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British Plastics

and Rubber

bp&r MARCH 2020

INTERPLAS 2017 The UK's biggest plastics industry event is here!

Pioneering sustainable Let’s make it work. Pioneering sustainable material material solutions solutions SUSTAINABLE TESTING How taking your in-house test system beyond ‘single-use’ can optimise effectiveness

DISTRIBUTION WITH A DIFFERENCE One UK company’s 15-year partnership with the world’s biggest injection moulding machine manufacturer

GETTING THE [MES]SAGE How production monitoring software can help processors get the right information for efficiency and productivity



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editor’s letter

Let’s get digital www.britishplastics.co.uk head of content: Leanne Taylor

Phipson highlighted the move to digital technologies, systems and processes as “absolutely critical” to UK manufacturing going forward, not least in the huge opportunities they present for productivity improvements and competitiveness on the world stage.

T: +44 (0) 1244 952 371 E: leanne.taylor@rapidnews.com Assistant Editor: GRACE NOLAN

T: +44 (0) 1244 952 375 E: grace.nolan@rapidnews.com

Assistant Editor: Tom Walker

T: +44 (0) 1244 952 370 E: thomas.walker@rapidnews.com head of media SALES: Lisa Montgomery

T: +44 (0) 1244 952 372 E: lisa.montgomery@rapidnews.com Senior Sales Executive: MANDY O’BRIEN

T: +44 (0) 01244 952 519 E: mandy.obrien@rapidnews.com ART: SAM HAMLYN

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T: +44 (0) 1244 680222 E: subscriptions@rapidnews.com PUBLISHER: duncan wood

T: +44 (0) 1244 680222 E: duncan.wood@rapidnews.com PRINT SUBSCRIPTION Qualifying Criteria UK – Free Europe – £249 ROW – £249 FREE digital issues available to view and download online British Plastics & Rubber is published monthly (8 times/year) by Rapid Plastics Media Ltd, Carlton House, Sandpiper Way, Chester Business Park, CH4 9QE T: +44 (0) 1244 680222 F: +44 (0) 1244 671074 © 2020 Rapid Plastics Media Ltd While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained within this publication is accurate the publisher accepts no liability for information published in error, or for views expressed. All rights for British Plastics & Rubber are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. ISSN 0307-6164 Incorporating Polymer Age and Rubber and Plastics Age.

PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources PEFC/16-33-254



igitisation is a huge opportunity for this industry,” were the words of Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of MakeUK, the manufacturers’ association, at its annual conference recently. Phipson highlighted the move to digital technologies, systems and processes as “absolutely critical” to UK manufacturing going forward, not least in the huge opportunities they present for productivity improvements and competitiveness on the world stage.

their productivity and profitability whilst delivering first rate products on time to their customers. John shares an example of one UK plastics injection moulding company – Plastics Parts Direct – that is using MES to its advantage and making improvements in start-up, cycle and uptimes, as well as productivity. Plastics Parts’ example shows us that by starting with small steps towards our digital future, big benefits can be realised. Enjoy the issue.

With a new Government focused on a high productivity economy; the recently announced policies for immigration and labour; and the increasing focus on independence following departure from the EU, the transition to this digital world is moving ever closer. Whilst integrating certain digital processes on a large scale can incur vast sums of investment, what initial steps can plastics manufacturers take to embrace digitisation and connectivity, without breaking the bank? On page 41, John Hardwick of InTouch tells us just that. By integrating production and process monitoring systems (MES), manufacturers of all sizes and complexity are improving

Leanne Taylor, EDITOR AND head of content




hen Plastribution launched its new ‘sustainable materials portfolio’ , it split the range over seven different ‘branches’: Reduce your Carbon Footprint; Biodegradable and Compostable Polymers; Water Soluble Polymers; Bio-sourced Polymers; Circular Economy Grades; Recycled and Recyclability; and Renewable Content Polymers. Following the launch, Plastribution held a sustainable materials conference for its customers on 12-13 February, showcasing many of the products available in its portfolio, as well providing expert guidance from key suppliers. BP&R: HOW’S THE INITIATIVE PROGRESSING? KW: As you know, we launched the portfolio last year, initially to our customer base and to the wider industry thereafter. Marketing the portfolio has included the creation of specific landing pages, together with a PR and social roll-out, backed by an email marketing campaign. More recently, we held our sustainable materials conference at the Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry, where we spent two days presenting the portfolio, supported by presentations and guidance from many of our suppliers. As a business, we are delighted to report that the event was a great success, generating a good deal of positive feedback from our 100+ delegates. BP&R: WHAT WAS THE INITIAL IMPETUS BEHIND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PORTFOLIO? KW: While we had been able to source similar materials based on individual customer requests, the decision to create a dedicated catalogue of sustainable polymers was primarily a response to increasing demand for these products. Our customers are really hungry for solutions and answers - they are being asked a lot of questions by their end users and they don’t have all the answers, so that’s why it’s important we offer a portfolio of solutions, together with related information. We are also representing some of our existing supply sources who are producing polymers with more sustainable credentials. BP&R: PRESUMABLY YOU ALSO WANTED TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE PRODUCTS, TO BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO SHARE THAT KNOWLEDGE WITH INTERESTED CUSTOMERS? KW: Yes, of course. Looking at the market, there are a lot of different solutions, but like our standard product ranges, we want to be in a position of trust as an advisor, where we have the portfolio of solutions and we can work with our customers to put the right polymer into the right application - but we can only do that by having the necessary


know-how. All of the suppliers featured in our portfolio appreciate that there could be processing or performance challenges that will restrict their suitability for some applications. And from a commercial perspective, it’s not for us to judge whether any of these are viable products. The important thing for us is that we give our customers the choice, the technical information and support and then let them they decide what’s the right fit for them and their commercial plan. BP&R: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS TO ENCOURAGE UPTAKE OF SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS? KW: We are currently working on a number of projects, collaborating with manufacturers to understand more about material properties and supporting customers with their own technical evaluation. Clearly these types of polymers will ultimately find the greatest success where the manufacturer, the brand owner or the customer has sufficient desire to incorporate sustainable materials into their products. Having said that we are seeing increased momentum in the market based on the drive to be seen as sustainable, with some of the big brand owners being really motivated to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging they use. We’ve seen some very high profile companies looking into using sustainable polymers. This ground-swell of interest can help drive a new virtuous circle, as solutions are proven in the commercial market, so other companies looking to build their sustainability credentials will review how a competitor adopted the materials across their product ranges. In many cases this can lead to collaboration, further helping to promote the solutions in a market which is not yet fully established. Ultimately the important thing for us going forward is that we give our customers options, together with knowledge-based technical information and support. Then they decide what’s the right fit for them and the commercial plan. The next phase for us is to keep the momentum going. www.plastribution.co.uk/ sustainable/


The future is electric

Zhaar ZERES Series 40 - 1,380 Tonne Electric Solution with built in Servo-Hydraulics

Typical energy consumption of 0.3kWh per kilogram of material processed. Proven shot weight repeatability <0.1%

on the cover

PIONEERING SUSTAINABLE MATERIAL SOLUTIONS In November last year, polymer materials distributor, Plastribution, unveiled a new portfolio dedicated to sustainability. Now a few months on since the launch, BP&R spoke to the company’s Commercial Director, Katherine White, about reaction to the new products, commercial viability and encouraging uptake. SEE PAGE 4


Editor’s Letter



DISTRIBUTION WITH A DIFFERENCE As it continues a successful 15-year partnership with the biggest injection moulding machine manufacturer on the planet, BP&R’s Tom Walker spoke to Premier Moulding Machinery’s Managing Director, Carl Reeve, to find out the history behind the company’s distribution arrangement with Haitian, the latest models in the portfolio and why it’s like being part of an ‘extended family’.




LEADING THE WAY As new figures show the UK’s positive contribution to PVC recycling across Europe, BP&R looks at the statistics in more detail and hears from two industry experts as to how PVC’s established recycling infrastructure can lead the way in setting an example for other materials.




Feature SUSTAINABLE TESTING With much emphasis on environmental sustainability, Carl Bramley, Materials Testing Product Manager at Mecmesin, writes for BP&R on how taking your in-house test system beyond ‘single-use’ can optimise the effectiveness of your materials and product testing to sustain the highest standards.



GETTING THE [MES]SAGE When it comes to getting the message about where efficiency and productivity gains can be made within a plastics manufacturing plant, companies could receive transformational insight thanks to the use of production and process monitoring and control software (MES). John Hardwick, Commercial Director at Intouch, explains the benefits of such systems for BP&R readers.



The world’s most compact 350kN moulding machine Spritzgiessautomaten

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For details, call us on 01933 354460 or email sales@boy.ltd.uk


www.ultrapolymers.com | Your partner from design to production

INDUSTRY | NEWS Rotational Mouldings rebrands to capture past and future

Colourhouse Masterbatch installs new production line

masterbatches and compounds. Brian Davis, Director of Colourhouse Masterbatch, said: “We are committed to producing high performance, yet sustainable products that are able to meet the demanding service and long-life requirements of rapidly growing market sectors. “Bespoke orders have been increasing for some time now, so we required new equipment to enhance our infrastructure by supporting this demand, particularly for the development of automotive formulations for the progressively high-end colour specifications in these markets.”

Colourhouse Masterbatch has installed an additional production line at its manufacturing facility in Wigan. The latest investment supports the company’s continued growth strategy, increasing its overall production by 19 per cent. The major strategic investment has been made in response to the ever-increasing demand from clients for faster processing timescales and greater output, while not compromising on the quality of the

Rotational Mouldings has rebranded with a new website and company logo. The Rotational Mouldings brand will encompass both Rotational Mouldings Limited at Furness Vale, High Peak, and what was Haywood Roto Moulding in Rochdale, which will also be known under the Rotational Mouldings brand. John Rowbotham, Group Managing Director, said: “Since joining the family firm in 1988 it has been a great honour to lead the company into new pastures, while retaining the obvious pride in Rotational Mouldings’ heritage and innovation. “The Leadership Team we have built and staff loyalty at every level gives me personal confidence in our continued year-on-year investment and the unabated growth of the Group.” The new website informs people and companies who are looking to use the rotational moulding process for products and services and want to find out more about the organisation behind the name.

SP and Universal Robots sign up to new partnership SP has been announced as the first and only Scottish distribution partner of cobots from Universal Robots. SP has rebranded as ‘SP Automation & Robotics’, whilst also expanding with the creation of a new division, SP Elements, which will spearhead the cobot offering. The distribution license and increased scope of business will see SP Automation & Robotics employing an in-house team of 36 and increasing its annual turnover by 20 per cent. Lee Nixon, Director of SP, said: “SP means Special Purpose. We’ve been designing and manufacturing bespoke, special purpose automation and robotic systems for over 35 years for an array of industries including medical device, pharmacy, automotive, white goods and the

The team at SP signing the deal (Credit: Alan Richardson)

food industry for clients across the UK and Europe. “The name Elements was chosen for the cobot division as the technology allows clients to automate specific areas of their business while being entirely flexible, as cobots can be reprogramed or modified at any stage and moved easily around production facilities.”


Since joining the family firm in 1988 iT has been a great honour to lead the company into new pastures, while retaining the obvious pride in Rotational Mouldings’ heritage and innovation.” Rotational Mouldings is proud of its past heritage as it looks to the future (Credit: Rotational Mouldings)


Pevalen Pro TM

How to unlock the pro-environmental potential of PVC

Picking the right plasticizer for flexible PVC can dramatically reduce its environmental impact, improve cradle-to-gate sustainability and reduce waste. A new generation of non-phthalate plasticizers is emerging with some eye-wateringly good results, not just in their pro-environmental profile but in terms of performance, and cost-effectiveness too. Next-generation non-phthalates are the key New Non-Phthalate Plasticizers, such as PETV (Pentaerythritol tetravalerate), can play a pivotal role here especially as they can make up a significant part of PVC (40% in some applications) providing the potential for producers to lower their carbon footprint quickly. PETV, marketed as Pevalen™ by Perstorp, offers exceptional performance and is safe to use in close-to-human applications, so could this next generation plasticizer hold the key to unlock the pro-environmental potential of PVC? More sustainable and less waste Pevalen™ excels in several vital areas that positively impact product, processing and pro-environment performance. Its advantages include: • • • • •

very high plasticizing efficiency requiring less material uses less energy as it is faster to process offers low volatility preventing material loss high UV stability preventing early aging provides unbeatable softness for a long-life, trouble-free performance

These advantages give Pevalen™ a clear sustainability advantage, but this will be boosted by the launch of the new pro-environment Pevalen™ Pro grade.

*The sourcing of renewable material is part of the ISCC-Certification offering customers full traceability of the renewable content.

Pevalen™ Pro: Fully unlocks the pro-environmental potential Pevalen™ Pro is an identical molecule to Pevalen™ sharing the same uncompromising performance, but with one big difference, it uses certified mass-balanced renewable raw material* from responsible sources. Producers will be able to unlock further pro-environmental potential by choosing Pevalen™ Pro, as initially, it has up to 40% renewable content. This delivers a significant additional reduction in a PVC’s carbon footprint and is designed for those who see high-performance, sustainable PVC products as a priority. Sounds too good to be true, well the future gets even better as Perstorp’s long-term aim is to launch 100% renewable Pevalen™ Pro grades all based on the responsible sourcing of renewable raw materials. This will reduce the use of finite raw materials and cradle-to-grave carbon footprint. Finally, it will allow customers to transform smoothly to 100% renewable grades without penalty. If you want to learn how to fully unlock the pro-environmental potential of PVC, visit us at PVC 2020 (booth 33) where we will present how Pevalen™ Pro can reduce the environmental impact of PVC.

www.ultrapolymers.com | Your partner from design to production

Ad-Vance Engineering shortlisted for finals of local business award Tooling manufacturer, Ad-Vance Engineering, has been shortlisted for the finals of a high-profile local business award. The Northern Ireland-based company has been shortlisted in the ‘Manufacturing Excellence and Innovation Business Awards’ by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. Ad-Vance will now go on to compete against a range of other

New Post Brexit Planning and Compliance support fully fundable by Government grants The Institute of Export and International Trade has announced the launch of a new ‘Post Brexit Planning and Compliance’ course. The course is eligible for a full 100 per cent grant funded by the Government. The course is designed to impart practical advice and guidance to ensure that any business involved in importing and exporting is fully up to date on regulations and customs procedures. By attending the course businesses will reduce the risk of non-compliance, which can result in goods being delayed at the border, impounded and, in the worst cases, result in fines and possible imprisonment The Government grant support means that all businesses can send their team members onto the course for free. The funding is limited, and it is expected that the funds will be used up before the deadline of January 2021.

Manchester Polymer Group calls for papers for next rubber seminar Manchester Polymer Group, in conjunction with the Rubber in Engineering Group, has announced its next rubber seminar, ‘Rubber and Elastomers – Bouncing Forward with a Resilient Future’, to

businesses in the final on March 6. Roger Vance, MD of Ad-Vance Engineering, said: “This is official recognition for the highly precise nature of work carried out by our team. It also reflects the success of our export drive and growing demand for the bespoke service we provide to top tier manufacturing companies across Great Britain and Ireland. “It’s been a great start to 2020 and each of these achievements will only help us further enhance our service delivery and provide a more effective service to our top tier customers.”

The team at Ad-Vance Engineering

New dates revealed for CHINAPLAS 2020 Chinaplas has been rescheduled to 3-6 August 2020 following postponement of the original event due to concerns over the coronavirus epidemic. The venue for the show in August will remain unchanged and show organiser, Adsale, says it has

had confirmation that over 3,800 exhibitors will participate at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Shanghai. In the period before the show, Adsale says it will continue to closely monitor the development of the virus and to keep in close contact with the local government and authorities whilst preparing in the best way it can for a successful event.

take place on May 21. The seminar will address the latest developments and challenges for those working in rubber and elastomers technology. The successful format of other MPG rubber seminars will be followed, with a cost-effective all-day event based on a mixture of papers, table-top displays, and networking opportunities.

The event will take place at Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel near Wigan, UK.



www.ultrapolymers.com | Your partner from design to production


The word from Hird Roland Plastics celebrates 50-year career as employee retires Employees at Suffolk firm, Roland Plastics, gathered recently to celebrate the 50-year career of 78-year-old Bob Bullard. Having started his professional life as an apprentice through Civic College for Cocksedges, Bullard went on to work for Foulger Eng, before then moving to Roan Toolmakers, which was taken over by Girdlestone Mouldings (subsequently Roland Plastics). He has spent his career being responsible for creating tool drawings and producing injection mould tools. His retirement from Roland Plastics comes after five decades of being admired as a valued colleague and mentor to many young employees. At his farewell event, Roland Plastics’ Managing Director, Ben Emerson, said: “He has been a joy to work alongside and has provided a great deal of knowledge and insight to his colleagues over the last five decades. We all wish him well for his retirement.”

(L-R) Roland Plastics’ Ben Emerson, Bob Bullard, Jonathan Paul and Barrie Emerson


Being a partner in an initiative that not only promotes our members, but also UK Plastics manufacturing, can only be a positive thing, especially when working in collaboration with other manufacturing groups.”


ith the starting pistol fired on 31st January, we all need to pull together to face the hurdles that are ahead of us. In doing so, the PMMDA has come together with the majority of UK manufacturing trade associations to be involved in the Reshoring initiative that is being led by the GTMA (Gauge and Toolmakers Association). The Reshoring UK website (www. reshoringuk.co.uk) represents a unique collaboration of leading industrial engineering associations, which has been developed with the goal of connecting manufacturers with trusted, accredited suppliers capable of providing any technical support, specialist products and niche services required. As the UK’s engineering marketplace, Reshoring UK puts a wealth of information at users’ fingertips to support informed business decisions. Julia Moore, CEO of the GTMA, the founding Association of the initiative, said: “It is an often-repeated misconception that the UK does not make things anymore. The reality is that we are still the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world and the sector plays a vital role as an employer, exporter and innovator. In fact, Britishmade goods are sought-after around the world, with manufacturing accounting for 44 per cent of all the UK’s overseas sales. Manufacturing still contributes a tenth of UK Gross Value Added (GVA) and represents 70 per cent of all business Research and Development (R&D) spend and directly employs 2.7 million people.” She went on to say: “The unique partnership retains the contact between the Association and their members and provides for sustainability and integrity of the platform through the membership base of each association.” Support has also come from the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre (including WMG and AFMC), which has been instrumental in supporting the Reshoring initiative to fund the development of the search facility and bring together a supply chain of engineering companies to support UK industry. Being a partner in an initiative that not only promotes our members, but also UK Plastics manufacturing, can only be a positive thing, especially when working in collaboration with other manufacturing groups – we all need to work together to ensure the UK economy continues to grow.





celebrating 180 years

MACHINERY | NEWS Protolabs gives new injection moulding tolerance guarantees Protolabs is helping to make life easier for design engineers by guaranteeing specific dimensional tolerances for each type of plastic injection moulding resin. The Telford-based digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts is offering customers a machining tolerance of +/- 0.08mm with a resin tolerance of between 0.002mm/mm and 0.010mm/mm depending on the material. David Barnes, EMEA Product Manager for injection moulding at Protolabs, commented: “For some applications, such as interference parts, dimensional tolerance is extremely important. Our aim has always been to make the design engineer’s job simpler by providing the right amount of verifiable information. “This means we can now guarantee the tolerances for all of our 50 stocked resins, and we can advise on the accuracy of the

Protolabs is guaranteeing specific dimensional tolerances for plastic injection moulding resins

other 1500 that are available to our customers across the world. For the stocked resins, the tolerance will be shown when customers upload their design and select their chosen material as part of our Protoquote system.” Barnes says this streamlines the process, as this information becomes part of the design-formanufacturability analysis that

(L-R) Erhard Fux, Wittmann Material Handling Department Manager, Aaron Farrag and Michael Wittmann

Wittmann Group acquires FarragTech The Wittmann Group has acquired FarragTech, a manufacturer of auxiliary equipment for plastics processing. Based in Wolfurt, Austria, FarragTech’s product portfolio includes compressed air granulate dryers, internal compressed air mould cooling for blow molding processes, as well as protection against condensation water for cooled moulds. Both the full product range and the employees of FarragTech are being integrated into the structures of the Wittmann Group, providing access from their current headquarters in Wolfurt to the development expertise and the international sales network of the Wittmann Group. Further development of the FarragTech products from all three sectors will be driven forward, says Wittmann, with plans to have FarragTech’s appliances integrated into the open concept of ‘Wittmann


is typically available within just a couple of hours. Protolabs says the new resin tolerance guarantee is just one example of its continuous improvement process for customers, along with recent investment in its metrology laboratory, with in-house co-ordinate measurement machinery (CMM) and 3D laser scanning technology.

4.0’ digital technology. FarragTech’s previous owner, Aaron Farrag, is taking over the compressed air drying and cooling segment as Product Manager, and will incorporate this product line into the Wittmann Group. Wittmann’s Managing Director, Michael Wittmann, said: “We extend a very cordial welcome to the FarragTech team in our group of companies. With the smallquantity dryers from FarragTech, we are closing a gap in our product portfolio. Our international outreach – combined with the advantages of these technically outstanding products – promises an enormous growth potential for our new product segment.”


Protool Plastics Group starts expansion plan with machine investments Protool Plastics Group has started 2020 with the first stage of an ambitious expansion plan. The Fareham-based company has invested in two off Haitian Mars II S 250 tonne machines and one off Haitian Mars II S 60 tonne machine. The machines replace two old Negri Bossi machines, NB210, NB150 and NB60, which had worked over 400,000 hours in their lifetime with the company. The machines are destined for new production projects overseas. Protool Plastics Group says it will announce further details of its expansion plans before Easter.



celebrating 180 years

Rapid growth fuels new hires at Bole UK A period of rapid expansion along with repeat and new orders for injection moulding machinery has led to two new appointments at Bole UK. The West Midlands-based company says its growth in the UK market necessitated the recruitment of a third service engineer within the business, as well as a technical sales manager. Simon Dec has been appointed as UK Technical Sales Manager and will be the main point of contact for existing and prospective customers. Dec has over 30years sales experience within the manufacturing sector, primarily relating to the specification and

Simon Dec

supply of bespoke aluminium and plastic components. Key accounts included specialist and demanding low volume automotive and formula one companies. The appointment of a third service engineer was prompted by an increase in the hours required for new machine installation and commissioning. Joshua Crofts is a

Yizumi’s direct compounding injection moulding system offers CO2 and energy savings A direct compounding injection moulding system (DCIM) that is said to significantly reduce the amount of CO₂ emissions in a production process is now available to UK processors from STV machinery. The patented system was developed by injection moulding machinery manufacturer, Yizumi, along with compounder, Exipnos GmbH. It was showcased at K Show last October, where it was producing a multi-impression, bio-degradable cup on a standard Yizumi UN160A5 moulding machine integrated with a compound delivery system (CDS). This CDS equipment comprises a portable extruder, which feeds compounded materials directly into the throat of a standard injection moulding machine plasticising unit. The extruder screw (with an L/D ratio of 32/1), is made up of interchangeable segments to provide optimum mixing performance of the raw materials and additives that are continuously dosed during the process. Four sizes of CDS are available providing a max throughput range from 20kg / hour 350kg /hour.

By combining injection moulding, multi-material gravimetric dosing (with an optional slide feed station for introducing glass fibres and minerals) and compounding, the DCIM technology can significantly reduce the amount of CO₂ emissions, as the technology avoids additional heating and cooling of the polymer, as well as reducing transport costs from the compounding company to the moulding company. The total energy for this process is approximately 500Wh per kg, saving 264kg of CO₂ per tonne of compounded material. The system offers additional benefits such as eliminating the need to dry the compounded

MOD-trained multi-skilled engineer, with both electrical and mechanical skill sets. He has previously worked at industry-leading pharmaceutical and automotive moulding companies in a technical maintenance role. “As much as we are delighted with how quickly Bole has become an established supplier to the UK’s plastics sector, we are aware that new machinery sales must be sufficiently supported by a dedicated sales and service team,” explained Company Director, Hardeep Khera. “Rather than using sales agents or freelance engineers, we feel these full-time appointments will give our customers the support and confidence to continue investing in us.”

material again, up to 30 per cent improvement in plasticising performance, and the ability to process recycled materials without intermediate steps for their preparation. The CIM unit is interfaced to the Yizumi moulding machine controller, which means recipes from formulations can be stored and recovered with the mould process data, making programming relatively simple. The unit can be wheeled away from the moulding machine, leaving it to operate in its standard format. Yizumi equipment and machinery is available in the UK exclusively from STV machinery.

The DCIM system



Immediate Delivery on Stock Machines

Expert of Intelligent Two-Platen IMM

The first overseas subsidiary in the United Kingdom • In house stock machines from 60T-600T clamping forces • Spare parts are also available

Some of the advantages of our injection moulding machines • Energy Saving • Low Noise • Stable injection with linear guide • High repeatability • Automatic retractable tie bar system • 2 colour and 3 colour machines are installed in the UK • Small foot print • Local supports across UK and Ireland • Clamping force up to 6800T

Digital Colour Data Management for the Plastic Industry Close Tolerance Portable Spectrophotometer Best ever inter-instrument agreement Remote support and network device administration Onboard image guided workflows ISO compliant 60° Gloss Sensor (CM-26dG only)


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celebrating 180 years




he relationship between Premier Moulding Machinery (PMM) and Haitian began in 2004, when the company imported the first Haitian machine directly from China into the UK. Paul Hulin, PMM’s Operations Director, was travelling in China and came across Haitian, which didn’t have a developed supplier network in in the UK. Reeve said: “As Haitian didn’t have a distribution agreement in the UK, Paul asked if they would consider PMM, and that’s how it began. Haitian is very modest about the way it promotes its brand, and so initially we traded under the PMM name. “In 2015, we started using the Haitian name rather than PMM, and now the name is more instantly recognisable across the whole of Europe.”

CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS Of the 80,000 or so injection moulding machines sold in the world each year, approximately 35,000 are Haitian, but Reeve says that production of near 700 machines a week doesn’t affect Haitian’s close relationship with its distributors. “Although Haitian is the biggest injection moulding machine manufacturer in the world, it treats its customers like extended family,” Reeve continued. “The distributors who have been taken on across Europe are all still in place, and we have a central stock of machines which we can all dip into. We can also use each other’s service engineers, of which we have more than 150 around Europe.” Reeve added that the entire business model, from Haitian through to the distributors, is a change from a lot of other manufacturers and suppliers. “We all install and service in our own markets, and something else we do differently is cost-centre our service and spares. We don’t make money by selling spare parts or sending service engineers, and our customers love it,” he explained. “They’re seeing 30 per cent savings on total cost of ownership, because we’re not making those margins. Some 85 per cent of service calls we get are over the phone, because often it’s a very simple issue that people are looking to solve. Whereas some of our competition will send an engineer out and charge, we don’t need to do that because we’re not making margins from it.” By focusing on getting the customer back up and running quickly after any issues is something customers really appreciate, according to Reeve. “Most of the time they won’t have had that sort of relationship with a supplier, so when they experience it, it’s a game changer for them. That doesn’t just apply for us in the UK, but also in Europe as well,” he said. “That attitude and model stems from the relationships that Haitian wants to build,

and for us as a distributor it’s a great company to work with. Haitian is always very open about where it wants to go, and is always looking to innovate and make improvements on its portfolio of products.”

LATEST MODELS For its next-generation models, Haitian has aimed to make its most advanced machines as cost-effective and efficient as possible, with energy savings on its machines coming in at nearly 70 per cent. “The new Zhafir Zeres range is all-electric with built-in hydraulics, and five years ago you would have said it was more of an aspirational machine for moulders. Today it’s very affordable, which makes a difference when people are deciding what to buy,” explained Reeve. “Moulders are looking at and seeing that they get better technology and more control, and so are futureproofing themselves.”

The Zhafir Zeres range

INTERPLAS “HUGELY IMPORTANT” 2020 also sees the next edition of Interplas at the NEC, a show which Reeve says is hugely important for both PMM and Haitian. He said: “It’s our main focus for this year. We exhibited at Interplas three years ago hoping it would be good, but it was fantastic, and even better than we expected. Market awareness was one thing, but the number of sales it generated was brilliant, it was probably one of the best shows we’ve ever exhibited at. “Some of our European colleagues are coming over as well, and it’ll be an excellent opportunity to show our customers the new third generation range of machines.”




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PVC | NEWS The converters’ programme is free-to-attend for the f irst 100 delegates to sign up

Dedicated converters’ day is latest addition to stellar PVC event line-up A dedicated conference session tailored to the interests of PVC converters has been unveiled as the latest addition to the upcoming PVC 2020 event in Edinburgh. The session, scheduled to take place on the first afternoon of the conference (April 21), has been specifically designed to allow converters to access materials and information important to their specific interests, including recycling, new product developments and process efficiency. It will be free-to-attend for the first 100 delegates to sign up, with registration including access to the morning keynote sessions, refreshments and the accompanying table top exhibition, giving attendees the chance to network, meet new contacts and learn with the industry. Confirmed speakers include energy saving expert, Robin Kent, who will be discussing the best ways to make efficiency gains when processing PVC, and Recovinyl’s Regional Representative for the UK, Richard McKinlay, who will be discussing how delegates can become involved in PVC recycling schemes.

The converters’ programme is being jointly run by PVC 2020 and the organisers of Interplas UK, where there will be a follow-up programme when that event takes place in September this year. More information about the conference at Interplas will be published in the upcoming issues of BP&R magazine. The complete PVC 2020 event, taking place from 21-23 April, is expecting over 500 attendees over the three-day event, with preregistered delegates representing 29 countries across six continents. It is the first time that the triennial conference is taking place in Edinburgh, as it moves from its traditional base in Brighton. Along with the new location and the converters’ day, other new additions this year include an exciting panel discussion on innovation with PVC on the first

day, featuring a a range of wellrespected panellists in the field. There will also be two keynote speakers, Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland’s Chief Executive, and Mark Miodownik, a Materials Engineer and Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, UK, who will be discussing the circular economy and innovation respectively.

Dugdale starts decade with momentum after high demand in 2019

team to prove the new materials, before shipping samples to customers for in-house trials prior to progressing the new grades on to full production. This focus on customer service has led to sustained growth and the doubling of Dugdale company turnover from 2008-2018. Now, with fresh investment behind the business, Dugdale says it is in an “ideal place” to further exploit its exclusive PVC laboratory know-how for the benefit of the customer. The company will be exhibiting at the upcoming PVC 2020 event in April, more information about which can be read in the article above.

PVC compounder, Dugdale, says it anticipates renewed energy, investment and market outreach in 2020, with momentum for its products at a high following a successful year. The West Yorkshire-based firm, which was acquired by new investors and owners Benvic in September, says 2019 saw its laboratories and pilot plant in high demand for new compounds and applications. The onsite facilities are used by Dugdale’s product development


If you are a processor interested in taking a free delegate place at the converters’ day at the PVC 2020 conference in Edinburgh, places are available on a first-come-first basis by contacting Melanie.Boyce@iom3.org and quoting ‘BP&R mag’


Inovyn starts deliveries of the world’s first commercially available renewable PVC Inovyn has made its first deliveries of ‘Biovyntm’, the world’s first commercially available bio-attributed PVC. Deliveries were made to Tarkett, which is sourcing Biovyntm for a new sustainable flooring collection due to be launched in 2020. Filipe Constant, Business Director Inovyn, said: “Since the launch of Biovyntm in October, we have seen strong global interest. We’ve had expressions of interest from

New Ultradur grade by BASF improves the properties of PVCwindow profiles BASF has developed a new grade of Ultradur engineering plastic that is said to significantly improve the properties of PVC window profiles. The new Ultradur B4040 G11 HMG HP green 75074 grade can be used for co-extrusion with PVC and is now available with a significantly improved property profile. With this new grade, PVC window profiles can be mechanically stiffened in the co-extrusion process. Compared with steel stiffening, the profile is lighter and can be produced at lower cost without compromising on stability and with improved insulation. Slimmer geometries are also potentially possible. BASF’s Ultradur plastic is put to use in numerous industrial applications for high-grade and heavy-duty technical components. It says this special development of an Ultradur blend reinforced with 55 percent glass fibres benefits profile manufacturers and window manufacturers in numerous ways. One example is the significantly lower melt temperature, which further simplifies the co-extrusion process with polymers such as PVC, as the melting point is 20

leading companies across a wide range of sectors including automotive, medical, furniture and other consumer goods, where sustainability is becoming increasingly important.

“The very strong sustainability credentials of Biovyntm, not least the significant greenhouse gas savings delivered during production, are already proving to be very attractive to these global brands as they move towards more sustainable products.” Manufactured in Rheinberg, Germany, Biovyntm is made using bio-attributed ethylene, a renewable feedstock derived from biomass that does not compete with the food chain. It is certified by The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) as delivering a 100 per cent substitution of fossil feedstock in its production system, enabling a greenhouse gas saving of over 90 per cent compared to conventionally-produced PVC.

very close to the processing temperature of PVC. Ultradur possesses high stiffness and binds with PVC. Suitably positioned, it can replace a conventional steel stiffener in the profile. The coextruded profile is weldable and can be machined on existing equipment. For window makers, this reduces the production effort, as it eliminates all steelrelated activities. In addition, handling is easier during production and installation in the building, because the profile reinforced with Ultradur is much lighter. A further positive feature for the customer in addition to improved insulation performance, says BASF, is

that the profile exhibits high dimensional stability when installed and shows virtually no post-shrinkage after installation. “Our new, improved Ultradur grade offers profile manufacturers and window producers clear-cut advantages in production. Our product and the manufacturing process are amenable to troublefree integration into existing production lines,” commented Dr. Kay Brockmüller, Project Manager, Construction, at BASF. Where the UK PVC industry is a top achiever in recycling, BASF points out that hybrid profiles of PVC and the new Ultradur grade can be separated and recovered at standard recycling facilities.

Inovyn has made its f irst deliveries of ‘Biovyntm’, the world’s f irst commercially available bio-attributed PVC.

Application example of Ultradur (green) in a PVC window profile, produced in a co-extrusion process



Leading the Way


he UK is second in Europe (behind Germany) in collecting and recycling waste PVC, with a total of 137,989 tonnes recycled in 2018 across all PVC recycling formats. Of this total, PVC window profiles accounted for 73,703 tonnes, according to latest industry figures.


The UK’s sizeable effort represents around 19 per cent of the 739,525 tonnes of waste PVC recycled throughout Europe in 2018 – a new record high. Across Europe, window profiles and related building products accounted for 44 per cent of the total PVC recycled. Recovinyl, the PVC industry’s recycling scheme, was the largest contributor to this total and registered a total of 734,568 tonnes of PVC waste entirely recycled in Europe in 2018 - a 15.6 per cent increase from 2017. In Europe, the demand for recycled rigid PVC is currently very high, indicating the potential for further strengthening collection and recycling schemes. TWO NEW UK RECOVINYL RECYCLERS Recovinyl has further sharpened its certification and audit schemes to ensure maximum reliability of collected data and of the recyclates’ traceability, both from recyclers and converters. Over the last 12 months, two new recyclers who focus on rigid PVC have joined the UK Recovinyl network – Tecvyn in Hull and Recycling PVC in Manchester – making a total of 24 accredited recyclers across the country. While across Europe, 11 new recyclers signed up in the first half of 2019. Welcoming the ongoing upwards PVC recycling trend, Richard McKinlay, Head of Consulting at resource recovery specialist Axion, Recovinyl’s Regional Representative for the UK, said: “Recovinyl is a great success story and there’s still a huge demand for recycled PVC. Much of what is being collected is post-consumer material and we’re doing a really good job in the UK, but we’d like to collect and recycle even more to meet the demand. That’s why it’s important to recycle these frames, for all the right reasons.” He added: “Optimisation in cutting technology has resulted in fewer and smaller post-industrial off-cuts for recycling. Fabricators have become more efficient at cutting profiles and getting more frames out of their bar lengths. “As people get better at reusing offcuts or minimising off-cut material, it’s become even more important to capture more post-consumer material for recycling.” PVC RECYCLING CAN “LEAD THE WAY” Hinting that construction is the next sector after packaging to come under scrutiny in terms of waste, McKinlay says PVC’s now-established

recycling infrastructure can “lead the way” in setting an example for the treatment of other waste construction materials, adding that for fabricators and installers, recycling PVC makes “economic and environmental sense”. He explained: “The PVC recyclers will pay for good quality material, so there’s an economic incentive for fitters and with a recycling network across the UK, there’s an outlet; no need to throw it in a skip. Everyone can do their bit to protect the environment and even the smallest installation company should look at how they can recycle and who their nearest recycler is.” Segregating PVC frames and offcuts is important, added McKinlay, as this helps to maintain quality and the market value of the material.

Recovinyl is a great success story and there’s still a huge demand for recycled PVC. Much of what is being collected is post-consumer material and we’re doing a really good job in the UK, but we’d like to collect and recycle even more to meet the demand. That’s why it’s important to recycle these frames, for all the right reasons.”

“LESS PRODUCTION WASTE IS A POSITIVE THING” Simon Scholes, Managing Director of VEKA Recycling Ltd, one of the first Recovinyl recyclers in the UK, says that window companies, particularly larger fabricators, are generating less PVC waste. “Less production waste is a positive thing,” he explained. “As the industry has become more professional, it is getting better at collecting waste PVC and sending less to landfill. That’s helping to bring sustainability to the industry as a whole.” He continued: “The material is out there, and we can help companies of all sizes to recycle their waste PVC frames and off-cuts. People are catching onto recycling and attitudes towards this are improving. We’re going in the right direction.” PVC can be recycled multiple times without any loss of performance and reused in many diverse new and long-life products from construction products such as windows to flooring and electrical components. Cumulatively, almost 5 million tonnes of PVC have been recycled within the Vinyl 2010 and VinylPlus frameworks across Europe since 2000, with around 10 million tonnes of CO2 saved.



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Engel UK supplies medical device manufacturer with training machine A manufacturer of plastic medical devices has received an e-mac allelectric injection moulding machine from Engel UK to support the training of its staff in high precision injection moulding operations. Bespak, which manufactures respiratory drug delivery devices, valves and actuators, as well as injectable devices, has installed the machine in its in-house training academy in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, where it is used for providing technical training to apprentices, as well as operators, technicians and engineers taking part in a range of injection moulding process courses up to RJG’s Master Moulder certification. The Engel machine is suited as an entry level machine and the e-mac features an innovative energy recovery system and provides high productivity from a small footprint. Patryk Bortnik, Injection Moulding Academy Trainer at Bespak, said: “We are excited to have been given the opportunity to work on the new e-mac in Bespak’s Injection Moulding Academy and Engel have been very supportive over the course of last year. It is a privilege to train our employees on the stateof-the-art equipment and we are looking forward to explore all of the advanced options the e-mac has to offer.”

The Engel e-mac at Bespak’s Injection Moulding Training Academy in King’s Lynn

Significant medical moulding portfolio to be Wittmann Battenfeld UK focus at upcoming show Wittmann Battenfeld UK is preparing to showcase its capabilities in medical moulding with an upcoming exhibit at the Med-Tech Expo trade show. The Wellingborough-based firm says that medical machinery and associated ancillaries and automation contribute to “a significant part” of its overall portfolio, with its ability to supply a full turnkey operation from its own equipment range leading to several major installations in both the UK and Ireland. Technical experts from Wittmann Battenfeld UK will be on hand at the show, which takes place on April 1-2 at the NEC, Birmingham, to discuss its full suite of medical products, including its three injection moulding machines available in medical versions: the MicroPower, EcoPower and SmartPower (15-550t). Each of these moulding machines are optimally suited for clean room production in their standard versions, since they are laid out for a minimal level of emissions. This applies in particular to the machines of the MicroPower series, designed for the injection moulding of small and micro parts. The allelectric MicroPower is designed as a self-contained cell enclosed on all sides, which simultaneously offers sufficient space for the integration of various optional pieces of equipment, such as a rotary table, robots, material dryers or temperature controllers. All drive modules of the all-electric drive system including all mechanical components are encapsulated in easy-to-clean housings. The MicroPower has been particularly effective in its use in leading the production of new polymer-based dental and medical implants. Wittmann Battenfeld UK says OEM orders of the MicroPower moulding machine have been building and have been followed by


Wittmann Battenfeld says medical machines are an important part of its portfolio

success in the University/teaching and testing areas. Wittmann Battenfeld is exhibiting on stand A50 at Med-Tech Expo, which is the UK & Ireland’s leading event for medical design and manufacturing technology. The show is free-to-attend for all visitors and registration can be made at www.med-techexpo.com

Breakthrough in drug delivery relies on Covestro polycarbonates A new breakthrough in drug delivery that is changing how vets deliver pain medication to animals has benefitted from Covestro’s Bayblend T85 XP PC+ABS blend. The system, designed by RxActuator, eliminates the possibility of tangled or disconnected IV, and enhances comfort while reducing staff oversight. The Mini-Infuser pump case also uses clear Makrolon Rx1805 polycarbonate for the device’s trim. Doug Nutter, Chief Marketing Officer for RxActuator, said: “With its wealth of materials and technical knowledge, Covestro was able to help us create an innovative and dog-proof drug delivery device for the veterinary industry.”


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Solvay boosts metal-to-plastic portfolio for medical components Solvay has added to its portfolio of materials designed to offer healthcare designers and OEMs Xencor LFT materials are designed for metalto-plastic replacement

Irish medical sector receives R&D boost from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) has recently welcomed a new 130 all-electric, medical specification moulding machine from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag to support Irish customers with their research, product development, tool testing, and validation projects. The installation of the precision, fully enclosed IntElect cleanroom machine from the machinery supplier was commissioned by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s local distributor, TSM Polytech. The mixing and blending specialist is also supplying all of the ancillary equipment and data analytics, ensuring the state-of-the-art cell delivers maximum benefits to Irish customers. This new partnership at the statefunded research centre located on the Athlone Institute of Technology campus will help to foster critical research and innovation in Ireland’s thriving medical and life sciences sector and drive advances in material development and engineering.

new opportunities to replace metal and traditional short fibre thermoplastics used in structural medical components. The Xencor LFT family of long glass fibre-reinforced thermoplastics offers advantages over metals including lighter weight, expanded design freedom, superior chemical resistance and streamlined processing. Typical applications include chassis, gear systems and components needing high mechanical properties and load-bearing capabilities. The pultrusion manufacturing process used by Solvay produces continuous and highly aligned glass fibre-reinforced Xencor LFT compounds that are said to provide better retention of mechanical properties at elevated temperatures along with very low creep, outstanding fatigue resistance and excellent surface

finish. Depending on the polymer and grade, Xencor LFT compounds can contain between 30 to 60 percent long fibre reinforcement. “Xencor LFT compounds enhance our already robust metalto-plastic replacement product portfolio for medical equipment,’’ said Jeff Hrivnak, Global Business Manager for Healthcare at Solvay Speciality Polymers. “As is typical with our portfolio, Xencor LFT products stand up to aggressive disinfectants needed in healthcare and can reduce overall manufacturing costs through the use of high-speed injection moulding.’’ The Xencor LFT portfolio is comprised of grades based on select Solvay semi-crystalline resin systems: Ryton polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA) and Ixef polyarylamide (PARA).

It is available for use by all Northern and Republic-based polymer manufacturers and innovators to perform trials and derisk projects, the centre also serves as the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag/ TSM Irish customer training and demonstration facility. Darren Herron, National Sales Manager for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, said: “Our IntElect medical specification machine is built to handle extremely narrow tolerance applications produced in high volumes with greater precision.

“Now, Irish customers will be able to test their own mould tools on the system, perform process optimisation and validation tests, measure energy consumption and cycle times, and set their own production performance benchmarks.” Shane O’Callaghan, European Sales Manager for TSM, said: “The natural synergy between our two companies in combination with the launch of a centralised R&D hub on the doorstep of Irish plastics processors at APT is an exciting development.”


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MATERIALS | NEWS INEOS and UPM Biofuels announce supply agreement for renewable raw materials INEOS and UPM Biofuels have announced a long-term agreement to supply a renewable raw material for new and innovative bio-attributed polymers to be produced at INEOS Köln. INEOS will use UPM BioVerno, a sustainable raw material from a renewable residue of wood pulp processing, to produce bioattributed polyolefins. These new materials will be used in a wide range of products, from plastic food packaging to medical applications and pipes. The agreement supports INEOS’ plans to make plastic from renewable raw materials, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting a more circular approach to INEOS Olefins and Polymers production. Maiju Helin, Head of Sustainability and Market Development at UPM Biofuels, said: “The collaboration with INEOS is a great step forward in the bio-economy. UPM BioVermo products now help to reduce climate and environmental impacts

KD Feddersen expands ABS range with ELIX ABS M220

UPM BioVermo products now help to reduce climate and environmental impacts in an even broader range of applications.”

in an even broader range of applications.” Rob Ingram, CEO of INEOS Olefins and Polymers Europe North, said: “The agreement supports INEOS’ plans to make plastics from renewable raw materials, which contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.”

KD Feddersen has added ELIX ABS M220 to its standard ABS range. The universal injection moulding grade is suitable for applications in the field of household goods, garden tools, furniture and other consumer goods. It has good mechanical properties and its high flowability makes the product particularly recommended for components with low wall thicknesses and long flow paths. It is also certified according the UL HB at 1.5 and 3.0mm. The standard ABS was previously reserved for bulk buyers only, but KD Feddersen is now offering this grade in smaller quantities. www.britishPLASTICS.co.uk

INEOS and UPM Biofuels have announced a long-term agreement to supply a renewable raw material

Technical Foam Services announce a landmark in hydrophilic PU foam Technical Foam Services has announced the launch of the first hydrophilic PU foam with the same performance criteria as cellulose sponge. The new material is manufactured in large block form at TFS’s Corby factory, where it can convert the large blocks into different shapes and sizes dependent on customer requirements. The material is also commercially competitive against cellulose sponge, making it an attractive option for end-users. As PU block foam is readily available and easy to convert, this is expected to make the new material around ten to 20 per cent cheaper than cellulose sponge.


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Who is ‘Polymerman’?

Mike Boswell is Managing Director of UK materials distributor, Plastribution, as well as the Chairman of the British Plastic Federation’s Polymer Compounders and Distributors Group and its ‘BREXIT Committee’. ‘Polymerman’ is the title used for announcements made via his Twitter account. This column is compiled using data from PIE (Plastics Information Europe) www.plastribution. co.uk | www.pieweb.com


What’s in store for UK Plastic Processors?

he UK finally left the European Union on January 31 2020, more than three and a half years after the referendum that took place at the end of June 2016. The swift implementation of the Brexit legislation came after the Conservative Party won a substantial majority in the December General Election, having campaigned with a clear manifesto commitment to ‘get Brexit done’. Immediately following the (Br)exit day, the UK entered into the ‘transition period’, which is currently scheduled to last until December 31 this year. In this transition period, the UK is expected to negotiate its future trading relationship with the remaining EU27 members. At this point it should be noted that due to schedule of business in the European Parliament, the UK would only have until the end of June to request an extension to the end of year deadline, which, if requested, would require the consent of all 27 member states of the EU. Whilst negotiations are only in the early stages, it appears that UK Government is minded not to request any extension and in order to ‘get Brexit done’ is willing to face the consequences of what is a pretty short timeframe for a potentially complex trade negotiation. In adopting this position, it appears that the UK Government is ultimately willing to accept ‘No Deal’, but at this stage is promoting a desire for a ‘Super Canada Plus Deal’, but also a willingness to accept an ‘Australia Deal’. WHAT’S THE DEAL? In the case of a ‘Super Canada Plus Deal’ some 98 per cent of goods would be exempt from import duties and this would probably include all plastics raw materials and plastic goods and components. However, there would be need for regulatory alignment and a physical border would exist between the UK and the EU. An ‘Australia Deal’ would be very limited in scope and may not include plastics at all. In any event, a hard border is expected to exist between the UK and the EU27 and that will inevitably result in supply chain disruption and higher cost, as importers struggle with delays at borders and increased

bureaucracy. This risk was confirmed in a Government statement in February, after an announcement from a Minister that there would be no preferential treatment for UK – EU trade after the 31.12.20 deadline. A CHALLENGING OUTLOOK? Whilst the outlook for polymer supply from the EU27 looks more challenging than when the UK was a member of the EU, the UK is now free to independently negotiate trade deals. Along with negotiating with the EU, it is likely that the UK will target countries where the EU already has a trade deal in place. Some such agreements are ‘oven ready’, with Israel being the very first country to agree such an arrangement in principle. THE UK PERSPECTIVE From the perspective of UK plastic processors, replicating the pre-Brexit trade arrangements will help to maintain the ‘status quo’ on current supply. However, prospects of trade deals with other countries may create lucrative opportunities. Not least of all there appears to be some strong attraction for the UK and the US to agree a deal, and this concept was aired at a meeting between US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and the then Chancellor of The Exchequer, Sajid Javid, at the end of January in London. If a deal was agreed (and this included plastic raw materials), this could see all, or part of, the 6.5 per cent tariff eliminated and - in so doing - giving UK plastics processors access to even more competitively priced material from the US. In summary, it is likely to be a mixed picture for UK plastics converters as the UK readies itself to leave the UK at the end of this year, with the likelihood of product supply from Europe becoming less reliable and more expensive, contrasting with the possibility of more competitively priced materials coming from other parts of the world.

From the perspective of UK plastic processors, replicating the pre-Brexit trade arrangements will help to maintain the ‘status quo’ on current supply. However, prospects of trade deals with other countries may create lucrative opportunities.” www.britishPLASTICS.co.uk



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TESTING AND INSPECTION | NEWS We are delighted to be running these courses and we have recently reached a milestone of having trained over 100 delegates. Feedback reveals that delegates really like our approach of combining theory backed up by practical, live laboratory demonstrations.”

The partnership has trained over 100 delegates

Composites testing techniques training course reaches a milestone R-TECH Materials, one of the fastest growing polymer and composites testing laboratories in the UK, is continuing its successful partnership with ZwickRoell to offer introductory training courses covering the mechanical testing of composites. The courses are designed primarily for people with a limited experience in the principles and practices associated with the testing of composite materials, and the collaboration has recently seen the hundredth delegate complete the course.

Netzsch enhances product portfolio with rheometers Netzsch has announced the expansion of its product portfolio with Kinexus rotational rheometers and Rosand capillary rheometers, formerly manufactured and distributed by Malvern Panalytical. The addition is expected to drive significant value to Netzsch’s customers and business by providing comprehensive product and application services.

Combining classroom-based theory with practical demonstrations for the most common mechanical tests – ranging from the simple flexural testing to the more complex testing such as compression testing – the course covers everything participants would expect from an introductory training event including defining what a composite material is, the common terms used in mechanical testing and why mechanical testing is carried out. It also looks at the theory of why the specimens used for testing are the shape and size they are, and how to optimise a test setup to ensure reliable, repeatable and accurate results. Alan Thomas of ZwickRoell UK, explained: “We offer many introductory testing courses to

Netzsch will continue the manufacturing of all instruments, as well as worldwide support of the two rheometer product families. Netzsch is also committed to fulfilling all existing contracts with Kinexus and Rosand rheometer users, including the full-service range, applications, existing contract offerings and spare parts availability. During the transition period, Malvern Panalytical will also provide support to Netzsch so that the transition will be as smooth as possible for customers. www.britishPLASTICS.co.uk

industry and when it came to a knowledgeable and professional composite testing provider, we could have done no better than R-Tech Materials. “Their laboratory facilities and high-quality technical knowledge provide the perfect foundations for composite testing training and the quality of the course has been highly regarded by previous participants.” Geraint Havard, R-TECH Materials’ Composites Manager, added: “We are delighted to be running these courses and we have recently reached a milestone of having trained over one hundred delegates. Feedback reveals that delegates really like our approach of combining theory backed up by practical, live laboratory demonstrations.” Composites testing courses are offered throughout the year and details of forthcoming courses can be found by visiting the ZwickRoell website.

Netzsch has announced the expansion of its product portfolio


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About the Author

Carl Bramley is Materials Testing Product Manager at Mecmesin Ltd., advising the business on product development and software functionality, plus maximising the coverage of test standards capabilities and delivering on technical sales application opportunities. Carl has 30 plus years of international experience with service, calibration, documentation and distribution in the metrology, instrumentation and testing equipment industries.

Sustainable TESTING


Plastic raw material specimen being tested for tensile properties with an extensometer to measure elongation

he drive for sustainability is inevitability imposing change on the plastics industry. One constant is the requirement for equivalent performance of the end product, even if the raw material has evolved. IMPLEMENTING STANDARDS International test standards have been developed to ensure consistent testing procedures are applied globally. Those for materials testing define calculations and results reporting format to ensure comparable data across different testing laboratories and ensure confidence in material comparisons. Internal standards, such as R&D benchmarks, can optimise a design, innovate to leverage a competitive advantage and minimise waste. DEFINING A TEST SYSTEM A test system comprises a ‘test frame’ itself, plus accessories—loadcell, grips and fixtures necessary to hold the test specimen and any other additional instrumentation. The dimensions of the test frame are determined by the maximum load capacity required and the size of the test specimen. Highly elastomeric materials, such as rubber, require a tall test space. For optimum control, repeatability and flexibility in testing software is required—minimising operator error and adding the potential for semiautomated testing. Any relevant test procedure can be programmed, ‘recycled’ and run reliably every time. Measured output can be comprehensively reported, or be assigned to a clear pass/fail result. Interchangeability of the loadcell and accessories enables a range of tests to be performed on the same machine, leading to the term universal testing machine (UTM). Other test systems apply torque to the test sample. RAW MATERIAL SUITABILITY Testing the raw material to determine its physical attributes quantifies the behaviour of the plastic under conditions of tension, compression, shear or bending. Measuring the characteristics of a specimen of explicitly-defined geometry under controlled loading or controlled deformation is used to calculate its fundamental mechanical properties, such as modulus of elasticity, elongation at break and ultimate strength. An essential accessory for accurate specimen elongation (strain) measurement is the extensometer; required apparatus in test standards for tensile testing of plastics and rubber.

The inherent material properties of plastic films and sheets may be measured with dedicated testers, for example, resistance to breaking under the impact of a falling weight, or the coefficient of friction of the surface. PRODUCT INTEGRITY There is a need to test that a finished product meets acceptable criteria once the raw polymer material has been formed into its design geometry. Take the ubiquitous PET bottle, its crush resistance by ‘top load’ testing is a measure of the raw material’s suitability to withstand the forces exerted on the container during filling, closure application and stacking during storage and transport. An identicallooking rPET bottle can be confidently tested to perform identically under the same conditions. The ability to perform these tests on the same machine as the materials checks and run the same software test routines during product development and at point of production provides consistent testing and inspection procedures company-wide. FUNCTIONALITY AND USABILITY Being fit-for-purpose is the final measure of the finished product’s quality. How well a component behaves in service, or how easily someone can operate a mechanism, can be quantified reliably by an appropriately specified test system. Very light torques may be desirable to turn delicate plastic gears, screw/unscrew small connectors or rotate medical dosage delivery dials. Firmer twisting is preferred for caps and closures and positive engagement forces for buttons and switches. Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, yet robust plastic pipes must resist disassembly in harsh, inaccessible environments. Considered selection of loadcells and grips–even custom-designed fixtures for bespoke product geometry— enables the manufacturer to specify unique test procedures to their own requirements, futureproofing competitiveness. SUSTAINING STANDARDS International bodies continuously review and update their procedures to avoid a change in quality standards, as external factors evolve. However, change is acceptable in the performance of the end product—if it is measurably for the better.



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Viridor and P&G collaborate on circular economy effort to save 200 million bottles of virgin plastic

Aberdeenshire Council is to offer a polystyrene recycling trial at three of its Household Recycling Centres (HRCs).

Aberdeenshire Council introduces one-year polystyrene recycling trial Aberdeenshire Council is to offer a polystyrene recycling trial at three of its Household Recycling Centres (HRCs). Beginning on February 1, 2020, the council has signed a contract with Styropack for a one-year pilot of the recycling service. New bins have been designated for polystyrene within the three participating HRCs at Banchory, Portlethen and Stonehaven. The centres will be accepting Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) only, which includes all polystyrene packing materials such as shapemoulded packaging, blocks and planks of fill materials, packing boxes and packaging balls. Since June 2019, the council has also been running a one-year recycling trial of rigid plastics at the Ellon and Peterhead facilities. Ros Baxter, Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, said: “Both the polystyrene and rigid plastic pilots will provide key data that will help shape the services we provide to the public. “We’re continually seeking opportunities to recycle new materials and divert waste from the landfill. The polystyrene trial is a positive step towards increasing our recycling rate in Aberdeenshire.”

P&G and UK recycling and energy recovery company, Viridor, have entered a five-year partnership agreement that foresees recycling and reprocessing high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic for re-use in Ariel laundry detergent bottles. The agreement between P&G and Viridor comes after three years of collaboration and innovation in producing more sustainable packaging from post-consumer waste. The high-density recycled polyethylene (rHDPE) resin by Viridor will enable Ariel to bring to life the previously announced commitment of reaching up to 50 per cent recycled content in its liquid bottles as of 2020. Ariel’s commitments also include all packaging to be recyclable by 2022 and 30 per cent plastic usage reduction by 2025. P&G and Viridor are both founding partners of the UK Plastics Pact, the multi stakeholder collaborative initiative aiming to transform the plastic economy in the UK. Adam Selby, P&G Purchases Group Manager, said: “Viridor is an established innovator in the area of sustainable plastic packaging. This collaboration accelerates P&G’s 2030 goal to reduce our use of virgin petroleum plastic in packaging by 50 per cent.”

Simon Hicks, Viridor’s Managing Director for Recycling, said: “In addition to our specialist polymer facilities at Rochester and Skelmersdale, we have invested £65 million in the new recycling and reprocessing centre at Avonmouth, the UK’s largest multi-polymer plant. “Our investment in sophisticated recycling infrastructure will not end here. We have been very clear about our commitment to investment, innovation, and collaboration to drive the circular economy in the UK, with this programme reflecting the clear preference for recycled material.” The collaboration between P&G and Viridor is part of recent announcements made by P&G as to the advances it is making across Europe to achieve its ‘Ambition 2030’ sustainability goals. They include P&G Hair Care Europe trialling new packaging with recycled plastic material for Pantene products, starting with the brand’s clear bottles. The material is made from advanced recycling of polyethylene terephthalate Circular PET through advanced monomer recycling – meaning the material can be used in beauty packaging over and over again. The new material, to be produced by Indorama Ventures, is suitable for all brands packed in PET bottles It has also announced that its Lenor, Unstoppables and Fairy brands will pioneer application of digital watermarks - the HolyGrail intelligent technology - to enable further learnings behind sorting and recycling at Material Recycling Facilities.

Recycled material from Viridor plants will contribute to more sustainable packaging for Ariel products




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EuPC study shows quality and performance of recycled polymers rise but availability falls

Despite an increase in performance compared to previous years, the first results of the study indicate that the main barriers to a larger use of recycled polymers stays the same. The insufficient reproducibility of properties from lot to lot, and visual aspect of products made from recycled polymers are problems for plastics converters serving the market specifications of customers and brands. Of the 28 per cent of the participants that are currently not using recycled polymers, 65 per cent cannot use them because the specifications of their products do not allow their use, and 41 per cent state that regulatory requirements and feedstock insecurities prevent them from using recycled polymers. This is largely the case for food contact applications and well as products manufactured for healthcare and medical purposes.

EuPC has published the first results of its third survey on the use of recycled polymers by plastics converting companies in Europe In the survey – conducted from September to December 2019 by Polymer Comply Europe on behalf of EuPC – an increase in the performances of all reviewed recycled polymers can be seen compared to 2018 and 2017. At the same time, the participating companies stated that the quantitative supply situation for eight of the ten reviewed recycled polymers has become worse, with only PS and PET showing a positive evaluation in both fields.

Tarmac lays first recycled rubber road in Tower Hamlets Tower Hamlets has become the first borough in London to get a road made partly from old tyres. The council has been working with Tarmac to help implement the new technology, which uses rubber crumb from waste tyres, which is then mixed into asphalt. John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “It’s great to see innovative solutions to repurposing waste that could otherwise go to landfill or incineration.

“We were one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency and we’re keen to explore all ideas that can reduce our impact on the environment. This product will provide a safe surface with less emissions and disruption during the laying process.” Brian Kent, National Technical Director at Tarmac, said: “Used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new, innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for local roads.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets (second right) inspects the new road

Plastics converters across Europe are concerned about the availability of recycled polymer

IMERPLAST rebrands as ‘Bright Green’ following independence from parent group Yorkshire-based recycler, Imerplast, has rebranded to ‘Bright Green’ to signify the start of a new era for the company after it became independent from its parent group, Imerys, last year. The company Bright Green is pioneering a compatibilised polyolefin technology, which improves the properties of recycled consumer plastic by using a unique additive that gives it properties similar to virgin polymers. Steve Spencer, General Manager, said: “We think the new look and positive stance is akin to what we stand for today, that we are now independent of a large group. This enables us to implement an exciting and innovative improvement plan that includes significant investment in the next 12 months.” A full set of assets has been developed to accompany the launch. These will be visible on social media platforms, signage and marketing materials including a new website.



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Kistler whitepaper shows how process monitoring with cavity pressure can achieve zero-defect moulding A new whitepaper from Kistler shows how leading injection moulding companies are using its ‘ComoNeo’ monitoring system to minimise and, in many cases, eliminate rejects. Using advanced, cutting-edge process monitoring based on cavity pressure, the system sustainably optimises the injection moulding process in real time. Topics covered in the whitepaper include advanced, closed loop, adaptive process monitoring and control systems; optimum positioning of sensors; cutting-edge sensor technology; cavity pressurebased process optimisation; and fully automated, controlled and monitored processes. ‘To achieve the objective of zero-defect production in injection moulding with maximum costeffectiveness,’ the white paper states, ‘Kistler offers specialised sensor technology to measure cavity pressure. It is the most informative process variable, because it describes conditions immediately – while the moulded part is actually being created. Sensors and systems based on cavity pressure detect whether or not a part is scrap at the earliest possible moment.’ The whitepaper is available on Kistler’s website.

A Kistler ComoNeo installed on an injection moulding machine in Wales (Credit: Richard Kempa)

The Maguire + Syncro system

New extrusion process control system enables maximum throughput with tight tolerances Maguire Europe has announced an innovative extrusion control system for wire and cable, which provides accurate control of grams-per-metre yield, improves product integrity and reduces operating costs. The Maguire + Syncro system can be deployed in extrusion or coextrusion operations, both in new or retrofit installations. Using data from a digital postextrusion encoder and tachometer, the system adjusts extruder screw RPM and capstan speed to ensure tight coating tolerances and endproduct consistency. In coextrusion, ratio control provides accurate dimensions for multiple sheathing layers or identifying stripes. Paul Edmondson, Managing Director of Maguire Europe, said: “Given the high speeds in wire and cable extrusion, any coating errors can quickly escalate into severe rejection rates, extensive downtime and costly waste of polymer compound and conduction or optical fibre. “The Maguire + Syncro extrusion control system enables


The Maguire + Syncro extrusion control system enables the manufacturer to maximise throughput while maintaining tight tolerances, drawing on Maguire’s expertise in control of material handling with Syncro’s expertise in controlling extrusion lines.”

the manufacturer to maximise throughput while maintaining tight tolerances, drawing on Maguire’s expertise in control of material handling with Syncro’s expertise in controlling extrusion lines.” The Maguire + Syncro system is the product of a partnership between Maguire and Italy-based Syncro srl that began in 2016, with Maguire taking an investment position with Syncro, which specialises in controls for all types of extrusion process. The system is available from Summit Systems to UK processors. 39

© Stäubli 07/2019 - GettyImages/Westend61

The smart way to higher productivity. Today, the plastics industry faces a rapidly increasing demand for smaller volumes of more product types. This requires a higher number of mould changes, decreasing the Overall Equipment Effectiveness and impacting your competitiveness. Reducing durations of downtime during mould changes is therefore essential. By analysing your production cycles, Stäubli can recommend various efficiency improvements utilising your existing equipment. Our Quick Mould Change Solutions are adaptable to your company’s strategy and future business plans. Stäubli can support your ROI at every stage of the journey, whether it’s a short, medium or long-term investment.


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Getting the MESsage


ncreased global competition and rising manufacturing costs means that it is now more important than ever to ensure that manufacturers make the most of every resource. Increasingly, manufacturers of all sizes and complexity are implementing production and process monitoring systems (MES) as a reliable and affordable way of improving their productivity and profitability whilst delivering first rate products on time to their customers. WHAT IS MES? A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is essentially a tool that monitors, manages and brings together all the different parts involved in production. Running a factory is complex; full of machines of varying ages, many different processes, materials, staff, factory conditions, last minute orders and unexpected downtime. Accurate and real-time data allows for the right questions to be asked at the right time so that well-informed and timely continuous improvement

manufacturing operational decisions can be made. These questions include whether machines are running or stopped; the cycle time/speed and if the output speed is acceptable (if it is too slow it will mean late delivery and cost more money, and if too fast, is it an improved standard that can be applied to other machines, or is it a scrap issue?) Also, how much material has been used and how much is still needed; how much direct/ indirect labour is being used/ still needed (and is it correct or can it be fine-tuned); the number of parts produced and those still yet to be produced; the job finish time and machine availability for the next one. WHAT IS BEING SHOWN? The scheduling module of the monitoring system shows users what has happened, what is happening as well as what is coming up. It shows whether production is slowing down or is stopped and allows for production to be easily adapted as required –



About the Author

John Hardwick is Commercial Director at Intouch based in Northamptonshire, UK. Founded in 1997 with Karl Edwin, the company specialises in production monitoring, reporting and planning systems that offer flexibility, affordability and ease-ofuse for processors.

An example of a UK plastics processor using MES to its advantage is Plastics Parts Direct, an injection moulding company specialising in processing thermoplastics for a variety of industries. The firm recently installed Intouch i4 Cloud software on all its 14 machines, opting for this system in particular as the low initial investment meant the lowest financial risk. Joe Bowes, Director of Plastics Parts Direct, explained: “We knew we had holes in our productivity and the obvious solution was to install a system that could analyse real time data. We could then use this data to plug some of these holes. It was also very important we didn’t overload ourselves with information and risk becoming less efficient by trying to tackle too many issues at once.” Since implementing Intouch, Monday morning start up times at Plastics Parts Direct have improved by one hour across all machines, cycle times have improved by five-to-eight per cent,

for example late orders can be added quickly and easily. User-configured reports can be generated and analysed so that informed decisions can be made to streamline production operations and monitor key processes to better control final product quality and to achieve a ‘zero defect’ policy. Knowing what is happening and looking at existing processes and finding ways of making these more efficient and cost effective is easy with a production monitoring system and ultimately leads to a more profitable business.

uptime has been significantly improved and the real-time data has led them the company to make effective productivity decisions. “One machine in particular was underperforming, mainly due to its age. We cross referenced with the same tools running on other machines over a period of time which confirmed there was an issue. This prompted us to buy a new machine to replace this one and instantly we saw an increase of 30 per cent in efficiency and cycle times and a reduction in power consumption too,” continued Bowes. “One of our biggest savings is downtime during normal production. Previously machines could be left for five-to-10 minutes before being noticed, which led to another 10-15 minutes warm up time and re-start time. Now they are attended to instantly, eliminating the need to wait to restart. All production staff have bought into the system and what it has to offer as, along with the obvious interest side of things, it has proven to save them time and effort throughout their shift. They also have a tendency to be more competitive about keeping the screen ‘green’!”



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he BPF has just published the results of its latest Business Conditions Survey. Just as the UK is about to enter into detailed negotiations with the EU on trade, the survey pointed out that the UK plastics industry views tariff-free trade as a top priority for any deal with the EU. Some 91 per cent of BPF members view tariff free trade as important, with predictable transport arrangements (60 per cent), and retaining regulatory cooperation on REACH (47 per cent) also high up on the industry’s agenda. The survey, carried out in January and February 2020, also found that the majority of businesses believe sales turnover would either stay the same or increase over the next 12 months. Another issue highlighted (unsurprisingly, as it’s been a constant theme for several years), is that around half of all plastics companies (53 per cent) are currently finding it hard to recruit staff, with particular difficulty found recruiting engineers and shop floor personnel. With nearly £15 billion worth of plastic and plastic products traded between the UK and EU each year, BPF members have relayed to us that a strong and stable business relationship with the EU is critical for their businesses. The Government really must keep this in mind as it moves into the next stages of negotiating a deal. POLYMER INNOVATION AND DESIGN 2020 The Worshipful Company of Horners and the BPF are now accepting entries for the Horners Award for Polymer Innovation and Design 2020. Last year’s winner was DS Smith’s Hotbin Mini, which helps householders process waste into compost 32 times faster than cold composting bins. The Award is open to all polymer-based innovations that demonstrate environmental advantage, commercial potential and UK content. The deadline for the award is 31st July 2020. Winners will be announced at Interplas on 29 September, and will then attend the prestigious Horners Banquet at the Mansion House with the Lord Mayor of London in attendance. This will take place on October 1st. There are considerable promotional opportunities for the winners. RECOMED TAKE-BACK SCHEME A great BPF success – in conjunction with VinylPlus and managed by Axion – has been our award winning RecoMed take-back scheme for PVC single-use medical devices. This has now launched a new website – www.recomed. co.uk – in response to rising interest from the

healthcare sector in reducing and recycling With nearly plastic waste. £15 billion It’s been going worth of some time now, plastic and originally set up in 2014, and plastic largely focuses products on oxygen masks traded and tubing made between the from high-quality UK and EU medical grade each year, BPF PVC. The new website explains members have the scheme relayed to us and posts news that a strong on Twitter @ and stable RecoMedUK. business We are keen relationship to expand the number with the EU of healthcare is critical institutions for their involved and businesses. currently 37 The NHS and private hospitals from Government Plymouth to really must Newcastle keep this in are actively mind as it participating. moves into RecoMed the next coordinates every step in the stages of recycling journey negotiating a – from providing deal. staff training and PVC collection bins in hospitals to delivering the shredded plastic to specialist recyclers where it is turned into horticultural products, such as tree-ties. It’s the first scheme of its kind in Europe; the Circular Economy in action! Pursuing the theme of circularity, the BPF will be holding a seminar on Re-Use on 28 April 2020 and on July 8 will be providing a seminar update on the status and future of Chemical Recycling, which in the medium-tolong term promises to occupy an important space in UK waste management options for used plastics. On September 10 we will be holding a seminar on Thermoplastics Composites. For further information on these events please contact my colleague, Paul Baxter, on pbaxter@bpf.co.uk


of exhibitors said they made a sale directly related to Interplas.


of visitors found a new supplier or technology they were not aware of before.

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NEC BIRMINGHAM, UK | 29 SEPT - 01 OCT 2020 @InterplasUK



Since the last Interplas event in 2017, such change means the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plastics processors now need new technologies, solutions and ideas to ensure they meet the demands and needs of a changing marketplace â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and they will come to Interplas to find them. Interplas is the only UK plastics show covering the full spectrum of plastics processing machinery, materials, software, services and ancillaries in one place. New features at the show in 2020 will be a greater focus on Sustainability, in response to the current changes facing the industry in the transition to a circular economy. Plus there will be a brand-new focus on extrusion machinery, materials and associated technologies, after a surge in demand from exhibitors in this area. If you offer a solution then you should have Interplas on your show schedule for 2020.

John Jones

Nathan Brennan



+44 (0) 7711 182 199 john.jones@rapidnews.com

+44 (0) 1244 952 363 nathan.brennan@rapidnews.com

MORE THAN IDEAS. UNITED, OUR EXPERTISE IS COMBINED TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS FOR ALL OF YOUR PLASTICS PROCESSING NEEDS. With our combined expertise in injection molding machinery, reaction process machinery, extrusion technology, digitalization, and automation, we are unique in the industry and offer you limitless possibilities for utilizing plastics. Find out more now: kraussmaffei.com/newtechnologies

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