Featured Articles

TPE resin prices, Dec. 12-16: PE, PP steady; Year-end market arrives

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: December 20th, 2011

"We are truly in the midst of a year-end market." That's how spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) summed up resin trading last week, saying that overall the markets were fairly quiet, with significant interest lacking from buyers or sellers and prices holding steady. Polyethylene (PE) producers are generally offering spot railcars higher, reflecting their intent to implement a $0.05/lb increase. December polypropylene (PP) contracts are marked down $0.02/lb along with polymer grade propylene (PGP). The U.S.

Extrusions tackle complexity, cost of medical devices

By Doug Smock
Published: December 20th, 2011

A new, integrated extrusion eliminates the traditional time-consuming hand lay-up manufacturing process to produce medical guide catheter shafts. The announcement reflects a rapidly developing trend to produce medical devices that are less complex and less expensive.

Called Tri-Tie extrusion technology,   Putnam Plastics' continuous technology builds the three-layer composite shafts without manual assembly and staff, resulting in improved product reliability and lower cost.

Plastics and rubber machinery sales reach a new all-time high in Europe

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: December 19th, 2011

"The growth in incoming orders for German plastics and rubber machinery continued into the third quarter. On that basis, we are raising our sales growth forecast for the current year from 18 to 22%." That statement from Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of the VDMA Assn., a key lobbying group and service provider to the engineering industry in Europe. Reifenhäuser also leads the extrusion technology equipment supplier of the same name.

Virginia adds plastics industry jobs through two expansions

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: December 19th, 2011

Virginia has added to the state's growing plastics industry in two separate announcements. On Nov. 22, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that Commonwealth Laminating & Coating Inc. will invest $16.5 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Henry County, VA.

Renewable remarks: Acrylic optics in concentrating photovoltaics, focusing on reliability

By Debbie Sniderman
Published: December 19th, 2011

Concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) use materials like glass and plastic to concentrate solar radiation onto a small, high efficiency photovoltaic cell to be converted into electricity. As this growing market becomes more standardized and commercialized, the industry is still split about whether plastics are suitable for reliable use in these outdoor environments.

Packaging M&A slows from record 2010 pace

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: December 19th, 2011

Down slightly from a record 2010, plastics and packaging M&A is experiencing another "solid year" in spite of total deal activity slipping anywhere from 5% to 10%. The 74 deals finalized in the third quarter were down 20 transactions from Q3 2010 but still reflected strong buying and selling activity albeit at a more normalized level versus the pace set in 2010, according to the report's author, P&M Corporate Finance LLC.

Composite replicates toughness of insects' shells

By Doug Smock
Published: December 19th, 2011

The tough shells that protect insects can now be replicated in a lab as polymer composites that could be very useful in medical applications including sutures that bear high loads, such as in hernia repair, or as a scaffold for tissue regeneration.

Insect exosekletons, called cuticles, can stop chemical and physical attack while also providing structure for the insect's muscles and wings. The remarkable material is very thin and has a low density.  It can also vary its properties, from rigid along the insect's body segments and wings to elastic along its limb joints.

Hands On, Online and Ongoing are the keys to successful training

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: December 18th, 2011

Lack of skilled or trained employees is a huge obstacle to business growth at many plastics processing companies. How bad is it? One molder noted recently to the author that they've had 30 positions open for nearly six months, but have been unable to fill them. As a result, many molders are implementing training programs of their own, which PlasticsToday has written about several times in previous articles.

Non-high-tech manufacturing in the U.S. to remain flat into 2012

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: December 18th, 2011

U.S. manufacturing industrial production rebounded in the third quarter of 2011, growing 4%, with that expansion to extend into the final months of the year, according to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) in its latest report, which analyzes 27 major industries. "The growth is being led by the energy, transportation, and industrial equipment industries," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., MAPI Chief Economist and author of the analysis.

Coca-Cola gives PEF a chance

By Karen Laird
Published: December 16th, 2011

"It's an honor", said Dirk den Ouden, the director of new business development at Avantium, talking to PlasticsToday about the recently signed partnership agreement with The Coca-Cola Company. Avantium is one of the three biotechnology firms chosen by the company as a partner in the quest to develop a 100% biobased "green" bottle by 2020.

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