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业界新闻 化 妆 品 行 业: 持续散发的魅力
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Volume 34, No 246
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13 化妝品行業: 持續散發的魅力
causing detrimental damage to marine life, the industry is turning to biopackaging and other materials like wood composites; while major brands are incorporating sustainability into their corporate goals
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M&As/Investments • Dutch chemical firm LyondellBasell has ended discussions with Odebrecht S.A. concerning the potential acquisition of Brazilian petrochemical firm Braskem. Odebrecht S.A. is the controlling shareholder of São Paulo-based Braskem. According to a Reuters report, negotiations over the potential US$11 billion deal had slowed down due to issues linked to a delayed US filing and a supply contract for naphtha with oil/gas company Petrobras. • Chemical firm Trinseo is evaluating “strategic alternatives” for its polycarbonate (PC) resin activities but it has not set a timeline for this evaluation process. It adds that it is analysing options for its PC production facility in Stade, Germany. • US-based machinery firm Milacron Holdings Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement with Osgood Capital Group and Cyprium Investment Partners to sell its Uniloy Blow Molding business. • US end products manufacturer TekniPlex is to acquire three manufacturing facilities in the US
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from packaging giant Amcor's Flexible Packaging business unit. • Ineos Enterprises is selling its Ineos Melamines & Paraform to Prefere Resins Holding. The agreement covers sites in the US, Germany and Indonesia. Ineos Paraform is Europe’s second largest producer of paraformaldehyde. • US-based motion and control technologies specialist Parker Hannifin Corporation is to acquire adhesives supplier Lord Corporation for US$3.6 billion in cash. • US packaging firm Sealed Air Corporation is to acquire Automated Packaging Systems, Inc. (APS), a manufacturer of automated bagging systems, for US$510 million. • Japan’s Showa Denko is to acquire all shares in ILAG Industrielack, which leads the ILAG Group (ILAG), a specialty non-stick coating chemicals manufacturing company headquartered in Switzerland. It signed a stock purchase and sale agreement with
the current owners, a coalition of investors led by Helvetica Capital, a Swissbased private equity firm. • German chemicals firm BASF is investing in the Longwater Advanced Materials Fund. This private equity fund is managed by Longwater Investment, a pioneer growth capital investor in advanced materials and chemistryrelated technologies in China. Other investors include Xiamen C & D, CICC Genesis and Tsinghua Redbud. Also BASF and automotive parts manufacturer Liyang Shanhu Industry Auto Trim Material Co have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement to develop lightweight and low-emission PU system product applications. • UK engineering compounds manufacturer Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe is to acquire Turkish plastics group Emas. Part of the deal includes three compounding sites with what Sumika says are extensive compounding expertise. Sumika is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Group, with Itochu
Corp. and Toyo Ink as further shareholders. • Dutch firm Polyscope Polymers has completed the business integration of the global styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) copolymers business from Cray Valley, Cray Valley HSC Asia Ltd, Cray Valley (Guangzhou) Chemical and Total USA. Cray Valley supplies low molecular weight (LMW) SMA products and is the main competitor to Polyscope’s specialty chemicals business unit. • Dutch chemicals firm DSM is to acquire SRF Ltd’s Engineering Plastics business for EUR38 million located in Pantnagar (India). • Henkel has acquired US-based Molecule Corp., a privately owned enterprise focused on additive manufacturing. • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has completed its acquisition of the PVC compound business of Welset Plast Extrusions in India and plans to construct a new facility to manufacture thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for automotive interior components and other products at MCPP India.
Plant Expansions/Openings • UK chemical firm Ineos has signed an agreement with Saudi Aramco and France’s Total to build three new plants in the Middle East, as part of the Jubail 2 complex in Saudi Arabia. The three world-scale plants will produce the key building blocks for carbon fibre, engineering polymers and synthetic lubricants Saudi Aramco and Total are preparing the construction of a US$5 billion petrochemical complex (Project Amiral) which will supply more than US$4 billion of downstream derivatives and speciality chemicals units; the three Ineos plants will be part of them. • PJSC Kazanorgsintez (KOS) has produced metallocene polyethylene (MPE) resin on its existing Unipol PE Reactor Line located in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, in the Russian Federation. The Unipol line was supplied by Univation Technologies. KOS currently operates three Unipol PE lines that have been in operation since 1983, with KOS also completing a significant capacity expansion project in 2006. Until recently, the primary focus of
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KOS’s production had been HDPE pipe applications, large part blow moulding, household-industrialchemical blow moulding grades and HDPE film. • French chemical firm Arkema has chosen the location of Jurong Island in Singapore to build its new world-scale plant for the manufacture of the amino 11 monomer and its flagship Rilsan PA11 resins. With this 50% increase in its global capacities announced in July 2017, it says it supports strong demand from its customers in Asia for bio-sourced solutions addressing the major opportunity of material lightweighting in particular. • At its Dormagen site, Germany’s Covestro has started building additional production lines for its PC films, scheduled for completion by the end of 2020. The semi-finished products are used, among other things, in cars, in medical products and in security cards. Covestro has also completed a capacity expansion for TPU at its Changhua manufacturing site in Taiwan by 30%. This comes after an expansion in New
Martinsville in the US and the takeover of the majority (80%) of its Japanese joint venture with DIC, over the last 12 months. Covestro has also delivered its first commercial order of PU raw materials for wind blades to China, which is the world’s largest wind power market with 221 GW of installed capacity at the end of 2018, according to the World Wind Energy Association. The blades, produced by Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology, one of the largest manufacturers of wind blades in China, have then been delivered to Envision, a global wind turbine technology company; and are scheduled to be installed in a wind farm in East China by July.
• Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is to increase the production capacity of SoarnoL EVOH resin by 3,000 tonnes/year to 41,000 tonnes/year at its consolidated subsidiary Noltex LLC’s facility located in La Porte, Texas, US, by 2020. Global demand for EVOH resin has been expanding, backed by growth in emerging markets, as well as increasing use of individual packaging.
• German speciality chemicals company Lanxess has completed the expansion of its Macrolex dyes production plant at the Chempark Leverkusen. With an investment of more than EUR5 million, the capacity was increased by around 25%. • Riyadh-headquartered polymer/chemical firm Sabic is making significant investments in expanding the capacity of its Ultem and Extem high heat resin, with a new production plant in Singapore due to come on-stream in the first half of 2021. It did not outline the capacity, but said in total, it is expanding production capacity by more than 50%. Sabic says it will be the only high heat resin producer with manufacturing capability in all regions. It has plants in the US and in Spain. • US speciality chemicals firm Eastman Chemical is expanding its capabilities for the production of hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins at both its Netherlands and US manufacturing sites. Additional investments will also be made in the production of
INDUSTRY NEWS polyolefin polymers at the Longview, Texas, manufacturing site. It will expand capacity between 10 and 15% by mid-2020. • Mitsui Chemicals is to expand its production facilities at Grand Siam Composites Co in Thailand to meet growing global demand for PP compounds. The plant in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate will produce 13,000 tonnes/year by 2020. It is owned by Mitsui Chemicals: 45.2%, SCG Chemicals: 46.2%; Prime Polymer: 3% and others: 5.6% Mitsui currently operates production bases in Japan, US, Mexico, Europe, Thailand, China, India and Brazil and research bases in five areas (Japan, US, Europe, Thailand and China). • BASF-YPC, the joint venture between German chemical firm BASF and China’s Sinopec has commenced production at the second propionic acid plant in Nanjing, China. The new plant has a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year of propionic acid. The total capacity of the two plants has thus been increased to 69,000 tonnes/year. BASF is also building engineering plastics and thermoplastic
polyurethane (TPU) plants at a new site in Zhanjiang, China. These will be the first production plants to come onstream at the site. By 2022, the new engineering plastics compounding plant will supply an additional capacity of 60,000 tonnes/year of BASF engineering plastics compounds in China. This will bring the total BASF capacity of these products in Asia Pacific to 290,000 tonnes/year. • Swiss chemicals maker Clariant has launched a new facility in Guangzhou, China, for the manufacturing and supply of specialty black masterbatches. It will supplement existing supply from Clariant’s facility in Taiwan, which has been already fully utilised. • German additives maker Baerlocher is continuing to invest in its Malaysian subsidiary. The company expanded its Seremban site with an additional 10,000-tonne/year production line for metal stearates, a new warehouse and an office facility. With this investment of more than US$10 million, Baerlocher says it is preparing for further growth in the region. • Nouryon has completed a EUR20 million project at
Sundsvall, Sweden, that significantly raises production capacity for its Expancel expandable microspheres. These are used to enhance the properties of products ranging from shoe soles and food packaging to wind turbines. • DSM has launched a new production line for Arnitel thermoplastic copolyesters (TPCs) in Emmen, the Netherlands. The capacity will be expanded by 20%. • Russian petchem firm Sibur has commissioned its dioctyl terephthalate plasticiser (DOTP) facility in the Perm region, with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/ year. It will not only cover the needs of the domestic market (estimated at 60,000 tonnes/year) but also contribute to the non-commodity non-energy exports to Europe and other regions. Sibur says its DOTP production facility is the single largest production site in Europe. It invested RUB6.95 billion into the project, of which 82% was sourced to the Russian suppliers and service providers. • Idemitsu Kosan Co. is to open a new lubricant production plant in Huizhou, China, its second facility in China and
will have a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/ year. Completion is targeted for 2020. Idemitsu’s first lubricants plant in China began operation in 2004, with the establishment of Tianjin Idemitsu Lubricants Co. • US chemical firm ExxonMobil and Sabic have received final environmental regulatory approval to proceed with the construction of their 50:50 joint venture project in San Patricio County, Texas. Known as the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, the US$20 billion project will include one of the world’s largest ethane crackers, designed to produce 1.8 million tonnes/ year of ethylene, two PE units and an ethylene glycol plant. Construction will begin in the third quarter of 2019 and start-up is anticipated by 2022. • Injection moulding machine maker Arburg opened a new technology centre in Portugal, in Marinha Grande. The Arburg Technology Centre (ATC) provides its Portuguese customers with sufficient space for the latest machine technology and also functions as a point of contact for machine presentation and training courses. JUNE / JULY 2019
Seeking a way out of the global plastic waste crisis The global plastic waste trade row, which has seen plastic waste from Western countries being dumped in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, has exposed the recycling woes of these so-called more developed countries. At the same time, it reinforces more sustainable solutions than a plastic ban, looking towards the broader reach of a circular economy, says Angelica Buan in this article. Southeast Asia to waste shipments: not in our backyards Global waste is forecast to grow by 70% by 2050, on account of rapid urbanisation and growing populations, according to the World Bank (WB), which has committed over US$4.7 billion to more than 340 solid waste management programmes worldwide since 2000. And unless effective mechanisms to abate waste production are adopted, WB reports that global waste generation will reach 3.4 billion tonnes/year up from 2 billion tonnes in 2016. Meanwhile, data suggests that of the 300 million plastics products produced globally, only 10% is recycled. So where does the rest of the waste go? Lately, large containers of plastic waste, which contain materials that are difficult or even impossible to recycle, are being shipped on a regular basis to countries in Southeast Asia that are also wrestling with their increasing domestic waste growth. Until recently, importing countries have started sending back these shipments to their countries of origin. Malaysia is reportedly sending back non-recyclable plastic waste to the US, UK, Canada and Australia, followed by the
Philippines that has also sent back to Canada containers of waste shipped into the country from 2013-2014. It is also returning shipments from Hong Kong and Australia. Indonesia also sent back the containers of mixed waste plastic that came from the US. It is anticipated that following these incidences, the region will be eagle-eyeing plastic waste trade restrictions.
Lessons of waste management: Southeast Asia faces the brunt Ever since Chinaâ€™s Green Fence policy, which prohibits the import of unwashed and contaminated recyclable materials, and the â€œNational Swordâ€? programme, which permanently bars entry of imported industrial wastes, electronic scraps and waste plastics, the international waste trade has never been the same again. A study undertaken by University of Georgia assessed that over 100 million tonnes of plastic waste is going to be displaced by the import ban through 2030 unless it is dealt with more responsibly. Prior to the ban, China had been the destination for about half of the global waste, with more than 85% of all global plastic exports accounted for by high income European countries, Asia and the Americas, according to the report. The waste import policy was thought to press waste exporting countries to double up their recycling and waste management efforts. However, it is being rechannelled to other developing countries, many of which have no adequate recycling infrastructure. Thus, this lays bare the inadequacies of the more developed countries that have not implemented their own recycling infrastructure, even as they resort to collecting and segregating the waste, which is then transported out Containers of mixed wastes shipped into Southeast Asia are being sent back to their of the countries. consignors
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The World’s No. 1 Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber
Materials News According to a Greenpeace report, covering the global plastics waste trade from 2016-2018, the majority of the plastics is being rerouted to countries with inadequate regulations to stop large imports, or those with inefficient waste management systems. Ultimately, Southeast Asia has become a likely destination. According to the report, the top five exporting countries/regions between JanuaryNovember 2018 were US (16.5% of total exports), Japan (15.3%), Germany (15.6%), UK (9.4%), and Belgium (6.9%). On the flipside, the top five importing countries between January-November 2018 were Malaysia (15.7% of total imports), Thailand (8.1%), Vietnam (7.6%), Hong Kong (6.8%), and the US (6.1%). Malaysia becomes a plastic waste dumping ground Reportedly, in Malaysia, a number of illegal facilities sprouted up in the state of Selangor, with the influx of 750,000 tonnes of plastic waste imports from the period last year, according to the country’s Department of Environment (DOE). In its efforts to keep in check environmental pollution, the country’s Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) ordered 148 illegal recycling plants to cease operations between January-April this year. But the massive coordinated enforcement operations mounted by MESTECC, local authorities and the DOE, resulted in the illegal businesses moving elsewhere to the country to areas close to ports. Most of the facilities operate deep in the oil palm estates, away from prying eyes.
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manufacturing, advanced materials or other forward-looking topics in the global p l a s t i c s a n d r u b b e r i n d u s t r y – K 2 019 i s the place to be to scout for new solutions. The fascinating forum for innovation and investment. The industry’s most important business platform. Around 3,200 international exhibitors offer you the latest in r esear ch and de velopment. We l c o m e t o t h e s h o w ! Malaysia’s officials have been tasked with the laborious process of identifying and shipping back containers of unrecyclable plastic waste to respective countries
How is it that the waste is trickling into the country? According to MESTECC, a recycling company in the UK had sent almost 50,000 tonnes of waste plastic over the past two years.
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Authorities say that exporters and importers alike label consignments as “waste for recycling”. In reality, however, the bulk of the imported waste cannot be recycled due to the unhygienic conditions it comes in. Even if it is recyclable, it has to be separated first and cleaned thoroughly, which would require plenty of resources such as clean water. And without proper incineration facilities, most of the waste is burnt in open spaces or left lying in landfills, causing environmental and health hazards. Meanwhile, MESTECC has said that almost 3,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste will be sent back to their countries of origin. Though this is only a tip of the iceberg, it is a start. Plastics get the rap: reduce and reuse a solution? Evidently, plastics are a staple in the issue of the global waste crisis, against the back of the marine litter issue. Thus, an order of solutions, ranging from reducing the use of plastics to banning usage of single-use plastics, including shopping bags, takeaway containers, cutlery, stirrers and straws, are being enforced in many countries across the globe. From 2021 to a few years from now, single-use plastic products will be restricted in Canada, some states in the US, and some parts of Europe and Asia.
From 2021 to a few years from now, single-use plastic products will be restricted in Canada, some states in the US, and some parts of Europe and Asia
This particular remedy, while it targets reducing the use of plastics, is not transparent about systematic waste management that includes recycling, reusing and recovery of plastic materials. Moreover, it perpetuates the notion that plastic, per se, is a hex to the environment. “Plastic has been the most successful material in the last 70 years. It is a more versatile, cheaper solution than other materials like paper, glass, and aluminium,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Germanyheadquartered industry organisation VDMA and Managing Director of extrusion machinery specialist Reifenhäuser GmbH.
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Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of VDMA, says that to curb waste plastics one strategy is to include recycled plastics in products to reduce the cost of virgin materials. He adds, “Giving used plastics a value will allow for collection and segregation and enforce recycling, similar to the paper industry”
Speaking at the recently concluded Chinaplas show in Guangzhou, China, Reifenhäuser assured that the plastics industry is “taking the marine plastic issue seriously”, and is devising ways to address the problem within its capacity by developing new technologies. “We are working with a resin manufacturer and launching at the K2019 show in October a new machine that could set in motion other initiatives from resin producers to come up with new resins that are recyclable; and machine builders to develop new technologies to enhance recyclability as well as functionality of new materials,” he opined. Europe: in search of pitch perfect solutions Meanwhile, the industry is also framing environmental and industry-friendly initiatives. The circular economy model is one such strategic action that is widely becoming the base for reducing the environmental impact of plastics production and consumption by leaving out waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models, as defined in the World Economic Forum (WEF) report. This means that products are designed and optimised for a cycle of disassembly and reuse. According to the report, “these tight component and product cycles define the circular economy and set it apart from disposal and even recycling, where large amounts of embedded energy and labour are lost”. In short, waste does not exist in the circular economy. Nevertheless, a circular economy is still a work in progress. The quintessential “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is a prevailing system to work through the piling plastic waste. The groundwork for recycling is still a pressing issue, let alone the recyclability of materials. “Recyclability has already been achieved for certain plastics, while for the rest of the plastic types that are yet to possess recyclability, the industry is already working towards it. In five years, we would have achieved the targeted recyclability for plastics,” Reifenhäuser said, though adding that “there will always be a portion of plastics that is not recyclable.” Waste management a key to circular economy To succeed in recycling, proper waste management is key. “Policy makers should come up with laws to nurture a mind-set of proper waste disposal and management, beginning from separating and sorting materials,”
Compared to a linear system of 'produce-consume-discard', a circular economy model designs and optimises products for a cycle of disassembly and reuse
Reifenhäuser commented. He explained that simply banning plastics does not alter the practice of use and disposal. He also suggested a residual waste treatment approach, such as waste-to-energy (WTE), citing Northern Europe where there are no landfills despite the large volumes of household and industrial wastes produced. “They do not have landfills for waste materials like plastics, paper, glass, old chairs (broken plastic products). So, what do they do with the garbage? They burn (by incinerator) the garbage and have large burners in the cities, which convert the waste to energy. It is just logical,” Reifenhäuser said, pointing out to the WTE system used in some parts of Europe. The WTE method is beginning to be widely used as the region aims to achieve its recycling targets: municipal waste recycling target is 55% by 2025, and 65% by 2035. There are, however, environmental impacts associated with the WTE process, which is controlled by both the Waste Incineration Directive and the Large Combustion Plant Directive. According to the European Commission, the aim is to ensure that certain pollutants are kept within recommended limits and, to some extent, the externalities associated with combusting wastes are internalised. According to a report by CEWEP (Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants), the umbrella association of the operators of WTE plants across Europe, about 25% of the region’s municipal waste is still landfilled; and less than half of municipal waste is recycled or composted. Meanwhile, WTE plants are already running at full capacity. There is still a gap between now to 2035 to fulfil the recycling targets of the EU, stated CEWEP. Based on its assessments, “142 million tonnes of residual waste treatment capacity will be needed by 2035 in order to fulfil the currently set EU targets on municipal waste and assuming that ambitious recycling targets will be achieved for commercial and industrial waste”.
To-date, the WTE capacity is 90 million tonnes and the capacity for co-incineration is around 11 million tonnes, leaving a gap of around 40 million tonnes. CEWEP cautioned that the gap, or what it calls, the residual waste treatment crisis, could result in “open fires, illegal shipments and dumping”. “WTE plants in Europe deliver energy to homes and industry. They can supply 18 million inhabitants with electricity and 15.2 million inhabitants with heat – making us less dependent on the use of virgin fossil fuels for energy,” it said. Environmental watchdogs, however, claim that WTE is counter intuitive in that, while it extracts valuable energy from wastes, it also generates toxic waste and air pollution, thus contributing to climate change and putting human health at risk. Belgium-headquartered Zero Waste Europe, advocating for a shift toward a true circular economy, recommended investing in and reinforcing collection systems, recycling and waste prevention policies; as well as “preventing countries from getting locked into longterm contracts with over-dimensioned waste burning facilities, as it has happened in Western Europe”. Reifenhäuser also adds, “Today, we can see a lot of development, ideas, and improvements on the fore. The intensity of work the industry is doing to address global plastic waste is quite strong.” He also said that the plastic industry has suffered as a result of the issue of plastic waste, adding that “the industry has cooled down a little but expect growth in five years with more environmentallyfriendly materials.” Thus, at the rate things are going, the circular economy is an ultimate solution, with the CEWEP stating that landfill diversion of waste, that can be recycled or recovered, is a prerequisite for climate protection and for a sustainable circular economy.
WTE plants are common in Europe such as the incinerator/ electric power plant located in Oberhausen, Germany JUNE / JULY 2019
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China: armed to the teeth for manufacturing reforms China, currently mired in a trade conflict with the US, is betting on development plans of advanced manufacturing and sustainability to keep its clout in the global economic arena. At the recent Chinaplas, held from 21-24 May in Guangzhou, more than 3,500 local and foreign companies showcased their wares, with a focus on smart manufacturing.
Due to the growth of infrastructure in China, Borouge is significantly increasing production of precompounded black PE for pressure pipe applications
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Towards more high-tech manufacturing The world’s second largest economy is transitioning from being a producer of cheap, mediocre goods to a manufacturer of high-end goods. With the Made in China (MIC) 2025, launched in 2015, China has shifted its focus to its domestic strengths, including its increasing consumer base and upgraded manufacturing infrastructure, with more investments being injected into R&D and advanced technology. German TPE maker KRAIBURG TPE says it is well aware that quality, as well as product applications, efficiency and safety are important prerequisites for the market. It showcased an array of innovative solutions, including its breakthroughs and latest automotive low odour emissions TPE materials at the Chinaplas show. Roland Ritter, “The new TPE series is expected to bring a breath of fresh air to KRAIBURG TPE Director, automotive designers and manufacturers, and elevate automotive Asia Pacific, says the company’s TPE manufacturing standards,” said Roland Ritter, KRAIBURG TPE Director, compounds adhere to Asia Pacific. the China GB standards Also at the show, KRAIBURG TPE, which has a sales office in Shanghai, introduced its specific food-safe TPE compounds that adhere to the China GuoBiao (GB) standards, which represent the country’s aim to ensure safety of the products entering its borders, including intermediate materials, chemical substances, and finished products. KRAIBURG TPE, thus, adheres to the GB standards for food regulations, including the GB4806:2016, when sourcing for upstream material from suppliers, and during the processing stage. “Manufacturers are aggressively searching for suppliers with the technology to make positive impact on environment protection, energy saving, while maintaining or increasing production yield, but without incurring any additional cost,” Ritter commented. Meanwhile, the company is looking ahead to more development goals, preceded by the positive reception of the market to its latest innovations that include the thermoplastic elastomers hybrids (TEH), compounds that are suited for thermoplastic processing and offer heat and chemical resistance; low odour & emission products; and the lightweight TPEs, which are suited for a range of applications in the automotive as well as in a variety of industries. KRAIBURG says its lightweight TPEs offer increased mobility with significant weight savings. “The lightweight TPEs have unbelievable potential for use in a range of applications from automotive to powertools,” Ritter said, adding that the importance of weight savings, even at 20%, can go a long way, and would ultimately translate to long-term cost-savings. Meanwhile, polyolefins maker Borouge said that it will significantly increase production of pre-compounded black PE for pressure pipe applications by investing in a production unit expected to be completed within 2020. The company’s decision to expand capacity of PE black product follows soon after China’s Water Standards Committee revised the PE water pipe standards, to promote the use of pre-compounded materials for piping applications for greater quality assurance. The investment will address the rising demand for the materials as many cities in China and other emerging economies continue to expand and modernise their utilities infrastructure.
Country Focus Wim Roels, CEO of Borouge Pte Ltd, said, “The use of pre-compounded black PE will enable pipe manufacturers to produce superior quality pipes that help ensure the safe operation of distribution networks and minimise any losses of the products that flow through those pipes.” This latest announcement comes shortly after Borouge confirmed the next expansion phase of its Ruwais petrochemicals complex, which will see the construction of the world’s largest mixed-feed cracker with an ethylene output of 1.8 million tonnes. The new cracker will be the fourth in Borouge’s Ruwais complex and will have an overall capacity to produce 3.3 million tonnes of olefins and aromatics from a variety of feedstocks including ethane, butane and naphtha. All systems go for smart manufacturing In bid to reform its industrial prowess by transitioning to intelligent manufacturing, China is pouring investments into technology innovation. Akin to Germany’s Industry 4.0 agenda, China is treading on the digitalisation (automation, data exchange, Internet of Things) of its manufacturing spaces. According to a report by Deloitte China and China Machinery Industry Federation, the country has had a head start in smart manufacturing, but is meeting with challenges including talent, core technologies and supporting industries. Nevertheless, industry 4.0-fit global players that are serving the Chinese markets are filling in the smart manufacturing gap. US-based extrusion/converting machinery maker DavisStandard’s DS Activ-Check System for continuous extruder monitoring is 4.0 compliant, a response to the growing demand for smart technology, it said. The DS Activ-Check enables processors to take advantage of real-time preventative maintenance by providing early notifications of potential extruder failures. Machine operators are alerted to issues before they happen, preventing unnecessary downtime while also collecting valuable data. Key parameters monitored include extruder reducer, lubrication system, motor characteristics, the drive power unit, barrel heating and cooling. Likewise, the company also Sekaran Murugaiah of Davis-Standard assures showcased its latest dsX flex-pack 300S, a single-station extrusion and that the company remains optimistic about laminating line, that is designed the Chinese market specifically for the Asian flexible packaging market. According to Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President, Business Development Asia Pacific, “The machine, which is targeted for the flexible food packaging market, has the features and benefits designed by Davis-Standard, but we are able to sell it at a price point that is accessible for the Asian market.” The dsX flex-pack 300S is a collaboration among Davis-Standard’s teams in the US, Germany and China, addressing the pricing, machine footprint, speeds and output, and shorter runs demanded by converters.
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“There is already awareness regarding smart manufacturing: its advantages and capabilities. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done in this aspect,” said Murugaiah, who also confirmed the “good market reaction” for the dsX flexpack technology and HPE extruders. Reducing waste through machine orientation Meanwhile, other industry 4.0 compliant showpieces included those from German blown film technology specialist Hosokawa Alpine that showcased its TRIO system (Trim Reduction for Inline Orientation), which allows for minimised waste by trimming and near perfect film flatness, says the firm. Wolfgang Menzel, Senior Sales Manager of Hosokawa Alpine, explained that the MDO technology improves film optics, increases mechanical values and can additionally lead to specific properties, such as breathability. “Nowadays, MDO is used for standard products other than niche markets. One of those is Hosokawa Alpine's TRIO breathable film,” he said. Film system is industry 4.0 thicknesses of 12-25 g/m² are compliant, according to customary market standards and Senior Sales Manager, are commonly produced with Wolfgang Menzel film width of 2,500 mm – suited for Alpine’s MDO25. Specialised on low thicknesses in the range of 12-15 g/m², Alpine’s blown film line with MDO inline is said to prevail over previously used cast technology, with improved breathability and mechanical properties. Swiss thermoforming machine manufacturer, WM Thermoforming Machines, showcased its Twist and FT range, with special focus on the FT in version D for deep draw thermoforming. These are pressure formingpunch and die machines with a lower tilting plate with closed cutting tolerance, fully automatic thermoforming lines with easy operator control to increase the Andrea Crespi, Sales machine efficiency and optimise Area Manager of the production, reducing energy WM Thermoforming Machines, is upbeat consumption, manpower and about market maintenance costs and low waste/ sentiments scraps. The complete in-line extrusion and thermoforming machines plants, it says, are the “most efficient system to produce disposable cups, plates, margarine tubs and yogurt containers”. Steering the electric vehicles market A key sector under China’s MIC 2025 is the new energy vehicle (NEV) segment that is witnessing increasing sales in China. In the first eight months of 2018, the production and sales of NEVs reached 607,000 units, up 75.4% YoY, and 601,000 units, up 88% YoY, respectively, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Country Focus Japanese engineering plastics and polymers manufacturer Polyplastics has forayed into the expanding NEV market opportunities in China and at Chinaplas highlighted its latest resin for NEV applications. According to Cliff Chan, Senior Corporate Communication Manager, Greater China & ASEAN Region, the Duranex PBT and Durafide PPS materials are targeted for engine peripheral parts such as power control units (PCUs) and deliver high insulating properties and lower water absorption, while meeting harsh operating conditions (-40°C to 150°C, up to 95% relative humidity). Alongside this new development, Chan said the company is exploring new materials to replace metal in PCU housings and developing materials with electromagnetic shielding properties. “We are also targeting material development work for other EV applications such as motors and batteries.” Italian company Radici Plastics is offering materials specifically developed for applications on electric and hybrid cars, said Erico Spini, Global Marketing Manager. “We have just increased our Polyplastics highlighted production capacity,” he pointed out. “In particular, we have been following the evolution of electric cars its latest resin for NEV very closely, and we are working on a number of applications at the very interesting projects in collaboration with both show, according to Senior Corporate Comlocal and global OEMs. Our objective is to continue munication Manager, to grow, despite the fact that the world market, Cliff Chan including China, started sending out signals of a slowdown from year-end 2018 to the beginning of 2019.” As for German blow moulding machinery manufacturer Kautex Maschinenbau, with the automotive fuel tank sector accounting for up to 70% of its machinery sales, the change to more electric/hybrid cars in China has seen it implementing a strategy to increase its presence in alternative storage modes for NEVs, according to Kautex Managing Partner Andreas Lichtenauer. “The development of composite pressure vessels plays a major role here as an additional source of revenue alongside the fuel tank business. However, this will not compensate for the decline in incoming orders,” he lamented. Kautex offers C3LS twin-sheet technology for fuel tanks employed in low emission vehicles, for example, which can be retrofitted to existing blow moulding machines.
Kautex says C3LS process offers a practical and costeffective way of producing plastic fuel tanks
Grounded on sustainability: greening with adhesives and additives China’s progress forward to high tech manufacturing is complemented by its sustainable manufacturing strategies including implementing energy efficient and environmental technologies. Taiwan’s Great Eastern Resins Industrial Co Ltd (Greco) is plunging headlong into the market opportunity. The green solutions company produces water-based PU adhesives, TPU resins, special coatings, dry-film photoresists, and special chemicals, to cater to markets like China.
Country Focus “In 2017, we started to develop new, recyclable proprietary products like ETPU (expanded thermoplastic polyurethane), water-based PU, and long glass fibre compounding; and in 2018, the alipathic TPU, all of which are recyclable,” said Greco’s David Chiang, Head of Sales in Asia Pacific and China. “Huge brands, such as David Chiang of Greco footwear giants Nike and Adidas says huge brands in the footwear and (which are Greco’s customers), are automotive industries utilising sustainable materials in are utilising sustainable their products. As well, automotive materials parts are now being replaced with more eco-friendly materials, such as long glass fibre, which imparts lightweight benefits,” Chiang furthered, adding that providing a total solution of green products has been a focus of the firm. According to Chiang, Greco, which also supplies to automotive companies, invests heavily in R&D and machinery from Europe to ensure quality and stability of its products. Malaysia-headquartered Emery Oleochemicals, a global producer of natural-based specialty chemicals, provides the marketplace with sustainable alternatives for wide-ranging applications with its LOXIOL, EDENOL and EMEROX brands. “We have been “green” since the start, because our materials are based on renewable materials,” Dr Harald Klein, Emery’s Dr Harald Klein Emery Oleochemicals’s Global said that almost 75% of Platform Head (GP Additives), the company’s products told PRA in an interview during the recent Chinaplas show held in have renewable content of more than 50% Guangzhou. “Our aspiration is to be the first choice in green polymer additives. What it means is that customers who use petrochemical-based additives and want to change it to 100% renewable additives should think of Emery.” Klein also said that almost 75% of the company’s products have renewable content of more than 50%. “It is definitely increasing, since our R&D team are developing products based on completely renewable raw materials,” he added. At Chinaplas, Emery showcased its line of Green Polymer (GP) additives that are well-suited product solutions for the packaging, building and construction, automotive, toys, sporting equipment, and electronics industries. “We develop and manufacture value-added, renewablebased products that improve product performance and meet the regulatory demands of the food packaging industry, including food-contact approved,” Klein said. Klein also explained that surface additives are the future of packaging. Explaining briefly how packaging impacts consumer purchasing decision, Klein said, “Today, supermarkets carry all sorts of food products in various wrapping films. Depending on where you are, if it’s in Europe,
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PVC film wrap is common; and in Asia, it is more PP or PE. If there is moisture, the wrapping gets foggy, and then the customer cannot see the product. If you cannot see the product you don’t want to buy it.” Thus, Emery’s 100% renewably-sourced antifogging agents help eliminate fogging, the undesired formation of small water droplets on the surface of films that are used in food packaging. “Another surface additive is the LOXIOL antistatic agents, which are, for example, used in electronic components that are vulnerable to dust, to eliminate build-up of static charge on the surface of finished products,” according to Klein. For quality conscious consumers, buying a product collecting dust on a store shelf is not an option. Emery’s EDENOL speciality plasticiser is also a big market. “We produce certain plasticisers for niche markets, for example for the toy industry,” Klein related, adding that the company supplies to a Chinese customer that produces toys. “Our plasticiser is completely green to make it safe (especially for child items that are put in the mouth) and so as not to impart harmful chemicals,” he said. The company also has a wide range of phthalatefree plasticisers for high performance and technical applications, including both polymeric plasticisers and monomeric plasticisers. Trade war aside, is China still a vital market? The industry’s move from being low cost manufacturer to a high end manufacturing base is allegedly breeding unfair competition in the global trade. This has provided the undercurrents in the ongoing trade conflict with the US, some observers say. The impact of the US/China trade war, either negative or positive, has swept across industries and sectors worldwide. “We are affected by the trade war but in a positive sense,” said Sunil Jain, President of Indian extrusion/thermoforming machinery firm Rajoo Engineers. Jain explained: “Because a lot of plastic goods will be exported from China to the US; and if there is an embargo or high import duties, India is, thus, a logical supplier and this will be beneficial for our machines.” At Chinaplas, the Rajkot-headquartered manufacturer promoted its latest Lamex extrusion coating and laminating line, built in partnership with rotogravure printing and laminating machinery maker Kohli Industries. Davis Standard’s Murugaiah hinted at a few hitches for the industry resulting from the trade standoff. “There have been challenges with economic and trade uncertainties in China. However, we remain optimistic about the Chinese market and our business prospects here,” he said. “Meanwhile, plastic demand has continued in Asia, albeit at a slower rate. However, there are continuous and exciting growth prospects in the food packaging segment for sustainable solutions, innovative products and functionalities,” he added. Germany-headquartered Collin Lab & Pilot Solutions’s Sales Director, Hans Fischer, said that the trade war had slowed down some of its projects. “Customers want to make sure that products are coming from Germany and not from the US,” he said, however, adding that the company that makes pilot and laboratory lines for processing of polymers remains optimistic. Fischer attested that China is its largest
Country Focus market in the region. “It is an important market for us. We are working with a distributor here in China. We have six locations in China, thus, we are able to offer local service,” he said. The US trade policy and the diesel crisis has had an effect on blow moulding company Kautex’s sales. “In 2018, car production in China alone, the world's largest Collin Lab & Pilot Solutions’s Hans Fischer automobile market, declined for says customers prefer the first time in 20 years. Due to products coming from our high export share of more Germany amid the USthan 90%, we are clearly feeling China trade conflict the effects of these negative developments. Some of our customers in the automotive segment now have surplus capacity," says Andreas Lichtenauer, Managing Partner at Kautex Maschinenbau. "Some machines are not in production," he added. Dr Harald Klein of Emery Oleochemicals was sure the trade war was affecting businesses, but said it was difficult to quantify how. “For export oriented companies, especially to the US, it is definitely the trade war that is causing a slowdown. But many companies are also doing business in the domestic market,” he furthered.
German extruder maker Coperion was celebrating the 15th anniversary of its STS twin screw extruder at Chinaplas, of which it has sold “thousands of units”. It is assembled at the firm’s Chinese facility in Nanjing. It has expanded this extruder series with the new STS 25 Mc11 extruder that has a 25 mm screw diameter, designed specially for tasks as well as for production of small batch sizes
Klein said that the situation has leveraged Vietnam as well as other countries like Thailand and Malaysia to take advantage of the situation. “A number of Chinese companies have moved production to Vietnam,” he said. Business as usual for some Meanwhile, officials at thermoforming machine maker Kiefel Technologies had every reason to smile at Chinaplas: the company had clinched a large order of six machines to a Chinese PET recycling firm. Of the six machines sold to Guolong Recyclable Resources Group, five were the KMD Smartformer and one, the KTR cup forming machine. Said Thomas Halletz, Managing Director of Kiefel, “Not only is Guolong a new customer, we are also proud that we participated in a closed loop cycle project.”
Guolong is expected to have a turnkey project line comprising sorting equipment from Tomra, cleaning equipment from Sorema, recycling equipment from Austrian firm Erema and an extrusion line from Austria’s SML, with Kiefel’s thermoforming machinery closing the loop. “Our business focuses on sustainability, and we are proud to have cooperated with Guolong. The company uses regrind from PET bottles back to sheet and thermoforms into FDA-approved trays for food packaging.” He added that 100% rPET is used in the centre of the packaging trays, reducing the use of virgin material. Machines in the KMD Speedformer series are effective for mass production and said to be economical for small quantities, with a high degree of automation, steel rule cutting as well as integrated stacking station. When asked about sales in Asia, Halletz replied, “It is a competitive market but we are seeing increasing take up of machines for the automotive sector in China.” Halletz also said that the firm’s KMD Speedformer enjoys growing sales for thermoforming trays, while its tilting machines are used in Thomas Halletz, niche markets of cups for the Managing Director of beverage market worldwide. Kiefel said the firm had For KraussMaffei Berstorff, clinched a successful China is an important market order in China as the growth trend is expected to continue in the years to come, according to Leo Yuan, Vice President Extrusion China. Thus, the company launched the ZE GP Agile twin-screw extruder at Chinaplas, manufactured at the Haiyan production site of KraussMaffei Group and aimed at compounding companies. “The development of the new series was focused on the key requirements of customers in China and in the Asian region in general,” said Yuan. Meanwhile, Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Managing Director of German extrusion machinery company, Reifenhäuser, confirmed that China remains to be a lucrative market and the company is eyeing on increasing its market share in China. “Asia, the strongest growing market worldwide, is a vital market for us, accounting for 25% of our business. But we want to boost our presence in China and be closer to our customers. We want to grow in China and the region with Reifenhäuser is eyeing the right solutions for new on increasing its market products with recyclability to share in China, says achieve the circular economy,” Managing Director, Ulrich he concluded. Reifenhäuser JUNE / JULY 2019
The sustainability side of glamour Shedding off its “polluter” image, the cosmetics industry is showing its new true colours by going green, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Givaudan partnered with Bio FD&C in boosting its plant cell culture and phytopeptides capability
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he latest Mintel report on beauty and personal care trends has emphasised that more beauty product consumers are now “questioning brands’ ecoethical practices”. It is evident that the plastics waste issue has changed how consumers choose and use products; and the industry has to adapt to these changes. Gone are the days when soaps came in a bar form; perfumes were packaged in elaborate glass containers and hair-care products were powders or pomades packaged in tins or jars. To allow for convenience, plastics have been a choice material for packaging to make it light, flexible, and sturdy. Items that had been packaged in heavy, delicate glass could be transported farther and more easily. Once a subject of tirade by widely using microplastics in personal care and cosmetics products (PCCPs), the cosmetics industry has immersed into the sustainability fold by incorporating more natural and biodegradable raw materials into its beauty formulations and packaging, which has thus helped it emerge as a part of the solution against plastic waste pollution. At the same time, it is charming today’s breed of well-informed consumers with products that are cruelty-free and environmental-friendly to propel its market to cross the billion dollar threshold over the decade. Clearly, the global cosmetics market, poised to reach US$863 billion by 2024, according to Zion Research Market, will skyrocket further in the coming decades. It has also opened up several market opportunities for green chemicals, biobased packaging and vegan products, to cite a few, at the heels of a growing global consumer base that wants a zero-waste lifestyle. Products fashioned from biobased ingredients Deriving plant-based raw materials for colourants, fragrances, emollients, and the like, is not new. Over the years, the advent of synthetic raw materials has paved the way for producing a broader range of properties in beauty enhancement products. Nonetheless, the issue of safety has since seeped into the growing cosmetics market. The demand for skin-safe, natural-based ingredients in cosmetics has driven the growth of the organic cosmetic products market, poised to reach US$19.8 billion by 2022 as forecast in a report by Allied Research Market. Bioactive ingredients are raking in a significant share in this market. Phytopeptides or plant-based chains of amino acid that make up protein are among the latest bioactive ingredients that are making waves in cosmetics manufacturing. Swiss manufacturer of flavours, fragrances, and active cosmetic ingredients, Givaudan has upped its active beauty capabilities in plant cell culture and phytopeptides with an R&D partnership agreement and acquisition of a minority stake into South Korean beauty innovation company Bio FD&C, which specialises in anti-ageing cosmetics ingredients. According to Givaudan, the mature markets of North America, Western Europe and Japan are the bastion for more than half of its annual sales, whereas, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe represent the remaining 43% of its sales, driven by rising urbanisation, lifestyle change and rising disposable incomes in these regions.
Albert Vieille sources its raw materials from aromatic crops
Along the same vein of increasing capabilities but this time in natural ingredients for fragrances, Givaudan has recently acquired Albert Vieille a France-headquartered company that specialises in natural ingredients used in the fragrance and aromatherapy markets. The company, which has a manufacturing facility in Spain, claims that it sources its raw materials from aromatic crops, and produces 100% natural products with no chemical modification or denaturation by petrochemical-derived molecules. Designing packaging with biodegradable material Packaging has played a vital role in visually guiding consumers to pick the right colour, formulation, and type of cosmetic products. Along with the rise in demand for cosmetics, the global cosmetic packaging market has also evolved in terms of aesthetic design, protective properties to extend shelf life, and sustainability features, among other improvements. German bioplastic granulates producer FKuR has introduced cosmetic tubes using Brazil-headquartered Braskem’s bio-based Green PE to combine sustainability,
recyclability and attractiveness, it said. Green PE is a plastic produced from sugarcane. It captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce greenhouse gases emission, Braskem said. And because Green PE has the same mechanical properties as conventional PE, it also can be recycled within the same chain of recycling traditional PE, the South American chemical company added. The bio-based Green PE is suited for the extrusion blow moulding of tubes. Depending on the application, HDPE grades with more than 90% of biobased content, or LDPE grades with more than 95% (as well as LLDPE grades with more than 80% of biobased content according to ASTM D 6866) are available. Furthermore, with its Terralene LL 1712, FKuR offers a ready-to-use compound for tube production based on Green PE. Meanwhile, Japanese chemicals company Kaneka Corporation has co-developed cosmetic containers made of its Kaneka biodegradable polymer PHBH for Japanese personal care company Shiseido. The “Ok biodegradable MARINE”-certified material is said to be a 100% plantbased biopolymer developed by Kaneka that is biobased yet resistant to heat and hydrolysis. It exhibits a range of properties from hardness to softness as well as a key number of characteristics of PE and PP resins, says Kaneka. Luxury brands using less plastic, more wood composites Cosmetic makers are also starting to reduce the use of plastic while increasing biodegradable material content in their packaging; opting for material solutions such as wood-based composites, which have the potential to reduce plastic consumption by up to 50%.
Corpack's Sughera comprises 70% cork and 30% rubber-blend and is 100% degradable
FKuR has introduced cosmetic tubes using Braskem’s bio-based Green PE
German packaging producer Corpack says it offers “intelligent” and sustainable packaging solutions, including non-petrol based, natural raw materials such as cork and wood. It says its Sughera, a material consisting of a synthetic rubber-blend mixed with ground pieces of natural cork, fits the requirement for sustainable cosmetics packaging. JUNE / JULY 2019
Cosmetics Industry For the first time a micro-agglomerated natural cork is injection moulded and formed without using glue. Besides its special composition, the distinctive features of Sughera are good resistance to various elements and versatility in application, Corpack said. This new material, comprising70% cork and 30% rubber-blend, uses less petroleum-based materials, while giving the component a natural look and feel. Also it is 100% recyclable. In a cooperation with Italian packaging manufacturer Livingcap, Corpack says it is the first company to introduce Sughera in a wide range of cosmetic packaging. Finnish manufacturer of pulp, paper and other forest products Stora Enso has launched its DuraSense wood fibre-based biocomposite solution for premium cosmetics, food and luxury packaging. Pegged as an alternative to plastic packaging, DuraSense is a blend of wood fibres and polymers, which can be fossil or bio-based or recycled. With DuraSense, Stora Enso said that customers can have an eco-friendly option to plastics while improving sustainability performance and reducing the carbon footprint.
Stora Enso's wood-fibre-based biocomposite solutions, DuraSense for premium cosmetics, food and luxury packaging is a blend of wood fibres and polymers, which can be fossil, bio-based or recycled
Stora Enso, which started the commercial production of biocomposites in 2018, has the largest capacity in Europe dedicated to wood fibre-based composites. It sources the raw material for DuraSense from sustainably managed Nordic forests covered by third-party-certified Chain of Custody systems. Meanwhile, adding to the roster of luxury brands teaming up with packaging solution experts to increase sustainability features of products is the high fashion company Chanel. It has invested into Finnish start-up Sulapac in the development of materials for environmentally-friendly products or packaging. In the meantime, Sulapac has raised funding from several investors such as Lifeline Ventures, Ardent Venture, Eerik Paasikivi, Ilkka Herlin and Saara FRX and China’s Yoo-Point will jointly develop Kankaanrinta, Planvest, and Mika Ihamuotila, as waterwell as based emulsions in China funding from the EU and Finnish grant instruments.
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Sulapac uses a biodegradable and microplastic-free material made of FSC-certified wood chips and natural binders for its biodegradable packaging products
Sulapac says it uses a biodegradable and microplasticfree material made of FSC-certified wood chips and natural binders for its products. Endowed with all the benefits of plastic, the new materials biodegrade completely and leave no microplastics behind, Sulapac said, adding that the resulting 100% biodegradable packaging outperforms other sustainable alternatives in terms of barrier properties, fast biodegradation and a unique look. Thinking out of the box Thus, shampoo, lotion and deodorant bottles that come in plastics packaging are seeing a sweeping change, with companies tackling the problem by redesigning products. For instance, UK-based personal care and beauty company Lush Cosmetics has decided to redesign its shampoo back into a solid bar form, thus cutting down on packaging and microplastics. Another strategy for companies is to resort to using refillable containers. Yet, other large personal care companies, like Unilever and L’Oreal, have signed on to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s “New Plastics Economy” goals. L’Oreal says its aim is to make 100% of its packaging reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2025, and to source 50% of packaging from recycled material. All this is in line with the Mintel report that suggests that companies need to “innovate their waste-free routine”, to address an important breakthrough pertaining to consumers’ perception on sustainability. L’Oreal says its initiatives to reduce the weight of bottles and caps have led to a saving in source materials of 5,000 tonnes between 2008-2017. It also says for new shampoo bottles from the Redken, Kiehl’s and Pureology brands up to 100% of the plastic used has been recycled, with the amount of recycled plastic in its packaging having increased by 33% in 2017
Injection Moulding Asia Machinery
K2019: Arburg’s focus on the circular economy In the run-up to the world’s largest plastics
Arburg as a machine manufacturer supports circular economy. Why?
German plastics and rubber machinery
Dr. Christoph Schumacher: We have recognised this serious and possibly most important problem of our industry and our society in the next decades, we have understood its dimension and want to contribute to solving it. We firmly believe that that this challenge cannot be faced by individual members of the value-added chain alone.
show, K2019, to be held from 16-23 October, association VDMA is running a series of
interviews with its members on the circular economy VDMA says it will “shine the
spotlight” on circular economy at the K2019 on how closed loops can work effectively.
What can you at Arburg do for the cycle?
Featured here is an interview with Dr.
Dr. Christoph Schumacher: We as machine manufacturers can help develop new processing techniques and procedures. A classical historic issue is multi-component processing. It shows how new challenges create new techniques, and sometimes new techniques trigger the development of new products. In my view, Arburg is deeply involved in Design for Recycling. We firmly believe that in the next 20 to 30 years the production of plastics will also be oriented towards aspects of recycling, and this is where machine manufacturers are an important factor. We must ensure the production of these parts. And all the time we must bear in mind the common goal of production efficiency for our customers, i.e. to manufacture resourceefficient products with as little material and as little energy as possible.
Christoph Schumacher, Head of Marketing
and Corporate Communications, of injection moulding machine company Arburg GmbH & Co. KG.
lastic as a reusable material is still the material of the 21st century, according to Dr. Christoph Schumacher, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, of injection moulding machine company Arburg. But he adds that there are various external framework parameters with a major problem being that that plastics are waste products. “Plastics materials do not belong in the oceans or the ditches but in a recycling chain. Machine engineering is an enabler, it enables recycling of plastics. You can argue over the need of packaging a cucumber. But you cannot argue about the necessity of plastics in medical technology and in everything affecting people. In this application everyone demands the highest quality product, for instance, when it comes to infusions or stents,” he adds.
Is the circular economy a business opportunity? Dr. Christoph Schumacher: The whole issue must make sense from an economic point of view. The public would refuse to believe us if we pretended to have missionary aspirations. We are an industry. We actually see a business opportunity in circular economy. We could sell the value-added cycle all over the world. There are still so many regions where circular economy does not play any role at all, in many Asian countries, for example, but also in parts of the US. If we could export the European or the German standard to all these markets, we would have an incredible amount of work from this field alone in the next decades. Arburg has customers who already make money as part of circular economies in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and also in the US. They collect PET bottles, process them into PET flakes to manufacture PET bottles again. 1
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery News Whose task will it be to export entire value-added chains to the world? Dr. Christoph Schumacher: Thatâ€™s difficult. Circular economy only works if everyone is involved in the value-added chain. But at present, there are no such consortiums to serve as export model. As a rule, such an idea can be successful only if you approach it systematically. All those involved must be convinced, there must be market incentives and legal regulation to define the framework. What if the EU introduces circular economy and products become more expensive, but competitors from overseas offer them cheaper because they can produce more economically with virgin material? Dr. Christoph Schumacher: That would be inadmissible distortion of competition. If the EU stipulated certain practices by law that other manufacturers in the global market did not adopt, and if as a consequence our markets were not regulated
correspondingly, legislators would have to ensure that other competitors operate under the same conditions in these markets. Of course, this would aggravate market chances for European products in countries that do not have the same environmental standards if consumer behaviour does not change in those countries. What role does the consumer play? Dr. Christoph Schumacher: Consumers are an essential lever, but I feel, that they cannot really understand the issue at present. This is reflected in the discussion on biodegradable products, for example. They also see pictures of whales with plastic bags in their stomachs or sea turtles in fishing nets. Thatâ€™s why in a discussion you donâ€™t stand a chance with communicative methods. What I hope for is that the plastics sector, from material manufacturing to the consumers, finds a common definition. That we recognise circular economy as a common goal and that we then position ourselves correspondingly.
Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus
Digitalisation and business growth in China The plastics industry is undergoing a
• The “Machine Center” app brings transparency to production and reduces organisational effort. It provides a quick overview of the machine fleet and enables central access to production-relevant documents. • The “Service Center” app can be used to start service tickets around the clock – including from mobile devices on site. Open service tickets, the current processing status and the planned deployment of service technicians are clearly displayed and can be centrally tracked. • The spare parts catalogue is a central component of the “Shop” app. Interactive navigation and clear 3D previews make searching easier. In addition, there is direct access to prices and availability. • In “Calendar”, upcoming maintenance and other tasks can be clearly displayed.
change that started a few years ago with
digitalisation and networking and Industry
4.0 not just buzzwords these days. This year’s Chinaplas show in Guangzhou had companies rolling out the latest smart manufacturing technologies.
Digitalisation comes into the main frame German injection moulding machine firm Arburg for the first time presented a Chinese version of its new arburgXworld customer portal at the show. It will be available to Chinese customers as early as this summer and from K2019 onwards in October, the customer portal will become available worldwide. Digital assistance packages and the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) for service purposes were also showcased as further highlights on the subject of digitalisation. Arburg will bundle its digital services in this new service marketplace and gradually expand them. Once enabled, the required apps in the cloud can be used on a PC or mobile device. To mark the launch of the customer portal, there will be four apps: “Machine Center”, “Service Center”, “Shop” and “Calendar”:
As a central component of Industry 4.0, the Arburg host computer system (ALS) enables production planning as well as complete traceability of orders and batches. Allrounder machines, the Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing and peripheral equipment can be easily and uniformly networked using interfaces based on the OPC UA communication platform. At Chinaplas, all Arburg exhibits were connected to ALS in this way. The host computer system records and archives all the relevant process data online and is linked directly to the company network via a PPS or ERP interface.
At Chinaplas, all Arburg exhibits were connected to its ALS
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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus Automation and Industry 4.0 Austrian machine maker Engel says its efforts in digitalisation started ten years ago, and now it has “thousands of solutions in area of digitalisation”. Claimed Gero Willmeroth, President East Asia and Oceania of Engel, based in Shanghai, “We have not one but many solutions for Industry 4.0 for MNCs, since machines are becoming more integrated system solutions.” At Chinaplas, Engel showed its Inject 4.0, labelled as the “factory of the future”, on a tiebarless Emotion 80 TL. During the manufacture of LED lenses, Engel used the iQ weight control assistance to ensure permanent adaptation of process parameters based on real time data, an essential feature of the smart factory in Industry 4.0. Engel’s Gero Willmeroth says the “Our system firm’s Inject 4.0 solution provides an overall view of how Industry 4.0 showcases how improves productivity on the shop Industry 4.0 improves floor productivity and how things are getting easier. Thanks to the self-optimising machine, we make it simple for processors to leverage the full efficiency and quality potential. Even semi-skilled employees who do not yet have much injection moulding experience are able to produce a consistently high quality,” claimed Willmeroth. Meanwhile, compatriot Dr Boy says it met perfectly the automation trend with the presentation of a fully automated production line, including a packaging machine. The Boy 35E, with a compact footprint of 4.5 sq m, was shown with automated production of delicatessen
trays and integrated packaging. With the processing of two-component liquid silicone rubber (LSR) on a Boy 22A, the German machine manufacturer, located in NeustadtFernthal, complemented it with a six-cavity mould from EMDE MouldTec to produce silicone nipples. German machinery maker KraussMaffei Group is ready to tap into the fast-paced developments in automation and artificial intelligence in China, said Nadine Despineux, President of KraussMaffei’s new digital service solutions unit. “Last year, the highest investment in artificial intelligence was in China, while 40% of global robots were purchased in China last year.” “China is an accelerator of our global digitalisation strategy,” she said, adding that the digital service unit was launched in 2018 under the firm’s Compass strategy. KraussMaffei’s Matthias Sieverding The firm also said the company’s focus on China took the occasion of Chinaplas to launch its is to have local offerings that allows the firm to tackle challenges and eStore, said to be the opportunities. “A keystone of our first online solution strategy is a new R&D centre in store for injection China, as we not just want to design moulding machines in Germany and make in China; but now we want to develop products in and robots in China. China too,” he added It offers machine and robot recommendations online based on the mould or part input, with the ordering function to be available soon. FCS on the road to digitalisation; business expansion Taiwan’s machine maker Fu Chun Shin (FCS), which commemorated the 35th anniversary of its multicomponent moulding machine at Chinaplas, remains up-beat about business despite a slow first quarter, said Hank Wu, Marketing Manager. “We see business improving in Asia, since more companies are moving to countries like Vietnam with the US/China trade war.” Furthermore, FCS is in the process of building its facility in Ahmedabad, India, which was announced last year. “We are still sourcing for a suitable plot of land for the building,” said Wu. Meanwhile, FCS set up a recycling firm in Batam, Indonesia, this year. FCS RGP is a joint venture by FCS, Everrank and Royal Goalson, with an investment will be S$20 million. “FCS RGP mainly provides products made of recycled materials like pallets, trash cans and packaging materials. A majority (80%) of production will be exported to the US, Singapore and Malaysia, while 20% is for the Indonesian domestic market,” explained Wu.
Boy showcased its 35E with the automated production of delicatessen trays and integrated packaging
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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus As for its multicomponent machine, FCS first introduced the AE hybrid series 35 years ago and in 2004 launched the FB-140R for the mobile phone industry. Attesting to the quality, Wu said, “Even in 2018, some Korean customers still Hank Wu of FCS delighted at the purchased the same company’s 35th anniversary of its model of dedicated multi-component machine two-component machine for mobile phones.” In 2016, FCS launched the upgraded dedicated toothbrush machine FB-600T, to replace the original nine single-colour machines (secondary moulding process), which not only saves half of the space, but also reduces manpower (three shifts from 24 persons to three persons). More importantly, the yield (from 95% to 99%) and efficiency are improved, according to Wu. As for digitalisation, FCS introduced its iMF 4.0 Intelligent ManuFactory smart production management system last year. The iMF 4.0 system is based on the cycle time management and introduces the concept of mould, machine and material management, and OPC international communication protocol to achieve instant display of overall equipment efficiency information and abnormal message statistics. At Chinaplas, it was showing its iMF system on the new FA advanced servo hydraulic model; while another FB-280T multi-component machine was shown producing three-colour toothbrush handle grips.
Feltes pointed to growth of demand of Wintec machines from appliance manufacturers that have production operations in China, South Korea, Mexico and the US. “There has been significant growth year-on-year, 60% coming from the automotive sector while in the white goods industry (24%), we saw significant growth from manufacturers of home appliances and washing machines,” he explained, adding that technical moulding occupies about 8% of the machine sales. Meanwhile, Feltes expects large growth in the Wintec market from China to the export market. “Wintec machinery exports grew by 5% last year.” At Chinaplas, it showcased two servo-hydraulic twoplaten injection machines that offer a service life expectancy of 15 years and more if maintained, said Feltes. On the other hand, Engel Chief Scientific Officer Christoph Steger said Engel had garnered a sales growth of 21% in Asia or EUR336 million, with 90% derived from local production and 960 people in employment in Engel Asia. “We expanded the facility in Shanghai in 2017, and have already filled up the production space since then,” he added. Engel’s Christoph Steger said the company had garnered a sales growth of 21% in Asia
With an emphasis of serving the Chinese market from a more R&D base to develop machines in China and export from the country, KraussMaffei is building a new plant in China that will double its capacity there, said Matthias Sieverding, President of Extrusion Technology. Having started construction on the new plant in the city of Jiaxing in March this year, Sieverding said the company’s other plant in Haiyan, built in 2008, had become too small. The investment into the new 57,000 sq m facility forms part of its increased capital investment under its parent company, China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina). The firm will also double its staff to 700. To come online in 2020, the Jiaxing plant will produce the company’s full range of equipment, including injection moulding machines, extruders, robots and polyurethane systems. The new plant is KraussMaffei’s second expansion in China. Early this year, it converted a former ChemChina production site in Sanming to make a new line of PX Agile standardised all-electric injection moulding machines.
Expansions and growth in Asia/China Engel’s Wintec subsidiary in China, set up in 2014 to offer a standard machine product, is on an expansion drive with an investment of EUR12 million in its Changzhou production facility. The new expansion to double the production capacity will be on line by the end of the year, said Michael Feltes, President Sales and Service, Engel Machinery.
Michael Feltes says Wintec will double its production capacity by the end of this year
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Injection Moulding Asia Additive Manufacturing
3D printing at the fore Additive manufacturing or commonly known
BASF says its material series is fully validated with Origin’s manufacturing-grade printer and platform
as 3D is seeing a spurt of growth with
various companies making announcements for
new tie-ups and product launches to make the
process more commercial for mass production.
Collaborations for technologies German chemicals firm BASF’s 3D Printing Solutions unit is to provide its photopolymer additive manufacturing materials to Paxis for its new WAV (Wave Applied Voxel) technology, created with the end-user firmly in mind in an effort to solve trapped volume issues of within current liquid resin-based technologies. BASF’s Ultracur3D ST 45 reactive urethane photopolymer has been designed for high accuracy and mechanical strength, where existing 3D printing materials often reach their limitations. Ultracur3D ST 45 can be used to produce functional parts by using a wide variety of equipment, such as stereolithography (SLA), digital light processing (DLP), or Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).
BASF has also collaborated with Origin, an openplatform additive-manufacturing printer provider, with ECCO, a footwear manufacturer, to develop a new approach to footwear production. The Danish ECCO group, using Origin’s newly developed printing system with BASF’s Ultracur3D material at its R&D Centre in Denmark, says the initial results demonstrate detailed accuracy and mechanical stability. Paving the way for 3D to overtake injection moulding Meanwhile, Germany’s Evonik and Evolve Additive Solutions have announced a joint development agreement where the companies will work together to formulate Evonik’s thermoplastic materials to be used in Evolve’s STEP (selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process) additive manufacturing solutions. The initial development efforts will focus on PA12, PEBA (polyether block amide), transparent polyamide, and polymers from the PA6 series. In the future, the combined efforts will result in a wider range of materials for STEP users with more 3D printing material choices for production that are commonly used in traditionally manufactured products.
BASF’s photopolymer materials Ultracur3D qualify for early development access in new WAV technology
Paxis’s primary focus is commercial manufacturer applications in the aerospace, automotive, dental and medical sectors, as well as identifying potential vertical markets within advanced manufacturing that have so far been ignored due to the limitations of existing technologies. “Pairing innovative materials at the earliest stages of designing the WAV technology is critical,” explains Mike Littrell, CEO/Founder of Paxis. “Too often, the material is modified to work within the limitations of existing technologies,” he says, adding that developing the materials prior to launching the WAV technology will enable end-users to integrate the technology quickly into their operations.
Evolve Additive’s STEP process is said to be the first additive manufacturing technology to offer a viable alternative to injection moulding
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Injection Moulding Asia Additive Manufacturing Once commercial, Evolve’s STEP technology will sit alongside traditional manufacturing processes, such as injection moulding on the manufacturing floor, augmenting an organisation’s production capabilities and allowing freedom of design and faster time to market with “tool-less” production. The selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process from Evolve is still in the alpha development stage and is expected to be commercial in late-2020. “STEP has been developed for volume manufacturing so offering the widest range of thermoplastic materials to our customers is a critical element for production,” said Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions. “The joint development agreement with Evonik allows us to broaden the spectrum of STEP materials to include materials currently accepted by OEMs from additive manufacturing, but more importantly to debut a whole new set of materials opening up more applications that can take advantage of everything additive manufacturing offers.”
Elix has added its ABS-3D materials to the Ultimaker Marketplace
Yet another company, Elix Polymers, a supplier of ABS materials, has added two new grades to the Ultimaker Marketplace for 3D printing equipment FDM applications. The move was made together with three partner companies producing filament from Elix ABS: 3R3D, based in Spain; Filoalfa brand owner Ciceri de Mondel (Italy); and Print-me (Poland). The companies in the partnership cooperated within the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program. The two new ABS grades are 3D-FC and ABS 3D-HI. The 3D-FC material is certified for medical and food contact applications, complying with the ISO 10993-1 and USP Class VI standards determining biocompatibility. Certification covers the whole material recipe, including colour pigments (the material is available in different colours). The second grade is a high-impact ABS grade with lower density than other ABS grades and offering high impact resistance, even at low temperatures, says Elix. Impact performance is comparable with ABS/PC, which has a higher density, making the new grade particularly suitable for automotive applications where weight-saving is an issue. Possible applications include functional prints of prototype parts (assembly tests in automotive, for example), industrial/medical tooling (jigs and fixtures), and short series of personalized parts. With traditional injection moulding customers now starting to adopt Ultimaker 3D printers, the companies expect a good take up rate and opening up of new applications for 3D printing. Ultimaker – a global leader in desktop 3D printing – had earlier announced that its Ultimaker Material Alliance Program had already influenced over 80 companies worldwide to develop material print profiles for FFF 3D printing. The programme was launched a year earlier to meet the growing demand for industrial-grade engineering 3D printing materials. Ultimaker says its Print Profile Assistant is being adopted to rapidly bring a wide variety of highperformance FFF 3D printing materials to the professional market. These material print profiles become available for download in the Marketplace in Ultimaker Cloud.
Developing new materials for the market Belgian chemical firm Solvay is working with Stratasys to develop new additive manufacturing filaments for exclusive use in Stratasys’s FDM F900 3D printers. The companies will develop a filament based on Solvay’s Radel polyphenylsulphone (PPSU), meeting stringent compliance requirements for use in aerospace applications. Commercialisation will be in 2020 and additional highperformance products meeting industry-specific needs in other key AM end-use markets will follow. Meanwhile, Dutch chemical firm DSM, which invested in additive resin supplier Adaptive3D early this year, will sell Adaptive3D’s newest product, Soft ToughRubber, a new 3D printable photopolymer. DSM and Adaptive3D are partnering to commercialise what is said to be the world’s softest tough photopolymer
The new material is said to allow manufacturers to explore applications in medical models and consumer products such as audio earbuds and footwear. The partnership will guarantee the availability of the new material in production volumes worldwide. The material combines the feel and mechanical properties of silicone with the resolution and surface finish that Digital Light Processing (DLP) printing provides. DSM and Adaptive3D also say they will continue working together closely to explore new applications and develop materials that best meet market needs. 7 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 9
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Hungarian energy and chemicals company MOL is to invest about US$10.3 million in the construction of new rubber-bitumen plant situated in Zalaegerszeg, western Hungary. The new plant is expected to start production next year, with a capacity of 20 kilotonnes/ year of rubber-bitumen. It is produced using environmentally-friendly technology as a result of collaboration between MOL and Pannon University, and can be used to build more durable asphalt roads with higher load capacity and low maintenance costs. • Chemical firm Trinseo is to acquire US chemical firm Dow Chemical’s latex production facilities and related infrastructure in Rheinmunster, Germany, for EUR40 million, in the form of assumed pension liabilities for transferred employees. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019, following European Union regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The acquisition adds to Trinseo’s grid of production facilities across Europe – including an existing latex production plant in Germany, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands. • Japanese maker of rubber and plastics automotive parts Toyoda Gosei Co. has invested in QBIT Robotics Corporation (Tokyo, Japan), a provider of robotics services, to accelerate development of a practical robot hand with tactile sense using e-Rubber sensors. The investment amount is 120 million yen, which will give Toyoda Gosei a stake of 7.6% in QBIT Robotics. QBIT
Robotics is a start-up that develops systems centered on collaborative robots that work together with humans for use in the service industry, including food service and entertainment, and provides robotics services that can help to solve social issues such as labour shortages. Toyoda Gosei is developing a tactile hand that can sense the shape and softness of objects, a capability that conventional robots have lacked. • French tyre maker Michelin has acquired Masternaut, a European telematics company, in a deal that will ease fleet services, product development and growth across the region. Masternaut is Michelin’s third major acquisition in the fleet telematics industry after North/South America’s Nextraq and Sascar. It currently manages some 220,000 light utility vehicles under contract, and will continue to operate under its own brand within Michelin. Michelin and car company General Motors (GM) have also launched the new Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) Prototype, an airless wheel technology. It will be first tested on the Chevrolet Bolt EV and on a test fleet of Bolt EV vehicles in the US later this year and after collaborative testing will be introduced on passenger vehicles by 2024. • Chemical manufacturer Lion Elastomers has made its second acquisition of Firestone Polymers’s Orange, US, production site, in a move that complements Lion’s current portfolio and allows expansion of the business. The first
purchase of Ashland Elastomers in Texas in 2014 propelled Lion to be a leading SBR merchant in the US. • American tyre manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has entered a partnership with California-based electric car subscription company Borrow for automatic tyre servicing. Goodyear will use its predictive tyre servicing solution for automatic tyre maintenance and replacement amongst Borrow’s connected fleets. • Japanese tyre maker Yokohama India has opened an outlet for its customers in Karnataka, southwest India, as a joint-project with Coorg Wheel Alignment. It will offer services including tyre changing, wheel alignment and balancing, and nitrogen gas filling as well as basic facilities of a one-stop tyre service centre. • Taiwan’s Kenda Rubber is to relocate its tyre production from China to other Asian countries amid US-China trade angst. The stiff tariffs affecting Kenda’s US orders would otherwise add to other Chinese exports totalling US$65 million/year. • German manufacturer Continental is to expand its production facilities in Lousado, Portugal, with investments amounting to EUR100 million to transform the plant into a centre for big radial OTR tyres. New tyre machinery and automated devices will deliver the production of radial Earthmoving and Port tyres of 24 in. diameter or higher. Continental has
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News also invested around EUR150 million into increasing the production of passenger car and agricultural tyres in the city, as part of its Vision 2025 growth strategy. Continental’s US division has also opened doors at its Advanced Indoor Evaluation Center in Uvalde County, Texas. The US$10 million passenger/light truck tyre testing facility begun testing months back although the official launch was in early June. • Swedish giant Trelleborg’s Sealing Solutions business has opened its expanded Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) manufacturing facility in Pernik, western Bulgaria. The added production and warehouse space after its 2018 construction will see improved moulding and tool design/making as well as enhanced customer service. • German chemicals maker Wacker has inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its Zhangjiagang site in China. With an annual capacity of several thousand tonnes, the facility will help support Wacker’s future growth path in China and improve the availability of high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) in the AsiaPacific region. Wacker says the plant’s cutting-edge equipment includes worldclass kneaders that are the largest of their kind in the industry and which are essential for manufacturing high quality HCR grades. • Guangxi Linglong Tire, Shandong Linglong’s fullyowned subsidiary, marked the release of its first radial earthmover tyre in May 2019.
The production kicks off Linglong’s US$578 million investment into steel, all-steel and engineered tyres, later including some 20 million high-performance semi-steel and 2 million all-steel radial car/truck tyres and another 60,000 speciality tyres/year. • Trelleborg Wheel Systems (TWS) seeks to improve production efficiency with the addition of an advanced biomass boiler to its Sri Lankan plant’s steam production process. The biomass-fired boiler will reduce harmful CO2 emissions by a whopping 90%, simultaneously enabling “greener” tyre production – a traditional furnace oil boiler produces substantial CO2 emissions, but is essential to the tyre curing process. • Indian tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres has opened its Apollo Truck Tyre Zone (ATTZ) in Johor Baru, Malaysia. The centre serves to provide customers with easy access to Apollo’s services for tyres on commercial fleets, its first partnership outside India. • US-based elastomer/ composites supplier Cabot is expanding its Port Dickson elastomer composites plant in Malaysia, following rising demands from the tyre sector. However, capacity was not disclosed. Cabot built the world’s first facility dedicated to liquid mixing of elastomer composites in Port Dickson in 1995. It has since then been working to commercialise multiple new tyre/industrial rubber products in line with advancing customer programmes. The firm says
products from this facility would provide better rubber properties for OTR tyre, rubber track and mining applications. • Chinese companies are investing in Middle Eastern country Azerbaijan – representatives from both sides have signed MoUs worth US$821 million in total. A notable project will be the construction of a Chinese tyre plant in Azerbaijan’s Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park by China National Electric Engineering C o m p a n y (CNEEC), with a proposed output of 3.3 million passenger car/truck tyres/year. The Azerbaijan Investment Company will take a 10% share in the project. • Italy’s Marangoni has spun off its Meccanica tyre manufacturing equipment business. Marangoni Meccanica is now separate from the main business of the Marangoni Group, it said recently in a statement. As a standalone entity, Meccanica is now owned by a consortium of companies comprising family business Caran, local investing group La Finanziaria Trentina, and financial group Alto Adige Alpenring. Meccanica makes equipment used in the production of tyre components such as tread base, tread cap, wings, sidewalls, abrasion gum strip and fillers, along with its “Fast” line of customised tyre assembly systems. Caran is a company owned by the family of Giorgio Marangoni, President of Marangoni Meccanica. La Finanziaria is a holding company for a group of 74 local investors and entrepreneurs.
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Rubber Journal Asia Silicones Industry
An elastic market growth Silicones are yielding to brighter market
Wider market reach with expansions According to Transparency Market Research, the silicones market is set to corner US$20.8 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 4.9% from 2016. Along with a burgeoning market, major players are also expanding. Elkem Silicones, the worldâ€™s second largest silicone siloxane capacity producer, has expanded its local product offering to include upstream basic silicones such as cyclosiloxanes D4 and D5, polydimethylsiloxane oils (PDMS), silanol fluids, emulsions and sealants to meet the growing demands of the North American marketplace, according to a press statement. A division of the Norway-headquartered Elkem ASA, the France-based silicones manufacturer, produces these materials in two facilities located in St Fons, France, and Xinghuo, China. Elkem Silicones operates a nearly 21,000 sq m manufacturing facility in South Carolina, US, where it produces a full range of downstream silicone solutions, including specialty elastomers, resins and fluids for diverse market applications.
prospects as the materials have a higher
success rate in a highly diverse range of
applications, in sectors from the automotive and solar to the medical, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Silicones: versatility promotes growth Since the beginning of the 20th century, silicone, a modern class of synthetic material, has been utilised for various end-user applications, such as the silicone rubber soles of the boots worn by Neil Armstrong on his lunar expedition in 1969! Today, silicones continue to drive demand for manufacturing products used across a wide range of enduser industries owing to their resistant to high and low temperatures and rubber-like quality. The ability of silicones to withstand great stress and extreme temperatures makes it useful for the aviation & aerospace industries. The versatility and biocompatibility feature of silicones make it suitable for medical devices application. For other industries, such as the construction and renewable energy, silicones are energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
Wacker Chemie has inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its Zhangjiagang site in China
German specialty chemicals firm Wacker Chemie recently inaugurated a new production line for silicone elastomers at its Zhangjiagang site in China. The lower double digit expansion encompasses a new line at the site, and is expected to improve the availability of high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) in the Asia-Pacific region. HCR grades are used in various industry sectors, such as the automotive, medical, electrical and electronics industry. The firm says its Zhangjiagang plant houses cuttingedge equipment including world-class kneaders, mixing and screening equipment as well as a state-of-the-art waste treatment process. The new production line will enable shorter lead times, speed up market response, and improve overall customer experience, it added.
The market for silicones is poised to cross USS$21 billion by 2022
New emerging applications are expected to spur the production of silicones in countries where rapid urbanisation, expanding middle class population, and increasing consumption, and on that account, will further mobilise the market for silicones.
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Rubber Journal Asia Silicones Industry In January, TSS’s parent company, Swedish engineered polymer solutions company Trelleborg also moved to acquire US-based contract manufacturer of high-tolerance silicone and thermoplastic components, Sil-Pro, to strengthen its positions in attractive market segments. Sil-Pro also offers assembly for medical devices. Along the same vein, Netherlands-based materials technology company Parx Plastics has structured a separate entity to market antimicrobial technologies for silicone materials. It acquired a majority stake in Silarity, a Dutch entity founded in 2017, and in line with the acquisition, is tapped to manage, market and sell bio-derived technologies for silicone materials starting with antimicrobial technologies based on or derived from the Parx patents and know-how. Parx says its technology makes use of biocompatible bodies own trace-element for improving the material’s mechanical/physical properties, thus making it more resistant to bacteria. It said that by preventing bacteria and biofilm adhesion and proliferation, an antimicrobial performance is obtained by 99.9% (as measured according to ISO 22196).
Wacker has been operating its own subsidiary in China for over 25 years, producing silicones and polymers in Zhangjiagang and Nanjing, Jiangsu province, which are the largest of their kind in the country. The company, which cites China as the world’s single largest market for silicone elastomers, also maintains seven sales offices, two technical centres and three production sites in China. In May, another Germany-headquartered supplier Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (TSS) inaugurated its expanded manufacturing facility in Pernik, Bulgaria. The manufacturer of hydraulic seals, rotary shaft seals, o-rings, static seals, gaskets, oil seals and pneumatic seals, added over 1,000 sq m of production and warehouse space. The expansion allows this facility to further focus on its liquid silicone rubber (LSR) manufacturing and provide an enhanced service to its customers, it said.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has expanded its Pernik facility to bolster its LSR manufacturing
The original facility in Pernik was opened in 2010 and construction of the extension began in 2018. The facility produces LSR solutions for automotive, pharmaceutical and sanitary equipment, as well as household electrical appliances and baby care, for example. In addition to moulding, the site also has its own capabilities in tool designing and making. LSR: potential in medical applications Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is achieving a billion dollar growth in consumer goods, automotive, electrical & electronics and medical sectors, especially the medical grade LSR that decreases the risk of bacterial infections. Thus, it is used in skin medications to support functionality and absorption. By 2024, the global LSR market is projected to grow to US$2.3 billion from US$1.7 billion in 2018, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.62% during the period, as per a Techsci Research Market forecast. Asia-Pacific, the second fastest growing region in the global LSR market, following major market countries, China and Japan, leads the market. Key players in the segment are also increasing their market position via capacity build-ups and mergers. In this regard, advanced LSR solutions is an area of focus for TSS and the facility at Pernik works in close collaboration with the firm’s Swiss centre of for LSR in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland.
Parx Plastics has acquired a majority stake in Silarity to market antimicrobial technologies for silicone materials
Preventing adhesion keeps the surface of the product cleaner and more hygienic. It can also prevent discolouration, bad odours and in the end, improve the lifespan of the overall product. The new material is expected to be launched as soon as the antimicrobial technology for LSR moves towards the next trials in industrial scale application. Catalyst for automotive safety and innovation Global demand for vehicles is also highlighting the importance of vehicle safety, given that yearly, nearly 1.3 million people figure in fatal road traffic crashes,
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Rubber Journal Asia Silicones Industry according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) data. On the other hand, the impetus for vehicle safety is opening up opportunities for developing new designs, materials and technologies to improve crashworthiness of vehicles. Silicones are used in the automotive industry to improve safety and reliability of vehicles, according to Visiongain, in its latest findings on the global automotive silicone market. It stated that silicones, which possess characteristics such as heat/cold resistance, defoaming properties, adhesiveness, weatherability, water repellency, and dielectric properties, also allow vehicles to be more lightweight and compact, and thus to be more eco-friendly. The automotive silicone market is thus growing, and based on the latest audit by Grand View Research is expected to reach US$9.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017.
UV light. It also avoids incompatibility issues arising from the combination of silicone optical bonding with organic electrode protective resin (EPR). This can lead to failure in solar testing and cause haze, yellowing and softening of the silicone OCR under high temperatures (up to 105Â°C) and UV levels in automotive interiors. Spurring renewable energy technology Decreasing dependence on non-renewable resources for energy is spurring the global renewable energy market, which is projected by Allied Market Research to reach US$1.5 trillion by 2025. Consequently, the brisk renewable energy business is spurring demand for silicone encapsulants, owing to their superior temperature and moisture resistance, and UV stability. Benchmarking silicone encapsulantâ€™s market worth, Markets and Markets estimated it to cross US$1.6 billion by 2022 from US$1.3 billion in 2017, reaching a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. Tapping into the promising renewable energy application, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions has recently added a new brand to its flagship Tedlar and Solamet product lines known as Fortasun solar silicones.
Dow Performance Silicones introduces its latest silicone optical bonding materials for automotive and consumer displays
US-based silicone technology company Dow Performance Silicones is introducing its latest silicone optical bonding materials for automotive and consumer displays exposed to harsh environmental conditions. The company has added two new Dowsil VE series products: VE-2003 UV optical bonding material, a transparent, solventless, one-part UV-curable solution that is designed to bond a glass or plastic display cover and touch panel to the LCD or OLED display module; and VE-4001 UV electrode protective resin, a translucent, silicone resin designed for liquid-based bonding processes, which protects electrodes on the display module. Their benefits include high transmittance, low haze, minimal yellowing and improved reliability, even when subjected to temperature extremes, high humidity and prolonged UV exposure. According to Dow Performance Silicones, interactive displays in connected vehicles play an increasingly vital role in safety, navigation and entertainment; and exceptional user experience. Moreover, these displays must sustain their performance over the vehicle lifespan, under the demanding conditions of automotive interiors. Using a silicone-based solution for both electrode protection and optical bonding optimises reliability of display modules, whose mechanically sensitive electrodes can be affected by moisture, heat, impact, and especially
DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions offers its new Fortasun solar silicones for PV applications
Used in PV applications, the new silicone-based product line features encapsulants, which protect solar components against corrosion and delamination, prolonging the life of a module while ensuring better power output and improved performance results in terms of increased power generation; sealants, adhesives, potting agents, and electrically conductive adhesives. DuPont claims that Fortasun provides the benefits of electrical insulation; delamination and corrosion protection; has lasting UV stability, high thermal conductivity and strong adhesive bonds that help reduce failures due to moisture. Thus, its adoption increases durability, stability, productivity and overall performance of solar panels and helps lower cost per kilowatt-hour and lower long-term cost of ownership.
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Events 2019 26 - 28 JUNE PLASTECH Vietnam Venue: SECC, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 28 3848 8561 Fax: +84 28 3848 8564 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.plastech-expo.com 18 - 21 JULY M'SIA - PLAS Venue: PWTC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 9132 1922 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.malaysiaplas.com.my 9 - 11 AUGUST Complast Sri Lanka Venue: BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka Tel: +91 (44) 2250 1986 / 87 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.complastexpo.in 21 - 24 AUGUST Plascom Taiwan Venue: Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre, Taiwan Tel: +886 2 2725 5200 (Ext.2615) Fax: +886 2 2725 1959 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.plascom.com.tw 12 - 14 SEPTEMBER ProPak Myanmar Venue: YCC, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: +95 1 378 975 (Ext 104) Fax: +95 1 378 994 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.propakmyanmar.com 18 - 21 SEPTEMBER T-PLAS Venue: BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand Tel: +65 6332 9644 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.tplas.com 3 - 6 OCTOBER Vietnam Plas Venue: SECC, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +886 2 26596000 Fax: +886 2 26597000 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.vietnamplas.com 10 - 12 OCTOBER Pack Print Plas Philippines Venue: SMX Convention Centre, Pasay City, Philippines Tel: +63 2 893 7973 Fax: +63 2 550 1148 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.globallinkmp.com
16 - 18 OCTOBER MTA Hanoi Venue: International Center for Exhibition Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: +65 6233 6688 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.mtahanoi.com 16 - 23 OCTOBER K 2019 Venue: Düsseldorf, Germany Tel: +49 211 17 202 839 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.k-online.com 1 - 4 NOVEMBER Myanmar Plas Print Pack Venue: (YCC) Yangon, Myanmar Tel: +886 2 2659 6000 Fax: +886 2 2659 7000 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.myanmar-expo.com/plasprintpack 13 - 15 NOVEMBER Jec Asia Venue: Seoul, South Korea Tel: +33 (1) 58 36 15 00 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.jeccomposites.com 20 - 23 NOVEMBER Plastics & Rubber Indonesia Venue: Jakarta International EXPO, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 2525 320 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.plasticsandrubberindonesia.com 25 - 28 NOVEMBER Swop Venue: SNIEC, Shanghai, China Tel: +852-2516 3371 Fax: +852-2516 5024 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.swop-online.com 27 - 29 NOVEMBER Plastics & Rubber Hanoi Venue: Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: +84 28 3622 2588 Fax: +84 28 3622 2527 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.plasticsvietnam.com 4 - 7 DECEMBER Plast Eurasia Istanbul Venue: Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center, Istanbul Tel: +90 (212) 867 11 00 Fax: +90 (212) 886 94 04 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.plasteurasia.com
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PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY KEEPING FRESH SAVOUR SHAPING THE FUTURE
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