Life’s just too short to rotomold polycarbonate!

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Dr. Nick Henwood

In the early 2000s my company was doing some research on rotomolding polycarbonate (PC) and this was the heart-felt response of one of my technicians, who had spent nearly a month producing various scrap parts using this interesting – but very frustrating – polymer.

PC is another of those materials that would be absolutely fantastic for rotomolders – provided it was rotomoldable!  Three times as stiff as ordinary PE roto grades, excellent creep resistance, high heat resistance, extremely high impact strength and paintable (with the right paint systems).

Another really interesting aspect is that PC is Continue reading

Why I’m Attending the ARM/ARMA Executive Forum

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Dave Smith

I am attending the Executive Forum this year because it is a great opportunity to interface not only with the usual ARM attendees we but also because we will have the opportunity to hear from and network with the members of of ARMA. These industry leaders are great molders and they will offer a different perspective on production and procedures.

I have had the luxury of attending foreign meetings in the last few years and it’s a very different opportunity. This Hawaii meeting will provide a unique opportunity to network with Australian and Chinese rotomolders without having to travel all the way around the world. You will be amazed at what you can learn during a coffee break just by talking with molders who do things completely differently than we do.

I know a great meeting will be had by those who join us in Hawaii. I’ll see you there!!

ARM’s 2017 Executive Forum will be conducted jointly with ARMA — the Association of Rotational Molders Australasia — March 26-28 in Maui. Learn more at Hawaii2017.com

Dave Smith is the President of Romotech and a Past President of ARM.

The ARM Blog is written by a variety of leaders in the rotational molding industry. We encourage you to share your input in the comment section. If you’re interested in writing a post for the blog, email ARM staff at info@rotomolding.org.

For more information about the Association, visit www.rotomolding.org

Why can’t I rotomold ABS?

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Dr. Nick Henwood – ARM Technical Director

ARM Technical Director, Nick Henwood, is drafting a publication for the ARM Education Committee on rotomoldable polymers other than PE, PP, and PVC. Early drafts of each chapter will be published here every two weeks.

If you’re looking for a polymer that’s superior to polyethylene (PE) in terms of properties, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene terpolymer) is a good candidate.  It’s a very popular choice made by injection molders who want to make great looking parts that are heat resistant and tough.

So can you rotomold it?

Continue reading

“Stiffness Models for Multi-Layered Parts” Added to ARM Webinar Library

webinarThe newest addition to the ARM webinar library is Stiffness Models for Multi-Layered Parts, in which Dr. Nick Henwood provides new information and insights to enable product designers to optimize their calculations of part performance

Last month we added Henry Hay’s presentation on Considerations When Light-Weighting Parts.

More than 20 webinars are available on-demand and free to members by logging in at the ARM Website and clicking Webinars.

What webinar topics would you like to see this year?

Trilogy Plastics Named Finalist for Processor of the Year

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Trilogy Plastics

Plastics News has named ARM member Trilogy Plastics a finalist for their Processor of the Year Award. Candidates are evaluated on seven criteria: financial performance, quality, customer relations, employee relations, environmental performance, industry/public service and technological innovation. A team of judges — members of Plastics News’ editorial staff — evaluated all submissions and chose the 2016 finalists. The winner will be announced in March.

Plastics News writes about the history of the company:

Trilogy Plastics began more than 100 years ago. The original company, called Old King Cole Inc., turned out some iconic advertising figures like Mr. Peanut and the dog famous for hearing “his master’s voice” on a record.

The company began rotomolding in the late 1950s, the early days of the industry. But beginning in 1970s, hard times hit, and the company went through a series of ownership changes. A creditor took over, changed the company name and was an absentee owner. The business dwindled down at its aging plant in Louisville, Ohio.

Steve Osborn and his partner, Bruce Frank, bought the business in 1987. Osborn was a turnaround consultant in Cleveland with the Ernst & Ernst accounting firm (now Ernst & Young). He was looking for a manufacturing business to buy, and the old rotomolding company was in bad shape — and inexpensive. The company had just 13 employees.

Why do I have to use polyethylene for everything?

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Dr. Nick Henwood – ARM Technical Director

I’m sure that, at some time, you must have pondered this question.  Having spent the first twenty years of my roto career selling the stuff, lots of molders have asked me that question, along with – “why can’t you guys develop something with better properties than PE?”

I should immediately declare an interest: I love PE.  It paid for my three kids to get through university and it bought me my first house.  However, even an ardent PE fan like me has to admit that PE has its limitations.  Sometimes it’s not stiff enough, it scratches really easily, you can’t paint it, it goes seriously floppy at temperatures above 100°F and it doesn’t contain gasoline very well.

So why is our industry totally addicted to it?  Continue reading

President’s Message: Meeting Objectives Together

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Conchita Miranda

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote my first message as President about my decision to focus on three main objectives for ARM’s 40th year:

  • Select a Technical Director for ARM.
  • Increase and update our social media presence and web image.
  • Make the 40th Anniversary Meeting an excellent and very memorable event.

I am proud to say that as a result of our participative Board, I believe we have accomplished these objectives.

In August, ARM came to an agreement with Dr. Nick Henwood to serve as our technical director. Dr. Nick will help ARM and the industry to take next steps, to go further, and to grow bigger. We will see added technical value at our meetings, during our webinars, and on our website. Throughout 2017, Dr. Nick will collect technical information from the industry for ARM to disseminate to our members.

Just to mention some of our efforts in increasing our social media presence, we are proud to say that ARM’s LinkedIn Group has more than 1,300 members from the worldwide rotomolding industry and features process questions from members and occasional job listings. ARM’s Facebook page now provides news on our upcoming events and other important information for rotational molders. On this Blog you will find articles from several members of our industry highlighting the goals of the Association and issues of interest to all rotomolders.

Our website was redesigned this Fall so that it works better on phone and tablets. We also now know that hundreds of our members are visiting our webinar library every month.

This September in New Orleans, we brought more than four hundred rotomolders and friends together for our 40th Anniversary Meeting. Our evaluation of the meeting tells us that we exceeded expectations for old friends, first-time attendees, spouses, suppliers, and everyone involved.  Our Association has done a great job for the industry and all of us contributed somehow to this success. We had so much to be proud of and we had a great party where we continued to learn from one another like those 21 companies that met in Chicago in 1976.

ARM could not have met these objectives without the leadership of our Board of Directors. In 2017, Matt Bushman, Mario Poma, Alvin Spence, and Mick Webber will join the ARM Board. I want to welcome them and thank them for volunteering to lead this organization.

I also want to recognize our departing Board members: David Braeunig, Doug Cunningham, and Brian Olesen. Thank you for all the guidance you have offered ARM and the friendship you have offered me.

Conchita Miranda is the President of ARM and the Director General of Operadora MPK.

The ARM Blog is written by a variety of leaders in the rotational molding industry. We encourage you to share your input in the comment section. If you’re interested in writing a post for the blog, email ARM staff at info@rotomolding.org.