PRA 2014 October Issue

Page 1


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


國家焦點: 中國依然領先

In this issue

Volume 29, No 209

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 18 國家焦點: 中國依然領先 20 Extrusion/Thermoforming/Pelletising/Auxiliary Equipment Showcase of equipment on display at the upcoming Fakuma show to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 14-18 October

22 Corporate Profile

German TPE maker Kraiburg not only serves the growing Asian market, but it also combines its business with a healthy commitment to the people and environment

25 Country Focus

Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email:

Indonesia is edging up in the global marketplace, as evidenced by exhibitor interviews at the recently concluded Indoplas show in Jakarta, Indonesia

Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling

28 Masterbatches

Circulation Abril Castro Email:

Urbanisation in Asia advances will boost demand for material-enhancing compounds such as masterbatches and additives. Meanwhile, there is growing interest in graphene-based masterbatches

Regulars 概 要

Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:

8 Materials News

Singapore Office Contact: Anthony Chan Tel: +65 63457368 Email:

12 Composites News


4 Industry News

ISSN 1360-1245

14 業界新聞

MCI (P) 045/08/2014 Printer KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd

Supplements 副 刊 With VDMA having launched the Blue Competence in 2012 for sustainability in machinery, European machine makers have taken up the initiative. But will Asian processors also take to energy efficiency? Demand for rubber gloves will continue to grow; yet changing market needs may test the world’s largest rubber gloves producer’s resiliency to remain in the lead

On the Cover




國家焦點: 中國依然領先

Strati, which means layers in Italian, is a fully functional electric vehicle made of carbon-reinforced plastic and developed using 3D printing or additive technology, at a deposition rate of 18 kg/hour. If it becomes a reality, the maximum speed of the vehicle will be set at 65 km/hour, with a current maximum range of 193 km on a single charge

Connect @


Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:


is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2014 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

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Industry News

M&As • Belgian chemicals firm Solvay is buying the Ryton PPS (polyphenylene sulphide) business from US-based petrochemical company Chevron Phillips Chemical for US$220 million. This includes a facility in Texas, its pilot plant along with R&D laboratories in Oklahoma, and a compounding plant in Kallo-Beveren, Belgium. Chevron Phillips's compounding unit in La Porte, Texas, will provide temporary tolling services to Solvay. • ZF Friedrichshafen will acquire TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$12.4 billion based on equity value. The combined company will be a global leader in the automotive supplier business with combined sales of about EUR30 billion and 138,000 employees. ZF focuses on driveline and chassis technologies, whereas TRW supplies active and passive

safety technologies, including advanced driver assistance systems. Globally, pro-forma combined R&D investments will amount to approximately EUR1.5 billion, making ZF a global leader in R&D. • Cooper-Standard Automotive will purchase an additional 47.5% of Huayu-Cooper Standard Sealing Systems, its joint venture with Chinese firm Huayu Automotive Systems. It will become the 95% equity owner of the business, while 5% will be retained by Shanghai Zhaotun Collective Assets Managing. Last month, Cooper Standard also entered into a joint venture with Inoac Corp. of Japan to expand the reach of its fluid transfer systems, as well as opened its Asia Pacific technical centre in Shanghai and relocated its Asia Pacific headquarters from Kunshan, China, to the new Shanghai facility. • Singapore’s mainboardlisted Sunningdale Tech is acquiring homegrown First Engineering Ltd

(FEL) from its parent firm Anchorage Singapore Holdings for US$80 million. It includes FEL’s facility in Chennai, which will allow Sunningdale to strengthen its footprint in India. Both FEL and Sunningdale are Singapore-based integrated tooling and highly engineered plastics manufacturers. Combined, the firms will have annual revenues of more than US$500 million, with 10,000 employees located in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and North America. • US-based supplier of flexible packaging Bemis Company is selling its global pressure sensitive materials business (known as MACtac) to Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm, for US$170 million. Bemis will use the proceeds of the sale to fund the growth of its flexible packaging business. With a turnover of around US$600 million, the pressure sensitive materials business represents a small

New plant set-ups/Capacity increases • Chemicals firm LyondellBasell is building a world scale plant on the US Gulf Coast with a capacity of around 40,000 tonnes/year of propylene oxide (PO)



and around 900,000 tonnes/year of tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) and its derivatives. The preliminary timetable is to have the plant operational in 2019. The plant is expected

to sell PO in the global marketplace to meet growing demand for polyurethanes. TBA and its derivatives will be sold to meet the need for high octane gasoline

share of Bemis’s annual turnover of around US$5 billion. Bemis also sold off its paper packaging division to Hood Packaging early this year. • US-based compounds and resins supplier A. Schulman has acquired Australian firm Compco Pty for US$6.7 million in cash. Compco is a manufacturer of a variety of plastic compounds including masterbatches and custom performance colours. Key markets include packaging, wire & cable and pipe. Compco achieved revenues of US$15 million for its fiscal year ending June 2014. • Germany-based compounder Lehmann & Voss has acquired Performance Compounding. This acquisition will further expand its position in the US market and continue its strategy of internationalisation. Terms were not disclosed. Performance Compounding produces a wide range of melt processable fluoropolymers and engineering plastics.

blending components as well as for use in manufacturing synthetic rubber and lubricant additives. • Germany-headquartered Schütz has inaugurated its facility producing intermediate bulk


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Industry News

containers or IBCs in Indonesia. Schütz has been operating in Jakarta since 2005 with a distribution company. It set up a factory in 2013 in Karawang, 50 km east of Jakarta. The family-run firm has its headquarters in Germany and employs over 3,500 people at more than 40 production sites around the world. • German speciality chemicals group Lanxess is adding a mixing and milling plant, with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year, to the 25,000-tonne iron oxide pigments facility already under construction in Ningbo, China. Lanxess is creating a total of roughly 200 new jobs with these two plants. Potential customers for the iron oxide pigments are the coatings, plastics, construction and paper industries. This brings the total investment at the Ningbo site from EUR55 million to EUR60 million. The plants are scheduled to be completed by

2015. Lanxess will also close its existing 35,000-tonne/year mixing and milling operations in Taopu, Shanghai, by 2016.

headquarters in South Carolina, which comprises a total of 23,000 sq. ft. The facility consists of a machine exhibition area, spare parts warehouse, and office space for sales and technical support. It is scheduled to be opened in 2015.

• Materials firm DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers will increase production capacity of its ethylene copolymers assets at its Texas facility to meet growing market demand. Plans include an investment of US$100 million to be completed over the next four years. More than one-third of the investment is expected to be installed by the end of 2015. Specifically, this investment will support growth in DuPont speciality resins including: Surlyn ionomer resin, Nucrel ethylene acid copolymer resin, Elvaloy ethylene copolymer resins, Vamac ethylene acrylic elastomers, and special grades of Elvax EVA copolymers.

• Germany-based Bayer MaterialScience is planning to increase production capacity for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) elastomers in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India, to meet continued growth in demand. With the addition of a second TPU production line, the capacity of the Cuddalore site will increase to 6,000 tonnes from the current 2,500 tonnes. Installation is scheduled by 2015. The Cuddalore site supplies Bayer's Desmopan TPU to the Indian market as well as to customers in Europe.

• Machine maker American StarlingerSahm is expanding its North American

• Faurecia, North America's sixth largest automotive supplier, will start construction

this year on a plant in Simpsonville, Kentucky. Production is scheduled to begin in 2016. With operations at 76 sites in 25 countries, Faurecia Automotive Seating is the seventh largest producer in the manufacture of highperformance seating mechanisms, frames and mechatronics systems. The 122,000 sq ft-plant becomes becomes the 38th Faurecia production site in North America. • Toyo Tire & Rubber has set up Toyo Soflan Wiz in Thailand, a rigid polyurethane thermal insulation manufacturing and sales subsidiary, for the purpose of globally expanding its urethane business within the company’s DiverTech business segment. In its new mid-term business plan, Toyo Tire has set forth a plan to achieve overseas expansion of its urethane thermal insulation products and by 2016 increase domestic and overseas net sales by 20% compared to 2013.

Chinese processors add on European machinery


ince strapping tapes are increasingly replacing steel hoops in the paper, textile, construction and steel industries, PET tapes are beginning to be used in packaging applications because of cost-efficiency



and easy handling. Thus, a major Chinese producer of strapping tapes has added on a line from Reimotec, a subsidiary of the Reifenhäuser Group, for the production of PP and PET strapping tapes, with

a speed of 200 m/minute and output of 500 kg/hour. The line is provided with a co-rotating twinscrew extruder with vacuum venting and does not need expensive predrying of the PET flakes. The line is also

provided with stretching, embossing, fixing and winding units. A screen changer with backflush system increases uptimes, when processing contaminated raw materials without screen change. The automation

INDUSTRY News system enables reproducible production of different tape dimensions, says the company. Elsewhere, a Chinese pipe maker has taken delivery of 25 extruders from German-Austrian machine manufacturer battenfeld-cincinnati Extrusion Systems's subsidiary in China. A special highlight is the helix VSI-T pipe dies with EAC (Efficient Air Cooling) internal pipe cooling system. Of the 25 pipe lines, 14 are for manufacturing 125-1,600 mm-diameter HDPE pipes while 11 are for making 500-1,200 mm-diameter PVC pipes. Specialising in

customised extrusion solutions for the Chinese market, battenfeldcincinnati China has already sold 18 co-extrusion pipe lines to produce PB pipes with EVOH oxygen barriers, while PE-RT pipe lines for the lower price segment and PEX pipe lines for the medium price segment are also a part of the product portfolio. It offers three extruder models, solEX-C, conEX-C and twinEX-C, produced locally in China and adapted to the local demands. The main advantage, compared to competitors' extruders also made in China, is the quality, adds the machine maker.

Vacuum tank for a large diameter pipe extrusion line from battenfeld-cincinnati China

For example, the energy consumption for producing 1 tonne of PE pipe is about 200 kWh less, compared to the average local extruder, due to the built-in AC

motor. In combination with a gravimetric dosing system, it is also possible to realise material savings of about 3% in pipe production, says battenfeld-cincinnati.

Materials News

Green agenda Highlighted in this report are an initiative to put to rest the oxo debate; sustainable technology to create chemicals using photosynthesis; and partnerships to create biobased plastics. Putting to rest the oxo debate Biodegradable plastics (made from renewable resources such as PLA, PHA and TPS or from petroleum such as PBAT, PBS) can offer benefits for certain applications. Such applications can be in agriculture (mulch film), household (biowaste collection bags) and much more. Whether such biodegradable plastics are a solution against littering is a different discussion. However, there is a big discussion going on worldwide about so-called oxo-degradable plastics. These products are traditional (non-degradable) plastics such as PE, PP and PET, mixed with a small percentage of an additive. Companies bringing such products to market claim that they are biodegradable, although not everyone agrees. Currently the European Commission is considering a possible ban on oxo-degradable carrier bags. Also in France, a group of MPs in the French National Assembly has called for a similar ban. Predictably, the oxodegradable plastics industry has reacted furiously. Experts complain about missing scientifically based evidence from neutral, independent laboratories or certification bodies. As long as such evidence is missing, critics doubt the complete biodegradation and call these products oxo-fragmentable. Now OWS (Organic Waste Systems, Gent, Belgium) and IKT (Institute of Polymer Technology, University Stuttgart, Germany) are planning a multi-client study on the oxo-degradable plastics. Building on a desk research by OWS for Plastics Europe (2013), a comprehensive laboratory testing programme is planned. The laboratory tests shall ultimately proof or disproof if such products are biodegradable or not. In a first phase, a number of oxo-degradable plastic products available in the market will be abiotically treated. In a second phase, the fragmented parts will be used for further biodegradation testing according to internationally accepted ISO and ASTM standards. The contribution for this study is estimated at EUR10,000 to 20,000 per partner, depending on the number of interested companies. The partners are aiming at a broad participation including government agencies, consumer goods producers, NGO’s, oxo-degradable producers and the bioplastics industry. Power of the sun to create chemicals AkzoNobel and cleantech company Photanol have teamed up to develop a process for harnessing the power of the sun to make chemicals. The two companies will work on creating sustainable technology that mimics the



way plants use photosynthesis. The aim is to produce "green" chemical building blocks that will eventually replace raw materials AkzoNobel currently obtains from fossil-based production. The collaboration is focused on Photanol's existing proprietary technology, which uses light to directly convert CO2 from the air into predetermined raw materials such as acetic acid and butanol. The only by-product is oxygen. The two companies will start by developing a number of specific chemicals that are currently used by AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals Business Area. The partnership is intended to be a stepping stone for potential commercial production of fourth generation biobased chemicals. Carbon fibre from biomass The US Department of Energy (DOE) has given out a funding of US$5.9 million for development of biobased carbon fibres to the Southern Research Institute (SRI). The DOE award will fund development of a multi-step catalytic process for conversion of sugars from nonfood biomass to acrylonitrile – a key precursor in the production of carbon fibre. Industrial demand for carbon fibre continues to grow due to its high strength and light weight in a number of fields including defense, space, aviation, automotive, wind turbine production, and sporting goods manufacturing. SRI is exploring novel methods of producing acrylonitrile and other biobased chemicals and fuels using renewable, non-food-based biomass feedstocks. Team members included in SRI’s original application to DOE are Cytec Carbon Fibers LLC and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The biobased acrylonitrile produced by SRI’s process will be validated by Cytec, a major carbon fibre manufacturer, and compared with petroleum-based acrylonitrile as a potential direct substitute. NJIT will assist with catalyst characterisation for optimising catalyst performance. Furthermore, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is the DOE’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency R&D, will also receive funding to investigate and optimise multiple pathways to bio-acrylonitrile. Other recipients of the DOE funding to develop lowcost carbon fibre process include Dow Chemical, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and vehicle maker Ford Motor. ORNL has also been exploring the use of lignin extracted as a by-product of cellulosic ethanol fuel production as a raw material for carbon fibre production.

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Materials News

Partnerships to launch biomaterials UK-based paper and technical fibres manufacturer James Cropper has joined forces with Swedish forestry giant Södra to establish the degradable DuraPulp paper product that is said to be able to carry the weight of an adult and be composted within 100 days.

James Cropper is working on a biocomposite material, targeted at the premium goods market

The bio-composite material is targeted at the premium products market, such as luxury fashion, cosmetics, automotive and interior design sectors. The material is a blend of wood fibres and renewable, non-fossil based biopolymer (including recycled plastics and paper products) that can be heat pressed to take on any rigid form, or used as a sheet where there is a requirement for high tearing and bend tolerance or air permeability. Unlike other composite products, DuraPulp is believed to be the only one available where the primary content is pulp fibre and draws on 100% renewable resources, while remaining completely biodegradable. Initially a result of research by the Swedish scientific research institute, Innventia, Södra has explored DuraPulp’s adaptability in a series of design-led commissions, including a paper-thin, waterproof chair; moulded packaging to cradle delicate objects in transit; and an electric desk lamp. Its biodegradability has been embraced as a feature, being made into a seed pod from which plants will grow after the fibre has degraded. Elsewhere, Croatia-based packaging producer EcoCortec has developed the EcoOcean biobased film and bags that are designed for use by the marine market. The film and bags contain 77% content of biobased PHA material and are designed to biodegrade in marine environments, anaerobic digestion, natural soil and water environments, backyard composting systems, and municipal composting facilities (in areas where these facilities are available). Although the firm says it does not promote marine disposal (but says the films were developed to fight the increasing problem of marine debris), in the event that its product should reach the waterways, it will “biodegrade in months instead of remaining in the ocean for hundreds of years like ordinary plastic films.” EcoOcean can help reduce the increasing and persistent problem of marine litter, adds the firm.



It also says that EcoOcean is heat, moisture, and chemical resistant making it an ideal film for compostable bags and many flexible film packaging applications. The firm has also launched its EUR3 million phase three expansion of its Beli Manastir, Croatia plant, to double its manufacturing and warehousing capacities. EcoCortec also specialises in manufacturing US-based Cortec Corporation’s Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitor (VpCI) films. Some of the targeted markets for the marine degradable packaging are cruise liners, hotels and resorts in the coastal areas of Europe as well as ecologically sensitive regions along rivers and lakes. Meanwhile, US bioplastics maker Virent is expanding its operations as a result of an additional investment by beverage maker Coca-Cola in the company’s development and commercialisation of its biobased paraxylene, BioFormPX. This investment will enable Virent to scale up separation and purification Coca-Cola has invested of BioFormPX material at in Virent’s operations to its demonstration plant in develop its PlantBottle Madison. Virent says it is advancing on a path to a full-scale commercial solution for Coca-Cola’s 100% plant-based PET plastic bottle known as PlantBottle. Virent and Coca-Cola have been working together since 2011, when they first announced a joint agreement on the development of bio-based PX technology. Virent says it has progressed its PX technology to commercial readiness, improved the process economics and produced biobased PX, which has been converted by Coca-Cola into 100% biobased PET bottles. This new investment will allow production of larger quantities of BioFormPX material. Virent has also run its demonstration system to fulfill a number of fuel and chemical orders since it started operations in 2010. This added capability to produce larger quantities of purified PX will be combined with additional system enhancements to increase production capabilities, including larger volumes of bio-fuel and other biomaterials. Virent is one of three bioplastics materials companies targeted by Coca-Cola and includes Dutch firm Avantium Research and Technology that is using its YXY chemical technology to make a new biobased plastic known as PEF; as well as US firm Gevo that is producing a 100%-renewable isobutanol, a paraxylene building block. Coca-Cola is working with the firms to speed up development of its PlantBottle and reach its goal of doubling its usage of bioplastic bottles to 3 billion by 2020.


Automotive sector gets an innovation boost Development work on carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) for the automotive sector is pacing up. Whilst Teijin is working on CFRTPs for high-volume production, Sabic and its partners have developed an advanced additive manufacturing technology to help address the manufacturing challenges processors are facing – the high cost of innovation.


arbon fibre has ten times the strength but just a fourth of the weight of steel. Composite materials made of carbon fibres and resins are already widely used to reduce the weight of aircraft and other industrial materials. However, conventional thermoset-formed carbon fibre composites are rarely seen in mass production due to the slow takt time. CFRTP for mass production Nevertheless, in 2011, Japanese supplier Teijin Group built a four-seater concept car with its carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) body structure. The body was formed in one minute and weighs 47 kg, which is a fifth of a comparable steel structure, achievements that represent a new world of mass production applications for carbon fibre composites. Teijin tackled the problem of slow takt time by developing a thermoplastic resin that softens when heat is applied and quickly hardens when it cools, without losing its desirable properties, The body structure built with Teijin's allowing it to be press-moulded in thermoplastic CFRP weighs 47 kg, which a much shorter time. Not only does is light enough to be picked up with ease that make the material ideal for mass by two adults production applications, it also means it can be recycled and reused. Teijin has branded this world’s first CFRTP technology as Sereebo, an acronym for Save the Earth, Revolutionary & Evolutionary Carbon, and is now bringing it closer to commercial use in high-volume production. The Japanese company says it is currently working with automotive makers worldwide, including General Motors, to accelerate development of Sereebo composites for mass production of reduced-weight vehicles that meet demand for energy savings and CO2 reductions. The firm is spearheading the collaborative effort, which involves technical facilities in both Japan and the US and a pilot plant in Japan. Collaborative developments with consumer electronics makers and precision equipment makers are also in progress, and Nikon has already adopted Sereebo to manufacture structural parts for a digital SLR camera. Teijin says it is targeting sales of its solutions incorporating carbon fibre composites to reach US$1.5 to 2 billion by around 2020.

3D printing means that now cars can be printed. Sabic’s carbon fibre-reinforced material was used to produce Strati



Driving off in a 3D printed vehicle Elsewhere, a first-of-its-kind concept vehicle has been innovated using advanced 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) during the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in the US recently.

Composites This fully functional vehicle was printed from scratch and assembled by automotive design firm Local Motors that collaborated with Cincinnati Incorporated, a largescale manufacturing system builder; US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a pioneer in advanced materials research; and materials firm Sabic. This ground breaking event showcases a long-awaited solution to a major manufacturing challenge: how to avoid the significant investments in tooling and time necessary to produce large free form designs. Sabic’s LNP Stat-Kon carbon fibre-reinforced compound was chosen for its strength-to-weight ratio and high stiffness, which minimises warping during the 3D printing process. The concept vehicle event stemmed from Local Motor’s Design Challenge, which resulted in the submission of over 200 entries from 30+ countries. The winning concept, Strati, inspired the full sized 3D-printed prototype. Though Local Motors claims that Strati is the world's first 3D printed car, the Urbee developed in 2010 may lay claim to the title. Urbee is the result of a collaboration between engineering group, Kor Ecologic, which designed the vehicle, and additive manufacturing machine maker Stratasys, which printed all the vehicle’s exterior components. Stratasys used fused deposition modelling

(FDM), which creates plastic parts by applying real thermoplastics in layers from the bottom up. However, Local Motors contends that the Urbee used only 3D printed panels and features, whilst relying on a standard internal structure while it says that every part of the Strati that isn't mechanical is 3D printed. The company also claims that it is the first time that the main portion of a car has been printed in one piece using direct digital manufacturing. Mechanical components, like the battery, motor, wiring and suspension, were sourced from a variety of suppliers and installed by Local Motors. First, the body is printed using a Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine from Cincinnati and ORNL. Subtractive manufacturing is then carried out using a CNC routing machine and, finally, the printed portion of the vehicle is assembled with the additional components over two days. Thus, it took five days to build the car: 44 hours to print the car, one day to mill and two days to assemble. ORNL worked on the large-scale additive machine using the chassis and drives of Cincinnati’s gantry-style laser cutting system as the base, as well as a high-speed cutting tool, pellet feed mechanism and control software for additional capability. The completed and fully functional Strati was driven for the first time at the show.

JUNE / JULY 2014


2013 2012 2011 2010 2009










Extrusion/Thermoforming/Pelletising/Auxiliary Equipment

German show for machinery European machinery specialists will showcase a range of machinery at the upcoming Fakuma show to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 14-18 October.

Nordson Extrusion Dies extrusion coating station with an Autoflex EPC die

Pelletising • An underwater pelletiser that removes dirt and fine particles from process water is said to drastically reduce power usage in water filtration and cut overall pelletiser energy use by 10-17%, according to Nordson BKG. The Optigon water filtration system eliminates the need for a separate fines-removal sieve, which in standard systems requires a secondary, dedicated water pump. Instead, all filtration is provided by a Polygon drum filter, where the 70-micron screens are finer than the 150-micron screens used in standard systems. Driven by a small motor, the drum rotates within the water that is circulated in the pelletising system by the main process water pump. By eliminating the secondary pump, the Optigon water filtration system uses 1,440 KW/year (measured at 8,000 hours), as against 44,000 kW and 98,480 kW for the company’s Opti-Line and Poly-Line systems, respectively. Other energy-saving measures available as optional include the insulation of the water system to prevent heat loss; and insulation of the die plate heating flanges, with energy savings of 30% compared with standard die plates. •

PSG‘s Maag Pump Systems, Automatik Pelletizing Systems and Maag Filtration Systems will be presenting a complete system for polymer production in the mid-tier output range. The system consists of the extrex 90 extrusion pump, the CSC-RS 116 arched screen changer and the new Sphero S underwater pelletiser system. The latter caters to compounding, masterbatch and recycling applications in outputs from 700-3,000 kg/hour, with manual pressure setting and pneumatic pressure control. The system requires no rails and can be positioned with a swivel arm. An improved water bypass construction ensures faster production start-up. Further exhibits are the Primo 200E dry-cut strand pelletiser with its cantilever bearings and an extra-large cutting width of 200 mm for compounding of thermoplastics and the production of masterbatches up to 1.5 tonnes/hour. Also on display is the extrex GDP twin outlet gear pump for individual supply of melt to two different nozzle blocks.

ProTec Polymer Processing will present the Solido LFT system for producing long fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) with fibre lengths corresponding to pellet lengths. The industry standard of 7-25 mm is produced via the pultrusion process. With Solido, the glass or carbon fibre strands are first isolated in the impregnation tool to create the filaments, followed by impregnation. The LFT pellets are said to produce components with improved surface quality and high mechanical strength, with a fibre content of up to 60% by weight and plant sizes of up to 1.2 tonnes/hour. LFT pellets can be injection moulded and used for applications previously reserved for thermosetting plastics. Automotive engineering in particular is currently a field of application for LFT but in the future even bioplastics can be "upgraded" in this way, says the firm. Extrusion/Thermoforming • Research by US-based Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries has led to the development of a technology that resolves the issue raised by low melt strength polymers. The trials were carried out at Sung An Machinery (SAM) North America’s technology centre. SAM manufactures machinery and accessories for the



Extrusion/Thermoforming/Pelletising/Auxiliary Equipment printing and converting industry for paper, film, and foil in South Korea. Components of the technology include dies with lip lands that are shorter than the industry standard, allowing the gauge profile of the coating to be controlled. A suite of secondary internal deckle blades, sized for various polymers allow for fine-tuning of the edge profile of the polymer as it exits, minimising bead formation. A short radius is effective for LDPE while longer radii stabilises the thickness profile near the edges with polymers having less melt strength. Meanwhile, the “microrod” designed by the company is half the standard diameter allowing for less lateral movement of the melt, thus less edge bead formation. The short lip land and micro-rod are available in new dies specified by converters while the suite of exchangeable secondary deckle blades is available on a custom-designed basis. •

Italian producer of automatic coilers for small/large flexible pipes FB Balzanelli is able to produce palletisation systems to optimise the packaging and storage process of various types of pipes. In addition to its TR series coilers with two opposing reels – the first system developed by FB Balzanelli – today the company's palletisation systems are built to allow clients to manage multiple production lines simultaneously. It has supplied 850 units worldwide to date.

Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen will launch the ERF500 melt filtration, designed for a maximum output of 5,000 kg/hour. This is an addition to the ERF200 and ERF250 sizes that achieve outputs of 1.5 tonnes/hour and 2.5 tonnes/hour respectively. The compact ERF500 is able to handle contamination of up to 18% by weight. Another new launch is the ECO melt filter, ECO melt filters are developed for developed for film and sheet extrusion film and sheet extrusion applications, to remove cross-linked and high-molecular material fractions contained in the melt, together with any gels or partial impurities. This melt filter, rated for a contaminant level of 1.5% by weight, is offered in two different sizes: ECO200 for outputs of up to 1,000 kg/hour and ECO250 for 2,500 kg/hour. In addition to polyolefin, it is also suitable for filtering easy-flowing materials such as PET or PA.

INTAREMA® The new system generation from EREMA.

Self-service. Redefined. Reaching perfect pellet quality at the press of a button: the new INTAREMA® features the intelligent Smart Start operating concept, bringing together production efficiency and remarkably straight-forward operation. This is all about usability. Including an ergonomic touchscreen, practical recipe management and automated standby mode.


Extrusion/Thermoforming/Pelletising/Auxiliary Equipment The central component of both filters is a rotating, cylindrical filter screen with millions of conical holes that can be supplied with a wide variety of filtration levels. The cleaned melt on the inside of the drum is supplied to the downstream mould via a system of flow channels. The rotary motion of the filter drum simultaneously supports the blending and ensures optimally homogeneous conditions in the melt. •

Illig will showcase its entry-level UA 100Ed sheet processing machine, designed with a forming area of 960 mm x 560 mm and manual loading. A technology developed by the German company is the central supply of cooling air employed for cooling of formed parts. Apart from that, it will have on display the UA 100g, with a forming area of 960 mm x 660 mm. Two options are available to expand the basic machine: an additional upper table and the “loose” part control required for demoulding of parts with more pronounced undercuts. Other highlights are the vacuum pump, reinforced cooling fans with four adjustable air exhaust elements, as well as ceramic infrared heater elements employed to heat up the material to forming temperature, with elements equipped with a special black glaze, thus reducing energy by up to 30%. The PLC control is equipped with a high-resolution TFT screen and the new task-oriented user interface.

Illig’s new UA cooling concept features a central cooling fan installed on top of the forming station (right). The expansion level shown here (left) also includes a suction hood, so evaporations from heated plastics can be discharged effectively

Auxiliary • Coperion K-Tron will present its patented BSP-135 Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) feeder on a pivoting base, with positive displacement action and vertical rotating discs that create feeding ducts. It will also showcase its gravimetric batch blenders that are available in sizes from 0.5-25 kg and include up to eight main feed elements depending on the unit. Each unit is designed with an integrated loading platform for mounting material loaders or vacuum receivers. The blenders include a metering and weighing system for controlling all ingredients



of every batch to the desired amounts and it is not averaged over multiple batches. Besides the vacuum receivers, the gravimetric batch blender is equipped with a powder feeder. The latter is designed to optimally handle difficult materials such as pigments, sticky, bridging or flooding powders, fibres and fiberglass. The volumetric feeders are available in different sizes from 0.01 cu dm/hour to 1,600 cu dm/hour. •

Italy headquartered ancillary equipment producer Moretto will showcase its Eureka system including a Flowmatik airflow management and distribution system, the OTX hopper drier and the X Max dryer. Moretto’s Eureka system has been developed over a 13-year period of testing, leading to what company Founder/CEO Renato Moretto describes as “the most ambitious project in the history of dehumidification during my 45 years carrier in the plastics world”. Moretto says the work Eureka appropriately describes how the three elements of the system have finally “closed the loop” to form an efficient drying system. It is also said to be the only drying system that can process 10,000-12,000 kg/hour of material in compounding, extrusion and PET processing, boasting up to 56% lower energy consumption than traditional drying systems. The end product has been redesigned and calculated utilising the power and AI of the high-end Leonardo computer (one of only three in Europe), says Moretto. X MAX dryer is based on Moretto’s patented X technology and incorporates a multi bed single molecular sieve desiccant system providing constant -65°C to -85°C dew point. A key enhancement is its multi-stage centrifugal blower, developed by Moretto since the initial launch in co operation with Padua University. The X Max 916 model, for example, is said to provide up to 1,600 cu m/hour drying capacity at 300 mbar pressure with low electricity consumption of 13.2 kWh. The truncated cone-shaped OTX (Original Thermal Exchanger) hopper dryer is available in 28 sizes and is said to be 40% faster.

Moretto says its Eureka system is proven in the market

Corporate Profile

Honing a healthy business sense in Asia Already having an advantage of being able to serve the growing Asian thermoplastic elastomer or TPE market, Kraiburg combines its extensive TPE portfolio with its healthy commitment to the people and environment, says Angelica Buan in this story.

Heart of the business Germany-headquartered Kraiburg, a manufacturer of hydrogenated styrene block copolymers (HSBC)-based TPEs for the Asia Pacific market, prioritises its commitment to the people (customers and workers) and the environment, which it believes are the “heart of the business”. Having said this, Kraiburg has been actively promoting its “green” initiative, called Caring You & Me, in its Malaysian plant operations, since its launch in April this year. The initiative embodies the firm’s commitment to a healthier and safer working environment. “The Caring You & Me Concept is imbibing safety and sustainability from within the company to our suppliers and our customers,” Bridget Ngang Shue Hui, Product and Marketing Manager for Kraiburg, told PRA during the Indoplas show held in September in Jakarta, Indonesia, where the firm was an exhibitor. The environment, health and safety (EHS) initiative complements the ISO14001:2004 environmental management certification it received in April. Kraiburg’s sustainability model is unique in that it involves all its employees, suppliers, and customers. “The ISO14001:2004 certification will demonstrate Kraiburg’s continuous and strong commitment to uphold environmental issues and work towards improving the environment,” said Ngang. She also added that it will enhance Kraiburg as a premium brand producer of TPE that is responsible and cares for the people, processes, resources and environment. It also gives Kraiburg the competitive edge in its marketing efforts. “Our image has been enhanced in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders,” Ngang expounded, adding that with the initiative, the company protects the personal health and safety of its workers with the rationale that healthy people, safe processes and equipment deliver a healthy business. A safe workplace is subscribed by a set of health and safety guidelines that include prohibiting smoking; maintaining a speed limit (15 km/hour) within the work premises; and the use of personal protective equipment (PPP), such as gloves and helmets at the workplace, to cite a few examples. “The company also conducts fire drills, and trainings for first aid and fire fighting,” said Ngang. Furthermore, the EHS practice also involves choosing carefully the raw material suppliers Kraiburg works with. “We see to it that our suppliers are committed to quality and the environment,” said Ngang, adding that while Kraiburg is strict in implementing the initiative, it is consistent in protecting the environment. According to the firm, the TPEs it produces are 100% recyclable, likewise, the uncured molecular chains of the TPEs enable them to be melted over again, returning them to the manufacturing process, thus, saving on natural resources. To top it off, the firm says it uses recyclable packaging for its products. Growing in Asia The global market for TPEs is forecast to grow to 5.1 million tonnes by 2018, with the Asia Pacific region accounting for an increased market share in the overall global demand, according to a Smithers Rapra report. In the region, the UK research company says that China is the largest consumer of TPEs and the reigning applications for TPEs include the automotive and electrical appliances sector, especially in the soft-touch features for grips and surfaces. Other countries increasing their TPE usage are India, Thailand, and Indonesia. To capture this market share, Kraiburg offers a wide range of formulations for various applications. At the Indoplas, it showcased the flexibility of its TPE custom-engineered compounds for the automotive, consumer and medical sectors. OCTOBER 2014


Corporate Profile

Kraiburg’s TPE plant in Malaysia

Ngang, who said that it is the second time Kraiburg has participated in an industry event in Indonesia, appraised the potential of the Indonesian market. This was echoed by Roland Ritter, Director Asia Pacific, who was quoted saying that the Asia Pacific region continues to be fast developing, and Indonesia’s strategic location and a dynamic population of 240 million makes it one of the fastest growing Asian economies, after China and India. To respond to the huge market demand in the regional market, Kraiburg has set up offices in strategic Asian locations. “We have a growing presence within the Asia Pacific region and other than Shanghai and the Hong Kong sales offices, we have opened new offices in Shenyang and Wuhan in China. We are also in India, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam and will be going to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. This will allow us to respond more quickly and fulfill the huge market demand in the Asia Pacific market,” according to Ngang. As for production, Kraiburg has a plant in Selangor, Malaysia, which it opened in 2008. In 2012, it added a new line to increase the production volume to support the Asia Pacific market demand. Outside of Asia, its other production facilities are located in Germany and the US, and it has a sales network that covers France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. Formula for competitiveness Kraiburg says that continuous improvement in its production and systems is firing up its edge in the Asian market. “We actively promote growth and evolve our production site in order to be irreplaceable and customer-oriented,” said Ritter. Addressing customers’ needs mean employing effective strategies that will benefit them. “Our quick and reliable supply chain logistics ensure on-time delivery for customer satisfaction. We maximise cost efficiency by maintaining manufacturing costs and production efficiency with low scrap rates. So the savings are then passed on to our customers,” he explained.



“The key in a growing market is to have localised development. We have increased headcount for R&D in Malaysia, where our facility is,” said Roland Ritter, Director Asia Pacific

Ritter also stresses that R&D plays a crucial role in maintaining the competitive edge in the market. “We offer tailor-made product services as well as specific solutions and this will not be possible without R&D. The key in a growing market is to have localised development. We have increased our headcount for R&D in Malaysia to handle Asian product development, and technical consultancy for product development.” Besides that, the R&D team in Malaysia has developed seven new products for the Asian market, each possessing different hardnesses to cater to different industry requirements. These are: • AD/PA/AP series for applications with excellent adhesion to PA • FC/AP series, which are natural-coloured and translucent solutions for food contact applications • GP/AP series for technical applications with excellent adhesion to PP • FC/AD/PE series for food contact applications requiring adhesion to LDPE, LLPE and HDPE • FR/AP series for applications requiring high flame retardant properties • SCR series for applications requiring a high degree of scratch resistance • UV/AP series for automotive exterior components requiring high UV resistance Versatility in “black and white” Quite literally, the versatility of Kraiburg’s Thermolast compounds is demonstrated in enhancing the material properties of the pen and pencil products manufactured by Stabilo International, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of writing instruments, which is part of the Schwan-Stabilo Group. The material Stabilo uses for its pen and pencil products allows for non-slip grip surfaces, which are pleasant to the touch. Incidentally, the two companies have struck a common ground. In utilising the food contact-safe, PVC and latex-free, and recyclable Thermolast in its writing tool products, Stabilo shares Kraiburg’s commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness in manufacturing and developing products. Kraiburg’s Thermolast K TPE has been used by French developer FDI France Medical for its newest walking elbow crutch. It has a shockabsorbing mechanism integrated in the material that softens each step and protects the joints

Country Focus

Indonesia rises up to meet growth challenges Indonesia’s rise to become the world’s tenth largest economy, contributing 2.3% of the global economic output, according to the World Bank, has not been easy. Much like its ASEAN neighbours, the country has been riddled with political blizzards and out-dated policies. But current efforts are backing the economy to be one that is globally marketfriendly, says Angelica Buan in this report based on interviews with exhibitors at the recently concluded Indoplas show in Jakarta, Indonesia.


hedding the economic strategies that were binary to old politics, the more recently reformed government has been more appreciative of the role of the country’s broad consumer base that is buoying up its industries. The industrial sectors, especially manufacturing and mining, contribute largely to the country’s annual GDP growth, which currently is estimated by the Asian Development Bank at 5.7%, to top 6% by 2015. Under manufacturing, Indonesia’s automotive and packaging segments are strong growth performers. At the recent Indoplas show, with Indoprint and Indopack events held simultaneously from 3-6 September in Jakarta, it was clear that the two segments were the target markets for many of the 400 exhibitors from 20 countries. A real-time barometer that the country’s local market is in competitive form in terms of production quality, capacities, and output, the triad events hosted international pavilions, including countries like Germany, Austria, Taiwan and Singapore. According to Singapore-headquartered Messe Düsseldorf Asia (MDA), co-organiser of the event, international firms outnumbered local exhibitors. A 20% increase in the number of first-time exhibitors was also noted this year, with some 25,000 visitors to the four-day event.

Vital market for Germany and Europe According to MDA and its co-organiser, Jakarta-based PT Wahana Kemalaniaga Makmur (Wakeni), there were more German exhibitors this year than the previous show held in 2012. The increase is an indicator that Indonesia has become an important market for the German plastics (and rubber) machinery makers. Claudia Frey, Deputy Managing Director of the German Engineering Federation or VDMA, said that Germany’s highest export volume to Indonesia, exceeding EUR95 million, was in 2012. This was an increase of 65% against the previous year, she told PRA. But Indonesian imports of plastics and rubber machines last year decreased by around 20%. All major suppliers from abroad were hit, according to Frey. However, it is looking better this year. “Based on the latest data published only a few days before the Indoplas event, there was a 59% increase in shipments from Germany to Indonesia for the second quarter of 2014,” added Frey. She went on to say that Germany ranks third among the most important suppliers of plastics and rubber machinery to processors in Indonesia, with a considerable share in overall imports. Indonesia’s increased demand, brought on by rising quality requirements of its growing population, makes the country a favourable market, as well as a supply source of plastics (and rubber) products. Jurgen Rehkopf, Managing Director of Reifenhäuser Singapore, a part of the Germany-based Reifenhäuser Group, said that packaging applications have a substantial market not only in Indonesia but in Asia, too. “The Asian market follows urbanisation and growth in population, which are also suitable factors for increased demand for food packaging.” Frey added, “This is why more German manufacturers – not only from the field of plastics and rubber but also from the printing and packaging industries – work on establishing new contacts with partners in Indonesia and on nurturing existing partnerships.” OCTOBER 2014


Country Focus Exhibitors on a quest for more sales Meanwhile, a number of European exhibitors from Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK, as well as representatives from Asian countries like China, Thailand, Japan and India were on a mission to identify the potentials of the domestic market. Austrian plastics recycling machine producer Erema, a first-time exhibitor, introduced to Indonesia its Intarema, which is 100% Austrian-made and boasts the “globally patented Counter Current technology”. According to spokesperson Tony Djunardy, the machine that was launched at K2013, “gives more output, is energy efficient and easy to operate.” Its other offering, the Vacurema for bottle-to-bottle food-grade recycling system, already has several installations in Indonesia, indicating that Erema is not a new player in the market. Erema has already installed several of its Vacurema units in Indonesia

Another first-time exhibitor, Italian Gamma Meccanica, also introduced its recycling systems. It was promoting the Eco Clean system, which removes printing ink from the surface of flexible films, which is not common to a number of other recycling systems. “Our machine has the capability to recycle even printed plastics,” said Erwin Forstner, Sales Manager, who also affirmed that the technology is European. German extrusion blow moulding machine manufacturer Kautex, another first-time exhibitor, serves a variety of sectors from automotive to industrial and packaging. Erol Evcimen, Sales Manager, said that in Indonesia there are around 15 Kautex machines installed for producing consumer packaging, automotive, industrial and speciality products. Extrusion machinery maker Reifenhäuser Singapore showcased the Evolution Ultra Cool (from the Evolution series), an operator-friendly and high-output cooling system with the broadest range of blow-up ratios. It is also able to increase the output of FFS lines by up to 30%, depending on the film structure. ExxonMobil Chemical’s Vistamaxx and Santoprene polymer solutions are already being used for CPP packaging films in Indonesia. Philip Chew Chia Way, Managing Director of Singapore-based GME Chemicals, distributor for ExxonMobil Chemical, said that the domestic market is bristling with political stability and brisk consumption.



Germany-headquartered injection moulding machine maker Arburg presented its Allrounder 570H packaging series at the show. The machine belongs to the high-performance hybrid Hidrive series and features a clamping force of 180 tonnes with injection units of 400, 800, 1300 and 2100.

Arburg displayed its Hidrive series for packaging

For Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik, its ultrasonic welding technology is able to serve three important segments: namely, automotive, packaging, and medical. Kai Broek, Regional Sales Representative, said that the automotive segment is stronger in Thailand than in Indonesia. “Packaging is Indonesia’s turf, while the medical segment is strong in Malaysia and Singapore.” Likewise, tapping the automotive market segment is Geiss, a first-time exhibitor The automotive sector is also that manufactures catching up in Indonesia thermoforming machines. Spokesperson Manfred Geiss said that the 100% Germanmade machines were introduced as turnkey solutions for the local market. “Automotive is not a core business in Indonesia, but growth in this sector is promising,” he said, adding that the machines reduce energy consumption by up to 40%, compared to other similar systems. “There are as many as 104 options for customers, allowing significant degree of customisation Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik's HiQ and automation,” Geiss Dialog is packed with powerful added. features

Country Focus Moretto, an Italian ancillary equipment maker, introduced its latest energy saving dehumidifier and dosing equipment to the local market. Paolo Gasparotto, Business Development Manager, said that the application range for these machines include automotive, packaging, medical, film/profile, and electrical components. But not all sectors are doing well as observed by some exhibitors in the woven bag sector. Austria-based BSW Machinery (a subsidiary of Windmöller & Hölscher), showcased machines for flat bottom bags as well as for producing water and tear-resistant AD proTex bags used as packaging for free-flowing dry materials. Rene Winkler, Area Sales Manager, said that the woven bags segment is highly competitive in Indonesia due to an overcapacity. Another woven bag machinery supplier Starlinger, which has an office-cum-service centre that was opened in 2012 in Surabaya, also observed that the woven bags market is becoming tight due to oversupply of bags. “Many of our customers cater to the food, industrial, and construction sectors,” according to Regional Sales Manager Franz Steiner. Aside from Indonesia, the company is also strong in Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, India, and Pakistan. The firm displayed the RX6 series, which it launched at the Chinaplas held in Shanghai in May this year. Cost-efficiency overlooked Since quality and efficiency follow innovation, the latter’s cost becomes a deterrent to buyers of machinery. Some of the exhibiting firms admitted that while many local customers expressed enthusiasm over the technologies demonstrating energy and space savings, not to mention ease of use, many prospective buyers still consider the cost of the machine more than the efficiency. A few firms interviewed said that most start-up processors would prefer to purchase lower cost machines (such as ones made in China), but would shift to medium and higher-end machines when their businesses take off. Most German, Italian and Austrian machines, for example, are highend machines, and may not be practical for small production runs. Comparable to markets such as Thailand, Singapore, and China, where receptiveness to more advanced technologies translates to lucrative demand, Indonesia is still not in the league. Some exhibitors suggested that a company has to run higher efficiency machines in order to maximise benefits. Furthermore, energy efficiency is still not yet a consideration in Indonesia. VDMA, for example, is promoting energy-efficiency via the Blue Competence concept, which encompasses technologies and processes (mechanical and plant engineering) that ensure minimum consumption of energy, sustainability (with reduced emissions and use of resources); while delivering maximum productivity. VDMA’s Claudia Frey sums it up: “Efficiency means saving resources and, hence, costs.” High potential but long road ahead Growth opportunities in the Indonesian plastics industry are not easy to grasp, according to exhibitors interviewed, hinting that setting up offices/plants in the country is not an agenda for the time being.

What is holding back the country from surging ahead? Plant/office set-ups in nearby locations usually suffice to serve neighbouring markets. Besides distributors, ExxonMobil Chemical has a plant in Singapore, and plans to set up an office and distribution centre in Thailand, according to GME Chemical’s Philip Chew. Kautex has a facility in China. “There are no plans for the company to set up a facility in Indonesia, considering its proximity to the existing facility in Shunde (Guangdong Province),” Evcimen of Kautex explained. Winkler of BSW also said that the company has no plans of expanding to Asia in order to “stay committed to quality.” Forstner of Gamma Meccanica opined that consumer spending is comparatively low, despite the size of the population in Indonesia. Skills gap There is also the concern of the lack of skilled workers in the plastics processing industry. One company that is doing its part is Arburg. It runs training courses spanning 5-12 months for its workers to hone their technical and marketing skills. Included in the training is being “confident” in speaking the English language. David Chan, Managing Director of Arburg for the ASEAN region, said that this is a valuable part of the module as this encourages staff to be able to provide information to clients with clarity. Winkler of BSW Machinery, although not specifying Indonesia, also expressed frustration that availability of skills is a challenge in Asia, in addition to the cost of raw materials. A new business, the German Training Centre for Injection Moulding Asia, is addressing the skills gap, specifically in the injection moulding industry, by introducing a training system offering ‘Injection Moulding Drivers Licence’ courses. The programme was launched in 2011 by the company in Europe and expanded to Asia this year. According to Rayston Tan, co-owner of the training centre, the module is divided into five stages and covers topics ranging from material and moulds to automation and process knowledge. “It is important that a worker (operating a machine) is equipped with scientific, expert knowledge,” said Tan, adding that eliminating the “trial and error” practices of most operators who only acquire skills by experience could spare a company from costly delays. Meanwhile, the country could also learn from various applications that the local industry can tap on based on market demand elsewhere in Asia. Forstner of Gamma Meccanica said that “demand for insulation materials is good”, although he is not certain of the demand in the domestic market. “The Asian market is fast growing, nonetheless, very competitive,” said Starlinger’s Steiner, who also suggested stepping ahead of the competition. With progressive rational reforms still underway in the country, the overall prospect for Indonesia is one that is optimistic. It is just a matter of time that a road once less travelled for big global players will soon metamorphose into a major growth thoroughfare. OCTOBER 2014



Asian urbanisation: opportunities for masterbatches As Asia advances towards urbanisation, a modern phenomenon that means increased migration, consumerism and industrialisation will boost demand for materialenhancing compounds such as masterbatches and additives. Meanwhile, there is growing interest in graphene-based masterbatches.




rbanisation in Asia is no more a legend, but real as the statistics for urban households escalates. It translates to a growing number of housing and infrastructure being built; more cars to plying the roads, and megacities emerging with increased population as urbanisation goes full scale in the region. An estimated 44 million people are being added to Asia’s urban population every year; and by 2025, the majority of Asia’s population will be urban, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report on Asian prospects to 2050. It is expected that by 2050, the number of urban dwellers will double from the current 1.6 billion to approximately 3.2 billion. Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank also released a report early this year on Asian spending and it suggested that living standards are levelling up. What this means is that consumers are also becoming more educated and sophisticated in their demands and product choices. Evidently, sectors that will derive the greater benefits from urbanisation include automotive, packaging, consumer goods, and construction, to name few. Research firm Global Industry Analyst (GIA) finds that end-use markets served by the above sectors are driving demand for plastics. An essential component now to plastics, masterbatches are becoming a widely used colourant method to enhance properties fit for an urbanised consumer base. Thus, the global market for masterbatches is projected to reach US$10.5 billion by 2018, said GIA. GIA, in its report, also points to packaging as the largest end-use market for masterbatches. It finds that more consumer product manufacturers are seeking packaging materials that facilitate low cost production, and ensure effective storage and transportation.These requirements provide the edge to advanced masterbatches that offer both functional performance and aesthetic appeal. New York-based Persistence Research says that Asia Pacific was the largest market for masterbatches in 2013, as demand in plastics from the construction and automotive industries surged. Infniti Research’s latest report cites that masterbatches allow moulders to improve the appearance and performance of the raw polymer or resin in a cost-effective manner during manufacture of plastics. Demand for pigment additives, it says, is projected in the report to grow to a CAGR of 5.3% through to 2018. New choices, innovations As new plastic materials are being developed and enhanced, masterbatch makers innovate to gain a competitive edge in the market. Several of these innovations include anti-shrinkage and anti-fogging additives for packaging; flame-retardants for PP pipes and PC sheets; anti-microbial and odour managing additives as well as for for biopolymer and biodegradable resins, says GIA. Several producers have come up with new innovations. Switzerland-based Granula has identified the challenge of adding colour to a polymer being processed. Choosing which masterbatch and how much to use to yield the desired effect is a serious consideration for converters, it says. Thus, Granula, together with a team of mechanical engineering students from Germanybased Reutlingen University, developed a test specimen to help customers oversee their masterbatch decisions at an early stage, before the product goes into series production. According to Granula, the test specimen enables customers to analyse a number of important properties of coloured plastics and plastic part design requirements in advance. Based on this test specimen, various constructional and design aspects can be tested in order to determine whether a colour performance is delivered that is compliant with the specification of the relevant plastic part. The new test specimens will be demonstrated on a Boy 25E injection-moulding machine at the upcoming Fakuma show to be held in Germany in October.

Masterbatches Elsewhere, Israel-headquartered Tosaf, a joint venture between Megides Holding and the Ravago Group, has launched a new cooling masterbatch for greenhouse film applications. Tosaf has developed a masterbatch for greenhouse film applications

Meanwhile, Netherlands-based Helian Polymers, a new player in masterbatch manufacturing (the company was launched in 2011) has teamed up with Eastman Chemical Company in producing a low-odour, styrene-free polymer for the 3D market. Helian’s collaboration with 3D printers and filaments provided the desired properties for the colorFabb XT-copolyester. The colorFabb XT-copolyester is enhanced with Helian's masterbatch compounds

Films produced using IR8783PE block a significant amount of the near infrared radiation (NIR), which would heat up the greenhouse’s interior. Field trials in South Israel revealed a peak temperature 4-5°C lower when compared with conventional light-diffusing film, with no undesired temperature drop overnight. The IR8783PE allows most of the photo-synthetically active radiation (PAR), needed for healthy plant growth, to pass through the films. The masterbatch is suitable for single, three, and five-layer films, with a recommended rate of addition of about 5% for a 200-micron film, Tosaf said.

In Australia, another new player is University of Queensland (UQ) sponsored start-up company, Brisbanebased TenasiTech. It is developing patented, high functioning additives based on research by UQ. CEO, Richard Marshall, commented at a recent US conference on lightweighting in automotive, “There is a slow but unstoppable revolution happening in the types of materials used in cars, buses and trucks. Models such as the Ford’s F150 and Fusion, GMC Sierra 2014, iBMW, and VW Golf represent just the first of these. We have products which are highly relevant to the needs of newer and lighter vehicles.”

Masterbatches For example, TenasiTech has developed the Solid-TT additive to allow thermoplastics to withstand scratching and maintain their glossy appearance. The poor scratch resistance of acrylic glass is a key barrier to the more widespread replacement of traditional glass, with TenasiTech claiming Solid-TT fits within the existing automotive supply chain, making it an affordable but high performance nanotech solution. TenasiTech, which set up an office in the US this year, secured funding of A$950,000 from members of investment groups like Brisbane Angels and Melbourne Angels as well as from UQ-based venture fund Uniseed. Graphene – a breakthrough material A growing interest for plastics manufacturers is the on-going development for graphene, which the industry considers as a wonder material that has the potential to greatly impact the weight, performance, and functions of products that appeal to the needs and wants of an urbanised population. It was discovered in 2004 by two scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from UK’s University of Manchester, whose works on graphene were recognised in 2010 with a Nobel Prize in Physics award. What is graphene? It is a single layer of carbon atoms from graphite, which makes an irresistible alternative to most materials whose properties would soon pale in comparison. Graphene is said to be 200 times stronger than steel, ten times more effective than copper in conducting heat and it is able to carry 1,000 times the density of electrical current of copper wire, with a surface area that is twice that of carbon nanotubes. Market growth of graphene Various initiatives are on the cards to develop further graphene solutions from Europe and Asia. According to European research firm IDTechEx, South Korea and UK have each, respectively, committed at least US$40 and £24 million in the past two years to support graphene development. Moreover, approximately US$60 million of investments are forged by private firms into the development of the material The Graphene Flagship is the EU’s biggest research initiative ever, with an allocated budget of EUR1 billion. The project, an academic-industrial consortium aimed at a breakthrough for technological innovation, is embarking on research efforts that cover the entire value chain, from materials production to components and system integration, and is targeting a number of specific goals to exploit the unique properties of graphene. NanoMaster, an EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7), also supports graphene development in line with its objective to reduce the amount of plastics used to make a component by 50% and hence reduce component weight by 50%, at the same time as imparting electrical and thermal functionality. It said that this will be achieved by developing the next generation of graphene-reinforced nano-intermediate that can be used in existing high-output plastic component production processes. The potential commercial value of graphene will grow as it reaches industrial-scale availability and use.



Allied Research has projected that the global graphene market will grow to US$149.1 million by 2020, posting a 44% yearly CAGR from 2014. By 2024, the market (material level) would rise to US$390 million, according to IDTechEx. Innovations in graphene masterbatches Spain-based supplier of high-performance nanomaterials and nanotechnology-based solutions Avanzare is said to be the first European firm to produce graphene in an industrial-scale. It is also the world’s largest supplier of the material that has received an award in 2013 for its developments in graphene “Graphene nanomaterials are gaining enormous interest as a new class of reinforcement for nanocomposites, promising revolutionary electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties,” says Julio Gomez, Technical Coordinator at Avanzare. Except for a few companies that have been increasing production of graphene, including Graphenano and Granph Nanotech, both located also in Spain, mass-production of graphene has yet to be widely achieved, basically due to high costs and deficient material quality. Graphene is an atomthin sheet of carbon from graphite that can significantly enhance polymers

Asia may not be producing the material as yet but its applications in electronics and consumer goods are reaching the region’s market. Nevertheless, the industry has recognised that graphene thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds will drive demand from sectors that require lower weight, greater strength and higher conductivity, not found in commercially available nanomaterials. Aside from electronics, other markets that it can be served include aerospace, automotive, coatings and paints, communications, sensors, solar, oil, and lubricants. Turkey-based materials specialist Grafen Chemical Industries has introduced a new graphene-based universal thermoplastic masterbatch, GMB-U. It is said to offer universal dispersibility in polyolefins and is aimed towards industrial products. Said to be easy to use, the masterbatch has been designed for miscibility in all common polyolefins, such as PP and PE, and is processable in film extrusion and injection moulding, says Grafen. With innovative carrier resin chemistry, the graphene sheets exfoliate during thermoplastic compounding and mixing processes, which ensures well bonded and dispersed graphene in polymer matrix. Since graphene is relatively a new material, its safety and impact to the environmental and human health has not been established, according to NanoMasters. Thus, though it has advantages, it has a long road ahead.

Injection Moulding Asia Machinery

Blue shade of “green” sustainability iconic colour associated with sustainability within the machinery equipment segment for plastics and rubber, according to Claudia Frey, Managing Director of VDMA. Belgium-headquartered European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO), which represents 15 national associations of machine tool builders, has also adopted the initiative for the machine tool sector. “Efficiency means saving Claudia Frey, Managing Director of VDMA, says resources and hence costs. that Blue Competence is In Europe, the industry has the new “green” within almost doubled its production the machinery equipment efficiency in the last 20 years. environment At the same time, the energy consumption of plastics machinery has fallen by 30%,” Frey said.

Initiatives on energy efficiency are harbinger to new sustainable technologies for injection moulding machine manufacturers. With VDMA having launched the Blue Competence in 2012 for sustainability in machinery, machine makers have taken up the initiative. But Angelica Buan also asks how relevant is it for Asia?


he United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have reported indications of ozone layer recovery, a successful outcome of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which bans production and use of ozone-depleting substances. But the story does not end here, as experts say that while the ozone layer is being restored, the threat of climate changes still remains. Consumption and production of energy, most of which comes from fossil fuels, contribute to climate change, according to the US Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Greenhouse gas emissions occur when energy is used inefficiently. Thus, industries are urged to mitigate climate change by following energy efficiency practices.

Energy efficiency label to come into force he Blue Competence came about following the industry’s European umbrella organisation Euromap’s energy consumption guideline for machines, Euromap 60, which was issued in 2009, and was later revised and divided into two parts, 60.1 and 60.2, to reflect more consistent efficiency parameters. “A study by Euromap concluded that further efficiency gains – in some cases as much as 50% – by 2020 are a realistic proposition,” said Frey. She went on to say that the reduction of energy consumption can be achieved by replacing old machines, since most technologies are already available. However, companies are challenged by inconsistent information about energy consumption. “In many cases, apples and pears are compared. Therefore, Euromap has installed energy measurement standards, which bring about more transparency and competence to the issue.” Frey said that Euromap will introduce energy labelling for plastics and rubber machinery by 1st October. Opting for this label is voluntary. “The development of a common and neutral label will enable manufacturers to present the efficiency classes of their machines transparently. The detailed specification of the energy efficiency label is available as a free download for public information,” she added. There are eight criteria for sustainability observed by participating VDMA members, based on the Blue Competence initiative.


Europe’s new “green” orldwide, and especially in matured economies, industry regulations on environment preservations are being drawn up. Central Asia, US, and Europe are among the forerunners, with the World Bank (WB) allotting more than US$3 billion to Central Asia and Europe to support their respective energy efficiency projects. Taking this initiative, the European Commission (EC) is targeting a 20% cut in the region’s annual primary energy consumption by 2020. Meanwhile, the UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) in 2006 with “the aim of scaling up sustainable energy investments in the EU region, improving the business environment for sustainable investments, and removing key barriers to market development.” Closer to the plastics and rubber sector, an industryfocused initiative was espoused by the the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), which has brought forward the energy efficiency edge to its more than 3,000member companies in the engineering industry. Launched at the Fakuma show in 2012 by VDMA, it is known as the Blue Competence. It is the new “green”


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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery “One of the criteria is to show that the firms in the capital goods industry use resources responsibly and have a substantial stake in giving us products with a viable future. The Blue Competence partner firms are able to illustrate this with many concrete examples,” said Frey. A total of 400 firms have signed up for this initiative, 55 of which are members of the plastics and rubber machinery association (VDMA). “That makes our industry a trailblazer among German plant and machinery manufacturers when it comes to environmental protection, conserving resources and managing efficiency,” she said. Functional integration in injection moulding ne of the latest innovation buzzwords for injection moulding machines is functional integration, which basically combines varied materials with more advanced processes. Technology such as this enables the production of components and development of potential applications in a more sustainable way, since process steps are reduced and, hence, materials and energy used are also reduced.


An example of functional integration from Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik: multi-head welding machine for a car engine cover. In detail, it includes ultrasonic welding (1), permanent part marking (2), mechanical press-in device (3) and sensors

He also adds that functional integration is an incentive to acquire more skills so as to be able to trump the competition. “It also increases the machine’s added value for customers and so they have all the more to gain. That too helps us to be competitive. As a machine maker, we keep on learning new things, mastering more interfaces, both mechanical and electrical. We are constantly optimising our products in a continuous improvement process (CIP),” Aust says.

KraussMaffei’s ColorForm process is based on a combination of injection moulding and reaction technologies. The polyurethane coating is applied directly in the mould. This allows components to be produced with glossy and structured surfaces side by side with a precise dividing line

Focus on energy efficiency s with many German machine makers, machine maker Arburg appreciates functional integration as a sustainable process to produce new materials. The firm hosts annual Energy Efficiency awards event for customers who are able to follow the same commitment.


However, functional integration, in order to be costeffective, has to satisfy process reliability, product quality, quantity of output, and time savings. Munich-based machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei Group, responsible for the KraussMaffei and Netstal brands, is also amenable that sustainability (in the context of Blue Competence) is achieved through technologies that can conserve resources and allow for an efficient production. One way of doing this is by multi-component technology, according to Dr Karlheinz Bourdon, Senior Vice-President Technologies, KraussMaffei Group. Nonetheless, he adds, producing parts from functionally integrated parts or processes may run up costs, unless, costs can be reduced. Volker Aust, Head of Product Management at ultrasonic welding machine maker Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik also says that there has to be a point to functional integration. “If I integrate functions in an ultrasonic welding machine, I am accommodating a large number of processes in a very small space. The advantage for the customer is that a large number of processes can be performed by the same control system. The individual processes need not be high-tech.”

Arburg’s functional integration showcases a composite part, consisting of a foamed part and a moulded plastic component, that can in a further step be integrated into a foamed housing, for example, as a standardised part

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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery “In the recent years, Arburg has put tremendous effort in energy efficiency,” said David Chan, Managing Director, ASEAN region, during the recent Indoplas held in September in Jakarta, Indonesia, According to Dr Thomas Walther, Manager of Applications Technology at Arburg, functional integration includes both enhanced component functionality and the interlinking and consolidation of process steps. “In production efficiency, the aim is always high quality while keeping unit production costs to a minimum. High plant availability, high output and stable processes are also important factors in this context, since they ensure that resources such as energy or materials are not wasted.” While he says that functional integration allows components to be made that would not otherwise exist, he adds that it is attractive for industries with series manufacturing.

much easier. By combining several process technologies in one production plant, we can often also reduce the amount of raw material used,” he adds. Is energy efficiency relevant to Asia? hen Claudia Frey of VDMA is asked how relevant the Blue Competence is in Asia, she replies, “The importance of energy savings due to costs but also with regard to irregular power supply within the Asian region (especially in countries like India) is tremendous. Improvements have to be fulfilled – partly driven by legislation. VDMA will address this issue specifically at the upcoming Chinaplas 2015 in Guangzhou next year. Alliance members of Blue Competence will showcase their latest achievements with regard to energy saving.” While Walther of Arburg considers the level of automation greater in Europe and the US, in particular, he says the trend is clearly changing. “We are getting more enquiries for such automated systems from Asia because efficient production is growing in importance there too, and that means the cost of the machinery alone is no longer decisive.” This is echoed by Bourdon of KraussMaffei. “We are seeing quite generally a trend towards ever more complex production cells. The level of automation is steadily increasing. In China, automation is already increasing today and it is only a question of time before highly complex automation is in demand there too.” But the Chinese themselves are going all out to develop high-tech machinery, so will foreign manufacturers have any opportunities there at all in the future? Steinbichler of Engel says that the Chinese who come to Austria from Engel’s factory in China, for example, are extremely well trained and highly motivated. “China also has a lot of university graduates with an outstanding level of education. If China makes full use of its young people’s potential, we will certainly feel the pinch. But I think it will be another ten years before that happens. We have advantages in process optimisation for example, in analytical and systematic problem solving. That is where we must focus and get even better ourselves. We must keep a step ahead.” Bourdon also adds that European suppliers understand customising far better. “That is also one reason why a lot of Chinese customers like to buy European products. This special ability of tailoring products and processes precisely to customers’ requirements, and to do so efficiently and cost-effectively, is a characteristic of European suppliers that is not found in China.” Bourdon says that that is one of the reasons why European machinery makers are well positioned in some fields in China. “We need to develop that. Then I am sure that we will be able to maintain our leading position,” he adds.


Engel’s integrated production cell for the manufacture of centre consoles for cars

Factoring in recycling eanwhile, Prof Georg Steinbichler, Head of Research and Development Technologies at Engel Austria, has a different take on sustainability and functional integration. He says that the industry has to consider recycling. “Nowadays, a complex component or product is often made of a large number of different plastics, which makes them harder to recycle,” said Steinbichler, who is also Chairman of the Institute for Polymer Injection Moulding Technology and Process Automation at the Johannes Kepler University. He suggests using single substances to facilitate recycling. “Where different materials are currently being used for different functions in a component, this could in future be, for example, an outer skin, a foam layer and a substrate of the same plastic. That would make recycling


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Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma

Technological updates and sustainability Collaborative efforts between machine and materials

Zytel PA66. Also on display will be a halogen-free Zytel FR95G25V0NH and recently launched halogen-free Rynite PET, both with enhanced long term heat ageing properties for electrical/electronics applications.

partners and sustainable energy savings will be the main themes of the Fakuma show to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 14-18 October.

• Speciality oils supplier Nynas increased its capacity of plasticisers after its takeover of Harburg’s oil plant in Germany in January, making it the biggest European producer of naphthenic oils, with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year. This represents a 40% increase in the supply capability. Naphthenic plasticisers are common plasticisers of rubbers such as SBR, BR and NR, where their solvency is used to reach optimal compatibility and enhance mechanical strength. In plastics such as PVC, naphthenics are used as performance additives, improving properties such as tensile strength and thermal stability while lowering total formulation costs.

Materials • Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) will focus on developments for automotive applications. The DirectCoating/ DirectSkinning technology co-developed by BMS enables the manufacture of decorated components in a single step. Another tie-up with Gerhardi Kunststofftechnik in Germany uses one master mould to create a range of decoration variants with BMS’s polycarbonates, which facilitates customised design for small-volume production. With the development of the customised Desmosint TPU material for selective laser sintering, BMS is working with Lehmann & Voss to produce complex parts with cavities and undercuts that were previously impossible to manufacture using injection moulding.

Auxiliary • A bimetallic barrel alloy with enhanced resistance to corrosive and abrasive wear extends the working life of extrusion and injection moulding barrels in generalpurpose applications, says Nordson Xaloy Europe. The key to the corrosion resistance of the X220 alloy is its higher chromium content, double the chromium content of Nordson Xaloy’s own X200 inlay and higher than the standard alloy in Europe. The new inlay also exhibits 64 to 69 hardness on the Rockwell HRC scale, as against 58 to 65 for the X200. In acid immersion tests, X220 alloy exhibited a 55% improvement over other European alloys in sulphuric acid and a 44% improvement in hydrochloric acid. The iron-based X200 and the iron-chromium-based X220 can be used with a wide range of polyolefin, styrenic, and other resins at filler loadings up to 15%.

• Dutch firm DSM will unveil the next generation Diablo high temperature resistant grades in its Stanyl polyamide 46 aimed at applications in automotive engine compartments, such as air intake manifold, ducts and charge air cooler combinations, where temperatures can reach as high as 250°C. It will also demonstrate the use of Stanyl TC, a thermally conductive grade of Stanyl polyamide 46, in a heat sink for new LED downlights. Also on show will be thermoplastic composite gas tanks for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) that the company has developed with Covess, a specialist in composite vessels. Thermoplastic tanks weigh around 70% less than steel tanks, besides displaying low gas permeation levels, making them safe for automobiles.

• ProTec Polymer Processing will show the new generation stationary module drying systems in combination with a Somos D-Series drying air generator, and a Somos Gramix E gravimetric dosing system, featuring a sample configuration for injection moulding using one main component and two high-precision small-dosing units. The combination of several drying hoppers mounted on a single module table enables a space-saving configuration. One drying air generator can feed up to 12 drying hoppers with dry air at a consistent low temperature of - 35°C. A special feature of the Somos Gramix E gravimetric dosing and mixing system is the integrated small-volume dosing for material output of up to 2 kg/ hour. Because of its highly sensitive weighing electronics, the dosing system can now dose volumes of 200 g/hour for very small amounts of highly concentrated masterbatches.

• DuPont will present its Zytel renewably sourced long chain polyamide in a rigid pneumatic tubing application made by Munkplast, Sweden; flexible and rigid automotive coolant pipes made in Zytel PA612 long chain polyamide and DuPont will showcase the benefits of its glass-reinforced CAE and predictive engineering solutions 4 O C TO B E R 2 014

Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma • Motan-Colortronic will present its new Metro G range of material loaders, shown together with Metrolink, an automatic coupling station that features its own autonomous control system. Other building blocks forming the “conveying” segment include SilentLine, a patented noise reduction system for material feedlines and a permanent central vacuum system for large material throughputs.

has developed e-flomo, which has electric control valves that make it possible to adjust and control flow rates automatically. It keeps the temperature in the mould constant throughout the Engel has developed e-flomo mould production period, temperature control even where water pressure varies, says the firm.

Motan-Colotronic’s loaders are paired with the compact Metrolink material selection system that is said to produce the correct material/machine connection

• PSG will present for the first time its pipeline hot runners. In conventional systems each PSG will operating show a unit must be concept for connected with hot runners four pipes, two for hydraulic and two for cooling. This makes an eight-drop system have 32 pipes. PSG’s system connects the operating units only with two pipes: a pressure line and a return line. It will also display the new nozzle smartFILL for processing of a wide range of plastics, including high temperature-engineering plastics. Machinery

• LPKF will present its InlineWeld systems where laser sources and the controls are housed in a separate module, and the compact welding head can be integrated. The stand-alone units in the PowerWeld product line are for small, medium or large series production operations. Exhibits include the PowerWeld 2000 for manual individual loading; and the PowerWeld 2600 with a rotary table. The robot-assisted TwinWeld3D hybrid welding system is designed for welding large, 3D free-form components in a thermal field. Finally, PrecisionWeld enables the joining of ultrafine microfluidic components. The new “ClearJoining” laser process enables the welding of transparent plastics without the use of any additives. Moulds/Tooling/Hot Runners • Italian company Gruniverpal Tranchero, which makes systems for handling moulds up to 100 tonnes, will exhibit the new GB series with rotating boom and capacity until 750 kg. Suitable for machines with clamping force up to 180 tonnes, it has been developed for easy mould handling in restricted spaces. Besides the compact dimensions of the crane, it also features automatic rotating boom without use Gruniverpal Tranchero’s Minidrel series for handling moulds of stabilisers, electronic overloading system, control by wireless remote and battery charger.

• Swiss firm Netstal will be moulding ultralight petri dishes in an 8+8 cavity mould on an Elion 3200-1000 system. The 90-mm-diameter petri dishes will be produced at a cycle time of less than 3.7 seconds using a mould supplied by Schöttli. The medicalgrade PS has a mould Netstal will show moulding of flow rate of less than ultralight petri dishes 3.5 g/10 minute. In this collaborative project, process automation is achieved using a handling device supplied by Geku while Motan is handling material preparation; and the cooling device is supplied by Single. Netstal will also demonstrate the production of a 7.3-g PP container on an Elion 2800-1000 with a four-cavity mould and in-mould labelling at Roth Werkzeugbau’s booth; and the moulding of a PC bottle opener on an Elion 800-130 at Geku’s booth.

• Under Engel plus, Austrian machine maker Engel will show “intelligent” mould temperature control. As an extension of the flomo compact temperature-control water distribution system it introduced in 2010, Engel 5 O C TO B E R 2 014

Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma • German firm Arburg says it is now the only manufacturer to cover the entire spectrum from additive manufacturing to injection moulding. It will have 11 exhibits including two Freeformers that will demonstrate production of one-off or small-volume batches directly from CAD data, without requiring a mould. Furthermore, the Freeformers will have a three-axis component carrier and two discharge units, to produce parts from two different materials and will be integrated in the Industry 4.0 project (a future project involving the vision of a smart factory). A 400-tonne electric Allrounder 820A will demonstrate production of 24 knives and forks using a 24+24-cavity mould from Fratelli Bianchi. The cycle time of 5.5 seconds, including demoulding, set-down and immediate packaging, corresponds to an output of around 31,500 parts/hour. In micro-injection, Arburg will show Arburg will present its full product range a Euromap size 5 including the Freeformer unit on an electric Allrounder 270A, producing four 0.03 g micro counter wheel, with a clean room enclosure. A specially configured Multilift H 3+1 horizontal robot will remove the sprue and the micro parts, segregated according to cavity. The production of a lightweight component for the automotive industry will be demonstrated by a hydraulic Allrounder 820S using long-fibre direct injection moulding, with lengths of up to 50 mm, low incidence of fibre damage in the melt and lower material costs. Another lightweight construction process is Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding, which Arburg will present together with Krallmann and Ruch Novaplast. The foamed part will be produced on the compact foaming system integrated in the production cell. A six-axis robotic system inserts this into the mould, where a thread is moulded on in a positive bond. For packaging, a hybrid Allrounder 520H will produce a SKET cup, a recent development of Uniplast, a company belonging to the Knauer Group. The mould and the Multiflex IML robot are made by H. Müller-Fabrique de Moules. The special geometry of the cup, with spiral-shaped flow aids, enables 0.3 mm thin walls and a thick sealing edge, for reliable sealing in production, in a cycle time of under 5 seconds. Add-ons are peel-off cardboard labels, which can be easily be removed to reveal printed product information on the inside.

clear tint colourant from Milliken Europe, while the PP is from Slovnaft, Slovakia. The multiaxes robot demoulds the open box – both halves are connected with each other by an integral film hinge – deposits the box on a conveyor belt and closes the quickJSW’s fully electric J180AD machine release click closure. • Small machinery specialist Boy will present 12 exhibits. A 35E will show the moulding of thinwall business cards, and visitors to the booth will become a part of Industry 4.0 when they place their business card in a scanner as the data will be laser printed in an individual business card. Another thinwall part is a model railway frame to be made on a 100 E. After moulding the parts, the preforms will be removed with the SL30 industrial robot and brought to a printing station. A 60E will produce pipettes in a 32-cavity mould with a 6-second cycle time while a 25EVV will show adhesion-modified PA ice scrapers over-moulded with a silicone lip. Finally, a 25E will demonstrate the reproducible marbling of plastic parts. Six additional exhibits will be shown in the booths of partner companies. • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery will show its activeColourChange solution, a liquid colour metering system for injection moulding that adds up to five different colours to the melt-filled metering section of the plasticising unit. This way, upstream screw sections (feed section and compression section) remain uncontaminated, which means that the screw area that needs to be purged during colour changes is significantly shorter. The screw is equipped with a special mixing section to ensure the production of uniform colours, allowing a high opacity even when the pigment content is low. Another benefit of the late addition of colour is that it promotes gentle processing of liquid colour. It also prevents the occurrence of black spots on the product.

Sumitomo Demag will show its activeColourChange liquid colour metering system

• Japan Steel Works (JSW) and its European sales and service partner Windsor will present the J-AD series machine with 180-tonne clamping force producing a small 550 ccm picnic box on a single-cavity mould. The shot weight is 42 g, wall thickness 1.2 mm, and the cycle time is under 15 seconds. The transparent multi-colour appearance is achieved using

SHI will also show the production of electric plug connectors with different wall thicknesses on a 100-tonne IntElect 100-340, with each of the machine’s four cavities equipped with a cavity pressure sensor.

• Engel will have machines on its booth as well as seven partner companies, including the Kunststoff-Institut 6

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Injection Moulding Asia Technology at Fakuma and MX series, the firm claims to be the only provider of small, midsize, and large clamping Krauss Maffei has expanded its all-electric force options machine range to increase the clamping force from 35-5,000 tonnes. It has now added on three new models for the twinplaten machine in the GX series: the new GXH, GXL and GXV are for multi-component moulding and add to the GXW (SpinForm reversing plate technology), which was at the K2013 show. Another highlight is the new integrated turntable and the servo-electric drive unit. The H in GXH stands for the arrangement of two or more injection units in parallel. Advantages of the GearX locking mechanism and the GuideX guide shoe developed by Krauss Maffei are fast cycle times with minimal energy consumption. The L in GXL refers to the lateral horizontal positioning of the second injection unit. The GXV comes with vertical positioning of the second injection unit, which allows access to the main injection unit.

Lüdenscheid, Ehlebracht Kunststoff-Technik and ROS. The institute will be demonstrating tiebar-less production on the Victory 200/50 spex machine, making business card boxes using the thermoplastic foam process. It will present a passive Greenmold concept that works without an additional Boy will demonstrate active heat source and can fully thinwall business cards that suppress the formation of streaks will be individually lasered even at mould wall temperatures on site of 60°C. Ehlebracht will use a Victory 200/50 machine to produce parts with complex, 3D structures. An Engel Viper robot will remove the components and place them on a conveyor belt; the parts will then pass to pi4 Robotics’s workerbot with integrated visual inspection system. Following an initial quality test, the robot will place the parts in a PlastiCoater 200 PVD metallisation unit supplied by Impact Coatings for a chrome coating. Meanwhile, ROS will use the E-motion 200/110 machine with integrated Viper 12 robot to produce impellers for use in automobile coolant pumps. In tribute to its 25 years of tiebar-less technology, Engel will also introduce the new all-electric Emotion 50TL. It will produce 15-pin plug housings from fibreglass-reinforced PBT/ASA using a two-cavity mould. Other displays include a centre console component for automotive in PC-ABS on a Duo 2550/550 machine combining Engel’s Foammelt with MuCell foam process developed by Trexel. In packaging, 500 ml food containers will be produced on an E-motion 440/160 featuring a two-cavity mould by Glaroform and IML by Beck Automation. In medical, it will show drip chambers with integrated filter for blood transfusions produced on an E-victory 310H/80W/50V 160 combi tri-component machine with ecodrive and a clean room design. In technical moulding, the E-victory 200H/80W/120 combi machine will be shown producing sensor housings for flow measurement with integrated seals in liquid silicone (LSR), with a mould Engel will show the production of LSR sensor housing parts provided by ACH Solution.

Robots • Arburg says automation plays a key role in efficient production, noting two trends: complex turnkey systems and demand for highly flexible automation solutions. Arburg will show its electric Integralpicker and the linear Multilift robotic systems, as well as six-axis robots. An intelligent solution will be presented in the form of an interactive process involving human/robot cooperation, in which inserts are transferred manually to the robotic system. Also on display will be a mobile robotic cell with a small six-axis robot from Kuka, which also moves along an additional linear axis. The advantages of this solution, implemented with fpt Robotik, are short cycle times, an increased working area and the option of using the cell on different Allrounder machines. • Sepro Robotique will have 14 robots on display, nine at its booth and five at partner booths. Two six-axis articulatedarm units will be shown operating together with three five-axis Cartesian robots in an entertaining i-Pad relay. An MI-20 unit will be shown on a 210-tonne Sumitomo Demag machine with a two-position rotating mould for making ice scrapers with soft-touch gripping surfaces. The MI or Multi-Inject robots (available in two different sizes for machines up to 500 tonnes) are specially designed for applications where the secondary vertical injection unit would interfere with movement of a standard beam robot. A Success 7, the smallest unit in the Success Line of general-purpose robots, will be paired with an S3 all-servo sprue picker to play with jumbo plastic building blocks. Compared to standard pneumatically driven sprue pickers, the new S3 servo unit is faster – operating at 2 m/second speeds on the vertical axis. In addition to conventional sprue removal applications, the S3 picker can be used for simple part removal.

• Krauss Maffei will launch two new all-electric machines: AX 50 and the AX550, which have an energy efficiency rating of 9+ according to the Euromap 60.1 standard. Against comparable hydraulic machines, energy consumption is often reduced by 50% or more. With its Multinject technology based on the CX, GX, 7 O C TO B E R 2 014

Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus

China still takes the lead There is no doubt that China’s economy has had a

International Federation of Robotics (IFR) speaking at the Automatica event in Munich, Germany, in June. Last year, was an all-time high for industrial robot sales with about 179,000 sold worldwide, a 12% growth over 2012. Robot sales reached record sales in Asia with almost 100,000 robots installed, 18% more than in 2012. The plastics and rubber industry took delivery of around 11,500 robots in 2013, which was on a par with shipments in 2012. According to IFR, the main drivers of automation include carbon fibre composites, which require more efficient production processes; global competitiveness requiring increased productivity and higher quality and decreasing life-cycles of products as well as increasing variety of products requiring flexible automation. The automotive industry was a major installer taking delivery of 70,000 robots, up by 5% compared to 2012. Furthermore, investments in automation in the automotive sector increased by 22% on average per year between 2010 and 2013. The main investing countries were China, Germany and the US. Of the industrial robots sold in China in 2013, about 9,000 came from local suppliers according to the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA). The volume of robots sold by local suppliers was almost triple that of 2012. Foreign robot suppliers increased their sales by 20% in China in 2013. Between 2008 and 2013, total supply of industrial robots increased by about 36% per year on average. In 2013, every fifth robot sold in the world was installed in China. This is due to the rising labour costs in China that rose by approximately 11% on average in 2013, with a similar forecast for this year. Following closely behind in automation is Japan, which has more than 300,000 robots in operation, while more than half of the global robot supply of 2013 was produced by Japanese companies. In 2013, sales of industrial robots decreased by 9% to about 26,000 units due to reduced investments of the automotive and the electronics industries in Japan. However, exports of Japanese robots increased. Japan, US, South Korea and Germany represent 50% of the global robot market, hence robot sales to South Korea increased by 10% to more than 21,000 units due to increased investments of the automotive industry. The electronics industry, which is the main customer of industrial robots in South Korea, reduced its robot orders. There was also considerable increase of robot installations in other Asian markets, especially in Taiwan, India and Indonesia, said IFR.

bumpy ride this year. But the country has maintained its ranking in global manufacturing, with the plastics sector playing a role. Consumer spending to drive growth It has not been all smooth sailing for China this year. Growth slid to an 18-month low of 7.4% in the first quarter moving up to 7.5% between April and June. But hopes that the recovery could gain traction were dashed in July when data revealed growth had stuttered again. But Premier Li Keqiang said recently that he will accelerate China’s switch to an economic model driven by science and innovation, to avoid a sharp drop in growth. Meanwhile, China is poised to overtake the US and become the world’s largest economy in 2024, due mainly to growth in its consumer spending, according to research from global industrial data and analysis firm IHS Inc. Over the next decade, consumer spending in China is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.7% and will climb from US$3 trillion to nearly US$11 trillion by 2024. By then, IHS predicts that China’s nominal GDP will overtake the US. Robots becoming fixtures in China Based on the growth it has been enjoying, China was the biggest robot installer in the world last year, with 37,000 units sold in the country, said Arturo Baroncelli, President of the Industry Group of the Annual supply of industrial robots largest markets 2009 - 2013 China



United States

2012 2011 2010

Rep. of Korea








25.000 units




Source: IFR Statistical Department

China: biggest and fastest growing robot market

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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus As for this year, Baroncelli said that incoming orders in the first four months of 2014 increased “remarkably and requests from all customer industries are on the rise.” He added, “Therefore, we expect that in 2014 growth of unit sales will continue with the same pace like in 2013.” Large manufacturing base China has become the largest plastic products manufacturing country in the world. Global demand for PVC will increase about 3.2% a year until 2021, according to market research firm Ceresana. Leading the global market share with 56% is the Asia Pacific region, which is poised to see the strongest growth in the foreseeable future. PVC, one of the most widely produced plastics, is a key product of the chemical industry, along with PP and PE, according to Ceresana. Approximately 39.3 million tonnes of PVC was consumed globally in 2013, with the construction industry the prime market for

PVC products. The construction industry in China especially is a huge consumer with rates growing higher than in most other countries. Thus China, the world’s largest PVC producer, is able to increase output to satisfy increasing domestic demand. Chinese producers mainly rely on coal-based vinyl chloride to make PVC; unlike the US that uses only ethylene-based vinyl chloride. Meanwhile, China will lead new global PP capacity increases over the next five years, as its goal of self-sufficiency drives 7.48 million tonnes/year of additions, of which 97.6% will come from new plants and the remainder from the expansion of existing facilities, says a new report from UK-based research and consulting firm GlobalData. Global PP capacity increased at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2003, reaching 65 million tonnes/year in 2013, and is expected to continue rising to 86 million tonnes/ year by 2018, at a slightly higher CAGR of 5.8%, according to GlobalData.

Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus The research firm forecasts that China will account for 62.4% and 35.5% of planned Asian and global capacity additions by 2018, respectively.

machine makers of injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding and auxiliary equipment, as well as in the injection moulding machine ranking.

Mould industry expands From 2001 to 2010, the annual output of Chinese plastic products maintained a growth of 15%, and in 2010, the total output volume of China plastic products reached 58.3 million tonnes, according to Chinese market research firm Qianzhan Business Information. According to the China Die & Mould Industry Association, the country’s die and mould industry has about 20,000 factories engaged in making dies and moulds, with about half of these producing plastic moulds. Meanwhile, Qianzhan Business Information, in its new market report titled 2014-2018 China Plastics Mould Industry Development Report, lists the top ten plastic mould makers in China. According to the report, China’s plastic mould industry achieved sales of 83.5 billion yuan in 2012, which was up by 13% over the previous year. It also explained that the growth rate peaked in 2009 to reach 25% and in 2010 to 32%. Five of the mould makers, listed in the report, are located in the Pearl River Delta region while another four are located in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Injection moulding machinery (based on net profit) 1. Haitian Plastics Machinery Group 2. Chen Hsong Group 3. Borch Machinery 4. Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery 5. Tederic Machinery 6. Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture 7. Ningbo Haida Plastic Machinery 8. Ningbo Chuangji Machinery 9. Zhejiang Golden Eagle Plastic Machinery 10. Ningbo Haixing Plastic Machinery Manufacturing Top 25 plastics machinery makers (based on sales and includes extrusion, blow moulding and auxiliary equipment makers) 1. Haitian Plastics Machinery Group 2. Shanghai Jwell Machinery 3. Chen Hsong Group 4. Dalian Rubber & Plastics Machinery 5. Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery

Top Ten Mould Makers • Jiangyin Mould Plastic Group • Foxconn Precision Mold (Kunshan) • Hi-P (Tianjin) Electronics • Shengmei Precision Industrial (Kunshan) • Janus (Dongguan) Precision Components • Shenzhen Silver Basis Technology • Eva Precision Industrial Holding • Perlos (Guangzhou) Engineering Plastics • Shenzhen Changhong Technology • Ningbo Shuanglin Mould

6. Shandong Tongjia Machinery 7. Donghua Machinery 8. Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture 9. Borch Machinery 10. Ningbo Haida Plastic Machinery 11. Weifang Zhongyun Machinery 12. Shini Group 13. Ningbo Techmation 14. Qingdao Shunde Plastic Machinery 15. Xinle Huabao Plastic Machinery 16. Tederic Machinery 17. Zhejiang Huaye Plastics Machinery 18. Zhejiang Sound Machinery Manufacturing

China’s top machine makers In a recent ranking of the top machine makers in China, China Plastic Machine Industry Association (CPMIA) listed 25 plastics machinery suppliers in China, based on the sales achieved and net profits. The association said the list of companies and their rankings were based on the figures reported by the companies, thereafter audited and verified by relevant departments. It was no surprise that Haitian Plastics Machinery Group came out top in both the countrywide list of

19. Dongguan Alfa Automation Machinery 20. Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industrial 21. Guangdong Jinming Machinery 22. Ningbo Haixiong Plastics Machinery 23. Zhejiang Golden Eagle Plastic Machinery 24. Ningbo Haixing Plastic Machinery Manufacturing 25. Zhangjiagang Beier Machinery 10

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • German chemicals firm BASF has started-up a new butadiene extraction plant in Antwerp, Belgium. The plant, which is its second one in Europe, has a production capacity of 155,000 tonnes/year. BASF operates a butadiene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with a capacity of 105,000 tonnes/year, thus doubling its production capacity for butadiene in Europe. • German chemicals firm Evonik Industries is expanding its speciality silica capacity in Ako, Japan, through its joint venture with Japanese firm Shionogi, DSL Japan. The expansion, with an investment volume in the single-digit million euro range, is scheduled to come online in 2015. Evonik says its Sipernat silicas improve the properties of batteries, silicones, engineered rubber items, or coatings. This year alone, it has expanded its capacity by 30% compared to 2010, with the start-up of a US plant and construction of a new plant in Brazil. In Thailand, an expanded facility became operational in March 2014. Overall, the global production capacity of Evonik for precipitated and fumed silicas as well as matting agents is 550,000 tonnes/year. • Indian tyre maker Apollo Tyres plans to set up a new plant in Gyongyoshalasz, Hungary, with an investment of EUR442.2 million. As the project is to be carried out in the Eszak-Magyaroszag region, an area with high unemployment and a GDP well below EU average, it is eligible for regional aid under the EU. The company, which envisaged a capacity of 5.5 million units/year of passenger car tyres, decided to go ahead with the new plant after its failed US$2.5 billion takeover of US-based Cooper Tire. • Belgian firm Solvay Novecare has inaugurated its expanded capacity for its speciality surfactants

plant in Germany to meet the growing demand for amphoteric surfactants. Solvay Novecare operates 37 sites worldwide, with six plants based in Europe, along with seven R&D centres. • Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Northwest Rubber has constructed a US$165 million tyre plant in Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, for 8 million units/ year of radial car tyres. It is the first phase of a project that also includes a 2-million tyres/ year truck/bus radial line that went into operation in 2010. The company claims this is the first steel-belted radial tyre project in Shaanxi and the largest tyre project in northwest China. It expects to produce 600,000 steelbelted tyres within the first year of operation, all of which are for export to the US, Europe and other markets. The factory is part of a larger US$800 million project, which is expected to have a capacity of 4 million units/year of truck/bus radials and 16 million steel-belted car radials, when completed. • Continental has broken ground on its EUR45 million High Performance Technology Centre (HPTC) at its Korbach plant in Germany. The 12,000 sq m site will be completed by 2015. It will produce tyres for ultrasporty passenger cars and will also drive forward development and optimisation of production processes from Korbach prior to subsequent introduction across other Continental tyre plants. It expects to produce around 350,000 tyres/year at the new HPTC as well as conduct trials on a range of different compounds and production stages. • Vystar Corporation will spin off its Vytex natural rubber latex business into a separate publicly-traded entity initially concentrating on the foam

markets (mattresses, pillows and mattress toppers), while the parent company will continue to focus on growing the sleep health and wellness market. Vystar is the creator of Vytex natural rubber latex (NRL), a multi-patented, allnatural raw material that contains significantly reduced levels of non-rubber particles and proteins found in natural rubber latex. Upon closing, Vystar’s existing shareholders would hold interests in both Vystar and Vytex. • Swedish firm Trelleborg is divesting a Spanish facility that manufactures rubber boots for light vehicles to French group Delmon Industrie. Trelleborg is active in the production of polymer boots for drive shaft (constant velocity joints) and steering systems (rack and pinion) for light vehicles. The market demand for TPE boots for constant velocity joints and rack and pinion is steadily increasing, while demand for rubber boots is shrinking, according to Trelleborg. As a result, the company made the decision to divest its Spanish business operation that solely manufactures rubber boots for constant velocity joints. Sales in 2013 amounted to SEK150 million. • US maker of polyurethanes, plastisols and recycled rubber products Accella Performance Materials has acquired Zeus Tyrefill Systems, a 30-year veteran of tyre fill products and systems in Europe. The tyre fill products employ a proven polyurethane-based compound that is pumped into the tyre’s air cavity through its normal air inflation port. So, especially versus solid tyres, which cause “solid shock” due to the direct transfer of vibration to both the operating equipment and the human operator, the tyre fill solution improves operator safety and comfort, and reduces tyre heat build-up.

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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves Industry

Is Malaysia losing its hold on the glove market? Demand for rubber gloves will continue to grow;

Malaysia. In 2012, the European Union revised the GSP and listed Malaysia as an upper middle income economy, based on World Bank data on the country’s Gross National Income. The new GSP was enforced in January this year, thus cancelling Malaysia’s GSP benefits. Local glove makers, however, are quick to deny reports that there is a price war waging within the industry. The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) has given assurances t h a t there is a fixed pricing mechanism followed by industry players. However, this mechanism also prevents producers from pulling up margins to stay competitive globally. In effect, the industry has to contend with the challenging bottlenecks of costs and material uncertainties. Capacity limitations at packaging companies also stifle output expansions of rubber gloves, ergo, slowing down sales.

yet changing market needs may test the resiliency of the world’s largest rubber gloves producer, Malaysia, to remain in the lead, says Angelica Buan in this report.


he global rubber glove market has been dominated by Malaysia, which accounts for more than half of the total global market share. It is the production nest for large glove makers the likes of Kossan, Hartalgea, Supermax, Top Glove, and Latexx Partners. The Southeast Asian country is also the third largest producer of natural rubber, which, in terms of raw materials alone, is already an edge over other rubber glove sources elsewhere in the world. However, the changing consumer needs, could rouse Malaysia from its laurels. A recent study by India-headquartered Koncept Analytics (KA) on the global rubber gloves market indicates that while Malaysia remains the largest latex gloves producer, the growing demand for synthetic rubber (nitrile) gloves is eating into the demand for latex gloves. The report finds that heightened caution against latex allergies, are prompting innovation and technologies to create synthetic products that match the tactile sensitivity and low cost of latex gloves. Latex-free gloves are also finding more users in healthcare facilities. Nitrile gloves have undergone major improvements, being available in powdered or non-powdered forms, for example. A growing preference for nitrile rubber gloves can also be found in the medical and industrial sectors.

Revving up demand here will be greater demand for rubber gloves, since they are essential in the healthcare sector, as a first-line defence against infections, more so than in other sectors. Increasing healthcare awareness will support demand for rubber gloves, according to Lim Kwee Shyan, President of the Margma, which expects demand from this segment to grow 8% this year to 178.6 billion pieces. Exports for the first-half of the year have already reached RM6 billion, said Lim. Meanwhile, Thailand-based Safeskin Medical and Scientific (a unit of Texas-based Kimberly Clarke) will be leaving behind opportunities for Malaysian glove makers, when it finally closes one of its rubber factories that has an output of 3.2 billion pieces/year. Emerging diseases will also spur demand. A report by the Hong Leong Investment Bank indicates that the current Ebola virus outbreak in Africa,


Left high and dry with GSP cancellation he volatility of the price of raw materials, labour shortages, changing wage policies and currency fluctuations are also affecting the competitiveness of Malaysian rubber gloves, according to KA’s report. Meanwhile, Stanley Thai, Executive Chairman/ Group Managing Director of Supermax has been quoted as saying that a cost hike in rubber gloves is linked to the 16% increase in electricity tariffs imposed recently, the high wages and cancellation of the General System Preference (GSP). The GSP is a system where developed countries grant preferential treatment to eligible products imported from developing countries and it included


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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves Industry which has already spurred a death toll count of more Meru, Klang, will be doubling its yearly nitrile glove than 2,600, as of this writing; as well as stockpiling production from 5.4 billion pieces to 12.3 billion efforts from other countries to contain infections or pieces, thus increasing its nitrile production to 53% as means of prevention, has generated demand and and the latex decreasing to 47%. increase in the share prices of public-listed glove On the other hand, Top Glove, invested RM22 manufacturers. million two years ago As for the Ebola to acquire a 95% stake “…the growing demand for epidemic, Malaysia has in PT Agro Pratama synthetic rubber (nitrile) gloves Sejahtera for a 60-year donated more than US$2 million worth of rubber concession to plant is eating into the demand for gloves that came in 11 rubber trees on 30,773 latex gloves….” containers, each holding 1.9 ha of land in Sumatra, to million pieces, to Africa. secure latex supply and The countries receiving the gloves included Liberia, buffer the company against price volatility. However, where health workers had to resort to wearing plastic Indonesian lawmakers are mulling restriction of grocery bags due to the lack of gloves; Sierra Leone, foreign ownerships in plantation to not more than Guinea, Nigeria and Congo. 30% from the current 95%. Among the companies that participated in Due to this latest development, Top Glove is the relief efforts were Top Glove, multinational considering reducing its stake in the green field conglomerate Sime Darby, plantation company Kuala rubber estate. In the process, Top Glove is seeking to Lumpur Kepong and oleochemicals and properties tie-up with local Indonesian partners to oversee the company IOI Corp. local operations. Call for a new strategy Ups and downs of the glove industry t the International Rubber Glove Conference hether it is in a winning or losing position, and Exhibition (IRGCE) held in Kuala Lumpur, the overall performance of the Malaysian Malaysia, in early September, Malaysia’s Deputy gloves industry remains on the uptrend, according to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that industry experts. revisiting business models to reap advantages from Muhyiddin said that in the previous year, the growing global market for Malaysia exported RM10.5 gloves, is a strategic move for “…the government will billion worth of rubber gloves; the local glove producers. the total export earnings of the continue to support He said that the government industry climbed 282% from will continue to support the the sector with various RM3.33 billion in year 2012. To sector with various incentives. date, rubber glove exports from incentives…..” Assistance has been identified Malaysia stands at nearly 80% and disbursed to the local rubber glove industry in of the total export earnings of the rubber products helping develop an efficient eco-system, he said in sector, he added. his keynote address during the event. The gloves are being exported to more than 190 Meanwhile, Supermax’s strategy is to expand countries, and the current total global export is its markets. By next year, it is expanding its Asian valued at US$6.2 billion. Moreover, the continuous exports by pumping up distribution of its products in robust business for the local gloves industry enables India, China and Japan, the latter being targeted as a it to provide employment to more than 41,000 key market. workers, Muhyiddin said in his address during Asia only accounts for 6% of Supermax’s total IRGCE. exports. Most of its glove products are marketed to Lim of Margma also noted during the IRGCE western countries. The firm also plans to set up a event that the association is projecting demand for European headquarters rubber gloves to exceed “Whether it is in a winning in London next year, to 300 billion pieces in less man the marketing and ten years or before or losing position, the overall than distribution activities in 2020. At the same time, the region. performance of the Malaysian he also cautioned that the Supermax, which increasing demand, as gloves industry remains on the well as available supply produces nitrile and rubber latex gloves, will for nitrile gloves, will uptrend…” also be ramping up its weigh down on the profit nitrile glove production. New lines at its plants in margins of latex gloves producers.



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