PRA May 2018 issue

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

業 界 新聞 工程 塑 料 : 更堅固耐用的塑料

In this issue

Volume 33, No 237

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 工程塑料: 更堅固耐用的塑料 16 Automotive – Solvay’s business portfolio in Asia is advancing along the region’s growing adoption of energy-efficient hybrid vehicles

18 Engineering Plastics – Demonstrating high mechanical and thermal capabilities, engineering plastics are scaling the heights in the aerospace and automotive sectors

21 China – This year’s Chinaplas 2018 has not only beaten the trienniallyheld K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the world’s largest plastics exhibition, but it has also become an attraction for foreign visitors. Furthermore, technology inputs were aplenty from materials suppliers and machinery makers

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Senior Editor Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Stephanie Yuen Email:


26 Italian Technology – Italian plastics machinery makers will up show in force at the triennially-held Plast Milan event from 29 May-1 June

2 Industry News 6 Materials News 10 業界新聞

Taipeiplas, to be held from 15-19 August 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan, will be a showcase of Industry 4.0 offerings from machine makers As the world’s eighth largest natural rubber producing country, Sri Lanka depicted its readiness for major technological shifts at IRSG’s recently concluded World Rubber Summit

業界新 聞 工程塑料: 更堅固耐用的塑料

Indonesia is the biggest culprit of plastics marine pollution in the region. Thus, the country is spearheading efforts to tackle Asia's water pollution woes with upcycling and recycling

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Industry News

M&As/Tie-ups • German chemicals firm BASF and Huafon Group are extending their partnership to develop the PU, bio-fibre and spandex markets in China, working together in the areas of technical exchange, market development, and raw material supply. • German multinational Henkel is to acquire Acasta Enterprises’s JemPak Corporation, Canada, for C$118 million on a cash and debt-free basis. In fiscal 2017, JemPak reported sales of around C$90 million. It is focused on the US and the Canadian laundry and home care retailer brands. • Italian industrial cooling system supplier Frigel Firenze has acquired 100% shares of Green Box, which manufactures industrial chillers, process coolers, fluid coolers, temperature controllers, and mould dryers. Frigel, which has manufacturing/sales offices in Italy, US, Germany, Brazil, India and Thailand, intends


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to create a group with a turnover of EUR70 million. • Irish waste management group Enva is purchasing Dublinheadquartered hazardous waste management specialist Rilta Environmental in a EUR45 million deal. Formerly DCC Environmental, Enva’s acquisition is the second this year, following its takeover of Blue Sky Plastic Recycling. • Italian manufacturer of flame retardant thermoplastic resins VampTech’s Malaysian subsidiary has acquired a minority share in Unicolour Polymer Technology (UPT), with an option to increase to 100%. Penang-based UPT develops PP, ABS, PC/ABS, PBT, POM and PA solutions. • US supplier of composites solutions AOC Resins will be acquired by Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. AOC has facilities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. It plans to work closely with Swissbased Aliancys, a

manufacturer of resins and a CVC portfolio company. • Tekni-Plex, a US manufacturer of packaging, medical compound/ tubing solutions, has acquired New York-based Commodore Plastics and Commodore Technology. The Commodore purchase is the eighth for Tekni-Plex over four years. Both entities will become part of Tekni-Plex’s Dolco Packaging, the largest producer of foam egg carton trays in the US. • Riy a dhheadquartered chemicals firm Sabic and US-based oil/ gas company ExxonMobil have created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project in Texas, a 1.8 million-tonne ethane cracker, a MEG unit and two PE units. It is expected to be operational by 2022. • Westfall Technik, a US producer of medical, packaging, and consumer parts, has acquired NPI Medical, a Connecticut-

based specialist in prototype moulding, LSR, assembly and tooling for medical components. • Finland-based packaging maker Huhtamaki has acquired 65% ownership, valued at EUR35 million, of Australian disposable packaging maker Tailored Packaging. It will be part of Huhtamaki’s Foodservice Europe-AsiaOceania business segment. In related news, Huhtamaki has sold its confectionary trademark portfolio to Highlander Partners, a US-based investment firm. • Weener Plastics Group has clinched Latin American packaging solutions provider Proenfar from Altra Investments. No financial terms were provided. • US-based marketer of consumer and commercial products Newell Brands is selling its packaging business, Waddington

INDUSTRY NEWS Group, to Novolex Holdings, a provider of paper and plastic packaging products, for US$2.3 billion. The sale is in line with Newell’s divesture plans, to streamline its operations and cut costs. It expects to complete all transactions by the end of 2019 and become a company with net sales of about US$9.5 billion in 2020. • French plastics solutions provider Novares will invest up to EUR50 million in the development of technologies over the next five years, with a first EUR5 million

investment in two tranches in UK plastic Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) startup FlexEnable. The investment initialises their partnership to develop glassfree flexible electronic displays and sensors or “smart surfaces” for automotive applications. • French oil/gas company Total and Polystyvert, a Montreal-based clean technology start-up, are partnering for recycling household post-consumer PS in Canada. Polystyvert’s lowcarbon-footprint

method is based on a dissolution process and produces recyclates that can be used in a broader range of market applications. • Injection moulding machine maker Husky Injection Molding Systems has effected organisational changes to realign its business to support customers, by combining its Beverage Packaging business and Specialty Packaging business under one new consolidated business called Rigid Packaging. This change

will allow the Canadian company to offer a wider range of solutions and services to both Consumer Packaged Goods brands and plastics processors. • US-based compounder Cabot Corp has completed the acquisition of Tech Blend, a North American producer of black masterbatches, which will now operate as Cabot Plastics Canada. In addition, Cabot has also commissioned a new production line at its manufacturing facility in Pepinster, Belgium.

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Industry News

Plant Expansions/Set-ups • Engineering solutions provider Porex Corporation has set up a plant in Shah Alam, Malaysia, with a 40% increase in operational floor space. It will double the current productivity in a span of three to four years and complements Porex’s other plant in China. • Germany-based machinery maker Kiefel, a member of the Siegsdorf-based Brückner Group, is expanding its production in Freilassing. The two new halls will occupy 2,600 sq m. In continuing with its investments for 2018, it also started the construction of a new training hub. The warehouse and pre-assembly areas were expanded in 2017. • Germany-based machinery maker Arburg is on a roll: first it invested in a Training Centre, for which the foundation was laid in 2017 and is now on schedule for construction. Prior to that, Assembly Hall 22 opened in 2016, and is rolling out machines. Now, Arburg is 4

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constructing the new Assembly Hall 23, which will provide around 18,000 sq m of new floor area and give the Lossburgbased company substantially more space to expand its production capacity. • The Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Films Division of German rigid plastic film manufacturer Klöckner Pentaplast is investing EUR5 million in its Brazilian facility to enable new products to be manufactured in the region. It will be operational in 2019. • US-based speciality materials firm Celanese Corporation is debottlenecking its POM production lines with Phase I to be completed in 2020; and Phase II to be completed thereafter. Celanese is also expanding its global acetic acid and its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) capacities. Included is the capacity expansion at its Texas facility, due to start up an additional 150 kt/year of VAM capacity by 2018, enabling a total capacity of 450 kt/ year, making it the

largest VAM plant in the world. • China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Shell Nanhai BV (Shell) have started up the second ethylene cracker at the Nanhai petrochemicals complex in Guangdong, China, upping capacity by 1.2 million tonnes/ year. It will also include a styrene monomer and propylene oxide (SMPO) plant, which will be the largest in China when it begins operations. It will utilise Shell’s proprietary Omega, SMPO and polyols technologies to produce ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, propylene oxide and polyols, as well as polyolefins, phenol and oxo-alcohols. • Petoskey Plastics, a film, bag and resin manufacturer, is investing US$29 million to expand its operations in Tennessee, US, which has multiple extrusion lines utilising recycled materials, converting lines and a four-colour offset paper printing press. The first phase will be operational this year.

• TPE provider Elastron has set up its North American headquarters in Gainesville, Georgia and a facility by the third quarter of 2018 to produce TPVs, TPOs, SBS, and SEBS. • US-based sheet extrusion machinery supplier Processing Technologies International (PTi) has opened its Technology Development Centre for customer process trials. It is part of PTi’s recent US$10 million plant expansion at its Aurora headquarters, with capacity upped by 50%. • Austrian polyolefins maker Borealis will study the feasibility to build an ethylene vinyl acetate/ advanced polymer asset for speciality applications in China. The study will focus on the location of Dayabay, Huizhou, Guangdong. • DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) have opened what is said to be the world’s first biobased furan

INDUSTRY NEWS dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) pilot facility in Illinois, US. FDME is a molecule derived from fructose that can be used to create a variety of biobased chemicals and materials, including plastics. • Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corporation is to set up a US$9.4 billion petrochemical complex in Louisiana, US, on a 2,400-acre site. It will be built in two phases and produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol and associated polymers. Construction is expected by 2019, over a ten-year building process. • South Korea’s major refiner Hyundai Oilbank Co. and petrochemical firm Lotte Chemical Corp. are to tie-up to build a petrochemical complex in a deal valued at US$2.5 billion, on a 500,000-sq-m site at Hyundai’s manufacturing plant in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province. The new facility will produce 750,000 tonnes/year of ethylene, 750,000 tonnes/year of PE and 400,000 tonnes/year of propylene. • French oil/gas major Total has signed a US$1.4 billion deal with Sonatrach to build a 550,00-tonne/year PP plant in Arzew, western Algeria. The project also includes a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit with a capacity of 650,000 tonnes. • Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) is setting up its fourth purified terephthalic acid (PTA) line, with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes/year in Changxing Island, Liaoning Province of China. It will utilise US chemical firm Invista’s latest PTA process technology. Hengli’s first three PTA lines, the first of which began operation in 2012, also utilise Invista’s technology and have a combined capacity of 6.6 million tonnes/year. • Dutch chemicals firm DSM will increase its production capacity for Dyneema, said to be the world’s strongest fibre, by 20% in Heerlen, the Netherlands, and its plant in Greenville, US. Strong demand for both Dyneema UD (UniDirectional laminate) and Dyneema fibre is prompting this increase. • Austria-based Mould & Matic Solutions, a specialist in tool and plant engineering for the packaging industry, is keeping abreast with the global success of its parent company Kiefel Group and has recently launched the expansion of its site in Micheldorf, Austria. Completion is scheduled for May 2019. • To enhance its automotive product offering and capabilities, US-based supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry Cooper Standard has acquired 80.1% of LS Mtron's automotive parts business. Through the acquisition, Cooper Standard says it not only expands its core product offerings, but gains a strategic partnership with LS Mtron, said to be a leading South Korean automotive and industrial manufacturer.

Materials News

Indonesia to turn the tide on marine litter Ranked as the second largest marine pollution contributor, globally, and the largest in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is now tackling the problem at source, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Tide of marine plastics growing Daily, more waste plastics are ending up in the waterways. As much as 8 million tonnes/year of plastics are predicted to end up in oceans, and at that rate, the global quantity could reach 250 million tonnes by 2025, according to an analysis issued recently by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is a global issue that has gained infamy for Indonesia, which has been tagged as the world’s second largest ocean polluter, spawning about 1.3 million tonnes of plastic litter in 2010, according to a 2015 study by the University of Georgia, which was published in the Journal of Science. A more recent study published in Nature Communications in 2017 reiterates that a significant amount of plastic waste comes from Indonesia: with its four Javanese rivers, Brantas, Solo, Serayu and Progo, posing major concerns. According to the study, an estimated midpoint emission of 200,000 tonnes/year, or 14.2% of the global total, is emitted from Indonesian rivers and streams, mainly coming from the islands of Java and Sumatra. The study was led by Laurent C. M. Lebreton, JanWillem Damsteeg, Boyan Slat, and Julia Reisser of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation; Joost van der Zwet of HKV Consultants, and Anthony Andrady of North Carolina State University. “This result reflects the levels of population density, as well as waste mismanagement in the region considering the surface area of these catchments is two to three orders of magnitude smaller than other large contributing rivers in the list,” the researchers said. Plastic litter hits home hard Domestically, Indonesia is fighting a tough battle against an onslaught of plastic litter and other contaminants like oil in its waterways. The country has 6 million sq m of waters and more than 91,000 km of coastal lines. For example, the 300-km Citarum River in West Java, tagged as one of the world’s dirtiest, has become a murk y depository of industrial and household wastes – from chemicals to scrap plastics. The river is a major water source for people who live in Bandung and most of the capital city of Jakarta. Rapid urbanisation and growth of industries near the basin are chiefly attributed to the rising pollution at Citarum.


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The Citarum River and its tributaries in West Java are a major water supply for both the city of Bandung and the greater Jakarta region

Water safety for human consumption and the impact of pollution to biodiversity are leading concerns for the nation’s researchers and policy makers alike. This being the case, Indonesia has laid out its National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris, aimed at reducing waste by 30% through the 3Rs (reducereuse-recycle) and squashing 70% of plastic debris by 2025. It has also earmarked US$1 billion to push p r o g r a m m e s t h a t w i l l a d d r e s s l a n d - b a s e d wa s t e management, imputed by experts to be a main cause for the uncontrolled rise of marine litter worldwide. Microplastic ingestion, a gnawing concern M i c r o p l a s t i c s , t h o s e t i ny p l a s t i c f r a g m e n t s t h a t accumulate in major oceans, can come from different sources, including plastic debris and PE microbeads from personal care products. Because microplastics are small, measuring only less than 5mm, they can easily enter through filtration systems, drainages and sewers, ending up in ocean and lakes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned a ga i n s t t h e r i s k o f i n g e s t i n g m i c r o p l a s t i c s f r o m d r i n k i n g wa t e r o r f o o d i n g r e d i e n t s s o u r c e d f r o m affected water bodies and the Great Lakes in the US.

Materials News

Exclusive tests performed on more than 259 bottles of drinking water from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas reveal presence of microscopic plastic particles

This call follows a recent study undertak en by Orb Media and the State University of New York that found alarming concentration of microplastics (or more than an average of 325 particles/l of water) in 93% of more than 259 sampled popular bottled brands sold in 11 countries, including Indonesia. Se a f o o d i s a l s o n o t s p a r e d f r o m m i c r o p l a s t i c contamination. This is a finding of a study undertaken b y r e s e a r ch e r s f r o m I n d o n e s i a ’s S o e g i j a p ra n a t a Catholic University. The study, led by food technologist Inneke Hantoro, analysed the human health risks of microplastics that are present in seafood.

Tilapia was found to be the most contaminated among the seafood samples gathered from Semarang, according to Soegijapranata Catholic University researchers

Having analysed samples of different varieties o f s e a f o o d h a r v e s t e d f r o m S e m a r a n g ’s l o c a l waters, each were found to contain certain levels of microplastics. The second phase of study will monitor the diets of 2,0 0 0 people living in the coastal city of Semarang. Nevertheless, the study has yet to establish whether ingesting microplastics is harmful or whether there is a need for a safety food guideline to be defined. However, it is not ruling out the potential risks from eating food tainted with microplastics. Corporate bodies pitch in solutions Flagging the problem with effective waste management is the fir st line of defence to curbing m a r i n e l i t t e r. A p a r t f r o m I n d o n e s i a , f o u r o t h e r countries in Asia have been found to be significant contributors to the crescendo of marine debris: China, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand. Except for China, the four countries are situated in Southeast Asia, where 70% of the population live along coastal areas and are responsible for much of the human activities that generate wastes entering the oceans. To aid the region in its waste management efforts, i n i t i a t i v e s a r e b e i n g l a u n ch e d b y C l o s e d L o o p Partners, in partnership with Ocean Conservancy, for facilitating investments for waste management and recycling in Southeast Asia. Besides Closed Loop Partner s and Ocean Conservancy, the programme i n c l u d e s Tra s h Fre e S e a s A l l i a n c e , 3 M , Pe p s i C o , Procter & Gamble, the American Chemistry Council and the World Plastics Council. This year in March, new partner s were introduced, namely, KimberlyClark, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). M e a nw h i l e , A u s t r i a - h e a d q u a rt e r e d p o l y o l e f i n s supplier Borealis is involved in Project Stop, its joint i n i t i a t i v e w i t h G e r m a n i nv e s t m e n t s a n d a d v i s o r y firm Systemiq and Jakarta-based Sustainable Waste Indonesia (SWI). Making its debut in 2017, the EUR4 million-drive fulfils to accelerate waste management system improvements in Southeast Asia.

Materials News

A successful feasibility and scoping assessment was carried out in Indonesia from July-September 2017 for Stop. This assessment tested the concept of "system-enabler" partnerships with city governments: providing expertise and support to transition the waste management system to a zero-leakage pathway with increasing rates of plastics recycling, job creation in new after-use economies and public health benefits. T h i s M a r ch , a m a j o r i t y f u n d i n g f o r S t o p wa s c o n f i r m e d , c o m m e n c i n g t h e s e c o n d phase of the project, which will see the establishment of the first city partner ship in Indonesia. Along with backing from UAE-headquartered polyolefins manufacturer Borouge, Borealis ’s joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the project tak es place in Muncar, a major fishing port in East Java. Its harbours, beaches and rivers are steeped in plastic litter.

The do-it-yourself ecobrick is a plastic bottle that is packed solid with non-biological waste to make a re-useable building block

A fishing port in Muncar, East Java, is a cleanup focus for Borealis-led Project Stop

The project aims to achieve zero leakage of plastic wa s t e i n t o t h e e nv i r o n m e n t , b y i m p r ov i n g wa s t e collection and sorting; increasing plastic recycling and establishing a plastics circular economy. It aims to do the latter by strengthening the supply chain from waste collection to recycling companies, which in turn will generate new revenues and jobs; and benefit the local community, by reducing the impact of plastic waste on public health, tourism and fisheries, say the project leaders. Leading by example: upcycling waste The demerit of being the second largest water polluter in the world is not stopping Indonesia on its tracks to implementing its waste management roadmap. It is tackling the problem at source by raising waste management awareness and by recycling and upcycling.


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Ecobrick, a cradle-to-cradle team led by co-founder and designer Russell Maier who is based in Bali, teaches participants how to transform waste plastic bottles into an Ecobrick. The do-it-your self brick is a plastic bottled that is pack ed solid with non-biological waste to make a re-useable building block. No machines or special skills are required to mak e the plastic brick, which is ver satile and can b e m a d e i n t o i n d o o r f u r n i t u r e , wa l l s a n d p a n e l s , structure materials, Lego modules and more. “Ecobricks are a low-tech, open-source solution. The motives for ecobricking are thus radically different from the for-profit exigencies of industrial recycling, waste-to-energy, incineration, and other large scale, proprietary technologies,� says the company. Indonesia has also begun using plastics to build r o a d s , b y b l e n d i n g m e l t e d p l a s t i c wa s t e i n t o t a r. Having trialled the material on a 70 0-m road at Udayana University in Bali, the plastic-tar, which is claimed to be stronger than traditional asphalt, will be used on some roads in Jak arta, Bek asi and Surabaya. T h e p l a s t i c - r o a d p r o j e c t , a j o i n t e ff o rt o f t h e Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, will be using sorted waste plastics collected from 16 cities by the Indonesian Plastic Recycling Association (Adupi). A km of road, with a width of 7 m, needs between 2.5 to 5 tonnes of mixed plastic waste. Though the plastic-tar mixture is 40% stronger than traditional road surfacing, it is slightly more expensive (2%).

Materials News The company utilises cassava, a crop that is abundant in Indonesia. The bags are fully biodegradable, the company said. In fact, they are dissolvable in hot water, or can be burnt without forming residues or releasing toxic fumes. Additionally, the biobased bags contain no PE components and thus are chemical-free, and safe for animals if ingested, says Lestari Polimer. At the end of the day, Indonesia will merit from the lessons it has learnt and will learn, while reckoning with the slew of plastic waste. As they say, the most effective learning starts from home. The nation will have to absorb its lessons on keeping waste at bay, and hopefully will impart and share its knowledge with the rest of the world. The plastic-tar mixture was used in a 700-m road at Udayana University in Bali

Renewable materials-aware companies are leaning the design and manufacture of their products towards sustainability to keep wastes within the production loop, such as Jakarta-based Avani Eco. The company produces plant-based pack aging products ranging f r o m s h o p p i n g b a g s , F & B p a ck a g i n g , a s w e l l a s hotel amenities using cassava, sugar cane and straws, and totally without petroleum components. Utilising materials that are renewable, biodegradable and compostable are major steps towards an environmentally healthy environment, it says. Another Jak arta-headquartered sustainable materials firm PT Intera Lestari Polimer introduced Enviplast in 2011 when it started producing starchbased material for bags used as secondary packaging.

Enviplast produces biodegradable non-plastic material made from cassava, an abundant crop in Indonesia


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Electric vehicles to rev up Solvay’s business in Asia Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s US automotive company Tesla has been trailblazing the electric vehicles market to accelerate the transition to a sustainable automotive market. Even with its recent shortcomings of massive losses and slow roll-out of its latest massmarket Model 3, Tesla has laid the foundation for companies like Belgian materials supplier Solvay that is confident of e-mobility making an impact in the Asian region.


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Electrification process underway With China accounting for nearly one-third of the world’s automotive production, the share of both hybrid and fully electric vehicles manufactured in China has been set to an ambitious target of 20% by 2025, which represents almost 7 million vehicles. It is this future market that has encouraged Solvay Performance Polyamides to fervently promote its Technyl polyamide (PA) portfolio, advanced services and support for automotive OEMs and Tier customers in China, to make the switch to metal replacement applications. China is also the company’s largest market, representing 40% of capacity in Asia. “We have had year-on-year growth of up to 10%, thanks to the market drivers Replacing metal in an oil filter module and development of new projects with new demonstrates how Technyl PA66 can result customers,” said Bertrand Lousteau, Performance in major weight savings (around 35%) Polyamides Asia Pacific Vice-President. for the OEM and total cost reductions And with this in mind too, the company (approximately 30-40%) for Tier 1 equipment suppliers who can provide parts with is ramping up its capacity for PA6/66 and its greater functional integration such as derivatives by 20%, with a new compounding crankcase ventilation, soot particle line every two years to follow the growth of the separation and by-pass valves for example market, said Lousteau. Although the transition from combustion engines to fully electric vehicles will take some time in Asia, mainly due to infrastructure challenges, Lousteau says that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will fill the gap in the meantime. To cater to this, Solvay has been expanding its Technyl services for Chinese OEMs and Tier I’s at its Application Part Testing (APT) centre in Shanghai, which was opened in 2016 to facilitate this. “Solvay’s R&D investment in China represents 3-5% of our turnover,” added Marilyn Lye, Commercial Managing Director APAC, Performance Polyamides. She explained further that of the services offered at the Shanghai R&D centre are the CAE-powered MMI Technyl Design, a Multiscale modelling, Mechanical calculation and Injection moulding simulation (MMI) to help engineers understand the real behaviour of materials, as well as Sinterline PA6 powders for rapid prototyping. Solvay’s APT Lab in Shanghai, China “These kinds of services cater to shorter product lifecycles and allow for fast prototyping. Furthermore, dedicated capacities at the centre are constantly being expanded, such as for pulsated air burst pressure and vibration testing, electro-dynamic shaker and stone impact, oil circulation and oil separation test benches.”

Automotive New grades for lighter vehicles In lightweighting, which is a key factor towards improving the driving range of a vehicle, Lousteau says material companies face a “long battle” in Asia, with total plastic content hovering at 6 kg, compared to 25 kg in Europe. But already, many steel, aluminium and even magnesium automotive components have been successfully replaced by PAs, with Solvay working with local Chinese players and OEMs, said Lousteau. “Plastics facilitate design freedom allowing for complex function integration and ease of processing.” The Technyl e-range focuses on the surging demand for materials capable of handling the cost/ performance challenges of automotive electrical and electronic components, including signal orange coloured grades for high-voltage applications such as connectors, circuit breakers, sensors and insulators in the growing market segment of e-mobility

Besides gearshifts and pedals, the oil filter module is one key application example that demonstrates how Technyl PA66 can effectively replace metal, resulting in major weight savings (around 35%) and total cost reductions (approximately 30-40%) and greater functionality as well as reliability through part integration, according to Lousteau. Another major benefit of replacing metals with plastics is lower vibration and noise generation, as the sound dampening characteristics of polymers help with the acoustic performance of the car, extremely important for smaller engines and quieter all electrics. And with the trend towards downsizing of engines, resulting in higher temperatures, especially in hybrid vehicles, Solvay expects high demand for high temperature flame-retardant (FR) grades used in connectors and charging infrastructures. It is, thus, promoting its e-range of PAs that have been developed

Bertrand Lousteau, Performance Polyamides Asia Pacific VicePresident and Marilyn Lye, Commercial Managing Director APAC, Performance Polyamides

to meet major challenges and disruptive trends such as connectivity and autonomy and growing need for improved electrical and electronic components performance. Meanwhile, orange is the new black for ease of identification in automotive parts. “We have also developed a range of highly stable Technyl orange coloured grades,” said Marilyn, adding that it is directed at components designed to handle high voltages, such as connectors, circuit breakers and insulators. High-heat material for under-the-hood Working to close the gap between the higher priced PA66 and higher temperature polyphthalamide (PPA) resins, Solvay has unveiled Technyl Red J, a PA material specially designed for turbocharger systems running at continuous temperatures up to 220°C. “Auto makers have recently been refining the real operating temperatures needed for thermal management systems and have realised that traditional high-heat polymers appear to be over-engineered and can also be too brittle to maintain required thermal, pressure and chemical performance over time,” says Lousteau. Red J, which made its launch at the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai, is the top-of-the-range building block of the Technyl Red offering for thermal management systems. It will target applications such as air intake manifolds, charge air coolers, turbo air ducts, resonators, cylinder head and engine covers.

Tensile strength after ageing: Test results have confirmed that 2,000 hours of working temperature at 220°C are perfectly manageable with Solvay’s cost-effective new Technyl Red J high-heat technology for automotive turbo engine components

Its features include long-term heat ageing performance of up to 220°C (at 2,000 hours) or 210°C (at 3,000 hours). Based on patented PA66/6T technology, Red J flows like PA66, ensures high chemical resistance and excellent surface aspect, said Lousteau. In addition, it is highly suitable for both vibration and hot gas welding, delivering high burst pressure levels confirmed in extensive pulsated air pressure tests at Solvay’s R&D centre. Recommended melt and mould temperatures are significantly lower than competitive PA4.6 or PPA resins, which saves energy during processing and minimises part cooling time. “Red J is a good benchmark for the industry,” added Lousteau, explaining that the resin will be compounded at Solvay’s facility in China. MAY 2018


Engineering Plastics

Plastics of a tougher kind Engineering plastics, the brawnier double of standard commodity plastics, are conquering the automotive and aerospace sectors, given their greater mechanical and thermal attributes, according to Angelica Buan in this report.

Lanxess’s Durethan PA6 has been used for an oil pan module for the Porsche 911 Carrera, which despite the industry standard is now designed in PA6 and not the traditional PA66 material


ngineering plastics, a class of thermoplastics, possess higher impact strength, high abrasion; wear, chemical and fatigue-resistance; and resilience against extreme environmental conditions, compared to commodity materials. Major industries such as automotive and transport, construction, aerospace, healthcare, and more, are advancing towards the use of engineering plastics, of which are polymers like nylon, ABS, PC, PEEK, PBT and POM. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the global engineering plastics market is bound to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% from 2016 to 2026 to nearly US$109 billion, according to a report by Markets and Markets. The fast rising urbanisation, infrastructure development, and increasing disposable incomes are a few of the compelling factors that are propelling growth of the global engineering plastics market. Automotive: a harbinger of engineered plastics The burgeoning global automotive industry supports the growth of engineering plastics, with the Asia-Pacific region representing a large share of the pie, especially countries like India, China, Japan, and South Korea as leading automotive markets. With the rapid development of new forms of mobility, such as autonomous driving, the electrification of vehicle power trains, and new logistics concepts, wider application potentials are opening up for PA6, PA66 and PBT polymers, especially in lightweight design, charging systems, battery solutions, sensors for autonomous driving and housings of electric motors as well as in the infrastructures of e-mobility like charging stations. Thermal loading for under-the-hood applications is a hot topic. German company Lanxess has developed a heat stabilisation system XTS2 (Extreme Temperature Stabilisation) that increases the thermal stability of PA66 to up to 230°C. The first product from the XTS2 portfolio is a 35% glass fibre-reinforced PA66 Durethan AKV35 XTS2. It is ideal for the production of air intake manifolds with an integrated intercooler. Another 30% glass fibre-reinforced PA66 is under development, for blow moulded hollow components such as air ducts in the engine compartment. US-based PA66 maker Ascend Performance Materials has also developed a high temperature PA66 Vydyne XHT, with two grades designed for prolonged exposure at 210°C and 230°C. Depending on the requirements for the application in question, engineering plastics can entirely replace comparatively heavy metal parts or be combined with composite materials (such as Lanxess’s Tepex continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites). The weight of individual components can be reduced by using lightweight materials and technologies, without compromising on their physical properties, such as mechanical strength. Ascend’s latest XHT series is designed for under-the-hood applications like this charge air cooler part


MAY 2018

Engineering Plastics US company Teknor Apex says its new series of Creamid A3H7.5G glass-reinforced PA66 compounds are a more economical alternative to metal or current polyphthalamides (PPAs) or even speciality PAs like PA4.6, PA11T, PA MDX6, or PA4T. The benefits lie in the lower processing and mould temperatures, providing additional benefits in terms of energy consumption and tooling requirements, said the company. The compounds process at temperatures in the range of 280-300°C and with mould temperatures of 80-110°C; the corresponding ranges for PPA or PA 4.6 are 330350°C and 130-150°C, respectively. With glass loading levels up to 60%, the compounds are recommended for under-the-hood parts in vehicles with turbocharged engines where long-term high temperature performance is required. Having acquired Germany-based Comptek 18 months ago, US compounder PolyOne says that it is now able to offer Comptek’s high temperature formulations based on extreme-heat polymer materials such as PEEK, PES, PEI, PPS, PSU and PPSU. Properties that can be achieved with these materials include transparency, even for formulations based on PSU, electrical and/or thermal conductivity, laser marking, and X-ray opacity. Meanwhile, Riyadh-headquartered chemicals/ plastics maker Sabic has solutions for electric vehicles, including a thermoplastic-based material that renders protection for batteries in side-crash scenarios, a critical need for automotive makers. “This is especially the case as manufacturers move to larger batteries that require mounting onto the vehicle floor panel.”

This reinforcement adds to a range of thermoplastic hybrid solutions developed by Sabic that can potentially remove up to 20 kg of weight from a vehicle’s body-inwhite. With its high heat, high energy density dielectric material, Ultem UTF120 PEI film, ranging in thickness from 5 to 10 microns, it says it offer the ability to produce lightweight auxiliary capacitors that can help offset the heavy weight of battery packs in electric vehicles. Grace under pressure: plastics in aircrafts Owing to their high strength, safety and reduced weight, engineering plastics are becoming a material of choice in the aerospace industry. German aero-structure supplier and Airbus subsidiary, Premium Aerotec, has manufactured a major component in the aircraft’s primary structure made of carbon fibrereinforced plastic (CFRP) with a thermoplastic matrix. A pressure bulkhead for an A320 aircraft was presented at the ILA Berlin air show last year.

Premium Aerotec shows the potential that CFRP with a thermoplastic matrix can be used in an A320 pressure bulkhead

Sabic says its material solutions support the development of electric, connected and autonomous vehicles

Today, the conventional countermeasure employed is multi-piece stamping reinforcements to strengthen the rocker panel for battery protection. However, these metal solutions add weight to the vehicle, which can affect both efficiency and range, says Sabic. The company’s structural hybrid design uses both plastic and metal to produce a lighter reinforcement part and one that can actually improve crash performance. Its current design can offer up to 40-60% lower weight than an all-metal version, while also offering up to 10% greater energy absorption.

The component consists of eight segments of equal size, which are connected to each other using welding technology. The weldability of thermoplastics constitutes a huge advantage of this material, according to Premium Aerotec, that executed the entire development and design of the demonstrator, while manufacturing of the individual components was done in cooperation with the Institute for Composite Materials (IVW) in Kaiserslautern. Premium Aerotec developed a technical solution for welding warped components in cooperation with the DLR Centre for Lightweight Construction Production Engineering in Augsburg. “Compared to the current traditional pressure bulkhead for the A320 family, created with riveted aluminium components, the pioneering CFRP version weighs less but has the same mechanical properties, as well as having shorter production times and more economic manufacturing costs,” said the Augsburgheadquartered company, which counts Airbus, Boeing, and Airbus Defence & Space as its client base. MAY 2018


Engineering Plastics Stratasys's Antero 800NA (PEKK) bracket, used to mount hydraulic components in an aircraft wing. It replaced a machined PEEK part, eliminating the material waste of the subtractive process

In a related development, US-based manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems Stratasys recently introduced a new PEKK called Antero 800NA for its fused deposition modelling (FDM) process, targeted at aerospace and vehicle makers wishing to move to an additive manufacturing process. Its chemical resistance means it can be used for components exposed to hydrocarbons like fuels and lubricants. Furthermore, its low outgassing allows it to be used in confined spaces such as satellites, while its high operating temperature is designed for under-the-hood applications in engine compartments. Custom or low-volume additive manufacturing with the new PEKK has advantages over traditional machining processes as bulk PEKK is available only in limited shapes and sizes and results in wastage in the machining process. With an additive process, the workflow is faster and allows for lighter weight parts, says Stratasys. An earlier development utilising PEKK has waged a collaboration between US composite materials producer Hexcel and French speciality chemicals company Arkema to develop CFRP tapes to produce lightweight parts for future generations of aircraft. The partners assure that the new composite, utilising PEKK, will cost lower and have faster production speeds. Hexcel and Arkema are aligning to develop thermoplastic composite solutions for the aerospace sector combining the expertise of Hexcel in carbon fibre and that of Arkema in PEKK

Making it lighter through honeycomb structures Belgian thermoplastic honeycomb core production technology provider EconCore is extending the capabilities of its ThermHex technology for production of high-performance thermoplastic (HPT) honeycomb core materials and sandwich panels. The company, which already licenses the technology for production of PP honeycombs, says it is now extending it to engineering plastics, including modified PC, PA66 and PPS, for applications in the automotive, aerospace, transportation, and building and construction markets.


MAY 2018

EconCore says it has already successfully produced and tested honeycombs in several HPTs at its recentlyrefurbished R&D facilities in Leuven, Belgium. Armageddon Energy, EconCore and Dupont have developed ultra-light photovoltaic panels based on PA honeycomb technology

HPT honeycombs will build on the intrinsic benefits of lightweight honeycomb structures, adding improved heat resistance (useful for such products as housings for electric vehicle batteries) and good flame resistance (critical for building panels). EconCore is also working with materials modified for FST (flame, smoke, toxicity) compliance in railway and aerospace applications. It sees substantial potential in photovoltaic (PV) panels and numerous other products, too. EconCore has already demonstrated the potential for the use of PC honeycombs in next-generation aircraft interior modules. These were developed in an EU-sponsored project involving aerospace company Diehl Aircabin. It is also readying a variant of the ThermHex technology for production of PP honeycomb cores thermally bonded between skins of glass fibre-reinforced PP. These organosandwich materials offer an improved ratio of stiffness to weight and can be converted into final parts – also in-line if desired – using processes such as as thermoforming and over-moulding. Compared to more conventional composite and metal-based solutions, they offer light-weighting potential and cost benefits. ThermHex technology has the potential to work with a wide range of thermoplastic polymers to create honeycombs, whose cell size, density and thickness can be altered with simple hardware and/or process parameter adjustments. The process makes it possible to create finished composite sandwich materials by inline bonding of skins to the honeycomb. In the coming years, and with the emergence of new applications and technologies that seek excellent properties, demand for engineering plastics is expected to reach new heights. EconCore is extending the capabilities of its ThermHex technology for production of high-performance thermoplastic honeycombs

Country Focus

China: a proving ground for new technology This year’s Chinaplas 2018, held at the new National Exhibition and Convention Centre (NECC) in Hongqiao, proved its mettle: it has not only beaten the trienniallyheld K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the world’s largest plastics exhibition, but it has also become an attraction for foreign visitors. The tally of 48,000 foreign visitors represented 26% of the total number of 180,000 visitors, said organiser Adsale Exhibition Services. And though it didn’t quite fill up the exhibition centre, occupying a space of over 340,000 sq m, the show was 40% larger than the Shanghaiheld edition in 2016.

Automotive market drives new materials China is the world’s largest domestic automobile market. According to the government's forecast, China's new car market will grow by 25% from 2016-2025, reaching 35 million units. New energy cars will account for more than 20% of that growth, reaching around 7 million units in 2025. Irfaan Foster, Global Commercial Manager of additives supplier Addivant said: "The Chinese market is changing quite significantly, with the industry rapidly innovating and ExxonMobil says extraordinarily tough automotive parts can be achieved using its upgrading.” Foster believes that the automotive industry in China is Achieve advanced PP setting new standards, with major trends towards lowering emissions and lightweighting. Companies that launched new products included US-based ExxonMobil Chemical. Its Achieve PP reactor-made grades, produced in the US and Singapore, are targeted at bumpers, door panels and consoles and injection moulded with 10-90% foamed parts. The new grade is said to eliminate trade-offs associated with conventional polymers, for instance, it offers improved stiffness and toughness balance in automotive applications, as well as 35% higher impact. Plastomer loading can also be reduced by up to 50% for cost savings. Dow Performance Silicones introduced a new silicone-based additive, HMB-1903, designed for use in PC/ABS alloys that boasts anti-squeak Addivant’s Irfaan Foster performance without the need for post-treatments says the company's that can negatively affect cost, design freedom and newest solutions are processing efficiency. It is also said to permanently highly relevant for the reduce coefficient of friction (COF) in PC/ABS parts fast-growing Chinese to avoid noise in the vehicle cabin. market, which has been posting surging demand Furthermore, it does not adversely affect coloured parts where it may be deployed, for additive systems that meet environmenteven for piano black. Other materials for friendly targets in the food use are PA and PP. packaging and automotive Dutch company DSM’s portfolio at markets the exhibition targeted the fast-changing demands in the automotive. “Automotive is one area where DSM has made tremendous strides in addressing the requirements of manufacturers,” according to Matt Gray, Regional Commercial Dow Performance launched its anti-squeak additive MAY 2018


Country Focus Director of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific. It showcased the Connected Cars solution to highlight the future of cars where all individual parts of the vehicle – underthe-hood, inside the passenger compartment and the exterior – are connected via smart electronic devices integrated within an overall “intelligent” Matt Gray, Regional design. Gray said Connected Commercial Director Cars “will drastically change of DSM Engineering the way people drive, just as Plastics Asia Pacific, smartphones have changed the says automotive is way people communicate.” With one area where DSM all processes becoming part of has made tremendous the Internet of Things (IoT), the strides in addressing concept is expected to create a the requirements of fully integrated system to achieve manufacturers cost-efficient production. Another emerging trend is the New Energy Car where DSM has a role in developing the HV component, E-motor and battery. Within the context of developing next-generation cars comes the challenge for OEMs to develop advanced electronics where lightweighting will remain key to achieve lower emission and fuel efficiency. But with more electronics in a car, the heavier it weighs that the challenge will be to cut weight in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Lightweighting is especially critical when applied to electric vehicles, which continues to have lower range than cars powered by internal combustion engines. Gray says DSM is able to meet these demands. Packaging gets a boost For rigid packaging, ExxonMobil’s Advance PP exploits high melt strength, for stiffer packaging and downgauging wall thickness by up to 15% as well as increasing line speeds by 7% for higher output. In nonwovens, it allows up to 15% higher fabric strength for diapers, wipes, adult incontinence, and feminine care products. In appliances, this widely recyclable PP is ideal for upgrading standard impact copolymer solutions or replacing over-engineered ABS, with 20% higher gloss than standard PP. Meanwhile, Addivant’s Foster says that in China people are getting more concerned about reliability, supply security, and safety of food packaging. For packaging, Addivant was promoting its Weston 705 phenol-free alternative for PE food packaging that allows processors to comply with China’s new GB9685-2016 food contact law. Austria’s Borealis Group was promoting its Anteo family of LLDPE resins that offer performance similar to metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE) in the flexible film arena, but with advantages. Launched last year, the resins are produced with the company’s proprietary Borstar bimodal technology, and complete the full solution offer for multilayer flexible packaging applications using Borealis Borstar Bimodal Terpolymer (BBT) technology. Tested


MAY 2018

Borealis’s Anteo, targeted at heavy duty sacks and stretch hood films, boasts improved sealing performance and puncture resistance

and confirmed by customers, the overall performance of Anteo is said to exceed that of existing mLLDPE sealants, making it a better option for a sealing material and for other flexible films where a boost in mechanical performance is needed. Applications include laminates, stand-up pouches, heavy-duty shipping sacks, and stretch hoods. Healthcare and E&E applications US-based Eastman Chemical introduced the MXF221 copolyester compound that exhibits enhanced chemical resistance towards disinfectants commonly used in healthcare establishments. Commonlyused disinfectants include hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite, glutaraldehyde Eastman Chemical introduced its MXF221, a fully compounded polymer for medical housings and hardware

(Cidex), benzyl quat-based disinfectants such as Virex TB, and Vesphene alkaline phenolic disinfectant. In tests with these disinfectants, MXF221 retained in excess of 80% of impact energy to break whereas a PC/PT grade retained less than 60% for Virex TB and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). PVC, meanwhile, failed when it came to hydrogen peroxide and Virex TB. Several medical devices already use the new copolyester, while around 150 projects are in the testing phase. The company also said that around 50 of these projects are in China and have been implemented over the last 12-18 months. With China and the Asian market having become an increasingly important region for UK-based Colloids, which in 2016 established a new masterbatch manufacturing plant located in Changshu, it introduced the E-TEC electrically conductive and ESD compounds. The new range offers surface resistivities from 1 x 109 to less than 103 Ohms square (according to ASTM D257 and IEC61340-2-3), providing solutions to electrical and electronics, automotive, consumer and industrial products and ESD packaging, storage and distribution applications. These new grades offer customers enhanced

Country Focus Colloids’s new high temperature polymer masterbatches are manufactured in the standard blue, red, green, brown, grey and black electrical identification colours, as well as bespoke colours on request

electrical performance for film and sheet, profile extrusion, injection moulding, vacuum forming and closed cell foams, says Colloids. Japanese polymer maker Polyplastics launched Laperos E420P, the first in a series of low-dielectric grades for next-generation communications devices. These materials are said to boast inherent high heat resistance, mechanical properties, chemical resistance, high flow, and low warpage for films and connectors in cabling, antennas, and circuit boards. This is achieved by making use of an optimum combination of filler and formulation technology to achieve a low dielectric constant of less than 3.0 measured perpendicular to the flow direction for the 1-20 GHz frequency band. US compounder PolyOne says that manufacturers are increasingly choosing its Resilience LS rigid vinyl polymers vinyl polymers for both LED lighting and appliance applications. In the LED lighting space, these have achieved several breakthroughs in multiple market segments, including landscape lighting, vehicle lamps, UV-resistant pool and spa lighting, and architectural luminaires. The materials are formulated to meet applicable UL flame rating standards while also providing anti-yellowing performance, chemical resistance and light diffusion. Investments/capacity expansions increasing Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant says 2017 was a successful year in China, with 13% sales growth and an increase in profitability. Clariant established a joint venture with Tiangang Auxiliary to set up a facility for light and process stabilisers in Hebei Province in 2019; while its additives investment in Zhenjiang, will add its first two fully-owned production facilities, to come on stream in 2018. It also signed a cooperation agreement with China's largest oil/chemical company Sinopec for the latter to license its FCAS series of S-Zorb sorbent to Clariant, to scale up the catalyst product portfolio for commercial production of low sulphur gasoline. German materials firm Covestro says it has strengthened its “already good position” in the country, with sales rising by 18% to EUR14 billion in 2017. The polycarbonates (PC) segment contributed to that with EUR3.7 billion, 13% above the previous year. Particularly in China, Covestro has invested massively and established its largest PC production site in Shanghai and

it is now expanding its capacity to 600,000 tonnes/year to meet the strong domestic demand in China and across Asia Pacific region. Italy’s PA maker RadiciGroup Performance Plastics’s main target market in China is automotive (over 50%), and the electrical/electronics market, which is also on an upward growth trend. “Continuing the trend that started in 2015, the year 2017 saw further growth compared to 2016 (+31%),” Alberto Sessolo, CEO of Radici’s Suzhou branch pointed out. “The first quarter 2018 also recorded a positive trend, in spite of a complicated market situation, particularly for nylon 6.6.” Clariant’s One Clariant Campus, an integrated regional headquarters and innovation facility being built in Shanghai and scheduled to be completed by 2020

The growth in volume goes hand in hand with the investment in increased production capacity. “By the end of the year, a new extrusion line will begin operation, thus increasing our production capacity by 10,000 tones/ year,” Sessolo continued, adding the company also plans to refurbish its laboratory. Another company that expects to meet the growing demands of the automotive market is German firm Lanxess that announced in late 2017 that it is building a new high-performance engineering plastics compounding facility in Changzhou, China. Addivant’s Foster revealed the company’s commitment to invest in additional capacity to meet market demands, adding that the firm is expected to announce several capacity expansions within the next six months in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, Gray of DSM said, “In Asia, especially China, DSM has seen substantial demand growth that we expect to expand our future capacity especially for ForTii, Stanyl, Arnitel, Arnite, which have remained in high demand.” German speciality chemicals firm Evonik says it has comprehensively optimised the production process of its Vestakeep PEEK and further improved the quality of the product at its Changchun site. In particular, energy requirements, material use, and the waste generated during production were reduced under the optimisation measures, to boost the productivity of the PEEK plant. Japanese materials company Teijin is setting up a subsidiary in Shanghai to capitalise on the expanding demand for carbon fibre. Previously, an office was established in Shanghai in 2002. It says that internal collaborations will also be developed with Teijin Carbon Singapore, to strengthen its presence in the fast-growing Asian region. MAY 2018


Country Focus Machinery makers increase support to China/Asia German extrusion machinery company Reifenhäuser Group's appearance at this year's Chinaplas focused on two main goals: strengthening its customer support services for existing and new customers located in Asia, and investing in new technology for the long term, according to Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO. “The Reifenhäuser Technology Centre in Troisdorf site is considered the world’s largest R&D laboratory for plastics extrusion. The site Bernd Reifenhäuser of houses the latest generation of high- Reifenhäuser says the company is stepping tech lines equipped with extruders for the development of blown films, up its technical support services in cast films, sheets and nonwovens,” Asia he said. Future innovations lean towards digitalisation of extrusion process where mechanical engineering know-how is combined with modern digital technologies for intelligent production. Meanwhile, US extrusion company Davis-Standard, intends to expand its strengths at its facility in Suzhou, which already houses a FPVC extrusion system and multipurpose microbore tubing line. According to Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President, Business Development Asia Pacific: “China contributes about 45% of our global sales and this shows Davis-Standard’s how important this market it. Sekaran Murugaiah says that China takes Moreover, China as a market is a lion’s share of the highly dynamic – with customers firm’s global sales always on the lookout for newer technologies and this is what makes this market grow faster as compared with countries in other regions.” He also said that the Suzhou facility will be central to Davis-Standard’s growth in Asia. “We see flexible packaging market, especially for the food industry, on the rise with big global converters located in Asia posting huge demands,” Sekaran added. It is for this reason that the company will add a dsX flex-pack 300S, a singlestation extrusion and lamination line, to the Suzhou facility for customer demonstrations by the fourth quarter of 2018. “This line is specifically engineered for the Asian flexible packaging market in terms of machine footprint, speeds and output, and the ability to make shorter runs,” he explained. German machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) opened a subsidiary in Taicang in 2014, as a sales and service hub for Chinese customers. According to W&H’s Kai Schaeperklaus, W&H machines are known for their high output, easy and reliable operation


MAY 2018

It not only handles machinery sales but also spare and replacement parts, said Kai Schaeperklaus, General Manager Asia Pacific – Consumer Packaging Division, adding that all W&H machines are still made at its facility in Lengerich, Germany. Growing investments in Asia/China German blow moulding machine maker Kautex Maschinenbau Group, which has had a facility in Shunde for 20 years, has seen its Chinese sales grow from EUR30 million in 2015 to EUR50 million last year (accounting for 35% of overall sales), said Paul Neumann, partner at Vienna-based Plastech Holding, which has had a majority share in Kautex since early this year. “We’ve had 30% growth over the last two years, due to growth for fuel tanks and filler pipes for vehicles.” The Austrian company takes over from the previous investor Capiton after acquiring a 74.9% stake. Plastech is Paul Neumann of headed by Paul who is a member Plastech, Kautex’s of the Neumann family of Austrian majority shareholder, Engel machinery company. said the company had However, the new ownership of 30% sales growth in Kautex has no direct connection Asia with Engel, Paul was quick to add. Kautex will also start producing its small-sized all-electric blow moulding machines in Shunde later this year. The front module, which is the drive module incorporating the servo drive, planetary gears, as well as the shuttle and other components will be manufactured in Germany and shipped to China for final assembly, with the extruder unit and other mechanical components that are fabricated in China. Germany’s converting machinery maker Kampf operates two production plants in China, one in Shanghai and another in Jiangsu Province, and now has a new plant in Changzhou to house the after-sales support team and a warehouse for spare parts to ensure immediate response to customers’ request, said Samson YT Chong, Managing Director of Kampf (Hong Kong). US melt processing components and pelletisers firm Nordson Corporation is implementing a programme that aims to transform its Polymer Processing Systems (PPS) business Nordson’s John Keane revealed that the into a single source for multiple components needed by processors. company has made investments in Japan In view of this, Nordson has made and China investments in Asia and in the US. According to Executive Vice-President John Keane, these are regional “centres of excellence” that enable customers to order products from any region and obtain the same components in terms of material and quality.

Country Focus Three PPS pillar brands are represented: BKG pelletising and melt delivery systems; EDI extrusion and fluid coating dies; and Xaloy screws and barrels for extrusion and injection moulding. In China, following a move of its EDI extrusion and coating dies operation to a new, larger facility, Nordson has begun assembly of screen changers and gear pumps and it is also planning for the finishing of Xaloy barrels produced at its facility in Thailand. In Japan, Nordson has added capacity for building EDI dies and for remanufacturing dies. In Münster, Germany, it is building a facility for BKG pelletisers and melt delivery components, with a dedicated aftermarket centre. Also in Germany, at Pirmasens, Nordson is producing Xaloy products in Europe for the first time. In the US, Nordson has just opened a new 60,000 sq ft facility for Xaloy while at a second location in Wisconsin it is starting up advanced systems for the manufacture of EDI flat dies. “Nordson products and services are now available worldwide on a localised basis and for both multinational and domestic customers,” said Keane, adding that regional centres lower shipping costs and lead times. New technology ramps up output Reifenhäuser cites the advantages of its EVO blown film lines, featuring a simplified functional operation and enhanced with clear and tidy surfaces and a modular system that can be configured for three-12+ layers. The modular Midex cast film lines can also be configured for the customer's specific application. In the area of cast sheet coating, Mirex sheet lines features line components that include a broad portfolio of single-screw extruders, high-speed extruders and twin-screw extruders. For building up the layers, there is a range of various coextrusion feedblock systems from the REIcofeed series. The system enables the production of sheets with up to 11 or more layers. In all these sheet and film production systems, technical services are now available in Asia for faster response to customers' concerns, said the company’s CEO. W&H stressed the importance of its converTex SLC 120 for PP block bottom valve bags at Chinaplas. The machine delivers 120 sacks/minute and has proven record of being adapted to the specific needs of PP fabric sack production. The machine has taken an important position in today’s sack production with technical support for the operator of the machine. In the first process step “fabric unwinding” the operator is now supported by a double unwinding station ERC - Easy Roll Change which allows very short change-overs. This raises the production efficiency as no time is lost before restart with a fresh fabric roll. Sensors can be integrated into the next process step “perforation” to assist the operator in quality improvement. According to Schaeperklaus, W&H machines are known for their high output, easy and reliable operation. The end-products can be produced economically due to the innovative adhesive-free production process as converTex uses coating applied to the fabric as joining material.

Sack bottoms, as well as valve and bottom patches are heated by hot air to soften the coating and then are joined together by intense pressure. The omission of any glue saves significant cost and avoids usage of solvents and the necessity for cleaning. Kautex exhibited a compact KCC10 MK3, which was demonstrating the production of three-layer 1,000-ml bottles with a foamed middle layer using US firm Trexel’s MuCell technology. The foaming of the middle layer reduces the amount of material required and provides better thermal and insulating properties. Kampf presented its new generation battery separator film (BSF) system, designed to improve the production of lithium ion batteries, according to Chong. The compact machine features short overall web path and the latest digital tension control, while downtime and roll handling time is reduced due to easy and efficient positioning aid systems to achieve quick changeover procedures of slitting equipment, said Chong. Also, the machine has a specialised rewind section for ultra-precise and ultrasensitive web control. The latest concepts for the production of films are what German film stretching line market leader Brückner Maschinenbau unveiled. With demand for speciality films on the rise in Asia, Brückner has been innovating a new breed of film production systems aimed at achieving high quality films, said Reinhard Priller, Sales Director. Thus, it launched the new generation Karo 5.0, a laboratory stretching machine, catering from mono-axial to bi-axial, sequential or simultaneous stretching. “Karo 5.0 follows Karo IV, which has set a global standard as the laboratory stretching machine,” said Priller, adding that it boasts a new visualisation system for an optimised, intuitive machine control; Reinhard Priller better process control; faster change of Brückner says of process settings and oven cooling that though the function; clip cooling system for company has not faster trial sequences; quieter made any significant machine operation; and less energy move to expand its production capacity, consumption. it is continuously Brückner also highlighted its improving to meet battery separator film production growing demands in lines. Priller explained. “It features China the patented Evapore line concept designed to achieve high productivity and greater flexibility. The 5.5 m line concept for the wet process is considered the most powerful and efficient battery separator film technology in the market today.” The company also promoted its BOPP and BOPET film production lines for the packaging industry. “The Chinese film packaging manufacturers prefer machines with high output and low production costs so we developed several systems, such as the BOPET lines with 10.4 m working width for greater productivity and the BOPP lines, capable of producing more than 60,000 tonnes/ year," said Priller. MAY 2018


Italian Technology

Italian machinery makers satisfied with growth Space is completely sold out in the six halls of Italian plastics show Plast 2018, where about 1,500 exhibitors will exhibit over a space of about 55,000 sq m, says Italian trade association Amaplast. In the run-up to the show, to be held in Milan from 29 May-1 June, we provide a breakdown of sales of plastics and rubber machinery.


maplast says last year there was a double-digit increase over 2016, “for new all-time records for the sector.” The sector was worth EUR4.5 billion, representing a 5% increase in terms of turnover, with exports equalling to 70% and the domestic market showing “clear signs of recovery”. The association, which brings together about 170 companies incorporated foreign trade data from ISTAT (Italian Institute of Statistics). “The order portfolio horizon for Italian manufacturers has been Amaplast President, Alessandro Grassi, is confident considerably extended: many companies are able to plan production that companies will be able to plan production until the end of the year at least to the end of the year, and there are quite a few that are actually having difficulty keeping up with customer requests,” claimed Amaplast President, Alessandro Grassi.

Italian market of machinery, equipment and moulds for plastics and rubber (million euros)
















Domestic market




Trade balance




European markets are a hit for Italians According to Amaplast, overall growth came from Europe, where the top two export markets, Germany and France, have grown by more than 20% since 2016. However, impressive numbers are also seen much further down in the rankings, specifically in tenth place, where Romania recorded a whopping +69% with a surge in purchases during the last quarter, having dislodged Russia from the top ten (by just one spot) after it had clawed its way back last September. Nevertheless, the Russian market is still keeping up its pace (+67%) with the value of Italian machinery exports nearly reaching EUR100 million. In a confirmation of the growth, Japanese/German machinery company Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has significantly stepped up its presence in the Italian market, increasing its market share threefold, said CEO Gerd Liebig. It is for this reason that the company has set up a new subsidiary in Italy, taking over from its former Italian representative Macam.


MAY 2018

Italian Technology Sales to Asia are down; US fares better The sales trend in Asia has not been “particularly brilliant”. Amaplast counts the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and Iran) in its Asian sales report and, thus, sales have been affected due to a slowdown in exports to the Middle East. Furthermore, only modest growth (less than +5%) in sales was recorded in the Far East, where the two major markets have slipped somewhat: China (-2.5%) and India (-6%). • As regards the two major North American markets: Sales to the US recorded a growth of 20%, following peaks as high as +30% during the year; • Supplies to Mexico, on the other hand, have fallen by approximately 17%. The association says “no one expected the 2016 boom to last forever.” The Trump administration’s threat to impose import duties on various product categories is not expected to affect plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and moulds. “US production in this sector cannot meet demand from local manufacturers and the duties would only be counterproductive,” says the association. Destination areas of the Italian plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds exports (%)



Europe (UE) 5

8.7 (49.5)

60.7 (51.7)




North America/NAFTA



Central/South America






As an example, packaging giant Amcor has invested in the Jet all-electric injection blow moulding and extrusion blow moulding machines from Meccanoplastics Group at its facility in North Carolina, US, for the production of healthcare, food and home/personal packaging. Amcor has invested in all-electric machinery at its facility

In South America, the recovery in the flow of supplies to Brazil continues unabated, approaching +40% with respect to 2016 and an overall value once again of over EUR50 million.

With regard to the categories, worth noting is the particularly positive trend in sales abroad of all main types of machinery for primary processing and for moulds, which traditionally represent just under one-third of Italian exports for the sector. Italian companies consolidate businesses Meanwhile, family-owned companies are tying up to strengthen their presence internationally. Industrial refrigeration systems supplier Frigel Firenze has taken over compatriot Italian supplier Green Box, which specialises in industrial refrigeration and temperature control systems. Elsewhere, blow moulding machinery maker Magic acquired the brand and know-how of Automa, another Italian company operating in the international blow moulding market. Magic tied up the deal quickly after a Turkish competitor firm had expressed its interest in Automa, adding that it did not want to lose a historic name like Automa from Italy’s machinery sector. Early in the year Frigel tied up with Matsui Technologies India, a joint venture of Matsui Japan and Samvardhana Motherson Group, for a 50:50 partnership in India to cater to cooling solutions in the country. Rebranded show: five events in one This year, PlastMilan has been rebranded as Innovation Alliance, and will include for the first time five events linked by a common thread, i.e., the supply chain. It will showcase Plast, the reference event for the plastics and rubber industry; Ipack-IMA, for processing and packaging technologies; Meat-Tech, an event specialising in meat processing and packaging; Print4All, the new format dedicated to the commercial and industrial printing industry; and Intralogistica Italia. Also worth noting is a 20% growth in foreign participation over the trienally-held Plast show. “Participants at Plast 2018 are particularly confident that they will be able to do significant amounts of business and expand their order books directly at the fair,” said Grassi. Again this year, Plast will feature satellite fairs such as Rubber, 3D Plast (focusing on additive manufacturing) and Plast-Mat (for innovative plastics). The Innovation Alliance will occupy 17 pavilions, essentially the entire area of the Fiera Milano exhibition centre, representing the largest event ever dedicated to industrial machinery in Italy and one of the leading sector events in Europe. The markets, which together in Italy record a turnover of EUR23.7 billion and over 70,000 employees, offer an example of the great appreciation Italy’s industrial products have around the world, says Amaplast in a press statement. The packaging/processing sector has an overall value of EUR10.8 billion, with a 5.9% increase in turnover; industrial printing and converting machinery segment has seen a growth of 13% and a turnover of EUR3.2 billion while even the internal logistics segment has seen a growth of 5.4% and an overall turnover of EUR5.2 billion. MAY 2018


Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus

Taiwan’s machinery makers gear up for smart manufacturing Last year, Taiwan generated more than US$1.9 billion in revenue from the plastics and rubber sector, positioning the country as the world’s

sixth largest exporter of machinery. According to Trading Economics, Taiwan exports soared

to a record high US$30 billion with a 17% sales increase from the plastics and rubber industries alone in 2016. It is against this backdrop that Taipeiplas 2018, the biennial trade show for

plastics and rubber machinery that was founded

FCS will showcase its latest HE-300 all-electric machine at the show, seen here being developed at its plant in Tainan

in 1986, will be held from 15-19 August 2018 in

At a press conference for journalists recently, FCS CEO Alan Wang said that about five sets of the iMF4.0 had been installed by customers in Taiwan. The new system will be shown on the new FA-160 standard toggle hydraulic machine and HE-300 all-electric machine. The FA standard servo energy-saving model features Keba’s electronic control systems and is combined with the iMF 4.0. Other upgrades include an increased tiebar space for wider moulds, injection velocity as well as higher system and injection pressure for moulding products like household parts. The mould clamping has also been increased by 30%, for a more uniform clamping distribution, lower machine platen deformation and smoother mould closing/opening operation. It also boasts improvements on the injection unit: with the machine allowing higher accuracy without the need for additional sensors and equipment. Meanwhile, FCS developed its first all-electric machine ten years ago but did not commercialise it due to high costs. It will now introduce a 300-tonne HE-300 model at the show, with Keba controls and Italian Phase servomotor; as well as the Japan-made injection screw from NSK. It will be exhibited with in-mould labelling processing thinwall (0.6 mm) 100 ml ice cream containers in 4+4 cavities. The PP containers will be produced at 4,000 pieces/hour in a 6-7 second-cycle, says FCS. The stack mould doubles production output and uses a mould cavity flow balance module for monitoring to adjust the parameters. The mould sensor from Futaba of Japan is embedded near the product being produced; with the information (temperature and pressure) monitored to see if the process is at an optimum stage. FCS will also have an in-house display of a dual-platen machine, with two opposite injection units facing each other, and an injection blow moulding machine, which is a new machine product from the company.


FCS enters the “intelligent manufacturing” realm According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the exponential sales growth is attributed to Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0, which combines web-based synergies of data sharing, IoT, with robotics and artificial intelligence. While European countries have their Industry 4.0, Taiwan has its Smart Machinery 4.0, which combines human intelligence with automation and process and helps companies to increase speed to market, with precision and accuracy. Thus, injection moulding machine maker Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. (FCS) will take this route for its exhibits at Taipeiplas, by launching its iMF4.0 (intelligent ManuFactory 4.0). The iMF production management system is based on the cycle time management and introduces the concept of mould, machine and material management, as well as OPC communication protocol to achieve displays of overall equipment efficiency information and defects, too.

FCS will have an in-house showing of a new model of its two-platen LM series

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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus Victor Taichung to display second generation all-electrics While FCS is just getting into all-electrics, Victor Taichung Machinery, founded in 1954 as a manufacturer of machine tools, will exhibit its second generation all-electric V series. Available from 50-200 tonnes, it features a wider platen, new toggle design and low-friction linear guided injection unit. At the show, it will exhibit the 150-tonne and 100-tonne models, and a new 180-tonne version.

the fastest in the market, upped from the industry standard of 2,000 bottles/hour. Chumpower also claims that with six cavities, the machine has a capability of 13,500 bottles/hour, compared to 9,000 bottles/hour on rotary machines, and with eight cavities, 18,000 bottles/hour. “This is a breakthrough for linear PET SBMs, providing customers with cost-effective and higher capacity production solutions,” said Bush Hsieh, Managing Director, though he adds that the actual production capacity depends on the bottle styles and preforms. As for Industry 4.0, Chumpower will display the Bottle Viewer solution, which allows for easier production/cost monitoring and daily maintenance; and the Smart Mold that monitors parameters and analyses data via a chip embedded in the mould system. As well, it will show a new AVM (Automatic Virtual Metrology) system for quality inspection, which does away with wall thickness measuring equipment, developed in cooperation with Taiwan National Cheng Kung University, with government funding. PET bottles in a high-speed operation are tested by taking the finished products out of the production line, causing delays. AVM, on the other hand, collates production parameters through a sensor on the blow moulding machine, transfers this back to the server and performs virtual metrology by means of a patented dualphase method to allow for inline and real-time quality control, said Chumpower. “This type of system is usually applied in the semiconductor industry, and we believe it’s the first time for it to be used in blow moulding. We wanted to provide a “wow” factor at the show,” exclaimed Bush, adding that it was undergoing testing at customers’ factories. Bush also revealed that the AVM is being applied by a tyre rim company in Taiwan. When asked about its impending launch in the plastics sector, he was sceptical, “It make take years before it is commercialised.” Another equipment to make a “wow” factor at Taipeiplas is the Cyclone blow moulding system, which Bush said the company is working on and may be able to display at the show, “if it is ready on time”. The four-in-one line is integrated with a water/beverage filling line applying four process machines: injection, stretch blow moulding, filling and capping in a single process. This is purported to During a plant tour of save space and energy. Chumpower’s facility The company makes around 100 in Taichung recently, Bush Hsieh spoke about machines/year at its main plant in the company’s plans to Taiwan and 250 machines/year at its launch new machines at Fujian plant in China. Its main plant the upcoming Taipeiplas is set to move to a larger building, which is currently undergoing finishing works, said Bush. With a total revenue of US$10 million a year, Chumpower exports to Africa, Southeast Asia and East Asia.

Victor Taichung will show a new 180-tonne model of its all-electric series at Taipeiplas

It will also display the RC rotary table series, which will be shown producing a speaker component. Victor Taichung, which has four plants in Taiwan, says that electronics manufacturers like Foxconn and Hon Hai are some of its largest clients. According to Sunny Chen from the Overseas Marketing Department, last year, its exports totalled US$10 million to countries like the US, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand, for target markets of 3C and houseware. All-electrics constitute 10% of the company’s machinery portfolio, which is mainly made up of hydraulics, said Chen, who also revealed plans to produce larger machines, from 1,300 tonnes up, in the future. Fastest PET blow moulder in the East Located in Taichung, Chumpower Machinery was founded in 1981 as a manufacturer of CNC machine tools. Today, it is set to embrace Industry 4.0 on what it says is the fastest PET linear stretch blow moulding (SBM) machine. The single-cavity CPSB-LS6/CPSB-LSS8 model is able to produce up to 2,250 bottles/hour of a 600 ml size, said to be

Chumpower’s latest blow moulding machine that features a faster speed than before

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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at Chinaplas 2018 Arburg provides all-round highlights at Chinaplas Injection moulding machine maker Arburg has reason to celebrate – it achieved a higher turnover of EUR698 million last year, compared to EUR636 million the previous year. “We have an ambitious plan to grow and will fulfill it,” said Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales. In Asia, sales are now 15% of the total turnover, which is an “improvement over the previous year,” said Böhm, adding that packaging is a strong field in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and China.

“Arburg is a pioneer in the processing of liquid silicone (LSR),” said Böhm. An Allrounder 420C Golden was producing flexible LSR cases for the iPhone 8. The mould was provided by Prover, while the LSR dosing unit was from 2 KM. Having launched additive manufacturing on its Freeformer in 2013, Arburg has since then continuously followed up with improvements on the technical end and product quality, said Böhm. He also said that the company had “an impressive project list and a nice number of Freeformers sold, not just to injection moulders,” though China is still in its infancy stage for the prototyping solution. “It is related to R&D of new products and we are positive with what we have seen so far. There are good applications in the medical sector, for “human spare parts”, and this is being developed in Germany at the moment,” he revealed. At Chinaplas, a Freeformer demonstrated that is not only suitable for prototyping but also for the industrial additive manufacturing of functional components. It was processing standard PP and the water-soluble support material Armat12 to produce functional cable clips. “One great advantage of our open system process is that it can be adapted to the requirements at hand, with customers qualifying their own original material and optimising the freely programmable process parameters specifically to the relevant application,” said Böhm. In addition to amorphous standard granulates such as ABS, PA and PC, materials qualified by Arburg include, for example TPE, medical grade PLLA, PC approved for the aerospace industry; and semi-crystalline PP.

Gerhard Böhm of Arburg says that the company has “an impressive project list and a nice number of Freeformers sold, not just to injection moulders”

At the recently concluded Chinaplas show in Shanghai, Arburg showcased Industry 4.0, highlighting its over 30 years of experience in digitally networked machines As a central component of Industry 4.0, Arburg offers for the Smart Factory and the “Made in China 2025” state-sponsored industrial development, components that can be individually combined. These include, for example, industrial Ethernet, as well as online process control, data acquisition, detailed planning and status monitoring, as well as individualisation of high-volume parts as single-unit batches by combining injection moulding and additive manufacturing. Meanwhile, Böhm says there is a clear trend towards all-electrics, not only in the automotive and 3C sectors but also in the medical field. Thus, it demonstrated an Allrounder 370E Golden Electric to prove that the entry-level electric series is also suitable for precision medical parts. It was displayed with a twocavity mould from Wellmei producing Y connectors for intravenous drip therapy. The PC parts were removed and set down by a Multilift Select linear robotic system. For lightweight parts for the automotive sector, Arburg presented the ProFoam physical foaming technology in China for the first time, on a hybrid Allrounder 570H with a size 800 injection unit, shown producing a 30% glass fibre-reinforced PA66 passenger car engine compartment part. With its fine cell structures, the ProFoam part is characterised by low weight, few sink holes, uniform shrinkage and reduced distortion. A granulate lock ensured a continuous feed of material and gaseous blowing agent.

Engel/Wintec make inroads into China/Asia Austrian machine maker Engel has upped its sales in Asia by 20%, with 90% of machines sold made at its Asian plants in Shanghai, China, and Pyongtaek, South Korea. For the fourth time in a row, Engel also ended the year with an increase in revenue. Its revenue for 2017/18 was EUR1.51 billion, up by 11% than the previous year.

Engel is pouring substantial investments into its Shanghai plant

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Indonesia, a nation of opportunities for the plastics sector

Where we see challenges, I see opportunities. Indonesia’s challenges are your opportunities,” President Joko Widodo told global leaders at the World Economic Forum in 2015. His address has echoed up to this day, telling how Indonesia rides the ebb and flow of economic challenges, globally and domestically; and how the country has emboldened the determination to be an Asian tiger. With a population of more than 260 million, the nation focuses on growth. Its GDP posted at over US$932 billion in 2016 is projected to grow 5.3% annually through 2020, according to the World Bank data. Manufacturing is the backbone of the nation’s economy and remains to be the largest contributor to its growth. Amid a weakened rupiah, slipping 2.8% against the dollar, household spending has increased, although at a modest pace, while the government has increased spending to compensate setbacks. Although infrastructure development is currently a main focus, encouraging inflow of investments, industries such as food and beverage, packaging and automotive, to cite a few of its important sectors, hinge on the country’s sizeable consumer base, rising urbanisation, and expanding middle class.

The upcoming IndoPlas, IndoPack, IndoPrint 2018 on 19-22 September in Jakarta will showcase opportunities from Indonesia's booming sectors of F&B, packaging, automotive, and the like

Indonesia is espousing low-cost green cars, which Franceheadquartered research firm IPSOS projected in its 2016-2020 automotive report to score a CAGR of 8.1% to 2020. Overall, growth is expected across all vehicle segments, with passenger vehicles in the lead with an estimated CAGR of 6.8% during the report period. Cited as one of the World Bank’s bets for top country investments destination, Indonesia’s economy is on the upswing as it opens its doors and opportunities to the rest of the world.

Riding on the packaging sector The food and beverage sector accounts for slightly more than 30% of Indonesia’s manufacturing industry, and, thus, is a key target for investments. This augurs well for related sectors such as plastics and rubber, which collectively account for 4.1% of the manufacturing industry total. This year, the Indonesia plastics market is projected to post a CAGR of nearly 7% through 2023, with polyolefin materials continuing to clinch a larger share (47% in 2017), citing a report from Mordor Intelligence. Meanwhile, demand for engineering plastics is also making dent in various high performance applications. The Indonesian packaging industry is projected to grow 130.3 billion units in 2021 from 1.1 billion units in 2016, registering a CAGR of 5.2%, according to a Global Data report. It will boost demand for flexible and rigid packaging. Estimated to reach 52.4 billion units in 2021, flexible packaging continues to cater to consumers that demand singleserve, easy-to-use and open, and packaging construction that ensures longer shelf life. Meanwhile, the booming F&B sector will bolster the growth of rigid packaging that is forecast to register a CAGR of 7.7% from 2016 to 2021. New designs and innovations are precursors to the burgeoning demand for this sector.

Plastics show for the region Come 19 to 22 September 2018, the Indonesian International Plastics, Processing, Packaging and Printing show (IndoPlas, IndoPack, and IndoPrint) 2018 will be showcasing Indonesia’s mien as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, as well at its market strength in the region. Organised by Singapore-based Messe Düsseldorf Asia (MDA), in collaboration with PT Wahana Kemalaniaga Makmur (Wakeni), the trade show, which will be held at the JIExpo Kemayoran in Jakarta, will feature local and international exhibitors that will exhibit their new technologies that adapt to the industry trends for cost, output, energy efficiency, compactness, and multi-functionality. “The IndoPlas, IndoPack (incorporating IndoProcess) and IndoPrint shows will provide a one-stop business platform to serve the entire end-to-end supply chain for the relevant industries. There will be plenty of on-floor activities including live product demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies, and a stellar line-up of industry specific conferences and seminars by leading companies and trade associations at the event,” according to MDA. It adds that the 3-in-1 exhibition is modelled after the expertise of three top global trade fairs in plastics, packaging and printing, namely, K, Interpack, and Drupa, all organised by Messe Düsseldorf in Germany. For more information on IndoPlas, IndoPack, and IndoPrint 2018, visit the event page at

Automotive market a booming sector The automotive industry, groomed as a global market, with an artery of car production, and R&D for innovative products, will significantly benefit from emerging design trends that lean towards sustainability. IHS Chemical in its report estimates that polymers will represent 25% of the average car by 2025. This is owed to the material’s versatility and durability, properties that will drive forward energy-efficient vehicles. 4 M AY 2 0 1 8

Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at Chinaplas 2018 In Shanghai, where Engel builds its Duo dualplaten series, targeted at the automotive sector, it is pouring substantial investments into the plant, said Gero Willmeroth, President, Sales and Service at Engel Shanghai. The plant was expanded in 2017 with land area now fully occupied. Phase 4 of expansion added 1,500 sq m of space and the installation of a ten-axis machining centre capable of handling weights of 160 tonnes. As Willmeroth stressed, Engel has grown tremendously in the automotive sector in China and the rest of Asia, with the company claiming a 60% market share, amongst its European compatriots. He also said that clients are boosting their investments into innovative process technologies. An example of this is Optimelt, a patented multi-layer process for the manufacturing of thick-walled LED lenses, with external cooling installed to reduce cycle times. For lightweighting, until now, the focus of Chinese processors has been on substituting glass on one hand and foam injection moulding on the other; now the sector is looking towards composites technology. Willmeroth added, “China is setting the direction and that is why we are introducing series-ready technologies for the economical production of composite components.” In addition to automotive, Engel has increased its sales in the medical area, with healthcare and diagnostics being the main growth drivers. “In the medical area, we are seeing a trend for multi-cavity moulds, which require larger machines to increase throughput,” reported Willmeroth. Meanwhile, Engel’s subsidiary, Changzhou-based Wintec is investing EUR10 million to double production capacity in response to expected demand growth for its machines in China as well as to support the marketing of its machinery in the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. The new capacity of 300 machines/year will come on stream in 2019 at the plant, which was set up four years ago to build standard machines. It will not only double the size of the site from its current 18,500-sq m area but also up production workforce by 60%. “We plan a further expansion within the next three to four years, subject to demand,” according to Michael Feltes, President, Sales and Service, Wintec. Currently, 72% of Wintec’s sales are targeted at the automotive sector, 23% for white goods applications and 5% for technical moulding and others. Wintec also lends support to Engel’s Shanghai plant through the machining of platens and machine frames.

At Chinaplas, Demag presented the SE50EV-A-SHR high-speed machine for thinwall moulding; two models under the SE100EV-A series for LSR moulding and thickwall parts; Systec 100 for a LSR lens application; Systec 280 for an IML application, and El-Exis SP 200 for caps production. Carl Ke, Marketing Manager of Demag, says the company has sold over 8,000 machines in China

Ke explained that Demag’s focus is on packaging, automotive and electronic parts and that the machines for these sectors should meet the requirements for high-speed operations. “China retains its significant position as the biggest market for our two production plants in China, which produce hybrid and all-electric machines. The products are also intended for export to other countries, especially in Southeast Asia,” he countered. Italian auxiliary equipment for China Italy’s Moretto is sealing its position in the Asian market with the opening of a branch in China, specifically dedicated to sales and customer support, said Paolo Gasparotto, Vice President for Sales. “We have expanded our activities globally with the opening of three new branches. One is in China, and the other two in India and Russia.” According to Gasparotto, China is a market at the core of the global plastics industry with growing needs for automation and improved production processes. With a dedicated office in China, he says Moretto will be able to respond faster to the urgent needs of customers in Asia for sales, after-sales and technical support. Moretto’s solutions comprise a range of auxiliary equipment and automation systems for feeding Moretto has sealed its position in the Asian market with the and conveying, dosing, drying, storage, grinding, opening of a branch in China, said Paolo Gasparotto thermoregulation, refrigeration and supervising systems.

Demag’s showcase suitable for Chinese market Ningbo-located Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese/German firm Sumitomo SHI Demag, has sold over 8,000 machines in China and these are being utilised in the automotive, packaging, medical and precision parts production, said Carl Ke, Marketing Manager. 5 M AY 2 0 1 8

Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at Chinaplas 2018 Kraiburg to expand capacity in Asia; focus on automotive/E&E sectors TPE maker Kraiburg, which has its regional headquarters in Malaysia, expects to boost production capacity by a further 35% at its Malaysian plant, said Managing Director Roland Ritter, adding that a new line will start up by September this year. “In 2008, we started with 160 tonnes and ten years later, we will overshoot our capacity to 10,000 tonnes,” said an elated Roland, adding that the company is growing rapidly and has prepared for its growth in advance with new machinery line-up. “We have also recently expanded the office building and warehouse in Malaysia, to meet increasing market demands in the Asia Pacific region,” he said, adding that further enhancements are expected to the sales network in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Chengdu, China, to build better brand presence. China is an important market for the company, as is Asia. “Asia accounts for a market share of 15% and China, 30%.” Meanwhile, the Chinese market for TPEs has been growing, especially the automotive sector. “Applications are gaining traction not only in China but the rest of the world. Increasing consumer spending on cars with aesthetic features and high quality and innovative automotive parts is likely to stimulate future TPE product demand, especially for E-mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.” Roland also said, “In China, we offer a wide range of products to fit all applications as well as precision engineering and tailor-made solutions thanks to our years of experience and expertise. Furthermore, we have already established ourselves in China since 2004 and this has given us ample time to anticipate, identify and understand our customers in China.” At Chinaplas, the company introduced a new EPDM adhesion series for automotive exterior parts, which

provides optimal adhesion to EPDM. Targeted at window encapsulation, door sills and glass run channels, the series affords short cooling times, low coefficient of friction, heat resistance up to 90°C, easy flow and processing. Apart from the automotive market, the consumer electronics industry is also a focus. “Consumer electronic and electrical devices industries are increasing the use of TPE materials. Such applications include soft straps, smartphone cases and VR headsets,” explained Roland. Materials solutions offered for these industries include Copec, Thermolast and For Tec E, thanks to their attributes, such as comfort, easy colourability, silky soft touch, irritation-free and good adhesion properties. Meanwhile, the company expects better results in 2018. “Globally speaking, our performance was very encouraging in 2017, especially within China and Asia on the macro level. We are confident of achieving even better results in 2018 and beyond, given that our global sales revenue increased by 6.6% (2017 vs 2016),” said Roland. “We are focused on providing quality and service and not just selling our products based on pricing. This allows us to stay ahead of our competition,” Roland shared, when asked about the company’s secret to success.

Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • The National Organisation for Military Production (NOMP) and China’s state-owned Poly International are to set up a joint venture for car tyre manufacturing in Egypt. • Canadian cleantech company Ecolomondo is to set up a Thermal Decomposition (TDP) turnkey facility in Canada to process 13,000 tonnes/year of tyre waste with its proprietary green technology that recycles hydrocarbon waste into commodity products. This facility is expected to recover 5,000 tonnes of carbon black, over 6,500 million l of oil, 1,200 tonnes of process gas and over 1,600 tonnes of steel/year. The facility will start up by 2019. • Midwest Industrial Rubber (MIR), a supplier of lightweight conveyor belting and related components, has acquired New England Belting Company (NEBCO), an independent provider of speciality belts including edge belts, wave solder belts, timing belts and vacuum belts. • Italy’s Marangoni and Directa Plus, a producer and supplier of graphene-based products, have joined forces to develop a bespoke version of the Directa’s Graphene Plus (G+) to improve the performance of

Marangoni compounds in truck and bus tyre retreading. Directa’s patented production process is 100% chemical free. • Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT), an off-highway tyre manufacturer headquartered in India, has entered into a joint research agreement with Kultevat, a US biotechnology company that specialises in the cultivation and processing of TKS Dandelion as an alternative for natural rubber. The partnership will develop new compounding methods based on TKS Rubber to be integrated in the tyre manufacturing process. All studies, analyses, experimentation and testing will be carried out at BKT´s recently inaugurated R&D centre, Suresh Poddar Innovation Hub, based in Bhuj, India. • German chemicals company Wacker Chemie has opened a new EUR15 million production site for silicone elastomers in Jincheon, South Korea, where the company has already been producing silicone sealants since 2010 and speciality silicones for the electronics industry since 2012. • India’s largest and globally seventh largest carbon black producer, Phillips Carbon Black Ltd (PCBL), an RP-Sanjiv Goenka

Group company, is planning to invest Rs900 crore to set up a 150,000 tonnes/year greenfield plant in Chennai, to be operational by 2020. The carbon black company is also expanding its two existing facilities: the 50,000-tonne capacity expansion at Mundra, which is expected to be completed by 2019; and the 30,000-tonne capacity expansion at Palej, which is expected to be completed by 2020. • Dong-A Hwa Sung Co, a South Korean supplier of rubber and plastic parts for home appliances and automotive, plans a US$13 million expansion in the US. Dong-A Hwa’s customers include Hyundai, Nissan, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics. • DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers (T&AP), a business unit of DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, is buying a new facility in Newark, Delaware, to manufacture DuPont Kalrez, a specialised engineered material used in a variety of sealing applications that require hightemperature performance and chemical resistance. The facility is twice the size of the current plant in Newark. Over the next two years, DuPont T&AP plans to invest US$45 million to increase manufacturing capacity and then transition production from the current site to the new facility.

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Rubber Journal Asia Rubber Report

Challenges beget opportunities; Sri Lanka on the road to growth Various industries that are reliant on

The automotive industry will undergo a profound transformation and its potential impacts to transportation mode and environment, and its effects on energy and cost saving in the long-run is a strategic game change. Pinizzotto says the future of mobility is connected autonomous electric vehicle fleet including shifts in vehicle ownership. Instead of individual traditional ownership, shared mobility platforms offer access IRSG’s Secretary-General Salvatore Pinizzotto to variety of vehicles. “Passenger car OEMS are investing in technology as well as ride sharing platforms. Sharing mobility and transport data are helpful to develop better business models to raise productivity. Intelligent and powerful software is the key element in the future tyre industry.” Tyres will communicate with the control system of an autonomous vehicle, sensing road and weather conditions and adapting to them. As the mobility landscape changes with the adoption of the disruptive transformations, there is a call for a closer partnership in the ecosystem to move forward. There will be changes in tyre requirements and the future tyre will be customised tyres. In terms of sustainability, Pinizzotto says the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i), developed under the frame-work of the IRSG as a voluntary and collaborative industry initiative, has so far seen 48 companies/organisations completing the self-declaration process. “The self-declared registrants as leading industry players account for around 50% of the global processed and consumed volume,” he added.

high performance and quality rubbers are advancing at a past pace. Today,

opportunities and challenges, alike, are

shaping up innovations in leading industries such as automotive and tyres, and Sri Lanka is paving the way for a larger share of the sector, says Angelica Buan in this report.

World growth on a high; China to lead The global total rubber consumption is forecast to increase by 2.7% for the next five-year period (201822). Total rubber consumption in Asia is forecast to increase by 3.2% whilst Europe’s total rubber consumption is forecast to be up 1.8% and others by 1.5% during the next five-year period. Asia consumes around 64% of rubber produced and a third of the global rubber usage is attributed by China. According to Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG)’s Secretary-General Salvatore Pinizzotto, “China is shifting its growth pattern from a robust growth to that of a moderate and sustained pattern with the focus on consumption growth than investment. The rebalancing of economic activities in China, with a slowdown expected in the future years, will have a spill over effect to other economies.” China’s rubber consumption is expected to grow by 3.7% during the next five year period (2018-22). Economic cooperation and trade policies such as the One Belt One Road in China and the South Asian Economic Cooperation (SASEC) will encourage new investments to keep a sustained growth in rubber usage in China, adds Pinizzotto.

Sri Lanka, an upcoming rubber hub Sri Lanka, the host country of IRSG’s World Rubber Summit conference (held in early May this year), is the world’s eighth largest natural rubber producing country and currently the seventh largest rubber exporter, according to Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB). P r a b a s h Subasinghe, Managing Director of Sri Lanka-headquartered tyre maker Global Rubber Industries (GRI), says that since consumption for natural rubber continues to rise in the country, the industry needs to increase production and output efficiencies via continuous R&D and innovation in the machines and technologies utilised.

Disruptive trends to influence sector Technology disruption necessitates the implementation of new changes and innovations over time and for longer-term efficiency gains. Current disruptive technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, and the Internet of things (Industry 4.0) are impacting new business models, and are applicable to the rubber and automotive industry too.

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Rubber Journal Asia Rubber Report “This increase in global trade and demand for natural rubber is on account of fast growing economies, and the largest pull by demand in the natural rubber industry is for tyres,” he furthered. According to the EDB, Sri Lanka’s tyre manufacturers supply about 20% of the global solid tyre demand. Tyres are Sri Lanka’s strong-performing product, and its solid tyres, hold 30% of the global market Prabash Subasinghe, share. Subasinghe reiterated, Managing Director of GRI and Chairman of citing that developments SLAMERP in infrastructure and agriculture sectors are impacting demand for tyres. “Infrastructure developments largely impact many sectors of the economy including demand for tyres. For instance, the demand for construction machines increases with the development of infrastructure, which will, in turn, lead to increased demand for specialty tyres for this segment, likewise, investments in the mining industry are increasing, thus creating demand for large and ultra-large radials for mining equipment and construction machinery is also growing rapidly. “ In RJA’s dialogue with Subasinghe, who is also the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers & Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP), he explained that the rubber industry of Sri Lanka has made a tremendous contribution to the country. “The turnover of Sri Lanka’s rubber industry currently stands at approximately US$1 billion. In 2017, rubber product exports were estimated at US$855 million, or a year on year growth of approximately 11%.” Its rubber sector, which accounts for 153,000 tonnes/year of natural rubber output, is poised to becoming a US$4 billion/year industry by 2025, as underscored in the Rubber Industry Master Plan 2017-2026.

The industry road map details how Sri Lanka is taking steps to increase local rubber production to 300,000 tonnes/year; and reach national rubber plantation yield to 1,700 kg/ha per year by 2045, citing a few of the agenda. Subasinghe explained that almost 65% of the rubber plantations in Sri Lanka are owned by small business holders, he said. “Sri Lanka is not simply a natural rubber producer, but a nation that successfully produces increasing quantities and higher quality of natural rubber. This gives GRI utmost confidence in its source of high quality raw material.” On another note, the nation’s alliance with major markets such as China is expected to boost local tyre and rubber sectors. Subasinghe commented: Initiatives like China’s One Belt, One Road has the potential to be perhaps the world’s largest platform for regional collaboration, international trade and hence global development; and as GRI constitutes towards the goal of continuous innovation and excellence, we welcome Chinese investment in Sri Lanka . We believe that the significant development in infrastructure will lead to increased opportunities in the specialty tyre segment both locally and with Chinese companies. This project will also reflect on Sri Lanka’s desire to obtain a “hub” status. Today, the centre of gravity of the rubber industry has shifted steadily from growing rubber to value added product manufacturing, and this indicates a prodigious promise and a bright future for the country’s rubber industry. Meanwhile, in January this year, the company started up its US$40 million facility in Sri Lanka to produce radial agriculture tyres. “We will be focusing on the US$25 billion speciality tyre industry that is poised to grow year-on-year, owing to the rise in demand for construction and mining machines, along with the growing demand for agricultural equipment. GRI has therefore initiated its next strategic move to further expand and diversify its roots in the vibrant agriculture and construction industries, thereby effectively specialising in the playing field of the production of all off road specialty tyres,” he said. Subasinghe furthered: “We understand the importance and implications of major technological shifts in our industry - the prevalence of IoT (Internet of Things), the opportunity that machine learning or AI (Artificial Intelligence), Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can provide in making better decisions.” Looking to the future, GRI says it will embark on an even more ambitious and exponential innovation programmes, to assist the Sri Lankan rubber market to move up a notch ahead in the region.

Sri Lanka is the world’s eighth largest natural rubber producing country and currently the seventh largest rubber exporter

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Events 2018

29 MAY - 1 JUNE PLAST 2018 Venue: Milan, Italy Tel: +39 02 8228371 Fax: +39 02 57512490 Email: Internet: 13 - 16 JUNE Propak Asia Venue: BITEC, Bangkok Tel: +65 6233 6777 Fax: +65 6233 6768 Email: Internet: 20 - 23 JUNE InterPlas Thailand Venue: BITEC, Bangkok Tel: +66 2686 7299 Email: Internet: 28 - 30 JUNE PackPrintPlas Philippines Cebu Venue: Waterfront Cebu City, Hotel & Casino, Lahug Tel: (+63 2) 893 7973 Fox: (+63 2) 550 1148 Email: eipril.vigilla Internet: 11 - 13 JULY ProPak China Venue: SNIEC, Shanghai Tel: +86 21 6209 5209 Email: Internet: 19 - 22 JULY M'sia-Plas Venue: PWTC Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 9132 1922 Email: Internet: 15 - 19 AUGUST Taipei Plas Venue: Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre, Taiwan Tel: 886 2 27255200 Fax: 886 2 27251959 Email: Internet: 29 - 31 AUGUST Medical Manufacturing Asia Venue: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Tel: (65) 6332 9623 Email: Internet: 7 - 9 SEPTEMBER PackPrintPlas Philippines Davao Venue: SMX Convention Center Davao, Davao City Tel: (+63 2) 893-7973 Fox: (+63 2) 550-1148 Email: eipril.vigilla Internet:

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