MicroStrate turns e-waste into sheet for signage, displays

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: February 13, 2013 4:34 pm ET
Updated: February 13, 2013 4:50 pm ET

Image By: MicroStrate Inc. Image's MicroStrate subsidiary is recycling plastics waste and turning it into stop and street signs for the city of Kyle, Texas, which is also home to MicroStrate's manufacturing plant.

Related to this story

Topics Processes, Film & Sheet, Recycling

KYLE, TEXAS -- MicroStrate Inc. is turning recycled computer parts and other plastic waste into stops signs and other signage at its 100,000-square-foot facility that recently opened in Kyle.

MicroStrate is a trademarked material that was developed by Image Microsystems Inc., a reverse logistics company in Austin. Last year, the companies bought a building in Kyle and now the subsidiary is recycling and turning out the new product.

"As the company evolved, one of the challenges was our zero landfill effort. What do you do with the items and is it possible to create something else? We thought we had a solution and that's our ability to make a product," said Image Chief Operating Officer Lennie Myers, who is also business director for MicroStrate.

The recycled e-waste is providing material that MicroStrate is turning into various stop and street signs, and that market is growing, Myers said in a phone interview. He said Micro­Strate has provided signage for the city of Kyle, as well as for cities in other states, and even Russia.

Image Microsystems purchased the building in Kyle about a year ago and, according to Myers, it needed an extensive retrofit for use by the startup company. The new setup has the ability to recycle plastics that can be extruded into 4-by-8-foot sheets, or longer. The sheets can be used as substrate for signage. The operation currently employs about 50 on-site and is planning to run 24/7 in the future.

Myers said the firms have been working with state departments of transportation to test and use the signs and are receiving orders for them. The substrate can be printed on simply through a flat printer, or used with 3-D printers. The sheets can be shaped with routers, he said.

The material was used in three display kiosks at a recent conference and the application has garnered plenty of interest, according to Myers. The kiosks were covered with graphics and cut-aways created space for TV monitors that gave more information about the product.

"It is very, very versatile," he said. "Our problem is not finding target markets, but in getting the right focus and getting the factory running 24/7 for sheets to meet the demand," he said.

Myers said the company does both recycling and manufacturing at the plant. Image has worked with Texas Tech University in Lubbock for many years to develop the material, he said.

Both Image Microsystems and MicroStrate strive to work with their communities, Myers said. They have had a relationship with the Texas School for Deaf, based in Austin, whereby juniors and seniors can work in half-day internship programs at the companies; some have stayed to become full-time employees, he said.

Image Microsystems works with big-box stores as well computer companies to handle their products after customers are done with them. Image was formed in 1992 in City of Commerce, Calif., and also has operations in Austin. The firm works to keep products out of landfills, and now, by finding new uses for e-waste, it helps companies reduce their ecological footprints as well.


Comments

MicroStrate turns e-waste into sheet for signage, displays

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: February 13, 2013 4:34 pm ET
Updated: February 13, 2013 4:50 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Plastics Pioneers Association names four new members

October 24, 2014 1:33 pm ET

MCHENRY, ILL. — The Plastics Pioneers Association has elected four new members: John Beaumont, Joseph Bennett, James Johnson and Dennis Meade.    More

Image

Deal puts Convergence Packaging under Comar's umbrella

October 24, 2014 2:00 pm ET

Convergence Packaging Holdings LLC, itself a product of mergers, now is joining together with Comar LLC.    More

Image

Akro-Plastic buying German subsidiary from Metabolix

October 24, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Akro-Plastic GmbH, a Niederzissen, Germany-based plastic compounder, has purchased the assets of Metabolix Inc.'s subsidiary in Germany.    More

Image

Automation firms join forces, look to automotive for future growth

October 24, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hoping to ease the way for automation in some specialized areas of automotive plastics like laser cutting of door panels, a German robot maker and an ...    More

Image

Gerresheimer opens first development center in China

October 24, 2014 1:34 pm ET

Medical molder Gerresheimer AG has launched a development center for medical plastic systems in Dongguan, China.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events