2018: The Year in Review in the Plastics and Rubber Industry

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2018: The Year in Review in the Plastics & Rubber Industry

SPECIAL YEARENDER EDITION


2018: The Year in Review in the Plastics & Rubber Industry

TABLE OF CONTENTS 03

Lanxess imbues quality in business (Jan|Feb)

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Asia: A focus of Davis-Standard (Mar|Apr)

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Arlanxeo, making strides in the Asian sector (Mar|Apr)

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China, a proven ground for new technology (May)

EDITORIAL Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: arthur@kenter.nl Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: tej@plasticsandrubberasia.com

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Key factors for choosing silicone (Jun|Jul)

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China’s machinery market stays upbeat (Aug)

Senior Editor Angelica Buan Email: gel@plasticsandrubberasia.com

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Designing compounding plants; a bespoke solution everytime (Sep)

Staff Writer Brittany Fernandez Email: brittany@taramedia.com.my

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Technologies showcase in Germany (Oct)

Investing in a measuring device (Nov|Dec)

Making better films one wind at a time (Nov|Dec)

Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Stephanie Yuen Email: stephanie@taramedia.com.my Regional Office SQ9, Block A, Menara Indah, Taman TAR, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 4260 4575

About Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA) magazine PRA print magazine is published eight (8) times a year in print and digital formats. PRA has a yearly print circulation of 110,000 copies plus bonus distribution in key international industry events. It is supplemented by news platforms, Rubber Journal Asia or RJA (www.rubberjournalasia.com) and Injection Moulding Asia or IMA (www.injectionmouldingasia.com).


January|February issue

Global speciality chemicals company LANXESS has focused on its new “Quality Works” vision and identity since 2017. With this, the Germanyheadquartered firm is tapping on its quality expertise throughout its products and solutions as well as its dealings with customers, the environment and society as a whole. More than just a catch phrase, Quality Works will complement LANXESS’s original “Energizing Chemistry” tenet. Meanwhile, harnessing the Quality Works platform, the company has turned its business around to drum up exemplary sales; and is on the road to a better future ahead.

LANXESS

imbues quality in its business Unmasking the “new” LANXESS ATEGORICALLY, quality refers to a number of things, including but not limited to colour, shape, make, longevity, and other product characteristics. LANXESS offers a broader signification of the word. Claus Zemke, LANXESS’s Head of Corporate Communications, explains that quality is instrumental in shaping the products and services of the company. Quality is what the company delivers to customers with its high performance polymer solutions; and which create value and at the same time protect the environment. “Quality is at the very heart of our work. We want our customers to be able to rely on

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us fully in all matters and at every stage of cooperation: from the first conversation to the perfect implementation. Fast, simple and efficient – fully in line with our motto EFERRING to the campaign, which was launched the year before last, Zemke says, “Quality is what we aim for, and it is also a promise to our customers, employees, stockholders and partners. Our new campaign makes this clear.” He further explains, “Quality can be tailored to fit all products and business units at LANXESS, such as ‘Quality lightens’ for lightweight plastics, ‘Quality colours’ for colour pigments, or ‘Quality protects’ for material protection products.”

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Recap of the previous year; manoeuvring strategies and mergers HE years of unstable petrochemical prices, reduced global consumption of speciality chemicals, particularly from 2015-2016, amid the economic slowdown in China and other factors, have been succeeded by improved market conditions for the industry. The global speciality chemicals market is on a path of trajectory growth, estimated to reach more than US$575 billion by 2023, citing a forecast from US-based Crystal Market Research. LANXESS, which in 2016 posted sales of EUR7.7 billion, is pushing against industry headwinds by spawning strategies to increase sales in the coming years. CEO Matthias Zachert explains, “LANXESS is pursuing even greater regional and industry-based balancing to further reduce the effects of market volaLanxess CEO Matthias Zachert tilities. This includes an increased share of sales in growth markets such as Asia and North America and an expanded presence in attractive customer industries, such as electrical/electronic or energy, with innovative product applications.” The company has consolidated its business portfolio, especially in high value-added speciality chemicals, with the acquisition of US chemical firm Chemours’s Clean & Disinfect business in 2016. In the same year, too, LANXESS joined forces with Saudi Aramco to form Arlanxeo, a synthetic rubber company that is headquartered in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the EUR2.4 billion merger with US-based additives supplier Chemtura in 2017, said to be the largest acquisition in LANXESS’s history, has set off the latter to becoming one of the world’s leading additives supplier. The company expects an estimated EUR25 million cost savings for 2017; and EUR100 million in annual cost savings by 2020. The acquisition is expected to add on to LANXESS’s additives footprint in the

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North American region where it has 24 production sites. The region also accounts for 21% of the company’s global sales, up from 17%. Chemtura’s flame retardant and lubricant additives portfolio has been integrated with LANXESS’s Rhein Chemie Additives business unit to form a new segment called “Specialty Additives”. As well, its urethanes and organometallics businesses will also be integrated with LANXESS’s Advanced Industrial Intermediates and Engineering Materials business units, respectively. LANXESS is also set to acquire Belgian chemical company Solvay’s US-sited phosphorus additives business to broaden its clout in the North American and Asian additives markets. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018. The above acquisitions are what Zachert refers to as a “more balanced portfolio” for LANXESS, thus making the Cologne-based company “more stable and profitable”. He also regards the acquisitions and other strategic moves as a basis to further enhancing the company’s operational strength. Right positioning, stronger sales ANXESS had forecast an uptrend and registered positive sales across all segments in 2017. The company posted positive earnings during the first three quarters, with sales up by 25% to EUR2.4 billion in Q1; by nearly 30% to EUR2.5 billion in Q2; and up by 25% to EUR2.4 billion in Q3. Overall, net income improved by 47% to EUR78 million. As well, its main segments namely Advanced Intermediates, Performance Chemicals and High Performance Materials have demonstrated strong performance over the reported periods. More and above, the integration of Chemtura’s additives business has contributed significantly. “Chemtura businesses are already making a significant earnings contribution, and the other areas of our speciality chemicals portfolio are also developing positively,” said Zachert. Plus, the Synthetic Rubber business, Arlanxeo, has raked in a robust performance

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each quarter. Sales in Q1 rose by 48% to EUR948 million from EUR640 million a year earlier. In Q2, sales were at EUR835 million, up by 24.6% from the previous year’s EUR670 million; while in Q3, sales rose by 6% or EUR42 million to EUR717 million, against EUR675 million from a year ago. Zachert summed up the company’s performance, “In the coming years, we intend to reach our full potential and transform LANXESS into an even stronger company with a highly balanced and stable platform, increased profitability and, last but not least, a company teamculture based on dedication and motivation.” Transforming with digitalisation MART manufacturing and digitalisation may be taking over conventional manufacturing ecosystems in the near term. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, in a 2015 report, placed the potential value that can be churned out from digitalised factory settings at US$3.7 trillion by 2025. These disruptive approaches are predicted to be among important game changers this year for a number of vital industries, including chemicals. Taking this cue, LANXESS has adopted an initiative towards group-wide digitalisation, setting up a department with 30 experts, for a start, in this area. Zachert pointed out the key areas of the initiative, which will include “the digitalisation of the value chain, the use of big data, development of digital business models and embedding of digital expertise among employees”. He comments that digitalisation will bring sustainable change to processes and business models in the chemical industry, including the company’s customer industries. “This offers us a multitude of opportunities, and requires a profound transformation within the company. We want to actively drive the digital transformation at LANXESS and capitalise on the potential of digitalisation at the right time,” he furthered.

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Expansions: growing share in the China market APPING 2017 with yet another expansion and, thus, securing leverage in China’s automotive and relevant growth markets, was the new EUR20 million plant for high-performance plastics in

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Changzhou. From the second quarter of 2019, the compounding plant is expected to produce up to 25,000 tonnes of Durethan and Pocanbrand resins for the automotive sector and the electric/electronics industry. Commercial applications of LANXESS’s resins in hybrid and electric vehicles include components for charging systems, carriers and cell holders for battery systems; sensors and housing parts for electric motors. Aligning quality with environmental sustainability ith the negativity surrounding the chemical industry and as a result of increased awareness for environmental safety

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In 2017, LANXESS announced another expansion at its compounding plant in Changzhou, China, securing leverage in China’s automotive and relevant growth markets

across the chemicals supply chain, stricter environment regulations are being enforced to ensure that sustainability is inducted in this segment’s manufacturing ethos. Tying in environment sustainability with its Quality Works campaign, LANXESS heeds the call with high quality standards for products, processes and technologies to protect the climate and the environment and to improve people’s quality of life. Applying sustainability in its technologies ANXESS, together with project partner Hehlen based tannery Heller-Leder GmbH, developed a tanning process that recycles left-

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over leather.The EUR5 million project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, as part of its “r+Impuls – Innovative Technologien für Ressourceneffizienz – Impulse für industrielle Ressourceneffizienz, was launched in 2016. For the study titled Resource-efficient Manufacturing of Leather Chemicals (ReeL), the company’s leather business unit also partnered with Leverkusen-based research institute INVITE to develop a modular pilot plant that can use either waste leather shavings or organic biomass to produce X-Biomer retanning agents for manufacturing leather.

LANXESS is developing a completely new type of technology for tanneries making it possible to completely recycle residues from leather manufacturing to produce X-Biomer

Luis López-Remón, Head of the Leather business unit, explained that the equipment is designed for use directly on-site at tanneries. With this technology, as much as 2 tonnes/day of shavings from a medium-sized tannery can be recycled into a comparable volume of liquid X-Biomer directly on site. The process will not leave any residue and does not generate any emissions. LANXESS is working on adapting and optimising procedures in its Leverkusen laboratory to perfect the chemical recycling process. A pilot plant was set up last year to test the production concept under real conditions; while feasibility tests took place at the Heller-Leder tannery in mid-2017. Furthermore, LANXESS is making environment sustainability an integral part of its corporate responsi6 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

bility. It says it has cut 13 million tonnes of gas emissions over the last decade, which is equivalent to the level of CO² emitted by 600,000 cars registered in Cologne and Bonn over the same period. Meanwhile, complying with the national reduction requirement set by the German Federal Government for 2030, LANXESS has set long term targets and by 2025, its target is to reduce specific CO² and VOC emissions by 25%, from 2015 levels, and reduce specific energy consumption by 25%, by installing innovative facilities and technologies. These are being employed not only in Germany but also at it other sites in China, the US and Brazil. Moreover, between 2007 and 2016, the chemicals company saw an overall reduction of 53% in specific climate gas emissions (CO²e). As expected, the firm’s commitment to sustainability has been recognised. In October last year, LANXESS was cited among the top Climate A List companies rated by the non-profit global climate protection initiative CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) for environmentsafety and low-emissions economy initiatives; and in support with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. LANXESS was also included for the seventh consecutive time in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World the year before. Summing up quality works ll of the above resonate with LANXESS’s current upward trajectory and with what Zachert had forecast in 2017 as the company’s profitable growth path – a demonstration that ‘Quality Works’. To better communicate its commitment to quality, the company has launched a digital platform (https://quality.lanxess.com/) which collates stories demonstrating how LANXESS has contributed to improving people’s lives through innovative chemistry. The stories showcase a wide range of applications for products and solutions, from wheels for inline skates to wastewater recycling. “Quality also means assuming responsibility for the environment and society, as well as creating value together,” summed up LANXESS.

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March|April issue

Asia: A focus of Davis-Standard

Davis-Standard, a global leader in technologically-advanced extrusion solutions, is experienced in the Asian region’s manufacturing aptitude, as well as its market might.

The Pawcatuck-headquartered plastic and rubber extrusion & converting systems specialist considers the region its bulwark, accounting for 30% of its business.

To delve deeper into Davis-Standard’s new technology offerings and market breakthroughs, PRA interviewed Davis-Standard President/CEO, Jim Murphy, and Vice-President Business Development, Asia, Sekaran Murugaiah.

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HE spotlight is on the manufacturing sector in then Asia Pacific (APAC) region. A global manufacturing shift from the West to the East is resulting in a contraction of the sector in most advanced economies. Meanwhile, expansions in APAC are being led by the manufacturing meccas of India and China, according to a sector report from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Echoing this is the 2018 Southeast Asia economic outlook report by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) that says India and China are witnessing variable growths. China’s growth rate has slowed while India’s has remained upbeat. However, Caixin/Markit’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index says that “the durability of the Chinese economy will persist this year”. Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 7


The second largest economy in the world is also shedding its old skin of run-of-the-mill products. The Chinese government is not only cracking down on heavily polluting industries but also engineering a transition toward a services and consumption-led economy, which should bode well for the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, the Asian region’s impetus is to move up the value chain and be on par with the manufacturing capabilities of developed regions. In this aspect, the plastics and rubber industries are major adopters of new technologies. Asia, which in 2016 accounted for 40% of the plastics and rubber products manufacturing (followed by the US and Europe at 30% and 23%, respectively), hedged on brisk demand from the two most populous countries’ over-sized food and beverage markets, as well as retail and automotive industries. Thus, Davis-Standard is in an opportunistic position with its facility and parts centre in Suzhou, China, and regional office in Malaysia, plus its offering of a comprehensive range of extrusion machinery, and converting systems and technology, as well as a full range of extrusion aftermarket services that fit the requirement of its Asian as well as global customers. Technology is a growth driver in the region’s manufacturing sector. Being highly focused to achieving new growth,

Jim Murphy, D-S’s President & CEO

more manufacturers are adopt ing quality and more efficient equipment to clinch higher targets. Likewise, lean manufacturing techniques are now being widely adopted in reference to sustainable, energy and cost-efficient processes. Thus, Davis-Standard’s forte in medical tubing equipment capabilities, to cater to future innovations, will also meet the burgeoning demand for consumable medical devices and is expected to open up more opportunities for the company. We learn more on the US company’s focus for Chinaplas 2018 and for Asia this year in this interview with Jim Murphy and Sekaran Murugaiah. PRA: What is the focus of DavisStandard at the Chinaplas show this year? Davis-Standard (D-S): We will be in Hall 8.1, Booth D19 where we will be focused on promoting the addition of Maillefer, the growth of our Suzhou facility, and equipment for Asia’s growing medical and packaging markets. We will display the MEDD (Medical Extruder Direct Drive), which is DavisStandard’s signature extruder for medical tubing with direct

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Sekaran Murugaiah, D-S’s VP Business Development Asia

drive technology for more energy efficient operations. In addition to the direct drive advantages, the MEDD provides processors greater materials flexibility with a replaceable feed section liner, interchangeable barrel assembly and a Windows PLC control system. PRA: Which Asian market segments have been illustrious for DavisStandard? D-S: We continue to place a heavy focus on the medical tubing and packaging segments in Asia. Both of these markets are strong for us and continue to develop and grow throughout Asia. PRA: With regards to DavisStandard’s Suzhou facility, what are its current capabilities and will it be expanded to add on further offerings? D-S: Suzhou is our manufacturing base in China and we have continued to add capabilities there. We currently build equipment for medical tubing and co-extrusion applications and assemble electrical control panels, extruders and gear cases.


We also have an impressive R&D facility at Suzhou, equipped with technology for testing a range of rigid and flexible products, as well as FPVC tubing for IV and fluid delivery. Examples of applications include microbore tubing, multi-lumen and catheter tubing, endotracheal and tracheotomy tubing, bubble tubing, taper tubing and many others. By the third quarter of 2018, we plan to add a new dsX flex-pack™ 300S to this laboratory for customer trials. This is a single-station extrusion and lamination line built specifically for the Asian flexible packaging market.

equipment suppliers in the region. We are serving customers that demand world-class production capabilities, and this market is growing rapidly to support the medical devices demand in Asia. One of the most exciting installations we’ve had recently is a project with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH). KITECH is a government-funded institute committed to growing South Korea’s manufacturing industry through development, application and commercialisation of technologies, and support of small and mediumsized enterprises. KITECH installed one of PRA: In terms of the medical tubing our medical tubing systems market, how has Davis-Standard at its Biomedical Technology fared in the Asian market specifi- Centre. It is currently using the cally. Please provide an example of line to develop catheters used a recent installation in Asia. in cardiovascular, endoscopic and epidural applications, D-S: We are faring well and and collaborating with several have become one of the top South Korean companies on

proprietary R&D projects. KITECH is impressed with the feedscrew efficiency, die design and operation of the system, allowing for multi-lumen tubing with up to four lumens. KITECH is also leading the charge on medical tubing innovation in South Korea and the institution selected our technology to do it; that’s a valuable endorsement for Davis-Standard. PRA: What are the latest developments in Davis-Standard’s dsX line of equipment? How will the technology benefit Asian processors/ converters? D-S: The latest is the dsX flexpack™ 300S, which has been engineered specifically for the Asian flexible packaging market. This single station extrusion and lamination line is an impressive collaboration between Davis-Standard’s teams in the US, Germany and China.

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It accommodates the pricing, machine footprint, speeds and output, and shorter runs demanded by converters. We also plan to offer a tandem configuration of this line called the dsX flex-pack™ 300T. As mentioned above, we plan to have a dsX flex-pack™ 300S line available for demonstrations in Suzhou by the end of the third quarter this year. PRA: Davis-Standard recently introduced the next generation DS-eTPC control as well as the new ironing roll winder; how will these benefit Asian processors? D-S: The DS-eTPC II gives Asian processors added flexibility to support a broader range of applications, going beyond basic touch-screen capabilities, at an attractive price point. It has a larger 380-mm viewing screen with multi-touch capabilities to enable zoom-in and out, as well as extruder control for up to three extruders with real-time

and historical data trending. Other benefits include an increase of heat-only zones from four to eight, with an option up to 20; two auxiliary drives; a remote set-point; and speed trim via discrete inputs from gauging equipment. One of the greatest benefits of this controller is the additional extruder control from one main HMI. Processors can control up to three extruders with the option for local control of coextruders while maintaining line control from the primary HMI. The ironing roll winder supports markets for larger diameter master rolls up to 1.2 m in diameter on cast film lines up to 6 m wide. This winder can be used for many film types, but is most beneficial for CPP and barrier films where post-wrap shrinkage occurs as a result of the types of polymers used in the film structures, or where blocking can occur due to a

soft sealant layer with a high coefficient of friction (COF). For Asian processors, this means they can improve product quality and profitability by producing larger diameter rolls while eliminating in-wound defects such as buckling, telescoping and starring. The dynamics and control features of this new system truly modernise this process. PRA: What developments in Asia are favourable for Davis-Standard? Asian markets continue to develop quickly and are demanding higher quality products in many categories across the region. Davis-Standard’s worldclass technology is attractive to many customers as it provides the ability to increase the quality and output of their production. Our extensive knowledge of the global market in addition to competitive lead times, quality equipment, technical service and price offering, enable us to better accommodate customers throughout the region. PRA: What % growth has Davis-Standard seen in the Asian market, compared to the previous year? D-S: Davis-Standard saw significant growth in 2017 in the Indian and Korean markets. In fact, we witnessed 76% growth in 2017 over prior years in both the markets.

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Arlanxeo making strides in the Asian sector

T Synthetic rubber company Arlanxeo appointed Joosang Kim as Managing Director of Arlanxeo Singapore Pte Ltd, effective 1 February, 2018. He replaces Georges Barbey, who has left the company to seek new career opportunities. RJA interviewed Joosang Kim to find out what plans the rubber company has for the future.

HE growing appetite for synthetic rubber is hinged largely on an increasing trend for fuel-efficient tyres and the need for cost-effective alternatives to natural rubber. As well, synthetic rubbers are receptive to material technology advancement, which many manufacturers are making headway in. Notably, Asia Pacific (APAC) represents the largest and fastest growing market for synthetic rubber, projected to reach a value of nearly US$38 billion within the next five years, amid the booming automotive as well as non-tyre industries in the region. The region’s market potential is vast and is anticipated to remain so over the coming years. Arlanxeo,

the Lanxess and Saudi Aramco joint venture synthetic rubber maker, reveals the important role the APAC region plays for the company, in this exclusive RJA (Rubber Journal Asia) interview with Arlanxeo’s new Country Managing Director for Singapore, Joosang Kim. Prior to joining Germany-headquartered Lanxess and Netherlands-based Arlanxeo, Joosang Kim accumulated over 15 years of experience in the chemical industry. Since joining Lanxess in 2007, Joosang Kim has served in various leadership positions within Lanxess’s synthetic rubber business in several Asian markets, including Japan, South Korea, and China. With the establishment of Arlanxeo in 2016, the South

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Korean executive headed the Tyre and Specialty Rubber Business Unit for APAC and was based in Singapore. This is made possible through its network of eight R&D centres and four applications laboratories and the company has developed the most competitive and innovative range of products of the highest quality. “We have continuously strengthened our R&D to optimise our production processes in terms of energy efficiency, resource consumption, and the quality of our rubber products to provide the best solution for our customers”, Kim said. “Arlanxeo has also made sure to have a presence in all key markets and to be near our customers with a global presence of 20 production sites in nine countries, allowing us to support their operations locally”; “This further ensures we remain close to the market to better understand our customers’ needs and tailor solutions to meet those needs. We have also deployed the latest technology and efficient business processes at our plants to ensure we maintain a sustainable production process as well,” he said.

Joosang Kim , Managing Director Singapore, Arlanxeo

and accounts for more than one third of global sales, with the China market being one of the key drivers of our steady operational performance. For the FY 2017 full-year results on a global level, sales were up by 19.2% to EUR3.23 billion against EUR2.71 billion a year earlier. EBITDA pre-exceptionals amounted to EUR385 million, 3.2% higher than the prior-year level of EUR373 million. However, with the continuous challenging competitive situation, highly volatile raw material prices and the weak US dollar, the EBITDA margin pre exceptionals came in at 11.9%, down from 13.8% in the previous year. RJA: Will the rubber prices and supply volatility in Asia affect Arlanxeo’s results in the future?

Joosang Kim: The challenging competitive environment posed by volatility and prices is expected to persist in the synthetic rubber business in Asia. The current market enJoosang Kim: Asia is one of the key markets for Arlanxeo vironment with overcapacities RJA: What growth in turnover has Arlanxeo seen compared to last year and how did the Asian market fare?

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and price pressure is a major challenge for our business. However, we foresee huge demands in high performance and sustainable products, both from customer needs and the growing advocacy for industry upgrade on the supplier side. With our strong foundation, Arlanxeo is well positioned to meet various customers’ needs in different industries, with a focus on innovation and product quality. RJA: What new developments in the automotive sector and synthetic rubber segment are expected to provide benefits to Arlanxeo? Joosang Kim: We foresee a huge increase in demands for high performance and sustainable products be it new concepts or otherwise. This increase is largely due to changing customer needs for eco-friendly and sustainable products, as well as the general shift in government’s advocacy towards industry upgrades, such as supply-side reforms in China. We have already developed a number of products and projects with this trend in mind, such as our self-sealing tyres that are currently undergoing further tests in extreme conditions to guarantee optimal sealing in any climate zone. And also, we are aggressively developing products that can make an important role for energy saving cars. The market for ecofriendly and sustainable


products will continue to grow and will soon become a core requirement for all products within the industry. Our offerings already include products such as Keltan Eco 6950, a bio-based EPDM rubber that will be used to make the official soccer ball of the World Cup 2018 and Keltan 13561C DE, a high elastic semi-crystalline EPDM that boasts collapse resistance in high filled. With products such as these, Arlanxeo is already in a good position to take full advantage of this market shift.

RJA: Which markets is Arlanxeo reaching across following the launch of Keltan KSA? Joosang Kim: Arlanxeo is strategically expanding its activities in the market for EPDM rubbers and will start to supply the new EPDM grades within the first half of 2018. Extending the Keltan portfolio underscores Arlanxeo’s strong commitment to these products. With Keltan and Keltan KSA, Arlanxeo will provide a

unique and broad EPDM portfolio in order to serve customers in a comprehensive manner. RJA: What new plans are there for the Asian region?

bility, and providing excellent product and service quality. RJA: As the company’s new Managing Director, what is your vision for Arlanxeo in the coming years; and what are the future plans for Arlanxeo?

Joosang Kim: Arlanxeo’s strategic focus remains on the APAC region and the strengthening of our leading market position within the region, and with the strong site set up we currently have. Arlanxeo has clearly placed high importance on Asia, the largest market for its

Joosang Kim: I foresee Arlanxeo continuing on its path as one of the global leaders in the field of performance elastomers with a solid start that we have seen in the first year. In terms of business direction, we have already moved away from the role as a traditional product supplier towards being a solution provider and innovation partner for our customers , a combination of services that customers are increasingly demanding from their suppliers. This shift in approach has already given us an edge in The company’s butyl plant in Jurong Island in Singapore the market and will continue to do so as products – as The EPDM plant we refine our offerings further. in China is said to be significant Currently, Arlanxeo’s two busifor the region’s growing EPDM ness units cover a compremarket shown by the build- hensive portfolio of synthetic ing up of high-tech and highly rubber applications for a dicompetitive manufacturing in- verse range of industries. Our frastructure in Asia (EPDM and current and continued focus NBR plants in China, butyl and is on strengthening our leadNd-BR plants in Singapore). ership position in key markets We will continue to stay such as China and the Asia close to the markets and invest Pacific region, which are key in the markets to meet cus- to our global growth strategy. tomers’ various needs through However, we will not rule out extending production network, expansion if opportunities for enhancing technology capa- growth arise. Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 13


May issue

Automotive market drives new materials HINA is the world’s largest domestic automobile market. According to the government’s forecast, China’s new car market will grow by 25% from 2016-2025, reaching 35 million units. New energy cars will account for more than 20% of that growth, reaching around 7 million units in 2025. Irfaan Foster, Global Commercial Manager of additives supplier Addivant said: “The Chinese market is changing quite significantly, with the industry rapidly innovating and upgrading.” Foster believes that the automotive industry in China is setting new standards, with major trends towards lowering emissions and lightweighting. Companies that launched new products included USbased ExxonMobil Chemical. Its Achieve PP reactor-made grades, produced in the US and Singapore, are targeted at bumpers, door panels and consoles and injection moulded with 10-90% foamed parts. The new grade is said to eliminate trade-offs associated with conventional polymers, for instance, it offers improved stiffness and toughness balance in automotive applications, as well as 35% higher impact. Plastomer loading can also be reduced by up to 50% for cost savings. Dow Performance Silicones introduced a new silicone-based additive, HMB1903, designed for use in PC/ABS alloys that boasts anti-

China: a proving C ground for new technology

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

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squeak performance without the need for post-treatments that can negatively affect cost, design freedom and processing efficiency. It is also said to permanently reduce coefficient of friction (COF) in PC/ABS parts to avoid noise in the vehicle cabin.Furthermore, it does not adversely affect coloured parts where it may be deployed, even for piano black. Other materials for use are PA and PP. Dutch company DSM’s portfolio at the exhibition targeted the fast-changing demands in the automotive. “Automotive is one area where DSM has made tremendous strides in addressing the requirements of manufacturers,” according to Matt Gray, Regional Commercial Director of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific. It showcased the Connected Cars solution to highlight the future of cars where all individual parts of the vehicle – under the hood, inside the passenger compartment and the exterior – are connected via smart electronic devices integrated within an overall “intelligent” design. Gray said Connected Cars “will drastically change the way people drive, just as smartphones have changed the way people communicate.” With all processes becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT), the concept is expected to create a fully integrated system to achieve cost-efficient production. Another emerging trend is the New Energy Car where DSM has a

(L-R) Irfaan Foster, Global Commercial Manager of Addivant, and Matt Gray, Regional Commercial Director of DSM Engineering

role in developing the HV component, E-motor and battery. Within the context of developing next-generation cars comes the challenge for OEMs to develop advanced electronics where lightweighting will remain key to achieve lower emission and fuel efficiency. But with more electronics in a car, the heavier it weighs that the challenge will be to cut weight in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Lightweighting is especially critical when applied to electric vehicles, which continues to have lower range than cars powered by internal combustion engines. Gray says DSM is able to meet these demands.

nonwovens, it allows up to 15% higher fabric strength for diapers, wipes, adult incontinence, and feminine care products. In appliances, this widely recyclable PP is ideal for upgrading standard impact copolymer solutions or replacing over-engineered ABS, with 20% higher gloss than standard PP. Meanwhile, Addivant’s Foster says that in China people are getting more concerned about reliability, supply security, and safety of food packaging. For packaging, Addivant was promoting its Weston 705 phenol-free alternative for PE food packaging that allows processors to comply with China’s new GB9685-2016 food contact law. Austria’s Borealis Group was promoting its Anteo Packaging gets a boost family of LLDPE resins that OR rigid packaging, Exxon offer performance similar to Mobil’s Advance PP exploits metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE) high melt strength, for stiffer in the flexible film arena, but packaging and downgauging with advantages. Launched last wall thickness by up to 15% as year, the resins are produced well as increasing line speeds with the company’s proprietary by 7% for higher output. In Borstar bimodal technology,

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and complete the full solution offer for multilayer flexible packaging applications using Borealis Borstar Bimodal Terpolymer (BBT) technology. Tested and confirmed by customers, the overall performance of Anteo is said to exceed that of existing mLLDPE sealants, making it a better option for a sealing material and for other flexible films where a boost in mechanical performance is needed. Applications include laminates, stand-up pouches,

Eastman Chemical introduced its MXF221 a fully compounded polymer for medical housings and hardware

heavy-duty shipping and stretch hoods.

sacks,

Healthcare and E&E applications S-based Eastman Chemical introduced the MXF221 copolyester compound that exhibits enhanced chemical resistance towards disinfectants commonly used in healthcare establishments. Commonly used disinfectants include hydrogen peroxide, ypochlorite, glutaraldehyde (Cidex), benzyl quat-based disinfectants such as Virex TB, and Vesphene alkaline phenolic disinfectant.

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In tests with these disinfectants, MXF221 retained in excess of 80% of impact energy to break whereas a PC/PT grade retained less than 60% for Virex TB and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). PVC, meanwhile, failed when it came to hydrogen peroxide and Virex TB. Several medical devices already use the new copolyester, while around 150 projects are in the testing phase. The company also said that around 50 of these projects are in China and have been implemented over the last 12-18 months. With China and the Asian market having become an increasingly important region for UK-based Colloids, which in 2016 established a new masterbatch manufacturing plant located in Changshu, it introduced the E-TEC electrically conductive and ESD compounds. The new range offers surface resistivities from 1 x 109 to less than 103 Ohms square (according to ASTM D257 and IEC61340-2-3), providing solutions to electrical and electronics, automotive, consumer and industrial products and ESD packaging, storage and distribution applications. These new grades offer customers enhanced electrical performance for film and sheet, profile extrusion, injection moulding, vacuum forming and closed cell foams, says Colloids. Japanese polymer maker Polyplastics launched Laperos E420P, the first in a series of

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low-dielectric grades for nextgeneration communications devices. These materials are said to boast inherent high heat resistance,mechanical properties, chemical resistance, high flow, and low warpage for films and connectors in cabling, antennas, and circuit boards. This is achieved by making use of an optimum combination of filler and formulation technology to achieve a low dielectric constant of less than 3.0 measured perpendicular to the flow direction for the 1-20 GHz frequency band. US compounder PolyOne says that manufacturers are increasingly choosing its Resilience LS rigid vinyl polymers vinyl polymers for both LED lighting and appliance applications. In the LED lighting space, these have achieved several breakthroughs in multiple market segments, including landscape lighting, vehicle lamps, UV-resistant pool and spa lighting, and architectural luminaires. The materials are formulated to meet applicable UL flame rating standards while also providing anti-yellowing performance, chemical resistance and light diffusion. Investments and capacity expansions increasing WISS speciality chemicals firm Clariant says 2017 was a successful year in China, with 13% sales growth and an increase in profitability. Clariant established a joint venture with Tiangang Auxiliary to set up a

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facility for light and process stabilisers in Hebei Province in 2019; while its additives investment in Zhenjiang, will add its first two fully-owned production facilities, to come on stream in 2018. It also signed a cooperation agreement with China’s largest oil/chemical company Sinopec for the latter to license its FCAS series of S-Zorb sorbent to Clariant, to scale up the catalyst product portfolio for commercial production of low sulphur gasoline. German materials firm Covestro says it has strengthened its “already good position” in the country, with sales rising by 18% to EUR14 billion in 2017. The polycarbonates (PC) segment contributed to that with EUR3.7 billion, 13% above the previous year. Particularly in China, Covestro has invested massively and established its largest PC production site in Shanghai and it is now expanding its capacity to 600,000 tonnes/year to meet the strong domestic demand in China and across Asia Pacific region. Italy’s PA maker RadiciGroup Performance Plastics’s main target market in China is automotive (over 50%), and the electrical/electronics market, which is also on an upward growth trend. “Continuing the trend that started in 2015, the year 2017 saw further growth compared to 2016 (+31%),” Alberto Sessolo, CEO of Radici’s Suzhou branch pointed out. “The first quarter 2018 also record-

ed a positive trend, in spite of a complicated market situation, particularly for nylon 6.6.” The growth in volume goes hand in hand with the investment in increased production capacity. “By the end of the year, a new extrusion line will begin operation, thus increasing our production capacity by 10,000 tones/ year,” Sessolo continued, adding the company also plans to refurbish its laboratory. Another company that expects to meet the growing demands of the automotive market is German firm Lanxess that announced in late 2017 that it is building a new highperformance engineering plastics compounding facility in Changzhou, China. Addivant’s Foster revealed the company’s commitment to invest in additional capacity to meet market demands, adding that the firm is expected to announce several capacity expansions within the next six months in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, Gray of DSM said, “In Asia, especially China, DSM has seen substantial demand growth that we expect to expand our future capacity especially for ForTii, Stanyl, Arnitel, Arnite, which have remained in high demand.” German speciality chemicals firm Evonik says it has comprehensively optimised the production process of its Vestakeep PEEK and further improved the quality of the product at its Changchun site. In particular, energy requirements, material use,

and the waste generated during production were reduced under the optimisation measures, to boost the productivity of the PEEK plant. Japanese materials company Teijin is setting up a subsidiary in Shanghai to capitalise on the expanding demand for carbon fibre. Previously, an office was established in Shanghai in 2002. It

Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO of Reifenhäuser

says that internal collaborations will also be developed with Teijin Carbon Singapore, to strengthen its presence in the fast-growing Asian region. Machinery makers increase support to China/Asia ERMAN extrusion machinery company Reifenhäuser Group’s appearance at this year’s Chinaplas focused on two main goals: strengthening its customer support services for existing and new customers located in Asia, and investing in new technology for the long term, according to Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO. “The Reifenhäuser Technology Centre in Troisdorf site is considered the world’s largest R&D labo-

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Kai Schaeperklaus, General Manager Asia Pacific of Windmöller & Hölscher

Paul Neumann, Partner at Plastech Holding

Neumann, partner at Viennabased Plastech Holding, which has had a majority share in Kautex since early this year. “We’ve had 30% growth over the last two years, due to growth for fuel tanks and filler pipes for vehicles.” The Austrian company takes over from the previous investor Capiton after acquiring a 74.9% stake. Plastech is headed by Paul who is a member of the Neumann family of Austrian Engel machinery company. However, the new ownership of Kautex has no direct connection with Engel, Paul was quick to add. Kautex will also start producing its small-sized all-electric blow moulding machines in Shunde later this year. The front module, which is the drive module incorporating Growing investments in Asia/ the servo drive, planetary gears, as well as the shuttle China and other components will ERMAN blow moulding machine maker Kautex be manufactured in Germany Maschinenbau Group, which and shipped to China for final has had a facility in Shunde for assembly, with the extruder 20 years, has seen its Chinese unit and other mechanical sales grow from EUR30 million components that are fabricated in 2015 to EUR50 million last in China. Germany’s converting year (accounting for 35% maker Kampf of overall sales), said Paul machinery flex-pack 300S, a singlestation extrusion and lamination line, to the Suzhou facility for customer demonstrations by the fourth quarter of 2018. “This line is specifically engineered for the Asian flexible packaging market in terms of machine footprint, speeds and output, and the ability to make shorter runs,” he explained. German machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) opened a subsidiary in Taicang in 2014, as a sales and service hub for Chinese customers. It not only handles machinery sales but also spare and replacement parts, said Kai Schaeperklaus, General Manager Asia Pacific – Consumer Packaging Division, adding that all W&H machines are still made at its facility in Lengerich, Germany.

ratory for plastics extrusion. The site houses the latest generation of high tech lines equipped with extruders for the development of blown films, cast films, sheets and nonwovens,” he said. Future innovations lean towards digitalisation of extrusion process where mechanical engineering know-how is combined with modern digital technologies for intelligent production. Meanwhile, US extrusion company Davis-Standard, intends to expand its strengths at its facility in Suzhou, which already houses a FPVC extrusion system and multipurpose microbore tubing line. According to Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President, Business Development Asia Pacific: “China contributes about 45% of our global sales and this shows how important this market it. Moreover, China as a market is highly dynamic – with customers always on the lookout for newer technologies and this is what makes this market grow faster as compared with countries in other regions.” He also said that the Suzhou facility will be central to Davis-Standard’s growth in Asia. “We see flexible packaging market, especially for the food industry, on the rise with big global converters located in Asia posting huge demands,” Sekaran added. It is for this reason that the company will add a dsX

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operates two production plants in China, one in Shanghai and another in Jiangsu Province, and now has a new plant in Changzhou to house the after-

John Keane EVP of Nordson

for three-12+ layers. The modular Midex cast film lines can also be configured for the customer’s specific application. In the area of cast sheet coating, Mirex sheet lines features line components that include a broad portfolio of single-screw extruders, highspeed extruders and twinscrew extruders. For building up the layers, there is a range of various coextrusion feedblock systems from the REIcofeed series. The system enables the production of sheets with up to 11 or more layers. In all these sheet and film production systems, technical services are now available in Asia for faster response to customers’ concerns, said the company’s CEO. W&H stressed the importance of its converTex SLC 120 for PP block bottom valve bags at Chinaplas. The machine delivers 120 sacks/minute and has proven record of being adapted to the specific needs of PP fabric sack production. The machine has taken an important position in today’s sack production with technical support for the operator of the machine. In the first process step “fabric unwinding” the operator is now supported by a New technology ramps up double unwinding station ERC output - Easy Roll Change which alEIFENHAUSER cites the lows very short change-overs. advantages of its EVO This raises the production blown film lines, featuring a efficiency as no time is lost simplified functional operation before restart with a fresh and enhanced with clear and fabric roll. Sensors can be tidy surfaces and a modular integrated into the next process system that can be configured step “perforation” to assist the

sales support team and a warehouse for spare parts to ensure immediate response to customers’ request, said Samson YT Chong, Managing Director of Kampf (Hong Kong). US melt processing components and pelletisers firm Nordson Corporation is implementing a programme that aims to transform its Polymer Processing Systems (PPS) business into a single source for multiple components needed by processors. In view of this, Norson has made investments in Asia and in the US. According to Executive Vice-President John Keane, these are regional “centres of excellence” that enable customers to order products from any region and obtain the same components in terms of material and quality. Three PPS pillar brands are represented: BKG pelletising and melt delivery systems; EDI extrusion and fluid coat-

ing dies; and Xaloy screws and barrels for extrusion and injection moulding. In China, following a move of its EDI extrusion and coating dies operation to a new, larger facility, Nordson has begun assembly of screen changers and gear pumps and it is also planning for the finishing of Xaloy barrels produced at its facility in Thailand. In Japan, Nordson has added capacity for building EDI dies and for remanufacturing dies. In Münster, Germany, it is building a facility for BKG pelletisers and melt delivery components, with a dedicated aftermarket centre. Also in Germany, at Pirmasens, Nordson is producing Xaloy products in Europe for the first time. In the US, Nordson has just opened a new 60,000 sq ft facility for Xaloy while at a second location in Wisconsin it is starting up advanced systems for the manufacture of EDI flat dies. “Nordson products and services are now available worldwide on a localised basis and for both multinational and domestic customers,” said Keane, adding that regional centres lower shipping costs and lead times.

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operator in quality improvement. According to Schaeperklaus, W&H machines are known for their high output, easy and reliable operation. The end-products can be produced economically due to the innovative adhesive-free production process as converTex uses coating applied to the fabric as joining material. Sack bottoms, as well as valve and bottom patches are heated by hot air to soften the coating and then are joined together by intense pressure. The omission of any glue saves significant cost and avoids usage of solvents and the necessity for cleaning. Kautex exhibited a compact KCC10 MK3, which was demonstrating the production of three-layer 1,000-ml bottles with a foamed middle layer using US firm Trexel’s MuCell technology. The foaming of the middle layer reduces the amount of material required and provides better thermal and insulating properties. Kampf presented its new generation battery separator film (BSF) system, designed to improve the production of lithium ion batteries, according to Chong. The compact machine features short overall web path and the latest digital tension control, while downtime and roll handling time is reduced due to easy and efficient positioning aid systems to achieve quick changeover procedures of slitting equipment, said Chong. Also, the machine has a specialised rewind section for ultra-precise and ultrasensitive web control.

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Reinard Priller, Sales Director of Brückner Maschinenbau

The latest concepts for the production of films are what German film stretching line market leader Brückner Maschinenbau unveiled. With demand for speciality films on the rise in Asia, Brückner has been innovating a new breed of film production systems aimed at achieving high quality films, said Reinhard Priller, Sales Director. Thus, it launched the new generation Karo 5.0, a laboratory stretching machine, catering from mono-axial to bi-axial, sequential or simultaneous stretching. “Karo 5.0 follows Karo IV, which has set a global standard as the laboratory stretching machine,” said Priller, adding that it boasts a new visualisation system for an optimised, intuitive machine control; better process control; faster change of process settings and oven cooling function; clip cooling system for faster trial sequences; quieter machine operation; and less energy consumption. Brückner also highlighted its battery separator film production lines. Priller explained. “It features the patented Evapore line concept designed to achieve high productivity and greater flexibility. The 5.5 m line concept for the wet process is considered the most powerful and efficient battery separator film technology in the market today.” The company also promoted its BOPP and BOPET film production lines for the packaging industry. “The Chinese film packaging manufacturers prefer machines with high output and low production costs so we developed several systems, such as the BOPET lines with 10.4 m working width for greater productivity and the BOPP lines, capable of producing more than 60,000 tonnes/year,” said Priller.


June|July issue

Key factors for choosing silicone This article is by Brian Reilly, Business Development Director Biomaterials NuSil – part of Avantor Carpinteria, CA.

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HERE are no lagging moments for the medical devices market worldwide, as demand is growing, against the backdrop of expanding healthcare expenditure as a result of universal healthcare reforms; as well as technology advancements; and ageing population and chronic diseases. The market for global medical devices is expected to cross nearly US$410 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.5% from this year to 2023, as forecast by Lucintel. In keeping with the uptrend, access to safe medical devices is ensured by regulatory agencies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been keeping a watchful eye on how products classified as medical devices perform and how safe products are for consumer use. FDA describes medical devices as ranging from “common medical supplies (bandages, hospital gowns) to complex instruments that help save and sustain life (heart valves, artificial pancreas); and tools that aid in the detection of disease (MRIs, in vitro diagnostics) and digital technology that is driving a revolution in health care (medical apps, surgical planning tools, closed loop drug delivery devices)”. Biocompatible silicone lubricant In working with various medical devices, such as needles, syringes, trocars, cannulas, guide wires, catheters and valves, medical device designers must account for

friction in the form of insertion, drag and break-loose forces. It is for this reason that biocompatible silicone lubricant can significantly reduce friction at interfaces between components and between components and human tissue. Silicone has a long and proven history of use with medical devices. When choosing a lubricious silicone for an application or a specific device, it’s important to consider several key factors to ensure the lubricant properties deliver the expected result for both the device manufacturing process and the end use. Different lubricants for different substrates A main consideration is to understand the nature of the various substrates that need to be lubricated and identify why the materials and surfaces require different types of silicone lubricants. Medical devices can incorporate a variety of substrates, including silicone, metal, glass and plastics. Each material has different characteristics that can pose unique lubrication requirements. Silicone substrate The surfaces of cured silicone elastomers often Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 21


exhibit a high coefficient of friction (COF). These surfaces can be tacky, causing problems when moulded or extruded parts must move or slide. Silicone elastomers also tend to block, meaning they stick to each other due to chemical affinity. Blocking is particularly evident in slit valves, where the two sides of the silicone part touch each other and “heal” or close the slit.

silicone lubricant’s viscosity increases,higher-viscosity fluids may lubricate a silicone elastomeric surface for a longer period of time than lowerviscosity types.

>Curable coatings: Consider alternative technologies to eliminate the need for a traditional lubricant

Technological advances have resulted in some alternative options. One specific example is a curable, non-migrating coating that when applied to Considerations for silicone a substrate’s surface, reduces parts the COF. > Surface interaction factors: Once cured, these coatConsider a lubricant with a low ings chemically bond to the chemical affinity to the elastomer. underlying substrate and mimic For moulded silicone parts, its mechanical properties. it is important to account for The result is a durable, the difference in chemistries flexible coating on moving, between the part and the sliding and rubbing parts that lubricant itself. Otherwise, the substantially reduces the COF. lubricant may diffuse into a Specific formulations are availchemically similar material, able for platinum-cured or tinand the moulded component cured silicone substrates. will swell. If this occurs, the fluid is >Reducing processing time: depleted from the surface, which Self-lubricating silicone elastomers will reduce or eliminate the Self-lubricating silicone elaslubricating effect. tomers may be chosen to reMost silicone components are produced using a dimethyl silicone elastomer. Choosing a fluorosilicone lubricant, which For devices used multiple times, has minimal chemical affinity a dispersed high-molecular weight polymer is more to the dimethyl silicone, will advantageous; as the solvent result in minimal diffusion into flashes off during the lubricant the substrate. curing process, strong adhesion

>Viscosity factors: Consider a higher-viscosity fluid for longer lubrication periods

occurs with the metal to accommodate multiple punctures

Since diffusion or the chance of migration decreases as the 22 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

duce the number of processing steps. They do not require the additional processing step of adding a lubricant, coating or grease to the surface of a component or device. Instead, the lubricity is built into the silicone elastomer which yields a lubricious surface on the final moulded component, eluting over time. The elastomer can be chosen with the physical properties and level of lubrication needed for the application.

>Moisture sensitivity factors: Consider ambient humidity

When working with onepart dispersed silicone fluids that readily de-volatise, it is important to remember that they are moisture-sensitive. Consequently, if adjustments are performed to optimise viscosity or solids content, they should take place in a moisture-free environment.

>Other general factors:

When planning the device manufacturing process, consider either applying the lubricant directly as an oil or dispersed in


solvent to provide the coverage needed for the required properties. To reduce COF and enhance abrasion resistance, consider thin, wettable coatings. To minimise break-loose forces, consider thicker greases. Metals The metal surfaces and edges of hypodermic and suture needles, scalpels or other cutting edges have an inherently high surface friction. During incision or penetration in human tissue, friction damages the substrate surface and, of course, makes the patient uncomfortable as the metal penetrates tissue. To counteract penetration and drag forces, the design of a component can play a role. For example, hypodermic needles are tri-beveled with an elliptical opening, followed by an elongated tube. This shape makes penetration easier and prevents coring effects, but the metal substrate still exhibits surface friction that prevents a smooth, more comfortable, puncture. Considerations for metal

>Surface interaction factors: Consider penetration frequency and lubricant longevity

To minimise the effects of surface friction, silicone lubricants can be applied to lower the COF of the metal surface without compromising penetration or cutting efficacy. For applications involving repeated use, the lubricant must be robust. Taken together, factors that reduce friction include lowering puncture force, lowering drag

force, reducing rub-off and providing consistency throughout multiple uses.

>Formulation factors: Consider dispersion and bonding behaviour

Dispersed silicone formulations minimally bond to the metal substrates they coat, making them ideal to lubricate needles. Polydimethlysiloxane (PDMS) fluid is typically considered for this substrate. Inert PDMS fluid dispersions function as generic lubricants for various penetration and cutting surfaces. They improve lubricity but are more suitable for onetime use. For multiple usages, a dispersed high-viscosity fluid is more advantageous.

>Other general factors:

Consider either applying the lubricant directly or dispersed in solvent. To reduce migration compared to fluids, also consider using a silicone grease to help mitigate potential migration issues. Glass Silicone fluids have a siliconoxygen chemical structure similar to glass, quartz and sand. Consequently, they tend to bond very well with glass. Cross-linking to enhance bonding over the glass substrate may be achieved by heating the silicone beyond its operating temperature. Considerations for glass

>Formulation factors: Consider a hydrophobic lubricant

To reduce drag forces in

glass pre-filled syringes, for example, the insides can be coated with a PDMS silicone oil. Hydrophobic coatings are available for syringe barrels to promote container drainability.

>Curing factors: Consider high-temperature heating to activate cross-linking

Keep in mind that PDMS fluid by itself is nonfunctional and does not cure. However, this may be compensated by exposing the syringe to extremely high temperatures to activate polymer cross-linking, as previously described. The result is a functional interaction between the siliconised lubrication of the glass barrel and plunger stopper to make the system operate efficiently.

>Other general factors:

Consider either applying the lubricant directly or dispersed in solvent. To reduce migration

Dispersed silicone formulations minimally bond to the metal substrates they coat, making them ideal to lubricate needles, while hydrophobic coatings are available for syringe barrels to promote container drainability

compared to fluids, consider using a silicone grease. To enhance durability, consider heat treatment.

Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 23


As medical device designers evaluate lubricants, it is important to note there isn’t a one-sizefits-all silicone solution for each application.

Considerations for plastics:

>Formulation factors: Consider a very-high-viscosity grease

To enhance gliding with plastic and plunger stoppers, for example, consider using a silicone grease to lubricate the device. In these applications, the grease provides a lubricant that is less likely to migrate when applied to a plastic surface.

>Other general factors:

Consider either applying the lubricant directly or dispersed in solvent. Consider a combination with a PDMS fluid for enhanced/customised lubricant properties.

>Other key considerations: Biocompatibility

Application methods include dipping, spraying or wiping. If a very thin film is desired, silicone fluids may be further diluted down as far as 1-5% silicone solids in a compatible solvent. Methyl polymers may be dispersed in nonpolar organic solvents, whereas fluoropolymers (and copolymers) may be dispersed in chlorinated hydrocarbons and ketones. Dispersion to a lesser extent can also be accomplished in aromatic hydrocarbons, mineral spirits and isopropyl alcohol. For convenience, some medical device manufacturers select polymers predispersed down to a specified percent solids content. Be sure the silicone material selected can work with these options.9140611 As medical device designers evaluate lubricants, it is important to note there isn’t a one-size-fits-all silicone solution for each application. With the many factors involved in lubricant selection, device designers and manufacturers may wish to collaborate with suppliers of medical-grade lubricious silicone to meet the unique force reduction and material requirements of their particular medical device.

24 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

>Manufacturability:

Lubricious silicones used in medical applications should be biocompatible and in conformance with ISO 10993. As an inorganic material, silicone lubricants are chemically inert and stable over extended periods of time. The moleclar backbone of silicone fluids is much stronger than the carbon-to-carbon chain in hydrocarbon polymers. Consequently, silicone lubricants are more resistant to chemical attack, oxidation, shear stresses and extreme temperatures. Silicone can be readily sterilised by ethylene oxide, dry-heat or autoclaves, or other standard

techniques without degradation. Device designers should be sure to consider high-purity, medical-grade silicone lubricant products supported by Master Files with US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and international authorities, which include biological tests conducted on each product.

Plastics A wide variety of plastics are used in medical products such as valves and stop-cocks. Friction points in these applications may benefit from silicone lubricants.


August issue

China’s machinery market stays upbeat

China’s machinery production market is set to grow 7.9% in 2018, while the rubber and plastics machinery production market will achieve a value of US$13 billion in 2018,

up 10% year-on-year, according to Teik Chuan Goh, Analyst, Manufacturing Technology, at research firm IHS Markit.

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HINA’S machinery production is growing at a slightly slower rate in 2018 than that it did in 2017, but the industry is exhibiting strong growth of 7.9%. Machinery production in China will continue to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2018 to 2022. The production of China’s machine tools will increase by 8.2% in 2018, rising at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2018 to 2022. The overall production of material handling equipment will grow by 12.6% in 2018. The

production rate of material handling equipment for automated guided vehicles (AGV) is increasing significantly. In 2018, the production rate of AGV will increase by more than 30%, rising at a CAGR of 20.6% from 2018 to 2022. As for the plastics and rubber machinery production sector, Teik says, “The Chinese rubber and plastics machinery production market will achieve around US$13 billion in 2018, up 10% year-on-year.” Plastics production machinery garners higher exports

IN the first quarter of 2018, China’s plastic machinery export market ranked among the top ten countries, with exports destined to the US, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia and Pakistan and growing rapidly. In fact, Teik says that exports increased by more than 25% year-on-year. However, he cautions on international headwinds that dent revenues. Some of the factors that will affect exports of plastics machinery from China are: *Brexit negotiations in the UK *Rise in US Federal Reserve’s

Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 25


interest *US government’s policy toward China’s tariffs * Exchange rate fluctuations of the Chinese yuan and currencies in other developing countries Teik adds, “IHS Markit believes that stable growths will maintain in 2018, due to the benefits from the impact of the recovery of the downstream industry with the demand for plastic products having steadily increased. But we are wary about the Sino-US trade friction.” Elastic demand for rubber production machinery For exports in the rubber machinery market, he says that China’s main growth of exports in 2017 and 2018 comes from Southeast Asia. “There are more than ten major tyre projects that are in the works to start in the region to expand their customer set overseas. In addition to that, the international tyre market investment looks to be stable for the foreseeable future. This will lay a foundation for the export of Chinese rubber machinery.” In 2017 and 2018, China’s rubber machinery market has been growing at a healthy pace of around 10%. “The underlying reason is that the automotive and tyre industries are improving, promoting new tyre projects. Non-tyre rubber based machinery development has also shown good growths in China,” adds Teik.

America. To a certain extent, this initiative has expanded the market for machinery used in automobile manufacturing, construction, electronics, metallurgy and textiles.

Teik Chuan Goh of IHS Markit

National policies to promote the development of machinery production In 2018, the Chinese government issued a series of favourable policies to promote the development of its manufacturing industry – for example, the country’s strategic “Made in China 2025” programme, which encourages enterprises to use high-end machine tools. As of April 2018, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) had founded five national innovation centres for material manufacturing, to focus on batteries for electric vehicles, optoelectronic information technology, traditional and flexible display panels and robots. The ministry also cultivated about 60 manufacturing innovation centres, at the provincial level. At the same time, the government’s implementation of comprehensive tax cuts for productive enterprises also provided policy support for machinery manufacturers. IHS Markit says that China will continue its “The Belt and Road Initiative” policy, strengthening cooperation with member countries in the initiative and others in Latin

26 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

Optimisation of industrial environment for favourable conditions for machinery production New industries are growing fast. In the first quarter of 2018, the added value investment of high-tech manufacturing (i.e., information technology, biological engineering and new materials) increased by 11.9%, while fixed asset investment grew 7.9%. Equipment manufacturing and consumer goods manufacturing grew faster than other categories. Industrial robots, new energy vehicles, integrated circuits and other new products are growing rapidly. Faster development of the downstream industry has led to demand growth in related machinery products. The emergence of artificial intelligence, big data and other Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is injecting new vitality into China’s machinery market. Its leading machinery manufacturers introduced the IoT concept into machinery, actively transforming themselves from traditional machinery producers to manufacturing services companies. Construction machinery manufacturer Xugong Group, after it was purchased, built the first domestic IoT big data platform in 2017, achieving


devices, will also spur demand for machine tools in this field, as mobile device upgrades accelerate. China’s machine tool market is currently aced with industry transformations and upgrades, excess low- and midrange machine ool products, insufficient development of high-end machine tool products, lack of core technology and a small proportion of advanced products. China’s 13th “Five-Year Plan” and “Made in China 2025” policies have been continuously promoted, to provide positive external conditions for machine tools development, especially high-end computer numeric control (CNC) machine tools. China’s first development of its high-end CNC machine tool industry area was in the Chongqing Yongchuan district. Now large CNC machine tool enterprises, such as Emark, Liebherr and Degen, are successfully settled in the Yongchuan district. At the same time, SW Machines Company in Germany Machine tools market a will invest in machine tool growth potential The demand potential of the manufacturing in Yongchuan, machine tool market is huge in and the whole project is expected to begin production 2018. As downstream indus- in the second half of 2018. Fujian Quanzhou, Shantries, like automotive, aero- space, shipping, electrical dong Zaozhuang, Anhui Ma anpower and engineering machinery, shan and other regions are also have developed rapidly, smart actively developing their mamachine tool demand growth chine tool industries. China’s overall machine tool industry was especially significant. At the same time, the is undergoing a two-step depromotion and development of velopment strategy. First, funds will be used consumer electronic devices, such as tablets and wearable to support domestic machine real-time monitoring and remote operation of construction machinery. Meanwhile, construction machinery sold to Brazil, Myanmar, Laos and other countries are also connected to this platform, which is a good example of international IoT business promotion. Shenyang Machine Tool independently developed i5 intelligent CNC machine tools, and in 2017 it established more than 30 intelligent manufacturing bases to be leased to small manufacturing companies. In January 2018, the company cooperated with Tencent Cloud to create an industrial cloud platform, and the two companies continued to deepen their cooperation in the field of smart manufacturing, in order to tap the potential value of industrial big data. At the same time, Shenyang Machine Tool raised RMB2.69 billion for the development of its smart machine-tool industry upgrade projects and technological innovation platform projects.

tool brands, to improve their competitiveness and the rate of end-product localisation. Second, the company will introduce multinational machine tool enterprises in China, establishing a sole proprietorship or joint venture that will offer advanced technologies and promote product upgrades. Machinery production forecast In 2018, China’s machinery production development will be buoyed by the country’s national policy guidance and support, a large influx of investment funds and the initial effect of industrial structure adjustment. However, other more unfavourable development factors for development in 2018 cannot be ignored.With trade friction, like the Sino-US friction in 2018, on the rise, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the international environment. Domestic infrastructure investment in China is affected by national policies and macrocontrol, which strengthens its supervision of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects this year, but might also negatively affect infrastructure investment growth, causing some pressure on China’s domestic economy. Still, China’s machinery production will grow steadily under this pressure in 2018. With the continuous optimisation of its industrial environment in the next four to five years, China’s machinery production market will steadily rise, even as it transforms.

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September issue

This article by Karl-Heinz Bußbach, Global Business Director AZO®Poly shows that every compounding plant must satisfy specific requirements. This is where custom designs are called for and these require plant manufacturers to have extensive, in-depth knowledge and experience of processes and raw materials and an intelligent portfolio of products.

PP Compounding plant for basic stabilisation of PP powder

Designing compounding plants:

A bespoke solution every time

A

s a result of increasingly complex requirements, the various stages involved in compounding are gaining in importance throughout the value chain for manufacture of plastic parts. Mixing different base materials ensures that end products have a wide variety of functions and properties. The challenges involved in materials handling are equally diverse: unstable materials, combustible or abrasive components, fluctuating MFI figures within a process, a large number of raw materials, a wide variety of formulations and stringent requirements for quality and product liability, to name but a few. This is why individual concepts for plants are needed when it comes to compounding processes. These concepts should ensure a high degree of flexibility and reliability for low to high rates of output. Innovative solutions illustrated using four examples from actual practice Compounding plant for basic stabilisation of PP powder 28 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

The plant in the first example involves a compounding plant for basic stabilisation. In this case, the polymer comes from six vaporisers downstream of the reactors. The particular challenges of this project include: • fluctuations in MFI figures as a result of the batch process • ATEX gas zone outside the plant in the polymerisation section • the material still contains volatile, combustible components • an ATEX zone inside the plant, thus entailing handling in a nitrogen-atmosphere = relevant to safety • handling in a nitrogen-atmosphere due to unstable material/risk of oxidation = relevant to process • fluctuations in process parameters within the polymerisation process (batch process) necessitate the very best concept for homogenisation • high availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a maximum of one two shutdowns a year • conveying distances of over 300 m with


relatively high throughput Implementation The following components are relevant to processes and safety when handling microfilters, pressure sensor system, nitrogen buffer container, blower/compressor, dryer, valves (shut off and check valves). The raw polymer powder is conveyed from batch operation by a receiving hopper with recording of weights in silos using the central-tube mixing principle. During and after filling, the olymer powder is homogenised through circulation and subsequent discharge to the scales. This makes

Production of high-fill compounds

it possible to blend materials from different silos. There is also an active blending silo with screw feeder ahead of the loss-in-weight feeder for dosing the powder gravimetrically. The finished goods are homogenised by moving them into several PP granulate silos and then discharging them, using a multitube mixing principle, in order to ensure maximum homogeneity of the finished compound. Compounding of high-fill polymers The second illustration concerns compounding of high-fill polymers. A variety of particular factors need to be taken into account here. Due to the high fill level of up to 85%, this process is a very critical one. Many of the raw materials pose exacting requirements

on materials handling because of their complex and unstable properties. The plant has been designed as follows: Products are fed over combined discharge bases for big bags and sacks. Planning must take into account requirements for dust-tight docking, integrated filters with fan for a clean working environment, a safety support with massager device for improved discharge, a safety lock for pallets, including work platform for ergonomic operation, and sufficient buffer volume. Storage and feeding are also possible from silos and octabins To improve product discharge, vibration bottoms are used that can be adapted to accommodate the specific product. Aeration bottoms can be used in addition to fluidise the product. The raw materials are conveyed to the compounder using a pneumatic vacuum conveying system, which uses reliable, timetested components. In the case of granular constituents, a premix can be made with the AZO®MIXOMAT mixer system. The AZO®MIXOMAT combines several systems in one machine: it is a receiver, scales and mixer in one and can also be used in ATEX zone 20 and with powdered products. AZODOS® dosing units coupled with AZO®CONT controls are used for continuous, gravimetric feeding of the compounder. In order to ensure maximum dosing accuracy with the AZODOS® devices, controlled and steady filling of raw materials is critical in order to rule out any variance in volumetric dosing as far as possible. A typical feature of the devices is their ease of cleaning, which is a major advantage in master batch production, as reducing the cleaning time results in an increase in overall output.

Storage of raw materials in outdoor silos

Production of high-quality cable compound The third plant in our illustrations is for production of high-quality cable compound while pursuing a zero error strategy. The following requirements were key here: • wide variety of formulations • great number of different raw materials • increased requirements for quality and thermostability • stringent standards with regard to product liability • maximum level of automation • redundant quality control throughout the entire production chain • controlling and tracking • special features as regards the carbon footprint In this example, the plant was implemented as follows: The main constituents are stored in outdoor silos, big bags or Octabins and are fed into the loss-inweight feeders above the compounder using pneumatic conveying. Small and medium quantities are filled into containers, identified, marked with barcodes and stored at the ready in a high-bay warehouse until further processing. This action rules out any chance of confusion. The containers with components needed for the formulation are deposited on the AZO DOSINENTER® linear weighing system using a laser-controlled AGV system. Mobile scales are conveyed along under the components and collect those required for use

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in the formulation. As soon as the entire batch has been assembled, it is discharged into a pre-mixer and mixed homogenously. Similar to the major components, the premix is conveyed to the loss-in-weight feeders above the compounder. In addition to the powdered bulk materials, various liquid components are also added into the process. After the actual compounding process, granulation and drying take place before the finished goods are either immediately filled or transported to silos with an AZO®MULTIAIR densephase conveying system. This innovative method is especially suitable for attrition-free conveying without segregation over medium and long distances with high throughput. Unlike dilute-phase conveying, the energyefficient AZO®MULTIAIR conveys products at minimum speed and with minimum requirements for air. Conveying therefore results in an extremely low rate of wear for products and the feeder line. Nor does the process cause segregation and it is very energyefficient. There is no wear or destruction of the particle structure. The optimum load and conveying velocity is adjusted for each product and each conveying distance

Flexible feeding of dosing units above extruders

on an individual basis. Manufacture of innovative plastic compounds The plant in our fourth illustration is for manufacturing innovative plastic compounds based on PA, PP, ABS and other base materials with 14 compounding lines. The following requirements are key here: • wide variety of formulations • great number of raw materials • high quality and product liability • maximum flexibility • handling of abrasive materials and end products • stringent standards for energy efficiency • controlling and tracking Implementation was carried out as follows: Energy efficiency was a decisive factor when constructing this new plant. Base materials are stored in 16 outdoor silos. From here, the 14 extruders are fed with raw materials over distances of 35 to 120 metres. To a certain extent, the raw materials have different properties and bulk density. The capacity of the individual extruder lines is up to 2,500 kg/hour. At the same time total flexibility is required: every product needs to be transported to every receiver. As every extruder line has its own vacuum pump, use of an intelligent power management system exploits the maximum potential for saving both energy and resources. In order to achieve the best possible design for the plant, conveying trials with different conveying lines and air quantities were tested out in AZO’s Technical Centre. This identified the most efficient operating points for the pumps. The solution is based on conveying with adjustable air quantities using vacuum pumps, which are operated at frequency converters.

30 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

The savings in energy are huge when compared with operation using a complete pump system. To achieve the best possible outcome in respect of overall lifecycle costs, it was necessary to take a range of different aspects into account when designing the conveying system. Accurate

AZO dosing unit for continuous gravimetric feeding of the extruder

dimensioning of the conveying system, selecting components and planning storage locations were equally as important as the controls for the plant as a whole using intelligent process IT. What is more, this resulted in critical advantages in processes. Less wear, segregation and angle hair mean less outlay for maintenance. As the materials involved in this process are to some extent highly abrasive and have reinforcing fibres, protection against wear is also important. This requirement was met by selecting specific materials. Ceramic pick up shoes, receivers with oxide ceramic lining and ceramic inlets as well as glass elbows, glassfibrereinforced jackets and silicon carbide coatings. The examples illustrated show that every compounding plant must satisfy specific requirements. This is where custom designs are called for and these require plant manufacturers to have extensive, in-depth knowledge and experience of processes and raw materials and an intelligent portfolio of products, which need to be designed to make best use of them.


October issue

Technologies showcase in Germany

MATERIALS • Ascend Performance Materials will showcase a new Vydyne PA66 grade for automotive lightweighting. The R433H is designed to reinforce downgauged steel and aluminium used in vehicle body in white (BIW) structures, helping reduce weight. It is said to exhibit improved energy absorption over traditional glass-filled PA66, reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and absorbing impact energy from crashes. Ascend will also highlight its newly acquired manufacturing facility in Tilburg, Netherlands, having closed the buy of compounder Britannia Techno Polymer. It is Ascend’s first European manufacturing base.

PA Ultramid EQ for sensitive electronic applications. For NVH, it provides solutions made from the microcellular polyurethane elastomer Cellasto as well as glass-fibre reinforced PA Ultramid and the Elastollan TPU for top mounts, spring seats and other chassis components.

grille. The structure of the prototype consists of a film printed with a coloruful motif, such as the company logo, replacing the classic metal logo. This composite is then overmoulded with transparent Makrolon PC using film insert moulding technology (FIM). The flat surface and the depth effect of the PC create a glasslike 3D appearance. A transparent, scratchresistant silicone hard-coating is also applied as the outermost layer. The structure can be made permeable to radar and LiDAR radiation, and also allows the integration of further functions like embedding heating wires for de-icing.

• Germany’s Barlog Plastics will introduce its Kebaform XFA POM, a low-emission material for vehicle interior applications. It also boasts a significant reduction in formaldehyde, and meets current formaldehyde limits, even in unfavourable processing conditions (temperatures up to 220°C, with a residence time of several minutes). • Dow Performance Silicones will launch a new siliconebased • German firm Covestro will slip additive for LDPE film that • With sensors in the car being showcase a prototype auto- optimises form-fill-seal (FFS) important in assisting the driv- motive front module with a 3D, packaging production. It will er, German firm BASF offers its jointless and glass-like surface also showcase the Dow Cornresistant PBT Ultradur HR and and without the classic radiator ing HMB-1903 masterbatch, Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 31


silicone-based, anti-squeak technology for automotive interior parts that reduces the coefficient of friction (COF) in PC/ABS components to minimise NVH. • Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), IKV Plastics Processing Institute at RWTH Aachen University will present the latest injection-moulded and injection compressionmoulded optics, continuously produced optical film and optical materials and applications. At the heart of the presentation will be the production of a plastic freeform lens with micro-structured sections developed in cooperation with Innolite GmbH and Arburg. • Germany’s FKuR will be presenting the injection moulding grade Bio-Flex S 7514. With improved flowability and heat resistance, it is a PLA-based (75% content) compound, which has been optimised for efficient processing. Thanks to its good flowability (MFR =27 g/10 minute), it is also suitable for use in multi-cavity moulds and the production of parts with longer flow paths. The high heat resistance (Vicat A = 110°C), which is achieved without a hot tool, allows for shorter cycle times. It can be used in catering applications such as cutlery.

or and consumer applications. The new Thermolast K series FG/SF comprises several compounds in Shore A hardness range between 50-80 with surface properties for automotive interior parts, including adhesion to PP and good abrasion resistance. In the Thermolast K series for food contact, FC/ AD/PA, the compounds boast adhesion to PAs. Naturallycoloured, these are available in hardness degrees ranging from 40-80 Shore A. • Speciality materials firm Lanxess will have new PA6, PA66 and PBT compounds with a high level of transparency with laser light from the near-infrared range, especially for complex formed components that are manufactured in series by laser transmission welding. Also new is a halogen-free flame-retardant laser-light transparent Durethan AKV30FN04LT, a PA66 achieving the best classification of V-0 (0.4 mm) inflammability testing pursuant to the US UL 94 standard. Adding on to this is a new glass fibre-reinforced PBT compound that achieves improved results in glow-wire tests on finished components.

which delivers improved heatshock resistance for a range of Polyplastics will present the viability of PPS for bump-off moulding of automotive engine cooling systems

automotive applications, plus the viability of PPS for bumpoff moulding of automotive engine cooling systems. It results in an undercut that “bumps” in two directions and ejects from the mould without using a sliding structure. The parting line (mould lip) goes away, allowing for a burr-less mould. The company has also developed Duranex 457EV, an unfilled, high-impact PBT that satisfies the UL 2251 standard for electrical/electronics and automotive applications.

MACHINERY • Under the theme of the “Road to Digitalisation”, Germany’s Arburg will have different stations pointing the way towards efficient plastic parts production. These include six new Arburg assistance packages, the benefits of augmented reality in service and the launch of its new customer portal. In digital transforma• Polyplastics has latest POM tion, it will have”4. set-up” that resin grades with low-VOC supports machine operators emissions for the production of with set-up and parameter automotive interiors, to meet entry; “4.start-stop” for simthe latest regulations govern- plifying production start-up, • Germany’s Kraiburg TPE will be ing the concentration of VOCs with lesser number of start-up highlighting two Thermolast in interiors. It will also highlight parts and higher production materials for automotive interi- its new Durafide PPS grade, capacity; “4.optimisation” de32 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition


Arburg has a number of stations at its booth to guide visitors to futureproof and efficient plastic parts production

Arburg will present its range of training courses and signed for product optimisa- services using a hydraulic Alltions aimed at enhancing part rounder 370S - for example the quality and reducing unit costs; Arburg Remote Service ARS for “4.production” to give experi- secure online support. There will also be an exenced operators flexibility and freedom when programming ample on the subject of predicfunctions; “4.monitoring” for tive maintenance, which is beprocess and quality monitoring coming increasingly important and seamless documentation as machines and components and “4.service” to allow direct are digitally integrated. access to the machine control system and via online support, • Production management of thereby increasing machine injection moulding is a complex activity that combines availability. The six injection mould- organisational planning and ing exhibits in mint green, light supervision. Taiwanese magrey and dark grey will also chine maker FCS Group first anprovide for a new look at its nounced the iMF 4.0 (Intelligent stand. This new colour scheme ManuFactory)smart manufacwill be used for all its Allround- turing system this year, and set up a demonstration factory at ers from the start of 2019. For the first time, Arburg its Tainan headquarters to prois showing the Allrounder 820H vide real-world solution for the in its new design in a packag- industry 4.0 applications that ing version. The exhibit shown are needed by injection mouldwill produce four thin-wall IML containers with a capacity of 500 ml in a cycle time of around 3.8 seconds. Also new is the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) for a complex turnkey system. Plus, it will show a practical example FCS first presented its iMF4.0 system of Industry 4.0 on elastic ten- at Taipeiplas this year sion belt production and LSR moulding of micro components ing industry customers. The traditional injection on an electric Allrounder 270A. The potential of the Freeformer moulding production manageand Arburg Plastic Freeforming ment is based on handwritten record statistics, which is easy (APF) will also be on view.

to derive many risks and cannot immediately respond to the problem, therefore the effect of production management improvement cannot be highlighted. The iMF 4.0 system is based on the cycle time management and introduces the concept of mould, machine and material management; and OPC international communication protocol to achieve instant display of overall equipment efficiency (OEE) information and abnormal message statistics. The production manager can promptly grasp the production status and rapidly achieve the purpose of abnormal production counter-measures, and Industry 4.0 mobile computing, analysis and optimisation, to improve efficiency and reduce waste, and achieve the management purpose of rapid production of abnormal measures. iMF4.0 can also be used to monitor the state of equipment in the global production line through synchronisation, to achieve the concept of offsite production management. With Over 40 years of technological developments and innovations, the overall performance of FCS machine has reached high levels of stability and reliability. Meanwhile, FCS offers optimised designs with differentiated features for the product characteristics of each specific industry. The company says its newly launched iMF4.0 system has seen high sales after its introduction at the Taipeiplas exhibition in August.

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• Austria’s Engel will make three premieres of machinery, all running in one exhibit: a larger 120-tonne all-electric tiebarless machine; a fully automated system for fast switching of mould inserts for small lot production; and expanded functionality of its eflomo electronic temperaturecontrol water manifold, which contributes to achieving shorter set-up times. Lot sizes of less than 1,000 present a special challenge in injection moulding. In order to economically realise a large number of variations, moulds with interchangeable inserts are often used. The system solution presented allows for a fully automated switch of the mould inserts within just one minute. Engel’s e-motion 170/120 TL machine will be equipped with a mould that includes the fastswitch mechanism patented by Braunform. The cell addresses the needs of customers who produce articles similar to each other in small lot sizes or with a high degree of variation.

kN now available from the typically small machine maker. It will show a two-component application, first injected and then partially over-moulded in a second component by the additional injection unit in the same mould. The removal handling LR5 repositions the premoulded cups in the mould, removes the finished twocomponent parts and places them on a conveyor belt in the protective housing of the automation cell.

tioning unit for each IMD film, which is integrated into the PX machine. The system uses sensors beside the films to read registration marks on the films for positioning accuracy within 0.01 mm. The double-IMD process will be supplemented with IML to produce a 10-in. HMI (human-machine interface) display with integrated electronics, black decorative frame, and scratchproof coating. Meanwhile, KM will also demonstrate its new PX25 model producing a 0.15 g LSR sealing ring with an intricate undercut, using a 12-mm screw, complemented with a spring-loaded check valve, in a 14 second-cycle.

• US firm Milacron will demBoy is bringing out a larger machine onstrate the Imflux-enabled low-pressure moulding pro• Germany’s KraussMaffei will cess developed by multinashow two new all-electric tional Procter and Gamble and presses. A PX320 model will marketed by its new Imflux exhibit a patent-pending tech- subsidiary. nology developed by Leonhard The technology uses a Kurz of Germany. This system low, consistent pressure to fill allows two independent heat- the mould while packing the transfer foils to be transported melt and cooling the mould, reel-to-reel through a two-cav- thus achieving up to 50% fast• At Dr Boy’s booth a new, large ity mould. er cycles, reduced part weight, Boy 125E will make its world The two in-mould deco- lower stress, less warpage and premiere. The two-component rating (IMD) films transfer the fewer sinks. machine features a width of printed decoration to the plastic Milacron says the pro470 mm between the tie bars part under the influence of heat cess can be particularly advaninstead of the previous of 430 and pressure during moulding, tageous for processing sensimm. In addition, the maximum with a servo-controlled posi- tive biomaterials. platen distance has been ex At Fakuma, a technical tended to 825 mm as standard part on an allelectric Elektron for more space, for example EVO 155 press will be On a PX 25-55 Silcowhen using rotary plates. Set, KraussMaffei will running with a two-cavity show the production of Imflux mould. The cell will A further advantage is LSR sealing rings a 25% higher clamping force, show off a new addition with a clamping force of 1,250 of an adaptive process34 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition


control module to Milacron’s M-Powered package of IoT solutions. This module enables the Imflux process with a stable melt pressure and a variable filling rate that adapts to the part geometry. • KraussMaffei member company Netstal will showcase its smallest model, Elios 45002900, producing 12-cm PP plant pots in a six-cavity mould from Glaroform. And to spice things up, the pots will be moulded in various colours with UCC providing the colour masterbatches. A Brink Automation robot will remove and stack the finished pots, in a cycle time of 3 seconds. The flow path/wall thickness ratio is 331:1. • Japan’s Fanuc will be exhibiting the biggest of its allelectric Roboshot machines, the new S450iA with 4500 kN clamping force, a tie bar distance of 920 mm by 920 mm, a clamping stroke of 900 mm, a 1,300 mm by 1,300 mm platen size and a maximum die height of 1,000 mm. It also features a torque plasticise control – Precise Metering Control (PMC) 2&3 – as well as backflow monitor and AI mould/ejector protection.

tie-bar enables central media supply from below through the rotary table or via the installation of a compact rotary manifold. Milacron will feature the low The machine is suited pressure injection for the integration of automamoulding (LPIM) structural foam process tion systems with insert feeding and finished part removal • Germany’s Sumitomo (SHI) functions. Demag Plastics Machinery will debut its compact high-speed • Member of the Brückner Group IntElect S, the new allelectric Austria-based Kiefel Packaging machine series for high-speed will display its Blowliner singlestage servomotor-driven injecparts. An IntElect S 130/520- tion blow moulding machine, 450 will be shown moulding available in three sizes. It features a vertical hypipettes, in a cell with a compact system developed by draulic Engel machine with up automation specialist Waldorf to 400-tonne clamping force Technik comprising 100% visual and a clamping surface of up inspection for sorting the pipettes to 800 x 1,000 mm for (multiinto the appropriate racks. layer) preform production and Sumitomo Demag will now a stretch-blow unit with a 40offer both standard and high- tonne clamping force. Available with one to speed machines with all- four-row blow moulds, each electric drives. • Having shown a prototype of series of cavities has its own pre and main blow-off valve, so that the blow pressure can be set individually, making it possible to run different products At Fakuma, a VPower using one tool. 60/750 and a 1600-mmdiameter rotary table will be shown

its new VPower machine at its tenth anniversary in June, Austria’s Wittmann Battenfeld will present it at the show. The servoelectric-powered rotary table as standard allows the injection unit to be converted from vertical to horizontal and vice versa even after commissioning. The absence of a central

AUXILIARIES, TOOLING & ROBOTS • Austrian recycling equipment firm Erema, its business unit Powerfil and sister company Pure Loop will be exhibiting in one booth. The exhibits include Erema’s recycling and compounding technology Corema; its anti-odour ReFresher (together with Intarema TVEplus machine) technology for odouroptimised premium recycled

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pellets directly from contaminated post-consumer material; proprietary QualityOn software for continuous quality monitoring of colour and MVR values; and Re360, its Manufacturing Execution System for real-time production and machine data. Powerfil will be showing its filter systems that are also suitable for existing extruders, while Pure Loop is presenting the ISEC evo, an integrated shredderextruder combination. • For the first time at Fakuma, Swiss firm Maag will be sharing a stand with filter manufacturer Ettlinger, which joined the group in January this year. Maag will be presenting a Primo 200 E model pelletiser from its WSG dry-cut strand pelletising systems for the production of cylindrical or micropellets. With a 200 mm draw-in width, it is designed for speeds up to 120 m/minute and a maximum throughput rate of 1,500 kg/hour. Its Pearlo 160 forms part of a new family of underwater pelletising systems, developed for the production of spherical plastic pellets, combining technologies from sister companies Gala and Automatik. Meanwhile Ettlinger will present its Eco 200 melt filter, designed for free-flowing materials such as PET and PA. • Italy’s Moretto is displaying its Efficiency 4.0 supervisory and management system. It also has a new compact DPK lossin weight dosing unit, while for extrusion its subsidiary Contex has a new DBK Gramixo batch

Moretto’s DPK dosing unit is a compact, loss-in weight feeder

dosing unit with continuous loss-in-weight control of extruder feeding. Also new are three types of hoppers: stainless-steel TM standard hoppers; TMC hoppers for hot, dried materials, and clear acrylic-TMK Krystal hoppers. In addition, several new products for mould cooling and temperature control will presented, including TeKo chillers/temperature-controllers, dual-zone units with both heating and cooling capability, as well as integrated free cooling. Also new is the the DS mould dryer designed to prevent condensation or “sweating” in the mould area.

light conditions. Easytherm incorporates the OPC-UA communication protocol, making it ready for communication with machines from different suppliers in Industry 4.0 environments with open standards. It also can be used with Piovan’s Winfactory 4.0 supervisory software. • Automated IML solutions provider Beck Automation will present a compact IML system for yoghurt pots with a full wrap label. The system boasts a seamlessly integrated Vision System for optical quality control by Intravis, consisting of the IML Watcher, featuring several cameras and specific lighting units, enabling errors typical for the IML process to be detected .

• Coperion and Coperion K-Tron will present the ZS-B twinscrew side feeder for feeding of fillers and additives in powder or pellet form or cut glass • Aquatech, a part of Italian aux- fibres into the process section iliary firm Piovan, will present of the twin-screw extruder. its new Easytherm mould-tem- It is equipped with the perature-control unit (TCU), patented Feed Enhancement with redesigned controls. The Technology (FET) that increaslatter include a new tilted, 4.2- es the material intake capacity in. display with high brightness in the processing of feed limited and strong colour contrast to products by up to three times. ensure easy readability in low- For improved feeding accuracy of loss-in-weight feeders, Coperion K-Tron will be presenting its EPC electronic pressure compensation system. Piovan will The main advantages present its new Easytherm mould of the new system include imtemperatureproved accuracy and reliability control unit as well as lower initial cost and easier installation compared to

36 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition


traditional mechanical pres- temperature adjusting polymer sure compensation systems. pellets, loading them with CO2 under pressure and then feed• Brabender Technologies will ex- ing them to any desired mahibit its new Easy Change ver- chine, which generally requires sion of the FlexWall Plus all- no modification. Live foaming purpose loss-in weight feeder, demonstrations of the Perwhich features lateral massage foamer will be shown on an Enpaddles that gently stir the bulk gel e-victory 310/80 machine material and ensure mass flow producing 42 g-bottle openers without degradation. Different replaceable screw profiles are used depending on the bulk material Protec will premiere handled and the performance its Somos range required. It also includes Prefoamer the hopper, screw, screw tube and housing as a single unit. in a variety of polymers. Quick-release clamps secure • Tool maker Hasco is introducthis unit to the chassis and ing a new hardened and temdrive mechanism and only pered steel - steel 1.2714HH need to be released to enable with dimensional stability and any residual bulk material to be wear resistance, good polishremoved. ing and etching properties, and optimum thermal conductivity. • ProTec Polymer Processing is Another highlight is the premiering its Somos Per- screw-in Vario Shot nozzle foamer, which implements that allows ready-to-assemble the Plastinum Foam Injection systems to be designed and Moulding process presented manufactured according to by Kunststoff-Institut Lüden- customers’ requirements. scheid and Linde in 2017 on an industrial scale. It includes all • HRSflow will be demonstratthe components for drying and ing its Flexflow technology of

servoelectric-driven valve gate solutions based on examples ranging from technical automotive parts to a thinwall laptop housing and an ultra-light tool box made of microcellular foam. The latter is based on the FoamPro foaming process from development partner Yizumi, and a Flexflow triplenozzle hot runner system from HRSflow with back-injection. • French robot maker Sepro is showing a total of 22 robots, including eight at its own stand. It will have three examples from its popular Success range of three axis, generalpurpose robots for 20-700-tonne machines, operating together with an S5 picker, with a three-axis design similar to Success. Sepro will also feature its latest controls including OptiCycle, a plug-in developed in open collaboration with a key customer to automate cycle optimisation, and Live Support, an app that links customers with troubleshooting assistance. Both function with the Sepro Visual control platform on new and existing robots.

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November|December issue

Investing in a

Measuring Device This article by Dr Hilmar Bolte, R&D/ Head of Analysis at German firm Sikora takes a look at the meaning of “measuring rate”, “averaging” and “accuracy” when investing in a measuring device. Founded in 1973, Sikora is a global manufacturer and supplier of measuring and control technology for the wire and cable, hose and tube, sheet and metals as well as optical fibre and plastics industry.

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hoosing the optimal measuring device for an extrusion line When deciding about investing in a measuring device, one of the main factors –besides the costs – usually is which device is the “best”. Characteristics where “more” or “less” is considered as “better” are seemingly easy to compare. This simplification, however, bears risks. In digital photography, for instance, the size of the sensors and, thus, of the individual pixel in general, is more important than the total number of pixels. The pixel count however is commonly the relevant sales argument. For that reason, it makes sense to question the characteristics of a measuring device, as well as their definition and interaction. Often further information about the conditions under which these characteristics are valid such as temperature, position dependency etc, are missing. Specifications usually contain the following characteristics: “measuring range”, “absolute accuracy” (also “correctness”), “repeatability” (also “precision”) and “measuring 38 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

rate”. “Measuring range” indicates minimum/ maximum object sizes that are measurable. Sometimes, the visual range is specified instead, this means: the overall range in which the objects to be measured are allowed to move. Occasionally, information about the minimum and/or maximum measurable size is missing, too. The colloquial meaning of “accuracy” is the total of all measuring errors. However, for the evaluation of a measuring device, it has to be differentiated: “absolute accuracy” means the comparison of a mean measuring value with a certified standard value. “Repeatability” is defined as the scattering of the measuring values under the same conditions and, therefore, a characteristic of the measuring value noise of the device itself. The sole specification of only a numerical value for “repeatability” is not sufficient. It might be that one supplier indicates the standard deviation of single values, whereas another calculates those based on a sequence of averaged values.


A common visualisation of the definitions “absolute accuracy” (also called “correctness”) and “repeatability” (also called “precision”) is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Absolute accuracy and repeatability based on the example of a shooter

The “measurement rate” of a measuring device is the number of measurement values generated per second. This is a further important comparison criterion where “more” is seen as “better”. For an objective comparison, however, the knowledge of the interdependence between measurement rate and absolute accuracy and repeatability of a single measurement is crucial. It may be the case that a measuring device with a higher measurement rate, but lower single value precision is less suitable for controlling or characterisation of a process than a device with a lower measuring rate but higher single value precision. For example, this is the case when a long averaging time is necessary due to a lower single value precision. Then, there is a risk that actual product variations, which occur within this averaging time, are levelled out while really present. In the worst case, the

specifications might even be violated without being signaled by the measuring device. The following example of a temperature profile taken over a week in September 2000 shows to which extent averaging of a measuring value can influence the perception (Figure 2).

production process is the diameter measurement based on the shadow projection method with rotating mirrors. Often high measuring rates are indicated, which result from the rotation rate multiplied by the number of mirrors’ facets ([1] Zanoni, 1973; [2] Vossberg, 1981). The specification of accuracy, however, is usually based on mean values of up to one second due to a relatively poor single value precision. This has various reasons. Each single measurement is done with a different mirror Figure 2: Temperature profile as example facet. Product movements The displayed “real during measurement increase value” results from single or decrease the product measurements taken in 10- diameter – depending on minute intervals. Averaging the direction of movement over a period of one hour – as the measurement of only smoothens the extreme both product edges is not values. When averaging the done simultaneously but varying temperature for more sequentially. than 12 hours, the changes Lastly, the diameter in temperature are displayed information is only derived from lower than they actually are. the very transition from dark to Furthermore, if the light and light to dark. The rest mean value is generated over of the time, the information an entire day, the information content of the measurement about the daily temperature signal is zero. In contrast to this, variations will be completely for other measuring techniques lost. A device that needs the such as the diffraction method latter averaging depth will not be suitable for a process where an alarm has to be raised or an adjustment has to be made depending on the temperature range. A practical example taken from the hose and tube Figure 3 (L): Line sensor technology for diffraction analysis in a Sikora diameter gauge head; Figure 4 (R) Diffraction signal on a CCD line sensor Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition | 39


([3] Blohm, Sikora, & Beining, 2005; [4] Blohm & Sikora, 2017), line scan cameras are used (figures 3 and 4). On the one hand, product edges are recorded simultaneously – so product movement is not an issue. Meanwhile, each single pixel in the diffraction seam outside the product shadow can be directly linked to the product edges. This leads to a much higher single value precision and consequently, the measuring value has to be averaged nowhere near as long to be used for controlling or characterisation of a production process. Conclusion mere comparison of measuring rates without considering these circumstances is obviously not sufficient. Hence, for an objective comparison of two measuring devices, at first, it is important to clearly define the requirements of the process. Also, the catalogue details given by the manufacturer should be taken into question and brought to a comparable basis using the information needed, so that the investment in a new measuring device leads to an increase in quality, process optimisation as well as cost savings.

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References [1] Zanoni, C. (1973). Patentnr. US3856412A. USA. [2] Vossberg, C. A. (1981). Patentnr. US4269514A. USA. [3] Blohm, W., Sikora, H., & Beining, A. (2005). Patentnr. US6922254B2. USA. [4] Blohm, W., & Sikora, H. (2017). Patentnr. US9797712B2. USA.

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Making better film rolls, one wind at a time! In this article by Duane Smith, Process Manager –Web Handling & Specialty Winding, of Davis-Standard, he addresses several items that impact the quality of film. This is an extract of Duane’s technical paper: “Challenges in Winding Flexible Packaging Films”.

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here is no way to get around it. Every flexible film producer is faced with the challenge of producing quality film rolls with imperfect films. When considering the natural variation in resins, non-uniformities of the film formation processes, coatings and printed surfaces, it is easy to see why there is no such thing as a perfect film. These slight imperfections are integral to the nature of film itself. So what do we do? We must turn to winding as a means to ensure imperfections do not stand out in appearance and are not amplified during the process. It is also important to take an end-product approach; There are several factors that must be considered to consistently wind good rolls

ensuring films can successfully support highquality results for the customer. There are several items that impact the quality of film. Following are a few examples: * Roll Hardness – Roll density, or in-wound tension, is the most important factor in determining the difference between good quality and poor quality rolls of film products. Rolls that are wound too soft will go ‘out of-round’ while winding or while being handled or stored. Rolls that are wound too tightly can cause blocking defect problems Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition |41


where the sheet layers fuse or adhere together, and can exaggerate web defects. Randomisation of Cross Machine * Variations – Some flexible packaging films, either by their extrusion formation process or by their coating and laminating process, have cross machine variations of thickness too severe to be wound without exaggerating these defects. To randomise cross machine variations either the web or the slitters and winder are moved back and forth relative to the web as they are being slit and wound; this is called oscillation. The rule of thumb for the maximum oscillation speeds is 25 mm/minute per 150 m/ minute of winding speed.

Duane Smith, Process Manager – Handling & Specialty Winding, Davis-Standard

be wound tight at the core and then wound with less tightness as the roll builds in diameter. The secret to the roll hardness structure is to start with a good solid foundation and then wind with progressively less inwound tension.

* Achieving Roll Hardness – The winding tools to develop roll hardness are web tension, nip * Profiling Roll Hardness – As pressure from a pressure or a roll of flexible packaging lay-on roll or winding drum film material winds, in-wound and winding torque from a tension or residual stresses centre drive. When winding builds inside the roll. If this elastic films, web tension is stress becomes greater during the dominant principle used winding, the inner wraps to control roll hardness. When towards the core will be put winding inelastic films, nip under high compressive loads. is the dominant principle. This is what causes a defect Torque winding is the force known as ‘buckling’ of the webs induced through the centre in localised areas in the roll. of the winding roll, which is When winding non-elastic and transmitted through the web high slip films, the inner layers layers and tightens the inner will loosen; which can cause wraps of film. the roll to dish while winding or * Measuring Roll Hardness – Film telescope when unwinding. To winding is often considered prevent this, the rolls want to an art because the setting and 42 | Plastics and Rubber Asia 2018 Yearender Edition

programming of the tension, nip and torque (TNT) varies depending on the winder, type of material, roll width and winding speed. To ensure the wound rolls are produced with consistent hardness, hardness measuring devices must be used. This enables the operator to check hardness and made adjustments to keep hardness within the acceptable range for that product. Summary As it can be seen, there are several factors that must be considered to consistently wind good rolls. The winder operator’s job is not to camouflage poor quality flexible packaging products into shippable rolls. His or her responsibility is to handle films with slight imperfections to produce troublefree, quality rolls for the downstream customer. By learning more about the process and taking the right steps, it can be done! To learn more about Davis-Standard’s products and services relating to winding and unwinding, please visit: https://davis-standard.com/converting_system/windingunwinding/ We also invite you to explore the D-S Connect Blog at: https://davisstandard.com/custom_blog/making-betterfilm-rollsone-wind-at-a-time/ to learn more, and to request the full technical paper, “Challenges in Winding Flexible Packaging Films”.


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2018: The Year in Review in the Plastics & Rubber Industry Plastics and Rubber Asia (PRA) Special Yearender Issue Š2018 www.plasticsandrubberasia.com