PRA January-February 2012 Issue

Page 1

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

業界新聞 2

物料商情: 生物塑料在亞洲蓬勃增長

is 01 s a2 r i ee nd n i gi st 1 En Pla H-M o t 4 jo g a th a R tin oo bi B i h ex

PRA (ENG)–210(w) x 276(H)mm+3mm出血位.pdf 2012/1/10 10:56:43









c o n t e n t s 目 錄 R E G U L A R S 概要

4 Industry News 8 Materials News 10 業 界 新 聞

18 Unika integrated blow moulder from Techne Graham

Story – based on 14 Cover its “What’s Next!!” campaign for the upcoming Plastindia show in New Delhi, extrusion machinery maker Rajoo Engineers is on a path to

Link-Tech’s almost plastic ball valve

making bold statements of machine innovations, which it has done at each

Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling

Circulation Santhi Nair Email:

sustainability goals for beverage packaging

Sustainability – a sustainable 22 packaging revolution is coming of age as more companies are turning to eco-friendly solutions, says Bob Wrighton in this article

Supplements in this issue ….. Mould round-up with updates from the EuroMold and Fakuma shows held last year ……. Green tyres may be just the solution to keep the synthetic rubber demand rolling, in the face of rising prices, increasing inventories and stagnant growth in the sector

Rajoo Engineers will display its latest hybrid blown film line that features components from collaborator Hosokawa Alpine at Plastindia 2012


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

Blow Moulding – a blow-by18 blow account of the industry

brand owners are pushing forth their


Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:

Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email:

materials and machinery. Meanwhile,

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

edition of the previous exhibitions

reveals technology updates in terms of

Cover photo:

publlshed slnce 1985

F E A T U R E S 焦點內容

12 物生 料物 商塑 情料 :在 亞 洲 蓬 勃 增 長


Volume 27, No 187

Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email:

Permits ISSN 1360-1245

MICA (P) 134/08/2011 KDN PPS 1700/12/2012 (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.

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12 - 21, 20 April 18 1, Booth E1 0 G Hall E1 China ai, P.R. Shangh


Acquisitions provide a boost to the industry


he year has been kick-started with companies from Asia to the US announcing various acquisitions and firming up of deals announced last year, l i k e I n d o r a m a’ s b u y o f F i b e r V i s i o n s; s a l e o f Davis-Standard a n d H u n t s m a n’ s b u y o f Turkish PU provider E M A. T h a i l a n d ’s l a r g e s t producer of polyester and PET, Indorama Ventures is acquiring 100% equity of USbased FiberVisions H o l d i n g s, a g l o b a l manufacturer of speciality mono and bi-component fibres. Georgia-based FiberVisions has a global capacity of 221,000 tonnes/year of specialities like PP staple fibre, with output of 117,000 tonnes/year in the US, 90,000 tonnes/ year in Denmark and 14,000 tonnes/year in China. The fibres are used in nonwoven industries, for various applications in hygiene, wipes, construction, automotive and textile sectors. FiberVisions also has a 50:50 joint v e n t u r e w i t h J N C, t h e major producer of bicomponent fibres in Japan. Indorama says the acquisition of FiberVisions will significantly enhance its position in the global fibre business for hygiene products and add on US$454 million to its 2012 sales. Indorama


h a s a l s o b ought p o l y e s t e r f ibre assets f r o m I n v i s t a in the U S a n d M exico and T r e v i r a a n d Wellman I n t e r n a t i o nal in Europe. Me a n w hile, USb a s e d e x t r usion m a c h i n e r y supplier D a v i s - S t a n dard has b e e n b o u g ht by O N C A P, O nex’s midm a r k e t p r i vate equity p l a t f o r m b ased in C a n a d a , f r om financial g r o u p H a m ilton R o b i n s o n Capital P a r t n e r s. Terms of t h e d e a l w ere not d i s c l o s e d . Onex also o w n e d i n j ection m o u l d i n g machine m a k e r H u s ky Injection M o l d i n g S ystems and s o l d i t t o Berkshire P a r t n e r s a nd Omers P r i v a t e E q uity last year. T h e a c q uisition i s p a r t o f DavisS t a n d a r d’ s strategy t o f u r t h e r expand its g l o b a l e x t r usion and c o n v e r t i n g systems b u s i n e s s e s. Hamilton R o b i n s o n has been a n i n v e s t o r in the c o m p a n y s ince 2003 a n d s i n c e t hat time r e v e n u e h as grown f r o m U S $ 3 0 million to o v e r U S $ 3 00 million. H a m i l t o n Robinson a c q u i r e d B lack C l a w s o n C onverting M a c h i n e r y in 2003 a n d i n 2 0 0 5 merged it w i t h D a v i s -Standard . T h e l a t t e r designs a n d m a n u f actures e x t r u s i o n systems, f e e d s c r e w s, barrels a n d p r o c e s s controls f o r t h e f l e xible web c o n v e r t i n g , plastics p r o c e s s i n g and rubber i n d u s t r i e s . Under


the new ownership structure, DavisStandard management will remain in place and will continue to be significant shareholders in the business. Another American supplier Huntsman has acquired Turkish company EMA Kimya Sistemleri Sanayi ve Ticaret , an MDIbased polyurethane (PU) systems house. EMA will become part of Huntsman ’s Polyurethanes division and will be known as Huntsman-EMA . The Turkish firm built its plant in 2006 to produce PU blends for the country’s MDI systems market, which grew at a rate of 13-15% in 2010, said to be one of the highest growths in the world. Today, the facilities have capacity for system blending, polyester polyols manufacture and bulk MDI and base polyols storage. Another US speciality materials company Celanese has completed the acquisition of certain assets from Ashland , including two product lines, Vinac and Flexbond, which will support the strategic growth of its emulsion polymers business. Terms were not disclosed. Celanese announced its agreement to acquire the assets in November 2011. Newly formed styrenics company Styrolution is selling

its Spanish Elix Polymers business to Sun European Partners . Elix is the ABS business of global petrochemicals giant Ineos and is being so ld to meet a European Union antitrust condition for setting up Styrolution , a joint venture owned by BASF SE and Ineos. El ix specialises in pre-coloured and speciality ABS resins and had sales of EUR200 million in 2011. Sun European Partners , meanwhile, is a European adviser to Sun Capital Partners that has in its portfolio Emerald Performance Materials , a producer of speciality chemicals for food and industrial applications, and Sonneborn , a supplier of white oils, petrolatums, waxes, and other hydrocarbon specialty products. Dutch firm AkzoNobel plans to strengthen its position in packaging coatings by buying the remaining shares of Metlac , an Italian packaging coatings producer. Financial details were not disclosed. AkzoNobel ’s sharehol ding in Metlac was inherited from the acquisition of ICI in 2008. The deal und erlines the company’s commitment to supporting the coatings and inks market for metal packaging by securing the future of a well recognised supplier.


News In Brief Thai HPPO start-up finalised SCG-Dow Group, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Siam Cement Group, has finalised the start-up of its new propylene oxide (PO) facility in Thailand by successfully completing its full capacity performance test. The world-scale plant, located within the Asia Industrial Estates (AIE) site near Map Ta Phut, has a capacity of 390 kilotonnes/ year of PO via the hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology. Sibur mulls over gigantic project According to recent news reports, Russian chemical firm Sibur is planning a petrochemical complex in Tobolsk, which is expected to be the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Called ZapSibNeftehim, it involves a pyrolysis facility with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes/year of ethylene as well as up to 2 million tonnes of polymers/year, to come on stream by 2017. The project will be fed with ethane sourced from the region’s abundant natural gas reserves. The company is also on track with the construction of a new 500,000 tonnes/year PP complex in Tobolsk. Swiss pipe firm makes buy Switzerland-based piping systems supplier Georg Fischer has acquired US pipe extrusion firm Harvel Plastics for US$50 million in cash. Harvel Plastics, which is a

subsidiary of Detrex Corp., was founded in 1964 as a pioneer in the manufacture of PVC and CPVC pipes for industrial applications and has sales of US$60 million a year. Chinese EPT plant Japanese firm Mitsui Chemicals and Sinopec have formed a joint venture to build what is said will be the world’s largest ethylene-propylenediene terpolymer (EPT) plant in Shanghai. It will begin commercial production in the first quarter of 2014. EPT offers resistance to heat, cold, ultraviolet rays and chemicals and is used in automotive parts, electric cables and other industrial products. Propylene growth to come from Asia The Middle East and Asia are set to become key geographical regions that will drive the total global market for propylene in the future. Thanks to the booming growth of the demand here and vast capacity expansions these markets will define the future trends in the propylene industry. Thus world demand for propylene is expected to grow at 5% in the coming decade, says a new market report by Merchant Research & Consulting. Looking at the technological side, it is irrefutable that there is a major shift going on, from crude oil to natural gas as feedstock. This development is attributed firstly to the rising ethylene derivatives demand. However, propylene manufacturers report underproduction due to the shift.




Material suppliers make their moves in China


erman firm BASF and Sinopec’s joint venture BASF-YPC recently inaugurated the US$1.4 billion second phase of its integrated petrochemical site in Nanjing and also announced new plans for expansion. The latter include a 160,000 tonne/ year-acrylic plant, a new butyl acrylate plant, a capacity increase at the 2-propyl-heptanol plant and a 60,000 tonne/yearsuperabsorbent polymer (SAP) plant that will be completed in 2014, collectively totalling US$1 billion. The second phase includes expansions of existing plants and construction of new facilities. The existing steam cracker has been expanded to a total of 740,000 tonnes/year of ethylene, along with the expansion of the existing ethylene oxide (EO) plant to 330,000 tonnes/year and the construction of a new EO purification unit with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes/year. New plants in the expanded EO derivatives value chain include a new non-ionic surfactants plant with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes/year; a new amines complex with a capacity of 130,000 metric tonnes/year for the production of ethanolamines, ethyleneamines, and dimethylethanolamine; and the construction of a new DMA3 plant with a capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes/year.


In other news, Shantou-based Xinghui Auto Model is acquiring a 67.4% stake of a local polystyrene (PS) plant owned by SK Networks (SKN), a subsidiary of South Korea-based SK Group. According to Xinghui, the US$34.1 million purchase will help achieve upstream vertical integration, reduce its raw material cost and improve its competitiveness. Xinghui sells the Rastar branded toy cars in more than 40 countries. Its factory in Shantou employs more than 1,000. SKN has three production lines with a total of 150,000 tonnes/ year of GPPS and HIPS, serving the toy, stationery and home appliances industries. It reported net profit of US$2.6 million and sales of US$174.2 million) in 2011. With China being the largest composites market, Germany-based Reichhold Industries has set up a new facility in Tianjin, with a planned annual production capacity of 38,000 tonnes and a potential expansion to 60,000 tonnes. It will produce a full range of composites, including unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins, gelcoats and bonding pastes. The market applications include wind power, high performance anticorrosion, marine, high speed train, industrial construction, electronics and electrical industry.


Toray takes control of French carbon fibre maker


okyo-headquartered Toray Industries has purchased the remaining shares in Société des Fibres de Carbone (Soficar), a subsidiary engaged in manufacturing and selling carbon fibre in France. Toray had held a 70% stake it has now purchased the 30% equity from its French business partner Arkema, and made it into a wholly owned subsidiary. Along with the purchase of the remaining stake, Toray is renaming Soficar as Toray Carbon Fibers Europe (CFE). Set up in 1982, Soficar currently has carbon fibre capacity of 5,200 tonnes a year. Toray plans to

further accelerate its move to establish the integrated value chain of carbon fibre Torayca and expand the business by installing new production lines of raw material fibre (precursor) and prepreg for aircraft application in the future, as well as further expansion of carbonisation capacity at the new company. All these plans are in line with the global demand for polyacrylonitrile (PAN)based carbon fibre in 2011 that is estimated to reach 40,000 tonnes and is expected to continue growing significantly at an annual rate exceeding 15%.

Telles partnership terminated


etabolix, a US bioscience company focused on developing sustainable solutions for plastics, has terminated its Telles joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). Telles was established in 2006 to sell PHA-based bioplastics, including Mirel and Mvera, in the US, Europe and other countries. ADM says it recently undertook a strategic review of its business and made the decision to focus resources outside of Telles, “since the projected financial returns from the alliance were too uncertain.” After the termination, ADM will retain its manufacturing plant in Iowa that has been producing Mirel resins. Metabolix says that

while this is a “setback”, it remains committed to commercialising PHA bioplastics. “Over the past few years, we now have proven the technology at industrial scale and believe that we now have the opportunity to launch this with a different business model,” said the company. All Metabolix technology that was used in the joint venture, including intellectual property rights, will revert to it and the company says it is free to open discussions with alternative manufacturing and commercialisation partners for PHA bioplastics. However, Metabolix also said it will restructure its bioplastics business and downsize its operations with details still being finalised.


Technical centre for PU precursors


erman company Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has commissioned a new EUR5 million technical centre for the development of isocyanate production processes at Chempark Dormagen. All global research activities related to the production of aromatic isocyanates have now been pooled in the new hydrogenation technical centre, which was also designed for sustainability using materials from the EcoCommercial Building network. The hydrogenation technology will be used for the production of precursors to diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which are used for rigid and flexible polyurethane foam for insulation of buildings and upholstered furniture and mattresses respectively. MDI is based on benzene, which is first nitrated into nitrobenzene and then hydrogenated to produce aniline. This is then converted to diphenylmethane diamine, the direct precursor to MDI. A catalyst is used to produce aniline from nitrobenzene and hydrogen gas. With the conventional isothermic process, which is performed at a constant temperature, the substantial heat generated during the reaction must be dissipated using heat transfer oils. The reaction takes place inside a reactor block, in which many thousands of tubes containing the catalyst have been welded together. Finally, the aniline must be purified of byproducts before it can be used further. The adiabatic variant developed by BMS eliminates the need for heat transfer and enables efficiency. Here, the reaction takes place in a large steel vessel, in which the catalyst is placed on a grating. The heat of reaction is dissipated together with the gas flow, eliminating the need for the circulating oil loop. In addition, the product is of higher purity. The above technology is being used in BMS’s world-scale facility in Shanghai, China, with an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes, for which the conventional process would have been “too complex and expensive�, says the company.

the hydrogenation of dinitrotoluene to obtain toluene diamine, the direct precursor to TDI, and also the Deacon process for the oxidation of hydrogen chloride.

Research will also be conducted on the further optimisation of both process variants at the new technical centre besides improving





Bioplastics growth to abound in Asia Global demand for biodegradable and bioplastics will triple to more than 1 million tonnes in 2015, with a value of US$2.9 billion, according to a new market study by US-based Freedonia Group. Bioplastics provide a solution to the waste issue, reduce dependence on fossil materials and improve the image of plastic products. All these factors are aiding the growth of the materials, with Asia Pacific in the lead. Asia to influence growth The global bioplastics market is expected to reach revenues of more than US$2.8 billion in 2018 – reflecting an average annual growth rate of 17.8%, according to market research firm Ceresana. With a 48% share, Europe was the largest outlet for bioplastics in 2010, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. But over the next eight years, the geographical shift will be significant with Ceresana forecasting Asia Pacific to expand its share and almost draw level with Europe and North America. In addition, South America will see strong growth, mainly because of massive increases in production in Brazil. Demand trends of the individual types of bioplastics show significant regional differences. While PLA demand in North America is projected to rise by 12% a year, it will soar by almost 17% a year in Asia Pacific. In 2010, most demand was accounted for by starchbased plastics, followed by polylactic acid (PLA). Other bio-based plastics (PHA/PHB, cellulose, PBS) as well as fossil-based biodegradable plastics accounted for less than 17% of global demand. Accordingly, biodegradable plastics are dominating the bioplastics market with a 92% share. Nonbiodegradable plastics based on renewable resources are forecasted to increase their market share from 8% in 2010 to more than 47% by 2018. The report by Ceresana also says that technical progress in production and significant growth in capacities will allow manufacturers to lower prices and therefore to further increase the competitiveness of bioplastics against conventional plastics. The study also analyses how bioplastics consumption will develop in individual markets, with manufacturers of bags and sacks being important buyers of the resins. Loose-fill ranks second, closely followed by packaging and films. The automotive and electronic industries as well as other applications, for example catering and hygiene products, textiles and sports/leisure products, account for just less than one fifth of global demand. Although bags, sacks and loose-fill items are expected to register further growth over the next few years, the packaging, films, automotive and electronics



sectors will see the biggest gains. Due to an extended product range of biodegradable products, these sectors are predicted to record annual increases of more than 30%, according to the report. As a pre-emptor to the growth, Thai chemical firm PTT Group plans to invest 10% of its capital expenditure in the green business by 2020, it said recently in a news report. PTT has already invested in bioplastics production, palm oil in Indonesia, hydropower in Xaiyaburi, Laos, and in solar power. PTT has reached an agreement to acquire 50% of USbased PLA maker NatureWorks from Cargill. After the share purchase, PTT will set up a bioplastics plant costing up to US$300 million in an industrial park in Rayong, with a production capacity of 140,000 tonnes/year. The plant is expected to be completed within three years. Turning organic waste into bioplastics Va r i o u s m a t e r i a l s h a v e b e e n u s e d t o d e v e l o p bioplastics and now a Spanish technological centre, Cidetec-IK4, is raising the bar. It is leading a European project for developing bioplastics from organic waste like the banana plant, almond nut shells or crustaceans, amongst others. Known as Eclipse, the project will use nanotechnology methods and span a period of three years until 2014. The centre says that plastics like maize-sourced PLA have caused concern that agricultural land is being earmarked for growing vegetables for the production of biofuels and bioplastics. Europe is currently a leader in the world consumption of biopolymers but the main producer of biopolymers is the US that employs maize as a raw material, thus competing directly with food production. However, using waste organic products, as the Eclipse project will do, does not compete with food crops. Eclipse involves taking waste from biodiesel production, glucides, and processing them to obtain lactic acid. Subsequently, this lactic acid is polymerised in order to obtain PLA. It is here that nanotechnology comes into play. By adding nanofibres of organic waste, plastics can be achieved that has greater resistance to external agents and enhanced mechanical properties, says the Spanish technical centre.


The project partners include universities and companies in Germany, Belgium and Spain, along with organisations in Chile and Colombia. Investment sweeteners for companies Meanwhile, taking the genetic crop route is US firm DuPont that has made an equity investment in NexSteppe that is developing feedstocks for biofuels, biopower and biobased products using new sweet sorghum and high biomass sorghum hybrids.

Sweet sorghum can be used as a complement to sugarcane in existing Brazilian sugar to ethanol mills and as a feedstock for biofuels and biobased products

Sorghum is drought and heat-tolerant and has the ability to grow in marginal rainfall areas with high temperatures where it is difficult to grow other crops. It has a relatively short growing season and is suitable for crop rotation systems, thus making it a source of feedstock for industrial value chains. Sweet sorghum can be used as a complement to sugarcane in existing Brazilian sugar to ethanol mills and as a feedstock for advanced biofuels and other biobased products produced from sugars. High biomass sorghum is a high-yielding crop that can be used as a feedstock for biopower and cellulosic biofuels. DuPont, through its Industrial Biosciences business, operates and develops industrial processes that use sugar as a feedstock. German firm BASF is investing US$30 million in American technology firm Renmatix that has developed the Plantrose process to produce industrial sugar from lignocellulosic biomass (wood, cane trash or straw). This technology makes it possible for the first time to produce industrial sugar in large quantities and at a competitive cost from non-edible plant mass, says BASF.

In the technology, biomass is split into cellulose and sugar in supercritical water at high temperature and pressure in a two-step process. Since the process utilises non-edible biomass as feedstock, it is not in competition with feed and food production. Industrial sugars can be used, for example, to produce biofuels or basic chemical products and intermediates by fermentative processes. Renmatix says its pilot facility converts 100 kg/day of dry biomass into sugars, xylose monomers and glucose monomers. A second larger plant converts 3 dry tonnes/day of biomass to xylose and glucose sugars. Its next plant will be a commercial scale facility with the capability to produce more than 100,000 tonnes/year of cellulosic sugars. PLA products given booster shots U S - b a s e d c u s t o m c o m p o u n d e r Te k n o r A p e x h a s developed a melt-strength enhancer that it says will help companies achieve higher output when they process PLA resins in clear cast film and sheet operations to produce takeout food-service clamshell packaging. The new Terraloy MB-90001A1 modifier can increase the pull force that can be applied to PLA by 300-500%, thus reducing scrap rates and leading to higher output in extrusion and thermoforming. The company also says the masterbatch disperses more efficiently and uniformly in PLA than additives that come in powder form and does not affect the clarity of neat PLA.

Teknor Apex’s melt strength enhancer broadens the processing window of PLA in cast film and sheet for clear end products such as clamshell containers

Renmatix’s Plantrose process is able to produce industrial sugar from wood chips

Another US company Cereplast has developed three biobased resins for use on blown film extrusion lines to make compostable bags. All three have received DIN CERTCO certification of compostability for up to 0.0254 mm thickness. Compostable 3002, 3010 and 3020 are substitutes for PE for producing carrier bags and rubbish bags. Comprising the company’s Ingeo PLA, the products boast improved processability, tear resistance and reduced stretch under load. ◆



Front cover feature

Rajoo innovates to meet current trends “What’s next!!” This sentence is being posed by Indian extrusion machinery maker Rajoo Engineers in its publicity material for the upcoming plastics show in India, Plastindia 2012. PRA spoke to the President of the company Sunil Jain to find out indeed, what is coming up next! Sunil provides an insight and preview of the new technology to be presented at the show. In a “now” mode In keeping with its tradition of innovation, at each edition of Plastindia (notably in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009), Rajoo has displayed futuristic trends for the industry. “Plastindia 2012 will not be any different. You may have noticed our “What’s next!!” campaign. It is directed at technologies immediately required by the industry instead of addressing the long term trends. The basic objective this time is to motivate processors to hasten the adoption of technologies required by the market, so that they are not left behind,” elaborated Sunil.

Labex line with IBC is purported to be the world’s smallest three-layer blown film line

Thus, the extrusion machinery maker will address the needs of the industry with the display of not only its current range of equipment but a whole new portfolio. This includes the Fabrex, a PP non-woven fabric making machine, Dripex, drip irrigation line for flat and round drippers, and Labex for laboratory use. Collaboration bears fruit in the form of hybrid line To a d d r e s s t h e n e e d f o r q u a l i t y m u l t i - l a y e r a n d




non-barrier blown film lines and also provide the opportunity to processors to upgrade their technology at affordable price levels, Rajoo will be displaying a five-layer blown film line produced in a technical collaboration with Hosokawa Alpine of Germany. Being in an industry where competition is a game plan, the blown film, sheet a n d t h e r m o f o r m i n g Sunil Jain, President of Rajoo, machinery maker relies says the company is addressing o n t e c h n o l o g y t o g i v e the needs of the industry with i t t h e e d g e o v e r i t s its range of machinery on c o m p e t i t o r s . H e n c e , display Rajoo announced its collaboration with Hosokawa Alpine at the previous K show in 2010. The result of the tie-up is the first hybrid fivelayer blown film line – Multifoil REAL 2550-65/2400 IBC-A (“RE” refers to Rajoo and “AL” to Alpine) with extruders and dies direct from Hosokawa Alpine ; gravimetric dosing and blending and automatic thickness control also from Germany. The 400-mm die line has an output of 600 kg/hour and 2,250 mm layflat width. “Five or seven-layer blown film lines are nothing new from Rajoo,” said Sunil, adding, “We displayed a five-layer blown film line way back at Plastindia 2000, followed by a seven-layer blown film line at Plastindia 2006. And this time we will introduce a hybrid product, which is an amalgamation of German and Indian technology.” Not only is the new machine being introduced to address the market trend but it will also lay the path forward for the industry. “The emphasis will b e o n e n e r g y e f f i c i e n c y, c o n s i s t e n t q u a l i t y, h i g h automation and high productivity. With all of this,

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processors will be able to address the stringent quality parameters now being demanded by their customers at affordable, justifiable and reasonable price levels,” he opined. Sunil went on to say, “ The Plastindia machine is the first display of the technical prowess of both Alpine and Rajoo. With hot parts coming from Alpine, complete automation from Germany and the rest of the machine structure, oscillating hauloff and a fully automatic surface winder (in a never before front-to-front format) from Rajoo, we are in a position to provide a unique cost effective solution to processors.” Apart from the technical collaboration both partners are also said to be “aggressively pitching for several projects in India and Africa.” The line has already been sold to Bangalore-based Synthetic Packers that manufactures PE films for a wide range of applications. “The proud owner of this machine is Anil Kabra of Synthetic Packers, a more than two-decade old customer of Rajoo,” added Sunil. Last year, Synthetic was accorded the “Best Small Enterprise” award by D&B-Axis Bank Business Gaurav SME and will also receive another accolade as the “Best Performing Enterprise”, at the Plasticon Awards that will be presented during the Plastindia show. A n o t h e r n o v e l t y i n e x t r u s i o n m a c h i n e r y f r o m Rajoo comes in the form of what is said to be the world’s smallest three-layer co-extruded blown film line, Multifoil Nano RECF 2320 /300-OH IBC, with a layflat width specification of 250 mm and an output of 30 kg/hour. It is said to be “ideal and cost-effective for the development of recipes and various film structures and material selection.” New pipe line is born Last year, to expand its portfolio for the domestic market, Rajoo set up a joint venture with Italy-based pipe/profile extruder manufacturer Bausano to produce pipe and profile machinery in India.

T h e f i r s t i n n o v a t i o n f r o m t h i s j o i n t v e n t u r e i s Rajoo Bausano’s twin-screw RPVC pipe line known as TwinEx RBMD-1575-30/250. It can produce pipes with an outer diameter of 63-250 mm, at an output of 440 kg/hour. “This line will be on display at our stand. Once again, world class technology, a leap from the current technology being used by processors, at affordable price levels,” said Sunil. T h e a r r a n g e m e n t i s t h a t s o m e p a r t s w i l l b e sourced from Bausano in Italy for a start and will be manufactured in India later. The lines are assembled at a new facility set up close to Rajoo’s Rajkot plant in Gujarat. The company has invested US$3 million in this joint venture, according to Sunil. The new lines are expected to revolutionise pipe manufacturing technology in India. “Local processors who currently use short extruders will now be offered Rajoo-Bausano 30 L/D extruders to enhance melt homogenisation at much higher output levels using similar size extruder and motor ratings,” adds Sunil. Furthermore, the line utilises Bausano’s patented high-torque multi-drive system, which uses four synchronised motors, has less power consumption and lower maintenance than the older, albeit, widely used technology. Forming and sheet lines offspring of takeover I n 2 0 1 0 , N a s i k - b a s e d Wo n d e r p a c k I n d u s t r i e s , a pioneer in thermoforming machinery, merged with Rajoo. Commented Sunil on this venture, “The merger process has been completed in all respects and now Wonderpack, a division of Rajoo, offers a complete range of sheet extrusion and thermoforming solutions for the industry.”

The other new lines include a thermoformer with a stacking solution

Rajoo-Bausano Twinex twin-screw PVC pipe line

To s h o w c a s e t h e c o m p a n y ’s p r o w e s s a t t h e exhibition, a two-layer PP/PS sheet line from the Rajoo series, Lamina RS1X 1410/800, with a maximum sheet width of 700 mm and output of 320 kg/hour, will be exhibited.




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Also on display will be a thermoformer for PP/PS/ PET in the Wonderpack series, WPTF 3565 N1, which features electro-hydro-pneumatic with plug assist, in-mould cutting and a stacking solution. It is able to cater to a maximum sheet width of 690 mm and an output of 45 cycles/minute. Both the above machines will be installed in the Gulf region after the show. Brisk sales expected for packaging and infrastructure T h i s y e a r ’s P l a s t i n d i a e v e n t i s h e l d a g a i n s t t h e backdrop of challenging times. Many industries globally are in a cautious mood due to the current Eurozone debt crisis and lower growth expected in the US.

Landscaping surrounds the Design Centre, the hub of machine designs at Rajoo

The facility includes a newly refurbished dust-free tooling room known as Shree Yantralaya (a Sanskrit phrase that means abode for tools dedicated to the Lord)

But in India, the huge potential in various plastics industry sectors, such as non-woven fabrics, packaging, agriculture, infrastructure, medical devices, automotive parts, IT and electronics, are expected to account for brisk sales for machine makers. Sunil echoes this outlook, “While the overall business sentiment is low, the plastics industry is poised to grow in leaps and bounds.” Based on a report by the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA), plastic production in the country is expected to grow by 60% to serve the 12.75 million tonnes projected consumption by this fiscal year of 2012. This could position the country in the top third spot in the global market for plastics use come 2015. This growth figure will also require 42,000 new machines and US$10 billion worth of investments.




While India shares the spotlight with China as a source for materials and finished goods, it has traditionally focused on serving its domestic market. But this is slowly changing and exports are expected to grow 15% a year, according to AIPMA. Thus, the above scenario and India‘s consistent double-digit growth potential in plastics gives technology-oriented homegrown machinery makers a better edge. Sunil paints an optimistic picture of the packaging/ consumer market. “With the government allowing 100% FDI (foreign direct investments) in single brand retailing and a majority stake in multi-brand retailing expected in the not too distant future, the plastics industry is looking forward to a bright future.” Packaging is expected to increase at a meteoric rate since “organised retailing will bring in great opportunities for plastic processors as most of the products need to be packaged.”

The 25-year old Rajoo upgraded its facility a few years back

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Thus, Sunil adds that the machines and technologies on display at Plastindia by Rajoo provide solutions for plastic processors to address this demand. Infrastructure and agricultural sectors, the latter o f w h i c h a c c o u n t s f o r 2 0 % o f t h e c o u n t r y ’s G D P, are also on the uptrend in India, and hence the PVC and CPVC pipe lines have been introduced by Rajoo to addresses these market segments. New kid on the block but with opportunities aplenty Another sector that is expected to pump up sales for Rajoo is the non-woven one, which continues to expand proportionally with the growing affluence of the population and industrialisation e f f o r t s i n t h e c o u n t r y. “ N o n - w o v e n e x t r u s i o n machinery is the most recent important addition to our portfolio and offers immense opportunities in India,” affirmed Sunil. Hence, inspite of an overall slowdown, the past year for Rajoo has been one of growth. Says Sunil, “While the market for traditional products has remained stable, the introduction of machinery for producing non-woven fabric has provided a major boost to the top line and bottom line of Rajoo.” L a s t y e a r, R a j o o e n t e r e d t h i s n i c h e m a r k e t b y being the first Indian machine maker to offer a complete line for PP spun bond and melt-blown non-woven fabrics. “We realised there was a vacuum in the sector since machines coming from other Far Eastern sources are of low technology levels and not reliable. Hence, we are quite pleased by the encouraging acceptance of Rajoo machines and we look forward to the non-woven sector being a major business opportunity for Rajoo,” he added.

Keeping on top of market reach Meanwhile, the export business continues to play a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n R a j o o ’s g r o w t h . “ We h a v e supplied several rPET sheet lines to Latin America, Asia’s first seven-layer blown film line to Turkey and this year we even entered the Russian market.” The continent of Africa has also continued to provide a stable market for Rajoo, plus the company made its first foray into the Thai market with its blown film lines. “Our existing overseas customers continue to pose their confidence in Rajoo machines through repeat orders and we expect to push further ahead with our export sales this year,” he concludes. ◆

At a glance: Rajoo’s portfolio at Plastindia 2012

• First hybrid five-layer blown film line

– Multifoil REAL 2550-65/2400 IBC-A – with extruders and die from Hosokawa Alpine, Germany; gravimetric dosing and blending and automatic thickness control from Germany – 400 mm die; output of 600 kg/hour and 2,250 mm layflat width

• Two-layer PP/PS sheet line – Lamina RS1X – 1410/800 – with maximum sheet width 700 mm and output of 320 kg/hour

• Thermoformer for PP/PS/PET – WPTF

3565 N1; electro-hydro-pneumatic with plug assist, in-mould cutting and stacking solution; maximum sheet width of 690 mm and output of 45 cycles/minute

• R a j o o

B a u s a n o ’s f i r s t t w i n - s c r e w RPVC pipe plant – TwinEx RBMD-157530/250 – for producing pipes with outer diameter range from 63-250 mm and an output of 440 kg/hour

• W o r l d ’s

Fabrex is, as its name suggests, a PP non-woven fabric extrusion line that is expected to meet the growing demand of this sector

smallest three-layer coextruded blown film line Multifoil – Nano RECF 2320 /300-OH IBC – with 250 mm layflat width and output of 30 kg/hour




Blow Moulding

Blow by blow account of the industry Fuelled by increasing GDPs, the Asian markets present lucrative opportunities for the bottle market, which is also being “greened” through brand owners’ initiatives. Meanwhile, new BPA-free materials are being introduced as alternatives and machinery makers have upped the ante with higher output equipment.


he global packaging industry is pegged to reach US$262.6 billion by 2015, says market research group Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA). Meanwhile, another research firm Freedonia Group reports that China, currently the world’s second largest packaging market with a value of US$76 billion in 2011, an increase by 7.2% from 2010, has already edged Japan out in terms of market size and will also outdo the US by 2020. The report also indicated that China’s growth rate in the plastic drink containers segment will slow down from 2010-2015, but it will still average a high 10.2% a year Overall, plastics will continue to account for the largest share of total sales, reaching nearly 223 billion units in 2015, competing against other packaging material choices such as paper board and glass, the report says. Nevertheless, PET bottles have remained a top-seller for non-alcoholic beverages. Materials making their rounds Chemical firm Borealis has introduced a PP grade that provides an alternative to polycarbonate, which has taken a beating in recent years due to the BPA scare, specially designed for cosmetic and baby bottles. Its next generation Borclear RC737MO grade is also taking transparency in extrusion blow moulded (EBM) PP bottles to new heights. Compared with standard products the haze value, an established indicator describing opacity, can be reduced by 25%. And when compared with metallocene grades, the resin is said to offer better surface scratch resistance. It can be processed by applying the usual settings for random PP grades, with barrel temperatures in the range of 190-220°C. Its higher melt strength enables easy regulation of wall thickness while the lower weight variations reduce the potential for breakages during transportation and use. Borealis latest PP grade is targeted at baby bottles




In other news, Total Petrochemicals’s new HDPE grade for injection stretch blow moulding (ISBM) is attracting global interest for milk bottles and packaging for household industrial chemicals. ISBM allows for up to 20% lightweighting of HDPE bottles compared with extrusion blow moulding (EBM); lower haze, higher gloss and absence of weld lines or flash trimming. ISBM brings other benefits like the improved neck finish and higher machine productivity of up to 60,000 bottles/hour, which is comparable to PET output. Meanwhile, Solvay Advanced Polymers has launched a polyarylamide (MXD6 nylon) grade for blow moulded fuel tanks. Ixef BXT 2000-0203 is said to provide improved fuel barrier and chemical resistance. It can be processed on continuous-extrusion, accumulator-head, reciprocatingscrew and suction blow moulding machines. It can also be co-extruded with other nylons and polyolefins. It has a 6 MFR and specific gravity of 1.12. Brand owners push for sustainability The consumer market is all agog with compostable-based materials that industry giants, especially in the F&B sector, are using in their PET packaging to cater to the growing popularity for sustainability. Upfront in the race are Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, both neck-in-neck in the race to push further the frontier! The former introduced in 2009 its 30% plant-based PlantBottle (monoethylene glycol or MEG is made from sugarcanebased ethanol). Since then, it has already distributed more than 10 billion PlantBottles in 20 countries worldwide. Early last year, PepsiCo upped the ante with the introduction of a 100% plant-based “green” bottle, which unlike the one from its rival, features both biobased-sourced MEG and terephthalic acid (PTA) from materials like switch grass, pine bark and corn husk. Pilot production of the new bottle, said to look and feel like an existing PET bottle, is expected to start this year. Also in the same vein, later in the year, PepsiCo introduced what it says is the US’s first soft-drink bottle (7UP EcoGreen) made from 100% recycled PET (rPET). The company says “creating a bottle from 100% recycled plastic for soft drinks is more challenging than creating a bottle for non-carbonated beverages because of the stress on materials from carbonation pressure.” While PepsiCo has



Indian show to propel industry to heights

h i s y e a r, I n d i a ’s p l a s t i c s i n d u s t r y i s expected to have a turnover of Rs100,000 crore from the previous Rs85,000 crore, according to the Plastindia Foundation. By 2020, India’s plastics processing sector would have grown from 69,000 to 150,000 machines. The plastics industry is a success story in India, showing strength in internal consumption with a growth of 15% a year, thus projecting it to become the world’s fifth largest plastics consumer by 2025. It is against this backdrop that the triennial Plastindia 2012 exhibition will be held from 1-6 February at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, with strong international participation over the 100,000 sq. m of area, an expected 1,800 exhibitors from 40 countries and a targeted 150,000 visitors. A concurrent event, Proplast will also be a highlight in the Plastindia 2012. Featured in this section are the finished plastic goods. Foreign pavilions Foreign pavilions include a 35-exhibitor Italian participation in Hall 11, led by the Italian Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers (Assocomaplast). The Italian bloc will push forward the IndoItalian cooperation, with an information stand to be coordinated with University LIUC, which is working to link up SMEs. Furthermore, Assocomaplast will also be promoting its own show, Plast 2012, which will be held in Milan, Italy, from 8-12 May. Not to be left out are the Germans. Exports to India from the Western Europe country during the period January to September 2011 amounted to EUR125.3 million, which is an increase of 44.8% compared to the same period of the previous year. India ranks fourth behind China, the US and Russia in the list of most important destinations for German plastics and rubber machinery. The worldwide exports of plastics and rubber machines to India in 2010 reached a total of EUR565.3 million, which is an increase of 16.6 % compared to the previous year. As in preceding years, Germany remains the leading supplier of plastics and rubber machinery in India with a share of 25% of total exports, followed by China (21.2%) and Taiwan (11.7%).

It is for the above reasons that the western countries have an interest in the burgeoning growth of the plastics sector in India. Chanelling resources to good use Apart from organising the exhibition, the association also keeps in mind the importance of manpower, especially when a shortage in skilled manpower looms despite having a work force estimate of 467 million in the country, which in part has led to increased investments in automation technologies to compensate for the deficit. As such, it will channel the money from the exhibition to set up the Plastindia Foundation Knowledge Centre at Dungara in Vapi, Gujarat. It will be a provider of specialised degree education, continued education and training as well as R&D. The key initiatives of the centre are to create a resource pool of manpower with dual training in technology and management along with upgrading of existing skills of the industry. Another vision of the Foundation is to conserve water and increase productivity through the use of micro-irrigation systems by deploying Plasticulture innovations. This will create an impact on the yield of agricultural produce of India; enhance the shelf life of yield and become an integral part of the second green revolution of India, leading to a sustained use of plastics in the field of agriculture. Activities that are carried out for Plasticulture are the adoption of village clusters for implementing micro-irrigation and demonstrating the benefits of micro-irrigation through mobile exhibitions, with outcomes of increase in agricultural/horticultural productivity with improved quality of the produce, with up to 50–60% savings of water and fertilisers; healthy reduction in post-harvest loss and conversion of wasteland into productive land. Another key initiative of the Foundation is the ITI Adoption, a step towards creating a suitably trained and certified blue collar workforce for the industry. The objectives of the initiative are to encourage, promote and support education of technical institutes, so as to significantly facilitate a quantum increase in the qualified human resource development availability, for the plastics industry & to undertake activities to create awareness for plastics or polymers as a vocational opportunity.




Blow Moulding

PepsiCo is launching the 100% recyclable biobased “green” bottles this year

been using 10% rPET in its soft-drink bottles, which is said to be the highest in the industry, using 100% rPET required three years of R&D. Just after PepsiCo’s news about the 100% plant-based bottle, Coca-Cola announced a 100% recyclable plantbased HDPE bottle for packaging Odwalla’s beverages for the US market. PlantBottles used for Odwalla’s single-serve use are made of HDPE, which is created using only ethylene and is derived from 100% sugarcanebased ethanol. But the company also added that, “while it was possible to create 100% plant-based HDPE bottles, these are not suitable for bottling fizzy drinks because HDPE has a higher gas permeability and not ideal for bottled waters because it is translucent.” But the company went on to say that it was working to further technology “so that other plant materials could be used in future PlantBottle packaging, with several approaches to a PET package made entirely from plants successfully demonstrated in laboratory testing.” To further its pursuit, later in the Recyclable HDPE year, Coca-Cola tied up with Dutch bottles used for research and technology company, juice drinks in Avantium, to pilot the production of the US 100% biobased-PEF bottles. Avantium has developed a patented technology YXY and recently opened its 40 tonne/year-PEF pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands. The company states PEF can be derived from any biomass feedstock containing carbohydrates, such as sugarcane, agricultural residues, plants and grains. Using YXY as a chemical-catalytic technology, these carbohydrates can be converted into a wide variety of bioplastics. Current process economic estimates indicate that PEF will be a viable alternative to petroleum-based PET. Other attributes are that PEF has 10°C higher glasstransition temperature (Tg) than PET, twice the moisture barrier, three times the carbon dioxide barrier and six times the oxygen barrier. Not to be left out in environmentally conscious Japan, beverage manufacturer Ajinomoto General Foods (AGF)




has unveiled a 100% rPET bottle and will start to expand its use to all of its main products starting this February. Japanese media also reported the industry previously had two players that carried out bottle-to-bottle PET recycling – PET Reserve and Teijin Fiber – but due to raw material shortages caused by waste bottle exports to China, PET Reserve filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and Teijin suspended the recycling business. PET Refine Technology has taken over and continues to develop the market, the report said. In 2010, it supplied 19,500 tonnes of rPET resin to beverage manufacturers in the country. Blow/fill process hot on the heels On the other side of the Atlantic, Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), the maker of the beverage in Australia, has invested A$450 million in blow/fill technology at its production facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. This will take place from 2010-2015. The blow/ fill technology (combining blowing and filling) enables CCA to redesign and lightweight its PET small carbonated soft drink and water bottle range, delivering cost savings, production efficiency gains, increased product shelf life and stacking ability. With this, the company says it will be able to reduce the carbon footprint of each bottle by 22%. CCA used the blow/fill technology to produce a spring-water easy-crushable bottle, which it says is the lightest 20 oz spring-water Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle has a bottle in Australia. It weighs worldwide following 0.5 oz and uses 35% less PET than stretch blow moulded bottles. This year, CCA is also expected to launch the PlantBottle in the country. Integrated machinery concepts After a year of halted production and a takeover by US Graham Packaging, Italian machine maker (now known as) Techne Graham, has introduced the Unika integrated blow moulder for the liquid packaging market. It is claimed to be the first machine in the world capable of producing 14,000 pieces/hour of 250 ml.HDPE bottles, integrated with filling and capping. The first unit will delivered to a company operating in China that will produce refrigerated milk-based products. Highlights are the 70% reduction in manpower, 38% lower energy consumption and a space utilisation of 35%. A result of three years of R&D, the machine is fully electric-driven, including the filling and capping, which are controlled by an industrial PC connected to the manufacturing company via internet for 24/7 service support.

Blow Moulding

Techne now a part of Graham Packaging, has introduced the Unika machine

Though the concept of integration is not at all new in the liquid packaging market, Techne Graham says its machine is the first to interface a high-speed blow moulder with a rotary filler and capper, including a quality control unit. Unika, which has an IML (in-mould labelling) feature, can also be applied in the edible oil, lubricant, detergent and body care product markets for 100 ml to 5 l containers. Elsewhere, Austrian company Greiner Packaging has developed an ISBM, in tandem with Mould & Matic. The preform is injection moulded on a vertical machine, and transported into the blowing station using a gripping mandrel. Upon completion, the products are unloaded

and stacked automatically. Christened Kavoblow 200/80R2, the machine is able to process PET, PP, PE, PS, and PA for producing containers in sizes from 5 ml to 5 l. Meanwhile, amongst the products Wilmington Machinery will be profiling at the upcoming April NPE show in the US, will be a large container rotary blow moulder. It is designed with calibrated neck for 3 gallon to 25 l tight drum and jerry can applications. The system is available with four or six cavities and is automated, including part handling and trimming. It is capable of speeds up to 475 containers/hour or 4 million containers/ year. â—†

Greiner’s Kavoblow 200/80-R2 machine


Green packaging is just good business sense This article by Bob Wrighton expands on the business attributes of adopting green packaging, further to the paper he presented at PRA’s Green Packaging conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, last year. The triple bottom line Green Packaging can be defined as packaging that is fit for purpose and contributes to each of the triple bottom line: “people, planet, profit”. The definition includes the necessity for packaging to do no harm to any of these. It can be measured in terms of the three key green elements – reduce, recycle and reuse or the 3Rs. The triple bottom line has gained much credence in the last few years. Though a company needs to make profit, it should not be gained at the expense of its staff or the planet, especially the serious depletion of non-renewable energy sources including fossil fuels, gas, coal, water and food. U K - b a s e d P i r a International released a packaging industry survey last year that reveals companies are indeed beginning to Bob Wrighton speaking at PRA’s first conference on listen. The research Green Packaging, held on firm, which chose to 17 November in Jakarta, approach the study from Indonesia a “ c o n s u m e r- b a s e d ” perspective, says there is a dramatic shift in perception within the packaging industry regarding sustainability. Pira says companies are beginning to take note and a few have stepped forward to lead the sustainable packaging revolution by adopting solutions like plantbased plastic packaging. This will also help to create economies of scale and encourage companies that may have initially been reluctant to adopt sustainable packaging due to its high price. Already, third generation bioplastics made from non-food sources, such as algae, cellulose and waste products, are in the pipeline and expected to be widely available by 2015. Some brand owners that have made recent biopackaging announcements include L’Oreal, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Nestlé. What exactly is “green”? One of the major problems in the whole green area is defining exactly what it is. Pira’s study says confusion arises as a result of the eco buzz words that are being




used, such as biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and others. The reality is that the average consumer is overwhelmed by the growing list of vaguely defined and often overlapping terms used to market and describe sustainable packaging. Pira’s study suggests that both the packaging industry and consumers work together to develop a unified set of standards to maintain transparency. Meanwhile, consumers agree that they would like to buy green and would be willing to pay more but they don’t really know what products are “greener” than others. A landmark book titled Ecological Intelligence (Daniel Goleman, 2007) highlights “radical transparency”, where manufacturers make it absolutely clear what their products contain, where they are made, by whom and under what conditions. This process is operational in the US, for example, on a website known as GoodGuide. It examines more than 101,000 consumer products and rates them on a scale of 0 to 10. From diapers to air fresheners, cereal bars to mobile phones, GoodGuide’s researchers comb through a product’s ingredients to determine its health and safety; its impact on the environment and society, as well as look at whether the product is recyclable, or it was tested on animals; and how the company treats its workers. Why is it good business sense? Costs, convenience, quality and safety are the leading criteria that consumers look for when it comes to packaging. There is no doubt that plastics allow companies to meet their sustainability goals due to the efficiency and level of performance offered, with minimal investment in raw material and energy use. This is especially true when switching from metal or glass to lightweight plastic packaging that can help reduce energy use and the carbon footprint as well as transportation or logistics costs. Success stories from the US include retailer Walmart that expects to save US$3 billion in transportation costs by reducing packaging by 5% by 2015. In fact, the company saved US$3.5 million by trimming its toy packaging over the 2008 holiday season. Another US company that grows and packages a line of organic salads, Earthbound Farms, is utilising 100% post-consumer PET packaging, a move expected to save the company about 425,000 million BTUs of energy and avoid 16,000 tonnes/year of carbon dioxide emissions.


Location proves to be a vantage point for Chinaplas!


ocation is undoubtedly one of the crucial factors contributing to the success of Chinaplas, which is held in China, the world’s factory, annually and rotates between Shanghai and Guangzhou in the even and odd year respectively. This year it will be held in Shanghai from 18-21 April. China is now the major production country for automotive, plastic pipes, electronic products, home appliances and others. All these require a large volume of plastics and rubber materials and technology during the production process. The healthy development of these industries in China has created a favorable platform for the growth of Chinaplas, which is widely recognised as Asia’s No. 1 and the world’s No.2 plastics and rubber show. In 2011, exhibitors reached 2,435, with 13.57% and 32.33% increase as compared to 2010 and 2009 respectively. These exhibitors came from 34 countries and regions, occupying 180,000 sq m of the exhibition area, which is also a new record for Chinaplas. In terms of visitors, the total number has increased by 15.53% and 35.77% to 94,084 in comparison to 2010 and 2009, with 20.27% visitors coming from overseas. This year’s show is expected to attract over 2,600 exhibitors with an exhibition area of over 200,000 sq m. In addition to all 17 exhibition halls in the east, west and north wings of the fairground, the organiser will also set up exhibition halls at the central square to expand the exhibition areas for displaying more machines and raw materials. With the scale expansion, the exhibition will attract more than 100,000 trade visitors from 140 countries or regions and over 100 groups of delegations.

Green technology focus The implementation of the 12th Five-Year Plan in China introduces various regulations on environment protection. Hence, the theme for the 26th edition of the show this year is “the Future is in Plastics & Rubber”, which will be used as a platform to cultivate, develop and promote the “green” mission to the plastics and rubber industries. In fact, the organiser says the “Green Plastics. Our Goal. Our Future” theme has been used by Chinaplas for two years since 2010, with a green corner established to promote green plastics materials and technologies. In 2011, the show broke the Guinness World Record on the largest plastic installation art by transforming 3,528 recycled plastic bottles into a 4 m high “Alive Bottles Tree”. The mission of “future” has been extended to become this year’s theme. This year, the Future Zone will be showcased. It consists of two parts, namely “Nurturing Our Future” and “Premium Design Gallery”. The first one invites university students to participate in the competition of designing a futuristic car. The winning design will be made as a 1:1 model to display at the Future Zone. It will be announced in February. The “Premium Design Gallery” will showcase a series of new, unique design of various plastic-made end products. Besides the “Future Zone”, a seminar on Bioplastics and conference on automotive will also be held. The 4th International Seminar on Bioplastics Applications will take place from 18-19 April. Following the overwhelming response in 2011, the summit on “China Plastics in Automotive” will be held one day before the show on 17 April to discuss the automotive market in China and influence of plastics and rubber on the industry. In addition, over 70 technical seminars will be organised by exhibitors to unveil new technologies and applications.





Meanwhile, consumer products company Procter & Gamble (P&G) set a five-year plan in 2007. One of its goals was to produce US$50 billion sales of sustainable innovation products – it did US$40 billion last year. It also reduced energy by 16%, wastage by 57%, carbon dioxide by 12% and water usage by 22%. This year, P&G expects to reduce each of these areas by 20%. Other goals in line with its long-term 2020 sustainability vision include replacing 25% of its petrochemicalbased feedstock with renewable-based chemicals and eliminating entirely the use of non-recyclable PVC in packaging. Another company Clorox published its first corporate sustainability report in 2010 where it stated key goals to be achieved by 2013 include reducing packaging to more than half its product portfolio; providing more than 90% of its products in a recyclable primary packaging and identifying an alternative to PVC use. Since then, Clorox has reduced HDPE use in its bleach containers by 2,268 tonnes/year and it has also reduced its Glad trash bag packaging material by 45% over recent years. French food company Danone became the first major multinational last year to package its Actimel yoghurt drink in bio-HDPE sourced from Brazilian supplier Braskem, while in Germany, its Activia yoghurt cups are no longer made of PS but from PLA produced by USbased NatureWorks. According to Danone, using PLA has led to a 43% reduction in fossil resources and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.

By using biobased plastics in its yoghurt packaging, Danone says it is reducing the burden on fossil resources

Reduce, reuse and recycle The UK had a white Christmas in 2010. It was almost too much of a good thing because rubbish collectors were not able to do their rounds. Hence, when rubbish collection resumed, it was estimated that some 35% of what went to the landfills was packaging from the festive activities. This brings us to over-packaging and how to reduce it. P&G partnered with Be Green Packaging, a moulded fibre supplier, to reduce the weight of Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor packaging by 20%. The new packaging also has 57% less plastic compared to the originally launched Fusion outer pack and razor tray as it uses fibre material made from bamboo, sugarcane and bulrush. The packaging is also 100% free of PVC.




P&G’s Pantene bottle is made from sugarcanesourced plastic, which it says is a first for the mass hair care industry

P&G is also propagating the use of sugarcanebased PE produced by Braskem for packaging its brands such as P a n t e n e P r o - V, Covergirl and Max Factor products. A first for the mass hair care industry, the Pantene shampoo bottle debuted in Europe and the US last year. P&G says when compared to HDPE packaging, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 170%, consumes over 70% less fossil fuels and can be recycled in traditional facilities that recycle petroleum-based plastic. By revamping packaging for its Total Effect anti-ageing moisturiser, combining two Prilosec blister packaging into one and cutting out the secondary packaging from the primary dispenser for Covergirl’s TruBlend facial foundation product, P&G says it has reduced up to 1,360 tonnes/year of plastics. There is little doubt that this decade will go down in history as one where the term “green” really came to the forefront of business thinking. The main reason is that the world has come to accept that there really is a problem with global warming and climate change, hence the growing need to care for the planet. Any green initiative is simply good business. All of the main business initiatives and innovations for the last 40 years have been in fact “green” though they may not have been called that. Plus, going green does not necessarily add to your costs. In fact, it is more likely to improve the bottom line! ◆

Credit: Bob Wrighton is an English-born New Zealander who has lived in Asia for the past 20 years. He has been in the field of human resources his entire working life and has been a management consultant since 1980. Most recently, he has been functioning as an ideas broker, which means reading widely, mining new ideas and linking them with ideas already mined, then sharing them with managers and companies that are interested in keeping themselves at the cutting edge. Bob shares ideas on his free blog at

Injection Moulding Asia Largest MuCell system


erman machine maker KraussMaffei, US-based Trexel and mould maker Mürdter Werkzeug-und Formenbau are applying MuCell microcellular foaming technology in the largest injection moulding machine at Mürdter’s factory in Mutlangen, Germany. The machine is an MC 5400-17200 with 5,400-tonne clamping force. Mürdter makes large moulds for automotive parts such as instrument panels and door panels and has large injection moulding machines for trials and small production in its nearby mould unit. The companies say that MuCell technology allows the moulding of large components with shorter cycle times, lower clamping force, material savings and weight reduction.

Erodible material extends tool life


ermany-based Leroxid has introduced Dimacer erodible ceramic material for tools for injection moulding, extrusion dies and other parts such as gears and threaded components. Said to achieve a longer life-span, it won EuroMold’s gold award at the show that was held late last year. The ceramic has a degree of electrical conductivity that enables the ceramic mould parts to be produced using the spark erosion process. In addition, it’s co-efficient of thermal expansion and thermal conductivity values are close to steel, plus the material is said to outperform steel with its improved abrasion

resistance. This is useful in mould gates when injection moulding glass fibrereinforced plastics as well as in micromoulding. Dimacer is also suited to ceramic injection moulding (CIM) and powder metal injection moulding (MIM) for sharp-edged parts, where mould wear becomes apparent after a low number of shots. The material is prepared as a ceramic suspension containing a low 24% (by volume) of titanium carbide conductive content and meta-stabile tetragonal zirconium dioxide to prevent brittleness. It is then spray dried and sintered into blanks for spark erosion. The process is used to ensure that the conductive additive does not compromise the ceramic’s strength and toughness.

displayed in the new Fina chair from Brunner. While the conventional way would be to use complex rotary table or stack moulds with painting required for an aesthetic surface, Deckerform says the GF-PP core serves as a barrier layer preventing sink marks from forming in outer layers. The process also boasts 40% lower material costs, is less expensive and has a faster cycle time, according to the mould maker.

Moulds as HDPE and PBT is vital to manufacturers as they can increase their production rates and gain a higher profit by filling a polymer with glass. Since glass cools faster, it reduces the time that the polymer needs to stay in the mould, allowing a faster output rate for products.

Integrated assembly for cost efficiency

Kit for testing pvT


cientists at the UKbased National Physical Laboratory (NPL) research centre have introduced a pressure-volumetemperature (pvT) and thermal conductivity test kit. Based on nine years of research, the kit measures the thermo-physical properties of polymers and can help improve the injection moulding process by allowing designers to find the exact pvT and shrinkage properties of a material. The pvT instrument operates at pressures ranging from 200-2,500 bar and is said to be the only equipment in the world that can test materials at ultra fast cooling rates of up to 280°C/minute and down to temperatures approaching -100°C. NPL says that at higher pressures, polymers can conduct heat up to 20% more efficiently, leading to faster cooling rates and shorter cycle times. A thermal conductivity measurement feature is also incorporated in the instrument. Research on the thermal conductivity properties of polymers such

Mono-sandwich process improved


nother winning entry (winning the Silver award) at the show came from mould maker Deckerform Technologies’s three component monosandwich process for one or two-colour parts that are subjected to high static loads. The company says that glass fibre-reinforced nylon can be substituted with the use of inexpensive unreinforced PP in the outer/edge and 50% glass fibre-reinforced PP as the core material. The second colour together with a third component is injected in the same process cycle as a fourth boundary layer on the mono-sandwich part. The layer structure provides stability and hardness for example to a spring seat, as

The lightweight closure was shown at Fakuma


t the recent Fakuma show in Germany, the total integrated manufacturing or TIM principle, developed by Germany-headquartered mould maker Zahoransky, was displayed on a KraussMaffei machine. The swivel-platen CXW 200-380/160 SpinForm machine was moulding a lightweight, three-part plastic closure made of PP. The parts came out of the machine ready to be assembled. This system was designed by the two companies to allow for a higher productivity on a small footprint. The two-platen clamp of the CX series offers easy accessibility to the mould and has ample space for the integrated assembly stations. The two injection units are positioned centrally opposite each other, making


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Injection Moulding Asia Moulds it possible to use simple hot-runner systems with natural balancing and short flow paths. This reduces the volumes of melt in the hot runners, making for simpler process management and consistent part quality, say the companies. This new concept is not only cheaper than traditional injection assembly solutions, but it is also more effective due to lower mould investment, said Zahoransky.

Laser polishing of tools a reality


urrently, components used in tool and die making are hand polished. But German Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology Institute (ILT) recently developed a machine tool that uses laser polishing to give complex 3D surfaces a high-gloss finish, up to ten times faster than hand polishing. It has been developed in collaboration with Maschinenfabrik Arnold and S&F Systemtechnik. While conventional methods remove material from the surface to even it out, ILT’s method uses a laser to melt a thin surface layer roughly 20 to 100 microns deep. Surface tension – a property that applies to all liquids – ensures that the layer of liquid metal solidifies evenly. Depending on the material, it is able to produce surfaces with an average roughness (Ra) of between 0.1 and 0.4 microns. Though ILT says hand polishing can still get better results than that, in many applications a medium-quality surface is

In addition to SLM, Fraunhofer ILT is also promoting the use of Laser Material Deposition (LMD). The difference between SLM and LMD is that in SLM, the process produces close contour mould inserts out of highly conductive copper alloy, which was previously not possible as copper alloy powders have lower laser light absorption and higher heat dissipation than steel-based powders because of the higher thermal conductivity. This interrupts the melt track and small molten metal balls form, which create pores and lead to lowdensity parts. ILT overcame the restrictions by using a more powerful 1,000W laser instead of the conventional 200W SLM lasers used with aluminium, cobaltchrome, titanium and steels. The firm optimised the process by choosing a particularly even beam profile and changing the inert gas control system and mechanical equipment. By contrast, in LMD, the components are produced by laser melting powder material projected by a nozzle onto specific areas of the component. SLM is capable of generating the finely detailed structures of complex components while LMD is more suited to the manufacture of largearea components and for repairs. The 3D SLM method is said to reduce production costs, with no costly tool modifications required to produce undercuts, internal cooling channels or complex support structures, for example. ILT says SLM is now ready for industrial use as it has achieved workpiece density of 99.9%.

all that is needed. The system consists of a five-axis gantry plus an additional three-axis laser scanner, a design that enables it to be accessed from all sides. Mirrors deflect the laser beam to allow feed rates (the speed at which the laser beam moves along the workpiece within a specified time frame) in excess of 1 m/ second, even on small surfaces. An end-to-end CAM NC data chain has also been developed, which draws on a 3D CAD model of the component to be polished. The beam path data is calculated on the basis of this model.

Rapid prototyping made easier with SLM

Component removal at the end of the SLM process


raunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) has also been driving forward additive manufacturing technologies. Its latest is Selective Laser Melting (SLM) that enables customised components, such as medical implants or parts for machine tools, to be manufactured costeffectively and rapidly in small batches using 3D CAD data, following the just-in-time principle. The firm says that with this, a metal-based prototype can be presented in a shorter time compared to the time it used to take previously.

3D multi-cycle software


erman software provider Sigma Engineering’s latest Sigmasoft multi-cycle analysis is said to be a new benchmark for 3D injection moulding process simulation. While in conventional software, a fixed mould temperature is defined and the simulation is undertaken assuming that this value remains constant over time, in reality, a complex thermal process is taking place in the mould. As the steel is cooled with a tempering system, the mould is heated when the hot melt enters the cavity and there is loss of thermal energy in the surrounding environment. All these are governed by the heat transfer properties of the materials present in the system, like the melt, runner system, inserts, mould and isolation materials. Hence, the firm says that only when these complex interactions are considered will the real production conditions be reproduced in the simulation. The 3D approach allows the mould components, including all the individual thermal and physical properties, to be exactly reproduced. The firm says this allows the heat transfer process to be accurately calculated between each one of the components. The simulation attempts to exactly reproduce the heat-up during machine start-up, when the mould is heated from room temperature to its production conditions. It also includes the warm-up produced by the hot melt over several consecutive


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Injection Moulding Asia pre-production cycles. With this, Sigmasoft is able to simulate the thermal evolution of the mould over multiple consecutive production cycles. This calculation is said to be able to predict the real temperature in each location of the mould during production, with conditions that Sigma says are more realistic. This allows the software to predict how long the polymer remains in a fluid condition so that post-pressure can be applied or where thermally induced deformation could most likely compromise part quality. Multi-cycle simulation also allows the calculation of the number of production cycles required for the mould to achieve cyclic equilibrium, allowing a comparison of the efficiency of different tempering systems to understand how to achieve equilibrium more quickly and consume less energy.

Ball valve to meet tighter water laws

and warehouse areas at the Kottingbrunn facility by 3,000 sq m. This is to meet increasing orders for its large machine MacroPower. First introduced in 2010, the model, available in clamping forces from 5001,100 tonnes is continuing to witness a “positive order situation and strong demand.” The company also says its facility was utilised to full capacity last year. The assembly capacity will be increased by 1,600 sq m with a new building while the pre-assembly and warehouse capacity has already been expanded by 1,400 sq m through remodeling of existing buildings. The extension of the assembly space will be implemented by adding a new bay to the existing assembly hall to cater specifically to producing the large machines. The new hall is expected to be completed by the end of September 2012.


hinese component manufacturer for plumbing and heating systems Link-Tech has developed what is said to be the industry’s first modular ball valve that features several thermoplastic components including the ball, ball valve housing and several connector components. The PolyBrass ball valve incorporates thermoplastic parts made of Acudel modified polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resin from US-based Solvay Specialty Polymers, for prolonged resistance to hot chlorinated water and tight tolerance moulding. Link-Tech is targeting its PolyBrass ball valve for the US market where new legislation to be enacted in 2014 will require lead-free systems for potable water and heating applications for residential and commercial use. Modular construction allows versatility for the ball valve, thereby permitting use with a range of fittings including threaded screws, pushes and crimps. All three parts are injection moulded including the ball, which serves as a flow control device. Acudel modified

Industry News

Large machine orders boost expansion


erman machine maker Wittmann Battenfeld is expanding its production

Wittmann Battenfeld is expanding its facility to meet the demand for its machines

The all-new ball valve features plastics in most of its components

PPSU allows tight tolerance moulding of the ball, previously made of metal, thus eliminating machining and post-treatment operations. All three parts are manually assembled.

China to lead in machine uptake


new study from Freedonia Group forecasts global demand for plastics processing machinery is expected to increase by 6% a year until 2015. The “World Plastics Processing Machinery” report says that demand will reach to US$28.9 billion by 2015, with China to account for 40% of all additional global demand until 2015. The US company also says that amongst the types of machinery, extrusion equipment will have the highest growth due to infrastructure development. Meanwhile, injection moulding machinery will still remain the largest segment of the industry, accounting for 40% of demand in 2015.


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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery

Machinery becoming more energy efficient In a study conducted by Euromap, the European plastics and rubber machinery association, it has been determined that the industry is well-placed to cut machine-related energy consumption by around 20% by 2020.

Servo drives gaining ground ncreasing use has been made of servo drives in cyclic processes such as injection moulding, blow moulding and vacuum forming technologies for a number of years now. These allow the energy required for motion to be cut by half. Plants with a conventional, central power source and system-related line and control losses are increasingly being replaced. Servo engineering has long since made the breakthrough in such high-performance areas as packaging and medical engineering. Servo systems now also offer simple solutions for energy recuperation. In injection moulding, for example, during rapid motion of the closing units, the drives are used as generators to produce energy when braking. The same principle is also used with fast-working closing units of blow moulding machines and in thermoforming machines.


Productivity goes hand in hand r Urbanek, author of the Euromap study “Energy Efficiency: European Plastics and Rubber Machines Well Placed”, sees close links between energy efficiency and productivity. “Investing for greater productivity generally also means investing in energy efficiency,” he says. The potential savings highlighted by the study satisfy the strict criteria laid down by the European Commission to cut European energy consumption by 20% by 2020. The study looked at the main plastics and rubber processing technologies, ie. injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding and thermoforming, which account for around 90% of the total volume processed. Looking back, the author determined that production efficiency has almost doubled in 20 years and plastics machinery’s specific energy consumption is down 30%. The study also reports that machines are now capable of a manufacturing output that would once have required twice as many machines of similar size. Developments in manufacturing technology have provided a significant performance boost. The demands made on hydraulic systems have resulted in greater efficiency and cut the energy consumption of injection moulding machines by around 40%. The throughput capacity of extrusion machines has also doubled over the same period. Machine-related energy consumption has been reduced by around 20%. The same is true in compounding: twice the amount of material is being processed with machine-related energy consumption down by 20% at the same time.


Outlook for the future ooking to the future, there is no doubt that the use of energy-saving and highly dynamic components will provide a significant boost in terms of improving energy efficiency further in the next ten years. Greater use of all-electric drives and servo-hydraulic designs instead of conventional technology will pave the way for further efficiency gains – in some cases as much as 50%. The most important part in improving machinery is played by developments in process engineering: advances in screw technology have brought a significant increase in throughput rates while at the same time improving the quality of the melt. This has allowed extruders and the injection units of injection moulding machines to become smaller and better while maintaining performance. Radiant heater systems show great potential in thermoforming machines. There is also a great deal of potential for combining several processes: this is of particular interest if residual heat from one stage in a process can be used in the following stage with a view to eliminating reheating altogether.


How the energy is used nergy consumption is estimated on the basis of the European machine population in 2010 and the average specific energy consumption per unit of processed material. This gives an annual machine-related energy consumption of 22.8 terawatt hours (TWh). Total energy consumption by the converters where these machines are used is around three times as high at 66.5 TWh. Apart from machines, this figure includes the firms’ entire production and management infrastructure, in other words such consumers of energy as heating, cooling, compressed air, etc. Furthermore, about one-third of machine-related energy consumption is a constant, which is required simply for the process of melting plastics (enthalpy). This energy consumption cannot therefore be reduced, not even by using more efficient machines.


Energy monitoring worthwhile ajor savings can also be achieved if converters finetune processes to minimise energy consumption. Monitoring the flow of energy in machines, installations and in the plant also produces results. It makes the energy requirement transparent, which in turn contributes to tailoring energy consumption to need. This will ultimately reduce operating costs, incidentally helping them meet the European Commission’s target. When applied to all machine technologies, the reduction in machine-related energy consumption achievable with these measures will make for potential savings of 4.5 TWh in 2020 as compared to 2010.



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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News

Guayule protected in markets Yulex has effected patents to protect its methods for guayule extraction


S-based guayule rubber maker Yulex has taken up patents in the US, Europe, Mexico and South Africa to cover its commercial methods for latex and resin extraction from the desert shrub. Yulex has patent protection throughout Europe, particularly in those regions with climates suitable for growing guayule including Greece, Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. In general, the patents are directed to methods for cultivating, harvesting, defoliating and decorticating, as well as chemical and mechanical extraction of a premium quality latex and resin (for example bioadhesives). Yulex has developed a portfolio of biobased elastomers derived from the guayule plant, which is grown in the US. It says, “The materials have been developed specifically to improve physical properties over other forms of latex. We have also developed methods that give the materials improved performance, elasticity, softness and strength.” The company says its elastomers are designed to replace traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber for consumer, industrial and medical markets, with

Latex dispersion conference in Kuala Lumpur

the residual agricultural materials utilised as a feedstock for bioenergy.


his year, the information group of Smithers Rapra Technology iSmithers has selected Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the venue for its seventh annual international conference on Latex & Synthetic Polymer Dispersions. To be held from 13-14 March, the conference will feature presentations from international companies. To date, companies that have registered include Aerofoam Manufacturing, Crown Packaging UK, Dow Corning Thailand, Dow Corning Singapore, International Latex and Tecnilatex. From Malaysia, companies that are attending include Ansell, Rubber Research Institute, Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council, Regent Hospital Products, Rubberex and Smart Glove. The technical briefing will have five main sessions focusing on naturally occurring and synthetic latices; nanotechnology in latex and synthetic polymer dispersions; gloves; standards and regulations. Opening the session, No Dock Moung, from the International Rubber Study Group, will focus on the performance of latices from different botanical sources and also the characterisation of natural rubber latex. Professor Katrina Cornish from the Ohio State University will discuss the effectiveness of some biobased fibres and fillers; new developments in the characterisation of natural rubber latex (NRL) and the effect of natural starch on the mechanical and biodegradation properties of NRL.

Deals pave the way for asphalt market in China


S firm Guggenheim Global Infrastructure (GGI) has acquired a majority stake in Chinabased asphalt rubber (AR) specialist King Tech International (KTI). GGI says the buy is a strategic fit since China has an ongoing need to expand its road network. It also said, “KTI has an experienced technical team with more than 35 years of AR design and paving experience.” KTI has conducted several test pilot projects aggregating over 25,000 tonnes of AR in the Chinese mainland as well as Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Dutch firm AkzoNobel has completed its acquisition of China’s speciality surfactant producer Boxing Oleochemicals that supplies nitrile amines and derivatives used in a variety of industrial and consumer applications including fabric softeners, asphalt additives and hair conditioners. The acquisition will further strengthen AkzoNobel’s position in speciality surfactants while enhancing its manufacturing footprint in Asia. This transaction was first announced in July 2011. Established in 1993 and based in the province of Shandong, Boxing had a revenue of EUR100 million in 2010. Its activities will be integrated into AkzoNobel’s Surface Chemistry business.

Joachim Storsberg from Fraunhofer IAP will look at latices from renewable sources and Professor Chee Ho will cover new developments in emulsion polymerisation. The second day of the conference will look at the latest developments in the use of nanotechnology and following presentations from Professor Sabu Thomas, Siby Varghese and Ranimol Stephen, delegates will be given the opportunity to put questions to the panel of speakers. Major players like Ansell will present a case study on synthetic polyisoprene latex condom. Meanwhile, a session dealing specifically with gloves will highlight the world’s first surgical glove with an antimicrobial coating on the inside surface and how it can be made functional and eco-friendly. Finally there will be round-up of the latest standards and regulations affecting the industry from leading industry experts like William D. Potter, Satish Champaneri and David Kostyal. To encourage attendance from the ASEAN region, the conference organiser is offering a special reduced rate for attendees. There are also a limited number of table-tops available at the event as well as a number of sponsorship opportunities. For further information about this conference, please contact Helen Charlesworth, E-mail: Or visit:


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Rubber Journal Asia Carlisle sells PDT rubber unit


S company Carlisle has completed the sale of its non-roofing and waterproofing unit of its German company, PDT Phoenix, to Switzerlandbased Datwyler Group. The business unit makes elastomer profiles for use in applications for tunnels, rail, windows and facades.

Rubber glut expected


he latest report from investment bank Goldman Sachs points to a rubber glut this year. World supply will increase 7% to 11.8 million tonnes as demand rises 3% to 11.4 million tonnes. Inventories among

members of the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), representing about 92% of global production, will expand 12% to 1.45 million tonnes this year. Stockpiles held by processors and traders in China reached 365,600 tonnes by the end of December, compared with 46,100 tonnes at the end of July, said the ANRPC. This year, of the three main producers, accounting for 70% of production, Thailand expects to increase its output by 8% to 3.7 million tonnes, Indonesia will harvest 5.1% more at 3.1 million tonnes with supply in Malaysia remaining unchanged at 1million tonnes.

Tyre news

Sibur opts out of tyre business


etrochemical firm Sibur has completed the sale of 100% of Sibur-Russian Tyres (SRT) to a group of investors including the management of SRT and Vadim Gurinov, former CEO of Russia’s largest tyre manufacturer. The disposal follows the restructuring of SRT with the sale of two of its non-core plants, OAO SIBUR- Volzhskiy, a manufacturer of synthetic fibres, which was acquired by CJSC Gazprom Stroy and OAO Volzhkiy Nitrogen and Oxygen Plant, which specialises in commercial-grade gas

production and was sold to the ROEL Group.

RFID in tyres


oodyear has launched its first ever RFID incorporated tyres. The company has chosen its Regional RHT II trailer tyre of size 435/50R19.5 to incorporate RFID allowing for advantages to fleet operators such as reduced downtime, improved safety and tyre management. Goodyear plans to extend the RFID technology to other tyre types and sizes in the future. There are also plans on the anvil for adapting this technology to monitor real-time tyre pressure and temperature.

Rubber Journal Asia Tyre news

Tie-up for automotive solutions


wedish company Trelleborg and Freudenberg have formed a 50:50 joint venture to produce antivibration solutions for light and heavy vehicles. The new joint venture will comprise Trelleborg Automotive’s operations in anti-vibration solutions and Freudenberg’s corresponding unit known as Vibracoustic. At the end of 2010, total annual sales for the joint venture were estimated at SEK12 billion, with 8,100 employees in 17 countries. Trelleborg’s anti-vibration business accounted for about 75% of sales in the subsidiary and had annual sales of SEK6.3 billion and 5,200 employees. Trelleborg Automotive’s operations outside the area of antivibration were not affected.

Cooper seals business deal


S-based supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry Cooper Standard has acquired the automotive sealing business of Italian supplier Sigit, which operates in Italy and Poland. Sigit sealing has supplied the automotive industry since 1966 and currently supplies global car makers like Fiat, Ford Motor, General Motors, Renault, Volkswagen and major Tier 1 suppliers, including Denso, Johnson Controls, Lear and TRW.

Technology news

Root tapping started off in India


ndia’s Rubber Board recently inaugurated the tapping of rubber plants through the root trainer technique in the state of Kerala, South India. Developed by the Rubber Research Institute of India, plants are grown in specially designed plastic cups called root trainers. Development of a healthy root system comprising straight and deep growing tap root and profuse lateral roots is the main feature of the plants. The inside walls of the plastic containers are provided with vertical ridges, for promoting healthy growth of roots and the potting medium used is coir pith. In field trials, root trainer plants exhibited 100% success on transplanting and also had better growth compared to PE bag plants. In the plot at Kanjirappally planted in 2005, clones raised through this method and the plants of the same clones raised in PE bags were planted for comparison.

Conti in Mexico

Shoe to incorporate tyre technology

ontinental Tire is planning a multimillion dollar investment

erman tyre maker Continental Tyres is using its technology to


develop a high-end running shoes together with Adidas. The tyre maker’s Traction compound technology is being used for the shoe sole to provide a grip on wet and dry roads, it said recently. The company also said the task of preparing rubber compounds for the production of running shoes may be able to open up new fields of application of in the future. Both companies are sponsors of the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the forthcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

in the ContiLifeCycle tread rubber plant in Central Mexico to double plant space to more than 4,000 sq m and include the addition of extra curing and finishing lines. Continental will now be able to cap more than 1.2 million tyres/year.

New elastomers stretch possibilities


abot has launched its patented Transfinity elastomer composites, said to improve elastomer durability, wear resistance and vibration isolation. The products are composites made from elastomer latex, which is a liquid form of rubber, and reinforcing particles, such as carbon black. The materials are targeted at the mining, defence, automotive and aerospace industries. An example is extending the range of rubber pads or tracks on military vehicles, allowing for further distances traveled and less need for service operations. Transfinity products can also improve the service life of critical components in airplanes and helicopters. New possibilities in engineering design are also possible in automotive applications for smaller, lightweight suspension components that reduce vehicle weight.


Providing a tight seal for Chinese aircraft


anada-based Simrit, the industrial sealing products division of Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, is supplying a customised silicone seal for the emergency door application in China’s first commercial aircraft. Specifically designed for the precise requirements of the emergency door application, the seal offers low abrasion and reduced friction characteristics. The company worked on the product at its Canadian facility and Malaysian technology centre. The single-piece seal is said to provide low temperature capability and successfully satisfied the customer’s load deflection and closure force conditions.

Rubber in grass surface


S company Liberty Tire Recycling is working with the University of Tennessee´s Centre for Athletic Field Safety to test the potential role that crumb rubber could play in maintaining a natural grass athletic surface. Liberty says crumb rubber could provide benefits like a safer, higher-performing surface and extended play on the surface, particularly in high-traffic areas of the field. Liberty will fund the studies over a two-year period, with tests including simulated foot traffic to determine the best crumb rubber particle size and depth for better field performance, among others.


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Rubber Journal Asia Recycling

Getting to the bottom of recycling of tyres This article by Bob Wrighton takes a tour of

Why implement the process of recycling? ecycling is presently a big issue. Research show that recycling rates for tyres are actually quite high, with the US known to be the highest thrower of used tyres but not keeping up with recycling!


tyre recycling, exploring new tyre technologies; recycling concepts and how the recycling process ought to be managed.

Geographic Recycling Geographic Recycling Area percentage Area Percentage

Recyclable airless tyres he history of the development of tyres is slightly parallel to the history of the development of the motor car. The motor car has been developing almost continuously but since the introduction of pneumatic tyres at the turn of the last century there have been remarkably few innovations in tyre manufacture, the last one being in 1903, when Goodyear patented a tubeless tyre. This concept didn’t catch on till the mid-1950s, when within five years of their introduction tubeless tyres killed the inner tube industry. So today’s tubeless tyre is one of the few century-old technologies still in general use. But breakthroughs have been made by Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone and French supplier Michelin on the introduction of airless tyres that are said to be safer, less wasteful and environment friendly in comparison with conventional pneumatic tyres. Michelin first came up with the airless tyre concept in 2005 and now Bridgestone has followed with models that are 100% recyclable. Introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, Bridgestone’s concept features a mesh of spokes that are made of thermoplastic resin that can be recycled back into a new tyre, eliminating the risk of the tyre landing up in a landfill. Until now, the company has been testing the tyre in one-seat vehicles and has introduced prototypes of 9 inches at this point only. It expects to scale up the technology to commercial stage soon.


Western Europe 98%



Eastern Europe




Major factors that are causing the recycling revolution include the increasing acceptance of global warming and climate change theories. Furthermore, in the book titled “Cradle to Cradle” by McDonough and Braungart (Northpoint Press, 2002), it is suggested that in nature, nothing goes to waste, but instead becomes an input for the next phase of existence. As such, the mountains of tyres that have reached the end of their useful life should not simply be discarded. Secondly, is the increasing availability of information about the components of products and the potential damage they can cause, for instance, in the process of life cycle assessment (LCA). As a result, companies that manufacture products that contain material harmful to the planet are required to take them back when they reach the end of their useful life. Underlying this is the pressure of legislation in some European countries and states in the US, especially California, that are imposing laws limiting the disposal of tyres. For instance, the European Landfill Directive forbids the disposal of used tyres in landfills and in 2006, it was expanded to include shredded tyres. Finally, companies are beginning to realise the benefits available from recycling tyres, especially the monetary value and money to be made from the recycling process!

Bridgestone’s recyclable airless tyre has a structure of spokes

Mountains of “black gold” churning profits ew vehicle sales of 13.5 million are forecast for 2012 and each will come with five tyres that need to be recycled at some point in the future. In tyre recycling, the process of pyrolysis is used where tyres are subjected to intense heat under controlled conditions resulting in the recovery of steel, oil and carbon black. The large residue from the process – the char – was previously unusable, which tended to make the process financially not viable, but new developments have made the char useful, which totally changes the economics now.


stretching along the inner sides supporting the weight of the vehicle. The spoke is made from reusable thermoplastic resin and along with the rubber in the tread portion the materials used are 100% recyclable, in line with the company’s aim of achieving a “cradle to cradle” process


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Recycling The tyre crumb can be used to manufacture concrete to form construction blocks or the carbon black can be used in hoses, gaskets, roofing and other material. There is also a large market for the steel, for example, while the pure rubber fraction can be produced in granule sizes that can be sold directly to producers of tyres to manufacture retreads or other products. Others are rubber-based flooring for pavements, playgrounds or to be used in asphalt. Improvements in technology o increase the marketability and profitability of recycling, two companies, Germany-based size reduction machinery supplier Pallmann and Spanish tyre recycler GMN have tied up to develop plants for shredding and reprocessing vehicle tyres. The new concept is known as Ecotrec and it is said to be able to create high value added raw materials that can be sold at attractive prices. 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. The companies will supply modules necessary for recycling car and truck tyres, including shredders, granulators and separators as well as complete conveyor and control technology, including appropriate know-how. Initial focus will be on Europe and the US.


The management process t is important that the process of recycling is effectively managed right from the start. There needs to be serious thought as to whether the company should undertake recycling – on its own or in association with a partner company – with the emphasis always on the profit element of the triple bottom line, though the planet element is also relevant! Would it be a competitive advantage for a manufacturer or distributor to offer a used tyre collection service? Next, there needs to be accountability for recycling. Recycling doesn’t just happen, even though it has been dictated by senior management. It needs to be made to happen, by defining it as part of someone’s accountability and setting up a measurement system to ensure that it happens. The measurement process should also record performance improvements, including a company’s performance against that of its competitors through benchmarking. The process should also be incorporated into the broader area of sustainability in the manufacturing, sales and logistics processes, by adopting the three Rs, reduce, reuse and recycle, mantra. Once this becomes part of the company’s operating DNA, then opportunities can be sought to apply the three Rs throughout the organisation from office management to marketing, not forgetting accounting and human resource. A recent book called “Green to Gold” (Esty and Winston, John Wiley and Sons, 2009) gives valuable help in showing how a company can increase its sustainability and positively impact the triple bottom line. The Yale-educated authors tackle the business wake-up-call for environmental responsibility. Though the authors say they know of not one company that is truly on a long-term sustainable course, Esty and Winston label the forward-thinking, green-friendly (or at least green-acquainted) companies WaveMakers and set out to assess their path toward environmental responsibility and impact on a company’s bottom line, customers, suppliers and reputation – it makes for an interesting read in any industry, including the tyre recycling arena!


Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Industry

Gleaning the surface of synthetics With the year slated to bring the biggest glut of natural rubber production and the prices for synthetic rubber (SR) expected to fall further, analysts say that it may be time for the SR market to uplift itself, especially in its use in “green” tyres, says Angelica Buan in this report.

The tyre market, especially “green” tyres, is leading the growth for

Expanding fortunes for SR recent update from the Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) forecasted global SR demand to grow by 5.5% to 14.9 million tonnes in 2011 and by a further 5.5% to 15.7 million tonnes this year, based on figures for the first nine months of 2011. IRSG also revised global SR consumption data downwards from 2006-present to 14.8 million tonnes on a moving annual total (MAT) basis in September 2011. Here, the rate of growth accelerated in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to the second quarter. World SR exports continued to expand during the third quarter of 2011, increasing by 8.6 million tonnes on a MAT basis in September 2011, rising from 8.5 million tonnes on a MAT basis in June 2011.



light commercial vehicles, which will increase by 6.7% to a record 77.7 million units this year, according to a US-based research firm RL Polk & Co. China will take a lion’s share, boosting its car sales by 16% to 17.9 million vehicles. Though sales were unchanged at 15.5 million last year, after the government phased out purchase incentives, sales are expected to pick up this year. Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), an important commodity that plays a key role in the automotive sector, remains the largest segment in the SR market. Growth of SBR continues unabated due to rising demand from China, India, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central and South America. To meet the demand, Japanese supplier Asahi Kasei Chemicals will construct a second plant in Singapore to produce 50,000 tonnes/year of solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR). This move is part of the company’s mid-term management initiative to broaden its SSBR operations. Built earlier in June 2011, and adjacent to the second plant site, is its first plant with the same capacity that will start operations in 2013. Similarly, speciality chemical firm Lanxess has initiated a feasibility study at its Triunfo site in Brazil to implement new technology to switch production of emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR) used in standard tyres to SSBR used in green tyres. The current capacity for ESBR in Triunfo is 110,000 tonnes/year and

“SR market’s growth may be bolstered by demand for tyres…” With analysts saying that the growing demand for natural rubber may not be reflected by higher prices because of concern about Europe’s debt crisis and slower growth in China, it is true that the period of high growth for natural rubber has ended. Furthermore, according to investment bank Goldman Sachs, the natural rubber market is expected to face a glut this year, with a 413,000-tonne surplus from the 87,000-tonne shortage in 2011 that helped drive the price up to a record last February. Prices have been falling since then based on expected supply and slower growth in China, the largest consumer of the material. Goldman Sachs also says the prices of the petroleumbased SR fell 38% to $2,750/tonne in the four months ending November last year and are expected to fall further. This may be the cue for SR to push its market appeal. Growth of key SRs R market’s growth may be bolstered by demand for tyres in view of expanding global sales of cars and



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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Industry planning a new plant for Nd-PBR in Singapore. The EUR200 million facility is scheduled to go on stream in 2015. While Nd-PBR is used in the treads and sidewalls of green tyres and helps reduce the rolling resistance and increase the fuel efficiency of a tyre, SSBR is mainly used in the tread compound and helps to reduce rolling resistance and improve grip.

the switch would potentially require a medium-size, double-digit million EUR investment. A final decision will be made mid-2012. Lanxess already produces SSBR at its sites in the US and France. Lanxess also produces halobutyl rubbers that are used in tyre inner liners of tubeless tyres and help to keep tyre pressure constant. Demand for these rubbers is being driven by the trend toward radialisation of tubeless tyres in Asia. To meet this demand, Lanxess is making the single largest investment of its history in the form of a EUR400 million butyl plant in Singapore, planned to start production in early 2013. Likewise, expecting a growth of 6% a year for butyl rubber in the region is Japan Butyl (JBC), ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha (EMYK)’s joint venture company with JSR Corporation in Japan. Thus, it is increasing its halobutyl rubber plant in Japan by 10,000 tonnes/year or 14% to 80,000 tonnes/year starting this year. Meanwhile, Al-Jubail Petrochemical or Kemya, a 50:50 joint venture between Sabic and ExxonMobil Chemical, is planning production capabilities at its elastomer project at Al Jubail Petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia. The US$800 million project is expected to establish a domestic supply of more than 400,000 tonnes of carbon black, butyl rubber, SBR, BR and EPDM. Third-party licence agreements have been secured with Continental Carbon for its carbon black production technology and with Goodyear for its SBR and butadiene rubber technology, the company said.

Challenges for the market hinese tyre makers who are faced with slower sales, over-capacity and tight cash flow, are being pressured to lower tyre prices and this may lead to lower use of SR. Already, tyre makers like Bridgestone have indicated that they were unable to recoup all of the gain in raw material prices last year. But the Japanese company expects a 35% higher income this year. Meanwhile, the second largest tyre maker Michelin expects a 3.9% decline in profit this year to EUR1.29 billion, which is still its second highest recorded earnings. In other news, the tyre sector in India, the biggest user for SR, is treading the same route downhill. According to the Rubber Board, the last quarter of 2011 recorded a 5% to 24,010 tonnes decline from the previous year’s consumption of 25,323 tonnes. This ultimately affects SR’s output, falling by 10% to 8,421 tonnes in September last year with consumption dropping by 3% to 33,510 tonnes. Facing the consequence of slow tyre sales, South Korea’s Kumho Petrochemical has reduced production capacity of its SBR and PBR plants from 95 to 80% last November and continued to run on these capacities until early this year. It operates 120,000-tonne/year PBR and 342,000-tonne/year butadiene rubber plants in Yeosu. Another factor that figures in SR’s pricing is the rising prices of components like butadiene (BD), a monomer used for the production of SR. In Asia, BD is poised to increase its price this year due to its limited availability since November 2011 and an increased demand for the substance. A price of US$2,900-3,000/tonne CFR (cost and freight) for fresh shipments of BD may not sit well with downstream SR producers who said that they are amenable with a US$2,600/tonne CFR, not higher. Otherwise, production will be reduced to maintain an acceptable profit margin. It may seem that the SR industry is walking a tightrope with experts observing that SR prices could increase further in 2012 if the cost of feedstock continues to shoot up and demand in Asia, particularly in China, stagnates.


“The “green” tyre sector is the fastest growing in the industry, with an annual growth rate of 10%...”

Green tyres to boost the market sales he “green” tyre sector is the fastest growing in the industry, with an annual growth rate of about 10%. Demand is being driven by the megatrend mobility, above all in the regions of Asia and Latin America as the middle class there becomes more affluent. According to the latest forecasts, around 2 billion tyres will leave production lines worldwide by 2015 compared to around 1.6 billion at present. This is an increase of some 25% for the overall tyre industry in this period. In addition, demand will be accelerated by tyre legislation being introduced around the world. Japan and South Korea were the first countries in the world to introduce a label system that grades tyres above all for their fuel efficiency and wet grip characteristics. All this will require the use of SRs and Lanxess says it has increased its production capacities for its neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) at its sites in Germany, Brazil and the US. The company is also



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