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

業界新聞

綠 色 包 裝大 會 印尼揮灑“綠色” 調色板


contents 目 錄 R E G U L A R S 概要

4 Industry News 8 Materials News 12 業 界 新 聞

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13 綠印 色尼 包揮 裝灑“大綠會色: ”調 色 板 Focus – Malaysia’s 16 Country plastics sector is in a growth mode but its main export markets are facing challenging times, said exhibitors interviewed at the MPlas show in Kuala Lumpur

20 PRA’s Green Packaging conference

– the Asian 18 Composites composites sector is proving to be an exciting field, according to companies that exhibited at JEC Asia show in Singapore

Green Packaging – PRA 20 successfully kicked off its first Green Packaging conference, held alongside the P&R Indonesia show in Jakarta

22 market is experiencing an

Masterbatch – the plasticiser

exciting growth rate and this is egging on the use of phthalate-free solutions with one such offering coming from German company Lanxess

Supplements in this issue ….. Japanese machinery makers displayed their technology might at the recent IPF exhibition

……. Malaysia is aiming to regain the top position in the rubber market

Cover photo:

The focus in the automotive sector is on lightweight construction solutions and flame-retardant materials for electromobility, with various new materials being offered to vehicle makers to push the designs to greater heights. Photo courtesy of Lanxess

PRA

publlshed slnce 1985

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

F E A T U R E S 焦點內容

Shini is expanding its Indian facility



Volume 26, No 186

DECEMBER 2011

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

Permits ISSN 1360-1245

MICA (P) 134/08/2011 KDN PPS 1700/12/2011 (028142) Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd

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

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


News INDUSTRY

Bayer outlines extensive investments in Asia

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t the recent opening ceremony of its new toluene diisocyanate (TDI) facility in Shanghai, China, Germany-based Bayer outlined its plans for Asia including growing its sales in the region by 60% by 2015. China will be a main focus, accounting for EUR6

billion of the sales, of the total EUR11 billion expected. Management Board Chairman Marijn Dekkers says the company’s plan includes increasing production and improving distribution as well as investing in downstream support and research facilities. Bayer

The new TDI facility in Shanghai

will pump in a capital expenditure of EUR1.8 billion by 2015 into its healthcare, crop science and materials science sectors and will continue to increase its workforce in the region, which has hiked-up by 8% over the past one year. In 2010, Bayer achieved sales of EUR6.9 billion in Asia, including EUR2.9 billion in China. Apart from China, India is another focus market, with sales expected to grow from EUR0.5 billion last year to about EUR1 billion. Sales in Japan are planned to rise from EUR2 billion to EUR2.4 billion. The new TDI facility has a planned capacity of 250,000 tonnes/ year and is based on a new process technology that reduces solvent use by 80%, compared

with conventional plants of a similar size. It also lowers energy consumption by up to 60% and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60,000 tonnes/year. In addition, it cuts the investment costs for large-scale plants of this type by around 20%. Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has invested EUR2.1 billion in production facilities for all of its major products on the integrated site in Shanghai. The company intends to follow this first phase of investment with a second one. With demand for MDI expected to increase in China by 40% by 2015, BMS will spend a further EUR1 billion to expand its MDI capacity to 1 million tonnes/year. The investment also includes increasing polycarbonate (PC) capacity to 500,000 tonnes/year and building a new HDI line that will raise capacity by 50,000 tonnes/year.

Sabic reinforces compounding units globally

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abic Innovative Plastics has officially opened its speciality PP compounding operation at its Bay St. Louis manufacturing site in the US. It will supply PP compounds and Stamax long glass fibre-filled PP (LGFPP) composites mainly to the US automotive market. This is the second PP compounding facility to have been opened by Sabic over two years. It opened its Genk



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plant in Belgium last year. Said to be the largest greenfield PP compounding plant built in Europe, it supplies PP compounds to Europe and Stamax to Europe and Asia. Genk also houses an innovation centre with three pilot lines designed to speed the development cycle for new products and processes. In China, Sabic has signed an MOU with the Chongqing Commission to establish

an engineering resins compounding plant in Chongqing. The move supports the Chinese government’s 12th FiveYear Plan to expand into the country’s western region, which is already a hub for global computer, consumer electronics and automotive manufacturers. This is Sabic’s third Chinese engineering resins investment this year, following an MOU with Sinopec to

set up PC production in the country. To come on stream in 2013, the facility will have a capacity of 260,000 tonnes/year of PC, blends and other engineering resins. The second announcement were on investments in the new production lines for Sabic’s Lexan PC resins and films in both Shanghai and Nansha in 2012. This comes on the heels of a similar Lexan compounding expansion in Nansha late last year.


INDUSTRY NEWS

News In Brief Creation of TPU giant US-based plastics supplier Lubrizol will purchase Spanish thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) maker Merquinsa for an undisclosed sum. Lubrizol itself is a global leader of TPU selling its Estane brand of products. Privately-owned Merquinsa has 100 staff in Barcelona. Besides the US, Lubrizol makes TPUs in Belgium and China and the business, along with chlorinated PVC, accounted for almost 30% of its US$5.4 billion sales last year. Early this year, the firm was acquired by American billionaire Warren Buffet’s financial firm Berkshire Hathaway for US$9.7 billion. Lubrizol also purchased Noveon in 2004, Dow Chemical’s TPU business in 2008 and Nalco early this year. PMMA compounding expanded in China German plastics maker Evonik has doubled the production of its Plexiglas PMMA moulding compounding facility in Shanghai to 40,000 tonnes/ year. The facility, part of a world-scale EUR200 million methacrylate complex, was set up in 2008 to produce Plexiglas for the Chinese and Asian markets. The compounds are supplied to the automotive, electronics and the lighting sectors. This latest expansion of the PMMA plant will also cater to a growing demand in Europe. More EPS in Europe Another German supplier BASF plans to increase the production capacity of its insulation material Neopor (expandable polystyrene or EPS) in stages at its Ludwigshafen site by around 60,000 tonnes/year from this

year, to achieve full capacity by October 2013. The grey Neopor, which gets its colour from the addition of graphite, is an advanced version of Styropor, with improved insulating performances of up to 20% over the white EPS insulating material. This is the second increase in capacity within three years, to cater to the demand, particularly for use in external envelopes. Arkema wants out of vinyl French materials firm Arkema plans to focus on speciality chemicals and is paying Swiss Klesch Group EUR100 million to take over its European vinyl products business, which includes upstream (chlorine, caustic soda and PVC) and downstream activities (profiles, pipe and compounds). Klesch is a family-owned company specialising in industrial and commodity-related units with more than 3,000 staff in Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and the UK and a combined sales of US$6 billion. New TPE plant in Japan Japanese resins supplier Kuraray has opened its 5,000tonne/year facility for acrylic thermoplastic elastomers in Niigata. The facility was built after a pilot plant was constructed at the Kashima plant in 2004 to further market development. Ashland sells PVAC unit US-based Ashland is selling its polyvinyl acetate homopolymer and copolymer (PVAC) business to Celanese. The business had sales of US$45 million in 2010. The purchase price was not disclosed. To better support the transition, the products will be temporarily toll manufactured for Celanese.

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News INDUSTRY

Clariant puts in more focus on its Asian business

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witzerland-based speciality chemicals company Clariant has picked Singapore as its regional headquarters. Speaking to PRA at its official opening, Walter Mohr, Country President, said, “We assessed sites in Southeast Asia where Clariant is already represented and in the end settled on Singapore. With its industrial-friendly environment, intellectual property protection and skilled labour, it is an ideal point for us.” The company has a masterbatch unit in Singapore and is looking at tripling capacity by 2014, from the current 3,000 tonnes/year, said CEO Hariolf Kottmann during a press conference, adding that up to four new products would be added to the profile. “Pigments, additives and masterbatch are growing fast and our focus will be on these sectors.” Having recently increased capacity for its Exolit non-halogenated flame retardants at its German facility, the company is also assessing locations in Asia for either a stand-alone facility with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes/year of Exolit or introducing the product line at the Singapore facility, with both senior executives declining to confirm anything at this stage but to “stay tuned for more news on expansions!” The Singapore base currently employs 200 people and also houses the regional headquarters for Süd-Chemie, a Germany-based speciality chemicals company that



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Clariant acquired earlier this year. Having achieved 31.5% of its sales in Asia and the Middle East last year, Süd-Chemie is expected to give a further boost to Clariant’s Asian market share. In the last five years, Clariant’s sales in the region have grown from 17% to 22% in 2010, accounting for 35% of the company’s overall sales, and are expected to increase by 30% come 2015. At the same time, the company invested CHF200 million in China alone, its fastest growing market. The South Asian country of India, where the company has had a 40year presence, is another target focus. “We have a strong market share of 70% in India, with our pigment, leather and textile products,” said Kottmann, adding that the company would catch up with market growth over the next five years.

Kottmann also said that a key to Clariant’s growth is its innovation centres, the newest one being in Singapore. The company reorganised its R&D in 2009 separating applications from laboratories. “Traditionally, we used to do everything in Europe, but now we want to open R&D centres where the business is,” explained Kottmann. He went on to add, “We will assess several locations in Asia to set up new R&D centres. To give an example, we have invested EUR100 million in our Frankfurt facility. It is our clear intention to build a centre of this type in India, China or elsewhere in Asia and we will make a decision next year.” The Singapore office will also serve as the headquarters for Clariant’s Textile Chemicals business unit, which has been relocated from Switzerland. With more than 60% of global textile

production based in Asia, Clariant already generates 43% of its textile chemicals sales from the region. Simultaneously with the above launches, Clariant’s Industrial and Consumer Specialties (ICS) business unit opened its first ethoxylation plant in China. Located in Guangdong province, the 80,000-sq m plant is the company’s largest in Asia. It will manufacture 50,000 tonnes/year of surfactants and also features an autoclave laboratory to facilitate product development and customisation. All the above ties in with Clariant’s target to achieve CHF10 billion turnover by 2015. “We now have 12 business units and would like to add on two more in four years, one of which will be on industrial biotechnology,” said Kottmann, adding that the company may also decide to close down its non-performing units.

From left to right: Hariolf Kottmann (CEO, Clariant), Jörg Reding (Ambassador of Switzerland to Singapore), Tan Choon Sian (Deputy Managing Director, EDB), Walter Mohr (Country President Singapore, Clariant)


INDUSTRY NEWS

More investment in peroxides in China

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elgian company AkzoNobel will invest EUR45 million in a new dicumyl peroxide (DCP) plant at its Ningbo multi-site in China. The new facility will expand the company’s DCP capacity by 30% to 25,000 tonnes and allow for future expansion as the market continues to grow. Expected to be completed by 2014, it will be the fifth plant built on the multisite. DCP is widely used as a crosslinking agent for various polymers and copolymers.

The announcement coincides with the inauguration of one of AkzoNobel’s other Ningbo plants, which also manufactures organic peroxides like Perkadox 14 (used for different types of rubber and thermoplastics) and Trigonox 101 (used for rheology control of PP and synthetic rubbers). In addition, the Ningbo site currently produces chelates, ethylene amines and ethylene oxide. To date, AkzoNobel has invested EUR370 million in Ningbo.

PTT to enter the PU market

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ther companies taking a keen interest in the PU raw materials market are Swedish speciality chemicals firm Perstorp and Thai chemical giant PTT Global Chemical (PTT GC). The two companies plan to set up a joint venture to manufacture TDI and aliphatic (IPDI, HDI and derivatives) isocyanates for the PU industry. The planned joint venture includes Perstorp’s former coating additives unit, which has manufacturing sites in France and the US. PTT GC will retain 51% of the equity and Perstorp 49%. Apart from manufacturing, the

companies will also invest in R&D to improve operational efficiency and increase market offerings. Vanchai Tadadoltip, PTT GC’s Executive Vice-President of Specialty Chemicals, said the new set-up will provide a key strategic entry point for the company to further diversify its product portfolio into speciality chemicals. PTT GC is the chemical flagship of PTT Group that has an upstream business with petrochemical capacity of 8.2 million tonnes/year and downstream business that includes polymers and bioplastics.

Shini expands facility in India

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uxiliary equipment manufacturer Shini is expanding the capacity of its manufacturing facility in India, through an investment of US$4 million. The Taiwanese company has purchased a 16,000 sq m plot of land in Pune and expects to build a 7,200-sq m facility by 2012. Said a spokesperson, “We have been working on providing better service and extending our capacity to cater to the needs of our customers right after setting foot in suburbia Mumbai in 2009.” The company expects its capacity to increase

to 300-400 types of auxiliary equipment for various kinds of machines. “With the huge population and internal demand, India has a promising market for almost all industries. For the plastics industry, it is even more so as its growth is always a lot higher than others. Over the past two years, Shini has benefited significantly from the market and has kept on growing exponentially. It is foreseeable that we will be able to provide more prompt and up to the mark support to our customers and grow even faster after the new factory starts,” added the spokesperson.


News

GREEN MATERIALS

Strengthening portfolios The bioplastics market is a hive of activity with major suppliers like Arkema, Dow Chemical, Mitsui, Lanxess, BioAmber, Myriant, Sojitz and M&G beefing up their operations through joint ventures, tie-ups and acquisitions. Meanwhile, Toray has announced the world’s first biobased PET fibre. Acquisitions to add on to product profiles French chemical supplier Arkema is acquiring two Chinese companies Hipro Polymers, a producer o f b i o s o u r c e d p o l y a m i d e ( PA ) 1 0 . 1 0 , a n d C a s d a Biomaterials, a producer of castor oil-derived sebacic acid that is used to manufacture PA 10.10. This will not only boost Arkema’s position in China but also allow it to continue its expansion into the speciality PA sector. Both acquisitions are consistent with Arkema’s strategy to develop performance products as well as the programme presented by the company last year to acquire around EUR1 billion of sales. Both companies report aggregate sales estimated at US$230 million for 2011 and employ 750 people on two sites in China. The acquisition price is based on an enterprise value of US$365 million for 100% of the capital of both companies, which are predominantly owned by a joint venture between privately owned Chinese speciality chemical company Feixiang Chemicals and US-based asset manager Bain Capital. Arkema says adding on Hipro’s PA10.10 to its portfolio will strengthen its position in speciality biosourced PAs (15 to 20% expected annual growth rate) and make it the only chemical manufacturer to offer a full range of long chain PA 10, 11 and 12. In anticipation of the rapid development expected over the next few years, Hipro’s facility, based in Zhangjiagang outside of Shanghai, recently benefited from new investments to triple its production capacity. The acquisition of Casda Biomaterials, will also allow Arkema to benefit from sebacic acid integrated feedstock for the production of PA10.10 and to supply diversified markets of lubricants, plasticisers and corrosioninhibiting additives as well as the fast-growing biosourced and biodegradable copolymer market. Casda’s facility is located in Hengshui, outside Beijing. Elsewhere in the Netherlands, Rodenburg Biopolymers, the maker of potato starch-based Solanyl bioplastic compounds, has purchased another Dutch supplier of biodegradable polymers Optimum. Terms were not disclosed. Both products were developed together with Germany-based chemical firm Wacker Chemie. The biodegradable biopolymers fit into conventional production processes and together are able to serve the converting and compounding markets alike. Family-owned Rodenburg Biopolymers, which has subsidiaries in Canada and Brazil, launched its Solanyl product in 2004. It is suitable for injection/blow moulding, sheet extrusion and thermoforming. It is sold as a



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compound through IMCD Plastics, a Dutch distribution firm. Meanwhile, Optimum’s FlourPlast is sold as a precompound system. Compounders use the material to make their own bioplastic formulations through a modular building block system. Tie-ups to further the bio-succinic process In other news, German speciality chemical supplier Lanxess will produce phthalate-free plasticisers from biobased succinic acid from 2012 onwards, in a tie-up with US company BioAmber. Lanxess says the global market for phthalate-free plasticisers is currently estimated at EUR1.3 billion and a growth rate of 7% a year. As a result of legal initiatives, demand for phthalate-free plasticisers is growing in markets such as the US, Western Europe and Japan. Minnesota-based BioAmber produces succinic acid through the fermentation process using renewable raw materials, which it says consumes less energy than the production of succinic acid using fossil fuels. In the future, the company plans to use waste from the agriculture industry and sugarcane processing as starting materials. The company has a 3,000-tonne/year capacity plant in France and will add a further 17,000 tonnes of capacity from 2013 with a new facility to be built in Ontario, Canada, adjacent to Lanxess’s site there. BioAmber is also planning to build another plant in Thailand in a joint venture with Mitsui, while a third plant is in the offing in the US or Brazil, it said recently in an IPO filing. BioAmber is hoping to raise as much as US$150 million in the IPO. Since late 2008, it has raised about US$75 million in funding from investors including Mitsui, Soffinova Partners of Paris and Canada-based Cliffton Group. Meanwhile, US-based Myriant and Japan’s Sojitz are creating a sales and marketing partnership to distribute bio-based succinic acid in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan. The two firms said they will sell the material in that region for use in polyurethanes, plasticisers, polymers and solvents. The deal will strategise on Myriant’s succinic acid manufacturing platform and Sojitz’s strong Asian market presence with over 25 sales offices across the region. Largest biopolymer facility takes off In other news, US-based Dow Chemical and Japanese chemical supplier Mitsui have secured the necessary governmental regulatory approvals and completed the


GREEN MATERIALS NEWS

formation of a previously announced 50:50 joint venture, making Mitsui a 50% equity interest partner in Dow’s operation in Santa Vitória, Brazil. This represents the world’s largest biopolymers plant and Dow’s largest investment in Brazil. The initial scope of the joint venture includes production of sugar cane-derived ethanol for use as a renewable feedstock source. The facility in Santa Vitória is proceeding according to schedule, with operations expected to commence in the second quarter of 2013. New company to produce bio-ethanol Italy-based Gruppo Mossi and Ghisolfi (M&G), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Chemtex, has formed a joint venture with private investment firm TPG Capital to license Chemtex’s Prosea technology into the global marketplace. Prosea enables production of fermentable sugars from cellulosic biomass that can then be converted into bio-ethanol and/or other chemical products and intermediates. TPG and M&G are investing a capital of EUR250 million into the company known as Beta Renewables, in which M&G will hold a majority stake. M&G will transfer to Beta Renewables the pilot plant in Tortona, Italy, and the 40-kilotonne/year industrial scale cellulosic ethanol plant currently being constructed in Crescentino, Italy. The plant is scheduled for start-up in 2012 and is said to be the first industrial facility in the world producing second generation bio-ethanol. Though Beta Renewables will initially focus on biofuels, it will continue to work with Chemtex on several projects. The companies believe that Prosea has a twoyear competitive edge over its competitors. First biobased PET fibre J a p a n e s e c o m p a n y To r a y I n d u s t r i e s s a y s i t h a s succeeded in producing laboratory-scale samples of a 100% renewable biobased PET fibre by using US-based renewable materials company Gevo’s isobutanol-derived paraxylene. The companies are planning to establish commercial-scale operations for the bio-paraxylene, targeting pilot production next year and commercial production by 2014. Gevo is also in discussions with a third party for a bio-paraxylene joint development agreement. Toray says it used terephthalic acid synthesised from Gevo’s bio-paraxylene and commercially available renewable mono ethylene glycol (MEG) as raw materials and produced the PET samples by applying a new technology and PET polymerisation (PET is usually made from 30% MEG and 70% PTA - purified terepthalic acid). Toray, which says the biobased PET has exhibited properties equivalent to petrochemical-based PET in laboratory conditions, claims its material is the first fully renewable PET fibre in the world. The company says it was driven by the 40 million-tonne/year polyester fibre market (for which PET is the source) to produce the new material. Toray is also involved in PLA-based plastic developments. ◆


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新聞 業 界

左起: Hariolf Kottmann (首席執行員,Clariant), Jörg Reding (瑞士駐新加坡大使), Tan Choon Sian (副董事經理,EDB), Walter Mohr (新加坡國家總裁,Clariant)

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綠色包裝大會

印尼揮灑“綠色”調色板 PRA 有史以來的第一次綠色包裝大會已於 11 月 17 日連同印尼塑料及橡膠展在印尼的雅 加達國際博覽中心 Kemayoran 一起舉行。它成功地吸引來自日本、印尼、中國及大馬 的 68 位代表參與其盛,並且獲得七個重要的工業和機构領導者作演示。來自代表們的 初步審查顯得非常積極,很多代表指出大會擁有非常高素質的演講、小組討論和演示。 生物過程持續進行 大會主席兼印尼包裝聯合會的主席 Yoesoef Santo 於 開幕儀式上致詞時表示,“在致力協助國家擺脫較低 層次發展不足的過程中,我們需 要減輕對環境的負擔。不過,在 開始這項行動前,我們要做的第 一件事就是立法。” 這 位 自 1978 年 起 就 在 A P I N D O( 印 尼 僱 主 協 會 ) 、 AFPI( 聯 合 會 塑 料 工 業 協 會 ) 及 Inaplas( 芳 烴 、 烯 烴 及 塑 料協會)等協會積極活動的業 界忠實支持者也指出,該國於 Yoesoef Santo,印尼包裝 2008 年開始推行的立法工作目 聯合會主席 前仍在持續中。“它需要所有 相關利益者的積極參與,從原材料生產企業、製造家 庭用品的轉換公司、技術和包裝項目,以及諸如食 品、化妝品和製藥行業等項目的用戶到消費者。” Lanxess 的 BU 功 能 性 化 學 品 部 門 的 銷 售 總 監 Chok Hak Leong 在大會上指出,對環境和健康的關 注是推動增塑劑市場的一股主要動力。它顯示了在消 費者共識的帶動下,全球市場正進行結构性的變化, 朝符合標準產品的方向發展。他說這一點特別重要, 因為製造包裝的軟質聚氯乙烯佔了高達 90% 的全球 增塑劑需求量。

鑒於鄰苯二甲酸增塑劑逐漸失去市場份額,他 證實一些產品可能很快因為監管措施而被完全替代。 因 此 , 德 國 公 司 Lanxess 為 食 品 包 裝 業 提 供 不 含 鄰 苯二甲酸的增塑劑作為替代,幫助確保食品容器的安 全性。Chok 指出,Lanxess 遵守監管條例,不含鄰 苯 二 甲 酸 的 增 塑 劑 有 Adimoll DO、 Adimoll AGF、 Ultramoll III 和 Ultramoll IV。 這為下一位主講者,巴斯夫東南亞,特種塑料, 區域主管 Tobias Haber 在其“永續有機廢物管理”演 講中提供一個非常適合的背景。Haber 指出,這家德 國化學公司不支持“漂綠”行為,反之了解何謂“生 物”這個字眼更為重要。 巴斯夫公司對可持續發展的解決方案是涉及整 個生產鏈。因此,Haber 談到有關使用巴斯夫的堆肥 樹脂 Ecovio 來製造可充填有機廢物的塑料袋,它在 工業堆肥 4 個星期內即可生物降解,而不是採用目前 的丟棄於垃圾填埋場和焚燒處理的做法。據說採用 Ecovio 製造的垃圾箱襯墊也較堅固和耐撕裂,即使裡 面裝的是潮濕的垃圾。 該公司目前已在德國、加拿大、澳洲及 泰國的堆肥廠設置了試點項目以測試此概念。 Haber 說,“Ecovio 的可堆肥程度極為關鍵,因為其 材料部份是由稱為 Ecoflex FS 的石油基可堆肥塑料和 玉米原料的 PLA 組成。”

拒絕漂綠行為

BASF SE 的 Tobias Haber 針對“漂綠”行動提出看法

按 照 先 前 演 講 者 的 提 示 , 印 尼 的 母 粒 生 產 商 Inter Aneka Lestari Kimia的 Asmu Wahyu Saptorahardjo 在演講中提到全球對不 可循環回收的用後即棄塑料袋的關注。Asmu 也對羰 基可降解塑料及它有時可能被誤解為氧化生物降解兩 者之間的差異作出進一步的說明。他特別指出,“雖 然這種方法可讓塑料回到環境,但是這些產品並不 是 生 物 降 解 , 相 反 的 它 們 含 有 15% 可 循 環 回 收 的 材料。” 他也提到該公司的澱粉基 Enviplast 聚合物,這 MARCH 2010 PRAPRA DECEMBER 2011

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綠 色 包 裝 大 會

種可完全生物降解的樹脂具有相等於環保特徵的特性 與質量。其特點包括可燃燒性、只留下灰燼、溶解於 熱 水 中 , 以 及 可 在 120 天 內 生 物 降 解 ( 在 自 然 情 況 下)。 然而,為何我們需要再循環回收或使用生物降 解 塑 料 呢 ?《 R e s p e c t s 》 雜 誌 駐 印 尼 的 副 編 輯 兼 PRA 的管理專欄撰稿人 Robert Wrighton 指出,綠色 包裝絕對是個很好的商業意識。“您需要一個狀況良 好的地球來運作,”他精闢的說出了其中的觀點! 他也指出,整個綠色行動面對缺少共同認可的定 義,並建議把“綠色”定義為對人類或地球造成最少 傷害的有益活動。

她也指出,包裝行業裡不同的定義也引起了混 淆。她進一步的說道,“有生物基、可以更新及可堆 肥包裝,然後再有石油基包裝,提供不同的可持續性 特徵。” 提議制定法規將有利於回收工作及增加塑料垃圾 的收集量。Theresia 展示了主要及次要塑料材料的樣 本,這些樣本均附有編碼和顯示符號,從而提高它們 的處理效率。她重申,“簡易的流程對再回收或重複 使用產品作出貢獻,縮短流程時間,減少浪費和阻止 回收工業面對收入損失。” Theresia 也說,印尼政府及塑料領域必須聯手合 作,通過實施法規制度來確保減少、再使用及再循環 的工作做得盡善盡美。

綠色包裝大趨勢

大會獲得來自亞洲代表們的熱烈參與

Wrighton 也 置 疑 減 少 、 再 使 用 及 再 循 環 的 應 用。他問道,“您能減少使用包裝嗎?您能設計可重 複使用的包裝嗎?您的包裝可以再循環回收嗎?”這 對塑料工業是一項挑戰,也可能是一項基準。至於為 什麼應使用綠色包裝,Wrighton 表示它可增加盈利, 促使個人積極地參與和回饋社會,以及最終使一家公 司在競爭中領先其餘。

業界要求的法規 在印尼除了缺乏立法,塑料專家兼聚合物業者, Theresia Indrawanti Pudyanto 強 調 說 , polymers practitioner 該行業也需要一個包裝法規來方便回收過 程。她一開始就提到顏色“綠色”不是用來定義或確 定塑料材料,而是該項目的類型、製造方法及材料。 她表示,全球關注自然和天然資源的問題為回 收工業帶來不公平的劣勢,並挑戰其可持續性。她補 充說,“東南亞有許多國家已經擁有蓬勃發展的回收 工業。為了履行他們的企業社會責任 (CSR),塑料工 業應協助及緩解他們的產品在生命週期結束時的程序 結构。” 14

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全球趨勢,區域趨勢, 綠色趨勢 — 這些都只 是時髦的詞語嗎?來 自印尼工藝研究所的 Aniek Handayani 表示, 工業發展趨勢確實存在! 她指出,在包裝領域,亞 太區將取得高於平均水平 的收益和繼續執最大區域 市場之牛耳,這與其大量 的食品和飲料業有關。整 體而言,亞洲將看到最快 速的增長勢頭,尤其是在 來自印尼工藝研究所的 Aniek Handayani 印度、中國和印尼。 在機械領域,總部設在意大利的擠出機械供應商 Macchi 強調,最新的發展趨勢是微分層技術將成為 降低成本和改良產品的趨勢制定者。根據該公司的亞 洲駐店經理 Flavio Sesia,目前共有 15 個商業規模的 納米層拉伸薄膜生產線在運作或處於各個調試階段。 Flavio 告訴與會者有關該公司的概念及技術差異 在經濟方面能帶來更好的利潤,以及推出一種有助降 低拉伸薄膜生產成本的新型流延薄膜生產線。 建議透過使用合適的機械來達到節省的效果,他 說這可在不影響最終產品的物理性質情況下採用較便 宜的材料。 Flavio 也 指 出 , 西 歐 使 用 無 芯 捲 筒 正 逐 步 的 增 加。他還表示,其他外來因素顯著地帶動使用無芯 薄膜的路線,例如高昂的填埋區收費和對產生廢物 徵稅。他總結說,“隨著知識及教育水平的提高, 最終用戶將對可以證實改善環境的事物作出改變的 要求。” ◆


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Country Focus

Malaysia to beef up its technical prowess Malaysia’s export oriented plastics sector is under pressure as a result of the challenging business environments being experienced by some of its export markets in the US and Europe, as well as from emerging countries, says Angelica Buan, who spoke to exhibitors at the MPlas event, held from 16-19 November in Kuala Lumpur.

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t a press conference held at MPlas, Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association’s President Lim Kok Boon noted that the industry (with 1.550 manufacturers employing 99,000 workers) had grown 18% a year since 2009. It recorded a sales value of RM15.8 billion in 2010, an increase of 8.2%, compared with RM14.6 billion in 2009. The total exports of plastic products amounted to RM16.1 billion in 2010, an increase of 19.8% compared with 2009 while the turnover grew by 57% both in 2008 and 2009; increasing to 58.6% in 2010. “But this year, exports will be slightly below last year, due to the slow down in Europe, Japan and the US,” said Lim, adding that the country is now increasing its exports into China, given the consistency and quality of MNCs operating in China. Lim also said the local industry can remain competitive by innovating. “There is a strong emphasis now on developing new technologies, enabling transfer of technology and training of manpower.” The latter is being addressed by MPMA’s Talent Development Programme (TDP), which has received a RM3 million grant from the government. It will be used to brush up workers’ skills in technical applications and MPMA is working with local industrial research agency SIRIM to kick start the training programme. Input of technology lacking The TDP is falling in place at the right time, given the lack of local machine manufacturers and technology in Malaysia. Locally-owned, Hong Kong-based converting machinery producer Limax International’s Director KS Teo noted that the new machine on display was a result of a South AfricanUS-European technology input, though built at its factory in Selangor. “This scenario of having non-locally designed machines is common because local manufacturers either import their machines or link up with foreign companies,” he said. The GAPA servodriven-converting machine for bottom seal bags boasts a speed of 200 cycles/minute but is capable of running higher speeds, claimed Teo. He also explained that GAPA is so efficient that one unit could outperform three or four slower machines! “Using a GAPA is logical: it saves on space as well as cost and labour,” he further explained. New market opportunities for some Meanwhile, local masterbatch producer Colour Pigment

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said its aim in participating in the show was to explore market opportunities. Victor Sam, QA Engineer, said the company wanted to expand its market share not only in Malaysia but also outside the Asian region, particularly in the Middle East and Africa to add on to its current export roster that includes Vietnam, Bangladesh, Singapore, India and Bahrain. “CP has also been exporting to Indonesia for 25 years now,” he said, adding that the company has an output of 24,000 tonnes/year with its six production lines. Another masterbatch producer from India JKP Masterbatch was also seeking out distribution opportunities in Malaysia. The company currently exports various grades of masterbatch and additives to the US, Middle East and other parts of Asia. At MPlas, the 16-year old New Delhibased company exhibited its Polycoat compound, which is used to improve bond strength in fabrics while being easy on machines, according to the company’s Director, Devinder Pal Singh. “Besides quality and timely delivery, we have invested in state-of-the-art equipment and a 100strong skilled team at our manufacturing units in Haryana and Uttranchal,“ said Singh. Switzerland-based temperature controller producer Tool-Temp and US auxiliary equipment supplier Maguire are nurturing their presence in Malaysia because of the country's proximity to Singapore, where both have their regional headquarters, the companies’ Regional Manager Joseph Tan said. However, local demand for Tool-Temp’s controllers has been passive compared to Maguire. “To date, we have sold about 45 low pressure dryers in Malaysia,” he said. Competing effectively Another foreign exhibitor, Australia-based NichePlas featured its PurgeX purging material, which is blended in with a small amount of the polymer and fed into a starved screw/barrel in moulding and extrusion machines to clean metal components and purge colours and polymers, removing carbon build-up and black specks, amongst others. Charles Hrubos, Director of NichePlas, expects a newer purging material to give the company an edge in the competitive market


Country Focus

Represented in Asia by Enge Plas Automation, the company has been selling its products for seven years but has faced difficult market penetration due to competitors, said Charles Hrubos, Director of NichePlas, adding that the business was acquired from another Australian company Grange Products in 2009. Recognising limitations of the granular PurgeX, especially in accumulator or gear pump-driven machines, the company is working on a new chemical grade. “This new development should address usage issues effectively, although costs and performances have to be studied further,” he said. Meanwhile, hoping to revive its presence in the Malaysian market is Indian injection moulding machinery maker Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Plastics Machinery, which had previously sold machines in its venture with Sumitomo Demag, said SN Swamy, Manager for International Sales. He said that the company had appointed Singapore-based Apex Engineering as its agent but is “also looking for agents in Thailand and Vietnam.” As for the Indian market, Swamy lamented that the high interest rate of 10% is affecting the purchase of machines and consequently production capacity. Furthermore, the appreciation of the US dollar is prohibiting L&T’s exports. Despite the drawbacks, the company, which also exports to countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa, enjoys a 15% domestic sales growth a year in India. A company that has had no problems with market penetration is Austrian plastics recycling technology company NGR. Since it set up a sales office in Malaysia in 2009, it has managed to clinch the top position in recycling equipment sales in the country. “We have sold 23 machines and have 13 customers to date,” said Regional Representative Chang Kai Chew. Established

in 1996, NGR produces machinery for the recycling of post-industrial thermoplastics, claiming the number two position in the world market. It generates most of its business from exports, providing recycling systems for films, fibres, tapes, ropes, fabrics, non-wovens and solid materials like purgings. Meanwhile, another Austrian supplier BSW, a member of NGR’s Chang Kai German extrusion machine Chew says the maker Windmoeller & Hoelscher Malaysian office has allowed the company (W&H), has seen brisk sales for its to be closer to its machines that customers in China are used to and other parts of produce woven Southeast Asia PP flexible packaging (block bottom valve bags and raffia bags), said its Regional Manager Rene Winkler. The W&H Ad convertex SL block bottom valve bag conversion line is able to produce 80 valve bags/minute. “Machines are in place worldwide that produce 26 million bags of this type a year,” claimed Winkler, adding that 30 SL lines had been sold in Asia over the last two BSW’s Rene years. He also said that the company Winkler says the is looking at future expansions into block bottom valve Indonesia and Vietnam, countries that bags are being are still using conventional three-ply used to replace bags costing US$0.15 cents more than paper and woven cement bags the newer variety. ◆

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DECEMBER 2011

17


Composites

Megatrends push for composites market The use of composites is increasing, especially in Asia, following the megatrends of urbanisation and population growth. Against this backdrop, the JEC Asia show in Singapore, held from 18-20 October, had 7,000 visitors and 10% more exhibitors than the previous event. Thus, it had 345 companies participating from 60 countries, including for the first time, exhibitors from Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Russia, and Turkey. The show will be held in Singapore next year from 26-28 June 2012. New industries making a play Valued at US$24.8 billion, the Asian market is projected to make up 51% of the worldwide composites market by 2015. Nano-composites are high on the list for new uses, especially with R&D spending on composites having increased in the last few years, said Frederique Mutel, President and CEO of JEC Composites Group. The construction and infrastructure industry still remains the highest user of the materials that offer light weight and high strength characteristics. New innovations range from the application of fibre-reinforced pipes to improve water delivery systems to new road infrastructure concepts based on the use of high performance composite materials. A highlight at the Japanese pavilion was how composite materials can be used to build a makeshift house that can be set up in 60 minutes by four people and used as emergency shelter in the occurrence of tsunami or flooding. “The wind energy sector is also showing great promise,” Mutel adds. “Wind turbine blade suppliers are utilising advanced composites technologies increasingly in Asia and two major wind energy companies have recently opened research centres in Singapore to lead the development.” New kid on the block A new player in carbon fibres is Turkish supplier Aksa, which started three years ago. “Aksa is one of the largest suppliers of the acrylic fibre precursor in the world (with a market share of 12%) so it was a natural progression for us to move into the downstream market,” said Daniel Pichler, Carbon Fibre Director. It currently has one line with a capacity of 1,500 tonnes and will increase this to 1,800 tonnes at the end of this year as well as plans to start up a second line of 1,500 tonnes next year. “It is finally getting interesting for Aksa. Earlier in June, we signed an MOU with Dow Chemicals to form a joint venture to “Current megatrends underpin increasing demand for alternative energy resources as well as safer, more efficient vehicles. Therefore, innovative technologies that deliver strong, lightweight materials are in great demand,” said Dan Pichler of Aksa

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manufacture and globally commercialise carbon fibre and its derivatives,” he said, adding that the company’s main focus was on the wind energy market. “The biggest complaint in the market is the unreliable supply and inconsistent pricing trends. We hope to correct this situation with our new supply,” Pichler added. Testing the waters with thermoplastics composites Another company that participated in the show for the first time and is new to composites is UK-based Victrex. It currently possesses 4,250-tonne/year capacity for its polymers (PEEK and its even higher temperature variant polyaryletherketone or PAEK that is marketed as the HT and ST series). “We have some projects in the pipeline in the aerospace industry, mainly for metal replacement to make lighter parts and offer fuel efficiency,” said Sohee Jeong, IMC Specialist, Asia Pacific. In a market research report titled “Opportunities in Global Thermoplastic Composites Market”, research firm Lucintel stated that thermoplastic composites are becoming the material of choice for replacing traditional materials, such as steel, aluminium and wood, due to their higher strengthto-weight ratios, better chemical and impact New fabrics using PEEK in resistance plus design powder or granule form are flexibility. used to manufacture advanced T h e f u t u r e o f t h e thermoplastic composite thermoplastic composites prepregs with carbon, glass or market is projected to be aramid reinforcements extremely strong through 2014 and beyond. Use in automotive applications such as air intake manifolds, connectors and engine covers are forecast to grow at more than 50% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the period. Lucintel also noted that suppliers of thermoplastic composites are opening plants in high-growth markets in China and India. Victrex concurs with the above adding that complex


Composites

shapes can be easily produced with thermoplastic composites. “They offer up to 50% weight reduction and five times the strength compared to metals and metal alloys,” said Jeong, adding that in Asia the market is just beginning with companies “testing the waters”. But in Germany, Victrex PEEK polymer has been developed into composite fabrics by Tissa Glasweberei, eliminating the need for post impregnation during later press forming. The fabrics are tailored for use in aerospace, industrial and medical applications but are not suitable for complex parts. Swiss prepreg manufacturer Suprem is reporting annual growth of more than 50% in its business from products made with PEEK. It has developed a proprietary impregnation method that enables rapid production of prepreg tapes optimised for automated processing equipment. Winners of the innovation awards French firm Matrasur Composites displayed its robot designed for GRP spray-up applications, a winner of the JEC Asia Innovation Awards. Called Robomat, it is said to be the only robot for the wet composites industry. “Its uniqueness lies in its programming technology. Unlike other robots, Robomat does not require specific programming skills,” claimed Claude Chouet, Sales Manager, adding that ten of these robots had been sold to date. He went on to say that the Robomat is able to replicate operator movements and is capable of spraying different materials (release agent, gel coat, barrier coat and resin and fibre glass) by utilising a continuous material supply system with automatic material change that feeds the desired material at a constant flow rate and controlled temperature. Robomat is available from six to ten-axis configurations, depending on the application. Another winning entry came from Hindustan Aeronautics that has developed a new core stabilisation technology for the manufacturing of sandwich components, eliminating the problem of core crush/ shifting and reducing part weight by 10-15%. The technology also boasts a considerable reduction in component fabrication cycle time. The process was approved by the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) and the Director General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) in India. Meanwhile, Tianhe Resin from China also won the award for its new sheet moulding compound (SMC) technology for manufacturing a carbon fibre composite material suitable for industrial end use. Adopting a new resin thickening system and supplanting the traditional pre-impregnation technique used for most carbon fibre composite materials, Tianhe said its technology allows for the compounding of carbon composite materials with up to 55% fibre content. The resulting materials display the high strength and low density properties that offer advantages for reducing weight particularly in vehicle part construction, such as bumpers, hood shields and chassis frame covers. ◆


GREEN PACKAGING CONFERENCE

Indonesians get a taste of the “green” palette PRA’s first-ever Green Packaging conference, held on 17 November alongside the Plastics and Rubber Indonesia exhibition at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran in Indonesia, was a success judging from the turnout of 68 delegates from Japan, Indonesia, China and Malaysia, with presentations from seven prominent industry and institutional leaders. Initial reviews from the delegates were overwhelmingly positive, with many noting the high quality of the speakers, panel discussions and presentations. Bio work-in-progress Presiding as the conference moderator, Indonesian Packaging Federation Chairman Yoesoef Santo, kick started the event with his address. He said, “To wrestle the country out of the lower ranks of under-development, we need to lessen the burden on the environment. But first, we need to implement legislation as a starting point for this.” Active since 1978 in associations such as APINDO (The Employers’ Association of Indonesia), AFPI (Association of Federation Plastics Industries) Yoesoef Santo, and Inaplas (Aromatic, Olefin Indonesian Packaging a n d P l a s t i c A s s o c i a t i o n ) , t h e Federation Chairman industry stalwart also said that work on recycling legislation has been ongoing since 2008. “It needs the participation of all stakeholders, from raw material manufacturing firms, converters making household, technical and packaging items and users of these items such as the food, cosmetics and pharma industries, to the consumers.”

Tobias Haber of BASF SE honed in on “green washing”

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This provided a suitable backdrop for Tobias Haber, Regional Head, Speciality Plastics, BASF Southeast Asia’s presentation on “Sustainable Organic Waste Management”. Pointing out that the German chemical firm does not support “green washing”, Haber said it is important to understand the word “bio”. The firm’s solution to sustainability is to involve the entire chain. Hence, Haber spoke about the use of BASF’s compostable resin Ecovio to make plastic bags that can be filled with organic waste, which in industrial composts biodegrade within four weeks, as opposed to the current disposal in landfills and incineration. Bin liners made from Ecovio are also said to be strong and tear-resistant, even if the waste inside is wet. Pilot projects at composting plants have been set up in Germany, Canada and Australia as well as Thailand to test the idea out. “The key to Ecovio’s compostability is because the material comprises a partly petroleum-based compostable plastic called Ecoflex FS and corn-based PLA,” said Haber. No more green washing Taking the above cue, Asmu Wahyu Saptorahardjo from Indonesian masterbatch producer Inter Aneka Lestari Kimia touched on global concerns on singleuse plastic bags that are not recycled. Asmu also explained the differences between oxo-degradable plastics that are sometimes incorrectly identified as oxo-biodegradable. “Although they allow the plastic to return to the environment, these products are not biodegradable but instead contain 15% recycled material,” he highlighted. He also spoke about the company’s starch-based Enviplast polymer, a fully biodegradable resin with properties and qualities equal to environmental friendly characteristics. Some of the features include combustibility, leaving only ashes; solubility in hot water; and ability to biodegrade within 120 days (under natural conditions). But why do we need to recycle or use biodegradable plastics? Indonesia-based Robert Wrighton, Associate


GREEN PACKAGING CONFERENCE

Editor of Respects magazine and contributor to PRA’s management column, said that green packaging is simply good business sense. “You need a planet in a good condition in which to operate,” he said, driving home a simple point! He also pointed out that the entire green movement suffered from a lack of commonly agreed definitions and suggested that “green” be defined as a beneficial activity that causes minimum harm to people or the planet.

The conference was well represented by participants from Asia

Wr i g h t o n a l s o q u e s t i o n e d t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f reduce, reuse and recycle (the 3Rs concept). He asked, “Can you reduce the use of packaging? Can you design packaging that can be reused? Can your packaging be recycled?” This is a challenge for the plastics industry and maybe a benchmark. As to why green packaging should be used, Wrighton said that it adds to profitability, keeps an individual proactive and involved in giving back to society, and keeps a company ahead of the competition. Codification required in industry Besides the lack of legislation in Indonesia, Theresia Indrawanti Pudyanto, a plastics specialist and polymers practitioner, highlighted that the industry requires a packaging codification to facilitate the recycling process. She started off by saying that the colour “green” does not define or identify plastic materials but the type, make and material composition of the item. She also pointed out that global concerns for nature and natural resources had given an unfair disadvantage to the recycling industry and challenged its sustainability. “Many countries in Southeast Asia have thriving recycling industries. To fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR), plastic industries should assist and ease the process structure of their products at the end of their life times,” she added. She also pointed out varying definitions in the packaging industry that made it confusing. “There are biobased, renewable and compostable packaging and then there are the petroleum-based packaging that

offer different sustainable attributes,” she added. Proposing that codification will make it easier to recycle and increase collection of plastic waste, Theresia showed samples of primary and secondary plastic materials that had been coded and displayed symbols, thus making it easier for processing. “Ease of processing contributes to efficiency in recycling or reusing the product, cuts down process time, reduces wastage and prevents loss of earnings in the recycling industry,” she reiterated. Theresia also said that the Indonesian government and plastics sector need to work together to perfect the principles of 3Rs, by implementing the codification system. Trending in green packaging Global trends, regional trends, green trends – are these just fads? A speaker from the Indonesian I n s t i t u t e o f Te c h n o l o g y Aniek Handayani says trends in the industry do exist! She pointed out that the Asia Pacific region will see above-average gains and remain the largest regional market in the world for the packaging sector, due to its large food and beverage industries. Overall, the fastest growth will be seen in Asia, specifically in India, China and Indonesia. In the machinery sector, I t a l y - b a s e d e x t r u s i o n Aniek Handayani from the machinery supplier Macchi Indonesian Institute of highlighted the latest trends Technology for the micro-layering technique as a new trend setter in cost reduction and product improvement, According to the company’s Asia Resident Manager, Flavio Sesia, there are currently 15 commercial scale nano-layer stretch film lines in operation or in various phases of commissioning. Flavio acquainted the audience with the company’s ideas and the economics of being technically different in order to attain better profits as well as introduced a new type of cast film line that allows for cost reduction in stretch film production. Recommending that savings can be attained by utilising the right kind of machinery, he said it also allows for the use of less expensive material without compromising the physical properties of the end product. Flavio also said that the use of coreless rolls in Western Europe is steadily increasing. He also sees other external forces encouraging significant adoption of the coreless film route, such as exorbitant landfill charges and taxation for waste generation. “With increasing knowledge and education, end-user customers will demand changes that can prove to be environmentally better,” he concluded. ◆

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Masterbatches/Additives

Phthalate-free plasticiser for plastic packaging Plasticiser is a polymer additive that serves to increase the polymer’s flexibility, elongation or ease of processing. The total global consumption of plasticisers is approximately 6 million tonnes, of which 13% are non-phthalate plasticisers. This presentation on plasticisers was made by Chok Hak Leong from speciality chemicals firm Lanxess’s Functional Chemicals business unit at PRA’s Green Packaging conference held recently in Jakarta.

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he global market for phthalate-free plasticisers is currently estimated at EUR1.3 billion – with annual growth rates of around 7%. An increase in demand is also being observed in global growth markets such as Latin America. Asia has been building up significant capacities of plasticisers, attaining half of the total global capacity in the recent years. Asia’s capacity is largely designed towards high-volume general purpose plasticisers ( DEH P , DI N P ) , whereas capacities for non-phthalate plasticisers are largely concentrated in the Western hemisphere, where Lanxess’s Chok Hak Leong speaking at PRA’s Green Packaging conference regulations are much more stringent. in Jakarta Phthalate-free plasticisers gaining importance Phthalate-free plasticisers have been growing in demand due to legislative initiatives in developed markets such as North America, Western Europe and Japan. The trend is now being seen in emerging markets around the world such as Latin America. Regulators are calling for consumer products such as toys, food packaging and cables to contain the flexible plastic PVC, which has only been processed by phthalate-free plasticisers. Lanxess already enjoys a leading position in the phthalate-free plasticiser segment, driven by its current portfolio that includes the flagship product Mesamoll – a 100% phthalate-free platiciser based on alkyl sulfonic esters. In 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Mesamoll II in packaging for dry and aqueous-based food. In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has also approved the use of Mesamoll in food contact applications.

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PVC

Plasticiser

Non-phthalates

Flexible PVC represents up to 90% of global plasticiser demand

As a leading supplier of phthalate-free plasticisers, Lanxess has large capacities, expertise in production and a global distribution network. Its key products include Mesamoll, Adimoll, Ultramoll and Unimoll. Tightening regulations on phthalate-free plasticisers Authorities are increasingly restricting the use of phthalate-containing plasticisers for consumer goods such as toys, food packaging and cables. As a result of legal initiatives, demand for phthalate-free plasticisers is growing in markets such as North America, Western Europe and Japan.

n All phthalate plasticisers are continuously losing market share n Those that are subject to specific regulation (e.g. REACh-SVHC) are declining even more rapidly

The global plasticiser market is going through a structural change towards compliant products


Masterbatches/Additives

In recent years the rate of substitution of phthalatebased plasticisers with non-phthalates has accelerated noticeably, largely driven by rapidly increasing regulatory and public pressures. As of 1 May 2011, Commission Regulation (EU) No.10/2011 has set the rules that plastic materials and articles that come into contact with food are to be regulated by consolidating 14 directives of EU regulation on plastics including plastic packaging. For instance, plasticisers used in cling films in Europe have to be listed in the Regulation (EU) No.10/2011, where food contact materials must not transfer their components into the foods in unacceptable quantities (migration). Similarly, FDA compliances are applied in the US.

sugarcane processing as starting materials. Together with BioAmber, Lanxess is aiming to produce phthalate-free plasticisers from bio-based succinic acid from 2012 onwards. With the acquisition of UNITEX and the partnership with BioAmber, Lanxess now has access to an additional capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year, plus an extensive portfolio of phthalate-free plasticisers such as benzoates, citrates and trimellitates. ◆

Leading in the market through acquisitions Recently, two major moves by Lanxess reinforced its market position as a leader in the phthalate-free plasticisers production industry: In October this year, the company announced its acquisition of American firm UNITEX Chemical Corporation based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Through this acquisition, Lanxess has gained access to UNITEX’s flexible manufacturing facility coupled with an extensive portfolio of phthalate-free plasticisers, including benzoates, citrates and trimellitates. UNITEX’s product portfolio further strengthened Lanxess’s Mesamoll, Unimoll, Adimoll and Ultramoll brands. Shortly after this acquisition, Lanxess announced its partnership with US-based global leader in succinic acid BioAmber. BioAmber produces succinic acid through the fermentation of renewable raw materials. The process developed by BioAmber consumes considerably less energy than the production of succinic acid using fossil fuels, is significantly more costeffective and has a better carbon footprint. In the future, the company plans to use waste from the agriculture industry and

“…With the acquisition of UNITEX and the partnership with BioAmber, Lanxess now has access to an additional capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year....”

PRA

DECEMBER 2010

23


Automotive Industry

New resins make a play in the automotive market Lightweight plastics like composites are becoming a feature, while sustainable materials from recycled resins and renewable raw materials are being used by vehicle makers to further improvements to lower weight and carbon emissions. Nevertheless, Plath said an immediate task is to reduce the costs of CRFP by 50%, processing costs by 90%, cost of painting CRFPs by 70% and most importantly to reduce CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle of the CRFP materials themselves by around 55%. Currently, producing 1 kg of carbon fibre emits 40 kg of CO2 and Plath said the carbon fibre industry has to look at improving production efficiency by using alternative heating technologies like plasma or microwaves and to consider alternative raw materials such as lignin. Rounding up, Plath sees a mix of steel, aluminium, magnesium, CRFP and other reinforced plastics, such as those employing long glass fibres, to most likely offer a financially lucrative solution. “It will be some time before we are able to achieve sustainable lightweighting,” he concluded during his presentation at JEC.

Composites shaping up while costs still an issue German supplier Lanxess’s lightweight offerings include long glass fibre-reinforced nylon composite sheets, into which it has invested heavily on the development of simulation methods and the determination of characteristic material values to component testing. The company says this is a prerequisite for achieving high-strength, lightweight nylon composite hybrid structural components, such as car sills and B pillars, in a subsequent injection moulding stage using polyamide (PA). It also expects the composite technology to be a cost-effective alternative to carbon fibre-reinforced thermoset components. German compatriot BASF is also into glass fibre grades having recently introduced three crash-optimised PA6s reinforced with 15-50% glass fibres. The company tested out the materials on a structure with a 45-degree ribbing. The Eiffel Towerlike test specimen makes it possible to investigate materials in special load situations. When clamped in a torsion test fixture, the part withstands static torsion of over 240 degrees, says BASF. Initially targeted for body applications intended to provide pedestrian protection, these plastics are also suitable for other crashCalling its new test specimen the Eiffel Tower, BASF used it to relevant components such develop three new crash-optimised as the steering wheel, as PA6 grades in the CR family structural inserts or on the seats: wherever fast absorption of high amounts of energy is required. Meanwhile, vehicle maker Volkswagen, which expects to be the world’s second largest automotive maker in terms of output this year after General Motors, is featuring carbon fibre-reinforced (CRF) composites in its high end vehicles, said Armin Plath, Head of Materials Research and Manufacturing Processes. When asked about the high costs associated with CRFP, Plath told PRA during the recent JEC composites show in Singapore that cost is not an issue since the material is used in the high end range of Bugatti Grand Sport, Audi R8 Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador and Bentley Mulsanne vehicles.

Electric vehicles – flame retardants and lighter parts The use of flame-retardant plastics in electric cars is expected to increase, according to Lanxess, due to the high currents and voltages in the area of the batteries and drives. At the recent Fakuma exhibition in Germany, Lanxess showcased a battery disconnect unit that cuts the flow At the Fakuma, of current Lanxess showcased from the what is said to battery to be the largest ever the electric truck engine oil pans motor in the made of PA6 and 66, used in the 12.8 l Euro event of a crash. 6 engines for the Mercedes This unit is made Actros trucks from Daimler of a low-distortion, reinforced flame-retardant Durethan PA6 grade. A control unit made of Pocan B 4235 polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) for automatic start-stop systems in cars was also on show. Another German supplier Bayer MaterialScience (BMS)’s contribution to lighweighting in electric vehicles is a 20 kg-roof module with glazing and integrated solar modules developed as a prototype component and concept study by Webasto. The roof module’s low weight is thanks largely to the lightweight panoramic panel, which consists of BMS’s transparent Makrolon PC developed for automotive glazing. Meanwhile, the company is also propagating the use of PC for other components. In an environmental study by an 1

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Automotive Industry independent consultancy firm using the example of a mid-class car, it was found that if all a car’s glazing with the exception of the windshield were made of PC (a total of 15 kg of the plastic), the lower fuel consumption could cut CO2 emissions by up to 330 kg/vehicle over a vehicle’s service life of 150,000 km compared to cases where glass is used. Greening through recycled and sustainable material Another way to reduce carbon emissions is through a “green” blend of polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate (PC+PET) offered by BMS for horizontal automobile bodywork parts. The Makroblend material is manufactured from post-consumer and post-industrial recyclates. The new material blend is particularly well suited as a substitute for sheet mould compounds (SMC), sheet steel and aluminium in bodywork applications, such as spoilers, trunk lids and skirts as well as covers for antennas and convertible top compartments. With large production runs, it is significantly more economical because it yields moulded parts that require no reworking and that can be coated without pretreatment to produce components with Class A surfaces, says BMS. Furthermore, its lower density means that it harbours potential for saving weight. Its primary advantages over metals lie in the design flexibility and the potential for reducing costs through functional integration. UK-based technical plastics company, Luxus has developed a new lightweight PP compound that claims to significantly lower the weight of the average car and potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 520,000 tonnes/year. Developed to replace standard talc filled grades for car interior components, it is said to offer reduced filler content of just 10%, as opposed to a typical 25%. The company claims the new PP compound will enable it to achieve much lower weight vehicle components, without compromising on, performance and design flexibility. It is also made from up to 60% recycled content which means it offers a more sustainable choice too. Luxus said manufacturers will be able to achieve a weight reduction of typically 20 kg per car. For example, for a mid-sized family car this weight reduction could lower CO 2 emissions by 2 gm per 100 km travelled. The company is piloting the new polymer with a number of major car manufacturers before it goes into general production on current models. Italian automotive components supplier Hutchinson, a member of Total Group, has launched a fuel line for diesel engines that uses US firm DuPont’s bio-based plastic blend, making it 20% lighter than metal ones. Zytel PA1010’s content is 60% based on castor oil-derived sebacic acid. The material is extruded into a fuel line used on Fiat cars including the Fiat 500, Panda, Punto, Lancia Ypsilon and other vehicles using diesel or biodiesel fuels. Biodiesel fuels are more chemically aggressive than standard diesel and also have to withstand to temperature and mechanical stresses required in other fuel lines. In its testing, Hutchinson says it found that the PA1010 grade was able to withstand the requirements better than a competitive PA12 material. Hutchinson said it will extend the use of the material to other vehicles and in other fuel system applications. ◆ Fuel lines used with both diesel and biodiesel are produced using DuPont’s renewably-sourced Zytel nylon by fluid transfer system supplier Hutchinson and debut on all new turbo and multijet diesel engines used on several Fiat vehicles

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Japanese machinery and technology

IPF showcases Japan’s injection moulding machinery might Japan’s triennial IPF exhibition, held in Chiba, near Tokyo, from 25-29 October, might not have packed in the same crowd as the previous event but nevertheless, it proved to be a fitting event to showcase the latest from the country’s high-tech injection moulding machinery suppliers. the plating process, the caps were visually inspected then screwed onto jars containing candy. An X-ray unit then detected the number of sweets present and if this was correct, the jar was then labelled. Another Tokyo-headquartered company Japan Steel Works (JSW) also displayed a press-side metallising system, this time plating building bl o c k s m o u l d e d from PC resin using a 55-tonne J55-AD-60H all-electric injection machine. It was operating i n a 2 0 - s e c o n d cycle and the blocks were coated three shots at a time in the 60-second sputtering process. A focus at Nagano-based Nissei’s stand was the application of an all-electric 110-tonne NEX110III-9EG press for low-pressure moulding. The tool is opened slightly during injection by the melt pressure in this process dubbed K-SAPLI (Kindly-Smart Application f o r P l a s t i c I n j e c t i o n ) a n d c o m p re s s e d a f t e r w a rd s , thereby preventing flash and short shots, according to Nissei. In other developments on the NEX110III-9EG press, b o t h p l a t e n s a re w a t e r- c o o l e d a n d a l i n e a r g u i d e is also employed to maximise platen parallelism. Furthermore, dual hydraulic cylinders are used for nozzle touch, enabling optimisation of touch force and minimising adverse influence on the fixed platen, says Nissei. Nissei also debuted its latest generation of alle l e c t r i c m a c h i n e s a t I P F, t h e N E X I I I S e r i e s . T h e main new features are a 15 in. vertical touch screen controller that can display split view screens. The user can switch between different screens by swiping. Heat stability has also been improved in the barrel through insulation and improvements in the heating zones. For its part, Niigata Machine Techno was emphasising the ability of its all-electric machines to handle moulding tasks normally considered to be best carried out on hydraulic machines. T h e c o m p a n y o ff e r s a L o n g P re s s u re H o l d ( L P ) o p t i o n o n i t s p re s s e s a n d t h i s w a s d e m o n s t r a t e d at IPF on a 130-tonne MD130S6000 press moulding an acrylic part with a 20 mm wall thickness in an extended cycle time of 23 minutes. The hold time for this part was 45 seconds, which is 50% longer than normally achievable with all-electric machines, according to Niigata. The long hold time is realised

Lower attendance at show T h e s h o w o r g a n i s e r, I n t e r n a t i o n a l P l a s t i c F a i r Association, put lower attendance down to a number of factors, including the recent flooding in Thailand t hat has devastated Japanese manufacturing there; c o m p e t i t i o n f ro m o t h e r i n t e r n a t i o n a l a n d re g i o n a l shows; lacklustre economic prospects in Japan and a contracting local processing sector as well as the high value of the yen putting off overseas visitors and putting a damper on machine sales prospects. In all, 43,745 visitors attended the five-day IPF s h o w, i n c l u d i n g 2 , 1 5 4 o v e r s e a s a t t e n d e e s . O v e r a l l , attendance was down by more than one-third compared with the 2008 show, itself coinciding with an industry downturn fuelled by a global recession. All-electrics parade a host of solutions The key focuses on the show floor were application and system-solution driven, rather than machine builders unveiling radically new series of machines. Tokyo-based Toshiba Machine showed a 180-tonne EC180SX-4A all-electric injection machine moulding polycarbonate (PC) caps under a “clean box” that were then transferred to a plating system by robot. After

JSW’s exhibit showcased the sputtering process

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Japanese machinery and technology using Niigata’s Dither Control function, which rotates the servomotors on the injection side ever so slightly (at speeds of as low as 0.4 mm/second) in order that they do not overload. S u m i t o m o H e a v y I n d u s t r i e s, m e a n w h i l e , d e b u t e d its latest all-electric series at IPF, with machines in clamping forces from 50 to 180 tonnes. The EV Series re p o r t e d l y d e l i v e r s 2 0 % e n e rg y s a v i n g s o v e r t h e company’s previous DUV Series and uses less grease to boot. Performance improvements have also led to greater precision. For example, part weight standard deviation when moulding coil bobbins from PBT can be improved by up to 30% with the EV Series. The machine controller on the EV Series has also been upgraded. The NC10 controller employs a vertical 15 in. panel with viewing screens that are customisable depending on whether the user is a machine operator, maintenance technician or engineer, for example.

tool from the platen ever so slightly so as to minimise wear. While it didn’t have a machine on show at IPF, Ube Machinery did highlight its capabilities in multiple shot moulding on its new UF Series, which includes machines in clamping forces of 680, 800, 1,000, 1,300, 1,400, 1,800 and 3,000 tonnes. Ube has developed the C a v - c h a n g e p ro c e s s , w h i c h e m p l o y s a t w o - c a v i t y mould that rotates 180 degrees between the platens and dual injection units. One of the injection units does so from the side. The side injection unit is used to inject both non-foamed and foamed elastomer shots in sequence. The main shot is rigid PP, the second shot a PP-based elastomer and the third shot employs the same elastomer, but this time, the mould core is pulled back to allow foaming. The UF series represents the first 100% all-electric machine developed by Ube. Since 1996, the machine v e n d o r h a s o ff e re d t h e M D s e r i e s o f m e d i u m a n d large machines jointly developed with Niigata. The UF series features an easy-to-use controller and is t a rg e t e d a t A s i a n p ro c e s s o r s . U b e w i l l c o n t i n u e t o offer both series of machines.

Multiple shot moulding highlights Nissei also ventured into three-colour moulding with its 140-tonne DCE140-9E press outfitted with a sideinjection unit. Additional attributes of this machine include a two-piece split moving platen that is said to focus toggle clamping force at the centre of the mould, and a mould rotating mechanism that separates the

Automotive and packaging sectors covered Mention all-electric expert Fanuc and processors using this supplier ’s machines are traditionally found in the

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Japanese machinery and technology precision electronics sector. However, the company is now expanding its ambition to become a player in applications such as automotive and packaging, as evidenced by two exhibits at IPF.

Sodick Plustech also exhibited its LSR100A liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection press based on its V-Line system with the LSR fed through a conveying screw to prevent material surging. The machine employs a shorter plasticising screw with an L/D of 10 compared with 18 for a standard machine in order to minimise material wastage, which is an advantage in the medical device sector where LSR grades are typically costly, according to Sodick. Sodick has also ventured into inline compounding with a co-rotating twin-screw plasticising unit docked with its plunger system. The 100-tonne PE100 press was demonstrated compounding and moulding samples from biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) resin and scallop powder. While the exhibit had an environmental tinge, this machine will also be applicable for hightech applications such as carbon nanotube (CNT) compounds, said Sodick. LGP moulding machinery Light guide panel moulding machines were in abundance at IPF, typically moulding these electronic components from acrylic or PC. In a material costcutting initiative, Toyo Machinery & Metal and Toyo Styrene teamed up to offer a system whereby light guide panels could be moulded from a speciality grade of PS. A 280-tonne Toyo Si-280V GD620 all-electric press demonstrated moulding of PS light guide panels in a two-cavity tool with a cycle time of 40 seconds and a part weight of 21 g. The press is capable of an 800-mm/ second injection speed at peak pressure of 350 MPa. Besides lower cost, the PS grade employed absorbs lower moisture, warps less and has better dimensional s t a b i l i t y t h a n c o m p e t i n g re s i n s , a c c o rd i n g t o To y o Styrene. ◆

Fanuc claimed a fast cycle of 3.7 seconds for moulding food cups on its machine

A 100-tonne Roboshot S-2000i100B injection machine was turning out PBT connectors in what the supplier termed a demonstration of lower running costs and energy savings for the cost-sensitive automotive sector. Fanuc sought to highlight the fact that its all-electric machines claim up to 15% better energy efficiency compared with all-electric presses from competing suppliers on account of their ability to recover more e n e rg y f ro m t h e s e r v o m o t o r s d u r i n g d e c e l e r a t i o n . Fanuc also showed a 300-tonne Roboshot S-2000i300B moulding food containers from polystyrene (PS) in a cycle time of 3.7 seconds, using a six-cavity mould. Also highlighting its all-electric packaging credentials was Sumitomo, which introduced an upgrade of its 350-tonne SE350HSZ machine. Whereas previously the company recommended a hybrid machine for highspeed moulding of thinwall packaging, it now says that with its Pack Specification option, this is achievable on an all-electric. This latest version of the all-electric, with an injection speed of up to 550 mm/second, was seen at IPF moulding PP cups weighing 15.1 g each in a 12-cavity tool, in a cycle time of 3.9 seconds. Sumitomo highlighted the fact that the cup had a length-tothickness ratio of 209 (136-mm cup height versus cup wall thickness of 0.65 mm). Aiming for thin walls Perhaps the thinnest part being moulded on the IPF show floor came from Yokohama-based Sodick Plustech. It showed its 20-tonne LP20EH2 plunger machine processing a digital camera shutter from polyacetal resin with minimum wall thickness of just 0.08 mm at its tip. The machine injected at a speed of 800 mm/second with an acceleration of 12.7 G.

Toyo’s 280-tonne machine was moulding light guide panels

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INDUSTRYNEWS Computer simulation for elastomers

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wo US companies Endurica, producer of simulation system technology, and analysis software provider Safe Technology have partnered to produce fe-safe/Rubber, a solution for computer simulation of fatigue failure in elastomers. This allows analysts responsible for the durability of elastomeric products to have a validated method that enables them to investigate, at the inception of a design change, the issues that will determine product durability. Similar solutions for fatigue analysis from FEA

of metallic components have been available for many years and have become an essential part of maturing and qualifying design concepts, providing a cost-effective and proven basis for justifying investment in physical prototypes and testing. But the metal fatigue codes do not work well for rubber components as they do not consider rubber’s unique structure and non-linear behaviour, notes Safe Technology. The new technology handles rubber’s finitestrain kinematics, hyperelastic stress-

strain behaviour, strain crystallisation, temperature-dependence and other effects, such as ozone attack. These effects have been captured in the model and integrated with widely accepted procedures, such as critical plane analysis, fracture mechanics and rainflow counting, to provide a complete system capable of accounting for complex duty cycles, including multi-axial loadings and variable amplitudes. The US Army is among the first users of the technology, applying it to develop rubber components

Bridgestone pumps up investments globally

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he world’s largest tyre maker Bridgestone is putting in more investments in Japan, the US and Vietnam. At its home base in Hofu, Japan, it will invest 4.7 billion yen to increase capacity of small and medium-sized off-the-road radial (ORR) tyres for construction and mining vehicles. The aim is to increase the plant’s capacity to 94 tonnes/day during the first quarter of 2014. Even though Bridgestone has increased capacity at its Thai and Indonesian plants to supply radial tyres for passenger cars (PSRs) in these markets, it is going ahead with its Vietnamese plant to respond to continuing growth. Thus, it will invest 35.5 billion yen to set up a plant to produce

NEWS in brief Pyrolysis process patented US-based recycling technology company Polyflow has obtained patents from the US and Australia for its proprietary pyrolysis process that converts mixed and contaminated plastic and rubber waste into transportation fuels and chemical intermediates. The Akron-based company is designing a full-scale processor capable of converting up to 2.5 tonnes of mixed and contaminated polymer and rubber waste/hour. It will come online in 2012.

(PSRs). Production will begin in the first half of 2014 at the Vietnamese plant that will have a capacity of 24,700 tyres/ day after the ramp-up is completed in the first half of 2016. The output will be exported to Europe and the US. In the US, the Japanese company broke ground on a new ORR tyre facility recently. The company is also adding on an extra 474,000-sq ft expansion to the existing PSR and light truck (LTR) tyre plant in Aiken County. The company had previously announced a 266,000-sq ft expansion of the PSR/LTR plant in July this year. When fully completed, the three projects will total a US$1.2 billion investment in the country.

Dunlop adds on belts in Europe Dunlop Conveyor Belting will invest up to EUR6.4 million in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Costing EUR2.5 million, the first 1

rubber journal ASIA • DECEMBER 2011

in the track system of military ground vehicles. Other early interest has come from the heavy equipment, consumer products, offshore, medical devices and automotive sectors. Endurica’s patented technology is now available from Safe Technology as a stand alone product. A fully integrated version of the technology, taking advantage of fe-safe’s user interface and direct links to FEA codes, will be available in 2012. The technology will support all major FEA codes including Abaqus, ANSYS, NASTRAN (MSC, NEi, NX), Pro-M and Ideas.

phase will add a new press at the Drachten site to produce rolls of up to 4 m diameter (20 tonnes) and 1,400 mm width. The second phase will include a new production hall on the existing site, housing a steelcord production line. To come on stream by 2012, the unit will make up to 1,600 mm wide belts. Pirelli invests in Russia French tyre maker Pirelli is investing EUR2.4 billion over the next five years, including EUR200 million in Russia. Having signed a joint venture agreement with the Russian Technologies State Corporation in 2008, Pirelli will now buy the Kirov and Voronezh tyre plants (formerly part of Amtel-Vredestein) from Sibur-Russian Tyres. The company will set up its first joint venture this year and the second in 2012.


INDUSTRYNEWS Turnkey car tyre recycling set-up

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wo market leaders have come together to provide a new concept for tyre recycling. Germany-based size reduction machinery supplier Pallmann has tied up with Spanish tyre recycler GMN to develop plants for shredding and reprocessing vehicle tyres. Pallmann has been supplying GMN with tyre shredding plants since 2004. The two companies have been working together to optimise costs per tonne, final product quality and output rates. Rubber, steel and textile fractions are extracted and sorted from used car and truck tyres; the separated materials are then marketed for reprocessing into various applications. Against this background, GMN and Pallmann are now cooperating to come to the market as Ecotrec, a global provider of complete systems that encompasse s all modules necessary for recycling car and truck tyres. These include shredders (Lion and Tiger units), granulators (Panther)

and separators (Eco-Sep) as well as complete conveyor and control technology, including appropriate know-how. Initial focus will be on Europe and the US. Tyres that do not go directly back into retreads have until now typically been ground up and burnt on an industrial level, in cement plants, for example. However, profit margins are not attractive. The companies say that Ecotrec systems create high value added raw materials that can be sold at attractive prices. There is a large market for pure steel, for example, while the high-quality, pure rubber fraction can be produced in different, easy-to-process granule sizes that can be sold directly to producers of tyres or other products. Other applications, such as the use of the rubber granules as aggregate in asphalt mixtures, offer sales opportunities that are interesting on both economic and technical levels.

Pallmann and GMN say they are opening up new market opportunities for old tyres that can be turned into valuable resources. Shown here is Pallmann’s facility in Germany 2 rubber journal ASIA • DECEMBER 2011


Malaysian rubber Industry

The ergonomics for a leading position Currently the third largest natural rubber (NR) producer in the world, Malaysia held top billing in the mid-1980s until Thailand took over the slot, with Indonesia trailing behind. Angelica Buan went behind the scenes of the recently held MPlas exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to find out how the country intends to reclaim its leading position.

Getting back to the top RM53 million to Sarawak, the biggest sum for any Notwithstanding the fact that Malaysia’s slide from state, to fund the 2012 re-planting programme. Risda the top spot was due to a commodity shift to palm oil is a statutory body under the Ministry of Rural and that provided higher returns, interest also intensified Regional Development. on downstream activities, further strengthening the Currently, Sarawak’s Betong district has seen soaring rubber activity with the establishment of a segment. processing plant by China’s Guangken Rubber and the Malaysia now produces 1 million tonnes/year of NR tapped from its 1 million ha of rubber plantations, planting of rubber trees on 11,000 ha of land. trailing behind Indonesia and Thailand, which produce Land shortage a problem in the region 2.9 million and 3.5 million tonnes/year respectively. While Malaysia has found a solution to the scarcity of On the export front, Malaysia’s rubber products land, NR production in Thailand is stagnating due to account for 2% of the country’s total exports. the shortage of land, said Kong. “In Indonesia, most of But reclaiming the top spot is the sector’s goal now, said Kong Ping Yee, Executive Director of the the players are Malaysian companies,” he said, adding Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers’ Association that large tracts were still available in Kalimantan, (MRPMA), speaking at the recent MPlas exhibition. Java and Sumatra. “We see this target as something realistic, especially Meanwhile, the land situation is becoming tighter in India, the world’s fourth largest rubber producer, with more new rubber plantations coming up. Although said a spokesperson from the Indian Rubber Board at at third position, in terms of production, we are quite MPlas. strong in downstream activities,” Kong added. A c c o rd i n g t o K G Vi j a y a k a v a n a r, t h e M a n a g i n g Speaking at MPlas, Malaysia’s International Trade Director of Kavanar Latex, a processor and exporter and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau of NR, the shortage is an outcome of many factors. Sagan also affirmed that the government is seriously “For one, with the growing population land is being rekindling its interest in the sector with its aim to converted into housing areas. plant more rubber trees in T h e r a t e t h i n g s a re g o i n g , l a n d Sabah and Sarawak as well as to implement new technology In fact, RM140 million has a v a i l a b i l i t y w i l l b e r e d u c e d b y half,” he said. to enhance the rubber tapping process. been allotted towards rubber India’s traditional rubber tracts in Kerala and Tamil Nadu states In fact, RM140 million has been allotted towards rubber have already been exhausted and planting programmes in planting programmes in the planting has been extended to country’s 2012 national budget. the country’s 2012 national the Northeast as well as in West This is expected to benefit Bengal, Goa and Andhra Pradesh. some 20,000 smallholders who Plus, the country is moving further budget. will be paid about RM14,000/ ashore to Africa, which due to its ha each for the replanting, thus eradicating rural good climatic conditions allows for rubber cultivation. poverty. According to the All India Rubber Industries Association, a deficit in NR output is expected from In news reports, Sarawak’s Rubber Industry Smallholders’ Development Authority (Risda) Director, 175,000 tonnes in 2012 to 687,000 tonnes in 2015 and Sopian Abu Bakar, said the government had allocated 840,000 tonnes by 2020.

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3 rubber journal ASIA • DECEMBER 2011


Malaysian rubber Industry China, the largest NR consumer in the world, is not spared from the limited rubber plantation conundrum. This is because the planting is concentrated in remote mountainous and undeveloped areas. And in newly opened areas, the extreme weather conditions render poor maturity conditions for the rubber trees. Suppliers secure raw materials To secure its supply of latex, one Malaysian producer is buying up land for rubber planting in Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia. The world’s largest glove producer, Top Glove, expects to develop its own rubber plantations to meet its requirements, the company’s Assistant Manager Zulazmi Zakiuddin said at the show. To expand its production, last year, the company invested RM100 million in its five existing plants, four of which are in Malaysia and one in Thailand. According to Zakiuddin, the company anticipates a higher global demand for its gloves, especially in the healthcare sector, and a steady supply of raw materials is required. Moreover, the company, which encountered a profit docking to RM26.1 million in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, from RM45 million in the previous year, due to higher latex costs and weakened US dollar viz the ringgit, views its expansion into plantations as a buffer from increases in NR prices. Meanwhile, Malaysian synthetic rubber producer Hateg Corporation has partnered with Chinese companies Mazhongdu International and Hainan Baisha Industrial in a RM3.5 billion rubber plantation project in Indonesia. The first phase will inject an investment of RM40 million and cover 1,000 ha in Kalimantan, followed by a further RM40 million over five years to plant 40,000 ha. The joint venture partners are also in discussions to expand the plantation to 200,000 ha, which will bring the total investment to about RM8 billion. Sideswiping the shortages Countering NR shortage is crucial now that the higher fuel prices are affecting demand for synthetic rubber, which determines the price cap for NR. The disproportionate NR supply and demand, although causing alarm in the sector, also leads to a push in innovation and technology to improve capacities and provide stop-gap measures for shortages. Malaysia is responding by introducing clones to expedite NR production, said the Rubber Research Institute (RRI). At MPlas, it was promoting a new automated rubber tapping machine to improve latex tapping. Another way of countering the shortage is through recycling, according to Indonesian reclaimed rubber specialist, PT Pura Agung, which offers a solution through recycling used rubber scrap like tyres and bladders that would otherwise just end up in landfills. Managing Director Robert Mulyono Putra said that the company continues to innovate solutions to abate the wastage problem and has already benefited various rubber sub-sectors including, but not limited to, automotive tyres, rubber sheets, adhesives, footwear, fabrics and flooring. The company is currently improving further properties of its product offerings in terms of tensile strength, elongation and surface smoothness. “By 2012, we will launch a new product,” said Robert, adding that the company is also making headway in the Malaysian market. To date, Pura Agung exports to Singapore, Thailand, India and the Philippines as well as the US, South America, Turkey and Europe. Top Glove, which currently exports to 850 countries – with most of its clients coming from Europe, also shares the recycling concept advantage. According to Zakiuddin, the company sells its waste glove scraps to local companies in Malaysia. ◆


2 0 1 2 19-24 JANUARY IMTEX Forming Venue: Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bangalore, India Tel: +91 80 6624 6600 Email: imtma@imtma.in Internet: www.imtex.in/data/imtex2012.php

9-11 MARCH Guangzou International Wood-Plastics Composites Fair Venue: China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex, Guangzhou, China Tel: +86 20 22106419 Fax: +86 20 82579220 Email: woodenhousechina@gmail.com Internet: www.musuz.com

1-6 FEBRUARY PlastIndia Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India Tel: +91 22 26832911 Fax: +91 22 26845861 Email: plastindia@vsnl.com Internet: www.plastindia.org

13-14 MARCH Latex & Synthetic Polymer Dispersions Venue: KL Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +44 (0)1939 250383 Email: conferences@ismithers.net Internet: www.polymerconferences.com

14-16 FEBRUARY Tire Technology Expo Venue: Cologne, Germany Tel: +44 (0) 1306 743744 Fax: +44 (0) 1306 742525 Email: colinscott@ukintpress.com Internet: www.tiretechnology-expo.com/

26-28 MARCH Masterbatch Asia Venue: Swissotel, The Stamford, Singapore Tel: +44(0)117 924 9442 Fax: +44(0)117 989 2128 Email: info@amiplastics.com Internet: www.amiplastics.com

15-18 FEBRUARY IPF (International Plastic Fair) Venue: Bangbandhu International Conference Centre Sher-E Bangla, Nagar Dhaka, Bangladesh Tel: +886 2 2659 6000 ext: 185 Email: exfdp@chanchao.com.tw Internet: www.bangla-expo.com/IPF/

1-5 APRIL NPE Venue: Orange County Convention Centre, Orlando, Florida, USA Tel: +1 703 259 6132 (US and CAN) Email: exhibit@npe.org Internet: www.npe.org

29 FEBRUARY– 2 MARCH Plastics & Rubber Vietnam (Propak) Venue: Saigon Exhibition & Conference Centre Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +66 2 615 1255 Fax: +66 2 615 2991-3 Email: punnapa@besallworld.com Internet: www.plasticsvietnam.com

19-22 APRIL Diemould India Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai, India Tel: +91 22 2852 6876 Fax: +91 22 2850 3273 Email: mumbai@tagmaindia.org Internet: www.tagmaindia.org/invitation-2012.php

7-8 MARCH Rubber Technology Expo Venue: BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand Tel: +66 2 833 077 Fax: +66 2 538 1325 Email: peram@rubbertechnology-expo.com Internet: www.rubbertechnology-expo.com/

18-21 APRIL Chinaplas Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China Tel: +852 2516 3374 Fax: +852 2516 5024 Email: chinaplas@adsale.com.hk Internet: www.chinaplasonline.com

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PRA December 2011 issue  

PRA December 2011 electronic issue

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