Thermoforming Quarterly is a journal published quarterly by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The magazine is a great way to keep up with industry trends and developments. SPE Thermoforming Division members receive the magazine by mail four times a year. Non-members can access old issues here via PDF file. If you are not an SPE member this is a great reason to join! Become a member today to start receiving this valuable information in your mailbox.
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Third Quarter 2017
If You Spied a Unicorn, How Would You Catch It?
Monika Jacobs, KLA Industries, Cincinnati, OH
Back in the day, finding the top people in any field used to be really hard. I’m talking about just finding them – not attracting them, hiring them, and retaining them. Just finding them was hard. But technology and data, moving at blinding speed, have changed all that. In 2008, LinkedIn surpassed 10 million members. By 2011, that increased to over 100 million, and today it is approaching 500 million. And that is just one way to find people. Unless you’re in a witness protection program, we can find you online in somewhere between 4 and 30 seconds.
So what’s my point? Finding top talent in the thermoforming industry is actually EASY. The question is, why can’t you hire them? CAUTION: what follows is not for the squeamish. You may find yourself going through the five stages of hiring grief when reading this: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and hopefully in the end, some measure of acceptance. ‘A-players’ aren’t really unicorns; they exist, but here are the top five reasons you may have a difficult time getting them to work for you.
Bringing 2D Inkjet into 3D Forming Applications Using Monofunctional, Low-Crosslinking and Heat-Stable UV Ink
By Don Sloan, Ink Development Manager and Mike Plier, Ink Business Development Manager, EFI, Fremont, CA
UV inkjet printing is one of the predominant imaging platforms in wide-format graphics production. Thanks to health and safety advantages that UV inkjet inks offer over solvent-based inks, their high productivity, nearly instant curing and superior adhesion, they offer compatibility with a broad range of media. But some of the properties that make UV inkjet an attractive option also impose limitations on inkjet’s technical capabilities. By carefully altering formulations, UV inkjet has many potential uses as an alternative to time-consuming, manual decal decoration and airbrush painting in industrial thermoforming applications.
While the market potential for converting these types of applications to digital printing is attractive, the status quo in inkjet ink development emphasizes difunctional, high-crosslinking acrylates that cannot withstand the heat, pressure and elongation needed in the thermoforming process.
By carefully examining the role monofunctional acrylates can play, industry can develop a potentially important new niche for custom printing of industrial and packaging products using inks that can withstand superior elongation under high-heat thermoforming conditions. Monofunctional acrylates enable UV inkjet inks to be flexible enough to meet or exceed the percentage of elongation possible with the underlying substrate. Rethinking the color pigmentation process, augmenting inks to develop process colors that don’t change under heat and don’t fade when stretched, helps to complete this important technical innovation.
Full articles appears in print magazine mailed to members.