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Serving the UK plastics industry

Using Plastics Simulation to Overcome a Fear of Fibres

A sure-fire way to make any injection mould toolmaker or processing engineer uneasy is to utter the words “fibre reinforced”; and not without good reason.

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How Can Material Distribution Be Automated? | Mo’s Corner

Mo explains fully automated material distribution systems…

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Brexit – Should we Export, or Stop Importing?

By Simon Anderson – MD of LVS Small Plastic Parts

Like most SME’s, the Brexit vote came as a shock to LVS Small Plastic Parts last year.  As part of the larger business community, we felt that a status quo would be the best outcome for the manufacturing sector.  Our own business being so heavily aligned to the automotive sector helped to reinforce this opinion.

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Are SMED practices used in the ‘real world’?

I recently read an article about a 5% increase in productivity achieved at Formula Plastics, just by changing their tool clamping system.  It got me thinking about mould change methods available in the market, which I then discussed with suppliers.

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Cutting Edge Advancements in Masterbatch & Additives

Masterbatch as a simple colouring agent has been with us for some time, but we wanted to find out how far things had come.  We posed three separate questions to UK based specialists that we thought would be of interest to our audience.  As well as technical advances, aspects such as long-term environmental impact are also covered.

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Are Gravimetric Dosing Units Worth the Extra Cost?

Gravimetric colour dosing units (also known as continuous or loss-in weight units) have been around for a while, so we asked the PlastikCity Ancillary Partners for some feedback that would help our readers to make a more informed decision when considering their options. 

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Does your machine just need a new ‘heart’?

The ‘heart’ of any plastic processing machine is its Screw and Barrel, so if your equipment is not as athletic as you would like, perhaps a ‘transplant’ is the answer!

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20% Off Your Next Moulding

Guest Blog by Richard Webster of Plastic-IT

Most plastic injection mouldings that are produced today are still compromised when compared to what they could be in terms of fully optimised product….

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Are we really as careful with our company’s money?

We all like to think that we’re as careful with our company’s money as if it was our own…

But is this the reality? 

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Cartesian or Side Entry – How Fast a Cycle Time Justifies the Switch?

Guest Blog by Nick Parker of DB Automation

As a company specialising in high speed part removal from injection moulding machines, we are often asked to justify the price differential between our standard Cartesian (three-axis or ‘beam’) robots and our side entry models.  An installation of our flagship CFR (Compact Flexible Robot) side entry unit costs around double that of a Cartesian solution, so the aim of this blog is to help you decide which is right for your particular project….

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The Real Cost of Outsourcing Production Tooling to the Far East

When large OEMs such as JLR are ‘waving the flag’ in building a UK based supply chain, we are right to be more optimistic about the future of our Toolmaking industry.  But do you need ‘deep pockets’ in order to be patriotic and support the cause?

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Plastic vs Metal – is cost the only consideration?

There will always be an argument for using metal over plastic, which has often been seen by both the engineering fraternity and the general public as a ‘poor cousin’.  However, the field of Plastic Component Design and Production has been evolving in recent years, and should now be viewed as a technical solution that in some cases can out-perform machined or cast metal….

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Replacing a worn plasticising screw? Shouldn’t you be upgrading for better productivity!

When you buy a plastic processing machine, the plasticising screw is often supplied with a General Purpose (G.P.) design and nitrided wear resistance. In many cases the OEM won’t have been told you only process particular material grades, and a GP screw provides the biggest processing window across the spectrum of materials.

This design however, will always be a compromise….

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Cost over Price – why quality machinery can prove less expensive

We often think that it is better to buy cheaper equipment, making comments such as “The job is simple to run” or “It doesn’t require all the bells & whistles” to justify the decision. In my experience this doesn’t stack up and the more costly brands are often less expensive in the long run.

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Specific Gravity – Not that Specific at all. Ignore this blog at your peril!

The definition of ‘Specific’ is clearly defined or identified or a precise detail.  Unfortunately, when it comes to specific gravities for polymers, this definition doesn’t always hold true, so in reality you may just be ‘sticking your finger in the air’………

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Re-shoring, fact or fiction?

We all know that in recent years there has been a ‘buzz’ in the general Manufacturing Sector about more product being sourced from within the UK, but what do the actual numbers tell us?

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Driverless Cars, Robot servants & All Electric Machines – Why haven’t we all got one?

We all know that All-Electric Injection Moulding Machines are more accurate, use less power and are quieter than hydraulic models.  So what happened to the 2004 predictions of a year on year increase in their usage?

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One man’s scrap is another man’s treasure

A PlastikCity customer approached me recently saying he would like to advertise various items from his factory on our website. He knew it was free to advertise so he told his staff to look around the factory and tell him what items were redundant and then put them up on our site.

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The process of refurbishing a plasticising screw

Most screws are suitable for a number of refurbishments before the thermal stresses imparted by re-welding could result in weakening the structure of the base metal and lead to subsequent fracture……

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Looks like the Hippies were right all along!

A bit like not wearing a seat belt, most of us now feel uncomfortable about not recycling our household waste. Recycling can however be more than a way to appease your guilt as a major consumer (around a tonne of Carbon Dioxide production is saved for every tonne of re-processed material used instead of virgin), it can now also make good business sense.

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