The push to deliver swine flu vaccines is creating a short-term boom for some plastics processors. An injection molder in Bradenton, FL called Delaney Manufacturing got a rush order for up to 50,000 polystyrene trays used to ship vaccine from a major pharmaceutical company. Delaney was first contacted in July, and began production in mid-October. The first shipment is due in late October. The company has presses that range in clamping force from 55 to 500 tons. Another hot injection molded product is a respiratory mask designed to protect users from the swine flu virus.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.