A S l A â€™ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
In this issue
Volume 27, No 197
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 22 Front Cover Feature
Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: email@example.com
26 German Machinery and Technology
Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 薄膜/片材工業及擠出機械:機械製造商的機會無所不在 German auxiliary equipment firm Azo outlines a project where it installed its equipment at SIMONA’s new facility in China German machinery makers will display the latest technology at Chinaplas in May
32 Film/Sheet Industry and Extrusion Machinery
Round up of new technology; plus degradable films for agriculture use and for extending shelf life of produce
36 Country Focus
Thailand’s manufacturing sector is under threat due to wage increases, said exhibitors at the recent Tiprex show in Bangkok
39 Processor Report
Having installed a fully integrated PET bottle-to-food-grade flakes system, Royal Interpack is now working towards 100% rPET usage in its products
41 Masterbatch and Additives
Both sectors have remained recession proof despite the global economic downturn
Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: email@example.com Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email: email@example.com Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Regulars 概 要
Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd
4 Industry News 8 Materials News
is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV.
10 Machinery News 12 Composites News 14 物料商情:生物基領域的競賽遊戲
Supplements 副 刊 South Korea’s star rapper Psy is not the country’s only export; injection moulding machines are catching up in Southeast Asia, too
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A S l A’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
On the Cover Azo’s equipment at SIMONA’s Chinese facility for the automated provision of raw materials during the manufacture of PVC dryblend
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CHINAPLAS 2013 May 20 – 23, 2013 Please visit us Hall 5.1 · Stand A 61
Latest M&As • French chemical firm Arkema has acquired a majority stake in AEC Polymers, a manufacturer of structural adhesives, also based in France, to align with its expansion into high added value speciality chemicals, in particular composite materials and advanced materials. • Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant has acquired the Bayink nano-silver ink technology from Germany-based Bayer Group for its portfolio of new materials for the electronics and energy markets. • Mexican petrochemical firm Mexichem is purchasing US-based compounder PolyOne’s vinyl dispersion, blending
and suspension resin assets for US$250 million in cash. The business had a turnover of US$147 million in 2012. Last year, Mexichem acquired Netherlands-based PVC pipe manufacturer Wavin for US$667 million. It has also entered into a joint venture with Petróleos Mexicanos to double its vinyl chloride monomer capacity. • US mega chemical firm Dow Chemical says it will sell its Polypropylene Licensing and Catalysts and its Plastics Additives business units. In January, the company divested the stabilisers component and is selling its 50% ownership in Nippon Unicar Company (a Japanese joint venture in the Dow Electrical and Telecommunications
business). • US chemicals firm Huntsman has acquired a 20% stake in Japanese firm Nippon Aqua, spray polyurethane (PU) foam insulation company and a subsidiary of residential home constructor Hinokiya Holdings. • Austria-headquartered Keba has acquired a majority holding in Netherlands-based Delem, a supplier of automation for the sheet metal machinery market. Delem posted sales revenues of EUR14.8 million last year. • German chemicals company BASF has completed its acquisition of parts of Ciech’s TDI business. • US-based IPEG Inc, which also owns Rapid Granulator (Sweden) and Conair
Group, has acquired Republic Machine, a manufacturer of singleshaft shredders. IPEG has also acquired the assets of Thermal Care, a manufacturer of temperature controllers, portable and central chillers, cooling towers and pump tanks used in heat-transfer applications in plastics processing and other industries. Thermal Care is a subsidiary of public-listed MFRI. • Japanese chemical firm Mitsubishi Chemical has bought US-based Comtrex’s PVC and TPV compounding business. • Swedish engineering polymer group Trelleborg has acquired UK-based composites materials maker Ambler Technologies, to strengthen its position in offshore oil and gas.
China's plastics industry still remains upbeat China’s slowing growth from 2010-2011, overflowed to 2012/2013, against the backdrop of the European financial crisis. But this has not affected the plastics sector, said Stanley Chu, Chairperson of the Hong Kong-headquartered Adsale Group (organiser of the Chinaplas), at a seminar the firm organised recently in Bangkok, Thailand, in conjunction with the Chinaplas 2013 exhibition, to run from 20-23 May in Guangzhou. He said that in 2011, China was the world’s top plastics machinery
producer, a title it has held for 11 consecutive years, and this was maintained in 2012. According to Chu, the output of plastic products reached 57.82 million tonnes in 2012, an increase of 8.9%. Accounting for the increased output were films (9.7 million tonnes), foamed plastic (1.72 million tonnes), and other products. The country also produced 52.13 million tonnes of polymers, an increase of 5%, and 270,388 machines, with 18% destined for the export markets, with Thailand,
Indonesia and Brazil as the top three export destinations. Currently, China is focusing on seven sectors for its industrial development, said Chu. These include energysaving applications, green technology, new materials, high-end manufacturing, electric vehicle production, and bio-technology. Chu explained that the plastics processing industry in China is following technology trends that hinge on energy savings and higher efficiency. It is also aligning
with the production of biomaterials and materials that can be recycled. As for the machinery sector, the country is integrating technology applications in sectors across the board, which are also putting in place more automated machinery to offset the rising labour costs. The upcoming Chinaplas show with the participation of 3,000 foreign and local exhibitors on a 60:40 ratio, also serves as an indicator that the country’s plastics industry is still strong, assured Chu.
Plant set-ups across the globe • US materials firm PolyOne has opened a joint venture speciality colour concentrates plant in Saudi Arabia with Jeddahheadquartered EA Juffali & Bros. Material made at the US$14 million plant will be sold within the Middle East. • Japanese firm Toyo Engineering, together with ENPPI, an engineering company under the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, has been awarded a contract worth US$400 million to build a 400,000-tonne/year PE plant to start in early 2015. The PE plant will form part of Egyptian Ethylene and Derivative’s petrochemical complex in Egypt. • Start-up of Middle East's first 50,000-tonne/year PA66 plant, being built by a joint venture of Arabian Chevron Phillips Petrochemical and the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, Petrochemical Conversion Company (PCC), is on track for the end of the year. The project also includes a 20,000-tonne/ year nylon compounding plant and 120,000 tonnes/ year of converted products such as PE pipes, drip irrigation products, medical disposables, caps and closures, pharmaceutical packaging, electrical fittings and automotive parts. • Rapak, a business unit of DS Smith Plastics and market leader in liquid bagin box packaging and filling systems, has set up a new facility in Chachoengsao, Thailand. • Mitsui Chemicals has started up the Lotte Misui Chemicals PP catalyst plant, a part of a
joint venture with South Korean Lotte Chemical.
• Japanese speciality chemicals firm Kuraray recently had a groundbreaking of its greenfield 40,000-tonne/year Poval (PVOH) plant located in La Porte, Texas. It will start up by 2015. • Swiss firm Clariant is investing CHF8 million into its Indonesian pigment plant to increase its capacity by 100%. It is also finalising the feasibility for expanding the capacity at its Azo pigments and pigment preparations plants in Roha, India, by 50%. • Mumbai-based petrochemical firm Bhansali Engineering Polymers is in a joint venture with Japan's Nippon A&L (a joint venture between Sumitomo Chemicals and Mitsui Chemicals) to undertake application development work of specialised grades of ABS, AES and ASA resins and their alloys with other polymers for applications in the automotive, telecommunication, electrical & electronics and other sectors. • Fibre specialist Teijin Aramid, a subsidiary of Teijin Group, has opened a technical centre in Shanghai, China, which will focus on its Twaron, Technora and Teijinconex brands. • US-based A Schulman has set up a 10,000-tonne/ year masterbatch facility in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, to manufacture masterbatch products for the country’s growing flexible packaging, appliance and consumer products markets. It is its first facility in India and its fifth in the Asia Pacific region.
Testing of automotive parts a priority at Lanxess tech centre
ermany-based speciality chemicals company Lanxess has invested “several million Euros” in its new Asia-Pacific Application Development Centre (APDC) for its high-tech plastics (Pocan PBT and Durethan PA6), located at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park, said Christof Krogmann, Head of High Performance Materials business unit for the APAC region. “It is an on-going investment process, there is still space for more equipment and we will continue to invest in the facility in the future,” he said at the opening on 18 April. When asked the reasons for locating the facility in Hong Kong (since it is not an automotive sector hub), Krogmann replied, “Logistically, Hong Kong is easy to get to; plus the Technology Park houses 300 hightechnology enterprises as well as academic institutions, opening up more opportunities for cooperation in the science development for us.” The centre will complement Lanxess’s material testing facility in Wuxi, China, and the main testing facility in Germany. Automotive parts testing a focus A target focus will be automotive parts testing, since 50% of the business of the High Performance Materials (HPM) unit, which runs the centre, is in the automotive sector, said Hartwig Meier, Head of Global Product and Application Development of HPM. He also said that 2013 is the year of lightweight solutions for Lanxess, an apt slogan that relates to the automotive sector. To focus on the Asian and Indian markets, the facility caters to concept development, computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, mould-design assistance and part test applications, for injection/blow moulded parts as well as composite sheet applications. Based on this, the firm expects to expand its Green Mobility trend in Asia for under-the-hood, chassis, engine and oil pan applications. “Fuel tanks are especially important. Previously, PE was used for tanks for motorcycles and lawn mowers but due to permeability issues, many manufacturers are turning to Hartwig Meier says the PA,” said Thomas Babl, Head of firm has around 330 Technical Marketing & Engineer compounding grades. “Over the last five years, Services for HPM. He added that the firm is already working at least 30% of these with several customers on fuel have been upgraded,” he emphasised tank testing at the APDC.
In Europe, with the pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, the use of compressed gas and with metal tanks becoming too heavy, Babl says that car maker Volkswagen will use a Lanxess PA6 barrier grade for a fuel tank in a car model “With top-notch simulation to be launched by this year. tools, we are able to provide Another area that Babl innovative solutions," said hopes will become a trend Thomas Babl in Asia is turbocharged engines, for which Lanxess supplies a 25% glass fibrereinforced PA6. A new addition to the firm’s portfolio, the Tepex nylon composite (glass fibre-reinforced) sheet technology, which Lanxess acquired from Germanybased Bond-Laminates last year, is expected to be introduced to the Asian market end 2013/early 2014. Lanxess has already been working with BondLaminates since 2006 on several projects for the automotive industry. Examples are housings for passenger car airbags, with a weight reduction of 30%, compared to injection-moulded thermoplastics, and a car brake pedal that has been successfully designed for mass production. “It is 50% lighter than comparable traditional steel brake pedals, but just as mechanically strong,” said Meier, adding that it will be launched by year end. Pumping up capacity to meet growth With the growth expected in the future, Lanxess has expanded its compounding capacities in Asia. In 2011, it increased its capacity to 60,000 tonnes/year at its Wuxi facility. In 2012, the company opened a new compounding plant in Jhagadia, India, with an initial capacity of 20,000 tonnes/year. These two facilities supply the entire Asia Pacific region with Durethan and Pocan compounding grades. The HPM unit is part of Lanxess’s Performance Polymers segment, which achieved total sales of EUR5.2 billion in fiscal 2012. Parts such as this intake manifold will be tested at the facility
TRENDSETTERS 5 layer polyolefin-dedicated (POD) technology was introduced by Macchi in 2001 to foster film production economies and quality enhancement by expanding the product design option. Today that break-through concept is still well alive. Together with the synergistic developments made possible by the new resins offering unprecedented possibilities of downgauging, output rates and product performances for new business opportunities across the flexible packaging value chain.
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GREEN Materials News
Resting the case on bioplastics Bioplastics, despite the advantages, have stirred public debate on whether or not cultivating crops could escalate food insecurity, a question that the European Bioplastics has finally answered. Meanwhile, the biopolymer market is expected to grow by 15%, due to public concern on plastic bags and global warming, says IHS Chemical in its latest report.
he issue of land used for industrial feedstock instead of food production has raised political and industrial disputes. According to a World Bank (WB) report on global food crisis, an increased use of biofuels in developed countries may have driven up food prices by 75% due to the diversification of food crops, specifically corn for producing first generation fuel. The European Commission's Directorate-General Environment also raised concern of bioplastic feedstock eventually competing for land used for food crops such as corn, soy, wheat or sugarcane. However, the European Bioplastics association says that the land area used to grow crops for bioplastics is not competing with food and feed. The surface needed to cultivate enough feedstock for current biopastic production only accounts for less than 0.006% of the 5 billion-ha global agricultural area, which is 37% of the total 13.4 billion ha of global land surface, it says in a report. By 2016, the surface requirement is expected to increase to 1.1 million ha or just 0.022% of the total global agricultural area, to cater to the output of 3.7 million tonnes of bioplastics. The market data depicts production capacities of around 1.2 million tonnes in 2011, which translates to around 300,000 ha of land to grow feedstock for bioplastics. The group’s study also notes data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) and the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites in Germany. Environmental issues to push for growth of biopolymers Lending further support to the growth of the market is US-based IHS Chemical’s global market research report. It says that mounting consumer pressure and legislation, such as plastic bag bans and global warming initiatives, will increase demand for biodegradable polymers (including compostable materials, but not all bio-based products) in the US, Europe and Asia from 269,000 in 2012 to 525,000 in 2017, representing an average annual growth rate of nearly 15% during the five-year period.
Biopolymers for food packaging account for the largest use in Europe and the US
In terms of biodegradable polymer end-uses, it is estimated that the food packaging (including fast-food and beverage containers), dishes and cutlery markets are the major growth drivers. In both the US and Europe, these markets account for the largest uses and doubledigit growth is expected in the next several years. Foam packaging once dominated the market and continues to represent significant market share for biodegradable polymers, behind food packaging, dishes and cutlery. Compostable bags, as well as single-use carrier plastic bags, follow foam packaging in terms of volume.
Dishes and cutlery are major growth drivers for the use of biodegradable polymers
The report also noted that these biodegradable polymers offer expanding uses for biomedical applications. Another developing use is in the shale gas industry, for use during hydro-fracking as more environmentally friendly props to ‘prop open’ fractures in rock layers so oil and gas can be released. In 2012, Europe was the dominant market for biodegradable polymers consuming 147,000 tonnes or about 55% of world consumption; US accounted for 29% and Asia, 16%. Landfill waste disposal and stringent legislation are key market drivers in Europe and include a packaging waste directive to set recovering and recycling targets, a number of plastic bag bans, and other collection and waste disposal laws to avoid landfills. The most acceptable disposal method for biodegradable polymers is composting. However, it requires an infrastructure, including collection systems and composting facilities, which is prevalent in Europe while the US network is smaller, but expanding.
Green Materials News US consumption of biodegradable polymers has grown significantly in recent years, according to the IHS report, primarily due to the polymers becoming more cost competitive with petroleum-based products, and the growing support at the local, state and federal levels (for example, legislation defining biodegradability and plastic bag bans). In addition, there has been progress in addressing issues relative to solid waste disposal, such as improving composting infrastructure. However, IHS notes that main barriers to further growth are price and performance, which will become less significant as processing technologies improve, more applications are developed and production increases. In Asia, there has been some growth of biodegradable polymers use due to government and industry promoting their use. This also includes plastic bag bans and global warming initiatives. However, Asian consumption has not increased as much as expected. Current market prices of biodegradable polymers continue to be higher than conventional, petroleumbased resins. PLA and starch-based polymers take the lead The IHS report also stated that in 2012, the two most important commercial, biodegradable polymers were PLA and starch-based polymers, accounting for 47% and 41%, respectively, of total biodegradable polymers consumption. Starch sources vary worldwide, but include corn, potatoes, cassava and sugar beets. In Europe, starch-based biodegradable polymers are the major type consumed, accounting for 62% of the market, due to Europeâ€™s large starch-based capacity. This is followed by PLA (24%) and other biodegradable polymer types (14%). Advances in technology will put PLA and PBS (polybutylene succinate) in a strong market position by 2015, with both products to account for 55% of the global bioplastics capacity. Chinese firms revving up bioplastics interest Meanwhile, IHS says that the Chinese market is expected to grow rapidly due to new capacity and government legislation supporting the environment. This is supported by Market Researchâ€™s Global and Chinese Biodegradable Plastics Industry Report, which says that in 2012, some 12 manufacturers from Chinaâ€™s bioplastics industry posted a total capacity of up to 301,000 tonnes/year, growing at a CAGR of 27.3% from 2009-2012. By 2015, the output is expected to be 650,000 tonnes/year. Kingfa Technology, Wuhan Huali Environmental Technology and Shenzhen Esun Industrial, have set up 10,000 tonne/year-capacity facilities for biodegradable plastics, including PBS, PLA and starch-based biodegradable plastics. A 10,000 tonne/year-PBS plant of Youth Chemical, a subsidiary of Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical Group, which started construction in 2011, is expected to be completed this year.
Last year, Zibo Qixiang Tengda Chemical raised funds for the set-up of a new 150,000 tonne/yearPBS plant, through non-public offering of stock. It is expected to be ready by 2015. Better batteries using plastics from waste sulphur A new chemical process can transform waste sulphur, left over when oil and natural gas are refined into cleaner-burning fuels, into a lightweight plastic that may improve batteries for electric cars, reports a University of Arizona-led team. The new plastic has other potential uses, including optical uses. The team has successfully used the new plastic to make lithiumsulphur or Li-S batteries for electric and hybrid cars and for military uses. The new plastic has great promise as something that can be produced easily and inexpensively on an industrial scale, says the team that has filed a patent for the process. The National Research Foundation of Korea, the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the American Chemical Society and the University of Arizona funded the research. Sulphur poses technical challenges. It doesn't easily form the stable long chains of molecules, known as polymers, needed to make a mouldable plastic, and most materials don't dissolve in sulphur. Thus, the team identified 20 chemicals most likely to polymerise sulphur and identified one that worked. The process is dubbed "inverse vulcanisation" because it requires mostly sulphur with a small amount of an additive. Vulcanisation is the chemical process that makes rubber more durable by adding a small amount of sulphur to rubber. The new plastic is said to perform better in batteries than elemental sulphur because batteries with cathodes made of elemental sulphur can be used and recharged only a limited number of times before they fail. The new plastic is also claimed to have electrochemical properties superior to those of the elemental sulphur now used in Li-S batteries, the researchers report. The team's batteries exhibited high specific capacity (823 mAh/g at 100 cycles) and enhanced capacity retention. While several companies have expressed interest in the new plastic and the new battery, the team's next step is comparing properties of the new plastic to existing plastics and exploring other practical applications such as photonics.
Arizona University has formulated a plastic from waste sulphur MAY 2013
Recycling made easier Auxiliaries can make a difference in the recycling process, especially in the use of postconsumer regrind, where every step of the production can affect the quality of the final product.
talian firm Piovan says the engineering of a system for the use of rPET as a main raw material in the processing of car interior parts represents one of the latest challenges since it requires specific technical competences as rPET is amorphous, dusty and comes in variable granule sizes. With this in mind, Piovan has developed a solution with features such as a crystallising, dehumidifying and dosing with a capacity of up to 1,200 kg/hour postconsumer PET flakes and up to 1,600 kg/hour in the case PET granules are used. Such large capacities do not facilitate the management of production changes or small production lots. In order to avoid material waste and long machine down-times, Piovan developed a solution characterised by a double dosing process and two separate parallel columns for crystallisation and drying. This allows the user to switch from processing rPET flakes to PET granules and to vary the percentage of the recycled material to a large quantity of PCR flakes without altering the overall efficiency of the system.
Piovan's supervising software WinPET manages the production process
materials, depending on densities and capacities, thus, optimising energy usage and avoiding any waste, according to Piovan. The firm also adds that reduction of the raw material and running costs equates to consequent reduction of the production costs. Producing finer granules and no breaks in strand pelletising By streamlining the operation of its Purging Recovery System (PRS), US-based Maguire Products says it has increased output by 20% and production of finer and more uniform granulate with less dust. In the PRS, material undergoes two stages of size reduction. First, a rotor planer slices or planes the rocklike purging into small chips. Second, a granulator reduces the chips to regrind. Maguire says the knives in the rotor planer are now 40% smaller and it has added on four more knives to total 12. As a result, the planer produces smaller chips that are more easily size-reduced by the second-stage granulator. The cutting chamber of the second-stage granulator has been redesigned to increase the flow of air generated
Piovan's crystallising, dehumidifying and dosing system for recycling PET
The firmâ€™s patented gas chambers heat up process air for the crystallising and drying systems, said to be convenient in applications in the installation site where the price of natural gas is much lower than that of electricity. The entire production process can be managed via Piovanâ€™s supervising software WinPET. From a remote PC workstation, it is possible to adapt the production automatically to the different types of
Purging being loaded into Maguireâ€™s PRS
Machinery News by a blower. The material in the granulator, thus, is cooled more effectively, preventing melting, and it is evacuated from the cutting chamber more rapidly, says the supplier. Finer granulate is also produced, with minimum hole sizes in the screen of the second-stage granulator reduced from 9.52 mm to 6.35 mm. Plus, Maguire has replaced the previous one-piece screen with a three-piece screen that is easier and less expensive to replace. Three years ago, Germany-based Kreyenborg installed its V-type screen changer in a recycling plant with strand pelletising. The processor mainly processes PS and PP film remnants, which contain a high level of contamination. Despite the high mechanical demands on the system technology, there are no signs of Kreyenborgâ€™s V-Type screen changer in use in strand pelletising
fatigue after more than 51,000 backflush cycles, says Kreyenborg. One cycle comprises the flushing of all four screen cavities, of which there are three in production (patented 75% technology). An overhaul due to rework or wear of the seals is not necessary when using a piston screen changer because there is no leakage. The screen changer makes more than 100 backflush cycles with the same screen pack. Then the screens are changed for security reasons in order to avoid fatigue of the mesh. The purpose of these preventive measures is to prevent the bypass of dirt particles around the boundary edge of the screen packs. If and when the screens need to be changed, the replacement of the screen packs is very simple. Kreyenborg also says that strand breaks are things of the past when using the V-type, due to the constant pressure of the machine. New line for recycling high moisture-content waste Italy-based Union has a new line for the recycling of waste. The 2,000 kg/hour- line has a simple operating principle: the heterogeneous material, with a moisture content of up to 30%, is fed, via a co nveyor belt equipped with a special comb, which regulates its flow, into an agglomerating machine. This has a large plasticisation unit with large-diameter rotating screws. The speed of the conveyor belt, and thus the flow rate, are kept constant by a control system located on the engine. Inside the plasticising unit, the material is submitted to mechanical friction and heating, which reduces its high moisture content and increases its density. Once molten, the material flows directly into a special extruder; from there it flows through the continuous, self-cleaning screen changer before being sent, finally, to the die-face pelletiser to be turned into pellets.
Composites News 12
Composites find a niche home Round up on recycling of composite waste; new carbon fibre that reduces production costs; Tpreg thermoplastic reinforcement and SGL’s plans to set up a composite centre in Singapore.
he global composites market earned revenues of US$31.4 million in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$35.7 million in 2018, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. The growth is coming from increased investment in new high speed rail (HSR) lines in China while in Europe, Spain is expected to provide impetus to market expansion. The market analyst says that OEMs are likely to incorporate larger quantities of composites in new rolling stock as a result of benefits such as lower life-time cost, significant weight reduction potential and higher strength-to-weight ratio. However, the firm warns that the high cost of composites compared to metals, lack of proper joining techniques, absence of standardisation (in terms of material grade), and poor reparability and recyclability all threaten to limit the penetration of composites in HSR applications. For the short-term, market participants should concentrate on strengthening their current product portfolio and engaging existing HSR OEMs/Tier-I suppliers on a larger-scale, while in the longer-term, as the global economy recovers, market participants should focus on investing in new capacities, pushing product innovation and getting involved in joint development activities with OEMs, according to Frost & Sullivan. German recycling firm Saperatec, which has developed a patented technology to separate waste composite materials and photovoltaic modules into secondary raw materials, recently had an investment of US$4.2 million. This came from a consortium comprising German firms eCapital Entrepreneurial Partners; HighTech Gründerfonds (HTGF); and Gründerfonds BielefeldNRW Bank. Saperatec says it will use the funds to build a modular demonstration plant at its Bielefeld site as it moves from a pilot operation to a larger scale in an effort to tap into international markets. The firm says that its recovery system is able to recover rare materials that are used in electric and electrical equipment besides the “masses of steel or aluminium”. Conventional treatment methods do not achieve the desired result in the recycling of electronic scrap such as flat panels and photovoltaic modules, says the firm. In other news, Japanese Mitsubishi Plastics claims that it has succeeded in nearly halving the production costs of its ultra-high modulus pitch-based carbon fibre, which exhibits excellent heat conductivity and rigidity. The firm says that, because of its high cost, the current product DIALEAD K13C2U has been limited to applications such as heat release materials for electronics devices loaded into artificial satellites. It has a tensile modulus of 900 GPa) and thermal conductivity of 620 W/mK, almost triple that of aluminium, says Mitsubishi. MAY 2013
DIALEAD is a pitch-based carbon fibre supported by many proprietary technologies as a result of coal chemistry by Mitsubishi Chemical. The product is widely applied in fields such as aerospace and sports industries
The significant reduction of production costs, while keeping the same level of modulus and thermal conductivity, for the new DIALEAD K13C6U product is expected to expand its application into parts and materials for electronic devices for light/small aircraft, heat sinks, LEDs, and automobiles. Production efficiency has been raised by tripling the number of filaments per fibre bundle to 6000 (6K) from 2000 (2K) by optimisation of graphitisation processes. As a result of this, production costs have been almost halved. Another new material comes from Chomarat that is launching Tpreg: a continuous pre-impregnated thermoplastic reinforcement. Recognised for an innovation at the recent JEC show in Paris, Tpreg is a range of products that complements the current OrganoSheet line (assembly of a continuous reinforcement and a thermoplastic resin). TPreg maintains thermoplastic composites advantages: speed of conversion processes, little emission of volatile matter, thermoformability and recyclability. It can be designed with a diversity of materials (carbon/glass fibre) and in different widths. With various impregnation levels in development, the range is suited to various production processes and opens up new economic prospects for the market, says Chomarat. This new range finds applications in numerous sectors such as automotive or sports and leisure. Meanwhile, carbon fibre producer SGL Group is supporting a project to establish a Composite Technology Centre in Singapore. A joint project involving Singapore Polytechnic, TUM Asia (the German Institute of Science and Technology) and the Institute for Carbon Composites (LCC) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, the centre will aim to improve education in the area of fibre composites, promote further development of the technology and encourage companies to set up in the region. It plans to open a Composite Laboratory in April 2013. One of the on-going projects SGL Group is working on is the development of the world’s first electric taxi at the TUM CREATE, a joint research programme between TUM Germany and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore with funding from the National Research Foundation of Singapore.
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ARBURG GmbH + Co KG Postfach 11 09 · 72286 Lossburg / Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 74 46 33-0 Fax: +49 (0) 74 46 33 33 65 e-mail: email@example.com (CN) China: ARBURG (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +86 (0)21 5488 8866 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | ARBURG Machine & Trading (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +86 (0)755 8343 3750 · e-mail: email@example.com | (HK) Hong Kong: ARBURG Ltd. · Tel.: +852 2886 3007 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | (SG) Singapore: ARBURG PTE LTD. · Tel.: +65 6778 8318 · e-mail: email@example.com | (TH) Thailand: ARBURG (Thailand) Co., Ltd. · Tel.: +66 (0) 2349 4062 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | (ID) Indonesia: PT ARBURG · Tel.: +62 (0) 21 5830 3455 · e-mail: email@example.com | (MY) Malaysia: ARBURG Sdn Bhd · Tel.: +6 (03) 5636 6213 · e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
la 13 -23, 20 May 20 , Booth # A41 Hall 5.1 hou, China z Guang
新聞 業 界
Fast response times and optimum delivery capability Walter Sonntag, Division Manager, Marketing, of auxiliary equipment firm Azo GmbH + Co. KG outlines below the use of Azo equipment in SIMONAâ€™s new production facility in China to allow for greater flexibility and deadline compliance in the automatic provision of raw materials during the manufacture of PVC dryblend.
Combined tipping stations for flexible discharge of product from the various different raw material containers
IMONA AG, based in Kirn, Rhineland-Pfalz, is a manufacturer of thermoplastic plastics with worldwide production and sales locations. More than 1,200 employees assure comprehensive expertise and consultancy support, says the firm. The product range includes more than 35,000 items. With the opening of the plant in Jiangmen, Guangdong, in China back in 2010, the company continued with its commitment to progressive internationalisation. On a site measuring over 40,000 sq m, SIMONA erected a building for extrusion lines, doing so in several stages, for the production of various products including PVC dryblend and polyolefin sheets. "The new plant in China is an important milestone for SIMONA. It brings us a great deal closer to our objective, which is to establish SIMONA on a lasting basis as a global company for plastic semi-finished goods and pipe systems. The new site is part of our international logistics concept and it is going to greatly improve our delivery capability, particularly for the Asian market. Local production delivers substantial benefits to our customers. We increase our flexibility and are able to respond more rapidly to changes in the marketplace," said Wolfgang Moyses, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO), SIMONA. Investment in detail The main objective of the investment is to assure delivery capability on the Asian market at a constant level and to establish SIMONA as a global company for plastic semi-finished goods and pipework systems. To service the rapidly growing markets for plastic products in Asia, corresponding capacity reserves have already been scheduled. The system, thus, has to assure a high level of availability in order to supply exacting customers on schedule. The plant must also be able to facilitate end-to-end production planning with a connection to SAP. As an expertise leader, SIMONA places the greatest value on the protection of its formulations. Due to the delivery situation in respect of raw materials in China, the highest levels of flexibility in the provision of materials is a central requirement for the new plant.
• Quality is the paramount objective and a consistent commitment to customers regardless of production location.
• High availability and low plant downtime guarantee the on-schedule manufacture and shipment of high-quality products.
• Process reliability Customer-specific configuration of material feeding and detailed adaptation of those materials to suit the production process greatly increase the levels of process reliability.
• Repeatability accuracy and exact adherence to formulation High levels of dosing and weighing precision ensure that finished products achieve a consistently high level of quality, as well as security in respect of the development of new products. • Flexibility The flexible use of regrind and the reduction of scrap volumes save costs, and rapid cleaning for formulation changeovers increases flexibility. • Transparency Intuitive operation reduces the cost of training and the time needed for the induction of new personnel. • Cleanliness High-quality products can only be manufactured using clean equipment and clean production facilities. • Use of personnel This automated process reduces the need for personnel and increases process reliability by a large margin. • Documentation The complete tracking of batches, starting with the choice of raw materials through to the finished product, is an essential part of quality verifications and external audits. • Image and positioning Also in Asia, SIMONA wishes to position itself as a quality leader in all application fields: "Made in Germany", produced in China. • Engineering The "all-from-one-single-supplier" principle: to implement this plant, a broad range of technical expertise was needed with regard to process and control technology.
The task A relatively dust-free, sealed conveying system and compliance with very stringent tolerance limits during the weighing processes are essential requirements for the manufacture of high-precision products. In this respect, there was also a special challenge, which was that the vibration caused by the mixing process should not be transmitted to the system technology. This is the only way to achieve the specified high levels of precision in respect of dosing and weighing. To conserve resources and the environment, it was stipulated that virtually all regrind material had to be recycled without quality losses. Another task involved the provision of raw materials for feeding the heating-cooling mixer with the smallest possible number of personnel. "The Azo system offers an exceptional amount of flexibility during the provision of raw materials. We can discharge big bags and bagged material directly into the system or can store them provisionally in a silo. Micro quantities are pre-weighed by hand and are then added directly to the mixer," said Oliver Queisser, Material Handling Supervisor SIMONA Engineering Plastics Guangdong. He also added, "We are today in a position to assure the complete provision of raw materials for this complex system with just one operator." Handling and storage of large volumes of PVC The PVC is supplied in big bags because the Chinese do not yet deliver goods in tanker trucks in many parts of the country. The outdoor silo can be filled from the big bag discharge station with the help of a pressure conveying system. Optionally, products can be fed directly into the vacuum weighing system. It is also possible to replace the big bag connection system with a feeding hopper module to enable sacks to be emptied as well. A second big bag station located at ground level is available as a back-up station. Here, special products can also be added. The aluminium outdoor silo is designed as a silo shell construction and is equipped with a very large filter and level indicators. PVC is added into the conveying line by means of a rotary feeder. The foundations for three further silos have already been prepared. To service the fast growing market in Asia, the entire system concept is designed in such a way that expansion (the addition of a second line) is possible without any problems. Feeding the medium components Four stations are available for tipping stabilisers, modifiers and fillers, at which big bags as well as bagged material can be added. Modifiers and stabilisers are pre-weighed in accordance with the formulation on a separate scale located under the platform of the tipping stations. The pre-weighed batch is fed from the scale into the vacuum weighing system. The filler materials are dosed directly into the conveying line and are weighed in the vacuum conveying scale, while titanium dioxide is conveyed by means of a MAY 2013
Cover Story separate vacuum conveying unit to a receiver above the heating-cooling mixer, and then weighed precisely in a hopper scale. Vibration bottoms under the tipping stations support product discharge and assure uniform filling of the dosing screws. Furthermore, the dosing screws can also be switched from coarse to fine dosing using frequency converters. These functions greatly help to achieve a precise weighing result. The addition of small quantities For small quantities such as anti-friction agents, four small feeding hoppers are provided. Whenever the feeding hopper cover is lifted, aspiration starts automatically to prevent dust from escaping while the sacks are being emptied. The mounted filters are cleaned automatically by means of compressed air pulses as soon as the cover has been closed. To comply with the specified tight tolerances, the small quantities are dosed through AZODOS devices into a small hopper scale where they are weighed precisely, to the nearest gram. The pre-weighed batch is then also fed in the PVC conveying line leading to the vacuum conveying scale. In this process, the PVC is finally drawn in by vacuum and serves as what is referred to as a "cleaning component". "With the Azo system we are in a position to dose and weigh materials so precisely that our products are able to withstand high thermal, mechanical and chemical stresses," said Product tipping station for PVC Queisser. Meanwhile, Artur Hirsch, Plant Manager, SIMONA Engineering Plastics Guangdong, adds, "The Azo system makes a substantial contribution towards also producing in China with the quality label of "Made in Germany". A continuously high standard of quality is only achieved through exact repeatability precision and strict adherence to formulation." Feeding of mixers with vacuum weighing systems Besides the major component PVC, all raw materials, except titanium dioxide and micro-ingredients, are fed into the heating-cooling mixer by means of the vacuum conveying scale.
Pneumatic feeding of heating-cooling mixer with PVC, filters and additives
While PVC and filler materials are dosed into the conveying line and are weighed precisely in the conveying scale, the other components have their own scales in which product batches can be pre-weighed. These other components then also pass through the single-pipe system to the conveying scale. This concept achieves a high level of dosing and weighing accuracy while at the same time achieving flexibility in the delivery of raw materials coupled with low building height. The handling of titanium dioxide With the help of a separate vacuum conveying system, TiO2 is conveyed into a buffer bin above the heatingcooling mixer from which it is dosed into a scale through a dosing screw. This scale empties directly into the mixer. This separate scale makes it possible to add TiO2 at a later point in time because its abrasiveness can cause severe wear to the mixer tool and to the bottom of the mixer. TiO2 is so fine that it has high adhesion properties. It therefore has a tendency to clog and block rigid pipework. Every time a product is conveyed, a layer builds up inside the metal pipe, and this gradually constricts that pipe. This in turn results in higher resistance levels and lower conveying performance. To counteract this, special flexible conveying lines have been installed. The TiO2 sticks to these less and the flexibility of the line also makes it easier to release again. ManDos manual weighing station The automation of micro ingredients is usually a challenging task, or may not prove economically viable due to the small quantities involved. Nevertheless, these micro ingredients are often of great importance for the formulation. With the help of ManDos, all these micro ingredients, such as waxes, pigments and additives, can be pre-weighed accurately to the nearest gram. The waxes are weighed in bags and are added to the mixer via an indexing belt. To keep the cleaning process as short as possible, colours are added directly to the extruder. The operator is guided through the weighing process by a touchscreen terminal whereby operator errors are prevented. Furthermore, all operating steps and weighing results are documented, meaning that even the micro quantities are traceable.
Cover Story To fill the dryblend into containers, it is conveyed into day silos via a suction conveying system. The containers are docked in a dust-free environment with the help of a docking device. A level indicator in the outlet pipe reports when the container is full. Then the flap at the outlet is closed and the container is ready to feed the extruder. "For us, complete traceability of batches and of the raw materials used were essential for quality verification purposes and for successful completion of customer audits and audits conducted by official certification authorities," says Hirsch about the central process control and visualisation system with connection to the SAP system.
ManDos manual weighing station for micro ingredients
The liquid additives are delivered in drums and are then pumped into larger square containers. Small hoppers act as buffer bins to keep the heated liquid scale loaded. The pre-weighed batches are then emptied into the mixer. The composed batch is heated and mixed in the heating mixer. Here, the components bond to the PVC particles. The product is cooled in the cooling mixer and the finished batch is then emptied into a downstream mixer hopper, or is filled directly into containers via a lowering docking device. Feeding the extruders from containers makes it possible to reintegrate regrind into the production process. With the help of container discharge stations, the containers are placed directly on the extruder lines filled with fresh dryblend and regrind. "Because we have very demanding customers, for example in the automotive industry, maximum availability and delivery reliability are enormously important to us. We cannot afford to have any incorrect batches, and must recycle 100% of our regrind material," said Hirsch. Storage and homogenisation of dryblend Dryblend is supposed to be stored for at least 20 to 24 hours for "ripening". Furthermore, as many batches as possible are mixed in a homogenising silo in order to achieve a constant product quality. From the downstream mixer hopper, dryblend is conveyed into two mixing silos by means of a pressure conveying system. The respective silo is connected manually by means of a coupling station. The mixing silos are located in the same building, right beside the heating-cooling mixer. They are on a scale that measures their filling level and checks their balance. Heatingcooling mixer with feeding and filling, on the right, mixing silos for dryblend
All from a single supplier The control unit for the mixer has also been integrated into the plant control system of Azo Controls, a member of the Azo Group. Processes are operated and monitored by means of a PC-based visualisation system. Order management is carried out by the superordinate SAP system. Orders are communicated from Germany to the process control system in the Jiangmen plant, where they are then processed.
Central process control and visualisation system
Whenever a formulation is called up, the raw materials required for it are booked out of the material stock and are allocated to the order. If necessary, the system can even be operated by a remote connection from within Germany. The system offers a wide variety of workflow controls, like recording data of raw materials or calculating mass balances. Furthermore, the centralised system provides complete documentation of production processes, for example, by means of batch protocols, mass balances and verification of formulations, as well as long-term back-upof collected data. Conclusion "We were entirely satisfied with the engineering, installation, commissioning and service of Azo and were really comfortable with the whole experience. In our daily production operations, it proved to be exceptionally effective to have the entire process and mixing technology operated, controlled and logged through a central control system," said Hirsch. He goes on to say, "The 'all-in-one-single-supplier' argument was very important for us." MAY 2013
German Machinery and Technology
An array of attractive options At the upcoming Chinaplas show in Guangzhou, China, from 20-23 May, German machine makers hope to attract more buyers since exports to China have dropped over a one year period. Around 140 German exhibitors will occupy a space of 3,835 sq m at the show.
Machine deliveries down VDMA (German plastics machinery association) says that German exports of plastics and rubber machines to China amounted to EUR640.4 million in 2012. After two years of growth rates exceeding above average, the 16.4% drop in deliveries means a certain consolidation, said VDMA. The 2010 and 2011 statistics on world exports of plastics and rubber to China indicated an increase of 17.6%, with the 2011 export value increasing at approximately EUR2.480 million from the previous EUR2.108 export value. Taking the lead, and therefore as the top exporter for Chinese processors of plastics and rubber worldwide, Germany posted the highest exports, valued at EUR766.4 million in 2011, a 24.3% increase from the previous year. It also accounts for 30.9% of the total global exports value. Data for 2012 has not yet been released, says VDMA. Germany has outpaced other major export contenders over the same period, from 2010-2011, including Japan (EUR577.6 million, an increase of 22.3%); Taiwan (EUR268.8 million, an increase of 7.6%) and the US (EUR142.8 million, an increase of 31%). Looking back, VDMA says that German-manufactured plastics and rubber machines have faced challenges during the period. In the first half of 2012, the machine exports to China slackened but recovered in the second half of the year amidst rigors in the market, including intellectual property rights. Hence, in 2011, German machinery manufacturers lost revenues estimated at EUR7.9 billion due to piracy; as well as increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers as well as foreign suppliers, according to VDMA in an earlier report. TPE makers catering to the Chinese market TPE maker Kraiburg’s three products for the Asia Pacific region are said to have improved properties such as flame retardancy, scratch resistance and CO/NY (co-adhesion with nylon). The halogen-free intumescent FR/AP (flame retardant) series contains additives to give them better resistance to burning, compared to general TPE grades. As for the scratch resistant TPE (SCR series), it has improved mechanical stress for automotive parts such as sliders on ventilation grilles, control wheels or seat adjusters. Meanwhile, the CO/NY grade features improved bonding to nylon/ PA bonding with a TPE compound, even with softer compounds, as well as adhesion in co-injection and insert moulding. It offers a wide range of applications in the manufacture of handles for hand/power tools, over-moulded housings for the building/construction industry, electrical and electronic components, seals and for durable components like air inlet piping, cowl, stop button and door sills as well as automotive parts. Meanwhile, Hexpol Compounding (Foshan), the Chinese arm of Hexpol’s TPE family which also brings together Elasto and Müller Kunststoffe, says Asia Pacific is a strategic market for Hexpol. In response to growing demand, the firm has a new TPE production facility in China. At the show, it will display its Dryflex, Mediprene and EPSeal TPEs.
ProTec offers vacuum reactors for recycling polymers
rPET close to virgin PET Making its inaugural appearance at Chinaplas, ProTec Polymer Processing will be presenting bottle-to-bottle recycling of PET. An important system component in this multistage process is the OHL tumble reactor, a rotation reactor that can be heated and evacuated. The PET treatment process involves
German Machinery and Technology purging (decontaminating) the repellets inside of any volatile pollutants on the one hand, while at the same time allowing post-condensation (increasing the intrinsic viscosity IV) to take place on the other. The rPET produced by the OHL process has an acetaldehyde content of ≤ 1 ppm and exhibits material properties just like virgin PET. Production efficiency at the core Injection moulding machine supplier Arburg will have a full round-up of its electric, hybrid and hydraulic machines. The new packaging version of the hybrid Hidrive model with the “P” label has been enhanced, including fine tuning the distance between tie bars, clamping force and opening stroke. The 130 tonne-hybrid Allrounder 520H to be exhibited has a size 400 injection unit and will demonstrate the production of an ice-cream tub in a cycle time of 3.5 seconds.
Systec C machine series, which replaced the Dragon series last year, and is available in 12 sizes from 50-1,000 tonnes. A 120-tonne model will be shown producing components for a PP atomiser pump. The 48-cavity hot channel mould from KEBO will operate a 10-second cycle time, served with a servo pump drive from Yuken for low energy use. Improved insulation for the heating bands on the cylinder jacket reduces thermal radiation from the plasticisation unit.
Flavour, Aroma and Appearance
Arburg will showcase a medical part production cell on an electric Allrounder 370 E
13 0 2 s a pl .1 J07 Chinaavillon Booth 5
Medical technology is another important sector for the Chinese or Asian market. Thus, the firm will showcase its electric Allrounder 370E producing a housing for use in a fluid mixing system, with part handling undertaken by a Multilift Select robotic system. An LSR orange peeler will also be shown produced on a 160-tonne hydraulic two-component Allrounder 520S with the mould from Hongrita.
by 9-layer high barrier films
Moulding with short cycle times Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery and its Chinese subsidiary Demag Plastics Machinery will be exhibiting the hydraulic
Hosokawa Alpine Blown Film Technology: - Blown film lines up to 9 layers with the patented X-dies for shortest purging times. - MDO monoaxial film orientation lines with the patented TRIO (Trim Reduction for Inline Orientation)
HOSOKAWA ALPINE Aktiengesellschaft 86199 Augsburg, Germany email@example.com Demag will be exhibiting the production of a pump spray on its Systec
www.alpinehosokawa.com MAY 2013
2013 Hosokawa Alpine PRA 110 x 190.indd 1
4/15/2013 2:31:57 PM
German Machinery and Technology Meanwhile, compatriot Boy will showcase a twocomponent unit, with the second injection unit equipped with its own hydraulic drive and Procan Alpha control. A 35E model machine will produce a PC watch housing. The four-tie bar machine, with a footprint of 1.9 sq m and a cantilevered clamping unit, provides enough space for large moulds. A lateral swivel-out injection unit is yet another advantage of this machine. Feel good factor for W&H Having sold a nine-layer line last year at Chinaplas, extrusion machine maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) will cater to the growing market for flexible packaging in China with its Filmex cast film line. It sold an 11-layer Filmex cast film line for barrier film last year and this year again W&H is looking to the event with great expectations. According to Klaus Meyer, W&H Sales Director for China, 2012 was a good year for the firm as machines from the whole range of the portfolio were sold successfully. He also feels, that “the market and our customers are becoming more mature” and therefore has great confidence in the Chinese market. “Because private consumption will continue to grow at a rapid pace, W&H equipment will be needed to satisfy this demand in a way that meets the investors increasing requirements for better products, less waste, faster change over times, higher productivity and less energy consumption,” he said.
W&H’s Filmatic cast film line is targeted at the Chinese market
The Filmex operates on the chill-roll principle. Resin pellets are melted in the extruders. In the feed block, streams of melt converge and are subsequently spread out to a web width of up to 5 m, then solidified by rapid cooling on the chill-roll. The immediate freezing results in low crystallinity of the film, leading to improved optical and mechanical film properties at high output. Being capable of producing barrier film with 11-layers or up to 17-nano-layer in a special configuration, the Filmex is ideal for complex barrier film applications. Joining multiple functional layers, the properties of the single layers are combined to achieve better overall film properties. For example, in food packaging these improvements are serving both the manufacturer and the end consumer because the content is better protected providing it with a longer shelf-life.
One of the major advantages of cast barrier film is the high flexibility in the ratio of different layers as well as the big range of the films’ overall thickness. Film with excellent thermoformability for trays and the much thinner film for lidding applications are two good examples of the versatility of the cast film line. To enhance efficiency and eco-friendliness within the production, the line can be equipped with modules such as the patented die control Profile Booster for quick gauge adjustment or with an encapsulation of film edges with cost effective materials. LISIM still marketable in China Brückner Group will be presenting its LISIM technology for thin gauge films such as PP and PET capacitor films. It will also highlight benefits for BOPA film manufacturing, such as clips driven by linear motors and without any mechanical link for a faster production with the low maintenance requirements; motor/drive developments; flexibility through on-line adjustable stretching pattern to optimise film quality and facilitate the post-shrink or tensile process. For the production of BOPP, BOPET or BOPA film, the firm offers high productivity within the film stretching line, which is up to 10.4 m working width, 525 m/minute speed and an annual output of over 55,000 tonnes. This, it says, enables film producers to benefit from considerably reduced production costs and improved profitability. Forming machine with ceramic heating Kiefel will present its KMD78 automatic pressure forming machine for the manufacture of formed components made of PS, OPS, EPS, PP, PE and PET. Equipped with HTS ceramic heaters for the consistent distribution of heat-output, with toggle drive and motorised upper-yoke adjustment for both the forming and cutting stations, the new KMD78 claims cost-efficient production. Tension bars help ensure both the play-free movement of the drive components and the repeating accuracy of cutting procedures. A newly-developed, two-stage cutting system provides an accurate cut, says Kiefel. The fully-adjustable stacking unit operates from bottom to top, while the formed components are placed onto a conveyor belt.
Kiefel will display its KMD78 forming machine
German Machinery and Technology It is also equipped with a touchscreen-operated Siemens Simotion control system. The unit can handle a maximum form size of 760 x 540 mm, with a component height of up to 150 mm and a maximum film width of 810 mm. At the show, it will be demonstrating a fruit-tray tool processing clear APET material. For multi-layer packaging containers Kautex Maschinenbau will present an the KCC20S blow moulder, which is said to reduce the costs of barrier-layer industrial packaging for the production of containers with capacities ranging from 250 ml to 10 litres. At the show, it will demonstrate a 4-litre jerrycan with a handle, mainly used for agrochemicals. The single-station machine will be equipped with a four-layer head for the coextrusion of barrier, adhesive and two support layers to create a multi-layer structure in the resulting canister. In the coextrusion process, an adhesive layer is used to bond the barrier layer to a regrind layer, which together with the outer layer ensures the stability of the jerrycan. The outer layer usually consists of HDPE or other low-cost plastic and can also be coloured with masterbatch if desired.
THE BEST OF ENGINEERING. K 2013 Global leaders in machinery and equipment present their most progressive developments and world premieres: improved manufacturing, processing and machining technologies and innovative concepts for increasing material and energy efficiency. A truly unique opportunity to experience live presentations of sophisticated production units. About 3,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries will be spotlighting the very best at their most important business platform. Plan your visit now. Welcome to your K 2013.
International Trade Fair No. 1 for Plastics and Rubber Worldwide
MRS is into the PET sector Gneuss will show its MRS extruder for the devolatilisation of polymer melts, its online viscometer VIS, the range of Rotary Filtration Systems and screen changers as well as its environmentally-friendly melt temperature sensors and pressure transducers.
Gneuss will show its MRS extruder for the devolatilisation of polymer melts
The Multi Rotation System (MRS) extruder is operating in a number of different PET applications worldwide, including sheet, fibre and pelletising applications, since it permits the processing of PET without pre-drying or crystallising. Based on a conventional single-screw extruder, the MRS is a drum containing eight satellite single screws, driven by a ring gear and pinion transmission. The “barrels” cut into the drum, are approximately 30% open and provide optimum exposure of the melt. Screen changers for all applications Screen changer supplier Kreyenborg offers a range of discontinuous and continuous systems as well as fully automatic backflush screen changers, with process, pressure and volume flow constant mode of operation. They permit the processing of highly contaminated material in sensitive applications. These are applied together with Kreyenborg’s wearprotected melt pumps, which are available in different types and are suited for tasks in the extrusion and reactor discharge processes as well as simple colour or product change.
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH Postfach 10 10 06 _ 40001 Düsseldorf _ Germany Tel. + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-01 _ Fax + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-6 68
Film/Sheet Industry and Extrusion Machinery
Opportunities abound for machine makers Round up of new machinery and technology for the industry plus degradable films for agriculture use and for extending shelf life of produce.
Davis-Standard says its latest extrusion coating line can be supplied in under six months
Davis-Standard to debut extrusion coating line at Chinaplas US-based extrusion machinery maker Davis-Standard is launching its new dsX flex-pack extrusion coating line at Chinaplas. The line is said to provide converters and package printers with a competitively-priced system “that will give them distinct advantages when seeking to expand sales in the pricesensitive global flexible packaging market,” says the firm. This pre-engineered line can also be delivered quickly – in as little as six months – and provides customers with all the capabilities and flexibility needed to ramp up and compete effectively for a variety of rapidly emerging application opportunities including salted snack and noodle bags, toothpaste tubes, sachet packs, personal care products, condiment packs and stand-up pouches. Bob Florence, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing of DavisStandard said, “All of the components of the dsX flex-pack extrusion coating line are based on our proven, feature-rich designs and technology that minimise technical risks and lower cost of ownership. We have included everything our customers will need to achieve their flexible packaging manufacturing objectives, whether they are converters looking to upgrade for higher throughputs and quality; multinational suppliers in search of expansion opportunities; high-quality printers who want to enhance their lamination processes; or start-ups who could benefit from partnering with a company that can lead them through all the steps that assure extrusion coating success.” The flexible packaging line includes an unwinder; corona treaters; extrusion laminator; gravure primer coater dryer; pull roll with nip; winder; electrically heated, air-cooled Davis-Standard extruder with advanced feedscrew design; downstream, carriage, and controls (Siemens drives and controls used throughout). Lines are available in two versions to accommodate almost any plant: one is a longer line with the auxiliary unwinder placed close to the floor; the other raises the auxiliary unwinder to a position just atop the winder to shorten both the line length and the path of the auxiliary web to the laminator. Advanced computer technology that is standard on the dsX flex-pack includes DS APC (automatic profile control), which continually adjusts the product profile for best performance, and a DS5 computer, which allows for remote access to the line for troubleshooting and updating over a secure internet connection. Performance data is exportable to factory systems for SPC and other analytical management tools. The firm says the line represents the first of many new innovations expected to be introduced within the next year. “The goal is to help customers be more competitive by optimising their ability to respond to market and its ever-changing needs,” it says.
Film/Sheet Industry and Extrusion Machinery Evolution blown film technology shown in Thailand Reifenhäuser Singapore recently held its first open house in Thailand, showcasing its Evolution extrusion technology for packaging films. The open house, themed Asia Barrier Summit and Advanced Film, was held in partnership with Plastissimo, a long standing Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion customer with four blown film machines, and resin suppliers Mitsui, Kuraray and BASF. Sixty participants from six Asian countries were able to witness the production of advanced five and 9-layer packaging and barrier films on Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion Evolution lines. Juergen Rehkopf, Managing Director of Reifenhäuser Singapore says, "The success of the event was overwhelming. The lines demonstrated their extraordinary flexibility and superior performance. In purging and product changeover the Evolution technology is setting standards for the industry."
Reifenhäuser's Evolution has a flexible range of uses
The event was complemented by a one-day conference with networking sessions and lectures conducted by the partnering resin suppliers and Reifenhäuser. Due to the high interest generated by customers and the positive feedback from the participants, Reifenhäuser Singapore is planning similar focused events to follow soon.
Aiming for higher outputs with enhanced components US-based supplier of blown film equipment and components Addex says its enhanced automatic external gauge control (EGC) system for blown film lines, Tandem external gauge control (TEGC) system, combines the gauge control its EGC air ring with a bubble stabilising lower air ring. It, thus, achieves 15% to 30% greater output compared to a standard EGC system, according to Addex. The lower singleAddex’s new gauge control lip air ring sits on the die and matches the die’s diameter. It is fed by a blower about half the size of the blower needed for a typical air ring. The blower gently cools the bubble and stabilises it before entering the realm of the upper, dual-lip automatic gauge control air ring, which is located above it. The more stable bubble allows for higher output without jeopardising the gauge control function. The upper EGC air ring is 50 mm bigger than the die size. Therefore, a 400 mm die employs a 400 mm singlelip air ring located on the die and a 450 mm EGC air ring situated on top. The larger diameter for the upper air ring, which is equipped with the gauge controlling features, is needed to accommodate for the blow up ratio. The remaining components of the Tandem EGC system are the same as those of the standard EGC system. The
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Film/Sheet Industry and Extrusion Machinery standard unit is an automatic system that reduces film thickness variations by up to 70%, typically resulting in a 5% to 6% raw material savings. Addex simplified the original air ring structure by moving the electronic circuit board from outside of the air ring into the plenum area. An end user or OEM customer may also use its own thickness measuring system and feed it via the Ethernet connection to the air ring. Other key options for the OEM include mapping hardware and software for the control processor and monitoring devices for the reversing nip position and nip roll speed along with a control algorithm which converts the mapped gauge profile into instructions for the air ring software. Meanwhile, Gloucester Engineering’s subsidiary Pearl Technologies says its new pre-nip chiller spreaders can boost blown film output by as much as 10-20%. The spreaders, which mount at the top of the tent frame, are designed for processors that experience blocking or have low ceiling heights. They need only 8 in. of vertical space on the collapsing frame, remove the top two slates or rollers for installation. The chiller spreaders are custom designed to fit any line. Other benefits include reducing film temperatures by as much as 50°F, preventing sag at unwind and eliminating wrinkles at the nip assembly.
Future Design’s evacuation system has been designed to remove airborne contamination that may be emitted in the blown film extrusion process
Another subsidiary of US-based Gloucester, Future Design, has introduced a patented Saturn Evacuation System, which it claims is able to reduce airborne contaminants by up to 80%. The SES is a small air ring that fits any aluminum air ring or die. It fits between the die and the primary cooling ring. Connected to the vacuum side of the blower, the system creates a positive vacuum that draws contamination from the low-pressure zone at the die exit. The polluted air is filtered and the particulates get discharged to a suitable location. Canada-based Future Design says that contaminates include smoke, fumes and vaporous residues that are two heavy to stay airborne, thus settling on equipment frames, railings, electrical components or factory lighting fixtures. The SES can be retrofitted to any die or air ring package.
Dryer-less sheet line US-based sheet extrusion machinery supplier Welex has sold its first Converge CTS dryerless sheet line. The line will feed an inline PLA-PET thermoforming system at a North American packaging supplier, doing away with the need for conventional drying and recrystallising systems. CTS or conical twin-screw is a dryer-less solution using conical twin-screw technology which the company claims is superior to parallel twin-screw, with better feeding characteristics for low bulk densities, higher pressure and torque capability, low melt temperatures, a reduced footprint, and energy savings. “It also permits the addition of inexpensive fillers such as talc and calcium carbonate without the addition of expensive side feeding systems,” says Welex. David Schroeder, Welex President/CEO said the company has more than a dozen active proposals for the Converge CTS sheet line, in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Converting machinery – new technology for heavy-duty fabric Austrian firm Starlinger is using the Chinaplas to launch an eight-shuttle circular loom RX 8.0 for heavy-duty fabric looms. Said to be an operator-friendly loom that produces high-quality tape fabric for heavy-duty applications, the line has low maintenance and spare part requirements and is cost-efficient, according to Starlinger. It has based the line on its SL and alpha loom concepts, with electronically controlled settings. The RX 8.0 is primarily designed for the production of PP and HDPE tape fabric for heavy-duty applications such as FIBCs, tarpaulins, as well as geo- and agrotextiles. But it also caters to the production of lighter fabrics – down to 55g/m². Stretching the lifespan of produce with film packaging Two flexible packaging converters, US-based Exopack and German Kobusch Group, are to utilise Netherlandsbased PerfoTec’s packaging technology that improves the shelf life of produce. PerfoTec, a developer of modified atmosphere packaging, says it has developed a system that can extend shelf life and reduce product spoilage.
PerfoTec says its technology is able to adjust the permeability of film
Film/Sheet Industry and Extrusion Machinery The Dutch firm supplies specialised equipment that measures the respiration rates of fresh fruits and vegetables prior to film packaging. Software provided by the company calculates the film permeability required for optimal respiration of the packaged produce. A laser perforation system then uses that information to adapt the film permeability through precise micro perforations, and an integrated camera inspects each perforation for accurate diameter and space. This new alliance will allow Exopack and Kobusch to expand their current film offerings to fresh produce customers in North America and Europe respectively. PerfoTec will be responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the respiration meters and laser perforation equipment and software, as well as providing training and continued system support. Exopack and Kobush will have responsibility for film supply and ongoing product support. Exopack makes flexible plastic and paper packaging for a variety of food, consumer, industrial and medical applications while Kobusch makes custom packaging, both rigid and flexible, for the food, chemical, hygiene and medical markets. Both companies are owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. Degradable film for agriculture use In Australia, the Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers (CRC-P) and Integrated Packaging have completed a licence agreement that will see technology for producing a new range of degradable PE films used in both agricultural and industrial applications. Integrated Packaging is an Australian company and a major supplier of plastic films to the domestic market.
The firm says that the technology provides greater control over timing the degradation of the film, opening up the possibility for use of these films in more demanding agricultural applications that include improving water use efficiency in crop production and more effective planting practices for re-establishing native woodlands. Visit us at CHINAPLAS Guangzhou P.R. China, May 20 - 23, 2013 (ALL s 3TAND !
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Integrated Packagingâ€™s degradable PE film is for agriculture use
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Thailand: an Asean tiger against all odds The Asean economies form a strong chain for the AEC (Asean Economic Activity), which is a bid to create a common, barrierfree market by 2015. It will support not only the global competitiveness of the region but also encourage higher growth and market diversification, said participants at ChemOrbis Asia’s recent event in Thailand. Meanwhile, Thailand is amongst one of the strong pillars for AEC, but the recent wage hikes in the country threaten the manufacturing sector, said exhibitors interviewed at the recent Tiprex show, also in Thailand. Will the country eventually become the weakest link in Asean’s vision, asks Angelica Buan, in this report.
Regional upheavals and wage hikes Advanced economies are in a bad shape, in contrast to the faster growth in emerging and developing countries, according to a recent 2012 Global Competitiveness report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). But these countries are embattling their own state of affairs. The current North Korea-South Korea conflict, whilst not having an immediate impact on regional economies, may affect the global petrochemical trade. This is in view of the fact that South Korea exports 35% of the global output of petrochemicals, mainly to China, according to Chansin Treenuchagron, Senior Executive Vice-President of IRPC Public Company, speaking at the ChemOrbis Asia meeting in Bangkok recently. Meanwhile, Thailand is grappling its own problems. A known industrial haven for foreign direct investments (FDIs), primarily due to its low-wage workforce, the country is at risk of an exodus of manufacturers following a wage increase – a measure rolled out by the government amidst a strengthening Baht and declining global exports. Thus, a minimum wage hike of 40% (to Bht300) was implemented in two phases, in 2012 and in January this year. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) contends that labour costs are now higher compared to neighbouring countries like Vietnam, where wages are half. Furthermore, the higher wages will attract foreign workers from neighbouring countries, now totalling 3.8 million (890,000 of whom are legal), according to TDRI. This could result in a burdened social and welfare system as well as pose a threat to national security in the future. Though the government does provide tax relief to balance the impact of the higher wages, specifically for SMEs with a revenue not exceeding Bht50 million/year, experts note that productivity must increase. Meanwhile, Thailand is not the only country that has increased its minimum wage to adjust to the rising living costs. Last year, Vietnam increased its location-based minimum wage up to US$14 while the Philippines raised Namsak the cost of living allowance (COLA) by 15%. Indonesia Choonhajutha, has also hiked up its wages by 40%; and Malaysia raised Advisor of Plastic its minimum wage to RM900 to cover the poverty-line Industry Club, threshold. says that this year, The upside of the wage increase is that it builds Thailand’s economy up the purchasing power of the population and will be driven by private consumption, thereby generates higher disposable incomes. In his but at slower pace presentation, Namsak Choonhajutha, Advisor of Plastic due to the expiry of Industry Club - The Federation of Thai Industries, said the first car policy that with the AEC, disposable incomes will be 11.4% the government (2% of developed countries) from 2014-2018. This implemented will provide a boost to the automotive sector, with an last year. He also estimated 80 cars per 1,000 users. commented that TDRI also says that the higher wages should help labour-intensive improve the living standards of some 3.2 million workers industries will be from the private sector, whilst boosting domestic affected by the increase in the demand and tax revenues. Moreover, the income gap minimum wage will be narrowed and lower-salaried workers will have
Country Focus and natural resources “make it a country with one of the brightest futures in the world,” said Choonhajutha. “The government is cooperating with neighbouring countries like Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, to bring in the workforce,” he said. Furthermore, the two largest petrochemical firms PTT Group and its subsidiary IRPC are setting up a science and technology university in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, to build the skills of the group’s human resources, added Chansin Treenuchagron of IRPC.
KraussMaffei was demonstrating its AX 130-750 producing screw caps in a 24-cavity mould from CCT. The optimised five-point toggle lever, servomotors and smooth-running mechanics ensure maximum efficiency of the machine and reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, claims the German firm
a better bargaining power. These benefits are expected to eventually outweigh the risks associated with the higher wages. Sectors bearing the brunt Nevertheless, several Thai plastics firms are wrestling with the 45% ceiling wage increase, according to Yuttana Jiamtragan, Chairman of Plastic Industry Club Federation of Thai Industries, speaking at the launch of the Tiprex show. Furthermore, Thailand’s key SME lender Kasikornbank says that the increase has driven up SME labour costs to between 74.4% and 80.7% of the operating costs, which represents an average increase of 12%, and a big burden to Thai plastic companies, which are mainly small. Choonhajutha of the Plastic Industry Club says that 82% of Thai plastic converters are not large companies and “operate in a very fragmented industry, with a majority (44%) in the packaging sector". A company that was exhibiting at the Tiprex show, Advanced Plastic Intertrade said that its average monthly labour wage ranges from Bht9,000-10,000. Thailand’s largest plastic resin distributor Srithepthai Marketing said that its average monthly salary is from Bht10,000-11,000 and it also employs workers from Myanmar. The wage increase could, thus, impact the labourintensive plastics and rubber sector that contributes 2.5% to the GDP, and in turn affect the country’s GDP growth. Meanwhile, Thailand’s automotive sector is expected to grow by 10% this year, driven by strong FDIs, but the growth could be stunted by the higher labour costs, said Choonhajutha. Not losing clout In the roster of strong economies, Thailand, the region’s second largest economy, has indicated that it is a strong pillar of the regional bloc. Its abundant supply of labour
PTT Global was promoting its Innoplus line of HDPE and LDPE resins
This year, the country’s 5% GDP growth is expected to be driven mainly by exports and the Bht2 trillion government investment in infrastructure development, said Choonhajutha. The government is investing US$60 billion in a high-speed train project, which could help drag the Asian country out of the middle-income trap. This is part of the government’s off-budget spending on infrastructure investments over the next seven years, 80% of which is destined for new railways linking Bangkok to the provinces. In terms of exports, last year, Thailand had a 5% export growth, with a total value of US$3.4 million, with 37% of the exports destined for Japan, US and Australia. One exporter, Srithepthai Marketing, that produces food containers, foam and plastic/woven bags, using local materials (95%), exports to the US, Europe and the Middle East. “Thailand is very much export-driven. The government needs to stimulate local consumption to retain or increase the GDP growth. And in the plastics sector, we need to produce higher value local products, rather than importing these,” said Choonhajutha. Thus, at the Tiprex show, held at the BITEC from 3-6 April, companies introduced new machinery and materials to create a high technology sector in the country. Advanced Plastic Intertrade, in cooperation with Ultra Plast Asia, showcased machines for purging compounds. Though the compound is made in Thailand, all the MAY 2013
Country Focus machines are imported from Italy. The firm also exports to Southeast Asia, China and India. Another local company Mahakit Rubber exports rubber to companies like Michelin; and produces rubber bands, which it exports to Canada, Europe, US and Malaysia. The 35-year old company, posting a turnover of Bht3,000 million/year, noted a 5% drop in growth this year, compared to last year. Behn Meyer Chemical, a supplier and distributor of speciality plastics, was focusing on biodegradable plastics at the fair. The company, which posts an average turnover of Bht2,000-3,000 million/year, has widened its client base to include 7-11, Red-Bull, Cathay Pacific, Mister Donut, IKEA and Nike Golf. Thailand-based blown film machine manufacturer SPL Machinery keeps its production costs down by importing machine tools and materials from Taiwan, which are cheaper, and assembles the machines in Thailand. It exports to Malaysia and Spain, and has grown its local client base of 2,000 to 3,000. It posts a turnover of Bht500-1,000 million/ year.
SPL Machinery was demonstrating a double-screw three layer line at Tiprex
Polyfoam Manufacturing, a pioneer of expandable polystyrene (EPS) foam, boasts five factories in the country. It provides heat-protective foam coating and designs foam for clients that include electrical equipment firms like Hitachi and Sharp. Currently exporting to Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, it has an average turnover of Bht700 million/year per factory. Meanwhile, international exhibitors comprised 80% of the total participants at Tiprex, with pavilions for Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Japanese blow moulding machine manufacturer Nissei ASB said that the Thai domestic market is steeped in competition, owing to the saturated number of factories and companies already producing the same type of machines locally. To provide an edge, the company, which also has a branch in Singapore, markets to Myanmar where there are no competitors. Best Plastics Technology, which claims to be a “glocal” company – global technology combined with in-depth grasp of local customers’ needs – imports raw materials such as colour masterbatch and exports the compounds to clients in the US and EU. Meanwhile, Austrian auxiliary plastics equipment company, Blue Air Systems, noted that business in Thailand has not been as good as expected. The company,
Nissei ASB was showcasing a new standard in smallscale injection stretch blow moulding machines. It is able to mould a wider range of containers, has low noise, improved energy efficiency and is ideal for lowvolume high-mix production, said the firm
which introduced its resin drying and mould system, said that its average turnover in the country is EUR2,000 to 4,000/year. Malaysian-based tyre retreading specialist Acten Marketing is further expanding its client network in Thailand. The company, which has a turnover of Bht10,000 million/year, is also casting a wider marketing focus on Southeast Asia, having established a presence in Indonesia and the Philippines. Known for its tyre retreading technology, the company utilises China-made machines and exports its tyres to Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Iran and Argentina. The biennial Tiprex show, jointly organised by Messe Duesseldorf Asia, Thai Plastic Industries Association and the Plastic Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries, saw an increased number of exhibitors, hinting that Thailand has not lost its foothold yet. The show had over 250 exhibiting companies from 21 countries, with a 25% increase in direct exhibitor participation; and a total of 6,200 trade visitors from 41 countries over the four days.
Arburg’s ALLROUNDER 570 H features a clamping force of 200 tonnes and a size 1300 injection unit. Equipped with a six-cavity mould, the machine was producing aerosol caps from PP in a cycle time of 4.2 seconds. The part weight is 6.2 g and the shot weight 37.4 g
Thai firm aims for 100% rPET sheets in Thailand Thailandâ€™s Royal Interpack is claiming a first in the country with its fully integrated PET bottle-tofood-grade flakes system. But it has set higher stakes: whilst currently processing up to 80% rPET sheet it is aiming for 100% rPET usage in its sheets.
et up five years ago to thermoform punnets and clamshell packaging for the fresh fruit/vegetable sector, the firm (a member of the Royal Group Thailand) expanded to sheet production and thereafter into recycling. "We went into recycling to meet our customersâ€™ demands and because it closes the loop in PET bottle recycling," said Radhika Chawla, Director of Finance. "Now, we source the bales, process the flakes, produce the sheets and thermoform into packaging. We are utilising the latest extrusion technology that works to remove all impurities and create a FDA-approved, food-safe plastic that can be made into our full range of clamshells and punnets for packaging vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, cut fruits, salads and more," said Radhika. Radhika Chawla (right) and Somendra Mishra (left) say that they have a hands-on management approach. "We walk the floors not only to inspect the operations but also to keep in touch with the staff"
She says that the firm went into recycling to be able to control the process. "When we were sourcing the PET regrind, we found that there was no consistency in the material." The facility has a capacity of 1,000 tonnes/month and will be expanding the regrind output to 1,400 tonnes/month shortly. The food trays are mainly destined for export markets such as the US. The firm also has a facility in California where it processes the flakes into PET sheets and food trays. "The West coast market was receptive to offshore packaging. Hence, we bought automated lines and to control the process, are using in-house regrind from our Thai The PET bottle sorting plant," said Radhika. station includes a near It is currently also producing 100% infra-red spectroscope rPET clamshells in the US by sourcing sensor for polymer FDA-approved rPET sheets from US identification. After the suppliers. "We have also added new granulation and hot product lines in the US facility and are washing process, the already producing PP deli cups," said flakes are steamed. Since the regrind may still Radhika. contain a very low level of Meanwhile, the Thai plant will be coloured flakes and metal producing 100% rPET sheets by June this contaminants, it will be year. "Currently, we use up to 80% rPET purified by the Flake Purifier in our sheets, but are aiming for 100% sorting system. The high rPET sheets," said General Manager, resolution full colour CCD line scanning camera sensor Somendra Mishra. The 100% rPET sheets will be made through the use of and electromagnetic metal a FDA-approved vacuum extruder that is detection sensor will detect the presence of such contaminants, and fine pitch being built by German machinery maker eject valves will remove the contaminants to produce the FDA-approved PET flakes, says S&S Daimat, according to Mishra. MAY 2013
Processor Report Waste issues Mishra also added that the collected bottles are "good" in Thailand but inherent problems like rigidity add on to the recycling factor. "As such, the metallurgy of the equipment needs to be different to accommodate this," he said. Other problems are the wide labels, which are also of PVC. "We are trying to tackle this problem in house. Currently, we are unable to remove the labels in one cycle and are designing a semi-automated conveyor that will be able to run offline," adds Mishra. Automation for the sorting is also important in the process, Mishra adds, because the repeatability allows for more consistency and accuracy. "Weâ€™re going through the learning curve," echoed Radhika, adding, "But going forward, we are ironing out the issues step-by-step, by having meetings with brand owners to discuss the problems of recycling the postconsumer waste." According to Mishra, "The cost of production is not important but reliability is, even though labour is cheap in Thailand. We want a highly consistent material since it is for the export markets." He added that the firm is eyeing other export markets like the UK, Europe and India. Scavenger-collection market Other challenges are the raw material supply, the postconsumer bottle waste, since the bottles are recovered primarily through scavengers, as the country lacks an organised recycling system. This is even though the Thai government has made a concerted effort to improve the nation's waste management infrastructure, with policies that offer incentives to both local governments and private industries. "We are speaking to large retailers to encourage them to have recycling bins for collections. Things are slowly changing in Thailand," adds Radhika. According to Thailand's Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment, there are several hundred thousand scavengers in Thailand earning about Baht200-300 a day. The association has provided education schemes for members on issues such as hygiene and sorting of the rubbish. An estimated quarter of Thailand's 15 million tonnes of The firm produces a range of rubbish/year (that thermoformed packaging includes cans, plastic bottles and paper) is recycled â€“ largely thanks to scavengers rather than efforts by consumers to separate their waste.
Meanwhile, a recycling cooperative set up by a former scavenger is providing a lifeline for Bangkok's poor. By selling to the recycling plants in bulk, the cooperative gets a better rate than individual scavengers would be able to on their own. Profits are then paid back in dividends to members, including other benefits such as life insurance and interest rates from its "rubbish bank". It is expected that 80 cash-free recycling shops will be set up across Thailand by the end of 2013. High-tech sorting system Meanwhile at Royal, Radhika who owns the facility, together with her husband Visanu Chawla, says the recycling line was commissioned in August 2012 and started up end of last year. The 200,000 sq ft facility in Chonburi, about a two-hour drive from Bangkok and ten minutes from the seaside resort of Pattaya, sits on a 32 acre-site, of which only 40% has been developed. "We invested US$25 million in the plant and machinery to get the integrated line going," said Radhika. Construction is still on-going with the main office building to be ready by June this year. The 150-staffed facility operates two shifts.
S&Sâ€™s flake purifier has two outlet chutes
Sorting equipment supplier S+S Inspection Asia has supplied the comprehensive sorting line. Lee Chee Kiong from the company explained, "The line includes an S+S optical sensor-based sorting system and high frequency electromagnetic metal detectors. The first two automatic sorting systems are employed to sort the complete bottles while the third sorting system, just before the packing, is for sorting of flakes (size of 3 x 3 mm and above)." The recycling line also includes a label remover, wet granulator and a PET flakes washing system from STF in Germany. Besides the FDA, the firm is accredited to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) IOP and ISO 9001:2008 standards.
Masterbatch and Additives
Strong market prospects ahead The importance of masterbatch and additives in plastic products cannot be emphasised enough. Both components have maintained recession proof markets from 2009 onwards, at a time when the global economic downturn posted flat to negative growths across most industries, says Angelica Buan in this report, as well as citing a Chinese customer study with the use of ExxonMobil Chemical’s Vistamaxx PBE.
esearch firm Global Industry Analyst (GIA) forecasts that the global masterbatch market could be valued US$8.25 billion by 2017. Developments on the technology front as well as emerging production and industrial bases, increased output of plastic components, consumer goods and packaging products are driving present growth. The developing economies in the Asia Pacific, a major artery for mergers and acquisitions between large conglomerates and smaller players; Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Middle East/Africa, will be the main growth areas. Segments augmenting additives Meanwhile, additives are also enjoying a parallel growth, especially in the packaging segment, which is noted to rise faster than overall plastic packaging demand. Meanwhile, growth is also being driven by the continuous replacement of traditional packaging materials by plastics. This, thus, benefits functional additives used for packaging such as antioxidants, antimicrobials, antistatic agents, anti-fogging agents, clarifying agents, oxygen scavengers and UV stabilisers. Others are barrier coatings such as PVdC, EVOH, acrylics and PVOH, and the inorganic vapour deposition coatings. Meanwhile, Transparency Market Research, in its market study, says the additives market is expected to generate a revenue of US$47.8 billion by 2016, growing at a CAGR of 3.8% from 2011 to 2016. It also projected flame retardants to become the second largest segment generating revenue after plasticisers. The report also states that the Asia Pacific region leads globally in terms of production and consumption of additives, due to an increase in end use markets like the automotive and construction industries. Moreover, demand arising from the US and Europe is foreseen after a recovery from a crippled global economy. In line with the above findings, US market analysts BCC Research in its recent plastic additives market report also projected that market for property modifiers could advance to nearly US$30.6 billion by 2018, a CAGR of 5% from 2013 to 2018, whilst the market for stabilisers is anticipated to reach nearly US$15.6 billion by 2018, a CAGR of 4.9% over the five-year period. Biodegradable additives, not recycling friendly Not all additives are equal. Biobased plastics containing degradable additives may not be as environmental friendly as the name connotes. According to the US-based Association of Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), the use of oxo-degradable or biodegradable additives in packaging may interfere with the recycling process. The group, which has been adamant in its position on sustainability of materials since 2009 has often asked sellers and processors who are engaged in the use of biodegradable additives to consider the sustainability implications of those additives, especially on the recyclability of packaging. APR has been asking its members for data that supports the claims of bottles containing additives would have no impact on the recyclability of a bottle, including next-use life. “Containers with these degradable additives can seriously impair the integrity of the plastic packaging recycling stream”, it says, adding, “We have asked the additive providers to prove no harm done and have received no satisfactory answers. Hostile degradable additives not only mean the packaging containing them is unsuitable for recycling, but physically adjacent items are also rendered unfit. The impact goes beyond just the items containing the hostile additives.” MAY 2013
Masterbatch and Additives APR is also supporting the enactment of a legislation in North Carolina and Alabama that would prohibit the use of the term ‘degradable and recyclable’ on the label of a container and require containers with degradable additives to be labelled with the instruction, ‘do not recycle’. The group also urges environmental certifying organisations to include the impact of degradable additives on plastics recycling before allowing the use of logos. Moreover, APR explained that bio-sourced durable plastics, such as bio-PET and bio-PE, can easily be recycled with traditionally-sourced resins; while other bio-sourced and inherently degradable resins such as PLA should be recycled separately. Improving the quality of masterbatch filler Masterbatch compounders face a number of challenges, such as reducing the amount of plasticiser/additives being used without affecting performance and reducing the amount of dust produced during manufacturing. Another issue is that existing PP and PE polymer carriers have limited calcium carbonate (CaCO3) filler acceptance. Endusers of filler masterbatch compounds also face challenges such as the low let-down ratio of around 20% to 30%, which limits plastic substitution and cost reduction. Other application-specific requirements include demand for better tensile and impact strength in films so that plastic bags, for example, will not break when overloaded. Masterbatch compounds form an important part of the materials process
Another challenge includes the need for stronger yarn for woven bags and nonwoven fabrics, which are less likely to break at higher line speeds. And, there is a need for improved impact strength for less breakage in rigid packaging, such as blow moulded containers, especially in cold weather. When Chinese processor Shanghai Xiner was looking at improving the quality of its masterbatch compounds to meet the changing needs of plastics fabricators, it turned to ExxonMobil Chemical’s Vistamaxx propylenebased elastomer (PBE) to improve filler masterbatches for PP raffia tapes, HDPE films, nonwovens and HDPE blow moulded containers. Vistamaxx PBE enables high loadability for fillers and good dispersion and is also compatible with both PE and PP, thus serving as a single universal carrier. Shanghai Xiner says it observed better dispersion using Vistamaxx PBE as the polymer carrier for the CaCO3 masterbatch compared to an LLDPE carrier at 2% loading level when extruded into cast film to make raffia tape. The low melt-temperature of Vistamaxx 6202 PBE also allows for a lower mixing temperature during the masterbatch
"Working with ExxonMobil Chemical is helping us fulfill our goals of being more competitive with regard to end-product performance and reducing costs. Energy consumption during the manufacturing process has been reduced, and sales volumes have reached an annual growth rate of 20%," said Zigang Wang, President, Shanghai Xiner Low-Carbon Environmental
compounding. The Chinese processor also says that compounding temperatures have been lowered, and polymer carrier content has been reduced for raw material cost savings, thus increasing sales volumes by an annual growth rate of 20%. Furthermore, up to 40% of CaCO3-Vistamaxx PBE masterbatch by weight can be loaded into hPP while maintaining physical integrity compared to only 30% by weight of CaCO3-LLDPE or CaCO3-hPP masterbatch. Typical filler masterbatches are composed of 15% carrier polymer, such as PP or PE, and 85% CaCO3. By adding a low dosage (about 5%) of Vistamaxx PBE to partially replace the carrier polymer, the CaCO3 loading level can be increased by at least 5%. This allows the compounder to reduce the number of additives, which could bloom to part surface and lead to poor product performance. HDPE blown film fabricators can use up to 60% Vistamaxx PBE-based masterbatch, which can reduce their raw material cost by up to 20%. The masterbatch also improves surface finish in blown/cast films, reduces failure rates and lowers defects due to improved dispersion of the CaCO3. For woven bag manufacturers, Vistamaxx allows for better anti-fibrillation performance, less yarn breakage and fewer dusting problems for monofilaments, especially when running at faster line speeds of 120 to 140 m/minute. The let-down ratio in PP raffia tapes, which is usually about 10%, can be doubled using Vistamaxx PBE to partially replace the incumbent polymers and increasing the CaCO3 loading level, which can also significantly reduce costs of a final PP woven bag, says ExxonMobil. In nonwovens, Vistamaxx PBE-based filler masterbatch can be used to replace 30 to 70% PP, allowing for increased filler masterbatch loadability in end-use products, resulting in lower costs. Initially, Shanghai Xiner used Vistamaxx PBE to improve filler masterbatches for PP raffia tapes, later extending it to HDPE films, nonwovens and HDPE-based blow moulded containers
Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus
South Korean machine makers reach out to markets While South Korea’s biggest exports are probably
Engel was showing its all-electric models at Koplas
Samsung and LG electronic products; Hyundai, Kia and SsangYong vehicles (not forgetting K-pop
Austrian IMM maker Engel has doubled its capacity at its South Korean plant to 1,200 units/year, said Robert Bodingbauer, President of Engel Korea. Of the total small/ medium machine range produced in the EUR8 million plant, 30% are for the domestic market in Korea and 70% are exported to China and other Asian countries. Engel has also been steadily increasing its market share in Asia to 10%, and an Asian sales record of EUR125 million in 2011/2012.
singer Psy!), its plastics machinery industry is also beginning to be noticed, said manufacturers interviewed at the Koplas show, held in Seoul from 12-16 March.
Machine makers eye export markets njection moulding machine (IMM) manufacturers like LS Mtron, Woojin Plaimm and Hyundai Injection Machinery are making headway in the global and Southeast Asian markets. “Malaysia is our largest market in Asia. Last year, we sold 450 machines in the country,” said Byung-dae Lee, Production Director of Hyundai Injection Machinery. “We also expect sales to pick up this year in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, China and Uzbekistan,” he added. “We sold 300 machines last year and expect to increase to 400 this year,” said Lee, adding that the firm expects a turnover of US$35 million this year. Another machine maker LS Mtron is seeing increasing sales in Southeast Asian markets, especially for its large 3,000-4,000 tonnemachinery for pallets and large containers, said Lee Jong-Hun, General Manager of the Overseas Sales Team. “Last year, we had a turnover of US$20 million and 20% sales from Asia. Our market share for large tonnage machinery has also gone up in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia,” he said, adding that this year, the targeted markets are the US, Turkey, Brazil and Russia. Meanwhile, Woojin Plaimm (it changed its name from Woojin Selex last year), had export sales of US$60 million, about half its total turnover of US$120 million, last year, according to Andrew Kim, Regional Sales Manager. “We are already in many countries and targeting the Asian markets through our direct sales offices in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia,” he said, adding that the firm set up branch offices in Japan and Mexico last year to further expand its thrust in the respective countries.
Hybrids and all-electrics becoming common eanwhile, the South Korean IMM makers have also jumped on the energy savings bandwagon and were propagating hybrid or servo-hydraulic pump-driven machines at the show. “Almost all Korean moulders use hydraulic machines but they are slowly changing to hybrid and electric machines,” said Woojin Plaimm’s Andrew Kim. However, Kim added that all-electrics are an expensive option, hence the growing demand for hybrid machines. In fact, according to Kim, of the 1,700 machines Woojin sells a year, 60% are hybrids. “This is Woojin’s strength and its main product,” he said, adding that most Samsung smart phone OEMs utilise Woojin’s THS hybrid range. “We sell about 1,000 hybrid machines a year just to the smart phone industry. In fact, almost all the Samsung smart phones are made using the THS hybrid range,” Kim added. The Incheon-based firm displayed the TN280SH hybrid machine, a new model in the THS range, which has been upgraded with a new toggle mechanism that bends from the inside to the outside, allowing for more pressure to be applied to the centre of the mould.
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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus Close cooperation with vendors nother machine maker focusing on the use of servo-powered hydraulic pumps to allow for lower energy use is LS Mtron. Of the five machines on display at its booth, two were hybrid models like the LGH850MEIII, which the firm says has two servo-piston pumps allowing for energy savings of up to 50%. “Car makers are reducing costs by using engineering plastics. We have cooperated with OEMs for car makers like Kia, GM and Hyundai to use this machine to make manifolds from nylon,” said Lee Jong-Hun.
Woojin Plaimm’s latest TN280SH hybrid machine
“The machine employs a servomotor for plasticising, has a 40% higher clamping speed and wider mould opening distance, but the overall dimensions of the machine are the same,” claimed Kim. But the firm is not content yet. “We are developing the model further to include a smaller machine size with a higher clamping force. This will be launched at the end of this year,” said Kim, adding that the THS model comes in sizes of 50-450 tonnes. Woojin has also improved the TN250E all-electric machine, which has a similar clamping system as the 280S but has three servomotors on the injection side to allow an injection speed of 1,000 mm/second. “Compared to hydraulic and hybrid machines, this model is able to save up to 70% energy,” claimed Kim, adding that the machine is equipped with Austrian firm B&R’s injection drive system and controller.
LS Mtron’s Lee Jong-Hun stands in front of the latest 1,300-tonne LGEHB hybrid machine
Another hybrid machine, the 1,300-tonne LGEHB model, was shown undertaking moulding of acrylic lamps and painting in one step, thus saving costs for the automotive sector, says Lee. “We’ve sold 15 units to a Japanese Tier 1 supplier at their factory in China,” he said, adding that the machine is 80% electric since hydraulic actuation is used for the final clamping. It was also showing a 280-tonne all-electric machine undertaking an IML process in a 20% reduced cycle time, compared to the competition, said Lee. “This is a new generation machine with more precision control. We have changed the motor capacity and the big difference is the cycle time.” Lee also said that the firm cooperates and undertakes R&D with its customers to reduce processing/cycle time. “For instance, we managed to reduce the cycle time of a washing machine production from 100 to 30 seconds/cycle by using the hybrid machine, instead of a hydraulic one.” Of the 1,500 machines LS Mtron sells in a year, 60% are of the hydraulic/hybrid range and the rest are all-electrics. “We would like to sell more of the electric/hybrid machine range,” added Lee.
Aiming for lower production costs eanwhile at Dongshin Hydraulics’s booth, it was showing the K700 hybrid machine running the MuCell foam moulding process (licensed by Trexel US to Dongshin in 2001) using two servo pumps, according to Assistant Manager Kim Hyoung Joon. Besides the part weight savings of up to 20%, the process is touted to allow for up to 50% lower injection pressure and up to 80% reduction of clamping tonnage, said Kim. Another highlight at Dongshin’s booth was the Twifit 650 MC injection moulding machine for large products, which was tagged as a two-in-one machine. This is because it uses a single screw and plunger and has two nozzles to feed two cavities. Hence, when one part is being cooled after being injected, the injection unit prepares the next shot for filling the second cavity, thus saving on production costs, said Kim.
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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus Upgrading to hybrids yundai Injection Machinery was showing the EDIS1000DL two-platen machine (that ranges from 70-3,000 tonnes) as well as EDIS 350 and EDIA 250 hybrid machines. According to Byungdae Lee, the firm uses servo-pumps on the EDIS, EDIA and SPE machine range (70-780 tonnes), to allow for energy savings. “We have upgraded the hydraulic range to hybrid with servo pumps and changed the motor speeds as well as with a changeable motor that saves up to 60% energy. The cooling time is also shorter,” said Lee.
Insert moulding on vertical press Japanese machine supplier Sodick’s V-Line plunger system is being used in an insert moulding process for moulding water impellers that feature integrated motor rotors. The electric-powered impellers employed for motor and cabin cooling are used on hybrid vehicles such as the Prius. “Our machine is highly suited to this application given that it prevents the formation of gas voids in the final moulded parts. These voids can be a cause of structural failure,” said Koji Maeda, Sales Director of Sodick Korea.
Hyundai’s EDIS 350 machine has been upgraded to feature servo pumps
Lee also explained that to allow for a competitive edge in the market, the firm is producing its SPE small tonnage machine range in China under an ODM license to Guangdong Only Machinery. “We have to compete with Chinese machinery makers in the Korean market, so we import the machines from China and sell them in this market,” said Lee. While the firm is targeting the automotive and electronic markets for its small machines it also sells its larger sizes to pallet makers. “Our customers are able to produce pallets with a weight of 45 kg and in a 100 seconds/cycle time, in one step. This is because the compounding is in line,” said Lee.
The plunger system for Sodick’s vertical press
The V-Line plunger system employs a nonreciprocating screw for plasticising and results in the resin being subjected to less shear during metering and injection, and consequently less thermal degradation and off-gas generation, which causes voids. Further, a unique backflow check mechanism positioned at the tip of the screw prevents backflow, which also minimises thermal degradation. The glass fibre-reinforced PPS impeller/rotor parts are moulded, with magnet inserts being placed in the tool, on 100-tonne vertical presses in two to four cavities and a cycle time of 30-40 seconds. Impellers in conventionally-powered vehicles are powered by the engine and thus do not require an electric motor. The organiser of Koplas, Korea E&Ex, says this year’s event was the biggest with 303 companies. It was paired with Intermold and included companies from 24 countries as well as association representation like the Plastindia Foundation, All India Plastic Manufacturers Association and Taiwan Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Hyundai Injection Machinery’s Byung-dae Lee says one of the firm’s biggest market is the pallet sector
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Injection Moulding Asia Industry News • Germany-headquartered Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has developed a postconsumer materials-attained PC/PET blend, Markoblend GR235 M, for automotive parts like spoilers, trunk lids and skirts and antenna covers. Besides the durability, the recycled resin blend does away with reworking and can be coated without pretreatment to give components Class A surfaces; as well as replace metals and sheet moulding compounds. • US-based Teknor Apex has launched Recyclon recycled compounds, formulated utilising recycled nylons from carpets, for applications in vehicles, as well as consumer and industrial products where cost reduction is important. The firm says one early use is in components for lawn furniture. To ensure stable supply of nylon fibres, the company has supply agreements with carpet reclaim companies. • International Automotive Components (IAC) has opened its tenth facility in China, in Chongqing, growing the total number of its Asian facilities to 17 and six technical centres. The new facility supplies both the Ford Kuga and Ford Mondeo door panel and floor console assemblies, instrument panels, cockpits modules, finish trim panels and ducts for the Ford Mondeo. Additionally, it supplies door panel assemblies, glove boxes and instrument panels for the Volvo S80L and will begin manufacturing instrument panel trim components for a new Suzuki model later this year. It is also the first in Asia to introduce FastKast, IAC’s
proprietary A-surface material process, which incorporates thermoplastic polyolefin and PVC resins to allow for improved tactile aesthetics on instrument panels and other interior trim components. • Faurecia, the world’s sixth largest automotive supplier, and Chang’an Automobile Group, one of China’s largest automotive groups, are setting up a 50:50 joint venture for automotive interiors, including instrument panels, door panels, centre consoles and cockpit modules. The firms will invest EUR35 million to set up new plants in Shenzhen and Hangzhou, while transferring the existing Faurecia plant in Chongqing to the new joint venture. It will service Chang’an Ford, Peugeot and Citroen. In 2012, Faurecia enjoyed a 25% sales increase in China. • Auxiliary equipment and injection moulding machine supplier Wittmann has expanded production capacity at its Viennese headquarters, by adding on sheet metal forming to produce parts for its Feedmax conveying units and Silmax drying hoppers. Earlier, the firm also expanded its Kottingbrunn facility to make large-sized Wittmann Battenfeld machines. At Chinaplas, it will demonstrate
Wittmann will showcase its EcoPower at Chinaplas
its all-electric EcoPower 110/350 undertaking the LIM process to produce a single wire seal with a 128cavity mould fitted with a demoulding device from Elmet, Austria. A second machine, MicroPower 15/10, will produce a 28-PIN subplug in POM, with dimensions of 6.1 x 1.2 mm and a 3 mg part weight, using a twocavity mould from Zumtobel in a 4-second cycle. • US firm MuCell Extrusion has doubled its assembly space, adding on a 6,000 sq ft building adjacent to its Woburn headquarters, for assembly and testing of its supercritical fluid hardware, which now includes units available to handle injection pressures of up to 15,000 psi. The firm expects to ship 50 systems this year to Asia, US and Europe to a variety of markets, including blown film and blow moulding, sheet, wire and cable and pipe applications. • Austrian injection moulding machine maker Engel has set up a sales and service office in Thailand to cater to Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and the Philippines. At its office in Indonesia it has also added on two service technicians. In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, it had a 10% market share in Asia and a record turnover of EUR135 million. Meanwhile, in Europe, it has opened its fourth subsidiary in Wurmberg, South Germany, since the country is its “most important market” and generates around a quarter of its EUR834 million global sales. In Germany, it also has facilities in Nuremberg, Hagen and Hanover.
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Global investment firm KKR is acquiring a controlling stake in India-based Alliance Tire Group (ATG), which specialises in offhighway tyres, from an affiliate of Warburg Pincus. Yogesh Mahansaria, founder of ATG, will continue to maintain an ownership stake in the company and partner with KKR to continue to grow the business. Terms were not disclosed. • Indian firm Aditya Birla Nuvo is selling its carbon black business to a group company, SKI Carbon Black (India), for US$26 million as part of its plan to exit the business. Earlier, the group had bought the carbon black business of Columbia Chemicals for US$800 million. • Japanese company Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI) is acquiring the entire shares of Germany-based Anvis Group, a manufacturer of automotive anti-vibration systems from HIG Luxembourg Holdings Eleven (90%) and Hahn (10%). Financial details were not disclosed. Anvis is a successor company of Woco Michelin AVS, a joint venture between Woco and Michelin. The company serves the automotive sector with its chassis components, aggregate storage, exhaust system hangers as well as decoupling elements, and mass dampers, including the railway industry and other industrial sectors where oscillation and noise reduction systems are used. Meanwhile, the company also recently acquired Italian hose manufacturer, DytechDynamic Fluid Technologies. • China-based Sinopec is acquiring a 25% stake in Russian petrochemicals company Sibur’s nitrile rubber plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, for US$100 million. The plant has a capacity of 42,500 tonnes, but the two companies plan to increase it to 56,000 tonnes. About 70% of the plant’s output is exported to China and this is expected to increase too. • Automotive anti-vibration solutions
supplier TrelleborgVibracoustic is doubling production capacity at its Chinese facility in Yantai. It supplies air springs and suspension components for the commercial vehicle market; passenger car bushings and torsional vibration dampers. • Germany-headquartered ContiTech Air Spring Systems says it can now offer its customers quicker delivery of rubber compounds, with its new plant in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. Air springs for commercial vehicles will also be produced in Nyiregyhaza and are destined for the global replacement parts market. • US-based Cabot has decided to stop carbon black production at its Port Dickson, Malaysia, facility by the end of July 2013. Customer shipments from the plant are expected to continue for a period of time after production has been shut down. Cabot holds a 51% equity share in the plant. The closure of the plant is expected to result in onetime cash and non-cash charges to the joint venture of approximately US$13 million and US$15 million, respectively. Annual savings for the joint venture are estimated to be approximately US$7 million. • Swiss speciality chemicals distributor DKSH Business Unit Performance Materials will distribute UK-based Synthomer’s emulsion polymers for coatings, construction chemicals, adhesives and technical textiles in India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. • Japanese firm Yokohama Rubber is investing US$82 million in the construction of a second plant in Thailand to double capacity for radial truck tyres in the country by late 2015. The second plant will be built adjacent to its existing factory in Rayong Province, which started production in 2005. To be completed by April 2015, the facility will have a capacity of of 350,000 tyres/year by
the end of 2015. The company said the expansion will also boost sales of medium truck/bus tyres globally. • German speciality chemicals company Lanxess recently inaugurated the new EUR12 million headquarters of its Keltan Elastomers (EPDM) business unit in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands. The firm also says that it has converted 50% of its EPDM production capacity to the Keltan ACE (Advanced Catalyst Elastomers) technology, which requires lower energy use in the production process. The EPDM rubber produced in SittardGeleen is used mainly in the automotive industry, as well as in the construction, industrial and electronics sectors. The company is also currently investing EUR235 million in the construction of what it claims as the world’s largest plant for the production of EPDM rubber in Changzhou, China. The plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2015, with a capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year of EPDM. Since late 2011, Lanxess has been using sugarcane-based ethylene in the world’s first bio-based Keltan Eco EPDM rubber, from its Brazilian site in Triunfo. The Keltan Elastomers business unit, part of the Performance Polymers segment, achieved sales of EUR5.2 billion in fiscal 2012. • US-based biobased chemicals maker Cobalt Technologies has entered into a strategic “relationship” with two prominent Asian chemical companies (unnamed at the moment) for the development of a complete biomass-to-butadiene solution, to be followed by construction of a commercial-scale biorefinery in Asia. The partners also plan to build or license additional plants to support the US$40 million butadiene market, primarily used in synthetic rubber and nylon. In support of the relationship, the partners have also made an equity investment in Cobalt.
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versalis the new face of chemicals versalis teams up with you over the ever-expanding challenges around the industry. we stand by you in driving innovative solutions with marketable end alongside a timely advantage. at versalis we believe that excellence goes beyond delivery; it reaches out to after-sale assistance.
versalis chemistry to evolve
Rubber Journal Asia Materials News
Partnerships to further “green” rubber While Eni/Versalis and Genomatica are
Cooper Tire and partners review guayule polymer project nother company that is looking at producing tyres from guayule is US-based Cooper Tire. Under a US$6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), it is partnering with the State University (ASU), and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA, to produce the guayule tyres. The BRDI is a joint effort between the USDA and the DOE to promote the development and analysis of feed stocks, biofuels and biobased products. The consortium partners received the four-year BRDI grant in June 2012 to focus on research efforts aimed at developing enhanced manufacturing processes for the production of guayule solid rubber as a biomaterial for tyre applications, as well as evaluating the plant’s residual biomass for biofuel applications. Cooper Tire leads the overall grant programme along with developing all related tyre technology with Yulex taking on developing commercial processes to produce guayule natural rubber for the tyre industry. ARS leads the genomic and agronomic development of guayule while ASU evaluates the sustainability impact these biomaterial and bioenergy industries have on the American Southwest, where guayule is cultivated. The consortium partners said that significant progress is being made in several areas, including guayule plant genome sequencing needed for future breeding tools, irrigation studies to maximise rubber content in the plant, and completing laboratory testing to develop a guayule tyre-grade polymer specification for future commercialisation.
partnering in a bio-based butadiene project, Kultevat and KeyGene are looking at producing rubber from dandelions and Cooper Tire is working with academics to study the feasibility of using guayule for tyres. Bio-based butadiene a fruition ollowing an MOU signed last year, Italian firm Versalis (Eni) and US-based Genomatica are to jointly develop and license a technology for bio-based butadiene from non-food biomass, with Versalis providing US$20 million funding to support development of the integrated endto-end process. The resulting process will be licensed across Europe, Asia and Africa by the newlycreated joint venture. Future licensees of the process, including Genomatica and Versalis have strengthened their strategic partnership by creating Versalis, will provide a joint venture for bio-based butadiene. the capital required Genomatica CEO Christophe Schilling is for the construction pictured in the top row, third from the right. and operation of their Versalis CEO Daniele Ferrari is pictured in the top row, third from the left own plants, and be responsible for the use and sale of the resulting butadiene. Genomatica brings its expertise in biotechnology, particularly in engineering organisms and fermentation while Versalis will bring its expertise in catalysis and process engineering that is vital for the development of bio-based butadiene technologies. Versalis strategy envisages investment in innovation and in the elastomer business. This process started in 2011 with the constitution of the Matrica joint venture for the construction in Porto Torres, Sardinia, of the largest green chemistry complex in the world for the production of biointermediates, biolubricants, bioadditives and bioplastics. Versalis also recently signed an agreement with Yulex, an American company producing agriculture-based biomaterials for the production of natural rubber from guayule for consumer, medical and industrial applications, as well as for the construction of an industrial production complex in Southern Europe. Based on the partnership with Yulex, Versalis recently tied up with Pirelli for a joint research project on the use of natural rubber from guayule in the production of tyres.
Kultevat and KeyGene work on dandelion rubber S-based biotech company Kultevat and Dutch firm KeyGene are collaborating to produce rubber based on the Russian dandelion. The firm will invest in the development and commercial introduction of new dandelion varieties that are enriched for latex in its roots that are suitable for large scale production of natural rubber. KeyGene will be responsible for development of new varieties using molecular breeding technologies while Kultevat will develop appropriate production practices and large scale latex extraction and rubber production in North America. KeyGene will use the newly developed varieties and its production technologies for production of rubber in other global locations. An alternative to Hevea brasiliensis, the Russian dandelion, Taraxacum koksaghyz, produces high quality rubber that can be extracted from its taproot. Current varieties produce roots that are relatively small in size. KeyGene will apply molecular breeding technologies to increase plant size and productivity of latex, while Kultevat will adapt modern agronomic practices to different growing sites in the US to further ‘domesticate’ the new varieties developed by KeyGene using the results from an EU co-funded programme EU-PEARLS. The firms expect the improved Russian dandelions to be developed for cultivation within a period of five to ten years.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry
The tyre sector gets its big break China versus India n a related market analysis, Macquarie Equities Research says that China’s tyre market is expected to maintain a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% through 2020. The agency also notes that stronger demand is expected from 20132015 due to the growth of the replacement market for cars that were sold in 2009, when sales jumped 53% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Macquarie says that Chinese vehicle sales have risen 15% year-on-year in January and February 2013, after showing weak trends in the third quarter of 2012. The spur in sales is due to the expiry of the US trade levy on China-made car and light-truck tyres in September 2012. The Obama governmentinstigated three-year safeguards were put in place to subdue the prevailing practice then of Chinese tyre manufacturers, who were receiving subsidies ranging from 10.90% to 30.69%, thus, flooding the market. The EU tyre labelling policy that took effect in November last year has also had a positive effect on Chinese manufacturers who have upgraded their brands to maintain their EU export market base. Moreover, Macquarie says Chinese tyres are almost 30-50% cheaper than the global counterpart brands. But over and above this, the Chinese tyre sector is equipping itself with more advanced technology and expanded capacities to emerge as the world’s biggest tyre production centre giving India the stiffest competition in the field. India’ s tyre market is anticipated to leap to an average 14% a year to 2017 with automotive sales that are bound to increase. This will be partly driven by the low automotive penetration and the rise in disposable incomes, according to Bharat Book Bureau’ s latest report on the Indian tyre market for 2017. Several key tyre players are also dominating the Indian market, including OEM tyre makers Apollo Tyres and JK Tyre & Industries. However, the current slow pace of tyre sales in the Indian market for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, tractors, passenger cars and motorcycles in the April-February period of fiscal 2013, as well as the penetration of both Chinese and South Korean tyres, are situations that are restraining the Indian market inching closer to China.
After a two-year hiatus, encumbered by the
EU debt crisis, weak US recovery and its budget issues and the economic slowdown in China, the Asian tyre sector has finally gathered enough momentum to soar ahead. It is now entering a period of sustained growth and demand, which is expected to last for a decade, says Angelica Buan in this report.
he global market is transiting to a period of opportunity for tyre makers and the replacement and service sectors through to 2022, said Dr Stephen Evans, Secretary-General of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) during the Tyrexpo Asia event in Singapore. Held 19-21 March, the exhibition was attended by around 4,355 visitors from 97 countries and had more than 250 exhibitors, including Federal Corp, Kenda Rubber, PT Gajah Tunggal and PT Mega Tyres as well as retreaders like Dr Stephen Evans, Secretary-General of IRSG, has forecast a “decade of Italmatic, Newera, opportunity” for tyre makers and service Kraiburg and providers Elgitread. The market is seeing an increased vehicle production resulting in OE passenger car tyre sales growing from 333 million units in 2012 to a forecast 524 million units by 2022. Replacement tyre sales will also increase from 786 million units in 2012 to 1.3 billion units by 2022. Evans estimates that there are currently 1.1 billion vehicles in use across the globe and by the end of the coming decade, more than a half billion vehicles will be added on to total 1.7 billion. He also said that demand will be led by China, which is targeting to produce 250 million vehicles over the same period; and to a lesser extent by India.
Chinese/Indian tyre makers expand in Asia t the Tyrexpo, Chinese car makers that paraded their brands included Qingdao Au-Shine
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Industry New designs to drive the market yre manufacturers are value adding their brands with sustainable innovations and new designs that comply with environmental standards and reduce costs. Several firms that showcased new designs at the tyre show included Singapore-based Omni United. It exhibited its flagship Radar brand’s new patterns, including the Renegade A/T, a rugged, M&S-rated, all-terrain tyre for light truck and SUV applications, available in five different sizes. Dubai-based Al Dobowi Group showcased its latest Eternity brand for truck and bus radials, truck bias, light truck, passenger car and OTR tyre range. Zafco, also from Dubai, displayed its international brand Zeetex for its range of tyres, batteries and lubricants. Meanwhile ATG (Alliance Tire Group), which is reportedly to be acquired by American private equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), launched four new patterns to its materials handling range of tyres, including the Galaxy Giraffe XLW for Telehandler, Boomlift and Yard Crane applications. Indian firm BKT introduced two tyres to its materials handling range: the 445/95 R25 Airomax AM27 pattern for high-speed crane fitments and the Maglift STF solid range for fork lift trucks, together with the recently introduced Container King 18.00-25 tyre popular in Asian ports. Singaporean supplier Mindtrac launched a cross-ply truck range at the show, with its new Ultra X range of Indian-manufactured cross-ply tyres, for truck and light truck applications. Sri Lankan industrial tyre maker LAUGFS introduced two new solid fork lift tyres, the premium Ultima and economy Optima patterns in 18 x7- 8. The Ultima is targeted at OE customers in South Asia. Meanwhile, green tyres, characterised by low rolling resistance, renewable material components, and energy efficient, are also dominating the market, according to UK-based industry consulting group Smithers Rapra. In its new market report, it has forecast the global market for green tyres to reach US$70.6 billion by 2017. The report estimates that more than 1.5 billion tyres valued at a total of US$160 billion are being produced yearly. By 2017, the value would climb nearly to US$203 billion. Green tyres will account for 35% of the total tyre growth over the report’s forecast period of 2012 to 2017.
China’s fifth largest tyre manufacturer in terms of sales and top tyre maker in 2010 in terms of growth, Aeolus Tyre, launched a complete range of PCR tyre products aimed at passenger car owners
that was showcasing its Haulking, Agromaster and Rainmaster brands. The company has already achieved US$10 million in export sales and an output of 3.2 million bias tyres, including OTR, agricultural, industrial, truck and light truck tyres. Aeolus, China’s fifth largest tyre manufacturer by sales, announced its entry into the Southeast Asia passenger car market with the launch of a complete range of PCR tyre products. Contending as a secondtier car tyre supplier, the firm is constructing a 6 million/year capacity car tyre manufacturing plant in Jiaozuo, Henan Province. It is expected to come on stream by 2015. Aeolus has long aimed for the top ten global tyre manufacturers slot and to reach a stature above South Korea’s Hankook, in terms of price and quality. Another Chinese tyre supplier, Crowntyre, has expanded its presence to the ASEAN region via its subsidiary in Singapore, Gremax Industrial. The company, which owns three independent brands, Gremax, Suntek and Tracmax, has also set up other subsidiaries in the US, Europe and Middle East to support sales volumes that have increased by an average of over 30% a year in the past six years. Last year, it sold more than 6 million units of passenger and light truck tyres. Meanwhile, Indian tyre producers at the Tyrexpo included OTR manufacturer BKT, which currently claims around 5% of the global OTR market. BKT also harbours a long-term ambition to double its market share to 10% by 2020. The company is setting up a fourth manufacturing plant to add a capacity of 385 tonnes/day to an overall output of 825 tonnes by the end of 2014. Another Indian tyre manufacturer, GRL, traditionally best known for bicycle and two-wheeler products, showcased its recent strategic investment in Off Highway Tyres, covering agricultural, industrial and construction applications. The move is part of a major development programme that will culminate in the commissioning of a new US$275 million production plant in Gujarat in 2015. The additional capacity is set to increase production from a current level of 55 tonnes/day to 358 tonnes/day. 5 M AY 2 0 1 3
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Rubber Journal Asia Country Focus
Myanmar maps out its global rubber market road closer to the port, according to the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) during its latest trade and investment promotion visit to the country.
Myanmar, currently ranked seventh in natural rubber (NR) production in Southeast Asia, behind Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines, by
A laid-back rubber frontier he country still utilises traditional farming the International Rubber Research and techniques, according to Myat Thu, Senior Development (IRRDB), may be an underrated Staff Officer, Department of Industrial Crops Development (DICD), (an agency under the MOAI), rubber producing country in the region. speaking at CMT’s seminar in Yangon. He was Nevertheless, it is endowed with all the speaking on the current rubber plantation and cultivation situation in the country and said that 90% right fixtures to align with the league of key of the smallholders use the traditional and manual rubber producers and exporters, according to processing techniques for rubber cultivation. Myat also added that the MOAI has been actively participants and speakers at Singapore-based promoting the building up of knowledge amongst Centre for Management Technology (CMT)’s the growers by providing training programmes to recent RubberPlant Summit in Yangon, says upgrade their farming techniques. But in spite of the regular trainings conducted, Myat said, the actual Angelica Buan in this article. tapping practices are still way off the recommended practices. Meanwhile, only 36% of the total rubber growing areas in Myanmar are productive. The remaining 66% require the application of recommended he Myanmar Rubber Plants and Producers approaches such as implementation of best farming Association (MRPPA) cited that the country’s techniques – from input applications to latex rubber production was more than 100,000 tonnes in the harvesting that will improve the quality and yield, fiscal year 2011-2012. In the preceding three years, it Myat adds. is expected to have an output of 200,000 tonnes/year, He also reiterated that there is a misconception going up to 330,000 tonnes/ amongst growers/planters year by 2020. upgrading their “……90% of the smallholders that Rubber is the main know-how will not make a agricultural export in several use the traditional and manual difference considering that states and is planted on a they are producing good processing techniques for total area of 450,000 acres, quality rubber. according to data from the The MOAI has also been rubber cultivation…” Ministry of Agriculture and encouraging more local Irrigation (MOAI). and foreign investors to The country’s suitable agro-climatic conditions and set up processing factories in the country and is vast areas for farming are encouraging investments keen on acquiring as much good planting materials into the sector, which has gradually seen rubber and modern latex exploitation technology, as well plantations becoming more commercialised. as making inroads in the downstream industries. Moreover, a recent move by the government to The Ministry has also recommended the setting loosen up its foreign investment policies for industries up of a tapping training centre, in traditional such as rubber has started drawing investors from and non-traditional rubber areas, to enhance the rubber producing countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, tapping skills of workers. It is also pushing for China and Vietnam, to seek investment opportunities the establishment of rubber purchasing centres in the country. and structuring rules and regulations, not only to Malaysia has been eyeing the country and intends improve the quality of rubber but also to allow the to set up a joint venture rubber plantation, in the availability of good quality clones. southern part of the country. Malaysia is also working Dr Yu Sein, Chairman, Dawei Rubber Planters on setting up an oil palm plantation and a refinery and Producers Association; U Aye Pe, Director,
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Rubber Journal Asia Country Focus DICD; and U Than Htik, Assistant Director, DICD, has intensified promotion of its rubber, which is in their presentation on Developing Rubber on a comparably lower priced than what is offered in Commercial Scale in Dawei, expounded that there is other Southeast Asian markets. still 1.2 million ha of land available for plantations. The country’s best-quality rubber sells for With this respect, the government is leasing land US$3,000/tonne, which is approximately US$350 to locals and foreigners to invest in the planting of less than the best-quality rubber in Thailand, the rubber or oil palm. world’s top rubber producer. Stressing the need for Having entirely an upgrade in rubber depended on exports to “….they also recommend the production techniques, China last year, the country the experts pointed to setting up of a central rubber is looking at exporting socio-economic conditions, more of its rubber to market and quality control old seedling trees, nonSouth Korea, Vietnam systematic planting, poor and Singapore. It is also laboratories….” field maintenance, low building up interests quality fertilisers and from Germany, Austria, poor tapping systems. They said all of these factors Denmark and New Zealand. contribute to low yields. Further, they recommend Currently, the country has increased its exports that rubber replanting funds are needed to support by a third to 82,000 tonnes from the previous 78,000 the smallholders (who manage between 1-100 acretonnes. But earnings dropped to US$239 million sized plantations). compared to the previous 2011-2012 fiscal year Marketing in plantation areas such as Dawei, at US$320 million, having been affected by lower capital city of Tanintharyi region and a strategic global rubber prices, according to the Myanmar location for economic activity through its deep Rubber Planters and Producers Association sea port and the special economic zone, employ (MRRPA). traditional streams. The produce is collected by Khine Myint, Secretary of the MRRPA, stated villagers who sell to town buying centres. The traders that China, Singapore and Malaysia are the largest then dispatch the rubber to companies in Yangon that importers of Myanmar’s rubber, whilst Indonesia, export to Malaysia and Singapore or to Mandalay for South Korea, Vietnam, India and Thailand are export to China. also engaged in rubber trading with the country. Apart from this, plantation areas such as Dawei However, due to the lack of advanced technology, are also encumbered with logistics challenges; skilled Myanmar only exports raw rubber and no rubber labour for rubber tapping; limited land for planting products. and the lack of planting material and aid funds. Furthermore, Myanmar’s industry has no connection Myanmar needs to catch up in rubber market hile the global rubber market is already with international rubber boards that are able to moving to developing alternatives to natural control rubber prices to maintain price stability; rubber, Myanmar is still a nd there are no measures contending with improving in place to prevent an international crisis. Plus, “…the country has intensified its natural rubber capacities. the sector is dogged with promotion of its rubber, In his RubberPlant lack of availability of Summit presentation, commercial contractors which is comparably lower John McClure, Business for agri-investors, such as priced….” Development Manager at planting material producers HK-headquartered LMC and other necessary field International, pointed out that there are already work. “threats to natural rubber”. The agricultural This, said presenters Yu, Aye and Than, need “threats”, he said, are guayule (desert plant grown immediate action. They also recommend the setting in the US) and the Russian dandelion, while the up of a central rubber market and quality control synthetic “threats” are polyisoprene and biolaboratories as well as joint ventures with local isoprene. leaders. These, he said, are strong signals that the global rubber industry is evolving and countries Intent on going global evertheless, Myanmar’s will to position itself in like Myanmar need to fast track technology the international market place is apparent in its efforts to keep up with the pace or get left various courses of actions. For example, the country behind.
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Rubber Journal Asia Corporate Profile
Bridgestone takes giant steps in Asia We are also currently moving into full-scale expansion of our Retread tyre sales in the region. In Asia, consumers tend to have the habit of using new products until they cannot be used any further, while at the same time, many countries in Asia also have the impression that Retread Tyres are “cheap and of low quality”. As compared to developed countries like the US, Europe and Australia, the reality is that Retread tyres are currently not as widely used in Asia. To tackle this, we are expanding the number of Bandag Retread production facilities in the region. We are also appealing the durability of Bridgestone’s new tyre casings, and recommending Bandag Retread to consumers when they are buying new tyres. In addition, we also make use of total tyre life data (which includes the life span of new tyres and multiple times of retreading) to prove our cost reduction competitiveness in comparison with other competitors’ products. We are also improving the quality of our family channels by introducing more Bridgestone Select stores across the region. As at the end of 2012, we have approximately 190 direct retail stores and approximately 160 family channel stores in the region, and we are planning further expansion of this in the future.
In this interview with Shinichi Sato, President, Bridgestone Asia Pacific (BSAP), PRA learns more about the company’s environmental mission, plans for new facilities and tyre products, R&D work and its handling of the lack of truck tyre sales in China. Shinichi Sato, who has had the experience of working in Europe and Thailand, and also served as Director of the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Asia, Oceania and China Operations Division in the headquarters in Japan since 1979, says, “I feel that the business environment has become more dynamic. It has changed for the better and living environment of the people has also improved. With the growth in motorisation, the demand for tyres in this region has been especially strong. Asia Pacific is also the fastest growing as compared to other regions across the globe. Considering the rise in manufacturers from emerging countries, it is expected that the business environment will become more competitive. As we continue to carry out our business with Bridgestone’s many years of technological development capabilities and our strong ability to respond in terms of supply, we aim to establish ourselves as an undisputed No. 1 position both in name and reality as a market that supports the Group’s strategy for growth”
PRA: What is Bridgestone’s current capacity and output? Sato: We do not disclose the production capacity but the total production volume that we estimate for 2013 is approximately 1.9 million tonnes. Currently, we operate eight tyre factories in the region. The newest factory, which has just started operations in Pune, India this year, began producing passenger car radial tyres (PSR) in January, and will begin producing truck and bus radial tyres (TBR) in October 2013. We will also set up a new PSR tyre plant in Hai Phong City, Vietnam. It will begin in March 2014, and by the first half of 2016, the plant will be completed with a production capacity of around 24,700 tyres/day. While the new plant will serve as an export base for replacement tyres sold in Europe, North America, and Japan, we will continue to monitor demand trends and review our plans where necessary. A new plant will also be established in Amata City Industrial Estate, Rayong, Thailand, for the production of off-the-road radial tyres for construction and mining vehicles (ORRs). Production will begin in the first half of 2015 and capacity is expected to reach approximately 85 tonnes/day by the first half of 2019, when scheduled capacity increases are completed. The existing plant in Nong Khae, Thailand, will increase in daily production capacity of passenger car radial tyres (PSR) and light truck radial tyres (LTR) by 13,500 units to 50,000 units by the end of 2014. In July 2013, we will also be establishing the first technical centre in the Asia Pacific region. It will be located in Thailand, which we deem to be a strategic location considering that we have production facilities located in the country as well as a proving ground.
PRA: Explain Bridgestone’s environmental mission. Sato: Bridgestone first established its Environmental Mission Statement in 2009 and in May 2011, this statement was further refined, clarifying the long-term direction in three areas: to exist in harmony with nature, to value natural resources and to reduce CO2 emissions. In 2012, Bridgestone set its long-term vision targeting 2050 for these three areas of activities. Particularly in the Asia Pacific region, to value natural resources, we are promoting the sale of Retread tyres (this involves removing used tyre treads and applying freshly vulcanised new treads). We are also working on expanding our Solution Business, a combination of Retread tyres with new tyre sales and maintenance service as a package in the region. At the same time, in our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, we are also expanding our sales of ECOPIA tyres (eco-tyres with improved rolling resistance) in the region. By developing eco-products like the ECOPIA and Run-Flat technology tyres (a class of tyres that can hold its shape and support the weight of a vehicle, and continue being driven on at a given speed for a certain distance even when it is punctured), we are strengthening our strategy to differentiate ourselves. 8 M AY 2 0 1 3
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Rubber Journal Asia Corporate Profile PRA: How does the ECOPIA tyre differ from other concept tyres that also feature fuel-efficiency?
product quality. We will be waiting for its results. PRA: How will the forecast that China is now shifting to consumer tyres and will start weaning off demand of truck tyres affect Bridgestone’s sales and production of these tyre segments?
Sato: The ECOPIA tyres combine eco-friendly performance in terms of higher fuel efficiency and safety, as opposed to conventional tyres. The Nano Pro-Tech compound used in ECOPIA tyres lowers the rolling resistance coefficient by reducing energy loss in the top compound during rotation. This means that ECOPIA tyres can travel a longer distance with less fuel in comparison with conventional tyres, and hence contribute to the reduction in CO2 emissions. Apart from that, the tread design features rib-linked blocks, which enhances contact pressure and wet braking performance at the same time. This promises reduced rolling resistance, without compromising on braking performance and safety in wet conditions. In the second half of 2013, we will be launching a new lineup of ECOPIA tyres across several markets in the Asia region, to increase our sales for by five times of the current sales in the next five years. The new line-up will be promoted not only based on its fuel-saving benefits, but also in terms of safety and its longer tyre life.
Sato: Regarding the PSR market in China, we foresee that it will grow continuously in accordance with its motorisation. As for TBR, it seems that the situation is more difficult considering the impact from the economic downturn in Europe and the introduction of the inflation control policy in China. There are many individual business proprietors who regard “cost” as an important factor when purchasing tyres in the market. They prefer reasonable costing tyres rather than premium ones. Our business environment in the TBR market is therefore challenging in this sense. However, as the road situation improves, higher quality tyres will be required. We expect that we will be able to strengthen our presence in China in line with the development of the Chinese market. Here is how we see tyre demand growth in China from 2012 to 2017: • PSR Replacement – About 80% growth • PSR new vehicle (Original Equipment) – About 20% growth • TBR Replacement – About 40% growth • TBR new vehicle – About 30% growth As for our sales estimation, we expect that our sales will exceed the demand mentioned above.
PRA: How are the Bandag Retread tyres and Airless tyres faring in the Asia Pacific markets? Sato: With respect to Retread tyes, since the merger of Bridgestone and Bandag in December 2006, we have been actively enhancing sales and marketing activities of Bandag retread tyres, and increasing new Bandag retread shops in the Asia Pacific region. Compared to new tyres, retread tyres require only 32% of the petroleum resources for production. Combining retread tyres with new tyre sales and maintenance service as a package to the customers, we, Bridgestone, are aiming to provide additional value to our customers. As for the Airless tyre, we are currently still advancing the R&D for our non-pneumatic (airless) concept tyre in order to put it to practical use on vehicles in the future. However, at this stage, we do not have a specific timing for its actual market launch.
PRA: Is Bridgestone shifting its focus on Asia, production and sales wise? Sato: According to the mid-term management plan 2012, which we had announced last October, we estimate that net sales will increase more than 5% in 2017 compared to 2012. As we expect that half of this growth will take place in the developed countries, such as the Americas, Europe and Japan, the sales in the developing countries will not increase dramatically in these five years in terms of global sales composition. On the other hand, production volume in the Asian region will definitely increase in these five years to cover tyre demand growth in the world. In 2012, production volume in the Asian region made up 20% of our global tyre production and we estimate this to increase to 30% in 2017. However, as we regard the Asian region as our export base, this increase in production does not necessarily mean that sales in this region will increase in proportion to its production volume increase. In the Asia Pacific region, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines are showing demand growth. On the other hand, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore show flat growth. In order to address this, Bridgestone Asia Pacific will be providing a better product line-up to satisfy our customers’ needs. In the future, we also intend to enhance our brand strategy across the entire Asia Pacific region.
PRA: What are the latest developments on the Para rubber tree, following Bridgestone’s success in decoding the Hevea Brasiliensis genome in 2012 and what is the progress of the dandelion-based rubber tyre? Sato: We will need to continue on our R&D in the Para rubber tree and accumulate our know-how and technology having decoded genome data at first. We are now working on the development of the DNA marker that can detect “prior tree”. However, it will still take time to establish the DNA marker technology. As for dandelion rubber tyres, the project has just started and we are currently still in an early stage. In 2014, PENRA (The Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives) will be testing a tyre made from Russian dandelion to identify its potential as a material for producing tyres in terms of 9 M AY 2 0 1 3
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PRA May 2013 Electronic Issue