HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 3/4  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Ann R. Thryft   4/24/2012 12:52:49 PM
NO RATINGS

Rob, the buyers of this material are not consumers, but manufacturers. Although consumers have led the charge for buying green, it looks to me like industrial and corporate buyers may be starting to catch up with that trend, at least in terms of plastics and alternative materials. I saw Chuck's article, too, and that's very disappointing news. I agree with his comment about it currently being bad timing for buying anything that's got a premium attached. That said, corporate buyers now have sustainability programs and what I heard at NPE2012 was that plastics companies' customers want greener solutions.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Ann R. Thryft   4/24/2012 12:50:28 PM
NO RATINGS
 

Generally speaking, although bioplastics have been historically more expensive than their petro-based counterparts, that picture has begun to change in some cases, especially as petroleum prices skyrocket. The companies didn't provide specific details about materials price comparisons in this case. That said, the material's greater melt flow and lower processing temperature sound to me like the process itself may end up costing less.

 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Rob Spiegel   4/23/2012 12:05:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Chuck. It's the same principle behind Walmart's success. People understand the small mom and pop shops have quality and community advantages, but ultimately, they choose Walmart over their local mom and pop stores. Green products will truly succeed when cost is not a factor -- or much of a factor.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Updated Plexiglass formula.
William K.   4/20/2012 9:27:00 PM
NO RATINGS
I would ask the same question: what about pricing? When several options are close to equal, price will get the nod most of the time. Some of the description was about how the new material was good, but none was about how it was GREAT! So there is then the question about price.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Charles Murray   4/20/2012 6:12:40 PM
NO RATINGS
Corporate competition being what it is, the non-green alternative often has a built-in cost advantage. It's always a struggle to get a large swath of the buying public to agree to pay a premium for being green, especially in a weak economy.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Rob Spiegel   4/20/2012 3:28:27 PM
NO RATINGS

This looks like a wonderful advance. I share Chuck's question about the cost implications. If this is more expensive than conventional materials, are consumers willing to pay a green premium? A portion of that car-buying population were willing to pay extra for a cleaner hybrid vehicle. Yet a good portion of that population didn't continue with a second hybrid, according to an article by Chuck.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Ann R. Thryft   4/20/2012 12:16:11 PM
NO RATINGS

Beth, sounds like a very interesting topic. If real alternatives are being made available and people are choosing them, that's not lipservice, that's change. I'm looking forward to reading it.


Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Beth Stackpole   4/20/2012 7:09:01 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann: I'm currently reporting a feature for the June issue of Design News (stay tuned) on the challenges engineers face when designing for sustainability and one of the main drivers people are talking about is increasing customer demand. Whether it's lip service or not, customers are definitely jumping on the go-green bandwagon. Besides having the right information at their fingertips to make the right alternative materials choices, having a wide range of alternative materials to choose from that have the same or better properties and characteristics as compared with traditional options definitely makes the whole transition much easier.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Charles Murray   4/19/2012 7:50:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, how does this compare cost-wise to more traditional alternatives?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eco-friendly alternative?
Ann R. Thryft   4/19/2012 1:49:42 PM
NO RATINGS

Beth, the benefits are both sustainability gains and, of course, better customer relations if customers have been asking for more sustainable materials. Customers are, in fact, doing so, and not just end-consumers, but industrial customers, since many of them now have sustainability programs and goals to be met. This was a big theme at NPE2012, and something new in the industry. The industrial demand for bioplastics, and for recycled plastics, especially more durable ones, will make a big difference. So will the fact that many bioplastics--such as this one--have even better performance than the petro-based versions they replace.


<<  <  Page 3/4  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Stratasys has announced the winners in its 11th annual Extreme Redesign contest for middle school, high school, and college students around the world in engineering, design, and art or architecture.
Tesla Motors Inc. took another big step into the battery market last night, officially unveiling a strategy that would enable it to sell batteries into home and grid storage applications.
At some point in the distant future, we may all be driving electric cars. Until then, however, the debate over their ongoing viability rages on.
Machine vision and video streaming systems are used for a variety of purposes, and each has applications for which it is best suited. This denotes that there are differences between them, and these differences can be categorized as the type of lenses used, the resolution of imaging elements, and the underlying software used to interpret the data.
Comic books long have appealed to kids as a fun way to introduce reading and art without being overly didactic. Now a software engineer and project manager from Oklahoma thinks the medium can be used to get them interested in STEM careers.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
May 4 - 8, Designing Low Power Systems using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service