Gas assist was coupled with coinjection for this Kubota sub-compact utility tractor to reduce resin content and minimize cost. Kubota and Bemis Contract Group of Lenoir, NC, partnered on the redesign to eliminate a paint requirement, simplify assembly, consolidate parts and improve the product's versatility and appearance. One of the solutions was molded-in color, said to be the first in this industry category. The coinjection tool provides the hood with integral mounting features that ease assembly, and improve driver visibility. Coinjection also allows use of reprocessed core materials. Gas assist was used for the structural hand rails that were consolidated with thin wall control covers. The materials used for the project were thermoplastic olefin (TPO), glass-filled (15 percent) polypropylene and an alloy of polycarbonate and PBT.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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