SPE Industry Update
Aug. 4, 2010

Investing in competitiveness now
Plastics Today
Business for many moldmakers is picking up and some are finding that the time to add new equipment is now, in preparation for more new business they see coming. Industrial Molds Group, headquarted in Rockford, Ill., has made it a practice to continually invest in the latest machine tool technology. The company has just completed installation of an Erowa Robot System (ERS-03000) heavy-duty robot to add to the S-56 Makino machining center. The total investment was around $500,000 not counting the machining center, which Industrial Molds had purchased a year ago. More

How liquids flow through stretched glass-knitted preforms
SPE Plastics Research Online
Most composite materials are fiber-reinforced polymers. This category includes materials obtained from various types of fibers, available in several architectures, and impregnated with different polymers through several processes. Unfortunately, the materials exhibiting the best mechanical properties (unidirectional continuous-fiber-reinforced thermosetting resins) cannot be manufactured by processes conducive to more complex shapes (such as short-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic injection molding). Consequently, different fibrous architectures, matrix materials, and impregnation processes are being investigated to find materials with intermediate properties.More

SPE's ASIATEC call for papers
The inaugural ASIATEC Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan, on February 15-17; the abstract deadline is October 1. More

SPE's e-Live® Webinars
Do you have an idea for an e-Live Webinar for SPE's e-Learning Center? If you would like to present a webinar, please contact Elizabeth Reagan at ereagan@4spe.org or +1 203-253-1368. More

Cereplast sees growth back in market for plastics giants
Cereplast, Inc., a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics, commented last week that increased growth rates for plastic giants such as DuPont and Alcoa combined with higher costs for crude oil bode well for the bioplastics industry as science-based initiatives and green technologies begin to lead the way and the economic recovery takes hold. More

ExxonMobil posts 60 percent gain in earnings, chemicals up $1 billion-plus
Plastics Today
ExxonMobil's second -quarter earnings, excluding special items, were up 85 percent from the year prior, fueled by improved downstream margins and strong chemical results. First-half earnings of $13.9 billion were 60 percent above the first half of 2009. The chemical segment, which includes the company's plastics businesses, posted earnings of $1.368 billion-$1.001 billion higher than the second quarter of 2009. Stronger margins improved earnings by $840 million and higher sales volumes further increased earnings by $120 million.More

Canadian plastics producer eyes North Dakota ethane
The Associated Press via Google News
A slipping supply of a gas used in plastic manufacturing has prompted a Canadian petrochemical factory to pursue stocks from a North Dakota plant. Another Canadian company is proposing a 430-mile-long pipeline to move the ethane north. Nova Chemicals Corp., Canada's biggest plastics producer, said it signed a long-term agreement to purchase 100 percent of the ethane produced at Hess Corp.'s natural gas plant in Tioga, in northwest North Dakota.More

Room to grow in Swiss plastic recycling
Swiss Info
Switzerland's recycling figures for plastic drink bottles are at an all-time high, but there is no nationwide system for recycling other types of plastic. The exception is opaque white milk containers, which retailers normally take back along with the omnipresent PET beverage bottles. Packaging for food, cosmetics and other everyday products generally lands in the incinerator.More

EPA rejects challenges to climate report
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has denied 10 petitions challenging its 2009 determination that climate change is real and threatens humans. Rejecting a series of critiques lodged by groups seeking to block federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, EPA officials declared that "climate science is credible, compelling and growing stronger," the Los Angeles Times reported.More