Technology Showcase (July 01, 2006)
NPE Product Review...
NPE Product Review
This month Canadian Plastics is featuring some of the many products that were exhibited at the National Plastics Exhibition (NPE) in Chicago, Ill., from June 19 to 23, 2006.
Engel’s Speed mass produces continuously at high speeds
Engel Canada Inc.’s new Speed line is designed for continuous, high-speed mass production.
With a five-point double toggle clamping unit, the in-line injection units deliver speeds exceeding 1,000 mm/s. Plus, the barrier screws of the plasticizing units are optimized for processing PE, PP and PS, ensuring high output rate and gentle treatment of the melt.
Also, the foregoing of tie-bars in favour of a precision-guided carriage stabilizes operations and protects mold components. Sizes range from 135 to 650 tonnes.
Engel Canada Inc. (Guelph, Ont.); www.engelmachinery.com; 519-836-0220
Nissei hybrid machines cut energy usage by one-third
By combining servomotor drive technology and hydraulic drive technology to provide driving power only when required, Nissei America Inc.’s new FNX Series hybrid injection molding machines use 30 per cent less energy compared to the company’s hydraulic machines.
The ramp-up time of the FNX Series is 0.045 s, and injection speeds range from one to 300 mm/s. These machines generate less noise and use up to 41 per cent less hydraulic oil.
Made up of four machine types and eight models with clamping forces ranging from 88 and 198 tons, the FNX Series employs the same clamping mechanism used in the firm’s hydraulic FN series.
Machines come equipped with a dedicated TACT controller interface that uses a 12.1-in. colour LCD screen and a tilt mechanism that allows the user to change the viewing angle. The controllers also store up to 1,000 items in its operation history to let users easily keep track of production at numerous locations.
Nissei America Inc. (Anaheim, Calif.); www.nisseiamerica.com; 714-693-3000
En-Plas Inc. (Scarborough, Ont.); www.en-plasinc.com; 416-286-3030
All-electric Powerline features high-capacity injection unit
Cincinnati Milacron Inc.’s all-electric Powerline NT550 injection molding machine has a 54-oz. injection unit equipped with nozzle shut-off valve and an 80-mm, 24:1 Barr feedscrew.
Capable of delivering up to 20,600 psi at 41 in./s, the all-direct drive injection unit is available with A, B and C screws.
Tie-bar spacing is 920×20 mm, with a base design that permits tri-directional part removal. The base also houses an integrated 8.5 GPM hydraulic pump, which powers core or valve-gate actions.
Standard daylight is 1,720 mm with maximum and minimum mold height of 840 and 250 mm, respectively.
The unit comes standard with Milacron’s new Mosaic control, which features Ethernet LAN and Powerlink capabilities, dual USB ports and an optional ID card reader. Users can also gain access to process data and machine status via the Web or through their corporate network.
Cincinnati Milacron Inc. (Burlington, Ont.);
Accuplast Solutions (Kirkland, Que.); www.accuplast.com; 866-630-0808
High-volume, low-shear TC86 twin-screw extrudes WPCs, PVC
The TC86 conical twin screw extruder from Cincinnati Milacron Inc. is ideal for running materials with high fibre loading, as well as heat- and shear-sensitive resins.
Delivering a homogeneous melt at outputs of up to 2,200 lb./hr, the key to large conical twin-screw extruders is its large diameter screw. The TC86’s screw tapers from 176 to 86 mm with a 27:1 LD ratio. This optimizes the feed zone surface area for a faster and more uniform heat transmission from the screw to the material.
As material moves through the barrel, the tapered screw applies a natural compression resulting in woodflour and blends being more effectively “wetted out,” and PVC being sufficiently mixed and fused.
Deep flight channels and tight intermesh clearances between the conical screws optimize mixing while reducing shear forces. High torque at low screw speed — 33 rpm — results in gentle low-shear mixing and melting preventing fibre breakdown and dispersing it well.
Cincinnati Milacron Extrusion Systems (Batavia, Ohio); www.milacron.com; 513-536-3303
Accuplast Solutions (Kirkland, Que.); www.accuplast.com; 866-630-0808
Single-screw extruder targets testing, processing applications
The standalone KE 30 extruder from C.W. Brabender Instruments Inc. is a direct drive multi-purpose single-screw extrusion system designed for the development of new products, quality control, the investigation of processing behaviour, as well as the production of small tubes, and blown and flat film.
Equipped with a 7.5 kW inverter drive, the KE 30 can reach a maximum rotary speed of 400 rpm. And CAN Field-Bus data allows for a multi-master system when additional equipment such as dosing units, melt pumps and downstream equipment are involved.
C.W. Brabender Instruments Inc. (Hackensack, N.J.); www.cwbrabender.com; 201-343-8425
Just-in-time loaders’ weave filter improves efficiency
The re-designed JIT (just-in-time) 2606 loaders from Nucon Wittmann Inc. have a re-usable Dutch weave filter resulting in higher airflow and increased efficiency.
An improved Venturi nozzle design also provides increased efficiency of the pick-up wand for consistent conveying without material outages.
The loaders come with a universal material throat adapter with adjustable slotted hole pattern for square bolt mounting from 3.5 to 4.5 in. An on/off control switch for automatic, trouble-free operation is also included.
Two configurations are available: single inlet for one material and dual inlet for two material proportional (DVP) operations.
Plus, a hopper mount version, the JIT 2006, is available without the centre section of glass tube for direct mounting on the top of the hopper lid.
Nucon Wittmann Inc. (Markham, Ont.); www.nucon-wittmann.com; 888-466-8266
Soundproof granulators have tool-less access
Hamilton Avtec Inc.’s new SG Series beside-the-press or central granulators are fully soundproofed to 80-85 db.
Available in 23 models with throat sizes ranging from 160×140 mm to 360×390 mm and available motors ranging from two to 36 kW.
All models feature tangential feed throat and staggered or open type rotor blades, and the units have tool-less access to both the cutting chamber and hopper for easy cleaning. Additionally, most models feature blower evacuation as a standard feature.
Hamilton Avtec Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.hamiltonavtec.com; 905-568-1133
Rycoll Industries Inc. (Langley, B.C.); 604-530-0636
Pneumatic flow control reduces pipe wear, maintenance costs
Motan Inc.’s new Metro Flow Control (FC) automatically limits air speed to 82 ft./s, reducing pipe wear, as well as minimizing clogs from buildup of angel hair. These reductions result in less maintenance for the user.
The Metro FC unit runs on automatic orifice without electricity or compressed air, will work in the full temperature range of the vacuum conveying system and can be retro-fitted to non-Motan installations in plants that are exposed to extreme wear.
Motan Inc. (Plainwell, Mich.); www.motan.com; 800-991-9921
Dier International Ltd. (Unionville, Ont.);
Shini temperature control unit easy to maintain
The STM 910 WE temperature control unit from Shini Plastics Technology (Canada) Inc. is easy to maintain because it has a cover that lifts off — no tools are required to remove it.
Also, the unit can be accessed through the back, without removing the cover. And the electrical cabinet is spaced away from the main unit, providing the electrical components with additional protection.
Built with standard, off-the-shelf components, the STM 910 interfaces with an Omron temperature controller. A pressure gauge, stainless steel pump and impeller are standard features of the unit. The STM 910 has a maximum heating capacity of 9 kW.
Shini Plastics Technologies (Canada) Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.shini.ca; 905-565-1602
SmartBarrel digital indicator monitors screw, barrel wear
A collaboration between Glycon Corp., Dynisco Instruments and RJG Inc. has resulted in the new SmartBarrel system, or Flite-Scan, that monitors screw and barrel wear without causing downtime.
SmartBarrel’s digital indicator monitors screw and barrel wear in both extrusion and injection molding machines without requiring the user to pull the screw and take measurements manually.
Inserted through small ports in the barrel, the digital indicator measures screw flight dimensions in a few minutes, allowing the machine to remain at near processing temperature. A plug, which seals the port during normal processing, measures the wear of the barrel liner.
Glycon Corp. (Tecumseh, Mich.); www.glycon.com; 800-255-9969
Dynisco Instruments (Franklin, Mass); www.dynisco.com; 508-541-9400
RJG Inc. (Traverse City, Mich.); www.rjginc.com; 231-947-3111
Single test equipment measures viscosity, transition, modulus
Dynisco Polymer Test’s new Rheometer VTM polymer test instrument provides the capability to fully measure the viscosity, transition and modulus of polymers, from the melt phase through the transition to solid state, in a single test.
The Rheometer VTM can be queued to run up to 100 samples, in powder, pellet and sheet form, with no operator intervention. Minimal sample preparation is required, and downtime due to material clean-up is virtually eliminated with the system’s film delivery system. The system also comes with Pathfinder software.
Dynisco Polymer Test (Morgantown, Pa.); www.dynisco.com; 800-396-4726
Auxiplast Inc. (Ste-Julie, Que.); www.auxiplast.com; 450-922-0282
Colour i7 digital colour control offers precision
The new Color i7 automated spectrophotometer from GretagMacbeth LLC provides precise digital colour management for consumer electronics, car interiors, furniture and appliances.
The Color i7 has a profiling function embedded in the instrument that periodically prompts the operator to verify performance, which can be affected by environmental conditions such as dust and humidity. If colour drift is detected, the operator can correct the instrument on-site before further colour measurements are made, using NetProfiler, GretagMacbeth’s Internet-based software. NetProfiler provides online access to data from other brands of spectrophotometers, allowing for colour matching against a global colour profile.
Color i7 can also be programmed with job-specific variables to ensure reproducibility of colour as materials and substrates change.
GretagMacbeth LLC (New Windsor, N.Y.); www.gretagmacbeth.com; 800-622-2384
Prism Instruments (Pickering, Ont.); www.prism.to; 888-717-7476
Closed loop Drymax PDC dryers dry, convey in single unit
Nucon-Wittmann Inc.’s new compact D Series Drymax PDC dryers come with a dry-air conveying package to provide closed-loop drying and conveying to one or two molding machines in a single unit, providing energy efficiency and floor-space savings.
The D Series consist of a standard dry-air generator and drying hopper plus a three-phase conveying blower.
The PDC system’s JIT (just-in-time) loaders are equipped with a glass cylinder for visual control of material flow.
Additionally, every conveying cycle to the machine is automatically purged so materials won’t re-absorb moisture while in the lines. The D Series models D 30 and D 60 are available with 18 ft.3/min. (CFM) and 35 CFM of dry air capacity respectively. The D 30 is packaged in housing almost half the size of Wittmann’s previous models.
Nucon Wittmann Inc. (Markham, Ont.);
Compound receiver provides high efficiency material separation
The 2400 Series 3 2420 PVC compound receiver from Premier Pneumatics Inc. efficiently separates materials including regrind and pellets.
The receiver’s low height was accomplished by incorporating a cyclonic primary separator coupled with an internal cartridge secondary separator with automatic air pulse cleaning.
Premier Pneumatics Inc. (Salinas, Kan.); www.premierpneumatics.com; 785-826-9302
Pneu-Tech Systems Limited (Woodstock, Ont.); www.pneutechsystems.com; 888-517-1596
Tension, flexural testing package available from Instron
Instron Corp.’s new Plastics Testing Package is comprised of a Model 3345 testing machine, tensile wedge grips, flex fixtures, a Dell Corp. PC with a 17 in. LCD flat panel monitor and Series IX/s materials testing software.
Meeting the requirements of the ASTM, EN, BS, ISO, JIS plastic testing standards, the Model 3345 has automatic recognition, balancing and calibration of load and strain transducers.
It is equipped with a high torque DC servomotor with digital closed-loop position control and a no- clutch drive system for increased reliability and improved load/speed performance.
The Series IX/s software’s results library contains more than 680 standard formulas that can be used for calculating variables during testing.
Instron Canada Inc. (Burlington, Ont.); www.instron.com; 905-333-9123
Clean room granulator enables reuse of specialty grade resin
Cumberland Engineering Corp.’s Clean Room Granulators lets processors reclaim and reuse of medical and specialty grade resins without actually treating, material in the clean room.
The unit’s surround package creates negative pressure inside the enclosure, preventing entry of dust particles or fines.
Plus, an in-feed hopper ensures no particles exceeding size and volume tolerance levels escapes through the in-feed entry. Available in three cutting chamber sizes, 6.5×8 in., 6.5×12 in., and 6.5×16 in.
Cumberland Engineering Corp. (South Attleboro, Mass.);
New Tech Machinery Inc. (Brampton, Ont.); 905-456-2968
Precision Mold Suppliers Ltd. (Delta, B.C.);
Clear Basell PPs reduce weight for cast film, I/M applications
The new metallocene-based Metocene polypropylene (PP) cast film and injection molding grades from Basell Canada Inc. can reduce the weight
of thin-walled applications by up to 40 per cent for applications requiring both high-clarity and high-rigidity.
The Metocene X11291-55-1 reactor grade, designed for cast film applications such as food and medical packaging, laminations and produce packaging, is a 9.5 g/10 min. melt flow rate resin. Metocene HM640T is a 60 g/10 min. melt flow rate resin designed for typical custom injection molded applications such as thin-wall food containers, and CD and DVD cases. And the Metocene HM1753 is a 140 g/10 min. melt flow reactor with excellent stiffness, transparency and low warpage ideal for housewares and closures.
Additionally, these Metocene resins reduce warpage and distortion better than traditional PP grades. Plus, the Metocene PPs are reactor grades, meaning no peroxide is used during pelletizing, thus doing away with harmful peroxide residues and by-products.
Basell Canada Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.basell.com; 800-387-7870
D-M-E expands line of metric mold components
Responding to the increasing demand of metric molds and components in North America, D-M-E of Canada Ltd., has added more products to its Euro Series line of metric mold components, which is now comprised of over 4,000 members.
Because metric fit tolerances and surface finish definitions differ from imperial fit tolerances, these new products are designed for moldmakers who may not be familiar with metric tolerances and standards. The new metric components catalogue includes seven appendices — 21 pages in all — providing information such as metric surface definitions and metric fit tolerances.
D-M-E of Canada Ltd. (Mississauga, Ont.)
Big shot hot runner nozzles simplify large part molding
With the ability to handle shot weights of up 3,500 g per nozzle, the new Fusion-Series from Mold-Masters Ltd., is designed for large parts such as interior trim panels, lamp housings and bumper fascia.
These hot runner nozzles are available in sizes of up to 32 in. in length, bore sizes up to 1 in., and are available with either hot tip, sprue or valve gate gating configurations.
Dual thermocouples — primary and secondary — are used for the nozzle and manifold heaters, and the hot runner nozzles are mounted to the manifold and pre-assembled prior to installation.
And because the temperature of the front nozzle is controlled independently, users are given added flexibility with a wide processing window.
Mold-Masters Ltd. (Georgetown, Ont.); www.moldmaster.com; 905-877-0185
Small volume machine reduces costs by one-fifth
Sidel’s SBO 4 Compact linear blow molding machine produces up to 6,400 bottles per/hour.
With a scrap rate of less than 0.2 per cent, the SBO 4 Compact reduces bottle blowing costs by 20 per cent compared to previous models. Additionally, it guarantees machine efficiency rates of about 95 per cent and production rates of 1,600 bottles/hour/mold for sizes up to three litres.
The machine has a positive under-neck transfer adapted from Sidel’s rotary line; reducing the number of interfaces eliminating and preform handling resulting in higher quality and better reliability.
Also, key functions are in the form of individual, accessible modules enabling easy maintenance. Plus, quick-change universal shell molds make for easy changeovers. A rigid frame houses all of the machine’s modules, and all sub-assemblies are preset at the factory, including the orienting rollers.
Sidel (Canada) Inc. (Laval, Que.); www.sidel.com; 450-973-3337
Robot interface has simplified programmibility, security settings
Kuka Robotics Corp.’s new Microsoft Corp. Windows-based graphical user interface (GUI) software package is simple to program and makes controlling six-axis robots easy for injection molding applications, including demolding and deburring.
The KUKA Smart GUI Plastics Software guides the user through the setup process, which involves following a series of graphics to select the necessary robot commands.
Additionally, administrators can prevent unauthorized use of the system by giving employees different levels of access to key functions based upon their role.
Kuka Robotics Corp. (Clinton Township, Mich.); www.kukarobotics.com; 866-873-5852
Three-finger gripper hangs on to bulky parts
With its pneumatically operated three-finger design, SAS Automation LLC’s Tri-Finger Gripper (TFG) picks up oddly shaped, bulky parts as well as spherical products under 10 lb.
The TFG’s fingers can be rotated to pick up tubing as well as the inner surface of product. Plus, the fingers can move inwards or outwards to pick up products with a range of diameters.
SAS also offers custom-made fingers for specific applications or for gripping a unique surface. Made of lightweight aluminum, the TFG can be mounted on most robots.
SAS Automation LLC (Xenia, Ohio); www.sasgripper.com; 888-727-3628
Verick International Inc. (Brampton, Ont.);
Beam robots’ touch-screen control geared for pick-and-place applications
Conair’s Axess Series of beam robots are controlled through a 32-bit microprocessor for easy USP touch-screen interface.
The Axess Series is targeted at pick-and-place applications for injection molding machines up to 750 tons, and can store the settings of up to 99 different applications.
With a payload capacities ranging from 6.6 to 26.4 lb., the Axess 10, Axess 20 and Axess 30 can move simultaneously across on all three axes, and have multiple vacuum plus pressure circuits for selective part placement, and quick disconnects for fast changeovers.
The ‘Y-free’ function allows users to program the release of the strip-axis motor, and the Axess Series’ also perform wrist rotation from 0 to 180, with the capability to program an intermediate stop at 90.
Horizontal and vertical speeds reach up to 6.5 and 9 ft./s, respectively.
Conair (Pittsburgh, Penn.); www.conairnet.com; 412-312-6000
Auxiplast Inc. (Sainte-Julie, Que.); www.auxiplast.com; 450-922- 0282
Stephen Sales Group (Markham, Ont.);
Fast coating robot supports high-speed operations
Fanuc Robot Canada Ltd.’s new P-250iA/15 coating robot has improved motion performance, and coats at rates reaching 1,500 mm/s for both consumer, automotive plastic and fibreglass parts.
Supported by Fanuc’s new System R-J3iC Controller , the six-axis P-250iA/15 has a hollow wrist design, floor and invert mounting and a slim arm and wrist assembly. Its multiple hose routing options minimize interference with system equipment.
With a 15 kg payload capacity at both the wrist and outer arm, the P-250iA/15 has a maximum horizontal reach of 2,800 mm, and includes an Accuflow closed-loop fluid delivery, and a purge system approved for operation in hazardous environments including Class I and II, Division I and Groups C, D, E, F and G.
Fanuc Robotics Canada Ltd. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.fanucrobotics.ca; 800-477-6268
Hot runner nozzle tip enables fast colour changes
Husky Injection Molding System Ltd.’s redesigned UltraFlow mixing tip allows processors to change colours quickly and easily.
The UltraFlow de
livers a thermally homogeneous and evenly coloured melt because it also thoroughly mixes the material just before it enters the mold cavity.
Other benefits include molecular/ filler orientation, providing more uniform stress concentrations in parts when compared to traditional tips; dimensional stability, meaning parts are less susceptible to warpage; and visible flow lines in parts are elimated.
The standard UltraFlow handles up to 26,000 psi and a high-pressure option can handle up to 35,000 psi.
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. (Bolton, Ont.); www.husky.ca; 905-951-5000