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GE, coming to a town near you

DENVER, CO — GE Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) continues to bring its products to potential customers, eschewing more traditional trade shows or open houses that force processors and OEMs to travel to see them, and instead touring the U.S. to host Innovation Seminars and attending smaller, regional, specialized events. On Nov. 9, GE Plastics stopped off in Denver, CO, offering a one-day seminar highlighting material offerings by process and end-use applications, as well as several technical presentation tracks and a small tabletop trade show of sorts. A major emphasis was placed on how GE can serve companies that work outside of injection molding.
“I want to build a relationship with you that goes beyond today,” Tim O’Brien, VP GE Plastics America told attendees, adding that often products the company believes its resins will be used for are quite different from how they’re actually applied. In 2006, GE has already conducted 22 such events, after offering 20 in 2005, with several more planned before the end of the year.
O’Brien stressed GE’s commitment to plastics, laying out its technical support, with research centers in Schenectady, NY; Munich, Germany; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, China, which are staffed by 1500 inhouse and contract researchers, 75% of whom have PhD’s in chemistry.
“We wouldn’t have that kind of investment in place if we didn’t see a lot of room for growth in this business going forward,” O’Brien said. GE officials estimated that 80% of their business is tied to injection molding, but it’s looking to grow into other conversion technologies, adding staff and materials to support blowmolding, coatings, thermoforming, wire/cable extrusion, composites, and fibers in recent years.
The work has resulted in everything from Ultem being spun into fibers for use in flame-resistant clothing to blowmoldable grades of the high-heat material applied as coffee carafes on airliners. On the blowmolding side, the company said it can offer blowmolding grades for its entire portfolio, even creating polyethylene terephthalate/polyetherimide blends for a hot-fill PET, although its goal is not planning to go after commodity blowmolding heavyweights. “We’re not here to replace, PET, PE (polyethylene), or PP (polypropylene),” William Gala, technical blow molding specialist, said. “We’ll go where regulation is forcing you to go to higher performing materials.”—[email protected]
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