Posted in | News | Plastics and Polymers

RTP Company Help Develop New Cable Tie Tool

New Berlin Plastics, a custom injection molding company, was recently approached by HellermannTyton, 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.

Innovative cable tie tool. Image credit: RTP Company.

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 physical challenge 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, elephone (507) 454-6900 or visit their web site at www.rtpcompany.com.

About RTP Company

RTP Company, headquartered in Winona, Minn., is a global compounder of custom engineered thermoplastics. The company has 12 manufacturing plants on three continents, plus sales representatives throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. RTP Company's engineers develop customized thermoplastic compounds in over 60 different engineering resin systems for applications requiring color, conductive, elastomeric, flame retardant, structural, and wear resistant properties.

About New Berlin Plastics

Located in New Berlin, WI, New Berlin Plastics manufactures custom injection molded plastic components for industries and markets that require and place a value on engineered products and services. The company prefers to partner early with customers, providing value added engineering services up-front, making for the best possible product for the application.

About HellermannTyton

HellermannTyton, Milwaukee, WI, is a leading, global manufacturer of systems and solutions which help world-class customers better manage and identify wire, cable, and components. Located in over 30 countries, HellermannTyton offers an integrated approach in the design, manufacturing, and delivery of its products which result in higher quality and lower costs for our customers.

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