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Image: Recyclates; Copyright: Cirplus

Digital marketplace as a driver for the Circular Economy

10.01.2024

The forthcoming EU packaging regulation is casting its shadow: minimum quotas for recyclates are putting the plastics industry under pressure. Cirplus presents a digital platform that not only makes the recyclate market transparent, but also enables real-time coordination between the players.
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Photo: Detail of a person sitting in front of a laptop with the Ultrasim® simulation competence open; Copyright: BASF SE

Particle foam perfectly distributed thanks to simulation with Ultrasim®

15.12.2023

BASF SE's Ultrasim® simulation portfolio for plastics applications is now also available for manufacturing processes of components made of particle foam components. The application starts with the expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy® and expands BASF's proven simulation portfolio for plastics innovations
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Digital compass to sustainability: lifecycleValueCalculator analyses economic and ecological potentials

11.12.2023

Profitability and sustainability are not opposites – on the contrary! KraussMaffei's lifecycleValueCalculator proves it: the digital tool calculates the current status of plastics processors' products and shows them their individual potential for improvement. This enables them to increase their production efficiency and achieve their ecological goals at the same time.
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Covestro and HiPhi launch joint laboratory on advanced material solutions for future mobility

08.12.2023

The two companies Covestro and HiPhi are launching a laboratory to solve the key challenges of future mobility. The focus will be on promoting the use of low-carbon solutions, drawing up relevant standards and developing intelligent surface technologies and battery solutions.
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Image: Piles of plastic waste sorted by colour; Copyright: STEINERT

AI-based sorting: the smart way to recycle plastics

22.11.2023

Artificial intelligence and plastics recycling – two concepts that have little in common at first glance, but which form an impressive symbiosis in practice. STEINERT and RE Plano are impressive proof of this. Thanks to AI, they have succeeded in overcoming the challenges of sorting polyethylene and polypropylene, paving the way for innovative recycling solutions.
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The one stop shop for digital solutions: ENGEL integrates software company TIG

20.11.2023

ENGEL is gradually expanding its customer portal e-connect into a production portal. In addition, a solution from the inject 4.0 family for bidirectional data exchange between simulation and injection molding machine has been expanded and now also works with MOLDEX3D.
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Image: blurred detail of a person in a black suit holding a pen. In front of her is a laptop and papers with diagrams; Copyright: donut3771

Reifenhäuser relies on new "Circular Plastics Traceability" Guideline by using digital product passports from R-Cycle

06.11.2023

The Reifenhäuser Group uses R-Cycle, a digital product passport for plastics based on GS1 standards, to enable its customers to trace products. This facilitates data management in the manufacturing process and promotes the recycling of plastic packaging.
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Image: Energy chains; Copyright: igus GmbH

Recycling programme for engineering plastics

22.09.2023

Wherever there is movement in manufacturing, the plastic plain bearings and energy guiding chains from igus can be used. Even in packaging machines, e-chains and plain bearings made of high-performance polymers ensure movement. The products are durable but at some point they also have to be disposed of. igus has set up its own recycling programme for this purpose.
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Image: Hands holding purple biodegradable plastic polymer granules; Copyright: ArseniiPalivoda

Bayreuth researcher develops high-performance digital system for tailoring polymers

01.09.2023

Prof. Dr. Christopher Kuenneth at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, together with research partners in Atlanta, has developed a digital system that filters out those materials best suited for targeted applications from among some 100 million theoretically possible polymers. The system, called polyBERT, treats the chemical structure of polymers like a chemical language.
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Smart Waste: how AI can increase the recycling rate of plastics

23.08.2023

Nine percent – that is the proportion of all plastic waste that was recycled from 1950 to 2015. This must change urgently. Artificial intelligence can help. EREMA and the Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) are researching exactly how in a joint project.
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Image: A stool is printed at K 2022 with the help of ADAM software; Copyright: IKV/Fröls

Digital meets material: a software transforms additive manufacturing

17.08.2023

ADAM could redefine plastics manufacturing. A big claim, but not without reason: Behind the acronym ADAM is a software called "Advanced Dimension Additive Manufacturing" that caused a real stir at K 2022. The impressive result of this software in action? A high-performance screw extruder controlled by an agile jointed-arm robot.
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Image: Detail of two hands making calculations using a calculator. On the table: sheet with several diagrams and computer keyboard; Copyright: ijeab

Transformation in a difficult environment – incoming orders slump by 30 percent in the first quarter

13.07.2023

German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers recorded sales growth of 10 percent in 2022. Expectations for 2024 are subdued, as new orders are declining. The industry faces the challenge of decarbonization and defossilization, which requires investment and restructuring.
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Image: Detail of hands holding a tablet and a plastic cup. Next to it: Food packaging; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Next-level recycling with digital innovations: Cologne-based plastics processor igus invests in start-up cirplus

13.07.2023

The Cologne-based plastics specialist igus invests in the Hamburg-based start-up cirplus to close the plastics cycle and revolutionize the recycling trade of technical and standard thermoplastics. With their recycling platforms, igus and cirplus want to jointly drive the regenerative plastics industry in the future.
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Image: Hand with white polymer granules; Copyright: Pressmaster

Fraunhofer LBF develops new approach for rapid process stabilization of plastics

22.06.2023

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF see online rheological investigations as a promising method to accelerate the development process by determining the optimal amount of antioxidants more efficiently.
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Productivity management via app: capturing and understanding machine data

21.06.2023

Efficient work only works when everything runs smoothly – also on the shop floor. But how do I know how busy and productive my machines are at the moment? This requires data that reflect reality, but which is often still lacking today. ENLYZE has developed an analysis platform that can close this gap and make production more efficient.
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Image: Robots at work in the Automated Lab of the Henkel Inspiration Center; Copyright: Henkel AG

Automated Lab: Robots optimise adhesive development

10.05.2023

Robots already take over a large number of monotonous, repetitive tasks today – freeing up time and resources for creative and more exciting tasks. Henkel is also automating work steps in its new Inspiration Center Düsseldorf (ICD). In a data-driven laboratory, new adhesive formulations are automatically prepared and tested around the clock.
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Image: Erlenmeyer flask filled with water polluted by microplastics in a laboratory; Copyright: microgen

First comparative study on automated analysis methods of large data sets in microplastics research

27.04.2023

The lack of standardized analytical procedures for microplastic data has led to significant deviations, especially for small particles with high hazard potential. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute have compared two automated analysis procedures and called for standardization to improve the comparability of data.
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Image: Woman in a supermarket taking a carton of milk from the shelf; Copyright: RossHelen

Circular Collaboration Platform: for more recyclates in food packaging

21.04.2023

The share of recycled material in plastic products is growing. The exception: food packaging. The requirements for the quality of the material for food contact are high, but in the case of recyclates there is still often a lack of corresponding information today. The project COPPA wants to create transparency in this area – with an open digital platform.
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Image: Various red and white towers of a factory. Emissions escape from the one on the right; Copyright: freedomnaruk

LANXESS software calculates carbon footprint for Group's own products

05.04.2023

With the "Product Carbon Footprint Engine" developed by LANXESS, the CO2 footprint can be calculated automatically for the Group's products. With this innovation, the speciality chemicals company aims to help its customers achieve their sustainability goals.
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The first edition of K China Symposium was successfully held on 23rd March 2023. Expectations were achieved!

30.03.2023

The first edition of the K China Symposium was successfully held at the Shanghai International Convention Centre on 23 March 2023. Participants praised the opportunity for professional exchange, business expansion and inspiration offered by this new, international platform.
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Parcel logistics: the future belongs to reusable plastic boxes

29.03.2023

Cardboard dominates parcel logistics. Shrinkage and return transport costs have so far been too big hurdles for reusable containers made of plastic, even though there is a lot to be said for them in terms of sustainability. BOOXit overcomes these hurdles – and adds one on top: the reusable system is not only sustainable, but also robot-compatible.
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Sustainable plastic packaging: AI supports design and production

15.03.2023

Plastic packaging made from recycled material? Yes, but please as high quality as possible – and recyclable! This poses great challenges for manufacturers, because the use of recycled materials still often leads to downcycling. One key to more sustainable plastic packaging lies in digitalisation. This is also where the KIOptiPack project comes in.
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The future of plastics: JKU Linz trains the plastics engineers of tomorrow

01.03.2023

Plastics must be newly thought and designed - that is the credo at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. From autumn 2023, courses on plastics technology will be offered here. Plastics don't just play a supporting role there, they are the star of the show. Because they are a key factor for both the present and the future.
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Image: an injection molding machine producing an orange cup; Copyright: ssp48

Full speed ahead: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands fast-cycle all-electric platform

01.02.2023

Engineered specifically for high volume packaging, medical and automotive applications requiring the highest processing precision in the fastest cycle time, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is accelerating its global expansion of the IntElect platform.
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Plastics industry meets Metaverse: igus presents products in virtual reality

31.01.2023

Studies show that we are up to nine times more likely to remember something we have experienced in virtual reality. This knowledge can also be interesting for the plastics industry. With the iguversum, igus has created a digital space in which the manufacturer's products can be discovered. In the future, engineering projects will also be carried out there.
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Sumitomo (SHI) Demag joins the R-Cycle Community

16.01.2023

With 80.000 all-electric machines in operation around the globe, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s strong focus is on the sustainable and resource saving operation of injection molding machines in the plastic processing industry.
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Image: FFP2 face masks; Copyright: jirkaejc

ProQuIV optimizes the production of nonwoven masks

09.01.2023

Producing infection control clothing requires a lot of energy and uses lots of material resources. Fraunhofer researchers have now developed a technology which helps to save materials and energy when producing nonwovens. A digital twin controls key manufacturing process parameters on the basis of mathematical modeling.
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ENGEL launches Pay per Use

09.01.2023

ENGEL breaks new ground in injection moulding machine distribution. Blazing a trail for its industry, the machine manufacturer now offers its customers a pay-per-use model on top of classical machine purchases. This helps processors to reduce their investment risk while at the same time boosting flexibility in production.
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Innovation venture of Covestro awarded: Niaga® wins Circular Economy Prize

04.01.2023

Niaga®, an innovation venture of Covestro, is the winner of the 2022 European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Community Circular Economy Prize in the Digital Products Passports (DPP) category. The EIT Circular Economy Community awards relevant start-ups and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) with significant new solutions accelerating the circular economy.
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Image: a grey and green machine; Copyright: Erema

EREMA: "PredictOn:Drive", a new tool for predictive maintenance

04.11.2022

Real-time visualisation of process and machine data holds great potential for the circular economy as a whole and for recycling processes in particular. At K 2022 EREMA launched "PredictOn:Drive", a predictive maintenance application for its recycling machines.
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Photo: man with white helmet and laptop in suit talking with man in work clothes and blue helmet. In the background various machines; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Machine monitoring: performance data via app at any time

26.10.2022

Steinert.view® is a flexible and reliable monitoring solution for STEINERT sensor-based sorting machines. Performance data collected is visualized in a web app so that operators can see at a glance whether machines are currently producing, whether there are changes in production, or whether there is potential for optimization.
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"We are looking at how to redesign products and how to re-use parts of them"

21.10.2022

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A true all-rounder: with two apprenticeships to become a turnkey expert

27.09.2022

Oliver Fuss has completed not one, but two apprenticeships at Arburg: first an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician and then as a process mechanic for plastics and rubber technology. Now he works in the turnkey division, where fully automated manufacturing cells are designed and built.
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Sustainability by digitalization: Inventory machines become capable of communication

13.09.2022

What's old is far from bad. This also applies to machines - however, they are often not capable of communicating. Yet it is precisely this ability that is of interest when it comes to evaluating data or correcting errors. Injection molding machine manufacturer Steinl has found a way to connect even older machines to a communication network.
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Engineering enzymes to help solve the planet's plastic problem

12.09.2022

Researchers at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) have developed a new enzyme engineering platform. The focus is on plastic-degrading enzymes that can be improved through directed evolution. To test their platform, they engineered a new enzyme, HotPETase, through the directed evolution of IsPETase.
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A flexible device that harvests thermal energy to power wearable electronics

08.09.2022

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed the first flexible, wearable thermoelectric device capable of converting body heat into electricity. The researchers demonstrated that they can print these devices on stretchable textiles and curved surfaces. This will allow the devices to be applied to clothing and other objects in the future.
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Augmented Reality in the plastics industry: individualized instructions for the entire product life cycle

25.08.2022

Individualization is the trend. In the plastics industry, too, more and more individualized machines are coming onto the market. Of course, these machines also require individualized manuals with instructions tailored specifically to them. However, this is not yet a reality today. The AdaptAR project wants to change that – with the help of Augmented Reality and an app.
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Smart textiles sense how their users are moving

22.08.2022

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology develop a comfortable, form-fitting fabric that recognizes its wearer's activities, like walking, running, and jumping. Through the process of thermoforming, the researchers were able to significantly improve the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayer knitted textiles, which they call 3DKnITS.
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Public obligations for recycling: Germany – a good role model?

16.08.2022

With the Packaging Act, Germany is taking a further step towards an all-encompassing raw material cycle for packaging. One of the requirements aims to significantly increase the amount of recyclable packaging. Packaging used in mail order or "dispensed" for to-go products has recently been required to be registered in the LUCID Packaging Register.
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Digitization, automation, networking: "We have the whole wide bandwidth!"

09.08.2022

Twenty-year-old Yannick Herzog trained as an electronics technician for automation technology at Arburg and now works in the company's printed circuit board production. Since August 2021, he has been responsible for SPI and AOI for quality control of printed and assembled PCBs, respectively, in a production line. These are used in the control systems of the Arburg machines.
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Image: Student with glasses tries to control white robotic arm; Copyright: Pressmaster

Durable material for flexible artificial muscles

08.08.2022

Materials scientists at UCLA and colleagues at the nonprofit research institute SRI International have developed an artificial muscle. These are equipped with PHDE actuators. UCLA research uses a "dry" process in which the films are layered with a blade and then cured with UV light so that the layers become uniform.
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Product development in Alpla's One-Stop Shop

02.08.2022

Those who work meticulously to design a product can hardly await the day they can hold the finished item in their hands. Alpla is a company headquartered in Hard, Austria, that speeds up this process. Customers can convert their ideas into reality and ideally leave Alpla's STUDIOa with a prototype in hand.
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Image: Leverkusen Wind Technology Center; Copyright: Covestro

Fresh impulses for wind energy

11.07.2022

Covestro is researching material solutions for sustainable energy generation at its new Wind Technology Center. They are focusing on the optimization and new development of PUR resins in collaboration with customers.
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3D printing for automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames

01.07.2022

In the "OSFIT" (One Shot Fully Integrated Thermoplastic Frame) project, automated processes were developed to reduce both the time required and the complexity of the assembly and joining steps in aircraft production.
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Solvay extends its sustainable polymer offering for smart devices and wearables

21.06.2022

Solvay launched the Kalix® 10000 series, a partially bio-based material made with renewable feedstock from non-food competing sources, is produced with 100% renewable electricity.
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A digital product passport for more sustainability

21.06.2022

The EU's Circular Economy Action Plan stipulates that by 2050 all plastic packaging must be completely recyclable and consist of at least 70 percent recycled material. The majority of plastic waste still ends up in landfills or incinerators – in the worst case, in the environment.
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Create a quote for plastic testing services in just minutes

07.06.2022

Plastics are versatile and come in every conceivable shape, size, color, and function. Yet before plastic products can fulfill their desired function, they are subject to testing to confirm they comply with various standards. It takes testing labs hours, if not days, to create a quote for materials testing.
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Image: Printing original products with a 3D printer; Copyright: twenty20photos

Intelligent software for 3D printing optimises properties of plastic components

06.06.2022

Researchers at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern have developed intelligent software that can adjust parameters such as temperature and printing speed during printing.
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A stretchy display for shapable electronics

25.04.2022

Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer at Stanford University, and her research team have provided proof of principle for a stretchable, potentially reshapeable display using a method to fabricate an elastic light-emitting polymer with high luminosity.
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Integrated electronics make for sleek, smart surfaces

08.03.2022

Technological advances and evolving user preferences are redefining the look (and feel) of future electronic devices. Some examples were on display at the big CES 2022 consumer technology show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.
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eCampus offers online training for employees in the plastics industry

04.03.2022

Knowledge is power – this also applies to the plastics industry. But training courses cost time and tie up participants, although they are actually needed elsewhere. So that companies do not have to do without employees for entire days during such training courses, the SKZ has developed the eCampus together with Hanser Verlag.
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App, AI, data glasses: digital toolbox for the plastics industry is well filled

28.02.2022

We live in a world in which processes are becoming increasingly complex. This also applies to the plastics industry. One way to support people in production with their demanding tasks is through digital tools – and not only on site at the plant, but also remotely. The increasing amount of data also contributes to predictive maintenance of machines.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently

16.02.2022

How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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DarWIN research project accelerates multi-manufacturer machine learning

07.02.2022

New AI-based process optimisation tools have been developed specifically targeting injection moulding machines. Plus10 and the SKZ performed a series of thorough AI pilot tests on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines.
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3D printing: InfraredTags make plastics communicative

31.01.2022

Shopping can be exhausting, for example when you first have to find the price label of a product or rush through the aisles looking for alternative products. All of this could be done at a glance while shopping – if InfraredTags were integrated into a product's packaging.
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New additional service in the run-up to K 2022 in Düsseldorf: Monthly K-Talk starts online on January 20, 2022!

18.01.2022

Outlook, orientation, hot topics +++ exciting live discussion rounds with industry experts, users, and representatives from the media and politics +++ K-Talk enables global dialog even before the Leading Trade Fair in the fall +++ on-demand service
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Scientific Council of K 2022 convenes First Meeting

08.12.2021

Renewable energies, resource-saving processes, climate neutrality – rising to major challenges is key. These global tasks require creative minds, innovative technologies and high-performance materials.
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Digital marketplace for recyclates: cirplus networks entire value chain

25.11.2021

Sometimes you have to see a problem with your own eyes – or feel it with your own feet – to want to do something about it. At least that's how it was for Christian Schiller, who launched cirplus, a digital marketplace for recyclates.
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URI launches 'Plastics: Land to Sea' web platform

08.11.2021

A new University of Rhode Island web platform, "Plastics: Land to Sea," has been launched to provide the science community with a burgeoning array of data resources and tools designed to inform and support dialogue concerning research focused efforts to start addressing plastics pollution. The platform can be found at: plastics.uri.edu.
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The BPF Launches Online Recycling Resource with PlasticsEurope & RECOUP

22.09.2021

The British Plastics Federation (BPF), in conjunction with PlasticsEurope and RECOUP, has launched a new online recycling resource kit aimed at educating students about recycling plastics and the science of polymers.
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Material development: getting there faster with co-pilot AI

24.08.2021

General conditions for chemical and materials companies are changing rapidly. But the thorough research, development and commercialization of new materials can be lengthy. AI can accelerate this process.
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The many ways that 'going digital' is changing manufacturing

23.08.2021

There are many aspects and forms of digitalization in manufacturing, ranging from Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, to augmented and virtual reality, 5G connectivity, mobile apps, blockchain technology, and more.
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Circular Economy: using digital tools to produce high-quality recyclates

03.08.2021

Only a small percentage of materials currently used in plastic processing are recyclates. Yet these secondary plastics are in no way of inferior quality to virgin material. The culprit is often a lack of data and poor communication between recyclers and plastic manufacturers. Digital solutions can help close material cycles in the plastics industry.
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Soft robots: smart elastomers are making the robots of the future more touchy-feely

19.07.2021

Imagine flexible surgical instruments that can twist and turn in all directions like miniature octopus arms, or how about large and powerful robot tentacles that can work closely and safely with human workers on production lines.
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Supercomputer to help researchers develop more sustainable tires

12.07.2021

The environment around us is exposed to many different synthetic microparticles, potentially harmful for plants and animals. Some of these particles come from car tires and road surfaces and are generated when we drive.
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Fraunhofer and the Technical University of Ostrava start German-Czech research collaboration for sustainable production

01.07.2021

In the scope of a future-oriented collaboration in the field of industrial production, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is cooperating with the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO). The partners research and develop the potential offered by energy management technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent production in industry.
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VYTAL: the first digital reusable system for Take Away

27.05.2021

Today, the kitchen stays cold: if you don't feel like cooking, you simply have something delivered. However, the meals often come in disposable packaging that only has a short lifespan. This bothered the founders of VYTAL, who developed a deposit-free reusable system. They prove that plastic and sustainability are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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