INNOVATIONS BLOG

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

Researchers Study Composites for Fixing Bone Fractures...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 20, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Evonik Industries AG researchers are using biodegradable high-strength composites to fix broken bones. The materials could replace metal implants, which remain in patients’ bodies or require surgery for removal. Devices made with Evonik’s new composites will be gradually absorbed by the body as the healing process takes place. The materials consist of polymers and of substances that naturally occur in bones. The project is being studied at Evonik’s Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Ala. “In the long term, our focus is regenerative medicine. We want to create bioabsorbable implants to replace damaged tissues with healthy tissues. Our current work on biodegradable composites is a first step in this direction,” said Dr. Andreas Karau, head of the Project House, in a news release. “Our leading position in polylactic acid-based polymers is an excellent foundation for the development of materials and solutions for regenerative medicine,” Karau said. The polymers break down into carbon dioxide and water. Degradation time depends on the molecular composition, chain length, and crystallinity.

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Topics: Industry News

Study: BPA alternative BPS 'more harmful'...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Washington — A new study on bisphenol-S shows the polycarbonate component could be considerably more harmful than the controversial chemical it is meant to replace. Published in the journal PLOS Genetics, findings in “Exposure to the BPA Substitute Bisphenol-S Causes Unique Alterations of Germline Function” indicate BPS harms eggs at even lower concentrations than bisphenol-A. UCLA researchers exposed nematodes to both BPA and BPS in concentrations similar to those commonly found in humans. The exposed worms showed lower fertility rates than control worms, the study says, and worms dosed with BPS had negative effects on their fertility at concentrations lower than those with BPA. “These results therefore suggest that BPS may not represent a safe alternative to BPA with regards to reproductive and germline toxicity,” the study says, also suggesting that BPS is more damaging to the endocrine system than BPA. Products containing BPS are frequently labeled “BPA-free,” in theory to allay consumer concerns about the much-maligned chemical. BPA remains controversial in spite of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s declaration in 2014 that BPA exposure is safe for humans. Some groups continue to pressure the plastics industry to find alternatives...

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Topics: Industry News

How Plastics Help the Environment...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 18, 2016 9:46:34 AM

In late July, the American Chemistry Council released one of the most important studies that I can remember related to plastics. But I’m afraid that the one thing people will remember is that plastics packaging is great for sirloin steak. The report is called “Plastics and Sustainability: A Valuation of Environmental Benefits, Costs and Opportunities for Continuous Improvement,” and it was prepared by a London-based firm called Trucost. Trucost is a data-driven organization that specializes in estimating the hidden costs of the unsustainable use of natural resources. The firm did a high-profile study for the United Nations Environment Program in 2014. The study for ACC uses the same methodology and natural capital accounting metrics as the UN report. This isn’t your typical lifecycle analysis that you remember with from the 1990s, where it seemed like the criteria could be adjusted to amplify the benefits of any material and denigrate the competition. This is respected work, that’s worth citing — and repeating.

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Topics: Industry News

New Resin Made From Disposable Paper Coffee Cups...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Consultancy and recycling manufacturer may have the answer to turning disposable coffee cups into durable resin.
 
Consulting firm Nextek and recycling manufacturer AShortWalk of the U.K., have partnered in the development of a new resin, NextCupCycle, made from disposable paper coffee cups. It turns out that less than 25% of an estimated 3 billion paper cups used annually in the U.K are currently recycled. Part of the problem is the hot beverage cups themselves, which are made from paper fiber tightly bonded with a PE coating layer. This construction makes them troublesome to recycle, as it would require the painstaking separation of each layer.

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Topics: Industry News

IBM Researchers Discover a New Way to Recycle PC...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 12, 2016 12:30:00 PM

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Topics: Innovative Ideas, Industry News

Waterless Packaging Solution Extends Shelf Life of Flowers...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 11, 2016 9:06:29 AM

Netherlands-based shelf life extension firm PerfoTec (Woerden), a subsidiary of Uflex (Uttar Pradesh, India), has developed an innovative biodegradable packaging solution for flowers that eliminates the use of water and cooling facilities. The shelf life of flowers can be extended using Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging (AMAP) technology, where it has already a very major presence globally in fresh fruits and vegetables markets. Previously, the humidity inside the packaging of flowers during transport would create diseases such as Botrytis, which was the great challenge. This was when Uflex Ltd., India’s largest global flexible packaging solutions firm, bought PerfoTec Systems while it was facing similar issues with mangoes due to the tropical nature of the produce.

Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex, was happy to accept the challenge and the team at Uflex developed a new biodegradable film Flexfresh, which could keep the product breathing in hydrated oxygen and release excess humidity keeping the flowers dry.

Using PerfoTec’s Fast Respiration Meter, the oxygen demand of flowers is measured. Also a patented laser technology makes a micro perforation on Flexfresh film to allow enough oxygen for the flowers to stay alive and prevent them from excess oxidation. The Flowers are ‘put to sleep’ so to speak and can go without water for five days as the humidity is fed back in to the flower when it continues to breathe. Once the package is received by the customer and opened, the bouquet remains fresh in a vase for at least a guaranteed seven days.

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Topics: Specialty Packaging

Seventh Generation Eliminates Oil-based Plastic from laundry packaging...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Biopolymer producer Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) has collaborated with Seventh Generation (Burlington, VT), household and personal care company, and Consolidated Container Co. (CCC; Atlanta, GA), a manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, on the enhancement of Seventh Generation’s 100-oz laundry detergent bottle. CCC now produces the bottle using postconsumer resin and substitutes the fossil-based plastic content with Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene (PE) made from sugarcane. “We believe with each new product we make. We must also build new ways of caring for ourselves, and the world around us. We can use the power of business to start a movement that will change an entire industry,” said Seventh Generation’s Derrick Lawrence, Director of Packaging Development. “Our 100-oz laundry packaging was made of 80% postconsumer resins and 20% conventional petroleum-based plastic. We needed to do something about that.” Biobased PE is plastic made from ethanol—a renewable and sustainable resource produced from Brazilian sugarcane. Cultivation of sugarcane utilizes CO2 and releases O2, which means the material has a negative carbon footprint.

“Our green PE is the perfect solution for Seventh Generation. It has the same technical properties and recyclability as conventional PE; the only difference is the raw material used,” said Joe Jankowski, Commercial Manager for Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene in North America.

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Topics: Industry News

Carbon Fiber Fabrics Improve Durability & Strength of Tennis Paddles...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 4, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Spanish-based Enebe Padel has launched its 2016 range of paddle tennis paddles featuring its top-of-the-line Spitfire TeXtreme®– manufactured using TeXtreme® carbon fiber fabrics. TeXtreme® is a unique carbon fiber material that differs from conventional carbon fiber materials as a result of its proprietary production processes. The company’s history of contributing to successful product releases – for companies including Bauer Hockey, Prince Tennis, Cobra Puma Golf, Stiga Table Tennis and Bell Helmets – stands proof to the real-world performance improvements achieved using TeXtreme® technology. Pilar Osca, Chief Marketing Officer of Enebe Sports Group, says, “Using TeXtreme® carbon fiber fabrics in our paddles has contributed to increased durability along with improvements in strength while achieving ultra-light weight. This fiber is definitely lighter than the carbon fiber generally used and resulted in a measurable increase in power and shot accuracy. Our technical team has been able to deliver a high performance paddle to players that weren’t possible with other carbon fiber materials.”

“We are excited to have a presence in yet another sport and see that our materials bring value to so many different applications. For producing lightweight composite products, the TeXtreme® Technology again proves to be the best choice in materials,” says Andreas Martsman, VP of Marketing & Sales at Oxeon – the makers of TeXtreme®.

Enebe Padel is a subsidiary of Enebe Sport Group, an international company with over 50 years of experience in the field of sports and a presence in more than 60 countries. The Enebe Padel Team counts among its players Matias Nicoletti, Pitu Losada (three-time world paddle tennis champion), Jake Benzal and Ricky Martinez - all participants in the World Padel Tour.

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Topics: Industry News

High-speed/resolution Desktop Color Label Printer is Economical

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 2, 2016 9:23:09 AM

The new LX500 Color Label Printer, suitable for private labeling, test marketing, pre-press proofing and more, is up to 270% faster and costs $200 less than the model it replaces.
 
Introduced in May, the LX500 Color Label Printer with up to 4800 dpi print resolution isPrimera Technology’s newest and most affordable desktop color label and tag printer.
Key features:
    •    High-yield tri-color ink cartridge keeps cost per label low;
    •    Fast print speeds and an optional built-in guillotine-style cutter allow users to quickly and easily print and cut their short-run labels;
    •    Ready for instant use: Windows 7/8/10 printer drivers are included along with Bartender Ultralite (Windows) Software to format label designs, add barcodes, QR codes, and more; a Mac driver will be available soon.
    •    It is priced $200 lower than the LX400 that it replaces.

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Topics: Specialty Packaging