INNOVATIONS BLOG

NEW Self-reinforcing Heat Performance PA66 for Automotive Industry...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Nov 17, 2016 10:28:37 AM

Solvay has at launched at K 2016 Technyl® REDx, a new heat performance polyamide 6.6 (PA66) integrating a unique “smart molecule” self-reinforcement technology.

Heat Performance Technology
Technyl® REDx PA66 – an innovative material, which builds on Solvay Engineering Plastics’ proven heat performance expertise, outperforms conventional specialty polymers in demanding thermal management systems, especially in the automotive industry. Dr. James Mitchell, Global Automotive Market Director for Solvay Engineering Plastics, said:
“Today, more than 12 million engines use Technyl® heat performance technologies. Our materials enable car manufacturers to overcome engine downsizing constraints, such as greatly increased temperatures and pressures. There is a need for new material solutions which resist the higher continuous heat stress of new generation engines without compromising on costs and performance.”

Features of Technyl® REDx
• Solvay developed Technyl® REDx PA66, a smart molecule material including a patented self-strengthening technology present in the polymer chain without affecting its structure.
• This brand new technology remains inactive during injection molding of car parts, leaving the material behaving like a high-flow PA66.
• During the vehicle’s use, the elevated temperatures activate the smart technology, leading to rapid cross-linking that boosts the mechanical properties far beyond their initial values.

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Topics: Automotive

This is just too cool...!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Nov 9, 2016 10:05:41 AM

A team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Humboldt University in Berlin showcased a thin layer of plastic material in the Nature Communications journal, which has the capacity to move spontaneously under the influence of daylight. The researchers feel that this flexible plastic is appropriate as a self-cleaning surface, for example it can be used in solar cells. The process in which materials move entirely by themselves under the impact of light is a familiar process known for many years. However, the required intensity of ultraviolet light can damage the material. Discovering a material that has the ability to behave in the same way even under the influence of visible light such as unprocessed sunlight was the challenge.

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Topics: Industry News

Alternative Wine Packaging Formats are on the Rise...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 25, 2016 10:55:15 AM

Global demand for wine packaging including containers, closures, and accessories is expected to rise 2.3% per year reaching $22.8 billion in 2020, according to a recent study from The Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH). Growth will be sustained by continued, albeit moderate, increases in global wine production, despite declining per capita consumption rates in Europe, which accounted for about 60% of consumption and nearly 65% of production in 2015. What comes as no surprise is that glass bottles are still the preferred wine container, as they have excellent barrier properties and can protect wine nearly indefinitely. Also, glass bottles are considered by many to be an essential part of the wine experience. As a result, glass continues to dominate the container segment, accounting for about 85% of the global total in 2015.  However, this market share is declining. Glass bottles are heavy and more expensive to ship than alternative packaging formats. Also, most of the still wine produced around the world is consumed not long after it is made, meaning that while many consumers might prefer bottles, they are not always necessary. Because of thse factors, alternatives, including bag-in-box containers, aseptic cartons, plastic bottles, cans and cups are on the rise.

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Topics: Specialty Packaging

Increased Use of Composite Materials for Golf Goods...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A. Schulman’s Engineered Composites business has developed a next generation composite material, Forged Preg in collaboration with one of the world’s largest makers of premium, performance golf goods and the Company’s fiber supplier.  A. Schulman’s long-term customer approached the Company’s R&D team to find a lightweight material with superior surface appearance. The performance characteristics of the new composite material developed by the Company include higher strength and stiffness. The material is much thinner and allows the molding in fabric form. Forged Preg is also suitable for use in automotive applications requiring a lightweight material with high-end look and feel. “Once again our R&D team has addressed the customer needs and developed a next generation material which helps our customers to succeed in the marketplace,” says Frank Roederer, senior vice president and general manager Engineered Composites. “This development shows our firm commitment to long-term customer partnerships and joint product development across the composites value chain.”

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Topics: Industry News

Finally a Boost in Comfort for Aircraft Seats...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 13, 2016 1:51:53 PM

It’s true that flying is the fastest form of transportation, but over long distances it can be pretty exhausting. Aircraft seats with air-filled cushions are helping to ease the strain. They offer passengers much greater comfort than conventional seats using foam and are also exceptionally light. Lantal, a Swiss supplier serving the aviation industry, has developed a sophisticated system that uses films made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Covestro. Air travelers can individually adjust the firmness of their seats or backrests as desired, simply by further inflating the cushions or releasing air from them. The extremely elastic and flexible TPU films ensure that the pressure inside the cushions is optimally distributed. “It’s with innovations like this that we want to make the world a brighter place,” says Wolfgang Stenbeck, Product & Application Manager for specialty films at Covestro. “In addition to developing the material, we also supported Lantal with our processing know-how.” Lightweight seats benefit not only airlines, but also the environment. That’s because when compared with conventional foam cushions, weight savings of up to three kilograms per seat can be achieved in business class, and as much as five kilos in first class. “That saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions,” says Andreas Gühmann, Technology Director for Pneumatic Comfort Systems at Lantal. “And the system requires zero maintenance, which helps to further reduce operating costs.” Airlines also are using the seats to better position themselves in a ferociously competitive market – in the knowledge that such a high degree of comfort is valued particularly by customers for the more expensive seating categories.

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Topics: Innovative Ideas

Putting diagnosis and treatment in the hands of patients...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Sep 21, 2016 9:15:32 AM

Connected health. Precision healthcare. Such evolving concepts promise to revolutionize patient care, and Phillips-Medisize Chairman, CEO, and President Matt Jennings believes they could serve medical device manufacturers as they work to introduce products that improve healthcare outcomes while lowering costs. Jennings spoke about such trends at a press conference at Medical Design & Manufacturing East on June 14, where he also explained how a recent acquisition could position the company to help. Connected health essentially involves the use of companion diagnostics with other healthcare products as patients self-diagnose and self-treat, Jennings explained. “The endeavor is to put diagnostics in smaller packaging and in the hands of the patient,” he said. And connected health could drive precision, he explained. When it comes to statins, “we are starting to learn now with monitoring that diet and exercise can impact the effectiveness of the drug,” he said. “If we can test on a routine basis, can we affect cholesterol levels? These are frontiers that lend themselves to diagnosis and treatment.”

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Topics: Specialty Packaging

Learn More About Creativity And Innovation From LEGO...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 31, 2016 2:11:31 PM

Many companies and design agencies tend to look at the design and creativity stage from a narrow perspective. Usually, the design team is locked inside the ideas room with no contact with the rest of the world until it delivers the idea that gets approved by the client or project manager. Once a project goes into crisis mode and stress increases, creativity is given an even more limited role in the project. This can be a result of the high cost of developing creative concepts or a lack of confidence that creative people are able to handle pressure and provide help at this critical stage of the project. Additionally, generic models of the development process do not focus much on innovation and creativity, whether partially or holistically, leading enterprises such as BT, Microsoft, Starbucks, Xerox, Yahoo and others to provide the proof that an innovative design process can lead to a competitive position in the market — see “Eleven Lessons: Managing Design in Eleven Global Companies” (PDF). Over the last century, many incidents have provided examples that innovation and creativity can play an essential role for an organization in the midst of crisis. Creativity and innovation in such cases take a broader role outside of the ideas room. They can be applied to redesign a company’s structure and devise a more innovative process that leads to products that meet both creativity and business needs. One interesting example of this is LEGO, the world-famous toy manufacturer. By studying its crisis, lasting from 1993 to 2004, we’ll answer two main questions: Can creativity and innovation help an organization in its time of crisis? And can studying cases such as LEGO’s reveal a model for the broader role of creativity in an organization for other enterprises to follow?

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Topics: Innovative Ideas

Post-consumer Waste Creates Graduation Gowns...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 27, 2016 7:00:00 AM

This year almost 30,000 Australian university students will graduate in gowns made from recycled plastic bottles.
Six Australian universities are using the gowns since they became available last December. Hank Thierry, general manager graduations for Reed Graduation Services Pty. Ltd., based in the Melbourne suburb of Keysborough, said the gowns are made in China from post-consumer waste, mainly PET bottles. Thierry said each gown contains the equivalent of 28 recycled bottles. Thierry said the technology was developed in the United States and he traveled there to establish a supply chain and then arranged for the gowns to be manufactured in China. Reed established its own brand, Envirograd, under which it markets the gowns to universities and other higher-education campuses.

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Topics: Innovative Ideas

Luminous Clothing with TPU Film Comprising LED...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 25, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Covestro (Hall 6, Stand A 75) will showcase an item of luminous clothing at the K 2016 plastics trade fair. LED make it truly stand out, but can also perform key functions such as protecting pedestrians and cyclists against accidents. What makes it special is that the light-emitting diodes are not positioned on a panel or strip, but on a piece of soft fabric. At the center of the development is an electronic system that is responsive to movements without losing its functionality. The system comprises a flexible and formable film made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Covestro. The TPU is the substrate for the printed copper circuits, which are arranged in a meandering pattern and can thus also be bent and stretched.

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Topics: Innovative Ideas

The dream of drone delivery starts to take flight

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 23, 2016 9:11:36 AM

Drone package delivery is sparking the imagination of retailers, consumers and everybody in between. Here’s what it means to packaging professionals. Amazon, Google, DHL and Walmart are all working on the supply chain of tomorrow, including package handling and delivery. And although the future looks somewhat different to each of them, all four know they want aerial drone technology to be part of it. Driving their interest in drone package delivery is the possibility of super-fast shipping—as in next half-hour rather than next day—which in turn relates to the growth of e-commerce and consumers’ changing expectations for what constitutes timely delivery. Online shoppers clearly are interested in getting their purchases as quickly as possible. In a 2016 survey conducted by Walker Sands Communications, 79% of respondents said they would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to request drone delivery of their package if it could be delivered within an hour. Of the 1,433 U.S. consumers surveyed, 26% expected to order their first drone-delivered package “in the next two years,” and another 30% said “in the next five years.” In addition, 73% of Walker Sands’ survey participants said they would pay up to $10 for a drone delivery. Although the economics of drone delivery have not yet been worked out, robust delivery fees could help offset operating costs.

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Topics: Specialty Packaging