Featured Articles

Price hikes announced by Ineos, DSM (twice), BASF and Songwon

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 2nd, 2011

Yes, there is a trend emerging, and for plastics processors it is not a pretty one as the prices demanded by their plastics suppliers are headed north. The recent price hike announcements we've received cover materials from styrenics to polyamide, from polyurethane to additives, and come on top of the massive hikes seen in PE and especially propylene and PP in January, as reported already.

PET supply chain keeps changing: Indorama on top but Octal plans to expand again

By MPW Staff
Published: February 2nd, 2011

You need a scorecard to keep track of the leading suppliers of polyethylene terephthalate. Eastman has exited the business, selling it to DAK Americas in North America and Indorama in Europe.

Bioplastics replace up to 40% of petroleum, keep base material performance

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 1st, 2011

Biobent Polymers (Marysville, OH) is calling its newly-launched Panacea family of bioplastics the first bioplastic resin to deliver the performance characteristics of the base polymer while reducing the petroleum content by up to 40%. Polypropylene- and polyethylene-based grades are the first Panacea products to hit the market.

BASF boosts biodegradable plastics output

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 1st, 2011

BASF's expanded production site for its biodegradable Ecoflex plastics has started operations, boosting annual capacity by 60,000 tonnes from 14,000 to 74,000 tonnes/yr. In conjunction with this new capacity, BASF will also expand its compounding capabilities for its Ecovio product, which mixes Ecoflex with up to 75% renewable raw materials. BASF said the market for biodegradable and biobased plastics is currently growing by more than 20%/yr.

Rising automotive production lifts Lear in final quarter of 2010

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 1st, 2011

Global automotive production increased by 25% in 2010 over 2009  to a record 71.5 million vehicles, with Tier One suppliers like Lear (Southfield, MI) reaping the financial benefits. In a Feb. 1 statement of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 results, Lear reported that for the final three months of 2010, its earnings were up 30% over 2009 levels, with sales of $3.2 billion some 15% higher than the year-ago quarter.

Wittmann moves into new purpose-built Czech subsidiary

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 1st, 2011

The Wittmann Group has moved into an enlarged and purpose-built facility in the Czech Republic, creating a new headquarters for Wittmann Battenfeld CZ that will be responsible for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

TPE North American resin pricing, Jan. 24-28: PE mixed; PP down; producers start February with $0.05 increase for PE, $0.03 for PP

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 1st, 2011

Market overview: The spot resin markets experienced heightened trading activity in the last full week of January. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) said that material availability was relatively good last week with mixed prices. Polyethylene (PE) producers have yet to fully back down from their January price-increase initiatives of $0.05-$0.11/lb, even though spot PE levels were relatively flat in January.

Asian tooling: Do you know what you're getting?

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: January 31st, 2011
While OEMs continue to push their molders and moldmakers to buy tooling from Asian sources, some in the moldmaking industry have found that it just doesn’t pay.

When OEMs ask Industrial Molds Group (Rockford, IL) to explore Asian sources for tooling, telling Tim Peterson that the molds are "the same" as those Industrial Molds builds, Peterson knows first-hand that's just not true. Recently, he had a customer bring in a Chinese-made mold in which the core had broken. The core had been spec'd to be made of P-20 steel, yet after only four months of running production volume, it broke. 

Plastics Color opens clean compounding plant in California

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: January 31st, 2011

Plastics Color Corp. (PCC; Calumet City, IL) has opened its new clean compounding facility in Sun Valley, CA, modeling its fourth production plant after its segregated "Plant Within a Plant" concept initially unveiled at PCC's Asheboro, NC campus. The supplier of color concentrates, additive masterbatches, pre-colored resin, and toll compounding initially announced plans for the facility in Southern California in May 2010.

Aluminum molds or steel? In this test, Al is the clear winner

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: January 31st, 2011

Debates about the efficacy of aluminum injection molds versus those made from steel continues, with steel still the most-used material but aluminum being specified for more and more projects. Aluminum molds really started to grab processors' attention about 10 years ago. Since then, processors in a number of end-use markets, most notably automotive and white goods, have begun to adopt the material for an increasing share of their tooling needs.

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