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Innovations In Smart Packaging

Not too many years ago, a consumer entering a grocery store faced a plethora of products in nearly identical packages with only slight variations in color, font and logo. Today, the diversity of packaging options is refreshing, attractive, sensible and fun.Form truly meets function in the modern plastic packaging industry. Innovative polymer additives block harmful UV light, safeguard against counterfeiting and create aesthetically unique special effects. Other packaging trends take advantage of mobile devices and IoT (Internet of Things) technology to reinvent an entire industry with an eye t

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The Amazing Story of Plastic Candy Containers

When you pick up a plastic container of gum or breath mints on a whim while waiting to pay for gas, you probably don’t think much about the marketing research, engineering and hard work that went into the seemingly simple package you’re holding in your hand.Who designed it? Why did the designer choose a certain color? Who supplied the plastic? Where was it molded into a container? No, you probably just want to pay for it, open it and dig in. But that little plastic container has an interesting past.An Industry of ConvenienceThe confectionery industry tends to favor injection-molded candy p

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Color is Vital Tool in Forming Consumer Brand Identity

To grab attention at the point of purchase, consumer brands need to break through the clutter of competing products and messages. We are bombarded every day with ads and messages, so consumer brand companies need a differentiator to separate themselves from the visual clutter online, in print and in broadcast media. There are many things that help persuade consumers during the buying process and move them to a specific brand in a store aisle. While key elements such as unique design, graphics and distinctive brand identity are highly useful in drawing consumer attention, nothing is more powe

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Color is Vital Tool in Forming Consumer Brand Identity

To grab attention at the point of purchase, consumer brands need to break through the clutter of competing products and messages. We are bombarded every day with ads and messages, so consumer brand companies need a differentiator to separate themselves from the visual clutter online, in print and in broadcast media. There are many things that help persuade consumers during the buying process and move them to a specific brand in a store aisle. While key elements such as unique design, graphics and distinctive brand identity are highly useful in drawing consumer attention, nothing is more powe

Read More...

Color is Vital Tool in Forming Consumer Brand Identity

To grab attention at the point of purchase, consumer brands need to break through the clutter of competing products and messages. We are bombarded every day with ads and messages, so consumer brand companies need a differentiator to separate themselves from the visual clutter online, in print and in broadcast media. There are many things that help persuade consumers during the buying process and move them to a specific brand in a store aisle. While key elements such as unique design, graphics and distinctive brand identity are highly useful in drawing consumer attention, nothing is more powe

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Global demand expands for FlamaSol

Global demand for flame retardants is projected to expand 4.6% per year through 2018 to 2.8 million metric tons, valued at $7.0 billion, according to The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. Demand will be stimulated by the acceleration in electronic product, motor vehicle, and wire and cable production, particularly in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan.In industrializing countries, the stricter enforcement of building codes will increase the market penetration for flame retardants in building materials, fueling sales increases. Alumina trihydrate (ATH) was

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Global demand expands for FlamaSol

Global demand for flame retardants is projected to expand 4.6% per year through 2018 to 2.8 million metric tons, valued at $7.0 billion, according to The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. Demand will be stimulated by the acceleration in electronic product, motor vehicle, and wire and cable production, particularly in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan.In industrializing countries, the stricter enforcement of building codes will increase the market penetration for flame retardants in building materials, fueling sales increases. Alumina trihydrate (ATH) was

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Flame Retardant Additives

Flame retardants have a long history of controversy. While everyone agrees that flame retardants in materials such as plastics and textiles are a good thing, there has been much testing and discussion over the toxicity of the chemicals that make these materials less flammable and thus safer in cases of fire. Let’s look at some of the facts.A recent report from BCC Research notes that the global consumption of flame retardant chemicals from 2012-2019 is expected to grow from 4 billion pounds in 2014 to nearly 6 billion pounds in 2019. Aluminum trihydrate (ATH) has the largest market share by

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Flame Retardant Additives

Flame retardants have a long history of controversy. While everyone agrees that flame retardants in materials such as plastics and textiles are a good thing, there has been much testing and discussion over the toxicity of the chemicals that make these materials less flammable and thus safer in cases of fire. Let’s look at some of the facts.A recent report from BCC Research notes that the global consumption of flame retardant chemicals from 2012-2019 is expected to grow from 4 billion pounds in 2014 to nearly 6 billion pounds in 2019. Aluminum trihydrate (ATH) has the largest market share by

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MiBatch - Helping Reduce Your Risk of Counterfeiting

Counterfeit goods coming from offshore manufacturers continue to be a huge problem, as OEMs look for ways to thwart the counterfeiters. It’s big business! Just ask Monster, a leading manufacturer of cables, headphones and consumer electronics accessories based in Brisbane, California. Monster’s products are some of the most widely counterfeited in the world. In 2011, Monster, in conjunction with a member group of the United Kingdom Trading Standards Service made one of the largest seizures ever of counterfeit Monster products in the U.K. A PR Newswire report quoted David Tognotti, Monster

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Growth of Antimicrobial Plastics

According to a recently released report from MarketsandMarkets.com, the global antimicrobial plastics market is projected to reach approximately US$3.6 billion by 2020 and register a CAGR of 10% between 2015 and 2020 in terms of value. Antimicrobial plastics are those resins that are infused with antimicrobial agents to reduce or mitigate the growth of micro-organisms such as algae, bacteria, and fungi on plastic products, particularly those used in public settings such as hospitals, restrooms, and other places where germs are of concern.The U.S. is currently the largest antimicrobial plastics

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Think About Pool and Spa Applications

Plastics used in pool and spa applications need to have a number of material attributes to withstand that environment, including good impact strength, chemical resistance to bromine and chlorine, and good UV performance. Pool and spa components are made almost entirely of plastics including the pump housings and interior gear parts; lighting housings, in-floor pool cleaning pop-ups, system filtration parts and the pipes from which the plumbing is constructed. Materials typically used are PVC and very high-strength poly-carbonate/polyester alloys to provide longevity for pool/spa systems tha

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Protecting Against Counterfeiting Topic at Global Secure Summit

In September, Plastics Color Corporation was invited to the Global Secure Summit in Amsterdam, where the topic of discussion was the problem with counterfeiting and how OEMs and brand owners can be more proactive in preventing counterfeiting. Typically companies have been “reactive” to counterfeiting. Many fake products and products with off-spec raw materials in them such as in the case of many plastic products, are often not identified until they’ve reached U.S. customs inspectors or worse yet, until a consumer has had a major problem with the product. Such consumer problems result

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Securing Your Pharma and Medical Supply Chain

The number one concern today for most manufacturers is how to secure their supply chain to ensure that their products are genuine and made to specification. That’s especially critical in the pharmaceutical industry where products such as prefilled syringes and inhalers are becoming more common. Some anti-counterfeiting measures that are being employed include holographic in-mold labels, molded into the syringe or inhaler device that can only be read under black light, and RFID (radio frequency identification) tags on the packaging. However, one effective key to securing and authenticating

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Counterfeit Automotive Parts Bring Big Bucks to the Bad Guys!

Vehicle components, both the original and the after-market replacement parts, are expensive, which is the reason we want the real deal when it comes to our vehicles. In a recent study conducted by Brady Corp., an international manufacturer and marketer of solutions that identify and protect premises, products and people, 39% of firms encounter counterfeit components. Counterfeit component incidents have increased 241% over the past three years. Cost of recalls in the automotive industry alone average $9 billion annually, according to Brady Corp. So how do you know if the parts on your new car

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Life After Deca: Flame Retardants Becoming More Specialized, Masterbatches More Challenging

The plastics industry lost its most versatile and effective flame retardant (FR) when decaBDE was phased out over environmental and health concerns in 2012. Deca was a broad-spectrum FR that worked well with many resins. In January of this year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final report on alternatives for deca, identifying 29 potential candidates, both new and old, for use in select polyolefins, styrenics, engineering thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers or waterborne emulsions and coatings. In June the EPA provided a similar assessment for hexabromocyclodod

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Antimicrobial Additives in Plastics Stop Germs Before They Start

Some bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics are of great concern to hospitals and have migrated out into public places – manufacturers are looking for ways to put a stop to these microbes before they start.  Another source of great concern for microbial growth is the food processing industry. While the largest market share for antimicrobials is the food and beverage industry, the healthcare industry not far behind. Because plastics have become ubiquitous in both of those industries, the plastics industry has been extremely proactive in developing ways to incorporate micr

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Are Your Plastic Parts the Real Deal?

One of the biggest and costliest problems that many manufacturers have is ensuring that the plastic components they purchase from their various molded parts suppliers are the real deal. There is a huge need to ensure that molded parts are both safe and meet all OEM standards before they get into consumer hands. The material from which the parts are molded must actually be the polymer specified for the parts. In the recent case of luxury automaker Aston Martin, an accelerator-pedal arm wasn’t manufactured as specified. The material was “counterfeit” -- it wasn’t the material that Ast

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Protect your brands with anti-counterfeiting measures

Counterfeit plastic materials can be can be extremely costly, as Aston Martin recently found out when it discovered that the accelerator pedals on its cars, were being made from a fake DuPont material. That was just the latest story to come out about the increasing fraud in manufacturing, particularly from unscrupulous suppliers that use cheaper materials in the products they mold for OEMs. Efforts to stay a step ahead of these material counterfeiters have proven effective with new anti-counterfeiting technologies being developed. There are a number of technologies available including tagga

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Alternative flame retardants

Why is there a need for alternatives to Halogenated plastic materials? That was the next question answered in the Panduit White Paper, Five Things to Know When Specifying Halogen-Free Wiring Duct (see our previous post).  “In the longer term to meet more application requirements, the challenge to halogen-free product developers will be to provide comparable or superior material properties to halogenated products at a comparable cost,” noted Panduit. Some applications for these materials create a concern that plastics materials containing halogen can release corrosive and toxic gases if

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Silver v. Zinc Antimicrobials

Zinc antimicrobials are especially useful in areas subject to high humidity. When it comes to antimicrobial additives for plastics, there is more than one choice. While silver tends to be more versatile and efficacious than alternatives such as zinc, zinc oxide is making its mark in the antimicrobial arena. Both silver and zinc oxide (ZnO) are well known for their antimicrobial and healing properties, yet silver remains the most widely used additive for killing bacteria particularly on medical device surfaces. However, studies done in recent years have shown that ZnO nanoparticles added

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Stop counterfeiters in their tracks

Is it live or is it Memorex? So read the popular 1970s TV spot for audio recording tape. And ever since, bad guys have been trying to make better illegal copies of products in virtually every category.  With the global marketplace in full swing and products coming from nearly every country, counterfeiting has become a huge problem. Everything is susceptible to counterfeiting from watches, electrical products and automotive after-market parts, to medical devices and even safety labels such as UL certifications. More and more companies are taking innovative measures to ensure that their p

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Food-contact surfaces and the EPA/FDA tug of war

When is a pesticide a pesticide? And when is a pesticide NOT a pesticide? When does an antimicrobial additive in plastic products used in food-contact surfaces become a “pesticide chemical?” These are just a few issues that the EPA and the FDA have been trying to sort out for quite some time. Fortunately for the plastics industry, the federal government tackled the issue and sought to clarify the antimicrobial oversight confusion that reared its ugly head with the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) with the Antimicrobial Regulation Technical Corrections Act of 1998 (ARTCA). That

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Antimicrobials are big business in the USA

It seems that consumers are more concerned than ever about bacterial infections, particularly those that are antibiotic resistant. Antimicrobial products are big business in the USA. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately one billion dollars each year are spent on a variety of antimicrobial products. More than 5,000 antimicrobial products are currently registered with the EPA and sold in the marketplace, according to a recent report.Nearly 60 percent of antimicrobial products are registered to control infectious microorganisms in hospitals and other health c

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Composites are particularly susceptible to microbes

Did you ever wonder why some of your outdoor plastic furniture – especially white or the lighter colors – gets dark gray or greenish stains on it that won’t wipe off? Well, that’s because the stains are caused by plastics’ susceptibility to bacteria, fungi and algae. It is a problem that gets worse during the summer months when the humidity is high and temperatures are warm, something that these microbes love and that causes them to thrive.PVC – particularly flexible PVC – which many of your outdoor furniture products are made from, is especially susceptible to attack from these

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Fighting microbes is a full-time job

Finding and identifying microbes was just phase one. Once these microbes, which are responsible for many infectious diseases that continue to plague mankind, were discovered the next phase was to create methods of neutralizing these insidious ‘germs.’ Thus came the development of penicillin and other anti-bacterial agents (antibiotics) to help us win the fight against microbes and the diseases they caused.Over the 20th Century, it was also discovered that these microbes – which had survived for thousands of years – had the ability to shape-shift and become resistant to many of what wer

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Antimicrobial additives for resins make good sense

The development of antimicrobial additives for plastics resins is in response to innovative ways to proactively inhibit microbial growth on surfaces of many plastic products that consumers – both public and institutional – are demanding to prevent the spread of bacteria.  In particular, the antibiotic resistant “super bugs” that are not only in hospital settings but are now out in the general population, are of grave concern spurring advances in resin-compatible antimicrobial technology.In fact, according to a report from The Freedonia Group,* a Cleveland-based industry research firm,

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Safer flame retardants?

Flame retardants have a long and mixed history. While Deca Brominated flame retardants are the most widely used (about 80% of the Brominated flame retardants are the Deca type), there is some scientific evidence that the brominated flame retardants have negative health effects.Deca brominated flame retardants are used primarily in textiles and foams such as upholstery, mattresses, and electronics such as computer housings and TVs. However, many of these markets have started demanding Bromine-Free Retardants (BFRs), and there is some progress being in the non-halogenated flame retardants in ce

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Branding for beauty

Cosmetics products depend heavily on their packaging to provide their branding. Shapes, colors, labels and logos all promote the ‘look’ of the specific brand in a sea of products, and entice consumers to ‘pick me up!’.Puttin’ on the Ritz for high-end brands requires packaging of lustrous glossy finishes with bright metallic decorations hot-stamped into the packaging.  They also need to be molded out of durable polycarbonate material to hold up for repeated usage, have a hefty feel and a rich look. These brands go for unique shapes, especially in perfume bottles. All of these feature

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Don’t let microbes set up shop in your plastics

Antimicrobial additive technology for plastics has been around for more than a decade. These additives, which can be either organic or inorganic in nature, can be dispersed in plastic materials to prevent bacterial colonies from taking hold in products used in environments conducive to colony growth. These include marine environments; other moist, warm environments; hospital environments, construction applications such as Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) using in decking and railing, and more.Antimicrobial additives are suitable for a variety of applications such as high-traffic public contact

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Antimicrobials for polymers increase cleanliness

Whether you are healthcare professional using plastic medical devices, or you have appliances in your home, everyone wants to try to keep plastic clean. To reduce stains, odors, or deterioration, custom-formulated antimicrobials for polymers have been created.Microbes are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Once the microbes have multiplied, only then can they be detected without a microscope. To affect the growth of bacteria, silver ions can be dispersed throughout the polymer matrix. The silver ions inhibit the growth of bacteria without disappearing themselves. Therefore the silver ion

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