Archive for November, 2006

HEW-KABEL PTFE and HEI-Tape®: Special Cables for Demanding Medical Applications

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

PTFE materials are well-known and have been used in medical cable technology for many years. HEW-KABEL has established a unique level of technical know-how in the design and processing of PTFE for cables over more than 40 years. Excellent electrical, thermal, chemical and physical properties ensure that PTFE can be used in medical applications even under extreme conditions.
Although PTFE can be processed in a paste extruder, this, discontinuous, process has some distinct disadvantages in short lengths and mechanical properties like limited stress crack resistance and limited pressure resistance. These disadvantages can be avoided by another manufacturing method, taping, which in turn introduces the reduction in abrasion due to the overlap of the tapes. The uniqueness of HEW-KABEL’s taping technology lies in the ability to produce taped cables with a very smooth surface, making it virtually impossible to see the difference between extruded and taped product, whilst having all the benefits of tape.

Using its extensive taping and PTFE knowledge, HEW-KABEL has developed a new process to manufacture expanded PTFE tapes. Through careful selection of insulation and sheath material associated with expanded PTFE, the compressive stress of the cable is reduced so that the material fatigue of the cable is finally minimized and the service life increased.
Because of its excellent sliding properties, these tapes can be implemented in strands and jackets. Expanded PTFE tapes can also be used for the manufacture of Robot cables which require high flexibility and high flexlife. Plane robot cables with integrated data lines, coaxial cables, control cables and supply cables with expanded PTFE as gliding material are produced by HEW-KABEL and have been on the market for some time.
Another newly developed process makes it now possible to manufacture expanded PTFE tapes with a very steady distribution of the embedded pores. The new brand HEI-tape® is implemented in the field of high frequency technology because of its excellent dielectric properties. The dielectric constant is 1,2 compared to 2,1 for massive PTFE. The dielectric loss of products made with HEI-tape is significantly lower than with solid PTFE.
The steady structure of HEI-tape tapes allows that data cables manufactured with this material can be implemented for data transmission up to the GHz area. Furthermore, these cables have a very small outer diameter and lower weight. Through the porous structure, the signals are carried forward almost at light speed. Loss and distortion of the signals are minimized, too.
Compared to coaxial cables made of other foamed fluorpolymers, coaxial cables with a dielectric of HEI-tape have a higher data rate transmission (High Speed Cables) because of better distributed porosity. RG 400 HEI-tape coaxial cables have a reduced diameter of up to 30%, a lower weight of up to 60% and a smaller attenuation of up to 10% compared to a coaxial cable made of massive PTFE.

Rehau: Borealis BorECO™ Ensures Smooth Flow for Sewer Project

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative plastics solutions, has recently supplied REHAU® with BorECO™ BA 212E, a highly developed polypropylene (PP) for pipe systems. One of the most diversified plastics processors in the world, REHAU was faced with the challenge of installing the new smooth-flowing sewerage system in the residential area of Traiskirchen, Austria, during the winter season and therefore benefited from the performance and easy handling of BorECO.

BorECO brings a wide range of benefits to the value chain, from pipe converters like REHAU through to consumers. Its low weight, high stiffness, good impact resistance even at low temperatures and durability allow for the manufacture of pipes with time and cost-saving advantages, safe and easy handling and installation, long-life and environmentally-sound performance.
Guido Kania, REHAU Senior Manager Research and Development, comments: ‘The wintry weather during installation plus the cold conditions facing the pipes once underground meant that a heavy duty solid wall pipe with high ring stiffness and good cold climate performance had to be used. In combination with the community’s demands for a sewer pipe system with good corrosion resistance and long-term performance, we felt that Borealis’ BorECO was the ideal material to produce our AWADUKT PP sewer pipe system and to help us meet the necessary performance and lifetime criteria of this project.’
The low weight of pipes made from BorECO PP compared to traditional concrete pipes allowed the construction company fast and cost-efficient pipe laying in the trench, even for big pipes with thick walls. Handling and transportation were also made easier. Smooth installation at the trench was achieved thanks to the high ring stiffness and jointing flexibility of the finished pipes. REHAU used a safety-lock pushfit system to ensure both quick installation and long-term performance.
BorECO’s excellent corrosion, abrasion and chemical resistance can provide pipes with long-term durability of at least 100 years ensuring protection of the environment by preventing leaks.
Lorenzo Delorenzi, Borealis Vice President Pipe Business Unit, adds: ‘Borealis is committed to providing value added solutions not only to our customers but right down to the end-user. REHAU’s Traiskirchen project is a great example of how BorECO PP’s unique combination of performance and cost-saving benefits can be felt throughout the value chain.’
Borealis has more than 40 years experience in providing advanced polyolefin solutions for the manufacturing of pipe and fittings systems. With deep understanding of the value chain and a focus on customer needs, Borealis continues to provide value creating, innovative PP and (polyethylene) PE solutions for the pipe industry.
Borealis is a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions. With more than 40 years of experience in the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) business, we focus on pipe systems, energy and communications cables, automotive and advanced packaging markets. We are strong in Europe and growing in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific through Borouge, our joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Our technology makes an essential contribution to the society in which we live. We are committed to lead the way in ‘Shaping the Future with Plastics’.
The business unit construction is a lynchpin of the world-wide operating polymer processing company REHAU. Branch-specific know-how in the three business units Construction, Automotive and Industry is rigorously integrated by REHAU to strengthen its world-wide leading position at the product, consulting and service levels with innovations and proven systems. Over 14,000 employees all around the world achieve growth and success for REHAU. The independent, family-owned company gains proximity to the market and its customers at over 170 locations.

LANXESS: Realignment of its EPDM Rubber Business

Monday, November 13th, 2006

To strengthen its competitiveness, chemicals group LANXESS is to realign its ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) business. Marketing, research, production and controlling will in future be assigned to LANXESS Buna GmbH in Marl, Germany. Similarly, LANXESS will pool its EPDM operations in the USA in a separate legal entity to be known as LANXESS Buna LLC. Robert Gnann, Managing Director of LANXESS Buna GmbH, will assume global responsibility for the EPDM business.
The EPDM line is part of the portfolio of the Technical Rubber Products (TRP) business unit. To take advantage of synergies, sales and technical service for EPDM will continue to be managed together with the other products of the TRP business unit.
‘EPDM is an important element of our core business. This new focus will help us meet customer demand more quickly, respond more speedily and expand our position as a major global supplier of technical rubber,’ explains Dr. Gunther Weymans, the head of LANXESS’s Technical Rubber business unit. ‘These measures also increase cost transparency, thus making cost monitoring more efficient.’
Buna® EP has been the only rubber material to qualify for the discipline of sealing the roof of the soccer stadium in Tianjin for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. It impresses with its outstanding resistance to weathering, ozone and aging and its good dimensional stability even in the face of strong fluctuations in temperature. Other fields of use are hoses, extruded profiles, including dense automotive class A profiles, and injection molded goods.

Thermo Electron: Purchase of EGS Gauging

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Thermo Electron Corp., a major supplier of analytical instruments, has acquired EGS Gauging, a measure of web gauging and control instruments. Thermo Electron already supplies thickness-measurement and coating-weight gauges for steel and aluminum, and this acquisition expands its capabilities into plastics web gauging. Now called Thermo Electron, the former EGS remains in Wilmington.

Treofan: Expansion of Mexican BOPP Capacity

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Treofan Group, based in Raunheim, Germany, will double capacity for BOPP film at its North American plant in Zacapu, Mexico. Treofan will add a new 8.2-meter-wide, high-speed production line to be supplied by Bruckner Maschinenbau GmbH, Siegsdorf, Germany.

K-Tron: Purchase of assets of leading Chinese manufacturer

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

New Jersey-based K-Tron, the conveyor and feeder specialist, has purchased some of the assets of Wuxi Chenghao Machinery, a privately held company and leading manufacturer of feeder and ancillary equipment for the plastics industries in China.
The sums of money involved are slightly unclear. In a statement, K-Tron said: “The total cost of the transaction over a five-year period, including the purchase price and payments under related employment and other arrangements with Wuxi Chenghao’s current owner, could be as much as approximately $3.5m.”
Located some 60 miles west of Shanghai and with approximately 60 employees, Wuxi Chenghao manufacturers a range of equipment including volumetric and gravimetric feeders, vibratory trays, pelletisers and pneumatic screen changers.
Edward B. Cloues II, K-Tron’s chairman and ceo, said: “The domestic PRC [People’s Republic of China] market for plastics processing is growing at double digit rates, and this acquisition will enable us to address the domestic customer base with products designed and manufactured in PRC and sold in local currency.”
The purchase is set for completion in early 2007, and is subject to closing conditions and government approvals from the Chinese government.

Dow: Force Majeure at PP plant

Friday, November 10th, 2006

– A mechanical problem has forced Dow Europe GmbH to close its polypropylene resins plant in Wesseling, near Cologne, in Germany.
Dow declared force majeure on 7 November and in a written statement said it is doing all it can to make repairs and resume production in safe conditions.
Dow acquired the near 200,000tpa unit from Basell in 2001.

Milacron: Extruder patent overturned in Europe

Friday, November 10th, 2006

SMS has succeeded in opposing a European patent filed by rival extrusion technology company Milacron of the US.
SMS subsidiary Cincinnati Extrusion filed its opposition to Milacron’s patent covering what the Austrian company said was ‘already existing extruder technology’. The European Patent Office accepted this opposition, said SMS, and ‘the patent has now been fully revoked, due to the absence of an original invention’.
The dispute is over technology aspects of counter-rotating parallel twin-screw extruders with fully flighted variable pitch screws.
Milacron sold its Cincinnati Extrusion business to SMS in 2000 and signed a deal preventing Milacron from selling extrusion equipment outside of the US until January 2006. Since the end of the non-compete agreement, Milacron has been building its extruder sales in Europe and other regions, while SMS has entered the US market.
As well as Cincinnati Extrusion, the SMS group also owns Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik.

Cincinnati: Extrusion strengthens its PVC sheet business

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Cincinnati Extrusion, Vienna, Austria is not only one of the global leaders in manufacturing pipe and profile extrusion lines, but also extremely successful in the production of PVC sheet extrusion equipment. For further development of its business in this important market segment, the machine manufacturer has now engaged ---tian Rebhan, one of the most renowned specialists in the industry, as a consultant.

PVC sheet is used in building construction, in the furniture and chemical industries and in the production of advertising materials. During his almost 30-year career, Rebhan has acquired extensive knowledge in all of these fields. In particular, he worked for Krauss Maffei GmbH, Munich for a number of years, and, most recently, for the Austrian extrusion equipment manufacturer Theysohn.

Rebhan has now been engaged to work exclusively for Cincinnati Extrusion worldwide. A major part of his work will be process technology consulting for customers, especially assistance with the planning and choice of equipment and with the development of material composites.

K-Tron: Record figures for its third quarter

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Materials handling specialist, K-Tron has announced record figures for its third quarter (Q3) and nine month results.
With manufacturing facilities in the US, Switzerland and the UK, the company achieved a 13.3% increase in its Q3 revenue –$34.89m over $30.80 for 2005.
For the first nine months of 2006, K-Tron reported a net income of $8.411m, yielding a diluted earning per share of $3.01, against last year’s $5.549m. Revenues were also up – $103.76m compared to $89.58.
“K-Tron posted the best third quarter and nine month results in its history,” said company chairman and ceo Edward B. Cloues II, “with revenues, net income and earnings per share all setting records for both periods.”
Cloues singled out the contribution of Gundlach, a coal-crushing equipment manufacturer purchased by K-Tron in March 2006. “Overall order levels have been very good this year, with especially strong bookings in the overseas part of our process business line,” he said.
Cloues also pointed out that the acquisition of Premier Pneumatics (See 11 October 2006) did not feature in the Q3 results since the business was bought after the end of the third period.
Commenting on the company’s debt and cash position, Cloues said there had been a decline in total debt ($14.61m down from $15.49m) while cash grew by $4.25m to $13.58m. Net debt (debt minus cash) fell during the third quarter to $1.03m.