PT Blog

We continue to see use of polycarbonate grow in conventional and new applications in markets such as electrical/electronics—the largest segment in terms of value and volume for the last several years, and projected as such to 2020 by industry consultants such as Markets & Markets.

Other major sectors include construction, automotive, optical media, sheets and film, medical, and consumer goods including sports equipment. I, for one, did not know the role that PC has played in the precision sport of archery.

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In addition to discussions on mega trends in the global polyolefins arena, the first full day of Society of Plastics Engineers International Polyolefins 2017 conference featured new resins and additives. Here are some notable examples:

LyondellBasell touted its Spherizone process—a 2-in-1 multizone circulating reactor which can produce novel PP grades, said to be suited for inter-material applications. Included are PP pipe grades that offer up to 30% weight reduction.

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But if you’re looking for ideas on what—and how—to automate, you to hear what other molders, as well as robot suppliers, have to say at Plastics Technology’s 27th annual Molding 2017 Conference & Exhibit, April 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C. Among 65 presentations at the two-and-a-half-day event, these address specifically robots and automation—including one molder’s prescriptions for organizing “lights-out” operations.

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The interest in polypropylene with higher melt strength appears only to be building, particularly with regard to the production of a variety of high-performance foams, such as for specialty packaging, but also for such non-foam applications as large-part blow molding, large-part thermoforming, profile extrusions, and extrusion coating.

Just within the last year, we have reported on the entry of two new polyolefin suppliers who have entered the high-melt-strength polypropylene (HMS-PP) business: Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc., which is the first to produce HMS-PP domestically—producing the material at its LaPorte, Texas, site; and, more recently, Braskem (U.S. office in Philadelphia). Up until 2015, HMS-PP resin was being imported from Austria’s Borealis (U.S. office in Port Murray, N.J.).

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An entire track and multiple speakers from industry leading suppliers like ACS Group, Burger & Brown Engineering, Inc., Conair, Dri-Air Industries, Inc., Engel Machinery, Inc.MORETTO USA LLC, Novatec, Inc., Piovan, RocTool Inc. and Wittmann Battenfeld, Inc. will address the newest innovations in auxiliary equipment, as well as the best practices for deploying today’s technologies at the Molding 2017 Conference and Exhibit (April 4-6; Charlotte; pictured above: Engel's e-flomo water manifold).

Medical Molding and Industry 4.0
Two presentations will delve into hot topics for molders, namely how to set up a medical molding operation, including auxiliaries, that will comply with certification standards, and a look at how Industry 4.0 is already impacting secondary equipment.

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