Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rosti buys McKechnie Engineered Plastics

Both companies previously had U.S. plants, but none are included in this deal.

McKechnie, which had been owned by London-based turnaround specialist Melrose plc, operates 110 injection molding machines at plants in Stamford Bridge and Pickering, England, as well as a metal fasteners operation in Swansea, Wales.

McKechnie has annual sales of about 75 million pounds sterling ($117 million) and employs 650. It makes automotive and packaging products, including the flow widgets that go into cans of Guinness and Heineken.

The company will be integrated with Rosti Europe, a division of Stockholm-based Rosti AB. McKechnie currently supplies most of Rosti’s existing markets and the strategic fit between the two businesses was described by Rosti CEO B?rje Vernet as “impressive.”

Rosti Europe Chief Operating Officer Barry Coughlan agreed, and said the deal would open up a number of global markets to what had previously been a UK-centric business.

“McKechnie’s customers are delighted to be working with a global company and there is tremendous scope to capitalize on that aspect going forward. This is a major step forward [for McKechnie] and we are delighted to be working with what is a very strong, very technically-minded team of people,” he said.

Coughlan said Rosti had been on the lookout for companies to buy for some time and had been in talks with McKechnie since the beginning of this year.

He said no closures or layoffs are planned, and he described the acquisition as an “expansion opportunity, not a rationalization exercise.”

“McKechnie has an outstanding reputation with a complementary portfolio of products, services, customers and markets.

“We are extremely positive about the synergy between our businesses. Combining our resources will provide a platform for both UK and international growth with many of our global OEM partners,” he added.

Coughlan said there were no plans to change McKechnie’s “fantastic” management team, which comprises Brian Mann, managing director, and Mike Murphy, sales director.

Melrose Chairman Christopher Miller said McKechnie had “performed well as part of the Melrose group and we wish the management team every success.”

Both Rosti and McKechnie used to have operations in the United States.

Spell Capital Partners LLC bought McKechnie’s plant in Minneapolis in 2001 and renamed it Midwest Plastic Components. That company is now part of Spectrum Plastics Group.

When Sweden’s Rosti A/S sold its injection molding business to Nordstjernan in 2010, the deal did not include the company’s three plants in the United States. Rosti A/S sold those plants in May 2010 to McCalmont Industries LLC, a management buyout group that included Jim McCalmont.

The U.S. Rosti business was renamed Premier Technical Plastics, which now is based in Irving, Texas, and also has a plant in Searcy, Ark.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making microscopic machines using metallic glass

Researchers in Ireland have developed a new technology using materials called bulk metallic glasses to produce high-precision molds for making tiny plastic components. The components, with detailed microscopically patterned surfaces could be used in the next generation of computer memory devices and microscale testing kits and chemical reactors.
In their article published in the latest edition of the open access journal Materials Today (”Towards nano injection molding”), Michael Gilchrist, David Browne and colleagues at University College Dublin explain how bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) were discovered about thirty years ago. These materials are a type of metal alloy, but instead of having a regular, crystalline structure like an everyday metal such as iron or an alloy like bronze, the material’s atoms are arranged haphazardly. This disordered, or amorphous atomic structure is similar to the amorphous structure of the silicon and oxygen atoms in the glass we use for windows and drinking vessels.
The haphazard arrangement of atoms in BMGs means that they have some very different mechanical properties from conventional metals. They can be heated and molded like plastics and they can be machined with microscopic precision below the grain size of conventional metals. BMGs also retain the strength and durability of normal metals.
Gilchrist and his colleagues have now exploited the haphazard nature of the atoms in BMGs to allow them to machine microscopic features on to the surface of a BMG. This is not possible with conventional metals such as tool steel used in molds which cannot typically be machined with better than 10 micrometer precision because of its crystalline grain structure. They have then used the resulting strong and durable metallic devices to carry out injection molding of plastic components with microscopic surface patterns using a straightforward tool production route.
“Our technology is a new process for mass producing high-value polymer components, on the micrometer and nanometer-scale,” explains Gilchrist. “This is a process by which high-volume quantities of plastic components can be mass produced with one hundred times more precision, for costs that are at least ten times cheaper than currently possible.”
The research team explains that with BMG injection molding equipment it is now possible to create millimeter-sized polymer components that have surface features of a similar size to mammalian cells at 10 micrometers or even the smallest viruses at less than 100 nanometers. The new manufacturing process could thus allow ‘lab-on-a-chip’ devices to be constructed that could handle and test samples containing single cells and viruses or large biomolecules including DNA and proteins.
“These precision plastic parts are the high value components of microfluidic devices, lab-on-chip diagnostic devices, micro implantable components and MEMS sensors,” Gilchrist adds.
Once the technology is extended to the tens of nanometers length scale, the team suggests that it could be used to make high-volume, low-cost, information storage systems. The team is currently optimizing their technology with this goal in mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mold Craft team tackles itty-bitty challenges

But when it received an order for a medical pipette-shaped part with a wall thickness narrowing from 0.15 inch to 0.008 inch — to be made with ultrahigh-temperature resins and capable of moving from a single prototype tool to multicavity production — it was faced with all-new complexities.

“We weren’t even sure this could be done, with this material, this thin-wall section,” said Justin McPhee, vice president of engineering for the Willernie-based mold maker.
Mold Craft, Beaumont and Sodick Plustech collaborated on this multicavity micromold for a medical pipette-shaped PEEK part with a wall thickness of 0.008 inch. (Mold Craft Inc. photo)

The fact that the company not only succeeded, but was able to see the mold run without a hitch throughout NPE2012 in Orlando, Fla., took expertise not only from within Mold Craft but collaboration across multiple companies. Mold Craft teamed with Beaumont Technologies Inc. for mold-flow simulation and to maintain proper flow in the tool; resin supplier Victrex Polymer Solutions for the use of its polyetheretheketone material; and press maker Sodick Plustech Co. Ltd.

The case presents a solid study for future development not only at Mold Craft, but for mold makers and molders moving further into micromolding, while technology demands for ultrasmall molds increase.

“The things that come into play when you get into these really challenging applications challenge all the technology that’s out there,” said John Beaumont, president of Erie, Pa.-based Beaumont Technologies Inc.

Mold Craft specializes in small molds. Jim Liddell, director of sales, marketing and business development, described its expertise in producing molds for parts that can be held in a closed hand. It also produces those molds with up to 100 cavities.

Mold Craft originally took on the medical part expecting it to be a single-cavity prototype tool, but the project eventually involved a mold with four to eight cavities, McPhee said.

The part also had to be produced using PEEK. The combination of requirements for an ultrathin wall and high temperature made it clear within a day that Mold Craft would need input from other firms.

A hot-runner and gate system would be crucial to the part, he said. Melting variations would lead to a high number of defective parts.

Mold Craft had previously worked with Beaumont Technologies, an engineering and technology firm with the MeltFlipper mold-flowing system, and turned to it to help design the mold.

Beaumont has developed its own proprietary mold-flow software, Veri-flo, which uses data collected by running the specific resin a molder will use, and how that material behaves in a series of complex molds. That provides more detailed information, John Beaumont said.

Part of the difficulty in creating very small molds is that those molds pose unique processing issues — issues that companies focusing on large-scale production do not necessarily study, he said.

“No one is focused on the guy buying 50 pounds of resin,” Beaumont said.

So micromolding production needs precision mold makers like Mold Craft, but also access to new data, he said.

Using Veri-flo, Beaumont can develop specific mold-flow simulation using PEEK on a Sodick Plustech press. Sodick, based in Yokohama, Japan, has become a preferred press maker for micromolds. Beaumont Technology uses two Sodick presses in its Veri-flo process.

The combination of Mold Craft’s precision manufacturing, Beaumont’s simulation process and use of MeltFlipper to control the flow guided the final design.

When it was time to run sample parts on the prototype mold, Mold Craft shipped it to Sodick’s North American operations in Schaumburg, Ill. The tests went off flawlessly, Liddell said.

“I got in an airplane to fly to Chicago in the morning, and by the time I got there, they’d already run the tests and everything was done,” Liddell said.

The mold-flow analysis also sped development of the final production tool with multiple cavities.

The success prompted Sodick to run the tool nonstop on the NPE floor, which generated interest for each of the firms involved.

And the success will also mean further collaboration, as Mold Craft expects the demands for tighter tolerance, higher temperatures and more-complex parts in very small molds will continue.

“We’re exploring more options and opportunities,” McPhee said. “We have a couple of other very, very small-part [makers] that plan on using all of us for their components.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things To Take Into Consideration When Selecting A Molded Plastics Manufacturer

When walking through your own home, take a look at the volume of things you’ve got that are made from plastic. Folks with kids know how important it is to have mugs that happen to be produced from plastic instead of glass as mishaps will take place. Having to keep food in the fridge with no use of plastic is actually hard to think about.

Plastic Manufacturing

Industrial facilities that make these types of plastic items must be cautious when deciding on the best plastic supplier seeing that not all materials will be of the very best quality. Following, we will clarify several things about plastic molding techniques so you can make the best decision.

Initially, you need to determine which production method best fits your product’s requirements. Additionally, do you need simply small design support or a complete concept to reality process?

Any structural foam process offers the selling point of making rigid products which have an external skin wrapped around a cellular foamed center. This method allows parts to have a big strength to weight ratio which can be more firm as compared to solid parts of the same weight.

Gas assist molding can be described as process which applied nitrogen that will carve out big sections from the product. The gas forms channels through the hotter, a lot less viscous sections of the part and do not mix with the resin. The main advantage of this process allows moldings to get thick wall portions without sink marks as well as the swirl look that structural foam results in.

The high-pressure injection molding method creates parts that look wonderful and will be offering an unequalled flexibility of design and style. The range of products this technique allows for is undoubtedly something you should consider, but it’s worth it to evaluate all available techniques and select the right one for the item.

Numerous molded plastic manufactures offer additional valuable solutions. These types of services will help you throughout many aspects of the component manufacturing process. These types of services incorporate identifying assembly requirements, decorating and also design companies, fabrication, supply management, kitting, ideas for painting, as well as program operations.

Determined by your product, you may need to select a manufacturer who is able to make items from a variety of materials. Get a manufacturer that can utilize a wide variety of plastic components, resources and filler systems. Look into one who features a range of materials ranging from commodity grades of polyethylene to engineering grades of Nylon. Perhaps you are in need of simple glass reinforcements or maybe unique carbon based ingredients. A competent maker will have a way to provide the choices you are looking for.

Obviously, the grade of the materials you make use of will influence the outcome of the product. You will want to be sure that your vendor is licensed and that they are capable to use the newest technology.

It also helps when the firm is helpful and works together with various other firms in their industry. When you work with the same producer and create a friendly business relationship, you need to make sure that they will always be capable of meet your requirements. In case you stick to all the guidelines above, you’ll never need to be concerned that your supplier is going to fall short on anything you require.

Radiation-resistant circuits from mechanical parts

University of Utah engineers designed microscopic mechanical devices that withstand intense radiation and heat, so they can be used in circuits for robots and computers exposed to radiation in space, damaged nuclear power plants, or nuclear attack.

The researchers showed the devices kept working despite intense ionizing radiation and heat by dipping them for two hours into the core of the University of Utah’s research reactor. They also built simple circuits with the devices.

Ionizing radiation can quickly fry electronic circuits, so heavy shielding must be used on robots such as those sent to help contain the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after Japan’s catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“Robots were sent to control the troubled reactors, and they ceased to operate after a few hours because their electronics failed,” says Massood Tabib-Azar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah and the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative.

“We have developed a unique technology that keeps on working in the presence of ionizing radiation to provide computation power for critical defense infrastructures,” he says. “Our devices also can be used in deep space applications in the presence of cosmic ionizing radiation, and can help robotics to control troubled nuclear reactors without degradation.”

The new devices are “logic gates” that perform logical operations such as “and” or “not” and are a type of device known as MEMS or microelectromechanical systems. Each gate takes the place of six to 14 switches made of conventional silicon electronics.

Development of the new logic gates and their use to build circuits such as adders and multiplexers is reported in a study set for online publication in Sensors and Actuators. The research was conducted by Tabib-Azar, University of Utah electrical engineering doctoral student Faisal Chowdhury,Ekahau rtls is the only Wi-Fi based real time location system solution that operates on any brand or generation of Wi-Fi network.Provide you with high quality products and Plastic mould. and computer engineer Daniel Saab at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Tabib-Azar says that if he can obtain more research funding, “then the next stage would be to build a little computer” using the logic gates and circuits.

The study was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

“Its premier goal is to keep us ready,Here’s a complete list of oil painting supplies for the beginning oil painter.” says Tabib-Azar. “If there is a nuclear event, we need to be able to have control systems, say for radars, to be working to protect the nation. There are lots of defense applications both in peacetime and wartime that require computers that can operate in the presence of ionizing radiation.Argo Mold limited specialize in Plastic Injection Mold manufacture.”

In April, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency issued a call for the development of robots to deal with stricken nuclear reactors to reduce human exposure to deadly radiation.I have just spent two weeks shopping for tile and have discovered China Porcelain tile. In May, NASA said it was seeking proposals for new shields or materials able to resist radiation in space. Circuits built with the new devices also could resist intense heat in engines to monitor performance, Tabib-Azar says.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Faurecia starts operations at Saline plant in Michigan

French auto parts maker Faurecia has started operations at its interior trim components business in Saline, Michigan, which was from acquired from Automotive Components Holdings (ACH).

The newly acquired plant delivers cockpits, instrument panels, door panels and center consoles for 12 vehicle programs assembled at eight Ford plants throughout North America.

The company is also planning to build an Interior Systems customer center in Southfield, Michigan, which will accommodate more than 200 employees, including more than 50 new professional jobs in this year.

Faurecia's new Interior Systems customer center will be dedicated to engineering, product development, program management, sales and marketing in support of Ford.

Faurecia Interior Systems North America president Jean-Michel Renaudie said that the Southfield Customer Center will allow the company to bring the former ACH personnel associated with Saline's operations together with those from Faurecia to work as a closely knit team in support of this transformation and future growth.

"We are pleased to be able to retain the skills and knowledge of the ACH personnel who are joining Faurecia, to bring more jobs to the region and to reassert Faurecia's commitment to southeast Michigan," Renaudie said.

Saline, which will become a technology plant under Faurecia ownership, will focus on technologies like injection molding, skin manufacturing and foaming operations for interior systems.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cap mould for industry

The invention considerations a closure comprising a base portion and a cap mould forming portion as well as a high articulated to a hoop through a hinge. The strap permits the cap mould forming portion to be moulded in closing position of the highest, tamperproof means that being provided between the ring and therefore the high. When the duvet is closed, the sensitive zones of thecap mould are either located during a sealed closed house, or cap mouldable of being connected with a liquid (in resolution or spray) and cap mouldable of being treated thus on eliminate said liquid, thus on sanitize the closure. Furthermore, the tamperproof means that are deformed and ruptured when the highest is 1st opened such that the ensuing free ends are sufficiently spaced excluding one another, therefore simply revealing to a user whether or not it’s been tampered with.

The invention considerations a lot of specifically such closures during which the form and geometry of the joining and hinging device are appropriate for permitting moulding of the half forming a cap mould within the closed position of the duvet. this can be as a result of, firstly,moulding within the closed position reduces the producing prices of the closure: the mould used is of reduced dimensions, thus less expensive; it’s not necessary to produce an addition operation of closing the closing/opening half once the closureis aloof from the mould so as to permit the storage and delivery thereof within the closed position, that avoids extending the cycle time and reducing the assembly rate. Moreover, moulding within the closed position makes it doable to fairly simplyprovide tamper-evident means that between the ring and therefore the cowl by moulding these tamper-evident means that during a single piece with the half forming a cap mould.

To this finish, and per a primary facet, the invention considerations a closure of the aforementioned kind, supplied with tamper-evident means that between the ring and therefore the cowl, during which the joining and hinging device is within the sort of a minimum of onestrap, a primary finish of that is connected to the ring and a second finish of that is connected to the duvet, the arrangement of the strap, the bottom half and therefore the half forming a cap mould being such that, when the bottom half and therefore the half forming a cap mould are connectedto each other, the duvet being within the closed position, a minimum of the sensitive zones of the closure are either situated during a sealed closed house or at risk of be connected with a liquid when the closure is immersed in said liquid or when said liquid issprayed on the closure, and ready then to be treated so as to get rid of the said liquid, thus on enable the asepticisation of the closure.