A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
contents 目 錄 R E G U L A R S 概要
4 Industry News 6 Material News 8 綠色環保材料新聞
Nissei ASB has introduced a new blow moulder to India
moulding – At the K2010 10 Blow trade show held in Germany last October, many suppliers were showing
all-electric blow moulders, while others focused on pushing the output levels. At the Plastivision, Indian blow moulding machine suppliers showcased new models, too
relationship 12 Customer marketing – This article by Bob
14 Mamata Machinery displayed a high-speed pouch maker at the Plastivision show
Wrighton focuses on using CRM to beat cost cutting measures
machinery & 14 Indian technology – A round-up of new technology on display at the Plastivision trade show held in Mumbai recently
Profile – 16 Corporate Strategising has been adhesives company Henkel’s winning formula to keep its market share intact and
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
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 Koh Bee Ling 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
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expanding, according to Jan-Dirk Auris,
Henkel’s regional headquarters in Shanghai
the Executive Vice-President of Adhesive Technologies
Supplement in this issue …… Reviewing the benefits of using high molecular weight NBR elastomer in soft printing rolls
In this issue of PRA, the focus is on Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) in the plastics industry, with the author offering strategies for a durable customer relationship. The cover depicts the benefits of a customer-centred approach to marketing over a product-centred approach PRA
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F E A T U R E S 焦點內容
Volume 26, No 179
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Companies increase high-tech plastics capacity in Asia
n 2010, the Asian consumption of PA and PBT compounds was over 900,000 tonnes, with China accounting for 50% of this. In the next five years the market in Asia is expected to grow at about 8% per annum and will be driven mainly by increased usage in the automotive sector. Based on this, German chemical company BASF is doubling its compounding capacity by an additional 65,000 tonnes/year at its Pudong site in China. Phase one of the expansion is expected to be completed by 2013 and the second phase by 2015.
At present, the company operates an engineering plastics compounding plant with a capacity of 45,000 tonnes/year. Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President of BASF’s engineering plastics unit in Asia Pacific said that in recent years, the company has developed new applications for Chinese customers, especially in the automotive and electrical/ electronics industries. In addition to this plant in Pudong, BASF has similar compounding facilities in Malaysia, South Korea and India. After the Pudong plant expansion, BASF’s total capacity in Asia will exceed
Propylene oxide plant in India
ith experts predicting a sharp rise in global demand for propylene oxide in the coming years, Evonik Industries and Indian chemical company Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) are driving forward plans for a new multi-million project, including a hydrogen peroxide production plant by Evonik and a propylene oxide facility by GACL. The aim is to produce propylene oxide using the environment-friendly HPPO (hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide) process developed jointly by Germany-based Evonik and Uhde. Evonik and GACL have signed an MOU on the proposed project in Dahej, Gujarat. The technology will be licensed to GACL while Evonik will supply the hydrogen peroxide required at an over-the-fence facility.
The model for the Indian alliance is the world’s first industrial-scale HPPO facility in Ulsan, South Korea. With a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/ year, the plant was started up in 2008 by South Korean company, SKC. Traditionally, hydrogen peroxide has been supplied to the paper and pulp industry and Evonik is the world’s second largest producer of the chemical with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year at facilities in Europe, US, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa and Indonesia. The companies say that the HPPO process has advantages compared with the conventional production for propylene oxide due to the environment-friendly nature and lower investment costs. High yields are achieved and there are no significant amounts of byproducts apart from water. Evonik is the only single-
200,000 tonnes/year. India is on course to become the third largest consumer market for hightech plastics after the US and China, driven by the automotive industry that is set to grow by more than 6% a year. Hence, another German company Lanxess is continuing the expansion of its production site in Jhagadia, Gujarat. The speciality chemicals group broke ground for the compounding facility that will have an initial capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year for PA and PBT and will commence in 2012. The investment of more than EUR10 million
will create 60 new jobs. Lanxess’s Jhagadia site has geographical advantages as it is located between two of India’s largest automotive hubs, Pune and New Delhi. Including the new compounding facilities, Lanxess has invested about EUR60 million in the 13 ha Jhagadia site. A new facility for ion exchange resins, as well as, a rubber chemicals plant both started up in 2010. Lanxess is also currently lifting capacities at its compounding plant in Wuxi, China, to approximately 60,000 tonnes/year by mid-2011.
source supplier of HPPO process technology, the necessary catalyst and the starting product, hydrogen peroxide. Propylene oxide produced by this process is
used in the manufacture of PU foams for insulation of refrigerators and buildings and for the automotive sector in seat cushioning, dashboards and bumpers.
Funding sets the pace for PET expansion
its earnings in 2010 and expects to do so again this year Octal uses a patented reactor-to-sheet process which, as its name implies, does away with the pelletising stage and allows for sheet production direct from the PET reactors. The company also produces PET polymers for moulding. The Salalah plant started up with a capacity of 180,000 tonnes of sheet and 150,000 tonnes of polymer in 2009 and the capacity was ramped up to a total of 400,000 tonnes last year. Already the world’s largest producer of PET sheet, the additional 527,000 tonnes capacity will make it the world’s largest producer of PET on a single site.
man-based PET producer Octal has received US$296 million funding for the next phase of its expansion, which will see the addition of 527,000 tonnes capacity by June 2012. The funding is being provided by a group of six Middle Eastern banks and will allow Octal to achieve its target of US$1.5 billion annual sales in 2012. Octal says that in less than five years, it has secured sales to more than 40 countries and set a target in early 2009 of US$500 million in annual exports. It doubled
News In Brief
US PC company gets a new name The 50:50 Styron/Sumitomo Chemical joint venture polycarbonate company is being renamed Sumika Styron Polycarbonate. Styron took over the 50% share that was formerly owned by Dow Chemical, following the latter’s divestiture of Styron to Bain Capital Partners last year. The Tokyobased company operates mainly in Asia. Distributor appointments in China US-based pigment supplier Plasticolors has appointed Shanghai Ji Jing Trading as its independent sales and distribution representative in China. A distributor of fine chemicals specialising in the paint, printing ink, composite and adhesive markets, Ji Jing has warehousing facilities in Shanghai and Guangdong. Meanwhile, Swedish TPE compounds supplier Elasto will use the services of Telko Shanghai to develop sales of its products in the Chinese market. The Finland-headquartered Telko, part of the Aspo Group, will market Elasto’s range of Dryflex TPEs based on SBS, SEBS, TPV and TPO materials. Asian expansion for laser welder German laser and welding equipment supplier LPKF Laser & Electronics has opened a sales and marketing office in Shanghai, China, and set up a subsidiary in Yokohama, Japan. The company has said it will have a 56% increase in sales for 2010. LPKF has also transferred its stake in its French subsidiary to local management that will focus on selling rapid prototyping equipment. LPKF Germany will take over the sales and marketing of laser systems in France and the Benelux countries.
Additives supplier expands to Europe South Korean additives supplier Songwon has selected Caldic as its distribution partner in France and the Benelux region. Caldic is a producer and distributor of chemicals in Europe and Asia and is active in the chemical, food products and technical materials markets. Anglo-Indian venture for chemicals UK-based Vertellus Specialties and Indian Vapi Products Industries have formed a joint venture that will manufacture and distribute speciality chemicals like sulphone monomers and derivatives alongside other key products, globally. Vertellus manufactures the chemicals, which are important intermediates for the production of polysulphone and polyethersulphone highperformance polymers, at its facility in Seal Sands, UK, and will continue to do so after the transaction. Largest Chinese chemical joint venture Ineos Phenol and Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical have set up a phenol/acetone joint venture at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province. The partnership will benefit from Sinopec’s local feedstock advantages and Ineos’s proprietary phenol technology. The annual capacity of the new facility will be 400,000 tonnes of phenol and 250,000 tonnes of acetone making it the largest plant of its kind in China. The facility will also include 550,000 tonnes/year of cumene capacity. The location of the plant in Nanjing places it at the centre of China’s strongest market for both phenol and acetone. It is currently expected that the project will be completed by the end of 2013.
Packaging takes the lead With bioplastics becoming a trend in the market, more research is being conducted. A recent study says that the packaging market globally will be driven by a new breed of bioplastics, and Asia, especially Japan, will take up a lionâ€™s share of the growth. PHA and bio-derived PE to drive packaging The global bioplastic packaging demand is forecast to reach 884,000 tonnes by 2020. A 24.9% CAGR is expected from 2010-15 slowing to 18.3% in the five years to 2020. This is according to a new study by Pira International, which also says that a new breed of bioplastics will be major drivers as the packaging market demand gradually shifts from biodegradable and compostable polymers towards biopackaging based on renewable and sustainable materials. Titled â€œThe Future of Bioplastics for Packaging to 2020: Global Market Forecastsâ€?, the report analyses key opportunities and future trends shaping the industry, providing raw material suppliers, processors and equipment suppliers with ten year forecasts. It also identifies about 50 suppliers of biopolymers for packaging and presents technology and market forecasts to 2020 for bioplastic packaging by product type, end-use sector, pack type and geographic region. Bioplastic materials are defined in the report as materials that are either biodegradable and compostable and derived from both renewable and non-renewable sources, or materials that are non-biodegradable and derived from renewable resources. From 2010, bioplastic technology is expected to change with the commercialisation of bioplastics produced FIGURE E.1 Global bioplastic packaging market by product type, 2010 (%)
WSP Bio-derived 13.6% PE 0.3%
Starch 22.2% Cellulose 8.5%
Moulded fibre 4.8% Note: AAC (aliphatic and aromatic co-polyesters); PLA (polylactic acid); PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate); WSP (water-soluble polymers) Source: Pira International PLA 42.5%
directly by natural/genetically modified (GM) organisms and the introduction of non-biodegradable, bio-derived polyethylene (PE). Pira expects these materials will account for a quarter of total bioplastic packaging market demand by 2020. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are forecast to achieve a CAGR of 41% and bio-derived PE a staggering 83% over the period. Traditional bioplastic packaging technologies based on starch, cellulose and polyester are each forecast to show a decline in market share to 2020. Bioplastic packaging is a highly concentrated market with the top five suppliers currently accounting for over 50% of bioplastic packaging market demand. Pira predicts major changes among the leading ranks of bioplastic packaging suppliers over the next five to ten years. Large petrochemical companies including Braskem, Dow Chemicals and Solvay are scheduled to commence bio-derived PE production by 2012 at industrial-scale facilities in Brazil. These companies are expected to be propelled into the top rank of bioplastic producers over the next five years. Telles, the joint venture PHA producer, is also expected to become a major world player. Several Chinese companies are known to be investing in significant capacity expansion programmes that should propel them into leading market positions. According to the study, major new technologies will emerge over the next ten years. US bioplastics producer Cereplast, for example, has introduced a range of allnatural algae-based resins. Also, several companies are exploring the development of bioplastics using carbon dioxide as a raw material. The potential for a process that converts waste carbon dioxide into a useful product is huge, but whether the material produced using this technique will prove commercially viable will ultimately depend on whether these new polymers are cost effective to produce. A new sugar-based bioplastic that can be sourced from non-food crops and produced via a low energy process is also tipped to reach the market within the next five years. Rigid packaging had a projected share of 52% of the bioplastic packaging market in 2010 according to Pira, with flexible packaging accounting for the remaining 48%. Retail and food service trays and containers are the largest single pack type for bioplastic packaging, followed by flexible film. Pira expects flexible packaging to take a growing share of the bioplastic packaging market over the next five to ten years. It says the demand will be driven by the commercialisation of bio-derived PE and PHA and the wider availability and improved properties for biaxially oriented PLA (BOPLA) film. Europe is the largest regional market for bioplastic packaging with over half of world tonnage in 2010. It benefits from favourable consumer and retail attitudes to sustainable packaging, supportive government policies towards packaging waste recycling and a well-developed
GREEN MATERIALS NEWS
composting infrastructure. Whilst the US currently trails behind Europe in terms of bioplastic packaging consumption, government and consumer attitudes are changing. Pira expects the US and Asia to show higher growth rates, than Europe, for bioplastic packaging over the forecast period. Japan accounts for the lion’s share of Asian bioplastic packaging, mostly as a result of favourable government initiatives supporting bioplastic market development. Bio-derived PET and closed loop recycling system What is claimed as the world’s first commercially produced bio-derived PET fibre has been introduced by Teijin Fibers. It will start up commercial production in Japan in 2012. EcoCircle PlantFiber is being introduced as both a fibre and a textile and the company says it expects to sell 30,000 tonnes in the first year, upping it to 70,000 tonnes by the third business year. It is targeted at applications ranging from apparel, car seats and interiors to personal hygiene products. Compared to conventional PET, which is made by polymerising 30% ethylene glycol (EG) with dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), EcoCircle PlantFiber is made from 30% bio-derived material like sugar cane. Furthermore, the new product is integrated with Teijin Fibers’s EcoCircle closed-loop polyester recycling system where DMT is produced from reclaimed polyester garments, at a purity and quality comparable to material derived from petroleum, says the company. Thus, it avoids the quality degradation that has been an issue of conventional recycling. As well, compared to manufacturing oil-based polyester materials, Teijin says it is possible to reduce both energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 80%. Besides garment fabric, the EcoCircle system is also able to reclaim bottles and PET film. In 2004, the company also extended it to developmental processes for reclaiming PC and PLA. For PC, the process is said to give a recycling rate of 96% for bisphenol-A, with reductions in impurities, energy consumption and cost compared with the conventional distillation recycling process. When applied to PLA, the technology uses water alone as a reactor and requires no catalysts or other additives. Normally, PLA is produced from L-lactic acid. Teijin says that if the optical isomer, D-lactic acid – a by-product of the recycling process – is mixed in, the physical properties of the polymer deteriorate. Teijin says its technology facilitates the recovery of almost 100% of the L-lactic acid and essentially prevents the production of D-lactic acid. The company also adds that production of recycled PLA using this technology uses over 33% less energy than production using plant matter. Teijin says it is also close to commercialising a system for reclaiming the difficult to recycle carbon fibres. The yeast way to bioplastics In more news on sustainable plastics, a US-based professor of chemical and biological science has developed a method for producing a strong, highly ductile bioplastic using yeast and one of nature’s simplest building blocks, fatty acids of plant oils.
Richard Gross has devised a new way to produce these monomers by using a genetically modified strain of Candida tropicalis, one of the many types of yeast that live harmlessly in humans and animals. The engineered yeast is capable of converting fatty acids of plant oils into large quantities of omega-hydroxyfatty acids. When polymerised, the new material may be a suitable substitute for oil-derived plastics such as PE for uses such as disposable gloves and multi-layer food packaging films. Furthermore, the new bioplastic is highly resistant to moisture, which is an important improvement over bioplastics like PLA and starch-based plastics. The above findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society recently. Gross’s company, SyntheZyme, was tapped by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop this bioplastic. The material was originally intended to serve a dual purpose: as packaging material in the solid state and as a biodiesel for military engines after being broken back down or de-polymerised to monomer units. The material development and performance in the solid state has been successfully completed; research into converting the plastic to diesel is currently under way. SyntheZyme is a member of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy, a newbusiness accelerator for clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York. Based in the first New York City-sponsored business incubator, NYC ACRE is operated by NYU-Poly and receives support from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Almonds take to plastics The Spanish Toy Research Institute, or AIJU, has developed a plastic (PE) compound made from almond shells. The end result is a material with a wood-like appearance. The institute says the material has better properties than non-reinforced plastics, with better tensile, bending, hardness, density and temperature resistances increase in reference to PE without the additive. The viscosity at non-elevated temperatures increases as well, says AIJU. The obtained formulations can be transformed by injection processes in a similar way to non-compound materials, although the pellets must go through a drying process to eliminate the absorbed moisture in the shell before the transformation and the temperature must not exceed 220ºC in the process to avoid the almond shell decomposition. In parallel, AIJU is developing a new material with almond shell for transformation in Rapid Manufacturing processes. Test specimens have been successfully sinterised for their characterisation and the enhancement of the recycling characteristics are being worked on as they lose properties and must be rejected after several uses in the process without being sinterised. AIJU is a non-profit organisation, located in Ibi, the geographic centre for the manufacture of toys in Spain. It was founded in 1985 in collaboration with the Spanish Toy Manufacturers Association (AEFJ) and the SMI Institute in Valencia (IMPIVA). ◆
Blow Moulding Machinery
Electric blow moulders pick up steam At the K2010 show held in Germany last October, many suppliers were showing allelectric blow moulders, reaffirming the stand that these machines are here to stay, just like how all-electrics have been injected into injection moulding machinery. Other suppliers focused on pushing the output levels. All-electric extrusion/injection blow moulders Germany-based Uniloy Milacron was showing an allelectric double-station extrusion blow moulding machine UMS 12E.D. It was shown producing 220 ml HDPE cosmetic bottles in a 5-second cycle and 2,130 bottles/ hour. If the same product were to run on a hydraulic version, it would consume 42 kW, compared to the new model’s 25 kW, thereby resulting in 40% savings. The actual power consumption, which refers to the installed power for machine and extruder drives and heating of 171 kW, was measured by an independent company NHM Elektrotechnik. Uniloy Milacron said the display model had been sold to German HPT Hochwertige Pharmatechnik. With this order, it has sold seven machines to date, with this being its third all-electric machine of that size. Applications vary from cosmetic to pesticide co-extruded bottles, including 5 l UN-approved containers. It will add on higher clamping, from 16-24 tonnes, to the current range of 4, 8 and 12 tonnes. Meanwhile, sister company Uniloy Milacron Italy introduced its all-electric UMA12 SeCo2 EnergiaZero for producing two-component 3D automotive air ducts for turbocharged engines. The twin-parison 12-tonne machine comes in a tiebarless configuration, and in spite of the small platens, it can accommodate long moulds exceeding the platen height. The open/close movement is driven by a servomotor through a toggle, resulting in low power use. All-electric injectors, from sister company Ferromatik Milacron, are used for the first time in a blow moulder, with both the screw rotation and the push-out sequence actuated by electric servomotors through timing belts, also reducing the noise, compared to hydraulic and hybrid versions. The improved control provided by the servomotor drive, together with the short flow path “V” configuration, is said to allow for precise material boundary placement. The patented sequential co-extrusion head is developed by W. Müller and incorporates the new Radial Parison Variation device (RPV) for asymmetrical control of the
parison thickness. This makes it possible to compensate for the different stretching ratio between inner and outer side of the sides of bends in the air ducts. It is the first head of this type to be provided with electric servomotors. Having launched its first electric blow moulder at the previous K, Bekum has further developed its EBlow x07D single/double-station series to feature platen widths of 350-700 mm and a clamping force of 8 to 24 tonnes. The clamping unit that has been newly developed by the Berlin-based company is also available for its hydraulic series. The construction is based on electric drives at the main axis of the machine. The hybrid drive for the closing system was developed together with Bosch-Rexroth. A hydraulic transmission is placed between the electric drive and linear axis and it serves to convert rotary into linear motion. This facilitates an intelligent switching between speed and power strokes, thus reducing the load on the drive and ball screw sides. The all-electric six-layer blow moulding machine from Jih Huang
From Taiwan, Jih Huang Machinery Industrial showed an all-electric EBMC series for producing six-layer bottles. The dual parison, double-station machine has a dry cycle time of 2.2 seconds, according to spokesperson Henry Song. The clamping device adopts a patented two-point toggle mechanism to obtain optimum toggle pin through motion analysis simulation. The machine runs on AC servomotors during blow moulding and once the mould is closed, power use is zero until the next movement, thus allowing for 30% power savings. Song said that the company had sold ten such models for the production of four to six-layer bottles to Taiwanese and Brazilian customers. Claiming that it was the first company in Taiwan to introduce electric blow moulders in 2002, Jih Huang’s machines were CEcertified in 2009.
Blow Moulding Machinery
Italian supplier Plastimac unveiled its all-electric Plastiblow PB5E/DL. The double-station moulder comes with an 80 mm horizontal extruder and a smaller vertical extruder for producing 5 l jerry cans with a view stripe. The improved head design allows for precise parison control and rapid colour change. The bottle control unit allows faulty containers to be rejected while a recovery line conveys the material to be recycled to a grinder. In injection blow moulding, from the US, Jomar on display a 85S hybrid model paired with an electric screw drive and hydraulic accumulator for a low 30 hp motor. Thus, energy use is reduced by up to 50%, compared to a standard hydraulic machine. It produced 4 oz clarified PP medical bottles in ten cavities at 3,500/hour at the show. The other injection blow moulder, Model 20, is for producing small bottles from commodity resins like LDPE in six to eight cavities or 50 ml bottles in four cavities using engineering resins. Another injection blow specialist MBM Maschinenbau Muhldorf showed off its second generation all-electric Unimax 50FE-EcoSpeed. The 50-tonne model is said to be 20% more energy efficient than its predecessor. Upping the limit on output Other suppliers showed machines that were promoting higher output. Japanese Nissei ASB introduced the HSB-6M reheat stretch blow moulder for producing 6,000 wide mouth hot-fill PET jars/hour. It incorporates the company’s double blow process, which has been successfully used in Asia for more than 15 years. The preform is first blown, then shrunk and re-blown. Italian company Sacmi introduced its SBF (stretch blow forming) technology with 12 models shown with 6-30 blowing stations and a dual-cavity mould capable of producing two 0.5 l bottles or one 1.5-2 l bottle, with a quick changeover system. The electro-mechanically controlled stretching rod allows for flexible speed, regardless of the machine speed. Meanwhile, the brushless electric motor, which supplies power to the stretching rod, permits a high speed machine that is able to blow bottles of different formats. Another Italian company Sipa launched a rotary stretch blow moulder said to offer increased production flexibility for different size containers. The smallest version in the series, the SFR6 EVO, has six cavities and is able to produce up to 13,800 bottles/hour.
Indian take on blow moulding machines At the recent Plastivision trade show in Mumbai (pg 14), Japanese machinery maker Nissei ASB Machine was showing the 650 EXHD injection stretch blow moulder producing 5 gallon polycarbonate (PC) water bottles. The machine is able to mould up to 20 l PET or PC bottles and with the two-cavity mould plus two screws has an output of up to 100 bottles/hour. The Japanese-made machine was shown for the first time in India, according to KK Agrawal, DGM of Sales & Marketing. “We hope to produce this machine at our Mumbai facility in the future,” he said. The Mumbai facility was set up in 2000 to take advantage of the country’s low cost of manufacturing, with a majority of the output exported to the company’s headquarters in Nagano for distribution to customers around the world, said Agrawal. But now with the Indian plant accounting for about 35% of the company’s sales, it warrants an expansion, he added. An investment of US$22 million is being pumped to double the size and boost production capability by more than 50%, he said. Agrawal is optimistic about future growth since PET use is growing in the country. “We hope to capture more of the PET market in India, especially with brand owners thinking of using PET instead of PC bottles because of the BPA (bisphenol A) controversy and with the conversion of packaging from glass to PET.” Meanwhile, Ferromatik Milacron India’s UMS25D continuous extrusion shuttle machine was shown producing 900 shampoo bottles/hour. The smallest in the series to be made in India, the 2.5 tonne model can be used to produce 1 l bottles and has a dry cycle of 1.7 seconds. “It offers a price benefit for small processors looking at entering this kind of market,” said Regional Manager Nilesh Shroff. “Previously, the machine was exported by our sister company Uniloy Milacron Italy but we have localised the production in India,” he added. In India, the company only offers up to a size of 10 tonnes in this series, he said, adding that most of the components for the machine were from local suppliers. Ferromatik Milacron’s UMS is a double-station model. Shuttle movements and open/close movements are on horizontal linear guides with a closed-loop proportional control
Turnkey solution German company Kautex Machines is one of a few blow moulding machinery suppliers that had a complete line running to showcase a turnkey solution concept. The processing cell comprised a KLS8S-100 long stroke blow moulder integrated with downstream functions such as bottle stacking and RFID tags for product traceability. Additional steps in the system after the bottles are blown and leak tested include laser marking, part weighing, vision inspection through a camera-powered quality control system, external leak detecting and packing. ◆
Customer Relationship Marketing
Using CRM to beat cost-cutting measures This is the first of a two-part article by ideas broker Bob Wrighton that supports the benefits of a customer-centred approach to marketing over a product-centred approach. The material related to customer relationship marketing (CRM) is based on a recent book titled Managing Customers Profitably (John Wiley and Sons, 2008) by Professor Lynette Ryals of Cranfield Management College UK.
esearch over many years has shown that your beliefs and attitudes shape your behaviour. This probably sounds so obvious that you may be inclined to stop reading at this point, but please don’t! This article will suggest that the way you look at your business and your customers, and therefore the way you run your business and behave towards your customers, may in fact be detrimental to your business and drive your customers away! The problem with attitudes is that you may not even be aware that you have them. You may be behaving in such a manner that may constrain your business development and customer base expansion - without even realising it.
managers see profit coming simply from the products they sell. The calculations are simple. From your sales price, subtract the cost of goods and your overheads (salespersons’ salaries and commissions and part of your fixed overheads) and – bingo! – what is left is profit. And profit is good. Your marketing activities, therefore, are also focused on the product. So to make more profit, you make more, sell more, cut production costs as best you can, as far as possible without compromissing quality. And more profit means the Lexus car you own can be traded in for a Mercedes Benz sooner than you think! After all, making a profit is what business is all about, isn’t it? No arguments with that, but Professor Ryals suggests that while profit is undoubtedly the desired means to the end, taking the product-profit approach may not be the best means to that end. Reasons for a product-profit approach She accepts that most companies take this approach for several reasons, with the first one being inertia. We have always done it this way and in this regard she is quite right. In the immediate post-war years, which many of you will not remember because you weren’t born yet, there was a market that was gasping for goods after almost a decade of doing without them. Companies could not produce goods fast enough. I can remember in New Zealand, where I spent my adolescent years and a few more, to get a new car, one had to book sometimes years in advance and pay in pounds sterling. Since this was the time of a major migration from the UK to New Zealand, new immigrants were courted by local New Zealanders to see if they had bank deposits in pounds sterling that the locals could buy in order to get a new car. This was the case across almost the whole range of goods and it gave rise to cost plus thinking. That is to say, "Let me make it, then add my profit margin and the result is that I am made." And indeed you were, and it stayed that way for many years. Production couldn’t keep up with demand, Manufacturers made huge prufits. But when the supply matched the demand, the situation changed. Cost management became much more important and the heady days of an almost guaranteed sale for whatever you could produce were over. By this time also, the Japanese had entered the market as serious competitors and the days of serious competition were upon us. Cost plus was no longer a really viable option. This was the situation 30-40 years ago and I am sure that some readers will be able to remember back that far. The emphasis was still on the product-profit approach though and for some manufacturers it has remained that way to this day. The focus is on product, cost management, reduction and sell, sell, sell.
But when the supply " matched the demand, the
situation changed. Cost management became much more important and the heady days of an almost guaranteed sale for whatever you could produce were over.
How you think about your business – the product-profit approach Professor Ryals talks about what she calls the productprofit approach. Many readers will recognise it and those far-sighted ones who have already moved away from it will breathe a sigh of relief. In the product-profit approach,
Customer Relationship Marketing
I saw an interesting phenomenon when working in the Philippines in the mid-1990s. I watched a sales manager berating his sales team. They had not reached the projected sales for the month and it was almost approaching the end of the month. “Go out and sell,” he exhorted his troops. “I don’t care how you do it, but we’ve got to make the budget this month.” They achieved the budget but at the cost of giving quite hefty discounts, so the sales actually cost the company money! The influence of accountants Who put the pressure on them to sell in this way? The answer would be the accountants, the bean counters and generally those people whose lives revolve around figures. According to Professor Ryals, accountants and accounting are offered as a second reason why companies persist with the product-profit approach. For the past decade, many management w r i t e r s h a v e p r o p o s e d t h a t accountants are the reason that so many bad management decisions are made, simply because they are working with a system that is now about 500 years old – and a lot of change has happened in the last 500 years. The main problem in marketing from a product-profit focus is that the company tends to be looking inwards, rather than outwards. The focus is on product and, therefore, production and distribution. This focus tends to bring an emphasis on cost control and reduction. And it is all internal matter. Yo u m a y b e a w a r e o f t h e s t o r y o f o n e o f t h e Rockefellers, who is reputed to have noticed that the lids of cans in his plant were affixed by a certain number of dabs of solder. He asked what would happen if one dab fewer was used. It transpired that nothing happened so from that time on each can received one fewer dab of solder. Over billions of cans and many years later, the savings realised were immense. This story needs to be read in the context of your own industry. Will the volume of product you produce be great enough to implement “the solder effect”? Many cost saving schemes in fact generate little in the way of savings. On many occasions, cost-cutting measures are proposed and implemented, but then their effect is not measured. The suggestion here is that any cost-cutting measure introduced must have an ROS (Return on Saving) target and the person who introduces it must commit to achieve that saving and ideally put some of his/her next bonus on the line to cover any shortfall should the measure fail to achieve the forecasted savings. This will ensure that the implementation of the cost-cutting measure is carefully measured and the savings will be achieved, if necessary, by a “donation” from the instigator of the measure. Cost-cutting is often introduced without enough consideration given to the flow on effects it may have.
Some years ago, when the use of hand phones was in its infancy, I made a presentation to the staff of an insurance company at their annual sales conference. Prior to my presentation, the General Manager announced that the use of hand phones to call customers from the office was to cease, to cut costs. Furthermore, any sales person using a hand phone to call a customer from inside the office would be disciplined. In a couple of follow up visits to the company after the presentation, the salespeople were very disgruntled. They had previously complained that there were inadequate phone lines in and out of the office, making calls difficult. The GM’s dictum had made the situation worse. I am absolutely sure that the “savings” from this cost-cutting move were minimal and in comparison to the loss of a potential client they were insignificant anyway, let alone the drop in morale of the salespeople. The underlying problem with the product-profit approach is that it ignores the customer. It also has the pernicious effect of having the sales force look at customers solely as a source of sales – a source of immediate income – like the sales manager i n t h e s t o r y e a r l i e r. T h i s overlooks the fact that not all sales are profitable, nor are all customers profitable, but while we focus on the product-profit approach we pay insufficient attention to these important measures. The relationship marketers would offer two arguments against the product-profit approach. The first is simple, but telling: when did a product last sign a cheque? The second is more telling still. If Accounts got more involved with Marketing, they could show that the revenue – if you select your new customers carefully – from acquiring a new customer quite clearly outweighs the value of savings in production or distribution. This can be quite easily demonstrated. We shall explore these issues in the next article. ◆
On many occasions, " cost-cutting measures are
proposed and implemented, but then their effect is not measured. The suggestion here is that any cost-cutting measure introduced must have an ROS (Return on Saving) target…..
Bob is an English-born New Zealander who has lived in Asia for the past 20 years. He has been in the field of human resources his entire working life and has been a management consultant since 1980. Most recently, he has been functioning as an ideas broker, which means reading widely, mining new ideas and linking them with ideas already mined, then sharing them with managers and companies that are interested in keeping themselves at the cutting edge. Bob shares ideas on his blog at newbizideas4u.com
Indian machinery and technology
Show lends credence to plastics growth in India The Indian Plastivision exhibition, which was held in Mumbai from 20-24 January, has propelled in size since it was last held in 2007, against a backdrop of 20% growth of the plastics industry. In fact, India’s per capita consumption of plastics is expected to double to 16 kg/person in the next five years.
hough the size of the show has grown by 58% to total around 1,000 exhibitors, according to Ajay Desai from the organiser All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA), the venue of the exhibition leaves much to be desired. S o m e e x h i b i t o r s t o l d P RA t h a t t h e B o m b a y Exhibition Centre in Goregaon requires improvements and those familiar with the facility chose not to bring or run machinery that was on display due to the power fluctuations. Sunil Jain, President of extrusion machinery specialist Rajoo Engineers, said, “We have set a trend with our booth display and have been receiving enquiries.” It was showing a Bausano PVC pipe extruder. Last year, Rajoo merged with Indian thermoforming machinery producer Wonderpack and tied up in technical collaborations with extrusion machinery suppliers Hosokawa Alpine from Germany, as well as Italy-based Bausano.
Companies boost their profiles Besides the growth of the trade show, another factor that adds weight to its importance is the new machinery displays. Injection moulding machinery maker L&T Plastics Machinery showed off a two-platen 450-tonne press, its first foray into this sector. SN Swamy, Manager of International Marketing, said, “It is based on an L&T design and incorporates a dome-shaped platen to allow for a uniform clamp force.”
The L&T booth with a variety of machinery on display
L&T was previously in a joint venture with Sumitomo Demag Plastics Machinery and ended the relationship in 2009. Hence, it has been taking steps to redesign its machinery like the upgraded version of the 100-tonne E-Tech all-electric model shown, with a 150 tonnage model to be developed by March. “This machine is now belt-driven as opposed to using Demag’s direct drive technology,” said Swamy, adding that it is targeted at cleanroom medical moulding. Other displays included a 160-tonne Ace IML machine with robotics from Taiwanese We Technology (Wetec) Automation. When asked about the response, Swamy said, “We’ll have to educate the market first as labelling is manually done at the moment (referring to the cheap cost of labour in the country)”. Wetec Director Mike Huang, who was at the booth, told PRA that the company had sold seven IML systems in India to date. One of the country’s largest plastics equipment manufacturers, L&T has a variety of machinery in its stable, including auxiliaries, to which it has added on chillers to complete its profile. Other auxiliaries displayed were gravimetric feeder and a compact dryer (“no other company in India offers this size,” said Swamy) with a -40ºC dewpoint. To push forward in the market, L&T is doubling the size of its Chennai facility. “We are increasing our production in line with market demand. This year, we might make 700+ machines, which will be our all time high. Larger capital expenditure is still under discussion and would be necessary to enhance the production beyond 1,000 machines,” Swamy told PRA. When asked to comment about the company’s exports, Swamy explained, “Under the joint venture, L&T-Demag was exporting machines through Demag appointed agents. When L&T acquired the complete stake in the Indian manufacturing arm, we had to appoint new agents under our own terms. This process is ongoing. Very soon we will leverage upon this to increase our export sales. Easing of recessionary pressure in many countries will also contribute to better sales.” The company expects to achieve a turnover of US$109 million in two years, which will be twice its average takings. Another injection moulding machinery supplier Electronica Plastic Machines launched its largest size 650 tonnes Endura hydraulic machine at the show. “Earlier
Indian machinery and technology
the customers buy hydraulic machines and very few smaller tonnage electric machines. This is because of a combination of reasons – power issue is just one. Inadequate maintenance, usage knowledge and shop floor concerns are others,” explained L&T’s Swamy. Meanwhile, hydraulic/hybrid machine supplier Electronica’s Amit Pendse says, “The demand is not that high – maybe the product mix and sale value is only 5%. We will enter this market in the near future if the trend grows.” He also added that all-electrics are perceived differently in India. “Because there are options available and the price for a similar tonnage servodriven machine is almost 60% lower, processors are opting for servo rather than all-electric machines.” Electronica launched its Endura machine at the show
we were manufacturing up to 320 tonnes and have now increased the tonnage,” said Amit Pendse, CEO-Works. It was moulding a 1.7 kg PP chair in a 43-second cycle. Another Endura 90 was shown producing PC lenses with a sprue picker. “It was earlier running a 35 second cycle and is now able to do 23 seconds, with savings in power of up to 50% because of the Elektra power servo (a new feature from the company),” said Pendse. As for its Futura hybrid 220, launched last year, it is equipped with a servomotor and a servodrive system. This was producing a transparent PP with a Milliken Chemical colourant developed by supplier Reliance. “This is a closed loop machine with a faster response time of 50 ms, compared to a normal hydraulic machine,” said Pendse, adding that it allows for up to 80% power savings. Electronica has also expanded its portfolio having been appointed as the sole agent in India by Danish auxiliary manufacturer Labotek for its drying/conveying systems. “We plan to manufacture it locally in the future,” said Pendse, adding that the company also distributes Chinese SML range of temperature controllers, chillers and granulators. Plus, it has taken up, in the last one year, the agency for Liansu PVC extruders and Taiyu vertical injection moulding machines. Ferromatik Milacron India, meanwhile, showcased its Magna MT275, targeted at thinwall moulding, and a new all-electric Elektron 350. “It is the largest all-electric machine to be made in India,” claimed Regional Manager Nilesh Shroff. It was producing an automotive radiator grille in PP, in a 43-second cycle, with a 30 seconds cooling window. When asked about the company’s business, Shroff said that it had experienced 40% growth on account of the growing domestic market and rising sales to Africa and Asia. It upped its assembly capacity at its Ahmedabad plant last year and is now installing a paint facility. “We will produce around 1,200 machines this year,” said Shroff. All-electric machinery in infancy Although the major machine makers were showing all-electric machines, India is not ready to encompass this technology, say the suppliers. “A majority of
Ferromatik Milacron’s latest all-electric model for the country
Converting machinery Extrusion line producer JP Industries, which manufactures tape stretching, lamination and printing lines, is expanding its portfolio with the addition of bag converting and circular loom machinery, said a spokesperson. It had on display the JPBCL cutting/sewing line. “We have sold three of these machines to the converting sector,” he said adding that the circular loom line would be ready in six months. The company claims a 40% market share in the tape line business and 80% for extrusion lamination. Mamata Machinery, meanwhile, displayed a highspeed stand-up pouch maker with recloseable zip. It is able to run independent webs for narrow width printers in 125 cycles/minute and is said to be one of the fastest in the world, according to Apurva Kane, Vice-President of Marketing. The narrow bags are used for packing small items like pens. The model was first shown at the K exhibition last year with the exhibited model sold to an American customer. Speaking of the company’s business, Kane said the company had been “very busy” in South Africa and the US. A new 7,000 sq ft facility in Florida has just been started up to cover the US market in the South. The company has been operating a 5,000 sq ft facility in Chicago since 2004. “Both facilities cater to customisation since the basic machines are still built in India,” he said. ◆
No roller coaster ride for Henkel Strategising has been adhesives company Henkel’s winning formula to keep its market share intact and expanding. PRA spoke to Jan-Dirk Auris, the Executive Vice-President of Adhesive Technologies, to find out the strategies the company has been employing to stay afloat.
he global financial crisis, which wreaked havoc from 2008 until last year, hit major industries but missed some. One such company that remained vigilant amidst the tumultuous economic crunch is Germany-based Henkel, a consumer goods and adhesives supplier. Basically, Henkel has achieved success by offering a broad product portfolio that allows its earnings to be cyclical, said Jan-Dirk Auris, the Executive Vice-President of Adhesive Te c h n o l o g i e s ( p r e v i o u s l y t h e President of Henkel Asia Pacific and Adhesive Technologies, he has been with Henkel since 1991, and based in Asia, Germany and the US). Jan-Dirk Auris, the Executive VicePresident of Adhesive Technologies, says the acquisition of National Starch in 2008 was in line with the company’s overall strategy. “It was aligned towards the fundamental pillars of our company, those of business performance, customers, innovation and operational excellence as well as our strategic decision to focus and redistribute resources to strong performing brands”
Booming sales in Asia Aside from stable sales from its household and personal care brands, like Persil, Purex, Fa and Schwarzkopf, to name a few, its Loctite brand of adhesives have raked in significant earnings. “We are seeing strong growth in our adhesives sector,” says Jan-Dirk, adding, “We have a well-developed adhesives business sector and as our customers shift their focus to emerging regions like Asia Pacific, we take strategic steps to provide quality support every step of the way.” Last year, as some companies penny-pinched, Henkel managed to increase its sales, especially in Asia. “All our adhesives business units in Asia Pacific have grown their businesses twice as fast as the markets grew.”
An example of Loctite use in this threaded fitting that has to resist up to 350 bar oil pressure
Hence, the company had record results in Q3 and its global performance figures confirm that 2010 was the best year in its corporate history. In Asia Pacific, the overall business in Q3 2010 constituted 15% of Henkel’s global business, and compared with Q3 2009 sales rose by nearly 15%, with EBIT up 25.2%. Plus, its acquisition of the adhesives and electronic materials business of US-based National Starch in 2008 further strengthened its sales, especially in the Asia Pacific region as it expanded and developed the scope and profile of its adhesives sector. “In Asia Pacific, adhesives constitute most of our revenue. The acquisition balanced our portfolio of adhesives and enabled us to service regional customers even better,” adds Jan-Dirk. Commenting on the integration of National Starch, he says, “All measures that have been taken in the past recent years up to now shall contribute to our goal of achieving 45% of all Henkel sales to come from the growth regions by 2012.” When asked if there were any more acquisitions in the pipeline, he says, “The acquisition of National Starch was the biggest in our company’s 135-year history and has contributed measurably to growing our business across Asia. While we are not contemplating further acquisitions in the short term, we are consciously evaluating and investing resources into emerging markets.” Adhesives factor Beyond its high growth potential, a definitive characteristic of the global adhesives market is its fragmentation, that is to say, while many companies produce adhesives specifically tailored to industrial purposes, few are able to offer a broad portfolio spanning both the industrial and consumer sectors, according to Jan-Dirk. Henkel bridges these two sectors and in doing so is able to provide a wide array of different products that cover broad segments, from automotives, airplanes and construction to shoes, consumer goods, home appliances, electronics and packaging. “Adhesives are components that account for only a fraction of the total cost, but are nonetheless crucial to the success of the final product. Accordingly, we are constantly broadening our technology portfolio and also offer customised solutions based on the demand of our customers,” he explains. Strategies for emerging markets Asia Pacific is undoubtedly a market experiencing rapid growth – in particular India and China. “These markets are characterised not only by strong domestic demand, but also growth-driving trends such as sustainability and innovation,” reinforces Jan-Dirk.
Henkel’s strategy for the Asian market is to embody an all encompassing localised approach with R&D centres that develop products to meet local needs. He gives an example of the Chinese railway industry, where there has been significant investment by the government to build up the network in the country. “We have multiple customers in the railway industry. While our solutions help to make trains quieter, lighter and steadier, this helps our customers to further differentiate themselves in the market.” Henkel’s strategy is to provide localised R&D support
Henkel has also tapped into the capabilities of research institutes in Japan and China. ”For example, with Shanghai’s Tongji University we created a laboratory to develop adhesives used for lighter and safer cars. In the future we hope to see a third of our sales come from products less than three years old,” says Jan-Dirk. Handling sustainability and rising costs In spite of the high sales, an issue that has posed a challenge to Henkel’s bottom line is the rising cost of raw materials. “Generally, we devote sizeable amounts of time and energy to increase operational efficiency and productivity. This helps us to offset and displace added costs. However, when adhesive prices in the industry increase, a product price increase from our side is sometimes unavoidable in order to continue delivering the same high quality of product standards that our customers always expect from us,” explains Jan-Dirk. Other issues are sustainability and social responsibility. As the consumer world becomes aware of a product’s impact on the environment, producers, as well as, industries are keeping their eyes on their business practices. “Sustainability has been deeply embedded in Henkel’s DNA since many decades. We aim to balance the best possible product quality with environmental protection and social responsibility. For example, our bestseller product Persil was the world’s first phosphate-free washing powder (in 1986), thus contributing to the protection of surface waters,” he adds. The company has grouped its activities for sustainable development throughout the entire life cycle of its products, from R&D to product safety, sourcing and management of raw materials, manufacturing, logistics and packaging. The value chain covers the five areas of energy and climate; water and wastewater; materials and waste; social progress and health and safety. The company sets mid and long-term goals regularly and cites these in annual sustainability reports. Trends keep company on its toes When asked about the future global trends, Jan-Dirk says, “Investing in emerging markets is a primary industry focal
point. With a growing middle class, countries like China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and India have experienced tremendous market growths over the past 20 years, hence our business strategy revolves around meeting the needs of customers and consumers in these countries.” With the growth of the Asian automotive industry, particularly in South Korea and China, the company opened a new automotive factory in Eumseong, South Korea, last year. “This facility is one-of-a-kind, specialising in solutions to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) for international car makers.” Localised innovation a key factor Innovation is another key industry trend and an important driver of growth. “We spend up to EUR400 million a year globally on R&D towards driving new and innovative products as well as solutions that contribute to a lower cost structure for our customers and a sustainable development,” says Jan-Dirk. Here, its focus is also on both B2B and B2C companies. “This enables us to create higher quality products that better suit local customer needs,” he says, adding that Henkel’s approach has been to invest in R&D and facilities in areas where its clients are. “Last year, we expanded our research department at the Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai, thus increasing its support for all strategic business units across the region.” Another progressive example of driving innovation through local needs can be found in its Technomelt Supra Cool 130 adhesive. “It helps reduce energy costs in production by 30% and reduces traditional production consumption rates by 35%. When customers were feeling the burden of the recent global economic malaise, this innovation enabled Henkel to provide its customers with an environmentally friendly, progressive, sustainable and superior product – all at a reduced cost,” he shares with PRA. Last but not the least, Henkel has also been one of the first adhesives companies to utilise alternative energy, pioneering in harnessing the capabilities of solar and wind power energy, as well as, new energy vehicles. “One of our recent achievements is the development of bonding and sealing solutions for fuel cell and “green” cars such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that cause zero emission,” he concludes. ◆
A night time view of the company’s regional headquarters in Shanghai
INDUSTRYNEWS Japanese/Indian alliance for tyre presses
apan-based Kobe Steel has formed a 49:51 joint venture with India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to manufacture and sell rubber processing machinery. Known as L&T Kobelco Machinery, the company will make rubber mixers and twin-screw roller head extruders used in the manufacturing of tyres. The plant will commence operations by February and production will begin in October. The company is investing 900 million yen in the facility. Kobe Steel says demand has been rising for its machinery in
technology, engineering and construction company, L&T is India’s leading manufacturer of tyre curing presses and has a strong sales network in India, Europe and the Middle East. The new joint venture, making full use
recent years owing to rising production of automotives, mainly in emerging countries. In 2008, world demand for rubber mixers increased 5% to US$325 million and it is expected to continue to increase. Regarded as a top maker of rubber mixers, with a market share of 50%, Kobe Steel currently has facilities in Japan, the US and China. Kobe Steel began providing L&T with technology to produce tyre curing presses in 2003, building a relationship over the years. A US$9.8 billion
Nitrile latex plant in Thailand
hai company Bangkok Synthetics is setting up a 110,000 tonnes/year nitrile latex plant in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Rayong province. It will commence operations in the third quarter of 2012. Total requirements for feedstock like butadiene will be from captive supply from its
More SSBR for the tyre sector
S-based Styron is expanding its SSBR capacity by 50,000 tonnes, at its facility in Schkopau, Germany, by the fourth quarter of 2012. The additional capacity will allow Styron to meet the increasing demand for high performance tyres, it says. By using SSBR in high performance tyres allows for an optimum performance balance of improved wet grip, high abrasion resistance, low road noise, light weight and low rolling resistance, resulting in better fuel efficiency and lower CO 2 emissions. This evolution in tyre technology is accelerated by strict European environmental legislation. Mandatory performance labelling of tyres, including a maximum
of this sales network, plans to market its products in India, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe - where to date Kobe Steel says it has had relatively low sales. Annual sales are anticipated to reach US$45 million in the 2014-2015 fiscal year period.
rolling resistance, will be formally introduced in 2012 and car manufacturers already face CO 2 emissions targets. In addition, consumer incentives are expected to drive the growth of low rolling resistance tyres. As a result, the demand for greener, high performance tyres is growing rapidly in Europe. Other countries around the world are expected to follow Europe in the future. The construction of the new production line will start with the groundbreaking in May 2011. The new train will be built alongside existing trains and will focus on SSBR production, with the capability to produce all existing clear and oil extended Styron grades.
NEWS in brief Hankook on track with Indonesian expansion South Korean supplier Hankook Tire is building a tyre plant in Indonesia, with an initial investment of US$353 million. The company will start constructing plant, which will have a production capacity of 6 million tyres/year, later this year and start up operations in 2014. Hankook will produce tyres for small trucks initially. This facility is the first phase of the company’s planned US$1.1 billion investment in Indonesia. 1
rubber journal ASIA • FEBRUARY 2011
140,000 tonnes/year plant while acrylonitrile will be provided either by a domestic producer in Map Ta Phut or imported. With about 90% of nitrile latex consumers being rubber glove makers that are situated in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, the company is set to capture this market with its output.
Tyre recycling company acquisition US tyre recycling company Tire International Environmental Solutions is to acquire Tonmik Import Export Solutions, a Canadian distributor of recycled rubber products that are manufactured at its Chinese facility. With this acquisition, Tire International will begin its operational phase allowing the company to execute its US tyre recycling strategy. In 2009, Tonmik reported a revenue of US$1.1 million and for the first nine months of 2010 it had a revenue of US$2.7 million.
INDUSTRYNEWS South American acquisition for Lanxess
erman speciality chemicals company Lanxess is expanding its activities in Latin America through its wholly-owned subsidiary Rhein Chemie that has acquired Argentina-based Darmex, a manufacturer of release agents and curing bladders for the tyre industry. As a result of the acquisition, Rhein Chemie will become one of the world’s leading providers of release agents for rubber products in a highly fragmented market. It will also acquire Darmex’s bladder technology in Latin America, which is a key production hub for leading tyre manufacturers. Darmex’s production sites are located near to Brazil, where Lanxess has significantly expanded its presence in the last few years. In the coming years, Rhein Chemie plans to expand its bladder production. The release agents and bladders belonging to Darmex will be branded under Rhein Chemie product names. The demand for release agents and bladders is expected to expand in parallel to global tyre production, which is expected to grow on average by 5% a year in the next ten years. The megatrend of mobility is underpinning this growth, driven by a growing middle-class in countries such as Brazil, China and India. In addition, an increasing number of tyre companies are outsourcing their bladder production in order to optimise productivity and take advantage of the higher quality offered by bladder specialists. The size of the global bladder market is estimated at more than EUR300 million. Rhein Chemie’s CEO Anno Borkowsky said that the acquisition of Darmex will act as a springboard for further investments by the company. “For example, we are currently considering new facilities to manufacture bladders and polymer bound chemicals in Brazil and China, as well as, a new plant for lubricant oil additives in India,” he said. Last May, Rhein Chemie began constructing a plant in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia to produce rubber additives and release agents primarily for the local tyre and technical rubber market. Founded in 1971, privately owned Darmex expects to achieve sales of US$30 million in 2010. Brazil represents about
40% of its sales, with the rest generated in North and South America. Rhein Chemie, which achieved sales of EUR226 million in 2009, employs about 800 people worldwide.
2 rubber journal ASIA • FEBRUARY 2011
With its Asian facilities located in India, China and Japan, it produces additives and specialty chemicals for the rubber, lubricants and plastics industries under brand names such as Rhenogran, Stabaxol and Additin.
NBR on a roll
ACN content in the polymer also provides higher resistance to strong solvents such as toluene and higher polar oils like IRM903 oil. Aliphatic solvent, such as hexane, and non-polar oils such as ASTM#1 oil do not exhibit a pronounced swelling effect and will extract the plasticiser from the polymer matrix. Ketonetype of solvents (MEK, acetone) have a strong swelling effect on all nitrile polymers. Inks used in the printing industry might consist of different additives, solvent and oils that might have great influence on the performance life of printing rolls.
This article by Don M. Tsou, Technical Manager for Asia Pacific, Technical Rubber Products business unit, Lanxess Chemical China, reviews the benefits of using high molecular weight NBR elastomer in soft printing rolls. It also highlights a new phthalate-free plasticiser-containing NBR grade, Krynac M 3340F, and compares Mesamoll (phthalate-free plasticiser) with a typical DEHP plasticiser.
he graphic art industry utilises many types of rubber rollers, for example, flexographic and gravure for offset printing. Many of these rubber rolls are required to be of low durometer (20 to 30 Shore A) to carry and transfer printing inks. Nitrile elastomers (NBRs) have long been the preferred polymers as they provide satisfactory heat, ageing and fatigue performance Don Tsou says that besides the new NBR grade, Lanxess also as well as abrasion, chemical supplies other NBR grades to and solvent resistance required the printing roll industry under to resist the inks and washing the trade names of Perbunan solvents used in the roller and Krynac industry. To provide reliable performance in soft printing rolls, the compound has to balance the following basic requirements: • Resistance to oils and solvents used in printing inks and cleaning solutions • Dimensional stability (resistance to swelling, extraction, plasticiser volatility and heat loss factors) • Resistance to heat build-up, permanent set, abrasion and tear • Retention of hardness and modulus • Satisfactory compound processing (calendaring and extruded – strip building) • Satisfactory vulcanisate processing (grinding and machining a fine polished surface)
Effect as ACN Content Increases Compound Specific Gravity Increases Unaged Hardness Increases Unaged Modulus (25 to 100%) Increases Abrasion Resistance Decreases Compression Set/HBU Increases Permanent Set IRM903 Oil Hardness Minimal change at 33% ACN Volume Swell Decreases
Solvent Resistance Volume Swell - Strong Solvent
Typical low hardness printing roll compounds based on NBR contain very high level of DEHP (DOP) plasticiser. When rubber rolls come into contact with inks or cleaning solvents, some types of fluids tend to swell the polymer matrix. Extractable plasticisers such as DOP will counteract this swelling effect and therefore the level of plasticiser has an influence on the level of swelling of the polymer matrix. Not only must printing rolls be resistant to the solvents, oils and inks used in the industry, now growing legislative pressure on DEHP requires printing roll manufacturers to seek out DEHP substitutes
Typically, most soft roll compounds use nitrile rubber with 33% ACN levels due to their overall balance of properties. Influences of molecular weight and mooney viscosity The mooney viscosity (related to molecular weight) plays an important roll in the processing and handling of soft rolls compounds. The compound must accept large volumes of oil to achieve the proper hardness. At such high level of plasticiser, it is important to have a compound with the required green strength during the roll making process plus the vulcanisate needs to have the needed tensile strength and abrasion resistance. Higher molecular weight material does provide better performance in dynamic properties, such as heat build-up and lower permanent set. Since soft printing rolls run at very high speeds, resistance to set and heat build-up are critical.
Influence of acrylonitrile content The influence of acrylonitrile on the properties of NBR has been well documented in the rubber industry. ACN content in the polymer determines its resistance to non-polar oil and fuels. As the level of ACN increase, the material becomes more thermoplastic in nature. This is associated with poorer compression set, higher hardness and modulus. Higher 3
rubber journal ASIA • FEBRUARY 2011
The following chart shows the influence of the polymer.
Benefit of using plasticiser-extended NBR grade Most soft roll compounds are prepared using an open mill in order to gain the highest level of dispersion. The polymer needs to band smoothly and rapidly to the roll surface to minimise mixing time and operation handling.
Effect of Mooney Viscosity on NBR Compounds Compound Property
Compound Specific Gravity Compound Viscosity Unaged Hardness
Effect as Mooney Viscosity Increases No change Slight increase
Unaged Modulus (25 to 100%)
Compression Set/HBU Permanent Set
HBU – Temp Rise
IRM903 Oil Hardness Volume Swell
Mill mixing comparison Mill mixing time
Increases Mix Comments
No change Slight decrease
Solvent Resistance Volume Swell - Hexane
Polymer H (33110) 60 phr of free DOP
Polymer I (3340 EO) 10 phr of free DOP
Time to Band Polymer (min)
Time to Incorporate Filler and Oil (min)
Time to Complete Mixing (min)
Polymer H: Krynac 33110 (110 mooney viscosity) Polymer I: Krynac E3338F (containing 50 phr DOP)
Although mixing time in the laboratory scale is somewhat subjective, there is a clear advantage in using a preplasticised nitrile grade where large volumes of plasticisers are required as in the compounds. Banding time was reduced by a factor of at least ten. The time saving was on the order of approximately one-third mixing time. Pre-plasticised high molecular weight NBR grades are now used popularly by major printing roll makers around the world.
Effect of NBR raw polymer mooney viscosity on soft printing roll compound (30 Shore A)
New NBR grade DEHP (also know as DOP) is a widely used plasticiser in the soft printing roll industry. However, recently the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has included DEHP in the list of Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC). A substance identified on this list may have very serious effects on humans and the environment and may subsequently become subject to authorisation by the European Commission. Thus, the inclusion of a substance on this list may result in legal obligations for material suppliers and in end use applications. Therefore, there is great interest from the industry to develop printing rolls containing phthalate-free plasticisers. One of the major challenges to replace DEHP is its outstanding overall properties. Mesamoll plasticiser, a phthalate-free alkane sulphonic acid ester, which is not SVHC listed and has very low volatility, can be used to replace DEHP. The plasticiser has a proven track record in the PVC industry already. Lanxess has recently introduced Krynac M 3340F. It is based on a high molecular weight polymer with 33% ACN content and pre-plasticised with 52 phr of Mesamoll. When comparing Mesamoll to DEHP in NBR compounds, the former showed similar mechanical properties such as tensile, elongation and abrasion resistance. Furthermore, a compound with low volatility is desired and Mesamoll shows an advantage in this respect. Also, Mesamoll is less extractable by inks and cleaning solvent than DEHP, therefore is expected to provide improved service life compared to DEHP-containing rolls. ◆
Compound Mooney (ML 1+4 @ 100°C)
Influence of plasticiser type The type of plasticiser (as well as level) plays a significant role in maintaining proper operating pressure in soft printing rolls. Plasticisers that are easily extracted can result in changes to the dimensions of the rolls as well as shrinkage or swelling when exposed to printing inks and the solvents used to clean them. Plasticisers also influence the modulus and hardness for these reasons, which also has an effect on operating pressures. Proper selection of the plasticiser and levels can minimise these changes. It is quite often that soft print roll compounds contain more than one type of plasticiser. Beside DEHP, polymeric plasticisers also are included to achieve a balance of properties. Polymeric plasticiser, such as glutamate or separate polyester, provides better resistance to heat. Also, it is slower to migrate out of the polymer matrix (extraction). With a solution such as hexane, which tends to extract the compound matrix, polymeric plasticisers show less volume or weight change and lower hardness change. 4
rubber journal ASIA • FEBRUARY 2011
Lower overheads and costs from laser measuring LAP Laser is touting its new contact-free thickness measurement system with laser triangulation, against radiometric and X-ray based measurement systems, for the rubber industry, especially for tyre manufacturing. “Another plus point is that Calix requires little effort to install. The laser measuring system has a light compact construction and is therefore ideal for replacing radiometric and X-ray based measurement systems quickly, as part of modernisation measures, for example,” he adds.
Laser projection systems Laser projection systems project dots, lines, crosses or outlines with arbitrary shapes, for example true to scale forms from CAD data. The clearly visible red or green laser lines are used to position or align products or components. One important area of application is in the production of high-tech carbon-fibre components in the aerospace and automotive sectors. Laser projection systems are also routinely used in other industries, such as wood processing, textile manufacturing and tyre manufacturing or in the production of precast concrete components and wind turbines. Claiming a leading position in Europe as a provider of line lasers and laser projectors, LAP has introduced a new Calix for the tyre industry that not only measures shiny metals, for example, it can also measure the thickness of matte black rubber calender strips. Max Mandt-Merck from the company’s Sales Division says, “We have succeeded in producing an even more rugged package incorporating outstanding product features such as contactfree measurement and universal material and temperature compatibility. The Calix is the Max Mandt-Merck says only system available on the the company is thrilled market that combines temperature with its latest generation stability with mechanical isolation Calix, “We have to achieve drift-free measurement. succeeded in producing an even more rugged What’s more, this has even been package incorporating possible with an increased C-arm outstanding product opening width of 200 mm, which is features” twice its previous size.” Mandt-Merck says savings are generated as a result of the following: • Higher accuracy that helps save resources and reduces consumption of expensive raw materials • Practical maintenance-free technology • No elaborate radiation protection measures required • Dispenses with error-prone manual measurements for good
More accurate than radiometric systems LAP also says its sensor can easily match, and often surpass, the precision of radiometric systems used in rolling mills and elsewhere. “The new systems are so compact that they can be integrated with existing rolling systems with no conversion required. They also eliminate the cost and effort that was previously required to protect against radiation,” says Mandt-Merck. LAP says Calix is the only system available on the market that makes drift-free measurement possible by combining temperature stability with mechanical isolation
Unlike radiometric and X-ray measuring systems, the characteristics of the material being measured do not affect the operation of the LAP systems. They do not require inline calibration on a regular basis and only occasionally require maintenance. The Calix system measures the thickness of the continuously running strip inline to a +/- 1 micron degree of precision. The measured values are displayed numerically and graphically and the system provides feedback as soon as the tolerances are exceeded. Material-independent and temperature-stable measurement An optical measuring process is used with the Calix. This works independently of the material being measured. Hence, this means that the characteristics of the material does not need to be modified to suit the measuring system – as is the case with radiometric thickness measurement that requires frequent online calibration. This dispenses with the need for 5
rubber journal ASIA • FEBRUARY 2011
Measuring Equipment highly trained calibration experts, when using different qualities of steel, for example. The labourious process of updating the material properties in tables is therefore not required, which excludes from the outset the possibility of material properties being entered incorrectly. As the measurement is not influenced by the material properties, hidden material-related propagation of errors due to inhomogeneity of the strip material is not possible. The system also eliminates the “thickness noise” of radiometric systems, which is the noise known to occur in isotope systems. Whereas, up till now, optical thickness measurement has required elaborate temperature compensation or frequent calibration, Calix delivers a measurement accuracy that is free of measurable drift even where ambient temperature fluctuations are present, says the company. As a result, Calix does not need to be calibrated regularly at its place of use when in service. Furthermore, there is no longer any need for the semi-automatic calibration procedure that is necessary with other optical systems during which production is halted and a reference strip is moved by an arm into the path of the beam. The company says Calix can also operate for long periods without requiring maintenance. “The system can be extended with little effort when working at the production line, and can also easily traverse the entire width of the strip,” adds Mandt-Merck. How it works Calix performs absolute measurements according to the laser triangulation principle; the thickness of the strip is calculated by determining the difference between two laser distance measurements, which means the type of material being measured is irrelevant. LAP says it achieves this high degree of precision using a specially developed arrangement of several CCD line scan cameras. Using this measuring principle, the accuracy can be kept constant throughout the entire range of measurement, which also does not need to be changed when measurement is in progress. Digital signal processors adapt the analysis to the surface structure of the strip, which means that Calix does not handle matte surfaces differently to shiny surfaces when performing the measurements. No laser protection officer is required due to the low output of the laser of 1 mW (laser class 2). The system also eliminates the need for additional expenditure to protect against ionising radiation. ◆ The system provides a degree of precision with the measured values displayed numerically and graphically
An overview of the product features: • Contact-free thickness measurement • Independent of material and temperature • Inner frame with thermally and mechanically isolated mounting • More than twice the previous width of the C-arm opening (now 200 mm) • Rugged construction – both inside and out • Drift-free components
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