Featured Articles

Thumbs up! 3D-printed finger cots support the assembly process at BMW

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 1st, 2014

Occupational health and safety has been further enhanced on the assembly floor at BMW through  the use of customized flexible finger cots fabrication from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) using 3D printing.

Manufactured in-house at BMW and customized to the shape of individual worker's fingers, the orthotic device is worn over the thumb to provide protection against excessive strains on the thumb joints when carrying out assembly processes such as insertion of rubber plugs into bodywork.

Audi bringing lightweight composite springs to production models

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 30th, 2014

German automaker Audi plans to  introducing new, lightweight suspension springs made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) in an upper mid-size model before the end of this year.

Sidel targeting beer glass market with new PET bottle

By Heather Caliendo
Published: June 30th, 2014

It may look like glass, but packaging provider Sidel claims it's all PET. Sidel has launched what it calls the world's first-ever pasteurizable lightweight PET bottle for beer with a non-petaloid base. The bottle also supports a crown cap, which together with the non-petaloid base, gives the bottle the appearance of glass, but with all the advantages of PET. This includes the lightweight and increased mechanical properties of PET. The new bottle weighs about 28 grams, which is up to 86 percent less than an average equivalent glass bottle, according to Sidel data.

Clariant announces 50 percent capacity increase for innovative Licocene performance polymers

By Karen Laird
Published: June 30th, 2014

As customers around the globe wax lyrical about Clariant's Licocene performance polymers, the company has announced that it is increasing production capacity by 50 percent at its facility on the Frankfurt-Höchst Industrial Park in Germany. The facility is currently designed to produce 20,000 metric tons of Licocene per year in a continuous closed cycle. The debottlenecking of Clariant's existing production line represents a low double-digit million Swiss Franc investment. The additional capacity is scheduled to come on stream in Q1 2016.

Bayer MaterialScience shutters Darmstadt site

By Karen Laird
Published: June 30th, 2014

As part of the worldwide consolidation of its business with sheets made of the high-performance plastic polycarbonate, Bayer MaterialScience has decided to close its site in Darmstadt, Germany, responsible for overall sales and for the production of Makrolon Multi. European customers will be supplied in the future by the plants in Nera Montoro, Italy, and Tielt, Belgium. The closure in Darmstadt affects 90 employees. The company says it will do everything possible to ensure that this step is conducted in a socially responsible manner.

Ineos to acquire BASF’s share in Styrolution

By Karen Laird
Published: June 30th, 2014

Styrolution, the global market leader in styrenics, is to become a wholly owned, standalone company within Ineos. Ineos will acquire BASF's 50% share in the company, which was founded in October 2011 as a 50-50 joint venture between the two global chemical giants.

Mexico and the U.S. favored for next major automotive plant expansions

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 30th, 2014

Three vehicle manufacturers recently announced a new plant and a major plant expansion in North America. On June 26, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler announced jointly that their companies have agree to establish a 50-50 joint venture, the business entity that will oversee construction and operation of the new plant in Aguascalientes in North-Central Mexico. The new plant will be built in the immediate vicinity of an already existing Nissan plant and will have an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles when fully ramped up.

Actega introduces medical-grade TPE free of animal-derived components

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: June 30th, 2014

Actega (Bremen, Germany) has announced the introduction of a medical-grade thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) that is entirely free of animal-derived components (ADCs). The ADC-free formula for the ProvaMed TPE family of materials is described by the company as a practical solution for customers in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors that must account for the origin of additives and other material components. The material also satisfies kosher and vegan-free requirements.

Evonik: More PA 12 capacity, new production processes alleviate supply fears

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 29th, 2014

Evonik Industries has expanded its polyamide (PA) 12 production capacity at Marl Chemical Site by 5,000 tonnes/year, thereby increasing the supply security of its Vestamid high performance polymer material.

Medical polymers market expected to exceed $17 billion by 2020

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 27th, 2014

Driven by the continued substitution of metals and glass in medical applications and growing demand from emerging economies, the medical polymers market is expected to reach a global value of $17.05 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research Inc. (San Francisco, CA). Increased demand from an aging population for minimally invasive procedures, which typically rely on single-use polymer-based devices, is also driving this trend, according to the market research and consulting firm.

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