PRA January-February 2015 Issue

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

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ia d n sti h A3 a l t P Boot a oo 5M / j a ii t R Hall s V

In this issue

Volume 30, No 211

publlshed slnce 1985

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

Features 焦 點 內 容

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:

14 複合材料: 塑料變身時尚服裝 16 Cover Story Extrusion/thermoforming machinery maker Rajoo Engineers is maintaining its momentum in the industry by constantly changing to meet the industry’s needs

20 Packaging Today’s packaging design, as a key product differentiator, hinges on sustainability, aesthetics, and economics

22 Corporate Profile India-based woven fabric machinery maker Lohia is spinning a new generation of machines targeted to deliver overall efficiency to the global market

24 Country Focus

Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email:

Indonesia, teetering from the impact of trade and policy reforms, is making great strides towards growth

Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:

28 Environment


The global plastics industry is rehashing its strategies to resolve the issue of marine litter by enhancing coaction from the grassroots

4 Industry News

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8 Materials News 10 業界新聞

Supplements 副 刊 Self-driving cars may soon be the new “kings of the road”, but issues that are hindering their path need to be cleared first Consumption for end user applications for synthetic rubber is on the roll, amid the global price volatilities PRINT+DIGITAL

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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. © 2015 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.


One of the machines on show by Rajoo Engineers at Plastindia 2015, from 5-10 February, will be the Multifoil blown film line 5: 201 dia stin A3 t Pla th o a Boo ajo 5M / R ll it Vis Ha


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Industry News

M&As/Divestments • Thailand-based integrated PET supplier Indorama Ventures Public Company (IVL) is acquiring 100% equity in Polyplex Resins of Turkey from Polyplex Europa Polyester Film, a subsidiary of Polyplex Thailand and Polyplex Singapore. The acquisition will be made through IVL’s 100% owned subsidiary Indorama Netherlands. Polyplex Turkey owns a new 252,000 tonne/ year-PET plant. Last year, IVL also acquired a 130,000 tonne/year-PET plant of Artenius Turkpet (now renamed Indorama Ventures Adana PET). Together, the two Turkish plants have a combined PET capacity of 382,000 tonnes/year to serve the growing markets of Turkey and South East Europe. Last year, IVL also took up a 51% stake in Turkish PET producer SASA Polyester Sanayi. Also last year, IVL acquired Performance Fibers Asia from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm. Performance Fibers Asia produces 48,000 tonnes/ year of polyester tyre cord yarn, the second largest facility of its kind in China. • US speciality resins and coatings company Momentive Specialty Chemicals, owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, has been renamed Hexion Inc.



Hexion is a company that was merged when affiliate Momentive Performance Materials (MPM) bought it in 2010. • Germany-based chemical firm BASF has sold its stake in the 50:50 joint venture Ellba Eastern, in Jurong Island, Singapore, to partner Shell. The joint venture, which is operated by Shell, produces 250,000 tonnes/year of propylene oxide and 550,000 tonnes/year of styrene monomer. BASF and Shell have also signed a supply contract for propylene oxide. In other news, BASF is acquiring Taiwan Sheen Soon (TWSS), a manufacturer for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) adhesives base material. The acquisition is said to complement BASF’s TPU extrusion and injection moulding grades for the footwear sector. Established in 1997, TWSS’s products currently reach over 25 countries worldwide. • Thailand-based SCG Chemicals, a subsidiary of Thailand's largest industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Group, has acquired 51% of Norwegian firm Norner Holding from private equity fund E&M and Norner employee shareholders. The remaining 49% stake will be acquired by September this year. Norner is a 35-year old independent plastics and

material institute with advanced laboratories. • US compounder RTP Company has acquired three US production facilities from compound maker Alloy Polymers. With a compounding capacity in excess of about 226,000 tonnes/ year, the plants will be merged with the previous RTP acquisition of Alloy Polymers’s Ohio plant. • South Korean company Hanwha’s affiliates Hanwha Chemical and Hanwha Energy will acquire a 57.6% stake in Samsung General Chemicals, which also has a 50% stake in Samsung Total Petrochemicals, a joint venture with French energy conglomerate Total. The deal includes acquiring assets of Samsung Petrochemical, which was absorbed by Samsung General Chemicals last June. Samsung C&T, the construction and trading unit, will keep its 18.5% stake in Samsung General Chemicals to collaborate with Hanwha in the chemical business. The acquisition of Samsung’s petrochemicals and defence units is valued at US$1.72 billion. The country's biggest family-run conglomerate Samsung is undergoing a leadership transition and realigning its units. • US-based specialist polymer supplier PolyOne Corporation has paid US$49 million

to acquire speciality assets from Accella Performance Materials, a North American manufacturer of liquid polymer formulations. Accella will retain its polyurethanes and rubber products businesses. The business joins PolyOne's Global Colour, Additives and Inks segment. • Canadian speciality label and packaging solutions provider CCL Industries has acquired wine labelling business Druckerei Nilles. The transaction valuation is C$17.3 million in cash, assumed debt, pension liabilities and deferred equity compensation. • Australia-headquartered biofilms maker Cardia Bioplastics is proposing to merge with Stellar Films Group to create a leader in sustainable packaging. Cardia and Stellar originally partnered to produce environmentally friendly Biohybrid films tailored for the global personal care and hygiene products industry. • Italy’s blow moulding machinery maker Sipa has acquired another Italian competitor, injection stretch blow moulding (ISBM) equipment maker Automa. • Chinese composites materials maker Shanghai Pret Composites is to acquire US-based Wellman Plastics Recycling for US$70 million. The

INDUSTRY News purchase includes Wellman Engineering Resins and DC Foam Recycle. Since Pret supplies its composite materials to the automotive industry, the purchase will allow it access to the automotive compounding market in the US. Wellman produces nylon, polyester and PP resins that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials. • Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals and SKC Co of South Korea have entered into a 50:50 joint venture agreement to consolidate the polyurethane material businesses of both companies. The new company, which is yet

to be named and will be headquartered in South Korea, will have revenues of approximately US$1.5 billion with targeted sales of US$2 billion/year by 2020. • Australia-based multinational packaging company Amcor is to acquire Zhongshan Tian Cai Packaging Company, a Chinese flexible packaging business, for RMB211 million. Tian Cai has one plant in Zhongshan and sales of approximately RMB280 million/year. It produces flexible packaging for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical end markets and multinationals. • Brussels-headquartered

chemical firm Solvay has completed the acquisition of the Ryton PPS (polyphenylene sulphide) business from US-based Chevron Phillips Chemical Company for US$220 million. • Thailand-based IRPC Polyols Company Limited (IRPCP), a unit of IRPC Public Company Limited, has tied up with Polish chemicals company PCC Rokita to create a 50:50 joint venture. The joint venture will sell polyols and polyurethane systems from the portfolio of IRPCP. The latter will also produce new products for the joint venture under the license of PCC Rokita.

The joint venture aims to increase its sales of polyols and polyurethane systems in Southeast Asia, China and India. • German machinery maker KraussMaffei is reinforcing its system expertise for reaction process machinery in the area of interior trim and has plans to work together with 3CON Anlagenbau as a partner in the future. The latter company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Ebbs, Austria. Today it ranks among the world's leading providers of laminating, edge folding and thermoforming technologies for the automotive industry and its suppliers.

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Industry News

Plant/Office Set-ups • Materials manufacturer Bayer MaterialScience has brought on line a world-scale plant for the production of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) at its site in Dormagen, Germany. The EUR250 million plant will become the German firm’s European centre for TDI production. • Top quality packaging is a growing trend in China. In order to meet the high demand, German firm Wipak has opened a Chinese factory to focus on the production, printing and laminating of high-quality composite films for the food and healthcare markets. • German chemicals firm Evonik has started up two new units in Germany for the production of crosslinking activators: triallyl cyanurate (TAC), which is used in high-quality rubber materials such as hoses and cable coatings in the automotive sector, and triallyl isocyanurate (TAICROS) that is used to enhance the quality of EVA films. • BASF recently broke ground on a new Innovation Campus in Mumbai, India. The company will



invest EUR50 million via BASF Chemicals India in the facility for 300 scientists for crop protection, process development and polymer research. The German firm is also building its first process catalysts manufacturing facility in the Asia Pacific, in China. It will produce base metal catalysts, custom catalysts, and adsorbents that are used in the production of fatty alcohols, sulphuric acid and butanediol.

• UAE-based recycling firm Asian Fibres is investing US$100 million on an 860,000 sq ft facility in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The plant will be the largest production facility for postconsumer PET bottlebased polyester staple fibre (RPSF) in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, with a capacity of 100 tonnes/day. • Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) has commenced the initial start-up of the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) film plant, in the industrial zone of Hail, run by its subsidiary Saudi Specialized Products (SSPC), which is 75% owned by Sipchem and 25% by South Korean firm Hanwha. Total estimated cost of the project is

SR150 million; with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes/year. • Germany-based blown film extrusion lines maker Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion has changed its name to Reifenhäuser Blown Film. Boasting a full order book, Reifenhäuser is investing over EUR2 million in its Worms site to further expand the in-house manufacture of know-how components. New machining centres and a new 3D measuring machine were bought and installed in new buildings. • Royal Dutch Shell and Qatar Petroleum (QP) have cancelled their planned US$6.5 billion Qatari petrochemical project, called Al-Karaana, due to high costs. The project was to include a world-scale steam cracker with feedstocks coming from natural gas projects in Qatar. It was to be operated as a stand-alone joint venture between the two companies, with the Qatari company owning 80% and Shell 20%. • Teijin Limited has resolved, in agreement with joint venture partner DuPont, to realign the

production facilities of subsidiary Teijin DuPont Films Japan. It currently produces 30,000 tonnes/year of polyester films at its Gifu factory in Japan and will shut down the plant by 2016, integrate it with its Utsunomiya factory. It will continue to function as an R&D facility. • Erema North America, a subsidiary of Austria-based Erema Engineering Recycling says that due to high demand – especially in post consumer recycling – it will expand its technical centre from 1,000 to 2,400 sq m and install a new system, an INTAREMA 1108 TVEplus with Laserfilter. • Chemical firm Braskem has completed an investment at one of its factories in Bahia, Brazil, increasing the production capacity for LLDPE to 120,000 tonnes/year. Of this, 100,000 tonnes will consist of Flexus metallocene PE (mPE) resin, used in packaging requiring characteristics such as greater strength, brightness, transparency and sealing. Metallocene technology represents about 20% of the market for LLDPE, but is growing at a higher than average rate in this market, says Braskem.

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Materials News

Clothing fashioned from plastics Plastic waste to fabrics may solve the problem of tonnes of plastic debris found in the oceans. But the solution is found to have both pros and cons, says Angelica Buan.


ext to global warming, ocean pollution is one of the most critical man-made phenomena witnessed in the 21st century. Recycling waste plastics is a topmost solution to easing (and preventing) ocean pollution. An ideal outcome to resolving the issue and helping the economy at the same time is to tap the trilliondollar industry of retail clothing and footwear, which UK-headquartered retail research analyst Conlumino projects to reach sales of more than US$2 trillion by 2018. It is, indeed, a genius move by several companies to create clothing from recycled plastic wastes. Unravelling the thread The fibre that makes these recycled plastic clothing is obviously plastics too. Foss Manufacturing, a US nonwoven fabrics and speciality synthetic fibres producer, makes Eco-fi polyester fibre, from post-consumer plastic PET containers. To make the fibre, Foss says waste PET at curb-side and community recycling centres is picked up; sorted by type and colour and stripped of their labels and caps. The containers are washed, and crushed, then chopped into flakes. The latter are melted and extruded to create fibre, which is afterwards crimped, cut, drawn and stretched into desired length for strength, then baled. The baled fibre can be processed into fabric for a variety of textile product end uses, such as clothing, blankets, carpets, wall coverings, automotive interiors, home furnishings, and craft felt. The fibre can also be blended with other fibres, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities, says Foss. Foss explains that for a 6 ft x 8 ft carpet, up to 48 bottles are needed while a sweatshirt may use up to 17 bottles; and the backseat of a car, 90 bottles. Similarly, New York-based eco-thread producer, Bionic, offers its brand of plastic fibre Bionic Yarn. The start-up company, owned by Tyson Toussant and his investment partner, musician Pharrell Williams, collaborates with Parley for the Ocean, a creative initiative for de-clogging oceans with waste debris, for sourcing plastic waste materials. Making a statement Recycled plastic denims are no longer an impossible dream for the eco-conscious. Bionic Yarn, and Dutch denim brand G-Star have jointly worked for yet another clothing project called Raw for the Oceans. The latter has produced a denim collection fabricated from Bionic Yarn.



Raw for the Oceans's denims made with Bionic Yarn

Also based in New York is Royal Apparel, which makes recycled plastic shirts and garments using fabric blends or rPET blends from bottles and polyesters. The blends are a mixture of 100% organic cotton and recycled plastics and/or polyesters, usually in a 50/50 ratio. Another American apparel company, Dirt Ball Fashion, uses recycled plastics along other recyclable materials like cotton for its line of 100% sustainable action sports clothing. It recently launched a 100% recyclable jacket made from regrind of 50 plastic water bottles. Yet another American company engaged in ecoclothing is Virginia-based Renew Merchandise. The firm sources for regrind that is transformed into yarn and spun into fabric to make shirts. In 2013, the company targeted recycling more than 1 million bottles and doubled that in 2014. UK brand-based firm Dgrade also collects bottles from recycling plants to produce varied lengths of fibres for yarn production. According to Dgrade, using rPET resin for yarn production only uses half of the energy needed compared to using virgin polyester. The firm designs and manufactures under license for sportswear firm Spiked. Asians are not far behind and one example comes from Malaysian company Kloth Malaysia. It has taken the inspiration from multinational company Waste2Wear that produces outfits from recycled plastic bottles and polyester fabric scraps. The four Malaysian women behind Kloth observed the recycling process in Waste2Wear’s factory in Shanghai, China, and decided to venture into the business. The Malaysian company has introduced eco-friendly head scarves (worn by Muslim women) or what it calls "The Green Hijab" to the local market. Each hijab is made from two 500 ml plastic bottles. Meanwhile, the dye used for the scarves are also natural-based from roots and plants and so is the packaging, which features organic-soybean ink in the printing while the packaging

Materials News Malaysia's Kloth markets the Green Hijab made from 500 ml plastic bottles

is biodegradable. Kloth is looking at expanding its green hijab to the international market. Fishing nets a suitable fit? Meanwhile, Spanish brand Ecoalf recycles old fishing nets made of nylon, and plastic bottles, amongst other litter ranging from discarded ground coffee to tyres, into wearables like clothes, swimwear, coats, bags and shoes. Javier Goyeneche, owner of Madrid-based Ecoalf collects the fishing nets, which are otherwise dumped into the oceans by fishermen that need new ones every two or three years. Around 0.9 m of fabric can be produced from 0.25 kg of the nets collected. The company has recycled about 24 tonnes of fishing nets, and 24 million plastic bottles and collaborated with top brands like Apple and Coca-Cola. Now everyone can recycle Meanwhile, a “futuristic” machine designed by Hungarian designer Kovács Apor can enable practically anyone to recycle plastic bottles right in the comfort of one’s home!

fabrication. It turns the bottles into polyester and prints the garments.” He says his machine is more eco-friendly than recycling processes that turn bottles into textiles since the latter methods require chemicals and thus, end up polluting the environment. Apor says he was inspired to innovate the machine after seeing floating PET bottles in the Danube river during a rainy spell. He likens the Pete machine to nothing more than a special rubbish bin and says that the recycling concept will encourage less rubbish in the environment. Waste to outfits: is it a real solution? Recycling plastics for clothing seems too good an antidote. Environmental experts argue that man-made activities, like washing, can only bring the plastic microfibres, tiny synthetic threads that measures less than 1 mm, back into the waterways. This is supported by a 2011 study by Dr Mark Browne, an ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at the National Centre of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in California, US. He found high concentrations of plastic fibres (from synthetic clothing) near sewage outflows. The microfibres were also found to comprise about 85% of human-made litter on the shorelines. According to Browne’s study, plastic fibres are shed each time synthetic-fabric garments are washed in washing machines. The water that is drained results in plastic filaments ending up in sewers and eventually in the oceans. He added that most washing machines, as well as sewage plants, lack filters that are able to trap the fibres. Browne sampled wastewater from domestic washing machines and found that around 1,900 strands of fibre can be washed off a synthetic garment. The synthetic fibre migration is a serious, albeit, unnoticeable problem, that Browne and other scientists who support his findings, hope will be addressed by the industry. But Browne’s research is not supported by companies that rely on synthetic fabrics for their garments, for obvious reasons. Thus, while microbeads from personal care products are getting global attention, the management of synthetic microfibres has yet to gain traction.

Pete is an easy-to-use compact machine that turns plastic bottles into garments of choice

Cited a finalist in the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab, the Pete machine can be wall-mounted just like any regular appliance, and it actually is a 3D printer! Apor explains: “The consumer only has to choose the required clothing type, colour, and cutting, while the machine gives the amount of PET bottles needed for the

Microfibres that are shed from synthetic clothing during washing go into waterways JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015


Cover Story

Meeting market needs through constant change Indian extrusion and thermoforming machinery maker Rajoo Engineers has brought its technologies globally, with exports accounting for over 50% of its sales and it has installations in 56 countries. Rajoo was founded in 1986 by the late Chandrakant N. Doshi. His entrepreneurial legacy and forward thinking lives on through the company, which was built on team work. PRA interviewed Khushboo Chandrakant Doshi to learn more about the company's efforts and focus this year.

Rajoo introduced the Multifoil Lite line last year


ajkot-based Rajoo says it offers the widest range of mono and multi-layer blown film lines (up to seven layers), an impressive range of sheet lines (up to five layers), water quenched downward extrusion lines (up to two layers), lines for PE and PS foamed film and sheets (for various standard and special applications). It also offers end-to-end thermoforming solutions, including newer additions to the product portfolio that are the non-woven fabric and drip irrigation lines. While having expanded its reach to overseas markets, export demand has reduced from the European countries and thus, last year, the company’s focus was more on the domestic market and the other side of the globe. Thus, the Asian and African markets buffered Rajoo's efforts from the impacts of market shifts in Europe, where it has already gained a customer base. In Europe, some of the powerhouse economies, especially the export-driven ones, are being drilled down by poor fiscal performance, according to industry analysts. Rajoo's business approach to this is being able to accept that the only thing constant in the industry is change. Moreover, along with the acceptance, it adapts to the varying regional needs, and for which, the company says that it constantly seeks avenues to provide the right combination of a diversified product mix so as to create the right solution to suit local needs.





Rajoo introduced a few innovations in 2014: the Dripex and Multifoil Lite. Please provide an overview of the lines introduced last year.

Khushboo : We have understood well the needs for drip irrigation wherein the Flat Drip System offers tremendous advantages over the Round Drip. These systems consume less material, are light weight; easy to ship, store and install, thus benefiting the agriculture and horticulture industries. Based on this, thus, we introduced the Flat Drip System and that too successfully. For the critical assemblies of this system, we are partnering with Mopline of Israel. The position of leadership is further reinforced as Rajoo today is the only company in India with highest number of successful installations and has obtained repeat business for Flat Drip Irrigation pipe plants.

Cover Story

In line with the needs for drip irrigation, Rajoo introduced the Dripex line last year. It offers advantages over the round drip, consuming less material, thus benefiting agriculture and horticulture industries

With a position of market leadership in high-end multi-layer lines, and to address changing market needs, we introduced the Multifoil Lite, a two-extruder/three-layer (A-B-A type) blown film line, empowering its customers to remain aggressive in the highly competitive bag making industry, which is plagued with increasing costs of raw materials. Processors are now able to use high calcium carbonate-based filler in the middle layer, sandwiched between thin skin layers of virgin material, thus reducing film costs without sacrificing on surface properties. While the machine is designed to run with A-B-A configuration, it’s specially designed cross head provides the flexibility to run A-B-B and A-A-B configurations as well, another first for the industry from Rajoo! With A-B-B, it is possible to produce lamination grade film and also for liquid packaging. It is really a versatile solution. PRA


Overall, how do you assess 2014 for your company in terms of market growth and sales?

Khushboo : We are targeting a top line growth of around 12% for the financial year 2014/15. Our bottom line will increase correspondingly due to our focus on cost reduction and economies of scale. Being a multi-product company, we are less affected by the vagaries of volatility in the economy, but we are not untouched by it. Our new joint venture with sheet extrusion equipment and thermoforming machinery maker MEAF of Holland will also begin to bear fruit in the coming years.



With regards to the MEAF joint venture, how will this collaboration further improve the packaging sector in India?

The process of giving light to the joint venture is underway. This joint venture is targeting the semi-rigid packaging sector. Demand for disposable containers is increasing exponentially in India and this needs energy efficient extrusion technology, coupled with automation in thermoforming solutions. Equipment from European sources is not economically viable for a low-cost economy like India and we firmly believe, we have the most cost effective solution for this industry. Khushboo :



Could you tell us about the technology collaboration Rajoo has with Hosokawa Alpine, and how it has helped the Indian plastics industry?

Khushboo : Over a period of time, we have not only benefited from the technology but also improved the quality standards of our products. We are also supplying many parts to Alpine now. Today, Indian processors need high quality with consistency to cater to various brand owners. We are able to offer cost effective blown film equipment in the “Balanced Solution� format where all the hot parts are supplied by Hosokawa Alpine, automation is also sourced from Europe while the rest of the assemblies are from Rajoo. This does give a competitive advantage to our customers, when compared to fully European lines. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015


Cover Story Rajoo Bausano has become the only supplier of WPC lines in India



What about the pipe technology collaboration with Bausano & Figli?

Khushboo : With operations commencing in 2011, RBE (Rajoo Bausano Extrusion) has already supplied India’s highest diameter pipe plant to a customer in Malawi and also CPVC pipe plants in India and Bangladesh. RBE has also successfully acquired the technology of WPC (Wood Plastics Composite) and PVC foam board sheet from Bausano and demonstrated the same in a recently concluded open house in India. RBE has become the only supplier of WPC lines in India and that too with a capability of processing 70% wood in the product. PRA


Chinese machine manufacturers have enjoyed a huge following in countries where lower cost of machines is vital, and quality or output are secondary considerations. What do you think of this?

Khushboo : Now, processors have begun to understand the differences. Low cost, low technology equipment in the long run will be detrimental to a business. It has not been difficult for us to convince processors. Energy is the second biggest component in processing after raw material costs and our machines and technology are far more energy efficient compared to the machines from other Asian countries. We, thus, see no issues in being competitive from an overall perspective.





Technology advanced machines are implied to be more expensive. Can you tell us how Rajoo is able to meld quality, innovation and affordability?

Khushboo : It is not always true that technologyadvanced machines are more expensive. What is important is to be able to choose the most appropriate technology for the specific applications and this is where Rajoo scores. Many times it has been seen that several features in the machine are never utilised but the processor continues to pay for it. Rajoo’s strength lies in first understanding the processor’s needs, configuring the most appropriate technology and then making it cost effective. It is a unique blend of customisation and affordability. Needless to say that overheads and overall costs of production at Rajoo are much lower. This benefit of cost savings is passed on to customers. PRA


Were there any challenges in 2014 that your company encountered and successfully dealt with?

Khushboo : The biggest challenge has been the sharp drop in polymer prices that has resulted in high volatility. In such circumstances, cash flow of processors is affected and the first casualty is always investment in capital goods. We encountered this effectively by being alert of the situation, reaching out to new markets, both geographically and with product introductions. Though this made a huge demand on our resources, we managed it well. Managing change is the biggest challenge for any business entity and we have been able to manage it. PRA


Will there be any new innovations at Plastindia 2015?

Khushboo : Being innovation-driven, Rajoo has an impressive track record of technology firsts in different product categories. Yes, Rajoo will showcase the industry’s first-ever equipment, and the first at a Plastindia show. We are displaying the most awaited product for producing disposable plastic containers – a fully automatic Tilting-Mould Thermoformer with online stacker to meet the demand of counting, stacking and packing. This

Cover Story solution will not only provide ease of operation but increase the production rate and reduce the requirement of scarcely available labour. We are also displaying a fully automated five-layer blown film line with elevated air ring for producing barrier films used for edible oil packaging and lamination grade films. While we have displayed such plants in the past, the elevated air ring for higher output levels will be a novelty. PRA


What sector(s) do you foresee will stand out this year, and will generate demand for your equipment/solutions?

Khushboo : We believe that the need of flexible and semi flexible packaging will keep increasing to meet the demand of the growing retail sectors. Furthermore, with the focus by the current government for infrastructure and agriculture, for which we have solutions now, there will also be further demand for our solutions in these industries. PRA


Will there be new collaborations with other companies this year?

Khushboo : At Rajoo, our quest for introducing cost effective technologies to the developing world is going to continue. While on the one hand, we will continue to evaluate new technologies, we will also ramp up our capacities by investing in new machines and upgrading infrastructure. PRA

: What is Rajoo's secret to its staying power in the industry?

Khushboo : Constant technology upgrading, appropriate customisation and efficient after-sales service are some of the ingredients of Rajoo’s success. We operate as a customer’s partner in progress and not as a machinery supplier. What is unique about Rajoo is that we are able to offer affordable advanced technology systems without compromising on high-end features required by manufacturers, such as ease of operation, improved productivity, reduced requirement for manpower, and less material use, to cite a few features.




The art of packaging All beverages may not taste the same but if packaged the same, it will be impossible to distinguish one from the other. With the myriad of brands in the market, packaging design has become an important tool to make a product stand out (and make the sale). In this report, Angelica Buan highlights some packaging trends that will be seen this year.


tudies find that packaging design can influence consumer behaviour largely: it promotes the brand and encourages repeat sales, amongst other benefits. Capturing the attention of potential consumers, which some retail purchase studies say only spans an average of 5-20 seconds, and enabling positive perception can be achieved with the effective use of design elements such as colour, typography, and material. UK beverage research specialist Mintel explained in its packaging trends report the importance of aesthetics as well as new shapes that update a brand or interactive packaging in helping companies reach their consumers on a personal level. Research and Markets’s latest report for packaging innovations 2015 sums up the points that make for appealing packaging and are expected to influence designs of plastic packaging: • Preference for rigid and flexible plastics packaging over glass to lower costs • Easy-to-open packaging • Effective barrier features • Simple and transparent design to assess quality and build trust with the product at the purchasing stage • Interactive packaging to encourage consumers to share and socialise, with their products being a centre-piece of enjoyment • Light weight, which also accounts for the wide popularity of PET bottles. However, PET bottles cannot be made much lighter, according to Smithers Pira, in its 2015 outlook for packaging. An option is flexible pouches • Sustainability of the packaging • Focus on structural design of the container’s components, such as closures, neck tags, and handles



Sculpted 3D design for an attractive appeal PET packaging may not be made lighter but it can be designed to imbue imagination, by catching consumers’ eyes to the possibilities. Amcor Rigid Plastics’s design studio ScorCreative has won a bronze award from the Pentawards, a worldwide packaging design competition, for its Growler-type 1.75 l liquor bottle. ScorCreative developed one of the first hand-sculpted PET liquor bottles, integrating a nautical theme with several Amcor’s breakthrough de3D qualities including etchings sign for a PET bottle delivers etching and engraving that of an octopus sculpted into isn’t possible with traditionthe bottle's shape. It did this al 3D modelling software by utilising several software systems that were adapted from the gaming, animation, movie, and automotive industries, along with its proprietary process applications to accomplish the project in an unconventional manner. Different elements of each software programme were combined and then developed in an artistic rendition of the nautical theme. The PET container includes a cork closure, a neck finger hole, and an octopus etched around the shoulder of the bottle. ScorCreative will adapt the concept design to ultimately create a commercial container. A key goal is adapting the 3D CAD model and creating the intricate detail through the blow moulding process, thus taking the design from concept to store shelf. Renewable packaging thrust Going big in the market is brand owners and beverage suppliers need to fulfil consumers’ leaning towards responsible sustainability. This is expected to pave the way for more developments in the market. Norwegian liquid packaging company Elopak has Elopak’s cartons use biobased PE, certified through the entire value chain by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system (ISCC PLUS)

Packaging launched beverage cartons featuring at least 75% renewable paperboard derived from responsibly managed forests. Elopak’s beverage cartons also use second generation certified renewable PE made of Europeansourced biomass (not in competition with the food supply), making it the first company to offer such packaging, with a renewable coating, to the European market. Meanwhile, global beverage brand Coca-Cola’s Del Valle Reserva brand of juice won the Technology in Beverage Packaging prize at the 2014 ABRE Awards for being the first brand to use Tetra Pak cartons with biobased LDPE films derived from sugar cane. The LDPE, produced by Brazil-headquartered petrochemical company Braskem, has the same physical and chemical properties as the traditional fossil-fuel derived PE. Tetra Pak’s packaging utilises biobased films made from sugar cane

Also following Coca-Cola is Finnish dairy producer Valio that has become the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in carton packaging, from Tetra Pak, made entirely from plant-based materials. Tetra Rex Biobased carton is manufactured solely from a combination of plastics derived from plants and paperboard. The LDPE used to create the laminate film for the packaging material and the neck of the opening, together with the HDPE used for the cap are all derived from sugarcane. The materials are from Braskem. Valio will trial the package with Valio Eila lactose free semi-skimmed Biobased milk drink in retail outlets across TwistCap on Finland until mid-March, and will Valio’s packaging then use feedback from consumers to decide whether to adopt the cartons more broadly across its chilled product range. Multinational beverage company PepsiCo has introduced fruit-flavoured water capsules known as

PepsiCo’s Drinkfinity consists of pods that contain a mix of dry and liquid ingredients that add flavour to water in a reusable water bottle

Drinkfinity for the Brazilian market. The company refers to the product as a "personal and portable hydration system.” It consists of pods that are inserted into the top of a reusable bottle filled with water and squeezed. The twist with Drinkfinity is the packaging. PepsiCo says it has reduced the use of plastics by 86% (plastic savings calculations are based on comparing the pod and vessel with a reusable 20 oz non-carbonated disposable bottle in Brazil, over a period of three years of estimated life of the vessel). Collaborations: bigger picture of packaging and labels Improvements in sustainability require collaboration across the value chain, including converters recommending the right material to brands. Whether it is partnering together on improving the environmental profile of packaging or launching a new technology, collaboration ultimately helps drive innovation. Thus, L’Oreal Americas and Avery Dennison are collaborating to identify and reduce the environmental impacts of packaging labels throughout the entire label lifecycle. The collaboration has already produced a comprehensive Avery Dennison Greenprint assessment showing how thinner label materials can reduce environmental impacts. Avery Dennison Greenprint, a screening lifecycle tool launched in 2010, is the first of its kind in the label industry. According to L’Oreal, the Avery Dennison Greenprint method allows it to look at impact of its label materials, including the raw material extraction, manufacturing, and ultimately the label’s end-of-life. This approach is able to identify where the biggest environmental impacts lie and to devise strategies on how best to mitigate these impacts. This method guided L’Oreal in its decision to transition the labels for some of its leading products to Avery Dennison’s Global MDO substrate. By switching from Avery Dennison’s Global Co-Ex film product to Global MDO, L’Oreal has reduced environmental impacts from 7% to 19% across the categories of fossil material, water use, energy use, GHG emissions and solid waste. Another example of collaborating on sustainability in packaging design is offered by US firm Dow Packaging. Its PacXpert packaging technology enables the transition from larger traditional rigid containers to flexible stand-up pouch packaging offering sustainability benefits and convenience. While flexible, the cube-shaped package is shelf stable and can stand equally well upright or on its side. It is licensed globally through Dow in an agreement with Smart Bottle, with various technology licensees in Europe and the US. Dow is now offering its PacXpert through flexible packaging converter Ampac that has recently been appointed a licensee



Corporate Profile

Lohia to unlock its potential growth India-based plastic woven fabric machinery maker Lohia Corp Ltd, the flagship company of the Lohia Group, has delivered accumulated plastic processing capacity of 2.5 million tonnes, with an installation base of 1,000 extrusion lines and 40,000 circular looms in over 75 countries to date.


013 was a milestone year for Lohia Corp as it changed its name from Lohia Starlinger Limited, as a consequence of Austria-based Starlinger & Co. GmbH having divested its shareholding in the company. Exhibiting at the K2013 show in Germany, it thus, displayed a new logo. “The new logo and colours represent the renewed energy, passion for excellence and the italicised characters give the sense of forward motion and rooted dynamism,” explained P.C. Joshi, Director of Sales & Marketing.

Today, as a global supplier of machinery, Lohia operates a manufacturing facility in Kanpur, and has local sales offices in the US, Brazil, UAE, Indonesia and Thailand, supported by sales agents in all the major global markets. “We also have a fully resourced, in-house R&D facility in Kanpur, manned by qualified and experienced professionals. This enables us to deliver significant developments and innovations in tape extrusion, tape winding, circular weaving, conversion and spinning machinery for PP multifilament yarn. This is used for producing value added flexible packaging like woven sacks/bags, FIBC’s, tarpaulins, geotextiles, agro-textiles, ropes and twines for diverse applications,” explains Joshi. Wide product range Its extensive product range includes Lorex and duotec models of tape extrusion lines with melt capacity ranging from 260-900 kg/hour with 75-150 mm screw diameter and film widths of 600-2,000 mm with operating line speed up to 600 m/minute, depending upon the product requirement.

Lohia’s new logo that was introduced in 2013

Its journey in this business started off in 1981, when it was incorporated for the production of circular looms. It later expanded its range by including tape extrusion lines in 1984, with technology support from another leading European supplier.

Lohia has a diverse range of tape extrusion lines

The winding equipment allows for high speed winding of flat and fibrillated tape



According to Joshi, the technology in the duotec series uses a unique double stretch process where the tapes undergo a pre-stretch before the final stretch. “This process can be used to improve a mix of factors such as working speed, efficiency, increased process stability and tape properties.” In its range of tape winders, Lohia offers a variety for high speed winding of flat and fibrillated tape.

Corporate Profile “Our range of tape winder includes precision and step precision winders to suit a large variety of tape specification to produce perfect bobbins to deliver high efficiency during weaving and excellent fabric quality,” adds Joshi. The latest generation autoroto winders are now considered a benchmark in the industry, claims Joshi. The autoroto winders with a speed up to 600 m/minute enable the automatic transfer of the tape from a full package to an empty tube, and are capable of producing equal length bobbins resulting in higher weaving efficiency and reduction in wastage and labour cost. The circular looms from Lohia are designed for high performance weaving of heavy to light tubular/flat fabric from PP/HDPE tapes.

Circular looms from Lohia are designed for weaving of heavy to light tubular/flat fabric from PP/HDPE tapes

Said Joshi, “We offer these machines, from four to ten shuttle versions, to weave fabrics up to a width of 2.5 m (double-lay-flat) for covering the full range of the requirements. Special models for leno and ventilated fabrics are also available.” He went on further to explain the latest nova series circular looms, adding that these produce “excellent weaving quality with higher working speed using electronic control system and tape tension control devices to produce nearly zero defect fabric.” Converting machinery range In the extrusion coating range, Lohia offers the coatec 1600/90 with 330 kg/hour melt capacity and line speed of 150 m/minute, suitable for flat fabric of 660-1,600 mm width and tubular fabric of 300750 mm width. It can coat both sides of tubular fabric in a single operation. The machine can be supplied with an optional equipment to laminate BOPP film. It produces coated fabric with what Lohia says is “precise film thickness and excellent adhesion”. The range also includes the bcs 850/45 for producing bottom folded and sewn woven bags with speeds of up to 45 bags/minute. Meanwhile, the valvomatic conversion line produces side-stitched valve bags for packaging of cement and pulverous/granular materials.

The bcs is for producing bottom folded and sewn woven bags

“We also offer special conversion machines for FIBC (jumbo bags) like fabric/belt cutting, baffle panel/profile/hole cutting, bag cleaning and hydraulic bale presses,” explains Joshi. In this range, the company offers six-colour rollto-roll flexographic printing press soloprint for fine quality printing on tubular PP/HDPE woven fabric with speeds up to 150 m/minute. The machine is a joint effort of Lohia and Pelican Rotoflex Pvt. Ltd and is equipped with new generation electronics. Other machinery include the Lofil range of spindraw-wind lines that are said to be compact and flexible machines for producing fully drawn high tenacity PP multifilament yarns. The machine has an extrusion capacity of 20/40 and 80 kg/hour and can produce a wide range of deniers from 6004,800 with winding speeds up to 1,500 m/minute. These yarns have applications in sewing thread for bag stitching, webbings and slings, braids and ropes as well as geotextiles. Growing to meet customers’ demands With its business growing by an average of 10% a year, Joshi credits the company’s success to improvements in its production systems that have helped its sales efforts. “We have reduced the lead time by 15%, to allow for a better response time, even with customised machinery. In terms of technology, we are working on introducing more automation and increasing the speeds of our machines, with less wastage.” As for the company’s focus, he explained, “Our exports constitute 25%-30% and we are positive about the future.” At the upcoming Plastindia show, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 5-10 February, Lohia at Hall 5/Booth M6, will showcase its latest nova series of weaving and converting machines. For weaving, it will demonstrate the nova 6 and nova 8 and next generation valvomatic 35 models. The latter produces valved bags from tubular fabric for applications like the cement industry. Looms can produce small to wide width ranges for simple bags to FIBC bags; tarpaulins to geotextiles. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015


Country Focus

Indonesia: steady gait of an Asian tiger cub Indonesia, one of Asia’s tiger-cub economies, is relishing its “growing-up” pains from the political and economic reforms, for an outcome of steady growth in the years ahead, says Angelica Buan in this report.


iting the 2014 UK Trade and Investments data, Indonesia, which is currently the world’s 16th largest economy, has the potential to move up to the fifth rank by 2030. With a sizeable population that is increasing by an estimated 4.5 million/year, as well as a growing middle class that is forecast to balloon to 141 million by 2020, it accounts for nearly half of Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP). The region’s largest economy is also witnessing the build-up of its domestic consumption, which accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP. Meanwhile, Amsterdam-based ING Bank’s International Trade Study for 2012-2017 said that Indonesia’s growth, expected at an average of 6.5% through 2017, may be slow yet steady. While this is comparatively lower than the average of other Asian countries, it is higher than the 3.7% global average. A history of tested competence Indonesia’s economic competence has endured critical milestones, including the pre and postAsian crises in 1997, whereby the country’s growth and currency plummeted, according to a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Nevertheless, Indonesia’s manufacturing sector has buoyed up the economy, even though the latter barely rode out the impact of manufacturing production globalisation, and liberalisation and free trade agreements before the Asian crisis. In order to get the growth back on track, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international organisation comprising 34 countries, recommends that productivity growth must be complemented with structural reforms, including ironing out issues



in infrastructure, skilled labour shortages, and regulatory barriers to the country’s competence in the global market Such conditions are already being addressed by the government of newly appointed President Joko Widodo, through radical trade and policy reforms. Amongst the considered pressing points is easing of restrictions in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) on certain industries, including the plastics industry. Weaning off imported plastics materials Pitted against other dominant Asian countries, Indonesia can easily outpace the other growing economies like Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Nonetheless, although not entirely a liability, the world’s fourth largest nation, with a population of 253.6 million, has yet to wean itself from being import-dependent. The local plastics industry, particularly the downstream sector, continues to rely on imported raw materials, according to the Global Business Guide. This practice is stunting the sector’s potential for growth on a global scale. Along with raw materials, dependence on imported machinery and equipment is also another hindrance to growth of the plastics sector, according to UNIDO, driven by Indonesia’s relatively low capital goods industry. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Downstream Plastics Producers Association (Aphindo) has said that increasing the competence of the downstream industry would entail making available locally a sufficient supply of raw materials. Thus, by doing this, it would lower costs of production as dependency on imported contents could be minimised. Imported raw material for the downstream industry is valued at US$8.5 billion/ year, according to Aphindo. Seeking tax facilities, as well as removing import duties on upstream products that could not be produced locally, would also promote cost efficient production, said Aphindo. Import duties from non-ASEAN countries are levied at 10%; and 5% for ASEAN member states. Staying competitive with imported machines There is a growing global trend of importing plastics processing machinery. Market research firm Freedonia forecasts the demand for imported plastics processing machinery to advance by


Chinaplas 2015 to address latest emerging demands of China market


hinaplas, to be held from 20-23 May 2015 in Guangzhou, China, will leverage 20 years' worth of expertise, by adding on four hightech theme zones and 11 traditional theme zones. It will also put up a line of services to lure customers. These include guided tour services for buyers from the automotive, construction, E&E, packaging and medical industries to allow them to find the right suppliers in the most time-efficient manner. Furthermore, the exhibition will hold "open houses" in collaboration with local well-known businesses so visitors can visit their production bases. These will be on top of existing services such as Exhibit Previews and Visitors Guides, mobile phone apps and transportation and accommodation information for visitors. The exhibition comes at an important time: China is the largest producer and consumer of plastics and rubber products, and one of the markets with the highest growth potential. Sophisticated technologies, precision equipment and high-performance materials are currently in high demand. There exists a huge demand for industrial automation in China; it comes close to rival developed countries. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) indicated that China has become the world's largest consumer of industrial robot (20% of the global output at 36,560 units in 2013, up 60% over 2012), and is expected to increase. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services, the organiser of Chinaplas said: "In the past, various automation technologies were scattered over different theme zones. The set-up is to tame the growing demands for automation in local market.This new theme zone will serve as a one-stop destination for visitors to learn about the latest automation technologies from all over the world and can watch live demonstrations of robotic systems as well." The exhibition also comes at a time when China

plans to move away from traditional environmentallydamaging business practices. As a result, the Chinese government has introduced various policies to support the robot industry. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT) is reportedly taking the lead to formulate the Technology Route Map of China Robots and the 13th Five-Year Plan for the Robot Industry. "Both exhibitors and visitors are talking about ROI (return on investment). Chinaplas is a one-stop platform converging high-end technologies and solutions from around the world, giving visitors an opportunity to gain access to various products and technical information at one place. In addition to the wide range of exhibits, concurrent events and seminars are also in place to explore into the industry's hot topics. The continuous growth of the exhibition scale also proves that Chinaplas maintains a high level of ROI for both exhibitors and visitors," Leung said. There are two different entry tickets: a one-day pass (RMB30) and a four-day pass (RMB50). Visitors who successfully pre-registered at www.ChinaplasOnline. com/prereg on or before 11 March, 2015 will enjoy free admission and receive visitor badge in advance. You can also register through smartphone apps and mobile website conveniently. For details, please visit the official show website at JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015


Country Focus 7% annually to US$37.6 billion through 2017. This is in sync with the rising resin consumption, and production for plastics packaging, which Freedonia says will be the largest single market for plastics processing machinery for the given period. The ING Trade Study projected that by 2017, Indonesia will mainly import fuel, industrial machinery and chemicals, which together would account for 45% of the country’s total imports. At the P&R exhibition held in Jakarta, in November last year, local processors flocked to the show to view overseas-made machines, from China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Europe.

"Importing machines that allow for quality output may be necessary if Indonesia wants to be competitive" Some European machine exhibitors at the show admitted that the costs of the machines factored largely in gaining potential clients. Thus, more enquiries were received by Chinese exhibitors displaying China-made machinery. However, the European (and other non-Asian) machines at the show were mostly for large production outputs, whereas company start-ups and medium enterprises, which require smaller machinery, would opt to buy cheaper machines from China. Albert Indradjaja, Senior Sales Consultant for LK Indonesia, a sales arm for Hong Kongheadquartered die-casting machine manufacturer LK Technology, confirmed that Chinese machines were quite popular. He said, “This is because the Indonesian plastics sector has a large number of small processors, mostly family-owned, that have an output of about 500-10,000 pieces a day.” According to Indradjaja, Chinese machines were more suitable for local producers in the houseware segment, due to the affordability factor. Meanwhile, technology appears to be less important for most of the smaller processors, for the reason that technology demands a higher price tag. Robert Plocar, Managing Partner at CIMI Singapore, Indonesian sales network for Italy-based Caccia Engineering’s corrugators, suggested that Indonesia lags behind in the latest technologies and hence, processors need to be educated on the importance of how technology can improve productivity. Alfeo Bonato, Export Manager for Italian pipe machine manufacturer Bausano & Figli, also observed that traditional machinery and products are preferred in Indonesia. According to Johan Yang, Executive VicePresident of Resindo, a new Indonesian company representing Netherlands-headquartered



thermoplastics compounder Resin, importing machines that allow for quality output may be necessary if Indonesia wants to be competitive. Yang said that the country has an improving investment climate and although change may not be immediate, Indonesia is nevertheless heading towards the right direction. Resindo is starting up a plant in Jakarta this year. It will produce automotive/packaging compounds and anti-microbial masterbatches. The plant will serve other markets in the region, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as India and Australia. Packaging a growth sector Packaging machines scored sales and leads at the P&R Indonesia event, an indicator of the vigorous nature of the sector. Ariana Susanti, President of the Asian Packaging Federation (APF) and Director of the Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF), confirmed that the domestic consumption for plastics packaging is strong, owing to the emerging middle-class and large population. The robust private spending, driven by the growing middle class allows the Indonesian packaging industry to grow Ariana Susanti, APF alongside other sectors, President and IPF Director, particularly that of the food says that local consumption and beverage industry,” for plastics packaging Susanti said. is strong, owing to the Nevertheless, the sector emerging middle-class and large population has certain challenges to overcome. According to Susanti, packaging also follows certain trends, and there are multifarious factors that influence these trends. “The economy may play a central role. Certain factors have an impact irrespective of the performance of the economy, such as the ageing population, smaller households, increasing requirement for convenience, rising health awareness; and the emerging “on-the-go” lifestyles,” she explained. The growth of the modern retail sector in Indonesia, such as convenience stores, is attracting patronage from customers who usually shop in conventional retail stores -- a shift that will have positive impact on product packaging. Furthermore, the Indonesian middle-class consumers have become “cost savvy” in terms of their choices of product packaging, resulting in more demand for novel packaging formats, such as standup pouches, and less of glass or can packaging. Stand-up pouches are lightweight and convenient to carry, hence the preference over glass or cans.

Country Focus German flexible film machine manufacturer Lemo Maschinenbau, an exhibitor at P&R Indonesia, also showcased various packaging options, including a stand-up pouch with a spout that has been undertaken by South African winery Two Oceans. Reiner Weiss, Sales Representative of Lemo, said that the company, which already has 15-20 Indonesian processors using their machines, is hoping the local market will adopt this type of innovative packaging.

In a nutshell, Susanti said that improving the production process and product appearance is an important element for processors to ensuring an enhanced quality and increased market share. “As a product identity, packaging can make use of technology and creative designs,” she said, adding that this strategy can help enhance the country’s competitiveness in the global market.

Lemo's stand-up pouch with spout for wine

Apart from the consumer factors, improving packaging quality to grab a bigger market share is vital. This can be achieved with technology, according to Susanti. At the show, blow moulding machinery maker, Switzerlandheadquartered Sidel, is making headway in the local market with technology that can create new shapes and ergonomic designs for liquid packaging. Sidel’s Zone Communications Director, Southeast Asia Pacific, Magali Rioult Denorme, said that this is because Indonesia is a growing market for beverages. The company, which has plants in Italy, France, China and India, has already a long list of innovative packaging designs, including the FreeShape PET bottle design. This, Sidel says, is for “sensitive beverages that can be filled hot or aseptically while retaining the bottle’s flexible shape format.” FreeShape PET bottle design from Sidel

Three satellite-shows in the largest exhibition for plastics and rubber in Europe in 2015


3D printing and related technologies

innovative startup companies


Getting to the bottom of the marine litter issue Confronted by a gargantuan waste mishap like marine litter, one may think the situation irreversible. Nevertheless, the plastics industry is confident that practical solutions, such as plastics waste management, may be able to offer help, says Angelica Buan in this article.


tudies have found marine litter to have alarmingly extended from the deepest ocean depths to the surface and afflicting at varying concentration levels five major gyres (major spirals of ocean-circling currents that occur north and south of the equator). Waste plastics, which are found to represent a large bulk of the marine debris by material type, can enter the environment a number of ways, including improper waste management, and dumping or littering shorelines or at sea. These waste plastics will eventually degrade into fragments.

In Asia Pacific, marine litter costs millions of dollars of damage to the marine industry

Marine litter is a global affair that has provoked the issue of plastics endangering the environment. In the Asia Pacific region, the European Commission (EC) estimates that marine litter could cost over US$1.26 billion/year damage to marine industries (shipping, tourism and fishing) or 3% of the GDP for the 21 economies in the region. At the other end, the average cost of clearing up plastic waste in the region could cost US$1,500/tonne of waste.



Hot on plastics: plastics associations work together A global-wide assembly of 60 plastics associations from 34 countries has fostered a manifesto to address the issue of marine litter. The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, which started in 2011, represents the industry’s commitment and focuses on education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment. These waste plastics find their way into the ocean in various ways, says Jürgen Brüder of IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen eV

According to the group’s 2014 progress report, poor waste management and sewage overflows mostly account for landbased sources that make up 80% of marine litter. Meanwhile, oceanbased sources include “trash from boats, abandoned fishing gear, and natural disasters”. About 70% of marine litter, such as glass, metal, and all sorts of marine equipment, sink to the ocean floor and the rest floats or remains suspended in water. According to Jürgen Brüder Managing Director of Germany-headquartered IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen eV, in Germany, land-sourced litter from dumps, ports, coastal regions and river navigations ultimately goes into main waterways. On a similar note, Doug Woodring, co-founder of US/ Hong Kong-based NGO Ocean Recovery Alliance (ORA), emphasised the need to develop technologies that will provide better understanding of how litter infiltrates waterways. Both presenters were speaking during the 25th annual Global Meeting on Plastics and Sustainability, held in December 2014 in the Philippines. The growing hostility on plastics is due to its floatation nature and resistance to degradation, according to the delegates. Lim Kok Boon, President of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA), reiterated that plastics per se are not the issue but the way plastics are disposed of. “People talk about plastics being a problem in the environment because of the nondegradation factor. In Malaysia, plastics are commonly regarded as a local waste problem, rather than a marine litter problem,” he said at the meeting.

Environment Woodring of ORA said that currently Hong Kong generates 1,700 tonnes of plastics/day that accounts for 20% of total municipal solid waste. He added that a municipal solid waste (MSW) plan has been instituted in the country to reduce MSW by 40% by 2022; recycling will also be increased by 55%. Reinventing strategies to change public mindset Defending plastics by citing their benefits is no longer an effective game plan to raising awareness on marine littering, observed Asian association heads. “When we speak about plastics being sustainable, the public does not listen, plus in Malaysia we still have this NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome,” shared MPMA’s Lim. “Being on the defensive also does not work. Hence, we clarify that littering is what creates the problem in the environment.” Meanwhile, Crispian Lao, spokesperson for the Manilabased Philippine Plastics Industry Association (PPIA), says that the public has become immune to the usual plastics versus paper debate. “To discontinue the disagreements, we have shifted to talking about recycling Crispian Lao of PPIA said plastics and paper in general,” that programmes with he said. added value encourage How are the associations cooperation tackling the waste problem? MPMA has employed a strategy of “engage, displace, educate and promote” through a series of interactive campaigns and programmes. “We engage with the public, break through barriers, create mutual trust, and only then will we be able to dispel the negative perception about plastics,” explains Lim. He goes on to say, “By tackling the issue of waste, we will also indirectly tackle the marine litter problem, because 80% of marine litter is from landbased activities.” Meanwhile, PPIA is investing more on tangible projects than on public relations (PR) campaigns. “We are focusing on actual programmes that really mean something to the public. Because all talk with no action makes no sense,” Lao said. “Campaigns must be supported with complete sustainable programmes,” says Lao, who is also a commissioner of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC). Reaching out through popular means Lao said that programmes with added value encourage cooperation. “Unless we put a value on waste there will be no participation. It is a question of what’s in it for me?” he said. An example is PPIA’s project known as Bigas Ko, Plastic Mo (My rice grains, your waste plastics), through which people can trade 1 kg of waste plastics

for 1 kg of rice. “This is a very successful programme. People even pick up candy wrappers in exchange for rice,” he said. Recyclable materials like plastic bags, laminates, and composites are exchanged in kind for promotional items (including condiments like soy sauce and cooking vinegar) from participating companies. Laminates are converted to school chairs.

Environment A partnership with a social enterprise founded by American artist and designer Ann Wizer, the Invisible Sisters, has enabled wastes plastics to be repurposed into crocheted bags and clothing materials while at the same time providing livelihood to community women. Recycling kicks off Steve Russell, Vice President of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), told delegates at the Manila-held meeting that new innovations in recycling and energy recovery can aid in efficient management of used plastics. “We look forward to closer cooperation with our colleagues in Asia and throughout the world to develop locally relevant and sustainable approaches to recycle and recover the energy from used plastics,” he said.

MPMA's Lim Kok Boon with supporters at a HI5 Me and Don't be a Litterbug campaign in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia is also actively improving the public’s response to recycling. Lim said that MPMA has implemented sustainable programmes that have been on-going since 2002, including the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). “In 2012, we launched a very simple programme known as the HI5 Me (Me stands for Mother Earth). It makes use of a big hand sign in a high-five hand gesture. We are able to attract the attention of the public to convey the message that the issue is about littering,” he said. The Malaysian association is also carrying out the “Don’t be a Litterbug” campaign, which is espoused by the Malaysian Plastics Forum (MPF), a group established in 2005 that comprises the Malaysian Petrochemicals Association-Plastics Resins Producers Group (MPA-PRPG) and MPMA. “This campaign is aimed at preventing plastics from entering the environment and fighting the littering habit among Malaysians,” stressed Lim. Harnessing waste for energy Plastics have a higher captured energy than wood, paper or even coal, according to ACC. There are



a few technologies available to recover energy, or convert solid waste into feedstock materials or renewable energy. In the Plastics to Oil presentation at the plastics meeting last December, ACC lists these as: mass burn waste-to-energy, which produces electricity and steam; engineered solid fuels that produce alternative solid fuel and coal/coke replacements; gasification, which produces electricity and/or fuels (ethanol) and chemicals; and plastics-to-oil, which produces synthetic crude oil and drop-in fuels. While the waste-to-energy (WTE) method is a welcome option to recover plastics, there is opposition to its potential risks to health and safety. In the Philippines, PPIA said that it is currently in the midst of developing guidelines for WTE together with environmental agencies and NGOs. PPIA’s Lao said, “The solid waste commission wants to ensure environmental protection. With the guidelines coming from the national government, incineration will be allowed.” Meanwhile, Lao also said that NGOs were pushing PPIA to exclude PVC from the list because of potential risks like dioxin emissions. But he opined that science-backed evidences are likely to assure NGOs that materials like PVCs can be safely recycled. Fixing the glitch In the light of the marine litter woes, agencies and industry players are setting targets to decelerate, if not to curb completely, the growing rate of ocean pollution. For example, the EU Commission has set a marine litter reduction target of 30% by 2020. Likewise, the ACC will be proposing collaborative approaches to sustainable waste management at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be held later this year in the Philippines. APEC promotes ocean cooperation amongst its members. On the other hand, MPMA is implementing efforts at the grassroots level with its anti-litter campaign in Malaysia. It hopes the campaign will change the mindset of proponents of anti-plastics and instead make them look at it as an anti-litter issue. “Let us give life to our valuable resources,” Lim of MPMA says. PPIA’s Lao opines that the plastics industry must take a more active role in raising awareness about plastic waste management as well as the technologies that enable efficient waste management. “We cannot continue with the same level of thinking. We have to re-invent ourselves to address the problems that we have generated for ourselves. Let’s face it: we need to address the plastic waste problem, because we are the ones who produce plastics,” says Lao in conclusion.

Injection Moulding Asia • US automotive seating supplier Johnson Controls will open its second global corporate headquarters, in Shanghai, China, by 2017. The firm has existing facilities for China’s automotive market, and claims to many key partnerships and a broad manufacturing footprint in China, including 32 joint ventures, 61 manufacturing plants in 30 cities and 22,000 employees. Last year, it signed a definitive agreement with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems to form a global automotive interiors joint venture. This was followed by yet another deal with Yanfeng and Anhui Yansheng Automotive Trim for a fabrics joint venture, which will be located in Huainan City. Johnson Controls also made an automotive battery supply agreement with SAIC Motor, in May last year. • India-based Samvardhana Motherson Group (SMG) has inaugurated a US$40-million automotive mirror plant in Marysville, Ohio, as part of its greenfield expansion plan for China and the US. The plant will operate under group company Samvardhana Motherson Reflect (SMR), which claims a global market share of 22% and is one of the largest manufacturers of external rear view mirrors for passenger cars in the world. Over 80% of its revenue comes from overseas markets. SMG is also setting up a plant in Chongqing, China for manufacturing exterior mirrors. It is expected to be operational in a few months. Plans are to set up another plant under the Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) in Beijing to produce door panels. The plant is expected to be operational by 2017. • Japanese car maker Toyota is following US automotive maker

Tesla Motor’s lead (which opened up fuel cell technology for electric vehicles last year) and opening up to 6,000 fuel cell and related patents to the rest of the automotive industry for royaltyfree use. It said it took the step in a bid to drive development of cars that use the alternative fuel source. The announcement was made soon after it showed off its Mirai hydrogen-driven car at Las Vegas’s CES show recently. The patent portfolio covers fuel cell stacks, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, software control systems and the industrial processes involved in generating and supplying the gas. The list includes approximately 5,680 patents including 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control, and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply. • Germany-based automotive parts supplier Webasto is manufacturing the fixed panorama roof for the third generation of the smart fortwo. The 1.2-sq m transparent roof panel is made of Makrolon PC from Bayer MaterialScience. The technical highlight of the roof system is its ability to absorb solar energy and thus prevent the interior from heating up too much. This is made possible by infrared absorbers integrated into the Makrolon AG2677. The

Webasto has produced what it says is the largest injection moulded-roof with infrared absorption

Industry News

colour and temperature-stable, heat-absorbing colour 771079 is being used on the new smart for the first time. A roof made of PC can be up to 50% lighter than a glass equivalent. The plastic panel on the new smart fortwo weighs only 9.8 kg.

• According to a report by US-based Grand View Research, the injection moulded plastics market for automotive has expanded, amidst the demand for fuel efficiency, and will be witnessing a surge of global demand from 92,312 kilotonnes in 2013 to over 130,000 kilotonnes by 2020, or a CAGR of 5% from 2014-2020. While packaging is the top application for plastics, the automotive and transportation segment are close behind, and is expected to emerge as the fastest growing application segment at an estimated CAGR of 5.7% from 2014-2020, given that metal is being replaced by plastics. The report also added that Asia Pacific was the largest regional market for injectionmoulded plastics accounting for 37% of global demand in 2013. The growing applications such as automotive, electronics and construction, in India, China and Malaysia, are expected to be key drivers for the growing demand in the region. Another research firm, Freedonia Group, also finds an estimated 6.9% yearly expansion of the market for plastics processing equipment through 2017; whereby, injection moulding equipment will account for 40% of new sales of the reported period. There is also market growth for micro injection moulding for those small plastic parts in automotive, electronics, and medical devices; and especially for hybrid cars and connectivity-enabled vehicles.

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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Meanwhile, the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit, US, saw Chinese car maker Guangzhou Automotive Group (GAC) displaying its self-driving plug-in car concept. Called Witstar, the autonomous car is powered by a battery and a gasoline engine. The car’s electric range is about 62 miles; and its range with fuel can expand up to 372 miles. A novel highlight of the car is that it comes with a built-in fish tank in the rear seat. GAC came to the US’s biggest show this year, but officials didn’t indicate if they have any plans yet for the US market.

GAC’s Witstar comes with a built-in fish tank

Likewise, introduced to the market is the Innovation Demonstrator (ID15) concept of US-based Johnson Controls, which features more than 30 technologies The ID15 features a rotating table with an for autonomous 18-degree swivelling seatback vehicles. The ID15 features a rotating table that allows the driver to interact with second row passengers. Smart surface technologies are included with integrated control technologies enabling activation and control of various functions throughout the interior and serve as an alternative solution to conventional switches. Illuminated surfaces also differentiate the interior of the vehicle, and LED lighting across the instrument panel and along the side of the doors help improve the lighting ambience, with synchronised functionality to the Auto-drive mode.

Injection Moulding Asia Automotive The technology is said to enable cars to navigate using a single video camera that delivers the same degree of accuracy as costly laser scanners. The new system converts the generated real-time map data into a 3-D picture much like a video game. The car’s navigation system can then compare these synthetic pictures with the real-world pictures streaming in from a conventional video camera. The researchers have fine-tuned it to include a system that is able to process a massive amount of video data in real time. Trials have been undertaken on a system built out of graphics processing technology; and it managed to successfully provide accurate location information. At the CES, an automotive computer was also launched by American technology firm Nvidia. Called Drive, the computing equivalent of a V12 for self-driving vehicles, is expected to usher autonomous vehicles onto the mass market. The company offers two models: Drive PX for autopilot capabilities that adapts Nvidia’s mobile computing technology for autonomous vehicles; and Drive CX that has digital cockpit systems with the latest graphics processing architecture to deliver photorealistic graphics for applications including 3-D maps, landmarks and nextgeneration human-machine interfaces. The Drive PX’s image processing technology will be used by the car to build a map of its surroundings, enabling it to auto-park, as well as detect other vehicles on the road by type, make and model, and to avoid obstacles or collisions.

Collaborative efforts esearchers from Japanese car maker Nissan’s US Silicon Valley Research Centre and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)’s Ames Research Centre in California have formed a five-year R&D deal, targeting the first test by the end of the year. The collaborating team will test a fleet of zero-emission autonomous vehicles to demonstrate proof-of-concept remote operation of autonomous vehicles for the transport of materials, goods, payloads and people. The outcome of the partnership is said to benefit NASA’s development of its rovers and space vehicles. Likewise, it will also help Nissan’s development of autonomous drive technology that the company is aiming to introduce to consumers beginning 2016 up to 2020.


US firm Roush is building 100 prototype cars for Google by this year

Also by 2020, US-headquartered Internet service provider Google is expecting to market SDCs, teaming up with major car manufacturers like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and VW. The Google prototype is simple, according to its developers, and is described as a practical solution for physically challenged people who are not able to drive.

Causes of concern for SDCs hile there are solutions offered for the high costs, a further worry is the lack of appropriate road regulations. Despite assurances from manufacturers that safety features are in place, automated cars are still a cause for concern for road mishaps. In the UK, the government has started to pen rules to ensure that the driver/passenger in a SDC is alert, fit to drive, and capable of taking over the wheel at any time. Reports say that authorities are test driving these cars, in aid of the guidelines. Meanwhile, there are the legal issues, such as the driver’s liability should the car be involved in an accident; and data privacy issues, considering that the GPS and other on-board connectivity devices store tracking information and personal information. Furthermore, concerns also centre on the flimsy protection from potential cyber threats. Last but not the least is that these new breed of cars (such as the Google car) have yet to be proven reliable under certain weather and environment conditions. One automotive maker that is looking at improving the above is Mercedes. It says that it is enhancing the data processing capabilities and sensor quality of its SDC model to ensure that the systems will work reliably under heavy downpour, severe winter conditions and in darkness.


Reality checks for SDCs DCs are the stuff that dream vehicles are made of, but the technology may not be perfect. The genius vehicles are bracing for challenges, according to industry observers. Firstly, driverless vehicles come with a hefty price tag. A bulk of the price is the cost of the electronics technology, which will add between US$7,000 and US$10,000 to the price in 2025, according to the IHS study. It also says that the figure will fall to around US$5,000 in 2030 and about US$3,000 in 2035, when no driver controls are available. Nevertheless, automotive makers are also looking at ways to lower costs of SDCs, such as integrating cheaper yet efficient systems to function as currently used sensors and laser scanners. Researchers from the University of Michigan (UM), led by Ryan Wolcott, and Ryan Eustice, have developed a new software system that may help forego the costly laser scanners used in SDCs.


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Rubber Journal Asia Desma to bank on Asia for growth


ubber injection moulding machinery manufacturer Klöckner Desma Elastomertechnik expects in three years that its market share in Asia will be upped to 50% of its turnover, according to Harald Schmid, General Sales Manager. Speaking to PRA at last year’s plastics and rubber exhibition in Japan, IPF, Schmid also said that currently Desma’s Asian sales represent 30% of its turnover. The Germanyheadquartered company expects the higher market share to be pushed by growth of the automotive sector. “Our biggest customers are from the automotive industry. In Asia, around 90% of our customers are from the automotive sector, while in Europe it is around 50%. This sector will be the biggest trigger for our growth in Asia,” he explained. When asked if the company was taking a risk by putting all its eggs in one basket (by relying on just one sector for its growth), Schmid replied, “Even if the market shrinks, we are well

never ending demands for reduction in prices from OEMs!” Besides India and China, the whollyowned subsidiary of steel producer Salzgitter operates production sites in Germany, the US and Slovakia. At its open house last year, Managing Director Martin Schürmann reported that Desma’s turnover will exceed EUR80 million; the number of employees increased from 438 to 504 and by 2017; the company forecasts a turnover of EUR100 million as well as a world market share of 30%. He said, “The order books of Desma are full. Until the second quarter of 2015, the company will be working to capacity limits.” The company will celebrate its 50th anniversary of operations this year.

positioned to supply higher technology machines to Asia.” In China, which is the largest market for the automotive sector globally, Desma has a 2,800 sq m facility it set up in 2007 in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. It will expand its facility to meet market demands. “We will move to a new location 10 km from Wuxi, to double our capacity.” It expects to produce 200 machines/year for the local market. “Desma China has good growth potential, especially for the automotive market.” Schmid pointed out that OEM transplants “buy identical machines always in plants close to them and expect the same quality”. He added that Desma’s plants in India and China are also able to make modifications to machinery. “We are confident of future growth as companies move from compression to injection moulding.” But the company is not immune to market forces that Schmid points out as “rising labour and power costs, even in China and India; increasing costs of raw materials; competition from local and overseas manufacturers and the

Top Glove unfazed by high rubber prices


he world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer, Malaysiabased Top Glove says that its business has remained unaffected by the recent floods in Malaysia that saw the prices of rubber increasing. “We expect demand to continue growing at 6% every year on the back of increasing hygiene standards and healthcare awareness, particularly in developing markets where usage is low but rapidly rising,” Chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said in an interview with RJA. Rubber prices surged as flooding disrupted supplies from Malaysia. However, Top Glove’s top executive

From Left To Right: Harald Schmid, General Sales Manager; Stefan Scheibe, Area Sales Manager; and, Masaru Yoshida, Area Sales Manager Japan

Industry News remained optimistic. “As an essential item in the healthcare industry, the demand for rubber gloves is generally resilient to raw material price fluctuations and economic uncertainty,” he added, noting that the price increase was still considered small compared to the past few years. He also said that the company took into account the stronger US dollar. As a result, the prices of the gloves remained the same. Furthermore, the company says it has several back-up plans if the price of rubber continues to increase, including: • Continuing to invest in R&D to further improve the efficiency of its manufacturing process to optimise the usage of rubber – for example, producing lower weight gloves while still maintaining quality. • Continuing to look for ways to cut costs in other areas and reducing wastage, so the overall production cost will remain efficient. The floods in Malaysia, which occur annually during the monsoon periods of NovemberDecember, saw almost 200,000 people displaced from their homes while 21 were killed in the states of Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu and Johor, areas that are also home to rubber trees. In fact, it has been reported that rubber output in Thailand (another country that was affected by the floods) and Malaysia will drop at least 30% and prices have been predicted to rise further.

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News

News in brief • Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) is expanding its business of rubber parts for pharmaceutical packaging by acquiring Swiss manufacturer/ seller of medical packaging materials and medical rubber parts Lonstroff Holding, from Switzerlandheadquartered, BV Holding, a private equity fund. The deal is valued at an estimated 5.3 billion yen. With the deal, SRI will secure production facilities and marketing presences in Europe for its medical rubber parts. • French tyre maker Michelin and Chinese textile and technical apparel firm Jihua are partnering to produce highperformance soles and technical footwear. Both firms are targeting to clinch 5%-10% of the global market share of this segment or 500 million pairs of soles via their units, Michelin Lifestyle and JV International, respectively. Meanwhile, Michelin has acquired a 70,000 sq m land alongside its facility in Bad Kreuznach,

Germany, to expand its tyre plant. Michelin currently employs 1,500 people at what is already its largest plant in Germany, and manufactures the “green compound” used in the Pilot Sport 3 in Bad Kreuznach.

• US-based GHX Industrial, a subsidiary of United Distribution Group, has acquired the operations and assets of Houston-based Hose & Fittings (HFI). Terms were not disclosed. Founded in 1983, HFI is a fabricating distributor and key supplier to oilfield companies and OEMs with worldwide offshore and subsea operations whose primary market is offshore drilling and production.

facility for conveyor belts and sheet rubber in Arizona. Meanwhile EnPro also acquired Fabrico, a privatelyheld company offering highly engineered products to the land-based turbine industry. EnPro will integrate Fabrico into its Technetics Group, which manufactures products for the aerospace, semiconductor, power generation and oil and gas markets.

• Rubber compounds company Hexpol is buying polymer compounder RheTech Thermoplastic Compounding for US$112 million on a cash and debt-free basis. RheTech has 50 years of experience in polymer compounding and in 2013, posted a turnover of US$117 million.

• US-based engineered industrial products manufacturer, EnPro has completed the US$44 million sale of its GRT rubber manufacturing unit to GRT Rubber Technologies, a newly formed business funded by an investor group led by Houstonheadquartered Main Street Capital Corp. The GRT sale involves divesting a small unit that has a single manufacturing

• Bekaert has completed the acquisition of Pirelli’s steel cord plants in Italy, Romania and Brazil. Also included are Pirelli’s steel cord activities in Turkey; and China. Moreover, a long-term supply agreement for the delivery of Bekaert tyre cord products to Pirelli will also be in place. • North America’s sixth largest automotive supplier,

Faurecia, launched a new automotive plant in Missouri. The 81,844 sq ft facility is Faurecia’s 47th production site in the US, and represents its US$13 million investment in the area to support its General Motors (GM) business. • Automotive sealing manufacturing company Standard Profil recently unveiled its tenth global plant in Mexico, built on a budget of US$36 million. The company has facilities in Spain, Morocco, China, South Africa, Mexico and Bulgaria. • US firm DuPont Performance Polymers is to sell its Neoprene polychloroprene synthetic rubber business to Denka Performance Elastomer, a new joint venture company owned by Denka ( 7 0 % ) and by Mitsui & Co ( 3 0 % ) . The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2015. Neoprene, invented by DuPont in 1931, is a synthetic rubber used for many chemical and weather-resistant products such as wet suits and orthopaedic braces; and as a base resin in adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings.

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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber

Growth path for synthetic rubber Amidst the volatilities in raw materials

What is certain is that the downward trend for rubber materials will result in higher gross margins for tyre makers and dealers, according to industry analysts.

supplies and costs, demand for synthetic rubber is continuing to move forward, according to Angelica Buan in this market report.

NBR – strong contender in automotive he automotive sector, as well as other industrial sectors will continue to post high demand for nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), according to a report by Research and Markets. The Global Nitrile he new year opened with a fete for sectors Butadiene Rubber (NBR) Market 2015-2019 report using rubber. With the continuing drop in says NBR will have a CAGR of 6.85% from 2014prices of crude oil, projected to bottom to US$49/ 2018. barrel, it is expected that prices of raw materials, Commonly known as nitrile rubber, NBR is including prices of rubber, will drop further. formed by the copolymerisation of butadiene The situation may justify the forecast from the and acrylonitrile. NBR is mainly used for recently released World Rubber Industry Outlook rubber products in key segments and in various (WRIO) by Singapore-based International Rubber applications owing to its suitable properties, Study Group (IRSG). It predicted that world total including resistance to heat, puncture, fuel, and rubber demand will jump 1.8% or 30.3 million many chemicals. tonnes in 2016 from 4.1% or 29.1 million tonnes in For the automotive sector, the synthetic rubber 2015. is widely used in the manufacture of brake liners, With this increase, IRSG says that demand for dashboards, brake pads and kick panels, given that synthetic rubber (SR) this year will reach 16.8 there is an increase in the demand for automotive million tonnes, climbing to 17.5 million tonnes in components. 2016. “The tyre segment will largely benefit Likewise, it is also Come 2023, this in many demand could even from the cheap oil, since raw materials suited other applications, soar to 21.5 million such as hoses, tonnes; topping the will be cheaper…” belts/cables, consumption figures O-rings and seals, industrial and medical gloves, for natural rubber (NR). The latter is pegged at moulded and extruded products, adhesives and 12.3 million tonnes this year and expected to climb sealants, sponges, footwear and others. 12.9 million tonnes in 2016, further increasing to The report forecasts the market to witness 16.5 million tonnes in 2023, according to the study. continuous investments in capacity additions. Manufacturers are investing in new machinery to maximise the use of raw materials and to minimise On track with tyre segment costs. he tyre segment will largely benefit from the While the requirement for NBR is generally cheap oil, since raw materials will be cheaper, forecast to surge, substitutes such as thermoplastic causing in a price drop for tyres. However, some polyester elastomers and thermoplastic polyolefins tyre manufacturers are refusing to enforce the are replacing NBR in the PVC modification sector, price cuts. according to Research and Markets, specifying In India, large tyre producers including MRF, the North American market to be experiencing a CEAT, JK Tyres, and Apollo Tyres have relented sluggish growth in this area. to reducing the tyre prices across segments to as much as 4% in light of the declining price of raw Asian growth in other applications materials. rowth in synthetic latex is also continuing MRF has cut prices of its commercial tyres by to prop up demand, say analysts. Southeast 1%-2% and Apollo Tyres by 2%-3% across the Asia is the fourth largest market for synthetic board on its tyres. In the truck and tyre segments, latex polymers, accounting for 8% of the global JK Tyres brought prices down by 1%-2% and consumption, according to a study presented by CEAT, also reduced prices for its truck tyres by Kline & Company. 1%-1.5%.





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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Malaysia, Thailand, “Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia US$45.8 billion and Indonesia by 2020, driven make up for 82% of synthetic latex by technology make up for 82% of synthetic latex polymer polymer consumption in the region” advancements, and consumption in the stringent safety region. policies aimed at Of the polymers, acrylonitrile butadiene (AB reducing hazardous leaks in process industries. nitrile) is the leading product type, accounting for New materials developed are also making headway 44.6% of the total consumption in the region by into the gaskets and seals market, for eg, EMI volume, followed by styrene acrylics, according to shielding gaskets launched by US-based Stockwell the Synthetic Latex Polymers: Southeast Asia Market Elastomerics. The custom gaskets are fabricated from Analysis and Opportunities report. closed cell silicone foam, closed cell silicone sponge It says that latex consumption in Malaysia and and fluorosilicone sponge with edge bonded knitted Thailand is dominated by AB nitrile due to the large monel mesh. importance of the glove dipping application in these In the healthcare segment, silicones are either used two countries. alone or combined with other materials to enhance Meanwhile in Indonesia, the product mix is functions. Leading silicones firms like Dow Corning dominated by styrene acrylics. Thailand dominates and Shin-Etsu Silicones have developed products in consumption of pure acrylics, which is the thirdthat are combining silicones with other materials largest type of synthetic latex polymers consumed to render more effective results and compliance to in the region. standard safety guidelines. Kline & Company said that the positive GDP Recently, Michigan-headquartered Dow Corning, growth in these country markets makes up for the announced that its TPSiV materials, a hybrid of region’s synthetic latex polymers growth, forecast to thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and crosslinked rise at a CAGR of 6.5% through 2018. silicone rubber have been tested according to US Pharmacopeia’s (USP) guidelines. They have shown to Silicones gearing up for transport and healthcare be non-irritating and non-sensitising in skin contact eanwhile, another class of SR, silicone applications, thus making them suitable options for elastomers are likewise carving a niche in wearable electronics applications, such as wrist bands various segments including automotive, electrical for smart watches and fitness trackers, as well as for & electronics, device accessories healthcare, and such as ear buds. “…Asia Pacific region is the largest consumer goods. Meanwhile, market for silicone elastomers, globally, Shin-Etsu According to a report from Silicones has both in terms of volume and value..” research analysts introduced the MarketsandMarkets, the Asia Pacific region is the Select-Skin RTV elastomer series for applications largest market for silicone elastomers, globally, requiring a skin-like material with tough performance both in terms of volume and value. It is followed by properties. Europe, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, and the Middle-East. Its fast growth is driven by substantial Select-Skin RTV ventures across the aforementioned industries. elastomers from The current market size of silicone elastomers Shin-Etsu in terms of value is estimated to shoot up to US$11,014.26 million by 2019, from US$6,500.60 million in 2013, and is projected to reach a CAGR of 9.28% between 2014-2019. Seen to boost these industries is the focus on R&D to develop future advancements and technology modifications of silicone elastomer applications to replace natural rubber and other rubber substitutes in broader applications. Silicones are posting gains in the automotive and transport sectors, whereby the polymer is used in parts such as gaskets and seals. Global Industry Analysts (GIA) project that the global gaskets and seals market will reach


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Unbox the advantages of a Husky preform solution with a smaller investment The world’s only integrated All-Electric preform solution, H-PET AE™ is designed for flexibility to produce both short or long production runs. Offering all of the advantages you’ve come to expect from a Husky system, with the lowest total costs to produce throughout the life of the equipment by providing superior quality, improved productivity, the industry’s best energy consumption, and labor cost efficiencies. To get you to market sooner, H-PET AE™ comes as a complete work-cell, offering a fast and efficient start-up right out of the box.

PET35 14_022 Unbox the advantage PlastIndia 210x276 EN.indd 1



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