PMM’s most-read stories in April

May 6, 2021
Readers were interested in articles on the resin crunch, plastics in the automotive industry and a thriving apprenticeship program.

The volatile resin market was on readers’ minds in April, topping our list of most popular stories on Interest was also high in several stories on the role of plastics in the evolving automotive industry; a look at recycling plastic into pavement; and a report on a new earn-and-learn apprenticeship program. Did you miss anything? 

  • The resin supply is expected to take months to recover after shortages and price spikes caused by the pandemic and the Texas ice storm, said industry expert Esteban Sagel. 

  • Processors were feeling the pinch from the tight resin supply, which put a crimp in production schedules.
  • Changing car designs are creating opportunities for machinery makers, with the transition to electric vehicles and lightweighting efforts.

  • OEMs and automotive-industry experts see opportunities for 3-D printing in prototyping, customization and under-the-hood parts.

  • Molders are taking on new challenges while maintaining quality and educating new customers as the auto market changes.

  • The annual Wohlers Report found the additive manufacturing industry grew in 2020 despite the pandemic, with independent service providers among those who saw an increase in business.

  • Kautex debuted its new Skyreef blow molding machine series at Chinaplas. It emphasizes smart production and offers choices among hydraulic, all-electric and hybrid designs.
  • Paving projects using recycled resin may get a boost thanks to sustainability and infrastructure efforts coming out of the Biden administration.

  • North Carolina molder Bright Plastics has already gained one new employee with the GAP earn-and-learn program, which matches ambitious young people with one of 34 companies in the community.
  • Three companies devoted to recycling came together to produce a frame designed to make face masks more comfortable and effective; proceeds from sales benefit ocean cleanups.