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In this issue
Volume 33, No 241
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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 13 材料: 升級再造海洋塑料 16 Extrusion Machinery – A round-up of the latest machinery from KraussMaffei Berstorff, W&H, Amut Dolci Extrusion, Bandera, Colines, Macro Engineering & Technology, Davis-Standard
20 Packaging – The alcoholic drinks sector is making a toast to environmental causes, becoming a conduit of change for the environment, with sustainable packaging designs
24 Recycling – Plastic waste has become a gold mine. New technologies are efficiently recovering waste to turn them into materials that can be made into useful items
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The application of 3D printing in medicine and healthcare is transforming patient care and improving outcomes
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On the Cover In the medical field, 3D printing is having a major impact, helping to save and improve lives; replacing human organ transplants, speeding up surgical procedures and producing cheaper versions of required surgical tools
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M&As • US-based silicones company Momentive Performance Materials is to be acquired by a consortium led by South Korean building materials firm KCC Corporation, private equity fund SJL Partners and semiconductor equipment maker Wonik QnC Corporation for US$3.1 billion. Momentive is the world’s second largest silicone maker, ranked between US-based Dow Corning and Germany’s Wacker. • South Korean materials company LG Chem has acquired Uniseal, a US maker of specialty adhesives and sealants, from its parent company Koch Enterprises for US$133 million. Currently, LG Chem is a key supplier of batteries to US automotive giant General Motors, European companies Volvo and Renault and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group. • Styrenics maker Ineos Styrolution is to purchase French firm Total’s two PS production sites in China: in Ningbo and Foshan and two related offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The Ningbo plant produces 200,000 tonnes/year of PS, and includes a unit that manufactures PP compounds for automotive parts;
while the Foshan plant produces 200,000 tonnes/year of PS. • Film maker Treofan Americas is being rebranded as Innovia Films following its acquisition by Canada’s CCL Industries Inc. • US firms Breen, Chroma, Carolina, and Hudson Color are combining their technical capabilities, manufacturing capacity and geographic footprint into one business entity to be known as Chroma Color Corporation. • Chemical distributor Univar is to acquire smaller rival Nexeo Solutions for US$2 billion to expand its presence in North America. It will also evaluate alternatives for Nexeo’s plastics distribution business, including a divestiture. Nexeo was bought two years ago for US$1.6 billion by a company run by Wilbur Ross, the current US Secretary of Commerce. • AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has completed its acquisition of Brazil's Polinox, South America's producer of ketone peroxides, an essential ingredient in the manufacture of polymers. The purchase expands the company's footprint in South America, establishing it as one
of the region's leading producers of curing systems for polyester thermoset resins. • Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is to transfer the acrylic sheet (PMMA sheet) business in Europe to Switzerlandbased PMMA sheet maker Schweiter Technologies Group (STAG). MCC will transfer the business, valued at £92 million along with shares of Perspex Distribution Limited, the UK domestic sales company for PMMA sheet that is manufactured by Lucite International UK Limited (LIUK), after splitting off LIUK's PMMA sheet business. • Following Sabic taking up a 24.99% stake in Swiss chemical firm Clariant recently, Clariant signed a MOU with Sabic to combine its additives and high value masterbatches with parts of Sabic’s specialties business to create a new joint venture business for high performance materials. Sabic will not include its PC, ABS, PC/ABS, PBT and PC/PBT businesses. A definitive agreement is expected to be signed in 2019 with the business, to create EUR3.5 billion in sales by 2021, to be carved out by next year and be effective by 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.
• US-based chemicals supplier Westlake Chemical Corporation is to acquire Nakan, a French compounding solutions business, from its current owner, Los Angeles-based private equity firm OpenGate Capital for US$265 million in cash. • Italian auxiliary firm Piovan has started the process for listing its ordinary shares on the Milan stock exchange, with a timeline of end of the year. It will offer between 35-40% of its capital and the shares will be sold through a private placement for investors in Italy and institutional investors abroad through its controlling shareholder Pentafin SpA. • Austria-headquartered machinery group Wittmann has entered into a joint venture with Italian MES producer ICE-flex, to offer its customers optimal solutions as an extension of Wittmann 4.0. • Germanybased Krones, a manufacturer of filling and packaging technology, has acquired the business operations of Shanghai Xiantong Equipment Installation. The Chinese company has been a partner and supplier to Krones in the field of process technology for many years.
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Circular Economy • US environmental technology firm Agilyx has expanded its circular recycling capabilities to include PE and PP. • LyondellBasell and its joint venture partner Covestro have kickedoff the Circular Steam project at their Dutch site in MaasvlakteRotterdam, resulting in an overall reduction of 140,000 tonnes/year CO2 emissions. The technology converts
water-based waste into energy. • ReVital Polymers, Pyrowave and Ineos Styrolution are in a partnership to recycle PS packaging. Using Pyrowave’s depolymerisation technology, ReVital’s sorted post-consumer PS packaging will be converted into monomer-containing liquid, which will then be used by Ineos into new PS applications.
• Thailandheadquartered integrated PET/ polyester supplier Indorama Ventures and Loop Industries, a Canadian start-up recycling technology, are in a joint venture. Indorama will retrofit one of its existing plants in the US for the recycling joint venture, using Loop's depolymerisation technology, which breaks down plastic molecules to basic monomers DMT and MEG that can then
Plant set-ups/Capacity Expansions • Indian chemical firm Manali Petrochemicals, which acquired UK-based manufacturer of PU cast elastomer systems Notedome through its overseas subsidiaries in 2016 for an “undisclosed sum”, has started production of PU materials at Notedome’s facility in Chennia, India. • US integrated nylon maker Invista will add 40,000 tonnes of PA6.6 polymer capacity at its current 150,000-tonne polymer plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, China. Construction is targeted for mid-2019 and production in 2020. • German chemicals company BASF will 4
increase capacity of 1,6-Hexanediol (HDO) in Ludwigshafen, Germany, by more than 50%. After the start-up in 2021, its global nameplate capacity of HDO will exceed 70,000 tonnes/year in Ludwigshafen and Freeport (US). As the inventor of the world's first Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy, BASF has also launched a new Infinergy production facility at its Changhua site in Taiwan. The closedcell, elastic particle foam features high rebound, low density, durability over a wide temperature range, chemical resistance and low weight.
• Malaysia’s Lotte Chemical Titan
Holdings has commenced commercial operations of its new PP production plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The PP3 plant has a capacity of 200 kilotonnes/year and will cater to both the domestic and export markets. Lotte allocated RM620 million of its RM3.77 billion IPO proceeds for the PP3 project. The group has two other PP plants in Malaysia with a combined capacity of 440 kilotonnes. • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation will set up a new production site for performance polymers in Chengdu, China, and start production of PVC slush powder, used for automotive parts applications, in 2019. Currently, MCC
be used together to produce PET. • Austrian chemical maker Borealis and UK’s Bockatech, provider of EcoCore technology, will produce recyclable foam injection moulding solutions. The agreement will accelerate Bockatech’s technology, broadening the platform so that it can be licensed to more manufacturing partners in a variety of markets for multiple applications. has two production sites for performance polymers in Suzhou and Changshu that also produce PVC compounds. • Ineos Oxide’s Antwerp site in Belgium was the first to be acquired by Ineos in 1998. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, the chemical firm is investing EUR150 million at its Zwijndrecht site, in Antwerp, as part of a EUR200 million investment programme. The other EUR50 million will be invested at Ineos’s sites in Cologne, Germany, and Lavéra, France. • Technology firm Continental has opened a EUR10 million 3D blow moulding plant for hoses in Changshu, China. The new
INDUSTRY NEWS plant is its fourth production site featuring 3D blow moulding technology across the world, following previous plants in Germany, the US and Mexico, and will start series production in the third quarter of 2018. • A demonstration plant for a groundbreaking technology to produce chemicals from sunlight will be built at Delfzijl, the Netherlands, by AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and partner firm Photanol, which has closed a financing round with a group of Dutch investment firms GROEIfonds, Innovatiefonds Noord-Nederland and Investeringsfonds Groningen. This will allow the construction of the unit to go ahead with completion expected in 2020. • Italian engineering company Maire Tecnimont’s subsidiary Tecnimont, in partnership with its Indian affiliate Tecnimont Private, has bagged two EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning) contracts for HPCLMittal Energy Limited, a joint venture between Mittal Energy Investments
Singapore and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, for the implementation of new HDPE and PP units. The HDPE unit will have a capacity of 450,000 tonnes/ year, and the PP unit, a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year. Both will be located adjacent to Guru Gobind Singh Refinery at Bathinda, Punjab, in northern India. Tecnimont has also been awarded a turnkey contract to develop resin producer Borouge’s fifth PP (PP5) plant in Ruwais, to grow its capacity by 25% to 2.24 million tonnes/year. With a nameplate capacity of 480,000 tonnes/ year, PP5 will be integrated with the existing Borouge 3 plant in Ruwais and will come on stream in 2021. • US-based oil/ gas company ExxonMobil has signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Guangdong province in China to advance talks on the proposed construction of a chemical complex in the Huizhou Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park. The multibillion-dollar project will include a 1.2 million tonnes/ year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, two PE lines and
two differentiated performance PP lines. Start-up is planned for 2023. Meanwhile, the company recently commenced operations at its new 1.5 million tonneyear ethane cracker at its integrated Baytown complex in Texas. ExxonMobil and Sabic have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project in Texas, with a 1.8-million tonne ethane cracker, a MEG unit and two PE units on the drawing board. • Belgian chemical supplier Solvay has inaugurated its manufacturing centre for aerospace structural adhesives and surfacing films in Wrexham, UK. Together with the existing plant in Havre De Grace, US, this investment broadens Solvay’s footprint. Solvay will also raise production capacity of its Solef PVDF polymers in France by more than 35% in 2019 to meet demand growth mainly for applications in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. • Speciality chemicals company Lanxess is building another compounding facility at its KrefeldUerdingen site,
Germany, for a mid double-digit million euro amount. Starting in 2019, Lanxess will produce Durethan and Pocan engineering plastics. In addition, a warehouse and a silo facility will be built. Lanxess already operates a polymerisation and compounding plant in KrefeldUerdingen and early in 2018 the company started a new line for the production of speciality compounds. • Japanese chemical maker Mitsui Chemicals is setting up a new production facility for long glass fibre-reinforced polypropylene (LGFPP) at the Ohio plant of its US subsidiary, Advanced Composites. With a capacity of 3,500 tonnes/year, it will be completed and started up by 2019. • WR Grace & Co., a supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and PP process technology, has licensed its Unipol PP process technology to Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Co. (Sidpec). Located in Alexandria, Egypt, the Sidpec facility will produce 450,000 tonnes/year of PP. OCTOBER 2018
Upcycling ocean plastics Plastics, the modern age’s wonder material, has a “design failure” that can pose harm to the environment, if not managed well, according to experts who are seeking ways to make plastics a key part of marine litter solutions. Meanwhile, brand owners are upcycling plastic waste collected from the oceans to make useful items, says Angelica Buan in this report. The grand ocean clean-up begins Plastics are too valuable to waste. That’s why, beyond the aim of purging marine litter from our oceans, major cleanup efforts also make sure that as much of the recovered plastics are reused and recycled, as minimum resources in making useful products. As much as nearly 13 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the seas every year, accounting for 60-80% of the total solid pollutants in the oceans, according to a conservative estimate by scientists.
The Ocean Clean-up recently launched the System 001, the world’s first clean-up system
How to eradicate this problem is the motivation of several projects and innovations that prove waste plastics can also become part of the solution. Recently, the much awaited grand ocean clean-up began its two-week dry-run from San Francisco Bay in the US state of California. The world’s first clean-up system by Dutch non-profit organisation, The Ocean Clean-up, led by environmental visionary Boyan Slat, launched the world’s first ocean clean-up system known as System 001. Towed by the vessel Maersk Launcher, which has been made available to the project by A.P. Moller-Maersk and DeepGreen, its current charter holder, it headed to a location 240 nautical miles offshore for a trial before it was towed toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGH), 1,200 nautical miles offshore, to start the clean-up. The group describe System 001 as a giant Pac-Man that will skim the surface of the ocean for plastic wastes. “The system consists of a 600-m long U-shaped floating barrier with a 3 m skirt attached below. It is designed to be propelled by wind and waves, allowing it to passively catch and concentrate plastic debris in front of it. Due to its shape, the debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system,” said the group.
But there is more to this project than meets the eye. The system will be deployed in GPGH, the world’s largest accumulation zone of some 1.6 trillion pieces of plastics (weighing 80,000 tonnes, according to a study published in March), where it will collect the waste and return them to land within six months. This waste will be recycled into sellable products to raise funds for the clean-up operations, in line with the Ocean Clean-up organisation’s goal of reducing the amount of plastic in the world’s ocean by 90%, by 2040. Eyewear brands’ circular fashion statement Throwing light on marine litter, Minnesota-headquartered eyewear brand Norton Point, and the Corona and Parley collaboration are producing eyeglasses from ocean plastics. Martha’s Vineyard-based Norton Point, which was founded in 2015, first line of eyewear is made from recovered high-density polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics. The company’s mission is to be able to remove a pound of plastic from the ocean for every sold pair of sunglasses; and to reinvest 5% of its net profits into global clean-up efforts. Meanwhile, Mexican beer brand Corona and environmental non-profit organisation Parley for the Oceans have also launched a limited edition sunglasses made from Parley Ocean Plastic, a material made from upcycled marine plastic debris. It also incorporates new forms of upcycled marine debris intercepted on islands, coastal communities, beaches, underwater and on high seas. This is in line with the Clean Waves initiative the partners launched in May.
The Corona x Parley collaboration is producing eyeglasses from ocean plastics
Clean Waves is a creative fundraising platform aimed at boosting the use of eco-innovative materials in fashion and industrial design. Like Norton Point, the team-up committed to protect an island (to add to its
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goal of 100 protected islands by 2020) against marine plastic pollution for a year, for every 100 pairs of shades sold. The protection of 100 islands, that would include islands in Indonesia, Australia, and others, is made possible through the implementation of the Parley A.I.R. Strategy: Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. In keeping with its 2020 target, Corona x Parley have intercepted waste plastics from a number of remote islands, while mobilising volunteers for clean-ups and education campaigns. Through Clean Waves, the full range of plastic types are focused on, such as the most valuable recyclables including PET, nylon 6 and HDPE as well as those plastics that are typically overlooked or left behind due to low material value, including PP. The latter and similar types are transformed into new forms of Ocean Plastic for use in high-end consumer products, starting with fashion accessories. The sunglasses produced by Corona x Parley are the first produced with a new technology, which transforms low-quality types of plastic waste into high-performance materials, providing a unique look. Repurposing plastics to tell a story Japanese chemicals company Teijin and Belgiumheadquartered charity Waste Free Oceans (WFO) have collaborated on the Ocean Plastic Book, the world’s first children's book produced completely from recycled ocean plastic. WFO collected plastics from all over the world for the pages and cover of the books. For this project, Teijin says it developed an innovative process that entails shredded plastics made into pellets and turned into fibres. The fibres were turned into material that is tear and waterresistant. It can also be processed just like real paper. British artist Chervelle Fryer provided the illustrations for the plastic book.
According to the partners, the book tells the story of Pippa, who helped free sea animals that are trapped in plastic, and thus becomes the Queen of the Ocean. From discarded footwear to a sustainable boat Ocean plastics meet flip flops in this project called FlipFlopi, which has repurposed over 10 tonnes of plastic wastes collected from beach clean-ups along the Kenyan coast and thousands of discarded flip flops to build the world’s first 100% recycled marine plastic Flipflopi Dhow boat. FlipFlopi, which was founded in 2016, has launched the Flipflopi prototype into the Indian Ocean. After completion of trials at sea, the Flipflopi boat will be embarking on a ground breaking 500 km expedition from Kenya’s Lamu island to Zanzibar in Tanzania. Departing early 2019, the team will be visiting schools, communities and government officials enroute to share knowledge on curbing plastic pollution and contribute to conservation.
The Flipflopi Dhow boat is built from over 10 tonnes of plastic wastes collected from beach clean-ups along the Kenyan coast and thousands of discarded flip-flops
According to UN Environment Programme, FlipFlopi creates awareness of the issues around single-use plastics. Ben Morison, Founder of the Flipflopi Project said that only local available resources and low-tech solutions that are scalable in local communities are used in creating the multi-coloured boat.
Teijin and Waste Free Oceans (WFO) collaborated on the Ocean Plastic Book, the world’s first children's book produced completely from recycled ocean plastic
Surfboards made from fishing nets Dutch materials firm DSM and Thailand-based watersports company Starboard are collecting and upcycling discarded fishing nets to create a material for consumer goods such as surfboard components. In doing so the collaboration says it supports litter-free beaches for local communities in India.
DSM and Starboard are working towards using fishing nets for surfboards
DSM and Starboard came together when the latter selected DSM’s Akulon RePurposed, where the resin used is fully recycled from discarded nylon-based fishing nets. The discarded fishing nets are gathered from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, and are given a new lease of life as fins, fin boxes, SUP pumps, and other structural parts in surfboards under Starboard's NetPositive! brand. Degradable plastics to stave off pollution Meanwhile, a number of research studies are presenting solutions to rectify the so-called design flaws of plastics that put a burden on the environment. For example, a biodegradable version of microbeads has been developed by scientists from the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT). Microbeads, measuring less than 5 mm have been widely used in cosmetics and personal care products. Their use has been banned in some countries in Europe and in the US.
University of Bath scientists have developed cellulose microbeads, which are found in cosmetics and personal care products
The cellulose microbead, sourced from wood and plants, is said to be robust enough to remain stable in a bodywash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or even in the environment in a short period of time. The researchers anticipate they could use cellulose from a range of “waste” sources, including from the paper making industry as a renewable source of raw material.
In yet another development, a new research has been undertaken by Chinese scientists who have developed a plastic that degrades in seawater. This development is expected to help curb the increasingly serious plastic pollution in the oceans. The new polyester composite material can decompose in seawater over a period ranging from a few days to several hundred days, leaving small molecules that cause no pollution, said Wang Gexia, a Senior Engineer at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The effects of sunlight, salt weathering, ocean currents and organisms break plastics into tiny fragments, also called microplastics. Based on studies, microplastics have posed a major threat to marine life. Studies also found that a number of albatrosses and turtles succumb to gastrointestinal problems after eating plastics. Statistics also showed that over 90% of sea birds died after ingesting plastics.
In a bid to curb ocean pollution, Chinese researchers have developed a new polyester composite that is able to decompose in seawater
Wang rationalised that as for the time being, the most feasible solution to manage the marine litter problem is to “let the materials degrade and disappear”. The Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, a leading research institution in China, which has developed biodegradable plastics, found that naturally-occurring microbes can decompose into carbon dioxide and water. The institute has reportedly authorised four Chinese enterprises to use their technology, with three enterprises going into production with a total capacity of half the global biodegradable plastics, or 75,000 tonnes/year. On another hand, the researchers found plastics that decompose quickly on land are unable to degrade easily at sea. So, they combined non-enzymic hydrolysis, water dissolution and biodegradation processes to design and invent the new material. In 2016, a report from the Ocean Conservancy, a US environmental non-profit, cited five countries – all located in Asia, to be the leading contributors to marine litter. The report also claimed that China leads in the list followed by Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, which are responsible for as much as 60% of the plastic waste that enters the world’s seas. In this regard, China has vowed to prioritise ecological environmental protection through innovations and relevant policies, hence, the way forward to developing degradable plastics. OCTOBER 2018
Extrusion Machinery GF Malaysia expands capacity Pipe systems provider GF Piping Systems is expanding its production capacity at its Taman Perindustrian Air Hitam, Klang location (near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and has commissioned KraussMaffei Berstorff’s QuickSwitch technology, with two pipe extrusion systems. With this system, GF will produce HDPE pipes using the QuickSwitch process for the 160-250 mm diameter range, with potential for savings due to the capacity and productivity, it says.
QuickSwitch technology for in-line dimension change
The latest investment also includes another system that produces three-layer sewer pipes made of PP. Silenta 3A boasts noise insulating properties and is primarily used as domestic drainage pipes in multi-storey buildings. Founded in 1996, GF Malaysia caters to pipe systems for various applications, such as building systems, water and gas lines and fittings that are adapted to the specific market requirements in Asia. W&H develops digital printing machine for flexible packaging While digital printing is already firmly established in the label and commercial printing sector, in flexible packaging it continues to be a challenge. An economical and stable digital printing process has yet to be developed. Germany’s extrusion machine specialist W&H says it has reached a first milestone in its development project with its partner inkjet printhead manufacturer Xaar. The digital printing machine from W&H is based on piezo inkjet technology. "We see a need in the flexible packaging market to use digital printing in addition to the established processes. This is Sven Michael of W&H says the new digital machine concept is characterised by higher quality and higher speeds
driven by the need for faster time-to-market and very short order lengths," explains Dr. Jürgen Vutz, CEO of W&H. "However, the application of flexible packaging has very special requirements, for example regarding the adhesion of the ink to the film.” W&H has been conducting research in the field of digital printing for several years and has invested in what it says is “the millions”. "We evaluated technologies and tested new approaches. This has resulted in a machine concept that stands out from all existing approaches and provides our customers with added value. We are now implementing this with suitable partners. The new digital machine concept from W&H is characterised by higher quality and higher speeds," explains Sven Michael, head of the digital team at W&H. "High availability and usability in daily use are our top priorities. Our goal is to go to market with a functioning and mature digital printing machine that delivers on the promises of digital printing for flexible packaging as well," summarises Vutz. Amut’s cast film line for PE/PE packaging; water-cooled extruder-drive line in Malaysia Italian extrusion machinery maker Amut Dolci Extrusion says it has supplied a latest cast laminating line with three sections for the production of PA/PE barrier film to be converted into vacuum pouches/envelopes or trays for foodstuff that require multilayer film with barrier properties against gas, fats and flavourings.
Amut’s cast laminating line with three sections is used for the production of barrier film
The line configuration includes three sections: two with flat die (cast) – one for barrier resins (PA) and one for polyolefins (LDPE, LLDPE, monomers) – and a centrally placed lamination section where the two formed films are coated. Capabilities include film with net width of 1,800 mm and PA/Primer/PE+PE/PE+PE+ PE formulation. The roll diameter is 800 mm and the output is 600-900 kg/hour depending on the thickness. Amut also says “the absence
Extrusion Machinery of curl-problem, the high transparency of the film and the in-line edge trims recovery system to reduce waste at minimum represent further competitive margins, especially for vacuum pouches production”. Each section is also equipped with a scanner for automatic gauge and film tension control. Meanwhile, Amut recently supplied a seven-layer cast film line for the production of stretch film to EB Packaging located in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. A particular feature of the line is the water-cooled drives for the extruders, especially since the equatorial climate of Malaysia affects the working temperatures of all electronic parts. Amut says in its line not only are the electronic parts in an air-conditioned container but also all the drives for extruders placed inside the container are water cooled, so overheating is “impossible”. The 2,000-mm width line boasts a maximum speed of 900 m/minute in winding and a maximum output of 1,700 kg/ hour. EB claims that when tested with thin 2” cores, it had successful results “and the rolls were well wound, without tail, at a very high speed”. The 3” rolls produced “perfect machine rolls and even jumbo rolls of 50 kg weight”. Amut’s ProWind 4.0 winder has a system for weighing each roll before unloading so there is no need to manually weigh the rolls before packing them on the pallet. Set up in 1995, EB Packaging is involved in the manufacturing of stretch film, plastic bags, PE foam, air bubble films and all kinds of adhesive tapes. Heavy-duty bag lines growth from Asia for Bandera Over the last few years, the heavy duty bags industry has been working to reduce film thickness and increase output, like Italy’s Bandera. The machine maker says it has
Bandera says it has improved the features of its line for heavy duty bag manufacture
improved its triple-flow cooling ring and combined with the extrusion heads and the integrated thickness control, allows a significant increase of the output as well as an improvement of both the physical and mechanical features of the film. Bandera says its HDBFlex lines are sought-after on the market and it has six projects lined up from 2018 to
Extrusion Machinery 2019, with China playing a key role in its turnover. It also adds that the European and Southeast Asian markets are important too: “from the beginning of 2017 to the present, Bandera has received orders from Italian, Polish and Malaysian producers”. Furthermore, improvements are on hand for the HDB lines to allow a switch from a standard three-layer configuration to a five-layer line, taking advantage of the flexibility and optimised mechanical features. Colines supplies cast line for CPP/CPE films to Vietnam Italy’s Colines says one of its recent successes is the start up of a new Polycast line at the facility of its customer Ky Phat in Ho Chi Minh City. The line can produce 2,800 mm wide five-layer CPP and CPE film for lamination and metallisation, with special formulations developed by Ky Phat and Colines.
Colines has supplied a cast line for CPP/ CPE films in Vietnam
The Italian firm says one of the market sectors that is increasingly emerging is CPE, i.e. PE-based film produced with the cast technology rather than using the classic blown method. The reasons for its growth is that production with cast technology allows “incomparable optical characteristics” compared to the blown film process, with better control of the frost line that also allows to better manage the characteristics of the film mechanically, says Colines. It adds, “Similarly, the management and adjustment of the profile of the film produced in cast is much better than what is possible even on the most modern and efficient blown film lines, thanks to the direct mechanical action controlling the extrusion die. This results in a further increase of the speed on converting machines, thanks to the improved overall flatness of the film.” Macro’s biax line for “bone-in” meat bags Extrusion machine specialist Macro Engineering and Technology says it recently enhanced its Quadex biaxially oriented multiple-bubble lines to produce films with nylon and EVOH, particularly for high-barrier shrink bags for bone-in-meat products.
Macro has modified its Quadex biax multiplebubble lines to produce films with nylon/ EVOH for meat packaging
The Canadian firm says it has developed the process and multi-material formulation for extruding these films and will include this know-how with the line purchase. The line offers configurations for seven, nine or 11 layers; ability to run up to three nylon layers with the EVOH main barrier layer; film widths from 200-500 mm; film thickness from 40-90 microns and output from 50-150 kg/hour. Macro says it has installed more than 60 biax lines worldwide and the newest Quadex line was recently installed at a customer in South America. D-S’s continuous extruder monitoring; upping feedscrew capacity In response to the increased demand for “smart” technology, US extrusion machinery supplier DavisStandard has made its DS Activ-Check system for continuous extruder monitoring an option for its Integrator, Epic III, and DS-eVue control systems.
Davis-Standard has invested in its feedscrew manufacturing capacity at its US facility, to up capacity by 25%
Extrusion Machinery Activ-Check enables real-time predictive maintenance by providing early notifications of potential extruder failures. Machine operators are alerted to issues before they happen, reducing unplanned downtime while also collecting valuable data. Users receive notifications via e-mail or text, and continuous monitoring of production machine status is available on smart devices and remote PCs. Key parameters monitored include extruder gear reducer, lubrication system, motor characteristics, drive power unit, and barrel heating and cooling. Vibration sensors on the gear reducer provide data on the condition of the gears, bearings and lubrication system. The extruder motor is supplied with combination temperature and vibration sensors. The reducer lubrication system (if provided), includes pressure, flow and temperature sensors. Operators are also able to monitor key health indicators in the drive power unit. The system is said to be easy to operate due to overview screens that provide a quick reference of monitoring points and trend graphs. Users can touch a location to view details. In other news, Davis-Standard is installing its fourth CNC machining centre at its facility in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, to support ongoing growth in feedscrew manufacturing, The US$2 million investment will further boost production efficiency and will enable Davis-Standard to increase feedscrew production by over 25%. The machining centre is expected to be operational by mid-October. The additional centre is a Weingartner Pickup 700 Whirler, capable of machining feedscrew sizes that comprise 80% of Davis-Standardâ€™s screw volume. This includes feedscrews from 38 mm to 152 mm in diameter and in lengths up to 5,200 mm. The firm says the machine will augment existing capabilities in its feedscrew operation, which currently manufactures over 1,000 feedscrews annually. It will also support feedscrew cycle time reduction, enabling the company to improve delivery times and maintain a steady stock of feedscrews in various sizes and finishes.
Davis-Standard has introduced the DS Activ-Check for extrusion monitoring OCTOBER 2018
Rolling out sustainable alcoholic drinks packaging The alcoholic drinks sector is making a toast to environmental causes. No longer merely immortalising age-old traditions of celebration and camaraderie, the alcoholic beverages sector has become a conduit of change for the environment, with sustainable packaging designs, says Angelica Buan in this article.
t’s that time of the year for the German Oktoberfest beer festival, a festivity that has spread to many countries and cultures worldwide. The merrymaking event had its 19th century roots in Munich to promote its agriculture. A record 120,000 l of beer was consumed during the Oktoberfest’s 100th anniversary celebration in 1910, and the event has since been associated with a spill-over of beer-drinking. How alcoholic beverages are served and enjoyed, have changed over time: from bottles made of clay to aluminium cans and plastic packaging; and from banquet tables to backpacks. The popularity of alcoholic beverages is hinged on traditions and culture. Today, it has become a lucrative segment in the billion dollar beverage industry. In 2017 alone, the global alcoholic beverages market – including beer, distilled spirits, wines, and others – was valued at nearly US$1.5 billion and by 2025, it is forecast to cross US$1.7 billion, registering a CAGR of 2% from 2018, according to a market study by Allied Market Research. The increase in global young-adult demographics, disposable incomes, and consumer demand for premium/super premium products is driving the market growth. Notwithstanding that these beverages are also readily accessible from more distribution outlets such as convenience stores, grocery shops, supermarkets and even from e-commerce stores. Along the same vein, the alcoholic beverages market is giving a boost to another robust market – the drinks packaging market. The global beverage packaging market was valued at US$117 billion in 2016, according to a study by Grand View Research, which also projected the market to post a CAGR of 4.5% from 2018 to 2025. Sustainability and convenience top the trends in beverage packaging. Growing adoption of bioplastics and biodegradable materials and designs are also propelling the market, analysts noted.
A new spin to “bottle” packaging Among the pioneers in avantgarde bottle designs is rigid plastic manufacturer Plastipak Packaging (formerly APPE), which in 2014 launched a PET bottle innovation for the beverage industry. Plastipak’s CrownFinish PET bottle is designed to be capped with a metal crown closure, and suitable for applications such as beer, cider, alcopops and juice shots. The firm Plastipak’s CrownFinish PET bottle is developed with multilayer barrier says it is the lightest weight crown technology that protects against oxygen ingress and reduces CO2 loss finish PET bottle in Europe, up to 85% lighter than glass equivalents, and recyclable in the PET stream.
Packaging Thus, it offers manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to achieve significant carbon footprint reductions not only in terms of packaging material, but also in the logistical chain. CrownFinish cannot be resealed, is unbreakable and an ideal solution for mass-events such as concerts, festivals and sporting fixtures, the company said. Additionally, it has been developed with multilayer barrier technology that protects against oxygen ingress and reduces CO2 loss. This maintains and preserves the colour, taste and carbonisation levels of beer and cider and can provide up to 12 months filled product shelf life. On the go packaging The diversifying retail channels, including e-commerce and mail order stores, are redefining convenience and safety in packaging. But here comes a letterbox-friendly wine bottle! UK-based wine brand Garçon Wines has given convenient packaging a pop, teaming up with UK packaging specialist RPC M&H Plastics to design a 750 ml slim-line wine bottle that is not only lighter and sleeker looking, but also sustainable.
Garçon Wines’s flat bottle is made from 100% recycled rPET, weighing 87% lighter than glass, yet is robust to withstand couriers or the postal system
Garçon Wines’s bottle concept is made from 100% recycled PET (rPET) and at 63 g, weighs about 87% lighter than glass, yet is robust to withstand couriers or the postal system. Additionally, the novel flat design makes the bottle 40% spatially smaller than a round, glass bottle of the same volume, and thus significantly reduces carbon emissions. An added feature is the oxygen scavenger for both active scavenging and passive barrier technology to give the bottles a much longer shelf life than other wine packaging solutions. US-based Naked Winery has also packed its Outdoor Vino brand wines in lightweight PET bottles from Australia-headquartered packaging company Amcor Rigid Plastics. Amcor’s shatter-proof and portable 750 ml PET bottles provide a differentiating edge for the Outdoor Vino brand, which is sold exclusively online.
Outdoor Vino wines are packed in lightweight PET bottles from Amcor Rigid Plastics
Moreover, Naked Winery reasons that Amcor’s lightweight and durable packaging solution enables its consumers to take the product with them anywhere they like, whether it is at the beach or when visiting friends. The PET wine bottles are compatible with twistoff aluminium closures, and come with a barrier coating technology that protects the wine from oxidation and provides a 12 to 18-month shelf life, Amcor said. Unboxing the possibilities The packaging type that one can consider to be least viable for alcoholic drinks, or any liquid product, for that matter, is a box. But with today’s technological ingenuity, anything can be possible. In fact, the market size for Bag-in-Box (BIB) is already worth millions of dollars. Bonafide Research in its market forecast for 2018-2023 projected the BIB revenue to cross US$390 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 7.65% from 2018, valued at US$270 million. Irish corrugated packaging company, Smurfit Kappa, is among the few providers of a complete BIB packaging system.
Smurfit Kappa’s BIB taps and connectors producer, Vitop, has introduced its new Delta tap
Packaging According to Smurfit Kappa, BIB is a low carbon footprint packaging system that features ease of use and provides extended shelf life for products such as wine, juice, liquid eggs, dairy and also non-food applications such as motor oil and chemicals. Launched in Epernay, France in 1977, the revolutionary Smurfit Kappa BIB packaging has continuously evolved over the years with the addition of innovative solutions including the Vitop tap, high-specification filling machine systems and Pouch-Up packs. Recently, Smurfit Kappa’s BIB taps and connectors producer, Vitop, also introduced its new Delta tap for high density products such as detergents, chemicals and oils. The Delta Tap, which holds a worldwide patent, has been designed to permit air to enter without requiring an extra air fitting and can be screwed on to rigid plastic packaging. Its inbuilt ‘no return valve’, prevents leakages. If external pressure is applied to the rigid container during pouring, an inner ball shuts air entry and prevents liquid from escaping. A measuring cap can be placed on the Delta tap to avoid any additional product wastage. Furthermore, the tap is spring-free, improving recyclability and the reduced number of components has made it more economical. Eco-friendly six pack rings The impact of marine litter on sea animals has reached an unimaginable proportion. Turtles, ducks, and other marine animals have, on previous accounts, been ensnared by fishing lines, nets and waste plastic fibres carelessly discarded into the environment. In the early 1990s, a turtle was freed from a sixpack plastic ring that was strapped around its already deformed body. This incident, as well as similar others, has served as wake-up call to brewers and packaging providers to take part in curbing marine litter. US Florida-based Saltwater Brewery, Delray Beach's first local production microbrewery, piloted the world’s first eco-friendly six-pack ring made from by-product wastes and compostable materials.
The Eco Six-Pack Ring (E6PR) is compostable and biodegradable. When disposed properly, it finds its way to a compostable facility. On the other hand, when disposed improperly and thrown into open land or a water system, the product will degrade in less than 200 days (depending on the ecosystem). In case of ingestion, the product also would not harm animals or wildlife unlike its life threatening plastic alternative, its founders said. Three groups are behind the E6PR, which was founded in 2017: We Believers, a co-creation advertising house dedicated to impactful collaboration and breakthrough creative work; Entelequia, a Mexican biodegradables supplier, and a group of seasoned investors in the beverage packaging industry. Meanwhile, Denmark-headquartered global brewer Carlsberg has launched an innovation that heralds its programme, Together Towards ZERO, which commits to zero carbon footprint and zero water waste. Its new Snap Pack is set to reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1,200 tonnes/year, an equivalent of 60 million plastic bags. The Snap Pack replaces the plastic cling wrapping used around Carlsberg’s six packs of beer with a pioneering technology that glues its cans together. A world first for the beer industry, it will reduce the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs by up to 76%.
Carlsberg has replaced its six-pack plastic cling wrapping with a pioneering technology that glues the beer cans together
Saltwater Brewery piloted the E6PR compostable and biodegradable six-pack ring
The global brewer has also forged a partnership with Danish environmental organisation Plastic Change to initiate other sustainable strategies, including a switch to cradle-to-cradle certified silver inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability. It uses a new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan and therefore reduce their environmental footprint; with new caps, which remove oxygen to make the beer taste fresher for longer, says Carlsberg.
Advancing the circularity of plastics New technologies are efficiently recovering waste to turn them into materials that can be used for useful items, says Angelica Buan, adding that waste plastic is a gold-mine for recyclers.
aste generation is increasing at a fast pace, and this could take a heavy toll on the environment. Quite literally, the worldâ€™s cities generated 2 billion tonnes of solid waste in 2016, according to the World Bank. This is about 200 times as heavy as the Eiffel Tower in France, or about 350 times as heavy as the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt! Rapid population growth and urbanisation are accelerating the generation of waste. A person is said to contribute 0.7 kg/day of waste to the heap of garbage. By 2050, the volume will increase by 70% to 3.4 billion tonnes. On the bright side, plastic waste can be tapped for valuable resources, only if efficient waste management practices are implemented. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Research firm Frost & Sullivan, in its latest report on the global waste recycling market, estimates the plastic recycling market size at US$37.6 billion in 2018. It is no doubt that recycling services have become a lucrative industry. Recovering valuable materials that will otherwise be lost in landfills is a winning cause for the recycling industry. Technology advancements, government initiatives towards waste product recycling and active campaigns to reuse waste materials are driving the growth of the waste recycling services, according to Future Market Insights (FMI) in its 2014-2020 global industry analysis of the waste recycling services market. Recyclability of materials is gaining traction across major sectors (automotive, construction, and others), amid the strong impetus against rising greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint. This trend, as highlighted in a report by the Global Market Insights, is steering the global recycling equipment and machinery industry towards the figure of US$1.2 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of Selecting a detectable 6.3% from 2018. black colourant enables the polymer to be detected by optical sorting systems, WRAP suggests
Trouble-shooting black plastic recycling Most black plastic packaging is not sorted by optical sorting systems that are commonly used in plastic recycling. Hence, most of them end up in landfills or are recycled into lower value materials. To help solve this problem, UK-headquartered organisation WRAP recommends that retailers, brand owners and packaging manufacturers use detectable black colourants, as a viable option to the typical carbon black pigments, to enable optimum recycling of black plastics. WRAP reasons that by selecting a detectable black colourant that enables the polymer to be detected by optical sorting
Recycling systems the packaging supply chain can enable black plastic packaging to be recycled into a high quality, high value material. The latter can be used as a substitute for virgin plastic in the manufacture of new items, and benefit the environment as well as the financial viability of mixed plastics recycling. WRAP’s work in partnership with key players in the retail supply chain was carried out in three phases, including the use of alternative sorting technologies and alternative colouration systems, as among the potential solutions. Novel NIR (near-infrared) detectable black colourants were developed and shown to look satisfactory in amorphous PET (APET), crystallised PET (CPET), PE and PP packaging food trays. Thus, the packaging can be sorted by polymers using NIR sorting systems used commercially in plastics recycling. WRAP said that the incremental costs of using detectable black colourants are anticipated to be reduced over time as demand and volume increases. In a related development, UK gourmet dairy brand The Collective is introducing a NIR colourant technology that could help the industry recycle black plastic trays and packaging. The original Collective lid featured carbon black and other pigments, which are not detectable to the sensors used by recycling operations.
THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL BEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY EXHIBITION
14 - 17 NOVEMBER 2018
Held alongside :
Featuring : PRINTECH CONVERTING PACKAGE PRINTING LABELLING
Yoghurt tubs feature the new NIR colourant technology
Collective consulted with UK-based independent consultancy in recycling plastics solutions Nextek and partnered with specialist additive and masterbatch manufacturer Colour Tone to develop a new black masterbatch. Thus, from now, the black lids on The Collective’s 450 g and 900 g yoghurt tubs will feature the new technology. On the recycling technology front, US equipment manufacturing and engineering company National Recovery Technologies (NRT) has integrated its SpydIR optical sorter with Max-AI technology, an artificial intelligence system that identifies recyclables and other items for recovery using a camera and neural network algorithm (NN). NRT’s SpydIR technology uses NIR detection to identify plastics, paper, wood and other materials by material type. Now, with the Max-AI optical sorter, it employs both detection technologies to create an optical sorter that is able to combine the information from each technology to deliver a unique sorting capability.
Ministry of Industry, Republic of Indonesia
Indonesia Woven Polyolefin Manufacturers Association
Indonesian Packaging Federation
The Indonesian Indonesian Packaging Food and Beverages Development Board Association
Association of Plastic Coverting Industry
The Soft Drink Industry Association
Indonesia Mould & Dies Industry Association
The Indonesian Olefin, Aromatic and Plastic Industry Association
Association of Indonesia Bottled Water Company
Menara Jamsostek Menara Utara Lantai 12, Unit TA-12-04 Jl. Jendral Gatot Subroto No. 38 Jakarta 12710, Indonesia
+62 21 2525 320
Indonesian Fishery Product Processing & Marketing Association
NRT has integrated its SpydIR optical sorter with Max-AI technology
In its initial installation at Penn Waste in York, Pennsylvania, Max-AI was integrated with a SpydIR unit that was designed to sort out paper from the pre-sorting to a container line. The unit was seeing a significant quantity of steel cans with fibre labels that were being ejected by the optical unit. MaxAI is able to identify these cans and suppressed the firing signal in the Patented optical unit to prevent formulation contamination in the fibre stream. Not only is Max-AI able to identify this material, but it is able to do so at speeds of 600 fpm on the optical feed belt. Thus, material quality increased dramatically as did the recovery of both fibre and ferrous cans. NRT President Plastic waste Matthias Erdmannsdoerfer commented that the company’s recycling capability is enhanced by SpydIR’s speed and confidence, while adding the criteria that Max AI is able to differentiate. For example, in a PET sorting application, while the optical sorter identifies the material PET, Max AI is able to differentiate between different PET items like a thermoformed tray, redemption container, foodgrade item, flexible plastics, rigid bottle and more. Thus, the customer is able to produce a product with increased value at a minimal additional expense without the need to add on labour. Debottlenecking the PET recycling stream PET renders durability, lightweight and recyclability advantages when used for packaging, including bottles, jars, pouches, trays, lids/caps and closures, and others. According to a report by Persistence Market Research, PET accounts for the highest share in the recycled plastic market by resin type. PET is easily
available in recycled waste scrap and it costs less, compared to other recycled plastics. Additionally, the recycling rate of PET is high, and is anticipated to be worth about US$10.5 billion by the end of 2025. In this same vein, Bangkok-headquartered integrated PET maker Indorama Ventures and Canada-based recycling start-up Loop Industries are joining forces to recycle polyester and PET to cater to the growing global demand from beverage and consumer packaged goods companies. The 50:50 partnership plans to begin production in 2020 and will manufacture and commercialise what it says will be 100% recycled PET (rPET) resin and polyester fibre. It is expected that Indorama will retrofit one of its existing plants in the US for the recycling joint venture, using Loop's depolymerisation technology, which breaks down the plastic molecules to basic monomers DMT and MEG that can then be used to produce PET. This year, Indorama also acquired French plastics recycler Sorepla Technologie, which has a capacity to produce 52,000 tonnes of recycled plastics/year, to improve its offering of rPET in Europe.
Loop's depolymerisation technology
Reprocessing mixed textile waste According to the New York-headquartered non-profit organisation National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the apparel industry is among the world’s biggest polluter, with its mills generating a fifth of the world's industrial water pollution. Notwithstanding the fact that the factories use 20,000 chemicals to produce clothes. It is not surprising that the fashion industry is starting to lead in innovating sustainable fabrics, using non-oil materials, natural fabric composites and energy and resource-efficient processes. Fashion retailer H&M, through its non-profit H&M Foundation, has teamed up with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), and opened two textile recycling facilities in Hong Kong, and piloted at scale what it claims to be a first of its kind hydrothermal recycling technology. The recycling technology consists of chemical and hydrothermal treatments, to recycle cotton and polyester blends into new fabric and yarns. Furthermore, a miniaturised garment-to-garment recycling system is open to the public.
Recycling Over the same period this year, a new preindustrial size facility scaling this technology was launched. The ultimate purpose of the facility is to encourage fashion brands and stakeholders worldwide to implement this technology within their own operations. Eventually, as the technology is scaled up and is made freely available to the industry, dependence on limited natural resources will be reduced, according to Erik Bang, Innovation Lead, H&M Foundation.
H&M Foundation and HKRITA started up a recycling technology to recycle cotton and polyester blends into new fabric and yarns
The H&M Foundation is projected to invest EUR5.8 million with HKRITA over four years, made possible through the surplus from the H&M groupâ€™s in-store garment collecting programmes, which is donated to the H&M Foundation. The foundation allocates 50% of the total surplus towards research on textile recycling and the other 50% to projects focusing on equality and inclusion of marginalised groups. Meanwhile, recycling specialist Starlinger has also embarked on a research project for the separation and reprocessing of mixed textile waste. The Austrian firm, which has already developed solutions for closed loop production in the field of polyester textiles, has joined three universities and eight Austrian companies that are involved in the COIN-project TEX2MAT. It is led by the Plastics Cluster of ecoplus, the business agency of Lower Austria, and funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW). The two-year project, which started in 2017, oversees the recycling of different kinds of old textiles that consist of a mixture of polyester and cotton.
The first step is the enzymatic separation of polyester and cotton in a procedure developed by the Viennese University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences; after appropriate reprocessing, the materials are reused in new products. The input material is supplied by the companies Herka Frottier, Salesianer Miettex and Huyck as well as Wangner Austria (Xerium Group), which are all located in Lower Austria. Starlinger provides recycling services and expertise to the project. To achieve an optimal result, regular controls of the material properties are performed by the University of Leoben. The project partners are working on specific case studies, namely, mixtures of polyester and cotton from the production of towels as well as old textiles in the form of bed linens and working clothes that are shredded by Starlinger and that then undergo enzymatic treatment at the Technical University of Vienna. The goal is to develop a sample process for closed loop production. Nylon non-wovens are shredded and turned into regranulate by Starlinger; compounder Thermoplastkreislauf then adds glass fibres, additives and/or colours and Austrian plastic product processors like Multiplast Kunststoffverarbeitung and Fildan use this customised material in the production of parts for fire extinguishers or bra fasteners. Starlinger says initial results of the TEX2MAT project will be made known at the K show 2019 in DĂźsseldorf, Germany, next year. The textile industry is growing, and the proportion of multi-material textiles, i.e., mixtures of various natural and artificial fibres, is steadily increasing. Society and lawmakers rightly demand rapid technological solutions for the recycling of this kind of waste in order to protect the environment and save material resources. Besides closing the loop from raw material to raw material, the project aims at efficient recycling that yields an end product with virgin-like characteristics.
Starlinger joined a consortium involved in the COIN-project TEX2MAT to develop a sample process for closed loop production OCTOBER 2018
Injection Moulding Asia Machinery & Technology at Fakuma
Technologies to be showcased in Germany To be held from 16-20 October 2018 in Friedrichshafen,
• Dow Performance Silicones will launch a new siliconebased slip additive for LDPE film that optimises form-fill-seal (FFS) packaging production. It will also showcase the Dow Corning HMB-1903 masterbatch, silicone-based, anti-squeak technology for automotive interior parts that reduces the coefficient of friction (COF) in PC/ABS components to minimise NVH.
Germany, Fakuma will have 1,800 exhibitors showcasing machinery and technology related to injection moulding, extrusion, thermoforming and 3D printing. Organiser PE Schall says the show this year, the 26th edition, is completely sold out.
• Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), IKV Plastics Processing Institute at RWTH Aachen University will present the latest injection-moulded and injection compressionmoulded optics, continuously produced optical film and optical materials and applications. At the heart of the presentation will be the production of a plastic freeform lens with micro-structured sections developed in cooperation with Innolite GmbH and Arburg.
Materials • Ascend Performance Materials will showcase a new Vydyne PA66 grade for automotive lightweighting. The R433H is designed to reinforce down-gauged steel and aluminium used in vehicle body in white (BIW) structures, helping reduce weight. It is said to exhibit improved energy absorption over traditional glass-filled PA66, reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and absorbing impact energy from crashes. Ascend will also highlight its newly acquired manufacturing facility in Tilburg, Netherlands, having closed the buy of compounder Britannia Techno Polymer. It is Ascend’s first European manufacturing base.
• Germany’s FKuR will be presenting the injection moulding grade Bio-Flex S 7514. With improved flowability and heat resistance, it is a PLA-based (75% content) compound, which has been optimised for efficient processing. Thanks to its good flowability (MFR =27 g/10 minute), it is also suitable for use in multi-cavity moulds and the production of parts with longer flow paths. The high heat resistance (Vicat A = 110°C), which is achieved without a hot tool, allows for shorter cycle times. It can be used in catering applications such as cutlery.
• With sensors in the car being important in assisting the driver, German firm BASF offers its resistant PBT Ultradur HR and PA Ultramid EQ for sensitive electronic applications. For NVH, it provides solutions made from the microcellular polyurethane elastomer Cellasto as well as glass-fibre reinforced PA Ultramid and the Elastollan TPU for top mounts, spring seats and other chassis components.
• Germany’s Kraiburg TPE will be highlighting two Thermolast materials for automotive interior and consumer applications. The new Thermolast K series FG/SF comprises several compounds in Shore A hardness range between 50-80 with surface properties for automotive interior parts, including adhesion to PP and good abrasion resistance. In the Thermolast K series for food contact, FC/AD/PA, the compounds boast adhesion to PAs. Naturally-coloured, these are available in hardness degrees ranging from 40-80 Shore A.
• Germany’s Barlog Plastics will introduce its Kebaform XFA POM, a low-emission material for vehicle interior applications. It also boasts a significant reduction in formaldehyde, and meets current formaldehyde limits, even in unfavourable processing conditions (temperatures up to 220°C, with a residence time of several minutes). • German firm Covestro will showcase a prototype automotive front module with a 3D, jointless and glasslike surface and without the classic radiator grille. The structure of the prototype consists of a film printed with a coloruful motif, such as the company logo, replacing the classic metal logo. This composite is then overmoulded with transparent Makrolon PC using film insert moulding technology (FIM). The flat surface and the depth effect of the PC create a glass-like 3D appearance. A transparent, scratch-resistant silicone hard-coating is also applied as the outermost layer. The structure can be made permeable to radar and LiDAR radiation, and also allows the integration of further functions like embedding heating wires for de-icing.
• Speciality materials firm Lanxess will have new PA6, PA66 and PBT compounds with a high level of transparency with laser light from the near-infrared range, especially for complex formed components that are manufactured in series by laser transmission welding. Also new is a halogen-free flame-retardant laser-light-transparent Durethan AKV30FN04LT, a PA66 achieving the best classification of V-0 (0.4 mm) inflammability testing pursuant to the US UL 94 standard. Adding on to this is a new glass fibrereinforced PBT compound that achieves improved results in glow-wire tests on finished components. 1
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery & Technology at Fakuma • Polyplastics has latest POM resin grades with low-VOC emissions for the production of automotive interiors, to meet the latest regulations governing the concentration of VOCs in interiors. It will also highlight its new Durafide PPS grade, which delivers improved heat-shock resistance for a range of automotive applications, plus the viability of PPS for bump-off moulding of automotive engine cooling systems. It results in an undercut that “bumps” in two directions Polyplastics will present the and ejects from the mould viability of PPS for bump-off without using a sliding moulding of automotive engine structure. The parting line cooling systems (mould lip) goes away, allowing for a burr-less mould. The company has also developed Duranex 457EV, an unfilled, high-impact PBT that satisfies the UL 2251 standard for electrical/electronics and automotive applications.
Arburg will have a number of stations at its booth to guide visitors to futureproof and efficient plastic parts production
Arburg will present its range of training courses and services using a hydraulic Allrounder 370S - for example the Arburg Remote Service ARS for secure online support. There will also be an example on the subject of predictive maintenance, which is becoming increasingly important as machines and components are digitally integrated.
• Production management of injection moulding is a complex activity that combines organisational planning and supervision. Taiwanese machine maker FCS Group first announced the iMF 4.0 (Intelligent ManuFactory) smart manufacturing system this year, and set up a demonstration factory at its Tainan headquarters to provide real-world solution for the industry 4.0 applications that are needed by injection moulding industry customers. The traditional injection moulding production management is based on handwritten record statistics, which is easy to derive many risks and cannot immediately respond to the problem, therefore the effect of production management improvement cannot be highlighted. The iMF 4.0 system is based on the cycle time management and introduces the concept of mould, machine and material management; and OPC international communication protocol to achieve instant display of overall equipment efficiency (OEE) information and abnormal message statistics.
Machinery • Under the theme of the “Road to Digitalisation”, Germany’s Arburg will have different stations pointing the way towards efficient plastic parts production. These include six new Arburg assistance packages, the benefits of augmented reality in service and the launch of its new customer portal. In digital transformation, it will have”4. set-up” that supports machine operators with set-up and parameter entry; “4.start-stop” for simplifying production start-up, with lesser number of start-up parts and higher production capacity; “4.optimisation” designed for product optimisations aimed at enhancing part quality and reducing unit costs; “4.production” to give experienced operators flexibility and freedom when programming functions; “4.monitoring” for process and quality monitoring and seamless documentation and “4.service” to allow direct access to the machine control system and via online support, thereby increasing machine availability. The six injection moulding exhibits in mint green, light grey and dark grey will also provide for a new look at its stand. This new colour scheme will be used for all its Allrounders from the start of 2019. For the first time, Arburg is showing the Allrounder 820H in its new design in a packaging version. The exhibit shown will produce four thin-wall IML containers with a capacity of 500 ml in a cycle time of around 3.8 seconds. Also new is the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) for a complex turnkey system. Plus, it will show a practical example of Industry 4.0 on elastic tension belt production and LSR moulding of micro components on an electric Allrounder 270A. The potential of the Freeformer and Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) will also be on view.
FCS first presented its iMF4.0 system at Taipeiplas this year
2 OCTOBER 2018
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery & Technology at Fakuma The production manager can promptly grasp the production status and rapidly achieve the purpose of abnormal production counter-measures, and Industry 4.0 mobile computing, analysis and optimisation, to improve efficiency and reduce waste, and achieve the management purpose of rapid production of abnormal measures. iMF4.0 can also be used to monitor the state of equipment in the global production line through synchronisation, to achieve the concept of off-site production management. With Over 40 years of technological developments and innovations, the overall performance of FCS machine has reached high levels of stability and reliability. Meanwhile, FCS offers optimised designs with differentiated features for the product characteristics of each specific industry. The company says its newly launched iMF4.0 system has seen high sales after its introduction at the Taipeiplas exhibition in August.
in combination with a Boy 2C S, cups made of NAS30 are first injected and then partially over-moulded in a second component by the additional injection unit in the same mould. The removal handling LR5 repositions the premoulded cups in the mould, removes the finished twocomponent parts and places them on a conveyor belt in the protective housing of the automation cell. • Germany’s KraussMaffei will show two new all-electric presses. A PX320 model will exhibit a patent-pending technology developed by Leonhard Kurz of Germany. This system allows two independent heat-transfer foils to be transported reel-to-reel through a two-cavity mould. The two in-mould decorating (IMD) films transfer the printed decoration to the plastic part under the influence of heat and pressure during moulding, with a servo-controlled positioning unit for each IMD film, which is integrated into the PX machine. The system uses sensors beside the films to read registration marks on the films for positioning accuracy within 0.01 mm. The double-IMD process will be supplemented with IML to produce a 10-in. HMI (human-machine On a PX 25-55 SilcoSet, KraussMaffei will interface) display show the production of LSR sealing rings with integrated electronics, black decorative frame, and scratchproof coating. Meanwhile, KM will also demonstrate its new PX25 model producing a 0.15 g LSR sealing ring with an intricate undercut, using a 12-mm screw, complemented with a spring-loaded check valve, in a 14 second-cycle.
• Austria’s Engel will make three premieres of machinery, all running in one exhibit: a larger 120-tonne all-electric tiebarless machine; a fully automated system for fast switching of mould inserts for small lot production; and expanded functionality of its e-flomo electronic temperature-control water manifold, which contributes to achieving shorter set-up times. Lot sizes of less than 1,000 present a special challenge in injection moulding. In order to economically realise a large number of variations, moulds with interchangeable inserts are often used. The system solution presented allows for a fully automated switch of the mould inserts within just one minute. Engel’s e-motion 170/120 TL machine will be equipped with a mould that includes the fast-switch mechanism patented by Braunform. The cell addresses the needs of customers who produce articles similar to each other in small lot sizes or with a high degree of variation. • At Dr Boy’s booth a new, large Boy 125E will make its world premiere. The two-component machine features a width of 470 mm between the tie bars instead of the previous of 430 mm. In addition, the maximum platen distance has been extended to 825 mm as standard for more space, for example when using rotary plates. A further advantage is a 25% higher clamping force, with a clamping force of 1,250 kN now available from the typically small machine maker. It will show a two-component application,
• US firm Milacron will demonstrate the Imfluxenabled low-pressure moulding process developed by multinational Procter and Gamble and marketed by its new Imflux subsidiary. The technology uses a low, consistent pressure to fill the mould while packing the
Boy is bringing out a larger machine
Milacron will feature the low pressure injection moulding (LPIM) structural foam process
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery & Technology at Fakuma melt and cooling the mould, thus achieving up to 50% faster cycles, reduced part weight, lower stress, less warpage and fewer sinks. Milacron says the process can be particularly advantageous for processing sensitive biomaterials. At Fakuma, a technical part on an allelectric Elektron EVO 155 press will be running with a two-cavity Imflux mould. The cell will show off a new addition of an adaptive process-control module to Milacron’s M-Powered package of IoT solutions. This module enables the Imflux process with a stable melt pressure and a variable filling rate that adapts to the part geometry.
a compact rotary manifold. The machine is suited for the integration of automation systems with insert feeding and finished part removal functions. • Member of the Brückner Group Austria-based Kiefel Packaging will display its Blowliner single-stage servomotor-driven injection blow moulding machine, available in three sizes. It features a vertical hydraulic Engel machine with up to 400-tonne clamping force and a clamping surface of up to 800 x 1,000 mm for (multilayer) preform production and a stretch-blow unit with a 40-tonne clamping force. Available with one to four-row blow moulds, each series of cavities has its own pre and main blow-off valve, so that the blow pressure can be set individually, making it possible to run different products using one tool.
• KraussMaffei member company Netstal will showcase its smallest model, Elios 4500-2900, producing 12-cm PP plant pots in a six-cavity mould from Glaroform. And to spice things up, the pots will be moulded in various colours with UCC providing the colour masterbatches. A Brink Automation robot will remove and stack the finished pots, in a cycle time of 3 seconds. The flow path/ wall thickness ratio is 331:1.
Auxiliaries/Tooling/Robots • Austrian recycling equipment firm Erema, its business unit Powerfil and sister company Pure Loop will be exhibiting in one booth. The exhibits include Erema’s recycling and compounding technology Corema; its anti-odour ReFresher (together with Intarema TVEplus machine) technology for odour-optimised premium recycled pellets directly from contaminated postconsumer material; proprietary QualityOn software for continuous quality monitoring of colour and MVR values; and Re360, its Manufacturing Execution System for real-time production and machine data. Powerfil will be showing its filter systems that are also suitable for existing extruders, while Pure Loop is presenting the ISEC evo, an integrated shredder-extruder combination.
• Japan’s Fanuc will be exhibiting the biggest of its allelectric Roboshot machines, the new S450iA with 4500 kN clamping force, a tie bar distance of 920 mm by 920 mm, a clamping stroke of 900 mm, a 1,300 mm by 1,300 mm platen size and a maximum die height of 1,000 mm. It also features a torque plasticise control – Precise Metering Control (PMC) 2&3 – as well as backflow monitor and AI mould/ejector protection. • Germany’s Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery will debut its compact high-speed IntElect S, the new allelectric machine series for high-speed parts. An IntElect S 130/520-450 will be shown moulding pipettes, in a cell with a compact system developed by automation specialist Waldorf Technik comprising 100% visual inspection for sorting the pipettes into the appropriate racks. Sumitomo Demag will now offer both standard and high-speed machines with all-electric drives.
• For the first time at Fakuma, Swiss firm Maag will be sharing a stand with filter manufacturer Ettlinger, which joined the group in January this year. Maag will be presenting a Primo 200 E model pelletiser from its WSG dry-cut strand pelletising systems for the production of cylindrical or micro-pellets. With a 200 mm draw-in width, it is designed for speeds up to 120 m/minute and a maximum throughput rate of 1,500 kg/hour. Its Pearlo 160 forms part of a new family of underwater pelletising systems, developed for the production of spherical plastic pellets, combining technologies from sister companies Gala and Automatik. Meanwhile Ettlinger will present its Eco 200 melt filter, designed for free-flowing materials such as PET and PA.
• Having shown a prototype of its new VPower machine at its tenth anniversary in June, Austria’s Wittmann Battenfeld will present it at the show. The servoelectric-powered rotary table as standard allows the injection unit to be converted from vertical to horizontal and vice versa even after commissioning. The absence of a central tie-bar enables central media supply from below through the rotary table or via the installation of
• Italy’s Moretto is displaying its Efficiency 4.0 supervisory and management system. It also has a new compact DPK loss-in weight dosing unit, while for extrusion its subsidiary Contex has a new DBK Gramixo batch dosing unit with continuous loss-in-weight control of extruder feeding. Also new are three types of hoppers: stainless-steel TM standard hoppers; TMC hoppers for hot, dried materials, and clear acrylic-TMK Krystal hoppers. In addition, several new products for mould
At Fakuma, a VPower 160/750 and a 1600-mm-diameter rotary table will be shown
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery & Technology at Fakuma cooling and temperature control will presented, including TeKo chillers/ temperature-controllers, dual-zone units with both heating and cooling capability, as well as integrated free cooling. Also new is the the DS mould dryer designed to prevent condensation or “sweating” in the mould area.
Moretto’s DPK dosing unit is a compact, loss-inweight feeder
feeder, which features lateral massage paddles that gently stir the bulk material and ensure mass flow without degradation. Different replaceable screw profiles are used depending on the bulk material handled and the performance range required. It also includes the hopper, screw, screw tube and housing as a single unit. Quick-release clamps secure this unit to the chassis and drive mechanism and only need to be released to enable any residual bulk material to be removed. • ProTec Polymer Processing is premiering its Somos Perfoamer, which implements the Plastinum Foam Injection Moulding process presented by Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid and Linde in 2017 on an industrial scale. It includes all the components Protec will for drying and temperature premiere its Somos adjusting polymer pellets, Prefoamer loading them with CO2 under pressure and then feeding them to any desired machine, which generally requires no modification. Live foaming demonstrations of the Perfoamer will be shown on an Engel e-victory 310/80 machine producing 42 g-bottle openers in a variety of polymers.
• Aquatech, a part of Italian auxiliary firm Piovan, will present its new Easytherm mould-temperature-control unit (TCU), with redesigned controls. The latter include a new tilted, 4.2-in. display with high brightness and strong colour contrast to ensure easy readability in low-light conditions. Easytherm incorporates the OPC-UA communication protocol, making it ready for communication with machines from different suppliers in Industry 4.0 environments with open standards. It also can be used Piovan will present its with Piovan’s Winfactory 4.0 new Easytherm mouldsupervisory software. temperature-control unit
• Tool maker Hasco is introducing a new hardened and tempered steel - steel 1.2714HH - with dimensional stability and wear resistance, good polishing and etching properties, and optimum thermal conductivity. Another highlight is the screw-in Vario Shot nozzle that allows ready-to-assemble systems to be designed and manufactured according to customers’ requirements.
• Automated IML solutions provider Beck Automation will present a compact IML system for yoghurt pots with a full wrap label. The system boasts a seamlessly integrated Vision System for optical quality control by Intravis, consisting of the IML Watcher, featuring several cameras and specific lighting units, enabling errors typical for the IML process to be detected.
• HRSflow will be demonstrating its Flexflow technology of servoelectric-driven valve gate solutions based on examples ranging from technical automotive parts to a thinwall laptop housing and an ultra-light tool box made of microcellular foam. The latter is based on the FoamPro foaming process from development partner Yizumi, and a Flexflow triple-nozzle hot runner system from HRSflow with back-injection.
• Coperion and Coperion K-Tron will present the ZS-B twin-screw side feeder for feeding of fillers and additives in powder or pellet form or cut glass fibres into the process section of the twin-screw extruder. It is equipped with the patented Feed Enhancement Technology (FET) that increases the material intake capacity in the processing of feed limited products by up to three times. For improved feeding accuracy of loss-in-weight feeders, Coperion K-Tron will be presenting its EPC electronic pressure compensation system. The main advantages of the new system include improved accuracy and reliability as well as lower initial cost and easier installation compared to traditional mechanical pressure compensation systems.
• French robot maker Sepro is showing a total of 22 robots, including eight at its own stand. It will have three examples from its popular Success range of threeaxis, general-purpose robots for 20-700-tonne machines, operating together with an S5 picker, with a three-axis design similar to Success. Sepro will also feature its latest controls including OptiCycle, a plug-in developed in open collaboration with a key customer to automate cycle optimisation, and Live Support, an app that links customers with troubleshooting assistance. Both function with the Sepro Visual control platform on new and existing robots.
• Brabender Technologies will exhibit its new Easy Change version of the FlexWall Plus all-purpose loss-in weight 5 OCTOBER 2018
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Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing
Strokes of innovation in medical technology The application of 3D printing in medicine and
A new 3D-printed implant has been developed by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The said implant, when injected in a patient’s body, could deliver a personalised dose of medicine to treat infections as well as ailments such as arthritis, cancer and AIDS. The project, led by Albert Zwiener of SwRI’s Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division and Dr. Lyle Hood of UTSA’s College of Engineering, is supported by a US$125,000 grant from the Connecting through Research Partnerships (Connect) programme. The design incorporates complex geometries to personalise each device to an individual’s ailment and takes advantage of the selective timing and release of the compound. The team will create the device with a specialised 3D printer at UTSA that can print biodegradable materials. This makes removal of the implant unnecessary, as it will simply dissolve inside the body when the treatment is complete. The implant is also engineered to trigger localised immunotherapy for cancer treatments. Immunotherapy enlists the body to attack cancerous tumours. The SwRIUTSA team believes that the device’s localised treatment capabilities can trigger the body to destroy the invasive cancer.
healthcare is transforming patient care and
improving outcomes, says Angelica Buan in this article.
he demand to increase patient recovery and decrease downtime is pressing medical device manufacturers to craft cost-effective, innovative products. Customisation of medical devices through 3D printing technology is one way of ensuring that individual needs are met. Its application in medical devices also enables better surgical planning for safer medical procedures. 3D printing is witnessing wider adoption in the medical devices sector, with the former projected to exceed US$2.3 billion by 2024, according to Zion Market Research. 3D printing technology helps in hip and jaw replacements, the creation of limb prosthetics and plastic tracheal splints, and other implantable devices. As well, it abets in the development of prototypes to be used by doctors when planning for surgeries to reduce errors. A 3D object formed from a digital 3D file is a computer-aided design drawing or a magnetic resonance image (MRI). In this process, a 3D object is created by constructing consecutive layers of material. Each layer is attached to the prior layer until the object is completed. Given its huge potential, 3D printing technology, also called additive manufacturing, has continued to advance from its stereolithography progenitor; and from its beginning applications as dental implants and custom prosthetics.
The SWRI and UTSA 3D-printed device, when implanted for localised delivery, uses specialised geometric shapes to control drug release and dissolves after treatment
For a drug to be effective, patients must take a minimum amount, but not so much that it makes them ill or causes serious harm. As a result of those limitations, someone who needs frequent doses of a specific medicine either has to take a pill each day or visit a doctor for treatment. To remedy this, the SwRI-UTSA team is working to create an implantable device that can deliver a controlled, personalised dose of medicine over several weeks. While the implant is ideal for cancer treatment, it’s designed to work with any type of drug and could have a significant impact on a wide array of diseases and ailments.
Tracheal splint using 3D printing technology
More effective drug delivery Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, advancements in medical care and technologies are helping reduce the mortality rate from the disease. 6 OCTOBER 2018
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Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing This acquisition allows DePuy Synthes, the orthopaedics business of Johnson & Johnson, to enhance its comprehensive interbody implant portfolio that includes expandable interbody devices, titanium integrated PEEK technology and now 3D-printed cellular titanium, for both minimally invasive and open spinal surgery. The EIT technology complements DePuy Synthes’s investment in the interbody implant segment in spine, including the recent introductions of the Concorde Lift Expandable Interbody Device, and in the US, the Proti 360 family of titanium-integrated Interbody Implants, designed to treat patients with degenerative disc disease.
The University of Minnesota researchers have created a silicone device that could help spinal cord patients to regain some function
Potential in implants to do away with amputations Amputations can be prevented with 3D printing technology. This is a positive development that has transpired from a study published in the Foot & Ankle International (FAI) journal. It said that 3D printing has allowed foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to use custom-made implants for difficult foot and ankle cases. It is found that implants offer a new approach to treat complex lower extremity pain and deformities, while employing the benefits of unlimited shapes, increased options in size, and less morbidity or complications. Researchers at the Duke University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery studied 15 patients who received custom 3D-printed titanium implants between 2014 and 2016 to treat poor bone quality, bone loss, and deformity. In each case, the implants were initially developed by obtaining a computed tomography (CT) scan of the patient and uploading the data to a software programme that allowed 3D manipulation of the bones and joints. From there, the senior surgeon and company engineers designed and approved the implant. The team spoke of the study as the “first to demonstrate improvement in patient-reported outcomes with the use of 3D-printed implants”. They said that injuries of many of the patients treated in this study would have required an amputation without this technology. The authors of the study suggested that 3D printing could revolutionise medical care, specifically in modelling for medical education and creating custom artificial body parts. The study notes that longer-term followup is needed to understand the longevity and potential complications of these 3D-printed implants. Along the same track, Georgia Institute of Technology engineers have developed custom-made splints using 3D printing technology, which were recently used for a paediatric patient. The seven-month old patient had congenital heart disease and tracheo-bronchomalacia, a life-threatening condition characterised by airway obstruction. The clinical team surgically inserted an experimental 3D-printed tracheal splint (that will be absorbed by the body) to open the patient’s airways and expand his trachea and bronchus.
New developments, synergies in spinal solutions Engineers and medical researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a 3D printed device that could help patients with long-term spinal cord injuries regain some function. Made of silicone, the 3D-printed guide serves as a platform for specialised cells that are then 3D-printed on top of it. The guide will be surgically implanted into the injured area of the spinal cord where it would serve as a type of “bridge” between living nerve cells above and below the area of injury. The hope is that this would help patients alleviate pain as well as regain some functions like control of muscles, bowel and bladder. Meanwhile, in bid to develop improved spinal treatment solutions, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, through its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH, acquired Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH (EIT), a privately held German manufacturer of 3D-printed titanium interbody implants for spinal fusion surgery. The products in this portfolio leverage EIT’s proprietary advanced cellular titanium, which consists of an open and interconnected porous structure designed to allow bone to grow into the implant.
Johnson & Johnson acquired EIT, a producer of 3D-printed titanium interbody implants specifically for spinal fusion surgery
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Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing The splints were created using reconstructions of the patient’s airways from CT scans. Although the novel device has proven its potential, it is still under development. Its safety and effectiveness have yet to be determined, thus it is not available for clinical use. For the aforementioned case, the medical team sought emergency clearance from the US FDA to carry out the procedure under expanded access guidelines. Bioprinted parts At one point in the medical history, the concept of lab-produced human body parts has raised heavy ethical concerns. Nevertheless, bioprinting body parts has gained acceptance as a cost-effective solution to preserving the quality of life in cases of impairment. The global 3D bioprinting market is projected to reach US$2.6 billion by 2024, according to Grand View Research. 3D bioprinting is used for printing medical instruments, prosthetics, and dental and bone implants, as well as in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Among the leading players in bioprinting is Aether, an American technology start-up and maker of Aether 1, the world’s most advanced 3D bioprinter. Aether’s recent undertaking is its collaboration with researchers from UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering to improve the fabrication process for 3D printing artificial muscles with soft materials. Aether will develop new techniques and algorithms to optimise Aether 1 and its computer vision features in order to automate the process of 3D printing soft robotic devices, improve print quality and ease of use.
Aether and UCLA Henry Samueli School researchers collaborated to improve fabrication of soft artificial muscles
The collaboration will focus on developing technologies for faster, easier, high-quality fabrication of soft artificial muscles and complex multi-material structures. A freshly completed major upgrade to Aether 1’s automatic offset calibration system makes embedding conductive materials easier than before. The system uses computer vision to automatically calculate precise offsets for multiple tools and tool types, enabling users to extrude multiple materials side by side without overlapping or gaps. Conductive materials like graphene or silver nanoparticles can now be easily printed directly into robotic devices, replacing traditional wires. Thus, it can be seen that the 3D technology is growing rapidly, for prototyping, industrial and medical uses.
Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Swedish polymers group Hexpol has acquired Kirkhill Rubber, a US-based compounder for the aerospace, automotive and medical industries, for US$49 million. Expanding recently into silicone and perfluoroelastomer compounds, Kirkhill has annual sales of US$46 million. Production in Downey, California, will be transferred to its other site in Long Beach and the production in Athens, Georgia, will be transferred to other Hexpol sites in the US. Facilities in Downey and Athens are excluded in the deal. • Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer, has taken up 100% shareholding in UK automotive service provider ETB that covers the southwest of Britain, to help strengthen its retail footprint in the UK. Under the names of Exhaust Tyres Batteries and Britannia Tyres, ETB runs 32 different locations, with 265 employees assisting more than 10,000 customers a month. • Munich-based chemical group Wacker is expanding its ACEO 3D printing services for silicone rubber, ploughing a single digit US$ million investment into a new US facility. The printing lab, to be opened later this year, is the company’s first regional 3D printing lab outside of Germany. It will be located at Wacker’s R&D centre for silicones in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and will complementing the ACEO Campus in Burghausen, Germany. • German speciality chemicals company Evonik is building
a facility at its Geesthacht location in Northern Germany, 30 km outside Hamburg, for a range of silicones and silaneterminated polymers, which it sells under the brand names Polymer VS and Polymer ST. It will start up at the end of 2019. A facility for filling tank trucks is also being built onsite. Evonik is also expanding its capacities for fumed silica at its site in Rheinfelden, which further processes hydrophilic silica to a hydrophobic variety. The investment will expand its capacity by 20% and will become operational in 2020. Hydrophobic fumed silica is marketed by Evonik under the brand name Aerosil.
• Michelin North America is reactivating its Earthmover tyre production plant in Starr, Anderson County, which suspended production in early 2016 due to declining sales. The Michelin “US 10” plant was built in 2012 and began operating in 2013. In the US, Michelin has plants in Sandy Springs, the company’s largest rubber factory in the world, and US 8, a semifinished rubber plant adjacent to US 10. • Tokyo-headquartered Zeon Corporation will establish a new subsidiary in Thailand, Zeon Chemicals Asia, for acrylic rubber manufacture and sale in Rayong province, and will have a capital of US$38.13 million. Zeon also has manufacturing capabilities in Japan and the US for acrylic rubber. • Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has inaugurated its newly constructed Innovation Centre in Stuttgart, Germany. The 14,000 sq m centre will
host the business’s global headquarters, its German headquarters and various global support departments, as well as a significantly extended R&D area and an IoT lab. • Italian chemicals company, Versalis (Eni) has opened a new EPDM rubber production plant in Ferrara, targeting the automotive industry. The EUR250 million plant involved constructing a new production line on reclaimed land and the revamping of the existing elastomer plant. It will increase production capacity by about 50,000 tonnes/ year. As well as elastomers production, the complex also includes a facility for LDPE and a research centre. • Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical Co will invest nearly US$1 billion to expand its production capacity of silicone monomer, the intermediate product of silicones, and various types of silicone fluids, resins and rubber end products at its main bases in Japan and globally; as well as strengthen its integrated production system. It will implement this over about a period of 30 months. The expansion of capacity for silicone monomer will be done at its facilities in Japan and Thailand, and in addition to Japan, the capacity expansion for its end products will be carried out at existing bases in six overseas countries. • Tyre manufacturer Continental has inaugurated the new production hall of its mould and container manufacturer A-Z Formenund Maschinenbau in Horsovsky Tyn, Czech Republic. AZ was founded in
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News 1965 in Munich and was fully integrated into Continental Molds and Machinery in 2015. The capacity expansion project follows Continental’s Vision 2025, which aims at growth and value creation. • UK-headquartered materials company Synthomer has started up its RM270 million nitrile latex expansion at its Pasir Gudang facility in the southern state of Johor in Malaysia. The company has added on 90,000 tonnes/year of new capacity, which is a 50% increase in the installed capacity. The company is already planning the next phase of expansion, which will take the plant to 350,000 tonnes/year. Synthomer has also invested more than RM1 billion in the last 15 years in Malaysia. The company’s most recent innovation, SyNovus, will be produced on large scale in the future at this new expansion to cater to rubber glove demand. • India’s Apollo Tyres has started commercial production of its in-house brand truck tyres from its Hungarian facility. Situated in Gyongyoshalasz region, it is Apollo Tyres’ second production facility in Europe, and sixth worldwide. The production capacity continues to be ramped up on a daily basis in this facility, and will reach the planned capacity for Phase 1 by 2019. • Sumitomo Rubber Industries has invested an additional R$153 million to increase its Brazilian factory’s truck and bus tyre production capacity to 1,000/day by 2019, to meet demand that is expected to grow by 2-3% per year. In
2016, the company announced the initial plan to invest R$312 million to install production equipment for truck and bus tyres, with a capacity set for 500 tyres/day. Located in Fazenda Rio Grande, Paraná, it started operations in 2013, employs 1,265 staff and produces 15,000 tyres/day for passenger cars and light trucks.
part of its Carbon Black and Coker Project. The project, which was previously put on hold, incorporates a coker that will allow Adnoc to recover highly specialised grades of carbon black and calcined coke. It can produce 40,600 tonnes/year of two different grades of carbon black, and 430,000 tonnes of high value anode grade calcined coke.
• Birla Carbon Spain, a key business of the US$44.3 billion India-headquartered Aditya Birla Group, is investing EUR5 million to up its production capacity of carbon black from 80,000 to 95,000 tonnes at the Spanish facility.
• US tyre company Cooper Tire & Rubber Company’s partner in the China-based Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. (GRT) truck and bus radial (TBR) tyre production joint venture will change to Sailun Jinyu Group Co. The latter firm has signed a share transfer agreement with Qingdao Yiyuan Investment Co. (QYI) to acquire QYI’s 35% interest in GRT, subject to government approval. Cooper owns 65% of GRT and has been a partner in the joint venture since 2016. Cooper also has an existing relationship with Sailun through an offtake agreement with Sailun Vietnam’s operation in Tay Ninh to produce Roadmaster brand TBR tyres.
• US-headquartered chemicals company Dow Chemical is investing in new investments in its upstream and downstream silicones franchise. This will include siloxane debottlenecking and efficiency improvement projects over the next three years to further increase capacity in Dow’s siloxane manufacturing facilities around the world; a new hydroxyl functional siloxane polymer plant in Carrollton, Kentucky, to increase its capacity in the Americas by 65% and a new specialty resin plant in Zhangjiagang, China. • Italian tyre maker Pirelli has closed down its car tyre factory in Guacara, Venezuela, and ceased all activities in the country after 28 years of operations due to the country’s ongoing economic reforms and spiralling inflation. • Adnoc Refining, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), has completed the commissioning of a specialised coker unit, as
• Under a deal touted as the first of its kind in the country, South Korea’s second largest tyre maker Kumho Tire Co has signed a tenyear technology transfer agreement with Pakistan’s Century Engineering, which is essentially involved in producing car batteries. Kumho Tire will transfer technology required to manufacture 28 different types of tyres for passenger and commercial vehicles to Century, and will initially receive US$5 million from Century and 2.5% of the Pakistani firm’s annual sales over a period of ten years.
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber
The billion dollar synthetic rubber industry Hit by trade wars and economic volatilities,
the automotive industry, like, hoses, cables, seals as well as window and door profiles. Analysts at Ceresana expect an increase of global rubber demand in the automotive industry by 3% per year until 2025. China, according to Freedonia in its 2015 global tyre report, accounted for nearly a quarter of the global tyre demand in 2014, and buoyed by the growth of its automotive industry, continues on this consumption trend years thereafter. A major driver for synthetic rubber is As well, the the rising demand for tyres acceleration of infrastructure in the country is a harbinger to the country’s industrialised production for key synthetic rubber types, namely, polybutadiene rubber (PBR), used also for tyres and other automotive parts; chloroprene rubber, used in cables, coatings and other automotive and construction components; nitrile-butadiene rubber, used for sealing applications, hydraulic hoses, other oil-resistant applications, and more. Other rubber types are butyl rubber, used for industrial, pharmaceutical and adhesives applications; polyisoprene rubber, used for tyres, pipe gaskets and other mechanical products; EPDM used for seals, radiators, and more; and thermoplastic styrene butadiene rubber widely used in automotive components, shoe soles, and others.
the synthetic rubber sector is anchoring in
the robust automotive sector to stay afloat, says Angelica Buan in this report.
he ongoing trade war between the US and China has escalated to the point that many industries are now nearly hanging by a thread. The synthetic rubber industry has not been spared from the fiasco, after China recently announced that it is levying a 10% tariff on various synthetic rubber and tyre products coming from North America. This is a reprisal from the US’s plan of exacting a 10% duty on an estimated US$200 billion worth of imports from China, including synthetic rubber and tyre products from China, and further increasing it to 25% by January 2019. That being said, The industry remains buoyant amid the impact of and amid US-China trade war on imports of synthetic rubber speculations products from these countries on how these banters would affect the rubber industry, analysts still have high hopes for the sector.
China takes the lead Touted as the world’s largest producer, consumer and importer of synthetic rubber, China’s output of synthetic rubber reached nearly 6 million tonnes in 2017, increasing by about 3.3% year-on-year, as cited by China Research & Intelligence (CRI) in its report on the Chinese synthetic rubber market from 2018-2022. As in the global proclivity towards a booming automotive industry, it is also China’s main downstream industry for both synthetic and natural rubber. The former accounts for over 70% of rubber consumption in China, with the main demand coming from vehicle tyres. From 2018 to 2022, CRI predicts that China’s tyre production will remain the driving force behind the development of the synthetic rubber industry, supported by the “OEM tyre demand from expanding automobile production, the tyre replacement demand from increasing automobile reserves, and the increase in tyre exports”.
Market takes the bull by its horns The synthetic rubber market is anticipated to remain bullish on account of a bustling automotive sector, and is predicted to be worth US$38 billion by 2022, research group Markets and Markets denoted. A major driver for synthetic rubber is the rising demand for tyres, globally, pegged to exceed by 4% to 3 billion units/year through 2019. Apart from tyres, footwear, industrial goods and other applications are steering the growth of synthetic rubber. During this period, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market will account for over half of total tyre sales, which is indicative of the fastest growth in demand. The most important sales market for synthetic rubber in 2017 was tyres, according to German research firm Ceresana. Synthetic rubbers are also used for numerous other products in
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Green tyres buoy up growth Synthetic rubbers for tyre applications are deemed to benefit from the windfall from a robust automotive industry. Specifically, styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), the most widely used type of synthetic rubber, is anticipated to cross to US$9.12 billion, growing at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2015 to 2023, according to a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). A cost-effective alternative to natural rubber owing to its abrasion resistant properties, SBR is widely used in automobile and truck tyres, as well as in many moulded rubber products. SBR in latex form is used as a rubbery adhesive in carpet manufacturing. The APAC region is anticipated to corner more than 30% share of the global SBR market, as it treads in the direction of undertaking more infrastructural projects, as well as increasing production of footwear and other fast-selling rubber goods. Following APAC in terms of market representation is North America, driven by its growing reconstruction activities. The latter’s aviation and automotive industry account for major share of overall demand of SBR, according to Half-Cooked Research in its latest global SBR report. Green tyres, as the sector gains traction, are attributed to the growing demand for synthetic rubbers. Green tyres are characterised by lower rolling resistance, lower noise emissions and good road grip, to cite a few. Synthetic rubber for passenger car and motorcycle tyres provides these qualities that are required to achieve fuel economy. The green tyre market, while still in the nascent phase of growth, cannot be undermined. It is predicted to exceed US$104 billion by 2022, growing rapidly at a CAGR of almost 11% from 2017, according to a latest forecast by Markets and Markets.
Zeon’s Thai operation joins its existing ACM manufacturing capabilities in Japan and the US, the company disclosed in a press statement. Arlanxeo, the Netherlands-based synthetic rubber manufacturer, will soon be taken over by diversified petrochemicals company Saudi Aramco after the latter purchases the 50% stake of its joint venture partner, German speciality chemicals company Lanxess. Saudi Aramco‘s Senior Vice-President of Downstream, Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, commenting on the proposed acquisition, said that the acquisition is key to Saudi Aramco’s strategy to become the world’s foremost integrated energy and chemicals company. He stressed that the acquisition will accelerate the company’s growth into C4-based chemicals including butadiene and isobutylene.
Arlanxeo has invested mid-double digit million Euro to modernise its production sites in Brazil and France
Arlanxeo supplies leading tyre and automotive parts to global manufacturers. As a fully owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, Arlanxeo is anticipated to enhance Saudi Aramco’s sustainability efforts to optimise tyre performance-related fuel consumption, which could potentially result in a savings of as much as 7%, and thus will complement Saudi Aramco‘s fuel/ engine R&D strategy, which is focused on increasing mileage efficiency and reducing engine emissions in the future. The transaction is targeted to be completed by end of December.
Major SR players are forging ahead This year alone, major players have moved to strike while the iron is hot in the SBR market with expansions and capacity increases. Japan-headquartered Zeon Corporation is establishing a new subsidiary in Thailand for acrylic rubber (ACM) manufacture and sale. ACM is a speciality synthetic rubber combining high heat and oil resistance. ACM is broadly utilised in under-the-hood automotive applications such as transmission seals, gaskets as well as intercooler hoses. The demand for ACM is expected to expand steadily in the Zeon has established a new Thailand Asian region, led by subsidiary for ACM. The company is production growth of a producer of HyTemp polyacrylate internal combustion and elastomers broadly used in turbo charged-engine automotive seals and turbo diesel air management hoses powered automobiles.
Pumping up investments In July this year, Arlanxeo also invested mid-double digit million Euro to modernise its production sites in Triunfo, Brazil, and La Wantzenau, France. As a result of the upgrades, the company says it will be able to produce the more advanced PBR types Nd-BR (neodymium butadiene rubber) and lithium butadiene rubber (Li-BR) for tyre and non-tyre applications in Triunfo in the second half of 2020. In France, Arlanxeo’s site of the world’s largest nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) facility, it produces grades that are used in the production of cables, seals, hoses, blankets, and soles for safety and athletic shoes, among other uses. The most important markets are the automotive industry, the construction sector, as well as oil and gas production and processing.
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Meanwhile, Arlanxeo is expanding production capacity for chlorophene rubber at its Dormagen site in Germany, to 70,000 tonnes/year that will be available to the market during the first quarter of 2019. The capacity expansion is being undertaken from Q2 2018. Its chlorophene rubber grades are used in the production of cable sheathing, conveyor belts and wetsuits, as well as in adhesive applications, and feature high weather, UV and oil resistance, says the company. Elsewhere, Indonesian integrated petrochemical company Chandra Asri and French tyre maker Michelin have recently completed construction of their joint synthetic rubber production plant, located in Banten province in Indonesia. The plant built for the two companies’ joint venture, PT Synthetic Rubber Indonesia (SRI), is dubbed as the first of its kind in Indonesia to produce material for environmentally-friendly tyres using Michelin’s proprietary technology. SRI produces PBR with neodymium catalyst and S-SBR, both of which are utilised for the production of the environmentally friendly tyres, says Michelin. SRI sources the butadiene feedstock from Chandra Asri’s subsidiary Petrokimia Butadiene Indonesia. SRI’s total production capacity is expected to reach 120,000 tonnes/year. Production commenced in late August, with first batch of the material shipped to Michelin for further production process, the partners said. Midway of the year, in July, Kumho Petrochemical also began adding lines for acrylonitrile butadiene latex (NB latex) at its facility in Ulsan, in South Korea, to boost its synthetic rubber production capacity to 550,000 tonnes/year. The expansion is scheduled for completion in March 2019. In June, US-headquartered oil and gas company ExxonMobil started production of hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin and halobutyl rubber at its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore, the company’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex in the world.
According to ExxonMobil, the new plants are targeted to enhance the competitiveness and strategic importance of its integrated manufacturing facility in Singapore. ExxonMobil’s Escorez hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins plant has a capacity of 90,000 tonnes/year and is expected to meet long-term demand growth for hot-melt adhesives used in packaging or baby diapers. The new 140,000-tonne/year butyl plant will produce premium halobutyl rubber used by manufacturers for tyres that better maintain inflation to improve fuel economy, says the firm. ExxonMobil additionally reported that the new plants will expand on the flexible steam cracking capability in Singapore, which provides a range of feedstocks for upgraded speciality products to meet growing long-term demand in Asia Pacific. The Singapore complex also includes a new cogeneration unit at the refinery, bringing the total cogeneration capacity of the site to over 440 megawatts, which will help reduce emissions and support more efficient use of energy. Meanwhile, plastics and synthetic rubber manufacturer Trinseo opened a plant for S-SBR in Schkopau, Germany, this year. The new facility is targeted to meet the growing demand for S-SBR and by the need for faster innovation cycles in the performance tyre market, Trinseo said. The production expansion adds additional 50,000 tonnes of S-SBR capacity to the Schkopau site and increases the company’s global S-SBR production by 33%. In Europe as well, Italian firm Versalis (part of the chemical group Eni) has opened a new facility in Ferrara, Italy, for EPDM to cater to the automotive industry. The EUR250 million investment involved constructing a new production line on land that was reclaimed and duly authorised for renewed industrial use, and the revamping of the existing elastomer plant. The company says the investment will increase overall production capacity by about 50,000 tonnes/year. Beyond the current line-up of expansions and partnerships, more of these are expected to push the synthetic rubber industry forward and above the trade wars and economic challenges. ExxonMobil’s 90,000 tonne/year-capacity Escorez hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins plant is expected to meet longterm demand growth for hot-melt adhesives used in packaging or baby diapers
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