Featured Articles

Product Watch: Label cutting from Spartanics, metal separation from Eriez and micro-machining with Schunk

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 22nd, 2011

In this issue of Product Watch, our look at new equipment and services for plastics processors, we preview three new pieces of kit.

Tesco drops degradable plastic bags and gets no sympathy from Symphony

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 18th, 2011

(Updated Aug.19; adds comment from EPI) British food store and retail chain Tesco has opted to revert to standard polyethylene carrier bags and stops use of bags containing an additive that can help plastics oxo-degrade over time. Tesco says its decision is based on data showing these biodegradable bags actually are not very environmentally sustainable. For Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc, a supplier of such additives, the move appears driven more by concerns of profitability and less over environmental worries.

Medical device maker World of Medicine acquires its own molder

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 18th, 2011

World of Medicine, which manufactures and markets devices for minimally invasive surgery, has acquired Welscher GmbH Kunststoff-Formteile, an injection molder and moldmaker, from the processor's family owners. The molder last month filed for bankruptcy. Terms were not revealed but WOM said it paid for the molder with assets on hand.

First-half 2011 robotics sales strongest in four years

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: August 17th, 2011

The North American robotics industry is booming, reporting its best first half since 2007, according to new statistics released by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry trade group headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI. Robotics industry sales jumped 41% in the first half of 2011, with the number of robots sold to North American companies totaling 8879, with a value of $577.8 million. When orders for the industry from outside North America are added, the totals come to 10,476 robots valued at $667.9 million.

KraussMaffei nears completion on expanded automation production hall

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 17th, 2011

KraussMaffei's doubling of its automation production area to 1570 square meters is currently running ahead of the company's original construction timetable, with interior fittings and the construction of the assembly stations to start in September, and the entire production hall to be completed in October.

Flambeau nabs Mastercraft to increase its medical footprint

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 17th, 2011

Family-owned Flambeau Inc., one of the larger injection molders in the U.S., has acquired Mastercraft Companies from that company's founder, Arle Rawlings, for an undisclosed price. Although Mastercraft is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ., Rawlings is from Minnesota, and he headed north to the Sauey family of Flambeau, which harkens from Wisconsin, to find a buyer for the company he founded in 1968.

Third expansion this year announced for West Pharmaceutical

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 17th, 2011

In Arizona, in China and now in Florida: West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. a developer, injection molder and assembler of devices for injectable drug administration, is expanding its research and development center in St. Petersburg, FL. The goal, says the company, is to add focus for new elastomer formulations, process technologies and products for West's global component manufacturing network.

Light bulbs to LEDs: Philips Vitrite rapidly develops its sustainable future

By Matt Defosse
Published: August 17th, 2011

The light bulb manufacturing business left for low-cost manufacturing shores, leaving Philips Lighting Vitrite, Philips' captive component manufacturer of general lighting systems (GLS)-your standard light bulb-in need of a new business model. Injection molding became the rallying cry, and the company now is on the leading edge of LED design. Furthermore, it intends to be on the leading edge of lighting systems for many years to come.

Price of (pick your plastic) tumbled last week in Asia

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: August 17th, 2011

That headline could be the very brief executive summary of this week's report for us on plastics market in Asia from pricing information service Polymerupdate. The various types of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, ABS, PVC-prices dropped for all of them last week. The drops are little wonder as the uncertainty in the stock market spreads to the "real" world and begins to curb consumer demand.

Indonesia welcomes more vehicle production

By Stephen Moore
Published: August 16th, 2011

Recent announcements by global automakers regarding investments in Indonesia paint a bright picture for the local processing scene given commitments to local sourcing. General Motors (Detroit) is the latest to throw its hubcap into the ring with plans to invest $150 million to restart its assembly operation at Bekasi, West Java, that has been idle since early 2005.

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