Powder-Delivery Device Approved for First and Only Nasally Administered Glucagon

Eli Lilly Baqsimi and Aptar Pharma Unidose Powder System
Image of Aptar’s Unidose Powder System courtesy of AptarGroup

A ready-to-use nasal drug delivery device for powder formulations is being used for Eli Lilly’s Baqsimi, which the drug maker calls the first and only nasally administered glucagon. FDA just approved the one-step, needle-free treatment for severe hypoglycemia in people with diabetes ages four years and above, the company reported.

Aptar’s Unidose Powder System was selected for the emergency-use product for severe hypoglycemia rescue. No reconstitution is needed. "Severe hypoglycemia is an unpredictable event for people with diabetes that can happen anytime, anywhere. It's an experience that can be very stressful and difficult for those helping a person in a low blood sugar emergency," explained Dr. Sherry Martin, Vice President of Lilly Medical Affairs, in a press release. "The FDA's approval of BAQSIMI may help people prepare for these moments with an innovative product that has the simplicity of nasal administration."

To deliver Baqsimi, patients or caregivers only need to press a small plunger on the bottom of the Unidose Powder System to release a single powder puff of the drug into the nose. The system provides an alternative to injectable kits that may require reconstitution or assembly, Aptar reported in a news release.

Aptar reported that Baqsimi is the first FDA approval of a prescription drug in the Unidose Powder System and Aptar’s first combination of a drug delivery device with a protective active packaging container. It is also the first approval and customer launch combining the technologies of Aptar Pharma and Aptar CSP Technologies, which developed the container that protects and stores the Unidose Powder System. It employs Aptar’s Activ-Polymer technology for ensuring moisture protection throughout shelf life.

“We are pleased to announce that Aptar Pharma’s Unidose Powder System has been approved by the FDA for the first intranasally-delivered, needle-free rescue treatment for severe hypoglycemia that provides a more patient-friendly delivery approach. Our active packaging container helps to protect the device and better ensure its quality until the moment of use,” stated Gael Touya, president, Aptar Pharma, in a news release. “This project marks a nearly 10-year customer collaboration and once again demonstrates Aptar Pharma’s ability to help our customers develop and launch complex treatments with patient-friendly delivery systems worldwide.”

Re-designed twin-screw extruders improve operator comfort, machine efficiency

Re-designed twin-screw extruders improve operator comfort, machine efficiency

Two significantly re-designed twin-screw extruders will be showcased at the Coperion (Stuttgart, Germany) and Coperion K-Tron booth at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Oct. 16 to 23. The ZSK Mc18 extruders with a 45- and 70-mm screw diameter and 18 Nm/cm3 torque feature optimized mechanical and electrical systems and improved operator comfort and efficiency. They both are equipped with ZS-B easy type side feeders as well as ZS-EG easy type side devolatilization units. They can be seen at booth B 19 in hall 14.

Coperion extrusion system

Maintenance time on the ZS-B and ZS-EG twin-screw extruders has been reduced, thanks to a design that requires minimal operator effort to access the process section to perform cleaning tasks or screw changes. The extruders are now equipped with single-part heat-insulation covers that are easy to manipulate—they can be detached without removing the cartridge heaters. 

The ZSK 70 Mc18 will be on display with a K3-ML-D5-V200 type vibratory feeder and accompanying ZS-B easy with a K-ML-SFS-BSP-100 Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) feeder. The smaller ZSK 45 Mc18 will be equipped with a gravimetric K2-ML-D5-T35 twin-screw feeder and accompanying ZS-B easy with a K-ML-SFS-KT20 twin-screw feeder for high accuracy feeding at low feeding rates.

The aforementioned re-designed K3 vibratory feeder line from Coperion K-Tron will have its European debut at K 2019. The K3-ML-D5-V200 vibratory feeder will be displayed in action as part of a recirculating system; automatic refill will be provided by a P-Series vacuum receiver and compact vacuum pump. Vibratory feeders are suited for feeding recycled material or flakes as well as adding glass fiber in compounding processes. They are practically maintenance-free, since there is no wear on the mechanical parts, said Coperion.

Coperion K-Tron’s SWB-300 weigh belt feeder also will be exhibted at the stand. It is an extremely reliable gravimetric feeder for high accuracy and efficient process control, according to Coperion. Weigh belt feeders of this type can reliably feed large volumes of bulk materials with various flow properties; as such, they are well suited for processing recyclates,  among other applications.

Procyrion’s Milestone Streak Continues with Breakthrough Device Designation

Courtesy of Procryrion Procyrion’s Milestone Streak Continues with Breakthrough Device Designation

The milestones for Procyrion are coming in fast and furious. Now the Houston, TX-based company has secured Breakthrough Device designation by FDA, just a few short weeks after it closed its $30 million series D round.

Procyrion is developing the Aortix is a circulatory support device for chronic heart failure patients on medical management who have been hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) with worsening renal function. The device is placed via a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure that takes less than 10 minutes.

Through this program, Procyrion can expect prioritized review of FDA submissions for the Aortix System. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new rule that would provide coverage and increase payments for medical devices designated by FDA as breakthrough devices, so Medicare beneficiaries do not have to wait for access to the latest innovations.

“We believe Aortix addresses an important unmet clinical need and can fill a major gap in effective therapy options that are available for heart failure patients. This is particularly critical as this large patient population has high rates of rehospitalization and death, long lengths of stay in the hospital and high healthcare costs,” commented Eric Fain, MD, president and CEO of Procyrion. “We plan to fully leverage the benefits of FDA Breakthrough Device designation as we seek to accelerate the U.S. clinical and regulatory process with the goal of providing physicians and patients with the benefits of our novel device.”

Procyrion said the initial version of the Aortix device provides up to seven days of circulatory support for chronic heart failure patients who have been hospitalized for ADHF, have worsening renal function, and are unresponsive to medical management.

Automation startup leverages 3D printing to build a better end-of-arm tool

Automation startup leverages 3D printing to build a better end-of-arm tool

The factory of the future, when you really think about it, is the factory of today for any manufacturer that is serious about thriving in a competitive environment. In that paradigm, automation is a central organizing principle. Startup company Savage Automation (Salt Lake City) has keyed in on optimizing one of the core functions of automation—gripping and positioning parts—by building a better end-of-arm tool (EOAT).

Savage Automation's 3D-printed end-of-arm tool
A model of Savage Automation's 3D-printed end-of-arm tool.

Richard Savage had more than 10 years of experience in injection molding and tooling under his belt before founding Savage Automation in 2017. Working for companies such as Ultradent, Berry Manufacturing and Merit Medical in positions ranging from process and mold technician to mold manager had him “trouble shooting robots and end-of-arm tooling and being frustrated by poor end-of-arm design and components,” Savage told PlasticsToday. “I started Savage Automation to build a better product, embrace new technology and feed my need to build things.“ EOAT specifically captured his attention because the tooling tends to be heavy and cumbersome since it is traditionally made from extruded or machined aluminum. Savage saw additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, as the perfect technique to optimize EOAT design.

In addition to enabling tooling weight reduction without sacrificing strength or durability, 3D printing allows Savage to mount grippers, sensors and suction cups more efficiently and route vacuum and electrical connections through the body of the EOAT rather than strapping them to the frame. By simplifying setup, Savage was able to reduce changeover times and minimize potential damage to the tooling and parts. Because 3D-printed tooling is lighter than conventional components, there also is less wear on servomotors and robots can operate faster while producing less vibration, he said.

Savage started out using carbon-fiber-filled nylon 12 CF from Stratasys to fabricate the tooling, and still uses it on occasion because of its durability. His material of choice today, he told PlasticsToday, is 40% glass-filled nylon 12 that he prints on an HP Multi Jet Fusion system.

While Savage Automation is less than two years old, it already has built up a loyal industry following, which is not shy about singing his praises.

Jason Cornell of Wittmann Battenfeld points to lightweighting of EOAT as a “big advantage when you may already be pushing the payload limits of a robot. I also like that you can create channels within the printed tools to route cables and tubing. This provides a ‘cleaner’ [design] that can help prevent snags during wrist rotation, as well as when entering tight mold spaces,” said Cornell.

The reduced weight of 3D-printed tooling also “starts the conversation about the possibility of adding more options to the EOAT,” said Andrew Rajkovitch of Ponderosa Plastics. “You can really go over the top with part verification and detection [systems] and it provides unlimited possibilities for internal pressurized air, water and vacuum passages,” said Rajkovitch.

Turnaround time is cited as a huge advantage by Dave Conrad at Pyramid Mold and Tool. “With the 3D-printed EOAT, we can go from concept of design to the finished product in the press in a fraction of the time that it would take to manufacture a machined EOAT,” said Conrad. Consolidation of air lines and hardware in the tool design results in fewer components, “making the EOAT thinner, lighter and less bulky and, thus, requiring less daylight in the press and giving the molding house a faster cycle time,” added Conrad.

The brief video embedded below shows 3D-printed end-of-arm tooling from Savage Automation in action removing parts from a Wittmann Battenfeld injection molder.

Devices Continue to Gain Traction As Opioid Epidemic Rages On

Pixabay Devices Continue to Gain Traction As Opioid Epidemic Rages On

Medtech firms are coming up with alternatives to treat chronic pain as some drug-makers face lawsuits because of the opioid epidemic. One of these companies, Stimwave Technologies, said that it is making significant headway with its Freedom spinal cord stimulator (SCS) system to treat back pain.

The Pompano Beach, FL-based company announced completing enrollment of all 50 patients and strong preliminary results of the Tsunami Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. Stimwave said this is the first study evaluating the delivery of a high-frequency waveform acting on sensory fibers at the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and dorsal horn portions of the dorsal column.

Patients in the study underwent a small procedure with a one-stage implant, and the electrodes are placed using a novel technique at the T9 level and the exiting nerve root. They were randomized to either active therapy or sham and implanted without general anesthesia. Patients in the sham arm did not receive any therapeutic stimulation for at least one month and were never active at any point while blinded. If patients were reporting less than 50% pain reduction, they were unblinded and sham patients were crossed over to the treatment arm.

Stimwave said that preliminary results of the study from 38 of the 50 patients were highly positive and 63% of active subjects were successful by reducing pain greater than 50%. Comparatively, only 16% of the sham subjects reported 50% pain reduction thus demonstrating a statistically significant (p=.007) in favor of the active therapy. At the time of this report, all sham patients were unblinded and now 77% of all patients are reporting greater than 50% pain reduction.

“This study, when complete, will be a monumental step-up for evidence-driven medicine in the rapidly growing field of neuromodulation,” said Andrea Trescot, the CMO of Stimwave and former President of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP). “Every other industry is expected to show efficacy through sham and placebo-controlled studies; the Tsunami study is growing the evidence that single-stage, wireless neurostimulators can offer more options to more pain patients.”

Medtech's Response

The opioid crisis has had a profound impact in the U.S. resulting in the deaths of 130 people a day, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The medtech industry was given a call to arms by FDA in June of last year when the agency launched an innovation challenge to spur the development of devices, digital health technologies, and diagnostic tests that could provide a novel solution in response to the opioid epidemic. Device companies have answered the call for developing new technologies that could prevent the need for opioids to be used.

Recently, MedicaSafe received $1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to support a clinical trial to examine the effect of a drug-device combination vs. standard of care in the treatment management of OUD. The trial is conducted to determine whether the system can help foster treatment compliance and assist clinicians.

Earlier this year, Medtronic launched a post-market study to evaluate the use of the SynchroMed II intrathecal drug delivery system as an alternative to oral opioids.

Late last year, Boston, MA-based Pear Therapeutics was able to get an FDA nod for the reSET-O, an app used to help those with opioid use disorder stay in recovery programs. And in November of 2018, Abbott Laboratories secured a nod from FDA and CE mark for the Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Invisible Trial. The Abbott Park, IL-based company said patients who find adequate pain relief with DRG therapy can then have the Proclaim DRG System implanted.

Landmark Case

The pharma industry has come under fire for the opioid epidemic. Johnson & Johnson, which plays both in the medtech space and the pharma space, is being sued by the state of Oklahoma. The trial has since wrapped and is now in the judge's hands. 

This isn’t the first time Oklahoma has had lawsuits against opioid drugmakers. Purdue Pharma had a $270 million settlement with Oklahoma and Teva Pharmaceuticals made an $85 million settlement with the state, according to an online article from CNN. 

BOPET packaging films market growing globally at more than 5%

BOPET packaging films market growing globally at more than 5%

The global packaging films market for biaxially oriented polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) is projected to expand at a CAGR over 5%, according to Future Market Insights (FMI, Valley Cottage, NY) in its report, BOPET Packaging Films Market: Global Industry Analysis 2014-2018 and Opportunity Assessment 2019-2029. The study subdivides the category on the basis of thickness, applications and end-use industries.FMI BOPET Market graphic 2019 07 July

The global BOPET packaging films market is expected to expand 1.8x in terms of market volume by the end of 2029.

BOPET packaging films are oriented films predominantly used in the packaging of products in various end-use industries such as food & beverages, electrical & electronics, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic & personal care products, among others. These films can be used for manufacturing bags and pouches, which represent more than 30% of the market, as well as wraps, laminates, labels and tapes. Food remains the most prominent end-use industry for BOPET packaging films, especially fresh produce, meat, confectionery, and dairy products. BOPET packaging films remain stable through printing and laminating processes, making them desirable for high-quality graphic packaging applications. Also, their excellent heat resistance and sealing properties make BOPET a preferred choice for manufacturing labels and tapes.


Asian competition sets the pace

Geographically, East Asia holds more than one-fourth of the global BOPET packaging films market and is expected to maintain its global prominence in the global market. China is one of the leading producers and consumers of BOPET packaging films, accounting for more than 20% of the global market, though India is showing strong growth. Key players in the Asian market such as Jindal Poly Films, Uflex Ltd., Polyplex Corporation Ltd., and others are expanding their production capacities to keep pace with the global demand.

Despite its maturity, the market in Europe represents a significant incremental opportunity. Packaging converters are incorporating features such as metallization, coatings, and more to enhance the barrier properties of these films. Spain is projected to witness relatively higher growth in the BOPET packaging films market demand, while Germany is expected to retain its lead, in terms of market share and incremental opportunity both, in the European market.

In 2019, the U.S. is anticipated to account for more than 90% of the North America BOPET packaging films market. However, Canada is expected to expand 1.4 times its current value by the end of 2023. All types of biaxially-oriented films promise to offer superior performance at low thickness coupled with high stiffness, good heat-resistance, and a reasonable balance of oxygen and moisture barrier.

More details about the report can be found here.

Weekly resin report: Prices for most polyethylene grades yield to decade-level lows

Weekly resin report: Prices for most polyethylene grades yield to decade-level lows

Transactions remained robust in the spot resin markets last week, although margins were compressed as sellers competed for orders, reports the PlasticsExchange (Chicago) in its Market Update.

Cool Design
Image courtesy Cool Design/

Polyethylene (PE) prices were steady to mostly lower, off-grade railcars were nicely discounted and Generic Prime was available for the asking. July PE contracts should settle flat to down $0.03/lb; in some cases the relief might be seen as a volume rebate or other special benefit.

July polypropylene (PP) contracts should settle up $0.015/lb along with PGP monomer, according to the PlasticsExchange. Early in the month, when monomer was rallying, it seemed that a larger increase could take hold. Spot PP prices were pressured, and while Generic Prime material was somewhat scarce, off grade was plentiful. Houston resin prices are depressed, as export asking prices have been failing to generate incremental offshore demand. There is a lot of material flowing to the warehouses, with the PlasticsExchange reporting that packaging delays have been seen.

Although active, spot PE trading landed slightly below the previous week’s pace. Completed volumes were still above average as numerous railcars and truckloads, primarily loaded with off grade, changed hands through the PlasticsExchange trading desk. Deals were fairly well spread between the commodity grades, with a heavy emphasis on high-density PE. Spot prices were mixed: All film grades held steady while the rest of the slate shed a cent.

The long-term down trend remained intact, as prices for most PE grades yielded to new decade-low levels. There is a good amount of opacity in the contract market, with producers, large processors and major consultancies each indicating a variety of results and estimates for July. Price change talk ranges from the proposed $0.03/lb increase, which will not happen, to simply steady, while many point to a $0.03/lb decrease. It has become increasingly difficult to peg these contract price movements, as discounts are seemingly being awarded to larger buyers in a hushed manner. The gap between contract and spot has grown very wide. In the meantime, producers continue to run their reactors at near-full capacity. While both domestic and export demand have been strong, upstream inventories have swelled to a new record high with additional new production starting up, as well.

The spot PP market continued to transact at an elevated clip: Volumes have been strong all month long while prices have been volatile. Trading activity heavily favored copolymer over homopolymer PP last week; prices slid a penny for both PP groups. The flow of offers was heavy and a steady stream of well-discounted off-grade railcars pelted the marketplace.

Still, processor spot demand was very good and most realistic resin requests were filled. Overall PP demand had been off in June—domestic purchases were 50 million pounds below the 12-month average and exports fell to their lowest level of 2019. Resin reactors still ran at about 90% of capacity. All together, this led to the first upstream inventory build in five months, although supplies are still extremely tight in a historic context.

July PGP contracts are settling up $0.015/lb to $0.38/lb, and the PlasticsExchange expects PP contracts officially to follow suit.

Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.

VSI Labs’ Automated Drive West Project: Preparing for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Autonomous Vehicle 

VSI Labs will do a cross-country roadtrip this summer, ending at gthe Drive World Conference held from August 27 to 29. (Image source: VSI Labs)


This August, autonomous vehicle (AV) research firm VSI Labs is embarking on the classic American cross-country road trip–with a twist. VSI will utilize their autonomous research vehicle for the 2,000-mile journey, driving from Minneapolis, MN, to Santa Clara, CA, where the Drive World conference will be held from August 27 to 29.

The purpose of this unprecedented project is to test the value of using HD maps and enhanced GPS technology to improve the performance and safety of highway autonomous driving applications. The team is also hoping to better understand how these technologies operate across varying terrains, weather, and driving conditions.

VSI has been testing its AV research vehicles at its lab facility and on public roads for more than two years. The team launched its second-generation AV research vehicle last October–the same vehicle they will take on the Drive West. The vehicle is a 2018 Ford Fusion equipped with Dataspeed’s by-wire control system, along with numerous other AV technologies. VSI engineers built a Linux-based computer installed inside the vehicle which acts as a domain controller for AV functions.

Because the Drive West will be the first experiment in which VSI attempts a cross-country drive in AV mode, the team began preparing for this project months in advance. VSI’s engineers will leverage some existing software developed for their standard testing, but they also needed to develop new software and methodologies that allow them to test outside of a geofenced area. We’ve detailed some of the preparations VSI engineers have been making to prepare the vehicle for the Drive West.

Dynamic Map Data Loading

VSI will use two main AV applications for the drive: adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane keeping. These two applications utilize data from HD maps and on-board sensors, and the engineers have developed algorithms for these applications in-house. While VSI has done extensive research on lane keeping and ACC using HD maps, this research has always been conducted in a geofenced area. In previous tests, VSI engineers downloaded and processed the map data prior to testing. Because the upcoming Drive West spans more than 2,000 miles of highway roads, it was necessary to develop a method of downloading and processing map data during the drive.

To accomplish this, VSI wrote scripts to download the correct map data given the vehicle’s location at any given time. The script first checks to see if the file already exists, and only downloads the data if it has not already done so. After the new map data is downloaded, the map data must be processed to find a new target path for both lane keeping and ACC. Once a new target path is found using the new map data, the steering command slowly transitions from the current target path to the new target path.  Although not strictly necessary, the gradual transition to the new target path allows the driver enough time to react in case any errors occurred in the loading of the new map.

Large-scale Map Distortion

One of the major difficulties with using HD maps over large distances is dealing with map distortion. While distortion is negligible over a small geofenced area, the distortion can seriously disrupt lane keeping when relying on centimeter-level accuracy of the map. 

VSI engineers investigated whether this coordinate transformation was viable for driving across a large distance. The team graphed the transformed coordinates following the entire 2,000-plus miles west and saw that this transformation broke down over large distances due to the curvature of the earth.

After some research into alternate coordinate systems, they decided to proceed with the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system, which breaks the earth into 6-degree longitudinal sections and gives coordinates in meters. A problem arises when considering they will be driving through 6 of these zones on the Drive West, and the easting value in the UTM coordinate system resets in each zone, meaning they would need to find a way to smoothly transition between zones.

UTM Zones from Minneapolis to Santa Clara. (Image source: VSI Labs)

After testing with autonomous control enabled while transitioning between UTM zones, all the code worked as expected, but interesting behavior was observed regarding the vehicle’s orientation with respect to the map. Because there is higher distortion at the edges of UTM zones, the offset angle VSI uses to correct misalignment of the IMU needed to be adjusted by nearly 2 degrees. The distortion inverses when changing zones, causing the offset angle to no longer be accurate enough to keep the vehicle centered in the lane, leading the vehicle to drift drastically to one side. To solve this, the engineers artificially translated their latitude and longitude coordinates and monitored the optimal offset angle in various areas within a UTM zone. They found that a simple linear relation between the longitudinal distance to the center of the UTM zone and the offset angle would suffice to dynamically correct for map distortion throughout a UTM zone.

Follow Our Journey

The preparations outlined above are a brief look into the extensive work done by our team of engineers. VSI will share more information, including all the results and findings from the ADW project at the Drive World Conference. You can also follow the journey through VSI's website or social media channels where we post photos and videos of the ADW.

Jacob Miller, is a Autonomous Solutions Engineers at VSI Labs .


Drive World with ESC Launches in Silicon Valley

This summer (August 27-29), Drive World Conference & Expo launches in Silicon Valley with North America's largest embedded systems event, Embedded Systems Conference (ESC). The inaugural three-day showcase brings together the brightest minds across the automotive electronics and embedded systems industries who are looking to shape the technology of tomorrow.
Will you be there to help engineer this shift? Register today!


Pre-owned Electric Vehicle Models Provide An Affordable Way To Go Electric



Drive World with ESC Launches in Silicon Valley

This summer (August 27-29), Drive World Conference & Expo launches in Silicon Valley with North America's largest embedded systems event, Embedded Systems Conference (ESC). The inaugural three-day showcase brings together the brightest minds across the automotive electronics and embedded systems industries who are looking to shape the technology of tomorrow.
Will you be there to help engineer this shift? Register today!


DuPont and ExxonMobil Chemical Strengthen Bond with New TPVs for Corner Mold Automotive Seals

DuPont and ExxonMobil Chemical Strengthen Bond with New TPVs for Corner Mold Automotive Seals

DuPont Transportation & Industrial has collaborated with ExxonMobil Chemical’s specialty elastomers business to develop new Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) for automotive corner mold seals. By replacing traditional organic slip additives with DuPont’s engineered silicone-based additives, the two companies formulated a next-generation Santoprene TPV platform with improved bonding to ethylene propylene diene monomer (EDPM) rubber substrates and a lower coefficient of friction (COF) for the easy opening and closing of doors and windows. The new Santoprene TPV B260 family of products also delivers improved flow properties, abrasion resistance and ultraviolet (UV) light stability. 

ExxonMobil Chemical’s new Santoprene  TPVs for automotive corner mold seals.

“Our successful collaboration with ExxonMobil Chemical has achieved much more than cutting-edge TPV products,” said Christophe Paulo, marketing manager, DuPont. “It has also laid the foundation for future projects that take advantage of the unique attributes of our silicone technologies to solve industry challenges and deliver a better consumer experience.”

To address customer needs for improved corner mold seals, ExxonMobil Chemical sought to enhance the bonding of Santoprene TPV to EDPM rubber while increasing its sliding performance. However, reducing COF to increase sliding performance can negatively impact bonding. The company collaborated with DuPont to explore the use of its advanced silicone-based additives, which promised to surpass the organic additives ExxonMobil had been incorporating.

The DuPont development team found that synergies between a lower molecular weight silicone polymer and an ultra-high molecular weight silicone polymer delivered the low COF ExxonMobil Chemical was looking for. While delivering better sliding properties than the organic additives, the silicone technology enhanced bonding performance to dense EPDM rubber – a critical factor in overmolding. Further, it enabled higher flow for improved processing ease and throughput, better abrasion resistance to protect against damage from slammed doors and improved UV stability to help prevent cracking and discoloration.