Future Links February 8th

Here are our daily links with the most important news from the printing industry. Today they feature a 3D printed cast for the Super Bowl, Blackstone’s plans to acquire Norske Skog, strong growth in the packaging materials market, a step toward personalized newspapers in France, TetraPak’s expectation for it’s plant-based packages, a closer look at printed solar cells and new on the drupa blog: The Body Shop uses plastic packaging made from thin air.

3D printing helped an injured player get into the Super Bowl
In the NFC Championship Game, the Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis broke his arm in several places. Due to the injury, Davis was about to miss his best, and maybe only, chance to play in a Super Bowl. The 3D printing start-up WhiteClouds came to the rescue: On short notice, the company printed a customized brace designed specifically for Davis’s forearm. It’s strong enough to protect the arm and the long incision leftover from the surgery, yet soft enough to adhere to the NFL’s rules on casts and braces.
More at Inc.

Blackstone is considering the takeover of Norske Skog
U.S. private equity firm Blackstone is considering the takeover of Norway’s newsprint and magazine paper manufacturer Norske Skog. The European Commission announced that it was informed by the Blackstone Group L.P. of its intention to acquire indirect sole control of Norske Skog. This move is not entirely unexpected: In December, Blackstone’s GSO Capital Partners raised its stake in Norske Skog to become the biggest shareholder in the company.
More at EUWID Pulp and Paper

Packaging materials market to approach 1 trillion USD by 2020
According to a forecast by Smithers Pira called ‘The future of global packaging to 2020’, the global packaging market will undergo healthy year-on-year growth at 3.5 percent, reaching 998 million USD in 2020. Expansion will not be uniform however. Emerging countries will expand beyond the market average, creating new opportunities for material suppliers and converters.
More at Smithers Pira

Digital printing in France is a step toward personalized newspapers
The Imprimerie de l’Avesnois/Digitaprint, a printer located in northern France, has invested around six million Euros in a digital workflow that is the first of its kind to Europe. Several weekly newspapers have been in digital print production in January 2016. This is a step towards personalized newspapers. The paper already addresses readers according to their preferences and the regions they live in.
More at Graphic Repro Online

TetraPak expects to deliver more that 100 million bio-based packages
As the demand for sustainable packaging alternatives grows, TetraPak expects the demand for its Tetra Rex Bio-based packs to reach 100 million in 2016. Package made entirely from plant-based materials has gained popularity among consumers across Finland, Sweden and Norway, with brands such as Valio, Arla Foods, Vermlands Mejeri, and TINE.
More at Packaging Europe

A closer look at printed plastic solar cells could increase efficiency
Plastic solar cells are easily produced on a printer. They are also light and easy to install. Yet some of the details of the process of producing printed solar cells are not fully understood yet. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now managed to observe these processes in real time. Their findings could help to improve the efficiency of organic solar cells.
More at Printed Electronics

New on the drupa blog: Body Shop uses packaging made from air
Consumers increasingly demand sustainable packaging. Especially eco-conscious shoppers who buy brands with a green core want to see packaging that is recyclable, renewable or made from sustainable resources. The Body Shop is taking the concept one step further and plans to use methane and carbon dioxide, which would otherwise be released into the air as greenhouse gas, in its packaging.
More in the article