Linking Serious Buyers to the Best Suppliers

Serving the UK plastics industry

Author: Richard Stamps

UK Plastics Exhibitions – Should We Support Them?

We frequently hear talk of how big the Interplas exhibition used to be – apparently Battenfeld alone filled one hall!

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Reshoring Your Moulding Work? Trade Moulder or Bring ‘In-House’?

If you are one of the growing number of UK companies looking to bring previously offshored moulding work back into the UK, then this blog should help you to decide the best way to achieve your goal.

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Need Plastic Parts Making? Ask our Plastic Guru!

OK, so we aren’t the Plastic Gurus in question (it’s the below handy Infographic), but at PlastikCity we operate both a Help Desk and an Assisted Service facility within our Source a Moulder section, so we have first-hand experience when it comes to ‘pointing people in the right direction’.

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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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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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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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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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Can you achieve S.M.E.D. on a budget?

The concept of Single Minute Exchange of Die has been around for a while, but for those of us working with a limited budget or a variety of materials (with different processing temperatures), anything under an hour would be nice!  There are however some relatively inexpensive changes you can make, without having to result to budget-busting auto-tool change systems and magnetic platens….

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Has our Building Site now become a City?

The aim was to create a major resource for the plastics sector, one place to find everything you needed.  From time to time, we need to review how we are doing, so for the purposes of this Blog, I have looked at things from the perspective of a new start company looking to develop an idea for a new `widget’ that just happens to be most easily manufactured in plastic.

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Are you plasticising your material efficiently, or are you ‘poking it in with a stick!’

Having spent a number of years inspecting worn screw and barrels, I know from experience that people go well beyond ‘a few thou’ of wear before deciding it’s time for a replacement or refurb.  A good setter can often work with little more than a stick rattling around in an oversized tube, but there is always a price to pay……

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UK Automotive Suppliers buck the European trend for new robot installations, but we can still do better!

For simpler moulding jobs, the ethos of “gravity is free, why should I buy a robot” still holds true. If, however, any of the following points apply, you should consider de-moulding with a robot.

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Was Billy Joel right? Why should you invest in higher quality kit?

If you listen to Billy Joel and agree with his philosophy of, “Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers”, then we aren’t on the same page……….

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