Featured Articles

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ eye-catching packaging sparks confusion

By Heather Caliendo
Published: March 26th, 2012

The packaging community was buzzing about "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Not because people just couldn't wait to watch the American take on the best-selling book, but because the polycarbonate disc's decoration, or lack thereof, caused quite a bit of turmoil.

Ergonomic crutch emerges from a designer's pain

By Doug Smock
Published: March 26th, 2012

Jeff Weber, who helped design the award-winning Aeron chair at Herman Miller, broke his ankle six years ago and was relegated to traditional crutches for about 13 weeks.

That was 13 weeks too many.

DOE to back development of thermoplastic composites

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 26th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement that will provide financial support for the development of predictive engineering tools for injection molded long carbon fiber thermoplastic composites.

The funding will also support development of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) development of advanced steel for lightweight vehicles and advanced alloy development for automotive and heavy-duty engines.

Dashboard gets antistatic treatment

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 25th, 2012

Automotive OEMs have found that dust collecting on a dashboard does not encourage sales, and as a result, these manufacturers are now incorporating antistatic additives into the specifications for interior parts. Some have already established anti-dust requirements for these parts and PolyOne Corporation (Avon Lake, OH) has developed OnColor SmartBatch antistatic concentrates to meet these new requirements. Besides their anti-static properties, the new concentrate offerings also fulfill carmakers' requirements for color.

Polyacetal supplier in major Korean expansion

By Stephen Moore
Published: March 25th, 2012

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Inc. (MGC; Tokyo) and Celanese Corp. (Dallas, TX) are undertaking a major expansion of polyacetal (POM) resin production capacity at their affiliate Korea Engineering Plastics Co. (KEP; Seoul). Capability will be boosted by 35,000 tonnes/year to a total of 140,000 tonnes/year by the first quarter of 2014.

Auto LED lighting systems benefit from heat-dissipating formulations

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 25th, 2012

PolyOne Corporation (Avon Lake, OH) chose the VDI Plastics in Automotive Engineering conference in Mannheim, Germany, to introduce a series of innovations for automotive engineers. The launch included three new grades of Therma-Tech specialty engineered materials based on PBT, PPS and polyamide resins for automotive lighting systems now available globally.

Wine producers serving greener packaging

By Heather Caliendo
Published: March 23rd, 2012

Perhaps more than any other alcoholic beverage, the packaging used for wine was often viewed as an indicator of quality. Heavy, glass bottles were the norm and served the wine industry for hundreds of years.

However, environmental and economic concerns have encouraged some in the industry to shed some packaging weight.

GW targets major growth in LSR molding

By Doug Smock
Published: March 23rd, 2012

GW Silicones (Royalton, VT), which entered the liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding business four years ago, is now completing an expansion that significantly expands its capacity. There is a heavy emphasis on close tolerance and multimaterial capabilities for the medical market in the 15,000-sq-ft expansion that is totally committed to LSR molding and assembly.

Manufacturing shifts from most- to least-outsourced function

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: March 23rd, 2012

With companies in the tech sector sending fewer jobs overseas, hiring in the U.S. is expected to increase, according to the release of a study by BDO USA LLP, an accounting and consulting firm. The study shows that outsourcing in the U.S. technology industry has declined for the third straight year. Just 12% of the respondents to the survey upon which the study was based said they currently outsource services or manufacturing to companies outside of the U.S.

Gross Mismanagement Part V: Education

By Glenn Beall
Published: March 23rd, 2012

Nowadays there is a lot of rhetoric about the lack of enough skilled employees to sustain the recovery from the last recession. Some analysts claim there are over 600,000 available manufacturing jobs searching for people with adequate skills. Looking back, the plastics industry has always grown faster than the supply of technically competent employees. The only exceptions were the recession years of 1958-59, 1974-75, 1980-81, and 1989-91. A year or so following each of these recessions there was another shortage of skilled employees.

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