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The Importance of Succession Planning in the Plastics Industry
By David Peterson
I had the opportunity to attend NPE 2015 in Orlando. What an amazing event and venue. While there, I had the chance to speak with many company leaders about what's on their priority list when it comes to acquiring, promoting and retaining key talent. One topic that I heard over and over again was "succession planning." The plastics industry is seeing shortages of talent, making succession planning more important than ever. Having a well-developed and current strategic plan in place will help your company prepare for the future.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Fabricating Highly Crystalline Polyester Articles
SPE Plastics Research Online
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is widely used for textile fibers, bottles, and films. When highly crystalline, PET has exceptional hardness and abrasion resistance, higher possible end-use temperature, high rigidity, and low creep. PET fibers, bottles, and films are crystallized rapidly by hot-stretching a preformed amorphous PET shape, which leads to oriented, thin products. The strength is concentrated in one or two directions and conforms with the part geometry.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event More Information
May 5 10th Annual AUTO EPCON Registration
May 12-14 6th Annual National Hands-On Thermoforming Workshops Registration
May 14 Extrusion Minitech Information
May 19 7th Annual Hands-On Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop Registration
June 2-4 PEPP 2015: 23rd Annual Polyethylene-Polypropylene Chain Global Technology & Business Forum Information
June 9-11 17th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-on Workshop Registration
June 16-17 Plastics Design & Moulding 2015 Information
June 23-25 6th Annual National Hands-On Thermoforming Workshop Registration
June 29 - July 1 Application-Based Plastics Selection (How properties, performance, and cost determine the optimal plastic for any application) Registration


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  • PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


    NPE 2015 End-Use Regulatory Impact Review: Green Building
    By Don Rosato
    The National Plastics Exposition recently took place in Orlando, Florida. Let's go behind the scenes and take a look from a plastics engineering standpoint at some of the regulatory impacts in key plastics end-uses and related technologies. In the final part of a three-part recap, we'll look at how green building regulatory goals drive plastics use. The construction and operation of buildings has a significant impact on the environment. In the U.S., buildings account for 39 percent of total energy consumption and 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.
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    6 New Bio-Based and Renewable Plastics
    DesignNews
    Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents, says a new report from Lux Research, released just in time for Earth Day. Overall mechanical properties and processability issues can still be a problem, but in application areas like biomedical and agriculture, the biodegradability of many bio-based plastics can make the difference.
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    3 Trends Driving Growth in the Interconnected Auto and Chemicals Markets
    Manufacturing.Net
    The auto industry is taking off and the chemicals sector is hitching a ride. Since 2009, global production has increased by about 25 million units, according to a recent report by KPMG, and estimates put the current revenue for the auto industry at more than $2 trillion. The roads are only going to get more crowded. Many analysts estimate that about 4 to 5 million new cars and light trucks will be in use each year in the near future.
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    PolyOne Launches Geon BIO PVC Using Soy-Based Materials
    Plastics News
    More than a decade of research is paying off for Battelle Memorial Institute in the form of Geon BIO PVC compounds from PolyOne Corp. Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne launched Geon BIO at NPE 2015 in Orlando. The flexible PVC compounds use reFlex-brand bio-based plasticizers that were developed by Battelle, a nonprofit research and development firm in Columbus, Ohio.
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    Polymer Researchers Create a New Class of Hybrid Materials (Update)
    Phys.org
    Macromolecular science will have to add a new giant molecule to its lexicon thanks to new and cutting-edge polymer research at The University of Akron. The research team led by Stephen Z.D. Cheng, professor at UA's college of polymer science and polymer engineering, invented a new thinking pathway in the design and synthesis of macromolecules – the backbone of modern polymers – by creating an original class of giant tetrahedra.
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    Ben & Jerry's and Filabot Team to Turn Plastic Spoons into 3-D Printer Filament
    3DPrint
    Back in December of 2012, Filabot began with the idea of making a machine that could recycle plastic into filament for 3-D printers. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, and during the last three years, the company has gone from a solo operation to hiring three full-time employees and two part-time employees. Filabot says they see plastic as a potent resource which is not being utilized to its fullest, and they add that their goal is nothing less than "to change how the world uses plastic."
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    OSHA Targets Firm Making Plastic Balls Used in Fracking
    Plastics News
    The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it may fine a manufacturing company in New York for 48 alleged violations of workplace safety regulations. OSHA on April 13 said it issued a citation and notification of penalty against Fort Edward, New York-based A. Hyatt Ball Co., a maker of plastic balls used in hydraulic fracturing, for violations including improper storage of flammable liquids, the lack of a fire alarm and fire-suppression system, and a lack of a ventilation system needed to abate the presence of potentially combustible dust.
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    Plastic Panels Silence Traffic Noise
    Plastics News
    Australian packaging company Pact Group Holdings Ltd. has manufactured 180,446 square feet of lightweight polyethylene panels for noise barriers on a highway upgrade into Sydney. The sound barrier is along 13 miles of the M5 West Road, part of the key connection that links Sydney with the national capital Canberra. The road opened to traffic in late October and has noise barriers made up of 16,000 panels.
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    Nanotechnology Enables Glass-Free 3-D Holograms
    Nanowerk News
    Moving holograms like those used in 3-D science fiction movies such as Avatar and Elysium have to date only been seen in their full glory by viewers wearing special glasses. Now researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have shown the capacity of a technique using graphene oxide and complex laser physics to create a pop-up floating display without the need for 3-D glasses. Now researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have shown the capacity of a technique using graphene oxide and complex laser physics to create a pop-up floating display without the need for 3-D glasses.
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    LSR Leverages Solidscape's 3-D Printing Process to Cut Costs, Time for Urethane Castings
    Plastics Today
    Prototyping is a critical part of the product development process for industrial design firms. And thanks to 3-D printing, that process has been made much faster and easier. LSR Design Studio, an industrial design company that enables advanced wireless technology platforms with product design, from inception through manufacturing, knows the value of 3-D printing for rapid prototyping.
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    Made Here: The Business Outlook for US Manufacturing
    Manufacturing.net
    "Made in the USA": It's a tagline that's seen more often these days and with good reason. Proximity to the customer – which allows small to midsized American manufacturers to provide customized products, value-added inventory management and quick delivery – is helping to fuel a manufacturing revival. Despite the relatively high costs associated with U.S. production, economic indicators demonstrate that the manufacturing sector is showing healthy growth. Seven years after the financial crisis, U.S. manufacturers are now out-performing the economy overall.
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    Going Beyond Traditional Composites
    Engineering Capacity
    Automated manufacturing processes and thermoplastics are the future for composites, says Steve Barbour of Sigma Composites – part of Avingtrans plc’s aerospace division. Composite materials can be designed to be both strong and light. The need for lightweight, greener, more fuel-efficient aircraft presents a challenge and has shifted the focus of aerospace manufacturers towards composite components.
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    Evonik Develops Functional Polymer Design For Safe Food Packaging
    Plastics Today
    Evonik Industries has developed two new members of its Dynapol family of medium- and high-molecular-weight polyesters for packaging and coil coatings. Used in interior coatings, the two new Dynapol high-molecular polyesters, Dynapol L 907 and Dynapol L 914, provide high media stability and protective characteristics. The company claims that the polymers yielded the best results in sterilization tests with coated metal test specimens with spicy and highly staining foods.
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      FEATURED COMPANIES
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    Concern Over European Polymer Industry
    Materials Recycling World
    There is concern that polymer producers are turning to the faster growing Asian and U.S. markets, which is stifling investment in Europe. However, it is believed that greater integration of recyclates into plastic packaging could give the European market the edge over its global competitors. The joint call comes from the British Plastics Federation, the Packaging and Films Association, both representing the U.K.; Elipso (France); and IK (Germany).
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    Thermoforming Giant Jack Elmer Pregont Dies at Age 85
    Plastics Today
    Jack Elmer Pregont, founder of Prent Corporation, one the largest thermoforming companies in North America, died on April 17 at the age 85. According to his obituary in the Herald Tribune, Pregont's "interest in plastics started in the basement of his parents' baker where he designed and made cake decorations." His career took him to Janesville (WI) Paper Box and then to Parker Pen, where he "developed the skills to achieve his life's dream of owning his own company."
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    SPE Industry Update
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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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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