Plastics Technology

JAN 2019

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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A custom robotics integrator has come up with a simple, low-cost solution for trimming parts from sprues that is flexible, mobile, and needs no programming knowledge. The O-Cut from Complete Solution Robotics in Loveland, Colo. (csro- botics. com), is a self- contained cell based on a small, six-axis FANUC robot and a gate- cutting device ("nipper"). "The system can be rolled to any machine and set up in minutes," says Michael Olson, the firm's founder and owner. The robot grabs a sprue and attached part or parts from a sprue picker and then presents the parts to the nipper. The parts fall into a bin (or can be placed in a tray) and the sprue is dropped into a grinder. Setup involves a menu-driven recipe on the accompanying touchscreen. The robot is "taught" the operating positions using incremental "jog" commands for each axis, with fine adjustment by by direct entry of numbers. Points can be adjusted in 0.001-mm increments. Recipes can be stored for quick recall and can be shared between different O-Cut units. An operator can move the cell, fine-tune positions, and change cut sequences as needed. Multiple cuts are possible. The robot has a 4-kg payload capacity and cut repeatability of ±0.02 mm. Hydraulic feet on the cell are adjusted via hand crank. In standard configuration, the sprue grinder, nippers and part bin are supplied by the customer, but options include the grinder and a conveyor with indexing boxes or trays for cut parts. Pricing starts at $50,000 without nippers or grinder. INJECTION MOLDING Simple Robot Cell For Gate Cutting Austria-based Erema launched its new Vacunite bottle-to-bottle technology at Novem- ber's PETnology conference in Paris. This technology brings together Erema's Vacurema degassing and decontamination process with newly patented, vacuum-supported solid- state polycondensation (SSP) from Polymetrix in Switzerland. One unique aspect of this combination is that all thermal process steps take place in nitrogen atmosphere, which largely eliminates flake and pellet discoloration, Erema says, and removes additives that could lead to undesired reactions in the melt. Another reported benefit of Vacunite is the vacuum support cleans the nitrogen, which means it can be reused in the process. Any remaining dust particles are removed from the pellets before filling to avoid preform contamination. "Using vacuum support and nitrogen atmosphere creates RPET recyclates that far exceed all existing food-contact requirements, even those of the major beverage brands," states Christoph Wöss, Erema business-development manager for the bottle sector. The recycling technology reportedly also stands out for its compactness, low energy consumption, and considerably lower maintenance than current vacuum SSP systems. The system has lower height and occupies only 50 to 60 m 2 of floor space for the SSP portion. Energy consumption for the entire process from flake to final pellets report- edly amounts to 0.35 kWh/kg. Chillers Automatically Prevent Mold Condensation Chiller controls now monitor ambient dewpoint and automatically adjust the cooling-water setpoint temperature at or above the dewpoint to prevent condensation on molds. This new and reportedly unique control feature has been made standard on all chillers from Delta T Systems. By preventing condensation, this feature is said to decrease scrap rates caused by cosmetic defects from water droplets on the mold face. It also improves housekeeping and lengthens tool life by avoiding rust. Delta T says it is the first to offer such automatic protection as part of the chiller controls. PROCESS COOLING MIXING RECYCLING New Technology Enhances RPET Purity A new Laboratory Paddle Blender from Charles R. Ross & Son Co. offers advanced features for more convenient, automated powder blending and liquid spraying operations with recipe management. Shown is the 1 ft³ model constructed entirely of 304 stain- less steel and and driven by a 1-hp motor. Complementing the blender's full vacuum capability, new features include a pneumatic powder charging port and liquid delivery spray system to promote batch-to-batch consistency. Touchscreen PLC recipe controls are housed in a NEMA 4X stainless-steel enclosure allowing for indoor or outdoor use. For increased versatility, an interchange- able ribbon agitator can be supplied with any new Ross Paddle Blender. Both paddle and ribbon agitators are widely used in the preparation of dry solid-solid mixes and can easily accommodate minor liquid additions. Lab Paddle Blender @plastechmag 45 Plastics Technology N E W P R O D U C T S F O R P L A S T I C S P R O C E S S I N G

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