WINONA, MINNESOTA, USA – (May 16, 2013) – New Berlin Plastics, a custom injection molding company, was recently approached by Helle`rmannTyton, a manufacturer of high-quality cable management products, for help producing an innovative cable tie tool it was developing.
The material needed to be strong enough for the small teeth on the tool’s plastic tension knob, and be able to be imprinted with a graduated number scale. Berlin Plastics worked with custom compounder RTP Company to custom-engineer a laser-markable compound that met the tensile strength and printing requirements of the application.
New Berlin met with HellermannTyton to discuss the most effective and efficient way for applying the graduated number scale to the tool’s tension knob.HellermannTyton’s ideas included printing the numbers directly on the plastic,using in-mold decorating, or attaching a printed adhesive sticker. Based on their knowledge and experience, however, New Berlin Business Development Manager, Dave Sansone and Director of Engineering, Mike Miller knew that none of these technologies were best for the application.
“We’ve both worked with RTP Company most of our professional lives, and knew of their ability to create laser-markable plastics that would also meet the strength and other requirements that this application demanded,” said Sansone.
Miller explained that “Laser-marking the numeric scale was a much better solution, avoiding the time consuming challenge of printing, the high scrap rates that would have been associated with in-mold decoration, and the physicalchallenge of precisely affixing a small, 0.25 inch (6 mm) wide sticker.” Based on New Berlin’s recommendation, HellermannTyton gave the go-ahead to team with RTP Company and begin the process of specifying an appropriate material.
After careful testing and evaluation, RTP Company furnished a custom glass fiber reinforced RTP 600 Series ABS compound that provided the required tensile strength for the cable tie tool’s tension knob. A matched RTP 6042 Series thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) was then overmolded on the knob to provide an ergonomic gripping surface. The TPE compound was formulated to bond with the rigid ABS substrate for optimum product integrity.
RTP Company colorists added laser-marking additives and colorants chosen for their compatibility with the ABS compound and the operational range of the laser being used. This allowed the laser to clearly “write” an indelible, high contrast white mark on the black plastic surface. “The laser-marked numbers are very durable and will hold up for the life of the product,” added Miller.
Commenting on the supplier/processor partnership that New Berlin enjoys with RTP Company, Sansone said “They’re not an ‘off the shelf’ commodity kind of supplier; RTP Company has excellent engineering capabilities. When we need to solve a customer challenge by using a custom-engineered compound, we go to RTP Company.”
For more information on RTP Company’s laser-markable or custom engineered thermoplastic compounds, telephone (507) 454-6900 or visit their web site at www.rtpcompany.com.