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At next year’s NPE2021: The Plastics Show, the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics) will present its inaugural William R. Carteaux Leadership Award to an industry professional who has achieved distinction working for the betterment of the plastics industry.

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At its virtual plenary session on 1 December 2020, the TPE-Forum elected Dr. Ines Kühnert, Institute of Polymer Materials of the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e. V. (IPF Dresden), and Dr. Stefan Zepnik, Mocom Compounds GmbH & Co. KG, as new speakers. They succeed Jürgen Hättig, Covestro, and Dr. Günter Scholz, BASF, who have successfully led and represented the association of key players in the TPE industry since its beginnings in 2016.

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On 2 December 2020, Trinseo announced the inauguration of its TPE pilot facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The company said that the facility represents a major step in its wider growth strategy for TPEs, enabling it to locally produce custom-engineered TPE together with its bioplastics portfolio, for key customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Since July this year, Ravago Manufacturing's Steinfurt production site has been certified to international medical devices quality management standard DIN EN ISO 13485. This was announced by the company in late November. The Steinfurt site produces compounds based on amorphous and semi-crystalline thermoplastics for applications in medical and pharmaceutical technology and in in vitro diagnostics. This standard focuses on compliance with regulatory requirements and product safety including risk management. Its requirements may also be extended to manufacturers of the raw materials used in medical devices. Ultrapolymers, a member of the Ravago Group as well, distributes these medical compounds throughout Europe. The compounds produced in Steinfurt complement the range of Ultrapolymers' thermoplastics for this sector which also include polyolefins, styrenics, polymethyl methacrylates, polycarbonates and TPS produced by leading polymer manufacturers.

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Continental is expanding its plastics expertise at three German specialist tech centers in Hamburg, Kohren-Sahlis and Hann. Münden. Continental already operates a number of tech centers in China and North America.

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Songwon announced on 7 December that prices for all its products will be raised by 2-5 %, depending on business line and region. The company said that these price increases are a consequence of the sudden escalation of freight rates that took place on most routes. The new prices are effective as of 1 January 2021, or as contracts allow.

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In order to provide TPE customers and interested parties with a platform for exchanging information and innovation in these challenging times, Kraiburg TPE has launched the digital TPE Expert Talks. The virtual event took place 12-15 October.

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Beginning of December 2020 the company announced a name change: Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri is now Marfran. Ten years after the "management buyout" from which Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri emerged, the Italian compounder is continuing its success story: a decade-long history that began in 1987 and which continues today with ever new impulses and inspirations that further enrich the product range and the service portfolio.

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Americhem has acquired Controlled Polymers, a Danish manufacturer of customized compounds and masterbatch for the medical industry. Americhem has bought 100 % of the shares from Controlled Polymers’ former owners Blue Equity and Chrispa ApS. The company said that Controlled Polymers will seamlessly integrate with Americhem Engineered Compounds by blending the companies’ product lines together to create a full range of offerings for the medical plastics industry. Their products complement Americhem Engineered Compounds’ specialized portfolio in medical devices and healthcare applications with Controlled Polymers’ worldwide experience in the hearing aid industry.

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According to several expert projections, the world may produce over 400 million tons of plastic waste annually by 2030. In the face of these forecasts, many brands have committed to increasing the amount of recycled plastics in their products. Avient developed recycled-content materials to enable customers to achieve their goals and add options for the circular economy. The company has launched several new post-consumer recycled (PCR) and post-industrial recycled (PIR) portfolios under the reSound R brand name: reSound R VX TPEs, reSound R ND polyamides, and reSound R PC polycarbonates.

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