Coronavirus – Industry Updates

PETplanet collects official statements from customers & companies in the PET value chain on how they cope with the situation.

Wittmann Battenfeld: Community masks from Fröbel manufactured with Wittmann Battenfeld injection moulding technology

Fröbel, domiciled in Blaufelden, Baden-Wuerttemberg, has developed a high-quality community mask for the fight against COVID-19 together with its partner company AKO Kunststoffe Alfred Kolb GmbH in Hoffenheim. The parts for this mask are produced at Fröbel using latest injection moulding technology from Wittmann Battenfeld.

Of the 40 injection moulding machines installed at Fröbel, ranging from 150 to 6,000 kN in clamping force, 36 are from Wittmann Battenfeld, among them large machines from the MacroPower series, all-electric machines from the EcoPower series, as well as machines from the servo-hydraulic SmartPower series. The robots, a total of 30, have also come from Wittmann Battenfeld. Moreover, Fröbel operates its own mould making shop, which offers the company among other benefits a high degree of flexibility in fulfilling its customers’ wishes.  The latest product from Fröbel is a high-quality community mask, which Fröbel has developed jointly with its partner company AKO. For Tobias Fröbel, the company’s junior managing partner, the main consideration in this project apart from the desire to help with the fight against COVID-19 was the aspect of sustainability.  Therefore it was important to him to develop a reusable product with the filter fleece being the only disposable part.

The mask created in cooperation with AKO consists of a base with a top piece, on which flexibly adjustable elastic bands are fastened. The base is produced from a supple, elastic grade of TPE, which provides a high degree of protection together with excellent wearing comfort. In addition to serving as the fixture for the elastic bands, the top piece holds the disposable PP filter fleeces in place, of which a package of ten is automatically included in the delivery of the mask to the end customer. The masks can be cleaned with standard disinfectants or with hot water. When people put them on or take them off, they do not come into direct contact with the disposable fleece. Basically, the masks can be upgraded with a great variety of filter media. Apart from the high wearing comfort due to the soft, elastic base, Fröbel’s customers appreciate the light weight, good speech attributes and high air permeability of the large filter area. The masks are available in two sizes. In addition to the standard model M, a 20% smaller S version has been developed, which is intended primarily for women and children. For large-quantity orders, a customized color choice is also possible. The S model primarily intended for women and children is available with a choice of several different colors as standard.

The masks are manufactured at both Fröbel and AKO and sold worldwide. They are currently distributed exclusively in the B2B sector. A B2C solution with partners is in preparation. Currently 70,000 S model masks and 140,000 M model masks are being produced per week, of which 70,000 are manufactured at Fröbel. At present, the mask is undergoing a CPA / FFP2 certification process. With this certification, the masks would be officially recognized as Corona virus pandemic respiratory masks. The service engineers of Wittmann Battenfeld Deutschland GmbH have also been equipped with these protective masks, and the feedback about the use of the masks, especially their wearing comfort and speech quality attributes, is very positive. (June 8, 2020)

Krones: Krones supports medical and charitable institutions

The demand for disinfectants has currently reached unprecedented heights. Though adequate resupply is assured, many institutions are receiving this in large-size containers, which in practice are difficult to handle. For this reason, Krones is supporting hospitals, government agencies, police stations and fire brigades with its expertise, and is providing not only PET containers but also the appropriate filling options.

In mid-March, Krones was already supplying Regensburg University Clinic (UKR) with 5,000 half-litre PET containers for transferring disinfectants from large-size containers into these. But since manual filling is not only very time-consuming but also labour-intensive, Krones once again demonstrated its expertise in terms of filling technology, and designed what is so far the smallest filler in the firm’s history. The UKR’s in-house pharmacy can now use this filler for transferring the resupply of disinfectants more quickly, thus substantially reducing the workload of its own staff and the clinic as a whole.

Because the demand for containers for antiseptic liquids of this kind was high not only at Regensburg University Clinic, of course, but in many other institutions as well, Krones produced at its plant in Neutraubling more 500-millilitre PET bottles. By the beginning of May, 400,000 containers with closure had already been made available to hospitals, police stations and fire brigades all over Germany, at cost. A second batch of 500,000 bottles is currently being produced.

However, not only institutions from the surrounding region, but also the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs got in touch with Krones, requesting support. Krones and its clients do not produce and bottle disinfectants themselves. So Krones’ subsidiary KIC Krones was commissioned to bottle and package the disinfectants concerned. In the field of contract production of cleaning agents and disinfectants, KIC Krones has a long-standing cooperation arrangement with a paint and varnish manufacturer. The disinfectants bottled and packaged on behalf of KIC Krones are then distributed by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs to institutions in the state. “Since disinfectant is based on high-strength alcohol, it is classified as a hazardous substance. For this reason, special safety measures apply during transport and storage and in bottling and transfer operations but KIC Krones, as the Group’s consumables expert, is thoroughly familiar with these. In the current situation, particularly, we are benefiting from our broad network and our corporate knowledge of how to handle hazardous substances. What’s more, we were able to establish the requisite contacts for supporting the medical institutions concerned swiftly and unbureaucratically,” to quote Stephan Maschke, Managing Director of KIC Krones. Support initiatives on the part of Krones have not been confined to Germany itself: the Austrian subsidiary Kosme, for example, has produced PET bottles for the local fire brigade while Krones Inc. in the USA has supplied a local pediatric hospital. (June 4, 2020)

Plastics Report: Pandemic pauses plastics machinery shipments during first quarter
The shipments of primary plastics machinery (injection moulding and extrusion) in North America decreased in the first quarter, according to the statistics compiled and reported by the Plastics Industry Association’s (PLASTICS) Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES).

The preliminary estimate of shipments value from reporting companies in the first quarter totaled $254 million, 19.6% decrease, following a 7.7% increase in the fourth quarter of last year. The value of shipments of plastics machinery in the first quarter was 6.9% lower than the first quarter last year.

While the total value of shipments decreased in the first quarter, single-screw extruders shipments rose by 15.5%. Shipments of twin-screw extruders declined marginally by 0.8%. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, the value of single-screw and twin-screw extruders were significantly higher by 34.9% and 19.3%, respectively. Injection moulding equipment shipments’ value, however, fell 23.6% from the previous quarter and decreased 11.8% from a year ago.

“The first quarter shipments were expected to come in lower due to the coronavirus shutdowns in March. Nevertheless, we saw robust growth in single-screw and twin-screw shipments on a year-over-year basis,” according to Chief Economist of Plastics Perc Pineda, PhD.

CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers, regarding present market conditions and future expectations. In the coming quarter, 18.5% of respondents expect conditions to either improve or hold steady in the next quarter—lower than the 69.4% that felt similarly in the fourth quarter last year. As for the next 12 months, 22.6% expect market conditions to be steady-to-better, down from 73.5% in the previous quarter’s survey.

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the manufacturing and service sectors of the economy, both impacted by the plastics industry. However, the demand for plastics remains fundamentally healthy, particularly in the medical and consumer essentials spaces, and the economic slowdown is transitory,” Pineda added. Plastics machinery exports in the first quarter totaled $358.5 million—a 1.6% increase from the previous quarter. Imports rose by 0.5% to $746.3 million, resulting in a trade deficit of $387.8 million, 0.6% lower than the fourth quarter last year. The U.S. continues to rely on Mexico and Canada as its first and second largest plastics machinery export markets. Combined exports to the USMCA trade partners totaled $153.4 million, 42.8% of total U.S. plastics machinery exports. (May 27, 2020)

Arburg

Update May 19: After Arburg started producing protective glasses on Allrounder injection moulding machines at its headquarters in Lossburg (Germany) in mid-April, the mechanical engineering company has now launched an additional project to combat the spread of the coronavirus: Since 11 May, face masks are injection moulded from LSR (liquid silicone rubber) and PP (polypropylene). About 3,500 of these multifunctional high-tech masks are expected to be produced daily under series production conditions. The product will initially be used to protect the company’s own employees worldwide and will then be distributed as quickly as possible via the German district of Freudenstadt to hospitals and care facilities. The companies Ewikon (cold runner) and Männer (hot runner) were also involved in the implementation of the mould technology. Other partners were Barth Mechanik (gripper) and Packmat (packaging technology), the raw material for several 10,000 masks was sponsored by the chemical group Wacker and Borealis.

Production of protective goggles

Dr. Thomas Walther, Head of Application Technology at Arburg, received a “call for help” from a doctor at the hospital in Rottweil, Germany, on Monday (30/03). She had heard that, at a trade fair, Arburg had produced protective goggles that she and her colleagues urgently need and asked if he could help her. Thomas Walther passed this request directly on to Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director of Sales, who was already involved in various regional aid initiatives and has also initiated several brainstorming projects of this kind within the company. Both quickly agreed that help could be provided with the resources that were already available. That’s how the “protective goggles” project started.

Partnership between Ems, Uvex and Arburg Regarding the protective goggles, it quickly became clear that with some coordination measures between the three companies, which had already been working together intensively as partners for a long time, these articles could be produced at Arburg in relevant quantities and with relatively little effort. It was therefore logical that the production of an initial batch of 20,000 pairs of goggles at the parent plant in Lossburg should begin as quickly as possible in order to remedy the immediate shortage. At the plastics trade fair K 2019 in Düsseldorf in October, Arburg demonstrated, together with the eyewear manufacturer Uvex and the material manufacturer Ems-Chemie, the fully automated production of sunglasses. Thanks to the unbureaucratic coordination between the parties involved, it was quickly decided that the already very dense sunglasses could also be transformed into protective goggles, using the same tools and also the same design. From there, everything else went quickly. After Ems had agreed to the use of the tools and Uvex was willing to make the goggles usable for the new application by means of a quick certification, Arburg set up the production system with removal robot in the new training centre in Lossburg. That’s where, from the week before Easter, the goggles are mass-produced in a simplified injection moulding process, they come out of the machine ready to use. They are then packed individually with safety and information data sheets in tubular film bags by hand for final distribution. The material for the first batch of goggles, around 500kgof transparent Grilamid TR (PA12), is provided free of charge by the material manufacturer Ems-Chemie from Domat in Switzerland. Once the eyewear packaging has been CE-marked and assembled, “it’s quite likely that the distribution can already begin at the beginning of May,” says Thomas Walther. (April 16, 2020)

Borealis – Borealis supports Austrian face mask initiatives through production of meltblown fabrics on its pilot line in Linz

Borealis has managed quickly to convert the way of working from pure development to smaller scale pilot production to regularly produce rolls of fine fibre fabrics for face masks. Recently developed by Borealis, a new proprietary polypropylene (PP) meltblown resin has boosted filtration properties due to its capability for finer fibres. By exploiting a robust network of co-operation partners in the country, Borealis is helping bolster the supply of filtration media to increase face masks production.

The newly developed Borealis HL912FB is being used to produce meltblown fabric to be applied for customised inlays in cotton-based mouth-nose masks, for conventional mouth-nose masks, and also for high-end face masks worn by medical professionals (FFP1 to FFP3). A typical mask is made out of spunbonded outer layers and a meltblown middle layer. The spunbonded layers provide the structure while the meltblown layer is providing the barrier properties. For high-end FFP1 to FFP3 masks, more advanced meltblown structures with extremely fine fibres are essential. Borealis offers both the meltblown materials and a variety of spunbond PP grades.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sudden steep increase in the need for PPE, while supply chains are being disrupted around the globe. We would like to assure our partners that we remain the reliable supplier of advanced polymers for the manufacture of high-quality face masks and other PPE,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation and Circular Economy Solutions. “True to our company purpose, ‘Life demands progress – we are re-inventing for more sustainable living’, we are offering innovative solutions like Borealis HL912FB and are re-purposing our own pilot facilities to a small-scale production line for meltblown fabrics. We have capitalised on our close collaboration with governments, NGOs and value chain partners to optimally deploy our innovation and manufacturing capabilities at the service of society.” (April 15, 2020)

MCC & Anheuser – Busch – Partnering together in difficult times

Keeping with the long-established tradition of Anheuser-Busch (AB) stepping up as a responsible corporate citizen in times of need, AB has shifted the use of alcohol for beer to produce hand sanitiser. With the continued strain on resources caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this important item is an effective tool in limiting the spread of infectious disease. 

Two versions of this product have been produced and three additional versions are being prepared.  Presently, approximately 2,000 units have been produced for internal use at AB production facilities and more than 250 times as much has been donated to the Red Cross and other non-profit partners for distribution where it’s needed most.  In addition, another 133,000 units are being produced in April for distribution to communities and internal use at AB facilities. MCC, a long-time supplier for AB, rose to the challenge by supplying the initial requirement within 72 hours of notice. The AB team shared their goal for delivery and MCC accommodated with the printing taking place in the Wilton, NH and Mason, OH facilities. The hand sanitizer being produced exceeds the requirement as outlined by the CDC. This humanitarian effort shows how great partnerships can react quickly to help during a crisis. (May 14, 2020)

IKT – Production of visors and masks

The Institute of Plastics Technology (IKT) at the University of Stuttgart produces visors and masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Visors with 3D-printed mountings and transparent protective films are in particular focus. The film used for the visors as well as the filaments used for 3D printing are produced on IKT’s extrusion lines and processed in IKT’s 3D printing laboratory. A bio-based and biodegradable polylactide (PLA) is used for both the film and the filament. The specifically adjusted extrusion process allows the production of particularly clear films tailor-made for the visors. The properties of the 3D printing filaments are also modified depending on the application and 3D printer in order to achieve the best results. (May 13, 2020)

SKZ – SKZ starts testing respiratory masks

The SKZ’s accredited test laboratory has procured a machine for testing respiratory masks (FFP 1, FFP 2 and FFP 3), which will be available from calendar week 22.  This test device makes it possible to carry out a number of the most important tests, such as inhalation and exhalation resistance and passage of particles through filter masks. As early as the beginning of April, the SKZ in Würzburg, Germany, was classified as systemically important by the authorities because, among other things, numerous indispensable product tests are carried out here for the health, hygiene and infrastructural sectors.

Due to the corona crisis, there is currently a very high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g. respirators. So-called filtering facepiece respirators (FFP) are an effective means of reducing the risk of infection, since the Coronaviruses are essentially transmitted via a droplet infection. However, there are worldwide bottlenecks regarding the production capacities for the liner material required for FFP masks. According to recent news reports, this situation has led to millions of defective and thus unsuitable protective masks made in China having entered the European market. This instance makes it clear how important it is to test the suitability and adequacy of these products. “As advised by the EU Commission, in the context of the health threat caused by COVID 19 the market surveillance authorities may define simplified procedures for the procurement of so-called corona pandemic respirators (CPA). By means of a summary procedure, technically suitable masks shall be approved for provision,” explains Dr. Jürgen Wüst, deputy managing director of SKZ-Testing.

This is where the SKZ’s activities come in. An automatic testing machine has been ordered that is to carry out a number of important tests out of a reduced CPA test programme. The masks’ particle permeability, for example, can be checked by the machine using paraffin oil mist, a so-called paraffin aerosol. By atomising paraffin oil, an aerosol of paraffin oil droplets is generated with defined particle size distribution. The concentration of the aerosol is measured at each side of the tested filter. The lower the permeability of the filter masks, the higher their protective effect. “In this context,” continues Wüst, “it is important to know that, apart from offering our customers initial tests of protective masks, we can also carry out quality tests on incoming deliveries.” The SKZ test laboratory will also advise customers with inquiries regarding the testing of various personal protective equipment, such as gloves, coats or face protection in order to make a valuable contribution to containing the corona pandemic.

Testing plastic products in accordance with more than 1,000 standards and technical regulations, the SKZ’s test laboratory is independent, neutral and accredited in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Test activities usually go hand in hand with the measures for quality assurance, which are initiated by an inspection body of type A, accredited according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020. The SKZ’s product certification body is accredited according to the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17065 standard, thus demonstrating its extensive expertise as a conformity assessment body. (May 12,2020)

Moldintec – Safety Mask made from a PET PCR bottle

Update May 11: CCU has deployed in CHile the facial mask initiative from a PET bottle: A total of 160,000 units will be produced that will be donated to the community throughout the country. Just over a month ago, Moldintec promoted an open-source collaborative initiative to the entire PET industry to design and manufacture a face mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 using the technical and material resources available in their factories. The team of engineers that works from their homes in preventive isolation developed the first model of a mask that can be cut from a PET bottle with simple office supplies (scissors, staplers, perforators). Moldintec quickly received the support of Syphon S.A., a recognised preforms manufacturer in Argentina, who contributed with the blower, laboratory, the preforms, and, most importantly, the selfless collaboration of its engineers. The manufacturing team at Moldintec’s tool-shop in Buenos Aires coordinated the production of the first pilot mould that was completed just 24 hours later!
After an intensive working month, CCU S.A Chile presented the first industrial deployment of the mask that will benefit thousands of people. In the first stage, CCU plans to produce 160,000 units. Inmates will conduct the cutting and assembly hand labor in the penitentiary Colina-I where runs an educative and working center. “From Moldintec, we want to thank all those who selflessly contributed their knowledge and their work leaving in the protection of their homes to manufacture the first moulds.” said a company’s spokesman. “The design is open source, so if you want to make masks for DONATION, we are here to support!”

Update April 17: Moldintec announces that the first pilot mould has been built and tested. Find updated information about the project @Instagram @jorgepucci_arg or LinkedIn. Any assistance would be appreciated, as the company states.

Moldintec is involved in several initiatives to help the medical community (high-end machining parts for ventilators, eng. Support for mould design, etc.). They now share their beverage industry-focused solution of a Safety Mask made from a PET PCR bottle. “There’re many masks already shared on the web, and we know that. But, we tried to redefine it to be productive with the types of equipment that we use every day.” The Argentinian engineers prepared two versions starting from: PCO 1881 3L bottle & PCO 48-41 6L bottle.

The PCO 1881 is easy to deploy, but it’s slim fit to the face…. In the next few days, they will be ready to run tests, and then verify it in the field inside hospitals. “We have kept in mind a decentralised production in the territories. A solution to be suitable for small towns such as large cities. After a successful test, we will share the 3D models of the packaging to manufacturing blow moulds and production processes applied. We are proud to have received the support of converting companies that support us with preforms and blowing equipment, as well as their human resources to perform post blow moulding cutting and packaging. Pls, feel free to collaborate with us with suggestions or redesigning the part and the cutting process.” (March 30, 2020)

SML

Austrian manufacturer of extrusion systems SML produces PET sheet for face shields at the company’s headquarters in Redlham. Production takes place on a state-of-the-art line for calendered sheets. The extrusion line produces enough material for up to 10,000 face shields per hour. The final production stage then takes place at a partner company in Freilassing. Within record time, ongoing development work at SML has been repurposed for the production of cost-effective face shields for the personal protection of risk groups and people in critical infrastructures. The sheets are processed into face shields at Kiefel Technologies in Freilassing, Germany, a partner company of SML.

Face shields serve as an additional and comfortable form of protection, particularly for people exposed all day long to the risk of infection with Covid-19. Two types of face shields are produced – based on 0.3mm and 0.15mm thin PET sheet respectively. One of the shields is equipped with a dimensionally stable, reusable plastic bow. This gives the PET sheet, which is only 0.15mm thick, the right structure. This very thin film can be regularly exchanged. It is suitable for wearers in the retail trade or service providers. The other shield consists entirely of a punched, 0.3mm thick PET sheet. It is designed as a convenient, disposable application for frequent changes and specifically for doctors or nursing staff.

While the 0.3mm PET sheet used in the disposable face shield is more or less a SML standard product, the production of the very thin 0.15mm “thick” PET sheet for the face shields with bars requires specialist know-how in the field of process engineering. The relative stability and extremely high transparency are properties both sheets have in common. These are the basic requirements for this material to be used for face shields. (May 08, 2020)

PTI

PTI, a leader in plastic package design and development, has manufactured and donated 5,000 face shields to 15 healthcare facilities in Northeast Ohio. “When the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic wore off, many of us in the plastics industry began thinking of ways to help the frontline doctors, nurses, caregivers and even the grocery store clerks. As that was happening, we were approached by the University of Toledo, with whom we are a corporate partner, to 3D print face shields for its affiliated medical facilities. Because the university was aware that we design, manufacture, mould and test plastic containers for brand owners for more than 30 years, it also knew that our core competency is all about finding answers to problems, explains Sumit Mukherjee, chief technology officer, PTI. “We quickly identified that we could go beyond just 3D printing a face shield to designing, building a mould in order to produce a higher volume of parts to help fill a critical need.” PTI knew that in order to be most relevant, speed was critical. To avoid starting from scratch and going through multiple iterations, the company reached out to healthcare industry professionals who pointed them to readily available editable CAD files for face shields. The next step was to select a design, 3D print it, and then tweak it to produce a viable part.

“We also relied on our partners who jumped in with support. Tekni-Plex donated 10,000 feet of extruded PET sheet in various thicknesses so that we could validate what worked best. Braskem donated their PP resin which we used to produce headband fixtures. Dana Corporation helped us modify and simplify the shield design so that we could puncture the PET sheet to accept the headband with a commonly available three-hole file puncher. We went through a couple of iterations to make sure the headband was the right fit around the forehead and nose, and even comfortable for someone wearing glasses,” Mukherjee said.

The company was also challenged with building the mould. However, six days after receipt of the mould material, the mould was finally installed into the machine. After the shield was produced, the PTI team worked to trim the gate, cut the shields to size and punch the holes. The end result was more than 5,000 completed shields delivered to healthcare facilities in Northwest Ohio. This included ProMedica, UT Medical College of Ohio, The Toledo Clinic, St. Luke’s and St. Vincent. “We encourage other companies to look at how they can harness their own capabilities to help our healthcare providers during this challenging time,” Mukherjee concludes. “We plan on continuing our efforts so that we help even more healthcare facilities.” (May 07, 2020)

Wittmann Battenfeld Valves for respiratory masks from Oldrati Guarnizioni Industriali S.p.a., Villongo, Italy, produced on an injection moulding machine from Wittmann Battenfeld. Oldrati, based in Villongo, Italy, uses its expertise in manufacturing full-face snorkeling masks for the fight against Covid-19. For several weeks now, this company has been producing high-quality respiratory masks for use in hospitals. The valves for these masks are manufactured on an EcoPower 180 Combimould injection moulding machine from Wittmann Battenfeld. The Oldrati associates are proud of being able to make a very substantial contribution to the fight against the Covid 19 virus with this mask. And Wittmann Battenfeld is glad to support Oldrati with its innovative injection molding technology in making the valve for this life-saving product. (May 4, 2020)

SMI Group Together against the Covid Emergency

The health emergency that is affecting Italy, especially the district of Bergamo, related to the Coronavirus pandemic, can be faced only with the help of everyone! “In this dramatic moment we also want to make our own contribution to support, as far as possible, the improvement of the health situation in our country” declares Paolo Nava – CEO of SMI S.p.A. The SMI Group showed concrete closeness to the territory and to all those who are working hard to face this emergency with a donation of € 120,000, through the company SMIPACK, to the municipality of San Giovanni Bianco for health activities aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19 and a donation of € 200,000, through the company SMILAB, to Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo, for research activities aimed at defeating the virus. In difficult times like the ones we are going through, we believe that the value of solidarity is the best cure. (April 30, 2020)

Indorama Ventures

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, led by its Integrated Oxides and Derivative business (IOD), successfully adapted its facilities in the US to manufacture hand sanitisers. These are hygiene products that help protect people from Covid-19 infection. The initiative was a result of close collaboration between IVL’s experts in The Woodlands, Port Neches and Dayton, in the USA, Ankleshwar in India, and Botany in Australia provide more than 50 tons of sanitisers to government and public sectors throughout the USA. The company also expects to apply the same process to manufacture sanitisers at its international sites in order to help relieve the global shortage of essential supplies. Mr. Dilip Kumar Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer of the PET and Feedstock Business at Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, said, “In this moment, every sector wants to help battle the Covid-19 outbreak together. At IVL, apart from other forms of social contribution, our experts have collaborated to develop products with an aim to help relieve the stress of this pandemic. With our specialised knowhow, IVL facilities across the world are now developing their business to be able to produce hygiene necessities where possible. We aim to do our best and will explore what more we can do. We believe that a joint effort is needed to lead our society to overcome this crisis soon.” The Integrated Oxides and Derivative business (IOD) of IVL is a leading producer of surfactants used to manufacture home and personal care and agrochemical products, globally serving major brands. This enables the company to address a wider range of needs at this critical time. (April 29, 2020)

Aptar

Aptar Beauty + Home, a leader in dispensing and packaging solutions for the global cosmetics industry, is mobilising its resources in the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. By moving promptly to reorganise its production priorities, Aptar was able to swiftly deliver essential supplies to customers as they began manufacturing health and safety products for first-line responders. So the company was able to respond to the urgent need for large quantities of essential items like pumps and closures for hand sanitisers. In response to the urgent need for protective masks, one of Aptar’s very own Product Design Engineers, based in Illinois, is making a difference in his community by personally 3D printing face shields and ear guards for local hospitals and fire departments. In addition, Aptar’s various European operations donated much-needed supplies in response to specific regional needs. (April 28, 2020)

Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV) Pagev and Ministry of Education launch the “Spoonful of Hope” campaign to fight Coronavirus

The Ministry of Education and Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV) launch an important initiative to fight against coronavirus. The Pagev Gebze Vocational and Technical High School began production of disposable cutlery for distribution to quarantine centers, hospitals and nursing homes. Volunteer teachers and trainers of Pagev Vocational Schools will produce approximately a million disposable cutlery sets per month.   

Kocaeli Directorate of Education Branch Director Şeref Yüksel Bölükbaşoğlu and Gebze Director of Education Şener Doğan joined the volunteer teachers and trainers of Pagev Schoolsto kick off disposable plastic production on Monday, April 6, 2020. Pagev Corporate Communication Director Cesur Çaça and Pagev Plastics School Principal Muhammet Erbaş hosted the important event. Speaking on the measures against Covid-19 in the province of Kocaeli, Directorate of Education Branch Director Şeref Yüksel Bölükbaşoğlu said: “We produced 165 tons of disinfectant and 800 liters of cologne in the İzmit Vocational Schools. We are making disposable masks, protective clothing, and gurney sheets in the Civic Education Centers of Gölcük, Kandıra, Kartepe and Körfez. We cooperated with the Provincial Pandemic Directorate to distribute the produced equipment to medical centers, front-line workers and law enforcement officers. Most recently, we have partnered with the Pagev Plastics schools to produce disposable cutlery and distribute these to quarantine zones, hospitals and student dormitories.” Watch campaign video (April 27, 2020)

Engel  Face masks in record time

Together with business partner Haidlmair, Engel is committed to improving the supply of face masks worldwide. In record time, mould maker Haidlmair developed and implemented a new mould solution for the production of reusable masks, which is now being used by plastics processing companies worldwide. Engel is delivering injection moulding machines geared for this, also in record time.

The two-piece reusable masks, which are injection-moulded from TPE, provide protection for the mouth and nose for use in daily life and in certain work situations, for example in the construction industry. The masks can be cleaned and disinfected and different filter materials can be inserted. In countries that have exempted face masks from medical device legislation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these masks can be produced and marketed by companies from a wide range of industries. “This solution allows us to help companies change their production at short notice in order to actively participate in the fight against the further spread of Covid-19”, says Dr Christoph Steger, CSO of Engel.

Engel offers injection moulding machines specifically tailored to Haidlmair’s mould solution. An Engel victory 330/80 for the single-cavity version, an Engel e-victory 740/160 for the two-cavity version and an Engel duo 1560/350 for the four-cavity mould. The Engel plants are giving highest priority to producing the machines ordered for Haidlmair’s face mask moulds. Engel’s decentralised machine production ensures the shortest possible lead times worldwide. Engel and Haidlmair have been development partners for many years. “We are a well-coordinated team,” says Steger. “And our customers are now benefitting from this, especially in these particularly challenging times.” (April 24, 2020)

EuPC How plastic products contribute to the fight against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is deeply disrupting not only the European economy but the entire society. The social and economic impacts caused by it require immediate actions and will have medium and long-term consequences. Plastic products which protect are crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis in Europe. Medical devices and personal protection equipment are being produced with all available capacities, and are only the most obvious examples of how plastic products help to fight the pandemic. A closer look reveals that many more applications are making important contributions to the functioning of our society and economy in this crisis. From anti-bacterial vinyl flooring in hospitals to cleaning equipment and packaging for soaps, disinfectants, and food, plastics are needed to help to fight the pandemic. Especially plastic packaging is extremely important to secure the functioning of our supply chains for food and other essential goods that could have been broken up during this crisis. In additional efforts, companies not previously involved in the manufacture of personal protection equipment or medical devices are changing their production lines to provide these much-needed goods.

The plastics converting industry composed of 50.000 SMEs, like all other industries, is currently working with all its strength to mitigate the effects of this unprecedented crisis. Industry and authorities need to direct their full attention to the management of the crisis and put on hold all inessential activities to concentrate on the health and safety of the European citizens in the next 12 months and rebuild what needs to be rebuild after the crisis.

“This is also the reason why EuPC, in a recently published open letter sent to the European Commission, advocated that the implementation of the Single-Use Plastics Directive as well as any non-essential regulatory initiatives in the Member States should be put on hold until the situation in Europe has normalised. The industry now needs this stability to be able to continue all its efforts to fight the pandemic and avoid bankruptcies and job losses.” Explains EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis, who was interviewed on the 14th of April by international TV stations. Watch his full interview here.

The plastics converting industry in Europe will continue its transition to a circular economy that has been institutionalised in the Circular Plastics Alliance. Nevertheless some flexibility in achieving some deadlines by 2025 need to be considered during this COVID-19 crisis. (April 23, 2020)

Dilmoor Group

A great gesture of generosity has recently driven the Dilmoor Group, leader in the bottling and distribution of spirits, wines and drinks, to use its own plants in Pedrengo (in the district of Bergamo) for producing more than 12,000 bottles of alcohol solution for hand hygiene to give to the hospitals in Bergamo that are involved in the fight against Coronavirus. The Group that is made up of the companies Dilmoor, Perlino and Celebrity, with production plants and warehouses in Pedrengo and Asti, has used the alcohol that is normally employed for the production of spirits and liquors, mixing and bottling plants and its own expertise to produce sanitiser, following the indications given by the World Health Organization.
With the spread of Coronavirus, that has affected heavily the district of Bergamo, the desire to give tangible help gave birth to this idea. The bottles of ready-to-use sanitiser have a particular shape, that recalls those of the liquor bottles and the label carries the slogan in the local dialect: «Bergamo #MolaMia» (Bergamo, don’t give up!).

Dilmoor is a customer of SMI Group that has installed in its production facilities latest generation bottling plants characterised by high operational flexibility and extreme ease of control. (April 22,2020)

KraussMaffei

On Monday, 20 April 2020, the corona-related closures of the KraussMaffei German sites ended. As the company announced, work will be resumed step by step and in compliance with the strictest hygiene measures. Among other things, all employees will be given face masks and they will be required to maintain a minimum distance of two meters between them. During the site closures, production, assembly and delivery of the completed machines were discontinued. Delays in delivery are therefore going to be a likely result. If there will be delays, detailed information on the individual status of any project and machine will be provided by the responsible sales representative or project manager in the next few days. Due to the legal exit and travel limitations, there may still be restrictions on KraussMaffei’s part, especially with regard to assembly and commissioning. The deployment of the technicians must be arranged individually. They usually work and travel alone while they minimise contacts and take all necessary hygiene measures into account.

Näfels however remained in operation: production continued in compliance with maximum safety precautions in accordance with the requirements of the Swiss health authorities. (April 21, 2020)

Indorama Ventures Brazil

Indorama Ventures Polimeros S.A., a leading PET producer in Ipojuca, Brazil, has continuously been working with organisations in surrounding areas, especially with three main entities in Pernambuco State – Lar do Amanha, Creche California and Gaibu Old Fishermen Association. The first two are child care entities while the third was created to support retired fishermen and their families.

With the outbreak of Covid-19, these organisations have been affected by the limited availability of resources and requirements for social distancing. The child care locations have been closed down and markets where the fishermen sell their produce are closed. For three months (April – June) Indorama Ventures Polimeros S.A. will be donating 185 basic necessity boxes to each affected family, to ensure their health and well-being during this crisis period. We hope to be of help to our communities in difficult times with belief that everyone will be able to overcome this crisis together safely. (April 21, 2020)

EuPC European Plastics Converters

In an open letter sent to the European Commission, EuPC advocates for a postponement of the implementation of the Single-Use Plastics Directive in view of the current COVID-19 crisis in Europe. The EuPC justifies its request by stating that single-use plastics are not easily substitutable and offer unique advantages when it comes to ensuring hygiene, safety as well as preservation from contamination to protect consumers. The directive focused only on the littering aspect while hindering the Single Market and the free circulation of packaging and goods among European countries, says the letter. Therefore, EuPC is asking for a postponement of the deadline for the implementation of the SUP Directive for at least an additional year at national level and to lift all bans on some of the single-use plastics items. The implementation postponement would give all EU MS more time to focus on more urgent measures in the fight against COVID-19 by distributing also SUP in emergency situations. (April 17, 2020)

Retal – Donation of customised film for coronavirus masks

Retal donates customised film and expertise to the innovative Robotikos Mokykla to help create over 70,000 masks for healthcare professionals on the frontline of the coronavirus. Retal Baltic General Manager Vikorija Jureviciute responded to an online shout-out from the non-profit organisation, which provides technical education for children. “I saw an article where Robotikos described their need for films to create PPE masks for people in at-risk jobs during coronavirus in Lithuania. I knew we could help as we are film experts! I contacted them straight away to offer our films and design and production expertise. My team was so motivated to help, it has been a very positive experience.” Robotikos has coordinated volunteers for cutting the masks with lasers as well as to provide safe collection and delivery to the ambulance workers and medical staff that need them. Viktorija and her team’s quick response saw regular production of its PET and rPET films and preforms slightly delayed over one weekend while they tested various options to create the best possible film for the masks. Viktorija adds, “More people than ever before are needing to use PPE masks; not only those in hospitals but increasingly those in production of essential food and beverages too. Retal is delighted to be able to offer our skills and resources to this crucial protection of key workers, and I personally am grateful to Robotikos for managing this important project.” (April 15, 2020)

AmutA message from Mauro Drappo, CEO

“We are going through extraordinary times. Together we face an unprecedented challenge and shared concern over the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The coronavirus is massively affecting our lives, as well as the business in many regions around the world. First and foremost our hearts are with anyone whom has been impacted by the virus both directly and indirectly. Our thoughts are especially with those who are sick, to whom we extend our heartfelt wishes for a full recovery. Our appreciation goes out to all people who are helping and especially health care professionals who are tirelessly working to support those affected during these uncertain times. In this difficult period Amut Group is committed to the health and safety of our employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders and at the same time prioritising business continuity. We have implemented all the measures established by the Ministerial Decrees on health and safety, minimised the number of employees at our premises and activated the remote working, while guaranteeing operations at our manufacturing facility, in full respect of the rules set by the government. Only in few cases we are experiencing some delay due to inconveniences on sub-suppliers chain.  For us minimise business disruptions or impacts to your business, is of utmost importance. We would like to make you aware that we continue to deliver our custom-engineered solutions, to fulfill all your specific requirements. We aim to offer you the same level of quality and support that you expect from Amut. In these unique times, you can rely on us, as we are at your side to support your business and we keep on working closely under one mission : to serve our valued clients around the world. On behalf of Amut Group I would extend a warm thank you for your trust and loyalty.” (April 14, 2020)

Sepro GroupA message from Xavier Lucas, Chief Sales Officer

The unprecedented health crisis that the whole world is going through has altered daily life for everyone.  During this complicated period, Sepro Group remains committed to serving it customers, while working closely with our partners and suppliers. Sepro’s main priority is the health of its employees, customers and partners, in compliance with measures taken by the health authorities. Nevertheless, Sepro Group employees are continuing to work as best they can under the circumstances. Our factory is still open and we have taken health and safety measures to ensure that manufacturing can continue, especially to support the needs of essential industries like medical, food, transport, etc.More than ever, Sepro Group is adapting to the constraints inherent in the situation. Customers are asked to keep us informed about any measures your company has taken that could impact the delivery of robots, spare parts or the intervention by our service team. Any delivery or other intervention will be subject to prior confirmation of customers and carriers. (April 08, 2020)

GEA – Risk-free expert assistance with GEA Remote Support

With the outbreak of Covid-19, organisations are faced with travel restrictions and quarantine challenges, required to reduce direct contact between employees and service providers. To enable immediate GEA expert assistance for customers during the corona crisis without putting people’s lives at risk, GEA now offers a special remote support solution that is easy-to-set-up.

Secure real-time video communication with GEA experts

GEA Remote Support is a service that provides real-time streaming with GEA experts. From their own location in production, customers can use a commercially available mobile device to connect and communicate in real-time with a GEA expert to resolve their issue. With just two elements, a mobile device and internet access, customers can initiate a session by receiving a short email or SMS containing a secure link, followed by a video conversation, with the option to share high-resolution imagery back and forth, send descriptions and instructions via the chat function or take and share notes during the conversation. All of this is possible without the customer having to install a new application.

Extended real-time communication via GEA Remote Eye Wear

The remote support solution is based on existing GEA Remote Eye Wear technology, offering customers further possibilities for machine maintenance. The specially designed glasses, which include an integrated high-resolution camera and reliable microphone, allows for hands-free remote support, offering several bidirectional functions. By projecting images onto the GEA Remote Eye Wear screen, repairs, process optimizations or inspections can be carried out immediately. GEA Remote Eye Wear is currently available as part of the GEA Service Level Agreement (SLA), however, customers will be able to purchase a stand-alone unit as part of a premium service package in the near future. (April 08, 2020)

Sidel – providing local healthcare players in France with bottles for hydro-alcoholic gel

In the fight against COVID-19, Sidel have transformed their international centre of excellence for PET packaging development and blowing solutions in France into a production centre and launched an exceptional production of bottles for hydro-alcoholic gel. A first batch of 5,000 PET plastic bottles for the disinfectant has already been provided to the Hospital of Dijon and an additional one has been distributed for Le Havre town’s pharmacies and hospitals. In France, just like anywhere else at the moment, there is a high demand for hydro-alcoholic gel for sanitisation. Therefore, the French government issued a general plea for assistance as regards the production of the currently scarcely available product. Several industries as well as hospitals have responded to the call and are producing the gel. However, healthcare players are facing difficulties to distribute it to their employees as the gel is being produced in big size containers. “With collaborative skills and agile and creative work, our engaged employees were able to transform our centre of excellence into a small production centre in only two days,” says Vincent Le Guen, Vice President Packaging at Sidel. A first request was received from the Hospital of Dijon in the middle of March asking to provide small size containers in order to package the hydro-alcoholic gel. The company responded quickly and found the right raw materials and cooperation partners to produce the bottles – these are made from an existing Sidel’s 500ml mould and the preforms were provided by a key beverage player while the sport caps were supplied by a cap manufacturer. The sport closure allows controlling the gel flow and keeping it safe. Within one week, the first 5,000 PET bottles have already been sent to the Hospital of Dijon. In the meantime, other similar initiatives have started. “We got in contact with a local deputy in Normandy and discussed how Sidel could support local health players in these challenging times. The deputy informed us that also pharmacies are facing difficulties in gel distribution, therefore, in addition to the 500 ml bottle for hospitals, we quickly designed a smaller – 200 ml – bottle format, which is more user-friendly for individual use to be distributed in the local pharmacies. In total, more than 1,000 bottles were delivered to the local pharmacies on 1st of April, all 100% recyclable and potentially refillable after sterilisation,” continues Vincent. (April 07, 2020)

Side

Given these extraordinary circumstances and in order to help contain COVID-19, SIDE will be implementing a series of health and safety protocols to minimise any risk of spreading the disease among our employees and partners by following the recommendations issued by the Spanish Ministry of Health. “We are monitoring the situation and wish to avoid any negative impact to our business. We have launched various action plans aimed at serving and responding to our customers, as well as any new situations that may arise. The goals are to guarantee the continuity of our business and to safeguard the health and safety of all our employees:

  • We are stressing the importance of pertinent hygiene recommendations.
  • We are limiting staff gatherings, implementing changes to timetables and routines.As a result, output from our Machinery Division is officially operating from 07:00 to 15:00 until further notice. Output from the Automatic Division has been doubled, from 06:00 to 14:00 and from 14:00 to 22:00.
  • Sections of our workforce – sales, after-sales and technical assistance – are currently working from home.
  • All projects are on track, on schedule and under constant supervision.
  • In terms of materials, none of our suppliers have announced delivery delays due to COVID-19 at this time.
  • On-site technical work has been completely replaced with remote assistance via the teleservice offered by our Customer Services team, which is fully operational.”

The company points out that all communication should take place via the usual channels, both telephone and e-mail. (April 06, 2020)

E-proPlast PET bottle manufacturer supplies local pharmacies free of charge

Because of the current corona crisis, the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Germany, has included E-proPlast GmbH, based in Schmalkalden, in the list of systemically important companies. The plastics processor specialising in the development and production of bottles and containers made of PET is thus intensively involved in efforts to satisfy the demand for bottles for filling disinfectants and liquid soaps, which has risen sharply since the end of February this year. Accordingly, production is running at full speed despite the fact that in some cases supplies from upstream suppliers of closures as well as spray attachments and spray guns are faltering. At least for the near future, the production capacity has been converted from a three-shift to a four-shift system, so that production takes place around the clock, seven days a week. The increased personnel requirements are covered in the short term by temporary workers and student assistants.The fact that many pharmacies currently mix disinfectants themselves increases the number of customers. For reasons of solidarity, E-proPlast has decided to supply at least pharmacies in the vicinity of Schmalkalden with bottles and closures free of charge within the bounds of possibility.

The management of E-proPlast GmbH takes into account its special responsibility as a caring employer in times of pandemic. A crisis team formed in mid-March from the managing directors Modesto M. Pesavento and Rüdiger Löhl and other members of the management team has since initiated a whole series of important measures. For example, the technical possibilities for video conferencing were expanded and some employees were sent to home offices. Moreover, the company, which has been promoting the use of recycled PET in the production of its containers for some time now, is taking the current situation as an opportunity to encourage an objectification of the plastics and environmental discussion. The crisis is impressive proof of the importance of plastic packaging, which has been repeatedly criticised in recent times. (April 03, 2020)

SMI

“In this period, characterised by restrictions on freedom of movement of people, related to the need to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus, distance communication becomes an even more important factor to maintain relationships with our customers.” SMI, that is compliant with the new regulations issued by the Italian government, is continuing to work in order to ensure a constant technical and sales support, since it carries out an essential activity for the good functioning of the food supply chain. “We miss interpersonal relationships with our partners, but geographical distance can be easily overcome with a series of communication tools based on telephone, email, videoconferencing and augmented reality. SMI states that in each company this period can be effectively used to plan activities and initiatives for preparing in the best possible way the return to the full operation, when new market needs and dynamics will impose great changes. “Today we would like to share with you a video about one of the many packaging solutions that SMI can offer to its current and future customers. We are referring to an interesting application for the secondary packaging with a DV 500 S divider for channelling 200 ml juice briks on more rows, towards an LSK 40 T ERGON shrink wrapper for the packaging in high tray + film, in 8×3 format.” (April 02, 2020)

VDMA India (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association)

Rajesh Nath, Managing Director: “India is one of the most populous countries in the world which means that, in health terms, it is almost inevitable that the virus will spread. The country’s population is relatively young which could buck the trend. However, general healthcare provision is inadequate across India and the number of people with pre-existing conditions may be a sign of increased mortality rates due to the virus. The trouble is that even the experts are divided on this. The main danger to the economy is a rise in the number of unemployed in a country that is not particularly affluent.
We offer support by providing our VDMA members with the latest news on political developments and individual business sectors, both from India and Germany. Furthermore, the VDMA, as it has done previously but particularly so now, offers special added value for its members through its close networking activities with political decision-makers and in individual sectors. It is important, especially during such times of separation and isolation, to have a central point of contact acting as a conduit for providing members with a flow of valuable information despite current working difficulties.” (April 01, 2020)

Caps & Closures

In Australia, new restrictions on non-essential economic services were implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19. Caps & Closures is part of essential services because their products are linked to “essential goods” of food, medical, agrochemical, cleaning and health. The company is able to operate and continue production for their customers on this basis. “We confirm that work health and safety at Caps & Closures is under effective control and production is proceeding as per usual. A risk mitigation plan is in place to ensure business continuity and we assure you of our commitment to act in order to mitigate those risks.” Daily checks and controls are carried out for greater worker safety, in full compliance with the measures imposed by Federal and Victorian requirements. The company has adopted the required protocols to limit the spread of Covid -19 in the workplace. “As for transport, we are experiencing the same excellent service as always from logistics providers, with no significant issues. However, please be aware that logistic providers are now experiencing some difficulties in scheduling shipments, and future deliveries may be subject to delays compared to our normal lead times. We, therefore, ask for your assistance and support to organise timely delivery of your most critical shipments. We will keep you constantly updated regarding your shipments should delays occur. Our team will inform you promptly when the situation changes, discuss strategies to ensure your supply chain needs are accommodated and adapt our capacity to your changing requirements.” (April 01, 2020)

Bottle BillCOVID-19 Impact on Deposit Redemption: U.S. & Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has led most U.S. deposit states and some Canadian provinces  to temporarily halt enforcement actions on retailers who suspend bottle & can redemption activities for the duration of the outbreak. Generally speaking, these announcements do not affect redemption centers, who are free to close their doors in the interests of safety if they so choose. Announcements for selected U.S. Deposit States: 

NeedMask – You Need or Produce protective masks?

In recent days the request for medical masks and protective wear across Europe has risen due to the spread of COVID-19. RWTH Aachen wants to help providing a connection between NEED and SUPPLY of protective wear, especially face masks. That is why ITA reacts to the lack of protective masks and has created the “NeedMask” platform. A non-profit registry for sourcing protective masks in Europe. The aim is to connect those producing masks to those needing them. “We are still looking for support from IT partners who want to scale-up the operation of the platform.” Please contact Dr David Schmelzeisen, david.schmelzeisen@ita.rwth-aachen.de. “Let us fight against the virus together and protect and support each other!” Register yourself at www.need-mask.com and receive or provide help! (March 30, 2020)

Alps Inspection

Alps Inspection are paying close attention to the news regarding COVID-19.  As the United States government is taking increasingly stringent measures to protect its citizens and to stem the spread of the virus, Alps is taking all the necessary actions to ensure the safety not only of their employees, but also of their suppliers, partners, and customers and is adopting additional safety precautions beyond the governmental mandates. Alps customers are, as usual, welcome to visit the facility but may be asked to answer questions regarding health and recent travels. The company announces that to date, they have not experienced interruptions in the supply chain or the production scheduleso that operations can be continued as normal and technical support can be provided. (March 26, 2020)

Nestlé

Nestlé steps up global response to COVID-19 pandemic, joins forces with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

At Nestlé, we care deeply for people and for the communities in which we operate, and we have an essential role to play during the COVID-19 crisis. Food and beverages help keep people healthy and enhance their quality of life. We care about our responsibility to provide good nutrition, especially for the most vulnerable in society – children, the elderly and those struggling with illness. We would like to assure our customers and consumers that we will continue to produce and deliver products to meet global demand. Our people are fully committed and are working tirelessly to ensure that supply is maintained. We are working very hard to keep them healthy and safe. In recent weeks, we have implemented enhanced safety measures at all our sites, with particular focus on our frontline workers in Nestlé factories, quality labs and distribution centers. Also, where needed, we are offering free meals and transport for staff to help reduce the risk they fall ill. In addition, we have put in place generous sick leave arrangements for those who contract the virus and will provide cash loans or advances for those in financial distress. All hourly and salaried staff affected by temporary stoppages will be paid in full for a minimum of twelve weeks. Since the very beginning of this crisis, our people have led substantial local relief efforts in the communities around the globe where we operate. We have provided support to charities, medical institutions and other organisations in the frontline of the fight against this pandemic. We have worked very closely with physicians to develop new tailored COVID-19 medical nutrition and supplement treatment protocols. We have also donated to food banks and food delivery organizations to support people in need. And we are providing prompt and pragmatic support to our business partners, for example in our supply chains, who are affected by this crisis. Our efforts are continuing – and stepping up – around the world.

Partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Building on these humanitarian efforts, we announced today that we are joining forces with the IFRC in response to its emergency appeal. The IFRC is a strong and trusted global partner of Nestlé, with unmatched presence and expertise in providing first aid, emergency response and epidemic control. The Red Cross and Nestlé were both established over a century ago. As part of the emergency response, the IFRC is providing immediate help to strengthen health care systems, where the need is greatest. Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, said: “Now is the time to demonstrate the values of the Nestlé family. I am deeply impressed and humbled by what our team has accomplished in order to support individuals and communities affected by this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global problem and consequently we are offering help on the ground everywhere, drawing on our extensive presence and experience in 187 countries. In addition, we give our full support to those who are fighting tirelessly against the spread of the virus, every day. This is where our trusted and longstanding partnership with the IFRC comes in. We applaud the relentless efforts of the millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and admire their determination to make a difference on the ground.” (March 26, 2020)

Loop Industries

Loop announces temporary reduction of activities due to COVID-19.

Loop Industries, Inc (Nasdaq: LOOP) announced its measures to comply with the order of the Quebec provincial government to minimise all non-priority services and activities until April 13, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order provides exemptions that allow businesses that provide non-priority services to maintain minimal operations to ensure the resumption of their activities, bearing in mind the directives issued by public health authorities. Consequently, the company will maintain reduced operations at the pilot plant and protect its investment in its assets, which are utilized for the continuing development of its depolymerization technology for the production of sustainable PET plastic. The company’s main focus during the time frame of the government order will be to continue working with its joint venture partner, Indorama Ventures Limited, to oversee the engineering for the Spartanburg joint venture facility and pursue its plans for the commercialisation of its technology. The company has made arrangements for employees to work remotely to support these engineering activities. The government order is not expected to impact the company’s ability to work to advance this project. The company will provide an update on the status and timing of the commissioning of the Spartanburg facility when it reports its fourth quarter and full year results in its 10-K in early May. The company continues to be in a good liquidity position, with approximately $30 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand. (March 25, 2020)

R&D/Leverage

How may we help you and your company during COVID-19 crisis?

Dear valued customer, Shipping complications are cascading throughout the plastics industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic…. As manufacturers are scrambling to find domestic capacity, R&D/Leverage MAY be able to help you!

How can we help you right now?

  •  If you need help with products and packaging for use in protecting the health of the public – specifically rigid plastics we can help.
  •  If you need tooling for bottles that are used for hand sanitizer or disinfectants- we can help.
  • If you have injection moulded products that are being impeded by this crisis – we may be able to help.

Here is our promise to you. This is not a sales gimmick or a way to profit from the crisis – but instead a commitment to our valued customers – that we are here to help! We promise to give these projects the highest priority through our engineering and manufacturing processes. Speed to market means saved lives, and we are here to do everything possible to protect our friends and families. Let the expertise of the R&D/Leverage Team help curb the shortages that put everyone at risk. If you have an immediate need or question – PLEASE – contact your sales representative – or email us at info@rdleverage.com. (March 23, 2020)

Nicola Schinelli, General Manager, P.E. Labellers SPA

In this social and health situation of great concern, it is our duty to give you an update on all the security measures that we have been activated, both to protect company resources as much as possible and to guarantee the correct and continuous development of operating activities. The preventive safety measures that the company has decided to undertake go beyond what is currently required by the Ministry of Health, placing the health and interests of its employees, partners and customers as a priority. For internal and external people at we have set up a screening procedure every morning on anyone who enters the company facilities, and which checks the temperature and cleansing the hands. We are equipped with internal rules to be followed with the utmost respect (of security importance, prohibition of contact, use of masks and wipes, etc.), we have installed liquid disinfectant dispensers inside and outside the PE facilities, and have created various canteen shifts, and the smartworking procedure has been activated for some divisions and departments. All of this, to guarantee the maximum protection and efficiency possible. To date, we would like to underline that no employee of the company, nor of any subsidiary company, has contracted the virus or has shown to be positive in the tests. We guarantee the safety of goods coming from the headquarters of the PE group: since the first signs of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have not overlooked any checks. Our production chain is fully traceable, certified and largely verticalised. All the company’s production sites, including the Italian subsidiaries, are open and in full operation: each of them continues to guarantee every usual sales and after-sales service, while paying the utmost attention to the safety standards given. We remain at your disposal for any information you need. (March 11, 2020)

 

Otto Hofstetter
How has the coronavirus affected your business?

“Instead of few weeks down for Chinese New Year, the business is slowing down for almost 6 to 8 weeks. Our subsidiary has been back to work in full operation. For some customer visits Mainland China (Service requests) travel is complicated and time-consuming to get permission from the companies and authorities involved. Service interventions abroad (like Japan/South Korea/SEA) aren’t possible at this time with our local Service team, based in Shenzhen.” (March 2020)

Sacmi Imola
How has the coronavirus affected your business?

“Sacmi is an international company. For this reason we have, since the earliest stages of the emergency, taken all necessary precautions to safeguard the health of our staff and the communities concerned. The Covid-19 emergency will, naturally, have an impact on our economies and, therefore, on business relations between our countries, which are, at this time, severely restricted. That said, we’re highly confident that the measures put in place by the national authorities can achieve the desired goal and open the way towards a new phase of development.” (March 2020)

CHT Group
How has the coronavirus affected your business?

“It recently started to affect our business as customer visits and exhibitions were cancelled, lead times especially in Asia needed to be adjusted and internally precautions were done. Especially in China many companies have not yet started after Chinese New Year holidays and bottle sources have plummeted. The falling crude oil price is resulting in a bigger gap between the recycled PET and virgin PET, which has another negative influence on the recyclers in Asia.” (March 2020)

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