Ultra Purge Offers Chemical Cleaning and Purging Compound
Published in Plastic News
Ultra Purge from Moulds Plus International USA Inc. was designed to help solve all of the problems associated with mold material and color changes. Ultra Purge’s formulation differs from conventional purging compounds in that rather than being a mechanical cleaner, Ultra Purge is a 100% chemical cleaning compound, said Graziano Pestarino, President of the company.
“Because Ultra Purge is a chemical compound, we are able to clean the machine more efficiently because it reacts with the resin and the pigment, and can remove residue faster with less purging material required,” says Pestarino.
Ultra Purge also has a formulation designed for use with hot runner systems. “Purging has become very important to companies using hot runner systems, and the hot runner business is growing because no one wants to create scrap with the high price of materials,” Pestarino says.
Rather than simply running purging compound through the barrel/screw and sprue, Ultra Purge is designed as an additive so that when it is added to the resin it can actually be molded into the parts, thus reducing waste and machine downtime. “One of the challenges is to be able to mold the purging compound to clean out the hot runner systems,” says Pestarino.
Moulds Plus International USA worked closely with Husky to develop a PET grade of Ultra Purge for the manufacture of bottles, which is recommended by Husky, and distributed by Husky. “That’s where we got our knowledge of hot runner systems in the PET applications, because Husky builds molds of 96 to 128 and even up to 216 cavities,” says Pestarino. “Creating a hot runner-safe product became very important to us.”
Purging in stack molds is also a challenge that Ultra Purge meets. “With a stack mold there are two faces, so to clean out the hot runner system, you have to close the mold,” says Pestarino. “That means the formula must be moldable.”
Working with one of the leading producer of thin wall containers, the company developed a PP formula for thin-wall container applications. “Our customer was never able to find a suitable solution to cleaning their hot runner manifolds, so we designed this formulation to work in molding thin-wall containers.”
The PP grade of Ultra Purge is concentrated with the active ingredient so that when Berry mixes it with their own material they achieve a complete cleaning of the system. “Because the Ultra Purge PP formulation has the same melt temperature as the material being run, the melt index isn’t altered. “That is important,” says Pestarino, “because those molds are so well-designed, so technical, that you have to use materials of the specific properties for which the mold was made. Supply them with the active ingredient, and they combine it, we don’t alter the melt.
Ultra Purge makes mold changeovers, material changes and even color changes fast and easy. “Now we have this solution to cleaning hot runner systems too,” he says. “Additionally, Ultra Purge carries a food-content certification from the FDA, as well as from the equivalent European group that is stricter than the FDA, so it is entirely safe for use with food and drink containers.”
In high-tech applications, specifically customers with hot runner systems, customers are not looking for a general purpose compound. “What we can achieve with our material can’t be achieved with a general purpose compound,” says Pestarino. “These customers make medical parts, food containers, and drink bottles and need what Ultra Purge provides.”
However, the company also provides its Ultra Purge to the automotive industry. “In that industry we can change color on the fly,” Pestarino explains. “Because we can mold parts with the compound, there’s no need to stop the press to change the color. They can also get more money for the scrap because the resin isn’t affected in any way by the purging compound.
Because Ultra Purge is an additive rather than a straight purging compound, it requires some tweaking and processing testing to get it right. To help molders with this process, the company offers training to production people, as a “package” when molders purchase the company’s material. The training can be on-site at the molder’s facility or through web training, or a DVD training program. “For larger companies, we will come and do training for the employees,” says Pestarino.
Pestarino notes that the market has changed a lot, and when the cost of resin went up last year many molders realized the money they were throwing away in purging. “Even though the cost of resin has dropped, we’ve taught them how not to waste money,” he says. “Ultra Purge reduces downtime and improves the quality of the production parts they’re making. Making parts with a clean machine gives you better quality products. Even in pre-forms for bottle molding, you have brighter parts, and won’t see the flow lines.”
Moulds Plus International, headquartered near Milan, Italy, began selling Ultra Purge in the U.S. market about 10 years ago. Today, the company has two other locations, one in Costa Mesa, CA, in the United States which began operations in 2005, and another in Mexico City. The product has realized much success in North America that all grades of Ultra Purge are being produced in California as of mid-2006, and in the Mexico City facility which started in mid-2008. The company also has distributors worldwide to service companies outside the NAFTA zone. “In North America, we deal direct with our customers,” says Pestarino.
Moulds Plus International USA Ultra Purge Tel 714 708 2663