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Rocheleau and Nordson ramp up production to support massive buildup of COVID-Test

November 25/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) --Rocheleau Tool & Die Co. has ordered dozens of Nordson Corporation’s Xaloy screws and barrels to equip blow molding machines for use by manufacturers of pipettes that are essential components of COVID-19 test procedures, said the company.

International suppliers of products for medical testing have invested heavily to expand production of plastic laboratory consumables to meet global demand for COVID-19 testing. For the manufacture of LDPE pipettes, Rocheleau has encountered a massive demand for its blow molding systems. Rocheleau is equipping this machinery with Xaloy® components from Nordson, including bimetallic barrels with X-800 linings and Fusion™ barrier screws.

The Xaloy Fusion screw was specified for the project because of its ability to maintain a consistently low melt temperature while producing high output  rates, noted Rob Cook, Nordson manager of processor sales in the Americas. “While regrind based on blow molding trim is more sensitive to process variables than virgin resin, the Fusion screw ensures a uniform melt,” said Mr. Cook. “The low melt temperature permits shorter cooling times and more parts per minute, and it supports pipette manufacturers’ use of heat-sensitive additives for certain products without the need to change the equipment setup."

The X-800® lining for the Xaloy barrels is a nickel-based alloy with tungsten carbide that provides a longer working life than alternative carbide inlays.

Rocheleau’s drive to meet urgent demand for pipettes exemplifies the important role that plastics have played in combating COVID-19, said Mr. Rocheleau. “As a family-owned business, we are grateful for the opportunity to make an impact on the pandemic by addressing an urgent, global demand for pipettes. It has been very encouraging for our employees to make this happen, knowing that they have made a contribution to the fight."

Xaloy screws and barrels are basic components for the extrusion and molding of medical products, personal protection equipment, and packaging used for combating COVID-19, noted Seeni Congivaram, director of sales and marketing for Xaloy® products. “Today, tubing and connectors, blood bags, procedure kits, and other medical devices are playing critical roles in addressing the surge of hospital cases caused by the pandemic. Film and sheet products have been essential for preventing the spread of coronavirus infection. And packaging containers have made it possible for millions of people in lockdown to get fresh food and hot meals."

As MRC informed earlier, crude oil prices settled at multimonth highs Nov. 23 as demand outlooks improved amid reports of progress on a third COVID-19 vaccine. NYMEX January WTI settled 64 cents higher at USD43.06/b, and ICE January Brent was up USD1.10 at USD46.06/b.

As MRC informed previously, global oil demand may have already peaked, according to BP's latest long-term energy outlook, as the COVID-19 pandemic kicks the world economy onto a weaker growth trajectory and accelerates the shift to cleaner fuels.

Earlier this year, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.

And in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:PP, PE, medical supplies, Medicine, medical equipment, COVID-19.
Category:General News
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