Satellite assembly automated with insert placement process

By Stephen Moore
Published: May 6th, 2015

Swiss firm Ruag Space has developed an automated process for placement of inserts into composite sandwich panels used in satellites. A typical communication satellite has more than 2,500 inserts. Up until now, the space industry has been using manual processes to place these inserts.

Injection molder Diversified Plastics named ESOP Company of the Year

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: May 5th, 2015

Custom injection molding company Diversified Plastics Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has received the Company of the Year Award from the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Diversified Plastics' ESOP provides its employees company stock like a typical 401K. Since the employees took ownership of the company in November 2011, its stock value has increased almost seven fold.

Biobased PaperFoam champagne packaging design wins coveted DieLine Award

By Karen Laird
Published: May 5th, 2015

PaperFoam (Barneveld, Netherlands), a young company specialized in sustainable packaging, has captured the DieLine Sustainable Packaging Award 2015 for its Naturally Clicquot 2, an eco-packaging design solution made from PaperFoam material for champagne producer Veuve Clicquot.

PaperFoam is a biopolymer based on industrial starch derived from potatoes or tapioca, cellulose fibers and Premix, which is produced via an injection molding process. This low-carbon-footprint material is biodegradable and home compostable.

Demand for vinyl steps up, as U.S. consumers flock to hard-surface flooring

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: May 5th, 2015

Demand for hard-surface flooring in the United States is forecast to advance 6.1% per year to 11.3 billion square feet in 2019, valued at $16.7 billion, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH). As building construction and improvement and repair spending increase under a recovering economy, hard-surface flooring as an alternative to traditional installed carpeting continues to gain converts. Vinyl and its luxury vinyl tile (LVT) subset are expected to post the most rapid gains in demand, says Freedonia.

Repsol builds metallocene polyethylene plant to help secure competitive position into next decade

By Karen Laird
Published: May 5th, 2015

Repsol, the Spanish oil and chemicals group headquartered in Madrid, has announced plans for the construction of a new manufacturing unit for metallocene linear polyethylene at its Tarragona Petrochemical Complex. Construction, said the company, will start in June of this year and is expected to take around three months.

MedShare rescues medical equipment from U.S. landfills to save lives in Nepal

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: May 5th, 2015

Discarded medical equipment that was destined for a landfill is being put to much better use by a nonprofit in San Leandro, CA. MedShare, which collects equipment from hospitals and manufacturers that is being discarded because it is either obsolete, expired or being replaced with newer models, has been shipping containers to Nepal, where the medical products provide a lifeline to survivors of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on April 25. The still-rising death toll is estimated at 7,500, with at least 14,000 injured.

Resin markets: PE price edges higher while PP drops

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: May 5th, 2015

The spot resin markets were busy throughout April, and this past week did not disappoint, writes the Plastics Exchange in a market update published on May 1, 2015. There was also a sharp divergence noted between the polyethylene and polypropylene markets, continuing the reversal from the trends of the past several months. There was a flurry of polyethylene buying as processors sought to procure material ahead of the May price increase; spot prices again edged higher while supplies dwindled.

Polyimide-based aerogel shows promise as composite core material

By Stephen Moore
Published: May 5th, 2015

Aerogels have long been desirable as composite materials on account of their lightweight nature and high thermal insulating  properties, but existing aerogels are made from particulate silica, which inhibits their adoption in plastics-based composite structures. To overcome this issue, a solution based on polyimide (PI) resin is now available that is claimed to be a highly capable core material that is extremely easy to incorporate.

April PMI flat, according to manufacturing report

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: May 4th, 2015

Not much changed in April from the March Manufacturing Report on Business: the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remained flat at 51.5%. While the March and April PMI were equal, 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries tracked by the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee saw growth in April, while only 10 reported growth in March, indicating a broader distribution of growth in April among the 18 industries, commented committee Chair Bradley J. Holcomb.

5 Gyres Institute offers trip to visit plastic pollution in North Atlantic

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: May 4th, 2015

If you've ever wanted to see oceanic plastic pollution up close and personal, the 5 Gyres Institute, a global plastic pollution research organization, has a trip you won't want to miss. The institute has launched an online contest for those who want to learn first-hand about the problem and help drive solutions. The winner will be invited to join the final leg of 5 Gyre's June research expedition to the North Atlantic Ocean.

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