Our Exhibitors

Smithers Rapra

Smithers Rapra


SY4 4NR Shrewsbury
United Kingdom

Smithers Rapra is a trusted partner of the plastics and rubber industries. Our business is built around delivering a complete portfolio of rubber and plastic consulting and testing services to support a wide range of sectors including industrial, medical devices, pharmaceutical, packaging, automotive, oil & gas, aerospace, recycling, construction and consumer. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers Rapra’s goal is to add value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products.


Product news

  • Join us on 23rd November for an in-depth look at the PREVIEW system

    See first-hand how PREVIEW can help reduce waste and setting up times in injection moulding through the smart monitoring, control and optimisation of the injection process.

    Held at Promolding’s new facility in The Hague, Netherlands, this one-off workshop will provide you with an in depth look into the new PREVIEW system. Its state of the art signal processing, machine learning techniques, wireless communication and location based content delivery will be presented and demonstrated by professionals from the PREVIEW consortium.

    This workshop takes place on Thursday 23rd November 2017.


  • PREVIEW Concludes Its Final Trial Demo at Smithers Rapra

    The fourth and final full scale demo trial of the PREVIEW system was performed recently at Smithers Rapra Polymer Processing and Development Centre (PPDC), at their site in Shawbury, UK. Two of the partners in this European project (Horizon 2020), Plastia (Spain) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany) travelled to Smithers Rapra’s facilities to continue the implementation and testing of the PREVIEW technology. The partners worked collaboratively to evaluate the overall performance of the system in a real case and industrially-driven scenario.

    PREVIEW’s four components:
    • Data Acquisition System (DAS)
    • Wireless Communication Nodes (WCN)
    • Advanced Prediction System (APS)
    • Location Based Content Delivery (LBCD)
    worked together to build the Cyber Physical System (CPS).

    The fundamental goal of PREVIEW is to reduce waste, and improve productivity through the smart monitoring, control and optimisation of the injection moulding process. The DAS records cavity and machine signals (temperature, pressure), and they are processed and transferred via wireless communication to a central wireless node that collects the data. This node acts as a centralised server that works in conjunction with the advanced predictive system (APS) which analyses the data, determines process inconsistencies and recommends optimum production parameters that are delivered to the user through a mobile application named the location based content delivery (LBCD).

    In this demo trial, all of the PREVIEW subsystems were set up on the first day. The DAS was connected to both: the ARBURG 420C injection moulding machine, and the sensorised mould to read the signals. The DAS interacted properly with the machine and sensor interfaces, timely receiving cavity and machine signals (temperature, pressure). The rate of the data transfer process from the DAS to the WCN was seen to function efficiently, and the main information of the signals was seen to arrive at the node within the first few seconds.

    The reach of the wireless network was evaluated by installing an additional node positioned at least 200 meters away from wireless server in the opposite extreme of the production floor. Simulated data incoming from this node was adequately received and processed by the central server node. It was possible to confirm that both WCNs and the server created a robust wireless network that benefitted from the customised communication protocol to prioritise information and communicate effectively with the APS.

    The optimum parameters of the injection moulding process were established and a Design of Experiment (DoE) was designed based on the following parameters: injection speed (cm3/s), injection pressure (bar) and holding pressure (bar). This was done to identify any deviations that could pose a risk in part quality to feedback into the APS system.

    On the second day, the connection between the DAS-WCNs-CMS-APS was checked again to ensure the whole PREVIEW system loop was working smoothly. The DoE was conducted, and throughout these runs the DAS was able to acquire and display digital data coming from the machine and cavity signals that projected the corresponding plot deviations resulting from the changes of the injection speed, injection pressure, and holding pressure.

    The partners involved noted the changes in injection speed and holding pressure, as obtained from the data captured by the DAS. These results prove the adaptability and capability of the DAS to accurately monitor the changes in injection moulding parameters. The quality of the produced parts, in addition to any production defect (e.g. flash, flow mark, shrinkage etc.) was monitored and visually inspected by the operator. Part dimensionality and weight were also measured for the purpose of quality control.

    On the third day, after completion of the training process for establishing the production parameters in the APS, this subsystem was evaluated and it was corroborated it could effectively monitor the injection moulding process, providing part quality classification and recommendations to secure optimum set-up. All this information was easily retrieved remotely by the user through the location based content delivery mobile application. In addition to classifying the quality of parts (e.g. good/bad), the APS was capable of assisting the user in identifying the type of defect, which was seen to greatly improve the quality control process by guiding the operator into what to specifically look for.

    The whole third day was focused on running the system autonomously, e.g. as in full scale production trial, and monitoring the stability, smoothness and performance of both: the individual subsystems, and the PREVIEW system as a whole. The overall observation from the partners was that PREVIEW can work smoothly in an industrial production scale environment. Yet another successful trial for the PREVIEW Project team after spending more than two and a half years on the development of an inclusive, innovative and smart technological system.


  • A Practitioner’s Approach to Polyurethane – 15-16 November 2017

    (Shropshire, UK) –11 September 2017 – Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and testing expertise, today announced a new expert-led training course covering polyurethanes. ‘A Practitioner’s Approach to Polyurethane’ will take place on 15-16 November 2017 at Smithers Rapra in Shropshire, UK.

    The course explores how to use polyurethane (PU) science and technology to optimise products. It will benefit both those with an in-depth knowledge of polymer chemistry and others who are new to Polyurethanes and is aimed at individuals who already have an understanding of the basic constituents of PU but who wish to look deeper into how to better use its science and technology.

    Presenting the course is Bob Moss who began his career in PU product development in the early 1970’s and who more recently provides a consultancy service to the PU industry worldwide.

    More details and registration can be found at http://www.smithersrapra.com/events/training-courses/practitioners-approach-to-polyurethane

    Or by contacting Kerry Haralambou at kharalambou@smithers.com , telephone -+44 (0) 1939 252312.


  • Introduction to Rubber Technology - 6-7 December 2017

    (Shropshire, UK) –18 September 2017 – Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing expertise today announced that due to the high demand for places on its ‘Introduction to Rubber Technology’ training course, additional dates would be added. The flagship course, which is part of Smithers Rapra’s comprehensive training programme, will be held on 6th and 7th December 2017 at its European headquarters in Shawbury, Shropshire.

    Topics include an introduction to rubber materials and their properties, the fundamental aspects of rubber technology, from material selection, compounding, vulcanisation, processing (conversion of raw materials into finished products), through to mechanical properties, environmental resistance, testing and specifications, evaluation of product failure and finally interactive case study exercises.

    The two-day training course will help delegates deal more effectively and confidently with suppliers and customers. It will also explore how to optimise in-house design and production methods and identify effective quality control procedures and areas of investigation for further product development programmes.

    Delegates will learn from Smithers consultants and development engineers with extensive direct experience in the rubber industry as well as from time working with clients on failure investigation, material selection and compound development.

    More details and registration can be found at http://www.smithersrapra.com/events/training-courses/introduction-to-rubber-technology

    Or by contacting Kerry Haralambou at kharalambou@smithers.com , telephone -+44 (0) 1939 252312.