Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Look at Semicon West 2013

This month I attended the Semicon West show in San Franciso, California.  Semicon is the largest industry trade show for the Computer Chip market and all who service it.

Against a backdrop of declining Personal Computer sales and a flat year in the equipment that makes the chips for the PC’s, I was eager to see if this was going to be a good show.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the industry is not so much contracting as it is instead getting ready for the next “big thing” and there were a few I’d like to highlight here.

The “Internet of Things” Emerges at Semicon West This Year

An interesting concept floating around at Semicon West this year was the emerging “Internet of Things”.  Steve Wigley, VP of Marketing at LTX-Credence, presented in a session where he discussed this topic in some detail.  In a nutshell, more and more things are connecting to the internet!  Many of these “things” communicate thru Radio Frequency (RF) and as items become RF enabled they are void of the need for wires to pass the data around. So look for fewer wires and more devices around your home and office!


Yes, I’d like one trillion sensors please.

One Trillion Sensors!
The term “Trillion Sensors” was also knocked around throughout Semicon West. The term highlights the number of sensors needed to collect the data that is estimated will be computed in our world soon.
Tech giant companies including the likes of Intel are talking about putting as many as 20 billion connected devices into use in the next 5 years.  The number of chips to handle this would be huge, but the number of sensors generating the data is downright mind-boggling. From the perspective of what I do, I can certainly see that these technologies will in crease the need and use of lightweight materials such as DuPont™ Vespel®, and Quadrant Engineering’s PEEK which are currently staples in chip production equipment.

One good example of this emerging technology is your vehicle. Today your car talks to you and tells you when it’s time for a lube job, oil change, or tire rotation.  The next generation of vehicles will have additional sensors that will determine if things like the alignment of your wheels is correct and, if adjustment is needed, the sensor will handle it directly with the factory. It made me think about how technology is changing the face of customer service as well.

Connecting Us for Better Health Care?

Semicon also featured displays showing how circuits can be printed right onto our skin. These breakthroughs in technology show how circuits on skin can hold a variety of possibilities, from monitoring the bodily functions of patients without the use of so many chords and connections to machines, to immediately reporting changes in a patient that may be helpful in a recovery room setting where seconds can make a big difference in survival.

Driving much of this development will be the new “sensors” (see photo on right) designed to gather data.  Each sensor will run through a processor which will take the information and that, in turn, will drive an action like sounding an alarm at the nurse’s station for example.

Semicon West Speaker Looks at Dollars and Market Value. The Message – Mobile Devices Rule!

I have heard it said that mobile devices are now used more often to access the web than traditional computers and Semicon West offered proof of that this time around. In fact, I think I read it in an article I saw on my iPad. A speaker at Semicon noted a new milestone that occurred the week of the convention when the dollar value of semiconductor revenue from mobile devices surpassed the revenue from traditional PC and Notebook computers. So, I it certainly appears the trend toward smaller and more powerful technology will  continue its evolution in coming years and I expect we will see much more of that at next year’s Semicon West.

If you are looking at your calendar for next year. I say be sure to put Semicon West 2014 on it folks. From what I saw at Semicon 2013, the 2014 show will be the dawn of even more new and amazing technology. Attendees will never be thinking “Oh its the same old thing at Semicon West.” On the plastics front, look for more lightweight materials like Semitron MP370 to become popular in the all important test sockets which ensure chips are as perfect as possible. If you haven’t heard of Semitron MP370 yet, check out the overview on our website by clicking here

I for one am already looking forward to seeing what’s in store for next year at Semicon West 2014. Of course I’ll be on the lookout for how plastics are being utilized in this field and I’m sure there will be a good showing of that I won’t want to miss learning about. Will I see you there? If you’d like to learn more about Semicon West, keep tabs on the news for 2014 by visiting their website

Paul Hanson

Sales and Marketing Manager, DuPont™ Vespel®
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division
Phone: 770.362.9712


AIN Plastics “Get Framed” Event


The Gabarron Center for the Arts in Manhattan was the site for the AIN Plastics “Get Framed” event.

Gabarron Carriage House Center for the Arts in Manhattan is not the place you might typically think of to go to when you want to find out about plastics, but on June 6, 2013 this Manhattan Art Gallery hosted the unveiling of a very special piece of acrylic at the AIN Plastics “Get Framed Event.”
Evonik ACRYLITE® OP3 with UV protection in a 101 x 150 inch 1/4 inch thick sheet is the largest UV sheet manufactured in the U.S. and it is the perfect material for large pieces of art or items in need of preservation and display. The AIN team has fondly named it “The Monster Sheet.” John Colleluori, Branch Manager for AIN Plastics Yonkers stated this ACRYLITE® material is available exclusively from AIN Plastics, and it is so special that we felt it deserved a true New York Gallery unveiling. AIN Plastics will stock these sheets for easy delivery to museums, galleries and preservation specialists. AIN Plastics President, John Shepherd noted, “Our unique product offering combined with the high service requirements of this industry makes it an attractive and profitable market for AIN’s distribution model.”
Over 80 people from the New York gallery, framing, and museum industry gathered at Gabarron Carriage House Center for the Arts and enjoyed an evening of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Evonik brought in key specialists and provided educational demonstrations for guests. Werner Mashig, Evonik Product Manager for Lighting demonstrated ACRYLITE® LED material, an innovative way to illuminate art and photos with the use of ACRYLITE® LED. Using a simple channel frame with a single strip of LEDs placed at the edge of ACRYLITE® LED, images measuring up to 39″ can be uniformly illuminated. Evonik’s Bud Frega – was demonstrating the advantages of ACRYLITE® Optical mar resistant acrylic which is also chemical resistant so it can be cleaned with common household cleaners such as Windex®. Also at his table was ACRYLITE® non-glare (P99) which minimizes glare and reflection at any angle and ACRYLITE® framing grade (FF3) which is our premier acrylic glazing product guaranteed to be defect free. Evonik Adhesive specialist Andy Baumler was on hand demonstrating ACRYLITE® UV filtering (OP3) to show how ACRYLITE® provides the highest protection against damaging UV light as compared to other UV acrylics. Using a blacklight and two identical photos, the non ACRYLITE® photo was brighter indicating saturation of harmful UV rays while the ACRYLITE® side remained dark, showing a higher level of UV protection. Andy also spoke about ACRIFIX® Specialty Bonding Agents including solvent and reactive cements. In addition he was speaking about ACRIFIX® AC1010 which is a specially formulated cleaner that eliminates static charge.
John Collelouri noted the entire “Get Framed Event” was a collaboration brought about by the strategic partnership between AIN Plastics and Evonik CYRO. “We could not have created such a fantastic and successful event without the support of the entire branch staff, our marketing department and without our strategic partners at Evonik CYRO.” Antoinette Spages, Laura Torsiello and Kanika Mohal helped with finding the venue and lining up the presenters while Lisa Anderson developed marketing materials and promoted the event on our social media. Carolyn Hayduk assisted with gifts for event attendees. The entire Yonkers team dedicated themselves to delivering personal invitations created in Evonik CYRO acrylic Blue P-95 just for the event.
The evening provided an excellent opportunity for building new and stronger relationships with customers by providing education and a first hand look at the materials in use as well as the opportunity to ask questions and talk with industry professionals. It also provided a great opportunity to build a stronger relationship with an already strong strategic partner, Evonik CYRO.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division


To learn more about all the ACRYLITE® materials available through AIN Plastics visit the Sheet Plastics section of our website. You can also talk to someone directly by calling 877.246.7700.

Plastics for Medical Device Applications, Where’s the Innovation?

I began working with Orthopedic medical device manufacturers in the late 90’s .  Back then we had the typical materials for the Orthopedic industry. Those included PPSU, PEI, PP, PE, POM-C and of course UHMW. The applications utilizing these materials were all pretty much the same: provisional trials for knees hips and shoulders, instrumentation handles, impactors, bearings and implants amongst other applications. In many industries we hear about new materials being developed on a regular basis, but in medical it almost seems time is standing still. Where’s the innovation for medical device applications?

Polymer Technologies for Medical Remain Virtually Unchanged

Not a lot has changed over the years on the Polymer side to really catapult plastics into a place up there with the Ti Eli’s and CoCr of their alloy counterparts.  Sure, we’ve seen a nice niche’ for Heat Stabilized Polypropylene used in Surgical Caddies and some filled materials primarily BaSO4 used in PPSU and PEI, so they are radio opaque and are visible under X-Ray. We’ve also seen some of the carbon fiber composites with a PAEK base adopted in a variety of roles from targeting guides to external fixation devices.

Let’s not forget about PEEK either, which has played a significant role in medical devices for the past 15 years.  Unfortunately the majority of the applications for that material are for implants.  Although there have been a variety of other applications using PEEK that are not of the implantable variety,  utilizing PEEK that is approved for 24 hour direct contact with the body has only begun to flourish over the last few years.  PEEK Classix which is approved for human implant up to 30 days has also seen a dramatic rise in popularity not only in Orthopedic, Spine and Trauma applications but dental applications as well.  But Implant Grade PEEK per ASTM  F2026 has really been the most popular of all of the medically approved PEEK variations with spinal cages being far and away the biggest reason for that.

The current state of medical plastics innovations leads to many questions. When is the next generation of FDA approved (Cl. VI/ ISO:10993) polymers going to debut? What will those breakthrough materials be?

Why has it been so long since we have seen innovations in polymer materials for medical use?
– Is it because of the fear of the liability risk?
– Is all the requisite testing that is involved in bringing that kind of innovative polymer to market holding up efforts?
– Have scientists not yet developed a material  that can compete in price and performance to a PEEK or PPSU?
– Will the next generation of polymer be a quantum leap supplanting current materials that have been mainstays in the market like a PPSU?
– Will it offer not only compressive and tensile strengths to compete with our alloy counterparts but the elastic modulus and lightweight performance that the market demands?  I for one, am hopeful that will be the case.

On Another Related Note, Let’s Talk About how the FDA may Be Impacting the Development of Materials for Medical Applications

In July/August of 2012 the FDA submitted new guidance for “Acceptance and Filing Reviews of Pre-Market Approval (PMA) Acceptance” for Medical Devices and in Dec 2012 / January2013 this new guidance was implemented.  With the new guidance the FDA has put greater emphasis on qualifying that all materials are safe and effective in the way they are used in the application. Plastics being a major component used in many surgical procedures are now required to be fully qualified where they may not have been in the past.   Some of the main concerns of plastics being used is not necessarily what the chemical composition or molecular chain is, but rather, what exactly is in them?  We know that PPSU is used in medical procedures and can have direct body contact of bone, blood and tissue .  The real question beyond that is what makes that material blue, brown or green?
– Are the compounds that turn that naturally amber PPSU blue,  safe and effective?
– Does that material meet the FDA requirements for percentages by weight and have those specific compounds and percentages been tested to show they are safe for the general public?
The onus of proving these things out  does not fall in the laps of the FDA it falls in the laps of the device manufacturers, the material suppliers, the shapes producers and the resin manufacturers.   The device market has good reason to be concerned as well.  They want to ensure they are putting out safe, reliable and effective products.  The last thing they need is a product recall or worse a class action lawsuit. We know that plastics provide many benefits including lighter weight, wear resistance, chemical resistance and more and as I see developments in other industries I look toward the future of new plastics for medical devices with great hope and I hope you will too.

Dave Piperi

Sales and Marketing Manager
Medical Materials
ThyssenKruppMaterials NA
AIN Plastics Division

To learn more about AIN Plastics and our materials for medical applications please visit our website or contact our Medical Technologies Group toll free: 877.770.6337.