Archive for January, 2002

Wood-Polymer to grow in the U.S.

Thursday, January 31st, 2002

U.S. demand for all sorts of decking is projected to increase by 1.6% annually through 2005, from 4.677 billion board feet to 5.075 billion board ft. However, wood-plastic composite decking will soar 15.6%/yr from 236 million to 488 million board ft. Other plastic decking (PVC and polyethylene) will grow by a healthy 9.3%/yr from 75 million to 117 million board ft. The lion’s share of decking will still be wood, though its market share will shrink from 93.4% to 88.1% by 2006. These figures come from a new report, “Wood & Competitive Decking,” from Freedonia Group, Inc. in Cleveland. The 247-page report costs $3700. Contact Corinne Gangloff at (440) 684-9600.

British Vita: Rationalization of sheet production

Thursday, January 31st, 2002

British Vita, UK, is rationalising its sheet production facilities with a focus on three plants. ABS, acrylic-capped ABS and PVC alloy sheet are being concentrated on the VTS Royalite plant in Scotland; polystyrene and thin-gauge polypropylene at VTS Doeflex in Redhill; and thicker gauge polypropylene and HDPE at VTS Plastec in Widnes. Vita recently bought Fabex, which makes mainly polystyrene sheet, and moved it into Redhill. Thin gauge PP is currently also made at Widnes, and this production will be moved to Redhill.

Plaskolite: Expansion of sheet plant

Wednesday, January 30th, 2002

Plaskolite Inc. is expanding a sheet plant it built in Zanesville a few years ago. The Columbus, Ohio-based company will spend US$8 million on the new program, including a $4 million acrylic sheet line. Rich Larkin, vice president of finance, said the expansion should be complete by the end of this year.

Automation & Control: data-collection software package for extruders

Wednesday, January 30th, 2002

Automation & Control Inc.,l USA , offers a simple, inexpensive data-collection software package for extruders, called FIN. It was developed in Visual Basic and uses low-cost Ethernet I/Os that do not interfere with machine controls. FIN can be set up to look for barrel temperatures, pressures, or other data points, and to impose high/low limits and alarms for out-of-spec conditions.
The company’s first installation monitors over a dozen temperature points, extruder motor speed, feeder setpoints and batch weights, pressure at screen changers, and vacuum on the vent. Automation & Control supplies FIN software with a Dell computer and Hewlett-Packard color printer for about US$25,000.

SolVin: Acquisition of Solvay’s Spanish PVC activities

Monday, January 28th, 2002

SolVin, Germany, the joint venture between BASF and Solvay, integrated Solvay’s PVC/VCM activities at Martorell, Spain, on 1 January 2002. These were not included initially in the 75:25 jv formed at the beginning of 1999. SolVin has a 65% share of the Martorell plants operated jointly with Atofina, which has a 35% stake. Related activities previously controlled by Solvay, including Martorell’s electrolysis unit, were also transferred to SolVin. The ownership structure of SolVin remains unchanged.

Teijin: New subsidiary to make UHMW-PE capacitor film

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Teijin Ltd. of Japan has set up a new subsidiary to produce Solufill UHMW-PE film used to manufacture multi-layer ceramic capacitors. Teijin is building a plant in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. It will start production in October 2003 and will have a capacity of about 15 million square meters per year.
The new subsidiary results from Teijin buying out the 50% stake held by DSM Solutech Co., Ltd. in DSM Teijin Solutech Co., Ltd., a Japanese joint venture established in 1997. The new wholly owned subsidiary is called Teijin Solufill Co., Ltd.

New Castle: New machining center

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Screw and barrel maker New Castle Industries Inc., USA, has purchased a second Weingärtner machining center, investing US$1.6 million in its Bimex bimetallic barrel plant in Wales. The multiaxis, computer numerically controlled machining center does turning, milling, tapping and other processes for barrel production, and should be delivered in April.

Cloeren: Increased manufacturing capacity to make wider dies

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Cloeren Incorporated, USA, is investing US$5 million to increase manufacturing capacity and enhance technical capabilities. This project, already 50% complete, involves the purchase of several new machines for manufacturing extrusion dies. A new 5-axis CNC machining center with a capacity of 15 meters (590 in.) is now in production. This is the second 5-axis machining center Cloeren has installed in the past 18 months. A third 5-axis machine is planned for 2002.
A new dual spindle machine, designed to address the growing demand for internally deckled dies, is in the commissioning phase. A 10-meter (394-in.) CNC surface grinder is scheduled to be commissioned in May and will further enhance Cloeren’s position as technology leader in the wide die market.

Doeflex Vitapol: New PVC compound with woodflour

Friday, January 25th, 2002

Doeflex Vitapol, the PVC division of Vita Thermoplastic Compounds Ltd, has launched a new product Timbercel, a PVC compound with 30% to 50% woodflour content.The new product exhibits a number of substantial advantages; it is foamed during extrusion and produces lengths of PVC, which have many of the characteristics of machined wooden strips. Yet it will not degrade because the organic cellular structure of wood is bound in the matrix of PVC. It can be drilled, screwed or nailed and is recyclable. Timbercel also exhibits a level of fire retardence that is not possible with wood.
Timbercel is suitable for many building and construction applications, including window frames, decking and cornicing. Doeflex Vitapol is keen to involve customers and potential customers in the development and application of Timbercel, contact Doeflex Vitapol on 01793 442442.

K Design: First two-sided air ring for auto gauge control

Friday, January 25th, 2002

A new air-ring system for automatic blown-film gauge control is the first to profile air flow around both the inside and outside of the bubble. Called Vario Cool Duo, it was developed by K Design GmbH in Germany. VarioCool Duo It is aimed at high-end films for lamination that require tight tolerances similar to cast film.
The air ring is unusual in blowing air just above the die-beneath the standard air ring and IBC tower, where the melt is hottest. The result is said to be more effective gauge control. VarioCool Duo was introduced at K 2001 in Germany and is already installed at several European processors. It fits in Future Design’s standard Saturn air ring and can be retrofitted, but some die modification is required.