PT Blog

According to the Electric Power Research Institute, power quality problems cost U.S. manufacturers up to $188 billion a year—$9.6 billion in the plastics industry alone—with 80 percent of those problems created by manufacturers’ own internal power systems.

These are problems that give you clear warning signals you might miss if you’re not monitoring your plant’s power quality effectively. Power failures aside, inefficient power quality is taking a toll on your motors, transformers and other components, and it drives the energy bills higher and higher.

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New research from the University of British Columbia’s (UBC’s) School of Engineering shows that mold is proving to be increasingly important in the arena of engineering materials and can lead to early deterioration and structural failure. This is particularly the case as manufacturers adopt more bio-derived materials in the drive toward a ‘greener future’, according to researcher Bryn Crawford.

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus from the Composites Research Network and the Department of Biology, working in collaboration with MIT and the National Research Council of Canada, has been studying the development and application of bio-sourced composites—specifically flax and hemp fibers. Both materials are plentiful in Canada and can be mixed with other materials—including a range of thermoplastics—to create cheaper, recyclable, and effective composite material products that are used by a wide range of industries, including transportation.

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Whether you’re a DOE devotee, agnostic or skeptic, you should consider signing up for a special DOE workshop held in advance of next month’s Molding 2018 Conference and Exhibit on Monday Feb. 26. Presented by Suhas Kulkarni, the founder and president of injection molding consultancy Fimmtech, Carlsbad, Calif., and hosted at Comar LLC’s Garden Grove, Calif. facility (acquired from ProPlas Technologies in June of 2017), the four-hour workshop will walk participants through the DOE technique and offer simple steps on how to perform DOEs in injection molding. A well-designed and executed DOE should be a key component of your process development, find out how and why at this special event.

Topics to be Covered in the Workshop Include:

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My profile of Octex Group in Sarasota, Fla., for an On-Site cover story in next month’s issue (sneak preview here) is largely a story about transformation. A company that started out as a commodity custom injection molder of cups, lids, and handles began in 2014 to remake itself into a high-tech supplier to the most demanding customers in medical, aerospace, defense, and automotive industries.

At the same time, it evolved into a business (under $50 million) that’s about much more than molding. A good part of a $10 million program to expand, upgrade, and re-envision the company has gone into building two sister companies to provide world-class moldmaking and metrology services—Choice Tool & Mold and Omnia Scientific, respectively.

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With this blog we launch a series of articles based on 2017 research conducted by market-research firm Mastio & Co., St. Joseph, Mo. on key markets for extruders of polyethylene film. Each weekly blog will consist of growth projections, technology drivers, and key players in each of 10 different film segments. We’ll kick off the series with stretch film.

According to Mastio’ s research, the stretch film market continues to be one of the largest and most rapidly evolving PE film markets. Interview with processors conducted by Mastio reveal that stretch film processors remain optimistic about increases in demand for stretch film products, as stretch film continues to displace other conventional means of pallet unitization and product bundling.

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