For rats and other rodents, plastics are a popular menu item. Techmer Polymer Modifiers (www.techmerpm.com) has come up with a polymer additive that keeps these pests from nibbling on important plastics. The company's PM 12211E63 Repellent imbues polyolefins and other thermoplastics with a taste that rodents find repulsive. At the same time, the modifier is non-toxic to pets—as well as the rodents themselves. PM 12211E63 has seen use in wire and cable insulation, fiber-optic cables, plastic pipe, garbage containers, agricultural films, and outdoor furniture.
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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