A S l A â€™ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
Visit us at Chinaplas 2017 Hall 9.2, Stand J41
In this issue
Volume 32, No 229
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 14 材料: 從塑料廢物用於開發能源和燃料 18 Front Cover Feature – Global extrusion systems manufacturer and
supplier Davis-Standard, which has a regional manufacturing presence and full-scale R&D laboratory in Suzhou, China, will participate at Chinaplas 2017 and display the HPE-H extruder at Hall 9.2, Stand J41 22 Processor Report – South Korean packaging maker SR Technopack is installing the latest Aquarex water-cooled blown film line from German machinery maker W&H to produce high-quality films for the food and medical sectors 25 Country Focus: Vietnam – TPP, Brexit and shifts in the global economy are creating opportunities for Vietnam’s plastics industry to keep pace with the rest of the region and the world 28 Extrusion/Thermoforming Machinery – The latest in extrusion and thermoforming machine technologies are taking the floor at this year’s Chinaplas to be held 16-19 May in Guangzhou. Included in the roster are technologies from W&H, WM Thermoforming Machines, Amut, SML, Battenfeld-cincinnati China, PTi and Nordson 34 Country Focus: China – China’s 2025 roadmap will harness the country’s native strengths to further firm up its position as a global industrial powerhouse 37 Environment – US-based multinational computer technology company Dell is calling on multi-sectorial efforts to combat plastic waste that is choking the environment. Its solution: to build a commercial-scale supply chain to reuse plastic waste from the ocean
Regulars 概 要 6 Materials News
Supplements 副 刊 South Korean injection moulding machine makers were out in full force during the Koplas show in March Lanxess’s technical article on how interaction between sulphur and accelerators play an important role in the rubber industry; Malaysia takes the lead in the glove sector, albeit, not without challenges
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On the Cover Davis-Standard’s Suzhou laboratory is equipped with a high-speed FPVC extrusion system and multi-purpose microbore tubing line to support new medical tubing applications such as microbore catheter tubing and multi-lumen tubing
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M&As/MOUs • US colourants and additives firm Milliken has acquired dyes/ pigments supplier Keystone Aniline. Both are privately held, familyowned companies with long histories in the colourants industry: 97 years for Keystone and 152 for Milliken and operate facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. • Canadian chemicals firm Nova Chemicals Corporation is acquiring Williams Partners’s 88.46% ownership interest in its Louisiana olefins plant, 525 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the plant, and William’s interest in the Ethylene Trading Hub in Texas for US$2.1 billion. The plant produces 884,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and is located in the US Gulf Coast region. • UK-based PEEK maker Victrex has acquired PEEKbased fibre maker Zyex to expand to the aerospace, automotive and industrial markets. • German rigid film/packaging 2
provider Klöckner Pentaplast Group (KP) is acquiring food packaging film producer/ converter Linpac Senior Holdings to create a US$2 billion packaging giant with 32 locations in 16 countries and 6,300 staff. Both firms are under the management of UK-based hedge fund/private equity investor Strategic Value Partners (SVP), which expects to list KP in the US. • GTM Holdings, one of the largest independent distributors of chemical products in Latin America, has paid US$172 million for Brazilian peer Quantiq, formerly owned by Brazilian petrochemicals firm Braskem. This is GTM’s third acquisition since last year. Quantiq and GTM will together operate nine application laboratories and 62 distribution centres in 12 countries in Latin America, as well as serve 15,000 customers across 50 market segments. • Japan-based firms Ube Industries, JSR Corporation, and Mitsubishi Rayon are
integrating the ABS resin business of Techno Polymer, a wholly -owned subsidiary of JSR, and UMG ABS, which is equally owned by Ube and Mitsubishi Rayon. The parties will jointly operate the new integrated company from 1 October.
• US firms Dow Chemical and DuPont have gotten the nod from European Union for their US$130 billion merger by agreeing to sell assets. DuPont will divest large parts of its global pesticides business, including its global R&D organisation while Dow will sell two acid co-polymer manufacturing facilities in Spain and the US, as well as a contract with a third party through which it buys ionomers to South Korea's SK Innovation. • US-headquartered Lubrizol is increasing its equity in additives maker Lubrizol India, currently a 50:50 joint venture between Lubrizol and Indian Oil Corporation, whereby Lubrizol will own 74% and Indian Oil, 26%. Lubrizol has had a presence in India since 1966, when
the company formed a joint venture with the government of India, which was later restructured to Lubrizol India. • Riyadhheadquartered petrochemicals firm Sabic and Chinese firm Sinopec are to study joint venture petrochemical projects in China and Saudi Arabia, which target downstream key markets. The agreement is also planning to study a joint venture with Chinese investment in Saudi Arabia as well as explore opportunities for further investments at the existing joint venture Sinopec Sabic Tianjin Petrochemical Company (SSTPC). Last year, Sabic also tied up with Chinese producer Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group (SNCG) to study the feasibility of setting up a coalto-chemicals petrochemical complex in China. The plant, to be confirmed in two years, will utilise locally available coal feedstocks to be supplied by SNCG.
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Capacity expansions/Plant set-ups • Austria’s Borealis and Canada’s Nova Chemicals are forming a joint venture with French chemical firm Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA to develop at Total’s existing Texas facility a 1,000 kilotonne/yearethylene cracker and 625 kilotonne/ year Borstar PE plant, expanding its total capacity to 400 kilotonnes/year by 2020. • South Korean chemical firm Hyosung Corp. has signed an MOU with Iran’s state-run National Petrochemical Company to set up a PP plant in the country. This follows its agreement in Vietnam to build a 300,000-tonne/year PP production plant at a cost of US$336 million. • Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a 50:50 joint venture between petrochemicals company BP and chemicals firm DuPont, has acquired Nesika Energy and its ethanol facility in Kansas, US. Butamax will add bioisobutanol capacity to the facility, which is an alternative to petroleum-derived isobutanol. Butamax plans to license its proprietary 4
technology with the Kansas facility to be used as a demonstration hub. • US firm ExxonMobil is expanding manufacturing capacity in the US Gulf Region through planned investments of US$20 billion over a ten-year period, at 11 proposed and existing sites. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue until 2022. Meanwhile, the joint plans of ExxonMobil and Sabic to build a US$10 billion petrochemical plant in Texas are underway and expected to be completed by 2024. A Corpus Christi site is a strong contender for the site, having approved some US$1.2 billion tax breaks for said project. The 1,300 acre-plant is expected to produce 1.8 million tonnes/ year of ethylene. • German speciality chemicals company Lanxess is expanding the capacity of its iron oxide pigments from 375,000 to 400,000 tonnes by 2019. In KrefeldUerdingen, the world’s largest synthetic iron oxide pigment plant, capacities for red and black pigments
will be increased to 303,000 tonnes and capacity for yellow pigments will be increased by 2,000 tonnes/year in Brazil. It also recently started up a plant in Ningbo, China, with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes/year of red pigments. • China’s Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Chemical is building a 400kilotonne/year HDPE plant in Dalian, Liaoning Province. It has chosen LyondellBasell’s Hostalen ACP PE process technology to be used in the plant. • Prime Evolue Singapore, a joint venture of Prime Polymer and Mitsui, has opened its metallocene catalyst-Evolue PE plant in Singapore, with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/ year. Together with its plant in Japan, Prime Polymer’s total Evolue production capacity totals 550,000 tonnes. • Chinese chemical company Wanhua Chemical, the world’s largest producer of PU raw material MDI, plans to build a US$1.1 billion MDI plant in Louisiana, US. Wanhua
currently produces 1.8 million tonnes/ year of MDI or about 24% of the world’s total capacity. The Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the state's economic development arm, has pledged a US$4.3 million infrastructure grant to Wanhua, which is also pumping US$954 million with the remaining US$166 million to be delivered by unnamed partners. Details on the project have not been released. Wanhua operates Chinese MDI plants in Ningbo and in Yantai. • India’s ONGC Petro Additions (Opal), a joint venture company incorporated in 2006 between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), GAIL and GSPC, recently opened the country’s largest petrochemical plant in Dahej SEZ, Gujarat. The US$4 billion plant has the capacity to produce 1,100 kilotonnes/ year of ethylene and 400 kilotonnes/year of propylene as well as 720 kilotonnes/ year of LLDPE/HDPE, 340 kilotonnes/year of HDPE and 340 kilotones/year of PP. The dual feed cracker unit has already been commissioned and delivered its first consignment of about 400 tonnes of polymer to an Ahmedabadbased company recently.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Freudenberg Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices, components, and minimally invasive solutions for the medical device industry, has expanded its medical manufacturing in Shenzhen, China, by 1,200 sq m. It includes an additional 600 sq m for a cleanroom and ten injection moulding machines, a new tool room and warehouse. • Germanyheadquartered TPE maker Kraiburg TPE has opened a new sales office in Seoul, South Korea, to accommodate rapid growth and leverage expansion in the Asia Pacific region. The company says its expansion into South Korea is spurred by escalating demand for premium
TPE products in the Asia Pacific region. Currently, the Asia Pacific region is one of the largest market for TPEs. It will be focusing on the automotive, consumer, medical and industrial sectors in South Korea. This will be the TPE maker’s fifth local representation after Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. • India-headquartered speciality films maker Jindal Films recently inaugurated its new Global Technology Innovation Centre in Virton, Belgium, allowing it to transition from a BOPP supplier to a packaging solutions provider and to openup new opportunities. It has affiliated production plants in Europe (Belgium,
the Netherlands, and Italy), and in the US (Georgia and Oklahoma).
Shenzhen site for customer evaluation, testing, and processing trials.
• South Korean speciality chemicals manufacturer Songwon Industrial has opened a new technology centre in South Korea. The three-storey building encompasses 32,000 sq m, hosting R&D, Global Application Community and Technical Service.
• Sweden’s size reduction equipment specialist Rapid Granulator is investing in a 6,000sq m facility in the US, which will also include a 325sq m showroom, warehousing, and offices.
• Canada-based thermoforming machinery supplier GN Thermoforming Equipment has expanded its agreement with current Chinese agent Vulcan Plastics Technology to include key Southeast Asia territories. GN will also house a demonstration machine at Vulcan’s
• German materials firm BASF is investing EUR200 million globally to increase its production network for additives. It is also investing in a new additives plant at its Caojing site in Shanghai, China. With capacity of 42,000 tonnes/ year, it will produce antioxidants and associated blends and is expected to start up in 2020.
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Plastic wastes for sourcing energy and fuel Plastic wastes as feedstocks are helping pedal the wheels of a closed-loop economy through energy recovery technologies that are able to extract valuable products such as oil, gas and electricity from solid wastes, says Angelica Buan.
ore than 50 years ago, marine litter was almost unheard of, except for a few anecdotal reports of indigestible materials eaten by marine animals that have led to what was considered the first scientific studies on plastic waste ingestion by seabirds like the Laysan Albatross. Plastics comprise the larger bulk of wastes, according to studies collected and summarised by Litterbase, an online portal for marine litter that aims to prune down results from more than a thousand scientific studies into easy-to-understand global maps and figures. Litterbase summarises the proportion of different litter types in different realms. Currently it has condensed over 1,300 scientific publications, which showed plastics as a dominant material in the litter mix. In terms of global composition of marine litter, for example, plastics account for 60.89% of total based on 401 publications, and covering 1,626 locations. It also contributes to more than half of the litter composition in the seafloor; and to nearly 80% on the sea surface. Plastics are deemed the biggest culprit here. However, the initiation of a closed-loop economy (also known as the circular economy model), whereby recovered wastes become resource is turning the tide for plastics.
Biotic Fisheries (metal) Fisheries Glass/ceramics Metal Miscellaneous types Paper/cardboard Rope Textiles/fabrics Timber Cigarette buds Fisheries (plastic) Plastic Styrofoam Other
This data from Litterbase shows plastic contributing the largest bulk in global composition of marine litter
The European Commission (EC), a leading campaigner for a circular economy, says that marine litter is “one of the clearest symbols of a resource inefficient economy”. It adds that “shifting our perspective on waste plastics as valuable materials rather than environmental plague enables the awareness that these materials, once recycled, can be pumped back into the economy.” The EC claims that the circular economy approach, which puts the emphasis on waste prevention, recycling and reusing of materials/products, is the “best solution to the marine litter problem”. Plastic wastes as assets rather than liabilities – China an example Plastic wastes have become intrinsic to growing economies, as urbanisation, fast-paced lifestyle and rise in affluence are portent for throw-away convenience of modern packaging and portability of lightweight items made of plastic. The World Bank’s data revealed that global municipal solid waste (MSW) generation levels will continue to rise from 1.3 billion tonnes/year to 2.2 billion tonnes/year by 2025. Most emerging economies are generating more waste than they can manage. The 1.3-billion populated China tops the 2015 marine litter study led by University of Georgia research on 20 top countries with mismanaged waste. The study, which based its figures on 2010 estimates, cited China as responsible for 11% of plastic litter and hogging 76% of mismanaged waste. The country is exploiting means to halt the waste plague, one of which is to recycle 23 million tonnes/year of waste plastics by 2020. China also takes credit as being the first country to convert waste plastics to fuel/oil (WTF). In 2001, an oil refinery in Hunan province successfully processed 30,000 tonnes of plastic wastes into 20,000 tonnes of provincial standard-compliant gasoline and diesel oil. The technology used for the process was not disclosed but Dr Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute of Science in Society, author of an article on plastics to oil, guessed that thermal depolymerisation was used. According to a recycled plastics and WTF forecast by Transparency Market Research (TMR), depolymerisation
Plastic wastes can be recirculated into the industrial fold with WTF and WTE technologies
or pyrolysis is the basis for WTF conversion technology. The technology, its distillates and other refined petroleum products complement already existing traditional plastic recycling processes. In short, it serves a dual purpose: it forms a reliable source of alternative energy from an abundant feedstock having negligible economic value and is an eco-friendly disposal of nonrecycled plastics. Like any other technologies, commercialisation is key to wider adoption of WTF. According to the TMR study, policymakers and energy industry players in North America and Europe are focusing on the commercialisation of the technology. Thus, investments are being piped in to increase plastic recycling capacity. While the West is leading, the Asia Pacific market, likewise, is modernising different WTF technologies and countries such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and the UAE, are also contributing, TMR reports. Breakthroughs in recycling technologies Crossing out landfilling, a 2016 Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the EC’s science and knowledge service, says recovery of energy content of combustible waste is an ideal option, especially for wastes that are not recyclable. Currently, new recycling technologies are advancing. An example is UK-based Recycling Technologies’s RT7000, a chemical recycling plant capable of processing up to 7,000 tonnes/year of all types of plastic wastes, including non-recyclable plastic waste. The technology, which Recycling Technologies describes as “the greenest and cheapest solutions yet for end-of-life plastic”, produces refined
Materials News Recycling Technologies's RT7000 produces refined gas, Plaxx
gas that is condensed into Plaxx, while the noncondensables are recirculated back into the process. Petrochemical/oil giant Shellâ€™s foray into WTF is a technology called IH2 at its newly opened Bangalore Shell Technology Centre in Bangalore, India. The technology was developed by US-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) in 2009 and has licensed it to CRI Catalyst Company, Shell's catalyst business, for exclusive worldwide deployment. The centre is helping pioneer efforts, using the IH2, to turn forestry and agri-wastes; and MSW into transportation fuels, with a new demonstration plant being built at the site.
In between these efforts, a unique process was developed by the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) to deal with recycling of PE and PP, which account for more than half the total amount of plastics consumed in the country. The technology can convert the PE/PP from plastic wastes wastes to gasoline, diesel or aromatics, while simultaneously producing LPG in each case. For 1 kg of clean waste PE around 750 ml of automotive grade gasoline or 850 ml of automotive grade diesel or 500 ml of toluene and xylene-rich aromatics can be produced. IIP describes the process as completely environment-friendly, leaving no toxic residues. IPP says that the process is ready for commercialisation.
The Indian Institute of Petroleum developed a unique process to recycle PP and PE into fuel and aromatics
Not only can the adoption of this process free urban and semi-urban areas from too much plastics use, it can also generate jobs and provide livelihood for the community. Shell's new technology centre in Bangalore will feature the IH2 technology developed by GTI
No-waste solution to manage waste â€“ India an example Meanwhile, India is making a case with its eco-friendly waste management solution. The country was ranked 12th in the University of Georgiaâ€™s study of top 20 polluting countries. As the country generates more than a 100 million tonnes/day of MSW, the government had to increase its adoption of waste management solutions, including wider implementation of the plastic bag ban. But being a staunch innovator, India utilises waste plastics in building asphalt-modified roads, which has halved construction costs.
A viable option for sourcing electricity Waste-to-energy (WTE) via thermal (incineration, gasification, pyrolysis) or biological, as a method for solid waste treatment holds huge growth potentials. Grand View Research reports that the WTE market size will reach US$44 billion by 2024. The European WTE market led the global industry in 2015. The region is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period, against the back of stringent regulations to minimise industrial waste. Countries such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have adopted WTE technologies to utilise industrial waste.
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Materials News Taiwan has built several WTE facilities to date; included is the Neihu incineration plant in Taipei, the first WTE plant built and operated by the Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection
Asia Pacific is projected to account for the second largest share of the market. Emerging economies, such as India and China, have been witnessing a sharp increase in energy demand on account of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, which has prompted energy producers to look for alternative energy sources. Since these countries generate a lot of industrial waste, they have become high potential markets for WTE technologies and are expected to provide ample opportunities to companies involved. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s venture into WTE complements its landfilling of MSW. With limited landfills, the 23-million populated Taiwan, which generates about 942 kg/person/day (citing 2012 data by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives ) of MSW, is turning to incineration or combustion as its primary method of waste treatment. Since WTE is a viable technology for energy recovery and electricity generation, the Taiwan Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a one incinerator per county plan. In 1990, it built 21 large-scale WTE incinerators and 15 MWS incinerators in 1996. These are located mostly in the west coast of Taiwan where there is a higher concentration of inhabitants, especially in Taipei and Kaohsiung City, which have highest number of WTE plants. The government’s “Zero Waste Policy” has seen most, if not all, of its MSW being carted to incinerators, which for the long term are being transformed into regional biomass centres for comprehensive classification and zero waste process, and resource recycling. So far, the country’s recycling rate has been exemplary. According to the latest data of National Statistics of Taiwan, the country has recycled 3 million
tonnes of waste, comprising 6,447 tonnes of plastic packaging and 275,221 tonnes of plastic containers. The recycling efforts are partially to augment its energy requirement since the country imports almost 98% of its energy, according to EPA Taiwan. The WTE plants’ output is estimated to total more than 18 tonnes/day of MSW, or 85% of the 21,900 tonnes-design capacity. Per year, the plants process 65% of the total MSW generated or 7.2 million tonnes. In a related development, a new technology known as R-One (Regenerative Oil New Energy) has been developed by Taipei-based EVP technology utilising plastic waste as feedstock. For one standard production line, 20 tonnes/day of MSW can be converted, such as plastics bags, disposable containers, food packaging, films, cables, and nonrecyclable scraps from PE, PP, PS, nylon, or others, EVP technology said. It uses a proprietary patented method to compress the scraps into R-ONE Compressed Feedstock or RCF. Majority of the plastics are converted into light fuel oil, and other by-products in smaller quantities like carbon black and gas. EVP technology said that one standard production line produces 17 kL light, lowsulphur renewable oils (85%), 2 tonnes of carbon black (10%), and syngas (5%). As the world seeks out better solutions to solid waste and marine litter problems, more WTE and WTF technologies are expected to be developed. These will bring back the material assets in plastic wastes that would have otherwise been lost in landfills as well as aid nature in its work of breaking down waste that usually takes million years to be decomposed. It is hoped that the WTF and WTE technologies will be able to accomplish this – all in a matter of minutes.
EVP technology's R-One converts MSW feedstock including plastic bags into fuel, carbon black and gas
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Front Cover Feature
Davis-Standard, extending its reach to Asia Global extrusion systems manufacturer and supplier Davis-Standard is staying ahead of the curve. The specialist in high-performance plastics and rubber extrusion and converting systems, adopts the mission of supplying technologically-advanced solutions to the processing industries. At Chinaplas 2017, the US-headquartered company, that has a regional manufacturing presence and full-scale R&D laboratory in Suzhou, China, will display the HPE-H extruder at Hall 9.2, Stand J41.
Davis-Standard will display the HPE-H extruder at Chinaplas 2017
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 are also enablers of healthcare 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 medical-grade 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, 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 pivotal to the extent that government initiatives and policies are including healthcare and medical infrastructure in priority agenda. As the market needs become more sophisticated, the requirements for processors and machinery suppliers are being increased, to up the ante with innovative processes. Thus, extrusion systems supplier Davis-Standard, LLC offers solutions that impact everyday life, from food packaging and data cables to IV tubing. In other words, the markets served by Davis-Standard are broad, ranging from packaging, construction, medical, consumer products and electronics to automotive, agriculture, energy, and more. Whatâ€™s more, the company offers a comprehensive range of plastics and rubber extrusion machinery, wire/cable machinery, blow moulding machinery, and converting systems and technology; as well as a full range of extrusion aftermarket services. PRA caught up with Davis-Standard President/CEO Jim Murphy to find out more about the companyâ€™s plans for the year and highlights from last year.
Front Cover Feature PRA: What has Davis-Standard lined-up for this year’s Chinaplas 2017 show in terms of technology offerings? Jim: Davis-Standard, Hall 9.2, Stand J41, will promote its growing regional presence and capabilities during the upcoming Chinaplas show. As an example of the company’s extrusion technology, Davis-Standard will exhibit an HPE-H extruder for medical tubing applications. The HPE-H offers a compact design and is one of the industry’s most widely used extruders. Available in 20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 40 mm, and 45 mm sizes, the HPE-H is known for a fast delivery and rugged design that is energy efficient and easy to maintain. PRA: Which growth markets is Davis-Standard looking at expanding to? Jim: As far as geographic markets, we seek to be strong in every market where we have a presence. North America and Europe continue to be staples for us. China, the rest of Asia and South America continue to present growth opportunities that we will capitalise on.
PRA: How has the Suzhou facility contributed to the company’s services since it opened in 2012? Jim: Last year, Davis-Standard grew its sales team in Asia while also increasing manufacturing and laboratory capabilities at its subsidiary in Suzhou, China. This has improved Davis-Standard’s response and delivery time while providing versatile and cost-competitive equipment options. Davis-Standard now manufactures several products in Suzhou including extruders up to 114 mm, PLC control systems, high-speed systems for medical tubing and a full offering of wire and cable systems. Additionally, the facility is equipped for gearbox and control panel assembly and refurbishing services, and there are plans to add fabrication and assembly of downstream equipment. Regional manufacturing has been key to DavisStandard’s ability to serve every major converting and extrusion market in Asia. To support regional customer trials and application development, the Suzhou laboratory offers a high-speed FPVC extrusion system and multi-purpose microbore tubing line. The FPVC line is capable of line speeds from 5 to 100 mpm for processing 2 mm to 8 mm OD tubing with accuracy of +/-50 microns. Line components include a 63 mm extruder, 8 m watercooling, precision internal air supply, OD gauge and combination puller-cutter.
Davis-Standard has increased its manufacturing and laboratory capabilities at its subsidiary in Suzhou
With regards to applications, we can support all of them no matter where our customers are located. Film, extrusion coating, sheet and medical tubing are among our strongest areas worldwide. Davis-Standard also continues to enjoy strong growth in the Chinese marketplace, benefitting from a regional manufacturing presence and full-scale R&D laboratory at Davis-Standard (Suzhou) Plastics Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd. Davis-Standard has continued to gain market share in China due to outstanding customer service, innovative feedscrew designs, control systems and modular technologies.
At the Suzhou facility, the company offers complete gearcase retrofits as well as spare parts
Front Cover Feature Fully integrating GEC also included an expansion of our primary manufacturing facility in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. The 15,000 sq ft addition is complete with manufacturing cell for producing highly technical blown film dies used in multilayer packaging and pharmaceutical applications.
Included in the aftermarket services areÂ feedscrew replacements and rebuilds
The multi-purpose microbore tubing line is designed for single or dual-layer tubing, and single lumen tubing with or without a stripe. It is equipped with two extruders, OD/ID wall thickness measuring and controlling system, closed-loop control via vacuum sizing tank and puller, and a high level central control system. PRA: How will Chinaâ€™s Made in China 2025 agenda impact Davis-Standard? Jim: The Made in China 2025 agenda is consistent with our plan to support our customers in Asia from our Suzhou site. We will continue to add capabilities and products to support the high growth in the region.
PRA: Since end-users/consumers are more aware now when it comes to quality and cost effectiveness of products across a majority of applications, how does Davis-Standard contribute to these changing consumer standards?
PRA: With the full integration of Gloucester Engineering Company (GEC) technology into Davis-Standard, how has this expanded the offerings from Davis-Standard?
Jim: Davis-Standard is committed to supplying advanced extrusion solutions to the global polymer and rubber processing industries, providing exceptional value to our customers. Our laboratory in Suzhou is a huge part of supporting the healthcare/medical tubing sector. Healthcare continues to grow in Asia and the need for medical products and devices grows with this demand. Plastics are a high-performance material for the medical industry, providing disposable products that reduce the possibility of infections. We are seeing increased development of multi-layer structures and smaller diameter tubing to provide better
Jim: Gloucester Engineering Company (GEC) has always been a market leader. Having the brand under our umbrella broadens and strengthens our product offering in blown film, cast film and foam sheet. Together, we offer industry technology that is going to be tough to 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. This includes lines from one to 11 layers and up to 9 m in width, preengineered options, precision gauge control, air rings, screw designs and dies from 7-11 layers, plus pending innovations to improve productivity further. In fact, Davis-Standard recently patented a spiral design for reducing thermally sensitive polymer degradation in blown film dies and has provisional patents for a unique driven lay-on winder and self-threading winder.
The company offers a range of extrusion machinery, including blown film lines
The Suzhou facility has a single-layer tubing line designed specifically for th
Front Cover Feature Packaging continues to grow in Asia based on strong demand for packaged products and continued growth of the economy. Flexible packaging is growing faster than the overall packaging market due to the many benefits it provides. Flexible packaging provides a lightweight package that is durable and often re-sealable – these are features that consumers desire. PRA: What strategies does Davis-Standard employ to stay competitive? The Suzhou facility has become a huge part of supporting the healthcare/medical tubing sector, as healthcare services continue to grow in Asia
physical property performance across a range of new applications. Customers are able to test new resins and processes prior to making a large capital investment. The versatility of our systems is also essential. We’re able to accommodate customers with technology that addresses a variety of tubing. In the flexible packaging market, Davis-Standard developed the dsX flex-pack™ (extrusion coating).
Jim: Davis-Standard is recognised as the global leader in high-performance plastic and rubber extrusion and converting systems. Our capabilities go far beyond our extrusion technology and extruder processing equipment. They extend to our professional design engineers, laboratory personnel, training experts, talented commercial force, hands-on field engineers, and aftermarket parts and service specialists. As a team, we work together to support our extrusion and converting customers from the very first inquiry to commissioning and final acceptance of the project, and beyond. Our focus has always been, and continues to be, excelling in price, performance, delivery and service. PRA: What were the highlights of the company last year?
With the growth of the flexible packaging market in Asia, Davis-Standard developed the dsX flex-pack (extrusion coating) line
Asian converters are seeking the advantages of high-speed lamination, subsequent waste reduction and improved quality offered by this machine. The economical benefit of these 450 mpm machines is allowing many regional converters to separate themselves from the competition. The flex-pack is also built with an adaptable machine configuration to support a variety of end-use markets.
cally for the production of FPVC tubing for IV and fluid delivery applications
Jim: We finished 2016 stronger than 2015, with a 10% growth, and anticipate 2017 to be even better. One of the highlights of 2016 was the transition of our blow moulding accumulator head production to Fulton, New York. We also created a new cutting and feeding machine for low voltage wire and cable processes for insulating applications. This unit facilitates timely transfers from one take-up to another and minimises operator involvement, speeding up reel change. We introduced a new energy-efficient barrel heating/cooling system to reduce energy consumption by up to 50%. The patented design acts as a blanket for the extruder and is available on new machines or as a retrofit for existing machines. We developed an extruder adapter called the QSE (Quick Screw Exchange) to enable fast screw changes without dismantling feed pipes - a big time saver! For thin substrates, we engineered a high-speed film and foil unwind for 800 mpm splice speeds for sensitive webs such as aluminium foil at 6 microns. Lastly, we installed the largest seven-layer blown film die in the world. The 2.3-m, seven-layer Centrex IBC die is for agriculture applications. For more information about Davis-Standard’s regional capabilities, visit www.davis-standard.com MAY 2017
An upside to packaging technology To 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 medical sectors. With a focus on R&D, the company 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.
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 on South Korea’s packaging industry, the Ministry of 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 been in check, too. Meeting this demand for packaging is South Korea’s SR Technopack. Established in 1992, the Chungnamheadquartered firm was acquired by Samryoong Co in 2012. Later, it revised its name to SR Technopack. Hong Ro Cho is President/CEO as well as owner of SR Technopack. 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 customers’ needs,” said Anna Song, Manager for Overseas Marketing, adding that the firm employs 190 people.
Thanks to water cooling, films can be produced with especially good optical and mechanical properties
Not stinging on the latest technology With the stringent demands placed on today’s packaging solutions, making it necessary to continue to adopt the latest raw materials and production methods, SR Technopack has in its stable 30 machines made up of rigid sheet extruders, thermoformers and injection moulding machines. It is also in the process of installing Aquarex water-cooled blown film lines from German machine maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H). The Aquarex water-cooled blown film extrusion concept allows films to be manufactured with properties that clearly differ from those obtained by blown and cast film extrusion, says W&H.
Processor Report Aquarex is a modular blown film extrusion line with water cooling and extremely fast cooling to keep the crystallinity of the film low, giving it an exceptionally amorphous structure.
water calibrator for blown film extrusion lines allowing continuous adjustment of film width without needing to stop the extrusion line for an exchange of calibrator. This technology will be a focus for the next investment of SR Technopack.”
Aquarex is a modular blown film extrusion line Y with water cooling and extremely fast cooling CM to keep the crystallinity of the film low, giving it an exceptionally amorphous structure MY
“The highly amorphous microstructure significantly improves weldability and sealability. It also results in a soft, elastic film characterised by high clarity and gloss and exceptional puncture/tear resistance as well as dart-drop-value. The low tendency to curl is also a clear advantage when asymmetric multi-layer composites are processed further,” explains Marcos Dehm Neves, Area Sales Manager for W&H. The machines will be paired with W&H’s Filmatic N, a modular surface/centre/gap winder with optional automation levels. “It was developed for perfect roll quality, even for films that are difficult to process. A weight-compensated and highly accurate lay-on roll ensures perfect roll edges during gap winding from the moment the new roll is started,” explains Neves. When asked why SR Technopack decided to invest in the machinery, Anna replied, “It was due to the extensive know-how of W&H and especially considering the specific references that W&H has in water-cooled blown film lines and innovation. For example, the new Aquacage developed by W&H is the first CY
Processor Report As for W&H, its advantages are its comprehensive offering from a single source: from expert advice and engineering to the delivery of high quality machines, said Neves. “Furthermore, W&H is able to provide solutions in extrusion, printing, and converting, and we see this cooperation definitely on route to a long-term partnership,” said Neves, adding that W&H has equipment and systems currently in operation in more than 130 countries and at more than 5,000 customer plants. Non PVC-based bags In the medical sector, SR Technopack specialises in the manufacture of IV solution film for non-PVC fluid bags. Traditionally, infusion bags have been made from 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.
Infusion bags are just one of a number of products within the flexible packaging industry that can be made on the Aquarex line
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 the shock cooling of the melt, is especially important for the production of infusion bags. Packaging outlook remains strong While the outlook of the packaging industry remains promising, 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.
With the simultaneous installation of Aquarex, SR Technopack will not only be able to produce quality film but will also improve its productivity
Vietnam’s plastics industry: ready for the world Vietnam’s plastics industry is demonstrating rapid growth and is poised to reap the rewards of opportunities disguised as challenges, such as Brexit and TPP, says Angelica Buan. The report is also based on the recently concluded Propak Vietnam, held in Ho Chi Minh City from 21-23 March. Some 351 exhibitors from 32 countries exhibited on a gross area of 6,100 sq m with 7, 288 trade visitors from some 39 countries visiting the show, said organiser SES Vietnam Exhibition Services.
Double edged opportunities from TPP/Brexit What do the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Brexit, UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union, have in common for Vietnam? Both will likely create opportunities for the country’s manufacturing industry! The TPP, a faction of negotiating partners that include Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore, will most likely be cancelled under the new US administration of President Donald Trump. Analysts have observed that if there is one country that could have benefited significantly from TPP, it is Vietnam, because it would allow for increased market access for everything it is able to produce – from clothing and electronics to footwear. The deal also represented a strategic relationship between the US and Vietnam, their mutual goals that would also touch on their opposition to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Based on the Office of the United States Trade Representatives data, Vietnam is the US’s 27th largest goods trading partner with US$29.7 billion in total of (twoway) goods trade during 2013. Vietnam was the US’s 20th largest supplier of goods imports in 2013, totalling US$24.6 billion, a 21.6% increase from 2012. Its top import categories included apparel, footwear, furniture and bedding, and machinery. Meanwhile, US imports of agricultural products, such as nuts and coffee, totalled US$1.5 billion in 2013, therefore making Vietnam its 20th largest agro supplier. However, the demise of TPP does not leave Vietnam in limbo. According to Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), Vietnam has, to date, 15 free trade agreements (FTAs) on the table that it can still sink its teeth into in order to achieve its growth targets. Meanwhile, Brexit, expected to take effect in 2019, will affect UK’s global trade relations, including that with ASEAN countries. But Vietnam’s trade deals with the EU will give it an advantage, given that it has already concluded negotiations with the EU, whereas its other ASEAN neighbours have yet to cement FTAs with the EU. According to a report by Asia Briefing, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based consulting firm Dezan Shira & Associates, stalling EU trade negotiations with other member states (in the wake of the Eurozone crisis) will make Vietnam an important trade ally for low cost investment from a European perspective. “In the face of lowered purchasing power within the Eurozone, consumers will be on the lookout for low cost goods. Given its unique position in low cost manufacturing, Vietnam will likely be more competitive than ever among MAY 2017
Country Focus European consumers. The longer that negotiations are drawn out in other ASEAN states, the more solidified Vietnam’s advantage will become,” Asia Briefing said, adding that Vietnam is likely to be the big winner in the face of Brexit. Plastics sector, a growth driver Vietnam’s plastic sector has shown tremendous growth in recent years with a growth rate of 16%18%/year, yet, it is considered a greenhorn compared to other more matured sectors such as mechanical, chemical and textile, according to a 2016 report by Vietcombank Securities (VCBS). The fast-paced growth is attributed to high demand from sectors reliant on plastics, including consumer goods, construction, telecommunication and others. VBS finds that plastic consumption per capita increased significantly from 33kg/person/year in 2010 to 41 kg/person/year in 2015. Nevertheless, if compared to the average consumption in Asia at 48.5kg/person/year, and the rest of the world at 69.7 kg/person/year, Vietnam’s consumption is much lower. Vietnam has several trade partners for plastic products with Japan being its largest export market for consumer products including plastic bags. Europe and the US are also potential markets, but between the two, the anti-dumping tax levied by the US on plastic bags provides more modest turnover for Vietnam. The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) affirms that the plastic manufacturing industry is one the fastest growing industries in Vietnam, sustaining average growth of 20%-25% a year. The Vietnam Plastics Association also added that most of the production is focused on sectors such as packaging (37%), household appliances (29%), construction (18%) and technical products (15%). Packaging accounts for the highest share in the plastics industry structure due to a strong development of end-product industries such as food and beverage, according to VBS. After packaging, the construction industry is also flourishing along with the recovery of the real estate and construction industry. Packaging industry becomes sophisticated The rising urbanisation that is breeding a fast-paced lifestyle among urbanites is promoting convenience in packaging, and therefore its growth, said market intelligence firm Euromonitor in its 2016 Packaging Industry in Vietnam report. In 2015, the packaging segment was valued at US$4.3 billion, said Hanoi-headquartered Business Information Services (Biinform). The sector is dominated by multi-layer flexible packaging, which had a market size of US$891 million in 2015; and the flexible packaging, which serves a wide range of end-user markets.
Taking the cue, at the recently concluded Propak show, Italy-based extrusion machinery maker Amut Group says it set up technical operations in the country in 2015, and has since wrapped up several contracts for its thermoforming machinery. Meanwhile, German exhibitor Gabler Thermoform lauded the country’s growth trajectory. Promoting its small/medium-capacity forming machinery, Gabler said that the market is big, yet competitive. It has appointed a local agent Rieckermann. Another thermoforming machine maker Illig Maschinenbau participated at the event for the first time. However, the Germany-headquartered firm said it had already garnered the interest of customers looking for “big capacity” solutions for bottles, cups and trays. Expressing moderate satisfaction was Taiwan’s Keenpro, which was promoting its stretch blow moulding machine for PET bottles. Show of potential in an international platform Foreign investors have long taken notice of the potentials of Vietnam, which is considered more laidback than its high-key ASEAN neighbours like Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia. Biinform says that Vietnamese firms heavily rely on imported raw materials as well as machinery and equipment. Exhibiting at the Propkak Vietnam show, German machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) says it has already an established presence in Vietnam and clinched customers for its film lines and flexo printing machines, as well as orders for high-speed woven bag conversion machinery.
Over a span of two years, woven PP sacks maker Sadico Vietnam has installed two W&H Machinery Convertex machines
In 2015, through its subsidiary W&H Machinery (formerly BSW Machinery), it installed the Convertex SLC 120 high-speed woven bag machine for Sadico Vietnam. The processor is able to produce both single ply AD proTex sacks as well as 2-ply AD proTex sacks, not only allowing for lighter bags and reduced material consumption but also avoiding sewing or gluing of the sack with adhesives. The
Country Focus W&H patent allows Sadico to seal a block-bottom valve sack with the usage of hot air instead. The Convertex allows production rates of 120 AD proTex bags/minute. Sadico also invested in the extrusion coating line ecoTex 1600L and advanTex circular weaving looms. Following this, Sadico placed a repeat order for a second Convertex SLC plus a Tiratex tape stretching line. The combination of the tape stretching line and Convertex allows Sadico to produce light and strong cement bags, says W&H. Meanwhile, also at Propak, German materials handling equipment specialist Azo introduced its Mixomat to Southeast Asia. It is said to be an efficient system that integrates several functions such as conveying, dosing, weighing and mixing in one machine. In 2016, Azo supplied to a PVC plant in Vietnam the automated materials handling system. Plus, the company said it has already bagged several other contracts, adding that the country showed growing potential for high technology.
Azo's Mixomat integrates conveying, dosing, weighing and mixing in one machine
Challenges to be overcome by plastics sector In conclusion, while Vietnamâ€™s plastics industry undoubtedly shows a competitive edge among its peers in the ASEAN bloc, it still has to overcome certain hurdles, which is normal for a transitioning economy. According to a report by the Vietnam Industry Research and Consultant (VIRAC), the plastics industry relies heavily on imported raw materials, with only 30% supplied domestically. In 2015, Vietnam imported about 3.9 million tonnes of raw materials, up by 13.6% from 2014. VIRAC also said that of the total demand for raw plastics, such as the PP, PE and PVC, most is imported from Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, China and Singapore. Nevertheless, given the challenges the country is facing, Vietnam is charging forward to keep pace with the rest of the world, if not its neighbours.
Extrusion/Thermoforming Machinery Thermoforming Machinery • During Chinaplas 2017, to be held from 16-19 May in Guangzhou, China, WM Thermoforming Machines will be promoting its FC series, vacuum and pressure thermoforming machines with steel rule cutting, FT series, in-mould trimming thermoforming machines with lower tilting platen, complete in-line plants as well as extrusion and thermoforming machines with direct recycling of the scraps, until the final product packaging. WM also recently introduced the second generation small and flexible Twist 300. It features in-mould trimming with lower 90 degree tilting platen for thermoforming products with a maximum negative depth of 120 mm. Another new tilting machine, Twist 700, a pressure forming machine with lower tilting platen without mechanical cams, premiered at the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, last year.
• Italy’s Amut Group says it has recently supplied to Indonesian packaging maker PT Starplast Packaging Industry a complete in-line thermoforming plant to produce disposable PP cups for cold tea, with an output of 60 million cups/ month. Starplast supplies the Zegar brand, part of 2Tang Group, one of the biggest producer of mineral water and cold tea in Indonesia.
Amut has recently installed a line in Indonesia for the production of cups
WM Wrapping’s latest Twist 700 is a pressure forming machine with lower tilting platen without mechanical cams
Beside thermoforming machines, WM has its new N.EXT extruder with screw diameters of 45, 75 and 90 mm, 36 L/D ratio and output capacity from 450-900 kg/hour for PP material. Also, it will promote the B1400 Rim Rolling machine with improved product quality, widely used in the production of conical disposable cups made of PS, PP, APET or PLA. MAY 2017
The extrusion section is equipped with a threecomponents dosing system and an EA130 40 L/D Amut extruder with a capacity of 800 kg/hour using 50% regrind material in the thermoforming process. The improved calender with 500 mm rolls shaped for high stiffness complies with the product specifications of a PP foil with 1,200 micron-thickness. The line also includes the 70-tonne AMP 850-GP thermoforming machine, with forming and trimming in one station and tilting moveable lower platen. The 55-cavity mould has an area of 850 x 560 mm. Other features are a fully automated pick-up stacker and a grinder for in-line recovery of up to 600 kg/hour of thermoformed skeleton.
Extrusion Machinery • At Chinaplas 2017, German machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) will be presenting innovations in the field of film production as well as sack concepts such as film sack AD proFilm MP, which is characterised by high moisture protection. The Optimex blown film line for the production of film for further processing on the AD Plastic 2 for the newly developed AD proFilm MP-Sack is also a focus, a solution said to ensure high performance, according to the film recipe.
Extrusion/Thermoforming Machinery According to Michael Fischer, CEO W&H Asia Pacific, “The need for new innovative quality forms for special fields of application is increasing. This applies, for example, in the production of breathable diaper film.” With W&H’s Varex II three-layer system, with inline-MDO stretching unit, it offers a machine configuration for the production of a particularly thin breathable diaper back sheet film of only 12 g/sq m - a product that is predominantly produced in cast film extrusion and with a higher weight. Thus, it says that blown films will replace cast films for this application.
At Chinaplas 2017, W&H will be promoting its Optimex blown film line for the production of film. The film can be further processed on the AD PLASTIC 2 for the newly developed AD proFilm MP-Sack
Meanwhile, load securing is also increasing in significance in Asia. With the Filmex II cast film extrusion line, W&H offers a machine solution for the manufacturing of demanding stretch films. As for woven PP bag production, W&H Machinery (formerly known as BSW Machinery) offers the new Convertex CL 140, said to exceed the speed of all other bottomers for cross bottom bags on the market. The first machine installed last year is said to “be successfully producing 140 units of 65-g woven PP cement bags/minute 24 hours a day.” The CL 140 has been geared for extra low bag weights, says the company. W&H also developed the LS (Lighter & Stronger) technology, whereby high quality PP tapes with tenacity up to 7 g/den and indexed micro-perforation provide the tools to be able to produce, for eg, cement bags with a weight of 65 g instead of the current global market standard of 80 g.
During Chinaplas, W&H is offering visitors the option of a visit to its customer Weiyi in Guangzhou that has several Convertex plants in operation. • Austrian extrusion machinery maker SML is to commission its widest-ever CPP film line this year, after the launch of the MasterCast, the
SML is introducing its widest CPP film line this year
world’s widest stretch wrap film line with an end film width of 6,000 mm. With this concept, SML says it has responded to the market demand for increased film width and line output. Accordingly, the new line, which will mainly produce CPP film for metallising and laminating applications, will have a trimmed final film width of 5,200 mm. Apart from high output of 2,300 kg/hour, advantages include the low volume ratio of edge trim, compared to smaller lines, and reduced labour costs, since no additional personnel is required. Moreover, the kW/kg power consumption requirement is less. Therefore, this line concept has been developed for the economical production of large quantities, says SML. The extruder consists of a main 180/33 extruder and four 90/33 co-extruders. In addition to the feedblock, a three-layer, 5,700-mm width multi-manifold flat die is employed, which offers the advantage that the sealing and adhesive layers for metallisation can be closely controlled, allowing for accurate single layer distribution. The latter also means that the costs of special raw materials can be reduced. For easy cleaning, the multi-manifold die is mounted on a die splitting unit, which allows all four die parts to be opened and cleaned without removing the die. Moreover, in order to enhance the optical properties, the film is fixed onto the chill roll by means of a twin-chamber vacuum box, electrostatic edge pinners and a soft box, which allows chilled air to be blown onto the film. The first chill roll in the cooling and takeoff unit has a diameter of 1,200 mm, while the second has a diameter of 600 mm. Each of them is separately driven and cooled and SML’s threeroll design is used for the surface cleaning of the first chill roll. The entire cooling and take-off unit can be moved in both a horizontal and vertical direction and this allows finding the best possible casting position.
The film produced is prepared for metallising or printing by a corona treatment station with a cooled and driven silicon treatment roll. The maximum generator power installed is 60 kW and the post-cooling roll is integrated with the treatment station to reduce the film web length. The edge trims, which are cut off upstream of the treatment station and a second time on the winder, are returned to the main extruder via a vertical scraptruder. The CPP line is equipped with the new W6000 turret winder, designed for wide CPP lines with final film widths of between 3,500 and 6,000 mm. The compact winder consists of an inlet section and right and left turret units. A spreader roller and a satellite roller are installed upstream of the winding station, making it possible to influence the air entrapment between the single film layers. The winder can operate in both the contact or gap winding mode. During roll changes, cross-cutting is carried out by an electrically activated flying knife and the film is attached to the new winding pipe electrostatically, avoiding the need for adhesive tape and saving manpower. Depending on the end film width, the winder employs 10 in. or 12 in. steel winding pipes, facilitated by an overhead crane. The winder can deal with 1,300-mm diameter rolls and a maximum roll weight of 7,000 kg, which is around 60,000 m length of 20-micron CPP film. The large winding diameter is an advantage for the metallising process because it increases the running time and cuts the metalliser set-up period. • Austria-headquartered machinery maker Battenfeld-cincinnati China says it exports 30% of its output per year. “In 2016, our order intake increased by 35% compared to 2015. For 2017, we have a good order backlog and the new year has also brought in several large new orders, particularly for PO pipe equipment,” said CEO Toni Bernards. At Chinaplas, a solEX 60-40-C extruder for PO pipe production will be exhibited. The firm recently sold a 2.6-m diameter pipe line to South Korea and, last year, another 2.5 m line was sold to an Indian customer.
Extrusion/Thermoforming Machinery Also at Chinaplas, a LeanEX C1-60-30 extruder will be shown. Since their introduction eight years ago, around 110 LeanEX extruders and 140 LeanEX turnkey pipe extrusion lines have been sold. In 2015, the company extended the LeanEX portfolio with 630 mm lines for larger pipe sizes Meanwhile, it will display the new BCtouch UX control, introduced last year at the K show. It will be displayed on the solEX 60-40-C extruder and also as a mobile operator terminal. • US firm Processing Technologies International (PTi) says it has entered the high-speed extruder segment with the launch of its Super-G model for the processing of PP and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for the packaging market. The SGHS3000 is said to deliver improved melt quality as a result of the new lobe screw technology and is integrated with configurable roll stands. Two models, running at 1,000 and 1,200 rpms, are offered and PTi establishes the maximum rated speed based on an upper motor load threshold of 85%. The extruders also boast an oversized feed section for up to +70% regrind feed, along with a streamlined feed hopper, feed screw removal out-the-back of the unit, an easy-cleanout vent chamber, and linear bearing barrel glide support (patent pending). • Nordson Corporation’s new, patent-pending design for dual or multilayer versions of its Premier and Ultracoat fluid coating dies is said to make it easier to achieve parallel alignment of the lip faces, for maintaining uniform, defect-free coating and preventing impingement of the lips against the roll. It, thus, makes it easier for web converters to achieve cost savings and productivity benefits by applying multiple fluids in a single pass. Whereas previously operators made changes to the die gap and the wet film thickness of the coating by inserting thin metal strips, or offset shims, between the dies and at the rear of the die, now operators need not require complicated calculations to determine which shim thickness closely achieves lip face parallelism. Nordson says it has achieved the new improvement by reconfiguring the die bodies of multi-layer Premier and Ultracoat systems so that the offset blocks, where the offset shims are inserted, are now in the same plane as the lip face. With the new design, the accuracy of the offset adjustment is independent of body shim thickness.
A rear view of Nordson’s dual-layer Premier fluid coating die. Offset blocks, with offset shims protruding, are located across the width of the die; visible on the side of the die are two flow channels that converge at the die lips
Emery Oleochemicals introduces new portfolio of additives for C-PVC
mery Oleochemicals, a global speciality chemical manufacturer, has developed a portfolio of additives for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (C-PVC). C-PVC is significantly more flexible and withstands higher temperatures than standard PVC. While standard PVC loses its form stability at temperatures of 60 to 80°C, C-PVC can withstand temperatures up to 100 to 120°C. C-PVC is also significantly more ductile and fracture-resistant than PVC, which makes it suitable to replace corrosive metal piping systems. Therefore, producers of tubes and fittings for hot and cold water distribution prefer to use C-PVC.
Additives necessary to process C-PVC Just as for standard PVC, additives are necessary to process C-PVC. However, additives specifically designed for C-PVC can preserve and even improve the desired properties of this material. To preserve a high heat resistance, it is essential to choose additives that do not influence the Vicat softening point. At the same time, friction must be reduced to improve the processability of the polymer melt.
Test Formulation 1 Test Formulation 2 using PVC using C-PVC
PVC (K=66) C-PVC (for Pipe)
Properties Bulk density (g/l)
Vicat softening point ( )
Table 1: Comparison of density and thermal resistance using PVC and C-PVC
Figure 1: Plastgraf results. Red line (Formulation 1) is based on PVC; Blue line (Formulation 2) is based on C-PVC
Consequently, a higher dosage of external lubricant improves the processability without reducing the Vicat softening point. While the static heat stability of C-PVC is similar to standard PVC, the dynamic heat stability can be significantly improved using LOXIOL ® 2307 (Figure 2).
Figure 2: LOXIOL® 2307 (right image) improves dynamic heat stability better than standard lubricant (left image)
Advertorial To meet the market’s unique requirements, Emery Oleochemicals has developed a broad product portfolio specifically for C-PVC applications. LOXIOL ® 2307, an external lubricant, has a high dropping point of 80°C to 90°C, which improves the handling of the product. It is thermal stable in a wide temperature range. LOXIOL ® 2307 is suited for extrusion of rigid PVC and C-PVC pipes, window profiles, fittings in tin, calcium/zinc, and calcium-organic stabilised formulations. It improves the plate-out behaviour and therefore, reduces the cleaning cycle time. With this external lubricant, the fusion time can be adjusted and it also improves the dynamic heat stability. By adding oxidised PE-wax, the dynamic heat stability of the compound can be increased. LOXIOL ® 2307 has no impact on the colour of the final product. Therefore, it is ideally suited for white products. Furthermore, it improves the surface properties of the end product. For some applications, additives with both internal and external lubricating effects might be required. LOXIOL ® 2308 is a neutral ester wax that suits this purpose. It improves the flow properties of the polymer melt and prevents it from sticking to the mould surface. LOXIOL ® 2308 has food contact approval making it well suited for residential water supply systems. As a mould release agent, LOXIOL ® 2309 is a useful supplement, especially for injection moulding of fittings. Using both of these additives increases the productivity and reduces the cost for additional cleaning cycles. LOXIOL ® 2310 is a lubricant developed to prevent plate-out tendency and to reduce the adhesiveness of the polymer melt. It has a high dropping point which improves the handling of the product. Even at small dosages of 0.2 to 0.3 phr, it reduces the time for cleaning cycles, which leads to considerable cost savings. In combination with LOXIOL ® 2307, best results for an optimal rheological behaviour and minimal plate out can be achieved.
Emery Oleochemicals has decades of expertise with C-PVC applications. In close collaboration with our business partners in Japan, we have developed product solutions that guarantee the optimal result for various application areas. In addition to additives for C-PVC, Emery Oleochemicals’ Green Polymer Additives business unit manufactures a wide range of standardised products as well as customised solutions including lubricants, plasticisers, viscosity depressants, antistatic and antifogging agents as well as release agents made from renewable resources. As a part of the polymer formulation, these additives enable or optimise the production process while also improving the properties of the final plastics part. Our LOXIOL® , EDENOL® and EMEROX® brands stand for high quality and reliable products for the plastics industry. Our Global Technical Development Centre located in Loxstedt, Germany, supported by our regional Product & Application Development laboratories in North America and Asia, allows us to engage in joint product development efforts with our customers on a global scale and offer exceptional technical support worldwide. You may also visit us at Chinaplas 2017, the 31st international exhibition on plastics and rubber industries, being held at Guangzhou, China, from May 16th-19th. Our Green Polymer Additives team is looking forward to meeting you at booth C01 in Hall 10.2. Contact Emery Oleochemicals's’ technical experts to select the best suited additive for your application at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Emery Oleochemicals Group Emery Oleochemicals Group is a leading producer of natural-based chemicals made predominantly from natural oils and fats such as plant-based oil and tallow. We offer an extensive product portfolio, including renewable solutions for the Agro Green, Bio-Lubricants, Eco-Friendly Polyols, Green Polymer Additives, Home & Personal Wellness and OleoBasics markets. With revenue of US$700 million (2015), the company is headquartered in Malaysia and has manufacturing plants and Technical Development Centres spanning three continents in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Emery Oleochemicals’ global operations are supported by a diverse workforce and an extensive global distribution network covering over 50 countries worldwide. For more information, visit Figure 3: Comparison of plate-out performance without (left image) and with 0.3 phr LOXIOL® www.emeryoleo.com. 2310 (right image) after 60 minutes extrusion MAY 2017
Made in China 2025: a more industrialised and self-sufficient China in the making China is chartering a strategic roadmap, which allows the country to prove its mettle as an innovation leader with a strong market base, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Self-sufficiency and meeting its own demands China, amid reports of a slowing economy, remains a sought after market, owing to its more than 1.3 billion consumer base. The world’s largest workshop is transitioning into a manufacturing superpower with its master plan, the Made in China 2025, akin to Germany’s Industry 4.0. Indeed, the country has successfully navigated its way from the Silk Road to the foyer of smart manufacturing, with its direction towards more sophisticated industrial upgrading a hardto-beat precedence for Asia-Pacific countries to follow suit. The Made in China 2025 roadmap, which was initially introduced by Premier Li Keqiang, and by China’s State Council in 2015, aims to move China up in the global value chain. According to the China State Council, 20 State Council departments have worked together on the roadmap. A planning system, the 1+X – whereby “1” stands for Made in China 2025 and “X” means guidelines for sectors, was initiated by a team led by Vice-Premier Ma Kai. The 1+X initiatives cover 11 guidelines on smart and green manufacturing, innovation of high-end equipment, new materials, and others. It is targeting ten high-tech industries, namely, new generation information technology, high-end computerised machines and robots, space and aviation, maritime equipment and high-tech ships, advanced railway transportation equipment, new energy and energysaving vehicles, energy equipment, agricultural machines, new materials and biopharma and high-tech medical devices. Likewise, covered are manufacturing innovation, product quality management and sustainable production. In resonance with this strategy, China is building 40 manufacturing innovation centres by 2025, with the first 15 to be up by 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The centres will focus on IT, intelligent manufacturing, new materials and biomedicine. The Made in China 2025 roadmap aims to move up the country in the global value chain; it targets ten high-tech industries including new generation IT, According to the Mercator Institute biopharma, medical devices and others for China Studies (Merics), in its 2016
Country Focus report, the goal is well-oiled by government entities at all levels. Funds have been set aside for this purpose, like the EUR2.7 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund launched in Beijing in 2016. Meanwhile, the National Integrated Circuit Fund has in its stead EUR19 billion to boost the IC industry: chipmaking, design, equipment and raw materials; as well as to promote mergers and acquisitions. Building/construction and petrochemicals at the forefront China’s huge production makes it the world’s primary growth engine. Hence, its economic deceleration, tapering from 7% to 6.5%, which some experts say may be lower, has sent waves of uncertainties, especially across economies that rely on China’s strength. However, the slowdown, experts say, is an outcome of the country’s shift from export-oriented growth to import and domestic consumer-oriented, with products/ services that serve domestic needs in the forefront now. In building and construction, China is expected to outpace India, Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries. According to the Plastics Market Watch (PMW), in its 2016 Economic-Demographic-Consumer & Technology Trends in Specific Plastic End Markets report, the country, like India, will need more than 250 million new housing units by 2025. Thus, China is on the road to becoming the world’s construction powerhouse, with its population accounting for up to 20% of annual global construction spending. On the other hand, the report also indicated a possible slowdown after 2025, along with the rebalancing from investment and export-led growth to household consumption, with the latter expected to boost affluence that will drive demand for larger abodes and additional infrastructure. Meanwhile, Germany-headquartered consultancy group Roland Berger projects a 6%/year growth for the Chinese chemical market from 2020-2025, with petrochemicals anticipated to form the biggest market in terms of volume, EUR203 billion by 2025. In the report, Keep the Dragon Flying, Roland Berger projects the Chinese chemical market volume to grow to a total EUR1.3 trillion, or a third of global revenues. Analysts at Roland Berger, however, caution of certain conditions needed by the chemical industry to maximise benefits from the country’s industrial reforms. First, they mention of consistency in implementing reform initiatives, specifically starting with the 13th FiveYear Plan, which will reinforce adoption of the Made in China 2025 strategy. Roland Berger partner, Frank Steffen, says that local suppliers will be directly affected by the new directives. He adds, “New standards also entail consequences for numerous international chemical suppliers, including manufacturers and suppliers of high-grade plastics, paints and coatings, or speciality chemicals.” Another precautionary advice is for China to “master the challenges it faces”, including the production overcapacities brought on by high levels of investments
experienced in the past years. Steffen commented: “Production of a whole range of end products or intermediates such as nylon 6, caprolactam and chlorine is nowhere near capacity right now.” Yet, by 2025, the EUR203 billion-petrochemicals sector will remain the highest revenue sector in China. It will continue to account for 17% of the total market volume, as China spurs the production of standard and high-grade polymers and synthetic rubbers. The markets covered in the report also include high-grade industrial goods, speciality chemicals and industrial gases, which the firm expects will expand by 9%/year to EUR85 billion from 2015-2020. In the latter sector, the push will be for cutting-edge technologies rather than mass-produced goods. Implementing this, specifically in the engineering and electronics sectors, will boost demand for industrial gases, especially ultra-pure gases, Steffen, said. He also adds that other segments like paints and coatings (8%/year), agrochemicals (7.5%/year) and flavours and aromatics (7.5%/year) will significantly benefit from this transformation. Growing into a global plastics giant With the countdown to 2025 looming, China’s plastics industry is anchoring on robust plastics demand, albeit, at a slower economy pace. BCC Research in its High Performance Films global report finds that China, along with Asia, accounted for more than 60% of global polyester films consumption in 2016, with the former leading all regions with a 9.7% CAGR. In the global PET market, China clinched nearly half of the global total in 2016, BCC said. Additionally, China’s surging investment in the industry will allow it to reach an operating rate of below 70% for commodity-grade PET films, against the global average operating rate of 80%. BCC explains that about two-thirds of the world’s PET films capacity is classified as commodity grade, which is mainly used for packaging.
China is pumping investments into its packaging industry, particularly the PET segment
Country Focus As well, the Chinese packaging industry has shown robust growth. UK intelligence firm GlobalData says the country’s packaging Industry is poised for growth at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2016-2021, compared to 4.5% from 2011-2016. Growing urbanisation, an ageing population, and a rising middle class, and other changing demographic factors, are influencing this growth. Moreover, these changes are driving the need for new packaging formats. During this report period, the strong Food and Beverage industries, which indicate share growth of 3% and 2%, respectively, will drive demand for cheaper and more lightweight rigid plastics as the most preferred pack type in fast moving consumer goods (FCMG) products. Meanwhile, the mainstreaming of bio-based and thermoformed packaging, as well as innovative packaging for longer shelf-life, are also expected to boost demand for rigid packaging in China. Downside of too much demand – BOPET an example On the flip side, the waterloo to this growth is overcapacity, as what has been witnessed in previous years. BCC said that the growing overcapacity in the early 2010s burdened industry players with declining operating rates and profits. An example is biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET), which BCC Research Editorial Director Kevin Fitzgerald says experienced very fast growth and was very profitable in China in late 2000 with many new investors entering the industry, creating an overcapacity situation. Currently, capacity has been stabilised and the industry hopes it remains always in check. Fitzgerald adds that Asia and China should continue to grow their commanding share of the global polyester films consumption through 2021. In a similar token, overcapacity in China’s machinery market in the previous years also contributed to revenue cuts. In IHS Markit’s 2014 report, the construction machinery, machine tools and metal working sectors were slumped with overcapacity. However, it adds that demand for machines in sectors such as agriculture, packaging,
materials handling and machine tools picked up from US$1.5 trillion in 2013 to US$1.6 trillion in 2014 or 6.3% growth/year. Through 2018, the global machinery market is forecast to firm up, and to deliver potential revenues of US$2 trillion amid a growth rate of 5%-6%/year. Trail to innovation and self-sufficiency As anticipated, the Made in China 2025 plan will affect different enterprises invariably. Merics said in its report that China will have “frontrunners, hopefuls and latecomers in the use of smart manufacturing”. Nevertheless, a small number of frontrunners are“ likely to dominate their sectors on the Chinese market and become fierce competitors on international markets”, it said. The so-called hopefuls, although operating at a less advanced level will eventually move to upgrade production to the next level “if provided with the right incentives”. Hence, the importance of a policy in place, Merics said. Merics also says the plan may not provide any gains for the largest of the group, the so-called latecomers. It said: “No matter how effectively (the plan) is implemented, the latecomers will not gain anything, simply because they do not possess the technological prerequisites or the business incentives to expand into advanced manufacturing any time soon.“ Yet, overall, an optimistic outcome is anticipated for the Chinese industry. “China is still in the process of industrialisation, which should include the manufacturing sector, and promote innovation and upgrades of the traditional manufacturing industry driven by the new economy,” Premier Li Keqiang has been quoted as having said regarding the pros of implementing the plan. “Industrial innovation, combined with Internet Plus, mass entrepreneurship and innovation, will allow Made in China 2025 to foster a new industrial revolution,” he added. Under the Made in China 2025, it is required that basic core components and materials be more localised. Hence, localisation rate or the domestic market share of Chinese suppliers for components and materials is targeted to increase up to 70% by 2025, which will therefore be a boon to the local industry.
The 2025 strategy is expected to boost the chemicals and plastics production
Oceans apart: the case for keeping our waters plastic-free This article is by Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dell, with an introduction by Adrian Grenier, actor, entrepreneur and Dell Social Good Advocate.
The ocean is a common pool resource, which means it is owned by all yet its destruction belongs to no one. But we are not free from blame or from consequence. No, the destruction of our ocean means the destruction of our own humanity. Our world’s ocean creates over 70% of our oxygen — that’s every other breath. Ensuring the health of our oceans by proxy ensures the health of ourselves, our children, our communities, and our economies. And as big as the ocean is, the tolls of mass consumerism, irresponsible behaviours, and insufficient recycling infrastructure have inflicted damage so extreme that we risk injury beyond repair. The global ocean crisis is concerning, but it also presents an opportunity for businesses to rethink their practices. While our man-made weapons of ocean destruction are varied, there is one weapon that we as consumers and business leaders wield power over every day. That weapon is plastic. I firmly believe that companies have a responsibility to take ownership over the full lifecycle of their plastic products so they never see their name wash up on the beach against the feet of children in countries worlds over. But how then do we re-approach our ocean not as a post-consumer plastic junkyard, but as a critical component to international industry? One way is through the growth of a circular economy. As an entertainer, I had nascent experience with supply chains before my work with Dell. Now, I understand the challenges of innovating business as usual for the benefit of our ocean. Innovation is not impossible, as Dell's successful ocean plastic programme has proven. If more business leaders commit to holding themselves accountable and challenge one another, together we will build a more resilient and more profitable global ocean." -Adrian Grenier
An endless supply of plastic Working in supply chain management for 20 years, much of my career has been marked by plastic. The amount of unmanaged plastic waste entering the ocean – known as plastic-waste leakage – has reached crisis levels and has caused significant economic and environmental damage. At Dell, we’ve scaled efficient methods of sourcing and recycling plastic in both products and packaging. Just in February 2017, we reached our 2020 milestone of recycling around 22,700 tonnes of post-consumer recycled plastics and other sustainable materials into Dell products. Despite this experience, I had minimal Every year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics find understanding of the negative impact their way into the ocean plastics have on our ocean health. Together, Dell, Adrian and I started to learn more. Plastics are the workhorse material of the modern economy but are also likely to be used just once and then discarded. In places that lack recycling infrastructure, the plastic eventually makes its way to our ocean. As floating trash, plastic photodegrades into toxic microplastic. These tiny pieces are small enough to mingle with plankton, the organisms at the base of the food web that support many fish and whale species. Marine life today is riddled with these noxious particles that will outlast them by centuries. MAY 2017
Environment The scale of the problem is almost inconceivable. Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics find their way into the ocean, which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If this carries on, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight), as illustrated in the video by Dell and the Lonely Whale Foundation1. Consider that – more plastic than fish. Food chain contaminants Like, I have had to explain to my 10-year-old daughter, when birds or fish ingest the plastic in the sea, these little creatures die of starvation while their stomachs bulge full. Meanwhile, plastics travel up the food chain. The science shows that degrading plastics are more likely to attract contaminants and pass endocrine disruptors and carcinogens further up the food chain. Tests have already shown ingestion causes tumours in lab animals. The prognosis for people is also likely to be grave. There’s a financial price to pay as well. Plastic causes US$13 billion of damage to the marine environment each year according to the UN, which affects the fishing, shipping and tourism industries. This figure doesn’t factor in the colossal financial implications for the health sector. We all know that cutting out fish from our diet isn’t the answer. What the answer is that this matters – to our kids and our economy – and we have the power to change this fate. Recycling ocean plastics Asia is currently the global economic powerhouse that drives the world economy. However, the region also drives the world’s environmental problems where it is home to the most polluted cities and oceans. As much as 60% of ocean plastics come from Asia, largely coming from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. According to a report by Oceans Conservancy in 2015, with a concerted commitment to reducing waste, the global ocean plastic leakage will reduce by approximately 45% over the next ten years. Waste reuse, reduction, and recycling are longterm goals for Malaysia, which has set a target of 22% household recycling rate by 20202. From a corporate standpoint, with sufficient intervention and collaboration across sectors, we can stem the plastic tide. At Dell, we undertook a feasibility study to determine if we could use ocean plastics in our consumer packaging. The success of that study has enabled us to create a commercial-scale supply chain dedicated to collecting and recycling ocean plastic for use as a packaging material. To start, we are using recycled ocean plastics in our packaging for the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. This switch helps us fulfill our mission to keep packaging out of the waste stream and within the circular economy. We estimate that in 2017, the pilot will keep close to 7,300 kg of plastic from entering our ocean.
This figure will climb quickly as we develop and expand the supply chain to include other Dell products and it will continue to grow as we work across industries to scale our research with suppliers and customers. Sharing best practices Getting to this point has been a significant undertaking (ten months to be exact), but we’re happy to share our blueprint so others can achieve the same, if not more, with greater ease. Why? Because we will only make a real difference if other companies join the cause to reduce ocean plastics. Speaking candidly, we don’t care if in five years’ time no one remembers who shipped the first ocean plastics packaging – only that there was a 100th, 1,000th, 10,000th company to do so. At The Economist’s World Ocean Summit in February 2017, we joined world leaders across sectors to collaborate on what it will take to create an infrastructure in real hotspot areas, where plastics are being spewed into the sea at exponential rates. It will take a commitment on the part of businesses, governments, NGOs and the communities themselves to work on changing attitudes related to the behaviours that create the trash problem. We will have to work together as well to find the resources and invest in the solutions that can bring the ocean plastics back into the economy. We hope you will join us.
Environment Key learnings – how to build a commercial-scale supply chain in ocean plastics: 1. Strategy: When we embarked upon the initiative, we wanted to clean-up parts of the ocean. Through talking with ocean researchers and scientists, we discovered we could be far more effective preventing plastics from entering the water and breaking down into microplastic pieces in the first place. 2. Intelligence gathering: We used global information systems (GIS) coupled with population data and satellite imagery to assess landfills’ geographic adjacency to rivers and coastal systems. This created a targeted list of locations where large quantities of plastic debris was likely to be entering the ocean. Hotspots included areas along the coasts of China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There was also a viable hotspot in Haiti, which also had an easily identified existing infrastructure for collection. 3. Sourcing: We concentrated our feasibility study in Haiti in part due to the dire need for intervention and its pre-existing network of trash collectors. We then educated the collectors on the types of plastics that we were looking for, how the plastics should be sorted by color, cleaned and compressed for export or shredded to create a denser material. This model can easily be replicated in other hotspot communities. 4. Refining: We experimented with different blending ratios and discovered that mixing 25% recycled ocean plastics with 75% recycled HDPE plastics gave us safe, durable packaging conducive for moulding. We intend to raise this ratio incrementally through greater intelligence gathering until we reach material made of 100% ocean plastics. 5. Labelling: We can control many aspects of the supply chain but once the packaging arrives in people’s homes and offices, we rely on them to recycle safely and responsibly. To try to prevent the ocean plastics packaging finding its way back into the water, each tray is stamped with the #2 recycling symbol, and a website to educate customers about the packaging. 6. Business case: While there is a clear sustainability case for what we’re doing, to ensure long-term commitment, it has to make economic sense, too. In the case of ocean plastics, we are already seeing cost savings over other recycled-content plastics and anticipate costs to continue to come down as the programme scales.
Acknowledgement: Adrian Grenier is an actor, producer, director, musician and sustainability activist. In 2015, he became Dell’s first Social Good Advocate to advance the company’s 2020 Legacy of Good goals. Kevin Brown is the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Dell. Together they are trying to improve ocean health and find innovative new sustainable solutions to our everyday supply chain needs. 1 Dell
and The Lonely Whale Foundation Collaboration Video, teaming up to up-cycle plastics pulled from the oceans.
Malaysia Plan, Chapter 6: Pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience MAY 2017
Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery and Technology
Machine makers raise their stakes in South Korea At Koplas, held from 7-11 March in Seoul,
Another new series at Koplas was the PL hybrid machine, with an electric-driven screw and controller and software developed in-house. According to Kim, most Korean machine makers do not place priority on the latter modules. “Without any control over this, the machine’s precision suffers and that is why we have developed our own PLC control and software.” Also new is the smartphone app for remote monitoring, known as Conper. “It is the first step for us towards Industry 4.0. We are able to have access to the machine and build up our data; analyse operations and implement preventative measures. This allows our technicians to handle problems without being present at a customer’s factory.” Kim is confident of response from the international sector. “Our CE-marked machines are more competitively priced, compared to Japanese and European ones, and have a higher standard than Chinese machines.” And with Kim enthusing about plans to export 70% of Dongshin’s output, a new factory has been set up in Busan, complete with a technical centre. It has a capacity of 1,500 machines/year, which is much higher than the 500 machines/year it was making before. Kim also said South Korea’s injection moulding machine market is worth US$400 million, but with electronics production having moved offshore, to Asian countries like Vietnam, the focus now is on the medical devices and cosmetic packaging sectors.
South Korea, 485 companies from 24 countries participated in the show that spanned an area of 21,384 sq m. Around 89,000 visitors, with
2,053 from overseas, visited the show, according to organiser Korea E & Ex Inc. It was observed
that local injection moulding machinery (IMM) makers have upped the ante with improvements while Chinese and Japanese OEMs have made inroads in the country.
Homegrown Dongshin in a “rebirth” mode Dongshin Hydraulics has been rejuvenated under the helm of CEO Phillip Kim, who took over the reins seven years ago. Kim says the company has made a fresh start in the allelectric machine market. “In the 1990s, when Chinese machine makers entered the market with lower prices, it was tough for locals to compete,” explained Kim, adding that Dongshin not only could not compete with Chinese OEMs but also the more established Japanese and European players that until today still dominate the high-end market. Dongshin’s first foray in the all-electric machine market was in 1999 when it debuted at the US NPE show. But with lacklustre response, Dongshin realised it had to undertake improvements. Thus, it went back to the drawing board and re-launched the GB (Great Birth) series in 2014, under a new logo known as DS Dongshin’s Philip Kim is (Different Specialty). And to confident of garnering higher sales instil confidence, Dongshin from the global market sold 160 GB machines on its home ground before introducing the GB on the international scene, at Chinaplas 2016 in Shanghai, China, and at K2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany. At Koplas, it premiered the RB (Rebirth) electric series, which is customised for the South Korean market, with an 8% smaller footprint than the GB. Similarities with GB are the rigid machine body design for high production speeds, same clamping unit sizes, even though the RB is compact, and energy savings of 86%, compared to standard hydraulic machines.
The One from LS Mtron Anyang-headquartered LS Mtron, a subsidiary of LS Corporation, premiered a redesigned two-platen hydraulic series, which it has rebranded from Wiz to The One. To commence serial production by June, the machines will be available in 900, 1,300 and 1,800 tonnes, said Sung Chui Yoo, Research Engineer at LS Mtron’s R&D centre. “In the future, we plan to add on the 500-tonne and 3,200-tonne models.”
LS Mtron featured the newly rebranded The One
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Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery and Technology Sung also pointed out new features such as the retractable tie-bar and no guide bars, quick change barrels, servo-hydraulic pumps, and Keba multi-touch controller. The machine is also able to handle larger moulds. “Previously, a 1,300-tonne machine could support a 19-tonne mould, the new model can handle a 32-tonne mould,” said Sung, adding that the mould weight represents 2.5% of the clamping force of the machine. Other improvements include a boost to the system pressure from 180 to 210 bar, allowing a 1,300-tonne machine to have 30% faster dry cycle time of 4.4 seconds; digital instead of analogue sensors for the machine’s mould opening/closing, allowing a higher accuracy of +0.2 mm. And with the new features, Sung says, the One might be priced higher. Woojin Plaimm improves on tooling access LS Mtron was not the only one exhibiting redesigned machinery. Woojin Plaimm, which has a wide network globally, displayed a large 2,000-tonne two-platen machine that featured a retractable tie-bar for easier mould changes.
The DL2000A5 model, which was not running during the show, was brought to the show just to feature this new novelty, said Assistant Manager Lee Yong Ho, adding that the displayed model had been sold to an automotive parts maker. The DL series, available in clamping forces from 4504,000 tonnes, is offered with the option of electric or hydraulic retractable tie-bars and is targeted at large part moulding, added Lee. Meanwhile, in the 850 tonne-machine, Lee said, the company offered an injection unit that can be rotated out to facilitate easier and faster screw changes and machine cleaning.
Woojin Plaimm’s 850-tonne DL model has the injection unit opening outwards
Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery and Technology Also shown was the 75-tonne VHA75RS vertical machine, demonstrating insert moulding. This machine also allows for easy access to the mould.
forces of 70-650 tonnes, and the EDIS-DL two-platen series, available in 900-3,000 tonnes. “We now offer electric servopump drives on the two models and this allows up to 60% energy savings,” said Lee.
Toyo/Hyundai tie-up expands market access Almost 18 months ago, Japan’s Toyo Machinery tied up with South Korea’s Hyundai Injection Machinery to allow wider coverage in the local and global markets. Toyo’s Global Sales and Marketing Director, Yoshiaki Tabata, said the arrangement is mutually beneficial to both parties. Toyo specialises in all-electric machinery and has access to the local market through Hyundai, while Hyundai, that markets only hydraulic machines, will be able to offer Toyo’s all-electrics. As well, Hyundai’s focus on the automotive sector is an advantage for Toyo. “We are now able to access automotive parts processors who will be able to specify all-electric machines,” said Tabata, adding that South Korean processors were adopting all-electrics because of the clean and precise operations. At Koplas, Toyo exhibited what it says is its most “sellable machine”, the 280-tonne all-electric. “Most customers want this size but we are able to offer clamping forces of up to 1,300 tonnes,” said Tabata. Meanwhile, Tabata noted the slowdown in investments from electronic giant Samsung, due to the economy and its internal problems. Echoing Dongshin’s CEO Kim, Tabata said that Samsung was targeting cheaper production and had transferred facilities to countries like Vietnam. But he said there’s still room for growth in South Toyo’s Yoshiaki Tabata says Korea, from the rigid the 280-tonne machine is the packaging and cosmetics company’s best selling industries. Toyo also has its eye on higher exports, targeting almost 70% of its output. “Through our tie-up with Hyundai, we will be able to access companies, like Samsung, that are operating overseas,” said Tabata.
Yizumi scores in local market Chinese machine maker Yizumi Precision Machinery is a strong contender in the South Korean market, having upped its sales in the country by 50% last year. The company, which was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2016, was able to do this by having clinched a Hyundai’s EDIS-TG is a servoUS$2 million order comprising hydraulic toggle series 14 machines installed at Tier I car parts maker Korea Wecosta. The 15th machine, to be installed this year, is the 1,100-tonne two-platen machine shown at Koplas, said Yizumi’s Regional Sales Manager Michelle Chen. To-date, Yizumi has delivered to Wecosta machines with clamping forces of 120-1,800 tonnes, according to Chen. “Our price is 10-15% lower than South Korean machine makers and it is because of this Chinese machine makers are able to have higher sales in the country. Plus, our machine quality is acceptable, especially for standard production,” she went on to say. But Guangdong-headquartered Yizumi is upping its standards with better technology. At the upcoming Chinaplas show in Guangzhou in May, it will showcase a MuCell machine and the PAC450K high-speed machine, with 4+4 hot runner stack mould technology and IML labelling. “The high-speed machine for thinwall moulding was displayed at the K show last year. We have now improved it for a more stable performance,” said Chen. Yizumi will also set up a testing centre for the MuCell foam technology, which is licensed by US firm Trexel.
Hyundai’s focus on automotive Hyundai sells an average of 450 machines a year with 40% of the total sold to the automotive market and the rest to the packaging, medical and cosmetic sectors, said Lee Byung Dae, Hyundai’s Managing Director. At Koplas, amongst the machines it displayed were the EDIS-TG servo-hydraulic toggle series, available in clamping
Yizumi had sold this displayed machine to Wecosta
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Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Chinaplas 2017 • Germany-headquartered KRAIBURG TPE, which recently opened a new sales office in Seoul, South Korea, will showcase its new VS/AD/HM series as part of the Thermolast K product line. The introduction to the Chinese market is in response to an increasing demand for high-tech materials used in the production of consumer electronics and high-end lifestyle products, such as smartphone cases, headphones, remote controls or VR headsets. Also on show will be a portfolio of premium TPE compounds and custom-engineered solutions for consumer, industry, automotive and medical applications. Features include a smooth silky surface with chemical resistance against sebum and abrasion and scratch resistance. The compounds are easy to colour and have improved adhesion performance and mechanical properties.
• German machinery maker Arburg will display two automated hydraulic and electric Allrounders and the Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing. These will produce smartphone covers from LSR, medical technology connectors and spare parts for the aerospace industry. Further innovative Allrounder applications featuring medical technology and LSR processing are presented by Hekuma and Mehow.
• Taiwan’s FCS will launch its horizontal rotary table two-component machine and servopower-saving multi-component machine. The HB-R two-platen twocomponent machine series was developed in 2012 with a clamping force of up to 1,900 tonnes. FCS says this is one of a few huge two-component injection machines in the world. This series combines the two-platen and two-component structure, horizontal rotary table, stack mould, and servo power-saving technology. FCS will be displaying HB-350RV with a Kuka six-axis robot producing two-component parts for a car sunroof application. The horizontal rotary platen decreases issues coming from gravity and inertia, is able to withstand a load of up to 3.6 tonne and complete a cycle within 3 seconds, says FCS. The model is capable of producing single and dual component products, while a 350-tonne machine has the same mould loading capacity as a 1,000 tonne-dual-coloured injection machine. In the dual moulding field, FCS says it has been ahead of the industry to lead the direction of innovation. Moreover, it says that the servopowersaving multi-component machine allows for a mould clamping force of up to 1,900 tonnes; and with closed-loop servo value, the single-cylinder injection structure and accurate rotary positioning clamping, the machine can perform stable actuation and precise positioning, thereby leading to high-response, highprecision and high repeatability. FCS will be showing the 16-cavity FB-280RV model producing a two-component drinking water
Arburg will show the Golden Edition producing flexible smartphone covers from LSR in a cycle time of 25 seconds
Weighing 0.35 g each, the moulded parts are set down in trays of 96 units. For LSR, a 100-tonne hydraulic Allrounder 420 C Golden Edition will produce 21 g-weight covers for the iPhone 6 in a cycle time of around 25 seconds.The mould is provided by Prover, while the LSR dosing unit comes from 2 KM. Mehow is also presenting an LSR application with a turnkey system built around a hydraulic two-component Allrounder 470 S producing wine bottle closures using a hard/soft combination (PC/LSR). Handling is performed by a six-axis robot in this case. A Freeformer will produce a spare part from PC for the aerospace industry. Using 3D CAD data as a basis, the parts are produced from inexpensive qualified plastic granulates using Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF). The Freeformer is equipped with two discharge units as standard. This enables it to process an additional component in order, for eg, to manufacture a part in different colours, with special tactile qualities or as a hard/soft combination. Alternatively, it can be used to build structures from a water-soluble support material, enabling complex part geometries to be realised.
A 60-tonne Allrounder 370 E Golden Electric will demonstrate precision production of medical technology parts, using a two-cavity mould from Wellmei to produce Y connectors for intravenous drip therapy in a cycle time of 18 seconds. The finished PC moulded parts are removed and set down by a Multilift Select linear robotic system. At the Hekuma stand, a hybrid Allrounder 520 H will use a 64-cavity mould to produce pipette tips with a capacity of 200 micro-litres from PP in a cycle time of only around 4.8 seconds. The quality control and robotic systems are supplied by Hekuma. 4
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Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Chinaplas 2017 bucket lid. With the servomotor-controlled rotary table, rotary time is shortened by more than 50%, with a more stable rotary speed switch and more precise positioning. The machine also adopts a high efficiency double servopower system, which is certified as the first grade of national power saving standard (<0.40kw h/kg). Meanwhile, the accurate rotary positioning clamping protects the mould. Due to many application requirements, FCS says it will have a special area to display the applications and introductions of multi-component machines to offer more wide uses for industries such as automotive, construction and aerospace. • China-based Wintec, a subsidiary of Austrian machine manufacturer Engel, will be showing its t-win large-scale hydraulic machine and its latest e-win all-electric. All movements performed by the e-win machines are servo-electric. The machines also reduce cycle times through the synchronous movements of the drive axles and the acceleration of the injection axis, which can be up to 22 m/s².
Krauss Maffei will demonstrate the production of LSR nasal ventilation units for babies
• With Asia being one of the most important markets for the Wittmann Group, since it has a ten-year old facility in Kunshan for robots, temperature controllers, material loaders and granulators, its subsidiary Wittmann Battenfeld will display three machines from its PowerSeries at Chinaplas. The EcoPower SE 110/350 will present a cleanroom production cell, equipped with a Laminar Flow Box supplied by Max Petek, Germany, to manufacture a closing cap from LDPE in an eightcavity mould. The Combimould SmartPower servo-hydraulic machine, shown for the first time at the K2016 in Düsseldorf, will make a drinking cap made of thermoplastic/LSR in an eight-cavity mould supplied by ACH Werkzeugbau, using transfer technology. On a MicroPower 15/10 the company will show an opto-electronic application, with a barrel holder made of POM produced using a mould supplied by Wittner, Austria. This component is a focusing device used mainly in cameras to hold the lenses in place or to focus them.
Wintec’s latest all-electric model will be demonstrating the production of nylon windscreen wiper adaptors
At Chinaplas, a 100-tonne e-win 1000-170 will be used to produce glass fibre-reinforced nylon windscreen wiper adaptors for cars. An Engel e-pic robot will remove the components from the mould and deposit them on a conveyor belt. The robot combines linear movements with a jib arm, saving on space. • Germany’s KraussMaffei will present its PX allelectric series, featuring enlarged platens, faster injection speeds and the option for operation using food-grade NSF H1 lubricants. The machines are targeted at China’s 3C industry (computer, communication and consumer electronics), connector industry, packaging for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, automotive applications and medical technology. For clean room-compatible applications in medical technology, the PX features encapsulated drive units and ejectors and a closed lubricant circuit. At Chinaplas, KraussMaffei will have a PX 50-180 SilcoSet for the manufacture of LSR nasal ventilation units for babies.
Wittmann Battenfeld’s EcoPower will present a cleanroom production cell
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Swedish compounder Hexpol has acquired Trelleborg’s Rubber Compounding unit in Czech Republic for EUR65 million. The unit had a turnover of EUR40 million in 2016 and has around 125 employees. The main enduser segments are within the automotive industry, general industry, building and construction. Hexpol also acquired Valley Processing, a US rubber compounder owned by Ted Ballou and his family, for US$44 million. Valley Processing, with a facility in California, had a turnover of US$34 million in 2016 and has around 90 employees. Its facility in Virginia is not included in the transaction. • Germany-based machine visions and process control systems manufacturer BST eltromat International and laser measurement systems manufacturer LAP Laser have entered into a sales cooperation that will expand LAP’s sales channels for its servo-driven laser systems in the tyre industry. In the same token, the cooperation will expand BST’s portfolio of automation solutions. • Rubber tank linings manufacturer Blair Rubber and its sister company, roofing and waterproofing company Hyload, has acquired US-based supplier of solvent-based roofing and below-grade waterproofing systems Elastikote’s brand and assets. Blair Rubber and Hyload are part of the IKO Group. • German firm Continental has opened the third phase expansion of its Hefei tyre plant
in China, the company’s first plant in the country. The EUR250 million Phase III expansion will enable Continental to boost its capacity from 8 million to 14 million tyres/year by 2019. Opened in 2011, the 340,000 sq m-plant mainly produces replacement and OE passenger car tyres for the mid to high-end Chinese market. Continental has also set up a 6,000 sq m-R&D centre in California, US, where 300 experts will work on pioneering solutions for automated driving, electromobility, connectivity and mobility services. Continental employs more than 18,000 people in the US and in the past five years has invested more than US$1.9 billion with further comparably large investments expected for the next five years. Also in the US, Continental is investing around US$10 million in a new indoor tyre testing centre in Texas, to provide indoor test capacity for all tyres manufactured in Continental’s North and South American plants. In other news, Continental has received approval for building the Taraxagum Lab Anklam in Germany. The 30,000-sq m plot of land involves an investment of EUR35 million over the next five years. It intends to further explore rubber production processes for which it has only established a laboratory scale to date. The Taraxagum project involves industrialising natural rubber from dandelion roots. Continental also intends to enlarge the acreage from the current 15-800 ha to increase dandelion crop yields.
• China’s Vanlead Group has entered into an MoU with Scandinavian Enviro Systems, which develops products for recycling used car tyres, to develop a turnkey recycling plant in China. Vanlead will be using Enviro’s reclaimed carbon black material in its tyre production. It is the first step towards creating a new recycling facility in Guangdong, which will have the capacity to handle 30,000 tonnes of tyres/year and will supply Vanlead’s various production units across China. • German chemicals company Wacker Chemie has opened an international training centre for silicone solutions and applications located in Tsukuba, Japan. At Tsukuba, Wacker also manufactures silicone products through its joint venture Wacker Asahikasei Silicone and operates a silicone-coatings competence centre. • The Philippine Rubber Farmers Association (PRFA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) signed an agreement with Davao City-based Phoenix Petroleum for the development of locallymade tyres. The parties agreed to invest in the Pilipinas Agila Tyre Manufacturing Company as well as conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of a factory in Mindanao. The proposed facility is envisioned to produce up to 4 million rubber tyres/ year for passenger vehicles, cargo, small pick-ups and agricultural machineries. The PRFA is looking at tapping Filipino rubber
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News farmers for the project, while Phoenix Petroleum will extend financial and technical assistance to farmers for the establishment of the tyre facility. • Speciality chemicals company Lanxess’s Advanced Industrial Intermediates is investing EUR100 million in expanding production facilities for chemical intermediates within the next three years. Around EUR40 million each will be invested in the Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen sites in Germany. The rest will be used to expand the facilities in Brunsbüttel and Antwerp (Belgium). At the Kallo/Antwerp site, Lanxess will be investing a mid-single digit Euro million figure to expand its production capacities for rubber chemicals; while at the Krefeld-Uerdingen site, the plan is to expand production facilities for trimethylolpropane, hexanediol and menthols to accommodate growing demand on global markets. The expansion project is scheduled for completion by 2020. Construction work is set to commence during the coming year. • Malaysia’s Top Glove is teaming up with Japan’s Fimatec, which produces industrial inorganic chemicals, in a 70:30 joint venture to produce rubber reinforcing agent used in manufacturing gloves. The joint venture is expected to begin operations by 2018. The joint venture could help in driving manufacturing costs lower as Top Glove currently buys most of its rubber reinforcement agent
from third-party suppliers. It is expected to supply about 75% of its internal requirement and cut annual cost by RM10 million, about 4% of total chemical costs, or up to 2% of fiscal 2018’s earnings. • Thailand-based chemicals producer Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) is to acquire Glanzstoff Group, a European manufacturer of technical yarns, cords and fabrics for the rubber and composite industries. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms were not disclosed. Indorama anticipates the acquisition of Glanzstoff, which supplies its products to 100 countries worldwide, to firm up its leadership position in the tyre cord business and strengthen its portfolio. • US-headquartered Grand River Rubber and Plastics, which is a 100% employeeowned manufacturer of lathe cut washers, tubular gaskets and flat drive belts, has acquired the flat belt division of Texas-based Flexaust , a maker of flexible hose and flexible ducting products. Flat belts are used by major OEMs in the floor care industry on sweepers such as extractor units as well as upright units. • Momentive Performance Materials has opened a new 1,858 sq m R&D laboratory in the US. The company, which produces its NXT silane products, is investing approximately US$3.5 million in this new laboratory that will be used to test and develop
compounds for the world’s leading tyre manufacturers. The facility will also serve as a global hub for the development of new silane materials that can help tyre manufacturers produce tyres with lower rolling resistance, better wet traction and advanced performance. Momentive continues to invest in serving the automotive industry, and particularly the tyre and rubber segment. In January, the company acquired the operating assets of US chemicals firm Sea Lion Technology to increase the availability of tyre silanes in the country. it also broke ground on a new manufacturing facility for NXT silane materials in Leverkusen, Germany, to make locally-produced materials available in Europe. • Kumho Tire Co.’s sale of a 42% stake to China’s Qingdao Doublestar Tyre will go ahead as planned as Kumho Asiana Group Park Chairman Sam-koo says he is giving up his right to reclaim Kumho Tire, according to Pulse News. Kumho Tire, South Korea’s second largest tyre maker, was founded by Park’s father. Park, who had the option to match Doublestar’s bid of US$839 to buy back Kumho Tire shares from its creditors, said that creditors led by the Korea Development Bank (KDB) had notified him that they would not allow him to form a form a consortium to take over the tyre company even though Doublestar Tyre had won the preferential bid in a consortium.
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Rubber Journal Asia Glove Industry
No barriers to growth for Malaysian glove makers Malaysia dominates the global rubber
However, life is not all a bed of roses for the glove industry, which has undergone a few blows brought about by uncertainties in the economy. Handling pressure with grace is the industry’s virtue.
industry, supplying more than half the world’s glove requirements. It is well
positioned to do so for reasons such as its
Coping with price hikes he year opened with rubber prices swelling by 55% on account of lower rubber supply and higher consumption from China’s automotive industry, thus almost cueing glove makers to mark up their prices by 10%-15%. But in the middle of February, prices of rubber started plunging and from end of March onwards the situation has somewhat improved for the industry. Adding to the more positive sentiments is the improved US and Europe economic outlook, as well as recovery in oil prices that is anticipated to stabilise prices even further, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), an inter-governmental organisation of 11 rubber producing countries. The fickle pricing condition has affected industries reliant on rubber, particularly the gloves industry. While global demand for gloves, which are commonly used in vital industries such as the healthcare, cleanroom manufacturing and food, continues to flourish, Southeast Asia’s glove producers, which collectively account for more than 60% of the world’s total rubber gloves, have to contend with this and other challenges the year unveils. Shah Alam-headquartered Top Glove disclosed that the rising materials cost, aggravated by higher labour and utility costs, has dampened its profits. The world’s largest rubber glove producer indicated its second quarter earnings of RM83 million slid by more than 20%, against the RM104 million posted during the same period last year. This is corroborated by the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF) Research’s findings that Top Glove underperformed based on a full-year earnings estimate, on account of higher raw material prices during the quarter. Likewise, feeling the cost pressures is Supermax. The company’s first-half financial year 2017 earnings were below expectations, analysts said. This was mainly due to a lower production output from higher operating costs, and other relevant factors. To cope with latex price increases, Supermax says it would have to pass on the additional costs to its customers. Yet, this is easier said than done, considering that competition among its peers in the gloves industry is tight, the company adds.
natural rubber resources, and even with
challenges on the horizon, the industry is
taking it in its stride, says Angelica Buan.
alaysia is the world’s fifth largest producer of natural rubber after Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and China, and home to Top Glove Corporation, Hartalega Holdings, Supermax Corporation, Kossan Rubber Industries, Rubberex Corporation, and other major glove makers. The latex goods have remained the largest contributor to Malaysian exports of rubber products, reaching RM14.6 billion in 2016 and accounting for 80.7% of the total exports of rubber products in the year. Rubber gloves, under the latex goods category, continued to contribute significantly to total exports of rubber products, reaching RM13.3 billion in export value or 73.2% of the total value of all rubber products exported, according to the Malaysian Rubber Export Council (MREPC). In 2016, Malaysia exported RM11 billion nonsurgical rubber gloves and RM1 billion surgical gloves, MREPC cited data from the Department of Statistics (DOS).
Top Glove, the world’s largest glove producer, has felt the pinch of high materials costs with lower second quarter profits
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Glove Industry Relief from lower gas prices hen the government increased the tariffs on natural gas for the non-residential, non-power sector, first by 17.2% in January 2016; followed by nearly 6% in July, the gloves sector knew it may have to adjust its pricing too. The Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) says the hike would range from US$0.40 to US$0.60 per 1,000 glove pieces. Higher energy costs will make a dent of between 10%-12% in the total cost of production for major glove players.
As a result, major manufacturers are switching from powdered gloves to powder-free gloves. This latest regulation, however, is viewed as negligible for Malaysian glove makers with the ban having no major impact on earnings, since Malaysia ships only 2%-3% of powdered gloves to the US. Globally, Malaysia exports 23% of powdered gloves and the remaining 77% is of the powder-free variant. Hence, it can easily sell the latter type to the US; or, producers can convert their production lines to produce more powder-free gloves provided that they are given a grace period to convert, according to MARGMA. The association also said that other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, where Malaysia supplies gloves to, still allow sale of powdered gloves. On the other hand, the ban will boost demand for nitrile gloves, which give better profit margins than latex ones, and is also a way to prevent oversupply of nitrile in the market, according to Kenanga Research’s January 2017 report of overweight rating for the rubber gloves sector.
Future still a good fit gainst the challenges, the Malaysian rubber gloves sector continues to dominate the total exports of rubber products. MREPC cited that in 2016, rubber gloves (under the latex goods category) reached RM13.3 billion in export value or 73.2% of the total value of all rubber products exported, from RM13.1 billion in 2015. Since it is clear that the sector can be affected by economics, Malaysian glove firms are allowing for safety nets, such as improving quality, firming up capacities or even diversifying. Kossan Rubber, for example, is investing about RM100 million for its expansion plans, including an R&D centre it will open in July this year. Likewise, to remain at the top of competition, it has invested some RM2 million in R&D of the FDA-patented Low Derma technology for synthetic gloves to garner demand from users who are sensitive to natural rubber latex. The technology eliminates allergy-causing accelerators in the glove-making process while preserving the glove’s tensile strength, flexibility and sensitivity. Between 15% to 20% of the company’s 22 billion glove/year-capacity is allocated to producing Low Derma gloves. Perak-based Rubberex Corp is also tackling expansion efforts. Recently, it was reportedly raising RM16 million for capex through a proposed private placement of 22.93 million shares, representing 10% of the group’s issued share capital, to its major shareholder, Kuala Lumpur-based investment holding firm, MedBumikar Mara (21.1%), to expand its nitrile disposable gloves production lines in Ipoh. Supermax, on its end, is diversifying into the eye care sector through contact lens manufacturing. The
Rubber gloves continue to contribute significantly to Malaysia’s total exports of rubber products
However, a revision in the gas tariffs has been announced for this year. Gas distribution company, Gas Malaysia, has allowed for adjustments to the natural gas tariff for the non-power sector in Malaysia from January this year to end of December 2019. Under the Gas Cost Pass Through mechanism, a tariff rebate of RM0.40 per MMBtu (million British Thermal Unit) is effected on all tariff categories for the sixmonth period beginning January-June 2017; or a 2.7% reduction from the previous average tariff. The cut in gas prices is a welcome relief for the glove sector, which expected a sustained build-up of global demand for rubber gloves at 8% to 10% in 2017. Powdered gloves ban not a setback nce an operating room’s essentials, powdered gloves are getting the boot, this time, officially. The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) enforced a ban on powdered gloves early this year, based on what it says are “health risks of illness or injury to wearers, patients and individuals exposed to the powder particles.” The risks involve, according to FDA, severe airway inflammation and hypersensitivity reactions. Getting the axe are powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powders for lubricating a surgeon’s glove, FDA said. The ban means manufacturers are prohibited to export powdered gloves to the US but are allowed to export the same to countries where they are legal.
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Rubber Journal Asia Glove Industry
Kossan Rubber recently debuted its Low Derma technology gloves
company announced in 2016 that it is earmarking RM2.4 billion as capex over the next 10 to 15 years to buoy up its glove and contact lens manufacturing operations. Its 10 to 15-year roadmap for gloves targets to raise capacity from 24 billion pieces to 45 billion pieces with a capex of as much as RM1.2 billion; while
the contact lens manufacturing will be increased to 2 billion pieces, from 70 million pieces, with a capex estimated to amount to as much as RM1.25 billion. Meanwhile, Top Glove is meeting the challenges head-on by improving glove quality and pushing through with its expansion plans. This year, the companyâ€™s capex is placed between RM250 million and RM300 million due to some of the acquisitions and capacity building moves such as the purchase of larger plots of land and establishment of new plants. It is completing a new nitrile glove factory with capacity of 4.4 billion units/year in May, while another nitrile glove factory, with a capacity of 2.8 billion units/year, is slated to be completed by November. A third 4.8 billion units/year-factory is expected to start up next year. By then the company is projected to have 632 production lines and a production capacity of 60 billion gloves/year. After a capacity-building splurge this year, the company says it will ease its capex for 2018. At the end of the day, what matters most for Malaysian gloves makers is to cater to the rising global demand for rubber gloves â€“ a challenge that is worth taking up.
Rubber Journal Asia Rubber Chemicals
Quality Accelerates This technical paper by Melanie
Therefore, the interaction between the sulphur and accelerator plays an important role in the rubber industry. This paper investigates both a conventional high-sulphur cure n atural rubber (NR)-based system and a low-sulphur cure NR system (semi-efficient vulcanising system) and includes an evaluation of the influence of the cure system on network properties. Generally, the sulphenamide class accelerators are most popular in the rubber industry due to their delayed action as well as faster cure rate offered during vulcanisation of rubber compounds containing carbon black. For the investigation, two sulphenamide accelerators have been chosen: N-Cyclohexyl2-benzothiazolsulphenamid (CBS from Lanxess under Vulkacit CZ) and N,N-Dicyclohexyl-2benzothiazolsulphenamid (DCBS; from Lanxess under Vulkacit DZ). They are compared to a reference NR compound containing only sulphur. A general truck tyre compound formulation has been used.
Wiedemeier-Jarad and Dr. Hermann-Josef
Weidenhaupt of Lanxess GmbH, Germany, explores the interaction between sulphur and accelerators, on how they play an
important role in the rubber industry. It
also investigates both a conventional highsulphur cure Natural rubber (NR)-based
system and a low-sulphur cure NR system (semi-efficient vulcanising system) and
includes an evaluation of the influence of the cure system on network properties.
ubber has become an indispensable part of the modern world. Whenever machines and engines require the use of bearings, whenever forces are transmitted and liquids are transferred, whenever rotating shafts and containers must be sealed, there is no getting around this material. Generally, rubber can be cured with sulphur for manufacturing tyres or general rubber goods. The chemical reaction between sulphur and the rubber chain is an extremely slow and inefficient process. It was measured that this reaction takes around 6 hours at 140Â°C, which is uneconomical by any production standards. Rubber articles made from this process are extremely prone to oxidative degradation and do not possess adequate mechanical properties for practical rubber applications. Additionally by adding a low content of sulphur, the rubber becomes soft while by adding a high amount of it, the rubber becomes hard. These limitations were overcome through the development of accelerators. They increase the speed of the chemical reaction so that a rubber article can be produced for e.g. in 10 minutes at 170Â°C.
Function of an accelerator he function of an accelerator is firstly to activate the sulphur, i.e. to open up the ring-shaped molecule (S8) and form precursors with the S-atoms. The precursor then transfers the sulphur, together with the attached accelerator residue, to the rubber molecule. The reaction of this pendent group with a further rubber molecule chain and the splitting-off of the accelerator residue cause the actual crosslinking.
Lanxess offers a broad range of products such as accelerators, antidegradants and mastication agents
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Rubber Market Chemicals As shown in figure 1, the vulcanisate of NR with sulphur alone shows a very long cure time at 150°C. Even this behaviour can be observed by using a lower level of sulphur as shown in figure 2. Additionally the vulcanisation plateau is nearly not reached after 40 minutes. By adding CBS or DCBS to the NR compound, the scorch and cure times are reduced rapidly in both cure systems. The CBS curve shows a shorter scorch time compared to DCBS. An increase in dosage of CBS or DCBS show improvements in scorch delay, cure rate and state of cure compared figure 1 to 2. Generally, both curves rise steeply until the onset point. After the Maximum Torque has been reached the curves show a decrease in figure 1. This part of the curve is an indication of degradation of the compound resulting in breakdown of crosslinks (reversion). In figure 2 both curves show a good vulcanisation plateau (stable curve after the maximum of torque) resulting in a good resistance to ageing and good compressing set behaviour.
The CBS compound shows a higher torque compared to DCBS. The torque value is an indication for the crosslink density. DCBS shows therefore a lower crosslink density (also seen in figure 4), which is due to the chemical structure of DCBS. Its reaction time is also longer compared to CBS.
Rheometer Curves (NR) at 150 °C / conv. cure 25 torque (dNm) NR recipe 2,5 phr sulfur 0,6 phr accelerator
Figure1: Vulcanisation of NR at 150°C 2.5 phr Sulphur and 0.6 phr accelerator
Sulfenamide Rheometer Curves (NR) at 150 °C / semi e.v. cure
torque dNm 20
NR recipe 1,5 phr sulfur 1,5 phr accelerator
18 16 14
CBS DCBS sulfur
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0
Figure 2: Vulcanisation of NR at 150°C 1.5 phr Sulphur and 1.5 phr accelerator
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Rubber Journal Asia Rubber Chemicals Sulphur vulcanisation t is known that sulphur vulcanisation gives predominantly long polysulphidic crosslinks. It is obvious that long sulphur bridges tend to break, i.e. to re-crosslink and revert and therefore change the physical properties of a vulcanisate. A sulphur plus accelerators system has therefore two basic characteristics: • the kinetics of the network formation • the stability of the network produced The chemistry of sulphur vulcanisation and the changes in crosslinking structure of NR vulcanisates are described by Chapman and Porter1. Short sulphur crosslinks provide high temperature stability2, but insufficient tear and dynamic properties. As an example in a tyre application, polysulphidic crosslinks are most preferred due to their outstanding tear and dynamic properties. The influence on CBS/sulphur ratio has been analysed. In figure 3 it can be shown that the ratio has a big influence on the crosslinks in the vulcanisate. Used at the same ratio CBS/sulphur, the vulcanisates show with increased dosage more mono-sulphidic crosslinks and less polysulphidic crosslinks (system 1-3). With more free sulphur and less CBS (system 4), the vulcanisate has high amount Development of XLD and XLS with CBS and DCBS of polysulphidic crosslinks as expected.
The results are shown in figure 4. The distribution of the crosslink structure changes over time resulting in the change of crosslinks from mainly polysulphidic crosslinks to more mono and di-sulphidic. A CBS containing NR compound builds more mono and disulphidic crosslinks over time, compared to a DCBS-based compound.
Influence of accelerator / sulfur ratio
-5 e • 10 [mol/cm3]16
NR S 1,7phr 150°
0 System CBS/S
S •10-4 [mol/cm3]
Figure 4: Development of XLD and XLS with CBS and DCBS
NR tmax 150°C
Figure 3: Influence on accelerator/sulphur ratio (NR compound at 150°C)
As shown the accelerated sulphur vulcanisation produces different sulphur containing network structures. Additionally the ratio of sulphur and accelerator has a huge influence on the properties of a vulcanisate. CBS and DCBS are only two accelerators of the sulphenamide class. There are many other accelerators available for the vulcanisation of rubber that show a wide variety of properties in vulcanisate. Lanxess, as a globally operating supplier of quality industrial chemicals, supports the rubber processing industries with a broad range of products and proven technical expertise. Besides its accelerator portfolio, antidegradants and mastication agents display improved properties in rubber articles, such as conveyor and transmission belts, seals, hoses and latex articles.
Additionally, a comparison of the development of Crosslink Density (XLD) and Distribution of Crosslink Structure (XLS) with a CBS and DCBS-based NR compound was analysed. The data are measured at different points: t75, t90, t100, t120 and t150. 2.5 phr CBS and 3.3 phr DCBS have been taken to have an equal molar concentration.
References 1. A.V. Chapman and M. Porter, “Natural Rubber Science and Technology“, A.D. Roberts Ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988, 511-620 2. W. F. Helt, B.H. To, W.W. Paris, Rubber World 1991, 18
-5 e 10
-5 e 10
t/t max tmax [min] = 17,2
t/t max Sx
tmax [min] = 25,4
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