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What Are The Most Important Factors To Consider For Resin Drying?

Many engineered grade polymers absorb moisture, these resins are known as hygroscopic resins.

When moisture is not properly removed from the plastic resin, visible defects and structural deficiencies could occur such as:

  • Splay or striations
  • Bubbles in the part
  • Degradation of the polymer
  • Know your materials, if your material is hygroscopic you will need to dry the material prior to use.  Examples of common plastic resin that drying are:
    PC (Polycarbonate), PET, ABS, Nylon, Polyurethane, TPU
  • Know your minimum and maximum material throughput (lbs/hr)
  • Know your minimum and maximum temperatures your resins dry at
  • Know your resin’s highest residence time (Residence time is the time set by the resin’s supplier for the resin to reach optimal dryness)

 

 

 

 

How do you size your resin drying hopper?

Material throughput (lbs/hr) X residence time (hr) = ideal hopper size

e.g. 15lbs/hr. with a 4 hour residence time will require a 60lb hopper.

How do you want to get the resin in the drying hopper into your injection molding machine feed throat?

  • By hand
  • By gravity
  • Automatic loaders

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your typical runs before stopping or changing materials?

If your material change overs take less time than the resin’s residence time and happen frequently (twice a week or more) then we would recommend to have additional resin drying hoppers to pre-dry your next resin. Typical ROI will be seen within a year by reducing down time.

There are many different dryer / hopper combinations to suit your process flow, here are some options below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portable press side dual resin dryer and drying hopper ideal if you want to dry two different materials and have one on standby to eliminate downtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Machine feed throat mounted resin dryer with drying hopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central resin dryers and drying hoppers with portability.  Conveys dried plastic resin to the machine’s feed throat via material conveying lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your plastic resin drying needs, Hirate America partners with Motan and Dri Air Industries, Inc.

 

 

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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Everything You Need to Know About Vision Mold Protection Systems

 

Everything You Need to Know About Vision Mold Protection Systems for your Injection Molding Machine

What is a vision injection mold protection system?

The Sigmax vision injection mold protection system is made specifically for injection molders in mind and integrates directly into the control systems for the injection molding machine so communication between systems is instantaneous for high-speed processing.

The ultimate goal for the Sigmax vision mold protection is to prevent mold damage, which leads to costly repairs and weeks or even months of downtime.  This is not good for any business especially if you’re running lights out.  The unit has many other useful functionalities for injection molding.

 

What type of injection molding machine can this be used on?

Vertical and horizontal molding machines, high-cavity molds, low-pressure foam molding, metal injection molding (MIM), die-casting, micro-molding, and other forming machines, regardless of the materials being molded or formed.

 

Is there a mold size limit?

No, there is no size limit as we have several options for camera lens sizes that can be scaled accordingly.

How many molded parts can be monitored?

We have monitored up to 128 cavities, dependent on the mold design.

Is it possible to monitor injection short shots? 

Yes, it possible to detect short shots of 0.001 in size (0.25mm).

Is high cycle molding possible with the Sigmax Vision Mold Protection system?

Yes, communication is instantaneous as this unit has the capability to monitor 1 second cycles.  

What if my parts are transparent?

Yes, it is possible to monitor transparent parts as the software allows for adjustment in sensitivity and shadows.

How can the Sigmax Vision Mold Protection System reduce molding cycle time?

The unit ties directly into the I/O signal system controls of the injection molding machine there is no lag. Since you eliminate the need for unnecessary ejections, production over a period of time will be much more efficient.

How easy is the installation?

The camera is magnetic so it can be attached above or below the mold.  Once the required input and output signals are established connection very simple. 

Can I use the Sigmax Vision Mold Protection System on multiple injection molding machines?

Yes, it is possible to use one system on multiple molding machines, but it is important to assure exact location of camera from the saved in the recipes.  The unit has the ability to save multiple recipe setups with different areas you want to monitor or different jobs/molds and easily re-accessed later, which makes this system very versatile.

How reliable is the Sigmax Vision Mold Protection system and what is the typical service life cycle?

 The unit can run problem-free for decades because there are no moving parts. The user interface is a proprietary standalone system that does NOT rely on any third party software like Microsoft Windows OS, you will not have to worry about automatic updates that may disrupt functionality and worse yet deal with viruses that may corrupt your hardware.   

 

What is the typical ROI on the Sigmax Vision Mold Protection System?

Repairs for ejector pins and slide cores can cost several thousand dollars, but if you have substantial enough damage to the mold the entire mold may need to be replaced.  Not only do you have to deal with cost of replacing the mold, but what would hurt the most is the downtime in production.  In this instance, the payback would be tenfold.

Sigmax Vision Mold Protection continuously improves and innovates their products to be the best vision mold protection created specifically for injection molding machines and the plastics industry.

If you have any questions regarding Sigmax or any plastic process equipment, please contact any of the Hirate America team members to provide an automation solution tailored to your requirements.

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3 Ways to Reduce Costs in Your Plastics Process Cooling Systems

 

Plastic processing has seen many changes over the years. We have seen significant advancements in process throughput and increased quality control as well as automation and controls. But one thing has remained surprisingly the same—the cooling systems. What most people do not realize is there are new technologies today that can reduce their industrial cooling system operating costs by over 40%.

Often overlooked or considered not as important as other parts of a plastic processing plant, process water cooling systems are gaining more attention as energy costs and concerns over water use continue to increase. There have been a number of advances in technology that provide increased efficiency to reduce production costs as well as global demand for power and fresh water.

Who doesn’t want to save a buck or two, every dollar savings counts when looking at overall operational costs annually.

1. Cut water use by 90% with Adiabatic Fluid Coolers.

Most plastic processing facilities have a cooling tower to provide cooling to hydraulics, chiller condensers, and other process equipment. A cooling tower has a fan and evaporates water to produce 85°F process water. While effective at providing cooling, it uses a lot of water and requires water treatment to control biological growth. Cooling towers also expose the process water to the atmosphere and then require constant filtering.

With limited resources and a heightened awareness of the need to reduce energy and water consumption, the use of fluid coolers has become a popular alternative to conventional evaporative cooling towers.

Similarly, a fluid cooler uses ambient air to cool the process water. However, this is done through a cooling coil and without exposing process water to the atmosphere. This method is effective but limited by the temperature of the ambient air. In most cases, the practical limit is a process of water temperature leaving the dry fluid cooler about 10°F warmer than the entering air temperature.

To expand the usefulness of fluid coolers as a replacement for evaporative cooling towers, manufacturers have added evaporative pads to their fluid coolers to pre-cool the warm summertime air through a process called adiabatic cooling. Adiabatic cooling occurs by evaporating water into the dry air entering the fluid cooler. As the air absorbs water, it is cooled and the cooler air is able to provide a consistent and stable output, leaving water temperature of 85°F to process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although this technology uses some water, the system is extremely water-efficient and only needed during peak summertime conditions. The result is as much as a 90% reduction in water use versus a conventional evaporative cooling tower. In addition, the water is fully evaporated and not recirculated, as is the case with a conventional cooling tower, so there is no need for water treatment. More on Adiabatic Fluid Coolers.

 

 

2. Reduce energy consumption up to 34% with variable-speed chiller compressors.

When plastics processes require water cooler than 85°F, a chiller is used. A chiller uses refrigerant, compressor and evaporator to remove heat from the process water and cool the process fluid to 50°F or so.

Compressors and the use of refrigerant have been around since the 19th century, and many different types of compressors are used, but until recently they all operated at one fixed speed

. A relatively new technology is variable-speed compressors. With this technology, energy use is reduced by slowing the speed of the compressor to just what is needed for the conditions.

When the compressor slows down, there is a reduction of cooling capacity. Most chiller system designs use the maximum possible heat load at 100% production capa

city of the process equipment to ensure there is always enough cooling capacity. In most cases, the production equipment is operating at much less than maximum capacity, so the chiller is ‘over-sized.’ A variable speed compressor is a great way to save this excess energy.

Power use is a “square relationship,” meaning that as the compressor speed changes, the power use changes as a square of the speed change. For instance, if a compressor operates at 80% of its maximum speed, it will use 64% of its full-speed power.

This technology is available in a wide-range of compressor sizes. In addition, the initial equipment cost premium for this technology, depending on the hours of operating and load profile, can pay for itself in 12 to 18 months. More on portable chillers and central chillers.

 

 

3. Dramatically cut chiller energy costs with free-cooling systems.

Considering the ever-increasing need for more efficient systems, the newest trend in central chiller system design is to combine the benefits of a variable-speed compressor with that of an adiabatic fluid cooler.

These hybrid systems use an adiabatic fluid cooler to cool the condenser of the chiller during the summertime, but when the outside ambient temperature is cool enough, the adiabatic fluid cooler directly cools the process water, which means the chiller turns off completely. This saves 100% of the electrical cost of operating the chiller, which is the most significant power consumption of any process cooling system.

The number of hours of free-cooling increases when the process fluid temperature is warmer. In many extrusion applications, the chilled water set point temperature is such that the chiller may only need to run 50% of the year.

 

Who doesn’t want to save a buck or two, every dollar savings counts when looking at overall operational costs annually.  

Thermal Care continuously improves and innovates their products to be the best process cooling equipment systems in the industry.

If you have any questions regarding top entry robots, please contact any of the Hirate America team members to provide an automation solution tailored to your requirements.

 

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India Plastic Scrap Ban In Effect

The Indian government announced it’s plan to ban plastic scrap imports earlier this year and will take effect on August 31st.  Since the China ban last year, India was the top importer of plastic scrap material, rough figures around 156 million pounds, for the first six months of 2019.  The ban is proposed to cover most plastics under the 3915 tariff code, including PET, PE, PP, PS and more.

For the time being, however, clean regrind is still going to the country, traders say, and it’s mostly the baled scrap plastic that has been impacted.

The influx of material has led to greater attention to contamination, particularly when the importing country does not have adequate infrastructure to dispose of that contamination.

These issues have built significant public pressure on governments to take action in thinking green and instill people to separate trash and recyclables so that we can preserve our planet we live on to better our children’s future here on this planet.

In the US, California is taking major initiative to drive new plastic recycling facilities by providing grants.

Hirate America has solutions to provide full turn key plastic recycling systems with a combination of full wash lines with shredders (Lindner Resource, specializing in waste management)  and all-in-one shredder + extruder + pelletizer by Next Generation Recycling (NGR).

Credit to Plastics Recycling Update, see full original article here.

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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Push for Bag Manufacturers to Utilize Recycled Plastics

There continues to be a big push to increase recycled post-consumer plastics use in bag production especially in the state of California.

Garbage bags sold in California have been required to be made with 10% post-consumer plastic for nearly 30 years. And since 2016, concurrent with a single-use bag ban at retail stores, the state has required that all reusable plastic bags be made with 20% post-consumer plastic. That requirement increases to 40% next year.

There are several companies that have received grant funding to push plastic recycling in California.

If your company has been on the fence on turn key plastic recycling systems and processing to create product now is the time to move forward.

Hirate America has solutions to provide full turn key plastic recycling systems with a combination of full wash lines with shredders (Lindner Resource, specializing in waste management)  and all-in-one shredder + extruder + pelletizer by Next Generation Recycling (NGR).

Credit to Plastics Recycling Update, see full original article here.

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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India to End Plastic Scrap Imports

The Indian government says it will ban scrap plastic imports, a move that threatens to further disrupt the U.S. recycling industry by closing a growing market.

“Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country,” the release stated, specifying that the ban closes exemptions to existing import restrictions. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) shared the information in an alert to members Wednesday March 6, 2019.

India has become a larger scrap plastic importer over the past two years and was among the top importers of U.S. plastic in 2018. The increase has been driven by the loss of China as a downstream outlet for U.S. plastic scrap went into effect at the start of 2018.

U.S. year-end trade figures for 2018, released this week, show India brought in 294 million pounds of scrap plastic last year. That was up from 271 million pounds in 2017 and 203 million pounds in 2016.

The release doesn’t specify a date of implementation and also doesn’t get into detail on resins (possibilities include PET, PE, PP, PE and PS) that will be covered by the new regulation.

California is a proven leader in environmental initiatives and policy and recyclers are now pushing to making substantial investments in mixed-plastics processing capacity, bringing positive news for a region hard hit by China’s ban.

The operations are installing lines for sorting mixed-plastic bales into discrete materials, some of which they’ll further process to clean and wash, shred, extrude and finally pelletize so you can put this material back into your products.

If your company has been on the fence on turn key plastic recycling systems and processing to create product now is the time to move forward.

Hirate America has solutions to provide full turn key plastic recycling systems with a combination of full wash lines with shredders (Lindner Resource, specializing in waste management)  and all-in-one shredder + extruder + pelletizer by Next Generation Recycling (NGR).

Credit to Plastics Recycling Update, see full original article here.

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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Thank You For Visiting Us at the 2019 PLASTEC WEST (MD&W West)

We hope you had the chance to stop by both of our booths.
Our LS Mtron (LG Electronics) 550ton “The One Series” was a huge hit and had many compliments on how quiet and efficient it ran.
Just a recap, we provide full turn-key solutions for plastic processing:

  • Hyundai and LS Mtron – South Korean injection molding machines
  • Nissei ASB – One-step injection stretch blow molding machines
  • Motan – Central material handling systems, blenders and central drying
  • Dri-Air – Portable dryers and material handling systems
  • Thermal Care – Process water cooling systems
  • FIPA – End of arm tooling components
  • MAC – Conveyor belts, automatic box fill systems and resin bins
  • Sailor – High speed top entry robots & beside-the-press- custom automation systems
  • Yudo – Economical top entry robots and side entry robots
  • SRS Corp. – Beside the press, screenless granulators and dedusters
  • Sesotec – Metal detection, metal separation, magnets
  • ALPS – Leak detection for blow molding
  • SFM – Screws and barrels
  • Gammaflux – hot runner controllers
  • NGR – One-step shredder, extruder, pelletizer recycling system
  • Lindner – High throughput shredders and wash line systems
  • CMG – Granulators and shredders

Our latest product line brochure, which showcases all the products we represent along with some real case studies can be downloaded on our website Hirate America.   Please let us know and we’ll be happy to send you a hard copy as well.

In the meantime if you have any questions, or need assistance with your application, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to provide our expertise.

Again, thank you for considering Hirate America and we look forward to the opportunity of serving you.

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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PLASTEC WEST (MD&W West) 2019 Event

Happy New Year and hope you enjoyed your holiday!  It’s that time of year again and Hirate America (one-stop-shop for injection molding, blow molding, auxiliaries, extrusion and recycling equipment in the plastics industry).
PLASTEC West 2019 (MD&M West) will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA on February 5-7.
We wanted to change things up a bit this year so we will be having and 2 separate booth locations!
Booth #3842 – Will be displaying our auxiliary equipment lines
Booth #4011 – Will be displaying and running our flag ship 550ton “The One Series” from LS Mtron (LG).

If you haven’t already get your complimentary expo admission by visiting:
www.plastecwest.com/special and use promo code SPECIALHIR33

We hope you get the chance to stop by our booths, meet the team, and see what new products we have for 2019.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Our latest product line brochure, which showcases all the products we represent along with some real case studies can be downloaded on our website Hirate America.   Please let us know and we’ll be happy to send you a hard copy as well.

In the meantime if you have any questions, or need assistance with your application, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to provide our expertise.

Again, thank you for considering Hirate America and we look forward to the opportunity of serving you.

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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Why do you need to dry plastic resins or pellets when injection molding or extrusion?

This article is meant to help those who have little to no understanding of drying plastic resins.

There are many different types of plastic resins, but they can all be split into two basic categories: hygroscopic or non-hygroscopic. The definition of hygroscopic is: of a substance tending to absorb moisture from the air. This means that some plastic resins/pellets absorb moisture just by being expo

sed to ambient air. (note that the surrounding “ambient” air we are exposed to is always considered moist/wet unless it is at 0 or negative F in dew point, this includes the air inside of material conveying lines and hoppers.)

The moisture that gets absorbed deep within a pellet can have negative effects to the quality of whatever product is being molded, and it then becomes necessary to dry the pellet before molding. Some of these “negative effects” are:

Splay or Steam typically visible streaks or bubbles in or on the end-product caused by the boiling of the moisture in the pellet that becomes gas/steam.

  • The loss of the strength in end products.  The moisture in the plastic weakens the molecular bonds in the plastic, which can cause the end product to be brittle.
  • Inconsistencies in the injection molding or extrusion process caused by the fluctuations in viscosity of the resin which is a major factor in injection molding / extrusion. One major example of this is with Nylon, which will actually spit or drool out of the nozzle when purging if it is not dried properly.

How to Dry Hygroscopic Resins

There are 4 main factors that must be met and precisely controlled to dry hygroscopic resins.

One common misconception about drying material is that the “wetness” of resin is the topical surface moisture, but the actual moisture content of a plastic pellet is measured in parts per million (PPM) and refers to the moisture content within a pellet.

 

 

 

 
Temperature
All hygroscopic resins have a specific temperature set point that they must be at to release the moisture within the pellet. It is important to know that if the material is below the predetermined temperature set point, even if it were to  be left in a dryer all night it may l never release the moisture within the pellet (be dry). It is also important to note that raising the temperature above its specified setpoint is not an acceptable shortcut to drying it more quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

Air Flow & Dry Air
The next two factors work hand in hand, so they will be discussed together. Once the resin is at the right temperature to release the moisture it has absorbed, The released moisture must then be moved away. In order to both evenly distribute heat throughout the resin and move away the released moisture, there must be enough air flow, and the air must be dry. If the amount of air flowing through the resin is insufficient, or the dew point (the measurement of how dry air is, in either F. or C.) is not low enough, the moisture that is released from the resin will not get absorbed by the flow of air, and won’t get carried away. This will just result in the resin reabsorbing the moisture, and either take more time to dry, or just never get dried. The industry standard for how dry the air must be from a dryer is -40F., but it can range from -20F. to -80F depending on the type of desiccant being used, and the regeneration/life cycle of the desiccant. Note: For Most materials, having a -20F. dew point vs -50F. dew point will make no noticeable difference on how quickly the material is dried.

 

 

 

 

 

Residence Time
Residence time, the time required to dry a resin, in the real world, is constantly changing due to circumstances such as:

  • how wet is the material to begin with
  • how humid is the weather on the day you are drying the material
  • how dry do you actually need the material to be to achieve quality results
  • how many of the other 3 factors (mentioned above) are being met optimally
  • how efficient is your dryer (at meeting the other 3 factors of drying),
  • how much moisture is being regained during the process of getting the material from the drying hopper to the feed throat of your injection molding machine, extrusion line, or blow molding machine.

With all these considerations every type of resin has a predetermined residence time set by the manufacturer which is usually 4 to 6 hours of drying.

With that being said, once you have a properly sized dryer, you will need to follow these steps to start the molding/extrusion process.

  1.       Fill the drying hopper with your resin.
  2.       Set the dryer to the temperature specified by the resin’s manufacturer.
  3.       Let the material dry for the specified residence time (for example, 4 to 6 hours).
  4.       Convey the material from the dryer to your machine’s feed throat. (unless the dryer is directly on your machine’s feed throat, in which case, you are ready to start molding/extruding.)
  5.       Start molding! (note: for every x amount of material you are processing, you must add the same amount of material back into the drying hopper simultaneously, or you will not achieve the proper residence time of drying for your resin.

For your plastic resin or pellet drying needs, Hirate America partners with Motan and Dri Air Industries, Inc.

 

 

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

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An App That Will Help the Plastic Recycling Industry

Whenever there’s a problem, there’s going to someone that comes up with an idea to solve this issue. In our case with the China ban on plastic scrap, a Silicon Valley based technology company called Scrapo, who built a platform that connects suppliers & buyers of recyclable plastics.

It’s absolutely true that there’s an app for everything.

Fun facts:

  • Today there are over 10,000 buyers and sellers that are active users on the platform and this number is growing.
  • 75% of these users are outside the United Sates.
  • Scrapo does not take a fee for listings or sales
  • How platform makes money is with their enhanced services which they help the user with the sales, logistics and payment processes.
  • Listings on the marketplace cover loose or baled material, flakes and pellets.
  • 65% of plastic listed on the platform has been post-industrial material and 35% post-consumer plastic.

 

If your tired of selling your scrap and perhaps thought about having a turn key plastic recycling systems then we can help guide you through this journey.

Hirate America has solutions to provide full turn key plastic recycling systems with a combination of full wash lines with shredders (Lindner Resource, specializing in waste management)  and all-in-one shredder + extruder + pelletizer by Next Generation Recycling (NGR).

Credit to Plastics Recycling Update, see full original article here.

 

If you have a project that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact us below to schedule a free consultation.