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
Vistamaxx: 發掘聚合物的最新 改良機會
c o n t en t s 目 錄
Volume 26, No 185
publlshed slnce 1985
R E G U L A R S 概要
4 Industry News 8 Materials News 12 業 界 新 聞
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
F E A T U R E S 焦點內容
16 封“ 面靈 專感 題” 報工 導具 :催 化 傳 統 Front Cover Feature – 20 ExxonMobil Chemical is touting its polymer modifiers as “inspirational” tools for opening up new market opportunities
4 DSM Dyneema broke ground on its technical centre in Singapore recently
Film/sheet extrusion – the 24 flexible film market is on the uptrend in the Middle East and Africa; sausage packaging is improved in China and surface protection film grows in South Korea
28 US-based Davis-Standard expands Extrusion machinery – while
its machining centre, Taiwanese equipment suppliers Jumbo Steel and Prodoing are steeling for further growth – in this article, Bob 30 Management Wrighton says that personal resilience requires much perseverance
Recycling – imaginative ways are 32 being offered on how to reuse plastics that are thrown away
Profile – Kreyenborg 34 Corporate Group is forging its presence in
Southeast Asia with a new office in Malaysia
Suppliers are beefing up EPDM supply to meet demand from the automotive sector
Report – Indian 38 Processor processor Essen is in essence an exported-oriented company
Supplements in this issue ….. at the Koplas, South Korean machinery makers were in an upbeat mood, given the growth of the electronics and automotive markets ……. Malaysia-based recycler Bridgefields Resources is working hand in glove with the glove sector
Not only are new applications possible through the use of Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers, the modifiers can also be used to improve the quality of faux leather, non-woven fabrics and even toys.
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China overtakes Europe’s plastics industry
hina has overtaken Europe as the world’s main plastics producer as the region continues to suffer from the debt crisis, says a report titled “Plastics - the Facts” by PlasticsEurope, European Plastics Converters (EuPC), European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR) and European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisation
(EPRO). Bouncing back from the 2008 economic crisis, the global plastics industry grew by 6%, from the year before, to 265 million tonnes, along with increasing turnover and encouraging growth in recycling and energy recovery rates. In 2010, plastics producers saw a 17% increase in turnovers as result of demand from the automotive, electronics,
packaging and building and construction industries. On a less positive note, in the first half of 2011, the pace of recovery slowed down because of the reduction in inventories and uncertainty over economic growth, with trade surplus expected to decrease from 2010, says the report. But the plastics industry will continue to play a key role in Europe and help
Companies seek out the Chinese market
hinese fluorine chemical supplier Shanghai 3F New Materials and DuPont China are to jointly produce polytretrafluoroethylene and perfluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer resins. The facility will be located in Changshu, Jiangsu province. In the first half of 2011, the public-listed 3F more than doubled its operating revenue to US$420 million, due to market demand and higher prices. DuPont already has a venture with 3F in Changshu to make refrigerant blends. Meanwhile, US chemicals supplier Huntsman is investing US$40 million to build a technology centre in Shanghai by 2013. The facility will develop new energy-saving material solutions for the strategic industries as outlined in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan. It will include machine halls, laboratories and offices, accommodating up to 400 workers. It will replace the existing technology centre
that opened in 2008 and will complement other centres in the US and Belgium. Another US chemicals supplier Dow Chemical has entered into an agreement with Haier Group, a multinational manufacturer of home appliances and consumer electronics, to establish the Haier-Dow Global Joint Innovation Laboratory. Located in Haier’s R&D centre in Qingdao, the facility aims to manage the partners’ joint R&D projects. Dow’s innovation partnership with Haier began in 2009 when the two companies held their first joint workshop at Dow’s facility in Shanghai. BASF-YPC’s (a joint venture of Germanybased BASF and Chinese company Sinopec) first production facilities, in a US$1.4 billion expansion that started in 2009, have started up. These include the steam cracker expansion (from 600,000 to 740,000 tonnes/year of ethylene), the newly constructed butadiene extraction plant and the
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
non-ionic surfactants plant. The bulk of the remaining plants are expected to come onstream at the end of 2011. Also, a superabsorbent polymers (SAP) plant will be constructed as part of the ongoing expansion project. Meanwhile, Sinopec has broken ground on a large-scale coal-based petrochemical project in the southwest province of Guizhou. The US$2.8 billion first phase of the project will consist of a 600,000 tonnes/year methanol-to-olefins unit, a 300,000 tonnes/year LDPE facility, and a 300,000 tonnes/year PP plant, all using Sinopec’s technology. The total cost of the three phases of the project will be US$9.6 billion, with US$8.2 billion in coalbased petrochemical production. In other news, BASF has started up a new Cellasto facility in Shanghai, its third in Asia and second in China. It will produce spring aids and top mounts made of microcellular polyurethane
the region achieve its 2020 agenda, with a focus on growth, innovation, employment and sustainable development. The report also says that plastics have proven to be energy-efficient solutions and thanks to continued efforts, the amount of recycled and recovered plastics in Europe last year increased by 9.3%. Equal to 58% of all used plastics, this figure can be improved, the report adds.
(PU), specifically designed for the Asian automotive market, to reduce noise from the engine, vibrating chassis and rumbling shock absorbers. The company is also looking at double the capacity “within some months” to meet increasing demand, in line with its aim to invest EUR2.3 billion in the Asian region between 2011 and 2015. Honeywell and Sinochem Group are forming a joint venture, to be located in Jiangsu province, to produce HFC245fa (hyrdrofluorocarbon245fa), a non-ozonedepleting blowing agent for rigid foam used in insulation for appliances, construction and transport. Production is expected to start in 2013. Honeywell said its newly launched HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) Solstice liquid blowing agent may also be produced by the joint venture. China and other Asian countries are rapidly adopting HFC materials, including blowing agents and refrigerants, to comply with the Montreal Protocol.
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Interest for high-strength fibres growing globally
etherlandsheadquartered DSM Dyneema is investing S$10 million to build a technical centre in Singapore that will house the country’s first independent ballistic testing centre and will also drive R&D for Dyneema Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre in the Asia Pacific region. It will be fully operational by 2012. The 2,500 sq m centre, which is DSM Dyneema’s third global ballistics testing facility, will house two ballistic testing ranges as well as laboratories for tests on personal and vehicle
protection applications with Dyneema, in accordance with global standards. Dyneema is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibres, on a weight-forweight basis. It also floats on water, is non-absorbent and resistant to UV light and chemicals, making it an alternative to steel wire and synthetic rope in a wide range of applications. Last year, DSM Dyneema generated a 29.7% growth over the previous year. Besides its Heerlen plant in the Netherlands, the company has facilities in the US and Switzerland. It also
PolyOne buys colour maker
S polymer supplier PolyOne has acquired another US liquid colourants, additives and fluoropolymers supplier ColorMatrix for US$486 million. The acquisition will allow PolyOne to not only accelerate its specialisation
strategy but also expand its geographic presence in Asia and Brazil and create an entry point into Russia. Just like the acquisition of GLS in 2008, PolyOne says its latest move will be a “game-changer” since now more than 50% of its
has a joint manufacturing plant with Toyobo in Japan where it produces HMPE. It recently acquired majority shareholding in Chinabased Shandong ICD High Performance Fibre. Meanwhile in the US, competitor aramid fibre producer DuPont, in line with the increased demand for protective materials in emerging industries, has started up its US$500 million Kevlar facility. It is expected to result in an initial 25% increase of overall global production capacity for Kevlar, with an ultimate 40% increase expected over the next two years. Commercial supply
will begin by the end of the year. Along with a recent US$50 million expansion at DuPont’s Spruance plant, the new Cooper River facility represents the largest single investment in Kevlar and the largest capacity increase since the fibre was introduced in 1965. Kevlar is an organic fibre purported to be lightweight, sturdy and fireproof, allowing protection and thermal resistance. It is five times stronger than steel at equal weight and is targeted at growing applications in ballistics, other personal protective equipment, aerospace, tyres, fibre optic cables, oil and gas and automotive.
operating income will be derived from speciality businesses, compared to 2% in 2005. ColorMatrix’s products serve the rigid packaging, performance moulding and fibre sectors. Recently, it also acquired Gayson and expanded its portfolio to include custom colour
dispersions used in silicone processing for the medical, consumer and automotive applications. Which has grown by 16%, with around 70% of its revenues coming from outside the US. It achieved sales of US$196.8 million for the year ended June 2011.
Infrastructure projects keep Fangli busy
hinese PE, PP and PVC pipe extrusion line manufacturer Fangli Group is stepping up its production to meet the demand for its equipment. It will move to a new facility, also in Ningbo city. But this will be a temporary measure as the plant will still not be large enough for Fangli, said a company spokesperson. “We are planning to shift to another bigger site in Dongqiao. The Qianhu manufacturing area, where we are now, is about 125 acres but the Dongqiao base will
span an area of 200 acres. We also have another facility in Changfeng that will continue to produce smaller extrusion lines,” he told PRA recently. And what is keeping the company busy? “We are increasing our production in China because to keep at the large domestic marker for pipes for construction, water and gas projects.” But he also says that the export business is gradully recovering and regional demand is growing, too. “We mainly export to Europe, South Asia, Africa, Central and South
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
America. Our lines are especially popular in Brazil and Argentina,” he said. Besides manufacturing extrusion lines for pipes and undertaking R&D, the new facility will also produce complete profile lines. The company has also expanded its
Fangli has added on an angle fusion welding machine to its product range
welding machine range to include butt and angle fusion machinery. “Our company is continuously improving the equipment performance and speeding up new product development to lay a solid foundation to further meet market demand,” he said.
News In Brief Ticona opens POM plant Engineering thermoplastics solutions provider Ticona has started up a 140,000 tonne/yearpolyoxymethylene (POM) plant in Germany. The three-year project comprised the construction of the production plant, technical centre and R&D department. The world’s largest POM maker, Ticona sells the material under the Celcon and Hostaform brands. It is also building a 50,000 tonne/year-plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, through a joint venture with SABIC. This is expected to be ready by 2013. Eastman adds on more plasticiser US chemical supplier Eastman Chemical is increasing the capacity of its 168 non-phthalate plasticiser by adding on 6,000 tonnes/ year by the end of this year. This is in addition to a new facility it bought recently in Texas to make the 168 and the debottlenecking process it took at its Kingsport facility, also this year. Not just rubber for Zeon Japanese elastomer maker Zeon says its European arm will branch out into plastics as well as specialty elastomers. Adding on oxo precursor Chemical company Oxea has increased capacity for Syngas at its Bay City plant in the US by 10%. Syngas is the main precursor for producing oxo intermediates and derivatives, used in coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The plant is a world-scale facility for oxo chemicals, synthetic fatty acids and acetate esters.
Asia to push TPE growth Asia will continue to be the largest and fastest growing market for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), accounting for half of global demand until 2015, according to a new study by US research firm Freedonia. China’s demand will grow around 8% a year, down from 13.1% from 2005-2010. Global demand is expected to increase 6.3% a year to 5.6 million tonnes in 2015, says the report, adding that TPE growth is backed by the growth in vehicle production. Ineos to divest Elix for Styrolution Carved out of petrochemicals company Ineos, Spanish ABS supplier Elix Polymers is now being divested by Ineos to meet an EU antitrust condition for the formation of Styrolution, which is the new BASF/ Ineos styrenics joint venture that combines the existing styrene monomer, PS and ABS operations of both companies. Ineos is also acquiring the other 50% stake in its existing 50:50 styrenics joint venture with Nova Chemicals and merging this with the Germany-based Styrolution. DIC pumps up PPS output in Europe Japanese company DIC (formerly known as Dainippon Ink and Chemicals) is investing EUR14 million to build a PPS compounding facility in Austria, after having bought Solvay Group’s PPS compounding business. The new facility will have a capacity of 6,000 tonnes/ year with an option to expand to 10,000 tonnes/ year. DIC also has facilities in Japan and Malaysia.
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Bioplastics boosters Thailand is becoming a preferred hub for bioplastics, with government support. In other news, proteins and waste streams are being diverted to bioplastics and in the automotive sector, Japanese and US manufacturers are adding more of the alternative material in their cars.
P T T t a k e s s t a k e i n N a t u r e Wo r k s a n d w o r k s w i t h BioAmber and Myriant Thailand’s largest chemical supplier PTT Chemical is investing US$150 million in US bioplastics p r o d u c e r N a t u r e Wo r k s t h a t h a s a l s o s e l e c t e d t h e country as its location for its Asian plant. The i n v e s t m e n t i n N a t u r e Wo r k s , u n t i l n o w w h o l l y owned by US agriculture giant Cargill, will give PTT 50% ownership. N a t u r e Wo r k s , w h i c h s u p p l i e s I n g e o p o l y l a c t i c acid (PLA)-based bioplastics, will bring the new p l a n t o n l i n e i n 2 0 1 5 . I t w i l l b e t h e c o m p a n y ’s s e c o n d , a s i t a l s o o p e r a t e s a 1 4 0 , 0 0 0 t o n n e / y e a rplant in Nebraska, US. Over the past several years, NatureWorks has seen a 25-30% increase in annual product demand. In the last two years, it doubled its Ingeo supply by bringing online additional capacity in the US. P r e v i o u s o w n e r s i n N a t u r e Wo r k s i n c l u d e D o w Chemical and Japanese chemicals supplier Teijin. Dow has recently re-entered the bioplastics sector by building a major sugar cane-based bioplastics plant in Brazil through a joint venture with Japanese company Mitsui. Meanwhile, PTT’s joint venture with Mitsubishi Chemical of Japan, PTTMCC Biochem, has secured its supply of biobased succinic acid from US firm BioAmber, which will build a plant in Thailand. S u c c i n i c a c i d a n d 1 , 4 - b u t a n e d i o l a r e required for the production of PBS, which PTTMCC will produce. B o t h p l a n t s a r e e x p e c t e d t o c o m e o n line in 2014. P T T M C C p l a n s t o t a k e a n i n t e r e s t i n B i o A m b e r ’s plant and secure off-take for a portion of the plant’s capacity. After evaluating the various biosuccinic acid t e c h n o l o g i e s , P T T M C C s a y s B i o A m b e r ’s p l a t f o r m offered the lowest cost for producing the biobased PBS, which is patented by Mitsubishi. Th e p a r t n e r s h a v e b e g u n a f e a s i b ilit y stu dy to determine the location of the succinic acid plant, which could be built next to the PBS plant at the M a p Ta P h u t s i t e . B i o A m b e r e x p e c t s t o p r o d u c e 65,000 tonnes of succinic acid and 50,000 tonnes of biobased 1,4-butanediol, using technology licensed exclusively from DuPont to convert biobased succinic acid directly to 1,4-butanediol in an integrated process. PTTMCC will help BioAmber secure biomass for the succinic acid plant, initially sourcing
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sugar from cane and/or tapioca and subsequently biomass sugars. B i o A m b e r o p e r a t e s t h e w o r l d ’s o n l y l a r g e _ scale biobased succinic acid plant and is already M i t s u b i s h i ’s s o l e s u p p l i e r o f b i o b a s e d s u c c i n i c acid. E a r l y t h i s y e a r, P T T e n t e r e d i n t o a s t r a t e g i c partnership and invested US$60 million in Myriant, an industrial biotechnology company. The partners recently said that Myriant had successfully developed a proprietary process to produce biobased chemicals, including succinic acid and lactic acid, from non-food cellulosic feedstocks. Lactic acid is the precursor to PLA. PTT and Myriant are working together on the immediate roll-out of succinic acid and its derivatives, such as BDO, in Southeast Asia. All of the above activity is a result of the push by the Thai government that is encouraging private sector investment in green chemicals and bioplastics, due to the envisaged growth potential in the Southeast Asian market, according to Thailand’s Minister of Energy Pichai Naripthaphan. “By attracting what could be the
NatureWorks’s says that more than 100 leading consumer brands and retailers in the US, Europe and Asia currently offer Ingeo-based products in such categories as flexible and rigid packaging, food service-ware, durable consumer products, apparel, home textiles and personal care and hygiene products
GREEN MATERIALS NEWS
most advanced biopolymer processing plant in the world to Thailand, PTT has made a significant step in achieving Thailand’s strategic objectives of becoming a regional hub for green technologies and solutions,” he added. Turning waste into bioplastics W h i l e o r a n g e p e e l ’s l i m o n e n e i s a l r e a d y b e i n g used in tyres, this is now been extended to plastics by researchers at UK’s University of York. Powerful microwaves are being used to extract the limonene from the peels. The microwaves activate the cellulose and that triggers the release of chemicals for further chemical reactions inside the orange peel. The focus is on orange peels because they are “an excellent example of a wasted resource.” Limonene is used as a degreasing agent and is commonly found in household products such as washing-up liquid and fabric detergent. The university is currently building a biorenewables development centre, which will be taking the discovery forward. Another research focusing on using waste comes from the Wageningen University and research institute Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research in the Netherlands. They are collaborating with four companies - BASF, GreenICT, Synbra and DSM - on the development of various processes to produce styrene and acrylic acid from plants. Known as Acrylic and Styrenic Monomers and Polymers from Biomass’ (ACTION), the project is working on deriving these chemicals from plantbased sugars and protein-rich residual biomass, which are released during the production of
biofuels, feedstocks that would otherwise be waste streams. This residual biomass is cheap and contains up to 35% protein after the production of biofuel. These proteins are converted into styrene and acrylates via a two-step process involving an enzymatic and a catalytic reaction. A second research theme is the production of acrylic acid from sugars via fermentation, combined with a catalytic reaction. Though emphasising that the project is still very much in research phase, the researchers are working on optimising these processes and scaling up and will have to look at the economics and costs of doing this. The green chemical building blocks can then be used, for example, to produce optical fibres and polystyrene. ACTION is part of the Dutch Biobased Performance Materials programme, in which knowledge centres and companies work together on new biopolymers and on applied research aimed at improving the properties of existing bioplastics. Additives round-up German firm Rhein Chemie says its BioAdimide additive when added in PLA imparts hydrolytic and melt stability by 20-30%. Another advantage is that it enables the blending of PLA with high temperature plastics. This opens up a new array o f a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e p o l y m e r, w h i c h w a s j u s t l a u n c h e d t h i s y e a r. B i o A d i m i d e a l s o o f f e r s s c o p e for the incorporation of higher levels of up to 40% of regrind materials in its formulation. It is for all these benefits that the additive recently was commended by Frost & Sullivan.
News GREEN MATERIALS
Another German firm Henkel, in cooperation with compounder and biopolymer specialist Te c n a r o , h a s d e v e l o p e d n e w p o l y a m i d e ad dit ive s that upgrade the impact resistance and fibrematrix adhesion performance of bio-based plastics. Containing a large proportion of natural raw materials, Macromelt additives are ideal for the production of industrial plastics. This has become possible through the use of dimer fatty acids b a s e d o n n at u r a l o i l s ( f o r e x a m p l e , r apeseed and tall oil). Depending on the plastics formulation, the additives are capable of reducing processing temperature, with a positive effect on stability and appearance. By developing Macromelt polyamide technology further, Henkel says it is thus helping to improve the quality and usability of bioplastics and paving the way for further high-end applications. Meanwhile, UK-based Enzymoplast Technology has introduced an enzyme-based additive, which is the result of seven years of research and promotes a chemical reaction in PE to accelerate the process of biodegradation. The company says that microbial breakdown is initiated where the carbonyl group is found and these functional groups are introduced into PE during the photo thermal biodegradation process. The formulation of the bacteria enzyme-based substrate used in the Enzymoplast masterbatch consists of 13 ingredients narrowed down to the enzyme, protein and bacteria compound drawn primarily from natural resources and medicinal plants that are sustainably sourced. This renders both the process methodology and technology non-hazardous and non-toxic. It has been tested and certified to comply with the required directive (94/62/EC). The final product is 100% biodegradable and composts leaving no toxic waste and adheres to biodegradability and compostability standards EN13432 and ISO14855. Automotive makers aim for more bio content J a p a n e s e c a r m a k e r s h a v e a n e d g e o v e r We s t e r n c o u n t e r p a r t s w i t h c o m p a n i e s l i k e To y o t a M o t o r working on introducing biomaterials in vehicles since 2000. In 2003, it became the first in the world
Almost all the interiors in the hybrid Sai vehicle will feature Toyotaâ€™s Ecological Plastic
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
to use PLA in a mass-produced vehicle when it introduced the material in the spare tyre cover and floor mats of the Japan-marketed Raum compact car. It achieved another world-first when it used its bio-PET Ecological Plastic in the trunk lining of the Lexus CT 200h, released early this year. Its latest initiative is the use of an improved bio-PET (with better abrasion resistance) in the redesigned Sai hybrid sedan vehicle. The company says 80% of the vehicle interior will be made of the new material, such as the seat trims, floor carpets and other interior surfaces. It also claims that its Ecological Plastic outperforms other general bioplastics in terms of heat/shrink resistance and durability and performs on par with petroleumderived plastics, with costs of parts included. Another Japanese automotive maker Mazda s a y s i t i s t h e w o r l d â€™s f i r s t t o s u c c e s s f u l l y r e c y c l e ten-year old scrapped bumpers from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) into raw material for new vehicle bumpers. It will initially be used to make rear bumpers for the Mazda Biante minivan. C u r r e n t l y , 2 0 % o f b u m p e r s f r o m E LV s a r e processed into automotive shredder residue (ASR) and incinerated to recover heat energy (thermal recycling). In the 1990s, Mazda began designing bumpers to be easily recyclable and now the n u m b e r o f E LV b u m p e r s t h a t c a n b e e f f i c i e n t l y dismantled is increasing. Mazda has also developed collection and processing methods in collaboration with Yamako Corporation and Takase Gosei Kagaku i n We s t e r n J a p a n a n d w i l l s t a r t o f f i t s p r o j e c t i n this area first. US automotive maker Ford Motor is also continuously researching and introducing natural fibre-based plastics, such as the wheat straw as a filler in door trim bins, soybean oil-based PU foam blend in seats and head restraints (it recently introduced a 25% soy-based foam in the Lear) and castor oil-based foam for instrument panels. Its latest initiative is on the use of coconut husks as a composite reinforcement and it is working with yard and garden company Scotts MiracleGro, which uses coconut husk fibres as a carrier in soil and grass seed products. The fibre holds more water in the potting soil mix than soil alone, allowing gardeners better water release control in their plants. Scotts uses more than 31,751 tonnes/ year of husks and teaming up with Ford would provide a potential high value use for its leftover material, it said. Ford plans to research the use of the husk as reinforcement in plastic parts, which would reduce the amount of plastic needed and lighten part weight. Visible natural fibres will also provide a more natural look to reinforced parts than t r a d i t i o n a l f i l l e r s , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c o m p a n y. I n the interior, the material could be used in storage bins, door/seat trims or centre consoles as well as for the underbody and exterior trim. â—†
新聞 PolyOne 公 司 收 購 彩 色 製 造 商
美 國 的 聚 合 物 供 應 商 PolyOne 以 4.86 億 美 元 收 購 另 一 家 美 國 液 體 顏料，添加劑和含氟聚合物供應商 ColorMatrix。 這 項 收 購 行 動 不 僅 加 速 PolyOne 的 專 業 化 策 略 ， 同 時也擴大它在亞洲和巴西的地理版 圖，並為登陸俄羅斯建立了一個進 入點。 就 像 在 2008 年 收 購 GLS 一 樣 ， PolyOne 公 司 表 示 ， 這 項 最 新收購行動將是一項“改變遊戲 規則”的行動，因為該公司超過 50% 的 營 業 收 入 將 衍 生 自 專 業 企 業，比較 2005 年時則只有 2%。 ColorMatrix 的 產 品 是 為 堅 固 包裝、高效成型及纖維行業服務。 最 近 ， 它 也 收 購 了 Gayson， 並 將 產品組合擴展至涵蓋醫療、消費者 及汽車業使用的硅加工用途定制顏 色 分 散 體 。 ColorMatrix 的 業 務 自 2002 年起取得 16% 增長率，其中 大約 70% 的收入是來自美國以外的 市場。該公司在截至 2011 年 6 月止 取得 1.968 億美元銷售額。
公司紛紛涉足中國市場 中 國 氟 化 工 產 品 供 應 商 Shanghai 3F New Materials 與 DuPont China 聯 合 生 產 聚 四 氟 乙 烯 和 全 氟 乙烯丙烯共聚物樹脂。工廠將坐落 在 江 蘇 省 的 的 常 熟 市 。 在 2011 年 首半年，上市的 3F 的營業收入增長 一 倍 至 4.2 億 美 元 ， 主 要 拜 市 場 需 求 及 較 高 的 價 格 所 賜 。 DuPont 已 與 3F 在常熟市設有合資企業，製造 混合制冷劑。 與此同時，美國化學品供應商 Huntsman 投 資 4 千 萬 美 元 ， 計 劃 於 2013 年 在 上 海 興 建 一 座 科 技 中 心。該工廠將為中國第 12 個 5 年計 劃所提出的策略性工業開發新型的 節能材料解決方案。它將包括機械
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大廳、實驗室和辦公室，可容納多 達 400 名員工。這座新科技中心將 取 代 在 2008 年 啟 用 的 現 有 科 技 中 心，並將輔助在美國和比利時的其 他中心。 另一家美國化學品供應商 Dow Chemical 已與海爾集團達致 一項協議，設立 Haier-Dow 全球聯 合創新實驗室。海爾集團是製造家 電及消費電子產品的跨國公司。該 工廠坐落在青島海爾的研發中心， 目的是管理合作夥伴的聯合研發 項 目 。 Dow 與 海 爾 的 創 新 合 作 夥 伴 關 係 始 於 2009 年 ， 兩 家 公 司 在 Dow 設於上海的工廠舉行他們的第 一次研討會。 BASF-YPC 的（總部位於德國 的巴斯夫公司及中國公司 Sinopec 的合資公司）第一家生產廠於 2009 年展開的一項 14 億美元擴展 行動已經全面啟動。它包括蒸汽互 解裝置（從 60 萬到 74 萬噸／乙烯 年產量），新建的丁二烯提取工廠 和非離子表面活性劑廠。其餘的工 廠 大 部 份 預 計 在 2011 年 年 底 陸 續 投入生產。另外，正在進行的擴建 工程也將興建一座高吸水性聚合物 (SAP) 工廠。 巴斯夫及 Sinopec 也進一步聯 合開發 BASF-YPC 研究項目中擴充 C3 和 C4 價值鏈的項目，包括興建 一 座 16 萬 噸 ／ 丙 烯 酸 年 產 量 的 工 廠，一座新的丙烯酸丁酯工廠，以 及提高 2 - 丙基庚醇、苯乙烯單體和 非離子表面活性劑工廠的生產量。 正在審議中的新投資項還包括興建 一座新的世界級過氧化氫／丙烯氧 化 物 (HPPO) 工 廠 。 審 議 中 的 新 投 資集體總額是 10 億美元。
為基建設施項目忙碌 中國的 PE、PP 及 PVC 管擠出生產 線 製 造 商 Fangli Group 正 加 緊 提 高其生產量，以滿足市場對其設備 的需求。Fangli 將遷移到同樣位於
寧波市的一家新工廠。但這只是一 項臨時措施，因為該工廠仍然不夠 大，無法滿足 Fangli 的要求。公司 的一名發言人如此表示。他最近對 PRA 說，“我們計劃搬遷至在洞橋 的另一個更大的廠地，不過仍然是 在寧波市。我們目前所在的前胡製 造工廠地點佔地大約 125 英畝，但 洞橋的地點將跨越 200 英畝。我們 在長豐的另一家工廠將繼續生產較 小型的擠出生產線。” 什麼原因讓該公司如此的忙碌 呢？他說，”在中國，它是由於市 場對建築、水和天然氣項目的喉管 的需求非常龐大。”但是他也說， 出口業務處於復甦的軌道，區域的 需求也不斷地增加。他說，”我們 主要出口至歐洲、南亞、非洲和中 美洲及南美洲。我們的生產線在巴 西和阿根廷尤其受到歡迎。” 除了製造管擠出生產線和進 行研發工作，新的工廠也將生產完 整的組合生產線。該公司已擴大其 焊接機系列，包括對接和刀度熔接 機械。他說，”公司一直在提升設 備的性能，並加速開發新產品的步 伐，以便為未來的市場需求奠立穩 固的基礎。”
高強度纖維日愈受到全球垂注 總部設在荷蘭的 DSM Dyneema 在 新加坡投資 1 千萬新幣興建一座 技術中心，用於容納該國首個獨 立彈道測試中心和推動在亞太地 區 的 Dyneema 超 分 子 重 量 聚 乙 烯 (UHMWPE) 纖維的研發工作。它將 在 2012 年全面投入運作。
業界新聞 該中心佔地 2 千 500 平方米， 是 DSM Dyneema 的第三個全球彈 道測試設施，擁有兩個彈道測試系 列及實驗室，按照全球標準測試與 Dyneema 有關的個人及汽車保護應 用系統。 在重量對重量的基礎上， Dyneema 的 強 度 比 優 質 鋼 材 高 15 倍 ， 比 芳 綸 纖 維 高 40%。 它 還 浮於水面，不吸水和耐紫外線與 化學物，可替代鋼絲和合成繩， 具 有 多 種 廣 泛 用 途 。 去 年 ， DSM Dyneema 的 增 長 率 比 上 一 年 提 高 29.7%。除了位於荷蘭的海爾倫工 廠，該公司也在美國和瑞士設有工 廠 ， 並 在 日 本 與 Toyobo 設 立 合 資 公司生產 HMPE。它最近收購了總 部設在中國的 Shandong ICD High Performance Fibre 的 大 部 份 股 權。 另外在美國，競爭對手芳綸纖 維 生 產 商 DuPont， 配 合 新 興 工 業 對防護材料需求的增加，已開始啟 動其耗資 5 億美元的 Kevlar 工廠。 預計它將使 Kevlar 的整體全球生產 能力在初期提高 25%，並在未來的 兩年最終將增加 40%。商業供應將 在今年年底開始。 隨 著 最 近 D u P o n t 的 斯 普 魯 恩斯工廠斥資 5 千萬美元進行擴充 後 ， 新 的 Cooper River 工 廠 成 為 Kevlar 的 最 大 單 一 投 資 項 目 及 自 1965 年推出纖維以來的最大產量提 升行動。 K e v l a r 是 有 機 纖 維 ， 據 悉 更 輕盈、堅固和防水，具防護和耐熱 作用。它在同等的重量下比鋼強 5 倍，並以在彈道、其他個人防護 裝備、航空、輪胎、光纖電纜、石 油及天然氣和汽車方面不斷增長的 用途為目標。
來自 HyCAP 的全新改良 借 助 收 購 閉 合 模 具 製 造 商 KTW 所 帶來的優勢，飲料瓶蓋注射成型
機 製 造 商 Husky 進 一 步 改 良 其 HyCAP 機的性能。Husky 對該公司 自 2009 年推出的 HyCAP 所進行的 改良包括更快的週期時間，提高能 源的使用，以及和 KTW 的閉合模具 進行更密切的整合。新螺桿的設計 不僅改善了塑化率，同時也允許較 低的熔化溫度，以保持樹脂的強度 和其他特點。降低熔化溫度也有助 節省週期和能源，減少浪費和熱量 流失。同時也進行 Powerpack 升級 以加速循環週期。 其他改良尚包括採用更易啟動 的 SmartStart 軟 件 ， 以 及 自 動 生 產停止和繼週期中斷後更快速動的 SmartStop軟件。 在 5 月 收 購 了 KTW 後 ， Husky 說它已成為閉合工業完整注 射成型系統，包括模具、機械、熱 流道及溫度控制器的唯一供應商。
Haitian 向海外銷售更多機械 中國最大的注射成型機製造商 Haitian International Holdings 在 今年上半年的銷售業績增長 14.8%。 該 集 團 的 營 業 額 達 到 370 萬人民幣，並創下 9.88 億人民 幣的出口銷售紀錄，取得 24.7% 的 增長率，主要出口至東南亞和東 歐。 與 2010 年 同 時 期 相 比 ， 該 公 司的國內銷售也取得令人滿意的 10.7% 增長表現。公司表示，“從 長遠的角度來看，中國市場的增長 勢頭放緩有利於中國 PIMM 行業的 持續性發展。” 它也說，其節能的火星系列及 全電動的金星系列持續地取得市場 增長滲透率。在報告期間，火星系 列的銷售總額為 280 萬人民幣，比 去 年 同 時 期 增 長 34%， 並 佔 集 團 總銷售額的 76%。此外，它也售出 1.48 億人民幣的金星系列機械，相 當於增長 79%。 為了擴大其生產能力以滿足
出口銷售的需求，該公司收購了 Ningbo Export Processing Zone Haitian Precision Machinery 的 100% 股權。後者的主要資產是坐 落在寧波的土地及工廠建築物。這 項收購行動，再加上集團在越南的 新工廠，將為它進軍海外市場提供 額外的生產能力。
Ticona 啟動德國的 POM 工廠 工 程 熱 塑 料 方 案 供 應 商 Ticona 已 啟 動 其 位 於 德 國 的 14 萬 噸 ／ 聚 甲 醛 (POM) 年產量的工廠。這項為期 3 年的項目包括了興建生產工廠、 技術中心和研發部門。作為世界 最 大 的 POM 製 造 商 ， Ticona 是 以 Celcon 及 Hostaform 品牌銷售其材 料。透過與 SABIC 合資的企業，它 也在沙烏地阿拉伯的朱拜勒興建一 間 5 萬噸／年產量的工廠。預計該 工廠將於 2013 年運作。
亞洲需求推動 TPE 的成長 根 據 美 國 市 場 研 究 公 司 Freedonia 的一項最新調查，亞洲將繼續成為 熱塑性彈性體 (TPEs) 最大及增長最 快 速 的 市 場 ， 在 2015 年 佔 全 球 需 求量的一半。中國的需求增長率將 從 2005 – 2010 年的 13.1% 下降至 大 約 8%。 報 告 指 出 ， 預 計 全 球 的 需求量將在 2015 年增加至 6.3%， 而 TPE 的增長獲得汽車產量的增長 作為支援。
Eastman 增加更多增塑劑 美 國 化 工 產 品 供 應 商 Eastman Chemical 積 極 提 高 其 168 個 非 鄰 苯二甲酸增塑劑的產能，在今年年 底增加 6 千噸／年產量。這是繼該 公司最近在德克薩斯州買了一家新 廠製造 168，以及同樣在今年於其 Kingsport 工 廠 進 行 去 瓶 頸 程 序 的 項目。
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德 國 的 Rhein Chemie 是 特 殊 化 學 品 公 司 Lanxess 的 獨 資 子 公 司，它斥資 1千萬歐元在巴西 的費利斯港設立一家新工廠， 製 造 Rhenoshape 硫 化 膠 囊 及 Rhenogran 預 分 散 添 加 劑 。 這 是 Lanxess 在巴西進行的 3 千萬歐元 投資項目的一部份，其中還包括 一家 2 萬噸／年產量的工廠，用於 生 產 公 司 的 工 程 塑 料 Durethan 和 Pocan。 該工廠將擁有 2 千噸／年產量 的橡膠添加劑和 17 萬噸膠囊／年產 量 ， 預 計 在 2012 年 第 四 季 度 開 始 投產。 Rhein Chemie 也 在 阿 根 廷 及 烏拉圭擁有生產 Rhenoshape 膠囊 的設備。通過今年年初收購阿根廷 公司 Darmex，Rhein Chemie 得以 涉足膠囊業務，並把在阿根廷的膠 囊產量擴增 40%。 估計全球的膠囊生產量的價值 是 3 億歐元，其中 40% 的膠囊生產 業務外包予獨立製造商。經過改良 的膠囊化合物熱導率，再加上其他 的一些因素，提高了輪胎的品質， 達到更大的安全性和較低滾動阻力 效果，從而降耗油量。 去 年 ， Rhein Chemie 的 營 業 額 是 2.83 億 歐 元 ， 比 上 年 增 長 40%， 並 在 2011 年 首 半 年 攀 升 19%。它的增長得益於亞洲市場， 其 營 業 額 增 長 8%。 為 了 加 快 增 長 步 伐 ， Rhein Chemie 今 年 也 接 管 美國 Flexsys 的兩條產品生產線， 同 時 收 購 德 國 公 司 Wacker 的 輪 胎 釋放劑業務。
供應商加強 EPDM 的供應量 配合高增長的交通運輸和基建設施 大趨勢，預計全球的汽車業將增長 5%， 中 國 和 南 亞 的 增 長 率 則 可 達 10%。 這 意 味 未 來 10 年 汽 車 特 定
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材料的需求量將增加 60%，其中三 元乙丙橡膠 (EPDM) 的需求預計將 超過全球的供應量。 有鑒於此，美國化學公司 Dow Chemical 及德國的 Lanxess 都在三元乙丙橡膠的供應量上投注 更多的努力。 Dow 將展開一項可行性研究， 興 建 一 家 生 產 茂 金 屬 EPDM 的 工 廠 ， 並 根 據 品 牌 名 稱 Nordel IP 烴 橡膠出售，以及確定潛在的夥伴和 興建工廠的地點。 這 家 工 廠 預 計 將 納 入 Dow 的 最新專利催化技術及採用其方案 程序生產。其彈性體組合是使用 1993 年推出的 Insite 技術，該項技 術已交付了 9 個新的聚合物，並帶 來 170 億 美 元 收 益 ， 並 自 2005 年 起 取 得 一 年 15% 的 增 長 率 。 Nordel IP 的最終用途包括汽車的擋 風雨條、汽車軟管和皮帶，建材組 合、鞋類鞋底及一般橡膠產品。 其 他 消 息 指 出 ， Lanxess 投 資 1 千 200 萬歐元，把它在荷蘭的 EPDM 生 產 的 50% 轉 換 至 Keltan ACE 技 術 。 到 了 2013 年 ， 這 家 公 司將在它最大的三條生產線實施新 技術，佔了在 Geleen 的 16 萬噸／ 年總生產量的一半。 該公司表示，比起傳統的生產 流程，Keltan ACE 技術有助減少橡 膠生產的能源需求，並在高催化效 率下不需使用催化劑提取。此外， 這個過程可以製造新的 EPDM 橡膠 級別。 此 外 ， Lanxess 將 在 Geleen 建 造 一 個 作 為 其 全 球 EPDM 業 務 用途的新建築物。這座新建築物將 建 在 Chemelot 的 化 學 工 業 地 上 ， 可 容 納 多 達 120 名 員 ， 並 計 劃 在 2013 年年初時展開。 另外，Lanxess 已開始整合荷 蘭 公 司 DSM 的 EPDM 業 務 ， 它 斥 資 3.1 億歐元收購了這家公司。 該公司也計劃在年底使用生物 基乙烯商業化生產 EPDM。這將是
世界首個生物基形式的 EPDM，並 將使用 Keltan Eco 品牌名稱出售。 生物基乙烯是採用巴西甘蔗的 脫 水 乙 醇 生 產 ， 它 將 由 Braskem 透 過 輸 送 管 輸 送 到 Lanxess 位 於 Triunfo 的 現 有 EPDM 工 廠 ， 該 工 廠目前定期生產 4 萬噸／年產量 的 EPDM。 預 計 第 一 批 的 Keltan Eco 生產量將達到數百噸。
Lanxess 是以專利名稱 Keltan製造其優質 EPDM 橡膠
泰國的工廠產能攀升 Dow Chemical 與 泰 國 化 工 公 司 SCG 的 合 資 聯 營 公 司 SCG-Dow， 在 泰 國 的 丙 烯 氧 化 (PO) 新 工 廠 已 晉入一個主要里程碑，工廠的生 產 水 平 正 趨 向 穩 定 ， 為 2011 年 第 4 季度的全面產能運行計劃作好 準備。這家世界級的工廠坐落在 Map Ta Phut 附近，將有能力通過 由 Dow 及德國公司巴斯夫聯合開發 的 過 氧 化 氫 至 環 氧 丙 烷 (HPPO) 技 術 ， 可 容 納 39 萬 噸 ／ 年 產 量 的 PO。
Desma 擴展中國的業務 自 2007 年 進 入 中 國 市 場 以 來 ， 橡 膠注射成型機製造商 Desma 已在中 國建立了 10% 市場額。為了滿足需 求增長的預期，這家德國公司除了 在無錫設有工廠，目前也在中國東 部寧波市的北侖區設立了辦事處。 Desma 說，該公司在寧波市售出最 多的機器數量，因此進一步貼近其 客戶是一項合乎邏輯的做法。
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Catalysing the conventional with an “inspirational” tool Polymer modifiers, Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers are global plastics supplier ExxonMobil Chemical’s so-called “inspirational” tools for new application possibilities. Used as polymer modifiers to enable product enhancements in polyolefin-based applications, the speciality elastomers provide opportunities for compounders, converters, OEMs and resin manufacturers to add value in different ways. Compounding and more A copolymer of propylene and ethylene, Vistamaxx is compatible with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) and can be utilised to target and balance properties like impact strength, elasticity, transparency, softness and high filler loading capability. T h e e l a s t o m e r s c a n a l s o b e u s e d t o t a i l o r P P compounds, reducing or eliminating stress whitening, while for more complex compounds, they can be loaded with high filler levels and moderate levels of oil, without reducing the mechanical properties. A n d s i n c e m a s t e r b a t c h c o m p o u n d ing requires good dispersion, dilution and compatibility with the fabricator’s resin, Vistamaxx is an ideal proposition, says BH Leong, Senior Market Developer, ExxonMobil Chemical. “A concentration of between 20 to 30% is required for masterbatch applications, depending on the type of pigment and its surface area,” he said. The masterbatch can be compounded and pelletised using a single or twin-screw extruder. The lower melt temperature and viscosity of the elastomers facilitates wetting of the solid particulate filler and pigments for better dispersion. In terms of processing, the elastomers can be injection/blow moulded, foamed, thermoformed and extrusion blow moulded. Leong says there are also a number of processing benefits when using polymers and compounds that contain Vistamaxx. The benefits of the free-flowing pellets are that no drying is required due to the non-hydroscopic nature; they can be dry blended at the hopper and low-temperature processing is possible, if required. Sporting role for faux TPO leather Even though it takes time to find an application that fits, validate it and go commercial, Vistamaxx has been opening doors for manufacturers. One such example is a new variety of synthetic leather developed by Taiwanbased CGPC, one of the world’s top ten manufacturers of PVC films and faux leather. Pitted against the natural varieties, synthetic leathers have been addressing the usual challenges, such as the ability to cope with varying temperatures and contact with aggressive fluids. For a long time, polyvinylchloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU) have reigned as preferred
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materials for making synthetic leathers. PVC’s benefit is that it offers low cost, durability, resistance to varying temperatures and resilience to wear and tear. But with growing environmental concerns regarding PVC, companies are looking for alternative materials. Meanwhile, the use of plasticiser-free PU is catching up with footwear manufacturers because it feels more like genuine leather and is lighter than PVC. But PU leather is about twice as expensive as PVC leather, making it costprohibitive for many producers of low-margin consumer goods. In 2002, CGPC’s President, Edward Chow, had the foresight to predict that mounting environmental concerns with PVC would restrict market development and thus instructed his team to develop a green alternative to existing polymer systems. During the six years of research, dozens of materials ranging from EVA to rubber were tested. Finally, a thermoplastic olefin (TPO) faux leather, with the use of 50% content of Vistamaxx plus a filler, met CGPC’s performance requirements. Chow says the Verdor faux leather, which was commercialised in 2008, combines the durability of PVC with the leather-like texture of PU, is more durable to weathering and water exposure than PU and comes at a lower cost compared to PU. It is also 40% lighter than PVC, 20% lighter than PU and is less susceptible to discolouration over time. Another benefit is that no new capital investment is required for the production, since CGPC already manufactures PVC and is able to use its existing PVC binder coating, calendering and foaming lines. With its “close-to-real-leather feel”, Verdor has
An American sporting goods manufacturer has started to incorporate Verdor faux leather, containing Vistamaxx, in sporting goods
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found its way into sporting goods such as baseballs and baseball gloves. Since the material is crack resistant in cold temperatures as low as -30°C, CGPC is also tapping the footwear Bike seat and market. In soccer ball fact, Chow (inset) are made envisions from Verdor faux Ve r d o r g a i n i n g leather that contains more traction in a wide than 50% of Vistamaxx range of consumer goods, including stationery, luggage and furniture, and ultimately capturing a significant share of the massive automotive interior market. “We are confident that Verdor will be the game-changing alternative to PVC,” he adds. A different kind of spin for non-wovens In non-woven fabrics for the hygiene sector, which is growing fast in Asia, Vistamaxx is supporting the industry from an efficiency standpoint, said Beth Stokes, Global Marketing Manager for PP. Speaking to PRA at the May-scheduled Chinaplas exhibition, she said that the elastomer is adding more value to fabrics to meet the demanding need for better hygiene products, against the back of the population growth, higher disposable incomes and convenience factors. “The hygiene market is especially growing fast in China, where families are beginning to upgrade to diapers,” said Stokes. It is for this reason, China-based JOFO (Weifang) Nonwovens Company, breaking from its long-time practice of adding slip additives to enhance softness in its PP spunbound fabric recently introduced a Vistamaxx-based non-woven fabric known as SilkSoft. It is used to manufacture top and back sheets for diapers and nappies. Says Julia Luo, Deputy General Manager of JOFO, “The use of slip additives delivered a slippery feel and did not achieve the desired softness performance, plus it did not meet customer requirements for processability, drape and fit.” Considering the spurt of market growth in the Asian hygiene sector, as well as catering to the quality material demands of the upper echelon of end-users, the company eyed a more practical
Diapers produced using SilkSoft
The elastomer is adding " more value to fabrics to meet the demanding need for better hygiene products, against the back of the population growth, higher disposable incomes and convenience factors.
SilkSoft is the brand name given to the non-woven fabric developed by JOFO
solution than carded PP and bi-component (BiCo) fabrics, which are strong contenders in the “soft-feel” category although pegged at higher prices. Luo contends that adding Vistamaxx is cost competitive, compared to alternative solutions, since it offers better tensile properties and downgauging potential in the diaper top sheet, in place of carded PP fabric. ExxonMobil first began its collaboration with JOFO in 2001 when it supplied its 3155E3 PP resin. With a lean blend of Vistamaxx, the PP resin can be used as a drop-in solution in current spunmelt operations at minimal investment costs, says the company. While JOFO initially put the focus on promoting its SilkSoft material as a back/top sheet for the hygiene market, it is now developing soft non-woven solutions for medical disposable products. A toy story’s happy ending UK-based Halsall Toys Europe (HTI) almost packed up its plan of launching its “Pack Away Garage” toy set in time for Christmas in 2009. The compact tyre-shaped carrying case of the three-tier structure, housing a helipad, gas station, ramps, a car wash and lift, had initially flunked the ASTM F963 drop test, a US-standard in quality control and safety for toys, which tested the toy’s flexibility and resistance against high external impact. The toy garage is injection moulded from ten different tools by China-based Ever Force Toys & Electronics using an impact copolymer polypropylene (ICP) material. Ruling out the possibility of redesigning the moulds, as it would have been more costly and could delay the final production by four months, HTI and Ever Force
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solved the problem by modifying the ICP, adding in 15% Vistamaxx, thus improving the impact strength to pass the drop test.
The Pack Away Garage toy product that has brought smiles to many a child since its launch in 2009
Vistamaxx was used to solve an impact problem with an ICP for the toy garage
As a result, HTI was able to launch the “Pack Away Garage” in the period leading up to the peak sales season and even sold 80,000 units in Europe during the run up to Christmas, making it HTI’s third best-selling toy. A further 120,000 units of the garage play-set were sold last year in Europe and Australia.
The elastomers are being used to enhance the performance of roofing underlayments
easier installation as well as increased seam strength of 30% and peel strength of 17% for durability and long life. Because of its high filler loading capability, which provides effective acoustic isolation, Vistamaxx is being used in sound deadening construction applications like wall insulation. Compounded with over 70% fillers, these sound deadening solutions also provide flexibility for ease of installation and improved functionality at competitive prices.
In sound deadening construction applications such as wall insulation, Vistamaxx is compounded with over 70% fillers
Laying a solid foundation For construction applications, extrusion coating a blend of Rigid packaging made sturdy 10 to 70% Vistamaxx with PP on to the woven membrane Since Vistamaxx has broad food regulation approvals on the upper part of synthetic roofing underlayment (it is compliant with the US FDA, the EU-Directive enables OEMs and converters to increase the coefficient 2002/72/EC and approved by the Japan Hygienic Olefin of friction, says Lynell Maenza, Asia Pacific Market and Styrene Plastics Association Manager for Vistamaxx. “This for food contact use), further makes the underlayment less Vistamaxx is being used in market penetration has been slippery when contractors stand in food contact/packaging on it.” And by using Vistamaxx in sound deadening construction seen applications. At the Chinaplas the compound for the underside show in May this year, Chinese of the membrane, it helps prevent applications like wall machine maker Zhejiang the underlayment from slipping insulation. Honghua was thermoforming off the roof during installation, disposable cups using a she explained. PP/Vistamaxx blend, with a OEMs and compounders are reportedly 5-10% increase in output and lower scrap. also evaluating the use of Vistamaxx, in concentrations “Vistamaxx also improves egg boxes and ice cream of 5 to 20%, to modify TPO formulations used for roofing trays in terms of performance and optical properties,” sheeting. Maenza says this provides improved flexibility s a i d M a e n z a . A s a m o d i f i e r, w i t h 5 - 1 0 % l o a d i n g of up to 33% for easier installation and repair, a broader incorporated into rigid PP containers, Vistamaxx is welding window for improved welding performance and
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The speciality elastomers are "able to add more value to end products on account of higher clarity and increased robustness leading to longer life.
able to enhance clarity, toughness and flexibility, said Maenza. It also reduced breakages of storage boxes during transit and improved the performance of freezerto-microwave containers in an application where an OEM decided on Vistamaxx instead of the styrene-ethylbutylene-styrene (SEBS) resin it was using, according to Maenza. And the stress whitening property of Vistamaxx is seen in PP storage boxes with living hinges. While in DVD cases insufficient impact property was improved and the product was able to pass the relevant safety tests without having to be retooled, pointed out Maenza. T h o u g h Vi s t a m a x x h a s b e c o m e a p a n a c e a f o r a variety of applications, the plus points are the valueadded factors, says Maenza. “The speciality elastomers are able to add more value to end products on account of higher clarity and increased robustness leading to longer life, sometimes without any technology cost or with minimal investment,” she added. With all the innovations already on the market, companies are continuing to stretch the possibilities further with new applications, to explore the “gamechanging” innovations possible with Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers. ◆
Improvements are seen in living hinges, making it easier for children to open and close the lid
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Film and sheet extrusion
Blow by blow account Growth opportunities are plentiful in the Middle East and African markets, says a new report from PCI. Meanwhile, Borouge offers a case study of a sausage film application; Amut has a new shareholder; W&H sells more cast lines in South Korea for surface protection film and Brückner explores opportunities in Southeast Asia. Indian converters abound in African market The US$3.5 billion converted flexible packaging market in the Middle East and Africa accounts for around 5% of the total global market of US$65 billion, says a new report from PCI Films Consulting. Though, serving a population of 1.2 billion people, this still equates to a per capita consumption of less than US$3 per year. The largest markets are South Africa, Iran, Nigeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which together account in excess of 50% of the regional total, says the report. Another interesting highlight is the influx of Indian entrepreneurs who have established thriving converting operations in Nigeria and the UAE. PCI has identified 270 converters of significance throughout the region plus another 100 smaller players. Africa is also a net importer of flexible packaging, much being sourced from Europe and increasingly from India and China. There is also substantial intra-regional trade, with converters in Saudi Arabia and UAE making use of the films produced as part of downstream petrochemical diversification within those countries. With the economies and food production having grown strongly, flexible packaging demand grew by 5% per annum between 2007 and 2010, with 7% growth in 2010. In this aspect, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya have grown above average while South Africa, Morocco and Syria still need to catch up. The report also says that at present, only a small percentage of the food is pre-packaged but as urban populations increase so will the demand for better food preservation, logistics and packaging. Trends in end-use flexible packaging are prevalent, for example dairy products in Tunisia, retort pouches and wet wipes in Israel, juice sachets in Iran, fresh dates packaging and ice cream cone wrappers in Saudi Arabia and flexo-printed diaper overwraps in Syria. Sausage packaging film given a makeover Film packaging in the food industry fulfills a dual purpose, protecting the contents from external contamination and achieving a visually appealing presentation. Meeting both of these criteria without either one compromising the performance or economy of the other can present a major challenge for a film converter. This was a problem for a Chinese customer faced with the production of presentational packaging containing ten or more individually wrapped sausages. The company had been using a laminated PE film structure that delivered the strength, clarity and sealing qualities required but exhibited a vulnerability to scratching of the inner layer by the bag’s contents. The scratches were the result of rubbing by the small metal rings that sealed the individual sausage casings. These marks were highly visible on the non-printed areas
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of the bags and, consequently, lowered the consumer’s perceived quality of the product. In an attempt to overcome this, the company had reconfigured the packaging using CPP film that provided higher scratch resistance. However, it was discovered that when exposed to low winter temperatures the homopolymer CPP film became too rigid. To find an answer, the company turned to Borouge, which provides a range of PE and PP solutions utilising proprietary technologies, Borstar and BNT (Borealis Nucleation Technology). Shawn Khoo of Borouge says Borclear RB707CF was recommended as the material for the inner layer of a threelayer blown film solution. “Borclear RB707CF is a random PP copolymer specifically developed for blown film with air cooling to provide an optimal balance of heat sealing strength, stiffness and anti-scratch properties in combination with high clarity,” explained Khoo. Borclear PP is used in this multi-layer laminated sausage packaging film
T r i a l s w e r e conducted to prove the material as well as test runs to optimise material and processing. To c o m p l e m e n t the properties of Borclear and enhance performance, it was determined that the core and outer layers of the structure should comprise a 50:50 LDPE/mLLDPE blend, according to Khoo. “This would enhance the packaging’s scratch resistance and clarity while delivering better film softness at lower temperatures, thereby contributing to improved aesthetics and retail attractiveness,“ he said. With the laminated PP blown film solution now been commercialised, Khoo says it has allowed the customer to not only achieve an innovative solution to technical difficulties and presentational quality but has also improved production economics for the high volume application. Surface protection film interest in South Korea Surface protection and barrier films are growing in South Korea as evidenced by the number of machines installed in the country recently by blown/cast film machinery producer Windmoeller & Hoelscher (W&H). “We have commissioned
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Film and sheet extrusion
three Filmex cast film lines recently,” according to Michael Fischer, Managing Director, W&H Asia Pacific, adding that this had increased the number of Filmex lines the company has in South Korea to five. The German firm’s first installation was to Seoul-based Yusang in 2004. Fischer said Yusang wanted to launch into surface protection films for LCD applications. “The company opted for W&H’s cast line since it is geared towards optimum film flatness and minimum gel, while at
Equipped with three extruders, the Filmex line installed at Sammin Chemical is equipped for CPP as well as surface protection film
the same time producing quality film, both sticky and nonsticky,” he said. Yusang subsequently ordered another Filmex line in 2010. “The new line features an annealing station as an additional attachment to further optimise the flatness of the film,” said Senior Director of Yusang, Kiyong Kim, adding that the new line had allowed the company to compete equally with German film manufacturers that are exporting less surface protection film to Asia. Another surface protection film producer, Sammin Chemical Industry, has a Filmex line with an ASK winder at its facility in Ansan. “The new cast film allows us to meet the requirements of our customers,” said General Manager Myungsup Lim. The company has been commissioned by electronics giant Samsung to supply surface protection films for LCDs. Meanwhile, Daewon Industrial, which has been in the business of blown films, is targeting a completely different business sector with its first nine-layer Filmex line, which is equipped with ten extruders and features edge encapsulation capability. Nearly all of the produced film is intended for export to Western markets, says Daewon. Stakeholder on board Amut Italian investment fund company, Fondo Italiano di Investimento, has purchased a minority share worth EUR10 million in extrusion, recycling and thermoforming machinery producer Amut.
Film and sheet extrusion
Founded by the Milani brothers in 1958, today Amut employs 165 people and has an average turnover of EUR47 million, 84% from sales abroad. The company produces profile/pipe and film/sheet machinery as well as thermoforming systems. In the 1980s, it also began producing recycling plants for industrial and postconsumer plastics. Amut’s CEO Mauro Drappo says the minority stake by Fondo will support its future growth plans. He also said that Amut will continue the process of strengthening and consolidating its position in foreign markets, where it has been present for 50 years and that the funding will also allow it to step up its R&D efforts. Partaking in market trends Another German extrusion machinery firm Brückner Maschinenbau claims leadership when it comes to BOPP film lines, especially in China, said Christian Aigner of the Marketing Department. Speaking to PRA at the May Chinaplas event, he said the company had sold around 11 BOPP lines in China over the last two years. He said that the global BOPP market has a capacity of 5.2 million tonnes and is growing at 6.8%. “BOPET capacity in China was around 1 million tonnes last year and currently 1.2 million tonnes/year of additional capacity is expected to come on stream soon, so our focus is on BOPP line installations.” He also expects the Chinese film industry to grow by
8-10% over the next three years and says that there are other trends noticeable, especially for thick PET sheet lines (of 200 microns) for solar back panels. Another interesting prospect is shrink film lines for sleeves, which is a big market in China, according to Aigner. “There are many PVC applications for shrink film though PVC is usually not a first choice and we expect PETG applications to grow,” he said, adding that the company had sold 40 lines in China to date for processing BOPET, BOPP, PET thick film and PETG. India is the company’s second biggest market, after China, and it has sold a number of BOPP and polyester lines. “Historically, the country has been a very polyester-focused market, accounting for 35% of the world polyester market. It also processes around 260 tonnes of PP and now this is gaining a higher market share,” he explained, adding that the company had sold a number of high performance lines with high outputs for BOPP processing. Apart from the two large market bases, Aigner says Vietnam is an interesting prospect. “It is a small but not a high investment base for mainly CPP and shrink film lines,” he added. The rest of Southeast Asia also offers opportunities, especially Thailand and Indonesia, where there are tendencies for speciality barrier film lines, and South Korea and Taiwan, where Brückner has sold BOPET lines for optical film processing, said Aigner. ◆
Davis-Standard to cater to larger die sizes
o support its growing market share in blown film, extrusion machinery supplier Davis-Standard recently expanded its in-house die-machining capabilities at its plant in the US. It installed the Viper heavyweight VTL machining centre that will accommodate largediameter mandrels with four-axis capabilities. This upgrade, the company says, will allow its Centrex and Vertex co-extrusion dies to be manufactured in diameters up to 2,100 mm. The new machining centre features automatic
tool changes, allowing f o r m u l t i p le machining processes to be completed in one set-up. Parts will also be machined with improved finishes to reduce hand polishing. Davis-Standard’s die designs have been used worldwide for agricultural and packaging film applications. The threelayer Centrex die features an insulated IBC (internal bubble cooling) system with internal and external heating arrangement to help reduce melt fracture and increase rates. Meanwhile, engineered for tight gauge distribution and
Davis-Standard’s newly installed machining centre accommodates large-diameter mandrels with fouraxis capabilities
control, the Vertex features a concentric design with spiral channels fed from a
Jumbo sticks to speedy machines
o stay ahead of the competition, Taiwanese machine maker Jumbo Steel is upgrading its product range. Its product portfolio includes machines for making straws, strapping bands, suction hoses and PVC heat shrinkable film. “We will introduce a straw making machine with a higher speed of 1,700 pieces/minute (from 1,400 pieces/minute) at the end of this year,” Manager Sandy Kuo said to PRA recently, adding that the machine is currently undergoing trials. While the straw machinery market is a competitive one, with the Taiwanese and Chinese occupying a large market share, Kuo says the d i f f e r e n c e i n J u m b o ’s machinery is in the automation. “We offer a three-in-one package that includes an in-line extruder and packing machine,
saving labour costs. We sell around 20 such models to the US every year,” she said, adding, “Americans make these types of machines too, with double the speed, but they cost five times more.” Other new machines that are doing well are those for making lollipop and cotton bud sticks. “We are testing out a new design for making antiant lollipop sticks with a “blind” hole (hollow at the bottom but not at the top) and hope to be able to introduce this machine soon,” she said, adding that it will have an output of 700 pieces/minute. Another highlight from the Taichung-based company is its PP strapping band machine that comes with a special design for 5 mm strapping band. When asked about the company’s business, Kuo says, “We recently sold machines to one of
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the biggest straw makers in the world, situated in Thailand, and also to Aqua in Indonesia. Our machines are sold in 100 countries but in Southeast Asia, we
vertical binary network to provide better melt flow uniformity. focus on selling to large companies.” Noting that speed and service are selling factors for the company, Kuo says next year’s highlights at Taipeiplas will be higher speed machinery with more automation.
Jumbo is working on a machine able to produce anti-ant lollipop sticks
Prodoing reaches out to Indian market
nother company meeting the growing demand for its machinery is Taiwanese converting equipment supplier Prodoing Industrial. It is planning to construct a new facili t y i n Ta i c h u n g a t the beginning of n e x t y e a r, G e n e r a l Manager Feng Yu Yi, t o l d P R A r e c e n t l y. “We have acquired a space that is 50% larger than our current facility in Taichung.” The supplier of pouch making, shrink sleeve and other conv e r t i n g m a c h i n e r y, expects further takeup of its machines. “Gr o w t h i s c o m i n g from all over the world. The need for food packaging is increasing and so is the requirement for better aesthetics,“ he said. Prodoing especially expects to further its business in India. “Over the last two years we have sold a number of our machines to Indian customers since our machines offer better quality and better packaging designs. We a r e e s p e c i a l l y interested in the pouch making sector since this is quite new in India,” said Feng. He also said that the company is not too worried about the competition from Indian converting machinery suppliers, “even though our machines are priced 40% higher.” He concedes that the Indian
market is a difficult one to penetrate, “but once we are in, we are able to sell our machines by word of mouth.” He also said that Prodoing is keeping t h e 5 0 % l o w e r- p r i c e d
Chinese machinery at bay by developing newer versions of pouch making, shrink sleeve and slitting/welding machinery. These will be launched at Taipeiplas next year. At the 2010 Taipeiplas
event, the company was one of the winners of the new innovation awards and was commended for its BJL-H1000 slitting machine and the HT-N600 three side-sealing bag making machine, with stand-up pouch and zipper bag forming device.
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Personal Resilience In the previous issues of PRA, Bob Wrighton discussed organisational and operational resilience. In this issue, he delves into the third part of the topic on resilience, which is personal resilience. Taking the initiative Recently, an observant nurse in a UK hospital noticed that an unusual number of patients were dying of the same complaint. She brought this up with the hospital authorities and it was found that the drips had been contaminated by insulin. Subsequent investigations revealed that the deaths were in fact unnatural and there may have been ten other cases of attempted murder. The investigations, which resulted in the arrest of a nurse who was subsequently released, are still ongoing. The above example is clear proof of the value of operational resilience. Firstly, the nurse noticed but more importantly she reported the incidents. And even more importantly still, the hospital management followed up on the report. In many cases, people don’t notice or if they do notice, they don’t report the incidences. And when they do report, the management may put them off by telling them to focus on their jobs instead and not to waste their time on anything not related to their jobs. Here, operational resilience is dead in the water. Discovering personal resilience Personal resilience relates to how quickly one can bounce back in the case of personal problems. For example, when a mobile phone is lost or stolen, it is not simply a means of communication that has gone missing but valuable information, such as the phone numbers of friends and business colleagues. A solution here would be to have a back up of the mobile phone numbers in the latest electronic gadgets available or even to use the back-up service provided by mobile phone companies at a cost. This is certainly not rocket science and all mobile phone users are aware that they will require this back up, but most will put off doing this or think of it as an inconvenience! The same applies to backing up your computer files. A crashed hard disk or pen drive – not an uncommon experience – or the theft of your laptop – even more common – will mean the loss of important data. Backing up files on a hard disk is the same as duplicating your mobile phone numbers. Both require time, effort and a little personal discipline – and this is what most of us do not have. Financial problems – mortgages and car loans Financial problems will always arise at the most inconvenient of times, yet most of them can be foreseen, unlike natural disasters that sometimes cannot be predicted. Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, notes a situation that we will almost all be familiar with, which is not having enough money when something goes
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wrong. Most of our money, including our salary for the next umpteen years, will be tied up in the ownership of a house and car(s), items that need to be paid for regularly. It is quite right to say that most of us will be saddled with these regular outgoings that will make up a bulk of our earnings. And sadly, this will go on for almost all of an individual’s working life. Kiyosaki is particularly scathing about the passion people have for buying a house and he points out that if you don’t buy a house but simply rent one, then you don’t have to fork out a large deposit – some of which you may have borrowed anyway. Buy a house by all means, he says, but not for yourself to live in. Have someone else live in it and pay off the bank payments through the rental and as your incoming rental income accumulates, buy another, but for someone else to live in. And this will go on. And if you have the personal discipline that Kiyosaki admits you will need and don’t spend recklessly the money you have saved from not having to put down a deposit on your own house, you will be able to make money, he says. Are banks vultures? A more recent book that explores the same topic from a different viewpoint is Life Inc (Douglas Rushkoff, Vintage Books, 2010). Sub-titled “How the world became a corporation and how to take it back”, the point the author Rushkoff makes in the book is that we are all victimised by corporations – banks being the worst offenders – to the extent that our lives are controlled by them and they finally take all our money. Rushkoff devotes a chapter titled “The ownership society: real estate and the disconnect from home”, that deals with how we are basically “hoodwinked” into buying our own home. He cites an American preacher, Russell Conwell, who reportedly delivered the same sermon equating home ownership with righteous living 5,000 times in the first 25 years of the last century. When we buy a house, we undertake renovations to make it “our place” and Rushkoff suggests that that may be money badly spent because when we decide to sell our homes, potential buyers might not like “your place”. German Marxist political theorist Fredrich Engels, who co-authored the “Communist Manifesto” (it was originally titled “Manifesto of the Communist Party” and though written in 1848 is recognised as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts today) with Karl Marx, claims that indebtedness through mortgage is the “yoke that capitalists needed to keep labour in line.” He may have got that right. How many unhappy workers are there in a company who feel they cannot walk
out from their jobs because they need the money to pay their mortgages? Isn’t it true that the people who suffered most in the recent economic downturn, caused in part by reckless lending by banks for property purchases, were homeowners, especially in the US? The banks will sell a mortgage on the basis of low monthly repayments. However, in the first few years of the mortgage period, almost all of the repayments are to repay the bank’s interest charges. The equity in the house hardly builds for the first few years and not significantly until around half way through the mortgage period. A quick calculation, by multiplying the monthly rent by the number of years of the mortgage, will reveal how much is being paid for. A house bought for 500,000 (in any currency) would have cost three times its original purchase price by the time you own the house. Other financial problems While it could be argued that taking up loans to buy homes and cars are sort of self-inflicted wounds, we also have to accept that some personal financial crises are externally inflicted, especially in the case of an illness or an accident. If you are not fortunate enough to live in a country where there is free – or at least heavily subsidised – medical care, hospitalisation can be the final nail in your financial coffin. Yet, an illness is like a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a tsunami. You can be pretty sure that at some stage it will happen, but you don’t know when. But when it does occur, you are in the proverbial because very few of us have the cash on hand to cover a significant hospital bill (unless you are covered by an insurance policy) so we end up having to borrow money, which simply compounds the problem further.
Education and death Some personal issues are even more certain, yet the timing is not, especially in the case of death. We can be sure it is going to happen sometime and that also it will incur perhaps a considerable cost. In some societies, people are known to make provisions for so-called “funeral money” so as not to be a burden on anyone when the inevitable happens. Again, insurance is a possibility here, because you are not personally going to take responsibiity for financing your funeral! For married couples that have a family, another expense looms – education. It will surely happen and we can more readily assess when, but again some couples would not have put enough aside to cover the cost when it does happen. Again, insurance can be very useful here. Though the article paints a gloomy picture, in the next one, we will explore how we can live resiliently, despite having a mortgage and two cars on hire purchase! ◆
Acknowledgement: Bob is an English-born New Zealander who has lived in Asia for the past 20 years. He has been in the field of human resources his entire working life and has been a management consultant since 1980. Most recently, he has been functioning as an ideas broker, which means reading widely, mining new ideas and linking them with ideas already mined, then sharing them with managers and companies that are interested in keeping themselves at the cutting edge. Bob shares ideas on his free blog at newbizideas4u.com
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Making good use of discarded plastics Non-biodegradable plastic, which is becoming infamous in an eco-aware society, is redeeming itself for practical yet sustainable technology. Angelica Buan discovers how discarded PET bottles are being used to harness solar energy and build walls in Manila, while scientists in the US have developed a technology to remove arsenic from water, using discarded bottles, and a US company has successfully made bottles out of plastic waste from the sea! PET bottles light up homes and make walls in Manila The MyShelter Foundation, a Philippine-based nongovernment organisation spearheaded by social entrepreneur Illac Diaz, who is also the proponent of the A Litre of Light project, has introduced to the country a solar light bulb made using a discarded PET bottle. The bottle is filled with filtered water, diluted with bleach (to act as anti-algae agent) and then inserted vertically onto a piece of galvanised iron so that the top part is exposed to the sun and the bottom half juts indoors. The bulb only functions at daytime. Illac Diaz seen here with the PET bottle wall
This practical technology, which was first developed by students from US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was actually invented in 2002 by Brazilian engineer Alfredo Moser, who found a nifty way to light up his workshop during the energy crisis in his hometown. He used a 2 l PET bottle with its cap covered with an empty camera film canister. An alternative to the day lighting method, the bulb harnesses natural light from the sun, giving off approximately 50-60 watt lighting in a 360-degree arc. A 1 l bottle gives off around 55-watt lighting. According to Diaz, â€œPET bottles are more ideal for this purpose (unlike a plastic sheet, for example, which refracts light in a columnar beam) because they refract light in 180 degrees, enough to light up a 40-sq m room.â€? The bulb is good for five years and serves to defray the high cost of electricity in the country. Meanwhile, the foundation has also erected the first of eight class rooms using PET bottles for walls. The project has been piloted on a 560-sq m land in Laguna Province, South of Manila. Diaz says that not only are the PET bottles
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durable but also three times stronger than conventional concrete material; not to mention that plastics take around 600 years to degrade! The bottles are filled with liquefied adobe (a combination of clay, sand, water and organic materials), stacked like regular bricks and reinforced with discarded materials like glass bottles, chicken feathers and human hair as well as the environment-friendly pozzolanic cement, making the structure sturdy and earthquake-proof. The structure is also inexpensive, with one wall panel costing around US$46. While this bottle-wall school is touted to be the first in Asia, a town in Guatemala built its own in 2009. With the help of volunteers from the US-based Hug It Forward organisation, the townsfolk of Granados gathered about 6,000 PET bottles for the school. The bottles are first filled with plastic bags and other common waste materials, these are then aligned by metal fencing and the gaps filled with trash materials. To finish off, three layers of cement are applied on both sides of the bottle wall panels. The NGO has since built 12 schools with this kind of bottle walls. Bottle solution for arsenic-contaminated water With almost 100 million people in developing countries exposed to dangerously high levels of arsenic in the drinking water and unable to afford complex purification technology, US scientists have found an inexpensive method for removing arsenic. It uses discarded PET bottles that are chopped up and coated with cysteine, a nutrient found in many foods and dietary supplements, according to a report by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Stirred in the arsenic-contaminated water, the cysteine binds the arsenic allowing for drinkable water to be produced. Laboratory tests of the method were conducted
PET bottle light bulbs that are lighting up homes in Manila
on water containing 20 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic, which is two times the safe standard set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It produced drinkable water with 0.2 ppb of arsenic that more than meets the federal standard. The technology is so straight-forward that people without technical skills can use it, the report says. This is because it uses discarded plastic bottles and the application of cysteine does not require complicated technology. Scrap from the sea used for making bottles Using plastic floating in the North Pacific Gyre, USbased household and personal care company Method, in partnership with recycler Envision Plastics, has developed a new plastic material known as Ocean PCR. The company has used the new material to make bottles, which contain 100% post-consumer HDPE, 25% of which is the scrap plastic material. To overcome the challenge of how to make a high quality bottle out of degraded, brittle plastic from the sea, Method partnered with Envision Plastics, which supplies recycled HDPE and manufactures the post consumer recycled (PCR) material used in Methodâ€™s laundry detergent bottles. In doing so, Method says it has developed a new process that allows it to clean, blend and remanufacture low quality material into high quality plastic.
On the supply chain side, Method tapped into a network of beach clean-up organisations in Hawaii since most of the plastic from the Gyre ends up on the beaches here. The company says its next step will be to commercialise the bottles with a major US retailer. Method made its first bottle entirely from PCR plastic in 2006 and it says it now makes tens of millions of plastic bottles annually without virgin plastic. Envision Plastics was set up in 2001 after obtaining proprietary rights and patented technologies from Union Carbide for recycling of HDPE. â—† US company Method has successfully turned plastic floating in the ocean into bottles, which contain 25% of the scrap material. Its next step is to collect sufficient plastic material and to commercialise the bottles
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Kreyenborg comes to Southeast Asia The family-owned companies of the Kreyenborg Group have been providing innovative components and machinery for extrusion and polymerisation for more than 50 years. The company, which has become a global partner for the plastics industry, offers screen changers, gear pumps, pelletising systems and bulk material handling components as well as automation technology from one source. Thus, problems at the interfaces are eliminated. Having recently set up an office in Malaysia, PRA spoke to the eponymous Owner/Founder of Kreyenborg, Jan-Udo Kreyenborg, to find out what plans the company has for the region. Position in Asia both timely and beneficial Thankfully not in the epicentre of the current Western-induced financial instability, Southeast Asia is continuing to grow and attract companies like Kreyenborg Group, which was previously supplying its product portfolio through OEMs and is now bringing it eastward, directly to customers in the region.
Claiming to be a world market leader for screen changers, Kreyenborg says it offers machines for specific filtration applications
The Germany-headquartered group, comprising Kreyenborg, BKG Bruckmann & Kreyenborg Granuliertechnik, Bruckmann Steuerungstechnik (BSG) and Kreyenborg Plant Technology, has been producing machines specifically for the extrusion and polymerisation industries for 50 years. It has two production facilities in Muenster for gear pumps, screen changers, polymer valves and underwater pelletisers. At another facility in Senden, it produces the IRD infrared dryers, extruder feeding systems, universal quick mixers and special silos, while the production of BSG’s control systems takes place in a facility in Uedem. H a v i n g s e e d e d i t s p r e s e n c e i n K u a l a L u m p u r, Malaysia, with a regional office, to complement its existing branches in the US (Lawrenceville) and China (Shanghai), the company says this is part of its plan
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Jan-Udo Kreyenborg says customer satisfaction is a prime focus of the company. “This includes the simple integration of all components into existing complex lines as well as the minimisation of process-related interfaces and the use of synergies in complete solutions,” he adds
to expand its business (for instance, due to the growing demand for its underwater pelletisers, BKG has also expanded its German facility this year). Another basis for the set-up is its client-oriented approach. Jan-Udo Kreyenborg discusses this point, “We realise that customers want to talk to somebody from the manufacturer as it gives them a sense of security and confidence. Being close to our customers reinforces the product confidence we have maintained all these years.” Furthermore, the new office is location-strategic in the Asian region. “Malaysia is in the middle of Asia and is on average a three-hour flight away from most Asian countries,” he added. “ This response time is very good. There is also relatively no time difference between the countries in the region, thus communication is much easier for the customer.” He said that the Malaysian office will oversee business in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, including Australia and New Zealand. Asia a ripe market for processing When asked where the company envisages growth i n A s i a , K r e y e n b o r g r e p l i e d , “ We a r e s e e i n g a n increasing use of our machinery in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.” I n t e r m s o f e q u i p m e n t , h e s a i d t h e c o m p a n y is seeing a higher demand for extrusion auxiliary equipment. “For instance, our high performance melt filters with backflushing enable extrusion lines to run a high quality PET sheet from washed PET flakes and our gear pumps support this process.”
recognition in the industry. This is the IRD infrared drum that is able to dry and/or crystallise material “in minutes rather than hours.” “Customers in the recycling industry, especially in PET recycling, are seeing the benefits of this solution as it utilises much less energy to crystallise and dry in one machine, compared to conventional technology,” Kreyenborg said. “There is also less in -us e ma ter ia l in th e pr oce ss , wh ic h wi ll re duc e operational costs and issues especially during startup of production.”
Underwater pelletising systems from BKG are supplied with drying, water system and controls and are suited for all thermoplastic materials, also for the production of micro pellets. The company offers systems with outputs ranging from 2-80 kg/hour (Labline 100) to 35,000 kg/hour. For economical processing of PET, BKG has developed the CrystallCut inline crystallisation system that features pelletising and crystallisation in one process step, without the supply of additional energy
As well, the BKG underwater pelletising systems (granulating more than 10,000 tonnes/day of polyester at various customer locations worldwide) are continuing to enter the Asian markets by “replacing a lot of strand pelletising systems due to their product and production advantages.” “ I n p a r t i c u l a r, c u s t o m e r s i n t h e S o u t h e a s t Asian region realise the benefits of underwater p e l l e t i s i n g t e c h n o l o g y, c o m p a r e d t o o t h e r conventional technologies. These customers are in the compounding, masterbatch and polymerisation sectors.” BKG, which says it is the first in the world to offer underwater pelletising systems for engineering polymers, has an economical version that “provides the same flexibility as the standard underwater pelletisers but at a much lower cost.” This system is specifically targeted at customers who are transiting from conventional strand cut technology to underwater pelletising. The group’s success stories in Asia include the delivery of 11 turnkey lines to an Indian compounder in 2009. Nine of the machines are for the production of polyolefin-based compounds and masterbatches, while two machines are designed for the production of polyolefin micro pellets. Last y e a r, K r e y e n b o r g n e g o t i a t e d a major deal with a Chinese company to supply a pelletising system for the production of styrene acrylonitrile (SAN). Kreyenborg Plant Technology is another company within the group that offers a special solution, which is quickly gaining
Catering to the energy-saving trend Necessity is the mother of all innovations and this applies quite well to the plastics sector that requires technology to offer more for less. Along with the changing tides of the world economy, Kreyenborg has been quick to assess these challenges and respond to them. “Quick decision-making, a focus on long-term business strategy and the close relationship between the owners, their companies and employees play a crucial role in our business,” said Kreyenborg, adding that the group employs more than 300 people globally. “ We h a v e r e d e f i n e d i n n o v a t i o n b y s e a m l e s s l y integrating with our machines the capacity for minimised production times, lower costs and energy consumption plus less waste, all for the benefit of end-users.”
The patented MB melt pump was used for a retrofitting project at Bada’s plant in Germany
A recent example of cost and energy-efficiency is a production line for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) at Germany- based Bada that was retrofitted with a melt pump and screen changer together with an additional control package designed by Bruckmann. The main objectives of the retrofit were to provide increased performance in terms of higher output an d improved filtration.
"In particular, customers
in the Southeast Asian region realise the benefits of underwater pelletising technology.
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Fitted with the patented MB melt pump, which enables short changeover times between different production batches and a reduction of waste during colour and product changes, output went up by 40%. And when dealing with difficult TPE types, the output was increased by 100%, claims the company. New products to complement portfolio Kreyenborg credits itself for being a market leader for screen changers and thus is able to offer the appropriate machine for each filtration application, ranging from discontinuous and continuous systems to fully automatic backflush screen changers. The screen changers are applied together with the melt pumps, which are suited for tasks in the extrusion and reactor discharge. Melt pumps are available in different series and are suited for extrusion and reactor discharge applications
Current gear p u m p s a r e electrically heated by means of cartridge o r b a n d heaters and are used to process non-sensitive polymers. For temperature s e n s i t i v e polymers, gear pumps with fluid heating systems are preferable. These are characterised by an even temperature control without local overheating o r h o t s p o t s i n t h e p u m p b o d y. Ty p i c a l l y, t h e fluid-heated pumps available on the market can offer only marginal control of increases in temperature that are caused by frictional heat. As such, Kreyenborg has developed a new series of GPX pumps that avoid random peaks in the melt temperature, caused either by the heating control system or by frictional heat. The problem has been solved by a newly developed design of the oil channels in the pump housing, which enable optimal control of the melt temperature.
Kreyenborg Plant Technology’s IRD infrared drum for drying and crystallising material
Furthermore, the new design and temperature control system developed by Kreyenborg has been optimised by the use of flow simulations. The company says since commissioning the pump in a pilot application, it has been proven. The pump is targeted at TPE and TPO processing. M e a n w h i l e K r e y e n b o r g P l a n t Te c h n o l o g y , having seen far more market acceptance for its IRD, especially in the first six months of 2011 when it sold more systems than last year, is not content to rest on its laurels. It has expanded its product portfolio by adding on a higher power range to t h e IR D - B s i n g l e - s i d e d t e l e s c o p i c i n f r a r e d u n i t . I n t r o d u c e d e a r l y t h i s y e a r, t h e 1 8 0 / 3 6 0 m o d e l i s able to cater to an output of up to 1,500 kg/hour. As well, the company says with one-third less space required, ease of cleaning and the lower capital costs, the model is quickly being taken up by the market, especially for processing PET resins and PET bottle flakes. Still made in Germany Even with its expansion in the region, it might not be a plan for Kreyenborg to produce its machinery in Asia. “We clearly focus on the advantages of our manufacturing locations in Germany,” Kreyenborg said. “This is the only way our customers can capture the full benefits of the precision and reliability of our products as we have complete quality control i n o u r o w n f a c i l i t i e s . ” H e added, “As a special service, we offer testing at our stateof-the-art in-house pilot line. Here, our customers can test various components with their own materials under realistic production conditions.” Nevertheless Asia, he says, is an important region and he believes that there will be increasing demand for Kreyenborg’s German-made machines in the region in the future. ◆
"We clearly focus on
the advantages of our manufacturing locations in Germany.
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In essence of exports Processor Essen Speciality Films is a rarity in the Indian plastics industry – it not only exports most of its output, it is also helmed by a woman, which in a male-dominated industry is a pleasant change!
ccording to the Indian Plastics Industry Vision 2012 study, conducted by Mumbai-based infrastructure advisory firm Crisil and sponsored by the Indian Centre for Plastics in the Environment, one of India’s weaknesses is its heavy reliance on polymer output, thus negating the value of processed plastics. The report says that India not only exports a negligible amount of processed plastics but that the exports are of low value. Essen is working towards changing the above scenario. One of the pioneers in the Indian sheet extrusion industry, it makes 14 different types of products, including table/ place/drawer mats, shower curtains, food containers, trays for packaging fruit and meats and disposable and foam plates as well as signages and banners.
Printing is done in-house for most products except for the table mats
About 95% of its output is for the export markets and it counts major multinational retailers like H&M, Ikea and Office Depot in its customer base. Having etched a success in supplying these multinational companies, Essen says it has been accorded the Best Supplier Award over the last two years. Driving the performance of Essen is Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, who started her career in the industry 13 years ago selling sheet lines for Indian extrusion machinery maker Rajoo Engineers. Speaking to PRA recently, Lakshmi says her fascination with sheet line products sealed her fate to becoming the CEO of Essen. “I have The company counts large retailers as its customers, making products like placemats
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Essen plans to expand its facility to cater to its new project for PET punnets
gone from selling to buying lines from Rajoo,“ she said candidly, explaining that Essen is a subsidiary of Rajoo. Lakshmi is amongst a new breed of women CEOs in India who are changing the face of the corporate scene. According to a 2010 study conducted by international search firm EMA Partners, which covered 240 big corporations in India, only 11% of Indian companies are headed by females. And Essen has gone on to tap the female talent further, by employing three female directors and a majority of female workers, an uncommon set up in Rajkot, Gujarat, where the company is based and certainly not a common phenomenon in the plastics industry. But carving a presence in the plastics industry has not been a tough task, according to Lakshmi. “We have had no problems dealing with (male) clients and business partners,“ she says, adding, “It is because of our professional approach and the open-mindedness of the industry.“ The feminity aspect does play a part in the company’s business. A year back it started producing expanded polystyrene (EPS) sheet (Rajoo produces the machinery in India, in a collaboration with US-based Commodore). “Essentially used in food packaging, PS containers have become a lifestyle in India,“ said Lakshmi (who better than a lady to know this!). With 100% of its capacity sold already, the company is acquiring a third line to beef up its output. Other projects include the manufacture of PET punnets for grapes, to capitalise on the fact that India is the single largest producer and exporter of grapes (with 40,000 tonnes exported in 2009). A large proportion of the grapes are grown in the Nasik district in Maharashtra (in 2010 there were around 13,000 grape growers in Nasik who contributed to 95% of exports). The punnet manufacturing will be taken over from Nasik-based thermoforming machinery maker Wonderpack
The wide-width cast film line
Industries, which Rajoo acquired last year. “We will be one of four producers of these punnets in the country,” said Lakshmi, adding that the PET sheet line will be sourced from Rajoo. “The moulds, infrastructure and land for building another facility for this project are already available,” she added. Meanwhile, with a capacity of more than 6,000 tonnes/ year, Essen’s Rajkot facility is equipped with five sheet lines, an XPS foam sheet line, a wide-width cast film line and three thermoformers. It also has a 2 m-wide printing line for shower curtains, a laminator and other inline die cutting presses. But catering to a large foreign client base comes with a price and Essen has to adhere to strict compliance to standards, particularly those pertaining to the environment, health and labour. “We do not employ any children, comply with the minimum wage policy and give sufficient time-off to our staff,“ details Lakshmi. The company, which employs 170 staff, operates an eight-hour shift, with three shifts over six days a week. Plus, Lakshmi says foreign company representatives visit the facility every month to undertake quality and regulation audits; and global audit firm KPMG has conducted two unannounced audits. Essen has effectively packaged itself not just in terms of its production output but also how it provides value to its clients. “Our focus has enabled us to develop new products aimed at the fast growing sectors. Along with this, we have been able to build up economies of scale and the cost efficiencies that come with it,“ says Lakshmi, adding that the savings obtained from this strategy are passed on to customers. She also says that Essen levels with its customers‘ requirements and provides product solutions. For example, it has been able to reduce the thickness of its foam plates to 2 mm per piece, compared to what is currently available in the market, to allow for lower weight and reduced logistics costs when exporting these. On-time delivery is likewise a trademark, an important factor in a globalised suppy-trade scenario and the crux of closing deals with foreign buyers, says Lakshmi. This customer-centric approach has paid off. Last year, Essen reported a turnover of Rs30 crore and this year it is aiming to hit the Rs40 crore mark. “Our goal is to develop more innovative products for industrial use and to increase our focus on exports,“ adds Lakshmi, not only keeping in tune with the market demands but also with the country’s future focus. ◆
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IndustryNEWS Project on natural fibre-reinforced plastics Interest in renewable materials in the automotive sector has mushroomed in recent years, with natural fibre-reinforced plastics being an attractive solution because of the mechanical properties. One of the main obstacles for its large-scale use is the requirement that the components meet safety requirements and are able to be digitally simulated. Now, a European consortium aims to close
this gap for injection mouldable natural fibrereinforced plastics. The partners involved include Ford Research & Advanced Engineering, IAC (International Automotive Components), LyondellBasell, Kunststoffwerk Voerde Hueck & Schade, Ennepetal Simcon Kunststofftechnische Software, M-Base Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hanover Technical College, Institute of
bioplastics and biocomposites, Bremen Technical University Clausthal, Institute of polymer materials and plastics and Deutsches Kunststoff Institut (DKI). The project is partly funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) via the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR). Over a three-year period, the project will work on a series
Haitian sells more machines overseas China’s largest injection moulding machine maker Haitian International Holdings saw a sales growth of 14.8 % in the first half of the year, with export sales of RMB988 million, representing an increase of 24.7% mainly to Southeast Asia and Eastern
the previous year, and accounted for 76% of the group’s total sales. In addition, it sold RMB148 million worth of the allelectric Venus machines, 79% higher than the previous year. To expand its production capacity to
Europe. Its domestic sales recorded a satisfactory growth of 10.7%, compared with the same period in 2010. During the reporting period, sales of the energy-saving Mars series amounted to RMB2.8 million, 34% higher than
meet its sales, the company acquired a 100% interest in Ningbo Export Processing Zone Haitian Precision Machinery. The latter ’s major assets are land and a factory building located in Ningbo. This acquisition, along with the group’s new factory in Vietnam, will provide additional capacity.
New improvements from HyCAP moulding machine
Europe cutting back on energy use The European association of plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, Euromap, has endorsed a European Union Commission objective to reduce European energy consumption by 20% by 2020. The association says the target is achievable, based on a study it commissioned titled “Energy efficiency: European plastics and rubber machines well placed.” Euromap says its study shows that
component of natural fibrereinforced plastic using simulation methods as well as work out the basic simulation parameters for different compounds so the results can be used in the future. This will give natural fibre reinforced plastics the same status as established conventional plastics when selecting materials. Mechanical calculations will focus on simulating crash response, including total vehicle simulation.
Injection moulding machine maker Husky has enhanced its HyCAP machines for beverage cap moulding, by leveraging on its acquisition of closure mould maker KTW. Improvements on the HyCAP, which was introduced by Husky in 2009, include faster cycle times, better energy use and closer integration with KTW closure moulds. The new screw design offers improved plasticising rates while allowing lower melt temperatures to maintain strength and other properties of the resin. The reduced melt temperatures also result in cycle and energy
energy savings will come from making greater use of energyefficient technology combined with new drive designs, further increases in the productivity of plant and manufacturing processes and from integrating multi-stage processes with new operations. It also says that modern injection moulding machines already use 37% less energy on average, with twice the output rate, than similar ones made in 1990.
savings, with less waste and heat loss. Powerpack upgrades have also been incorporated to help enable faster cycles. Other improvements include the software implementation of SmartStart for easier start-up and SmartStop for automatic production stoppages and faster restart following cycle interruptions. With its acquisition of KTW in May, Husky says it has become the closure industry’s only provider of complete injection moulding systems, including mould, machine, hot runner and temperature controller.
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South Korean industry on a stable footing In the tech-savvy country, home to Samsung, the largest electronics firm in the world, machinery makers and moulders are not short of orders, said a number of exhibitors interviewed at the Koplas. Held from 28 September to 1 October, the event was bundled together with printing machinery, tooling and metalworking shows, as well as the Korea Machinery Fair, held at the new Kintex hall. All the five shows were tagged as the Korea Industry Fair. It was also showing the ProIMD120 model with an inmould decoration process (Jeongwoo Mold supplied the mould) in a 30-second cycle. “We have sold 50 units already and received an order from Nypro China,” said Moon. The company, therefore, is in an upbeat mood. According to Moon, it expects to generate a turnover of 600 millon won this year and a growth of 10% next year. Woojin Selex, meanwhile, displayed nine all-electric, hybrid and hydraulic machines – with selected examples from its product profile. The 110M model was shown making LED lenses using SK Chemical’s bio-based Ecozen PETG, produced with corn-based bio-monomers. Another machine, 380 HPET, was shown running a 48-cavity PET preform mould from Kisan, a first for the company that has previously only sold up to 32-cavity moulds. Selex’s machines were also displayed with its Aerogel heating energy protection cover, applied on the screw/ barrel. “It is an optional requirement that maintains the temperature of the barrel and also saves heating power by up to 60% and total energy by up to 15%,“ explained Jong Hyuck You, Manager in the Overseas Business unit. He is also optimistic about Selex’s sales and expects between US$140-150 million this year, higher partly due to the lower currency.
Outsourcing a boon for machine makers According to the organiser, Korea E&Ex, Koplas attracted more than 20,000 visitors over the four days. It had 240 exhibitors from 18 countries over 10,773 sq m of space, slightly down from last year. Local injection moulding machine makers like Woojin Selex and Dongshin Hydraulics opted to exhibit at the Korea Machinery Fair, in another hall, while LS Cable and Engel (Austrian injection press maker that has a facility in Seoul) did not exhibit at all!
Foreign companies participate in sales Germany-based injection press maker Krauss Maffei is rooting for a higher turnover of EUR15 million this year, according to its country Sales Manager, Shin Yong Jin. “Our turnover for injection moulding machines is higher than the Chinese subsidiary (that also does extrusion and PU machinery). Business is booming in South Korea, especially in the automotive and electronic sectors,” he added. Krauss Maffei is also cooperating with LG Electronics to undertake R&D in the country. “We’ve supplied a 1,600tonne tandem machine, 1,150-tonne standard machine and a three-colour 2,300-tonne machine for LG’s tooling centre,” said Shin. Compatriot Arburg, represented in the country by IMTS (International Machinery Trading & Service), sells about 20-30 machines a year, mainly rotary table types that are targeted at automotive applications, said a company spokesperson. It displayed a Hidrive 570H model shown producing an ice-cream container with auxiliaries from Motan-Colortronic. “This machine has already been bought by an automotive/ LED parts producer in Incheon.”
Woojin Selex’s machines come with an optional Aerogel heating energy protection cover, applied on the screw/barrel, to allow for energy savings
Nevertheless, with Samsung and electronics competitor LG outsourcing most of their OEM production comes the need for more injection moulding machinery and more upgrades. Dongshin stuck to the hybrid theme again this year. Its 170-tonne E170MC model has been upgraded with the piston placed inside the machine making it smaller than the previous model. It also had a 700 hybrid model, which usually has two moving plates and now features only one platen. “The platen is thicker and ejection is installed on the platen. It also has two pistons to capture the moving plate,“ explained Ji-Ho Moon from the Overseas Sales Department. This, he says, has made the machine lighter, more energy efficient and reduced its footprint. Other benefits are a quieter torque motor and a smoother injection, made possible by the use of Japanese company THK’s LM (Linear Motion) Guide. 3
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CountryF ocus its Chinese facility using Plastics Systems’s designs. “We will buy important parts, like the controls, while metal sheeting will be done at our Weihai plant,” said Lee, adding that Yudo is always on the look out for mature technology to improve its sales (US$500 million last year).
Upgrades on tooling Meanwhile, tooling/auxiliary equipment supplier Yudo upped the stakes by showing a 96-cavity one, made by its subsidiary PET One. It also showed an eight-cavity IML mould (on an Engel machine), compared to the four/six cavities that are currently available in the market, running a 7.5 second-cycle time.
On the material front South Korean chemical firm SK Chemical’s Ecozen, which recently obtained US FDA approval, will be targeted at food containers, “thanks to its heat-resistance and clarity.” It is already supplying the material to LG and Samsung for use in products like washing machines, laptop housings, LEDs and televisions, said JJ Hwang, Deputy Senior Manager, Speciality Polymers Development. “We expect to sell 5 trillion won worth of the material by 2015,” he said. The company produces around 1,500 tonnes/month of Ecozen at its Ulsan plant.
Yudo’s latest Yukon 700 control with its new features
It has also made a vital improvement to its robot control technology, having changed the supplier from a Japanese to a European company. “The cycle time for our HX series is now 0.44 seconds (compared to 0.61 seconds previously) for the take-out function,“ Deputy General Manager Ju Lee told PRA. Working with German automation company B&R, Lee said the Yukon 700 control has been given a new motor. “The mechanical parts are able to endure the speed of the motor,” he said, adding that it comes with a 15% higher price tag. In the meantime, having ended its partnership with auxiliary equipment maker Moretto, Lee said Yudo had entered into a cooperation with another Italian auxiliary equipment supplier Plastics Systems. “Since we are new to the materials handling sector we decided to work with a partner.” Yudo will produce material conveying systems at
Dae-Soon Park from 3M says the use of glass bubbles is increasing in the country, where 3M has a 30% market share, mainly in the automotive sector, for producing fuel line hoses
US conglomerate 3M featured its patented Glass Bubbles, which are engineered hollow glass microspheres that are alternatives to conventional fillers and additives such as silicas, calcium carbonate, talc and clay. “These low-density particles are used to reduce part weight, lower costs and enhance product properties,” said Dae-Soon Park, Technical Service, Energy and Advanced Materials Division. The spherical shape of the glass bubbles offers benefits like higher filler loading, lower viscosity/improved flow and reduced shrinkage and warpage. The soda-lime-borosilicate glass composition also makes them non-combustible and non-porous, said Park. At Koplas, it had a number of applications on display including Shinetsu’s sealant that features 3% glass bubbles, to replace silicone oil, thus reducing the cost, said Park. In a PP air filter frame, with the talc replaced by 20% glass bubbles, cycle time had been reduced to 13.2 seconds (from 16.6 seconds), “because there is less mass/resin to cool since the glass bubbles are void,” Park explained. 3M is targeting its “basically glass products” at the automotive, recreational and furniture sectors. Introduced six years ago, the glass bubbles are already manufactured in South Korea and in the US. 3M also has another plant in France that produces them and will start up in Brazil at the end of this year. ◆
SK Chemicals had on display a number of products that have been made from its Ecozen at the Korea Bio-Material Packaging Association (KBPA) booth. Made up of a consortium of companies, KBPA was set up in 2006 and has 218 members. It also had on display a door trim from a Chevrolet vehicle produced at the company’s plant in Incheon, containing 10% content of bioplastics
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Taiwanese machinery and technology
Throwing caution to the wind The slowing down of China’s economy, Europe’s debt crisis and high US unemployment are not deterring Taiwanese machinery companies from expanding. Speaking to PRA’s Editor Tej Fernandez, the companies say they have been enjoying higher growth this year, though most are cautiously optimistic of the future. not have many customers in the Asian country. While it expects to chalk up a turnover of US$7.7 million this year, the company is projecting a higher growth of 25% next year, based on the new product lines.
Mould maker maintains its edge With almost 85% of its output exported, mould maker Pass Card is in an enviable position. But it needs to maintain its edge by continuously enhancing its capabilities. The Taichung-based company’s product range includes PET preform, cap/closure, IML and interchangeable moulds.
Forwell displays innovative streak Though Forwell Precision Machinery relies on a large customer base in China, it does not expect the slower market to affect its business, according to its President Xiao Wen Long. “We are expanding our market to countries like India, South Africa and Turkey.” Set up in 1987, the company produces quick die change systems that can be adapted with various mould clamping systems for punch presses, injection moulding and die casting machines. Its facility in Ningbo, China, assembles the equipment with parts coming from its facility in Taiwan, where it also maintains a R&D centre.
Pass Card’s Sales Manager Chad Huang says the company is continuously innovating its product range to keep up with market trends
To keep up with the competitive market, it is now expanding into moulds for producing test tubes. “We are undertaking R&D on a new generation of high-end moulds for the medical and cosmetic industries,” said Chad Huang, Sales Manager, adding that Pass Card has its own in-house research facility. It is also making a thinwall mould for a customer in Sri Lanka that will use it on a Swiss-made Netstal injection moulding machine for a packaging application. “Research is our strong point, not cost or manufacturing capability. Through R&D, we are able to optimise designs for different products,” he added, explaining that the intricacies of a mould design extend from its function of blowing a preform to how to reduce the footprint, weight and logistics costs for customers. As a result of its R&D, the company has been able to develop a 48-cavity mould for caps/closures and 32cavity mould for a hotfilling application. “We are ready to expand in this sector, too, and will be able to supply 72 cavities, if there is a request,” added Huang. This is a far cry for the company that specialised only in producing moulds for wide-mouth containers when it was started up 14 years ago. These were mainly exported to the US and Canada. “ To d a y, o u r m a i n e x p o r t m a r k e t s a re Vi e t n a m , Thailand, the Middle East, Africa and the US,” said Huang, adding that the company is at the moment immune to the overheated Chinese economy since it does
Forwell’s President Xiao Wen Long standing outside the company’s new facility in Chang Hua that was set up three years ago
Born into a peasant family, Xiao’s is a classic rags-toriches story. He started his career as a technician with Kenda Tire and worked his way up the ladder to become a design engineer. He left after nine years to set up Forwell. Xiao says he developed 100 different equipment designs while working with Kenda. This innovative spirit is evident at Forwell that has close to 40 patents (the company spends up to NT2 million a year to maintain these patents). “Several companies have similar products but we are a leader in the business because of the quality of our systems and because we are able to provide solutions to customers’ problems,” claims Xiao. This year, the company developed a multi-injection 5
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Taiwanese machinery and technology mould machine quick die change system (MCS), a multi-punch machine quick die change system (DCS) as well as a rapid mould changing system. “Our new range is targeted at companies setting up new facilities and for more complex operations.” This applies to a system that takes into account the height of the machine and space for the mould. It also incorporates a sensor for positioning the mould. The ISO9001 and CE-certified company has supplied its die changing systems for up to 4,000 tonne-machinery and also works closely with Taiwanese injection moulding machine maker Hwa Chin. “We follow through our principles of quality, service and developing innovative products to help companies reach their automation and labour saving goals,” Xiao told PRA, explaining that the phonetic translation of Forwell into English is “Give You the Best.” Forwell sells more than 1,000 units of its systems a year and has set itself an ambitious target of reaching a turnover of NT100 billion by 2015. Portfolio expansion for Tung Yu Moving into a new facility in Nantou City in 2006 allowed rubber injection machine maker Tung Yu Hydraulic Machinery to expand its product base further. “We have double the capacity at our facility now,” said Vice General Manager, Steven Yen. Amongst its latest products are the TRV closed-loop rubber slicer/preformer and the hydraulic BOM tyre curing press. “The BOM is targeted at the industrial, motorcycle, light truck and agriculture tyre sectors. It is different to traditional designs as Tung Yu uses FEA (finite element analysis) to enhance the mechanical strength,” claimed Yen. The company has already sold “hundreds of units” and expects to expand into other models later. As a result of its cooperation with French rubber press maker REP in 2004, Tung Yu developed the RTIP rubber injection machine based on REP’s design. It followed this up with the launch of a compact RT9 series that also features more precision control, according to Yen. Another development launched two years ago is the chip compactor, w h i c h c o m p re s s e s w a s t e m e t a l chips into blocks that are then used to power up furnaces. “Scrap metal can be turned into economical, compact blocks that are worth more than non-compacted scrap metal. T h e m a c h i n e s q u e e z e s o i l f ro m the metal scrap and it can then be recycled. With a lower volume, it is also easy to ship the blocks and less storage space is required in a facility,” says Yen. The company has sold its YCP model to machining centres, operating CNC lathes, in Thailand and South Korea. Tu n g Yu e x p e c t s 3 0 % h i g h e r turnover this year. “But we are not sure of the future – the situation is changing since the global economy is cooling down,” said Yen. Nevertheless, 2012 will be an important one for Taiwan’s plastics and rubber industry since the biTung Yu’s metal chip compacting machine annual Taipeiplas exhibition will be 6 I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • o c t o b e r / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 1
Taiwanese machinery and technology globally, even with the 15% higher price (compared to the hydraulic model), said Yang. “We have increased the daylight and clamping area. It is also servomotoroperated allowing for lower energy consumption of up to 70%,” he claimed. The machine is available in clamping forces of 150-500 tonnes. “When Jing Day started producing rubber moulding machines about 20 years ago, the concept was to produce t h e m o s t p ro d u c t i v e , h i g h - p e r f o r m a n c e m o u l d i n g machines. That philosophy has not changed,” explained Yang, adding that this is one of the reasons for the company’s success today.
held. “We will introduce new machines for the tyre market at the show,” revealed Yen, adding that the company has mainly concentrated on custom-made machinery and it will restrategise its focus to include more standard machines for the tyre market. Jing Day to move to new facility Expansion seems to be a trend in the Taiwanese plastics and rubber industry, denoting that the sector is doing well. “We are looking forward to moving to a new facility at the end of this year,” said Robert Yang, General Manager of rubber injection moulding machine maker Jing Day Machinery. Also in Tainan city, the facility will have a built-up area of 6,000 sq m. While Yang says a reason for the move is to cater to the growing demand, another reason is that the present facility is in the vicinity of a riverbank causing it to be flooded on more than one occasion.
CLF pumping up efforts in Southeast Asia Another company that is expanding its production base is injection moulding machine maker Chuan Lih Fa (CLF). It expects to open a new facility in Vietnam by next year to cater to the domestic and Southeast Asian markets, said Sales Manager Vicky Yen. CLF already operates two facilities in Taiwan (in Tainan) and one in China. “Since the European and American markets are slowing down, our focus next year will be on Southeast Asia. At our Vietnamese facility, we will produce smaller models to cater to household and packaging applications,” she said. But it will continue to make its larger models, of which it claims a 50% market share, at its home base in Tainan, with most of the component manufacturing subcontracted and some parts imported from Japan and Europe. “The big models require stability, precision, efficiency and strength, which are CLF’s characteristics for its machines.” As for the portfolio, Yen says the major product line is still hydraulic machinery, even after having introduced the AE all-electric series a few years ago. The all-electrics were previously manufactured by CLF for Japanese injection moulding press maker Meiki until it was taken over by another Japanese company JSW. CLF took over the series completely, rebranding it as AE. Now, Yen says CLF is looking at introducing a newer version of an energy-saving series, especially for the Chinese and Indian markets where electricity costs are high. Yen also said that South America, India, Turkey and Africa are the company’s biggest markets, especially the automotive sector, while Taiwan has slipped down the scale due to moulders having moved their processing operations to China. Having generated a turnover of US$78 million last year, Yen says the company is looking forward to a higher growth of 20% this year.
Robert Yang says Jing Day will move to a new facility at the end of the year
Nevertheless, since water is wealth in the Asian system of geomancy known as feng shui, the overflow of water (however inconvenient) must have had some bearing on the company’s earnings! “Last year was better, but this year it will be not too bad,” Yang shared with PRA. The company had a turnover US$17 million in its previous financial year and this year, Yang expects 5% more. “We make about 200 machines a year and the new facility will allow us to increase our output to 250,” he added. Jing Day also has another facility in China, in Wuxi, where it makes all its models, catering mainly to the automotive market. As for its markets, the company sells a third of its output to Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia, which are growing rubber markets, with the rest going to China, Europe and Russia. One of its targets next year is to concentrate more effort on the Indian market, where it has sold 100 machines over the last ten years, mainly to the automotive, industrial and medical sectors. Of its machinery range, the high-bed JDRH moulding series, launched last year, seems to be selling well
Improved heating on Keenpro blow moulders Stretch blow moulding machine maker Kin Precision Industry Corporation dedicates a majority of its R&D efforts on the design of its machines, which are sold under the brand name of Keenpro. “This is to meet the rapidly changing market, environmental protection issues 7
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Taiwanese machinery and technology important factor for the production process, with uneven heat distribution resulting in cracks or Cost High Low over-crystallisation, with different bottle shapes subjected to varying Power Consumption High Low heat distributions. “ To m a s t e r t h e s e v a r i a b l e s Heating Pipe Distribution Complicated Simple efficiently, we utilise FEA to analyse the heating distance, energy, time Impact on environment Oil mist Clean a n d e f f i c i e n c y, t o s u c c e s s f u l l y develop the electrical heating and The above is a tabulated comparison between thermal oil and electrical oil heating temperature control technology for and the impact of the Economic Cooperation Framework our blow moulding machines,” adds the spokesperson. ◆ Agreement (ECFA) that will bring challenges as well as business opportunities to Kin,” a company spokesperson told PRA. One of its improvements is on its PET hot-fill blow moulding machinery. “By using electrical heating to replace the traditional thermal oil heaters, the temperature control has become more accurate,” explained the spokesperson. “When designing the PET hot-fill bottle mould, the bottle’s style, function, production condition and forming cycle time must be taken into account. Since the shape of the bottle is spherical, during the blowing process, the heat conduction between the mould surface and macromolecule material is the key factor of smooth forming,” he added. As such, an even heat distribution is the most Kin Precision’s high-speed stretch blow moulding machine ITEM
Thermal Oil Heating
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INDUSTRYNEWS Suppliers beefing up EPDM supply
ligned with the high growth transportation and infrastructure megatrend, the global automotive industry is projected to grow by 5% a year, with growth rates of 10% a year in China and South Asia. This translates to a 60% increase in demand for automotivespecified materials in the next ten years, with demand for ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) expected to outstrip global supply. As such, US chemical firm Dow Chemical and Germany-based Lanxess are both putting in more efforts into EPDM supply. Dow will initiate a feasibility study to construct a plant for producing metallocene EPDM, to be sold under the brand name Nordel IP hydrocarbon rubber, and to identify potential partners and locations for the facility. The facility is expected to incorporate Dow’s latest proprietary catalyst technology and production via its solution process. Its elastomers portfolio is enabled by the Insite technology, which was launched in 1993 and has delivered nine new polymers that have generated US$17 billion in revenue and, since 2005, have been growing at a rate of 15% a year. End-use applications for Nordel IP include automotive weatherstripping, automotive hoses and belts, building profiles, footwear soling and general rubber products. In other news, Lanxess is investing EUR12
million to convert 50% of its EPDM production in Geleen, the Netherlands, to Keltan ACE technology. During 2013, the company will implement the new technology at the largest of its three production lines, which accounts for half of the total production capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year in Geleen. The company says that compared with conventional production processes, Keltan ACE technology reduces energy requirements for rubber production and it does not require catalyst extraction as a result of high catalyst efficiency. Furthermore, the process enables the manufacture of new EPDM rubber grades. In addition, Lanxess will construct a new building in Geleen for its global EPDM business. To accommodate up to 120 staff, the building will be constructed on the Chemelot chemical industrial site. Inauguration is planned for the beginning of 2013. Meanwhile, Lanxess has started integrating the EPDM business of Dutch company DSM, which it acquired for EUR310 million. The company also plans to commercially produce EPDM from bio-based ethylene by the end of the year. It will be the first form of bio-based EPDM in the world and will be sold under the brand name Keltan Eco. The bio-based ethylene is produced by dehydrating ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane and will be supplied by Braskem via pipeline to
Lanxess’s existing EPDM plant in Brazil, where it currently produces 40,000
tonnes/year of regular EPDM. It is expected that the first batches of the Keltan Eco will amount to several hundred tonnes.
Lanxess manufactures its premium EPDM rubber under the proprietary name of Keltan
New bladder facility in Brazil
ermany-based Rhein Chemie, a whollyowned subsidiary of speciality chemicals firm Lanxess, is investing EUR10 million in a new facility in Porto Feliz, Brazil, to manufacture Rhenoshape curing bladders and Rhenogran pre-dispersed additives. This is part of the EUR30 million investment by Lanxess in Brazil, which also includes a 20,000 tonne/year-plant for producing the company’s engineering plastics Durethan and Pocan. The plant will have an output of 2,000 tonnes/ year of rubber additives and produce 170,000 bladders/year. It will start up in the fourth quarter of 2012. Rhein Chemie also has facilities in Argentina and Uruguay that produce Rhenoshape bladders. It entered the bladder business by acquiring Argentinean company Darmex early this year and has also expanded 1
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its bladder capacity in Argentina by 40%. Global bladder production is estimated to be worth EUR300 million, with 40% of bladder production outsourced to independent manufacturers. The improved thermal conductivity of the bladder compound, plus a number of other factors, increases the quality of a tyre, resulting in greater safety and lower rolling resistance and thus, lower fuel consumption. Last year, Rhein Chemie’s turnover was EUR283 million, an increase of 40% compared to the previous year, and in the first half of 2011, this climbed by 19%. Its growth is aided by demand from Asia, where its turnover grew by 8%. To accelerate its growth, this year, Rhein Chemie also took over two product lines from US-based Flexsys and acquired the tyre release agent business of Germany-based Wacker.
INDUSTRYNEWS Rubber-PEEK composite for seals
eals used in the oil, gas or automotive industry pose a formidable design challenge because they have to be tight and durable, to avoid leaks, maintenance downtime and costly system failure. Elastomer materials like FPM (fluoroelastomer) or EPDM will remain durable at high temperatures and also offer good chemical resistance but are usually too soft and flexible for use as seals. To address these challenges, Switzerland-based seals maker Daetwyler and UK PEEK supplier Victrex Polymer Solutions worked together to develop a composite
material that combines Victrexâ€™s PEEK-based Aptiv films with NBR (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) and FPM. The result is that the relatively hard PEEK polymer can be combined with selected elastomers for the formation of seals using a single composite, thus simplifying the assembly and mount processes. The companies say that the composite also meets the requirements for rugged industrial seals, demonstrating low creep under high mechanical loads, little expansion in the presence of fluids and steam, high chemical resistance and low permeation â€“ all plus points for tight seal solutions. Victrex and Daetwyler are now keen to discuss the new polymerrubber composite with potential customers. The new composite offers durable, tight seal solutions
NEWS in brief Rubber index introduced Global information supplier Platts has launched a Natural Rubber Index (RBX), which comprises daily physical spot price assessments for Technically Specified Rubber Grade 20 (TSR 20) and Ribbed Smoked Sheets Grade 3 (RSS 3) grades of natural rubber. It reflects cargoes loaded free on board (FOB) Singapore for one and two months forward. RBX is published at 12:00 pm Singapore time, in addition to the close of the physical market trading
day at 4:30 pm Singapore time. Desma expands in China Having been in the Chinese market since 2007, rubber injection moulding machine maker Desma has built up a market share of 10% in the country. In order to meet growth expectations, the German firm has now set up an office in Beilun, Ningbo, in Eastern China, in addition to its facility in Wuxi. The company says Ningbo is where it has sold the largest number of its machines and it seemed logical to be closer to its customers.
Business with a sense of (re)purpose Born as a result of the downturn in the global economy in the 1990s, today, recycler Bridgefields Resources is growing in leaps and bounds in an industry that serves to fill the gaps left by the escalating prices and short supply of virgin rubber material. But not all recycled materials are equal, says Managing Director Asmipudin (Asmi in short) Ali, who gives an informed view of how the company is meeting the needs of the demanding customer base with quality material.
lobal demand for rubber gloves is increasing by 12% due to demand and consumption, according to major rubber analysts. Increasing throughput and capacity may boost the potential to cater to a larger market demand but along with this production comes a higher number of rejects. Bridgefields is providing the link in the chain by collecting scrap gloves, among other rubber scraps, which otherwise would end up in landfills, and processing them into rubber materials for end-use applications such as carpet underlays, shoes, leathers, basketballs and sporting goods, to name a few.
Green product Its main scrap material collected being NR, 80% of the recycled material Bridgefields produces is based on NR and the remainder is from synthetic rubber. The company’s turnover for NR recycling is RM8-12 million, with 5-8% of this invested into R&D every year, adds Asmi. While the physical properties of its Greenviro product depends on feedstocks used, which not only include rubber gloves but also rubber threads, catheters, Asmipudin Ali, Managing condoms and various types of Director of Bridgefields, latex scraps, the main product says the company is it offers is NRG (natural rubber planning to move to a new glove) 9OP. The 90 denotes that it facility over the next two years is a premium grade. Other varying grades offered include NRG 90HG – HG denoting that it is high grade with a tensile strength of 18.8 Mpa and of a natural black colour. Also produced is a fine particle-size grade for extrusion only. Claiming Greenviro to be “odourless and sweetsmelling”, Asmi says market acceptance of the product has been “good”.
Scrap no more Located in Menglembu, Ipoh, Perak, Bridgefields started off in 1995 recycling tyres and selling tyre crumbs for making heavy-duty carpets for golf clubs and airports. Now, it has branched out to recycling gloves. “We don’t do any sorting. We only crush all the materials that are collected,” said Asmi, adding that large glove makers in Malaysia, like Supermax, supply the scrap material. “By not engaging in any sorting activities, we guarantee that all the waste material is reprocessed and this protects a company’s primary product integrity.” The company employs a recycling technology, purported to be the first and only one in Malaysia, that depolymerises rubber scraps without degrading the properties. “Bridgefields is in a class of its own. It is amongst the new breed of recyclers that use chemical and mechanical depolymerisation, without autoclaving.” The technology was actually developed as a result of the challenges faced by Bridgefields. It had to wind up in 2000 after succumbing to the 1997 economic crisis. It returned from the ashes, so to speak, in 2004, just when the prices of recycled materials went up amidst the shortage of virgin material supply. The company moved into its facility in Ipoh, invested in R&D and, assisted by the Malaysian Rubber Board, developed a standard recipe for recycling that did not require autoclaving (as this degrades the rubber to about 50% of its original properties). Since it only requires water treatment, the method is more environmentally friendly and does not emit any hazardous gases, says Asmi, adding that the company also makes its chemicals in-house. In recognition of this, Bridgefields has been awarded the SW321 licence to collect and process scheduled waste scrap rubber.
Potential in synthetic rubber recycling Bridgefields also recycles nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) gloves. “Our biggest buyer for recycled NBR is a shoe maker from Ecuador,” says Asmi. “We see a trend for NBR because NR is becoming expensive and manufacturers are switching to NBR,” he adds. NR’s high prices are due to weather fluctuations (that affect the supply) as well as speculative trading (that creates a volatile pricing trend of the commodity). The latter threatens profit margins of manufacturers that are dependent on NR and in some industry sectors, such as gloves, producers are switching to the synthetic variety. This switchover will also serve to buffer against a not-sobright scenario for NR supply in years to come. According to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), marginal growth of up to 3.8% is expected for NR next year and this will increase by a moderate 6% by 2015. Further, global supply of NR is expected to start slowing down 3
rubber journal ASIA • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
Recycled Rubber from 2016 and continue to slacken to a deficit level through 2018, against the backdrop of a moderate demand rate. While NBR prices are currently stable, it won’t be long until these too inch up as manufacturers increase their respective production capacities. In fact, NBR is projected to increase by as much as US$200 tonnes/month. Hence, Bridgefields is sitting pretty with its capability to recycle NBR scrap material, with Asmi claiming that there are no “true NBR recyclers” in Malaysia. “It is because NBR is chemical/oil resistant and nothing can break it down. But with our technology, we have managed to break NBR down to a polymer stage as well as break down the whole chemical chain bond so the recycled product has a longer end life,” he explains. However, there is a downside to recycling NBR products, according to Asmi. “We need to have high volumes to make it economical.“ Recycling is pro manufacturing The benefits of recycling cannot be emphasised enough. More than safeguarding the environment, recycling is also a best practice for manufacturers plus costwise, adding recycled material to processing helps manufacturers maintain the prices of their products. “For manufacturers that are disposing of rejected items, Bridgefields can serve as a “watchdog”, to ensure that good products are not being thrown away,” explains Asmi, adding that to ensure the integrity of its recycled material, the company only deals with top managers of potential scrap suppliers. “Our motto is that we ensure that scrap and rejects are 100% crushed and recycled and free from pilferage.” “Foreign clients are more cautious and want to know where the scrap is going to and where it will end up,” observes Asmi. But he adds that the values of recycling are still not much appreciated. “The concept is still very much favourable in the West and not in the East,” he adds. Another benefit is that mixing recycled material with the virgin variety can help to reduce the raw material cost for a manufacturer. “When we first started with recycling, the material was being sold at RM400/tonne, now the price can be as high as RM5,000/tonne because of the sorting involved. But even with this high price, it still makes sense for companies to recycle the scrap and mix it with the virgin materials to reduce overall costs,” he says. Expansion plans revealed The company operates via agents and marketing offices in other countries to sell its products. Last year, it participated in the K show in Germany and garnered “good response with enquiries coming from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and India, while a big order was secured from Australia.” With the encouraging response, Asmi envisions a two-year expansion plan that includes building a plant on a 4.5-acre location in Rawang, outside Kuala Lumpur. “We will have a full recovery centre and also be able to manufacture specialised recycled compounds.” He explains, “Since we are already collecting a variety of materials, we have the technical know-how on the types of materials and the parameters and how to control these. With this knowldege, we will be able to compound rubber for companies that are unable to do this, especially to meet the higher standards in Europe and the US.” Other plans include the start up of butyl rubber recycling next year, with scrap from Australia and Asia. This is welcome news for manufacturers that also share Bridgefields's objective of keeping the environment clean as well as serving the industry sector by helping reduce costs, without cutting product quality corners. ◆ 5 rubber journal ASIA • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
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Plastics and Rubber Asia October-November 2011 electronic issue