PRA- Nov/Dec 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 材 料 : 萌芽階段的生物塑料市場

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In this issue

Volume 31, No 226

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 14 材料: 萌芽階段的生物塑料市場 18 K2016 Machinery Review – Erema showcased closed loop recycling; W&H its Turboclean resin changeover system; WM Wrapping its latest Twist tilting mould machine; Rajoo its Pentafoil all-PE line and Davis-Standard its dsX systems

21 K2016 Materials Review – Round-up of materials innovations for the automotive sector

23 Recycling – In pursuit of a zero-waste economy, the plastics industry, automotive makers and recyclers are working towards initiating the increase of plastics recovery in end-of-life vehicles 26 Toy Industry – With fun and safety being the main watchwords, toy manufacturers are ditching endocrine disruptor-containing materials in making toys

Regulars 概 要

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email: Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:

2 Industry News


6 Materials News

MCI (P) 127/08/2016

ISSN 1360-1245 KDN PP 18785/08/2015 (034280)

10 業界新聞

Printer United Mission Press

Supplements 副 刊 3D printing technology displayed its vast application capabilities at the recent K2016 show held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 19-26 October Asia-Pacific is maintaining its hold on the global tyres market, aided by increasing car sales and investments across tyre segments by OEMs and tyre makers



業界新 聞 材料: 萌芽階段的生物塑料市場

It’s no longer child’s play when it comes to selecting plastics for making toys. Against the back of health risk claims plastics have, manufacturers are resorting to their bag of tricks for safer alternatives to ensure toys meet the requirements.

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is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2016 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

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Industry News

M&As/Investments • Germany-headquartered flexible foam equipment maker Armacell has acquired 100% of PoliPex, a Brazilian manufacturer of extruded PE insulation foams, in a share deal for an undisclosed amount. The addition of Polipex is said to strengthen Armacell's product portfolio in Latin America and increases the domestic customer service levels, as well as the support for regional OEMs. • US floor covering manufacturer and Berkshire Hathaway whollyowned subsidiary Shaw Industries has acquired USFloors, a manufacturer of woodplastic composite (WPC) flooring, as well as cork, bamboo and hardwood products, under the COREtec, Natural Cork, Natural Bamboo, Navarre and Castle Combe Floor and Wall brands. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. • Flexible packaging company ProAmpac has acquired US-based Vitex Packaging Group, a converter and printer of flexible packaging materials. The company has expanded into the medical; pharmaceutical; health and beauty; and 2

food and beverage markets. Vitex will retain its brand name and operate under ProAmpac’s Extrusion Lamination Division. • Canada-headquartered flexible packaging supplier Transcontinental has acquired Flexstar Packaging, which specialises in converting high barrier film, including printing, lamination and pouch making for the cereal, confectionery, snack, frozen food and coffee markets. The company generated a revenue of US$36 million this year. • France-based waste collection company Suez has acquired 30% share of US recycler and postconsumer materials producer TerraCycle. The partnership will enable Suez to develop its collection and recycling programmes, including packaging waste, in Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands, UK and Sweden as well as leverage Terracycle’s expertise for recycling specific hard-to-recycle waste streams. • Dutch private equity group Egeria is acquiring Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Group, a global flexible packaging manufacturer comprising 11


manufacturing sites in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, UK and US, supplying over 45 countries globally with a turnover of approximately EUR400 million. The deal is expected to be completed later this year. • French automotive parts supplier Mecaplast, which designs and manufactures plastic parts and complete systems for vehicle engine and body, is snapping up US automotive components supplier Key Plastics. The said expansion will enable Mecaplast to expand in key markets, including the US, Germany and China. The closing of the transaction is subject to approvals and customary closing conditions. • UK-based moulded parts maker Pentagon Plastics is purchasing Phoenix Engineering 2009 (formerly Punctual Precision), which specialises in caps/closure tooling. Fee for the 100% share purchase of Phoenix is undisclosed. The Horshamheadquartered Phoenix will now join Pentagon Plastics under the group umbrella. • Rockwell Collins, an American aerospace and defence solutions provider is taking over Florida-headquartered

aircraft cabin interior products maker B/E Aerospace for US$8.3 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed by 2017 and is subject to the approval of Rockwell Collins and B/E Aerospace shareowners, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. • US-headquartered functional coatings and colour solutions company Ferro Corporation is acquiring Belgiumheadquartered pigments maker Cappelle Pigments and the acquisition of certain assets of Delta Performance Products, a US producer of customised colourant blends, for US$60 million. Sales for the two businesses in 2016 are estimated to be US$76 million and adjusted EBITDA in 2016 is expected to be US$11 million. The transaction is expected to close by year end. • Germany-based chemicals firm BASF and Dutch renewable chemistry company Avantium have formed a joint venture, known as Synvina, for the production and marketing of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). FDCA is used for the production of PEF, a polyester suitable for food and beverage packaging as well as for fibres for carpets and textiles.



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Industry News

• US-based speciality materials company Celanese Corporation is acquiring Italy-based compounder SO.F.TER. Group, including its portfolio of engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), as

well as all customer agreements and all manufacturing, technology and commercial facilities. The acquisition is expected to push Celanese’s aim on bringing technical expertise, production

and compounding capabilities closer to its customers by extending its footprint in Italy, Mexico, Brazil and the US. • Netherlands-based chemical firm LyondellBasell has

Plant Set-ups/Capacity Expansions • Netherlandsheadquartered compounder Resin Products & Technology and its sister company Yparex, a supplier of extrudable tie-layer resins, have set up a 50/50 joint venture with Indonesian company PT Polymindo Permata, a provider of flame-retardant wicker and thatch made with synthetic fibres. The Jakartasited joint venture known as Resindo began operations early this year, with a new custom-built facility adjacent to the production operations that opened in second quarter 2015; and a major upgrade to the jointly shared quality testing laboratory and the common quality assurance (QA) system both companies use. • French chemicals company Arkema is increasing its current Kynar PVDF capacity at its Changshu, China, facility by 25%, to meet the strong demand, in particular in new energies and water treatment applications. Through this 4

investment, Arkema expects its Changshu site to become the largest PVDF plant in Asia. • To satisfy the rising demand for polycarbonate (PC) in Asia, Germanybased Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is doubling its production capacity for PC from 200,000 to 400,000 tonnes/ year at its Shanghai, China site. The site houses two new world-scale production lines for PCs, and are a major component of Covestro’s multiyear investment programme for the Shanghai site with a volume of more than EUR3 billion. The move will catapult Covestro as the world’s largest producer of PC resins. • Germany’s Evonik Industries’s plans to build a second world-scale plant for the production of the amino acid DL-methionine


in Singapore are fully on schedule. The complex will have a capacity of 150,000 tonnes/year and is expected to become operational in 2019. The new production complex will increase Evonik’s annual capacity of MetAmino brand DL-methionine to a total of 300,000 and 730,000 tonnes/year in Asia, and worldwide, respectively. Besides Singapore, Evonik produces the amino acid in Antwerp (Belgium), Wesseling/ Cologne (Germany) and Mobile (US). • Belgium-based chemicals firm Solvay is building a polyamide compounding unit in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, to serve growing automotive and consumer goods markets in Mexico and the Americas. The plant, with an initial capacity of 10,000 tonnes/year, is due to start up in the third quarter of 2017. To minimise investment costs and time to market, Solvay will

added Softell Textile to its portfolio of products for interior automotive applications. Injection moulded components made out of this new PP compound display a textile-like surface finish.

partner with Chunil Engineering, one of its major customers, on the Mexican project. • China’s Jilin Connell Chemical Industry, a manufacturer of industrial gases and related chemicals, will set up a 300-kilotonne/ year ethylene and propylene plant in Jilin. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the new plant will utilise Honeywell UOP’s Methanolto-Olefins (MTO) process. The Chinese manufacturer is the ninth company to license the Honeywell UOP technology, which is said to produce superior yields at lower cost compared to competing technologies. The new plant's offtake will be supplied to ethylene oxide and propylene oxide manufacturers currently operating in the same industrial park. Global demand for ethylene and propylene is growing 4 to 5% per year, with growth driven by strong demand for plastics and other chemicals, particularly in China.


Machinery News • German machinery manufacturer Arburg has inaugurated its Taiwanese subsidiary. The Taichung-based 550 sq m-floor space venue will offer technology, pre and aftersales service. The showroom will provide sufficient space for three Allrounder injection moulding machines. The infrastructure in Taiwan will be expanded in a targeted manner, for example by broader service offerings and application technology consulting, says Arburg. • India´s Kabra Extrusiontechnik and Germany-based pipe machinery maker Unicor have formed a strategic partnership to provide fully integrated extrusion solutions for the Indian and global plastics corrugated pipe industry. The collaboration plans to make corrugated pipe machines in India using Unicor’s expertise with Kabra’s manufacturing capabilities. Unicor’s range of products includes various types of machines for all applications – electrical, medical, automotive, water and sewer pipes, with pipe diameters from 3-2,400 mm. Kabra, part of the Kolsite Group has more than 11,000 installations and presence in 85 countries across the globe.

• Injection moulding machine maker Engel Austria has taken over manufacturing execution systems (MES) provider TIG (Technische Informationssysteme) in Rankweil. TIG will be managed as an independent subsidiary. The two MES solutions, e-factory by Engel and authentig by TIG, will continue to be offered independently, as stand-alone solutions, and development will continue on both. In other news, Engel has established a regional hub in Bangkok, Thailand, for its local subsidiaries and representatives. This office adds on to its sales and service subsidiaries in Singapore, and Vietnam. • Injection moulding machine maker Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has set up a new consultancy, sales and service office in Iran with its local partner, Kara Sanaat Rasha of Tehran, which has more than 15 years experience. The company says customers from Iran are particularly interested in automated highperformance injection moulding machines with medium to high clamping forces and is targeting the packaging and automotive markets. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016


Materials News

Budding market for bioplastics The biobased plastics market is expected to blossom into a million dollar industry with the plastics sector’s commitment to sustainability remaining a strong driving force behind its growth, says Angelica Buan.


umanity depends heavily on plants as a source of food, the catalyst of the air it breathes, and the backbone of its environment. Now, plants are being utilised as feedstock for plastics, for industries to manufacture products from renewable resources such as crops, biomass and algae.

Demand for plant-based packaging The global bioplastics market is driven by the emergence of renewable resources, biomass, and biobased raw materials such as starch and vegetable crop derivatives. In 2015, biobased bioplastics accounted for more than 80% of the global bioplastics market, in a number of applications such as packaging and domestic goods, thus weaning off overdependence on petroleum-based plastics. According to Smithers Rapra, non-durable and semidurable applications of biopolymers occupy over 75% of the market. These applications are usually designed for one-time-use and usually they end up in a landfill. Biodegradable products degrade from naturally occurring microorganisms over a period of time. It is an important way to remove waste from the environment, breaking down organic matter into nutrients that can be used by other organisms. For this reason, biodegradability is considered to be the important application driver – a property that is well met by some biopolymers, especially PLA, PHA, PBS and a few other aliphatic polyesters and starch compounds. Food and beverage are key drivers in the bioplastics packaging market, accounting for a CAGR of nearly 37% from 2014-2020, citing a research report by Persistence Market Research.

Plants and crops are being utilised as feedstock for bioplastics

Biobased plastics or bioplastics, according to a report from BCC Research, rely on an estimated 0.01% of the global agricultural area of 5 billion ha. The UK research firm projects that bioplastics production could grow by 271% by 2020 from 2015, consuming some 0.04% of farm products produced from about 0.04% of total global agricultural area by 2020. Another UK research firm, Smithers Rapra, pegs the global biopolymers consumption at 2.18 million tonnes this year, marked by varying growth rates due to availability of raw materials such as sugar cane, corn, and other useful crops, technology availability and policies favourable to bioplastics. By 2021, it says, global biopolymer demand is forecast to rise to about 6 million tonnes, growing at an annual rate of around 19%.



Some major food companies have developed plant-based packaging, driving market growth for bioplastics

Materials News Major food companies, like Coca Cola, Danone, Heinz and Nestlé, have used plant-based packaging, thus further expanding the market potentials for bioplastics. These companies comprise the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), together with other consumer brand firms like Ford, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). B FA s u p p o rt s t h e r e s p o n s i b l e d e v e l o p m e n t o f plastics made from plant material, helping build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry. The primary focus of BFA is to guide the responsible selection and harvesting of feedstocks, such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush, and switchgrass, used to make plastics from agricultural materials. The group also addresses the potential impacts on land use, food security, and biodiversity. Turning a new leaf with sugar-derived materials This year, Dutch biobased industrial materials specialist Avantium and German chemicals group BASF established a mid-three-digit million Euro investment partnership to produce plant-based chemical furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) utilising the plant’s fructose for making plastics. The joint venture named Synvina will also be marketing the new polymer polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) based on the new chemical building block FDCA.

Synvina, the jv between BASF and Avantium is producing FDCA that is used for the production of PEF, a polyester for packaging, engineering plastics, coatings, and fibres applications

The Amsterdam-headquartered joint venture is set for a production capacity of up to 50,000 tonnes/year at BASF’s site in Antwerp, Belgium, and to license the technology for industrial scale production. FDCA is used for the production of PEF, a polyester with multiple application opportunities like packaging, engineering plastics, coatings, and fibres.

Materials News

According to BASF, for packaging, PEF offers better characteristics, such as improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen, compared to conventional plastics, thus rendering a longer shelf life of packaged products. It also offers a higher mechanical strength, thus thinner PEF packaging can be produced and fewer resources are required. PEF is suitable for foil pouches, bottles for carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, water, dairy products, still and sports drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as personal and home care products. FDCA can also be processed to polyamides for engineering plastics and fibres, to polyurethanes for foams, coatings and adhesives, and to esters for personal care products and lubricants. Synvina is working with companies like Toyobo and Mitsui Chemical as well as those involved in the joint development platform for PEF bottles, including Austrian blow-moulded bottles specialist, Alpla, Coca Cola and Danone, to further the industrial potentials of FDCA. Another k ey bioplastics producer, Netherlandsheadquartered Corbion, is steering its bioplastics market position along a sustainable curve. It recently published a white paper outlining the company’s stance on feedstock selection, as well as issues such as land use, feedstock efficiency and food security. Corbion says that the concerns of using biobased feedstocks for plastics can be successfully identified and managed, and that the many benefits of these biobased, renewable feedstocks far outweigh their challenges. For the production of bioplastics like polylactic acid (PLA), Corbion’s key agricultural material is raw sugar from cane that is grown in Thailand. To a lesser extent, Corbion also uses sugar beet grown in Europe as a feedstock for its plant in Spain. Improving significantly its internal process yields, the company says it has been able to produce 1 kg of PLA using just 1.6 kg of raw sugar.

Likewise, part of this push for innovation strategies is introducing a new brand name, Luminy, which comprises the entire PLA range, including both high-heat and standard PLA resins, tailored to the most common plastics production technologies in various molecular weights, according to Corbion. Furthermore, Corbion stressed in the whitebpaper the benefits of using biobased plastics in consumer goods. It says that biodegradable bioplastics can convert back to CO2, water and harmless substances at the end of their useful life. “This is a good option in case mechanical recycling of the end product is not (or no longer) feasible,” it adds. Equally notable is that the use of bioplastics curbs dependency on fossil fuels, therefore supporting a circular, local-for-local economy with the multiple end-of-life options provided. Rooting for starch Italy-headquartered bioplastics and biochemical maker Novamont Group has developed its own technology for producing hydroxymethylfurfural, furandicarboxylic acid and polymers for captive use, based on the roots of the cardoon plant, a close relative of artichoke. “This is a complex system of integrated technologies with low environmental impact. The aim is to create a demonstration system and validate the product in certain initial applications from 2018,” according to Novamont. The technology will enable the production of the fifth generation of Mater-Bi bioplastic used in a variety of applications such as carrier and organic waste bags; nets for fresh fruit and vegetables; cutlery; and a range of flexible packaging. Previous generations of Mater-Bi include azelaic acid and pelargonic acid from oils (third generation), and bio-butanediol from sugars using bacteria (fourth generation).

Mater-Bi's cardoon roots-derived bioplastic is used in a variety of applications such as packaging and carrier bags

Corbion’s PLA is used to produce bioplastic root protection containers



Still on PLA, fibre-based materials manufacturer Ahlstrom is cornering the US single-serve coffee market with its PLA-based biopolymer for coffee pods.

Materials News

Club Coffee's PurPod100 coffee pods are made from Ahlstrom's biodegradable corn starch-derived PLA polymer

Ahlstrom has signed a multi-year agreement and will supply its biodegradable corn starch-derived PLA product to Canada-based roaster and packaged coffee products company Club Coffee. The biopolymer is combined with other natural fibres to obtain the pressure resistance properties needed for a good quality and filtering abilities to block residues from passing through. Club Coffee uses the material in its PurPod100 solution, which was recently cited with an "Innovation in Bioplastics” award by the Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI) in the US. Ahlstrom says its PLA-based materials can be also used in tea bags and other food packaging solutions. Non-toxic solution Algae, simple plants that live on water, are vital to the ecosystem. But instances like algae overgrowth, especially of the harmful algal blooms (HABs), can produce toxins. However, recent research findings offer solutions on how to constructively utilise algae. U S - h e a d q u a rt e r e d n o n - p r o f i t N a t i o n a l A l g a e Association (NAA) is promoting the commercial value of algae oil as an alternative feedstock for the biofuels markets. It states that algae can be produced into high value products such as, to cite a few, cosmetics, food and bioplastics. These benefits of algae are also confirmed by Dutch Wageningen University & Research (WUR), a collaboration between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research foundation. It says that high-quality oils, proteins, pigments, hydrocarbons and sugars can be obtained from microalgae. In an analysis conducted on two kinds of seaweeds, WUR researchers found that PLA obtained from Ulva Lactuca is suitable as a raw material for biobased soft drink bottles; and polysaccharides from Gracilaria Vermiculophylla, which can be used to make packaging film. While the economic viability of seaweeds as material for bioplastics is still being established, the team’s analysis showed that seaweed cultivation has the potential to be eco-friendly. The team, led by Sander van den Burg of Wageningen Economic Research, reasons that “seaweed extracts nutrients directly from water and unlike the cultivation of maize or sugar beet, no polluting fertilisers are used. Seaweed also has the great advantage of not requiring valuable agricultural land.”

It is therefore not surprising that enterprising individuals such as Rob Falken, Managing Director of US-based companies Effekt and Bloom Holdings are utilising a non-food renewable resource like algae for fashioning marketable products like yoga mats and sneakers. Working with algae bioproducts producer Algix and its CEO Mike Van Drunen (who is also a Managing Member of Bloom Holdings), Falken utilises the seaweed collected from waste streams across US and Asia to produce flexible algae foams, which contain around 15% to 60% algae. This innovation has the potential to produce other products. Expanding demand for algae could be more sustainable than conventional farming since they inhabit in water and do not require land for cultivation, experts say.

Effekt's yoga mat is based on flexible algae foams

Growth on the horizon Hence, the market for bioplastics is expected to continue to boom, and while the potential market for bioplastics is huge, consumption rates will depend on whether producers can grow their production capabilities fast enough and at acceptable cost/performance levels to meet demand. It is expected that the biopolymer sector will likely adapt an added-value business model. Unlike oil refineries, a biorefinery will be capable of processing many different types of biomass – including sugars, cellulose and various plant oils, says Smithers Rapra. Other growth drivers will be legislation that will enable or impede producers in manufacturing biopolymers and converting them into useful consumer end-use items. With the crude oil price being at its lowest since the year 2000, while this makes biopolymers less competitive against petropolymer equivalents; on the other hand, the unpredictability of oil prices encourage market players to look for alternatives that are made of raw materials that have a price that is easier to forecast. Meanwhile, environmental issues will grow in importance and while new environmental regulations add additional costs to the industry, changing consumer views on sustainability open up new markets for biopolymer and recycled polymer markets. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016













Chinaplas 2017 on track to smart manufacturing


nnovation is key to business upgrading and transformation. China’s thrust to becoming a global leader in R&D will enable this transformation. Meanwhile, Guangdong province is one of the pivotal production bases for China’s plastics and rubber industries. The province actively promotes the realisation of highend, intelligent and green manufacturing. By the end of 2018, it is projected that the establishment of R&D centres will reach 23% or above; while the number of provincial-level enterprise technology centres, key laboratories, engineering centres and laboratories will increase to 2,800, unveiling the growing importance of R&D among Guangdong enterprises. Hence, Guangdong is a befitting venue for the 31st edition of Chinaplas. The show is organised by Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd and will be staged in Guangdong’s capital city, Guangzhou, from 6-19 May 2017. The show is expected to occupy 250,000 sq m exhibition area with 3,300 exhibitors, featuring a vast array of exhibits in connection with “Intelligent Manufacturing”, “High-tech Materials” and “Green Solutions”. As such, the three specific zones at Chinaplas will showcase solutions developed in line with intelligent production, the core of “Made in China 2025” strategic plan, the trend of green manufacturing and the increasing demand for high-tech materials, to meet the challenges and strengthen companies’ industrial competitiveness. China is the largest global market for industrial robots and just Guangdong alone accounts for onethird of the market share. It is expected that over 50% above-scale enterprises in Guangdong will adopt robotic manufacturing by the end of 2017. Some 1,000 suppliers are expected to comprise the cluster of exhibitors that will showcase the latest innovations in the high-tech materials area, including advanced composites and high-performance engineering plastics. Additionally, a wide array of green solutions applicable to different manufacturing industries will also be featured in the dedicated “Recycling Technology Zone.” Serving varying consumer needs Technological advancement presents unlimited possibilities for the plastics sector. For instance, plastics play a vital role to achieve automotive lightweighting and are also suitable for the production of automobile nonload-bearing parts and safety load-bearing structure. In new energy vehicles, deemed one of the booming and emerging industries, plastics can be applied to battery and the enclosure of motors for protection and isolation purposes. Furthermore, special medical-grade polymers are used in asthma inhalers and insulin pens, and biocompatible yet artificial materials pick up the slack when the body’s own are failing. Not only are plastics increasingly used inside the human body, polymer processing technologies are also paving the way for breakthroughs in the medical industry, including 3D printing of the human organs.

As the target consumer segment gradually shifts to the younger demographic, there is a growing demand for high-performance, personalised and ecofriendly products, fostering the formation of a “highend, personalised” market focus. For example, in the electronics and electrical appliances industry, the application and processing technologies of plastics can enhance the design and finishing of the product. For high-end packaging, “lightweight” and “eco-friendly” will define the trend. Moreover, plastic packaging favours the pursuit of portability and design of the packaging container and its multi-variety is the definite advantage to satisfy various consumers’ needs.

Emerging materials and industrial competitiveness Chinaplas 2017 is going to exhibit the most groundbreaking plastics and rubber technologies and a wide array of raw materials aligned with the government policies and the latest trend. The show will be hosting 12 country and region pavilions, including Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and US. There will be 16 theme zones in the next year’s edition, namely Injection Moulding Machinery, Extrusion Machinery, Plastic Packaging & Blow Moulding Machinery, Film Technology and Rubber Machinery Zones; Auxiliary & Testing Equipment and Die & Mould Zones, Chinese Export Machinery & Materials Halls, as well as Chemicals & Raw Materials Zone, Bioplastics, Additives, Colour Pigment & Masterbatch Zones and Semi-finished Products Zone. Meanwhile, the Automation Technology and Recycling Technology, and the Composite & High Performance Materials zones, which have been new additions in recent show editions, will also be highlighted at Chinaplas 2017. To know more about Chinaplas 2017, visit the event page at NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016


Corbion 的 PLA 用于生产生物塑料基保护容器

由 BASF 和 Avantium 成立的合资企业 Synvina,所生产的 FDCA 用 于生产 PEF,一种用于包装、工程塑料、涂料和纤维用途的聚酯



Mater-Bi 的 刺菜蓟根衍 生的生物塑 料用于多种 用途,如包 装和运输袋

Effekt 的瑜珈垫是采用柔 性藻类泡沫塑料

Club Coffee 的 PurPod100 咖啡包是由 Ahlstrom 的可生物降解玉 米淀粉衍生的 PLA 聚合物制成



K2016 MACHINERY REVIEW W&H’s Turboclean launched; cost savings for material changeovers During the K2016 show, at scheduled times of the day, Germany-based extrusion machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) was running and changing two five-layer POD (polyolefin-dedicated) films on a Varex II blown film line. The live show, coupled with an audiovisual display, in a fanfare of lights and sound, put to launch its latest Turboclean resin changeover system. The entire concept served as an example of the company’s theme of “Packaging 4.0 – intelligent, integrated, intuitive”. Martin Backmann, R&D Manager, said, “The Varex II is an intelligent machine because the Turboclean can manage a resin change on its own and it is done in a matter of minutes, compared to the 40 minutes usually taken, because machine operators don’t have to clean each equipment component manually and reconnect the equipment again.” W&H’s Varex II line, which was introduced at K2013, was showcasing the company’s Turboclean. Shown here is the first material in blue

Backmann said that the new system is in line with two distinct mega-trends the company has noticed: increasing demand for quality and cost-effective production. “We did a customer survey to find out what is lacking in productivity. We found out that 9% of downtime happens as a result of material changeovers. This works out to a huge amount on a yearly basis. Hence, we concluded that customers require a system that could allow for a short time to change the material.” Though Turboclean is just a huge white box with hoses, and all an operator did at the show was to pull out hoses from one connection to link to another connection to change the material, there is more to Turboclean than meets the eye. It cleans all the system components simultaneously rather than one by one. When a changeover is required, it stops the material from being fed, draining it at a high speed into bins under the gravimetric hoppers. Thus, it ensures that virgin materials are not mixed with the purged ones. Pressurised air is then blown through the system to remove residual pellets and new material introduced into the blown film line. During the live demonstration at the show, the machine was producing a blue food packaging film using ExxonMobil’s Exceed XP polymer and it would then



The first material is purged and another added (red film), within a matter of minutes

change to a red-colour collation shrink film, produced using ExxonMobil’s Enable 4002 polymer. All this would be done in 12 minutes, shaving 28 minutes off the entire changeover time. “We are keeping close to our theme of intelligent, integrated, intuitive. By integrating all processes of the machine and the intuitive touch screen user panel, resin changes can be completed in just a few minutes and uptime is increased by 6%. This is possible thanks to the combination of an intelligent algorithm with the automatic cleaning of gravimetric and vacuum conveyers,” said Backmann. Meanwhile, materials firm ExxonMobil was collaborating with W&H to demonstrate how the combination of its new Exceed XP polymers and machine technology intelligence can enable five-layer film solutions. “The Exceed XP exhibits extreme toughness and excellent seal performance, helping producers and brand owners protect and preserve food longer while the Enable 4002 offers high holding force and high transverse direction (TD) shrink for tight bundling to keep products secure,” said Olivier Lorge, Global Performance PE Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil. He also said these new performance polymers allow for a step-up performance with cost advantages. “We are working with machinery makers to help customers achieve sustained business growth and differentiated solutions for applications, when extreme performance matters,” he added. Erema's push on closing the loop in recycling At K2016, Austrian recycling machinery maker Erema had a special outdoor pavilion housing its Careformance Recycling Centre, where it was recycling over 30 tonnes of plastic waste on its Intarema TVEplus 1108 recycling system during the show. At the opening of the centre, Manfred Hackl, CEO of Erema, said that the image of plastics was bad and needed to be changed. “The presence of companies from different areas of the industry (today) is a strong message for the need to work together to close the loop,” he added.

K2016 MACHINERY REVIEW Thus, Erema collaborated with materials maker Borealis and machine suppliers Hosokawa Alpine, Bobst and GEA to allow for the first time to produce stand-up pouches based exclusively on PE, for easy recycling. Alfred Stern, Executive Vice-President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology, Borealis, reinforced Hackl’s words. “Borealis is not just a polyolefins producer. We are now into recycling having bought recycling company mtm earlier this year.” He also emphasised the need for plastic material to be made more recyclable. “More attention needs to be paid to designing of products for recyclability. For example, laminated flexible packaging is extremely beneficial for food preservation, but consists of different materials that make it impossible to recycle.” He also pointed out the collaboration on the 100% mono-material stand-up pouch showed how the closed loop system can work. The pouches produced on site, including any production waste, were shown recycled live and the recyclates processed directly on an OCS extruder to make blown film.

The centre also displayed exhibits made from recycled material like the skateboard shown here

Erema also used the opportunity to present the first Industry 4.0 package in the field of plastics recycling. "Building on the Smart Start package presented at K2013 and the Intarema systems' high degree of automation connected with it, Erema has developed a Smart Factory package for producers and recyclers. On one hand, the process data of the individual machines is analysed and, on the other, the production and recycling facilities are interconnected with the entire process chain," explained Hackl. The machine, quality and process data of the recycling process was being relayed in real time directly from the Recycling Centre to Erema's booth during the show. Hackl said that he is confident that this digital quality proof will further increase the amount of recyclate used in the production of plastics.

To kick start the recycling centre were (from left to right) Manfred Hackl (CEO, Erema Group), Alexandre Dangis (Managing Director, European Plastics Converters), Ton Emans (President, Plastics Recyclers Europe) and Alfred Stern (Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology, Borealis)

Meanwhile, compounding equipment maker KraussMaffei Berstorff will utilise Erema’s Intarema solution in its new re-compounding extruder, known as Edelweiss Compounding. With this solution, a first extruder is used for melting the reclaimed material before it is compounded on a second extruder. Owing to the integrated process on a single line of tandem configuration, the material processed need not be heated repeatedly, which saves energy, minimises the shear stress produced during plasticising and allows for improved material quality. In addition, re-compounding allows processors to use cost-effective reclaimed material, say the companies. WM adds a twist to its new machine model Switzerland-based WM Thermoforming Machines premiered its brand new Twist 700, a larger machine that succeeds its smaller Twist 300 model. According to Luca Oliverio, WM’s Sales and Marketing Director, “The Twist 700 is one step higher. It uses a similar motion concept that was used on the Twist 300, but the latter was only for very small production. Twist 700 is not only bigger, but is also fully equipped with all the latest technology, including our MSv7 stacker.” He went on to explain, “The new stacking concept offers great flexibility, by allowing customers to automatically count, stack and pack products of various shapes that are difficult to stack, from standard cups, and round or square dairy containers, to shallow products such as lids or coffee capsules.” NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016


K2016 MACHINERY REVIEW WM showcased its latest tilting mould machine

Oliverio also added that the machine runs on moveable mechanical cams allowing for the faster speed of up to 50 cycles/minute, without any vibrations. Featuring tilting mould technology, the machine also incorporates MLS (Machine Learning System) that helps technicians to optimise process parameters, synchronise the machine and stacking system, and rationalise material consumption. As for the company’s business prospects, Oliverio said sales were 25% higher compared to 2015. “We saw growth come mainly from Europe, Middle East, Asia and South America.” The Twist 700 was shown producing small clear bowls, with an outside diameter of 115 mm for dairy products, from 630-micron-thick UltraClear PP sheet that has Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 additive. The clarifying agent has removed the transparency obstacle for PP, clearing the way for PP to potentially replace other materials such as amorphous PET and PS in various packaging applications, says the US firm. Using the mono-material concept of NX UltraClear PP in thermoformed applications also helps to facilitate end-of-life recycling of the resulting products. As well, it delivers significant weight savings. For example, Milliken notes, UltraClear PP trays typically are 15-20% lighter than comparable PET-based food trays. Davis-Standard focuses on packaging machinery US-headquartered extrusion/converting machinery maker Davis-Standard expects favourable winds of change this year. “Business is improving in Europe and the US and we see an improvement in sales in Asia, with good activity expected in the fourth quarter,” said President Jim Murphy. Jim Murphy, left, and Sekaran Murugaiah are confident that “pockets of growth” will strengthen sales

With packaging machinery occupying nearly half its equipment portfolio, the company was showcasing its popular dsX systems for extrusion coating, cast film and blown film processes. “We have had positive industry response due to the competitive advantage in price, performance and delivery,” said Jim. He also



added that the 450 m/minute-dsX flex-pack (extrusion coating) provides converters and printers an adaptable configuration for a variety of emerging applications. Meanwhile, dsX s-tretch (cast film) is the first all-inone system of its kind for in-line, pre-stretch cast film processing, with integrated technology that eliminates the need for traditional pre-stretching methods, resulting in thinner films, faster line speeds and improved film strength. Films as thin as 6 microns at speeds from 5501,000 m/minute can be run in three, five and seven-layer configurations. According to Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice-President Business Development Asia-Pacific, “We have orders for a number of extrusion coating and cast lines in Thailand, while the Indian and South Korean markets are looking exciting. The Korean Institute of Industrial Technology has invested in one of our lines to demonstrate and conduct further research.” When asked about expansion plans, Jim said the firm will add on more product ranges to its Suzhou facility in China in the future. “It already offers wire/cable and medical tubing line capabilities as well as extruders; and we have added on 60 staff over four years.” Rajoo runs five-layer mono-material line India’s Rajoo Engineers, which makes blown film, sheet extrusion lines and thermoformers, was the only Asian company to demonstrate live its Pentafoil five-layer all-PE blown film line, in a throwback to K2013 where a five-layer barrier film line was running. Its latest line incorporates advancements in technology such as cylindrical spiral die (CSD); internal bubble cooling; circumferential profile control with elevated air ring and triple lip; fully automatic winder and touchscreen-based supervisory control panel. “It is packaged with an affordable price and energy consumption is only 0.3kWh/kg,” said Sunil Jain, President. Besides the lower energy consumption, Sunil contended that the five-layer line allows processors to get more out of less by down- Rajoo’s five-layer monomaterial line at the show gauging. With a maximum output of 650 kg/hour, the line can produce PE film in a thickness range of 30-250 microns. “The line has been configured to produce films that comply with difficult industry demands and specifications that provide a competitive edge to customers’ businesses, in terms of both diverse film properties and costs,” explained Sunil, adding that response had been encouraging. The company also commemorated its 30th anniversary in business at the show.

K2016 Materials Review The K2016 show saw various materials advancements, especially for the automotive sector • A new concept race car jointly developed by German chemicals firm BASF and Hyundai Motor, RN30, has moved away from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) to reduce weight, utilising BASF’s Elastolit rigid integral foam and reaction injection molding (RIM) systems developed for body panels. The latter are said to permit challenging designs like the fender and spoiler of the RN30 and allow for painting. The RN30 also features BASF’s Elastoflex E, a spray impregnation PU for light and stiff sandwich structures consisting of a long fibre-reinforced surface layer and a paper honeycomb. Its Infinergy is the world’s first expanded TPU, which combined with an elastic coating is used in the roll bar padding of the RN30 for durability and resilience. As for the braking system, BASF says it developed a breakthrough technology, Hydraulan 406 ESI, which fulfills legislative requirements by extending the durability of the brake elastomer. For electronic assemblies of the RN30, BASF’s new Ultramid Advanced N allows for miniaturisation and functional integration. Other features undertaken by Hyundai include a bucket seat for racing, fitting the driver’s body and an integrated roll cage, which increases the vehicle body strength and protects the driver in precarious situations. For the seat shell and pan, BASF offers Ultracom, a thermoplastic composite system while its near infrared-reflective films, protect windows against solar heat and its waterborne ColorPro IC basecoat “Performance Blue” is used on the exterior with a layer of iGloss clearcoat.

RN30 concept racing car, a collaboration between BASF and Hyundai

• Solvay launched Technyl REDx, a new heat performance PA66 integrating a “smart molecule” self-reinforcement technology, said to outperform conventional speciality polymers in demanding thermal management systems. It includes a patented self-strengthening technology present in the polymer chain without affecting its structure. This technology remains inactive during moulding of car parts, leaving the material behaving like a high-flow PA66. During

Solvay’s latest PA66 incorporates technology ideal for charge air coolers

the vehicle’s use, the elevated temperatures activate the smart technology, leading to rapid cross-linking that boosts the mechanical properties far beyond their initial values. Technyl REDx can be processed at temperatures below 100°C. Ageing tests over 3,000 hours at 220°C demonstrate high retention property as well as tensile property gain of more than 50%, without degradation of elongation at break. It is said to help meet growing demand for downsized engines. Solvay also launched Technyl 4Earth, a postindustrial PA66 sourced from automotive airbags. Industrialised in Poland, the patented process is able to separate the nylon from the airbag's silicone. It had on display an automotive oil filter made of the material.

• What’s next for a company that has proven that a solar-powered plane is possible? An electric concept car! Germany-based Covestro’s featured car, developed in collaboration with design students from Sweden and Finland, showcases a wrap-around glazing made of transparent PC, a new lighting concept as well as seamless integration of the PC body with the PC lighting. For the rear of the vehicle, together with lighting and electronics supplier Hella, Covestro developed a solution based on holographic films, where various light functions can be integrated. Said to be an industry first, Hella developed the holograms before Covestro then incorporated these into a transparent holographic film, which retains the design and is laminated onto a 3 mm glass plate. For series applications, plastic will be used instead of glass. The holographic film is illuminated from behind using LED light sources and reflectors, resulting in a 3D effect. Other new developments are the 70%-biomass coating hardener while another hardener enables plastic automotive add-on parts to be coated at low temperatures. Covestro says the wraparound glazing on its car provides for better allaround visibility



K2016 Materials Review • Dutch materials company DSM launched its third generation ForTii Ace polyphthalamide (PPA), as a replacement for die-cast DSM’s latest PPA metal applications that require a is targeted at high mechanical performance at under-the-hood temperatures as high as 150°C, applications and costlier engineering resins like PEEK. The resin has a glass transition temperature of 160°C, said to be higher than other PPAs, and 80°C higher than PA66. It is targeted at powertrain, transmission, chassis, and thermal management applications. • Ineos Styrolution presented its StyLight composites, said to be the first styrenic-based thermoplastic composites available on the market, with stiffness and impact strength properties exceeding PA6 and PC-based composites. Based on a modified SAN, the material is offered with both glass or carbon fibre fabrics for semi-structural applications in automotive interiors including seating modules, lower consoles, instrument clusters and tailgate modules as well as for electronics (eg. back covers of mobile devices), medical industry (eg. prostheses, orthoses) and sports equipment. The company says the material offers a thickness reduction of 50-70%, compared to injection-moulded parts, resulting in a weight reduction of up to 50%. It comes as semi-finished goods or thermoplastic sheets, for processing via thermoforming and over-moulding. Its surface property allows a wide range of decorative solutions from printing over foil lamination and conventional painting. Ineos’s patent-pending StyLight composite is for automotive interiors

• Middle Eastern materials supplier Sabic highlighted the use of its Noryl GTX PPE/PA6 resin in an automotive body-in-white (BIW) reinforcement on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’s 2015 Jeep Renegade. It reduced the weight by 45%, compared with an all-steel alternative. Through use of the resin in a thermoplastic honeycomb design with metal flanges, the automotive maker was also able to meet side-



impact protection requirements. An example of lighter bumper parts (Škoda Auto’s Fabia model) via thin-wall moulding of a new PP compound was also shown. The result allowed Tier 1 supplier Magna Exteriors to reduce the bumper’s thickness from 3 mm to 2.5 mm and reduce part weight by about 10%. Other new materials like its POM (unfilled polyoxymethylene or polyacetal), and Sabital glass fibre-reinforced polyacetal are targeted at automotive fuel pumps and door handles. • US firm Celanese has entered the PEEK market with the launch of its Celapex solution that enables moulding of thin-wall, long-flow parts and facilitates ease of processing even at high filler loading. It is said to maintain many of the physical, mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of PEEK. Furthermore, it launched a flexible Fortron PPS, which is heat-resistant, to meet the need for smaller engine compartments and complex industrial machinery that have high temperature requirements. The company said its new high-flow Celstran LFT (long fibre thermoplastics) cater to thinner (1-1.5 mm) and lighter parts. Initially offered as PP-based, other polymers can also be used. Targeted applications are front end panels. • Elix Polymers’s new ABS/PC blend, Ultra HH 4115 HI, is to meet the trend to replace PC/ABS parts with ABS/PC blends, especially for interior parts. The material’s advantages include 5% lower density with 1.07 g/cm³ versus PC/ABS 1.13 g/cm³, low emission and odour. Its high flowability rate helps to reduce cycle times. The Spanish firm says other benefits include its high impact strength, good processability and paintability. Tests according to ISO6603-2 (puncture impact behaviour) have shown performance of the material at different temperatures for crash-relevant parts such as interior pillars. The appearance of the fracture was evaluated as positive by several premium car manufacturers, such as BMW that has approved it according to GS93016 ABS+PC heat resistance. Another car maker Audi is considering the material for lower instrument panel parts, centre console parts and door panel parts.

Elix says OEMs and Tier suppliers have shown their interest in its new ABS/PC grade


Fast tracking recycling of automotive parts of ELVs In today’s zero-waste economy, end-of-lifevehicles (ELVs) have a better place to go to than landfills or so-called “graveyards” for used vehicles, says Angelica Buan in this report.


lastics have come a long way as an automotive material of choice. Until the 1970s, plastics were regarded as a non-engineering material and therefore not suitable for vehicle parts that need the robustness of metal or aluminium, due to its poor strength-to-density ratio. Advancements in technology have since then transformed the properties of plastic to make it on par with if not even succeeding the capabilities of materials like steel. Advance plastics are non-corrosive, with heat and temperature resistance. Even more so, with the increasing requirement for reduced vehicle weights, lower vehicle emissions, and increasing safety, plastic has become a material of choice. Plastic parts used in the automotive industry, such as dashboards, bumpers, handles, clamps and others, are mostly injection moulded, such as in the fuel systems, door systems, seating and others. Today’s vehicles are made up of as much as 50% of plastics, and is projected to reach up to 75% by 2020, according to IHS Automotive, but only contribute to about 10% of a vehicle’s weight. Amid these developments in plastics, recovery of these materials from end of life vehicles (ELV) is both a challenge and potential for material sourcing to the industry, given the thrust now for a zerowaste economy.

Disposal of ELVs is covered by agency directives or countryspecific regulations

directives or country-specific regulations. In the European Union (EU), for example, waste generated from ELVs is between 7 to 8 million tonnes. The EU’s ELV directive 2000/53/EC sets targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicle components. Manufacturers are also urged to ensure that vehicles are designed and manufactured in such a way as to achieve the set targets. Materials that go into the design of vehicles are also being assessed, such as PVC. Additionally, recycling of all plastics from ELVs should be continuously improved, as stated in the directive. In the US, a recent initiative on automotive parts recycling has been launched by the Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI), an organisation representing nearly 1 million workers in the US$427 billion US plastics industry. The Automotive End of Life Vehicles Recycling Demonstration Project will develop a method of collection and recovery of PP and thermoplastic olefin (TPO) automotive parts in a way that demonstrates technical and economic feasibility. Organisations partnering with SPI in this project include the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), and a number of independent plastics and automotive recyclers.

“…waste generated from ELVs is between 7 to 8 million tonnes… the EU’s ELV directive sets targets for recycling of vehicle components…”

Driving up recycling initiatives in the US, Europe and India Plastic is a valuable resource, an oft-said motto in the plastics industry, and ergo, plastic material recovery is a serious topic. Disposal of ELVs is covered by agency



Recycling SPI says that approximately 12 to 15 million vehicles are scrapped each year in the US. Recovery of plastic components before shredding is largely driven by the resale market, but some recovery for mechanical recycling is also occurring. SPI’s project will also test how the increased automotive parts recycling can benefit manufacturers and the plastics industry. Therefore, for members to see the benefits, concrete data that builds the business case for these recovery models needs to be established, “to get real buy-ins”, says Kim Holmes, Senior Director of Recycling & Diversion at SPI. Data gathered and analysed (including that pertaining to design guide to optimise recycling opportunities) will be disseminated across the automotive and plastic recycling industries to predict trends in demand for recycled materials, “so recyclers can invest in processing capacity with greater confidence,” SPI stated. In Asia, India, whose consumer base for vehicles is rapidly growing, has likewise hashed an initiative to recycle ELVs through policies that it hopes to align to its goal of becoming one of the world’s largest recycling base for cars. India’s car sales are expected to shoot up to nearly 11 million units by 2020. The increase in car production also translates to an increase in the number of ELVs. Millions of vehicles that are above 15 years old are candidates for recycling. Hence, proper management for retiring of scrapped cars is being addressed. The Indian government reportedly has laid out a strategy to boost automotive recycling rates by giving consumers monetary incentives of US$375 for every passenger vehicle scrapped.

Moreover, it has set up recycling units that will provide a more advanced and presumably cleaner recycling option to services offered by small units in the informal sector. By 2020, the government is targeting to recover 75,000 tonnes each of plastic and rubber as well as 1.5 million tonnes of steel scrap and 180,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap from ELVs. I n 2011, a vehicle dismantling facility, also doubling as a recycling demonstration unit, was set up on the Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC) campus in Oragadam Sipcot Industrial Area in Chennai. The 138-ha facility was set up in cooperation with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and the National Automotive Testing and Research and Development Infrastructure Project (NATRIP). In August this year, a joint venture between Mahindra Intertrade, a part of Mahindra Group that owns and operates the country’s largest network of steel service centres in the automotive, power and home appliances sectors, and the stateowned MSTC, which acts as a regulating authority for export of ferrous scrap, was undertaken. It intends to build an expansive, first-of-its-kind greenfield automotive shredding and recycling facility to commence full operations by early 2018. The states of Gujarat and Maharashtra are being considered as the possible sites for said facility, which will establish an Integrated Automotive Recycling capability for ELVs, from collection, compaction, transportation and depollution to dismantling, shredding, recycling, and disposal. The joint venture also aims to fully recycle all materials. According to the proponents, the facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art, high-tech shredding and sorting equipment to meet global standards in recycling, and to tap into a potentially growing automotive recycling market projected by Mahindra to reach US$4-5 billion within the next ten years.

“..India is boosting automotive recycling by giving consumers US$375 for every passenger vehicle scrapped..”

India has a vehicle dismantling and recycling demonstration facility at the Oragadam Sipcot Industrial area in Chennai



Car makers going zero-waste Pitching into the recycling efforts are automotive makers that have implemented technological ways to easily recover plastics from recycled parts. For example, Japanese car maker Nissan employs a design strategy to ensure recycling and recovery of ELV materials. Its design guidelines ensure recoverability rate, dismantling efficiency, plastic part marking, and reduction of environment-impacting substances. In specific, the company also employs a device that pulverises bumpers from discarded cars, collected by its dealers. The bumpers’ coatings are stripped

Recycling off without the use of chemicals. These recycled bumper materials are applied in both bumpers for repairs and bumpers for new vehicles, Nissan says. Moreover, Nissan technologically obtains PET regrind from recycled plastic bottles and uses them as main components in sound insulation layers in the dashboard and floor insulators. The PP bottle caps are recycled and incorporated into different automotive parts also.

GM's Chevrolet Equinox engine insulation is made from used water bottles from several GM facilities

US car maker General Motors (GM) also recycles PET bottles and uses the regrind for noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine. The company has been incorporating recycled content in a number of its vehicles. By design, GM vehicles are approximately 85% recyclable by weight, the automotive maker says, adding that it works with the vehicle dismantling industry to ensure the vast majority of material in its vehicle line are recoverable, recyclable or reusable in new vehicles or other consumer products at the end of life. American car manufacturer, Ford, on the other hand, has broken all rules in reusing and sourcing

materials for its vehicles. It has utilised aluminium scraps, recycled plastic bags, bottles and carpets; and even soybean, coconut fibre and tomato fibre as a bioplastic material. This year, Ford announced that it is harnessing carbon emissions from factories and turning it into feedstock to make foams and plastic components for seats, engine parts, and interiors of its future cars. Ford is collaborating with Novomer, a Massachusettsheadquartered chemistry technology development firm, and other partners to develop the foam and other polymers, formulated from CO2-based polyols. The material is currently undergoing testing and is expected to debut in car seat cushions and engine parts of vehicles Ford is producing within the next five years. Dealing with a few road bumps While the market for automotive parts recycling is in the nascent stage, the potential for growth is predictive. Yet, automotive parts recycling is constrained by economic and technology challenges. The scraps, which are heterogeneous and are commonly made of complex materials like reinforced plastics or those containing fillers; or plastic blends, such as EPDM or TPE; or the multi-component injection moulded parts, to cite a few, involve various considerations when recycling. Relevant processes are required for removal of odours and contaminants as well as to produce high quality regrind material that is suitable for reuse.

The lack of market for plastic recyclates is a challenge for the auto recycling sector, says research

Ford is collaborating with Novomer for a CO2-based polyol foam

The lack of market for plastic recyclates, as well as cost efficient recovery infrastructures or processes are significant challenges, according to a 2014 paper, Challenges and Alternatives to Plastics Recycling in the Automotive Sector. It also cited the “knowledge gap between manufacturers, consumers, and end of life facility operators,� as reasons for end of life plastics not being fully recovered or at worse, just ending up in landfills. Nevertheless, as efforts to adopt a zero-waste economy across industries are gaining momentum, these challenges, in no time, shall be overcome. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016


Toy Industry

Making child play safer Certain chemicals that enhance properties of toys are found to expose children to health risks. Are there solutions available to make toys safer, asks Angelica Buan in this article.

Recalls due to lead-based paint and other chemicals Appraised to value US$135 billion by 2020, the global toy industry is undergoing major shifts as technology has pervaded this sector, and thus broadened the selection of toys from traditional to electronic. Nevertheless, what remains constant is the vigilance of consumers on the safety of toys. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recorded toy recalls due to product hazards ranging from injury, fire and allergic reactions to materials containing lead and lead-based paint, and even because of manufacturers’ non-compliance to safety regulations. Materials used in toys are of importance in determining the safety. Over the years, safety compliances have been addressed, thus lowering hazardous incidences.

Plastic, a ubiquitous material for toys, may contain certain additives that are restricted to ensure product safety



In 2014, toy recalls remained low, with only 30 toy products being recalled, one of which involved a lead violation, as compared to 172 toy recalls in 2008, 19 of which were due to excessive lead content, according to CPSC. Aside from lead, other component chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), are the reasons as to why plastic toys and products get the flak among consumers. Moreover, sharing the problem are other so-called endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, dioxins, fire retardants, perfluorinated chemicals, and others such additives, which have found their way into common products. An article published in 2010 by the National Centre for Biotechnology cited that in the second half of the 1990s, a number of food contact articles and baby toys had been reported to contain these chemicals. Country specific and regulatory bodies like the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) have enforced limitations on the use of BPA and other chemicals that are proven or suggested to pose health risks. Meanwhile in bid to strengthen safety policy for toys, the F963-16: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety has been crafted, an updated version of the standards development organisation ASTM International’s safety standard for toys. The revisions are made against potential emerging safety issues, new product safety features, and novel ways that toys are being used that may pose risks to children, according to toy safety sub-committee officials. Included in the 2016 update are material-related issues, such as new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if accidentally swallowed; clarifications to requirements related to heavy elements in the substrate materials of toys and others. Risks ruled out for phthalate alternatives A hazard suspect in toys, phthalates are chemical plasticisers that are often used in the production of various types of plastics for reasons such as making plastics softer and more pliable. According to CPSC, there are currently six types of phthalates that are restricted for use in children's toys and certain child care articles in the amounts prescribed by product safety standards. As of February 2009, three phthalates – DEHP (Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate) – at concentrations greater than 0.1% in toys and

Toy Industry child care articles have been permanently banned in the US. Meanwhile, DINP (1,2-Cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester), DIDP (Diisodecyl phthalate), and DnOP (di-n-octyl phthalate) have been temporarily restricted in toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth and child care articles, and have been referred for further study. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) opposed these restrictions, saying the decision was “not based on science”. ACC also advised that in 2012, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing joined regulatory bodies in the US and Europe that have found that current uses of DINP in consumer products are not expected to pose a risk to human health. Nonetheless, some toy manufacturers are opting for phthalate-free production. But again, alternative additives to phthalates have also earned their fair share of scepticism among health advocates. A report released by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) says that four of the phthalate substitute chemicals, DINCH, DEHTP (Di-2ethylhexyl terephthalate), ATBC (Acetyl Tributyl Citrate), and TXIB (2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate) found in plastic toys and materials, which it assessed for health risks with oral exposure, do not pose any risk to children's health. Nevertheless, ANSES recommends evaluation on all new substances used for producing plastics for toys for children (under the age of three). Further risk assessments are recommended for substances found in toys that can be mouthed, and in particular when they are new substances, even before marketing, based on migration testing to provide an estimation of child exposure by the oral route. ANSES also plans to conduct an assessment of the combined health risks of exposure to certain phthalates in its work programme on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which will take into account several exposure routes. In addition, given that substances have been detected whose use is restricted or banned in numerous toys marketed in Europe, the agency emphasises the relevance of inspections carried out in the toy sector in order to avoid the marketing of those toys in France, which are not compliant with the regulations, and it recommends maintaining at the very least the same level of vigilance. Biobased materials at play The claims against EDCs have resulted in a new breed of plastics that are biodegradable, biobased materials purported to be safer alternatives. Danish toy maker Lego, in its surprising move to forego oil-based plastics, has invested US$150

Lego is coming up with ABS-free plastic brick toys

million for a new sustainable materials centre in Denmark as it begins to steer towards acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)-free plastic toys, targeted by 2030. While ABS has not been linked to any health issues, and has been the ideal sturdy material for the 60 billion bricks that Lego produces a year, the company is intent to shift to biobased material. Similarly, other toy makers are ensuring that their products comply with local and international safety standards. US-based Kids Preferred is using BPA and phthalatesfree plastics for its products. It recently launched its new collection of biobased toys known as Bioserie. The collection uses a special blend of modified polylactic acid (PLA); and no oil-associated substances like BPA, PVC, phthalates, styrenes and heavy metals. Kids Preferred's Bioserie stack toy uses a special blend of modified PLA

Economic cost takes away the fun in toys with EDCs The economic cost of exposure toEDCs is given a figure in a recent study by the New York-based academic medical centre, NYU Langone. In the report titled The plastic plague: Hormone-disrupting chemicals in everyday things, a variety of products from plastic water bottles and cheap toys to cosmetics, are made with these chemicals that could cause neurological damage and behavioural problems. Disorders caused by exposure to these chemicals can incur US$340 billion a year in healthrelated costs. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2016


Toy Industry NYU Langone researchers led by Dr Leonardo Trasande claim that exposure to EDCs chips off more than 2.3% of US’s GDP; and nearly 2.3% that in Europe. The bans on these chemicals are not as widespread as many critics have hoped for, with organisations such as the ACC enquiring the validity of these studies and seeking further evidence to tie up these chemicals to health risks. Amid the boon points on plastic, it remains a ubiquitous material for toy making. The British Plastics Federation (BPF) attributes reasons for the popularity of plastics in toy making to cost, ease of moulding and possibility of producing complex forms. Non-oil alternative materials for toys Early this year, Italian biotech company Bio-on collaborated with Italeri, an Italian manufacturer of plastic scale-model kits of airplanes, military vehicles, helicopters, ships, trucks, and cars. With the collaboration, Italeri is manufacturing scale models with Bio-on’s special-grade bioplastic, Minerv PHA Supertoys, launched in late 2015.

biodegradable formulations can be created for making toys that are safe for children and the environment, without losing out on the end product’s functionality and aesthetic. The project is expected to produce two bioplastics by the end of 2017 – rigid Minerv PHA type R, and the ductile and flexible Minerv PHA type F. The Scented Scoops ice cream play set contains bioplastic from Green Dot

Likewise, offering non-oil materials to toy makers is US-headquartered bioplastics and biocomposites producer Green Dot. The company’s rubber-like compostable bioplastic, which it introduced to the toy industry in 2012, is free from phthalates, BPA, lead and cadmium. The Terratek range of bioplastic is said to produce durable and pliable toys and at the end of life, toys may also be disposed in a home composting environment where it will gently biodegrade in a matter of months to return to plant nourishing soil.

Italeri is making scale models with special grade bioplastic from Bio-on

The Bio-on biopolymer is 10 0% biodegradable and compliant to Europe’s Toy Safety Directive. It has been tested in dozens of applications, from automotive to design to biomedical. According to the partners, the Minerv PHA project demonstrates that specific, eco-sustainable and completely

Luke's Toy Factory uses wood-plastic composite material for its toy trucks

Bio-on's Minerv PHA is used in eco-friendly toys



Toy makers that are using Green Dot’s bioplastic include BeginAgain Toys for its Scented Scoops ice cream play set; and Luke’s Toy Factory, for its toy trucks.

Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing

3D printing gains traction Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing as

Fuel intake runner for the Polimotor 2 all plastic engine, 3D printed in a reinforced Filament Fusion process using Solvay’s PEEK polymer

it’s better known as, is emerging as an alternative processing method since it offers designers

Materials maker Solvay showcased a 3D-printed functional air intake manifold designed for the Polimotor 2 racing car project. It uses the company’s Sinterline Technyl 40% fibre-reinforced PA6 powder and is produced by selective laser sintering (SLS). Solvay says it was able to produce the part with a 30% weight reduction by applying its predictive simulation package, MMI Technyl Design, to a functional 3D printed part for the first time. The Polimotor 2 project aims to develop an engine weighing 40 kg less than today’s standard production engine. Also, Solvay showcased the throttle body of the air intake manifold, which was produced with a 10% glass-filled KetaSpire PEEK polymer filament using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), also known as Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). The company already has an AM technical centre/ facility for Sinterline Technyl in Lyon, France, and recently opened a new laboratory at its R&D centre in the US and a facility in Brussels, Belgium, dedicated to AM software design, powered by Digimat from e-Xstream, an MSC Software company. Another chemicals company jumping on the 3D bandwagon is Germany-based BASF, teaming up with printer maker HP, to offer new 3D printing materials through the HP Multi Jet Fusion Open Platform, which allows customers to select a material supplier, such as BASF, and engage with them directly to develop materials for specific 3D applications. BASF and HP are now collaborating to develop materials for large-scale production. BASF says that in the chemical industry, it has the broadest portfolio of materials that can be developed for 3D printing, such as engineering thermoplastics, polyurethanes, acrylate systems (eg. photo-polymers), photoinitiators, functional additives, stabilisers and pigments as well as metal systems.

more latitude than conventional manufacturing methods. Its emergence was noticeable at the recently concluded K2016 show held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 19-26 October, and while the automotive and aerospace industries are currently the main sectors, 3D’s reach is being extended to other sectors.

3D market growth and advantages AM processes can improve productivity by quickly converting digital designs into functional parts for low to medium volume production without the time or cost required to first build a moulding tool and prototype. Thus, they can significantly accelerate the time-tomarket for OEMs and Tier suppliers. AM also significantly reduces production waste, optimises the supply chain, eliminates tooling and speeds the time to market for new designs requiring the same high performance expected from traditional polymer conversion methods. In contrast, however, it lends itself to a revolutionary democratisation of manufacturing through digitisation and file, rather than part transfer. According to a research report by Markets and Markets, the 3D printing market is expected to reach US$30 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 28% between 2016 and 2022. The US is expected to be the largest growth market and the speed at which it has taken up 3D printing has been astounding, with 71% of US manufacturing companies now using 3D printing in some way, with 31% adopting it for rapid prototyping, says a study by consulting company PwC. The study showed that 42% of manufacturers expect to use 3D printing for mass manufacturing in the next 3-5 years, but just 6% are using it to produce end products right now. Materials makers advance research Since key patents on 3D printing processes expired around two years ago, manufacturers of traditional printers and large chemical companies have also entered the 3D business.

BASF is teaming up with HP to develop new materials for applications

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Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Laser sintered PAEK sample part using ThermoMelt showing support structures

It recently launched Ultrasint PA6 X028, a PA6 powder for SLS. To coordinate its latest development, BASF has established a new 3D business unit and created an Application Technology Centre for 3D printing in Heidelberg, Germany. HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology is similar to 2D printing, where a print-head applies agents in the envisioned shape on a polymer powder, but differs from SLS, where powder is applied and then melted bit by bit with a moving laser. BASF claims that compared to other 3D printing technologies, HP’s Multi Jet halves the costs. Car maker BMW and mega sporting shoe supplier Nike have adopted HP’s new printing technology. In Asia, Chinese automotive materials compounder Xinda Group is creating a network of solution providers across the AM value chain from universities to equipment manufacturers. It has been given a hefty sum of RMB45 million from China’s Ministry of Science, over four years, to pioneer research in the 3D sector. “Xinda will lead the project and will conduct research in processing equipment and materials,” said Charles Wang, Managing Director, speaking to PRA at K2016. “We will also collaborate with industry institutes as well as the University of China Academy of Science and participants from many industries,” Wang added, explaining that the research is targeted at processing equipment/materials for applications in aerospace and electronics.

ThermoMelt allows the production of parts using high performance materials in slightly modified commercial SLS machines that are already in the market. These modifications will provide better thermal and laser control to the system. Furthermore, ThermoMelt also significantly reduces the thermal ageing effects during the manufacturing process, increasing recyclability and reducing costs compared to standard additive layer manufacturing techniques. The collaboration is expected to commercialise the ThermoMelt process. COC for prototyping medical parts/devices on 3D printer US-based microfluidics equipment supplier Dolomite unveiled its Fluidic Factory, the first commercially available 3D printer for sealed microfluidic devices, which utilises cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Topas Advanced Polymers. COC was selected due to its ultra-high purity, lower leachables and extractables than competing materials, making it ideal for microfluidics in biology and medical environments, according to Dolomite. The inert nature of the standard moulding grade Topas 8007S-04 also prevents interference with reactions and analyses. Other features include UV transparency and low autofluorescence. The firm says its compact 3D printer, ideal for benchtop or desktop use, features intelligent software and hardware Dolomite for sealing of fluidic launched paths, allowing the creation the first 3D printer for of precise channel geometries microfluidics utilising COC and various features not possible using etching, embossing, moulding, or machining techniques.

Xinda plans to build an R&D centre in Shanghai, which will be opened in 2017

Xinda will also set up a global R&D centre based in Shanghai, which will be opened in 2017. The firm started global production four years ago when it built a manufacturing site in Dubai to better serve its international customers in Russia and Middle East. Meanwhile, a new development collaboration between Airbus Group Innovations, LSS Laser Sinter Service and Lehmann & Voss has been launched to bring ThermoMelt, a new 3D printing process developed by Airbus. It is said to reduce the cost of producing high performance polymers, like PPS and PAEK, by lowering required sintering temperatures. German service bureau Rauch CNC will also join this collaboration as a partner for testing ThermoMelt and to ensure it fulfills market requirements. 2 N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 016

Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Users can choose a design from the selection in the Fluidic Factory’s Design Library, or create and print their own device using virtually any CAD software. It enables rapid prototyping of fluidically-sealed devices such as chips, sensor cartridges, fluid manifolds, valves, connectors, and medical devices, including organ-on-a-chip, point-of-care diagnostics, drug development, education, chemical synthesis, and analytical and biomedical assays. Manufacturers can also ramp up to commercial-scale moulding without changing plastic materials.

DSM now offers its grades as filaments instead of granules for FDM technology

with overhangs. DSM now offers the materials as filaments, instead of plastic granules. Meanwhile, South Korea’s SK Chemicals has launched Skyplete thermoplastic material solutions for 3D printing utilising its own proprietary resins, such as PLA, and compounding technology. It says that its materials do not contain hazardous components such as styrene or BPA, which can be found in ABS or PC. There are five product series: E, G, T and L products for filaments used in FFF/FDM, and S power products of PPS, PLA, PCT and TPEE, to be used for powder bed fusion such as SLS.

3D printing filaments expanded While 3D printing has been one of the most rapidly growing industries over recent years, only limited thermoplastics materials, such as PLA, ABS and PA11, have been available to be used for the process. AIMPLAS and Elix have developed a new ABS grade and filament with thicknesses of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm, using AIMPLAS’s own filament extruder line (equipped with a single-screw extruder, controlled cooling bath, drive system and spool system), and 3D printed the product

Space is the new frontier for 3D printing Brazilian materials maker Braskem partnered US-based developer of zero gravity 3D printers, and an official supplier to NASA, Made In Space, to utilise its bio-PE for 3D printing of spare parts and tools in space. The first part was a pipe connector for a vegetable irrigation system, which was fabricated by the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), the first commercial 3D printer permanently allocated in space. The equipment, which will fabricate various types of parts using Braskem’s sugar cane-based green plastic, is located on the International Space Station (ISS) and was developed by Made In Space with the support of the Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

Many companies have been trying to bridge the gap between end users’ expectations and the materials available in the market by introducing new products. One of these is Spanish ABS speciality compounder Elix Polymers that has been working in collaboration with AIMPLAS Plastics Technology Centre in Valencia to develop advanced versions of its terpolymer for 3D printing using FFF. Its aim is to produce parts with better mechanical properties, such as good impact resistance, low warpage, strong dimensional stability and high resolution. It says early functional parts target healthcare, appliances, automotive, and electronics industries. Dutch chemicals firm DSM is partnering chemical/ plastics distributor Nexeo Solutions to bring new performance filaments for FFF/FDM technology. Its Arnitel ID thermoplastic copolyester is said to reach elongation at break up to 400% and exhibits better layer-to-layer adhesion compared with available ABS, PLA and TPU filaments used in 3D printing. Another grade, Novamid ID, is a PA originally developed as speciality product line for the automotive and electronics industries that can withstand harsh environments and high temperatures of up to 150°C. The high crystallinity of the polymer allows for designs

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore holds a 3D printed ratchet wrench from the new 3D printer aboard the International Space Station. The printer completed the first phase of a NASA technology demonstration by printing a tool with a design file that was transmitted from the ground to the printer (Photo courtesy of NASA)

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Injection Moulding Asia 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing “Smart” luggage tags were moulded and 3D printed

The companies say astronauts will be able to receive by e-mail digital designs of parts and then print them, which means time and cost savings. The bio-PE was chosen because of its flexibility, chemical resistance and recyclability since it is made from a renewable resource, says Braskem. Meanwhile, the printing bed of the 3D printer is also made of Braskem’s Utec ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE).

Arburg Plastics Freeforming (APF). It had three exhibits at K2016, with the first combining 3D printing, injection moulding and Industry 4.0. As part of an IT-integrated spatially distributed production set-up, the Freeformer was individualising “smart” luggage tags in batches of a single unit and using TPE plastic to apply a 3D graphic previously selected by a visitor to the booth. Another Freeformer used the example of a toggle model (scale 1:16) to show how APF can be used to produce complex functional parts, over a period of around 200 hours, in other words over the course of the entire trade fair! The part was produced from ABS. The second discharge unit applied supported material to implement the necessary complex geometries. Consisting of around 100 million drops, the resulting “block” fills almost the entire build chamber, which is designed to accommodate a maximum of 154 x 134 x 230 mm parts. After the support structure was dissolved in the warm water tank, the 738 g-toggle was revealed, with around 30 moving joints just like the toggle of a moulding machine. On the third Freeformer, Arburg was processing a high-temperature material, Sabic’s polyetherimide (PEI) Ultem 9085, to produce spacers used in Allrounder machines, weighing just 0.09 g, in small batches. The build time for 70 units is around three hours. The firm says the PEI parts display good mechanical properties and are suitable for high continuous working temperatures. They have a very high specific strength and rigidity and dielectric strength, as well as UV and gamma radiation resistance. The material is therefore also suitable for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Printer for silicone parts first in industry German chemicals company Wacker Chemie launched its Aceo Imagine Series K printer for silicone rubber parts, since the company says up till now “there is no mature 3D printing technology available for silicones”. Sealing lip made of silicone rubber, printed with the aid of Wacker’s Aceo 3D printer

The 3D printing device is based on a dropon demand method developed by Wacker. The printer head deposits tiny silicone droplets on a substrate, building a part layer by layer. The silicone is formulated so that the droplets flow together before the UV-light activated curing process begins to produce a homogeneous part not much different from injection-moulded parts. With the aid of water-soluble support materials, it is also possible to create overhang materials and internal lattices. The firm says 3D printing is growing rapidly in medical applications, especially in biomodelling, as well as customised geometries. Silicones are suitable for these types of applications due to properties of heat resistance, flexiblility at low temperatures, transparency and biocompatibility. They can furthermore be pigmented in any colours and have good damping properties. Starting August, Wacker has been offering Aceo services with customers able to upload their own designs in a webshop and order 3D-printed silicone parts. These will be produced in the Aceo print fab. Wacker says it is also currently building its own Aceo technology centre near its main site in Burghausen, Germany. In the future, customers will be able to test their own product ideas in the laboratory. Arburg steps up technology with Freeformers German machine maker Arburg was one of the first to stir up interest in 3D printing, when it premiered a prototype Freeformer at the previous K show in 2013. Arburg, stating that it is satisfied with the worldwide response to its Freeformer, with some customers already purchasing further Freeformers after less than one year, has since K2013 stepped up its technology known as

A Freeformer was used to additively apply the 3D graphic motif on the luggage tag

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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive

Vehicle sharing: an opportunistic ride for automotive makers With the rising popularity of car-sharing

automotive industry delves on the emergence of “diverse mobility, autonomous driving, electrification, and connectivity”, as game changing disruptive trends that the industry is headed towards. Connectivity and digitisation play vital roles in more consumers looking at shared mobility with a practical perspective, such as benefits of being able to take control of their time to engage in other personal activities, weighed against time spent behind the wheel. Benefits of car sharing continue to unravel and consumers are noticing – from savings on petrol usage and car maintenance, as well as a solution to urban parking space and traffic to a reinforced sense of community and reduction of carbon emissions. Vehicle access has broadened its scope from autonomous ownership to vehicle-sharing models.

services, automotive makers are taking the cue in the shift from the tradition of owning cars to sharing cars, and more simply to boost their revenues in a global market with flagging car sales, says Angelica Buan.


any of us consider our cars our second home, and especially our comfort zone when traffic becomes too distressing, also as a private space for those un-shareable thoughts. But what if we need to share this space with a couple more strangers? What if we also need to share our vehicle bought with our hard-earned money with a total stranger, for a fee? Whether it is acceptable or not, this scenario is no longer fiction. Car sharing is the epitome of urban mobility and, thus, becoming a viable option in some areas. McKinsey & Company’s outlook for the

Shift with a positive impact From a practical standpoint, car sharing could inevitably impact autonomous car ownership and sales, the latter growing at a modest pace globally. The Smart Mobility report published by Deloitte US in 2015 explains that “car sharing services are leading more Americans to forgo vehicle purchases”. This is because more US car sharing users see this model as a viable option to owning a car. It cited a finding that ownership of 500,000 new or used cars between 2006 and the end of 2013 have been waived in favour of car sharing. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs in its Car 2025 forecast sees convenience as an important theme in shaping the automotive industry’s transformation. Citing data from the Organisation for Economic Development, Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the US financial company says that traffic could worsen in world’s growing cities against the backdrop of increasing ownership costs. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) assesses that by 2021 some 35 million users will book 1.5 billion minutes of driving time monthly, translating to annual revenues of EUR4.7 billion. “Europe will be the biggest revenue-generating region, followed by Asia Pacific and North America,” the consulting firm said in its 2016 report titled The New Mobility and Its Impact on Vehicle Sales. BCG further estimates a reduction in vehicle sales in lieu of car sharing. “(Car sharing) will reduce worldwide vehicle sales by approximately 550,000 units by 2021 and cause a net revenue loss to OEMs of EUR7.4 billion.” However, it says that

Car sharing is the epitome of urban mobility as well as a solution to urban parking space and traffic, among other benefits

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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive One outcome of the car-sharing scheme for members is the decision to forgo their personal vehicles that mostly are aged and are the most polluting and least economical vehicles plying the road. One-way services also reduce the number of miles travelled per person per year by an estimated 11%, thus reducing personal greenhouse gas emissions by about 10%, the study said.

some share of lost sales will be offset by sales of car-sharing fleets in large urban areas, since most drivers are not forgoing car ownership. After all, cars are still considered the most convenient mode for passengers to travel from point A to point B on schedule. On the other hand, automotive makers are not worried with this incumbent disruption of car ownership. In fact, automotive makers are keeping track of the popularity of car-sharing schemes, especially in urban areas, and how it can open revenue opportunities via car-sharing subsidiaries. Some major players in the industry have even moved to owning stakes and companies providing car-sharing services. These include Daimler that owns Cars2Go; BMW’s ReachNow, Ford Motor’s Zipcar, and General Motors’s US$500 million tieup with US transportation company Lyft for an on-demand fleet.

Investing in China’s mobility The popularity of car sharing is further enhanced with the convenience provided by smart mobile phone apps.

Cutting back on pollution The global thrust on reducing pollution levels is a long-term advantage for car sharing. According to a three-year study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Centre (TSRC), one-way car-sharing services in the North America curb pollution levels and traffic volumes, even when measured across just the past three years. The study focused on German car maker Daimler-Benz’s car2go car-sharing service. Data was collected specifically from the service’s 95,000 members based in Canada (Calgary) and the US (San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington). GM launched its car-sharing service brand, Maven early this year

General Motors (GM), with global sales totalling 9.8 million vehicles in 2015 or up 0.2% for its third consecutive year of record sales, has partnered with China’s car-sharing technology solution provider, Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology, to tap into China’s progressive car-sharing market. GM has 11 joint ventures in China and its passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang and Wuling brands. In 2015, GM delivered more than 3.6 million vehicles in China, it says. Yi Wei Xing’s Feezu is based on mobile technology. It merges hardware and software to provide a convenient car-rental and car-sharing experience. It also offers car-rental companies a customised cloud-based car-sharing platform. According to GM, the investment and strategic alliance will leverage Yi Wei Xing’s technical offering and will be in line with its drive to explore new car-sharing models. GM says it

Daimler-Benz’s car2go one-way car-sharing service has the potential of reducing personal greenhouse gas emissions by about 10%, according to a university study

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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Tie up to boost market Europe’s second largest automotive maker PSA Peugeot Citroën, which posted sales and revenue of EUR54 billion in 2014, has inked a partnership with Bolloré, a French investments and industrial conglomerate, to develop shared mobility solutions, including car-sharing schemes. Also under the agreement is the production of Bolloré EVs at PSA’s Rennes plant from September 2015, with installed capacity of 15 vehicles/day and a maximum of 3,500 vehicles/year.

will also enable it to “gain insights into China’s rapidly changing car-sharing market and develop a deep understanding of Chinese consumers’ personal mobility needs”. In the US, GM launched its car-sharing service brand known as Maven in January 2016. With Maven, consumers are able to access what is said to be highly personalised, on-demand mobility services. Less than four months after its launch, Maven has already expanded its services to five markets in the US, says GM.

PSA Peugeot Citroën will be producing Bolloré’s EVs at its plant under a shared mobility solution deal

Zero emission transport Germany-headquartered BMW, which had sales of 165,431 vehicles globally in August this year – up 5.7% on the same month a year ago, says that among the several benefits of car-sharing is zero-emission road travel. The company has embarked on its car-sharing business with the ReachNow programme launched in the US (also called DriveNow, outside US). The company says it is aiming to penetrate ten US cities.

Bolloré has several EVs under its wing, notably Bluecar, Bluesummer, Bluebus and Bluetram. It also operates an EV car-sharing network in several cities in France and overseas through subsidiaries. “The partnership is aligned with our common goal of becoming a leading player in the carsharing market, which will account for a significant portion of the new mobility economy, alongside public transport solutions,” PSA says. Thus, the two companies will cooperate in the area of car sharing – initially in Europe and later via the creation of a joint venture designed to deploy car-sharing solutions worldwide using EVs (passenger cars and commercial vehicles), as well as low-emission internal combustion vehicles. Meanwhile, PSA has on its own set up various car-sharing operations since 2013, with an offer catered for businesses in France and, via its Citroën brand, in Germany. In addition, Peugeot launched a short-term rental offer in 2009. Thus, besides lightweighting to reduce fuel consumption, automotive companies are committed to providing car-sharing services to ensure sustainability extends to the entire value chain.

BMW’s ReachNow deploys EV models, including the i3, 3 series and Mini Cooper

According to BMW, to date, about 13,000 commuters have already signed up for the ReachNow programme. The company says users can also register and download the ReachNow app from their smartphones and are charged US$0.41/minute. BMW’s programme deploys its electric vehicle (EV) models, including the i3, 3 series and Mini Cooper. More recently, BMW started offering longterm rates for Seattle customers that want to rent a free-floating vehicle for up to five days. Currently, BMWs Seattle car-sharing base has a fleet of 520 free-floating vehicles. 7 N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 016

Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Kemya Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company, a joint venture between Saudi petrochemicals group Sabic and ExxonMobil subsidiary Exxon Chemical Arabia, has recently started commercial operations at its polybutadiene industrial rubber plant. Costing US$3.4 billion, the Kemya rubber plant will supply over 400,000 tonnes/year of rubber, thermoplastics and carbon black to the domestic and Asian markets. • Germany-based Continental Corporation is taking over US firm Hoosier Racing Tire Corp, a manufacturer of speciality tyres for racing applications. Hoosier, founded in 1957, supplies tyres for most racing applications throughout the world. It currently employs nearly 500 people. Continental and Hoosier have worked together over the past several years on a variety of technical and motorsports projects. Terms were not disclosed. • Nolato, a Swedish manufacturer of plastic, silicone and TPE products for medical technology, pharmaceuticals, telecom, automotive, hygiene and other selected industrial sectors, has acquired Swiss company Treff, a supplier of medical and selfcare diagnostics (in-vitro diagnostics, IVD )products. Nolato expects to secure a presence in the Germanspeaking part of Europe through this acquisition, which fetched a final purchase price of US$46 million. • Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone is increasing

its aircraft radial tyre production at its Kurume plant in Japan. This production capacity increase will entail a total investment of 2.1 billion yen and is slated for completion by the end of 2018. In addition to aircraft tyres, the Kurume plant produces a wide range of other tyres, including passenger car tyres, light truck tyres, racing tyres, and tyres for agricultural and industrial machinery. • Surface specialist BeneckeKaliko, part of the ContiTech division of Continental Corporation, is intending to expand its industrial business further and open up new sales markets, particularly in North America. A corresponding deal on the purchase of the Hornschuch Group, a manufacturer of functional and compact films, foam laminates, and artificial leather for industrial applications (furniture and construction industry) and for the automotive sector, is also underway. Completion of the acquisition is subject to the approval of the respective antitrust authorities. • Japan-headquartered ShinEtsu Chemical plans to bolster its silicones business, one of its main business segments, by establishing a plant in Japan, as well as expanding its Japanbased technical centre, which performs technical services for silicone rubber moulding and processing. Allotting an investment of US$2 million, Shin-Etsu is building a functional silane plant at its Naoetsu plant that can produce various kinds of small-quantity

production by 2018. In addition, it will expand its silicone rubber moulding and processing technical centre in Higashimatsuyama City, which opened in 2001, by 2017. • US chemicals maker Trinseo is planning to build a new solution-styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) pilot plant in Schkopau, Germany. The S-SBR pilot plant will allow for more efficient use of Trinseo’s production facilities and help speed up innovation in the performance tyres market, says the firm. The pilot plant will begin operation in the latter quarter of 2017. Trinseo had approximately US$4billion in revenue in 2015, with 18 manufacturing sites around the world, and more than 2,200 employees. • German chemicals company Wacker Chemie is setting up an R&D centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US. The facility in the 90,000-sq ft co-work campus will support Wacker’s overall business and product development in the North, Central and South America regions. Wacker’s lined up projects include health and medical care applications, solutions for coatings and paints, silicone-based softeners, and personal care products. In a first phase, the group is investing a single-digit million US-dollar figure for equipment and installation of the laboratories. The facility will officially open in the first half of 2017. The company also has R&D operations in Germany and Asia. • South Korean tyre maker Hankook Tire has opened its

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News new R&D centre in Daejeon. The US$232 million facility occupies 96,328 sq m and has a six-storey R&D building and an eight-storey residence building. The R&D centre has introduced the Driving Simulation system and the Suspension Parameter Measuring Machine (SPMM) to carry out virtual tests and record digital results. It will also be Hankook Tire’s venue for showcasing future technology integrating eco-friendly material, new material development, and simulation technology as well as networking technology. • China-headquartered tyre and rubber machinery maker Mesnac has opened a new facility in the Trencianska Tepla region of Slovakia. It will serve as Mesnac’s European and Research and Technical Centre (MERTC), which will be producing the latest models of P-PRO, P-PRO N passenger tyre building machines and the latest fully automatic P-PRO XT machine; truck tyre building machines, including the latest T-PRO and Hydraulic curing presses type CP; and CPS for passenger car tyres. According to Mesnac, a number of these tyre building and curing press models have already been accepted by some of the world’s top tyre makers. • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is closing its tyre manufacturing facility in Philippsburg, Germany, that produces passenger car and light truck tyres. The move is part of the company’s strategy to reduce excess capacity in declining, less profitable segments of the tyre market in order to focus more on the growing demand

for premium, large-rim diameter tyres. • Italy’s Pirelli is investing US$233.4 million in its Slatina production site through 2021. Celebrating ten years of its presence in Romania, Pirelli said the amount would bring the total investment in the country to about US$826 million with 500 new jobs created. The investment will bring production capacity up to 15 million units/year, from the present 10 million. The factory’s floor space will be extended by about 170,000 sq ft, with an area dedicated to motorsport, which includes a F1 production unit. This will serve as back-up for the main Pirelli F1 plant in Turkey. • Belgian chemicals maker Solvay is adding 10,000 tonnes of capacity to its Chicago Heights silica plant in the US. The project is underway and will deliver additional highly dispersible silica (HDS) capacity by 2018. This expansion follows Solvay’s recent investments in a new plant in Poland (2015), HDS production in Brazil this year, and the scheduled startup of a new plant in South Korea this year. • AkzoNobel has inaugurated two new speciality chemicals plants at its multi-site in Ningbo, China, that together represent a combined investment of EUR80 million, with a further EUR90 million is to be invested in building a new speciality chemicals plant in Tianjin. The new facilities in Ningbo are for the Surface Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry businesses. The site at the Nangang Chemical Park in Tianjin is also being

constructed for the Polymer Chemistry business and will replace its existing plant. At Ningbo, it will have an alkoxylation facility, which will provide surfactants as well as the company’s largest unit for making organic peroxides that are used in the production of crosslinked rubber. The investment will underline AkzoNobel’s position as the world’s largest organic peroxides producer. Offering more capacity than the existing site, it is being constructed to support efforts by the local authorities to improve safety in the chemical industry, while providing improved manufacturing and quality processes to customers. Construction of the new Tianjin site will start at the end of 2016 and be operational in late 2018. • Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei plans on boosting its solutionpolymerised styrenebutadiene rubber (S-SBR) production capacity as part of the medium-term expansion strategy of its Performance Polymers Strategic Business Unit (SBU). According to the firm , the S-SBR market has shown an annual growth rate of 9% from 2010 to 2015, and it is forecast to continue its growth at an annual rate of 7% to 8% in the following years. The company’s domestic production capacity during 2012 was 140,000 tonnes/year. However, with the addition of the Singapore production lines, Line 1 and Line 2, the company’s capacity has grown to 240,000 tonnes/year. It is currently studying further expansions and reinforcements toward 2020.

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market

Asian tyre market keeps on rolling There is stiff competition in the marketplace, according to GfK, with some “weaker players” being booted out of the scene, it says. “This year, Malaysia and Philippines reported the greatest number of replacement car tyre brands at 61 and 59, while players in the Thai market stood at 51. Car owners in Indonesia had the least number of options, with only 24 car tyre brands available to them,” GfK says in its report. “What makes the Thailand market tick is because of firstly, the implementation of the first-time car buyer scheme in 2012 and 2015, which stimulated car sales substantially, thereby resulting in demand surges for replacement car tyres in the subsequent years,” Jasmine Lim of GfK in Asia, says. On the other hand, Lim explains the case in Malaysia as a post-GST affliction. Its sales decline is due to “aggressive” brand promotions by manufacturers that backfired on their brand equity. “Such strategy (of progressively offering more affordable prices to cater to wider sectors of consumers) could act like a double-edged sword where they risk diluting their brand equity and value over time, while consumers benefit from being able to choose from a widening range of products at various price levels,” she adds.

Not only is Asia a major producer of rubber, but the region is also a burgeoning market for global tyre manufacturers, says Angelica Buan in this report.

ASEAN figures strongly in growth orecast to reach nearly 3 billion units by 2022, the global market for tyres is unflinching amidst fluctuating prices of rubber in the world market. Asia Pacific captures a strong spot in the global tyres market. Indian market research firm Gfk says that in the segment of replacement car tyres, some 20 players have made inroads in four key Southeast Asian cities in the last two years.


Tyre applications in aviation take flight sia’s air travel market continues to expand. The region’s carriers posted an increase of 10.3% in January this year, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Japan’s aviation sector is a strong contender, specifically in domestic travel alone. The country’s domestic travel accounts for 1.2% of the global domestic travel – the latter showing an increase 6.8% of domestic air travel year-on-year, IATA’s January Asia Pacific captures a strong spot in the global tyres market report says. Japan is a lucrative market for imported aircraft, Meanwhile, sales in dominant replacement car parts, and engines, the Maine International Trade tyre markets in the region are not consistent. In Centre 2015 aviation reports. The country is a the first eight months of the year, Thailand and choice base for some of the world’s top tyre makers. Malaysia showed healthy growth in sales volume Amidst the soaring prospects for air travel, of replacement car Japanese tyre maker tyres by 8% and 3%, Bridgestone is gearing respectively; while “The regional air travel market up production of sales in Indonesia, as well as the Philippines posted an increase of 10.3% this year, aircraft tyres at its Japanese plant. slipped 3% to 4%, boosting sales of aircraft tyres” Investing more than respectively, over the US$20 million at its plant in Kurume, Bridgestone is same period, Gfk reports. increasing capacity by 50%. The firm is undertaking Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia are this expansion to meet the rising demand in the the four key markets where GfK conducts Point of region, forecast to triple air traffic by 2035. Sales tracking for car tyres in ASEAN.


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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Tyre Market production capacity to around 18,000 tyres/day. The introduction of the Examation system will be conducted as part of this capacity increase. Further, Bridgestone plans to introduce Examation at its new Russian Bridgestone’s Examation tyre assembly system is designed to improve plant, scheduled to commence operations this quality and achieve high levels of productivity in tyre technologies year. Meanwhile Thailand’s aviation industry, which has buckled down on reinstating its In a related development, Bridgestone says safety rating after it was flagged down by the it is introducing its Examation tyre assembly International Civil Aviation Organisation system at its Tatabánya plant, a passenger car tyre (ICAO) early in the year, is invigorated with plant in Hungary, in 2016. Designed to further forecasts of increasing air passenger travels and improve quality and help realise high levels booming tourism of productivity with targets over 30 regard to tyre production “Indonesia’s automotive sector is that million tourists this technologies, the system year alone. combines Bridgestone’s one of the most robust in Tyre makers proprietary information the country” like US-based and communication Goodyear is seizing technologies (ICT) with this bright prospect. Goodyear (Thailand) is new artificial intelligence (AI). The introduction investing US$162 million to build an aviation of this system at the Tatabánya plant follows the radial tyre plant and up its production in installation of the same system at the Bridgestone’s Pathum Thani. The Thai subsidiary makes flagship Hikone plant in Japan, and will be the OEM and replacement tyres for passenger first time this system is introduced overseas. cars, commercial trucks and retread tyres for The Tatabánya plant is set to have its domestic sales and exports. production capacity increased by 12,000 tyres/ Managing Director Finbarr O’Connor stated day during the first half of 2017, raising its total that the three-phase expansion is aimed at capturing the growing demand for radial tyres as commercial airlines are rapidly converting their fleets from bias tyres to radial tyres, which are lighter and more suitable for aircraft landings. The first phase of expected to start operations by 2018. Cashing in on the domestic market he 240-million populated Indonesia’s automotive sector is one of the most robust industries in the country, and ranked 15th in world in terms of sales, according to a report by Euromoney Institutional Investor Company (EMIS). The latter adds that car penetration in Indonesia is estimated at 40 cars per 1,000 people in the country.


Goodyear Thailand is investing US$162 million to build an aviation radial tyre plant

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market GT Tyres, the largest tyre maker in Southeast Asia, is reaping the benefits of domestic sales and to even out competition with China tyres

Expansions in Malaysia alaysia too has a robust automotive sector, supported by its domestic market of 30 million. TechSci Research, an India-headquartered research firm, reports that Malaysia’s vehicle motorisation rate (for passenger cars and commercial vehicles) in 2014, stood at around 400 vehicles per 1,000 people. The country’s growing infrastructure also encourages car Gfk, in ownership and this is projected to drive Malaysia’s the earlier tyre market. mentioned One of the fastest growing economies in ASEAN, report, Malaysia houses major automotive OEMs including says that Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Nissan, Indonesian Ford, and others, which serve both the domestic and car owners overseas customers, TechSci says. enjoy the most The favourable investment climate in the country affordable tyres, has encouraged several companies to tap into the which currently market, too. For example, Tokyo-based automotive cost an average of parts retailer Autobacs Seven is reportedly investing US$48, cheaper than its in a Malaysian tyre company Kit Loong Group. The 2014 price of US$52, and nearly twice as cheap Japanese firm, which is acquiring 20% of Kit Loong, as Thailand’s US$90 price. expounded that the purpose of the capital and business Jakarta-headquartered PT Gajah Tunggal tie-up is grounded on Malaysia’s rapidly growing (GT Tyres), the largest tyre maker in Southeast economy, bolstering car sales. Asia, is reaping the benefits of domestic sales The company says it sees a large potential in the with double-digit growth posted in the first retail and wholesale of automotive related goods half of the year as a result of its overseas and services, and hence decided to enter into these expansion. business fields through an alliance with Kit Loong, GT Tyres says that competition with Chinesewhich is the largest scale of wholesaler of tyres and made tyres in overseas markets such as Asia, fixtures for automobile maintenance in Malaysia. Europe and the Middle East are dampening Autobacs Seven adds that the investment is part of sales. Hence, it is turning to the domestic market its expansion initiatives in the ASEAN region, where to boost sales. it operates stores in The company, Thailand, “Malaysia’s vehicle motorisation rate Singapore, which owns and Malaysia and operates the largest Indonesia. (for passenger cars and commercial integrated tyre Another tyre vehicles) in 2014, stood at around manufacturing maker that has facility in Indonesia, positioned itself 400 vehicles per 1,000 people” reported in August in the Malaysian that its sales remained replacement tyre market is India-headquartered Apollo positive in the first half of the year. In addition Tyres, with a Malaysian subsidiary inaugurated in to the buoyant export performance, GT Tyres May this year. says that its domestic replacement market grew Apollo Tyres, which has manufacturing units by 14.4%, compared to the same period a year in India and the Netherlands, also has offices in ago. However, its OEM segment lagged behind, Indonesia and Thailand. hinting of a “still challenging environment” for Touted as the 17th biggest tyre manufacturer in vehicle sales. Meanwhile, its net sales increased the world, Apollo Tyres’s office in Malaysia – its third by 12.2% to Rp6.95 trillion in the first half of the largest automotive market in ASEAN – enables it to year, compared to the previous year. serve the country’s replacement tyre market that has The domestic market is its top growth an annual capacity of 580,000 of truck-bus radials and driver, GT Tyre says. The company also expects 9.5 million passenger car tyres. some windfall from the government’s industry The country’s replacement tyre market, citing the incentives, such as the tax amnesty programme, TechSci report, accounted for around 73% market share which will eventually spur infrastructure in 2014 and is anticipated to continue to grow through projects and incentivise sectors, including the 2020. Supporting this growth are the rising vehicle automotive industry. sales and expanding automobile fleet in the country.


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