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Optical quality of products  #1-2(107-108), 2012

The company, which produces optical elements by injection molding, has increased performance via significant reduction of pollution level of raw materials, having applied technology solutions from Pelletron Corporation

MagEyes Inc. of Kerville, Texas, USA - a small company, specializing in manufacturing of acrylic lenses, is well acquainted with the problems met while casting the transparent parts. Driven by necessity to resolve them, since recent time MagEyes became a partner of Pelletron Corporation.

Annually the company produces about 80 thousand lenses using less than 2.3 tons of clear acrylic. However, the small production capacity doesn’t imply any impact on the lens optical quality – ‘tmust be of top value. Just on a trial stage the company ran into difficulties: during the test run with 227 kg of acrylic the quantity of acceptable lenses has declined rapidly from 80 to 40 percent. Supplier of raw materials has suggested that the fines contamination of the acrylic was higher than anticipated. Dust was also infiltrating the material, causing an increase in rejected lenses because of streaking or white spots. Lint and other finest air contaminants (thread-like, etc.) were also present because of acrylic’s high susceptibility to static.

For solution the company’s management turned to Pelletron Corporation of Lancaster, Pa., manufacturer of dedusting equipment. The latter is used in variety of industries, including automotive, medical equipment, product design and development, plastics, textiles, and food.

Pelletron’s dedusting technology features a flux field generator that produces a low power electromagnetic field, disrupting the electrostatic bond between plastic pellets and dust particles. The pellets and dust are then brought to a primary cleaning zone of the DeDuster™ unit, where they are washed by air that lifts the lighter contaminants above the main product stream. Pellets pass through a patented Venturi chamber, which regulates updraft air velocity to sufficient level to remove streamers, the heaviest of dust particles.

Manufacturers can install a DeDuster™ in-line to the process flow – preferably at the feed throat of injection molding machine or extruder, or off-line as a regrind or scrap recovery system.

The specialists of MagEyes selected for company’s production the P1 Mini-DeDuster™ unit – the smallest model of Pelletron, capable to process up to 68 kg of material per hour and separate particles smaller than 10 micron. The use of P1 Mini-DeDuster™ caused a drastic reduction of reject rate – now 92 percent of thinner lenses and 86 percent of the thicker ones are having the required quality level.

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