PT Blog

In early June, I had the opportunity to take a personal guided tour of the new Incoe headquarters plant in Auburn Hills, Mich., led by automotive business-development manager Jim Bott. The occasion was the official Grand Opening celebration of the move from the previous headquarters in Troy, Mich., which actually took place last August.

The 138,000 ft2 facility employs around 200 working two shifts, and is one of five Incoe manufacturing locations worldwide. The site has room for expansion by another 30,000 to 40,000 ft2. The factory is divided between production of standard hot-runner components and custom manifolds. According to Bott, the plant stocks 3100 different crib parts and 385,000 items in inventory.

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Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has created the first ever 3D-printed diamond composite showcasing that this super-hard material can now be 3D-printed in highly complex shapes. Diamond is 58 times harder than anything else in nature.

Due to Sandvik's use of additive manufacturing, diamond components can now be created application ready, in very complex shapes, without the need for further machining. The company believes this will open up the possibility of using it in applications that were previously considered impossible.

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AutoDesk, whose software already bridges the gap between design and manufacturing—its flagship AutoCAD program flanked by products like Moldflow and PowerMill—closed the gap at its own annual Moldflow Summit (June 11-13; Troy, Mich.) including a separate session on its CAM program for the first time. This is a change the company said attendees can expect at these events going forward, which Autodesk said would ultimately have more of a focus on manufacturing overall. Eventually events like this will be rebranded as Autodesk Manufacturing Summit’s, with multiple events collocated at the same location.

Speaking at the Summit, Vikram Vedantham, senior manager design and manufacture, AutoDesk talked about the disruption happening all around, centered on the convergence of design and manufacturing. With this connection, Vedantham said eventually manufacturing could actually lead design process instead of the inverse.

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In May, the global plastics industry renewed its focus on China and its annual behemoth event—Chinaplas—held this year in Guangzhou. Despite trade pressure from one of its largest commerce partners, the U.S., the show set a new high mark in attendance, eclipsing 160,000 passing through the turnstiles at the Import & Export Fair Complex. Industry 4.0, as it’s been at other shows, was a key technology theme, while on the business side, resilience in the face of trade pressure was on display. 

 

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Poland Spring Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has started transitioning its packaging to recycled plastic (rPET), and plans to be the first major bottled water brand to reach 100% recycled plastic across its still water portfolio by 2022. This month, the brand’s 1-liter bottles will begin being made using 100% rPET. In April, the brand launched its Poland Spring Origin in 900-mL bottles, which are also made entirely of recycled plastic.

“As a company, we’ve already put our stake in the ground when it comes to taking the ‘single’ out of ‘single-use’ plastic bottles,” says Fernando Mercé, president and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Waters North America. “As we begin to transform Poland Spring, our most iconic brand, to 100% recycled plastic packaging, we will begin to bring this commitment to life for our consumers in a tangible way. Bottles like these, which are made from 100% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable, are proof that a fully circular economy is within our reach.”

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