New clarifying agent from Milliken saves energy too, tests with Arburg

By using the lower processing temperatures, the converter has less heat to remove from the final part. This means they can reduce the cooling time and hence overall cycle time, leading to improved productivity. Millad NX8000’s broader processing capability leads not only to direct savings in energy costs but also to lower machine and labour requirements. Since labour and production costs are major contributors to the overall manufacturing costs, any improvement in productivity can lead to significant savings for the converter.

The Allrounder 520 A is ideal for these sorts of tests. Its Selogica “energy consumption measurement” function allows the machine operator to record and analyse both the average and the periodic power consumption of the running injection moulding process. If certain process modifications are made, this results in changes to the corresponding power consumption values. This data allows for real-time optimisation of the machine’s power consumption and a reduction of the energy consumption per part.

“All-electric machines are inherently low energy consumers and so the Allrounder 520 A provided the lowest baseline for our trials,” says Newberry. “Reducing temperatures on this machine has a more significant percentage effect on the total energy consumption than on a hydraulic machine because the heating requirements for all-electric machines comprise a greater percentage of the total energy consumption. But in terms of absolute values for energy reduction and productivity improvements, results across all machine types are likely to be very similar.

Milliken sees significant potential for Millad NX8000 to provide for a shift in ‘standard’ operating conditions for customers who want to optimize energy savings without compromising product quality. “Some processors may specify a minimum processing temperature across all machines in their production facilities because they are aware of the temperature sensitivity of clarifiers they have been using until now,” says Newberry. “If the melt doesn’t reach a certain temperature, the final part can appear hazy and not reach its full optical potential. This has led numerous production facilities to run at below optimum conditions.”

“But now Millad NX8000 is shifting the paradigm. By switching to resins containing the additive, and so removing this temperature dependency, companies can now concentrate on optimizing their processes for minimum temperature and cycle time, in the full knowledge that they will still be able to produce parts with the optical properties previously only achievable with high temperature operations.”

- We think this development is a sign of the times - Newberry concludes. - All around the world now, interest is increasing in energy saving, from machine makers like Arburg with their highly configurable hybrid and all-electric injection moulding machines, to processors and end users who want to increase the sustainability of their operations and finished products. Millad NX8000 provides the latest means to meet their objectives.

Milliken is now working directly with processors on helping them maximize the potential of the new additive for reducing their energy bills while making the clearest PP parts ever. In subsequent field trials at a number of converters, using different machine types and part designs, converters have seen energy saving and cycle time successes that confirm the results achieved during the initial collaborative work with Arburg.


Development and production of additives for plastics, textiles, fibers, and other manufacturing processes


ARBURG is one of the leading global manufacturers of injection moulding machines for plastics and the relevant additional equipment.