Featured Articles

Plastic Molding Technology Inc. named 2014 Manufacturer of the Year

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 8th, 2014

Don't ever say a medium-sized injection molding company can't compete with the biggest manufacturers in North America! They can, and they win! Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT; El Paso, TX) was recently named Manufacturer of the Year at the 10th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit on June 6, 2014, in Palm Beach, FL.

Scientists propose new systematization for polymers and nonpolymers

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 8th, 2014

What are polymers? A better question is, What are biopolymers or bioplastics? Are these so-called bioplastics produced from plants grown upon the earth through industrial processes more bio-based than plastics produced from natural substances found beneath the earth's surface? Are all polymer materials and substances just polymers? Or do we need new definitions of polymers and a way to systematize the various polymer materials and substances?

Styron releases sustainability report (infographic)

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 8th, 2014

Styron, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex, and rubber headquartered in Berwyn, PA, has published its 2013 Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Report, documenting the company's ongoing commitment to reducing its environmental footprint.

Compared with 2012, Styron reduced electricity consumption and chemical emissions by 2%, volatile organic chemical emissions by 5%, and water usage by 4% in 2013, according to the company.

Noncontact video extensometer enables tensile testing of plastics to ISO 527 standard

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 8th, 2014

The Video Gauge noncontact extensometer from Imetrum (Bristol, UK) reportedly is the only device of its kind to achieve the exacting requirements of ISO 527-1: 2012 ASTM D638 equivalent. The system, which has undergone rigorous, independent testing, is capable of determining tensile modulus by measuring a change of gauge length to 1% accuracy of the relevant value. In tests, Imetrum was able to achieve between 0.2 and 0.3 µm for all gauge lengths using the same camera and lens combination. This exceeds by a factor of three the accuracy required by ISO 527 for a 50-mm gauge length.

Polymer sensor reveals human feelings by measuring goose bumps

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 7th, 2014

As if advertisers and social media sites didn't know enough about us already, the better to target their messages, South Korean researchers have developed a polymer sensor that measures goose bumps on human skin in an attempt to determine an emotional state. The research could lead to ever more personalized advertising, music services, maybe even a personal message from Mark Zuckerberg to soldier on, depending on how you're feeling.

First contact-free vital-signs monitor in a chair approved by FDA

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 7th, 2014

The first contact-free sensing system in a chair that monitors vital signs has been approved by FDA. The Chair Sensor from EarlySense (Waltham, MA), which continuously monitors a patient's heart rate, respiratory function, and movement, received high marks from clinicians and users at the Coffee Regional Medical Center (Douglas, GA), where it was evaluated prior to receiving market clearance.

Steve Johnson receives SPE Mold Designer of the Year award

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 7th, 2014

Steve Johnson's career in the area of tooling management and maintenance was built around something his father taught him from childhood whenever he and his brothers built or repaired anything: "Remember that someone will have to maintain this." Johnson was recently named as the SPE's Mold Making and Mold Design Division's 2014 Mold Designer of the Year.

GM ignition switch supplied by Chinese firm

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 7th, 2014

It seems that I write these types of articles all too often—the ones about bad parts coming from Chinese suppliers, like the accelerator-pedal arms on the Aston Martin found to be molded of counterfeit plastic material resulting in the recall of 17,000 cars.

An article in Canada's Business News Network stated that GM said the ignition switches that are to blame for its recent recall of millions of vehicles came from a Chinese supplier, Dalian Alps Electronics Co. Ltd.

Cretex acquires injection molder serving medical device market

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 7th, 2014

Cretex Companies Inc. (Elk River, MN), a diversified manufacturing company, announced that it has acquired the assets of S. Wickstrom Manufacturing Inc. (Redwood City, CA), a quick-turn injection molding company focused on serving the medical device and surgical instrument markets. It will become part of JunoPacific Inc. (Anoka, MN), one of the Cretex Medical group of companies. Cretex also operates in the aerospace and defense, industrial, and infrastructure markets.

Styrenic TPEs offer alternative to PVC, EPDM in window encapsulation

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 6th, 2014

A new series of styrenic thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-S) injection molding compounds provides automotive manufacturers with processing and end use properties that are superior to those of TPE-S materials currently used for window encapsulation, says the supplier Teknor Apex Company (Pawtucket, RI).    

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