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 微型 國家 塑 焦料 點 :剖析珠子和海洋的關係
In this issue
Volume 30, No 212
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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 16 Indian Machinery and Technology India’s triennially held plastics show, Plastindia, seems to have closed on a successful note with exhibitors praising the new venue in Gandhinagar. Meanwhile, materials and machinery companies announced expansions and new technology solutions
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20 Italian Machinery and Technology
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A round-up of Italian and foreign exhibitors displaying machinery and technology at the upcoming PlastMilan exhibition to be held in Milan from 5-9 May, in conjunction with the inaugural week of Expo 2015
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26 Extrusion Machinery Highlights from US companies like Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries and PTi as well as Canadian machine maker Macro Engineering
28 Flame Retardants Though the flame retardant market sector has made improvements in its offerings, moving away from the use of toxic chemicals, the new FRs may still not be as eco-friendly as previously thought
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10 業界新聞 14 微型塑料: 剖析珠子和海洋的關係
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Supplements 副 刊 Koplas, held from 10-14 March, in South Korea saw some new applications; the automotive sector is being given the green touch; while the Philippines tries to emulate its neighbours in its bid to be an automotive hub The World Rubber summit, held from 24-25 March, did not paint a rosy picture of the rubber sector, though the tyre sector is enjoying a period of growth
On the Cover Italian and foreign exhibitors will display an array of machinery and solutions during the PlastMilan exhibition in Milan, Italy, against the backdrop of a slight growth of the sector, mainly due to exports
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業界新聞 微型塑料: 國家焦點:剖析珠子和海洋的關係
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M&As/Integration • Switzerlandheadquartered chemicals group Ineos’s wholly-owned Styrolution styrenics business and Ineos ABS, the largest fully integrated producer of ABS in North America, are integrating their business activities in the Americas by the end of 2015. • German supplier Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has taken over Thermoplast Composite (TCG), specialising in the production of thermoplastic fibre composites and ultralightweight foams and engineering services. BMS expects to expand its range of products for important industries through the acquisition.
equity firms HGGC and Charlesbank Capital Partners, makes thermoplastic polymers and thermoset plastics. • Dutch chemicals company DSM is spinning off its composite resins and polymer intermediates (caprolactam and acrylonitrile) businesses with UK-based financial investment company CVC Capital Partners (CVC) to own 35% of the new company known as NewCo and DSM, 65%. The value of the transaction is EUR600 million. NewCo will have 1,950 employees and annual sales of EUR2.1 billion.
• German speciality chemicals group Evonik Industries is acquiring 100% equity in Indian catalysts firm Monarch Catalyst, in line with its thrust to strengthen its global catalysts business. The transaction is expected to close during the first half year of 2015.
• Australia-based packaging solutions provider Amcor has acquired South African packaging company Nampak Flexibles for US$22 million. Nampak Flexibles offers extrusion, lamination and conversion capabilities in three plants, and generates sales of approximately US$94 million a year.
• Speciality chemicals maker A. Schulman is buying privately held Citadel Plastics Holdings for US$800 million to expand its speciality business, the biggest deal for iy. Citadel Plastics, owned by private
• Australian bioplastics and film maker Cardia Bioplastics is closing its Brazilian facility to focus on its Asia Pacific operations. This comes against the backdrop of Cardia’s merger with Stellar Films
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resulting in additional production capacity. Cardia says it has the opportunity to further increase its blown film extrusion and bag making capacity through limited capital investment into its Chinese and Stellar's Malaysian production plants.
Rapid Granulator to Lifco AB, a diversified public company headquartered in Enköping, Sweden. Other IPEG companies, including Conair, Republic Machine and Thermal Care, will not be impacted by the sale, officials say.
• US-headquartered Huntsman Corporation is restructuring its pigments business, which includes an expected headcount reduction of 120 positions to deliver US$20 million by mid2016 toward the total synergies expected of the global Pigments and Additives restructuring plan announced in December 2014. It will close three facilities, all of which are leased, in the US and one in Germany, by year-end 2015.
• In its bid to focus on higher margin products, Dow Chemical will separate a significant portion of its chlorine value chain and merge that new entity with Olin in a transaction that will create an industry leader with revenues approaching US$7 billion. The transaction is valued at US$5 billion. The merger will result in Dow shareholders receiving approximately 50.5% of the shares of Olin, with existing Olin shareholders owning approximately 49.5%.
• Investment manager 3i, Azelis and Apax Partners announced that Atlas Holding, the holding company of Belgium-baesd Azelis Group has signed a binding agreement to sell Azelis, a panEuropean speciality chemical distributor to funds advised by Apax Partners, a global private equity firm. Terms were not disclosed
• Ineos Oligomers growth plans for its Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO) and Polyalphaolefin (PAO) product lines, originally announced in 2013, have seen fruition with a 10% debottlenecking of the Joffre, Alberta site completed at the end of 4th quarter 2014, with it to be expandable by 50% in the future. The company also plans to build a new 350,000 tonnes/year world scale LAO unit on the US Gulf Coast.
• US-based machinery company owner IPEG is selling recycling equipment supplier
Plant/Office Set-ups/Capacity Increases • German chemicals firm BASF has selected Freeport, Texas, US, for its methane-to-propylene complex. It will use Air Liquide’s proprietary MTO technology. BASF’s largest single plant investment to date, the plant will have 475,000 tonnes/year of propylene. BASF is also expanding production capacity for about 20 speciality amines in Ludwigshafen, in a double-digit million euro investment that is planned to go on stream by early 2017. The speciality amines are used for the manufacturing of coatings, lubricants, crop protection products and pharmaceuticals. It has also made its biobased Polytetrahydrofuran 1000 (PolyTHF 1000) available for the first time to selected partners for testing various applications in a large scale. PolyTHF is derived from 1,4 butanediol (BDO), which BASF has produced under license from Genomatica. • BASF and Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) will build a new world-scale production plant for 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHAcid) at the site of their existing
joint venture, BASF Petronas Chemicals, in Kuantan, Malaysia. The first of its kind in the ASEAN region, it will have a capacity of 30,000 tonnes/ year of 2-EHAcid and is expected to start production in 2016. • Belgian chemicals group Solvay is building a new PEEK unit in Georgia, US, to come on stream in mid-2016. Combined with the expansion already underway at its site in Panoli, India, it raises Solvay’s total PEEK neat resin production capacity to more than 2,500 tonnes worldwide. Collectively, Solvay will invest more than US$85 million in these two expansions. • PolyOne has expanded capacity for its OnForce LFT long-fibre speciality thermoplastics at its existing Avon Lake, Ohio facility. The company did not indicate the quantity for expansion or the investment. • US nylon manufacturer DuPont Performance Polymers is increasing production of DuPont Zytel HTN PPA manufactured at its Richmond, Virginia, facility by 10% to meet growing global market demand in automotive and consumer electronics markets.
• Italian biobased chemicals company GFBiochemicals is starting commercialisation of its levulinic acid produced using its proprietary breakthrough technology at its Caserta plant in Italy with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes/year. This plant has the ability to scale up to 8,000 tonnes/year by 2017. • UK-based PAEK maker Victrex is constructing a technical centre in the UK. Financial assistance for the project has come in the form of £1.3 million in grant funding from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund. • AkzoNobel recently broke ground on a new alkoxylation facility in Ningbo, China, bringing the company's total investment in the strategic multisite to more than EUR400 million. It accommodates production for chelates, ethylene amines, ethylene oxide, organic peroxides and cellulose derivatives. The latest investment will increase capacity by 18,000 tonnes/ year, mainly for domestic demand in China.
• Biotechnology company BioAmber has initiated commissioning activities for its 30,000 tonnes/year bio-succinic acid plant in Sarnia, Canada, with startup in third quarter of 2015. It will be the world's largest succinic acid facility. BioAmber has signed takeor-pay agreements with Vinmar and PTTMCC, a joint venture between Thailand’s PTT PLC and Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical, that represent sales volumes of over 5,000 tonnes in 2015 and 15,000 tonnes in each of 2016 and 2017. • Extrusion machinery maker Coperion (Nanjing) Machinery is relocating to a 15,000 sq m facility in the Nanjing Jiangning District come September. Its current production site will be designated for R&D as per Nanjing Jiangning government’s plan. Construction work will be completed in June 2015. • Japanese machine maker Nissei Plastic Industrial has established a local sales subsidiary Nissei Plastic (Taicang) in order to restructure and reinforce its sales in China. MARCH / APRIL 2015
Solvay sets out SEA plans; facility in the planning
olvay Engineering Plastics (EP), which has been present commercially in the ASEAN countries for many years, with activities undertaken exclusively through distribution channels, is expanding its presence in the region. According to Frank Laganier, Asia-Pacific Director for Solvay EP, speaking to PRA during the Plastindia exhibition in Gandhinagar, India, the company is strengthening its presence “specifically in Indonesia, Thailand and to a lesser extent Malaysia and Singapore as we see strong growth potential in those countries (especially in the former two).” The company’s deployment plan includes three major initiatives: setting up local Solvay commercial offices/sales teams; strengthening its distribution coverage with additional partners as well as added capabilities (new warehouses, logistics solutions, additional sales and technical team)
as well as studying the feasibility of setting up a compounding plant. Laganier said, “We have already started in Indonesia where a Solvay office in Jakarta was inaugurated at the end of last year, and where we have put in place our commercial team. This will ensure closer contact with our main global customers present in the country as well as better support and interaction with our distributors. In Thailand, where we already have a Solvay office, we are recruiting a team of sales persons as well as customer technical support engineers (the latter having a mission to support our customers in the area for any technical support, ranging from product selection to customer training to troubleshooting).” As for setting up a compounding facility, Laganier says, “At this stage no decision has been made but we are seriously contemplating investing
Solvay’s facility in Changshu, China
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in local manufacturing to be closer to our customers and improve our ability to provide quick response to their requests.” In addition, considering the large number of Japanese companies active in the region (especially in Thailand and Indonesia), Laganier adds that Solvay has built up its presence in Japan (where it already has offices and a technical centre) “to be able to support them both locally in Japan and overseas in Southeast Asia.” Meanwhile, when asked about the sales growth of Solvay EP, 40% of Solvay EP’s worldwide sales is in the overall APAC [AsiaPacific] region (up 2% from 38% the previous year), thereby reflecting the increasing importance of APAC for Solvay EP. Laganier expects double digit growth in Southeast Asia in 2015, in spite of the global economy slowdown. “While growth in Thailand took a step back in 2014 (both due to the unrest at the beginning of the year and - more significantly - the end of incentives for car purchases) we, expect a strong recovery in Thailand this year. We also expect continuous growth in Indonesia and additional sales in Malaysia. This will continue to be driven by the car production growth and increased use of PA (polyamide) plastic material in each car, but also by more demand from the two-wheeler industry in Indonesia and from electric protection and appliances manufacturers.”
As for which specific product groups in EP’s portfolio are expected to push the growth in Southeast Asia, Laganier says, “We have similar expectations in Southeast Asia as we do in other countries in Asia, i.e. to be able to provide high performance PA solutions to the market to foster metal replacement and UL certified flame retardant materials (supported by our UL certified lab in Shanghai).” He also went on to say that a specific focus will be on the company‘s Technyl range of products, with an emphasis of high glass fibre-reinforced polyamide grades for metal replacement, and the recently introduced Technyl One material for high temperature and high flow requirements. “This will be supported by our application labs in APAC (Shanghai and Seoul) with in particular the use of our predictive simulation software MMI - that enables quick and reliable design and performance validation for new plastic parts.” In summary, Laganier says that Solvay EP sees a lack of truly global companies firmly committed to Southeast Asia. “We intend to demonstrate Solvay EP’s dedication to support the development of our existing and new customers in this region. This will determine the decisions we make and the products and services we introduce in Southeast Asia.”
Kraiburg on a TPE drive in India
gainst the backdrop of a growing plastics sector in India, three years ago, Germany-headquartered thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) maker Kraiburg set up a head office and warehouse in Bangalore, as well as three sales contact points in Pune, to cover the West Indian region; and Delhi and
Chennai to cover the North Indian and South Indian regions, respectively. It has already won half the battle of an uphill task of educating the Indian market of TPEs, said Addy Purandare, Director of Kraiburg India. The automotive market is a forerunner for TPEs, especially for interior and exterior components, Roland Ritter, Director of Asia Pacific, and Addy Purandare, Director Kraiburg India, seen here at the Plastindia booth
said Addy. “Kraiburg is strong in soft TPEs for interiors and window seals. In Germany, window profiles are made of TPEs but in India they are still made of PVC. So we are making a concerted effort to change the market to a more environmentally friendly material.“ Addy is of the opinion that with growing consumer affluence, environmental consciousness will follow. He also explained that Kraiburg increased its market share in the automotive sector, even though the market shrank last year. Kraiburg also serves other sectors such as multi-component moulding and insert moulding TPEs for a wide
range of engineering thermoplastics such as PC, PC/ABS, POM, PA6 and PBT. This year, Addy is looking forward to sales growth to more than double, and for this reason is adding on more human resources to support the expected growth. A moulder won‘t buy a material just like that. We need local influence. The strength of a company should be to have a local approach with an international mentality. Kraiburg is able to offer this advantage,“ concluded Addy. Kraiburg has production sites in Germany, the US and Malaysia.
Microplastics: anatomy of the beads and the seas Cosmetics use is as old as the seas. But these beauty products, according to several studies, contain microplastic pollutants that are flowing into the seas, says Angelica Buan in this report.
icroplastic particles are used in products to achieve particularly gentle removal of dirt, dead skin cells or dental plaque, according to the Berlin-based BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment). In cosmetics, natural ingredients, such as biodegradable exfoliators like ground nut shells, oatmeal or coconut fibres, have been replaced with chemicals and synthetics materials to basically lower the cost of production.
Microplastic particles are used in products to achieve gentle removal of dirt, dead skin cells or dental plaque
These microplastics are also found in textiles, and in a more recent study on food contaminants led by German Professor Gerd Liebezeit, the miniscule plastics (ranging from 0.4-1mm), have been found in 24 brands of German beers. This is possibly from the filtration and bottling processes, as well as the tap water used for washing beer bottles, he said. However, the German Brewers Association called into question the findings, saying that the products have been produced under the strictest hygienic standards. Moreover, it says that the experiment was not done in a cleanroom environment and was not extensive enough.
Some German beers are claimed to contain traces of microplastics
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Microplastics also make their way into the water system when synthetic fibres from textiles are shed when doing the washing at home. Considering the size, how is it that a tiny particle can cause such an extensive threat to the marine ecosystem? Small but terrible The billion-dollar beauty care industry is seeing escalating demand for microbeads, also known as microspheres, microparticles, or micro-balloons/micro-abrasives. The sector is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 20132018, or US$2.8 to US$5.2 billion, according to Markets and Markets. Applications include the construction, paints & coatings, medical technology, automotive, aerospace, life sciences, biotechnology, cosmetic & personal care, and oil & gas sectors. The latter four are expected to lead market growth, with regions such as North America, and Asia Pacific, led by China, India and Australia. Use of plastic microbead exfoliants escalated in the 1990s. Manufacturers liked them because they are smoother on the skin than natural ingredients. Texas-headquartered market consultancy firm Lucintel says skin care product manufacturers are challenged to provide quality products at a low cost. It is also the largest sector for microbeads, owing to the increased demand for multi-feature products, including moisturising cream with sun protection, anti-ageing, or anti-wrinkling properties. The Marine Conservation Society in the UK says that three out of four scrubs and peels contain microplastics, especially shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, eyeliners, lip glosses, deodorants and sunblock. They also serve as functional additives that improve quality, according to BCC Researchâ€™s market forecast and have been used by the composites industry as a filler material and are components in many advanced materials in the healthcare and personal care industries, as well as in many speciality R&D applications. These particles are made of plastics like PE, PP, PET, PMMA, and nylon, of which, PE and PP are the most common. The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), on behalf of the North Sea Foundation, researched several products containing microplastics. One product was said to contain 10.6% of its weight of PE, meaning that for every 200 ml bottle of the product, 21 g of microplastics were being washed into the sewer systems. Another product sample contained 50 micron-sized PET, while others had
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10% PE or the equivalent of one teaspoon or 500 mg of microplastics. In a nutshell, consumers use about an average of 2.4 mg of microplastics/person/day. Turning into a plastic stew There is no doubt that our oceans have become a stew of plastics. Even the Great Barrier Reef corals, which feed on marine planktons and other microorganisms, have been found to also consume microplastics, according to a study by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at Australia’s James Cook University. This is because the corals are non-selective feeders, says Dr Mia Hoogenboom, who led the study, adding that the tiny stomach cavities of these corals could be filled with plastic that could impair digestion.
The Great Barrier Reef corals are also under threat of microbead contamination
Microplastics have been accumulating in the environment from as early as the 1960s, according to researchers at UK’s Plymouth University, who were pioneers in showing evidence of the invasion in the environment and the material’s potential to release chemical contaminants that are ingested by marine organisms. The research has become the groundwork for policies to reconsider microplastics use in products. Meanwhile, chemist Sherri Mason of the State University of New York’s College confirms that plastic beads from toothpastes and cosmetic creams have polluted the lakes her team has surveyed. Undertaken since 2012, the studies have also revealed that about 80% of the plastic pollution in the US’s Great Lakes is from microbeads. This research has spurred further studies over the impact of microplastics, as well as policies that either regulate or ban microplastics use. Banning microbeads In December 2013, the Council of the European Union called for the elimination of microplastics that are intentionally added to products, in particular to cosmetics and detergents to use their film forming, viscosity controlling and abrasive characteristics.
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The Marine Conservation Society paper published in 2012 reaffirms that microplastics found in personal care products are not all filtered by waste water treatment systems. It, thus, urged for a drastic move such as petitioning an EU-wide ban. It also launched an app that lists products with microparticles and those without. Meanwhile, an organisation called Beat the Microbead has listed down firms that are discontinuing the use of microbeads. For instance, conglomerate Unilever says that all its products will be plastic-free by 2015. Others like Dutch firms Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, and French cosmetics firm L'Oréal are also following suit. Procter & Gamble says it will relinquish the use of microbeads by 2017. Johnson & Johnson is starting to phase out products that contain microbeads, with the first phase of reformulations to be completed by the end of 2015. Also, South American Nature Cosmetics and UK-headquartered Body Shop are replacing the plastic beads with natural ingredients and expect the phase out from this year until 2016. More companies doing the same include Germany-based chemicals firm Henkel, furniture retailer Ikea, Kruidvat, part of Watson Health & Beauty Benelux, and American nutritional supplement company Nature’s Bounty. This is certainly a positive development since Mark Browne, an ecologist who undertook a study in 2011, found that synthetic microfibres in clothing were seen in large concentrations near sewage outflows. Browne sampled wastewater from household washing machines, and estimated that around 1,900 individual fibres shed off synthetic clothing eventually end up in oceans. With these findings, Browne urged apparel brands to support his cause against the proliferation of microplastics. Most of the firms he approached declined, except for one female clothing brand Eileen Fisher, which gave Browne a US$10,000 grant to continue sections of his research.
Facial scrubs and other cosmetics contain PE microbeads
In a similar stance, the American Dental Association (ADA) is taking steps to monitor the safety of commercial toothpastes found to contain PE microbeads. The dental association’s Council on Scientific Affairs, which evaluates the safety of all ADA seal-accepted products, says that
Materials News it will recall its seal on a product that poses health risk. However, it also says it will continue to evaluate new scientific information on the issue (of microbeads) as it becomes available. Going back to the basics With the caveat of using microplastics gaining momentum, manufacturers are starting to switch to biodegradable beads. Last year, Impact Colors introduced a range of biodegradable bead exfoliators to replace PE microbeads. The Nature XFol Candelilla beads are completely natural and said to be skin-safe, making them an ideal option for toothpastes and personal care products, according to its maker. As its name implies, the beads are made from wax obtained from the Candelilla plant, which grows in Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. German speciality chemicals firm Evonik has also developed silica alternatives to PE and PP microbead exfoliators. The Sipernat 2200PC and Sipernat 22PC silicas have been listed as identical to nature by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association. Although synthetic amorphous silica is identical to naturally occurring silica (such as sand), in chemical terms, its purity is significantly higher than natural silica due to the technical production process, says Evonik. Sipernat products are said to fully meet the requirements for abrasive particles.
Impact Colors introduced a range of biodegradable bead exfoliators to replace PE microbeads
Likewise, France-based Lessonia has introduced its Celluloscrub to supersede PE beads in cosmetics. Biodegradable and renewable, Celluloscrub is derived from wood pulp, which degrades by natural mechanisms, including bacteria or light. Hence, there is no doubt that various initiatives are being undertaken by cosmetics and personal care products makers to reduce the microplastics load from entering the environment, and eventually finding their way to the oceans.
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India’s plastics sector charting growth On the surface, India’s triennially held plastics show, Plastindia, seems to have closed on a successful note with exhibitors praising the new venue in Gandhinagar, even though they were barely given a few months’ notice about the move from Pragati Maidan, Delhi, last year. The organiser, Plastindia Foundation, said the show had 1,600 exhibitors from 32 countries. Despite the reservations, it also confirmed that the show will return to Gandhinagar in 2018. Venue well received but improvements needed India’s largest plastics show, Plastindia 2015, was held in a new venue at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 5-10 February. Though the spanking new exhibition halls were well received, exhibitors lamented the inadequate onsite facilities like logistics, toilets, food outlets as well as labour issues in the setting up of booths while transportation to the centre and accommodation for visitors proved to be a bane. Though Gandhinagar is Gujarat’s new capital city, it is located 30 km from Ahmedabad, the nearest city with an airport and hotels of international standards. Thus, the scarcity of taxis and private cars for hire from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar also frustrated the transportation issue further, added to the 1 to 1.5 hour ride to the exhibition centre.
The spanking new exhibition halls at Gandhinagar
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The 9th edition of the show was moved from Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, where it has been held for more than 20 years, to Gujarat last year. The reasons given were that Pragati Maidan was out-dated and lacked modern facilities. The organiser did reduce the rental for the exhibition booths “but did not offer any other benefits,” according to an exhibitor. An official from Indian woven machinery maker Lohia Group said the exhibition halls lacked proper supply of high tension power distribution, water supply and drainage system, which is important for running live demonstrations of machinery. “The outdoor advertising was also not very impressive to attract visitors. Since the facility is new, considerations should have been made for hanging branding and fascia options, which allow the exhibitors to have better branding options,” said the official. Meanwhile, Khushboo Doshi, of Gujarat-based extrusion machinery maker Rajoo Engineers praised the new venue but said that being "just a good venue does not ensure the success of an exhibition of this magnitude. The onus also lies with the show organisers and we feel there was much more that could have been done.” The move was undertaken to boost the economic status of Gujarat, which also houses a majority (60%) of India’s plastics processors, as well as major Indian machinery makers for the plastics sector. Subhash Kadakia, President of Plastindia, announced rebates on purchases of machines at the show. When asked if any of Rajoo’s customers took up on this, Khushboo said, “Many of our existing customers and new prospects planning to start their units in Gujarat have taken up the assistance.” Plastindia claimed that the event had 35% more visitors over the 2012 show, with 200,000 visitors in total, thus making it the third largest plastics exhibition globally, after the K and Chinaplas shows. Even so, exhibitors lamented the quality of visitors especially from overseas markets that were less impressive compared to the previous show held in Pragati Maidan. According to Khushboo, “Rajoo did receive an overwhelming response and in terms of numbers, it was more or less what we would normally get in Pragati Maidan, but many overseas visitors did not attend. Nascent stage, hence the exposure India does need the international exposure, given that its plastics sector is still at a fledgling stage. According to Kadakia, "Currently, India's per capita plastic consumption is 9.7 kg/year and likely to triple over
Country Focus the next decade. Also, plastic consumption in 2013/14 was 10.2 million tonnes and it is likely to reach 17 million tonnes by 2016/17, with revenues of US$25 billion.” India also exports plastics and other products worth US$7.5 billion a year, albeit, making up only 1% of the global share of the market. With an upwardly mobile middle class of 400 million people, the country’s per capita of GDP currently well over US$1,500 is expected to double by 2020, thus pushing for further sector growths. According to Khushboo, "The volatility in polymer prices is expected to end this year givng rise to increased processing volumes. We strongly believe the need for flexible and semi-flexible packaging will keep increasing to meet the demand of growing organised retail sectors in India. Moreover, the focus by the current government for infrastructure and agriculture, for which we have solutions now, will also drive growth.“ Lohia’s spokesperson Anvita Sarkari says, "Application of plastics in automobile, agriculture and infrastructure should drive the growth, in addition to packaging of consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.” Industry sectors to demand better plastics In view of the growth for better healthcare, Solvay Engineering Plastics has expanded its PEEK capacity at its Panoli plant, targeting the medical devices sector. "We expanded capacity by 25% and we are already underway to reach our target of more than 1,000 tonnes/year in the third quarter of 2015,“ said Jitender Bharihoke, Commercial Director. The acquisition of PI Polymer, the engineering plastics business of Indian company PI Industries, in 2011 has Solvay Engineering Plastics’s further strengthened Jitender Bharihoke says the company expects to capture Solvay’s presence in India, 15% of the Indian polyamide with a facility and R&D capabilities. “Until then, compound market by 2016 we were importing our Technyl polyamides. However, we rapidly expanded and today we have almost doubled capacity and are on target to capture 15% of the Indian polyamide compound market by 2016,” stated Jitender. The company has two lines running at its Panoli plant producing 10,000 tonnes/year of PA6 and 66, while Jitender says 6.10 may be added later. Meanwhile, in expectation of the growth of the automotive sector, Solvay is working towards developing applications in the country at its R&D centre in Gujarat, said Jitender. "Almost 60% of our business is in the automotive sector, and we work closely with OEMs for lightweighting and metal replacement applications.”
Country Focus Jitender went on to say, "By 2020, India will have 5 million cars, and it will be the biggest small car market.” India also has a strong domestic segment of two-wheelers that has made the country one of Asia’s four leading automotive export nations, he explained. The emphasis, Jitender says, will be on more thermal management and heat temperature resistance applications. This is echoed by Ivo Lansbergen, President of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific who says the automotive industry’s worldwide standards will drive the Indian plastic sectors growth. "With new features such as turbochargers and superchargers being added to vehicles, we offer a next generation grade of Stanyl Diablo PA46 for high temperature use.“ The LED market is another area the Dutch company is focusing on. "A key challenge that lighting manufacturers need to overcome with LEDs is thermal management. While aluminium heat sinks are widely used, designers are increasingly calling for alternative materials,“ said Lansbergen. DSM has introduced its Stanyl TC to specifically answer this call, he says, adding that lighting company Osram was able to reduce the weight of the LED housing by 50% by using the TC material. Meanwhile, Lansbergen says DSM has operated a facility in Pune since 2009 that produces compounds of thermoplastic polyesters and polyamides. Ivo Lansbergen of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific expects the electronics sector to also boost the company’s product sales in the country
Recent innovations include the set up of a technology centre. "We believe in the Indian market and are committed, thus we have invested not only in a facility but also a technical centre to undertake innovations locally.“ The technical centre will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide footprint by using renewable energy generated by a solar plant to meet 25% of the site’s electricity needs and water management to process waster recycling. "Very few plant operators can attest to this,“ he said, adding that the facility had recently received an environmental management award. Rajoo’s firsts for Indian machinery sector Occupying a space of 720 sq m, Rajoo’s booth had a gamut of machinery. In collaboration with Meaf Holland, Rajoo presented, for the first time in Asia, a monolayer sheet line with an output of 600 kg/hour from a 75 mm extruder. It also launched what it says is India’s first tilting mould thermoformer, Dispotilt.
MARCH / APRIL 2015
In its collaboration with Italian firm Bausano, it has introduced India’s first WPC (wood plastics composite) extrusion machine, with a range of capacity from 2001,200 kg/hour to manufacture profiles and boards with 80% of wood powder. Rajoo has introduced a WPC line, in its collaboration with Bausano
It also showcased an improved version of the five-layer Multifoil blown film line for barrier and non-barrier flexible packaging, lamination grade films and shrink films, with an output of 0.9-1.2 kg/hour/mm. A new feature is the elevated air ring from Germany that allows automatic thickness control. Meanwhile, in its collaboration with Hosokawa Alpine it showed a patented X blown film die head with features such as: no port lines, quick purging, selfcleaning, low gauge variation and minimum bolts-tight fit for concentric parts ensuring a low melt residence time and ability to process a wide range of polymers. Mamata boasts new converting machinery In 2012, Mamata Machinery decided to buy out Canada-based Brampton Engineering in its blown film equipment joint venture, renaming the company Mamata Extrusion Systems. According to Apurva Kane, Senior Vice President, since then Mamata has been able to penetrate markets it was not able to before. “The affordablility factor has seen our lines taken up by not only the local market but also African countries.“ Furthermore, as India's largest manufacturer of machinery for making plastic bags and pouches Mamata is continuously evolving its converting machinery. At Plastindia, it introduced the Win centreseal pouch making machine boasting a higher productivity of 250 bags/minute, smaller footprint, no pneumatics and power usage of 1kw/hour. Since its launch, Kane said the company had sold 15 machines in Mexico and 20 in India. Mamata was showcasing its dual draw bag maker
Country Focus Mamata has also now made improvements to the Vega 1200 Split dual draw roll bag maker, having first shown it at K2013. “It has a dual servodriven index with dual pneumatic-assisted dancers. This technology, offers the ability to process two printed bags at the same time, in two different sizes. Productivity is doubled with either two lanes for bags up to 590 mm width or a single lane bag with a width of up to 1,200 mm.“ Kane said the first machine had been sold to the US. With the Indian packaging sector, moving at a fast speed, machinery makers have to keep pace. Thus, Mamata is working with Dow Chemical to introduce a machine for its PacXpert packaging technology, that enables the transition from larger traditional rigid containers to flexible stand-up pouches, said Kane. “Processors can save 20% of material since the packaging is of the same volume.“ Lohia ups the ante with new range Lohia displayed its Nova series of 6 and 10 shuttle circular looms from the latest range. “High speed circular looms that were displayed covered a complete range of fabric to produce small bags to big bags to tarpaulins to geo-textiles, agro-textiles and many more. These machines have already been installed with our worldwide customers to produce better quality woven fabric at higher production speed more reliably,” said Anvita.
Lohia’s booth had bustling activity
Also on display was its upgraded Valvomatic machine for the production of valve bags that are stitched on both sides, for cement packaging. The machine on display was producing 35 bags/minute instead of the 30 bags/minute output of previous models. “The machine has many other technical features for not only higher speed but also reducing wastages and lower manpower, thereby reducing the overall cost of production,” said Anvita. Indian machine makers upgrade Windsor Machines, which has blown film, pipe extrusion and injection moulding machinery, has entered the all-electric market. It displayed the Winelec 150-tonne injection machine. An official said, “We found that this was lacking in our portfolio. The model is on a four month-trial and we expect this type of machinery to take off in three to four years.“
Meanwhile, having taken over Italian machinery maker Italtech last year, Windsor was showing the KL550 dual platen injection machine, made using Italtech technology. “This is the first series to be made in India from this takeover,“ said the official, adding that the company intends to target the automotive market and build machines from 500-7,500 tonnage. Another new display was the Winpet 32L PET preform system, which is timely since the packaging market in India is on a growth path. Ahmedabad-based Ferromatik Milacron, a part of US-based Milacron, has expanded its plant in an investment of US$20 million, to double capacity for injection/blow moulding machines, and launch an extrusion line. It also invested another US$10 million in hot runner maker Mold Masters (a subsidiary of Milacron) for expansion at its Coimbatore facility. “Our order books are full for the next three to four months,“ said company spokesperson Neeraj Sharma, explaining the need for the increase in capacity from 1,500 to 2,000 injection/blow moulding machinery. The 55,000 sq m facility’s layout and manufacturing methods are in line with Cincinnati-based Milacron. Milacron has entered the PET machine market
Also cashing in on the PET market, Milacron launched a 110-tonne preform system with post cooling, thus reducing cycle time. Another new launch is the UR70 blow moulder (from sister company Uniloy Milacron), while its entry into the extrusion market is sealed with the TC80 conical twin-screw for pipes/profiles. “It will be eight to nine months before we commercialise the blow moulder, while the extrusion line will be produced locally by middle of the year,“ said Sharma. Meanwhile, Nissei ASB, the Indian arm of Japanese blow moulding machine maker, is further expanding its facility at Ambernath. “We have already invested US$20 million in the second phase that opened in 2013. Now, we are planning to purchase new land for a third phase. Our investments in India will total US$50 million, once we have finished,“ said CEO Kota Aoki. At Plastindia, it introduced the ASB-12M injection blow moulder, a small machine targeted at the cosmetic and phamaceutical markets. Made in India, the machine features a vertical blow moulding method, allowing for more accuracy in preform and mould alignment. The threads are held by the neck until ejection, while parting lines on the preform do not show up on the body of the container. MARCH / APRIL 2015
Italian Machinery & Technology
PlastMilan grows: showcases foreign and local exhibitors According to the Italian trade association Assocomaplast, the Italian plastics and rubber machinery shows positive signs, mainly due to exports, even given the fact that Italy is in the throes of an economic downturn. It is against this backdrop that the triennially-held plastics show Plast 2015, will be held in Milan, Italy, from 5-9 May, in conjunction with the inaugural week of Expo 2015. Whether it is the attraction of being able to attend the Milan Expo, the number of exhibitors at PlastMilan is 3.9% higher at 1,200, compared to PlastMilan three years ago.
n the first nine months of 2014, exports of Italian machinery reached EUR1.89 billion, compared to EUR1.82 billion in the corresponding period in 2013. Expectations for the current year are marked by optimism. This positive sentiment is reflected in the six pavilions at Plast 2015. "Beyond the numbers," emphasises Promaplast Managing Director Mario Maggiani, "it is important to note how foreign exhibitors continue to believe in Plast, expanding the same spaces reserved in 2012. Plast is not only holding its ground, but gaining more, as confirmed by the increase in new exhibitors, both Italian and foreign, who have made the decision, for the first time, to exhibit at the fair." Compounding/Masterbatch • Following the acquisition of Iride Colors in 2013, compounding solutions provider Mesgo went on to acquire Guzzetti Master and 3A MCOM, thus opening up to new markets for pigments, additives, filled masterbatches and thermoplastic compounds. Last year, Mesgo Asia was set up in Turkey. With the recent acquisitions, expansion and a new R&D centre, Mesgo says it is able to cater to the elastomers sector, supplying from thermoset to thermoplastics compounds.
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• During the course of the last 40 years, Colmec says it has achieved a leading position within the European market for the manufacture of extrusion lines and compounding solutions for rubber and silicone. It recently opened a new technology centre. • Maris considers itself a leader in the production of complete extrusion lines, with co-rotating twin-screw extruders and self-cleaning modular screws, suitable for the compounding and granulation of materials. • German exhibitor Pallmann will be highlighting its PMM 300 PolyGrinder system for the pulverisation of thermoplastics under ambient temperature, without adding cooling agents like liquid nitrogen. The system is suited for processing large volumes up to 650 kg/hour, for masterbatch, compounding and rotomoulding operations. Material is discharged into a cyclone and collected in bags, containers or can be conveyed to the next production step. Extrusion/Converting/Recycling Machinery • Bandera will show a three-layer blown film co-extrusion line for the production of film for flexible technical packaging. This line is suitable for the extrusion of symmetrical structure film for lamination and flexible packaging. In addition, it will have an open house at its headquarters in Busto Arsizio, where it will be testing a new seven-layer co-extrusion blown film line, mainly designed to process PET/PP and PLA rigid film. Both lines will be running 1.2/1.4 tonnes/hour, with a net web width of 1,500 mm. Thicknesses range from 0.14-1.6 mm. These lines are pre-equipped with systems capable of processing physical foam PET, as well.
Bandera will show a range of blown film lines
Italian Machinery & Technology • With 50 years of experience, Omipa offers complete extrusion and co-extrusion lines for hollow profiles up to 3,000 mm width and thicknesses from 2-40 mm. There is also a special five-layer co-extrusion line. For standard quality sheet production, its lines offer thicknesses from 1-30 mm and widths up to 3,000 mm. In co-extruded sheet and foil of up to seven layers and more, the lines offer thicknesses from 0.15-10 mm (or more) and widths up to 3,000 mm. It also has lines for foil wound on reels, with thicknesses from 0.1-3 mm and widths up to 3,000 mm; as well as lines for high optical quality sheet and foil with thicknesses from 0.15-30 mm. • Amut Group will have under its booth the newly acquired Amut Dolci Bielloni, with a shuttle bus service to its facility where it will present two cast stretch film lines, one producing hand and automatic rolls (2,000 mm, seven layers) and the other, jumbos (1,500 mm, five layers). In recycling, a DLB60 de-labeller, with 6,000 kg/hour of PET bottle capacity, will be shown. Installed at the start of a washing line, the dry pre-cleaning system removes the full-body shrink sleeve labels from PET bottles. In recycling, Amut will showcase the de-labeller
For wood composites, it has developed the BA92 counter-rotating twin-screw extruder with a direct extrusion system (output from 250-600 kg/hour). Further, Amut will also show its TEAT 7 for r-PVC pipes with a diameter up to 710 mm.
• With 40% of the lines it delivered worldwide last year of the POD (polyolefin dedicated) type, Macchi will show this line. The ability to use all the five extruders, the company says, has resulted in a number of successes, particularly in collation shrink film manufacture, with a Macchi will show an upgraded five-layer line
market volume of over 1 million tonnes, and in the flexible packaging industry. The line will feature new web handling devices and take off units, equipped with special solutions including the use of air-porous roller, built with sintering technology, special release and rubber coatings, necessary for the handling of tacky films. Macchi is also installing a fourth machining centre at its facility, capable of handling dies of up to 2,500 mm diameter and will enlarge the current three/fivelayer range of IBC heads required for agricultural greenhouse films. To cater to this, Macchi will enlarge its second factory by 6,000 sq m.
• Elba, which has been manufacturing automatic highspeed pouch and bag maker machines since 1956, provides side seal, stand-up and side gusset pouch maker machines, wicket bag maker machines, high barrier shrink film bag machines, retail bag maker machines. Other equipment in its range include pet food pouch maker machines, STEB maker machines, medical/pharmaceutical pouch and bag maker machines. • Tosh is presenting, in addition to its flexible and high-speed series, the Logica Cartesio multi-colour pad printing centres that are numerically controlled. With these new machines, Tosh says it is able to impose the pad printing process in applications where it had been excluded due to limitations in mechanical construction, confirming that pad printing is an advantageous technique amongst the various decorating processes. • Recycling equipment maker Gamma Meccanica will roll out the latest version of its GM50 Compac, the GM65, which can be loaded directly onto the container without the need to disassemble the Compac and extruder due to the integrated design. The line also has a TDA 3.4 pelletiser. The new generation lines offer improved insulation and feeding zones, with enhanced cooling and screws to allow for higher outputs. The electrical control panel is installed on the support base to prevent errors and the need to disconnect the cables for transportation and re-wiring during assembly, hence reducing the installation time.
At the NPE show, Gamma exhibited the GM180 with forced feed function MARCH / APRIL 2015
Italian Machinery & Technology It will also be presenting the successful G-Moby lines for rPET granules suitable for use in food contact applications, in accordance with the US FDA and EFSA regulations, and in applications that require high viscosity. In October last year, the FDA granted Gamma the NOL (No Objection Letter with number 180), after review and approval by the Fraunhofer Institute that carried out tests. • Tecnova supplies complete plants for the recycling of a wide range of materials as well as extruders for rubber, plants for rigid and plasticised PVC profiles, mono-screw and twin-screw lines for masterbatch and compounding co-rotating twin-screw extruders. • Cofit International will display a prototype recycling screenchanger. It also offers the Gorilla Belt screenchanger that can be employed for filtering highly contaminated plastic materials, such as agricultural or building films or post consumer materials. The system involves automatic replacement of clean and fresh filtering screens. • German maching maker Erema's focus will be on its best selling new Intarema generation of systems featuring the Counter Current technology. The company has Erema already sold 150 systems has sold worldwide, since it was 150 of its Intarema launched in 2013. Visitors will units see live in action: an Intarema since the 1007 TVEplus system with launch in an Erema melt filter SW/RTF 2013 4/134, designed especially for the recycling of heavily printed and metallised production waste, plus the fully automatic edge trim system 605 K with enhanced development for the in-house recycling sector. Meanwhile, newly founded sister company Pure Loop will also be at the stand with its ISEC shredder-extruder technology. This is used for the repelletising of production waste in a wide variety of forms, such as film, tapes, fibres, nonwovens, fabric, hollow bodies, solid plastic parts and more. • Pallmann will present its latest PFV Plast-Agglomerator for recycling thermoplastic waste and reintroducing it into the production stream. The waste, precut into 8-10 mm, is plastified by means of frictional heat, pressed through a die and cut at the outer circumference by rotating knives. It then is transported pneumatically to a downstream hot melt granulator.
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Thermoforming • Amut will showcase its latest AMP850W-GP thermoforming machine. Equipped with a 50-cavity mould, it will produce water cups in PP with a diameter of 73.5 mm, weight of 3.2 g and capacity of 240 ml. The output is around 110,000 cups/hour. Another compact series for in-line thermoforming, AKV-ITF120, is composed of a single-screw EA130 extruder, a die (possible configuration up to 7 layers) and a calender. The EA130 extruder allows for 1,000 mm-width foil, thickness up to 2 mm and capacity of 800-1,200 kg/ hour. The rolls have a diameter of 600 mm. • Set up in 1973, Comi originally manufactured thermoforming machinery, specifically for the refrigerator sector. Thanks to recent acquisitions and incorporations, it has expanded its portfolio to offer presses for plastics and composites; CNC machining centres; CNC waterjet cutting machines and CNC laser cutting machines. • Swiss manufacturer WM Wrapping Machinery will present its latest version of the FC780 E IM2 Speedmaster Plus pressure forming machine, with steel rule cutting station and fully automated counting and stacking robot system. The kinetic energy generated during braking movements is converted into electrical energy and regenerated into the power system of the machine, resulting in energy savings. Also to be presented is the 780 x 570 mm FC780 IM2, with forming and cutting in the same station or in a second in-line station.
WM will show its FC 780 E IM2 with steel rule cutting, counting and stacking robot systems
The FC thermoformers are fitted with two upper/ lower infrared ceramic heaters, with temperature adjustment occurring by independent longitudinal rows. An optical reader is also installed to have an automatic closed loop control of the temperature. The insulated oven structure keeps heat dispersion at a minimum. It also comes with the latest generation software and a cycle self-setting processor, with the touch screen panel fitted on a sliding arm. Remote service assistance is possible with a new hardware. The machine on the stand will be moulding clamp shield containers made of APET material.
Italian Machinery & Technology Auxiliary Equipment • Plastic Systems has expanded to the Indian market its systems for the injection, blow moulding and extrusion machinery markets. The company set up its operations in January this year, leasing a 1,000 sq m facility near Thane in Mumbai. “We have operated an office in India for six years, mainly focusing on sales, service and installations. Now, we have started producing feeding and dosing machines and will soon offer the full range,” said President Gianfranco Cattapan recently.
President of Plastic Systems, Gianfranco Cattapan (far left) with his colleagues and machinery the company produces
Its first facility in Asia was set up in 2006 in Shanghai, China. The Borgoricco-headquartered Plastic Systems followed this by setting up a facility in Brazil in 2012 to cater to the American market needs. With more than 5,000 installations around the world, 250 employees and a turnover of EUR50 million, the 20-year old Plastic Systems considers itself as one of the top suppliers of auxiliary equipment. It was set up in 1994 by Cattapan and two other founding partners to cater to what he says was “pressing demand from the European markets for PET dehumidification systems.” Today, the company’s product range includes storage systems, conveyors, dryers and blenders, suitable for the automotive, electronics, medical, housewares, packaging, construction, recycling and textile sectors. It also makes systems for PET processing.
• Borghi and Boucherie have joined forces to create the Boucherie Borghi Group, to better serve the global brush industry with a complete range of machinery and equipment: Thanks to the partnership with TechnoPlastic and Unimac, specialising in monofilament lines, power lines and brush handles lines, the company says it has expanded its portfolio.
Pipes/Profiles • Sica, supplier of downstream equipment for plastic pipes such as haul-offs, saws, belling machines, packaging machines, automation and ancillary equipment, claims revolutionary solutions like the PVC pipe cut and chamfer, without any production of waste. It also boasts a complete range of models (coilers included) and custom-made machines.
Italian Machinery & Technology • Impianti OMS offers a complete series of high and low pressure metering machines for the PU industry; continuous and discontinuous production lines for sandwich panels, complete plants for the automotive and refrigeration applications as well elastomer and gasket plants and plants for the continuous or discontinuous production of rigid and flexible blocks.
Profile Dies’s dripper technology
In the last two years, 20 year-old company Profile Dies has developed automated extrusion lines for the production of drip irrigation pipes with flat drippers, which reach a maximum speed of 150 m/ minute and can insert up to 800 drippers/minute; and lines for the production of round drip irrigation pipes with a speed between 80-100 m/minute and inserting capacity up to 400 drippers/minute, to produce 16-20 mm diameter pipes. It also has a new extrusion line for the production of drip-tape, which is said to be extremely cheap and suitable for both crops in open fields and gardens. It offers a maximum speed of up to 200 m/minute; distance between holes of 10-15 cm and minimum wall thickness of 5-6 mm.
Rotomoulding/PU Machinery • Polivinil Rotomachinery says it has installed more than 1,000 systems worldwide, through its 40 years’ experience in rotomoulding. Its product range includes rotomoulding machines, starting from simple and small single-arm 900 mm-swing type to the larger turret and/or independent multiple-arm machines with up to 7,500 mm-swing. Its emphasis is on reducing dimensions such as reducing the machine height, cooking chamber area and conveyor. It also focuses on the reduction of the energy consumption with a more efficient air circulation in the oven, better thermic insulation from new panels in the cooking walls and lower electric absorption by the new motors used.
Injection Moulding/Preform Machinery/Tooling • Germany-based Arburg will exhibit the Freeformer for the first time in Italy, demonstrating how oneoff parts and small, multiple-variant batches can be produced from standard granules without the use of a mould in an additive manufacturing process, based on 3D CAD data. It will combine standard ABS material with a special support material to produce a key fob featuring a ball joint. The supporting structures will be removed later in a water bath.
Arburg will show the production of key fobs with an articulated joint (orange part) on its Freeformer. It uses a second discharge unit to construct supporting structures that can be removed at a later stage
Polivinil's rotational moulding machinery
MARCH / APRIL 2015
In packaging, Arburg will show a hybrid Allrounder 720H with a 72-cavity mould from z-moulds producing PCO-1881 closures for carbonated soft drinks (CSD) in a 3.5-second cycle time. Material will be fed by a Motan system, while downstream system comprises a closure cooling unit made by Nova Frigo and an optical quality control system from Intravis. An electric Allrounder 520A will demonstrate a thin-wall application, in a two-cavity mould from DZ Stampi to produce 5.3 g-lids in a 2-second cycle time. Meanwhile, the production of ballpoint pen caps from two components will be demonstrated by a hydraulic Allrounder 520S and an 8+8-cavity mould from Fila. The main body is produced from PP in a 20 second cycle time, after which it is overmoulded with soft TPE-S. Medical moulding will be shown on an electric Allrounder 520E, while an electric Allrounder 470E will be configured for processing liquid silicone (LSR). iPhone covers weighing 21 g will be produced in a 20-second cycle time, using a mould from Prover and LSR dosing system from 2 KM. Handling is performed by a Multilift Select robotic system with a load weight of 6 kg.
Italian Machinery & Technology • Macam, which represents German-Japanese machine maker Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, will exhibit an all-electric IntElect 100 producing wall plugs using a 32-cavity mould. This, it says, is challenging because it requires an even filling of 32 capacities without creating burrs. This is where the company’s activeFlowBalance module will be used to demonstrate how an active or inactive module affects the quality of the moulded parts in the individual cavities. The parts will be removed by a linear robot from Yushin while the SAS Automation gripper will place the dowel on a conveyor belt. The quality of the moulded parts will be monitored by a Ushio Lighting camera system. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will show the production of wall plugs
• Producing centre consoles in PC/ABS at its stand, Austrian firm Engel will be using a Duo 2550/550 machine integrated with a Viper robot to combine two technologies: Foammelt, the MuCell foam process developed by Trexel of the US, and Variomelt, a variothermal process by Roctool from France. In cooperation with its customer Wegaplas in Italy, Engel has also developed a production process for little tree curios, also using variothermal. Here, Swiss company HB-Therm is the partner for heating and cooling. The PC/ABS trees can be used as doorstoppers, bookends, or smartphone holders, and were designed by Francesca Acciardi, who has been awarded a prize from the ISIA Design Institute in Faenza, Italy. • Germany-based KraussMaffei will showcase the GX 650-8100 producing a stackable PP crate with integrated handles and a shot weight of 500 g in a cycle time of 8 seconds. The machine contains, as a standard feature, a chute which is also suitable for wide conveyors. The finished components can therefore be demoulded with or without automation. The height of the machine was increased by 150 mm so that large free-falling parts can also be transported. It will also show the new APC (adaptive process control) machine function that can be used to compensate for fluctuations in the manufacturing process. The patented system adjusts the changeover point and the holding pressure profile in each cycle to the current melt viscosity and current flow resistance in the mould.
• Sacmi will exhibit the new IPS (Injection Preform System) 400 preform press, a new addition to the IPS 220, which has been on the market for three years. It has already sold a 400 unit to Italian converter Gardaplast. Equipped with a 96-cavity mould, it is able to make 11-g preforms in a cycle time of 6.2 seconds, says the Italian firm. New features are the preform unloading solution: preforms are dropped by the gripper plate directly into the containers, eliminating the need for belts and conveyors. Two linear motors move the take out plate, allowing for energy reduction, thanks to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). Further, in the plasticising unit, where the system that transfers the PET between extruder, shooting pot and mould, is managed by a first-in-first-out circuit that prevents the plastic from staying too long in the circuit, which could affect the properties of the PET. • Specialising in manufacturing hot runner systems, Thermoplay’s range includes complete hot half’s as well as temperature and sequential control units, flow analysis, tailor-made projects, simultaneous injection of different colours and materials and sequential injection with pneumatic or hydraulic valves. Temperature and sequential controllers are also said to guarantee a perfect control of the hot runner systems and the moulding process. Rubber Machinery/Materials • Set up in 1992, Delia specialises in the production of manipulators and robots for machinery for moulding of rubber items. Its highlight is machinery that inserts metals in rubber for the automotive, household appliances (white industry), medical and sports sectors. A manipulator for metal inserts (screw) loading has the function to load screws onto trays to be used in a second step for loading the screws onto the moulds for the production of metal-rubber pieces. Delia's robotised island that trims and fits bellows moulded by a rubber injection press equipped with a Delia multi-nozzle thermoregulated block injection mould
• From its base in Northern Italy Deltagran Europe, a supplier of rubber material, produces masterbatches of rubber chemicals and additives. MARCH / APRIL 2015
Extrusion Industry Machinery News
New dies reduce edge bead and improve adjustments
n extrusion coating die designed to reduce edge bead has enabled a producer of aluminium foil and foil-laminate flexible packaging to actually eliminate edge bead, as well as reduce coat width variation by half or more. After a die for applying LDPE on an existing production line for flexible food packaging had been causing problems with die lines and leakage, Korea Aluminium replaced it with the Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries Edge Profile Control (EPC) die. While the degree of edge bead reduction achievable with the manual EPC die depends on a number of factors, the reduction in the line was 100%, says the processor, adding that coat weight variation was reduced by 50% to 60%. An EPC die includes an external deckle as a secondary seal to prevent leakage and an internal deckle system that sets coat width and seals polymer at the die exit.
Meanwhile, Nordson Corporation has introduced a patentpending SmartGap technology for sheet dies. It uses a singlepoint adjustment mechanism that changes the lip gap while simultaneously modifying the length of the lip land to provide appropriate conditions for the newly adjusted thickness as the sheet exits the die. The lip land is the final gap in the die that forms the lip exit. By mechanically linking the adjustment of these two key process variables for the first time, the SmartGap system ensures a proper set-up of the die and takes substantial time and guesswork out of the process for achieving desired sheet properties. The SmartGap system, available only on new dies, eliminates the extended shutdowns for changes in lip components that have often been necessary when transitioning to new job runs, reducing changeovers to less time. Also overcome
EPC extrusion coating die installed by Korea Aluminium
MARCH / APRIL 2015
Die with SmartGap is a new mechanism for changing sheet thicknesses
are previous limitations on thickness range caused by the complexities of die modification; allowing for die gap adjustments over a range of 10.2 mm, enabling
processors to run with multiple product changes per day.
Foam line for PLA extrusion
ilm and sheet extrusion machinery supplier Macro Engineering & Technology (Canada) has introduced a new extrusion line to produce polylactic acid (PLA) foam. The line uses tandem extruders to produce foamed PLA sheet 1.2-5 mm thick and up to 1,270 mm wide with a foam density of 0.07 g/cc (16x expansion ratio). The sheet can be thermoformed into
Macroâ€™s PLA foam extrusion line
compostable clamshell packaging and trays used for cold food applications. Macro uses a proprietary new extruder design to address obstacles that are inherent to foaming PLA, namely, working around the materialâ€™s low melt strength, melt crystallinity and narrow processing window. The result is uniform melt temperature distribution and reliable foaming.
PET sheet output maxed; layer flipping technology
S-based sheet extrusion machinery maker Processing Technologies International (PTi) showcased at the NPE exhibition in Orlando recently an 85mm/52D HVTSE extruder and a GCH661824 horizontal roll stand, capable of producing 57” wide PET/ PLA sheet at thicknesses down to 0.2 mm or PP sheet at thicknesses down to 0.3 mm. This system operates at 1,0 0 0 kg/ hour or a total of 8,0 0 0 tonnes/year of PET production. It will be the fourth installation in the last six months, and, in addition to the units sold from the 2011 launch, will represent a theoretical installed capacity of 180,0 0 0 tonnes/year of North American PET production. The “dryerless” sheet extrusion system is an eco-conscious manufacturing solution, which delivers major energy and cost savings, according to the firm. In terms of sustainability, the HVTSE process provides a reduction of about 80-85 kWh/450 kg in energy consumption versus conventional PET processing. The line unit boasts several novel features including PTi’s new GSeries configurable roll stand, PTi’s Titan Plus Integrated PLC control system, multi-resin capability and rapid resin changeover. Meanwhile PTi is also in the final
PTi’s thin-gauge dryerless PET/PLA sheet system
stages of formalising a commercial agreement with a tooling manufacturer for the exclusive sourcing of its patented layerflipping technology. This technology allows processors to quickly change the position of extrudates from two extruders in a coextruded structure without disassembly and shutdowns. Changeovers in piston position due to hydraulic actuation of the piston cylinder and unique flow design are accomplished in a matter of seconds as opposed to conventional techniques which require some machine disassembly and could take up to several hours, according to PTi. The diverter valve, which can be utilised on new or existing systems, features
a dual-piston valve that is moveable in a stationary body. The body has two entrances that feed from separate extruders. The first position of the valve allows the material to enter the piston valve and permits a straight through flow path. Normally, this would produce an A-B structure. When the alternated position two is selected, the materials are routed through crossover flow paths that changes extrudate positions. This produces a B-A structure. During position changes, a unique flushing channel design keeps flow from stagnating for quick and efficient changeovers. The practical use for the diverter valve is its quick “realtime” purging of cap layers in a multilayer
co-extrusion structure for sheet production. The diverter valve enables the processor to purge the cap layer extruder back into the inner layer of the structure while an alternate cap layer extruder runs a specific resin formulation (i.e., different colour). Each cap layer (both inner and outer layers) can utilise this special valve to permit this real-time purging for rapid changeovers. This occurs without shutting down the line, thus permitting recovery of the purged resin directly back into the structure instead of losing the material onto the production floor and recovery through a grinder. PTi will offer the layer-flip technology on new co-extrusion systems or as a retrofit to existing machines. MARCH / APRIL 2015
Fire-safety chemicals come under heat Flame retardants have been developed, and are added to plastic products, to protect consumers from the risks of fires, yet studies suggest that even the newer forms of flame retardants can pose risks to the health of children.
Increasing use of FRs Flame retardants (FRs) are chemicals that prevent or delay the combustion of materials used in products we use practically every day. Television sets, computers, mobile devices, roofs and carpets, you name it, it has a flame retardant! One may conclude therefore that FRs are increasingly becoming indispensable. Fire safety is the foremost reason that these chemicals are used, according to the North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA). It says that FRs “delay flashover (of fire) and reduce the rate and intensity of burning and increase the amount of time people have to escape.” It is for this reason that the consumption of FRs is increasing across major sectors, such as construction, automotive, and electrical/electronics sectors. Market research institute Ceresana forecasts the FR market to reap revenues worth US$7.15 billion in 2021. What is driving the increasing demand are the stricter fire-safety standards, new regulations, and the introduction of eco-labels that have encouraged industry commitment to comply with fire safety measures. The most important application area for FRs is the construction sector, especially since there is already an increasing amount of flammable materials being used in thermal insulation and improvement of energy efficiency of residential buildings. Since FRs are used in plastic products, pipes and cables made of plastics, are now replacing metal ones in modern building and housing construction.
Asia Pacific holds the largest sales market for FRs, with China accounting for nearly 24% of the global demand, according to Ceresana. The US is the second largest market, owing to the increasing activities in the construction industry; while the Middle East and South America are found to be growth areas. China, Asia’s biggest producer and market In a new market study on China’s FR sector, GCiS China Strategic Research estimates that the domestic market in the country was valued nearly US$1.1 billion in 2014. The China-based research firm says that the growth of the market will continue in the next few years, but the growth rate will vary by product type. China will be a major global market growth driver in terms of production, domestic consumption, as well as direct exports. The country produces phosphorous FR chemical that is gradually replacing previously popular halogen-containing chemicals in a broad range of applications, particularly in the plastics and rubber segment. Consumption of inorganic FRs is also on the rise, driven by local and overseas FR standards and environmental regulations. However, China’s weaker law enforcement and supervision may make the transition slower than suppliers’ optimistic expectations, says GCiS. China is expected to remain the largest consumer, with 30% of global consumption in 2018, according to research firm IHS’s report for 2014. It says that the Chinese consumption for FRs, such as chlorinated compounds, organophosphorus compounds and aluminium trihydroxide (ATH), has risen.
“…the phase out has spurred the widespread use of the newer chemicals…”
MARCH / APRIL 2015
Opportunities and challenges The widespread use of petroleum-based materials and synthetic polymers also ups the ante for fire risks and hazards. Thus, according to NAFRA, new opportunities for these special chemicals are presented by the changing standards for flame retardancy and fire safety as well as in applications for specific types of plastics. Consultancy group IHS reports that “new polymerbased and synergistically acting flame retardant systems, especially in the electrical/electronic and insulation sectors, as well as the rising global demand for optical fibres in buildings, are also spurring opportunities.”
Flame retardants However, FRs are on an uphill climb. Another research firm Markets and Markets reveals that there is a shortage of the raw materials used in the production of FRs and increasing prices of raw materials also add up to the challenges. Then, there are also toxicity issues being linked to FR use and production. There are already researches being conducted to support evidences of toxicity as well as safety of FRs. Citing one such research, evidence gathered by researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Duke University pointed out the impact of FRs, particularly the Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) exposure to children. The EWG study found that the average level of a carcinogenic FR chemical in the bodies of children tested was almost five times the average in their mothers. The test conducted used urine analysis of the subjects, and found the presence of BDCIPP, a metabolite formed when TDCIPP breaks down in the body, Further, these chemicals, which are found to be present even in the most ordinary household item and furniture, migrate and mingle with dust, thus contaminating and/or exposing users to the hazardous effects (mostly through inhalation or ingestion).
Some of the newer and alterative compounds currently being used include chlorinated alkyl and non-chlorinated aryl organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) and aromatic brominated compounds. In other words, the phase out has spurred the widespread use of the newer chemicals, which EWG suggests, are as harmful as PBDE. Labelling needed to identify harmful FRs In the US, the use of FRs in consumer and household items is to meet fire safety standards. However, for consumers, discerning which goods are FR-free is difficult, if not impossible. According to the 2012 publication on FRs by the American Chemical Society, due to the lack of labeling requirements, to determine the presence or identification of the FRs in products one has to resort to the proprietary nature of some FRs. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun reviewing 20 FRs used in common household items; as well as conducting risk assessments on four of the chemicals under the existing Toxic Substances Control Act, which might also need reforms, according to EPA. In China, Asia’s hotbed for FRs, a study has been conducted in Nanjing University to examine the potential genotoxicity of dechlorane plus (DP), a chlorinated FR, which the study also mentions to be a “potentially persistent organic pollutant (POP) and an environmental toxin”. The research used luminous bacteria as testing organisms to determine the toxicity potentials. The findings indicated that the comet assay on the organism showed a significant increase in DNA damage when the concentrations of DP were increased. Thus, the EWG study recommends that governments worldwide ban FRs in products intended for babies and children, label furniture products and disclose the FR content, as well as reform policies to make way for toxicity testing of the chemicals.
“…there are also toxicity issues being linked to FR use and production..”
Polyurethane foam used in automotive seat cushion, baby beddings, and furniture contains FRs that may be toxic
EWG says that the TDCIPP and other FRs are found in polyurethane foam used in furniture, automotive cushioning, baby bedding, and nursing pillows, to name a few. Newer forms of FRs also a hazard While the FRs being used in the research are already the newer class of retardants that are replacing the obsolete ones, particularly the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), which was banned in 2005 due to findings linking it to health risk to children and women, the risks are still evident.
“Asia Pacific holds the largest sales market for FRs, with China accounting for nearly 24% of the global demand” Moreover, FR manufacturers are also showing commitment by investing heavily into R&D to produce biobased FR chemicals, according to the Markets and Markets report. It is hoped that these projects will see fruition to avoid toxic levels increasing in the next generation. MARCH / APRIL 2015
Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery & Technology
Machine makers branch out to new processes are number 1 in South Korea, in terms of quality and design.“ Though he also claims “we are not price oriented but focused more on quality,“ Dongshin‘s hydraulic machines are sold at a 15% premium and all-electrics 20% higher, compared to other locally produced machines. But Kim contends that the premium prices are not substantial given that the machines are consistent and produce fewer defective parts. “South Korean processors are gradually beginning to realise this, since less rejects mean higher profits,” he adds. Besides developing its own Linux-based controller in-house (and being the first South Korean machine maker to do so), Dongshin had other highlights at Koplas. On display was the GB all-electric series, available from 50-300 tonnes clamping force, fitted with German Bauer servomotors. A 300-tonne unit on display was moulding a 0.4-mm PP yoghurt cup in an eight-cavity tool, with in-mould labelling and a 5 second-cycle time. The machine employs two servomotors on the injection side and has the flexibility for a third, to allow for faster injection speed, over the standard injection speed of 400 mm/ second. Other highlights were the four-cavity PL10 servohydraulic plunger machine, shown moulding mobile phone camera lens housings in LCP resin, weighing 0.125 g and a shot size variation of 0.004 g. Yet another highlight was the two-component rotary turntable TC130 press, with one injection unit for liquid silicone rubber (LSR), shown making a tongue cleaner. Also shown were the PB (PET Bottle) 300 series that was moulding three-layer preforms incorporating an EVOH barrier layer; ME220 metal injection moulding machine injecting an aluminum alloy; ET120 servo-hydraulic machine and Vr110 vertical servohydraulic machine. LS Mtron (formerly known as LG) had six new machines on display, including an injection
The recent Koplas show, held from 10-14 March at the Kintex exhibition centre in Goyang, saw 427 exhibitors from 25 countries occupy a total floor space of 21,384 sq m. South Korean machinery makers are making an impact on the market with new application processes, catering to the electronics, automotive, medical and packaging sectors. Also noticeable were the number of all-electric machinery launches, with South Koreans intent on making headway in a market dominated by the Japanese.
From a new makeover to expanding application offerings omegrown injection moulding machine maker Dongshin Hydraulics has undergone a complete makeover under the helm of CEO Philip Kim, who took over the reins from his father four years ago. “We reevaluated the performance and quality of our machines, assessed the fundamental knowledge we possessed, and decided to go back to basics,” he opined enthusiastically. With one of the largest booths at the show, literally occupying centre stage, Dongshin was like a new kid on the block with its new company logo, branding and black/white machinery. “We acknowledge the fact that European machines are known for their consistent quality and performance so our goal is to mirror this,” Kim added. One of the ways of achieving its strategy is to Dongshin Hydraulics’s CEO employ young people and Philip Kim says the company train them to change the will focus on domestic sales culture, resonating in what for now Kim says is the start of a “new era.” He adds that the company expects to build better machines but the ultimate deciding factor will be the market acceptance. “Our customers will decide whether we will be successful or not.” Producing 600 machines/year, the company may not be in the top league, nevertheless Kim says, “We
LS Mtron’s LGE220III is a new all-electric shown moulding a multi-layer container in PP/ EVOH
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Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery & Technology blow moulding machine, which Yumi Kim, Senior Manager in the Overseas Sales team, said would be sold to the domestic market. “We will export it to China later, since the packaging market is growing there,“ she said. LS does have a factory in Wuxi C h i n a , that currently makes “simple“ machines for the Chinese market, with Yumi adding that it was a competitive market. LS’s sales are also growing in other parts of Asia, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, she said. Another focus market is the US. “From 2000 to 2008, we sold lots of machines but after that our sales dropped, and now we want to recover our sales in the US.“ Yumi said that LS was also eyeing East Europe, since electronics makers like Samsung and automotive maker Hyundai have set up factories in the region. For a company that specialises in injection moulding machinery, the LGE150III all-electric injection blow moulding machine, is a surprise addition to LS’s portfolio. It was shown moulding yoghurt bottles from high impact polystyrene (HIPS) in a ten-cavity mould with turntable rotation time of 0.7 seconds, which is said to be 40% faster than a hydraulic machine. Another model making its debut at the show was the LSV110 hybrid (electric injection and hydraulic clamping) vertical injection press. It was moulding a 30% glass fibre-reinforced PA66 component with a metal insert in a four-cavity mould and cycle time of 35 seconds. Also new, the WIZ-500 two-platen injection machine employs cavity pressure and nozzle pressure sensors to optimise mould filling and saves cycle time due to the simultaneous charging and mould opening. Formerly the M550 model, it has been upgraded with new parts such as the servomotor in the clamping. It was moulding a 980 g PP container box in a cycle time of 35 seconds. With the addition of an Eco heater, the WIZ series claims energy savings of 40%-75% compared to standard hydraulic machines. New all-electrics shown at Koplas include the LGE220III, exhibited moulding a multi-layer container in PP/EVOH with a co-injection system for the core and skin, in a cycle time of 20 seconds; the LGE850III, exhibited moulding a head lamp lens, and the LGE18III for small, precise parts like lenses and connectors. A new application at LS’s booth was the back moulding of composite sheets, demonstrated using German materials supplier Lanxess’s Tepex material on a new servo-hydraulic WIZ-1300X machine. The Tepex glass-reinforced polyamide (PA) sheets are heated to 210-240°C using an infrared heater before a robot places the sheets in the mould for back-moulding with the nylon material to produce a side impact bar. Also shown on the LGE80III model was a direct long fibre thermoplastics application.
Meanwhile, the LTE280 was shown moulding an 83-g cosmetic container in PETG material in a fourcavity tool and 40-second cycle time. “Since this type of container is normally thick, it requires a longer holding power. The toggle machine uses a servomotor to save energy and is better than a hydraulic type. The LTE is a kind of a hybrid machine,“ explained Yumi, adding that it was launched last year. At Woojin Plaimm (formerly known as Woojin Selex)‘s booth, the emphasis was also on all-electrics and fast cycles. The all-electric two-platen DLE series is now available in a higher tonnage of 850 tonnes.
Woojin Plaimm’s electric machine
Other all-electrics were the TE150LSR, shown making connector seals, and the TE50L, making a camera lens in ABS resin for mobile phones. The VHA100RS 100-tonne vertical machine with rotary table is a new entrant. It boasts a lower height, for convenience. According to the Manager of Overseas Business, Shin Young Cheol, Woojin has been well known for its hydraulic machinery and is now in the process of building up its all-electrics, ranging from 50-850 tonnes. “All-electrics occupy 20% of our turnover.” Also displayed was the DL650S two-platen hydraulic machine with servopumps, said to be Woojin’s “most sellable“, according to Shin. “There is no heater in the barrel for the mould controlling temperature.“ T h i s model was developed at its R&D centre in Austria where Woojin teamed up with German company Dorninger Hytronics and Austrian supplier B&R Automation to develop the latest technology. Meanwhile, Woojin opened a new 700,000 sq m factory late last year, moving from Incheon in Seoul to 200 km south to Boeun, a city located in the centre of Korea with easy access to logistics and port facilities. “We now have a capacity of 6,000 machines/year, from the 2,000 we were previously producing in Seoul,“ he said, adding that the facility has a casting plant and the capabilities to design machinery, and produce platens, and screws. 2
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Injection Moulding Asia South Korean Machinery & Technology The higher capacity output has meant that Woojin is expanding its export markets. It has broadened its sales to Russia and Turkey, and opened offices in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Poland and Egypt, in the last few years. “We currently export around US$40 million, one-fifth of our total output, but expect it will go up in the future.“
company intends to target its two-platen and allelectric machinery for the automotive market. And while China still constitutes a major share of its sales, the company is spreading its wings to other countries like emerging markets in Southeast Asia and South America, said Yu. Meanwhile, to support its strong sales growth of 30% -40% last year, Yizumi is building a new facility in the Shunde Hi-tech Industrial Park. It intends to develop the HPM heavy-duty die casting machines, HPM presses and auxiliary automated equipment there. Yizumi purchased the intellectual property of US-based HPM Corporation when it went bankrupt in 2011. Another company also situated in Guangdong, Huayan Precision Machinery expects further growth in South Korea, having sold ten PET preform injection moulding systems over the past few years, according to Louis Zhou from the International Business Department. The company, which is competing head on with US PET preform machine makers like Husky Injection Molding, boasts 128-cavity systems, two of which it has sold in Saudi Arabia, as well as 96-cavity moulds. It sold eight 96-cavity units in Turkey, recently, said Zhou. While it may want to expand its market in South Korea, Zhou says the biggest market for its PET preform systems is still Indonesia, where the PET water bottle market is flourishing. “We sold a 96-cavity system recently and have in the past also sold 48 and 72-cavity systems,“ he added.
Foreign machine makers make a foray n general, Chinese machine makers are on an aggressive path, contending that the South Korean market offers room for expansion since the quality of Chinese machinery has improved and prices are competitive. Ningbo-headquartered Haitian International is one such company that is pushing its sales. Its representative company HT Korea’s Director KT Han says the company sold close to 480 machines last year and expects to reel in 600 this year. Its sales is supported by a team of service engineers and a warehouse-cum-R&D centre in Jecheon city that stocks machines, said Han.
Chinese machine maker Haitian’s representative company in South Korea HT Korea’s Director KT Han. He stands next to the Zeres machine
To make its claim in the all-electric market, Haitian was showing the Venus II series, available in clamping forces of 40-550 tonnes, boasting 5 0 % -70% lower energy use. It also had the Zhafir Zeres series, available in 40-230 tonnes, which features a core pull system, electric injection system and a new ejector with integrated hydraulics. While Han contends that the South Korean market is competitive, he nevertheless says Haitian machinery is being applied by OEMs making parts for major electronic and automotive suppliers. Meanwhile, Guangdong-based Yizumi is also pumping up its business in South Korea, having entered the market only three years ago, said Sales Manager Karen Yu. “We sold around 40-50 machines last year, so there is still room for growth.“ The
Huayan Precision Machinery expects further growth in South Korea for its PET preform systems
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Going green in the car sector Biobased materials, which currently are being produced from various feedstocks such as castor beans, corn, sugar beets, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, husks, to cite a few, are found viable, yet still enmeshed with challenges for various applications, especially for car parts.
Challenge of going green recent news item about a squirrel found nibbling on biobased parts of a parked Toyota Aygo car in the UK may strike as peculiarly funny, yet it is reminiscent of the concerns surrounding biobased materials: how can these materials compete with food production? Some experts believe that market demand for biobased materials in car parts, which is forecast by Transparency Market Research to achieve US$7.8 billion value by 2018 (in various applications), can have pros and cons. Reducing the carbon footprint combined with increased fuel efficiency and consumer demands for lighter, more aerodynamic parts have undoubtedly spurred the trend for automotive makers to go green. However, it is putting pressure on manufacturers to switch to biobased materials. The US Department of Energy says that by a mere 10% reduction of weight in a vehicle can improve fuel economy by 6%-8%. By 2050, the US Department of Energy assumes a target vehicle weight reduction of 50%. This target, however, can only be achieved if availability and cost affordability of the lightweight materials are assured. Biobased car parts have been around since the early 1940s when Henry Ford’s Michigan-headquartered Ford Motor Company started using what it called agricultural plastic, based partly on soybean and hemp. Development of these material types was meant to boost the agriculture sector at the time; make cars lighter and also to conserve metals (which would have been scarce during the war era). There may be limiting factors for biobased materials for cars. According to the Biobased Automobile Parts Investigation report released in 2012 for the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, at the time of the study, constraints included the cost to manufacture the part. While cost is a main factor, other considerations (to determining the best material for manufacturing vehicle parts) also counted. These include part performance, owing to sound insulation of improved performance characteristics offered by biobased materials.
Ford, which pioneered soy plastics in the ‘40s, introduced the soy foam car seat in 2007
Part weight is also a factor because biobased materials may require heavier parts due to lower material strength. Durability is also taken into consideration since biobased materials may affect durability depending on the biodegradability nature of the material and safety, which may require that biobased materials undergo substantial testing to ensure that safety standards can be met. Then again, the question of biobased materials competing with food supply for human consumption cannot be swept under the carpet. Thomas Wodke, of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, says that every acre of land used for renewable resources could also be utilised for food, hence there would be, what he terms as, area and utilisation competition. He also cautioned about the aspect of environmental pollution to “acidification of bodies of water and over-fertilisation of soils”. Making nanocellulose work tarting last year, the American Process Inc (API) and researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Swinburne University of Technology, and the USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory have collaborated on developing ultra-strong, lightweight automotive structural components reinforced with nanocellulose, which are extracted from wood fibres. The team wanted to produce a material that is as durable as steel for car parts, yet more economical than the expensive carbon fibre composites. API’s proprietary manufacturing technology makes nanocellulose, which has strengths equivalent to Kevlar and costs like conventional polymers. The company says that it will begin commercial sales of nanocellulose by end of first quarter 2015, when it starts up its Georgia demonstration plant.
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive EcoTechnilin has been credited for developing FibriRock, a flame-resistant flax/bioresin prepreg
API says that cellulose is a renewable and compostable organic material that is in abundant supply. Its technology has made the natural material less expensive, more thermally stable at high temperatures, and given it functionality to blend with hydrophobic polymers â€“ thereby enabling market applications on the road to commercial production. Also engaged in developing nanocellulose is Sappi, a South African-headquartered producer of wood pulp, speciality and packaging papers. Working with scientists from Edinburgh Napier University, Sappi has developed a cheaper form of nanocellulose that could be used to build greener cars, thicken foods and even treat wounds.
Also in the upcoming International Conference on Biobased Materials in April in Cologne, Germany, companies have been nominated for the innovation award including German firm Evonik Industries for its 100% biobased polyamide 12 based on palm kernel oil. Germany-based Hib Trim Part Solutions has also been nominated for its Nature 50, natural-fibre reinforced plastic (Hemp/PP), including a long fibre ratio >50% for injection moulding along with Germanyâ€™s TwoBEars for its bioFila PLA blends with optic and haptic properties for 3D printing. In a similar vein, automotive makers are working alongside resin makers to innovate new developments. For instance, Japanese Mazda Motor Corp together with Mitsubishi Chemical have jointly developed a biobased engineering plastic for exterior car parts. The material, used initially in the latest Mazda MX-5, which will be commercially launched this year, and in exterior parts in other production models, is said to display a mirror-like finish even without painting. Nevertheless, the material can also be dyed and doing so, emissions of volatile organic compounds associated with the painting process are reduced It may also render the parts a deep hue and smooth finish, says Mazda. The plant-derived material ensures lesser environmental impact and use of petroleum. Mazda has previously developed biobased plastics for the industry, such as the heat-resistant bioplastic for interior parts as well as biofabrics for seat upholstery made entirely from plant-derived fibres. Meanwhile, a group of suppliers recently debuted a sustainable concept car at the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit, Michigan. The car uses renewable and recycled polyurethane (PU) foam and biobased polyols. The group consists of Michigan-based Unique Fabricating, Malaysia-headquartered Emery Oleochemicals, Philadelphia-based FXI and Alabama-headquartered LINE-X, showcased the Concepts for Advanced Sustainability in Polyurethanes (CASP) concept car to promote sustainable PU products. Also featured in the CASP is an aliphatic coating designed for direct-to-substrate (metal, fibreglass, and foam) applications. The coating, which is used in the rear drive side fender, has renewable content, and offers strength/abrasion resistance as well as UV stability, according to Line-X.
Sappi developed a cheaper form of nanocellulose for green cars
The aim is also to be able to produce the nanomaterial on a commercially viable basis, but without producing large volumes of chemical waste water associated with existing techniques. Sappi is building a nanocellulose producing pilot plant towards the end of the year, based on its energy saving plan. The scientists assure the industry that the breakthrough technique will not require expensive chemistry. As well, the chemicals used can be recycled and reused without generating large volumes of waste water, they said. Sappi says that nanocellulose is gaining commercial interest and is projected to serve a 35 million tonnes/year market by the 2020s. Staging new material developments eanwhile, companies are innovating new biobased materials to up the ante for properties and functions. UK-based flax nonwovens specialist Ecotechnilin recently received the Sustainability Innovation Award at the 2015 JEC Composites Show in Paris for its latest development called FibriRock, a flame-resistant flax/ bioresin prepreg similar to a version developed for ceiling tiles. It has a woven basalt reinforcement which, when used with a Nomex-type core, results in a very rigid composite with excellent fire/smoke performance and fast processing times of less than 150 seconds. The product is suitable for aircraft and rail applications (including underground carriages) and will first go into production in 2015 in a lightweight galley cart.
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Philippines to take its cue from Asian neighbours The Philippines intends to become an automotive
A combined report issued by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) indicated sales totalling 18,662 units (passenger cars and commercial vehicles) in January, or 3,015 units more than January 2014, but lower than the 21,320 units sales posted in December 2014. The group has projected a sales target of 272,000 or an additional volume of 37,000 units to achieve a 15% to 16% growth rate for the entire year, and expects more new product launches and promotion packages within the year to support this target.
powerhouse in Asia. It may have to learn a lesson or two on how to build up its automotive sector from its neighbours, Thailand and Indonesia, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Road map needed Incentives pave the way forward eanwhile, the country has yet to come up he Philippines, with a population of around with a well-polished industry road map to 100 million, has primed itself to becoming a stay competitive, experts say. manufacturing hub in the region, by offering perks In 2012, the Department of Trade and Industry and tax breaks. The government has crafted the began drafting a road map that was targeted for Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy release last year but has been deferred indefinitely (CARS) programme, which will be launched as some points have yet to be fine-tuned. this year. Under the CARS, the government The absence of a road map could put the may provide US$600 million worth of fiscal and industry at risk of losing vehicle assembly non-fiscal incentives. The operations and related “The absence of a programme is envisaged to downstream manufacturing bring in as much as US$17 businesses, according to road map could put billion savings in import costs the TMA. This could also by 2022. To qualify for CARS, the industry at risk of curtail foreign investors like car manufacturers must have firms that are keen losing vehicle assembly Japanese an annual output of 40,000 on expanding production in locally-built vehicles. the country and increasing operations…” The Philippine Automotive exports. Competitiveness Council (PACCI) says that the Toyota and Mitsubishi are reportedly country’s automotive manufacturing industry considering pulling out their production to is one of the sectors that has competitiveness less-expensive Southeast Asian countries like characteristics for development for success in the Indonesia and Malaysia. The two manufacturers world market. In 2009, the council commissioned have a combined capacity of 50,000 vehicles/year. global consultancy Deloitte (Australia) for a Producing a locally assembled vehicle is estimated study on how the country can achieve the 500,000 to cost up to US$2,000 more than importing a CBU, completely-built units (CBUs) output by 2020. The according to industry data. study reported that the target production could China’s Chery Cars International is planning increase the country’s GDP by 6.3%; raise by 10.4% on building an assembly plant (with an initial the average real wages in the Philippine economy; output of 20,000 units/year) in the Philippines boost by 2.5% the employment rate; and increase within the next three years, but will be importing aggregate exports by 12%. parts and assembling rather than fully building The viability of achieving this target is not them locally. farfetched. Latest vehicle sales for January, Thus, car makers require a road map that normally a slow month after a brisk December sales has clear-cut provisions on fiscal and non-fiscal period, report 20% more sales, compared to the incentives, including tax credits and common same period last year. testing facilities for automotive parts makers.
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Following Thailand’s footsteps The programme has also encouraged car launches he Philippines is admittedly following Thailand’s in the market. Suzuki recently introduced the largest strategies to catapult the automotive industry. eco-car sedan, the 1.25-litre K12B petrol engine Ciaz. Nonetheless, if Thailand was the benchmark, not Production of the Ciaz will start in June 2015, at having a road map may handicap the Philippine Suzuki’s plant in Rayong. This will be Suzuki’s third automotive industry, as Thailand has a 2012-2016 eco-car, after the 1.25 litre engine Swift and Celerio. Master Plan for the Automotive Industry. Meanwhile, a locally-assembled low-cost car, Nonetheless, Thailand, the “Detroit of Asia”, is the MG3 hatchback, is also hitting the Thai market. currently reeling in close to an 11% year-on-year With prices starting from 479,000 baht, it will rival drop in domestic car sales for February, its 21st eco-cars that qualify for tax incentives. Assembled consecutive month decline. The recent sales figures in Rayong, the 1.5-litre engine, five-door car is narrow Thailand’s chances of hitting its target of introduced by SAIC Motor-CP, a joint venture 3 million cars/year until 2017. Demand is not as between Shanghai Automotive Industry and enticing for Thailand, which has produced less than 2 Thailand’s CP Group. million cars in 2014, according to LMC Automotive. Still, Thailand is hopeful towards the outcome of Indonesia blazing the trail ext to Thailand, Indonesia has been getting its efforts to pump up exports, which could offset the good reports lately from foreign car makers. low domestic sales. The country is expected to post vehicle sales growth Automotive exports are reportedly up 14.09% of 5% year-on-year to 1.3 million units this year, year-on-year to 92,440 units in January, owing to according to Frost & Sullivan, which also says the increased exports to Europe, Australia, and North, market is supported by the higher purchasing power Central and South America. of the middle classes as well as the government’s Moreover, the Thai government’s Eco-car initiative to develop the infrastructure. programme, an investment promotion scheme formed Japanese automotive makers, like Nissan and in 2007, is buoying up production of low emission Toyota, are investing in Indonesia, owing to the cars. Eco-cars travel more than 20 km on a litre of country’s expanding industry fuel and do not emit more than “Under the CARS, US$600 potentials. 120 g of carbon dioxide/km as is reportedly planning well as comply with crash-test million worth of fiscal Toyota to invest US$1.6 billion, standards, among other criteria. and non-fiscal incentives following the recent visit of Under the programme, Indonesian President Joko maximum incentives were will be given…” Widodo to its factory in Japan. offered for integrated car Likewise, Japan’s fourth biggest automotive maker, assembly and key parts manufacturing projects Suzuki Motor Corporation, is also investing an that must have a minimum investment value of estimated US$1.3 billion in Indonesia to expand its approximately US$168 million, and were producing automobile and motorcycle businesses. 100,000 vehicles/year by the fifth year of operation. Mitsubishi is also venturing into the market, in a Upon meeting these conditions, companies are 51% stake in a joint venture that will run a US$500offered a corporate income tax exemption of 8 years, million plant in West Java’s industrial area of regardless of the projects’ location in Thailand, along Cikarang. with duty-free imports of machinery. It will produce a 2017 model of a multi-purpose An excise tax of 17% (to drop to 14% in 2016 under vehicle (MPV), a seven-seater vehicle that Mitsubishi the new carbon emission-based duty excise structure) says will be pitted head-on against similar models is levied on eco-cars that have engines smaller than already launched by Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki, in 1,300 cc for petrol engines and 1,400 cc for diesel the previous years. engines, against the 30% duty imposed for regular The firm has broken ground on its first Indonesian 2,000 cc cars. car plant to produce the MPVs, which will be Meanwhile, prominent vehicle manufacturers like exported to Thailand, the Philippines, Africa and the Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, SAIC, Middle East. Mazda, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Company and The plant will produce 160,000 units/year when it General Motors, have applied for the 2013-launched begins operations in 2017. Capacity will be ramped Phase Two of the Board of Investment (BOI)’s up to 240,000 units after 2025. That will make the programme for eco-cars. Indonesian plant Mitsubishi’s second largest in the The fresh round of production in the second region after its facility in Thailand, which produces phase is expected to produce 1.58 million vehicles, 450,000 vehicles/year. according to BOI.
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Rubber Journal Asia • China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) is buying Italian tyre maker Pirelli for EUR7.1 billion. ChemChina’s tyre making unit China National Tire & Rubber will first buy the 26.2% stake in Pirelli from Italian holding firm Camfin, to follow with a mandatory takeover bid for the rest. Pirelli’s less profitable truck and industrial tyre business will be integrated into ChemChina’s listed unit Aeolus, allowing it to double its output. • US manufacturer of rubber, plastics and metals, Mechanical Rubber has acquired Prestige Rubber Manufacturing Corp, a manufacturer of rubber elastomer expansion joints and wrapped rubber tubing, based in Fairfield, New Jersey. Financial terms of the deal, which was finalised in January, were not disclosed. • Brazilian retreading and rubber product manufacturer Vipal Rubber has set up a sales office in Bologna, Italy. Opening in January, the new office is being managed by the company’s distribution centre in Slovenia. Vipal exports to nearly 90 countries and has four distribution centres located in Spain, Germany, the UK and Slovenia. It also operates centres in Australia, Mexico, Colombia, and three centres in the US and
at its factory sites in Brazil.
with an annual production capacity of approximately 1 million tyres. The factory will be built in the city of Huanghua in Hebei. The agreement would give Apollo an entry into China after its failed buyout in 2013 of Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
• Penske Automotive Group, an international transportation services company, has completed the acquisition of Freightliner medium and heavy-duty commercial truck dealerships operating in the Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee markets. These dealerships represent the full line of Freightliner commercial truck products under the brand names Freightliner, Western Star, Sprinter and Freightliner Custom Chassis; and are estimated to generate approximately US$200 million yearly revenue.
• Silicones manufacturer Evonik plans to invest a triple-digit-millioneuro amount in the coming years and gradually increase the production volume of speciality silicones. It is currently expanding its Essen plant in Germany, as well as its site in Shanghai, China, with a new production complex for speciality silicones.
• Malaysian company Green Rubber Global is planning to build a green rubber facility to reprocess End-ofLife tyres (ELTs) using its devulcanisation process, and turn these into consumer products. The 25,000-sq ft facility, to be located in Putra Industrial Park, will house a laboratory, R&D, and quality department for the technical service team. Green rubber is valued at more than RM100 million/year for Malaysia. The first plant is expected to produce 25,000 tonnes of green rubber, and will in three years have a capacity of 105,000 tonnes/year.
• UK-headquartered Synthomer, a worldwide leader in carboxylated styrene butadiene latex (SBR), has expanded its Kluang plant in Johor, Malaysia, to produce a range of speciality SBR in support of the growing demand for its products in the construction, carpet and technical paper markets in the Asia Pacific region. Plant commissioning begins in the second quarter of this year with products available to customers starting July. • Malaysian glove maker, Top Glove Corp, plans to acquire firms involved in glove making, packaging materials, or glove machinery. The group says it
• Beijing Auto and Apollo Tyres are forming a joint venture
Rubber News prefers Malaysianbased companies and purchase price should range between RM10 million to RM1 billion. Meanwhile, the group’s expansion on factory 27 in Lukut, Port Dickson, factory 6 in Thailand and construction of factory 30 will result in increasing production lines and capacity to 538 and 52.2 billion gloves yearly by September 2016. • Aircraft tyre distributor and retreader Desser Tire & Rubber has acquired Watts Aviation of Gloucestershire, England. Watts distributes a broad range of tyres and tubes for aviation as an authorised distributor for major tyre brands. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Desser has a second US distribution centre in Memphis. • French chemical group Arkema has acquired Italy-based Oxido, which formulates organic peroxides for synthetic rubber cross-linking. The acquisition will enable Arkema to produce organic peroxides at 12 of its facilities worldwide and offer a wide range of products for cable, automotive and construction industries, among others. It will carry out downstream integration of its organic peroxide productions in Europe, particularly bisperoxide capacities.
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Rubber Journal Asia Rubber News • French tyre producer Michelin is expanding production at its Hungarian base in Nyíregyháza (northeastern Hungary) within the framework of a EUR40 million project, and is expected to raise the plant’s daily output to 6,900 by the end of 2017. • Indonesian petrochemical producer PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical will be constructing a synthetic-rubber plant worth Rp 5.6 trillion (US$435 million) in Cilegon, Banten, early next year, and expecting commercial operations to begin in the first quarter of 2019. The plant would have the capacity to produce 120,000 tonnes of synthetic rubber each year. The project will be run by PT Synthetic Rubber Indonesia, a joint venture between Chandra Asri’s wholly owned subsidiary, PT Petrokimia Butadiene Indonesia (45%), and Michelin (55%). • China Automobile Parts (CAP) Holdings Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Selangor-based Sri Elastomers Sdn Bhd to build a facility for recycling endof-life-tyres (ELT) in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, China. With the joint venture (jv), CAP will be able to benefit from SRI’s de-vulcanisation
technology with closed loop recycling process to make new rubber compound for manufacturing new rubber products. The plant, with a startup investment estimated at RM3 million, will initially have a 10,000 tonneper annum capacty. Further details of the jv are currently being worked up.
component using high cavitation 48+48 cavity LSR and polyamide twoshot tools, one of the largest available, the firm said. Simtec’s LSR and LSR twoshot components are used in the automotive, medical device, cosmetic, consumer goods, food & beverage, appliance, technology, industrial and home entertainment industries globally.
• Tokyo-headquartered Tosoh Corp, a Japanese chemical and specialty materials manufacturer, is planning to build a plant for chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE), a synthetic rubber that is highly resistant to heat and ozone as well as to acids and alkalis. Location of the plant, as well as access to raw materials and potential cost are still being studied. The facility would be Tosoh’s second such facility built within five years. Tosoh claims to be the largest producers of high quality CSM, producing it under the TOSO-CSM brand since 2010, when Dupont Performance Elastomers discontinued manufacturing its Hypalon brand of CSM.
• US Custommoulded rubber parts manufacturer, Sealing Devices Inc has opened a 22-sq ft rubber moulding facility in Lancaster. The company makes gaskets, o-rings and seals for a variety of industries including water treatment, aerospace and automotive, to name a few. It says that it has invested US$2 million on the new facility, which has been equipped with rubber-moulding machines, such as the US$150,000-worth CNC machine to make large rubber moulds. • Goodyear is expanding its fouryear-old plant in Pulandian, Liaoning Province, China. The Akron-based tyre maker is investing US$135 million through 2017 to add capacity for 2.08 million car tyres a year. The project will include capacity for 48,000 run-flat tyres a year, and occupy
• Simtec Silicone Parts LLC has partnered with a Tier 1 automotive supplier to produce a new liquid silicone rubber (LSR) two-shot automotive sealing component. Simtec produces the
1.25 million sq ft. The expansion project will encompass 46 new sets of machinery and 12 upgraded sets. The added output will expand capacity by nearly a quarter to 10.5 million units annually. • Vulkan Technologies Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany-based Hackforth Holding GmbH & Co KG, has set up a new, state-ofthe-art manufacturing facility in Pirangut near Pune, India. Inaugurated on 17 March, the new plant is sited on a 5-acre plot with constructed premises of about 80,000 sq ft. The plant is equipped with high-tech machineries, such as Oil & Chip Conveying System, Fume Condensation System and CNC centres in Machine Shop. • South Korean tyre maker, Hankook Tire is acquiring stake from Daejeonheadquartered Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp (HVCC), a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Mando Machinery Co. Hankook Tire and the private equity firm Hahn & Company hold 19.49% and 50.5% stakes, respectively. Hankook Tire becomes the second largest stakeholder of HVCC which is also a fullline supplier of automotive thermal management solutions.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry
Relying on safety and sustainability Globally, rubber demand is expected to grow 1.8%
Luc Minguet, Chief Procurement Officer at French tyre maker Michelin, said the supply of rubber will be adjusted, because most rubber plantations are run by smallholders “who will not be able to make a living at the current prices.”
in 2015 and 4.1% in 2016, while plummeting rubber prices, due to oversupply, continue to impact rubber-producing countries in Southeast Asia. The biggest buyer of rubber, the tyre
Middle classes to drive growth of tyre sector eanwhile, IRSG expects tyre sales to grow. “Passenger car tyres sales will reach 1.72 billion units by 2023 from 1.23 billion in 2014; commercial vehicle tyre sales will reach 727 million units from 479 million units and 1.6 billion vehicles are to be on the roads by the end of the decade,” said Evans. While truck and passenger car tyre sales have expanded slightly in North America and are flat in Europe, car tyre sales continue to increase in new markets such as China, India, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Mexico, according to LMC Automotive. In his keynote address at the rubber summit, Richard J. Kramer, Chairman/CEO of Goodyear, said the growth of the middle classes in developing markets will be a key driver for industry growth. “The significant GDP growth in emerging markets and the continuing emergence of the middle classes will lead to increased vehicle sales.” Kramer also sees growth opportunities in matured markets, like Europe, the US and Canada. “The growth is being driven by the changing mix to high value-added tyres with increasing technology. Profitable segments – such as winter tyres, SUV tyres and light truck tyres – offer higher margins.” Furthermore, Kramer discussed how the newest generation of consumers, the Millennials, are changing the retail landscape for the industry. “In the US, there are 80 million millennials that have a US$1 trillion buying power. They have the leverage, and are buying what they want, when they want, and how they want,” he said. He advised tyre makers to become consumerdriven and technology savvy, stating that Millennials were resorting to buying products online. “We have to transform tyre buying and sell a convenient and frictionless experience with our product and make the tyre buying process easier.” Kramer pointed out that Goodyear had become the first tyre maker in the US to sell tyres online.
sector, has been enjoying a period of relatively strong growth, against the back of demands for better safety standards, such as tyre labelling. These were some of the issues addressed at the World Rubber Week held from 24-25 March in Singapore, organised by SingEx Exhibitions, in partnership with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) and Singapore Exchange (SGX).
t the opening of the biennially-held rubber week, Stephen Evans, Secretary-General of IRSG, said, “This is the fifth year of disappointing global demand, against excess capacity, and a general sentiment of gloom, due to the slowdown of the Chinese economy.” The oversupply of rubber is brought about by expansions of plantations in Southeast Asia from 20112014 and will hold on until 2016, according to Evans. The glut is expected to drop to 51,000 tonnes by 2016, from 77,000 tonnes in 2015. With tyres accounting for 70% of natural rubber use, tyre companies are certainly not complaining about the cheaper prices of rubber. For instance, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company North America’s largest tyre maker, said its record income of US$1.7 billion in 2014, up 8% from a year earlier, was helped by lower raw material costs.
Safety issues tightened with tyre labelling yre labelling will become an industry standard and allow for product differentiation, said Kramer. Europe was the first to apply it in 2012, followed by the US and Latin American countries.
Goodyear expects to launch the rice huskbased silica tyre this year
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry The introduction of tyre labels for passenger car tyres in Europe and has made factors such as energy efficiency (rolling resistance) and safety (wet traction) visible and comparable for drivers. By doing this, the EU hopes to increase road safety, make shopping for tyres more cost-effective and reduce the impact tyres have on the environment. EU‘s plan is to tighten its tyre label regulations up till 2020.
Silica/silane systems are an essential component of the rubber mixture of green tyres. Without them, the improved wet traction, reduced rolling resistance and abrasion of modern tyres would be impossible. The treads of such high-performance tyres are essentially based on synthetic rubber with other added components. Silica is added to this mixture as a reinforcement filler and generates the desired special properties. However, rubber and silica are chemically incompatible with each other. For this reason, the production requires silanes as coupling reagents. The silica/silane reinforcement systems also benefit the environment as they help reduce fuel consumption by up to 8%. Evonik is working to develop improved filler systems, to further increase the wet traction, reduce the rolling resistance and improve winter properties, meaning, the tyre’s grip in snow and slush conditions. Also, when conventional silanes react with silica, they release volatile ethanol, which must be treated safely and in an environmentally friendly way during the tyre production. Thus, Evonik will bring to market a VOC (volatile organic compound)-free silane called XP Si 466 GR, in the near future. The finished tyres also do not emit ethanol at a later stage.
Innovating to keep the green tyre sector rolling ince 2010, the consumer market for green tyres has grown by 30% a year. By 2017, the global green tyre market will be worth US$70.6 billion, according to Smithers Rapra. In its report The Future of Green Tires to 2017, Smithers Rapra defines green tyres as “tyres that are optimised for low rolling resistance and/or which use materials, especially elastomers, obtained from renewable (sustainable) resources”. One example is the use of rice husk silica for tyres. Italian tyre maker Pirelli started using it in its tyres in 2013 and now Goodyear, a US$20 billion sales company, is following suit. In Asia, where rice is mostly consumed, after rice is harvested, rice husks are landfilled or burnt. Goodyear says it is utilising ash, from the burning of rice husks to produce electricity, as an environmentally friendly source of silica for use in its tyres. The company has tested the silica over the past two years and found its impact on tyre performance to be equal to traditional sources like sand, and expects to launch the tyres this year, said Kramer.
Paving the future with concept tyres he future of the tyre sector also depends on new material-enhanced concepts that will revolutionise how tyres are used and perceived. Goodyear showcased a futuristic tyre concept that has the capability to produce its own electricity at the March-held Geneva International Motor Show. Simply called BH03, the tyre can transform generated deformation and vibrations into electrical energy and offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tyre into electrical energy. As interest for electric cars grows in the global Select-Skin RTV marketplace, this type of innovation is expected to elastomers from play a role on the future of mobility. The tyreShin-Etsu is a purely conceptual development and the company says there is no plan to release this tyre onto the market as yet. The 85th motor show also had another conceptual tyre from Goodyear. Named Triple Tube, it contains three tubes that adjust tyre inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of performance and versatility. “These concept tyres reimagine the role that tyres may play in the future,” said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s Senior Vice President. “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”
Greening the silica market erman speciality chemicals supplier Evonik Industries, the only company worldwide that produces both silica and silanes, is counting on research regarding improved fillers for modern high-performance tyres. To this end, Evonik is investing a mid-single digit million Euro amount in several German sites. At its Wesseling site, an additional pilot-scale line for precipitated silica is coming on stream.
Evonik is expanding its green tyre research for silanes at its facility in Rheinfelden
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