Methanol-to-olefins plant in China to make coal-based PP a reality

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 13th, 2011

A Chinese firm has selected a Honeywell subsidiary's technology in what will be the first commercial-scale installation of its advanced methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process for the production of petrochemicals from coal and natural gas, with initial plans for 295,000 tonnes/yr of ethylene and propylene production. Wison (Nanjing) Clean Energy Company Ltd.

Plastics score industry first in orthopedic surgery device

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 13th, 2011

Rather than use established materials foamed rubber and metal, medical devices and instrumentation manufacturer Tri-Medics LLC chose an autoclavable grade of polyphenylsulfone for its Bender adjustable positioning triangle for orthopedic trauma surgery.

Zebrafish provide fast-track test screen for medical-use plastics

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 13th, 2011

Zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio), which are already widely utilized in drug development studies, can now be applied in a new fast-track test to screen plastics and polymers in medical devices for toxicity. Microtest Laboratories (Agawam, MA) has introduced the technology for plastics, noting that the Zebrafish embryos are highly susceptible to toxins.

Healthcare changes mean better devices needed for less money

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 13th, 2011

Cost reductions are coming to healthcare, as any casual observer of the changes in the U.S. and Europe can see. Aging populations, in many countries supported by fewer people in the workforce, are forcing governments to re-think how much they can afford to spend to keep their citizens healthy.

LMA adds three presses to start captive molding of its medical devices

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 13th, 2011

Concerns about protecting its intellectual property as well as the opportunity to keep a better control of costs has prompted medical device manufacturer LMA International to bring the injection molding for its LMA Airway products in-house. This first stab at captive molding is underway with three presses from machine manufacturer Engel.

NatureWorks invests in PLA plant, plans additional injection molding grades, lactide intermediates

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 12th, 2011

Bioplastic supplier NatureWorks LLC (Minnetonka, MN) says a "major" capital investment at its Blair, NE manufacturing facility will broaden its processing capabilities allowing it to produce additional grades suited to the injection molding and fiber/nonwovens markets.

Names in the news: Husky, EcoLogic, and Pallmann

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 12th, 2011

Su Taylor is the new VP human resources and organizational development for injection molding machine, tooling, and hot runner supplier Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. (Bolton, ON). Taylor, who also becomes a member of Husky's executive team, replaces Jim Reid, who had held the position since 2008 but has decided to pursue opportunities outside the company, according to Husky.

Small business owners think U.S. is on the wrong track

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 12th, 2011

A national survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of 1409 small-business owners/executives released July 11, revealed that 84% indicate that the U.S. economy is on the "wrong track." These owners/executives of small businesses ($25 million or less in annual company income) are a bit more hopeful about their local economic situation, with only 54% saying their local economies are on the wrong track. When it comes to their own businesses however, two-thirds say they are on the right track.

TPE resin prices, July 5-8: PE and PP up about $0.01/lb; after multi-week slip, polyolefins regain their footing

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 12th, 2011

The spot resin markets were slow after the long July 4 weekend and prime prices firmed following weeks of drops. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), reported that fresh generic prime polyethylene railcar offers were scarce until the end of the week and prices initially reflected the re-attempted $0.05/lb increase, but buyers resisted.

U.S. labor costs cheaper than China by 2017?!

By Stephen Moore
Published: July 11th, 2011

China-based consultant Intercedent projects that mid-tier manufacturing wages in China will reach approximate parity with Federal Minimum wage levels in the United States by 2017.

If this occurs, then there will likely be acceleration in the repatriation of low-end manufacturing jobs from China to North America or they may well move to lower-wage countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, or locations in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

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