Start off the new year with our new sourcing categories to zero in on what you need, from vaccine freezers to silicone spray lubricants to cold chain data loggers. We've added more than 40 new categories to Thomasnet.com® over the past month to help your sourcing all through this next year, and we're showcasing our 13 favorites below.
1. Vaccine Freezers
With Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine requiring ultra-low temperatures, specialized vaccine freezers have gotten some additional attention as hospitals have scrambled to buy ultra-low temperature equipment. However, other vaccines do not require such expensive equipment to be kept viable, including Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine and other coronavirus vaccines still going through the approval process.
2. Medical Cold Boxes
Medical cold boxes are often used with dry ice, which has been seeing surges in popularity as shipment of the vaccines ramps up. The material has become scarce enough that UPS is expanding its own in-house dry ice manufacturing specifically for vaccine transportation.
3. Vaccine Temperature Monitoring Systems
With the danger of ruining a vaccine if it gets too warm, vaccine temperature monitoring systems are playing a more vital part than ever. Other temperature monitoring solutions are being proposed to combat the pandemic; in September academics created a skin patch that can measure temperature, breathing difficulty, and coughing to help track the disease.
4. Cold Chain Data Loggers
Data loggers in the cold chain track environmental data to enable recipients and transporters of the shipment to ensure it has not been compromised. Technological advances like these and the sensors enabling real-time tracking of medical packages may help provide an edge in ensuring vaccines stay effective to their destination.
5. Point of Use Gas Abatement Systems
While point of use gas abatement systems are designed to keep dangerous gases from escaping into the surrounding work environment, more general environmental safety tactics are being developed in the industrial field, including the reduction of industrial solvent use to cut down on health risks.
6. Needle Plates
Needle plates are parts used in tufting machines, which are used to manufacture carpeting. Some types of carpeting do more than softening the impact of the floor: certain carpets built to clean indoor air of allergy-inducing particles are available on the market.
7. Carbon Fiber Hinges
Carbon fiber, known for its toughness and light weight, pops up in the form of hinges and other parts in applications like aerospace where weight and toughness are paramount. It's also popped up in mass-produced, 3D printed ebikes, which allows for better durability and less power to move the bike forward.
8. Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin
Inulin, produced from Jerusalem artichokes or other sources, is a food ingredient that may see some interesting new forms in the future. 3D printed food has already made a splash in molecular gastronomy and gourmet circles, and with its ability to use purees as ink, it's also being investigated for use by the armed forces, home experimentation, and NASA.
9. Silicone Spray Lubricants
Lubricants have been heavily impacted by the pandemic as factory closures suddenly reduced lubricant use during the shutdowns in 2020. It's predicted the market will take several years to recover, although food safe silicone spray lubricants in particular may not be as heavily affected; food manufacturers have not had to deal with shutdowns to the same extent as non-essential businesses.
10. Platinum Rhodium Wire
While platinum-rhodium wire has found uses in thermocouples and catalysts, other metals are being used to instantly kill bacteria, thanks to a new laser treatment developed last spring. Originally used on copper, this process could also be used on other metals and polymers for incorporation into medical devices.
11. Case Palletizers
Case palletizers specialize in stacking cases on pallets, and they may soon have new types of pallets to stack on: one pallet manufacturer in Iowa has started manufacturing pallets from substitute wood made from recycled corn debris. Its CornBoard has also been used to make furniture, snowboards, and skateboards.
12. Nutraceutical, Supplement & Vitamin Packaging
Nutraceutical, supplement, and vitamin packaging rides on the back of the vitamin, supplement, and nutraceutical sectors, which have been doing well over the past year as consumers have stockpiled vitamins and supplements during the pandemic along with food and toilet paper. In the future, it is predicted people will move toward more balanced diets and products like vitamin C to boost immune systems.
13. Gooseneck Device Mounts
As useful for professionals as they are for consumers, gooseneck device mounts will be able to hold some interesting new devices as more phone-enabled apps and handheld products come onto the market. One of the latest products to become handheld includes 3D printers for human skin, used to treat burn victims.
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