PMM Insight: A Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing Podcast

PMM Insight: A Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing Podcast

Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing brings you our podcast! Each month we will provide an interview with a plastics industry professional, PMM in Person; an audio article, PMM Perspective; and a Commentary examining an issue in the industry. Find more of our content at plasticsmachinerymanufacturing.com.

Episodes

July 11, 2024 7 mins

If you want to know the state of the plastics machinery business, don't look to pundits or economists; ask a salesperson. Good ones listen closely to their customers and often defy conventional wisdom, says Editor Ron Shinn, and we are wise to listen to what they had to say recently.

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Editor Ron Shinn rounds up five top stories from Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, including a look at Industry 4.0 technology in injection molding, comments from OEMs on the state of the economy and their businesses, and equipment debuts from Dri-Air, Conair and Athena.

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Artificial intelligence can be hard to define, but it's coming to plastics processing. Doug Anger, engineering manager for training provider RJG Inc., says processors should look beyond the headlines and buzzwords and start viewing AI as another innovation to add to their toolboxes.

Part quality, efficiency and profit margins can be improved by technologies like predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring, Anger tells Editor Ro...

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From trimming cycle times to optimizing the use of recycled materials, the ability to collect data and tweak production based on it offers molders many benefits, said representatives of injection molding machine makers — and molders are beginning to embrace Industry 4.0.  

In this episode of PMM Insight, Senior Reporter Karen Hanna shares what she learned on the NPE floor about the state of smarter injection molding.

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June 13, 2024 8 mins

PMM Managing Editor Lynne Sherwin attended NPE2024 as a first-timer. Editor Ron Shinn talks with her about her experiences, what she and other PMM staffers heard from participants, and what it might foretell for plastics machinery makers and processors. 

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When we think of the factory of the future, we often picture a fully automated facility with few workers. But manufacturing gurus are beginning to talk about Industry 5.0, a human-centric, sustainable and resilient approach, in which robots and humans do what they do best in tandem, rather than having machines replace people. PMM Editor Ron Shinn explains why this may be the real future of manufacturing.

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The recently concluded fourth round of UN talks on a global plastics treaty made some progress in narrowing down the issues still facing delegates, according to Stewart Harris, senior director for global plastics policy in the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council. But there is still crucial work to be done before the fifth and final meeting in November.

Hear Stewart's analysis and predictions on what an eventual trea...

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May 16, 2024 12 mins

Processors who reject smart manufacturing technologies are putting their future at risk, says industry expert Alaa Elwany of Texas A&M. The government is mulling ways to help manufacturers unlock Industry 4.0 innovations, while surveys indicate growing interest among manufacturers. 

Senior reporter Bruce Geiselman looks at the state of smart manufacturing in the plastics industry in this episode of PMM Insight.

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Manufacturing technologies are evolving quickly, and those who don’t implement Industry 4.0 risk being left behind. Start small, but in a way that allows your company to scale up, says Editor Ron Shinn.

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A survey of more than 300 manufacturers found that 99 percent say they plan to increase spending in technology and Industry 4.0 in 2024. At the same time, the cost of sensors, hardware and computing services are coming down.

In this episode of PMM Insight, Mo Abuali, digital director for manufacturing, retail and distribution at Wipfli LLP, told Editor Ron Shinn that these two trends have the potential to significantly improve man...

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PMM Editor Ron Shinn has been to every NPE since 1991. In this episode of PMM Insight, he chooses 10 of the 111 Product Innovations featured in our April show preview issue that he's most excited to see. 

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Editor Ron Shinn, a veteran of dozens of plastics trade shows, looks forward to NPE2024 in May. It's been six years since the last one, and at the rate technology is advancing, there'll be many revelations to enjoy on the show floor. 

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Auxiliary plastics processing equipment such as blenders, dryers and feeders can now collect and analyze data, make production adjustments on the fly, predict maintenance and more. These intelligent upgrades also help processors manage the lack of skilled labor in their plants. Senior reporter Bruce Geiselman spoke with representatives of several major equipment manufacturers to find out how smart technology can help you.

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The need to address the plastics pollution problem is universally acknowledged, but progress has been slow and parties are often working at cross-purposes. PMM Editor Ron Shinn gives his perspective on the struggle to find common ground for the sake of the earth.

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Private equity investors are having an impact on the plastics industry. The results are bigger, more sophisticated plastics companies with deeper pockets that are willing to invest in technology to accelerate growth.

John Hart, managing director of P&M Corporate Finance, speaks with PMM Editor Ron Shinn about the trend.

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Inflation, high interest rates and supply chain disruptions have created uncertainty throughout the economy, but whatever the short-term outlook, one constant is clear: Finding workers will remain a challenge. Senior reporter Karen Hanna looks at the employment outlook for the plastics industry in this episode of PMM Perspective.

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Your manufacturing data is a valuable asset. Find out how to use this information to increase productivity and serve your customers better.

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Every recycler has horror stories about contaminated bales of recyclable materials, and knowing what's in a bale is essential to meet standards for recycled pellets or flake. Transparency in the marketplace would benefit everyone, but there are problems with the model that might actually discourage use of PCR, according to one industry expert. Editor Ron Shinn details the issues in this episode of PMM Insight.

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Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing recently conducted its fifth annual survey of machinery investment plans for the upcoming year. The results, and follow-up interviews with processors, equipment OEMs and plastics industry experts, make the case for "cautious optimism" in 2024. In this episode of PMM Perspective, we look into the crystal ball to see what the year ahead holds for the plastics machinery market.

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Emissions that come from the manufacturing and transport of plastic parts can and should be controlled. When plastics processors commitment to greener practices, it benefits the environment, customers, workers and the business. Explore the use of digital technology to monitor processes, and sustainable energy sources. 

Hear more in this commentary from PMM Editor Ron Shinn.

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