If you’ve poked around our website (ptonline.com) you might have noticed a few new things.

If you’ve poked around our website (ptonline.com) you might have noticed a few new things. Last month we started a blog, and both I and Executive Editor Matt Naitove will be regularly contributing our observations based on what we are hearing and seeing in the world of plastics processing. Please accept my invitation to participate in our postings. We want to open a dialogue among us, you our readers, and suppliers to the market. A blog is certainly one forum in which to do so.

The blogs that Matt and I will contribute will be complementary in nature. By and large, I will be opining on overall business matters and what I feel North American plastics processors need to do to survive and thrive in the years ahead. Matt, for the most part, will be offering commentary on news developments and new technologies that come across his desk every day. With nearly 40 years worth of reporting on plastics processing at his disposal, Matt is uniquely equipped to contextualize these developments and hone in on those that will help truly help processors compete globally.

You can navigate to the blog from a link on our home page. Or bookmark it by saving ptonline.com/blog in your browser’s Favorites folder.

Speaking of our website, you may also have recently noticed a prominent display on our home page of what we are calling Knowledge Centers. Here, visitors can get up to speed on new technology, best practices, and troubleshooting tips on very specific topics. Right now we have Knowledge Centers (they are actually mini-websites built within our site) on Resin Drying and Conveying. In development and coming soon will be KCs on Feeding, Blending and Dosing, and Sheet Extrusion. Again, you can navigate to the Knowledge Centers from the ptonline.com home page.

We are also in the process of tweaking our Research Zones. In these Zones, visitors can research articles we’ve written about specific topics, find suppliers, view multimedia presentations, and more. Last year we added a Zone on Testing & Quality Control. More recently we’ve added a Zone on Robots. Coming soon will be Zones on Thermoforming, Film/Sheet Extrusion, Hot Runners and more. We know you value your time, and realize that you don’t have much of it in the first place, so the idea behind the Zone structure is to get you to where you need to go as soon as possible.

While on our site, give our PLASPEC Global Materials Selection Data Center a whirl. For free in our PLASPEC Basic version, you can search and print out datasheets of thousands of resins by doing searches by resin family, supplier, trade name, and the like. You can even scope out our new biopolymers database. For a subscription charge of $149/yr, you get access to our PLASPEC Complete offering, where you can compare attributes of multiple materials, or do detailed engineering analysis of different material characteristics. Bookmark ptonline.com/plaspec.

On the matter of electronic products, this year we’ve also unveiled webinars, which are basically online seminars that you can attend without leaving your office. As I write this, we’ve held five of them, and another dozen are currently in the offing. If you want to register for these, shoot me an email at jcallari@ptonline.com and I will add you to our list. We also archive these webinars for viewing after the fact. Bookmark ptonline.com/webinars.

Hopefully by now you are aware of our two monthly e-newsletters: The PT Insider and the PT Materials Insider. Check out the archives of both these e-newsletters, and register to receive one or both, by going to ptonline.com/newsletter/signup.html

Any questions or comments? I am all ears.