PT Blog

Reifenhauser Converts Lab Lines to Produce Face Masks

Reifenhauser has converted two of its R&D lines at its nonwovens technology center in Troisdorf, Germany to full-production system for making meltblown material for face masks.

In a press released issued by the company, it said the two meltblown lines will be operated in four-shift operation 24/7, which it says will produce enough PP material to make 1 million face masks a day. Trial operations will be almost completely suspended during this period. Said Michael Maas, who is responsible for the Reifenhauser nonwoven test plant: “Due to the corona pandemic, the customer visits and tests that were actually planned have increasingly been cancelled, so that plant capacities and personnel capacities have been freed up anyway. Switching the plant from test to production operation therefore makes double sense.”

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PLASTICS, NAM Push for Extension to 'Essential' Companies Definition

Two trade associations are offering to help manufacturers get their companies designated as “essential,” which would allow them to stay open during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has written a template letter for members to request that their business be identified as "essential." In an email to its members, it is advising that they  update the letter with information specific to their business. “It is our position that our entire supply chain is critical,” PLASTICS CEO and President Tony Radoszewski said in this email. “Whether you are supplying material or machinery, we believe you are an essential business and should be treated as such by the various governmental jurisdictions.”

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Coronavirus and Oil Price Collapse Could Delay Second Wave of Planned Olefin/Polyolefin Projects

A host of companies across chemicals and oil and gas are slashing capital spending (capex) in an effort to preserve cash in the wake of the coronavirus and the collapse in crude oil prices, according to Joseph Chang, global editor for U.K.-based ICIS Chemical Business (U.S. office in New York City), a leading global petrochemicals market intelligence provider.  As a result, the U.S. and global chemical investment wave looks to slow considerably in the years ahead. Delays are more than likely to be seen for the second wave of U.S. olefin/polyolefin crackers underway or planned between end of this year and end of 2024.

According to Chang, major oil companies will also cut capex plans for 2020 and beyond in response to the collapse in oil prices. Importantly, many of these companies had aggressive plans for petrochemical capacity expansion, as they shifted their focus away from transportation fuel and towards chemicals for future growth. While oil companies have not yet specifically mentioned cuts to chemical projects, all investments should see an impact.

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Coping with Coronavirus: Waiting for Machinery Deliveries?

Equipment supply chains may become one more casualty of the COVID-19 virus. Case in point: I just got an email notice of “Prevention and Security measures” from Kurt Manigatter, CEO of Elmet Elastomere, a leading Austrian builder of LSR metering/pumping systems and tooling.


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