China biggest robot market in 2013

By Stephen Moore
Published: June 15th, 2014

In 2013, about 179,000 industrial robots were sold worldwide, representing an all-time high and 12 percent growth over 2012. And China, faced with skyrocketing labor costs, overtook Japan to become the world's largest market, with almost 37,000 industrial robots were sold.

Wittmann Battenfeld USA: Customers want ‘one-stop shopping'

By Heather Caliendo
Published: June 13th, 2014

While it can be difficult to pinpoint the No. 1 trend in the plastics industry, Wittmann Battenfeld believes that 'one-stop shopping' is at the top of the list.  

Gas-assisted injection molding slashes weight of tubular cooling system

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 13th, 2014

Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin is being employed in a gas-assisted injection molding process to reduce weight and costs of tubular cooling system parts for automotive engines. The Fortron material is supplied by Celanese Corporation (Irving, TX) is and molded by  IVP Plastics (Washington, IL).

Elon Musk: Tesla electric vehicle patents belong to all

By Stephen Moore
Published: June 12th, 2014

The open source movement is normally associated with software development but the electric vehicle segment of the auto industry could now get a significant boost through the decision of entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of high-performance electric vehicle manufacture Tesla Motors (Palo Alto, CA) to open up the company’s bank of patents to one and all.

Strange bedfellows? Ford and Heinz team up on tomato-based bioplastic for vehicles

By Karen Laird
Published: June 11th, 2014

While at first sight, cars and tomatoes may not have much in common, the collaboration between Ford and H.J. Heinz is less outlandish that would appear. Every year, Heinz uses more than two million tons of tomatoes to produce its best-selling product: Heinz Ketchup. And every year, the company ends up with a lot of tomato waste. Hence, researchers were looking for innovative ways to recycle and repurpose the peels, stems and seeds left over from making ketchup.

Hydrogen storage tanks next on composite agenda

By Stephen Moore
Published: June 10th, 2014

Various companies have developed thermoplastic composite gas tanks for compressed natural gas- (CNG) powered vehicles including the likes of Gastank Sweden AB (Norrfjärden) with its zero-permeation cylinders that meet the very stringent ECE R110 regulation, and Covess (Berbroek, Belgium).

Will 3D printing of cores & cavities be disruptive to moldmaking?

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 9th, 2014

I just finished another article on a manufacturing company that molds the plastics components for its products in-house, and is using additive manufacturing to make the cores and cavities for its molds - in less than 24 hours. That's the second article I've written recently about using 3D printing, aka additive manufacturing (AM), to build cores and cavities to enable the injection molding of the actual parts.

Key steps for metal-to-plastic conversion

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 9th, 2014

The ability to replace a metal component with one molded out of plastic means that extremely complex shapes and geometries can be achieved easily. That also means greater design freedom and more optimum design for manufacturability.

Converting metal components to plastic takes on new importance

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 9th, 2014

As OEMs in the transportation industry seek out ways to reduce weight for greater fuel savings and, in the case of the automotive industry, meet CAFE standards, suppliers in the plastics industry are asked to help find new solutions. Thermoplastic composites are making a big gain in the aerospace industry as OEMs replace not only metal but thermoset components with thermoplastic composite materials.

Linear announced plans to double 3D metal printing capacity

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 9th, 2014

Linear Mold & Engineering announced at RAPID 2014 and Amerimold the company's plans to expand its 24,000 sq-ft Livonia, MI headquarters by 17,000 sq-ft. This expansion will make room for eight more DMLM machines, a dedicated training center plus expanded finishing and tooling operations. Two of the DMLM machines are to be delivered in two weeks. 

Linear's expansion will include the following enhancements to their current capabilities:

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