Featured Articles

Durable goods orders in June increased $1.8 billion

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 28th, 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau announced last week that new orders for manufactured durable goods (those lasting three years or more) increased $1.8 billion or 0.7% to $239.9 billion. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 1.0% May decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased to 0.8%.

Machinery orders were up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $0.9 billion or 2.4% to $373.3 billion.

Summertime and the grass is green! But how is the lawn & garden market?

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 28th, 2014

The lawn and garden market always springs to life about April or May in many parts of the country, and that's when sales of garden tractors and equipment, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and other helpful tools for landscape maintenance, lawn care and gardening see a strong boost in sales. However, according to the National Gardening Association (NGA), the lawn and garden business could be better.

Medical thermoformer Nelipak expands U.S. footprint with Flexpak acquisition

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 28th, 2014

Nelipak Corp. (Cranston, RI) announced today that it has closed on the acquisition of Debond Corp. (dba Flexpak Corp.). The business will be owned by Nelipak and operate under the name of Nelipak Healthcare Packaging.

Thermoplastic-compatible carbon fiber production commences; focus on auto sector

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 27th, 2014

At the end of June, SGL Group (Wiesbaden, Germany) started production of thermoplastic-compatible polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fibers at its Muir of Ord site in Scotland. The new production start-up will initially service orders from the automotive industry.

Desiccant wheel dryers sized just right for medical molders, extruders

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 27th, 2014

New compact dryers from Conair (Cranberry Township, PA) that can be mounted on the feed throat of a molding machine or extruder provide the same performance as larger desiccant-wheel dryers, making them advantageous when small quantities of expensive engineering resins are processed. Suppliers serving the medical device industry and other sectors where engineering resins are commonly used will benefit.

Reportedly the smallest wheel-type dryers on the market, the MicroWheel devices are designed as an alternative to compressed-air dryers and small twin-tower units.

New study looks at the role plastic films play in global food production

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 25th, 2014

In order to feed a global population, which is expected to top nine billion people by 2050, the world must reduce food waste and the distribution of food needs to be improved and food production increased. At the same time, agriculture faces challenges due to changing economic and environmental trends including climate change, biofuel expansion, slowing agricultural yields, rising meat demand and ever increasing calorie intake from a growing global middle class. It is estimated that by 2050, about 70% of the global population will be urban, compared to 50% today.

Medical devices done dirt cheap

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 25th, 2014

Smartphones and 3D printing have the potential to bring life-saving medical technology to the masses at a fraction of the cost of conventional medical devices. From the $50 prosthetic hand to bubble wrap's conversion to in vitro diagnostics, here are four stunning examples of advanced medical and IVD technology that cost less than a pair of athletic shoes.

Click on the arrow below to learn about the $50 prosthetic that, in some circumstances, outperforms a $42,000 device.

IMDA symposium to feature keynote speaker Mike Ferrari

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 25th, 2014

The In-Mold Decorating Association announced Mike Ferrari of Ferrari Innovation Solutions, LLC, as its keynote speaker at its 2014 IMDA Symposium and Exhibit, October 22-23, 2014. The event will be held at the DoubleTree Chicago North Shore Hotel & Conference Center in Skokie, IL. The theme for the 2014 Symposium is "IML/IMD - Concept to Completion: How IMDA Awards are Won."

Andiamo Luggage uses new extrudable polycarbonate designed for enhanced scratch-resistance

By Tim Somheil
Published: July 25th, 2014

A billion people worldwide travel annually, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). That number is expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030.

But there's no reason to expect travel to get any easier—on travelers or on their luggage—in years to come.

Andiamo Luggage LLC and Bayer MaterialScience developed an extrudable polycarbonate grade intended to help keep suitcases looking good, even after extensive travel. Makrolon ET MS240 is designed to provide significantly better surface protection.

New antioxidant biomaterial prevents medical implant failure, promotes healing

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 25th, 2014

When a foreign material is put inside the human body, you will always get an inflammatory response to some degree, says Guillermo Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering in McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University (Chicago). "A problem with commonly used plastic materials, in particular, is that in addition to that inflammatory response, oxidation occurs," he adds.

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