PRA August 2012 Issue

Page 1

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 汽車工業: 加速進入市場









In this issue 20


Volume 27, No 192

publlshed slnce 1985

RJA 2 A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry

Features 焦 點 內 容 Pipe and profile machinery 18 CPVC pipe machines are Rajoo-Bausano’s current pièce de résistance for a market shunning the less-practical conventional pipe systems

20 Extrusion machine makers are cashing in on the boom in the infrastructure, with new technology to boost outputs

23 Green Packaging The boon of bioplastics as packaging solutions took the floor during PRA’s Green Packaging Conference held 15 June in Bangkok, Thailand

26 Country Focus The ASEAN region will benefit from the economic changes being undertaken, especially in the plastics sector, as highlighted at the recent ProPak show in Bangkok

Regulars 概 要

Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email: Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email: Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email:

MICA (P) 021/08/2012 KDN PPS 1700/12/2012 (028142) Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd

10 業界新聞

PRA is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV.

Supplements 增 刊 Plastics parts are giving the robust electric vehicle market a light makeover Technology remains to be the elixir for reviving a stifled latex industry in Asia

On the Cover Pipe machinery is routed to bring in the gains, for machine makers like Rajoo-Bausano Amut and Battenfeld Cincinnati, in lieu of a large-scale focus on infrastructure in the region

Connect @ PRA AUGUST 2012

Staff Writer Lyn Cacha Email:

ISSN 1360-1245

8 Materials News


Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email:


4 Industry News

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:

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. © 2012 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

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Industry News

Pumping up investments through M&As


K-based packaging firm Rexam is selling its personal packaging division for US$709 million to Sun Capital Partners that will take up its cosmetics, toiletries and household care products division while Silgan Holdings will purchase the company’s thermoformed highbarrier food packaging business. The company said it would carry out a restructuring programme after the sale to remove residual overheads. Polymer formulations firm Axson Group has acquired epoxy technology company Nanoledge for an undisclosed price. Nanoledge’s nanoblending technology is a key enabler to its development in new expanding composites markets. Nanoblending includes combining base resins with carbon nanotubes or other nanoparticles and chemical additives to target specific performance improvements. US firm HallStar has acquired the TP product line of speciality plasticisers from Dow Chemical. The deal incorporates both the trade names and proprietary manufacturing technology of the TP brand including TP-90B, TP-759 and TP-95. The purchase provides HallStar with a broader range of ester technology principally used in rubber modification. Another US firm



Huntsman has acquired the remaining ownership of a Russian joint venture Huntsman NMG (HNMG), giving it full ownership of the company. HNMG is a supplier of PU systems to the adhesives, coatings and footwear markets in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and will provide Hunstman greater access to the high value coatings, adhesives and elastomers markets, especially in the doubledigit growth market of Russia. Also in PU, German firm BASF is acquiring US-based ITWC, a specialist in cast elastomer PU systems and polyester polyols. The acquisition includes assets obtained during ITWC’s acquisition of Hydroseal Polymers in 2010. Cast elastomers are used in industrial tyres and rollers, recreational wheels, transportation gears and pulleys, processing equipment for construction, sieves and scrapers, sealants and adhesives. Construction products supplier Cie. de SaintGobain is acquiring UKbased polyisocyanurate insulation supplier Celotex Group. SaintGobain said that the acquisition strengthens its position in the new construction and renovation markets and enhances its offerings in new segments such as flat roofs and floors. Germany-based Elasto Müller Kunststoffe, the TPE division of Hexpol, will take over

the business activities of European Plastic Sealants (EPS) that specialises in the development of compounds for caps and closures. The deal comes after several years of successful cooperation between Müller Kunststoffe and EPS. In machinery, Intelligrated, a manufacturer of material handling equipment, will be acquired by a holding company owned by UK-based private equity firm Permira. The deal is valued in excess of US$500 million. Intelligrated makes automated systems and robots for conveying and palletising for material handling and distribution of retail consumer products, food and beverage, apparel, converted paper, pharmaceutical, postal distribution and airport baggage handling. The company also makes warehouse control

News In Brief Arkema’s new group Having divested its vinyl products division to the Klesch Group last year, French firm Arkema has refocused its business on speciality chemicals, which include establishment of a new group called KEM ONE with reported sales of around EUR1 billion. Uflex expands its business Indian flexible packaging company Uflex has started up

systems. The firm says the investment will help it expand in the US and in emerging markets. US firm Nordson is buying screw/barrel maker Xaloy that has operations in the US, Germany and Thailand. The acquisition is worth US$200 million and is scheduled to close in the third quarter. Xaloy will become part of Nordson’s Adhesive Dispensing Systems segment. Nordson also recently announced a deal to buy flat die and extrusion coating die maker Extrusion Dies Industries. Xaloy has also been on a buying spree acquiring competitor Spirex in 2009 and Dynisco in 2006, a deal that allowed it to expand its product range to gear pumps, screen changers, cleaning ovens and water-ring pelletisers. In 2008, Xaloy was bought by Industrial Growth Partners from another private equity owner Baird Capital Partners.

a new PET film plant in Poland, which incorporates an 8.7 m-wide line that runs at 500 m/minute and an output of 36,000 tonnes/year of film. The plant is part of Uflex’s global expansion strategy and is its fourth overseas facility. Last year, the company opened plants in Egypt and the US and also has facilities in Dubai and Mexico. Another facility is under construction in the US and will start up end of this year.

Industry News

New capacity expansions in the pipeline


ccording to news reports, Thailand’s largest petrochemical maker PTT Global Chemical plans to invest US$11 billion by 2020 to increase capacity and focus on highmargin specialties and green products. Included is a US$3 billion investment in a new olefins cracker with capacity of 1 million tonnes/year. The company is looking for a location to build the new cracker to serve growing demand in Asia, especially in China, Indonesia and Vietnam. PTT Global is also focusing on maximising benefits from a recent merger and debottlenecking existing facilities to boost output of plastic pellets by 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes/year by 2014. The company is also looking at building a new bioplastic plant in the next five years. PTT Global is investing US$540 million to purchase stakes in US PLA maker NatureWorks and Perstorp Holding. German firm Evonik Industries has chosen Singapore as the location for its new nylon 12 resin plant, which is expected to come on stream in 2014. With a capacity of 20,500 tonnes/year, it will cater to rising demand in the automotive, electrical/electronic, household equipment, sports equipment and manufacturing markets. New applications are being sourced in the solar power and oil and gas production sectors.



Evonik recently had a fatal explosion and fire at a plant in Marl, Germany, which is expected to be running again in Q4 2012. US thermoplastic composite maker Hanwha Azdel, a unit of South Korea’s Hanwha L&C, is planning to build a US$20 million plant in South Korea to make its Superlite composites for the transportation and industrial markets in Asia. The facility is scheduled to open in 2014 at Bugang, where the company also operates an existing glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite production plant. Japanese firm Teijin Chemicals is adding optical film manufacturing capability at its factory in Matsuyama, targeting applications in consumer electronics, tablet computers and automotives. The facility will have a capacity of 1 million sq m of film made from polycarbonate and acrylic. Production is expected to start in August. The factory will produce optical films with smooth surfaces, including conductive films for touch panels and films on automotive panels that save weight or reduce environmental impact by eliminating the need for painting or plating. The company also said the investment would help speed up the development of larger, higher-definition displays for smart phones, flatpanel screens and other devices.

To meet the growth of fluoropolymer demand that is growing at more than 7% per year, fluoropolymers manufacturer Arkema will invest US$90 million to increase capacity for its Kynar material by 50% by 2014. The French investment will also include the installation

of a new high-purity process and a new effluent treatment plant. Applications for PVDF include oil extraction, cable manufacturing, chemical engineering and semiconductor production with drinking water filtration, lithium ion batteries and photovoltaic panels to be new generation market sectors.

Catering to the growing composites sector


S chemicals supplier Dow Chemical and Turkish carbon fibre company Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii have set up a 50:50 joint venture company, DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings, to manufacture carbon fibre and its derivatives. The firm will focus on solutions that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of markets. Emphasis will be on costeffective solutions for industrial applications, energy, transport and infrastructure globally. Dow estimates that the carbon fibre composites industry is worth US$10 billion globally, and is expected to reach US$40 billion by 2022, driven mainly by the automotive market in pursuit of lightweighting.

Aksa has been making carbon fibre since 2009 at its Yalova factory. The firms say they will expand these production assets and create a large-scale, integrated facility to make advanced carbon fibre products. Dow’s automotive unit has also opened two Composite Technology Centres, in Switzerland and the US, focusing on carbon fibre composites for the automotive and commercial transportation industries. The Swiss centre features a high pressure resin transfer moulding machine for prototype production and an adhesives training centre while the Michigan site will have development space for direct longfibre processing, prepreg, performing, compression moulding and laminating.

Industry News

Italy reports positive trends; Germany sees a dip


ssocomaplast, the Italian trade association for manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds, reports that imports and exports of plastics and processing machinery in Q1 2012 was positive compared with the, same period the previous year. In fact, a 17% increase was recorded for overseas sales (which is a slowdown due to fewer extrusion and injection moulding machines sold compensated by the sale of more moulds and blow moulding machines) and a 22% increase in imports (this is an acceleration, driven mainly by increased purchases of moulds and extruders). In terms of the top destination markets for Italian exports, Germany increased by 19% to almost EUR90 million, made up for two-thirds by moulds. Conversely, sales to China have dipped by 19% and it means the country has slipped to the third position, with some EUR34 million. Sales to France (standing at second place) increased by 37%, to the US by 34%, Poland 30%, Brazil 28% and Turkey 17%. Meanwhile, German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers expect sales to fall by 2%

in the current year, resulting in an output of around EUR6.07 billion. However, an early return to growth of 7% to some EUR6.5 billion is projected for 2013. This comes as no surprise as VDMA, the German plastics and rubber machinery association, had predicted this last year, albeit at a higher fall of 7%. The association also expects the domestic investment climate in Germany to remain positive in 2013, with “many German firms to reach capacity limits and increasingly plan to invest in expansions”. But based on the high levels of investment worldwide in both 2010 and 2011 and weak growth in most of Western Europe, VDMA expects foreign sales to decline in 2012. As a result of above-average growth rates, German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers were able to expand their global market shares in 2011: exports grew 25.3% and output by 22%. Thus, VDMA says, “German manufacturers therefore continue to be well ahead in world exports, while the Chinese competitors maintain their lead in terms of output with a 30.5% share.”

GREEN Materials News

Companies follow the green light Plastic bottles and packaging composed of biomaterials are the result of a trend in environmental awareness, courtesy of materials and packaging manufacturers worldwide. Meanwhile, antimicrobial solutions for biobased films and other products extend the use of these products in the industry. Tie-ups for furthering technologies German chemicals firm BASF will transfer its Chitosan marine biopolymers business to Seagarden by August. Chitosan marine biopolymers are used in personal care products and as pharmaceutical ingredients. The divestment of the Chitosan business from former Cognis results from the portfolio optimisation following the acquisition of Cognis by BASF in 2010. The Chitosan business including the production site in Tromsoe, Norway, will be owned by Seagarden through its subsidiary Chitinor. In other news, BASF has made a bioplastics deal with US-based biotechnology company BioTork to develop microbial strains for industrial production of biopolymers and green chemicals. The two companies began working together earlier this year and in June their pilot study revealed that engineered micro-organisms could be used for maximal industrial performance by using adaptive evolution. Meanwhile, also in the US, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, H.J Heinz, Nike and Procter & Gamble have teamed up to accelerate the development of PET made from entirely plant-based sources. The major brand owners formed the Plant PET technology collaborative, a group aimed at supporting the development and use of plant-based PET material and fibres. The collaborative will also work to develop common practices and standards for using plant-based plastics, including life-cycle analyses and universal terminology. Coca-Cola has been using PlantBottle technology, a PET resin made with biobased monoethylene glycol, since 2009. In December, the company announced that it was making a multi-million dollar investment in three research companies to fuel the development of an entirely plantbased PET bottle. Heinz leases Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle technology for use in ketchup bottles. Also in the US, Sealed Air is teaming up with Ecovative Design to accelerate the production and marketing of plant-based packaging technology. Sealed Air will be the exclusive licensee of Ecovative’s EcoCradle packaging for the US protective packaging market. EcoCradle technology uses agricultural byproducts as a feedstock for fungal mycelium or mushroom roots. The mycelium is grown in moulds and oven-dried to form rigid packaging. According to Ecovative, the material can replace expanded PS, EPP and EPE.



Cardia Bioplastics has tied up with rigid plastic packaging company Alto Packaging to produce packaging solutions for fresh food

Australia-based Cardia Bioplastics is teaming up with rigid packaging company Alto Packaging to produce p a c k a g i n g s o l u t i o n s m a n u f a c t u r e d w i t h C a r d i a ’s thermoplastic starch resins. Cardia also recently received Halal certification for its range of Biohybrid resins to cater to some 1.6 billion Islam advocates worldwide. Antimicrobial compounds Demand for silver-based antimicrobial solutions are increasing due to their effectiveness at protecting polymers from degradation while being widely recognised as safe for human contact. Antimicrobial additives can be used to combat the growth of microbes like bacteria, fungi (mould and mildew) and algae that left unchecked can cause unsightly discolouration, unpleasant odours or other polymer degradation issues. Applications using antimicrobial additives can be produced via injection moulding or extrusion for markets including outdoor furniture, sports and recreation equipment, healthcare environments, office equipment, household goods and personal care items. US compounder RTP and Swiss firm Sanitized have both antimicrobial compounds. RTP’s additive masterbatches include new products using BactiBlock technology from Spanish company NanoBioMatters. Efficacy testing has proven the naturally sourced silver-functionalised clay BactiBlock antimicrobial additive to be compatible with

GREEN Materials News Sanitized says its antimicrobial solutions allow films made from renewable resources and biodegradable polymers to maintain their performance criteria, especially films used by farmers to extend a growing season by protecting young plants from the weather elements

a variety of thermoplastic resin systems including ABS, nylon 6 and 6/6, PP, PE, olefinic thermoplastic elastomers and EVA, with evaluation in other polymers ongoing. Products incorporating BactiBlock are available globally and can be produced throughout RTP’s worldwide network of manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. They are fully colourable, easy to disperse and process at normal polymer temperatures, says the US firm. Loading levels vary by application and can be tailored to end-use environments to maintain desired effectiveness; BactiBlock is EPA registered and is said to be economical in comparison to other silver-based antimicrobial solutions. Meanwhile, Sanitized’s antimicrobial additive is said to be the first of its kind, targeting biobased plasticisers. Although beneficial to the environment, PVCs with biobased plasticisers are constantly at risk from microbial attack hence limiting the material’s purposeful life. Same goes with agricultural films, which may require added protection against microbe and fungal attack. While sustainable PVC compounds can be used in applications that range from automotive interior trim to vinyl flooring and wall coverings, fabric coatings, wire and cable, footwear and the highly-demanding medical and food markets, the agriculture film market is an important sector too. The new Sanitized additive prevents premature deterioration, thus helping the agricultural film application to maintain its desired performance over its lifetime. The agriculture industry was one of the first market segments to embrace biodegradable materials in its efforts to ensure that sustainability remains fundamental to the products that are eventually consumed by the general public. However, biodegradable films have suffered in the past from rapid degradation leaving young plants vulnerable to weather exposure. Biodegradable polymer based film must remain in place from up to one year, but most often, three to six months, depending on the crop that it is protecting and the region where it is in use. This is to allow seedlings to propagate and become established such that they can flourish on their own and benefit from being in the open air. Sanitized is said to enable control over the biodegradable time frame allowing the farming industry to maximise the production volume per hectare as well as determining when crops can be harvested and delivered in an optimum condition to the customer.

End products gain sustainability steam In the US, furniture maker Emeco and BASF have overcome the moulding challenges of rPET in a chair made of 111 Coca-Cola PET bottles. Dubbed as 111 Navy Chair, the chair is strong enough to guarantee a five-year warranty to customers. It is made of a composite mix of 65% rPET and 35% pigmentation and glass fibre, the latter to strengthen the chair. Since it made its debut in 2010, the chair has kept 6 million bottles out of landfills. The chair comes in various colours from BASF that developed non-toxic pigments. The chair that has kept millions of bottles out of landfills

Achieving a first for the cheese snack market, Clear Lam Packaging has developed a new, renewable packaging for Lactalis American Group’s varieties of Precious Sticksters brands. The package, which is made from a lamination of plantbased, renewable plastic and an outer layer made from traditional petroleum-based plastic, is 50% plant-based, generates up to 35.2% fewer greenhouse gases and uses up to 36.8% less energy than the conventional petroleumbased materials it replaces. The finished bags perform well under typical distribution conditions and meet all FDA requirements for food use. Lactalis also stresses that the finished materials have a lower carbon footprint and use less energy without losing production efficiencies or impacting product performance. High-speed sealing was a critical requirement. Clear Lam produces the proprietary biobased layer used in the film from pellets and additives derived from Natureworks’s Ingeo PLA, then the finished film is shipped to a Lactalis production facility where its Precious Sticksters products are packaged on horizontal form, fill and seal machines.

Clear Lam claims this is the industry’s first biobased packaging for cheese snack launched early this year



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Pipe and profile machinery

CPVC pipes go mainstream The chlorinated polyvinylchloride (CPVC) pipes market in India is growing at a healthy rate due to tremendous government spending on infrastructure. This has led Rajoo-Bausano, a pipe machinery joint venture set up in India, to cater to the demand with new machinery. Indian extrusion machinery maker Rajoo Engineers entered into an equal equity joint venture with Italy-based pipe machinery maker Bausano in 2010 to manufacture and market pipe/profile extrusion lines in India with special emphasis on the African, Gulf and SAARC markets.





he boom in the building and construction industry, especially in the housing and commercial building sector, has fuelled high demand for cost effective, reliable and quality piping and plumbing systems. It is estimated that there are more than 20 CPVC pipe manufacturers in India while the growth rate of this sector is approximately 40% a year. According to Sunil Jain, Director of RajooBausano, “CPVC pipes are a logical and cost-effective choice over copper, galvanised, iron and alternative Sandip Bhuva says that plastic systems. These pipes are safer, faster and easier to install, hence saving on labour costs.” Sunil the new joint venture offers the Indian market adds that CPVC has a number of features that make it competitive machinery an improvement over conventional piping systems. “It is readily workable, including machining, welding and forming, and has excellent corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures. CPVC is also non-toxic, while PVC may leech toxins into water at increased temperatures,” he adds. More specifically, cold welding using CPVC solvent is fast and simple, ensuring leak-free installation for the entire life span of the piping system, said Sunil. “CPVC piping is recognised in all model plumbing codes. For hot and cold water applications,CPVC pipes and fittings are pressure rated as per ASTM D 2846 for continuous use at 100 psi at 180°F and 400 psi at room temperature. CPVC is fire resistant and will not burn without a flame source, making it suitable for fire suppression systems in light hazard and residential settings.”

New launch of machinery With the urbanisation rate and growth in infrastructure spending in India, Sunil reckons that the trend in the country will change to the use of newer piping material and hence, the introduction of new machinery for this. To date, Rajoo-Bausano has launched machines for rigid polyvinylchloride (RPVC), CPVC and polyethylene (PE) pipes. Twin-screw pipe plants are available with outputs range from 200 kg/hour to 2,000 kg/hour and pipe diameters range from 15 mm to 1,000 mm. Rajoo-Bausano says it offers the widest range of high productivity and energy efficient twin-screw extruders TwinEx with the “Multidrive” system for the production of RPVC/UPVC pipes, CPVC pipes, profiles, granulations and medical tubes, complete with downstream equipment. Speaking about the machinery’s highlights, Sandip Bhuva, General Manager of the joint venture, said, “Due to the machine’s higher L/D ratios, the extruders enhance melt homogenisation at higher output levels, compared to competitor models with similar size extruder and motor ratings. This results in lower energy costs, which is the second biggest cost component after raw materials. Furthermore, the machines help in easy processing of a wide range of formulations.” The line also incorporates a revolutionary transmission system known as “Multidrive”. Said Sandip, “It has great advantages in terms of the durability and performance of the extruder. Some of the advantages include elimination of the torsional stress on the driving shaft and multi-stage thrust bearings that give a threefold increase in the dynamic load to absorb the increased load at high production levels without any problems.”

Pipe and profile machinery Temperature in the screw is controlled by internal circulation of silicone oil and a thermocontrol unit for better processability. High efficiency air cooling for the barrel zone and an oil cooling system for higher output lines are other salient features. Other features include the online power measuring system, special coating on the screw, automatic diameter and thickness control system and an online belling system. Competitively priced machinery To maintain competitive pricing, the machinery from Rajoo-Bausano will be made in India. “Initially the screw, barrel and patented gearbox will be supplied by Bausano from Italy but within two years these will be manufactured in India. All other assemblies are made in India in accordance with Bausano’s technology,” said Sandip. He also pointed out the attractive price/performance ratio compared to Western machinery as the line combines “Rajoo’s best-in-the-class

infrastructure and Bausano’s sublime pioneering technology.” Another highlight of the Rajoo-Bausano pipe machinery is that it incorporates the vacuum sizing technique while many competitors still use the obsolete bung sizing, said Sandip. “Vacuum sizing enhances product quality in terms of product surface smoothness and dimensional accuracy. Higher line speed can be achieved through the unique design of such a calibrator. The tanks are made of stainless steel for high corrosion resistance and long useful life. The three axis adjustment system with motorised lateral position control allows for quick precise positioning. The final benefits are reduced energy consumption while transporting fluids through the pipe in addition to controlled weight per meter of the pipe,” emphasises Sandip. When asked if any machines had been sold yet, Sandip said, “We are in discussions with many prospects and close to finalising the deals.”

Rajoo-Bausano’s CPVC pipe line

The joint venture does not intend to rest on its laurels just yet, having launched a wide portfolio. It will be launching machinery for profiles for unplasticised polyvinylchloride (UPVC) and wood plastic composites (WPCs), which will be available by next year. The company will also be introducing granulators for rigid and flexible PVC, polyolefins, TPR and masterbatch, shortly, said Sandip. “We will be launching more machines from the Bausano portfolio soon. Customers will now have world class technological products at affordable price levels,” he concluded.

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Strong plastic industrial base In Taizhou, there are more than 11,000 enterprises specialising in the plastic industry, and their annual sales reach RMB46.5 billion (About US$7 billion). In 2008, the plastic consumption in Taizhou was more than 4 million tonnes, which accounts for nearly 10% of total consumption in China. A kingdom for plastic products 3 Taizhou is the largest production base for plastic products in China offering the widest array of items at the lowest prices. 3 Taizhou is also the largest plastic products distributing centre in China. 3 Taizhou is home to more than 2,000 mould manufacturers. Total output value produced by these manufacturers in 2008 reached RMB8.75 billion (about US$1.5 billion). The price of plastic moulds manufactured in Taizhou is 10% lower than the prices of moulds made in other countries.

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Pipe and profile machinery

Extrusion machinery expands applications The world plastic pipe market is forecast to reach 7.6 billion m by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts. Heavy infrastructure investments and the rise in construction activity in emerging markets will be the driving force behind advances in the global market. Meanwhile, extrusion equipment will post the strongest gains in the growth of processing machinery, due to the demand for pipes for the automotive and infrastructure sectors and profiles in the building industry.




Machinery makers cashing in on growth Besides the Indian market (see story on Rajoo-Bausano), China is also witnessing growth in CPVC processing, according to machine maker KraussMaffei Berstorff. It has sold several machines to Youli Holding Group, one of the largest CPVC producers in China, over the last ten years. The most recent order included a KMD 130-26 twin-screw extruder to produce pipes up to 800 mm and sheets, a new product line for Youli, says the firm. The extruder is able to switch production and has an output of 700 kg/hour for pipe production and 600 kg/hour for sheet production. The German firm has also sold several machines to Shanghai Chemical and Hangzhou Chemical, from its local production facility in Haiyan adding that it has recorded substantial orders for its twin-screw series for PVC and PO pipe and profile extrusion. The Chinaust Group, a leading pipe manufacturer in China, also ordered a complete pipe line to produce PE pipes up to a diameter of 400 mm at the start of this year while Zibo Jielin Plastic Pipe has taken delivery of a pipe machine for processing PBT from Lyondellbasell. KraussMaffei Berstorff has also recently introduced a complete system for producing TPV profiles for the automotive industry, applied by US-headquartered ExxonMobil Chemical in its Shanghai development centre for demonstration purposes. Another company that is seizing the opportunity in automotive growth is Italian machine maker Amut with its machinery for producing POM and PVDF pipes, with a diameter of 2.5 mm and thickness of 0.35 mm. These materials are particularly suitable for applications in the automotive sector due to the properties of stiffness, strength and dimensional stability, combined Amut’s latest machine caters to the production of small with low friction coefficient, giving the small hoses for the automotive pipes improved flow behaviour and wear/ industry chemical resistance. The latest line created by Amut for the European market is composed of its EA48 single-screw extruder, gear pump, calibration and cooling tanks with the possibility of temperature control, diameter/thickness gauging and adjusting system, haul-off, cutting unit and winder. At the end of the line an option is offered to cut the product in different lengths using a high-speed cutter, aided by an automated conveyor belt. Likewise, German firm Troester has developed a new technology for automatic wall thickness centering for hose production that comprises an optimised cross head, including a conventional manual die adjusted by screws in the front area that additionally allows for sensitive swivelling of the inner tools (mandrel tip, extrusion mandrel) by means of a hydraulic drive.

Pipe and profile machinery Contrary to conventional solutions where considerable force has to be applied hydraulically on to the outer die, the new design allows the mandrel tip to be positioned radially. As the hydraulic drive is positioned on the rear side of the head, away from the compound processing, a safe mechanical functioning of the adjustment unit is ensured, says the firm. US firm Milacron has expanded its TP parallel twin-screw extruders to include the TP75, a machine with a smaller, 75 mm screw diameter for the PVC pipe market. While previously small pipe/profile applications would have required a conical twin-screw, this production can be undertaken on the TP75, which includes five models for outputs of up to 2,267 kg/hour. Features include air and oil-cooled barrels, with optional gearbox oil quality monitoring and a tungsten screw/barrel. A longer 33:1 L/D option is also available Extruder for pipes and profiles After the twinEX twin-screw and the solEX single-screw extruder series for high-speed applications, come the uniEX single-screw extruders from Austrian firm Battenfeld-Cincinnati. Suitable for manufacturing both pipes and profiles, the series is available in four sizes for outputs from 50-500 kg/hour. A highlight is what the machine maker says is high specific output at every screw speed, due to the extruder’s feed zone. An additional benefit is the wide process window as well as the option of processing

Battenfeld-Cincinnati’s multi-purpose extruder for both pipes and profiles




a variety of materials thanks to specialised screw geometries. The extruder also favours high output at low melt temperatures. The processing units are mounted on a robust basic frame in a space-saving U configuration. The powerful drive system allows for melt pressures of up to 500 bar while maintenance-free AC motors keep energy consumption low. Other highlights are the uniform control cabinets and control units used for the first time in this series, allowing for easy operation and for the option of having several extruders of a co-extrusion line integrated in a single control system if desired. Machinery for flexible, umbilical pipes Today’s oil exploration is reaching into remote locations and harsh environments. One clear example was brought to the public’s attention in the fairly recent Gulf of Mexico catastrophe. Ultra deepwater wells are connected to platforms and production units via a network of flexible and umbilical pipes. Maillefer’s PFL extrusion systems are well suited for the production of flexible or umbilical and carcass pipes

The complex pipe constructions vary widely to include several functional layers, metallic reinforcements, builtin tubes and pipes, wires, cables or fibre optics. Flexible pipes serve to transport the crude oil and gas, while umbilical pipes are used to drive the deepwater well with power, hydraulics, control signals and communications, all circulating in the same package. Swiss firm Maillefer says its PFL extrusion systems are well suited for the production of flexible or umbilical pipes. Layers are applied through one or more extrusion passes. Standard line configurations include single or multiple layers; diameter of 50-630 mm; processing

of compounds like HDPE, PA, PVDF, PEX-b or TPE; and high flow extrusion with dimensional control. The system features easier forming tool set-ups, elimination of wear and dust from TIG grounding and improved weld surveillance. Foam fibre composite for profiles Italian firm Friul Filiere has developed a new technology for the extrusion of a new material known as Foam Fibre Composite (FFC), made up of 50% thermoplastics and 50% natural fibres. Formulated with stabilisers, lubricants and foaming agents, the homogeneous compound is ready for extrusion directly from dry-blend on extruding lines equipped with special singlescrew extruders or counter rotating twin-screw extruders. FFC can be used in the building sector, as a substitute for WPC, MDF or other thermoplastics. Similar to wood, FFC can be used for profile extrusion of windows, doors, skirting, fences and wall panels. The firm says it has received enquiries from the Southeast Asian market, especially Indonesia. At the PlastMilan exhibition in May, the firm had a live demonstration of FFC skirting profile extrusion and it has extended this to the production of decking profiles. The extrusion line for the latter consists of two Omega extruders and the Downstream Omega Evolution: the main extruder is a R63 conical twin-screw extruder, equipped with special screws and a cylinder. The co-extruder is an Omega S 60-25D single-screw which processes from granule, allowing for plasticisation of rigid PVC. The firm says its patented Downstream Omega Evolution also boasts energy savings of up to 40%.

Friul Filiere’s decking profile made from FFC and a rigid external film


Sustainable packaging continues to rise PRA’s second International Boutique Conference on Green Packaging held 15 June at BITEC, Thailand, examined the importance of bioplastics in creating more sustainable packaging solutions. Co-chairing this year’s programme were Yoesoef Santo of the Indonesian Packaging Federation and Prof. Dr Ho Chee Cheong of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia.

Subject and technical experts from the industry’s leading companies shared their knowledge in this year’s Green Packaging Conference in Bangkok, Thailand

Food shortages not a problem Emphasising the creation of a low carbon economy, UTAR’s Prof. Dr Ho Chee Cheong said that consumers, governments and industries need to work together for a safer and sustainable future. “Consumers need to exercise their rights to demand for low carbon products as well as correct information for the goods they purchase. Industries, meanwhile, should start applying low carbon production as well as promoting low carbon products. And governments must start listening to customers’ needs and provide certification and merits to companies that comply with government policies and requirements,” Ho explained. Moreover, he advocates a holistic approach to sustainability by minimising environmental impacts of a product over its Dr Ho Chee Cheong of the lifetime, starting University Tunku Abdul from design and Rahman expounded on manufacture, the role of green chemistry in distribution, sustainable development consumption, product use to disposal. For instance, in the design and manufacture stage, he advocates the use of safe and non-hazardous chemicals, observance of precautionary methods, utilisation of efficient materials and energy optimisation. Ho also said that bioplastics derived from food do not effect food shortages because 80% of the crops are meant for food production. “Less than 1% of corn is used to make plastics,” The conference garnered more participants this year than the previous one held in Indonesia he explained.




Packaging Dr Pipat Weerathaworn also presented TBIA’s four core areas of strategies to boost the bioplastics industry

Thailand’s bioplastics roadmap Still in its nascent stage, the bioplastics market in Southeast Asia is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 129.8% until 2015, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. Poised to become Asia’s bioplastics hub, Thailand’s abundant agricultural sector and large lactic acid manufacturing base, all of which are used for feedstocks, make the country one of Asia’s largest bioplastics producers along with Japan and China.The country is also regarded as a leading exporter of films, foil straps, synthetic fibres and sacks. “Our goal is to become the leader in the commercial application and development of bioplastics, contributing to the environmental protection by better waste and greenhouse gas emission management,” said Dr Pipat Weerathaworn, President of Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA) in his presentation. To achieve this goal, Weerathaworn shared TBIA’s roadmap. It comprises four strategies and covers feedstock preparation, technology creation, industry and business innovation and infrastructure construction. Weerathaworn said that to stabilise and increase productivity, tax relief for imported raw material and support for technology creation were provided. The organisation works with the Thailand Institute of Packaging Management for Sustainable Environment (TIPMSE) as well as the government, municipal offices, academia and food chain establishments. When it comes to infrastructure construction,




the bioplastics standard for compostable plastics has already been approved by assessment and registration body Din Certco. TBIA has also started a bioplastics project on Samet island in Rayong. Calling it a Green Island campaign, it is aiming to reduce environmental problems on the island’s national park by sorting out organic from plastic wastes and promoting the use of bioplastic bags. Green packaging in Indonesia “Green innovation has been one of the most striking trends. Companies are responding to external pressures and environmental regulations as well as consumers, civil society groups and investors,” Yoesoef Santo from the Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF) emphasised in his presentation. Yoesoef Santo of the IPF explained why companies should implement the green concept

He said that the country uses 800,000 tonnes/year of plastics for packaging. About 40% is utilised for flexible packaging with an estimated 4% to 8% growth per year. “In Jakarta, we produce about 7,000 tonnes of plastic waste materials and 15% of it are sachets. The country uses landfills and incinerators to manage this waste problem. To address this, the country’s Ministry of Environment is drafting government regulations for solid waste management,” explained Santo. The country is applying for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which includes prevention, minimisation and reuse of plastic materials and by following a packaging reduction model that advocates the balanced and minimal use of materials and

optimised packaging design to attain less environmental impact. According to Santo, if the country is to address this situation, a change of mindset is required because mere strict regulations are not enough. Contrary to popular belief, packaging does not generate waste, he stressed. “Packaging generates resources, hence we need more packaging solutions to help contribute to sustainability.” Furthermore, he believes that waste management should be tackled as a national economic issue and not a disposal problem. Chemicals, machinery enabling sustainability Among bioplastics’ enablers include chemistry, says Daniel Hebert, AP Regional Business Manager, Biodegradable Polymers at BASF. Asia is in the forefront of bioplastics technology with 60% of chemical production coming from this region and it is estimated that global production capacity of biopolymers will grow by 2015. According to the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, bio-PE will account for 26% or 450,000 tonnes, bio-PET for 17% or 90,000 tonnes and 13% or 216,000 tonnes will be accounted by PLA. Hebert said that most of these biopolymers will be used for consumer products (18%), bottles (15%), technical applications (14%), and agriculture (13%). He cites China as the biggest market for agricultural film in the world.

Daniel Hebert of BASF shared the market trends and outlook of biodegradable plastics

PackaginG In his presentation, Steve Post of Davis-Standard concluded that barrier screw is a stable choice for good PLA performance

In response to market needs, BASF has developed the Ecovio F film, which is biodegradable and compostable according to DIN EN 13432, and Ecoflex FS shrink film, which has 66% renewable content and enables potential energy savings due to its lower shrink oven temperature of less than 30°C. Aside from introducing the company’s solutions, Hebert explained the value of composting, which he says is a great source of plant nutrients because it increases soil workability and water holding capacity. ”It is also a low cost alternative to standard landfill cover and artificial soil amendments.” In a similar vein, extrusion machinery maker Davis-Standard’s Vice President for Cast Films, Steve Post, explained the remarkable energy reductions optimised extrusion machinery could provide. He said that manufacturers should look into their carbon footprint and start replacing power-guzzling equipment such as compressors, furnaces and machine tools for improved machinery designs. Zooming into biopolymers made from corn, switch grass and starch, Post explained the challenges in processing these materials. “Biopolymers are unstable with regards to the temperature and pressure and a great amount of optimisation is needed for this,” he said. To address this concern, the US firm has introduced machinery with a new screw design with barrel heat flux that enables melt stability and higher viscosity in PLA-based resins. Post said the dual thermocouple technology helps quantify the heating and cooling demands on the barrel. In addition, Post gave more tips on how to address processing challenges, including higher torque

and larger motor for extrusion coating applications, flexibility in die positioning and resin drying capability. Optimised and eco-friendly food packaging Optimised packaging is an essential component of a sustainable supply chain according to Dr Siriwan Tungsangprateep of the Thai Packaging Centre of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research. Her presentation covered the value proposition of an optimised packaging system for fruits. “Eco and universal package designs can play a significant role in the reduction of product waste,” said Tungsangprateep. She also said there is demand for applying technically-sound, robust best practices to develop functional, sustainable supply chains for products and their packaging.

Dr. Siriwan Tungsangprateep showed to the audience a plastic fruit tray ideal for storing peaches and kiwi fruits

Showing a plastic food tray to the audience, Tungsangprateep explained the benefits of a vacuum thermoformed-reusable tray. It is environmentally friendly because it allows for more packaging volume, plus the stackable food tray can help save on storage space. According to Tungsangprateep, the tray is able to realise 86% savings on materials, 40% increase in packing volume and 8% to 20% reduction on fruit losses. Despite the advances of technology, most of the packaging is neither renewable nor natural. To help support eco-friendly packaging, Dr Chinnawat

Srirojpinyo of PTT MCC Biochem explained the market potential of the firm’s bio-polybutylene succinate (PBS). The sugar-derived biodegradable polymer allows for flexibility, thermal stability, mechanical performance and heat resistance of up to 100°C. Moreover, it can be used in normal plastic fabrication plants. PBS can also be blended with other biodegradable materials to make it applicable for all kinds of plastic products. In terms of food contact, the material complies with the EU directives; is EN-13432 certified and passes Japan’s Green Plastic Mark and BPI’s Compostable Mark. Thai firm PTT set up a joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical to start up the 20,000 tonne/year-PBS facility and a 36,000 tonne/yearbio-succinic acid (BSA) facility. The company is expecting to start commercial operations by late 2014 Likewise, PolyOne Sustainable Solutions’s R&D Manager Will Li advocates the use of products and services that meet and respond to sustainability standards – renewability, recyclability, reusability, eco-conscious composition and resource efficiency. Introducing the US firm’s solutions for sustainability, Li spoke about bio-derived TPEs, masterbatch/additives as well as composting compliant colourants. He also highlighted the OnCap Light Management for film, bottles and sheets and for transparent resins like PET, PC and PS. Benefits include enhanced colour and appearance of the packaging as well as improved shelf life, made possible with the product’s absorption of harmful light to minimum levels, thereby maintaining the taste and nutritional value of the product. PolyOne’s Will Li delved into the company’s biomaterial solutions




Country Focus

Packaging industry to grow in the ASEAN region

The food, drink and pharmaceutical processing and packaging industry has certainly come a long way as highlighted in the ProPak Asia 2012 show held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 12-16 June. This year’s edition proved to be fitting for its 20th anniversary celebration as it was deemed the biggest ever with a 26% increase in size from last year, according to the organiser Bangkok Exhibition Services.




Whetting the appetite of the ASEAN region Over 1,500 participants from 40 different countries and 12 national pavilions from ten countries joined the show that covered over 30,000 sq m and occupied five halls at the BITEC. In terms of attendance, ProPak Asia attracted 35,696 trade visitors from 63 countries, with an increase of overseas attendees up 12% from last year. The top 12 Asian attendees came from Japan (13.13%), Singapore (11.47%), Malaysia (11.33%), China (9.16%), India (5.92%) and Korea (5.12%). The attendance is not surprising since the industry is expected to grow steadily with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. This blueprint will combine over 600 million people from ten ASEAN member nations and bring together a combined GDP of USD1.8 trillion (the AEC will turn the region into a leading production base and source of raw materials and labour; attracting more investors to build businesses in the region, by improving free flow of goods through elimination of tariffs, non-tariff barriers and rules of origin as well as facilitation of trade and customs integration. Amongst the sectors to be prioritised in this plan include plastic-based products, automotive and electronics. Putting faith in this development, Japan Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association aims to increase its export rate to over 10% by encouraging members to expand into other ASEAN countries. The country’s packaging machinery production volume stands at approximately US$5 billion while exports are only around US$380 million, constituting a mere 7% to 8% of the total figure. The plastic packaging sector will certainly benefit from this regional masterplan that empowers developing countries with demand expected to take off as more consumers seek out fresher goods. According to the Freedonia Group, world demand for food containers is forecast to increase 3.9% per year to US$124 billion in 2013, with global demand for food service disposables projected to grow by 5.4% per year to US$53.3 billion in 2015. Global demand for pharmaceutical packaging, meanwhile, is expected to rise 5.5% per year through 2015. Fast-forwarding bag and pouch production After recently establishing its new regional headquarters in Bangkok, next on the agenda for US-based Automated Packaging Systems, a maker of bag packaging systems, is setting up a facility in the country, said Cooper Tyo, Asia Pacific Sales Manager. The firm already has a facility in Mumbai, India, which it opened three years ago with its Indian joint venture partner Kris Automotive Packaging Systems. One of the machines being introduced to the region was the FAS SPrint Revolution sidepouch bagger for high-speed food packaging, operating at a speed of 900 in/minute and thus cutting down on idle time for packaging various food products, said Tyo. The firm has already sold 100 units in the US. It also unveiled its Autobag AB 180 Print-n-Pack bagging system that includes an inline thermal transfer printer for applying high-resolution graphics, text and barcodes directly on the bag, operating at speeds up to 80 bags/minute. A highlight is that changeovers are achieved in less than two minutes using genuine Autobag pre-opened bags on a roll, compared

Country Focus for expanding businesses and its robust construction is designed for high volume 24/7 production.

Automated Packaging’s Autobag system for bagging products allows for faster changeovers

to the usual form/fill/seal machines that require 30-minute changeovers, said Tyo. The firm also displayed its AirPouch FastWrap system, an on demand protective packaging system that produces bubbles and tubes used for wrapping, interleaving and block-and-brace applications. Filling and sealing pre-made pouches faster has been made possible by South Korea-based Leepack’s intermittent rotary machine. With up to 12 stations, the machine is designed for handling zipper, flat and stand-up pouches that are stored in a magazine. The machine picks up an empty pouch, transfers it to the grippers, opens it and fills it with products. The filled pouch is then heat sealed and cooled before being discharged. Various components such as auger filler, weighing machine, volumetric doser, paste doser or other special dosers can be added if necessary. Meanwhile, packaging technology provider Bosch Packaging Technology says that lowering the total cost of ownership is another benefit its Pack 111 wrapper offers to customers. Suited for wrapping biscuits, wafers, cakes, chocolates and other similar items, the system has a speed of up to 250 packs/minute. Moreover, the horizontal flow wrapper features quick changeovers, fast set-up times and minimal product wastages, says the German firm. The small overall footprint of the machine is also said to be ideal




Easy-to-use palletising and inspection solutions Making things easier and simpler is the focus of ABB Robotics, a supplier of industrial robots for the manufacturing sector, which was showing its PalletPack 460, a system for end-of-line palletising. The function package available includes integrated hardware with full documentation, reducing overall project costs, said Product Manager Klas Bengtsson. He also said that the PalletPack does not require any special robot programming as robot, grippers, safety and cell control PLCs, graphical HMI and software all come ready to plug-in products. It is available for either high-speed bag palletising or compact end-of-line palletising. Bengtsson also stated that programming times for the PalletPack can be reduced by 65%, compared to traditional methods, shortening ROI and reducing the time for robot palletising. Detecting colour and shade defects can prove tricky but thanks to a print inspection system by Futec Japan detection of previously unobservable faint streaks and unevenness in colour density is now possible. According to the company, this is made possible through the machine’s improved position correction stability that increases the accuracy when unpredictable shifts at the point of detection occur. Through the early detection of repeated and clustered defects, corrections in process control can be made. Four levels of action can be set depending on the classification of the defect. This allows for complete quality control and full analysis to continuously improve quality assurance. Technologies for efficiency in the packaging sector Hong Kong-based Global Star is the representative for China-based Guangdong Xing Lian Precise Machinery, a maker of moulds for PET beverage packaging, as well

as Unique, a maker of preform injection systems. Set up in 2006, Global Star is the exclusive representative for both companies in Asia. According to Jason Chan, General Manager of Global Star, business is growing with processors becoming more interested in technologies that allow for less use of materials without compromising quality. “We have a good customer base in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and it is growing in Indonesia and Pakistan, too. We also sell in Japan, a market that requires high specifications and standards,” he told PRA. He also said that the Unique machine boasts cycle times that are close to Western competitors, adding, “It is of an optimised design and function but costs up to 40% less than the Western counterparts.” The firm has sold 50 machines to bottlers/ converters of Coca-Cola in China.

Sidel’s Stack & Pack is a stackable PET bottle that offers space savings and reduced costs

French firm Sidel, meanwhile, presented the Stack & Pack, which is a stackable PET bottle with a deeper-than-usual concave indentation at the base of each bottle enabling efficient stacking. The neck of the bottom bottle fits into the base of the top bottle, reducing the required amount of stacking space and eliminating any need for interlayers. The packaging giant said once the bottle is filled and capped, a stretch sleeve is wrapped around to form a pack of six bottles. The compact stack enables ten layers instead of six to fit on a standard European pallet, increasing the number of bottles on a pallet by 40%. To be

Country Focus commercialised next year, Stack & Pack is suitable for sensitive products like juices, liquid dairy products and milk and addresses the needs of “all supply chain players”. The above product will cater to the bottled water business, which is still the biggest market for Sidel, according to Jean Pierre Guiberteau, Director of Business Development and Marketing, adding that the segment is expected to expand by 5.7%/year. He said that bottled water accounts for up to 70% of its market share in India and Indonesia. On a worldwide scale, the company sees PET to be the material of choice with glass trailing along and sees the need to ramp up capacities by as much as 8% with an emphasis on small range blow moulding machines as well as machines for cap production. Sharing the booth with Sidel was sister company Cermex, a packaging machine manufacturer that is part of the Tetra Laval Group. It recently acquired Newtec

Case Palletizing’s plant in France to strengthen its 3D expertise in case packing, shrink-wrapping and palletising. In addition to expanding its turnover and workforce, which will now reach EUR120 million and nearly 800 employees, the acquisition will also enable Cermex to create opportunities for synergies, said Nathalie Pereira, Marketing Manager. “We are an international company and in Asia, we have a subsidiary company in Thailand and business operations in India and China, where we started our facility in 2008. Our goal is to meet needs of the local markets with appropriate machines,” she added, emphasising an increasing need of automation as well as user-friendly features such as quick format changeover. The company’s clients include Unilever, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Nestle. Meanwhile, German firm Krones was showing its labeller that decorates containers with wraparound, reel-fed labels. It has a labelling station that cuts film or paper labels and then uses hot melt

Cermex showcased its honeycombed packs for collating products on shrink wrappers, allowing for savings and up to 20% more bottles per layer depending on the collation and configuration as well as a speed of 30 to 100 packs/minute and a format changeover time of around 15 minutes

to glue them to the containers. The feed roller’s speed can be adjusted to suit the label length, continually pulling the label web from the reel by the label web guider.

Injection Moulding Asia Industry News

3D printing registers doubledigit growth


dditive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, grew by 29.4% in 2011, to a total market size of US$1.7 billion worldwide, according to a new industry report from Wohlers Associates. The firm also said the additive manufacturing industry has grown in double digits for 15 of its 24 years but declined by 9% in 2009, because of the recession, rebounding in 2010 to grow 24.1% to US$1.3 billion. In 2011, sales of professional-grade industrial systems grew by 5.4% to 6,494 units but growth was strong, since the average selling price increased. Wohlers also said low-cost personal 3D printers have enjoyed a whopping growth of 289% to 23,265 units. Businesses are turning to additive manufacturing due to advances in metals and design tools, with 13 companies in Europe now making additive manufacturing systems. Since 2003, direct manufacturing, which uses additive manufacturing to make finished products and not just prototypes, has grown from zero to account 24% of the industry’s total revenues in 2011.

3D printing is growing

Husky plans new plant in Suzhou

Unique, Productive, Easy, and Reliable). The system is a combination of preform neck finish and lightweighted caps to solve several key problems associated with the operation of a cap on the neck of a PET bottle, with results previously not thought possible. Sustainability comes from the fact that the closure will be lighter than alternatives on the market today, reducing the processor’s consumption of raw materials and energy. It is unique because the patented solution provides benefits exclusively to those who adopt it. Furthermore, productivity is achieved as it reduces the time and cost of equipping production lines – when switching between containers for various types of products, including water, soft drinks and aseptically filled drinks, with little modifications required to lines for either preforms or closures (the latter produced with Sacmi’s compression process, which already offers reduced tooling times and high production speed). The firms also explain that the solution provides the consumer with a bottle that is easy to open. The guaranteed positive LB angle – the leak angle is greater than the bridgebreak angle, a feature not currently available on the market with closure solutions. And finally, it is reliable, because the special tamper evidence system provides an immediate breakage of the security strip, rendering the bottle secure, with no risk of blow-off.


o meet growing demand for its beverage packaging and hot runner systems, Canadian machine maker Husky Injection Molding Systems is planning to build a new facility in China. To be located at Suzhou New District, a greenfield site, the plant will be equipped with manufacturing equipment that will further increase local capacity, thereby improving customer support and shorten lead times. The site, to be built on a 53,000 sq m of land, is expected to be fully operational in 2014. The Suzhou facility is intended to complement Husky’s existing facilities, most notably the Shanghai Technical Centre. Opened as Husky’s Asia Pacific headquarters, the Shanghai location has also doubled its footprint since 2004, expanding in 2006 and again in 2009. The company has made other investments in China recently, opening another hot runner manufacturing facility in Shanghai last December.

Technology News

Italian tie-up for preforms/closures


aving combined their skills in the search of a new solution for PET preforms and closures, blow moulding machine maker Sipa (Zoppas Industries Group) and closure machine maker Sacmi have come up with Super (Sustainable,

Nextgen steam heating technology


K-based Gas Injection Worldwide (GIWW) has introduced a new generation Rapid Temperature Cycling (RTC) steam heating technology. The original system was launched in 2007, when a majority of applications were in the consumer electronics market (High Gloss Piano Black LCD TV casings). However, over the years, the technology has continued to grow into new application areas, especially in the automotive segment. The firm says its latest version offers improvements in terms of hardware design and functionality and process physics. The new system has an integrated electric steam generator (boiler) with the steam controller itself, thus enabling a device with a small footprint and full mobility for use on different injection moulding machines. However, the most important development is that the new system operates between 13 to 30 BarG steam pressures, resulting in higher steam temperatures of 210°C to 230°C, compared to the existing equipment (180°C), allowing for faster mould heating times and overall shorter cycle times. The firm says tests on production tooling at customers’ premises have shown a reduction of mould heating times by up to twothirds compared with a conventional (10 BarG) steam boiler.

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According to the company, the benefits of injection moulded parts achievable with RTC are considerable, enabling designers to downsize wall sections and achieve lightweighting.

CFRTP prepegs for ultralight cars


okyo University, along with composites suppliers Toray Industries, Mitsubishi Rayon, and Toyobo as well as moulder Takagi Seiko, has developed two types of carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) prepegs said to enable weight reduction of between 40% to70% in vehicles. The first is a discontinuous CF-reinforced isotropic prepreg and the second, a continuous CFreinforced prepreg. Both use PP (polypropylene) but PA (polyamide) can also be employed. The special surface-treated CF and modified resins developed for these prepregs provide high strength, energy absorption, formability and recyclability. A full impregnation method was developed to shorten the moulding cycle to a minute. Joining, repair and recycling technologies utilising the thermoplastic nature of the matrix materials were also developed. The discontinuous CF-reinforced isotropic prepreg is suitable for complex parts while the continuous CF-reinforced prepreg is for primary structure parts such as frames. The most notable feature is the ductile fracture behaviour without significant delamination. The tough nature not only brings a high energy absorption capacity but also provides more flexible manufacturing methods for composite structures. The material development phase has been completed and the project has proceeded to the application phase. Prototype design and trial manufacture are in progress. With these innovative technologies, it is estimated that 100 kg of CFRTP parts will equip 10 million passenger cars annually by

Technology News The company supplies both gas-assisted moulding and RTC technologies to manufacturers of consumer, electronics, automotive parts and furniture.

Automotive News 2030. Hence, the potential market demand for CF is estimated at 1 million tonnes by 2030. The team won a JEC Innovation Award for Automotive at the recent JEC Asia show in Singapore.

Mann + Hummel expands in China


erman automotive parts supplier Mann + Hummel GmbH has opened its fourth plant in Liuzhou, China, expanding into the southern region of the country to take advantage of business opportunities there. The facility undertakes injection moulding of air intake manifolds, engine cam covers and air cleaners which the company is supplying to SGM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture of China’s SAIC and USbased General Motors. SGM mostly produces trucks and minivans under the Wuling and Baojun brands but intends to expand into passenger vehicles. Mann + Hummel has three other plants in Shanghai, Jinan and Changchun and previously supplied SGM from Shanghai. The firm has set a goal of increasing its sales in Asia. It now generates 17% of its EUR2.5 billion in total annual sales in Asia but wants to increase that to 25% next year.

Mann+Hummel celebrates the opening of its Chinese plant

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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Industry

Speed to market mould cores, a chemical blowing agent and lightweight reinforcing fillers. To start in September, the project will also involve the participation of several other French companies: compound producer Sumika Polymer Compounds (a Sumitomo Chemical Group company; mould-maker Cero; polymer science research laboratory IMP at the University of Saint-Etienne; and Cemef, a research laboratory associated with CNRS, with expertise in process simulation. The firm is aiming for a total vehicle weight reduction of between 5 and 7 kg, resulting in carbon dioxide emissions falling by around 0.5-0.7g/km. The process is similar to one already used in Japan for production of parts used by such automotive companies as Honda and Toyota. However, that process has some limitations, especially in terms of surface finish, since the parts are made with talc-filled PP. The Plume process will use newly-developed compounds that contain little or no talc but contain new reinforcing fillers that help reduce part weight by as much as 7%. Based on PP impact copolymer, the new compounds boast good flow properties with melt flow index of over 50 g/10 minute. The material is injected into a mould with moving walls that are initially in the forward position. Once all the material has been injected and the skins of the part have solidified, the walls retract. This lowers the pressure in the mould cavity, and chemical blowing agent, until now dissolved in the melt, comes out of solution in the areas of the part that are still fluid to create a cellular structure that fills the newly created space. The foaming process on its own (disregarding compound formulation) enables a weight reduction in the part of at least 30%, compared to a conventional solid moulding. Cemef will look at melt rheology and its effects on the process and it will also carry out analysis of the microstructures created by the chemical foaming. IMPUJM will study the mechanical behaviour of parts. Mecaplast plans to trial the process on a tailgate interior trim and exterior beltline mouldings, which will be produced in a grained surface that will require no painting and another that will be paintable.

Plastics used in vehicles are expected to see tremendous growth in the next five years, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, driven by electric vehicle (EV) production, which is set to grow at a CAGR of over 80% through 2017 in Europe and the US. Meanwhile, resins continue to penetrate the automotive market, driven by lightweight issues. EV production to drive penetration rate he need to increase EV mileage ranges, paralleled by the lightweight advantage of plastics will drive penetration rates. EVs are typically characterised by huge batteries that add to the overall weight of the vehicle and affect the mileage. To compensate for the battery weight, metals are increasingly being substituted by plastics. In 2010, plastics in the EV markets in Europe and the US earned revenues of US$500,000. This is expected to reach US$73 million in 2017. The research firm estimates that just over 200 tonnes of plastics were used in the said applications in 2010 and this will grow to more than 23,600 tonnes in 2017. Although metals will remain the preferred material for crash-prone applications, plastics have huge potential in some of the minor, non-moving components such as energy recovery devices, cooling pipes, pumps, fans and casing materials. In line with this, German company Hella Group and Chinese automotive maker Beijing Automotive Industry (BAIC) are tying up to focus on lighting and electronics solutions for commercial vehicles. The partnership will optimise Hella’s production and development capacities, with the joint venture to produce lighting systems specially tailored to the Chinese market. In other news, BMW and Toyota Motor will develop a sports car together and cooperate in fuel cell technology, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies. Toyota is strong in powertrains for electric and hybrid cars while BMW can help Toyota reduce the weight of its cars, making them more fuel efficient. BMW has taken a leading role in carbon fibre, a lightweight yet expensive material that is mainly used in high-end sports cars.


Structure of a foamed part

Process to lightweight parts onaco-headquartered automotive component supplier Mecaplast believes it can cut the weight of interior and exterior trim parts by between 30 and 50% by using a newly patented injection moulding processing technology in combination with PP compounds. The firm is about to embark on a French government-sponsored project called Plume (French for Feather) to industrialise the process, which relies on a combination of moving


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Automotive Industry Materials pave the way for lightweight vehicles anufacturers of charger cables for EVs can now enjoy more costeffective alternatives to both insulation and jacketing with the use of Flexalloy PVC compounds from Teknor Apex. These are Flexalloy 89504-90, a 90 Shore A formulation used for insulation; and Flexalloy 9610-78 with Shore A hardness of 78 used for jacketing. The materials feature brittle points of -46 and 38°C, respectively, and are both rated for a maximum continuous operating temperature of 105°C. Another US firm DuPont has used a 35% glassfibre-reinforced Zytel nylon resin to produce an oil sump, thereby helping vehicle maker Scania meet new challenges with regard to noise and emissions as well as reducing the weight of the component by over 50% or 6 kg, versus its aluminium predecessor. The oil sump – the lower shell of the oil pan module – is produced in Sweden by the Plastal Group, a supplier of engineered Teknor Apex’s new compounds, plastics to the automotive industry, with the unlike standard flexible material, design and processing support of vinyl, are based on ultra high DuPont representatives in the country and molecular weight PVC resin, exhibiting improved toughness, across Europe and the input of prototype abrasion resistance and low specialists Idé-Pro of Skive, Denmark. Resin company Teijin Chemicals and Toyota temperature properties for EV charger cable use Gosei have developed Panlite AM-9937, said to enable product designs that were previously unachievable due to the limitations of conventional metal. The company plans to market the material for external automotive body parts and expects to achieve annual sales of EUR102.17 million by fiscal 2020. The material is a polymer alloy made of PC and polyester resin that reduces the weight of components by about 20% compared with metal. Recently, it has been adopted for the booth on the Lexus HS250h hybrid sedan. Elsewhere, the new BMW 3 series will get a makeover from interiors manufacturer Johnson Controls in its door panels, seat structures and instrument clusters that are made of a combination of natural fibres and PP that is 20% lighter than conventional components. Depending on the model, the driver’s seat structure is said to save up to 4 kg. The non-visible door panel elements for the BMW 3 Series sedan and sports wagon models are largely made of wood fibre directly moulded with PP, which makes the door panel lighter. A process called groove lamination is used to apply fabric or leather trim to the door panel, with the trim being joined in recesses, eliminating the need for an additional component and further reducing weight.


The oil sump module moulded from DuPont material and used by Swedish commercial vehicle maker Scania on its new Euro 6 engines is said to be the first for the truck market and only the second development for commercial production vehicles worldwide following the launch of the awardwinning Daimler oil pan module in 2008

Rubber Journal Asia Tyre News

Tyre makers set up in China


wedish Trelleborg Group has set up a new facility in Xingtai, Hebei, China, to manufacture radial and bias technology tyres for farming, forestry and agroindustrial applications while Taiwan-based tyre maker Kenda Rubber intends to invest US$333 million to set up a plant in Guangdong. Trelleborg has several manufacturing facilities in China, in Huizhou, Shanghai, Wuxi, Qingdao and Xingtai that manufacture marine systems, speciality components, industrial antivibration, agricultural tyres, printing solutions and precision seals. The firm has 1,500 employees in China and sales in 2011 amounted to nearly SEK1,100 million. Meanwhile, Kenda is acquiring 2.8 million sq m of land in Huizhou and intends to relocate its existing Shenzhen factory there. The plant will produce motorcycle and bicycle tyres and daily output is expected to reach 83,000 tyres by 2016. Kenda is also building another plant in Tianjin for passenger car radials by Q2 2013. The tyre maker is also looking to set up yet another passenger car radial factory, in either the US or China’s Sichuang or Wuhan Provinces.

Bridgestone constructing Vietnamese plant


ridgestone is investing US$575 million to build a tyre plant in Dinh Vu

ndia’s Apollo Tyres has set up a training centre for heavy and light commercial vehicle (CV) drivers in Ujjain City, Madhya Pradesh. In partnership with B-Able, a not-for-profit organisation, the focus of the centre will be on the dual areas of imparting a complete education to equip young aspirants with all aspects of road and vehicle safety and maintenance, along with promoting a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The latter stems from the fact that India has the second highest CV accident rate in the world because drivers push themselves to spend long hours on the road, neglecting basic rest and health needs. The Ujjain Centre will train 200 drivers/year.

With a GDP (per capita) of more than US$26,000 in 2011 and a rapidly growing population, Saudi Arabia’s tyre market is visibly one of the fastest growing in the Arab nations. Strong developments in roughly all the major automotive segments have infused a huge tyre demand in the country. A separate study by Research and Markets projected that demand for tyres and tubes is set to grow by 12% annually. Being the largest market in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia still imports to satiate its needs. It runs up almost US$800 million in imported tyre bills alone on a yearly basis, importing 13 million tyres/year and volumes are expected to keep on rising as consumer demand increases over the next few years.

Saudi tyre market to grow

Industry News

Apollo inaugurates training centre

Industrial Zone in northern Hai Phong, Vietnam. The facility, the biggest foreign investment in Hai Phong, is being built on a 1.02 million sq m lot and will have a capacity of 24,700 tyres / day. It will start up by 2014. Bridgestone recently also increased its production capacities at its Nong Khae plant in Thailand and Karawang plant in Indonesia. Regardless, the tyre maker determined that a new plant in Vietnam was necessary to respond to continuing growth and demand.


Michelin tyres to communicate at the Olympics


rench tyre maker Michelin will unveil its communicating tyre during the 30th Olympic Games in London. By combining a tyre pressure monitoring system and radio frequency identification chips, the tyre maker is enabling public transport operators in London to enhance the safety of tyres fitted on buses, thereby improving the mobility of both vehicles and transport users. When used with the RFID chips now integrated in Michelin X InCity tyres, the TPMS sensors not only make it possible to obtain tyre pressure and temperature data easily but also to ensure traceability that streamlines and secures monitoring as long as the tyre is used on the vehicle. To develop this technology, Michelin spent seven years on research, filed around 20 patents and drove some 50,000 tyres a total of 6 billion km in tests conducted around the world.


audi Arabian tyre sales are forecast to surge over US$10 billion by 2014, according to TechSci Research. The tyre sales have three major components: OEM, replacement and exports, including re-exports. The used car market was valued at more than US$800 million in 2010, which is the major replacement market boost factor. There has been a considerable increase in the assembly of truck tyre plants in the nation, which is the only factor catering to OEMs. Saudi Arabia’s tyre market is one of the largest in terms of both value and volume in the region with over 60 international brands already present in the market.

MRB to host rubber congress in Malaysia


he Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) will be hosting its inaugural International Rubber Technology and Economics Congress in Kuala Lumpur on the 10th and 11th October 2012. The Congress, to be held at the One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, will be a discussion forum to highlight the challenges and uncertainties in the rubber industry in 2013 and beyond. Paper presenters are from universities, research institutions, internationally and locally renowned companies

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as well as government agencies. Among these are Universite du Maine, France, Emory University Atlanta, US, Electronic Telecommunication Research Institute Korea, India Rubber Board, Indonesian Rubber Research Institute, PEMANDU and many more. The country’s ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will deliver the keynote address, “Vision for the Rubber Industry”; while Datuk Dr Salmiah Ahmad, Director General of MRB will present a paper on the Automatic Rubber Tapping System (ARTS), the latest innovation in latex harvesting technology. Three eminent professionals will discuss topics related to seismic rubber bearing. Dr Kamarudin Ab Malek will be discussing the technological aspects in the designing of seismic rubber bearing for the Second Penang Bridge; Dato’ Ir Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib on its planning and design; and Or Tan Teng, Managing Director, Doshin Rubber Products, on seismic rubber bearing in general. On the second day, sessions will run concurrently and cover the topics of Precision Transfer of Technology; Rubber Upstream Sector: Novel Approaches; Advancement and Sustainability of Rubber Downstream; Rubber Production: Relooking the Issues; Sustaining and Enhancing Growth and Direction and Market Prospects. For further information regarding this Congress, please contact the IRTEC Secretariat by email:

Toyo to focus on automotive sector

largest market for the firm in Asia, it is also eyeing India. This year, it opened its new Indian facility for rubber additives and release agents in Jhagadia, Gujarat, completing the transfer of production from Madurai in southern India. In South America, RheinChemie increased bladder production by 40% in Argentina and has a new bladder manufacturing plant under construction in Porto Feliz, Brazil, to manufacture 170,000 Rhenoshape curing bladders/year and Rhenogran predispersed, polymer-bound chemicals. This is all in line with the demand for bladders that is expected to grow parallel with global tyre production, which is expected to grow by 5% annually in the coming years, fuelled by the megatrend of mobility in the BRIC countries. The push for increased productivity in the tyre industry has also led to shorter tyre cure times by raising cure temperatures and diminishing bladder wall gauge. Both factors demand premium-quality high-performance bladders that can withstand these changes and maintain their uniformity. “We’re doing a lot of developments and our Rhenoshape curing bladders with semiconductive compounds can help meet those requirements,” said Negri, adding that the focus is also on sustainable development by making use of mainly renewable raw materials. During the interview, Negri explained how the targeted application of expertise in rubber and manufacturing technology can increase


ome November, Toyo Tire & Rubber will sell anti-vibration rubber for automotives in Thailand. The sector is positioned as a core product for the firm that has established three production plants in Japan and four overseas.

RheinChemie on course for growth in Asia


fter its back-to-back acquisitions of Darmex in Argentina and US-based Tire Curing Bladders (TCB) as well as the set-up of a new plant in Brazil, RheinChemie is continuing its campaign to become a total solutions provider to the tyre market, said Mario Negri, RheinChemie’s Director for Asia Pacific in an interview with PRA recently. Having marked its entry into the curing bladder business and extended its releasing agent business after acquiring Wacker Chemie’s tyre release agent business, the firm says it is the only global player offering release agents and bladders for tyre manufacturing from a single source. Now, the firm is exploring opportunities in Asia. With strong economic growth and surging middle class populations, emerging markets in Asia are rich hunting grounds for RheinChemie, a wholly owned subsidiary of speciality chemicals company Lanxess.“We’re reviewing all possibilities to extend our presence in Asia for our activities. It is clearly an important market for us,” said Negri. While China is still the

Industry News bladder service life while at the same time reducing vulcanisation times. Bladders are used in the manufacturing process of tyres. A non-vulcanised tyre is placed in a press and once it is shut, the internal pressure forces the tyre against the internal wall of the tyre mould. This is done using a butyl rubber bladder that is then inflated under high pressure and at high temperatures to give the tyre its final shape. Rhenoshape tyre curing bladders are also pre-treated with a special bladder coating, allowing easy release of the bladder from the mould. “Curing a tyre takes about 11 minutes and if we can save a minute for every tyre produced that would mean higher productivity and higher energy reductions,” said Negri, adding that these systems are being used in Asia, too. According to Negri, a growing number of tyre companies are outsourcing their bladder production to optimise productivity and take advantage of the high quality offered by bladder specialists. The size of the global bladder market is estimated at more than EUR300 million. “RheinChemie is maintaining its direction of a local supplier with global reach. As we set sites and gain capacities near our growing list of tyre customers to serve them locally, we’re also growing our portfolio, giving our customers a chance to source from us as well bladders for truck, ofthe-road and agricultural tyres, as well as building bladders,” he added.

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News

AXA invests in Italian rubber firm


XA Private Equity has bought an 82.4% stake in Italian rubber component manufacturer Novotema from private equity firm 3i Group. The latter acquired Novotema in 2003 for EUR24 million. As part of the transaction, Novotema’s management team acquired the 17.6% of the business that AXA does not have and will continue to manage the company after AXA’s investment. Headquartered in Milan, Novotema generates over half of its revenue in Germany. It designs and produces rubber components for applications in the automotive, medical, gas control and industrial sectors and its products include rubber components, membrane diaphragms, high-precision seals and gaskets.

China focus for Sibur and Synthomer


inopec and Russian petrochemicals group Sibur are setting up a joint venture to produce synthetic rubber in Shanghai. It will use patents and technologies from Sibur to produce nitrile butadiene rubber and isoprene rubber. Sinopec and Sibur have also set up a joint venture in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, to produce nitrile butadiene rubber. Through the joint venture, the companies are considering expanding Sibur’s current output from 42,000-56,000 tonnes/year.

due to the high demand from the tyre market, German firm BASF plans to build a plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium. The 155,000 tonne/yearplant is scheduled to start up during 2014. The investment amount will be in the “high double-digit million euro range.” The butadiene will be extracted from crude C4, a product from the steam cracker. BASF already operates a butadiene extraction plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with a capacity of 105,000 tonnes/year.

UK-headquartered synthetic dispersions and latices manufacturer Synthomer has started work on its technical centre for the Chinese market. The facility will be situated on 1,300 sq m in a technology park located in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai. The new facility will serve Synthomer´s growing team in China, housing both offices and application laboratories and will start operations in September.

Gevo to build plant in Malaysia


merican renewable chemicals and biofuels firm Gevo has inked a collaborative agreement with the Malaysian government’s East Coast Economic Region Development Council, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) and the Terengganu state government to build the world’s first bioisobutanol plant in Kerteh, Terengganu. It will invest EUR415,800 in the 60,000 tonne/ year bio-isobutanol plant. It is said that the global market size for bio-isobutanol is about EUR3.5 million a year. To be operational by 2015, the plant is expected to generate a cumulative gross national income of about EUR1.26 million by 2020 and provide about 200 jobs.

IRSG forecasts NR surplus


ingapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has forecast a surplus production of natural rubber (NR) in 2012. The group expects it to rise 7.8% to 11.8 million tonnes this year as consequence of new production available from trees planted in the mid-2000s. Global consumption, meanwhile, is expected to be at 11.7 million tonnes. Consequently, the deficit is estimated at 81,000 tonnes in 2012.

Technology News

Condom made of NRL

BASF to add on butadiene supply in Europe


S-based Vystar, the creator of Vytex natural rubber latex, and Ritex Gummiwarenfabrik, a German condom and


n view of the tight supply and high prices of butadiene,

lubricant manufacturer, have launched an ultra-thin condom made with Vytex. The latter is a patented, allnatural raw material that is said to reduce the total and antigenic proteins and other non-rubber particles found in NRL and is currently a base material in adhesives, gloves, balloons, cohesives and foams. The global condom market is projected to be worth US$6 billion by 2015 with anticipated sales of over 27 billion units and Europe representing 25% of the global market value. The new Ritex Silver-Light condom is specifically targeting the German, Austrian and Dutch markets.

Rubber conference highlights


t the recent German Rubber Conference (DKT) in Nuremberg, Lanxess’s subsidiary Rhein Chemie presented a new process known as iCOM for final integrated continuous mixing. According to the company, this makes the production process more cost-efficient. The quality of compound manufacture is ensured through iCOM analytics. Meanwhile, DuPont Performance Polymers presented its DuPont Vamac Ultra HT ethylene acrylic elastomers (AEM), which achieves continuous heat resistance up to 190°C, with peaks to 200°C. This coupled with improved mechanical properties makes it an ideal candidate for demanding automotive applications such as turbo hoses and air ducts in modern automotive engines.

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Lower temperature silicone process


ustrian machine maker Engel has widened the opportunities for multi-component technology with a new process for silicone vulcanisation at low temperatures, which it showcased at a symposium by producing wine bottle stoppers. Whereas conventional silicone rubbers require high temperatures for cross-linking, the new types vulcanise with exposure to light in the ultraviolet wavelength range at room temperature. This enables silicones to be combined with a wide range of thermoplastics via two-component and multicomponent injection moulding. Even temperature-sensitive materials such as PP can now be processed with silicone in a single step. Cavity inserts in the injection mould that are permeable to light are the prerequisite for UV vulcanisation. For this application, Austrian mould maker Elmet utilises translucent plastic inserts for UV light and integrates UV lamps into the mould for irradiation. Wine bottle stoppers were produced on a Victory 200/80 LIM injection moulding machine using an Elmet mould. PP is overmoulded with liquid silicone from Momentive Performance Materials with the irradiation time for the vulcanisation of the silicone components of around 20 seconds

New elastomer coating


S-based NuSil Technology, a specialist in silicone materials for the aerospace, aircraft and automotive industries, has launched R-2183, a low-viscosity silicone elastomer dispersed in xylene. The elastomer is said to retain elasticity at very low temperatures (down to -140°C) as well as resisting breakdown at elevated temperatures up to 300°C. It can be sprayed, knife coated or spin cast to create

Technology News a coating with a tear strength of 175 30.9 kN/m, a tensile strength of 10.7 MPa and an elongation of 800%. The material is optically clear, making it suitable for use as an encapsulant. It can also be heat-cured into a thin elastomeric film. The material is formulated as a two-part addition-cure silicone.

Using silicone foam to improve productivity


erched on a cup of cappuccino or a glass of beer, foam can be pleasing. But in a manufacturing process, foam can cause vessels to overflow, increasing maintenance costs and processing time and reducing production efficiency. Hence, it is in the interest of manufacturers to control foam, according to Dow Corning that proposes two methods: destroying it with a defoamer or preventing it with an antifoam product. In either case, products such as the firm’s Xiameter silicone foam control agents penetrate a foam bubble wall, spreading the liquid-gas interface and causing the bubble wall to become unstable and collapse. This can reduce production costs and improve overall efficiency in many industries around the world – from food processing to general industrial manufacturing. “Antifoam products should be formulated to have minimal impact – other than foam suppression. Generally, the smaller the amount of antifoam required, the less impact there will be on the product,” the US firm says, adding that this is one reason why silicone products are frequently the first choice for combating foam in industrial processes.

Rubber Journal Asia Natural Rubber

The future of natural rubber hinges on research During a roundtable discussion at the World Rubber Summit 2012 held on May 22 to 24 at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, organisational leaders from natural rubber-producing countries discussed matters affecting the supply of natural rubber. It was gleaned that yield improvement appeared to be the silver bullet, according to Lyn Cacha in this report.

Overview of the problems in the region y 2020, the world will have consumed 36.7 million tonnes of rubber and 16.4 million tonnes of it will be natural rubber, according to the latest figures from Singapore-based research body International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). By then, 91% of natural rubber will be supplied by Asia-Pacific countries. Yet, despite recent increased supply of latex, the total harvests of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for more than 60% of global production of natural rubber, has not come close to meeting the inexhaustible demand. Synthetic rubber, which is expected by some industry observers to augment natural rubber demand, has also its weaknesses. According to Dr Asril Sutan Amir, Chairman of the Indonesian Rubber Association (Gapkindo), synthetic rubber, which is a by-product of the oil industry, is also greatly affected by the supply and cost of petrol, global warming and socio-economics. On the contrary, D r P o n g s a k K e r d v o n g b u n d i t , Honorary President of the Thai Rubber Association perceives the two types of rubber as complementary while each has its different uses. He briefly enumerated some facts concerning the natural rubber industry in Thailand. “Firstly, no matter what the state of the economy is, demand and production of natural rubber will always go up. Secondly, there are no new plantations being planted because some countries have shifted to oil palm production and thirdly, there are less suitable planting areas in Laos and Myanmar. And lastly, 30% of the new plantations in northeast Thailand will fail because of premature tapping and unsuitable land.”


L-R: Dr Asril Sutan Amir, Chairman, Indonesia Rubber Association; Sheela Thomas, Chairman, Rubber Board of India; Dr Pongsak Kerdvongbundit, President, Thailand Rubber Association; Dato Aliasak Ambia, President, National Association of Smallholders in Malaysia

Thailand started planting rubber in the northeast about seven years ago, expanding from traditional planting areas in the south, which is running out of space. Currently, output from the northeast accounts for less than 10% of total national output, Pongsak said. “In the south, we can only replant, as there’s no available land for new plantations.” Thailand’s rubber production this year may total around 3.5 million tonnes as rains in the south, which represents 80% of local supplies, have disrupted tapping. The country produced 3.57 million tonnes last year, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Based on the world economy, volatility in demand and climate change, Sheela Thomas, Chairman of the Rubber Board of India (RBI), who has yet to round up capacity estimates for natural rubber demand for the coming years, said that in India, the erratic planting and replanting of rubber trees from 1997 to 2003 has also affected supply in the country. In India, there is a gap between the consumption and production of natural rubber. At present, the country produces 75,000 to 100,000 tonnes/year of natural rubber and imports 120,000 to 150,000 tonnes/year. Kerala accounts for the major share of the rubber production in the country. 5


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Rubber Journal Asia Natural Rubber Likewise, Malaysia has its own set of challenges to deal with, such as the shrinking acreage, labour shortages and low yields that are threatening production. According to Dato Aliasak Ambia, President of the National Association of Smallholders in Malaysia ( N A S H ) , rubber trees were p r e v i o u s l y grown in large plantations but now a majority of these trees in the country are grown by smallholding farmers. About 80% of these farmers own an average of 25,000 sq m each. “Most of Malaysia’s rubber plantations are located in Sabah and Sarawak. In the 1970s, 17 trillion sq m was allocated for rubber trees but has now shrunk to more or less 10 trillion sq m, which the government is trying to maintain,” he said. Farmers have been shifting to the more lucrative oil palm tree, which takes a shorter time to produce yields, compared with the seven years before a rubber tree can be tapped. Aside from declining latex production, Ambia cites the lack of skilled labourers as another disadvantage. Most of the operators are at their prime (between the ages of 50 to 60) while the younger generation has no inclination to carry on the business. In Thailand, labour shortage is also an issue. “The most important issue in Thailand now is labour since a large percentage of rubber workers in Thailand come from Myanmar. Now that Myanmar has opened up its country, these workers might choose to go back” Pongsak said. R&D developments and programmes o address the smallholder issue, Ambia said that the association has formed a cooperative movement to achieve Malaysia’s rubber development goals. Sixty-four cooperatives, supported by the government, were assigned to help take over the management of 247,000 smallholdings.


Focus is also currently being given to develop and plant high-yielding clones in Malaysia. Ambia commended Thailand for its success in this aspect. “As far as R&D is concerned, I think Thailand has done a very good job in producing clones.” To date, the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) has produced 2,006 clones, although some of these clones are not suitable for certain areas or types of soils.

Rubber Journal Asia Natural Rubber Improper planting of these clones could lead to branch snapping, and to a certain extent, trunk snapping. With the resources available, Ambia noted that smallholders need to be taught the correct way of using these clones. “Smallholder development and productivity through the transfer of technology is important.” He said that educating rubber smallholders on early diagnosis and prevention and control of the disease as well as paying special attention to both pre-planting and post-planting practices are essential. Likewise, Thomas expressed the same sentiments. To ensure quality at every stage of cultivation and harvesting, Thomas urged small and marginal growers to seek the help of rubber producers’ societies. “Improvement in the quality of rubber is essential for ensuring growth and sustainability of the Indian rubber plantation industry,” she said. Almost all the major tyre companies, such as Michelin and Bridgestone, have set up offices in India. Rubber farmers will be able to reap the benefits offered by the expanding market. According to Thomas, 2012 is the year of commercial rubber cultivation in India. Amongst the projects to help revolutionise the harvesting of rubber is Thomas’s recent announcement of a cash award of INR500,000 to those who could develop a mechanised rubber tapping device. The RBI is in search for a mechanised tapping knife that can be used by unskilled people. In collaboration with the inventor, the board will take up further research required for its development and commercialisation.

products. Is this a punishment we get?” he jested. “So we have to encourage them to plant more agricultural products including rubber by giving them a higher price for them to continue. They serve our food, they serve everything and we enjoy it, so give them back something,” he continued. Ambia added that end users should consistently do their best to ensure profits for the smallholders. “They (end-users) should go out and see how difficult it is to produce rubber.” Moreover, new initiatives should be carried out, such as the introduction of the latest technology to stimulate rubber production. “Smallholders need to raise capital and things have to change to sell rubber in a more innovative way,” he emphasised. Ambia cites Bridgestone’s attempts to a sustainable rubber economy as remarkable. The tyre maker, that was also present at the summit, has collaborative projects with smallholders in Japan, Indonesia and Cambodia. The projects have helped contribute to the livelihoods and preservation of biodiversity through activities that include donation of high-yielding clones and training on proper tapping and postharvesting methods. Recently, Bridgestone together with the Cambodia Rubber Research Institute and Japan’s Ministry of Economy helped construct and strengthen the qualifying certification in Cambodia. With this assistance, Cambodia has increased the number of approved agricultural projects. In addition, its potential for rubber cultivation, coupled with demand led to significant increase in foreign investments. Last year, it approved projects worth US$647 million. In a different vein, Thomas stressed that although research institutes may be ahead in terms of new discoveries, providing initial technical assistance is not enough. Providing further assistance like R&D to improve processes, material developments and anything that is commercially viable should be made accessible to smallholders, she said. At the end of the session, all the guest speakers acknowledged the need for rubber research organisations to exert a concerted effort to meet the challenges of the global rubber economy. It was concluded that if the region is to effectively realise the economic potential of its respective rubber industries, then government, research funders, universities and businesses should work in unison.

“New initiatives should be carried out, such as the introduction of the latest technology to stimulate rubber production”

Sustainable rubber economy he natural rubber industries in these countries have always had intertwining connections between the environment, the economy and the community. During the conference, guest speakers suggested some approaches to integrate an equation of solutions to downstream problems. Despite the different angles provided, ensuring rubber plantation smallholders are raking in big profits, following the rise in prices of the commodity, was the consensus of the discussion. Pongsak takes on a different angle through climate change. “Now there’s no more accurate weather forecast that is very important not only to the rubber planters but to all the agricultural


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2012 Events


10 - 12 AUGUST Sri Lanka Plast Venue: Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka Tel: +91 97890 95247 Email: Internet:

10 - 13 OCTOBER Plastics Philippines Venue: SMX Convention Centre, Pasay City, Philippines Tel: +632 750 8588 Fax: +632 750 8585 Email: nternet:

17 - 20 AUGUST Camboplas Venue: Diamond Island Convention & Exhibition Centre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: +886 2 2659 6000 Fax: +886 2 2659 7000 Email: Internet:

16 - 20 OCTOBER Fakuma Venue: Friedrichshafen Messegelande, Germany Tel: +49 (0)702 592 06 0 Fax: +49 (0)702 592 06 620 Email: Internet:

4 - 6 SEPTEMBER International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia Tel: +603 7727 3197 Fax: +603 7727 3191 Email: Internet:

18 - 20 OCTOBER AP Plas Venue: Binhai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Tianjin, China Tel: +86 10 6603 9351 Fax: +86 10 6606 7681 Email: Internet:

18-20 SEPTEMBER PU China Venue: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre, China Tel: +44 208 253 9625 Email: Internet:

24 - 27 October Vietnam Plas Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre Tel:+886 2 2659 6000 Fax: +886 2 2659 7000 Email: Internet:

21 - 25 SEPTEMBER Taipei Plas Taipei World Trade Centre Nangang Exhibition Hall, Taiwan Tel: +886 2 2725 5200 Fax: +886 2 2757 6245 Email: Internet:

1 - 3 NOVEMBER India Composites Show Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India Tel: +91 997 1600355 Fax: +91 120 4273922 Email: Internet:

22 - 25 SEPTEMBER China Pec Venue: Taizhou International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Zhejiang, China Tel: +86 576 8253 1122 Fax: +86 576 8253 1016 Email: Internet:

14 - 16 November Rubbertech China Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre, China Tel: +86 10 58650277 Fax: +86 10 58650288 Email: Internet:

5 - 8 OCTOBER Indplas Venue: Science City Ground, Kolkata, India Tel: +91 33 2217 5699 Fax: +91 33 2217 6005 Email: Internet:

21 - 24 November All Pack Indonesia Venue: Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 6345861 Fax: +62 21 634 0140 Email: Internet:

10 - 13 OCTOBER Propak Indonesia Venue: Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, Indonesia Tel: +62 21 316 2001 Fax: +62 21 316 1981 Email: Internet:

21 - 24 December Myanmar International Machinery Industrial Fair Venue: Tatmadaw Exhibition Fair Centre, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: +886 2 2659 6000 Fax: +886 2 2659 7000 Email: Internet:

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