PT Blog

Over the past 12 months, both die and mold shops have experienced strong capacity utilization (90% and 81% respectively), according to a first quarter survey by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and Harbour Results, Inc., (HRI). In the Automotive Tooling Barometer, Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of HRI, is bullish on 2018 but sees a correction forthcoming.

“Although we believe 2018 will be a strong sourcing year for the automotive tooling market, we are seeing some indications of a return to more normal sourcing levels in the near future,” Harbour said.

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Covering not quite 14,000 square miles—about 2000 square miles bigger than the state of Maryland—the country of Taiwan had an outsized presence at NPE2018. In total, nearly 80 exhibitors in Orlando came from Taiwan, with the majority—51—located in the South Hall.

David Chien, newly appointed director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami shared statistics and technology from the island nation at a special event during the show: Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0. Chien noted that Taiwan is now the 5th largest exporter of plastics machinery to the U.S., with annual sales to the country exceeding $64 million. In 2017, Taiwan generated more than $1.9 billion in revenue from the rubber and plastics industries globally, with that figure up 12.8% compared to 2016. The Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0 event was organized by the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

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By: Heather Caliendo 16. May 2018

New 3D-Printed Airless Bicycle Tire

A new 3D-printed airless bicycle tire promises to make flat tires a thing of the past. Berlin-based 3D printing manufacturer BigRep says it printed the “world’s first” airless bicycle tire using its Pro FLEX material, a TPU-based filament.

BigRep says it successfully tested functionality on the streets of the German capital. The airless tire was a successful prototype to demonstrate the ease and speed at which flexible spare parts can be 3D printed. BigRep believes this world-first application showcases the potential of 3D printing to develop new complex geometries that cannot be achieved using traditional production methods.

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By: Heather Caliendo 11. May 2018

Plastics On The NPE Network

The NPE Network is showcasing the must-see moments on and off the show floor. This exciting new component features daily video recap headlines highlighting the events at the show and soundbites from attendees, exhibitors and speakers. In addition, you can check out the NPE Network Live Studio, which includes one-on-one interviews and trends highlights.

Plastics Technology and other Gardner Business Media editors are sharing their expertise on the Network via the recap headlines and Live Studio. You can watch it here:

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Frigel CEO Orindo Dorin said the acquisition is complementary for his company giving it product lines it previously didn’t offer, including cooling, sorting and inspection systems for closure production, as well as mold dryers, rapid mold heating/cooling technology, and temperature controls for die casting.

Frigel has two booths at NPE2018—S14085, W193—with the South Hall booth located in the bottle zone and featuring a cap-cooling line from Green Box. Al Fosco, marketing manager of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Frigel North America Inc., said that in addition to complementary product lines, the combined company has a complementary sales structure. Green Box had strong penetration in the OEM market but little-to-no North American presence, while Frigel has strong representation in North America but minimal input into original machinery.

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