Study says machinery demand should grow
U.S. demand for plastics processing machinery should grow by 6.9 percent annually through 2001, according to a report by Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland.
Demand will top $3 billion in 2001, the study said. Technological advances, such as high-speed, twin-screw extruders and gas-assisted injection molding, will fuel much of the growth. Freedonia said demand for advanced technology, larger machines and sophisticated control systems should result in higher average prices for equipment.
The study covers primary equipment, including injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, thermoforming, compression molding, reaction injection molding, transfer molding, calendering and other types of machines. It also includes an analysis of the market for rebuilt and remanufactured machinery.
Injection molding machines account for 55 percent of the market, followed by blow molding (18 percent), extruders (13 percent), an ``other'' category (11 percent) and thermoformers (4 percent).
The 159-page report also profiles major plastics machinery makers, tracks acquisitions and specific markets, and outlines the global outlook. The report costs $3,100.
Tel. (216) 921-6800, fax (216) 921-5429, e-mail [email protected]
Guide is resource for education, training
Two plastics trade associations have released a comprehensive guide to education and training resources available to companies in the United States and Canada.
The ``Directory of Plastics Education and Training Programs in the U.S. and Canada'' lists more than 100 two- and four-year colleges and other sources of technical and vocational training for the industry, and also includes information on sources of scholarships.
The directory includes detailed information on institutions' degree programs, courses, faculty, tuition and admission requirements. Faculty listings include individuals' research interests and availability as industry consultants.
The information was compiled by the Plastics Institute of America Inc. in Fairfield, N.J., which then worked with the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. to publish and promote it, the groups said in a statement.
For more information, contact SPI at tel. (202) 974-5200, or fax (202) 296-7359.
Study gives skinny on European packaging
Almost 50 percent of packaged goods in Western Europe were packed in plastics in 1995, but plastics accounted for 16 percent by weight of the total, according to a new study.
The report, ``Plastics — A Material of Choice in Packaging,'' revealed that the European packaging industry consumed 142.4 billion pounds of material in 1995, with plastics accounting for 23 billion pounds. The study was prepared by the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe.
Paper and paperboard accounted for 38 percent of the total; glass, 21 percent; and metals, 8 percent.
``Plastics are in demand because they help packaging designers and manufacturers achieve a range of prevention principles — helping to reduce energy consumption, emissions, material consumption, waste and costs,'' said Freddy Marechal, executive director of APME's technical and environmental center.
Brussels, Belgium-based APME said plastic packaging is as much as 20 percent lighter than 20 years ago, with almost 90 percent of plastic consumer packages today weighing less than 10 grams.
Western European nations have set target rates for packaging recycling, with the current minimum target of 15 percent by 2001. According to the report, about 14 percent was recovered through mechanical or feedstock recycling in 1995.
Copies of the report are available free from APME's communications department at tel. +32 (2) 672-8259 or fax +32 (2) 675-3935.
Japanese production of molding units dips
Japanese production of injection molding machines, and plastics machinery overall, fell by about 2 percent in 1996, according to the Association of Japan Plastics Machinery in Tokyo.
But business picked up in the first quarter of 1997, AJPM reports.
In 1996, production for the total plastics machinery sector declined 2.6 percent, to 15,757 machines, down from 16,178 in 1995.
Injection presses, the largest category, fell 2 percent. According to the association, Japanese firms built 12,740 injection molding machines in 1996. In 1995, they made 12,999 presses.
The trade association breaks down injection molding machines by clamping-force category. The largest size category, machines under 100 tons of clamping force, declined by 10.3 percent, to 5,202 units, from 5,803 in 1995. All other categories increased — machines from 100-200 grew by 2.8 percent, to 3,969 units from 3,861; machines from 200-500 tons increased 4.1 percent, to 2,636 from 2,532; and machines over 500 tons grew by 16.2 percent, to 933, up from 803 units in 1995.
Japanese-made blow molding machines enjoyed a 21.8 percent jump, to 134 machines in 1996, from 110 machines.
Tel. +81 (3) 3542-8575, fax +81 (3) 3543-0619.