PT Blog

A two-year R&D project between NatureWorks, Minnetonka, Minn. and Italy’s Flo, a major European food packaging producer, has led to what may be the first 100% bioplastic coffee capsule. Flo’s new generation of coffee capsules, Gea, is a fully compostable capsule made from NatureWorks Ingeo PLA.

Compared to compostable capsules currently on the market, the new Gea capsules are said to address market requests for material aging stability in an industrially compostable format. “Being able to count on a capsule that does not show signs of aging in a few months, but is shelf stable for years, is a huge value for coffee roasters….Roasters should be focused on their coffee, not the packaging it is packed in. NatureWorks’ unique analytical and engineering capabilities together with Flo’s know-how in thermoforming technology, were critical to developing this solution”, says Erika Simonazzi, Flo’s marketing director.

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The Extrusion Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers is sponsoring two Minitecs on the docket for June. On Thursday, June 14, at Detroit’s IACMI Research Facility, SPE Extrusion Division will be holding a seminar on single and twin-screw extrusion theory, principles, tips and practices, with speakers from ACS Group, Compuplast, Dow, Davis-Standard, Leistritz, Teel Plastics, TW Womer, and more. The day will conclude with a tour of the IACMI (Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing innovation) facility in Detroit. Registration and conference details can be found here.

On Thursday, June 21, SPE Extrusion Division will be holding a single- and twin-screw seminar at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center, in Marietta, Ga. with speakers from ACS Group, Cloeren, Coperion, Davis-Standard, Gneuss, Leistritz, and others. Registration and conference details for that event can be found here.

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Customized TPE compounds, particularly the ‘soft-touch feel’ variety,  are proliferating in a myriad of various applications from tool handles and consumer electronics to automotive, appliances and shoes. A comfortable feel is a key attribute of such materials and in the case of shoes, this is particularly desirable in every aspect. (I’m saying this the week after the terrific experience of NPE2018, including all the walking it entailed.)

A unique shoe-lacing system developed by Korea’s Shin Kyung Inc., features such a TPE. The Freelock wire closure system is said to eliminate the challenges of conventional shoe laces, which are time-consuming to adjust to the ideal level of tightness—critical for both comfort and safety—particularly for demanding activities such as running. The patented Freelock’s innovative mechanism for tightening, securing and loosening laces accomplishes this by means of multiple wires contracted or released as needed by a simple twist of a rotary dial.

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Vacuum conveying systems are often at the heart of a plastics processing operation. That’s why every second of downtime is detrimental, either for routine maintenance or as a result of equipment failure. 

With Novatec’s PumpSense, sensors are attached to the pump, constantly measuring vacuum pressure, vibration and temperature. The sensor data is collected by a data hub and is then sent via router to cloud-based servers running MachineSense Crystalball analysis software.

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Held April 24-27 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Shanghai, Chinaplas 2018 saw 180,701 attendees pass through its turnstiles with 47,900 of those hailing from 150 different countries and regions, according to show organizer Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. The show set new records for attendance—up 16.4% from last year’s event in Guangzhou—as well as exhibit space.

In terms of gross hall capacity in square meters, the NECC trails only Germany’s Hannover Exhibition Center in size globally (460,000 m2 vs 400,000 m2). Chinaplas 2018 put that larger space to use, adding 100,000-m2 (over 1 million square feet) in exhibition area compared to the most recent Chinaplas in Shanghai in 2016. The show covered a total of 340,000-m2 (3.659 million ft2). A total of 3,948 exhibitors were on hand.

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