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THE COMPLETE MAGAZINE ON RUBBER

SEPTEMBER 2012

`150

US$ 20

SPECIAL

GLOVE INDUSTRY MOVERS & SHAKERS

Paul McKavanagh

AquASPerSionS

Dr G Baskaran

BriGHTWAY

Andy Tan

exCelKoS

Kevin McMullen Chairman and CEO OMNOVA Solutions

Global provider Pioneering Speciality Chemical Solutions

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Klaus Richter

rrt

C L Chea CeeBee CHeMiCAlS

Dato’ Lim Kuang Sia

KoSSAn

Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai

ToP Glove

inTervieW Lim Kwee Shyan, President,

MArGMA

Petra Vance CruSADer CHeMiCAlS

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Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


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Aquaspersions Limited

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Beacon Hill Road, Halifax HX3 6AQ, United Kingdom Tel: 0044 1422386200 Fax: 00441422386239 E-mail: info@aquaspersions.co.uk Website: www.aquaspersions.co.uk Contact: Dr. Alan Bewsher


Editor’s message

Innovation is the key pparently, the glove industry is on a fast A track of growth even as many other rubber-based industries are slowing down.

This is mainly on account of the significant growth in spending on healthcare by emerging economies and increasing healthcare awareness among the people at large. The industry’s commitment to innovation to keep up with demands in the market place has also paid off. It was the outbreak of H1N1 pandemic of 2009, followed later by other infectious outbreaks including SARS and Avian Flu, that led to an unexpected boost in glove demand. Moreover, the introduction of regulations on occupational safety, particularly by the US and the EU, has also stimulated demand for rubber gloves. Global glove demand has been growing at 8 to 10% in recent times and is expected to reach greater heights in the coming years. Malaysia is the top producer of gloves with a global market share of over 60%. The demand in the main consuming regions – the US and the EU -- as well as in the most populous countries like China and India continues to be strong. Another notable development is the gradual fall in the market share of NR latex (NRL) gloves over the past many years as against the steadily rising market share of the proteinfree synthetic gloves. But industry bigwigs,

like Lim Kwee Shyan, President of Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), are of the view that this need not be construed as a threat to NRL gloves. “It is a complement, as glove manufacturers are able to supply nitrile gloves or NRL gloves as and when the customers require them.” (Also see the Interview on page 10) However, there are challenges such as the rising cost of raw materials, labour shortage, stringent quality standards, besides challenges on the technology front. The need of the hour is to work for continuous improvement to produce gloves that can meet and even exceed international standards and customer expectations. Also, innovation is the key to ensure lower costs and sustainability of the industry at large. Automation is the answer to labour shortage. We hope the 6th edition of IRGCE, themed Innovation for Sustainability, will discuss all these crucial issues. As a long-time supporter of the event, Rubber Asia wishes IRGCE 2012 all success and is happy to bring out this important Special issue on the eve of its staging. We wish all participants a happy and successful networking.

Kurian Abraham

Assistant Editors A. Saj Mathews P. Venugopal

Editorial & Registered Office: Dhanam Publications (Pvt) Ltd., Dhanam House 29/609, Cheruparampath Road, Kadavanthra, Cochin - 682 020, India Phone: 91-484-2315840, 2316494, 3297806, Fax: 91-484-2317872, Website: www.rubberasia.com, E-mail : dhanrubber@eth.net / danam@satyam.net.in Mumbai: 501/502, Imperial Plaza, Corner of 27th & 30th Road, Near Nilgiri Garden, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050 Phone : 9 1 - 2 2 - 2 6 4 0 0 8 2 9 , 2 6 4 0 0 7 3 5 Fax: 91-22-2641 1894 E-mail :johnpowath@hotmail.com, johnpowath@rubberasia.com New Delhi: N. Kunju, 42-B, Pocket-I, Mayur Vihar New Delhi-110 091, Phone: 91-11-22755357 E-mail: janunkunju@sify.com U.S. Correspondent: Petra Vance, Crusader Chemical Co., Inc., 2330 Severn Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1698 USA, Phone: 001-410-752-7602Fax: 001-410-547-8713 E-mail: CrusaderCC@aol.com European RepresenativeJohn Stone,73 Chaney Road, Wivenhoe Essex, CO79RR, England, Sapphire Media, Tel: +44 (0) 1206 822320, M: + 44 (0) 7769 675232, Email: john.stone@sapphire-media.co.uk South East Asia: Esther Goh, Mobile: 6019-272 0997 E-mail: esthergoh2004@yahoo.co Sri Lanka: Prof. Piyasiri A.J. Yapa, 209/7, Gangarama Road, Werahera, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka Phone: 011-2518085, Mobile: 071-8265980 Email: piyasiri.yapa@yahoo.com Australia: Jacob Cherian, Ausker Pacific Pty. Ltd. Suite 1, 1401 Burke Road, East Kew Vic 3102, Melbourne Australia Phone: 61 3 9859 8922 Fax: 61 3 9859 9215E-mail: ausker@auskergroup.com.au Taiwan: Stuart Phillips-Laurie, International Relations Manager, Worldwide Services Co. Ltd., 11F-2, No. 540, W.H. Road, Section 1,Taichung, 408, Taiwan. Phone: +886 4 2325 1784, Fax: +886 4 2325 2967 Thailand: Ms. Somruetai Patana-anek (Mott). Managing Director, Busgum Co. Ltd., 1093/115, 21st Floor, Central City Tower, Bangna-Trad Road (K.M.3), Bangna, Bangkok 10260, Thailand Phone: +66-2-3993946, 399-4374, 399-3896 Fax: 339-4557, Mobile: 66-1-8429105, Email: somruetai.patana-anek@busgum.com

Vice Presidents (Marketing) Antony S. Powath Vijay Kurian Abraham

Printed at Five Star Offset Printers, Kochi - 16. Edited and Printed by Kurian Abraham, Dhanam House, Cochin - 682 020

THE COMPLETE MAGAzINE ON RUBBER Editor Kurian Abraham Executive Director John S. Powath Associate Editor Prof. T.N.Kalamani

Subscription rates: 6 issues: `800, 12 issues : `1,600 / $ 200, 24 issues: `3,000 / $ 400, Single copy : `150 / US$ 20

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

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CONTENTS Cover story

Sandi Noah and Prof. T N Kalamani

OMNOVA SOLUTIONS

Global Provider of Pioneering Speciality Chemical Solutions

Serving a global market place from 16 production facilities in Asia, Europe and the United States, this US-based global innovator of emulsion polymers, speciality chemicals and polymer-based surface materials is furthering its position in the emerging highgrowth markets of India, China and Southeast Asia

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Thomas Ouseph

Steady growth in global demand for rubber gloves

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8

Kevin McMullen: Chairman and CEO, OMNOVA Solutions

Tiyo Glove industry in India: Modernisation, consolidation crucial for growth

Paul Mc Kavanagh

Aquaspersions: Committed to innovation for sustainability

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Paul Mc Kavanagh Advantages of outsourced dispersions

90 David Hill

Are rubber gloves

‘finished’?

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Interview

Outlook for glove industry is bright: Lim Kwee Shyan, President, MARGMA 106 Petra Vance

Micro Loans present real opportunity for women entrepreneurs

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Dr. Siby Varghese

Deproteinisation drive in NR latex

120 Anil Skaria Latex industry: Process standardisation matters a lot Kishore K Muralidharan

124 Information Technology The Game-Changer A Saj Mathews

102 96 No Dock Moung

Natural rubber latex- Then and Now

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

William Howe

Dip moulding using latex: Oft-missed opportunities

128 MARGMA: Global platform of glove industry P Venugopal

138 News Spectrum

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Richter Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd (rrt)

Global suppliers of

high qualityofcondoms the widest range...

Richter Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd (rrt) Factory: Plot 33,84 & 85 Kuala Ketil Industrial Estate, 09300 Kuala Ketil, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia. Fax.: +60 4 4161667 Tel.: +60 4 4161668 / 04 4163390 e-mail: richter@richterrubber.com; richter@tm.net.my

Website: www.richterrubber.com


INTERVIEW

Outlook bright

for glove industry

Lim Kwee Shyan, President, MARGMA.

The global glove industry is on a fast track of growth with Malaysia reigning supreme. According to Lim Kwee Shyan, President of the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers’ Association (MARGMA), this is mainly on account of the growth in spending on healthcare by emerging economies and increasing healthcare awareness among the people. Known for his vast knowledge, experience and good standing in the industry, Lim Kwee Shyan is also a Director of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) and Executive Director cum Group CEO of CAREPLUS GROUP BERHAD. In an interview to Rubber Asia, he touches upon a variety of issues facing the industry in general and Malaysian glove industry in particular. Excerpts:

The Malaysian glove industry has come a long way from its early days more than twenty years ago and today Malaysia is the world leader in supply and export of rubber gloves. Please tell us how you could achieve this status. Please also tell us what all steps are being taken to retain the top position

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Through the innovation and perseverance of glove manufacturers, supported by the research centres of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) in Sg Buloh and Tun

Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARCC) in Brickendonbury, the UK, and promotion by the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC), Malaysia is able to produce and market to the world quality gloves for various applications – surgical, examination, clean room, household, industrial, electrician, chemotherapy, aloe vera and so on. While we have built an expertise in manufacturing gloves, we have to work at continuous improvement, to produce gloves to meet and/or exceed international as well as national standards of our consumers.

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Lim Kwee Shyan, President, MARGMA.

What are the latest challenges facing the world glove industry in general and Malaysian glove industry in particular? How do you plan to meet these challenges? Recent challenges include labour shortage as the industry grows. High raw materials prices which ultimately lead to higher costs of production, is inevitable. To overcome labour shortage, we have to achieve higher level of automation. Technological challenge is the next frontier. When the industry moves from a low-tech

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

labour industry to one with high level of automation, the workforce will be transformed from one that is largely unskilled to one that is highly skilled. This is in line with the nation’s New Economic Model (NEM) of higher skilled workforce with greater productivity. In the past, the industry has always hired from within due to the high growth of the industry. This practice must be reviewed as it is not sustainable and there will not be any successors when the current leaders exit the business. The industry must promote itself within the talent pool, hire new talents that are suitable

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to meet its objectives, train and retain these talents and hopefully they will become the future leaders of the industry. What are the main strengths of the Malaysian glove industry? And what is your outlook for the industry? Our strengths lie in the love and passion for the industry to provide good gloves for the consumers with the very good supporting industries such as glove formers (moulds) makers, chemicals producers/suppliers, dipping lines/machines makers, quality raw materials etc. and the good support rendered by the MRB in terms of research, the MREPC in terms of promotion. The outlook for the industry is bright, in particular for medical gloves, as emerging economies step up their spending on healthcare, and peo-

The rate of growth of the glove industry in Malaysia has been between 8-10% for the past 10 years. We are targeting RM30 billion export earnings this year as against RM9.9 billion in 2011 under the NKEA (National Key Economic Area). ple’s healthcare awareness increases. You have gone on record as stating that there is an urgent need for glove manufacturers to look at innovations and cut costs. How far the Malaysian glove manufacturers have progressed in this regard? Please explain.

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Malaysian glove manufacturers have gone far although there are many more miles to go. We have improved the lines from very low speed of 4,000- 6,000 pieces an hour to more than 36,000 pieces an hour, or 100 pieces per second. With such a high speed, many engineering solutions are required, auto control needs to be installed, data collection and analysis need to be automated with super speed of communication to avoid delay in problem solving, material superior-

ity needs to be engineered and so on. The ultimate aim of higher automation and line speed is to make glove manufacturing more competitive and to ensure the industry continue to prosper in Malaysia. The industry is moving from cheap labour to one that relies on automation to compete. This is why Malaysia continues to remain as the centre of excellence for gloves although there are many countries in this region that have lower labour and energy costs. The glove industry measures productivity by using numbers like “output per employee” or “sales per employee”. MARGMA conducted a survey in 2008 and the sales per employee then was RM180,000 per employee. Today, some factories are already above RM300,000 per employee, representing 67% improvement in productivity. What is the rate of growth of the gloves industry in Malaysia? Do you see the possibility of demand picking up fast in the near future? The rate of growth of the glove industry in Malaysia has been between 8-10% for the past 10 years. We are targeting RM30 billion export earnings this year as against RM9.9 billion in 2011 under the NKEA (National Key Economic Area). What is Malaysia’s share in world gloves market? Which countries are the major importers of Malaysian gloves? Malaysia produces more than 60% of the world’s demand for gloves and they are exported to more than 180 countries throughout the world; the US and the EU are the major importers of Malaysian gloves. How the Malaysian glove industry is tackling the problems created by the still lingering economic slowdown in the West? Has the euro crisis impacted the Malaysian glove industry? Glove industry will be least affected, if any. With good customer relationship and close partnership, I am sure that every one of us will cope well. The nature of this business is very long-term, and the trust and respect for each other will help us to tide over any problems that may rise in any difficult environment. How far have the surging cost of fuel and NR latex, labour and currency fluc-

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We should not look at the expansion of nitrile gloves as a threat to NRL gloves. It is a complement, as glove manufacturers are able to supply nitrile gloves or NRL gloves as and when our customers require them.

tuations etc. affected the Malaysian glove industry, especially the profitability of gloves manufacturers? There are no definite rules or quantum of cost transfer to buyers that can be used to judge or rate the effects of surging costs on manufacturers’ profitability. Manufacturers act as material converters to consumable products. At the end of the day, manufacturers must make certain profit which the customers need to pay. Therefore, long-term profitability will always be maintained by efficient manufacturers who can produce good products. Many small rubber gloves manufacturers have reportedly gone out of business in the wake of high prices of latex and stiff competition from big players? Your comments please Why don’t you put it the other way round? Small manufacturers have gone big over time despite high latex prices and other challenges. Only those who are not improving themselves or not ready for future challenges get out of business. Effects of high latex prices or stiff competition, if any, will be less significant in determining whether the smaller players get out of business or not. Is latex protein allergy still a serious issue for the gloves industry? What steps have been taken to free latex gloves from protein allergy problem? Even from the days when latex protein allergy was an issue more than 10 years ago, the allergy affected only a small percentage of users. Since then, with the help of MRB

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

researchers, manufacturers have come up with a process that can produce gloves with very low level of protein which most users have no problem with. How serious is the threat from synthetic gloves to the NRL glove market? We should not look at the expansion of nitrile gloves as a threat to NRL gloves. It is a complement, as glove manufacturers are able to supply nitrile gloves or NRL gloves as and when our customers require them. What is the ratio of synthetic and NR latex gloves produced by Malaysia? In value terms

NR : SR 61:39

In quantity terms

NR : SR 58:42

What are the R&D activities going on in the gloves sector in Malaysia? The R&D at present is focussed on Automation, Lean Manufacturing, Carbon Footprint / Life Cycle Analysis, Green Technology. Are new and innovative products likely to hit the market soon? I always believe there are. It is, however, not for me to launch any here, or else it will not be new anymore. What are highlights of this year’s International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition? Please elaborate on the theme of the 6th IRGCE: “Innovation for Sustainability.” The theme reflects the importance of innovation in a fast-growing industry, balancing between critical resources such as labour, key raw materials such as latex, paper, water, and energy. With issues on depletion of natural resources such as oil, natural gas and water, moving to renewal resources such as NRL, biomass, or even solar energy is timely to discuss in this year conference. This year’s Conference will highlight the latest developments in the medical devices industry. It also aims to bring updates on the issues of regulations and standards, as well as sustainability of the industry. As for the Exhibition, we are proud to announce that all the 130 booths have been taken up. This is an increase of 42 booths from that of 2010, or an increase of 47.72% !

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Sandi Noah, Vice President, Communications, OMNOVA Solutions Prof. T N Kalamani

Global provider Pioneering Speciality Chemical Solutions

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Serving a global market place from 16 production facilities in Asia, Europe and the United States and an extensive network of distributors and agents strategically located around the world, this global innovator of emulsion polymers, speciality chemicals and polymer-based surface materials, headquartered in Fairlawn, Ohio, USA, is committing new investments to furthering its position in the emerging high-growth markets of India, China and Southeast Asia

Oilfield GenCeal

A

lways innovating, OMNOVA Solutions, headquartered in Fairlawn, Ohio, USA, is known to customers as a global provider of something new and exciting to the markets it serves. True to its reputation, OMNOVA has emerged as a leading global innovator of emulsion polymers, speciality chemicals and polymer-based surface materials used

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


OMNOVA Solutions Chairman and CEO Kevin McMullen

in a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses. Though typically a small percentage of the total cost of a final product, OMNOVA’s technologies are critical ingredients that provide the distinctive performance features sought by customers.

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

OMNOVA’s leadership positions – typically number one or number two – in its served applications has been built with innovative technology platforms, customized product solutions, respected brands, strong technical expertise, consistent global manufacturing standards, well-established distribution

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channels and long-standing customer relationships.

Pacific region. OMNOVA has sales offices across Europe, Asia and the Americas and an extensive network of distributors and agents strategically located around the world.

Excelling in key areas How does the company stand out among its competitors? Explains OMNOVA Solutions Chairman and CEO Kevin McMullen: “Technology – and working closely with the customer to apply it – is what allows a company like ours to excel in key applications where competitors, both big and small, fail. Our emphasis on technology and customer-focused application development repeatedly results in products that deliver real value to the marketplace.”

OMNOVA Solutions was created in 1999 when GenCorp Inc. spun off its speciality chemicals and decorative products businesses into a new, independent, publicly traded company. OMNOVA’s legacy of technical innovation and flexible customer-focused application development and service goes back to The General Tire & Rubber Company founded in 1915. Today, OMNOVA operates two business units — Performance Chemicals and Decorative Products.

This over US$1.2-billion turnover Adhesives NovaCryl

Hoses Chemigum NBR

Gloves Wingstay L

company listed on the New York stock exchange (ticker symbol: OMN) has a global workforce of approximately 2,300 and enjoys a stable financial position with a strong history of cash generation and ample liquidity. OMNOVA serves a global marketplace from 16 production facilities in Asia, Europe and the United States, 10 of which are devoted exclusively to speciality chemicals. The regional headquarters for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India is in Villejust, France, with the primary business office for India located in Mumbai. Shanghai is the headquarters for China and the Asia-

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Tyre cord Pliocord Some of the applications where OMNOVA’s products are critical ingredients

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


OMNOVA. The acquisition, along with other steps taken over the past 10 years, also increased OMNOVA’s mix of business outside the US from 13% to nearly 40% today. “This is only the beginning,” says McMullen. “Most of our speciality products go into Diversified markets and chemistries provide a broad set of tools to meet the needs of applications closely tied to segments of the Asian marOMNOVA’s customers ket that are growing rapidly. Performance Chemicals, an innovator of Our expanded in-region production and our emulsion polymer coatings, adhesives, commitment to make further investments in binders and speciality chemicals, makes up capabilities and technologies demonstrate about 80% of the company’s sales. Decora- our intention to play a significant role in the tive Products, a designer/manufacturer exciting growth going on in the region.” of engineered surface materials such as coated fabrics, laminates and performance Strategy for growth films, accounts for the remaining 20%. Both OMNOVA Solutions has evolved a threebusiness units are very active in Asia – with pronged growth strategy: manufacturing and technical capabilities in 1) OMNOVA is globalizing its distinctive caIndia, China and Thailand. pabilities and leadership in core markets to profitably grow in new areas of the world Globalization of capabilities The acquisition of speciality chemicals pro- that need those capabilities. The company’s ducer ELIOKEM in December 2010 (which highly successful global expansion of nonwas spun off from The Goodyear Tire and wovens for hygiene applications and its Rubber Company in 2001) and its integra- global capability to meet the high perfortion into OMNOVA’s Performance Chemicals mance needs of the tyre industry with tyre business unit proved a major turning point cord adhesives are striking examples. in OMNOVA’s long-term growth strategy. It helped OMNOVA to significantly increase its international manufacturing, sales, marketing and technology capabilities. The acquisition added two chemical plants in China (one is a new speciality latex facility commissioned in late 2010), a plant focused on speciality rubbers in India, plus speciality resin and latex plants in France and the United States. “This acquisition significantly enhances the global capabilities of our Performance Chemicals business with particular emphasis on the high growth, developing markets in Asia,” says McMullen. “It diversifies our opportunities for growth by adding new, adjacent products, markets and technologies, and broadening our applications capability.” The acquisition accelerated globalization of OMNOVA’s speciality chemicals business; 75% of ELIOKEM’s sales were in adjacent markets not historically served by

OMNOVAAsiaMARGMASpecial Caojing , China plant Rubber 2012

2) OMNOVA is using technology and new products to continually enhance the Value Proposition to its existing customers. This is supported by an operating approach that makes significant use of LEAN SixSigma methodologies to drive continuous improvement and consistency in OMNOVA’s manufacturing and business processes. 3) Meanwhile, OMNOVA is also growing in new adjacent markets where its distinctive capabilities are considered key factors for success. Examples include expansion into new applications in the transportation, construction and healthcare markets, as well as speciality oilfield drilling chemicals. Says McMullen: “All of our growth strategies are based on a clear understanding of our distinctive capabilities. Then we work to leverage those capabilities in meaningful ways for our customers to offer a compelling Value Proposition.”

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Focus on technology

OMNOVA Solutions : Asia Region top brass

Jim Hohman Corporate Senior Vice President, OMNOVA Solutions Inc. & President of Performance Chemicals division

Olivier Faussadier Vice President & General Manager, OMNOVA Solutions’ Performance Chemicals business for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

In fact, it was the acquisition of ELIOKEM that helped OMNOVA to accelerate the diversification of its served markets and chemistries. The combined business resulted in an offering that features a very broad range of polymers and deep applications expertise. The acquisition also added dry polymer capabilities to OMNOVA’s strong latex technologies. From its foundation chemistries, OMNOVA often works in partnership with customers to develop customized products capable of addressing specific performance, processing or application challenges. “This focused use of technology to find just the right solution for a given customer or application is a significant differentiator for OMNOVA in the marketplace,” says McMullen.

John Wei Vice President, OMNOVA Solutions China & Performance Chemicals Asia, and General Manager, OMNOVA Decorative Products, China.

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Deepak Birje Regional Director, OMNOVA’s business in India.

OMNOVA has invested in Global Technology Centers on three continents which combine both an international and a regional approach to new product development. The company understands the need for products to meet consistent performance and manufacturing standards no matter where in the world they are produced. At the same time, OMNOVA’s regional teams can address local differences in customer needs, raw material inputs, process-

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


More segments where OMNOVA’s technologies find vital applications

Tape SunCryl

key technical resources. “In this regard, we believe our analytical capabilities are second to none,” says McMullen. “State-of-theart equipment allows us to fully understand chemical interactions that provide critical insights into our product development and scale-up efforts,” he adds.

Footwear Pliolite HSR Hygiene GenFlo

• OMNOVA’s broad technology platform includes: Styrene-butadiene, acrylics, vinyl acetate, hollow plastic pigments, nitrile, phenolic, polyhindered phenolic and styrenated amine antioxidants, fluorochemicals, bio-based co-polymers and hybrids. • They find major applications in: Tyre cord, rubber compounding, polymer stabilization, elastomeric modification, architectural coatings, oil and gas drilling, construction nonwovens, tapes and adhesives, hygiene and personal care products, paper and packaging, carpet, textiles and floor polishes.

Construction GenCryl

ing methods, regulatory standards and cultural preferences. OMNOVA’s approach to new product development is to fully understand the unmet needs in the marketplace and leverage the company’s strong core competencies to engineer a solution that offers a unique Value Proposition. This requires close collaboration with customers along with the use of

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

• Its extensive analytical as well as technical support is rendered by: Gas chromatography, spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, microscopy, HPLC, SEM, NMR, advanced liquids rheometry, pilot paper coater and many applications/industry specific laboratories in Europe, the US and Asia.

The Performance Chemicals Division Performance Chemicals in Asia With the acquisition of ELIOKEM, the company vastly expanded its chemical

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INTERVIEW

Our best days are ahead Kevin McMullen Chairman & CEO, OMNOVA Solutions

Though created in 1999, OMNOVA boasts a legacy that goes back to the General Tire & Rubber Company founded in 1915, one of the great tyre industry pioneers based in Akron, Ohio, USA. General Tire joined other tyre industry giants like Goodyear to blaze the trail in polymer innovation. (Goodyear, founded in the late 1800s, was the former parent company of ELIOKEM, the speciality chemicals producer OMNOVA acquired in 2010.) Over the years, General Tire leveraged its polymer expertise to enter new, related markets and became a strong player in many high growth, niche applications. These included performance coatings used in the making of paper and carpet-backing, as well as highly functional PVC surfacing materials such as coated upholstery fabrics and furniture laminates. With this expansion, General Tire changed its name to GenCorp, the entity that split in 1999 when OMNOVA was created, says Kevin McMullen, Chairman & CEO, OMNOVA Solutions. The spin-off allowed OMNOVA to make more focused investments in growth and – perhaps the most important – to begin leveraging its North American leadership positions into new global markets, he says. In an interview with Rubber Asia, he touches upon a host of other things including OMNOVA’s milestones of growth, unique customer relationships, R&D and the like. According to him, OMNOVA has a growing global footprint, leading market positions, strong technology, innovative product pipeline and many other accomplishments to feel optimistic about the future. Excerpts:

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Could you tell us what are the important milestones in the growth of OMNOVA? Many key events served as stepping stones on our journey to become the company we are today. Over the last 10 to 15 years, we developed or acquired new chemistries, materials and processes to strengthen and broaden our emulsion polymer base which, when added to our strong core capabilities, turned us into a true solutions provider. Just prior to our spinoff from GenCorp in the late 1990s, the company made several important acquisitions that significantly broadened our polymer expertise. We had long been a leader in styrene butadiene and vinyl pyridine (VP) latices. Our acquisition of PolymerLatex’s US acrylics business and the Morton International floor care business provided entry into polymer products used in nonwovens and floor polishes. We acquired the Sequa speciality chemicals business, which added vinyl acetate and additional acrylic chemistries. And we expanded our VP latex and carpet chemical

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


product lines and processing capabilities with the purchase of the Goodyear plant in Calhoun, Georgia, USA. In 1999, we made our first significant move into Asia. We were partners in two joint venture facilities for our Decorative Products business in China and Thailand. That was an excellent way to learn the Asia markets. In 2008, we bought out our joint venture partner. Those facilities continue to thrive today, serving many end uses for our engineered surfaces. As an example, we are one of the largest suppliers of coated fabrics for automotive and transportation seating in China and Thailand. At about that time, we began selling speciality chemicals into Asia through exports and in-region manufacturing alliances. ELIOKEM was also making inroads into Asia during this period, bringing their Ningbo, China plant online in 2004. Of course, the biggest milestone was OMNOVA’s acquisition of ELIOKEM in December of 2010, which accelerated our globalization efforts and provided immediate access to many more of the high growth markets of Asia. This was punctuated by the opening of our Caojing, China speciality latex plant and

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

product qualification efforts over the past year. What is unique about OMNOVA’s technologies and customer relationships? The uniqueness comes from how we apply our technologies to create solutions that offer a unique Value Proposition to our customers. As a key ingredients provider, we represent a small part of the cost of the finished product, but generally play a critical role in providing the desired functionality and performance features of that product. So our collaborative, applications-intensive approach with our customers is key. You won’t find too many companies willing to go that extra-mile like we do to really understand what a customer needs. With this clear understanding, we can then leverage our vast technology portfolio and ability to innovate to provide a targeted, customized solution – not just an off-the-shelf, “me-too” product. How is OMNOVA able to keep consistent world-level manufacturing standards? Of course, we have rigorous procedures to document our processes, along with a world-class team of manufacturing professionals. And I

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believe our use of LEAN SixSigma methodologies is certainly an important key to our success. LEAN SixSigma tools enable us to ensure streamlined, highly efficient processes, take a pragmatic approach to continuous improvement, and maintain strict controls.

some applications for coatings and oil/gas drilling, and we are doing more work to bring this core competency to bear in other areas. Some of these chemistries are available in Asia now, or expected to be introduced in the near future.

How well equipped is your R&D?

I would also point out that we have several exciting innovations from our Decorative Products surfacing business, including a new capability in vac-form seating and the expansion of our durable, scratch and stain resistant decorative laminates into the Asia-Pacific market.

New technologies are the lifeblood of growth for OMNOVA and our true source of value to the customer. We are exceptionally well-equipped and always investing in state-of-the-art analytical, synthesis and testing equipment at our Global Technology Centers in the US, Asia and Europe. What are OMNOVA’s innovations in the pipeline? We have a number of innovations across all of our product lines, all designed to provide an even higher level

OMNOVA Caojing, China plant

of performance on factors that address critical needs of specific applications, such as improved strength, tailorability and added robustness under extreme end-use conditions, to name a few. I am excited about the many new technologies that provide sustainable features which are becoming more and more important due to customer preferences and international regulatory compliance requirements. For example, we have already developed bio-based latices used in tape, paper and oilfield applications, and this work is expanding. We have environmentally preferred chemistries for floor care and are exploring lower odor options for institutional environments. We have introduced a new APE-free product for use in coating applications such as waterproofing sealers. We have introduced water-based solutions to replace solvent chemistries in

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What is your vision? We have a term we use – ONE OMNOVA – that expresses it best. It means working together as a team, without departmental or geographical boundaries, to align our efforts to delight customers. This approach is supported by a strong set of Core Values that all of our employees strive to reflect in the work they do every day. Those Values include (1) a passionate and consistent focus on meeting customer expectations by enhancing value through innovation, productivity, quality and outstanding service, (2) providing a safe work environment, (3) working with integrity, to embody a culture that sets a global standard for honest, ethical conduct at the highest level, (4) a passion for taking action, delivering on commitments and holding ourselves accountable to continually improve our company, (5) treating others with respect by promoting candid dialogue and embracing the diversity and unique contributions of our employees worldwide, and (6) demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live and work. Could you explain why OMNOVA is optimistic about the future? I would point first to our growing global footprint. We have expanded our capability in the high growth, emerging markets of Asia/India, with a strong global business and supply chain infrastructure on which to build. We have leading market positions – typically number one or number two in key applications that offer competitive advantage and above market growth. This is supported by our strong technology and new product pipeline, which was further enhanced by the acquisition of ELIOKEM. We have a diverse business model and a strong, stable financial position as a critical ingredients supplier. I would sum it up by saying we are excited about the future because of our people, and our opportunity, desire and commitment to drive continuous improvement across all facets of our business. Because of that, our best days as a company are ahead of us!

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


The main products produced and sold by the India team include: Chemigum® N nitrile rubbers, Chemigum® NVC polyblends (NBR/PVC), Chemigum® P nitrile rubber in powdered form, Pliolite® HSR reinforcing resins (high styrene-rubber master batch) for the rubber industry and Pliolite® SB & PLX speciality latices. Analytical Lab

manufacturing capabilities in the Asian region with plants at Valia, in Gujarat State, India, besides in Ningbo and Caojing, China (started up in late 2010). Regional business offices are strategically located in Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore.

OMNOVA Solutions India OMNOVA Solutions India is the former polymer division of Apar Industries which was bought by ELIOKEM in 2008. It is the sole manufacturer of nitrile rubOMNOVA Ningbo Lab bers in India and one of the very few producers of X-NBR (carboxyl- The Valia plant generates much of its own ated nitrile rubbers) and “hot polymers” in power from natural gas through a gas turthe world. It specializes in the making of a bine co-generation system and two gas envariety of speciality resins, rubbers and la- gines, all of which provide process steam tices, through combinations of monomers as well. In addition, investment has been as diverse as acrylics, acrylonitrile, styrene made in windmill-generated power that is and butadiene. Its main customers are the supplied to the Electricity Board grid. automotive industry, industrial rubber Recently, new grades of NBR/PVC as well goods manufacturers, rice rollers and footas a new carboxylated polymer that wear producers and the tyre companies. matches well with international stanOMNOVA enjoys a strong position in nitrile dards have been launched at Valia. The speciality rubbers and masterbatches for launch of multiple projects at the Valia the India market. site, focused on process efficiencies and The plant and technology centre in Valia, manufacturing optimization, further reGujarat, is ISO 9001:2008-certified. Valia site inforces OMNOVA’s strong commitment has recently been awarded ISO 14001:2004 to LEAN SixSigma. The company will certification as well as the “Star Export soon extend its offering of speciality House” status in recognition of its outstand- latex products also to the region, building export performance over the past few ing upon market leadership positions OMNOVA enjoys in the US and Europe years.

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for products that provide exceptional performance in floor care, personal hygiene, hair care (shampoo, hair conditioner etc.), laundry detergents and nonwovens.

Ningbo plant, China

One of the major production projects that will underpin OMNOVA Solutions’ growth in Asia is a multi-million US dollar investment in styrene butadiene (SB) latex capacity expansion at the Caojing plant

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OMNOVA’s Ningbo plant in China, started up in late 2004, is designed specifically for the production of Wingstay® L phenolic, non-staining antioxidants, popularised worldwide by ELIOKEM. The construction of a dedicated plant in China has helped the company to further enhance its global leadership position. Thanks to an optimized, fully automated manufacturing process, OMNOVA has been able to elevate the quality of Wingstay L antioxidants and ensure product and process consistency around the world. In April 2012, OMNOVA tightened its specification limits, thus further elevating the industry standard. ABS plastic, synthetic rubber stabilization and the protection of articles based on natural rubber latex are all key applications served by the plant which is strategically located in Ningbo Economic & Technical Development Zone (NETD), in close proximity to the country’s second largest port. The Ningbo plant is ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, GB/T 19001:2000 and OHSAS 18001 certified.

OMNOVA’s Pliocord® VP latex, manufactured at the plant, is primarily used in the production of tyre cord fabric providing critical adhesion of the cord to the rubber compound used in tyre construction. In addition, VP latex is an important ingredient of other rubber products such as industrial hoses and automotive gaskets. The plant is ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007-certified.

Major investment in SB latex One of the major production projects that will underpin OMNOVA Solutions’ growth in Asia is a multi-million US dollar investment in styrene butadiene (SB) latex capacity expansion at the Caojing plant. The SB latex project received government regulatory approval in May 2012, and production is expected to start in 2013. The expansion will allow OMNOVA to focus on an expanded array of high-growth speciality markets with products for applications that may include nonwovens, tape and adhesives, paper and packaging, carpet and textiles, construction, oilfield and numerous speciality industrial, commercial and institutional applications.

Caojing plant, China

Outlook optimistic

The Caojing plant in China, located in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, is OMNOVA’s newest facility. The project was designed to respond to the fast growing demand for vinyl pyridine (VP) latex for tyre cord adhesion in China and throughout Asia. The plant, started up in late 2010, fully complements OMNOVA’s existing manufacturing capabilities for tyre cord latices in the US and Europe. OMNOVA has done extensive quality trials and implemented robust systems to ensure that VP latex in Caojing and around the world employ OMNOVA’s standard manufacturing practices. OMNOVA is the leading worldwide producer of tyre cord adhesives. With manufacturing facilities on three continents, OMNOVA is well-positioned to provide globally consistent quality products to meet the customers’ needs.

OMNOVA Solutions has many reasons to be optimistic about its future. The company has expanded its manufacturing capability in the high-growth emerging markets of India, China and Southeast Asia and has committed new investments to furthering its position in the region. It has been very successful in broadening its chemical solutions and diversifying into new, related markets and applications. At the heart of OMNOVA’s success is its strong focus on new products. “Our ability and commitment to leverage technology to develop differentiated solutions for our customers on a global scale is what sets us apart from the competition,” says CEO Kevin McMullen. “We are always innovating,” he reiterates.

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World rubber gloves industry

Steady growth

in global demand for

rubber gloves

The development of the healthcare sector, regulations on occupational safety introduced by many countries, recognition of rubber gloves as essential hand protection equipment in many sectors, increased awareness about health and personal hygiene and, above all, the growth in population are factors that will push up the global demand for rubber gloves

G

lobal glove demand has been growing at 8 to 10 % in recent years. It is expected to reach 10,000 billion pieces in 2012, including demand in the domestic market of the producing countries. While Malaysia is the top producer of gloves with global market share of a little over 60%, demand in the main consuming regions like the United States of America and the 27-nation strong European Union continue to be bullish.

Thomas Ouseph The writer is a renowned rubber analyst

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Glove demand is also quite strong in the most populous countries -- China and India. These two also produce gloves, but import them in large quantum as domestic demand far exceeds the domestic supply. The two major markets have witnessed a perceptible shift in recent times. For years, the US was the top importer of gloves, but the European Union usurped that position in 2007 and continues to stay there since then, commanding 35% share in value of the world import of gloves. Share of the US in the

import market has declined to 33%. These two are vast and mature markets, but they are not saturated. Their annual growth in glove imports has been around 19% so far. Growth level of that magnitude may continue as there is no sign of the healthcare sector declining in these two regions.

Rise in prices Prices of all types of gloves rose in the recent past as raw material prices and fuel cost rose along with the rise in labour wages. Even though glove price has hardened in response to increase in production cost, the demand scenario remains buoyant, especially for nitrile gloves. One estimate projects the average annual growth of nitrile gloves in excess of 6 % till 2016. Mismatch in demand and supply and

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kg to around $ 2.0 by July 2012, some analysts predicted a fall in tandem. But this did not happen as demand was steady. Going forward, supply tightness may keep the price of NR latex buoyant. Global production of NR has been projected at 11.42 million tonnes for 2012 while its consumption is projected at 11.49 million tonnes. Excess consumption over production may make NR availability tight and the price of latex, hovering around $ 2.00 a kg in July 2012, may move up in the months ahead.

Supply management The three-nation combine — Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia — has of late contemplated a supply management move to shore up the NR market. Implementing such a move in the recent past through production and export cut has lifted the market. Even in spite of this, the nearly recession-proof glove market can rule steady, despite the current cooling of the global economy.

There is steady demand for NR latex

price rise in natural and synthetic latices caused the glove price to firm up. NR latex was traded around $ 1.10 a kg by January 2009. This moved up to $ 2.00 in one year by January 2010 and to more than 100% at $ 3.20 in January 2011. NR latex turned dear on supply crunch as heavy rains disrupted tapping of rubber trees in Thailand, the topmost rubber producing country, in 2011. The second and third largest NR producers -- Indonesia and Malaysia -- also had crop fall owing to heavy rains. Then, in April 2011, the price touched an alltime high of $ 3.63 a kg, mainly on account of the off season effect of NR output from February to May in Southeast Asia owing to wintering. Thereafter, there was a gradual decline in the price of NR latex to $ 2 a kg by January 2012 as many major glove producers reduced intake of NR latex and hiked production of gloves from nitrile latex. As the price of NR latex fell from $ 3.63 a

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

The recent trend in hardening oil price also points to a rise in the latex price. The price of Brent crude moving ahead of $ 100 a barrel by the second half of July 2012 may push up the price of nitrile latex, as its base materials are petroleum-derived nitrile butadiene, acrylonitrile and chemicals. This may in turn lift the price of NR latex and of the gloves made from the two. Past trends show that economic slowdown need not make a serious impact on glove demand. Import of gloves into the US and the European Union declined by 7.7% and 8.8% respectively in 2011, but the glove price ruled remunerative above $ 3.0 for a packet of 100 pieces. Cost escalation is another factor preventing a fall in glove price in line with the fall in latex price. Though latex price eased to $ 2.00 a kg, it did not result in reduction in glove price as the cost of production had gone up. Elements like fuel cost and labour wages had moved up in Malaysia, the main glove producing country. Similar hikes took place in other countries also. The projected growth in glove by 8% in 2012 also obviate a price fall in gloves.

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Some analysts envision a price fall in nitrile gloves in the second half of 2012 as nitrile latex producers have recently ramped up capacity by 250,000 wet tonnes. That too may fail to come about as the two major producers of SR latex – Synthomer and Polymer Latex - know how to adjust output to demand. A brief review of the situation in various countries would throw light on the current trends in the world rubber gloves industry.

Malaysia’s success Malaysia is currently the world’s largest producer and exporter of rubber gloves, accounting for about 63% of the world production and about 61% of the world exports. Success of the Malaysian glove industry is mainly on account of the abundant availability of the basic raw materials NR and SR latices and a productive workforce. Malaysia is a prominent producer of NR latex. Its ready availability in the neighbourhood is also a plus point. Thailand, the largest processor of NR latex in the world, is capable of quickly offering any additional requirement across the border. Two major transnational producers of nitrile latex have put up large-sized nitrile latex manufacturing plants in Malaysia. This ensures ready supply of SR latex. Malaysian labour in the latex industry is reported to be about three times productive than the work force in the neighbourhood. All these make Malaysia the world centre of NR and SR gloves. This advantage is strongly backed by the technical expertise and R & D support from the Malaysian Rubber Board. Presence of Catheters are in great demand in the healthcare industry

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reputed machinery manufacturers ensures local supply of glove lines and formers. Effective marketing support from the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council has made the Malaysian gloves reach almost all the countries. Majority of the glove producers in the country being highly quality conscious, follow the good manufacturing practices and their products meet the stringent international standards such as ISO, ASTM, EN, TUV, TGA, ANVSA and the standards set by FDA. In addition, the SMG (Standard Malaysian Glove) brand has become the mark of quality assurance around the world.

Shift to nitrile gloves As protein-free nitrile gloves were in great demand in the major markets, business sense demanded production of nitrile gloves along with NR gloves and Malaysia admirably responded to the call. For a long time the country was promoting the NR gloves citing the limitations of SR gloves, but that stance was abandoned when improvements were brought about in the properties of nitrile latex, making it possible to produce lighter and thinner gloves to improve tactile sensitivity. Synthetic gloves now complement the NR gloves in Malaysia to meet the massive demand of the export market. More than 90% of the gloves (latex + nitrile) produced in the country is exported to over 180 countries. Gloves export in 2011 amounted to 35.6 billion pairs, which fetched RM 9.4 billion. Of this share of nitrile gloves was 14.9 billion valued at RM 3.7 billion. Nitriles have started to move ahead, to overtake the Malaysian glove industry in the not- too- distant future. Top seven glove producers in Malaysia – Top Glove, Supermax Corporation, Kossan Rubber Industries, Hartelega Holidings, Latexx Partners, Adventa and YTY Industry -- have now more than 50% share in the world examination gloves market. This was made possible by enhancing production of nitrile gloves. They are now engaged in creating new capacity of around 17 billion pieces of nitrile gloves. This is indicative of their expectation of the market expansion in the near future.

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debt crisis, glove prices ruled above $ 3.00 per pack of 100 pieces. This is fair enough for the producer and the consumer. The projected 8% growth in demand in 2012 promises maintenance of remunerative market for the glove industry.

China’s advancement

Gloves occupy the pride of place in dipped goods industry

Giant producers Giant producers with integrated production facilities are the backbone of the Malaysian glove industry. The largest among them Top Glove has now 442 glove lines spread over 20 factories located in three countries - Malaysia, Thailand and China. The company is further expanding the production facilities adding 68 more lines by 2013. As the glove lines would rise to 510, the company will be able to produce a stupendous 44.8 billion gloves a year. Its current ratio of production in 80:20 between NR and SR gloves, which it plans to make 50:50 by 2015 incorporating dual production facility in the new glove lines being installed. Another prominent player Hartelega has now the highest share in nitrile gloves production, 80% of the total. This company expects the nitrile glove demand to grow strongly at 30 % per annum, mainly based on the demand surge in the world market and the pricing disparity favouring SR latex against NR latex. Existence of a ready market at reasonable price is behind the sound growth of the glove industry in Malaysia. Glove prices have been ruling remunerative over the years. Despite the decline in the US and EU import volumes by 7.7% and 8.8% in 2011 on account of the economic slow down and the sovereign

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China is a dominant producer of rubber gloves in Asia occupying the 4th position after Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The production consists of both NR latex and nitrile gloves. According to IRSG, NR latex consumption in China increased in 2011 by 7.1% mainly for the production of examination, surgical and other gloves. In production and export of medical gloves it has made tremendous progress in recent times. During 2011, export of medical gloves from the country amounted to 4,711 billion. It is reported that there has been a drop in the output of these in the first half of 2012; examination gloves by 10.89% and medical gloves by 3.49%. This is a reflection of the current slow growth in the Chinese economy. During the second quarter of 2012 the country’s GDP growth slipped to 7.6%, the slowest in three years. The economy has been growing in double digit for many years in the recent past, but of late the growth has slowed down. The Government has targeted only 7.5% growth in 2012.

Healthcare sector There is substantial increase in demand for examination and medical gloves in China. Stress on health and hygiene has enhanced the demand for them for use in the large network of hospital chains in the country. Awareness of the people on health and sanity has increased significantly of late and with it, the demand for the gloves. Production of different types

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of gloves approximate 1,000 million pairs a year. About one-third of the production is exported. The country’s share in world export of rubber gloves has gone up from 3.3% in 2000 to 7.9% in 2009. However, there has not been much progress in glove export in 2010 as the domestic demand absorbed a heavy chunk of the output. At the same time, China imports gloves from Malaysia in substantial quantum to meet the gap in domestic demand. The country is now the manufacturing hub for a large number of capital goods and industrial products to meet the domestic needs and demand in the world market. Millions of personnel work in the factories. The shop floor workers and technicians wear industrial gloves, the demand for which is quite strong in the country. The hospital network has been substantially expanded in the past one decade to meet the enhanced demand for quality patient care. Even though expenses on improved hospital services significantly rose in recent times, people can afford them as their income has gone up in line with the country’s economic development. The healthcare sector takes sufficient precautionary steps to prevent spread of epidemics. One person died in China in December 2011 on account of bird flu or influenza H5N1. Though this was a lone case in the last 18 months and the virus does not spread from person to person, health authorities have been put on alert. Hong Kong has raised the city’s bird flu alert level to serious and culled thousands of chickens after three birds were tested positive for the H5N1 virus. These have prompted the healthcare sector to use more rubber gloves, the demand of which has markedly gone up.

Production facilities Balloon industry is a major consumer of NR latex

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There are nearly one hundred gloves producing units

in China. However, the number of large, integrated units is quite low, the prominent among them being Top Gloves International. Other leading producers include Haohua South China Guilin Latex Plant, Shanghai Latex Factory, Dalian Latex Company, Qingdao Shuangdie Group Co., Anhui Haojie Plastic & Rubber Products Co., Beijing Huateng Rubber, Plastic & Latex Products Co., Suzhou Colour-way Enterprise Development Co. and the Zhenjiang Suhui Latex Products Co. Many of the units produce NR latex gloves and the rest nitrile gloves. There are also units having facilities to produce both NR and nitrile gloves. China is now the largest machinery manufacturing country in the world. The output includes all the equipments needed to make gloves. Production of rubber chemicals is abundant. But production of the basic raw material NR latex is quite low in the country. Centrifuged latex of 60% concentration is imported mainly from Thailand. Annual import of centrifuged latex comes to around 300,000 tonnes. Latex import rose by 7.7% in 2011 as the glove units increased production to service enhanced demand from the overseas markets. The country is also the leading producer of synthetic rubber in Asia, which includes nitrile latex. With the price of NR latex moving high in 2011, China enhanced production of nitrile latex for use in the glove industry, which partially met the gap between demand and supply of NR latex. The Chinese government has introduced several regulations and statutes relating to product standards mainly in relation to specification of the manufacturing process, product packaging and labelling, inspection, testing, and compulsory certification such as the China Compulsory Certification (CCC Mark). Rubber and its products are not included in the dangerous goods category. This helps the rubber manufacturing industry to get automatic license to import rubber. The government offers incentives to the glove units to make their products competitive in the world market. As employment potential and value addition is fairly strong in the glove industry, many glove

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Thai Rubber Latex Corporation, Bluetex International, MRI Co. and Siam Sempermed. Their attraction is abundant availability of natural rubber latex, the basic raw material. Thailand is the single largest producer and exporter of centrifuged latex at the world level.

Indonesian scene

There is an expanding global market for condoms

units in China are currently expanding operations. Nitrile gloves get priority in this considering export potential.

Home of latex gloves Asia is the home of latex gloves. Apart from Malaysia and China, many other countries produce different kinds of rubber gloves, though the scale of operations is not that large. Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and S. Korea produce gloves. Except for Thailand, Indonesia and, to a certain extent, Sri Lanka, glove production and export activities of others are insignificant. Thailand is the second largest gloves producer and exporter in the world, but its share in world exports is only 16.8% against Malaysia’s 61%. Production and export are predominantly in medical gloves. Export of medical gloves in 2011 amounted to 1,140 billion. Overseas sales of other gloves came to 23.2 billion in the year. Nitrile gloves are also made in the country, for which nitrile latex is imported. Major players produce latex gloves and nitrile gloves at their facilities. Availability of abundant centrifuged latex has attracted many world majors in glove production to the country. Ansell, Kimberly Clark, Safe Glove and Top Glove are some of them. Other prominent producers include Allegience Corporation, Sri Trang,

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Indonesia is another prominent producer of rubber gloves in Asia, endowed with abundant production of natural rubber with around 3 million tonnes of annual output. It is the third largest exporter of rubber gloves enjoying 9% share of the world market, for the production of which a major portion of the processed latex concentrate is consumed. The output of latex concentrate is almost limited to the domestic requirement. Hence its export is negligible. There are many prominent gloves producers in the country, among which a notable name is Medisafe Technologies. Rising labour wages and tighter Government regulations on safety and pollution standards have pushed up the cost of production, but the glove units manage to retain reasonable profitability. This is on account of the easing of latex price in 2012, leading to around $ 2.00 a kg by July, about 56% of the price of $ 3.6 that prevailed in April 2011. Had there been sufficient Government support to the glove sector as in Malaysia, the glove industry could become stronger in Indonesia.

Situation in Sri Lanka Sri Lanka is another notable producer of rubber gloves. The output in 2011 was around 400 billion units of medical gloves, of which 304 billion was exported. Production of other gloves was around 200 billion, of which 142 billion found markets abroad. Availability of centrifuged latex is rath-

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Nitrile gloves steal a march over NR gloves The share of NR gloves has been coming down in major world markets over the past many years, while the market share of the protein- free synthetic gloves has been on the rise. Media reports suggest that nitrile gloves have taken 30% market share in the European Union and 70% in the United States. The drop in NR gloves’ share was the result of inroads of SR gloves into the rubber glove market. Consequently, world latex consumption declined by 2.7% in 2011 to 1.29 million tonnes. Even in Malaysia, the glove hub of the world, there is strong thrust of the nitrile gloves. The country is today the largest producer of nitrile gloves in the world and almost the entire production is disposed of in the world market. Revenue realisation from export of nitrile gloves grew by about 50% in 2011 while the same for NR gloves was lower at 20%. Malaysian glove producers are aggressively expanding nitrile glove production to take advantage of strong demand in the US and the European Union. Many major glove units

have created facilities to produce nitrile gloves and substantially enhanced the production to meet the surging world demand. This has altered the pattern of Malaysian glove export market with ratio of 40:60 between SR and NR gloves. In 2009 the share of nitrile gloves was only 23%. Progression to 40% in two years’ time is quite remarkable. The current trends of the glove industry indicate that nitriles will dominate the glove sector in Malaysia in the short term. China has also enhanced production of nitrile latex in the wake of rise in price and demand-supply gap of NR latex. Slowing growth of the US economy and the debt crisis of the European Union in 2011 have affected the growth of NR gloves in these regions. Consequently demand for NR latex dropped by 11% in Malaysia. New generation polymers like polychloroprene and polyisoprene promise better comfort and tactile sensitivity for SR gloves as in the NR latex gloves. This development is a pointer to the waning prospects of NR gloves in these regions. NR gloves have maintained the growth finding alternative markets in developing countries.

er low in the country as major portion of the NR crop is processed into dry rubber grades. Centrifuged latex is imported into the country, to partially meet the demand of the glove industry and for export purposes. Latex trade is a significant activity of the Sri Lankan raw rubber sector.

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The Government and the Rubber Research Institute of Ceylon are supportive of the glove industry, but the operation is on a limited scale as the number of units is not large. Scale of operation of the available units is not also large. Major producers are Ansell Lanka, Dipped Products, Hands International and Lalan Rubbers. Among them Dipped Products and Lalan Rubbers maintain rubber plantations and they have less of a problem concerning raw material availability. Latex gloves and nitrile gloves are made in the

country. The requirement of nitrile latex is met through imports.

Bright future By all indications, the global gloves industry is poised to make steady progress as the demand for gloves far exceeds supply in most countries. The development of the healthcare sector, regulations on occupational safety introduced by many countries, particularly the US and Europe, recognition of rubber gloves as hand protection equipment in many sectors other than healthcare like the food and hospitality industries, increased awareness about health and personal hygiene, appreciation of US dollar and above all the growth in population are factors that will push up the demand for rubber gloves.

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D

Tiyo Glove industry in India

Modernisation, consolidation, crucial for

growth

There is great scope for expansion of the glove industry in India, thanks to the high domestic demand for gloves, export potential and ready availability of raw material like centrifuged latex and latex chemicals within the country

ipped goods form an important segment in the latex based products, of which gloves occupy the pride of place. Many kinds of gloves are produced in India. Among them patient examination and surgical gloves meant for the health care sector leads the demand scenario. Food industry is another area where rubber gloves find extensive application. Besides, then there is the industrial sector, where industrial gloves are equally in demand. Household gloves used in homesteads, shopping malls and retail chains are also popular. All these gloves are made mainly from centrifuged natural rubber latex. Nitrile latex is widely used for their production in the main gloves producing countries, but the glove industry in India mainly uses NR latex. Neoprene and chloroprene latex also find application in gloves production.

Health care sector The healthcare sector has grown rapidly in India over the past many years. India has now thousands of healthcare establishments. By 2010, the number of hospitals has grown into 12,760 with 576,793 beds. More than half of them( 6,795) were in rural areas with 149,690 beds. In urban centres their number was 3,748 with 399,195 beds. Urban hospitals have better facilities and highly qualified personnel in greater numbers for medical service. Available data show that medical facilities are also provided by 24,465 dispensaries, 145,894 sub centres, 23,391 primary health centres and 4,510 community health centres. These suggest existence of an extensive healthcare infrastructure in India.

Malaysia is a major exporter of rubber gloves to India

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Rising income, changing lifestyle and a growing awareness of the people about health and hygiene have stimulated demand for medical attention. The healthcare infrastructure has grown significantly over the years. As income level of the middle class in India has improved markedly of late, they can afford quality medical treatment in hospitals with modern facilities.

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Next to the hospital sector, glove use is strong in the food industry. This sector is supported by hotels, motels, clubs, food chains, restaurants, resorts and conference centres. Workers in such establishments wear gloves to keep the hands clean, free from contamination by raw food material like meat and marine products, and also to keep the prepared food free of contamination of the bare hand. According to the Federation of Hotels & Restaurant Associations of India, more than 17 million work in the hospitality sector in India. This is the number in the organized sector, where use of gloves is widespread. At least an equal number are employed in the unorganized sector. Though glove use here is not as widespread, the requirement is not insignificant. These show that demand for gloves in the food industry is substantial and likely to grow supported by the tourism industry. Glove industry in India mainly uses NR latex

Growth of the affluent population has given rise to specialty hospital chains like Apollo, Care Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare and Wockhardt. They are expanding the services and developing the facilities into niche centres of excellence, to offer medical attention corresponding to the international benchmark set by the global medical fraternity. All these raise employment of a large number of medical and para medical personnel and demand for medical and surgical gloves has gone up in tandem.

Medical gloves Two-thirds of the medical gloves used in India are in the healthcare sector of urban areas. Medical facilities in rural areas are provided mainly by Government hospitals and health centres where glove use is low. Hospitals undertaking surgical procedures are rare in rural areas, though limited number of private hospitals have come up of late, equipped with the facility.

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Industrial gloves Demand for industrial gloves is quite large in India, where there are 31.15 million micro, small and medium enterprises which employed 73.2 million persons during 2010/11, according to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry. They contributed 45 % to the country’s industrial output and 40% to the gross domestic product. Manufacturing ventures among them numbered in excess of 17 million. These do not take into account large enterprises which contribute 55% to the industrial output of the country. Engineers, technologists, technicians and shop floor workers in the factories raise substantial demand for industrial gloves. These provide grip on tools and aid comfortable work execution leading to enhanced productivity across diverse industrial sectors, covering also industries connected with machinery and equipment, metal fabrication, white goods, packaging and transportation.

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Many medical institutions in the private sector are engaged in organizing medical tourism, further raising the glove demand. These reusable gloves are also used in the construction industry, for marine products handling, cleaning and in chemical handling. In hazardous construction and building tasks, workers encounter the risk of work place hand injury. There are gloves designed specially for workers in the building and construction sites. Gloves designed to protect the everyday needs of general workers engaged in demolition, excavation, plumbing, concrete work and equipment operations are also available. There are also gloves specially designed for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, AC technicians and landscape workers. Carpenters need hand protection as they generally work with fasteners, sharp tools, timber beams, cement sheeting, glass and composites.

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Work safety gloves are also available, specially designed to protect hands against impact, cuts and abrasions. Apart from NR latex, synthetic material such as nitrile and polychloroprene latex are used to make industrial gloves.

Household gloves There are also other varieties of gloves meant for specific use. Household gloves find applications in millions of households across the country, in addition to shopping malls and retail chains. These are also reusable. Clean room gloves made and specially washed in clean environment to guard against traces of chemical extracts are also available. These are used in semi conductor industry, pharmaceutical laboratories and high technology biotechnology laboratories. Chemical protection gloves are also made in India, which shield hands against chemicals

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India — A major market for Malaysian gloves Malaysia accounts for around 40% of India’s medical gloves imports. This came to around 55% of the Malaysian rubber products imports into India in 2011. Multi specialty and super specialty hospitals meet a sizable portion of the protein-free nitrile gloves imported from abroad, as protein allergy is a health concern in India also. Import of Malaysian gloves is estimated to grow substantially next year. The current 5% import tariff on rubber products from Malaysia may come down to zero by September 2013 under the India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement

of 2010, which came into effect from July 2011. This paves the way for enhanced glove imports. The hospital sector is estimated to raise annual demand of about 1,000 million pairs of gloves in India. Of these medical gloves account for around 70% and surgical gloves 30%. The market of medical and surgeons’ gloves is projected to grow around 15% per annum. However, the domestic production is able to meet only about 70% of the demand. The rest is met by imports. Suppliers from Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka meet almost the entire deficit. One estimate puts the value of annual glove imports around US$ 150 million.

and liquids. They resist varying levels of cut, tear, abrasion, puncture and thermal hazard. Notwithstanding the strong domestic demand, a share of the examination, surgical and industrial gloves produced in India find markets abroad, mainly in countries like the US, Mozambique, Venezuela, Poland and Morocco. However, the quantum of export was quite low with annual export earnings of around US$ 25 million. Units in the Special Economic Zones are the major exporters as they are able to source latex from abroad without customs duty and price the products competitively. Most often, latex price in India rules higher than the price abroad. From the last week of May 2012, the Indian price started climbing over the world price and currently (July 2012) difference between the Indian price and the world price has been to the tune of Rs.15 a kg.

Scope for expansion There is vast scope for expansion of the glove industry in India, giving room for the existing units with limited capacity to enhance the scale of operation, either though consolidation or addition to glove lines with automated operation, to make them economically viable even in times of stresses and strains. The new lines should be capable of producing nitrile gloves as well, as these are in high demand in the US and in the European Union. Nitrile latex is not costly, it can be imported now (July 2012) at

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the same price as of NR latex. The case of Top Gloves Corporation in Malaysia is a classic example of how capacity addition has contributed to tremendous organic growth. Started in 1991 with three glove lines, the corporation has successively taken the glove lines to a massive 442 lines by 2011 and became the topper in world production, continuing the expansion process even in difficult times of high latex price, high fuel cost and high wage bill. It is still continuing the process of expansion and targets raising the lines to 510 by 2013. Its working results were all along positive as expansion in production brought down per unit cost. The glove industry in India can work wonders through capacity expansion. Domestic demand for gloves is high and export potential is bright. There is ready availability of the major raw material like centrifuged latex and latex chemicals within the country. Export-oriented units can import latex and chemicals without duty, giving at the same time leverage to source them when the price abroad rules low. Modernisation of existing units into high-quality, state-of-the-art production centres cannot wait further. The opportunity to make revenue gain is round the corner, be it in production of examination, surgical, industrial, household or other gloves. Modernisation, consolidation and capacity addition are keys to the profitable operation of the glove sector in India.

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MARGMA’s

Paul McKavanagh

Managing Director, Aquaspersions, Malaysia

Aquaspersions

Committed to Innovation for Sustainability

Aquaspersions Group is a living testament to the theme of this year’s MARGMA International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition — “Innovation for Sustainability”

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6th International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition (IRGCE) is upon us once again and we can expect an increased and even wider range of exhibitors and participants at the event which I believe is one of the best trade fairs in the world in terms of the quality of its exhibitors, paper presentations and visitors. The theme of IRGCE is “Innovation for Sustainability” and in today’s challenging business environment such a theme is very appropriate for the Aquaspersions Group as indeed I’m sure it is for many of MARGMA’s members. Business sustainability is often defined as managing financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities (These three impacts can be referred to as profits, people and planet). A more robust definition will also capture a time element representing resiliency over time of businesses that can survive shocks, because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems. We, at Aquaspersions Group, believe strongly that INNOVATION is one of the most key factors to achieve business sustainability in its most robust form, both for ourselves and our customers,

Aquaspersions’ factory entrance

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Paul McKavanagh, Managing Director, Aquaspersions ( M)

suppliers and key business partners. That is the reason why both Aquaspersions Companies (Malaysia and UK) every year invest a significant percentage of turnover into R&D and continually reinvest in laboratory and factory facilities for product diversification and expansion.

Challenging times At the time of the 5th MARGMA IRGCE (2 years ago), we had come through the most sudden economic downturn for many years (late 2008), and been able to grow and prosper turning threats into opportunity. Then 2010 had indeed been for us and many of our customers a year of excellent financial performance, whereas 2011 has been a much more challenging year for us and for the glove industry as a whole. Together in 2011, we have had to face continual pressures on margins as a result of weak endmarket demand whilst at the same time there have been cost increases in commodities and chemical raw materials. The weak US Dollar and Euro currencies have also brought challenges to Aquaspersions and

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its customers who are very export driven with the bulk of export sales being in one or other of these two currencies. Whilst some raw materials have corrected back (most notably NR latex for our key glove customers), the general situation in markets going forward remains quite uncertain what with the Euro crisis and weakening demand even in China. Volatility and uncertainty of materials pricing and exchange rates have been a significant challenge for everybody and this looks likely to continue.

Facing the challenge It is these more volatile (up/down) and uncertain conditions of the past 3-4 years that have mandated that we develop even closer relationships with customers to fully understand specific needs and provide products which meet those needs. For example, several glove manufacturers (just like manufacturers of other highly branded goods) are placing greater emphasis on product

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• Higher heat stability antioxidant dispersion • Lower PHR addition (cost reduction) Composite dispersion for NR gloves whilst maintaining or improving tensile strength • Slow/medium curing rate dispersions (NR) for specific end-product properties • “Synergistic blend” antioxidant emulsions for special properties of Solid Synthetic Rubber

Technology transfer & investment In addition to such new product/process innovations, the Aquaspersions Group in 2010 and 2011 showed further significant commitment to the business sustainability of its Malaysian Company by significant plant investments and technology transfer. This includes capacity expansion for dispersion products and a brand new facility for the manufacture of water-based emulsions, principally antioxidant emulsions for the Asian market. Aquaspersions’ range of antioxidant emulsions include long established products such as Aquanox LDL A (mainly for ABS manufacture) and newer, Michael Richardson, Group Managing Director

differentiation as their customers become more sophisticated in their expectations for hand protection products. For hand protection or other products, the specific need that can create the product differentiation can vary or be a combination of needs, but in many cases, Aquaspersions will already be able to provide the suitable water-based additives to meet that need. If not, we are more than willing to do the R&D work either collaboratively or independently (based on customer preference) to meet the need. Examples of innovations recently carried out by Aquaspersions Group are:

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• Composite curative dispersion for thin nitrile gloves • Dispersion for flame retardant gloves • Dispersions for abrasion resistant rubber products

Aquaspersions’ production line

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For Aquaspersions, the 6th International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition organised by MARGMA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an opportunity to be together with its important customers and suppliers in the vital latex dipping industry and to provide much more information on its products and services and other matters of interest to the visitors at its Stand Nos. 67 & 68.

Dr. Alan Bewsher, General Manager

higher technology products such as Aquanox Ultra L (for NBR latex and other applications). The emulsion antioxidants have a much finer particle size than dispersion antioxidant (below 1 micron for emulsions, compared to around 3 microns for dispersions) and therefore if they are being added to latices, which may not go to the end user process until months later, will be much less likely to settle or layer inside the latex. There is also a body of scientific opinion with some empirical evidence that such very fine particle size will enhance the efficacy of the antioxidant in the endproduct. On-going R&D on this important part of

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S.C. Tan, Regional Market Manager

Aquaspersions’ product range will bring further new and superior products and new applications to the market over the next 2-3 years. Often it is the combination of different antioxidant actives which makes all the difference for the end-user. Aquaspersions has the resources and dedication to test and optimise these combinations in order to bring the best solutions to the market.

R&D facility Once again, highlighting Aquaspersions’ commitment to “Innovation for Sustainability”, a brand new R&D laboratory facility with expanded scope and capabilities is planned to be installed at our Malaysian factory (Rawang, Selangor) by early 2013. Throughout the implementation of all of this innovation and manufacturing development, we at Aquaspersions have relied on the voice of the customer to

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Aquaspersions — Capabilities and products For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with Aquaspersions, here is a summary of the Company, its capabilities and products: Founded in Halifax, UK, in 1974, Aquaspersions continues to be Independent and privately owned by the Richardson family. Michael Richardson is Group Managing Director and has worked for about 30 years in the Company in a variety of roles, including (located in Malaysia for three years) setting up Aquaspersions Malaysia in 1992 and developing the first range of SE Asian customers to use outsourced dispersions. Michael’s father Geoff Richardson is Company Chairman. Aquaspersions is an industrial-scale manufacturer of water-based dispersions and emulsions of speciality chemical additives, including a wide range of materials for latex processing and other water-based polymer processes. The Company concentrates on this core competence. There are two manufacturing companies in the

Aquaspersions Group, one in UK and one in Malaysia. The Group has over 30 years’ experience supplying water-based additive dispersions and emulsions to producers of dipped latex goods (gloves, condoms, balloons, catheters etc.) These include curing agents, accelerators, antioxidants and popular “all-in-one” composite dispersions. The Company spends a large percentage of turnover spent each year on R&D, Technical Support and Product & Market Development. The Company is able to apply this know-how in several other industrial markets (eg. latex foam, plastics). The Company is respected by customers worldwide for its reliable, high quality products. Both companies (UK & Malaysia) have ISO 9001 quality accreditation. The Company is independently sourcing active ingredients through strong long-term strategic supplier relationships and has the freedom to obtain the technically best solutions for customers.

guide us. Many of our product innovations originate from customer-specific requests. Such products for speciality performance are generally more complex formulations but offer greater value per unit of use. Often they will be manufactured in smaller volumes for niche markets.

years and whilst we will continue to promote our long established product portfolio with the general theme “Outsourcing Additive Dispersions Makes Best Business Sense”, this will give us additional opportunity to highlight our new and recent innovations.

However, amongst its peers and competitors, I believe that Aquaspersions stands out in being the first, fastest and most willing to try out new products and new ideas, even though the commercialisation may be initially small or uncertain. We believe that many of our good ideas which become R&D successes will eventually be globally adopted.

We hope also to get some good ideas for our future “Innovation for Sustainability” from our visitors based upon the needs of their business going forward. Our Malaysian staff will be joined by our Group MD, Michael Richardson (from UK), who is ever present at this event, demonstrating our global commitment to the industry. And, as usual in the evening, we also plan to have some fun with our customers, business partners and staff courtesy of the excellent Dinner & Entertainment laid on by MARGMA.

Looking forward to 6th IRGCE I am really looking forward to this year’s MARGMA IRGCE, even more than in previous years. We will once again, throughout the course of the whole week, be together with our important customers and suppliers in this vital sector of our business and we are seeing only increased interest in attendance compared with earlier years.

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We will have a larger booth than in previous

We very much appreciate the past, present and future support of all our stakeholders be they customers, suppliers, shareholders or government agencies. If you are visiting the MARGMA show, please drop by our stand (Nos. 67 & 68).

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Paul McKavanagh

Advantages of outsourced dispersion The commercial and technical advantages of ready-made dispersion for users of natural and synthetic latex are aplenty

U

sers or processors of natural and synthetic latex, such as glove, condom and catheter producers, are technologically highly competent. They require their additives to be in a pre-dispersed form before compounding into the latex. However, many of the most successful of these companies continue to outsource the preparation of water based dispersions and emulsions to specialists such as Aquaspersions.

We are now in an era where business adaptability to constant change in market conditions is a necessity. Furthermore, we are in a Paul McKavanagh, Managing Director, market sector (latex dipped Auqaspersions, Malaysia goods) which has continued to grow globally even during periods of recession. Due to these factors, a decision to outsource additive dispersions is technically sound and makes better business sense than ever before.

Technical requirements

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Despite improvements in technology and know-how, producing the required quality

of additive dispersions for latex is not as simple as it sounds. The dispersions contain solid particles dispersed into the liquid (water) phase. Mostly the solid particles, especially additives like sulphur, accelerators, pigment and zinc oxide, have a significantly higher density than water. As a result there is a strong natural tendency for these materials to settle down due to the forces of gravity. This can result in the dispersion being unusable due to heavy sedimentation, and of course after compounding the dispersion into latex, the same natural forces apply to the solid additives now inside the compounded latex. The technical requirements of the users of additive dispersions continue to be many and varied. The most important ones, applying to all users are: • Functionality of the additives contained inside the dispersion. The additives should play the required role in the user’s process of converting the compounded latex into finished products with the right properties. • The physical properties of the dispersion should enable the user to use it in a consistent manner. The dispersion should flow well when transferred either by means of gravity Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


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or pumping, mix well both prior to compounding and when compounding into the latex. • The dispersion should also retain in storage for as long as possible its physical properties and have consistent properties both chemical and physical, from batch to batch. In that way, its functionality in use would be consistent. • The natural solid sedimentation processes, earlier mentioned, should be

a number of different types of wet milling machinery which can be used for this particle size reduction. However, they all have certain things in common —Energy intensive processes; The machinery requires expert maintenance; Good control of the process conditions is needed to get the right product. On the other hand, when the size of solid particles is reduced, especially below the 3 to 4 microns level, there are physical

Aquaspersions’ production line

slowed down as much as possible to avoid significant sedimentation in the dispersion and compounded latex. Such sedimentation would be wasteful and could eventually affect the quality of the finished products.

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Quality dispersions

(and sometimes chemical) forces causing them to come together as agglomerates. If particles agglomerate in this way, then their behaviour in the dispersion will change. Often the viscosity of the dispersion can increase, even to the level where the dispersion forms a gel.

Referring to the issue of solids settling down in the liquid (water) phase, the rate of settling can be decreased by reducing the particle size. This is an important part of the dispersion manufacturing process. There are

Also, as far as sedimentation properties are concerned, the agglomerated particles will behave like larger particles (i.e. faster settling). So making quality dispersions is not just a matter of mixing the

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right ingredients in water and grinding to a certain particle size. To make things worse, especially for the SE & South Asian regions, the natural processes of sedimentation and agglomeration happen faster, the higher the temperature is. That is where development of the right formulation of active ingredients, water content and auxiliary ingredients (eg. surfactants & dispersing agents) is necessary to achieve the best quality which can be consistently reproduced batch after batch. It is well known that such consistency of dispersion quality is one key factor of success for producing top quality dipped latex goods.

Typical problems in latex gloves from using inconsistent dispersion quality can include wrong mechanical / physical properties (eg. tensile strength), pinholes, white spots, heat ageing and reduced shelf life in storage

Typical problems in latex gloves from using inconsistent dispersion quality can include wrong mechanical / physical properties (eg. tensile strength), pinholes, white spots, heat ageing and reduced shelf life in storage. These technical issues facing producers of water based additive dispersions, be they specialists like Aquaspersions, or users who make their own dispersions in-house are important reasons why many users of additive dispersions outsource this activity to the specialists. However, there are a number of additional reasons for an outsourcing decision, which can broadly be described as ‘Commercial Reasons’ involving cost, strategic considerations, cash flow, management focus, peace of mind, and added value.

Cost factor A simplistic comparison of only the raw material cost would normally lead one to believe that in-house manufacture is cheaper than buying ready- made dispersion. However, to make a fair comparison, the dispersions user MUST consider the real costs of in-house dispersion manufacture which include many other items & factors as listed below : • Non-active ingredients cost • Capital cost of plant & equipment for dispersion manufacture • Cost of Maintenance & up-keep of plant & equipment including keeping an

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inventory of essential spare parts • Capital and running costs of laboratory & laboratory equipment required to control the quality of in-house dispersions • Cost of keeping and controlling raw materials inventories for multiple materials (outsourced dispersion can be a ‘composite’ containing several ingredients) including staff costs, factory space & financial outlay. • Cost of the factory space utilised for the in-house dispersion making activities. This is not only the actual cost of rental / purchase but an additional ‘opportunity cost’ if the space can be more profitably used for production of the mainline product (eg. gloves) • Cost of the labour / staff to carry out and control the production and QC • Cost of energy (usually electricity) for the mix preparation, milling & packaging operations. • Costs of treating effluent and disposing of wastes arising from dispersion manufacture • Cost of raw materials packaging waste (may require disposal in same category as chemical wastes) • Cost of potential downtime on mainline production which is relying on the in-house dispersion • Cost of wasted or down-graded final product if the quality consistency of the in-house dispersion is not maintained • Compared to a specialised dispersion manufacturer, the user making inhouse will have a smaller scale of operation which will result in bigger impact from fixed and capital costs; higher percentage of materials wasted; lower purchasing power on raw materials; costs of regulatory compliance per tonne of dispersion will be more and labour / staff cost per tonne of dispersion will be higher. When all of the additional real cost factors associated with in-house dispersion manufacture are taken into account by

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the dispersion user, it becomes easier to see why many dispersion users are prepared to pay a raw material cost premium for buying ready-made dispersions. This is a ‘current cost’ basis of comparison which if considered in full can be enough to make an outsourcing decision attractive. However, there are even more things for the professionally managed business to consider.

Management focus Despite the fact that the glove market continues to grow at a higher rate than general economic growth, and during recent years has proven itself to be “recessionproof”, it still remains highly competitive. In such an environment, the most successful glove producers are those who can expand fast enough to meet the growth opportunities whilst locating where they can add most value in the whole of the supply chain. Those who are most successful in meeting this challenge usually have one thing in common. They FOCUS on their core competency in relation to where they can add the most value for their customers. Irrespective of the product(s), strong marketing is the first step backed up by strong concentration on Core Competency and rapid response to market changes.

Despite the fact that the glove market continues to grow at a higher rate than general economic growth, and during recent years has proven itself to be “recession-proof”, it still remains highly competitive

This is well proven Business Strategy; but for producers of dipped latex goods who outsource their additives dispersions, it translates into the following benefits:

Rapid expansion of operations to gain economies of scale and new customers is easier, both in practical terms (less space, less equipment to buy) and cash flow. Management time is used more effectively, for example, to add value through product segmentation, as opposed to making necessary improvements to a non-core activity which will not impact so much to the bottom line.

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If the company to whom the additive dispersions are outsourced is really a specialist, (Aquaspersions does nothing else other than make additive dispersions & emulsions), they will work extremely hard and

effectively as their whole business is depending upon doing a good job. They will also be very keen to work with customers to innovate and add value. Even in the “at one time controlled” major markets of China and India, which are now the major engines of a global economic recovery, all kinds of organisations are coming to terms with the need to focus on core competency, outsource what they used to make themselves and import high quality raw materials to facilitate major improvements in business performance and finished products. A new generation of Management in these two powerhouses is really driving this change forward.

Health, safety & environment Last but definitely not the least, whatever the sphere of business or wherever the location, HSE issues are always very important. World class companies like DuPont have long recognised this fact and put it at the top of their priority list. Ignoring the importance of HSE can result, in the extreme cases, in total collapse of your business. Over the past decades we have seen several such high profile cases (which the author will not deliberate on in this article). In the most practical sense, by outsourcing additive dispersion & emulsion users can: • Avoid the handling of dusty material • Make the handling of any hazardous chemicals much safer • Significantly reduce process operator exposure to the chemicals • Avoid the cost of dust abatement & filtration equipment • Reduced chemical effluent & waste, saving both the environment and costs

Conclusion After taking all the above mentioned factors into consideration, it continues to be abundantly clear why paying some reasonable raw material cost premium for outsourced dispersions makes extremely good business sense.

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Malaysia:

World leader in rubber medical gloves Since its inception, MREPC has played a pivotal role in propelling Malaysia to be the leading exporter of quality rubber products and showcased Malaysia’s strengths and reliability in manufacturing quality rubber gloves for the world market

M

alaysia has been the world leader in supplying quality medical gloves to the health, medical and dental fraternity for many years now. In 2011, Malaysia garnered nearly 60% of global exports, estimated at around US$4 billion. Today, Malaysian rubber medical gloves are utilised in hospitals and health centres, in research laboratories and dental clinics, and in every kind of medical establishment in more than 180 countries worldwide. The Malaysian rubber glove industry has come of age, and is now focused on supplying quality products that meet the requirements of users and ensuring that manufacturing processes are efficient and cost-competitive. Government institutions work closely with manufacturers and exporters to improve quality, address conDato’ Teo Suat Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, sumer concerns and improve Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council access to markets.

Innovation and development

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Since the 1990’s, the Malaysian glove industry has been growing from strength to strength, manufacturing quality gloves to protect healthcare workers and patients from contamination and infection. Continuous research and innovation in the manufacturing of quality medical gloves has become a prerequisite for success in a highly competitive industry. Private sector efforts in research and development are supported

by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), while the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) provides support in market research and promotion. Malaysia has achieved many firsts in the development of the glove industry. Malaysia is the first and the only glove manufacturing country in the world to introduce a product certification scheme for natural rubber latex gloves, the Standard Malaysian Glove (SMG) in 1998. The SMG was formulated by the Malaysian Rubber Board and the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association, in consultation with regulatory bodies such as the US FDA and other relevant authorities, to provide quality assurance for low-protein examination gloves that are lightly powdered or powder-free. All SMG-certified gloves have to conform to very stringent technical specifications, particularly those related to barrier integrity, as well as minimum allowable protein and powder contents. The SMG scheme is dynamic, and is revised from time to time to be in line with international glove standards such as the U.S. ASTM D3578 and the European EN455-2. In the 1990’s, the Malaysian glove manufacturers introduced the automatic packaging system for sterile gloves, followed by the robotic dipping process simulation in the next decade. In 2004, the industry presented the world’s first high stress relaxation and lightweight nitrile examination glove and also leap-frogged in process innovation by installing double former dipping lines that increased glove production capacities by 300%. Today,

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the Malaysian manufacturers are capable of producing 30,000 pieces of gloves per hour per line, the highest in the glove industry.

The role of MREPC The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) was established with the vision of propelling Malaysia to be the leading exporter of quality rubber products. Since inception, MREPC has participated in more than 100 trade shows, 20 marketing and technical missions to more than 30 countries to showcase Malaysia’s strength and reliability in manufacturing quality rubber gloves for the world market. More than 100 rubber medical device manufacturers have benefitted from participating in these market promotion events organised by MREPC.

Medical gloves

In 2012, MREPC organised participation in ten trade shows and two marketing missions and has also arranged working visits and business matching sessions for nearly 30 manufacturers of rubber medical devices. Taking cognizance of the economic uncertainties in the traditional markets of the US and Europe, promotional efforts have been focussed on emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa in recent years. These efforts have been rewarded with increased exports to the new markets. In 2013, MREPC will continue its promotional activities to the emerging markets of ASEAN, Brazil, India and China, while not neglecting markets in Europe and the US. MREPC representative offices in the US, Europe and China will continue to play an active role in promotional and research efforts. MREPC views the prospects for rubber gloves positively. Malaysian exports of rubber gloves are expected to continue to grow and expand globally. Interviewed by reporters during the signing ceremony for the upcoming 6th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition 2012 (6th IRGCE) recently, the CEO of MREPC, Dato’ Teo Suat Cheng, expressed confidence in the Malaysian glove industry, stating that the export of rubber glove products has proven to be recession-proof. Exports are expected to

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grow at around 10.6% this year. In addition to promoting Malaysian rubber gloves in world markets, MREPC has undertaken to share the latest information on the importance of choosing the right barrier protection in managing infection control through educational presentations at relevant seminars and workshops. MREPC has made presentations at seminars in the US, Germany, the UK, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and most recently in Ukraine and Russia in 2012. Increasing the awareness of the healthcare community on barrier protection is seen as an important corporate social responsibility activity that MREPC has been able to undertake effectively.

Advertising campaign The latest initiative undertaken by MREPC to promote Malaysian rubber products is through the launch of a global advertising campaign in 2011. This advertising campaign, primarily through website advertising, has helped to increase awareness of Malaysian rubber products generally and to present Malaysia as a source of quality rubber products. Print advertisements with the same objective can also be found in in-flight magazines, trade journals and other specialised magazines. To facilitate ease of access for prospective buyers who wish to source quality Malaysian rubber products, MREPC has created the MREPC Marketplace, a website that catalogues thousands of Madein-Malaysia rubber products and more than 500 Malaysian rubber product manufacturers. Buyers can freely access this website at www.mrepc.com/marketplace to source for the most competitive rubber products offered from Malaysia. With a long and illustrious history in supplying quality rubber products to world markets, the Malaysian rubber products industry today offers a wide range of products manufactured by well-established and reliable companies, with strong support from the Government and private institutions. When it comes to rubber products, three words inspire confidence “Made in Malaysia”.

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Brightway Group

A one-stop centre for quality gloves The Brightway Group is making great strides in the field of medical and industrial disposable gloves

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he Brightway Group comprises Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd and two subsidiary companies — Laglove (M) Sdn Bhd and Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd, the two main production facilities. The Group has a total of 32 lines and is capable of producing 225 million gloves per month. The Group’s employee strength is 2100. “Our wide product range has made our Group a market leader, as a one-stop centre for gloves. With continuous improvement, we are able to satisfy our customers’ needs and maintain our status as a premier glove manufacturer,” says Dr G Baskaran, the Group Managing Director of

the Brightway Group.

Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd Incorporated in 1988, Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd produces a comprehensive range of products for medical, safety and cleanroom applications. Brightway commenced its manufacturing operations with four production lines in 1992. It is located at Batu Belah, Klang, Selangor, which is close to Port Klang. It has now a production capacity of 39 million speciality gloves per month with the support of 400 dedicated employees. Brightway houses the Group’s administration, testing, research and development centres. “Our strength is in our ability to meet customer specifications and we provide a wide range of products in line with the quality requirements of the customer and the authorities,” says Dr Baskaran. The company has a state-of-the-art Cleanroom facility that is capable of processing gloves to Class 10 and Class 100. The Cleanroom consists of the RO-DI Water System that maintains high purity DI water of 17

Dr G Baskaran, Group Managing Director, Brightway Group

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The pillar of strength

D

r G Baskaran, the Group Managing Director of the Brightway Group of Companies, has shown exceptional leadership acumen in taking the Group to greater heights. Born in Taiping, Perak, in 1953, Dr Baskaran moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1970 after completing his tertiary education. He pursued his studies and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. After having worked in various managerial positions in multinational companies, Dr Baskaran got into the business arena in 1985. In 1986, he began trading in gloves. He set up his own packing facility with about 120 workers to pack these gloves purchased in bulk from the manufacturers. Soon he spread his wings into the export market. By then, he had acquired immense knowledge of the rubber gloves industry. In 1991, he took a bold step to do his own manufacturing by taking over an abandoned glove factory with 2 partially completed production lines. Since then, there has been no looking back. Juggling between setting up his own manufacturing plant and overseeing the packing facility did not deter Dr Baskaran from pursuing his academics further. He obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration in the year 1991. In the year 2008, he signed up to do his Doctorate in Business Administration with the Golden State University, USA. He completed the same in 2011 and received his Doctorate at a glittering graduation ceremony on April 22, 2012.

mega ohms, complete with Ultra-pure air handling system and laboratory testing equipment (particles, ions, NVR & FTIR). Within its facilities, the company also has a well-equipped Laboratory wherein Protein Testing, Ageing, Tensile Testing and Powder Content Testing are conducted. These tests are carried out by its trained QA personnel to ensure that the products leaving the factory meet the standards and customer requirements.

Laglove (M) Sdn Bhd Incorporated in 1991, Laglove (M) Sdn Bhd, located at Kaj ang, Selangor, began production in 1991 with two production lines and a capacity of 6 million gloves per month. Laglove now has 8 production lines with an output of 48 million pieces per month, producing mostly Cleanroom and EMS (ULINFPA certified) gloves in Nitrile and Natural Latex.

Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd began operations in 1999. The company is located at Port Klang, Se1angor. It houses 16 production lines, inclusive of seven state-of-the-art double former lines, with an output of 138 million pieces per month.

Innovative products The company has succeeded in introduc-

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ing a breakthrough in comfort. The company came up with the innovative “Fingerflex” in 2005 which has been patented. “We have done various tests on users who have found the Fingerflex gloves to be more comfortable to work with. These gloves have good dexterity and great comfort and are sold widely in Japan, USA and Australia. This is another example of our quest to satisfy our customers with continuous improvement,” adds Dr Baskaran. The company started developing the female condom main component in 2005 and is the only company producing this product and supplying the same for further processing and finishing to the patent holders.

Business foray Today, the Group has 32 production lines

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with an output of 225 million gloves per month. One of the first companies to manufacture nitrile gloves in Malaysia (1996), Brightway Group has developed various types of gloves for the niche market. The company manufactures latex and nitrile gloves up to 24” length for various applications. The company’s market segments are mainly Cleanroom and Medical and boasts of a Class 10 Cleanroom. “Since 1991, after having got into production, the company has been targeting more niche market products, rather than the traditional ones, and this has helped in the growth of the company’s business in a healthy manner. The Group is making continuous improvements in its production lines to satisfy its customers,” says Dr Baskaran.

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Top Glove

World’s top manufacturer of

high-quality gloves Over the years, Top Glove has grown by leaps and bounds to become the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer with 23 factories and 458 production lines

T

he name `Top Glove’ is synonymous with high-quality gloves. Founded in 1991 with one factory, 3 production lines and 100 staff, Top Glove has grown by leaps and bounds to become the world’s largest

in Malaysia, Thailand, China and sales offices in the United States and Germany. It serves more than 1,000 customers in 185 countries. Top Glove was listed on the Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur on March 27, 2001. “Top Glove’s clear business direction, a good corporate culture and management practices as well as a highly efficient management team and good team work have contributed well to the Group’s success,” says Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman, Top Glove.

Extensive range of products

Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman, Top Glove

rubber glove manufacturer with 23 factories and 458 production lines. The company, headquartered in Klang, Malaysia, with a capacity of 40 billion pieces of gloves, has 11,000 employees with locations

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Top Glove has an extensive range of quality products such as Nitrile Examination Gloves, Soft Nitrile Examination Gloves, Powdered Latex gloves, PowderFree Latex Gloves, Surgical Gloves, Vinyl Examination Gloves, Stretchy Vinyl Examination Gloves, Household/Industrial Gloves, Long Length 12” High Risk Gloves, High & Low Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Gloves, Cleanroom Gloves, Cast Polyethylene (CPE) and Polyethtlene (PE) Gloves & Aprons. Top Glove has established a solid customer base over the years due to the high quality of its products and excellent service. Risk is spread out by not relying

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


on any one particular customer or country as there is no single customer constituting more than 4% of the company’s revenue. Proactive and aggressive marketing plans are devised to identify potential markets to expand the company’s presence. The product range is designed to cater to both developed and emerging markets, unlike other competitors who just focus on developed market. Top Glove’s ability to project and foresee future growth markets has enabled the company to stay ahead of its competitors.

A worker at Top Glove Corporation Bhd performing the water-tight test

Health, Safety First and Be Honest”. The tagline states the purpose of a company and serves as a continuous reminder to employees to continue to strive for excellence and continuous improvement. “Top Glove believes that the key factor for its success is people. Top Glove practises open and transparent management style. Every staff or worker is a joint venture entity or business partner with the company. This means every employee takes ownership and is accountable in managing the company. Together we en-

Top Glove automation initiatives with robotic arm stripping facility

Top Glove has stellar financial track record with a compounded Annual Growth Rate of 32% for revenue and 29% for profit after tax since it was listed in 2001. In addition, Top Glove has sustainable and steady growth of dividend with target payout ratio of 40%.

sure that the joint venture is successful by continuing to grow and add value. Employees also practise Top Glove’s Business Ethics in their daily working routine with honesty, integrity and transparency,” says Lim Wee Chai.

A strong balance sheet of RM300 million in net cash testifies the company’s solid financial position. This allows Top Glove to expand when the time is right to gain market share and further consolidate its leading global position.

Ethical standards

Top Glove has many employees who have stayed on with the company since the early days and have grown together with the company. The long-serving management team provides continuity and stability to the business and enables the development of forward-looking strategies for the business to expand and grow.

Top Glove has a business tagline –“Top Glove, Top Quality, Top Efficiency, Good

The company promotes a workplace where general factory workers can work

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

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Top Glove’s expansion plans No. of production lines

Capacity p.a.

Target completion

Current: 21 glove factories

458 lines

40 bil pcs p.a.

F18 (Banting, Malaysia)

16 lines

1.5 bil pcs p.a.

April 2013

F23 phase 2 (Ipoh, Malaysia)

16 lines

1.5 bil pcs p.a.

May 2013

F25 (Klang, Malaysia)

20 lines

1.8 bil pcs p.a.

August 2013

Total expansion by August 2013

52 lines

4.8 bil pcs p.a.

Total by August 2013 : 22 gloves factors

510 lines

44.80 bil pcs p.a.

in a safe environment while achieving high productivity. Regular skill training is provided to improve their knowledge and understanding of occupational health and safety issues in the glove industry.Top Glove is guided by the investment direction of “earn two healthy dollars and invest one efficient dollar”. What it means is that only invest RM1 for every RM2 earned and ensure that it is earned in a healthy manner.

Future roadmap Top Glove’s goal is to achieve 30% of global market share by 2015. The company hopes to achieve this by investing RM3 billion over the next 15 years to further expand its production capacity with advanced and high technology production facilities as well as to strengthen its R&D, upstream and downstream activities. An estimated 40 new factories will be built across Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia equipped with advanced technology equipment. By the end of August 2013, with ongoing factory expansions and the completion of another two new factories -- Factory 24 and 25 -- the total Group’s production capacity will have increased from the present 40 billion to 44.8 billion pieces of gloves and 510 production lines to meet the expected global demand of more than 154 billion pieces per annum.

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Top Glove will put equal emphasis on investment in emerging markets to capture the demand growth in these markets as a result of increase in healthcare standards. Top Glove recently acquired an Indonesian company that holds a 60-year right to operate a rubber

forest plantation covering 30,778 ha on two islands east of the southern Sumatra city of Palembang. Top Glove will continue actively to acquire plantation land in Malaysia and other countries. With these acquisitions, the company will be involved in the upstream business of planting and processing their own rubber that will give them consistent raw material supply and also mitigate commodity price volatility on the overall Group’s performance.

Other challenges The industry’s biggest challenge is the gazette minimum wage policy set at RM900 monthly which takes effect on January 1, 2013. Top Glove intends to reduce the use of low-skilled labour and improve manufacturing processes by using more advanced technology and automation which reduce dependence on manual labour. It is proposed to install robotic arms at strategic points in the manufacturing processes so that the stripping, stacking and counting functions become less reliant on human labour. Latex being the major raw material required in manufacturing rubber gloves, its volatility in price becomes critical in determining the average selling price of glove. As such, the company will continue to take preventive measures such as moving into the upstream rubber plantation so that it is less reliant on latex raw materials. At the same time, Top Glove has been increasing the production of nitrile gloves to avoid over-reliance on natural rubber gloves. The nitrile glove business is doing well and is expanding. Since last year, the company raised its nitrile production from 8% to 15%, which will be further increased in future. “Market condition has become more and more competitive. Factors like unstable commodity prices, excess production capacity and stringent healthcare standards have pushed us to strive harder and smarter to raise our bar to consistently produce high-quality gloves at efficient low cost,” adds Lim Wee Chai.

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KOSSAN

Driving on quality and innovation towards a

Established in 1979 with only four workers, KOSSAN has come a long way. It is today a name synonymous with quality in the global rubber products market including that of disposable latex gloves and a wide range of technological rubber products for the applications of automotive, marine, construction, infrastructure and many other industries

I

With more than two decades of enviable track record in gloves manufacturing, Malaysia’s KOSSAN Group enjoys a pride of place in the global rubber gloves industry as being one of the top-class players in the field.

Kossan’s amazing strides in the global glove industry have always been driven by the Group’s passion to produce the world’s highest quality gloves and to constantly provide innovative product solutions for the present and the future needs of the industry. In fact, being in the medical gloves manufacturing industry for long, Kossan has grown big and seasoned enough to well understand and anticipate the needs of its customers, especially those in the medical healthcare sector.

KOSSAN joined the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia (formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange) in 1996 and in year 2010, KOSSAN was the winner of The Edge Billion Ringgit Club Corporate Awards being the highest return on equity over 3 years in the Industrial Product Sector.

“At Kossan, we look at quality from every angle in terms of functionality, safety, formulation, consistency, manufacturing, customer service, technical support and many more to consistently ensure customer satisfaction,” says Dato’ Lim Kuang Sia, Managing Director/Chief Executive

n 1989, KOSSAN ventured into medical gloves manufacturing and with its eleven lines, KOSSAN was producing 60 million pieces per month then. It is currently producing more than 1 billion pieces of medical gloves per month.

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Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Officer. “As quality means high degree of excellence, we take great pride in instilling international quality management systems in the design and development of every product we deliver,” he adds.

Ambitious forays In the gloves division, Kossan is confident that the demand for all types of gloves will remain strong and accordingly, the planned expansion of the 9 new single formers lines capable of producing 1.25 billion pieces is now ready for commissioning. The annual rubber glove capacity will reach 14.5 billion by the end of the year. With further expansion, the annual rubber glove capacity will increase to 21 billion pieces in 2015. It is also planned to increase Dato’ Lim Kuang Sia, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer nitrile gloves output from 38% to 44% in 2012 to meet increasing decial glove segments. mands from buyers. The surgical glove segment makes up about 3% of the group’s rubber glove capacity. The new RM 45 million surgical gloves production plant is also expected to add 700 million to the group’s surgical glove capacity later this year in October. With the stronger demand and increased output, Kossan is confident of scaling new heights both in revenue and profits. Kossan also recently acquired a 51% stake in a Chinese-based clean room technology company that again, provide a good platform for the Group to diversify its already wide product range to clean room gloves, masks and wipes for the electronic related industries. By building a bigger capacity in surgical and clean room gloves within this year and next one to two years, Kossan will emerge as the major manufacturer-supplier in these spe-

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Excellent customer relations “At Kossan, we are dedicated in maintaining excellent customer service and practising professionalism in our business undertakings which form a part of our success. This is in line with our Corporate Vision,” says Dato’ Lim Kuang Sia. Over the years, the company has taken significant efforts to ensure that all the customers are satisfied with the company’s products and the services it has rendered. Adopting the shortest possible response time to customers’ feedback, timely delivery and good quality assurance were parts of this efforts, he said adding, “Our efforts have won us good recognition and strong trust from our customers and suppliers; we shall reinforce this belief that Kossan products are synonymous with quality, timely delivery and excellent customer service.”

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Kossan factory

World-class facilities Kossan’s world-class facilities are designed and equipped to produce gloves of the highest quality and productivity. The company focuses on automation technology in the operational processes such as auto latex compounding and mixing of chemicals to ensure product consistencies and operational efficiencies. Critical parameters that can impact the consistency of glove production are continuously monitored through the company’s in‐house designed Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Real time monitoring on the performance of process operations provides instantaneous feedback to the production floor for line adjustment if necessary.

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Demand for medical gloves is growing significantly from year to year due to increased awareness on the importance of barrier protection. In view of this situation, Kossan has designed new dipping lines with increased productivity and optimizing energy, power,

water and chemical utilization. This new technology not only increases output, but also plays a part in process optimization, thereby increasing Kossan’s competitiveness in overall operational costs and higher efficiency. In order to increase manufacturing efficiencies, one of the areas to achieve better performance and output is by reducing the labour dependency and handling. As such, Kossan invests heavily in automation of gloves stripping, packing and gloves handling processes. “For surgical and sterile gloves, our sterile packing facility is well-equipped with automated packing machines from reputable makers to ensure only the best quality packaging system is installed and only quality packaged product is delivered to the customers. We continuously look into the future to bring the latest technologies in packaging solutions with enhanced quality and

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Kossan has the widest range of Home Care /Medical Examination gloves including revolutionary accelerator-free nitrile examination gloves that have FDA approval with low dermatitis claim and damp-donning surgical gloves. More products under the brand names are: Pureshield®, INtouch® V natural, INTOUCHW01E, INtouch® V synthetic , INTOUCHW02E, INTOUCHW03E, INTOUCHW04E, CHEMAX 7th Sense® , CX7500, Pureshield® etc

benefits,” says Dato’ Lim Kuang Sia.

R&D capabilities Kossan believes that Research and Development (R & D) and automation are important to ensure sustainability of business and innovations in processes and products. Kossan has invested millions in research activities in these areas. Kossan’s Research and Development (R&D) Department is led by experience researchers and engineers, backed by a team of enthusiastic Chemists and Engineers. The R & D department provides efficient R&D support to the company’s effort in providing innovative rubber gloves, optimizing process operations and cost reduction. The accumulated results from these well-planned research activities lead to innovative quality glove products that meet the ever-increasing demand of Kossan’s customers. “Our R&D Chemists are well trained in advanced analytical techniques such as analysis using the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (FTIR), We use robotic dipping extensively to simulate the factory dipping conditions. Extensive studies on the film properties of our designed medical gloves are being carried out before they are introduced to the market.” says the CEO.

Certifications and awards Kossan is the proud recipient of a number of

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

certifications and awards. The certifications include BS EN ISO 9001 : 2008, BS EN ISO 13485 : 2003, CE Certificate, CMDCAS ISO 13485: 2003, Health Canada Medical Device Listing (HCMDL). Its testing laboratory is also accredited to ISO 17025. Kossan’s award basket has in it Malaysia Investors Relations Award (2011), SME Recognition Award ,The Edge Billion Ringgit Club, The 9th Asia Pacific International Honesty Enterprise Keris Award and many more.

Products range Kossan has the widest range of Home Care /Medical Examination gloves including revolutionary accelerator-free nitrile examination gloves that have FDA approval with low dermatitis claim and damp-donning surgical gloves. More products under the brand names are: Pureshield®, INtouch® V natural, INTOUCHW01E, INtouch® V synthetic , INTOUCHW02E, INTOUCHW03E, INTOUCHW04E, CHEMAX 7th Sense® , CX7500, Pureshield® etc These brands cater to a variety of market segments such as Home Care, Medical Examination, Emergency/High Risk, Chemotherapy, Surgical Procedure, Dental Care, Diagnostic & Laboratory and Industrial.

Towards a greener tomorrow Kossan is committed to a greener environment. Kossan uses state- of- the- art technology in effluent treatment in compliance with environment regulatory requirements and has implemented policies for waste reduction. The company is also committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for all its employees. “Kossan’s ultimate objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable growth to all our stakeholders,” reiterates the CEO adding, “As a responsible Corporate Citizen, we shall not overlook our corporate social responsibility which will mean, sufficient attention and efforts will also be placed to develop a greener and better world.”

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CAREPLUS GROUP

Driving on quality and relationship One of the front runners in the global glove industry with global footprints Careplus Group of Malaysia has over the years built its niche market based on product types and service excellence.

F

rom a moderate beginning in early 1990s as a small to medium size disposable glove manufacturer and exporter, Careplus has built itself up to become a major partner with several customers driving on its philosophy of delivering quality products and services. Today this is encapsulated in its tag line, Quality and Relationship You Can Trust.

A panoramic view of Careplus’ facility

CAREPLUS GROUP (www.careplus.com) was listed in the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia in December 2010 to grow its business. As part of its growth strategy the group has acquired two properties and

74

signed a joint venture agreement to expand its traditional base out of Asia and North America.

Expansion plans Careplus Group comprises three subsidiaries of which two, Careplus (M) Sdn Bhd and Rubbercare Protection Products Sdn Bhd, are wholly owned. The third subsidiary, Careglove Global Sdn Bhd, is a joint venture company with a major Brazilian glove distributor, Descarpack DescartĂĄveis do Ltda, to supply into the Brazilian market. By the third quarter of 2013 its production capacity is expected to increase further with the installation of 5 more double former production lines. Thereafter the capacity is expected to grow by 10-15% annually. The Group presently exports into over 20 countries to more than 50 customers. Sales volume has grown by over 11% since 2011 and is expected to grow at the same or faster rate as new capacities are added and commissioned. Careplus is an examination rubber glove manufacturer but has also embarked into

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Management The Group is managed by a board comprising directors with diverse skills and experience. Headed by Yew Nieng Choon, Group chairman and founder of the business in 1988, the operation is managed by its Group Chief Executive Officer Lim Kwee Shyan who is also the current President of the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA). Assisting them are two other executive directors and two independent non-executive directors with legal and accounting experiences.

Lim Kwee Shyan

manufacturing of nitrile gloves, surgical and clean room gloves besides trading in other disposable protection products such as face masks, respirators, latex dental dams, gowns, caps and shoe covers.

Milestones Operations of Careplus gathered momentum when its subsidiary, Rubbercare Protection Products (formerly Perusahaan Pelindung Getah (M) Sdn Bhd) was incorporated in 1988. It started out with only a single production line in the early years. When it got listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia

Careplus is an examination rubber glove manufacturer but has also embarked into manufacturing of nitrile gloves, surgical and clean room gloves besides trading in other disposable protection products such as face masks, respirators, latex dental dams, gowns, caps and shoe covers.

its production capacity has expanded to 6 lines focusing on the manufacture of natural rubber examination gloves. Careplus also has a good mix of OBM:OEM whereby its own Rubbercare brand commanded about 30% of total sales in the financial year ended 31.1.2012.

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

The Group currently employs a total of 561 employees of which 363 are contractual foreign workers. The number of employees will grow in tandem with the increased production output. However, in line with its policy of automating as many of its sub processes the dependence on workers, especially foreign workers, will be continually reviewed and capped.

Optimistic outlook Careplus operates in a competitive glove industry among several leading and larger manufacturers. However, over the years, it has built its niche market based on product types and service excellence. Taking into account the projected demand rate of no less than 10% per annum and continued innovation to stay sustainable within this quarter century old industry which has made Malaysia the leading and undisputed supplier of disposable medical gloves to the world, commanding some 63% of total global consumption, Careplus has high hopes about future growth. “In this backdrop, we are optimistic about staying with the pack in building our strong network globally; we will take part in industry issues such as developing harmonised international standards for various glove types and engage with regulatory bodies, government agencies and associated bodies in transforming the glove manufacturing process in the coming decade” says the Group CEO adding that “we welcome new business partners to collaborate with us in this dynamic healthcare industry”.

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Excelkos:

Par excellence in world rubber chemicals supply

Excelkos Sdn Bhd is one Malaysian company which took the courage to foray into the global market place at a time when many others in Malaysia did not even dare to think so. In the process, Excelkos has carved for itself a dominant slot in global rubber chemicals supply

Team Excelkos

T

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wenty years ago, Malaysian companies were urged to “Think Global, Act Global� by the Malaysian Government in an attempt to transform these domestic companies into international flagships. However, many could not see themselves as having the competency and skills to rival international companies abroad. To them, Malaysia was not ready to enter the global battlefield. In some industries like the rubber

chemical sector, the market was volatile and competition became more aggressive with emerging new players, especially from Thailand and Indonesia, the two nations that had overtaken Malaysia as the top producers of latex and rubber. In spite of it all, one company made globalisation a reality. Excelkos Sdn Bhd took the courage to dispel this myth that

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Malaysian companies were not ready, foraying itself into the global marketplace in early 1999. It gradually made a name, carving itself a dominant niche in global rubber chemicals supply.

Transforming vision into reality What started as one man’s vision has become a reality. With passion, determination and far-sightedness, Tan Khay Chye set up Excelkos on August 8, 1988, a day deemed auspicious according to the Chinese beliefs. “Excelkos” is derived from the Latin words Excel (Excellent) and Kos (House). Both words when combined create Excelkos which literally means House of Excellence. Bringing along many years of his working experience in a multinational rubber and paint corporation, Tan’s expertise culminated in leading the company. Having only

Andy Tan, MD

one product in hand -- calcium nitrate from Yara International -- he gradually and successfully took on more agencies and partners along the way. This gave Excelkos a good headstart to become the pioneer in the rubber chemicals supply field in Malaysia. At that time, the market was dominated by multinational companies such as ICI, Bayer, Monsanto, Rhone Poulenc, to name a few. Excelkos was not intimidated by this market dominance and took up the challenges

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

in its stride. From a humble beginning of operating from a small office with a staff strength of merely four people, Excelkos saw the birth of its own manufacturing plant in Ipoh eight years later. The plant, Tiarco Chemical (M) Sdn Bhd, is a joint-venture company with Tiarco Chemical USA, and today, Excelkos takes pride in having more than 60 staff members on board, a sales office in Thailand, and other network of partners the world over. The partnership with Tiarco has also opened the doors to its network of companies around the world that allowed Excelkos to leverage on the technical expertise, excellent sales network and strong camaraderie that further accelerated its growth in the industry.

Creating excellence in both wet and dry rubber industry From just representing calcium nitrate, Excelkos gradually widened its array of solutions or product range. It evolved and grew with the changing scenario of the rubber industry which has matured and become more sophisticated in terms of its requirements. This allowed Excelkos to expand its product range to include virtually every chemical used in the latex dipped product process. Today, Excelkos can proudly claim its position as a leading and key player with market dominance in composite dispersions, surfactants and stabilizers for the glove industry, colours for gloves, condoms and balloons, calcium nitrate latex coagulant, silicone-free dewebbers or defoamers, waxes, absorbable corn starch donning agent and calcium carbonate filler. Besides the latex or wet rubber sector, Excelkos also remains active in the dry or industrial rubber sector, representing Cabot for industrial carbon blacks and Hans W. Barbe for anti-tacks or mould releasers. Today, Excelkos has even diversified its range of products to complement the needs of its customers including customizable latex compound for carpet underlay, chemicals for grease and lubricant applications, liquid dithiocarbanates for waste water treatment, latex polymerizers, and ABS Resin Polymerizers. There are also a few other products in the pipeline which

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Excelkos hopes to be able to launch within the next year.

Work culture inspired by deep-rooted tradition of excellence. Excelkos experienced a dynamic growth not by sheer coincidence but through perseverance, determination, hard work, business acumen and a team of dedicated staff. Spurred by the deep-rooted philosophy of both Excelkos and Tiarco which value “customers as their own partners” and their commitment to stay “customer-focused, ensuring the staff are armed with distinctive capabilities and performance anatomy that

Adding value to customers with 3600 support services Driven by the philosophy to stay “customer-focused”, Excelkos does not just sell products to its customers. It creates value by developing custom-made products that suit their requirements. Excelkos looks into every aspect of their customer’s business needs, providing consultancy and technical support to ensure all its customers are truly satisfied. In other words, it provides 3600 support services to them. “At Excelkos, sales do not end when our customers or partners sign on the dotted line. We believe and strive to forge a synergistic relationship with them. We even help some companies negotiate worldwide contract pricing for their business partners as well as act as a JIT Hub for certain partners. This is where we add value,” claimed Andy Tan. In fact, many Excelkos customers were cottage industries when they first started but had gradually grown to be public listed companies. Among Excelkos’ many customers is the world’s largest latex examination glove manufacturer as well as the world’s largest synthetic glove manufacturer. As an organisation that has “grown-up” with the latex dipped goods industry, Excelkos has been privileged to have a front seat on this ride and seen the many pains and successes of this industry.

Tiarco staff

integrates leadership, strategy and innovation.” Excelkos’ work culture of delivering the most viable solutions has won the confidence of both its customers and business partners.

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This philosophy has become the cornerstone to realise the company’s vision and mission. According to Andy Tan , Managing Director and the second generation managing Excelkos, “The past leadership has laid a good groundwork for Excelkos. We are now building on the success and taking Excelkos to soar even higher, charting into new untapped territories.”

While maintaining its work culture, Excelkos is aware that they have to grow with the times, by keeping itself adaptable to market trends and demands and by understanding every detail of its customer needs accurately. For instance, it has developed specialised formulations for new types of latex products as well as fragrances and colour-matching gloves to suit customer requirements.

The Winning Team: Working in synergy On the Excelkos sales team, Andy said with pride, “We have a very dedicated and dynamic sales team that continues to add value to our customers and work in synergy as a family and a team. The team’s

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


“Textile Rubber & Chemical Co. USA and Excelkos-Tiarco have been doing business together for nearly 20 years now. Integrity, professionalism and dedication to both their customers and employees best describe this exceptional organisation. TRCC is truly honored to now call Malaysia home, and ExcelkosTiarco and the Tan Family “Partners,” says Chip Howalt, President, TRCC

“Crusader has enjoyed a multi-generational relationship with Excelkos and the Tan Family for the past 24 years. We have watched Excelkos emerge into a major regional manufacturer and distributor. We are proud of their accomplishments and value our relationship as a trading partner.”: Petra Vance, Crusader Chemical Co. Inc.

The Excelkos staff at their office

commitment has allowed us to grow from strength to strength, and enable our customers to stay loyal to us. In fact, the leadership of this present sales team has been with us for more than 20 years!” Gratitude must be bestowed to Tan Li Pin, the General Manager and Goh Soo Kheng, the Senior Sales Manager who have played pivotal roles in the growth of the company. Not held back by the “small company mentality,” the two men have worked alongside Tan Khay Chye and Andy all these years. From the days when their office was just a rented space in Damansara Utama, they have grown along with the company, which subsequently moved to its own premise in Sri Damansara and now, at the Mah Sing Industrial Park in Shah Alam. The sales team does not just focus on driving sales but also on creating a stronger relationship with customers both locally and abroad. To build this trust and relationship, especially overseas, Andy himself is always hands-on overseeing the operations and often paying a visit to the offices. Excelkos continues its globalsation effort by penetrating into the world’s fastest growing economy, China. Working hand in hand with a sister company in Shanghai, which is also its distributor partner, Excelkos has already made its presence felt in China. Today, Excelkos is proud to be able to take the Malaysian flagship of rubber chemical industry not just to the ASEAN countries but also to the Middle East, South India and

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Australia. “We couldn’t have reached this far if not for all our partners’ support,” Andy Tan added. “Tiarco Chemical USA, our business partner, has been very supportive of us all the way. The Tiarco Factory Manager and Administrative Manager are both pioneer members of Tiarco and instrumental to the stability and success of our manufacturing arm. Along the way, we have grown and added new and key members to our manufacturing, enhancing our overall R&D and QA abilities.” For all its commitment to excellence, Tiarco Chemical was awarded the ISO9001:2008 Quality Management Certificate in 2009. Apart from the ISO award, Excelkos has also been awarded many distinguished Delivery & Service Awards as well as Quality and Consistency Awards and Performance Awards by its customers from around the world. With regard to staff motivation, Andy said, “We strive to keep our staff challenged. The sales team is allowed to take the lead but we switch their regions to challenge them and enable them to experience new market zones. The Staff is given the flexibility or freedom to conduct their own internal meetings. We also realise that striking a balance between work and personal growth is equally important. Therefore, we ensure that the welfare of our staff is taken care of, from providing incentives to team

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building activities to fostering a close family-like environment.” Believing that a good work mentality also comes with physical fitness, the company has also conducted trips to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. One of the most challenging trips has been reaching Malaysia’s highest mountain peak, Mount Kinabalu. The team has been exposed to different activities from badminton to fishing and golfing together to keep the team spirit flying. “What is so unique about Excelkos is that we work in an integrated manner and support one another like family, whether it is the sales team, technical team, R&D team or operation and logistics team. By working in synergy, we just don’t meet but surpass our

An Ekos ISO tanker delivering Dipcal LQ to customers

customers’ expectations,” said Andy with a smile. Today, Excelkos is able to support its key customers worldwide regardless of their location and this is attributed to its strong internal sales network and technical team as well as its principal support to work in synergy as a team.

Tapping on good future prospects of rubber industry

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The Malaysia Rubber Export Promotion Council reported that Malaysia rubber

products are sold to more than 180 countries worldwide. This year, sales are expected to reach RM15.5 billion. This is a 10 % growth, proving that this industry is somewhat recession proof. Last year, about RM14.2 billion worth of medical gloves, condoms, catheters, automotive components, industrial beltings, hoses and sports equipment were exported overseas. This is a far cry from only about RM848 million 20 years ago and RM3.33 billion in year 2000 for gloves sector. In the year 2011, the total value was RM9.89 billion. “We believe that Malaysia has all the potential to be the hub for the glove industry of the world. This is because Malaysia is currently in a unique position of having all the infrastructure and support needed to build its position, from engineering, technical, chemical to packaging and logistics. Bear in mind that not only is Malaysia one of the top producers for natural rubber latex but it is also the largest producer of synthetic NBR rubber latex for glove application,” claimed Andy convincingly. Apart from being the largest glove producer in the world, Malaysia is the largest catheter and condom manufacturer in the world as well. As a matter of fact, world-renowned PolymerLatex (now Synthomer) has made the decision to build its nitrile latex facility in Malaysia, giving the country a boost of confidence to Malaysia as a Glove Hub. In this respect, Yara International, a partner of Excelkos has also invested substantially in a calcium nitrate liquid facility (YARA’s first outside of Europe) in Port Klang. As Excelkos is a key player in the rubber chemical industry in Malaysia, it is all geared up to take the lead in realising this vision. After all, there is plenty of room to grow as it is projected that the total export value for gloves in Malaysia in the year 2020 will triple from the existing RM9.89 billion.

Future Direction Excelkos has come a long way to be where it is today. The company has

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grown tremendously over the past three years, and this is due to the rapid growth of the glove industry. Excelkos will continue to pursue new innovations, bringing in new technologies and chemicals to the industry. Research and Development will be given a further boost to improve its dispersion to match customer demands. “We are always in discussion with our partners to see the right time to introduce new products as well as trying to localise production where possible. With our manufacturing and technical expertise, we are confident to bring overseas manufacturing to our Malaysian shores.” Excelkos will also work with its partners even more closely and will leave no stone unturned to meet customers’ objectives and requirements for its products. These include greater accuracy of colour matching, working towards achieving REACH compliancy and meeting ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) requirements. Excelkos itself will push towards this end as well, seeing the importance of doing its bit for the environment. On Excelkos’ commitment to a green technology, Andy said, “We are very particular about our entire chemical disposal. That is why we have built our own Waste Water Treatment facility in our plant to ensure that any discharge will comply with the strict DOE standards. We try to emphasize recycling as much as we can at our plant as well as installing other equipment to ensure minimal dust and noise pollution.”

“Determination, professionalism an trustworthiness are outstanding qualities we found in Excelkos team.”: Kesirin Wongwatchana, General Starch Limited

“The Excelkos and Tiarco Malaysia Team has consistently demonstrated outstanding dedication in bringing their customers and partners value. Their highly professional team of commercial, operational and technical personnel have developed into industry leaders. We are proud to be associated with them.” Kevin Nolan, VP & General Manager, Tiarco Chemical USA, says.

Besides creating a sustainable green environment as part of the company’s mission,

“For over 20 years, Yara has collaborated with Excelkos on the basis of mutual respect and trust to grow the Calcium Nitrate business in the region. It is built on Yara’s global leadership in the Calcium Nitrate manufacturing, marketing and technology and Excelkos strong experience and knowledge in the latex dipping industry in the region; and has grown to be the Winning Team that the industry looks for when looking for Calcium Nitrate.”: Hendra Gunawan, Commercial Director - Industrial Nitrates, Asia, Yara Asia Pte Ltd.

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Andy also pointed out what the company set to achieve, “We hope to be a ONE-STOP CENTRE for all latex dipped and its ancillary products, providing the industry with their chemical requirements at affordable pricing and quality service.” Staying true to its tagline,“Your Partner. Your Solution”, Excelkos is poised to soar with greater aspiration as both a great partner and solution provider to your company. For more information, Call +603-7845 3533 or email andy.tan@excelkos.com. or visit: www.excelkos.com

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CeramTec, Malaysia

Leaders in surgical, household and industrial formers CeramTec, Malaysia, a group company of CeramTec GmbH, is an undisputed market leader in the Surgical, Household and Industrial former segment

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eramtTech, Malaysia, which has been in operation since 1993 is located in Seremban, about an hour’s drive down south from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia had been the choice location when the decision was taken to relocate from Germany mainly because of its due proximity to customers as well the excellent political and economic climate in Malaysia.

G Ravichandran Managing Director, CeramTec, Malaysia

The company’s leadership in the industry was achieved by constant R&D on material properties, development of anatomically fitting formers, advance coatings, textures and designs which are developed according to market requirement. “Quality is being maintained by a constant review of the processes and the driver to this is our customer feedback. This is also the reason our company takes great effort in sustaining the operative aspect via ISO9001:2008 certification,” says G Ravichandran, Managing Director.

Focus on quality Recently the company implemented additional quality related activities such as Process Audit and 5S. “Technical competence is also a key factor in ensuring consistency and our Malaysian operation gets the full support from the R&D Dept in our Headquarters in Germany,” adds Ravichandran. CeramTec, the pioneer in former development, has since 2010 installed 3 new robotic former dipping machines which is a further improvement from the already 4 auto casting machines. The current machine set-up is a further improvement in terms of quality and lead-time. CeramTec’s installed capacity of 150K pcs /month has, in the mean-

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time, enabled the company to meet the demands of the customer regarding leadtime. The company at the moment is a major supplier to NBR glove manufacturers who themselves are market leaders.

Cost effectiveness T Formers play a significant role in the glove dipping process and it is every manufacturer’s target to reduce scrap. CeramTec formers have been able to contribute to this savings with superior corrosion resistance to chemical attack, excellent thermal and mechanical crack properties, extremely tight tolerance of ±1% on dimensions, consistency in surface finishes and, not to mention, tight wall thickness tolerances. With glove weight coming down, every aspect of former is critical to ensure a smooth glove dipping process.

Innovation As a strategy to move away from low value added chain, Ravichandran believes that innovation and technical competence is the key to sustained success resulting in heavy investments in automation and higher technology in our processes. All the above activities run parallel to the production of traditionally more stable surgical, Household / Industrial former. Intellectual property rights and exclusivity is another key item CeramTec holds diligently as most of CeramTec’s model are customized and kept exclusive, thus enabling its customers to focus in the marketing of their product. “We think it’s an important aspect of our business to have continuity of supply which we have been doing for the last 100 years”, says Ravichandran .

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Mahakit Rubber Company Ltd.

Ambitious plans to surge ahead

One of the biggest rubber band manufacturing companies in Thailand, Mahakit Rubber Company is known for its high-quality branded products which are widely acclaimed and accepted across the globe. Currently, the company is on an expansion mode and is pushing into newer territories

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ahakit Rubber Company which began producing superior quality rubber bands and Para rubber products in 1973 has its own state-of-the-art production facility and a Para rubber plantation. The company is known for its most advanced production process and quality control methods. The customers are guaranteed of the finest products and timely deliveries. “We have the latest technology that enhances production capacity and enables greater quantity and quality,” says Rene Neef, Chief Operating Officer of the company, adding that Mahakit brand today is globally acclaimed and accepted meeting the demanding standards of over 40 countries.

Success saga Mahakit’s founder, Rew Chaisavetakanon, had been involved in the rubber industry since 1947. Thus began a success story based on experience and excellence that has grown for almost 4 decades. In 1976, Somchai Chaisavetakanon, who was then leading the company, moved its production base from Samut Prakan to Rayong. This was near the company’s rubber plantation and benefited from the advanced infrastructure of the Eastern Seaboard Development Project. An excellent location combined with extensive expertise enabled Mahakit Rubber Company to commence exporting high-quality rubber products to the world. The Chaisavetakanon family remains intensely involved in the day-to-day business affairs, with Mrs. Sureerat as Chairman of the Board, controlling the financial aspects of the operation, Wutthikrai handling the

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Natural Rubber business in various geographic locations and Mrs. Kittiya holding charge of Marketing and Sales activities of several business units within the group. Mahakit Rubber Company achieved an incredible 35% increase in export volume. Inspired marketing strategies have created demand for its products across the globe. It has also achieved significant expansion in the domestic market. The company’s strengths in sales and manufacturing meant extraordinary success for both its Para rubber and rubber band products.

Company mission Mahakit Rubber Company is dedicated to its mission: ‘To Provide the Best Quality Products & Services’ and continually strives to increase its capacity to develop and produce superior quality products in a diverse range of categories to meet all the demands of the world market and gain international acceptance. This has assured its success in becoming one of the biggest rubber manufacturing companies in Thailand and ensures sustainable future growth, says Rene Neef. The company’s products are superior because they use only the finest raw materials. The company benefits from the highest quality latex from its own exclusive rubber plantations located near its factory. The rubber production process begins by mixing selected chemicals with raw latex. This mixture is then shaped by specialised machinery. This extrudes long rubber tubing that can be further treated and diversified to meet given needs of use. At every step,

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Steering Mahakit to new heights

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t was in March 2011, Rene Neef, a Swiss National who has to his credit a long and successful international career, took over as COO of Mahakit and ever since, the company has been scaling new heights in sales, productivity and profitability. He also Rene Neef manages other group companies, such as the Neptune water bottling plant, service companies Kist Engineering and Kist Logistics. Rene Neef is a Diploma holder in Management from Henley Management College, England, and a Master in Business Administration from City University (Ashridge), England. He has worked in Switzerland,

Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Thailand in numerous fields such as finance, manufacturing and business process re-engineering A firm advocate of superior people management to achieve the essential financial targets, Rene Neef believes in empowering his team by conceding responsibility with accountability. He chooses his team by selecting the finest experts in their respective fields and encourages a “we” versus “I” approach within the company in order to achieve a paradigm shift in corporate culture. “Indeed, customers’ quality expectations are continually on the rise whereas competitive pricing remains a major deciding factor of all buyers. To balance these two requirements in an optimal manner, Mahakit Rubber’s team is implementing novel manufacturing and operational measures to provide superior products at competitive prices without compromising on quality,” says Neef.

products are strictly quality control-tested to meet the highest international standards.

Product range Mahakit Rubber Company is committed to the advanced quality and extreme diversity of its products. The company’s plants produce about 2,000 tonnes of smoked rubber sheets and 600 tonnes of rubber bands for both local and export markets. Its highly diversified rubber products are classified into different categories: Natural Rubber: * ADS, * RSS, * STR, * Skim Block Stationery Rubber Bands: * Newspaper Bands, * Anchor Bands, * Rubber Ball Bands, * H-Bands, * Printed Rubber Bands, * Rubber Finger Cone Bands Agriculture Rubber Bands: * Rubber Bands, * Produce Bands, * UV or HHT Bands * Lobster & Crab Bands. Sport and Adventure Bands: * Exercise Bands, * Tent Bands Industrial and Warehouse: *Pallet

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Bands,*Rubber Tubes *Packaging Bands,

Packaging, * H-Bands

Awards and accolades Thanks to the company’s excellent performance, Mahakit Rubber Company was honoured with the Prime Minister’s Export Awards 2004. Recently the company has been awarded the ‘Thailand Trust Mark” (TTM) certification for 2012- 2015 period by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce. TTM is a new quality assurance certification for Thai products and services that are in conformity with internationally accepted standards. This move is part of the Government’s proactive policy on trade development, in preparation for the integration into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. Consumers who choose TTM products and traders who wish to establish partnership with TTM-endorsed entrepreneurs can be confident that not only do the products and services themselves offer high quality; but the production process is reliable, safe, environment friendly and socially responsible as well. Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Furthermore, the company has also been accredited with the ISO 9001 Certification of Quality Management Standard, and the ISO Furthermore, the company has also been 14001 Certification of Environment Manageaccredited with the ISO 9001 Certification of ment Standard, which are widely accepted by Quality Management Standard, and the ISO the international community. 14001 Certification of Environment Management Standard, which are widely accepted by Roadmap the international community. Substantial investments will take place over the foreseeable future which will help the Roadmap management team in strengthening the comSubstantial investments will take place over pany’s competitive position in Thailand and the foreseeable future which will help the drive sustainable growth, locally as well as management team in strengthening the cominternationally. Several projects are currentpany’s competitive position in Thailand and ly at different stages of the initial operational drive sustainable growth, locally as well as and financial evaluation, namely acquisition internationally. Several projects are currentof plantations in low-cost countries, instally at different stages of the initial operational lation of new equipment, establishment and financial evaluation, namely acquisition of additional manufacturing operations in of plantations in low-cost countries, instalThailand and neighbouring countries, joint lation of new equipment, establishment venture operations in Asian countries as of additional manufacturing operations in well as adding new product types to expand Thailand and neighbouring countries, joint the current product portfolio. venture operations in Asian countries as well as adding new product types to expand the current product portfolio.

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Simultaneously, the sales and marketing team is being strengthened and the company has become much more active on the inSimultaneously, sales and marketing ternational scenethe by attending international team is being strengthened and the compatrade fairs and exhibitions and interacting ny has become much more active on the inwith numerous potential customers. Whilst ternational scene by attending international the company’s production strategy is to protrade exhibitions and interacting pose afairs wideand selection of standard products, with numerous potential customers. it is also offering customer specificWhilst prodthe production strategy is to prouctscompany’s that are developed in close cooperation pose a wide selection of standard products, with customers worldwide. it is also offering customer specific prodThe that Mahakit Group of in companies also opucts are developed close cooperation eratecustomers facilities inworldwide. Udonthani, Khonkaen and with Bangkok and is exploring the possibility of The Mahakit Group of companies also opoverseas expansion. erate facilities in Udonthani, Khonkaen and For moreand information, Mahakit Bangkok is exploringcontact: the possibility of Rubber Ltd., 69 Moo 2, Bangna-Trad overseasCo. expansion. Rd,Mabkha, Nikompattana, Rayong 21180, For more information, contact: Mahakit Thailand. Rubber Co. Ltd., 69 Moo 2, Bangna-Trad Tel: +66 (0) 3895-2112-5, +66Rayong (0) 3891-5111, Rd,Mabkha, Nikompattana, 21180, Fax: +66 (0) 3895-2116, +66 (0) 3891-5100, Thailand. E-mail: sales@mahakitrubber.com. Website: Tel: +66 (0) 3895-2112-5, +66 (0) 3891-5111, www.mahakitrubber.com Fax: +66 (0) 3895-2116, +66 (0) 3891-5100, E-mail: sales@mahakitrubber.com. Website: www.mahakitrubber.com

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Richter Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd (rrt)

Global supplier of

high quality condoms of the widest range

One of the world’s leading suppliers of high quality condoms of the widest range, Richter Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd (rrt), Malaysia, is on a fast track of growth with a host of innovative products.

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t was in 1993 Klaus Richter formed this German-Malaysian venture together with Mano Subramaniam, who also has many years of experience in the latex dipping industry. Initially named as CPR Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd., it was later renamed as Richter Rubber Technology Sdn. Bhd (rrt). In May 1996, rrt moved to Kuala Ketil Industrial Estate, after the purchase of land and the construction of a new manufacturing facility. Since July that year, the company started manufacturing high quality condoms on “Richter Condom Machinery”. The condoms manufactured under the brand names “Viva”, “Ideal”, “Softskin” are distributed in various countries

Klaus Richter

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across the globe. Contract production is also being done for clients all over the world from bulk condoms to fully packed products. Richter Rubber Technology is also serving the worldwide growing market of special condoms, from textured, coloured to flavoured condoms. Nearly 100% of the products are exported. The production capacity has been steadily enhanced.

Capabilities The overall production capacity of the plant is currently 3,163,820 gross per year or 455,590,080 pieces of condoms with 7 fully single automated Condom Dipping machines and 2 fully double automated Condom Dipping machines. Further, the company is manufacturing currently with 44 “rrt” Electronic Testing Machines, 4 “Doeka” Sealing Machines, 17 “rrt” Sealing Machines and 4 Korean Machines. RRT also manufactures condom lubricant sealed using 3 Lubricant Sachet Sealing machines. In March 2001rrt tied up with Oce-ans Seven™ International, USA, to develop and produce a new type of condom – the ‘Condom of the Millennium’ distributed under “Theyfit™” Condoms. Kohrs Medical Supplies Pty. Ltd. t/a rrt Medcon South Africa was set up in May 2002 as a subsidiary of

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the Richter Group Malaysia. Richter Rubber Technology has 44 High Voltage Dry Electronic Testing Machines, 26 Sealing Machines. A new, simple compact Sealing Machine has been operational since December 2001 and has the sealing capacity of c. 65 pcs./min. Also a new sealing machine is in the prototype status and will be ready by latest August 2012. “Some orders are already in the pipeline and we think that this machine will be a big competitor to all other available sealing machines on the market,” says a company spokesman.

Focus on quality By the end of 2003, an automatic feeding and pick-and-place system was installed as an add-on device for the existing machines. The latex formulation carefully developed by rrt has proven to be of high standard. It is ensured that the final products rolled out from rrt’s production lines fulfil all requirements of international standards, have significantly low contamination, low dosage of chemicals for less allergic reaction, low nitro amines levels in process and product, significantly low scrap rate on line and on final product and no tackiness even after long time aging and, there-

Fabian Knauthe

fore, easy to unroll The newly developed integrated laboratory combines data of all physical tests on condoms in the PC and allows an effective labour saving data management. Special emphasis is put on the reliability and user-friendliness of the test program and equipment. The company has certifications such as ISO 9002, ISO 9001:2000, ISO 13485:2003 and ISO 9001:2008 besides CE certification, Afnor (French) certification, SABS certification, and USFDA 510(k) Clearance.

March ahead In May 2011, Fabian Knauthe joined rrt as Managing Director. In 2012, two young German engineers – one mechanical and one electrical – joined rrt to build up an efficient Service Team at rrt. When the order books were already full, an order for 11 modified double lines, with an option to increase to 17 machines altogether, was placed. Even before, it was decided to reorganize the production processes of rrt/Richter High-Tech and double the capacity of the condom production. In view of the modernisation and enlargement plans, a new bigger building is being planned.

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CEEBEE Chemicals Sdn Bhd (CBC)

Total solution provider for rubber and latex industries Over the years, CBC Group has established itself as a preferred and reliable supplier of industrial and fine chemicals for the Malaysian and overseas markets

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EEBEE Chemicals Sdn Bhd (CBC), a comprehensive and total solution provider for the rubber and latex industries, was established in 1992. Growing steadfastly and confidently through total dedication, commitment and professionalism, CBC Group has over the years established itself as a preferred and reliable supplier of industrial and fine chemicals for the Malaysian and overseas markets. “CBC Group’s professional approach and growing reputation in the demanding and competitive marketplace has successfully enabled the Group to build up the much-needed business goodwill and well-established relationships both with upstream suppliers and downstream customers,” says C L Cheah, Managing Director of CBC. This important platform is the key to the Group’s ability to source specific and customised chemicals from multiple sources throughout the continents tailored for its customers’ specific require-

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ments and, where necessary, aided by its own R & D laboratories.

Core businesses CBC’s core businesses are in manufacturing and wholesale distribution of fine, speciality, and industrial chemicals. The core businesses are segregated into specialised divisions to enable the businesses to adopt a more focussed approach. The specialised divisions include rubber, latex and dispersion chemicals for application in tyres, medical disposable accessories, latex gloves and threads; a wide range of food flavorings and additives used in the manufacturing of beverage, confectionery, dairy and bakery products. Most major global glove manufacturers in Malaysia are CBC’s business partners procuring antioxidants, accelerators, coagulants, vulcanizes, antitacking and wetting agents from CBC. Recognising the need for speedy delivery and/or just-in-time requirements in this ever-demanding marketplace, CBC Group’s warehouses are centrally located in Kuala Lumpur for the convenience and needs of its valued and important customers. The company’s key market targets are the rubber and latex industries for application in the manufacturing of latex gloves, medical disposable accessories, threads, tyres and supplying of dispersion chemicals (Rasperse) and electroplating chemicals for nickel, zinc and copper production. As part of the diversification strategy, the Group has also built up an established division dealing in a wide range of flavorings and additives used in production of food, beverages, confectionery, dairy and

C L Cheah, Managing Director of CBC

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bakery products. “CBC is a preferred and valued business partner of numerous reputable international chemicals manufacturing companies. Its professional approach and strategy to specialise in creating and managing sustainable niche market segments have underlined its success in the marketing and distribution of fine, speciality, industrial chemicals, flavoring and additives. Its rubber, latex chemical and dispersion are now sought after by numerous manufacturers for application in the production of tyres, medical disposable accessories, latex gloves and threads,” Cheah points out.

Corporate philosophy CBC’s corporate philosophy is also to develop and maintain valuable human resources. Presently, the company has a dedicated team of young entrepreneurs and profes-

What CEEBEE stands for CEEBEE’s vision is to be the Preferred & Most Reliable Global Business Partner in the regions and businesses in which it operates. Its mission is to strive and endeavor to be the region’s leading industrial and fine chemical supplier company with the following commitments: C ustomers’ delight E xcellence in service E xpertise in all we do B rand integrity and reliability E xperience and intimate technical knowhow E xpectations beyond customers’ expectations

CEEBEE’s core strengths — People, Process and R&D The key pillars of CEEBEE’s core strengths are:

People • We have a strong team of dedicated, highly competent, experienced, knowledgeable and committed managers and professionals • Our staff members are able to provide satisfactory service to a huge segment of market leaders in their respective industries.

Process • We have in place a sophisticated network of distribution channels and centralised warehousing optimised for efficient supply, delivery and quick response time. • We practise the principle of complete customer service, constant development of value-added services and introduction of the latest product improvements to customers • We guarantee DOT (delivery on

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time) to avoid any unnecessary disruptions to our customers’ manufacturing processes

Research & Development • In order to maintain a high level of service excellence and effective timely response to the needs of customers and the industry, we have invested and are still investing substantially in stateof-the-art information technology systems and tools including e-procurement and customer relationship management, to lead with a competitive edge • Our R&D facilities are capable of conducting product analyses, quality tests, simulations and syntheses using state-of-the-art test methods and instruments • Our business intelligence, networking and market research team constantly keep themselves abreast with the latest technologies, product innovations, customers’ preferences and market trends

sionals who posses strong management, administration and technical skills. Their dedication, commitment, customer-first philosophy, creativity and dynamism will form the basis to propel CBC into a better and much preferred business partner in the future. Encouraged by its enviable success and proud achievements, CBC is committed to maintaining its lead in the new millennium through enhanced customer service, efficient and speedy response, and consistency in the supply of fine and quality products. “Having earned its reputation and trust over the challenging years, CBC is strongly backed by its business partners and suppliers operating in Japan, China, Europe and North America. Together with a strong following of trusted and loyal group of valued customers, CBC will never be short of continuous support from every sector and region,” adds Cheah.

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Are rubber gloves ‘finished’?

The processes to render the much-needed finish to the surface of gloves fresh from the dipping line are important in the successful production of high volumes of dipped rubber gloves

Interior of a glove factory

Of

course, they are! A freshly dipped rubber surface – especially natural rubber or synthetic polyisoprene – is very tacky. A glove fresh from the dipping line cannot be donned easily, nor could it be handled and packed without some form of surface finishing. A way of killing this tack and reducing the surface friction needs to be applied.

David Hill world-renowned latex technologist, runs David Hill & Associates, International Latex Consultancy Service. He can be contacted at: david@internationallatexconsultancy.com

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Chlorination Many methods exist for rendering a surface tack-free, including powdering and silicone treatment; but one of the oldest, most efficient and permanent is chlorina-

tion. This technique is usually thought of as applying to natural rubber gloves, but can and is used on gloves dipped from synthetic rubber latices. In this process, the glove – or indeed any other rubber article – is washed in a solution containing chlorine ions. The glove can be washed by tumbling in an industrial washing machine, but chlorination can also be carried out on the dipping line by passing the glove, still on the former, through a chlorinating solution. Of course, chlorinating the glove on-line will only treat one side of the glove -- usually the inside -- whilst chlorinating in a tumbler will treat both surfaces. Sometimes both

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methods are used, giving different levels of chlorination on the inside and the outside of the glove, to give easy donning of the glove through the more slippery inside, whilst the more lightly chlorinated outer surface retains some measure of friction to help grip.

cult to control with any degree of accuracy. For this reason, most glove producers have now switched to using aqueous solutions of readily available chlorine donors such as sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or sodium dichloroisocyanurate (figure 1).

The chlorine can come from several sources. For many years, a solution of chlorine gas in water was used. The chlorine would be stored in large drums and piped through automatic valves to blend the gas with water as the tumbler was filled. One of the problems with this – apart from the significant hazards in handling a highly poisonous gas – was that the concentration of chlorine in the finished solution was diffi-

Figure 1.Sodium dichloroisocyanurate. Solutions of both materials can also be used acidified, which generally gives a more rapid reaction. In practice, the gloves are usually loaded into a tumbler, which will be enclosed to prevent the escape of chlorine gas into the atmosphere. The gloves will often be washed with water first, to remove any residual materials from the dipping line, and then the chlorinating solution will be added. The chlorine concentration will depend upon several things, including the glove material, the number of gloves in the batch and the type of tumbler, but will typically be in the range of 800 to 1500 ppm (0.08 to 0.15%) of chlorine. The chlorination time will again vary, but is generally in the range of 3 to 10 minutes. Not surprisingly, the longer the time and the higher the chlorine concentration, the more will be the gloves chlorinated. To end the chlorination, a neutralizing solution – ammonia solution or a dilute solution of sodium thiosulphate -- will be added, the tumbling continued for a few minutes, and then the solution discharged. The gloves will then be washed with several changes of water, and then drained and dried by tumbling in a stream of hot air. Gloves: Smooth and comfortable

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The drying temperatures used on chlorinated gloves are important. If too high a drying temperature is used, the product

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ber surface is complicated – it is not just a simple addition of chlorine across the olefinic double bond, as might be imagined. Several species are generated when chlorine gas is dissolved in water, including molecular chlorine, hypochlorite ions, hypochlorous acid, chloride ions and hydrogen ions (2). If acidified sodium hypochlorite or sodium dichloroisocyanurate are used, the number as well as the type of active species in the solution is even more complex. A side effect of chlorination – which may or may not be beneficial, depending on your viewpoint – is the destruction of other species which can be present on the surface of the article, such as residual accelerators and antioxidants. As rubber accelerators can be irritant or promote allergic contact dermatitis (type IV hypersensitivity), halogenation can make the gloves more dermatologically acceptable. On the other hand, rubber accelerators such as dithiocarbamates are powerful antidegradants, so reducing them may leave the rubber film more liable to oxidation.Halogenation has also been found to remove latex proteins from the glove surface.

Gloves: For protection

will discolour and give a yellow-brown tint, presumably caused by the loss of chlorine and the formation of conjugated diene species on the rubber surface. Generally, the temperature should be as low as practical, although many manufacturers strike a compromise between level of discolouration and speed and efficiency of drying. A description of a typical halogenation process is given in the Vanderbilt Latex Handbook(1). Chlorination with sodium hypochlorite is reported to be less efficient than with chlorine water(1, 2) and to cause more discolouration(2). Chlorination, although a very rapid reaction, is usually confined to the very surface of the rubber, unless the chlorination period is excessively prolonged. The actual reaction mechanism of the chlorination of a rub-

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The chlorination process will give a smooth, slippery surface, (the degree of slip depending on the degree of chlorination) although a microscopic examination will show that the surface is, in fact, slightly roughened by the treatment. The chlorinated layer is harder than unchlorinated rubber, with lower friction. And chlorination will usually also clean the surface of any residual surface powder. There have been reports that a chlorinated glove has a better chemical resistance but this is debatable, and I am not sure how long any such resistance would persist in use. Halogenation of dipped rubber articles can also be carried out with a solution of bromine in water. I have no personal experience of using bromine to treat rubber gloves, but I understand that the mechanism is similar to that of chlorine. The properties of a brominated surface are very similar to those of a chlorinated surface, although bromine is reported

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to stain the rubber more heavily than chlorinew.

Application of powder Another common way of killing surface tack on dipped gloves is the application of powder. Unlike chlorination, powder is a temporary measure: as the powder is removed from the surface through wear, the surface tack can return. However, this is often not a problem if the service life of the glove is expected to be relatively short. Usually, the powder will be mixed with water to form a

the gloves are drained and dried by tumbling in a stream of hot air. It is common practice to re-use the slurry, but I would caution against doing this to excess. The aqueous powder slurry extracts materials from the glove which can build up in the slurry, and contaminate successive batches of gloves. There is also the risk of bacterial growth in the slurry, especially if biodegradable materials such as starch powder are present. Obviously, each factory is different, but I would recommend that the glove washing slurry is discarded and renewed at frequent intervals.

Treating with silicone oil The surface can also be rendered tackfree by treating with silicone oil. The oil is almost always used as an emulsion, to avoid excessive amounts of silicone oil being applied. The gloves can be washed directly in a diluted silicone emulsion, or pieces of foam rubber can be soaked with the emulsion, and then tumbled with the gloves. An advantage of this latter method is that no subsequent drying is required, although it will only coat the outside of the gloves. If the inside has already been treated by, for example, flocking or on-line chlorination, this can be an easy and cost-effective method to remove surface tack

Application of polymer coating Getting ready for action

slurry, and the gloves will be tumbled in this slurry for times ranging from a few minutes to several tens of minutes. Normally, the slurry will contain a low level of silicone emulsion, which helps the powder adhere to the glove surface. The amount of powder and silicone emulsion in the slurry can be critical to control the amount of powder actually picked up on the glove surface. Many different types of powders, or mixtures of powders, are used to treat glove surfaces, including talc, starch, and carbonates such as calcium or magnesium carbonate. Zinc stearate and lycopodium powder are also sometimes used. After powdering,

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Powders and silicone cannot be used for gloves designed for certain specialist applications, such as surgical gloves or gloves destined for use in the electronics industry. Chlorination is often used in these applications, but another approach is to modify the surface by the application of a polymer coating. Such gloves have been around for almost 30 years now, following the launch of the BiogelŽ powderfree surgical glove in 1983. Powder is a complication on surgical gloves as any powder entering an open wound during surgery can lead to post-operative complications. Similarly, contamination from a glove can give problems in today’s highly sophisticated electronic industries. Separate washing treatments to clean these gloves are costly, time-consuming and not always terribly effective. Modify-

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ing a glove surface by attaching a polymer coating may be the answer. Any such coating must have good adhesion to the rubber, although this is not an easy task on a flexible and elastic surface where species such as sulphur, accelerator and antiozonant waxes may have already bloomed to the surface. Nevertheless, despite these technical challenges, other coatings for gloves have been developed since 1983, many of which are patented and some of which are highly effective.

Other methods Apart from halogenation, polymer coating, silicone and powder, there are other ways which have been used from time to time to modify the surface of gloves to give the reApart from halogenaquired surface finish to meet various service conditions. tion, polymer coating, These include applying a silicone and powder, layer of wax to the surface. Anti-ozonant waxes work there are other ways by blooming to the surface, which have been used thus providing a different from time to time to surface layer. However, the blooming reaction is usumodify the surface ally too slow to be of use of gloves to give the in modifying the surface required surface finish during the production process, but many waxes are to meet various seravailable as, or can be made vice conditions into, emulsions. Gloves can be tumbled in a wax emulsion in the same way that a silicone emulsion can be applied. Gloves finished with a wax emulsion are similar in many ways to gloves finished with silicone and, like silicone, the surface modification is not permanent. Chemical modification of the glove surface by means other than chlorination has been proposed, including epoxidation and grafting of other polymeric entities, but I am not aware of any of these being of commercial significance.

Flocking The last treatment I would like to describe is flocking. Although aimed directly at surface

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modification, flocking is different in many ways to the processes described above. It is usually only applied to houseware and some industrial gloves, and only ever on the inside. A well-flocked glove can give a very pleasing feel to the hand, but can also pose some considerable technical challenges. As it is a treatment on the inside surface, flocking will be carried out on the dipping line. The flock material is usually a cotton fibre, although synthetic fibres or mixtures of cotton and synthetics can be used. It is milled or ground to give short fibre lengths of 1 mm or less. Prior to flocking, the glove will be coated with an adhesive dip – usually, but not always, based on the same polymer as the main glove film – and the flock will be blown onto this adhesive dip which is then dried. Sometimes electrostatic coating techniques are used to assist the transfer of the flock to the glove. The dryness and viscosity of the flock adhesive coat are critical to successful flocking. If it is too wet, the flock can sink into the film, and the required surface feel will be lost. If it is too dry, the flock will fall off or be washed off in subsequent processes, and again the required surface characteristics will not be attained. Where the process relies on coagulant strike-through from earlier dips to gel the flock adhesive coat, the balance between latex stability, temperature, coagulant strength and any latex pre-vulcanization becomes critical. I hope that this brief run through the processes collectively referred to as “finishing” has been helpful and interesting, and has shown yet again that the successful production of high volumes of dipped rubber gloves is a complex and challenging process – but then we knew that anyway, didn’t we? References: Mausser, R. F. (ed.) The Vanderbilt Latex Handbook, 3rd edition (1987), R. T. Vanderbilt Latex Company, Inc., Chapter 17. Blackley, D. C. Polymer Latices, 2nd edition (1997), Chapman and Hall, Vol. 3, Chapter 17.

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Come September, it’S Summit time! india rubber Summit & dinner iS baCk to koChi Come, enriCh, enjoy and relax

On September 15, 2012, at Ramada Resort, Kochi, India Organised by Asia’s most prestigious rubber magazine in association with

Theme: Rubber Industry: Opportunities and Challenges in the Changing Economy

Join the band wagon World rubber industry leaders and stakeholders meet to discuss vital industry issues and evolve future course of action in the changing economic scenario. Participation by country delegations from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, Germany etc. apart from all domestic players. Most exquisitely designed and all-encompassing international seminar addressed by industry celebrities. Ideal business net-working platform. Highly refreshing Cocktails & Dinner accompanied by music and dance extravaganza!

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it’S a day you’ll like to remember for long!


No Dock Moung

Natural rubber latex -

Then and Now

Over the next decade, the NRL industry will continue to be driven by the gloves market where increased demand is created by the heightened awareness of the need for improved hygiene management

S

ince 1960 the total world NRL (natural rubber latex) consumption has increased over 7.7 folds to 1.3m tonnes in 2011 from a mere 170,000 tonnes (Figure 1). Although the NRL consumption was led and dominated by Europe and the Americas in the early years, since the mid-1980s Asia has been the leading consumer, taking up 1.1 million tonnes in 2011 (Figures 2-4). This is 85% of the total world NRL consumption.

Shift from West to East The writer is Senior Economist, IRSG

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The critical juncture in the history of consumption of NRL is the mid-1980s. It was at this period that total demand for NRL took

off, subsequently growing at near exponential rates, while also marking the point of transition as the NRL industry shifted from the West to the East. The take-off was precipitated by the public acknowledgement of a new health scare – AIDS. The transition was a reflection of the comparative advantage at work, which in 2012 is a widely acknowledged fact of business life. It was in 1988 that Asia first accounted for over 50% of total NRL consumption. It is interesting to note that the NRL industry led the rest of the rubber industry in the transition and by close to two decades. It was

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not until 2005 that Asia assumed majority consumption of total rubber consumption. Malaysia is the largest consuming country in the region and the world, although other countries, China in particular, are fast catching up (Figures 5-6). Exports of NRL are focussed around countries in Southeast Asia with Thailand holding the mantle of the largest exporter with 506,277 tonnes in 2011 (Figures 7-8). The crown was taken from Malaysia in the early 1990s, which is now a net importer of NRL. The only sizeable exporter outside Asia is Liberia, which shipped 38,694 tonnes in 2011.

Consumption by end-products Over the second half of the 2005, the Secretariat of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) carried out a survey of the world NRL consumption by end-products, updating the work carried out by TD Pendle in 1989.

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It was found that since 1989 the market share of most identifiable end-products has altered only marginally, with the exception of dipped goods (Figures 9-10). This statement, however, is made tentatively and with a provision, which arises due to “Others� category of end-products. All identified end-product consumptions and market shares are shown in Figures 11. The total identified consumption was just above 760,000 tonnes. There are seventeen categories and gloves are the largest consumer of NRL, taking up 365,000 tonnes in 2004 and accounting for just above 47% share. The next significant consumer was threads and cords with around 100,000 tonnes and 13.4% share. Accounting for 73% of the total market at 790,000 tonnes in 2004, Asia is the biggest NRL consuming region, with market dominated by a single end-product (Figures

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12-13). The consumption is highly focussed around dipped goods, which reflects the region’s comparative advantage in labour intensive industries and industrial policy supporting the gloves industry.

Dominance of Malaysia The Secretariat has not updated the 2005 survey, but below are those available (Table 1). The continued dominance of gloves and Malaysia are the two noteworthy points. Dipped goods were the single largest endproduct consumer of NRL in 2004. They are, on the main, made up of gloves, accounting for 81% of dipped goods and around 35% of total NRL consumption (Figures 14-15). The importance of gloves, thus, warrants examination of its market situation. The examination, however, will not be on the size

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of the market, but on general growth trends – absolute and relative. Analysis of gloves market situation is undertaken using the import data of the USA, and treating it as “apparent consumption”. The USA was chosen for: its market size (46.8 billion pieces of rubber gloves were imported in 2011), relatively small domestic production and for the fact that its trade database declares the data split into natural rubber and non-natural rubber gloves. It is the only publicly available database to do so. It is apparent that while total gloves market size has increased over the past ten years, it has decreased for NRL gloves (Figure 16). The opposing growth movements translated into a dramatic decline in the NRL

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Table 1: NRL consumption by end-products for selected countries, 000 tonnes* Gloves

Condoms

Thread

Foam

India

Dipped Goods

Other Latex

Total

39,415

40,310

79,725 390,298

Malaysia

314,159

47,759

3,705

24,675

Thailand

42,635

1,396

50,107

152

371

Total

356,794

1,396

97,866

3,857

39,415

65,356

564,684

Competition from NBRL The simple fact of the matter is that the share of NRL gloves is falling because there is a competitor, which offers a viable alternative in terms of physical/chemical properties and cost. Traditionally, the cost of NBRL (nitrile buta-

*For India data refers to financial year ending March 2011, it refers to 2009 for Thailand and 2011 for Malaysia

gloves share of total rubber gloves, falling from 68% in March 2002 down to 14% by December 2011 (Figure 17). However, the NRL share of the surgical gloves has fared better, falling from a peak 78% in December 2003 down to 50% in December 2011.

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diene rubber latex) has been higher than NRL, but in the past ten years the cost advantage has been shared between the two, although for the majority of the time the advantage has been held by the former, going back and forth four times (Figure 18-19). As an economist, a definitive statement regarding developments made in the physical/ chemical properties of the NBRL gloves in the past ten years cannot be made. But, given the fluctuating cost advantage and the almost uninterrupted decline in the market share of NRL gloves over the same period, it would be fair in speculating that developments have been made in the physical/chemical properties of the NBRL glove market improving its attrac-

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tiveness vis-Ă -vis NRL gloves.

Future outlook The NRL industry is a dynamic one, one that has grown tremendously, especially within the last 25 years, driven by the gloves market that has been responding to increased demand created by the heightened awareness of the need for improved hygiene management. And over the next decade, this need will remain the central driver for the industry. However, the industry will also face stiff challenges as further developments will be made by the NBRL gloves in its physical/chemical properties. This article is based on the presentation made by No Dock Moung at the Latex & Synthetic Polymer Dispersions 2012 held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, recently.

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Busgum Company Limited

Serving customers with

value-added products Over the years, Busgum has grown to become a well-known trading company providing speciality chemicals to a wide range of industries

B

usgum Company Limited was established in the year 2003 with a registered capital of Baht 5,000,000. Over the years, Busgum has grown to become a well-known trading company providing speciality chemicals to a wide range of industries such as Rubber, Latex, Plastic, Paper, Electronics and Food. “We have been coordinating with the reliable and professional principles which are renowned for their special products for each individual application. Our principals are from both Thailand and overseas such as Brenntag, 3M Thailand, Boom Global, Chemic Whiz, Merchem India and V.V Titanium Pigments India. Moreover, we also provide speciality chemicals under our own brand name — BG Cleaning, BG Polymer Coating and many more,” says Ms. Mott (Somruetai Patana-Anek), Managing Director of the company.

Successful marketer Ms.Mott, who owns and runs Busgum, is a Master of Science in Marketing from Thammasart University. She has worked at National Starch and Chemical and rendered meritorious services as Regional Business Development Manager, Asia-Pacific, for 16 years. With her long-time experience in marketing and her strong connections with the customers in industries, she left National Starch and Chemical to start one of her own -- Busgum Co. Ltd. She is widely known as a vibrant and successful professional marketer and manager. She is a recipient of many prestigious honours and awards such as the following: • Certified Professional Marketer (AsiaPacific) — Asia Pacific Marketing

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Mott, Managing Director, Busgum Company Ltd.

Federation. • Most Persistent Sales Person for 2000-2002 and Best Customer Satisfaction for 2002-2003 -- National Starch and Chemical. • Most Well-Managed Business for 1998-2003 -- National Starch and Chemical (Asia) Pte. Ltd. • Most Assertive Manager -- American Management Association International (USA) 2000.

Corporate objective “We aim to be the full-line chemical distributor and to serve our customers in various industries with value-added products. We offer our services to every part of Thailand and also all over the world. We are certified with the ISO 9001: 2008,” says Ms.Mott. The company’s aims and objectives are well captured in its corporate slogan: “Think of chemicals, think of Busgum.”

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William Howe

Dip moulding using latex:

Oft-missed opportunities There are a host of oft-forgotten dip moulded products though dip moulding using latex has definite advantages over other moulding techniques

D

ip moulding with latex has proved to be a very beneficial manufacturing technique for producing seamless articles for nearly a century now. Through the use of compounded natural rubber and other compounded latices (acrylonitrile, polychloroprene, polyisoprene, guayule and dandelion), one can produce flexible articles ranging in wall thicknesses from 0.05mm to 4.00mm. Latex dipping is truly as much an art as a science. Processes, compounds and recipes vary across industry manufacturers for the same type of dipped article. Processes developed in this industry have proven to be mainly an individual evolution by company as opposed to derivation from books of industry standards and compound recipes.

Advantages William Howe The writer is President, PolyTech Synergies LLC and President , DipTech Systems, Inc.,and is a 25-year experienced latex process technologist and business development professional. He can be contacted at w.howe@ sbeglobal.net

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Dip moulding has advantages over other moulding techniques. The advantages such as low tooling cost, uniform thin film products, and fairly rapid scale-up to high speed production are well-known amongst those in the industry. Over the last 25 years, these process advantages have resulted in the establishment of several successful global companies specializing in the manufactur-

ing of products that are manufactured in impressive volumes. These include disposable gloves, condoms, novelty balloons, and urinary catheters. When the subject of latex dip moulding surfaces in discussion, it seems that dialogue always migrates and centres upon these commodity products. Most gloves and condoms are today produced on high-speed continuous chain type dipping lines. The world’s largest dipping firms are those using this high-speed chain line technology. These include companies such as Top Glove (gloves), Supermax (gloves), Sempermed (gloves), Ansell (gloves and condoms), Church & Dwight (condoms), Reckit Benckiser (Durex condoms), Bard (urinary catheters), Latex Occidental (balloons), etc. The presence of these industry giants makes it difficult for small-to-medium sized players to compete. Seldom does one hear today of a new start-up manufacturer entering the marketplace to produce disposable gloves or condoms.

Speciality dipped goods Despite the challenges to market entry for commodity dipped products such as

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gloves and condoms, there are a myriad of other consumer goods and medical products manufactured by the process of dip moulding that use natural and other synthetic latices. The opportunities are endless, and the US continues to dominate the scene for these types of speciality product needs. The US companies seeking supply chain of these products typically develop their idea locally, making prototypes and pilot-scale production runs using USA-based contract manufacturing firms. This works reasonably well early into the product life cycle, where production rates range between 1,000 and 30,000 pieces annually. However, once the product takes root in the marketplace and begins its growth curve, it is commonplace for the retailer/wholesaler to seek a manufacturing supply chain that can offer lower pricing. Mexico was a location once thought to be a natural solution for this type of business scenario for the US, but this model is plagued with many different problems, subject of which is not germane to this article. Despite the farther distance and higher shipping cost, Asia has been the obvious choice to find a manufacturer for such products sold in the US.

Qualifications

Speciality toy dipping mould

For most of these types of speciality products, batch style dipping lines are needed to accomplish the task. Many of these products (will be mentioned later in this article) are non-symmetrical in shape, making it nearly impossible to produce on continuous chain lines. Secondly, many of these products require heavier wall thickness to suit the product’s purpose, sometimes as thick as 4mm. Dwell time in the latex can sometimes exceed 4 minutes time, which cannot be accomplished easily, if at all, on chain lines. Furthermore, some products require multiple dips into the latex to build up wall thickness, or to deliver a multi-coloured, layered product. Thirdly, the dip moulding firm for speciality items must be willing to assist in tool-up for the device. Many prototype tools here in

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the US are manufactured from aluminum or high temperature plastic, which is not common material used in Asia for dip moulds. The candidate will most often need to provide the dip tooling needed for manufacturing the articles, with ceramics being the logical material candidate. Lastly, the manufacturing candidate must be willing to produce these articles at production rates between 30,000 and one million pieces annually. It is not unusual for a US contract dipping company to deliver dipped articles at prices of $4.00 each and higher. A manufacturer in Asia will sometimes make a mistake to forego quoting such projects, thinking that the production rate is not high enough to justify consummating the business. They tend to recognize that pricing being sought has a baseline comparative target price of “dollars”, not a fraction thereof.

Oft-forgotten dip moulded products The list below is by no means comprehensive. This list of products is real, not imaginary or just in the prototype stage. The writer has been solicited for many of these by the US buyers, and some have been successfully sourced outside the US already. Ice bags: There are many designs for this type of product. It is essentially a bladder that can contain ice for delivering cold treatment to injuries. Dipped footwear: There are many designs and demands for this type of product. During the Hurricane Katrina cleanup on the Gulf Coast of the US a few years ago, dipped boots were sought to serve as an overshoe to protect shoes during the cleanup effort. Dipped shoe covers have been used in the hunting industry to mask human smell that would deter wildlife from entering certain areas. Dipped footwear also encompasses dip coating opportunities, whereby fabric socks are coated with latex using several types of application patterns for many different applications. In the pet industry, dog boots are used to prevent mud from collecting onto the dog’s

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manufacture the article. • Latex covers: These can take on several shapes for several purposes. Examples are probe covers (to cover medical diagnostic instruments), leg cast covers (to prevent casts from getting wet during bathing), arm rest covers, dental instrument covers, arm covers (used by electrical lineman for protection from high voltage shock potential), head rest covers, snorkel mouthpiece covers, 10-speed bicycle seat covers, head covers for divers and surfers, swim caps, etc.

Dipped products in general

paws so that they do not damage carpet and flooring. • Latex toys: Some of these products are “fad” type products, which are sold for a few years, and then fall away from the market for years. Sometimes, the product is re-introduced 20 years later to appeal to the next generation. Stress relief toys (those that are squeezed to relieve human stress) and Stretch Armstrong are just a few of the recognizable brand name toys that need the process of dip moulding to

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• Speciality balloons: An example of a recent introduction into the marketplace is Wine Balloon. This product uses an inflatable latex balloon to keep a partially filled bottle of wine fresh by eliminating the air between the surface of the wine and the cork/cap. Large weather balloons have been manufactured using natural rubber latex, and many of these large balloons are used in advertising. • Breathing bags: This market has grown exponentially over the past decade. Most dip moulded bags used in anesthesia are now disposable and onetime use. Since the product is used primarily in hospital surgical rooms, the use of natural rubber latex has declined for

Polychloroprene and natural rubber latex breathing bags

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Latex arm cover being processed in a US dip room

Speciality medical instrument covers

this application. The majority of breathing bags on the market today are manufactured from polychloroprene latex. • Speciality gloves: There are more applications here than one can imagine. Examples are Glovebox gloves, winter surfing gloves, diver’s gloves, dry ice handling gloves, veterinarian gloves, and a myriad of different types of fabric coated gloves. • Bladders: Usually dipped using natural rubber latex and polychloroprene, the medical and consumer markets use dipped bladders for blood pressure cuffs, tourniquet use, football (soccer) balls, pipe seals, lineman glove testing units. Some latex bladders are employed for one-time destructive use in the composites market. Golf club shafts are moulded using a latex bladder, which is then cut and destroyed when removing the end product from the mould. The joint replacement industry (knee and hip) uses latex bladders for the same purpose. • Automotive parts: There are many components used in automobiles and off-highway equipment that require dip moulded or dip coated items. Some metallic brackets are partially coated in polychloroprene. For winter weather, polychloroprene windshield wiper boots are dip moulded and assembled to wiper blades to prevent ice buildup during use. • Urinary collection bags: For inconti-

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nence conditions, urinary collection bags can be manufactured using latex. These bags are normally then coated to protect against latex film degradation caused by urine contact. These bags are strapped to the leg and normally provided with a male external catheter, which is also typically produced by dip moulding. Similarly, ostomy collection bags provide a means for the collection of waste from a surgically diverted biological system (colon, ileum, urinary) and can be manufactured by dip moulding. • Cushions: Air-filled cushions can be dip moulded, cut to strip, and then glued back together to form an air filled device. Two of the more common cushions sold in impressive volumes in the US include wheelchair cushions and motorcycle seat cushions.

Time to stretch thinking The products aforementioned represent viable opportunities for manufacturers capable of delivering reliable product quality and on-time delivery using the processes of dip moulding and dip coating. Batch style dipping lines are required for most of these applications, but the same batch dipping machines can produce multiple product families on the same unit. These products are sought regularly by wholesalers and retailers in the US and elsewhere around the world. Perhaps it is time for dip moulders to “stretch” their thinking a bit.

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Micro loans present real opportunity for

women entrepreneurs

The rise in awareness of women’s rights has given way to increased business opportunity globally. Changes in local economies, evolving personal choice and the rise of education have encouraged women to take a larger role in applied economics. In this context, Micro loans offer real opportunity for prospective women entrepreneurs

I

Petra Vance The writer is President, Crusader Chemical Co.Inc, Baltimore, MD

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n developing countries, female entrepreneurship and empowerment are an important goal as it relates to economic development. Realizing this, governments are slowly beginning to establish programs to assist small to medium size enterprises. Micro loan programs offer seed money to individuals to start small businesses. These loans are in low amounts and for short terms. They require minimal documentation and little or no collateral. Supporting women-owned businesses represent a global effort to reduce poverty, give women a role in the economy and promote political stability. In a report from the 2002 Millennium Development Study, funded by the World Bank, it was noted that “East Asia and the Pacific Region have grown dramatically

due to more available education and the promotion of business opportunity. With growth, absolute poverty has declined rapidly.� That was ten years ago. Imagine how economic advantage has improved conditions in progressive economies today. According to the World Development Report of 2012, rapid economic growth brings increased employment that has helped to close the gender gap, empower women and raise the living standard. Through employment and empowerment women can begin to think big and dream big dreams. Some of those dreams involve owning a small business. Despite recent initiatives by governments to assist women and minorities to establish businesses, many obstacles

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remain for women to achieve success as small business owners. Setting aside regional, political, and religious differences, a lack of capital and education remain the main factors limiting growth and success for enterprising women.

Education Basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic are critical for everybody in today’s world. Without these skills how can one communicate, manage finances, or follow a business plan, let alone run a business. A lack of education remains a handicapping condition for both men and women world- wide; however this is changing especially for women. In the United States where education to the age of 16 is compulsory, a higher level of education is being achieved by women. According to the Kauffman report in 2011, 46% of the work force and over 50% of college graduates in the US are now women. At one time math and science was thought beyond the realm of female understanding. The National Science Foundation (NFS) US statistics prove that if access is provided gains can be made. In 2008, NSF statistics revealed Master’s Degrees were awarded to 325,117,00 female students in the fields of math and science. Doctoral degrees in all fields of science were granted to 19,780 women. The number

The Kauffman Report posits that 35% of university-educated women will become business owners at some point in their careers, a trend likely to be duplicated in other countries

of educated women are increasing not just the U.S. but around the world. The Kauffman Report posits that 35% of university-educated women will become business owners at some point in their careers, a trend likely to be duplicated in other countries. In Asian countries improved educational access has enabled young women to achieve higher levels of schooling. Job training programs in progressive countries have fostered skills for women in such areas as Information Technology, Early Childhood Education, Medical Technology, Banking, Sales, to name a few. Basic education combined with job training has enabled competition for jobs traditionally held by men. The Millennium Study sites the impact of educational growth as seen in greater secondary school enrollment for girls than for boys in developing countries. Younger women in Asian countries are better equipped through education to participate in economic development thereby supporting a higher standard of living. In a study by Manning and Oey (1998) “the reason for the number of increased female entrepreneurs was due to the higher education level and to the economic pressure that women face in their households.“ The media should not be forgotten in its’ role as an educator. It has been a vehicle for bringing education to the disadvantaged through television, music and computers. Now through this exposure women know that there is something better to be had and the television itself is opening the doors to a larger world view. This enlightenment prods economic development.

Funding Many women dream of starting a small business. They may have the “will” but they lack the “way” to move ahead as they face challenges, one of which is funding. It is more difficult for women to get loans from banks than for men because of the gender bias held by most lending authorities. In cases where there is a

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lack of collateral, negative perceptions of female ability and a fear that a woman will be overwhelmed by family responsibility, lending is reluctant. According to the Microcredit Summit Campaign (2002) these biases were expressed by many financial organizations. Due to these misconceptions women had no choice but to provide capital for startups from personal savings, loans from friends and family. These informal loans have the advantage of a forgiving lender and limiting the debt, however the limitations likewise effect potential growth. Apart from personal funding there are few other options that represent viable mechanisms for providing business financing to poor women. The idea of micro credit originated with Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Mohammed Yunnis, through his Grammeen Bank in New York. His efforts to eradicate poverty began in 1976 when he

Much of this current drive for increased women’s enterprise will be lost unless government programs guarantee or provide loans at low interest rates to women who have developed their businesses beyond the micro level

started a program in Bangladesh from his own purse. His template for micro lending later enabled millions of Bangladeshis, almost all women, to buy everything from cows to cell phones. It is estimated that he has made $5.7 billion in loans to more than six million people in Bangladesh, of which 96% are women. So successful was Yunnis’ concept of enabling that by 2004 there were some 3200 micro credit institutions worldwide. The average loan is made for $200.00. Micro loans can be the fishing pole of opportunity if care is taken. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, upward of 14.2 million of the world’s poorest women now have access to financial services through spe-

108

cialized micro financial institutions and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). These women account for 74% of 19.3 million men and women served by micro financial institutions. It is sad to say that every good humanitarian idea comes with some foggy finances. Small loans, often not more than $50.00, carry an interest rate of between 20-40 %. In reality this is only $10-20 but a seemingly high interest percentage considering the mission of the loan. According to Deutsche Bank, the known default rate is only 4%, a very low number considering the volume of loans and the diversity of locales. By comparison the default rate of US student loans is approximately 20%. Much of this current drive for increased women’s enterprise will be lost unless government programs guarantee or provide loans at low interest rates to women who have developed their businesses beyond the micro level.

Changing profile With micro success, further business development requires increased funding. Formal loans from banks can carry more difficult credit terms. Women and minorities may end up paying a premium, or only receiving a partial distribution of funding.Using Yunnis’s model, private organizations such as Goldman Sachs, The Gates Foundation, the Soros Economic Development Fund have taken on the task of making micro and larger loans, giving small business grants and providing mentoring programs available to women in developing countries. The concept of micro enabling has become so popular that there are today a myriad of banks, private lenders, religious groups, national and international organizations such as the World Bank offering financial opportunity to women and to themselves. Now within the grasp of many women is the life changing possibility of independence and self-sufficiency. Today women-owned businesses represent the next emerging market. Investing in a woman is a good investment.

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KENDEK Group

High reputation for engineering and maintenance capabilities Over the years, KENDEK Group has earned reputation as a leading manufacturer of component parts and engineering solution provider with in-depth technical knowledge of the dipped latex products industry

K

Ken Lai, Founder Managing Director of KENDEK Group

ENDEK started off as a trading company in the year 1990 as a husbandand-wife team, with consistent stable order. KENDEK ventured into in-house manufacturing of component parts, equipment and production line to provide faster and better service to the customers. From there on it grows stronger year after year to the present with over 200 work force to support the company to meet market demand. In the year 2000, KENDEK Group moved all its subsidiaries in 5 different locations scattered around Klang Valley to Balakong on 4acres land(16,200m2) and built a 3-storey office-cum-factory to house the sales and manufacturing facilities. KENDEK Group is principally engaged in the manufacturing of component parts, machinery and equipments and is a one-stop provider of turnkey engineering and production solution. The company is specialised in dipped latex products industry such as rubber gloves, condoms and balloons.

KENDEK facilities

KENDEK office/factory

Enviable reputation Over the years, under the leadership of founder, Ken Lai, KENDEK Group with inhouse design, manufacturing, research and development capability and technical knowhow has earned reputation as a leading manufacturer of Component Parts (chain ,holder set),Offline Equipments(tumbler dryer,pearl grinding mill,water tight test machine,condom dry tester machine,foil seal machine etc) ,Turnkey Production line (glove,condom,balloon,finger cot) and Process Provider for the dipped latex products industry.

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With a united and dedicated team, KENDEK is moving strongly toward its vision to become a one-stop total solution provider for the dipped latex industry. With a strong R & D team, KENDEK successfully obtained a patent in 1996 under Utility Innovation of Nylon composite use in dipped latex industry with patented No MY-107629-A, Double Former holder with patented No MY-137254-A, Educational Toy Balloon with patent No MY-143334-A and few more patent pending products still under substantive examination stage.

Commitment to quality To ensure commitment on products quality, the company has a registered logo (see logo on top) KIS, KDI as KENDEK trademark, with every product coming out from the factory embossed with the trademark. KENDEK also enjoys a list of accolades bestowed on it, namely,MITI Product Excellence Award, Enterprise 50 Award, Golden Bull Outstanding SME Award, SMB Emerging Business Award, SMB Product Excellence Award, Selangor Innovative Excellence Award and Selangor Export Excellence Award. KENDEK works closely with customers. This has enabled KENDEK to develop new products and reengineer many efficient and quality products over the years which helps the customers to increase their output efficiency at lower production cost and popularise the usage of glove as a protective shield with affordable price to user.

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MM Rubber Co. Ltd.

A wide range of

sleep solutions

for all tastes and budgets The long life assured for the MM Foam products ensures that the customer gets true value for money

T

he latex foam industry constitutes one of the largest segments of the Indian latex products industry. The undisputed brand leader and innovator in this segment is the 65-year-old MM Rubber, with its pan-India recognised brand “MM Foam”.

Early challenges

Roy Mammen, Managing Director, MM Rubber Company

When first established in the mid 50’s, the company had to contend with the formidable presence of the Dunlop World brand “Dunlopillo” at the upper end of the product segment and also face intense competition from excise-exempted small and tiny latex foam manufacturers at the lower end and public sector buyers, recalls Roy Mammen, Managing Director of the company. Despite this, it took the major market share when Dunlop exited the business, and had a significant presence in the then rapidly expanding two and three wheeler market led by the phenomenal growth of Bajaj Auto. It had associated companies in Bangalore and Mumbai to meet the demand of its range of products of which motorcycle and scooter seats had a significant share. The company’s fortunes took a dip in the 80’s and 90’s with the introduction of the

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lightweight cheaper PUs as well as the growing, lower-cost coir foam products. Its diversification attempts in gloves and biaxially-oriented polypropylene did not yield a satisfactory growth trajectory and the first decade of the 21st century had the company almost in hibernation.

Revival efforts However, a determined revival effort of the main promoters, the MM Group, under the dynamic young leadership of Roy Mammen from the next generation of the family, gradually brought about a makeover of the company from being known as a mattress company to one that offers a wide choice of sleep solutions catering to all tastes and budgets. Some of its important products include latex foam products including mattresses, pillows, cushions and seats, mattress toppers and customised and designer range of comfort products; a range of spring mattresses and composites popular in the hospitality industry and rubberised coir mattresses and composites which are budget- friendly. The company plans to modernise production. It has infrastructural facilities ready to implement ambitious growth plans as and when the market and business condition warrant it. However, with the volatility of latex prices and the unfavourable duty structure that does not allow the latex product manufacturing industry to reach its true potentials and contribution to India’s Rubber

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MM Rubber Spring Mattress MM Rubber Spring Mattress

GDP, MM Rubber is taking a cautious and considered approach to upgrade, expand GDP, MM Rubber is taking a cautious and and move forward, saystoRoy Mammen. considered approach upgrade, expand and move forward, says Roy Mammen.

Customer satisfaction Customer The healthy satisfaction demand for its products has The healthy demand for its products has

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012 Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

sometimes necessitated franchising and even importing selected product varieties sometimes necessitated franchising and from the East and the West. The burgeoning even importing selected product varieties middle India also The becoming more from theclass Eastinand theisWest. burgeoning quality conscious andisseeks the comfort of middle class in India also becoming more aquality reliable and reputed if it means conscious andbrand seekseven the comfort of aa reliable larger initial cost. The longeven life assured for and reputed brand if it means the MMinitial Foamcost. products ensures that the a larger The long life assured for customer gets true value ensures for money, the MM Foam products thatwith the long-lasting comfort and attractive designs customer gets true value for money, with and contours. long-lasting comfort and attractive designs and story contours. The of MM Rubber Co.Ltd. and its brand “MM Foam” is anRubber objectCo.Ltd. lesson and for the small The story of MM its brand and medium sector of the Indian rubber in“MM Foam” is an object lesson for the small dustry, that quality rewards of recand medium sectorbrings of thethe Indian rubber inognition, profitable and durable growth and dustry, that quality brings the rewards of recimmense opportunities penetrate into and the ognition, profitable and to durable growth global market with its environment-friendly immense opportunities to penetrate into the credentials. This is its further strengthened by global market with environment-friendly the fact that the products are truly green, credentials. This is further strengthened by made from farm-based natural renewable the fact that the products are truly green, resources andfarm-based can be fullynatural recycled after the made from renewable end of its primary resources and canproduct be fully life. recycled after the end of its primary product life.

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Kanam Latex Industries Pvt. Ltd.

Market leader in surgical and examination gloves India’s leading manufacturer of surgical and examination gloves, Kanam Latex Industries Pvt. Ltd., established in 1986, has an installed capacity of over 240 million pairs of pre-powdered and powder-free surgical and examination gloves per year

T

oday, Kanam’s gloves are renowned for their highest quality standards. Besides being the market leader in India, the company also exports to various countries such as the US, the EU, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia

Ravi Abraham

“An impeccable pair of gloves, a protective second skin that gives the wearer an extra sense of safety and comfort -- this is precisely what the company offers, achieved through its total commitment to quality,” says Ravi Abraham, Managing Director of the company. Stringent quality standards have earned the company the prestigious ISO 9001-2000 Certification besides ISO 13485, CE Certification, Registration with the US FDA ( 510K) and ISI Certification

High-quality processing The factory has a clean, hygienic, dust-free, manufacturing environment. The plant is completely closed and the factory has controlled exit and entry points with positive air-filtered system as per GMP guidelines for the manufacture of a medical device. This ensures that the gloves are uncontaminated with a Low Bio Burden.

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In addition to Watertight Test, each batch of glove is electronically tested for micro-pores. Even though the controlled production produces gloves with less than 1 per cent pinholes, 100% inspection is being done, involving over 100 skilled and trained personnel to offer a defect-free glove with a factory A. Q. L. of less than 0.65, as against International Norms of 1.5. The laboratory has all the facilities and is well-equipped to test quality of raw materials, physical properties of gloves and protein content of gloves using a Spectrophotometer. Estimation of protein is done for every batch of gloves, as per ASTM – D5712 using Modified Lowry Method.

Impressive growth

Carefully selected non-toxic rubber chemicals with safe levels of concentration are used for the process. The compounded latex is further clarified to remove excess chemicals, if any.

“A total growth rate of more than 5,000% has been achieved in our operations. Our state-of-the-art factories integrate all modern machinery, thus allowing us to become a world leader in manufacture of latex surgical gloves,” says Ravi Abraham, adding, “We have been directly audited by the US FDA. and our systems and practices have been found to be in compliance.” Certificate of Merit for Exports for four consecutive years was awarded to the company by CAPEXIL.

Moreover, only the imported, US FDAapproved Bio-Absorbable Dusting Powder USP is used to powder the gloves. The powder in the tanks are closely monitored and controlled for bacteria build-up and protein content. The powder content on the glove is monitored to keep within levels as per ASTM D-3577 standards.

Part of the Ooppoottil Group of Companies, founded by Late Kurian Abraham and currently led by A. Kurian, Kanam Latex Industries located at Nagercoil, India, has been in the rubber industry since 1946 with extensive interest in rubber plantations and are the largest manufacturers of centrifuged latex in India. Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


Beta Healthcare Products Pvt Ltd

Exporters of world class gloves

Beta Healthcare Products Private Limited, having its manufacturing facility located at Cochin Special Economic Zone, Kerala, India, is one of the fast growing manufacturers and exporters of surgical and medical examination gloves.

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eta Healthcare Products Pvt Ltd has a glove line facility to produce 24 million pairs of surgical gloves per annum. It has an integrated facility to inspect and pack as per the production capacity. Each glove coming out from the manufacturing facility goes through stringent quality tests to meet the domestic as well as international quality standards. Surgical gloves are sterilized in own facility in a validated sterilisation system as per international standard EN ISO 11135-1:2007. Powder-free gloves are manufactured by off line process in a fully automated chlorination machine imported from Malaysia.

Quality control The manufacturing process is controlled by means of a well-established quality control procedure involving raw material selection and testing, intermediary raw materials testing, in-process quality assurance, preliminary auditing of finished goods, 100% automated and manual inspection for pin holes and other defects, final auditing, pre-shipment inspection etc., post market surveillance and stability studies etc. Surgical Rubber Gloves are produced under the brand name “Pristeen”. The range comprises powdered sterile disposable, powder-free sterile disposable, non-sterilepowdered and non-sterile powder-free varieties. Medical Examination Rubber Gloves produced under the brand name “Hanz-

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On” comprise powdered, sterile and powder-free-sterile categories. Diamond Textured Examination gloves is another speciality product from Beta Healthcare Products Pvt Ltd.

Certifications The products are certified with CE marking as per MDD 93/42EEC as amended for Sterile and Non-Sterile products. Other certifications the company has include: ISO 13485:2003 (certified by EVPU), ISO 9001:2008 (certified by ANAB and Orion) and cGMP Certified by Altis Certification Services Beta Healthcare Products Pvt Ltd has a most modern glove line facility to produce 24 million pairs of surgical gloves per annum. It has an integrated facility to inspect and pack as per the production capacity. “Each glove coming out from the manufacturing facility goes through stringent quality tests to meet the domestic as well as international quality standards,” says Dr Xavier Moolayil, Managing Director of the company. “Our gloves are exported to South Africa, Israel, Iran, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zimbabwe & Nepal while 20 % of the total production is marketed domestically,” says Joseph Jose, Executive Director and Director-Head Marketing.

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Deproteinisation drive in

NR latex

Great progress has been made in eliminating as much as possible the protein content in fresh latex as well as in latex products employing different methods and processes to minimize the protein allergic reactions

T

he most abundant non-rubber costituents (excluding water) in fresh latex are proteins, lipids, quebrachitol and inorganic salts. The total protein content of fresh latex is approximately 1-1.5% of which 20% is absorbed on rubber particles. These water soluble proteins are to be eliminated as much as possible to minimize the protein allergic reactions.

Methods of deproteinisation Dr. Siby Varghese The writer is Deputy Director, Technical Consulatancy Division, Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam, Kerala, India-686 009 (Sibyvargese100@yahoo.com)

Centrifugation, enzymatic deproteinisation, leaching and chlorination are the most popular methods adopted for deproteinisation of NR latex/products. Extractable protein (EP) in natural rubber latex can be minimized at two stages. The first is in the latex stage itself, in which the raw material is treated to reduce the amount of proteins. The second is in the product stage where the latex products are subjected to leaching in water in or-

der to reduce the protein content.

Latex stage deproteinisation Single and double-centrifuged latex

Centrifugation is the most important method adopted for the concentration of field latex. Dilution of the single centrifuged latex followed by re-centrifuging reduces the amount of soluble protein content of the concentrate. Films made from double centrifuged latices have lower EP content compared to the films of single centrifuged latex concentrate. However, the films of double centrifuged latex still require leaching for further reduction of the EP content. The additional cost of production has diminished the acceptance of double centrifuged latex in industry. Re-centrifuging of prevulcanised latex is also found to reduce the EP content when compared to normal prevulcanised latex.

Enzymatic deproteinisation Enzymes are highly specialized proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. The antigenic potential of NR latex can be reduced by treating the latex with a proteolytic enzyme to digest the protein in to small pieces (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Digestion of proteins with proteolytic enzymes

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Deproteinisation of Hevea latex can also be conducted by proteolytic enzymes such as ficin, trysin, protease, bromelan and pepain. Certain drawbacks associ-

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Table 1: Variation of protein content with γ-radiation Process

Protein content, mg/g Cream phase

Serum phase

Field latex (after centrifuging)

1.20

11.30

Field latex (after centrifuging & Irradiation)

4.40

--

Field latex (after irradiation & centrifuging)

0.60

13.86

Field latex (after irradiation, dilution and centrifuging)

Not detected

14.01

ated with enzymatic deproteinisation are: 1) Low level of deproteinization (40-50%) under normal conditions 2) Selective deproteinisation and hence inconsistency in the process, and 3) High level of dilution required for latex (3%) which ultimately leads to low PRI. An enzymatically produced low protein latex concentrate called Loprol has been developed by RRIM, Malaysia. Though Loprol could meet specifications of examination and surgical gloves, it could not find market due to the high cost of production, requirement for additional centrifugation etc. Other commercially available low protein latices are Laptex (Revertex), Selatex, Startex (Thailand) and Allotex (Indonesia).

Deproteinisation using radiation process About 20% of the proteins, including the enzyme required for rubber bio-synthesis, are bound to the latex particle surface. During irradiation of natural rubber latex, this particle bound proteins undergo disintegration which get washed away during centrifuging,

SR Polymeric Coat (Physical Barrier)

Protein

NR Substrate

Figure 2: Polymer coating of NR films

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leading to deprotenised latex. Hence, the deproteinised latex can be prepared from NR latex by irradiating the field latex with γ–radiation to a total dose of 20 kGy followed by diluting the latex to 2830 drc. This diluted latex is then centrifuged which will give concentrated latex almost free of soluble proteins. Table 1 illustrates the variation of soluble protein at each step in the deproteinisation process.

Product stage deproteinisation

Leaching process Leaching is an essential process in the production of almost all latex products. Leaching removes the excess coagulants, water soluble non-rubber materials such as proteins and residual compounding ingredients from products. This imparts good physical properties and better film clarity to the products. Leaching can be done either to the wet-gel in the online or to the dry-film in the off-line process. In the production of latex examination gloves, wet-gel leaching is often carried out for a period of several minutes, usually 1-10 minutes, in a continuous chain dipping line. It is found that a slurry dip, immediately after drying, gives much more effective reduction of extractable protein content in latex gloves. In some cases, a combination of wet-gel leaching and dry-film leaching is desirable for removing the EP. Surface coating of finished products, either by dipping or by spraying is another technique used for reducing the EP content.

Polymer coating Migration of protein can be limited by coating NR latex gloves with a synthetic polymeric barrier which also provides easy donning in the absence of powder. The coating materials normally employed for medical gloves are hydrogel, acrylic, silicone polymer, polyurethane or polymer blends. Polymer coating, therefore, is a suitable alternative to chlorination for the production of powder-free latex examination gloves of low extractable protein content (Figure 2).

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the surface of the latex particle and subsequently substituting the protein molecules and displacing them (Figure 3). After displacement, the protein becomes mobile and easier to dispose off.

Silica

Rubber Particle

Assessment of protein content Protein

Figure 3: Replacement of rubber bound proteins by silica Table 2: Reduction in protein level with different processes Method Extractable protein in latex immediately after extraction After enzyme treatment Preserved field latex Centrifuged latex Double centrifuged latex Compounded latex (by solubilisation) In-process leaching Vulcanization Off-line leaching Chlorination Radiation processing

Amount, % 100 2 150 13 8 8 10 15 4 0.3 Non-detectable

Chlorination Chlorination, which is used to reduce surface friction and tack, markedly decreases EP. Online chlorination of NR latex products is performed by immersing the products for 2-3 minutes with 0.3% of chlorine solution. After chlorination, the articles should be washed in a 2% aqueous ammonia solution. They are then washed in water and dried. Reactions of chlorine with NR products result in a significant reduction in the level of extractable latex proteins due to the additional washings carried out during and after chlorination and the conversion of some latex proteins to insoluble forms due to chlorination. NRL Gloves + Chlorine — Chlorinated Gloves Fumed silica

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The addition of fumed silica to NR latex compounds will assist in the production of NR gloves with lower extractable protein. The silica is assumed to attach itself to

The most commonly used methods for the measurement of extractable protein (EP) content are modified Lowery method, notably the RRIM modified Lowery, which is adopted as MS 1392: 1998, the ASTM D5712-95 and 99 and EN 455-3:1999. The reductions in protein content by different techniques are listed in Table 2.

Regulatory standards The following gives a summary of the actions taken by the various regulatory bodies and standards organizations. The following are the published standards related to latex gloves: • Published Europen Stanadards EN 4553 in 1999. It is entitled Medical gloves for single use -- Part 3: Requirements and Testing for biological evaluation. This requires manufacturers to monitor protein levels to establish process limited for water-extractable and labelling. • D5712-99: Standard Test Method for the Analysis of Aqueous Extractable Protein in Natural Rubber and its Products Using the Modified Lowery Method (1999). • D 6499-00: Standard Test Methods for the Immunological measurement of antigenic protein in Natural Rubber and its products (2000) • D 6124-01: Standard Test Method for Residual Powder on Medical Gloves (2001) ASTM has recommended limits for aqueous protein content, powder amount and antigenic protein contents for rubber examination and surgical gloves as follows:

Aqueous soluble protein content:

200 µg/dm2

Antigenic protein content

10 µg/dm2

Powder content

10 mg/dm2 (examination gloves) 15 mg/dm2 (surgical gloves)

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S F Pearl Mill

Versatile state-of-the-art milling & grinding machines R

eputed in the fabrication of custommade process plants and machinery, S.F. Engineering Works, Mumbai (India), is the manufacturer of Pearl Mill, the much sought after grinding and milling machinery range. This most advanced range of mills is known for their high grinding efficiency and a host of other unique features. Pearl Mill from S. F Engineering Works, Mumbai, has already taken the industry by storm thanks to its outstanding features such as high grinding efficiency, enclosed design, double-acting mechanical seal, optimal adjustment of bead charge, wear-resistant grinding chamber, integrated lifting device, multiple cooling etc.

Fayazulla Sayed Founder-Promoter S F Engineering Works

The mill has special rotor design for use with various grinding media like glass beads, zirconia, ermil, zirmil-y, zirmil-ce, rimaxetc, ranging from size 0.5mm to 2.5mm. It is notable that the Quality of Super Dispersed Slurry milled by Pearl Mill is found to be Average of 1 to 2 Microns, which is of much higher quality/standards than ball milled for 72 hours to get just 5 to 8 Microns. Further, Sulfur, as experienced by Ball Mill users in past as a difficult chemical to be milled for getting good dispersions, has been found to be very well dispersed , after Pearl Grinder Milling, claims the company.

Cost efficiency The reduction in the operation costs are quite significant due to the Mill’s very strong cost-saving features. This will be clear within just one year of operations. In fact, the machine will turn out to be a highly profitable proposition in the subsequent years.

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One of the main features of the mill is its high productivity. One pearl grinder mill can very easily replace 8 to 16 ball mills. S.F. Pearl Mill is suitable for grinding low, medium, high viscosity material between 50 CPS and 5000 CPS Thixotropics and products with highly pigmented system. Pearl Mill’s clientele has been from Latex, Chemical, Paint, Inks, Pharmaceuticals, Minerals, Food and related industries, for the past two-and-a-half decades. The company supplies the machines regularly to various industries throughout the country and abroad to the complete satisfaction of the customers.

Company profile S F Engineering today manufactures a wide range of Mixers, Grinders, Dispersers, Milling, Drying and Separating equipment, Crushing and Pulverizing, Dispersing and Milling, Drying and Filtering, Mixing Wet and Dry etc., for Construction, Chemicals, Food, Flavors, Colour, Ink, Leather, Chemicals, Emulsions, Lighting, Emulsion, Paint, Primers, Putties, Powder Coating, Pharmaceutical, Pigment/ Dyestuff & Coating, Tea, Coffee, Spices/ Masala Grinding & Mineral industries. S. F. Engineering Works was incorporated in 1972 as a proprietorship firm. The founder of the company is Late Ziaulla I Sayed. Over the years, the firm jointly with its clients, has taken up the challenge in finding solutions and developing cost-effective equipment & processes for meeting their stringent requirements. For details, visit: www.sfengineering.in

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J.G. Chemicals Private Limited

Committed to quality, total customer satisfaction JGC, a leading producer of zinc oxide, has a list of satisfied customers who are leaders in the fields of tyres, paints, cosmetics, ceramics, catalysts, cattle feed, electroplating products and all kinds of rubber products

J

.G. Chemicals Pvt.Ltd. (JGC) is a part of the renowned BDJ Group and has been producing zinc oxide since its inception in the year 1975. The BDJ group has made major contribution to the growth of various industries in India since 1900. The company stands for 30 years of reliable, consistent and high-quality service to the zinc oxide user industry. Today JGC’s list of customers includes leaders in the auto-tyres, tubes, beltings, other rubber goods manufacturers, glass, ceramics, lubricants, paints, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics and agriculture sectors. The management of JGC is vested in a responsible, experienced, creative and dynamic team of professionals having the right blend of youth and experience.

Suresh Jhunjhunwala Managing Director J.G. Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.

“The expanding usage of zinc oxide has undoubtedly contributed to the growth of our company. We believe, however, that a far greater contribution is made in the way we discharge our commitment to our customers. Our team of trained and dedicated employees enables us to fulfill commitment which, simply stated, is: consistent quality, exceptional service and security of supplies,” says Suresh Jhunjhunwala, Managing Director of J.G. Chemicals.

Many uses of zinc oxide With manufacturing sites at two different locations, JGC today is one of the leading producers of zinc oxide in India. Zinc oxide is a fluffy white powder, which is used in various industries for various reasons. The pure zinc oxide exhibits a strikingly brilliant white shade. It is almost completely opaque to ultra violet light. Zinc oxide appears to be white due to its fine particle size. The individual crystals are colourless when pure.

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Zinc oxide is a driving force not only for the rubber goods industries but also for the ceramic industry. Added to animal feed, it provides a vital trace element, while its presence in fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, dentistry and cosmetics is equally important, not to mention its role in the manufacture of semi-conductors and other components of electronic industry. Besides, it has many other versatile uses viz. application in the field of glassware, paints, catalysts, adhesives etc. JGC has always laid a great deal of emphasis on production of quality material. JGC produces zinc oxide in various grades and specifications depending on the requirement of its customers. Its production sites are best known for efficiency and prompt response as per the needs of our clients. JGC uses the French Process (Indirect), combined with the most advanced manufacturing technology, for the production of different grades of zinc oxide.

Emphasis on quality This criticality is captured in the company’s quality policy, which dictates an encompassing quality approach across the organisation. The company’s quality discipline has been endorsed through an ISO: 9001:2008 Certification by one of the leading auditors, IRQS. Small specifications make a big difference. Keeping this in view, the company has a state-of- the-art laboratory with the latest equipment and qualified personnel performing all the necessary tests. “We believe in helping our customers by producing zinc oxide which suits their needs totally. We work closely with our customers to develop particular grades of zinc oxide tailor-made for their needs. Nevertheless,

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it is always noteworthy for us that Quality Management is not just a matter of the ISO Certification. It’s a matter of putting quality standards into practice. In pursuit of this goal, we continuously pool all our knowhow and experience in the area of management, R & D, production and logistics,” says Suresh Jhunjhunwala.

The business activities of JGC are driven by the Company’s philosophy of “Long Term” business partnership with customers through market responsive approach and efficient service The effectiveness of the quality system enforced can very well be analysed from the fact that the organization possesses an almost nil rejection record. The level of customer satisfaction can be judged from the repeat orders received from customers. This is something that the company values the most. JGC’s aim is to “better the best” everyday and take on new challenges that come in its path, Jhunjhunwala says.

Customer is king The business activities of JGC are driven by the Company’s philosophy of “Long Term” business partnership with customers through market responsive approach and efficient service. JGC’s customers can always depend on it as a reliable source of supply, delivering products of consistently high quality, conforming with agreed specifications and with strict adherence to contractual commitments. No wonder, today JGC has a list of satisfied customers who are leaders in the fields of tyres, paints, cosmetics, ceramics, catalysts, cattle feed, electroplating products and all kinds of rubber products. Security of supply is guaranteed by optimum utilisation of production resources, diversified raw material sourcing arrangements and adequate raw material treatment capabilities. With its two manufacturing sites, no other manufacturer can match JGC’s supply security and reliability. This is providing its customers with the opportunity of using Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

JGC as a single supply source. The company has implemented a staff training and awareness programme thereby ensuring that it maintains a permanent dialogue with customers so that it can anticipate the slightest change in market requirements. All JGC personnel are dedicated to the quality management principles of the company and its aim for total customer satisfaction. As a supplier to several of the world’s best-known ‘blue chip’ companies, JGC prides itself on the rigorous maintenance of these standards and procedures.

Distribution network JGC has set up a network of dealers and agents, which enables it to market its products all over India and abroad. This also enables it to provide optimised service through a permanent dialogue with the customer. The organisation liaises closely with its agents and customers to adapt or improve its products according to their needs with minimum lead time. “At JGC we feel that developing and nurturing our human capital base is a prime objective and hence all efforts are made to constantly train the factory and office personnel and keep them conversant with the changes happening in the production process and industry environment. We always try to give our customers an extra bit in addition to just zinc oxide, “says Jhunjhunwala.

Environmental concern Environmental management forms an integral part of JGC’s corporate philosophy. In other words, economic and ecological goals enjoy equal priority. JGC’s working relationships are governed by modem principles of quality management, environmental protection and protecting the health and safety of its employees, customers and suppliers. With the aim of continuously reducing the impact on the environment, JGC selects raw materials on the basis of stringent ecological criteria and minimise the input of energy. Any unavoidable waste products are carefully segregated out prior to material recycling or professional disposal, adds Jhunjhunwala.

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Latex industry:

Process standardisation matters a lot Process standardisation in latex industry is of paramount importance, especially as it can result in significant cost saving. This is all the more true in the case of small and medium companies who are still not aware of the same.

B

efore we discuss the process standardisation, we should know what is meant by variation. Everything is the result of some process, so the chances for some variation in output are built into every process. Because material inputs are the output of some prior process, they are subject to variation, and that variation is transferred to the outputs. Variation will exist even in identical process using identical resources.

Anil Skaria The author has 22 years experience in latex dipping process. He has set up a number of balloon, gloves and teats dipping factories in Thailand and India. He is also a senior ASQ member and Certified Quality Manager from American Society for Quality

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Even though a task is defined and performed in the same manner repeatedly, different operators performing the same task and the same operator performing the same task repeatedly introduce variations. For example, if you are doing the latex compounding, even if you are using the same lot of latex, chemicals and the same operator, there will be many other factors which are not same like other batch of compound you made the previous day, and finally this latex compound may not behave the same way the other compound performed. Here is the art of finding the other variables and their effect on the performance of the compound.

Why it is important in latex industry? Once the product is made, we cannot do anything about it in respect of its variations. We have to either accept or scrap it. If we do not properly control the process in the micro-level and reduce the variations as least as possible, it can really cause lots of scrap

or poor quality products. A couple of times, I have heard people say (complain), “We received the latex from the same lot, the same ‘specification’, but still Table FACTORS

VARIABLES

Material

Manufacturing source /Age/Storage Condition/Lot

Machine

Use the same machine to process the material/ Same process parameters /

Man

Has the person strictly followed the agreed operating procedure?

Environment

Temp./Humidity/Air flow

Measurements

Influence of the accuracy of measurement equipment/sampling process/ repeatability & reproducibility of the operator

we have lots of processing problems and higher scraps.” The reason is that there are many requirements we can measure, but unfortunately most of the “un-known factors” remain unknown or not able to measure. The table below gives a short summary of

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the different factors and variables.

analysis, lot number, expiry date.

Types of variation

b. Getting the good quality water with known hardness (as less as good) pH

Walter Shewhart, the father of modern quality control, distinguished two kinds of processes -- 1) a stable process with “inevitable chance variation” and 2) an unstable process with “assignable cause of variation.” When the amount of variation can be predicted with confidence, the process is said to be in a state of statistical control. In an unstable process, every batch of product is a source of excitement! Unfortunately, most of the latex industries are in the second category – except the well-reputed multinational companies. The prime reason is the lack of proper understanding about the standardisation process and the controlled process. Most of the companies tend to buy poor quality raw materials from different sources, never standardising the process or running the process with standardised process parameters. Now, let us see how this is applicable in the latex balloon manufacturing industry. A typical production process of latex balloon involves: i). Preparation of the dispersions, ii) Latex compounding, iii) Dipping, iv) Tumbling and v). Packing

Preparation of dispersions When we go for the standardisation of this process, we may not be aware of the parameters that affect the quality of a good dispersion. It starts with the measureable parameters below:

c. A cleaned mixing tank d. A dispersion formula; it is always good to make a dispersion with high solid content (60 %) e. A clear procedure on how to mix this as per the dispersion formula, how long it should mix at what temperature and at what final speed. Check the quality of mix (Are there any air bubbles? Is the powder properly wet?) f. A suitable machine to make dispersion (pearl mill). Condition of the machine, standard operating parameters of the machine (temperature, speed, flow rate input and output) g. Then making the dispersion and checking the viscosity, TSC, pH of the dispersion from the outlet every interval and checking the variations. h. Finally, checking the quality of the dispersion for the particle size, TSC, pH, viscosity. Use this dispersion, produced in “controlled” conditions and conforming to known parameters for the latex compound; its other processes are in a controlled condition. Then you measure the output of the latex product, against the product requirements and yield. If both of these are within the expected level, you can fix these as the dispersion’s quality requirements and always stick to these requirements, including process parameters.

Latex compounding

Preparation of dispersions

This is the most important part of the process and it is here all the major problems start. The first is the selection of centrifuged latex. Normally most of the manufacturers select the latex based on some typical parameters like MST, KOH, VFA etc. and by experience all of us know that based on this data alone we cannot guarantee how this latex performs during production.

a. Buying the raw materials from a reputed manufacture with proper certificates of

A lot of work has to be done to standardise the real requirements of latex needed for

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your particular process. First of all, you have to visit your centrifuged latex supplier and understand how they collect and process the latex. To begin the standardisation, at this stage, get the latex which you know exactly how it is collected and processed. Latex compounding

Tumbling and packing To standardise this process, all the following factors such as input quantity, air flow, speed of rotation, moisture and packing have to be standardized. Since most of the operations are manual, lots of things such as repeatability of the person, counting and carton preparations have to be standardised.

Then, you process this latex with the dispersions which are produced as per the above mentioned standard process conditions, then compound this latex with well-controlled process steps. Controlled conditions in compounding include the following parameters: a. Accuracy of weighting systems, b. Accuracy of the person, c. Order of mixing, d. Quality of water, e. Temperature, f. Time, g. Mixing speed, h. Maturation time, i. Accuracy of the tests.

Tumbling

Finally, use this latex compound in production under controlled process conditions, measure the quality and yield if it meets the requirements, then fix these parameters at the compounding process.

Dipping To standardise the dipping process, we should be aware of the factors that affect this process. Assuming that we fix the latex compound parameters, we should know the following factors:

Dipping

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a. Machine speed, b. Cleanliness of the formers, c. Orientation of the former assembly, d. Latex/coagulant dipping tank flow, e. Latex / coagulant dipping tank stirrer speed, f. Temperature of the dipping latex / coagulant, g. Level of latex / coagulant, h. Speed of latex / coagulant replenishment, i. Humidity, j. Temp. of all ovens, k. Temp of the surrounding, l. Air flow in the ovens, m. Accuracy of the temperature gauges

Packing

I was, in fact, trying to elaborate how important it is to standardise the process and then finally run the process with the standardised controlled process parameters. If there are any changes in the above mentioned five factors, then validate the process with the new changes and update the process parameters. Based on my 24 years’ experience I have witnessed significant increase in yields and output because of process standardisation. If readers want to know more on this subject, please contact: anilska@hotmail.com

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Technology

Kishore K Muralidharan

Information Technology

The game-changer Information Technology contributes to major improvements in product and process design and towards more efficient and flexible factory operations

T

he secret of the success of any manufacturing unit lies in the efficiency with which its resources are used to optimum potential. The increase in cost of

any manufacturer today. The price of rubber too has sky-rocketed, but customers are unwilling to accept the frequent increase in prices. Moreover, regular revision in prices adversely affects the reputation of the manufacturer. So what is the solution? How will a manufacturing unit survive in such a difficult situation? Here too, Darwin’s theory applies, it seems. Only the fittest survive. The fittest are those who know how to optimise use of resources - minimising wastage and reducing factory downtime – and they do efficient planning and take timely corrective action.

Timely corrective action

Kishore K Muralidharan

The author is Director, La -Tech International, ERP Software consultants for Latex & Rubber Industry

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production on account of various factors — cost of raw material, labour and different consumables — has become a challenge to

Timely action can only be taken when there is ready availability of accurate information about the situation. In most cases, information reaches very late and then there is chance only for a post- mortem, which gives wonderful insight, no doubt, and can equip the management to meet a similar kind of challenge in future. What if the next challenge is of a different nature? More postmortems? We shall look for information which helps

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the management to take decisions proactively. Only then can an organisation survive in a challenging environment. We often wonder why a few companies not only survive in difficult times, but also grow at a decent pace. Their success is no accident; they make the best use of technology in manufacturing as well as in management. The managers of such organisations have accurate information about their area of operation at any given time. Change is painful, but there are no shortcuts. Most organisations are ready to invest millions of dollars on machinery, but when it comes to implementing efficient software solutions, many do shy away. The reason could be the intangible nature of this technological product. A million-dollar worth software may look like any software programme running in one’s laptop, but it can churn out data that could be eye- openers, and such data could enable the organisation to take a re-look at their current processes.

Competing successfully A typical manufacturing business is devoted to the production of tangible products that are best in quality, competitive cost-wise, meet customers’ expectations of performance and are delivered on time. Achieving the appropriate balance among these attri-

A typical manufacturing business is devoted to the production of tangible products that are best in quality, competitive cost-wise, meet customers’ expectations of performance and are delivered on time. Achieving the appropriate balance among these attributes — quality, cost, performance and time to market — poses a challenge to all manufacturing businesses.

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butes — quality, cost, performance and time to market — poses a challenge to all manufacturing businesses. In a manufacturing environment changing more rapidly now than during earlier times, competing successfully means latex and rubber products manufacturers increasingly provide customers with quicker order-supply schedule, greater product customisation, and better product quality and performance. All this, while meeting stringent environmental constraints. Accomplishing these requires major changes in current manufacturing practices; such changes include the use of new and/or more complex manufacturing processes, greater use of information to avoid wastes and defects, and more flexible manufacturing styles.

Current scenario Current level of information technology (IT) support is inadequate in the rubber / latex industry. Except for a few large organisations, most other manufacturers have conventional approach and there is a lot of scope to improve in the IT space. Although individual demonstrations — in particular, manufacturing activities today — hint at the potential impact of information technology, high degrees of integration have not yet been achieved. Implementation of industry specific IT solutions are needed to attain higher degrees of integration, because as the capabilities and applications of the global information infrastructure increase, the problems associated with closed or proprietary manufacturing systems will only grow. Better IT contributes to major improvements in product and process design and towards more efficient and flexible factory operations. Exploiting the full potential of IT to improve manufacturing requires addressing many non-technological as well as technical areas. For good reasons, factory managers are cautious about the promises of IT and concerned about underestimating the potential risks of investing in it.

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IT experts with domain knowledge of latex and rubber are few in number; they understand the specific user requirements and address various industry specific concerns of technological risk. Work force adaptation and organisational resistance cannot be dismissed, but, if information technology implementation is to be viable and acceptable in the factory environment, such questions should be directly addressed and resolved by an industry specific IT expert.

Better IT contributes to major improvements in product and process design and towards more efficient and flexible factory operations. Exploiting the full potential of IT to improve manufacturing requires addressing many non-technological as well as technical areas.

software will not suit the latex or rubber products industry. Here, the standards and practice are totally different. The lack of domain knowledge would waste valuable management time on explaining each process to the software development team and on documenting the same. Designing or customising existing software will also require an equal amount of time. Successful implementation can be possible only when the users are comfortable using the ERP software on a daily basis. This is the most challenging part for any organiaation, but a strong management will and a good, experienced implementation team can make all the difference.

Software modular concept

The ERP software solutions are usually designed on modular concept and the advantage of such modular structure is that there is always an option on scalability when the organisation grows. These modules work on ‘plug and play’ concept. An ERP software can make life easy during FDA audits or ISO audits. This is because, in an integrated software environment, data is captured at every stage and thus there is complete documentation of the process online. Every piece of data can be generated The potential benefits of improving manuaccurately from the system at any point of facturing performance are enormous when margins are low, and markets are demand- time. ing information technology that can help Manufacturers are already using few IT innosupport and sustain a vibrant manufacturing vations like Networked computers, E-mail, enterprise. Accounting software, Remote cameras, Thumb reader/swipe cards for attendance, Choosing the software solution Barcodes, Digital outputs from machines Choosing the software solution is the big- etc. An organisation can reap benefits when gest challenge, every software vendor will all these gadgets work together seamlessly vouch on their capabilities and promise in an integrated environment. the moon and stars, but, as a manufacturer, one has to be very careful with this vital A good ERP software solution can be used decision. As mentioned earlier, the do- for this purpose and the management would main knowledge of the software-solution be able to have total control of their organprovider is very important. It may sound isation. An ERP software implementation is very simple to convert one manufacturing never an expensive affair but a worth while process to another, but the same type of capital investment.

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CENTRIFUGED LATEX 60% Processed from fresh estate grade field latex produced inhouse from own large plantation.

ISI MARKING CONFORMS TO ACCEPTED QUALITY STANDARDS PACKED IN FIRST QUALITY DRUMS WIDE CUSTOMER BASE MARKETED UNDER

VANIAMPARA LATEX BRAND

IS 5430

Vaniampara Rubber Company Limited Comfoams Ltd. CM/L-6390271

Vazhakkala Buildings, KK Road, Kottayam 686 001, Telephone: Office : 0481 2584248, 2564946 Res.: 0481 2574248, 2578438, Fax: 91 481 2563854, E-mail: vanrubco@yahoo.com


A Saj Mathews

MARGMA

Global platform of

glove industry T

he Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers’ Association (MARGMA) representing the trade association of rubber and latex glove manufacturers in Malaysia and other supplier and supporting companies related to the industry, both local and overseas, is today the undisputed global platform of the glove industry Established in 1989, as a non-profit organisation, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers’ Association (MARGMA) has been the official voice and advocate of the rubber glove industry in Malaysia. Collaborating closely with key Malaysian Government agencies and related ASEAN trade associations, MARGMA ever strives to promote and protect the interests of its members and the industry. It also extends a wide range of services to members comprising Malaysian rubber glove manufacturers and associated suppliers and supporting organisations. MARGMA provides a common platform for discussion and exchange of views aimed at furthering the commercial objectives of its members and promoting a solid trade fraternity amongst them. MARGMA also assists its members in addressing domestic and international issues related to their businesses and the industry. The Association is administered by a panel

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of elected Executive Committee and is supported by the Secretariat in its dayto-day operations. Ordinary Members comprise bona fide rubber glove manufacturers in Malaysia. Associate Members comprise companies associated with the rubber glove manufacturing industry.

Objectives The Association is committed to bringing about a common understanding and unity of all manufacturers through regular interaction, consultation and mutual sharing and to work to improve the quality, image and competitiveness of latex gloves through standard scheme, R&D projects, and promotion and marketing efforts. Its other objectives are to represent member-companies on their interest and grievances through representation, intervention and advocacy and to keep member-companies informed and updated on technological advancement, regulatory affairs, market development, etc. through seminars, workshops, exhibitions, publications, resource centre service etc.

Range of services The wide range of services offered by

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companies, and representing the industry in various bodies and functions. MARGMA Newsletter and Membership Directory, with current industry updates and member listing, Seminar on Glove Automation, Validation, Design Control, an event the industry always looks forward to, Regional grouping of Glove Manufacturers and the formation of Asean Rubber Glove Manufactures Association (ARGMA) are also among the major initiatives of the Association.

Lim Kwee Shyan

MARGMA include: • Advocacy and voice • Industry development and enhancement • Event management • Publications • Resource centre service • Business networking activities

Taking up industry issues The Association acknowledges the challenges within the rubber glove industry and seeks to assist its members in various issues affecting the industry. The variety of current issues being taken up by the Association include price volatility of natural rubber latex, protection and enhancement of NR latex gloves, regulatory compliance including European regulations, FDA regulations and glove standards, waste management and industry requirements including latex, labour and energy supplies

Milestones MARGMA prides itself in having made significant contributions to its Member Companies and the industry as a whole. Some significant contributions of the Association in its service to the industry include launching of the Standard Malaysian Glove Programme (SMG), advocating and voicing the concerns and requirements of Member-

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MARGMA is also the hosts and organisers of the highly acclaimed biennial International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition since 2002. This year’s conference, themed Innovation for Sustainability, will highlight the latest developments in the medical devices industry as well as sustainability of the industry, says MARGMA President Lim Kwee Shyan. As for the Exhibition, “there is a 47.72% increase in the number of booths compared to that in 2010,” he adds.

Organisational structure The MARGMA Executive Committee meets regularly to administer the Association and to address the current industry issues. The Committee consists of 9 elected members, the Immediate Past President and 2 co-opted members. The MARGMA Management Committee 2011– 2013 comprises: President Lim Kwee Shyan (Rubbercare Protective Products), Vice President Low Jau Foo, Denis (Supermax) Hon. Treasurer Leong Loh Kong, Patrick (Tekmedic), Hon. Secretary Kuan Mun Keng (Hartalega), Immediate Past President Lee Kim Meow (Top Glove), Committee Members G. Baskaran (Brightway), Lim Khoon Kang (WRP Asia Pacific), Lim Siau Thian, Lawrence (Kossan) , Ong Boon Kee (GB Industries) , Dr. S. Supramaniam (Bonric) Lam Yat Heng, Aaron (Flexitech), Lim Sing Poew (Riverstone) and Ong Chong Yen, Danny (YTY).

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IRGCE 2012:

Global glove industry converging to discuss

sustainability

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I

nnovation holds the key to sustainability and this is all the more true with the global glove industry. As such, the 6th edition of the International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE 2012) has aptly chosen Innovation for Sustainability as its focal theme.

event, the theme indeed reflects the importance of innovation in a fast-growing industry, balancing between rising costs of production in labour, raw materials and energy, and the issue of depletion of natural resources such as oil, gas and water.

According to Lim Kwee Shyan, President of Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), that organises the

The Malaysian edge Once again, Malaysia, the undisputed global glove capital, is hosting the event

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The 6th edition of the International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE 2012) promises to be the biggest ever convergence of the global rubber glove industry to deliberate on the theme: Innovation for Sustainability

(September 4-6) at a time when the Malaysian glove industry has come a long way from the early days more than twenty years ago. At that time, the Malaysian glove export was only RM848 million, with surgical gloves taking up more than 30% of the exports. Over the next ten years, Malaysia's glove exports grew by leaps and bounds and by the year 2000, glove exports had crossed RM3.33 billion, an increase of almost 300%! Since then, glove exports have been climbing steadily until it reached RM9.70 billion in 2011. Meanwhile, the export of Malaysian rubber products as a whole is expected to grow00% again this year Lim Kwee Shyan after taking into account all the economic crises that are currently taking place, according to Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council CEO, Datuk Teo Suat Cheng. Last year, the country's exports of rubber products increased to record RM14.2billion, up by 10.3% from 2010. Specifically, the export of rubber gloves, that has been proven to be a recession-proof item, may fare better to grow at 10.6% this year, he said while speaking after the signing ceremony between Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) and a total of 13 main exhibitors and sponsors for IRGCE 2012

Challenging times A major concern of the glove industry is that the cost of production has been escalating over the years. In recent years, cost of chemicals, packaging, transportation, etc. have also increased, not to mention the increase in natural gas, water and electricity. This has caused tight margins in glove manufacturing. “Thus, there is an urgent need for glove manufacturers to look at innovations to cut costs; automation, lean manufacturing, etc are areas to

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focus on,” Lim Kwee Shyan says. With the growing healthcare awareness, there is increased spending on healthcare in new emerging markets and, with the occurrence of new strains of infectious diseases, the demand for medical gloves will continue to grow. “Hence it is important for the quality of gloves to be improved, while we continue to expand to meet the increasing demand,” he adds. Though standards such as ISO, ASTM, EN, MS etc. have so far helped Malaysia to keep gloves at relatively high standards, it is of paramount importance that the glove manufacturers should continue to sustain this. Harmonisation of various standards should also be expedited to reduce confusion and contradiction. It is against this backdrop, the forthcoming 6th IRGCE brings together the cream of the global glove industry for in-depth deliberations on the latest trends of the industry. The event is expected to bring forth updates on the latest technology and innovations in the glove industry. It also aims to bring updates on the issue of regulations and standards besides

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India Rubber Summit & Dinner 2012

Charting the road map ahead C

ome September, it’s time for India Rubber Summit & Dinner. Yes, it’s time for the rubber industry stakeholders to take stock of the present global situation in the light of the ongoing economic downturn, volatility of rubber prices, climate change impacting production etc. India Rubber Summit & Dinner 2012 will discuss all such vital issues affecting the world

Significant global participation It is the fourth edition of this mega get-together of domestic and international rubber industry leaders and

sustainability of the industry.

MARGMA’s pride

Galaxy of experts

MARGMA is genuinely proud to host the event once again, following the thumping success of all the previous 5 biennial editions since 2002. To be held over 3 days from September 4 - 6, 2012 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), the event is certain to serve as the landmark point of convergence of key players within the rubber glove and related industries. It is also a common platform for the latest industry news and updates, innovations and developments, whilst fostering closer industrial rapport amongst them.

The event will witness an array of renowned experts, market analysts and technologists leading the sessions and interacting with the delegates. Terrell Cunningham from the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is expected to be a plenary speaker at the Conference. Leading R&D personnel, standards and regulatory experts, industry analysts and market players will present relevant technical and professional papers on the dynamic glove and medical devices industries. Together with other papers on Regulations Update, Innovation, and Sustainability, highlighting the latest developments in the medical devices industry, these inputs will indeed make this year's Conference and Exhibition relevant, imperative, and rewarding, the organisers hope.

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rubber industry and decide on the course of action to combat the challenges confronting the industry in these troubled times.

The 6th IRGCE is held in association with the Malaysian Export Promotion Council (MREPC), the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), the Thai Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (TRGMA) and the Indonesian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (IRGMA). The event is also endorsed and supported by relevant Ministries and Government agencies.

As for the Exhibition, all the 130 booths have been sold-out months before the event. There is an increase of 42 booths or 48% over that of 2010. The exhibition will feature leading Malaysian and international manufacturers and suppliers showcasing a multitude of quality products and services to a host of professional trade visitors, providing opportunities for trade and business networking. Admission by registration is free to all trade visitors and professionals, conference participants, manufacturers, the media and the general public. (Courtesy: www.margma.com)

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September 15, 2012 at Ramada Resort, Kochi, Kerala, India Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam and Germany. All the three past editions of the event, as you know, have been an overwhelming success.

Kurian Abraham

John S. Powath

stakeholders organised annually by Rubber Asia in association with AIRIA-IRE, ATMA and the Indian Rubber Board, and it takes place on September 15, at the same picturesque venue — Ramada Resort, Kochi, India. This time the event is themed Rubber Industry: Opportunities and Challenges in the Changing Economy. The participants, apart from most of the leading domestic players, include big delegations from countries such as China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore,

The enlightening International Seminar, involving world rubber industry leaders, experts, decision makers etc. representing NR producing and consuming countries and major rubber/tyre industry organisations, forms an integral part of the Summit & Dinner, according to Kurian Abraham, Editor and Managing Director of Rubber Asia, and John S. Powath, Executive Director and the architect of the show.

Important speaker line-up Some of the probable speakers of the conference include big names such as: Sheela Thomas IAS, Chairman, Rubber Board, India; Dr. Stephan V. Evans, Secretary General, IRSG, Singapore; Dr. Kamarul Baharain Basir, Secretary General, ANRPC; Sandana Dass, CEO, R1 International, Singapore; Dr. S. Sivakumaran, Green Yield; Dr. James Jacob, Director, RRII; MF Vohra, Chairman, Rubber Products Export Panel, CAPEXIL, Vinod Simon, President, AIRIA, Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, ATMA etc. The IRSD will also provide a big platform for effective business net-working besides renewing old ties and starting new ones.

Rubber industry leaders in rapt attention at IRSD 2011 Conference

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For more information, contact: E-mail: johnpowath@dhanam.in, tnkalamani@gmail.com, profkalamani@dhanam.in Website: www.rubberasia.com, www.tyre-asia.com

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Asian Tyre and Rubber Conference (ATRC) 2013

Preparations in full swing for mega tyre industry event P

reparations are in full swing for the second Asian Tyre and Rubber Conference (ATRC) 2013), the high-profile international event organised by Polymers & Tyre Asia, the widely popular tyre industry magazine from the Dhanam Group. ATRC 2013 will be held at Hyatt Hotel, Chennai, on June 21-22, 2013, the very

we are now preparing for ATRC 2013,” Organising Committee Chairman Zachariah George, renowned rubber technologist and consultant, says.

Conference theme ATRC 2013 is themed on “Technology Innovations and Advancement: Road to a Green Planet.” "The focus on sustainable development is the need of the times. Dramatic changes are taking place in technology when business priorities are closely linked to environment protection, health and safety. This concern has to reflect when a conference of this importance takes place. Globally renowned experts, technologists and business leaders are taking part in ATRC 2013. We want to make sure that their perspectives on the green factor reach to a wide audience,” George says.

Networking opportunity

Zachariah George

venue where the conference made its debut in 2011. Major names from the industry, including BKT, Infinity, MESNAC, Bainite Machinery and Schill & Schilacher have already announced support to the event.

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“The conference is fast getting into shape. We are working on the schedule. One of the reasons behind the success of our debut conference, ATRC 2011, was its fool-proof organisation. Every minute detail was attended to well in advance. It worked with clockwork precision. The all-round applause we received from all those who took part in it was proof to it. It is with same dedication that

ATRC 2013 will provide the best possible networking opportunity to the participants. “The ambience we created during the ATRC 2011 was near perfect for all participants to interact with each other and make the best of networking possibilities. That was also a good opportunity for us to learn how things work best. This has encouraged us to organise the next conference at an even higher level of excellence,” George says. As preparations for ATRC 2013 continue in full vigour, George emphasises that the goal is to set a benchmark for the way an industry event of this magnitude is organised. “With the kind of professional support we have, I am sure this goal is achievable,” he says. For details, visit http://tyre-asia.com

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CITEXPO 2012

10th show to be the biggest of the series

T

he 10th CITEXPO will again be held from September 12 14, 2012 at Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center. Much before the show’s opening, the number of booked stands and floor space has already made a new record in the show’s past ten-year history, according to the show organiser Reliable International Exhibition Services. Wilko Fong, Managing Director of Reliable, expects the number of exhibitors of CITEXPO 2012 will be over 280 occupying 24,000 square metres exhibition space

opportunities, he says. In the past ten years, CITEXPO has become one of the most attended trade show in the worldwide tyre industry.

in the three halls of Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center. CITEXPO 2012 will continue to provide an excellent platform for the worldwide tyre industry professionals to meet and create tremendous business

The 7th Automotive Testing Expo (China), one of the most famous events in the automobile manufacturing industry, will be held in the week right after CITEXPO. For further information and the latest exhibitor list, visit: http://www.citexpo.com.cn or email: citexpo@reliable.org.cn / Tel.:+86(0)10-8589-8181

Seventh International Rubber Exhibition, Conference & Tyre Show (IRE 2013)

India’s largest ever rubber show M

umbai, India’s buzzing commercial capital, is gearing to host the seventh International Rubber Exhibition, Conference & Tyre Show (IRE 2013) from January 22 to 24, 2013 at Bombay Exhibition Center.

and China have already booked exclusive national pavilions to exhibit their products and latest innovations. China has booked a National Pavilion of 1,500 sq.m.

Organised by the All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) and Chemical and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL), IRE 2013 is designed to interact and create significant business relationships with the key players in the global rubber industry.

Concurrent tyre show

IRE 2013, spread over sprawling 30,000 sq.m., will bring the entire gamut of the rubber industry under one roof, including rubber product manufacturing, machinery, raw material, chemicals and testing equipment. Organisations from Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Germany, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, USA

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For the first time, IRE 2013 will host an exclusive concurrent Tyre Show, along side the Rubber Expo. This show offers tremendous opportunities for tyre manufacturers, tyre component manufacturers as well as tyre building machinery and tyre testing equipment manufacturers to interact and network with international tyre entrepreneurs. IRE 2013 will witness a major participation from Small and Medium Enterprises, which will have a special zone dedicated to them. For details, visit www.indiarubberexpo.in

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International Rubber Conference and IRRDB Annual Meetings 2012

Venue for experts to discuss vital NR issues

The International Rubber Conference and IRRDB Annual Meetings hosted by Rubber Board, India, from October 29 - November 2, 2012, at Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of India’s rubber State 0f Kerala, is a forum for experts to discuss all aspects of NR.

T

he International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) is an R&D platform which brings together various agencies, organizations and research insti-

has become a major event in the international NR calendar. Rubber Board, India, is hosting the 10th in the series of the IRRDB-IRC and the Annual Meetings of the IRRDB from 29 October to 02 November, 2012 at Kovalam, Trivandrum, Kerala State, India. IRC 2012 will be held from 29-31 October, 2012 at Hotel Samudra, Kovalam. The Conference will have two days of intensive deliberations focusing on Challenges to Rubber Industry on the first day and on Farm Mechanization on the second day. A field visit will be arranged on the third day to some of the rubber holdings and Rubber Producers’ Societies in the Kanyakumari District of adjacent Tamil Nadu State.

tutes associated with natural rubber (NR) in the NR producing countries of the world. IRRDB covers all aspects of NR from cultivation of Hevea to development of products, trade, trade-related issues and environmental The IRRDB Annual Meetings (restricted concerns. to members and associate members only) While its origins go back to 1934, IRRDB in its will be held from 01- 02 November, 2012 present form began functioning in 1960 with at Hotel Vivanta by Taj, Kovalam. Meeting London as its headquarters which was sub- of the Directors, CEOs and Liaison Offisequently shifted to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia cers of IRRDB will be held on 01 Novemin 2001. Today, IRRDB has 19 countries on ber, 2012 and Meeting of the Board will its membership roll and another half a dozen be held on 02 November, 2012. organizations are its associate members. The member countries cover more than 95% of Those who desire to attend IRC 2012 are requested to register by filling the regthe world NR production. istration form available in the Rubber Along with the Annual Meetings of the Board Website: rubberboard.org.in or IRRDB, an International Rubber Conference contact Rubber Board, India at irc2012@ (IRC) is also conducted every year and this rubberboard.org.in.

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NEWS SPECTRUM P Venugopal

- the Program for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives - based at the Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Bridgestone is also undertaking a project to research and develop guayule. Preparation for the joint project is currently underway.

Russian dandelion

Guayule

Breakthrough in research on

NR alternatives

Extensive research being carried out by tyre majors, automobile giants and universities into the latex properties of Russian dandelion and guayule has made some headway in recent times. Apollo-Vredestein Banden N.V. claims that it has made prototype tyres using natural rubber sourced from Russian dandelion and guayule. The development is part of the firm’s involvement in the European Union-Pearls project, which is developing two alternatives for natural rubber from the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree. The company says natural rubber from these alternatives is being processed to contribute to the production of various types of the Quatrac Lite, size 155/65 R14. Although first impressions look promising, the tyres with the alternative natural rubbers will first undergo extensive testing over the coming months before being taken into production, the company says.

Bridgestone's finding Bridgestone Corporation reports that recent research conducted by Bridgestone Americas indicates that the Russian dandelion can become a commercially viable, renewable source of high-quality, tyre-grade rubber. Bridgestone Americas is one of several collaborators taking part in the Russian Dandelion project being led by PENRA

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Cooper Tire & Rubber has entered into an agreement with Yulex Corporation, a specialist in guayule crop science and renewable products made from guayule, to jointly evaluate and develop guayule polymers and resins for tyre applications. Under the agreement, Cooper Tire will lead a consortium of companies, universities and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture to develop guayule technology for future commercialisation opportunities within the tyre industry. Continental too has thrown in its weight behind the ongoing research into NR alternatives. The company is a member of a consortium of research institutes and research partners who are looking into the latex properties inherent in dandelions. According to Continental, researchers opine that dande-

Bridgestone decodes genome for Hevea Bridgestone Corp. claims it has successfully decoded the main genome sequence for Hevea brasiliensis, commonly known as the rubber tree, and developed technologies to improve disease diagnosis for the plant, which produces latex needed for tyre production. This new genome data are expected to facilitate development of improved breeding technologies and growing methods for natural rubber. These technologies can enable the development of a better clone of the plant and improve the yield and quality of the latex produced. The data also may accelerate research applications in a variety of fields, including the development of a clone with superior disease resistance and stress tolerance, Bridgestone says.

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NEWS SPECTRUM lions could in the future supply a tenth of the rubber demand in its home market of Germany.

Ford’s initiative The Ford Motor Company has joined hands with Ohio State University to conduct research on the potential of Russian dandelion as a sustainable source of rubber. Researchers at Ford believe that all species of Russian dandelion cannot be used as a sustainable resource for rubber. For its project, Ford is using the species Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS), which is being grown at the Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. A milky-white substance that seeps from the

roots of this species of dandelion is used to produce the rubber. The Institute for Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Münster, Germany, has also made some headway in its research into the latex properties of Russian dandelion. “The first research results clearly show Russian dandelions can produce a highquality natural rubber. Its physical and chemical properties match up well with those of the Brazilian rubber tree. But growers would have to plant dandelions on a large scale if industry is to be able to use them to produce natural rubber,” says Dr. Dirk Prüfer, Professor at the University of Münster.

Countries vying to raise NR output being taken by the governments to raise NR production.

Thailand

A rubber plantation in Malaysia

V

arious NR producing countries are vying with one another to expand area under rubber and raise NR productivity. Financial incentives to growers, development of high-yielding and disease-resistant clones etc are some of the measures

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

The Government of Thailand has increased the financial incentive for growers to chop down rubber trees older than 30 years and replace them with new ones to increase productivity. The Office of the Rubber Replanting Aid Fund, Thailand, has set aside 5 billion baht for this purpose. If the fund is approved, the participants will receive an extra 10,000 baht per rai on top of the current compensation rate of 16,000 baht per rai. The Rubber Committee has acknowledged a plan to increase the number old trees to be cut down from 250,000 rai a year to 500,000 rai.

Indonesia The Indonesian Government has drawn up a plan to revitalise Stateowned rubber plantations with a target to increase productivity by 44.5 % to an annual average of 1, 300 kilograms per hectare by 2015. The revitalisation programme would

cover 350,000 hectares of plantation area and around 300,000 hectares of the area needed total rejuvenation, while the remaining area would require land intensification methods, said a Government spokesman.

Malaysia Malaysia has launched a rubber cultivation scheme under the Rural Transformation Programme for economic development and improving living standard of the rural communities in Long Peluan and Long Beruang villages in Baram. A family coming under the scheme will plant up rubber varieties RRIM 928 and RRIM 929 yielding around 1,700 kg/ ha. on an average in family plots of 4 ha each. Rubber has been identified as the most suitable crop to generate stable income for the rural populace. The target is to generate household income of around RM 48,000 a year.

Vietnam Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the Viet Nam

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NEWS SPECTRUM Rubber Group (VRG) to further invest in the rubber processing industry and science and technology, and develop infrastructure projects. He says the VRG has developed 300,000ha of rubber plantations in Viet Nam and more than 200,000ha overseas, compared to just 40,000ha after the war. The group's production has continued to increase despite the global economic downturn with an average annual increase of 6 % in area and 10% in productivity from 2001-10. Export turnover has increased by more than 30 % per year, and hit nearly $3 billion last year. The PM asked the industry to strive to expand the country's rubber area to 1 million ha by 2015 of which the

group would account for nearly half.

Sri Lanka The Ministry of Plantation and the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRISL) have taken steps to extend rubber cultivation to nontraditional areas in the country, especially in the dry zone. According to the Government's estimates, the country would need 150,000 MT per year to meet the escalating demand from local rubber -based industries. Considering the global demand for raw rubber exports, 200,000 MT of natural rubber will be produced per year by 2016. Lands in the traditional rubber growing areas falling in the wet zone is virtually insufficient to meet this demand.

Sharp rise in share of SR in rubber use The result of the relatively stronger performance of SR in the three months to March 2012 has increased the share of SR in total rubber consumption to the highest level since October 2004, according to IRSG. In March 2011, the SR share was 58.1% on a 12-month average. All regions except for Asia/Pacific experienced increased SR share of total rubber consumption. Asia/Pacific region suffered a 0.1% fall in the share, decreasing down to 51.5% in March 2012 as compared to the level in December 2011. China was the prime cause of this downturn in Asia/Pacific, with the share of SR in total rubber consumption decreasing down to 56.5% in March 2012 from 57.0% in December. The decrease came in the face of significant increase in installed SR capacity, which will expand by 1.2 million tonnes over 2010-2012.

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Ivory Coast Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is witnessing a rubber boom. According to media reports, farmers are felling their aging cocoa trees to plant rubber which brings higher earnings to them. The country's rubber output climbed to a record 234,000 tonnes in 2011, from 183,000 tonnes in 2007, according to IRSG. The Government's target is to produce up to 600,000 tonnes by the end of 2020. In 2011, about 318,000 hectares of land area was dedicated to rubber, up from 304,000 hectares a year earlier. In 2012, an additional 15,000 hectares are expected to be planted with rubber, according to the Ivorian natural rubber association APROMAC.

Karex Industries to double production capacity

K

arex Industries Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia’s largest condom manufacturer, is planning to increase its production capacity and go public as part of its efforts to expand the reach of its prophylactics in emerging regions. Karex has seen explosive growth over the past couple of years, in part due to sales to government agencies around the world, says Executive Director Goh Miah Kiat, whose family owns 100% of the company. With customers ranging from the U.S. Agency for International Development to mass consumers in markets that include the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., China, Brazil and South Africa, Karex will sell around 3 billion condoms this year, which is also its output capacity. It plans to double its capacity over the next few years in anticipation of future demand growth, investing around MYR70-MYR80 million ($22-$25 million), Goh said in a recent interview. Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


NEWS SPECTRUM

Global NR production will exceed consumption in 2012, says IRSG million tonnes in 2013. Global SR demand is forecast to grow by 2.7% to 15.4 million tonnes in 2012 and by a further 3.7% to 15.9 million tonnes in 2013. Global NR demand is forecast to rise by 2.5% to 11.2 million tonnes in 2012 and by a further 4.3% to 11.7 million tonnes in 2013, says Dr Stephen V Evans, Secretery General of IRSG.

Dr Stephen V Evans, Secretery General, IRSG

A

ccording to IRSG, supply of NR will exceed consumption by 137,000 tonnes in 2012 and 151,000 tonnes in 2013. Total NR supply is estimated to be 11.33 million tonnes in 2012 while consumption will come to 11.20 million tonnes. NR production in 2013 is expected to be 11.83 million tonnes and consumption 11.68 million tonnes. The relatively faster rate of growth of production resulted in a surplus for both the NR and SR markets, adding to their respective stocks. In March 2012, NR stocks level was 1.7 million tonnes while SR stocks level was 3.2 million tonnes.

Rubber consumption Total rubber consumption is forecast by IRSG to reach 26.6 million tonnes in 2012, up by 2.6% over the 2011 figure. The demand is expected to rise by a further 4.0% to 27.6

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Total global rubber consumption increased 3.1% to 26.0 million tonnes on an annual basis in March 2012, compared to 25.9 million tonnes in December 2011, according to the latest Rubber Industry Report by International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). Total global natural rubber consumption has been stagnant at 10.8 to 11.0 million tonnes since December 2011, touching 10.9 million tonnes on an annual basis in March 2012. The global synthetic rubber (SR) consumption, on the other hand, increased robustly in the three months to March 2012, rising to 15.1 million tonnes on an annual basis.

Rubber supply Total global rubber supply continued to increase by 4.7% to 26.3 million tonnes on an annual basis in March 2012. According to IRSG, global NR supply expanded to 11.04 million tonnes in March 2012 on an annual basis as compared to 11.0 million tonnes in December 2011. Global SR supply increased to 15.2 million tonnes in March 2012. China is continuing to increase its SR production, with the volume reaching 3.6 million tonnes in March 2012 on an annual basis. The growth in output of SR in Chi-

na is a reflection of the stimulus of its domestic demand, with capacity also increasing at double-digit rates to accommodate the expansion.

Latex production Global NR latex production increased marginally in Q1 2012, despite the fall in output in Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. The Malaysian and Indian production fell by 6% and 5% respectively while the Thai and Chinese production increased by 4% and 3% respectively in March 2012 on an annual basis. The fall in latex production could be attributed to a shift in producer’s processing preference to solid forms owing to a higher labour involvement in the former, coupled with the falling price of liquid rubber. Global NR latex consumption declined marginally by 2% on an annual basis in March in 2012 to 1.3 million tonnes, driven by sluggish NR demand globally as well as continuing NR-SR substitution in the downstream latex industries, specifically in Malaysia. NR latex consumption in China increased on an annual basis by 10% in March 2012 against the global trend. According to IRSG, this could be partially driven by export growth in Other Gloves and Condoms as well as restocking. The Malaysian consumption further declined by 6% in Q1 2102, an improvement over the 11% drop for 2011. This was due to a slowdown in the rate of substitution between NR and SR latices. Among other major NR latex consumers, the Indian consumption dropped by 6% on MAT basis in March 2012.

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‘Unholy’ talk John S. Powath

The writer is Executive Director, Rubber Asia

Unholy lawyer Law is a noble profession being practised in the most ignoble way these days.

M

y father very much wanted to see me become a lawyer and was, in fact, very particular about that. Being the only son, I thought it was better to give in to his wishes and thus I became a lawyer. And, when the broker who brought my marriage proposal told my father that the girl was a law graduate, the marriage was fixed at the very

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moment from our side (as far as my father was concerned). Accordingly, the ceremony took place without much delay. However, after marriage, due to various circumstances which ran counter to our aspiration, we could not pursue this profession. And thus, both of us landed up practising at home! I think law is a noble profession that is being practised in the most ignoble way these days. First of all, what you practise is not what you have studied. Then, the lawyer may help you save your estate from the adversaries, but may also try to appropriate it for himself. The more you drag the case, the more you pay to your lawyer. Being very busy, where is time for you to go to the court and find out what is actually happening around. The result: You end up paying more to the lawyer than what you actually gain. People have now started thinking whether it is worthwhile fighting this losing battle which, in fact, is an exercise in futility. What is your fear? Like the dancing bar maids, do you think the lawyers will be without a job!

Unholy impudence

D

o you ever think that to have a bus stop somewhere near is a blessing? Not likely, for the bus customarily does not stop there. The driver invariably stops the bus in the middle of the road holding up everything on the move, thereby creating chaos on the road. The greatest wonder is, I have never seen anyone raising a voice of protest against this sort of outright impertinence. Are all afraid of the bus drivers, or what?

SAFESHIELD INDIA RUBBER PRODUCTS PVT. LTD. An ISO 9001:2008 & ISO13485:2003 And CE Certified Company Plot No. 16-B, Cochin Special Economic Zone, Kakkanad, Kochi - 682 037, Kerala, India. Tel: +91 484 2413174/92/4058175, Fax: +91 484 2413174 / 92 / 4058175, Fax: +91 484 2413175 E-mail: sshield@sify.com, safeshield@vsnl.net, safeshield@airtelmail.in Website: www.safeshieldindia.com, www.indiamart.com/safeshieldindia

142

We the Indians are easily used to ignoring several things; then, why not close the eyes to this unholy impudence as well? This is the attitude, in general. I think it’s best to conduct a class on, well, BEHAVIOUR. If things change for the better, who knows the bus-stop would not then turn out be a blessing!

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012


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Communication is the key to business success

Improved communication and flexibility among the three sections — Production, Finance and Sales — are vital to run a manufacturing organisation successfully.

M

ost manufacturing organisations and businesses are structured into three distinct sections. Let’s call them as PFS, denoting Production, Finance and Sales. Successful businesses link the above three together. Unfortunately some businesses are controlled predominantly by either the Production or Finance or Sales section. For such businesses, where one section of a business has too much control, there is generally a problem. Production should rely on Sales to project accurate requirements and Finance on budgets. The role of Finance is to ensure payments while that of Production is to ensure supply. There should be a more flexible understanding when Sales requests are professionally presented.

Peter Makepeace The writer has diverse involvement with most aspects of the tyre industry both in Australia and globally and has travelled extensively.

Sales people must understand that a sale is incomplete until final payment is made. Sales staff should be aware of the role of the Finance section and the importance of regular contact with all of their accounts to ensure the customers that the organisation they are trading with is sound and reliable - things can change. These days there is a greater responsibility for the Sales section than just supplying a product.

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

In Australia there are many examples where tyre-related companies have gone out of business due to too much control from one of the PFS sections. These days a major problem confronting the tyre industry is the shortage of professional people who fully understand the tyre market, the product and their customer’s needs. With due respect to our higher educated university degree holding individuals with letters earned after their name, only very few become successful market-oriented Sales Managers or leaders of industry! Many successful sales people have gained their people-swaying skills as they have been educated via the school of hard knocks. Sales people don’t always understand the role played by Finance and, in many instances, Production is something that ‘has to happen anyway’. The message I want to drive home is loud and clear for all to contemplate. If the PFSs are not properly communicating, there will always be a question mark relating to the continuing success of any organisation. The three sections have to be more flexible in their roles and improved communication is the key to running a successful business.

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CAlENDAR OF EVENTS September 2012 6th IRGCE 2012 organised by MARGMA, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. September 4 - 6, 2012

Contact: Anna, Tel: 603-7727 3197 Email: ae@margma.com.my ---------------------------------------------------------------------

CITEXPO 2012

Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center, Shanghai, China. September 12 - 14, 2012

Tel: +86(0)10-8589-8181, Email: citexpo@reliable.org.cn / Visit: http://www.citexpo.com.cn ---------------------------------------------------------------------

7th Rubber Industry Fair & Exhibition Turkey 2012 Turkey

September 13-16, 2012

Turkey ---------------------------------------------------------------------

India Rubber Summit & Dinner 2012

Polymer Processing Academy Conference organised by Polymer Processing Academy at RAMADA-Palm Grove, Juhu, Mumbai, India. October 26 - 27, 2012

Contact: Manu M Patel Email: manupatel31@yahoo.com attuned03@yahoo.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

IRC 2012

Organised by Rubber Board India & IRRDB Kovalam, Kerala (India)

Contact: Jeffrey L Mundson, Show Manager Tel: 330-836-9180, Email: jmundson@crain.com

October 2012 Brityrex 2012 Manchester, Eventcity, England. October 9 - 11, 2012

Contact : Rowena Suthers, ECI International Ltd T: + 44 (0) 1892 863888 rsuthers@btconnect.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Rubber Division ACS Rubber Expo Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. October 9-11, 2012

---------------------------------------------------------------------

International Rubber Technology and Economic Congress 2012 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 10-11, 2012

Rubber AsiaMARGMASpecial 2012

Contact : Tél : +33 (0) 1 39 20 88 05 info@pneu-expo.com, www.pneu-expo.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Tyrexpo Asia 2013 March 19 - 21, 2013

Sema Show 2012

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Oct 30-Nov 2, 2012,

November 2012 Carbon Black World 2012 at Omini San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA. November 7 - 9, 2012

Website: www.rubbertech.com.cn, www.reifenchina.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

SWEECC, Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, China.

September 18 - 20, 2012

March 12-14, 2013

Singapore Expo Centre, Singapore.

September 15, 2012

The 1-X Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

Eurexpo Lyon Hall 4, , Versailles, France

Contact: irc2012@rubberboard.org.in ---------------------------------------------------------------------

RubberTech China & Reifen China 2012

ITEC 2012

March 2013 PNEU EXPO 2013

October 29 - November 2, 2012

organised by Rubber Asia at Ramada Resort, Kochi, India. Contact: Rubber Asia, Kochi – 682 020, India Tel: +91-484-2316494/2315840, Email: dhanrubber@eth.net Website: www.rubberasia.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 743744 Email: colinscott@ukintpress.com www.tiretechnology

November 14 - 16, 2012

Website: www.rubbertech.com.cn, www.reifenchina.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Global Rubber Conference 2012 & VRA Annual Dinner

organised by Confexhub & Vietnam Rubber Association at InterContinental Asiana Saigon, Vietnam November 29 – December 1, 2012

Contact: Paul Yeo, Tel: +603-40455999 Email: conference@confexhub.com Website: www.globalrubberconference.com

January 2013 7th India Rubber Expo & Tyre Show organised by AIRIA at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India January 22 - 24, 2013

Tel: +91-22-28392095 / 2107 Email: ire2013@indiarubberexpo.in Website: www.indiarubberexpo.in

February 2013 Tire Technology EXPO 2013 Koelnmesse, Koeln, Germany. February 5 - 7, 2013

Contact: Colin Scott, Sales Director

Contact : Rowena Suthers ECI International Ltd, T: + 44 (0) 1892 863888 rsuthers@btconnect.com

April 2013 Clemson Tire Conference 2013 Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa April 10-12, 2013

Contact : Jim Burns, Chairman Clemson University Tire Industry Conference, jjjburns@att.net ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Rubber and Tyre Vietnam 2013

Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam April 11-13, 2013

Contact: Shirley Abraham : 9840641101.

May 2013 Autopromotec 2013 Bologna, Italy

May 22-26 2013

Contact : Promotec S.r.l. Phone : +39 051 6424000, info@autopromotec.it, www.autopromotec.it

June 2013 Asian Tyre & Rubber Conference Chennai, India. June 21 - 22, 2013

Contact:Antony Powath, Vice President (Marketing) Mobile: +91-9833 901 586 Tel: +91-22-26400735, 26400829 Email: antonypowath@rubberasia.com Website : www.atrc.in

July 2013 Tyrexpo India 2013 Chennai Trade Centre, India. July 9 - 11, 2013

Contact : Rowena Suthers ECI International Ltd, T: + 44 (0) 1892 863888, rsuthers@ btconnect.com, www.eci-international.com

155


Index to AdveRtIseRs

Acmechem Limited ................................................. 143 AMCL......................................................................... 73 Aquaspersions .......................................................... 3 Asian Tyre & Rubber Conference 2013 ................. 145 Beta Healthcare ...................................................... 85 Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd ................................. Back Inside Careplus ................................................................... 123 Ceebee Chemicals ................................................... 12 Ceram Tec Innovative Ceramic Engineering (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd., ............................ 16 Comfoams................................................................. 127 Crusader.................................................................... 151 Elgi Rubber Company Limited ............................... 72 Excelkos Sdn Bhd.................................................... 7 Gandhar Oil Refinery India Ltd. ............................ 15 Global Rubber Conference 2012 ........................... 146 I R Tubes .................................................................. 137 India Rubber Expo & Tyre Show 2013 .................. 147, 149 India Rubber Summit & Dinner 2012 ................... 95 JG Chemicals ........................................................... 33 Kendek Industry Sdn Bhd ....................................... 67 Kossan ...................................................................... 10 Kurian Abraham ...................................................... 13

Kwick Patch ............................................................ 53 La-Tech International .............................................. 154 Mahakit Rubber Co.Ltd., ......................................... 41 Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council..... 4 Mardec Berhad ........................................................ Back cover Medisafe .................................................................... 11 MM Rubber Co.Ltd. ................................................. 60 Njavallil Latex ......................................................... 144 Omnova Solutions India Pvt.Ltd. ........................... 1 Polymers & Tyre Asia ............................................. 148 Powath Gloves ......................................................... 152 Richter Hi-Tech ........................................................ 17 Royal Latex .............................................................. 51 Rubber Asia .............................................................. 150 Rubber Asia website................................................ 156 Rubbo Queen............................................................ 111 S.F. Engineering Works .......................................... 57 Safeshield India Rubber Products Pvt.Ltd. ......... 142 Schill+Seilacher “Struktol” GmbH ................................... Front Inside Synthomer Sdn Bhd................................................. 14 Tolins Tyres Pvt.Ltd. ................................................ 2 Top Glove .................................................................. 6

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