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.

OESA Automotive Supplier Barometer falls

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: March 23rd, 2011

The Supplier Sentiment Index for March 2011 fell slightly to 66 from 71 in January, as more suppliers are feeling “somewhat more pessimistic.” That is according to the latest survey results from the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), released March 16. While suppliers are more comfortable with production releases from the automotive OEMs and sales levels, the changing sentiment is in response to the increasing oil prices and conflict in the Middle East, the report noted.
   

Halogen-free PC/PBT blends rated V0

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 23rd, 2011

Non-reinforced and glass-fiber-reinforced, halogen-free, flame-retardant PC/PBT blends from Romira GmbH (Pinneberg, Germany) are said to boast significantly better stress crack and chemical resistance compared with PC/ABS FR blends. The partially crystalline PBT component functions to greatly increases their distortion temperature while improving the surface characteristics of molded products, especially in the case of the glass-fiber-reinforced compounds.

Plastics recycling: Erema’s customers benefit from new test center 


By Matt Defosse
Published: March 22nd, 2011

Plastics recycling machinery manufacturer Erema is making a major investment in a new Customer Test Center at its Austrian headquarters, according to Andreas Dirnberger, Erema’s vice president of sales. He explains, “This investment enables us to separate trial runs for customers or prospective customers from trial runs for internal research and development. Currently Erema runs approximately 400 technical tests and experiments for customers per year.

Unconventional gas a boon to ExxonMobil’s plastics profits

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 22nd, 2011

ExxonMobil is riding an unprecedented gap in the price differential between crude oil and natural gas, as well as an explosion in its own gas holdings, to record profits in its plastics/chemicals business, while nonintegrated producers or those that rely on petroleum-derived naphtha get squeezed. On March 21, as Brent crude, a European benchmark and West Texas Intermediate, a U.S.

TPE resin pricing, March 14-18: PE up $0.01/lb, PP flat; monomers on the rise as market goes bullish

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 22nd, 2011

Market overview: Spot resin trading was good last week, with average volume in material offerings and steady-to-higher prices supported by rising feedstock costs. Spot polyethylene prices mostly rose $0.01/lb as producers gained momentum in their bid to raise March contracts by $0.02/lb, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE). If successful, this would complete the $0.05/lb increase originally proposed, with $0.03/lb already implemented in February.

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