PT Blog

Just a few days ago, I blogged about how higher crude oil prices and key feedstocks for several resins, coupled with planned and unplanned outages in some cases, have resulted in very early year price increases of several commodity resins, including PET.

How long prices of key PET feedstocks—PTA, MEG, and paraxylene, will continue to be volatile and impact PET prices is difficult to tell at this moment. How much higher PET prices are likely to get is also not clear, although a global oversupply situation which has been in existence is more than likely to continue for some time.

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13. February 2017

There’s More at Molding 2017

Over its 27 years, the Molding Conference and Exhibit has provided a schedule packed with thought-provoking presentations and an exhibit area filled with solution purveying suppliers. This April, the event goes even further in its bid to make better molders, expanding beyond the presentation ballrooms to two special off-site events.

Bookending the conference in 2017 will be a pair of unique additions. Immediately prior to the conference’s start, injection molding trainer, consultant and Plastics Technology columnist John Bozzelli will present a seminar and hands-on workshop at the Polymers Center for Excellence in Charlotte. The Molding At the Press course will tackle the five key processing requirements for successful 24/7 production.

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During MD&M West, Bluestar Silicones showcased its expanded Silbione Biomedical product line for long-term implant applications and its new primerless skin adhesive. The company has extended its > 30 day in the body range to include low consistency elastomers available in 25 to 40 Shore A hardness.

Dolomite featured live demonstrations of its unique Fluidic Factory, the first commercially available 3D printer for sealed microfluidic devices which utilizes cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from TOPAS Advanced Polymers. The Fluidic Factory ran continuously at TOPAS’ Booth #662, producing a variety of microfluidic demonstration parts.

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Multiple speakers and exhibitors at Extrusion 2016 addressed the growing trend in the market towards predictive maintenance or fixing a piece of equipment before it breaks with the knowledge that its failure is imminent.

In a practical sense, predictive maintenance allows processors to take a piece of equipment off line to quickly replace components before their failure would require a lengthy, output-impacting shutdown. It is increasingly empowered by the twin forces of cheaper sensors and the outsized computing power of the cloud.

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Here we are into the shortest month of the year and already the industry is seeing price increases either being implemented or about to be. Just last week, I tried to tackle what is taking place and how things might turn out, at least going into second quarter, in the typically volatile polyolefins pricing arena.

Meanwhile, in addition to supply/demand fundamentals, which vary depending on the resin, the combination of higher global prices of crude oil and key resin feedstocks, along with planned and unplanned production outages, are major factors driving price initiatives for other resins as well. Polystyrene and PVC are among them, and Mark Kallman, v.p. of client services for engineering resins, PS, and PVC at Resin Technology, Inc., recently offered an update. 

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