SPEAKER INTERVIEW: Ken Van Nimwegen, Alkegen

Next up in our exclusive series of interviews with our speakers is Ken Van Nimwegen, Market Manager - RapidFire™ Heater Bands at Alkegen. 

Alkegen is an innovation-driven leader focused on battery technologies, filtration media, specialty insulation and more. Their RapidFire™ – Radiant Heater Bands represent the next generation in barrel heating for injection molding. RapidFire™ employs radiant heat and high-efficiency insulation to control and direct the heat energy, providing substantial energy savings, and subsequent reduced carbon emissions, as well as faster start-up and a safer, more comfortable work environment. At Alkegen, they're delivering products that enable the world to breathe easier, live greener, and go further than ever before.  

What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors? 

Traditional heater bands are highly dated and extremely inefficient. Alkegen's RapidFire™ Heater Bands employ both highly efficient radiant heat and high-performance insulation to control and contain the heat associated with barrel heating. The result is reduced energy consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, improved consistency, faster start-ups, a safer work environment and a more comfortable work space.


Are there any new technology developments that your company is working on at the moment? 

Alkegen is developing an online design tool to make the process of upgrading to RapidFire™ Heater Bands easier and more intuitive. Kits can be designed online, with visual graphics, defining specific parts, creating a quote, estimating CO2 reduction based on each facility's operating parameters, and calculating a return-on-investment.


What are the biggest challenges facing the injection molding industry today, and how can this be overcome? 

Rapid energy cost increases combined with end-user requirements for CO2 reduction are two of the primary challenges we're seeing at this time. Since reducing energy consumption also reduces CO2 emissions, cost-effective energy initiatives are typically a key facet of our customers' strategy.


How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years? 

Increased use of recycled materials, which often require higher processing temperatures and therefore increased energy consumption and elevated CO2 emissions, will continue. Companies which can off-set these challenges with better processes or better technology, will have a competitive edge moving forward.


You are speaking at the Injection Molding and Design Expo, what are you most looking forward to? 

 Seeing the technologies at that are actually being successfully deployed, to improve the industry's ability to meet customer needs, is always very interesting.

Hear Ken's talk on 'Optimization of barrel heating for improved consistency, energy savings and CO2 emission reduction' at the Injection Molding and Design Expo.