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Solar energy global market drivers and challenges
By Don Rosato
The worldwide solar energy or photovoltaic demand reached only 29 gigawatts (GW) last year, a 5 percent year-over-year increase. This is the first time in 10 years that the year-over-year photovoltaic industry market growth has been less than 10 percent. For supply and demand to have been balanced during 2012-13, end-market demand should have approached the 45 GW level. This overcapacity is having a significant effect on companies all along the supply chain as the industry consolidates.
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Extrusion of foams from engineering plastics using supercritical carbon dioxide
SPE Plastics Research Online
The need for polymeric foams with advanced functionalities is increasing, especially for applications in the aerospace, electronics, construction, automotive, and energy industries. High-performance engineering plastics provide opportunities for foams with superior properties. We have used poly(ether imide), which has a high glass transition temperature of 215–220°C. It does not soften until it reaches temperatures above that range, and so is desirable for space applications that expose materials to temperature extremes.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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Feb. 23-26 2014 SPE International Polyolefins Conference Register
Feb. 23-26 Plastics News Executive Forum 2014 Information
Feb. 24-26 SPE Thermoset Conference 2014 Register
March 3-4 All Ireland New Technology Forum: "From Translation, to Convergence, to the Bottom Line" Information
March 12-14 GPEC ® 2014 Register
March 25-26 Successful Plastic Part Design — The Fundamentals Revealed! Register
April 1-2 Plastics Financial Summit 2014 Information
April 3-4 9th European Thermoforming Conference Information
April 28-30 ANTEC® 2014 Register
May 6 AutoEPCON 2014 Information
May 6-8 Plastics in Medical Devices 2014 Information
May 31 Plastics & Polymers Innovation Awards Information
June 1-4 Rotational Molding Conference 2014 Information



PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Lawmakers unveil new plan to ban plastic grocery bags in California
The Sacramento Bee
Disposable plastic bags would be banned from grocery checkout stands in California and consumers would pay at least a dime for a paper or a sturdier, reusable plastic bag under a compromise proposal negotiated by key legislators. An attempt to pass a bill banning the bags failed last year amid opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and concerns that the move would eliminate jobs.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  New Syntactic Foam Training Series
CMT Materials has developed a new series of narrated presentations to help thermoformers and toolmakers better understand the properties of syntactic foam plug assists. With 10-12 slides each, these short learning modules are perfect for part designers, tool designers and set-up technicians. Click here for your free download today.
 



Indian industry looks to double plastics use by 2020
Plastics News
In spite of some recent economic headwinds, India's plastics industry believes it's on track to more than double its polymer consumption by 2020, to 20 million metric tons. At a gathering of more than 30 Indian plastics trade associations on the sidelines of the Plastivision trade show in Mumbai in December, industry leaders pushed the case that the fundamentals remain strong for the country's plastic sector, although growth has slipped.
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Solar energy global market drivers and challenges
By Don Rosato
The worldwide solar energy or photovoltaic demand reached only 29 gigawatts (GW) last year, a 5 percent year-over-year increase. This is the first time in 10 years that the year-over-year photovoltaic industry market growth has been less than 10 percent.

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Nanotechnology to help recover leftover oil
The Daily Fusion
Two new research projects are receiving funding from the Research Council of Norway to develop nanoparticles that can dislodge leftover oil that remains trapped in reservoirs after conventional recovery has been completed.

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Injection molding: New twists for a mainstream technology
Design News
When it comes to manufacturing technologies, the choices are many and their number seems to grow daily. They include machining, laser cutting, water cutting, stamping, die casting and various forms of 3-D printing.

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Experts answer questions on additive manufacturing
The Engineer
Additive manufacturing or "3-D printing" is now frequently referred to as a revolutionary technology that is changing the way products are designed and made. But what exactly is additive manufacturing capable of beyond producing plastic models and bespoke dental implants?
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How are your vendors doing? Tell us in the SPE Plastics Industry Resource.



Palram Israel uses flexible extrusion concept by KraussMaffei Berstorff for its PVC sheet production operations
Plastics Engineering
Palram Israel Ltd. has recently been producing multi-layer PVC sheets in a finished width of 2030 mm for a wide range of applications on a KraussMaffei Berstorff coextrusion line. The company, with head offices in Ramat-Yohanan (Israel), is one of the leading manufacturers of thermoplastic semifinished products, as well as polycarbonate and PVC sheets.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Screen Changers & Melt Pumps: 10% discount
PSI-Polymer Systems is a leading U.S. supplier of technology-driven Screen Changers, Extrusion Gear Pumps and Static Mixers for the Polymer Extrusion, Recycling and Food Industries.
New Extruded Aluminum Frame Conveyors
Minimize maintenance and maximize productivity! Find out more about EMI’s new conveyors which feature low profile external or internal drives, and self-aligning bearings. MORE



Plastics machinery shipments rise sharply in Q3
Manufactuing.net
Business levels for manufacturers and suppliers of primary plastics machinery (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, and thermoforming equipment) improved smartly in the third quarter of 2013. According to statistics compiled and reported by the Committee on Equipment Statistics of the Society of the Plastics Industry, shipments of primary plastics equipment for reporting companies totaled an estimated $3276 million in Q3.
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Polymers, other materials offer new ways to control sound, light
Laboratory Equipment
Flexible, layered materials textured with nanoscale wrinkles could provide a new way of controlling the wavelengths and distribution of waves, whether of sound or light. The new method, developed by researchers at MIT, could eventually find applications from nondestructive testing of materials to sound suppression, and could also provide new insights into soft biological systems and possibly lead to new diagnostic tools.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
Ultrasonic Welding Machine

The ultrasonic welding machine Easy 3000 Series is suitable for welding operations of thermoplastic parts from medium to large size.


Clean Plast® is a ready-to-use purging compound in pellet form that will minimize your purging problems! Clean Plast® has been put through vigorous tests and has been reformulated time and time again, to continuously improve and perfect product performance. We believe we have the best cleaning solution for the plastics industry and that this product is more effective than any other product out in the market. Clean Plast® will help to eliminate future problems with streaking, black specs and hard to clean resin. Contact me today for a FREE PURGE TRIAL at your plant and see the difference a Clean Plast® Purge makes.
DryCleaner Furnaces

PCPC's DryCleaner furnaces are designed to safely and economically remove small amounts (1 to 2% by weight) of varnish, insulation, epoxy, paint, oil, grease, plastics, etc. primarily from electric motor stators, transformers, end bells, engine blocks and other metal parts.



Sugar and starch producers cash in on bioplastics
Food Quality News
Food packaging boasts the largest share in the total plastics market and has the greatest opportunity in terms of volume sales, according to Rabobank.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Press System
Dukane's patented iQ Advanced Servo Welder is the next step in the evolution of ultrasonic welding technology. Combining the efficiency and reliability of a 100% digitally controlled Multi-Core iQ Series power supply with the precision of an advanced servo press, the Dukane Advanced iQ Servo Welder delivers unprecedented repeatability, accuracy and reliability to your ultrasonic bonding process. MORE
 



Plastics putting the buzz in electric cars
Plastics News
Electric cars may not have gotten the same buzz at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year as they have in the past, but that doesn't mean they've disappeared. Watch this video report from the show on how suppliers and industry leaders see only growth ahead.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Hanser Publications

Premier Plastics Technology Books

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A seal for limited space
MECO’s AH Type-2 split seal space requirements are 2.5” (65mm) around the shaft and 4” (100mm) along the shaft. Much smaller values are possible.



Manufacturers changing packaging for OAPs
Food Production Daily
The German Packaging industry will grow at an annual rate of 1.05 percent (by volume in million units) by 2017, but heavier and fragile glass will decline at an annual rate of -0.36 percent, according to Canadean.
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Indian scientists turn plastic bags into car fuel
Business Standard
In a breakthrough, Indian researchers have developed an innovative method to reuse discarded plastic bags by transforming them into fuel to power car engines. Researchers developed a relatively low-temperature process to convert certain kinds of plastic waste into liquid fuel as a way to re-use plastic bags and other products.
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Ultra-thin tool heating for injection molding
Today's Medical Developments
If you have ever tried to make waffles, then you are bound to be familiar with the following problem: You only get good waffles if the iron is heated to the correct temperature. The same principle applies to the manufacture of plastics parts, such as displays, facings, covers, and instrument panels, using injection molding techniques. A liquid plastic melt is injected into a steel forming tool, which is heated just like a waffle iron. The point is to produce a perfect cast of the tool's surface, which may be smooth like a mirror or feature a functional structure. Using injection molding to realize the desired structural and functional surface qualities of plastic parts is intended as a one-step process without the need for any extensive finishing work. The process also has to be economic and energy efficient.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    3-D printing taking center stage in additive manufacturing (By Don Rosato)
Cheap gasoline and plastics, produced from cheap and abundant natural gas, is almost here (Extreme Tech)
European Parliament passes resolution banning hazardous plastics (Business Standard)
Toughening epoxy thermosetting polymer (SPE Plastics Research Online)
More plastics competition coming from China to US (Plastics News)

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Reshoring: Let's stick to the facts please
Plastics Today
Doug Smock writes: "J.M.Barrie, the Scottish writer who created Peter Pan, once said: 'Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.' This comes to mind because of the recurring media stories trumpeting a reshoring of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Well, in yesterday's New York Times, Steven Rattner rained on that parade with a strongly argued opinion piece headlined: 'The Myth of Industrial Rebound.' Rattner is a consultant, former investment banker and lead adviser to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry in 2009. Rattner's work on General Motors and Chrysler turned out pretty well, even though I was among those strongly opposed to government support of the auto industry.
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At NAIAS, composites not difficult to find
Composites World
The 25th anniversary of the North American International Auto Show took place at Detroit, Mich.'s Cobo Center in January, giving visitors a chance to view dozens of new production vehicles, models and concept cars, as well as providing them with an up-close look at the rapidly changing face of the industry. Composites, as well as other materials, are expected to play an integral role in the design and manufacture of the next generation of vehicles, a case in point being the BMW i3, the company's first fully electric vehicle, which made its North American debut at the show.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Precision Solutions through Optimized Tubing

A global leader in precision polymer extrusions and material science, Zeus excels at optimized tubing solutions including flaring, flanging, draw downs, drilling, etching and more.
Genarex - The Future of Bioadditives
Bylox – A plant-based Bioadditives that enables cost reduction and improved performance.

  • Creates an inexpensive resin replacement
  • Very flexible with various resins
  • Produces good consistent master batch; consistent quality in molding and extrusion
  • Can offset plasticizers in adhesive formulations
  • MORE
     
     

    SPE Industry Update
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    Disclaimer: The SPE Industry Update is a digest of the most important news selected for the Society of Plastics Engineers from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs. Neither MultiBriefs nor the Society of Plastics Engineers is responsible for opinions or statements of facts expressed in the articles referenced in SPE Industry Update. Advertising appearing in SPE Industry Update is not to be taken as an endorsement, expressed or implied, of the respective company's processes, products or services represented in the ad.

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