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NPE2012 Launch Pad for New Assembly Products

In April, NPE2012 enjoyed the sunny skies of Orlando, FL, with attendees streaming into town from all corners of the globe. With more than 1,900 exhibitors covering nearly one million square feet of floor space (a 23 percent increase from 2009) and over 55,000 attendees from more than 19,000 companies, moving NPE to Orlando proved to be a solid bet.

“There was far more plastics processing equipment operating on the exhibit floor than in 2009, much greater attendance at the co-located conferences and a larger and more exciting program of special events,” said William R. (Bill) Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI. “In addition, both exhibitors and visitors gave SPI overwhelmingly positive feedback on the new venue in Orlando, supporting our decision to schedule both the 2012 and 2015 NPEs there.”

Branson Ultrasonics Corp., a subsidiary of Emerson, Danbury, CT, introduced its new Clean Vibration Technology (CVT) to the North American and Asian markets, enabling product designers and engineers in automotive, medical and other industries to make parts that are virtually particulate-free with aesthetically clean weld lines. Branson developed the new CVT technology that adds infrared (IR) preheating to the familiar clean vibration technology to produce welds that are free of dust particulates or “angel hair,” stringy excess plastic left on a part. Branson’s CVT clean-joining technology avoids particulates and contaminants in air, fuel, oil and water reservoirs and conduits. It is ideally suited for clean, precision joining of automobile taillights, fluid reservoirs, medical and consumer filtration products, and other parts and products requiring a clean weld that maximizes aesthetics, integrity or functionality.

CBW Automation, Fort Collins, CO, in collaboration with five other companies, demonstrated a new high-speed automated in-mold labeling cell. Tech Mold, Inc., Tempe, AZ, worked in conjunction with Mold-Masters, with headquarters in Toronto, Canada, to incorporate its newest hot runner and side-gate system, the Melt-Cube, and CBW to design the 16-cavity pre-fillable syringe barrel mold to accommodate IML technology. Inland Label, La Crosse, WI, developed the labels. In addition, Milacron LLC, Cincinnati, OH, provided the injection molding press and PolyOne, Avon Lake, OH, provided the raw materials to mold these syringe barrels during the show. Collaboration on the automation, mold and hot runner design ensures labels are placed in an accurate position on all 16 parts for the quality required for this application and then removes parts molded from the previous cycle in an extremely short cycle time.

Dukane Intelligent Assembly Solutions, St. Charles, IL, focused on the new Ultrasonic Servo Welder product with patented Melt-Match® technology. The iQ Advanced Servo Welder is the next step in the evolution of ultrasonic welding technology, combining the efficiency and reliability of a 100-percent digitally controlled Multi-Core iQ Series power supply with the precision of an advanced servo press. The Dukane Advanced iQ Servo Welder delivers repeatability, accuracy and reliability to the ultrasonic bonding process with dynamic servo motion control, robust rigid mount construction, reliable validation and calibration and superior data acquisition.

Mold In Graphic Systems, Clarkdale, AZ, has introduced a permanent graphic for plastics applications. The iMIG graphic is a fully compatible finished graphic, ready to be applied to polyolefin products using existing hot stamp equipment. The permanent graphic can be used with injection-molded, blow-molded, thermoformed, structural foam-molded, sheet and profile extruded and rotationally molded products. It comes in sheet or roll form and can be printed in multiple colors with rich pigments.

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc., Schaumburg, IL, presented the SIGMASOFT® - Virtual Process and Mold Development software designed for injection molding processes. Using a completely 3D-approach and the integration of a highly developed thermal solver, SIGMASOFT allows the calculation of multiple consecutive production cycles, considering the thermal interactions throughout all components in the mold. With the aid of SIGMAlink, the weld lines predicted with SIGMASOFT can be mapped into Finite Element Analysis Software and be considered in the structural design of injection molded parts. An adjustment of the solver technology from SIGMASOFT to the micromolding scale makes it possible to accurately predict the injection molding process also for micro-scale molding applications. The rheological models used by the software were extended so that the influence of nanoparticles over the rheological behavior can be considered and the distribution of the nanoparticles over the plastic melt can be predicted. The coupling between the fiber orientation and melt viscosity in an expanded rheological model of SIGMASOFT makes possible and even more accurate prediction of the cavity filling, the final orientation and the part mechanical behavior of highly-filled polymers.

Sonics & Materials, Inc., Newtown, CT, introduced its new SmartSystem ultrasonic welder with touch-panel technology, bringing user-friendly navigation and intuitive command flow to the welding process. The microprocessor-driven SmartSystem is available for 40, 20 and 15 kHz ultrasonic welding systems and includes digital time, energy and distance-based welding modes. The SmartSystem consists of a SmartPress and a SmartControl power supply featuring full-color touchscreen menus designed for maximum weld control, monitoring and versatility.

For more coverage of NPE 2012, see our previous story.