International Plastics News for Asia

NPE 2015 out to set new record

There is no denying NPE's importance in as far as product launching and meeting new contact are concerned. This year's edition is no exception and optimism is high as NPE 2015 is reported to have  surpassed the previous NPE record for exhibit space, according to SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which produces the triennial NPE.

Based on the number of exhibitors, booths will fill more than 1,041,000 net sq.ft. (106,000 sq.m) of exhibit space, the figure recorded at NPE 2000, the largest NPE on the books until now. And with more companies expected to register, SPI is planning an additional 10,000 sq. ft. (930 sq.m) to be occupied before the show floor opens on March 23, 2015.

Exhibitors cite the success of the previous NPE in 2012 and the robust plastics industry as reasons for their strong investment in NPE 2015. Equipment companies  have also opted for larger booths to be able to display and demonstrate more machines. More than 600 companies will have equipment at their booths and over 400 will be operating their systems. In some exhibits,  multiple machines, some of them completely integrated manufacturing cells, will be running simultaneously.

One such company, Milacron Inc., will have 24,600 sq.ft (2,285 sq. m) of space, constituting the largest booth in NPE history.  Absolute HAITIAN will have a 25% larger booth and more machines on display than at NPE 2012. Four injection molding machines will be in operation, including a high-speed all-electric unit for cap and closure production. Branson Ultrasonic will have at least 21 fully-operating materials assembly stations for a cross section of end markets, incorporating vibration, ultrasonic, laser, infrared, and spin welders.

Engel will have one more molding cell than at NPE 2012 and operate eight in all, showing solutions for automotive, medical, packaging, teletronics, and technical molding applications. One of the systems on exhibit will be for molding a geometrically optimized, stress-resistant brake pedal based on a new process developed in partnership with ZF-Friedrichshafen. Using a vertical insert molding machine with a multi-axis industrial robot and infrared oven, a continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic semi-finished product (known as thermoplastic fabric) will be heated, preformed in a mold and immediately overmolded with polyamide. The system produces ready-to-fit components; no cutting is necessary.

KraussMaffei Group has taken a bigger booth than in 2012 to demonstrate a broader range of innovations. Its KraussMaffei brand will include a process combining injection molding and thermoforming of composite sheets. At the booth, the company will produce glass-reinforced nylon airbag housings in cycle times of 45 seconds. Showcasing the Netstal brand will be a molding line producing 44-oz stadium cups and another producing 16-oz containers with cycles of 5.5 seconds on a 4 + 4 cavity mold.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will demonstrate nine machines, including one with which the company will attempt to beat the world speed record for production of water bottle caps. The machine will be running a 96-cavity hot runner mold. The machine will be producing over 180,000 lightweight 1.3-gram HDPE water bottle caps every hour with tamper-evident band molded by mechanical slides. The sub-two-second cycle, the waterfall of 96 caps out of the mold, and the caps literally flying by on the IMDvista vision inspection system— it will definitely draw a crowd.

UBE Machinery will show more equipment at NPE 2015 due to the higher attendance and excellent response the company achieved at NPE 2012. Shown in operation, dry-cycling the clamp in 4 seconds, will be a 1,000-ton, fully servo hydraulic molding machine, equipped with a SmartHeat barrel from Nordson Xaloy, that offers 70% savings in electricity.

Wittmann Battenfeld has expanded its total show footprint by 10% over NPE 2012. The company's booth will show off fully integrated, turnkey injection molding cells. Also new will be a smartphone app that enables molders to monitor the status of all of their production cells and robots. Yushin America will have about 30% more space than in 2012 and double the number of injection molding machine.

Ringier Trade Media Ltd has a special coverage of this well-attended show at with the show's highlights and products on exhibit.