There’ll be a hot new assembly tool on display at the Fakuma show in Germany next month. The Zahoransky Group, which has produced more than 500 multi-component molds, will be showing the first-ever Servo Cavity Positioning System (SCPS), which is a sophisticated way to make a three- or four-color part with one standard injection molding machine without using ancillary systems, such as indexing platens. In a nutshell, it means if you want to design a plastic part with four types of material, the cost just dropped, possibly substantially. You’ll need a good production run, though, because this tool is sure to be pricey.
For starters, the SCPS mold has a control system that is independent of the machine control system. Movements are controlled by precise electric motors. Indexing components rise upward (via spindle) in the moving half of the tool to various injection stations.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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