PRA May 2012 Issue

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

業界 新 聞 公司 簡 介 : Dyneema 全速啟航









In this issue 26


Volume 27, No 190

publlshed slnce 1985

IMA 3 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 14 公司簡介:Dyneema 全速啟航 20 Italian Machinery and Technology Italian machinery makers are basking in the limelight of sustained growth with higher Asian exports, especially to countries like China

24 Thermoforming Energy savings will be a focus from thermoforming machinery displayed at PlastMilan

26 Country Focus Indonesia is expected to be the next growth area in the ASEAN region and this was the draw factor for foreign companies exhibiting at the recent Indoplas show in Jakarta, Indonesia

30 Chinaplas Review Major materials suppliers at the recently concluded Chinaplas show in Shanghai were focusing on global megatrends, diversifying through new technologies and sustainable solutions to address the challenges that are arising from these trends

32 Corporate Profile DSM Dyneema’s UHMWPE fibre is making inroads into Asia

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Staff Writer Lyn Cacha Email: Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email: Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email: Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email:


ISSN 1360-1245

MICA (P) 134/08/2011 KDN PPS 1700/12/2012 (028142) Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd

Regulars 概 要 4 Industry News 8 Materials News 10 業界新聞

Supplements 概 要 Automation is the way forward for reducing costs New developments in the glove industry reflect a gradual shift to the use of synthetics

On the Cover Extrusion machine makers Omipa, Macchi and Bandera; and auxiliary equipment supplier Piovan will put on display their latest offerings at the upcoming PlastMilan exhibition in Milan, Italy

PRA is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2012 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

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


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Industry News

Firms in M&As in Europe and the US


erman materials provider Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has acquired the remaining shares in the 50:50 systems house joint venture Baulé from Eximium, established in 2008. According to Baulé, the acquisition will allow it to expand the potential for cast elastomers. In the US, BMS is acquiring French firm Arkema’s polycarbonate sheet business to further strengthen its position in the market. The company already operates sheet production in the US, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Italy as well as China, India, Korea and Australia. The acquisition will include Arkema’s Tuffak products used in areas such as aerospace, transportation and heavy equipment. Another German firm BASF Venture Capital has invested US$2.7 million in FRX Polymers, as part of a financing round worth US$26.7 million. FRX Polymers produces non-halogen, organic flame-retardant polymers, which are seeing high demand in electronic sheet and LED light diffusers. Middle East-based film maker Taghleef, is buying US film producer Applied Extrusion Technologies (AET). Taghleef, which has six facilities in the Middle East, Australia and Europe, has an output of 260,000 tonnes/year of BOPP film. AET runs two plants making BOPP films for food packaging, product labelling and


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non-food applications. Austria-based Greiner Packaging International has purchased the PPcup producing arm of Hipol, the Serbian state-owned industrial conglomerate. Greiner said the acquisition will strengthen its presence in Southeast Europe. Hipol operates a 35,000tonne/year plant and manufactures industrial components, consumer goods and plastics packaging. In the machinery sector, US firm Milacron has been acquired by equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors from Avenue Capital Group. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Milacron manufactures and supplies machinery and turnkey systems for the plasticsprocessing technologies and metalworking fluids. With renewed financial stability and support from CCMP, the company expects to continue expanding its market share, extending global reach and investing in technologies to meet customers’ needs worldwide. Another US firm Danaher is acquiring colour measuring and matching equipment supplier X-Rite and Pantone for US$625 million. In 2011, X-Rite had sales of US$237.6 million from measurement systems, software, colour standards and services. X-Rite bought Pantone in 2007. It serves sectors like the plastics, printing, packaging, photography,

graphic design, video, automotive, paints,

textiles, dental and medical.

Evonik debuts new acrylic lens package for CPV optics


ermany-based firm Evonik has launched a complete acrylic lens package called Plexiglas Solar Pre-Fab lens panels, which is designed to provide access to Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) optics while cutting costs and manufacturing time. Produced through Evonik’s proprietary CPV acrylic lens manufacturing processes, these panels are part of the Plexiglas solar product portfolio, which is made up of specialty polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) compounds and sheet products for solar applications. The panels provide excellent light transmission, high mechanical strength, low weight and high resistance to weathering and UV light. Combined with the Secondary Optical Element (SOE), it creates a complete optical train

package for assembly directly into CPV modules to allow users to forego the expense of purchasing the tooling device needed to create the product as well as avoid the installation downtime of several months. The package also utilises the patented Fresnel-Köhler optical design of Light Prescriptions Innovators, a US-based optics company and harnesses the precision tooling and prescription replication capability of 10x Technology, a manufacturer of microstructured polymer substrates. “This is a great example of how we continuously enhance our products to deliver our best value and performance to our customers,” says Peter Marks, new business development manager of Evonik’s Performance Polymers Business Unit.

The lens panels serve as the primary optical element, which collects light over its entire area

Industry News

PC plant and R&D in China


inopec Sabic Tianjin Petrochemical Company (SSTPC), a joint venture between Sinopec and Sabic, has laid the foundation for a new PC plant at the Tianjin Binhai New Area. With a capacity of 260,000 tonnes/ year, the facility is expected to be operational in 2015. It will produce mixed grades as well as optical, extrusion and moulding grades, utilising non-phosgene technology, which complies with China’s national energy saving and carbon

emission policy. Demand for PC is the fastest among the top five engineering plastics. In 2010, China consumed 1.13 million tonnes against the domestic output of 220,000 tonnes only, relying heavily on imports. It is expected that demand for the polymer in China will reach 1.78 million tonnes by 2015, an average annual increase of nearly 10%. In related news, Sabic will invest US$100 million to build

Chairman of Sabic, Prince Saud bin Abdullah, and Sabic ViceChairman/CEO, Mohamed Al-Mady, seen here at Sabic’s Technical Centre ground breaking ceremony with officials from China

a 60,000 sq m technology centre in Kangqiao, east of Shanghai, including an automotive research hub. To be completed in 2013, the centre will also

house 200 scientists and engineers, who will focus on advanced engineering plastics materials that can be used for a broad array of applications.

RTP inaugurates technical centre in Shenzhen


S-headquartered TPE compounder RTP has opened a 2,400-sq m technical centre in Shenzen, China that will provide services such as technical support, colour development and material evaluation, which are vital in the production and development cycle demands of global OEMs and product designers in Southern China and Hongkong. Moreover, the centre, the company’s second facility in China and third in Asia, will also double as the regional hub

for RTP’s pool of experts. Among the centre’s edge is its capability to produce customengineered compounds as well as colour and additive masterbatches in shorter lead times, says the centre’s Operation Manager, Johnson Goh. The opening was graced by the company’s guests and dignitaries from the US. A tour to the centre was also offered to guests to see the modern facilities. Hugh Miller, RTP’s CEO and President capped the

event with a remark.”The long-term partnerships RTP has established with our customers is the fuel for our growth that enables us to invest in

additional resources like our Shenzhen Technical Centre and ensures RTP Company will continue to provide advanced material solutions,” he said.

RTP’s technical centre in Shenzhen

Dow restructures and expands R&D in Europe


n response to the continued weakness in the European economy, US firm Dow Chemical is implementing cost reductions and closing plants in Europe and US as well as cancelling a selection of capital projects and implementing workforce reductions. The chemical firm says it will save US$250 million


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a year, in addition to the US$500 million cash flow that it has in 2011 from cost interventions. About 900 positions will be eliminated worldwide. It is shutting down three plants that produce foam insulation products in Portugal, Hungary, and the US; and the Netherlands plant will be idled. Dow will also close its TDI plant in

Brazil and consolidate other assets in its PU and epoxy businesses over the next two years. Meanwhile in Europe, responding to extensive growth in the use of elastomers for adhesives and flexible membranes, Dow has enhanced its testing capabilities at its Swiss technical centre. Among the new capabilities

are a Nordson coating and lamination line to evaluate the processing performance of hot melt adhesives and to prepare samples for adhesion testing; and a 25 mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder combined with a flat-slit die and threeroll calender for direct extrusion of flexible membranes.

Industry News

News In Brief FDA overrules BPA ban The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban bisphenol A (BPA) from food-contact materials. FDA says there is no scientific evidence to show that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe. Instead, the FDA is looking into alternative materials. This is a relief for organisations like American Chemistry Council that says the over-ruling is evidence that BPA is safe for use in food-contact materials. Erema scores in Asian markets Austrian manufacturer of recycling systems Erema had a higher order intake of 70% last year, which was also 30% above the previous record order intake of 2007/2008. According to Marketing Manager Gerold Breuer, Asia accounted for around 20% of the total sales, with India, Japan and China countries high on the order books. Its consolidated group turnover for 2011/12 was EUR127 million, an increase of 40% compared to the previous year. Erema produced 200 recycling systems and 100 components (such as screen changers and pelletisers) last year.

PE wax plant running A new plant for the manufacture of oxidised polyethylene (PE) waxes has started up at BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. PE waxes are used as lubricants in the processing of plastics such as PVC to prevent the plastic from sticking to the hot surfaces in machinery. According to the company, global demand for high-quality waxes and oxidised waxes is growing due to the increased production and processing of plastics. Liansu enters Canadian market Liansu Group Holdings, one of China’s large pipe extruders, is broadening its business with the launch of a new unit to make home building products such as doors and windows, and setting up a sales subsidiary in Canada. It is also planning to add 330,000 tonnes in production capacity. The company’s sales last year rose by 31% to reach US$1.61 billion. BASF to make PUs in India BASF is setting up a new chemical production site in Dahej, in Gujarat. Valued at EUR150 million, the new plant will be an integrated hub for PU manufacturing and will house production facilities for care chemicals and polymer dispersions for coatings and paper. The site will produce Elastollan TPU, Cellasto NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) parts and

PU systems. According to the company, India’s changing demographic profile and the resulting need for improved quality of life are driving increasing market demand. The new facility will employ more than 250 people at full capacity. Production is expected to commence in 2014. Celebrating in style in Thailand In conjunction with its 45th year in Thailand, Dow Chemical opened its production complex in Rayong, Thailand. The US$3 billion complext is a joint venture project between Dow, SCG and Solvay and the firm’s largest manufacturing base in Asia Pacific. The project includes an advanced naphtha cracker plant operated by Map Ta Phut Olefin, and downstream facilities to produce PE, speciality elastomers, propylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide, operated by Solvay. Rosy outlook for PET packaging The global market for PET used in packaging is expect to grow to almost 19.1 million tonnes by 2017, with an annual growth rate of more than 5%, says Pira International in its latest report. This year, Asia Pacific will account for 29.4% of world PET packaging consumption, followed by the US with 24.1% and Western Europe with 19.7%. Developing countries in Asia

Pacific, South America and Central and Eastern Europe will be the demand drivers for PET packaging due to growing household incomes and replacement of traditional pack formats by PET bottles. PET packaging in the US and Western Europe is expected to decline in the coming years. China top destination for German machines China continues to be an important market for German plastics and rubber machine manufacturers. In 2011, exports value increase by 30% to reach EUR766.4 million, making it the industry’s highest volume of experts ever to a single country, according to the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association. East Asia recorded a strong growth of nearly 50% and deliveries to South Korea rose sharply by over 82%, ranking the country sixth among the most important markets in 2011. Orders from customers in Taiwan also showed an above-average increase of over 33%. In South East Asia (23%), Thailand again took the lead from Indonesia. Asia’s share of German exports as a whole rose to over 38%, while German exports of plastics and rubber machinery rose by 30.5% to reach EUR4.32 million in 2011.


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GREEN Materials News

Living in a greener world Asia is en-route to a bioplastics industry with Thailand in the lead. Meanwhile, companies are coupling their technologies and looking at materials like eggshells and human hair for bioplastic alternatives! Thailand bolsters bioplastics production In a bid to become the bioplastics production centre of the region, Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) is laying the groundwork for a pilot plant, regulations and industrial standards and global accreditation. The TISI will also establish a biodegradability testing laboratory and certifying system in Thailand on a par with DIN Certco, the German bioplastics certification body. More importantly, the National Innovation Agency has partnered with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA) to develop an upstream pilot plant for bioplastics with investment capital of US$9.7 million. Private investors will be invited and the pilot plant will be built by 2015, with a production of 1,000-10,000 tonnes/year. Along with the plant’s inception, TBIA is raising awareness and acceptance of bioplastics among consumers, selecting Koh Samet island in Rayong province as a prototype project to showcase bioplastic products. Residents will be urged to use biodegradable bags to improve their waste-disposal habits, while plans call for beefing up the campaign this year with the use of biodegradable plastic utensils to replace foam and glass. In addition, an organic fertiliser plant has been established on the island for disposal of bioplastics. Koh Samet normally produces 3-7 tonnes of waste during the tourist season. Coupling technologies After two years of research, US firm BioAmber has scaled up its hydrogenation catalyst technology under license from DuPont and converted its bio-succinic acid into 100% biobased 1.4-butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). The firm estimates that global market for BDO, THF and GBL, which are used to make PUs, spandex, polyester and biodegradable plastics, is worth more than US$4 billion. The company has a bio-succinic acid facility in France and is also developing an integrated plant engineering design that combines the production of bio-succinic acid and biobased BDO on a single site. Dutch firm DSM Functional Materials and Empresa Brasileira de Biotechnologia (Ebrabiotech) of Brazil are working on introducing castor-oil based materials for the concrete floor coatings market. The two companies plan to develop future materials that will offer sustainable new low-carbon footprint solutions for aquaculture and structural steel protection applications.


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Turning eggshells and human hair into bioplastics A team of UK scientists are hatching a plan to turn eggshells into plastics. Partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet has awarded £20,000 towards the project being conducted at the University of Leicester that is looking at how to extract glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), proteins found in eggshells. GAGs are used in numerous biomedical applications and could prove useful in the pharmaceutical industry. Human hair may become a The team is also hoping part of plastic products to identify ways to use the eggshells as fillers, to bulk up different grades of plastic. The ultimate goal is to use the eggshells in packaging to protect egg products – giving a second lease of life to the eggshell in the very role it has been created for.

Scientists are working on using eggshells to form bioplastics

Meanwhile a French designer Thomas Vailly has used human hair and mixed it with glycerine and sodium sulphite to create what he describes a “bioplastic resembling leather”. He says that the material is biodegradable and flexible and can be formed into cups, lamps and mirror frames. The objects were created for a project called Contemporary Vanitas, which is part of Vailly’s thesis work for the Design Academy Eindhoven. The designer promotes the idea that everyone will deteriorate and breakdown as we age so why not use the materials that we shed to create more lasting objects.

GREEN Materials News Free, new tool speeds up green claims A new tool that can help sort through green claims and virtues of plastics materials of different origins will be available this year for free. Called Polymers Environmental Calculator, the web application tool can calculate and compare processing costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of products made from petroleum and biobased plastics. Developed by the biopolymers and biocomposites research team of Iowa State University, the tool provides information that can help manufacturers and consumers determine which plastics minimise environmental impact and costs. The new calculator was developed in cooperation with partners Nypro and M-Base Engineering + Software, who assisted with software design and information about plastic products and manufacturing. Users will be able to select from 12 common petroleum and biobased plastics including PET, PE, PS, PLA, and PHA and enter additional plastics or enter specific information from suppliers. They will also be able to define processing costs, such as part size and overhead costs, and determine final end treatment for the product including recycling, incineration or landfill. Commercial products use bioplastics US compounder Teknor Apex has developed Biovinyl flexible vinyl compounds incorporating Dow Chemical’s phthalate-free Dow Ecolibrium biobased plasticisers, manufactured using plant by-products. The compound has already been used for a line of flip-flop sandals produced by US-based Okabashi; a range of shoe welting by Barbour Plastics; and tuffseal interlocking floor tile from Flooring Adventures. Targeted applications include automotive window encapsulation and instrument panel skins; medical tubing, masks and collection bags and commercial p r o d u c t s . C o m p a r a t i v e d a t a c o m p i l e d b y Te k n o r Apex indicates that the global warming potential of Biovinyl is half that of polyolefin resins and is lower than that of PLA. The cumulative energy demand of Biovinyl, including feedstock and processing, is the lowest in comparison with a wide range of plastics. The compound is also derived from naturally occurring vegetable substances that are not used for food.

Wires and cables will be a targeted application for Biovinyls

Canon’s new document scanner is made of Sabic’s Xenoy with PCR content

Canon Electronics has selected Sabic Innovative Plastics’s Xenoy iQ ENH resin with up-cycled postconsumer recycled (PCR) content for the housing of its new imageFormula DR-M160 highspeed document scanner. The resin incorporates chemically up-cycled PET resins from discarded water bottles. Canon previously used a PC/ABS material without any PCR content for its scanner housings. The new resin provides the scanner with robust non-brominated, non-chlorinated flame retardance (FR) that complies with several eco labels and also allows for multi-colour moulding capability. Australian firm Cardia Bioplastics is keeping busy developing products from its Biohybrid t e c h n o l o g y. T h e f i r m r e c e n t l y l a u n c h e d w h a t i t says is the world’s first food contact compliant and fully recyclable Biohybrid container for the global nutritional supplement market and cosmetics industries. It is currently working with both a US manufacturer of plastic containers and a major nutritional supplement company to launch its Biocontainers into the US market. Cardia estimates that the packaging (including containers) for this industry alone represents a multi-million dollar business opportunity.

Cardia’s biocontainers for the nutritional supplement and cosmetics markets

Meanwhile, Cardia has also clinched an annual supply contract, valued at US$500,000 for hygiene f i l m s w i t h a U S - b a s e d d i a p e r p r o d u c t s c o m p a n y. To complete the product offering, the diapers are packed in an outer packaging also made using the same technology.


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新聞 業 界

由 Engel 機生產的綠色瓶蓋


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採用 Dyneema 製造的繫泊絞車

Italian Machinery and Technology


Italians gear up for plastics show with new offerings Over the past two years, the plastics and rubber machinery industry in Italy has achieved stable growth, according to Italian industry association Assocomaplast. Exports and production values were mainly fuelled by market demand from China, Germany, France and the US. In 2011, export value increased more than 20%, with Asia accounting for 19.2% of exports, and production value grew by 11% to hit EUR4 million. It is against this backdrop that Italian technology providers will introduce value addons to attract visitors to this year’s PlastMilan exhibition, to be held from 8-12 May.

More biodegradable, recyclable materials Besides promoting healthy living and sustainable transportation, cycling will become greener as Portugal-based Polisport has developed a biodegradable water bottle for cyclists. It is made from API’s Apinat bioplastic that performs just like PP or PE but decomposes under controlled composting conditions. Polisport says it has produced thousands of biodegradable bottles using extrusion blow moulding without modifying the equipment. Compounder Finproject will present Biolevirex (polyolefins) and Biofinpro (PVC) materials that can be used in multiple markets and are compliant with EU94/62CE for aerobic biodegradation. In machinery, granulator maker Exact has developed a system for recycling EVA edge trims produced from EVA roll stock used for manufacturing solar panels. Integrated with an extrusion line, the system recycles without the use of heat, thus allowing the recycled trim to be turned into sheet. Once the EVA film enters the unit, tension is controlled with a dancer system and the material is compressed. With thicker materials, heat is required for improved Exact’s new machines for recycling EVA compression. The material is then cut film trims into small wafers that are transported and mixed into the extrusion process. The closed loop system does not require additional handling of the chip, minimising cross contamination. Technopoly, a static and rotary machine specialist, is currently developing a special head to handle PU granules obtained from waste material. It will also showcase its latest mini head for micropouring as well as special heads for mixing PU that are said to be easy-to-use and self-cleaning. Having invested 5% of its sales into R&D, granulator maker Gamma Meccanica will show its GM65 Compac pilot line for recycling. It is made up of a cutter, GM65 extruder and filter. The cutter-compactor comes with the Ecotronic controller that allows materials with a residual moisture up to 15% to be recycled; a constant temperature with up to 40% energy savings and no use of water. For dry, non-degassing materials, a non-vented extruder can be used. Alternatively, an extruder can be installed with the standard double degassing vents. An in-line viscometer undertakes real time viscosity measurement.

Besides developing a PU waste handling system, Technopoly will introduce a new line of machines for the production of technical items



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Italian Machinery and Technology Expanding speciality materials Having worked together since 2005, chemical distributor Tecno Sintesi and Singapore-based McKinn International will set up an Asian office to market speciality chemicals to Southeast Asia and China. Though the office location has not been stated, the companies plan to market germanium catalysts, TiO2/PETbased masterbatch, ammonium polyphosphate and other specialities.

Italmatch’s FRs can be used in a range of products

Italmatch Chemicals will present its new Phoslite flame retardants (FRs) based on inorganic phosphinates. These undertake three different flame-retardant mechanisms, of gas phase, char forming and radical activity, in one molecule. The FRs can be used in injection moulding, extrusion and fibres and are adaptable to masterbatch production. Other characteristics of the low-halogen FRs are the low smoke toxicity and opacity, high GWIT values and ability to overcome large scale testing. New Phoslite grades recently developed are available for engineering polymers like PA6 or PBT as well as for PC and alloys, TPU, TPE and epoxy resins. Latest machines for blown/cast film and foil/sheet Extrusion machinery maker Bandera will feature a three-layer blown film line for multi-layer film applications in technical flexible packaging (lamination, heat shrink and stretch hood films). Designed to produce 15200 micron film with a winding width of 2,600 mm, the line has an output of 700 kg/hour. It comprises a 100-mm extruder and two 65-mm extruders, with a 400-mm die equipped with a new cooling ring. A supervisory system with PC integration and a double-station winding system complete the line.



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For producing rigid foil/sheet for thermoforming, Bandera will show a three-layer line for processing PET/PP/PS/PLA. It will be equipped with the latest co-rotating L/D 52 twin-screw extruder, featuring melt purification and a horizontal cooling and polishing roll stack calendar. This is equipped with a cross-axis system for extruding thin PET foil and thick PET sheet with a width ranging up to 1,420 mm. The line has an output of 1,200 kg/hour and will be equipped with an in-line film lamination system; a latest generation fully automatic winding and reel collection system and a supervisory system with PC integration. Another extrusion machinery maker Dolci Extrusion will present its latest cast stretch film line for producing ultra-thin films with a speed ranging from 500-600 m/ minute for 8-12 micron film. With a 2-4 m net width, the line features an updated version of the firm’s Rotowind 2000 automatic winder for producing hand and machine rolls on 2” and 3” carton cores. Dolci will also introduce a cast film line based on a multi-section chill roll for the production of film for lithium ion batteries. Based on PP and polyolefin blends, the film is used as a separator between the anode and cathode. In blown film technology, the firm will present its three to seven-layers Extru-Convert combined line for extrusion and converting. It will also showcase a multi-layer MDO blown film line for modified atmosphere and freezer bags. Converting equipment solutions Web guiding system maker Re Controlli Industriali will unveil a film centring checking system with fish-eye sensors for bubble extrusion web guides. Mounted at a suitable distance from the film, it is able to read the film edge. Two sensors are connected to the new MWG10 web guide check with its LCD display and function keys that allow easy change of parameters. Powered by stepping motors, the

web guide has no maintenance. Printing machine maker Moss will present the SMV-3 multi-colour silk-screen printer operating at an output of up to 150 pieces/minute. Controlled by a PLC with digital bus field system and servomotordriven, the machine works in sync with the container rotation. The company will also feature its Hybrid decoration unit with linear motor-driven printing and electronic control. Other equipment on display will be hot stamping, digital transfer and cameras for quality control. Rotomark will exhibit a 700mm wide and 30 m/minute speed embossing line for 0.5-5 mm thick PVC and ABS films. It comes with “intelligent” features such as the ATC (Automatic Temperature Control), allowing detection of temperature and automatic adjusting of IR power. Corona surface treatment maker Ferrarini & Benelli will present new patented heating systems for pipe extrusion and the Atmospheric Plasma Treatment, a process that enhances wettability properties of polymer-based materials and metals for good adhesion of inks, glues and coatings. Bfm will present a servodriven bag making machine. The BM250 W-EL 800 model will be configured in wicket stacking with eight rotary arms and a vacuum system. It can also be configured to six rotary arms for 600-mm bags and eight rotary arms for 400-mm bags. The machine is suitable for processing HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE and PP bags for diapers and bakery products as well as freezer and grocery bags. The line has an un-winder unit for 1,000-mm diameter reels and an automatic edge guide unit. Bfm’s new wicket bag maker


ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PARTNER? BANDERA IS THE ANSWER. The advantage of selecting Bandera as a pre-eminent partner for the design, production and installation of innovative and customized lines for the production of film and foil for thermoformed packaging applications turns into higher end product quality, lower operating costs, care for energy savings.

Top production rates of the extrusion section even with the maximum foil width Optimized foil thickness tolerances with lower thermoplastic material consumption Highest available thickness range (from 0,12 to 1,8 mm for PET; from 0,27 to 2,4 mm for PP) Higher planarity, verified and adjusted by the polishing and cooling rolls motorized cross-axis system Higher safety and efficiency in the in-line PE or PE/ EVOH film lamination process Higher flexibility in the use of different raw materials thanks to a bigger-sized cooling circuit Utmost foil transparency thanks to innovative roll surface cleaning systems

HALL 15 BOOTH A37 - B38


Lower product waste during the initial production threading phase Lower energy consumption in the motorization of the independently actuated calender rolls Minimum operating risk level thanks to the complete mechanical and electronic safety tuning during production Minimum maintenance requirements thanks to the interchangeability of the outer calender rolls



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Italian Machinery and Technology Mobert, a developer of welding machines for bags on roll, will present the Nastrosac welding unit. With a patented system for inserting the draw tape, it will be completed by a four-station winder for reduced cycle time. With an output of 250 cycles/ minute, Nastrosac can produce bags in a roll with side sealing and draw tape and also bags with bottom sealing. The line consists of a 1,100 mm reel holder with motorised reel lifter. Profile/pipe equipment and tooling Pipe/profile machine maker Sica, which celebrated its 50 years in business this year, will present the Duet 200 in-line planetary cutting machine that cuts and chamfers PP, HDPE and PVC-U pipes up to 200 mm-diameter. In addition to the standard disc and chamfer models, there are also the Duet/K versions (for swarfless knife cutting) and Duet/C (for chamfering and knife cutting without producing chips and dust inside the pipe). The Duet 125 can produce 500 mm-length pipes at an output of 2,300 pipes/hour.

Sica will also display its Multibell 75 in-line belling machine that sockets by means of an oven with recirculated and thermoregulated hot air; for doubleextrusion lines for PVC-U pipe

Eprotech, a producer of extrusion tools, will be presenting its window profile and panel tooling that are able to process a wide range of materials at an output up to 700 kg/hour. Its die system, with separated heater bands, is designed to follow the rheology of the materials to be



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processed. Extra heating zone systems are added to improve the gloss of the profile surfaces while a calibrating system allows for high output of window profiles.

Piovan will showcase its Modula dryers

Gamut of auxiliary equipment In dehumidification, Piovan will showcase the Modula trolleymounted system. Made up of the DP644 dryer and PTU1000, PTU800 e PTU600 hoppers, unlike traditional central systems, the system automatically adjusts and controls all operating parameters for each individual hopper, hence reducing the energy use. This is made possible through specific software that interfaces the settings for each hopper with the data collected by the sensors installed on the system. The firm will also showcase its Lybra gravimetric and volumetric dosers for dosing masterbatch additives and recycled material. Introduced at K2010, the machine is now available in different configurations to meet specific requirements. Lybra GR is suitable for masterbatch dosing in PET applications while for precision injection moulding, extrusion and blow moulding, new Lybra solutions, both gravimetric and volumetric, with two and three stations, will be on display. In feeding and handling, Piovan will showcase its Easy3 System material receivers and Varyo vacuum units for compressed air-powered granule conveying that regulates loading cycles to eliminate mechanical stress on the polymer and reduce energy use. Mould conditioning systems and innovations in refrigeration complete Piovan’s display.

In feeding systems, Wamgroup will showcase its loss-in weight system for handling powders and granules. It comprises a micro-batch feeder with a body made of stainless steel and Sint engineering polymer, a stainless steel feeder pipe and drive guard and platform scales on a microprocessor-controlled load cell. When feeding and metering small quantities, the MBF-BE system is able to assess variations in weight and adjust the feed rate by varying the speed of both discharging and feeding devices. Internal mixer specialist G3 will show a hydraulic hopper as an alternative to the traditional pneumatic hopper. The firm says besides reducing energy and maintenance costs, it provides a uniform and repeatable working pressure in the different mixing stages. It can be installed for use in any brand of internal mixer.

PGV’s new equipment is designed for small batch operations

PGV will present its FUN 9000 equipment for nylon, a material where humidity needs to be restored before being used. Said to be the smallest appliance in the range, it is suitable for small production batches. Another novelty will be a dehumidifier that dries granules using a rotorcassette system. It can be paired with traditional drying hoppers from the firm’s GL range.



Italian Machinery and Technology

Moretto’s Eureka system is made up of the OTX hoppers

Moretto will display its Eureka dehumidifier for PET drying, based on its X Max, Flowmatik and OTX technologies. The modular X Max dryer allows for large drying systems up to 20,000 cu m/hour, with up to 32 drying hoppers, without the use of compressed air or cooling water. The integrated Flowmatik, meanwhile, enhances air distribution in the multi-hoppers, supplying the exact quantity of process air needed by the hoppers. OTX hopper, which comes in a new shockproof Spyro finish, allows for uniformity in material flows, managing the drying phase by keeping the process inside the hopper under control. Round-up of PU machinery Magma s.a.s di Paolo Guaglio will showcase dosing machines for twocomponent high pressure mixing with an output range of 3-20 kg. The self-cleaning, pneumatic mixing head is moved by linear tracks to render a speed of up to 2 m/ second. By using special adapters, material can be sprayed or cast. The hydraulically-driven volumetric pumps reach a 150 bar pressure. A

Magma’s machine for adhesive and bicomponent foam spraying and coating



MAY 2012

touchscreen panel allows working and control parameters to be managed, including resin delivery and machine cycles. Foam equipment maker Tec Mac exports almost all its output like the Isolblock foaming plant for producing TDI or MDI-based flexible foam, rigid foam for insulation as well as PIR, semi-rigid and phenolic foams. Isoltec, meanwhile, is multi-purpose high pressure spray equipment for applications such as roofing, building insulation, pouring, gluing, priming for PIR panels, waterproofing, elastomers, coatings and polyurea. The fully automated TML-A is a cutting unit for rigid/flexible PU foam.

Tec Mac Isolblock equipment

Another equipment maker SAIP will present its new elastomer casting machines for processing prepolymer-based MDI elastomers. The EL series lowpressure machines are available in a range of outputs and ratios, with modularity allowing up to five components and colour dosing lines. Impianti OMS will introduce its continuous and discontinuous plants that help enhance the thermal and fire properties of flexible, metal and rigid boardfaced composite panels. Testing solutions for improving processing Instrument producer Gibitre will be presenting a UV-absorber ozone concentration measuring device. Another novelty is the low temperature check instrument (for testing TR and brittleness) in a new, more compact structure. Other new equipment include a tensile tester with new 2 KN structure, with the thermal chamber directly controlled via the instrument control software.

Plastiblow’s blow moulder enables the recovery of kinetic energy

Electric blow moulders take centre stage Plastiblow will exhibit its ten-year electric technology. The PB10E/SXL single-station servodriven blow moulder, with a three-cavity mould, is able to produce 5 l canisters. It is equipped with a 90 mm extruder with a forced feed zone and a triple head with 240 mm centre distance. Other features are the field bus architecture for the connection of various electronic components that allows digital transmission of signals; precise synchronisation of electric axes and a real-time diagnostics and supervisory system. The machine is also equipped with a module that enables the recovery of kinetic energy of the carriages during deceleration, converting it into electrical energy that is returned to the line. Meccanoplastica, meanwhile, will display its HL electric extrusion blow moulder, said to be noiseless. The 6tonne machine, with 350 and 400 mm carriage strokes, is able to produce 3 l containers. During the show, it will be equipped with a triple parison extrusion head (120 mm centre distance) to produce 350 ml HDPE oval-shape cosmetic bottles. The firm will also present its 18-cavity Jet55/L electric injection

Meccanoplastica will showcase its HL350 all-electric blow moulder

Italian Machinery and Technology blow moulder shown producing 5 g, 10 ml PE bottles and the Mipet1P two-step electric stretch blow moulder producing 750 ml PET bottles using PET preforms. The latter is manufactured at the firm’s facility in Barcelona. ST Soffiaggio Tecnica will showcase machines for producing automotive components. Using suction blow and 3D three-axis technology, its blow moulders can produce complex-shaped parts with minimal wastage. A 20-tonne machine with a 70-mm extruder and 2 l accumulator head will be shown. The area where the mould is mounted is completely free of any obstacles thus allowing for easier mould installation. Rotomoulding takes on a green theme Sustainability is being applied in all machinery facets including rotomoulding. Caccia Engineering has designed a machine with an exhaust gas modulation (EGM) system for the dispersion of gasses to help reduce the carbon footprint as well as cost and energy consumption. The EGM is realised through a variable speed extraction fan, which operates in line with the load percentage of the digital burner and is monitored through a software. In addition, a turbo fan system increases the total efficiency of the combustion

and heating equipment of the oven by up to 10%, with an overall savings of 38%, compared to competitors, says the firm. CNC machinery cuts into blade making, too Pagani, a specialist in aluminium moulds, will showcase its CNC machines for large moulds as well as three or five-axes machines. Other machines to be featured are for PU injection moulds as well as rotational, thermoforming and compression moulds. Granulator blade maker Povelato will present its new line of specially coated blades and high strength materials. It utilises CNC machines for blade milling and grinding, with treatments predominately carried out with furnaces in a controlled environment, giving the material a uniform structure that provides the blade with high resistance to wear and mechanical stress. Equipment for liquid refrigeration Frigofluid will exhibit equipment for the refrigeration and temperature regulation of process fluids. The firm says its equipment reduces power consumption and downtime. Products to be exhibited include air-condensed chillers with axial or centrifugal fans, 6 kW to 600 kW chilling power range; air-condensed chillers with inbuilt free-cooling system, 30 kW to 600 kW

chilling power range; compact watercondensed chillers, 6 kW to 600 kW chilling power and free coolers with axial or centrifugal fans, 45 kW to 600 kW. Staying cool will be highlight of Frigosystem’s exhibit with its new range of chillers. Raca Plus Energy are equipped with the R410 ecological gas for energy savings of up to 35% compared to the R407 conventional gas. The models come with multicircuit and multi-compressor systems and are available from 50 to 1,200 kW of nominal cooling power. The new line also comes with the i-Remote local and remote supervision system. Kite is another product highlight from Frigosystem. It is an air and water chiller for blown film extrusion. It is available with one, two, or three air outlets and water thermoregulated connections. Making industrial cooling processes more energy efficient is Castello d’ Agogna’s goal for its latest products. It will display its Adcooler that combines the heat efficiency of an adiabatic system with the energy savings of a dry cooler. It is suitable for all industrial processes that require water. Taking advantage of the evaporation of a small quantity of water, the Adcooler is able to achieve near wet bulb temperatures. During the show, the product will be presented in a self-draining version that empties automatically.


Forming machinery highlighted New thermformers that boast of energy saving features will share the spotlight at the forthcoming Plast Milan show. In addition, moulds and CNC machining centres for thermoformers will be showcased.

Brushless motors for energy CMS’s BR5 saving machines thermoformer is equipped with Italian firm CMS’s new BR5 brushless motors thermoforming machine is equipped with brushless motors to replace the previous pneumatic or hydraulic systems for moving the mould plate, with the clamp and plugassist features allowing energy reduction of up to 30%. The brushless motor brings all the advantages of digital drives that feature CNC machines also supplied by CMS. Furthermore, new heating cards are made and designed for the thermoforming process (no general use) by CMS, with a modular field bus, DIN rail-mounted with power inlets for electrical connections for easy maintenance and electro-fan with power management features up to 2000 W per channel. Founded in 1969 and with offices in the US and Europe, CMS has a turnover of EUR75 million. Besides thermoformers, it manufactures CNC machining centres, cutting robots and waterjet systems. Another company that will parade a revamp of its brushless motor thermoformer at the Plast Milan is Comi. Its single-station all-electric LaborForma is equipped with brushless motor for the working platen and is configurable with various accessories and options. Designed for the refrigeration, sanitary and automotive sectors, the machine boasts features like the quick mould changeover system (10-15 minutes).

Machines for thermoformed packaging Union Officine Meccaniche will exhibit its TR160S extruder, with a venting system and a 45-degree inclined calender for the production of PET sheet from 100% bottle flakes and recycled materials, without the need for drying and crystallisation. The extrusion line will produce PET sheets for thermoformed packaging for fresh produce in Europe. Its TR130S extruder, complete with a PP sheet plant, is designed to work in-line with a thermoforming line for food packaging for a customer in the US. Switzerland-based WM Wrapping Machinery will present at the show the FC 780E IM/2 Speedmaster Plus, a new version of its roll feed, vacuum-pressure forming machine with steel rule cutting. It also features a four-column forming station, with a closing force of daN 75,000, also suitable for incorporated cutting in the same forming mould. It also incorporates new linear guides for positioning the cutting press and stacking stations. The transducers have been replaced by absolute encoders and the pneumatic system has been brought in line with the usage by considerably reducing the intervention times of the various functions. Other features of the Speedmaster Plus include a new processor for management and collation of recipes. The new generation B&R PLC uses a digital interface and automatically manages the auto-setting of the cycle parameters on the basis of the few elements requested by the operator. WM has also integrated a regenerative power system that regenerates Union’s extruder produces PET sheet from the kinetic energy produced during motor decelerations by reinserting bottle flakes it into the network, resulting in energy savings. Another new feature is



MAY 2012

Thermoforming the structure of the heating ovens and positioning according to the material pitch, with the heating zones divided to best adapt the system to the type of material to process. Moreover, WM will also showcase the FT-700 punch and die thermoforming machine with tilting platen and automatic robotised stacking system, catering to a mould size of 705 x 400 mm, a 150-mm forming depth and a closing force of 40,000 daN. Auxiliaries and moulds for thermoformers TechMill, a subsidiary of Comi, is displaying LaborMix, a five-axis compact design working centre used both for trimming of thermoformed pieces and for milling of models in soft materials such as polystyrene; as well as for the machining of parts in carbonium with a slight thickness. It will also display the LaborShape machining centre that combines thermoforming and turning in a single machine. LaborShape is a six-axis machining centre for the high speed machining on aluminium and light alloys. Milan-headquartered Termostampi, which specialises in moulds for thermoforming has developed a 116 mmdiameter mould for yoghurt containers with a capacity of up to 1,000 g. Made of PP the container is thermoformed at a high temperature of up to 160°C to maintain high output. The mould cuts with a punch and die simultaneously and is managed by the Pro Engineer CAD 3D system. After the customer’s approval on the item’s drawing all the forming parts like inserts, bottoms, plugs (which give the PP foil a shape) are drawn. Since in this case there was the need to seal in the aluminium and with a proper lid for the container, it was necessary to make two different versions: one with a flat edge and other with a sealing rim. This made it necessary to modify the down holder that pushes the edge in certain points according to actual shapes desired by customers. The mould has ten cavities (two rows, five columns). The column system is complete with guiding bushing on the lower part (in the past it was common to find a single or double column system), allowing for better centring between the upper and lower part when it is closed. The mould is able to produce 10 cups/cycle with 30 cycles/minute and an overall output of 18,000 pieces/hour. Termostampi says it has a thermoforming machine that allows it to try out the moulds before shipping and to research on materials and treatments. Its forming elements are in aluminium with anodisation treatment for hardening while the cutting parts are in steel K110 and are treated with distension and temper to reach the required hardness.

Termostampi’s mould for thermoforming yoghurt containers

Country Focus

Is Indonesia ready to go global? The recent Indoplas/ Indopack 2012 exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia, featured a number of foreign exhibitors and with the plastics industry expected to grow by 6% this year, PRA’s reporter, Oriana Titisari, is certain that the country is ready for global reach.

Machine maker Krauss-Maffei was promoting its preform technology



MAY 2012

Raring to go This is not the first year that Indonesia has held its own plastics and packaging exhibition. In fact, this will be the eighth year in a row for Indoplas and the seventh for Indopack. However, never before has the world taken such a huge interest in Indonesia. “The truth is we’re already late. Indonesia in the last two to three years has proven itself to be one of the most promising countries in Southeast Asia. Of course, countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are also booming but Indonesia has the biggest growth projection. That is why we did not want to hesitate any longer to stage a show in Indonesia,” stated Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf Asia, which organised the show in conjunction with local partner Wakeni. Gernot also pulled out big numbers from his presentation. He stated that Indonesia today accounts for almost 40% of ASEAN’s GDP and population. It is certainly ASEAN’s largest market, especially for the packaging industry as well as in other sectors, too. “We will be seeing major industry growth in many sectors, including the automotive, food and beverage, building and construction sectors,” Gernot added. Hence, the exhibition attracted 220 foreign companies from 19 countries. Not only that, this year’s show also had the participation of national pavilions and groups from Austria, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan, making the “Going Global” theme an appropriate one for the show. But is Indonesia’s plastics market ready to go global? Budi Susanto, VicePresident, Business Development, of Inaplas (Indonesian Olefin, Aromatic and Plastic Industry Association) provided some answers to this question. “Last year, the consumption of plastics increased to 2.8 million tonnes and it is expected to average a growth of 5-6%. This growth is similar with the GDP growth in Indonesia.” However, he also voiced concerns that the industry had been worried of the global rise of crude oil prices as this would mean more expensive plastics and lower demand. An increase in oil prices was expected in the country by 1 April but the government had to cancel plans to increase subsidised oil prices by 33% due to countrywide protests and demonstrations. The price hike had been proposed to lessen subsidy costs, with the government arguing that it could not pay for the fuel subsidies that consumed 15% of the state budget in 2011. Meanwhile, the government has passed an amended bill that will allow it to raise prices if the six-month average Indonesian crude oil price is 15% above the US$105/barrel assumption used in the amended 2012 Indonesian government budget. With the price hikes on the backburner for the time being, the plastics sector is expected to soar. “We expect that this year the industry will consume more than 3 million tonnes of plastics,” added Budi. This number is unbalanced because the country’s production capacity is only 2.5 million tonnes. Hence, the rest (500,000 tonnes) will have to be imported from other countries. Expressing a similar optimistic enthusiasm as Budi, Arianna Susanti, the Business Development Director of IPF (Indonesian Packaging Federation), shared her opinion with PRA. “Indonesia’s packaging market is valued at US$4.6 to US$4.9 billion. And its growth rate is expected to be around 7% for the coming 12 months. Moreover, the food and beverage industry in Indonesia is expanding. Last year, it reached 684 trillion rupiah. Since the F&B industry accounts for 70% of the packaging sector, we are very optimistic of future growth,” said Arianna.

Country Focus German domination in packaging One of the highlights at this year’s show was the country pavilions, with Germany taking the lead with the largest number of exhibitors. This is not surprising, since Germany has a 20% market share for packaging machinery globally. “In Indonesia, around 37% of the packaging machinery is from Germany. We are your country’s biggest trading partner,” stated Vera Fritsche, Manager (Packaging Machinery) from the German machinery association VDMA. Budi from Inaplas said, “Indonesia’s plastics industry is not in its infancy. The reason why Indonesians are investing heavily in European machines is because we are looking for good quality. We are no longer seeking out cheap machines just to get by, but really to invest in quality.” So we asked this question to several key players retailing the German brands. Did they also see Indonesia as a potential market? First, we spoke to the representative from Hosokawa Alpine. This German company consists of two divisions: powder processing and blown film processing. “We are here to meet our customers, discuss their requirements and meet new customers. We believe that Indonesia is a potentially big market. And though it is not currently a big market for us, it will be in the future. Our biggest market is still Europe, and Asia is next in line. But

Hosokawa Alpine’s booth at the show



MAY 2012

Andritz, a large industrial group with an annual turnover of EUR300 million. Two years ago, Andritz entered the plastics sector when it acquired technology and assets from the former DMT France. Said Andreas Kollenda, Sales Director Asia, “We are very optimistic that we can compete with more mature players in the industry. Besides Thailand, Indonesia is an interesting market for our Biax film machinery so we are here to promote our lines.”

Kreyenborg showcased its screenchanger

within Asia, we could say that China is number one and Indonesia is number two,” said Joachim Oberbauer, Director, Film Division Asia. “Last year, we sold six lines in Indonesia. So Indonesia is a good market for us. In fact it is our biggest market in Southeast Asia. Our machines are all made in Germany and we have three engineers working in Indonesia. So we can guarantee that our customers in Indonesia will be assured of after sales service,” stated Christian Kistinger, Project Manager, from Reifenhäuser Kiefel that specialises in film extrusion machinery. Raymond Wong, Area Sales Manager, from Kreyenborg said that the firm was participating for the first time at the show. “Our technology has been around for 50 years but it hasn’t been introduced properly to Southeast Asia. In fact, we just launched the backflush screen changer. We believe customers will appreciate it, because our systems are known to last. And part of our plan in participating in the show is to source for agents and to give support to our Asian customers.” Diversity in plastics and packaging Even though the German machinery makers dominated the show, there were other companies from other parts of the world keen to get a slice of the pie. One of these was Austrian firm

Andritz's Andreas Kollenda was promoting the firm's Biax machinery

Greening Indonesia Another Austrian firm Starlinger, a 175-year old company specialising in woven plastics packaging and recycling technology, is also optimistic of the market. When Thomas Schriefl, Regional Sales Manager, was asked whether Indonesia as a market is ready to use “green” technology (recycling), he said, “Indonesia is ready because we already have machines here. It’s a starting trend for companies because of the savings in raw materials.” When asked about going green, Arianna and Budi had their own take on the matter. “We are quite lucky because the government issued a ruling that producers should be in charge of managing waste that comes from non-degradable products and packaging. The law is already in place. Now, it’s just a matter of applying it,” stated Arianna. Meanwhile, Budi said that even though the ruling was in place, many processors had not adopted the “green” policy. “It is a matter of changing the habits because it is actually very easy for plastics manufacturers to go green. I don’t think they realise the implications of this yet. Going green in the long run will eventually save production and raw material costs,” he added.

Chinaplas 2012


Global megatrends take precedence Global megatrends are evidently shaping most of chemical manufacturers R&D directions as highlighted from the recentlyheld Chinaplas 2012 exhibition in Shanghai. Most companies are zeroing in on trends such as increased urbanisation, growing population, climate change, healthcare revolution and accelerating technology, which they believe will impact the whole world. An especially interesting trend in the automotive sector is the heightened increase for materials for electric vehicles, says Lyn Cacha in this report.



MAY 2012

Rolling out green mobility Although eco-friendly tyres are still a minority purchase and consumer awareness of tyre-related environmental issues remains low, German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess believes that moving towards more environmentally-friendly products is the way to do business. The company cites urbanisation and mobility as two megatrends that are propelling business onwards and is addressing it with its products and technologies. “Gains in efficiency through intelligent lightweight solutions and innovative technologies, such as electric vehicles (EVs), smaller cars and green tyres Christof Krogmann, Lanxess’s Vice-President could temper fuel demand growth and curb carbon emissions,” said Christof Krogmann, Vice-President Asia-Pacific of SemiCrystalline Products Asia-Pacific, Semi-Crystalline Products business unit. says the company’s With this in mind, Lanxess introduced solutions focus this year is on for EVs based on its Durethan polyamides and Pocan green mobility with polyesters. Possible applications include engine technologies and bearings, door structures, pedals, front ends and seat products for mobility cross-members. Also presented at the show was a polyamide composite sheet hybrid technology for the automotive sector. “This composite structure is an ideal alternative not only to metals but also to carbon fibre-reinforced thermosetting systems, both from an economic and performance point of view,” explained Krogmann. Another new feature is the HiAnt simulation system, including material selection and CAE calculations to mould construction, part testing and support. To cater to the trend for smaller and stronger turbocharged engines, Lanxess introduced pseudo-plastic PA grades for blow-moulded parts in engine airmanagement systems that can withstand high pressures and temperatures. Particularly, the heat stabilised Durethan AKV325 can be used to blow mould charge-air tubes. To support its efforts towards green mobility in the region, Lanxess will set up a development centre in Hong Kong in the second half of 2012. EVs to propel industry forward Around 1.4 million EVs are likely to be on the road in Asia by 2015 and by 2020 one in ten vehicles is expected to run on electricity, according to Pike Research. In China, 243 charging stations have already been installed. Anticipating this demand growth, another German materials supplier Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is addressing this with its polycarbonate (PC), which could be a solution to powering tomorrow’s demand for EVs. “To keep the EV population charged up, the high cost of building and expanding EV infrastructure must be addressed. This can be done through versatile and durable components and materials. PC and PC blends could overcome the EV industry’s barriers in a cost-effective manner,” said Rainer Rettig, Head of the Asia Pacific PC business unit. BMS’s PC can be used for guardrails for EV chargers due to impact resistance at temperatures as low as -40°C. When charging using high electrical currents, the PC provides safety through a UL-0 and 5VA flame retardant rating.

Chinaplas 2012 Review

Two employees evaluate colour chips produced from Makrolon at the PC colour laboratory in the integrated Bayer site in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park

Aside from EVs, the company has set its sights on LED lighting systems, especially for billboards. Compared to conventional lighting systems, LEDs are more energy efficient and the company supports this trend through developing special grades of its transparent Makrolon PC. Having moved its global headquarters for its PC business unit to Shanghai last year, BMS is partnering with machinery makers as well. The recent tie up with Austrian machine maker Engel is an example. The two companies will promote technology on PC automotive glazing in China. At its facility in Shanghai, Engel is installing a 1,700-tonne bicolour injection moulding machine for making PC automotive glazing, which when replacing traditional glass achieves energy efficiency in vehicles. BMS had sales of EUR2.9 billion in China last year. Meeting rising demand with fewer resources By 2040, there will be 2.8 billion households in the world, an increase of nearly 50% from 2010. These households will need energy for lighting, heating, cooking and refrigeration as well as electricity to run everything from computers and air conditioners to EVs. According to US firm ExxonMobil Chemical, growth will be particularly strong in Africa, China, India and Latin America. The reasons vary as in Africa a sharp rise in population is expected while in China, India and Latin America, it

will be a mix of rising population and growing affluence. Considering the demands being placed on resources, ExxonMobil cites downgauging in packaging and light weighting in automotive parts as the major trends, through the use of its Enable and Exceed metallocene polyethylene resins (mPEs) and Vistmax propylene-based elastomers. “Customers can use these polymers for a broad range of applications, including flexible and rigid packaging, agricultural films, appliances and nonwovens,” explained Haridas Kalidas, PE Market Development Manager for Asia Pacific. “The resins can help customers develop downgauged packaging, accomplishing more with less, thus moving the packaging industry to a more-sustainable future.” In the car application scene, the company’s Santoprene TPVs, Vistalon EPDM, Exxtral polyolefins and Exxonmobil PP are helping the industry to build lighter weighing cars with reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions and enhanced performance. To reinforce its long-term commitment and investment in the region, the company has also established a technology centre in Shanghai, for developing new solutions that allow manufacturers to create more from less without compromising quality. During the trade exhibition, ExxonMobil demonstrated the use of its product offerings through partnerships with machine specialists such as Hosokawa Alpine, Haitian, Huarong, Milacron, Wetec, Honghua, ABB, Huashan, Hubei Light, Hanking and Jinming. Touting SBCs as alternatives to PVC Healthcare and ecology sectors continue to move forward in importance for US-based Kraton Performance Polymers as it showcased its latest styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) that provide alternatives to non-recyclable materials that contain PVC and phthalates. PVC has been known to create a number of environmental and health risks, including dioxin pollution and patient exposure to

hazardous chemicals such as the DEHP phthalate, which leaches from PVC medical devices. Due to these concerns, many healthcare facilities around the world are switching to safer medical devices that do not contain these chemicals. “Our products improve performance characteristics and aesthetics in end-user applications and also facilitate recyclability,” said Prakash Kolluri, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Asia Pacific. According to the company, the current market trends include ergonomics, soft touch, colour variety, transparency, clarity, increased recyclability and reduced end-of-life waste, reduced hazardous substances (for example BFR, CFR and PVC) and use of renewable sources. Kraton’s products cater to applications in medical, wire and cable, faux leather and automotive interior slush moulded soft skins. For instance, its product offerings can be used for automotive instrument panel surface applications, boasting a 30% reduction in mass versus PVC, while the G Enhanced Rubber Segment polymers are an alternative to PVC for drug delivery bags. Additional products showcased included Nexar polymers as an additive, coating and laminate, with new benefits for water transport, filtration and separation, and Cariflex polyisoprene as an alternative to natural and synthetic rubbers for IV components. In addition, the company recently opened a R&D centre in Shanghai. The facility, three times larger than the previous site, centres on the company’s capabilities on wet chemistry and flame and rubber testing. Last year, the firm also expanded its Cariflex IR capacity and will double the capacity it makes in Japan through a manufacturing provider by 2013. Moreover, the company entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Formosa Petrochemical to construct a 30 kilotonne/year-hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer (HSBC) plant in Mailiao, Taiwan. To be operational by 2014, the plant will support global demand for Kraton’s differentiated HSBCs and cater to additional supply capability.


MAY 2012


Corporate Profile

Dyneema sets sail on the high seas

Dutch firm DSM Dyneema that makes Dyneema, an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre said to be the world’s strongest, is making inroads in Asia, especially with the set up of its technical centre in Singapore later this year. PRA spoke to Steven Chu, Vice President, Asia Pacific, DSM Dyneema Fiber Solutions, to learn of the company’s plans in the region.

Growth for UMHWPE fibre Against the backdrop of the growth of the ballistic protection materials industry, UHMWPE fibre’s global capacity has doubled between 2005 and 2010 and is expected to redouble within a decade. Dyneema offers strength with weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibres, both on weight for weight basis. Apart from its strength, Dyneema also has low specific gravity (0.97); is chemically inert with tests showing that it performs well in dry, wet, salty and humid conditions; is UV and moisture resistant and, due to its inert strength, is able According to Steven Chu of to withstand harsh environments. DSM Dyneema, sometimes the smallest fibre can change Though it has been in existence for almost 20 years, commercial success has only grown the way an entire industry rapidly in the last decade. It is manufactured works, which he says is by means of a proprietary gel-spinning relevant in the maritime process, with the spun solution solidified by and heavy marine industries where Dyneema is beginning cooling, which fixes a molecular structure to find applications containing a very low entanglement density of molecular chain. This structure gives a high draw ratio and results in high strength. The solidified fibre has a gellike appearance and contains an almost 100% crystalline structure with perfectly arranged molecules, which promotes its high strength, modulus and other properties. Currently, DSM Dyneema produces its fibre in the Netherlands and in the US. It is also a partner in a high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) manufacturing joint venture in Japan. When asked about capacities, Chu said, “DSM Dyneema does not disclose specific details on its production capacity. However, over the past ten years it has invested significantly in its global capacity and production technologies.” Over the years, DSM Dyneema has been investing in lines at its Dutch plant. It opened its US plant in 2004 to produce unidirectional (UD) bulletresistant material fabrics for bullet-resistant cockpit doors, expanding output by 25% in 2008 and subsequently significantly increasing its capacity for the protection market and also adding on new technology for ballistic and other applications. Its most recent investment is a majority stake in Chinese UHMWPE fibre manufacturer, Shandong ICD High Performance Fibre, last year. ICD is a strong player in the high-performance fibre market in China and the acquisition brings complementary manufacturing and technology assets to DSM and substantially strengthens the company’s presence in this key market. This is also in line with the firm’s policy on Asia Pacific, which is a key growth area. “With seven offices in five key Asia Pacific countries, we understand and focus on the local needs in the respective Asia Pacific countries,” says Chu. Ballistic testing centre In line with increasing its presence in the region, the fourth quarter of 2012 will see the opening of the APAC Technical Centre in Singapore. “It will bring us closer to our customers and end-users and speed up delivery of solutions to meet respective local needs,” added Chu. The 2,500 sq m centre in Singapore is also DSM Dyneema’s third global



MAY 2012

Corporate Profile ballistics testing Mooring winches made of facility and its Dyneema first such centre in the region. It will house two ballistic testing ranges as well as equipment and testing laboratories for personal and vehicle protection Chu also says the material is seeing applications in accordance with growth in the maritime sector. global standards. Both ranges will “The trend towards larger, also allow the full tracking and heavier sea vessels is driving real-time digital monitoring of the demand for stronger mooring and ballistic tests. tugging ropes with higher breaking Other capabilities include load, which are used on LNG materials and fibre analyses, carriers, oil tankers, bulk carriers, prototyping, sampling and new container carriers, cargo vessels as applications. Chu says this will well as RoRo and navy ships,” he enable the firm to reinforce its fibre said. R&D capabilities in Shanghai and Traditionally, steel wire mooring also globally. lines were used; but with larger In terms of product knowledge, and heavier ships, these lines Chu says the firm maintains became too heavy and difficult to product specifications and testing handle, thus impacting operations data that are made available to in areas such as manpower, time, customers and partners. It also maintenance and safety. Hence, shares technological and scientific Dyneema is applied in a growing developments across laboratories array of stronger, mooring, tugging with partners. “This allows us to rope and lifting sling systems. leverage skills and create maximum “Dyneema, which is as strong value, maintaining a track record of as steel wire will have the same long-term collaborations that have diameter although seven times created true win-win situations lighter, resulting in higher handling with manufacturers, government speeds and the involvement of ministries, scientific and research fewer crew members. The ropes communities and academia.” But float on water; are resistant to the the firm respects confidentiality elements; and do not damage deck and security needs, which are equipment, considerably reducing highly sensitive especially in the need for additional maintenance, personal and vehicle protection repairs and paint applications. jobs.” “Globally, DSM Dyneema owns Furthermore, a considerable patent portfolio of instead of being approximately 150 patent families restricted to and 600 individual patents, and this deploying one steel portfolio continues to grow even wire line at a time, today,” adds Chu. a mooring boat can carry two Dyneema Setting sail with Dyneema ropes, thus The material caters to a wide range reducing mooring of products ranging from safety time. “On top of gloves, orthopaedic devices and that, less weight medical sutures to commercial can help avoid fishing and aquaculture nets, crew injury. Finally, ropes, slings lifting and vehicle and because Dyneema personal ballistic protection.

fibre provides a low elongation of less than 2.5% at break, there is minimal backlash in case of failure,” explains Chu. In fact, Chu says China Offshore Oil Engineering Corporation (COOEC) uses four lifting slings made with a patented blend of polyester and Dyneema manufactured by US-based rope maker Samson. Another firm, Cosco Dalian, a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Group, evaluated two mooring lines during an eight-month sea trial period. Following this trial, it decided to equip its latest VLCC (Very Large Crude Container) vessel with mooring lines made with Dyneema. In 2008, the Panama-based Cospearl Lake became the world’s first VLCC vessel to be 100% equipped with 22 Dyneema mooring lines, each with a diameter of 46 mm, length of 260 m and a required breaking strength of 130 tonnes. When asked about the cost savings compared to the traditional materials, Chu says, “Our solutions are designed with long-term benefits in mind and work to reduce operational costs for the end users, over time.” As for the future of the industry, Chu says, “We believe the outlook is positive. End-users will continue to look for lighter, safer and easier to handle rope, lifting and mooring solutions that deliver longer, more reliable performance that also helps them save on the bottom line. Dyneema will play an important enabling role in this.” The Cosperal Lake was the first VLCC to use Dyneema for its mooring lines


MAY 2012


Injection Moulding Asia Industry News

Additive manufacturing on the rise


ccording to a report from Wohlers Associates, additive manufacturing with the new trade term for rapid prototyping – will experience double-digit growth rates and hit US$3.1 billion worldwide by 2016. By 2020, the same additive manufacturing products and services should reach US$5.2 billion. Once considered discrete, the technology is moving mainstream because of the growth of low-cost 3D printers that are increasingly available to students, researchers, do-it-yourself enthusiasts, hobbyists, inventors and entrepreneurs.

solutions using efficient injection mould machines. In line with this, the firms will introduce an all-electric Engel ecap 3440/420 injection moulding machine with a 96-cavity mould made by Plastisud. Designed to handle high output rates, the machine can produce up to 130,000 sealing caps/hour, with a cycle time of 2.8 seconds. It consumes 0.75 kW/ hour/kg of granules, saving electricity as well as water. The solution comes with 32 to 96 cavity moulds as standard along with clamping force of 200-420 tonnes. Greencap is based in Shanghai on Engel’s premises while Plastisud opened its sales office in Shanghai 18 months ago.

partnership with MuCell will enable it to provide turnkey solutions to customers beyond PS to include PP/PE low density products. The company recently delivered its first polyolefin line to a customer in the US.

Simpoe signs deal with Solidworks


rench firm Simpoe, a provider of injection moulding simulation software, has sealed a distribution agreement with Dassault Systemes Solidworks. The deal involves Simpoe to develop and maintain the new Solidworks Plastics simulation software product line and also to sell its existing Simpoeworks MFG and Simpoeworks Tool software through its authorised channel partners. The latter products are integrated in Solidworks, giving customers an opportunity to upgrade to more indepth analyses without having to leave their familiar Solidworks 3D environment.

Closure machine for Chinese market


ould manufacturer Plastisud has partnered with Austrian injection moulding machine maker Engel to offer turnkey solutions for the production of sealing caps for water and soft drinks containers in China. Called Greencap, the project addresses the increasingly stringent requirements on packaging products. According to the companies, the global demand for caps and closures is growing by 5% annually with China being the largest market in terms of volume. By combining their expertise, the companies say they can produce quality plastic cap

Green caps rolling off an Engel machine

MuCellCommodore ink deal

Automotive News


uCell Extrusion and Commodore Technology have made an agreement with the former to supply process equipment and support services for the latter’s turnkey tandem extrusion lines running either microcellular PS, PE and PP low density products. According to Commodore, its

Making carbon fibre use in vehicles a reality


ith the aim of reducing the weight of new cars and trucks by up to 340 kg by the end of the decade and to improve fuel efficiency, US firms Ford Motor Company and

Dow Automotive Systems are partnering to research the use of advanced carbon fibre composites in highvolume vehicles. Reducing energy use in vehicles in two ways can improve the conversion efficiency of fuels to motion and reduce the amount of work that powertrains need to do; Ford tackles the conversion problem primarily through downsizing engines with EcoBoost and electrification while mass reduction and improved aerodynamics reduce the workload. Carbon fibre composites have been used in aerospace and racing cars for decades due to their high strength and low mass and until recently these materials have been far too costly for use in high-volume mainstream applications. Dow and Ford have signed a joint development agreement that will see researchers from the two companies collaborate on establishing an economical source of automotive-grade carbon fibre and develop component manufacturing methods for high-volume automotive applications. The joint development effort will also leverage work that Dow has already begun through partnerships with Turkish carbon fibre manufacturer AKSA and the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ford says carbon fibre components may begin appearing in its cars in the latter part of this decade, meeting new fuel efficiency standards of more than 50 mpg and extending the range of plug-in vehicles.

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Automotive News

Sustainable material in Volvo trucks


abic Innovative Plastics’s footprint by as much as 49% latest project with Volvo compared to virgin PBT resins, Trucks involves the use of an says the firm. Yet, unlike other up-cycled material from postrecycled materials, which consumer recycled content. lose performance through Valox iQ PBT resin incorporates successive melt histories, Valox up-cycled water bottles and iQ resins are up-cycled to is used for the brackets of the deliver comparable or better side air deflection system of all performance than conventionally seven models in the 2012 Volvo manufactured materials. As a VN platform of heavy trucks. result, Valox iQ resin delivers The material is said to help excellent resistance to impact, deliver top performance under chemicals and stress fatigue. harsh driving conditions as well as attain greater sustainability. Sabic also assisted with application development and technical support to help the truck manufacturer turn the design into a tangible part. The Valox iQ resin may contain up to 60% PCR content and can help The new Volvo trucks for the US market feature recycled resin content reduce the resin’s carbon

TPOs pander to new Fiat car


talian automotive maker Fiat is relying on PP materials from Borealis and Borouge for interior and exterior components on its new Fiat Panda. Borealis says it has worked previously on models such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat 500. For the new Fiat Panda, Tier One supplier Magneti Marelli used Daplen thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compounds from Borealis for the bumper to provide a balance between impact strength

and stiffness. The grade gives improved surface quality and is easy to process. Its high flowability allows the moulding of complex-structured parts with very high flow path/wall thickness ratios. TPO grades are also used in the dashboard and centre console. Daplen EE168AI-9533 offers impact behaviour combined with low gloss and scratch behaviour. This grade was also chosen for the new Lancia Y model launched in 2011. For the dashboard fascia, Borealis and Borouge developed a specific solution for Fi a t to overcome the potential for warpage and distortion often associated with the adoption of overmoulding technology for this part. TPO grades are used in the interior/ exterior of the Panda model

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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery


“Intelligent” solutions for the industry

A number of challenges in the industry could be solved with the aid of automation and robotisation. This will be underscored in this year’s PlastMilan exhibition in May, with exhibitors showcasing a good deal of Italian technology collaborations that explore into manufacturing complex processes and managing them in the most cost and energyefficient way. New solutions to be introduced lastic Metal will introduce its Mulitpower hybrid machine said to optimise energy efficiency and savings. Available in clamping forces of 50-800 tonnes, the series combines electrical and hydraulic technology, which when applied to machines with substantial closing force provide moulding precision and repeatability, says the firm. Its electrically operated functions include clamp closing/opening and screw rotation; while its hydraulically operated functions include injection movements, carriage back/forward and ejection. The high-speed Multipower is suited for thinwall moulding in the packaging sector and normal moulding applications. Compared to similarsized hydraulic machines, the firm says its Multipower machine can realise energy savings from 35% to 40%. The company says it first developed a hybrid machine in 2003 and has been working since then to improve its technology. Plastic Metal will have four Multipower machines on display: a 50-tonne machine equipped with a fourcavity mould, including a robot and packing machine, producing cutlery; a 120-tonne machine to be shown producing cups while a 220-tonne machine with a 32cavity mould will be moulding caps and a fourth 500tonne, two-cavity machine will be moulding a food container. All the machines will be equipped with conveyor belts and accessories provided by Flli Virginio of the NPM Group.


Sacmi will have a shuttle service to its facility in Imola where visitors can have a look at its latest 220-tonne IPS for producing PET preforms

Sacmi will display its newly developed Injection Preform System (IPS) for moulding PET preforms. Currently, the machine is available in a 48-cavity version with a clamping force of 220 tonnes, while a 300-tonne, 72-cavity model is under development. During the ejection phase, a robot, fully integrated on the machine will pick up the preforms with a three-station gripper and allow post-cooling prior to unloading, thus helping prevent damage that can occur when preforms are handled before they’re fully cooled. Another key feature is the new linear motor that drives the gripper, allowing the recovery of braking energy during the deceleration phase. The toggle system and mobile platen that make up the mould clamping unit are hydraulically controlled and have been designed using FEM structural analysis to optimise mechanical inertia. The injection unit consists of a cylinder with a pelletising screw, guided by an electric motor and a shooting pot, controlled by a servo-valve. Another key characteristic is flexibility as the overall time needed for mechanical changeover of the mould, including automatic plate offloading, is less than an hour. The model will be fully operational throughout the fair and will be equipped with a Sacmi-made mould. Sacmi will showcase the IPS, along with the CCM, its compression machine for cap making. Energy and floor saving options egri Bossi, a company of Sacmi Group, will present its electric Vesta series. The 170-tonne model will be equipped with a three-axis SY 100 cartesian robot from Sytrama and a 52-cavity mould demonstrating the production of impact-resistant PS cappuccino spoons. Also on the show will be the Janus 220 E SE hybrid press with a four-cavity mould shown producing disposable PS cups. Both machines will have robots to pick the pieces in the moulding zone and deposit them beyond the press. The firm will also show its compact EOS series


Plastic Metal will have four displays including a 500-tonne machine to be shown producing food containers using a two-cavity mould by Otto Hofstetter from Switzerland

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Injection Moulding Asia preview

that cuts up to 3.5 m of floor space needed, compared to previous models. Other features are the lack of lubrication, ensuring mould zone cleanliness, making the machine ideal for biomedical, food and pharmaceutical industries. To be presented are the EOS 65 with a cap-making mould and EOS 80 LR (liquid silicone) for the moulding of feeding bottle teats. In the traditional machine arena, the company will show its Canbio 430 SE hydraulic machine with a long cycle of 75 seconds and savings of up to 45%. Proposed here with a single-cavity mould for flower vase production, the press will feature gas-assisted moulding technology. Another model, Vector 650 SE, will be shown for the automotive sector. Equipped with a two-cavity mould, it will be making PC-ABS car headlight bodies for sportsstyle racing cars in a 60-second cycle. Finally, the firm will display its Bi-Power series with a VH 1300 1,300-tonne pallet-making press equipped with a three-axis Cartesian robot. Features include the reduced cycle time of over half a minute. Car company FIAT recently purchased its tenth Bi-Power unit, with a clamping force of 3500 tonnes, for the production of car and industrial vehicle instrument panels and dashboards.


in a single machine in one step. Developed by Engel, the machine has a two-chamber mould. In the first chamber, the PC/ABS alloy rigid support structure of the dashboard is injected. After the rotation of the mould, the TPE soft-touch layer is injected and subsequently expanded by using MuCell foam moulding. All the materials are supplied by Softer. Auxiliary equipment ot runner specialist Thermoplay has developed a new plate movement system that provides advantages of a moving plate. Traditionally, the needle of the shut-off nozzles is activated by a number of pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical actuators (one for each nozzle). This technique lets the user set the “closed needle” position separately in each cavity. However, housing multiple fluid actuators and the supply and conditioning ducts inside a mould is often complex and , in some cases, does not satisfy specific sterility requirements in medical applications and clean rooms. The new system has a compact-sized shut-off system and a mechanical drive that allows for less distance between the cavities of the mould whilst maintaining the advantages of the movement systems used today. A device can be installed in the system, allowing each needle to be decoupled from the moving plate and simultaneously, the Thermoplay has introduced a closed needle position can be mechanical drive for shut-off blocked, which is necessary systems on a single plate with if the flow of plastic material separate adjustment has to be locked in one or more cavities. This device incorporates a micrometric adjustment of the pin position. Drive and control technology specialist Bosch Rexroth will present its variable-speed pressure and flow control system. The firm says its Sytronix DFEn 5000 can reduce energy consumption from 30% to 80%. Based on the proven DFE pressure and flow control system, the new system is said to provide an economical solution for controlling oil volume and pressure. Star Automation will present its latest robots in the ES, LX and FX series. The robots are said to provide shorter opening mould times, less machine downtime and maintenance, low power consumption and low cost of ownership. The FX 1500, for instance, supports 300-850-tonne machinery and a payload of 10 kg. It also has a 2,500 mm traverse stroke, 1,300 mm crosswise stroke and 1,500 mm vertical stroke, enabling a mould open cycle time of 0.5 seconds and dry cycle time of 4 seconds.


New system for soft-touch car interiors recently commissioned system for the production of automotive soft-touch interior parts will be presented by four companies: Austrian machine maker Engel, Swiss mould maker Georg Kaufmann, Italian automotive components maker Sole and Italian compounder Softer. Having passed tests, four panels produced using the Dophin technology will be installed in the cabin of the Daimler-manufactured Mercedes-Benz Actros truck. These panels make up a 2 m-dashboard, including the lower part with fold-away drawers in two colours.


Panels produced using the Dolphin technology will be installed in the new Mercedes-Benz Actros truck

The main element of Dolphin is the production system. Unlike traditional production systems of softtouch panels, with separate production of the various parts (rigid substrate, soft surface layer) and the subsequent assembly by means of PU foam to weld the two elements, in Dolphin’s, the production takes place 4 M ay 2 0 1 2

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News

SI to ramp up capacity in China


S chemicals maker, SI Group will construct an additional 30,000 tonnes/year facility for its phenolic resin manufacturing site at the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park in China. Valued at US$30 million, the facility will have a potential capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year. It is set to commence in 2013 and will produce phenolic resins in lump, pastille, liquid and powder forms to serve the rubber, abrasive, friction, impregnation and refractory markets. Prior to this expansion plan, the company opened its US$1.5 million rubber and industrial phenolic resin application laboratory at its Songjiang plant in Shanghai.

Asia Carbon reports healthy revenue


hina-based Asia Carbon Industries’s sales increased by 65% to reach US$49.12 million in 2011, with about 86% of sales attributed to the increases in tonnage sold, whereas the remaining was attributed to the increase of the unit sales price. The average sales price of Asia Carbon’s products was US$988/ tonne during 2011, up by 11% from US$894/tonne in 2010. In terms of production and utilisation rates, the company produced 35,000 tonnes and 61,000 tonnes

and utilised 92% and 78% of total capacity in 2010 and 2011, respectively. It sold 49,683 tonnes of carbon black and naphthalene oil, an increase of 50% compared to 2010. The company registered a net income of US$7.31 million in 2011, up by 123% compared to the previous year’s US$3.27 million. This increase in net income resulted from new production capacity and improved gross margin rate.

for nearly one-third of global rubber demand in 2010, will record the strongest gains of any major market through 2015. The large amount of motorcycle and bicycle production in the country supports significant demand for rubber utilised in nonmotor vehicle tyres. The rubber markets in the US and Western Europe will rebound somewhat from the sales declines recorded from 2005-2010.

Rubber consumption high by 2015

China sets up NdBR project and hits high on carbon black

ccording to research firm Freedonia Group, global rubber consumption is forecast to rise 4.3% per year through 2015 to 30.5 million tonnes. The global automotive market will drive global demand for rubber utilised in tyres because replacement motor vehicle tyres represent the largest market for rubber. The significant increase in the number of vehicle use will boost the amount of rubber consumed worldwide. In addition, a pick-up in global manufacturing activity through 2015 will spur rubber demand in non-tyre applications. Asia Pacific region is the largest regional market for rubber, accounting for 60% of global demand in 2010 and will register the fastest growth in rubber consumption through 2015. The massive Chinese rubber market, which alone accounted

o support the development and production of neodymium-catalysed butadiene rubber (NdBR), China has initiated a four-year project to study the chemistry, engineering and practicality of a pilotscale reactor. The project involves the nation’s top research institutions and universities such as Xinjiang Science and Technology Agency, Karamay Petrochemical, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun Institute of the National Science and Technology, and Xinjiang University. Meanwhile, since 2006, China’s carbon black production has surpassed that of the US and has increased at an average rate of 10% annually since then, reaching 3.4 million tonnes in 2010. The country’s capacity is 5 million tonnes/year with average capacity utilisation of only 70% during 2010, according to an industry report from



Chinese research firm CCM. With the passenger car sales in China rising by nearly 33% in 2010, domestic demand for tyres and therefore, also for carbon black, has been booming. However, the growth of China’s tyre manufacturing sector has been slightly hampered by the imposition of anti-dumping duties on passenger car tyres imported from China into the US from early 2010. Nevertheless, exports in 2011 are expected to double the 2010 level.

Freudenberg registers high sales


amily-owned German firm Freudenberg Group reported aboveaverage, profitable growth in almost all sectors, with sales value reaching EUR6 billion in 2011, an increase of 9.6% from EUR5.48 billion in 2010. Profit amounted to EUR505 million, higher than the previous year’s EUR431 million. According to the group, much of its success had to do with its ability to cope with the substantial increases in the price of materials and compensate for weak economic conditions in the Mediterranean countries. To continue business growth, Freudenberg will invest on product innovations and plant expansions. To date, the company has set up new facilities in the US and Russia and about 26% of the company’s product innovations are less than four years old.

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Rubber Journal Asia Rubber chemicals see elastic demand

and mechanical stress, is projected to grow 4.7% a year through 2015 to 810,000 tonnes, with demand fuelled by both expansion in tyre and industrial rubber products as well as continuing efforts to improve performance and lengthen service lives of rubber goods. One factor that will counter increasing antidegradant usage is the faster growth in demand for natural rubber versus synthetic rubber since the former has natural antioxidative properties and requires less antioxidant loadings to achieve similar properties. Accelerator demand will exceed 415,000 tonnes in 2015. These chemicals, which control the vulcanisation process, are required in


Bridgestone is upping capacity for its golf balls in the US

More golf balls in the US


o meet the demand for its premium golf balls in the US, Bridgestone Golf will increase output at its Georgia facility by 40% this year. The firm will manufacture its popular Tour B330-RX family of PUcovered golf balls in Georgia, beginning in mid-2012. The production increase will necessitate the hiring of 20 additional full-time workers.

lobal demand for rubber processing chemicals is forecast to increase 4.7% a year through 2015 to 1.35 million tonnes. Gains will be driven by continuing robust gains in the Asia Pacific region (especially China) and recovery in demand in the US, Western Europe and Japan following declines in these three areas in the 2000s. Rubber chemical demand in China is projected to grow 8.1% year through 2015 to around 580,000 tonnes. Demand for antidegradants, which improve rubber’s resistance to the effects of oxidation, ozone, heat, sunlight


all vulcanised rubber products. However, accelerator demand will outpace rubber consumption due to the above-average gains forecast for secondary or ultra-accelerators. These chemicals, which are used with EPDM and latex compounds, offer rapid cure rates and are believed to be less toxic than primary accelerators. Demand for other processing chemicals, including processing aids, adhesion promoters and blowing agents, among numerous others, will reach 130,000 tonnes in 2015. Processing aids, used to improve plasticity and moulding properties of rubber, are expected to see high growth due to the increased usage of natural rubber.

Rubber Journal Asia Industry News

Kotagala to plant rubber in Cambodia


ri Lankan plantation firm Kotagala Plantations will plant 20,000 ha of rubber in Cambodia. Valued at US$70 million, the project aims to address the inadequate local production and rising costs of rubber in Sri Lanka. The plantation will be managed by Lankem Tea & Rubber Plantations, which is part of the Lankem group. Kotagala has 12 tea and 11 rubber plantations in Sri Lanka as well as eight rubber manufacturing units, pr o d u c i n g pale crepe and sole crepe.

Weather deflates global rubber output


nfavourable weather conditions have lowered this year’s global output of natural rubber, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC). The association’s earlier forecast was 2.6% but has been revised to 1.1% or 10.42 million tonnes. In Malaysia, unseasonal rains for almost a month from mid-February onwards have disrupted harvesting of trees. In China, more rainy and

cloudy days during March put trees vulnerable to powdery mildew disease. Sluggish demand from top consumer China also contributed to the revision in the supply outlook for this year, said the ANRPC, adding that supply in the first quarter was forecast to fall 5.1% compared with the same period last year. It said that the slow export demand from China is partly due to an on-going shift of light manufacturing to countries with lower wages. But the slowdown could be partially offset by an increase in domestic consumption in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.

and possibly accelerate consolidation of the industry. The association is also developing standards for radial tyre technology. The first draft standard has been distributed to members. It is designed to reduce the possibility of further scandals in the industry, similar to the Kumho Tyre issue over the use of recycled materials in tyres in 2011.

Trelleborg divests diving suit business


n line with its strategy to divest non-aligned operations, Swedish firm Trelleborg has sold its Sweden and Lithuaniabased protective product business to US firm Ansell for SEK210 million. The firm says its core competencies in the business are material development and production of polymer-coated fabrics for protective and diving suits. The business had sales of SEK170 million in 2011.

China moves to green tyre and radial standards


he China Rubber Association’s “green” tyre programme requires half of the nation’s tyre makers to produce fuel-efficient tyres and for 25% of car tyre production to be using “green” tyres by the end of the five-year plan. The plan will be based on the standards found in the South Korean and European Union (EU)’s tyre labelling rules and categories. It will comprise voluntary and mandatory schemes with limits and categories defined in the EU legislation and include provision of subsidies to selected tyre makers to upgrade their technology

for EUR110 million to domestic insurance group Covea. Michelin will earn a capital gain of nearly EUR100 million from the sale. In another part of the globe, Michelin has signed an MOU with Serbian authorities and the city of Pirot, for the expansion of its Tigar facility that will produce 12 million tyres/year by 2016. It will involve an investment of EUR170 million over the next four years. In the US, Michelin is building an Earthmover off-the-road radial tyre plant on its current site in South Carolina. Construction will commence in late 2013. The current site produces semi-finished products and rubber compounds for the group’s US plants. The firm will also expand its Earthmover tyre facility in Lexington, South Carolina. The two projects are valued at US$750 million and will create 500 new jobs. The market for Earthmover tyres grew by more than 20% between 2009 and 2011 and the firm says the new facilities will help it attain its objectives for 2015.

Tyre News

Michelin sells Paris hq, builds plants in US and Serbia


fter consolidating its Paris-based staff operations to a new site in BoulogneBillancourt, French tyre maker Michelin has sold the 12,000 sq m property

Seen here are Michelin US’s President Pete Selleck with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and US Senator Lindsey Graham at the tyre maker’s US facility

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre firms expand in China


erman tyre firm Continental has broken ground on a US$215 million expansion of its car tyre plant in Hefei that will double the plant’s capacity by 2015. It will raise production to 16 million units/year of premium tyres – ContiComfortContact 5 and ContiMaxContact 5 – for the Chinese market. According to the company, Asia is a key growth market and its additional investment in Hefei is a major step in this direction. Another tyre maker looking at the Chinese market with interest is Japanese firm Bridgestone that is setting up a US$20 million facility in Guangdong to manufacture, process and sell foamed rubber, urethane and precision electronic components. Construction will commence in 2013.

Continental’s ground breaking of its tyre plant in China

Technology News

Maplan continues strategic growth plan


apitalising on its plastics manufacturing expertise, Austrian machinery firm Maplan will develop more vertical machines for a wide range of needs, with injection from top

(gripping power) and fuel efficiency (rolling resistance). Rolling resistance impacts 15% on fuel consumption, of which the tread has an impact of 50%. For the vehicle as a whole, the tread component has an impact of 7.5% on fuel consumption. JSR says its rubber has been designed to reduce rolling resistance, suppressing the heat generated by friction (energy loss), by 45% compared to conventional SSBR. This is made possible by making changes to the ends of the rubber molecules to make it easier for them to form connections, without changing the properties.

to bottom especially for applications that require a lower working height. For automated production applications, the company address this with the new horizontal edition that is compact in size and available in two types of drives – asynchronous and servomotors. In addition, Maplan will also offer an extensive series with tie-bar-less C-frame clamping units. With open access to the mould mounting area, these machines fulfill requirements for producing rubber profiles used for car pats.

JSR claims SSBR has better properties

Cooper-Standard invests in key technologies


n light of the growing demand for solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR), Japanese firm JSR increased the capacity of its Yokkaichi plant from 25,000 to 60,000 tonnes/ year last year. It also has a 30,000-tonne/ year SSBR facility with Styron in Europe and with recent expansions, its capacity of SSBR is 90,000 tonnes/year. Nevertheless, the company plans to build a new plant in Thailand, producing 50,000 tonnes/year starting 2013 and 100,000 tonnes/year by 2015. SSBR is mainly used in the tyre tread, which is the only part of the tyre that comes into contact with the road’s surface and contributes to break performance


ooper Standard Automotive has acquired the patents and intellectual property rights and assets of EDC Automotive relating to thermal management technologies, product development and testing capabilities. According to the company, this investment on thermal management area will help it strengthen its technology and talent base. The said acquisition will benefit customers from an expanded product offering, as well as enhanced capabilities in developing new solutions that help improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and enhance vehicle

performance. Already a thermal management solutions provider, Cooper Standard provides heating and cooling systems and products for multiple powertrains, including hybrids, electric vehicles and internal combustion engines.

Biodegradable shoe takes cue from Amazon


n the Amazon, slipping on shoes is as simple as painting a thin layer of latex on an individual’s feet. Based on this concept, Spanish firm OneMoment has developed a 2 mm thick biodegradable shoe made by injecting natural biopolymers, similar to latex, into a mould. The elastic, biodegradable material moulds on to the foot and rolls up for easy storage. The shoe is hand and machine washable. Once it has outlived its purposeful life, the shoe can decompose. According to the company, internationally certified biopolymers are used for the shoe suitable for travelling, walking and for sports activities. It is now available in 35 countries.

Latex bioshoe for convenience

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Rubber Journal Asia Technology News

EcoSynthetix is increasing its capacity to meet new demands

EcoSynthetix to increase capacity


S renewable chemicals firm EcoSynthetix, which produces a family of latex biobased products, has commissioned a 36,000 tonne/year-production line within its existing US facility. The firm also installed a 36,000-tonne/ year line at its Dutch plant last year, bringing its total capacity to 106,000 tonnes/year. With the expansions, the company says it will be able to meet increasing demands from new and existing markets such as paper and paperboard. The new line comprises process automation technology for a range of packaging options, including 25 kg bags and super sacks as well. It is also designed for flexibility with the capability to accommodate multiple feedstocks.

Xiameter speeds up productivity


ow Corning has released Xiameter RBL-9200 liquid silicone rubber (LSR), a series of lowviscosity products

that can flow at lower pressures into intricate tool cavities. According to the company, the LSR can help rubber product fabricators shorten overall processing cycles and optimise manufacturing performance because it reduces processing adjustments at the moulding machine. Possible applications for the new Xiameter series include electrical insulation, keypads, grommets, gaskets and seals. Because it is suitable for food products, it can also be used for spatulas and pot holders as well as potentially an alternative to latex in baby-bottle nipples and pacifiers.

its commercialising its products. CEO Marc Delcourt said that the company had ramped up its capacities during the second half of 2011. It will start operating a laboratory pilot from mid-2012 and an industrial pilot from mid-2013. It entered into a number of partnerships last year including an agreement with New Zealand-based LanzaTech to evaluate the feasibility of producing isobutene from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can be obtained by gasification of agricultural waste (straw), forestry waste (wood pellets) or municipal solid waste. It can also be obtained from exhaust gas of steel mills. This collaboration reflects Global Bioenergies’s involvement in accessing feedstock that does not compete with food generation. It also signed a butadiene partnership with synthetic rubber maker Synthos to develop a process to convert biological sources into butadiene, which represents a US$30 billion market. It includes R&D funding, possible multimillion Euro development fees, royalty payments, shared exploitation rights on the different applications of the molecule and a EUR1.4 million equity investment in Global Bioenergies from Synthos, which was finalised in September last year. Its recent agreement was with a major German car manufacturer seeking to integrate sustainable development in its activities.

The new Xiameter LSRs are to assist rubber fabricators

Revenue not a top agenda for bio firm


aris-based industrial biology company Global Bioenergies that is developing sustainable routes to isobutene and butadiene, reported a half-year revenue of EUR100,000, for the year ended December 2011, and said that revenue was not important at this stage, until it starts

Butamax and Gevo in patent tussle


S biobutanol maker Butamax Advanced Biofuels recently commented on the lawsuit filed by Gevo alleging patent infringement. “Certain innovative technology is critical for commercial production of isobutanol. This is especially true for the fundamental biosynthetic pathway claimed in our 188, 889 and related patents filed by Butamax several years ago,” said Paul Beckwith, Butamax CEO. “However, it is our view that the obvious modifications claimed in this recent Gevo patent, reliant on the fundamental pathway, are in fact not critical for our commercialisation strategy.” The Butamax patents, which are the subject of a lawsuit filed by Butamax against Gevo, cover microorganisms which have been engineered to express the required enzymes for isobutanol production, methods of using these microorganisms as well as techniques for recovering isobutanol. Accordingly, these patents cover fundamental steps for commercial production. The trial date for the Butamax lawsuit is scheduled for April 2013. Butamax benefits from the synergy of US firm DuPont’s industrial biotechnology experience and BP’s global fuels market knowledge.

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Rubber Journal Asia Machinery

Rubber technology encores at Italian show TPE compounds for a range of sectors utomotive, food and pharmaceuticals will be the focus applications for Mesgo for its TPE compounds. The company will present its solutions with emphasis on silicone rubber compounds that are designed to prevent bacterial proliferation during extrusion or moulding. According to the company, the platinum and peroxide cured-compounds are safe to use for food and pharmaceutical packaging; with such as silicone rubber compounds with bonding to fluorosilicone, fluorocarbon or Vamac compounds with internal fluorocarbon liner for the fabrication of automotive hoses.


After an absence of several years, the satellite show on Rubber is back at this year’s PlastMilan exhibition in Italy. Under the patronage of the rubber association Assogomma, a pavilion has been slotted for rubber manufacturers with several exhibitors covering rubber processing plants, which

New machines for extrusion omini Rubber & Plastics will present its Convex new generation of twin-screw dump extruders for treating rubber compounds produced in the internal mixer. With 150 installations under its belt, Pomini says it has used the experience to improve the screw geometry, roller head and cylinders design and the ease of cleaning and cooling properties. The result, it says, is an innovative machine, compact, versatile and reliable, which is characterised by a high output, optimised temperature control and low compound contamination. These characteristics make the Convex ideal for making tyres and technical rubber goods. Milex, a variant of Convex, will also be presented at the show. The machine allows the replacement of open mill under internal mixers, ensuring the same performances that involve distribution and recovery of incomplete mixing. The screw design of the extruder is optimised with regard to flow behaviour by means of FEM analysis, thus allowing for lower energy input. In addition, the use of a cantilever motor gearbox for each screw and cylinder roller head allows a compact layout. Colmec will introduce its new Triplex unit for the production of rubber hoses with a co-extrusion head composed of three parts with diameters of 90 mm and 70 mm. The technology controls the thickness of the three rubber layers and allows for adhesion without the use of air. The plant comes complete with cooling, transporting, cutting and vulcanisation units. Its automated features ensure constancy and repeatability of the process.


traditionally exhibit at the show, as well as rubber producers and companies that process elastomers, natural and synthetic rubbers.

Solutions for recycling tyres TS will present the ITS170/67 granulator installed as part of a complete tyre recycling facility in Poland that has an output of 25,000 tonnes/year. Driven by a 160 kW electric motor connected via V belts to a large flywheel, the grinder is able to process 2,000 kg/hour of 20 mm pre-shredded automotive tyres, shredding them down to a size of 5 mm. Compared to conventional blade granulators, the model’s staggered rotor blade geometry offers a smooth and gradual cutting action, requiring low energy consumption.

I ITS says its granulator was commissioned for a tyre processing plant in Poland based on the low granulating cost, reduced maintenance and operational costs

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Rubber Journal Asia Machinery Once the recycling process is finished, a portion of the product is selected by a sieving system that subdivides it into various particle sizes to obtain batches with uniform granular consistency. The materials can be processed down to 0.08 mm depending on the application. The ground rubber is used in road surfacing as part of the asphalt mix; production of furniture and anti-shock pavements used in children’s playgrounds; running tracks and sports courts and in the manufacture of soundproofing and anti-vibration panels for the construction industry. Recycling rubber through devulcanisation could be a cost-effective solution and this will be stressed by Maris as it presents a process that devulcanises rubber using a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. The thermo-mechanical process does not require the use of chemical agents and prevents material wastage. In terms of costs savings, devulcanisation breaks the crosslinks between the polymeric chains of the rubber, turning its characteristics similar to that of virgin rubber, which can be reintroduced in the production process. Users can save on new raw materials with this process, says Maris.

to draw, trim and fit simultaneously 64 rubber caps on corresponding plastic inserts. The machine brings several advantages such as reduced time for item removal, manual labour, opening mould time, machine downtime and elimination of undue cycle stops. The latter improves the quality and consistency of moulded items by preventing the mould from cooling off and/or the compound from curing in the injection pot and extruder, which may change the physical chemical properties of the moulded times. Another machine maker RPM will exhibit its Ecotronic electric press, said to halve energy consumption, reduce cycle time by 20% and render 30% higher output due to the patented Ecopower control for the clamping and injection. The patented screw and barrel control is said to reduce material wastage by 8%. A 7 kW electronic motor allows the machine to double the pressure and triple the speed during clamping and injection performance. Other benefits include lower downtime and oil-free finish of moulded parts.

Dosing system and cranes for the rubber industry o speed up the preparation of accelerator bags and additive products in under 1 bag/minute, Colour Service will introduce its automatic dosing system for powder and components for rubber compounds. The modular system has a double line of silos that incorporate the irrigation devices. Weighing is done directly on load cells to detect the weight accurately. The dispensing is moved step by step and run in a loop with a translator moving every keg from one row of silos to the next. The compact system’s main feature is the simultaneous dispensing of all the products. This is accomplished since every silo corresponds to an independent load cell. Each bag will contain an individual recipe including all the products for that recipe dispensed together, ready for compounding. This enables the machine to reach the one bag per minute benchmark. Applying its experience in the aviation industry to the rubber sector, Gruniverpal Tranchero will present its GB mobile cranes, complete with rotating boom, applicable to facilities with restricted movement. Available in a compact size of 1,400 x 800 mm and equipped with wireless remote control, the large crane can support up to 750 kg while its Minidrel S series can support up to 25 kg. The crane’s battery, remote control and hydraulic system provide control by preventing fluctuations from happening during the handling of moulds. The machine comes with a wide range of accessories and is designed for the tyre industry.


RPM’s machine is said to reduce energy by half due to the electric drives

HT Mir Group and Wave Italia will present a range of horizontal machines such as the 450-tonne two-platen Mir HMPC with a torque motor. Available in clamping forces from 450-9,600 tonnes, the firm is currently developing 1,200, 1,600 and 3,000 tonne-machines for the garden and automotive sectors at its facility in Brescia. Other new machinery from the group include the all-electric 420-tonne Wave 420 E with the SERS (Saving Energy Recovery System) that offers energy savings of up to 20% and 420-tonne Mir HMG W with a large stroke for rubber processing. The firm says it is the only Italian manufacturer able to offer complete working stations (the production process is entirely made within the group) and supply turnkey plants including the press, automation, moulds, packaging, IML and other ancillary services. Rubber compression press maker ATR has expanded its product range with a series of injection presses, one of which will be presented at the show. The 220-tonne press features a new clamping unit and a small footprint. In addition, the rear loading system has been simplified, allowing for several machines to be placed side-by-side where space is a constraint. The press offers displacement of the moving platen, with an external extractor and an intermediate frame. Optional extras include the vacuum chamber and the magnetic anchoring of the mould.

Range of injection moulding machines njection moulding machine maker Presma will introduce its robotised island for the production of automotive parts. The solution covers different production phases from pressing to the finished product and is specifically used


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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves

Developments reflect gradual shift to synthetics Latex prices up, nitrile to benefit his year’s global consumption of rubber gloves is estimated at 165 billion pairs. Despite recent price increase in latex, the majority of commercial surgical gloves are still manufactured in natural rubber (NR). Touted as the preferred choice for the medical industry, NR may lose its winning streak to synthetic rubber (SR), which has cheaper average selling prices. Industry observers speculate that the business for SR gloves, especially nitrile, will flourish. According to No Dock Moung, Senior Economist of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), whilst the total glove market size has increased over the past ten years, demand for NR latex gloves has dwindled because there are viable and cheaper alternatives available. To reduce operating costs and raise profit margins, some manufacturers are lessening their consumption of NR latex by producing thinner latex gloves (3.5 g) and stalling production expansions. A growing number of makers, meanwhile, are ramping production capacities for SR glove production. Emerging markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America will provide the next surge in SR glove demand over the long term given the low penetration rate of glove usage, large population base and improving hygiene standards.


In the past, synthetic alternatives to natural rubber gloves have triggered concerns about comfort and protection. But as new innovations, especially production techniques for synthetic rubber gloves have emerged, such concerns have also started to wane, says Lyn Cacha in this report on the recently-held Latex & Synthetic Polymer Dispersions, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Reviewing synthetic latices in available surgical gloves owever, SR gloves have their disadvantages. It has been reported that they are more likely to perforate, especially in arthroplasty, compared to latex gloves. In terms of the supply, output of SR nitrile gloves is maybe lower, depending on the product mix, since nitrile gloves take a longer time to cure. To help dispel concerns on SR glove’s unreliability, Kraton Innovation Centre Amsterdam conducted a study that systematically and quantitatively evaluated various types of commercially-available surgical gloves. The mechanical properties of four types of NR gloves, three types of anionic IR (AnIR) gloves, two types of ZN-IR gloves, and three types of polychloroprene gloves were tested. Mechanical properties measured include those related to protection (tensile strength, tear strength and puncture resistance) and comfort (small deformation, modulus at 500% elongation and hysteresis). According to Kraton’s Wouter de Jong, 12 different surgical gloves in size 7.5 were evaluated. The research team used the following testing instruments from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) – ASTM D3577 to determine the gloves’ thickness; ASTM D412 to measure tensile strength, different moduli and elongation at break; ASTM F1342 for puncture resistance; and ASTMD624 for measure tear strength. The ASTM requirements are mostly designed to guarantee sufficient protection


The global demand for rubber gloves is expected to increase in the next three years to reach 190 billion pairs in 2015, according to Kenanga Research

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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves added protection in case of an unnoticed glove breach during use. According to Eng Aik Hwee, Module Director, the technology uses an active ingredient, chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), which reduces the microbial load on the active inside coated surface of the glove. About 4% of CHG, a water soluble and hygroscopic material, was coated in the inside surface. In terms of comfort, a very thin layer of anti-stick overcoat was applied over the antimicrobial coating to prevent the glove’s inside surface from adhering to the skin and to facilitate easy donning. A panel of five evaluators tried the glove and evaluated it according to dry and damp-hand donnability, double gloving, blocking (gloveto-glove inside and outside and glove-to-packaging), and wet look. All of the evaluators rated the antimicrobial glove as very easy to use and with no blocking and wetlook. For those allergic to protein, a test was conducted to find out if there were any traces of proteins on the antimicrobial glove. Results showed no detectable allergens and less than 50 water extractable proteins on the glove. It also indicated that the presence of antimicrobial agent has no correlation between the protein and allergen contents on the glove. Tensile properties of the antimicrobial glove met the aged and un-aged requirements of EN455 standard. The retention of force at break value was found to be above 90% for the glove. However, the un-aged force at break value of the antimicrobial glove was found to be slightly lower than that of the control glove, probably due to the additional processing steps, for instance, the antimicrobial agent applied to the glove. In vitro studies found that the glove killed more than 99% of an HCV surrogate virus and 99% of HIV-1 strain MN as early as 1 minute following exposure. The glove was also found to kill 99.7% to 99.9% of eight clinically relevant bacteria comprising gram-positive and negative and drug-resistant bacteria over 1 to 2 minutes exposure in similar studies. The kill-rate of the glove samples was performed by spreading 0.1 ml of inoculums with 5% organic soil load in the glove fingers for a specific period of time followed by neutralisation with Butterfield’s phosphate buffer solution with product stabilisers (BBP++). Serial dilutions were then made and plated for counting. The log reductions from the initial microbial recovery levels were determined by comparing recoveries from the antimicrobial gloves with those from control gloves without antimicrobial agent. Both real-time and accelerated aging studies confirmed that the glove has at least two years of shelf life in terms of meeting the EN-455-4 requirements. This was determined using the accelerated aging method. Within this period, the active ingredient remains stable and active. According to Ansell, the application of CHG to a powder-free NR surgical glove did not affect the functional performance of the glove. All the tests results show that the antimicrobial-coated glove can help further reduce the risk

In the last quarter of 2011, latex prices started to go up and are expected to remain stubbornly high. Latex costs for about 60% of a latex glove maker’s total production costs

of the surgeons and patients but not so much to ensure comfort during use. In terms of thickness, all gloves except for three types were within 200 micrometres. AnIR-B and ZN-IR-B were 250 micrometres, while CRL-A was about 175 micrometres. All gloves were thickest at the finger and thinnest at the cuff. All the surgical gloves evaluated met the ASTM standard for surgical gloves. However, when the extensometer was used, tensile strength of NR gloves was below the specification for all NR samples. It turned out that the reason for the unexpectedly low figures for the NR gloves was in the use of the extensometer. Hence, NR seems to be susceptible to small disturbances when under stress. The AnIR and CRL gloves suffer from easier tearing propagation than NR and ZN-IR gloves, but sustain higher or equivalent puncture energy, which may be related to tear initiation. Remarkably, the break pattern of the NR and ZN-IR was different than the pattern of the AnIR or the NYP types. The study showed that NR and ZN-IR types show an irregular break pattern, whereas the other types give a rather straight cut, perpendicular to the direction of the strain. The difference in break pattern for NR and ZN-IR can be an indication that their tearing behaviour is different than AnIR and CRL. The tearing propagation of the last two gloves may be faster. Overall, the study infers that all glove types studied offer comparable mechanical protection. Improving barrier effectiveness with CHG coating arrier effectiveness is vital in surgical gloves as it reduces the risk of contamination during contact with body fluids, mucous membranes or the damaged skin of patients. Mechanical stress, however, such as that occurring when gloves are repeatedly flexed through finger and hand manipulations, increase the chances of tears and punctures Taking protection a notch higher, a new antimicrobial technology has been developed by Ansell to provide


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Gloves There is an expected surge in the use of synthetics for surgical glove manufacturing

of cross contamination of bacteria and viruses, following an unnoticed glove breach during surgery. Combining functionality and eco-friendliness with PUDs s gloves become stronger, they have also become tougher to dispose and recycle. With the increased use of rubber gloves worldwide, the quantity of used and waste gloves generated daily has become a problem. Awareness about environmental conservation has forced some glove manufacturing companies to look for eco-friendly solutions like polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) gloves. PUDs are a waterborne material that may bring a green image to the glove industry, as emphasised by Rolf Irnich of Bayer MaterialScience. With stricter regulations on carcinogenic mutation and reproductive substances for medical and food applications, waterborne PUDs may serve as an alternative solution. The PUD glove manufacturing process goes through multiple steps – clean mould, dry mould at 100°C, dry mould into coagulant, drying at 100°C for 1 minute, dry mould into PUD, leach in water at 45°C, curing at 130°C, cooling at 45°C, powder or dip into finish and drying and lastly, strip moulding at 100°C. Once the gloves are ready, PUDs are applied by dipping the glove into a coagulant and then drying it at 100°C for 3 minutes. After drying, the glove is dipped again into a PUD paste and dried at 70°C to 90°C. The final stage involves leaching the glove into water RTP for 10 minutes and then drying at 70°C for 5 minutes. According to the company, the dipping process enhances the gloves to be used in a wider dimension such as oil or chemical barrier as protection, better skin sanitation properties, waterproofing, nonconductive properties and improving tensile strength, which makes them reusable. Compared to the traditional materials used to make disposable gloves such as latex, PVC and nitrile, PUDs offer a very simple formulation, easy processing and since they are made from a waterbased polymer are much greener. Key elements that make PUDs suitable include resistance to water, chemicals and solvents; durability, varying degrees of flexibility and film hardness. Present findings show that there is no concerned toxicity level coming from the conversion of polymer breakdown. More research is currently underway as the company hopes to make PUD gloves more breathable, allowing longer usage without build up of sweat leading to skin irritation.


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