Digitization, automation, networking: "We have the whole wide bandwidth!"

09/08/2022

Twenty-year-old Yannick Herzog trained as an electronics technician for automation technology at Arburg and now works in the company's printed circuit board production. Since August 2021, he has been responsible for SPI and AOI for quality control of printed and assembled PCBs, respectively, in a production line. These are used in the control systems of the Arburg machines.
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Product development in Alpla's One-Stop Shop

02/08/2022

Those who work meticulously to design a product can hardly await the day they can hold the finished item in their hands. Alpla is a company headquartered in Hard, Austria, that speeds up this process. Customers can convert their ideas into reality and ideally leave Alpla's STUDIOa with a prototype in hand.
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Image: Building complex of the new KraussMaffei corporate headquarters in Parsdorf; Copyright: KraussMaffei Group GmbH

The "new KraussMaffei" is to be climate-neutral by 2030

25/07/2022

The KraussMaffei company confirms a sustainable corporate strategy: Climate neutrality in eight years. The consistent focus is on Circular Economy. One of the largest roof-mounted photovoltaic systems in Europe is currently being built at the new main plant in Parsdorf.
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Robot to go – igus develops innovative Cobot

12/07/2022

At the heart of any modern robot is a gearbox. Now imagine a robot with its "heart" made of plastic. It’s simply marvelous. But that’s not the only benefit users can expect from the new cobot (collaborative robot) by igus: the device is also lightweight, portable, and affordable.
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North American plastics sector holds steady, while riding a roller-coaster of uncertainty

08/07/2022

The pandemic. Supply chain ruptures. The Great Resignation. China trade tensions. Climate change and extreme weather events. Soaring inflation. Stock market volatility. The war in Ukraine. Seldom in our lifetimes have we experienced such an extended period of disruption and uncertainty.
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Image: Large fighter aircraft plant with multiple models; Copyright: saoirse2010

3D printing for automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames

01/07/2022

In the "OSFIT" (One Shot Fully Integrated Thermoplastic Frame) project, automated processes were developed to reduce both the time required and the complexity of the assembly and joining steps in aircraft production.
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Using different tools in one flexible thermoforming system

29/06/2022

Thermoforming is a process that requires various tool systems. Unfortunately, if the latter originate from different manufacturers, they often cannot be used together in one system. Illig took on the challenge and came up with a successful solution.
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A digital product passport for more sustainability

21/06/2022

The EU's Circular Economy Action Plan stipulates that by 2050 all plastic packaging must be completely recyclable and consist of at least 70 percent recycled material. The majority of plastic waste still ends up in landfills or incinerators – in the worst case, in the environment.
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Clear plastics recycling using high-purity sorting and separation technologies

13/06/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic put acrylic (transparent) shields, better known as "sneeze guards," in high demand in their role as protective barriers. However, they pose a major challenge for recycling companies at the end of the product life cycle since the different plastics must be separated and sorted to maintain purity and facilitate reuse.
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Image: Printing original products with a 3D printer; Copyright: twenty20photos

Intelligent software for 3D printing optimises properties of plastic components

06/06/2022

Researchers at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern have developed intelligent software that can adjust parameters such as temperature and printing speed during printing.
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Image: Power transformer substation. In the background: sunshine; Copyright: chuyu2014

Durostone CR permits higher loads and more compact transformer designs

06/06/2022

Röchling Industrial has developed a new glass fiber-reinforced plastic Durostone® CR. "CR" stands for Compact & Resilient. Compared to conventional fiber-reinforced composites, Durostone® CR has a high dielectric strength and a high partial discharge insertion stress.
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Photo: Airplane on the asphalt; Copyright: Rawpixel

New cutting-edge thermoplastic materials for the aerospace sector

23/05/2022

In the HITCOMP project (High Temperature Characterization and Modelling of Thermoplastic Composites), thermoplastic materials were investigated in the aerospace sector. The researchers concluded that thermoplastic-based components are more efficient than thermosetting plastic composites in terms of their thermal properties.
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Made up out of thin air

19/05/2022

Innovations always emerge from something existing, something tried and tested. Approaching them in terms of their content requires a look at the fundamentals. This is also true for the question of how carbon dioxide (CO2) from exhaust gases can be used for the production of plastics.
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Economical and non-destructive inspection of thick-walled CFRP components

17/05/2022

The more complex carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) components are, the more difficult they are to examine. As a rule, the robot-assisted examination systems required for this are therefore designed for a limited range of components, which can hardly be used for examining other components.
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Photo: Wastewater treatment plant from top view; Copyright: leungchopan

Taking the fight to microplastics with lasers

16/05/2022

The newly developed laser-drilled microplastic filter filters out tiny microplastic particles in wastewater. As part of the "SimConDrill" project, 59 million holes with a diameter of ten micrometers were drilled into a filter sheet using a multi-beam process. The process was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT.
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Welcome to the family: COLOMBIAPLAST joins the K Global Gate portfolio

12/05/2022

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Training in the plastics industry: technical college and companies get trainees fit for the job

06/05/2022

At 16, did you already know where you wanted to go on your professional journey? With the range of choices available to young people today, it can be difficult to make a decision at first glance. That's why it's beneficial to be taken by the hand and introduced to different professions. Wentus GmbH from Höxter sets a good example.
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Brave new world – how design makes the plastics industry more sustainable

29/04/2022

When the first plastic was developed 150 years ago, it was a miracle for people at the time. Around 1950, the material contributed significantly to the economic miracle of the post-war period. Today, in view of the climate crisis, little is left of this image. In its exhibition "Plastic. Remaking Our World", the Vitra Design Museum wants to show how plastic can contribute to solving problems.
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Cost-effective, material-saving, local – Ultrathin Coating enables sustainable production of medical protective clothing

25/04/2022

We all remember the beginning of the Corona pandemic: the demand for medical protective clothing increased rapidly, leading to supply bottlenecks. Although the situation has calmed down again, the dependence of companies on global supply chains was exposed. Reifenhäuser is now specifically addressing this problem with its new Ultrathin Coating process.
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Image: SWISS Boeing 777-300ER flying in the sky ; Copyright: SWISS International Air Lines

SWISS equips entire Boeing long-haul fleet with AeroSHARK

11/04/2022

Twelve Boeing 777-300ERs will gradually be fitted by SWISS with the riblet films developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. The reduced frictional resistance makes the sub-fleet more economical and lower in emissions, thus reducing the environmental footprint.
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Image: Logo of WITTMAN Group in magenta with white font on gray background ; Copyright: WITTMANN

Change of brand strategy for the WITTMANN Group

04/04/2022

The WITTMANN Group has changed its brand strategy and is aiming for a one-brand strategy instead of the two-brand strategy.
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Mobile plastics recycling project wins WDO's World Design Impact Prize

30/03/2022

The Montreal-based World Design Organization has named a mobile, solar-powered, plastic-waste upcycling platform as the winner of its World Design Impact Prize™ for 2021.
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Same but different: say hello to the 3D printed trombone

25/03/2022

It looks and sounds like a standard trombone - but is actually lightweight and made of carbon fiber rather than brass metal. To craft the musical instrument using this raw material, additive manufacturing is the right application for success: the process provides great options to manufacture the relevant molds used to build the instrument.
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eCampus offers online training for employees in the plastics industry

04/03/2022

Knowledge is power – this also applies to the plastics industry. But training courses cost time and tie up participants, although they are actually needed elsewhere. So that companies do not have to do without employees for entire days during such training courses, the SKZ has developed the eCampus together with Hanser Verlag.
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Breakthrough in separating plastic waste

21/02/2022

With a new technology it is possible to analyse and categorise the type of plastic by using a hyperspectral camera in the infrared area and machine learning. The technology makes it possible to separate plastics based on a purer chemical composition than is possible today, and this opens up for completely new opportunities to recycle plastics.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently

16/02/2022

How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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Researchers seek to re-use waste plastics to make valuable petrochemicals

14/02/2022

With a new method West Virginia University engineers upcycle single-use plastic packaging into petrochemicals. The produced ethylene and BTX aromatics from plastic upcycling can be used as feedstocks to re-make plastics.
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A German plastic success story: the Bobby-Car turns 50

09/02/2022

Bright red bodywork, a white steering wheel and a lot of noise when driving: That's what the Bobby-Car is all about. Almost everyone knows it and almost everyone has owned one. Or still does.
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DarWIN research project accelerates multi-manufacturer machine learning

07/02/2022

New AI-based process optimisation tools have been developed specifically targeting injection moulding machines. Plus10 and the SKZ performed a series of thorough AI pilot tests on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines.
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Jerome Romkey

20/01/2022

President, GN Thermoforming Equipment Co.
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Recyclability by Design – Electronics integrated in plastic becomes more sustainable

20/01/2022

The aim of the project ReIn-E project is to develop designs and sustainable materials to enable the recycling of the components.
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Bence Körmendi

19/01/2022

Petchem Business Unit Director, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Plc.
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Turning plastic grocery bags into sustainable fuel

17/01/2022

More than 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced annually, which causes serious environmental issues. Consequently, most plastic waste ends up in either a landfill or the ocean. A significant number of plastics break down into microplastics, which are ingested by fish and other marine life causing havoc to marine ecosystems.
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Young plastics researchers are on the trail of proper recycling

07/01/2022

The Pöppelmann Research Week on the topic of "Plastics and Recycling" brought young people closer to the topics of plastics and recycling.
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Turning a problem into a solution: Wasser 3.0 studies ways to remove microplastics from water without a filter

15/12/2021

Plastic is an important material and a virtually irreplaceable component in many products. However, the breakdown and disposal of plastics after use also goes along with microplastics. At the end of its life cycle, plastic material first ends up in the environment and then comes back to us: a study has found that we ingest about five grams of plastic every week without realizing it.
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Anna Rottstegge

08/12/2021

Head of Research & Development, Reifenhäuser Reiloy
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Digital education: Increase knowledge about plastics without holding up operations

09/11/2021

One way to address the shortage of personnel in the plastics industry is to hire lateral hires – but that requires a good continuing education program. But especially in production, this is usually not so easy to do without taking the employee away from his or her job - which results in production coming to a standstill.
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Recycling: PolyWaste technology wants to make the term "plastic waste" obsolete

03/11/2021

It's no secret, and yet the numbers are shocking: less than one-tenth of the total amount of plastic produced to date has been recycled. Currently, the rate is 14 percent worldwide. A full 32 percent ends up in the environment. This urgently needs to change – which is what the Australian company PlasTech Recycling Limited thought as well. And so they developed an innovative technology.
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Fraunhofer IGB

Greenhouse gases headed for sustainability: How CO2 is turning into plastic

22/10/2021

Carbon dioxide is driving climate change. To combat it, emissions must be reduced. Fraunhofer researchers have developed an approach to use the climate gas as a raw material for plastics.
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Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling

18/10/2021

New research from Cornell University aims to ease the process of chemical recycling – an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.
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"If you never ask, you'll never know" – traineeship in plastics extrusion

12/10/2021

There is a desperate need for skilled workers in the plastics industry. Yet the industry has a lot to offer. Reifenhäuser GmbH also proves this with its diverse range of training programs.
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Electrosynthesis: preventing cathodic corrosion

12/10/2021

Sustainability is an important issue in business and industry these days. Many companies recognize the need to find the best possible climate-neutral solutions for manufacturing their products and reduce their output of pollutants. This means they are looking for manufacturing options that do not require the use of fossil raw materials.
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Simply more: Allrounder More! More space, modularity, and ease of use with multi-component injection moulding

28/09/2021

Arburg is launching a new series for production-efficient multi-component injection moulding: the Allrounder More, with its particularly flexible configuration, can now be perfectly adapted to specific customer and market requirements. The machines offer increased space for larger moulds, greater modularity during assembly, and numerous optimised features for easy use and simple maintenance.
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Clean room production of breast implants

14/09/2021

The Fraunhofer IPT has teamed up with BelloSeno GmbH to study biocompatible implants that are made using 3D printing. Kai Janning from the Fraunhofer IPT describes the conditions a medical device production facility must meet and reveals the latest successes of the researchers.
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The many ways that 'going digital' is changing manufacturing

23/08/2021

There are many aspects and forms of digitalization in manufacturing, ranging from Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, to augmented and virtual reality, 5G connectivity, mobile apps, blockchain technology, and more.
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3D printing plastic yourself: students educate themselves about plastics in workshops

16/08/2021

Precisely because plastic is such a versatile material, future generations must also be taught how to use and recycle it responsibly.
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Sensor-based symphony: sorting and recycling in perfect harmony

30/07/2021

What can be recycled, and what can't? Sorting waste is a challenge – for both people and machines. TOMRA, pioneer in this field has introduced its new generation AUTOSORT in 2020 under the motto "Symphony of all sorts". This is intended to take the plastics industry a big step further towards sustainability.
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Soft robots: smart elastomers are making the robots of the future more touchy-feely

19/07/2021

Imagine flexible surgical instruments that can twist and turn in all directions like miniature octopus arms, or how about large and powerful robot tentacles that can work closely and safely with human workers on production lines.
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Added value for the environment: monitoring production, reducing rejects

14/07/2021

Plastic and its diversity can exert a fascination. This was also the case for Nele Zerhusen. In her bachelor's thesis, she later researched how plastics can be further developed for the benefit of the environment.
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