Acrilex Invests in Customer’s Success with New CNC Router
Friday, February 7th, 2014
Jersey City, New Jersey – Acrilex, Inc proudly announces the addition of a brand new 4 head, multi-tool CNC router at it’s Jersey City fabrication facility. This new router has an 80″ x 120″ router table which accommodates typical 2 meter x 3 meter metric plastic sheet sizes that are being imported from Europe.
“The addition of this machine dramatically increases our capacity, which reduces lead times and cost per unit. Remaining on the “cutting edge” is always high on Acrilex’s priority list. Maximizing yield and throughput while maintaining maximum precision is what it’s all about!” says Dan Rustin, marketing manager at Acrilex.
Investing in equipment and technology allows Acrilex to not only maintain its edge in a competitive industry, but the parts produced from Acrilex’s huge inventory of materials allows its customers to maintain their competitive edge as well without having to compromise on quality or lead time.
The new router is being installed as this is being written, and will be in service by mid February, 2014.
Additional recent investments by Acrilex include the installation of a new high capacity CNC saw at it’s Pennsylvania facility. That investment has already had a substantial impact on the ability of the Norristown branch to better serve its customers with cut-to-size plastics locally, and without the added cost of freight from a remote location. For customers who need large volumes of cut to size plastic, it makes more sense to utilize their own skilled craftsmen to finish the assembly of their products, rather than spending their time on the less complex task of cutting. Bringing in pre-cut blanks saves them a considerable amount of time in their production schedule, reduces the floor space required to produce parts, and allows their skilled workers to focus on the more complex tasks for which they are uniquely qualified.
These installations of equipment are a testimonial to a company that it is growing on how, in this tough economy and in such a competitive industry, investing and innovating processes can help a company to thrive while others may wither. The key to their success, says Rustin, is; “At Acrilex, we are as invested in our customer’s success as we are in our own!”
PETG — THE OFTEN UNSUNG HERO
Plexiglas® and Lucite® are to acrylic, what _____ and _____are to PETG.
When I was in school I always found fill in the blank questions to be a good challenge. What were your responses to the above analogy? Were you able to fill in one or both blanks? Are you familiar with the plastic material PETG?
If you had any trouble with the blanks, or if you’re relieved that you are not the only person to wonder what PETG is, you are certainly not alone!
Except for people in the plastic industry and buyers of plastic materials, most people wouldn’t have a clue about the brand names “Spectar®” or “Vivak®” as the two premier brands of PETG or even what PETG stands for and why we should care. After all, even if you are in those industries, how often does the term PETG come up at a social gathering or holiday party? So it’s not something most people would care about, but ironically PETG, and it’s lesser cousin PET, are recognized by everyone…they just don’t know it.
Let’s take a quick look at PETG and see if there is a reason we should even care, shall we? (If you don’t care…stop reading now!)
PETG and PET are EVERYWHERE! It is in the blister packaging you find impossible to open with many consumer products. It is used because it has excellent clarity, is easily thermoformed (heat formed), can be die cut, punched, stapled, glued, ultrasonically welded, has tremendous impact resistance, resists tearing and chemicals, and is easy to print on, label and paint and is FDA and NSA approved for food contact. PETG is a primary material for packaging medical instruments because of its ability to withstand gamma irradiation used to sterilize the instruments contained within the package. PETG and PET are also in virtually every transparent plastic beverage bottle (often tinted with dyes or pigments), and in the clamshell packaging of your sandwich or salad from Wawa. All of the above qualities, plus the ability to be both pre and post-consumer recyclable make it one of the most attractive of all plastic choices.
In thin gauges, .010” – .060” PETG and PET are primarily packaging and graphics oriented materials, but in thicker gauges (1/8” and up), rigid sheets of PETG offer a broad range of properties which make it an excellent choice for point of purchase displays, store fixtures, furniture, machine shields, viewing ports, and a myriad of other applications.
PETG is easily machined with standard working tools and joined with mechanical fasteners like wood or machine screws, rivets, nails, nuts and bolts. It resists cracking and failure that products like acrylic may be subject too, and it does not “bruise”, or turn white when bent or subject to impact as materials like PVC will, and does not discolor when heat formed or cold bent in fabrication processes. It can also be laser cut, waterjet cut, or routed with CNC routers, and pressed in metal presses and retains its shape once formed. And contrary to popular belief (among plastic fabricators, that is) PETG can be flame polished. If you would like to see some excellent videos on these processes, check out what EASTMAN, the manufacturer of Spectar® Copolyeser resin has created: Fabricating PETG
PETG is also attractive in sign and graphics applications because its ability to accept inks, paints, and pigments without additional adhesion promoters and its inherent resistance to crazing.
Why PETG is not a household name is probably because in is not renowned in consumer products the way that Lucite® and Plexiglas® have been historically, yet as a product line for Acrilex as a distributor, PETG represents the second largest material purchased in volume, surpassing polycarbonate (common brand names Lexan® or Makrolon® ) as a choice for transparent plastics.
Because of PETG’s ease of processing, performance characteristics, and low cost per manufactured unit, it is often the replacement material for acrylic and polycarbonate, which may have more specialized processes involved in producing finished 3 dimensional items, or higher strength performance products that are not in exterior applications.
PETG also passes the NFPA 286 (National Fire Protection Association) for flammability, which may make it a more suitable choice for interior applications requiring transparent impact resistant materials with increased flame retardance (though it is still a combustible thermoplastic, it is slower burning and may self-extinguish when ignition source is no longer present and temperature is below the ignition point).
If you want to see just how popular PET or PETG are look for this recycling symbol on the bottom of most plastic packaging. This symbol with the number 1 in the center tells you that not only is the material recyclable, but it is one of the easiest materials to recycle, making it one of the “greenest” plastics in the industry…important if you actually care about the environment. On the industrial level, being able to regrind and recycle PETG helps to reduce the cost of waste and
Till now, I’ve avoid telling you what PETG stands for as an acronym. That is because it is hard to pronounce and if you don’t already know it, you probably won’t ever need to use it, but in the interest of being thorough, PETG is actually the acronym for polyethylene terephthalate glycol. Feel better now that you know that? Did you also know that PMMA is polymethylmethacrylate, commonly know as acrylic? No? You’re right…who cares? It’s easier to say Lucite® and everyone will know what you mean.
As for why you should care about PETG and know the names Spectar®, Vivak® (and let’s not forget Ultros®), you should understand that this plastic material is perhaps one of the most versatile of all transparent plastics, and the broad range of physical properties, combined with excellent clarity, surface quality, and ease of fabrication make it an excellent choice for your plastic applications. It is a renewable material, and it is tremendously versatile, available and affordable. It’s easy to be green with PETG.
Our company, Acrilex is one of the largest distributors and processors of PETG sheets on the eastern seaboard. Our knowledge of the materials, our extensive inventory and our ability to fabricate components, make us uniquely qualified to judge the importance of this material in your production processes. We understand your needs, and can direct you in the best methods of acquiring and producing the most cost effective solutions.