Kickstart: A dental supplier sinks its teeth into a new market for at-home COVID tests

Whether you like the word or not — or are just tired of hearing it used — a lot of stories about business during the COVID-19 pandemic have been about a company’s ability to “pivot.”That flexibility could refer to offering some new product, such as packaging companies making face shields, or to managers filling in on production lines when they couldn’t find enough workers (or wanted to give workers some well-deserved time off). Those stories of pivots aren’t about to slow down.Consider Sarah Kominek’s . The company in Grafton, Wis., has specialized in making small swabs for the dental industry. Its swabs are typically used to apply adhesives to the tooth when a dentist is filling a cavity.But with sales for at-home COVID tests growing, Microbrush has, well, pivoted to begin making the swabs for those tests. It worked with Procter & Gamble’s Imflux to adapt its manufacturing line and also brought sterile packaging operations in-house.The company is now spending $20 million to expand for those medical tests and expects the same home-based … pivot … by medical experts for telehealth will provide more opportunities going forward. The popular locations for film and sheet plants in North America.The pandemic also has earned spots in a couple of newer blogs from PN staffers.In an that is in this week’s print issue, Hollee Keller, our research coordinater, notes that the pandemic complicated work to compare sales between companies. A firm with a fiscal year that ended in March 2020, for instance, is going to have a very different financial result than one that ended on Dec. 31.Beyond the shutdowns at some film and sheet production sites early in the pandemic, Hollee noted, a firm that closed out its fiscal year before prices jumped in the wake of last year’s hurricane season will also have very different numbers.Meanwhile, senior reporter Frank Esposito writes about how Spell Capital Partners LLC used tools such as video visits and Zoom calls to in Australia and Vietnam.Polymer Transaction Advisors Inc. was first contacted by the companies — Duromer Products Pty. of Sydney and DuroColur Vietnam Ltd. of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — in early 2020 and worked closely with the companies and Spell to use tools available to them when they couldn’t make in-person site visits, PTA President Bill Ridenour told Frank.Spell completed the acquisitions this summer. Carmaker Volvo has already pledged to use more recycled plastics in cars, while also saying it will sell only electric vehicles by 2030.Now it’s made another pledge: No more leather.Leather has been the traditional material used to signify a high-end model, but in on Sept. 23, Volvo went into details on how it will drop the material, referring to future vehicles as “vegan-friendly.””We have a vision of where we need to go in the future, with the first step to ensure we harness sustainable, natural and recycled materials,” said Robin Page, head of design at Volvo Cars, in the release. “The next challenge is to change what we do with these materials, whether that’s making car parts that last forever, re-enter the circular economy or go back into the earth.”In one example, Volvo developed a new interior material called Nordico made with textiles and recycled PET, bio-based material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland and corks recycled from the wine industry. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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