A S l A â€™ 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
In this issue
Volume 29, No 204
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G maga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 22 Front Cover Feature
Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: email@example.com
26 German Machinery and Technology
Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global machinery firm Davis-Standard is honing into its Global Advantage credence, by expanding its manufacturing capabilities in China and developing products to address the needs of the Chinese and Asian markets A round-up of German machinery and technology on display at the upcoming Chinaplas exhibition to be held from 23-26 April in Shanghai
30 Corporate Profile
Mitsui Chemicals Inc is steering its way in the Asian sector, with the packaging sector taking precedence
33 Recycling Equipment
Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: email@example.com
Recycling is picking up in Asia, too. Therefore, a host of recycling equipment will be on show at Chinaplas
Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling
36 Film/Sheet Extrusion
Circulation Abril Castro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email: email@example.com
42 Shale oil/gas
Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upgrades to blown/cast film and sheet lines by Macchi, Reifenhäuser, Hosokawa Alpine, Windmöller & Hölscher, Macro and Nordson Extrusion Dies Featured are chemical enhancers that provide throngs of excellent properties to conventional plastics to serve a broader range of applications Though Asia has its fair share of oil/gas shale deposits, the costs of extraction are barriers to entry
Regulars 概 要
2 Industry News 6 Composites News 8 Materials News 10 Machinery News 12 業界新聞
MCI (P) 029/08/2013 Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV.
Supplements 副 刊 With more than 500 FTAs in the region, will the Asian automotive industry benefit or slack with these agreements? The aviation tyre market represents a small but high margin niche sector, whereby only a limited number of companies are engaged PRINT+DIGITAL
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
On the Cover Davis-Standard will showcase the new dsX medical tubing line at Chinaplas. With over ten extrusion/converting product lines in its portfolio, the firm supports applications in the packaging, automotive, medical, construction, technical and speciality sectors
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Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2014 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.
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M&As and Divestments • To expand its protective film market, US speciality chemicals company Eastman Chemical is acquiring Commonwealth Laminating & Coating, which had 2013 sales revenue of US$100 million and is an independent manufacturer and global marketer and distributor of window films and speciality films for automotive, architectural, and protective applications. • Further to the earlier decision of the European Commission to continue its evaluation of the proposed 50/50 chorvinyls joint venture between Belgian chemicals giant Solvay and Ineos, the parties have jointly agreed to put forward a revised remedy package. This includes the divestment of Ineos PVC plants in Germany, Netherlands and France along with the chlor-alkali, EDC and VCM assets in Belgium • German firm Evonik Industries has acquired US-based supplier of silicic acid esters Silbond. Evonik already produces functional silanes in Germany,
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Belgium, US and China, with a total capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year The silanes are used in adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings, architectural protection, optical fibres and semiconductors, as well as in tyres and rubber.
• US machinery firm Milacron has acquired Industrial Machine Sales (IMSI) and its sister company Precise Plastics Machinery (PPM). IMSI specialises in the application engineering of primary plastics processing and support systems while PPM was established in 1994 as a full service support company, including offering pre-owned equipment and turnkey services. • Austrian recycling equipment company Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen (NGR) has acquired a majority interest in German analytics equipment maker Dr Collin. The latter will continue to operate independently, but a group of companies will be formed with more than 220 employees. Founded in 1996, NGR had sales of EUR29 million in 2013. It exports 99% of its output and has sales locations in the US, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.
• US-based Teknor Apex has completed its acquisition of Viking Polymers, a custom compounder of speciality formulations in rigid PVC and related materials for building and construction. It has a compounding capacity of 23,000 tonnes/year. • US industrial firm Illinois Tool Works (ITW) is selling its Industrial Packaging segment to private equity investor Carlyle Group for US$3.2 billion. The packaging assets to be sold include strap, stretch and protective consumables, tools and equipment used to bundle, ship and protect goods. Proceeds from the sale will be used to partially fund the company's plan to repurchase 50 million shares by year end. • German firm BASF has divested part of its additives business, PolyAd Services, to American private equity firm Edgewater Capital Partners. The divestment is for the firm to focus in the core areas of light stabilisers, antioxidants and Customer Specific Blends (CSBs). BASF has also sold its liquid masterbatch business in Clermont de l’Oise, France, to Audia International, a supplier of
polyolefins and colour masterbatches. The German firm says it will concentrate on its business with solid and powder masterbatches, produced in Cologne, Germany. Audia’s subsidiary, Uniform Color Company, a supplier of masterbatches with facilities in the US and Europe, will run the new unit. • Germany-based speciality chemicals company Lanxess has divested its whollyowned subsidiary Perlon-Monofil, a maker of PA and PET products, to Munich-based Serafin Group for an undisclosed amount. Perlon-Monofil has 100 employees and operates a manufacturing plant and technical centre in Dormagen, Germany. It achieved sales of EUR30 million in 2013. Lanxess announced its intention to explore strategic options for non-core activities, including PerlonMonofil, in September 2013. Serafin is involved in the PET monofilaments industry through its unit Nextrusion. It has more than 200 employees and annual sales of EUR40 million. Serafin generates revenues of EUR300 million with 1,400 employees in different business segments.
EXTRUSION | PRINTING | CONVERTING
What do you get when teams of brilliant minds scrutinize each component of the proven VAREX range to make it even better? Higher output, superb ergonomics, improved safety and a new world of energy efficiency. More than just a pretty face: VAREX II.
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Windmöller & Hölscher KG P.O. Box 1660 · 49516 Lengerich · Germany Phone: +49 5481 14-0 · email@example.com · www.wuh-group.com
Please visit us: April 23 – 26, 2014 Hall E1, Stand J45 | Shanghai, PR China
Plant/Office Set-Ups • Italian extrusion machinery technology provider Macchi is increasing its presence in the Chinese market with the set up of a representative office. The office will house a Chinese technology expert, who boasts more than 20 years of experience in blown film extrusion using both Chinese and Western machinery. • Taiwanese auxiliary equipment maker Shini Plastics Technology will open a technical centre in Georgia, US, this year. The 40,000 sq ft facility will include offices, warehouse, showroom, testing and technology centre. • Japanese carbon fibre maker Toray is enhancing its US production facility for TORAYCA prepreg (resin-impregnated carbon fibre sheets). It plans to introduce a high-performance facility suitable for producing high-value added prepreg for aircraft and automobile applications, to start up in 2016. • German firm BASF has expanded the production capacity of Ultramid C (PA6/6.6) for flexible food packaging films at its production site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, by converting part of its
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Ultramid B (PA6) facility. Having started up early this year, the facility has a capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year. It has Ultramid polymerisation plants in Germany, Belgium, US and Brazil. Another plant is under construction in Shanghai, China. • PET resin and integrated PET sheet manufacturing supplier Octal will commence commercial operations in the US in the later half of 2014 with a new extrusion facility in Cincinnati focused primarily on recycling PET sheet flake from its customers. Its product line will include products with both post-industrial and post-consumer flake content. Octal’s facility is located in Salalah, Oman, and has a capacity of 1 million tonnes/year of PET resin and PET sheet. • US-headquartered speciality additives maker Addivant is setting up a Customer Formulation Centre in Shandong, China, by mid-2014. The centre will be available for the latest in “formgiving technology” including the company’s
proprietary non dust blends, NDB and equipment and will complement its other facilities in the US, Europe and the Middle East. • Germanyheadquartered Styrolution is mothballing its 150,000 tonne/year PS plant in the US and it will also commence production of styrene methyl methacrylate copolymers (SMMA) in Ludwigshafen, Germany, for Europe, Middle East and Africa. • Dow Kakoh, a joint venture of Dow Building Solutions, has converted three Styrofoam extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam plants in Japan to the new polymeric flame retardant technology (PolyFR), to meet the Japanese regulations banning the use of the flame retardant HBCD this year. Through a phased process, Dow says it will convert all of its Styrofoam XPS foam plants in the US, Europe, Middle East and Japan. • US firm ExxonMobil Chemical will build the world’s largest hydrogenated tackifier facility, with a capacity 40% higher than the industry’s largest plant, at its recently expanded petrochemical complex in Singapore. The new
90,000 tonnes/ year plant will nearly double the company’s capacity to manufacture Escorez 5000 resin for hot melt adhesive producers worldwide. The plant will also produce new resins for non-adhesive uses. Completion is anticipated in 2017. Hydrogenated tackifier demand is expected to double over the next 15 years. Much of the growth is forecasted in Asia, especially for packaging, woodworking and nonwoven applications. The firm also has tackifier production in the US and France. • Expecting a slowdown, Japanese firm Asahi Kasei Chemicals, which currently has styrene production capacity of 710,000 tonnes/ year at two plants in Mizushima for the domestic and export markets in Asia, is expected to shut down a 320,000 tonne/year-plant in Mizushima by 2016. The firm will also close its 65,000 tonne/year-ABS plant in Mizushima by 2015. It will focus on resin compounds of styreneacrylonitrile (SAN) at another plant in Kawasaki with ABS copolymer procured from outside.
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ARBURG GmbH + Co KG Postfach 11 09 · 72286 Lossburg / Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 74 46 33-0 Fax: +49 (0) 74 46 33 33 65 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (CN) China: ARBURG (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +86 (0)21 5488 8866 · e-mail: email@example.com | ARBURG Machine & Trading (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +86 (0)755 8343 3750 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | (HK) Hong Kong: ARBURG Ltd. · Tel.: +852 2886 3007 · e-mail: email@example.com | (SG) Singapore: ARBURG PTE LTD. · Tel.: +65 6778 8318 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | (TH) Thailand: ARBURG (Thailand) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +66 (0) 2349 4062 · e-mail: email@example.com | (ID) Indonesia: PT ARBURG · Tel.: +62 (0) 21 5830 3455 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | (MY) Malaysia: ARBURG Sdn Bhd · Tel.: +6 (03) 5636 6213 · e-mail: email@example.com
14 -26, 20 April 23 ooth # E1G01 ,B Hall E1 China ai, P.R. h g n a h S
• French firm Arkema has launched its first range of Elium liquid thermoplastic resins, which are transformed using the same processes as composite thermosets. Elium is said polymerise quickly and reduces the weight of composite parts by 30-50%, compared to steel parts. When combined with Arkema’s Luperox peroxide initiators, the new resins can be moulded into complex designs and also blend with glass or carbon fibres. It is also compatible with conventional thermosetting resin technologies (Resin Transfer Moulding, Infusion, Flexmoulding), which cuts down the costs. Unlike unsaturated polyesters, Elium does not contain styrene. And because of its thermoplastic properties, it can be used to design composite parts that are easily thermoformed and recyclable with comparable mechanical performance to epoxy parts. In addition to the Elium, Arkema is developing the Kepstan polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), to replace metal in offshore and aviation sectors as well as the Rilsan range, powdered or granulated polyamide that is 100% bio-sourced and makes thermoset composites resistant to abrasion and shock at high/low temperatures. • US firm Automated Dynamics has combined UK firm
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Victrex’s PEEK-based composites with its Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) technology to enable composites to be built layer by layer in an automated process. This has advantages over autoclave curing and, with the addition of a laser heating capability, is said to enable up to ten times improvement in output in certain applications. The technology is applied to downhole applications that often require continuous fibre composites because of the higher modulus and strength, compared to short fibre composites. These applications include antenna shields for various measurement techniques used with LWD tools, electrical and structural isolators (gap subs) on M/ LWD (measurement/ logging while drilling) tools, and housings and logging sleeves for wireline resistivity tools.
Non-magnetic downhole tool is made from PEEK
Victrex’s composites‘ are also said to have hydrolytic stability with moisture absorption limited to about 0.2%. Thermosets, in contrast, typically
absorb 2% moisture, precipitating dimensional instability and cracking. Thermoplastic composites will also support metalto-composite interfacing. Automated Dynamics has also successfully used PEEK-based APTIV films from Victrex as a joining technology for numerous applications. • Belgian fibreglass company 3B has introduced DS 113510N, a chopped strand food contact compliant product designed for general purpose polyamide applications. Thanks to its combination of hydrolytic properties, associated to food contact compliance according to most recent norms, the new product will contribute to expanding the application of reinforced polyamide compounds to replace metal and other reinforced thermoplastics in applications demanding mechanical and ageing performance. These range from automotive components to appliances. 3B has also enhanced its broad range of short fibre reinforcements for high temperature resins with the launch of its DS 8800-11P. This new product has been designed to reinforce high temperature thermoplastics such as PES, PSU, PESU, PPS, PEI and PEEK.
• Switzerlandheadquartered DSM Composite Resin, 3B, Siemens Wind Power and DTU Wind Energy have formulated a new composite system for making wind turbine blades, featuring easy blade manufacturing, low weight, high stiffness, and resistance to fatigue. This material system is being evaluated by Siemens Wind Power for its next generation wind turbine blades. The system recently received the 2014 Innovation Award from JEC Europe in the Sustainability category. The novel composite system is based on DSM’s Beyone 201-A-01, a resin that is styrenefree, cobalt-free (based on BluCure Technology), and 40% biobased, with performance said to be comparable to traditional epoxy systems. The use of this resin brings faster resin infusion and requires only limited post-cure. The system also incorporates 3B’s SE3030 glass rovings. Through an optimised sizing applied on the glass filaments, a fibre/resin interaction is obtained, resulting in improved composite properties for a long-lasting blade operation.
Wind turbine blades will be made lighter based on a new technology
5 layer POD film coextrusion line. A technology definitely here to stay. Hall E2 Booth E61
Macchi S.p.A. • 21040 Venegono Inferiore (VA) Italy via Papa Paolo VI, 5 • +39 0331 827 717 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.macchi.it
GREEN Materials News
Suppliers’ trump card in the market The bioplastics market is picking up a similar momentum as the traditional plastics markets, with volatility of suppliers’ activities. Meanwhile, a new bioplastic from shrimp shell is said to trump most bioplastics on the market, posing no threat to trees or competing with food supply. Some expand, while others restrategise A recent report by Germany's Nova Institute says that US-based manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable bioplastics Cereplast has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy. It is restrategising its operations toward traditional compounded products and recycling polyolefin and bioplastic made of diversified feedstock including algae and polylactic acid. The company says it has taken this action to strengthen its balance sheet, clean up its capitalisation structure and gain financial flexibility as it continues to realign its operations. Cereplast reported a net loss of US$34 million against sales of US$2.1 million for the nine months that ended September 2013. CEO Frederic Scheer said the company had taken a number of steps to improve its operations over the past few months, but added that “the lack of traction of bioplastics demand in the US, the repetitive delays in implementation of the bioplastic regulation in Europe, and especially in Italy, combined with the legal problems created by several of our lenders made clear to our Board that reorganisation was the proper path forward.” Meanwhile in Australia, Cardia Bioplastics, the supplier of Cardia Biohybrid and Cardia Compostable resins, films, bags and custom-finished products, is expanding production to meet increasing demand for its film and bag products. It has added on three new film extrusion and bag making machines and is aiming to order a further three by end of June. Each production line is capable of producing an additional 1.5 million bags/month. It says that increased finished products capacity will enhance sales margins, as Cardia products will be made in-house. Dr Frank Glatz, Cardia’s Managing Director, said, “The market dynamics are shifting. Over the past few years brand owners, retailers and packaging companies have commenced using bioplastic resins, films and packaging to replace conventional plastics. In parallel, Councils and waste management companies have started programmes to separate organics from landfill, using compostable bags to divert organic waste from households and industry to composting. Both developments offer growth opportunities for the Cardia Bioplastics business.” Acquisitions/collaborations to boost market Elsewhere, bioplastics maker Novamont has acquired 78%
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of Mater-Biopolymer, a subsidiary of PET resins producer Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G), with an option to buy the remaining share capital by the end of 2016. Under the agreement, the Patrica plant in Lazio, Italy, with 83 employees, will work exclusively for Novamont and M&G, with one line producing PET for M&G and another already modified over the past four years using proprietary Novamont technology – will be used for production of OrigoBi, the range of polyesters obtained from monomers partially or completely from renewable sources. These polymers are used to improve the characteristics of Mater-Bi, Novamont’s range of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics. The Patrica site will have the capacity for 100,000 tonnes/year of Origo-Bi polyesters. Versalis, the Italian chemical subsidiary of Eni, and US-based producer of speciality chemicals from natural oils Elevance Renewable Sciences have signed an MOU to establish a strategic partnership to jointly develop and scale a new metathesis technology to produce bio-chemicals from vegetable oils. Versalis and Elevance intend to focus on jointly developing and scaling new catalysts, leveraging the significant progress of this technology that has been already accomplished by Elevance. In addition, the partners will assess the design and construction of the first world-scale ethylene metathesisbased production that will utilise renewable oils at the Versalis Porto Marghera site. This will also take advantage of existing infrastructures and production streams. The market applications will be personal care, detergents and cleaners, bio-lubricants and oilfield chemicals. Starting up its first commercial facility for the production of biobased succinic acid is Succinity, a joint venture between Corbion Purac and German firm BASF. The plant, located at the Corbion Purac site in Montmeló, Spain, has a capacity of 10,000 tonnes/year and is producing commercial quantities of biobased succinic acid for the global market. Succinity is also planning a second large-scale facility. The firm’s closed-loop process is based on proprietary microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens that allows for a flexible usage of different feedstocks. Compostable shrimp shells for bioplastics Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a method to carry out large-scale manufacturing of everyday objects using a fully degradable bioplastic from chitosan, a form of chitin.
Green Materials News Researchers have found a method for the largescale manufacture of everyday objects using a plastic derived from shrimp shells. The researchers moulded a series of chess pieces made of the chitosan bioplastic, demonstrating a new way towards massmanufacturing large 3D objects with complex shapes made of fully compostable materials (Photo: Harvard's Wyss Institute)
Chitin is a long-chain polysaccharide that is responsible for the hardy shells of shrimps and other crustaceans, armour-like insect cuticles, tough fungal cells walls and flexible butterfly wings. The majority of available chitin in the world comes from discarded shrimp shells, and is either thrown away or used in fertilisers, cosmetics, or dietary supplements, for example. However, material engineers have not been able to fabricate complex 3D shapes using chitin-based materials, until now.
The researchers have fabricated large, 3D objects with complex shapes using traditional casting or injection moulding. Whatâ€™s more, they say that the chitosan bioplastic breaks down when returned to the environment within about two weeks, and it releases rich nutrients that efficiently support plant growth, says the US institute. After fully characterising in detail how factors like temperature and concentration affect the mechanical properties of chitosan on a molecular level, the researchers honed in on a method that produced a pliable liquid crystal material that was just right for use in casting and injection moulding. Significantly, they also found a way to combat the problem of shrinkage whereby the chitosan polymer fails to maintain its original shape after the injection moulding process. Adding wood flour, a waste product from wood processing, did the trick. The material can also be modified for use in water and also easily dyed by changing the acidity of the chitosan solution. And the dyes can be collected again and reused when the material is recycled. The next challenge for the team is to continue to refine their chitosan fabrication methods so that they can take them out of the laboratory, and move them into a commercial manufacturing facility with an industrial partner.
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Piovan: 50 years as a key player in the world of plastics For Italian auxiliary equipment maker Piovan (1964-2014), with 50 years in existence and with more than 50,000 customers worldwide, it has attained important milestones which for it are the fundamental building blocks for pursuing new goals.
his year, Piovan celebrates 50 years of leadership in auxiliary machinery for the plastic industry, years that are characterised by coherence and an entrepreneurial idea whose roots may lie far back in time, but which remain deep and active, says the firm.
Constante Piovan shown here with a design engineer in 1934
Piovan's factory in 1950
In 1934, Costante Piovan & Figli was founded in Padua as a metalworking shop equipped with machine tools, such as lathes and a few milling machines, and it took its name from its founder. It was not enough for Costante Piovan to produce moulds for increasingly prestigious companies (such as Magrini Galileo). He understood that he needed to go beyond meeting the market's expectations: he needed to deliver better quality, more ideas and more solutions. An avant-garde idea, it thereby came about with customer orientation as a business approach from the word go, much earlier than the evolution of marketing defining this concept as being a necessity. This guiding principle has linked the three generations that gave life to and have developed the industrial activity of Piovan: from Luigi, Costante's son, who joined the company in 1960, to Nicola, who took the helm in 2000, giving an additional, strong push towards internationalisation.
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Reminiscing the years A lot has been done, since 1964, the year when Piovan launched its first equipment on the Italian market â€“ a granulator and a material loader. Today Piovan is a multinational company with five production facilities, in Italy, Germany, Brazil, China and the US, 21 subsidiaries, agents in more than 70 countries and 900 employees, of which 140 are customer assistance engineers. Piovan provides the plastic industry with a complete range of products and services, including feeding, blending, dr ying and r ecycl i ng syst ems. Moreover, Piovan produces industrial chillers and temperature controllers. It integrates its wide array of equipment with proprietary production monitoring and control software. The experience gained over the years has enabled Piovan to acquire vast knowledge in the main polymer processing techniques. It shares this knowledge with its customers, offering services not merely as a supplier of auxiliary equipment, but as a partner working alongside customers and sharing their challenges.
Machinery News The first convector feeder produced in 1964
These 50 years of accomplishments would not be possible without the dedicated sharing of those ethical values – individual and collective – that gave life first to a dream and then to a leading enterprise, says the auxiliary maker. The quality of Piovan products, in fact, would not exist without the quality of its staff, without their enthusiasm, their concrete ability and vision, and most importantly, without their pride in "being Piovan", according to the firm. The best way to celebrate our first 50 years in the world of plastic is to continue to do so with passion for our work, living the life of a company well aware of its key role, going on step by step, innovation after innovation, always by the customer’s side. Because we believe that there will be a lot more to write about our history.
The first granulator, also produced in 1964
Milestones 1934: Piovan before Piovan Costante Piovan & Figli (then Centro Meccanica), a specialist in precision mechanics, is established in Padua. It makes quality, reliability, and partnership its strengths. 1950s: the industrial evolution These are years of consolidation and reorganisation in an industrial context. The company lays the foundations for a widespread commercial expansion in Europe. 1960s: the era of plastics begins Luigi, Costante's son, guides Piovan to gain a leading role on the market of auxiliary machinery for the plastics industry. In 1964, it produces its first granulator, soon followed by the Convair dryer and Convector feeder. 1970s: from product to system, from machine to plant Piovan produces a complete range of auxiliary equipment for plastic processing. The first refrigeration line, in 1972, and the first central feeding, blending and drying system characterise Piovan’s production in the decade. A joint venture with Star, a Japanese robot manufacturer, gives life to Star Automation, a key brand in industrial automation. In 1974, Piovan Germany opens in Garching, near Munich. 1980s: leader in niche markets Technological innovation, engineering, specialisation in PET, introduction of electronics, partnerships with key OEM, further growth on foreign markets: these are the main keywords of a decade marked also by the largest drying system installed in Europe and, on a logistics level, inauguration of the new facility in Santa Maria di Sala (near Venice), the Piovan’s current headquarters. In 1986, Piovan France opens in Brion. 1990s: a global company In the production sphere, Piovan increases its market share not only in the PET sector but also in other strategic fields like Automotive, Electronics and Textile, while the international organisation expands by opening new branches in Canada, Brazil and Asia. A software company is purchased in order to develop remote plant monitoring and control systems. 2000s: close to the customer, everywhere A close and direct collaboration with customers is the key factor of Nicola Piovan's strategy. Two factories are started in Brazil and China, and new branches are opened in Mexico, UK, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. In 2008, Piovan purchases US-based Universal Dynamics (UNA-DYN) and in 2010 it acquires a majority stake in FDM, a German company specialising in extrusion technology. With five production facilities, 21 subsidiaries and representatives in more than 70 countries, Piovan has consolidated a leadership that is recognised globally.
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新聞 業 界
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versalis the new face of chemicals versalis teams up with you over the ever-expanding challenges around the industry. we stand by you in driving innovative solutions with marketable end alongside a timely advantage. at versalis we believe that excellence goes beyond delivery; it reaches out to after-sale assistance.
versalis chemistry to evolve
新聞 業 界
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CHINAPLAS - SHANGHAI - FROM 23RD TO 26TH - APRIL 2014 - STAND E2T31
50 YEARS AT THE TOP OF THE EXTRUSION TECHNOLOGY
Front Cover Feature
Davis-Standard: Moving up the global curve Industry players have one ultimate goal, which is to expand to the world market. With this in mind, global machinery player Davis-Standard is harnessing efforts on its “The Global Advantage™” philosophy. Over the last few years, the firm has centred on its globalisation and transformation efforts. It is continuing with the global expansion trend, through its "The Global Advantage™" initiative, with the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in China and ongoing development efforts for products to address the needs of the Chinese and Asian markets.
he Asia Pacific region, home to 60% of the world's population (according to the United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA), has a strong consumer base as well as industrial muscle. A cross-section of industries are being buoyed up by simply feeding and meeting the region’s consumer demands. Furthermore, the region has China and India, the world’s most populous countries and undoubtedly major revenue feeders for the global market. Ergo, the region is a befitting “home plate” for Davis-Standard’s forward moves. A leading manufacturer of extrusion and converting technology systems, Davis-Standard has anchored 30% of its business in the Asia Pacific region. The firm has also been expanding its manufacturing capabilities and after sales markets. It selected China as its centre of regional expansion, starting off with the set-up of the 4,300 sq m-facility in Suzhou in 2012. The facility, which also produces Super Blue and Euro Blue extruders, was established to render sales, technical support, including R&D capabilities for customer trials; and aftermarket services. The latter encompass equipment upgrades such as total line and process control upgrades, feedscrew replacement and rebuilding, gear case retrofitting and others. Bolstering service delivery for the region’s customers, Davis-Standard added on and recently opened a spare parts and service centre at its Suzhou facility. The new branch features a vast inventory of high usage maintenance items; shipment capabilities within 24 hours of order for stock inventory; local language support and, acceptance of payment in the Chinese currency RMB. To move forward in Asia, last year, Davis-Standard inked a deal with China’s extrusion machinery maker Guangdong Jinming Machinery to sell Davis-Standard blown film lines in the Asian markets. Conversely, Davis-Standard has become the exclusive distributor of Jinming’s blown film lines in Europe, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and North Davis-Standard offers a variety of equipment to meet a range of applications and South Americas. from medical and piping to logistics and building
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Front Cover Feature Davis-Standard says that the tie-up with Jinming has spawned a one-stop shop convenience for its seven-plus-layer blown film lines that feature precision engineering to support wide and high-speed blown film processes, thus allowing for a wider range of top-notch machinery, service and support in Asia. Getting a grip on the Global Advantage Meanwhile, investments and ongoing expansion of service capabilities in the region are the firm’s precursor in line with its trademarked “The Global Advantage™” grip, and as furthering its lead amongst its league. Backing the philosophy is the firm’s large global base with 40,000 installations, six facilities, three R&D centres, and 14 sales offices to boot; and sales of over US$300 million in 2013. On the new website the firm has launched, Carlos Flores, DavisStandard’s Global VicePresident of Marketing, says, “It reflects our global commitment and vision as one of the industry’s largest and most diverse suppliers of extrusion and converting technology”
To highlight its global reach, Davis-Standard has also launched a new website (www.davisstandard.com), which gives its online visitors the “Global Advantage” feel. “The new easy-to-navigate website reflects our global commitment and vision as one of the industry’s largest and most diverse suppliers of extrusion and converting technology,” says Carlos Flores, Davis-Standard’s Global Vice-President of Marketing. “It has an improved look and site visitors will be able to envision how we can serve them in terms of current products, new technology and global commerce.” He adds, “The site is geared towards providing a broad range of essential information in a succinct format that shows the best we have to offer.” The website carries information on DavisStandard’s 16 product areas, innovation updates such as the new dsX product line, and service capabilities; global contact information; and features product videos and images.
A world-scale initiative The Pawcatuck-headquartered firm has over ten extrusion/converting product lines to support manufacturing applications and customers within every major industry. Over the past several years, the company says it has been successful in consistently gaining global market share in the segments of packaging, automotive, medical, construction, technical and speciality as well as green market applications. It has also experienced substantial growth in new markets. The company has four manufacturing and technical facilities in the US, as well as subsidiaries with facilities in Germany, the UK, and, as earlier mentioned, in China. Following CEO Bob Preston discloses consolidation of its that Davis-Standard is global sales and increasing its geographical marketing groups, and manufacturing footprint, while maintaining its strong the 900-employee presence in traditional firm conducted markets an internal review to evaluate and improve business processes worldwide. The result is a globally-focused organisation that is committed to manufacturing investments to provide more localised support for customers as well as to make customers aware of the benefits of Davis-Standard’s quality, customer service and regional expansion. “We have become a united company with a clear value proposition for our customers,” said CEO Bob Preston. He discloses that DavisStandard is increasing its geographical and manufacturing footprint, while maintaining its strong presence in traditional markets, such as the US and Europe. Three primary areas where customers will benefit from its Global Advantage initiative are identified in the areas of products, marketing and technology as well as global commerce. With products, Davis-Standard will continue to develop global manufacturing capabilities, product consistency and quality and manufacturing excellence, according to Preston. In the area of commerce, Preston adds that the firm will “pursue unparalleled service, application development, local fulfillment execution, and parts and aftermarket support.” He goes on to say that along with these tangibles, an essential part of Davis-Standard’s strategy includes forming partnerships with top MARCH / APRIL 2014
Front Cover Feature companies and making “smart investments that build upon best-in-class market leadership.” For the marketing and technology segment, Davis-Standard will expand into new markets, add on additional industry segment support, and continue developing new products and applications. “This means we need to be the best in service, support and training and delivery. As a global company with a talented team and an excellent product portfolio, we are confident in our ability to transform our business and that of our customers,” states Preston. New dsX s-tretch cast film line In line with its strategy to launch new products, Davis-Standard has introduced the dsX s-tretch cast film extrusion line, which is touted as the first in-line pre-stretch system for mono-oriented films, thus providing converters with a costeffective option to meet the growing demand of today's global shipping market.
Steve Post, Davis-Standard’s Vice-President of Cast Film, says the dsX s-tretch cast film line represents the latest development in a series of new innovations designed to support the global market
The system is available in three, five and seven-layer cast film options, which utilise the firm’s proprietary and patented technologies to produce film as thin as 6 microns at speeds up to 550-1,000 m/minute. The pre-configured 2 m-line is said to be easy to install and operate. Film producers can choose between two and three-inch thin core and innovative coreless options for reduced material and disposable costs. Furthermore, the unique auxiliary lay-on roll also produces rolls with high-quality outer (tailless) wraps. Thus, engineered to produce thinner and stronger films at higher speeds, the dsX s-tretch film line allows output to be maximised, pushes for an optimum level of energy efficiency and delivers a faster return on investment (ROI). The system runs thin films at high speeds because it produces a thick film, then orients it three times in the machine direction. This allows
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the quick production of a high quality product with exceptional efficiency, according to the machine manufacturer. The three-roll, machine direction orientation (MDO) unit and winder stretches the film in two stages. A relaxation mode follows in conjunction with a virtual zero-tension winder to eliminate internal stresses in the film. Running at a maximum speed, it can produce four rolls every 20 seconds, which is in essence 12 cores/minute or 720 cores/hour. Steve Post, Davis-Standard’s Vice-President of Cast Film, confirms the line’s significant benefits, which sum up to helping processors maximise productivity and profitability. “The line is ideal for delivering value to converters looking to upgrade their production lines and capitalise on a growing market need; for distributors looking to drive costs out of their process, enhance their efficiency and protect product through delivery; and for manufacturers looking to minimise losses from damaged goods through the supply chain,” he explains. Because of extensive pre-engineering for multi-layer cast film manufacturing, DavisStandard says it can deliver and commission a complete dsX s-tretch cast film extrusion line in accordance to user specifications in as little as six months, thus allowing for a competitive lead time. Family of dsX lines The dsX s-tretch cast film line represents the latest development in a series of new innovations in the dsX family product group. Last year, the firm launched the dsX flex-pack extrusion coating line. The line offers converters and packaging printers a competitively-priced system for a variety of applications, including snack bags, condiment packs, stand-up pouches and personal care packaging.
A rendering of the dsX flex-pack line
Front Cover Feature This flexible packaging line includes an unwinder, corona treaters, extrusion laminator, gravure primer coater dryer, pull roll with nip, electrically-heated winder, air-cooled DavisStandard extruder with advanced feedscrew design and Siemens drives and controls.
The dsX med-tube medical tubing line
A close-up of an extruder die
The line is available in two versions to accommodate almost any plant: one is a longer line with the auxiliary unwinder placed close to the floor; the other raises the auxiliary unwinder to a position just atop the winder to shorten both the length of the line and the path of the auxiliary web to the laminator. Standard on the dsX flex-pack is an advanced computer technology that includes the APC (automatic profile control), which continually adjusts the product profile for optimum performance, and a DS5 computer that allows for remote access to the line for troubleshooting and updating over a secure internet connection. Performance data is exportable to factory systems for SPC and other analytical management tools. Reiterating what Post emphasised above with the new dsX s-tretch cast film extrusion line, CEO Preston says that the overall focus of the extrusion technology is to increase productivity and profitability for customers worldwide. Innovating medical tubing Innovation-driven, Davis-Standard raised the bar to offer yet another technology geared towards the healthcare sector last year. The dsX med-tube medical tubing system is a variation of DavisStandard’s broadly-used medical tubing systems. This innovation is said to deliver value and versatility in one powerful, space-saving package.
The compact line, thus, ensures a smaller footprint for clean rooms. It is also featurepacked, including language-specific control and an advantage for fast delivery anywhere in the world, says the firm. According to Wendell Whipple, DavisStandard’s Vice-President of Pipe Profile and Tubing Group, among the line’s primary design advantages is a co-extruder arrangement for processing materials ranging from polypropylene (PP) to fluorinated ethylene polypropylene (FEP). The line includes a melt pump on each extruder for processing thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), nylons and other medical-grade materials. What’s more, the new system is a cost-effective, clean room-oriented platform that is supported by regional engineering and service teams. “With the constant changes in the medical marketplace, it is important that the most current technology be accessible to customers around the globe. This line hits the mark in terms of size, capabilities and return on investment,” Whipple explains. Customers can run trials on the new line at Davis-Standard’s Suzhou facility. Meanwhile, it also offers a medical tubing R&D line at its Pawcatuck Technical Centre in Connecticut, US. The systems are available for single lumen, multi-lumen, IV catheter, corrugated drainage, integrated bump tubing and multi-layer tubing. The firm says that the lines are the latest developments in a series of new innovations designed to help customers be more competitive, by optimising their ability to respond to the market and ever changing needs, which is appropriate and timely for the growing markets of China and Asia. MARCH / APRIL 2014
German Machinery and Technology
Asia’s preview to latest technology updates At the Chinaplas 2014 show, to be held from 23-26 April in Shanghai, German machine makers will again make an imitable presence. Technology on display will be a first in Asia, for some exhibitors that previously displayed the new technology at the K2013 show in Germany last year.
Sales to China to inch up Germany’s plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers ended 2013 with sales down by 1%, according to the industry’s association VDMA. As a result, turnover in core machinery manufacturing fell only slightly short of the most recent record of EUR6.5 billion, said the association. Foreign deliveries rose again and in the period to November 2013 were 4.1% above the previous year’s level, taking exports close to a new record of around EUR4.6 billion. That will push the export ratio above the 70% mark again. German Exports of Plastics and Rubber Machines to China m EUR
Change over % previous year
Share in world exports (%)
Meanwhile, in 2012, worldwide supplies of plastics and rubber machines to China reached a volume of more than EUR2,480 million, which is a slight increase of 0.1% compared to the preceding year. After growing at a rate far above average in previous years, exports to China declined by 16.4% in 2012. Top suppliers of plastics and rubber machinery to China were Japan (26%) followed by Germany (25.8%), Taiwan (13.2%), Korea (6.8%) and the US (5.2%). According to Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of VDMA, there is confidence in the German market and renewed growth is also expected for Latin America. The only major reservations at present concern the markets in Asia, with the exception of China. Based on association forecasts, sales are set to grow by 6% to EUR6.9 billion in 2014.
Elasto will showcase various TPEs, including those used for making baby spoons
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TPEs to make a mark in China Elasto, which is part of the Hexpol TPE group, has been successfully expanding its Asian activities over recent years. Gareth Jefferson, Regional Director, explained, “The Elasto and Müller Kunststoffe businesses have supplied customers in Asia for a number of years, initially to EU transplants and increasingly to locally owned moulders. To support our Asian customers, Hexpol decided to begin production of TPE in Foshan, in China, and the facility came on stream in early 2013.“ At the show, Elasto will showcase the Dryflex range of TPEs based on SBS and SEBS technologies. Toy and baby care applications in particular have been an expanding market for the firm, due to the softtouch consumer appeal. Other products include TPE adhesion compounds for PA, ABS, PC and PS substrates in multi-component processing; TPE compounds
German Machinery and Technology with low compression set; Mediprene TPE compounds for medical applications and conductive and anti-static compounds for electronics applications. Meanwhile, Kraiburg will unveil its new TPE compound that boasts new, advanced adhesion features that are applicable for the industrial, automotive, consumer, consumer electronics and medical fields.
Kraiburg partnered with Veritas, a manufacturer of solutions for the automotive market, to produce double clips for fastening brake lines from its HIPEX oil and temperatureresistant TPE material in combination with polyamide. The clips will be used as a standard components in engine compartments
Extrusion machinery under one roof Extrusion machinery firm Reifenhäuser Group will present its technological solutions for plastics extrusion under the slogan “Rethinking Technology”. Managing Director Ulrich Reifenhäuser, said, "In recent months we have developed strong unique selling propositions across all business units. These developments deliver real added value to customers and go beyond mere product improvements. Our focus is on productivity, quality, reliability and energy efficiency. We developed some completely new technological approaches to achieve this."
Reifenhäuser Extrusion Technology’s so-called extruder of the future that combines state-of-the-art design with innovative features
Reifenhäuser Extrusion Technology will show an extruder with features such as the new Energizer Screw for up to 20% higher productivity as well as the use of thermoelectric generators for energy recovery. It also has a new ReiWood profile and matching line technology for the wood composites market. The new developments lower production costs by up to 50%. Another subsidiary Reiloy Metall is presenting its highly wear-resistant screws and barrels for extrusion and injection moulding, manufactured in Germany in lengths up to 9 m. Reiloy components are used in all Reifenhäuser systems, as well as in the machines of leading injection machinery makers like Arburg, KraussMaffei and Engel.
German Machinery and Technology Chinese subsidiary Reifenhäuser Plastic Machinery’s scope of responsibility was expanded in April 2013. In addition to service, the company and its more than 20 employees also took charge of sales in China. A German engineer will join the team in April 2014 to further strengthen the subsidiary and be responsible for sales, project management, technical customer consulting and the after-sales business. Managing Director of Reifenhäuser China, Ralf Pampus, said, "We see great potential for growth in Asia and particularly here in China. Strengthening the team in our Chinese branch was a logical step for us and that has already paid for itself.” Pampus says that sales are up significantly since early 2013, especially for recycled PET applications, PET strapping tape lines, barrier films and sheets, agricultural film and nonwovens. Blow moulding, thermoforming and pipe making machinery Blow moulding machine maker Kautex Maschinenbau will showcase its KCC model range, which can produce packaging with volumes of between 50 ml and 10 l. It will demonstrate the production of a 750 ml monolayer sports drinking bottle with seven mould cavities. Other new machines featured at K2013, to be presented in China, will be the ZVT 7/60-100 hose head for CP applications and the fully-electric KBB series. The logical showcase for thermoforming machine maker Kiefel will be its global best seller Speedformer KMD78. The machine is used for the mass production of rigid packaging products made of PS, OPS, EPS, PP, PE, PVC, PET and PLA. The firm says that the secret lies in advanced technology, such as the black HTS ceramic heaters for the consistent distribution of heat-output, a proven toggle drive and motorised upper-yoke adjustment for both the forming and cutting stations. This is rounded up by the high degree of automation, steel-rule cutter, integrated stacking unit and touch-screen-operated Siemens Simotion control system. The unit can handle a maximum tool dimension of 780 x 560 mm, with a negative/positive formedcomponent height of up to 150 mm and a maximum film-width of 810 mm. It will be shown producing a tray tool processing clear APET material. KraussMaffei Berstorff will show its KM-5L RKW 01-40 extruder pipehead for five-layer pipes, plus have an open house at its plant in Haiyan. "With our five-layer pipehead we are presenting a stable and efficient solution for the trend towards complex, multi-layer pipes," said Michael Hofhus, Head of Sales and Service of KraussMaffei Berstorff in China. The pipehead has a modular design based on the spiral distributors that are flow-optimised with low pressure loss, thus ensuring optimum pipe quality. The exhibit (for a diameter range up to 40 mm) is combined with the KME 45-30 B/R singlescrew extruder and two KME 30-25 D/C coextruders. With the extension of production at the Chinese plant in Haiyan, the KraussMaffei Group is also continuing its strategic positioning in the Asian market. On the occasion of the opening of the plant extension, it will have an open house for the KraussMaffei Group and its KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands.
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KraussMaffei Berstorff will demonstrate the production of PE pipes (for a diameter range up to 630 mm) with a complete extrusion line. The pipehead is equipped with IPC technology for an efficient pipe production, thanks to an additional pipe interior cooling system. Compounding will be shown on the twin-screw extruder ZE 52 Basic, with corresponding downstream components. Compounders/extruders with improved outputs Coperion will debut its ZSK 26 Mc18 twin-screw laboratory extruder with 25 mm-screw diameter for the development of formulations, conducting sample compound trials and production of relatively small batches with up to approximately 180 kg/hour. Compared to its predecessor, the ZSK 26 Mc, the new laboratory extruder is capable of an increase in output of up to 100%, as the specific torque has been increased to 15 Nm/cm3, and is said to be more energy efficient. The increased filling and lower melt temperatures ensure gentle product handling. It is also a mobile unit and requires reduced floor space, as the control cabinet is integrated with the base frame of the machine. Also on display will be Coperion’s STS 65 compounder with 65 mm-screw diameter and a specific torque of 10 Nm/cm³. The series is equipped both with a powerful motor and a gearbox, rated for the required torque. The improvements allow for an increase in the amount of material passing through the extruder process section, reduced shear stress, lower melt temperature and improved mixing performance. Positive displacement pumps supplier Pump Solutions Group (PSG), a business unit within Dover Corporation, will unveil its new Automatik Plastics Machinery SPHERO S underwater pelletising system, suited for compounding, masterbatch and recycling applications with medium outputs, between 0.7-3 tonnes. Major upgrades include new pneumatic diverter valves that optimise the flow channel, with ease cleaning of the cutting chamber and quick changes of the knives. Other improvements include a new frame that allows it to be mounted on a single mobile structure, allowing for a reduced footprint. The water bypass design on the SPHERO S has also been fine-tuned resulting in a faster start-up, while the design of the cutter head allows for the production of evenly shaped pellets. ProTec Polymer Processing will present plant technology for manufacturing long fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (LFTs), with lengths of 7-25 mm, using what is called the pultrusion process. This is achieved using technology jointly developed by ProTec and project partner PolymersNet, which isolates the fibre strands in the impregnation tool to create filaments that are then coated with the polymer melt. The LFT created in this way produces components with excellent surface quality and high mechanical strength, says the firm. The technology can be used to realise fibre content of up to 60% by weight and plant sizes with throughputs of up to 1.2 tonnes/hour.
German Machinery and Technology Auxiliaries new to Asia ProTec will also be presenting its new, optimised solid-state reactor (OHL tumble reactor), a solid-state polycondensation (SSP) reactor that can be heated and evacuated for improving the properties of free-flowing materials. Heated using a smaller volume of heat transfer oil, it lowers energy consumption by around 20%. The OHL tumble reactor is used to purge polyester and polyamides of volatile pollutants (decontaminating) and/ or to post-condense these materials, i.e., increase their molecular weight. In addition, the reactor is used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for improving the properties of free-flowing solids. Meanwhile, sister company of Coperion, K-Tron will introduce the redesigned Smart Flow Meter with feed rates of up to 200 cu m/hour. Applications include material flow control within a production line, measuring filling or discharge of materials from storage, inventory control, and quantitative bulk goods measurement. It comes in two models: K-SFM-275-B and K-SFM-350-B, for use in polyolefin production. Auxiliary equipment maker Motan, from its Chinese headquarters in Taicang, focuses on four major products areas: dryers/conveying systems; SilentLine sound insulated double-walled piping and sound-insulated frequency regulated blowers; dosing and mixing systems, such as the Ultrablend 95 gravimetric dosing and mixing unit for the medical industry; and control systems.
Motan’s ATTN control system is now standard on Luxor dryers
The firm has also developed ATTN automatic temperature and dew-point control system, which maintains a constant dew-point of the granulate being dried, in line with the process parameters of the part being moulded. ATTN is now a standard feature throughout the Luxor A range of dryers. The firm says it is essential for materials that require predefined moisture content that will be damaged if over dried as a result of a low dew-point. ATTN is generally installed in the dry air generator and can only be set to one specific dew-point between -30°C and +5°C. Furthermore, drying bins are always operating with process air at the respective dew-point set value, especially for singlebin stations. However, multi-bin stations can also be equipped with this option.
Engineered by KraussMaffei and made in China, the KraussMaffei MX CN Series increases your performance, output and production efficiency. Profit from individual, customized solutions and local competent service. Come and see us at Chinaplas, Hall E1, Booth K41, or at our “Open House” at the Haiyan production plant (April 23–25, information at the Chinaplas booth)
Fast. Precise. Premium quality. Machines in the MX CN Series – an investment in the future Engineering Passion
Navigating in Asia with packaging at the helm Japan-headquartered Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI), a strong player in the Southeast Asian region through its Singapore-based Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific (MCAP) affiliate, is staying true to its focus of achieving its double-digit growth target in the packaging market segment in the region. Its next challenge will be capturing more growth and further contributing to the broader market segment, say top executives from MCAP in this report on the firm.
Mitsui Elastomer Singapore (MELS)’s Tafmer 4 and Tafmer 5 plants
apanese chemicals group Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI), led by its aims of contributing broadly to society by providing high quality products and services to customers through innovations and the creation of materials, while keeping in harmony with the global environment, has had a solid and long-term relationship with the Asian market. It started off three decades ago in Singapore, and has since expanded its operations multi-fold. The company is active in business with its corporate vision of “constantly pursuing innovation and growth to become a chemical group with an undisputed global presence”. In 2010, the company started up its second TAFMER™ alpha olefin copolymer plant, doubling its production capacity of the elastomer to 200 kilotonnes/year on the company's existing facility, utilising MCI’s technologies in polymer design, metallocene catalysts and production processes. Last year, the firm increased the capacity for TAFMER™ by 8,000 tonnes/year and also added on warehouse facilities. Also last year, Prime Evolue Singapore, a subsidiary of Prime Polymer (a joint venture of MCI and Idemitsu Kosan), held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 300 kilotonnes production plant for Evolue™, a metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (m-LLDPE). Investments in metallocene polymers, such as elastomers and high-quality polyethylene, “hold a potential to becoming future core businesses”, says the company. This is in line with its adoption of the key strategy of high-value-added polymers growth with a focus on specific businesses and development areas. It is little wonder then that the company is investing further in TAFMER™ and Evolue™ since the metallocene polymers are positioned as the group’s five world-leading businesses.
Augmenting its presence in Asia Meanwhile, to strengthen its presence in Asia, MCI set up its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Singapore in 2007. Mitsui Chemical Asia Pacific (MCAP) has advanced to become one of the four regional pillars that supports the goals of its parent company, MCI, within the region, with firm foundations in Singapore.
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Yasushi Nawa, Managing Director of MCAP, says that managing the vibrant Asian region requires developing a flexible, yet clear direction
It oversees sales and marketing of functional chemicals, polymeric materials, films and polyethylene resin as well as provides technical support, logistics and business planning for the APAC market. Its coverage spans two continents: Australia and New Zealand and Asia (excluding Greater China, which is managed by Mitsui Chemicals Shanghai and Taiwan Mitsui
Chemicals). With 20 affiliates in the region, including Singapore, MCAP continues to be at the forefront of the polymer/ chemical industry. “Managing this vibrant region, which is unique in its diversity, requires developing a flexible, yet clear direction,” says Yasushi Nawa, Managing Director of MCAP.
According to Nawa, MCAP’s commitment to its affiliates goes beyond the provision of shared facilities and market intelligence, which is to also support them in their navigation of the region. Packaging platform a driver This has driven the conception of the Packaging Platform. At its helm is Marketing Director Shigeharu Matsuzaka, who orchestrates this inter-divisional team. “The purpose of our marketing is to contribute to society and environment in the region, delivering value through a variety of products and technologies of the Mitsui Chemicals group, in broader market segments like packaging, healthcare, automotive, electronics & information, building materials as well as environment and energy,” elaborates Matsuzaka. With MCAP as a regional hub, the group extends its reach to its APAC customers by providing innovative products and services. In the packaging platform, a range of materials are offered such as Evolue™ m-LLDPE base resin; speciality polyolefins (ADMER™, a tie-layer adhesion resin; TAFMER™ strong bonding resins and modifiers); TUX™ Tohcello speciality sealant film based on m-LLDPE and TAKELAC/TAKENATE PU adhesives for dry lamination.
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Corporate Profile According to Marketing Director Shigeharu Matsuzaka, “We are happy to say we have been performing successfully in our areas of focus in the Asia Pacific region”
“Our willingness to listen to our customers’ needs, as well as by understanding the needs of the region while paying close attention to both sustainability and cost efficiency, has resulted in us providing cutting edge solutions that are backed by a competent and reliable technical team,” explained Matsuzaka. Applications for the materials range from multilayer barrier flexible and rigid packaging, stand up pouches, liquid sachets, powder sachets, tube extrusions, extrusion coating and heat seal modifiers, all of which are growth earners in sales volumes for the firm. In lieu of its previous three-year mid-term roadmap, MCAP sees the huge potential of growth in the APAC markets, even projecting that it will attain a doubledigit growth, especially in the packaging market segment. Its areas of focus being functional films, functional sheets, nonwovens, coatings and adhesives, engineering plastics and compounding businesses, are known to be resilient to economic conditions. The result has seen positive actions. “We are happy to say we have been performing successfully in our areas of focus in the Asia Pacific region,” commented Matsuzaka. R&D as a vehicle for growth MCI also models itself on conscientious chemical management practices. Having said this, it invests heavily in R&D. The company has been focusing on core technologies “that will contribute to resolution of global environmental issues and make a difference around the world.” Thus, MCI established the only group-based R&D centre outside of Japan. This is the Mitsui Chemicals Singapore R&D Centre (MS-R&D), which serves as the R&D base in the region and is mainly working on the application development of newly created materials using the company’s proprietary catalysts. At the same time, the centre has a function of technical scouting and information collection of the market needs, which are shared with the group and its affiliates around the globe for efficient product development. Another technical facility in Singapore is the Technical Support Centre. It undertakes technical support for the functional polymer business, working in tandem with the MCAP marketing team.
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As a commitment, MCAP is on a route to continuously improving its existing technologies and developing new ones to give it the competitive edge in the group’s priority businesses. MCI has allocated a cumulative 100 billion yen towards R&D from 2011-2013; the priority businesses have been allotted 42% of the total investment. The group has witnessed several successful outcomes as a result of this investment. Future-ready functional chemicals Meanwhile, included under the five development areas are next generation functional chemicals as precursors to innovating existing materials with enhanced properties. “Functional chemicals or materials are the ones with high functionality that cater to the benefit of our society,” says Dr Shigekazu Matsui, Director of MS-R&D. “Next-generation” refers to the ones that have demand but the commercialisation has not been realised, due to the technical hurdles yet to be overcome, he explained. “There is a need for such materials in various areas such as automotive, healthcare, environment and lifestyle sectors, just to name a few.” An example of the next generation functional polymers MCI recently launched is Notio™ SN (syndiotactic elastomer with crystalline structure controlled in a nano order). Notio™ SN is expected to take the artificial leather market by storm in the next few years for its vastly improved properties over the current incumbents or the host of materials. Another example is Exfola™, which is a new silicone surface modifier created by MCI’s proprietary catalysts and synthesis technology. Exfola™ has a good compatibility with polyolefins and realises the characteristics of silicone on the materials surface. Globalised undertaking Serving a mixed bag of applications, it is not surprising that MCAP’s products have become entrenched in every facet of daily life in Asia. Nevertheless, the future will be privy to an exciting range of applications that are foreseen to becoming growth areas and likely investments. “Transforming our business portfolio and globalisation has been the key pillars of our midterm business plan. The Mitsui Chemicals Group will continue to accelerate its basic strategy into the next mid-term business plan of 20142017, taking a look forward towards the 2020s,” according to Nawa. This will be undertaken through new material development, against the backdrop of reduced environmental impact of products, as part of the group’s commitment to the APAC region, and to the rest of the world. For further enquiries on the company, please email: MCAP_enquiries@mitsui-chem.co.jp
Reusing materials in the packaging industry At the Chinaplas show, recycling equipment makers will exhibit a range of machines for PET recycling, with a focus on producing food-grade regrind for packaging.
Vacurema has been proven to have the lowest energy use, according to independent testing
Erema ups the ante with reverse technology Austrian manufacturer Erema will be presenting its latest Intarema 1108 T system, boasting an output of 600 kg/hour when processing BOPP. With the patented Counter Current system, Erema says it set another milestone in recycling systems. While the material in the cutter/ Erema compactor moved in the direction of will display its the extruder, in the Counter Current Intarema system the material spout in the 1108 T cutter/compactor is now reversed system and thus moves against the direction of the extruder. The result of this inversetangential configuration is increased process stability and, at the same time, considerably higher output. With over 30 years of success, more than 4,000 systems in operation throughout the world, Erema says its technology has become an established standard for the recycling of polyolefins and PET products. Erema managed the major breakthrough with the first generation of systems launched in 1983, the year it was founded. At that time, the company combined a cutter/compactor with a (radial) extruder and thus made it possible to cut, compact and extrude plastic waste in a single, continuous process. The machines were straightforward to operate, had low space requirements and consumed on average 30% less energy compared with the competition at that time. Erema continued to develop this technology and with the launch of the second plant in 1993 once again brought about an advancement, with the extruder being located tangentially to the cutter/compactor. Additionally, a newly defined and optimised scaling of the cutter/ compactor, in relation to the screw diameter of the tangentially connected extruder, made feeding easier with large individual waste material and optimised material preparation for the extrusion process. Furthermore, it was possible to direct the preheated material to the extruder with a more homogeneous temperature distribution, thanks to the longer residence times in the large cutter/compactor. This technology has now culminated in the development of the inverse-tangential configuration of the new Intarema, which comes from Inverse + Tangential + Erema and is based on the patented Counter Current technology. MARCH / APRIL 2014
Recycling Equipment Meanwhile, Erema says its Vacurema technology occupies a market share of 50%, with more than 150 systems in use around the world, producing end products such as films, with a capacity of 1 million tonnes/year. It says the secret lies in the patented pre-treatment of PET flakes at raised temperature and in high vacuum before the extrusion process, thus removing moisture and migration materials from the feedstock. Thanks to the vacuum treatment, stable IV values can be achieved even in the case of varying moisture levels and different IV values in the input material. As input materials with up to 1.5% moisture can be processed, no expensive pre-drying is necessary, unlike competitor equipment. Extruder degassing is not required either, allowing for a short extruder screw while the thermal stress on the material is reduced. Furthermore, the patented configuration allows for lower maintenance. The firm also says an independent testing institute has confirmed that Vacurema technology has the best energy efficiency. A total of eight different PET recycling technologies were tested for electrical and thermal performance and the Vacurema inline sheet system (used to produce food contact grade thermoforming sheet) of a customer in Germany recorded the lowest energy consumption (including sheet downstream) of 0.29 kWh/kg. Moby line for recycled PET Italian recycling machinery maker Gamma Meccanica will showcase the G-Moby line for recycled PET. The line, developed in cooperation with Italian auxiliary equipment maker SB Plastics Machinery, is touted to produce energy savings of up to 40%. It is composed of the Compac with Ecotronic system (cutter-compactor), extruder, screen changer and the new TI underwater pelletiser. The extruder has high performance degassing. It uses one vent with high vacuum to remove any possible residual moisture that is not extracted by the cutter-compactor. The screen changer is a special design, specifically for working with PET material
An example of a G-Moby line with the GM50 Compac for an output of 150 kg/hour
The line produces pellets suitable for producing food packaging in accordance with FDA and EFSA standards. G-Moby works through two phases: recovering waste and transforming into pellets, and a second phase where the pellets are heat treated using solid state polycondensation technology.
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During the process, the material first undergoes pre-drying and agglomeration in the Compac shredder unit, ensuring complete evaporation of all moisture and the pre-melting of the material. The next step is the melting itself, the filtration and the PET granulation. What is obtained at the end of the process is a PET granule with a very low IV (intrinsic viscosity), that sometimes is reduced to zero, says the Italian firm. At this point the granule that comes out through the cutter, and still retains most of the heat acquired during the two previous processes, is introduced in Moby. This device uses infrared treatment and vacuum: in a single step, it crystallises, dehumidifies and “super cleans” the material. In this way, it is possible to remove all the contaminants present in the PET, making it suitable for food use, says the firm. G-Moby is available in a range of sizes with a production capacity of 80 kg/hour (with the smaller line GM50 Compac) to 2,200 kg/hour (with GM210 Compac). Upcycling waste and size reduction equipment Austrian firm Starlinger will exhibit a solution for producing waste from PP tape lines, and how to turn recycled PET and HDPE into food-safe production material. With its recoBATCH application, Starlinger says it can even be upcycled with the addition of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) during the recycling process. Thus, the waste becomes in-house produced masterbatch, which can be used to substitute part of the masterbatch needed in tape production.
Starlinger’s recoStar loading station
It will also showcase latest additions to the Viscotec line, such as the deCON 20 decontamination dryer. The FDA and EFSA-compliant device is used for processing flakes and recycled pellets from PET and HDPE for use in food-grade packaging. Also, newly developed by Starlinger is the viscoSHEET PET sheet that produces thermoforming sheets for food packaging from up to 100% recycled PET. Meanwhile, German firm Herbold has extended its range of reduction equipment with the HZR 1300 shredder, designed for pre-cutting of pipes and profiles up to a diameter of 1,250 mm, as well as all sizes of pipes including solid materials. Compared with a one-step size reduction process utilising a large granulator, the HZR, combined with a Neue Herbold granulator, operates with comparable low energy. It is also designed with wear-resistant cutting tools and features an optimised material feed via a loading flap developed by Herbold. The working
Recycling Equipment vacuum system to process the PET. This is achieved by means of the patented processing section. Based on a conventional single-screw extruder, the MRS is a drum containing eight satellite single screws, driven by a ring gear and pinion transmission. The “barrels” cut into the drum, are approximately 30% open and provide optimum exposure of the melt. Thus, the devolatilising performance is said to be 50 times greater than that of a conventional single-screw extruder, a vacuum of 25 to 40 mbar.
Herbold’s shredder HZR 1300 is designed for pre-size reduction of plastic pipes, profiles (any diameters up to solid materials) and start-up lumps
length of up to 7,000 mm and the hydraulicallyoperated loading flap grant a hazard-free operation. Equipped with a load-dependent control, the HZR achieves an output of up to 3,000 kg/hour. German firm Gneuss’s Multi Rotation System (MRS) extruder has established itself as one of the key technologies for processing PET reclaim. About 40 of these extruders have been sold for sheet, fibre and repelletising applications in Europe, Asia and the US. An advantage is that it permits the processing of PET without pre-drying, by using a simple water ring
Gneuss offers the MRS in capacities from 35 kg/hour to 2,000 kg/hour
INTAREMA® The new system generation from EREMA.
Efficiency at the fore. High capacities have never been as easy to achieve as with the new INTAREMA®. Counter Current technology makes it possible. Because the extruder handles more material in a shorter time. And this means for you: constant, top throughput within a considerably larger temperature range. For more productivity, flexibility and process stability.
CHOOSE THE NUMBER ONE.
Blown film lines • At Chinaplas, Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion and Polyrema will present new features such as the cooling systems Evolution Ultra Cool and Evolution Ultra Cool FFS for up to 20% more output, and Evolution Ultra Flat flattening unit for faster and smoother processing. For the production of barrier films, the company is offering the new ReicoFeed 2.1 feed block. It provides control of the layer structure during production. • Hosokawa Alpine offers its 11-layer technology, with the die head of the X-Series, for complex food packaging. Down gauging and combination of different functional layers also reduces production costs. The highest savings, however, can be realised by replacing laminated structures with extruded composites, as costly and time-consuming downstream processing is no longer necessary. • Italian firm Macchi, which showed its five-layer POD technology at K2013, says the new extrusion technology is here to stay. At Chinaplas, it will showcase its patented Recotrim
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Macchi's air ring for the fivelayer line
in-line reclaiming solution for trims and extrusion film scraps. The unit on display will be delivered to a Chinese customer that already has one system in operation. • Germany-based Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) will be at Chinaplas for the first time under the flag of its recently set up subsidiary in Taicang, China. It will show its Varex II, a modularly designed extrusion system for a broad spectrum of applications: from 8-micron PE-HD liner film to 11-layer barrier film with a no more than 1-micron EVOH layer. Also on show will be the Optimex three-layer blown film line for applications such as packaging film, including film for automatic packaging machines, carrier bag and lamination films as well as films for shrink and stretch wrap applications.
This will be rounded up by the Aquarex "upside down" extrusion line, which uses water instead of air to cool the film bubble.
W&H’s Filmex range of cast film systems
Cast film/sheet lines • Reifenhäuser Cast Sheet Coating is presenting its new MIREX-MT polishing stack that allows for 80% reduction in changeover times and waste production during changeover. For the Asian market, it sees especially high growth potential in cast films for surface protection. • Film and sheet extrusion systems supplier Macro Engineering & Technology from Canada has added the option of including gas foaming into any layer of the multilayer film structures produced on its cast film coextrusion line. Macro’s is used to produce multi-layer film structures up to 11-layers and up to 3 m wide using a variety of materials including PA, EVOH and PVdC in food and medical packaging applications. With foaming, this can be extended to
thermoformed trays, insulation pouches, lamination materials and stiffer, glossy films for shelf appeal. Benefits of the foaming include reduced weight and raw material usage; improved thermal and sound insulation and opacity can be obtained without using fillers. Individual layer foaming is achieved with nitrogen gas injection through a feedblock that distributes each layer of the melt flow. The feedblock's design alleviates the need for a multi-manifold system that can add significant cost to the system.
Macro has introduced foaming on its cast barrier film line
Film/Sheet Extrusion • At Chinaplas, Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries will highligt its Autoflex VI-R H40 internally deckled Contour die for cast film (2,921 mm); Autoflex VI-R H100 triple manifold die for biaxially oriented film (810 mm); Ultraflex HRC100 sheet die and melt stream assembly. Others on display will be the Ultraflex LH40 EPC die for extrusion coating; and Ultraflow coextrusion feedblock for film or sheet. New at Chinaplas will be the “tuning inserts” for the Ultraflow I feedblock that can be adjusted during coextrusion, enabling manufacturers of film and sheet to reduce downtime and material waste while permanent flow inserts are prepared. The inserts also give greater precision in the thickness profiles of each layer, across the width of the die. Usually, a specially machined flow insert yields a target cross-direction thickness profile for each layer, and any job change involving significantly different layer
ratios or polymer flow properties makes it necessary to design and machine different inserts. But the tuning inserts can be finetuned ‘on the fly‘, thus
allowing production to continue while adjustments are made until a target profile is achieved and a matching permanent insert can be built.
Performance Imagine you could double your blown film line‘s output with any operator. In the tuning insert for Ultraflow I feedblock, polymer flow for a fivelayer structure is from right to left. Core layer polymer enters flow channel from far right. Next layer enters from ports at top and bottom, and its thickness profile is determined by bronzecoloured flow-adjusting components. Entry of skin layer follows, again profiled by flow adjusters. Each adjuster is made up of ten segments, and position of each segment is determined by turns of a screw
Times in which high-efficiency cooling systems in blown film lines could be operated only by experienced staff have gone. With EVOLUTION ULTRA COOL and the innovative operating concept you will immediately enter the world of high output beyond a die factor of 2. The cooling system is based on a conventional, height adjustable dual lip cooling ring and special inner cooling device for increased cooling capacity. Enjoy maximum performance and minimum complexity. Find more information about us online on www.reifenhauser-kiefel.com You have questions? email@example.com
Visit us at Chinaplas Hall E1 – Stand G 41 23 - 26 April 2014
ADDITIVES / MASTERBATCHES
Well-deserved make over Recently, a fast food outlet in the US was exposed using a plasticenhancing chemical additive in several food items. This has made plastic additives a health villain in the eyes of the public. Yet for the plastics industry, additives are “heroes”, since the enhancers provide throngs of excellent properties to conventional plastics to serve a broader range of applications, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Last year, Songwon launched its Songxtend stabilisation package for polymers
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he chemical compound azodicarbonamide (ADCA), which is used as a blowing agent to enhance the elasticity of foamed plastics for yoga mats and shoes, is also used as a food additive, as a flour bleaching and improving agent. Though permitted in the US and Canada, at levels up to 45 ppm, it is banned in Australia and Europe. Its usage in food products has suddenly been highlighted, with plastic additives becoming an issue as hot as the plastic bag ban. Meanwhile, based on the current discussion about ADCA and new regulations aiming to improve indoor air quality, new “kickers” or activators are required to ensure that the level of ADCA in the final product does not exceed the limit of 0.1%. Taking this lead, German firm Baerlocher has introduced a new generation of low-VOC “kickers” for foamed PVC. It has been shown to reduce organic emissions and fogging effects, helping manufacturers of automotive components, flooring, and wall coverings. “Kickers” can raise or lower the decomposition temperature of chemical foaming agents (CFAs) and also serve as stabilisers. Based on mixed-metals, the activators support the industry to meet the requirements set by REACH and ISO16000 and conform to Germany’s AgBB and France’s Emissions dans l’air interieur regulations. Market growth envisaged Based on the latest technical research by BCC Research, the additives market will witness an accelerated use of the chemical enhancers. The value will, thus, rise from US$43.4 billion in 2013 to an estimated US$47.7 billion in 2015. The sector is anticipated to grow to nearly US$60.3 billion by 2020, and post a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2015 to 2020, according to the study. Nevertheless, the safety concerns attributed to plastics use often cascade to the raw material components, including additives. In cases when human health and environment-related risks are highlighted, the plastics industry bears the brunt, of either replacing the additives or proving that the additives used are harmless, says the study. Shifting trends in the stabiliser market Replacements are happening, especially in heat and light stabilisers that are used to ensure safe processing and to protect products against premature ageing and weathering, for PVC pipes/profiles and other building products. At present, the global market for stabilisers is undergoing highly dynamic changes as the market shares of individual product groups are shifting considerably, says a study by research firm Ceresana. Holding a market share of 55%, Asia Pacific is the largest sales market for stabilisers globally, followed by Western Europe. Meanwhile, the increasing substitution of lead-based stabilisers for calcium or tin have seen some suppliers divesting their stabiliser businesses to smaller companies specialised in the production of speciality chemicals. Ceresana forecasts the value of the global market for stabilisers to increase to US$5.3 billion in 2021. Figuring largely in stabilisers are compounds based on calcium (calciumzinc and organo-calcium), lead and tin stabilisers as well as liquid and light stabilisers (HALS, benzophenone, benzotriazole). After cadmium-based products disappeared almost completely from the market over the last decade, recent years have seen an increasing substitution of lead-based products as well as a shift from the more expensive tin-based ones, especially in Europe and China.
ADDITIVES / MASTERBATCHES Ceresana expects global consumption of calcium-based stabilisers to increase by 6.9% per year. Meanwhile, South Korean Songwon Industrial Group, the second largest manufacturer of polymer stabilisers globally, says that its Songxtend line solves a number of key issues encountered during processing, conversion and the end-use life cycle of polyolefins. Included are the 1101 and 1102 general purpose packages that allow PP producers and processors to maintain high temperature manufacturing while safeguarding the desired properties of the polymer as well as avoiding degradation and discolouration under severe processing conditions. Stability is assured from reactor to extruder where high heat and shear are often encountered. Meanwhile, the 2121, 2122 and 2123 packages are designed for the automotive industry and are tailored to address fogging and odour issues in car interiors, reducing VOC emissions and improving organoleptic properties by either eliminating or reducing undesirable odours that negatively impact car interiors. Reinforcing safety in composites If additives in food have the potential to cause health risks, there are additives that warrant safety, too. These are the additives that reinforce flame retardant properties in conventional plastics.
Clariant is offering cost-efficient non-halogenated alternatives for thermosets used in aircraft, rail, road and sea transport applications
Switzerland-based speciality chemicals company Clariant has launched Exolit AP ammonium polyphosphate-based and Exolit OP phosphinatebased for thermoset systems to support the aviation, road, rail and shipping sectors. Advantages lie in the effectiveness for composites and laminates, which enables low concentrations to be used.
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ADDITIVES / MASTERBATCHES Available for sole use or as synergistic formulations with aluminium hydroxide (ATH), Exolit AP enables thermoset resins used in fibreglassreinforced composites to reach high flammability requirements and meet fire standards, such as the new EU railway standard EN45545-2 for interiors, comprising the Hazard Level (HL) 2 and 3 requirements. Composites with the flame retardants are also said to show advantages in smoke toxicity measurements (EN ISO 5659-2) and have in addition low heat release rates. In addition, Exolit grades can be used to formulate intumescent (gel)-coats, to improve the fire endurance of the whole composite part. The additives are suited for traditional hand layup, pultrusion and other techniques. In related news, the Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET) at the University of Lille in France, is undertaking research with Clariant to show that it is possible to use Exolit to achieve flame retardancy for oyster shell reinforced-PP composites. Eurostar Engineering Plastics is the developer of the “green” PP compound. By employing oyster shells as a source of mineral filler, it avoids the environmental disadvantages and high energy consumption of standard mining processes, and contributes to landfill reduction through recycling. In addition to oyster shells, research is also being undertaken on the viability of achieving flame retardancy with flax fillers. Augmenting limitations in films Plastics are not infallible materials: they break, stain or get scratched. Croda Polymer Additives has addressed some limitations by introducing a slip additive that uses new technology to combine the anti-friction benefits of erucamide with the stability benefits of behenamide. The saturated fatty acid amide is said to provide slip levels not achieved by other saturated slip additives commercially used. While traditional slip additives improve film and sheet processing and handling, heat and UV exposure can break down the additives, compromising feel, odour and taste, Croda explains. The UK firm says its Incroslip SL provides slip performance, offers long-term stability against changes in taste and colour in consumer film and sheet as well as anti-scratch and low-blooming properties for automotive applications. Meanwhile, Canadian supplier Trinity Resources has introduced a mineral-based anti-block additive for film production that it says combines the best properties of conventional minerals such as talc and nepheline syenite. Altiblock is an alternative anti-block made from Trinity’s pyrophyllite deposits in Newfoundland, Canada. The mineral is a hydrous aluminium silicate that offers talc-like plate particles and irregular shapes for high blocking performance, clarity, film strength, barrier resistance and thermal efficiency.
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Joule RHB improves infra-red energy absorption in PET preforms to help reduce energy consumption during processing
Lift for recycled material American firm Struktol has new additives designed to boost processing efficiency and performance for plastics containing recycled materials. TR229 is aimed at recycling applications for PC, PC/ABS blends and nylon 6 and 6.6. It also is suited for FDA-approved uses. TR219 for nylon 6 and 6.6, is also effective in PET compounds, especially for recycling where PET is contaminated with other plastics. The two new products combine a compatibiliser and lubricants that help incorporate mineral or glass fillers through improved mixing and flow properties. Struktol says the additives also improve mould release properties, improve surface quality and in some cases bolster physical properties. The new additives complement Struktol’s existing lubricant-based products suited to support recycling and use of regrind for a range of polymers. Since PET has the characteristics for exceptional recyclability, it is the most recycled plastic in the industry. Thus, enhancing further the recyclability of PET, liquid colour and additives specialist ColorMatrix has introduced its patented Joule RHB liquid infra-red absorption technology. By adding this technology to bottle preforms, processors are able to reduce energy consumption by up to 30%, compared with reheat-free PET resin for production cost savings, says the firm. The additve provides energy gains and raw material savings throughout multiple processing steps by improving infra-red energy absorption. According to ColorMatrix, which is a subsidiary of PolyOne, the use of its inorganic, titanium nitride (TiN) means the additive can naturally withstand higher temperatures. Inherent blue toning properties help reduce the appearance of yellowing to maintain clarity, while the additive also retains its reheat capability after long-term recycling. The formulation is manufactured at the firm’s Suzhou plant and is expected to support manufacturers in China and Asia, especially since it has been recently approved for PET food contact applications in China, up to a level of 20 ppm, and for temperature conditions equal to the US FDA’s condition of hot fill use up to 100°C.
Shale Gas / OIL
Is Asia ready for the market? Given that Asia has abundant shale gas/ oil deposits, the lack of infrastructure and technologies related to water supply and utilisation, chemicals and drilling are curbing its potential to clinch a bigger market share in this capital-intensive sector, says Angelica Buan in this report.
he stakes are high when exploring and fracking shale gas/oil, which is a key plastic resin precursor. It has been said that the logistics as well as social costs of unearthing shale may be too heavy for Asian nations to bear. The region could easily reap the rewards, since it is endowed with vast reserves, to bridge the supply-demand gap. But, despite the availability of horizontal drilling, for creating wells, and hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking) for fracturing the tight shale, a type of sedimentary rock with pressurised liquid mixed with chemicals and sand, the region’s shale gas/oil-rich nations are nowhere near accessing it readily and commercialising it. Meanwhile, the shale gas/oil sector in the US is surging on. Natural gas/oil from the Utica and other various shale-based fields throughout the country have seen major resin makers expanding PE and ethylene capacities for the first time in more than a decade. Most of these will be on the US Gulf Coast, but some have been proposed for Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Ohio. Asia Pacific only accounts for 7% of the total global output, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets's latest report. It also forecasts that the region, along with Europe, is expected to produce shale gas on a broader commercial scale by 2016.
China, closest in the race Meanwhile, China has 1,300 trillion cu ft of recoverable shale reserves, compared to the US’s 862 trillion cu ft (based on estimates provided by the US Energy Information Administration). Now, China has not kept up with the US’s production pace of 4.8 trillion cu ft since the boom from 2010, even though it produced 7.062 billion cu ft of gas last year, according to the Land and Resources Ministry. Nevertheless, China’s National Energy Administration has projected that the production surge of 229 billion cu ft in 2015 will rise to 2.8 trillion cu ft by 2020. But the pressure is on for China to hit its production targets and this is set out in its five-year (2011-2015) energy road map. However, inadequate funds and the lack of fracking technology as well as water sourcing and utilisation Shale Gas & Oil Assessment (Identified Asian Countries) could thwart China’s exploration targets. This and the fact that the 4,746 geological feature of China’s basins, 1,115 China 644 which mostly have a high clay 32.2 content, making them more complex than that of the US and thereby 22 5 would require greater logistics to tap. Thailand Risked gas China’s national oil refiner in place (in trillion cu ft) Sinopec recently discovered the 303 Technically Dingye-2HF, a 4,417-m deep shale 46 recoverable gas Indonesia source in Guizhou province in the (in trillion cu ft) 234 7.9 southwest. This is expected to cough Risked oil up 1.5 million cu ft of gas/day but will in place 584 (in billion barrels) require more extensive drilling and 96 India 87 Technically more pipes for the well. 3.8 recoverable oil According to energy information (in billion barrels) provider Platts, it costs about 0 960 1,920 2,880 3,840 4,800 US$14.7 million to drill a single EIA/ARI World Shale Gas Report, June 2013 shale well in China compared to US$3.2 million in the US.
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Shale Gas / OIL 100%
Shale Gas and Oil Assessment (Identified Asian Countries)
Technically recoverable oil (in billion barrels)
Risked oil in place (in billion barrels)
Technically recoverable gas (in trillion cu ft)
Risked oil in place (in trillion cu ft)
40% EIA/ARI World Shale Gas report June 2013
30% 20% 10% 0%
The opportunity to tap China’s energy sector, which has been state-owned and controlled, has become more liberal now that private non-state owned and partly foreign-owned investors are being ushered into its oil and gas folds. One way to offset the high costs of extraction is to set up joint ventures with foreign firms, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni and Total, since a number of foreign firms are beginning to take an interest in exploring the region’s natural gas basins. Premature exploration in India Like China, India is another top potential hotbed. The country is teeming with shale gas/oil reserves, estimated at 96 trillion cu ft. An exploration policy gave the nod to proceed by the third quarter of last year but limited the opportunity to state-owned companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL). Late last year, ONGC started up its Rs6 billion shale gas exploration venture, aiming to complete exploration of 30 wells. ONGC drilled its first well in Jambusar, Gujarat, and is looking at drilling more wells in the Cambay Basin, which is estimated to have 20 trillion cu ft of gas. This was preceded by an MOU signed with Texasheadquartered chemicals firm ConocoPhillips a year earlier. Both firms chartered the Cambay, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery and Damodar basins. ONGC estimates that these four basins would have the amount of recoverable shale gas/oil close to the country’s projection. Apart from the above basins, three more: AssamArakan, Gondwana and Indo-Gangetic, have been identified in a separate evaluation undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. However, the country faces several stumbling blocks, especially since the essential technology implemented is fracking, a process that requires gargantuan volumes of water.
Shale Gas / OIL According to the National Bureau of Asian Research, in 2013, water supply was a major problem in India, stemming from its rapid population growth, inadequate water treatment facilities that fail to supply clean water, and depleting ground water supply, generally due to overextraction by farmers. Conversely, the chemical-laced water used in fracking could flow back to untreated water sources, thus aggravating India’s water pollution problem. Overseas, India has played a key role in the US shale boom. Indian chemicals firm Reliance Industries (RIL) invested about US$3.5 billion into the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shales in 2010, followed by a subsequent investment of US$10.8 billion until 2016. Other big Indian players such as OIL, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and GAIL India are also eyeing the US shale production platform. Indonesia, costly to set-up Contamination of groundwater sources is also among Indonesia’s pressing issues. Local geological data indicates that Indonesia has 60 shale-rich basins. Bereft of technology to conduct exploration and fracking, the former Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member has also put the reserve blocks up for bids, with the government already having auctioned six shale blocks. State-owned oil refiner Pertamina is the first to be granted an exploration contract for a site in northern Sumatra, which is projected to have 16 trillion cu ft of gas. The firm is expected to commence production in 2018. Possessing some 574 trillion cu ft of shale gas/oil in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Papua and Java, the Southeast Asian country has also cajoled the US to invest and transfer technology to the country. Its appeal to investors has yet to materialise, considering that drilling costs of a shale gas/oil well is estimated at US$8 million, almost three-fold compared to the US. Thailand, no domestic exploration Thailand is also investing in the US shale production through its flagship PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP), a subsidiary of state-owned gas/oil firm PTT, and joint ventures to achieve its output range by 2020. The government maintains that the overseas investments are cheaper compared to exploring local reserves – a precursor that shale gas/oil potentials of its four main onshore sedimentary basins, in Khorat Plateau, Northern Inter-Montane Basin, Central Plain and Southern Plains, will be left in a moribund state for the time being. Nevertheless in 2011, an MOU was signed between the Petroleum Authority of Thailand and Statoil to undertake exploratory work on both conventional and unconventional gas deposits in Thailand. Plus, the government is also garnering bids for the Phu Phra block located in Sakon Nakhon province in the northeast. Rest of Asia Other Asian countries, specifically Pakistan, Myanmar, and
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Mae Sot. Tak
Li, Lampoon (Lamphun)
Shale deposits in Thailand
Vietnam are continually seeking to either explore or develop potential areas of shale oil/gas reserves. Citing a 2013 assessment, Pakistan has an estimated total oil reserve of 227 billion barrels; 9.1 billion barrels of which are technically recoverable with today’s technology. Likewise, the country possesses about 105 trillion cu ft of technically recoverable gas out of the 586 trillion cu ft risked total gas reserve. Based on the study, most of Pakistan's shale oil/gas resources are located in the Lower Indus Basin region, particularly in Ranikot and Sembar shale formations. Nonetheless, there has been no publicly available data report on shale gas exploration or development. As for Myanmar and Vietnam, the two countries have already spotted offshore blocks with potential oil/gas reserves. In April last year, Myanmar auctioned its offshore shale oil blocks for exploration and development. Some 30 companies submitted their proposals. Recently this year, major energy firms Chevron, Shell, Total, ConocoPhillips, Statoil, British Gas, and Reliance Industries have been awarded offshore oil and gas exploration rights. Vietnam’s oil/gas sector is an important revenue earner for the country, accounting for nearly 30% of its GDP according to the 2013 oil and gas machinery and services market report of the US Commercial Service. Vietnam’s offshore oil/gas reserves stretch along the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. However, because the country’s reserves are diminishing, particularly in Bach Ho field in the Cuu Long Basin, it has to look for other fields, like shale, to tap. Conclusion Of the 142 shale basins identified in the world, 32 already have infrastructure set-ups, which could relieve initial capital expenditures for shale gas exploitation, according to a 2010 report by the World Energy Council. Nonetheless, more money needs to be pumped into the process, storage and distribution of gas through the pipeline systems, and this is something that Asian countries lack.
Injection Moulding Asia Machinery News
Targeting efficiency in packaging/medical sectors As the pressure to reduce costs continues to rise, efficiency and automation will increasingly become the focus for processors in Asia. It with this in mind that machine makers will exhibit at Chinaplas, showcasing applications for packaging and medical sectors.
Injection moulding machinery • Austrian machine maker Engel will be demonstrating four integrated cells. A Duo 900 machine integrated with the Viper 20 linear robot will showcase automation. It will also exhibit the Foammelt technology, using MuCell, producing oil sumps on a 900-tonne machine. The plastic melt is loaded with nitrogen or carbon dioxide and then injected into the mould, during which time the gas expands in the cavity. The use of raw materials and the component weight are thereby reduced, while at the same time the rheological properties of the melt improved, allowing for sink-mark free parts.
diagnostic systems and feminine care items, and speciality closure applications. Also featured, will be Husky’s unique EASYcube mould technology, which is designed to provide the best platform for moulding multi-material closures. With the recent acquisition of Schöttli, Husky’s goal is to gain deeper mould making knowledge in focused medical applications, as well as develop the expertise to build the strongest melt delivery system in the medical market. In addition, Schöttli complements Husky’s existing closures business and will extend the company’s presence in established and emerging markets. • German firm Arburg will exhibit three Allrounder machines, tailored to the needs of the packaging and electronics sectors. Lossburgbased Arburg has also improved customer support in China with its distribution warehouse near Shanghai, and is now able to deliver individually adapted Allrounders and Multilift robotic systems much faster than before in the region.
Arburg’s Packaging version of the hybrid Allrounder 570H will produce IML tubs
Engel will showcase its Emotion 160 for producing packaging
• Canadian machine supplier Husky Injection Molding Systems, together with recently acquired Schöttli, will focus on the company’s latest mould technology for select medical applications, including syringes, infusion/transfusion products,
To meet the high demands of the packaging industry, Arburg offers Packaging (P) versions of the hybrid and electric Hidrive and Alldrive machines. Arburg will present two P Allrounder 570 H machines. A 180-tonne machine will demonstrate the production of four IML tubs in a short 4-second cycle time. It is equipped with an IML system from French automation and in-mould labelling specialists Sepro
Injection Moulding Asia Machinery News Robotique and Machines Pagès. The four-cavity mould from Swiss manufacturer Kebo is adapted for the highspeed production of IML tubs, while the labels come from Belgian supplier Verstraete. Arburg will also demonstrate the Hotmelt process for overmoulding electronic components on a 25-tonne vertical Allrounder 275V. The thermoplastic Hotmelt adhesives can be used over a wide range of temperatures and feature improved adhesion on polar plastics. This makes them suitable for overmoulding sensitive electronic components in the automotive sector, for example. The low mould cavity pressures required for moulding are a major advantage due to the low melting viscosity of the material. This means that the sensitive “inner workings” of the components remain undamaged and are perfectly protected from environmental influences. An LED carrier will be produced as a demonstration part, with the insert consisting of an LED circuit board and two connector cables. The screw that has been adapted to process the material features a diameter of 35 mm and the injection moulding cylinder is equipped with a needle shut-off nozzle. With the 1+1-cavity mould used, the cycle time is around 110 seconds, which is ideal for a simultaneous manual insertion process.
tonnage. The firm is seeing growing potential for IML technology in the Asian packaging market and is also gaining ground in the Chinese medical technology sector: thanks to the all-electric Elion series, for the manufacture of clean room components. It has installed over 300 systems for PET preforms, closures and packaging parts in China. Though Netstal’s machines are still manufactured in Switzerland, the plant in Haiyan caters to spare parts. During the open house, PET blood collection tubes will be manufactured on a 200-tonne Elion. As a demonstration plant for the beverage industry, Netstal installed a complete PET-Line system with cooling and drying units in China last year. The 400-tonne machine will also produce PCO28 preforms. • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery and its Chinese company Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) will exhibit the hybrid El-Exis SP and hydraulic Systec C. In the production of PE-HD screw caps using an El-Exis SP 420-3000, a 96-cavity hot runner mould will be used for the 1.2 g 28-mm caps with tamper-evident protection for mineral water bottles. A barrier screw with L/D of 25:1 delivers the necessary dosing capacity while a backflow barrier ensures process safety. With the hybrid drive, with activeAdjust optimised movement of all axles and the control NC5 plus; this system achieved a 2-second cycle time at its premiere last year at the K2013. It has been further optimised since then, and claims a cycle time reduction of around 10%. A hydraulic Systec 120-200 C will produce toothed racks from POM. The 16-cavity mould from Kebo allows a 12-second cycle time. The system is claimed to reduce energy consumption, with a servo-pump motor. A Success 11 line robot from Sepro performs the removal of the parts with a quality inspection system from Avalon Vision Solutions.
• Germany-headquartered KraussMaffei will showcase its SpinForm technology on the CXW 200-380/180, producing three-part PP and LLDPE push-pull screw-cap closures for drink bottles in a cycle time of 6.4 seconds. The machine produces these closures fully assembled thanks to the TIM (Total Integrated Manufacturing) technology from mould manufacturer Three-part closures can be produced Zahoransky, allowing on KraussMaffei’s CXW 200-380/180 for various assembly machine processes, irrespective of the tool sequence. This is the key to producing multipart components on just one machine, quickly. It is also possible to screw in parts or check for leak-tightness as integrated, cost-effective functions. The firm is targeting the concept to packaging and medical technology products. A BluePower servomotor and controller actuate the SpinForm machine. With the extension of production at its Chinese plant in Haiyan, KraussMaffei will also have an “open house”.
Hot Runners/Auxiliaries • Having recently established its hot runners business as a strategic priority, Husky will display technology to serve key markets, including consumer electronics, medical, automotive and closures. Among the exhibits include the Ultra SideGate hot runner, Ultra nozzles, and the latest developments in synchronised stem control applications. Also featured will be the latest expansions to the Altanium temperature controller product line, including the recently launched Altanium Delta3 and upcoming Altanium Matrix2. Husky will also be introducing several new products to address the industry’s need for improved thermal uniformity, increased valve stem control, better gate quality and technology to simplify hot runner installation.
• Also in the KraussMaffei group is Swiss machine maker Netstal, which is said to be enjoying success in China with its PET-Line 2400, PET-Line 4000 and Elion 4200 in particular, with the latter expanded to include a larger
• Swiss firm Kistler assures 100% quality and zero defect production in all moulding processes, with its sensors and systems that can measure and analyse cavity pressure 2
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery News during moulding, monitor the process and reduce rejects or separate them immediately upon production. Thus, it will present the COPQ (costs of poor quality) tool that calculates a Return-on-Investment (ROI) if moulders were to install Kistler systems. It also has a new resin transfer moulding (RTM) sensor for identifying filling errors and deviations from the optimum process sequence; and for managing cascaded filling operations for large moulded parts. â€˘ Ultrasonic welding delivers excellent quality at high production speed and is therefore a preferred joining method for injection moulded parts made of amorphous or semi-crystalline polymers. Herrmann Ultrasonic from Germany will display its HiQ series, which incorporates the latest technical advancements. This increases productivity and Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). The ultrasonic process directs mechanical vibrations into the plastic assembly utilising a specific frequency, amplitude, force and duration. The ultrasonic stack consists of generator, converter, transformation piece (called booster) and weld tool (called sonotrode). The generator converts voltage into high-frequency voltage.
By using the piezoelectric effect, the converter changes the high-frequency voltage into ultrasonic waves (20 to 35 kHz). The sonotrode expands and contracts rapidly (20kHz or 20,000 movements/second), thereby introducing the mechanical vibrations into the joint area of the work piece. The vibrations cause friction in the joint area and start melting the material. A short cooling phase under pressure will ensure correct solidification. Since ultrasonic vibrations break up the molecular structure, the parts are tightly bonded, as if they were one piece. The major advantage of ultrasonic technology is the specific energy input, which allows a precisely defined and temporally controlled melting. Through a special joint design the ultrasonic waves are focused directly into the joint zone. The joint design for parts consists of suitable welding geometries with points or edges in the joining area. They are called energy directors and define the direction of the melt initiation. The contact points of the weld geometry prevent large-scale coupling. Good results in terms of strength, tightness and appearance can be achieved if the plastic parts are specifically designed for the ultrasonic process, including all procedural and material features.
Injection Moulding Asia Industry News • US-based Cytec Industries has acquired an equity stake in German engineering, design and process development firm C-CON Holdings. The companies have also signed a joint development agreement to develop novel carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) processing techniques for high volume production for the serial automotive market. C-CON is a recognised engineering partner to several European automotive OEM companies including BMW Group, Daimler, VW and Audi. • PolyOne Corporation says its two new formulations for automotive interior surfaces and instrument panels: Geon VBX 3577 vinyl powder for automotive interior surfaces; and Geon VBX 3600 series for instrument panels with seamless airbags are able to reduce cycle time by 15%. The new materials also provide up to 35% lower scrap rates by enhancing coating consistency, which reduces material bridging and part defects. • German firm Evonik Industries has developed an industrial-scale method for producing silane-modified binders for automotive finishes, increasing crosslinking density, making it possible to create finishes that are flexible yet harder, leading to improved scratch resistance. The breakthrough came with a proprietary manufacturing process for silyl isocyanate IPMS or (3-isocyanatopropyl) trimethoxysilane, which is the critical building block
for producing silanemodified binders. Evonik has been producing IPMS in a new facility in Marl (Germany) since mid-2013. • Following the acquisition of medical and closure mould maker Schöttli, Canadian firm Husky Injection Molding Systems has set up a new combined business unit dedicated to medical and speciality packaging. It will bring together Schöttli technology, the capabilities of Husky’s speciality mould making facilities in Austria and the Czech Republic, aftermarket tooling and services, as well as the Hylectric system platform. • International Automotive Components (IAC) has opened two new facilities in New Delhi and Pune, India. The 80,000 sq ft Chakan facility in Pune allows IAC to expand its local manufacturing support to customers like Mahindra and Mahindra, Mahindra Trucks and Buses, Volkswagen, Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles and Fiat. Meanwhile, the 60,000 sq ft plant in Manesar, New Delhi, produces headliners, flooring, floor consoles, instrument panel components and interior soft trim products for customers including Maruti Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles. • Canadian tooling solutions provider StackTeck has applied its proprietary TRIM (Thin Recess Injection Moulding) technology, demonstrating that conventional lightweight parts with L/T (ratio of length to average thickness)
up to 300 can be made thinner with additional lightweighting of over 40% by weight. Thai firm SriThai Superware used it to design a 64 oz round pail. • Austrian injection machine maker Engel’s facility in South Korea has made 5,000 injection moulding machines since being established in 2001. The so-called milestone machine is the firm’s Victory with ecodrive, which was delivered early 2014 to Flextronics in Malaysia. Engel has thus far delivered nearly 400 machines and integrated manufacturing cells with automation and process technology to the group. • Milacron, a global provider of high-precision plastics processing technologies, is acquiring Kortec, a supplier of co-injection technology solutions to the packaging industry. Customers will have the flexibility to purchase a fully integrated Kortec system, or choose to add a retrofit co-injection melt distribution and control module to their existing injection moulding equipment. Both of these options can transform operations from mono-layer manufacturing processes to complete co-injection moulding lines. In 2013, Milacron bought hot runner maker Mold-Masters, which offers the IRIS barrier technology. Injection moulded barrier packaging has seen significant growth in the last five years driven by cost, quality, shape and productivity advantages of plastic packaging. • US firm Magna International, through its Magna Exteriors operating unit, and Chongquing
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Injection Moulding Asia unit, and Chongquing Guangneng Rongneng Trim have set up a 50/50 joint-venture that will supply the growing Chinese automotive market through a new greenfield facility located in Hangzhou, China. The facility will assemble and sequence front-end modules (FEMs). • Taiwanese provider of 3C (computers, communication and electronic) devices Ju Teng has set up the largest composites part factory in the world to produce smartphone and tactile tablet covers. Ju Teng has already manufactured over 1 million smartphone parts in the last quarter of 2013 and its aim is to increase production rates to 1 million parts/ month. To do this, the US$10 million facility is equipped with French firm RocTool’s rapid moulding technologies and it has invested in 100 assembly lines to increase production rates. The parts are manufactured using composites with thermoplastic resins and reinforced with fibre glass, carbon fibre or other supports. RocTool has also set up a subsidiary in Taiwan and invested in a development centre in Taichung equipped for rapid prototyping and technical customer support. With more than 30% of the market share in the global notebook casing market, Ju Teng is one of the world leaders for consumer electronics. • Germany-based chemicals firm BASF has inaugurated a new plant in Yeosu, South Korea, to strengthen the supply of Ultrason
polyarylsulphone, with a production capacity of 6,000 tonnes/year. It is first of its kind to be built outside of Germany and brings the company’s global capacity of Ultrason polyarylsulphone to 18,000 tonnes/year. Ultrason is widely applied in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries for the production of heat-resistant, lightweight components. As one of the top three electrical/electronic goods manufacturing countries in the world, South Korea is well positioned to benefit from local availability and production of Ultrason.
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• Visteon Corporation is selling its 50% ownership stake in a South Korean automotive interiors joint venture, Duckyang Industry. The sale to certain management shareholders of Duckyang and associated parties for the equivalent of about US$24.1 million is expected to be completed in April after closing conditions are met. In addition to the US$24.1 million from the share sale, Visteon expects to receive approximately US$5.9 million in dividends. Based in Ulsan, South Korea, Duckyang manufactures and develops original equipment interior components for vehicles. Meanwhile, early this year, Visteon pumped up its automotive electronics business by purchasing Johnson Control’s electronics unit for US$265 million. It makes instrument clusters, infotainment displays and body electronics. Instron Singapore Pte Limited 3A International Business Park, ICON @ IBP #06-16, Singapore 609935 Tel: +65 65860838 | go.instron.com/plastics
Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Industry
Asian FTAs: balancing the pros and cons for the automotive industry Asia is at the forefront of Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
FTAs in the Asia-Pacific region
activities. There are more than 500 FTAs in the region, some of which are in effect and the rest are in the midst of being implemented. The FTAs are meant to give equal benefits to signatory parties, or are they, asks Angelica Buan in this report, highlighting FTAs in ASEAN and other Asian countries.
FTAs with South Korea anada and South Korea’s nearly decade-long talks for a free trade agreement (CKFTA) have finally been settled to an affirmative conclusion. South Korea, the world’s 15th largest economy, is expected to boost Canada’s exports to Asia by at least 32% and vice versa. As for tariffs, the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada organisation details that South Korea’s 8% tariff on vehicles will be eliminated immediately upon the agreement’s implementation while Canada’s lower 6.1% tariff on imports of South Korean passenger vehicles will be phased out in three annual cuts. Nevertheless, the pact has been opposed by a few private sector groups led by Unifor, Canada’s 39,000-strong automotive workers union. Ford Motor (Canada) has also slammed the said CKFTA and warned of its adverse impact on the local automotive sector. The said sector is also reeling from competition with Mexican production since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Mexico and Canada came into effect in 1994. Observers opine that Canada’s large vehicles, including vans, sedans, and SUVs, do not appeal to South Korean consumers and that the CKFTA is unlikely to encourage more vehicles being shipped into the Asian country. However, other automotive makers with plants in Canada, including Toyota Motor, Honda Canada and GM Canada, have expressed their support for the deal. Meanwhile, South Korea’s own automotive sector is wary of an impending FTA with China, which if implemented would unlatch the door for China’s low to mid-priced cars, as well as foreign cars from the likes of Volkswagen, Benz, and BMW that are manufactured in China.
The two countries recently held the tenth round of negotiations on the bilateral FTA since 2012. In earlier talks, China had hinted that it would close its local car market, and classify it as highly sensitive sector. South Korea also has an FTA with the US. Signed in 2007, the KORUS-FTA is expected to generate more jobs and stimulate exports of American-made cars. However, like in Canada, a number of US car giants including Ford and Chrysler, and the United Auto Worker (UAW) union were against the KORUS-FTA, but it was eventually revised to gain the consent of automotive OEMs and workers groups. Australia is also securing FTAs with its three largest export markets, including South Korea and China, as well as a pact with Japan. Nevertheless, Australia has also observed a trade imbalance with its South Korean FTA. Since Australia will eliminate duties on South Korean imports of vehicle, including tyres, once the FTA comes into force; while levies on automotive parts will be cut in phases of three to five years, local cars are likely to compete in sales against South Korean cars. Correspondingly, South Korea will immediately scrap the 8% tariff on automotive part imports from Australia. Against this backdrop, General Motors Holden and Toyota Australia are planning to close their Australian manufacturing operations by 2017. 6
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Industry Meanwhile, Australia is also set to finalise FTAs with Japan and China, within the year. The two-way trade pact with Japan (which, according to reports, will be less comprehensive than the KAFTA) will be worth around US$58 billion annually. A key proposition by Japan is the elimination of the 5% tariff on automobile imports into Australia. The latter country also has bilateral agreements with Singapore and Thailand. ASEAN taking pot shots at FTAs he ASEAN region is a hotbed for FTAs with more matured markets. Although ASEAN is not the axis of automobile production, key vehicle makers including Toyota, BMW, and Ford have set up production plants in the region. The region’s solid investment policy for the automotive industry, competitive labour costs and the vast number of automotive components manufacturers have drawn interest for trade partnerships. Moreover, the region has a sizeable consumer base for cars. By 2015, car ownership in ASEAN could reach close to 40 million and shoot up to 55 million by 2050, predicted the Frankfurtheadquartered Deutsche Bank.
Meanwhile, research firm Frost & Sullivan stresses the significance of ASEAN as a cluster, likewise projecting that the region is likely to be the fifth largest automotive market in the world by 2019. Malaysia’s car sector shaping up alaysia’s 2013 FTA with Australia (MAFTA) places the Southeast Asian country at an advantage, with the zero-tariff on its local car Proton exported to Australia, which is its ninth largest trading partner that generated two-way trade worth US$17.7 billion in 2012. For Australian firms, the MAFTA will eliminate tariffs on automotive parts and components and on medium to large engine cars imported from Australia. Along the same vein, Malaysia’s automotive sector posted record sales of 652,000 units in 2013. Local vehicle makers Perodua and Proton led the sales. Foreign cars such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda also showed significant sales increases during the year. The country’s National Automotive Policy (NAP) also provided incentives, initially to prop up the local automotive sector, after foreign car sales trailed close behind local car revenues.
Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Industry But a newly rehashed policy is shaping Malaysia as the regional hub for energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs), to set it apart from Thailand, which produces pick-up trucks and other vehicles. Among other objectives, NAP is also geared to promote the country as manufacturing destination for foreign car and automotive parts firms as well as generating more jobs for local workers. By 2020, NAP expects to replace 20% of foreign workers with local manpower.
Cars from Toyota and Mazda that are shipped from Thailand are big sellers in Australia. Conversely, Australia-branded cars such as the Holden Commodore have only seen local patronage. On an unequal footing he Philippines inked its first bilateral FTA with Japan, the JPEPA, in 2006, and it came into force in 2008. It is also part of the ASEAN FTAs with China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand. To date, the country is involved in ongoing talks with possible FTAs with the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Similar to its regional kin, the agreements have been met by mixed reviews. For those opposing, the FTAs expose the country’s manufacturing sectors to unfair trade with China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and other Asia Pacific neighbours. The influx of cheaper commodities, in lieu of higher priced locally produced items (food, wearable, and consumer electronics) due to higher manufacturing costs, is a nail in the coffin for local producers who cannot compete, try as they may. Already a hub for automotive assembly, parts and components, the Philippines anticipates a growing investment interest. According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the ASEAN economic community (AEC), to be set up in 2015, sets the stage for the country to become the next important Asian spot for retail and automotive parts exports, as well as aircraft maintenance and repair. Meanwhile, provisions from JPEPA have drawn the ire of sectors affected by the imbalances it causes. With the deal, Japanese corporations are allowed to own land as well as assume certain businesses and operations, which are contrary to Philippine laws. Almost 200 tariff lines from the agreement have been crossed out by Japan while the Philippines excluded only six. The automotive industry is among one of the vulnerable sectors that are being short-changed in the deal, according to local manufacturers, referring to the provision of allowing free entry of Japanese automobiles into the local market. Manufacturers say that such move contradicts the Philippines effort to boost the local automotive industry, and a far worse scenario, could threaten some 500,000 workers in the plastic, glass, electronics fabrication, metal, and other related segments, out of their jobs. Completely built up (CBU) units, especially the Japanese automotive brands, will also be favoured under the agreement, considering that it is more feasible to import now than to assemble, say Philippine manufacturers.
Detroit of Asia at risk of losing status he Thai automotive sector is vital to the country as it accounts for 10% of the total GDP. It has a production capacity of 2.75 million vehicles and employs 500,000 workers. It even has a 2012-2016 Master Plan for the industry. What could tarnish its “image”? Entangled in political haywire, Thailand is at the brink of losing its grip as an automotive manufacturing hub in the region. Known as the Detroit of Asia, Thailand is losing out on investment opportunities to Indonesia and the Philippines due to the latter two countries’ more stable politics, lower debt levels, and ample labour force. Economic analysts are also skeptical if Thailand will be able to beat its GDP of 2.9% last year. According to the Board of Investments (BOI), Thailand has six FTAs with Australia, China, India, New Zealand and the ten member countries of ASEAN. These could have favoured Thailand as an investment destination; with exports of electronics, vehicles and automotive part, increasing significantly. It also has ongoing negotiations for an FTA with the EU, but this is being held up due to the country’s fragile political situation. Nonetheless, since the Thai auto industry is deeply ingrained and humongous, it continues to benefit from certain FTAs. An example is the one with Australia (TAFTA). Reports indicate that Australia’s automotive imports from Thailand showed a drastic increase, from 5.4% between 2000-2004 to 17.2% in 2010. This has positioned Thailand as Australia’s second largest automotive source, after Japan. Meanwhile, Japanese car makers (that export to Australia) pumped up their investments into Thailand to maximise their production capacities in the region, instead of shipping from Japan. On the other hand, the FTA has created an imbalance for Australia’s car sector. Industry insiders from Australia say that the TAFTA created a onesided benefit – to the detriment of its local car sector. With the TAFTA, Thai vehicles enter the Australian market without any restrictions, however, Thailand has imposed secondary restrictions, to totally prevent Australian vehicles from being sold into the Thai market.
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Japanese rubber/polymers maker Toyoda Gosei has set up a new company having acquired assets from Germany-headquartered automotive rubber parts maker Meteor Gummiwerke K.H. Bädje. Meteor makes sealing parts, for luxury cars, and weatherstrips and other rubber components for Daimler, BMW, Audi and other European car makers. It manufactures these products at two plants in Germany and one plant in the US. • Malaysian firm Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plans to build a RM45mil rubber processing plant in Myeik, Myanmar, through a joint venture with Pho La Min Trading. It is targeted to have a capacity of 24,000 tonnes/ year when it is set up in 2015. Subsequently, the company plans to build another plant in Mon State. FGV is also looking at brownfield activities in Cambodia, Indonesia and Africa. • Global materials company Styron is doubling its S-SBR production capacity of one train, after reaching an agreement with material supplier Japan-based materials firm JSR to acquire its 50% production capacity rights at Styron’s world-scale rubber production hub in Schkopau, Germany. Styron’s Schkopau production site currently hosts eight world-scale rubber trains that supply tyre customers around the world. • ExxonMobil Chemical will build a 140,000 tonne/yearfacility to manufacture premium halobutyl rubber at its recently expanded petrochemical complex in Singapore. Completion is anticipated in 2017. With 75 years of experience in butyl rubber production and sales, the US company is a major supplier to the global tyre industry.
According to ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook, the global number of cars and light trucks is expected to double by 2040 to 1.7 billion vehicles, which supports much of the growth expected for halobutyl rubber. • German automotive supplier and tyre maker Continental has concluded an agreement with US-based Carlyle Group to purchase Veyance Technologies for EUR1.4 billion. With 27 plants and 9,000 employees, Veyance operates globally in the field of rubber and plastics technology and in 2013 had sales of EUR1.5 billion, around 90% of which were outside the automotive industry. • German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess and South Korean Hankook Tire are teaming up to develop synthetic rubber technologies for highperformance tyres. Both firms have maintained a close partnership since 2008, when Hankook Tire awarded Lanxess a long-term contract to supply S-SBR and Nd-PBR. The market for high-performance tyres is growing due to the introduction of tyre labelling in South Korea, the European Union and Japan. Lanxess is also currently building the world’s largest Nd-PBR facility in Singapore, expected to come on stream in 2015. • Having identified acrylonitrile (AN) and S-SBR for fuel-efficient tyres, Asahi Kasei Chemicals, in its joint venture plant with Mitsubishi Chemical, is optimising the naphtha cracker in Mizushima, Japan, by 2016. Meanwhile, Asahi Kasei currently has AN production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes/year at four locations in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. It will shut down one AN plant in Kawasaki, Japan, this year while the 100,000 tonne/year-AN plant in
Mizushima will be dedicated to the production of other products. As for SBR, the firm has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes/year at its two plants in Japan. The firm will close the latex plant in Mizushima in 2015 and just operate the Kawasaki plant. • Yokohama Rubber has opened its first tyre manufacturing unit in Haryana, India. The first phase of the Rs300 crore plant will have a capacity of 2,000 tyres/ day, with a peak capacity of 8,000 tyres/day. While tube type tyres still contribute a considerable share of the total passenger car radial market, Yokohama is only competing in the tubeless market. • Hankook Tire expects to break ground later this year on its US passenger and light truck tyre plant. Hankook expects to have initial capacity of 6 million tyres/ year at the facility, which will rise to 11 million to 12 million units after the second phase of the plant is completed. • German firm Evonik has opened its expanded production for precipitated silica in Rayong, Thailand, increasing its capacity for the automotive industry in tyres, food and animal feed industry as well as the paints and coatings industry. • In 2004, Taiwanese rubber injection machine maker Tung Yu started a collaboration with French injection moulding machine maker Rep International, which has been established since 1948. The cooperation was based on the technology and sales channel cooperation to become the strong strategic alliance in the field. To date, Tung Yu says the most satisfying success of this collaboration has been the creation of a win-win game for both companies. Tung Yu and Rep work in two ways: providing
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News The RT9 machine from Tung Yu
technical cooperation and trade market sharing. This year being the tenth year anniversary of the cooperation, Tung Yu now sells machines in over 60 countries via 30 worldwide agents. Rep International has also been able to break through into markets like Japan, China, and Southeast Asian countries through the efforts of Tung Yu. • German chemicals firm Rhein Chemie, a wholly owned subsidiary of speciality chemicals company Lanxess, achieved global sales of EUR346 million in fiscal 2013, a slight increase over the previous year (EUR344 million). Lanxess group generated 9% lower sales of EUR8.3 billion in 2013. • Connell Brothers (CBC), the largest distributor of speciality chemicals and ingredients in Asia Pacific, has partnered with Lehigh Technologies, a US speciality materials company that is privately held and backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, NGP Energy Technology Partners and Leaf Clean Energy, to market Lehigh’s PolyDyne micronised rubber powders (MRP) to the tyre and rubber industries in Japan and South Korea. MRP
is produced from end-of-life tyres and post-industrial rubber. Lehigh claims its MRP has already been used to make more than 250 million tyres globally, and its customer base includes six top tyre companies in the world. • The global market for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is expected to reach USD230 million by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research. The global SBR market was 5,000 kilotonnes in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2014 to 2020. Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of SBR in 2013, accounting for over 46% of global demand, based on the growing automotive industry in China, India and Japan. Tyres were the single largest application segment for SBR market accounting for 73.5% of global consumption in 2013, followed by footwear, which is expected to witness significant growth on account of superior performance offered by SBR in sport shoe soles. In addition, the increasing price of natural rubber has created a crossover opportunity for SBR. The implementation of tyre labelling regulation in the EU, Japan and South Korea, is expected to augment S-SBR demand. EU regulations have made it mandatory for all manufacturers to label their tyre for wet grip and rolling resistance and this requires the use of S-SBR along with Nd-PBR filler. It is expected that China and India would implement tyre labelling regulations in line with the EU regulations by 2015, which is expected to have a positive impact on S-SBR sales in near future. • Sumitomo Chemical has started up a new 40,000-tonne/year S-SBR manufacturing plant in Singapore. The firm says the
market of S-SBR is seeing a rapid demand growth as a raw material for high-performance, fuelefficient tyres amid increasingly tightening regulations worldwide on automobile fuel consumption. Given the prospect that the demand for S-SBR is likely to continue developing in the medium to long term, Sumitomo Chemical has located the new S-SBR plant in Singapore because of various advantages the country offers, including its geographical proximity to the vigorously growing Asian market, and availability of a stable supply source for the raw material butadiene. The S-SBR is manufactured by the company’s proprietary process technology and advanced polymer modification technology that is a key to achieving higher product performance. The Japanese firm will also expand its S-SBR business globally with increased production capabilities at the new plant in Singapore and its future expansions that are now under consideration, along with the existing 10,000 tonne-year plant in Japan. • In the US and the Netherlands, US biotech company Kultevat and KeyGene, an international molecular genetics company specialising in agricultural biotechnology, have developed the first Russian dandelion lines that can be tested and used for latex extraction. Following a rigorous breeding strategy leveraging its molecular and DNA tools, KeyGene produced improved Russian dandelion with superior agronomic performance, latex quality and yields. A recent capital investment will enable Kultevat to finance its testing, cultivation and production programme. Kultevat plans to coordinate all activities related to dandelion production through its new US R&D facility.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Sector
Tyres in the sky The “disappearance” of the Malaysian
Ty r e m aintenance hile experts debate on what ex a c t l y c a u s e d the mishap on Malaysia’s flags h i p c a r r i e r , t he incident has spark ed a wak e-up c a l l f o r t h e aviat ion indust ry . Not only are t he av a i l a bl e t echnolog ies for t he sect or b eing pu t un d er scrut iny , b ut lik ewise t he qualit y of a i rc ra f t maint enance is also b eing hig hlig ht e d . Ty res, which b ear t he full load of t h e aircraft especially during landing , seem t o be a fact or in t he list of common causes o f a v i a t i o n disast ers. There have b een incidence s o f bl ow outs or burning tyres in airplanes, c a u s i n g loss of pressure, hydraulic failure, s t r u c t u r a l damage and loss of aircraft control. D u r i n g taxiing, tyres must provide a stable, c u s h i o n e d ride while resist ing heat g enerat ion, a bra si o n and wear. At take-off, the tyre struc t u r e m u s t be able to endure not only the aircra f t l o a d but also the forces generated at high a n g u l a r velocit ies. Landing requires t he t y re t o a bsorb impact shock s while also t ransmit t in g h i gh dy namic b rak ing loads t o t he g round . A l l of t h i s must b e accomplished while providi n g a l o n g, dependable, reliable, service life. Thus, an important part of aircraf t maintenance is that tyres should be c h e c k e d f o r cy cles, pressure check s and underg o regul a r maint enance inspect ions. Just lik e t h e a ut omo t i v e sect or where proper air pressure ma i n t en a n c e is a must for t y res, even for an airline i t i s required t o achieve opt imum perform a n c e o f i t s tyres. It not only enhances the tyre l i f e , l a n d i n g performance b ut also schedule reliabi l i t y. Not only airplane tyres are vulner a b l e t o cruising risk s. According t o t he 2012 repo rt undert ak en b y t he US Natio nal Hig h w a y T ra ffi c Saf ety Adm inistr atio n (NHTSA) on t y r e - r e l a t e d pre-crash fact ors, “t y res should b e in go od condition, in order for a vehicle to h a n d l e s a f e l y and t o use fuel economically .” It stresses that regular monitoring a s w e l l as maint enance of vehicle t y res can prev en t road disasters such as what tyre blo w o u t s o r failure (due t o under or over inflat io n , bel ow recommended pressure or inadequat e t r e a d dept h). What t hese challeng es conclud e i s t h a t tyres must be maintained.
Airlines Boeing 777 on 8 March 2014 has provoked several possibilities. While not connected, this incident highlights that maintenance of aircraft tyres is important. Aviation tyres represent another small but high margin niche market, since it is also the most technically demanding, with the tyres on commercial jets having to sustain loads similar to large earthmovers, but at speeds more common to Formula 1 racing cars. Even so, there are three separate markets, each with specific and different requirements: commercial, military and general aviation, says Angelica Buan in this article.
i r t r a n spo r t has s hown c ons is ten t growt h f o r mo r e t h an 50 years . H owever, there a r e i n c r e a si n g p res s u res on th e ind us try, wit h c h a n g e s i n i t s s truc tu re and th e c om p os it ion o f it s f l e e t s. T h is will in evitably affec t the d e m a n d f o r t y r es in terms of quantity and, m o r e i m po r t a n t ly, d es ign q u ality. N e v e r t h e l e s s, headed for a brighter horizon, m a r k e t a n a l y st s s u gges t that the global aircraft t y r e m a r k e t i s p ois ed for growth. Ma r k e t r e se arc h firm L u c in tel’s forecast for t h e i n du st r y t h rou gh 2020 s ugges ts m oderat e gr o w t h o f 3 . 2 % th at is ex p ec ted to reac h an e s ti m a t e d US $ 1.1 billion d uring the p eri od. It s a y s t h a t a n i n c reas ed d elivery of c om mercial, m i l i t a r y a n d g eneral airc raft will s p ur the d e ma n d, l e d a l so by th e rep lac em en t in dust ry . T h e r e po r t e x p lain s th at c om m erc ial airline p a sse n g e r t r a f f ic is ex p ec ted to grow over t he n e x t 2 0 y e a r s t o 1.3 billion by 2030, yielding gr o w t h o f l a n ding an d take-off p lan es , which c o n s e q u e n t l y will increase demand for aircraft t y r e s du e t o w ear an d tear.
Taking a lo o k inside an air cr af t ty r e ircraft tyres fall into two distinc t t echnolog ies: b ias (also k nown a s c ross pl y) and radial. Bias and radial tyres are s i g n i f i c a n t l y
MARCH / APRIL 2014
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Sector
d i f f e r e n t t o e a c h other and both tec h nolog ies o f f e r o p e r a t o r s features and benefits that m i g h t b e c o n s i dered agreeable for particular a p pl i c a t i o n s. T h e airc raft tyre is a c om p osit e s tr u c t u r e o f t h r ee bas ic m aterials : ru bber, n ylo n c o r d a n d s teel. W h i l e ma n y of the c om p on ents of bias a n d r a di a l t y r e s have th e s am e term in olog y , e a c h t y p e h a s unique components reflecting t h e d i f f e r e n t t e chnologies applied to design, c o m po u n ds a n d m aterials .
Radial aircraft tyre
The bias ply tyre
The b ias ply t y re consist s of casing pl i es running diag onally at approximat e ri gh t a n gl es t o one anot her. The numb er of plies a n d t h e angles at which they are laid dictate s t r e n g t h a n d load capacit y . The lat est hig h-perfor ma n c e bi a s ply aircraft tyres feature inter-tread r e i n f o r c i n g fab ric (ITF ). This provides addit iona l h i gh speed stability, reduces tread distort i o n u n d e r load, protects the casing plies from d a m a g e a n d can act as wear indicat ors on ret read a bl e t yres. According to Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (DAT), bias
Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Sector tyres are currently the most popular tyres fitted by the world’s fleet. Radial aircraft tyres differ to bias aircraft tyres in that the plies all run radially from bead to bead at approximately 90 degrees to the centre-line of the tyre. Angled belt plies are laid between the tread and the top casing ply, resulting in a flatter tread and adding strength to the tyre. Radial tyres can offer low weight but tend to be less retreadable than a bias ply tyre and can exhibit weaker sidewalls. What makes aircraft tyres unique is that they are made under stringent conditions, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA). The Maryland-based organisation shares that every tyre is thoroughly constructed and inspected to ensure it complies with the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Technical Standard Order (TSO)C62. In this effect, there is no such thing as a “bad tyre”, AOPA says. For these tyres to meet heat tolerance and required adhesion specifications, close to 100% natural rubber (NR) is required to produce the tyres, according to the Ohio-based Programme for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA), which is also undertaking R&D of alternative NR sources, such as the Russian dandelion and guayule, for aviation tyres. Meanwhile, retreading plays a particularly important role in aircraft tyres, since they are subjected to extreme stresses. Aircraft tyres have to withstand a huge strain at speeds of over 250 km/hour and undergo retreading after around 150 take-off and landing manoeuvres. Retreading can take place up to ten times, according to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA), which also says that testing procedures are naturally very stringent here, and safety takes top priority. The retreading of aircraft tyres has been the industry standard for commercial airlines for many years and is said to be a standard operating procedure for the military.
Michelin will equip Boeing’s 737 Max 7 and 737 Max 8 with its radial aircraft tyres featuring NZG technology
supplier for Boeing’s 737 Max, the new version of the world’s top selling commercial airplane. Michelin will equip the 737 Max 7 and 737 Max 8 with its radial aircraft tyres with NZG (Near Zero Growth) technology. NZG radial technology promises competitive advantages such as up to 50% more FOD (Foreign Object Damage) resistance; more than 20% reduction in weight compared with a bias crossply tyre, which translates into significant fuel savings for airlines; and up to a 100% increase in the number of landings compared with a bias cross-ply tyre, which means less maintenance downtime for aircraft operators. The 737 Max 8 and 7 aircraft are scheduled to enter the market in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Current combined orders stand at more than 1,300 airplanes. Meanwhile, BF Goodrich was an equally prominent figure in the global tyre sector, but when it divested its tyre business in 1988, Michelin acquired its aircraft tyre division the following year. Inclusive of the deal is the use of the BF Goodrich name. Another major player is Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (DAT), the world’s only dedicated aircraft tyre manufacturer and retreader that exports about 80% of its products, with a large bulk going to the Asian market. Birmingham-based DAT has a tyre distribution and retreading facility in China, Dunlop Taikoo (Jinjiang) Aircraft Tyres. Air carriers from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan are being served by the Jinjiang facility. Confessing to weaker sales in the UK and Europe, it leverages on the strong sales of military tyres to Asia and the Middle East. At the recent Singapore Airshow, DAT showcased its new radial tyres for regional aircraft, including the Embraer E-Jet and ATR72. The lighter weight of the tyre can offer improved landing life, it said.
Aviation tyre market passes with flying colours he extreme demands put on an aircraft require tyres that are highly engineered and precisely manufactured. As such, there are only a handful of manufacturers in this sector. Among the key players in the industry is French tyre maker Michelin, which supplies bias tyres, radial tyres and tubes for the worldwide aviation community. It has an Asian base in Thailand and says it is a full service tyre supplier for all aviation markets worldwide. Michelin has been selected as an OEM tyre
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