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Photo by Covestro
Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has supported from its conception the development of 'Luna', an innovative lamp for baby carriages, by the German start-up Storch.
The lamp is mounted on the baby carriage by a magnet and will change brightness level or to soothing coloured lights with a tap on the case, says Covestro.
Makrolon 2207, a special polycarbonate from Covestro which is developed specifically for energy-efficient LED lighting applications, has been used for the carriage lamp. The translucent plastic provides glare-free light which will not harm baby eyes.
“From its high-grade parts to its German manufacturing, Luna meets the highest quality standards. In addition to excellent light properties, the Makrolon material is characterised by great durability and fracture resistance,” says Dennis Caspar, Storch entrepreneur and developer of the lamp.
The lamp is injection moulded and provides a uniform shape states Covestro.
The chairman and part-owner of Coburg, Germany based automotive plastic and steel door panel and window regulator producer Brose, Michael Stoschek, has managed to have proceedings against him dropped by judge Wolfram Bauer in a settlement in the local Coburg court involving payment of a €150,000 penalty.
Stoschek had been accused of forgery of documents and misuse of a vehicle number plate, because he had replaced the official metal number plate on his wife’s Porsche cabriolet car with a slightly smaller one made out of reflective adhesive plastic film.
As it turned out, Stoschek can consider to have nevertheless emerged relatively lightly from the case. The case came to court as Stoschek had not been prepared to accept a much higher fine of €1.65m, based at a rate of €33,000 per day over a 55-day period, the maximum amount possible, as calculated on account of his high income.
Stoschek admitted to the court that he had in fact used the adhesive plastic film number plate for some years, adding that this had been for “optical reasons”, since he considered the official number plate as simply too large for his wife’s car. This would have partly covered the radiator grille and thereby caused thermal problems, Koschek maintained.
His defence lawyer Rainer Brüssow criticised the way in which the state prosecutor had proceeded against Stoschek as a “demonstration of might”, as mitigating evidence had not been accepted by court, to which state prosecutor Martin Dippold countered that several attempts to reach agreement had been made before the case reached court. Stoschek criticised the state prosecutors’ office after the court case, saying that the trial had been political and adding that “we have only agreed to payment [of the fine] in order to save the taxpayer further costs”. Stoschek had hoped for acquittal.
The local Neue Presse Coburg newspaper revealed that the agreed Euro 150,000 fine will involve payments by the end of the year of Euro 100,000 to the World Hunger Aid charity and Euro 50,000 to the Bavarian association for care of prisoners and detained persons, as organisations chosen by Stoschek. The newspaper mentioned the view of the defendant that the case had been brought unreasonably and out of proportion, as demonstrated by closure of the B289 road for several hours, just to show that the plastic number plate could not be photographed with the car driven at speed.
Aside from his entrepreneurial activity at Brose as grandson of the founder Max Brose, Stoschek actively participates in sports car racing. This is a hobby that encouraged him to have the traditional Bertone-designed glass fibre reinforced plastic bodied 1973 Lancia Stratos HF sports car rebuilt in 2010 as his own individual one-off aluminium-framed version, designed by Pininfarina with carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) used for its bodywork, interior, seats and lithium battery housing. The CFRP parts were produced by Italian composite parts producer Eligio Re Fraschini in Legnano near Milan.
Brose itself has become increasingly uses plastics for lightweighting its window regulators, door panels and most recently also for seat shells too. “Organic sheet” is seen as having high potential, the company stated at its IAA 2015 press briefing.
PNE was present at Brose’s IAA 2005 press briefing, when the company announced introduction of its first plastic versions of its door modules in large series, produced with inline compounding equipment based on a Husky Quadloc moulding machine and a Leistritz compounding extruder.
Japanese auto interior supplier Inoac agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices and rigging bids on parts sold to Toyota Motor between 2004 and 2012, the US Justice Department said in a 19 November statement.
Nagoya, Japan-based Inoac will pay a $2.35m (€2.21m) criminal fine as part of the agreement.
Inoac is the latest company to be charged in the Justice Department’s ongoing, industry-wide investigation into price fixing by auto suppliers. Thirty-eight companies and 58 executives have been charged in the investigation, which has led to $2.6bn (2.4bn) in criminal fines, the department said in a statement.
“Inoac corrupted the competitive process by agreeing with its competitors to fix the prices of certain automotive parts installed in Toyota cars sold in the United States,” Brent Snyder, deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said in the statement.
The supplier was charged with a felony for conspiring with its competitors “from as early as June 2004 until at least September 2012” to fix prices and rig bids on plastic interior trim parts including console boxes, glove boxes and assist grips.
“Inoac takes this matter with the utmost seriousness and it has enhanced its existing compliance program to include additional instructions to our employees and additional structures for compliance and monitoring,” Inoac USA attorney Anthony Femminineo said in a statement.
Inoac’s US operations are focused on polyurethane foam and interior trim. It had $176m (€165m) in injection moulding in North America according to the most recent Plastics News (PNE's sister publication) ranking of injection moulders.
The charge was filed in US District Court 19 November.
Photo by Elix Elix's new natural fibre reinforced ABS
Spanish ABS maker Elix Polymers has announced it has introduced a new generation of natural fibre reinforced ABS.
The new Elix Eco ABS-NF thermoplastic is suited for injection moulding applications and specific extrusion processes, says Elix. The company states applications for the material include the automotive and furniture sectors.
Properties of the new ABS include high stiffness, heat resistance, low moulding shrinkage ratios, low emissions and weight reduction when compared to glass fibre reinforced ABS, states Elix. Machines should not need modifying to process the material.
David Casta?eda, operations director of Elix, said: “We believe that this new material offers a range of sustainability benefits that meet current industry trends. At the same time, it underlines Elix Polymers’ commitment to the establishment of a more environmentally sustainable product portfolio and establishes our company’s position as a leading supplier of eco-friendly ABS materials.”
The material was aided in its development by EEA and Norway Grants. The EEA Grants and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 16 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.
Elix highlights it is the first time a European ABS producer has been given a European grant for a project to investigate new sustainable ABS materials and composites.
(Published November 2007) US bioplastics supplier Cereplast, has launched its Cereplast Hybrid resin family – a line of polyolefin and bioplastics blends designed to meet marketing requirements for renewable content while maintaining good levels of performance.
The company’s Hybrid line replaces 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional polyolefins with bio-based materials derived from starch from corn, tapioca, wheat or potato sources.
Performance is said to be similar to the base polyolefins, while the resins are formulated to process on conventional injection moulding or extrusion equipment. Surface energy is also higher than untreated polyolefins, improving printability.
(Published November 2007) Husky Injection Molding Systems is working with Kortec to offer users standard HyPET preform systems that can be upgraded to full multi-layer moulding capability in the future.
The Kortec-ready option will include a special stationary platen and machine base, upgrades to the electrical and hydraulic systems, and modifications to machine controls. These new standardised features allow for a quick and easy post-delivery upgrade to the Kortec multi-layer system.
“With the Kortec-ready system, preform moulders can now quickly and easily upgrade from a mono-layer system to multi-layer system when the need arises,” says John Kermet, Kortec vice president of sales and marketing.
The Husky co-injection upgrade package will include all the necessary machine components, including Kortec’s co-injection hot runner system, integration technology and process development/optimisation support from Kortec’s multi-layer preform experts.
Improvements in barrier technologies have led to an increased use of PET for a variety of new beverage packaging projects. Barrier technologies can also provide the advantage of enabling further light weighting of existing PET bottle designs.
(Published November 2007) Injection moulding machinery manufacturer Engel has extended the water assisted moulding equipment options available to its machine buyers through an agreement with Maximator, enabling it to offer the company’s WIT equipment alongside its own developed Watermelt system.
Maximator, which claims to be the leading supplier of WIT hardware, says the partnership with Engel will help strengthen its position by providing an additional sales channel. It will also benefit from project development opportunities with Engel.
To date WIT has been used mainly in single cavity tools. However, Engel and Maximator say they expect multi-cavity system solutions will gain in importance in future.
Maximator says the agreement with Engel does not prevent the company supplying its WIT equipment to other injection moulding machinery manufacturers.
(Published November 2007) Cinpres Gas Injection has appointed a second agent for mainland China. BI Electric (Shenzhen) Company will focus on developing its activities with Chinese-owned processing companies, while Polypro Technology will continue to develop business with Taiwanese-owned organisations.
BI Electric is a division of Cinpres parent BI Group, and is based in the Longgang district of Shenzhen. Its role will encompass technology licensing, distribution, and maintenance of installed Cinpres gas moulding equipment.
Cinpres managing director Jon Butler, says: “BI is recruiting a strong locally based team with a comprehensive range of technical skills. They will provide training in the design of gas mouldings and in the operation of the equipment, and help customers integrate the technology smoothly into existing manufacturing processes.”
(Published December 2007)
Gardena’s Jürgen Knill says: “We required a technology which allowed us to design cooling channels in injection moulding tools, to enable simultaneous cooling of the complete part to maintain part quality as well as to speed demoulding.”
Using standard machining methods, the ideal position of cooling channels in parts with complex geometries often has to be compromised. Using SLM, it was possible to design and build them with a cooling circuit integrated into their most restricted areas.
Finishing operations such as grinding, spark eroding and hardened steel milling can be carried out on the cores using standard processes. Hardness of 52 Rockwell can be achieved.
Co-Innovate director Neil Ryan (centre) visited Donite Plastics’ engineering manager Stephen Kissick (left) and managing director Michael Knight. Pictured is an airways training system for Belfast medical equipment company TruCorp made with an innovative plastics moulding technology.
A Northern Ireland plastics company has employed the European Union-supported Co-Innovate Programme to transform its operation and win new contracts.
The innovation support programme offers free workshops tailored to individual businesses, audits, funding and one-to-one expert mentoring to help develop businesses.
Based in Saintfield, Northern Ireland, Donite Plastics specialises in the design and manufacture of custom moulded plastic parts, using 3D modelling and its in-house mould making facilities.
The company supplies to leading UK manufacturers, including local racing car manufacturer Crosslé in Holywood and Belfast medical equipment company TruCorp.
Donite moved into new premises last year and has since employed Co-Innovate to double turnover and staff.
“Taking part in the Co-Innovate programme really made us think about our management structure and innovating in other ways which we hadn’t considered before,” explained Michael Knight, managing director of Donite Plastics.
The company, he added, has become “much better-organised” in terms of management team and strategic operations and has “vastly increased” production capacity.
Donite said in a 6 Nov statement that it would continue to work with Co-Innovate to further develop specialised thermoformed plastic panels to be used in off-road and agricultural vehicles.
Co-Innovate supports, according to director Neil Ryan, include workshops that “demystify innovation”, one-to-one business assessments, mentoring, and support for the development of new products, processes or services.
In addition, as part of the programme, 70 businesses are matched with academic institutions for 12-month research and innovation programmes.
Co-Innovate is a project supported by the European Union’s Interreg VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
The programme has been awarded up to €14.7m European regional development funding in order to support over 1,400 SMEs and micro-businesses in Northern Ireland, the border region of Ireland, and western Scotland.
Turkish car parts supplier Feka Automotive is to begin the construction of a new production plant at the town of ?uprija central Serbia before the end of this year.
Earlier this month, the family-owned firm based at Bursa in north western Turkey, concluded a memorandum of agreement to invest €15m to establish the facility on a 4ha site in ?uprija industrial zone.
Feka company founder Ferit Karsl?o?lu and Ninoslav Eric, president of ?uprija municipality signed the deal on 13 October under which the town will provide the land for a plant to manufacture vehicle lighting and other components.
In its initial phase, the new facility is scheduled to employ up to 110 workers, but with later development is expected to employ almost 10 times that number.
“This is a big investment for ?uprija as the plan is to have up to 1,000 workers employed at the plant eventually. The factory will be located in the industrial zone which has been equipped with help from the Serbian government,” commented municipal head Ninoslav Eric.
During the past year, Feka representatives have toured Serbia visiting a dozen municipalities in a quest to find the most suitable development site before deciding on ?uprija.
Feka Automotive, which injection moulds components for vehicle internal and exterior mirrors, front and rear lighting, water expansion and steering hydraulic oil tanks and mounted interior trim parts, was formed in 1988.
It counts among its customers worldwide a number of tier one auto suppliers and vehicle manufacturers among them Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, PSA, Renault, Porsche, Toyota, Hyundai and Magneti Marelli.
Since 2010, the Turkish supplier has restructured its operations to match its increasing business at home and abroad. In June 2014, the company integrated its design, mould making, moulding production and research and development of two separate plants on a single 15,000m2 site.
Rhodia introduced a new Technyl Star AFX PA6,6 grade characterised by improved flow characteristics, enabling it to be injection moulded with as much as 60% glass fibre reinforcement.
The company says the resin bridges the gap between conventional PA6,6 and high performance polyamides, such as polypthtalamide and polyarylamide.
Laurent Schmitt, president of Rhodia Polyamide said the AFX material is a “game-changing” resin.
“The price is between conventional PA6,6 and PPA, but closer to PA6,6. We have sampled it and it has been tested at customers, with parts moulded and under tests. It is available to customers now,” he said.
The company also introduced Technyl HP at the show, a high temperature resistant PA 6,6 grade targeted at under-hood applications that are presently produced in PA6 but lack the ability to handle the increasing temperatures in this application area. Unlike PA6 and standard PA6,6, Technyl HP can withstand exposure to 1,000 hrs at 200°C and shows less cracks than these materials after 200 hrs. It is claimed to deliver PA6,6 processability at a PA6,6 cost level.
Schmitt said at the show: “We want to be the nylon champion – the PA6,6 champion. While the market is growing at 5%, we are growing twice as fast, at 11%”.