Featured Articles

One company’s transformation journey to profitability

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: March 28th, 2011

Competing with offshore molding and mold manufacturing companies continues to be a struggle for many companies in these industries. But there is a way to compete and win new business, become profitable and grow the business. Thomas Duffey, president and owner of Plastic Components Inc. (PCI) in Germantown, WI, spoke recently to a group attending the American Mold Builders Assn. conference in Las Vegas, and addressed the lingering concerns of the group about offshore molds.
   

Processors' concerns? Expensive resin and inexpensive German labor

By Matt Defosse
Published: March 28th, 2011

The rising cost of plastics and cheap German labor—yes, you read that correctly—have Belgium’s plastics industry concerned. In a survey of its plastics processing members, the country’s plastics trade association found them generally optimistic about recovery but worried about their ability to competitive.

Recycling bioplastics production waste? Not a problem

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

Plastics processing generates scrap, often 2-10% of total plastics consumed, and the experts at Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (NGR) have developed a unit especially suitable for recycling of one of the industry’s fastest-growing materials, bioplastics. Though representing only a small percentage of the total plastics market, bioplastics’ consumption is expected to grow by 40% and more per year for years to come.

Meat and bone meal blended with UHMWPE for partially biodegradable compound

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

Banned from use in cattle feed, billions of pounds of meat and bone meal could be diverted from landfills and into partially biodegradable plastic. Researcher Fehime Vatansever and her team reported their experiments using meat and bone meal (MBM) as a component of partially biodegradable plastics to the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society at its spring event held March 27-31 in Anaheim, CA.

Nine extruders, five layers, one striped, thermoformed yogurt cup

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

With nine extruders that can be configured to provide numerous stripe and layer combinations, Welex (Blue Bell, PA) says its new five-layer sheet-extrusion system for multicolored food packaging sets a new mark for the number of extruders on one die. Built for a European custom-sheet manufacturer for use in thermoformed yogurt cups, the system has already been shipped and is expected to begin production in April.

Sustainable plastics processing: Palram goes green, saves some green too

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 24th, 2011

In a move to cut its carbon footprint and its operating expenses, thermoplastic sheet extruder Palram grabbed at some low-hanging fruit: low efficiency metal halide lighting at its facility in Pennsylvania. The bottom-line benefits were high, though, as with this one change it reduced its annual energy consumption by an amount equivalent to that consumed in more than 61 average American homes each year. 

Plastics closure merger as Portola closes on Integra-Seal

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 24th, 2011

Plastic closure processor Portola announced its pending acquisition of fellow closure molder and neighbor Integra-Seal Industries LLC for an undisclosed amount. The sale is expected to close by the end of this month. The purchase gives Portola additional mans to market closures to small- to medium-sized dairies and water bottlers. 

Auto OEMs ask suppliers to increase capacity

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: March 23rd, 2011

Looming potential parts shortages have automakers and Tier One suppliers pushing downstream to smaller suppliers to increase capacity. Will they respond in the affirmative?

Injection molding: Lego Group wins Arburg’s Energy Efficiency Award

By Matt Defosse
Published: March 23rd, 2011

Everyone knows the toys they make, but few realize the lengths Lego has gone to reduce its energy use. The company has increased its energy efficiency by 35% in the past three years, and is well on the way to slashing the energy used in injection molding by 45%. Challenged to help it realize these improvements has been injection molding machine manufacturer Arburg, which kicked off its annual Technology Days open house with the presentation of this year's Energy Efficiency Award.

Plastics packaging: Foaming process cut costs in rigid PS sheet

By Matt Defosse
Published: March 23rd, 2011

Matt's take: Polystyrene supplier Styron introduced its CO2RE foaming technology to great fanfare last fall. The process uses carbon dioxide as a physical foaming agent during extrusion of rigid PS sheet, the kind of sheet that often is then thermoformed for dairy and food service applications. PlasticsToday caught up with John Case, Styron's global marketing manager for packaging and consumer goods, to get an update on the process and to add some detail to the original announcement so you can decide if this is a technology you might consider licensing.

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