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NPE '91 wrapup.

NPE '91

For this year's National Plastics Exposition and Conference (NPE '91), held June 17-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place, the summer solstice seemed to suggest the immensity of the event. The triennial show, sponsored by The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI), featured a record-breaking 768,000 [ft.sup.2] of product demonstrations (occupying three separate buildings) and a conference program of sixteen technical sessions. If only there were more time to view the 1200 exhibits, attend the seminars, and listen to the technical presentations...

Unaudited figures showed a drop in attendance of 7.3% from the previous show, held in 1988. Still, NPE '91 drew more than 70,000 delegates from 75 countries to the shore of Lake Michigan. Attendees were treated to a choice of technical sessions developing such themes as solid waste and recycling in the 1990s, practical approches to computer-integrated manufacturing, and opportunities for high-performance plastics. Other sessions offered information on tooling for higher productivity, zero-defect processing, and advances in reactive alloying.

The Society of Plastics Engineers conducted seminars on topics ranging from crystallization and mechanical behavior of polymers to practical applications for melt rheology in polymer processing. Flame retarding plastics, practical experimental design methodology, and die design principles for extrusion of polymers were among the offerings. SPE also displayed and discussed its services, publications, and membership information at a booth on the exhibition floor.

Exhibitors, a large percentage of whom were displaying products that had not been previously shown at trade shows, seemed to represent every market segment of the plastics industry.

Trumpeting the latest advances and innovations in all facets of plastics technology (ranging from processing methods to materials handling and recycling), they included the following:

Versatile AT-Compatible Industrial Workstation

The compact 32-bit Sicomp PC 32-C industrial workstation runs IBM PC/AT-compatible software using the MS-DOS, OS/2, and UNIX operating systems. Designed for 19-in rack- or cabinet-mounted factory floor operation, it features a 14-in multisync, high resolution VGA color monitor, a 3.5-in high density floppy disk drive, and either a 40- or 85-MB hard disk drive. The PC 32-C is modularly designed with slot-CPUs and a passive backplane architecture with one 8-bit XT and 4 AT slots, two serial ports, one parallel port, a connector for a standard At keyboard, and a math co-processor socket. Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., Automation Div., 100 Technology Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30202; (404) 740-3000. Circle 182.

PC-Based FEA Software Combined and Enhanced

Two products based on the ANSYS finite element analysis (FEA) program - PC/Solid for solid modeling and automatic meshing and PC/Opt for design optimization - are now included in the PC/Thermal and PC/Linear programs and are therefore no longer available as individual units. PC/Magnetic is a new program for the analysis and design of electromagnetic equipment. It offers 2-D and 3-D analyses and includes the DC, AC, and transient magnetic field capabilities of linear and nonlinear materials.

All Ansys PC products include an interface that combines a mouse-driven menu system with on-line help and the Ansys Parametric Design Language (APDL), which allows design studies to be performed by specifying input data be performed by specifying input data such as geometry and loading. A prototype design may be optimized by defining it in parametric form using the APDL and then defining an objective function to minimize, for example, weight or size. The program automatically iterates until the specified objective is met. Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc., Johnson Rd., P.O. Box 65, Houston, PA 15342; (412) 746-3304; Fax (412) 746-9494. Circle 184.

Dynamic Computational Fluid Dynamics

A key feature of Revision 6.0 of FIDAP, a finite element program for the analysis of incompressible viscous fluid flow with heat and mass transfer, is a new technique for solving flow equations. According to the developer, the decreases in run time and storage requirements yielded by the new solver allow large problems that could previously be solved only on supercomputers to be solved on workstations. Other enhancements include 3-D extrusion modeling, residence time calculations, particle tracking for a dispersed second phase in solutions, and improved treatment of multiple chemical species. Fluid Dynamics International, 500 Davis St., Suite 600, Evanston, IL 60201; (708) 491-0200; Fax (708) 869-6495. Circle 186.

Statistical Software for Experimenters

Design-Ease IBM compatible, PC based design-of-experiment software includes two-level factorial, fractional factorial, and Plackett-Burnam designs. Features added in Version 2 include: experiments with up to fifteen variables; continuous or categorical variables; one-variable designs with multiple levels; a design editor; computations that handle missing response data or botched variable levels; and improved menus, graphics diagnostics, and reports. A more advanced package, Design-Expert, Version 2, draws response surface maps, allows easy application of multilevel designs, and can handle sophisticated mixture experiments. Stat-Ease Inc., 2021 E. Hennepin Ave., Suite 191, Minneapolis, MN 55413; (800) 325-9829. Circle 183.

Taguchi Methods on PLCs

The Taguchi Connection, IBM PC/AT-compatible software, integrates Taguchi methodology with Texas Instruments' PLCs. The methods are a formalized approach to product quality improvement by conducting experiments on the manufacturing process. The software provides a step-by-step experimental procedure including planning, design, PLC interface, data collection, and analysis. At the conclusion, the TI PLC variables can be automatically updated to the optimal settings as determined by the experiments.

Tistar model 20, a PLC-based distributed control system that is particularly suited for management of batch processes, is now available on PC Tistar. The new software runs on a variety of PCs and is recommended for small- to medium-sized applications. Texas Instruments Inc., Information Technology Group, P.O. Box 809064, Dallas, TX 75380; (800) 284-9084. Circle 185.

SPC Added to Beta Gage

New software for the Fischerscope Beta 870, which measures thicknesses of thin metal coatings by the beta-backscatter method, provides SPC analysis. Cp and Cpk indices are determined and down-loaded via an RS232 serial interface to a computer for statistical treatment, or data logger or printer. Fischer Technology, Inc., 750 Marshall Phelps Rd., Windsor, CT 06095; (800) 243-8417 or (203) 683-0781. Circle 187.

Automated Collection of Production Data

The Personal DataRecorder System (PDR) with optional bar code wand for collecting and reporting routine information, such as daily production, employee activities, and product and material movement, is designed for job-shop/manufacturing companies. PDR Shop Terminals are installed at work centers and connected to a PC via PDR Network Controller. A series of PDR software prompts leads the employee through a data input sequence that is specified for each department. Entries are time-stamped, verified, and stored in the PC or communicated to a host computer, eliminating time cards and time sheets. Data Specialists, Inc., 715 Florida Ave. So., Suite 406, Minneapolis, MN 55426; (612) 541-0440. Circle 181.

A.L.B.A. Enterprises Inc. featured its line of Enrietti System Thermoplay Nozzles for hot runner systems. The line includes the Type D3 nozzle, said to be particularly suitable for parts with high aesthetic requirements, and the Type D6/5 nozzle, for direct lateral injection. The firm also detailed its Latch-Pull System for three-plate molds, its Quick Knockout Coupler for hydraulic or mechanical ejection, and its Gateblok Cavity Blocking System for injection molding. A.L.B.A. Enterprises Inc., 4025 Spencer St., Suite 307, Torrance, CA 90503; (213) 542-4252; Fax (213) 542-3992.

AccuRate, Inc., demonstrated its loss-in-weight feeding systems, capable of attaining feed rates from 25 to 45,000 lbs/hr. For maximum resolution, the systems employ a counterbalanced scale that weighs only the material in the feeder - not the feeder itself. They are used to verify the amount of product that has been delivered to a process, and are suited to applications that require feeding deviations as low as [+ or -] 1/4%. AccuRate Dry Material Feeders, 746 E. Milwaukee St., Whitewater, WI 53190.

ACS-Datacolor demonstrated its Model 2018 Color Control System, said to provide rapid generation of color formulas. The system, used for color matching, batch correction, and QC applications, is equipped with an IBM PS/2 computer and a Chroma-Sensor CS-5 spectrophotometer. Its Chroma-Calc 2.0 software provides algorithms specifically engineered for plastics. ACS-Datacolor, Corporate Headquarters, 5 Princess Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; (609) 924-2189.

Allen-Bradley Co., Inc., introduced its 1771-QDC/A Plastic Molding Module. The module uses Expert Response Compensation (ERC), an advanced form of closed loop process control, to control both the injection and clamp ends of an injection molding press. It reportedly permits automatic compensation for variations in the molding process, such as changes in material viscosity and percent regrind. The firm also introduced its 1771-SPI Protocol Interface Module and the Pro-Set 600 Molding Operator Interface Software. Allen-Bradley Co., Inc., 747 Alpha Dr., Highland Heights, OH 44143; (216) 646-5000; Fax (216) 646-4320.

Alpine American, a division of Hosokawa Micron International, Inc., used its thin-gaged blown film coextrusion system to produce 43-in "lay-flat" can liners. The system consists of twin 50-mm grooved-feed extruders, equipped with a patented ICS/PEAC cooling system, and a high-speed 51-in takeoff and windere; it uses a three-layer die that accommodates inserts ranging from 4.7 to 8.7 in. Environmental benefits of the system include the production of downgaged film, which contributes to source reduction, and the capability of running high percentages of reprocessed scrap. Alpine American, Division of Hosokawa Micron International, Inc., 5 Michigan Dr., Natick, MA 01760-1334; (508) 655-1123; Fax (508) 655-9337.

Aoki/Formex, a manufacturer of injection stretch blowmolding machines, exhibited a series of three-station blowmolders. The display included three models for fast-cycle molding of small bottles: the SB III-250-50, the SB III-500N-60, and the SB III-1000NL-100. Aoki/Formex Inc., 3401 Park Center Dr., Suite 260, P.O. Box 14677, Dayton, OH 45414; (513) 898-4955; Fax (513) 898-4934.

Ashland Taylor Inc. introduced a new line of corrugators for pipes of 2-in diameter. The corrugators feature a single caterpillar track at which molds open and close horizontally; rolling elements throughout the unit are reported to minimize frictional losses. A blown film extrusion setup, incorporating a 70 mm grooved feed extruder with a die package for HMW-HDPE film, was also shown. Ashland Taylor Inc., 127 Woodstream Blvd., Woodbridge, L4L 1A8, Canada; (416) 850-0933; Fax (416) 850-0939.

ATM Automation, Inc., presented its E-2000 Robot for injection molding applications. The three-axis unit features an electric drive on its vertical arm and a standard AC motor for its other two axes; it reportedly provides simultaneous motion in all three axes. For additional floor space, secondary operation workstations may be mounted directly under its steel I-beam. ATM Automation, 90 Water St., Reading, PA 19605; (215) 921-0404; Fax (215) 921-0493.

Badger Pattern Works, Inc., offers a spray metal tooling process for the production of inexpensive molded prototypes or short run plastic parts. The process involves the arc-spraying of a zinc/aluminum alloy over a pattern made from metal, wood, or plastic. After the alloy solidifies into the desired shape and adheres to the pattern, the sprayed metal shell is reinforced with a low metal alloy or epoxy resin. Finished molds produce parts from materials such as polypropylene and glass filled polycarbonate. Badger Pattern Works, Inc., 2525 S. 162nd Street, New Berlin, WI 53151-2885; (414) 784-0700; Fax (414) 784-0728.

BFGoodrich Co. rolled out its new 6100 Series Estaloc fiber-reinforced TPUs, which are reported to permit the production of molded parts without warpage. The series features flexural moduli greater than 2 million psi, a coefficient of thermal expansion lower than that of aluminum, and the dimensional stability required of close-fitting components. It is said to be ideal for applications - such as gears for business machines and appliances - that require reduced noise and increased abrasion resistance. BFGoodrich Co., Specialty Polymers & Chemicals Division, 9911 Brecksville Road, Cleveland, OH 44141-3247; (216) 447-5732.

BP Chemicals Inc. highlighted its Polybond adhesive grade polyolefins and Barex barrier resins. The Polybond products are chemically modified polyolefins that are formed by the chemical grafting of an adhesion-promoting functional monomer to a polyolefin homopolymer or copolymer. Their applications include chemical coupling, nucleation, and adhesion to polar substrates. The Barex line of high-barrier resins, said to offer superior rigidity and glass-like clarity, is used for packaging cosmetic items, household and industrial chemicals, food, and medical devices. BP Chemicals Inc., PO Box 400, Hackettstown, NJ 07840-0400; (800) 526-4643; Fax (908) 850-7282.

Among the materials handling equipment exhibited by Bry-Air Systems were numerous resin dryers, including a Large Volume Resin Dryer designed to dry up to 4000 lbs/hr of thermoplastic resin. Because the unit uses natural gas or steam regeneration, rather than electrical regeneration, its cost of operation is said to be less than that of electrically regenerated units. The firm also displayed its Model RD-20 Resin Dryer, which features rotating desiccant beds and is designed to dry resin at a rate of 20 lbs/hr; a "portable digital dewpointer" that indicates dewpoints from 10 [degrees] F to -40 [degrees] F; and a Mold Dehumidification System that reportedly eliminates mold sweating. Bry-Air Systems, Division of Bry-Air, Inc., P.O. Box 269, Sunbury, OH 43074; (614) 965-2974; Telex 246-698.

Calcagni S.r.l. has developed a calibration system that reportedly improves properties of rigid PVC window frames by reducing cooling time during calibration. Because the system - trade-named Calcromsave - combines the profile die and calibrator in one unit, calibration can begin immediately after the profile leaves the die. Stainless chrome calibrator parts are said to reduce friction. Calcagni Mario & C.S.r.l., via Mazzini, 13/17, 21040 Morazzone (Varese) Italy; Telephone 0332.462430; Fax 0332.464259.

Data Measurement Corp. brought out its new DMC Model 460 Radiation Gaging System, which provides basis weight measurements for nonmetals applications such as plastics, rubber, and coatings. The model employs an 80386 processor for applications requiring O-frame or single-sided frame scanners. Also featured was the Camtron III, which measures and reports variations in thickness and basis weight of continuously moving, flat plastic materials. Data Measurement Corp, 15884 Gaither Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20884; (301) 948-2450; Fax (301) 670-0506.

Davis-Standard Division of Crompton & Knowles Corp. featured a new system for reclaiming and recycling materials - the Sterling Ram-Stuffer Extruder. The system has a large feed throat opening that eliminates bridging of light-bulk solids during extruder feeding. Its ram stuffer, located in a housing separate from the hopper and throat, is said to minimize the transfer of fluff into plunger enclosures. Davis-Standard Division of Crompton & Knowles Corp., 38 Brunswick Ave., Edison, NJ 08817; (908) 287-6500; Fax (908) 287-9158.

Delprint Inc. highlighted its Pres-Cal III, a coated polymeric film transfer for industrial applications. The rub-on transfer provides single- or multi-colored decoration of finished plastic products. If applied at room temperature, it will reportedly withstand both industrial and outdoor usage. Because the product is not printed on a pressure sensitive film, no die cutting is required. Delprint Inc., 1200 West Early Ave., Chicago, IL 60660; (312) 769-5300.

Du Pont Co. featured its new Rynite thermoplastic polyester resin, a PET-based formulation reported to provide enhanced long-term color stability at high temperatures. End panels for toasters are among the initial applications of the resin, developmental grades of which are currently being evaluated by appliance manufacturers. Du Pont also exhibited its recently introduced Teflon C line of antistatic fluoropolymer resins; a new injection moldable Elvax resin for footwear applications; and its Selar OH barrier resins for specialty packaging of rigid and flexible structures. Du Pont Co., External Affairs Dept., Wilmington, DE 19898; (302) 773-5667.

F.B.M., S.r.l., exhibited a reprocessing line for the recycling of a wide range of thermoplastics. The ME-E 70 recycling line includes a granulator with blades of 400 mm length and a reel feed system; a horizontal screw feeding unit with a hydraulically driven stirring-compacting system; and a single screw extruder (70 mm, 30:1 L/D). It recycles LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE, PP, PS, and ABS. FBM (Fabbrica Bondenese Macchine) S.r.l., Via Per Zerbinate, 29, 44012 Bondeno, Italy; Telephone 0532/892215; Fax 0532/896015.

FGH Systems Inc. exhibited its Model SSB-F Reheat Stretch Blowmolding Machine. The modular machine produces PET containers of various shapes and up to 5 liters in size; it can also produce neck finishes of up to 110 mm. Hydraulic proportional valves reportedly ensure correctness of shapes and material distribution by monitoring stretch rods and speed. Other demonstrations included the Gabler Duo Thermoforming Machine, which was producing PP delicatessen bowls in a 15-cavity mold; the Vestech SPC-SQC Systems Monitor for blowmolding; and the Hesta HS 451 Extrusion Blowmolding Machine. FGH Systems Inc., 2 Richwood Place, Denville, NJ 07834; (201) 625-8114; Fax (201) 625-1442.

Filmaster Inc. highlighted its new Maxi-Cool 2 + 2 Blown Film Air Ring, designed for processing composites, coextrusion formulas, and polymers with low melt strength. The machine is reported to provide controllable primary and secondary air flows, enhanced bubble geometry, and output increases of 10% to 20%. The firm also demonstrated its High Density Blown Film Line, which incorporates a convertible grooved feed extruder with a computer-controlled gravimetric system. Filmaster Inc., Plastic Extrusion Systems, 561 U.S. Hwy. 46, Fairfield, NJ 07004; (201) 575-1503; Fax (201) 575-1678.

Flite Technology, Inc., displayed specialized alloy coatings for root diameters of extrusion and injection molding feed screws. The coatings are used to restore, to their original tolerances and finishes, feed screws with severe root damage, heavy scoring, and abundant pitting. They are applied by means of the firm's Plasma-Bond welding system, and are said to eliminate distortion and other problems associated with conventional welding methods. Flite Technology, Inc., Foreign Trade Sub-Zone 136-A, 411 Shearer Blvd., Cocoa, FL 32922-7292; (800) 327-9310; Fax (407) 632-1401.

Foremost Machine Builders, Inc., featured its newest auxiliary equipment for plastics processors. The line includes a Low Profile Sheet and Web Grinder, a Target Rate Gravimetric Blender, In-Line Metal Separators for Pneumatic Conveying Systems, and a Gravimetric Retrofit Package for volumetric blenders. Foremost Machine Builders, Inc., 23 Spielman Rd., P.O. Box 644, Fairfield, NJ 07007-0644; (201) 227-0700; Fax (201) 227-7307.

GE Plastics unveiled a new refrigerator-freezer that illustrates the firm's concept of design for disassembly/recyclability. The unit, built from "100% recyclable materials," features pull-out modules for easy maintenance; its plastic parts use snap fits and fasteners made from compatible polymers that can be recycled together. Incorporated in its design are a basic chassis and a space frame construction said to permit effective assembly. GE Plastics, One Plastics Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201; (413) 448-7487.

General Polymers, Div. of Ashland Chemical, Inc., offers a plant audit designed to help molders reduce downtime and production costs. The audit provides a detailed checklist that addresses such issues as materials flow, machine operation and maintenance, regrind, trash control, and recording of data. General Polymers, Div. of Ashland Chemical, Inc., P.O. Box 2219, Columbus, OH 43216; (614) 889-3333.

By circulating polymer independently of the measured volumetric stream, Goettfert Inc.'s Real Time Rheometer (RTR) ensures (even during low shear rate testing) the presence of fresh melt at the metering pump. The rheometer feeds polymer melt through transfer lines reportedly at rates up to 100 times faster than through the capillary - resulting in shorter residence times and larger measuring ranges. Goettfert Inc., 488 Lakeshore Pkwy., Rock Hill, SC 29730; (803) 324-3883.

New grades and applications of polypropylene were the focus of Himont Inc.'s exhibit. Featured products included thin-wall injection molding grades that reportedly reduce cycle times by 30%; thermoforming grades that increase production of parts on conventional melt-phase equipment; and extrusion coating grades that are said to be processed faster than polyethylene. Himont Inc., 2801 Centerville Rd., Wilmington, DE 19850.

Industrial Control Systems offers an Electro-Hydraulic Drive System that reportedly conserves hydraulic energy in the injection molding process. The system controls the speed of the AC motor and automatically sets the proper amount of hydraulic fluid for each function of the injection molding machine. By pumping only the required amount of oil for any given step in the molding cycle, the system reduces the necessary amount of electrical motor power. Industrial Control Systems, 22605 La Palma, Suite 518, Yorba Linda, CA 92687; (714) 692-8244; Fax (714) 692-5475.

Industrial Dielectrics Inc. introduced its NuStone polyester bulk molding compound, which resembles granite when molded into a finished product. The material is reported to be an excellent thermal and electrical insulator and, unlike granite, does not chip or break. Its applications include microwave cookware, wall switch plates, chairs, and small appliances.

The firm also featured Siltherm, a polyester molding compound that is reported to be resistant to dents and easier to mold than aluminum. A thermally stable product that resists stains and does not shatter, Siltherm is used in frying pan covers and microwave oven trays. Industrial Dielectrics Inc., P.O. Box 357, Noblesville, IN 46060; (317) 773-1766; Fax (317) 773-3877.

Infrared Internationale Ltd. showed its Salamander Infrared Ceramic Emitters, which are reported to have an energy conversion rate of 96%. The sealed emitters are used in industrial applications that require a precise wavelength and controllable energy source. Thermoforming, skin/blister packaging, and thermosetting are among the applications. Infrared Internationale Ltd., 52 St. Francis Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3QZ, England; (0722) 334555; Fax (0722) 26530.

The High Resolution Digital (HRD) Extensometer, offered by Instron Corp., performs automated measurement of transverse strain and both short- and long-travel axial strain. The instrument has an air bearing carriage guidance system that provides low operating force. It also uses a digital transducer with two measurement ranges; high resolution for high modulus materials, and a long travel range for more extensible materials, Instron Corp. 100 Royall St., Canton, MA 02021; (617) 828-2500; Fax (617) 828-2112.

Johnson Controls, Inc.'s Plastics Machinery Division featured its Uniloy Model 350R3-3L, of the Uniloy Reciprocating Screw Series with Coextrusion. The coextrusion machine, capable of producing up to 1200 containers per hr, uses an extruder of 3-1/2-in diameter to extrude the central (post-consumer resin) layer of the container. Two extruders of 2-in diameter process the inner and outer (virgin HDPE) layers.

The firm also demonstrated its Uniloy Model M-50-3L, of the Uniloy Accumulator Head Series with Coextrusion. The series is equipped with a 3-layer die head, which can produce complex industrial parts and containers with capacities as large as 100 gal. Johnson Controls, Plastics Machinery Division, 10501 Hwy. M-52, Manchester, MI 48158; (313) 428-8371.

Jomar Corp. presented its Model 115R Reciprocating Screw Injection Blowmolding Machine. The unit, a horizontal version of the Model 115V, is suited to the processing of polycarbonates and nylons. Reportedly, it can economically produce 10 million to 15 million bottles or parts per yr. Also on display were the Models 200R and 135R horizontal reciprocating injection blowmolding machines. Jomar Corp., 1230 W. Washington Ave., P.O. Box 432, Pleasantville, NJ 08232; (609) 646-8000; Fax (609) 645-9166.

The Model KC Continuous Screen Changer, displayed by Key Filters, Inc., incorporates a differential pressure control system and a hydraulically driven screen feed - a combination that is said to provide both constant pressure and constant flow. The model, suitable for most extrusion operations, is reported to be particularly efficient in recycling and reclaiming operations that have heavy and irregular contamination levels. It can be run with materials such as HDPE, LDPE, PP, PS, nylon, and PVC. Key Filters, Inc., 28 Town Forest Rd., Webster, MA 01570; (508) 949-2005; Fax (508) 949-2604.

LFE Industrial Systems Corp. modeled its Profitmaster Mini-4 x 4 System for measurement and control of continuous web processes. The system consists of a gasketed operator console and ruggedly designed scanners. A Measurement and Control (MAC) module, mounted in the lower console, performs scan control, web measurement, and computation of thickness profiles.

The firm also introduced its Laser TC Caliper Sensor, a noncontacting instrument that measures variable density and soft compressible materials. LFE Industrial Systems Corp., 55 Green St., Clinton, MA 01510; (508) 835-1096; Fax (508) 835-1068.

Lyle Industries Inc. featured its Model 230-FM Thermoformer, an electrically driven unit that uses a sinusoidal double cam motion to provide "quiet" thermoforming. The motion reportedly produces a shock-free closure of platens, rather than the pounding often associated with hydraulic or pneumatic drives. Directly driven toggles are said to avoid problems of linkage wear and maintenance. Lyle also displayed its Model 130-F-42 thermoformer and its Model 130-P2 trim press, both of which are controlled by the firm's TPC-9000 microcomputer. Lyle Industries Inc., P.O. Box 546, Beaverton, MI 48612; (517) 435-7717; Fax (517) 435-7250.

McNeil Akron, Inc., displayed sheet processing equipment that includes a 5-roll calender for coextruded sheet; two single screw extruders of 45-mm and 75-mm diameter, respectively; a coextrusion blackbox; and a sheet die. The company also introduced a new 2000-lb Roto-Cast Rotational Molding Machine with four arms, a programmable controller, and a 96-in swing. McNeil Akron, Inc., 96 East Crosier St., Akron, OH 44311; (216) 253-2525; Fax (216) 253-5612.

Mold-Masters Ltd. unveiled its new Mini-Probe line of miniature hot runners for direct gating of small parts. Because of a narrow diameter of less than 1/4-in, the Mini-Probe is said to be ideal for multicavity molding that requires very tight cavity-to-cavity spacing. Distributed windings in the heater element provide constant temperature along the melt channel; the result is a high level of temperature control and uniformity. Mold-Masters Ltd., 233 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown, Ontario L7G 4X5 Canada.

The MopacNET system, offered by Moog Inc., monitors 15 injection molding process variables and provides networking of up to 99 machines. Significant features of the network, which connects the firm's Mopac 22 closed loop controllers to one or more PCs, include multiple PC workstations, job scheduling, reports of production status, and molding process analysis by shift, day, or 5-shot window.

Moog also has the D660 Series Proportional Valves, for closed loop control of injection molding and blowmolding; a Blopac microprocessor-based Parison Programmer that features ten timers and digital loop control; and an expanded line of Brushless Motor Technology. Moog Inc., Electronics and Systems Division, Plant 14, East Aurora, NY 14052; (716) 662-1415; Fax (716) 687-4474.

Mould-Tek Industries Inc. displayed samples of its extensive rang of bulk handling equipment. Items on display included surge bins, additive feeders, central filters, and vacuum loaders and pumps. The firm also has complementary equipment, such as railcar unloaders, vibratory and auger blenders, drawer magnets, and indoor and outdoor storage silos. Mould-Tek Industries Inc., 77 Nantucket Blvd., Scarborough, Ontario M1P 2N5, Canada; (416) 285-5400; Fax (416) 285-5432.

Noren Products, Inc., detailed its Thermal Pin heat conductors for mold cooling and heat transfer applications. The heat conductors transfer heat fast and evenly, thus reducing cycle times and eliminating hot spots that cause sink marks. Because they transfer heat to the coolant, the conductors are reported to be capable of cooling areas that would otherwise be inaccessible by means of conventional water cooling. Noren Products, Inc., 1010 O'Brien Dr., Menlo Park, CA 94025; (415) 322-9500; Fax (415) 324-1348.

Novacor Chemicals Inc. introduced its Zylar ST Series of transparent impact resistant resins, said to offer toughness without notch sensitivity even at -20 [degrees] F. The resins, which have excellent flow properties, are molded at melt temperatures below 430 [degrees] F; their notched Izod impact values range from 4 to 9.5 ft-lbs/in. Characteristics such as alcohol resistance and retention of properties after both EtO and gamma sterilization suit the materials to applications involving medical devices. Novacor Chemicals Inc., Clear Performance Plastics, Dept. 4256, 690 Mechanic St., Leominster, MA 01453; (508) 537-1111; Fax (508) 537-2272.

Novacor also introduced a multipurpose thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), Sarlink 3000, designed to replace mid-performance thermoset rubbers and other engineered TPEs. Available in a wide range of hardnesses (shore A 40-90), the TPE is offered in three basic grade types - general purpose, food contact, and flame retardant. It can also be modified to meet specific end use requirements. Sarlink 3000 can be processed by injection molding, extrusion, blowmolding, thermoforming, and calendering, and as blown film. Scrap is reusable and reprocessable. Novacor Chemicals Inc., Sarlink TPEs, Dept. 4187, 690 Mechanic St., Leominster, MA 01453; (800) 258-2228 or (508) 537-1111; Fax (508) 537-2272.

On Line Controls, Inc., unveiled the UltraGage 2000, an ultrasonic measuring system that combines wall-measuring technology with a 286 personal computer. It reportedly is capable of measuring walls thinner than 0.006 in, and as thick as 2 in. The system is designed for products, such as medical tubing, that require critical measurements; it can also control the extrusion of plastic pipe. On Line Controls, Inc., 158 E. Main St., P.O. Box 745, Westboro, MA 01581; (508) 366-9413.

Polymer Machinery Corp. displayed Arburg injection molding machines with shot capacities of up to 12.7 oz. and clamp forces ranging from 17 to 220 tons. The exhibit also included automatic mold, cylinder, and materials changers. Polymer Machinery Corp., P.O. Box 7177, Kensington, CT 06037; (203) 828-0501; Fax (203) 828-8330.

The Model 500 Brushless DC Motor and Control, offered by Powertec Industrial Corp., combines the simplicity of AC motors with the torque capabilities of brush-type DC motors. It features phase lock loop circuitry, multiple power sources (115 or 230 VAC, 50 or 60 Hz), and a full torque speed range of 100:1. The company also offers the 328TZ and 3211TZ brushless motors, which provide up to 300 hp at 2500 rpm, and the 430 Brushless DC Motor Frame Series, which reportedly develops 700 lb/ft of continuous torque. Powertec Industrial Corp., P.O. Box 410129, Charlotte, NC 28241-0129; (704) 588-1956; Fax (704) 588-7315.

Pressflow Robots, Inc., featured its Apex Series Spruepicker Robot and its Proline Series Servo Robot. The pneumatically powered spruepicker removes sprues and runners from injection molds; it features takeout times of 0.8 to 1.4 sec. and can be used on molding machines ranging in size from 50 to 700 tons. The Proline Series robot is a 3-axis unit designed for use on injection molding machines from 200 to 1500 tons. In addition to removing moldings from machines and placing them onto conveyors, the robot is capable fo executing complex palletizing, stacking, and box-filling routines. Pressflow Robots, Inc., 191 Stanley, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007; (708) 228-5330; Fax (708) 350-5792.

Rapid Granulator, Inc., featured its Model 2442 RS Granulator, a heavy duty machine that accepts film, parts, and purgings. Among the other equipment shown were the Model 1012 KS Granulator, a beside-the-press model with a three-segment staggered rotor, and the Model 1418 GB, designed to handle long profiles or edge trim and pipe. Rapid Granulator, Inc., 5217 28th Ave., P.O. Box 5887, Rockford, IL 61125; (815) 399-4605; Fax (815) 399-0419.

Reisch & Associates detailed its line of pad printing machinery and various complementary equipment. The firm's display included a one-piece ink tray/magnetic plate holder, for changing printing plates and ink colors in pad printing machines; portable UV-exposure units for producing photopolymer printing plates; and a corona discharge unit for treating polypropylene and polyethylene prior to pad printing. J. Reisch & Associates, 812 Burr Oak Dr., Westmont, IL 60559; (708) 325-7717; Fax (708) 325-7719.

Ropak Corp. introduced its 3032 Series Collapsible Container, a recyclable bin touted to be a replacement for the 55-gal drum. The structural foam container houses a custom-designed bladder that can be used to transport and store nonhazardous liquids, chemicals, and granular products. Advantages of the product reportedly include the elimination of environmentally dangerous cleaning operations and associated expenses. Ropak Corp., 660 S. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92631; (714) 870-9757; Fax (714) 447-3871.

Shuman Plastics Inc. demonstrated its Dyna-Purge thermoplastic purging compounds, which can be introduced at the processing temperature and machine rpm setting of the resident material to save time between resin changeovers. The compounds include Magna, for resins processed between 177 [degrees] C and 315 [degrees] C, which is reported to be suitable for a wide variety of commodity and engineering resins, including ABS, acetal, acrylic, cellulose, and PVC. Shuman Plastics Inc., 35 Neoga St., Depew, NY 14043; (716) 685-2121; Fax (716) 685-3236.

Simcon GmbH featured its Cadmould-3D, a system for simulating the process of injection molding. The system reportedly permits optimization of injection points, hot- and cold-runner systems, and processing parameters of the filling, pressure holding, and cooling phases. Simcon GmbH, Technologiepark Herzogenrath, Kaiserstr. 100, 5120 Herzogenrath, Germany; 02047/5088; Fax 02407/59453.

In addition to offering information on its upcoming 50th anniversary year, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) exhibited its publications and a new 19-minute educational videotape entitled Not Your Average Fieldtrip - Science and the Changing World of Plastics. The film demonstrates applications of plastics materials and technology. Also on display were membership information and literature concerning SPE RETECs, Seminars, and Section activities. The Society of Plastics Engineers, 14 Fairfield Dr., Brookfield, CT 06804-0403; (203) 775-0471; Fax (203) 775-8490.

SSI Shredding Systems detailed its line of Shredder/Granulator systems for in-plant reduction and recovery of plastics waste. The low-speed rotary shear shredders, designed to preprocess baled or bulky scrap, automatically discharge shredded pieces into a granulator for secondary high-speed size reduction. PVC and PET are among the materials that can be processed. SSI Shredding Systems, 28655 SW Boones Ferry, Box 707, Wilsonville, OR 97070; (503) 682-3633.

T.G. Branden Corp. exhibited its new SQC Station for tolerance checking of parts characteristics. The instrument allows the user to correlate data concerning characteristics of a finished part, with data concerning the process by which the part was produced. It includes a high-resolution monitor for real-time display of shot profiles and data screens. T.G. Branden Corp., 15822 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd., Lake Oswego, OR 97035; (503) 620-7571; Fax 620-7578.

Theysohn Corp.'s TSK Series Twin Screw Extruders offer several new features, including easy dismantling of screw elements and shafts and accurate alignment of the barrel bore axis. Four keyways of the screw shaft provide loose tolerance between the shaft and screw element, thus ensuring easy removal of the elements. A hydraulic torquing system, which simultaneously torques all four tie rods, helps ensure proper alignment of the barrel bore axis.

The firm also introduced a new bonding technology for segmented twin screw barrels. The hot isostatic pressing (HIPPING) technology bonds a corrosion resistant liner to a barrel housing of ductible 4140 steel, resulting in improved tensile strength, ductility, and resistance to corrosion and wear. Theysohn Corp., 1320 N. 81 Bypass, McPherson, KS 67460; (316) 241-5291; Fax (316) 241-6469.

Tooling Center System Gosewehr USA displayed its line of robotic and automation systems for injection molding. The line includes, in addition to an extensive range of demolding robots, various downstream items. Among them are a transport station and conveyor, a sprue cutting station, and stations for trimming, printing, and hot foil stamping. Tooling Center System Gosewehr USA, P.O. Box 497, DeForest, WI 53532-0497; (608) 846-6000; Fax (608) 846-6050.

U.S. Extrusion, Inc., wheeled out its new Aqua Silencer strand pelletizer. The machine, which features a water-cooled rotary knife, is capable of pelletizing a broad range of soft and hard material. Also on display were the firm's line of screw elements and barrels, and a 40 mm, twin screw process section featuring two TSSF 40 Side Feeders and a swing-away, 45 [degrees] die head. U.S. Extrusion, Inc., 146 Florence Ave., Hawthorne, NJ 07506; (201) 423-9010; Fax (201) 423-9283.

The 120-RS-8F HT Series was among the ten injection molding machines that Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co. exhibited. The toggle clamp-type unit employs a Pathfinder CRT-B control system and a variable volume pump system; it features a maximum injection pressure of 20,000 psi, a clamp force of 120 tons, and an adjustable clamp stroke of 14 in. The 400H-RS-48F HP Series - a hydraulic clamp injection molding machine with a Pathfinder EL control system and variable volume pump system - has a maximum injection pressure of 20,000 psi, a clamp force of 400 tons, and an adjustable clamp stroke of 32 in. Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co., 11792 Alameda Dr., Strongsville, OH 44136; (216) 238-8960; Fax (216) 238-3047.

The focus of Vickers, Inc.'s exhibit was an injection molding machine that was shown operating with a Vickers System 500 Controller. The controller incorporates a multitasking system capable of handling up to nine programmable autonomous functions at one time. Also on display was a VPF high pressure vane pump that features continuous operating pressures up to 280 bar (4060 psi). Vickers, Inc., 5445 Corporate Dr., P.O. Box 302, Troy, MI 48007-0302; (313) 641-4200; Fax (313) 641-4232.

Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co. displayed and demonstrated its new heaters, sensors, and temperature controls. Among the product introductions were a one-piece, flexible Thinband heater (a redesign of the mica band heater); the Series 965 Temperature Controller; and the Thermo-Ducer infrared temperature sensor, a noncontact instrument reported to be ideal for demanding thermoforming applications. Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., 12001 Lackland Rd., St. Louis, MO 63146-4039; (314) 878-4600; Fax (314) 878-6814.

Wedco Technology, Inc., outlined its range of processing services, which include materials evaluation and handling, size reduction, and auxiliary processes such as blending, sifting, and heat treating. In addition to performing preproduction testing, the firm offers custom grinding of thermoplastics and other heat sensitive materials. Pulverizing, cryogenic grinding, and jet milling are among the services offered. Wedco Technology, Inc., P.O. Box 397, Bloomsbury, NJ 08804; (908) 479-4181; Fax (908) 479-4181.

Welltec U.S.A., Inc., introduced the Cosmo C Series Injection Molding Machine, which promises full SPC/SQC capabilities. The series permits the programming of injection speed settings along ten freely selected points within the injection stroke; it also allows ten settings for holding pressure and five profile settings for back pressure and screw speed. Constant monitoring of hydraulic temperature, filter contamination, and oil level are among its other features. Welltec U.S.A., Inc., 6328 Gross Point Rd., Niles, IL 60648; (708) 647-1392; Fax (708) 647-1394.

Wilco Precision Testers highlighted its methods and equipment for detecting leaks in plastic bottles and cups, trays, and packages. Its high-speed leak/seal testers measure volumetric loss of vacuum to determine the presence of leaks; they are reportedly capable of checking 12,000 aseptic cups and trays per hr. The firm also offers the Wilcomat W-6FT leak tester, a tabletop system that can test pharmaceutical and medical blister packages, vials, and bottle closures. Wilco Precision Testers, 145 Main St., Tuckahoe, NY 10707; (914) 337-2005.

Xaloy Inc.'s X-8000 Bimetallic Screw is reported to be particularly valuable in high-wear processing environments. The screw has a metallurgically bonded overlay of tungsten carbide composite that provides high resistance to fracture. Applications include molding and compounding of glass-reinforced and highly filled resins, and grooved-feed extrusion of high-molecular-weight and LLDPE films. Xaloy Inc., P.O. Box 1441, 101 Xaloy Way, Pulaski, VA 24301; (703) 980-7560; Fax (703) 980-5670.

The Hop III Series Take-Out Robots, offered by Yushin America, Inc., are 3-axis sprue pickers for 5- to 500-ton molding machines. Designed for quick setups, the robots reportedly feature a takeout time of 0.7 sec; their hand-held controller contains 44 sequences and can store up to 99 mold setups.

The firm also has the servo-driven Absoliner VA Series robots for parts removal. The traverse-type units perform downstream operations after extraction and provide quick changeover from mold to mold. Yushin America, Inc., 2 Greco Lane, Warwick, RI 02886; (401) 737-7776; Fax (401) 732-1032.

Zwick of America, Inc., exhibited a range of materials testing equipment, including the 1455 Floor Model Universal Tester with Optical Extensometer and the 1435 Tabletop Universal Tester. The 1455 floor model has two test areas and a load capacity of 4400 lbs; it is reportedly ideal for tensile testing of polymers that have medium to high elongation. The 1435 tabletop model, which also has two test areas, provides tensile testing of rigid polymers and features a load capacity of 1100 lbs.

The firm also showed its 4106 Extrusion Plastometer, which automatically determines melt and volume flow index of polyethylene, and its 7207 Duromatic Durometer Test System. Zwick of America, Inc., P.O. Box 997, East Windsor, CT 06088; (203) 623-9475; Fax (203) 623-5761.

PHOTO : Above: Taking part in the NPE ribbon-cutting ceremony were (from left) SPE Executive Director Robert D. Forger; Jerry Eha, NPE '91 vice chairman; Sid Rains, NPE '91 chairman and consultant fro trade shows to Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co.; William Joyce, SPI chairman of the board; Larry L. Thomas, SPI president; Jordan Morganstern, SPI VP, Trade Shows; and Gerry Roper, president, Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

PHOTO : Right: More than 70,000 attendees viewed product displays encompassing - among other items - processing machinery, materials handling equipment, and testing and quality control instruments. Many of the 1200 exhibiting firms waited until the show to introduce their latest innovations.

PHOTO : Above: The MopacNET system features job scheduling and molding process analysis by shift, day, or 50-shot window. Moog Inc. Left: Various types of extrusion and injection molding feed screws, custom designed for specific processing applications, were among the items on display. Akron Extruders, Inc.

PHOTO : Polymer Machinery Corp. demonstrated the Arburg Rapidomat automatic mold changer.

PHOTO : The Model 500 Brushless DC Motor and Control has phase lock loop circuitry and a full-torque speed range of 100:1. Powertec Industrial Corp.
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Title Annotation:includes related article about inductees into Plastics Hall of Fame; includes directory of exhibitors; National Plastics Exposition
Author:Shortt, Mark W.
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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