Summer is winding down, alas, and since 2014 is not a K year, some of you can look forward to trooping off to Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastics processing in Friedrichshafen, Germany, come October. Exhibitors have started sharing information about what they will be presenting at the sold-out event, and it's no surprise that medical applications will be prominently featured, as they afford companies with an opportunity to show their technical expertise and ability to meet rigorous customer requirements. One example is machine maker Netstal (Näfels, Switzerland), which will be molding ultralight petri dishes in an 8+8 cavity mold on an Elion 3200-1000 system.
The 90-mm-diameter petri dishes will be produced on the show floor at a cycle time of less than 3.7 seconds using a mold supplied by Schöttli (Diessenhofen, Switzerland). The medical-grade polystyrene material has a mold flow rate of less than 3.5 g/10 min. In this collaborative project, process automation is achieved using a handling device supplied by Geku (Diepenau, Germany); Motan (Friedrichsdorf, Germany) is handling material preparation; and the cooling device is supplied by Single (Hochdorf, Germany).