Canadian Plastics

Technology Showcase (April 01, 2005)

Canadian Plastics   

New all-electric model features super-fast control...

New all-electric model features super-fast control

JSW’s next-generation AD Advantage Series all-electric injection molding machines offer the industry’s first 62-micro-second scan-time control system, which reduces scanning time to 1/16th of conventional controls available. The controller is powered by a high-speed 64-bit RISC processor, making it the fastest processor in the industry, according to the company.

The machine’s tie-bar clearance has been increased by 2 in. over previous models, and it can be equipped with an injection rate of up to 550 mm/sec for high-speed/thin-wall applications. The machine offers outstanding energy-savings potential by substantially reducing power consumption from 40 to 60% over hydraulic machines.

Plascom Plastic Machinery Inc. 416-491-0704


Tiebarless hybrid offer best of all worlds

Engel has extended the range of its tiebarless machines with a new offering, the Victory, a machine with a hydraulic clamping system and an all-electric injection unit. The hydraulic drive system is designed with energy-saving, low-noise, variable delivery pumps, to provide hydraulic-powered core pulls, valve gates and ejection. The all-electric injection unit incorporates three-phase servo motors for screw rotation (melt feed) and axial movement (melt injection) enabling every possible parallel movement.

The Victory can be combined with Engel’s X-Melt technology module, which uses a pre-compressed melt to fill the mold cavity in a fraction of a second. X-Melt is ideal for molding parts with difficult geometry and thin walls.

Engel Canada Inc 519-836-0220

Two-platen machine series extended

Battenfeld has extended the clamping-force range of its two-platen HM series with the introduction of a new machine, the HM 550/4500 B4. With 550 tonnes of clamping force, the new machine comes with a high-performance, UNILOG B4 control system and offers all the benefits and free space advantages of the larger models, such as unrestricted access to the mold thanks to retractable tie-bars, ultimate precision and compact design with a small footprint.

Unrestricted access to the mold is made possible by the four retractable tie-bars, which are completely withdrawn during mold opening. The large, extremely torsion-resistant platens, the sturdy moving platen support, and the precise axial movements of the injection unit by means of linear guides all contribute to the precision of the HM series.

Battenfeld Canada Ltd. 905-670-9384


Light but strong grippers

A new line of robotic gripper components with lighter weight carbon-fibre tubing shafts is available from SAS Automation. Reducing the weight of the shaft reduces robot wear and tear, yet the grippers can still accommodate extremely high weights, such as those of large or bulky parts.

The lightweight NT (New Technology) components are build-to-order, and include SAS’s GGE elbow gripper arms, GSE gripper arms, WKA angle arms, GLA elbow arms, and GAZ cylinder mounting arms.

SAS Automation Ltd. 937-372-5255

Screen changer design increases screen life

PSI-Polymer Systems has introduced a Continuous Backflush Screen Changer (CSC/BF) which allows for increased filtration screen life, by at least 25 times over typical continuous screen changer designs. Increased screen life means less frequent screen changes due to clogging from contaminants in the plastic melt. This translates into much less downtime.

Another key benefit of the CSC/BF is that it reduces the back pressure on the extruder to a much lower pressure, thereby allowing for increased output — as much as a 50% increase on some materials and processes.

The most unique aspect of the CSC/BF is the capability of “recycling”, or maximizing screen life automatically. When upstream pressure rises due to a high contaminant level in the polymer, the PLC control automatically actuates each piston to its backflush position, allowing pressure to push contaminants off of the dirty screen. Contaminants are purged out of ports in the housing. Once the backflush sequence occurs, the “recycled” screens are returned to the home position until the sequence takes place again.

Five standard sizes of backflush screen changers are offered by PSI, with outputs ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 lb./hr.

PSI-Polymer Systems, Inc. 828-345-6264

Large blender precisely doses difficult materials

The new MaxiBatch Weigh Scale Blender (WSB) is rated for processing throughputs of up to 8,000 lb./hr. and has a batch size of 66 lb., which is 60% and 67% greater, respectively, than the largest Maguire blender models, until now, in the 1800 series. The blender accommodates nine removable hoppers for as many ingredients, each hopper incorporating its own dispensing device designed for precise metering in large quantities. Because the hoppers are interchangeable, it is easy to accommodate variations in batch recipes, according to Peter Skulski, sales manager.

“The share of operating costs accounted for by raw materials typically increases with production throughputs, as does the likelihood that they will be using bulk powders and other difficult-to-meter ingredients,” noted Skulski. “In the case of costly additives, this level of precision eliminates such wasteful practices as over-coloring to compensate for process variations or for the unreliability of alternative feeding equipment.”

Nucon Wittmann Inc. 888-466-8266

Vacuum systems convey materials long distances

Colortronic’s new CPC and CPD vacuum conveying systems are ideal for use with free-flowing, pelletized plastics materials and regrind. The CPC Series utilizes a quiet regenerative/centrifugal blower that conveys materials over distances up to 400 equivalent feet. The CPD features a high-efficiency, quiet, positive displacement vacuum pump to move materials over long distances, up to 500 equivalent feet. Both systems offer continuous, 24-hour operation.

Auxiplast Inc. 450-922-0282

Air knife reduces compressed air and noise

The X-Stream Air Blade air knife curtain blow-off system by Nex Flow minimizes entrained air turbulence to maximize air amplification and minimize both air consumption and noise levels. Noise level at full pressure is less than 70 dBA under free space conditions. Its compact design incorporates rear port connection for convenient mounting and compressed air input.

Applications include cleaning parts prior to painting; removing materials such as chips, scrap, trim, etc.; cleaning and cooling of extruded webs of metal, plastic, or paper; removing waste from conveyor belts; and many other uses.

Tech Sales Co. 877-797-2777

Temperature controller enhances networking

Gammaflux’s new LEC line of hot runner temperature controllers provides molders with full-featured hot runner temperature control at a competitive price. Designed for smaller hot runner system applications, the LEC is offered with 2-, 6- and 12-zone enclosures. The LEC features a modular design for simple control card removal, addition or replacement. An optional network module allows users to link two 6- or 12-zone enclosures together for up to 24 zones of control. All 6- or 12-zone LEC enclosures come prewired to accept the network module, so the module can be ordered at a later date.

With the network module, the LEC becomes truly full-featured by offering security options, remote input, alarm output and Gammaflux software. The network module also enables a link to plant monitoring systems.

Gammaflux L.P. 773-871-2477

Gravimetric feeder attached to central hopper

Premeir Pneumatics ProRate gravimetric feeder consists of one to eight feeders and a central microprocessor-based controller. The feeder is designed to continuously meter raw materials accurately into a central station hopper.

Each of the feeders operates in an independent, continuous loss-in-weight scaling mode to ensure accuracy of each ingredient. The controller continuously monitors the weight signals of each feeder and adjusts the auger speed to match the recipe feed rate for each feeder.

The proprietary controller will control from one to eight feeders simultaneously, providing a capacity range from one to 80,000 lb./hr. Recipe selection, storage and editing is easily accomplished; the operator can enter recipe material rates or blend percentages without calculations.

Pneu-Tech Systems Ltd. 888-517-1596

Software optimizes foam molding process

Kurtz has developed software for its foam molding machines that can help operators to optimize both the process and the part. The Foam Wizard uses a touch-screen interface, and allows the operator to store recipes (the parameter settings associated with a given part). Using database-supported default values and an image database, troubleshooting and error correction are simplified.

Kurtz North America Inc. 920-893-1779

Training program gets network capability

Interactive plastics training solutions from A. Routsis Associates can now be run through both Local Area Networks (LAN) as well as Wide Area Networks (WAN). Recent advances in computer network speed are now allowing businesses to stream these large, digital video and 3-D animation files off of a central server to individual client PCs rather than locally through individual CD-ROM drives. Training record databases can also be stored on the same server.

“We’ve been able to offer this technology for many years, but low bandwidth has constantly kept companies from being able to take advantage of it,” says Andy Routsis, president of A. Routsis Associates.

A. Routsis Associates, Inc. 978-957-0700

High-performance sensors for low pressure molding

New pressure sensors from Kistler Instrument are designed to meet all the challenges of low pressure foam and compression/injection molding. With four times higher resolution than ordinary mold sensors, type 6177AE with a front diameter of 4 mm, and type 6178AE with a front diameter of 2.5 mm, substitute for lower performance sensors with no change in mounting requirements.

Both sensors operate using single-wire technology that simplifies installation and operation compared to coaxial cable that is ordinarily used. Mold engineering and upgrades of existing units are accomplished at less cost due to the simpler wiring involved. With measuring ranges to 200 bar, the pizoelectric elements are fully compatible with standard charge amplifiers.

Kistler Instrument


Adjustable extruder mates well with different dies

A height adjustment feature is now available on Diamond America’s TL150 model extruder, to permit proper vertical alignment between the co-extruder and the die. The TL150 is a 1.5 in. diameter, 24:1 L/D machine, with standard centreline height of 42 in. The adjustment feature permits movement plus or minus two inches.

“This easy height adjustment allows the flexibility when working with various dies with different co-extrusion entry points,” explains Tom Allen, president of Diamond America.

Some models are available with greater ranges of adjustment.

Diamond America Corp. 330-633-9959


Laser-markable PP prevents tampering

Sherwood Technology’s DataLase Masterbatch is a new generation coding, marking and printing additive that that enables plastics to be successfully marked using low power CO2 lasers. One UK-based molder recently selected DataLase to code tamper-evident polypropylene plug seals for containers in the distribution industry. Prior to adopting DataLase, the molder had used high-power YAG lasers and ink-jet printers to mark sequential numbering and/or logos onto tamper-evident plug seals, to enable customers to track and log containers of products.

Low power CO2 lasers are considerably cheaper than YAG lasers, although an extremely high power is needed to mark plastics — normally at least 100 watts of power. Polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene have been notoriously difficult to mark with CO2 lasers even with existing additives which mark well with YAG lasers. Sherwood developed a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly additive that is capable of producing an image when marked by a low power CO2 laser, around 10 watts of power.


New HDPE resin targeted for closures, tubes

Basell has developed a new high density polyethylene resin with a unique combination of superior environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) and high throughput properties desired by manufacturers of closures and collapsible tubes. Test results have shown that the resin, Hostalen GX 4027, can have an ESCR performance several times greater than the current HDPE MFR2 industry standards. As well, industry trials of the resin have shown that significant savings in total cycle times are possible with melt temperatures reduced by 40C and with no mold filling issues. Additionally, independent sensory tests have shown the material to exhibit good organoleptics.

“Beverage closures need to withstand extreme climate conditions, a long shelf life and high carbonation levels, while collapsible tubes need to resist extreme stress in use,” said James Stern, technical manager for caps and closures, Basell Polyolefins, Europe.

Hostalen GX 4027 is made with Basell’s proprietary Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process.

Basell Canada Inc. 800-387-7870


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