Latest surveys reflect auto’s mixed signals

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 4th, 2012

Is the automotive industry feeling optimistic or pessimistic? It depends on who you ask. Two recently released surveys reveal a paradox in the industry, that while North American vehicle production continues to trend upward, sales are “way off from the 17 million cars per year automakers were selling in 2007,” according to a second-annual automotive industry survey from Booz & Company, which surveyed OEM executives.
   

Labels seek to solve recycling confusion

By Heather Caliendo
Published: June 4th, 2012

When I was in Seattle for the 2012 TAPPI PLACE Conference (May 6-9; Grand Hyatt Seattle), there was an aspect of the city that stuck with me, and it wasn't the overabundance of Starbucks.

All over the city, right next to Seattle's trash bins are bins for recycling and composting. But while the city offers these options for plastic packaging, a majority of people I observed just threw their waste into the trash bin.

New Vortex pins for venting

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 4th, 2012

Venting is a critical aspect of manufacturing molds that deliver fast cycles and high-quality parts. DME Company, a provider of mold technologies, recently introduced the new Vortex core pins and plugs. The product is a cost-effective, time-saving method of removing trapped gas from a mold cavity during the molding process.
    

Electro-active elastomers promise potential in vibration damping

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 3rd, 2012

Engineers in Germany are working on intelligent materials that can diminish vibrations and extract power from the environment. These electro-active elastomers could dampen annoying vibrations in a vehicle, for example, or supply wireless power to sensors in otherwise inaccessible places.

The next big thing: additive manufacturing

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 1st, 2012

Additive manufacturing, now the official term, just might contain the “next big thing” where manufacturing is concerned. Though only 24 years old, the AM industry has grown by leaps and bounds in spite of some fits and starts along the way.

Green Matter: Growing sustainable feedstocks

By Karen Laird
Published: June 1st, 2012

Much of the appeal of bio-based materials is based on the fact that they are derived from renewable, “green” resources, such as plants and bacteria, and hence, as the thinking goes, are somehow “environmentally superior” to conventional plastics: they do not deplete finite petroleum reserves or otherwise impact adversely on the planet’s ecosystem.

ExxonMobil plans to build new ethane cracker and two PE units in Texas

By Heather Caliendo
Published: June 1st, 2012

ExxonMobil Corp. plans to build factories that produce ethylene and polyethylene (PE) in Texas in a move that could "significantly" increase the exports of plastics in North America.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson told PlasticsToday required governmental reviews and approvals are expected to take about a year. The permits were filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Green” tea packaging: Tea producers opting for PET

By Heather Caliendo
Published: June 1st, 2012

PET bottles are brewing up a niche in the ready-to-drink tea industry. Several companies are switching from glass to PET for several factors ranging from recyclability to its lightweight properties.    

Pure Leaf Iced Tea, a product of the Pepsi Lipton Tea partnership, recently introduced its new square-shaped bottles that are made of PET plastic. A company spokesperson told PlasticsToday Pure Leaf believed the new packaging is the best fit for the brand and their consumers.

PEEK selected by implant supplier promoting online sales model

By Doug Smock
Published: June 1st, 2012

Use of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) as a material for medical implants continues to grow. In an important announcement from the five-year-old Solviva biomaterials business at Solvay Specialty Polymers, Eisertech LLC (San Diego, CA) received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for a new cervical cage and lumbar cage implants made of Zeniva PEEK rods.

EVs' plastics use set to rocket in Europe, North America

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: May 31st, 2012

With electric vehicle (EV) production set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of over 80% through to 2017 in Europe and North America, plastics used in these vehicles will also see tremendous growth according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Mountain View, CA). The need to increase EV mileage ranges, paralleled by the inherent advantages of plastics—particularly that of light weight—will drive penetration rates according to the research firm.

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