INNOVATIONS BLOG

Looking for a Career Path... Manufacturing is Calling Your Name!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on May 2, 2018 9:08:22 AM

Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor's degree.

"All through my life it was, 'if you don't go to college you're going to end up on the streets,' " Morgan said. "Everybody's so gung-ho about going to college."

So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Morgan and several other men and women are dressed in work boots, hard hats and Carhartt's, clipped to safety harnesses with heavy wrenches hanging from their belts. They're being timed as they wrestle 600-pound I-beams into place.

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Topics: Industry News

Self Tinting Contact Lenses are Finally a Reality!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on May 1, 2018 11:06:00 AM

Self-tinting contact lenses are about to become a real thing that you can buy with real money. Johnson & Johnson have been developing the new state-of-the-art contact lenses for the last few years and have finally created a contact lens that can darken almost instantly upon contact with direct sunlight.

Taking almost a decade to develop these photochromatic lenses can be reused for up to two weeks. While it’s not clear which technology the company has employed it’s likely that due to the plastic construction of the contact lens it will be using organic photochromatic molecules. If this is the case, inside each lens will contain an organic molecule that, when exposed to UV light, will undergo a chemical process that in turn increases the amount of light that the lenses absorb.

The process is completely reversible and Johnson & Johnson say that the transition between light to dark is “quick” and “seamless”. Of course what it does mean however is that these will quite literally make your eyes appear much, much darker than they previously were. Johnson & Johnson haven’t provided any imagery of the lenses actually being worn either so that’s definitely something to consider.

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Topics: Industry News

Sometimes Innovation Happens When You Least Expect it!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Apr 25, 2018 11:13:00 AM

Sometimes great discoveries happen by complete accident. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming when he accidentally left a petri dish out in his laboratory in 1928, for instance. And now an unintended discovery by English scientists who were trying to solve the world's trash problem might make it a lot easier to dispose of plastic waste. How? By feeding it to a hungry enzyme that evolved in a dump and was accidentally improved in a laboratory. No, this isn't Little Shop Of Horrors, 21st-century style; this is real life.

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Topics: Recycling Plastic, Innovative Ideas, Industry News

Ever Wonder How Plastic was invented...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Apr 23, 2018 11:35:00 AM

Combs are one of our oldest tools, used by humans across cultures and ages for decoration, detangling, and delousing. They derive from the most fundamental human tool of all—the hand. And from the time that humans began using combs instead of their fingers, comb design has scarcely changed, prompting the satirical paper the Onion to publish a piece titled "Comb Technology: Why Is It So Far Behind the Razor and Toothbrush Fields?" The Stone Age craftsman who made the oldest known comb—a small four-toothed number carved from animal bone some eight thousand years ago—would have no trouble knowing what to do with the bright blue plastic version sitting on my bathroom counter.

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Topics: Industry News

Skating on Ice in the Summer..?

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Feb 26, 2018 8:28:29 AM

On midday in mid-June, with the temperature at 81, people in shorts, T-shirts and sunscreen now skate around on a  outdoor rink — with fake ice made from plastic! “Does it look like real ice?”

It does, from afar. Up close, the plastic panels appear snapped together like puzzle pieces. It doesn't feel like real ice, it isn't cold like the real thing, but sure seems just as smooth.

This is the latest in skating’s quest for outdoor year-round ice, partly to help skaters and hockey players who jockey for expensive ice time at a limited number of indoor rinks, some of which close for the summer.

Synthetic rinks have opened at the Museum of Natural History in New York, which had one last winter, and in municipalities like Great Bend, Kan., and Tallahassee, Fla. Brock University in Ontario trains young hockey players on a fake ice treadmill. And in Middletown, Del., a permanent rink called Skate Unlimited is also made of plastic, eliminating the expense and environmental cost of water for ice-making, and Zambonis.

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Topics: Industry News

American Made Greatness Expands to Pet Bowls...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Feb 6, 2018 8:49:37 AM

American Made Pet Bowl.jpgWe're sure many of you noticed the auto accessories maker WeatherTech ran another ad during the Big Game on Sunday, once again touting its committment to American manufacturing. This year, the Illinois company offered a look at the construction of its new facility. WeatherTech ads are typically patriotic, promoting their American-made products and the American workers who they employ. However, they seemed to have left out a few important details in the commercial: Where is this new factory? What will WeatherTech (well known for its popular line of custom-made automotive floor mats) manufacture there?

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Topics: Industry News

A More Enjoyable Bicycle Ride...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 29, 2017 9:02:00 AM

Enabled by a unique dual density technology, the outer layer of the PU based tire system is hardy over rough surfaces, while the inner layer provides outstanding shock absorption as a result of the material’s high rebound performance. The inflation-free tire system also eliminates the annoyance of conventional inner-tube patching and repair.

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Topics: Industry News

See-Through Plastic Containers Coming to a Store Near You!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 24, 2017 9:43:13 AM

Milacron Holdings Corp.'s see-through plastic container, an alternative to the metal "tin can," is now on store shelves in in Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, holding Del Monte pineapple chunks and slices.

Milacron announced the first commercial applications of the coinjection molded Klear Can on Oct. 18 at Fakuma. The customer is S&W Fine Foods International, a company of Del Monte Pacific Ltd.

The Klear Can is part of the Milacron exhibit at Fakuma, but the company is not molding Klear Cans at the show. Milacron is based in Blue Ash, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

Milacron said the Klear Can is easily integrated into existing production streams and requires minimal customization or tooling additions.

Milacron CEO Tom Goeke said see-though plastic cans are a major innovation. "After years of development and strong possible consumer results, we're excited to have S&W Fine Foods International on board as a partner to launch the Milacron Klear Can in key global markets," he said. "We are also thrilled about the prospect of transforming the metal can industry."

Milacron got beat in the plastic food can commercialization race by Sonoco Products Co., which announced in April 2016 that it was working with McCall Farms Inc., a South Carolina food canner, to introduce its TruVue plastic can for McCall's Glory Farms beans at grocery stores in the southeastern United States.

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Topics: Industry News, Metal To Plastic

Marine Debris... a Serious Discussion

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jul 10, 2017 9:17:11 AM

Marine debris is a big problem for the plastics industry. According to the most frequently cited research, between 4.8 million and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010. The future looks a lot worse. Population growth and improved standards of living around the world will mean millions more tons of plastic marine debris. Plastics processors and suppliers need to help solve the problem. In fact, some major companies already are involved. Amcor Ltd. and Berry Global Inc. were among the presenters at the American Chemistry Council's Marine Debris Dialogue, held June 19-20 in Newport, R.I.

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Topics: Industry News

Do you Recycle Your Prescription Bottles?

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 2, 2017 9:35:42 AM

A plastics recycling group is tackling another stream of material in an effort to boost recovery rates in grocery stores. The Association of Plastic Recyclers is out with new guidelines to help pharmacies recycle bottles that hold larger qualities of prescription medicines behind the counter. APR's "How to Recycle Grocery Rigid Plastics" guidebook has been expanded to include a new section on recovery of these stock high density polyethylene bottles and their polypropylene caps. The new information builds on APR's existing efforts to help grocery stores capture rigid plastics from areas such as bakeries and delis.

"It became apparent to us that in the grocery store pharmacies they also are generating a considerable amount of stock bottles. Not prescription vials. We're talking stock bottles. That's HDPE food grade, white, that can be recycled with their other materials," said Liz Bedard, APR's rigid plastics recycling director.

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Topics: Industry News