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Indian rotomolder showcases new products at Plastivision

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Indian rotational molder Maharashtra Maha Polyplast Pvt. Ltd. is developing a new line of products to improve living space in India's dense metropolitan areas. With concrete jungles erected overnight in India, there is hardly space left for plants and greenery, the company said. Moreover, the fast pace life in bigger cities have hardly left anyone to spend time with plants.
 
Maharashtra Maha Polyplast seeks to bring city dwellers closer to plants through a rotationally molded "self-watering mobile plant unit," which can be placed on a balcony in a multi-story housing complex. 

Battery bottlenecks delay Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid launch

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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has delayed the U.S. launch of its Outlander plug-in hybrid until 2015, two years after its global debut, because of bottlenecks in battery production. The company is ramping up battery supply, but it won't be enough to start U.S. deliveries of the electrified crossover next year as planned.
 
Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said the problem is tight capacity at its main battery supplier, Lithium Energy Japan. The company is a joint venture between Mitsubishi Motors, Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp. and trading house Mitsubishi Corp. 

Econic gains investment for polymers from carbon dioxide technology

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Catalyst developer Econic Technologies Ltd. has secured a £5.1 million ($8.3 million) cash injection to develop its technology for manufacturing polymers from carbon dioxide.
 
Econic Technologies' carbon dioxide based polycarbonate and polyols replace between 30-50 percent of traditional petrochemical feedstock resulting in 30-40 percent cost reductions, said the firm. 

Demographics point to growing medical plastics market in China

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China's growing middle class and aging population will affect the global medical device market in 2014, according to speakers at the Society of Plastic Engineers' first China conference, held Dec. 11-12 in Shanghai.
 
"In China, the 83 million people defined as middle class only represent less than 10 percent of the population," said Michael Taylor, senior director of international affairs and trade at the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. "The idea is that if your middle class is growing, your economy is getting richer and you can afford these things. 

No “Breakthrough Year” For The US In 2014

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PEOPLE who trade in oil, other commodities and equities don’t buy that many chemicals and polymers because, of course, relative to the US population as a whole, they number very few.
 
Thus, the challenge for 2014, as President Obama talks about a “breakthrough year” for the US economy, is spreading the strength in commodity and equity markets to the vast majority of Americans.  

Carmat self-regulating artificial heart implanted in first human subject

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Last Wednesday in Paris, a 75 year-old man received an artificial heart. That in itself might not be newsworthy, as such devices have been in use since the early 80s. In this case, however, the gadget in question was the first Carmat bioprosthetic artificial heart to ever be implanted in a human. According to its inventor, cardiac surgeon Alain Carpentier, it's the world's first self-regulating artificial heart.  

No injuries in fire at Axiall PVC feedstocks plant

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No injuries were reported Dec. 22 when a fire struck an Axiall Corp. plant making PVC feedstock in Lake Charles, La. The fire broke out around 1:40 p.m. and was extinguished about an hour later, officials with Atlanta-based Axiall said in a Dec. 23 statement. The fire occurred in a part of the plant that made vinyl chloride monomer, a feedstock used to make PVC resin. 

Fluortubing USA Expands Its Campbellsville, Kentucky, Manufacturing Center

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Netherlands-based Fluortubing USA, a plastic tubing manufacturer for use in the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries, plans to expand its operations center in Campbellsville, Kentucky. The company is expanding its operation in Taylor County to include an extrusion tower and resin mixing rooms to manufacture pipe.
 
Currently, Fluortubing imports pipe from its parent company in Europe and processes the tubing to increase its strength and durability. Producing the pipe in-house will significantly decrease shipping costs. The expansion will create 10 full-time jobs and a nearly $800,000 investment. 

Saint-Gobain Sells Its Fiber Cement Siding Business

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Saint-Gobain has signed an agreement for the sale of its U.S.-based Fiber Cement siding business to Plycem USA, a subsidiary of Elementia of Mexico.  
 
This business is part of Saint-Gobain's Exterior Products activity of the Construction Products Sector. It manufactures and sells fiber cement siding, trim and accessory products for the U.S. and Canadian residential and commercial construction markets. The business employs close to 250 people and has three production sites in the United States: Roaring River, North Carolina; Terre Haute, Indiana; and White City, Oregon. 

TPI re-opens Mexican wind blade factory

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The Juarez factory was formerly operated as a joint venture between TPI and Mitsubishi Power Systems under the name of VienTek, but is beginning operations now to serve multiple customers as a 100% owned TPI facility.
 
“TPI is very pleased to be reopening our Mexico operation to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy and to gain market share in the U.S. and Mexico,” said Steve Lockard, President and CEO of TPI Composites. “It will allow us to grow our business with current customers and to support new customers in the region.” 

UK to introduce plastic banknotes in 2016

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The Bank of England announced Dec. 18 that the next £5 and £10 banknotes will be made of plastic rather than the current cotton paper. The polymer notes will retain “the familiar look of Bank of England banknotes”, including the portrait the Queen and a historical character.
 
The first polymer note will be the £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill and will be issued in 2016. It will be followed around a year later by a polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen. 

Nammo Composite Solutions expands Utah operations

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his recent expansion adds 23,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space, updating their total floor space offering to 90,000 square feet.
 
Nammo CS, part of the Nammo Group, designs, develops, and manufactures composite and metallic structures for the aerospace, defence, commercial, industrial and energy markets. 

Slideshow: 3D Printed ABS & Nylon 12 Get Stronger, Tougher

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Stratasys has introduced two 3D printing materials stronger than their predecessors: the second generation of digital ABS for Objet Connex multimaterial 3D printers and FDM Nylon 12, which is designed for the company's Fortus 3D Production Systems.
 
Digital ABS and ABS2 are composite materials for Stratasys 3D printers that use its PolyJet process; they are made by simultaneously jetting two different plastics during build. This lets design engineers combine the colors, textures, densities, and mechanical properties of the polymers in a single object. 

Dashboard benefits from improved process

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Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG of Switzerland has improved its Varysoft process for the production of soft-touch parts in automotive interiors. The company says that surfaces made using Varysoft are now “even more pleasant and softer and feature a much better grip”.
 
The Varysoft technology creates a three-layer part comprising a sub-structure, a layer of foam and a layer of decorative material. 

California molder adds equipment, pursuing medical market

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A&S Mold and Die Corp. of Chatsworth, Calif., is installing its 47th injection molding machine — a hybrid-servo 950-ton Toshiba with a 250-ounce shot size — in December. The custom injection molder and mold maker is moving into the market for disposable medical applications.
 
“We are thinking about building a formal clean room in the near future,” said President Arno Adlhoch. “I still have faith and hope in manufacturing in southern California.” 

Covidien buys Given Imaging for $860 million

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Medical device maker Covidien plc has acquired Given Imaging Ltd. for approximately $860 million, the company announced. Dublin, Ireland-based Covidien said it will acquire the company at $30 a share, $6.35 more than its closing price before the deal was announced on Dec. 7. The deal will be a cash transaction, Covidien said. 
 
Given Imaging specializes in the gastrointestinal market, including a pill equipped with a camera that patients swallow that allows doctors to detect issues in the digestive system. 

Design Stories: Telling it like it is

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We live in an ever-confusing world. The New York Yankees dynasty has been replaced by Duck Dynasty while another baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, looks more like the television show’s bearded stars. Some plastics are billed as glass-like. 
 
Biopolymers are ballyhooed as the salvation of our planet even though some of them could deplete our food supply. “What’s going on?” Marvin Gaye asked in a popular song by the same name. “You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some understanding here today.”
 
That understanding needs to start with straight talk. 

Consolidated Container completes Shelburne acquisition

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Consolidated Container Co. has completed its acquisition of the majority of assets of Shelburne Plastics Inc.
 
Consolidated Container, on Dec. 3, said the deal includes the majority of assets of Plastic Technologies of Vermont Inc., Plastic Technologies of Maryland Inc. and Plastic Technologies of New York LLC. The firms collectively do business as Shelburne. 

India’s plastics industry asks for government help

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MUMBAI — The All India Plastics Manufacturers Association is seeking government help — so its members can invest in new technology, and in the form of new plastics parks all over the country.
 
“Plastics is one of the biggest contributors to India’s GDP [gross domestic product], with the growth rate of 12-15 percent per annum, over 50,000 manufacturers, and employs over 4 million workers in India,” said AIPMA President Anand Oza. 

Study: Plastic consumption to double in India by 2016

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MUMBAI — Fueled by increasing plastics usage in automobiles, consumer packaging and government spending on infrastructure, India's plastics industry is set to double per capita consumption in next five years, according to a report from the Plastindia Foundation.
 
India's per capita plastics consumption — estimated at 9.7 kilograms in 2012-13 — is far below the 109 kg. level in the United States and 45 kg. in China.

Technology spurs blow molding advances

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The U.S. market for blow molding machines is more mature than in fast-growth developing nations of Asia and Eastern Europe, but business should heat up here, as technological improvements lure buyers — and polyethylene and polypropylene prices stabilize from the shale gas boom, according to machinery executives.
 
Many report that North American business is strong right now, thanks to automotive and new packaging designs with even thinner walls.

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