Process Management Technologies to Enhance the Moldability of Recycled PVC

Request Number REQ0272739
Due Date May 29, 2015
Author Nick Kacsandi
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Process Management Technologies to Enhance the Moldability of Recycled PVC
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a Leading Molder of Engineered Nonmetallic Materials, has an urgent need to identify partners with process control / process management capabilities (hardware, sensors and software) to enhance the consistency and quality of injection molded thermoplastic components.


Recycled PVC materials present significant challenges to NineSigma’s injection molding client. Their source thermoplastics are comprised of blends from several unrelated product streams and industrial sources. Due to unknowns regarding the frequency with which these materials have been melted, processed or repurposed through their lifetime, the consistency and subsequent moldability of the PVC may fluctuate on a case-by-case basis.


At the present time, the client’s manufacturing processes are based on a pre-determined set of parameters around material characteristics and equipment capabilities. Examples of parameter limitations would be cycle time verses mold stress and melt temperature verses physical properties. However, due to the aforementioned unknowns, any deviation from these parameters can result in process errors, increased run time, product loss or operational downtime for cleaning and maintenance. Changes in the source material and major capital equipment expenditures are difficult to justify due to cost and timing concerns. Therefore, novel in-process modifications must be introduced to offset the technical deficiencies.


NineSigma’s client has issued this global request to identify partners with capabilities and technologies that will enhance the level of control over and improve the consistency and reliability of the recycled PVC molding process. The goal is to allow greater flexibility and adaptability within the system to respond to process and parameter fluctuations on a shot-by-shot basis. Partners with the ability to collaborate in the optimization of these technologies or with capabilities supported by customizable software, sensors and hardware are of significant interest.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan


Phase 1 – Initial Discussions under NDA

Phase 2 – Proof of Concept

  •  Prototype samples run on injection presses similar to client’s presses.

Phase 3 – Scale-up to industrial operations

  • Scaled up demonstrations on client’s injection presses. 


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2


  • Agreement by both parties that the proposed solution can address the Client’s challenges. 
  • Implementation plan including technical data



Key Success Criteria

The technology will:

  • Be compatible with or adaptable to injection molding operations (either single or multi-cavity)
  • Be compatible with or adaptable to recycled PVC material streams
  • Apply to one or more of the following steps in process:
    • Thermoplastic melting
    • Thermoplastic injection
    • Molded part cooling
    • Molded part ejection
    • Handling of finished molded part
  • Measurably impact client’s access and control over one or more of the following:
    • Total cycle time
    • Cost
    • Material quality (Pre-melt, In-process, In-mold, and/or Post-mold)
    • Temperature control (both material and systemic)
    • End product consistency
    • Waste management or scrap reduction
    • Energy cost per part


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Process control systems to enhance current operations
    • Faster or more efficient actuation
    • Thermal management solutions
  • In-process monitoring
  • Material characterization technology to monitor PVC quality and characteristics throughout the injection molding process
  • Foreign object identification
  • Software and algorithms, including data management, analytics and systems integration.
  • Sensors or hardware-based technologies that can be adapted or retrofit to existing injection molding operations.


Proposed solutions that also include an equipment and/or material component should explicitly address compatibility of the material/equipment with operations in a recycled PVC stream.



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Material solutions that do not have an integral process-based component
  • Equipment solutions that do not have a specific focus on process integration and optimization.
  • Environmentally unfriendly solutions
  • Solutions that negatively impact worker safety.



Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

To respond to this Expert opportunity, please follow the link below to access and complete our Expert Capabilities Form.  Note that you will need a copy of your CV, resume, or professional bio in order to complete the form.  You may also wish to provide any other supplemental information highlighting your expertise in this field.





Appropriate Respondents to this Request

Respondents from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.


You represent a company, academic institution or other organization with expertise in process management and engineering that can provide a solution for optimization in the intended application


You represent an organization with novel systems and software that should provide a solution ready for testing in the intended application


You represent an organization with technologies related to injection molding and/or recycled thermoplastics that can provide a solution for development and prototyping


You represent an organization with technology that should provide a solution but that requires further research and development to ready it for transfer to commercial use.


Area of Interest
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