Plastics Technology

JAN 2019

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Software Offers Three New Capabilities for 3D Printing Three new software products offer MES capabilities, process simulation, and economic feasibility analysis for additive manufacturing (AM), also called 3D printing: • Agile Manufacturing Execution System is an MES (manufacturing execution system) product designed specifically for AM. It automatically recommends production sched- ules in direct integration with parts orders. Using delivery dates and production specs, the system classifies parts for jobs based on production priority and machine availabil- ity. It comes from 3YourMind in Germany (U.S. office in San Francisco; 3yourmind.com). • Another new product from 3YourMind is AM Part Identifier software that auto- matically checks a parts economic potential for 3D printing. AMPI searches large databases of existing AM parts to detect whether a new design is technically and economically suitable for AM based on material selection, quality and production requirements, and/or CAD specifications. • New Simcenter 3D AM Process Simulation from Siemens PLM Software (U.S.office in Alameda, Calif.; plm.automation.siemens.com) helps predict distortion and shrink- age during 3D printing of metals and helps avoid these issues by automatically gener- ating a compensated CAD model. The new program is fully integrated within Siemens' NX CAD software and is based on the powder-bed fusion process for metal printing. Davis-Standard Buys Thermoforming Machine Builder TSL Extrusion machinery maker Davis- Standard LLC (D-S) now can offer sheet processors a turnkey system that includes thermoforming, since D-S acquired Thermoforming Systems LLC (TSL) of Yakima, Wash. TSL builds thermo- forming machinery for food packaging. R&B Expands Blow Molding Portfolio R&B Plastics Machinery is broadening its range of blow molding machinery through an alliance with firms in Taiwan and South Africa. R&B already supplies shuttle, wheel and reciprocating-screw extrusion blow molders as well as injection-blow machines. Now it is offering for the first time all-electric shuttle machines (pictured) and hydrau- lic accumulator-head models, both built by Sika Machinery Co. in Taiwan, incorporating designs from Seecor Blow Moulding Solutions (seecor.com) in South Africa. Sika is a custom machine builder that has been making machines for Seecor for some time. Machines for North America incorporate R&B technology and engineering. Sika produces systems and compo- nents for the new R&B Sika Shuttle line (RBS Series) and accumulator machines (RBA Series) and ships them to R&B in Saline, Mich., for assembly and customer trials. R&B maintains all detailed drawings of the machines and provides service and spare parts in North America. R&B has already sold several all-electric shuttles in the U.S. They come in single- and double- sided models with strokes from 350 to 1250 mm. Hydraulic and hybrid versions are also available. Accumulator models can mold parts from 5 to 500 gal. Continuous Compression Molding Challenges Injection for Optical Parts It's not just for bottle caps anymore. Besides a recent move into single-serve coffee capsules, the continuous compression molding (CCM) process from SACMI of Italy is now being developed for optical parts such as lighting lenses, advanced instrumentation and automotive parts. SACMI is working with Polyoptics, a German producer of plastic optical systems and components, and the German research institute KIMW in Lüdenscheid. The project reportedly has yielded excellent lab samples in cycle times significantly shorter than with injection molding, says SACMI. SACMI builds CCM systems in which a plastic profile is continuously extruded and cut off into blanks that are automatically deposited into individual compression molds that move continuously on a conveyor. This process offers independent control of each mold and flexibility in number of molds being run. Lab tests have shown that CCM can use the same polymers—PMMA and PC—used by Polyoptics for injection molding optical parts. OnRobot Opens U.S. Office In Dallas OnRobot, a Danish manufacturer of electric grippers for collaborative robots, has opened its first U.S. headquarters in Dallas. The company (onrobot.com) supplies hardware and software for cobots from Universal Robots, Kuka, Fanuc and Yaskawa (see April Keeping Up). OnRo- bot recently acquired another Danish maker of cobot EOAT, Purple Robotics (see July Keeping Up). Sidel Acquires PET Packaging Designer & Moldmaker Sidel Group of France has acquired PET Engineering Srl of Italy, which designs and prototypes PET preforms and bottles and also builds PET blow molds. Sidel says this acquisition diversifies its packaging services portfolio. Adds PET Engineering CEO Moreno Barel, "PET Engineering is perfectly established to help Sidel expand its packaging offering—especially regard- ing design of containers for water, soft drinks, liquid dairy products and beer." 8 JANUARY 2019 Plastics Technology PTonline.com T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I N D U S T R Y N E W S St ar t ing Up

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