PT Blog

In the first week of second quarter, we are seeing a somewhat mixed bag for commodity resin prices. Following price increases for most resins through first quarter, a flat-to-down trajectory looks to be shaping up. The big exception is PP, with a double-digit drop going into April. Driving this trajectory are lower-cost feedstocks, improved monomer and polymer availability, and slowed exports, depending on the resin. This according to purchasing consultants Resin Technology Inc. (RTi), PetroChemWire (PCW), and Michael Greenberg, CEO of the Plastics Exchange.

PE: Prices remained flat through March.  RTi’s v.p. of client services for PE Mike Burns, PCW senior editor David Barry, and The Plastic Exchange’s Greenberg all wager that PE suppliers could aim to push through their the 3¢/lb March increase this month but were doubtful of implementation.  

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Traditionally, ABS has been made with a multi-step emulsion batch reaction process, sometimes demonstrating significant variability in the material from batch to batch. Perhaps more consequential, the emulsion process requires the use of several processing additives such as emulsifiers, salts and other VOCs.

With mass polymerization, resins are produced in a single, continuous process that uses very few process additives. This yields a much more consistent, purer product with less visible pigment. The combination of these attributes offers a variety of advantages in the processing of the material as well as in the properties of the final products.

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Hidden in the confines of your vacuum conveying pump is crucial information that will help you boost efficiency and predict equipment failures. Often located in isolated, hard-to-reach places, they’re easy to forget. However, vacuum pumps are at the heart of the plastics processing application, transporting resins and materials for production, and can cause major delays and expenses when they fail.

The shops and plants that are increasingly implementing IIoT platforms on the shop floor recognize that big data can have an impact on productivity. Web-connected monitoring allows you to have a constant pulse on your equipment and predict failures before the damage occurs. So why leave vacuum pumps disconnected? READ MORE

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Increased demand for electricity, growing urbanization, the efficient supply of energy from renewable sources, and the interconnectivity of power grids are just a few of the trends driving the wire & cable industry. To meet and even anticipate these trends, Austria’s Borealis and its Borouge 50/50 joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company—both leading polyolefins suppliers to the global wire and cable industry—continue to invest in research, development and testing. 

The latest example is the newly-expanded high voltage (HV) electrical testing facilities at the Borealis Innovation Centre in Stenungsund, Sweden. The wire & cable laboratories at this location have been key development centers for cable insulation products since 1970, when the first cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable insulation products were produced at there.The scope of testing activities at Stenungsund has been expanding steadily over decades, starting with testing on electrical cables and cable extrusion lines in 1986. In 2009, a new three-layer continuous vulcanization (CV) extrusion line was installed.

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Europe, and more specifically Germany, has lead the push to incorporate Industry 4.0 into the plastics industry and at NPE2018 the association leading that effort, and writing the standards that shape its future, will lead a press tour on Industry 4.0 in action on the show floor.

EUROMAP (European Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers) announced the press tour will take place on the second day of the show, May 8, with stops at KraussMaffei, Engel, Battenfeld Cincinnati, and Wittmann Battenfeld. Among EUROMAP’s responsibilities is the drafting of technical recommendations on subjects including dimensions, descriptions, interfaces, energy efficiency and Industry 4.0.

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