Bothered and bewildered over bioplastics

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: November 19th, 2015

It seems that there's much confusion over bioplastics. There are biodegradable plastics, landfill-degradable plastics, oxobiodegradable plastics (that degrade in the open environment), compostable plastics that require composting in a commercial composting facility with the proper microbial action and temperatures. . . . Meanwhile, accusations of greenwashing proliferate, as various bioplastic producers duke it out over whose bioplastic is greener, further complicating the issue.

When war breaks out, medical innovation wins

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: November 13th, 2015

Back in the 1960s, there was a very popular poster that had a childlike drawing of a flower with the words, "War is not healthy for children and other living things." It's hard to argue with that, but, in one respect, war does have a positive impact on the human condition.

Don't believe what you read: The manufacturing economy is flatlining

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: November 9th, 2015

A few months back, I wrote a blog on how we're discovering that the emperor has no clothes. It appears that many in the government haven't discovered that yet, and are still excited about non-existent economic success. For example, many media outlets were raving about the "271,000 net new jobs" in October, but what they missed was that none of these were in manufacturing.

Relativity and the perfect molded plastic part

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: November 2nd, 2015

Last week the Rodon Group released a new e-book, How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part, which is a good primer on the topic of the four most important components to getting the "perfect" plastic part.

GOP debate: What happened to healthcare?

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: October 30th, 2015

I didn't really expect to see the medical device tax come up during the Republican presidential candidate debate on Wednesday night, but I thought healthcare policy would be put through the wringer at some point and that—you never know—one or two of the more-informed candidates might rail against the excise tax to score some points with the business community. That was my line of thinking before the debate got underway on CNBC. Then the train wreck started, and substance—never mind something as parochial as the device tax—was the first casualty.

GriffsNotes: How polyethylene won the war

By Allan Griff
Published: October 29th, 2015

Back in the summer of 1940, the Nazis had already occupied France and Holland, and Great Britain was next on their list. It wouldn't be so easy—the last time anybody successfully invaded Britain was in 1066—so they started bombing the military facilities and parts of the cities. The British fought back. Outnumbered in planes and pilots (the average pilot age was 20), they kept resisting in the air and from the ground with anti-aircraft guns. They also kept building new fighter planes.

. . . but can your CNC machine carve a pumpkin?

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: October 28th, 2015

Why, you might ask, would someone use a CNC vertical mill and spend hundreds of dollars in machine time to carve a pumpkin? For Mike Ouellette, the Skilled Trades Training Coordinator at the Valiant Training and Development Center in Windsor, ON, Canada, it's all about fostering an interest in robotics and manufacturing among young people.

Lego: Just another brick in the wall of censorship, per Ai Weiwei

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: October 26th, 2015

Do you have some random Lego pieces laying around—and who doesn't—that are not being put to good use? You might want to consider donating them to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Donald Trump can't buy TV sets made in the USA

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: October 23rd, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a big fan of Made in America—and a critic of offshoring—with his "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan. He recently bemoaned the fact that he can't buy television sets made in the United States. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Trump commented that he "just ordered 4,000 television sets. You know where they come from? South Korea. I don't want to order them from South Korea. I don't think anybody makes television sets in the United States anymore.

What young people are missing by not joining industry trade groups

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: October 22nd, 2015

I spent last weekend around some wonderful, knowledgeable plastics people—all members of the Plastics Pioneers Association. I estimate that most of us in attendance were "older"—50s, 60s and 70s—and maybe even older than that. Many of us are still working and involved with the industry on a daily basis. Others are retired, but continue to promote the plastics industry as a career path.

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