A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
業 界新 聞 封面報導 : 拓展包裝業新契機
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Volume 27, No 195
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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
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12 封面報導: 拓展包裝業新契機 14 Cover Feature Food demand and supply have changed the way packaging is value-added to serve beyond its purpose of storage
16 Corporate Profile A tribute to the late CN Doshi, founder of Rajoo Engineers and staunch builder of its technology-driven trademark
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18 Blow Moulding A round-up of the latest technology news on blow moulding
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On the Cover A S l A’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
Innovative packaging opens a host of opportunities from building brands to curtailing food wastage
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業界新聞 封面報導: 拓展包裝業新契機
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
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PTT and NatureWorks expand in Asia
hai firm PTT Polymer Marketing, a subsidiary of oil company PTT Public, has opened its fifth international representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute, Indonesia could add 90 million new consumers by 2030 to become the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seventh largest economy. Currently, Indonesia's economic and political stability has huge potential of growth especially as the region moves towards
the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). As the major polymer sales and marketing company in Thailand and a polymer marketing arm for PTT Group, PTT Polymer Marketing has established representative offices in locations such as China (Guangzhou and Shanghai), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and established Polymer Marketing DMCC in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It also plans to set up offices in several countries in the near future. Meanwhile, US-based
supplier of biopolymers NatureWorks, in which PTT has a 50% stake, has located its first Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Bangkok and has expanded its team of senior commercial, managerial and technical personnel to enhance support of its Ingeo customers throughout the region and to expand business. The company's first and only bioplastics plant, PTT officials at the opening of the Jakarta office in the state of
Sabic to set up four technical centres
audi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) is investing US$0.5 billion in four new technology and innovation facilities in 2013, two in Saudi Arabia and one each in India and China, bringing the total number of its research facilities around the world to 18. The two centres in
Saudi Arabia are the Corporate Research & Innovation Centre (CRI) at King Abadullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, near Jeddah, and the other, the Sabic Plastic Applications Development Centre (SPADC) in Riyadh Techno Valley at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.
Nebraska, has an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes. It is also planning a second plant in Asia, in Thailand, with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes/year. Last year, PTT bought 50% of NatureWorks for US$150 million.
The CRI is scheduled for an April opening, while the SPADC is set to open in the second quarter of the year. The SPADC will focus on the automotive, packaging, consumer, construction, signage, and compounding sectors. Meanwhile, the Bangalore research centre
is scheduled to open in the second quarter and the Shanghai centre in the third quarter. Both will deal with application development, strategic business and corporate research and will focus primarily on diverse areas of research in chemistry, material science, process engineering, analytical and application technology.
Petronas and Evonik to partner in RAPID project
alaysian petroleum firm Petronas and Germany-based chemicals supplier Evonik Industries are to jointly embark on the development of production facilities of speciality chemicals within Petronasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Johor. This news follows an earlier announcement that Petronas would not partner with German
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compatriot BASF to produce other speciality chemicals in the same project. Petronas and Evonik will focus on the production of 250,000 tonnes of hydrogen peroxide, 220,000 tonnes of isononanol (INA) and 110,000 tonnes of 1-butene annually. The hydrogen peroxide will be used on site to produce propylene oxide through the licensed HPPO process Evonik had jointly developed with ThyssenKrupp
Uhde. These projects are expected to come on stream in 2016. In the BASF/Petronas joint venture that was called off, BASF was to have held 60% and Petronas 40%. The partners were expected to produce INA, highly reactive polyisobutylene, nonionic surfactants, methanesulfonic acid, and precursor materials. BASF and Petronas said they were not able to come to an agreement on the terms
and conditions for the implementation of the project. Petronas has also signed agreements with three other companies within the RAPID project. These include Italy-based Versalis to partner in an elastomers project while Itochu (Japan) and PTT Global Chemical (Thailand) are planning two separate joint ventures with Petronas to produce high value-added downstream chemicals.
PTi targets Southeast Asia and India
S-based sheet extrusion machinery maker Processing Technologies International (PTi), has identified Southeast Asia and India as key growth markets for its machinery and named two representatives to serve its interests in those regions. Kenda Technologies, based in Singapore, will serve as a sales agent for PTi’s broad range of sheet extrusion systems in Southeast
News In Brief
German-Sino alliance for plasticiser feedstock German firm BASF and Sinopec are to establish a world-scale isononanol (INA) plant in Maoming, Guangdong, China. The new plant will start up in 2015. INA is used as feedstock for the production of next generation plasticisers, including diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and non-phthalate plasticiser Hexamoll DINCH. BASF and Sinopec also jointly operate BASF-YPC in Nanjing. Lanxess to build 25 kilotonne pigment plant in China German speciality chemicals company Lanxess is expanding its global production network for inorganic pigments in China by investing EUR55 million to build an iron oxide red pigment facility at the Ningbo Chemical Park. The plant will initially have a capacity of 25,000 tonnes/year and is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015. Lanxess already has an iron oxide pigment plant in Jinshan, Shanghai, with a capacity of 38,000 tonnes/year of iron oxide yellow and black pigments. With a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year, Lanxess’s Inorganic Pigments (IPG) business unit is one of the world's leading manufacturers of pigments. BMS’s technical centre to cater to automotive makers in South Korea Germany-based Bayer
Asia while Shruti International, based in Mumbai will handle sales efforts in India. Both will sell PTi’s broad range of monolayer and co-extrusion barrier sheet line systems for the packaging industry. With PTi machinery in 24 countries, the appointments are a key part of the company’s aggressive global growth strategy and to expand its presence in those two critical growth markets.
MaterialScience (BMS), a subgroup of the Bayer Group, has officially opened its first Polymer Development & Technology Centre in South Korea. It will focus on the development of new polycarbonate applications for the automotive and IT sectors. The centre is part of a global network R&D and application development centres, including the main regional innovation hubs in the US, Germany and China. Additionally, the new centre will be supported by a network of production sites in Asia Pacific in Shanghai, Map Ta Phut (Thailand), and Niihama (Japan). The region makes up 60% of worldwide polycarbonate demand. Dyneema’s technical centre in Singapore DSM Dyneema, the inventor and manufacturer of UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene), said to be the world's strongest fibre, has officially opened its new Asia Pacific Technical Centre in Singapore. The 2,500 sq m, SG$10 million centre located in Tuas is the first for DSM Dyneema in Asia Pacific. In addition to traditional materials testing, the facility will house the country’s first independent ballistics testing facility featuring two ballistic ranges and labs for conducting comprehensive tests for both personal and vehicle armour applications. This is the Dutch firm’s third global ballistics testing facility, complementing units in the US and Europe.
European machine makers look to Asia for growth
achine makers are expected to target the Southeast Asian countries, which continue to grow. The focus will be on promoting technology and targeting application-driven processors, say European machine makers. Extrusion machinery equipment firm Omipa, which exports almost all its output, expects a stable year ahead, especially since it offers high performance technology, said Managing Director Fabio Cazzani in an interview with PRA. “The global market, especially China and Asia, is ok for us, compared to Europe,” he added. “Customers are still investing and growing, especially in the niche market of optical and display sheets,” he explained, adding that the firm will celebrate its 50th year in business this year. Meanwhile, the firm continues to innovate and is trialling a machine for profiles. “We are targeting a new market for our latest profile machine,” said Cazzani, adding that the firm has also developed an EVA film line and a LED/LCD sheet line. Compatriot Italian extrusion machinery maker Macchi, which averages sales of EUR50 million/year, “keeps proposing multi-layer lines, even for non-barrier layer films to enhance film performance,” said International Sales JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
Manager Mauro Andreoli. The firm has had a number of milestones, having expanded its facility near Milan to 5,000 sq m to allow for up to 12 machinetrialling; and the launch of what it says is the world’s first ninelayer film line utilising a new generation nanocomposite EVOH from Nippon Gohsei. “It allows for 30% barrier enhancement and is a future potential for extrusion processors,” said Andreoli. And while Macchi’s main market is still Europe (accounting for 56% of sales), Asia, Middle East and Africa (15%) are regions of interest to the firm. “We have had an office in Singapore the past few years where Macchi Asia Pacific operates from.” He also adds that the firm’s emphasis on quality, line flexibility (to maximise all resources available) and minimise power intake are factors that will help it to cater to the market needs in Asia. Meanwhile, Italian film extrusion machinery maker Bandera’s answer to meeting the tough economic conditions is to innovate a competitively-priced Smart Flex threelayer blown film line. “This concept applies not only to emerging economies but also in technologically advanced nations where the need to produce generic film with minimised margins is occurring,” said Sales Manager
Luca Michelon. “Cost reduction is derived by offering a basic line with basic components like the take-off and winder but no accessories,” he further explained. Though he says the firm has not developed a fivelayer line in this concept, it is negotiating with a few processors in South America and Saudi Arabia for a five-layer Smart Flex line. Michelon also pointed to a favourable and growing market for the firm’s agriculture film lines. Bandera expects to close the year with a new sales record of over EUR63 million, of which 18% will be accounted for by blown film lines for agricultural purposes. “We sold three agriculture film lines in China and one in the Middle East last year, with the largest diehead (2,000 mm) line in Israel. In 2013, we expect to clinch four more orders,” added Michelon. In expectation of increasing sales, Bandera is expanding its facility in Busto Arsizio. The construction involves two buildings
for testing and a showroom with a technical centre – all to be completed by February 2013. German machinery company KraussMaffei also expects higher sales in Asia, which in fact are currently on par with its European and US sales, especially in the PU machine sector, said Nicholas Beyl, Director of Technology (Reaction Processing Machinery), speaking at a press conference during the Fakuma exhibition in October last year. “The main growth drivers are the automotive interior and soft foams sectors plus business looks promising for high-end composite fibre applications.” CEO Jan Siebert also stressed that though the firm is not immune to economic conditions it had managed to survive due to its machinery for high-tech applications. “Incoming orders are at a satisfactory level so we don’t expect to see a downturn (compared to 2008)," he said, adding that in 2012 the firm superseded the billion mark in terms of turnover.
Engel expects higher sales in Asia for its electric machine
INDUSTRY NEWS Meanwhile, Austria-based injection moulding machinery maker Engel expects higher sales in Asia too, according to Sales Director Christian Pum, speaking at the Fakuma show in Friedrichschafen, Germany. In view of this, Engel is investing EUR62 million (from 2011 through 2013) to undertake expansions at its headquarters plant in Schwertberg, Austria, its large machine factory in Saint Valentin, Austria, and its plants in Shanghai, China, and Pyeongtaek, South Korea, and its robot and automation factory in Hagen, Germany. “We have doubled the capacity of our facilities in China and South Korea so this means we should double the turnover (up to EUR60 million) in these countries,” said Pum. Technology, again, has played its part in the 8% growth of sales. “Energy efficient machinery is a central issue that has helped the company increase its positioning in the market in the last few years,” said CEO Peter Neumann. AUTOMOTIVE “The Southeast Asian market is also growing due THERMOPLASTICS to the demand for electric machines. We expect in the future 25% of all machines sold will be fast cycle ones; 50% high performance and the rest standard ones.” In fact, the firm expects to sell 2,500 of its e-mac all-electrics and 2,000 of its hybrid Ecodrive in Southeast Asia, with 7,000 units of both types in China.
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Arburg says production efficiency is an important factor in the design of machines
Compatriot injection moulding machine company Arburg is also not concerned about the “cooling down” of the market. “This is mainly for the less technical products,” said Sales Director Helmut Heinson, in a press conference also during Fakuma. CARBON “In the past we have always assumed that the Chinese market will beAERONAUTICS 40,000 to 60,000 machines a year. About 8,000 of these machines are imported from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Europe, with what we sell being used for high value applications,” said Heinson. “Our business has increased a lot in China, Taiwan and Indonesia in the past few years. We will open more offices in China as well as invest in sales, people and application support in Asia,” he added.
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GREEN Materials News
Biocomposites and algaeplastics enter the market European firms are tying up for joint marketing and production of biobased plastics while biocomposites and algae-based plastics are new offerings for the market. European tie-up for biobased products Belgian Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nova-Institute have formed a strategic partnership that is ready to offer industrial customers development work for biobased products. The companies offer expertise in the choice of feedstock, life cycle analysis, m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y, d e v e l o p m e n t o f a s c a l a b l e process, the production of the first sample material for application testing and the custom manufacturing of the first tonnes of product to enter the market. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is a flexible pilot plant for developing biobased products while Nova-Institute is a private independent institute founded in 1994,specialising in sustainable biobased chemicals. In other news, Norwegian bioplastics maker BioBag International is tying up with Thailand's Thantawan Industry Public to manufacture its biobased products in Thailand. The companies announced the tie-up at the Inno Bioplast 2013 conference held in Thailand recently. The firms will focus on exporting the products to the US and will also jointly market the products in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Set up in 1959, BioBag introduced its biobased and compostable bags in 1993 and since 2003, has been totally focused on biodegradable bags that are made from Italy-based Novamont's Mater-Bi material. Biocomposites in the arena Dragonkraft Europe, an eco-conscious start up with the backing of Akcros Chemicals, has launched a new bio-resin system for the composites, coatings and adhesives market. It promises manufacturers an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oilbased resins with many HSE benefits. The new epoxy resin system boasts 100% renewable carbon content whilst its hardener/booster package contains 20% renewable matter. In addition, it has a 97% renewable UV cure system that sets within 15-30 minutes in natural daylight. Dragonkraft also says it is BPA (Bisphenol A) free and has many health and safety benefits, including safer handling for workers and low odours. The formulation can be used for many applications and the curing speed can be adjusted to suit user requirements. The system is a strong contender to traditional resins as it produces a high strength flexible-cured resin with a non-brittle finish. It has
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improved wet out and self-levelling properties, with low shrinkage and high temperature resistance. Its adhesion qualities onto many surfaces, including wood, plastics, metals and fibreglass, mark it down as an alternative to epoxy two-pack adhesives. Biocomposite materials are heading for the slopes, after engineers at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) composite centre produced a prototype snowboard from flax, cashew nut husks and recycled plastic. The team is investigating the potential use of these biocomposites for electric vehicles and other applications. The aerospace and automotive sectors are increasingly using composite materials for their combination of low weight and high strength, which can provide significant improvements in fuel efficiency. These materials are usually made up of carbon or glass fibres embedded in an epoxy resin derived from petrochemicals. These materials are energy-intensive to manufacture, and are not easily recyclable or biodegradable when they reach the end of their lives. Replacing some or all of these raw materials with sustainable alternatives can significantly improve the environmental performance of composites manufacturing. The team produced two boards from flax fibres embedded in a resin containing 30% of cashew shell epoxy. The core is made from recycled PET foam, derived from old plastic bottles and other waste.
University of Sheffieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s composite snowboard is made from flax, cashew nut husks and recycled plastic
Green Materials News The AMRC team is continuing to develop biocomposites for a range of transport applications and researching how it can increase the concentration of fibres to give material properties that are at least a match for synthetic composites, as well as the design of the lay-up for a biocomposite component to optimise its performance. The team is also investigating other techniques to improve the energy efficiency of composites manufacturing, such as microwave curing, and whether these can be applied to biomaterials. Algae to plastics Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry. Shota Atsumi, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UC Davis and lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says the US Department of Energy has set a goal of obtaining a quarter of industrial chemicals from biological processes by 2025. Biological reactions are good at forming carboncarbon bonds, using carbon dioxide as a raw material for reactions powered by sunlight. It's called photosynthesis, and cyanobacteria, also known as "blue-green algae," have been doing it for more than 3 billion years. Using cyanobacteria to grow chemicals has advantages as they do not compete with food needs, like cornâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the creation of ethanol. The challenge is to get the cyanobacteria to make significant amounts of chemicals that can be readily converted to chemical feedstocks. With support from Japanese chemical manufacturer Asahi Kasei, Atsumi says he has been working on introducing new chemical pathways into the cyanobacteria. The researchers identified enzymes from online databases that carried out the reactions they were looking for, and then introduced the DNA for these enzymes into the cells. Working a step at a time, they built up a three-step pathway that allows the cyanobacteria to convert carbon dioxide into 2,3 butanediol, a chemical that can be used to make paint, solvents, plastics and fuels. Because enzymes may work differently in different organisms, it is nearly impossible to predict how well the pathway will work before testing it in an experiment, Atsumi said. After three weeks growth, the cyanobacteria yielded 2.4 g of 2,3 butanediol/litre of growth medium â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the highest productivity yet achieved for chemicals grown by cyanobacteria and with potential for commercial development, Atsumi said. Atsumi hopes to tune the system to increase productivity further and experiment with other products, while corporate partners explore scaling up the technology.
Blue-green algae is being grown as chemical precursors for fuels and plastics
Co-authors of the paper are graduate student John Oliver, postdoctoral researcher Iara Machado and Hisanari Yoneda, a visiting researcher from Asahi Kasei. Ye t a n o t h e r p r o j e c t o n a l g a e - b a s e d p o l y m e r s , known as SPLASH (Sustainable Polymers from Algae Sugars and Hydrocarbons), is being led by the Dutch Wageningen University and 20 partners from the EU. The four-year project will study the feasibility of developing a technology for using green algae, known as Botryococcus braunii, and green microalgae, Chlamydomonas reinhardti, to produce hydrocarbons and polysaccharides, which could be further converted into renewable polyolefins and polyesters. This specific algae produces long carbon chains, comparable to naphtha in the petrochemical industry, and sugars which are well suited for the purpose. Biomass cultivation is targeted to reach a pilot scale. Elsewhere, US-based bioplastics maker Cereplast has commercialised algae bioplastics with the introduction of Biopropylene 109D. Cereplast identified a post-industrial algae source that does not rely on the commercialisation of biofuel production, allowing the company to introduce the material sooner than anticipated. In addition, Cereplast says it has discovered a post-industrial process that significantly reduces the odour that is typically inherent to algae biomatter. Biopropylene 109D is an injection moulding grade manufactured with 20% post-industrial algae biomatter, which is a byproduct from algae biofuels and nutritionals, resulting from industrial processing to extract speciality chemicals. Biopropylene 109D can be processed on existing conventional electric and hydraulic reciprocating screw injection moulding machines, and is recommended for thinwall applications. The company says it has several customers evaluating the technology and anticipates generating revenue from it during the first half of 2013. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
Packaging unwraps opportunities The importance of packaging cannot be undermined: it can make or break a product, define brands, create market opportunities and even help solve food wastage. Coming in various sizes, shapes, colours and textures, packaging is a serious business, generating an estimated global market value of US$500 billion, says Angelica Buan in this report.
he United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN-FAO)’s latest global hunger report states that nearly 870 million people were subjected to food scarcity from 2010-2012. Yet, ironically, in the same period also up to 1.3 billion tonnes of food was thrown away, says the agency. This is affirmed by the UK’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers that explains while 4 billion tonnes of food is produced a year, 40% of it goes to waste due to improper harvesting, handling and distribution as well as storage. It is no wonder that a recent campaign by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and FAO has been launched to cut food wastage.
Food wastage solutions Innovating packaging systems will ensure proper food storage, ergo, help curb food wastage. While this may not largely mitigate world hunger, it will, at the very least, make a difference. US-based manufacturer of flexible polymer film structures, shrink bags and barrier laminates Curwoods has innovated the FreshCase leak-proof vacuum-packaging for red meat that maintains The FreshCase packaging extends the meat’s colour through a found-in-nature the shelf life of meat proprietary additive in the contact layer of the barrier package. Traditional vacuum-packaged meat is “purple,” deemed distasteful by many consumers who equate colour with freshness. The winner of DuPont’s Diamond Award for Packaging Innovation last year, FreshCase packaging also extends shelf life ten times longer than storewrapped meat. It is an alternative for modified atmosphere (MAP) master packs and packaging using EPS/PVC resin technology that dominate the case-ready meat segment. It is said to enable 75% less waste than store-wrapped meats and reduces packaging materials up to 75%, compared to other case-ready formats. Last year also, Norwegian printed electronics firm ThinFilms Electronics and packaging power house Bemis partnered to develop a flexible sensing platform for the packaging industry. It is able to collect and wirelessly communicate sensor information, for use by the food, consumer product and healthcare sectors. In the packaging sector, it is able to detect spoilage of food. Food handling and the way food is packed or stored while transported also account for the bulk of food wastage. Delicate food items such as eggs are prone to cracking while liquids and powdered items are prone to spillages when improperly packed or transferred. German mould maker SolutionB has developed the chickPack egg trays, an injection moulded PP packaging, which is a two-component part with an average wall thickness of 0.35 mm and weight of 19 g. The new packaging is 50% lighter than its cardboard counterpart, takes up only half of the stack-height space and is tamper proof, the maker said. The packaging was shown at the German show Fakuma by machine maker Ferromatik Milacron, The chickPack egg tray that was which was producing it on its first F series multi-component machine. shown at the Fakuma show last year French firm Danone’s Activia yoghurt packaging has had a makeover with the tub made to look more like a jug, with a spout for easy and spill-proof pouring, to stand out in a shelve inundated with other dairy
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Cover Feature and transparency, with a potential to be fully recyclable when a 100% polyolefin structure is used, the company stated. Furthermore, the peel strength of packaging remains consistent over time and temperature, even after ageing, said Dow.
Danone’s Activia yoghurt in a new spout-like packaging
products. Developed by Cryovac Australia and Outerspace Design Group, the injection moulded PP packaging has a side grip dent and a hinged lid with a full body in-mould labelling (IML) wrap. US firm Dow Chemicals is the largest materials supplier to the US$500 billion global packaging sector. Last year alone, its subsidiary Dow Performance Packaging launched 42 new products – introducing nearly one new product per week in the year. Some of the new products include Elite Advanced Technology (AT) PE resins, a proprietary and patent-pending post-metallocene technology built on Dow's Insite technology. The resins are targeted at film converters in the food and speciality packaging and industrial and consumer packaging market segments and are said to enhance resin function in sealant film, stretch wrap film and stretch hood film applications. Properties include optics, stiffness, toughness, processability, and organoleptics for a wide variety of vertical form fill seal and horizontal form fill seal applications. The firm has also expanded its Sealution peel polymers to include Sealution 210, designed for peel seal packaging applications including dry food liners, high clarity lidstock and high clarity lamination films. The ready-to-use, single pellet formulations require no online blending, which may help to reduce errors, defects, and scrap and offers the potential for both time and cost reductions. The seals can help reduce packaging defects such as splitting, tearing, shredding and stringing. Other properties include clarity
Powering the food container market Emerging markets marked by higher per capita incomes, increased urbanisation and shift in lifestyle and consumer behaviour are also building up the demand for packaging, which was valued at US$329 billion in 2012, according to a market study by UK-based research firm Visiongain. Nevertheless, Visiongain estimates a stagnant growth in developed countries due to saturation in the markets and unfavourable economic conditions. Freedonia Group, meanwhile, presents a buoyant projection for the global food containers market, which is forecast to increase 3.8% a year to US$115 billion in 2013. The largest gains are expected in plastic containers with China forecast to account for 25% of the growth rate between 2008 and 2013. Three key trends are driving food container development: better durability, clarity and food contact safety. Leveraging on the above, Chinese manufacturer Ningbo Lisi Houseware enhanced the impact strength of its food container lids, which are made from random copolymer polypropylene (RCP), with ExxonMobil Chemical’s Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomer (PBE). Though RCP provides clarity and odour-free advantages, the material lacks impact strength, at low
ExxonMobil's Vistamaxx PBE is being used to modify RCP to improve the strength of food container lids
temperatures, and flexibility. Also, when RCP is used for the container lid hinge, stress whitening could be an issue. Hence, the firm found that when RCP is dry blended with 10% Vistamaxx PBE, the impact strength increases within a range from room temperature down to -20°C, with improvement more pronounced at lower temperatures. Sustainability through bio-based materials Sustainability is amongst the criteria for current materials for packaging applications. As such, a new technology has been developed in Finland by the VTT Technical Research Centre that will encourage the food plastic packaging industry to shift toward bio-based plastic packaging. The key to this technique is the sugar-based polyglycolic acid (PGA) polymer. It is said to enable a more efficient production of the monomer glycolic acid from bio-based materials to produce films with oxygen barrier properties that will keep food from spoiling. Adding PGA into the structure of traditional plastic results in a durable and heat-resistant packaging material. It will also enhance the packaging’s ability to be air-tight, vapour-proof and grease-proof. Elsewhere, a new biodegradable thermoplastic for disposable food containers has been developed by scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s scientific research agency, and the Washington State University (WSU). By combining sugar beet pulp (the residue from sugar extraction, which is generated in tonnes annually by processors) with biobased polylactic acid (PLA), using a twinscrew extruder, a composite material is created. It softens when heated, and shows mechanical properties similar to PS and PP compounds that are used to make food containers. Up to 50% of the sugar beet pulp can be melded with PLA. The new thermoplastic is cost-competitive with other commonly used fuel-based plastics. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
The Renaissance Man “A business purely based on technology”, this was how the late CN Doshi, Chairman of Indian machinery maker Rajoo Engineers Ltd, described the nature of the business he founded more than 30 years ago. The description outlined his vision for the company that is today technology-driven and bears the innovation trademark. In this tribute, PRA treads the path taken by CN Doshi, who passed away of a heart attack early this year.
Of the tributes that poured in one said, “Doshi was totally unpretentious in all aspects his life – always willing to evaluate and explore new ideas. He always believed that what is good for society is truly ethical. He abided by the true definition of “Dharma”, which is not to do anything to anyone that you would not like to be done to yourself”
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Down memory lane In 1982, at the age of 29, with a degree in D.Pharm, work experience in the banking sector and a capital of US$6,000, CN Doshi, together with his younger brother RN Doshi, set up a workshop in a small village known as Manavadar, Gujarat, producing plastic films for packaging incense sticks and tea bags. His first Rajoo venture had only one machine operator and three unskilled workers. The machine subsequently broke down and, to conserve resources, had to be fixed internally, resulting in a customised machine. Doshi branched out into extruded foam films and thus, the first generation blown film machine was born. This also gave Doshi the idea of starting up a machine manufacturing business. And hence in 1986, armed with an investment of US$25,000, Doshi set up a 1,000 sq m facility to make cutting/sealing machines, increasing the number of workers to a dozen. Two years later, the company designed India’s first PPTQ blown film line, as a substitute for imported machines. Thereafter, in 1990, the firm launched the first PE resin blown film line for producing chemically foamed film. This was also a milestone year for the firm as it entered the international market, exporting a blown film line to Tanzania. In 1991, Rajoo pioneered an Indian-made co-extrusion feed block for a multi-layer sheet line, a technology that has until today been raking in a large market share in sheet extrusion lines in India. Innovations continued It was Doshi’s spirit of innovation and adaptation that was the driving force for Rajoo’s growth. In 1994, having moved to Rajkot, the firm entered into a technical collaboration with UK-based Wittey Machinery, a distributor of blown film lines, corona treatment units and trim recycling machinery. Rajoo also went public, with the share issue being oversubscribed by nearly 24 times. That same year, it introduced the country’s first oscillating haul-off system for multi-layer blown film lines. But Doshi was not keen to rest on his laurels just yet. In 1995, Rajoo introduced an Indian-made extruder incorporating grooved feed bush, barrier screw and crosshole mixing section as well as the country’s first wide-width blown film line with a lay flat width of 3,000 mm. A year later, the company exported its first CE-certified machine to the UK. In 1997, the Indian plastics industry witnessed the first made-in-India internal bubble cooling (IBC) system for multi-layer blown film lines at the Plastindia exhibition. Striking the millennium chord with more innovations In between innovating new features for machines, Doshi
Corporate Profile was continuously looking for avenues to provide the right combination of a diversified product mix for the Indian industry, say those who worked with him in the early years. Hence, as the world braced for the Y2K scare, Rajoo instead welcomed it with two pioneering technologies: an advanced PET sheet line and, what it says was, Asia’s first stack-type Universal Co-extrusion Die (UCD). A year later in 2001, it introduced the Aquaflex, said to be the world’s highest output PPTQ downward extrusion blown film line. In the preceding years, the firm developed India's first electro-hydro-pneumatic plug-assist thermoformer with in-mould cutting for PP and PS containers; a CE-compliant high-output sheet line (exported to Germany) for processing PET flakes regrind at a rate of 700 kg/hour; and the first sheet line for physically foamed PE sheets, using carbon dioxide as a blowing agent. But it was not only on the home front that it was making news. In 2005, it exported a seven-layer blown film die to Columbia; and a three-layer blown film line for making resin sacks to Iran. The following year, Rajoo presented three new innovations: the 1,000-kg/hour three-layer wide-width blown film line incorporating a 1,200 mm die and 4,000 mm LFW; a fully-automatic touchscreen-controlled threelayer blown film line featuring 2,100 mm roll-width oscillating haul-off and fully automatic centre-surface-gap winder, and a seven-layer blown film line with an inverted conical spiral stack (INCOSS) die. In 2007, Rajoo entered into a technical collaboration with Commodore of the US for the manufacture of XPS sheet lines and thermoformers. It, thus, launched India’s first XPS line and exported it to Ghana, which garnered it an award from IPMMP IMDIR.
Crossing the boundaries The global market is mostly the end-all goal of many homegrown enterprises. With expertise in technology, to pit against the machine manufacturing race, the Doshi brothers decided to hone Rajoo’s expertise to be competitive in the global scene. In 2010, Rajoo formed a joint venture with Bausano of Italy to set up a plastic pipe machine making facility in India and also undertook the merger with Indian thermoforming machine maker Wonderpack to offer a unified approach to the industry. That same year, Rajoo entered into a technical collaboration with Germany’s Hosokawa Alpine. Still at full speed ahead, the 59-year old Doshi continued on the technology rush, as recent as last year. The company developed the world’s first smallest three-layer blown film line, clinching an award for this also. In 2012 also, Rajoo launched India’s first PP nonwoven fabric making machine and drip irrigation pipe line, plus it supplied fully-automated seven-layer blown film lines to the domestic market and to Turkey. Rajoo flag at half mast Today, under the helm of Doshi, Rajoo has grown into a group comprising a machinery unit and Essen Specialities (polymer processing unit). It has more than 500 employees, a capital investment of US$10 million and boasts an 81,000 sq m facility in Rajkot. But as other companies looked forward to a brand new year, Rajoo had to take in stride the passing of its Chairman. When asked who would be taking over to steer the firm, President of Rajoo, Sunil Jain said, “The board and family members have yet to come up with a formal decision. However, the group has come a long way since its inception. From a family-managed group, it is now professionally managed
with systems and procedures in place.” Doshi’s younger brother and co-founder RN Doshi, the company’s Managing Director, will continue to oversee the design and development and manufacturing operations, nonetheless, taking on more responsibilities. Meanwhile, having led the marketing and sales, and at the same time having spearheaded the technology acquisitions, Sunil will continue to handle these areas of the business. Groomed by her late father to manage the marketing communications, human resource capital management and customer support services, Executive Director Khushboo Doshi is also hands-on in the family business, as are a host of younger family members. These include Ustav Doshi, who heads the engineering facilities, and Pallay Doshi, who takes care of Essen Specialities, supported by CEO Lakshmi Ramakrishna. “All in all, there is an apt mix of second generation family members and professionals (to man the business),” said Sunil. Business aside, Doshi devoted his spare time to providing educational aid, clothing and food to underprivileged children, as well as conducting various environmental and healthcare initiatives. “My father’s philanthropy and service were really commendable and this was amply demonstrated by the thousands of people who turned up to pay homage,” said Khushboo. Ultimately, Doshi’s motivation, commitment and ethical business practices of being truthful and sincere were key to the success of the business, says Sunil. “CN Doshi will certainly be missed. He charted the growth path for the group and his legacy will be carried forward by all of us at Rajoo,” concluded Sunil. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
Blow Industry Moulding News
Eagle expands large part New owner for Kautex erman extrusion customer service, and capacity with new machine blow moulding we are particularly proud
S firm DavisStandard has supplied a new dual accumulator head machine to Eagle Manufacturing to grow its large part blow moulding capacity for manufacturing of large plastic drums and protective products. The Davis-Standard machine features dual 18-kg accumulator heads with a 165 mm AC vector extruder drive along with a 250-tonne clear-platen
clamp. The large clamp assembly is necessary for producing Eagle’s line of spill containers/ drums. These are available in 20, 30, 65 and 95-gallon sizes and constructed of chemical resistant HDPE. Other parts to be manufactured on the machine include barricades, column protectors, corner and wall protectors, poly ramps and dock plates, and machine guards.
High temperature nylon for air ducts
utch materials supplier DSM says air ducts made using its Stanyl Diablo OCD 2305 BM are lighter than current solutions in metal or PPS and can handle continuous temperature up to 230°C. DSM says the special heat stabilised blow moulding grade of Stanyl polyamide 4.6, developed specifically for hot charge air ducts, is the first high temperature polyamide suitable for processing by extrusionblow moulding and with a significant cost benefit compared to PPS, thanks to its lower weight and scrap rate. The lower density of the Stanyl grade is said
to reduce part weight by 7% compared to PPS and is also regarded as an alternative to metal. The material was developed to meet the needs of the automotive market, where new EU legislation has set stringent emission reduction targets for 2015. This has led to a trend in smaller vehicles with downsized engines that require new part designs. However, air ducts, either in metal or injection moulded in plastic, do not offer the design flexibility needed to fit complex under-the-hood geometries. This requires the next generation of hot charge air ducts created using blow moulding. DSM has supplied its latest Stanyl grade to ETM to produce hot charge air ducts for Volkswagen
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(EBM) machinery maker Kautex has a new owner, Berlin-based investor Capiton that has bought over Steadfast Capital’s equity. In 2007, Steadfast together with five members of the management team, bought 100% of the shares held by Munichbased investment firm Adcuram. "Over the last six years, our close working relationship with Steadfast Capital has helped us to increase Kautex's sales by 75%, despite the slump in demand experienced in 2008 and 2009. We have invested in design and development, sales and
of our new Technikum, which we opened in 2012,” said CEO Olaf Weiland. With this latest change in investors, the management has increased its equity to 50.1% and now holds a majority share in Kautex. The transaction was financed by Capiton’s IV fund and bank loans. Since leaving the SIG Group in 2004, Kautex has grown steadily, with sales in excess of EUR100 million. The firm produces EBM machinery for automotive applications (such as fuel tanks), packaging and other specialided fields at its plants in Germany and China.
Sidel sets up tool centre
rench machine maker Sidel has set up a packaging and tooling centre in Pune, India, to meet the demand for the latest bottle packaging technology in the country. India is one of the most rapidly developing economies in the world. Soft drink sales, for instance, are growing at a rate of 9% a year. In the entire country with its 1.2 billion inhabitants, consumption of soft drinks has increased from 2.9 l in 2006 to 6.4 l in 2011. Rising incomes and healthconsciousness are pushing sales of bottled water, as well as low-calorie
carbonated beverages. Sidel is currently operating six similar centres around the world: two in China and one each in France, Mexico, Brazil and the US. The centres offer bottle design to line engineering, commissioning and complete life cycle management and in India will focus on the specific requirements of the growing Indian packaging industry. With a current capacity of 1,500 units/year, the newly built mould shop is able to significantly reduce the time required to introduce new products to market, said Sidel.
Plentiful New Elements at CHINAPLAS 2013
oving forward to the 27th edition, CHINAPLAS (the 27th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries) not only continues to hit the new record on the show scale, but also brings in many new elements. In order to allow visitors to have sufficient time for procurement and technological exchange, the show period of CHINAPLAS 2013 will be extended to four whole days, staging from May 20 to 23, 2013 at China Import & Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, China. The setup of new theme zones is always a good indicator of the market needs. In view of the extensive application of plastic film and its technology nowadays, a new theme zone, namely “Film Technology Zone”, will be established in CHINAPLAS 2013, so as to cater for the increasing needs of plastic film buyers from the medical, electronics, I.T., solar power, packaging and building industries. This zone will be located in hall 8.1 of the Fair Complex, with a number of well-known film technology suppliers, such as Sun Centre, Webcontrol, Han King, Queen’s, Jandi’s, Conair, Andritz, Atlas, Rajoo, ESOPP, Bobst, HCH, Guangda and General, etc., jointly showcasing a wide range of exhibits. Buyers of this theme zone can also discover more related exhibits at the “Plastic Packaging & Blow Moulding Machinery Zone”. Besides setting up a new theme zone, the organiser is going to enlarge the size of “Die & Mould Zone” by 18% over the last edition. Located in hall 3.2 and 4.2, the zone will display various kinds of moulds and processing equipment, like blow moulds, CAD-CAM, extrusion dies, hot runner systems, injection & compression moulds, mould & die cleaning equipment, mould clamping systems & energy couplings, standard parts for moulds, steel for moulds, texturing and mould fixing devices. Over 200 Chinese and international famous mould players, such as LKM, Push, Sino Mould, Jing Cheng Mould, Mold Masters, Yudo, Hotsys, Mould-Tip, Incoe, Keda, Sure Hot Runner, Carl Zeiss, Huida and Hexagon Metrology, etc, together with two pavilions organised by Hong Kong Mould & Die Council (HKMDC) and Taiwan Mold & Die Industry Association, will demonstrate their strong participation with their flagship technology. Exhibiting the first time at CHINAPLAS, HKMDC pavilion has confirmed an exhibition area of about 400 sq m as well as a demonstration zone of about 200 sq m, showing the latest technology of Hong Kong Die and Mould Industry, and a live
demonstration of the injection moulding process. Exhibits such as a HK-made 5-axis CNC machine, mould 3D finishing machined by 24000 rpm high speed machine and CAMDER coordinate advance milling and drilling machine will be displayed. In order to facilitate professional buyers to source their interested exhibits in a more efficient way, two specialised regions will be established under Chemicals & Raw Materials Zone. They are “Colour Pigment & Masterbatch Zone” and “Additive Zone”, which will be located in hall 9.3 and 10.3 respectively. More than 170 related suppliers will show their presence in these two specialiased zones, such as Liwang, Meilian, Orion, Hongda, Sunris, Dunwa, AGC, GCH, Qujing Zhongyi, Bolin, Canal and East Hongqiao. With an ever-increasing scale of CHINAPLAS, the new edition expects to have more than 500 new exhibitors. Moreover, many exhibitors have aggressively expanded their booth areas, such as Huangyan Hanwei at Die & Mould Zone; Yizumi at Injection Moulding Machinery Zone and Xinle Huabao. The organiser revealed that a large film line with the size of 25m x 10m will be displayed by Xinle Huabao at the Extrusion Machinery Zone. The coming edition has two different entry tickets, namely one-day pass (RMB 30) and fourday pass (RMB 50). Visitors who successfully preregister online at www.ChinaplasOnline.com on or before March 15, 2013 will enjoy RMB 150 privileges including free admission with visitor badges being received in advance, plus a free coupon to redeem Exhibition Catalogue. In addition, pre-registered visitors can search exhibitors’ information and personalise their own visiting guide by using myChinaplas online service and enjoy Online Business Matching service to match with their interested exhibitors. For more information on exhibiting or visiting, please go to the official website at www. ChinaplasOnline.com.
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive News
All-plastic front end for new Golf
ith the front end carrier in the new Golf 7 completely made from plastic, making it one of the world’s first front end carriers without metal reinforcement and also replacing the previous PP hybrid part, the weight has been reduced significantly. German firm BASF supplied its Ultramid B3WG8, a highly-reinforced polyamide with the simulation tool Ultrasim used in the development process. The sheet steel parts that had been attached previously are now eliminated. The requirements for the all-plastic part included a variety of challenging load cases such as static and dynamic hood latch failure, where incorrect opening and closing of the engine’s hood is simulated and tested under the harshest conditions. At the same time, the stiffness and vibration behaviour of the system comprising front end and radiator was optimised on the basis of CAE analyses and validated in an actual vibration test.
Toyo to make auto parts in Thailand
apanese firm Toyo Tire & Rubber will begin manufacturing plastic CV joint boots in Thailand from April 2014, with an aim of global growth and expansion of the company’s automotive components business in its Diver-Tech Business Segment. With the rapid expansion of the automotive market in Asia, car makers are ramping up production in the region, and production volume is expected to continue increasing, particularly in Thailand. Against the backdrop of this business environment, Toyo Tires has already planned to begin sales of antivibration rubber for vehicles at its Thai facility, which was established in December 2011. Now the company has decided to begin manufacturing CV joint boots, using its proprietary plastic CV joint boot analysis technology. CV boots are used for automotive drive shaft joints to deliver the car’s engine power to the wheels. The firm will set up a 2,100 sq m facility for plastic CV joint boots in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate.
The two-piece roof now has a weight of less than 23 kg
for manufacturing a two-piece roof made of PU for agricultural machinery. The longlasting paint surface is fully automatically produced directly in the mould using IMP (In-Mould Painting). With dimensions of 2.5 x 2.1 m and an area of over 5 sq m, the complete two-piece roof weighs less than 23 kg. Another contribution is the option for functional integration on the rear side, where the dome and ribs are attached. At the centre of the system is the largest mould carrier built by KraussMaffei to date, with a mould clamping area of 3660 x 3660 mm on the moulds with weights of up to 40 US tons. The mould carrier with the dimensions 22 x 9.5 x 5 m and a clamping force of 400 tonnes is equipped with a “two-shuttle system,” which brings two bottom parts of the mould into the mould clamping unit in alternation. While the long fibre injection process and the reaction time are running in one mould, the second mould can be de-moulded and be prepared for the new process. The mould carrier is equipped with a hydraulic four-axis parallelism control, which also ensures
Two-piece roof with a low weight
Volkswagen Golf’s front end carrier is made BASF’s material
erman machinery maker KraussMaffei has delivered what it says is the world’s largest long fibre injection system to US-based Romeo RIM
parallel closing of the moulds for asymmetric components or offcentre mould clamping. It will also be able to produce larger exterior body panels for the agricultural and heavy truck markets, said the firm.
Mitsui to take up stake in GA’s US business
apanese firm Mitsui is acquiring up to 30% stake in Spanish automotive components manufacturer Gestamp Automoción’s North and South American operations. GA Americas has a total of 15 plants in the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Subject to regulatory approval by relevant authorities, Mitsui will initially acquire newly issued shares of GA Americas through a third party allocation of newly issued shares for a 15% stake and also provide convertible loans, for a total amount of investments and loans of approximately EUR300 million. GA manufactures automotive components including bodyin-white, chassis and mechanisms for automotive manufacturers primarily in Europe and the US. With 98 production plants (including plants under construction), recently GA has become one of the world’s largest global automotive parts manufacturers in terms of sales.
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Injection Moulding Asia Husky goes on a world tour
anadian machine firm Husky Injection Molding Systems has kicked-off of the Husky World Tour 2013, a new series of global customer events that will take place throughout the year in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. With multiple local customer events spanning the globe, the world tour is said to be the first-ofits-kind for the injection moulding industry, giving current and prospective customers more direct access to Husky’s latest technologies at a local level. Tour events will include presentations and technical demonstrations from Husky and industry experts, along with networking opportunities for attendees. Each tour event will also be tailored to customers’ specific market and regional needs. The company says it will forego its participation in tradeshows for 2013, including Drinktec and K2013, both held in Germany in the later part of the year.
Energy efficiency of machines – revision of EUROMAP 60
nergy efficiency has been an issue for the European plastics and rubber machinery industry for some time. The EU Ecodesign Directive and customer demand for transparent
and comparable energy consumption figures brought fresh impetus with the first step being the EUROMAP 60 on the determination of the energy consumption of injection moulding machines. But according to the European machinery association EUROMAP, it failed to provide the sought after comparability because factors such as the measurement parameters were not adequately defined. For that reason, the recommendation has now been revised into two parts: 60.1 and 60.2. The new version gives customers an opportunity to compare machines from different manufacturers on the basis of uniform parameters. It introduces an energy efficiency classification based on two test cycles that take into account the particular characteristics of fast running machinery and very small machines. The efficiency classes identified serve as benchmarks allowing customers to make a preselection. In addition the second part of the new recommendation, offers the possibility of transparency in product-related energy consumption for the manufacture of individual injection-moulded parts to customer specifications (with specified materials, tools and machinery). The key parameter here is the specific energy consumption in kilowatthours per kg of plastic processed. To this end, a method of measurement with defined terms of reference is provided, together with a model
for documenting the results. This will allow customers to include energy consumption in the machine’s life cycle cost calculation at the tendering stage. EUROMAP says it is also working on recommendations for measuring the energy consumption of extrusion, blow moulding and thermoforming machines.
Arburg’s machinery for the packaging sector
erman machinery maker Arburg says its new “Packaging” versions of the electric and hybrid Allrounder Alldrive (A) and Hidrive (H) machines have been adapted to suit packaging needs, with the distance between tie bars - clamping force - opening stroke adapted and energy savings of up to 30% possible. The machine offerings include 180-tonne Allrounders 570 A and H; 230-tonne Allrounders 630 A and H; 290-tonne Allrounders 720 A and H; 370-tonne Allrounders 820 A and H and 460-tonne Allrounders 920 A and H. Also up to four injection units are available for each machine. Servo-electric dosage drives ensure fast operation across cycles, short dosage times and maximum productivity.
Arburg says its Allrounder 720 H is able to produce thinwall IML containers in under 5 seconds
Technology News The use of barrier screws ensures homogeneous melt preparation and a high material throughput. Injection involves either servo-electric or hydraulic accumulator technology via positionregulated screws. With an appropriately dynamic filling process, active acceleration and deceleration is achieved. Together with higher injection speeds of up to 500 mm/s, this enables the short injection times, which are required in the packaging sector. If production sequences need further optimisation, injection can be started simultaneously with the “mould closing” movement as standard, to reduce cycle times. For the production of thinwall items and screw caps, special features are available: for connecting an external in-mould labelling system or other removal system. In addition, the extension of the robotic system interface enables the robot to advance as the mould opens, thus reducing cycle times. In screw cap production, a servo-electric ejector with hydraulic booster function, with an increased ejection force of 25 tonnes, is available. This ensures problem-free demoulding even in the case of shrunkon closures. Further control functions are also integrated, such as “startup parameters/start-up cycles”. This Selogica function facilitates a controlled start of production, particularly with high-speed applications.
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Injection Moulding Asia Hot Runners
Choosing the right side-gating solution by Martin Baumann, Husky Business Manager, Hot Runners
by direct gating with a side-gate hot runner is also superior to parts manufactured with a cold runner. Other advantages include faster cycle times, easier maintenance, design flexibility and performance across a wider temperature range. With more and more hot runner manufacturers offering side-gate hot runners, it is becoming increasingly important for mould makers to look at the various products on the market, the benefits each offers, and to compare them against the customer’s needs. By carefully evaluating each and integrating the side-gate hot runner that best suits your customer, you’ll help in positioning yourself as a valuable partner to their business.
s a mould maker, being able to deliver maximum value to your moulding customers is critical to differentiating yourself and gaining a competitive advantage in the market. One of the best ways to do this is to offer customers a more complete solution that saves them time and money, along with the convenience of dealing with only one supplier. Supplying a more complete solution, however, requires not only designing and manufacturing high-quality, high-performance moulds, but also selecting a hot runner that performs at the same high level and meets the customer’s needs. Hot runners are one of the most important components in a mould and have a dramatic impact on speed, quality and uptime. As a mould maker, if you’re looking to provide an optimal solution to customers, it’s imperative to give careful consideration to the hot runner used in the mould.
Ensuring part quality art quality is always a priority for moulders, and is particularly important in an industry such as medical where side-gate hot runners are often used. Quality is so critical here primarily because safety is such a huge concern. With medical parts, sharp edges or pronounced gate vestiges can potentially tear latex gloves or even skin. In the medical industry, even seemingly small improvements in quality can make a significant difference in everyday applications and their safety.
Side-gate hot runners he hot runner market is constantly evolving, with suppliers always looking to develop innovative solutions to address market demands. Side-gate hot runners are one of the more recent developments in injection moulding, being perfectly suited for deep draw parts such as pipettes, syringe barrels and other smaller parts that don’t have the flat surface needed for optimal gating performance with traditional hot runners. Side-gate hot runners provide numerous benefits for these types of applications such as the ability to direct gate parts that would traditionally require a cold runner. This saves both resin and time by eliminating the need for additional downstream processing. The quality achieved
Since the nozzles on sidegate hot runners are mounted on the sides of the housing as opposed to the end with traditional hot runners, multiple nozzle tips per housing are possible, resulting in more cavities
Gate quality is one of the areas where parts are scrutinised and carefully evaluated, since this is where excess plastic and sharp edges are most common. With the hot runner having the largest impact on gate quality, it is important for mould makers to carefully evaluate which side-gate hot runners can deliver the quality that customers require. There can be a significant difference in gate quality between various side-gate hot runners. Some side-gate solutions are better suited to producing high quality parts than others, with certain models able to offer minimal vestige.
Side-gate hot runners are one of the more recent developments in injection moulding, for deep draw parts such as pipettes, syringe barrels and other smaller parts
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Hot Runners In terms of overall part quality, a side-gate hot runner that allows for the use of a single-piece mould is usually preferred. A single-piece mould allows for better quality parts because it eliminates the possibility of misalignment of the two halves of the mould. With a split cavity design, if the two parts of the cavity are misaligned, it can result in “parting lines” or excess plastic on finished parts where the cavities meet. A single-piece cavity design also provides better cooling to further improve part quality and productivity. Factors to consider ide-gate hot runners such as Husky’s Ultra SideGate were designed with part quality as a top priority. Ultra SideGate was designed for precision and repeatability, offering almost zero vestige (~0.05 mm) and allowing for a single-piece mould to aid in producing better quality parts. When selecting a side-gate hot runner, there are things to consider other than simply the performance and part quality. It’s also important to consider things like the ease in which maintenance can be performed. Uptime is an incredibly important measure for moulders and any time an injection moulding machine isn’t running means lost production and revenue. Reliability and the ability to perform maintenance easily, whether scheduled or not, is a huge advantage for moulders as it allows them to get their machine and mould back up and running more quickly. With most moulds, accessing the hot runner nozzle tips requires the mould to be removed from the injection moulding machine before it can be serviced. Side-gate hot runners such as Husky’s Ultra SideGate, however, allow access to the individual tips while the mould is still in the machine – a huge advantage and time saver for moulders. By allowing access to the individual tips while still in the mould, maintenance can be performed quickly and easily, allowing the machine and mould to be up and running again more quickly. Just as time is money when we talk about machine uptime, it can also be said that space is money. Every mould only has a finite amount of space, with the goal being to use that space as efficiently as possible. The more compact you can make injection moulding tooling while still retaining the same level of productivity, the more parts you can make in that same amount of space. Because the nozzles on side-gate hot runners are mounted on the sides of the housing as opposed to the end with traditional hot runners, side-gate hot runners allow for multiple nozzle tips per housing, resulting in more cavities within the same size mould footprint. This is a huge benefit for moulders, particularly for those where space is at a premium. In addition to allowing for more nozzles per housing, a nozzle like Husky’s Ultra SideGate that offers tip-to-tip spacing as small as 55 mm
By allowing access to the individual tips while still in the mould, maintenance can be performed quickly and easily
further maximises the use of space and can fit more cavitations in a small mould base. Often, new technology brings with it different or specific operating procedures. Such is the case with many of the side-gate hot runners currently on the market. Having to learn and run a different set of operating procedures presents additional challenges for moulders and also adds start-up time and expense by way of employee training. By choosing a side-gate hot runner that operates in the same manner as traditional hot runners, you’re able to make the integration of a new mould easier and more seamless for customers. Certain side-gate hot runners also require separate specific temperature controllers to manage start-up and shut down of the tool – another added expense for customers. Integrating a side gating solution that is compatible with any existing temperature controller system your customers may already have in place, will save them both time and money and offer production flexibility. When considering suppliers for a new mould, moulders evaluate mould makers and their moulds on a number of things – cost, quality, flexibility and ease-of-use among others. In order to stand out, secure business and sustain those relationships over the long run, it is important to always consider how you can deliver additional value to your moulding customers. Ultimately , it comes down to who can provide them with the easiest way to make the highest quality parts at the lowest cost. For mould makers with customers in need of a side-gating solution, it is important to understand the differences between the various side-gate hot runners on the market and the benefits that each delivers. While most side-gate hot runners have a similar purpose, the quality, size, convenience and flexibility each offers can vary considerably. Taking the time to understand your customer’s needs and integrating a side-gate hot runner that best meets those needs will go a long way in positioning yourself as one of the preferred mould makers in your industry. 4
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Injection Moulding Asia Electronics/Electrical Industry
A sure growth for consumer electronics in SEA Asia is a hotbed of activity for consumer electronics products, with demand for smartphones, televisions and other items being egged on by new innovative products, falling selling prices and growing household incomes. Meanwhile, manufacturers are looking at countries other than China for their facilities, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Japanese semiconductor design company Renesas Technology has a Vietnamese plant for the manufacture of large-scale integrated (LSI) devices for applications in consumer electronics, mobile products and vehicles. E l s e w h e r e i n I n d o n e s i a , a c c o r d i n g to the Indonesian Electronics Association (Gabel), sales of locally produced electronic items in the country grew by 11% last year, especially in the first four months, driven by economic growth. Television sets accounted for nearly half of those sales, followed by refrigerators (22%), air conditioners (16%) and washing machines (13%). These rosy prospects have convinced several foreign electronics manufacturers to expand investments in Indonesia. Japanese firm Toshiba has increased its production of TV sets to 5 million units/year, while compatriot Sharp Electronics is setting up a US$127 million facility for refrigerator and washing machines in West Java. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology, a key supplier of components to Apple, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell and Microsoft, is mulling over the set up of a US$10 million facility in Indonesia. While Thailand was always a top choice for Japanese manufacturers, the 2011 floods in Thailand further disrupted the tsunami-earthquake stricken supply chain in Japan and had companies looking for more stable expansion options. The Philippines is now being looked at for its competitive labour cost and English-speaking market, with an estimated ¥15.51 billion worth of investments brought to the country in 2012 alone. Furukawa Automotive Systems (FAS) has already set up a ¥1 billion facility to produce wire harnesses for Japanese vehicles. Joining the league of business expansions are printer specialists Canon and Brother, with toy maker Bandai, electronics component firm Murata Manufacturing and optical lens maker Fujifilm, all of whom will be setting up facilities in the Philippines this year. US-based Knowles Electronics, a subsidiary of Dover Corporation, has also begun constructing a 20,000 sq m plant, which it expects to be completed by September this year. The acoustic components firm has two other Asian manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia.
China dethroned hina’s subtle quandary arising from its inevitable shrinking labour force (due to its one-child policy); wages that are rising by 20% annually; concerns over quality and secure branding are already making consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers to look to other cost-competitive countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar. While the country’s lull is far from over, it is a wake up call for some China-based multinational manufacturing companies to minimise their dependency and maximise their chances to thrive by diversifying. Anchoring their businesses to other cost and consumer competitive countries (mostly in the ASEAN region), provides a safety net. Data from the Finance Ministry of China reveal that direct investments from Japanese investors, ranging from automotive to electronics makers, dropped to ¥63.4 billion in October last year (a further slide by 30% from the same period a year earlier). At the same time, Japanese investment in the ASEAN region, specifically in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, doubled to ¥201.9 billion.
Diversifying to Southeast Asia n terms of contract manufacturing, Vietnam is in the lead with a CAGR of 120%, outpacing Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, according to consultancy firm Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA). A recent investment in Vietnam is from US-based Jabil Circuit that has started operating a laser printer facility in Ho Chi Minh. Meanwhile,
Figures are rising he region’s affluence that comes with rising incomes, mobility and interconnected lifestyles are fuelling growth of the consumer electronics industry, which reached over US$1.25 billion in
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Electronics/Electrical Industry the first quarter of 2012, according to Germanyheadquartered research firm GfK Asia. The demand for flat screen televisions continues to surge, with over 8.3 million units sold in the first eleven months of last year, a 26% volume growth over the previous year. Meanwhile, from January to September 2012, consumers in Southeast Asia spent over US$4.72 billion on nearly 8.8 million tablets and laptops, a substantial growth of 26% in volume compared to the same period last year. Sales volume of ultrathin laptops, those that are 2 cm or less in thickness, grew 259% over the previous year while tablet sales more than doubled. Meanwhile, high consumer demand for smartphones and basic feature phones in Southeast Asia’s fast developing markets continue to drive buoyant performances with over 118 million units sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines, with a value of US$13.7 billion, according to the latest results from GfK Asia.
Both Samsung and LG unveiled 55-inch OLED TV a year ago at the CES, and this year they advanced the technology with a curved panel, which allows the distance between the user and TV screen to be the same from any angle. Samsung and LG said they planned to launch both the curved and flat OLED TVs by this year. Meanwhile, Japan’ s Panasonic upped the stakes and unveiled a prototype of 56-inch OLED screen, only an inch bigger than the ones unveiled by Samsung and LG. Samsung also showcased an ultra-thin, virtually unbreakable mobile phone prototype at the CES. The nameless phone has a screen that works as it is rolled and unrolled. For this new bendable, paper-thin phone prototype, the Korean electronics company laid the chemicals over thin plastic instead of glass. Meanwhile, Intel, Plastic Logic and Canadabased Queen’s University have collaborated to develop PaperTab, a tablet computer that mimics a sheet of paper. It features a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch display developed by UK-based Plastic Logic that is powered by a second generation Intel CoreTM i5 Processor.
Slimmer electronics ith the appetite for thinner appliances growing, it’s no wonder that electronics firms are in the race for innovation. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US, South Korean consumer device makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics introduced curved, super-thin televisions, in the race for new organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV technology. Considered the future of consumer electronics displays, the OLED technology is more energyefficient and offers higher-contrast images than liquid crystal display.
The PaperTab is a tablet computer that mimics a sheet of paper
The university says that “using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents” and that within five to ten years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like sheets of printed colour paper. It also said that PaperTab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts.
Samsung showcased a television with a curved OLED panel to provide depth to the content displayed for a more life-like viewing experience
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News
High cost, tight supply support Asia butyl glycol
rice of spot butyl glycol (BG) prices in China and Southeast Asia will be enforced by rising costs of raw material n-butanol and the limited availability of deep-sea material in the first quarter, according to sources. In January, butyl glycol prices were valued at US$1,590 to 1,620/tonne (1,193 to 1,215/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China and at US$1,500 to 1,540/ tonne CFR SE Asia, up by US$10 to 20/tonne from the previous week, reported by the ICIS. Buying indications climb, with quotes at US$1,580 to 1,590/tonne CFR for February shipments as suppliers insist on higher prices, although modest demand has been recorded from the key Chinese market. Selling indications for Japan and Malaysia-origin material were heard at about US$1,650/tonne CFR China. “The current prices are too low and raw material (n-butanol) prices are expensive,” said a northeast Asia-based producer. Based on the ICIS data, prices of feedstock n-butanol in Asia were assessed valued at US$1,470 to 1,560/ tonne CFR NE Asia on 11 January, up by US$20/ tonne, tracking the uptrend in upstream propylene values in recent weeks. Major US-based producers like Lyondell, Dow Chemical and Eastman may be forced to reduce output due to higher raw material costs, and tighten
India’s rubber industry hangs by a thread due to high duties
their supply. Demand for BG from the downstream solvents sector in China is low amidst a weak global economy. Meanwhile, Chinese buyers are conservative in buying ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations in February and since they have sufficient stocks.
ndia, the world’s 4th largest producer of natural rubber and second largest consumer, has all the positive growth statistics to stay competitive, yet the counter-productive measures are not helping, RJA found out recently in an interview with Niraj Thakkar, President of All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), at the India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show in Mumbai. Import duties for raw materials that are higher than what are imposed for imported finished goods; declining pool of skilled workers and skewed supply and demand are factors that could drag the domestic industry down. According to Thakkar, the synthetic rubber (SR) sector is growing faster than the natural rubber (NR) one. “We have an average 15% (YOY) rate of growth of the SR sector, compared to only 3% for NR,” said Thakkar, adding that the increased use of SR is due to the cost and technical requirements, while familiarity with NR will allow users to stick to the material. He also says that the demand for natural rubber (NR) is expected to be higher than the availability by about 200,000 tonnes in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The latest figures from the Rubber Board indicate that India’s consumption of SR grew by 6% to 226,000 tonnes in the first half of the fiscal period while output grew rose marginally to 54,778 tonnes
Cabot to get royalties from technology deal
ichelin will pay royalties to Cabot. for 10 years for the exclusive use of Cabot’s patented liquid-phase rubber mixing technology, which both companies developed four years ago. Value of the payment has not been disclosed, . Cabot describes the patented technology as a liquid-based mixing process that delivers superior dispersion of reinforcing agents such as carbon black within the elastomer and will. create composites with unique properties. The agreement allows Michelin exclusive rights to use Cabot’s elastomer composite process technology for tyre applications as well as in the other plants and buildings Michelin will operate. Meanwhile, manufacturers of non-tyre rubber products can take advantage of this technology directly from Cabot through its Transfinity brand of elastomer composite products, which enable users to engineer longer lasting and/or smaller products for demanding applications in the mining, defence, automotive and aerospace industries.
Niraj Thakkar, President of AIRIA
during the same period. Meanwhile, pertaining to the import duties, which it deems to be affecting the local industry, AIRIA has lodged strong protests with the government. “High import duties adversely affect the rubber industry. For micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), this increases production costs, thus creating an uncompetitive market environment,” adds Thakkar. Currently, import duty on most raw materials ranges from 20-70%, which adds on the cost of the finished good from those materials. Whereas, finished goods imported from neighbouring countries are only imposed a 10% duty, to the detriment of local producers. Since last year, AIRIA has appealed for the duty on NR to be marked down from the current 20% or Rs20/kg to 7.5% or Rs10/kg. But Thakkar would rather bat for zero import duty (for rubber materials), “Why should there be a duty when it is affecting the local industry? Is the material hazardous with effluents, requiring government interventions? In this case, no protection is required.”
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Rubber Journal Asia The inverted tariff structure affects the local pricing structure, he added. “Price-wise, we are not competitive, notwithstanding that we are also dealing with higher interest costs and other hidden costs, like transportation to the nearest port, poor infrastructure that causes delays, hence the loss of income. All of these factors are affecting pricing.” Meanwhile, the shortage of skilled labour is also one area that needs to be addressed. Thakkar specified that government support is needed. “It needs to make stringent and pro-industry labour laws.” In terms of educating the workforce, Thakkar says that AIRIA is giving out Research Scholarships and has also entered into an agreement with the Rubber Skill Development Centre (RSDC) and KPMG, a management consulting firm, to identify skills that need to be included in training programmes. The Delhi-based RSDC was set up by the National Skill Development Corp. in collaboration with AIRIA and the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA).
Versalis and Yulex to produce guayule-based biorubber
talian firm Versalis, a global leader in elastomers and a subsidiary of Eni, and Yulex Corporation, an agricultural-based
biomaterials company, are forming a strategic partnership to manufacture guayule-based biorubber materials and will launch an industrial production complex in Southern Europe. The partnership will cover the entire manufacturing chain from crop science to biorubber extraction to the construction of a biomass power station. Versalis will manufacture materials for various applications: after an initial focus on consumer and medical specialty markets, the target is to optimise the process to reach the tyre industry. The partnership will leverage Yulex’s core competencies including crop science and biorubber extraction technologies, to boost Versalis’ bio-based portfolio. The investment will include an ambitious research project to develop technologies targeting the tire industry. Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) is a renewable, non-food crop that requires little water usage, no pesticides and it is an alternative source of natural rubber because of its non-allergenic properties, unlike Hevea rubber. Versalis, with its market leading position in the elastomer industry, plans to expand its leadingedge technologies in the synthetic rubber business by including guayule rubber as a supplementary business opportunity and an increased commercial offering. “The partnership with Yulex is strategic to Versalis, considering concerns over the forecast
scarcity in the butadiene market and volatility of this chemical, which in turn causes long term pressure on the price of products like synthetic rubber,” said Daniele Ferrari, chief executive officer of Versalis. “Partnering with Yulex represents our commitment and momentum towards entering the global market as a major green chemistry player. All of our green chemistry partnerships aim to enhance Versalis’ bio-based portfolio and will feed oil-based production chains with high-performance intermediates from renewable feedstocks, in particular in the elastomers business.”
Tokai builds up European base through acquisition
apanese firm Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI) is acquiring the entire share capital of Anvis Group, a Germanybased manufacturer of automotive antivibration systems (AVS) serving European OEMs on a global basis. The acquisition will allow TRI to further expand its European customer base and reinforce the development and manufacturing capabilities of AVS for small to midsized vehicles. Europe is one of the largest automotive markets globally and major OEMs (including major customers of TRI) have manufacturing footprints in Europe. TRI already has a manufacturing subsidiary
Industry News in Poland from which it supplies AVS products to its Japanese customer base in Europe. Leveraging on Anvis Group’s manufacturing footprint in Europe and relying on its strong relationships with European OEMs, TRI aims to accelerate the global supply to Japanese clients and to expand its foreign customers base, both targets TRI committed to under its mid-term management. Last year, TRI established a joint venture with Anvis Group in Mexico. It also recently announced the acquisition of Dytech.
Rezkem and R.E. Carroll tie up to expand resin distribution
hio-based Rezkem Chemicals has teamed up with chemicals distributor R.E. Carroll to bolster the distribution of their full line of hydrocarbon resins. Rezkem’s president, Eric Gorze, said, “We are excited about R.E. Carroll Inc. adding our resins to their product line and we are very pleased to be aligned with such a highly respected distributor with such a deep history in the chemicals industry.” Rezkem is a supplier of hydrocarbon resins used in a wide range of applications including paints and coatings, adhesive, rubber, inks, sealants and caulking materials.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre News
Goodyear divests farm tyre business
oodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is exiting the farm tyre business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa or EMEA region. The company earlier announced that its Goodyear Dunlop Tires France subsidiary (GDTF) planned to discontinue consumer tyre production at one of its manufacturing facilities , Amiens North in France to cut manufacturing costs and eventually close down the facility. The plans are still to be discussed with the European Central Works Council, the firm’s employee representatives and other relevant bodies in the EMEA region. In light of the above plans, the company has recorded US$74 million of charges in the fourth quarter of 2012, and currently estimate the total charges to reach least US$230 million, US$91 million of which have now been recorded. The remaining charges will be considered as costs incurred in future periods. All these charges relate to future cash payments, primarily for employee severance. Non-cash charges for accelerated depreciation of around US$20 million are expected to be offset by non-cash pension curtailment gains. The actions would eliminate about six million units of high-cost physical capacity, although Goodyear currently produces around 1.3
million tyres per year at the Amiens North; and are expected to improve EMEA operating income by US$75 million annually, as compared to 2012 results, after the closure. Completion of the plan has not yet been disclosed.
first large-scale tyre manufacturing plant in Bangladesh. CEAT ltd, an RPG firm and India’s leading tyre manufacturer has contracted a joint venture agreement with Bangladesh leading business conglomerate AK Khan & Company Ltd to set up the facility with CEAT holding 70% stake and the local firm will have the holding the remaining 30%. Additionally, the CEAT manufacturing facility will cater to the majority of the tyre requirement in Bangladesh.
Goodyear’s Dunlop Tires France subsidiary is cutting cost by halting its Amiens North facility
Michelin invests in Canadian truck tyre plant
Conti recalls motorbike tyres for safety programme
ichelin North America is investing an estimated CDN$73 million at its Nova Scotia truck tyre plant. The Michelin Waterville Plant will make capital investments in equipment improvement and increase production capacity over the next four to five years. The plant will be equipped with new manufacturing technologies to meet the growing demand for wide based tyre products like the Michelin X in North America. In addition, the project will include a 3,000 sq. meter assembly building expansion.
ontinental has announced a voluntary recall programme involving approximately 1,700 motorcycle tyres. These tyres may experience uneven wear, groove cracking and in some cases belt lift, which could lead to a loss of inflation pressure and a potential loss of control that could lead to accidents, the tyre firm said.
Indian firm sets up tyre plant in Bangladesh The affected batch of motorbike tyres were sold in the replacement market in 2011 and 2012
arsh Goenka-led RPG Enterprises has decided to set up the
However, no tyrerelated accident reports have been received by Continental. Affected tyres were sold in the replacement market in 2011 and 2012, primarily in the US. Continental started to notify the respective national safety authorities on January 18, 2013. Continental is in contact with their motorcycle tyre distributors and dealers to identify consumers who purchased affected tyres. Identified tyre owners will be promptly notified and informed about the details of the voluntary recall programme.
Rubber show witnesses growth
he All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) that organised the seventh series of the Indian rubber exhibition, held January 22-24 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, said the show had 25,000 visitors from 42 countries over the three days. It has also grown from 18,000 to 30,000 sq m, over the past seven years, said AIRIA. In her opening speech Sheela Thomas, Chairperson of the India Rubber Board, touched briefly on the issue of duty that is plaguing the Indian rubber industry, “The government has provided adequate support to the industry. It can import 100,000 tonnes of natural rubber on which the customs duty will be 20% or Rs20 or whichever is less.”
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Rubber Journal Asia She also said that in India there are 5,000 units manufacturing more than 35,000 rubber products and employing close to 400,000 people. “The industry has also seen a rapid increase of tyre production (28%) and tyre exports (18%) over the years. And there exists a huge scope for further expansion,” she added. The show provided the avenue for some 500 companies over a space of 30,000 sq m with delegations coming from the US and Central America; Europe and Asia. This year’s event also showcased a dedicated zone that highlighted the participation of the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME), for the first time. Niraj Thakkar, President, AIRIA said, “The MSME allows companies to showcase their products and also provide them with better business opportunities as the show is extended to visitors from the rubber product consuming industry.” Other concurrent activities were the workshops and the Buyer & Seller Meet organised by the Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL) along with partner associations, namely, the India Rubber Institute (IRI); Rubber Division (American Chemical Society); the German Rubber Society, Deutsche Kautschuk Gesellschaft
safety precautions. Highly renowned engineers from Metzeler Technical Rubber Systems GmbH, have developed a product with higher durability to the silicone coverings more commonly until this recent development. The easily bondable non-slip product is extremely abrasion resistant and the fire protective properties are based on the halogen-free rubber raw material, Levapren, developed by synthetic rubber pioneer Lanxess. Additionally, rescue equipment and other essentials will not be affected. Levapren entails a low smoke gas density which will enable escape routes to be open for longer should a fire occur.
(DKG); Rubber Board; Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA); and Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA). MF Vohra, Regional Chairman of Capexil, said the annual growth rate for the rubber industry is 21%. “Growth will continue as the rubber industry is moving to Asia, more so in India. The pull factors are low worker age (26 years), high English speaking population with English being a major link language, transparent legal system and liberalisation.” It is for this reason that Capexil set up the buyer/seller meet with 30 buyers from across the globe. “It is to provide a match making service for companies from the West, especially since the Indian market is a huge market for rubber. Current per capita consumption is 1.1% and is growth to 2% is easily possible,” he said.
Safer flights with fire buffering rubber
Levapren-based flooring material for airliners is flamr-retardant
afety precautions determine strict requirements for floor coverings used in long range airlines. Products fitted into aircraft galleys are particularly implicated into these
Crisplant automates tyre handling
risplant , a part of the Beumer Group and a global supplier of automated material
Crisplant’s first automated material handling system
handling systems is launching the Crisplant Tire Tray Transportation and Sortation System, which will ensure gentle transport of uncured and cured tyres and automates manual handling as well as provides traceability and tracking of individual tyres through every stage of the production process. The automated system includes features such as fully automated loading and unloading, endto-end tracking of tyres using RFID technology, and the ability to handle a wide variety of tyre sizes within the same system. Detailed management statistics, in addition to systemwide visibility and control, also enable the system to be continually optimised to enhance process efficiency. The new automated handling system will be launched at the Tyre Technology Expo 2013 on February in Germany.
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Rubber Journal Asia Country Focus
India: an emerging automotive hub and a growth centre for rubber With a CAGR of over 15% during the last
Dr Rainier van Roessel, Member of the Board of Management of Lanxess, said
five to seven years, the automotive sector is
that the company has been working
aptly described as the next sunrise sector
closely with its customers to develop the technologies that enable “Green
of the Indian economy. Thus, the country’s
Tyres”, to reduce rolling resistance
growing rubber industry and its contribution
without sacrificing safety or durability
to the transportation sector was the focus of the recent Rubber Day hosted by German
However, he also noted that only 1% of Indians own a car, compared with 16% regionally, stating that “it is only a matter of time before India also catches up on car ownership.” He went on to say, “If this happens, much more has to be done in our sector to drive down the accident rate in this country’s highways and to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient. And new developments in rubber technology have a great deal to contribute to these improvements.” He added that technologically engineered safer tyres can reduce road accidents by 5%. Along with the rapid increase of traffic on its roadways, the country’s awareness for road safety needs to be heightened. As the regulatory framework becomes stricter, pressure to improve the environmental and safety performance of vehicles is also growing. In the “Future of Mobility in Asia” discussion, panelists Dr Wilfried Aulbur, Murali Gopalan, Arup Chandra and Jan Paul de Vries, said that while technology is available, infrastructure needs to be improved, pointing out that only 15% of Indian roads are compliant to standards. In his speech, MF Farooqui, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, said, ”In India, we are looking at inclusive growth. This can be done with government funding in the private sector to increase the road network. This will also happen as a result of consumers aspirations to improve their standard of living. Both will contribute to the 7% growth expected as per the current five year plan.” He also appraised current developments in the automotive sector in the context of growth and integrating safety as “relevant for India”. He said, “Green technology and environment concern is really important since the automotive sector is mainly responsible for carbon emissions.” In view of this, Farooqui said the government has recently launched the National Electric Mobility plan, which is an ambitious plan to ensure that 6 to 7 million hybrid/electric vehicles (of which 4 million will be
speciality firm Lanxess, the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic rubber, which has production facilities for rubber chemicals at its subsidiary Rhein Chemie’s site in Jhagadia, Gujarat. Lanxess also manufactures polybutadiene rubber, butyl rubber and technical rubber products such as EPDM, HNBR, NBR and chloroprene rubber.
India is clearly emerging as a global automotive hub. This growth will usher in new needs, new opportunities, and new challenges. We will need to develop technology-driven solutions for a more sustainable future,” said Dr Joerg Strassburger, Managing Director and Country Representative of Lanxess India, in his opening speech. Titled “High-tech Mobility and Emerging Trends”, the event focused on the potentials of India in terms of car production and consumption. Panel discussions also ensued to ponder on timely topics such as “The Future of Mobility in India”, “Innovation in Rubber for a Greener Tomorrow”, “Technological Trends in Automotive Rubber Components”, and “Driving Growth and Delivering Safety”.
Rapid expansion of the automotive sector in India r Rainier van Roessel, Member of the Board of Management of Lanxess, said in his keynote speech that in 12 years India has moved up to sixth place in the global vehicle market. Roessel also shared India’s Automotive Mission Plan, which says that by 2016, the automotive sector will account for more than 10% of India’s GDP and employ 25 million more people than it did in 2006.
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Rubber Journal Asia Country Focus MF Farooqui, Secretary, Department
are burnt in cement making plants, while retreaded tyres are exported to Africa where they are expected to run 20,000-30,000 km,” shared the panelists. In the “Driving Growth and Delivering Safety” session, presided by panelists Prof. Dinesh Mohan, MK Jain, Dr Ron Commander, Dr Anno Borkowsky and Dr Thomas Gross, it was pointed out that synthetic rubber tyres feature improved braking and grip properties, lower heat build-up and better rolling resistance characteristics. In his closing remarks, Lanxess MD Strassburger, said that the growth of the automotive industry in India is inevitable. “The industry and consumers are inclined towards green technology, with fuel efficiency norms being introduced. Thus, quality products must be used to reduce risks. To us at Lanxess, it means sowing the seeds for a better brighter future.”
of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, spoke about the recent launch of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) to reduce the environmental impact of the automotive industry
two-wheelers) will be on the roads in India by 2020, to give an added boost to the economy and keep in check the rising air pollution. Sustainability and technology are the game changers anelists Rabindra Mukhopadhyay, Rajiv Budhraja, Axel Stepken and Joachim Grub agreed that the industry’s biggest challenge within the next decade will be sustainability. “A recent survey shows that 95% of individuals and 85% of industries are interested in “Green”, and the enthusiasm in going green is escalating. The question is how do we walk the talk?”, said the panelists. The panel also noted, “India needs to move from a market-driven to efficiency-driven to an innovationdriven industry,” an approach advised by Lanxess to garner Green Mobility. “Policies have an important role to play, but before policy/legislation is implemented, is there awareness?” Owing to the social media and easier access of information, the panelists said that Indian consumers are well informed now compared to previous years. Meanwhile, RNK Krishnan, Dr P Thavamani, Luis López-Remón, Ravi S Gupta and Dr Martin Mezger, all panelists for the “Technological Trends in Automotive Rubber Components” segment, averred that improvement in processes, materials and designs of other rubber components, such as hoses and gaskets, must not be overlooked, given that government regulations are only applicable to tyres. The panelists also emphasised India’s strength in R&D for components (compared to China, which is strong in manufacturing). “ Improvements in designs for automotive components include the rubber sealing used in cars, which is now more efficient resulting in low noise and less dust coming into vehicles.” Meanwhile, the panelists also pointed out the industry’s tendency to use thermoplastics instead of rubber since “the material reduces weight by 20-30% and energy use by 25-30%”. In terms of retreading and reuse of tyres, the panelists said that retreading treatment is available in the country but there is no technology to reuse and reprocess old tyres. “At the moment, not more than 8% of old tyres can be used in new ones. However, R&D is being undertaken to change properties with the adoption of new material. In Germany, old tyres
The need for modern tyres anxess was also the lead partner for the 7th India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show held 22-24 January at the Bombay Exhibition Centre. In his keynote address during the show’s inauguration, Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Lanxess, surmised that the Indian rubber industry is up for the clover and noted too that as more vehicles are developed, demand for more advanced tyres will surface. “The need for safer, more fuel-efficient transportation will lead to increased demand for high-performance synthetic rubber that makes possible modern radial tyres that grip the road better and save on fuel,” Heitmann said. A majority of tyres in India use bias ply tyres with old-fashioned inner tubes while the advanced radialised tyre designs do not need a separate tube. Only 15% of large commercial vehicles in India use radial tyres, which are categorised as “green tyres” on the basis of a longer life span, fuel-efficiency and safety. Lanxess is amongst a handful of companies in the world that can produce halobutyl rubber, a key component in radial tyres. Foreseeing a stronger demand for radial tyres, the German chemical firm is expanding its output via a world-scale plant for highquality butyl rubber set up in Singapore, expected to come on stream during the second quarter of 2013. The plant will be catering to the Indian and other Asian markets. Heitmann also said that both the Rubber Day India and the India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show represent important opportunities for experts in the field to share information and measure the success of the rubber sector in contributing to India’s economic growth. “Lanxess is fortunate to be playing an active and increasingly important role in the rubber industry of India,” concluded Heitmann.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry
Meeting the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need for liquid gold through old tyres Global economies are dependent on oil to
The Rubber Research Institute says that globally some 1 billion end-of-life tyres are generated a year, whilst an estimated 4 billion tyres are heaped in stockpiles, harming the environment. Recycling old tyres can recover useful end-market resources such as the tyre-derived fuels (TDFs), which are converted into industrial fuels that power cement kilns, paper mills and utility boilers; and the tyre-derived aggregate (TDA). According to RMA, this latter sector occupied a market share of 10% during its heyday in the early 1990s. It currently still shows stability, especially with the demand in civil engineering applications, such as road sub-grades and walls and bridge backfills. It is no wonder then that tyre manufacturers are seeking recycling methods for old tyres. One of these is tyre pyrolysis, which is claimed to be a safe way to recover scrap tyres for pyrolytic oil (PO) or bio-oil. It can be a substitute for diesel fuel as well as for heavy and light fuel oils for industrial boiler applications. It can also yield carbon black, methane, organic waste, construction materials and fuel briquettes. Tracing its roots from the 300-year old smelting process of deriving coal and coke, it is a method that heats shredded or whole tyres in an oxygen-free environment. With a specially constructed, oxygenfree reactor vessel, the tyres are heated at high temperatures (reaching as high as 300 to 900 degrees C) to soften the polymer components that eventually become vapours and can be used as alternatives to fuel. But lately, the process has been making the headlines for the wrong reasons.
run industries. A dysfunctional supply and demand chain may lead to an energy crisis. Analysts say that escalating oil prices are a prelude to oil shortages. It is for this reason that the industry is seeking ways of deriving oil from varied, even unlikely, ways like tyre pyrolysis, says Angelica Buan in this report.
luctuating oil prices in the world market significantly impact daily lives. Amongst the first to sound the alarm is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that says oil prices will skyrocket to US$105 a barrel this year. This followed an earlier apocalyptic forecast from the US that by 2015, the world will be short of nearly 10 million barrels/day of oil; and by 2030, the global production of only 100 million barrels/ day will be way below the requirement of 118 million barrels/day. Our oil reserves may never go back to the primeval 2 trillion barrel-level but instead will continue to bottom out. According to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), countries like China and the US will require an additional 865,000 barrels/day just to meet their needs. Anticipating the oil and energy crisis, several oil and gas companies are already charting remote geographic locations to extract oil. The downside to this is getting a pool of skilled workers. Yet other innovations are being considered, for instance, the US shale production for natural gas; using waste to energy methods to derive ethanol and biofuels and organic oil substitutes from used tyres.
Hazardous process ike any other technology, the capital-intensive process (it requires 60,000 tyres/year) has newer designs that have claimed to be work-safe and zeropollutant, but some crude mechanisms are operating that do not comply with environmental and health practices. Early last year, the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Natural Resources and Environment (DENR), served closure orders on three tyre pyrolysis plants in Manila, Phil Pao Enterprises, Bio City Scrap, and Ming Hong. The firms produce tyre-derived bunker oils for use in boiler machines of hog raisers. Earlier, another plant belonging to Bio-Eco Solution was also dismantled due to health and safety reasons. The previous year, 45 such plants in Gujarat, India, were also locked down by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) following complaints of air and odour pollution. The units, found to be using sub-
Mining oil with tyres he tyre sector, itself, is a large consumer of oil. According to the US-based Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), it takes 7 gallons of oil to produce a tyre; 5 gallons are used as feedstock and the remaining 2 gallons are allotted for the energy supply in the manufacturing process. Imagine the amount of oil that goes to waste when the tyre reaches its end-oflife.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry “In all fairness to the DENR-EMB, the agency with the closest mandate on this matter, they must have been unaware of the proliferation of these facilities that started around 2009. Hence, the NDV, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, the Industrial Technology Development Institute-Department of Science and Technology (ITDI- DOST), and other stakeholders are presently working with the DENR-EMB’s Air Quality Division to come up with a DENR Department Order that will address this matter. But the process has been slow, so other options are being considered,” Imbong added. Using safer pyrolysis systems or non-burn technology anada-based industrial energy solutions company Klean Industries has viewed the situation in the Philippines and India as a case of an unproven technology gone wrong. Said the company’s CEO Jesse Klinkhamer, “The proliferation of sub-standard pyrolysis equipment Tyre pyrolysis is a process used to reprocess the abundant tyre waste breeds concerns on how safe the process really is. into useful material These concerns are understandable. It is very important standard technology imported from China, emitted that the technology has an operational track record and carbon particles and methane gas. has been built under strict controls where emissions standards meet and exceed those of developed New policies for pyrolysis required countries.” He also added that there are many features n the Philippines, the Notre Dame de Vie Insitute that are part of the process to eliminate pollutants (NDV), a local community organisation, has safely. started advocating against The 30-year old Klean sub-standard tyre pyrolysis which has a capacity “Tyre pyrolysis is classified Industries, facilities. According to NDV’s of 100,000 tonnes/year, uses a Technical Adviser Flora Santos, as a non-burn technology” hybrid gasification and pyrolysis pyrolysis operations have been process that has been commercially polluting waterways and the environment, especially proven in over 50 applications. The process can recover with the dumping of the char. energy, oil and carbon from oil-based waste, such Various ailments have also been observed in some as tyres, plastics and automotive shredder residues. 4,000 residents who live near the plants. Santos also “Our system is adaptable and customisable for specific said that the plants were emitting chemicals like applications, likewise, it can be ethylbenzene, xylenes and toluene, which harm the installed anywhere and produce no nervous and respiratory systems, not to mention more emissions than a natural gas benzene, dioxans, furans, 1,3 butadiene and polycyclic boiler,” Klinkhamer claimed. aromatic hydrocarbons, all potent carcinogens. He went on to say, “We use NDV spokesperson Arvin Imbong, in an email an environmentally superior interview, explained that tyre pyrolysis facilities, technology that efficiently within the proximity of the NDV community, were creates electricity and fuels, found to be the main culprits of air and water with a smaller environmental pollution. “It is inevitable that the burning or thermal footprint and minimal degradation of scrap tyres will release toxic substances pollution.” into the air, yet no government rules, programmes or According to Klinkhamer, agencies are regulating this,” he said. tyre pyrolysis is, by The facilities started operating when they were principle, a 100% nonable to secure the Environmental Compliance burn technology. “You Certificate from the DENR, a vital permit when cannot have combustion starting commercial-scale projects that could impact if you do not have oxygen, the environment. But NDV has questioned the granting it is physically impossible. of such permits, especially since tyre pyrolysis is Klean Industries’s diesel fuel equivalent classified as a non-burn technology.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry However, those unproven technologies, most likely, local investment and operational partners to build do not have the ability to operate properly, hence additional plants,” said Harasyn. the explosions and or fires (combustion). Again, this brings us back to a proven process whereby proper Sustainability is priceless arasyn contends that there are still setbacks in the pyrolysis is 100% non-burn,” he averred. process. “There are more than 3,000 manufacturers Meanwhile, UK-based Pyreco is able to produce oil of tyre pyrolysis equipment worldwide and each has from tyres using its ZeroWaste process (PZP). Noel adopted individual designs and methods of operation. Harasyn, Managing Director of Pyreco said, “Our Eco Some reclaim oil, others reclaim gas; while others Oil contains a multifaceted mixture of aliphatic and specialise in steel reclamation. They all reclaim carbon aromatic hydrocarbons. It is similar in composition char in varying qualities, mostly as a “throw-away” to many complex hydrocarbon feed stocks. Many fuel. As far as tyre pyrolysis is concerned, there are of the more volatile components (toluene and too many standards and no consistency for quality,” he xylenes, for example) could be extracted and used as said. solvents. Indeed, crude hydrocarbon feedstocks are K l i n k h a m e r , meanwhile, observes that there are used as solvents for some polymer systems (such as many technologies being implemented, some of which resins). Styrene, which is a significant component in have yet to go through the R&D phase. the pyrolysate, can be used as a monomer to make Both are of the opinion that commitment to the polystyrene.” environment should prevent enterprises to venture Harasyn also affirmed that tyre pyrolysis is a noninto businesses using systems that burn technology, saying that the notion that it is (a burn technology) “As far as tyre pyrolysis could damage the environment. Meanwhile, Klean Industries, stems from confusing it with waste is concerned, there are too which is also an employeepyrolysis or tyre incineration. “It is important to point out many standards and no owned organisation assures that its business is firmly attuned to the difference between the two consistency for quality” sustainability, even tagging its technologies,” he said. products as “green”. “We understand that the plants “Sustainability is about thinking about future in the Philippines and India operated outside of the generations,” Klinkhamer enthused. “Successful parameters set by local government control, health companies will be those that capture the tide of and safety considerations.” increased demand, reduce energy costs and manage Pyreco’s PZP process is compliant to the EU their risks better,” he said. environmental regulations and does not emit A similar sentiment is echoed by Harasyn. “There gases into air. “Waste heat is used in the carbon are those who want to take short cuts to achieve pelletising process to ensure a high heat efficiency. monetary wealth, at the expense of the environment. Any emissions emanate only from the system’s gas Pyreco would burners, but in any case, have to meet the limits like to see prescribed by the UK Environment Agency,” he said. a world Harasyn went on to say, “There is some waste consortium water produced, predominantly from the steel set up by product cooling quench bath, boiler blow-down and tyre pyrolysis domestic use. The emissions are routed to a sewer and operators who treated.” deliver best practices in the Reducing tyre waste in the environment lean’s technology has processed 100,000 tyres industry,” he and recovered 100,000 tonnes of waste, which opined. translates to the amount of waste produced by 75 million people, according to Klinkhamer. Moreover, the technology is able to produce high grade carbon black substitute that is equivalent to N600 and N700 carbon blacks. As for Pyreco, Harasyn says that by processing 60,000 tonnes of tyres the firm is able to recover 7,500 tonnes of steel, 20,000 tonnes of carbon black, 20,000 Pyreco reclaims tonnes of gas and 15,000 tonnes of oil (Grade 2). carbon from waste “Our only limitation on the number of waste tyres tyres it can process is the speed at which it can attract
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Rubber Journal Asia Corporate Profile
With an element of environmental consciousness Rajendra Gandhi, Vice-Chairman/Managing
the latter and invested significant amounts, running into millions of rupees, to ensure that most of our plants operate zero polluting processes. We are continuously working on this and so raise the bar ourselves. This is part of our Corporate Social responsibility, to keep adopting eco-friendly practices and reduce any negative impact on the environment. We have also undertaken path-breaking opportunities in our expansions. We used to have severe power shortages in Gujarat and so started using natural gas at Ankleshwar. We also have our own power plant to produce electricity to support 24/7 operations. So a problem actually became an opportunity.
Director of GRP Ltd, an Indian public-listed reclaim rubber company that exports more than 60% of its products to more than 45 countries, was a recipient of the KM Philip Award 2013 at the recently concluded India Rubber Expo 2013, Mumbai, India. He shares his thoughts and views in this interview with RJA’s Karon Shaiva.
RJA: The industry still faces many challenges. What do you think needs to be done now? RG: Sectoral interest is preceding the national and overall interest. India’s potential to be a global player is threatened. Therefore, an overarching, umbrella organisation - a federation across all sectoral stakeholders - needs to be created to take care of conflicts of interest. Then only will the government take us more seriously. Today, we are a fragmented industry with each sector asking for their individual demands. We need to understand that changes in one sector affect the entire supply chain.
RJA: Tell us more about your journey thus far. RG: It has been a transition from a family business in textiles to setting up my own company for recycling rubber. This was also when I met KM Philip. He became my mentor and guide in this new and innovative venture. We needed an import license and instead decided to set up the factory for reclaimed rubber. Everyone depended on European technology for manufacturing and it took us three years to design our own machine. Those were tough years, from 1974 to 1978. After overcoming the teething problems, we went public. Ultimately, in 1982, we turned profitable, had a bonus issue, distributed dividends and since then have had a consistent track record.
RJA: What is the role of education and training in the industry? RG: A vision statement for the country as a whole is the need of the hour. The big picture is to be a global player. And one of the first tasks in implementing this vision is to increase capacity substantially to meet not just domestic but international needs. We have a huge labour pool but we need to make the rubber planter a stakeholder of the large vision; improve his productivity and set standards. Systems and technology, too, need to be adopted at all levels. There is also a need for education and training across the entire supply chain.
RJA: What are some of the milestones that you look back on? RG: In the 1980s/1990s we won a global tender and started a joint venture with a Malaysian company. It was an opportunity to use our technology outside India to reclaim latex glove scrap from Malaysia. We modified our equipment and did very well. This exposure gave us tremendous confidence and further opportunities. Over the years, we have designed the widest range of equipment for manufacturing reclaim from different waste materials – microsoles, natural rubber tubes, EPDM, butyl and others. Another game changer for us was in the 1990s when Dr Manmohan Singh, then India’s Finance Minister, opened the market. Globalisation brought with it competition. We needed to gain a market share in exports. But to make this happen, we needed approval from tyre companies, a long and tedious process due to the third party liability. We spent two years getting separate approvals for each company! Though we had a sound reputation, we had to ensure the trustworthiness of our equipment. It was a process of building trust.
RJA: What are the future plans for your company? RG: We have both short and long term plans. Our aim is to reach 90,000 tonne-capacity over the next 18-24 months (currently at 65-70,000 tonnes). We are working on nylon recovery – a technology for which a new plant has been developed. We are also working on a new material known as thermo-elastic – recycled rubber with recycled plastics – and to make products from it. RJA: Last words on your award? RG: I was part of the initiative to institute this award in 1991 and so was humbled to receive it! This is a unique award, in that recipients are also part of the group given the responsibility to select the next recipient. We look at the track record of contributions to the growth of the rubber industry. Actually some people are not comfortable applying for an award and hence we decided after a few years to stop calling for applications and instead identify potential awardees through multiple sources. My take on this award is that if you are prepared to work for a cause bigger than personal issues, the reward is even greater.
RJA: What are your views on going green? RG: Substantial effluents are emitted in reclaimed rubber production. So, we could either manage the Pollution Control Board or do something about it voluntarily. We have decided to do 10 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
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