PRA June-July Issue 2016

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A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y

業界新聞 塑 料 : 實現新的塑料經濟

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In this issue

Volume 31, No 222

publlshed slnce 1985

A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry

Features 焦 點 內 容 12 塑料: 實現新的塑料經濟 18 Medical Industry – The region gets an overview of the latest innovations to be presented at the upcoming Medical Manufacturing Asia show, to be held from 31 August to 2 September at the The Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

22 Medical Industry – The Asia Pacific demographics support the growing medical technology market, which is expected to expand in tandem with growing demand for healthcare

24 Blow Moulding – Today’s beverage market is brewing new ways of creating packaging suited for evolving consumers’ needs

26 Wood Plastic Composites – Industries switching to this composite material benefit from its combined aesthetics and durable properties

Circulation Abril Castro Email: Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:


Printer United Mission Press

10 業界新聞

is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV.

Supplements 副 刊 Husky Injection Molding and Schöttli offer stack moulds for medical applications that render space-saving solutions and optimised productivity Silicones are carving a niche in the advancing medical technology segments

On the Cover

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Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2016 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

As the medical devices industry gets more sophisticated, its advancement is aided by medical grade plastics

塑料: 實現新的塑料經濟

Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling

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6 Materials News


Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email:

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2 Industry News

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Industry News

M&A • Californiabased plastic component supplier Ajax Custom Manufacturing has been acquired by Ichor Systems, a US manufacturer of gas and chemical delivery systems, with manufacturing locations in California, Oregon, Texas, Singapore, Malaysia and the UK. Ajax, a 50-year old family owned venture produces machined plastic parts, thermoforming and welding, and supplies to major semiconductor capital equipment market. The acquisition is expected to increase Ichor’s global manufacturing footprint including a Class 10K clean room to its existing facilities. • IFCO Systems of the Australianbased supply-chain logistics company Brambles has acquired Colombia’s provider of reusable plastic crates (RPCs), Empacotecnia SAS. RPCs are used primarily to transport fresh products from producers to leading grocery retailers worldwide. Privatelyowned Empacotecnia was founded in 2006, and has seven service centres in Colombia. 2

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• Canada-based manufacturer of plant-based plastics Solegear Bioplastic Technologies has acquired the bioplastics division of Illinois-based extruded plastic sheets manufacturer Ex-Tech Plastics for US$1.33 million. The companies have also agreed that Solegear will be Ex-Tech’s exclusive supplier of biobased materials and additives, while Ex-Tech, which has agreed to provide management support to Solegear, will also be its exclusive plastics extrusion service provider in North America. The deal is expected to bring Solegear annual revenues of around US$2 million. • Speciality chemicals firm DyStar is acquiring five speciality chemical units under the Specialties, Polymer Additives, and Nitriles business groups of Emerald Performance Materials, a US manufacturer and marketer of speciality chemicals for consumer and industrial markets. In a separate agreement, DyStar will sell the polymer additives and nitriles businesses to China-based Sinochem subsidiary, Jiangsu Sinorgchem Technology. Upon completion of the dual transactions,

DyStar will retain its specialties businesses, which adds three new manufacturing sites to DyStar’s US business platform. • Total Plastics, a US distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube, film and tape, has acquired Northeast Plastic Supply, a Philadelphia-based fabricator and fullline distributor of plastic sheet, rod, and tube materials. The acquisition is part of Total Plastics’s strategy to expand its product portfolio and add machining services, including CNC routing, cutting, turning and milling. • Australia-based packaging supplier Amcor has bought Plastic Moulders, a Canadian manufacturer of plastic containers and closures for the food and home personal care markets in North America, for US$38 million. Plastic Moulders operates a single plant in Toronto and has sales of approximately US$35 million. The acquisition is expected to boost Amcor’s business portfolio by offering additional innovative products through Plastic Moulders’s technologies such as precision injection moulding and in-mould labelling.

• Kistler Group, the Swiss multinational supplier of systems to measure dynamic pressure, force, torque and acceleration, has taken over Schatz in Germany and its US sales and service company Schatz USA. Schatz develops, manufactures, and distributes laboratory systems for the analysis of screw connections, calibration equipment and test systems for torque tools, and portable measurement systems for random sample testing. Following the takeover, Schatz products and services can now be marketed through the global sales network of Kistler. • Swiss speciality chemicals firm Ineos Enterprises is selling Ineos Styrenics, its Expandable Polystyrene Business (EPS), to Synthos SA, one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland, for EUR80 million. Completion of the transaction is likely to occur in the second half of 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Ineos Styrenics produces EPS for the building, construction and packaging industries at manufacturing

INDUSTRY NEWS sites at Wingles and Ribécourt in Northern France and Breda in the Netherlands. • Belgian chemical company Solvay has completed the purchase of US-headquartered Eastman Chemical Company’s share in their former US joint venture Primester. As the sole owner of the cellulose acetate flake plant, Solvay has secured an economical long term supply for its own two businesses while adapting capacity to demand. Eastman will provide the long-term supply of basic utilities and raw materials to the Kingsport plant.

• Safic-Alcan UK, distributor of speciality chemicals and subsidiary of the Safic-Alcan Group, has acquired 100% of KemCare, a chemical distributor specialising in the Personal Care, Home Care & Industrial sectors in the UK and Ireland. KemCare produces a wide range of actives, surfactants, emulsifiers, oleochemicals, natural oils, synthetic oils and synthetic oil derivatives. • US-headquartered 70% diversified technology firm Honeywell International is to

spin off its US$1.3 billion resins and chemicals business into a standalone, public-listed company known as AdvanSix. The deal is expected to be completed by early 2017. The move to spin off the assets comes after the company withdrew a US$90 billion bid to buy compatriot firm United Technologies Corp. in March, after facing opposition from antitrust regulators and major customers. The resins and chemicals business makes nylon 6 resin. AdvanSix also produces Sulf-N ammonium

sulphate fertilisers and chemical intermediates, including phenol, acetone, and Nadone cyclohexanone, and is the largest single-site producer of caprolactam, the feedstock for nylon 6. • Having brushed off US compounder A. Schulman’s offer to buy it for US$563 million in 2013, US-based functional coatings and colour solutions company 30% Ferro Corp. now says it is exploring possible strategic alternatives for the company to enhance shareholder value. It has retained Lazard Frères & Co. as its financial advisor.

Industry News

New plant set-ups/Capacity increases • Honeywell UOP, a part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies business group, broke ground on a new manufacturing capacity outside Shanghai to produce materials used to convert methanol from coal into feedstocks for making plastics. When it enters production in 2017, the catalyst production line will produce catalysts used in Honeywell UOP's Advanced Methanolto-Olefins (MTO) process technology. It converts methanol, which can readily be produced from coal or natural gas, into the olefins ethylene and propylene that are the primary chemicals used to manufacture plastics. • US composites firm Hexcel has opened a US$10 million innovation centre in the UK, its European R&D centre. The new facility is fully equipped with formulation and analytical laboratories, mixer rooms and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. 4

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• Global chemical company Huntsman has started up its new colour pigments facility in Augusta, Georgia. It invested more than US$172 million in the development of the new production plant, the first of its kind to be built in North America for more than 35 years. It has a capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes/year of yellow, red and black iron oxide pigments. • German speciality chemicals firm Laxness started up early this year its pigment plant in Ningbo Chemical Park (NPETD), China. It is operated by the Inorganic Pigments (IPG) business unit, which is the world’s largest producer of iron oxide pigments and has production sites on five continents. With the Ningbo plant, Lanxess’s total output worldwide is 375,000 tonnes/ year. • US-headquartered medical packaging supplier TekniPlex has opened a new closure liner manufacturing facility in Delhi, India, primarily

to serve growing demand for highquality solutions for regulated pharmaceuticals. It will operate as part of the manufacturing business unit of Tri-Seal, a manufacturer of a broad range of liners in a variety of materials ranging from one and two-piece induction heat seals, monolayers, co-extrusions and various laminations. • AkzoNobel has inaugurated a EUR6.5 million technology centre in Songjiang, Shanghai. Equipped with a full array of material analysis and performance testing facilities, the company's largest research facility in China will support product innovation and the development of next-generation paints, coatings and speciality chemicals. AkzoNobel invested a total of EUR347 million in R&D during 2015 and is also looking to increase its revenue from downstream eco-premium solutions to 20% of revenue by 2020. In China, it has already reached 30%.

• Switzerlandheadquartered Maag, a manufacturer of gear pumps, pelletising systems, and melt filtration systems, has opened a new rotor sharpening workshop at its Gala Industries sales and service centre in Thailand. The new service for strand pelletisers will expand Maag’s service footprint in Southeast Asia. It is the seventh rotor sharpening workshop for Maag, expanding the company’s capabilities beyond Brazil, China, Germany, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the US. • Japanese chemicals firm Kuraray is boosting its EVOH resin capacity in the US by 11,000 tonnes/year. The company currently produces 47,000 tonnes/year. With the enhanced capacity, its total output globally (together with the Belgian and Japanese facilities) will be 103,000 tonnes/year. It says it has a 65% share of the global EVOH resin market. • US-based Clopay Plastic Products is forking out US$50 million for the expansion of its breathable film manufacturing capacity in North America, Europe and Brazil. It is also producing its new

INDUSTRY NEWS Sof-flex line of breathable films for the hygienic markets. • US-headquartered renewable products company Amyris and South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang Corporation are partnering to support large-scale manufacturing of Amyris’s farnesene in existing CJ facilities. Farnesene is a long-chain, branched, unsaturated hydrocarbon manufactured by the fermentation of plant-sugars using Amyris’s engineered microbes. • Chemicals maker Sabic says its CO2 purification plant that opened last year in Saudi Arabia, boosts the company’s overall operational efficiency. The new facility can capture and purify up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 from the production of ethylene glycol every year, it says. The purified CO2 is channelled through a network to other Sabic affiliates, where it is used in the production of urea for agricultural nutrients, liquefied CO2 for the food and drink industry, and methanol, a building block for chemicals. • Canada’s mould builder StackTeck Systems has added to its global sales and marketing team, Suthipote Limpiviroj, who will be supporting the Southeast Asia market as StackTeck’s regional sales representative, based in Bangkok, Thailand. The company says that as a recognised innovator in the design and manufacture of injection moulds for

the rigid food container, beverage closure, medical, and consumer products packaging industries, it has experienced significant growth in the region and has invested in an experienced technical sales representative to support its activities. StackTeck’s head office is located in Canada, with additional sales representatives in Mexico and Colombia. • Austrian polyolefins supplier Borealis is acquiring the German plastics recycler mtm plastics GmbH and mtm compact GmbH. This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Based in Niedergebra, Germany, mtm plastics is regarded as a technology leader in the recycling of mixed post-consumer plastic waste and as one of Europe's largest producers of postconsumer polyolefin recyclates. “Plastics are simply too valuable to be disposed of in landfills. Plastic recycling provides a circular business opportunity in a growing market within a broader sustainability agenda,” explains Alfred Stern, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology. “There are many areas in which mechanical recycling of post-consumer waste make business and ecological sense. The acquisition of mtm plastics and mtm compact reflects our pro-active and dedicated keep discovering approach to provide specific and innovative solutions in tackling core global challenges.”

Materials News

Achieving the new plastics economy Plastics as a valuable resource is at the core of the New Plastics Economy agenda; at its base is every individual’s responsibility to manage plastic waste properly, says Angelica Buan in this report.


orsening climate change and unprecedented Circular economy: remodelling the plastics economy marine litter are two of the millennium’s worst A circular economy posits an effective response to the environmental nightmares. The menace is waste plastics dilemma. It is, in this case, producing the proliferation of discarded plastics. But is the hype plastics minus waste and pollution, either by design or against waste plastics too much ado about nothing? intention. It is restorative and regenerative by design, Granted that plastic is more carbon efficient than and aims to keep products, components, and materials other traditional materials in certain applications, the at their highest utility and value at all times, says Ellen material is still liable for the millions of tonnes of carbon MacArthur Foundation (EMF), a UK-registered charity. dioxide in the atmosphere, some experts say. Also, is the EMF calls it a “linear take, make, dispose economic fact that it takes about 4% of the world’s non-renewable model”, since this is nearing its physical limits; as well, oil resource to produce plastic and an additional 3 to 4% the raw materials and energy that go into the production for energy consumption during manufacture. of plastics are too valuable and are not limitless. Moreover, the convenience that plastic delivers, EMF, together with World Economic Forum (WEF) also especially in packaging, is a catch-22 situation. It is initiated a report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking easier to throw packaging away, to such a degree that it the future of plastics, drawing the premise that the has come to be a major marine pollutant due to its resilience against degradation. Initiatives to curb plastics use as well as clean-up of dumping grounds and water systems alike can only do as much to ease the problem. More than an option but a conscious effort to mitigate the impact of used plastics in the environment is, of course, recovering and recycling plastics for end-of-life waste management. The market for recycled plastics has been soft of late. The plunge in oil prices has not helped the recycling industry, which is at the same time combating issues like the quality of recycled plastic grades Circular Economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and and pricing. value at all times, says Ellen MacArthur Foundation


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Materials News growing volumes of end-of-use plastics are generating scale” are in various stages of development. Examples of costs and destroying value to the industry. After-use the innovations are: plastics, with circular economy thinking, are turned into • Removing additives from recovered polymers to valuable feedstock. increase recyclate purity This situation mostly resonates with packaging • Recycling multi-material packaging by designing since it is used only once; 95% of the value of plastic reversible adhesives that allow for triggered separation packaging material, worth as much as US$120 billion of different material layers annually, is lost to the economy. In particular, the report says that the fastmoving consumer goods sector – in the context of the linear consumption pattern – sends goods estimated to be worth over US$2.6 trillion annually to landfills and incinerator facilities. The New Plastics Economy aims to provide insights on new afteruse pathways for plastics. It can strategically truncate incidences of plastics entering water systems, as well, decouple plastics from fossil feedstocks. The call for a circular economy to be implemented across the global plastics value chain has been backed by major companies, including ones that are into consumer goods, packaging, manufacturing and recycling. Additionally, the report indicates that shifting to a circular model could generate a US$706 billion economic opportunity, of which, a significant proportion is attributable to packaging. The proposition indicates several approaches, including improving K makes your future easier. Energy-conserving mobility demands smart and innovative lightweight after-use infrastructure in so-called design concepts. Plastics and rubber are materials offering ideal solutions – for highly complex high-leakage nations (countries that shapes, weight reduction and better resource and energy efficiency. They take the pain out of heavily contribute to ocean litter); increasing the value of after-use plastic lightweighting! With some 3,200 exhibitors in 19 exhibition halls on more than 171,000 sqm of packaging to reduces the likelihood exhibition space, the world’s premier trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry will once again that it escapes the collection system, especially in countries with an informal be presenting the entire range of products and services that the industry has to offer. Everything waste sector; and developing plastic that will move the world in the future. Plan your visit now. materials to become less damaging to the marine environment, even if the materials leak outside of collection systems.

Making decisions lightly

Time for Decisions

Enabling innovations There are various technologies referred to as “moon shot innovations” being targeted and collaborated on by leading businesses, academics and innovators to enable the New Plastics Economy. Currently, these “focused, practical initiatives with a high potential for significant impact at

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Materials News

• Super-polymers that combine functionality and cost with superior after-use properties • Recycling plastics to monomer feedstock for virginquality polymers • Introducing chemical markers for sorting by using dyes, inks or other additive markers detectable by automated sorting/near infrared technology • Designing plastics to be benign in marine and fresh water environments • Sourcing biobased plastics from carbon from greenhouse gases Bioplastics: an under-utilised renewable option According to Allied Market Research’s World Bioplastics Market - Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 – 2020 report, the bioplastics market is expected to achieve a CAGR of 17.5% from nearly 4,870 kilotonnes in 2014. Despite the optimistic forecast for bioplastics, market growth is not optimised. Bioplastics are yet to be used to a scale as broad as petroleum-based plastics due to the relatively high cost of producing them. Furthermore, lower oil prices curtail adoption of bioplastics. Nevertheless, there are countries that are actively promoting the use of bioplastics in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food sectors. For instance, the four-year European project called Dibbiopack that started in 2012, supported by the European Commission (EC) through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, involves a consortium of 19 partners from 11 countries. The EUR7.8 millionproject is developing packaging that is compostable and biodegradable with enhanced functionalities (antimicrobial, with integrated oxygen sensor, enhanced barrier properties, oxygen-absorbing effect on the cap).

Bioplastics use is not optimised due to the relatively high cost of producing them.


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Moreover, the project’s objective is to go beyond the regulatory, technological, market and environmental milestones and provide solutions by using nanomaterials, biodegradable films and sensors. Still in Europe, the revised EU waste legislation penned by MEP Simona Bonafè, Rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment is supportive of bioplastics and biobased materials in packaging. The draft reports lay out the legal measures needed for a paradigm shift from a linear to a circular economy where waste is considered a valuable resource, and the transformation to a low-carbon bioeconomy, which uses resources more efficiently. The European Bioplastics (EUBP) commends the report, saying that it encourages better market conditions for renewable raw materials and promotes the use of biobased materials in packaging. Furthermore, the report on the amendments to the Waste Framework Directive emphasises on the definitions of bio-waste and recycling. It supports the inclusion of organic recycling (in the form of composting and anaerobic digestion of organic waste) in the definition of recycling and suggests a future-oriented definition of biowaste by taking into account other materials with similar biodegradability and compostability properties. The EUBP says that these amendments are important to achieve higher recycling targets by making use of the enormous but yet untapped potential of organic waste and compostable products in Europe. The largest fraction of municipal waste (up to 50%) in Europe is bio-waste, only 25% of which is currently collected and recycled. The report calls for a mandatory collection of biowaste by 2020 supported by measures to increase the organic recycling of bio-waste to 65% by 2025. The proposed amendments also foresee limiting the amount of residual municipal waste landfilled to 25% by 2025 and to 5% by 2030. Biodegradable plastic: an eco-friendly myth? The sentiment against fossil-based plastics is spurring demand for greener plastics including biodegradable plastics, mostly used in packaging applications, in the hope that there will be an equally practical yet more ecologically-sound way to utilise plastics. However, a recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has burst this bubble. The Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics report cites that biodegradable plastics are not necessarily better for oceans than traditional plastics. Among the findings, biodegradable plastics do not break down in temperatures below 50°C, and they also contain additives that may contaminate the environment, not to mention render them difficult to recycle. Furthermore, microplastics can be generated, thus contributing to marine litter. This is because, while biodegradable plastics are designed to degrade quickly in

Materials News

A report says that biodegradable plastics are not necessarily better for oceans than traditional plastics.

landfills, in nature, there is no such thing as ideal conditions for the products to degrade. Also, biodegradable plastics sink and therefore do not get exposed to UV rays to help them degrade. Plastics labelled as biodegradable do not degrade rapidly in the ocean, the UNEP report says. There are some common polymers that are nonbiodegradable, such as PE. To enable more rapid fragmentation, PE is sometimes manufactured with a metal-based additive. However, UNEP says that there is no independent scientific evidence that biodegradation will occur any more rapidly than unmodified PE. A prior report also stated that “the adoption of products labelled as biodegradable or oxo-degradable would not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment, on the balance of current scientific evidence.” As for biodegradable packaging, the New Plastics Economy espoused by EMF is unwrapping a “bio-benign” plastic packaging – one that would reduce its negative impact on natural systems when leaked, while also being recyclable and competitive in terms of functionality and costs. EMF revealed that the current biodegradable plastics rarely measure up to that objective, as they are typically compostable only under controlled conditions. Sustainability focus on packaging Packaging can play a significant role in the New Plastics Economy, since it is the largest use in the industry, accounting for 26% of the total volume, the EMF report says. The volume growth for the sector is forecast to reach 318 million tonnes annually by 2050. The flipside of this growth is that recovery remains low, with about 72% of plastic packaging not recovered and about 40% going into landfills, with the remaining 32% leaking out of the collection system. At least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into oceans/year. If left

unmitigated, the volume per minute of litter dumped into the oceans will double by 2030, and quadruple by 2050. There are ways that the packaging industry is ruminating to contribute to the New Plastics Economy, through a low-carbon production process, with the utilisation of plants or organic resources, with less reliance on non-renewable resources. A recent report from Smithers Pira shows that sustainability factor is becoming increasingly important across packaging value chains; and is at the crux of the economic, environmental and social objectives of the packaging industry. Environmental consultancy Trucost in its study, Scaling sustainable plastics: Solutions to drive plastics towards a circular economy, finds that sustainable plastics use could potentially generate US$3.5 billion in environmental savings. On the other hand, the environmental cost of using plastics is almost five times over or U$75 billion, due to climate change and pollution. It suggests that closed loop recycling, biobased and biodegradable plastics can bring on cost savings. These findings are aimed to scale up the market for sustainable plastics but for the solutions to be picked up by the majority of plastic value chain is the focus of other studies. A real solution in the long haul Though the New Plastics Economy highlights the benefits of espousing a circular economy to create “long-term systemic value by fostering a working after-use economy”, it is not an instantaneous solution. It could take years to happen. The process requires redesigning materials, formats and systems, developing new technologies and evolving global value chains. “But this should not discourage stakeholders or lead to delays — on the contrary, the time to act is now,” the report advises. Furthermore, UNEP suggests employing increased recycling collection, especially in countries that generate large volumes of waste plastic. Meanwhile, efforts to curb waste plastic contamination are ongoing, but are not guaranteed to deliver 100% positive results. For example, biobased, compostable or biodegradable plastics tend to encourage littering among individuals that rely on the materials’ eco-friendly nature to biodegrade naturally. The UNEP report says that there is limited evidence suggesting that some people are attracted by technological solutions as an alternative to changing behaviour. This is illustrated in labelling the product as biodegradable – a technical fix that takes away the responsibility from the individual to be more conscientious in disposing of waste plastics. Needless to say, the essence of a successful plastics economy starts from an individual’s action to recover, recycle or reuse plastics that are consumed. JUNE / JULY 2016



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Discover vibrant investment opportunities in the plastics sector: INDOPLAS 2016 – your ideal platform to expand your footprint into Indonesia


pportunities will continue to flourish in Indonesia’s vibrant plastics sector as attention will start shifting on cultivating the country’s domestic plastic production. As part of the government’s bid to grow the nation’s economy and in order to promote a greater reliance on domestic plastic production, Indonesia’s Plastics and Rubber Scheme announced recent plans to obtain 70% of the country’s plastics from local companies. Currently, Indonesia imports over 40% of its plastics, with most arriving from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Europe, and the United States. Opening doors to a myriad of industrial production houses and above all, numerous possibilities for crossborder investments, the timely introduction of this scheme presents exciting opportunities for companies and investors to participate in the plastic sector including in the production of various raw materials. The thriving food packaging and automotive industries are fast becoming the main drivers behind plastics consumption in Indonesia. According to the Indonesian Packaging Association, food packaging accounts for 70% of plastic consumption sales, while the Aromatic, Olefin and Plastic Industry Association (Inaplas) projects a 6% growth for the plastics sector, echoed by the forecast of a healthy GDP of 5.3% this year. As Indonesia’s middle-class population is expected to double to 141 million people within the next five years, the plastics industry is projected to grow in tandem with the rapid escalation of the consumer market and eventual surge in demand for food and lifestyle products. The International Monetary Fund currently lists Indonesia as the 16th largest economy, and is projected to reach a record 7th position with an estimated 135 million consumers by 2030, making Indonesia a rewarding economy to tap into. Capitalising on market opportunities brought on by the optimistic market outlook, INDOPLAS - The 10th Indonesian International Plastics Exhibition, will provide a timely, value-for-demand platform for industry partners to convene and uncover business opportunities and potential partnerships in the domestic market. INDOPLAS 2016 will present a full suite and comprehensive range of products, machinery and equipment, from plastics materials processing, components, raw material to semi-finished products and reinforced plastics serving the entire plastics sector. Co-located with the Indonesian international printing and packaging exhibitions, INDOPLAS 2016

is strategically positioned to tap on the synergy of the printing, packaging and processing industries. Jointly organised by Messe Düsseldorf Asia and its local partner, PT. Wahana Kemalaniaga Makmur (Wakeni), INDOPLAS 2016 is dedicated to Indonesia’s ever-growing plastics industry. Exhibiting from 7 to 10 September at Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, Jakarta, Indonesia, the exhibition features the latest technologies and trends for pre-processing, recycling, welding, moulding and dyeing and production of raw materials and compounding ingredients. Complementing the exhibition are value-added conferences and seminars hosted by leading industry authorities and associations as they prepare to share best practices and discoveries that cater to latest market trends and growing industryspecific technological demands. The previous edition of the 3-in-1 mega showcase in 2014 attracted a record-breaking 22,128 trade visitors from 42 countries, registering a 20% increase in visitor registration from the preceding edition in 2012. With strong support from numerous industry partners and supporting organisations, the 4-day exhibition also boasted a record number of 362 exhibitors from 19 countries. As one of Indonesia’s most highly anticipated trade shows, the synergistic exhibitions will feature some 400 exhibitors from 20 countries. Having gained importance and relevance as an essential networking and one-stop procurement platform for the plastics industry, INDOPLAS 2016 will continue to expand its showcase with an impressive range of cutting-edge technologies, services and innovative solutions. For more information on the exhibitor line-up at INDOPLAS 2016 and to pre-register your visit, log on to JUNE / JULY 2016



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Medical Industry

Medical technology opportunity focuses on Asia The market for medical technology innovations is healthily supported by Asia’s demand for quality and affordable medical products and services, against the backdrop of an expanding middle class, and for some, the beginnings of a greying population, longer life expectancy and rising affluence.

Opportunity on the floor: Medical Manufacturing The medical technology (medtech) market is important for Asia Pacific, the home base to 51% of the world’s population. Access to the newest advances in this sector will help the region to avail of the quality healthcare and medical products and services it needs. Returning for its third edition, the biennial Medical Manufacturing Asia (MMA) 2016, IS Co-located with Medical Fair Asia (MFA) 2016 – a leading medical and healthcare exhibition in Southeast Asia with a focus on the equipment and supplies for the hospital, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, medical and rehabilitation sectors Its upcoming run will be held from 31 August to 2 September at the The Sands Expo & Convention Centre (Marina Bay Sands, Singapore). Jointly organised by Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA) and Messe Düsseldorf Asia, the trade event is modelled after the No. 1 global trade fair in the medtech sector, COMPAMED. It will showcase an expansive range of products covering the upstream and downstream processes in medtech sectors, including new materials, components, intermediate products, packaging and services, to micro and nanotechnology, testing systems and services, as well as materials, substance and components for medical technology, presented by over 200 established exhibitors from across the world.


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As well, specialised organisations like Germany-based IVAM Microtechnology Network, will be in the house to represent and promote its groups’ endeavours and support company members. IVAM is an international association of companies and institutes in the field of microtechnology, nano-technology, advanced materials and optics and photonics. According to Dr Thomas Roland Dietrich, Chief Executive Officer of IVAM, “Within ASEAN there are numerous opportunity gaps to be filled in meeting the healthcare needs of its increasing population. Government-led investment programmes are channels to tap on for ASEAN nations to match up to European standards.” Thomas also commented that, “the global move towards mobile diagnostics is important for ASEAN countries too, as it means heightened market potential for local and foreign MedTech companies looking to venture into the region.” The exhibition’s multifaceted line-up, tailored for the industry, will also feature a complimentary pre-event business matching service that would make face-to-face connections with some 7,000 industry specialists expected at the exhibition more targeted, as well as a concurrently held MEDTech Business Forum. Co-organised by Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Messe Düsseldorf Asia, this forum will review trends in the Asian, European and American medtech markets; examine how future needs can be addressed; and cover the pivotal roles that industry associations play in addressing the changing landscape. Asian manufacturers to present technologies Meanwhile, medical technology manufacturers from Asia, the US, Europe and other countries will be showcasing at MMA what they can offer to the Asian markets. Singapore-headquartered Nanofilm Technologies has focused on high quality vacuum coating applications since its establishment in 1999. It uses patented FCVA (Filtered Cathodic Vacuum Arc) technology as its core competitive application. Nanoflim has applied the technology in vacuum coating equipment manufacturing and

Medical Industry

Nanofilm Technologies uses patented FCVA technology as its core competitive application

vacuum coating services, as well as gathered a team of experts and experienced professionals. With world leading R&D, design and manufacturing capabilities, Nanofilm says it has been putting great effort to explore many industrial applications with customised and specific coating system design and fabrication, and unique coating process development. Taipei-based Miyo Technology, a flexible heater design and manufacturing specialist, has a product range that covers both medical technology and healthcare devices that need reliable heating components. At the show, Miyo says that it will be offering its Polyester Heater, a commercial low cost heater, capable for 90°C temperature and power density up to 2W/sq cm. It has etched and ink printed element;

Miyo offers flexible heaters for medical application such as the Polyester and Polyimide (Kapton) Heaters

Polyimide (Kapton) Heater, which is a general purpose heater with low out-gassing capable of 150°C maximum temperature and power density up to 5W/sq cm. Naniwa Rubber, a provider of rubber and plastic products for medical applications, will be exhibiting its international standards-compliant products that include rubber closures and plastic tubes for medical devices “We have closures for all types of medications, including parental solutions, small volume injections, blood collection tubes, and others. We also manufacture other products like baby bottle nipples and water pillows, to cite but a few. In addition, we also provide plastic products, such as PVC blood tubing and plastic tubes for medical devices and chemicals,” Naniwa Rubber says. Totex International from Hong Kong will display its customised Li-ion battery pack and customised Li-ion charging bay, both for medical applications. “The specifications of our featured product are Li-ion, Ni-MH or Ni-Cd battery chemistry. Our battery packs fulfill Reach, WEEE, RoHS, Class 9 Dangerous Goods packaging, UN38.3, IEC62133, ISO13485; Optional Certification of UL2054, CUL60950, IEC62133, CE EN55022, KC mark, TiSi, PSE, BSMI standard, and Optional Requirement of IP54, 56, 67 or other waterproof grades.” Totex International has been designing and manufacturing battery packs and chargers for medical, military, industrial and e-transportation applications for 31 years now. Explaining its edge: “Knowledge on cell performance and fieldapplication behaviour has been valuable to caution our clients of potential pitfall in areas of M&E performance and compliance issues. Our power solution comes with the basic feature of protection or advanced options with dynamic power management, passive and active cell balancing, communication protocol conversion firmware and counterfeit protection.” A manufacturer of helix-reinforced, smooth interior medical hoses and assemblies, HI-Tech Medical will be featuring its custom engineered hose and tubing. The ISO-certified products guarantee custom engineering and global manufacturing presence, HI-Tech Medical says. The company’s products are commonly found in CPAP, respiratory, laser smoke evacuation, therapeutic equipment, PAPR, ventilation, and a variety of other medical applications. Innovations from European and US firms Switzerland-headquartered Micro Systems Technologies (MST) will be promoting medical microelectronics (including design services, substrate manufacturing, semiconductor packaging, board assembly and test services) for Class II and III devices. Other products are batteries and battery packs for active implants; and JUNE / JULY 2016


Medical Industry Hermetic feed-throughs for implantable medical devices. In addition, the company furthers that its comprehensive offerings are targeted to applications requiring exceptional performance and the highest level of reliability, especially implants. Its four synchronised operating entities, located in Germany, the US, and Switzerland, allow MST to be active worldwide and maintain global business relationships. Featuring automation solutions at the show is Switzerland-headquartered Mikron Automation, a world leader in automation solutions for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. With 40 years of expertise, the company has already undertaken 3,000 installations for applications such as inhalers, pen injectors, auto injectors, syringes, check valves pumps and diagnostic kits. Basic machines are clean room ISO 7 compatible. It adds that a dedicated team with vast pharmaceutical expertise offers full medical qualification support in accordance with FDA, GMP and GAMP 5: from design to delivery. UK-headquartered firm Vascutek will be showcasing OEM supply of implantable medical textiles and ePTFE products. “Our featured products include OEM woven implantable medical textiles, OEM knitted implantable medical textiles, and OEM implantable expanded PTFE tubing.” The company, whose principle it says is simple (“whatever our customer wants, we will do our best to provide”), offers a portfolio of innovative products and design solutions to address the needs of its OEM clients. ”We design and develop textile and ePTFE products that address the fundamental needs of our worldwide OEM customer base and we work in close cooperation with our OEM partners to ensure our products meets their exact specifications,” it expounds.

Germany-based Bruker Optik, an analytical instrumentation company and manufacturer of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Near Infrared and Raman spectrometers, is featuring its range of technical solutions for various markets, covering a broad range of applications in all fields of R&D as well as industrial production processes for the purpose of ensuring quality and process reliability. Among its offerings is the fully automated stand-alone FTIR microscope known as Lumos that is designed to combine best performance for visible inspection and infrared spectral analysis with highest user comfort. Lumos comes with intuitive software to guide the operator step-bystep through the process of data acquisition. At each step, the user interface provides functions appropriate to proceed. Due to its motorised ATR crystal all IR measurements, even those in ATR mode, are performed fully automated with the Lumos. From Italy, P3 SRL will present its P3ductal, which it says is the “cleanest air duct in the world”. The P3ductal system is made of preinsulated aluminium panels, accessories and tools for the manufacturing and installation of pre-insulated aluminium ducts. Thanks to the seven different product solutions available, P3 explains that the duct system can be used in any application, as shown by the more than 60 million of P3ductal ducts installed in more than 100 countries in the world. “P3ductal is the first LEED-friendly system foamed with water. It is also a self-cleaning and antimicrobial solution for air ducts,” the company says. Another offering to check out is the P3ductal Careplus energysaving system that is said to be hygienic and environmental-friendly. US-based supplier of stock components to the medical industry QOSINA will also be exhibiting at MMA. The company says it has a huge selection offering free samples, low minimums and Just-In-Time delivery. Its product offerings have grown to over 6,000 SKUs in its latest catalogue featuring full-scale illustrations. The ISO9001 and 14001-certified company says that purchasing from them can save customers time and money by eliminating tooling costs and providing immediate delivery of in-stock solutions based on specific needs of their projects. On top of that, the firm offers to modify any existing component to meet customers’ needs or build new tooling to meet their exact requirements.

Bruker Optik's Lumos is a fully automated stand-alone FTIR microscope


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Medical Industry common facilities such as specialised laboratories, warehousing, testing centre and independent manufacturing units. AMTZ aims to be the hub of high-end medical equipment production and healthcare products that are affordable.

"...projected to be Asia's first medical devices park, Andhra Med Tech Zone will house high investment facilities.." Focus on healthcare For Southeast Asia, focus on universal healthcare systems is ramping up demand for health services and medical devices. Deloitte’s report notes the ongoing market trend in the region is consumer engagement, which it says could curb costs yet improve care delivery. Innovation is also augmenting traditional care management approaches, and through this the region can benefit from the emergence of new, patient-centric, collaborative business models, wellness and lifestyle-themed health services, tele-health initiatives, subscription care models and more, the report says. The region has a growing population and access to affordable yet quality healthcare and medical products and services are becoming more vital. Frost & Sullivan, in its Asia Pacific Healthcare Outlook 2014 report, cites that per capita healthcare spending is expected to increase 4.8% or US$2.2 trillion across the region by 2018, from US$1.24 trillion from 2012, at a CAGR of 10.5%. This trillion dollar opportunity provides the avenue for the medical technology market to expand its market value. Though despite the rise in healthcare spending, lowering healthcare costs remain a tall order in the region. Thailand, a front-runner medical tourism destination in Asia, is also a suitable hub for medical device manufacturing. The country’s healthcare expenditures are expected to grow 8.4% a year through 2020 to US$25 billion, according Frost & Sullivan. The country’s medical device market is also expected to continue to expand in the coming years. UK-based BMI Research forecasts that the market will expand by a CAGR of 11.8%; rising from US$1,070.5 million in 2014 to US$1,869.5 million in 2019. By product area, the research firm says that growth is expected to range from 17.3% for diagnostic imaging to 5.4% for patient aids equipment. According to Preecha Bhandtivej, Thai Medical Device Technology Industry Association (Thaimed) President, the country is conducive for medical devices manufacturing, given its world-class facilities. On the other hand, Thailand still imports most of the highly sophisticated devices it needs. Production of high-tech products is still minimal and the vast majority of manufacturers produce basic products, such as bandages, sutures, syringes, examination gloves, and others. Nevertheless, the country has the potential to evolve as a manufacturing hub for advanced healthcare goods. Thus, companies are maxing this potential. An example is Taiwanese manufacturer Apex Medical that is making Thailand its base for its CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and North Asia operations over the next three to five years. Apex Medical has already set up a joint venture in Thailand with local distributor Samaphan International. It commenced operations as Apex's Thailand subsidiary early this year.

Cover Feature Blow Moulding

Emergence of new technology Against the backdrop of the growth of the beverage market, with the shift from developed to emerging countries, continued investment in development of innovative drinks and value-added propositions that respond to changing consumer lifestyles and demographic changes, are driving the blow moulding machinery sector.


y 2021 Asia is predicted to contribute two-thirds of global incremental beverage consumption, with China alone responsible for one-third of the additional volume, according to research firm Canadean’s most recent Global Beverage Forecasts report. In terms of the top ten incremental volume providers by 2021, China and India will dominate, followed by Brazil. With the exceptions of the US, Saudi Arabia and Mexico in sixth, eighth and ninth positions respectively, all other markets in this group (Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam) are Asian. Soft drinks, particularly packaged water and bulk/ home and office delivery (HOD) water, will be the primary driver of incremental volume growth across all these markets, underscoring not only the growing global health trend, but also the opportunities offered by the lack of good quality tap water in many emerging markets. Meanwhile, French maker of blow moulding machinery Sidel says the beverage market in Thailand has remained strong over the past few years, with juices, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics and teas (JNSDIT) and liquid dairy products (LDP) performing particularly well, achieving sales of 7 billion units and 8 billion units respectively in 2015. Growth forecasts for the country in these two categories are also the biggest, with a CAGR of 6% for JNSDIT and 4% for LDP from 2015-2019. New packaging designs In terms of new packaging designs, Canadian company Nova Chemicals and Switzerland-headquartered Tetra Pak collaborated to produce the world’s first aseptic carton bottle for ambient white milk in 2011. They have now developed the latest generation Tetra Evero Aseptic utilising Nova’s Surpass HPs667-AB PE resin, with oxygen


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Tetra Pak’s latest aseptic packaging has been expanded to use beyond ambient white milk

barrier properties, making it possible for Tetra Pak to expand beyond ambient white milk to enriched dairy alternatives, flavoured milk, toddler and baby milk in the award-winning carton bottle. Produced with Nova’s Advanced Sclairtech dual-reactor process and single-site catalyst, HPs667-AB is a bimodal homopolymer, six-melt index, 0.967 g/cc PE resin. The material reportedly offers excellent barrier and stiffness performance, which helps converters and brand owners improve the sustainability of packaged goods in a wide variety of applications, including cereal, crackers, dairy and other liquids. Meanwhile, the aseptic packaging structure combines the body of a liquid carton made of a paperboard sleeve, with the handling and pouring advantages that come with an injection-moulded top and cap. The patented filling system for aseptic carton bottles developed by Tetra Pak, the A6, takes up 50% less space than a PET packaging line. The package is sterilised in the aseptic chamber through pre-heating, then treated with hydrogen peroxide gas, and finally ventilated with sterile air to eliminate all the gas in preparation for product filling. In other news, Sidel worked with Brazilian packaging provider Algar Agro to reduce the weight of a bottle by 22%, from 18 to 14 g. Sidel says it put together proposals for the bottle's packaging optimisation and carried out feasibility tests for the new design at its Packaging & Tooling Centre in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Sidel has introduced a lighter bottle for Brazilian packaging solutions provider Algar Agro

Blow Moulding With the acquisition of two Sidel Matrix blowers - one at each of its production plants - Algar Agro believes it is the first oil producer in Brazil with integrated injection and blowing in its PET production process. The Sidel machines were installed in bottling lines producing 25,000 PET bottles/hour for vegetable oil. Blowing with liquid instead of air In 2014, partners Sidel and Australia’s packaging giant Amcor, collaborated on LiquiForm, a breakthrough blow moulding and filling manufacturing technology that uses consumable, pressurised liquid instead of compressed air to form plastic containers. The LiquiForm Group has since then signed agreements with Yoshino Kogyosho, Japan’s largest plastic bottle manufacturer, to further develop the technology, and with Nestlé Waters, one of the world’s leading bottle water companies, to acquire the intellectual property.

LiquiForm is now ready for commercialisation

Benefits include a significant reduction in the energy for bottling achieved by eliminating the need for compressed air. For standard blow moulding, the air compression cycle is only 35% to 40% efficient and consumes approximately 70% of the total amount of electricity used in the blow moulding process. The LiquiForm process requires a smaller footprint, compared to standard bottle making and filling operations that are typically performed by two separate pieces of equipment. Furthermore, the process optimises PET bottle design both in terms of lightweighting and potentially sharper bottle definition (because better pressure control and material distribution is possible with liquid instead of air which allows for minimum wall thicknesses). The technology has been validated with a significant range of packaging substrates, products and conditions using the same LiquiForm machine for cold, ambient, and hot-fill PET containers. It is expected that more equipment manufacturers and FMCG companies will soon be able to purchase “developer kits” to accelerate their own product development, says the company. Machinery makers target automotive sector With the global demand for plastic ducts for the automotive sector rising, since the use of special materials such as PA6.6 or PPS has enabled the production of highly

Kautex showed its latest generation blow moulder at Chinaplas

heat-resistant exhaust ducts, it is no surprise that machine makers are targeting this sector. Germany-based Kautex Maschinenbau presented its third generation KCC series, which has been produced at its plant in Shunde, China, since 1997, at the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai. The model has been completely re-designed and also features 50% less space. Moulds can now also be changed from the side, for example, and products are discharged from the rear of the machine. A standardisation of modules and components has reduced the investment costs of the new machine and shortened future delivery times, says Kautex. Compatriot Bekum, which has to date delivered 16,000 blow moulding machines worldwide, has reorganised its plants in Germany and Austria. It invested EUR5 million to move its production division, which includes machine assembly, shipping, procurement, work preparation and warehousing, to Traismauer (Austria), about 60 km from Vienna. The aim was to consolidate the European manufacturing of extrusion blow moulding machines at a single site. While previously only large machines were built at Traismauer (established since 1968), now smaller packaging machines will be built in the 16,000-sq m space. The company also says it received new orders in Eastern Europe and the Middle East for mostly small and medium-sized machines for the packaging industry. In the automotive segment, where the company says it serves most major car manufacturers in Europe, large orders for VW in Wolfsburg (Germany), as well as for production facilities of Fiat in Italy and Brazil, “were gained against the competition, underscoring Bekum’s high level of expertise in this market segment.” For this it says, several single-station and double-station tank blow moulding machines for producing coextruded six-layer or seven-layer fuel tanks with IMD (in-mould deflashing) and SIB (ship-in-the-bottle) technology are involved. JUNE / JULY 2016


Wood Composites

The best of both worlds: plastics and wood Combining the best properties of two different materials, wood and plastics, produces a one-of-a-kind composite for varied applications, says Angelica Buan in this report.


s it wood, or is it plastic? One may not be able guess the difference with wood composite plastic (WPC), which takes on the natural look of wood and the smooth finish of plastic. Aesthetically, the two materials complement each other, as well as reinforce each others good properties. But there is more than meets the eye. The composite material exhibits superior mechanical strength, low maintenance and light weight, not to mention it is sustainable, being a bioplastic material. Currently the main drivers for the growing demand of WPC are building/construction and automotive sectors, although the number of applications may increase over time. The WPC market is forecast in Grandview Research’s Global Wood Plastic Composite Market report to be worth US$9.77 billion by 2024. WPC is becoming a popular choice for decking, fencing, and moulding and siding applications. In automotive, the material is used in door panels, seat cushions, cabin linings, backrests, and dashboards. Other industries are also making use of WPC for manufacturing products such as musical instruments, shoe soles, toys, and trays. The report also mentions that being bioplastic, niche applications such as household electronics and edge protection for packaging are contributing to its demand during the forecast period. WPC is posting a huge following in the US and Europe, with Asia catching up, too. Markets and Markets, in its report, projected that the region will mark the highest growth in the WPC market by 2021, owing to the increasing demand of WPC from China, followed by Japan and India.


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Researches to improve WPC Europe’s demand for WPC, valued over US$65 million in 2015, is surging further, Grandview Research reports. Wider acceptance in the use of the material in a wider array of applications stem from the region’s adoption of new technologies, expanding use of bio-based products and high investments in R&D. Nonetheless, there is still a need to further develop WPC for it to be useful for more applications. In the EU project called the Holistic Innovative Solutions for an Efficient Recycling and Recovery of Valuable Raw Materials from Complex Construction and Demolition Waste (HISER), wood from construction and demolition sites are being recovered and repurposed into WPC and gypsum boards, rather than ending up in incinerations. Launched early in 2015, the four-year EU project, is a consortium of 25 partners from ten countries, including Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre and Conenor Oy, which are engaged in the development of wood waste into raw material for construction products. VTT explains that the process involves crushing the wood into particle size of about 2 mm for WPC, or reducing it further to resemble fibre if repurposed for gypsum boards. The amount of fibre used in gypsum boards is between 5 to 20%, while in the composites, the proportion of wood is around 60%. Another EU-sponsored project, the Limowood, offers solutions for bathroom and kitchen furniture manufacturing by developing a new material that is moisture and mould-resistant. This is a welcome development, especially since WPC used to be limited to applications that would keep it from moisture, even though the material is naturally decay-resistant. WPC has been found to absorb moisture and eventually decay although slower than normal wood. Furthermore, to boost market demand, the seven-partner consortium ensures that the material will be produced at a competitive price, having a good finish, thereby eliminating the need for the application of treatments that release VOCs. Furthermore, the Limowood project seeks to offer solutions that will cater to both the high and low ends of the furniture market.

Wood Composites In line with the Limowood project, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, and some European partners created an ideal fully-recyclable WPC board for manufacturing indoor furniture, which is resistant to moisture, has low flammability (due to the halogen-free flame retardant additive) and formaldehyde-free. These boards are made of 60% wood particles and 40% thermoplastic material (polypropylene or polyethylene). The material components that go into the WPC are sourced from recycling streams. On the other hand, the wood component can be substituted with lignocellulose products derived from the fibrous part of plants such as hemp or cotton, or the husks of rice grains and sunflower seeds. Meanwhile, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland finds use for liquid by-products from the wood industry as additives that can be used in place of more expensive additives to enhance properties to WPC such as resistance to moisture and other elements. In the dissertation authored by Taneli Väisänen, liquid by-products or wood distillates originating from biochar production and heat treatment of wood were added to WPCs, and the effects of the additions on the composite properties were analysed. The study aims, among other things, to assess wood distillates as economical and environmental-friendly additive for WPC. At the same time, the study looks at how the method can enable commercial use of a potentially hazardous waste product.

presented by battenfeld-cincinnati, an Austrian manufacturer of extruders and complete extrusion lines, during the Vienna-held WPC conference organised by Applied Market Information (AMI). The company demonstrated its WPC line at its Austrian technical laboratory, highlighting the topical subject of utilising WPC profile production for temporary housing. A “Simply Housing” model house from UK’s TechWood International was showcased, and an H profile extruded, which is used as a connecting element in the house construction. With its line demonstration at the event, battenfeld-cincinnati presented its latest machine size of the fiberEX series, the fiberEX 93. The parallel twin-screw extruder with a 34D processing length and a maximum output of 420 kg/hour is equipped with an optimised degassing system. The specially adapted geometry of the gas outlet valve and the screw prevents leakage of melt particles from the processing chamber and ensures a high degassing performance with easy access to the degassing aperture during operation.

Material for inexpensive housing With the high costs of building houses and structures, going for lower priced materials can at times compromise safety. However, the combination of cost-efficiency, safety and sustainability is made possible in the WPC profiles The fiberEX 93-34D extruder from battenfeld-cincinnati can produce H profile from a blend of 72% wood fibre and 28% PP

The “Simply Housing” model house from TechWood International demonstrated the wide range of possibilities, which temporary housing made of WPC profiles has to offer

The complete line was demonstrated in cooperation with system partners for tooling (Beologic, Belgium), material conveyance (EMDE, Germany) and the gravimetric dosing system (ConPro, Germany). A 160 x 30 mm H profile was manufactured, which is used as a connecting element in assembling a house made of WPC profiles. The formulation of the compound used, with a low bulk density of 270 g/l, consisted of 72% wood fibres and 28% PP with additives. The material was processed as agglomerate that was produced in a heating/cooling-mixer system. This solution constitutes a particularly cost-efficient compounding alternative, especially since the agglomerate was fed into the extruder without using a dosing unit, simply by using the material’s hydrostatic pressure. JUNE / JULY 2016


Wood Composites A special advantage of the compound used in this case is its high wood content, which ensures a well-balanced indoor climate in its final application for building houses in regions of varying climatic conditions. The high wood content and because PP, which is based exclusively on hydrocarbons, is used, the profiles also fall under the Waste Wood Ordinance, which means that thermal disposal is permitted. If the WPC profiles are used to build hospitals, antibacterial additives can be blended into the agglomerate to minimise bacterial growth. A house consisting of such WPC profiles can be built for a price starting at EUR200 (or about US$226) per sq m. With the extrusion line demonstrated, units of about 60 sq m can be produced in less than one day and do not require an expert builder, owing to the easy-click system feature. Therefore, the profiles are ideally suited for use in temporary housing or for hospitals in crisis areas, and so they provide answers to many geopolitical issues, battenfeld-cincinatti said. Eco-friendly composites Biobased WPC is not novel but its properties are, and companies are continuously improving properties with ongoing R&D efforts. German WPC manufacturer Jelu-Werk has been doing research on WPC and is well-experienced in producing the biocomposite, and of its ingredients, its processing and its potential applications. It offers Jeluplast, which is ideal for making indoor and outdoor furniture, consists of food-safe thermoplastic and natural fibres. The proportion of natural fibres can be set individually between 50% and 70% .To make the material more resistant to moisture, flame retardants are added. Jelu-Werk offers biocomposites based on PE, PP, thermoplastic starch (TPS), polylactides (PLA) and other plastics. The fibres used are wood fibres and cellulose fibres. Like plastic, Jeluplast can be moulded three-dimensionally and also, it offers flexibility for design. Nonetheless, it has higher rigidity and flexular strength than plastic, says its manufacturer.

Jelu-Werk's biocomposite Jeluplast can be 3D-moulded like plastic


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Another WPC player offering biobased solutions for indoor and outdoor applications Klรถckner Pentaplast has launched its Pentadecor films made of Resysta, a rice-husk based PVC filler that is extrudable and also recyclable. The technology is owned by German firm Resysta International. Klรถckner Pentaplast's Pentadecor films are made of Resysta, a rice-husk based PVC filler

Measuring less than 1 mm thick, the film can be laminated on a variety of surfaces. Developed both for indoor and outdoor applications, Pentadecor films has the beneficial properties of thermoformable natural fibre filled film that serves as a wood veneer or WPC alternative. Additives allow for water and weather resistance, flexibility and robustness. In addition, it can be sanded to a smooth wooden finish, and can be refined in a variety of colours. A direct pigment application on the surface ensures a long lasting UV-resistance. With this development in the field of natural fibre composites (NFC), the existing converting technologies (extrusion, injection moulding, compression moulding) were successfully extended to a new and patented calendering process. The film is available in reels and formats. Meanwhile, Malaysian researchers from the Universiti Teknologi MARA created a WPC material utilising Kenaf, a fibre plant that is mostly used for paper and cardboard products. The university researchers are evaluating the suitability of using pulverised kenaf, obtaining about 65% of the whole stem of the plant, as filler material. By dosing the right amount of powdered core fibre of the kenaf stem, with maleic-anhydridemodified polypropylene (MAPP), a WPC that enables better stress transfer and increased strength and stiffness can be made, say the researchers, as well as higher filler loading of 65%. Additionally, reducing the plastic content and increasing the kenaf content, while maintaining the strength, stiffness or durability of the WPC, results in greener WPC products, according to the university.

Injection Moulding Asia Manufacturing

China’s market presents opportunities Industry 4.0 is transforming Europe’s traditional

With this, the country’s manufacturing industries will be able to surmount competition from other developing countries where labour is cheaper; and, at the same time realign its industrial manufacturing prowess amid slowing economic growth. The initiative is anticipated to maintain the lead of China’s plastics machinery market, the biggest in the world since 2005, according to China Plastics Machinery Industry Association (CPMIA). “China’s plastics machinery market keeps increasing and now is more than RMB50 billion,” commented Kangjian Zhu, President of CPMIA and Borch Machinery, during his presentation at the Industry 4.0 conference at the Chinaplas event held in April in Shanghai. Zhu cites the intelligent manufacturing trends being espoused by CPMIA to include setting up R&D, promoting control technology and energysaving injection moulding machines. While the initiative is still in the nascent stage, some machine manufacturers based in China are already seeing the potential of it being integrated by local industries. China-headquartered machinery maker Haitian International is responding to the Industry 4.0 challenge with what it says are highly flexible injection moulding machines using “Technology to the Point” for diverse categories of plastic parts. Optionally, it can integrate manufacturing cells using available international standard interfaces such as Euromap or SPI as well as integrate with interfaces to networked manufacturing processes.

manufacturing business into a data-driven level as well as inspiring China, with its Made-inChina plan, and encouraging Asia to catch up, says Angelica Buan.


ndustry 4.0 taps into the wonders of the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect small and medium-sized companies more efficiently in global production and innovation networks for efficiently engaging in mass production and customising products. However, proponents would rather call it an evolution than a revolution, the former denoting more of a natural transition than the latter’s forceful change. In Germany, the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association and its member firms have set themselves the target of bringing Industry 4.0 to life with specific practical examples. They want to make the sector aware of which Industry 4.0 technologies are already successfully being used today for improving production efficiency in plastics and rubber machinery manufacturing and to highlight the advantages for their customers. Why this progressive evolution is necessary to take place in the European manufacturing sector is because it accounts for 2 million enterprises, 33 million jobs and 60% of productivity growth, according to the European Commission. It also estimates that digitisation of products and services can pour in more than EUR110 billion of annual revenue in Europe in the next five years.

Automation: challenges and readiness for Asia ome observers find that with the automation being widely embraced in factories in the West, lower labour costs offered in Asia are becoming less of a concern, and thus there is a growing preference for on-shoring. Meanwhile, Prof Helmar Franz, Board Member of Haitian, notes a number of challenges arising from integration of machines with an intelligent environment. “There are issues beyond our control, such as data security, network availability, and internet stability. On the other hand, the question arises whether it makes any sense. Not everything that is technically possible makes economic sense for individual processors. It is more to find the golden means, the perfect balance between flexibility and productivity,” he remarks.


China takes the cue eanwhile, China has taken up Germany’s Industry 4.0 cue with its Made-in-China 2025 policy it issued in 2015. The Ministry of Industry and Telecommunication Technology (MIIT) led the creation of the ten-year plan, which has a three-step strategy to catapult China as a leader in innovation, green development and quality goods by the year 2049, which incidentally also marks the centennial anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The ten sectors targeted include information technology, high-end computerised machinery and robotics, aerospace equipment, renewableenergy cars; and new materials, such as polymers.


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Injection Moulding Asia Manufacturing In an email enquiry with Joanne Goh, analyst at IHS Technology, she told PRA that IHS, which tracks and analyses the capital expenditure (CAPEX) spending on industrial automation across 15 industries by region, has estimated slower growth than average of CAPEX spending in automation tools and equipment for the rubber and plastics industry, with CAGR of 1.4% from 2015 to 2020. “Despite the advantages of automation, which helps to maximise process accuracy, safety and efficiency, the concept of industry 4.0 in the Asia Pacific region is not ready to take off within the forecast period of 2015-2020,” Goh says. She points out that the region’s plastics and rubber industry “is still vulnerable due to overcapacity concerns.” “Industry 4.0 and automation implementation are predicted to come in place when the plastics and rubber industry gains benefits from lower feedstock and improving demand from the automotive industry,” she stated, adding that China will lead the adoption of industry 4.0 in the industry.

Wittman Battenfeld’s MicroPower 15/10 with Laminar FlowBox is specially designed for the injection moulding of small and micro parts

automation and peripheral equipment with machines, such as the MicroPower 15/10 and SmartPower 120/525, as well as the W838T robot. The machines, the connected robots and the peripherals are linked via a uniform Windows user interface to enable interaction among the appliances. Another Austrian company Engel has Inject 4.0, its umbrella term for Smart Factory solutions. It is based on what it calls three core elements, namely, Smart machines that boost process capability; Smart production to ensure high levels of productivity, with the horizontal and vertical data integration; and Smart services that improve availability thanks to close proximity and the use of remote maintenance tools. Engel says that Chinese processing firms are starting to implement smart production and are working with its e-factory Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution, a modular software package that provides insights into and an overview of a production process. Moreover, it offers the e-flomo, iQ weight control and iQ clamp control, decentralised assistance systems that make machines smarter through the continual monitoring and The automation feature of Arburg’s Allrounder 570 H for packaging is handled by a two-axis robotic automatic readjustment of system process parameters. Rebranding Industry 4.0 t the Chinaplas, European injection moulding machine manufacturers showcased connected manufacturing in response to the emerging Industry 4.0. German machinery maker Arburg showcased its Freeformer for additive manufacturing that is also suitable for use in combination with injection moulding and Industry 4.0 technologies for the customer-specific individualisation of high-volume parts. The process involves digitally networked production that enables series production, entering of orders, individualisation using additive manufacturing, packaging and retrieving data. Austrian machine maker Wittmann Battenfeld has the Wittmann 4.0, which features integrated


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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry

Manufacturing Auxiliary equipment offerings for smart efficiency erman auxiliary equipment maker MotanColortronic’s Smart Solutions is a network for operating, status and environmental data with an intuitive operating concept that entails a simple configuration. Smart Solutions consists of what Motan Colortronic calls smart products, which use decentralised intelligence to make “everything possible, and thus increases efficiency of the system”. It allows a machine and material supply to communicate with each other, ensuring exact amounts of energy and material required are actually used; and production is exact and accurate, says the firm. For its pilot project under Industry 4.0, Motan Colortronic offers an automated production start with prerunning of dryers. This has the advantage of using energy efficiently, says Carl Litherland, Vice-President Marketing at Motan-Colortronic, during his Chinaplas presentation. “It is because the drying automatically starts earlier, energy use is coordinated precisely with the production start, the dryer is chosen according to throughput – no over drying of the material; machine and material are both ready to start at the exact same time and production stops with emptying of the hopper, as well as monitoring of material conveying are automated. Another advantage is that there is no material loss at the end of production,” Litherland adds. For Austria-based recycling machine maker Erema its Intarema systems promote Industry 4.0 efficiency. Intarema has a standard feature, the ecoSAVE technology, with up to 12% less energy consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and lower production costs. Intarema has practical energy display on the operating panel to provide the user an overview of energy consumption. “With Intarema, it is achievable to reach perfect pellet quality at the press of a button. It is because the new Intarema features the intelligent Smart Start operating concept, bringing together production efficiency and remarkably straightforward operation. This is all about usability, including an ergonomic touchscreen, practical recipe management and automated standby mode,” according to CEO Manfred Hackl in his presentation. Moreover, Erema’s Counter Current technology makes it possible to achieve high capacities. The extruder handles more material in a shorter time. This means constant throughput within a considerably larger temperature range, says Erema. Thus it can be seen that whether companies offer “intelligent” or “smart” solutions, Industry 4.0 is important if companies want to remain competitive on world markets in the future.

The e-mac 180 from Engel offers high productivity and small footprint, key features in its inject 4.o concept


Munich-headquartered KraussMaffei’s Plastics 4.0 sums up global networking in production via intelligent machines with integrated production processes. It categorises the solutions as Intelligent Machines, Integrated Production and Interactive Services.

KraussMaffei’s GX series highlights hydromechanical dual platen concept and intelligent, user-friendly control system

Intelligent Machines means self-optimising machines for improved productivity and quality. This includes the APC function (Adaptive Process Control) developed by KraussMaffei. APC recognises process fluctuations, which can be caused by changing environmental conditions or fluctuating viscosity, and independently adopts counteractive measures. Integrated Production refers to networked production, in which the individual machines and components communicate with each other and autonomously control the processes accordingly. Interactive Services can, on the other hand, be compared to fast and global services using the example of remote maintenance tools. 3 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 6

Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry

Moulds for medical technology: satisfying the growing demand for productivity in the field of medical consumables by Emanuel Boettcher, Product Manager, Medical, Schöttli, and Dominik Sinzinger, Business Unit Manager, Medical EMEA, Schöttli, a Husky company

Closing cone produced from 72+72stack mould with six servo motors

Stack moulds double output and reduce waste n the field of medical consumables, the productivity requirements that must be met by manufacturers are constantly rising. Manufacturers find themselves caught between the conflicting priorities of everincreasing demands from customers in terms of quality and reliability, and the constant pressure to reduce unit costs. In recent years, manufacturers have countered this trend with an increased demand for stack moulds. At one Swiss mould manufacturer, the proportion of stack moulds produced is now more than 30%.


in the use, commissioning, and maintenance of stack moulds. Following several years of providing customer training, the mould manufacturer recently opened its own academy to satisfy the increasing demand for training. Maintenance is always preferential to repair, so customers are specifically trained to perform the required maintenance measures in a timely manner. This results in a seamless production process and higher system availability, which in turn reduces unit costs.

96+96-stack mould for 5 ml centric luer slip barrel

The growth of the world’s population, increasing urbanisation, ageing societies, and increasing selfmedication are among the reasons that the demand for medical consumables constantly continues to rise. At the same time, manufacturers have limited production space, and the costs of this space are always rising. This is particularly the case in countries where production costs are already relatively high, but has also become an important cost factor in growth markets such as China. This has created a demand for increased productivity per square foot of production space, coupled with higher demands in terms of production volumes and output. These requirements are met by stack moulds, which use two mould-parting surfaces within a single mould, doubling the capacity of an injection moulding machine. These systems are able to achieve this with the same mould mounting surface and almost the same clamping force as a non-stack mould.

Form alignment s with conventional moulds with very deep mould halves, the alignment of the individual mould segments in stack moulds is crucial to the quality of the injection-moulded parts and the lifespan of the mould. At the commissioning stage, the manufacturer shows customers how they can align moulds to achieve an optimum production flow. The moulds include systems that support the customer, helping them to precisely configure and check the moulds, and to continually monitor the production process and make adjustments: monitoring systems with sensors, for example, help to ensure that both mould halves are optimally aligned during the injection moulding process. The sensors continuously record and evaluate data to detect possible deviations at an early stage. In addition, Husky provides a stack mould carrier with harmonic linkage, ensuring accurate mould alignment and making it easy to install, remove and service the mould. The centre section carrier and moving platen travel on linear bearings located on the machine base, allowing for fast, clean operation.


Complex systems tack moulds are complex systems, and as such they have a demanding set of maintenance requirements. Schöttli, a Husky company based in Diessenhofen, Switzerland, supports its customers across the world


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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry Electrical drives he trend towards electrification in the injection moulding process is especially noticeable in the medical market, with an increasing proportion of fully electrical machines. The use of electrical drive concepts is also increasing for moulds. Clearly defined pathways within moulds allow for quick, efficient, and repeatable sequences. The advantages are clear -- in the sensitive medical market, many systems operate in clean rooms where oil-free moulds contribute to a reliable, particle-free production process. Furthermore, electrical drives require less energy and can be integrated into existing control systems. Programmable control devices allow movements to be triggered independently and in parallel. Using the shortest possible reach and stroke distances within the moulds leads to a reduced cycle time.

The possibility to limit the load and monitor torque reduces wear and tear and increases the service life of the mould.


About Schöttli, a Husky company chöttli, a Husky company, is a globally-positioned specialist in the development and manufacture of high-precision and high-performance moulds, as well as integrated system solutions for the volume production of plastic injection mould parts in the medical, closures, and thinwall packaging industries. Schöttli was acquired by Husky Injection Molding Systems in December 2013.


About Husky Injection Molding Systems usky Injection Molding Systems is a leading supplier of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry. The company designs, manufactures and integrates the industry’s most comprehensive range of injection moulding equipment, including machines, moulds, hot runners, auxiliaries, and integrated systems. Its value added services include preform development, factory planning, customer training, systems integration and complete asset management. With more than 40 service and sales offices and employing approximately 4,000 people worldwide, Husky supports customers in over 100 countries.


A 5 ml extruder barrel

PRA interviewed Paul Commisso, Global Marketing and Communications Manager, Husky Injection Molding Systems PRA: What current global trends (example, contracting markets, low product exports in some economies, and cost cutting measures, energy efficiency and automation in manufacturing, etc.) will Husky focus on in its machinery offering; and could weigh in on strategies for the company? Commisso: Husky consistently looks to global trends to help influence our strategy on product design and development, along with routinely learning from our customers how we can design solutions that solve their key business challenges. We are particularly interested in intelligent tooling and further integration of our systems; from sharing digital processing data to the integration of Husky production IT with partners downstream, Husky is committed to bringing intelligent factories to life. Husky’s latest production systems take advantage of steady data flow from auxiliaries, moulding machines and tooling, and feed this digitised process chain through Shotscope servers for business insights and to optimise system performance.

Paul Commisso, Global Marketing and Communications Manager of Husky

PRA: Husky is a leader in innovation. Is it a challenge to keep up with this “brand” or identity, amid other companies also vying to lead the innovation arena? Commisso: Husky has always focused on nurturing our strong culture of innovation to drive continuous improvement in the markets we serve. We have been very successful at anticipating trends within the industry (i.e. the recent launch of our self-cleaning mould technology). There is competition in every industry. This is what keeps a business and the industry healthy. It also helps increase our speed-to-market for innovative solutions. We are focused on developing solutions that meet our customers’ key business challenges, with a particular emphasis on a regular cadence of renewal in our products to ensure we are able to offer the latest engineering solutions to our customers. 5 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 6

Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry PRA: Are there new emerging segments/industries/applications that Husky will be breaking into or focusing on this year? Commisso: We are continuing to focus on applications for every volume, weight, capacity and design – looking at our innovative value-added capabilities like part design, mould flow simulations, and factoryplanning in order to break into adjacent markets that we may not have previously served, and to expand our reach within our current markets and customer-base. Additionally, our more recently-formed Medical and Specialty Packaging business unit allows us to focus our attention on the medical market and combine our capabilities in other areas of our business with the precision manufacturing of Schöttli to offer medical customers an integrated solution for even the most complex applications. PRA: Does Husky view Asia as a growing market for all-electric machinery, are hydraulics on the way out or hybrids a tie-in? And with competitors from Taiwan, Japan and Europe, what is the vantage point Husky has with its allelectrics? Commisso: All-electrics are a viable option for moulders, but not an indication that hydraulics are on the way out. The question of all-electric versus hybrid (electric and hydraulic) is dependent upon the application and end-user requirements – the key is to have a solution that delivers the right performance and consumer experience. Compared to technologies from a decade back, all-electrics are more energy efficient, cleaner, quieter, and obviously don’t have the need for infrastructure to handle hydraulic oil, but this often comes at the expense of cycle time and output. This is why all-electric systems are generally preferred for low-volume applications, which helps to serve markets like China where there may be excess capacity for certain applications. Husky’s H-PET AE effectively meets these lower-volume demands, without any compromise in quality of the preforms or shot-to-shot consistency. For high-output manufacturing hybrid machines (electric and hydraulic) are the preferred alternative because they are capable of delivering high productivity with optimal specific energy consumption. PRA: Currently, Husky has facilities in China and India in Asia, are there any expansion plans to other Asian countries, in terms of branch/office set-ups; manufacturing facilities or representations? Commisso: We are always looking carefully at our global footprint to ensure that we continue to provide the best products and services to our customers, by operating in a way, and in locations, that best meet their needs. In some cases this means consolidating facilities, and in others it means further investing in existing or additional facilities. While we have no immediate plans for additional manufacturing facilities in Asia, we review needs on an ongoing basis in order to make the decisions that best serve our customers and their markets. PRA: With the acquisition of Schöttli in 2013, Husky has set up the Medical and Specialty Packaging business as a focus of growth for the company. Are there any expansion plans/new product introductions in line with the new division this year? Commisso: Our Medical and Specialty Packaging business unit is definitely a focus of growth for us; the market potential within consumer packaged goods, home care products, and of course medical is quite significant. We are looking at an outside view in – determining what the market and consumer trends are, and using that to help shape the products we develop for our core markets. With this approach, we can be better organised to provide the products and services that serve the trends in the marketplace. Currently, we are the only company in the specialty closures and medical markets that can offer a complete injection moulding system (including mould, machine and hot runner), and we will continue to develop solutions with this line of thinking. The ability to buy an integrated system is valuable to our customers, particularly in emerging markets where having one touchpoint is key. Medical product manufacturers demand reliability, and having one supplier with a focus on consistency in part quality and reliability in operation helps to bring the total cost of ownership down, and ensures less risk in their operations. 6 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 6

Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Following the integration into Thailand’s Indorama Ventures (IVL) a year ago, industrial polyester fibre producer DuraFiber Technologies (formerly Performance Fibers) is constructing a fully integrated dipping unit adjacent to the current production facility in Kaiping, Guangdong, China. IVL’s wholly-owned subsidiary aims to expand further its tyre cord fabric production capacity by 40%. The new unit is expected to commence production in 2018. • India-based global tyre maker Apollo Tyres has inaugurated its office in Malaysia, Asia’s third largest automotive hub. Following the set-up of its sales and distribution hub in Bangkok for the ASEAN region, Apollo Tyres has been increasingly focusing on expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia. The company is targeting the Malaysian replacement tyre market, which has a capacity of 580,000 truck-bus radials/year and 9.5 million passenger car tyres. • Silicones maker Dow Corning has opened the Sahayog Building Solutions Centre in New Delhi, India. A primary focus will be on the performance, safety and durability of buildings constructed using Dow Corning silicone materials in a range of daily and specialist applications in new and renovation projects. This new centre will be operated in partnership with Delhi-based distributor Silicone Concepts International. • South Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho Tires has opened its third overseas production facility in Georgia, US, after the ones in China and Vietnam. With a capacity of 4 million tyres/ year, this facility will expand the company’s presence and enhance its share market in North America. It will mainly manufacture 17-in tyres or larger tyres for passenger cars and ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres, 80% of which are

expected to be sold as original equipment (OE) tyres to Hyundai, Kia and Chrysler vehicle makers. • Bridgestone Americas is divesting its Venezuelan business Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana CA (BFVZ) to Corimon Group, a Venezuelan manufacturer of a range of paint, chemical and packaging products. Since the Venezuela operations were deconsolidated from Bridgestone Americas last year, this divestiture will have no financial impact on the company. The firm will now become Alice Neumáticos de Venezuela. • US private equity firm Salt Creek Capital has acquired Brookvilleheadquartered rubber components maker Sperry & Rice. It produces specialised parts made from rubber and plastic compounds for the appliance, automotive, and heavy truck and bus industries. The firm’s product portfolio consists of seals, hoses, tubing and straps, in several key niches. • Sweden-headquartered Trelleborg has finalised the acquisition of Czech Republic-headquartered CGS Holding, a privately-owned company catering to agricultural, industrial and speciality tyres as well as engineered polymer solutions, for SEK10.9 billion. CGS Holding includes the businesses Mitas, Rubena and Savatech. Mitas, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of group sales, will be integrated into the Trelleborg Wheel Systems business area. During transition, other operations will be independent from Trelleborg’s existing operations before being gradually integrated into current business areas. • Australian gloves and condom manufacturer Ansell has sold its On-guard protective boot business to Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear, a US subsidiary of Netherlands-based Dunlop Protective Footwear Holdings, to

focus more on its core operation. This is Dunlop’s first manufacturing plant in the US, though It has sales and service operations here. Most of its footwear production is handled at the firm’s factory in the Netherlands. • Italian tyre distributor Franco Gomme has been purchased by Fintyre Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Franco Gomme, which operates six warehouses that serve around 8,000 customers in central and northern Italy, will continue to operate under its own brand name and function independently of its new parent company. The combined turnover of the two firms is expected to hit over EUR400 million this year. • Dow Chemical has completed the transaction to restructure the ownership of Dow Corning. Dow is now 100% owner of Dow Corning’s silicones business, which had 2015 revenues of US$4.5 billion and is expected to generate more than US$1 billion of annual EBITDA for Dow at full run-rate synergies. Dow Corning was previously a 73-year 50:50 joint venture between Dow and Corning Incorporated. Dow and Corning will maintain their equal proportional equity interests in Hemlock Semiconductor Group, a polysilicon producer in which Dow Corning was the majority shareholder. Dow Corning will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow. • Sabic and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group (SNCG), a subsidiary of Shenhua Group Corporation, are exploring the potential joint development of a greenfield petrochemical complex to be located in the Ningxia Hui Region of China. The joint venture would benefit from its location in Ningxia and utilise locally available coal feedstocks to be supplied by SNCG. This project is part of Sabic’s on-going strategy to geographically diversify its operations and to seek future investment opportunities that opens doors to new markets.

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Rubber Journal Asia Materials News

Cultivating opportunities in the Philippine rubber sector Rubber, a top agro-commodity, is being

The exchange of 49 rubber clone varieties was concluded at a conference held late last year between PRIA, DTI and the DA, as well as other Asian rubber industry delegates including Sheela Thomas, Secretary-General of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). Dr Abdul Aziz bin S.A. Kadir, Secretary-General of the International Rubber Research & Development Board (IRRDB) said that a rubber clone gives a higher yield at a faster production turnaround. Although not all rubber clones are created equal, Aziz reminds that small farmers need to know clones that are good to grow rubber from to ensure quality output. The Philippines has also been delving on R&D for clone varieties, with the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) able to develop the high-yield USM 1 clone. To upgrade the quality that complies with industry regulations and market requirements, PRIA has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and also set up a rubber testing laboratory in Zamboanga City. Currently, Mindanao has three rubber testing laboratories.

groomed as a key contributor to the national economic development of the Philippines, says Angelica Buan.


anked among the world’s top ten rubber producing countries, the Philippines accounted for nearly 1% of the world’s total dry rubber production of 11.8 million tonnes in 2014. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Board of Investments (BOI) cites that in 2014 natural rubber exports were valued at US$79 million from US$75 million the previous year; while value of rubber manufacture imports increased to US$311 million in 2014, an increase of US$10 million from the previous year. The rubber industry also has its technical working group (TWG) launching activities to boost rubber growth, including Integrating upstream and downstream rubber roadmaps and a research project to increase the local rubber content in motorcycle tyres, setting up a testing facility in Region XII, and a plan to build a manufacturing facility for latex-dipped rubber products. The Philippines has vast tracts of lands especially in the southern major island of Mindanao that are suitable for rubber planting. Nonetheless, studies are being undertaken to identify other areas in the two major islands of Luzon and Visayas that are also feasible for cultivating rubber. The country had about 185,476 ha of rubber plantations, based on 2013 industry data.

Boost for local enterprises RIA’s Medalla recommends setting up a village processing facility for rubber products to assist the growth of the industry. Thus, a US$322,000 programme, backed by the Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), will allow farmers to engage in processing and marketing their produce, and not just confined to selling rubber lumps which fetch low price locally than latex rubber; as well as involve in natural resources preservation. The PRDP said the programme targets to benefit about 300 local small rubber growers. It will be managed by a tripeople farmer cooperative and help rubber farmers increase their income to US$84 from US$52/month, while tappers may expect earnings of US$47/month.


Aid against price woes he prevailing rubber price slump in Asia has inundated Philippine rubber farmers, who are predominantly smallholders of 2 to 3 ha farms, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (DA). This year, the Philippine rubber supply is placed at 250,000 tonnes, with 217,000 ha planted with rubber seedlings, which is above the target of 200,000 ha. Nonetheless, this has barely alleviated the plight of small rubber holders. Rhodora Medalla, President of the Philippine Rubber Industry Association (PRIA), stated that from 2012 the price of dried rubber plunged to US$1.4/kg from US$3.7 to US$3.9/kg in 2010 and 2011, with the highest price for rubber noted in 2010 and 2011. She added that the economic state of supply and demand, crude oil prices, and the price of synthetic rubber are factors for the fluctuating rubber prices. Nonetheless, the local industry has agreed on a clonesharing system with Asia’s major rubber producers who are also actively developing their rubber production with new technologies.


Demand up for tyres he rising vehicle sales in the country also provide opportunity for the rubber sector. Based on TechSci Research’s report, the Philippine tyre market is projected to reach over US$900 million by 2021. The main factors that influence demand for tyres in the Philippines include rapid infrastructure development, implementation of favourable policies by the government as well as growing disposable income of vehicle owners. Meanwhile, Japanese tyre maker Yokohama, which has been in the country since 1996, has started to increase its rubber sourcing from the Philippines from 6% in 2012 to 32% in August 2015, amid the improving quality of local rubber. Yokohama’s tyre facility will be able to produce 60,000 tyres/day by 2017. Thus, the Philippine rubber industry can tap on opportunities from tyre demand.


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Rubber Journal Asia Silicone

Silicone: a hit for medical applications Silicone stands out in medical applications,

utilised Dow Corning’s 360 MD colourless and odourless polydimethysiloxane fluid for its new siliconised CycloOlefin-Polymer (COP) syringes. COP is an interesting plastic alternative to glass syringes due to the growing demands of novel agents on their primary packaging. Medications for cancer therapy, for example, can be extremely aggressive to the point where the break resistance of a syringe is a decisive criterion for selection. Innovative biotech medications, on the other hand, are often effective in the smallest of doses and are frequently very expensive. Syringes made of this material are biocompatible, break-resistant, and transparent as well as do not interact with the packaged medications. Its geometry also reduces dead volume, leaving behind less of the expensive medication in the syringe.

owing to its suitable properties, including biocompatibility to human tissue, resistance to bacteria and corrosion, sterilisability, and being odourless, tasteless and non-reactive to other materials, says Angelica Buan in this report.


he global demand for silicone, projected to be worth US$21 billion by 2021, is supported by advancing medical technologies. R&D for new product development and increasing demand from emerging economies are expected to drive market growth for silicone in the coming years, Zion Research notes in a market report. A major player in silicones, Michigan-headquartered Dow Corning has launched a range of silicone pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) for medical devices. The MG-2XXX Series of four PSAs provides strong (shear force of 21 kg), conformable adherence of medical devices over extended wear periods without irritating or sensitising the skin, says the firm. The new PSAs are suitable for use in medical device applications requiring secure adhesion to the skin, such as ostomy appliances, monitoring devices, surgical dressings and drapes, hairpieces and external prosthetic devices. All four grades have successfully passed biocompatibility testing for cytotoxicity, skin irritation and skin sensitisation according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for non-clinical lab studies (21CFR58). Additionally, it introduced three new bio-medical grade liquid silicone rubbers (LSRs). Available in Shore A hardnesses of 40, 50 and 70, these LSRs comprise the new Silastic Q7-78XX series and C6-7XX LSR series for short term or non-implant applications with three initial products. Meanwhile, another notable offering from Dow Corning for the medical device market is its Topical Ingredients portfolio, which it unveiled late last year at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ (AAPS) meeting in Colorado. The new ingredients have been designed to help customers drive innovations in topical over-thecounter (OTC) and medical device products that treat scars, stretch marks, acne and other skin conditions, and support their needs for compliance with increasing regulatory requirements.

Dow Corning ‘s silicone pressure sensitive adhesives for medical devices

The first German-made product of this line is a 1 ml long Gx RTF (ready-to-fill) ClearJect COP syringes with a 27-gauge, 12.7 mm, and thinwall stainless-steel cannula with three bevels, suitable for demanding, sensitive medications and high-viscosity agents. Gerresheimer currently offers a range of prefillable COP syringes produced by long-time company partner Japanbased Taisei Medical Co. Gerresheimer is assuming the sales and technical consulting roles for ClearJect syringes for customers in Europe and the US. The company is now expanding its product portfolio of COP syringes and is combining RTF concept of glass syringes with ClearJect to create the new Gx RTF ClearJect. Wound care application luestar Silicones, which has 20,996 sq m implant-grade silicone facility in South Carolina, offers its Silbione Biomedical LSR line for long-term implant applications and its Silbione skin adhesives for wound care and wearable devices. Available in ShA 01 through 70 hardnesses, Silbione Biomedical LSRs are said to offer lot-to-lot consistency, optimising product design in an easy-to-process formulation, improving cycle time and part quality, says the company.


An alternative to glass n a related development, Düsseldorf-headquartered glass and plastic products specialist Gerresheimer has


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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Silicone Silbione soft silicone adhesives for wound, scar, transdermal and wearable device applications are said to feature comparatively the highest tack level available for enhanced, yet gentle adhesion to the skin. High tack Silbione RT Gel 4642 enables coaters to achieve improved adhesion levels to the skin at lower coat weights than other materials currently available on the market. In addition, the company also offers a range of flexible silicone technologies ideal for wearable devices, including LSR, heat cured rubber (HCR), room temperature vulcanised (RTV) silicones and silicone foam.

introduction through Biotronik’s Solia S small vessels and complex ProMRI is the smallest MR conditional pacing lead anatomy, while the soft available in the US distal segment helps reduce stress and minimise myocardial trauma. With the limitations in the variety of leads available, Solia S ProMRI is said to offer more versatility and therefore improved procedures. Biotronik says its ProMRI technology enables patients with a pacemaker, implantable defibrillator, cardiac monitor, or cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) to undergo an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan.

Silbione skin adhesives for wound care and wearable devices from Bluestar Silicones

Implant to enable movement esearchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, have developed a device that is meant to mimic the mechanical properties of soft tissues in the brain and can simultaneously deliver electric impulses and pharmacological substances. The device can be applied directly onto the spinal cord without causing damage and inflammation, because its elasticity and its potential for deformation are almost identical to the living tissue surrounding the spinal cord. This is a key improvement, compared to traditional implants that are more rigid and therefore would have caused significant nerve tissue damage when implanted for a period of time. Thus, risks of rejection and/or damage to the spinal cord have been drastically reduced. The implantable device called e-Dura, named after the dura mater, the protective tissue that covers the brain and the spinal cord, features a long, clear, ribbon-like structure made of silicone rubber covered with cracked gold electric conducting tracks that can be pulled and stretched. The electrodes are coated with a platinum-silicone composite. A fluidic microchannel enables the delivery of pharmacological substances, in this case, neurotransmitters that will reanimate the nerve cells beneath the injured tissue. The implant can also be used to monitor electrical impulses from the brain in real time. Scientists have tested the device prototype by applying a combination of electrical and chemical stimulation to paralysed rats. The implant proved its biocompatibility and effectiveness to stimulate movement, allowing the rats to regain the ability to walk on their own again after a few weeks of training. With the positive results, the e-Dura implant shows potential application in patients suffering from neurological trauma or disorders, particularly individuals who have become paralysed following spinal cord injury. The next step for the scientists is to perform clinical trials in humans, and to develop a prototype for commercialisation.


The company’s low-durometer LSRs, Silbione LSR 4301 and Silbione 4305 (01 and 05 ShA), deliver high tear strength and elongation for soft cushioning and vibration dampening applications. Its patented silicone foam, Silbione RT Foam 4241, offers low density open cell silicone foam for flexible, breathable applications. Meanwhile, Cinogy with its head office in Duderstadt in South Lower Saxony enables nursing staff to treat chronic wounds and skin diseases with a procedure that promotes wound healing and fights multi-resistant pathogens. The sterile sensor pad, through which the spacer comes into contact with the human skin, is manufactured using TPE of the Thermolast M series from German firm Kraiburg TPE. Cinogy developed the first portable device to generate non-thermal, or “cold” plasma directly on the skin at atmospheric pressure. In the patented PlasmaDerm process the spacer is placed on the skin. By activating high-voltage impulses, electrical fields transform the air between the spacer and skin into non-thermal plasma. The patient may feel a slight tingling of the skin, but no pain whatsoever. As opposed to existing spot treatments, the electrode in the Cinogy process is mechanically flexible and has a large area to ensure an even distance from the skin. Improving MR procedures ermany-headquartered cardio and endovascular medical technology company, Biotronik, has launched Solia S ProMRI, featuring a 5.6 French lead body, available in three size configurations of 45, 53 and 60 cm lengths. The product, the smallest MR (magnetic resonance) conditional pacing lead available in the US, has been recently approved by the FDA. It features a polyurethane coating over silicone designed to reduce friction, facilitate


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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market

Silica: nano-sized solution for sustainable tyres Measuring from as miniscule as 2 nanometres,

as precipitated silica sol, the largest market segment of specialty silica market due to its increased use in automotive tyres; silica gel, and fumed silica. Among other applications, rubber is anticipated to witness substantial growth, with a CAGR of more than 7.2% of the overall volume share through 2022, according to a report by Grandview Research. Beyond the automotive segment, applications are seen to grow especially in manufacturing of conveyor belts, transmission belts, rice rollers, PVC sheets, thermoplastic rubbers, shoe soles, and silicon tubes, Grandview Research says. With such sizeable market opportunities, the market for specialty silica is expected to expand. Transparency Market Research, in its report, forecasts that global precipitated silica market value could score US$ 3.49 billion by 2023 from US$2.11 billion in 2014. It is anticipated to post a CAGR of 5.8% between 2015 and 2023. Meanwhile, Grandview Research says that Asia Pacific (APAC) is the largest market of the specialty silicas followed by Europe and North America. The growth in the APAC region is due to the sizable Chinese market, especially in the automotive industry. China accounts for more than half of the total market share of specialty silica in the region, followed by India and Japan.

specialty silica can impart sustainability in tyres, thus driving demand.


t is impossible to imagine vehicles without fossil fuels. Globally, transportation accounts for 62.3% of petroleum consumption, according to American non-profit organisation Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) information. Owing to the massive use of fossil fuels, vehicles are ranked among the top contributors to air pollution. Moreover, the automotive industry accounts for about 15% of global carbon emissions, or 8 billion tonnes/year, UK-headquartered consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says, as it tackles the sustainability issue in the automotive industry. Tyres, which are an integral part of a vehicle, also determine the amount of pollutants released by the vehicle, according to Transparency Market Research, in its Green Tires Market report. It says that the rolling resistance of a vehicle is crucial in this context, meaning, the higher the rolling resistance of a vehicle, the more energy it requires to overcome the friction and the more pollutants it releases. Thus, reducing rolling resistance in tyres, without placing the drivers in danger with reduced friction, aid in minimising the pollutants vehicles are releasing into the environment, at the same time, conserving energy consumption.

Rolling out tyres he automotive industry is steering towards environmental-friendly designs in vehicles and parts, and that includes tyres. Adding precipitated silica to tyre treads, for example, is found to deliver this result. Tyremaker Bridgestone Americas and PPG, a US precipitated silica producer, have partnered to roll out energy-efficient truck and buses tyres with specialised silica. This project is a means to further Bridgestone’s environment commitment, which includes “producing sustainable products in the most sustainable way”, and to achieve the company’s mid-term target of 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.


Niche in green tyres reen tyre designs are catering to environmental sustainability; and these tiny specks of chemical compounds, the specialty silica, are adding the “green” factor into some of those tyres. Used as reinforcement agent, silica enables reduced rolling resistance in tyres compared to carbon black. Specialty silica, made predominantly from silica or silicon dioxide (SiO2), are gaining entrée into the automotive sector along wide adoption in rubbers and production of green tyres that offer benefits such as reduced rolling resistance and optimised fuel consumption to drive demand. Cleveland, Ohio-headquartered Freedonia, in its report World Specialty Silicas, dittos the growing demand for specialty silica in tyre rubber due to the rising adoption of green tyres. This is also aided by the introduction of tyre labelling regulations in several countries, which are meant to improve the performance qualities of tyres. Freedonia forecasts that by 2020, green tyres would represent more than 40% of all tyres produced worldwide. According to US market intelligence firm, Persistence Market Research, the global silica market can be segmented


A US collaborative project utilises PPG’s Agilon silica for Bridgestone’s fuel efficient truck and bus radial tyres

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Omni United’s Dimax R8+ runflat tyre features silica tread compound technology for improved wear and grip

The US$1.25 million US Department of Energy (DOE)-funded collaborative project focuses on improving the fuel efficiency of truck and bus radial tyres using PPG’s Agilon performance silica platform. The goal of the project is to deliver prototype tyres to DOE that help trucks and buses achieve fuel-efficiency improvements of 4 to 6%, while maintaining or improving tear strength and tread wear. Research and development work for the project, which had gotten the heads-up with the funding in February this year, will be completed at PPG’s Monroeville, Pennsylvania, facility. Improving the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses would provide significant economic and environmental benefits, PPG says, citing the DOE findings that in the US alone, while heavy-duty vehicles comprise only 4% of all vehicles on roads, consume approximately 20% of all fuel. PPG estimates that if even 25% of all tractortrailers on the road improved fuel efficiency by 4%, they would consume 750 million fewer gallons of diesel fuel annually, saving nearly US$2 billion and reducing CO2 emissions by nearly 8 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Goodyear has been actively in pursuit to developing sustainable tyres. In its Akron innovation centre, the tyre maker has started developing silica from rice husk ash. In 2015, it announced that it was using the biobased silica in tyres being produced in its Pulandian, China plant, and is to be sold in China. Recently, global tyre manufacturer Maxxis, debuted its new tyre designs, including high-performance tyres and run-flat tyres at a show in Germany held May this year. Among its showcased tyres were the new Premitra HP5 tyre for luxury and passenger cars, which features three central ribs and uses a full-silica compound that Maxxis says renders durability in the tyre; and its new M36+ run flat tyre, which has an asymmetrical tread design and an advanced silica-rich compound for ultra-highperformance summer tyre, complete with enhanced wet and dry grip.

wide circumferential grooves to provide safety in wet and dry conditions. Omni adds that all run-flat sizes are constructed using the latest reinforcing materials technology available, including the exclusive Radar Runflat Insert Technology (RRIT), thus giving a smooth ride under normal operating conditions, and maintaining mobility when running in a run-flat condition. UK-based Landsail Tyres has recently launched a new premium performance tyre, the LS588, an upgrade to its LS988 pattern. According to Landsail Tyres, the LS588’s advanced silica tread compound helps in reducing rolling resistance, and thus enabling increased fuel efficiency; further, it has a high tech computeraided design that has optimised the tread pitch and alignment for lower road noise at higher speeds. The added sipes and grooves improve hydroplaning resistance and better handling on wet roads, while the tread design creates a much larger contact area allowing better stability, cornering and control in dry conditions, according to Landsail Tyres. Last but not the least in the roster of tyre manufacturers producing silica-enhanced tyres, California-based Toyo Tire USA has introduced also earlier this year its Toyo M677, a SmartWayverified drive tyre designed for regional and long haul operations. The M677, which features Toyo’s proprietary environmentally-friendly truck and bus tyres technology platform called e-balance, is a fourgroove tyre that utilises the lower rolling resistance benefit of a new silica compound as well as its large tread blocks and a closed, high-rigidity shoulder rib for fuel economy, while maintaining great traction and excellent wear performance.

Maxxis’s Premitra HP5 uses a full-silica compound that renders durability in the tyre

Run-flat tyre is also a latest offering by Singaporeheadquartered Omni United. The Dimax R8+ run-flat ultra-high-performance tyre model, a new addition to its Radar brand features silica tread compound technology for improved wear and grip, as well as an asymmetric tread pattern for improved handling at high speeds; and

Toyo M677, a SmartWay-verified drive tyre taps the low-rolling resistance benefit of silica

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Events 2016

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