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CountryF ocus

South Korean industry on a stable footing In the tech-savvy country, home to Samsung, the largest electronics firm in the world, machinery makers and moulders are not short of orders, said a number of exhibitors interviewed at the Koplas. Held from 28 September to 1 October, the event was bundled together with printing machinery, tooling and metalworking shows, as well as the Korea Machinery Fair, held at the new Kintex hall. All the five shows were tagged as the Korea Industry Fair. It was also showing the ProIMD120 model with an inmould decoration process (Jeongwoo Mold supplied the mould) in a 30-second cycle. “We have sold 50 units already and received an order from Nypro China,” said Moon. The company, therefore, is in an upbeat mood. According to Moon, it expects to generate a turnover of 600 millon won this year and a growth of 10% next year. Woojin Selex, meanwhile, displayed nine all-electric, hybrid and hydraulic machines – with selected examples from its product profile. The 110M model was shown making LED lenses using SK Chemical’s bio-based Ecozen PETG, produced with corn-based bio-monomers. Another machine, 380 HPET, was shown running a 48-cavity PET preform mould from Kisan, a first for the company that has previously only sold up to 32-cavity moulds. Selex’s machines were also displayed with its Aerogel heating energy protection cover, applied on the screw/ barrel. “It is an optional requirement that maintains the temperature of the barrel and also saves heating power by up to 60% and total energy by up to 15%,“ explained Jong Hyuck You, Manager in the Overseas Business unit. He is also optimistic about Selex’s sales and expects between US$140-150 million this year, higher partly due to the lower currency.

Outsourcing a boon for machine makers According to the organiser, Korea E&Ex, Koplas attracted more than 20,000 visitors over the four days. It had 240 exhibitors from 18 countries over 10,773 sq m of space, slightly down from last year. Local injection moulding machine makers like Woojin Selex and Dongshin Hydraulics opted to exhibit at the Korea Machinery Fair, in another hall, while LS Cable and Engel (Austrian injection press maker that has a facility in Seoul) did not exhibit at all!

Foreign companies participate in sales Germany-based injection press maker Krauss Maffei is rooting for a higher turnover of EUR15 million this year, according to its country Sales Manager, Shin Yong Jin. “Our turnover for injection moulding machines is higher than the Chinese subsidiary (that also does extrusion and PU machinery). Business is booming in South Korea, especially in the automotive and electronic sectors,” he added. Krauss Maffei is also cooperating with LG Electronics to undertake R&D in the country. “We’ve supplied a 1,600tonne tandem machine, 1,150-tonne standard machine and a three-colour 2,300-tonne machine for LG’s tooling centre,” said Shin. Compatriot Arburg, represented in the country by IMTS (International Machinery Trading & Service), sells about 20-30 machines a year, mainly rotary table types that are targeted at automotive applications, said a company spokesperson. It displayed a Hidrive 570H model shown producing an ice-cream container with auxiliaries from Motan-Colortronic. “This machine has already been bought by an automotive/ LED parts producer in Incheon.”

Woojin Selex’s machines come with an optional Aerogel heating energy protection cover, applied on the screw/barrel, to allow for energy savings

Nevertheless, with Samsung and electronics competitor LG outsourcing most of their OEM production comes the need for more injection moulding machinery and more upgrades. Dongshin stuck to the hybrid theme again this year. Its 170-tonne E170MC model has been upgraded with the piston placed inside the machine making it smaller than the previous model. It also had a 700 hybrid model, which usually has two moving plates and now features only one platen. “The platen is thicker and ejection is installed on the platen. It also has two pistons to capture the moving plate,“ explained Ji-Ho Moon from the Overseas Sales Department. This, he says, has made the machine lighter, more energy efficient and reduced its footprint. Other benefits are a quieter torque motor and a smoother injection, made possible by the use of Japanese company THK’s LM (Linear Motion) Guide. 3

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CountryF ocus its Chinese facility using Plastics Systems’s designs. “We will buy important parts, like the controls, while metal sheeting will be done at our Weihai plant,” said Lee, adding that Yudo is always on the look out for mature technology to improve its sales (US$500 million last year).

Upgrades on tooling Meanwhile, tooling/auxiliary equipment supplier Yudo upped the stakes by showing a 96-cavity one, made by its subsidiary PET One. It also showed an eight-cavity IML mould (on an Engel machine), compared to the four/six cavities that are currently available in the market, running a 7.5 second-cycle time.

On the material front South Korean chemical firm SK Chemical’s Ecozen, which recently obtained US FDA approval, will be targeted at food containers, “thanks to its heat-resistance and clarity.” It is already supplying the material to LG and Samsung for use in products like washing machines, laptop housings, LEDs and televisions, said JJ Hwang, Deputy Senior Manager, Speciality Polymers Development. “We expect to sell 5 trillion won worth of the material by 2015,” he said. The company produces around 1,500 tonnes/month of Ecozen at its Ulsan plant.

Yudo’s latest Yukon 700 control with its new features

It has also made a vital improvement to its robot control technology, having changed the supplier from a Japanese to a European company. “The cycle time for our HX series is now 0.44 seconds (compared to 0.61 seconds previously) for the take-out function,“ Deputy General Manager Ju Lee told PRA. Working with German automation company B&R, Lee said the Yukon 700 control has been given a new motor. “The mechanical parts are able to endure the speed of the motor,” he said, adding that it comes with a 15% higher price tag. In the meantime, having ended its partnership with auxiliary equipment maker Moretto, Lee said Yudo had entered into a cooperation with another Italian auxiliary equipment supplier Plastics Systems. “Since we are new to the materials handling sector we decided to work with a partner.” Yudo will produce material conveying systems at

Dae-Soon Park from 3M says the use of glass bubbles is increasing in the country, where 3M has a 30% market share, mainly in the automotive sector, for producing fuel line hoses

US conglomerate 3M featured its patented Glass Bubbles, which are engineered hollow glass microspheres that are alternatives to conventional fillers and additives such as silicas, calcium carbonate, talc and clay. “These low-density particles are used to reduce part weight, lower costs and enhance product properties,” said Dae-Soon Park, Technical Service, Energy and Advanced Materials Division. The spherical shape of the glass bubbles offers benefits like higher filler loading, lower viscosity/improved flow and reduced shrinkage and warpage. The soda-lime-borosilicate glass composition also makes them non-combustible and non-porous, said Park. At Koplas, it had a number of applications on display including Shinetsu’s sealant that features 3% glass bubbles, to replace silicone oil, thus reducing the cost, said Park. In a PP air filter frame, with the talc replaced by 20% glass bubbles, cycle time had been reduced to 13.2 seconds (from 16.6 seconds), “because there is less mass/resin to cool since the glass bubbles are void,” Park explained. 3M is targeting its “basically glass products” at the automotive, recreational and furniture sectors. Introduced six years ago, the glass bubbles are already manufactured in South Korea and in the US. 3M also has another plant in France that produces them and will start up in Brazil at the end of this year. ◆

SK Chemicals had on display a number of products that have been made from its Ecozen at the Korea Bio-Material Packaging Association (KBPA) booth. Made up of a consortium of companies, KBPA was set up in 2006 and has 218 members. It also had on display a door trim from a Chevrolet vehicle produced at the company’s plant in Incheon, containing 10% content of bioplastics

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Korea feature  

Injection Moudling Asia 2011 October-November Issue

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