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NPE2018 Show Daily - Friday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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FRIDAY NPE 2018 : THE PLASTICS SHOW SHOW DAILY Applicaঞons for new Linde Plasঞnum foam injecঞon molding process. New Physical Foaming Process for Injecঞon Molding At NPE2018, Linde LLC (Booth S24207) is introducing Plasঞnum foam injecঞon mold- ing, described as a less expensive, more flexi- ble process for lightweighঞng molded plasঞc parts than currently available foaming pro- cesses. This physical foaming process is par- ঞcularly suitable for automoঞve, white- goods, and medical parts manufacturers who are using convenঞonal injecঞon machines and are looking for an alternaঞve to exisঞng chemical and physical foaming methods. In addiঞon to its new foam technology, Linde features its Plasঞnum porolio of CO 2 gas technologies including the enhanced gas-assist injecঞon molding (eGAIM) system; spot-cooling technology for injecঞon molds; and inert gas-metering equipment. Also fea- tured is Linde's automated Cryoclean "CO 2 snow" cleaning technology. Linde's Plasঞnum GAIM C (also known as Enhanced Gas Assist Injecঞon Molding - eGAIM) system is also demonstrated at the Yizumi-HPM Corp. booth (W3343). The eGAIM system can reduce cycle ঞmes up to 35 percent compared to nitrogen systems. The patented Plasঞnum GAIM C system re- portedly also produces beŽer surface charac- terisঞcs and enables more consistent part quality. Linde is also featuring a spot mold cooling demonstraঞon unit at its booth. The Plasঞ- num Temp S-CO 2 spot cooling technology is used to internally cool cores as small as 0.025 in. in diameter. It distributes cooling to diffi- cult-to-reach parts, decreasing cycle ঞme up to 50 percent while maintaining or improving part quality, Linde says. It can also be used to eliminate sink marks on Class A surfaces. conঞnued on page 94 The Octex Group Introduces "Launchpad" for Faster Product Launches By Mahew H. Naitove Plascs Technology This program enables customers to pick and choose every aspect, from start to finish, of a complete product-to-market launch. "Like a conductor of symphonies, Launchpad allows customers to effecঞvely compose and con- trol the enঞre launch process," says BreŽ Wigton, chief scienঞst and director of corpo- rate affairs for the Octex Group (Booths S31090, S31137). "That means businesses can choose any or all services, mix and match, to bring your idea, design, and prod- uct, to life faster than ever before." The usual launch process can easily take 45 weeks from the start of design validaঞon through producঞon tool build, tool qualifica- ঞon, and producঞon process and validaঞon development. With the new process, spear- headed by Omnia Scienঞfic, that ঞme span can be collapsed to 30-35 weeks. The difference, explains Octex Group President John Hoskins, is that the different phases of the launch process are typically handled by different groups with different cultures—resulঞng in "loss of fidelity," as Hoskins puts it. "But we have all the pieces of the puzzle under our roof. So we can con- duct different phases concurrently. Our goal is to compress the usual eight- to 12-week tool-build process into just three weeks. This is what OEMs have been begging for." Launchpad coordinates department heads in engineering, tooling, metrology, QA, pro- ducঞon and technology to monitor in real ঞme every aspect of the launch process. So[ware-defined project-tracking algorithms place metrics on all criঞcal stage levels in every phase, allowing the team to proacঞvely monitor and respond to all project scenarios. With Launchpad, customers reportedly experience 75% faster tooling qualificaঞon, 75% faster pre-producঞon process develop- ment and 75% faster validaঞon. Octex has dedicated a white room in its newly refurbished plant as a Launch Center to demonstrate how Launchpad works. The Launch Center is being inaugurated with four Engel (Booth W3303) and KraussMaffei (Booth W403) presses, and four more are planned. In the Plasঞnum foam injecঞon process, plasঞc pellets are impregnated with carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in Linde's new equipment prior to the injecঞon molding machine. This sys- tem allows for physical foaming in conven- ঞonal injecঞon machines without retrofiমng for foam, other than adding a shutoff nozzle. What disঞnguishes this approach from other processes is that pellets are impregnated with gas in a pressurized autoclave and then transported to the machine hopper, which is not pressurized. Thus one autoclave can feed two machines or be moved on a cart from machine to machine. Gas is said to remain in the pellets for 4 to 6 hr at ambient condiঞons. The Octex Group introduces Launchpad, which conducts mulঞple stages of a product launch concurrently for a more efficient process and a faster launch. 10 How Will the Shale-Gas Boom Affect Plasঞcs Processors? By Lilli Manolis Sherman Plascs Technology "Plenঞful shale gas promises to keep domes- ঞc polyolefin producঞon costs the lowest in the world. What that will mean for resin pric- es is an open quesঞon." That was the lead-in to Plasc Technology's (Booths S22147, W2513) November 2013 cover story, which sought to shine some light on the quesঞon of whether processors of PE, PP, and possibly other plasঞcs were likely to see direct bene- fits from shale-gas development in terms of lower or, at least more stable, resin pricing. Four years later, as PT headed to NPE2018, we checked to see whether the answers have become any clearer by turning to expert ana- lysts and consultants at Resin Technology Inc., (Booth S12023) Fort Worth, Texas, and IHS Markit and PetroChemWire (PCW), both of Houston. By end of 2013, U.S. natural-gas prices had dropped to only a fracঞon of those in other countries—the result of accessing natu- ral gas trapped in shale rock formaঞons via technologies such as hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling. Natural gas, which costs about one-third as much as crude oil on an energy-equivalent basis, can be used as a feedstock to make ethane, which is then used to make ethylene. In fact, the impact of the upsurge in gas producঞon is most strongly evident in ethylene, consid- ered the workhorse of petrochemical building blocks, parঞcularly for PE producঞon, ethylene dichloride used in PVC, and ethyl- benzene/styrene used in PS and ABS resins. IHS Markit (Booth S23073) studies in 2013 stated that availability of a long-term supply of low-cost feedstock derived from unconvenঞonal sources was revitalizing the petrochemicals industry in North America, making it not only more compeঞঞve, but also aŽracঞng significant domesঞc and foreign investment and adding capacity that's result- ing in more high-quality, well-paying U.S. jobs. One of several new PE plant startups, ExxonMobil's new Mont Belvieu, Texas, facility is one of the largest in the world—over 5.5-billion lb/yr. It was also logically asserted that polyole- fins and the vinyls chain, including PVC, are two of the nine value chains on which U.S. chemical investment would be largely fo- cused. In the petrochemicals sector, ethylene and propylene are two of the four segments that are and will be further impacted by un- convenঞonal oil and gas development. Major capacity announcements have been made for ethylene as well as for capacity expan- sions in PE. Announcements were also made for on-purpose propylene (propane dehydro- genaঞon—PDH) units, though new PP capac- ity plans are sঞll lagging. So far, we've seen major new PE capacity (including LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, mLDPE, and UHMW-PE) coming on stream from companies such as DowDupont; ExxonMobil Chemical (Room W204ABC); Nova The highlight of Stäubli's Booth W4003 is a fully auto- mated demonstraঞon cell for SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Die). STÄUBLI, BOOTH W4003 Visitors to Milacron's Booth W2703 can experience "aug- mented reality" with "smart glasses" that allow you—or a Milacron service technician— to "walk through" the innards of a machine or navigate the control system as if an expert technician were leaning over your shoulder. MILACRON, BOOTH W2703 Two producঞon cells running Engel machines demonstrate capabiliঞes in high-speed packaging. ENGEL, BOOTH W3303 CHECK THEM OUT! So far, we've seen major new PE capacity coming on stream from companies such as DowDupont; ExxonMobil Chemical; Nova Chemicals; Chevron- Phillips, and Braskem.

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