PRA magazine 2017 Yearender Edition

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Editor’s Note he immediate past year’s ambivalence in market demands has been counterbalanced by boosts in exports, intensified

networking via events, and several mergers and acquisitions, to mention a few strategies. On the word of industry observers, deals across industries including aerospace, chemicals, building and construction, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing have elevated market shares as well as reduce expenditures.


As well, the global plastics market is on track with its

close to US$2 trillion value by 2020, amid the continued growth

1 5 7



of the packaging materials segment that accounts to 20% of the total; a rising demand for composites and high performance plastics in major industries; discovery of new applications and technologies,


and more. At the same time, the rubber industry is not far behind in growth, driven by strong demand from the tyre segment.

Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA) magazine keeps on


par with these growth disruptors in the industry.

PRA also adapts to these changes to remain competitive

as well as effective in its scope of delivering news and information.


For 2018, PRA is building up its digital edition

circulation to cater to more mobile device users. It is also introducing improvements to the design and functionality of its websites. It has


a fresh roster of media content as well as new offers to enhance campaigns and advertising, continually adding to its nearly 40,000 email subscribers.

Now in its 33rd year, Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA)

magazine has been a dedicated media platform for thousands of online, digital and print subscribers in the manufacturing, processing, developing, and research sectors. For advertisers, PRA remains to be a broad faceted conduit for potential business leads, prospecting agents and distributors, and clients who may require products and services.

PRA looks forward to the New Year of bright prospects

for the industry!

Tej Fernandez Executive Editor

January/February India’s machinery makers embrace challenges Vietnamese packaging maker expands boundaries March/April Material developments for 3D printing


Davis-Standard: Extending its reach to Asia June/July Unlocking PET packaging potential with Multi-Layer Technology for Barrier August Battenfeld-cincinnati China: Driven by innovation September IKO Polymeric: Innovative solution for energy-efficient production of flexible PVC October Thailand: A tiger economy in an era of innovation November/December Industry 4.0 takes production processes to a new level

About PRA

Published since 1985, Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA) magazine comes out eight (8) times a year with a yearly print circulation of 110,000 copies plus bonus distribution in key international industry events; the digital editions to tap a potential 4 billion mobile device users. It is supplemented by online niche periodicals Rubber Journal Asia [ RJA] at www. and Injection Moulding Asia [IMA] at

Indian Machinery & Technology

India’s machinery makers embrace challenges The plastics industry is one of India’s major engines of growth that looks ahead to a year of increasing growth rate and expanding markets, adapting well to the flux as opportunities for varied applications for plastics continue to rise, all this against the background of a slowing GDP, the demonetising policies introduced last year and the impending implementation of GST this year.


he plastics industry is one of India’s major engines of growth that looks ahead to a year

of increasing growth rate and expanding markets, adapting well to the flux as opportunities for varied applications for plastics continue to rise, all this against the background of a slowing GDP, the demonetising policies introduced last year and

are cues for a more optimistic outcome. Fortunately for the Asia-Pacific region, likewise vulnerable to global risks, it is able to maintain its momentum amid soft growth prospects. In the region and the world, India has become a benchmark for growth. But again, what has been “set in stone” for many years in the past has been challenged after the Indian government demonetised high value currencies (in a bid to

the impending implementation of GST this year.

crack down on corruption and terrorism) last year.

For many economies worldwide, the previous

Though the move, critics say, may keel over

year, emblematic of events that challenge established beliefs and standardised political frameworks, has epitomised the axiom that the

India’s “world’s fastest economic growth” claim, especially since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded the country’s

only permanent thing (on earth) is change.

growth projection, yet there are more positive

The new year brings a mixed bag of opportunities.

Economists at the Moody’s Investors Service

On the one hand it has traces of the spillover impact of 2016, yet at the same time there

than negative outcomes from this strategy. and India-based affiliate ICRA Ltd project that the disruption is only short-term; and by midyear, India’s economy will start to pick up. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 1

As for the country’s plastics industry, consultancy

in 2017 with new developments that will help

firm Lucintel forecasts the plastic pipe market

sustain the growth of the plastics industry.

to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2016 to 2021, owing to the growth of the building/ construction

In an interview with PRA, Sunil Jain, President of

and infrastructure sectors.

Rajoo, when asked what Rajoo expects as well as aims for this year, replied, “At Rajoo, in 2017, our

Engineering plastics have a potential CAGR of

focus will be on highoutput barrier and nonbarrier

over 13% from 2015-2020 report, finds TechSci

films lines, in addition to high-output sheet

Research. It attributes this growth to demand

extrusion lines. Thus, offering a complete barrier

from diverse

packaging solution to the industry, an application

industries including

poised for exponential growth owing to the entry


of organised retail in India. At the same time,

electrical &

our focus on exports will be further increased.”

electronics, construction, and

While Rajoo has forged strategic partnerships with


firms like Italian pipe machinery maker Bausano, German blown film machine maker Hosokawa Sunil Jain, President of Rajoo, says the company is contributing to skills development in the plastics sector by setting up an innovation centre

Alpine and Meaf Machines of Netherlands, Sunil

notwithstanding its burgeoning requirement for

since its inception. We have brought world-class

plastic packaging, forecast to reach US$73 billion

affordable technologies to the industry in India,

by 2020, according to the Federation of Indian

even in the past, and we continue to do so now.

Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Offering import substitution to the industry

and Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG).

has been our forte. Our sister company has

As well, the country has a lucrative demand for highperformance plastics,

says the company is continuing to chalk up other plus points. “Rajoo has several firsts to its credit, not now but

successfully introduced machines for producing WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), which is a

Metamorphosis to a global leadership


xtrusion and thermoforming machinery

substitute for wood. Yet, another environment

maker Rajoo Engineers is an example of

friendly technology offered by our company.”

success that follows changes. The Gujaratbased manufacturer describes its more than three

As regards plasticulture, Sunil says the firm is

decades of providing technology solutions for

now executing a project for an Indian customer

the plastics industry as a “quick metamorphosis”

for a seven- layer barrier, 4.2 m-wide blown

from its modest beginnings in 1986 in the

film line to produce agriculture films. “This

Gujarat town of Rajkot to its current global

will yet be another first Rajoo’s-five-layer in

status with offices in India and overseas.

the industry in Asia from Rajoo. The slated


output to produce barrier film is 1,500 kg/



PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 2


hour and is targeted for various applications

critical stage and is a major issue. While the

– FIBC liners, canal lining and agriculture films.”

government of India and our association – Plastics Machinery Manufacturers Association

Meanwhile, its other latest technology, Pentafoil

of India (PMMAI) – of which we are one of the

five-layer barrier film line, introduced at the

founder members, have taken effective steps in

K2016, is specifically targeted to produce all

this direction, Rajoo on its own has launched

polyolefin films for packaging, which are fully

a unique initiative, a first by an Asian plastics

recyclable unlike films with barrier polymers.

machinery manufacturer in the blown film and

“It also offers benefits of down-gauging, thus

sheet extrusion segment.”

reducing the overall usage of plastics. Energy consumption is yet another ecofriendly parameter

The company is in the midst of setting up the

and this line has been certified by TUV at a never

Rajoo Innovation Centre, based in Rajkot, to be

before 0.3001 kwH/kg of film,” claimed Sunil.

up and running in the middle of 2017. “It will be equipped with a state-of-the-art seven-layer

As for industry 4.0 or IoT-ready technologies,

blown film line and a barrier sheet extrusion line


and will impart training to develop a skills pool





of Rajoo Engineers, there are two focus domains: in







for the industry.


In addition to



machines on one hand and our machines being

testing facilities, it

automated and using cyber technology controls.”

will also provide an impetus for

He adds that the firm has taken steps in both

development of

directions. “Cloud-based ERP for creating a virtual

barrier packaging

factory is already under implementation. Further, our customers using high-output blown film lines already get internet-based remote support. Similar technologies are also being introduced

Mamata claims that its non-woven fabric bag making machine tops speeds that are the highest in the industry

materials,” revealed Sunil. While



are on

in our complete range of machines. However,

the horizon, Sunil is optimistic of the future.

bandwidth and speed for internet access continues

“The demonetisation drive launched by the

to be challenge.”

government of India may have been disruptive but it is a bold step forward. We foresee it

Dealing with skills shortages


affecting the whole economy in the short term

the availability of technology is

including the growth of the plastics industry.

aplenty, India’s plastics sector has a

The introduction of GST, yet another major

downside though as explained by Sunil. “The

economic reform to be introduced in 2017, will

skills pool to support the plastics manufacturing

positively enhance the “ease of doing business”.

industry in India is scarce and it has reached a

Our targets for 2017 will factor the above


PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 3

major initiatives in the country,” he concluded.

advancements in the packaging sector are taking place in the US. Our strategy is to hire design

Mamata “exports” US technology to India


talent in the US to develop the equipment that is

nother Gujarat-based machinery maker,

up-to-date and offer it to the rest of the world by


leveraging the cost efficiency of producing it in




converting and extrusion machinery, is expanding

India,” explained Kane.

in the North American market, where it has already installed machine-tops 200 servodriven-

He also said that though the machines will

bag and pouch making machinery.

be priced slightly higher than locally madein-India machines, the company will offer

The company first entered the market with a 5,000

greater valueadded technology to the market.

sq ft-sales and service centre for pouch making machinery in Illinois in early 2000. Later, in 2010,

The Ahmedabad-headquartered company also

it set up a 12,500-sq ft facility in Florida.

claims a first in the industry: the fastest bag making machine for non-woven reusable bags. “This

“The US-based team of engineers designs and

machine is three times faster than the machines

manufactures these packaging machines. We now

produced in China. It has an output of 160 bags/

offer horizontal form, fill and seal; high-speed

minute, compared to the usual 40-50 bags/

pouch fillers; and multi-

minute,” claimed Kane, adding that the prototype

lane sachet packaging

will be commercialised in the market soon.

machinery in the US,” said Apurva Kane, Senior

At the K show, it had another first: a high-speed


bag maker for converting PP woven fabric into sacks and pouches for bulk packaging of

Speaking to PRA at the K2016 show, Kane, added, “The machines produced in the US are

The HDPE/PP woven-bag sack making machine is targeted at bulk packaging

commodities. The machine is completely automated; with sheeton roll, it forms side gussets and undertakes back

not only of a high speed but are produced in a

seam gluing as well cuts to required lengths; folds

high hygiene environment, making them suitable

and stitches the bags. “It is able to convert bags from

for high-speed use in the packaging of foodstuff,

5 kg up to 25 kg size that can be used for packing

like dry products such as oatmeal and dry fruits

rice, pulses and garden manure. With an output

and nuts.”

of 60 bags/minute, it is the fastest in the world.”

Such machines have been installed at one of

As for future machinery launches, Kane said

the world’s largest pistachio packer Growers

Mamata is researching into liquid packaging. “We

Express’s facility in California, a co-packer for

are targeting the production of in-line machines

Green Giant, shared Kane. This technology is now

for packaging with spouts, for normal liquid

being brought back to India. “Some of the major

juices, edible oils and drinks,” he added.

4 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Vietnamese packaging maker expands boundaries Founded in 1992, Vietnamese manufacturer of laminated flexible packaging, Thanh Phu Plastic Packaging, is a newbie in the plastics packaging sector in the country. Yet, the company is adopting progressive trends, such as making it easier for the recycling of laminated packaging.

properties, such as competitive modulus and bagdrop performance, compared to PA-laminated film at the same film thickness. It also features improved optics, such as high gloss and transparency. Plus,


ecycling of laminated packaging has been a long-standing challenge for the packaging

industry because of the mix of complex materials that make up the structure. The cost and effort required to separate the polyolefin layer from the laminates, like PET, PA, EVOH or OPP, are complex and an issue for packaging recycling

good thickness variation control is possible, compared to conventional PET films. “This is a true synergy between material science


and conversion

Thus, to address the market’s demand for a more

innovation,” says


readily recyclable alternative to conventional laminated structures, Ho Chi Minh-located Thanh Phu collaborated with US materials firm ExxonMobil Chemical to push the boundaries for a 100% PE solution that can be recycled in the

Alex Dam, Executive

Dam says Thanh Phu is aiming at providing brand owners with 100% PE/PE solution to meet their packaging recyclability commitments while maintaining a competitive cost/efficiency ratio.

Vice-President at Thanh Phu. “We have changed the cradle-to-grave cycle into a more responsible cradle-to-cradle concept.

same collection stream as PE.

Our aim is to have

Thanh Phu was able to produce the new

compromising performance, while maintaining

packaging packaging




ExxonMobil’s new Exceed XP and

Enable mLLDPE polymers and by applying its


a full PE alternative to




an attractive cost-efficiency ratio.” Thanh





proprietary Veloflex film conversion technology.

packaging, especially for food and hygiene,

Especially suited for use in pouches, this full-

Pacific and OCEANIA regions.

PE film alternative is comparable to traditional laminated films in terms of aesthetics and integrity, say the firms. For instance, the fullPE solution exhibits outstanding mechanical

serving key global brand owners in the Asia-

It is also looking at expanding the usage of the all-PE packaging to seafood packaging to replace the current nylon/PE laminated packaging. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 5

More recently, in a collaboration with ExxonMobil,

ExxonMobil launched two new grades of Exceed

Thanh Phu produced a 100% PE/PE laminated

XP PE aimed at films for greenhouse, food

standup pouch, using Veloflex technology, for

lamination and softshrink applications.

Unicharm Vietnam. Another four new Exceed XP grades were To be able to produce the latest types of films,

launched at the Chinaplas show in Shanghai

Thanh Phu has the latest blown film line from

in April 2016. It also showcased Enable 40-

Germany-based Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H).

02 performance polymers for compression

It also has the latest

packaging and geomembranes, as well as a range

printing technology

of low viscosity Vistamaxx performance polymers

from W&H:

for home and consumer products and an array of

Heliostar S gravure

other applications.

press, installed in

Stand-up pouch launched in the market by Than Phu together with ExxonMobil

2016. According

“With new grades, we’re expanding our recently

to Dam, Veloflex

launched Exceed XP performance polymers

technology is a turn-

portfolio,” said Cindy Shulman, Plastics and

key solution that

Resins Vice-President, ExxonMobil. “Customers

is offered to brand

will now have an even more powerful toolkit to

owners to meet

grow their businesses.”

their packaging recyclability requirements, and it involves

Shulman also said the new grades were launched

all the steps “from extrusion to printing and

after a survey with customers on the current trends

downstream processing,” he adds.

and needs. “There are two mega-trends in the industry currently: quality and cost-effectiveness.

When asked how the Veloflex technology is used

And we work with partners to translate these

to produce better quality films, Dam replies,

onto the market.”

“The specific orientation of polymers under the extrusion process provides a good balance

Thus, the ability to replace conventional laminated

of mechanical properties for both MD and TD

packaging with packaging that can be recycled

direction (this is different from the MDO process

will allow the industry to take a significant step

as normally seen in the market).”

towards food-lamination developing solutions with more benefits that consumers are demanding.

Furthermore, Dam says Thanh Phu is aiming at providing brand owners with 100% PE/PE

“We hope to develop the Veloflex technology into a

solution to meet their packaging recyclability

full scale solution to address the flexible packaging

commitments while maintaining a competitive

recyclability requirements of the market. The “new

cost/efficiency ratio.

plastics economy” concept recently introduced at the World Economic Forum in Davos has given a

Meanwhile, at the K2016 show last year, 6 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

true validation to our initiatives,” Dam concludes.

The 3D printing market is estimated to grow at 24% CAGR till 2022, with investment in services, materials and hardware to reach US$58 billion by 2022. While 3D printing has taken off in the aerospace, automotive, consumer, healthcare, E&E and biomedical industries, other sectors are being targeted, too, thus, the requirement for new materials.

Material developments for 3D printing New UV curable elastomers with better To enrich the design and fabrication flexibility,



lastomers have been used in a host of

researchers have used 3D printing techniques,



such as UV curing-based 3D printing techniques

resilience, and electrical and thermal insulation,

that solidify liquid polymer resins to 3D

for fabricating soft robots, flexible electronics

objects through patterned UV light, to fabricate

and smart biomedical devices that require

elastomeric 3D objects.









to establish safe and smooth interactions

Nevertheless, most of the commercially available


UV-curable (3D-printable) elastomers break at





less than 200% (two times the original length), However, to date, the most widely used silicon




which makes it unsuitable for many applications.


thermal curing process that limits fabrication

Recently, researchers have developed a family



of highly stretchable and UV-curable (SUV)


elastomers that can be stretched by up to

design freedom and geometric complexity.

1,100%, five times the elongation at break of any










PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 7

commercially available elastomer, and are suitable

enhance the capability of fabricating soft and

for UV curing-based 3D printing techniques.

deformable 3D structures, including soft actuators and robots, flexible electronics, and acoustic

This work is a collaborative effort between researchers





of Technology and Design’s (SUTD) Digital

New filaments from an unconventional extrusion

Manufacturing and Design (DManD) Centre,


which is funded by the Singapore National Research





University of Jerusalem (HUJI), and the Campus for





Enterprise (CREATE), also funded by the NRF.







performance of 3D printing filaments

available on the market, a Dutch supplier of






has developed an extrusion system and as a result, filaments boasting higher strength and

Using high resolution 3D printing with the SUV

printablility. Started by a father and son team,

elastomer compositions enables the direct creation

Jan-Peter and Jasper Wille, 3D4Makers says that

of complex 3D lattices or hollow structures

its new filaments eliminate problems such as

that exhibit extremely large deformation. The

breaking and bubbling and better meet roundness

researchers also say that complicated geometric

and tolerance requirements in parts.

structures and devices, such as a 3D soft robotic gripper, can be printed in an hour.

As for the extrusion process, standard filament extrusion equipment is water-cooled and the

Compared to traditional moulding and casting

filament is dipped into a water bath at a set

methods, using UV curing-based 3D printing

temperature to cool it down as it extrudes. This

with the SUV elastomers reduces fabrication time

moisture degrades the performance of PLA and

from many hours, even days, to a few minutes

engineering plastics, says the team.

or hours as complicated and time-consuming fabrication





The extruder developed by 3D4Makers uses

moulding/ demoulding, and part assembly, are

a multiplejet air system to precisely manage

replaced by a single 3D printing step.

water-free cooling of the filament. With this, the company claims that parts printed 3D4Makers

The SUV elastomers not only sustain large elastic

with its filaments feature higher impact resistance

deformation, but also maintain good mechanical

and achieve tighter tolerances in ovality and

repeatability, which makes them good materials

inner and outer diameters, than those made with

for fabricating flexible electronics. To demonstrate

conventional materials.

this, the researchers fabricated a 3D buckyball light switch that still works after being pressed

The company says it can also produce 3D

for more than 1,000 times.

printing filaments without plasticisers or other additives, many of which are approved for food-


researchers say this new elastomer will

8 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

contact applications and are biocompatible or




screw design, drive


spool ABS-grades-3D systems. The objective The technology has found initial acceptance

is to obtain the filament with the best quality



properties in typical thicknesses of 1.75 mm

polycaprolactone (PCL) filaments are used for

and 2.85 mm and validate the material to meet

biofabrication of skin and organs.

the requirements of the final application.

It also offers “a unique PEEK grade with higher

Meanwhile, US biopolymers maker NatureWorks

printability” and adds that “few companies

has introduced a PLA, Ingeo 3D870, for filament

have managed to make PEEK filament this

manufacturers who have trialled the product and


commend the ease of processing and printability.

In addition, the company offers PEI, PPSU, ASA

Ingeo 3D870 is said to comply with chemical

and 100% pure PLLA (mainly for biofabrication

inventory listings in key markets in North



America, Asia and Europe. Parts produced

also claims to be the first in the world to have

are said to exceed ABS 3D parts in impact

developed PCL filament in two grades of 99%

strength and with post-print annealing, and

and 100% pure formulations. It says this non-

NatureWorks says it rivals ABS heat resistance.







toxic and biodegradable material is used mainly in medical research and is suitable for making

Though NatureWorks offers a general purpose

custom braces, grips and prosthetics.

PLA, it says 3D850 and 3D870 have been designed specifically for 3D printing, with good UV colour lightfastness, low yellow index, and additional heat

Optimised ABS and PLA grades


panish materials supplier Elix Polymers says it

and impact properties as a result of cyrstallisation.

has optimised five ABS grades for 3D printing,

with improved printing performance, low warpage, dimensional precision and high resolution.

Asian development trio


ingapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster’s (NAMIC) portfolio,

It says some new grades have already been

made up of Nanyang Technological University

validated at filament producers, 3D printer makers

(NTU), the National Research Foundation and

and part manufacturers who use Fused Filament

SPRING Singapore, was formed last year to help

Fabrication (FFF) or FDM (Fused Deposition

companies develop capabilities in 3D printing.

Modelling). Elix says it is already cooperating with several printer producers and 3D software

It has successfully established joint funding for 39

providers to identify the right partners and create

projects between companies and academic research

a database with validated filament producers.

institutions, with S$3.8 million from the government via NAMIC and S$2.8 million from the companies.

It is offering technical support, including recommendations




Of the research projects in the works, NTU PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 9

is working with a local 3D printing start-up focused on healthcare to develop tissue implants customised for patients. The new printer can print the supporting structure layer by layer and insert living cells to form a live tissue that could aid in the regeneration of particular tissues or organs. Another





Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)






looking at developing a 3D printer to produce

SUTD and Gilmour Space Technologies are working on 3D printed fuel, by combining two materials, known as the “secret sauce� that dramatically reduces the cost of rocket launches from about US$1 million to US$750,000

prototype solid fuel mixtures for rockets, which is made up of two or more fuels comprising wax and plastics and is

designed and printed in a

way that provides the rocket with the required thrust, but in a more cost-effective manner. With the barrier of entry being quite high, due to the high cost of printers/machinery and a lack of expertise in additive manufacturing, this is one way that organisations can reach out to educate and help link companies to research institutes that already have existing 3D printing machines and the



10 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition


Extending its reach to Asia


ccording to market research company Ceresana, in its latest report on flexible

plastic films, the sale of plastic films for the packaging, agriculture, construction and technical sectors will reach a volume of about US$250 billion until 2024. Emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China and India, are expected to expand their packaging requirements, owing to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, among other aspects in the region. Plastics






innovations and medical breakthroughs due to their barrier properties; light weight, low cost, durability, compatibility with other materials, and sterilisability, among other characteristics. One of the most important developments in modern healthcare that is aided by medicalgrade plastics is the rising preference for minimal to non-invasive surgeries and diagnostics, as well as drug delivery systems, all of which require precision devices. This trend bodes well for the medical tubing market, which is poised to nearly double from US$3.7 billion in 2015 to US$5.8 billion by 2021, PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


or an estimated CAGR of 8%, during the period covered by research firm Markets & Markets. The report predicts further growth for the medical tubing market, given that awareness about healthcare has significantly increased; and quality of healthcare delivery has become

Jim Murphy Davis-Standard President/CEO

pivotal to the extent that government initiatives and policies are including healthcare and medical infrastructure in priority agenda. Murphy:





As the market needs become more sophisticated,

growing regional presence and capabilities

the requirements for processors and machinery

during the Chinaplas show. As an example of

suppliers are being increased, to up the ante with

the company’s extrusion technology, Davis-

innovative processes.

Standard will exhibit an HPE-H extruder for medical tubing applications.

Thus, extrusion systems supplier Davis-Standard, LLC offers solutions that impact everyday life,

The HPE-H offers a compact design and is one

from food packaging and data cables to IV tubing.

of the industry’s most widely used extruders.

In other words, the markets served by Davis-

Available in 20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 40 mm,

Standard are broad, ranging from packaging,

and 45 mm sizes, the HPE-H is known for a

construction, medical, consumer products and

fast delivery and rugged design that is energy

electronics to automotive, agriculture, energy,

efficient and easy to maintain.

and more. PRA: Which growth markets is Davis-Standard What’s more, the company offers a comprehensive

looking at expanding to?

range of plastics and rubber extrusion machinery, wire/cable machinery, blow moulding machinery,

Murphy: As far as geographic markets, we seek

and converting systems and technology; as well

to be strong in every market where we have a

as a full range of extrusion aftermarket services.

presence. North America and Europe continue to be staples for us. China, the rest of Asia and

PRA caught up with Davis-Standard President/

South America continue to present growth

CEO Jim Murphy to find out more about the

opportunities that we will capitalise on.

company’s plans for the year and highlights from last year.

With regards to applications, we can support all of them no matter where our customers

PRA: What has Davis-Standard lined-up for this

are located. Film, extrusion coating, sheet and

year’s Chinaplas 2017 show in terms of technology

medical tubing are among our strongest areas



12 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Davis-Standard also continues to enjoy strong

extrusion system and multi-purpose microbore

growth in the Chinese marketplace, benefitting

tubing line.

from a regional manufacturing presence and full-scale R&D laboratory at Davis-Standard

The FPVC line is capable of line speeds from 5

(Suzhou) Plastics Packaging Machinery Co.,

to 100 mpm for processing 2 mm to 8 mm OD


tubing with accuracy of +/-50 microns. Line spareparts(gearcase) components include a 63 mm

Davis-Standard has continued to gain market

extruder, 8 m watercooling, precision internal

share in China due to outstanding customer

air supply, OD gauge and combination puller-

service, innovative feedscrew designs, control


systems and modular technologies. The multi-purpose microbore tubing line is PRA: How has the Suzhou facility contributed to the

designed for single or dual-layer tubing, and

company’s services since it opened in 2012?

single lumen tubing with or without a stripe. It is equipped with two extruders, OD/ID wall grew

thickness measuring and controlling system,

its sales team in Asia while also increasing

closed-loop control via vacuum sizing tank and

manufacturing and laboratory capabilities at its

puller, and a high level central control system.





subsidiary in Suzhou, China. This has improved Davis-Standard’s response and delivery time

PRA: How will China’s Made in China 2025 agenda

while providing versatile and cost-competitive

impact Davis-Standard?

equipment options. Murphy:

The Made in China 2025 agenda is


consistent with our plan to support our customers

products in Suzhou including extruders up

in Asia from our Suzhou site. We will continue to

to 114 mm, PLC control systems, high-speed

add capabilities and products to support the high

systems for medical tubing and a full offering of

growth in the region.




wire and cable systems. PRA: With the full integration of Gloucester Additionally, the facility is equipped for gearbox

Engineering Company (GEC) technology into Davis-

and control panel assembly and refurbishing

Standard, how has this expanded the offerings from

services, and there are plans to add fabrication


and assembly of downstream equipment. Murphy:

Gloucester Engineering Company

Regional manufacturing has been key to Davis-

(GEC) has always been a market leader. Having

Standard’s ability to serve every major converting

the brand under our umbrella broadens and

and extrusion market in Asia. To support regional

strengthens our product offering in blown film,

customer trials and application development,

cast film and foam sheet. Together, we offer

the Suzhou laboratory offers a high-speed FPVC

industry technology that is going to be tough to PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


beat. We offer aftermarket support to the largest installed base of GEC equipment including opportunities to improve performance and machine control upgrades. Our customers now benefit from single-source manufacturing and service from a company with one of the largest installed base of blown film equipment in the world.

The Suzhou facility has become a huge part of supporting the healthcare/medical tubing sector, as healthcare services continue to grow in Asia

This includes lines from one to 11 layers and up to 9 m in width, pre-engineered options, precision gauge control, air rings, screw designs and dies

global polymer and rubber processing industries,

from 7-11 layers, plus pending innovations to

providing exceptional value to our customers.



productivity Our laboratory in Suzhou is a huge part of


supporting the healthcare/medical tubing sector. In fact, Davis-Standard recently patented a

Healthcare continues to grow in Asia and the

spiral design for reducing thermally sensitive

need for medical products and devices single-

polymer degradation in blown film dies and has

layer-tubing-line grows with this demand.

provisional patents for a unique driven lay-on Plastics are a high-performance material for the

winder and self-threading winder.

medical industry, providing disposable products Fully






that reduce the possibility of infections.

expansion of our primary manufacturing facility in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. The 15,000 sq ft

We are seeing increased development of multi-

addition is complete with manufacturing cell for

layer structures and smaller diameter tubing to

producing highly technical blown film dies used

provide better physical property performance

in multilayer packaging and pharmaceutical

across a range of new applications. Customers


are able to test new resins and processes prior to making a large capital investment. The versatility

PRA: Since end-users/consumers are more aware

of our systems is also essential.

now when it comes to quality and cost effectiveness of products across a majority of applications, how

We’re able to accommodate customers with

does Davis-Standard contribute to these changing

technology that addresses a variety of tubing. In

consumer standards?

the flexible packaging market, Davis-Standard dsX-flex-pack developed the dsX flex-pack

Murphy: Davis-Standard is committed to

(extrusion coating). Asian converters are seeking

supplying advanced extrusion solutions to the



| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition





subsequent waste reduction and improved quality

last year?

offered by this machine. The economical benefit of these 450 mpm machines is allowing many

Murphy: We finished 2016 stronger than 2015,

regional converters to separate themselves from

with a 10% growth, and anticipate 2017 to be

the competition. The flex-pack is also built with

even better. One of the highlights of 2016 was

an adaptable machine configuration to support a

the transition of our blow moulding accumulator

variety of end-use markets.

head production to Fulton, New York.

Packaging continues to grow in Asia based

We also created a new cutting and feeding machine

on strong demand for packaged products and

for low voltage wire and cable processes for

continued growth of the economy. Flexible

insulating applications. This unit facilitates timely

packaging is growing faster than the overall

transfers from one take-up to another and minimises

packaging market due to the many benefits

operator involvement, speeding up reel change.

it provides. Flexible packaging provides a lightweight package that is durable and often re-

We introduced a new energy-efficient barrel

sealable – these are features that consumers desire.






consumption by up to 50%. The patented design PRA: What strategies does Davis-Standard employ to

acts as a blanket for the extruder and is available

stay competitive?

on new machines or as a retrofit for existing machines.

Murphy: Davis-Standard is recognised as the global leader in high-performance plastic and

We developed an extruder

rubber extrusion and converting systems.

adapter called the QSE

Our capabilities go far beyond our extrusion

(Quick Screw

technology and extruder processing equipment.


They extend to our professional design engineers,

to enable fast

laboratory personnel, training experts, talented

screw changes without

commercial force, hands-on field engineers, and

dismantling feed pipes

aftermarket parts and service specialists.

- a big time saver!

As a team, we work together to support our

For thin substrates,

extrusion and converting customers from the

we engineered a high-speed film and foil

very first inquiry to commissioning and final

unwind for 800 pm splice speeds for sensitive

acceptance of the project, and beyond. Our focus

webs such as aluminium foil at 6 microns.

Davis-Standard’s HPE-H extruder

has always been, and continues to be, excelling in price, performance, delivery and service.

Lastly, we installed the largest seven-layer blown film die in the world. The 2.3-m, seven-layer

-PRA: What were the highlights of the company

Centrex IBC die is for agriculture applications. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


An upside to packaging technology


he Asia Pacific region, with its sizeable consumer base of 4.5

billion, is a fast growing market for the packaging sector. Among the top Asian countries vying for a large market share in the packaging sector is South Korea,

especially since

efforts to push “green” practices are prioritised by way of national policy. According to a 2016 report by Euromonitor




packaging industry, the Ministry of Thanks to water cooling, films can be produced with especially good optical and mechanical properties

Environment has enforced a number of pro-green environment initiatives that also cover packaging for food, medical, beauty and personal care products, and home care products.


Strict compliances to packaging regulations have o meet the region’s growing appetite for packaging, South Korean packaging

maker SR Technopack is positioning itself to be at the forefront of the industry with high-quality films, mainly for the food and

been in check, too. Meeting this demand for packaging is South Korea’s SR Technopack. Established in 1992, the Chungnam-headquartered firm was acquired by

medical sectors.

Samryoong Co in 2012. Later, it revised its name

With a focus on R&D, the company

CEO as well as owner of SR Technopack.

is employing the latest Aquarex watercooled blown film line, an extrusion process that extrudes upside down, to meet challenging requirements in the bag infusion sector.

to SR Technopack. Hong Ro Cho is President/

It offers an array of plastic packaging for food and beverage, and medical products. Its plant in Cheon-an city manufactures sheets, trays, cups, and medical packaging. “We not only produce, we also design, assemble and support commercial packaging and develop advanced systems and technology to meet

1 6 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

customers’ needs,” said Anna Song, Manager

“It was developed for perfect roll quality, even

for Overseas Marketing, adding that the firm

for films that are difficult to process. A weight-

employs 190 people.

compensated and highly accurate lay-on roll ensures perfect roll edges during gap winding

Not stinging on the latest technology


ith the stringent demands placed on

from the moment the new roll is started,” explains Neves.

today’s packaging solutions, making

it necessary to continue to adopt the latest

When asked why SR Technopack decided to

raw materials and production methods, SR

invest in the machinery, Anna replied, “It was

Technopack has in its stable 30 machines made

due to the extensive know-how of W&H and

up of rigid sheet extruders, thermoformers and

especially considering the specific references that

injection moulding machines.

W&H has in water-cooled blown film lines and innovation.

It is also in the process of installing Aquarex watercooled blown film lines from German machine

For example, the new Aquacage developed by

maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H).

W&H is the first water calibrator for blown film extrusion lines allowing continuous adjustment

The Aquarex water-cooled blown film extrusion

of film width without needing to stop the

concept allows films to be manufactured with

extrusion line for an exchange of calibrator. This

properties that clearly differ from those obtained

technology will be a focus for the next investment

by blown and cast film extrusion, says W&H..

of SR Technopack.”

Aquarex is a modular blown film extrusion line with water cooling and extremely fast cooling to

As for W&H, its advantages are its comprehensive

keep the crystallinity of the film low, giving it an

offering from a single source: from expert advice

exceptionally amorphous structure.

and engineering to the delivery of high quality machines, said Neves.





significantly improves weldability and sealability.

“Furthermore, W&H is able to provide solutions

It also results in a soft, elastic film characterised by

in extrusion, printing, and converting, and we see

high clarity and gloss and exceptional puncture/

this cooperation definitely on route to a long-term

tear resistance as well as dart-drop-value. The low

partnership,” said Neves, adding that W&H has

tendency to curl is also a clear advantage when

equipment and systems currently in operation in

asymmetric multi-layer composites are processed

more than 130 countries and at more than 5,000

further,” explains Marcos Dehm Neves, Area

customer plants.

Sales Manager for W&H. Non PVC-based bags

The machines will be paired with W&H’s Filmatic N, a modular surface/centre/gap winder with optional automation levels.


n the medical sector, SR Technopack specialises in the manufacture of IV solution film for non-

PVC fluid bags. Traditionally, infusion bags have PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


Infusion bags are just one of a number of products within the flexible packaging industry that can be made on the Aquarex line been



PVC but processors expect PP film to replace PVC, which is a naturally hard, brittle form of plastic that has to be mixed with phthalates to make it soft and pliable. Such softeners used with PVC are meeting with criticism in the industry. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PVC is associated with health risks, with some countries, including China, having banned PVC infusion bags altogether. Thus, PP film infusion bags are a welcomed alternative. “Our IV solution film is a well-known product in this field globally, as well as proven under international certified levels. Not only are we a main key player in this sector in South Korea, but we have also been supplying to reputable companies globally since 2000,” said Song. Infusion bags are just one of a number of interesting products within the flexible packaging industry for which films made on the Aquarex line are suited. Neves says that with the Aquarex, amorphous, waterquenched films are no longer a niche product for special applications, “rather they enhance product presentation, which in turn can impact sales.” The “crystal clear” film looks more like window glass than film, in which some degree of opacity would be expected. This clarity, achieved from 18

| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

the shock cooling of the melt, is especially important for the production of infusion bags. Packaging outlook remains strong


hile the outlook of the packaging industry



Song agrees that growth is not without its

challenges, such as increasing raw material costs that are influenced by crude oil prices. “But we are ready to meet any challenges. With the increase of single-person households, economic participation of women and preference of convenience food, the prospect of the food packaging industry will be favourable,” said Song. The company has also received a US$10 million award for its exports last year. “By installing new machines from W&H, we are confident of becoming a major leading global company in the packaging industry, especially in the medical film field. We plan to penetrate not only the China market but Middle East, Europe and South Asia,” adds Song. The company intends to push its efforts through R&D. “Our team is focusing on developing medical and packaging for bio industries in order to expand the business. Our ultimate objective is to become a total packaging solution company that is able to handle the entire gamut of packaging,” said Song. SR Technopack is on its way to achieving its goals as with the simultaneous installation of Aquarex water-cooled blown film lines, it not only is capable of producing quality film but will also be able to improve its productivity.

Unlocking PET packaging potential with Multi-Layer Technology for Barrier By Peter Yankov, Team Leader, Advanced Solutioning Process & Technology, Husky Injection Molding Systems


ince the early days of PET adoption in the packaging industry, it has been recognised

for its outstanding properties, allowing it to replace glass and aluminium in many food, beverage, home and personal care products. In addition to the functions of containing and dispensing a product, as well as delivering a marketing message to the consumer, a package must provide necessary protection for its content, at least for the duration of the planned shelf life. Some simple examples include the need to keep the carbon dioxide content of a carbonated beverage from escaping, preventing oxygen from reaching sensitive juice and sauce products and limiting exposure to light for dairy applications,

Comparison of CO2 loss – mono-layer versus mono-layer blend versus Multi-Layer Barrier Technology leave a package is dictated by the product volume. Surface to volume ratio inevitably increases as package volumes

decrease. This requires

packages to have improved barrier properties to support the necessary product shelf life. Market trends, driven by a consumer preference for smaller packages (portion control and on-thego consumption) and the ever-increasing need for brand owners to differentiate their products on store shelves, suggest that smaller volume packages





including visible, ultra-violet or infra-red.


While PET provides a better gas barrier than many

A small volume package also allows brand owners

other packaging polymers, it is still permeable and some gas exchange takes place between the content of a package and the environment, often

mono-layer to offer their products in emerging markets at a price point that is accessible to the larger group of potential consumers without

becoming the factor that limits product shelf life.

eroding the value.

The challenge of providing adequate product

There are multiple approaches to extending

protection increases as package sizes decrease. The rate of gas ingress (or loss) is proportional to the surface area of a package, while the total amount of gas that can be allowed to enter or

the barrier properties of a PET package and the ultimate choice of the technology will be dictated by multiple factors, such as the level of required barrier improvement, the need to maintain PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


production flexibility, constraints placed by the

The coating is applied in a plasma treatment

logistics chain and, of course, the total cost to

following the blow moulding process. Silicon


oxide coating is clear and transparent, while amorphous carbon coating imparts a light yellow

The easiest solution to improving the barrier

tint to a clear package. The effectiveness of such

properties of a traditional PET package is to

coatings may be limited by the bottle creep,

blend PET at the injection system extruder with

which may disrupt its integrity and lower the net

one of the many barrier materials available on the

improvement of the barrier properties.

market. In contrast, the multi-layer co-injection barrier The resulting blend will have improved resistance

solution provides a greater package design

to gas permeation (passive barrier) or may even

freedom, since the package creep and deformation

actively trap oxygen molecules (active oxygen

levels are less critical or even inconsequential for

scavenger) in the polymer matrix. Not requiring

the barrier performance. It further allows the

any equipment changes other than the polymer

introduction of active oxygen scavenger materials,

dosing and mixing auxiliaries, this may be an

preventing oxygen ingress and lowering oxygen

appropriate solution in some situations.

content in the headspace.

At the same time, the simplest solution, as it

A multi-layer structure providing a barrier to

often happens, has serious limitations or even

light can also be created when required for the

penalties. The barrier improvement factor is


directly proportional to the amount of barrier material added to the blend. As the additive

On the operational level, coatings are attractive

level is increased, the clarity and transparency of

due to a low cost of consumable materials. At the

a PET bottle typically suffers, placing a limit on

same time, a plasma coating system represents an

how much improvement can be reached while

additional process step between bottle blowing

maintaining the desired package appearance.

and filling, which can pose a challenge to preform moulders supplying multiple blowing sites.

Even more significant is the barrier material cost penalty of a blend solution and its potential impact

The choice of a system supplier is determined,

on recyclability when compared to a multi-layer

among other factors, by the type of the coating


selected. Quality control of a barrier coating is accomplished through monitoring of the process

Bottle coating vs multi-layer technology


parameters. The silicon oxide coating itself can only

ottle coating, with a thin glass-like coating

be detected using laboratory grade instruments

on the internal surface of a bottle, is another

such as a scanning electron microscope.

available option to improve the resistance of a monolayer PET package to gas permeation.

Quality of the barrier layer distribution in a multilayer preform can be confirmed by both non-

20 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

destructive and destructive inspection means.

runner, while the standard mould cold half can

A multi-layer preform is produced in a sequential

be interchanged between the monolayer and

injection or a simultaneous co-injection process.

the multi-layer systems, assuming the same hot

In both cases, the resulting preform contains a

runner pitch and nozzle interface is maintained.

distinct layer of the barrier material sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of PET. Even

While a co-injection system must be configured

though barrier materials are typically approved

with two injection units and a co-injection hot

for food and beverage applications, as an added

runner, as well as necessary auxiliaries and

benefit this results in only PET being in direct

control system, Husky Multi- Layer systems offer

contact with such products.

complete flexibility to run mono-layers tools (complete mould and hot runner) or to produce

Preform blowing and filling steps subsequent

monolayer preforms without switching tooling, if

to injection moulding do not require changes to

this becomes necessary due to changes in demand,

the existing production lines. This means that,

season or target markets.

when desirable, a producer is able to maintain the flexibility of operating a central injection

Both passive and active barrier materials are more

moulding facility supplying multiple blowing

effective when used in a concentrated layer in a

and filling locations.

multi-layer package, compared to a monolayer blend with PET.

Multi-layer technology


usky’s Multi-Layer Technology is a complete

The same barrier improvement factor (and the

integrated system solution building on the

resulting product shelf life) can be achieved in a

best-in-class monolayer preform performance

multi-layer barrier package using approximately

and reliability of the company’s HyPET HPP

50% or less of the blended barrier material. The

product line. Simultaneous co-injection results in

effect has been reported with co-injection systems

faster cycle times and the ability to inject thinwall

and confirmed in laboratory studies. This holds

preforms, since both PET and the barrier materials flow into the mould cavity through the gate at the same time. The multi-layer melt flow is formed in the nozzle of the co-injection hot Multi-Layer Barrier Technology combines the benefits of Husky’s proven HyPET HPP5 system with a revolutionary new hot runner to enable the most precise and controlled dosing of barrier material

PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


true for both the oxygen scavenger applications,

expensive opaque white additive that is needed.

where oxygen must be prevented from reaching the product, and for passive barrier applications,

The ability to provide uninterrupted barrier

where carbonation must be kept inside the

layer coverage through the preform dome

package, although the mechanism differs.

improves total package barrier performance and is especially important for oxygen and light

In the case of a passive barrier layer, the gas

sensitive applications.

permeation rate is reduced by creating a denser “fence� for gas molecules. In the case of an active

In particular, some food types (for example pasta

scavenger, the useful capacity of the scavenger

sauces) do not readily mix inside the package,

material is extended by ensuring only the oxygen

creating a potential for local oxidisation of the

molecules that reach the barrier layer are reacting

product in segments of the package not covered

with the scavenger and are trapped.

by the barrier layer, causing spoilage.

Even though light barrier applications do not

The Husky hot runner design and control system

involve gas diffusion mechanisms, similar material

allow moulding of the multi-layer preforms with

cost and package performance advantages are

either closed or open dome tips (with or without

derived from a multilayer technology.

barrier layer in the bottle base), in the former case providing outstanding control over the

Shelf life of dairy products (such as UHT

termination (trailing edge) or the barrier layer.

milk) processed for long shelf life at ambient temperature is limited, among other factors, by

In 2015, Husky began working with select early

the breakdown of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and

adopter customers to introduce their Multi-

oxidation of proteins and lipids triggered by

Layer Technology to the market. Customers have

exposure to light, leading to a loss in nutritional

since chosen to rely on this solution for a variety

value and off-flavors.

of applications, including for carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters, juices, sauces, and now

Monolayer preforms containing significantly

seeing expansion into dairy, beer and personal

above 12% of a TiO2 master batch (titanium oxide

care products.

commonly used to produce a strongly opaque white) are difficult and at some point impossible

An important factor to lowering the total cost

to stretch blow, thus limiting the extent of light

to produce is the ability to precisely dose and

barrier that can be achieved.

distribute just the right amount of barrier material for a given application while maintaining the

In contrast, multi-layer preforms containing a

robust productivity expected of Husky HyPET

black PET layer hidden within an opaque white

HPP systems.

PET achieve signicantly lower light transmission, blocking up to 99.99% of light up to 650 nm

It is well known that material cost is a major

wavelength, while reducing the amount of

contributor to the total cost of a package. Barrier


| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

materials, while making up a relatively low

in the field, Husky customers have commented

(typically 2% to 15%) percentage of a package’s

on the barrier hot runner’s performance stability,

weight are substantially more expensive than

and this is without the need for unplanned

PET. This makes it critical to ensure the minimum


necessary amount of barrier material is delivered to each mould cavity and distributed in the most

When running temperature sensitive barrier

effective manner within the preform.

materials, purging both hot runner melt delivery systems with PET during system shut-down and

With Husky’s co-injection hot runner the two

re-start is a good practice that has been automated.

material delivery systems are thermally separated

Even the best maintenance practices may leave

and independently controlled by the embedded

room for unplanned events, such as contamination

Altanium control system, ensuring the barrier

of source resin by foreign material.

material is only subjected to the PET processing temperature when the two materials are combined

If a contamination particle finds its way into the

prior to the gate.

hot runner, the most likely area for a blockage is the hot runner nozzle, where melt passages

Injection moulders familiar with co-injection will

are smallest. It has historically been notoriously

recognise that in the attempt to improve hot runner

difficult to clean this area, often requiring

balance and ensure melt flow and temperature

complete hot runner disassembly.

rates are as uniform as possible across multiple gates, the hot runner may be melt-channels

The HyPET HPP5 barrier system features a

tuned by lowering and raising temperatures of

front removable nozzle design, which allows the

manifolds and nozzle tips.

maintenance or replacement of hot runner nozzles while in the press, by latching over the mold

Husky hot runners provide control flexibility through an increased number of manifold zones






temperature pneumatic

actuation of valve gates has been upgraded to an electric servo, plate actuated synchronous valve gate system. At the same time, the high level of balance means that the range of temperatures used in further tuning the performance is significantly reduced, further decreasing the maximum temperature experienced by barrier material.

Multi-Layer Technology for barrier is suitable for a variety of applications, including for carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters, juices, sauces, and now seeing expansion into dairy, beer and personal care products

Over millions of cycles of production use PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 23

cavity plate to expose the tips. While co-injection

was fully supported by Husky’s regional service

moulding is still more complex than traditional

engineers, as well as their Multi-Layer Barrier

mono-layer injection moulding, the operation of

subject matter experts who were present from

the complete system is facilitated by Husky’s

the company’s headquarters in Bolton, Ontario,






integrating all aspects of the injection moulding process and auxiliary equipment.

As part of the qualifying process, the system successfully completed uninterrupted production

Process setup for a new application begins with

runs for two Multi-Layer preform applications,

establishing a mono-layer process for preform

one being a 28 g preform for a carbonated water

quality. When barrier material injection is enabled,

bottle application and the other a 14 g preform

the control system automatically adjusts the PET

for a juice application. In fact, when comparing

injection profile based on the barrier content and

Husky’s new Multi-Layer Technology to their

generates the barrier injection profile, which can

existing co-injection barrier system, the customer

be further fine-tuned by the operator.

saw no change in performance after running the system for several months. In the past when testing

Early adopter customer sees success with

alternatives they had typically seen deterioration

Husky’s Multi- Layer Technology

in barrier performance after several weeks and


hen introducing its new Multi-Layer

that was not the case here.

Technology, Husky partnered with one

of Europe’s best known preform and PET bottle

They also saw significantly better control

manufacturers to test and validate the solution in

of the barrier weight. The accuracy and

the field. Having already established a proven

repeatability to control the barrier content in

track record of working together to validate

the preforms produced on the new Husky

new technologies, Husky knew this European

Multi-Layer Barrier system was significantly

customer would be a good fit as an early adopter

better than what they were currently achieving.


Both applications were produced with a tolerance on the barrier content within +/-0.5% of the

The two companies also shared a common goal of

total preform weight. This was achieved while

developing solutions that push the PET industry

realising a 40% faster cycle time.

forward, as well as grow the addressable PET market. It was also perfect timing for Husky’s

When measured against the existing competitor co-

customer, as they were experiencing maintenance,

injection system running the exact same application

service and stability issues with their existing co-

Husky’s Multi-Layer system ran more consistent-

injection barrier systems and were looking to find

ly for a longer period of time with no drop in per-

an upgraded solution.

formance and decreased hot runner maintenance.

The installation and start-up of the first Multi-

Today, this customer is continuing to work with

Layer system in the customer’s European facility

Husky on future Multi-Layer Barrier projects.


| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Battenfeld-cincinnati China

Driven by innovation Austrian/German extrusion/thermoforming machine maker battenfeld-cincinnati’s new motto “driven by innovation” is the driving force behind the company’s equipment and services. Exhibiting at Chinaplas in May this year, battenfeld-cincinnati China presented energy and material-saving extrusion equipment in pipe and thermoforming sheet production. PRA caught up with Toni Bernards, CEO of battenfeld-cincinnati China, to learn more. PRA: Industry 4.0 is expected to become mainstream in industries, and in China, it is the “Made in China 2025”. How does battenfeld-cincinnati position itself in this developing trend, especially in China Bernards: Industry 4.0 offers every plastics processor the opportunity to run its extrusion equipment with maximum BCtouch-UX efficiency. For this reason, battenfeld-cincinnati has created a new control system, the BCtouch UX (UX stands for “user experience”). We first presented the control last year at K2016 in Germany. At Chinaplas 2017, we showed the BCtouch UX control in China for the first time. The BCtouch UX control system has advanced functions that support efficient production planning and preventive maintenance intervals. All process parameters are monitored centrally. Line operators can carry out energy monitoring and calculate energy diagrams over time, based on freely selectable production parameters. This makes it possible to find an operating point where the Bernards line can be run with optimal resource efficiency in terms of both material and

all line components are recorded in the control system. This supports necessary preventive maintenance actions, thus increasing line uptime and consequently overall efficiency.

Mobile operating terminal with the new BCtouch UX control was shown at the Chinaplas 2017

Fully in keeping with the industry 4.0 concept and the control system’s facilities for communicating with






“connectivity”, all line and process parameters included and evaluated in the system can be centrally tapped by an ERP system. For this purpose, the battenfeld-cincinnati OPCUA server provides a future-proof interface for vertical integration of the line at the customer’s plant. In addition to on-site operation, BCtouch UX also supports an alarm system via Internet or Intranet, with data of definable line statuses being transmitted to mobile units either by LAN/WIFI or by UMTS/LTE, according to the customer’s choice. PRA: The solEX 60-40-C extruder with the new BCtouch UX control is suitable for Industry 4.0 applications?

energy consumption. Maintenance intervals for PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 25

At first, we focused only on the Chinese market, but now we have export rates of around “We have a very broad customer base in China: about 90% of customers are small, local processors that want to gain a competitive advantage from advanced extrusion technology,� said Bernards Bernards: The BCtouch UX control offers the features needed to be used for industry 4.0 applications. The control has a large 21.5� multi-touch display in landscape format, with the solEX60-40 well-known swivel-and-tilt functionality from battenfeld-cincinnati. It is easy to use with multitouch zoom, move and slide functions that users are familiar with from operating tablets or mobile phones. With the new cockpit view, the process status of the complete line can be viewed at a glance. The design of the overview page and the navigation through the menu are derived directly from the line configuration. Additional terminals can be integrated into the line as well. PRA: Please provide a round-up of the Chinese market growth for battenfeld-cincinnati in China since the setup of the company 21 years ago. Bernards: Since its foundation in 1996, battenfeldcincinnati China has developed very positively. Sales and order intake have continually increased. In 2016, for example, our order intake increased by 35% compared to 2015. Today, we have 130 employees and contribute about 25% to the sales of the battenfeld-cincinnati group of companies. 26 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

30% per year. The main export markets are Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Over the past few years, the market for extruded products has developed significantly, both in terms of volume and of quality. In the beginning, we focused on the small, high-quality segment, but now there is growing demand for high-quality pipes and profiles in China and thus for the right equipment to produce it. We have therefore adapted our machine portfolio continuously to market needs over the years. We have a very broad customer base in China: about 90% of customers are small, local processors that want to gain a competitive advantage from advanced extrusion technology. The remaining 10% of customers are companies operating on a global scale that are often already familiar with the battenfeld-cincinnati brand. PRA: Apart from the solEX 60-40 extruder shown at Chinaplas this year, what technologies are being offered by battenfeld-cincinnati in Asia, including China? What are the latest technologies developed? Bernards: We offer complete pipe extrusion lines for mono and multi-layer PO, PVC and PE-RT pipes, profile extrusion lines for window main profiles or small technical profiles and pelletising lines, as well as extrusion lines for thermoforming sheet production. The latter are offered as hybrid lines, for which some components are supplied from Europe.

Our proven product range includes solEX, uniEX

the growth industry for the future?

and leanEX single screw extruders, helix PO pipe heads, twinEX LeanEX-C1-60-30-extruder

Bernards: We still see growth potential in the

and conEX twin screw extruders, spider PVC

infrastructure and construction segment for pipes

pipe heads, as well as complete downstream

and profiles.

equipment and state-ofthe- art controls. The requirements for these products have At this year’s Chinaplas, we premiered the first

increased steadily both in terms of the quality

leanEX twin screw extruder for pipe at an Open

and the complexity of the product.

House at our factory. The leanEX name is assigned to our turnkey extruders and lines for standard

There are higher standards for materials,

pipe extrusion. These feature high outputs, high

production and endproducts, and more demand

line speeds and a high degree of automation.

for multi-layer applications that offer better properties thanks to additional functional layers.

The new leanEX 2-93R-28-CL with 28 L/D has an extremely robust design and energy-efficient

We also see a growth in the packaging market

components. The heart of the extruder, the screw,

that is currently booming all over the world. The

is made in Europe. Outputs range from 200-580

demand is for high-quality packaging that offers

kg/ hour.

protection and long shelf life for the packaged goods. High-quality food packaging offers

The leanEX 2-93R-28-CL extruder comes with

protection, long shelf life and easier transportation

a “BC compact” control. This control offers all

for packaged goods.

standard functions and has an intuitive 12” touch screen with a modern screen design. It can also be

Battenfeld-cincinnati also offers equipment for

integrated into MES/ERP systems.

this demanding market. The combination of highspeed extruders and the innovative Multi-

One further new development shown at our

Touch roll stack is ideal for excellent product

Open House was a production line for three-

quality despite high line speeds.

layer glassfibre- reinforced PP-R pipes. These pipes are used for hot and cold water transport.

Due to their high outputs, one of these lines can

We extruded them with an output of 350 kg/hour

replace several conventional lines, saving space,

and a line speed of 3.95 m/min.

operating and maintenance costs.

We also showcased our uniEX single screw

High-speed extruders offer 15-25% energy savings

extruders and a helix 3-layer pipe head, as well as

compared to conventional systems as well as lower

a standalone BMCtouch control terminal.

material consumption and increased production times. Multi- Touch roll stacks ensure perfectly

PRA: What is your forecast of industries/ markets/

flat, stress-free sheet and a high transparency,

applications poised to become (or will continue to be)

particularly for PP products. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


IKO Polymeric

Innovative solution for energy-efficient production of flexible PVC


KO Group is a global manufacturer of highgrade roofing systems. Its subsidiary, IKO

Polymeric, whose headquarters are in Chesterfield, Great Britain, was founded in 2005 in order to promote single-layer ply roofing membranes for flat roofs. Since it was first founded, the division has grown from three employees to 80 and it is now the market leader in Great Britain.

This article by Alois Billigen, Division Manager Marketing/ Documentation of AZO GmbH + Co. KG, is a case study of systems installed by IKO Polymeric for the production of flexible PVC for roofing membranes. membranes at its own site in Chesterfield, provided it could achieve a high level of energy efficiency, the company had planned to invest in a manufacturing plant for flexible PVC. AZO was charged with developing and producing this plant, after winning over the contract against well-known rival firms. A crucial factor in awarding the contract to AZO was its many years of experience in raw materials handling and its technical expertise. Indeed, AZO notched up points with its custom solutions to satisfy the customer’s specific requirements. For instance, existing peripherals could be made use of and new plants designed exactly, to fit the existing building. The tasks AZO faced


ZO faced two major challenges:

• Adapting and integrating the plant to fit

in the existing buildings

An overview of the plant installed at IKO Roofing membranes from IKO Polymeric are used in both new buildings and in refurbishments. The company offers an extremely broad variety of products for high-performance flat roofing solutions. Since IKO Polymeric’s aim was to manufacture the flexible PVC needed to make the roofing 28 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Directly feeding the compounder/extruder

downstream from the heating mixer without a cooling stage, which meant no longer cooling the mixture before the extruder, as is otherwise done when manufacturing flexible PVC. AZO also had to meet the following requirements:

• Maximum process accuracy • Maximum versatility

• Consistently high product quality • Highly accurate weighing • Constant batch weights • A high degree of process transparency • Reliable documentation • Automation of all raw materials handling, for

in liquid and in powdered form. The wide variety of formulations meant that the plant had to be very flexible at the same time. The formulations contain large quantities of plasticisers, PVC, chalk and different additives.

both powdered and liquid raw materials.

Tracking and tracing of the entire production

Dispensing with the cooling stage resulted in

process, using barcode scanners at raw materials

particular challenges when feeding materials

feeding points, was a further requirement for the

to the extruder. It was necessary to maintain

new plant.

the mixture at a temperature of approximately 100°C,





increasing homogeneity of the mixture. After the mixing process, the mixture is moistened, which



ommissioning of the plant took place in 2014; and in 2017, the final phase in expansion of

increases the challenge yet further with regard to

the plant involved supplying an additional silo

homogeneity and consistent temperatures and

for PVC.

requires that the plant engineering firm has indepth knowledge of process engineering and

Feeding of raw materials and feeding the heating

extensive experience.


Reliable solutions for control engineering systems are required here: the buffer bin, which is designed


ue to the large number of different materials, feeding of raw materials is

broken down into liquid medium components,

as an insulated mixing vessel, is equipped with a

liquid components and into large, medium and

weighing device and a temperature-measuring

small powdered components.

instrument. The signals it sends are used to regulate filling levels and temperature to ensure

Liquid plasticisers are stored in four tanks and

maximum consistency in the properties of the

are pumped into gain-in-weight scales via micro

end products.

filters with pressure monitoring. The micro filters are designed as a bypass solution, so that there

Major savings in energy are achieved by

are no downtimes caused by the need to carry

dispensing with the processes of cooling the blend

out cleaning. The raw materials are conveyed

in the cooling mixer and of reheating it in the

completely from the scales into the heating

extruder, as these stages use substantial amounts


of energy. The height of the building meant it was also possible to dispense with expensive

The liquid medium components are supplied

modifications such as extending the roof.

in two scale hoppers, which are connected in parallel. From there, they are then weighed

A further stipulation for materials handling was

into the heating mixer using the loss-inweight

to integrate a large number of raw materials, both

method. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition | 29

Different types of PVC are stored in three silos

stage in the process. Failure to achieve this will

and are transported via a vacuum conveyor into

have negative consequences on the subsequent

the vacuum conveying scales situated above the

extrusion process and product quality.

heating mixer. In addition, the PVC can also be


transported into the vacuum conveying scales Homogenisation serves to stabilise or improve

from a big bag discharge station.

the quality of the mix. The hopper is equipped as Five medium components are weighed into Sack-

scales in order to monitor yields and keep check

tipping-stations a scale hopper via sack discharge

of the product temperature.

stations and volumetric dosing units. These five raw materials have minimum ignition energy

The extruder is fed continuously using differential

between 3 and 10 mJ. The medium components

dosing scales. In addition, two vacuum conveyors

are also conveyed in parallel into the same

and downstream differential dosing scales can be

vacuum conveying scales in the PVC line.

used to feed returning raw materials and various substances for dyeing the PVC.

The proportion of these components varies, depending on the formulation, up to 5% within

Filling of finished goods following the extruder

the PVC line into the vacuum conveying scales.

he finished products are discharged from

This leads to a premix of the different raw materials, which are discharged from the scales


the extruder into a hopper and conveyed

from there into a silo for intermediate storage.

into the heating mixer. Micro components can be added to the heating mixer using appropriate

The silo is fitted with load cells. The flexible PVC

methods of product feeding.

is filled into big bags either for interim storage or for selling. There is an option to expand the

Feeding the extruder with the mixture from the

plant with direct feeding to the next process

heating mixer



special feature is that there is no cooling stage in the direct feeding of the compounder/

extruder after the heating mixer. This results in a huge advantage for the customer in terms of energy efficiency.

The AZO Group


he AZO Group delivers innovative concepts for automation from a single supplier:

plant engineering and construction, process engineering and process IT dovetail seamlessly. are

AZO provides everything – from the initial

extremely high for this solution. The heating

concept, from innovative individual components

mixer discharges into a homogeniser hopper via

for storage, discharge, screening, conveying,

a screw feeder. The screw feeder and hopper are

dosing and weighing of raw materials right

insulated in order to maintain the temperature

through to a turnkey solution.






at approximately 100°C. It is vital to avoid fluctuations in product temperature at this 30

| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

AZO is the specialist for automated handling of

raw materials and of processes; of large, medium

process-oriented approaches resulting in the ideal

and small components in granular, powder and

combination of innovation and reliability.

liquid form. AZO CONTROLS acts as a partner for many AZO SOLIDS is the expert when it comes to

renowned companies and, in addition to its own

efficient handling of bulk materials. It caters to

developments, it offers solutions that are based

reliable storage, discharge, screening, conveying,

on tools that are available commercially.

dosing and weighing Outdoor-silos of raw materials within fully automated processes. From

Hence, the AZO Group provides support for

the major ingredient down to micro quantities,

successful companies all over the world in

from the initial study concerning safety concepts

implementing innovative projects by using

and risk assessments through to the turnkey

the technologies of the future and through its

plant in its entirety, AZO combines what belongs

extensive network of production and sales


companies. In this way, AZO is continuously enhancing its products and adapting them to the

Founded in 2008, AZO LIQUIDS provides for

future requirements of the market and customers’

mixing, dispersing and homogenising liquid


and semi-solid products. Its main target is the development of a new generation of batch and

With sales subsidiaries and service partners

continuous process plants with an innovative

the world over, customers are provided with

homogeniser for fully automatic feeding of raw

expert advice and service in line with market



AZO CONTROLS is the expert for innovative

The success of AZO is based first and foremost on



the quality and reliability of the solutions and the

weighing-and-pumping automation solutions in

accumulated experience of 65 years in building

the production environment. From consulting to

automatic material handling systems.




implementation, from sensor technology to the commercial production planning level, this is

At the same time, AZO is open to new ideas and

where AZO will provide with reliable, joined-up

is not afraid to translate them into new innovative

solutions at each stage.

systems for dispersing, mixing and homogenising of liquid and semi-solid products.

For over 35 years, AZO CONTROLS, as a fullservice provider for automation, has delivered

AZO measures the quality of its services by



considering the customers benefit. The reliability

environment for the entire value chain. It

of the AZO system in combination with specifically

is backed by well-trained staff from a wide

configured and fine-tuned process control allows

variety of specialist fields, who offer extensive

the highest possible availability and therefore an

experience, in-depth knowledge of products and

excellent efficiency.




PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |



A tiger economy in an era of innovation

Thailand is relentlessly asserting its claim as Asia’s key technologyefficient manufacturing spot, with its latest laurel – a twostep leap to becoming the 32nd most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global competitiveness index. The T-Plas trade show, held in Bangkok in September, also highlighted Thailand’s strength as a manufacturing and market base. It was co-located with Pack Print International and featured six national pavilions.


he second largest economy in the ten-nation ASEAN, Thailand is

ardent in its pursuit to becoming, or shall we say, maintaining its Asian powerhouse standing. The Thailand 4.0 initiative, for example, where the manufacturing ecosystem will be hinged on technology and innovation, gives a worm’s eye view of the bigger, rosier economic picture Thailand is painting. The country’s economy is pillared on its strong sectors like automotive, electronics, consumer goods, building and




more, with its economy growing 3.7% year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, from 3.3% during the first quarter. It has also seen an exponential growth in domestic spending in recent years, posting a growth of 3.3% year on year. 1 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Lucrative market for plastics


Barot of Mamata was enthusiastic about the Thai packaging sector

lastic products are one of Thailand’s top five exports, according to Gernot Ringling,

Managing Director of Singapore-based Messe

E x e c u t i ve

Düsseldorf Asia (MDA), which organised the


recently concluded T-Plas.

was “a harbinger for innovation and technological advances in the country”, thus the need for new technology. This was echoed by most of the exhibitors





interest in the company’s blown film and converting lines. Romain Reyre, President for Southeast Asia of Austria-headquartered injection moulding machine maker Engel, told PRA that most visitors to the booth were from the packaging industry. He added, “We see that the packaging industry

A u s t r i a n machine

manufacturer Erema said the company Rehkopf says Reifenhäuser expects higher end lines to be was promoting new taken up in Thailand technology for the Thai market as was

is continuing to grow and there is strong interest for in-mould labelling (IML) and energy saving targets.” Engel showcased a fully electric e-mac 440/180, demonstrating the production of oval bowls for convenience meals, using a four-cavity mould with IML, running a 4.5

German extrusion machinery maker Reifenhäuser.

second-cycle time. “This

Managing Director of Reifenhäuser Singapore,

highly energy efficient

Juergen Rehkopf, said that the demand for plastic

machine can be used

products is prodding the upgrading of machinery.

for general applications

He added, “We notice there is a general trend for

across various industries,

more quality films, and more customers are now


considering five-layer PE structures (from the normal three-layers).” Rehkopf said there had lot of requests for new equipment”,

like the new Evolution Ultra Flat haul-off for better printability and lamination capability. Seeing trends in packaging and labelling xhibiting for the first time at T-Plas, India’s Mamata Machinery has an eye on the Thai

packaging sector. Abhishek Barot, Sr Sales



medical and technical Reyre of Engel noted the growing interest for IML and energy saving targets

producing films with improved flatness, enabling



customers had conveyed

Speaking at the opening ceremony, he said this

been “a





adding that Engel’s inject 4.0, is the company’s response to Thailand’s

imminent digital

transformation. As

well, Reyre said that while the medical industry is receiving a great deal of attention, he averred that this sector still needs time to grow. “Overall, the packaging industry should be more active than the others,” he opined. PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


In a similar vein,

slowly picked up. We expect demand for new

Jessie Hsu, Sales

machines in this sector to increase, to support the


anticipated increase in automotive production

Jessie-Hsu of


Chuan Lih Fa (CLF), Taiwanese

Meanwhile, German thermoforming machinery


maker Geiss is upbeat. “The automotive and

moulding machinery supplier, said

Hsu of CLF expects sales to be challenging

aerospace markets are favourable, compared to those in the rest of Southeast Asia,” Ankit Kapoor, Regional Head of Geiss told PRA. “Almost half of

that visitors were

Geiss’s turnover is from the automotive sector,

swarming to the adjacent exhibition hall where

and considering that there are a number of major

printing and labelling machines were shown.

Japanese companies in Thailand, we have gained

Nevertheless, she added, “Business in Thailand

quite a few customers,” he said, adding that

has been slow for the last three years, further

Thailand’s aerospace sector also shows potential

burdened by a stronger dollar and weaker baht.

as a high-growth niche market.

(This situation) has affected our opportunity to export, and some users buying machines from

The country’s air transportation sector is enjoying

Europe or Japan have made the last two to three

brisk business, owing to its bustling tourism

years challenging for us.”

industry, as well as air travel driven by a rise in disposable incomes and offers of affordable airfares.

Foray into automotive and aerospace, a boon


According to the Thai Board of Investments (BOI)

t the onset of the year, Thailand’s exports

August 2017 report, the country’s air traffic is to

in the automotive sector turned soft amid a

expand 3.4%/year for the next 20 years to reach

rattled economy. But the country, dubbed Detroit

7 billion passengers by 2034, thrice faster than

of the East, has bounced back. Citing the Thai

the global market. Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan’s

Automotive Industry Association’s (TAIA) data,

Asia Pacific aerospace infographic shows that

domestic sales and exports in January were pegged

Thailand’s aircraft fleet is likely to increase to

at 57,254 units and 80,087 units, respectively;

more than 800 by 2037, growing at a CAGR of

falling against sales and exports of December


2016 totalling 86,858 and 86,120, respectively. By August 2017, TAIA said the country’s domestic vehicle (passenger and commercial) sales totalled 67,965 units and exports were 102,907 units, up

Sturdy ground for building and infrastructure


he WEF, in its recent survey of economies, underscored Thailand’s achievements on

from the previous month (July)’s 65,178 sold

infrastructure projects. The country’s Eastern

units and 90,015 exports.

Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative, which is expected to mould it into a trade


Engel’s Reyre noted the same view. “Thailand’s

manufacturing titan, is expected to be completed

automotive industry has been quiet but it has

by 2021. The EEC’s US$43 billion estimated

34 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

allocation will cover four core areas: infrastructure;

company is already a stalwart in Thailand, and

business, industrial clusters and innovation hubs;

is ready to explore opportunities in other Asian

tourism; and new cities through smart urban

markets. “There is high demand for power and

planning. Evidently, the project will boost the

telecommunications cables used in building

building and infrastructure sectors.

and infrastructure in the Asian region. From Thailand, we are able to serve markets like

For first time exhibitor,

China and India. But we find that India has

Greiner, a supplier of

many local compounders, thus, it is difficult to

extrusion lines for profile

penetrate,” Chongcharoen said.

extrusion, it is at the right He added that Thailand’s wire/cable market

place and at the right time for a potential windfall from these sectors, said General Manager Oliver Schuerrer.



Schuerrer of Greiner says thecompany expects to enjoy the spills of the growth from the construction sector







condominiums and department stores; and government projects. “This year, investments in government projects have increased and this

currently growing our

augurs well, whereas, investments by the private

customer network, even though it is competitive,”

sector have slowed, making it a challenging time

he said, adding that the company will require an

for the building sector.” Nevertheless, he deems

estimated two years to achieve its target.

that this setback is temporary.

It also has a biotechnology and medical devices

Accessing opportunities in white goods

unit, Greiner Bio-One, located in Thailand. In Asia, the Austria-headquartered firm has offices


he booming property development and real estate markets, including condominiums

in South Korea, China, Japan, and India, which

and stand-alone housing, are bolstering demand

Schuerrer mentioned as a strong market, besides

for consumer appliances in Thailand, according to

a presence in Europe and

Euromonitor International’s 2016 country report.

the US.

Along with an increasing disposable income, political stability, and economic stimulus package


by the government, the advent of new property


development are buoying consumer confidence.

petrochemical firm SCG Geiss’s Kapoor confirmed a potent opportunity

Chemicals’s Wire and Cable (W&C) division was exhibiting at the adjacent Wire and Tube Southeast Asia show,

Chongcharoen, SCG, says the company is marketing its compounds for Asian infrastructure sectors

for white goods, such as refrigerators and washing machines. “We have supplied more than 17 machines to a Thai customer that makes refrigerators,” he said.

also organised by MDA. Saksit Chongcharoen, SCG’s Domestic Sales

This was opined by another exhibitor, Austria-

Manager-PVC Compound, mentioned that the

headquartered machine manufacturer Wittmann PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


with our technical and specified equipment.”

Battenfeld, which has a Thai subsidiary that was set up in 2004. Herbst,

Positive outlook, sectors drive growth




hough it all looks rosy in Thailand, it has


its flaws, too. The WEF report pointed out

Manager referred to the challenge of positioning

that the country’s competitiveness is marred


by several conditions including bureaucracy,




insufficient capacity to innovate, lack of skilled

competition. “Over the last few years, it was a little tough but

Herbst of Wittmann Battenfeld said the company had to compete with Japanese machine makers in Thailand

workforce, and tax policies, to name few. Nevertheless, exhibitors interviewed at T-

we are getting hold of

Plas are willing to chance it. “Thailand is a

the market,” he said, alluding to a competitive

strong market,” said Corné Verstraten, CSO/

footing with Japanese machine suppliers.

Joint Partner of Germany-headquartered Dr Collin. The company, which develops pilot and

Japan established diplomatic

relations with

laboratory lines

Thailand in September 1887, and formed a Japan-

for processing

Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement in late


2007, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

as well as for

of Japan. Trade value from Japan amounted to

research institutes,

about 3 billion yen in 2016. Currently, there are

is tapping

over 4,500 Japanese companies in Thailand.

Thailand’s manoeuvre

Verstraten of Dr Collin says the company had a higher turnover this year in Thailand

“There are a number of Japanese firms in Thailand


that prefer Japanese equipment, and this thus has

innovation. “Our

created stiff competition for European equipment.

Thai agent LMS

Since our production is in Europe, our lead time

Instruments has generated a higher turnover of

is also longer.”

about 10%-12% (this year), which is quite good.” Japanese

Geiss’s Kapoor said that next to China, Thailand

counterpart has, Herbst said, “They have the

is a “very strong country in the entire region”,

‘Asian mind’ and that is their edge. But we are able

owing to its expansive industries.






to offer a broad range of options and flexibility to build machinery according to customer

Engel’s Reyre conjured a bright market outlook


for Thailand. “In the coming years, we expect that GDP will improve and the automotive

added that with the trend for more

and packaging industries will grow,” he said,

sophisticated automated and technical machinery,

rounding off an overall favourable sentiment for

Europeans are able to “compensate (the setback)

the Thai market.


36 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

Industry 4.0 takes production processes to a new level Industry 4.0 is one of the strongest growth drivers for machine makers, as seen in the presentations by companies at the recently concluded Fakuma 2017 show in Germany. Development of an interface


can be accessed by anyone. “Transparency is very

s one of the first industries, the European

important Fakuma-Arburg to us at this point to

injection moulding machine manufacturers,

gain a broad acceptance amongst the machine

led by German machine group VDMA, worked

manufacturers and the software providers, as

on an internationally uniform interface for the

well as the users,” says Dr. Harald Weber who

exchange of data between injection moulding

leads the technical Euromap working groups.

machines and master computers or MES, known as the Euromap 77. This was presented at the K







show in Düsseldorf last year. A demonstration

manufacturers were involved in the development

showed how several machines that were set up in

of the new interface in the European umbrella

different halls exchanged data with each other.

association Euromap. Besides Arburg, companies involved were Engel, Ferromatik Milacron,

Euromap 77 is based on the communications

KraussMaffei, Netstal, Negri Bossi, Sumitomo

standard OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA),

(SHI) Demag and Wittmann Battenfeld.

which has been established by the non-commercial OPC foundation and has already been used in

For MES manufacturers, Euromap 77 offers the big

many industries as the basis for the communication

benefit that a machine that supports the standard

between machines of different manufacturers. The

can be connected via plug-and-play and deliver

independent industry association also was involved

a reliable basic set of information with which the

as a consultant in the development of Euromap 77.

basic MES functions can be represented, according to Euromap.

“The big advantage of OPC UA is that it is manufacturer independent. It is a technology

Euromap 77 is just the beginning. It is already

that is available to everyone and is not dependent

being worked on a further interface – Euromap 79

on a control unit manufacturer. This is a main

to establish a secure connection between injection

reason why OPC UA is increasingly becoming

moulding machines and robots. The biggest

the standard of Industry 4.0,” said Jürgen

challenge there is to make some signals available

Peters, Head of the software development

in real-time, so that it does not come to collisions

department at German machine maker Arburg.

between the machine and the moving robot. Since OPC UA itself is not capable of real-time, it

In September 2017, Euromap 77 released a second

uses Time Sensitive Networks (TSN). However,

Release Candidate, i.e. a sort of beta version, which

it will not stop at Euromap 79. The connection of PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


periphery devices is already in the planning, for

four-cavity mould in accordance with the order.

material flow control and for extrusion facilities.

Handling was performed by a six-axis robot

The growing number of interfaces finally requires

housed within the installation area. The inserts

a uniform, superordinate structure. It is worked

were optionally overmoulded in hook/ hook,

on such a structure already, so that the interfaces

hook/eyelet or eyelet/eyelet combinations and

for different plastics and rubber machinery will

the finished tension strap then removed from the

follow a unified pattern.

system. In industrial practice, this kind of highvolume production with multiple variants is ideal for cable assembly in the automotive industry, for

Practical showcase of Industry 4.0


t the Fakuma show, of the ten exhibits at


its booth and ten at other booths, machine

maker Arburg aligned itself to Industry 4.0, Digital

Arburg also presented numerous smart solutions

Transformation and Smart Factory with products

in the service area, such as condition monitoring,

such as the Arburg host computer system (ALS)

predictive maintenance, the remote maintenance

as well as the integration of IT solutions into the

tool for fast, efficient and reliable online support,

production process.

the new “Mobile Maintenance” ALS module for maintenance and repair and machine connectivity

As a third highlight, Arburg presented a new

via various OPC UA interfaces.

practical example of Industry 4.0 that was tailored specifically to the requirements of the injection

Companies roll out new solutions for

moulding sector. In this regard, customer

Industry 4.0

requirements were integrated into the running injection moulding process for multi-variant high-volume production.


achine maker KraussMaffei unveiled at Fakuma its MaXecution MES, specifically

designed for small injection moulding companies. The new software creates

A compact turnkey system featuring


a vertical Allrounder 375 V produced

production by means of

flexibly tension straps in various lengths,

productivity indicators,

colours and end piece combinations on

for example regarding

demand from shot-to-shot – without

the overall equipment

any need for conversion. Visitors could

effectiveness (OEE), the

enter the desired tension strap variant

management of moulds

directly at the terminal, causing the order to be transmitted directly to the central Selogica control system via the OPC UA communication protocol. The

In KraussMaffei’s MaXecution, the programme function for the graphic planning of manufacturing orders provides a better overview in production planning

tension strap was automatically cut to the



and resources and the statistics on machines and rejects. In total, using this software



capacity utilisation of the

selected length, both ends spliced by means of a

machinery pool, fewer rejects and higher overall

plasma process and placed in the cavities of the

equipment effectiveness, says the firm.


| PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition

The MaXecution system, which KraussMaffei

Supported by intelligent stability and productivity

designed in collaboration with German MES

ratios, the user can recognise negative trends or

developer MPDV Mikrolab, offers KraussMaffei

performance deviations of individual machines

customers a plugand- play solution that is

at a glance. Stability specifications of individual

tailored to their specific needs. Based on MPDV’s

machines or the entire production process

popular Hydra MES, MaXecution is offered in

involves a newly developed ratio based on an

three versions, so that processors can decide on

intelligent algorithm.

the basis of requirements how many functions of an MES they need.

Overall performance is detailed as a single percentage after taking into account ten crucial process parameters. In addition, the productivity coefficient determines the efficiency of overall production





returning this as a percentage. Another possible option is continuous online monitoring of the power consumption per cycle. Netstal launched its e-service and the cloud-based production monitoring platform AnalytiX Sister company of KraussMaffei, Swiss machine maker Netstal, meanwhile, unveiled its e-service and the cloud-based production monitoring platform AnalytiX, both of which will be commercialised in the second quarter of 2018. Furthermore, Netstal machines can also be linked via standard Euromap interfaces to KraussMaffei’s new MaXecution MES system. Netstal’s cloud-based analysis tool AnalytiX is an

AnalytiX analyses over 60 different production parameters available for each individual machine. This enables, for example, the cycle times, metering stroke and injection time to be remotely monitored in real time and used for independent analyses. Customer portals from machine makers


ngel introduced its e-connect, the new customer portal, at Fakuma. Engel says it

will also integrate future service products for the smart factory into the customer portal.

integral component of the new e-service portal and will also be available as an independent app for smartphones and tablets running the iOS and Android operating systems. AnalytiX enables customers to monitor their machines at any time regardless of location and benefit from automated analysis of the processes and machine conditions, saving time and increasing employee efficiency.

Engel introduced its new e-connect customer portal at Fakuma PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition |


Meanwhile, the Austrian machine maker has also

their production from any location.

opened an inject 4.0 hotspot in its technology and automation centre in Hagen, Germany, “to very clearly communicate the new opportunities of digitalisation and networking,” and to offer live demos of all its inject 4.0 products.

Machine makers bask in glory of high sales


uropean machine makers had much to gloat about with most of the companies

participating at Fakuma scaling higher heights in terms of machine sales. For the fourth year

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery has

running, Arburg expects record sales, as well as

developed a web-based software solution to

projecting continued growth in 2017. “In 2017 we

provide its customers with a central platform for a

are set to exceed our 2016 consolidated turnover

wide range of services. The modular myConnect

of EUR636 million, breaking the record for the

system will open up access to a full range of online

fourth year in succession. For 2018, we expect

services from the injection moulding machinery

the level to be as good as 2017,” said Managing


Director Sales Gerhard Böhm. From the second quarter


For Engel, Germany continues to be one of the



highest revenue markets in Europe, with sales




having increased by 50% over the last five years.


Dr Stefan Engleder, CEO of the Engel Group,

netw o r k -

also said, “In the current financial year, we are

c o m p a t i b l e

expecting revenues of approximately EUR1.5

The web-based software solution equipment, a n d myConnect provides its customers with also with t h e a central platform for a wide range option of wireless of services. connectivity.

billion. This is a significant increase as compared





The standard package of modular service

to the previous year’s revenue of EUR1.36 billion.” At 55%, Europe represents the lion’s share of revenue for the Austrian firm, followed by 24% in America and 20% in Asia.

products in myConnect contains five modules. These comprise online support for request help

KraussMaffei also anticipates another record

from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag at any time from the

year, as orders and sales for 2017 have upped by

machine’s control system, a PC or a mobile device’

10%, compared to the previous turnover in 2016.

myDocumentation that allows customers to call

Meanwhile, China, according to Group CEO Frank

up all the documentation about their machine at

Stieler, is the machine maker’s driver of growth.

the touch of a button; myPartsShop that allows

“China and other Asian markets will increasingly

customers to order spare parts online.

become more important for us in the future. Through our new owner ChemChina, we now

The last two are myLifeCycleLog: that records

have even better access to the markets than before.”

all key events and provides customers with a

In view of this, KraussMaffei has doubled

complete history of every single machine and

production volume at its plant in Haiyan, China,

myConnectApp that allows customers to track

and expects an additional increase in 2018.

40 | PRA magazine 2017 yearender edition






international leasing group, KraussMaffei and Netstal are testing the waters in Germany to determine the feasibility of leasing rather than selling standard injection moulding machines. Customers can lease machines for four years, after which they can extend the lease, purchase the machine by paying its residual value or simply return it. KraussMaffei will offer its CX ClassiX machines for the programme.

PRA will be at these events in



Gandhinagar, Gujarat 7-12 February

P&R Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City 20-22 March

Chinaplas Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery says it is set to achieve its highest-ever sales volume in 2017, with revenues to increase by 17% to EUR273 million, beating its previous record year of 2015. A 20% increase in orders is anticipated for the current year, it said. The main reason for this positive trend, it says, is the take up of its ElExis high-speed and InElect all-electric machines. Companies have also been investing in their facilities to meet demand growth. Wittmann Battenfeld’s EUR15 million expansion of its Kottingbrunn plant will be completed by December 2017, with further extensions expected in 2018. The company also expects the expansion of its Czech Republic facility to be completed in 2018, and will expand its facility in Nuremberg, Germany, next year, too. Engel




investments into its worldwide production sites, the continued expansion of its sales and service teams, and the reinforcement of local application-technical, automation and industry expertise. Some of the EUR375 million expansions include a new facility in St Valentin, Austria, and the expansion of its Shanghai plant to commemorate its tenth anniversary of

Shanghai 24-27 April


Milan, Italy, 29 May-1 June

Propak Asia

Bangkok, Thailand 13-16 June

Propak China Shanghai, China 11-13 July


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 19-22 July


Taipei, Taiwan 15-19 August

Medical Fair Asia Singapore 29-31 August


Jakarta, Indonesia, 19 - 22 September


Friedrichshafen, Germany 16-20 October

P&R Indonesia Jakarta, Indonesia 14-17 November

© Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA) 2017 Yearender Edition Regional Office: SQ9, Block A, Menara Indah, Taman TAR, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 4260 4575 Fax: +603 4260 4576

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