業 界新聞 汽 車工業: 亞洲領先增長；新的發展 帶動輕型車輛的崛起
In this issue
Volume 32, No 233
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 13 汽車工業: 亞洲領先增長;新的發展帶動輕型車輛的崛起 16 Technology at Fakuma – In its 25th year, Fakuma, held in Friedrichschafen, Germany, has expanded to more than moulding machinery to extrusion and auxiliaries. And while it was a focus of companies from the European region for a long time, this year it will boast exhibitors from 37 countries 22 Country Focus – Thailand’s strength as a manufacturing and market
Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: email@example.com Senior Editor Angelica Buan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
base was a highlight at the recently concluded T-Plas show, co-located with Pack Print International and featuring six national pavilions
Writer: Mohani Niza Email: email@example.com
26 Recycling – The latest technologies and processes provide an insight
Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling
into what can be done to recycle waste plastics; and ways of keeping them out of landfills and incinerators
Regulars 概 要
2 Industry News
MCI (P) 046/08/2017 KDN PP 18785/08/2015 (034280)
6 Materials News
Printer United Mission Press
Supplements 副 刊 While safety, driving pleasure and aesthetics are factors influencing a vehicle purchase, the automotive industry is also committed to producing more fuel efficient cars, which is possible through materials developments Malaysia is revolutionising its gloves sector through automation and Industry 4.0
On the Cover
End-of-life plastics and what happens to plastic waste has become a topical issue. Sustainability is no more a buzzword and the development of technologies to reuse plastic waste has become an urgent agenda in today’s industry 業界新 聞 汽車工 業 : 亞洲領先增長；新的發展 帶動輕型車輛的崛起
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M&As • Germany-based chemical company BASF will purchase Belgiumheadquartered Solvay’s PA business for EUR1.6 billion by the third quarter of 2018. BASF says the acquisition will complement its engineering plastics portfolio to cater to the transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer industries. It will also strengthen BASF’s PA6.6 value chain through increased polymerisation capacities and the backward integration into the key raw material ADN (adipodinitrile). For the full year 2016, net sales of the business to be purchased from Solvay amounted to EUR1.3 billion and EBITDA of EUR200 million. • US-based industrial gases company Air Products has formed a US$1.3 billon joint venture with Lu’An Clean Energy Company. Air Products will invest a further US$500 million for a 60% ownership in the new joint venture. It will
significantly expand its scope of supply serving Lu’An Mining (Group)’s syngas-to-liquids production in China. Air Products has already invested US$300 million to build four large air separation units (ASUs) to supply the Changzhi City site. • US firm Sealed Air Corporation is acquiring Singaporebased Fagerdala Singapore, a manufacturer and fabricator of PE foam. Sealed Air will acquire 100% of Fagerdala shares for US$100 million in cash. Fagerdala, established in 1983, has 14 manufacturing facilities, employs more than 1,300 people in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and the US, and generated US$80 million in sales in 2016. • US adhesives firm HB Fuller Company is purchasing Royal Adhesives & Sealants, a manufacturer of specialty adhesives and sealants, for US$1.5 billion. Royal is expected
to generate US$650 million in revenue and US$138 million in adjusted EBITDA for HB Fuller’s fiscal year 2017. The company operates 19 manufacturing facilities in five countries, and employs 1,500 people globally. HB. Fuller is acquiring Royal from affiliates of American Securities, based in New York with an office in Shanghai. • Equity firm Navigator Group will acquire engineering company Sapal SA, Ecublens, Switzerland, through a share deal. Sapal is part of the packaging machinery division of the Bosch Group and is focused on die-fold packaging, with more than 6,000 installed plants worldwide. Since mid-2016, Navigator has been actively purchasing companies. Sapal is its third investment. • The merger between Dow Chemical Company and DuPont has been completed. The combined entity, known as DowDuPont, has three divisions: Agriculture,
Materials Science and Specialty Products. • Chinese oil company CEFC China Energy is buying a 14% stake in Rosneft PJSC, Russia’s largest crude oil producer, for US$9 billion. The equity was held by a joint venture between Glencore PLC and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, which paid US$12 billion last year. Glencore and Qatar say they will use the proceeds to pay down the debt they contracted to buy their initial stake. Glencore will retain a 0.5% stake and Qatar a 4.7% stake in Rosneft. • India’s petrochemical giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has bought Kemrock Industries & Exports of Vadodara (Gujarat) having won an on-line e-bidding process held by Allahabad Bank that led the consortium of 11 Banks to sell/ dispose assets of Kemrock. Reliance says it will now be able to enter the large and growing composites market in India.
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Plant Set-ups/Capacity Expansions • Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant has entered into a joint venture with Tiangang Auxiliary, a privately owned supplier of UV light stabilisers in China, in a multi-million CHF investment to set up a production facility in China for process and light stabiliser additives. China is one of the key markets for high-end process and light stabilisers, which include Nylostab S-EED chemistry invented by Clariant. The joint venture will set up a new facility in the Cangzhou National CoastalPort Economy and Technology Development Zone, Hebei province. • Chemical company Ineos will build a new 300 kilotonnes Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) plant in a bid to re-enter the European VAM market. The project is expected to cost hundreds of millions Euro and will be located either in the UK, Belgium or Germany.
• BASF will build a new speciality amines plant at its existing wholly owned site Nanjing Chemical Industry Park in China, which will increase production to 21,000 tonnes/ year. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in 2019 and will mainly produce 1,2-Propylenediamine (1,2-PDA), n-Octylamine (n-OA) and Polyetheramine (PEA). • US-headquartered chemicals firm Invista will deploy its most advanced ADN technology at its Butachimie joint venture facility in France. Owned by Invista and Solvay, Butachimie is the largest ADN facility in the world. The company expects to retrofit existing facilities during a planned turnaround in the second quarter of 2019. It is also considering building a new ADN plant in China. • DowDuPont Materials Science has started up a 1.5 million-tonne integrated worldscale ethylene production facility and an
Elite enhanced PE production facility, both in Freeport, Texas. Both units will continue to ramp up and are expected to reach full rates in the fourth quarter of 2017, with the ethylene facility to be expanded to 2 million tonnes, making it the world’s largest. The 400,000-tonne Elite PE unit is the first of four new derivative units at Dow’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana. • DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers is to increase production capacity for engineering polymers at its Shenzhen site in China, with an investment of US$42 million. It will install three new lines that will be operational by the end of 2019. It will support growing demand for speciality resins including: Zytel PA, Zytel HTN (High Temperature Nylon), Zytel speciality nylon and Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer. The in-house compounding of the latter is said to be the first of
its kind in the Asia Pacific region. • Chemicals firm LyondellBasell has started up a new 20 kilotonne/year PP compounding plant in Dalian, China, its third facility in the country. The company is the largest producer of PP compounds in the world, with 15 wholly owned facilities, including the Dalian plant, and three joint ventures in 12 countries. Currently in China, LyondellBasell operates PP compounding plants in Suzhou and Guangzhou. • Japan’s DIC Corporation will expand the production capacity for polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) compounds at its Komaki Plant, in Aichi Prefecture, with an investment of 800 million yen. This will increase the plant’s capacity to 3,500 tonnes/year, bringing its total capacity globally to 43,000 tones/ year. It also has plants in Austria (6,000 tonnes/ year), Malaysia (4,000 tonnes/year) and China (6,000 tonnes/year); and a 23,000-tonne/year PPS resin plant in Kashima, Japan.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Riyadh-headquartered materials firm Sabic has launched a PP pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and is also investing in a PP extrusion facility to be built at the same location. The plant will enable commercialisation of material solutions for industries like automotive, health and personal care, appliances and advanced packaging. • Solvay will begin producing high-performance NovaSpire polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymers in Augusta, the US, next year, to support its composite materials business for the aerospace sector. PEKK is used in thermoplastic composites reinforced with carbon fibres and in additive manufacturing/3D printing in a range of industrial applications. • US materials company Eastman Chemical Company will implement multiple projects to increase CHDM capacity at its Kingsport, Tennessee, manufacturing facility. This will occur over the next 18 months and will increase capacity by 15,000 tonnes. All projects are expected to be complete by early 2019. • Japanese chemicals firm Asahi Kasei has finalised joint ventures with China National Bluestar (Group) (Bluestar), a subsidiary of China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), for the integrated production of Xyron modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE), including its intermediate materials 2,6-xylenol and polyphenylene ether (PPE), in China. It will conduct an evaluation with final investment decision to be made by by March 2018. The expected capacity of 2,6-xylenol and PPE will be 30,000 tonnes/year and mPPE: 20,000 tonnes/ year. • Sweden’s Perstorp is investing in its Caprolactone plant in the UK, to upgrade its original monomer plant. The new equipment will allow for increased security of supply, says the firm. The plant upgrade consists of installing a new peracetic acid still and new reactors on stream 1, which was originally built in 1998. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.
Production of biodegradable materials, a work in progress Environmental wastes need to be managed; and non-renewable resources (like fossil fuel) need to be preserved. These are but a few of the basis why the industry has nurtured an appetite for degradable plastics made from renewable sources, says Angelica Buan, in this report on a roundup of the latest developments.
hen the first generation polyolefin starchbased plastics introduced in the early 1990s failed to deliver its claim of degradability, let alone break down faster than non-biodegradables, an important lesson was learnt, that there is still more work to be done to achieve a nearly perfect biodegradable material. Thus, experts and industry players are working together to discover more breakthrough materials that meet degradability expectations, with new materials developed to offer consumers a choice for sustainable products.
also preservered to keep the production in Sweden, and resorted to recycling and re-using of boxes as well as easy designed packages. In a similar vein, Italian TPE maker API, which was acquired by materials company Trinseo in July 2017, has introduced a broadened portfolio of its Apinat bioplastics for single-serve coffee capsules, in a respite to the growing production of non-recyclable capsules, expected to reach 17 billion capsules by end of 2020.
Green TPEs make the cut for cups and capsules With the ‘green thinking’ rooted among Scandinavian and Nordic countries, Hexpol TPE offers biobased TPE and now Wildo Sweden is using it in its Fold-A-Cup camping cup. Hexpol TPE says it is continuing to trial new and emerging raw material combinations and further test the possibilities of its Dryflex Green TPE compounds. Because requirements vary for each application, there is a need for highly customised formulations, it said. Together with Wildo, it developed a bespoke Dryflex Green TPE compound for the Fold-A-Cup and required it to display the correct behaviour during repeated folding and opening of the cup, to be flexible, yet rigid enough to withstand temperatures from hot or cold drinks. Other considerations were haptics and food contactcompliancy. Wildo’s history started more than 35 years ago when it developed the Fold-A-Cup and Camp-A-Box reusable outdoor utensils. At that time, it was pioneer in contrast to the buy and throw away-thought as well as the heavy options that were around. It has
API launched new grades of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics, including TPE-E and TPC for compostable coffee capsules. It says Apinat boasts mechanical and thermal characteristics during the brewing process and can easily substitute conventional plastics. The new grades are suitable both for injection moulding and continuous compression moulding. The US FDA and EU food contact-compliant plastic grades are based on 60% to more than 90% of renewable resources, API stated. It also conforms to biodegradability standards of the European Bioplastics Association and standards like EU13432/EN14995 and US ASTM D6400.
Wildo Sweden is using Hexpol's TPE in its Fold-ACup camping cup
Crustacean biomaterial subs plastic laminates Penn State University researchers have developed an inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications.
API has developed biodegradable coffee capsules
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A paperboard coated with the cellulosechitosan biomaterial exhibited strong oil and water barrier properties
The fully compostable material, a polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complex, is comprised of nearly equal parts of treated cellulose pulp from wood or cotton, and chitosan, which is derived from chitin - the primary ingredient in the exoskeletons of arthropods and crustaceans. Chitin used for the biomaterial can be sourced from leftover shells from lobsters, crabs and shrimp consumed by humans. According to the University, the environmentally friendly barrier coatings have numerous applications ranging from water-resistant paper, to coatings for ceiling tiles and wallboard, to food coatings to seal in freshness. It boasts strong, insoluble adhesive properties, useful for packaging, as well as other applications like natural wood-fibre composites for construction and even flooring. A key is the sturdy and durable bond between carboxymethyl cellulose and chitosan, two inexpensive polysaccharides that are already used in the food industry and in other industrial sectors with different molecular charges to lock together in a complex that provides the foundation for impervious films, coatings, adhesives and more. The polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complex coatings performed well in research, the findings of which were published recently in Green Chemistry. The research team says that the results show that the materials may be competitive barrier alternatives to synthetic polymers and are working to develop commercialisation partners in different industry sectors for a range of product applications. The work is funded by a Research Applications for Innovation grant from the College of Agricultural Sciences. Fluorine from living cells to bioplastics US scientists have genetically engineered a microbial host for organofluorine metabolism, allowing it to produce a fluoridated intermediate known as a diketide. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the diketide could then be used as a monomer for the in vivo production of fluorinated bioplastics.
The researchers said that natural organic compounds that contain fluorine are rare because living organism, with a few exceptions, do not produce them. Fluorine, an element that does not occur free in nature, is found in many agrochemicals, and about 20-30% of modern pharmaceuticals, ranging from antimalarial and cytostatic drugs to inhalation anaesthetics, blood substitutes, and liquid ventilation agents. Organofluorine molecules are also used in liquid crystals for displays, as well as ozone-friendly refrigerants and propellants.
UC researchers are developing fluorinated diketides for bioplastics
Given the potential for living systems to produce highly complex chemical compounds, researchers working at the University of California, Berkeley, aimed to manipulate the biosynthetic machinery in cells to use simple fluorinated building blocks to make new organofluorine target molecules. To construct the diketide biosynthesis pathway, the scientists introduced genes that code for three particularly efficient enzymes from a variety of other microorganisms into the bacterium, Escherichia coli. These enzymes are able to use fluorine-containing derivatives of their normal substrates. In addition, it was also necessary to introduce a gene for a transport protein that carries fluoromalonate, as fluorinecontaining starting material, into the cell. The enzymes allowed the cells to use the biosynthesis pathway to make fluoromalonyl coenzyme A and convert it to the 2-fluoro-(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate diketide in high yield. T h e r e s e a r c h e rs a l s o i n t r o d uc e d a no t h e r ge n e for an enzyme used by many bacteria to make polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are polyesters used to store carbon and energy. Biodegradable PHAs are used in the production of bioplastics for applications like food packaging and medical implants. The new, genetically engineered microorganisms incorporated the fluorinated diketides into the PHAs they produced, generating polymers containing 5% to 15 % fluorinated monomers. The fluorinated bioplastics are less brittle than fluorine-free PHAs. Controlled incorporation of fluorinated monomers could allow for targeted variation of the properties of bioplastics, they said.
Materials News making different types of biodegradable polymers for use in agriculture, medicine and general household goods. In this study, plastic waste is being converted into a pliable wax-like substance to which other elements can be added, turning it into a high-value, biodegradable form of bioplastic. Dr Iza Radecka, Reader in Biotechnology at the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Marek Kowalczuk, Professor in Synthetic/Polymer Chemistry, are currently carrying out tests on the substance.
Murdoch University scientists are developing biocompatible and biodegradable plastic use from oxalate, a major waste product of the alumina industry
Upcycling waste into eco-friendly materials Researchers from Murdoch University, Australia, have found a way to convert industrial waste into biodegradable plastic. The School of Engineering and Information Technology researchers Dr Damian Laird and Dr Leonie Hughes have been investigating an environmentallyfriendly solution for the use of oxalate, one of the major waste products of the alumina industry. “We are interested in finding a use for carbon-based industrial waste, which is currently stockpiled or is difficult to treat,” Dr Laird said. The study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, is inspired by the production of bioplastic from food waste and applying it to a toxic by-product of the alumina industry. The team, after sourcing an initial bacterial culture from a local wastewater treatment plant, created a synthetic wastewater to understand the conditions required for bacteria to convert the oxalate waste product into the biodegradable plastic. The research team is now identifying the suite of bacteria that can work in the process and examining ways to increase the amount of oxalate that is converted. The output will be a naturally produced plastic that is biocompatible and completely biodegradable. “One of our goals is to 3D print products for the medical industry such as stents and sutures,” they said. The team is also collaborating with Murdoch University’s Algae Research and Development Centre to look at using blue-green algae organisms that have a blend of bacteria and algae, to find a way to accelerate the process. Likewise, embarking on a similar study, researchers at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, have turned waste plastic such as old water bottles into biodegradable resins for medical and consumer products. Working with international partners, the university is pioneering what it calls the ‘King Midas’ approach,
Researchers at University of Wolverhampton are turning old water bottles into biodegradable resins
Used for the study are waste PE, which is a potential carbon source that could be utilised to make value-added biopolymers. The researchers expounded: “Bacterial polymers such as PHAs are a group of biocompatible, environmentally neutral, biodegradable plastics that can be produced by certain bacteria. The structure of the PHAs can be adapted for a wide range of medi¬cal applications, especially implants, including heart valve tissue engineering, vascular tissue engineering, bone and cartilage tissue engineering, as well as nerve conduit tissue engineering.” The university is working in partnership with other institutions and companies, namely, The Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials; Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Department of Chemical Organic Technology and Petrochemistry at Silesian University of Technology (Poland); Fraunhofer UMSICHT (Germany), University of Bologna (Italy), and UK-based recycling technology company Recycling Technologies. The list of new biodegradable research and innovations, however, does not end here, as the quest for the Holy Grail of biodegradables continues. OCTOBER 2017
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Technology at Fakuma 2017 Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Fakuma show will be held from 17-21 October in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Organised by P.E. Schall, it will set a new record this year with more than 1,800 exhibitors from 37 countries participating over a space of 915,000 sq ft. Materials • Kraiburg TPE will highlight a new development it promoted at Chinaplas this year, a new type of TPE for use in consumer electronics, for soft velvety surfaces and adhesion to polar thermoplastics as well as mechanical properties. • Teknor Apex Company will build a 15,000 sq m facility in Germany, increasing the manufacturing capacity of custom compounder PlasticTechnologie-Service (PTS), which it acquired last year, and establishing a new European centre for plastics R&D. Ground breaking will take place by next year and it will start up by 2019. The PTS/ Teknor Apex production activity now located at nearby Steinsfeld will be relocated to the new site in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, along with sales and marketing operations currently in Tauberzell. It will focus on TPEs and engineering thermoplastics (ETPs). • Sweden’s Hexpol will present its Dryflex TPEs for automotive interior applications such as floor mats, cup holder liners, fascia mats and HVAC components, boasting low fogging and low odour performance, including grades with results ≤ 3 in odour standards, such as VDA 270. For medical applications, new grades of Mediprene allow for solvent bonding of connectors, when applying solvents such as cyclohexanone. Meanwhile, Dryflex Green TPE family, with biobased content over 90% (ASTM D 6866), is targeted at household products, sports equipment, construction profiles and automotive mats. It has been range expanded to include softer grades, from 15 Shore A to 55 Shore D.
Hexpol will feature its Mediprene TPE grades for solvent bonding in medical applications
• A 50:50 joint venture involving Germany’s BASF and South Korea’s Kolon Plastics, Kolon BASF innoPOM, is building a new production plant for polyoxymethylene (POM), with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year, in Gimcheon. Touted as the world’s largest production complex for POM, it is scheduled to start operating in 2018. BASF says its customers are able to view the first samples of the new products labelled with the suffix “AT”, produced at Kolon’s existing plant, which will be identical to those that the new joint venture plant will produce. The first commercial quantities are also already available. • Dow Performance Silicones, a unit of DowDuPont Materials Sciences, will introduce a new technology based on the heritage Dow Corning silicone platform, for bi-axially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film production. The new slip additive provides a solution to common challenges in processing BOPP film for packaging production, surpassing standard organic slip agents in terms of performance, says the US firm. It is non-migrating across film layers and delivers stable slip performance over time and under hightemperature conditions. Further, the new product can help control costs, adds Dow. It will also highlight the 43-821 flame-retardant additive that is compatible with PA6 and PA66 compounds, and that allows a reduction in the loadings of organic phosphorous flame retardant additives with the same fire safety performance. Another new highlight is MB25-502 masterbatch for optimising throughput of high mineral-filled PE compounds used in wire and cable insulation and jacketing. • Leonhard Kurz will be presenting novel backlit surface designs, using an automotive door trim as an example. Kurz will show its patented backlit Besides design with depth effect surface finishes, multicoloured designs with a special depth effect will
Technology at Fakuma 2017
be presented, with a striking 3D effect as a result of the backlighting. The patent pending hologram technology allows a glimpse into the future of holographic design effects on control elements and displays. Most of the backlighting functions can be sensor driven, available from Kurz subsidiary PolyIC. • Plastics have proven to be materials of the future for optical devices, according to the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry, the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University, and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology (IPT) and for Laser Technology (ILT), all of which are based in Aachen, Germany. They will showcase recent developments in moulding of optical components as well as the construction of tools and mould inserts.
IKV will focus on injection-moulded optical components with microstructures
Injection and compression moulded optics, continuously manufactured optical film and optical materials and applications will be on display. A special focus will be the production of LSR micro-structured lenses. Because of its temperature and UV stability, LSR is particularly interesting for LEDs, with its flexibility and elasticity opening up innovative design concepts, according to the research institutes. Recycling • Austrian firm Erema will promote its Laserfilter, a continuous melt filter with screen fineness of 70 microns. Rheological optimisation of the breaker plate is said to offer a “gentler” filtration process. While the filter is said to be well established among recyclers of PCR, Erema says it has
now caught the attention of PET sheet processors. Laserfilter processes material with more than 1% contamination without any difficulty, says Erema. It is said to avoid dead spaces, which results in short residence times and prevents black spots with PET. Thanks to the newly developed discharge unit, melt
Technology at Fakuma 2017
losses are reduced from 1 to 2%. Erema’s new business unit Powerfil, responsible for the company’s filtration products, will be on display, too.
Erema’s Laserfilter continuous filter system will be shown operating for the first time
• Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen will introduce its latest melt filters for recycling of contaminated resins, based on the same rotating, perforated drum as the previous ERF and ECO versions. The first months of practical experience with pilot customers are reported to display up to 28% higher output for the same filtration quality and the same ultra-low melt losses, said to be half as large as those with other melt filters. • With its Micromat HP (High Performance) shredder series, Lindner-Recyclingtech says it has expanded its Micromat 2000 and 2500 systems. The new series features 30% higher output and flexible configuration. The rotor geometry has been re-designed to allow the knives to be used more efficiently per rotation, with an optimised Siemens control unit. Depending on the size and customer requirements, Micromat comes with a 132 or 160 kW motor driving the rotor with a speed of 105 rpm. The hydraulically operated maintenance door makes it possible to quickly remove foreign objects and allows for easy access to the rotor. Additionally, the internal pusher system ensures efficient material feeding.
Auxiliaries • Laser welding machine supplier LPKF Welding will demonstrate the welding of large automotive parts, such as vehicle taillights, using its PowerWeld 3D 8000. It can weld parts with dimensions of up to 1,000 x 750 x 400 mm. Meanwhile, InlineWeld 6200 can be supplied for stand-alone operations, while the TMG 3 tests the defined material parameters of upstream products, detects irregularities by measuring the transmittances of the joining parts and can thus provide indications LPKF will show a welding system for mass production of large welded plastic parts such as vehicle taillights
about the material quality as well as the attainable weld quality. LPKF says it calibrates TMG 3 according to DIN 9001, making it directly qualified for quality assurance that conforms to standards. • Swiss firm Maag will highlight the new Pearlo underwater pelletiser, designed to process spherical pellets, for compounds, masterbatches, engineering plastics, wood and natural filler-filled polymer composites, thermoplastics elastomers, hot-melt adhesives and gum bases, at capacities of up to 36,000 kg/hour. Another new product, x6 class gear pump, offers improved volumetric efficiency and pressure capabilities that allow it to be operated at reduced rpms, shear rates and temperatures, for reduced residence time and energy consumption, higher production rates, polymer quality and pump life cycle. Its CSC series screen changers feature a doublepiston design that allows tailor-made adjustment A highlight of the Maag booth will be the new underwater pelletiser
Lindner’s Micromat HP is its latest shredder series
Technology at Fakuma 2017
of the filtration unit as per the user’s specific process requirements while allowing the use of five different filter-cavity shapes within the same housing: circular, oval, arched, leaf-disc and candle. • Elmet Elastomere of Austria is introducing a new standard feature for its TOP 5000 P LSR metering/ dispensing system, which was introduced last year. To avoid workers accidentally mixing up the drums for A and B components, despite the labelling, Elmet co-developed with LSR supplier Wacker Chemical a barcode system. Wacker now incorporates a special barcode, in addition to the usual A or B label, on its LSR material drums. Elmet’s TOP 5000 P system will not allow the pump to be immersed in the drum without recognising the barcode on the new drum. Initially, the system is equipped with a hand barcode scanner, but it will be followed by a built-in, adjustable-height reading device. Elmet will introduce drum identification for LSRs, with standard barcoding
• A new plasticising system for highly filled glass fibre compounds will be introduced by Germany’s Nordson Corp. Exaloy comprises the Xaloy screw, designed with wave-style root geometry to enhance distributive and dispersive mixing and provide varying localised high and low-pressure areas, and nickel-based Xaloy X-8000 screw encapsulation for twice the abrasive and corrosion wear life than standard high-velocity oxy-fuel applied coatings. Also part of the system are Xaloy X-8000 barrel inlay liner that combines a nickel-based alloy with tungsten carbide for abrasion and corrosion resistance; and a valve designed for viscosity and flow properties of highly filled compounds. • Machinery and hot runner supplier Husky Injection Molding Systems has commercially released its Ultra SideGate Inline hot runner technology. The hot runner was designed and optimised for challenging
Ultra SideGate Inline is Husky’s newest hot runner for challenging applications
applications with high-balance requirements such as long, thin parts and is ideal for part spacing as low as 18 mm. By taking advantage of the optional individual tip control technology, moulders can ensure that their challenging applications have the best part quality possible. Husky says the new Inline option provides all of the same benefits and features of its standard Ultra SideGate, which allows for high cavity moulds with a small footprint, reducing cost while providing outstanding gate quality and offering mould makers added design flexibility. By direct-gating parts with Ultra SideGate, Husky says moulders can achieve significant resin savings, faster cycle times and better performance across a wider temperature range. In addition, the technology allows direct access to the individual tips without needing to remove the mould from the injection moulding machine, saving moulders time on maintenance. Other benefits include gate quality leaving virtually no vestige on finished parts (~0.05mm vestige), according to Husky. By allowing for the use of a single-piece cavity in the design of the mould, the quality issues that often accompany split cavity designs are avoided, such as flash on finished parts that can occur if the cavities are misaligned. This is particularly critical in the medical industry where safety is paramount and sharp edges can be detrimental. Ultra SideGate Inline is also ideal for complex applications that require technical resins such as automotive connectors. Another benefit is that it is simple to install and easy to maintain. Nozzle tips are mounted separately from the nozzle housing into one-piece cavity inserts before hot half assembly. This approach eliminates the impact of thermal expansion on tip position which can impact balance and gate quality. In order to minimise footprint to allow for maximum number of mould cavities in the smallest mould, Ultra SideGate offers pitch spacing down to 18 mm. It also includes Husky’s patented UltraSeal technology with three-year leak-proof guarantee. As with all Husky hot runners it performs consistently with a wide variety of challenging resins. OCTOBER 2017
Technology at Fakuma 2017
• Italy’s HRSflow will display a new family of screwin hot-runner nozzles for small parts, such as loudspeaker grilles, and for reverse gating from the ejector side. With a space-saving heating system, the nozzle-seat diameter has been reduced from 33-28 mm over the entire length. Nozzle lengths range from 75-450 mm with internal diameters of 6, 8, and 10 mm; offered with one or two heating zones and in Classic Line and Fail Safe versions. The latter has two heaters and thermocouples. Gating options include torpedo, free-flow, and valve gating. • German firm Römheld’s newly set up subsidiary, Römheld Rivi, will be featured at the show focusing on magnetic quick clamping systems suitable for high-temperature processes. M-TECS magnetic clamping plates can be used in working temperatures up to 240°C, making them suitable for processing rubber and thermoplastics such as PEEK or polyphenylene sulphone (PPSU). Römheld Rivi claims it is the only company in the world with magnetic clamping plates that can be used at such high temperatures. It says that in continuous use, PEEK can be used at temperatures up to 260°C, and the smelting process only starts at approximately 335°C. Robots • Austria’s Engel will present its Viper 20 speed robot, boasting 30% improved performance compared with Viper 20 and targeted at the packaging and medical sectors for small to mid-size machines. It will be seen working in tandem with an Engel multiaxis robot to remove cups from a conveyor belt and stacking them. Typical applications include the production of food containers or sample cups for medical analysis. • Wittmann Group will introduce a second model in its Primus series for less challenging pick-and-place applications to add on to the Primus 16, which was introduced at K2016 show for machines ranging from 120-250 tonnes. Targeted at machines from 50-150 tonnes, Primus 14 has an optimised design to fit the compact control cabinet. It comes with a horizontal axis 900-2,000-mm long, vertical stroke up to 1,000 mm, and strip stroke of 440 mm. Wittmann’s second new linear servo robot will be the new WX series hybrid line developed for the white goods and household goods sectors. The WX163 has a payload capacity of 45 kg and combines the steel and aluminium frame components of the W8 and W8 pro series, respectively. • Germany’s KraussMaffei will premiere its LRX 100, part of a new generation of small linear robots that feature a new design with a decentralised control
KraussMaffei will display its latest linear robot line
cabinet and freestanding X-axis. The German firm says its new series offers flexibility in processes such as simple retrofitting of sensors or expansion of media circuits. Rack-and-pinion drives are used in place of toothed belts for fast, high-precision movements in all axes. The removal gripper is 3D-printed and thus lightweight and designoptimised. Extrusion Machinery • In the past, blown film producers were struggling over many years with wave phenomena and surfaces not perfectly plane. Especially stiffer films containing HDPE or PP are affected by these problems, which frequently also occur in the production of barrier films. Reifenhäuser Blown Film offers the right solution with its Evolution Ultra Flat haul-off, which allows the production of films of considerably improved flatness and ensures better printability and lamination capability.
Reifenhäuser’s Evolution Ultra Flat haul-off allows the production of films with considerably improved flatness
The secret of the new optimised film flattening system is mainly its position within the process. While in the past flattening systems were arranged just in front of the winder, EVO Ultra Flat is installed
Technology at Fakuma 2017
exactly at the point where optimum processing conditions are available for flattening the web, that means upstream between the haul-off nip roll assembly and turner bar system. This arrangement offers the following advantages: At this stage of the process the film has still a temperature of over 50°C and is thus not fully crystallised. Stretching of the film is not only much easier while it is still flexible, but also more energy efficient than all other commonly available systems used at the end of the process. Further benefits are low investment costs and high functionality and flexibility: four heating-cooling rolls and two nip rolls designed for independent speed and temperature control allow producers to obtain the desired flattening effect. In this way, it is possible to obtain optimum results with different raw materials and film thicknesses. In addition, sagging of the web can be reduced by a targeted control of the rolls. Reifenhäuser says flatness of lamination and barrier films can be improved by up to 40% while sagging of the web can be reduced by up to 90%. The technology is well established in the market to tje extent that about 70% of all relevant new Reifenhäuser lines are equipped with EVO Ultra Flat.
via the Procontrol operator panel of the Filmex II. An automatic mode always selects the optimum operation. The use of a second cooling circuit allows it to handle different process temperatures. A highlight of Filmex II, launched at the K2016, was the Film Performance Monitor, a system that enables integrated data processing throughout the entire process chain from the extrusion to the application and ensures consistent quality, in line with W&H’s Packaging 4.0 approach. • Lithium-Ion batteries are an important part of the growing electromobility sector, whether in e-bikes, electric cars, e-scooters or as energy storage units, for example in portable electronic devices such as notebooks or smartphones. In the batteries themselves the separator film is crucial for function, capacity, charging time and service life. For Brückner Maschinenbau of Siegsdorf, Germany, this technical film is a relatively new business.
• Combining economy and sustainability is a challenge for cast film manufacturers with energy consumption having a major influence on both these factors. The melting process consumes the largest portion of energy during cast film production and cooling is a close second. As such, Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) offers automated cooling technology with the Filmex II cast film extrusion line to reduce the energy costs for cooling by up to 70%. It consists of a combination of a free cooler, a system using low external air temperatures, and a chiller. The system is controlled centrally Brückner has made a Tesla model, which is 100% electric, quick to charge and has a range of over 500 km, part of its fleet
W&H offers automated cooling technology with the Filmex II cast film line to reduce energy costs for cooling by up to 70%
In order to produce the high quality battery separator film (BSF), the company offers various process technologies, like the patented Evapore process as well as lines and components for the wet process. Several lines for the production of BSF have already been sold in the last few years, with several already in operation. Brückner says its solutions are now starting to take off, after investing in the business for the last ten years. It says that this year, up until September, it has sold ten lines with a total value of over EUR130 million to producers in various Asian countries. And with several recently announced purely electrically powered vehicles from the European automobile industry, it expects the set up of production facilities in Europe for batteries and the corresponding separator film. OCTOBER 2017
Thailand: a tiger economy in an era of innovation Thailand is relentlessly asserting its claim as Asia’s key technologyefficient manufacturing spot, with its latest laurel – a twostep leap to becoming the 32nd most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global competitiveness index. The T-Plas trade show, held in Bangkok in September, also highlighted Thailand’s strength as a manufacturing and market base. It was co-located with Pack Print International and featured six national pavilions.
Barot of Mamata was enthusiastic about the Thai packaging sector
he second largest economy in the ten-nation ASEAN, Thailand is ardent in its pursuit to becoming, or shall we say, maintaining its Asian powerhouse standing. The Thailand 4.0 initiative, for example, where the manufacturing ecosystem will be hinged to technology and innovation, gives a worm’s eye view of the bigger, rosier economic picture Thailand is painting. The country’s economy is pillared on its strong sectors like automotive, electronics, consumer goods, building and construction, aerospace and more, with its economy growing 3.7% year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, from 3.3% during the first quarter. It has also seen an exponential growth in domestic spending in recent years, posting a growth of 3.3% yearon-year. Lucrative market for plastics Plastic products are one of Thailand’s top five exports, according to Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of Singapore-based Messe Düsseldorf Asia (MDA), which organised the recently concluded T-Plas. Speaking at the opening ceremony, he said this was “a harbinger for innovation and technological advances in the country”, thus the need for new technology. This was echoed by most of the exhibitors at the show. Austrian recycling machine manufacturer Erema said the company was promoting new technology for the Thai market as was German extrusion machinery maker Reifenhäuser. Managing Director of Reifenhäuser Singapore, Juergen Rehkopf, said that the demand for plastic products is prodding the upgrading of machinery. He added, “We notice there is a Rehkopf says Reifenhäuser general trend for more quality expects higher end lines to be films, and more customers are now taken up in Thailand considering five-layer PE structures (from the normal three-layers).” Rehkopf said there had been “a lot of requests for new equipment”, like the new Evolution Ultra Flat haul-off for producing films with improved flatness, enabling better printability and lamination capability. Seeing trends in packaging and labelling Exhibiting for the first time at T-Plas, India’s Mamata Machinery has an eye on the Thai packaging sector. Abhishek Barot, Sr Sales Executive (Export), said several potential customers had conveyed interest in the company’s blown film and converting lines.
Country Focus Romain Reyre, President for Southeast Asia of Austriaheadquartered injection moulding machine maker Engel, told PRA that most visitors to the booth were from the packaging industry. He added, “We see that the packaging industry is continuing to grow and there is strong interest for in-mould labelling Reyre of Engel noted the (IML) and energy saving growing interest for IML and targets.” Engel showcased energy saving targets a fully electric e-mac 440/180, demonstrating the production of oval bowls for convenience meals, using a four-cavity mould with IML, running a 4.5 second-cycle time. “This highly energyefficient machine can be used for general applications across various industries, such as packaging, medical and technical moulding,” Reyre said, adding that Engel’s inject 4.0, is the company’s response to Thailand’s imminent digital transformation. As well, Reyre said that while the medical industry is receiving a great deal of attention, he averred that this sector still needs time to grow. “Overall, the packaging industry should be more active than the others,” he opined. In a similar vein, Jessie Hsu, Sales Representative of Chuan Lih Fa (CLF), Taiwanese injection moulding machinery supplier, said that visitors were swarming to the adjacent exhibition hall where printing and labelling machines were shown. Nevertheless, she added, “Business in Thailand has been slow for the last three years, further burdened by a stronger dollar and weaker baht. (This Hsu of CLF expects sales to be situation) has affected our challenging opportunity to export, and some users buying machines from Europe or Japan have made the last two to three years challenging for us.” Foray into automotive and aerospace, a boon At the onset of the year, Thailand’s exports in the automotive sector turned soft amid a rattled economy. But the country, dubbed Detroit of the East, has bounced back. Citing the Thai Automotive Industry Association’s (TAIA) data, domestic sales and exports in January were pegged at 57,254 units and 80,087 units, respectively; falling against sales and exports of December 2016 totalling 86,858 and 86,120, respectively. By August 2017,
TAIA said the country’s domestic vehicle (passenger and commercial) sales totalled 67,965 units and exports were 102,907 units, up from the previous month (July)’s 65,178 sold units and 90,015 exports. Engel’s Reyre noted the same view. “Thailand’s automotive industry has been quiet but it has slowly picked up. We expect demand for new machines in this sector to increase, to support the anticipated increase in automotive production capacity.” Meanwhile, German thermoforming machinery maker Geiss is upbeat. “The automotive and aerospace markets are favourable, compared to those in the rest of Southeast Asia,” Ankit Kapoor, Regional Head of Geiss told PRA. “Almost half of Geiss’s turnover is from the automotive sector, and considering that there are a number of major Japanese companies in Thailand, we have gained quite a few customers,” he said, adding that Thailand’s aerospace sector also shows potential as a high-growth niche market. The country’s air transportation sector is enjoying brisk business, owing to its bustling tourism industry, as well as air travel driven by a rise in disposable incomes and offers of affordable airfares. According to the Thai Board of Investments (BOI) August 2017 report, the country’s air traffic is to expand 3.4%/year for the next 20 years to reach 7 billion passengers by 2034, thrice faster than the global market. Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan’s Asia Pacific aerospace infographic shows that Thailand's aircraft fleet is likely to increase to more than 800 by 2037, growing at a CAGR of 4.8%. Sturdy ground for building and infrastructure The WEF, in its recent survey of economies, underscored Thailand’s achievements on infrastructure projects. The country’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative, which is expected to mould it into a trade and manufacturing titan, is expected to be completed by 2021. The EEC’s US$43 billion estimated allocation will cover four core areas: infrastructure; business, industrial clusters and innovation hubs; tourism; and new cities through smart urban planning. Evidently, the project will boost the building and infrastructure sectors. For first time exhibitor, Schuerrer of Greiner says the Greiner, a supplier of company expects to enjoy the extrusion lines for profile spills of the growth from the extrusion, it is at the right construction sector place and at the right time for a potential windfall from these sectors, said General Manager Oliver Schuerrer. “We are currently growing our customer network, even though it is competitive,” he said, adding that the company will require an estimated two years to achieve its target.
Country Focus It also has a biotechnology and medical devices unit, Greiner Bio-One, located in Thailand. In Asia, the Austria-headquartered firm has offices in South Korea, China, Japan, and India, which Schuerrer mentioned as a strong market, besides a presence in Europe and the US. Meanwhile, Bangkokheadquartered petrochemical firm SCG Chemicals’s Wire and Cable (W&C) division Chongcharoen, SCG, says was exhibiting at the the company is marketing adjacent Wire and Tube its compounds for Asian Southeast Asia show, also infrastructure sectors organised by MDA. Saksit Chongcharoen, SCG’s Domestic Sales Manager-PVC Compound, mentioned that the company is already a stalwart in Thailand, and is ready to explore opportunities in other Asian markets. “There is high demand for power and telecommunications cables used in building and infrastructure in the Asian region. From Thailand, we are able to serve markets like China and India. But we find that India has many local compounders, thus, it is difficult to penetrate,” Chongcharoen said. He added that Thailand’s wire/cable market is hinged on private developments like condominiums and department stores; and government projects. “This year, investments in government projects have increased and this augurs well, whereas, investments by the private sector have slowed, making it a challenging time for the building sector.” Nevertheless, he deems that this setback is temporary. Accessing opportunities in white goods The booming property development and real estate markets, including condominiums and stand-alone housing, are bolstering demand for consumer appliances in Thailand, according to Euromonitor International’s 2016 country report. Along with an increasing disposable income, political stability, and economic stimulus package by the government, the advent of new property development are buoying consumer confidence. Geiss’s Kapoor confirmed a potent opportunity for white goods, such as refrigerators and washing machines. “We have supplied more than 17 machines to a Thai customer that makes refrigerators,” he said. This was opined by another exhibitor, Austriaheadquartered machine manufacturer Wittmann Battenfeld, which has a Thai subsidiary that was set up in 2004. Florian Herbst, Area Sales Manager, referred to the challenge of positioning in the market amid competition. “Over the last few years, it was a little tough but we are getting hold of the market,” he said, alluding to a competitive footing with Japanese machine suppliers. Japan established diplomatic relations with Thailand in September 1887, and formed a Japan-Thailand Economic
Partnership Agreement in late 2007, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Trade value from Japan amounted to about 3 billion yen in 2016. Currently, there are over 4,500 Japanese companies in Thailand. “There are a number of Japanese firms in Thailand that prefer Japanese equipment, and this thus has created stiff competition for European equipment. Since our production is in Europe, our lead time is also longer.” When asked what advantage a Japanese counterpart has, Herbst said, “They have the 'Asian mind' and that is their edge. But we are able to offer a broad range of options and flexibility to build machinery according to customer specifications.” Herbst of Wittmann He added that with the Battenfeld said the trend for more sophisticated company had to compete automated and technical with Japanese machine machinery, Europeans are makers in Thailand able to “compensate (the setback) with our technical and specified equipment.” Positive outlook, sectors drive growth Though it all looks rosy in Thailand, it has its flaws, too. The WEF report pointed out that the country’s competitiveness is marred by several conditions including bureaucracy, insufficient capacity to innovate, lack of skilled workforce, and tax policies, to name few. Nevertheless, exhibitors interviewed at T-Plas are willing to chance it. “Thailand is a strong market,” said Corné Verstraten, CSO/ Verstraten of Dr Collin says the Joint Partner of Germany- company had a higher turnover headquartered Dr Collin. this year in Thailand The company, which develops pilot and laboratory lines for processing companies as well as for research institutes, is tapping Thailand’s manoeuvre towards innovation. “Our Thai agent LMS Instruments has generated a higher turnover of about 10%-12% (this year), which is quite good.” Geiss’s Kapoor said that next to China, Thailand is a “very strong country in the entire region”, owing to its expansive industries. Engel’s Reyre conjured a bright market outlook for Thailand. “In the coming years, we expect that GDP will improve and the automotive and packaging industries will grow,” he said, rounding off an overall favourable sentiment for the Thai market. OCTOBER 2017
No-waste solutions for waste plastics This article by Angelica Buan provides a roundup of the latest technologies and processes that suggest landfills, incinerators and the curb side are no place for waste plastics.
ecycling, a waste reduction strategy, is an important activity in the industry’s bid to reduce oil usage and carbon footprint, as well as recover valuable materials. In other words, sustainability will be driving the growth for recycled plastics in key industries, including packaging, consumer goods, textiles, construction, and furniture; with the list of applications growing as new postconsumer waste materials are developed. Despite this cognisance for sustainability, recycling remains at a conservative level. The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing Action, a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Ellen As much as 20% of plastic packaging could be profitably reused MacArthur Foundation (EMF), cited that the current and 50% can be recycled if improvements are made to designs and after-use systems, said environment organisations recycling rate stands at 14%. The action plan backed by over 40 industry leaders from the global plastics value chain targets to increase recycling to over 70% of total plastic packaging. “As much as 20% of plastic packaging could be profitably re-used and 50% of plastic packaging could be profitably recycled if improvements are made to the designs as well as afteruse systems,” according to the environmental organisations. Nonetheless, the remaining 30% of bulk of plastic packaging (by weight), or 10 billion garbage bags/year that are heading to landfills and incinerators, require “fundamental redesign and innovation”, or else they will never be recycled. While the basis of waste management requires conscientious human participation in the waste disposal process that includes recycling, reusing and recovery of materials, technologies can significantly aid in waste management efforts. Mechanical as well as chemical methods of recycling are just a few of the promising technologies that industries are exploring.
Agilyx's and Ineos's chemical recycling process can convert PS wastes into virgin, high-quality styrenic polymers for foodrelated uses
Treating hard-to-recycle materials with chemicals Hard to recycle plastics do not have to hamper material recovery goals. Polystyrene (PS) wastes, for example, can be depolymerised using chemical recycling process being developed by US-based Agilyx Corporation, an environmental technology firm, and styrenics supplier Ineos Styrolution. The companies recently inked a joint agreement for the development of a chemical recycling process in the US. With the technology, PS wastes are able to be recycled into virgin, high-quality styrenic polymers for food-related uses.
Recycling PS wastes vary in ease of recyclability. The rigid PS type is easier to recycle, since it is merely composed of PS resin with no air bubbles added. Thus, rigid PS can be melted and moulded into new products. On the other hand, expanded polystyrene (EPS) is more stubborn to recycle, or less efficiently to do so, due to its composition of 98% air and only 2% resin material. Likewise, offering a chemical-based solution, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, has formulated modifiers that facilitate hard-to-recycle packaging formats to enter the recycling stream. Dow says its Retain polymer modifiers allow converters to recycle barrier film trim back into film production without sacrificing optical or physical properties. Dow, a founding member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance (a global initiative led by the US non-profit organisation, Ocean Conservancy), is working with flexible packaging manufacturer Bemis Company and Canada-based converter Polykar to produce trash bags from postindustrial plastic scrap. The post-industrial plastic scraps collected by Bemis are sent to Polykar, which uses its recycling machines to combine the reclaimed plastics with Dow’s Retain technology. The resulting material is a recycled plastic resin, which Polykar uses to manufacture the bags. Meanwhile, UK-based Recycling Technologies (RT) is engaged in chemically recycling waste plastics, especially those mechanical recycling cannot treat. The technology it developed is housed in a chemical recycling unit called the RT7000 that is capable of treating 7,000 tonnes/year of mixed plastics from household, and commercial and industrial waste streams. The firm says the technology has been employed successfully at the Swindon Material Recovery Facility (MRF) based in Cheney Manor (England) to recycle plastic waste back into a valuable low sulphur hydrocarbon product called Plaxx.
Ministry of Industry, Republic of Indonesia
Indonesia Woven Polyolefin Manufacturers Association
Indonesian Packaging Federation
The Indonesian Indonesian Packaging Food and Beverages Development Board Association
Asosiasi Industri Plastik Hilir Indonesia
Association of Plastic Converting Industry
Recycling Technologies's recycling technique can produce a valuable low sulphur hydrocarbon product, Plaxx, from plastic waste
Plaxx can be used as a feedstock for new polymer and wax manufacturing, replacing fossil-fuel derived raw materials, RT states. “By combining mechanical and chemical recycling and working them in synergies, virtually all plastics from households, offices and shops can be recycled. Even materials that previously have been regarded as unrecyclable including black trays, laminated food pouches, films and contaminated food packaging can be processed,” RT said.
The Soft Drink Industry Association
Indonesia Mould & Dies Industry Association
The Indonesian Olefin Aromatic & Plastic Industry Association
Association of Indonesia Bottled Water Company
Recycling Extending use for waste composites Composite materials are becoming a mainstream for engineering applications, owing to their high strength, durability, light weight and low maintenance. Demand is soaring from major industries like aerospace, automotive and wind energy. Thus, disposal and recycling systems for end-of-life composite products are needed. Currently, new recycling mechanisms are being developed to enable recovery of as much composite materials as possible from used or aged products. There are quite a few that have shown potential for commercial utilisation. Carbon fibre-reinforced (CFR) plastics, which are used in a range of applications from aviation to sporting goods, are difficult to break down or recycle. Yet, because CFRs are expensive, it is both practical and sustainable to recycle them, as well as recover valuable components from a product. Hence, a latest work by the Washington State University (WSU) research team is timely. The WSU team said that certain composites like the ones used in airplanes, are thermosets; and these types of plastics are cured and cannot easily be undone and returned to their original materials.
In this method, the researchers were able to preserve the carbon fibres as well as the resin material in a useful form that could be easily re-used. The team is working to commercialise this process. The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) are also jointly offering a solution to recycle scrap and endof-life composites.
CHZ Technologies’s pyrolysis technology, Thermolyzer, recycles liquids, tars, and oils from composite materials and converts them into clean synthetic gases
WSU researchers have developed a method that uses mild acids as catalysts in liquid ethanol at a relatively low temperature to break down thermoset composites
The patent-pending recycling method developed by the team led by Professor Jinwen Zhang uses mild acids as catalysts in liquid ethanol at a relatively low temperature to break down the thermosets. Zhang said it was the combination of chemicals that proved effective. To break down cured materials effectively, the researchers raised the temperature of the material so that the catalyst-containing liquid can penetrate the composite and break down the complex structure. Ethanol is used to make the resins expand and the zinc chloride to break down critical carbon-nitrogen bonds. Zhang states that it is critical to develop efficient catalytic systems that are capable of permeating the cured resins and breaking down the chemical bonds.
ACMA will head a team composed of Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a US Tier One automotive supplier; CHZ Technologies, an American engineering company; A. Schulman, a plastics supplier; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; with support from composites manufacturer, Owens Corning, and speciality chemicals company Ashland. Tom Dobbins, President of ACMA said, “End-oflife composites have a perception of being inferior to competing materials in terms of cradle-to-cradle sustainability because they are difficult to recycle or reuse. This research will counter that perception by providing strong technical evidence to the composites industry for the recyclability of end-of-life composites.” The collaboration is expected to build a mechanical and thermal recycling approach that captures both the energy value and residual ash/fibre, which at the same time complements IACMI’s goal to create 80% recyclability of composites within five years. Furthermore, the project also supports ACMA’s goal to reclaim glass and carbon fibre from fibrereinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials. The project will study and test CHZ Technologies’s pyrolysis technology called Thermolyzer.
IACMI, CRTC and ELG Carbon Fibre developed an automotive seatback from recycled carbon fibre composite
“Thermolyzer recycles all liquids, tars, and oils from composite materials and converts them into clean synthetic gases while recovering both glass and carbon fibres,” the partners said. Very soon ACMA will be demonstrating the technology by processing fibreglass wind turbine blade samples at a Thermolyzer pilot plant in Germany. This process is also being applied to electronic circuit boards and other difficult-torecycle products. In a related development, IACMI also provided tooling expertise to Washington-based Composite Recycling Technology Centre (CRTC) and ELG Carbon Fibre in making automotive seatbacks from recycled carbon fibre composites, which the partners showcased at a recent automotive materials summit held in Michigan. The bucket-style seatback is 24-inch high and 19-inch wide, with side flanges of nearly 5-inch at their deepest, IACMI describes. The seat utilised 1.3 kg of ELG’s Carbiso TM PA6 60% SM45D. The recycled fibre/nylon 6 resin was moulded by CRTC in a hot compression cycle at 435°F, using its Wabash/MPI 300-tonne hot-platen press. The seatback was moulded in IACMI’s aluminium tool that was previously developed for a pre-production prototype evaluation project. “The goal of the project was to demonstrate manufacturability of the materials, to test flow and compaction into the various features, and to provide samples for non-destructive and destructive testing,” IACMI added. Sustainable manufacturing in space The NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) crew on-board spacecraft follow a closed-loop system during space exploration because it is required that they recycle the limited water and air they use for survival. Specifically those on-board the permanent International Space Station (ISS), utilise a special equipment, a multi-
function system called the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), that can filter contaminants and impurities from wastewater (urine, sweat, or moisture from their breath) to be recycled into potable water. This time, a latest NASA innovation recycles the 3D printed tools the ISS astronauts make in space. According to NASA, by 2018, the space agency will launch the Refrabricator, an automated device that can not only print plastic parts but can also recycle the pieces back into reusable raw materials. NASA explains that the Refabricator, which is the size of a dormitory-room refrigerator, will accept plastic materials of various sizes and shapes and turn them in to the feedstock used to 3D print items. “The Refabricator will be a key in demonstrating a sustainable logistics model to fabricate, recycle, and reuse parts and waste materials,” said Niki Werkheiser, Manager of In-Space Manufacturing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre. Washington-headquartered Tethers Unlimited Inc (TUI) has, for a number of times already, been contracted by NASA to build several in-space recycling technologies, including the CRISSP (Customisable, Recyclable ISS Packaging) technology for recyclable packing materials, such as bubble-wrap, foam, and custom 3D-printed boxes. It also uses the ERASMUS process for recycling, sterilising, and reprinting food-contactsafe utensils and containers aboard the ISS, to mention a few. The Refabricator is expected to complete final flight certification testing at the Marshall Centre late this year, prior to its launch next year. Evidently, more technologies and processes will be developed and will come on stream, as a result of the industry’s as well as end-users’ quest for earth – and space –friendly techniques to salvaging valuable materials like plastic.
NASA's Refrabricator is an automated device that can not only print plastic parts but can also recycle the pieces back into reusable raw materials OCTOBER 2017
Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Asia leads in growth; new developments promote lighter vehicles While safety, driving pleasure and aesthetics
On account of production, slightly more vehicles rolled out in August this year at 43,688 units compared to 43,452 units the previous year. Nevertheless, the country looks to further strengthening its sales, especially leveraging its bilateral trade with China, which has high demand for automotive spare parts. Sales of vehicles in Vietnam, which contracted earlier this year, are slowly picking up, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA). It says that vehicle sales rose 50% year-on-year in February, compared with a contraction of 12% in January. The country is in the midst of developing its upstream automotive parts manufacturing base. The market grew by slightly over 27% in 2016, thus becoming the second fastest growing in the world after Singapore; and the world’s 34th largest in sales, having sold 228,478 units against global car sales of 84.24 million, according to UK-based market analysis firm JATO. Meanwhile, the Philippines, which posted high production and sales of both four and two-wheeled vehicles in the first five months of the current year, witnessed an 8.7% growth in August, compared to the same month a year ago. A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) shows that 35,309 units were sold in August against 32,472 sold last year. The presence of major car makers like Toyota, Isuzu and Hyundai continues to sustain the industry. Overall, the robust car sales outlook in the region portends an equally strong demand for automotive plastics.
are factors influencing a vehicle purchase, the automotive industry is also committed to producing more fuel efficient cars as
environmental concerns gain traction, with a
10% reduction in vehicle weight equivalent to as much as 7% lower fuel use.
Asian region leads in automotive sales The ASEAN is not leaving any stone unturned in automotive innovation. After all, the region’s automotive industry is well-positioned in the global market, according to US-based Lucintel that indicates a CAGR of 6.5% from this year to 2022. This growth is driven by increasing automotive production and increasing demand for lightweight materials to achieve higher fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Lucintel states. Plastic composites have wound up in vital applications such as the exterior, interior, and power train systems, with the latter expected to be ASEAN’s largest market building up further through 2021. Thriving automotive parts manufacturing, buoyed up by strong car sales in the region, provides the boost for automotive plastics, which Transparent Markets Research says will cross the US$33 million mark by 2018. The region’s largest vehicle market is Thailand, which bolstered by its Thailand 4.0, is lunging ahead as the region’s automotive hub. Global industry players are flocking to the country to take shot of its ascendancy. Japan is among several nations that have strong trade links with Thailand, and has been expanding investments not only in the automotive sector but also the robotics and automation sectors. Indonesia, the world’s tenth largest manufacturing power, will have vehicle sales of 1.1 million units this year, according to US consultancy Frost & Sullivan. In August, the country posted a 0.2% increase in car sales, or 96,466 units, compared to last year’s 96,282, according to Indonesian automotive industry association Gaikindo. Malaysia reported a 6.5% increase in vehicle sales, or 3,167 units in August this year, compared to July, yet sold 0.9% lower or only 51,720 against 52,219 units during the same period last year, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
Material suppliers expand and improve polymers German firm Kraiburg TPE will introduce a new TPE material with adhesion to EPDM at the upcoming Fakuma show in October. The new compounds of the Thermolast K series also feature high resistance to UV radiation and weather influences, in addition to good flow properties. Targeted at exterior applications, pilot projects include window seals consisting of EPDM profiles with moulded TPE corner joints.
Kraiburg’s latest series is targeted at window seals consisting of EPDM profiles with moulded TPE corner joints
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive At Fakuma, materials firm Lanxess will promote its XTS2 heat stabilisation system (Xtreme Temperature Stabilisation), which increases the continuous operating temperatures of certain Durethan PAs to over 230°C. A glass fibre-reinforced PA66 grade, Durethan AKV35XTS2, provides an alternative to heat-stabilised speciality thermoplastics, such as fully and semi-aromatic PAs and polyphenylene sulphide (PPS). Possible applications include air intake modules with an integrated intercooler or air ducts near the turbocharger. Flame-retardant PAs and polyesters that have major potential for use within electric vehicles and selfdriving vehicle designs represent another key area for Lanxess. One example is Pocan AF4130, a blend of PBT and ASA (acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate), suitable for precision components within vehicle battery systems because it has low warpage and shrinkage and is highly flame-retardant. High-heat resins for lighting parts Sabic has introduced new PC materials for LED automotive lighting parts to cater to complex LED headlamps that can weigh 6 kg with up to 200 components. When moulding LED parts, a low draft angle is important because it enables styling freedom as well as a larger optical surface. However, with a lower angle, parts start sticking in the mould, creating scuff marks and cosmetic defects. To overcome this, Sabic developed Lexan HF4010SR that allows for draft angles between 0.5 and 1.0 degree lower than the recommended draft angle for PC tools (typically between 3 and 5 degrees). Bezels moulded in the new high flow resin can be directly metallised (no need for priming), while gloss and reflectivity performance under high temperatures of up to 130°C are said to be good. LEDs are relatively cold light sources but can still generate considerable amounts of heat. To cater to this, Sabic has added new grades to its existing Lexan high flow XHT portfolio as drop-in alternatives to standard PC. Sabic adds that a bezel moulded in Lexan XHT2171, for example, could weigh 37% less than a bezel in a rival PBT material, as well as render cost savings of up to 40% per bezel, by avoiding the use of complex tools, enabling faster moulding and part integration.
At Fakuma, German materials company BASF will promote its Ultrason polyethersulphone (PESU) E, able to withstand continuous exposure to temperatures of 180°C to 220°C, for headlights. Other features are its resistance to moisture and vibrational related stresses, as well as high dimensional heat stability that enables the production of complex geometries.
BASF’s Ultrason E Dimension, a highly filled PESU known for its dimensional stability, is targeted at headlights
Solar vehicles feature composites and biobased top coat Teijin Aramid, a company of Teijin Group, will see its para-aramid fibre Twaron deployed in the solar-powered vehicles developed by the KU Leuven and University of Michigan teams taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world’s biggest solar car racing event, taking place in Australia from October 8-15. The KU Leuven team is using Twaron-based parts above the tracking box and in the driver safety canopy to allow the vehicle to send and receive electromagnetic signals. The University of Michigan team is using Twaron to reinforce the undercarriage of the vehicle, utilising the material’s abrasion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio. A bi-annual event, the solar vehicle race was inaugurated in 1987, and this year’s race is the 14th in the series. Meanwhile, German firm Covestro is supporting students at RWTH Aachen University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences by having developed a solar-powered electric car.
Sabic has introduced new Lexan resins for LED automotive lighting
Covestro is using the World Solar Challenge race in Australia to test a three-layer PU coating that features a biobased top clear coat hardener
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive It features coating supplier PPG’s three-layer polyurethane coating, suitable for carbon fibre composite parts. The clear coat, which forms the top layer of the coating system, contains biobased hardener Desmodur eco N 7300, developed in collaboration between Covestro and BASF. Almost 70% of the hardener’s carbon content is sourced from renewable raw materials.
Lanxess’s Tepex dynalite continuous-fibrereinforced, semi-finished thermoplastic composites are now finding new applications in vehicle interiors. One example is the backseat system of an off-the-road vehicle made by a European automobile manufacturer. The centre backseat is equipped with a loadthrough that enables the backrest of each seat to be folded down individually. This component, developed by Brose Fahrzeugteile in Germany, is produced by shaping and back-injecting Lanxess’s multiaxial, reinforced Tepex has been used in a backseat Tepex dynalite, allowing load-through of an off-the-road for a 40% lighter part than vehicle its steel counterpart. Multiaxial Tepex is a new development from Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates, which makes the composite sheets stronger by combining the Tepex fabric with tapes in a technical process. The semi-finished product for the load-through has a core consisting of four layers, each 0.25 mm thick, with a fibre orientation of +45 and -45 degrees relative to the component’s longitudinal axis. These are arranged symmetrically to absorb the torsion forces. French automotive supplier Valeo has developed a top column module whose housing and levers are made of BASF’s engineering plastics Ultramid PA and Ultradur PBT. It is said to be 20% lighter than the previous model and benefits from the surface finish and good UV resistance.
Audi tested parts coated with the biobased clear coat hardener, under near-series conditions, at its plant in Germany
The coating has also been trialled by car maker Audi to test bodies of the Audi Q2 under near-series conditions at its plant in Germany. Weight savings through honeycomb laminates and composites Japanese automotive OEM Toyota has adopted a honeycomb material solution for the trunk cover of its new hybrid model Prius PHV launched this year. The solution is based on ThermHex thermoplastic honeycomb core technology developed by EconCore. Featuring a combination of strength, rigidity and optimised material performance, the honeycomb delivers weight savings of 50%, compared to previous conventional materials based on cardboard and metal. This specific trunk cover was developed by Japanese firm Gifu Plastics. ThermHex also allows direct lamination of thermoplastic skins as well as other facing layers (including composites and metal) onto the thermoplastic honeycomb core to offer lightweight sandwich panels. EconCore has licensed the technology to firms such as Renolit Group, Gifu Plastic, Tata Steel, Röplast, ThermHex Waben, Fynotej and Wabash National.
Valeo has developed a top column module made of BASF’s engineering plastics, making it 20% lighter
Toyota has adopted a honeycomb solution for its latest hybrid Prius model
The top column module is used by the BMW Group in its vehicles with rear-wheel drive for the BMW 3 to 7 series. 3 O C TO B E R 2 017
Injection Moulding Asia Automotive For the indicator and windshield wiper levers Valeo uses Ultramid B3EG10 SI (SI= surface improved). For the two-part core module it employs PBTs Ultradur B 4520 and B 4300 G4. The latter material, with 20% glass fibres, is processed by Buck Spritzgussteile Formenbau using the MuCell foam process. The surface polyamide, which is filled with 50% glass fibres, offers a combination of mechanical and visual properties. The material was originally developed for the furniture industry. Valeo carried out tests on the resistance of car interior components in accordance with DIN EN ISO 1043-1/GS 93016. Getting rid of squeakiness Spainâ€™s Elix Polymers has developed a range of ABS and PC/ABS grades to reduce the squeak that is generated by the contact of plastic parts with other plastic parts, leather, PVC foil or other products, which was costly to get rid of. Automotive interior parts affected include door handles, seating parts, cup holders, and air vents. Elix says the new grades were submitted to stickslip tests at several automotive OEMs, in accordance to VDA230-206 using testing machines from Ziegler
Instruments. It had positive test results, with grades scoring 1, the lowest risk level, compared to ten, the highest risk level. Tests were conducted with different forces (10N, 40N) and speeds (1 mm/second and 4 mm/ second) at several temperatures. Elix says the new grades use its standard ABS, high heat ABS, ABS/PC or PC/ABS, allowing key properties and shrinkage to remain the same, which means current moulds can be used without any modifications. E lix has introduced new low-friction materials for critical automotive applications
Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma
• Having unveiled a 650-tonne Allrounder 1120H hybrid at the K2016 show, with an electric toggle clamp and servohydraulic injection with gas accumulator, Germanybased Arburg will introduce the second model, the 500tonne Allrounder 920H. The 1120H model, which has been tested by pilot customers and is ready for sale, will form part of an innovative turnkey solution, producing the familiar folding step stool in the Arburg design in a cycle time of 60 seconds. The eight individual parts will be handled by a Multilift V 40 linear robotic system and assembled ready for use by means of a six-axis robot and assembly station, as well as the new Gestica control system
Engel will display a 280tonne size in its all-electric E-mac series
At the K2016, Arburg premiered the hybrid Allrounder 1120H, with a 30% expanded clamping force of 650 tonnes
Arburg will also demonstrate its latest Industry 4.0 data networking on a vertical Allrounder 375V with a four-cavity mould, moulding elastic exercise bands. Visitors will choose between different band lengths and colours, as well as end pieces in hook/hook, hook/ eyelet, or eyelet/eyelet combinations. The selection among the corresponding cavities and hot-runner nozzles is controlled by means of slides, and the rubber band inserts are handled by a six-axis robot. Arburg says such a single-unit flexible production is ideal for producing automotive cable assemblies. As was shown at K2016, Arburg will also mould wristwatches using two colours and durometers of LSR for the wrist straps; while a thinwall packaging version of the Allrounder 570H will mould four PP IML tubs in less than 2-second cycles. Two Freeformer 3D printers will be running, showing off an expanded range of materials, including the first-ever processing of PP and brand-new armat 12 water-soluble support resin for use with PP.
clamp force to save energy and protect mould life, while minimising flash; and the new iQ flow control (2016), which regulates mould temperature-control units according to the needs of the process. Engel will also present the first applications for automotive exterior components using in-mould coating with clear liquid PU, which has up till now been targeted at interior decorative elements and electronic functional components. Engel’s clearmelt process moulds the thermoplastic substrate and then coats it in a second cavity. The process can be combined with IML to avoid any post-mould finishing or decorating. Hennecke in Germany will provide the integrated two-component PU mixing/dispensing system. For LSR, Engel will demonstrate real-time shot-size control with its iQ weight control software on a tiebarless Victory press running LSR in a 16-cavity mould.
• Wittmann Battenfeld will show its electric EcoPower, which it launched in 2009, with improved features, such as faster closing speed (up to 1,400 mm/second) by using a rack-and-pinion drive for the clamping unit, allowing for minimal transmission loss and maintenance. Meanwhile, the sliding safety gate, which runs on rails, provides easier access to the auger clutch and facilitates screw change. The barrel heater plugs are integrated in the machine frame. As an option, hot runner control boxes can be mounted inside the mould space, and shockproof sockets as well as Wittmann Battenfeld says its EcoPower has interfaces for faster closing speed due to the improved rackthe metering and-pinion drive for the clamping unit device directly on the injection unit. The Unilog B8 control system runs under Windows 10 IoT, with a 21.5” Full-HD multi-touch.
• Engel Austria will demonstrate a new model E-mac 280, an expansion of what it says is its economically priced, general-purpose line, suited to technical parts and electronic components. The machine will run a four-cavity mould for 40-pole connector housings of glass-filled PBT. It will demonstrate three software packages for real-time process control: iQ weight control (introduced in 2012), which maintains constant shot size and compensates for changes in the material or environmental conditions; iQ clamp control (2015), which continuously adjusts
• US firm Milacron will have various displays including an electric Elektron EVO 110, with a four-cavity Zahoransky medical syringe insert mould, clean room compliant 5
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Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma
• Swiss company Netstal will unveil a co-injection process for moulding three-layer coffee capsules with IML, on an all-electric, 120-tonne twocomponent Elion. It will produce the PP/ EVOH/PP capsules using a vertically mounted auxiliary injector from Plasdan Portugal, equipped with a four-cavity test mould Netstal will showcase a from Fostag Switzerland in a 4.9-second cycle time. The IML co-injection process for coffee capsules, featuring an EVOH automation is from Beck and core for aroma protection labels from Verstraete. Finished parts will be stacked and an IMD Vista optical inspection system integrated with the removal robot to check the position and thickness of the EVOH barrier. Finally, the Nespresso-compatible capsules will be stored in bulk in a container.
system, operating in a cycle time of 14 seconds. Others are the Magna Toggle Servo 200, with a single-cavity automotive surface sample mould from Wirth Molds; a Mold-Masters TempMaster M1 controller, utilising Trexel’s Mucell system for physical foaming with SGI process in a 52 second cycle time. Also on display will be a Ferromatik 360 model, with Mold-Masters MasterSeries hot runner with a fully integrated TempMaster iM2 controller, four-cavity packaging container mould and in-mould labeling technology from Müller in a 4-second cycle time. • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery will highlight its latest all-electric IntElect series, El-Exis SP, and a multi-component Systec Multi machine with an Industry 4.0 application. In the 50-tonne El-Exis, moulding PA bobbins, the mould is provided by Siemens, while material is supplied by Motan Colortronic. In the 200-tonne El-Exis SP 200-920, the production cell will produce decorative lids for food containers. SHI is presenting this exhibit in a joint project with Rouxel as the injection compression mould manufacturer, robot specialist Machines Pagès, label supplier Verstraete as well as Borealis as the polyolefin supplier.
• Germany’s KraussMaffei will show off its new collaboration with mould maker Roctool, demonstrating extremely fine mould-surface replication and the wide range of decorative effects possible without secondary processes, using Roctool’s “HD Plastics” technology for heat/cool moulding with induction heating. KraussMaffei will mould 16 different surface effects, ranging from high gloss to matte, colour shading, and hologram effects, in one 16-cavity mould, on a two-platen, 200-tonne servohydraulic CX-200, which it introduced at the K2016 show. Other exhibits include two versions of its modular PX all-electric series, also introduced at K2016. A 160tonne model will produce thinwall PP closures in a configuration of faster injection and ejection, plus higher torque and faster nozzle movement. A second CX 55-tonne SilcoSet model will produce LSR lenses with micro-fine surface structure. It will also demonstrate the APC plus control software (debuted at K2016), which uses stored material data to assist in achieving uniform part weight. APC plus also compensates for any potential preliminary crosslinking of the silicone, says the machine maker.
Sumitomo’s El-Exis SP will undertake injection compression moulding of IML-decorated thinwall lids
• Japan’s Fanuc will exhibit three of its all-electric Robotshots. A 150-tonne in a fully automated production cell will demonstrate automotive parts with light conductor in a two-component process. It will feature a vertical SI-20iA injection unit, integrated in a Robotech Plastic-Mate production cell. The parts will be produced in BASF’s Macrolon PC in a Weber two-cavity turntable mould. Part removal will be carried out by a Fanuc LR-Mate 6-axis industrial robot combined with a linear axis as well as an iRVision integrated visual control station in a cycle time of 57 seconds. The second 130-tonne model will undertake LSR processing while the third exhibit, a 30-tonne model with an M-1iA robot, will produce smartphone precision connectors in LCP. A highlight in the LSR process is the turnkey system with a Nexus Robotshot LSR, an in-house mould with the Timeshot cold-runner control supplemented by the integration of two dosing systems featuring Splitnex technology. The material, Elastosil 3066/60 LSR, is supplied by Wacker Chemical.
Krauss Maffei will demonstrate the production of caps on a PX 160-540
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • In line with its re-listing on the Milan stock exchange in October, Italian tyre maker Pirelli is offering 350 million shares at EUR6.50/ share under an IPO. This corresponds to 35% of its equity capital. The IPO will raise between EUR2.2 to 2.6 billion, depending on whether an over-allotment option is exercised, it said. Pirelli was acquired by state-owned China National Chemical (ChemChina) two years ago. Pirelli had a market capitalisation of around EUR7.3 billion when it was delisted in 2015 following ChemChina’s takeover. • Japanese firm Kuraray Co is to acquire the world’s largest activated carbon manufacturer Calgon Carbon Corporation for US$1.1 billion. The move is pending customary conditions including the approval of US company Calgon Carbon’s shareholders and necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be sealed by December 2017. Kuraray is engaged in the carbon materials business with a focus on high performance activated carbon used in a wide range of applications in energy, water resource and air purification. Calgon Carbon has facilities in seven countries and distribution channels in 16 countries. • Japanese chemical company Showa Denko (SDK) has obtained approval to acquire SGL GE Holding, from required authorities in
Germany and the US. The US approved the acquisition on condition that SGL’s graphite electrode business in the US is sold, and SDK will transfer that business to Tokai Carbon Co. By making SGL a subsidiary, SDK says it will obtain graphite electrode production bases in Europe and Southeast Asia, in addition to the existing bases in Japan, US and China. • Customer rubber compounder Preferred Compounding has acquired Kleen Polymers, a custom rubber compounder based in Ohio, US, specialising in non-black elastomeric compounds. The acquisition expands Preferred’s mixing capability in ultra-clean colour, high-performance compounds. Preferred is the second largest custom rubber compounder in North America with mixing operations in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Mexico and Wisconsin. Recent growth initiatives include a second building in Mexico, with a second Farrel F-270 equipment in Tennessee, doubling capacity at that plant. • Tyre manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is acquiring Ventech Systems, a Germanybased manufacturer of automated tyre inspection systems, from its parent company Grenzebach Maschinenbau. The acquisition will further expand Goodyear’s commercial offerings
through a closed loop service enabling fleet operators to measure tyre pressure, tread depth and vehicle weight on all their vehicles each time they enter or exit their depots. • US-based portfolio management company JM Huber Corporation has completed the sale of its Huber Engineered Materials’ (HEM) silica business in a US$630 million deal with German speciality chemicals firm Evonik Industries. Huber says proceeds will allow it to invest and expand its product portfolio in other areas, including potential future acquisitions of speciality chemicals or materials businesses. • German silicone specialties supplier in Europe CHT Group has acquired ICM Silicones Group, a solutions provider for high performance silicone emulsions and silicone elastomer applications, headquartered in the US. This doubles the current silicone business and positions the company as a leading silicone specialties supplier globally. This transaction also brings CHT Group back to the US market. • Taiwanese tyre manufacturer Hwa Fong Rubber Industry is investing US$46.22 million to construct a new tyre plant in Thailand to expand its capacity in the country. The firm, which operates its Thai business through Hwa Fong Rubber (Thailand) PCL, is to build a new plant
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News to produce motorcycle and bicycle tyres. The company’s two existing plants in Samutprakarn produce 25,000 motorcycle tyres/day and 32,000 bicycle tyres/day. • Finnish tyre maker Nokian Tyres has invested US$360 million in a facility in Dayton, US. It says the increased plant facility will add new North American specific products, reduce delivery times and strengthen the company’s overall ability to serve its customers throughout the US and Canada. The move is in line with the company’s plan to double its sales within the next five years in North America. • The government of Kerala in India is considering setting up a rubber factory under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. This is to safe guard the interest of rubber growers in the state by ensuring better pricing for natural rubber. • US-based Cooper Standard has launched its Industrial Specialty Group (ISG) facility, a dedicated site for ISG manufacturing and warehousing, in Canada, as part of a US$10 million investment. The company consolidated three existing ISG facilities and 250 employees to maximise service, quality and cost efficiencies for its ISG customers. • Goodyear Tire & Rubber is planning on building a new production facility in Luxembourg that utilises an innovative
manufacturing process to p roduce premium t y res. T he new facilit y , set t o open in 2019, is in close proximity to Goodyear’s Luxembourg innovation centre and tyre proving grounds. The company is investing US$77 million in the facility, which will p roduce 500,000 t y res/ year and creat e 70 new full-t ime posit ions. • The world’s largest manufact urer and supplier of hig h qualit y carb on black , Bir la C ar bo n, has opened a greenfield 120,000-tonne carbon black facility in Jining, Shandong province, China. T he plant will expand t o 240,000 tonnes in Phase 2. China is one of the largest and fast est -g rowing markets for carbon black with a forecast to grow at a CAG R of 7% b y 2021 and B irla say s it s new plant will cater exclusively to the Chinese mark et . • Japan-b ased chemicals manufact urer Zeon C o r po r atio n has launched it s Asia technical support laboratory (ATSL) in Sing apore, t hroug h it s Zeon Asia unit. This will allow it to offer technical support for specialised rubber in rapidly growing markets in the ASEAN and India. Located in the G alen – a science park s pecially desig ned for c hemicals, life sciences and IT companies – t he facility is Zeon’s fourth technical support base. The others are located in Japan, Europe and China. • Net herlands-b ased VMI Gr o up, a supplier of machinery for the rubber
compound and t yre manufacturing i n d u s t r y , has opened a ne w 13,500-sq m man uf a c t uri n g facility in Polan d . T h e facilit y offers e mpl o ymen t t o 70 people and i s expect ed t o g ro w t o ov er 150 employees b e f o r e mid-2018. VMI n o w h a s facilities in eigh t c o u n t r i e s on four cont ine n t s. • G ermany -b ased W a c k e r Chemie is expanding its production plants for polymer binders in Ulsan, South Korea, with a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders, expanding production capacity to 80,000 tonnes/year. Wacker also plans to build a further reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE), which will more than double the production capacity. Its dispersions will be used in the spray dryer for the production of dispersible polymer powders. Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire product chain from VAE dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. It is investing EUR60 million for the capacity increase and for expanding local infrastructure. • Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical is investing 2.4 billion yen to expand the silicones production capacity of the Akron plant in Ohio of its group company Shin-Etsu Silicones of America (SESA). The expansion work is expected to be completed by 2019.
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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves
Malaysia’s glove sector: in a quiet revolution with automation/ Industry 4.0 The world’s largest producer of rubber
global output of rubber gloves. Yet, during the early months of 2017, events took a turn for the worse, and the sector found itself pressed with tight materials supply and price hikes of raw materials, such as nitrile (NBR) and natural rubber (NR). The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) confirmed that the prices of rubbers went up by more than 55%. Therefore, glove prices had to be adjusted to as much as 15% to buffer profit margins. Nevertheless, the sector has gradually recovered. In August, Malaysia’s exports picked up. During the period, the country also exported to more than 195 countries; and rubber gloves accounted for 73% to RM13.3 billion of the RM18.2 billion value of rubber product exports for the year, according to Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur. In the first half of 2017, export of rubber gloves jumped 25% to RM7.95 billion against RM5.28 billion over the same period last year, according to Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of the Plantation Industries and Commodities ministry, adding that the sector expected to clinch a fullyear export sales value of RM16 billion, or a 20% increase, compared to RM13.28 billion posted for the full year of 2016. In September, Malaysia reportedly exported RM19.1 billion of rubber during the first seven months of the year. Mah projected that rubber exports could potentially cross RM27 billion this year on account of a fireball global demand. On the other hand, this development urges for more efficient manufacturing and production process.
gloves is getting a hold of competition, wage hikes and volatile currency, with capacity expansions through automation and the
impending embrace of Industry 4.0, says Angelica Buan in this report.
A climate of challenge
ate last year, the Malaysian gloves industry forecast a bullish domestic and global market at the beginning of 2017, which it had anticipated would favour the local-based glove makers. Malaysia, the world’s fifth largest producer of natural rubber, accounts for about 60% of the
Glove makers pump more investments into factories and R&D alaysia’s leading glove makers have responded to the auspicious climate for the rubber gloves market by expanding capacities and facilities, as well as investing more into R&D. Shah Alam-headquartered Top Glove, the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer with a production capacity of nearly 52 billion gloves/ year from its 55 production lines and 32 factories, has targeted the opening of three factories in Klang by end of 2018, to serve an anticipated increase in global demand between 6% to 8% annually. The first facility (Factory 39) started operations in May with 4.4 billion gloves/year; while Factory 31 is starting in November with a capacity of 2.8 billion units/year; and Factory 32 will kick off in
Malaysia accounts for about 60% of the global output of rubber gloves
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Gloves expenditure over the next 15 years for its glove and contact lens manufacturing operations. It also expects to increase its glove manufacturing capacity to 45 billion pieces from the current 24 billion pieces.
Top Glove is increasing automation to reduce its dependence on human resources
December 2018 with a capacity of 4.8 billion gloves/ year. Hartalega, a major player in nitrile gloves, is completing its RM2.2 billion-Integrated Glove Manufacturing Complex (NGC) in Sepang. The facility will comprise six factories installed with 72 production lines that can produce more than 28 billion gloves/year. All the six NGC plants are geared to be fully commissioned by 2021. Its current plant in Bestari Jaya has a capacity of 14 billion pieces/year. Hartalega expects an increased production capacity by 27 billion pieces in the first quarter of 2018.
Supermax expects to increase its glove manufacturing capacity to 45 billion pieces from the current 24 billion
Klang-based Kossan Rubber Industries, which currently produces some 22 billion gloves/year, has pumped up its R&D activities. In 2016, it launched a breakthrough “low derma” synthetic gloves technology to “eliminate allergy-causing accelerators in the glove-making process, while maintaining superior tensile strength, flexibility and sensitivity of the gloves,” according to Kossan Founder/CEO, Lim Kuang Sia. Kossan claimed the title as the first glove manufacturer in the world to have “low dermatitis potential” in gloves, which was granted by the
Hartalega is completing its RM2.2 billion-Integrated Glove Manufacturing Complex in Sepang
Supermax, which exports to more than 155 countries worldwide and accounts for 12% of the global requirement for latex examination gloves, has expanded its product offerings to include the manufacture of contact lenses. The company has earmarked an estimated RM2.4 billion on capital
Kossan Rubber Industries is ramping up its R&D activities and looks to automating its factories by 2020
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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For this technology, Kossan has been cited as the Global Medical Gloves Technology Innovation Company of the Year at the 2017 Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific Best Practices Awards held recently in Singapore. Against the backdrop of the private sector working towards pumping up capacity, the government, likewise, has included the rubber gloves industries among its economic priorities. The National Key Economic Areas roadmap aims to boost Malaysia’s market share of rubber gloves to 65% by 2020.
Accelerating production in a cost and time efficient way is a common pursuit among local glove makers. It can also cushion the sector from setbacks of the fluctuating currency. Apart from Hartalega, which has adopted automation, particularly in its upcoming NGC complex, Kossan said that it is also going in that direction. By 2020, it would have automated its factories, it said. The move would be more cost-beneficial, since automation is depending less on a precarious manufacturing component – labour. It can avert reliance on both domestic and foreign workers. This was also echoed by Mah, who had stated that automation in rubber glove production lines can “moderate the requirement for foreign labour.” Kossan CEO Lim has said before, “We are working on the automation of our new plant while the old lines will be revamped to improve efficiency. Our internal target is to complete the automation of our plants by 2020.” Kossan’s plant in Jalan Meru, Klang, for example, already features automated high-speed dipping technology. It has a capacity of 3 billion gloves/year, and therefore, it is expected to increase the company’s capacity by 13.6% to 25 billion gloves/year. Kossan is also reportedly undertaking innovation and adopting robotics in its manufacturing processes. Top Glove, meanwhile, is entering the sexual wellness business with an investment of RM75 million for the first phase of its condom production beginning August 2018. The move is meant to increase the company’s market share to 30% in 2020 from 25%; as well as to cut through the competition in the local market, according to the company’s Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai. Top Glove is also increasing automation in its facilities. Lim said that automation has already staved off about 34% of its human labour requirement, or a reduction of more than 2,000 workers, in the previous years. Treading along the same path is Supermax, which has unfurled its automation plans in its factories and plants. Mah stressed that investments in automation can place the industry in a competitive footing, globally. He noted that more productivity enhancements can be achieved with greater deployment of Industry 4.0 systems in the rubber industry, and specifically, the rubber gloves sector. Mah said that the realisation of Industry 4.0 in Malaysia is achievable, with the embedding of sensing, computing and communicating systems in vehicles, drones and other machinery. He also referred to how the Global Positioning System (GPS) has become commonplace, with the deployment of such systems for annual crops planted on plains far easier than executing the same for perennial crops planted on more undulating terrains, such as oil palm and rubber. “With proper focus, collaboration and allocation of resources, nothing is impossible,” he enthused.
Automation and Industry 4.0, a way forward hile prospects continue to look up for the rubber gloves industry, it is evident that it is not spared from competition and volatilities. How does Malaysia maintain its edge as the world’s chief rubber gloves producer? What it needs is to keep at the ever growing global demands, and one method to ensure this is by automation and through technologically advanced modalities, Mah suggested. Implementing the Industry 4.0 concept, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, means synergistic advantage from the confluence of “cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and cognitive computing,” he said recently in a local newspaper opinion piece, adding that “Industry 4.0 can help to alleviate productivity challenges both in the upstream and downstream of the rubber industry.” In the rubber agriculture sector, Mah relayed of the on-going trial of the Automated Rubber Tapping System (ARTS), which mechanises timed tapping, latex collection and bulking to increase yield, with data crunching of gram per tree per tapping (GTT). The government has been supportive in configuring Malaysia’s development through technologies. In 2016, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak unveiled the Transformasi Nasional 50 – or TN 50, which is a national development framework for Malaysia through 2050. Mah mentioned that the Industry 4.0 is an enabler to achieving the goal of this initiative. He added that local glove manufacturers are in fact starting to tap into the Industry 4.0 concept, which is already gaining ground elsewhere in the world, via automated systems. “Medical glove, catheter and condom manufacturers are investing to automate many processes along their production lines,” he said. To push this idea, the government has offered tax incentives to labour-intensive industries to adopt automation in their production, in light with the ballooning minimum wage rate for workers. Automation was projected to up profits by 20%. Too, industry proponents such as the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) hoped that the proposed 2018 national budget will provide more incentives and mechanisms supporting the Industry 4.0.
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