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contents 目 錄 R E G U L A R S 概要
4 Industry News 8 Material News 12 業 界 新 聞
Volume 25, No 178
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
F E A T U R E S 焦點內容
BASF and Malaysian oil/gas company Petronas are considering a speciality chemicals plant in Malaysia
K2010 show review– Besides 16 sustainability, materials and machinery companies were actively promoting technologies related to the theme of megatrends, such as urbanisation, growing energy requirements, globalisation and climate protection, at the exhibition held from 27 October to 3 November in Düsseldorf, Germany
Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 e-mail: email@example.com Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chinese Editor Echo Yue
IMA1 One of Arburg’s machines at the K was processing a rotary encoder comprising a magnetic disc, carrier plate and protective cap
Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan e-mail: email@example.com Circulation Patricio Salgado e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 e-mail: email@example.com
Permits ISSN 1360-1245
MICA (P) 187/08/2010 KDN PPS 1700/12/2010 (028142) Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd
RJA1 Lanxess has acquired DSM Elastomer
Supplements in this issue …… With the investment floodgates opened, most injection moulding machine and auxiliary suppliers were able to clinch more orders on the K show floor …… Far more capacity for rubbers, like SSBR and butyl rubber, is being added on in Asia
ExxonMobil Chemical’s activity at K2010 hinged on showing how customers are able to achieve greater value from its Exceed and Enable mPE brands, like the collation shrink packaging film shown. PRA has adopted a seasonal theme to wish all its readers: “Happy Holidays and a Great Start to 2011!
PRA is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by PRA Ltd. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2010 Plastics and Rubber Asia Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. Subscription rate per year applies to UK and overseas: For qualifying subscription: £75 or US$160 For non-industry subscription: £150 or US$303
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Thai company on acquisition trail
lready the world’s largest supplier of PET, Thailand’s Indorama Ventures is adding on to its base further having announced its intention to acquire South Korea SK Chemicals’s Polish and Indonesian PET and polyester fibres and yarns businesses. SK Eurochem in Poland has a 140,000 tonne/year PET facility while the Indonesia-based SK Keris has a capacity 160,000 tonnes/year of PET and polyester filament yarn manufacturing facility and SK Fiber Indonesia 36,000 tonnes/year of polyester filament yarn. Indorama says the acquisition will allow it “to build upon its objective of expanding its global platform by
entering emerging markets with high long-term potential for demand.” Furthermore, it is building on its cost leadership position in the polyester value chain, with the acquisition in Poland integrated with a third party supplier of the PTA raw material. The Indonesian assets, on the other hand, mirror the earlier announced acquisition of parts of Invista in the US and Mexico, as they produce differentiated polymers and fibres that complement Indorama’s portfolio of speciality products. The Thai company will now be amongst the largest producer of polymer for films, serving markets in Asia, Europe, the US and Latin America.
Largest R&D facility in the Gulf
abic is on track to building its R&D facility at the Riyadh Techno Valley research complex inside the King Saud University (KSU) campus. Said to be largest of its kind in the Middle East, the new facility will comprise an area of 80,000 sq m, including 43,000 sq m of building space. The centre, which will also house the current polymer centre now located in Riyadh II Industrial City, will
support the continued expansion of Sabic’s product portfolio, especially in the areas of packaging, automotive materials and compounding, as well as the growth of downstream industries. Expected to be operational by 2012, it will be manned by 150 researchers. The company has other R&D centres in the US, the Netherlands, India, China, South Korea and Japan.
Styrenics tie-up for chemical companies
ermany-based BASF and UK company Ineos are setting up a 50:50 joint venture called Styrolution that will include the respective companies’ units for styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrenebutadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based co-polymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as co-polymer blends. Previously, BASF had announced that it would carve out its styrenic activities by the end of 2010 and transfer them into separate entities. Ineos will acquire the other 50% shareholding in its 50:50 styrenics joint venture, Ineos Nova, from Nova Chemicals and transfer this into Styrolution.
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is not part of the transaction with both BASF and Ineos to retain their respective EPS businesses. BASF’s SM/PS foam facility in Ludwigshafen and its Chinese SM/PS business (BASF-YPC) are also excluded from the deal. The Germanyheadquartered Styrolution is expected to generate annual sales of EUR5 billion. BASF will receive cash consideration following the completion of the transaction. The parties did not disclose any further financial details. BASF and Ineos will continue to operate as independent companies until completion of the deal which, subject to the approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities, is anticipated in 2011.
Evonik to pursue new PMMA markets
crylic supplier Evonik Industries has formed a nonexclusive agreement with Taiwanese manufacturer of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels, AU Optronics, to focus on R&D, production planning and manufacturing. The companies will also look at the recycling of PMMA. The companies have been working together
in their Evonik Forhouse Optical Polymers (EFOP) joint venture since 2008, which also includes the operation of a plant that produces acrylic for the TFT-LCD industry. EFOP will also double its PMMA capacity to 85,000 tonnes. A key goal of the new joint development programme in Taiwan is to open up new applications, such as solar, lighting and other green energy markets.
Asian demand pushes up PET prices
K trade association for packaging films PAFA has warned of further raw material increases in the PET market, against the back of strong Asian demand that is starting to add further inflationary pressure to prices in Europe. PAFA CEO Barry Turner said that the effect of market recovery, as global demand has picked up during the last 12 months, continues to create sharp upward price
pressures because suppliers juggle demand and supply for all raw materials. â€œThe market for thin film polyester has already seen a more than doubling in price this year influenced by strong demand for film applications in other sectors; and although PET feedstock prices have risen during the year, we are now seeing signs of acceleration in prices of feedstock prices as well.â€œ he said, adding that there is a shortage of PET feedstock in the market for all
applications. He also said that strong demand for polyester had also been seen from textiles and clothing, resulting from a shortage of cotton due to the failure of crops in Asia. Furthermore, PET has also been winning increasing market share for applications in packaging due to its inherent functional characteristics and recyclability but Turner warns that apart from its application in bottles, the material has been taking a higher
market share in the pots, tubs and trays market and thin film lamination applications. PAFA revealed that prices for PTA (the principal PET feedstock) recently moved up 26% in one week alone in Asia and that it was difficult to see the situation easing in the short term, since new capacity is not forecast to come on stream until 2011/12. This would create a supply/ demand imbalance that will drive prices higher, the association said.
Bayer plans to expand significantly in China
he Bayer Group has set out ambitious plans to increase its sales in China to EUR5 billion by 2015, by investing EUR1 billion into its Shanghai site with Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) to construct new production plants. Half the sales are expected to come from BMS, which will double its capacity for the PU raw material MDI to 1 million tonnes/ year and for PC to 500,000 tonnes/year. The company also intends to significantly strengthen its R&D activities and will relocate its PC unit from Leverkusen to Shanghai, to be closer to the booming PC market in Asia. In fiscal 2009, Bayerâ€™s sales in China were EUR2.1 billion, of which EUR1.2 billion was accounted for by BMS.
News In Brief
US catalysts sold BASF will acquire the styrene catalysts business of CRI/ Criterion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell based in Houston, Texas. CRI/Criterion manufactures catalysts used in the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene. BASF will have access to growth opportunities in emerging regions such as the Middle East and China, where CRI/
China is the second most important country in the world for the Bayer subgroup. It is already investing EUR2.1 billion in Shanghai as part of a long-term project lasting until 2012. Together with the now announced expansions, this means a total investment of more than EUR3 billion. For these new projects, a memorandum of understanding has now been signed with the relevant authorities. Five separate projects are planned, in cooperation with Bayer Technology Services, to increase production capacity at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. For PC, a new facility is scheduled to be built with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year while the capacity of the existing plant will go up by 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes/year. The Asia
Pacific region currently accounts for around 60% of the worldâ€™s total PC market, with the greatest demand coming from China. The plastic is used predominantly in the automotive, electrical and electronics, and construction industries. In addition, Bayer wants to increase its capacity in Shanghai for the MDI raw material used for the production of PU rigid foam. Besides the new MDI plant, the company also intends to expand the capacity of its present MDI facility from 350,000 to 500,000 tonnes/year. A further part of this investment package is the expansion of HDI production, which is used in high-quality surface coatings, with the construction of a 50,000 tonnes/year facility.
Criterion has a strong position.
the production of speciality chemicals (non-ionic surfactants, methanesulfonic acid, iso-nonanol and other C4 products) in the country. A potential joint investment of EUR1 billion is expected and the study will be completed in 2011. Currently, the partners operate an integrated complex in Kuantan that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol.
US PU unit sold PolyOne has sold its 50% equity in BayOne Urethane Systems to Bayer MaterialScience. Terms of this transaction were not disclosed. Joint collaboration for speciality chemicals To expand further its partnership with Petronas in Malaysia, BASF will undertake a feasibility study with the oil and gas company for
Technip expands in Asia Project management company Technip has
All this adds on to the recent announcement made by BMS of the construction of five customer support facilities in Shanghai and three other Chinese cities. They will focus on customised production and further processing. The company has earmarked EUR110 million for this project. Recently the Bayer Group said it plans to invest its resources more systematically by focusing on researching and marketing of new products, particularly in HealthCare and CropScience, and on expanding activities in the emerging markets. To finance the expansion, it is targeting cost savings of EUR800 million/year starting in 2013, which means that by the end of 2012 the company would have cut 2,000 jobs worldwide.
started up its Asiaflex Products flexible pipe facility located in Tanjung Langsat, Malaysia. The first in Asia and its third globally, after France and Brazil, the new plant will allow the group to further develop in the growing Asia Pacific and Middle East subsea oil and gas markets. The plant has a capacity of 200 km/year and is also designed for umbilical production that will include an offshore logistic base.
Greening the earth Here on PRA’s green pages are updates on the global bioplastics market, PLAs, bio-based nylons and colours for bioplastics that comply with the appropriate standards Growth in Asia for bioplastics Defining bioplastics as plastics that are made from renewable resources like food crops or biomass, BCC Research’s latest report says the Asia Pacific region will demand more than 592,000 tonnes of the materials in five years, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.9% from 89,700 tonnes in 2010. This is compared to the global market for bioplastics that will increase at a CAGR of 41.4% from 572,000 tonnes this year to 3.2 million tonnes in 2015. The US will be the largest market for bioplastics and will reach nearly 1.5 million tonnes in 2015, from the 2 5 8 , 0 0 0 t o n n e s t h i s y e a r. I t w i l l b e f o l l o w e d b y E u r o p e , which is expected to increase from more than 175,000 tonnes this year to nearly 754,000 tonnes in 2015. Demand in South America will increase at a whopping CAGR of 53.2%, from 44,460 tonnes in 2010 to 375,000 tonnes in 2015. The demand will be driven by market forces, especially the increasing focus on environment issues like global warming and disposal of products containing toxic materials, says the report. It also highlights a growing trend of the compounding of bio-based plastics with oil-based plastics to extend their reach into markets for durable components that are used in cars and mobile phones. Second generation PLAs Dutch company Purac has developed a PLA with heat stability and impact strength comparable to engineering resin ABS, using its stereocomplex technology and based on its L and D-lactide monomers. The second generation PLA performs at a comparable level to ABS in injection moulding applications and is targeted at semi-durable and consumer goods. Purac says it will continue to develop PLAs for use in automotive, electronics and electrical appliances together with its technology and business partners in the bioplastics value chain. It is currently building a 75,000 tonne/year lactide plant in Thailand, scheduled to start up by 2011. Also using Purac’s L and D-lactide monomer technology is a new PLA from German biopolymer producer FKuR, which has tied up with Dutch polymerisation company Synbra. FKuR says it has started tests with Synbra’s second generation PLA produced from non-genetically modified carbohydrates. The PLA polymerisation takes place in Synbra’s 5,000 tonnes/year plant in Etten-Leur while the lactide feedstock comes from Purac.
The companies say they expect a strong demand for the PLA since many brand owners and retailers in Western Europe are keen to use GMO-free materials. Also, Synbra’s high purity PLA has been Cradle to Cradle certified by EPEA in Hamburg and is described as the world’s first and only PLA to be certified. Just like Purac, FKuR and Synbra are targeting high temperature applications currently not accessible to bioplastics. By blending almost 100% pure PLLA with PDLA at high temperatures, a stereocomplex PLA (scPLA) can be formed with properties that excel those of the individual homopolymers. The melting temperature is around 220°C, which is 50°C higher than that of conventional PLA. FKuR is also cooperating with the Fraunhofer Institute to develop a new generation of high performance biocompounds. Biodegradable materials G e r m a n c h e m i c a l c o m p a n y Wa c k e r C h e m i e h a s developed biodegradable materials made from powder binders, starch/flour, PLA and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) using its Vinnex vinyl acetate-based polymeric binder system. The company says this creates polymer blends with adjustable properties that can be modified to correspond to a variety of synthetic polymers. Like commercially available thermoplastics, biopolymers obtained in this way and containing between 5-30% Vinnex can be processed by injection moulding, extrusion, vacuum forming, thermoforming and calendaring. In addition, the formulations of these polymer blends can be adjusted so that they are processable with standard (unmodified) thermoplastic equipment, making additional investment unnecessary. The company says that an advantage is that the polymers are biodegradable. Studies have shown that the Vinnex blends break down within 180 days under industrial composting conditions, as stipulated by DIN EN13432. The option of using flour as the primary constituent is yet another advantage as flour can be obtained in fewer processing steps than starch and thus translates into less energy and a more sustainable carbon footprint. Wacker says it already has patents for modified starch polymers. Since the polymers are biodegradable, they are especially suitable for use as food packaging materials, disposable dishes, shopping and garbage bags as well as for injection moulded agricultural products such as tomato clips and flower pots. Photocopier with the largest bio-part In another use of a PLA blend, Canon and Toray Industries have developed what they say is the industry’s largest exterior part made from the bio-based plastic. The part is for the Canon ImageRunner Advance photocopier. It measures 640 mm wide by 440 mm high and weighs
approximately 1,100 g. It also has a high flame retardance of 5V classification, under the UL 94 flammability testing programme, which Canon says is an achievement since most bio-sourced plastics are not able to achieve a high level of flame retardence for such applications. The new part is approximately 11 times larger and approximately 6.5 times heavier than the previously largest bio-based plastic part – also used in the ImageRunner series – that achieved the same level of flame retardance. Compared with conventional plastic, the bio-based plastic offers an expected reduction in manufacturingrelated carbon dioxide emissions of 20%. Two years ago, Canon used Toray’s Ecodear, which is a blend of 25% or more PLA and an undisclosed plastic, as a development material to produce flame resistant parts for multi-functional devices. Both companies say they will continue to work together to realise further enhancements in the field of bio-based plastics with the aim of expanding the range of applications in which they can be used. Bio-based nylons Solvay Advanced Polymers is collaborating with Japanese Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC), to develop high-temperature bio-based nylons for high-performance durable applications. With a heat deflection temperature of 270°C, the new glass-filled compounds will have greater thermal performance than many current biobased polyamides and polyesters. The PAs will be based on castor oil-derived sebacic acid and are expected to be among the highest temperature bio-based PAs in the industry, thus complementing Solvay’s high-temperature Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA) product line. The new material also boasts low moisture retention, a high crystallisation rate, wear resistance and good toughness. Key potential uses include reflow soldering applications, high-temperature automotive parts and sliding applications (gears). MGC has worked closely with Solvay over the last 25 years as a supplier of MXDA monomer used to produce Solvay’s Ixef polyarylamide (PARA). Both companies are currently working together to develop an optimised manufacturing process for the new bio-based nylon. In other news, having launched its 70% castor oilbased EcoPaxx PA 410 last year, DSM Engineering Plastics has now developed five new injection moulding grades. These include the Q150-D general purpose, unfilled grade for castor wheels and household equipment and the Q-KGS6, a halogen-free flameretardant glass reinforced (30%) compound (V-0 at 0.75 mm). Others are the Q-HG6 and Q-HG10 glass-reinforced (30% and 50%), heat stabilised grades for high stiffness and toughness applications while the glass/mineral reinforced Q-HGM24 is suitable for large parts requiring low warpage and surface quality. Because of its high melting point, the material can also be used at relatively high operating temperatures. Potential applications are automotive engine covers.
Adding colour to bioplastics When producers first started using biopolymers, the matrix resin might have been compostable or biodegradable but the colourants and additives were not. Three years ago, additives supplier Clariant introduced the first commercial line of all-natural colour and additive masterbatches, featuring active ingredients made from renewable resources. Colours included red, orange yellow and green, derived mainly from plants, but choices were limited, and light and process stability posed an issue in certain applications.
Clariant introduced its new masterbatches for colouring biopolymers at the K show recently
Now, Clariant has shifted to second gear and is offering its Renol and Cesa-compostable masterbatches with conventional (non-natural) additives and pigments in a biopolymer carrier resin. Besides the wider range of colours it is able to offer, Clariant says the testing of the ingredients is done in the independent laboratory of Belgian OWS in compliance with EN13432:200 – the standard for heavy-metal content and plant-toxicity. The Swiss company introduced a third option at the recent K2010 exhibition in Germany. This is the “OK compost” certification issued by Belgian AIB Vinçotte International to two of its facilities for the Renol range (80 different pigments) and Cesa masterbatches (including UV stabiliser and antioxidant packages) manufactured there. Any product featuring the “OK compost” logo can be assumed to comply with the requirements of the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EEC), which seeks to limit packaging waste. The “OK compost” certificate indicates conformity with approved production procedures and guarantees that only colourants and additives that pass strict testing for ecotoxicity are added to the biopolymer carrier resin. ◆
Sabic 在 沙 特 國 王 大 學 (KSU) 校
園內的利雅得科技谷研究園建立 研發中心。這據悉是中東最大規 模的新設施將涵蓋 8 萬平方米面 積，其中包括 4 萬 3 千平方米建築 物空間。 此研發中心將同時容納目前 坐落在利雅得第二工業城的聚合 物中心，並支援 Sabic 持續擴增中 的產品組合，尤其是包裝、汽車 材料及複合領域的產品，以及成 長中的下游工業。預計於 2012 年 開 始 操 作 的 研 發 中 心 將 擁 有 150 位研究員。 該公司同時在美國、荷蘭、 印度、中國、南韓及日本設有其 他研發中心。
化學公司聯手設置苯乙烯公司 駐 德 國 的 巴 斯 夫 (BASF) 與 英 國 公司英力士 (Ineos) 合資設置一家 50:50 的聯營公司 Styrolution ，它 將概括這兩家公司的苯乙烯單體 (SM) 、 聚 苯 乙 烯 (PS) 、 丙 烯 月青丁 二烯苯乙烯共聚物 (ABS) 、苯乙烯 丁二烯嵌段共聚物 (SBC) 的單位， 以 及 其 他 苯 乙 烯 共 聚 物 (SAN、 AMSAN 、 ASA 、 MABS) 和共聚物 混合物。 在這之前，巴斯夫已宣佈在 2010 年年杪分拆其苯乙烯業務， 並將它轉型為獨立的個體。英力 士將向 Nova Chemicals 公司收購 50:50 苯乙烯聯營公司 Ineos Nova 的其他 50% 股權，並將它轉移至 Styrolution 。 這項交易活動不包括雙方的 發泡聚苯乙烯 (EPS) 業務，巴斯夫 及 英 力 士 將 各 自 保 留 它 們 的 EPS 業務。巴斯夫設於路德維希的
SM / PS 泡沫設施及其中國的 SM /
Turner 說 ， 配 合 市 場 復 甦 效 應 ，
PS 業務 (BASF-YPC) 亦不在此項交
全球在過去 12 個月的需求旺盛， 為價格急速上漲帶來壓力，供應 商正忙著處理各原料的需求與供 應。 “受到其他領域對薄膜應用 需求強勁的影響，今年聚酯薄膜 市場的價格已經上漲超過兩倍。 儘 管 PET 原 料 的 價 格 已 在 年 內 上 揚，但我們現在看到原料價格出 現持續走高跡象。市場上各種用 途 的 PET 原 料 普 遍 面 對 短 缺 問 題。” 他說，由於亞洲農作物欠 收，造成棉花供應不足，導致紡 織品及服裝業對聚酯的需求明顯 強 勁 。 此 外 ， PET 固 有 的 功 能 及 可再循環使用特點也使它在包裝 用途上逐漸佔據更多市場額。然 而 ， Turner 警 告 說 ， 除 了 作 為 瓶 子用途，此原料也在盆、桶和托 盆，以及薄膜層壓用途佔據較高 市場額。 PAFA 透 露 ， PTA （ PET 的 主 要原料）的價格僅在一星期在亞 洲就上漲 26% ，這種情況很難在 短期內緩解，目前無法預測陸續 投入的新產能，直至 2011 / 12 。這 將導致供應 / 需求的不平衡，驅使 價格繼續走高。
易範圍內。 總 部 設 在 德 國 的 Styrolution 預 計每年可帶來 50 億歐元的營業 額。在完成有關交易後，巴斯夫 將接收現金的考慮。雙方均未透 露任何進一步的財務詳情。巴斯 夫及英力士將繼續以獨立公司的 地位運作，直至該項交易完成為 止。有關交易事項須獲得反壟斷 機構批准，其核准結果預計將於 2011 年出爐。
Evonik 競逐新的 PMMA 市場 丙 烯 酸 供 應 商 Evonik Industries 與台灣的薄膜晶體管液晶顯示器 製造商 AU Optronics 簽訂了一項 非獨家協議，專注於研發、生產 規劃及製造工作。這家公司亦將 目光放在再生的 PMMA 業務上。 這 兩 家 公 司 自 2008 年 起 已 透 過 聯 營 公 司 Evonik Forhouse Optical Polymers (EFOP) 展 開 攜手合作行動，其中包括由工 廠 為 T F T- L C D 工 業 生 產 丙 烯 酸 的 業 務 。 與 此 同 時 ， EFOP 將 把 其 PMMA 的 產 能 倍 增 至 8 萬 5 千 噸。 新聯營發展計劃的其中一項 主要目標是在台灣開拓新的應用 領域，如太陽能、燈光及其他綠 色能源市場。
亞洲需求推高 PET 價格 英國包裝薄膜貿易協會 PAFA 已經 發出警告，來自亞洲的強勁需求 促 使 PET 市 場 的 原 料 價 格 上 漲 ， 開始對在歐洲的價格掀起通貨膨 脹的壓力。 PA FA 的 首 席 執 行 員 B a r r y
美國的苯乙烯催化劑售予巴 斯夫 巴斯夫將收購 CRI / Criterion 的苯 乙烯催化劑業務，後者是駐德克 薩斯州，休士頓之 Shell 的一家全 資 子 公 司 。 CRI / Criterion 製 造 的 催化劑被用在生產苯乙烯的乙苯 脫氫過程。巴斯夫將因此而攫取 到 CRI / Criterion 在 新興地 區擁有 強穩地位的成長機會，如中東及 中國。
業界新聞 拜耳計劃在中國大展拳腳 拜 耳 集 團 (Bayer Group) 雄 心 勃 勃 地 擬 定 了 在 2015 年將它在中國的營業額提高到 50 億歐元的計 劃。該集團投資 10 億歐元在上海的廠地，由 Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) 興建新的生產工廠。半數 的營業額預計將來自 BMS ，其 PU 原料 MDI 的一 年生產量將倍增至 100 萬噸，而 PC 的年產量則提 高到 50 萬噸。 公司亦計劃強化它在研發方面的活動，並將 它位於勒沃庫森的 PC 單位遷至上海，以便更貼近 亞洲蓬勃發展的 PC 市場。 在 2009 年 財 政 年 ， 拜 耳 在 中 國 的 營 業 額 是 21 億 歐 元 ， 其 中 12 億 歐 元 來 自 BMS 。 中 國 是 拜 耳子集團在世界第二重要的國家。作為持續至 2012 年的長期工程之一，它已在上海投資了 21 億 歐元。加上這次的宣佈擴充計劃，這意味該公司 已作出超過 30 億歐元的投資總額。對於這些新工 程，它已與有關當局簽署諒解備忘錄。 五個分開的工程計劃是與拜耳科技服務 (Bayer Technology Services) 合作進行，以提高在 上海化學工業園的生產量。至於 PC ，預計將興建 一間年產量為 20 萬噸的新工廠，以使工廠現有的 產量由一年 10 萬噸提高到 30 萬噸。亞洲 / 太平洋 地區目前佔全球總 PC 市場的大約 60% ，其中最大 需求是來自中國。此塑料主要是用在汽車、電氣及 電子和建築業。 此外，拜耳希望能提高它在上海，用於生產 PU 硬質泡沫之 MDI 原料的產量。除了新建的 MDI 工廠，這家公司也有意將其現有的 MDI 工廠的產 量從目前一年 35 萬噸擴增到 50 萬噸。 這 項 投 資 配 套 的 另 一 個 部 份 是 擴 充 HDI 生 產 量，採用高品質的表面塗層，以及興建一年可生產 5 萬噸產量的工廠。 所有這些是 BMS 近期宣佈在上海及其他三個 中國城市興建五間客戶支援工廠的一部份。他們將 專注於定製生產及進一步加工業務。公司已另外撥 出1億1千萬歐元作為此工程用途。 拜耳集團最近亦表示計劃進行系統化的資源 投資，集中於新產品的研發和市場行銷，尤其是在 HealthCare 及 CropScience ，以及擴充新興市場的 業務活動。在融資擴充行動方面，預計由 2013 年 起每年可節省 8 億歐元的成本，這意味該公司將在 13
新聞 業 界
2012 年年杪在全球削減 2 千個工
美國的 PU 單位售予 BMS PolyOne 已 將 它 在 BayOne Urethane Systems 的 50% 股權售
予 Bayer MaterialScience 。 該 公 司並未透露有關交易的條款。
專業化學工廠聯手出擊 為了進一步擴大它與大馬國油的 夥伴關係，巴斯夫將連同該油氣 公司進行一項可行性研究，在大 馬生產特種化學品（非離子型表 面活性劑、甲磺酸、異壬醇及其 他 C4 產 品 ） 。 這 項 潛 在 合 資 預 計 為 10 億 歐 元 ， 研 究 工 作 將 在 2011 年 完 成 。 目 前 這 兩 家 夥 伴 公司在關丹經營一家生產丙烯酸 單體、氧化產品及丁二醇的綜合 大樓。
Technip 擴大其亞洲版圖 工 程 管 理 公 司 Technip 設 於 大 馬 丹 絨 蘆 菇 的 Asiaflex Products 軟管工廠已經投入生產。這是 Technip 在亞洲首個及繼法國和巴 西之後全球第三個軟管新工廠， 它有助該集團在亞太區及中東的 海底石油和天然氣市場取得進一 步 成 長 。 工 廠 一 年 可 生 產 200 公 里軟管，其設計尚包括供作管纜 生產及概括一個離岸後勤基地。
亞洲的新 SSBR 工廠 為了迎合亞洲輪胎市場對溶液丁 苯橡膠 (S-SBR) 不斷增長的需求， 日 本 的 Sumitomo Chemical 計 劃 在新加坡的裕廊島建造一間年產
量 4 萬噸的工廠。有關工廠將於 2013 年投入生產。 該公司說，在亞洲尤其是中 國、印度及泰國，輪胎公司正緊 鑼 密 鼓 地 擴 大 產 能 ， 預 計 S-SBR 的供應量在短期內也將水漲船 高。除了佔據地理優勢，選擇新 加坡是因為丁二烯的原料供應穩 定，預計未來的供應將會吃緊。 該公司採用一項專利生產程 序 科 技 來 製 造 S-SBR ， 並 在 其 聚 合物改良技術的配合下發展出高 性能等級，具燃油效率和耐磨損 性能的輪胎材料。
提升區域的丁基產量 ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha 的聯營
公 司 與 JSR Kabushiki Kaisha 已 經完成一項為其日本川崎的工廠 提升丁基橡膠產能的主要擴充計 劃。 Japan Butyl 的產能擴增至一 年 1 萬 8 千噸，使有關工廠的總產 量達到每年 9 萬 8 千噸。工廠同時 展示了新的先進專利技術，允許 一般在 -95°C 發生的丁基聚合反應 在 -75°C 即可產生，達到節省能源 及資金投入的效果。 在 2008 年 ， ExxonMobil 曾 擴建其德克薩斯州，貝敦市的鹵 化丁基橡膠工廠，使工廠的產能 增 加 60%。 2006 年 則 為 Japan Butyl 在 日 本 鹿 島 的 工 廠 進 行 擴 充，使鹵化丁基橡膠的一年產能 提高 1 萬 7 千噸。
橡膠工程應對亞洲競爭 以開發安全、多功能加速器分子以 在聚氯丁烯橡膠進行硫化過程中取 代硫月尿基加速器的 SafeRubber 計 劃獲得歐盟的資助。 一 般 上 ， 硫 月尿基 加 速 器 如 乙
烯 硫 月尿 (ETU) 被 用 來 生 產 最 高 性 能 橡 膠 硫 化 系 統 。 然 而 ， ETU 本 身是有毒，它在歐盟分類、 IARC （ 國 際 癌 症 研 究 機 构 ） 及 E PA （美國環境保護局）被列為第 2 類 致 癌 物 質 。 在 REACH 法 規 下 ， 它 相 信 將 被 列 為 CMR 物 質 （致癌/致突變/生殖毒性物 質），這將導致它被立法禁止或 嚴格限制它的使用。 此外，由於亞洲國家無須 符合歐盟的健康及安全條例和 較低的成本基礎，它們能夠每 年進口超過 8 千萬歐元的氯丁 橡膠到歐洲（市場總額是 2 億 4千萬歐元），進一步削弱中 小 型 企 業 (SMEs) 的 競 爭 力 。 這項計劃的目的是為生產聚 氯 丁 烯 橡 膠 實 施 一 項 IP 保 護 方 法，降低與健康及安全有關的成 本 — 在現有的大企業佔主導下 保護小規模公司。通過使用多功 能加速器，它有望在硫化過程中 減 少 90% 的 MgO 和 ZnO 數 量 ， 讓會員可在成本上與亞洲供應商 競爭。這項計劃的最終目的是通 過 減 少 原 料 （ MgO 及 ZnO） 來 降低對環境的衝擊及過程中的 污水危害 — 進一步降低成本。 來自 6 個歐洲國家的 13 個夥 伴目前已參與這項研究工程，包 括協會、研究所及中小型企業。
美國輪胎市場推介標籤 來自 Frost & Sullivan 的一項最新 報告指出，隨著經濟好轉，有利 於中國進口輪胎的稅務，以及日 益增加的環保意識，促使美國輪 胎市場通過立法要求低滾動阻力 輪胎及輪胎標籤。 這項標題為“輪胎設計趨 勢對北美洲化學品及材料市場衝
業界新聞 擊”的報告指出，輪胎材料如橡膠及填充物將在推 介標籤行動下獲得提振，而需求上升的環保型輪胎 將為材料市場注入革新的動力。 新條例要求消耗較少燃油及較低排氣量的綠色 輪胎。例如標籤法令要求所有輪胎依據它們的滾動 阻力、濕地抓力及輪胎磨損進行評級，而在歐洲， 輪胎所產生的噪音好比美國對輪胎磨損的要求同樣 重要。公司至少必須遵守在歐洲這三方面的最低標 準要求，在美國則必須確保符合輪胎磨損要求，因 為消費者傾向於選擇較具綠色環保效應與安全評級 的輪胎。 儘管這些條例惠及特定的輪胎材料，但它卻令 其他類型材料的前景蒙上陰影。鑒於降低滾動阻力 及改善濕地抓力為主要目標，一些材料如 SSBR 及矽 會比傳統材料如乳液丁苯橡膠及炭黑更受歡迎。傳 統上是犧牲濕地抓力以達到減少滾動阻力的效果。 不過，更先進的填充物如矽被用來幫助改善滾動阻 力兼濕地抓力，而含矽的 SSBR 則能減少滾動阻力。 在輪胎線部份，更寧靜及更強韌的聚 二甲酸乙 二酯 (PEN) 估計將享有穩定的市場額，而在加工油部 份，在歐洲被淘汰的香精油預計將為環烷油，以及 在較小程度上為輕度提取溶劑等提供機會。
與此同時，斯里蘭卡政府計劃提高出口原橡膠 的稅務，懲罰生產商並限制他們進入市場以支援加值 的生產。鑒於將近 35% 的橡膠仍以原料形式出口， 該國政府將對所有以原料或半加工形式出口的橡膠施 以較高的 50% 稅務，以鼓勵該國的加值出口業。只 有出口的製成品才能免於稅務。
柬埔寨計劃種植更多橡膠 隨著最近橡膠價格上升至超過每噸 4 千美元，柬埔寨 的農民也試圖從中獲利，並將在國內大量種植橡膠。 柬埔寨的橡膠種植面積超過 1 萬 6 千 500 公頃土地， 每年生產 4 萬噸橡膠商品。
瑞典輪胎製造商收購 Watts Trelleborg Wheel Systems 將收購駐英國的工業輪胎
公司 Watts Tyre Group ，後者的年營業額是 3 億瑞典 克朗，並聘有大約 230 名員工。通過地域擴張至亞洲 並增加在售後市場的存在， Trelleborg 認為這將加強 它在工業輪胎市場的地位。
Hankook 建造第二個中國工廠 南韓 Hankook Tire 計劃於 2015 年在中國的重慶建 造其第二個工廠。這間耗資 9 億 5 千 400 萬美元的 工廠一年可生產 1 千 150 萬條輪胎。 Hankook 目 前在全球擁有 5 家工廠，分別是兩家在南韓、兩 家在中國及一家在匈牙利。在匈牙利的工廠，除 了既有的一天 3 萬 5 千條輪胎產量外，也可一天 增 產 1 萬 7 千 條 輪 胎 。 它 預 計 可 在 2011 年 投 入 生產。
區域性的橡膠對峙 International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) 表示， 較低的合成橡膠供應將成為印度輪胎業的一大隱 憂。報告指出全球正面對丁二烯短缺現象，而 印 度 的 進 口 佔 了 它 本 身 需 求 量 超 過 80% 。 根 據 Rubber Board ，印度汽車輪胎業的天然橡膠和合 成橡膠比例是 73% 對 27% ，而全球輪胎的合成橡 膠對天然橡膠的比例則為 56% 對 44% 。
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Clear industry trends at the K Besides sustainability, materials and machinery companies were actively promoting technologies related to the theme of megatrends (like urbanisation, growing energy requirements, globalisation and climate protection) at the K2010 exhibition held from 27 October to 3 November in Germany. More visitors from Asia The number of visitors was down to 220,000 - a decrease of 9% - compared to the figures in K2007; the decline is due to a slack in the economy for the last three years since the 2007 show. However, with the current improving economic situation, the show organiser Messe Düsseldorf said the 3,102 exhibitors reported an overwhelming volume of contacts and a marked willingness amongst visitors to invest. Of the visitors, close to 60% came from outside Germany, compared to 57% in 2007. Asia had the largest number of visitors at 30,000, of which, 11,000 came from India. A substantial increase of visitors was also registered from Turkey and Israel with 4,100 and 3,600, respectively (compared to 2,800 and 2,300 at the previous event). Of the two thirds of visitors polled, machinery and equipment building ranked first in terms of interest at 48%. This was 7% more than the K2007. Innovation with sustainability Germany-based Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) showcased 80 new applications based on sustainability. Summing up the company’s aim, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMS, Patrick Thomas, said it was to explore new business opportunities by fulfilling future needs. “We are known around the world as the inventor company and K2010 is the perfect environment in which to position ourselves as a technology leader,” he said. When asked if the applications shown would be commercialised, he said, “Almost 40% of the materials BMS sells today were not in existence five years ago. Nearly 80% of our business is supplying valuable commodities, where there are no switching costs involved for customers, and the other 20% consists of differentiated materials.” Amongst the solutions included is a PU sheathing for solar modules with an integrated assembly system; a sandwich composite of PC sheets with solar cells and flexible solar modules. A solar air collector roof insulation system developed together with Puren showed how energy generated from solar radiation could be combined with thermal insulation. Another energy efficient solution comes in the form of thinwall refrigeration with the use of PU nanofoams, under 150 nm. In mobility, BMS, together with Solvay, showcased the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft innovated by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Ultra-light materials are used to reduce the weight of the next
prototype to less than 1,600 kg. BMS supplied the foam used in the cockpit cladding, engine cowling and the wings. In the health sector, BMS is working on a joint project with Professor Sankai of Cyberdyne – a spin-off company of Tsukuba University in Japan – on a robot suit known as HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb). It works by “reading” nerve signals from the brain to the muscles, through bioelectric signals registered on the skin. These signals activate small electric motors in the suit that assist the movements of patients wearing it. BMS has developed a PC grade that can be used for the robot. Step change for multi-layer films using mPEs Focusing on its Enable and Exceed metallocene polyolefins (mPEs) and Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers, ExxonMobil Chemical showed how these resins could be used in the processing of multi-layer films to offer benefits to processors. Though it did not have a booth, the US supplier had its resins processed at various machinery booths that were showcasing three, five and nine-layer blown and cast film lines. Windmöller & Hölscher and Hosokawa Alpine were producing five-layer 40 micron packaging film using Exceed and Enable while Macchi and Reifenhauser Kiefel were producing nine layers on their lines using the mPEs. While three-layer blown films will still continue to dominate the flexible packaging market, ExxonMobil says it is working on introducing next generation solutions for five and nine-layer films. “Although it is early in the development cycle, initial results from trials using the mPEs on the five-layer lines show ExxonMobil’s Exceed mPE adds on promising opportunities higher capabilities to multi-layer in a range of flexible film films applications,” said Dirk Permentier, Research Associate, Polyolefins Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Europe. When asked if mPEs would add on to the process cost, he replied, “The cost will be moderate but output will be higher.” He added that the 40% increment of stiffness would make the films especially suited for heavy duty sacks. Other applications are for collation shrink and lamination films.
The mPE resins can also be used in nine-layer barrier food packaging films, for improved sealing capability and packaging integrity. More TPE in Asia for Kraiburg Next year, TPE specialist Kraiburg will double capacity at its Malaysian plant to 7,000 tonnes. It is also looking at expanding its international base over the next five to ten years to Brazil, China and India where it expects to widen its customer base with more customised products. Besides Malaysia, it has facilities in Germany and the US with sales offices in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, China and India. The company also introduced a new range of TPE Fragrance compounds. Marketed as an added value material under its Thermolast K brand, three scents of apple, peppermint and vanilla are offered. Though this is not a new phenomenon, with other materials companies having offered it before, it is new to the TPE market. The compound is a 50:50 base material:additive masterbatch composition with a loading of 3-10% fragrant oil. A special styrene block co-polymer is required as the base material. The company also says the mechanical properties are not that important in the compound and it is unsure of how long the scent remains in the compound. The first product utilising the compound is a ladies shaver, due out soon in Europe. Higher strength TMC Rhodia Engineering Plastics took the wraps off its thermoplastic composite (TMC), which when it previewed in June had not been named yet, calling it Evolite and marketing it under its Technyl series. The patented range of polyamide-based continuous fibre reinforced materials is targeted at applications like transport seating, car bumper beams and front-end structures, racing bicycle frames, window frames and tanks. Evolite’s matrix is said to exhibit the lowest viscosity of any polyamide. This is key to bringing impregnation, with reinforcement rates of up to 62%. In fact, the French company says that Evolite parts will show excellent strength and toughness, enhanced crash resistance and good ageing properties. In addition, material fluidity allows for faster production rates, compared to thermosetting. Available in recyclable pre-impregnated fabrics or consolidated plates, Evolite can be made of glass, carbon and possibly other fibres. Materials offer game changing technology Under a new name, materials supplier Styron made an impressive launch of eight products. Styron, formed early this year when Dow Chemical sold its styrenics business to private equity firm Bain Capital, introduced a high light transmission PC grade for LED lighting that comes in opalescent, tint and UV protection versions. Also under its Calibre series is an experimental PC resin offering enhanced thermal insulation properties for complex multi-wall sheets.
For the packaging market, its patented CO2R E foaming technology allows converters to produce PS sheet with a core layer of foam using physical blowing agents, reducing sheet density and raw material use. Other grades focused on the TV enclosure market with a high heat/flow PC/ABS blend, a high flow/module PC/PET/ABS blend and a high flow transparent PC. It also introduced its Inspire At-Press TPO system for injection moulding of automotive PP components and a next generation environmental stress crack-resistant HIPS grade for refrigerator liners. Chemtura revisits Great Lakes while Galata makes its presence US additives supplier Chemtura has reverted to its roots by renaming its flame retardants, brominated performance products and fumigants business as Great Lakes Solutions. Since the new brand has been launched to introduce sustainable products, the company was promoting a “greener” flame retardant series known as Emerald. It includes polymeric, combination and halogen-free flame retardants and a curing agent. Galata Chemicals, meanwhile, came to the show for the first time. It was formed in April when Chemtura sold its PVC additives business to Artek Aterian Holdings, a partnership between New York-based private equity firm Aterian Investment Partners and Indian family-owned Artek Surfin Chemicals. Galata ’s new line-up included heat stabilisers for optimising the cost performance profile of PVC formulations. Others were heavy metal-free organicbased stabilisers for flexible PVC applications; octyl tin stabilisers to replace butyl tin products; REACH-friendly liquid mixed metals for flexible and semi-rigid PVC applications; an epoxidised soybean oil plasticiser and impact modifiers for PVC and engineering polymers. More capacity from suppliers in Europe US-based custom engineered thermoplastics compounder RTP Company has opened a facility in Ladenburg, Germany, to produce long fibre composites and conductive compounds. The 5,600 sq m facility is its second in Europe. It acquired its French operations in Beaune in 1995. With the establishment of its Germany facility, RTP now has 11 sites in China, Singapore and Mexico along with six plants in the US. Having recently opened a pigments plant in Hangzhou, China, Clariant also plans to double capacity for its Exolit non-halogenated flame retardants at its German facility by 2012. The company will de-bottleneck current production lines and is also looking at building a second facility at the site. Oxygen scavenger prolongs packaging shelf life Supplier of organoclay additives NanoBioMatters introduced oxygen scavenging additives for dispersing directly into packaging materials. It says this is a simpler, less costly and more convenient alternative to conventional scavenging techniques such as UVactivated systems and oxygen scavenger packets.
Based on surface-modified phyllosilicate clay that is functionalised with active iron, the O2Block additive is recognised as safe by the European Union and the US FDA with food contact approval expected early next year. NanoBioMatters works with several types of clays and patented surface-modification technologies to render properties like longer shelf life for packaging. Supplied as a micronised powder or a masterbatch, the additive can be used in loadings of 1-10% in HDPE, LDPE, PET and PLA. It can also be used in combination with the company’s O2Block solution for EVOH barrier films, providing up to 50% reduction in oxygen transmission rate (OTR). Developmental grades are being tested and evaluated by several food companies and commercialisation is expected next year. NanoBioMatters is also developing a plant-based radical scavenger known as O2Block RS-R. Founded in 2005, NanoBioMatters operates a 2,500 tonnes/year additive plant in Vall D’Uixo, Spain, and a 4,000 tonnes/year masterbatch facility in Valencia. Shopping cart bags recycled PP Austrian chemicals supplier Borealis presented a shopping cart made from a combination of 67% of its high impact PP4R 500 PP and 33% recycled PP resin and a basket made of 75% recycled PP and 25% PP4R 100. Both the PP4R resins are enhanced grades developed by Borealis to meet the requirements for use in combination with recycled material.
Borealis’s enhanced PP is combined with a post consumer PP for this basket and shopping cart
The company says the use of recycled PP delivers a 15% improvement in the carbon footprint of the cart and a 30% decrease for the basket. Both were moulded by Italian company Sistemi 2000, who says supermarkets in Italy will favour both products. In both cases the recycled PP was produced from mixed PP post-consumer waste. Total look at new PP Total Petrochemicals’s new range of random PP copolymers for the injection moulding industry boasts additional downgauging of up to 8% for applications like rigid food packaging, caps and closures, medical devices, housewares and kitchenwares. It is also targeted at replacing PC in baby bottles.
Total’s new range of PP is targeted at the rigid food packaging sector
f i v e T h e Lumicene grades, with melt flow index from 10 to 110 g/10 minute, also offer gloss and transparency, food compatibility, impact resistance and moulding productivity. The company says that by using a 110 g/10 minute MFR grade, the cycle time is reduced by 10% compared to a 70g/10 minute MFR grade. The additional 150 MPa rigidity also allows for additional downgauging. All in all, the new PP offers savings of EUR100/tonne for converters and lower carbon footprint for finished products. Smart approach to multi-layer films Sabic was promoting a multi-layer film (five layers and more) concept that combines LD/LLDPE to allow manufacturers to create unique property configurations that meet the specific needs of brand owners and consumers. It is targeted at compression and hygienic packaging, lamination and shrink film. Besides cost and material savings, benefits include high gloss and tear resistance, improved downgauging with up to 20% lower thickness, lower energy use and higher processing speeds. This is because the resin combination for every item in production can be tailored to get the most out of a respective manufacturer’s extrusion equipment. The LDPE resin used in this concept is also produced with Sabic’s PE tubular technology, which is a sustainable alternative to the traditional autoclave technology. It reduces air emissions, energy use and waste during the production process. Polyamide gives an edge to E&E PolyOne has expanded its halogen-free flame retardant (HFFR) high-temperature PA6 and 66 grades with a new resin targeted at the electrical and electronics industry. Designed for smaller and thinner components, Edgetek AM is able to bridge the cost-performance gap between traditional engineered thermoplastics, such as PA66 or
PolyOne’s new polyamide is for the E&E market
PBT, and higher-priced performance polymers, such as PPS, PSU, PES, PEI, LCP and PEEK, says the US company. It is targeted at low voltage applications such as high power circuit breakers, switch disconnectors, switch gears, connectors, relays, micro-components and sensors. The compound has lower specific gravity and is less corrosive than existing HFFR polyamide materials, leading to longer tool life. Other benefits are the mechanical/electrical properties, dimensional stability and creep resistance at elevated temperatures, with a heat deflection temperature (HDT) greater than 260°C. Motan-Colortronic steps up production in India Having set up its Indian plant in Chennai just a year ago, German auxiliary equipment producer MotanColortronic has increased the production of its models, said Marketing Manager Carola Wirth. It currently produces the Luxor dehumidified dry air dryer in sizes of 50, 80, 20 and 160. It also produces the MiniColor blender and HB loaders while the Gravicolor blending line and controls are imported from Germany for the Indian market, said Wirth. When asked if any Colortronic equipment production is in the pipeline, she said that the company would consider this in the future. Motan recently merged with UK peripherals company Colortronic to offer a range of products under one brand name. Rajoo to sell hybrid machines with European parts Indian extrusion machinery company Rajoo Engineers will market hybrid machines to the local market in its latest technical collaborations with Italian pipe/profile extruder supplier Bausano and German blown film machine supplier Hosokawa Alpine. Rajoo will not only sell and service Hosokawa Alpine machinery in the country, it will also build up to ninelayer lines at its facility in Rajkot, Gujarat, utilising hot parts (screws/barrels and dies) from Hosokawa Alpine, said company President, Sunil Jain. The machines will be marketed as Rajoo-Alpine. When asked how the collaboration came about, he said, “Rajoo is one of two or three companies that are at the top of the extrusion machine market in India and so it has the advantage to compete with European suppliers. That is why we have joined hands with the best machinery supplier. It also gives Alpine the opportunity to enter the Indian market in a bigger way.” Based on the encouraging number of enquiries received at the K show, the locally built machines will be launched next year. In the other venture, Rajoo and Bausano will set up a 49:51 joint venture company to manufacture pipe/profile machinery in India. “We will buy parts from Bausano and assemble the lines in Rajkot,” said Sunil. The joint venture is expected to take off next year. Rajoo makes blown film, sheet and thermoforming (in another venture with Indian company Wonderpack) machinery and also has an agreement with US-based Commodore Technology to make thermoforming machinery for expanded foam packaging.
When asked about the company’s performance this year, Sunil said, “It has been a stabilising year and we are looking forward to a growth of 20-25%. We are on target to achieving this given the company’s encouraging performance over the past six months.” China focus for Andritz Biax A new parent and branding are expected to give biaxally stretched film equipment producer DMT Technology the push it needs into A sia. Aust ri an plant engineering company Andritz acquired DMT in April this year, taking over its operations in Austria and France, along with the patented technology, and changing its name to Andritz Biax. Next on the agenda is to set up operations in China, said Sales Director Peter-Michael Haas. It will be based at its parent company Andritz’s facility in Foshan, Guangdong. “We will use the existing service base and integrate the automation, machinery and management,” he said. “Asia is important for us. This year alone almost 500,000 tonnes of PET film capacity has been sold, mainly in India and China. We anticipate BOPP taking up 65% of the market share,” he told PRA. The company has been completing unfinished lines and has received new orders too. One customer, Videolar, will take delivery of two 8.3 m BOPP lines next year and a BOPP/BOPET line in 2012. Another order from Super Film in Turkey is for a 6.7 m BOPET line to start up in 2012.
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SML’s new line sold to Malaysian processor Austrian stretch film line producer SML’s latest EcoCompact line may be small, but it packs a punch, rendering a net output of 1,200 kg/hour (it was processing 12 micron film at a speed of 701 m/minute at the K show). It is also one of several cast and calendering lines the company has delivered to customers in Malaysia, its best sales region in Asia this year, according to Gerald Ausweger, Chief Representative of Asia/Pacific. The first Eco-Compact line has been installed at Malaysian processor Evermal’s facility in Pontian, Johor. The new line produces 4 x 500 mm stretch films, at speeds in excess of 600 m/minute. And it fits in nicely in facilities that have space constraints. The components are arranged on two levels with extruders, air-conditioned e-cabinets and water pumps on the upper level, allowing for a footprint of 140 sq m, which is half the size of a conventional stretch film line. SML’s EcoCompact line, the first of which has been sold to a Malaysian processor
It comes with three or four extruders, with a choice of three or five-layer feedblocks, infrared gauge and a recycling unit with reel feeder or direct edge trim refeeding system. The winding is done by a robust W4000 turret winder with automatic core and roll handling system, featuring cut resistant guide rollers for machine and jumbo film rolls of up to 60 kg. It also comes with SML’s ThinCore technology, which allows usage of 3” cores, with 3 mm wall thickness and weights below 350 g. W&H topped its output At the K show in 2007, German blown film machinery supplier Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) had a line with an output of 750 kg/hour. At this year’s K show it topped its record with a new die and the use of ExxonMobil Chemical’s mPE to allow for an output of 1,000 kg/hour. The five-layer 400 mm Maxicone P die, designed specifically for polyolefins, was paired with W&H’s Varex blown film line. The film it was producing was a 40 micron tissue film, which up until now had been produced in three layers. W&H worked with ExxonMobil to create the new generation five-layer film that uses a polyolefin base. A c c o r d i n g t o t h e c o m p a n y, t h e r e s u l t s a r e improved film properties as well as thinner films (downgauged) compared to conventional three-layer films. Furthermore, with improved control of the
W&H was producing new generation polyolefin fivelayer tissue film with a thickness of 40 microns, allowing for downgauging compared to conventional three-layer film
internal bubble, there is no edge trim. The benefit is a substantial reduction of raw materials, in line with W&H’s “greenovation” philosophy. Studies have shown that improvements in threelayer structures will eventually reach their limits. Using functional inter-layers makes it possible to improve performance efficiency. This was the reason for the development of the polyolefin-based film structure. The extruders (70/70/105/70/70) at the show featured low-temperature screws, specifically for polyolefins, and a layflat width of 2,200 mm. The layer configuration, as opposed to most five-layer barrier films lines, utilises the largest extruder for the middle layer. The compact die also features a special layout of the spiral melt distributor minimising residence time, pressure drop and wetted surface areas. Another highlight was the bubble height of 15 m, where the bubble is split into two 47 in. rolls. The line also comes with the Opticool air ring, a new successor to the Multicool D. It features an improved air flow control, which avoids pressure drops of intake air, high cooling capacity and enables the blown film line to reach higher outputs than dual air rings do, say W&H. Other equipments are the Multinip oscillating haul-off with direct driven turning bars, Variocage calibration unit and the Filmatic S winder. After the K, the Varex show line was modified from five to seven layers and shipped to US-based Danafilms. Best show for Erema Erema Engineering Recycling had been busy filling up its order books before the K and during the show, said CEO Manfred Hackl. It recorded orders of EUR38 million, placed within a span of 12 weeks, with more than a third of this from the K. the Austrian company is bulding a customer t e s t i n g centre that is expected to be completed early next year. It will have seven testing capabilities with a further five available for R&D. Erema’s stand at the K show
At the K, it had the TVEplus 1310 model, with a screw diameter of 100 mm and capacity up to 650 kg/hour, paired with its ecoSave technology and new pelletising system. It is able to recycle multi-layer and heavily printed film, as well as moist materials and highly contaminated plastics. The HG D hot die face pelletising system, employing direct drive technology, features a maintenance-free design, lifetime lubrication on the drive shaft, an extended pelletiser knife life and easier changeover, as well as reduced cooling water costs. The ecoSave technology, meanwhile, enables 10% lower energy use. Unicor’s new corrugator and IPM tie-up Corrugator machinery maker Unicor showed the UC320, said to be an economical line for producing mediumsize drainage and cable duct pipes. In other news, the company tied up with Italian socketing machine producer IPM. Amongst IPM’s portfolio are special connectors for corrugated pipes that are used in extreme climate conditions of up to 70°C. Unicor developed the concept based on one of its customers in the Middle East. As for the UC320, it is said to render 40% higher output (up to 25 m/minute double-wall pipe) than the UC250 line, of which the company says it has 100 machines in operation all over the world. The company is also using technology it acquired having taken over competitor Fränkische last year.
For pipes up to 630 mm diameter, it is offering the CDH (Compact Die Head), boasting fast and easy change over from one dimension to another. Since the changed die head is optimally centered, the extrusion line can be restarted without loss of time or material. Uplifting results to come for Coperion While orders for the last two years have been dismal for Coperion, sales are beginning to pick up. The German company expects its orders to reach EUR480 million and sales to total EUR360 million in the current fiscal year. But this does not match up to the EUR577 million sales recorded in 2008, the best year in its history, said Executive Board Member Thomas Kehl. Even so, it will invest EUR30 million in the restructuring of its Stuttgart site and to build a R&D centre. To open in 2012, the centre will be equipped with 20 ZSK compounders and peripheral equipment. It will also add on another service site in the Middle East to be operated as a joint venture with Saudi Arabian company Golden Wing. At the K, it showed the latest ZSK Mc18 series of corotating twin-screw compounders. With the maximum torque increased to 18 Nm/cm 3 , the compounders achieve a 30% higher output compared to the ZSK MEGAcompounder PLUS series. This improvement has been made possible by a combination of aerospaceproven metals for the screw shafts, a new heating and cooling system and new gearboxes. ◆
Ripple effect trickles to IMM sector With the investment floodgates opened, most injection moulding machine and auxiliary suppliers were able to clinch more orders on the K show floor. all the conventional sterilisation steps can be eliminated, thus reducing costs by 25%. KraussMaffei also displayed its AX all-electric machine that was teamed up with a high-pressure RimStar Nano PU metering and mixing machine to produce an assembly-ready LED light. A highlight at Husky Injection Molding’s booth was the plug/play version of its all-electric PET preform system, which has components from Japanese Toyo Machinery. “Contrary to reports, we were never against all-electric machines and our hydraulic and hybrid systems had been a sensible choice for our customers. But for small systems, motion control is the right step. So after an exhaustive search we found a partner that offered the motion control technology,” said Jeff MacDonald, Vice-President of Marketing, at a press conference. Toyo’s components are integrated with the H-PET AE allelectric preform moulding machine and another H-MED AE model for medical moulding. The H-PET has been introduced to cater to the developing markets, where smaller volumes of outputs are common, and also for custom preform and bottle producers in niche markets. At the higher end of its machine offerings, MacDonald said Husky had improved its HyPET High Performance Package (HPP). “We’ve KraussMaffei’s cleanroom solution was producing made improvements to 15 items on syringe barrels the machine, allowing for a higher productivity and energy savings,” he added. Austria-based Engel had three all-electric displays, with a specially optimised closure/cap machine. The e-cap was using a 96-cavity mould from Schöttli to produce 130,000 caps/hour in a cycle time of 2.7 seconds. The short cycle time, made possible by a new injection unit, increased ejector force and a reinforced clamping drive, was previously unattainable on an electric machine and the new model uses 12% lower energy than a hydraulic, said the manufacturer. The Emotion 1340/280 T, meanwhile, was shown producing 16,000 petri dishes/hour using an 8+8-cavity mould from Plastisud in a cycle time of 3.7 seconds, boasting 25% higher productivity and 70% lower energy, compared to hydraulics. Another Emotion was demonstrating the production of a ready-to-fill tube including a PP cap on a four-cavity mould in a cycle time of 12.5 seconds. Production relies on a rotary cube and a second travelling unit on the
All-electric and hybrid trends Exhibiting for the first time since the merger of the injection moulding machine activities of Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) with Demag Plastics Group in 2008, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery, said the K show was a success. Its orders were 20% higher than K2007 and 40% of the orders were for all-electrics, according to Christian Renners, General Manager Business Unit Sales. Furthermore, in the light of incoming orders more than doubling compared to 2009, CEO Tetsuya Okamura said the company is well prepared and all set up for 2011 and 2012. Sumitomo Demag says that even though Europeans are buying fewer electric machines, compared to Americans or Asians, it has still noted a clear trend towards electric machines
The Japanese/German company is looking at providing a common platform for its IntElect and SE all-electrics, based on the Japanese platform, and maintaining its Systec hydraulic and El-Exis hybrid based on the Demag platform. Arburg, which displayed ten exhibits with a focus on allelectrics and hybrids, says it received several definite orders. Its exhibits included the complex production of a rotary encoder in a three-component process; the Arburg bag with its paper bag look; the use of a six-axis robotic system for the flexible encapsulation of cables for the automotive industry; the manufacture of micro components, syringe barrels for medical technology and tubs for the packaging sector using the in-mould labelling technique. Meanwhile, another German supplier KraussMaffei claims it is the only one to offer the pharmaceutical and medical sectors an all-electric machine that complies fully with the GMP Class A standards. Its EX 160-750 Cleanform machine was shown producing syringe barrels under sterile conditions, using a 48-cavity mould and a six-axis KR16 robot. The robot is inside the cleanroom; suction removal of the parts and belt-free drives help to ensure that cleanroom conditions are maintained. Only the robot’s grippers come into direct contact with the product. At the exhibition, the robot passed the moulded part, in a staged drop situation, which represents the separation, packaging and sealing processes. This means that 1
I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 0
Polymers. It has also been expanding its footprint in the Asia Pacific region, in Yokohama, Japan, and Shanghai, China, with a total of US$6 million invested in customer support and technical services, said MacDonald. “We were not that affected by the difficult times and have come through these times with a focus on a brighter outlook,” he added. As for Engel’s business, Head of Marketing and Sales Gerd Liebig, pointed out that 2009 was a difficult year for the privately owned company with sales down 50% for new machinery, compared to the record year of 2008. “Our turnover was EUR590 million in 2008 and it went down to EUR358 million but we estimate a turnover of EUR570 million this year,” he said, adding that the company had EUR640 million worth of incoming orders. “Yes, it is back to the boom levels,” he said in a jubilant note, reinforcing the general upward trend of the industry. Banking on growth to come from the automotive sector, the company will double its Shanghai facility, which makes mainly large machines, by March 2011. Its other facility in South Korea has full capacity and will produce around 400 machines this year. The Shanghai facility will produce 130 machines. “With the expansion, we expect to produce 200 machines a year in Shanghai,” said Liebig, adding that previously the company’s focus was on serving international customers and now it had a new approach that included selling to Chinese customers, too. “There is a clear trend in China, with the low technology segment becoming smaller and the commodity segment increasing in size and with more specialisation in machines,” Liebig said, adding that biggest improvement in its market share had come from Asia and it had increased from 1% in 2005 to 10% this year. Another company leaning towards the Asian market is KraussMaffei. CEO Dietmar Straub said that 40% of the orders this year had come from emerging markets. Overall, he painted a rosy picture stating that the company’s order books were full, especially in the automotive market. Meanwhile, Netstal has managed to emerge from the crisis unscathed due to its strategy of catering to specific markets, said CEO Bernhard Merki. “We have a fairly diversified machine range for specific market segments like caps/ closures, thinwall packaging, PET preforms, medical devices and high-precision parts,” he said, adding that the company was looking closely at growth in Asia. Chinese machinery maker Haitian said its sales skyrocketed by 135%, in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, due to higher sales from Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. Its net profit was up 311% in the first six months, compared to 2009. In the domestic market, Haitian’s sales in the first half of 2010 were up by 135.7% over the first six months of the previous year, with an impressive 153% higher export sales.
moving mould fixing platen. The tubes are produced in the first cycle and the cap injected in the second in a single operation, compared to the conventional process that requires injection moulding and extrusion. Engel says the part weight has been reduced by 40%, space requirements by a third and energy use cut by a half. Though Swiss company Netstal was not displaying a new model of its Elion all-electric machine, its focus was on higher speeds for its hybrids. Its Elion 1750-350 was moulding a PP medical closure under cleanroom conditions in a 96-cavity Schöttli mould and a cycle time of 7 seconds. The faster speeds were from the hybrid Elion 2800-2000 running a six-cavity Glaroform flowerpot mould in a cycle time of 2 seconds while the 2200-2000 hybrid had a Corvaglia 64-cavity mould for HDPE closures moulding these in a cycle time of 2.1 seconds. These machines were paired with Netstal’s brand new Axos control with freely programmable sequencing, allowing for the faster speeds. Chinese machinery supplier Haitian International’s subsidiary Zhafir Plastics Machinery showed the Mercury for the first time in Europe. A feature is that the tie bars become side plates to offer 70% larger mould area. Manufactured in Zhafir’s German factory, the Mercury will be available next year in Europe in clamping forces of 55, 100 and 150 tonnes. A 150 tonne model has been in use since September at packaging specialist SIM’s facility in France. Zhafir also showed a Venus all-electric model that is priced similar to a European hydraulic machine. Asian sales drive up growth Many companies were expressing positive sentiments including Arburg, which says it will achieve the turnover it had in 2008 and 50% higher demand compared to last year. According to Sales Director Helmut Heinson, this year the best sales were from Asia, driven by demand for its Global Edition and hybrid Hidrive machines. “The sales came from not only China but also from Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” he told PRA. Its plant in Chennai, India, on track to start up next year, Husky is ready to meet the market demands, said MacDonald. Such is the interest from India that the exhibited H-PET AE had been sold to Pondicherry-based closure maker Swashthik
Taiwanese machine makers blow their trumpets too Taoyuan-based Multiplas had sold its displayed vertical models to Turkish and Russian customers, said General Manager David Wu. “This year has been good for the
Arburg claims it received several definite orders at the show
3 INJECTION MOULDING ASIA • DECEMBER 2010
Aki Wu. Also on display was the SCD-ES dryer, specifically designed for engineering resins it combines dehumidifying, drying and two-stage conveying into a single unit. The Taipei-based company also launched its three axes servodriven robot (telescopic type), which Wu says is suitable for moulders operating low-ceiling facilities. Two models (ST3-700-1400T, ST3-900-1600T) are available for use with machines with clamping forces from 100-300 tonnes. “The robot is able to place and take out products from moulds and can also be co-located with a special clamp for plug-in tasks. With friendly features of running quickly and accurately, it is the best choice for hot runner and mould plate users,” claimed Wu. Canadian hot runner specialist Mold-Masters, meanwhile, introduced its M series temperature controller, which is a result of its acquisition of UK-based controller manufacturer PMS. A benefit of the plug and play system, which does not require any external service, is that it is able to expand with the changing requirements of the moulder. It also showed its mobile auxiliary injection unit for multi-material/colour applications. The all-electric, servomotor-driven and mould-mounted E-Multi allows moulders to maximise performance, reduce costs and enter new markets, says the company. It also displayed the Sprint VG all-electric valve gate system for caps and closures. It comes with the new E-Drive system for exact pin position; on-the-fly adjustment of the pin position; and, equal movement of all valve pins via the servodriven synchro plate system.U
company. We sold more than 200 of our 200 tonnage machines to Foxconn for producing the Apple 3G phone. We have also sold 100 of our 160-tonne machines to Chinese customers making LED frames,” he told PRA. Another Taiwanese injection press maker Huarong was showing a 300-tonne servohydraulic IML machine. “This machine uses a servomotor to drive the pump instead of AC motors. Since there is no idling up to 70% energy savings are possible,” said Ben Suen from the Canadian office, adding that the machine comes in clamping forces of up to 900 tonnes. Specifically designed for IML moulding of pails, Huarong introduced it to the American market three years ago. “We have sold quite a number in the Middle East. In India, we have sold 100 machines over the last three years,” said Suen, adding that the main parts of the machine were from Taiwan. Getting into the green field At its booth, Husky showed the most number of machines it has displayed at a K. A highlight was the HyPET RF machine for processing recycled PET or rPET. Based on the prototype introduced last year, the exhibited model is now able to process 100% PCR for preform moulding, compared to the earlier model that could only process 50% PCR. Enhancements include an extruder design for improved processing of pellet and flake blends, two shooting pots as well as in-line continuous melt filtration for material homogeneity and to eliminate non-meltable contaminants for bottle quality. These features allow manufacturers not currently using rPET to introduce this material into their products. For those already using rPET, this can eliminate some of the current manufacturing and quality challenges while enabling an increase in flake content, says Husky. US-based Trexel announced its license for Ono Sangyo’s Rapid Heat Cycle Moulding (RHCM) technology. Trexel also offers Matusi’s RHCM Steam Jet heat/cold mould system. Ono Sangyo has developed a global patent portfolio for RHCM applications, also known in Europe and the US as Veriotherm moulding. At its R&D facility in Japan, the company says it has done extensive work using RHCM on foamed moulded parts and has found that it can produce high quality gloss surfaces similar to solid moulding, something not possible with the MuCell process previously. Trexel says the combination of the two technologies will be particularly useful for applications involving bioplastics, allowing for reduced cycle time, dimensional stability and lightweighting. RHCM was cross-licensed in 2001 with GE (General Electric) and was known as Heat & Cool.
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Auxiliaries for IMMs Energy-saving and environmental-friendly – these were the phrases used to describe Taiwanese auxiliary equipment supplier Shini’s products on display at its booth. “In view of the ban on R22 refrigerant, we have developed chillers that use R410A,” said General Manager 4
INJECTION MOULDING ASIA • DECEMBER 2010
AUTOMOTIVE Bayer MaterialScicene also showed a new tailgate design. Unlike the conventional design involving a metal carrier and a glass window inserted in it, the prototype involves plastic/metal hybrid technology. The single part is integrated with a back light, with a seamless outer skin consisting of coated Makrolon PC, which is reinforced with ribs. Strips of sheet metal are inserted in the grooves between the ribs and bonded with an elastic adhesive, which evens out heat expansion differences between the metal and the amorphous plastic. The reinforcements can be positioned exactly and, the company says, only a few metal inserts are required to achieve a high level of stiffness. Non-transparent areas are either back-printed or back-injected with a black frame material using twocomponent injection moulding. The company says besides the weight saving of up to 40%, the integration of functions cuts costs
Technologies promote all-round reductions New automotive technologies shown at the K are aimed at reducing processing costs and the weight of vehicles, as well as keeping to the sustainable theme. What better way to show the use of materials on multiple applications than to bring the product to the show? Sabic Innovative Plastics did just that when it showcased Chery Automobile’s soon to be launched A3CC sports coupe at its booth. Chery is the first Chinese OEM to use Sabic’s Noryl GTX resin for a massproduced fender, replacing steel and cutting weight by 50%. The resin can also be painted on-line along with the metal Body-In-White (BIW), doing away with secondary operations. The The stylish Chinese-made car that uses Sabic’s fuel filler doors are resins also made from the resin. Traditionally, moulded and painted by the component supplier, now colour mismatches can be avoided. Other components like the front and rear energy absorbers are made from Sabic’s Xenoy resin and an under-tray is moulded from Stamax long glass-filled polypropylene (LGFPP) compound, meeting European standards. For weight reduction, Bayer MaterialScience was promoting a customised polycarbonate developed for low-beam and full-beam headlights and fibre optics for daytime running lights in the front headlamps of the new Audi A8. Developed in collaboration with Audi and Hella, the ten plastic lenses used in the headlamp are made from Makrolon LED 2245, which offers high transmission for long light paths, high thermal resistance and yellowing stability to LED light. Weighing 50% lighter, the headlamps are expected to be particularly attractive to manufacturers of electric vehicles. The rectangular, slightly curved headlamps are 4 cm long, 2 cm wide and 1 cm thick. A hybrid configuration of a brake pedal developed by Germany-based Trelleborg Automotive is said to offer cost savings and lightweighting. The design combines metal with glass fibre-reinforced plastic, which is overmoulded using a water injection technique to create a tubular body,
with final assembly in a single step. The part realises weight savings of up to 50%, compared to metal brake pedals that also require stamping and welding operations. Organic sheet hybrid technology Another new hybrid technology for the automotive sector involves preforming and overmoulding resin-impregnated continuous-fibre sheets instead of overmoulding preformed metal sheets to add on ribs and other structures. By replacing metals, it shortens the process and reduces component weight. Lanxess displayed the front end of the Audi A8, produced by Magna Decoma Exterior System using organic sheets and aluminium, allowing for 20% lower weight. The semi-finished sheet is preformed, then inserted in a mould along with three aluminium sheets and overmoulded with reinforcements and ribbing with Lanxess’s 30% glass fibre-reinforced PA6. Another German supplier BASF showcased an all-plastic seat back, developed in cooperation with France-based Faurecia, replacing the existing metal structure. The one-piece part minimises foam and trim, weighs 20% less and is 30 mm thinner. Layers of continuous fibre-reinforced sheets from US company Performance Materials are overmoulded with a new 35% glass fibre PA6 grade from BASF in a second step. Meanwhile, machinery suppliers Engel and KraussMaffei both showed the process using composite sheets from German company Bond-Laminates. KraussMaffei used a 300 tonne CX injection moulding compounder and a KM Berstorff twin-screw compounder for the process. BASF showed an all-plastic seat back developed from the new organic hybrid sheet technology
5 INJECTION MOULDING ASIA • DECEMBER 2010
AUTOMOTIVE Engel was demonstrating the production of a steering column made of 40% glass-filled PA and reinforced with a four-layer organic sheet in a process it calls Organomelt. The manufacturing cell comprised a 500tonne machine and three robots. The sheet is preheated and preformed with nylon injected over it and after that it is laser trimmed. Engel says the technology can also be used to make frame components for panoramic roofs and for reinforcing functional modules for doors and hatches. Sustainable solutions The downsizing of engines to meet fuel economy and CO2 reduction while still delivering engine performance is leading to hotter temperatures; harsher chemicals; and, tighter under-the-hood constraints. Since metals are not a long-term and sustainable answer, US supplier DuPont Performance Polymers has introduced Zytel PLUS nylon for transmissions and exhaust systems. The company says it has tests to prove that whether exposed to calcium chloride or to 3,000 or more hours of hot air, hot oil, water, and long-life coolant the nylon outperforms traditional ones. This can allow the automotive industry to more than double the lifetime of certain engine parts, compared to those made of standard, heat-stabilised nylon. In another example of sustainability, DuPont worked with German Takata Petri to introduce a new grade of Hytrel RS, said to be the industryâ€™s first renewablysourced thermoplastic elastomer, for use in airbag systems. Previously, Takata was using a petroleumbased Hytrel for the airbag. The airbag covers that are moulded from DuPontâ€™s Hytrel RS comply with the standard requirements such as paint adhesion, longterm ageing performance, and low temperature ductility
The new grade is based on a thermoplastic etherester elastomer (TPC-ET) with hard segments of PBT and soft segments that contain a polyether derived from non-food biomass. The compound used in the airbags has 35% by weight of bio-content. The company says it replicates the technical properties of standard grades, including consistent physical properties over a wide range of temperatures. Furthermore, based on an internal cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment, DuPont says the grade has a smaller environmental footprint, compared to a petroleum-based TPC-ET. U
Medical technology receives shot in the arm Speakers at the inaugural MEDTEC Southeast Asia exhibition and conference, held in Singapore from 1-2 December, spoke about the growth of the medical technology sector in the region and new plastics technologies. While Joshi painted a rosy picture of the Malaysian sector, another speaker Dennis Meseroll from management consulting company Tractus Asia said that Thailand is lagging behind. The country imported 75% of its devices (worth US$330 million) in 2009, with only disposable and consumable items made in the country, said Meseroll. But with the government offering tax rebates and incentives on import duties, Meseroll expects the industry to attract OEMs, like it has done in the neighbouring countries. Attended by 100 participants, other sessions of the conference focused on biological safety programmes that comply with global requirements; metal injection moulding and the machining of PEEK material for medical applications. There is further potential of growth for medical devices in Asia, according to Peter Baldwin, Director of research firm Intercedent Asia, who presented a paper titled “ASEAN’s new competitive paradigm: Investment trends and health market potential in Southeast Asia to 2015”. When it comes to healthcare, Japan is a big spender (US$18 billion) while China (US$6.2 billion) has a long way to go, compared to the global market of US$230 billion. “Medical product sales in the Asian market account for only 14%, though the region has 47% of the world’s population,” he added.
OEMs expand footprint in Asia The keynote presenter at the conference, Beh Kian Teik, Director of the Biomedical Sciences Group at Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) said that the growth of the medical devices market is driven by leading OEMs who have set up operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. “The medical technology sector in Singapore was valued at S$1.5 billion in 2000 and in 2009 had doubled to S$3 billion,” he added. “As this growth continues, suppliers can be confident that the influx of new device manufacturers into Southeast Asia will continue to provide new business opportunities,” he said. Hitrendra Joshi, Secretary of the Association of Malaysian Medical Industries, said that most of the players in the Malaysian industry were export oriented
Across the border, in Malaysia, the industry was worth US$2.8 billion in 2009, said Hitendra Joshi, Secretary of the Association of Malaysia Medical Industries (AMMI), adding that it represented 1.6% of the global market. The 8.5% growth over three years from 2006-2009, could have been better if not for companies expanding their operations, he said. “There are currently 180 small to large players in the country, in the Penang, Kedah, Perak and Klang Valley cluster,” said Joshi, who is also the Asia Pacific General Manager of B Braun Medical Industries. Calling it a “low volume, high value” industry, Joshi says that 85% of the output is exported to the US, Japan and Europe. But R&D still has to catch up with Singapore. “Though only US$10 million has been invested so far, established companies are beginning to see the importance of localising R&D operations. We see a slow and steady trend for this,” he added. Another area the country is behind is in regulatory standards. “Mandatory regulations are expected to start next year,” he added. Malaysia supplies 80% of the world’s market for catheters and 60% for medical gloves. The country also produces safety intravenous cannula and needles, orthopedic products, medical electrodes, dialysis machines and contact lenses.
New plastics technologies In view of the megatrend and sustainability theme, German chemicals company BASF South East Asia is looking at adding on recyclable/biodegradable materials to its portfolio of medical plastics, said Masayuki Sakai, Technical Marketing Manager of Healthcare & Diagnostics. In its portfolio of medical plastics is Terlux MAB (methyl methacrylate acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer, which can be used to substitute PC. “Many companies in the US are making the transition from PC to MABS, especially for transparent parts. It is easy to process, able to be sterilised and impact resistant.” The company, though, does not supply its plastics for the manufacture of implants. “We like to be on the safe side and it is too risky to work with small volumes,” explained Sakai, adding that BASF’s facilities were set up to cater to large volumes. Dutch company Purac, meanwhile, supplies its biodegradable lactide-based polymers, like PLA and lactide/ glycolide co-polymer (PGLA), for resorbable implants. “The material has been used for surgical sutures for almost 35 years,” said Marketing Manager, Lynn Yap, adding that it 7
I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 0
is approved in accordance to biocompatibility testing. Processing of the polymer is a challenge, though. “The biggest enemy is the molecular weight and the IV drop needs to be monitored at every stage of processing,” she added. In Asia, a common use for lactide polymers is for spine fusion cages and cardiovascular devices, she said, adding that previously PEEK had been used for these products. “The resorption period can range from a week to two years, depending on the molecular weight, crystallinity and hydrophility,” she explained. Semicrystalline PLLA polymer (resulting from polymerisation of L-lactide) can be used for load bearing parts, where other lactides are unable to do so, and the resorption period is shorter. Polycaprolactone (PCL) – a co-polymer of caprolactam and lactide – a fairly new material that is catching up in the US, is mainly used for sutures and drug delivery products, said Yap. “It is quite a challenge to market these polymers in Asia, where the take up rate is slow,” she said, adding that surgeons wanted materials that have mechanical strength over a short span of time. Exhibition complements conference Held alongside the conference, was an exhibition that was visited by around 550 medical device professionals over the two days. Exhibitors included Singapore Precision Engineering & Tooling Association (SPETA); Ebel Industries (surface finishing, metal finishing, plating, electroplating); TUV Rheinland Singapore (independent testing and assessment services); Foamtec (technical foams); XP Power (medical device power supplies); Fischer-Tech (precision engineering plastic components); OSI Electronics (electronic manufacturing services); Prent (thermoformed medical packaging); Tessy Plastics (moulder) and Chiptronics (electronic manufacturing equipment and consumables). The organiser, UBM Canon, also organises MEDTEC shows in Europe, China, Japan and India. U
The exhibition was well received
INDUSTRYNEWS Lanxess to buy DSM’s EPDM business
ith the acquisition of Dutch company DSM Elastomers, Germany speciality chemicals company Lanxess says it will be able to strengthen its production technology for EPDM. The German company will buy DSM’s Keltan EPDM business and ACE technology for EUR310 million. The transaction is subject to approval from
antitrust authorities and is expected to close early 2011. DSM is in the process of implementing its ACE technology on a larger scale at its site in SittardGeleen, the Netherlands. In comparison to conventional processes, ACE reduces the energy and production costs for EPDM and at the same time broadens the application possibilities of
the rubber. While Lanxess says the transaction as an important step towards its goal of achieving EUR1.4 billion EBITDA in 2015, for DSM the elastomers business no longer fits in with its aim to be a focused life sciences and materials sciences company. Earlier this year, DSM sold its Sarlink Thermoplastic Elastomers unit to US-based Teknor Apex. DSM Elastomers has 420 employees worldwide and is expected to achieve sales of EUR380 million in 2010. Its Netherlands plant has a
New SSBR plant in Asia
o cater to the growing demand for solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR) in the Asian tyre market, Japanese Sumitomo Chemical will construct a 40,000 tonnes/year plant on Jurong Island, in Singapore. It will start commercial operation by 2013. The company says that in Asia, particularly in China, India and Thailand, tyre manufacturers are planning a succession of capacity expansions and
supply for SSBR is expected to grow in the short term. Apart from its geographic advantage, Singapore was selected because of the stable supply of the raw material butadiene, which is likely to be in tight supply in the future. Manufactured using a proprietary technology, Sumitomo says its SSBR undergoes polymer modification allowing for fuel-efficient and abrasionresistant tyre grades.
NEWS in brief
More butyl rubber in the region
xxonMobil Yugen Kaisha’s joint venture company with JSR Kabushiki Kaisha has completed a major expansion to increase butyl rubber capacity at its plant in Kawasaki, Japan. Japan Butyl’s expansion adds 18,000 tonnes/year capacity bringing the total to 98,000 tonnes/year. The plant uses a new proprietary technology that allows butyl polymerisation reaction, which normally occurs at -95°C to operate at -75°C, resulting in energy and capital investment savings. In 2006, ExxonMobil expanded halobutyl capacity at its Kashima plant by 17,000 tonnes/
year and two years later undertook a 60% expansion at its Texas plant. In other news, Russian petrochemicals giant Sibur says its plans to set up a butyl rubber plant in India are on track. “We have started negotiations with Reliance and these are now in the final stages,” said Dimitry Konov, President of the company, at the recent K show. He also said that an announcement will be made in a few months time. India is Sibur’s biggest market for butyl rubber and it cannot supply it from Russia due to the logistics, hence its plans to set up a plant there, said Konov.
capacity of 160,000 tonnes/ year and the one in Brazil, a capacity of 40,000 tonnes/ year. Lanxess, which produces EPDM under the Buna EP name, plans to base the headquarters of the combined EPDM businesses in the Netherlands. It produces EPDM in Germany and the US and has a total capacity of 120,000 tonnes/ year. The global rubber market for EPDM is expected to show single-digit percentage growth per annum in the next ten years, driven by rising demand in China and Brazil.
Cambodia to plant more rubber Cambodia farmers are also trying to cash in on the present situation as prices surged to more than US$4,000/tonne recently, and will be planting more rubber in the country. The country plants rubber on more 16,500 ha of land and produces 40,000 tonnes/ year of the commodity.
Yule Catto to purchase PolymerLatex UK-based conglomerate Yule Catto will purchase German polymer company PolymerLatex from TowerBrook Capital Partners for EUR443 million. Yule Catto also owns Malaysian supplier of emulsion polymers Synthomer and with this acquisition the combined turnover of the companies will be £800 million with a staff force of 2,000 people.
Hankook to build second Chinese plant South Korean Hankook Tire is looking at building its second plant in Chongqing, China, by 2015. The US$954 million plant will have a capacity for 11.5 million tyres/year. Currently, Hankook has five facilities worldwide with two in South Korea, two in China and one in Hungary. Capacity is being ramped up in Hungary to 17,000 tyres/day, in addition to the current 35,000 tyres/ day. This is expected to come on stream in 2011.
Sibur/Pirelli to develop Russian tyre market Sibur has signed an MOU with Italian tyre maker Pirelli and Russian Technologies to develop joint activities in Russia’s tyre sector and to supply synthetic rubber derivatives. The deal will close by June 2011. Pirelli and Russian Technologies will also build a factory for the production of steel cord, the metallic ribbon used in radial tyres, and giant tyres in Samara, in the special economic zone of Togliatti.
1 RUBBER JOURNAL ASIA • DECEMBER 2010
INDUSTRYNEWS US tyre market to introduce labelling
he improving economy; favourable taxation on tyre imports from China; and increasing environment consciousness have encouraged the US tyre market to pass legislation mandating lower rolling resistance and tyre labelling, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan. Titled â€œImpact of Trends in Tire Design on the Chemicals and Materials Market in North Americaâ€?, the report says that tyre materials such as rubbers and fillers will get a boost with the
as consumers prefer tyres that have better green efficiency and safety ratings. However these legislations, while proving beneficial for certain materials, have dampened the market prospects of other types of materials. Since lowering rolling resistance and improving wet grip has been the main objective, materials such as SSBR and silica are expected to be more popular compared to conventional materials like emulsion SBR and carbon black. Traditionally, rolling
move to introduce labels, while the rising demand for eco-friendly tyres will fuel innovation in the materials market. The new regulations demand greener tyres that are fuel efficient and have lower emissions. All the tyres will be rated according to their rolling resistance, wet grip and tyre wear, while in Europe, the noise generated is just as important as tyre wear in the US. Companies have to comply with at least three criteria in Europe, while in the US they have to ensure wear resistance,
Rubber project to keep Asian competition at bay
he SafeRubber project, which aims to develop a safe, multifunctional accelerator to replace thioureabased accelerators in the vulcanisation process of polychloroprene rubber, has received European Community funding. Generally, ethylene thiourea (ETU) is used as it produces the highest performance rubber cure system. However, ETU is inherently toxic and is classified as a Category 2 carcinogen by the EU, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Under the REACH directive, it will be classified as a CMR substance (carcinogenic/ mutagenic/toxic for reproduction), which will lead to it being banned or its use limited. In addition, since Asian countries do not
and effluent hazards, further reducing costs. Thirteen partners,
have to meet EU health and safety regulations and have a lower cost base, they are able to import more than EUR80 million/year of chloroprene rubber into Europe (total market is EUR240 million), thereby further reducing the competitiveness of small to medium enterprises (SMEs). The aim of the project is to implement an IP protectable method for producing polychloroprene rubber, thereby protecting small companies from the current dominance of large enterprises. By using a multi-functional accelerator, the project also hopes to reduce by 90% the use of MgO and ZnO, thereby allowing members to compete on cost with Asian suppliers. Finally, the aim is to reduce environmental impact 2
rubber journal ASIA â€˘ DECEMBER 2010
resistance has been reduced at the expense of wet grip. However, more advanced fillers such as silica have helped improve the rolling resistance and wet grip simultaneously, while SSBR with silica has reduced rolling resistance. In the tyre cord segment, polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) is expected to hold a steady share as it is quieter and stronger, while in the processing oil segment, the phasing out of aromatic oils in Europe is expected to provide an opportunity for oils such as naphthenic oil and, to a lesser extent, mild extract solvate oils. from six European countries, are participating in the research project and include associations, institutes and SMEs.
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