Technology Showcase;Feeder for accurate dosing
AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT Printer handles heavy loads, rough surfaces
March 1, 2008 by Canadian Plastics
With 4,000 Newton meters of pad compression power, the XE-30 from Pad Print Machinery of Vermont is designed to handle silicone pads bigger than a loaf of bread, weighing as much as 18 pounds, with a hardness of 60 to 70 durometer.
With the equivalent of 17.5 tons of compression power, the XE-30 prints well on extremely rough surfaces and is able to get ink into deep crevasses. Also, because of its servo motor’s immense power, it can print both very fast and very slowly while maintaining spot-on printing precision with one to eight colors and image sizes up to 9.75 inches diameter.
The XE-30 is available with independent pads that can be programmed with different and multiple firing sequences. This allows printing multicolour logos, four-colour process, multi-prints of single colors and printing on items such as appliance panels, hard hats, athletic equipment and large curved metal parts.
The unit also has a Windows-based operating system that stores a vast number of jobs and all their parameters, as well as an “auto-learn” function that enables the operator to manually fine-tune pad and ancillary device settings and then save the adjustments to the database. Additionally, the XE-30 has a LAN or Internet connection for remote monitoring/maintenance and software uploads.
Pad Print Machinery of Vermont (East Dorset, Vt.); www.padprintmachinery.com; 800-272-7764
Custom Version of TLM-8 Thermal Limit Monitor
Watlow is now offering a custom version of its TLM-8 thermal limit monitor, designed to support injection molding and extrusion applications that have a need for higher accuracy temperature limits or specific limit settings not otherwise available.
The TLM-8 is a compact, cost-effective solution for multi-channel, redundant monitoring.
For thermal system safety, the TLM-8 can satisfy the requirement for independent temperature monitoring. The unit’s alarm outputs interface with visual and audible alarm devices, and can initiate the safe shutdown of equipment with the FM approved limit switch.
The custom TLM-8 has all the features and options of the standard compact and easy to install TLM-8 plus higher accuracy and temperature limits that can be factory set to any whole number temperature.
The enhanced standard and custom TLM-8 is compatible with the current version in form, fit and function. Other features of the enhanced version include multi-channel temperature monitoring allowing up to eight zones to be monitored; FM approved as a temperature limit switch and temperature supervisory switch; support of thermocouple Types E, J, K, R, S and T as well as RTDs and thermostats; and LED indicator lights to show unit is powered and which channels are over their limits.
Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company (St. Louis, Mo.); www.watlow.com; 800-928-5692
Gripper for internal fascia mold removal
SAS Automation announces the design of a new GRZ style gripper.
The GRZ 32EC-30 actuated rib gripper was designed to remove automotive bumper fascias from the “A” side of the mold. The gripper and cylinder assemblies are mounted on a bearing rail to help support the load of the part being pulled from the mold. The 30mm stripper stroke has adjustment capabilities by increasing or decreasing the cylinder pin to fit any size application. To relieve stress on the robot the stripper stroke is retracted to release the part off of the mold before removing the tool and part from the mold.
This GRZ has a custom-mounting bracket to allow for a perpendicular or parallel mount to accommodate for a specific application
SAS Automation LLC (Xenia, Ohio); www.sasgripper.com; 888-727-3628
Verick International (Brampton, Ont.); www.verick.com; 905-458-7121
Versatile flexible screw conveying
The new FlexFlite flexible screw conveyors from Cyclonaire Corporation are designed to use steel augers and flexible tubes up to 100 feet long to move PVC material at rates as high as 3,600 lbs. per hour.
FlexFlite conveyors are readily portable and ideal for conveying product from bags, bins, hoppers, or weigh stations. Rated capacities for the three FlexFlite models are 100, 300, and 400 cubic feet per hour.
The spiral auger is the only moving part that contacts the conveyed material. It is coreless to minimize clogging and has an oval cross-section to ensure positive movement of material through the delivery tube and metering accuracy. Close pitching of the spiral allows increased flexibility, a tighter bending radius, and operation at lower speeds.
FlexFlite is easy to run and maintain. The in-line, geared electric motor rotates the spiral and can be set at speeds suited to the density of conveyed materials, the angle of inclination, and distance and rate of transfer. Fully enclosed construction ensures contamination-free operation. The head housing provides access to the drive shaft for maintenance.
Cyclonaire Corporation (York, Neb.); www.cyclonaire.com; 800-445-0730
Con-V-Air (Mississauga, Ont.); www.con-v-air.com; 905-285-9934
The new MGF feeder from Maguire uses an advanced loading system to meter colorant or additive into a plastics processing machine with a degree of accuracy that exceeds a volumetric feeder.
The feeders are available with throughput capacity of up to 35 lbs (16 kg) per hour and can be mounted directly to the throat of most molding machines or extruders.
The new loading device, a direct descendant of Magurie’s venturi loaders, transports material to the feeder from a gaylord, drum, or other container. Rather than load continuously or intermittently, however, the loader rapidly and completely fills the feeder just once, upon a signal from the feeder controller that the level of color or additive has fallen to precisely 10 per cent of feeder hopper capacity. In this way the loss-in-weight measuring function of the feeder continually tracks and adjusts for dosing errors without interference or distortion from the addition of new material. As a result, the feeder maintains dosage within tight tolerances from molding shot to molding shot and does so for hours as hopper material levels steadily decrease.
Additionally, by tracking and adjusting for actual colorant consumption, the MGF feeders not only provide even greater accuracy and consistency but also make possible detailed documentation of the entire production run, including a shot-by-shot account of colour dosing in injection molding.
Maguire Canada (Vaughan, Ont.); www.maguirecanada.com; 866-4418409
INJECTION MOLDING In-mold labeling for high-gloss surfaces
KraussMaffei is offering a new in-mold painting process for producing injection molded LFI parts with high-gloss surfaces, chiefly for fibre-reinforced parts for commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery, buses and trucks.
A paint layer is sprayed directly onto the surface of the mould. A spray mixing head then applies a barrier coat on top of the paint. The LFI layer is poured into the mould, the mould is closed and clamped. The result is a high-strength, fibre-reinforced part with an outstanding high-gloss surface.
In this application, all mould surfaces in contact with visible areas of the
engine cover are polished to a high gloss.
An alternative process is to apply only the barrier coat to the LFI parts in the mould and to paint them in a subsequent process, an option designed for that already operate a paint line. The painted or paint-ready parts can also be produced as honeycomb-core parts, in which a low-weight honeycomb-structure cardboard layer is sandwiched between two thin glass fibre-reinforced PUR layers. The additional barrier coat prevents the honeycomb core being visible on the surface of the part.
KraussMaffei Corporation (Florence, Ky.); www.kraussmaffei.de; 859-283-0200
HOT RUNNERS Multi-cavity needle valve for closure cap and packaging
Hasco has developed its new Z3145/ … Valve Shot line of hot runner nozzles especially for demanding applications in the closure cap and packaging industry. When designing the new nozzle range, particular attention has been given to the specific needs of processors in this field.
The new Hasco needle valve system allows optimum process control. Balanced filling of all the cavities is guaranteed by simultaneous opening of the valve pins after a certain amount of pressure has built up. Optimum transmission of the holding pressure is ensured, along with avoidance of stringing and drooling of melt from the gates.
The design of the nozzle also ensures long life of the gate thanks to the needle guidance being close to the gate with minimum needle stroke.
The Valve Shot is best suited for processing polyolefins and styrene in a shot weight range of 5-25 g. With a nozzle front sealing diameter of only 10 mm, body diameter of 16.5 mm and nozzle lengths of 80 to 140 mm, it is possible to work with small cavity centres and also reach difficult gating positions on the article.
Additionally, the needle valve pin can be changed on the machine and adjusted from the rear without dismantling the hot runner. If necessary, individual cavities can be switched off and the relevant needle can be held in the closed position.
Hasco Canada Inc. (Toronto); www.hasco.com; 416-293-5044
MATERIALS TPOs for high-end applications
Elastocon TPE Technologies has introduced the new Elastocon SMR series of thermoplastic olefins (TPOs), designed for high-end applications including body panels, bumper facias and other large parts which could include decorative or high end filler panels, deflective guards or mud/snow flaps.
The Elastocon TPOs offer high gloss with scratch and mar resistance to maintain perfect products during handling and delivery to OEMs including during assembly.
Also, grades are compatible with standard and proprietary processes including in-mold decorating, pad printing, hot foils and stamping and various proprietary decorative processes.
Available in a wide range of Shore D hardnesses — with cold weather impact resistance down to -30F — Elastocon TPOs can be injection molded, extruded, thermoformed, blow molded or compounded. Grades are supplied for compounding or as ready-to-use pellets in 1,000 quantities.
While available in black and natural (for colouring or coloured). Natural grades are FDA compliant and all grades UV-stable.
Elastocon TPE Technologies Inc. (Rochester, Ill.); www.elastocontpe.com; 217-498-8500