Injection Molding: Faster, Smarter, More Efficient Machines Tackle Sustainable Molding at K 2019 : Plastics Technology

Blazing speed plus shrinking energy consumption supported the “green” theme at the big show. Smarter controls and growing connectivity were another key focus. A profusion of new and upgraded injection machinery at K highlighted twin themes of Circular Economy and Smart Manufacturing. While presses keep getting faster, they also grow ever more energy efficient in kWh/lb of plastic processed. The vast majority of injection machines at the show were all-electric, hybrid, and/or servohydraulic. This year’s exhibits featured machines equipped to process large amounts of post-consumer recycle (PCR) or biobased materials. Reducing waste and downtime also contributes to more efficient and therefore more sustainable manufacturing. In that vein, K 2019 saw a continued push toward greater self-regulation in processing, greater connectivity between machines, and improved communication between humans and machines as milestones along the road to Smart Factories and Industry 4.0. The following report presents news not covered in our September show preview and elsewhere for a more complete picture of injection molding news at the show. See also Keeping Up and Starting Up sections of this issue...

UPDATE: All CHI Memorial, most Erlanger locations have water but with plans to conserve

UPDATE – 9/14, 11:15 AM: Erlanger Hospital confirms their North campus is maintaining “good levels of water,” along with their locations in downtown Chattanooga. 9/13, 6:00 PM: CHI Memorial Hospital confirms it has running water, as do most of the Erlanger locations outside of the North campus. This is why COO Anthony Houston says they’re still taking precautions to conserve water, including only performing emergency surgeries. “As the extent and the duration of the water main break became apparent, we accelerated our plans,” Houston said. Houston says their air conditioning system runs completely on water, so without it, operations can’t happen. “When we lose water, we will lose our air conditioning — and that means our operating rooms will be really warm, thus increasing risk of infection,” Houston says. CHI memorial has taken action in other areas too, including delaying showers, turning off ice machines and coffee makers. Houston says they have stores of water as a backup plan if necessary – but they hope it won’t get to that point. Houston stresses for visitors, who come to see loved ones, to stay home until this whole s...