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Ohio Injection Molder Beats Chinese Competition, Creates Jobs

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 at 3:29 am

ICB, a Chicago-based maker of carts and dollies sought to change the landscape of their industry by developing a sturdier plastic-based dolly–instead of the traditional dollies made of wood.

Most would last about one year before breaking down and tossed in a landfill.  China uses plywood over 90% of the time, so ICB President saw an opportunity for a stronger, value-driven product to take to the market. But who could handle this type of art-to-part and innovation to make his concept a reality?

The answer resided a few miles off of I-75 in Ada, Ohio. Custom injection molder Associated Plastics Corporation was up to the task and after analyzing King’s prototype they demonstrated the ingenuity that those in the tooling industry long before them used to build this economy.

What are Igniters?

In guides on February 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Igniters are devices or assemblies that produce a specific level of heat in order to initiate a larger combustion reaction. Within industrial applications, igniters are manufactured for various engine and burner systems and applications including process heaters and high pressure washers. They are produced in simple and complex designs according to application use. This guide distinguishes the characteristics, functions and common issues associated with several of the most common industrial igniters, including pyrotechnic, hot surface and spark (or electrode) devices.

Pyrotechnic Igniters

Pyrotechnic igniters are frequently controlled electrically. They are initiated to ignite materials that generally have complex ignition requirements. Thermites are a pyrotechnic mixture of metal powder and oxide, which generates a reaction called a thermite response. While this reaction is not typically explosive, it can produce rapid bursts of high temperatures under the right conditions. This reaction’s higher temperatures are generally concentrated on a very small area for a short period of time.

Additional Considerations

These devices may require maintenance to adhere to safety standards, which should be verified through the manufacturer. In some applications, they may be demanding devices to operate as they require installation for individual engine tests.

Hot Surface Igniters

Invented in 1969, these igniters are composed of ceramic materials. These devices are also the most commonly used electronic ignition systems today. They are generally employed for applications such as space furnaces and heaters. Hot surface igniters are commonly used for their reliability and durability potential.

Hot Surface Igniter Configuration

The two composition materials generally associated with hot surface igniters are silicon carbide and silicon nitride.

  • Silicon carbide is a compound of carbon and silicon and is characterized by a low density and oxidation resistance. This compound, seen in igniters, has good high temperature strength.
  • Silicon nitride is a chemical compound of silicon and nitrogen. It is a hard ceramic with a high strength and is durable over a broad temperature range. Its notable characteristics include durability over a high temperature range.

Additional Considerations

Because these igniters are made of ceramics, they are considered durable and thermally robust and may last from 3-5 years. However, they may gradually weaken over time and use and will eventually generate less heat than their full potential; they should be replaced when this occurs. Hot surface igniters may also experience premature burnout.

Spark Igniters

Spark igniters are also known as flame igniters, according to their application. Generally, they are considered efficient devices because they are easy and safe to handle. They are electric and no gas leaks are involved. Spark igniters function as a device that ignites compressed fuels, such as aerosol gas, petroleum gas that is generally liquefied, and ethanol. Some manufacturers produce spark igniters (also called spark plugs) that produce an ultra thrust ignition, which provides reduced emissions and a faster start.

A spark plug may be considered either hot or cold. The difference is hot spark plugs generally hold more heat in the physical tip of the spark plug, while cold spark plugs generate more heat out of the tip and lower its temperature. Spark igniters include a subcategory called chatterboxes.

Spark Igniter Configuration

Chatterboxes are considered the least sophisticated of the spark-igniter systems. Various manufactured chatterbox devices are self-cleaning. Spark igniters of this type are capable of igniting more than one burner at a time, and they can be controlled by an on and off switch. The spark is produced at a set of make and break contacts. These are made of tungsten for extended durability.

Tungsten is a steel gray metal that is distinguished by its robust physical properties. It has the highest melting point of all metals it its pure form, and is often utilized in rocket engine and vehicle applications.

Additional Considerations

Sometimes a spark igniter will fail to ignite. A certain energy level must be maintained or the spark will dissipate. Manufacturers of these igniters suggest inspecting coloring of the tip (which should appear light brown) of the igniter block to ensure proper function. Changes in color and deformations may signal contamination or chipping, which can lead to misfire. To prevent a malfunction, tools like spark plug reading viewers are available.

How Control Valves Work

In guides on January 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm

In control loop systems (a system with feedback controls), there are numerous devices in place to provide system feedback along the way. Sensors help gauge the process as it is happening, measuring such traits as flow and pressure, and then provide the system with appropriate feedback. If a predetermined set-point for pressure, for example, is surpassed, the sensor will trigger an appropriate mechanism to diffuse the excess pressure. In a similar fashion, control valves are triggered by other system devices to help ensure the control loop system is operating properly.

There are three basic components in a typical control valve: the valve body, the actuator, and additional accessories. The valve body refers to the basic pressure valve, the functional valve itself. The actuator serves to position and control throttling (the valve’s ability to regulate either liquid or gas). Additional accessories can include sensors, other valves (such as solenoid valves), and limit switches.

A properly functioning control valve should possess several key characteristics. First, a control valve is responsible for controlling how much of a given liquid or gas flows through the valve, and should operate with linear flow and constant gain. Additionally, the amount of time it takes a valve to respond to an operator’s command to change positions, also called dead time, should be minimal to enable the valve to maintain its level of efficiency. Another factor that can greatly affect a valve’s efficiency is how fast the valve’s actuator can respond to a change in the control system.

Types of Control Valves

  • Globe Valves

A basic globe valve is typically used to control pipeline flow and other fluid systems. The valve itself features a spherically shaped body with a moveable disc, which slides in and out of a fixed ring seat to open and close the valve. In manual globe valves, the disc (or plug) is connected to a threaded steam, which moves in and out of place via a screwing motion (such as commonly found in many twist-style water spigot handles). However, in automated globe valves, the stem isn’t threaded and the disc moves in and out of place by an actuator.

  • Pressure Relief Valves

Pressure relief valves are in place to help maintain and control pressure in fluid systems. A pre-determined pressure level is set, and the valve effectively relieves fluid whose pressure rises above this level through an additional passageway. The additional passageway, or auxiliary passage, is forced open when pressure reaches a set level (meaning pressure relief valves are self-activated) and the pressurized fluid is removed, converted into gas, and released. Pressure release valves are important in high pressure systems because they protect system components from potential damage that can occur when pressure levels exceed a certain level.

  • Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are generally used as basic on-off valves. They can be concentric, meaning the dsic or plug is aligned with the center of the valve, or eccentric, meaning the disc of plug is off-center. Eccentric butterfly valves are preferable for applications requiring throttling, while concentric butterfly valves are more suited to basic on-off applications. In automated butterfly valves, eccentric valves are preferred because the off-center nature of the plug limits contact between the plug and the seat, helping prevent wear.

r th tnn!(Ie to tube fitting is more closing aligned. Tubes are made with inside diameters up to 6 inches.

  • ASTM A312/ ASME SA312

For high temperature and general carrion resistance this specification for seamless and straight-seam welded stainless steel pipe applies. Appropriate grades include 304, 304L 316, 316L, 317, and 321. The manufacturing process lends itself to high-production runs because of the basic nature of the techniques and design. As a result, ASTM A312 is not appropriate for use as sanitary tubing, and is subject to size limitations—industrial piping of nominal pipe size (NPS) should instead be used for pharmaceutical facilities or other sensitive large-scale applications.

Other specifications, such as ASTM A358 (which designates the standards for chromium-nickel alloy stainless steel pipe for high temperature service), address other sizes, diameters, and temperature ranges for stainless steel piping and tubing. The specifications discussed above only address several common specifications and are do not constitute an exhaustive list.

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