Image: Sorting belt with plastic bottles. Two employees can be seen out of focus in the background; Copyright: envato

Sustainability thanks to the circular economy


How does the circular economy work? Focus on sustainable practices and environmental benefits.
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"Industrial communication will change”


Industry interview on OPC UA with Dana Ford, Auxiliary Controls Engineer for Material Handling/Auxiliary at Wittmann Inc.
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The one stop shop for digital solutions: ENGEL integrates software company TIG


ENGEL is gradually expanding its customer portal e-connect into a production portal. In addition, a solution from the inject 4.0 family for bidirectional data exchange between simulation and injection molding machine has been expanded and now also works with MOLDEX3D.
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Reifenhäuser relies on new "Circular Plastics Traceability" Guideline by using digital product passports from R-Cycle


The Reifenhäuser Group uses R-Cycle, a digital product passport for plastics based on GS1 standards, to enable its customers to trace products. This facilitates data management in the manufacturing process and promotes the recycling of plastic packaging.
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Productivity management via app: capturing and understanding machine data


Efficient work only works when everything runs smoothly – also on the shop floor. But how do I know how busy and productive my machines are at the moment? This requires data that reflect reality, but which is often still lacking today. ENLYZE has developed an analysis platform that can close this gap and make production more efficient.
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The future of plastics: JKU Linz trains the plastics engineers of tomorrow


Plastics must be newly thought and designed - that is the credo at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. From autumn 2023, courses on plastics technology will be offered here. Plastics don't just play a supporting role there, they are the star of the show. Because they are a key factor for both the present and the future.
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Plastics industry meets Metaverse: igus presents products in virtual reality


Studies show that we are up to nine times more likely to remember something we have experienced in virtual reality. This knowledge can also be interesting for the plastics industry. With the iguversum, igus has created a digital space in which the manufacturer's products can be discovered. In the future, engineering projects will also be carried out there.
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Sumitomo (SHI) Demag joins the R-Cycle Community


With 80.000 all-electric machines in operation around the globe, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s strong focus is on the sustainable and resource saving operation of injection molding machines in the plastic processing industry.
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ENGEL launches Pay per Use


ENGEL breaks new ground in injection moulding machine distribution. Blazing a trail for its industry, the machine manufacturer now offers its customers a pay-per-use model on top of classical machine purchases. This helps processors to reduce their investment risk while at the same time boosting flexibility in production.
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EREMA: "PredictOn:Drive", a new tool for predictive maintenance


Real-time visualisation of process and machine data holds great potential for the circular economy as a whole and for recycling processes in particular. At K 2022 EREMA launched "PredictOn:Drive", a predictive maintenance application for its recycling machines.
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Augmented Reality in the plastics industry: individualized instructions for the entire product life cycle


Individualization is the trend. In the plastics industry, too, more and more individualized machines are coming onto the market. Of course, these machines also require individualized manuals with instructions tailored specifically to them. However, this is not yet a reality today. The AdaptAR project wants to change that – with the help of Augmented Reality and an app.
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Photosynthesis-inspired process makes commodity chemicals


A Northwestern University research team used a new method to convert acetylene to ethylene, a widely used, highly valuable chemical that is an important component of plastics. They use a process similar to photosynthesis that is much less expensive and less energy intensive.
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North American plastics sector holds steady, while riding a roller-coaster of uncertainty


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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Solvay extends its sustainable polymer offering for smart devices and wearables


Solvay launched the Kalix® 10000 series, a partially bio-based material made with renewable feedstock from non-food competing sources, is produced with 100% renewable electricity.
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App, AI, data glasses: digital toolbox for the plastics industry is well filled


We live in a world in which processes are becoming increasingly complex. This also applies to the plastics industry. One way to support people in production with their demanding tasks is through digital tools – and not only on site at the plant, but also remotely. The increasing amount of data also contributes to predictive maintenance of machines.
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Neste and Ravago plan to set up a joint venture to focus on chemical recycling of waste plastic


Neste and Ravago intend to establish a joint venture to build an industrial chemical recycling facility in the North Sea port of Vlissingen, the Netherlands. From there, global chemical recycling activities will be managed, building on the further development of thermochemical liquefaction technology by U.S.-based Alterra Energy, an innovative chemical recycling technology company.
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Researchers seek to re-use waste plastics to make valuable petrochemicals


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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DarWIN research project accelerates multi-manufacturer machine learning


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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The many ways that 'going digital' is changing manufacturing


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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Soft robots: smart elastomers are making the robots of the future more touchy-feely


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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Industry 4.0: "We should seize opportunities and create added digital value"


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital workplace. This also applies to industry in general, where massive amounts of data are collected from countless sources. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) aims to use this data to gain actionable insights and target the development of marketable products, technologies, and services.
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Connecting apprentices with plastics companies


Preparing small and medium-sized plastics manufacturing enterprises for the challenges of digitization in the vocational training and continuing education of employees and apprentices – that was the objective of the project titled "Kunststoff goes Future", abbreviated KungFu. The project ran for three years in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe district, Germany. It was successfully completed in mid-2020.
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Identification of off-odours in polymers


There are limits to the use of olfactorily contaminated plastics for the production of fresh materials. Odorous contamination of them needs to be minimised so that they are suitable for manufacturing new plastic products. A combination of analytical and sensor technology can help to identify olfactory contaminants and to check the efficiency and effectiveness of cleaning processes.
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