Featured Articles

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.

Double-sided and metallic IML for packaging captures brand owners’ attention

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 27th, 2014

Belgium-based Verstraete's innovative DoubleSided and metallic in-mold labels (IML) have captured the attention of a number of brand owners over the past year since its introduction. As brand owners continue to look for new ways to differentiate their products and reduce packaging costs, DoubleSided IML are labels that are printed on both sides, which creates additional space for information such as product use suggestions, contests or information mandated by law.

Thirty years of success attributed to good customer relations

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 27th, 2014

From three molding machines and three employees to 47 machines and 130 employees across two locations in 30 years is quite a success story in today's injection molding business. To listen to founder and president of Technical Precision Plastics (TPP), Jim Piermarini, tell the story of his company's growth, it sounded so simple. "Customer service," he said when asked by PlasticsToday to reveal the secret of his success.

Engel event in Shanghai highlights evolving medical manufacturing marketplace

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: June 27th, 2014

Now in its fourth year, the Engel med.con event in Shanghai has become a networking rendez-vous for China's plastics manufacturers working in the medical technology arena, according to the Austria-based maker of injection molding systems. More than 50 medtech experts participated in the event this year, held in late May at the company's technical center in the Xinzhuang Industrial Park in Shanghai.

Electrolux settles dryer-fire class action

By Tim Somheil
Published: June 27th, 2014

Electrolux Home Products has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit regarding fires alleged to have started in some models of its clothes dryers. Electrolux denied that the dryers were defective and agreed to the settlement to avoid further litigation.

Electrolux Home Products is the United States subsidiary of Swedish-based Electrolux AB.

The suit covers gas and electric clothes dryers designed and manufactured by Electrolux, all with the same design of "ball-hitch." Ball-hitch refers to the rear drum bearing shaft on some horizontal-axis (front-load) dryers.

World Cup players get duffel bags showcasing Nike's 3D printing of parts

By Tim Somheil
Published: June 27th, 2014

In early 2013, Nike launched its Vapor Laser Talon soccer cleat with a 3D printed plate.  While 3D printing had been used throughout the industry for rapid prototyping for years, the Vapor Laser Talon was the first athletic shoe using a production 3D-printed component.

Braskem to build new ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene plant

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 27th, 2014

Braskem, the largest thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas, announces its plans for the construction of an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plant at its site in La Porte, TX.

Braskem's UHMWPE products are produced under the trade name UTEC. Groundbreaking of the new plant in La Porte will start during the third quarter of 2014. Construction is expected to last approximately 18 months with a targeted completion date during the first half of 2016. The U.S. plant's output will complement the existing UTEC product line that is produced in Brazil.

3D printing claims parity with injection molding

By Stephen Moore
Published: June 27th, 2014

Rapid manufacturing proponent 3D Systems (3DS; Rock Hill, SC) has made the broad claim that its stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D manufacturing printers can match the productivity of traditional injection molding in the direct manufacture of functional parts.

World-first textile application for Kraig Biocraft's spider silk; medical and industrial uses on horizon

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: June 26th, 2014

Five times stronger than steel and three times tougher than Kevlar, by weight, spider silk has galvanized the imaginations of researchers for many years. However, producing or harvesting spider silk protein in a viable way has proven challenging, although a handful of smaller companies are appearing to make a go of it. One of them is Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Lansing, MI), which announced earlier this month that Warwick Mills (New Ipswich, NH) will use its genetically engineered spider silk to produce textiles for the first time.

Open source 3D printing means freedom to improve technology

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 26th, 2014

Aleph Objects believes in open source 3D printing. In fact, the company was born to build open source and its philosophy of "Libre Hardware" is built into everything the company creates. "We exist for the freedom of our users and the benefits that brings," said Harris Kenny, communications manager for Aleph Objects, a Loveland, CO-based maker of the LulzBot 3D desktop printer.

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