Michael Misco

Meet Our Pro

Michael Misco

Technical Service Engineer | Blow Molding

With the opening of its new polyethylene plant in Monaca, USA, Shell Polymers has been hiring a team of industry experts, aka Polymer Pioneers and Polymer Pros, who have a proven track record in polyethylene. Technical Service Engineer Mike Misco shares about his role at Shell Polymers and reveals his top four technical blow molding tips.

A Day-in-the-Life of a Technical Service Engineer

Michael explains, “I am heavily involved in finding out what our customers would need from us before we start up. That’s why I help choose the right grade slate to support their current applications while keeping future market trends in mind.

Another daily duty is making sure our application hall is set up to enhance customer relationships by helping them solve problems and identify opportunities. Prior to joining Shell Polymers, I spent several years on the plastic converter end of the industry. With this experience, I have supported several customer resin qualifications, and possess the ability to provide specific process improvement initiatives.

“Our business has created a space unlike any other in the industry.”

Michael Misco

Mike’s Top Four Blow Molding Tips

  • Not all resins are drop-in.

    “Drop-in resin” is a term loosely thrown around in the industry, but one that is often misrepresented. When converting from one resin grade to another in blow molding, processing adjustments will often be necessary.

  • Make sure your heating is consistent.

    Blow molding is very sensitive to temperature fluctuations or inaccurate heating control. When there are such issues, the process is often adjusted to counteract them, which results in an overall smaller process window and the possibility of lower efficiency.

  • Size your head tooling appropriately.

    Head tooling that is properly sized for the intended application is paramount to achieving repeatable applications. Running head tooling that is too small means that the process must rely more on pre-blow to achieve proper a parison size and is more susceptible to inconsistencies. Routine mold maintenance is critical for high-quality products. A worn cavity surface finish will hinder proper venting and result in an inadequate product surface appearance or finish.

  • Have a healthy air control system.

    This is crucial in blow molding, as it enables repeatable pre-blow and blow pressures, which translate to repeatable end-product quality.

An Unrivaled Customer Experience

At Shell Polymers, we want our customers to be at the center of everything we do. To demonstrate this, our business has created a space unlike any other in the industry that will hold multiple pieces of new, industrial-sized machinery across five different markets and processes. We understand the challenges associated with shutting down a production line for a trial, so we want our customers to have the luxury of utilizing this space and equipment to avoid downtime.

For example, if a customer wants to test new head tooling to help with light-weighting initiatives, but can’t sacrifice production line time, we will encourage them to use the machinery in the application hall for initial testing.

We have a fantastic opportunity to show our customers that the small details can make a big difference. For example, we can use our application hall to show that running cooler is not always better! Using a material’s recommended heat profile is critical to how the material behaves and how it will process. Running a cooler heat profile generates more stresses in the polymer that can translate into processing inconsistencies and mechanical failures.

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