Polymer Profile 2x4: Elliot Carnevale, Technical Service Engineer, Injection Molding

Polymer Profile 2x4: Elliot Carnevale, Technical Service Engineer | Injection Molding

Our 2x4 series shares two fun facts and four expert tips from the people who are helping us create an unrivaled customer experience.

By Shell Polymers on Mar 10, 2020

With the opening of our new polyethylene plant in Monaca, USA, right around the corner, Shell Polymers has hired 60 polymer experts, aka Polymer Pioneers and Polymer Pros, who have a proven track record in polyethylene. In this “2x4”, Technical Service Engineer Elliot Carnevale reveals two personal facts and his top four injection molding technical tips.

Elliot has over a decade of experience in injection molding and extrusion, product formulation, and troubleshooting; and he is looking forward to leveraging expertise to help customers make better parts more efficiently.

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What are your daily duties as a technical service engineer?

Solving customer problems. Preventing customer problems. I prefer a fundamental approach to problem solving, so I look at the part design, mold design, process and material to develop a list of possible variables driving the issue. These principles were further reinforced when I completed the American Injection Molding Institute’s Plastics Technology and Engineering Certificate Program earlier this year.

“My role is to serve as an advocate for customers when they’re not in the room”

How do you strive to create the unrivaled customer experience within your role at Shell Polymers? 

Even though Shell Polymers is still preparing its new plant for start-up, I am already focusing on our future customers’ needs. I’ve always felt that my role as a technical service engineer requires me to serve as an advocate for my customers when they’re not in the room, and I work to do that every day. That’s how I strive to create an unrivaled customer experience.

What sets Shell Polymers apart from other suppliers? 

There’s a number of things but the application hall is one of the most significant, in my opinion. Outfitted with state-of-the-art, industrial-scale equipment that is available for our customers to use for prototyping and materials evaluation, it will be unlike anything else in the PE industry.

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Elliot at Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steelers play
Elliot at Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steelers play

What activities or hobbies do you participate in outside work? 

I play soccer three times a week and get out on the golf course as much as the Pittsburgh weather permits.

I guess you could say conquering mountains is another hobby. And I love to travel. I’ve visited five continents and plan to get to Australia in the next couple of years and make it six. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to Antarctica, but never say never!

Elliot’s Top Four Technical Tips

  • Make sure you’re running the most appropriate resin.

    It is quite common for injection molders to become comfortable running a specific resin and they often extend its use to multiple applications. But that can result in overengineered, more costly parts. I think there’s a real opportunity for converters to look at each application critically, and with an open mind, before deciding on what material is most appropriate.

  • Defects aren’t usually caused by a single problem.

    Most injection molders experience some defects and processing issues and, when problems occur, it can be a mistake to look for a single cause. Engineers will typically hunt for a magic bullet and, when they find it, assume that it will solve all their future problems. In my experience, it’s far more likely the result of multiple variables combining.

  • Running hotter doesn’t overcome many pressure-related issues.

    In injection molding, shear has a far more significant impact on the flow behavior of a material than the temperature of the barrel. Higher shear generally means lower viscosity. So, consider your screw design, your injection velocity and the diameter of your flow channels.

  • Simulation is an injection molder’s best friend.

    If you are not already using simulation, it can be a hugely valuable tool because it avoids the need to iterate on the press. Instead, you get to understand the impact of different variables at the click of a button.