--for machines up to 750 and 1500 tons, respectively--now have enhanced speeds. With standard-frequency drives, the units can operate at speeds of up to 110 in./sec. Servo motors are optional.

New modular CNC controls for Wittmann robots can provide each axis with individual microprocessor control. And new low-cost mini controls are available for use with pneumatic and pneumatic/electric drive components. The inexpensive teach-in mini control has features of more expensive systems, including storage capacity for 10 programs.

HOT RUNNERS

New "needleless" technology said to speed injection molding of PET preforms will be exhibited by Krupp Corpoplast (Edison, N.J.). A mold incorporating new hot-runner technology, which eliminates the usual needle-valve nozzles, is the heart of the Pet-o-mat P 50-48-120 injection molding system for 1.5-liter bottle preforms. This mold design avoids downtime for maintenance and repair associated with needles. The 48-cavity mold has a reported cycle time of 17.5 sec, yielding over 9800 preforms/hr. In addition, the Pet-o-mat injection molding machine includes a new screw and several new control features.

The new Dura line of hot-runner systems will be exhibited by Mold Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont. These nozzles incorporate nickel-fusion technology to braze the 220-v element into a profiled groove around the outer diameter, which is said to result in exceptional heat transfer. The new Universal Dura system is designed with a copper-alloy insert for temperature uniformity right up to the gate. The highly conductive insert also is said to assist in removing gate-area heat after injection to speed cooling. Also on hand will be the Dura Big Shot for direct gating of large parts (over 1 lb), and new Dura Master Shot nozzles for shot sizes of 0.1 to 1 lb.

In addition, Mold-Masters has a new line of inlet extensions, to be used when the machine nozzle cannot plunge deep enough to reach the hot runner. The 220-v extensions are available in standard 50-mm increments from 150 to 350 mm.

An upgrade to the 2020HP hot-runner manifold will be on hand from Ewikon (Chicago). The new version has a center-to-center distance of only 15 mm, or 0.585 in.

New hot-runner systems will be introduced by Enrietti (A.L.B.A. Enterprises, Inc., Torrance, Calif.). New large-diameter (60-mm) nozzles and sprue bushings are available in lengths from 200 to 600 mm. Also new is a two-zone microprocessor temperature controller. And a recent improvement to Enrietti's line of nozzles is the addition of a steel sleeve through the center of the beryllium-copper core. This is said to combine the heat-transfer ability of copper with the corrosion resistance of steel, permitting the use of higher injection pressures for thin-wall molding. Also on hand will be the new type D2D nozzle, designed for quick color changes.

A new direct-flow manifold will be introduced by Incoe Corp., Troy, Mich. Its one-piece construction reportedly simplifies and speeds installation and maintenance, and results in more than 50% energy savings because of reduced conduction to the mold. It has power and thermocouple zones pre-wired to a quick-connect mold receptacle to ease installation and service.

Incoe will also show a new pneumatic valve gate for clean-room molding, and a new 300 Series miniature heated nozzle that allows for small center-to-center distance and close cluster design of small parts.

D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich., will introduce several new products for the first time. These include new accessories and nozzles for runnerless molds; high-pressure quick-disconnects for water and hydraulic lines; an hydraulic core slide; and a CAD library, based on D-M-E's metric catalog, in Autocad and DXF formats and five languages.

A newly developed Latch Locking Unit for injection molds requiring a second parting line will be introduced by Hasco (Lincoln Park, N.J.). The Z174 is said to have an improved double-side latch-locking design, which reportedly can transmit enormous pulling forces. Either instant or delayed pulling action of mold plates is possible.

EXTRUSION & COMPOUNDING

It appears from the information currently available that the greatest amount of extrusion news will be in blown film, where top billing will be given to new autogauging systems employing automatic dies and/or segmented air rings. Software for troubleshooting die problems will be another interesting debut, as will be new coex sheet dies from a U.S. firm.

BLOWN FILM NEWS

Autogauging systems are among the most dramatic new blown film equipment to be seen in Dusseldorf. A line fitted with not one, but two autogauging systems will be demonstrated by Reifenhauser (Peabody, Mass.). In addition to the Reicoflex system, which mechanically alters a flexible die lip to reduce circumferential gauge variation, the company will unveil its first segmented air-ring approach to auto profile control. Called the Reicoflow, the system employs a dual-lip air ring with valve-controlled air flow to a segmented lower level. The unit's upper level can make coarser adjustments with three stepper motors that put this upper lip on a bias. The line's 2500-mm oscillating haul-off has also been redesigned. Unlike previous models, where a single gearbox supported the weight of the entire nip assembly, the new haul-off supports each reversing station separately, reportedly eliminating shimmying. The demonstration line will consist of a three-layer coex line with 500-mm die and three 70-mm extruders.

A three-layer blown film line with two 60-mm and one 80-mm extruders will showcase the new auto-profile control system from Kiefel (Wrentham, Mass.). Called the Automatic Transverse Direction Gauge Control system, it employs capacitance sensing and a segmented air-ring approach (see PT, Oct. '91, p. 13).

A new Rollex surface winder will round out Kiefel's coex line. This fully automatic unit allows pressure on the roll to decrease as the roll grows bigger. A compact extruder temperature control will also be introduced.

Alpine (Natick, Mass.) will demonstrate its Profile Optimization System with segmented air ring. The system will run on a three-layer coex line for LDPE. The company will also show a high-stalk, 880-lb/hr HDPE line with a high-intensity, dynamic cavity-transfer mixer called the Dynasphere.

From Windmoeller & Hoelscher (Lincoln, R.I.), which was first to commercialize an autoprofile die for blown film, comes evidence of that company's re-emergence as a supplier of HDPE lines. On display will be an HDPE line featuring a 70-mm, 30:1 extruder.

In addition to a six-layer, modular blown film die, Brampton Engineering of Brampton, Ont., will show its Prophecy die-analysis software. This diagnostic program can be used for existing or new dies to identify hang-up points, isolate pressure drops, highlight potential zones of polymer degradation, and reveal design flaws.

Also on display, as part of a coextrusion setup, will be Brampton's Integrated Temperature and Layer Yield System (ITALYS), which can monitor and control lines with up to seven extruders.

The newest Flatpak coextrusion system will be shown by Davis-Standard Div. of Crompton & Knowles Corp., Pawcatuck, Conn. Designed for upgrading monolayer blown film lines, the Flatpak arranges multiple extruders side-by-side on a single base that can still fit within one extruder bay. The exhibit will feature one 3.5-in. and two 2.5-in. extruders on a base less than 63 in. wide.

Davis-Standard will also exhibit a new horizontal roll stand, the Ex-M-Plar XC. Vertically aligned with the die, the new stand reportedly tackles appearance problems caused by web sag, air entrapment, and roll plateout. It's recommended for low-viscosity and optical materials.

Addex Inc., Boston, will introduce a new dual-lip air ring with redesigned air passages and fewer adjustment handles. The system is said to simplify adjustments without sacrificing the ability to customize air flow for each extrusion run.

CAST FILM AND SHEET

Three single-manifold coextrusion flat dies with improved autogauging and a variety of new features will be shown by Cloeren Co., Orange, Texas. For cast film, a 100-in. Epoch III die will contain a five-layer variable-geometry feedblock and a brand-new internal deckle system. A 65-in.-wide Epoch III for extrusion coating will have a five-layer fixed-geometry feedblock. A 77-in. Epoch die for extrusion coating, meanwhile, will feature the new Edge Bead Reduction (EBR) internal deckle mechanism that reportedly eliminates edge-trim scrap. All the dies will also feature a new mechanism for providing uniform temperature control across the flex-lip and a novel inverted preland design for reducing the pressure differential across the die width in order to improve gauge uniformity.

As an alternative to its usual customized extrusion lines, Klockner Er-We-Pa (Smyrna, Ga.) will introduce its first standardized line for cast film and sheet. The system's horizontal roll stack will produce film from 2.3 to 7.8 mils and sheet up to 39 mils. The basic line at the show will feature a 4.5-in. extruder designed to run PP, PS, PE or PET, using a general-purpose screw. A series of optional modules permits upgrading to coextrusion or recycling, or running other resins.

An APET/CPET sheet line with autoprofile control will be demonstrated by Welex, Inc., Blue Bell, Pa. It features the company's "quick-change," cassette-style coextrusion feedblock with new fine-tuning controls. With total capacity of 2200 lb/hr, the line's three water-cooled extruders will all employ barrier screws, gear pumps and static mixers.

FOR PIPE, PROFILE AND CABLE

A coextrusion line for three-layer tubing will be introduced by Krupp Bellaform (Edison, N.J.). Tubing will consist of an EVOH or nylon outer layer bonded to a PE substrate by an adhesive tie-layer. This E60 line features a new cutting system that reportedly leaves no burrs. With a throughput of 132 lb/hr and take-off speed of 65.6 ft/min, the E60 produces tubes with an O.D. of 35 mm and wall thicknesses of 0.4-0.5 mm with tolerances down to |plus or minus~0.05 mm. The cutter will make up to 130 cuts/min.

A new model 2-65-22V twin-screw extruder designed for high-speed profile extrusion, with outputs between 44 and 550 lb/hr, will be introduced by Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik (Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, Gloucester, Mass.). Battenfeld will also exhibit an HDPE pipe system with a new RISC microprocessor control.

Nokia-Maillefer (South Hadley, Mass.) will showcase the latest MW automatic dual coiler. The unit automatically performs tube-to-tube traversing of flexible and semirigid tubes, cutting of preselected lengths, changeovers from full to empty reel cores, and coil strapping, and ejection. Also displayed will be the SCOP 5000 control system with touchscreen. It's designed to regulate temperature loops, synchronize extruders and capstan haul-offs, and sound alarms for off-spec product.

CONTINUOUS COMPOUNDING

For high-volume continuous reaction and devolatilization, a new line will be introduced by Berstorff (Charlotte, N.C.). It couples one of the company's new ZER twin-screw reactors with an also new MSE 10-screw extruder/reactor (PT, July '91, p. 43).

On the smaller side, Leistritz (American Leistritz Extruder Corp. Somerville, N.J.) will introduce a 27-mm twin-screw extruder with an 11-hp drive. Called the Micro 27, it can switch from co- to counterrotation by flipping a lever.

Known until now as a parts supplier for twin-screw compounders, U.S. Extrusion Inc. of Hawthorne, N.J., will bring its first complete extruder to the show, a 30-mm twin-screw called the TSC-30.

Werner & Pfleiderer, meanwhile, will show off two lesser-known capabilities of its ZSK-40 twin-screw extruder by using it for PET film extrusion without pre-drying the resin and employing the same unit as part of a recycling system.

BLOW MOLDING

Some of the hottest innovations in blow molding to be shown at K aren't new machines but new process technology, software, mold-clamping and other adaptations of existing models. New ways to blow mold complex shapes like auto ducts will receive particular attention.

INDUSTRIAL BLOW MOLDING

Ducts are big this year. Battenfeld Fischer (whose U.S. branch, Battenfeld Blow Molding, moved this month to Boonton, N.J.) will show its first bent-parison technology for "flashless" 3-D blow molding of automotive ducts. The process (shown on a BFB-8 continuous-extrusion blow molder) involves new control software, a robotic parison gripper with scissors, and an all-new clamp design with three, four, or more mold sections that close sequentially. The parison is extruded off-line, then transferred by gripper while still partly inflated. This gripper inserts the parison into the cavity sections as they close.

Battenfeld Fischer will also introduce three new models, including the smallest of its BFB1 series. The BFB1-2, designed for 1-liter bottles, is a single-station version of the BFB1-D. BFB1-2 has a new high-speed clamp with two tiebars below and a "compensating device" to align the mold halves. Tiebarless clamping allows molds to go in and out more easily, the company says. Other new models are BFB2-L, a long-stroke extrusion blow molder, and BFB1-6D, a longer-platen version demonstrating quick setups.

New automotive duct technology will also be featured by Krupp Kautex (Edison, N.J.), which will demonstrate its first fully integrated in-mold de-flashing, punching and cutting process. The system will be shown on a KB 20 continuous-extrusion machine. KB 20 blows one long part, then cuts it into two ducts by punching and cutting.

Krupp Kautex is also presenting two container blow molders in a new modular series: KEB 10L and KEB 10D. Single-station KEB 10L makes small containers in up to eight cavities, for 2000 oval bottles/hr. Double-station KEB 10D can have either single or dual parisons. Both models can have up to six extruders. Both have tiebarless hydraulic clamping, controlled by guide pins from underneath. Platen movements are all horizontal (i.e., the head and extruder move up and down to control the parison) to facilitate automatic takeoff and deflashing.

Johnson Controls Inc., Manchester, Mich., will blow mold an auto duct using three materials sequentially (soft-hard-soft) on a Uniloy M-10 accumulator-head machine. A 3-ft section of the duct will be rubber-modified PP, followed by a 5-ft section of rigid PP, followed by a 5-ft section of rigid PP, and finished off with rubbery PP again. This technique requires elaborate parison programming, a second extruder, and compatible resins, but it combines what had been three parts into one.

A new coextrusion blow molder will be introduced by Plastimac SpA of Italy (distributed here by American Jet Stream Inc., East Brunswick, N.J.). Plastiblow PB 5000 has two extruders feeding a three-layer head, plus a small auxiliary extruder for view-striping.

A new four-parison, single-sided extrusion blow machine with automatic takeoff will be introduced by Stahl Hesta GmbH (represented by FGH Systems Inc., Denville, N.J.)

ROLLAWAY MOLDS & OTHER NOVELTIES

For Bekum GmbH (U.S. offices in Williamston, Mich.), the main excitement won't be at the stand but at its Austrian plant near Vienna. Bekum will fly selected customers there to see a brand-new accumulator-head machine with a rollaway mold and head section. The entire head and clamping unit is separate from the horizontal extruder, for easy access, mold changing and servicing. The new BA 220 features mold closing technology with multiple interlocking elements in the platens, which pull together, generating 120-220 tons of clamp force, depending on the number of elements used. Bekum previously used this mold-locking system only on post-cooling molds. BA 220 will cost about $700,000 to $1.2 million, depending on configuration.

Johnson Controls will show its first in-mold labeling on a 12-station vertical wheel. The company will also show a new small, double-sided continuous-extrusion shuttle-type blow molder, MS 750/D, for small containers.

A new accumulator-head machine, SI-75, will be introduced by Sterling Div. of Davis-Standard, Edison, N.J. The machine is available with either a single 5-10 lb head or two 3-lb heads for throughputs of about 350 lb/hr of HDPE.

INNOVATIONS IN PET

Sidel Group of France (U.S. offices in Doraville, Ga.) will show its smallest PET bottle machine for the first time, the SBO 2 with quick mold change and neck customization features. It makes 2000 disposable bottles/hr or 1000 returnable ones. Sidel will also show its new FL5 extrusion blow machine, running three-layer HDPE bottles. This compact 5-ton machine has a new electronic parts monitoring system.

A new PB 250 single-station machine from Plastimac will be shown molding small PETG bottles with automatic deflashing in the machine.

THERMOFORMING

News in thermoforming also tends to be in smaller units, featuring energy efficiency, improved cycle time and other cost benefits.

SAVING ENERGY

Energy-efficient, off-line heating is new from Adolf Illig Maschinenbau, which will show a redesign of its UA 100g roll-fed former. The new model heats the sheet outside the forming station, thus reportedly providing considerable increase in performance with less energy and shorter cycle time. It can be adapted to sheet- or roll-fed operation. Redesigned controls feature a new multiprocessor unit that displays processing sequences on a monitor.

NEW FOR PACKAGING

A small, high-speed thermoformer is being introduced by Sencorp Systems, Inc., Hyannis, Mass. Its new Series 2000 is Sencorp's smallest and least expensive packaging former with 16 x 20 in. forming area and price starting at $145,000. It's said to provide 20-30 cycles/min. It has quartz top ovens with 15 zones; options include a bottom oven and Sentroller process control. The unit incorporates servo-driven indexing and quick-tool-change features. All air, vacuum and water connections are manifolded together into a single disconnect point. A steel-rule press is standard, punch-and-die optional.

A packaging thermoformer that can make bowls and lids at the same time on the same web, cut them out, and finish them all in place will be introduced by Gabler (represented in the U.S. by FGH Systems Inc., Denville, N.J.). The new M-90 with pressure and vacuum costs about $400,000.

A new small packaging former will be demonstrated by Paul Kiefel (U.S. offices in Succasunna, N.J.). Kiefel's KL 1 SH 52 is marginally bigger than its earlier SH 50 packaging former and is said to offer the same speed of 55 cycles/min. What's new is its VCS 5001 controller with video monitor, PLC, fault diagnostics, production data storage and stored settings for tool changes. The computer also automatically adjusts forward indexing and chain width for stretchy materials like PP and OPS. SH 52 costs $300,000-$600,000 depending on options like automatic control adjustment, quick tool change, downstream automation, and whether pressure, vacuum or both are included. Kiefel will show the SH 52 with an in-line free-standing preheat station for PP and PET.

RECYCLING

European recycling technology is of great interest to American processors, and this show will include new equipment displays for sorting, grinding, washing and product molding. Also this year, the first U.S. turnkey equipment maker will bring part of its line to the show.

ARTIST'S RENDITION

Sorema Srl of Como, Italy, will bring a multi-media display including concept and flow drawings of its new automatic sorting system for whole bottles. The actual system, which cost over $2 million, will be delivered by year end to a consortium of Italian packaging companies. The system, which sorts by both resins and colors, is still developmental and won't be marketed by Sorema until its sorting is 99.5% accurate, the company says (it's now around 95% accurate). At K, Sorema will also demonstrate a steam tumbler performing mechanical separation of PET beverage bottles, basecups, caps and labels.

LIVE DEMONSTRATIONS

The Refakt Anlagenbau partnership with Herbold Maschinenfabrik, both of Germany (Herbold Granulators U.S.A. Inc. is in Sutton, Mass.), will display Refakt's new, low-water-consumption recycling system, designed for desert climates. The container-mounted system will pack cutting, washing, separation and drying into a 40-ft container. A second container will house extrusion and pelletizing; and a third, a diesel generator. The package is designed to use minimal fresh water (4.4 gal/min) and to have its own source of electricity. Herbold will also introduce a patented new high-speed granulator designed to match the throughput of much larger machines.

The highlight of the first European display of recycling equipment from John Brown Inc., Providence, R.I., will be a lowly screen changer. The patented Beringer PBF (pulsed backflushed filtration) unit was announced in the U.S. earlier this year. It reportedly extends time between screen changes from a half hour or so to several hours. The PBF unit cleans the screen by pushing filtered polymer upstream through the breaker plate to lift contamination off the screen for discharge through a side port. The whole filtration pack rotates a few degrees/minute through 360|degrees~. The PBF unit costs $60,000-70,000.

A new PET recycling line from Fabbrica Bondonese Macchine Machine (FBM) Srl (represented in the U.S. by Converting Systems International, Naples, Fla.) will be shown for the first time, with several novel features. Its hot-air dryer uses molecular-sieve technology licensed from Union Carbide. Also, the pelletizer has a new die-face cutter, which the company claims is successful in pelletizing PET.

Two new, simple batch washers for recycled plastic flake, called Miniwash and Maxiwash, will be demonstrated by Reg-Mac Srl (U.S. rep is Tex America Inc., Charlotte, N.C.). Miniwash provides throughput of 1000 lb/hr and costs $87,000; Maxiwash handles 4000 lb/hr of PET and costs $350,000.

RECYCLED PALLET MOLDING

A new low-pressure injection molding machine designed for molding pallets and containers out of recycled mixed plastic will be introduced by A.R.T. Engineering SA, Brakel, Belgium. It's called the MT-1 and is an injection molding complement to A.R.T.'s ET-1 low-pressure extruders for plastic lumber. Price starts at $650,000.

RIM/URETHANES

A handful of exhibitors will be showing new equipment or upgrades to existing RIM systems at K.

A high-pressure, closed-loop metering-pump system, called the A-System will be introduced by Cannon of Italy (U.S. offices in Mars, Pa.). Built in a modular format, it can work in conjunction with Cannon's Easy-Froth metering/pre-mixing unit for the incorporation of low-boiling point blowing agents like the HCFCs and HFC, which are rapidly replacing CFCs.

Cannon's new HE system is a closed-loop-controlled, piston metering system, upgrading the old HE system with more powerful and sensitive electronic controls, extending the range of applications for which it can be used.

(Cannon's Tecnos div. will also show a new metering unit with a self-cleaning mix head for polyester RTM composites.)

New high-pressure mixheads for urethane will be introduced by the Elastogran Div. of BASF AG (Wyandotte, Mich.). The new MKE 10-3B, MKE 14-3B and MKE 20-3B reportedly provide an intensive mix of three components and can pour material into an open mold without spattering. The new heads have five mixing pins flexibly mounted in the mixhead, which move hydraulically into the component stream with each shot. A special valve on the mixhead, powered by the same hydraulics, automatically actuates the mixing pins and cleaning piston. The heads can be sequenced at less than 0.5-sec intervals and can pour 1.8 to 23 oz/sec.

MATERIALS

A limited number of new materials scheduled for K'92 were announced by press time. Only BASF and GE provided information on new resins.

The Ultramid nylon line of BASF (Parsippany, N.J.) will see three new blow molding grades (KR 4265 G4, B6W and KR 4465 G4), all available in unreinforced or glass-filled versions. KR 4265 G4 is a nylon 66, while the other two are nylon 6. BASF says the three new grades are stabilized to withstand prolonged thermal stress, such as in under-the-hood automotive applications. BASF also is introducing Ultramid A3K HF, a high-flow injection grade.

BASF is also launching two new families of polyester TP elastomers under the trade name Elastotec. Elastotec A contains aliphatic polyether soft segments, while Elastotec E has aliphatic polyester segments, which confer heat-distortion resistance up to 302 F and flexibility down to -40 F.

The company also has new harder grades of its Elastollan TPU, with tensile moduli up to 232,000 psi--almost double the previous limit--while retaining fracture toughness at room temperature. Versions of the material with modulus of 145,000 psi reportedly retain toughness down to -22F. BASF has also developed a new type of release agent that reportedly does not impair adhesion of water-borne paints.

Other news from BASF includes high-flow grades of Terluran ABS and Luran ASA; easier-flowing grades of flame-retardant Luranyl PPE/HIPS blends containing no halogen; and high-flow Terblend S KR 2865 WU, a weatherable ASA/PC blend that meets UL 94V-0 at 1/16 in.

GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., will unveil new grades in its Lexan and Noryl lines. Lexan XT is a new block copolymer of polycarbonate and silicone. Featured properties are enhanced low-temperature impact strength, ductility, stress-crack resistance and inherent flame retardancy. A foamable Lexan XT grade also will be displayed. A new gamma-resistant grade of Lexan, designed for molding large, complex medical components, also will be shown.

GE also will introduce Noryl GTX VP 7049, a new high-flow grade of PPE/nylon alloy with a wider processing window than previous versions. A new Noryl PPE alloy developed specifically to improve paint adhesion also will be exhibited.
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Title Annotation:Technology News: K'92 Preview; the biggest gathering of plastics processors with 2,087 exhibitors from 38 countries
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Words:5898
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