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2015 • Plastics Plastics News News February 2015 3 3• •September


Plastics News • September 2015 • 4


Contents

Plastics News MCN/200/2015-2017 Volume 93

September 2015 No. 9

IS H T N

I

Chairman - Editorial Board Mr. Rituraj Gupta Hon. Editor Mr. Ajay Desai

. . . E SSU

I

13...... AIPMA At Work

Members Mr. A. E. Ladhaboy Dr. Y. B. Vasudeo Ms. Poorvi Desai

IIT Guwahati-Review Session on "Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Polymers" Meetings with the Omani Delegation

Editorial Co-ordination: Padmesh Prabhune, Dhruv Communications, Mumbai, Tel No: 022 2868 5198 / 5049 Fax No : 022-28685495 email: dhruvpr@vsnl.net

The 5th India Association Congress Office Bearers Team 2014 -2015

23...... Company News

Published by Ms. Umaa Gupta on behalf of the owners, The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association Plot No. A-52, Road No. 1, M.I.D.C., Andheri (E), Mumbai-400 093. Tel: 67778899 • Fax : 00-22-2821 6390 E-mail : office@aipma.net • Website : http://www.aipma.net

29...... Features

Printed by her at : Dhote Offset Technokrafts Pvt. Ltd., Goregaon (E), Mumbai-400 063.

An Introduction to Automated Material Conveying

Annual Subscription Single issue

Rs. 1,000/Rs. 75/-

Views/Reports/Extracts etc. published in Plastics News are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Editor. Furthermore except for copies of formal AIPMA communications no other matter in this journal should be interpreted as views of The All India Plastics Mfgrs. Association. Office Bearers Mr. Rituraj Gupta Mr. R. K. Aggarwal Mr. Meela Jayadev Mr. Sanju Desai Mr. Ashok Agarwal Mr. Haren Sanghavi Mr. Manoj R. Shah Mr. Jagat Killawala

Agricultural Firms Covestro up and running China focuses on Bioplastics secto Plastic Flow Simulation- Not an Afterthought; But Necessity Indian Railways’ Rail Neer to get a better look Iran’s petrochemical sector could reap large returns Global trends in recycled Plastics Securing water supplies for the next 100 years

48...... Interview 50...... International News

President Vice President (North Zone) Vice President (South Zone) Vice President (West Zone) Vice President (East Zone) Hon. Secretary Hon. Jt. Secretary Hon. Treasurer

54...... Business News 58...... Product News 62...... Technology 65...... In the News

5 • September 2015 • Plastics News


PlasticsNews News••April September Plastics 2015 • 2015 4 • 6


7 • September 2015 • Plastics News


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Plastics News • September 2015 • 8


THE PRESIDENT SAYS

It’s time to bid adieu

T

ime flies! And one wonders, how quickly? It was as if just yesterday, I had had those goose bumps for being nominated the President and a year has passed. .

I would like to mention that during this time, with the support of everyone around, AIPMA carried its task fruitfully. We have initiated various proposals for the overall growth of the Industry. AIPMA made it presence felt all over. Be it International Trade Fairs or the Strategic representation to the ministries for safeguarding the domestic industry. AIPMA was always candid in its efforts. Taking a leaf out of Prime Ministers’ initiatives of the Zero defect policy, AIPMA suggested the authorities to extend the ambit of Technological-Up-Gradation Fund (TUF) to industries in the Plastics sector as well. For this will definitively act as a morale booster to the Industry and bring out the best of technological advances, in a way, complying with the Zero Defect Product modules. In its endeavor to protect the domestic industry, AIPMA stood firmly in the case of initiation of anti-dumping investigations concerning import of Plastic Processing Machines or Injection Moulding machines from Chinese Taipei, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam in October’14. AIPMA made its observation that the Indian government should adopt a logical and reasonable attitude to safeguard the domestic industry along with various advances in upgrading technology and encouraging more foreign investment in the country. AIPMA also played crucial role in the case of National Green Tribunal (NGT) wherein National Green Tribunal wants curbs imposed on plastic packaging. AIPMA pursued this cause vividly and it was due to all its cumulative approach, DCPC has now been made a party to the NGT case. It so happened while taking the immediate note of reports in media regarding the use of Plastic bottles for medicines and syrups. As a matter of fact AIPMA created larger awareness campaigns condemning all such media report as baseless and improper knowledge, making the facts known to the regulatory bodies as well. AIPMA also met the dignitaries at the respective Ministry Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals.

AIPMA has recently met the government conveying anguish towards the dumping of Chinese goods in India. AIPMA has suggested corrective measures, also proposing to levy Anti Dumping charges for safeguarding the domestic Plastics Industry. Moreover, I would like to inform everyone that considering AIPMA’s suggestion on the Plastic Waste management Rules–2015, the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, for the first time has constituted a Working Group to finalize the Draft Solid Waste &Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2015. It’s an achievement for AIPMA. This was all possible due to the dedicated efforts from everyone at AIPMA. AIPMA is also considering repairs of AIPMA House to have more spaces to accommodate dedicated sections on Skill Development, Knowledge Centre and Testing Laboratories. During the tenure we were able to have successful implementation of Kaya Kalp. In our endeavor to make AIPMA a Professional Management-house, we had appointed CA Dinesh Banka as Chief Financial Officer at AIPMA Mumbai and Mr Deepak Balani (ex-United Nations Official) as Special Advisor at our Delhi Office. We were also able to settle all the pending taxation (Direct and Indirect) for AIPMA. AIPMA is driving various programs to fulfill the expectations of Indian plastic industry. During the tenure we have also completed the major work for establishing Plastics Park in Auriya in Uttar Pradesh, Tamot in Madhya Pradesh and Udwariya in Rajasthan. I am sure that Indian Plastic Industry will excel in days to come. I am grateful to everyone for their support and with this I take your leave. Ciao.. Rituraj Gupta president@aipma.net

9 • September 2015 • Plastics News


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FROM THE EDITOR's PEN

Let’s be innovative

I

nnovation is the key not only for success but for

of the latest release from

sustaining growth as well. With the recent technological

Gefit, completely dedicated

advances most of the researchers, world over, are

t o t h e b e v e r a g e i n d u s t r y.

constantly looking for a newer means to produce Plastics

Gefit headquartered in Fubine

and the latest one is about Researchers in US probing

(Alessandria, Italy) developed a

microbes for a future plastic.

mould for the production of the

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National

known 1881 closures with a very

Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are tweaking

lowered weight compared to the usual standards currently

cyanobacteria to produce ethylene through photosynthesis.

used on the market.

If they can get the yields up, the process might be an

It is a 72-cavity mould, with slides technology to make

alternative to using oil and gas for making the raw material

the warranty seal. However, the real innovation consists

of plastics. The sustainable process could also have a

of reducing the weight of the final plastic component-

role in cutting atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide,

closure. Starting from a weight which generally was over

a greenhouse gas that could be contributing to global

two grams, the company has created a real evolution of

warming.

the concept of the 1881 closure, traditionally used on PET

Researchers at NREL that are working with a specific

containers for mineral water and medium carbonated soft

strain of cyanobacteria makes ethylene when exposed

drinks, reaching the great goal of 1.8 grams.

to sunlight. So far the amount of ethylene produced

Another development is from Sidel (the French PET

represents about 10% of the biomass produced, but they

major also associated with IRCTC) now known for its

hope perhaps, further work over the next few years could

latest Ecoven, a new blow molder with an energy-saving

boost ethylene yields to 90%. At current yields, that

oven configuration that is said to decrease oven power

production rate would give one pound (453g) of ethylene

consumption by more than 45%. This energy savings is

per hour in 12,800 litres of mixture. Most of us would

made possible through changes in the oven configuration

agree to the fact that though such minute amounts have

that help lower installed electrical power up to 40% and

no practical application as yet but if the process can

heating time by up to 15%. The Eco model uses fewer oven

successfully be scaled up it could be a viable source of

modules and fewer lamps per module (eight instead of

ethylene for; if Cyanobacteria made life possible then,

nine). This also results in a smaller oven footprint. Latest

they might be key to the building blocks of the future.

to vouch for them were Pepsico and Rail Neer.

New Developments in Blow molding

Let’s innovate for a change.

Reducing the weight of a plastic component and obtaining

a concrete saving on production costs. That’s the direction

Hon.Editor Ajay Desai

11 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

Plastics News • September 2015 • 12


Aipma at work

IIT Guwahati-Review Session on "Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Polymers"

W

ith consultation of President, Mr. Rituraj Gupta, Mr. Tapas Ray, Regional Manager (East Zone), was deputed for IIT Guwahati-Review Session on "Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Polymers"-Sponsored by

3) Dr. G. S. Kapur - Dy. G.M. - I.O.L. R&D Centre. (Tel: 0129-2222204). 4) Professor N. Shivaprasad - IIT Madras

From IIT Guwahati: 1) Dr. Vimal Katiyar - Associate Professor, (Main conductor of the Review Meeting from IIT Guwahati). (Cell: 07896123664). 2) Professor Goutam Biswas - Director, IIT Guwahati (Cell: 08811086524). And around more than 50 intellectuals along with PhD students.

Dept. of Chemical & Petrochemicals, Govt. Of India, on 7th August, 2015 at IIT Guwahati . Mr. Tapas Ray visited IIT Guwahati to attend the Second Review Meeting on Progress of above subject project as a representative of AIPMA on August 07, 2015, as a member of the panel. (First Review Meeting was held on June 09, 2014 & respected AIPMA President Mr.Anandilal Oza represented then). Other dignitaries of this member panel were: 1) Mr. O. P. Sharma - Joint Industrial Adviser, Dept. of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India. (Cell :09868160477). 2) Professor A. K. Banthia - IIT Kharagpur - Authority in Polymer Subject - Internationally Known person. (Keyperson of the session). (Tel: 033-2441-8268).

Presentation of this Session - Power point presentation were made by Dr. Katiyar assisted by his Doctorate students on research development of Suspended Polymers. Member of the panels were critical in being informed about the progress of achievement with regards to the points given by these scientists in 1st meeting. As , the funds for these research works are provided by Govt. of India.

Research progress: Almost 70% tasks were achieved and which is very much commendable This was gathered from the members' internal discussion. Sir, honestly it is a subject which is beyond the scope of my academic credential, but still since they were discussing Polymers, very much related with Plastics and also main concern of this project is - How to create Suspended polymers which

won't be environmental threat, I took active role to express our concern during this session:

CONCERN: 1) Plastics means Pollution - A general impression of common man - How to counter this issue? 2) General consumer items are made from Polymers - These are not environmental threat? 3) Plastics Waste Management - A solution to be given by Scientists & Approval of Grant for this project from Relevant Ministry, Govt. of India. Upon hearing the above submission, Mr. O. P. Sharma - Joint Industrial Adviser, Dept. Of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry Of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. Of India, took personal interest to advice Mr. Tapas Ray that, from the association & Plastic industry as a whole, to take up the project of Plastics waste Management with Dr. Vimal Katiyar, IIT Guwahati. Dr. Katiyar also agreed to work with us as a team in all seriousness in the coming days. I requested Dr. Katiyar to give me leads as to how to materialize this project? Mr. Tapas Ray will follow up with him to make this project as reality. Conclusion: There is a great future lying ahead of Sustainable Polymers, and the feed stock are and will be abundantly available for the future generations without posing any environmental threat!!!

13 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

Meetings with the Omani Delegation

A

high level Omani business Delegation led by His Excellency Dr. Salim Ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Chairman of the Sultanate of Oman’s Export & Investment promotion arm - Ithraa visited New Delhi & Mumbai between 10 th and 13 th August 2015. The 35 member business delegation was focused on Plastics, Petrochemicals and Food products as the companies were looking to appoint Indian importers, distributors, agents, suppliers and joint venture partners in India and to attract foreign investments to Oman. AKT Strategic Consulting LLP (www. aktconsulting.co) project managed the entire visit.

The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) partnered with AKT Strategic Consulting LLP to organise B2B meetings of its members with Omani delegates to promote business between the 2 countries. Seminars were also organised in both New Delhi and Mumbai to help raise awareness of Omani business capability amongst Indian buyers and

and a number of business outcomes are expected out of them.

investors. One of the such meetings with the Omani Delegation was held at Taj Palace, Mumbai on 13th August 2015 Around 20+ members of AIPMA have participated in this international delegation to explore business opportunities in Oman. Following 3 Companies participated in this meeting from AIPMA Managing Committee:• Prayag Poly Tech Pvt. Ltd. • Mitsu Chem Pvt. Ltd. • AVI Global Plast Pvt. Ltd. The response from Indian companies to the range of plastic and petro products that were on offer from Oman was excellent. There were several fruitful introductions and interactions over the 4 day period

The 5th India Association Congress

T

he 5 th India Association Congress was held at the Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru, , from 21st & 22nd August, 2015 and Mr Rituraj Gupta, President AIPMA, represented the association. The two day seminar was held to o explore best practices and sharing ideas for betterment each and every industry.

Plastics News • September 2015 • 14

Mr. A. K. Tareen, Ithraa’s official India Representative and Chairman of AKT Strategic Consulting said ‘ Our partnership with AIPMA proved to be extremely valuable to build long term ties between Omani and Indian companies in the plastic sector. On behalf of the Omani government and the companies, we would like to place our immense gratitude to AIPMA for their active support, guidance and participation. We hope to undertake several new initiatives with AIPMA in the future for the mutual benefit of AIPMA members as well as Omani companies.’

Day 1 : August 21, 2015 The programme started with National Anthem, Tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Welcome Address of Chairman IAC, Mr. Prasant Saha. Dr. Rajeev Gowda, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Govt. of India inaugurated the Seminar. In his Welcome Address, he emphasized

By Rituraj Gupta the members present to involve more number of industries / members in their respective Associations. This shall create sense of business security and create a platform for survival for all industries for this competitive era. More number of members and more involvement of members will help development of the relevant industry transparency and accountability.


Aipma at work There may be more dissent but that will add value and longevity to the Association.

4) Value proposition like walk the talk programmes and interactive Session.

As per the new Government policy, CSR funding should be mobilized by the industries by providing and creating Common Facility Centres and Skill Development Centres. Associations also need to think outside the purview of only industry matters such as Socio-economic factors.

5) How effective is your outreach Pan India, Pan Asia and Global.

Pr o f . A j a y Ku m a r S o o d f r o m Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore briefed the House on Nano Technology and role of India in this field. Fortunately Nano Technology was promoted by India along with development by the Advance countries. The Central Government has provided more than 1000 crores for Research and Development in Nano Technology every year.

Session 1: Keeping Members-Myths & Realities Retaining members is the most important job and Association should take care of. For this, the Panelists gave some important insights: 1) Engagement is the most important factor to retain membership. The Associations need to keep their members engaged either through Seminars, Conferences, Delegations or Programmes. 2) To create the “Need” factor amongst the members and inculcate sense of Ownership. The member should be passionate to be part of the Association. 3) The Associations should create an excellent reputation amongst industry.

The Panelist summed up the talk by saying the member should feel the Association is relevant.

Session 2: New Age Association Leaders. President of AMI Australian Medical Association chaired the Panelist and briefed the Conference members on how the Association runs in Australia. They have created such an interest amongst the members that they are able to charge subscription fees on quarterly basis which involves huge administrative task. He has observed that since they have a waiting list of approximately 200 Medical Professionals, there are hardly any defaulters; the defaulting member shall be replaced by the waiting list member. Dr.Dinesh spoke on Co-operative movement of India and informed the gathering that there are Rs.6.00 Lakhs Co-operative Societies in India covering 22% of the total population of India. He also emphasized the reason for success of Co-operative Sector is because of involvement of women; he cited an example of Amul. The next Speaker was President of Pharmaceutical Association of India. He stressed on the following points:1) The Association Magazine should have content what members want or content should be interesting to the members. Hence making the Magazine very popular as with

their Association. 2) Every Committee member should be responsible for membership and not leave it up to one person in the Committee. 3) Programmes for the members make the Association more vibrant. 4) To involve youth in the organization by organizing leadership workshop.

Session 3: Fund–Raising During Recession It was chaired by Cdr. Jagmohan S Bhogal (Retd.), Sr. Director, Quality Council of India. He emphasized on the Lean Manufacturing practices. He informed that there are approximately 500 Clusters already enrolled under this scheme. Each cluster is of 10-12 industries. Under the Government of India scheme, there is a sanction of Rs.36.00 Lakhs for each Cluster. This activity is towards the Zero effect and Zero defect slogan of our Prime Minister to hand hold and upgrade the existing MSME industries. MEETING DOCTOR – By Mr. Mike Van der Vijver : The Speaker emphasized on various Medical Facilities Association could provide to their members to maintain connectivity and interest in the association. They also keep track of the blood group of each and every member. They also have interactive website for the members informing them of R&D in the medical field. This Session was followed by India Association Awards, wherein IPF Kolkata was awarded Trophy for 2 categories i.e. best Social Media and best Public Relation Awards. The programme was followed by Gala Dinner.

15 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work Day 2: August 22, 2015 Session 4: Active Advocacy This Session was more for NGOs, lobbying with the Government for grants. During the discussion, it was informed that there are Rs.6.00 Lakhs NGOs registered in India and most of them are defunct there by giving a bad name to the good NGOs working for noble cause.

Session 5: World Class Scientific Papers: Can India Take the Lead?

research papers published in India and Foreign journals.

Session 6: Communication that Works. The focus was on Communication with the members. The following six points were highlighted to make communication with the members more meaningful. 1) The content should be simple. 2) Include the unexpected.

5) Emotional content 6) Include some stories or tales to make the content interesting. During the other sessions it was also emphasized to organize Video Conferencing with Pan India involvement of all the members. It was also suggested to have an interactive Website where members could interact with the Associations lives. The conference ended with the closing Ceremony.

3) Concrete matter 4) Credible or believable content

This Session was only on R&D

OFFICE BEARERS TEAM 2014 -2015

Plastics News • September 2015 • 16


17 • September 2015 • Plastics News 43 • April 2015 • Plastics News


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Plastics News • September 2015 • 20


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Plastics News • September 2015 • 22


COMPANY NEWS

Milacron's facility at Coimbatore

M

ilacron Holdings Corp., one of the leading industrial technology companies serving the plastics processing industry, announced the completion of the expansion at its Mold-Masters’ Coimbatore hot runner facility. The 10,000 square foot facility in Chinnavedampati, Coimbatore is 4 kilometers away from the existing manufacturing facility. This facility will predominantly manufacture the Mold-Masters’ automotive and large part focused hot runner system – Fusion G2. The G2 product line is engineered in Europe and serviced by the Global MasterCARE team. The Fusion G2’s drop-in, single point connection design ensures easy installation, faster start-ups, reliable operation and user-friendly maintenance for automotive and medium to large part molding applications. The Fusion G2 has recently added improved features including extended nozzle lengths and types, valve pin intelligence with speed control and pin position

monitoring and new gate seals. The Fusion G2 will have a prominent display at this year’s upcoming Fakuma 2015, an international trade fair for plastics processing on October 13-17, 2015 in Germany. Kannan Venkatraman, Mold-Masters Managing Director, India, hosted an opening function and Hans Hagelstein, Mold-Masters Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India, performed the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the facility. Hagelstein commented, “As India’s injection molding market continues to grow, so too will the complexity of the molded products the region produces. With complex products come increasingly complex molds and an increased reliance on hot runners, which is where Milacron’s Mold-Masters brand excels. Whether the mold is simple or incredibly complex, we produce hot runner systems that meet these individual needs, ensuring efficiency, accuracy and reliability."

Technip awarded EPC contract by Unipetrol for Polyethylene plant

T

echnip has been awarded by Unipetrol, a subsidiary of PKN Orlen, a contract on lumpsum turnkey basis, covering the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a new Polyethylene Plant that will be launched in 2018 (PE3) in the complex located in Litvinov, Czech Republic. Based on INEOS technology, the new unit will have a capacity of 270,000 tpa high density polyethylene. Technip’s operating

centers in Rome, Italy, and Lyon, France, will execute this contract, scheduled to be completed in the 2018.According to PKN Orlen, the unit will be “among the most advanced units of this type in Europe.” The project is Orlen’s largest investment in the Czech market and the biggest in the history in the petrochemical sector in the country. The contract is valued at €213 mln, the costs will reach €314 mln.

Reliance to launch sustainable fibers from postconsumer waste PET bottles

R

eliance Polymers is set to launch what the company claims will be one of the world’s greenest Environment friendly sustainable f i b e r s “ Re c r o n G r e e n G o l d ” manufactured from post-consumer waste PET bottles. The Recron GreenGold fibres are said to be one of the greenest fibres of the world in terms of Co2e.

In terms of sustainability, these fibres help in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, natural resources by using post-consumer waste PET bottles which would otherwise have gone for land fill, oceans, or incineration whereas in terms of performance, these fibers are just like the virgin polyester fibre. These fibres also replace the wet coloring process in the production of dyed polyester staple fibre with a dry one, where the colors are added with the raw material instead of coloring the fibre in an additional dyeing process. As fibre comes out colored, it eliminates the need of wet dyeing process all the way to the textile value chain from fibre to yarn to fabric, making it suitable for both apparel and technical textile players to offer certified green endproducts and meet the increasing need for sustainable apparel from overseas buyers and brands.

23 • September 2015 • Plastics News


COMPANY NEWS

Mitsubishi inks distribution agreement with Graesslin Kunststoffe for TPE

M

itsubishi Chemicals Performance Polymers Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Graesslin Kunststoffe for the supply of its Tefabloc thermoplastic elastomers in Germany. MCPP said the agreement with Graesslin Kunststoffe strengthens its network of distributors in Germany, where Chemie-Plast is already operating with the Tefabloc TPE range. The move is part of an ongoing MCPP expansion in Europe that started with its acquisition of CTS, a company with three production sites in France and Poland. Graesslin Kunststoffe is part of the Hromatka Group, a distributor and compounder for engineering thermoplastics, with locations in nine European countries. MCPP mainly will develop Tefabloc sales for injection and extrusion

applications. “Tefabloc is a very interesting product” says Thomas Buecker, managing director of Graesslin Nord GmbH. “It offers a wide set of functionalities like dry touch with ultra-low hardness, elastic memory at elevate temperature and flexibility at very low temperature.” “Considering the MCPP know-how in compounding and the Graesslin team of plastic specialists, we are very confident about succeeding in the German market, in many domains requiring outstanding features” added Benoit Deriano, who is responsible for MCPP Europe’s distribution and markets outside of automotive and building and construction.

Fluor Corp selected by PTT Global to perform FEED work

P

TT Global Chemical Public Company (PTTGC) has selected a team led by Fluor Corporation to perform front-end engineering and design work for its proposed petrochemical complex in Belmont County, Ohio. The team includes Fluor, Technip and SK E&C. Fluor will book the undisclosed contract value into backlog in Q32015. The project will encompass an ethane cracker and derivatives units by leveraging the availability of feedstock from gas taken from the Utica and Marcellus shale formations in the region to create chemical

Plastics News • September 2015 • 24

products. Front-end activities are expected to be completed in 2016. “Working closely with PTTGC on the front-end activities, we will identify the most capital-efficient integrated solutions to support the project’s advancement,” said Jim Brittain, president of Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals Americas business line. “Our team has partnered together on numerous world-class petrochemical projects. We will leverage this experience and our innovative design technologies to bring this project to fruition.”

Mitsubishi Chemical to expand in Germany

M

itsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (MCPP), a subsidiary of the Tokyo based Mitsubishi Chemical, has announced it is expanding its distribution network f o r Te f a b l o c t h e r m o p l a s t i c elastomers (TPE) in Germany. MCPP has signed an agreement with Grässlin Kunststoffe to strengthen its network of distributors in Germany, as part of its continuing expansion in Europe.MCPP states that the agreement is mainly to develop Tefabloc sales for injection and extrusion types. Thomas Bücker, the Managing Director of Grässlin said: "Tefabloc is a very interesting product. It offers a wide set of functionalities like dry touch with ultra low hardness, elastic memory at elevate temperature and flexibility at very low temperature. A further key point of Tefabloc TE lies in the chemical compatibility for the over-moulding of soft grades on engineering polymers. It includes solutions with high transparency and even highly competitive formulations designed for the manufacturing of soft grips on polyamide (PA6, PA6.6), whether it is multicomponent (2K) or insert overmoulding process”."Considering the MCPP know-how in compounding and the Grässlin team of plastic specialists, we are very confident about succeeding in the German market, in many domains requiring outstanding features."


COMPANY NEWS

Davis-Standard company acquires blown film manufacturer Gloucester Engineer

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avis-Standard, LLC has completed the acquisition of blown film leader Gloucester Engineering of Gloucester, Massschuets. The purchase of Gloucester strengthens Davis-Standard’s blown film offering by adding experienced design and process engineering capabilities, a large installed base and greater aftermarket capabilities worldwide. Like Davis-Standard, Gloucester has been a respected brand name and innovator in film applications for more than 50 years. Customers of Davis-Standard and Gloucester will now have access to the industry’s premier blown film technology and aftermarket service under one roof. “We’re excited about combining the strengths and market reach of Davis-Standard and Gloucester,” said Jim Murphy, Davis-Standard president and CEO. “Gloucester has always been a strong company, so bringing their technology and engineering expertise

to our operation is significant for our combined customer base. It also supports our ongoing goal of continuing to provide equipment and service that improves process efficiency and profitability. We welcome their team to Davis-Standard.” Carl Johnson, Vice President of Sales, Gloucester Engineering commented: “The alignment of our companies leverages our sizeable base of installed equipment with the the industry’s best resources for sales, engineering and service,” he said. “Both companies have a reputation for strong people and strong brands. This is going to be a game changer in the global blown film market. We look forward to delivering the very best the industry has to offer.” Ernie Plasse, Davis-Standard’s Executive Vice President, will lead Gloucester’s integration into Davis-Standard to ensure a seamless transition of first class service and support for customers.

Evonik seeks buyer for Materials

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pecialty chemicals maker Evonik Industries is looking to sell off or find a partner for its Performance Materials unit, which includes acrylic sheet and resin, as well as other specialty plastic materials. Evonik Finance Director Ute Wolf has said the Essen, Germany-based firm can’t achieve the economies of scale that would be necessary for the long-lasting competitiveness of the Performance Materials unit.“There are certainly other investors, corporations and

industry groups which could make more of it,” she added.Based on sales, Performance Materials was the smallest of Evonik’s three operating units in the first half of 2015. The unit posted sales of €938m, down 4% vs. the first half of 2014. Performance Materials’ adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the first half essentially was flat at €82m.

Solvay and RTP agree PPSU resin licensing agreement

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olvay Specialty Polymers has confirmed a licensing d e a l f o r RT P C o m p a n y, a global compounder of custom engineered thermoplastics, to produce and sell Solvay’s Radel R-7000 series of polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resins. The agreement will see the resin sold to the global commercial aircraft industry, which uses the product in seating, passenger service units, stow bins and air grilles. The resins also comply with US Federal Aviation Administration regulations that govern flammability, heat release, smoke generation and toxic gas emissions. Solvay Specialty Polymers senior vice president of sulfone polymers Michael Finelli said: “Solvay’s family of Radel R-7000 PPSU polymers have delivered proven performance in aircraft interior applications for more than 25 years across a broad range of commercial aircraft, including the Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787.”Ben Wiltsie, general manager of flame retardant products at RTP Company, said: “Our licensing agreement with Solvay now enables us to offer customers an even broader range of high-performance polymers that comply with the aircraft industry’s stringent regulations.

25 • September 2015 • Plastics News


COMPANY NEWS

Sidel moves HQ to Italy

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idel Group, the blow moulding equipment unit of Tetra Laval Group, is moving its headquarters from Switzerland to Italy and laying off 10% of its workforce. The restructuring will be completed by early 2016. Sidel is moving its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, to its manufacturing operation in Parma, Italy. A Sidel spokeswoman said the Zug facility was a headquarters with no manufacturing. Parma has become a centre of excellence in filling for complete production lines and filling technology. The announced changes are part of its move to focus exclusively on PET equipment. The moves will create “a new, streamlined functional structure” as well as “more centralised reporting lines and fewer management levels,” the company said.“The changes will generate cost savings that will be reinvested back

in developing improved solutions for our customers.” The reorganization impacts only Sidel. Tetra Laval Group’s two other business units are not affected — Tetra Pak and DeLaval. Tetra Laval Group is based in Pully, Switzerland. Sidel said there will be an overall reduction of about 10% across Sidel’s global operations — 360 employees. Sidel employs about 3,400 worldwide. Some of the laid-off employees will be re-deployed into new roles. The company spokeswoman also said that 715 “roles” will be removed with up to 355 new roles created, resulting in the 360 fewer net jobs.= According to Tetra Laval’s 2014 annual report, “Sidel operated in a difficult market” for the fiscal year ended 31 December. Blow moulding equipment sales were flat, but Sidel did increase its aftermarket sales and service business by 4.5%.

Shanghai Pret expands in North America

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hanghai Pret Composites, which acquired WPR Holdings LLC (Wellman Plastics Recycling) of Johnsonville, S.C. earlier this year, announced that the new name of its US operating unit will be Wellman Advanced Materials and that it will benefit from a capacity expansion of 20,000 tons.

The new capacity expansion of 44-million pounds/20,000 tonnes at the Johnsonville site in order to offer Pret's highly regarded TPO, long-glass (reinforced) polypropylene (LGPP), and other engineered polypropylene (PP) compounds to automakers and tier suppliers in North America. The

Plastics News • September 2015 • 26

first compounding extruder will be installed by the end of 2015 with a second to be installed in early 2016. Wellman also plans to expand its product development and application testing services at its R&D facility in Johnsonville . With testing equipment with more in-house mechanical testing, material characterization, and color-matching resources. Moldfilling and structural analysis support will also be offered for its North American customers. The name change is to signify product portfolio in North America has been expanded.

Poland’s Invento to launch PET can factory Polish packaging maker Invento has unveiled plans to open a new production facility in Gryfino, in the country’s north-western part. The project ,according to comp[any is estimated to be worth some PLN 50m (€12m) Under the plan, the factory will make PET cans on a total floorspace of 10,000 square metres. Jacek Gnich, the chief executive of Invento, said that, owing to the company’s technology, production lines which make aluminium cans can be easily and quickly adapted to manufacture Invento’s PET can. The plant will be located in the Gryfińska special economic zone (GSSE). This will enable Invento with preferential tax treatment for its investment until 2026, when the zones are to cease operations in Poland. The designed factory will be fitted with two production lines to produce PET cans, and a further two lines which are to make beverages. The plant’s output capacity will be about 160 million cans per year. The factory is scheduled to be officially launched on September 24 2015, and in the forthcoming years the producer is aiming to further expand the floorspace of its plant. Invento says it has been active in the Polish plastic packaging industry since 2004. The company’s product range includes 11 types of cans ranging between 250 ml and 500ml.


FEATURES

Agricultural Firms Introduction

National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in Horticulture (NCPAH), Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, Delhi

The FIRST use of plastic film in agriculture is said to date from 1948 by Prof. E M. Emmert, however the use of polymers in agriculture on a significant scale started in 1950s when Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) film was used as mulch replacing paper in vegetables. Since then plastic films have made it possible to convert apparently unproductive desert areas into modern agricultural developments, and thus have encourages economic growth with sustainability. Plastics now pervade all aspects of horticulture & agriculture and the variety of products available today are enormous. The most important applications of plastic films in today’s farming are greenhouses, walk-in tunnels, low tunnel covers, plastic mulch, lining of water bodies, soil solarisation/sterilization etc.

Types of greenhouse 1. Natural Ventilated Greenhouse. 2. Partially Controlled Greenhouse (fan and pad arrangement) 3. Fully controlled Greenhouse (Hi-tech) with misting facilities 4. Wooden/Bamboo Structure Greenhouse

Crops suitable for Greenhouse cultivation

Major Plastic Film Applications (i) Greenhouse/Polyhouse: Greenhouses are frames or inflated structures covered with a transparent / translucent material in which, crops can be grown under controlled or partially controlled environment. The greenhouse technology has been considerable importance in better space utilization, growing crops in extreme climatic conditions and high rainfall areas. LDPE/LLDPE UV stabilized film are in practice under the said technology. In India the BIS standard IS: 15827 2009 (Plastic Film for Greenhouse –Specification) is followed. Many manufacturers now-a-days are providing 3 -5 layers films having special features such as anti-dust, anti-drip etc. which is been commercially used by the growers in the country.

Benefits • Moderates temperature & humidity. • Helps to improve the quality & quantity of produce. • Helps raise off season crops. • Reduce infestation of disease/pests. • Intensive farming of high value crops. • Helps in hardening of tissue cultured plants. • Helps in raising early nurseries for different crops (ii) Walk-in tunnels: is a structure cladded with UV stabilized plastic film, suitable for all crops; flowers and vegetables. It is designed to withstand wind up to 120 km/

27 • September 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES hr. and trellising load up to 25 kg/cm2. The structure is 8 m -10 m wide. They do not require much space, are temporary in nature and above all they cost very little. (iii) Plastic (low) tunnels: these have been used for producing healthy and high value nurseries. Use of low tunnels has been effective in crops such as tomato, cucumber, radish, beans, strawberries, melons etc. These tunnels are made of PVC/HDPE pipes of 1 inch diameter having 2 m length cladded with LDPE films 25-50 microns with 2 m width. The structure facilitate the entrapment of CO2, thereby enhancing the photosynthetic activity of the plants and helps to increase yield.

influences the micro climate around the plant. In India the BIS standard IS: 15177 2002 (Surface Covered Cultivation – Plastics Mulching: Code of Practice) is followed.

Benefits • Prevents weed growth and act as a barrier to soil pathogens. • Conserves soil moisture thereby reduces irrigation requirement. • Provides cleaner crop/produce • Accelerated uptake of nutrients by the roots • Prevents soil erosion & runoff.

• Enhances nutrient uptake by the plant.

(v) Farm Pond Lining: Pond Lining is the process of installing a fix lining of impervious material or mechanically treating the soil in the pond to prevent to impede or prevent water loss. It also avoids depletion of stored water used for irrigation purposes. It is also an effective and economic method to harvest rain-water for su pple me n t a ry irrigation & other agriallied activities. Normally the thickness of film used in farm ponds ranges between 300 microns to 500 microns. Thicker films are usually recommended because of enhanced durability.

• Used for cultivation during winters.

Benefits

• Protects crop against wind, rain, frost & snow

• Reduction in seepage losses to the maximum extent up to 100% and hence water availability over a longer period of time.

Benefits • Used for raising healthy & early nursery. • Maintains optimum temperature for plant growth.

(iv) Plastic Mulch: covering the soil around the plant to prevent loss of moisture with plastic film and providing micro climate to the root zone is known as mulching. There are different colour plastic mulch films which determines the energy-radiating behavior and also

Plastics News • September 2015 • 28

• Provide supplemental irrigation to the standing crops at a critical growth stage. • Integration of these water bodies with micro irrigation system can bring more area under irrigation. • It is highly useful in porous soils where water retention in ponds and water harvesting tanks is minimal. • Eliminates water logging and prevents upward intrusion of salts into stored water.


FEATURES • It can also be used in the lining of saltpans for improving productivity as well as quality of salt

Asia-Pacific accounts for a major share in the agricultural films market.

Indian Standard on Plastic Films used for lining:

India and China are the major growing markets in the region. The growing emphasis on increasing the crop yield in order to meet the demand of the rising population is the key driver of the market. The concept of controlled agriculture is boosting the demand for agricultural films in the region. The decreasing arable land fosters the use of agricultural films to increase the output. Technavio's analysts forecast the global agricultural films market to grow at a CAGR of 6.90% by revenue over the period 2014-2019

Looking at the importance, demand and functionality, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a statutory institution developed various Indian standards on following films used for lining. S.N.

Indian Standard (IS)

IS No.

1. Low Density Polyethylene Films Specifications

2508- 1984

2. Lining of canals with polyethylene film – code of practice (LDPE film)

9698:1995

3. Multi-layered Cross Laminated sheets and Tarpaulin/Covers - Specifications

14611: 1998

4. Textiles – Laminated High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Fabric for Canal Lining (First revision)

15351:2003

5. HDPE film/sheet/Geo-membrane

10889:2004

6. Textiles – Laminated High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Fabric for Water Proof Lining

15351:2008

7

15909:2010

PVC Geo-membranes for Lining- Specifications

Scope for Plastic films The global focus on increasing the agricultural output coupled with the increase in area under controlled agriculture is driving the market for agricultural films

GoI Initiatives The grappling need to produce more per unit area with improved quality of have made the Indian farming community to adopt modern methods/products for sufficing the grueling demand of population as well as to contribute the food basket to attain self - sufficiency. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India along with States is popularizing these modern farming techniques under its flagship scheme of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) by providing 50 per cent financial assistance for its adoption on a large scale in the country. The National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in Horticulture (NCPAH) is the national level agency in promoting these technologies under the scheme. The details for the same may be obtained from www. midh.gov.in.

Covestro up and running One of the world’s leading polymer materials suppliers has a new identity. From September 1, 2015 Bayer MaterialScience is operating under the Covestro name.The company is now legally and economically independent, but will remain a 100 per cent subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer wants to float Covestro on the stock market by mid-2016 at the latest in order to concentrate exclusively on the life sciences businesses. “Independence will enable us to bring our strengths to bear in global competition more quickly, effectively and flexibly,” said Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas.

“Making the world a brighter place” Covestro has a new, colorful logo. Its vision is also new: “To make the world a brighter place.” “We fulfill this vision by inspiring innovation and driving growth through profitable technologies and products that benefit society and reduce environmental impacts,” said Thomas. Mr. Ajay Durrani, Managing Director of Covestro India Private Limited said, “We are extremely excited to venture into a bold new direction with Covestro. The name is part of Covestro’s corporate identity, which includes a distinctive new and colourful, vibrant brand. We are

29 • September 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES committed to delivering value to our customers, and other stakeholders with the new brand identity. We look forward to building a successful future for Covestro in India with our loyal and dedicated employees.” Covestro supplies key industries around the world, such as the automotive, construction and electronics sectors, as well as the furniture, sporting goods and textiles industries. With its products and applications solutions, the company is helping to meet the major challenges of our time, from climate change and resource depletion, increasing mobility and urbanization to population growth and demographic change.

Versatile products for key industries Products include raw materials for premium polyurethane foam, which in the form of flexible foam is used primarily in furniture, mattresses and automobile seats; as rigid foam, it serves to insulate buildings and refrigeration equipment. Covestro also produces high-performance plastic polycarbonates, which are also very versatile materials for automotive components, roof structures, medical devices and much more. Rounding out the portfolio are

specialty chemicals, including raw materials for coatings, adhesives and films. Covestro is managed by a fourmember board of management. Members of the Board chaired by CEO Patrick Thomas also include Frank H. Lutz (Finance, Labor Director), Dr. Klaus Schaefer (Production and Technology) and Dr. Markus Steilemann (Innovation). Covestro in India, is headquartered in Thane, near Mumbai. The Company’s Greater Noida production site, near New Delhi, is home to the EcoCommercial Building, the Polyurethanes Systems House and the Polycarbonates Color Competence and Design Center. Built with an investment of Euro 5 million, the “EcoCommercial Building” is a lighthouse project of the integrated, Groupwide Bayer Climate Program which was launched at the end of 2007. The EcoCommercial Building is an office building that showcases how the former Bayer MaterialScience addresses the issues of making a sustainable building.

China focuses on Bioplastics sector

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new ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags and food service items is creating an unprecedented surge for bioplastics manufacturing in China. While Hisun Biomaterials China's Hisun Biomaterials sees a big opportunity for production of degradeable plastics Foxconn Technology Group says China’s bioplastics industry may well be looking at the best opportunity in its history. Although bioplastics face headwinds in the marketplace as oil prices plunge, government policies can change the landscape say experts. Unlike China’s nationwide plastic bag ban, which has been widely recognized as ineffectively enforced since its launch in June 2008, Jilin province’s new ban so far seems to be in full force and making real impact in the region.

The ban just took effect January 1 this year but the government had announced the law as early as February 2014 and has made solid progress in leveraging the ban to foster bioplastics manufacturing in that region. Jilin, in

Plastics News • September 2015 • 30

northeast China, is the nation’s largest production base for corn and corn derivatives. Naturally the government decided to promote a corn-based bioplastic polylactic acid resin, as the alternative to the conventional plastics for making bags and food service items that have been prohibited. Local officials claim the region has ramped up enough bio-based production capacity to fulfill the need created by the ban of conventional bags and food service ware. In an industrial park dedicated to bio-based materials, about a dozen companies either have started production of PLA products or are in the process of launching production, according to local media reports. Jilin province in northeast China imposed an administrative ban of non-biodegradable plastic bags and food service ware on 1 January and has been following up with diligent enforcement measures. A provincial government official, Song Gang, said at the biomaterials event held in July


FEATURES that the ban will be escalated to a regional law and that legislative research has begun, according to state media reports. Jilin also plans to publish a catalogue of banned products, increase violation penalties, and introduce a recall system. Behind Jilin’s heavy hand is its determination to build a robust biomaterials industry in a province that lacks industrial development but excels in corn production and processing. During the first half of the year, Jilin managed to bring online 10 manufacturing projects of polylactic acid-based plastics products, all funded with investment from outside of the province, Song said. In addition, nine local factories switched to the production of PLA-based bags and service ware, capturing the demand created by the ban of conventional plastics items. According to reports the province has replaced more than 2,000 tonnes of conventional plastics products with PLA alternatives in the first six months. Such government interventions may have opened a new chapter for China’s PLA market, and industry players ,veterans and newcomers, are taking notice and action. Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Foxconn is reported to be building a campus in Changchun, capital city of Jilin, to make CO2-based biodegradable plastics (30,000 tons per year), PLA (10,000 tons per year) as well as processed plastics products (8,000 tons per year), according to a report from government-run Changchun Daily. The local government reposted the report on its own website.,Foxconn (Changchun) Science and Technology Industry Park, which broke ground in April, touts a total investment of CNY 1.7bn (€252.2m), according to Changchun Daily. Phase one is expected to launch production by the end of the year. Foxconn’s first endeavor into the bioplastics world appears to have started in late 2013, when it founded subsidiary Changchun Leiguan Environmental Plastic Co. Ltd. in Jilin province.Leiguan has been certified by the government to make biodegradable plastic bags and serveware. It also lists production equipment such as Chen Hsong injection molding machines as well as extrusion and bag making machines. Foxconn has been working on developing bioplastics for many years, Leiguan said on its website. Existing players in the bioplastics industry also are trying to reap the benefits from the new regulations. Wuhan Huali Environmental Technology, which makes starch-

based plastics and products, said it is working with a local partner in Jilin to supply blown-film grade material that contains more than 35% PLA. Huali called the Jilin ban “a great opportunity”. China’s largest compounder, Kingfa Science & Technology, is pushing for a blown-film grade compound it developed specifically for Jilin. Part of Kingfa’s Ecopond Flex-262 series, the material is a compound of PLA and petroleumbased yet fully biodegradable and compostable PBAT, a polyester-based material. Kingfa produces PBAT (polybutyrate adipate terephthalate) in-house and also works with PLA suppliers. It is the sole compounding partner in China for NatureWorks LLC, which made a pitch at Chinaplas in Guangzhou on how its Ingeo family of PLA products can help meet Jilin’s new regulations. Kingfa boasts monthly supply capability of 2,000 tons of bioplastics for Jilin and plans to expand as other provinces follow Jilin’s suit down the road. That trend other regions in China replicating Jilin’s model is looming large. Jiangsu province in east China, for example, is currently reviewing a bill that, similar to Jilin’s, would ban all non-biodegradable shopping bags and service ware. While single-use disposable items like shopping bags have been the main focus of regulations, some companies are looking into more reusable applications for bioplastics. In fact, in a bid to address the durability issue of biodegradable shopper bags, some Jilin retailers have turned to non-woven bags that are made entirely out of PLA, according to PLA maker Hisun Biomaterials. Hisun argues that the 100% PLA non-woven bags are more appealing than biodegradable film-based bags that still use petroleum-derived material. The nonwoven bags are nice and thick and reusable, Hisun said in a statement, offering a truly sustainable replacement for non-biodegradable non-woven bags that have been widely used worldwide in the past few years. Weng Yunxuan, a longtime industry observer and an official with multiple bioplastics associations, maintains that China’s bio-based materials industry has turned around after more than a decade of sluggish growth. Even products that used to be difficult to sell are now undersupplied. The world’s largest PLA maker, NatureWorks LLC, is also understood to have approached Jilin province for possible business opportunities, according to Jilin Daily.

31 • September 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES According to BASF (China) Co. Ltd. the Jilin ban actually targets plastics products that are not certified compostable. The chemical giant is supplying its certified compostable and biodegradable Ecoflex PBAT (polybutyrate adipate terephthalate) to processors in Jilin. The tear-resistant, puncture resistant, waterproof, printable and elastic material is used in the production of biodegradable bags to improve mechanical properties. BASF also supplies Ecovio, a compound of Ecoflex and PLA that’s also certified compostable and biodegradable polyester, for the manufacturing of compostable packaging such as organic waste bags. BASF is helping local partners in Jilin with organic waste collection projects, drawing from its expertise in such projects in other places in China as well as globally.Depending on market developments, BASF would consider localizing production of Ecoflex in China to

further increase price-competitiveness. Jilin’s vision for its bioplastics industry goes beyond bags and foodservice ware to include future targets in packaging, fiber, consumer products, as well as the auto and medical industries. Not only this but on the upstream side, a PLA resin facility by state-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. and a lactic acid project by Changchun Dacheng Industrial Group Co. Ltd. are expected to produce bioresin locally. Also according to reports government official told the Jilin Daily that Changchun, as one of the first four cities in China as testing grounds for biomaterials, is expected to receive funding from the central government in the next three years. Hope China's new plastics ban in Jilin province boosts bioplastics sector.

An Introduction to Automated Material Conveying By Doug Brewster, Conveying Product Manager

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he plastics industry worldwide is conducted on a massive scale, with raw materials produced, shipped, and handled in extremely large volumes. They are delivered to processing plants in large, skid-mounted cardboard boxes called gaylords; in oversized reinforced plastic bags; in skidded stacks of paper bags; or, extremely large quantities, by railcar or truckload. Once in the processing plant, these resins usually are handled with pneumatic conveying system that typically consists of a system of pipes, manifolds, valves, and controls that derive their motive force from a high-velocity stream of air. Typically, this air stream moves as a result of a differential in vacuum pressure that is created at the head of the system by a vacuum pump. In smaller, selfcontained conveying systems, the vacuum may be created by a motor or by a fast-moving stream of compressed air that is pulled past a venturi. When granular, pelletized, or powdered materials are exposed to this vacuum pressure differential, they are drawn into the pneumatic conveyor, suspended in the air stream, and moved to their destination.

There are many advantages to pneumatic conveyance in a plastics processing plant: Contamination is held to a minimum. Waste and spillage are minimized, resulting in

Plastics News • September 2015 • 32

a cleaner plant and lower housekeeping costs. Personnel accidents, from lifting, or moving resins, or from slips and falls on spilled resin can be virtually eliminated.

Figure 1. Raw material usually arrives at a plastics plant by bulk transport. while conveyors can be designed and optimized in many different ways, virtually all have many operating features and requirements in common. each must create and sustain certain types of velocity required to move pellets through the system:


FEATURES Minimum surface velocity-the velocity required to move a specific material through the system without damage. Settling velocity -- the velocity required to keep materials suspended and flowing in the air stream • Drop-out velocity -- −the velocity required to lift pellets in vertical segments of the system All plastic materials have certain characteristics which govern the amount of power or velocity required to move them properly. The specific gravity of a material is related to the amount of air that will be required to lift and move particles or pellets of it through the system. The bulk density of materials (in powders, granules, or pellets) is an important determinant of the size of pipes and receivers in the system. Materials with bulk densities between 25 and 55 lbs/ft3 (400 to 880 kg/ m3) are relatively easy to convey, while heavier materials may require more power. Lighter materials have no effect on power requirements, but may require additional system or storage space. Other material characteristics can create special challenges or problems in the system. Characteristic Friability High cohesiveness High erosiveness Low melting point Acidity Aerated/Deaerated

Material behavior Tendency to break into fine particles Te n d e n c y t o c l u m p together More difficult to move, with a tendency to scratch and scuff the system Tendency to form stringy “angel hairs” that stick to bends of piping system A tendency to corrode system elements Aerated materials flow freely in air; De-aerated materials tend to pile up and block airflow

Solution Filtration Avoid pneumatic conveying Reduce air velocity Utilize special system materials Increase power Avoid velocity in excess of recommendations Use corrosion resistant system materials Avoid moving de-aerated materials through system

A variety of factors, including the size of the plant, influence the processor’s decision whether to install a centralized vacuum conveying system or utilize one or more self-contained loaders, which will be introduced below. High-volume, long-distance material conveying requires the use of the most powerful type of vacuum pump: a positive displacement vacuum pump. Available in a range of sizes, positive displacement pumps use a powerful rotating lobe blower, protected by a vacuum relief valve, and are factory set to draw 12 in. (30 cm) of

Figure 2. Providing the power behind most large central conveying systems are positive-displacement pumps like those seen here. mercury. These pumps operate on three-phase power and incorporate a filter to protect the pump’s inner workings. Due to their power, they can be quite noisy, and so often require a sound enclosure if located near working area. Central dust collection systems are installed just upstream from these large pumps to minimize the amount of residual particles, dust, or other contaminants that are generated by the conveying process. Peripheral vacuum pumps are ideal for small to mediumsized resin-conveying applications. They are capable of moving free-flowing materials up to 200 ft (61 m) at rates of up to 3,000 lb (1360 kg) per hour or of supplying vacuum power to several smaller loaders at the same time. If dust generation is not a major problem, it is possible to substitute a filter canister for a central dust-collection system. If frequent loading cycles are expected, the pump may be equipped with a sequencing valve that allows the pump to run continuously and eliminate excessive starting and stopping.

Figure 3. This schematic shows many of the components in a central vacuum conveying system.

33 • September 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES Regardless of size, central conveying systems have a similar physical layout. The pump is at one end, preceded by a filter or dust collection system. At the other end is one or, more likely many or other material receivers. These can include surge bins and other storage containers, hoppers that serve individual molding machines, or hoppers located on conditioning equipment like dryers, blenders or feeders. Operation of the entire system is directed through an integrated control system.

Receivers and Loaders Vacuum material receivers provide the end point for materials drawn through a vacuum conveying system. Normally located near processing machines, they consist of a body, lid, and filter and are equipped with inlet and outlet connections. These connections are linked via tubes to the main vacuum line. Receivers often sit on top of some type of hopper, enabling pellets or other materials to be delivered direct to a point of use such as a blender, dryer, or processing machine.

Figure 4. Vacuum material receivers, like these shown on a mezzanine above a blending station, separate plastic pellets from conveying air and deliver the resin to processing machines. As materials are drawn by vacuum through the main line, they are diverted to a single receiver through control system inputs that isolate the receiver by closing off a sequence of valves. This diverts the vacuum-driven flow to the receiver where the material strikes the filter, loses velocity, and falls into the receiver. The vacuum air, no longer carrying the material, passes through the filter and returns through the dust collector to the vacuum pump. Ordinarily, the level of material in the receiver is monitored by a level switch, which signals the central system to stop loading the receiver when it is full.

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When the vacuum cycle is completed and the material is enclosed in the receiver, a flapper valve opens and allows the material to fall from the vacuum receiver into the hopper or the machine throat. The flapper then closes, ensuring that vacuum can be held through the receiver on the next conveying cycle. As noted, multiple receivers usually are connected to a single vacuum source. Each is equipped with vacuum sequencing valves, which are controlled at a receiver-mounted terminal box, with electronic connections to the master control panel for the entire system. Other control functions associated with receivers include material-line valve controls (for common material line isolation), internal demand-level switches, ratio valves to enable virgin/regrind mixes, and direct or gravity feeds. For many years, vacuum receivers looked very much like the cone-shaped hoppers that are common on injection molding machines. A lid was added to accommodate material inlet and vacuum outlet connections or, in the case of self-contained loaders (see below), a vacuum motor would be mounted to the lid. More recently, however, Conair has re-envisioned the vacuum receiver. With the trend toward lean production techniques such as fast job and mold changes and lean inventory management, direct feed “hoppers” appeared. These units usually have a cylindrical body, often made of clear glass, mounted on the feed throat of the molding machine. Only a small amount of material would be held at any given moment so they were much easier to clean out during a material change. Also, when loading dried material, residence times are reduced, minimizing the possibility of moisture regain in the receiver. When supported by appropriate automation and a well-engineered p n e u m a t i c c o n v e y i n g system, direct feed provides a continuous and reliable supply o f r e s i n w h i l e Figure 5. Conair Access receivers are eliminating the angled to allow easier maintenance and time required to cleaning.


FEATURES clean out and manage excess resin in the machine hopper when it is time for a new job to run. More recently, Conair has developed angled receivers made from spun tubes instead of welded sheet. They are substantially easier to manufacture, which keeps costs down, and the angled receivers make it much easier for operators to reach inside for cleaning or other maintenance.

Self-Contained Loaders As an alternative to the dedicated vacuum pump, piping, and controls involved in a central conveying system, molders can employ one or more self-contained vacuum loaders. These can be used either as a supplement to a larger central system, or as a substitute material handling system. The function of self-contained loaders is identical to that of a central vacuum system, but these loaders operate locally rather than centrally. Self-contained loaders are available in a range of sizes. They provide a versatile, portable conveying capability suited to moving pelletized or regrind materials to hoppers, bins, or processing machines. The smallest self-contained loaders are designed for low volume conveying to small machine hoppers, drying hoppers, or additive bins on feeders or blenders. Figure 6: Self-contained loaders use a built-in vacuum motor or venturi vacuum generator and can operate independently of a central vacuum system. Larger models provide a larger body, motor, and filter and move larger volumes of material. While basic loaders are available in standard or built-to-order configurations, others are far more modular and flexible in design, enabling a wide range of configurations: a) Ratio loading capability (for virgin/regrind mixing), b) Closed-cycle air purging between different materials, c) Automatic, post-load filter blowback and cleaning, d) Gravity or air-powered discharge (for materials with poor flow) and e) Direct-feed viewing chambers for machine throat loading.

Also with an ever-expanding array of controls, these loaders offer easy conveyance of both virgin and regrind materials, remote operation, and quick-connecting components to simplify disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly.

Material Handling Controls There are three basic approaches to controlling central material handling systems. The original approach, referred to as central I/O (input/output), has each controlled device (usually loaders) wired discretely back to a main control panel. This configuration requires the lowest possible equipment investment, but the complicated wire increases installation costs. Still these control systems remain viable for smaller operations where the equipment layout is not likely to change. Larger plants tend to install control networks utilizing “remote” or “distributed” I/O configurations. Remote I/O configurations have I/O hubs strategically located around the plant to support nearby wire material-handling equipment. Then these remote hubs are wired back to a central control panel. In distributed configurations each loader has its own I/O modules, which are linked to a common communications bus to both main and remote operator interface panels. To monitor or manage materials, personnel can utilize operator interface panels, obtain system information, or issue commands to the PLC and material handling system via a local network. These larger systems are readily scalable, able to handle simultaneous operator inputs, and capable of handling 100 or more loaders, plus pumps and related equipment. Figure 7. From a central panel, processors can control the operation of dozens of loaders in a material handling system. Recent advances in control technology make it easier to provide even complex material-handling requirements as ratio loading, purging, fill-sensing, multi-source/ multi-destination, proofing, reverse regrind convey, and other high-end functions. These controls are expanding the capabilities of even relatively small, simple control systems and opening the benefits of central conveying to almost any processor.

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FEATURES

Plastic Flow Simulation- Not an Afterthought; But Necessity

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he most branded and trusted product for plastic flow simulation for nearly three decades has been Autodesk® Moldflow®. Autodesk® Moldflow® is a product under Autodesk’s portfolio of simulation products which includes Autodesk® Moldflow®, Autodesk® CFD, Autodesk® Nastran® and Autodesk® Helius PFA & Composites. It has been helping users for decades to compress their product development cycle and deliver products within timeframes and in line with end customers’ high quality standard. With Autodesk® Moldflow®, designers, engineers, and analysts have improved plastic part designs, injection mold designs and manufacturing processes. It is in line with today’s corporate vision of quality standards, delivery timelines and cost effective injection molded products. Through the software, users have answered critical design criteria’s of fit, form and function. “Right First time” is no more the buzz word. What is demanded now is “Right First time, every time with minimum time”. "Autodesk® Moldflow has a state W i t h I n j e c t i o n Molding technology of Art material library which contains 9700+ material grades h e a d i n g t o w a r d s from across all global and local a new era wherein manufacturers." plastic experts are trying to give more than their customer’s expectation, the deliverables through Autodesk® Moldflow® opens up a basket of options. Plastic manufacturing companies are finding it immensely challenging to live up to customer’s quality standards while ensuring heavy cut down on costs and more so ever they have heavy competition to deal with. They are looking at options of ‘metal to plastic’ conversion which does not only save cost, but also increases fuel efficiencies which is another upcoming global challenge from the automotive industry perspective. Manufacturers are replacing metals with composites or

Plastics News • September 2015 • 36

fiber filled plastics which physically have metal like mechanical properties that can sustain loads, impacts but these parts have serious manufacturing issues when it comes to dimensional stability and aesthetic appeal. Added to this there are several global and local Kinsuk Koley - Regional plastic raw material manufacturers Manager-West with huge number of grades available Technical Support in commercial market and this adds more complexity and confusion for the manufacturer’s on decision making. This is where Plastic Flow Simulation Software such as Autodesk® Moldflow® plays a critical role in manufacturers day to day activities of product development. Plastic manufacturers believe that the software is a boon for their new product development which is absolutely required to give one a cutting edge over competition. Moreover, in the recent years the developments of software have been moving hand to hand with the recent development of new technologies in the plastic industries. Processes like Microcellular injection molding, Induction heating, Conformal cooling, Mu-Cell Technology, Bi-Injection and Co-injection etc., are the recent developments wherein plastic manufacturers are moving onto new horizons by establishing these processes. Autodesk® Moldflow® development team does understand the fast moving trends of the industry and have taking strides forward to implement these technologies in the software too. Autodesk® Moldflow® has an exhaustive material library which contains materials from global polymer manufacturers and their several grades. Most of the grades are tested in the ‘State of Art’ either of the 2 Plastics Laboratory located in Australia and USA. Users who have experienced the software believe that such a library is unique in the industry and enriches their exploration to no limits wherein they can virtually test and validate materials merely with a workstation. Major Tier I’s are also going to an extent wherein they are reverse engineering their warped models through Moldflow to finally end up with parts with correct dimensions.


FEATURES

Indian Railways’ Rail Neer to get a better look

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opular with train travellers, the Rail Neer bottle is getting a facelift that will make it sleeker in design, longer in shape and more curvaceous at the top for a better grip. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has taken the decision driven by the need to make Rail Neer more competitive through reducing the manufacturing cost of the bottle in which it is packaged while not compromising the purity standards. The newly designed bottle costs less because of the cheaper raw material as the weight has been reduced from 21.5 gram to 19.5 gram.

Driven by the need to make its Rail Neer more competitive by reducing the manufacturing cost of the bottle in which it is packaged, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to give it a new look and provide a tough competition to the private players while maintaining the purity standards. "In fact, our plant at Ambernath in Maharashtra has already started manufacturing the new attractive design of Rail Neer bottles and are available in trains and at railway stations," said Dr. A K Manocha, Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC. Three of the other Rail Neer plants at Nangloi (Delhi), Danapur

(Bihar) and Palur (Chennai) would be adopting the cost-effective, passenger-friendly new design soon, he informed.The new bottle has been designed by the French company Sidel, a leading global provider of solutions for liquid packaging. The design of the existing bottle was made by National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. "Rail Neer is the purest packaged water that is manufactured in fully automated conditions, and the chances of contamination don't exist. Not a single sample of Rail Neer has ever failed in outside lab testing," he pointed out. The oldest Rail Neer plant at Nangloi, for instance, has a testing lab (ISO 9001-2008 rating) that conducts tests at various stages to ensure the quality of water. Apart from its own labs, it has outsourced the job to Shriram Institute for outside testing. Citing reasons for the need to economise the operational cost of packaged water, Dr. Manocha said Rail Neer plants are lesser in number as compared with those of private players. "IRCTC has to transport its water bottles to a very long distance whereas private companies have set up their manufacturing units at the places where there is a big demand. This helps them in reducing the transportation cost which, in turn, reflects in their production cost," he explained. Listing the steps taken by IRCTC to reduce the overall manufacturing cost of its packaged water, he said the weight of a preform Rail Neer bottle made of PET (polyethylene

terephthalate which is a form of polyester) has been reduced from 21.5 gram to 19.5 gram. The newly designed bottle costs less because of the cheaper raw material. The Ambernath plant would soon start production of preforms that would help reduce their cost drastically, the CMD informed. Mr. Siyaram, Group General Manager (GGM), Rail Neer, said IRCTC has stopped the earlier practice of packing a dozen bottles in one carton. "Now 'shrink' packing is being used in its place. It has significantly reduced the use of paper too," he added. Rail Neer plants follow an eightstage filtration technology. "Our packaged water follows two Activated Carbon Filter process. Of this, the Norit Carbon System, imported from Europe, ensures that there is no pesticidal residue in water. Also, the 'Marble Chip' filtration process, which is used only by Rail Neer plants, keeps in control the acidic value of water," Mr. Siyaram said. In 2014-15, Rail Neer plants produced 11.8 crore bottles with a turnover of Rs 96 crore For the fiscal 2015-16, the target is to produce 16 crore bottles with a turnover of Rs 120 crore.

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FEATURES

Iran’s petrochemical sector could reap large returns

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or most of the global petrochemical producer looking for higher investment than Iran is gradually the destination considering the growth opportunity, and perhaps if you can overlook about the major business and political risks involved, it presents an attractive opportunity.

One can see quite an amount of investment happening in the country and if experts are to be believed it could reap large returns. Iran has the world’s fourth-largest supply of proven oil reserves and the secondlargest supply of conventional natural gas reserves, much of which is rich in ethane, a petrochemical feedstock. This is significant given that chemical feedstock availability in other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, has become more limited. A rekindling of direct foreign i n v e s t m e n t i n I r a n ’s h u g e petrochemical sector - if and when sanctions are lifted, could reap large rewards for nimble investors with the significant intestinal fortitude necessary to assume relatively high levels of economic and political risks, says new analysis from IHS.

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According to the IHS Chemical analysis, Iran’s many risks include an extremely high degree of political risk, legal uncertainty, and bothersome levels of administrative and bureaucratic obstacles. Yet despite these risks, Iran has a number of important advantages to potential petrochemical investors, including low-cost feedstocks and access to major markets. Iran and six world powers have reached a nuclear deal earlier in July 2015, capping more than a decade of negotiations with an agreement that could transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an "historic surrender."Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

Investment Iran is looking for US$85 billion in investment for its petrochemicals sector and aims to increase production by a third this year. Moayed Sadr Hossein, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s petrochemical subcommittee, was quoted as saying by the official Fars news agency that the country needs such an investment, some of which has already been earmarked for this year.According to Hossien of all the country’s export sectors, petrochemicals is expected to get the quickest boost from the agreement to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, which was reached

earlier this month by the United States and five other countries involved in negotiations. T h e g o v e r n m e n t ’s N a t i o n a l Development Fund of Iran has already committed $5bn to the sector, and a further $2.5bn is needed to boost production from 45 million tonnes annually to 60 million tonnes, according to Abbas Shari Moqaddam, the head of National Petrochemical Company (NPC). NPC had previously targeted a production rate of at least 50 million tonnes annually by next March.Along with lowered sanctions, Iran’s ability to produce additional petrochemicals at competitive international prices will be boosted by significantly larger quantities of natural gas feedstock coming on-stream from its sizeable South Pars offshore gasfields this year. Ali Mohammad Bosaghzadeh, another senior NPC executive, says that ethane delivery to petrochemical plants was forecast to rise by 1.4 million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes this year because of additional South Pars feedstock gas. Mr Shari Moqaddam, who is also the deputy oil minister, said that Iran had already begun to court international companies to invest in the petrochemicals sector. NPC had held talks with two German international chemicals companies, BASF and Linde Group, about potential investment. “We must provide the infrastructure in such a way that things are OK


FEATURES for the return of foreign companies and investors in the petrochemicals sector,” Mr Shari Moqaddam said after the meeting. He added that the government needed to finalise both the feedstock pricing formula for petrochemical plants and the regulations that will apply to attract investment. Another investment initiative is to offer feedstock discounts of up to 30 per cent for plants located in the more remote regions of the country, NPC officials said. Although there are obstacles, including political pitfalls that could roll back the deal, “the Iranian nuclear agreement paves the way for a revival of the Iranian petrochemicals industry with export-led growth”, a report from BMI Research said. “Sanctions have severely impeded petrochemicals output and investment, preventing the country from reaching its target of 100 million tonnes annually of petrochemicals capacity by 2015, of which 75 per cent was to be exported,” BMI said. “The post-sanctions outlook looks brighter.” Mr Shari Moqaddam said that $70bn was needed to finish the petrochemical projects already begun, which if completed would bring output capacity to 180 million tonnes annually. Iran is one of the most important suppliers of key petrochemicals to the world market, especially of methanol. Investment in its gas sector is also key to boosting petrochemicals exports. The country vies with Russia as holder of the world’s largest gas reserves,

but chronic lack of investment has meant they are under-exploited. Iran still is a net gas importer for domestic consumption, and priority has been given to gas reinjection into its oilfields to boost production.

Indian Perspective Indian Oil Corp. is seeking to build a $3 billion petrochemicals plant in

Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA, if Iran’s breakthrough nuclear deal this year holds and sanctions are lifted. Indian Oil, the biggest oil refiner in India, is betting on petrochemicals to drive growth. The company plans to spend $4.5 billion in the next few years to expand the business. Indian Oil sees “tremendous potential” in the industry, Chairman B. Ashok said in an interview published in its latest in-house newsletter.

Growth Potential

Iran, according to reports. The plan hinges on assurances from Iran that the 1 million-ton-a-year project will have access to cheap natural gas as feedstock. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is also looking forward to energy and infrastructure investments totaling billions of dollars in Iran, including upstream gas production and port developments. India has sought to secure ties with Iran and ensure access to its abundant hydrocarbons as years of sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation may be nearing an end. Economic and financial restrictions on Iran, once the secondbiggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, left it in need of outside money and expertise to rejuvenate its flagging hydrocarbon industry. However, it is likely that Indian companies will be competing against state-run energy giants of regional rival China, as well as oil majors including Royal

“If you are a global petrochemical producer looking at Iran for its investment and growth opportunity, and you can forget for a minute about the major business and political risks involved, it presents an attractive opportunity,” says Michael Smith, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at IHS Chemical. Iran expects to increase petrochemical exports by up to a quarter by the end of 2016 "We expect our exports of petrochemical products to increase by 20 to 25 percent in a short time, between a year and a year and a half," Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs, managing director of the Iran Petrochemical Commercial Company, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. "When banking, insurance and shipping restrictions are lifted, it will become easier to export and the costs will decrease," he added. Iran, which happens to be one of the world's top oil and gas producers, exported around $14 billion of petrochemical products in 2014. “Major chemical players are champing at the bit to explore the potential that Iran offers, but they will not be doing so haphazardly. These

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FEATURES companies are used to operating in risky environments and managing significant risk—it’s the nature of the business, but the reward has to significantly outweigh the risk, which is something they will be assessing very carefully and deliberately.” I r a n ’s c u r r e n t p e t r o c h e m i c a l production capacity is just below 60 mln tons. The country produces a wide range of petrochemicals, roughly 100 different products, ranging from acetic acid to mixed xylenes. While the vast majority of these products are produced in order to serve Iran’s comparatively advanced economy and a large population of nearly 80 million, a few products are aimed at export markets. These are primarily ethylene, polyethylene (PE), methanol, and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). The Iranian petrochemical industry, while quite diverse, is primarily focused on exploiting the country’s vast resources of ethane-rich natural gas. On the one hand, the country converts methane from natural gas to methanol and urea. But Iran also cracks ethane and other natural gas liquids to produce ethylene, which is then polymerized to PE or processed to MEG. Aside from the lure of oil reserves and abundant ethane feedstocks, the price of ethane gas in Iran is kept low by government mandate. In general, ethylene production costs in Iran, based on ethane, are comparable to those in Saudi Arabia or North America; i.e. the lowest in the world. Both ethylene and polyethylene are key products for Iranian export, and lifting of sanctions would enable the Iranians to expand production and export an additional 1 MMT of ethylene/

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polyethylene within 12 months to two years, according to IHS Chemical estimates. Says Smith, “Trading companies will be eager to access these volumes of Iranian ethylene and PE, but the impact on global operating rates, according to our IHS Chemical analysis, is not expected to be dramatic—less than 1 percent lower than currently projected. Nevertheless, additional Iranian ethylene in the form of polyethylene could hit the market just when global operating rates are at a low point in the years 2017-2018, which would exert some downward pressure on prices.” Another key export commodity for Iran is methanol. Iran is a major methanol producer and exporter, with 5 MMT of capacity, and methanol producers in Iran also enjoy very advantageous production costs. Lifting of sanctions would accelerate Iran’s methanol production plans and drive progress on many proposed projects. While Iran has proposed projects totaling more than 20 MMT of new methanol capacity, IHS Chemical believes a more realistic figure of approximately 10 MMT could be added by 2025. Before the sanctions were implemented, Iran was a major supplier of petrochemicals to Europe; primarily ethylene, PE and methanol. However, total petrochemical export volumes from Iran did not suffer significantly as a direct result of the sanctions. Under the sanctions, these products were simply redirected to Asian, African and some South American countries, principally China and India. Business with Europe, however, virtually disappeared. The much larger impact resulted from the inability of Iran to maintain

and invest sufficiently in its oil/ gas and petrochemical feedstock and export infrastructure, which has led to chronically low capacity utilization rates, not the least due to periodic shortages in ethane feedstock. Development of the Iranian energy sector has been impeded by international sanctions that have stifled the influx of essential foreign investment and technology. Progress in the country’s steam-cracker investments has been slow since the start-up of the Kavyan 1 unit in late 2012, and feedstock is in short supply, IHS said. Progress on the Kavyan 2 unit has been delayed by the sanctions limiting gas shipping. Sanctions have also restricted developments of the gas processing necessary to extract ethane for feedstock. Even the existing crackers at Bandar Assaluyeh are short of feedstock, so adding further steam-cracker capacity will be of little use until natural gas and feedstock availability increases. “Lifting of sanctions on the industry and on Iranian finances will re-kindle foreign investment and allow Iran’s petrochemical industry to get back on a fast track to growth,” Smith said. “In the short-term of 12 of 24 months after sanctions are lifted, Iran will rapidly start taking advantage of easier access to foreign capital markets, trade financing, oil markets and technology providers.” The re-integration of Iran into the global business community, is likely to revitalize the country’s petrochemical business in a major way. Iran will take steps toward resuming its important role in supplying global markets with much needed petrochemical products.


FEATURES

Global trends in recycled Plastics

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ecycled plastics are materials which go under the process of recovering waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. In some cases, these finished products tend to be different in form from their original state. These plastics are also recycled during the production of plastic goods such as polyethylene bags and films. A part of these plastics is then bought into the main production operation. This trend has been practiced since the past few decades which have led to the production of certain plastic products amongst the most efficient operations. As per Persistence Market Research Pvt. Ltd., the global demand for plastic recycling has been rapidly growing over the past few years, where primary consumers of plastic packaging have started incorporating various recycled plastics in their products as part of the increasing focus towards recycling. Moreover, the industry for recycled plastics has been on the rise as prices for two of the major recycled plastics high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) continue to hold significant value in the overall plastic industry.

Plastic bags, backpacks and solar power A group of South African entrepreneurs taking plastic bags and refashioning them into solar powered backpacks designed to give children light to study with. Rethaka (Pty) Ltd., in Rustenburg, South Africa, collects the plastic bags

and take them to its small factory, where they’re cleaned and turned into a textile-like material. Then it sews the material into backpacks, and adds a small, removable solar charger, which collects power as the kids walk home. The chargers can be easily removed and screwed onto lamps made from mason jars. They then provide six to nine hours of light, crucial for studying if the kids are among the 1.3 billion people worldwide without regular access to electricity. It’s the brainchild of 22-year-old CEO Thato Kgatlhanye, who started it with some of her classmates in university in Johannesburg. Kgatlhanye got the idea after noticing a lot of kids carrying their schoolbooks in plastic bags. Someone else suggested adding a charger, and after a lot of tinkering and $50,000 in seed money, the Repurpose Schoolbag was born. The backpacks are “made 100 percent from plastic shopping bags” and have a couple of benefits to society: they reduce plastic pollution, and they reduce the use of kerosene lanterns, which can be dangerous, inefficient and polluting.

branching into tote bags, messenger bags and other products. Rethaka began as a social enterprise. Today it has 17 employees. It’s not one of the more traditional plastic companies we write about but it’s an example of creatively tackling society’s waste, in this case plastic, and turning it into something useful.

Trendy attire Also we can have a yet another case of a group of Chinese merchants who sell racy lingerie to conservative Muslims in Upper Egypt.These bravehearted migrants barely speak the local language or English. Some never had formal education. They have little knowledge of or interest in their target customers’ religious and political background. But they manage to win the trust and loyalty from their local customers and employees. The Chinese couple who were building a small lingerie business empire in Asyut took notice of garbage sitting in landfill around the city. Unlike

A video (just below) from the AFKInsider Africa business news site taking a look at Rethaka’s operation and manufacturing process. They backpacks are stylish, in my opinion. Kgatlhanye worked with an industrial designer to also make them durable, and says the company is

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FEATURES

Recycled Dress other people who had made the same observation but just walked away, they jumped on the opportunity and imported a PET bottle recycling line from Jiangsu province in China and established the first plastic bottle recycling facility in Upper Egypt. They had no previous experience in the plastics industry, but it was a quite straightforward thought process — The recycling plant now employs 30 and grinds 4 metric tons of bottles every day. The materials are sold to Chinese people in Cairo, who turn them into polyester thread. The thread is then used by garment makers in Egypt, and some of them also are Chinese. The author nicely summarizes this amazing model: “It’s possible that a bottle tossed onto the side of the road in Asyut will pass through three stages of Chinese processing before returning to town in the form of lingerie, also to be sold by Chinese.” The Chinese recycling business helps support local trash scavengers, truck drivers and children [who are paid by scavengers to collect bottles]. The Chinese not only recycle plastics scrap imported from the rest of world, they also go out there to set up local plastics recycling operations

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in places where it hadn’t been done. Chinese recyclers are present in many parts of the world — Western Europe, sub-Sahara Africa, Southeast Asia, you name it.The Chinese didn’t invent plastics recycling, nor did they perfect it (in the sense that they still don’t possess the most cutting-edge recycling technologies). They are not out there to reduce those countries’ landfill or save their resources. They simply work hard on it to make money for their families. Sometimes, that works out better than grand plans.

New Markets The global industry for plastics has developed new markets and applications for recycled resins from both post-consumer and postindustrial sources, with PET being one of the leading manufactured recycled plastics. Currently, the demand for recycled PET has been high and the market has been under supplied, with various manufacturers delaying expansion due to uncertainty of supply. In addition, the demand for these plastics has been highly prevalent with its growing application scope. Plastic containers are being used for recycled in various communities representing approximately multiple households. In developed economies such as the U.S., the demand for recycled plastics will continue to develop with the emergence of new market due to efficient segregation and reprocessing of high purity resins. Moreover, high prices for conventional plastics, environmental issues and improved quality of recycled plastics is also expected to contribute towards the growth of the market. In terms of

application, packaging is anticipated to be the largest sector in the recycled plastics market. Consumers in North America are increasingly adapting the practice of collecting and separating discarded packages in order to make the product more disposable, and are also spending for a recycled item. The plastic recycling industry tends to speed up the rate of recycling as a part of its commitment to provide solutions to the solid waste. In the overall recycling industry, more plastics are expected to get recycled than any other recycling material. Initially, recycled PET was majorly used in the carpet fiber industry in the U.S., and the early development of this business was focused in eastern U.S., where certain states adopted the first bottle deposit laws which led to the collection of post-consumer bottles. In emerging economies such as Asia Pacific, growing demand for postconsumer bottles has prevented the buildup of inventories which has reduced the pressure for the collection industry to develop western markets. While the market for recycled plastics has been soft over the past few years, flake prices of PET have been stable since 2013, with China dominating the industry, primarily on domestic front. New entrants are expected to have a two stage production facility due to several factors such as scarcity of recycled PET resins and maximizing profit potential. Avangard Innovative LP, B. Schoenberg & Co. Inc. Custom Polymers Inc., Delta Plastics of the South LLC, and Delta Plastics of the South LLC are some of the key manufacturers of recycled plastics present in the industry.


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MINISTRY OF CHEMICALS & FERTILIZERS DEPT. OF CHEMICALS & PETROCHEMICALS GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

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FEATURES

Securing water supplies for the next 100 years

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ublin is Poland’s ninth-largest city, the second-largest in Lesser Poland (and the largest city east of the River Vistula). The handsome city, with its Royal Castle and five universities, has some 349,000 inhabitants. But the city had suffered economically. During the communist era, Lublin became a centre for the Solidarity movement that ultimately helped topple the communist regime. Before Bulgaria and Romania joined, in 2007, the Lublin region had the lowest per capita GDP in the whole of the European Union. Lublin has a long and distinguished history. But its old steel piping system was similarly historic. Lublin and Miejskie Przedsiebiorstwo Wodociagów i Kanalizacji (henceforth referred to as ‘Waterworks Lublin’) has the task of looking after the city’s ageing water and sewerage infrastructure. Lublin’s water system was planned in the 1970s, during the communist era, and was built to pre-war (1939-45) standards. By the early 1990s, when Poland was experiencing massive political change, the water treatment plant at Hajdów fell well short of the standards required by new national, and EU, regulations. The water treatment plant itself was the recipient of an EU grant, in 2005, and complete modernisation of the plant, commenced in 2006. Fast forward eight years and the pipes supplying fresh water to a vast proportion of Lublin’s population (150,000 people) needed replacing. Waterworks Lublin decided to replace the existing steel pipes with a PE

piping installation using a jointing system manufactured by Switzerlandbased GF Piping Systems, a division of Georg Fischer. The system was put in place by Polish contractors Molewski between May and November 2014. As the route of the pipeline leads directly through the city centre, the project used the “re-lining” method to save as much space as possible but also because there were a limited number of branch connections in the city. Polyolefin pipes are now proven to have a service life of around 100 years (see article on TEPPFA study of pipes working life, p30 ) and, compared with metals, are more resistant to corrosion and abrasion, are more lightweight and easier to transport and process. The advantages of polyolefin pipes over metal pipes are obvious. Molewski used GF Piping Systems’ electrofusion couplers to connect the pipes. The GF Elgef Plus system uses a connection of pipes and spigot fittings with active reinforcement – a jointing principle unique to the system – which is available for pipe diameters from 355mm to 1,200mm. In Lublin, a diameter of 710mm was used. The functional (patented) principle of the Elgef coupling system is attributed to the manufacturing process itself. During its manufacture, the outer ring of the Elgef coupler is pressed over an inner ring with great force, creating a constant tension on the circumference on the inner ring. During the fusion process, when the coupler is placed between two pipe sections, this tension is utilised. The

By James Snodgrass

heat in the fusion zone, provided by the electrofusion welding machine that plugs into the two recessed ports on the top of the collar, reduces the stiffness of the inner ring. This causes the reinforcement ring to push actively from the outside to the inner ring. GF Piping Systems said that this means that larger gaps can be closed more quickly and the expansion of the coupler is inhibited. During the cooling process, the constant pressure from the outside makes the coupler shrink onto the pipe. The Elgef system can be used with all current GF welding machines. The company’s claimed benefits of the system include: the extra-large inner diameter of the coupler, which allows for ease of assembly and accommodates for the pipe ovality often found in real-world applications (although GF’s instructional video recommends the use of a re-rounding tool, where necessary); reduced installation time without pre-heating or use of additional equipment; and one path-limited fusion indicator for each fusion zone, allowing for immediate inspection. The packages enclosing the couplers are each labelled with a QR code that can be scanned by the contractor’s smartphone, linking him directly to a dedicated web page giving technical documentation and instructional videos. Thanks to PE pipe, and this novel jointing principle, 150,000 Lublin residents will have access to clean drinking water well into the next century.

47 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Interview

Interview with Plastivision Arabia Chairman Harish Dharamsi Harish Dharamsi is a past President of the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) and Chairman of the 3rd Plastivision Arabia 2016. He has vast experience as a businessman and has made rich contributions in different capacities at AIPMA and other organizations. As AIPMA President he led delegations to UAE, China and Germany. Mr. Dharamsi has been a member of the National Governing Council of CIPET, a premier plastic training and research institute in India set by the government of India. He has also been a member of the National Council of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) and a member of Working Group on petrochemicals set up by the government of India. Associated with the paints and PVC industry for more than 35 years, Mr. Dharamsi is Director at Aryavart Chemicals, a leading manufacturer of PVC stabilizers.

Harish Dharamsi, Chairman Plastivision Arabia 2016, discusses the highlights of the upcoming event and the opportunities that the GCC region presents for plastics industry professionals. Q: What is Plastivision Arabia all about? How is it different from Plastivision India? A: Plastivision Arabia is AIPMA’s initiative in partnership with Expo center, Sharjah—an arm of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce—to provide an opportunity for Indian manufacturers to showcase their products and services to the Middle East and African markets. Plastivision Arabia 2016 will place special emphasis on processing, filling and packaging and decision makers from the regional processing and re-packaging industry will be visitors to the show. The steady rise in demand for finished plastics products, which is set to increase further on the back of a growing economy, rising consumer sentiment and a slew of mega events across the region, has prompted us to host a special pavilion “Plastiworld” featuring an extensive range of finished plastics products.

Plastics News • September 2015 • 48

Plastivision India, on the other hand, is meant for the Indian market.

space allocations as compared to Plastivision Arabia 2014?

Q: What are the advantages that Sharjah offers for plastics industry related events such as Plastivision Arabia? How supportive is the government of UAE for such international trade shows?

A: Many of our exhibitors are already asking for increased space. Participation from China and Taiwan has also increased exponentially. Our marketing efforts have attracted exhibitors from European countries also. If the situation demands, we may open up one more hall to incorporate the increased number of exhibitors.

A: Sharjah is a manufacturing hub in the UAE and is home to major polymer convertors. Moreover, their government is very supportive and has partnered this event through the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce. Q: What is the expected number of exhibitors and visitors in Plastivision Arabia 2016?

Q: How will Plastivision Arabia enhance growth in the Indian plastics industry? How does it contribute towards the Prime Minister’s “Make in India” initiative?

A: During Plastivision Arabia 2014, all the machines displayed live were sold. Naturally, we expect to do more business this time around.

A: The GCC countries have been traditionally considered as Indian market and showcasing there increases Indian exports. After our Prime Minister’s UAE visit and assurance from the UAE government of enhanced investment in India, many state governments like Bihar, UP, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh are joining as State Partners and will showcase investment opportunities in their respective states.

Q: Has there been a change in the

Q: What are your views on

A: We are expecting 250+ Indian exhibitors and 10,000+ focused visitors from across the world. Q: How much business does AIPMA expect to generate through Plastivision Arabia 2016?


Interview environmental sustainability and plastics recycling? What efforts are being taken by AIPMA to address environmental challenges through Plastivision Arabia? A: AIPMA hosts a recycling pavilion in Plastivision and educates visitors about latest developments in recycling and waste management. We also have a “Medical” pavilion, which highlights the use of plastics in the medical field. This particular pavilion attracted 25% of the total visitors with genuine enquiries in the previous Plastivision Arabia exhibition. Q: How has participation from China been in this edition of Plastivision Arabia given the slowdown in China’s economy? A: Participation from China and Taiwan has in fact increased many folds in Plastivision 2016 as they feel

that the GCC market is still vibrant with upcoming global events like the World Expo 2020 and the football World Cup. Q: How intense is competition within the plastics industry exhibition space? What are the highlights of Plastivision Arabia 2016 that will set it apart from other similar events? A: Today, competition exists in every field and we strive to set high standards within the exhibition space. To attract quality and focused visitors, we have worked out a VIP Buyers program in various GCC and African countries with the help of local associations, in which we offer to pay for the airfare for selected visitors. Q: How important are concurrent events like Arabia Mold for the success of Plastivision Arabia?

A: Moulds are an inseparable part of the plastics processing industry and hence a mould show always complements a plastics show and are beneficial for each other. Q: Are there any existing trade barriers that deter plastics trade between India and the Middle East? A: There are no trade barriers between India and the GCC countries. Q: Tell us about your company Aryavart Chemicals. A: Aryavart Chemicals is into the manufacture of PVC Stabilizers and One Pack systems. It is a trusted name in the PVC processing industry since 1974. Our products are exported to many countries and our associate maintains stocks in Dubai to ensure timely deliveries in any quantity.

Plastivision Arabia

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he countdown for Plastivision Arabia 2016 has begun. Having firmly established itself as the best regional sourcing point within the GCC with its past two editions, Plastivision Arabia is gearing up for its third edition, which will be take place in Sharjah, UAE, from February 22 to 25, 2016. Like its previous

two iterations, the plastics expo will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah, a premier exhibition facility in the UAE, known to host the region’s most popular trade exhibitions and some of the top-of-the-range, highly focused B2B and B2C shows. To be held along with Plastivision Arabia is Arabiamold 2016, a premier international trade fair for mold-making, tooling, design and application development. The importance of the GCC as a work and travel destination has increased with the announcement of world events like the World Expo in Dubai in 2020 and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The GCC has always placed huge emphasis on tourism

and real estate and the All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA), the organizers of Plastivision Arabia, look to capitalize on the fast-expanding construction and packaging industries in the region, which offer prospects for tremendous growth. Plastivision Arabia 2016 aims to provide regional manufacturers instant access to new machinery, technologies and materials.

49 • September 2015 • Plastics News


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

European plastics market to rise at 2.9%

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n total, the European plastics market reached a volume of more than 53 million tonnes in 2014," says Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. "Over the next eight years, we expect revenues to rise further at an average rate of 2.9% pa. In 2022, they will amount to about €104 billion." These figures do not include synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives.

films, bags and sacks as well as shrink and stretch films are mainly used for food packaging, but also as secondary and tertiary packaging, for example for transportation. These application areas are dominated by the polyethylene types LDPE and LLDPE that account for almost 53%, followed by polypropylene and the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

Having a market share of almost 24%, Germany is the largest manufacturer of plastics in Europe. Belgium ranks second, followed by France, Russia, the Netherlands, and Spain. The most important application areas for plastics in 2014 were flexible packaging, rigid packaging and the construction industry. Those three areas are currently representing about 70% of the total demand for plastics in Europe. Other sales markets, however, are recording the highest growth rates of more than 2% pa. These are transportation and the electrics and electronics industry Flexible packaging such as packaging

The amount of rigid packaging products such as cups, trays, bottles, boxes and lids completely made of plastics is rising more and more. In Europe, mainly PET is used in the manufacturing process, followed by polypropylene and HDPE. As the weight reduction of materials has reached its limits, more and more plastic bags are used in the area of beverages as an alternative to rigid packaging. In 2014, the largest demand in this area was recorded for PVC. The construction sector consumed more than 5.5 million tonnes of PVC. HDPE was in second place, followed by polystyrene and EPS.

Orpic to award 4 EPC packages for its US$5.2 bln Liwa Plastics Industries

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man Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) plans to award four engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages for building the US$5.2 bln Liwa Plastics Industries Complex in the fourth quarter of this year.The development programme is divided into four major schemes- a polymers plant in Sohar industrial area, a natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction plant in Fahud, a steam cracker plant and a 300 km long pipeline from Fahud to Sohar.

Plastics News • September 2015 • 50

The project will be funded by way of US$4 bln term loan from international financial institutions and the company will bring in the remaining US$1.2 bln. The company has already started negotiations with export credit agencies in April this year. "We will be able to secure finance on time for us to award the contract to EPC contractors," noted Nazar Al Lawati, chief financial officer of Orpic. This will be the largest project finance in Oman with over 40 financial institutions taking part in the process.

France and Mexico to team up on materials R&D

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exico and France plan to build a research and development center to develop new materials in Mexico, according to the French government’s head of business development in the country.Full details will be announced before the end of the year and the centre will be operational within three years, said Philippe García, the French government’s head of business development in Mexico. The R&D centre’s work will include development of bio- and nanotechnologies and even “the car of the future,” García told PNE's sister publication Plastics News, adding: “It will be a public and private sector initiative.” “We have discussed [this] with the Mexican authorities and are entering a new economic situation,” he told delegates at a 3 September aerospace conference in Querétaro. “We are working to sign an agreement and it’s very ambitious.”García is director of BusinessFrance for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.García said the facility probably will be in central Mexico where much of Mexico’s industrial development, particularly automotive and aeronautical, is taking place.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Debate continues in Russia about banning large PET beer bottles

ESA asks more markets for recyclates

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i b u r, t h e g i a n t R u s s i a n petrochemicals and polymers producer, has joined the debate over a proposed ban on beer sold in plastic bottles in Russia aimed at curbing alcoholism there.The group has opposed a call from Russian legislators for tight new restrictions on the packaging of beer in PET bottles, according to Russian online media reports. Moscow-based Sibur’s chief executive Dmitriy Konov reportedly criticised the state for inconsistency in promotion of its policy of import substitution. He pointed to proposals to limit the use of PET packaging for beer bottling which would restrict the growth of Russia’s domestic plastics industry. “By declaring a policy of import substitution, the state does not always support it with the concrete initiatives,” Konov wrote in a recent article entitled: ‘Industrial policy: Imports Substitution without Speculation’. Taking the example of the beer bottling market, the Sibur CEO wrote ...“the [plastics packaging] industry has grown in Russia from scratch to almost complete coverage of the domestic market [for bottled beer] in the last 10 years”. “It’s a niche for at least three petrochemical segments – PET (bottles); polypropylene (caps) and BOPP films (labels),” Konov declared. Last year, the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, adopted a draft law

calling for a ban on the sale of alcohol stronger than 4% in PET bottles larger than 0.5 litres from January 2016. In a compromise move earlier this year, a leading Duma deputy Anatoly Aksakov put forward a phased ban proposal. This would see a ban on all alcohol, regardless of strength, bottled in plastic containers over 1.5 litres, in force from July 2016 and all plastic bottles of more than 0.5 litres banned from 2020. Second and third readings of the original State Duma bill, due early in 2015, were delayed and are now expected to be heard this autumn. A year ago, Russian brewers, who currently sell almost half their beer in plastic bottles, voluntarily stopped using plastic beer containers larger than 2.5 litres and bigger than 2 litres for beer stronger than 6%. Now their representative body, the Union of Russian Brewers has agreed to reduce the size of their beer bottles still further. The Union’s head Andrei Gubka stated this month that the brewers would stop bottling beer in plastic bottles larger than 1.5 litres from July 2016. "We very much hope that our step ... will be taken positively (by regulators) and the discussion about limiting plastic packaging below 1.5 litres will be closed," said Gubka, who is chairman of Anheuser-Busch InBev's Russian unit.

he Environmental Services Association (ESA) has responded with a raft of proposals to the European Commission’s (EU) public consultation on its new Circular Economy plans. Earlier in July, MEPs voted 394 to 197 in favour of a report formalising their expectations for a revised package, calling for legally-binding targets on a broad array of waste, recycling and resource use issues.This included recycling targets of 70% for municipal solid waste and 80% for packaging waste. In response, the ESA has called for: a) more emphasis on the demand side for recyclates, b) proper enforcement of legislation and tougher action against waste crime and c) the introduction of more harmonised definitions and methods of calculating waste statistics. The ESA’s executive director, Jacob Hayler said: “ESA believes there is greater scope for the European Commission to lead the way towards a more Circular Economy. In our consultation response we have asked the Commission to put more emphasis on the demand side for recycled materials, by proposing minimum recycled content requirements for selected products; minimum green public procurement requirements at EU level to boost purchase of recycled products and materials; eco-labelling rules to incorporate indications of recycled content and recyclability and lower or zero rate of VAT on second hand goods and products with recycled content." ESA calls for full implementation and proper enforcement of existing legislation in all Member States.

51 • September 2015 • Plastics News


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Finland plans voluntary plastic waste recycling

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law that comes into force in Finland in 2016 will allow people to separate plastics waste for recycling as part of an industry-funded scheme. Currently, people put plastic waste into mixed waste bins. From January, the country's "Eko-piste” collection points will add another receptacle for plastic containers and packaging for households to throw their used plastic into.At the moment, Finland's municipally located Eko-pistes collect metal, cardboard, glass, and batteries while households separate their rubbish into organic, paper and general material thrown away with food being a big component after plastic.As a lot of food and drink is nowadays sold in plastic containers and packets, the government’s aim is that consumers pre-sort plastic food and drinks packaging and film for proper disposal.

All plastics are included, even expanded polystyrene and plastic foam containers. It is estimated that each year Finland's plastic packing waste totals 117,000 tonnes, of which 70% is from households.Once collected, the plastic will be taken to state-owned company Ekokem in Riihimäki where it will be recycled into raw material for sale back to manufacturers or made into profiles. Ekokem is building a €40m plastics facility to handle the extra load and this plant is expected to be ready next autumn. Ekokem has decades of experience dealing with industrial and agricultural plastics. "Finnish law now places the duty on

Plastics News • September 2015 • 52

firms to meet an obligation for their usage of plastic packaging, which applies to packers and importers of plastic packaged products with a turnover of over €1m. The new legal requirement is based on the EU Packaging and Waste Directive and Finland's Waste Act,” said JuhaHeikki Tanskanen, CEO of Rinki. This company is owned by Finnish industry and retail trade associations involved in plastics use such as the Finnish grocery trade, Food and Drink Industries Federation, Packaging Association as well as the Plastics Industries Federation ."Together our aim is that the producer-funded collection network will be costeffective and be an efficient one-stop provider service,” said Tanskanen. "The costs are covered by responsible companies who pay recycling fees.” In response to criticism, Finnish plastics makers have launched the Suomen Uusiomuovi (Finland Plastics Recycling) company to promote large-scale recycling of plastics by consumers. Plastic recycling will still be voluntary under the new law, but Finns are enthusiastic recyclers and removing plastic from their garbage will be encouraged by smaller waste management company charges. Nationwide there will be 460 plastic collection points and the campaign to separate will point out the need to clean and dry the used plastics first. Plastic packaging collection was trialled in the cities of Tampere and Kuopio and these trials were considered successful.

Inflation to continue in UK

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he chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has predicted that UK inflation is set to remain well below the hoped-for 2% target from the government. According to reports there were various factorsresponsible for the inflation. first, the Annual consumer price index inflation in July was 0.1%, up from 0% in June 2015.Second, it is also said that a smaller fall in clothing prices on the month, compared with a year ago, was the main contributor to the rise in inflation. Apart from this regular falling prices for food and beverages also partially offset the rise. Commenting on the figures, BCC’s David Kern said: “These latest figures confirm the recent pattern of inflation staying around 0% and we expect this trend to continue over the coming months. Our forecast is that inflation will start edging up slowly towards the end of this year, but will remain well below the 2% target until the second half of 2016."Low inflation gives a boost to households and businesses alike and will help support our economic recovery Kern also encouraged the Monetary Policy Committee to keep interest rates at 0.5%. With low inflation expected to be around for some time and the world economy remaining uncertain, kerry said that there is no need for the MPC to raise interest rates. We urge the MPC to keep rates at the current level till 2016.”


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Germany introduces next generation polymer ring circulation €5 coin

BPF group does more recycling

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ermany is to introduce next generation polymer ring circulation €5 coin. The Ministry of Finance and Economics BadenWürttemberg, has publicized the issue of Germany’s upcoming €5 coin, which is being hailed as both a numismatic first and a new step toward a “nextgeneration” coin that is resistant to counterfeiting. As part of the production and design, a ring of colored transparent, and in this case, blue; polymer separates the coin’s outer ring and centre disk, both made of cupro-nickel. The developers behind this concept are celebrating this achievement as the “innovation of an era,” since the security element of this coin will significantly lessen the ability of counterfeiters to replicate it without difficulty or immense cost. The developers hope this design will eventually be integrated into circulation coinage for this denomination. The coin’s design is comprised of a ring of polymer which is enclosed by another ring of metal. The transparent blue ring is made of a material that can be worked like metal but is actually plastic. It contains both a color pigment and security features. The joint between the polymer plastic and metal is just as strong as between the two different metals in conventional bi-metallic coins, such as the one- and two-euro coins. The coin’s obverse includes a depiction of the earth surrounded by

the blue transparent polymer ring; illustrations of the other eight planets in our solar system are found along its outer edge. Blue was chosen to symbolize the earth’s atmosphere, though any color could be injected into the plastic. As is usual for most German coins, the reverse features an image of an eagle in stylized fashion, along with the year of issue and 12 stars representing the 12 original members of the European Union. The coin’s development at the Bavarian Mint and the Leibniz Institute of RWTH Aachen University took nearly ten years to complete. Designers hope that, if adopted by the European Central Bank, the coin will eventually replace the present 5 euro banknote denomination, which is commonly found in poor quality due to frequent use; some Central Banks within the Eurosystem have suggested this note should be replaced with a coin in the near future. The coin is scheduled to make its debut at the World Money Fair in February of 2016 before being released into circulation in Germany in the spring. The coin will not be legal tender anywhere else except in the Federal Republic of Germany. The five state mints of Germany—Berlin, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Munich, and Stuttgart—will begin minting soon after the dies are produced, a process that is currently underway. Earlier London and countries like India has also shown interest in starting the Plastic currency.

he British Plastics Federation’s Recycling Group (BPFRG) has released the results of its 2013 Annual Return Survey, showing an increase in the total tonnage of plastics recovered by its members. The annual survey found that in 2013, the group increased the amount of used plastics handled by 150kt, compared to 2011 data, to a total of 660kt. It is estimated that, in the same year, the total amount of plastics mechanically recycled in the UK was around 900kt, including waste arising from packaging, construction, automotive, WEEE, houseware, sports, agriculture and other sectors. The BPFRG has grown significantly over the last year with new members including Veolia, MBA Polymers (UK), PlasGRAN, PVC-R and Polypipe. These new additions have helped the group to represent an estimated turnover of £900m. Chairman Roger Baynham, said: "BPFRG continues to be the leader in the sector with robust growth in membership even under very tough market conditions. Challenging recycling targets which favour quantity over quality, and a flawed PRN system are still some of the key issues facing the industry. In addition, exports markets are now feeling the pressure too, with a challenging Chinese market and devaluated currency, which calls for a more resilient UK reprocessing sector."

53 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Business NEWS

Israel's Tosaf Group acquires Adtec Colorant Haldia Petrochemicals s r a e l - b a s e d To s a f G r o u p , a Mahesh Parikh, founder and CEO seeks more letters m a n u f a c t u r e r o f a d d i t i v e s , of Arlington, Texas-based Adtec compounds and masterbatches, has said: “We are excited to become of credit announced that it has finalized its a part of such a successful and

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acquisition of Texas-based Adtec Colorant Corp. The financial details of the deal however were not disclosed. The company states that Adtec specializes in color concentrates, liquid and additive masterbatches for the injection molding, blow molding, film and extrusion markets. Amos Megides, chairman and CEO of Tosaf said: “This transaction represents another step in the fulfilment of our U.S. market entry strategy following our earlier announcement of the construction of a new additives, white and color masterbatch plant in Bessemer City, N.C. Adtec’s specialty color concentrates, liquid and additive masterbatches add to Tosaf’s comprehensive portfolio of products for the plastics industry.”

rapidly growing organization. This acquisition will provide rapid growth for Adtec Colorant by utilizing Tosaf group’s additional product line while maintaining our excellent reputation for service and quality in the southwest region. This partnership will enhance our products and technologies that we provide to our customer base and will bring brighter futures to our long term employees.” The Tosaf group is a joint-venture between Megides Holding and the Ravago group, based in Kfar Yona, Israel. The company has ten factories in Israel, Turkey, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and China, employing 900 people.

Nova Chemicals to make a final investment decision on new polyethylene plant

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ova Chemicals is likely to make a final investment decision on a new polyethylene plant for St. Clair Township only after mid-2017.The new plant, a possible US$1 billion investment in Chemical Valley, was first proposed by Nova in 2011.

Currently, the company is moving forward with its study of the expansion

Plastics News • September 2015 • 54

of the Corunna plant by approximately 50%, to boost production from 5 mln lbs of ethylene a day to 8 mln lbs. Nova is working with a partner on the pipeline project that will also required some internal retrofitting work at the Corunna cracker. The project is expected to cost slightly more than US$350 million.

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aldia Petrochemicals will continue to seek more letters of credit from banks to import raw materials while needing more flexibility in the guarantee, according to IANS. "We are getting the letters of credit regularly but will need more continuously," said company's chief financial officer Ashutosh Bose. A letter of credit is contractually issued by a bank against its client assuring another financial institution of receiving the amount due on time. He said since its operations were on a large scale basis, more such bank guarantees are needed. "Banks need to give more flexibility in the letter of credit." The fall in crude prices have resulted in the prices of its products falling. However, Bose said the company has been able to maintain its operating margins. The company which has been operating in full capacity since February this year, has been churning an EBITDA of Rs.200 crore every month. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade had slapped a fine of Rs.1,250 crore on the company for failing to meet its export obligations. The petrochemicals company had applied for a four year extension to meet the obligations and is yet to hear back from the authorities.


Business NEWS

Indian, Japanese investors to finance Iran’s Chabahar Petrochemical complex

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nvestors from India, Japan, China are reportedly looking to finance the development of petrochemical projects in Iran’s Chabahar Petrochemical hub in Sistan Balouchestan province. According to reports the Makran complex, featuring 17 production units, is scheduled to be commissioned over a period of nine years and be developed in three phases. The $11bn complex will be designed to have petrochemicals production capacity of 23 million tons annually, of which 20 million tons will be exported to Middle East, India and China. Chabahar Makran Petrochemical Complex manager

Hassan Malek Esmaeili was quoted by Fars news agency as saying that the complex is expected to become one of the petrochemical hub in the country upon completion. "During the visit from Iran, investors from Japan, India and China visited the Chabahar and assessed investment opportunities in its petrochemical complex." =The first phase of the project will have an estimated 8.1mt/y of petrochemicals output, of which $5bn worth of products will be exported to world markets. The first phase is planned to commence production in 2018.

Sinopec Group to acquire a stake in SIBUR

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hina Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) and SIBUR, a leading Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, have entered into a framework investment agreement during a state visit by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to China whereby Sinopec Group is to acquire a stake in SIBUR. The transaction represents an important step for both parties to cement their existing strategic cooperation. The parties believe that the transaction between Sinopec and SIBUR will further strengthen the companies’ leading market positions and the partnership between Russia and China. The deal is expected to be closed upon approvals by corporate governing bodies and regulators.Mr. Wang Yupu, Chairman

of Sinopec, commented, “SIBUR’s vertically-integrated upstream and petrochemicals business model is highly complementary with Sinopec’s businesses. This transaction is in-line with our objective to strategically expand our petrochemical business overseas. Our continued partnership will help diversify and secure Sinopec's long-term sourcing of petrochemical products. The partnership also represents the active implementation of China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, and will help to strengthen the strategic relationship between China and Russia.” Mr. Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of SIBUR, commented, “this transaction with Sinopec is a clear signal of confidence from a global energy and chemical industry leader."

Rosneft Group to proceed with mega JV petrochemicals and refining project

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ussian oil giant Rosneft Group is pressing ahead with a huge joint venture petrochemicals and refining project in Russia’s Far East despite current political tension and the West’s economic sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. According to reports the US$37 billion complex planned for Nakhodka at the southeastern tip of Russia on the Sea of Japan, will have the world’s biggest steam cracker by volume, according to the company.

The company says that the project will produce up to 1.4 mln metric tpa ethylene, 600,000 tpa of propylene and around 200,000 tpa of butadiene in its first two phases. The project is to be executed in three-stage project and was originally conceived in 2010. It has now seen the first phase, that involvies the installation of refining facilities with a throughput of 12 mln metric tpa, has been delayed. It will now start up in 2020. Phase II involves the construction of a petrochemicals plant with scheduled capacity of 3.4 mln tpa. A third phase, due for completion by 2028, will boost the Nakhodka complex refining output by a further 12 metric tons and double its petrochemical capacity.

55 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Business NEWS

Lubrizol, Daelim signs technology agreement for PIBS1

Motherson to invest €130m in US plant

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ndian auto component supplier Samvardhana Motherson Group is investing $150m (€130m) in a facility in Alabama, US to make bumpers, interior panels and other parts for Mercedes Benz, state officials announced 20 August. The investment by Noida, -based SMG is one of two new facilities the company is building worldwide to fill what it calls its “biggest ever order” from the German car maker and its parent Daimler, worth $2.45bn (€2.13bn). Motherson had said production would start in 2018 for a range of exterior and interior parts for Mercedes. Motherson said the Alabama investment, which will be part of SMP, will strengthen its presence in the US. It said the SMP operation has had a “strong footprint in Europe, Mexico, Brazil and China” but less so in the United States.

he Lubrizol Corporation and Daelim Industrial announce they have signed a technology license agreement granting Lubrizol the right to use Daelim technology for the manufacture of polyisobutylenes (PIBs). Daelim is a leading provider of high-quality petrochemical products and services and their technology has high value to Lubrizol, the largest manufacturer of conventional PIB (CPIB). The Daelim technology can produce a wide range of polyisobutylenes from CPIB to highly reactive PIB (HR-PIB). PIB is a key raw material in the manufacture of Lubrizol's proprietary dispersants. This agreement is consistent with Lubrizol continuing to renew its additives infrastructure as part of its previously announced 10 year phased investment plan. The plan is designed to upgrade and enhance the company's global capabilities.

"Through this agreement Lubrizol will ensure its access to process technology that offers the company multiple benefits," states Dan Sheets, president of Lubrizol Additives. "It provides Lubrizol formulating flexibility to meet the evolving performance needs of the global lubricant and fuel additives markets over time." Jaeyul Kim, Daelim Industrial chief executive officer, says, "This agreement demonstrates that Lubrizol recognizes the importance of Daelim's proprietary technology and the many benefits it will provide Lubrizol in strengthening its formulation capabilities." With the agreement signed, Lubrizol will move into the initial engineering phase of the manufacturing project. The expected timing from license agreement to commercial operations at its Deer Park, TX site is projected to be three years minimum.

Bilcare acquires new site in Singapore

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ilcare Research, the packaging arm of India-based Bilcare group, has announced that it is expanding its capacity at its facility in Bötzingen, Germany.The announcement follows Bilcare Research’s acquisition of a new site in Singapore, along with a €15m investment at its manufacturing site in Staufen, Germany.The company states that the Bötzingen, Germany expansion is being carried out to meet the demands of the continuously growing pharmaceutical market. Bilcare Research highlights that the initiatives are part of an overall

Plastics News • September 2015 • 56

investment of €50m which will be completed shortly. Andreas Pfefferle, global business unit head of Pharma Packaging, Bilcare Research said: “With these initiatives we will not only increase capacity, but will greatly enhance work safety, hygiene and environmental protection. The high quality of our pharmaceuticalpackaging films is worldwide well established." Bilcare Research operates 7 sites worldwide. The company employs around 1,200 people and sees annual sales of €300m.

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MP had global sales in its most recent fiscal year of $2.5bn (€2.18bn), suggesting that the new $2.45bn (€2.13bn) in Mercedes work over several years could be a significant boost.Daimler and Mercedes represented about 5% of parent company SMG’s global sales in its 2014-15 fiscal year, which ended 31 March. SMP is the former German auto parts molder Peguform, which Motherson bought in 2011, part of a series of acquisitions that’s made it one of the largest suppliers of plastic moulded and assembled components to Europe’s car industry.


Business NEWS

Poland’s plastics output up by 1.6%

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oland’s plastics output is up 1.6% In 2014, Polish plastics producers managed to increase their output to some 3.04 million tonnes, which represented an increase of about 1.6% compared with a year earlier, according to the latest data from the state-run Central Statistical Office (GUS). Last year, Poland’s aggregate output of PVC totalled 396,220 tonnes, and PP output stood at 230,621 tonnes. In addition to this, local manufacturers made 348,168 tonnes of PET, some 75,058 tonnes of EPS, and 44,435 tonnes of PS, as shown by figures released by the GUS. In 2014, Polish plastics producers manufactured 140,710 tonnes of PA. Compared with a year earlier, Polish industry players increased their

production of PET and PA, while local output of PS and PVC was lower than in 2013. The latest data indicates that last year was a record one in terms of the country’s aggregate plastics output. After the period 2008-2011, in which local manufacturers had a lower annual output than in 2009, when Poland’s plastics production totalled 2.78 million tonnes, the industry returned on growth path in 2012, with 2.81m tonnes of plastics made at local production facilities. In 2013, Polish manufacturers produced 2.99 million tonnes of plastics, according to figures from the state-run office. Between 2005 and 2014, Poland’s plastics output increased by more than 45.5%

BASF and Bayer listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

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hemicals giants BASF and Bayer have again been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the 15th and 16th consecutive years respectively. For the index the Swiss rating agency RobecoSAM assessed around 2,000 of the world’s largest listed companies. The study determined the top 10% of companies ranked on overall economic, ecological and social performance. Within its sector Bayer, was rated particularly highly in the areas of integrated reporting, supplier management and stakeholder engagement. Bayer’s board of management member responsible for human resources, technology and sustainability Michael

König, said: “We are delighted by our renewed listing. It provides external confirmation of our corporate strategy to combine economic success with social and ecological responsibility. “Sustainability is a central aspect of our core business. We document this in our integrated annual report, in which we define and transparently communicate measurable key data and targets for both the financial and non-financial sector.” BASF was recognised for its engagement in the areas of innovation management, environmental and social reporting, product stewardship and human capital development.

Germany’s Multivac to invest €15m in Bulgarian plant

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ermany’s packaging machinery producer Multivac is aiming to invest some €15m to set up a new production facility in Bulgaria, the country’s Ministry of Economy said in a statement. Under the plan, the plant will be located in the Bozhurishte industrial zone, according to the ministry. The investment is to be carried out over the next three years, and will create about 70 new jobs at the factory. Bulgaria was favoured by the German firm for its planned investment over another potential location in Eastern Europe, Romania. Multivac already operates production facilities in both countries. The firm’s local offshoot Multivac Bulgaria EOOD is currently operated by a workforce of 35. The project in Sofia will be worth significantly more than previously expected by the Bulgarian ministry which thought it would total about €2.5m. The investment is to obtain financial support from the country’s government. Multivac says it is a leading producer of thermoforming packaging machines for food products. The company supplies more than 1,000 thermoforming packaging machines per year to numerous manufacturers worldwide, and owns seven production facilities, according to data released by Multivac.

57 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Product NEWS

EGC introduces ‘dures’ new thermoplastic polymer composites

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GC Critical Components, a leading manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic performance-critical components, has announced its dures™ brand of materials - a new family of proprietary thermoplastic polymer composites developed specifically for the manufacture of bushings, bearings and wear rings in pumps handling a wide range of liquids, including those that contain solid matter. The new material, produced exclusively by EGC, is in stock and immediately available to address the maintenance, upgrade and repair needs of pumps operating in a wide range of performance demanding environments including refineries, chemical plants and pipelines. In the refinery environment, EGC estimates that approximately 60% of pumps currently in operation can benefit from this material. The dures™ family of polymer solutions for pump applications includes four products with unique performance characteristics: dures 150, dures 250, dures A451 and dures XPC2. dures150 and 250 are the most recent additions to this family of composite

formulations. They were developed to meet the need for outstanding chemical, thermal shock and impact and abrasive resistance, with a temperature range of 150°F and 250°F dures polymers provide greater wear performance than many other materials such as rubber or bronze, offer superior abrasive resistance, dry run capability and vibration dampening with negligible hydrolysis or swell. dures A451 produced from chop carbon fibre and reinforced compression molded PEEK is used in the manufacture of bushings, bearings and wear rings with excellent chemical resistance, non galling and non seizing properties. But it is not suited for abrasive applications or operating temperatures above 275°F. In comparison, dures XPC2, formulated from continuous carbon fiber with PEEK base polymer, is recommended and approved for operating temperatures up to 550°F making it most appropriate for use in boiler feed and process pumps. dures A451 and XPC2 have been successfully used by industry for decades

Total launches new PE pressure pipe grade

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rench petrochemical giant Total has launched XSene XRT70, a high density polyethylene pressure pipe grade that it claims combines excellent processability with elevated temperature performance and long-term stability. XSene XRT70 is a PE-RT (PE with Raised Temperature resistance) Type II HDPE produced using Total’s double loop technology, allowing for claimed high extrusion speeds at low extrusion temperatures and without any melt fracture, while keeping an excellent surface finish. In Poland, hot and cold pipe system manufacturer Sigma-Li has used XSene XRT70 to achieve a stable pipe production at high line speeds of 40 m/min for 16mm diameter HDPE-aluminium composite pipes for central heating systems. They were produced on a Battenfeld-Cincinnati uniEX 45-30 line that the company recently installed. In China, the same high line speed was achieved with the same material for a 20 mm diameter PE-RT

Axion introduces new polymer grades

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xion Polymers has introduced new polymer grades of ABS, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), recycled from end-of-life automotive and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment resources.

The launch from the Salford-based recycling specialist follows further investment in its plastics refinery plant

Plastics News • September 2015 • 58

to increase extrusion capacity and improve melt filtration technology. Axion claims its Axpoly® PP51 1093 has excellent strength to withstand an applied top load without flexing and is ideal for construction and civil engineering applications, such as internal support structures for rainwater drainage tanks.

Axion Polymers commercial operations manager Steve Bell said: “As a new engineering polymer, Axpoly® PP51 1093 is an innovative example of a customer-driven variant of Axion’s standard PP grade - Axpoly® PP51 1000 - and demonstrates how we can tailor-make compounds to meet challenges from our customer base.”


Product NEWS

Sepro introduces Robots for large machines 3D printed plastic cap with embedded epro has designed three new lines at maximum acceleration and speed. of robots for plastics injection- The vertical arm is an aluminum electronics

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molding machines with 800 to 5000 tons of clamping capacity and will make their European debut at Fakuma 2015. On demonstration will be a model 7X55 five-axis robot from the new premium 7X Line and a Strong 50, which is representing a generalpurpose line of large robots. Sepro is also announcing another 3-axis family of robots for large-tonnage molding machines: the technological S7 Line.

“The new large robots complete the transformation of the full Sepro product line, which we began in 2008,” explains Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of the Sepro Group, La Roche sur Yon, France. “Over the last six years – since the depths of the financial crisis – we have completely redesigned our portfolio to deliver all-servo robots that are faster and more powerful, with longer strokes and larger payloads than previous generations. We’ve added 5- and 6-axis products in all size ranges, inmold labeling solutions, a dual-arm unit, a servo sprue picker and new, user-friendly controls. We firmly believe Sepro is the only company that really offers what we refer to as ‘Your Free Choice in Robots.” In general, the new S7 and 7X robots have longer kick (Yaxis) stokes, longer vertical (Z-axis) strokes and can handle larger payloads than their G4 predecessors. The advanced SLS (Sepro linear system with cam follower rails) guidance system on the horizontal beam and vertical arm provide rigidity and reliability even

profile for compact, lightweight strength. Control of the servo motors and braking reduces noise and energy consumption, while minimizing maintenance (no need to balance cylinders). The S7 Line, which Sepro refers to as a “technological” range, includes three different models: the S7-45 for molding machines from 800 to 1300 tons, the S7-55 for machines from 1200 to 2500 tons and the S7-75 for machines from 2300 to 5000 tons. They feature Sepro’s highest level of quality and can be adapted easily to customer requirements for axial configurations (where the main X-axis beam runs parallel rather than perpendicular to the centerline of the molding machine), as well as extended vertical (LV) and kick (LD) strokes and heavy-payload (HL) options. Compared to the previous generation G4 units, the new S7 Lines have a standard kick stroke that is 10 to 15% longer, and a vertical stroke that is 4 to 10% longer. Payload capacities are up to 50% greater. Modules for the X, Y and Z axes are built separately, simplifying transport and assembly. The 7X Line is based on the same basic mechanical platform as the S7 3-axis robot, but adds a 2-axis servodriven wrist developed in partnership Stäubli Robotics. The 7X wrists can move from 0 to 180° and 0 to 270° or any part of those rotations with absolute precision. Servo motors have positional encoders to recognize exactly drive shaft at any moment.

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'smart cap' using 3D-printed plastic with embedded electronics to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk has been created by UC Berkeley engineers in collaboration with colleagues at Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University.

The team is expanding the already impressive portfolio of 3D printing technology to include electrical components, such as resistors, inductors, capacitors and integrated wireless electrical sensing systems. They have put the new technology to the test by printing a wireless “smart cap” for a milk carton that detected signs of spoilage using embedded sensors. UC Berkeley engineers created a range of 3D-printed electrical components, including an electrical resistor, inductor, capacitor and an integrated inductor-capacitor system (the penny is used for scale). The foreground shows the various shapes that can be created with the 3D printer, including a model of Sather Tower, the word 'Cal,' and the acronym 'BSAC' for Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center. “Our paper describes the first demonstration of 3D printing for working basic electrical components, as well as a working wireless sensor,” said senior author Liwei Lin, a professor of mechanical engineering and codirector of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center.

59 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Product NEWS

VAMax- new catalyst for Vinyl-Acetate Monomer producers

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lariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced today the successful expansion of its selective oxidation catalyst portfolio with its new VAMax™ -series catalysts, which offers high-activity for Vinyl-Acetate Monomer (VAM) producers. VAM is produced by reacting ethylene and acetic acid with oxygen in the presence of a catalyst. It is an essential building block for various polymer and copolymer derivatives, which find broad applications in the manufacture of paints, adhesives and performance plastics for the automotive and construction industries. Global VAM consumption is expected to reach nearly 8-million tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of +4.4%*. Clariant’s VAMax series of catalysts have demonstrated consistent and outstanding performance in commercial scale production of VAM over extended runlengths. An attractive aspect of VAMax is its high activity characteristic. This can allow a VAM producer seeking

to increase production to achieve higher yields on the basis of the same scale of production equipment. In consequence, this makes new plant projects more attractive by helping reduce the specific investment amount required per metric tonne of VAM capacity. Clariant’s high activity catalysts can further be a viable option for de-bottlenecking existing VAM plants, as well. Catalysts within the VAMax series can be matched to meet the specific requirements of diverse VAM plants. Because of this, Clariant can work with VAM producers to find the most suitable catalyst solution depending upon their economic and technical needs. Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager BU Catalysts, Clariant, stated: “Our new VAMax product line gives our VAM producing customers new options to increase production without added infrastructure expense.

Lactide caprolactone copolymer for application in hot melt adhesives

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erstorp and Corbion jointly announce a breakthrough innovation for adhesives. Resulting from a partnership agreement both companies signed in 2011, a new lactide caprolactone copolymer has been developed that delivers major benefits in hot melt adhesive applications. The product is part of Perstorp’s Capa™ Lactide and the two companies are market leaders in their respective fields of

Plastics News • September 2015 • 60

caprolactones (Perstorp) and lactides (Corbion). The new material is expected to be the first in a series of innovations for the adhesive industry. The new product has a renewable content exceeding 80% and is fully compostable providing adhesives manufacturers with a new technology to improve food safety aspects of packaging. The new Capa™ product will be brought to market by Corbion in 2015

WR Grace & Co. to provide UNIPOL® PP technology

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R Grace & Co. will provide its UNIPOL®polypropylene (PP) technology and services to Hyosung Corporation of Seoul, Korea for its new facility in Ulsan, which is expected to open in 2017. Hyosung is a Korean industrial conglomerate operating in various industries, including machinery, IT, construction, and textiles. Its Ulsan facility is expected to produce polypropylene at a rate of 200,000 tpa. This is the second UNIPOL® PP license for Hyosung.Al Beninati, President of Grace Catalysts Technologies, said, “We’re pleased that Hyosung has experienced such success with its first license that its leaders have decided to contract with us again for their new plant in Ulsan. Our reliable technology can be implemented with low investment and operating cost, is easy to operate, and produces state-of-the-art PP products. But what truly helped us earn additional business from Hyosung was our commitment to customer service.” Young-Gyo Choi, Hyosung’s Division President, said, “We are delighted to partner again with Grace, the world’s leading independent PP technology licensor and catalyst producer. Their UNIPOL® PP process technology offers us the most advanced PP product capability available. We are already producing market-leading PP products in our existing UNIPOL® PP technology.


Product NEWS

Guill Tool introduces Series 824

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co-extrusion crosshead designed for irrigation tubing with an emitter tool- Series 824, has been introduced by Guill Tool. Manufactured from stainless steel, this new crosshead features balanced flow design with spiral technology that improves flow characteristics at all extruder speeds. Dual feed ports provide concentric compound flow, while the splits flow from one extruder to feed the inside and outside layers via a manifold assembly. Series 824 is adaptable to all popular extruders on the market currently. Capacities include a max. die ID of 1.875”, max. core OD of 1.250”, max. tip OD of 1.500” and max. emitter tool OD of 30mm (1.18”).

The Series 824 design allows the emitter insertion tool to pass completely through the crosshead ID. Gum space adjustment is performed with die nut rotation, while the Guill 2-stage clamping mechanism allows easier concentricity adjustment. Quick-change tooling and a tool kit for disassembly and re-assembly are provided with the unit.

Bill Conley, sales manager for Guill, comments, “On this project, the customer challenged us with an application that required precise placement and bonding of preformed emitters within the extruded tubing without melting them in the crosshead. It was also necessary to process either a low-cost ABA layer construction or single-layer construction within the same unit.” With the Series 824, the customer realized cost reductions, better quality, less scrap and more uptime in their process. The Guill cool-tube design prevented the emitter from melting in the head and the overall unit mechanics allowed more rapid and easier changeover from a co-extrusion to a single layer. On this project, Guill also supplied the customer the company’s extrusion tool cart, which facilitates easy alignment and tool changes. The removable cart swing gates stay free from accumulated process fluids, while the adjustable height means the cart is compatible with virtually any extruder model. Thermal isolation in the design keeps heat in the head, not the cart.

Hindustan Sanitaryware and Industries to invest US$17.2mln in caps and closure

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industan Sanitaryware and Industries (HSIL) plans to invest INR 1.12 bln (US$17.2 mln) is setting up a plant to manufacture security caps and closures that prevent counterfeiting.The proposed facility will complement the existing portfolio

of HSIL's packaging products division. HSIL also plans to invest US$16 mln in plant to manufacture chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and UPVC pipes and fitting used in plumbing and sanitation.

P L A c o l o r masterbatches for coffee capsules and 3D printing filament PLA color masterbatches specifically developed for the production of coffee capsules and 3D printing filament, are being developed by masterbatch producer Granula. Fueled by consumer demand for sustainable products, the interest in applications to which biodegradability and compostability can provide added value is rapidly growing. An application tailormade for the use of biodegradable materials is that of single-serve coffee capsules. The advent of “green” coffee capsules made of PLA is ushering in a new era in the production of coffee capsules. Granula has successfully developed and launched a range of PLA-based color & additive masterbatches for this technically challenging application. 3D printing has opened up a host of new possibilities for PLA, which has become one of the most important materials to produce 3D printing filaments. For this application, too, Granula has developed special color masterbatches, which enhance the properties of the bioplastic material. The colorful presentation of these natural raw materials also make these attractive for packaging and construction end applications.

61 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Technology

A color changing, pressure-sensitive elastic material

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hemical engineers at Stanford University have created a color changing, pressure-sensitive elastic material that mimics the skin of reptiles. The “e-skin,” an “electrochromic” fabric, changes its color and overall appearance with touch and surrounding conditions. The possibilities for application in wearables, prosthetics and robotics seem nearly endless. While there have been a number of notable breakthroughs in color changing, touch-sensitive “smart-fabrics,” e-skin is the first to have the property of elasticity to simulate actual skin. “We show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin in which the e-skin color can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration,” Ho-Hsiu Chou of Stanford University, first author of the study, said. “As such, the e-skin’s color change can also in turn be utilized to distinguish the pressure applied.” A stretchable microstructured polymer that modifies its voltage upon applied pressure, and a stretchable electrochromic polymer that can change colors depending on the voltage, the e-skin mimics the natural electricity of organic skin’s nervous pathways The Stanford team’s demonstration attached a pressure sensitive polymer to function as the paw of a Teddy bear, and connected it to an electrochromic polymer on the

Plastics News • September 2015 • 62

bear’s abdomen. The electrochromic polymer appears red first, but changes to blue-gray after a weak handshake of 50 kilopascals (kPa). A stronger handshake at 200 kPa turned the electrochromic polymer pale blue. Any measurement of force could be electrochemically programmed to produce a certain color on the spectrum upon touch. A multiple-step process that starts with the touch causes the polymer to slightly change its chemical structure and thus emit color at different wavelengths, and reverts back again upon release of pressure. While the first-generation electrochromic polymer can only switch between shades of red and blue, researchers expect they will soon be able to create polymers that can be programmed to exhibit all visible colors. The applications then could have no end. “The e-skin can potentially be integrated into the things that we wear and carry, i.e. clothes, smart phones, smart watches, and any other kind of wearable devices,” Chou said. “By integrating with this colorchangeable e-skin, you can imagine that all the colors can be integrated into one device, and the user can change it interactively for decoration or to express emotion. Because the e-skin's color change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish and quantify the magnitude of pressure we applied, the other potential application is that we can integrate the system into any

surface where we want to know the magnitude of pressure applied on it. Also, the e-skin can provide the camouflage function for prosthetics and smart robots. In addition, the stretchable system allows it to attach on curvilinear or dynamic surfaces well, while conventional rigid devices cannot. This advantage can reduce the interface between the device and human body." While the e-skin has potential to revolutionize markets for consumer use, researchers note that the material used to make the devices contains carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology has raised many safety concerns over toxicity, as the nanotubes mimic shapes associated with asbestos microfibers. In this particular case, the carbon nanotubes have been scaled down to be small enough to prevent damage to DNA and cause inflammation of organic material, as opposed to earlier, larger nanotubes. With e-skin as a basis for future skin replacement, it is only a matter of time before tweaks in the technology could radically alter the human experience. Though we may be some time off from biohacking our way into becoming Vitamin D-soaking lizard people who absorb our own solar energy, more immediate applications in medicine such as artificial skin grafts could immensely help victims of severe lacerations, burns and disease.


Technology

Iowa State University engineers are 72-CAVITY MOULD A producing bio-polymers from soybean oil new technology for lightweight 1881 facility that uses their technology owa State University engineers closures to make about 1,000 lbs of bioare producing bio-polymers from

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soybean oil. Research and development expansion is made possible by a new US$5.3 mln Bio-Polymer Processing Facility located at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm. The facility was built by Argo Genesis Chemical LLC, a sister company to Seneca Petroleum Co. Inc., of Crestwood, Illinois. The facility was turned over to Iowa State University on July 31. The target date to begin production was September. 1.The huge tanks, the steel frame and all the tubes, pipes, hoses and wires connecting everything are a long way from the round-bottom flasks used by Iowa State’s Cochran and Christopher Williams to develop a process that converts soybean oil into thermoplastics. Those are soft, rubbery polymers that can be melted and re-formed over and over again. Cochran, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, and Williams, the Gerald and Audrey Olson Professor in Civil Engineering and manager of the Institute for Transportation’s Asphalt Materials and Pavements Program, started their project in 2010 in a Sweeney Hall lab. Within a year they were making a few grams of biorenewable polymers from soybean oil, acrylic acid and a chemical process called atom transfer radical polymerization. Now, after 18 months of designing and building, there’s a

polymers per day. Donald Sjogren, the specialty products manager for Seneca Petroleum and assistant to the manager for Argo Genesis Chemical, said the company was the first in the Midwest to add petroleum-based polymers to asphalt in the early 1990s. The idea was to add longevity and resilience to asphalt pavements and create a competitive advantage. With the hope of eventually replacing the petroleum-based polymers in its asphalt with biorenewable ones, the company supported the laboratory work of Cochran and Williams. As the technology came together, the company licensed it from the Iowa State University Research Foundation and agreed to build a pilot-scale facility. “We’re always interested in being the first in the industry to bring a biorenewable aspect to our products,” Sjogren said. “We are already working with the university on the next generations of these technologies.”Once the facility is up and running, Sjogren said he expects high demand for asphalt mixed with the bio-polymers. He said there could be five test projects as early as next summer. Williams and Cochran said the biopolymers will also be tested for use in adhesives, coatings and packing materials.

Gefit has developed a 72-cavity mould, with slides technology dedicated to the beverage industry. Thanks to its long experience in this field, where high production volumes are often demanded, the company headquartered in Fubine (Alessandria, Italy) developed a mould for the production of the known 1881 closures with a very lowered weight compared to the usual standards currently used on the market.It is a 72-cavity mould, with slides technology to make the warranty seal. However, the real innovation consists of reducing the weight of the final plastic component throughout the whole process that led to the design development and to the performance improvement of this closure. Before the final manufacturing of the production mould, Gefit has been working with a 2-cavity pilot mould of its property to complete the product development and validation. Starting from a weight which generally was over two grams, the company has created a real evolution of the concept of the 1881 closure, traditionally used on PET containers for mineral water and medium carbonated soft drinks, reaching the great goal of 1.8 grams. The equivalent of 66 billion 1.5-litre PET bottles were collected and recycled in 2014, representing 57% of bottles and containers placed in the market.

63 • September 2015 • Plastics News


Technology

A drop of water self-heals a polymer

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drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers."What's unique about this plastic is the ability to stick itself back together with a drop of water," said Melik Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State. "There are other materials that are self healing, but not with water."Demirel and his team looked at the ring teeth of squid collected around the world -- in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, near Hawaii, Argentina and the Sea of Japan -- and found that proteins with self-healing properties are ubiquitous.However, as they note in a recent issue of Scientific Reports, "the yield of this proteinaceous material from natural sources is low (about 1 gram of squid ring teeth protein from 5 kgs of squid) and the composition of native material

varies between squid species." So as not to deplete squid populations, and to have a uniform material, the researchers used biotechnology to create the proteins in bacteria. The polymer can then either be molded using heat or cast by solvent evaporation. The two-part material is a copolymer consisting of an amorphous segment that is soft and a more structured molecular architecture. The structured portion consists of strands of amino acids connected by hydrogen bonds to form a twisted and/or pleated sheet. This part also provides strength for the polymer, but the amorphous segment provides the self-healing. The researchers created a dog-bone shaped sample of the polymer and then cut it in half. Using warm water at about 113 degrees Fahrenheit and a slight amount of pressure with a metal tool, the two halves reunited to reform the dog-bone shape. Strength tests showed that the material after healing was as strong as when originally created.

RWTH Aachen University launches CRP vehicle project

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even institutes, including the Germany-based Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) and RWTH Aachen University, have announced they are working on developing infrastructure for the repair of carbon-reinforced plastics (CRP)-based series vehicles. The institutes along with around fifty industrial companies, are developing new technologies at the RWTH Aachen University for identifying and assessing damage for automotive parts constructed

Plastics News • September 2015 • 64

using fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP). The project also covers the customised production of repair materials which RWTH Aachen calls patches.The institute highlights that the replacement of large integral structures, such as the CRP body of an electric vehicle, is now impossible at an acceptable cost, so to ensure customer acceptance, typical repair workshops must be enabled to carry out an inexpensive assessment and repair of the damage.

Plastic bags, backpacks and solar power

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group of South African entrepreneurs taking plastic bags and refashioning them into solar powered backpacks designed to give children light to study with. Rethaka (Pty) Ltd., in Rustenburg, South Africa, has madesuch back packs. The company collects the plastic bags and take them to its small factory, where they’re cleaned and turned into a textilelike material.Then it sews the material into backpacks, and adds a small, removable solar charger, which collects power as the kids walk home. The chargers can be easily removed and screwed onto lamps made from mason jars.

They then provide six to nine hours of light, crucial for studying if the kids are among the 1.3 billion people worldwide without regular access to electricity. Solar backpack is brainchild of 22-year-old CEO Thato Kgatlhanye, who started it with some of her classmates in university in Johannesburg. Kgatlhanye got the idea after noticing a lot of kids carrying their schoolbooks in plastic bags.Someone else suggested adding a charger, and after a lot of tinkering and $50,000 in seed money, the Repurpose Schoolbag was born.The backpacks are “made 100 percent from plastic shopping bags” and have a couple of benefits to society: they reduce plastic pollution, and they reduce the use of kerosene lanterns


in the NEWS

FDA approval for ABS resins for food contact

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BS Resin grades are now considered to be FDA food contact compliant as a result of a recently approved Food Contact Substance Notification (FCN). These grades, introduced by Trinseo are MAGNUM™ ABS 3453, ABS 3904 / 3904 Smooth and ABS 8391 / 8391 MED Resins. Determining if materials can be used safely for their intended use is one of the responsibilities of the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA). Food contact compliant indicates that the materials can contact food safely, as defined by the FDA.For some manufacturers, such as those involved with kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and food packaging, this compliance is essential. For other manufacturers, such as those of medical devices and other sensitive applications, compliance provides assurance to the

customer of added safety and quality control. Trinseo’s FDA compliance is especially important to its Consumer Essential Markets (CEM) Medical Devices business. Medical customers are likely to prefer food contact compliant materials as a product enhancement beyond the compliance to biocompatibility standards alone They are already unique in the marketplace. Produced using a proprietary mass polymerization process rather than a traditional emulsion process, they feature superior purity, enhanced lot-to-lot consistency, exceptional whiteness and color and general stability. The resins have been approved under the FDA’s Conditions of Use E through G, room temperature to frozen storage.

England to have Plastic currency

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he Bank of England has announced that the next £20 note will be printed on polymer.The move follows the move in 2013 to make £5 and £10 banknotes from polymer The current polymer notes are around 15% smaller than the current paper notes. The new £20 notes will also keep their traditional look, with a portrait of the Queen on the front. The character for the new note will be announced in spring 2016 and the new note issued by the end of 2020. The £20 note is the most common banknote, with a reported 1.9 billion in circulation at the end of February according to the Bank of England. A competitive tender process for the

supply of the polymer for the £20 note is expected to start in late 2015, the Bank said. The move to plastic notes will leave the £50 as the only remaining paper note. Polymer notes tend to last at least two-and-a-half times longer than paper banknotes and are more resistant to dirt and moisture. They also have advanced security features, making them difficult to counterfeit, according to the Bank.Polymer banknotes entered circulation in Scotland in March, when Clydesdale Bank issued two million of the notes to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Forth Bridge.

Indonesia initiates investigation into dumping of BOPP from Thailand, Vietnam

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he government of Indonesia has begun an investigation into the dumping of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) imported from Thailand and Vietnam, with the product allegedly sold below fair market price, according to report from The Jakarta Post.

The chair of the Trade Ministry’s antidumping committee (KADI), Ernawati said, “The investigation is being carried out at the request of local firms PT Trias Sentosa and PT Lotte Packaging."Trias Sentosa, which produces BOPP and baxially oriented polyester (BOPET), saw its net sales drop by 0.8% to Rp 1.28 trillion (US$90.5 mln) in H1 of this year from Rp 1.29 trillion in the same period last year, with domestic sales decreasing by 3.9%. According to Trade Ministry data, total BOPP imports from Thailand and Vietnam stood at 26.487 metric tons in 2012, making up 60% of Indonesia’s total BOPP imports at the time and last year hit 23.443 metric tons, or 65% of total BOPP imports. Budi added that the association expected the government to thoroughly investigate the alleged dumping practices and formulate policy to protect the local industry.

65 • September 2015 • Plastics News


in the NEWS

Germany to introduce €5 polymer coin

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ermany has announced that it will introduce a €5 coin with a polymer ring embedded between the outer and inner disks.Polymer-based banknotes are more durable, cleaner, cheaper to make and even more resistant to counterfeiting than their paper counterparts. Australia was the pioneer, setting a trend for the rest of the Commonwealth, as Canada and the United Kingdom have adopted plastic currency.

Now, Germany has announced that it will introduce a €5 coin with a polymer ring embedded between the outer and inner disks. The Stuttgart Ministry of Finance in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, with technical assistance from the Leibniz Institute of RWTH Aachen University, has developed a polymer material that can be minted like a metal while maintaining its thermoplastic properties. The decade-long project

will reach fruition in February 2016, when the coin makes its debut at the World Money Fair in Berlin. It will go into general circulation in Germany in the spring. The coin's design is comprised of a ring of polymer which is enclosed by another ring of metal. The transparent blue polymer ring, which can be worked like metal, contains both a color pigment and security features, reports Coin Update. The joint between the polymer plastic and metal is just as strong as between the two different metals in conventional bi-metallic coins, such as the €1 and €2 coins.

he Society of Plastics Engineers Mould Making and Mould Design Division is to have a new name. The new name of the Mould Making and Mould Design Division would be Mould Technologies Division.

The name change is intended to more accurately reflect the division’s membership Created for mould makers and mould designers, the division now includes more specialised professions like hot runner support, mould maintenance repair, mould

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ounting public protest and failure to rope in anchor tenants appear to have forced the government to put the controversial Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Region (PCPIR) project under cold storage. According to a report from The Hindu the project had received a big setback with Total of France and Saudi Aramco backing out their investment plan in developing a Greenfield refinery and petrochemical complex.

buying, additive manufacturing and more, according to division chair Glenn Starkey. In addition to its name change, the division is stepping up its engagement in the industry.

There is speculation that after shelving PCPIR, the government may take it up in some other form to make it part of VisakhapatnamChennai Industrial Corridor for which Asian Development Bank has pledged support to mobilise funds. The memorandum of agreement was signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Government of Andhra Pradesh on October 1, 2009. However, so far there is no initiative to execute the project. The environmental public hearing, which was supposed to be held on December 14 last year, has been put off indefinitely and the AP Pollution Control Board has not announced any fresh date till now.

Making the announcement starkey said,“We’re becoming more active at trade shows, providing technical presentations at industry events, and planning an SPE event of our own that can provide information and the latest methodologies.” With the new name it is expected to make it presence felt.

PCPIR project envisaged an investment of Rs.3.43 lakh crore for multi-product Special Economic Zones, industrial parks, free trade and warehousing zones The Government of India had promised US$1.3 bln out of total investment of Rs.19,031 crore planned on infrastructure.

Initially, numismatists will be the primary beneficiaries, as the coin will only be legal tender in Germany. However, designers hope that it may eventually be adopted by the European Central Bank to replace the €5 banknotes, which are in poor condition because of frequent use.

SPE Mould Making to be renamed

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VisakhapatnamKakinada Petroleum on hold


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