Late last year, we announced that we were putting togther a new series of “learning modules” to help people better understand HYTAC plug materials. The goal was to create short, narrated presentations beginning with some definitions and fundamentals then progressing all the way through to challenging, technical concepts related to the interplay of syntactic foam and plastic sheet in the context of thermoforming.
Archive for year: 2014
The inaugural ANTEC Middle East in Dubai drew over 150 attendees from the Gulf Region, Europe, North America and Asia. While the technical program featured papers on technological advances in materials and machinery for a range of plastics processing, break-out workshops allowed for more a conversational approach between the presenters and attendees.
It’s winter in New England and another snowstorm is on the way. If you watch the news, you’ll hear about travel delays, airline cancellations and the associated costs of disruptions to business during this time of year. I often wonder how they calculate the actual economic impact and yesterday provided a tiny bit of insight.
We’ve seen a lot of new, custom cast requirements in recent weeks. These tend to be large or oversized parts where a standard, stock-sized piece of syntactic foam will not do the job. In most cases, these projects are the result of multiple discussions with customers on specific application requirements. While we have always offered this service, it has sometimes been unclear what options are available and what the limitations are. Now we are releasing new product data sheets (PDS) on custom cast work as well as new HTYAC LPX.
“Necessity is the mother of innovation.” This is certainly true on many a factory floor where creative minds develop new solutions to problems large and small every day. In the world of thermoforming, toolmakers and processors have proven themselves capable of solving myriad challenges through both complex engineering and plain old line-level tinkering.
SPECIAL GUEST POST: Sven Engelmann, Dipl. -Ing. Director of Research & Development, EBB Microparts, Crailsheim, Germany
“April is the cruellest month,” begins T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Eliot was from St. Louis, MO (though he lived much of his life in England) so he was no stranger to bitter winters such as we’ve experienced this year in New England and beyond. But the weather was not his muse in the great poem. We digress…
We have just released the 3rd module in our learning series (click here to download). This module focuses exclusively on a topic that consistently generates questions for us: how to machine syntactic foam. We have blogged about machining before and published guidelines to help operators get started, but we recognize that there is a learning curve with syntactics. While skilled CNC operators are at a premium these days, those who work with HYTAC are not shy about telling us what works and what doesn’t in their shops.
It’s one of our favorite thermoforming questions: “Which is more important – the plug material or the plug geometry?” It’s really a trick question, though, because the answer is usually, “It depends!” So let’s take a look at a recent test we did with 2 types of HYTAC plug assist where multiple variables were involved.