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Learning to Love the Lab.

* Your colleagues in the long white lab coats are becoming Most Valuable Players on your manufacturing team. Quality assurance is an ever-growing responsibility for plastics processors as customers outsource more and more components and assemblies, and as quality standards like ISO 9000 or QS 9000 become the norm. Likewise, the ability to evaluate new materials--or develop your own--plays an increasing role in your competitive strategy. So where would you be without a well-equipped laboratory?

More and more of you are evidently asking yourselves that question. Suppliers of testing instruments see rising interest in more sophisticated lab equipment. And the Plastics Institute of America (PIA) in Lowell, Mass., found the same thing in a recent survey of 250 leading processors and resin suppliers. Recipients were asked to express their level of interest in numerous categories of materials, equipment, tooling, and processing technologies as they related to their near-term plans for development and commercialization. The 60 respondents came back with a striking result: They ranked "Characterization & Testing" well ahead of any other category in level of importance.

Even before I saw the results of the PIA survey, we at PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY had formulated editorial plans for a series of feature articles on "Outfitting Your Lab" to appear next year. So far, we have lined up stories on guidelines for equipping or upgrading a laboratory in a processing plant, as well as on selecting the most popular types of testing equipment: melt indexers and rheometers, impact testers, and tensile/compression testers. If you have topics you would like to see covered, please send me a fax at (212) 592-6579 or e-mail
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Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 1999
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