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

業界新聞


adv plastics2011-276mm(h) x 210mm(w) - PRA magazine.pdf

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c o nt e nts 目 錄

Volume 26, No 183

publlshed slnce 1985

R E G U L A R S 概要

4 Industry News 8 Materials News 10 業 界 新 聞

7 Companies are finding technologies that harness the power of the sun and bringing energy to use in different ways

F E A T U R E S 焦點內容 Machinery and 14 US Technology – Davis-Standard is holding down its traditional markets while DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers’s sustainability award had two winners from Asia – Following his 16 Management theme of organisational resilience, Bob Wrighton looks at operational resilience

IMA 3 Arburg’s Allrounder modular injection moulding machine turns 50

Recycling – Austrian company 18 Erema says the high degassing in its TVEplus is able to transform heavily printed films into near virgin-quality pellets

Profile – Asian head 20 Corporate of engineering plastics from German company BASF, Andy Postlethwaite, is confident that capacity expansions in Asia will cater to demand

22 interviewed companies exhibiting

RJA 3

Country Focus – Angelica Buan

Maag Pump Systems has launched a gear pump as a laboratory solution

at the Interplas exhibition, held from 21-24 June in Bangkok, in this report on Thailand

Supplements in this issue ….. Machinery maker Arburg stays with its made-in-Germany tag for its machines ……. Rubber recycling is on the upward trend, due to the high prices of the virgin polymer

Cover photo: EPDM films are used in a pond construction to serve as effective sealing. Photo courtesy of Maag Pump Systems



PRA

AUGUST 2011

A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 e-mail: arthur@kenter.nl Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 e-mail: tej@plasticsandrubberasia.com Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan e-mail: pramalaysia@gmail.com Circulation Dona Margaret e-mail: pramalaysia@gmail.com Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 e-mail: acesap@gmail.com

Permits ISSN 1360-1245

MICA (P) 187/08/2010 KDN PPS 1700/12/2011 (028142) Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd

PRA is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2011 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

PRA is a member of ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation)


News INDUSTRY

BASF expands additive and XPS capacities

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erman chemicals firm BASF is building a 16,000 tonnes/year antioxidant blends (CSB) plant in Bahrain, said to be a major investment following its acquisition of Ciba in 2009. It has other antioxidant plants in Asia, Europe and the US. This new plant will come in addition to the existing manufacturing agreement for CSBs with Astra Polymer in Saudi Arabia, making BASF the largest CSB supplier in the region.

The facility will serve the fast growing polymer market in the Middle East, especially the Gulf countries. In related news, BASF is planning to double production of its phthalatefree plasticiser Hexamoll DINCH to 200,000 tonnes/ year, by 2013. It will do this by building a second production plant at its Ludwigshafen site. This is the second capacity increase for Hexamoll since its launch in 2002. In

Dow sells PP unit and eyes the Middle East

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nother company that is looking at viable opportunities in the Middle East is USbased Dow Chemical. It is setting up a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) to build a world-scale integrated chemical complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia, with an investment of US$20 billion. Known as Sadara Chemical, the joint venture will comprise 26 manufacturing units producing over 3 million tonnes of chemicals and plastics like PUs, LLDPE and LDPE. The complex will also include a worldscale cracker that will be able to crack a wide range of feedstocks supplied by Saudi Aramco’s integrated hydrocarbon infrastructure. Construction will begin immediately and the first production units will come on line by 2015, with all the units expected to be up and running in 2016. Once operational, Sadara



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AUGUST 2011

is expected to deliver annual revenues of US$10 billion. Sadara will become an equal joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow after an initial public offering. In addition to equity from the partners, Export Credit Agencies and financial institutions will provide project financing to Sadara. In other news, Dow is selling its PP business to Brazilian chemicals company Braskem for US$323 million, in line with its strategy to move from a commodity to that of a performance focus and align its business to where it has an advantage in feedstocks, like PE. The sale includes Dow’s PP facilities in Germany and the US, producing 1,050 thousand tonnes together. Braskem, which also bought Sunoco Chemical’s three PP units (with a capacity of 950,000 tonnes/ year) in the US last year, will boost its PP capacity by 50% with its latest acquisition.

2007, the original capacity of 25,000 tonnes/year was quadrupled to 100,000 tonnes. While demand initially came mainly from manufacturers of toys and leisure articles, the plasticiser is now increasingly being used in medical and food packaging applications, says BASF. In other news, BASF will expand capacity for its insulation material Styrodur C by 17% at its Ludwigshafen site. This

will increase the production capacity of the extruded polystyrene rigid foam panels (XPS) from the current 1.3 million sq m to an additional 220,000 sq m. In the extended plant, the new Styrodur Neo and HT XPS types can be manufactured along with standard products. The additional capacity will cater to the European XPS market that is currently growing by 3 to 5% a year, driven by rising energy prices and legal regulations on thermal insulation in new and old buildings.

AkzoNobel and Elasto push into China

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kzoNobel is expanding its speciality surfactants portfolio while enhancing its manufacturing footprint in Asia by acquiring China-based Boxing Oleochemicals, a supplier of nitrile amines and derivatives. Established in 1993 and based in Shandong province, Boxing had sales of EUR100 million last year. Its activities will be integrated with AkzoNobel’s Surface Chemistry business that supplies speciality surfactants, synthetic and bio-polymers additives, used as formulation ingredients and process aids in many applications ranging from home and personal care to asphalt road paving. Demand in Asia for amines and derivatives is being driven by population growth, expanding middle class, increased focus on sustainability and the buildup of infrastructure, notably in China and India.

The transaction is expected to be finalised in the last quarter of 2011. AkzoNobel currently employs over 6,700 people in China, with its revenue last year totalling EUR1.3 billion. Its target is US$3 billion by 2015. Another company Elasto is starting up a TPE facility in China. After being acquired by Hexpol last year, Elasto currently operates from manufacturing sites in Sweden and the UK. The Chinese operation will initially focus on Elasto’s Dryflex range of TPE compounds (SBS, SEBS and EPDM) and is expected to come on stream by 2012. The facility will operate from Hexpol’s existing site in Guangzhou and includes twin-screw and automated technology plus feeders. Dryflex TPE compounds are used in widening applications in the household, automotive, construction, toy, telecommunication and caps and closures markets.


INDUSTRY NEWS

News In Brief Americhem expands in the UK US-based colour and additives supplier Americhem has added a new line at its UK plant. With a capacity of 2,000 tonnes/year, the line will make customised colour and additive masterbatches for synthetic turf. The company also reorganised its manufacturing space and expanded into a warehouse adjacent to the plant, doubling the footprint of the plant. New PU technology reduces costs Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has successfully tested its gas-phasephosgenation technology at a new TDI (toluene diisocyanate) plant being commissioned in Shanghai, China. The process technology reduces solvent consumption by 80%, energy use by up to 60% and investment costs by 20%. Compared with conventional production facilities of a similar size, carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by 60 tonnes/ year, according to BMS. The TDI facility is coming on stream later this year. Name change for PP supplier Netherlands-based Domo Polypropylene, a joint venture between

Belgium’s Domo Group and Israel’s Carmel Olefins, has changed its name to Ducor Petrochemicals. The brand name of the company’s PP grades will also change from Domolen to Ducor. Its facility has an output of 180 kilotonnes/year of PP produced using Novolen gas phase technology. Lanxess expands plant in China Lanxess has started up the third production line of its Durethan and Pocan plant in Wuxi. The EUR10 million investment increases total capacity to 60,000 tonnes/year. The high-tech plastics cater mainly to the automotive sector, with China growing at 9% to be the world’s largest automotive market. Chinese company to produce PVC Qingdao Haijing Chemical Group will use UK-based Ineos’s PVC and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) production technologies at its new plant situated in the Dongjia-kou Pro Port Industrial Zone, Qingdao. The 400,000 tonnes/year VCM plant and the 300,000 tonnes/year suspension PVC resin plant are scheduled to start up in 2013.

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AUGUST 2011




News INDUSTRY

Indian film suppliers thrust in the US

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ven with the higher labour costs and raw materials in the US, Indian PET film producers are continuing to expand in the country. Furthermore, the global BOPET film market is expected to grow by 8.7% a year up till 2015, according to a

new report by PCI Films Consulting. Due to the Indian government’s ban on laminate packaging for gutka or betel nut, processors are seeking greener pastures to source for more high value end products. Following Uflex’s announcement to

build a new facilitiy in Kentucky, in addition to its second line at its Mexican plant, the fourth largest producer of thin PET film in the world, Polyplex, is investing US$185 million to set up a facility in Decatur. It already has facilities in India, Thailand

US firms expand through acquisitions

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S-based PCC (Plastics Color Corporation), a supplier of colour concentrates, compounds and additive masterbatches, with a facility in China, has acquired liquid colour specialist Polysource and its Pinnacle Color subsidiary. Meanwhile, Hillenbrand, which acquired auxiliary equipment supplier

K-Tron last year, has paid US$240 million for Rotex Global. The latter makes a wide range of machinery to separate dry materials, including gyratory and vibratory screeners and sifters for dry materials, liquid solid separators for wet applications, automated particle size analysers and vibratory feeders and conveyors. In other news, Malaysia-based

compounder Metro Wealth Polymer has taken up a minority interest in Dongguan LTL Color Compounders, a company owned by US compounder and supplier of colours for engineering plastics, LTL Color Compounders. Metro Wealth will supply LTL with recycled material for its EcoFast product line in Asia and in the

Joint US/Korean effort for bio C4

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S-based bioscience company Metabolix has entered into a joint development agreement with South Korea-based CJ Bio, a division of industrial biotechnology company CJ CheilJedang, to advance production technology and assess investment options for renewable C4 chemicals via fermentation. The C4 chemical market is a US$3 billion industry growing at 4% a year with chemical products used in a wide range of applications, including engineering resins,



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fabrics and fibres, personal care products and in semiconductor manufacturing. Specialising in fermentation technology, CJ will contribute its expertise to produce pilot quantities of dried whole fermentation broth containing raw C4 chemicals. Metabolix, which has developed and commercialised its Mirel bioplastics, will continue the development of microbial strains and the scale-up of its proprietary FAST

recovery process to produce high-purity C4 chemicals. According to the company, FAST is a low-cost, energyefficient approach to recover high-purity renewable chemicals directly from dried whole fermentation broth. In addition, Metabolix and CJ will study the market to commercialise the C4 chemicals. The initial market entry is expected to be through gamma butyrolactone (GBL), with subsequent

and Turkey. The first phase, to be completed by the third quarter of 2012, will include a highspeed thin-gauge film line with a capacity of 33,000 tonnes/year and a resin feedstock plant with a capacity of 66,000 tonnes/ year. Phase Two will comprise a second PET film line.

US. The company will also be able to get access to some of LTL’s technology and products, such as its ColorFast, ColorRex and Surlyn Reflection product lines, to expand its business in Southeast Asia. Set up in 2003, Metro Wealth has 19 compounding and colouring production lines and an output of 1,800 tonnes/month of recycled engineering resins.

growth into butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polyester engineering resins (PBT). CJ undertakes bio-fermentation based R&D and manufacturing with a range of amino acids, including lysine and nucleotides. It operates world-scale fermentation facilities in China, Indonesia and Brazil and these sites, as well as new potential sites, will be analysed as production bases for renewable C4 chemicals based on the Metabolix technology.


INDUSTRY NEWS

Companies invest in PV and printed electronics

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o pump up its efforts in the solar energy and photovoltaic (PV) markets, US company DuPont has acquired Innovalight, a company specialising in advanced silicone inks and process technologies to increase the efficiency of crystalline silicone solar cells. Silicone inks used in conjunction with DuPont’s Solamet PV metallisation pastes boost the amount of electricity produced from sunlight, enabling the production of superior Selective Emitter solar cells. According to industry estimates, Selective Emitter technology could represent 13% of crystalline silicone solar cell production by 2013 and up to 38% by 2020. DuPont exceeded US$1 billion sales in the PV market in 2010 and

has set a goal to reach US$2 billion by 2014, based on continued growth supported by new innovations that improve solar module efficiency, lifetime and overall system costs. Another American company, Dow Chemical, is adding capacity for its Enlight polyolefin encapsulant films with two new manufacturing plants to be built in 2012 – one in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and the other in Schkopau, Germany. Together, these sites will more than triple the company’s capacity for making speciality films used in PV modules, a technology it introduced just last year. Already, it is seeing demand for its products growing and says demand for PV modules has been growing at about 30% a year and is expected to continue at this rate for

the next several years. Dow also says that a report published by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Bloomberg New Energy and the Frankfurt School for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance notes that investments in renewable energies, from wind to solar power, continued remarkable growth – up nearly a third to US$211 billion globally last year. Some of the fastest growth was due to small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe. Investments in Germany alone rose 132%, to US$34 billion annually. The UNEP report indicates further growth for PV modules as overall module pricing reaches levels that make it “far more competitive” with other sources of

electricity, especially in sunny countries in both developed and developing economies around the world. In other news, Belgian chemicals supplier Solvay has provided EUR10 million of financing to US-based conductive polymers maker Plextronics. The latter will use the funds to accelerate development of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs). Solvay is Plextronics’s largest minority shareholder. Printed electronics take advantage of new organic materials applied to established printing techniques to manufacture electronic devices with a wider variety of configurations, including thin, flexible polymer substrates, at lower manufacturing costs.

PRA

DECEMBER 2009




News

GREEN MATERIALS

The “green” rush is on European companies are teaming up to push the biobased materials sector forward with American companies following closely, hot on their heels. Ganging up for a good cause Companies are beginning to target the bioplastics sector, since it is expected to grow at 17.7% a year and 8.1 million tonnes by 2015, according to analysts. A joint venture comes from two Italian companies: Polimeri Europa, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, and Novamont. They have set up a company known as Matrìca to build a chemical plant using vegetable oil feedstock to produce bioplastics, biolubricants and bioadditives for elastomers. The EUR500 million biobased chemical complex will be located on the island of Sardinia and will consist of seven new plants spanning an integrated production chain from vegetable oil to bioplastics. The full project is scheduled to be completed within the next six years but a new research centre devoted to biochemistry will start up this year. Matrìca (which means mother in Sardinia) has already completed basic engineering of the first phase, which will feature the biobased chemical complex. Eni also plans to invest an additional EUR250 million in a biomass power station to provide electricity. Matrìca’s target of its overall installed capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year of bio-products will be the global biobased chemical sector. Meanwhile, Polimeri Europa will convert its existing Porto Torres production from traditional fossil into biobased productions. All the traditional chemical plants at the site, except for nitrilic rubbers, will be shut down, with workers transferred to the new project. The seven new plants will be built in three stages with Phase A to comprise the building of biomonomers and bio-lubricants plants; Phase B, bioextensor oils and bio-fillers plants, which will use intermediates from the bio-monomers operation, and Phase C, the scale-up of larger lines of biomonomers and bio-lubricants and a downstream bioplastics plant. Still in Europe, German chemicals company BASF SE and Dutch company Purac, a subsidiary of CSM, will form a joint venture for the production of biobased succinic acid. The companies have been conducting research under a joint development a g r e e m e n t o n b i o b a s e d s u c c i n i c a c i d since 2009.



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BASF and Purac are to team up to use the Basfia bacteria to produce succinic acid

The complementary strengths in fermentation and downstream processing led to the development of a sustainable and efficient manufacturing process based on a proprietary microorganism. The demand for succinic acid is anticipated to grow strongly in the next few years, say the companies, with the main drivers to be bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticisers. Purac is aiming to be the first commercial producer in the market with a 25,000-tonne capacity fermentation production plant in Barcelona, Spain, to start up by 2013. The company is already planning a world-scale plant with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes to account for the expected demand growth. The newly developed process combines high efficiency with the use of renewable substrates and the fixation of the greenhouse gas CO 2 during the production. The employed microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens is a natural producer of succinic acid and can process a wide variety of C3, C5 and C6 renewable feedstocks, including biomass sources. American companies jump on the bandwagon With plenty of sugarcane feedstock available in South America, especially in Brazil, it is no surprise that companies are setting up biobased plastics plants there. The latest is a joint venture between US-based Dow Chemical and Japanese Mitsui that will build what is said to be the largest integrated bioplastics plant in the world. It will target the flexible packaging, hygiene and medical markets. The first phase of the project includes the construction of a sugarcane-to-ethanol production facility in Santa Vitória with a capacity of 190,000 tonnes/year. Construction is expected to commence this year. Mitsui will own a 50% equity interest in Dow’s sugarcane growing operation in Brazil. Once fully operational, this platform will be back-integrated


GREEN MATERIALS NEWS

into renewable sugarcane, enabling environmentally sustainable production of high performance plastics that will be chemically identical to resins made from hydrocarbon feedstocks, meaning that they will not be b i o d e g r a d a b l e . T h e t r a n s a c t i o n i s e x pected to close before the end of 2011, pending the receipt of certain regulatory approvals. Financial details were not disclosed. This project follows Brazilian petrochemicals supplier Braskem’s opening of its US$321 million p l a n t i n B r a z i l l a s t y e a r, s a i d t o b e t h e w o r l d ’s largest ethylene-from-ethanol plant with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year of green PE. Meanwhile, US-based Elevance Renewable Sciences is cooperating with Swiss additives specialist Clariant International to produce a biobased additive. The partnership will utilise Clariant’s market knowledge and formulation development capabilities a n d E l e v a n c e ’s r a n g e o f r e n e w a b l e p r o d u c t s a n d patented process technology to commercialise new renewable additives for plastics. Elevance has also acquired a biofuels refinery in the US, from Delta BioFuels, and will invest US$225 million over a five-year period to convert it to make raw materials for bioplastics and other speciality c h e m i c a l s b a s e d o n n a t u r a l o i l s . E l e v a n c e ’s materials, made using the olefin metathesiscq-jr technology, can be used in speciality nylons as well as in polyols, polyester, epoxies and polyurethane. Elevance is also building a biorefinery in Indonesia through a joint venture with Singaporebased agricultural firm Wilmar International. With a capacity of 180,000 tonnes/year, the plant is expected to open by the end of the year. Investors in Elevance include Paris-based Total and American agricultural giant Cargill. Also in North America, Canada-based CelluForce, a joint venture between paper producer Domtar and forest research group FPInnovations, is planning to open a plant to make tree-based bioplastic raw materials in Quebec early next year. The facility will make nanocrystalline cellulose that can be used in bioplastics and other markets such as glass, paints or coatings. Biopolymer supplier NatureWorks, as part of a major capital investment at its Nebraska facility, says it will be the first in the world to offer commercial quantities of a high-purity, polymer-grade lactide rich in stereoisomer meso-lactide material. Identified as Ingeo M700 lactide, the new material can be used as an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous oligomers and polymers, grafted substrates, resin additives/modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, surfactants, thermosets and solvents. Until now, several niche-focused producers have attempted to address the functionality requested by the market with what are described chemically as racemic lactides. Compared to these, the company says its high-purity Ingeo M700 will be lower in cost, easier to process and a better alternative to high-

priced racemic lactide as well as L and D-lactides, in a host of industrial applications. As compared to racemic lactide’s melting point of nearly 130°C and L and D-lactide’s 97°C, Ingeo M 7 0 0 ’s m e l t i n g p o i n t i s b e l o w 6 0 ° C . T h i s m a k e s it a more effective chemical intermediate on a number of different levels, in the delivery of ester functionality and, because it is an anhydrous form of lactic acid, processors will not have to deal with water when using it. Meso-lactide is up to two times more susceptible to ring-opening reactions than L, D, or racemic lactides, which can mean less catalyst usage, lower reaction temperatures, or both. It can be processed below 70°C, which under most circumstances eliminates the need to handle expensive solid particles and allows easier processing, says NatureWorks. US-based NatureWorks was the first company in the world to manufacture its Ingeo biopolymer in commercial quantities. It is used in rigid and flexible packaging, electronics, clothing, housewares, health and personal care, semi-durable products and food service ware. Last year, NatureWorks began offering high-performance L-lactide intermediates and the company says it will offer thousands of tonnes of Ingeo M700 lactide by early 2013, with meso-lactide samples to be available next year for customer trials. Avantium technology to expand to nylons Avantium, another company from the Netherlands, has raised EUR30 million to develop and commercialise a next-generation polyester based on bioderived F u r a n i c s b u i l d i n g b l o c k s . Av a n t i u m w i l l u s e t h e money for its recently-opened pilot plant in Geleen as well as to develop more green materials based on its YXY building blocks. The company says its PEF (polyethylene-furanoate) polyester can be made out of plant material instead of oil and is offering it as an alternative to petroleum-based PET, since it has advantages like lower permeability of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water and better heat resistance. The company is currently developing PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products and detergents. It is also working on PEF fibres and other materials based on its YXY building blocks, which is a patented technology that converts biomass into furanics building blocks such as FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid). Founded in 2000 by an international consortium including Shell, Eastman Chemical, Akzo Nobel and Pfizer, Avantium acquired the polyester pilot plant from UK-based Johnson Matthey. It is now working with Belgian chemicals supplier Solvay to develop polyamides using the YXY technology. Solvay recently added on nylons to its plastics portfolio, through the acquisition of French nylon 6.6 supplier Rhodia. Solvay says it will test the new nylons for engineering applications in areas such as automotive and electronic materials. ◆

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新聞 業 界

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US Machinery and Technology

Davis-Standard stays close to its markets With a major rebound in business activity that started early last year, DavisStandard’s Converting Systems group has seen exceptionally strong orders for new equipment. More than 50 new lines have been ordered since last year, including extrusion/ liquid coating and cast/ blown film lines. And while these orders are coming globally, Asian countries loom largely on the company’s sales horizon. “Business is especially interesting in China, where we have been extremely successful in extrusion coating lines for aseptic and flexible packaging,” says Steve Post, Director of Business Development Asia, speaking to PRA at the Chinaplas exhibition. This is even though the traditional markets

of Europe and the US are a lot larger and less fragmented, according to Steve. “In Asia, one customer could be producing different products at the same time. And because of the small volumes and changeovers required, traditionally the products will be over-priced and overspecified.” However, he says that the Asian market is becoming less fragmented since consumers have access to higher disposable incomes for convenience foods. The US company currently has seven lines in China: single/tandem coating lines for thermal lamination including three aseptic and speciality coating (for waterproof conveyor belts) lines. This year alone, the company will install 15 extrusion coating lines in China.

The two liquid coating lines it is supplying will be used for window films, for example for use in car windows or in high rise buildings. “The market is evolving and now we’re supplying lines with faster speeds such as 300 m/minute for flexible packaging; 450 m/minute for thermal lamination and up to 700 m/minute for aseptic packaging,” Steve says, adding that it has now become difficult for the company to cater to lower speeds. In India, DavisStandard is seeing strong growth in the flexible packaging sector. “We have recently sold a 450 m/ minute line to Uflex,” he says, adding that this was its first to the Indian flexible packaging company. As for the other markets in Asia, Steve says these are “exciting” because of the company’s strategy to deal only with highend converters. “We already have lots of installations for CPP and stretch wrap while in North Asia, in countries like South Korea and Taiwan, we have sold machines for producing protective films. This will trickle down to China soon.”

It has also supplied custom-made machines for six to seven-layer EVA film lines for encapsulation as well as for fluoropolymer films for solar sheet/back panels. “While we have a strong foothold in the traditional markets of packaging, we have experienced tremendous growth in green market applications, especially in the solar sector,” says Steve. Since these more lucrative markets are growing, have more value and there is less competition, Steve says Davis-Standard’s strategy is to expand into these sectors. Its recent innovations include nano-layer technology on cast film lines, a cast stretch film winder, with what is said to be the fastest cycle time in the industry, a scrapless winder that virtually eliminates the film scrap typical during winder indexing and a high efficiency dryer for priming applications. Davis-Standard has also entered into agreements with key component suppliers to provide technology to support its customers. These include coreless roll technology from NOEL; the Triple Lip Air Ring to improve cooling from K Design and zero splice unwinding systems from MTorres.

Indonesia-based PT Dwi Indah, the parent company of Singapore-based Golden Swan, will install its first DavisStandard stretch film line to produce jumbo rolls for subsequent slitting and rewinding into hand wrap rolls as well as machine wrap rolls. This is the second Davis-Standard stretch film line purchased by the group, with the first installed at Golden Swan, a manufacturer of shrink film, stretch film, LDPE/HDPE bags, LDPE builder rolls and pallet covers. Pictured in photo is Paul Strawford (left) of Davis-Standard with Harry Samudera, Managing Director of Golden Swan

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US Machinery and Technology

Sustainability driving innovations In a small, highly populated country like Japan, space is at a premium. To cater to this, the I Lohas PET mineral water bottle weight was reduced by 40% and given a new crushable design by Coca Cola Japan. The brand owner also used a renewable plant-based material instead of the traditional petroleum material. This was a factor in the company being one of the recipients of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers’s sustainability award in the Silver category, one of two Asian companies that were honoured. According to Coca Cola Japan’s company spokesperson Kenshi Matsuoka, the main aim in using the biomaterial was to increase the eco-friendly image of its products and reduce the usage of petroleumbased materials. “Most consumers recognise our products as being ecofriendly.” In addition, the I Lohas PET bottles are also Japan’s lightest in the 1,000 ml range. Once consumed, the bottle is easily twisted, thus crushing the bottle to a very small size. This smaller size reduces transport cost to the recycler and improves

transportation efficiency. It also supports the needs of the local market by reducing the volume that comes out of Japanese households. The new bottle uses up to 30% plant-based material, though Matsuoka says, “Plant-based PET is more expensive than normal petroleum-based PET. We hope suppliers will develop new types of plant PET that cost less.” Another winner in the Silver category award is India-based processor Positive Packaging, which was honoured for its condiment container design. According to DuPont, Positive demonstrated an innovative approach in responding to the needs of consumers by replacing the large glass bottles of Nestle Maggi Arome seasoning liquid with thermoformed, singleuse mini bottles made of flexible laminate. “This offers consumers in this market, convenience, ease of use and affordability,” said the company. The bottle-shaped packet maintains brand recognition and enhances shelf appeal. Its small size also offers easier handling and shipment. Now in its 23rd year, the DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the industry’s longest running, global, independently judged celebration of innovation and collaboration Coke Japan’s new crushable design for its mineral water brand

throughout the value chain. The nominations are based on “excellence” in one or all of three categories: Innovation, Sustainability and Cost/Waste Reduction. In other news, Positive’s condiment packaging Toyota’s new hybrid that looks like the real bottle! vehicle, Prius, features automotive interior parts made of DuPont’s Sorona intensity and direction of EP polytrimethylene the air blowing out of the terephthalate polymer, outlet. a high-performance, The company says renewably-sourced its EP polymers contain thermoplastic resin between 20% and 37% with performance and renewably sourced processability similar material (by weight) to petroleum-based derived from plant sugar. polybutylene terephthalate The material reduces (PBT). both carbon dioxide Developed in emissions and the use collaboration with of petrochemicals used DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha, to produce the PBT that Toyota Motor, Kojima is typically used for Press Industry and Howa conventional automotive Plastics, the parts are interior parts. Sorona EP used on the instrument also offers lower warpage panel air-conditioning and improved surface system outlet. Sorona EP appearance, compared to was selected for its heat PBT, to help streamline resistance and durability the manufacturing required to control the process, says DuPont.

Toyota’s Prius hybrid vehicle debuts with interior components made of DuPont’s renewably sourced polymer

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Management

Operational Resilience In the June/July issue of PRA, Bob Wrighton discussed organisational resilience. In this issue, he looks at operational resilience, which can be described as “the ability to keep on keeping on” or managing the unexpected.

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ecently, two academics, Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe, published a book titled Managing the Unexpected (Jossey Bass, 2007). These authors adopted a rather interesting approach to the subject. They focused on organisations that need to perform at a very high level all the time because these organisations operate in life and death situations and are known as “high-reliability organisations”. The authors detailed some interesting examples: wildland firefighters in California; operational crews on an aircraft carrier, in a nuclear power plant (still topical after the recent Japanese earthquake) and in the emergency room of a large hospital. Before you stop reading, saying that your small business has got nothing in common with such organisations, pause and think again. This article offers lessons that the authors draw from these organisations and how you can make use of them in your organisation. The brutal audit The authors suggest that a “brutal audit” is what happens when things go horribly wrong in an organisation. One cited example was a bolt that was sucked up into the engine of a jet plane after it was left on the deck of an aircraft carrier. This caused an explosion (the wheel nearly falling off Jenson Button’s racing car in the recent British Grand Prix because the wheel nut was not attached is nothing in comparison!). Another example was a small plane that went out of control and burst into flames in the Cerro Grande national park in California, causing billions of dollars worth of damage and threatening to destroy the Los Alamos National Laboratory. I hope you never have such a brutal audit, but it can happen. Like after a plant fire you discover that the insurance policy had not been renewed!

system, something that could have severe consequences if several separate small errors happened to coincide. Applying Principle 1 • Saying “oops” after nearly falling over on a slippery tiled surface is not enough. You have to ask yourself why the flooring is slippery, or, if you can’t avoid getting it wet, why a non-slip surface finish is not used instead? • A p p l y i n g t h e To y o t a “ f i v e w h y s ” a p p r o a c h i s extremely valuable. An instructional example comes from a classic story of a wet spot on the floor of a plant that can be traced back to waste food from the kitchen. • In one company where I had consulted, we had representatives from each department visiting another department to identify occupational hazards, with departments competiting with one another to find the most number of hazards. Hazardous situations diminished rapidly as a result of this fun game. • If something goes wrong, don’t laugh it off as the exception that proves the rule, examine why it happened and how it can be prevented from recurring. • Similarly, examine “near misses”, like the aviation industry. Next time it happens it could be really serious.

…..organisations “ that need to perform

Five principles of high reliability organisations (HROs) The authors identified five principles of resilient organisations:

at a very high level all the time because these organisations operate in life and death situations are known as high-reliability organisations…

HRO Principle 1: Preoccupation with failure HROs are preoccupied with failure. They treat any lapse as a symptom that something may be wrong with the

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HRO Principle 2: Reluctance to simplify Another way HROs manage for the unexpected is by being reluctant to accept simplifications. The latter i s f r e q u e n t l y d e s i r a b l e b u t o v e rsimplification is bad. HROs welcome diverse experience and skepticism toward accepted wisdom. The concern is that superficial similarities between the present and the past mask deeper differences that could prove fatal.

Applying Principle 2 When something happens, there is a great tendency to recall when it – or something like it – happened before and apply similiar remedies. This is over-simplification. Is this problem exactly like the previous one or are there any subtle differences? These subtle differences may lead you to apply a solution that is also subtly different


Management

from the last one, which may be better. This is especially important when dealing with people who are all subtly – and sometimes not so subtly – different from each other. • A s s u m i n g t h a t t h i n g s p r e c e d i n g t h e i n c i d e n t happened as they should is another example of simplification. Because an ingredient has always been put in the same container does not mean that it had been done this time. An inexperienced operator or supplier may have overlooked this and it may be the cause of the problem. • Furthermore, infrequent calibration and recalibration of measuring devices is also an example of this principle. HRO Principle 3: Sensitivity to operations When people have well-developed situational awareness, they can make the continuous adjustments to operating procedures that prevent errors from accumulating and enlarging. Applying Principle 3 • Operators, who are actually doing the job, may be more knowledgeable than supervisors. For instance, an operator will know that the present batch of ink used for printing on a packaging has a slightly different shade of colour and will be able to make the necessary adjustments to rectify the problem. • I f t h e c h a n g e h a s b e e n d o n e t o solve the problem, then this should be documented because the next time that particular colour is used, it may be during the shift of a different operator who may not be so experienced. • The operator also needs to find out why the colour turned out differently. Is it a temporary aberration or a permanent change? Future actions depend on getting this knowledge.

children, which is why it is always part of the safety demonstration before the plane takes off. • W i t h t h e r e c e n t t r a g i c J a p a n e s e e a r t h q u a k e , lessons were also learnt that there must be regular evacuation drills in high-rise buildings. • The military, and some oil companies, use “aftera c t i o n r e v i e w s ” (AA R ) u p o n c o m p l e t i o n o f a n operation. This can be valuable for assessing what could have been done better. HRO Principle 5: Deference to expertise The final distinctive feature of HROs is their deference to expertise. Applying Principle 5 The critical point here is that expertise lies in people, not positions. An operator may be far more knowledgeable than a supervisor and there is nothing wrong with that. As well, resorting to the use of in-house expertise may be a better solution to solve problems than hiring people outside the company. Principle 5 also emphasises that staff must be encouraged to speak up, especially if they spot a problem or a potential problem. Some companies go as far as to reward people who make mistakes, then report them so they do not recur. Now here’s a counter-intutitive situation for you!

“…..the concept of

mindfulness means that HROs organise themselves in such a way that they are better able to notice the unexpected in the making….

HRO Principle 4: Commitment to resilience Resilience is the intrinsic ability of an organisation (system) to maintain or regain a dynamically stable state, which allows it to continue operations after a major mishap and/or in the presence of continuous stress. Applying Principle 4 • The target is to reach a state where problems should be prevented – as the saying goes: prevention is better than cure! Are there any contingency plans in place that can be immediately effected when something goes wrong? • Sometimes, the correct thing to do may seem counterintuitive. For example, when depressurisation occurs in an aircraft cabin, a passenger is always told to put his/her oxygen mask on first before attending to

Other important concepts to consider The authors also introduce the concept of mindfulness, which means that HROs organise themselves in such a way that they are better able to notice the unexpected in the making and halt its development. If they have difficulty halting the development of the unexpected, they focus on containing it. And if the unexpected breaks through the containment, HROs focus on resilience and swift restoration of system functioning. Hence, maintenance staff, since they interact with machinery all the time, have to be continually on the lookout for unusual machine runs, report them and investigate. Another two concepts to consider are anticipation and containment. Anticipation is getting ready for something before it happens and being ready for it even if it does not happen while containment is what you need to do after something unexpected has happened. The situation with The News of the World newspaper in the UK (a phone hacking scandal prompted the closure of the tabloid) is a classic example of the need for containment. Furthermore, the authors emphasise that mindfulness, leading to resilience, is not an add-on. It needs to become part of “the way we do things around here”, which is a generalisation for company culture. Hence, there needs to be a culture of mindfulness in every organisation. ◆


Recycling

Recycling film packaging Recycling lines have their limitations when it comes to processing contaminated plastic waste, especially heavily printed film packaging. But now, Austrian company Erema’s latest TVEplus, with high performance degassing, is able to transform heavily printed films into near virgin quality pellets, says Gerold Breuer, Marketing Manager. TVE technology first Erema’s recycling line operates with a cutter/compactor, with a tangentially connected single-screw extrusion system. Charging is performed automatically as loose material is delivered on a feed conveyor or film onreels directly via a reel feeder. The cutter/compactor chops and blends the feed using rotating cutting tools. At the same time, the feed is dried, for the friction heat generated in the reprocessing reactor, and compacted for feeding into the extruder. Here the material is melted, homogenised and pelletised after passing through a fully automatic, self-cleaning filter. Depending on the material, the processed melt must first be degassed in the extruder to remove residual moisture or gases given off during processing. On conventional degassing extruders, this degassing station is located upstream of the melt filter as in Erema’s earlier TE recycling line. On the TVEplus, the screw section between the automatic screenchanger and degassing station, allows for intense melt homogenisation

However in the TVE technology, the filter comes after the feed and homogenising section, followed by the melt degassing. This offers advantages, particularly if the waste is contaminated with gases or where solids transported with the melt impair the degassing. As well, the early separation of these impurities, allow only gases to enter the degassing section with the melt. Furthermore, there is no risk of melt escaping from the degassing openings in the event the filter is clogged by large impurities (contamination peaks). As a result, the extruder boasts uninterrupted degassing. Since the introduction of the TVE system in the mid-1990s, Erema has sold over 600 lines for waste recycling ranging from agriculture to printed packaging films (with self-adhesive labels).

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From the TVE to the TVEplus technology But the variety of colours and the intensity of printing in the packaging sector have changed in recent years and film packaging today is frequently printed all over and, in many cases, in multiple layers. The high ink content, binders and other additives, which decompose and are given off as gases, create problems in recycling and the inability to use the recycled material. One remedy is to blend first the material to be recycled with the significantly less contaminated waste material before recycling. Erema further developed its TVE series and has implemented the improvements in the latest TVEplus, which has more intensive degassing, with the entry of the processed material into the melt filter. The design of the feed and transition sections of the extruder have now been modified so that a very steep pressure gradient in the screw channel intensifies “back venting” towards the intruder feed section and the cutter/compactor. Another feature, compared with the former TVE, is the larger distance between the melt filter and venting station. In this section of the screw, the melt, relieved of particle contamination, is homogenised before it enters the degassing section. Degassing requires dispersive breakdown Erema did some comparisons using its TE, TVE and TVEplus lines and found that when processing heavily printed waste, a considerable proportion of the ink can pass through the filter, even if it is located in front of the granulator and even with melt degassing before the filter. Therefore, intensifying degassing could further improve the decontamination result of the TVE and, as already mentioned, the improved back venting of the TVEplus means that not all gases occurring during the melt process have to be drawn out at the double degassing station. This proportion is smaller from the outset than with the previous TVE. But even intensified degassing has its limitations, with respect to the decontamination. Although the MFR values that were also recorded during trials allow no direct conclusions to be drawn as to the quality of the regranulate achieved with the processing lines, a trend is recognisable. The closer the MFR value of the regranulate comes to that of the unprinted film, the better the melt processing and hence, the degassing of the ink has taken place on the recycling line.


Recycling

Blown film made with the re-granulate from the TVE with triple degassing still exhibits gas bubbles. Only the use of homogenising sections installed in the screw sections between filtration and degassing results in a re-granulate that gives a completely bubble-free blown film. In this case, just the doublevent installed in the system as standard is used for degassing. The homogenising sections employed are designed such that they are not only used for distribution but also for dispersion, i.e. breakdown of the particles brought into the melt by exerting shear forces. In this way, inks passing through the melt filter can be broken down (caused to evaporate) and subsequently drawn off in the degassing section of the extruder.

Layout of the TVEplus

Process window for recycling widened Available as standard since the beginning of this year, TVEplus, in a size 1514 (1,500 mm-diameter cutter/ compactor and 140-mm screw diameter), is being used for routine processing of both heavily printed and transparent PE film. In a blown film trial run (temperature up to 250ºC), the re-granulate from a printed PE film produced high quality film, without the need to “dilute” the feed material with unprinted waste material as was done in the past. The re-granulate from the transparent film flakes from building, agricultural and packaging films exhibit no discolouration. The focus here was on gentle processing in order not to thermally stress thermally instable resins like EVOH and PE-LLD. According to feedback from processors, the best re-granulate achieved to date with a recycling line has been produced with the TVEplus. At the same time, higher output rates were generally achieved in individual cases. For example, a TVEplus with 70 mm screw diameter, designed for the processing BOPP films, achieved 20% higher output than its TVE predecessor of a similar size. A major development in the TVEplus is the homogenising section between the filter and degassing station. Depending on the intended application, it can be designed to allow higher dispersion and the processing temperature can be reduced by up to 20°C. Overall, the new TVEplus, available with outputs from 250-2,500 kg/hour, has a wider processing window. It is for this reason Erema says since its introduction in 2010, and showing at the K2010 exhibition, it has sold 61 systems of the new line. This represents orders amounting to EUR33.2 million. ◆

First BePET system in Asia, with plastics to oil in the US Vietnam-based Thanh Tai Gas Company will be the first customer in Southeast Asia of USbased Bepex International's new line of plastic bottle recycling system known as BePET. The FDA-approved system, which will be operational early next year, will allow Thanh Tai to recycle up to 1.5 billion PET bottles/ year. Thanh Tai will also install a second line to expand its capacity to produce different intrinsic viscosity (IV) plastic for a variety of applications, especially for the food packing industry. B e p e x ’s s y s t e m i s s a i d t o b e u n i q u e because it allows the processing plant operator to control both decontamination of the plastic and product IV – a measure of the strength of the polymer that determines how the resulting plastic can be used – at the same time and in solid form. Different IV plastic can be used for different applications; for example high IV can be used for tyre cords, while low IV plastic can be used for fibre applications such as fleece or carpet. Designed for flake-to-flake recycling for bottle-to-bottle applications, the system allows operating and capital costs to be some of the lowest in industry, with savings of up to 60% when compared to currently available recycling systems, according to Bepex. Specialising in solid state polymerisation (SSP) of PET, Bepex has installed over 100 systems on six continents. The company says that on average it takes 70% less energy to produce a product from recycled plastic than from virgin materials. Meanwhile, two US companies Greenstar Recycling and Vadxx Energy are teaming up to convert recovered plastic into synthetic crude oil. Greenstar and Vadxx expect that the joint venture will begin producing crude oil in mid-2012 with the target location for the project in Ohio. U s i n g p r o p r i e t a r y p r o c e s s e s , Va d x x manufactures synthetic crude oil and natural gas by using raw material feedstock consisting of petroleum-based plastics, like plastics and tyres, in a process called thermal depolymerisation. Greenstar says it chose Vadxx as its partner because of Vadxx ’s potential to scale to commercial size and capacity based on its continuous feed process, flexible design and expandable system.

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Corporate Profile

BASF banking on engineering resins in Asia Chemical giant BASF has announced compounding capacity expansions for its Ultramid PA and PBT engineering plastics at its Pudong plant in China to 110,000 tonnes/year by 2015 and in South Korea, by an additional 13,000 tonnes/year. PRA spoke to Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice-President, Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific, to find out more about the business.

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ngineering plastics are key to German company B A S F ’s g r o w t h i n A s i a , e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e opportunities abound in various sectors of the industry. The capacity expansion at the Asian plants will supply customers all over the Asia Pacific region, although the primary focus will be the respective local markets, for example the Pudong plant will largely supply the Chinese domestic market (80% China, 20% export). Touting it as the materials for the future, Andy Postlethwaite, BASF’s Senior Vice President, Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific, said, “The wide array of products in engineering plastics is making a major contribution to developing solutions to meet the challenges. When it comes to saving resources, climate protection, construction and mobility, engineering plastics are certainly one of the key materials.” Commenting on the growth Having held several management positions of the sector in Asia, he in BASF, Andy succeeds said, “There are unexploited Hermann Althoff o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r m e t a l (he has returned to r e p l a c e m e n t i n c a r s a n d BASF’s headquarters trucks but also in household in Ludwigshafen to a p p l i a n c e s , e l e c t r i c a l & take over the position electronics and the construction of Senior Vicesector.” The automotive sector President, Polyamide is a leading proponent since car & Intermediates) in producers are under pressure Singapore to build more fuel efficient cars with lower emissions. “The answer is to build more light weight cars and this can be achieved by replacing metal parts in the powertrain, exterior and interior of the car with high performance engineering plastics,” Andy added. Automotive industry aside, Andy said the company is also working on solutions for alternative energy markets. “As an example, at Chinaplas we introduced products for the solar energy industry. To collect and

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transport electricity to the consumer, photovoltaic plants require junction boxes and connectors. For such parts certain safety requirements apply in terms of fire behaviour of the materials employed and the articles made of them. The overriding objective is to protect the lives and health of people as well as property and the environment.” BASF supplies two grades of polyamide: Ultramid A3XZG5 for junction boxes and Ultramid A3X2G5 for connectors. These glass fibre-reinforced engineering plastics are highly stable, flame-retardant, resistant to heat deformation and dimensionally stable, which is essential for the durability of parts exposed to the elements, such as rain, heat, chemicals as well as impact from stones. Further, Ultramid has impact resistance at -40°C and fulfills the safety regulations of the American Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard 1703, a requirement that allows companies to use the material for solar junction boxes. The company is also greening the earth in other ways and here it has its Ultramid Balance bio-based PA6.10. “One of the raw materials for production of Ultramid Balance is sebacic acid, which is derived from castor oil. Thus, over 60% of the base polymer c o m e s f r o m r e n e w a b l e r e s o u r c e s . R e c e n t l y, w e introduced four new glass fibre-reinforced materials that complement our range of Ultramid Balance. They differ from conventional PA6 and 66 by having a lower density and reduced moisture uptake,” explained Andy. Two properties in particular make this material a worthy competitor to other long-chain highp e r f o r m a n c e PA s , s u c h a s PA 6 . 1 2 o r PA 1 2 , a n d this is its hydrolysis resistance, i.e. its resistance to hot water and steam as well as its resistance to environmental stress cracking when exposed to aggressive chemicals. Andy also pointed out its resistance to calcium chloride, which is used in Asia as road salt, and zinc chloride, which can form on car bodies. Compared to PA66, the material has not only an improved dimensional stability, but also exhibits only a slight difference in mechanical properties between the dry and conditioned states. It is stronger, stiffer and has a higher heat deflection temperature than PA12.


Corporate Profile

The fuel filler flap for the T-model in the Mercedes EClass is painted in iridium silver metallic and obsidian black metallic and is no longer made of metal but the new automotive body Ultramid TOP 4000 grade, a conductive material that can be painted together with the rest of the steel body using classic automotive coating techniques

A n d y a l s o s a i d t h e t h r e e n e w g r a d e s i n t h e Ultramid S Balance line are especially well-suited for overmoulding of metal and electronic components that come into contact with aggressive fluids. He added,

“They are also of interest for housings and transmission components where dimensional stability is a major factor. Connectors, tubing and reservoirs in coolant circuits that must satisfy demanding requirements for hydrolysis resistance represent an additional field of application. The material has already demonstrated its performance capability in wheel speed sensors that are exposed to water spray and can be attacked by road salt. Other possible applications include oil pans and oil filter housings as well as for radiator end caps.” R e c e n t l y , t h e c o m p a n y h a s a l s o s t a r t e d manufacturing its 6.6 grades of Ultramid A3K FC and A3EG3 FC (15% glass fibre-reinforced) at the compounding plant in Pudong. The production follows the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, which comply with the European Union (EU) requirements for food contact and the guidelines of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as those in Japan and China. Typical areas of applications are spatulas, cutlery and plastic utensils. With material prices always a constant battle in the production process, BASF keeps an eye on the cost/performance ratio. “With high-performance engineering plastics, we can tailor them according to our customers’ requirements, which can be used only for special applications. The price is then determined primarily by the value of the overall service to the customer,” concluded Andy. ◆

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Country Report

Thailand rises to meet the challenges From silk to plastics and rubber-related products and processes, Thailand has emerged to become a super corridor for major industry players. PRA’s Angelica Buan spoke to some companies at the Interplas exhibition, held from 21-24 June in Bangkok, to ascertain the growth achieved in the region.

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omestic political and global financial affairs have affected the potential for trade in Thailand. However, national policies are reshaping the mindset of the population to create more and buy more, plus there is confidence, given the newly appointed government. As such, following strong rebounds last year, investments are pouring in and exports are stimulated. According to the country’s Ministry of Finance, the economy is expected to grow around 4%, which is lower than last year’s growth of 7.8% but is considered a normalisation, given the current global economic situation. Plus, the country is far better off than its neighbours, Malaysia and Singapore, which recently had their growth downgraded by international investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Big things come in small packages Food packaging is increasing in the country as the lifestyle trend to purchase on the go has become common. The total value of food and beverage expenditure is expected to grow by 26% come 2015. Hence, Thai trading company Tinfo Enterprise, which was set up by Taiwanese bag making machine producer Plas Alliance in 2006, has introduced the country’s first slider zipper bag machine. Servomotor-driven, it is able to produce bags in PP, PE and PS, with quick and tight sealing, says the company. The medical devices market is another segment served by the thriving packaging sector. Being honed as a major health hub in the Southeast Asian region, the country has good demand for medical devices, equipment and disposable products. Bangkok-headquartered equipment provider Thai Vyniter introduced the SBW-1522P ultrasonic welding machine, which features a choice of analogue or digital controls. Made in Taiwan by Bensonic Ultrasonics, the machine is used for medical device packaging as well as for applications in the automotive and electrical appliances sectors. Machinery sector booming Selling 100 machines/year consistently in the country, with an annual turnover of US$5 million, is Chinese injection moulding machinery maker Haitian International, represented in Thailand by SP Intermach. With Haitian having set up a new factory in Vietnam and soon to

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tap markets in Cambodia and Myanmar, Duangporn Sangwung, Sales Manager of Intermach, forecasts a more robust growth for the Chinese machine maker, than the current 25%. Another player is Amsel that sells Xaloy Thailand’s screws/barrels, amongst other products. According to Thanabadin Sae-Tang, Director of Sales/Marketing, Xaloy, with a factory in Chonburi, produces up to 500 units; with components imported from its parent company in the US. Having weathered a stunted growth in previous years, this year has a more positive outlook, said Tang. “Soon, Amsel will expand to Vietnam. We plan to reduce the price of our equipment by 60% in order to cater to the market,” he added. On the higher end of the scale is Bangkok-based Volastic, which produces hot runners, manifolds and temperature controllers. While its equipment is priced comparatively higher than local products, according to Design Engineer Aum Lucklame, last year it sold 200 units globally, with India and Germany yielding the highest sales. Its home base, though, only accounts for 20-30% of the company’s sales, said Aum, adding that it has a turnover of US$3 million a year. Volastic was founded by Bob Fill, the developer and original supplier of US-based DME’s GateMate system. He later founded hot runner supplier Mastip in New Zealand, which he sold in 2004. Homegrown extrusion machinery producer Thai Hydraulic Machinery is boasting a five-fold sales growth this year, according to Managing Director, Chen Jin-Long. It sold 50 lines last year and has established a clientele in

Thai Hydraulic Machinery’s Managing Director Chen Jin-Long, seen here with a colleague, expects a five-fold increase in sales this year


Country Report

Europe, Asia, the US and the Middle East. Producing pipe/ profile, sheet/film and compounding lines at its factory in Samutprakarn, Chen says the company adopts technology from Taiwan, Japan, Italy and Germany in its products. Rep International , a rubber injection machine manufacturer, was promoting its Francemade, Taiwanassembled (through a joint venture it has with Tung Yu) RT9 series machine. According to Pascal Consolaro, Sales Manager Asia Pacific, the company’s sales in Europe and Thailand are good, as opposed to the lower sales in India. Last year, Rep Rep’s Pascal Consolaro says the recorded a turnover RT9 machine, assembled by Tung of US$48 million. Yu in Taiwan, is compact and able Pascal says the new to compete with Japanese brands model is compact and able to compete with Japanese brands. “We plan to create new models, generate more sales and expand markets in Southeast Asia,” he says. In injection moulding, energy efficiency is especially becoming vital in the process. Thai trading company Panvatana, which was promoting Taiwanese Shinewell and Creator machinery, says the toggle-type B series machine from Shinewell fits into this category. It comes in several sizes from 90-2,300 tonnes and features an external hydraulics oil filter for easy and fast maintenance as well as a five-point double toggle mechanism for a stable operation. Investors in the right directions Seeing Thailand as a viable industrial hub for multinational companies, manufacturers who do not opt for the usual industrial destinations like China have set up their facilities in the country. One of these is Japanese auxiliary equipment supplier Matsui Asia, a 112-staff strong company based in Samutprakarn. It produces the Ecobrid closed-circuit water cooling system, said to offer high functionality, costefficiency as well as environment-safe features, according to Sales Manager Danai Bunyanukhloa. Apart from Thailand, Matsui also manufactures it at its facilities in China and Japan. Currently, the company’s growth is pegged at 100% more than last year with a turnover of Baht350 million, says Danai. Market expansion, increase in manufacturing volume as well as higher exports to more Asian countries, particularly Indonesia, are in the offing for companies like US and Germany-headquartered Gala Industries. It has set up a facility in Thailand to produce its underwater cutting machine for the plastics, rubber and food industries. At the show, it was promoting its latest EDGE-500 model, which can run up to 500 kg/hour using materials such as

masterbatch, regranulate, PS, PP, PE, PET and flexible/ rigid PVC. A steady growth this year is forecast by General Manager, Boonlert Thepsimuang, who expects higher sales. Planning to establish a facility in Thailand in the future is Telsonic Utrasonix, maker of ultrasonic welding machines, currently made in India with technology from Switzerland (the company is a joint venture with Swiss ultrasonic machine manufacturer Telsonic). Last year, the company sold 30 machines in Thailand. With a global growth of 34% and an annual turnover of US$10 million, Telsonic expects to expand its market base to Malaysia and Vietnam next. The Thai market is also a viable sales base as proven by various companies selling their products, such as welding equipment supplier Bak Asia that was promoting its Swissmade micro hand-held machine. While the company does not see itself setting up a facility in Thailand yet, the country still yields its highest sales in Asia, says Managing Director Daniel Gisler. Even so, the company will continue to focus on expanding its markets to East Europe, particularly Russia, and to the rest of Asia. With a higher growth of 28%, compared to last year, and a group turnover amounting to 50 million Swiss francs, Bak will complete its factory expansion in Switzerland this month, says Gisler. In the fast lane The Thai automotive industry is a priority sector since it is a major driving force in the economy, contributing 12% to the GDP. With a projected growth of 175% between 2009 and 2014, or 2.5 million vehicles, the sector continues to attract component manufacturers. Partaking in this growth is Swiss company Abatek, which established its base in the country in 1990 and produces silicone elastomer key pads, assemblies and connectors for use in electronic input/output devices for the automotive, consumer, instrumentation and telecom sectors. Its clients include car maker Porsche and computer maker Dell. This year, according to the company’s Asian Sales Director Somboon Tanpiwat, higher sales of 20% are projected and a turnover of US$50 million. Exports to Europe and the US have marked the upsurge and since it is already well established in Europe, Abatek plans to expand its presence in the Asian market. ◆

Abatek’s Asian Sales Director Somboon Tanpiwat, projects higher sales of 20% for the company

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IndustryNEWS China’s IMM sector continues to grow Last year, China’s injection moulding machine (IMM) industry had sales of RMB20 billion, an increase of 40%, says a new report on the industry by Research in China. And though China started relatively late in the all-electric sector, behind Japan and Europe, the government’s energy conservation policy has boosted this sector.

in China and the world, sold 30,000 units last year and realised sales of RMB7 billion. Meanwhile, Chen Hsong’s large and medium IMMs accounted for over 50% of the total production. This year, the company tied up with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture and sell two-platen machines in China and Taiwan.

There are more than ten Chinese firms offering allelectrics, including Haitian International, Chen Hsong, Chuan Lih Fa, Guangzhou Borch Machinery, GSK CNC, Zhejiang Sound Machinery and Ningbo Shuangma Machinery. In addition, the report highlights 14 global and Chinese firms. Haitian, the largest IMM manufacturer

Competitive optical component technology To cater to the industry’s use of polymers, instead of glass, in optical components, Austrian injection moulding machinery maker Engel has introduced a new technology known as Optimelt, featuring optimised plasticising units for processing transparent polymers. Overmoulding is also used in Optimelt and it starts with the production of a pre-moulded part that is recoated with additional layers (usually of the same material) in one or more subsequent stages. However, utilising plastics does pose challenges in the optical sector, including microstructures on the

This makes the process particularly attractive to manufacturers of thick layer components such as LED lenses. Studies on multi-layer components in the area of lighting technology have shown that boundary layers between coatings have no effect on the function of illumination optics. Thermal simulation of the cooling process proves that the multi-layer process also offers benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness. This was demonstrated by comparing three different triple-layer variants and the conventional single-layer process in the production of a 30 mm thick lens. In the first multi-layer prototype, the three layers were applied in turn at three stations of a rotary table. For the second variant, two thick outer layers were injected into separate cavities; in a subsequent step, these layers were brought together in a single cavity and connected by means of a thin layer of plastic. For the third

surface of light-guide elements that must be precisely moulded across the entire flow path and the need to minimise residual stress in moulded parts, especially where a subsequent coating will be applied. Finally, the optically effective surfaces on lenses with large differences in thickness must be accurately contoured. Engel says the main advantage of using its multi-layer overmoulding process, compared to a single-layer process, is that the recoating covers sink marks and other defects on the surface of the previous layer, thereby ensuring high optical quality.

Engel’s Optimelt technology can be used to produce lenses for a variety of sectors

1 I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • A U G U S T 2 0 1 1

Due to the growth of the electronics and toy sectors, LK Technology’s sales were up 84.8%, with sales of IMMs increasing by 119%. Guangzhou Borch Machinery, on the other hand, introduced the BE all-electric machine last year and this year launched a four-colour machine, two-platen machine and in-mould labelling machine at the Chinaplas show in April. variant, the inner layer was produced first in an index platen mould; followed by two outer layers that were produced simultaneously. To enable an objective comparison of the four processes, an identical number of cavities were used. In the multi-layer variants, similar layer thicknesses were chosen to ensure the same cooling times. A lower mould temperature was set for the inner surfaces in each case, ie. poorer surface quality of the pre-moulded part was deliberately accepted. This was possible because these surfaces are covered by another layer in the following step. The lower mould temperature was found to significantly reduce cycle times. The triple-layer process with index plate, where a middle layer is injected followed by two outer layers, performed the best. Since two layers are produced simultaneously in one station, 180% higher productivity is possible, compared to a conventional single-layer moulding. In addition, sink marks can be corrected on both sides. Engel has applied for several patents for its new technology.


IndustryNEWS Smallest mould temperature unit Singapore-based moulder and mould maker Meiban has introduced what it says is the world’s smallest mould temperature controller. Measuring 97 x 61 x 30 mm and weighing 135 g, it can be held in the hand and has no external mould cables or cabinets. The Picco hot runner controller is able to control two zones and can be mounted directly on the mould. It stays there when the mould is moved. As well, since the heater/ thermocouple wires plug directly into it, there are no long cables

outside the mould and there is much less noise and signal loss for a more accurate control, says Meiban. It has a selector switch for five pre-set temperatures for the most commonly used resins and two calibrating screws to fine-tune the temperature settings, if required. The company says that with its simple plug and play type of connectors Picco is able to eliminate any human errors once the wiring is correctly fixed during the initial start-up.

Magna expands in China; Teijin honoured for CFRPs Canada-based automotive parts supplier Magna International has expanded its presence in China by forming a joint venture to acquire an existing injection moulding and painting facility in Wuhu. The three-party joint venture, called MCC Wuhu Exteriors, consists of Magna Exteriors and Interiors (51%), a subsidiary of Magna, Changshu Automotive Trim (34%) and Chery Tech (15%). The 300,000 sq ft manufacturing plant, which had a revenue of US$43 million in 2010, employs about 600 people and supplies front and rear fascias to its main customer Chery Auto. Magna says the new venture will open the door for its exteriors and fascia business in China. The company already has a manufacturing presence in the country for its interior components and systems. In other news, Japanese company Teijin’s mass production technology for carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been presented the Global Automotive Carbon Composites Technology Innovation award by Frost & Sullivan. The latter says Teijin was recognised for its new CFRP compression moulding technology that offers a low cost-to-

performance alternative for metal replacement in large structural body-in-white components. Furthermore, the reduced cycle times along with the development of an economical thermoplastic resin, intermediate materials and high processability, paved the way for Teijin’s recognition. Teijin’s thermoplastic CFRP enables reduction in cycle time to under a minute, while conventional CFRP utilises thermosetting resin and requires at least five minutes for this process, making it unsuited for mass production and limiting its use to high-end vehicles. Thus, it overcomes one of the biggest challenges in the industry and represents a significant leap forward in the use of carbon fibre in mass production of automotives. With increasingly strict environmental standards and regulations in the automotive industry, there is mounting pressure to reduce vehicle weights through the use of lightweight materials, such as CFRP, for components conventionally made from steel or aluminium. The world’s second largest producer of carbon fibre, Teijin says it is well positioned to be a leader in the development of such applications for CFRP. 2

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CorporateP rofile

Traditionally German Call it a winning streak, but while most companies are either migrating their manufacturing activities or expanding existing facilities in Asia to cut costs, family-owned injection moulding machinery maker Arburg, founded in 1923, has not joined the flock. With around 1,700 staff toiling in the Lossburg factory in Germany, Arburg has stayed put in its home base to maintain its exclusively made-in-Germany standards, sans cutting corners.

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ne of the major players in the injection moulding machinery manufacturing arena, Arburg takes pride in its half-century old Allrounder modular injection moulding machine, with sales having catapulted in the global marketplace. Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and spokesman for the Arburg management team, attributes the winning formulae of the machine to its versatility. When it was launched in 1961, it had both a pivoting clamping unit and interchangeable injection unit that enabled different working positions on a single machine. He added, “This formed the basis of the modularity of the Allrounder and as a result, all of our machines today can be individually configured.” What makes the Allrounder series tick is its technological evolvement. Michael says, “A few of the outstanding milestones are the multi-component technology in 1961, which only became possible through the Allrounder principle, electric dosage in 1962, the world’s first microprocessor control system for injection moulding machines in 1975, the position-controlled screw for high moulded part quality in 1981, the Arburg host computer system (ALS) for central data communication in 1986 and the According to Michael Selogica machine control system Hehl, “Though we do not talk about our with sequence editor in 1993, competitors, it is certain which we independently build that our concept of and continuously develop to this modular technology is well balanced and day.” It s ra ng e t oday includes diversified both from an economic and a technical electric, hybrid and hydraulic point of view” models, with clamping forces from 12-500 tonnes that come with robots and other peripherals. At its Technology Days event earlier this year, the company showcased more than 40 machines with applications including the production of packaging, medical and technical products, cleanroom technology, multi-component and micro-injection moulding and the processing of different materials, from liquid silicone (LSR) and thermosets to metal and ceramic powders. Production cells with Multilift robotic systems or six-axis robotic systems were also shown.

Having launched the hybrid Hidrive model in 2009, with servo-electric clamping and hydraulic injection units, the company expanded it to a 500-tonne model last year at the K show. “It boasts a short dry cycle time of 2 seconds,” according to Michael. A new entry shown at the Technology Days is the Allrounder Edrive all-electric model. “This machine enables a wide range of applications, is characterised by an attractive price level and makes the use of our electric machine advantages, even for standard applications,” he says. Asia an important market According to Michael, the Allrounder has had a stable market share in the global market since its launch in 1961. Significantly by 1973, Arburg had sold 15,000 machines worldwide, with an export share of 50%. In 1978, it delivered 25,000 Allrounders and ten years later it had hit the 50,000 mark. Asia assumes an important position in the company’s sales context, since it has three wholly-owned subsidiaries in China, affiliated companies in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as trading partners in other Asian countries. The modular Allrounder philosophy was one of the building blocks for all further technological developments in the company

Furthermore, in China, the company is seeing an increasing number of sales to domestic processors. “Initially, we used to sell to the familiar German, European and American customers who had set up production facilities in the region. Today, an increasing proportion of the business is conducted with local Chinese customers,” Michael adds. 3

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CorporateP rofile Holistic view of energy efficiency Sustainable and eco-friendly machines are attracting the market’s attention and this trend is also focused in the Asian market, as seen at the recent Chinaplas exhibition where exhibitors were offering a range of energy-efficient machines. Under its “e 2 ” label, Arburg offers a broad range of energy-efficient machines. But Michael says over and above the energy factor, process efficiency is going to be an important part of production in the future. “The aim here is to produce high-quality parts at minimal unit costs. In addition to energy efficiency, important factors in this context are high productivity and availability as well as short cycle times.” Michael gives an example of the company’s Selogica machine control system, which he says makes an important contribution to an overall efficient production. “Its operating philosophy not only permits simple, fast and reliable programming of our Allrounders, but with its set-up and documentation features, operators are also able to optimally prepare and implement the relevant production process, which in turn has a positive influence on quality, speed and energy efficiency.” Future outlook When asked what the future holds for Arburg, Michael replies, “Our injection moulding technology will of course be oriented towards the requirements of our customers from the various industries. Owing to the universal basis that our Allrounder philosophy represents, we have the necessary flexibility to immediately respond to the requirements of the markets.” The company will also continue to innovate its range. “In addition to specially-adapted machines for the packaging, medical technology/ optics, electronics or automotive industries, for example, we are also planning innovations, which are aimed towards further automation of the injection moulding processes through complete production cells. Integration of upstream and downstream processing steps is the key here.” Furthermore, having gained ground from ensuring satisfaction of clients, together with its plan to increase production efficiency, Arburg will also look at expanding its sales service network globally. “We believe that we are well positioned to establish Arburg as a leader among international manufacturers of high-end injection moulding technology in the long term,” he concludes. ◆

The 300 tonne 720S Allrounder has a 1,300 injection unit size and allows for maximum shot weights of 826 g of PS


IndustryNEWS Making strides in eco-friendly rubbers

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he rubber industry is closely following the plastics sector with companies making headway in the eco-friendly sector. US-based Elevance Renewable Sciences, which produces speciality chemicals from natural oils, and Parisbased Hutchinson Worldwide are to collaborate the use of Elevance’s renewable products as processing aids in Hutchinson’s rubber compounds. The companies say the 21 million tonnes of rubber consumed globally warrants the need for an

NEWS in brief Tyre additive maker makes a leap Malaysian company Performance Additives has opened a facility in the US. Located on a 3.5 acre site in Ohio, the facility will manufacture an additive said to allow for more efficient tyres. Early this year, Performance Additives acquired the DTC (Dithiocarbamate) and TBzTD (Tetrabenzyl thiuramdisulfide) businesses from Solutia, including a facility in Italy. Performance Additives was set up in 1999, as part of Behn Meyer, to produce speciality chemicals. US company buys glove maker US-based Vystar, the creator of Vytex Natural Rubber Latex (NRL), a patented, all-natural raw material that reduces antigenic proteins found in natural rubber latex, is merging with Malaysia-

ABS and other polymers. Under the agreement, both parties will have different responsibilities with Global Bioenergies taking care of R&D and Synthos to commercialise the biobutadiene. Global Bioenergies will also receive R&D funding, development fees and royalty payments from Synthos on sales of the biobutadiene for rubber uses. Global Bioenergies will retain exclusive rights on nonrubber applications. Synthos will also take up a EUR1.4 million equity investment

alternative to petroleumbased rubber. Hutchinson will manufacture the materials using Elevance’s metathesis technology. Elsewhere, Polish rubber producer Synthos and French biotech company Global Bioenergies are to work together to develop a bio-butadiene. About 10 million tonnes of butadiene are produced each year, of which two-thirds is used to manufacture synthetic rubber and the rest to produce nylon, latices,

tyre maker, Continental, has paid EUR18.5 million for 100% shareholding in Indian Modi Tyres, to push ahead with its plan to produce passenger car and truck tyres in India. Modi Tyres will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German company.

based reusable exam gloves manufacturer EcoGlove Asia Pacific. Terms of the merger have not been finalised and the deal is expected to close by this year. Tyre makers expand capacities Japan-based Bridgestone is investing US$135 million into its US facility to increase passenger car and light truck tyres output by an additional 4,750 units/day. The investment will expand the main Aiken County plant by 25,000 sq m by 2013. Malaysian producer Toyo Tire is pumping up capacity its Silverstone subsidiary in Perak to 15 million units over the next five years. It will invest US$400 million to increase the existing factory’s capacity and construct a new factory on a 20 ha site.

Hose business strengthened Sweden-based Trelleborg will acquire 60% of French company Bloch, with an option to acquire the remaining shares later. Bloch specialises in solutions and couplings for a wide range of industrial hoses that offer protection in demanding environments, such as chemical processing and the food sector. Cabot to increase output of silica In line with the rising global demand for silicones, which is expected to continue to grow at 5-10% a year over the coming decade,

Continental buys Modi Rubber The world’s fourth largest 1

rubber journal ASIA • AUGUST 2011

in Global Bioenergies, representing a 3.6% stake. Meanwhile, another US company Lehigh Technologies, which manufactures sustainable micronised rubber powders, has expanded its product line by offering butyl-based MicroDyne and PolyDyne materials for tyre companies that are facing rising butyl rubber costs due to short supply. The company has also hit a major milestone of having 100 million tyres manufactured containing its products and has now launched a goal to hit a target of 1 billion tyres.

US producer Cabot will expand its production capacity by 25% at its fumed silica facility in Wales, UK. It will be completed in 2012 and is part of a three-year plan to increase Cabot’s global fumed metal oxide capacity by 35-40%. The project is an extension of Cabot’s long-term partnership with Dow Corning, with both parties having worked closely together in Wales since 1991, when Cabot built its fumed silica facility adjacent to Dow Corning’s silicone monomer plant. Dow Corning provides Cabot with silanes, which are converted to fumed silica for Dow Corning’s compounded silicones applications. Cabot and Dow Corning have a similar relationship in the US. Cabot currently has six fumed silica facilities globally, including two in the US, two in Europe and two in Asia.


IndustryNEWS Sibur to transfer tyre assets

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ussian chemicals company Sibur has entered into an agreement to transfer its tyre assets to a joint venture formed between Italian tyre maker Pirelli and Russian Technologies, a Russian state-owned firm. The joint venture company will take over the industrial operations of Sibur-Russian Tyres by 2014. Come this November, the partnership will take control of the former Amtel Tire plant in Russia, which has a current capacity of 7 million car and light truck tyres/year. Further, SiburRussian Tyres assets will be moved to the partnership by 2014, bringing its total capacity to 11 million tyres/year. Sibur will receive EUR224 million for the assets from Pirelli and Russian Technologies, divided equally between the two companies.

The deal is in line with an MOU signed in November last year and aims to modernise production and improve the competitiveness of Sibur’s tyre business through the introduction of Pirelli technology. It also aims to establish joint activities in Russia to manufacture steel cord for radial tyres with Sibur to be a long-term supplier of synthetic rubber to Pirelli and its Russian joint ventures. A second Pirelli/Russian Technologies joint venture will be formed to incorporate Sibur’s tyre business producing automotive and heavy-duty truck tyres. The two partners will each have a 40.1% stake in the company. Pirelli will also receive a 10% share in the Sibur subsidiary in exchange for its technology and management expertise.

Lanxess extends supply agreement and plans PBR plant in Asia

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ne of China’s largest tyre companies, Triangle Group, has extended its agreement with German specialty chemicals company Lanxess for the supply of halobutyl rubbers from 2012 to 2014. Lanxess has been supplying the rubbers to Triangle for more than ten years. Halobutyl rubbers are used in the innermost, air and humidity-impermeable layer of a tubeless tyre, allowing for constant tyre pressure. Triangle has an annual capacity of 23 million units and sells to over 160 countries around the world. Meanwhile, Lanxess will locate another of its rubber plants to Singapore’s Jurong Island. The company will invest EUR200 million in building a 140,000 tonnes/year neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant, which will be located next to the company’s EUR400 million butyl rubber plant, currently under construction and to come on stream in the first quarter of 2013.

The plan to have both plants in Asia is in line with Lanxess’s agenda to cater to synthetic rubber for high-performance “green tyres”, which is the fastest growing sector in the tyre industry with an annual growth rate of 9%. Growth is even more pronounced in Asia at 14% a year. Besides the megatrend mobility and call for higher environmental and safety standards in performance tyres, demand is being accelerated by European Union legislation for all tyres to be labelled for fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. Japanese tyre manufacturers voluntarily introduced tyre labelling at the start of 2010 and the topic is under discussion in South Korea. Nd-PBR is part of a tyre’s compound and plays a role in reducing energy consumption and tyre abrasion, making cars safer as well as more ecological and economical, says Lanxess. 2 rubber journal ASIA • AUGUST 2011


Building Industry

Innovating EPDM films In the building and construction sector, since EPDM sealing films especially need to deliver protection against leakage over the lifetime of a building, new formulations represent a constant challenge to suppliers. In order to develop EPDM films further, Swiss equipment supplier Maag Pump Systems has launched a gear pump as a laboratory solution. This will enable the film to be optimised to laboratory scale and “tuned” for new large-series applications.

Rooftops with proper sealing Although houses with sloping walls have their charm, the Mediterranean flat-roofed construction has become more and more commonplace in Central Europe since the 1970s. Although flat roofs were quite striking to begin with, they could not cope with the weather conditions prevalent in the region. They have been improved by infusing a new film material into these flat roofs, thus giving them an almost "endless life". This material is EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), a terpolymer elastomer that is rubber-like and belongs to the family of co-polymers (as defined by DIN7864). EPDM is manufactured from the by-products of ethylene and propylene.

EPDM films for flat roofs render a clean and flawless finish

In light of the undisputable advantages in terms of durability offered by the saturated polymer framework, the realm of possible practical applications is extremely diverse. The Deutsche Industrienorm organisation talks about the M Group – the opposite of which is the R Group, to which monomers with unsaturated hydrocarbon chains such as natural rubber (NR) or styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) belong – with limited possibilities.

When rooftops need to be tightly sealed in the building industry, EPDM films come into the picture

High crystalline factor Conventional EPDM rubbers have an ethylene content of between 45% and 75% weight. Polymers with a low ethylene content (45-55% weight) are amorphous and have the best flexibility in cold conditions. As the ethylene content increases, so does the crystallinity. Pure linear polyethylene (PE), therefore, is highly crystalline. An EPDM with a moderate ethylene content (55–65% weight) is partially crystalline. Terpolymers with an ethylene weight of over 65% have larger crystalline areas and therefore behave like thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). These have a strong resistance to tearing, even in their un-crosslinked state. The diene content of commercial products is between 212% weight, corresponding to a proportion of 3 and 16 double bonds per 1,000 C atoms. A higher diene content causes faster crosslinking, greater solidity and less residual deformation. The resistance to ageing, weathering and ozone, on the other hand, dwindles as the diene content rises. Therefore, depending on the requirements on hand, the right formulation needs to be produced in order to deliver the properties needed, such as higher rigidity or resistance.

Applications for EPDM Classic applications for EPDM films in the building industry include: • • • • •

Roof and construction seals Seals, such as O-rings, sliding ring seals and flat seals Hoses for hot water and steam applications Absorbent mats for improved thermal insulation Pond liners

Sealing webs have been extruded from EPDM for the construction sector since the 1960s. These sealing webs are primarily used to seal flat roofs, back-ventilated facades and ponds. The advantages of EPDM are clear. Sealing webs made from EPDM can stretch by up to 500% and are permanently elastic, even in extreme temperature fluctuations between -40°C to +120°C. A lifespan of decades makes these films the ideal sealing solution. Other than that, EPDM films are resistant to moisture, ozone, UV and chemicals. 3

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Building Industry

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Gear pumps for EPDM films Since Maag Pump Systems has been familiar with the use of EPDM for many years, with its largest gear pumps in the Polymer-polyrex series used in the manufacturing of these rubber-like applications, it decided to use its expertise to develop EPDM films further. Hence, solutions for batch operation, small plants and laboratory solutions are available as innovation drivers in order to facilitate the testing of new methods and procedures on a small scale. This experience can later be transferred in a targeted manner to mass production. Industrial pumps made from stainless steel with a special, wide inlet geometry are particularly ideal for these types of laboratory solution. For removal from the reactor, the company is promoting its recently developed heated version of the therminox-V pump size 28/28 (TX-V 28/28). This laboratoryversion gear pump features a special inlet geometry. The design facilitates the removal of highly viscous fluids, such as pre-polymers (up to 4 million mPa/ Therminox-V 28/28 laboratory s) under vacuum. The pump is directly gear pump for EPDM films flange-mounted on the suction side flange on the reactor in order to keep the NPSH as small as possible. The pump housing is the only thing that reveals that the pump is suitable for the toughest, corrosive applications. When developing this test system for EPDM manufacturing, not only did process temperatures of 150°C need to be taken into account for this design but so too did a viscosity of up to 1.7 million mPa/s at an NPSH of 5.5 mbar, an inlet pressure of 5.2 bar and an outlet pressure of 10.2 bar. For this reason, Maag used shafts made from 1.4112 stainless steel and bronze-aluminium bearings for a customer-specific application. The shafts and bearings can withstand the process parameters of pressure and temperature. Emergency running properties were also needed. To ensure durability, a gland packing is used as the seal, which is also simple to maintain. In order for the process to be run with the exclusion of an atmosphere, and in order to prevent reaction of the EPDM medium with air, the seal was made up of a locking, spring-loaded and adjustable packing. Another advantage of the use 115x56 of an adjustable seal is the prevention of “bearing pickup” at high pressure, caused by inadequate lubrication. This pump series has been developed especially for highly viscous media and 50 prepolymers with a low inlet pressure for use in laboratories The laboratory gear pump directly connected under a reactor saves space and small plants. ◆


CorporateP rofile

Rubber recycling on the upward trend

Wi t h s u s t a i n a b i l i t y a n d r e c y c l i n g b e c o m i n g p o p u l a r c a t c h p h r a s e s i n t h e i n d u s t r y, P u r a A g u n g founders Dragono Hudibjo and Robert have been q u i c k t o c a p t u re t h i s v i a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y o f re u s i n g rubber scrap like tyres and bladders. At present, the company has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes/month o f r e c l a i m e d r u b b e r, w h i c h i s e x p o r t e d t o m o r e t h a n 2 5 c o u n t r i e s . Wi t h i t s f a c t o r y i n S u r a b a y a , i n p ro x i m i t y t o a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l p o r t , i t g i v e s t h e company the edge to facilitate its exports globally t o A s i a , t h e U S , A u s t r a l i a , E u ro p e a n d A f r i c a . According to Robert, the company utilises a patented devulcanised process in producing crumb and recycled rubber materials. While d e v u l c a n i s i n g i s a s t a n d a rd p ro c e s s f o r re c l a i m i n g r u b b e r, t h e I S O 9 0 0 1 - c e r t i f e d P u r a A g u n g s a y s i t adds value to its products by incorporating the l a t e s t t e c h n o l o g y. “ T h e q u a l i t y o f o u r v a r i o u s g r a d e s o f re c l a i m e d r u b b e r ( S u p e r, P r i m e a n d E c c o ) i s w e l l k n o w n , ” said Robert. “An important factor is that our reclaimed rubber has no odour and we do not use any harmful chemicals in our process. Plus, h a n d l i n g t h e ru b b e r m a t e r i a l i s e a s y d u e t o t h e n e a t packing and this allows for faster compounding.” The company has been successful in the legislation-abiding markets of Europe and the U S . “ We h a v e s u p p l i e d o u r m a t e r i a l t o m a n y w e l l known tyre brands in Europe, so we have passed the strict quality of the European market,” he added. Owing to the recycling culture that has introduced innovations as well as solutions to abate the wastage problem, reclaimed rubber has started partaking in a billion dollar reducereuse-recycle industry and has benefited various industries, from automotive tyres, rubber sheets and adhesives to shoes, fabrics and floorings. I n a d d i t i o n , t h e c o m p a n y i n v e s t s i n re s e a rc h a n d i t h a s d e v e l o p e d t w o n e w p ro d u c t s . T h e f i r s t i s t h e low SG Pura Carbon, an ultra-fine black carbon f i l l e r m a d e f ro m h i g h - g r a d e p ro c e s s e d c a r b o n t h a t enhances the properties and appearance of black c o l o u re d ru b b e r p ro d u c t s . T h e s e c o n d n e w p ro d u c t , P u r a C e l l , i s a v a i l a b l e in either powder or granular form. Besides the r u b b e r i n d u s t r y, b o t h P u r a C a r b o n a n d P u r a C e l l are targeted for use in PVC and PU resins. Both products are also said to boast good dispersion a b i l i t y, s u r f a c e q u a l i t y a n d c o m p r e s s i o n s e t a n d are offered as alternatives to using conventional f i l l e r s s u c h a s c a l c i u m c a r b o n a t e a n d c h i n a c l a y. Wi t h t h e i n c re a s e d d e m a n d f o r ru b b e r p ro d u c t s , t h e w a s t a g e w i l l g o u p p ro p o r t i o n a l l y. T h i s s h o u l d augur well for Pura Agung’s endeavour to meld its social responsibility and goal of innovating p ro d u c t s f o r t h e s e c t o r. ◆

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ro b a b l y o n e o f t h e m o s t v o l a t i l e c o m m o d i t i e s t o d a y, r u b b e r h a s g o n e t h r o u g h a s e r i e s o f supply and demand gaps over the years, w h i c h h a s re s u l t e d i n a s h a r p i n c re a s e i n p r i c i n g . It is because of the price fluctuations, changing weather patterns and shortage of the polymer in the market that reclaimed rubber is catching up w i t h t h e v i rg i n m a t e r i a l . Figuring largely on this scene is Indonesian company Pura Agung, which claims to be one of the l a rg e s t m a n u f a c t u re r s o f re c l a i m e d r u b b e r, c r u m b ru b b e r, c a r b o n b l a c k a n d c a r b o n f i l l e r i n A s i a .

Robert Mulyono Putra says the reclaimed rubber sector is growing fast

Set up in 2006, in Surabaya Margomulyo Industrial Area, East Java, the company’s first factory spanned 5,000 sq m and it had only 50 e m p l o y e e s . Tw o y e a r s l a t e r i n 2 0 0 8 , i t m o v e d 5 0 k m t o t h e w e s t o f S u r a b a y a c i t y, “ t o a v e r y n i c e p l a c e in Mojokerto city”, according to Co-Founder/ M a n a g i n g D i re c t o r R o b e r t M u l y o n o P u t r a . T h e n e w f a c i l i t y s p a n s o v e r a n a re a o f 6 h a a n d i t e m p l o y s 250 workers. 5

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2 0 1 1 31 AUGUST-3 SEPTEMBER Tiprex Venue: BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand Contact: Messe Düsseldorf Tel: +65 6332 9620 Fax: +65 6337 4633 e-mail: tiprex@mda.com.sg Internet: www.tiprex.com

18-22 OCTOBER Fakuma Venue: Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre, Friedrichshafen, Germany Contact: PE Schall GmbH & Co Tel: +49 7025 92060 Fax: +49 7025 92060 e-mail: info@schall-messen.de Internet: www.fakuma-messe.de/en/fakuma

6-9 SEPTEMBER AP Plas Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China Internet: www.applas.com.cn/english/

25-29 OCTOBER IPF Japan Venue: Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan Contact: International Plastic Fair Association Tel: +81 3 3542 1487 Fax: +81 3 3543 0619 Internet: www.ipfjapan.jp

7-9 SEPTEMBER CITEXPO (China International Tire Expo) Venue: Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China Contact: Reliable International Exhibition Services Tel: +86 10-8589-8181 Fax: +86 10-8589-8180 e-mail: citexpo@reliable.org.cn Internet: www.citexpo.com.cn/datac/intro_E.htm 28 SEPTEMBER-1 OCTOBER Koplas Venue: Kintex, Seoul, South Korea Contact: Korea E&Ex Tel: +822 551-0102 Fax: +822 551-0103 e-mail: ashley@eandex.co.kr Internet: www.eandex.co.kr 18-20 OCTOBER JEC Composites Asia Venue: Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore Contact: JEC Tel: +33 0 1 5836 1500 Fax: +33 0 1 5836 1513 e-mail: exhibitors@jeccomposites.com Internet: www.jeccomposites.com

9-12 NOVEMBER M-PLAS Venue: KLCC Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Contact: Messe Düsseldorf Tel: +65 6332 9620 Fax: +65 6337 4633 e-mail: mplas@mda.com.sg Internet: www.mplas.com 16-19 NOVEMBER P & R Indonesia Venue: Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran Contact: PT Pamerindo Indonesia Tel: +62 021 316 2001 Fax: +62 021 316 1981 e-mail: wiwiek@pamerindo.com Internet: www.pamerindo.com 22-24 NOVEMBER RubberTech China Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China Contact: China United Rubber Corporation Tel: +86 10 58650277 Fax: +86 10 58650288 e-mail: rubbertech@chrubber.com Internet: www.rubbertech.com.cn/index.asp

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INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Publishing Office Postbus 130, 7470 AC Goor, The Netherlands Tel: +31 547 275005 Fax: +31 547 271831 e-mail: arthur@kenter.nl Contact: Arthur Schavemaker Regional Office D21, Menara Impian, Jalan 2/4, Taman TAR, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Fax: +60 3 4260 4576 e-mail: tej@plasticsandrubberasia.com Contact: Tej Fernandez China & Hong Kong Matchexpo Co. Ltd Room 702, No. 2, Lane 707, Greenland Avenue, Kunshan, Jiangsu, 205300, China Tel: +86 21 3921 8471 Fax: +86 21 60911211#3091 Mobile: +86 15026660549 e-mail: henry.xiao@matchexpo.com Contact: Henry Xiao Germany, Benelux, Austria, Switzerland & France Kenter & Co BV Postbus 130, 7470 BV Goor, The Netherlands Tel: +31 547 275005 Fax: +31 547 271831 e-mail: arthur@kenter.nl Contact: Arthur Schavemaker India Ajit Nagpurkar 15/4, Shivpuri, Near Chembur Naka, Sion Trombay Road, Chembur, Mumbai 400071, India Tel: +91-22-25227616/25295725 Fax: +91-22-25242484 e-mail: ajitn@vsnl.com Italy MediaPoint & Communications Srl Corte Lambruschini, Corso Buenos Aires, 8, Vo Piano - Interno 9, 16129 Genova, Italy Tel: +39 010 570 4948 Fax: +39 010 553 0088 e-mail: info@mediapointsrl.it Contact: Fabio Potesta Korea Hau International 407, Jinyang Sangga, Chungmuro 4 ga Jung-ku, Seoul, Korea 100-713 Tel: +82 2 720 0121 Fax: +82 2 720 0122 e-mail: hauintl@chol.com Contact: JW Suh Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia & New Zealand ACESAP Marketing Services 271 Bukit Timah Road, 04-06 Balmoral Plaza, Singapore 259708 Tel: +65 63457368 Fax: +65 67388512 e-mail: acesap@gmail.com Contact: Anthony Chan Taiwan Worldwide Services PO Box 44-100, Taichung, Taiwan Tel: +886 4 23251784 Fax: +886 4 23252967 e-mail: sales@acw.com.tw Contact: Robert Yu/Kelly Hsueh USA & Canada Plastics Media International P. O. Box 44, Greenlawn, New York 117430, USA Tel: +1 631 673 3199 Fax: +1 631 673 0072 e-mail: mjm@4m-media.com website: www.plastics-media.com Contact: Michael J. Mitchell

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PRA August 2011  

Plastics and Rubber Asia 2011 August electronic issue