Since we introduced HYVAC LCM at the 2015 Thermoforming Conference, we have had a steady flow of interest in the new mold material. The good people over at Plastics Machinery Magazine recently published a concise and informative piece on the new material. As stated in the article, we’re still limiting the number of projects until we optimize the process for making molds.
We are often asked about plug design. It’s clearly a critical issue for toolmakers and thermoformers and we’ve written about it many times in the past. Over the past year, it seems like we have been getting more pointed requests for specific design advice including designing plugs ourselves. Now, this is not typically our forte because we focus on the material science behind HYTAC syntactic foams. There are many variables involved in tool/plug design and those closest to the project are usually best suited to the task. That said, we are always looking to keep current on the latest trends and technologies in our industry to help our customers and partners.
This week we are sending a notice to those customers who use our co-polymer syntactic foam materials: HYTAC FLX, FLXT and C1R. The text of the email can be seen below. HYTAC W, WF, WFT, B1X and XTL are not affected by this change.
Our time in Atlanta seemed to come and go very quickly, probably because we spent most of that time talking to customers, partners and industry colleagues. We had several meetings booked in advance which usually ensures meaningful conversation, and this year was no exception. In particular, our senior materials engineer and co-founder, Noel Tessier, came back to the show to meet with Dr. Peter Martin of Queens University, Belfast. These two eminent minds have worked on several papers related to plug assists over the years, and it looks like we might have some new findings to publish in the near future. Stay tuned.
The annual SPE Thermoforming Conference starts early this year – August 31 in Atlanta, GA. CMT will be there in booth 325-327 with our full spectrum of tooling materials: HYTAC syntactic foam for plug assists; Metapor porous aluminum; RenShape tooling and modeling board; cutting tools and machining guides.
Peer references are often the most effective way of imparting credibility to something: a product, a service, a new hire, etc. In the case of the Penn College Thin-Gauge Thermoforming Seminar, the same holds true. With over 30 participants from 19 different companies, the 2015 workshop garnered some very positive reviews. Here are just a few:
Investopedia defines value-added as “the enhancement a company gives its product or service before offering the product to customers.” That sounds about right to us. In the thermoforming industry, value-added can take the form of painting, bonding, finishing or assembling. Over the years, CMT has been asked to come up with some interesting syntactic solutions, though we never really proposed them as value-added. We think it’s time to change that.
Once again the city of Guangzhou in Southern China welcomed the world of plastics professionals to its massive exhibition hall. Though the organizers of the K Fair (Messe Dusseldorf) insist they are not nervous, it appears that Chinaplas is now larger than K, at least in terms of quantity (if not quality) of exhibitors.
It’s a bit of a haul to Sao Paulo from Boston, but with only one hour time difference, a decent sleep on the plane means that you can arrive without too much jet lag. The Feiplastic tradeshow is billed as the largest trade show in Latin America with approximately 70,000 visitors which would make it similar in size to NPE (there were 65,810 attendees in Orlando this year).
Heavy gauge/cut sheet thermoformers from companies across the US recently came to learn processing techniques, scientific principles, new material offerings, and more at the Pennsylvania College of Technology Plastic Innovation and Resource Center (PIRC). The program provides a 50/50 blend of classroom instruction with hands-on lab time in a lively 3-day setting. Program and Technical Service Manager Chris Gagliano developed the program to incorporate the expertise of consultant Jay Wadell with the science of plastic material properties from Dr. Kirk Cantor and the physics of thermal transfer from Dr. Joseph LeBlanc.