February 2005

Close-Up on Technology

Commodities Futures Trading Starts for Polyolefins
In an era of volatile resin prices, trading commodities futures for plastics may be an idea whose time has come.

New Contender Seeks a Niche in Specialty Engineering Compounding
The U.S. compounding business is getting intensely specialized as OEM manufacturers ship commodity work to China and focus more on value-added products here.

Processor's Edge

Leading the Way in IML Packaging
Putting out the biggest volume of product isn't the only way to be a market leader, says Michael Spies, CEO of Spies Kunststoffe GmbH in Melle-Gesmold, Germany.


Get Smart About Safety
It has been just a year since I last discussed the lagging safety record of plastics processors.

K 2004 Wrap-Up on Additives: Problem-Solving Additives Tackle New and Old Challenges
The latest K show was rich in additives that can ease processing and end-use problems of thermoplastics and thermosets.

K 2004 Wrap-Up on Materials: Setting New Benchmarks for Processability and Performance
 Higher flow, higher heat, higher barrier, higher clarity, higher stiffness, lower durometer, lower smoke, lower odor—materials exhibits at the recent K 2004 show in Dusseldorf were stretching the bounds of processing and performance properties in all directions.

MDO Films: Lots of Promise, Big Challenges
Machine-direction orientation is still discovering new market opportunities. But the technical difficulties are so great that some big projects never came of age. New equipment could make it easier.

CW Brabender
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