PRA August 2016

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

業 界新聞 資 源 回收 : 克服並贏得資源回收戰役

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In this issue

Volume 31, No 223

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A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry

Features 焦 點 內 容 13 資源回收: 克服並贏得資源回收戰役 16 Recycling – Recycling innovations are enabling plastic waste to become an integral part of environmental solutions 20 Building & Construction Industry – With increasing

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email:

urbanisation, Southeast Asia is set to lead in infrastructure development. The lucrative growth, especially in developing countries, will push demand for pipes

Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email:

24 European Plastics Industry – Despite a host of issues, like the recent Brexit in the UK, the European plastics industry is in a good state of health, against the backdrop of growth; Industry 4.0 and a circular economy

Circulation Abril Castro Email:

Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling

Regulars 概 要

Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:

2 Industry News

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Supplements 副 刊 Smart Grid technology can help Asia’s power sector to meet the region’s mounting electricity demand; Taiwan’s Taipeiplas will be held from 12-16 August Cleanroom disposable gloves market players are embracing advanced technology to ensure the gloves provide comfort and act as a barrier for contaminants



Recycling: thanks to closed loop technologies for recycling, plastic waste is being more and more recovered, and most of it going back to the manufacturing stream; it takes a concerted effort by end users, brand owners and manufacturers to maintain this

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is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2016 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

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Industry News

M&As/Tie-ups • In line with Dow Chemical’s restructuring of its ownership of Dow Corning, it will shut down silicones manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, US, and Yamakita, Japan, as well as certain administrative, corporate and manufacturing facilities to further streamline costs associated with the transaction. These collective actions will result in a reduction of approximately 2,500 positions globally, or approximately 4% of Dow’s workforce. • South Africa’s Mondi Group is to acquire ZAO Uralplastic-N from Rusnano. The Russian firm manufactures a range of consumer flexible packaging products for food, hygiene, homecare and other applications. For the year ended 31 December 2015 Uralplastic generated revenue of EUR 29.2 million. In June, Mondi 2


also acquired Turkish consumer packaging firm Kalenobel from Argus Capital for EUR90 million. Kalenobel manufactures flexible consumer packaging for ice cream. • Swiss automotive components maker Adval Tech has sold its Germanybased moulds unit known as Foboha to US conglomerate Barnes Group for CHF133 million. Adval Tech said it will use the proceeds primarily to reduce debt. Foboha operates in Europe, the US and Asia; and produces moulds for the production of plastic components. • German extrusion machinery firm battenfeldcincinnati group, which has facilities in Germany, Austria, China and the US, has been sold to investment firm Industrie Holding Nimbus. The company was acquired by Triton Fund II in 2007 and later sold to Germany-based Zweite VR Trust

Beteiligungs UG, in preparation for an imminent sale of the company. • Packaging group RPC is buying British Polythene Industries (BPI) for £261million. BPI supplies 275,000 tonnes/ year of PE film for a range of markets including agriculture and horticulture, industrial and consumer products, food and related packaging and recycled products. • Canadian automotive parts supplier ABC Group has been acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which also owns Reydel Automotive Holdings in the Netherlands, set up in 2014 when Cerberus bought Visteon’s automotive interiors business. • US-based Parker Hannifin has been proactively pursuing acquisitions to bolster its core businesses. It has taken over

two of Germanybased equipment manufacturer Arnold Jäger Holding GmbH‘s operating units – Jäger AutomobilTechnik and Jäger Automotive Polska. The acquisition is intended to enhance the company’s foothold in the global sealing markets. Jäger Group, which manufactures products to seal and protect key automotive system parts, offers rubber to plastic direct bonded sealing systems and twocomponent (2K) direct injection moulding technology. Jäger makes automotive parts used in interiors, door systems, exterior and under-the-hood applications. With combined sales of US$45 million, these businesses offer Parker-Hannifin an extension of the use of these technologies for other strategic markets. The businesses will be integrated into ParkerHannifin’s Prädifa Technology Division in the Engineered Materials Group.

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Industry News

Plant Openings • German materials manufacturer Covestro is expanding production of the raw material HDI, with the opening of a new worldscale plant at the Shanghai site in China. It can produce up to 50,000 tonnes/ year of HDI. The new plant is part of an investment programme for the site with a volume of more than EUR3 billion, launched over ten years ago for polycarbonate production capacities at the site to double to about 400,000 tonnes/year before the end of 2016. • Chinese compounder for the automotive sector China XD Plastics Company recently inaugurated its RMB2.8 billion facility in Sichuan, with an initial capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year to be expanded to 300,000 tonnes/ year later; and 70 production lines. It also expects to achieve sales of RMB1 billion this year. The company says as of March 31, 2016, 369 of its products have been used in the exterior and



interior trim and in the functional components of 28 automobile brands manufactured in China. • China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group (SNCG), a subsidiary of Shenhua Group, and Saudi Arabiaheadquartered diversified chemicals company Sabic are exploring a joint development of a greenfield petrochemical complex to be located in the Ningxia Hui Region of China. It will use locally available coal feedstocks supplied by SNCG. • Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer Co (a joint venture between Mitsui Chemicals, 65%, and Idemitsu Kosan, 35%) are augmenting production, in response to growing demand for automotive use PP. The group currently has eight global production sites (Japan, US, Mexico, Europe, Thailand, China, India, and Brazil). In the US, it will add on two lines and one line each in Mexico and at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites India. The unit in India

is owned by Mitsui Chemicals, 70.96%, Prime Polymer, 20% and others, 9.04%. • German chemicals company BASF has postponed its final investment decision regarding the construction of a methane-topropylene complex at its Freeport site in the US considering the current volatility of raw material prices and the prevailing economic environment. • Shell Chemical Appalachia is building a petrochemical complex, comprising an ethylene cracker with PE derivatives unit, near Pittsburgh, US. The complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes/ year of PE. • Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant has inaugurated its new production plant for waterbased pigment preparations in Mexico. It doubles Clariant’s Mexico annual production capacity and enhances its ability to serve customers across North and Latin America.

• DuPont Performance Materials has inaugurated its largest engineering plastics compounding plant located in the Guangming New District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The site produces a variety of DuPont products, including Zytel polyamide (PA), Crastin (PBT), Delrin acetal (POM) resins, Bynel adhesive resins, and Fusabond resins, to primarily serve automotive, industrial and consumer, and packaging markets in both China and the Asia Pacific region. • Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is establishing operations in the US to supply BMW with interior components, including door panels, instrument panels and floor consoles for multiple models. Recently, the company completed the acquisition of Faurecia’s 365,000sq ft manufacturing plant. Yanfeng expand the plant by 100,000 sq ft to accommodate future new business. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems and Johnson Controls, set up in 2015.


Machinery News • US extrusion machinery firm Davis-Standard has shipped what it says is its largest accumulator head machine, weighing 34 kg, from its new blow moulding facility in Fulton. Overall dimensions of the machine are 8x13x8.5 m to accommodate production of large flat panels, drums and outdoor recreational equipment. In related news, the firm is adding 15,000 sq ft of manufacturing space at its facility in Pawcatuck. It will house the manufacturing and precision machining of advanced multi-layer blown film dies; and move all blown film manufacturing for its Gloucester Engineering product line from Gloucester. • BSW Machinery, the Vienna-based subsidiary of Windmöller & Hölscher, reported strong orders in 2015, and a 20% growth, compared to 2014. The company is also building another expansion at its production facility in the Czech Republic. It expects production in 2016 will be doubled compared to 2014. • Canadian machinery maker Husky Injection Molding Systems has updated its Altanium hot runner controller warranty programme. Effective immediately, all new Altanium H-series controllers are covered by a five-year warranty that includes

the interface, H-series control cards and mainframe. It covers new Altanium Neo2, Delta3 and Matrix2 controllers and is the only five-year warranty that includes the operator interface. • US companies Milacron Holdings and MidAmerica Machining have resolved and settled a patent lawsuit concerning blow moulded plastic dairy containers. The patent referred to lightweight blow moulded milk jugs. According to the suit, Mid-America’s gallon jugs weigh 52 g, compared to 60 g for the average container. Milacron, in turn, denied the claim, and said its own lightweight jugs featured unique profiles that were unrelated to the Mid-America patents. • Italian PET rigid packaging technology specialist Sipa says that a legal action against it and a previous development partner in PET preform production technology, Athena Automation, has ended in favour of Sipa. The court action had been taken by Canadian injection moulding machine maker Husky Injection Molding Systems over the alleged misuse of confidential information owned by Husky. It initially appealed the ruling, but discontinued its appeal. Husky will pay for the costs of the legal action.

Materials News

Making plastics from food and biomass a reality Agricultural crops and food wastes are helping restore faith in plastics as an eco-friendly material, says Angelica Buan in this report.


lastic is shedding its image as an environmental offender with materials derived from agricultural feedstock and wastes. Firms are also starting to embrace the necessity of developing and utilising biobased plastics as part of their sustainability plans. The market is also becoming favourable towards consumption of eco-friendly products. Allied Market Research finds that the key drivers for the growth of bioplastics market is indeed an increasing adoption of biodegradable plastics that usher in new trends; and increasing popularity of bioplastics use in the end user industries. Nevertheless, there is still the high production cost that gets in between wider adoption and maximised growth. Food, glorious food Food, being a renewable feedstock, is now becoming more available and accessible for industrial use. Technology is also enabling agricultural feedstock not to compete with human food consumption; and government policies are incentivising towards utilisation of these renewable resources. Just the same, challenges in production costs may be surmounted over time, against the environmental savings that can be accrued. For example, Infiniti Research in its Global Bioplastics Market report projects an environmental savings of US$1.3 billion/year if aerated beverage manufacturers utilise algae-based bioplastics. Meanwhile, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, 5 billion tonnes/year of agricultural biomass waste is produced. Thus, the supply of materials is abundant and often underutilised, yet the materials can be relatively low cost and help manufacturers offset the use of glass fibres and talc for more sustainable, lightweight products.

Seed technologies to harvest bio-oils Australia’s abundance in safflower has led to the country developing a technology for deriving oil from the flower’s seeds. Currently, the national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC), are involved in a joint project, under Crop Biofactories Initiatives (CBI), to produce safflower seed oil that contains over 92% oleic acid, hence called Super-High Oleic (SHO) safflower.



CSIRO’s researchers have produced safflower seed oil called Super-High Oleic (SHO) safflower for potential use in bioplastics

Safflower is easy to grow, is resistant to heat and drought, and is adaptable to dry climates and irrigation and also works well in rotational cropping. Though the agencies say it is currently a relatively minor and underutilised crop in Australia due to a small domestic market for safflower oil. Only about 10,000 ha were grown in 2014 and the seed is mainly used for confectionery and birdseed. However, the potential is there. CSIRO says that SHO safflower has performed well in field trials. “The oil produced in the seed has significantly higher stability than conventional oils and performs as well or better than synthetic oils derived from fossil reserves. These properties will see it attain a higher market value than normal crop oils, which should be reflected in a higher farm-gate value for growers,” it said. It also says the stability of the oleic acid makes the bio-oil especially suitable for high temperature industrial applications such as lubricants and transformer fluids, and it can also be processed to build a range of complex polymers for use in bioplastics and surface coatings. The technology required to produce SHO safflower, consisting of a standard cold press or solvent extraction process used currently to extract seed oil from sunflower, canola, soybean, and cotton, has been licensed to Australian clean technology firm GO Resources, which has expertise in biotechnology, industrial lubricants and oleochemicals. The commercialisation agreement will work towards the deregulation of GM events

Materials News Rapeseed oil from canola plant will be used as an alternative additive for wood composite panels

within Australia aiming for an intended commercial release of SHO safflower by 2018/2019, and the potential to export as much as 125,000 tonnes/year of the bio-oil. CSIRO, GRDC and GO Resources also expect to see significant areas of SHO safflower grown in Australia by 2020. Meanwhile, a joint venture formed between a unit of French industrial and financial entity, Avril Group, and Israeli start-up Biopolymer Technologies, known as Evertree, will be developing a formaldehyde-free additive resin derived from rapeseed meal. The first application for this plant-based alternative to traditional VOC-emitting chemicals, a protein-rich biomass produced when oil is extracted from rapeseed, will be the wood composite panel industry, with the firm saying that 20-30% less resin will be required for use in wood panels. With an investment of US$79 million, Evertree expects to start a pilot plant in 2017 in Compiègne, France, and open a production facility in 2018, ramping it up to 50,000 tonnes/year by 2020.

To produce ecovio EA, expandable granules are charged with pentane blowing agent, thus enabling what the firm says is a trouble-free pre-expansion of the material on conventional EPS pre-expanders and subsequent moulding. The raw granules themselves have a density of approximately 700g/l.

I t ’ s


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After 3 years, we’re ready to go again. K 2016 presents you the best that engineers, chemists and researchers currently have on offer: machinery, technology, materials, tools, applications, and forward-looking products, processes and solutions. The best basis for global business, the perfect decision-making platform for investment. With some 3,200 exhibitors in 19 exhibition halls on more than 171,000 sqm of exhibition space, the world’s premier trade fair for the plastics and rubber

A sweet alternative to conventional foam Fossil oil-based packaging is no longer palatable for green packaging conscious users. Thus, German chemicals firm BASF is offering a sugar-based alternative, ecovio EA, which is available in the market (with a particle size of 1.05 mm and soon, a 0.8 mm-diameter grade), as the first expandable, closed-cell foam material that is biobased and certified compostable. It consists of BASF’s biodegradable polymer Ecoflex and polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from corn or other sugar-generating plants like manioc.

industry will once again be presenting the entire range of products and services that the industry has to offer. Everything that will move the world in the future. Plan your visit now.

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Materials News

BASF’s Ecovio EA is said to be the first expandable, closed-cell foam material that is biobased and certified compostable

Compared with EPS, the material has lower rigidity and when it comes to its energy absorbing capacity, it comes between EPS and EPP. These properties make it ideal for use in the E&E sector, in particular for heavy and delicate packaged goods such as washing machines or televisions, where a high level of impact resistance and robustness is vital, says BASF. Furthermore, Ecovio EA has a minimum thermal conductivity of 34 mW/(mK) and is therefore suited to all thermal insulation applications in the transport sector, such as helping to maintain the cold chain for temperature-sensitive goods such as packaged vegetables, fruit, meat, frozen goods or even medicines. Due to the inherent properties of the raw materials, Ecovio EA can also be stored at temperatures of up to 100°C over a period of several hours and is therefore also suitable for hot-melt adhesive applications. In addition, it also displays good resistance in solvents such as acetone. As a certified compostable product, it also does not contain any flame retardants. In the future, BASF will also offer Ecovio EA approved for food applications, extending the range of applications to all of the areas in which foam is in direct contact with processed food. Olive leaves serve as barrier for pasta packaging A great pasta recipe cannot do without olives. Now, olives can also do wonders for biodegradable and compostable cheese and pasta packaging. The combination of different layers of bioplastics – PLA, Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), and adhesives; and a wax coating obtained from olive leaves – has resulted in a sustainable packaging, suitable for packaging of food in modified atmosphere, insulating the product from oxygen and humidity in order to avoid the growth of bacteria and fungi. PLA is an easy-recyclable material with mechanical properties, and PVOH provides barrier to gases and is water-soluble, so it disappears in the washing process, thus allowing PLA to be recycled, according to Spainbased plastics technology centre AIMPLAS. Both layers are joined by biodegradable adhesives, while a wax coating made from olive leaves provides water vapour barrier. This coating, which does not disappear in the washing process, acts like a plasticiser for PLA, thus improving its flexibility.



AIMPLAS adds that the new packaging results in a cost 25% lower than conventional packaging, with a lower environmental impact and a lower carbon footprint of up to 29%. AIMPLAS’s research is coordinated within the European project BIO4MAP. The 30-month long EU-funded project has a budget of EUR1.5 million. The partners for this project include Central Quesera Montesinos, a potential user of the new packaging for goat cheese slices; Vallés Plàstic, responsible for applying a new coating made of natural waxes; and Artibal, a manufacturer of waxes, lacquers and inks, responsible for the formulation.

AIMPLAS’s multi-layer and transparent packaging contains a wax coating made from olive leaves

Other end users of the packaging are AltoniKelderman, a Belgian manufacturer of fresh pasta, and Germany-based Sachsenmilch, that packages sliced cheese; French compounding company MAPEA that has developed the biodegradable adhesive together with the research centre; Abo Akademi from Finland; French packaging transforming and manufacturing company Bobino Plastique; and Germany’s technology centre Fraunhofer IVV that developed the coating’s wax. Perfect brew of bio-coffee cups Coffee is for drinking, but can you also drink from coffee? German company Kaffeeform answers this riddle with its cups made of dried coffee grounds combined with a biopolymer to produce durable and dishwasher-safe coffee cups and saucers. The coffee grounds are leftovers from brewed coffee, waste that is usually recycled as fertiliser or incorporated in beauty products or scrubs, if not thrown away in landfills. But German product designer Julian Lechner has found a creative use for this waste. A coffee-drinker himself, Lechner first hatched the idea of creating crockery with coffee grounds, while attending university in Italy. After several attempts, he developed a method of combining 40% coffee grounds with wood grains and a biopolymer of cellulose, lignin, and natural resins. He explains that a firm known as Mosaik helps dry and pack the ground coffee, and pack the finished product

Materials News Kaffeeform makes cups from waste coffee grounds combined with a biopolymer

while a factory in Baden-Württemburg mixes the coffee waste with wood grains, biopolymers and natural fibres; and the mixture is sent to Cologne for melting and compression into moulds. One cup and saucer can be made from the waste of six consumed cups of espresso. The creator of Kaffeeform coffee cups and saucers is planning to launch more products like sheets and travel mugs. Tequila and cars – a combination made in bioplastics Drinking and driving is not an advisable combination but not for this partnership that will utilise plant wastes obtained from manufacturing tequila for the automotive sector. US-headquartered Ford Motor Co has tied up with family-owned and operated tequila connoisseur Jose Cuervo to develop sustainable bioplastics from the distilled beverage maker’s agave plant byproduct and for use in automotive parts. Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material shows durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment. The growth cycle of the agave plant is a minimum seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. The Mexican tequila producer uses a portion of the remaining agave fibres as compost for its farms, and the rest are turned to paper and crafts by local artisans. With the partnership with Ford, the waste fibres can now be utilised for automotive parts. The collaboration with Jose Cuervo is the latest example of Ford’s innovative approach to product and environmental stewardship through the use of biomaterials. Ford began researching the use of

Ford Motor is teaming up with Jose Cuervo to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles

sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the car maker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fibre, cellulose, wood, coconut fibre and rice hulls. Oil not just for frying Recycled cooking oil is definitely a no-no in a healthy diet. But used cooking oil can still be put to good use without the fear of high cholesterol! India-based manufacturer of speciality polymers, compounds and additives Vikas Ecotech is converting waste cooking oil into bioplastics. The Delhi-headquartered company has partnered with Czech Republic-based Nafigate Corporation, which will provide technology, for converting waste cooking oil into biopolymer PHA. Nafigate’s Hydal technology can process waste cooking oil through fermentation and subsequent PHA polymer isolation. PHAs are used in the production of bioplastics. Vikas Ecotech, which is currently constructing the first phase of its manufacturing plant and innovation centre at Dahej, Gujarat, to produce 6,000 tonnes/year and 5,000 tones/year of organotin stabilisers and speciality polymer compounds, respectively, is already converting waste cooking oil into plasticisers for plastics and rubber, using a technology called Wastol-P. It says that the addition of Hydal technology is expected to further bolster the company’s position in the area of bioplastics. Hence, surprising discoveries on how food and biomass can be transformed into plastic materials continue to excite the industry, and in the long run pay heed to the environment. Vikas Ecotech is converting waste cooking oil into bioplastics like PHA AUGUST 2016









Defeating the recycling challenge and winning it Today’s recycling innovations enable wastage to become an integral part of environmental solutions. Featured are Dow’s latest compatibiliser for barrier films, a single-step process for recycling PC into PSU, a process for recycling landfilled plastic waste into hydrocarbon Plaxx, Erema’s Xtreme Renew recycling system for recycling rPET into preforms and Bühler’s latest sorting technology for rPET.


ailing competitors are all set to covet the win at the forthcoming Summer Olympics in August in Brazil. But the slew of rubbish could slow down or damage boats. While the raw sewage at Marina da Gloria has been cleaned up, out on Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, sailors are still encountering rubbish like plastic bags. Certainly, Australian champion sailors, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, would not want a repeat of the 2014 incident in Rio when a plastic bag had snagged on the foil of their dinghy. It almost cost them a gold medal when they dropped to last place after being forced to stop and clear the rubbish. They caught up enough places to secure the points to win gold, but it could have been disastrous. However, clean-up initiatives, are only winning part of the battle against marine pollution. A study by UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation finds that the more than 300 million tonnes of waste produced in 2014 could double over the next two decades. Today, waste gathered from clean-ups is no longer routed to dumpsites, and thanks to closed loop technologies for recycling, useful material is recovered, and most of it goes back to the manufacturing stream as virgin inputs. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Waste Reduction Model (WARM) says that an increase in recycling leads to a displacement of virgin sourced materials. Recycling common plastic types such as HDPE, PET and LDPE allows for as much as 90% of recovered materials.



While efforts to recycle waste plastics are flourishing, it is important to note that not all waste plastics are easily recycled. The EMF report reveals that globally, only 10% of the plastic produced is recycled. Recouping LDPE/PE barrier films One of the common materials that pose a challenge to recyclers is LDPE. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) explains that each of the resins used to produce films has unique properties that ideally should be preserved in the recycling process if film is going to be put to use in higher end applications. ACC says, “When an LLDPE stretch wrap and LDPE shrink wrap are mixed together, the material will not be acceptable for manufacturing new stretch or shrink wrap, but it probably will be acceptable for manufacturing plastic lumber, some agricultural films or even some high-gauge trash can liners and bags. What recyclers have to realise, though, is that as material moves down the chain, its value decreases.” Meanwhile, PE flexible barrier packaging, containing polar polymers such as EVOH or polyamide, has posed unique recycling challenges due to the variety of materials generally used as part of its make-up. But that is set to change, according to Dow Chemical with its RecycleReady technology that enables recycling of multi-material, multi-layered pouches, flow wrappers, and barrier films. It incorporates Retain polymer modifiers, a key enabler/barrier compatibiliser for the recyclability of the packages, according to Dow. Dow’s new technology allows for the recycling of stand-up pouches

Created through a collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and other industry members, Dow says its technology helps converters create barrier pouches that answer consumer demand for more recyclable

Recycling packaging options. Additionally, these recyclable flexible pouches incorporate multiple layers, but use only PE as the basic raw material. In North America, the RecycleReady technology has been approved by the SPC’s How2Recycle programme, thus allowing for a way to create flexible packaging that can be easily recycled through existing PE film recycle streams, such as grocery store drop-off programs in the US and Canada. Depolymerising PC into PSU Every year, the world generates more than 2.7 million tonnes of polycarbonates, to create common household items, such as CDs, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses and smartphone screens. Over time, polycarbonates decompose and leach Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that in 2008 caused retailers to pull plastic baby bottles from store shelves due to concerns about the potential effects of BPA on the brain. Researchers at IBM Research’s facility in San Jose, US, have developed a single-step chemical process for recycling PC waste and transforming it into another type of plastic known as polyarylethersulphone (PSU). In the study, researchers added a fluoride reactant, a base (similar to baking powder) and heat to old CDs to produce PSU, featuring temperature and chemical resistance superior to the original substance.

Research into recycling of PC items has found a new way of converting them into a useable resin known as PSU

When the powder is reconstructed into new forms, its strength prevents the decomposition process that causes BPA leaching. Researchers also used a combination of predictive modelling and experimental lab work to make the discovery, and according to the research company, the learning from research efforts will also be used to advance cognitive systems to help accelerate the materials discovery process. PSUs are high-performance engineering thermoplastics that are commonly used for reverse osmosis and water purification membranes, medical equipment, as well as high temperature applications.

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The process explained in this diagram

From waste plastic to fuel oil and feedstock Meanwhile, UK-based Recycling Technologies (RT) has developed a process for recycling end-of-life plastic into Plaxx, a valuable, clean hydrocarbon product that can also be used as chemical feedstocks. The company was spun out from the University of Warwick in 2011. In early 2013, it opened R&D and production facilities in Swindon to develop and manufacture the WarwickFBR, its patented modular recycling unit. Thereafter, it made its flagship machine, the RT7000, which utilises the WarwickFBR fluidised bed reactor, and has the ability to process up to 7,000 tonnes

of waste, converting it into 5,200 tonnes of Plaxx. The RT7000 is sized to allow it to be located at sites with residual plastic waste, for example a Material Recovery Facility. This distributed approach removes the need for costly transportation to centralised facilities, says RT. Solid at room temperature, Plaxx is easily transported for multiple uses. RT has teamed up with engineering consultancy Ricardo to assess the performance of Plaxx’s use as a chemical feedstock, paraffin wax, or as a clean and more sustainable fuel substitute for fossil-based heavy fuel oil (HFO) for heating, power generation or marine propulsion. The company funded its R&D projects through various government funding organisations, including the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and the Energy Catalyst grant with the University of West England (UWE), funded by Innovate UK; with additional support from other government funding organisations, such as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Plastic waste like this is a nuisance in marine littering

The RT7000, which utilises the WarwickFBR fluidised bed reactor, has the ability to process up to 7,000 tonnes of waste, converting it into 5,200 tonnes of Plaxx



Direct process for rPET into preforms; new sorting technology Due to the current low oil price, PET recycling is not profitable at the moment. Thus, in collaboration with Italian packaging solutions provider Sipa, Austrian recycling machinery maker Erema has introduced the Xtreme Renew recycling system, which enables direct processing of washed PET flakes to produce preforms.

Recycling Erema’s onestep process for preforms was shown recently. The Vacurema system that consists of a multipurpose reactor (MRS) is a major part of the system

The system uses Erema’s Vacurema system that consists of a multi-purpose reactor (MRS) that decontaminates, pre-dries and crystallises PET flakes before discharging it into a short, single-screw extruder. The MRS pre-treatment step removes moisture and other volatiles from the feedstock to prevent any hydrolytic and oxidative decomposition of the melt in the extruder. The extruder requires no additional degassing, which reduces the thermal stress on the material by minimising residence time and reducing energy use. The washed PET material is also already food contact compliant prior to extrusion The melt is then fed to Sipa’s Xtreme preform injection compression moulding system, which was introduced at K2013. It thus, makes preforms in a single step. Erema says some 1.2 million tonnes/year of PET products are already recycled around the world with its Vacurema technology for end products such as preforms for the beverage industry as well as for thermoforming sheet, fibres and strapping. The claim of adaptability applies likewise to Erema’s MRS system, which can be retrofitted to existing extrusion lines. As a result, Vacurema technology offers a high degree of flexibility in PET recycling, which is enhanced further through the successful collaboration between Erema and Sipa, say the firms. Meanwhile, removing same-colour polymer material from clear rPET flakes, such as clear PVC, PE and PP, has been a challenge for recyclers, as these resins cannot be visibly distinguished at such high processing speeds, without losing a lot of valuable flakes. Adding to this complexity, rPET flakes can be minute. Swiss family-owned company Bühler has introduced the Sortex E PolyVision technology that is able to identify same-colour polymer contaminants in rPET, by analysing their chemical signatures. It features a new, patent-pending lighting system, which uses optimum wavelengths for detection, as well as high definition colour cameras and ejectors to remove the flakes. It can also be used as a three-in-one sorter or combined with existing Sortex technologies, in a fully integrated sorting station, according to Bühler.

Also, the new equipment uses both transparent and reflective sorting methods simultaneously, reducing the contamination to below industry standards of 50 parts per million, says Bühler. The firm adds that its new equipment will enable recyclers to provide rPET flakes for high-end specifications, such as the packaging industry and the automotive industry, where the emphasis is on achieving the lowest contamination, measured in parts per million.

Bühler’s sorting technology is able to identify same-colour polymer contaminants in rPET

PET cans with metals not recyclable Meanwhile, after claims by plastic can manufacturers that their products are recyclable, the US-headquartered Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the international trade organisation representing the plastics recycling industry, says that a PET can with a metal lid contaminates the PET recycling stream. APR issued a statement “urging caution to those companies considering the use of plastic cans.” The state restrictions imposed by Maine, Illinois and Minnesota states were in response to production of plastic cans in the 1980s and their negative impact on the recycling process. These laws remain in effect today, and have led many companies to withdraw support of this type of container, says APR. APR added that although the PET portion of the can may be recyclable, the metal lid is seamed onto the PET. There are no practical solutions to separate the two materials in MRFs, rendering the entire container nonrecyclable. APR says it has created laboratory test methods used to assess the impact of new innovations to the recycling market as an integral part of the APR's Champions for Change programme. Companies use these tests to confirm their innovations do not interfere with recycling. Once testing requirements are met, those companies receive APR Critical Guidance Recognition. This process addresses the challenge of introducing packaging that is consistent with recycling technology, and APR encourages plastic can producers’ participation. “As the voice of Plastics Recycling, APR strives to solve industry challenges,” commented John Standish, APR Technical Director. “Because the plastic can is a significant contaminant to the plastic recycling stream, we encourage their producers to collaborate with APR to design packaging that is recyclable and sustainable,” he said. AUGUST 2016


Building & Construction Industry

Infrastructure: pipe market no more a pipe dream With increasing urbanisation, Southeast Asia is set to lead in infrastructure development. PricewaterhouseCoopers’s 2025 outlook on infrastructure spending cites that the Asian market will account for almost 60% of global infrastructure spending over the report period. The lucrative growth, especially in developing countries, will push demand for pipes and hoses. Global Industry Analyst (GIA) projects that the global market for pipes and pipe/hose fittings will be worth US$320 billion by 2020.


ipes are of critical economic importance, forming the structural foundation of water, fuel and gas distribution such as hot water heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Applications that require robustness of steel pipes are finding compatibility with plastic pipes, aided by technology advancements in manufacturing processes as well as material engineering. GIA states that demand for plastic pipes is also expected to be driven by their growing use in the installation of marine and mining pipelines. In addition, the adoption of trenchless installation of pipelines offers lucrative opportunities for the growth of large diameter plastic pipes.

Securing clean water via plastic pipes Access to safe water remains a challenge in Asia, where more than half the world’s population lives. Each person requires about 3,920 cu m of clean water/year. A report by the Asia Society Leadership Group estimates that more than a billion people or one out of six does not have access to safe water. The problem, if not addressed, will strike half the countries worldwide by 2025.



Given this plight for safe water, the importance of installing reliable infrastructure cannot be stressed enough. Persistence Market Research, in its study, explores the increasing use of plastic and competitive pipes for conveying potable water and wastewater. Plastic pipes, of HDPE, ABS, CPVC and PVC, offer advantages over steel due to the ability to safeguard water quality. Steel is prone to corrosion and thus compromises water quality and reduces the pipe’s hydraulic capacity. Whereas, plastic pipes offer long service life, low breakage rates, flexibility and resistance to degradation, and thus translate to lower maintenance costs, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). In the US, citing estimates of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), ACC says that 3-4% of national electricity consumption, or approximately 56 billion kW, is spent for pumping drinking water and wastewater services each year. However, plastic pipes reduce propane use as well as emissions, materials, time and labour necessary to maintain traditional pipes. Spanish firm Molecor, which specialises in the manufacture of PVC-O pipes for high pressure water conveying, has launched its 125 mm-diameter oriented-PVC (PVC-O) TOM pipe. The company developed the new pipe to provide an optimal technical and economical alternative for the design of hydraulic networks, and the development of new markets. The pipe is said to offer effective pressure strength under the required flow. “TOM pipes have the ability to intelligently manage the hydrological resources using new technology in the design of high-pressure water pipelines,” says the firm.

Molecor has introduced a new oriented PVC pipe size

Building & Construction Industry Molecor has already achieved an important milestone becoming the “worldwide pioneer” in the manufacturing of oriented-PVC pipe with diameters of 500, 630 and 800 mm, the company says. The molecular orientation process provides the TOM pipe with improved mechanical and hydraulic characteristics compared with other materials used in existing pipelines. It also provides PVC-O pipes with significant advantages in the quality of the product, installation and use. TOM pipes also offer a smaller environmental footprint compared with other pipe materials, contributing to sustainability, says Molecor.

Unicor’s UC 36 G2 corrugator allows the production of corrugated pipes with 4.8-36 mm diameters with speeds of up to 60 m/minute. With 80 pairs of mould blocks, it can reach production outputs for PVC corrugated pipes (cable conduit) of up to 250 kg/hour. Now, the four external sides of the mould blocks are uniformly cooled, providing uniform heat distribution. Adjustments have also become a thing of the past thanks to a mechanical solution for the mould blocks

Green Building: challenge for safer pipes Meanwhile, today’s billion-dollar infrastructure industry is more competitive than ever, with the trend shifting towards sustainable or green infrastructure. Research company Lucintel, in its analysis on the global plastic pipe market 20152020, suggests that aside from infrastructure, the boom in residential and commercial construction will pave the way for market growth for plastic pipes through 2020. It points to Asia Pacific as the largest market over the report period. Notwithstanding the benefits offered by plastic pipes, improvements are needed to ensure that water quality is preserved. US-based National Science Foundation has carried out a study and finds that several types of NSFI Standard 61-certified plastic pipes in green buildings in the US leach chemicals into drinking water that can cause odours and sometimes exist at levels that may exceed health standards. Also, some chemicals released by plumbing pipes are found to transform into carcinogens; while other leached chemicals encourage bacterial growth. These green buildings use pipes made of crosslinked PE (PEX), HDPE, PVC, cPVC and PE for drinking water distribution because they are light, inexpensive, easy to install and have longer life cycles. Moreover, manufacturing plastic pipes uses less energy and thus produces less CO2 than making metal pipes, which make them befitting for green buildings. But the leaching of chemicals is a concern that is yet to be addressed by manufacturers and green building proponents. The green building trend, thus, is prompting the industry to adopt eco-friendly pipes and hose fittings. The development of lead-free pipes can benefit the market, GIA reports, adding that ecofriendly friendly pipes could succeed demand for conventional PVC pipes.

pipes with diameters up to 1,800 mm, the company has released two new die heads for multi-layer manufacturing. The SWP 58-2L is a modularly constructed die head designed for the manufacture of electrical conduits. Both single-layer and double-layer conduits can therefore be produced with PE/PP/PA and PVC/ABS materials. The TWP series, developed for the production of double wall corrugated pipes, particularly for underground use, allows the pipe manufacturer to use recycled granulates while maintaining the colour classification of the pipe types. To accomplish this, a new distribution system provides a symmetric pre-distribution, which in turn provides the thinnest cover layers and optimal colour coverage. German-Austrian firm battenfeld-cincinnati , a technology leader in the portfolio of solutions for large diameter pipe extrusion, will introduce a newly-developed series of single-screw extruder, solEX NG for PO pipe lines with diameters of up to 2.6 m, at the upcoming K2016 show in Germany in October.

New machinery for pipes Germany-headquartered Unicor is known for its advanced corrugation technology and components and die heads for extruding corrugated pipes. Alongside its existing die heads, such as those for the production of wastewater and drainage

Battenfeld-cincinnati will show its latest solEX NG series at K2016. A crosssection of the barrel illustrates the internal design of the new processing unit, with differently shaped grooves designed to meet the specific requirements of each section AUGUST 2016


Building & Construction Industry Developed on the basis of the solEX 40 D extruder series, this new generation features a new processing unit, with barrels, screws, and grooved bush completely redesigned. The major changes are an internally grooved barrel, a screw concept that consistently applies the theory of dispersive melting, as well as a feed zone with a completely revised geometry and fitted with spiral grooves. All three components are ideally matched, thus enabling a further improvement in the process. It is available in four sizes (60, 75, 90 and 120 mm) and offers outputs ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 kg/hour – an increase of up to 25% for each machine size compared to the original solEX series. Benefits include an increase in melt capacity and a reduction in melt temperature in the extruder by up to 10°C for comparable outputs, while the melt homogeneity remains consistent. The modification in the conveying mechanism reduces the axial pressure profile in the feed zone and the barrel, thus reducing pressure across the entire system and enabling an increase in output. In addition, higher amounts of regrind can be processed without impairing the process behaviour. Energy cost savings of up to 15% are possible since less drive energy is required and, secondly, due to the cooling of barrel and grooved bush significantly less heat discharge is necessary. As the basic structure of the extruder was retained from the previous series, existing solEX models can be retrofitted with the NG processing unit. Meanwhile, also at K2016, German machine maker KraussMaffei Berstorff will showcase a custom solution for its 36D twin-screw extruder series, designed for extrusion of U-PVC pipes. By combining two KMD 108-36 E2/R twin-screw extruders, and the latest KM-RK 23-250 pipe head designed for large diameters with high output, with features such as flow channel volume and mandrel ridges for optimum flow, it will show the production of pipes at an output of up to 2,000 kg/hour.

KraussMaffei Berstorff will show a solution for PVC pipe production with minimum space requirements at K2016



Amut’s line for large size multi-layer PPR pipes with glass fibre

An advantage is that the space required is reduced by about one-third. The main focus is on the long preheating length, which ensures a balanced combination of shearing energy and heating energy, optimal material processing and improved melt homogeneity - in addition to low compression values in the throttle zones. Optimal wear-resistance is guaranteed by the deep-nitrided barrels and the molybdenum welded layer on the screw threads, which allow higher-filled PVC compounds to be processed. Energy-savings are another benefit, lower compared to a larger extruder that uses the twinstrand, saving 0.02 kW per hour/kg of material throughput compared to a KMD 164-32/R. Italian machine maker Amut has sold to a primary European pipe producer dedicated to hot and cold water ducting for civil and industrial applications a line able to produce pipes with diameter up to 630 mm for the production of multilayer-pipes in PP with glass fibre. The glass fibre improves the elastic module of the pipe, reducing the thermal expansion. Pipe installation costs are lower than the ones for traditional pipes because pipe support is reduced during installation. The line is composed of three single screw-extruders, EA75 AMUT model, L/D 35:1, and one co-extruder EA20 for the coloured strips. The extruder for the inner layer is equipped with anti-abrasion treated screw and barrel to process the glass fibre. It also has a special head designed for processing large-sized pipes and different configurations: three-layer with spiral-helical distribution system. The head is thermoregulated through a dedicated TCU keeping accurate temperature during the production process (TERAX system). The pipe head is equipped with INRAF system for the internal cooling of the pipe. This energy saving concept allows the reduction of the number of cooling tanks, improving the dimensional quality of the pipe.

Building & Construction Industry Manholes made of PP for sewerage systems Ettlinger has supplied its 2,500-tonne 2500/120 injection moulding machine, with a maximum shot volume of 120 l, to a European processor to manufacture PP sewer manholes with a diameter of up to 1,000 mm. The modular manholes comprise an entrance cone, shaft ring, and shaft bottom, adding up to an overall height of several meters. The shaft bottom, which was moulded during the machine acceptance test, weighs 62 kg. The newly commissioned SRM2500 is the second machine purchased by this client to expand its capacity for sewer manholes. The manufacturer of the PP sewer manholes was also swayed by several other points in the machine’s favour including the compact plasticisation unit and short clamping system that are combined in a single twin-platen machine, making an overall length that is 30% less than for a conventional machine with the same shot weight. At the same time, the tiebarless open space provides optimal accessibility from the side for removing moulded products or changing the mould. The manhole components are large and heavy, which is why an industrial robot is needed to remove them. Sewer systems not only have to comply with extremely strict safety requirements; they must also be built to last. Compared to concrete – the

Ettlinger’s machine has a maximum shot volume of 120,000 cu cm and is designed to optimise the moulding of PP sewer manhole systems

material traditionally used to make manholes, PP is more resistant to aggressive media, both acid and alkali, as well as being non-corroding. Even hot sewage up to 60°C (or 90°C for short periods) is not a problem. At the same time, expert assessments have attested to a useful life of up to 100 years for PP sewer systems.

European Plastics Industry

Upfront with growth, Brexit, Industry 4.0 Despite a host of issues, ranging from marine waste to multiple force majeures at materials suppliers, the European plastics industry is in a good state of health, against the backdrop of growth; Industry 4.0 and a circular economy. But a looming issue is that the recent Brexit vote may have turned the table for UK’s plastics industry, with the lack of skills to affect it in the future. European machinery associations report slight growths Europe is the world’s second largest producer of plastics after China and prospects appear to be improving, with trade associations reporting growth. Even in Italy, where consumption has been flat at best for some time, equipment association Assocomaplast, at its recent annual assembly, reported that 2015 was a good year for most companies: while production increased, exports witnessed further growth to over EUR2.9 billion, exceeding the record set in 2007 (pre-crisis) for sales abroad. Italy’s National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) data on foreign trade of machinery, equipment and moulds for plastics and rubber for the first quarter of 2016 show stable exports, compared to the same period in 2015. This trend is attributable to equipment like extruders, flexographic printers, and injection moulding machines, says the association. Geographically, a positive trend is noted in the EU markets (Spain +27%, Czech Republic +17%, UK +15%, France +14%), with the notable exception of Poland, where sales declined by 25% in the first quarter of 2015. A major export market for Italians, Germany, remained unchanged at just over EUR91 million. Meanwhile, sales declined to the US and especially Mexico, respectively, by 6% and 56%; while exports to Brazil tripled, approaching EUR20 million, while those to China remained stable at just under EUR30 million. Meanwhile, Germany’s plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers association VDMA expects sales to increase by 2% in real terms in the current year with a further 2% rise anticipated for 2017. In 2015, output was up by 4.7% and exports were 1.6% higher. German plastics and rubber machinery exports went to 162 countries in 2015.



In terms of markets, it says that the US is the biggest, followed by China, Poland and Mexico. “Deliveries to Russia were down by a further 15%, India has bottomed out and there are also positive signs in all the countries of Southeast Asia.” Although export volumes were slightly ahead of the previous year’s level (EUR4.7 billion), Germany’s share of the rapidly growing world trade in plastics and rubber machinery declined to 22.2%. Challenges: unstable materials supply; high energy costs Plastics processors across the continent last year found difficulties in obtaining raw materials. Several major polyolefin plants in Europe stood still for extended periods and global economic and trade framework conditions made it difficult for processors to obtain materials on international markets. These factors included not only the relative weak Euro against the US dollar, but also continued strong demand for plastics in Asia and the US. Indications are that price volatility should be lower this year, however. The situation led to umbrella trade association European Plastics Converters (EuPC) establishing the Alliance for Polymers for Europe, to “provide detailed information on the current polymer market and help assist raw material users through its network of national plastics associations, as well as assist companies in requesting suspension of certain EU import duties to relieve shortages on polymer markets.” In February, The Polymers for Europe Alliance launched its online Europe-wide customers’ satisfaction survey to award the best polymer producers for Europe. Energy costs are also very important for the whole of the plastics industry. Companies across the German industry have been particularly vocal in their complaints – prices are among the highest in Europe – and the German chemical industry is also concerned about its falling international competitiveness, especially versus North American companies who have the advantage of shale gas. The circular economy On top of concerns about materials and energy supply, there is also growing awareness in Europe that more needs to be done about use, reuse, and preservation of precious plastics. Late last year, the European Commission adopted what it says is an ambitious new “Circular Economy Package” (CEP), which it says will “contribute to closing the loop of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy.”

European Plastics Industry industrial revolution – and the German government’s plan to make sure German industry is at its forefront. Proponents of Industry 4.0 say it represents a paradigm shift from centralised to decentralised production. For plastics processors, too, the digitisation of the industry and new digital technologies offer new perspectives and advantages. UK’s plastics sector The UK accounted for 7.7% of Europe’s overall plastics demand of 47.8 tonnes in 2014, based on trade association PlasticsEurope’s data. The UK uses over 5 million tonnes/year of plastics in the packaging, construction and automotive markets. As one of Europe’s top plastics processors, UK is estimated to produce approximately 2.5 million tonnes/ year of plastics raw materials. The UK plastics sector, which Circular Economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility comprises 3,000 primary and value at all times, says Ellen MacArthur Foundation processors, contributes £17.5 The Commission has proposed revisions to legislation billion/year of sales value and provides employment to on waste. Key elements include a common EU target for 180,000 workers or 7% of UK’s manufacturing workforce, recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030 and a ban on according to the British Plastics Federation (BPF) study “UK landfilling of separately collected waste. Plastics Industry: A Strategic Manufacturing Sector”. “Less than 25% of plastic waste collected is recycled, Yet, as the industry grows, the skills gap is widening. and about 50% goes to landfill,” says the Commission. A general lack of training and apprenticeships, emergence PlasticsEurope has expressed concerns: "The of technologies and the appropriate skills needed are European plastics industry has been calling for a legally looming in the plastics manufacturing sector. The binding landfill restriction on all recyclable as well widening gap could become harder to fill now with the as other recoverable post-consumer waste by 2025. UK exiting from the European Union (EU) via the “Leave”/ Although a 10% target constitutes a step in the right Brexit vote in the recently concluded referendum. direction, it remains a timid attempt to put an end to the Central to the Brexit issue has been the flow of landfilling of all waste which can be used a resource.” migrants into the country. Even with foreign workers European Bioplastics (EUBP), the trade association comprising part of its manufacturing workforce, the skills for suppliers of biobased plastics, was more enthusiastic gap has been a dilemma for UK’s sector. In 2014, Britain's about the report. It says that “forward looking sectors with strong environmental credentials and growth potential, such as bioplastics, need to be promoted.” It predicts that by 2025 production capacities of bioplastics within the EU will have grown twentyfold to 5.7 million tonnes. Not just a buzzword Despite all these concerns, the European plastics industry has its eyes firmly fixed on the future. Many European machinery companies are likely to have the number 4.0 highly visible on their stands at K2016 exhibition in Germany, to be held from 19-26 October, as they push their solutions for “smart” factories that operate within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The 4.0 refers to Industry 4.0, a term invented in Germany in reference to what is perceived as the fourth

Machine makers like Engel will present Industry 4.0 at K2016 in October later this year



European Plastics Industry business secretary Vince Cable cautioned against workers not having the required ability and workers approaching retirement that needed to be replaced and how this could adversely impact the sector. A recent Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) report finds that nearly four out of five, or 73% of UK manufacturing firms, are affected by a shortage of skills. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), a publicly-funded, industry-led organisation providing leadership on skills and employment issues across the UK, also reported of about 35% of ‘hard-to-fill’ vacancies in the manufacturing sector, which has persisted since 2013. Meanwhile, managing consulting firm Deloitte Consulting’s 2014 study shows that of the top five European cities, London, England’s capital city, is targeted by 46.5% of highly skilled workers. London-based Senior Partner at Deloitte, Angus Knowles-Cutler, also opined that London is more central to the economy of Europe (than New York is to the economy of North America), and thus attracts the largest proportion of high-skilled talent. According to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data of the UK Labour Market report released 15 June, nonUK nationals working in UK stands at 3.34 million, an increase of 229,000 between January-March this year, against the same period a year ago. The increase reflects the admission of several new member states to the EU, ONS stated. With the Brexit, EU workers in the UK could exit the country, thus causing a ripple effect to the pool of skills. This could mean wages and training/recruiting costs will have to increase to attract skilled workers. As well, UK will have to compete with lower cost of labour offered in Eastern Europe, for example. Conversely, immigration restrictions may be applied to EU workers wanting to work in the UK. Dwindling vote of confidence for automotive makers UK is an important financial and investment centre of Europe and preferred manufacturing base for some of the largest companies in the world. Deloitte states in its 2014 study that London hosts 40% of the world’s largest companies; while 60% of top non-European companies with European headquarters are based in London. The edge UK has as a gateway to investments for single-market Europe has dissolved with the Brexit, observers say. Further, there is concern for businesses relocating elsewhere to Europe. France’s capital, Paris, which is the location for 19% of highly skilled workers in the EU, is stepping in and offering itself to international businesses at the crossroads of opting to relocate to either Dublin (Ireland), Frankfurt (Germany), or Paris, after the Brexit.

With Brexit, the UK faces a skills shortage in its manufacturing sector



The automotive sector in the UK, which levers the island nation’s opportune business environment, is seen to be hit by the skills gap. In the 2015 automotive analysis developed by the Automotive Council for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), it was forecast that by 2020, the UK will be producing 2 million vehicles/year, a significant leap from the current total of 1.5 million vehicles/year. According to the report, over 5,000 jobs related to vehicle and engine producers could be created, along with up to 28,000 in the supply chain, by the early 2020s. The caveat is that these figures represent a scenario of UK remaining with the EU. The report affirms that the number of jobs that would be created would translate to vacancies in the automotive sector. Not only will this situation lead to a disruption in business operations, but recruitment of critical positions, especially of skilled engineers, will become a challenge. The report sets out a range of recommendations to tackle the skills shortage. These include the implementation of a co-ordinated approach to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in schools, as well businesses ensuring that apprenticeship opportunities on offer from the government are maximised. The post-Brexit scenario, however, is different. Large automotive makers like General Motors, Ford and Toyota may take another way out by exiting the country. Being out of the EU could see export tariffs of vehicles rise by as much as 10% and for automotive parts, up to 2.7%. These could represent losses to UK-based car makers, and at worst, impede the competitiveness of UK’s automotive sector. Patching up the skills gap While skills are a backbone of the UK industry, there are other areas that may be strengthened to compensate for the skills gap. UK can leverage on advanced manufacturing that utilises enabling technologies and computerisation of production processes. The UKCES also recommends a “shift to shorter production runs and more tailored products, which is being driven by customer demand and facilitated by new manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and plastic electronics.” Reprioritising other key issues in the plastics industry could also deter the potential impact of the skills gap. Apart from developing a skilled and educated workforce, a number of other key issues are deemed critical to be addressed by stakeholders and the government. These include tapping on export opportunities and inward investment; access to a secure supply of feedstock at stable prices; sensible legislation and taxation to encourage growth and competitiveness; promoting the benefits of plastics, as well as countering misinformation about plastics; and intensifying R&D, according to BPF. Lastly, for the nation that invented polyethylene in the 1930s, pioneered the use of polyester for the manufacture of PET, and which is a long-standing leader in technologies used in plastics-related industries, the UK has the cuttingedge capabilities for its plastics sector to remain buoyant. The industry may be in the midst of the Brexit storm, but that too can be weathered, say observers.

Injection Moulding Asia Energy

Economic opportunities for smart grids in Asia Smart Grid technology can help Asia’s power

Southeast Asia: prime investment for Smart Grid argeting power efficiency requires amped up infrastructure. Latest technologies provide better access to electricity and enable consumers to maximise the benefits of having stable and sufficient power supply for homes, businesses and utilities. The increase of investments into the Smart Grid technology in the region is expected to meet the increasing demand for higher delivery quality of electricity, not only to households but to power enterprises. This need is especially significant in ventures that involve machinery, transportation and communication, which are the key drivers to industry growth. Southeast Asia is a centriole for Smart Grid. The study report released by US-based market research firm, Northeast Group, covering the periods 2016-2026, says that the region’s maturing Smart Grid market provides progressive potential for power consumers and vendors alike. The regional study, which covers nine countries that include Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, states that nearly US$25 billion will be invested into Smart Grids over the next decade. Along with the installation of Smart Grid technologies, the directions towards it also mean that governments have to lay out Smart Grid roadmaps and deployment plans. Singapore has already begun deploying Smart Grid, and other countries are following, including Malaysia, which has set deployment plans for rolling out over 8 million of so-called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) metres. Thailand has put up a number of pilot projects that will total over 1 million AMI metres. The rest of the region is being supported by external aid to start Smart Grid deployment, the report says. Southeast Asia is found to have the highest projected GDP growth rate of all emerging Smart Grid markets, outside China and India. All the countries, except for Singapore and Thailand, will see GDP growth rates average near or above 5% per year through 2020, Northeast Group predicts, but it also says that these high GDP growth rates are not guaranteed, and will present structural, political, and social challenges to Southeast Asian countries.


sector to meet the region’s mounting electricity demand, sustainably and economically, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Extra demand for electricity in Asian households long with the growing industrialisation, the increasing urbanisation is also putting more demand on the power sector. A US Environment Information Administration (EIA) report indicates that the power sector accounts for 52% of the increase in primary energy demand in Southeast Asia in the New Policies Scenario offered in the report. The latter serves as the baseline scenario of the EIA, taking into account the policies and plans set by respective countries, highlighting its importance in the overall energy outlook. Southeast Asia’s final electricity consumption, which excludes transmission losses and other non-final uses, is also rising by 4.2% per year on average, over the period 2011-2030 covered in the report. Citing, too, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Energy Outlook 2013 report, the region’s electricity demand is pegged to more than double between 2010-2035, reaching 16,169.2 TWh in 2035. ADB adds that this requires energy generation, transmission and distribution processes to adopt climate-smart initiatives and more efficient ways of balancing the demand and supply requirements of energy services. Of the major end-use sectors, household consumption of electricity is increasing the fastest, and being induced by higher standards of living owing to the increasing GDP, urbanisation and expanding access to electricity. Meanwhile, market demand for electricity in the entire Asia Pacific region is also at high levels owing to the rising consuming sectors in the region, Technavio stated in its global instrument transformer market report, covering the periods 2016-2020. Private players in the power sector play key role in sustaining the efficient production and distribution of electricity; and thus help lower the total cost of electricity and promote fair market competition in the sector.


1 AU G U ST 2 016

Injection Moulding Asia Energy Smart start for Asia – energy internet uawei, a global information and communications technology (ICT) firm based in China, expounds on how Smart Grid enables energy efficiency and sustainability through their brand of innovative ICT solutions. At a recent Intelligent Power Grid Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand, and attended by more than 300 guests, Huawei, together with Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) presented the opportunities in intelligent electricity networks. The presenters, likewise, tackled the necessity to meet the demand for power and at the same time addressed the bid to lop carbon emissions. Zhang Lin, President of the Huawei Enterprise Business Group in Southeast Asia, said in his welcome speech, “Power companies are exploring new production and business models to address these challenges in a sustainable, reliable and economic way. Digital transformation will be critical to enabling these new capabilities.” Huawei has been a partner to the electric power industry for more than 20 years now, providing products and solutions being deployed by over 160 electric power companies in 65 countries around the world. In 2014, Huawei brought forward the idea of building a “better connected grid”, and has since launched to become the only ICT solutions provider among the members of the Global Energy Interconnection Development & Cooperation Organisation (GEIDCO).

Huawei’s Ji says that the firm is adopting a 1-2-1 strategy transformation in the power industry and advancing in energy internet systems


accurate line loss analysis, while enabling citizens to adjust their power consumption based on the realtime price of electricity. Huawei adopts a 1-2-1 strategy transformation in power industry and advancement in the energy internet.” The 1-2-1 strategy, he said, involves Internet of Things (IoT) connection management platform that is fully open to third-parties and partners and creates value for the whole industry. Two connection modes: wired and wireless, including OneAir-IoT and broadband Power-line communication (PLC); and LiteOS IoT operating system, enable partners to quickly and efficiently build their own IoT products. “Countries across Asia have announced plans to develop ICT infrastructure to tackle global challenges. Initiatives such as the Made-in-China 2025, Intelligent Nation in Singapore, Smart Japan and Smart Community in Malaysia, to cite a few, make ICT a crucial part of their country’s strategy to thrive and compete in the global landscape,” Ji told PRA. He also cited how Singapore, “has dramatically evolved both economically and socially, since the announcement of its ‘Intelligent Nation 2015’ master plan in 2006.” “(The country) is set to become the world’s first Smart Nation. Powered by smart ICT technology deployed in buildings, highways and infrastructure, Singapore delivers high quality citizen services and efficient systems to drive e-commerce while ensuring sustainability for the future,” Ji said. As for the region’s power sector players, Ji shares this advice: “To compete effectively, power companies need cloud-based business models to gain the speed and agility to create new services and opportunities that engage customers. Huawei provides these solutions to build an open, flexible and secure platform, while achieving a sustainable and win-win ecosystem. Huawei has also focused on developing breakthrough solutions based on new ICT including cloud, big data, IoT, and Software-Defined Networks (SDN) to help power companies accelerate digital transformation.”

PEA’s Sermsakool Klaikaew and Huawei’s Zhang Li at the summit held in July in Bangkok

Jerry Ji, President of Energy Industry, Enterprise Business Group at Huawei, added, “A fully-connected energy internet will maximise the potential and value of electrical devices. The energy internet will allow cities to achieve power consumption forecasts, peak load shifting, and 2 AU G U ST 2 016

Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry A power-sustainable Thailand nergy security is one of the major factors why Smart Grid is befitting as a viable solution. As in all industrialising and emerging economies, Thailand is also addressing energy sufficiency as well as efficiency. Industry sectors are seeking assurances that the energy situation will be the least of their problems. Soonchai Kumnoonsate, immediate past Governor of state-owned power utility enterprise, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), vouched for the country’s electricity system in 2015 as stable, generating a total capacity of 38,774 MW. This could be divided into domestic power generation of 35,387 MW or 91%; and 9% or 3,387 MW imported from neighbouring countries. The electricity peak demand reached 27,346 MW, a 1.5% increase from the previous year, he added. More than half the electricity generation is from natural gas (69%), followed by coal (20%), hydropower (8%), renewable energy (2.4%), and other sources (0.6%). Meanwhile, Thailand’s booming economy is also accelerating its power consumption. In the latest EGAT data, the country’s mid-April demand peaked at a record 28,351.7 MW; followed by a more recent peak demand occurring during the workday after the new year festival (Songkran) that usually had “more power consumption in industry, service and household sectors,” according to EGAT. Nevertheless, EGAT ensures it can meet the country’s demand, with sufficient electricity capacity and fuel supply coming from its operating plants located in 45 sites across the country. As well as power generation facilities consisting of three thermal power plants, six combined cycle power plants, 24 hydropower plants, eight renewable energy plants, and four diesel power plants. This is not including a nationwide-coverage high voltage transmission network that it owns and operates. Amid the assurances given, a report says that, to meet the increasing demand, Thailand may still purchase about 9,000 MW electricity from Laos this year (or an increase of 30% from

Energy the usual 7,000 MW per year the country buys, as per the 2007 deal signed between the two countries, which expired last year).


Wiwiek Roberto PT Pamerindo Indonesia Jakarta T: +62 21 2525 320 F: +62 21 2525 482 E:

Carolyn Lee International Expo Management Pte Ltd Singapore T: +65 6233 6777 F: +65 6233 6768 E:

Marek Szandrowski Overseas Exhibition Services Ltd London T: +44 (0)20 7840 2108 F: +44 (0)20 7840 2119

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Injection Moulding Asia Energy Likewise, working towards a more secure energy situation for Thailand is Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA). The utility sector player’s current metering system covers some 18 million customers in the residential and commercial/industrial categories, according to Pongsakorn Yuthagovit, PEA’s Deputy Director of System Planning. PEA is responsible for the generation, procurement, distribution and sale of electricity to the public, business and industrial sectors in 74 provinces, comprising 99.4% of Thailand, except Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakarn provinces. At the Smart Grid Summit, PEA talked about its on-going study to deploy the Smart Grid. In a nutshell, the PEA Smart Grid is a “utility information and communication technology to manage, monitor and control the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy.” The PEA Smart Grid Roadmap has three stages to produce the desired benefits for its threefold goals of Smart energy, Smart life, and Smart community. Stage 1 (2012-2016) is allotted for planning and pilot project; Stage 2 (2017-2021) is targeted for large scale expansion; and Stage 3 (2022-2026) is what is called the optimal stage. Meanwhile, PEA’s partnership with Huawei is also paving way for an innovation centre. Its location is yet to be identified, according to Wallop Kittiwiwat, Assistant Governor of PEA, who also said that other details on this plan are being formed. “The PEA-Huawei Innovation Centre is the first of its kind delivered by Huawei specifically for the power industry. We will partner to drive innovations around Power Communication Network, Power IoT, Power Cloud Computing, big data and eLTE, demonstrating what is possible

in Southeast Asia’s power industry,” Huawei’s Ji replied, when asked if the centre will also serve other countries in the region, adding that Thailand has been the company’s Southeast Asia headquarters for 18 years now. Additionally, Ji disclosed that other developments were being lined up. “We have signed an MOU with Thailand’s Information and Technology Department, where we will share our global ICT experience to advance Thailand’s digital economy. Later this year, we will launch our OPENLAB project with Thailand to support SMEs and emerging companies across diverse industries. This OPEN-LAB is part of Huawei’s Innovation Lab System, which is supported by other leading industry players to find the best ICT solutions for the market.” Expanding its reach in the region to harness cost savings side from Thailand, Huawei also provides support to other APAC countries. “Huawei has established a significant presence in Southeast Asia. Our Smart Grid technologies are also deployed in Australia, Malaysia, Laos and India. In the future, we aim to help power companies throughout the region drive smart and responsive digital networks that make possible new services and growth opportunities,” Ji said. Meanwhile, Ji said that the Smart Grid can match the accelerating economic growth and energy needs across Southeast Asian countries, economically yet viably sustainable. Ji explained: “A fully-connected Power IoT has significant implications for the entire power industry. It will help enable power consumption forecasts, peak load shifting, and accurate line loss analysis, while allowing citizens to adjust their power consumption based on the real-time price of electricity. For instance, with the deployment of Huawei’s Power IoT solution, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) in Nigeria increased its meter instalments by 300%, reduced its line loss rate from 45% to 14%, and enabled convenient electricity payment,” in reply to PRA’s questions about cost values of utilising this technology.


Benefits of the Smart Grid for PEA

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Injection Moulding Asia Taiwanese Machinery Industry

Machinery makers update their technology Taiwan produced US$1.3 billion worth of plastics

Chen said FCS officials had a discussion with the German drive systems maker Knödler at the K2013 show in Germany, and thus followed the cooperation. FCS will also be the first machine maker in Taiwan applying the Knödler gearbox and drive system for its machine. Other features include the Keba controller from Austria, Phase servomotor from Italy and NSK ball screw from Japan, for both the clamping and injection units. The company also says the 300-tonne machine will have the same mould loading capacity as a 400-tonne model. But it is not the first all-electric injection moulding machine for FCS. It did go down this path with a 50-tonne model in 2005 but abandoned it because of the high costs as a result of using Japanese components.

and rubber machinery in 2015 and the country is the world’s top six producers, says the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). The aim of Taiwanese machinery makers is to enter the top ten ranking in the world. The 15th edition of Taipeiplas, to be held from 12-16 August at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre, will have some 500 exhibitors showcasing in 2,800 booths.

Export value of Taiwan’s general machinery and plastics and rubber machinery in 2015 and 2014

FCS to enter all-electric injection moulding machine market n the holy grail trail of launching an all-electric injection moulding machine with a competitive price to boot, to compete with European and Japanese allelectric machine makers, Taiwanese injection moulding machine maker Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture (FCS) will introduce a 300-tonne model at the Taipeiplas show. “It will be a new design with the HSR model name,” said David Chen, Executive Director, adding, “We will use Knödler drives for injection speed and to provide a rigid and stable design.” He also said, “We will introduce a 450-tonne model after this and hope to add on more models later.” At the previous Tapeiplas show in 2014, FCS Deputy CEO Alan Wang told PRA that while most all-electric machine makers use belts and drives, that FCS would use a gearbox for the injection unit.


Export Value (Unit: US$1,000)



Plastics and Rubber Machinery



General Machinery



Top ten export countries for Taiwan’s plastics and rubber machinery in 2014 Rank Country

Export Value (Unit: US$1,000)



































Hong Kong







FCS, which last year became the only public-traded injection moulding machinery manufacturer in Taiwan, will also show a 350-tonne two-component HB-R machine, a series developed in 2012 with a clamping force of up to 1,900 tonnes. This series combines the structure of a twoplaten and two-component model, the horizontal rotary table, stack mould, and the servopower-saving technology.

FCS’s all-electric machine, seen here under construction in the factory that was shown to journalists during a pre-Taipeiplas trip in March

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Injection Moulding Asia Taiwanese Machinery Industry Furthermore, FCS says it will integrate with the HB-350RV machine a new patented moulding technology from Japan-based Nihon Yuki. Known as Vent, the screw/barrel technology does away with the predrying/heating of plastic materials. The 350-tonne machine, to be displayed at Taipeiplas, is able to cover the same mould loading capacity as a traditional 1,000tonne two-component machine. It will be displayed with a Kuka six-axis robot and its so-called Hungry Feeder material feeder system. It will be shown producing twocomponent parts for the application of car sunroofs. The Tainan-headquartered company, which claims leadership in the injection moulding machine market in Taiwan, will also showcase the second generation 500tonne two-platen hybrid electric machine. The LN series was first developed in 2006 with a clamping force of up to 3,200 tonnes, but only recently has FCS seen a heightened interest in the series, with 60 units sold in the last three years. Despite its long clamping stroke, its compact design can save of 20% to 30% floor space making it suitable for products with deep depth. Furthermore, there is no toggle structure needed, while the clamping unit requires less lubrication and maintenance. With the all-electric injection unit, the mould opening speed is faster, allowing for a reduced cycle time, says FCS. With a Kuka six-axis robot, FCS will be showing a LN-900SV producing in one-cavity a small beach table with a weight of around 1.4 g. Chen also said the two-platen structure will gradually replace the traditional and huge three-platen machine design, and will also be “more small and mediumsized.” He also boldly claims the LN series is running “neck and neck with European brands.” FCS will enter this machine in the Design Award at Taipeiplas.

“We will now introduce a 10-tonne, four-cavity, double-station model with a Teco servomotor, with a capacity of 1,500 pieces/hour for 200 ml shampoo bottles and will look at producing other models in the future.” The company reported a turnover of US$35 million last year and exports 81% of its output to more than 110 countries. The Tainan-headquartered firm counts Asia as its top destination (25%), followed by South America. Its target this year is a turnover of US$37 million from its five major product lines that include blow moulding machinery (50%) and others (50%) like cast film/sheet making and blown film lines for the agriculture sector as well as to produce plastic bags. The representative also said that since the company focuses on customisation, it make 60 units/year in Taiwan. It also expanded its Taiwanese factory three years ago. Chen Hsong breaks record for large tonnage machinery ong Kong-headquartered Chen Hsong Holding has made inroads in the large injection machine sector since 2007, when it first launched its large-tonnage twoplaten product line, thus setting in motion a new market trend for the automotive sector. In 2012, it shipped the first 4,500-tonne, servodriven machine made in China to Europe; in 2014, it shipped its first 6,500-tonne machine to Israel. These machine exports broke records for largetonnage injection moulding machine made in China and, in the case of the 6,500-tonner, the whole of Asia, said a representative.


Fong Kee to show all-electric blow moulder anufacturer of blow moulding and film lines (sheet extrusion, blown film, cast film and extrusion lamination) Fong Kee International Machinery (FKI), is also jumping on the bandwagon of electric machinery. It will introduce an all-electric blow moulding machine at Taipeiplas. Though this is not its first foray as it did produce an all-electric model previously but the costs of production were high making it an expensive machine, said a representative of the company.


At Chen Hsong’s facility in Tainan, it has three lines to assemble 50-3,000 tonne-machinery

This year, the company says it has received a new order for a second 6,500-tonne two-platen machine with twin injection systems for an “international” customer. When shipped, that will bring the company’s tally of exported 6,500-tonne machines to two – and the only two from China, it claims. The firm, which produces around 15,000 machines/year and has customers in more than 80 countries with facilities in Shenzhen, China, and Taoyuan, Taiwan, boasts clients in markets like Mexico, where the automotive sector has shifted from Brazil, especially for its two-platen machinery.

Fong Kee focuses on customisation and produces 60 machines/year

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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry

Taiwanese Machinery Industry

“We have US$1.5 million orders in hand, and even supply to Turkey, a market that is considered better compared to Europe since automotive makers are still investing in the country. Iran is another growth market for us since sanctions were lifted,” said the representative. For Taipeiplas, officials were not forthcoming with the exhibit, only revealing that it would be an in-mould labelling machine. Its 2015 sales turnover reached US$50 million, with officials hinting at 10-15% higher sales in the next fiscal year.

of the splitter is simultaneously produced from PC. The cycle time is around 25 seconds and the moulded part weight is 22 g. Removal and assembly of the upper and lower sections is performed by a linear Multilift Select robotic system.

A 100-tonne Allrounder Golden Electric machine will be shown producing pill splitters for medical technology

Arburg to present electric machine; new sales office in Taiwan erman machinery maker Arburg will be presenting an electric and a hydraulic injection moulding machine at Taipeiplas. Michael Huang, Managing Director of the Arburg subsidiary in Taiwan, which was newly established in April 2016, says, “With the new electric Golden Electric machine series, we are continuing the success story of the hydraulic Allrounder Golden Edition. Both meet the requirements of high-performance entrylevel machines for the precise and production-efficient manufacture of complex moulded parts. Beyond firstclass machine technology, we also offer expert technical support - from project planning through to optimisation of the production processes and service.”


Also on display will be a 100-tonne hydraulic Allrounder with a size 290 injection unit, designed for the processing of liquid silicone (LSR) producing flexible LSR covers for the iPhone 6 in a cycle time of around 20 seconds. The part weight is 21 g. The mould is supplied by Prover, the LSR dosage system by 2 KM. Handling is performed by a Multilift Select robotic system with a load-bearing capacity of 6 kg. Under the direction of Michael Huang, the Arburg subsidiary in Taiwan officially began operating in April 2016. The new location in Taichung is an important milestone for the further expansion of the global network and the activities in Asia, says Arburg, adding that it was previously represented by a trading partner in Taiwan since 1981. The showroom offers space for three Allrounders, training rooms and a wellstocked spare parts store. The infrastructure in Taiwan will be expanded in a targeted manner, for example, through wideranging service offerings and application technology consulting, according to Arburg.

Arburg will exhibit an Allrounder Golden Electric, available in a competitive price/ performance ratio

The new Golden Electric series is offered at an attractive price/performance ratio, made possible through standardised components such as fixed combinations of distance between tie bars, clamping force and injection unit size. The Allrounder Golden Electric is available in the four machine sizes 370, 470, 520 and 570 with clamping forces of 60, 100, 150 and 200 tonnes. In Taipei, a 100-tonne Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric machine with a size 290 injection unit will produce pill splitters for the medical technology sector. For this purpose, four blades are inserted into the 4+4cavity mould and overmoulded, while the upper section

A hydraulic Allrounder will exhibit the production of flexible LSR covers for the iPhone 6

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • BRB International, the Netherlands-based manufacturer of silicones, opened an RM45 million BRB Silicone Synthesis plant recently in Malaysia. It has, thus, expanded its Malaysian industrial footprint to further back integrate in dimethiconecopolyols, alkyl dimethicones and volatile dimethicones. The 10,000 tonne/year-plant is designed to manufacture vinyl silicone fluid, silicone polyether, low viscosity polydimethylsiloxane fluids, cross-linkers and chain extenders, gum blends, silicone emulsions and silicone antifoams, for personal & home care, coating & construction, and latex & rubber industries. • German firm Continental’s new High Performance Technology Centre (HPTC) at the Korbach plant in Germany manufactured its first tyre recently. The new plant, which had been under construction since 2014, represents an investment of EUR45 million and has created a total of 80 new jobs. It has a capacity of 350,000 tyres/ year. At the same time, a new “research department on the shop floor” is designed to trial new tyre production processes and techniques, as the extended workbench of the central R&D function in HanoverStöcken. • Swedish firm Trelleborg, through its Trelleborg Sealing Solutions business, will acquire US-based Specialty Silicone Fabricators (SSF), a privately-owned, US-based manufacturer

of high-precision silicone components for medical technology original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Its 2015 sales reached SEK330 million. This bolt-on acquisition is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in attractive market segments. • Camso, formerly Camoplast Solideal and a manufacturer of material handling tyres, construction tyres, agriculture tracks, ATV & UTV, and snowmobile tracks, has acquired Belgium-based Eurowheel, a long-time supplier of tyre presses and small runs of wheels. This move strengthens Camso’s service offering in Europe and increases its wheel manufacturing capacity. • US-based Freudenberg Medical, a manufacturer of speciality components and minimally invasive solutions for the medical device and pharmaceutical industry, has added 10,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space at the company’s silicone operation in Carpinteria, California. It specialises in the manufacture of platinum-cured silicone products for the medical device and pharmaceutical industry. • India’s Apollo Tyres’s Hungary greenfield project will roll out the first tyre from the new factory by the first quarter of 2017. The company also said that it will invest more than EUR400 million for the new unit. The company is also engaging with leading

OEMs in Europe and will also leverage its OEM associations in India. It has also opened a new R&D office in Frankfurt, to be closer to its customers in the region. • Biesterfeld Group has founded a new business division, Biesterfeld Performance Rubber, which combines all international business activities for the rubber processing industry representing a sales volume of around EUR50 million/ year. Its aim is to further strategically develop the rubber business while strengthening the group’s role as a leading European distributor in this industrial segment. The division will be active in Europe, Latin America and North Africa. • Top Glove, the world’s largest latex glove maker, which makes one of every four pairs of rubber gloves the globe uses, may diversify into the condom business. The Malaysian company has RM378.5 million stashed away as of May 31 and is “hungry” for acquisitions. It also intends to grow its glove business by adding capacity. The global contraceptives market was valued at US$19.7 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach US$25.5 billion by 2022, according to US-based Credence Research. Top Glove produces 44.6 billion gloves/year at 27 factories in Malaysia, Thailand and China. Natural rubber gloves account for about 60% of the total, while nitrile synthetic rubber gloves make up 30%.

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Malaysia is set to maintain the spot of the world’s number one rubber glove producer with 133.6 billion gloves estimated to be produced this year, commanding an estimated 63% of world market share, according to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA). It also says export revenue from rubber gloves is expected to reach a record high of RM14.3 billion this year, up 14% from RM13.1 billion achieved last year. • The global tyre industry saw winter tyres accounting for US$19.3 billion in worldwide sales in 2015, according to a market report released by Smithers Rapra. Seasonal wintery road conditions as well as low temperatures in northern countries and regions (such as Europe, Russia, and North America) drive the market for winter tyres. The severity of winters still highly influences demand despite regulatory support. This makes it difficult for manufacturers, distributors and raw material suppliers to plan; and raises the prospects of periodic shortages or excess supply. • French tyre maker Michelin and Aviall, a whollyowned subsidiary of the Boeing Company, are collaborating to align the former’s aircraft tyre business with the latter’s global distribution footprint. This initiative will result in improved logistics and supply chain models which will improve service to FBOs (field-base operator), MROs (maintenance, repair & overhaul), and fleet operators around the globe.

• According to Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, the country’s rubber exports reached US$29 million in revenue at 29,000 tonnes during this year’s first quarter. But despite the initial rebound seen in the global rubber prices, Cambodian farmers still predict an unpromising year as profits continue to suffer even though production and exports have increased. The total value of the country’s 2015 rubber exports amounted to US$161 million at 126,000 tonnes, but the farmers still expect this year’s production to show a near 25% decline in revenue. • Tyre consumers in the US now have a new resource that will help them identify if a tyre is subject to a recall. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a national trade association for tyre manufacturers that produce tyres in the US, launched an online search tool that will cover its member companies’ tyre recalls since 2000. RMA members represent approximately 80% of all US tyre shipments. The recall search tool works by entering a tyre identification number (TIN) that is found on the sidewall of every tyre sold in the US. The TIN begins with the letters “DOT.” If a tyre is subject to a recall by an RMA member, contact information is provided to enable a consumer to learn about possible remedies. The tool also addresses a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation to improve consumers’ ability to ident ify recalled t y res.

All RMA members will link to the lookup tool on their company websites. • Qatar’s US$41.3 million Modern Recycling Factory (MRF) is now operational. The Mesaieed Industrial City-based facility will recycle used tyres and rubber materials to make new products. At 20,000 sq m, the MRF is one of the largest greenfield recycling projects in the country. It was financed and endorsed more than two years ago by Al Khalij Commercial Bank in support of Qatar’s greentechnology business sector. • Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries will invest a total of R$312 million over the next four years to begin production of truck and bus tyres in Brazil, with production scheduled to begin in 2019 with an initial capacity of 500 tyres/day. The factory started producing tyres for passenger cars and light trucks in 2013 and now boasts a production capacity of 15,000 tyres/ day (as of the end of 2015). The group’s Brazilian subsidiary currently imports truck and bus tyres for the domestic market. But as the Brazilian market for these tyres is expected to grow by about 2% each year for the foreseeable future, the company has decided to start local production in order to further strengthen its tyre sales business for truck and bus tyres, in addition to passenger car and light truck tyres. The group also plans to invest a total of R$175 million in 2017 to increase production at the facility.

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Rubber Journal Asia Machinery News

New development for stress relaxation tests in liquid Stress relaxation tests on rubber materials

At low or room temperature, as well as for a short time, the physical process dominates stress relaxation, whilst for testing over a long period of time or at high temperatures the chemical process is the dominant feature.

are useful for determining rubber properties. Swedish firm Elastocon that develops testing equipment has introduced a new ALE (Aeration and Liquid Exchange) test, which it believes will be big within the automotive industry in the future.

What is a stress relaxation test? n the early days, relaxation tests were mostly used in scientific projects, though over the years they have gained popularity in industrial applications and in different product standards, such as sealing rings for pipes and in the automotive industry. Stress relaxation is the behaviour of rubber where if a constant strain is applied to rubber, the force needed to maintain this strain is not constant. It decreases with time, due to chemical or physical properties, with both occurring simultaneously under normal conditions.


Continuous testing Less manual work, measurement will continue throughout the test after it has started. Logging automatically and continuously which means it is possible to obtain measured values from any given point from the test after it is finished. No physical movement of the rigs after the start of the test.

Most customers around the world request for this type of testing; several large companies have it as a standard policy. Possible to automatically run tests according to ISO 3384-1, ISO 3384-2, ISO 6914 and other technical equivalent standards. Possible to run automatic tests with either stable or cycling temperatures.

Testing either in compression or tension, air or liquid conditions.

Continuous test system

Discontinuous testing More manual work; need to manually perform measurements at certain points during the test. No extra data is saved, only the manually taken measurements. Not possible to add extra evaluation points after the test is finalised. Every time a measurement is performed the rig/jig is moved, and it’s proven that each time a rig is moved the result might be affected due to vibrations that occur during the movement. Few customers request for this type of test; it’s within some large companies’ internal standard testing policy. No automatic testing is possible; requires a lot of manual work. The temperature will not be stable throughout the whole test; measurements will as default take place in ambient temperatures (may be performed within a special temperature chamber). Testing in compression, air or liquid conditions (liquid might be rather messy during the measuring stage).

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Rubber Journal Asia TyreMachinery Market News Jig/rig for the discontinuous test method

The effect of the test result will also have to be considered while moving the rig for the liquid exchange. All the movements will have a negative effect on the test results. ALE-testing unit developed lastocon has developed a method where both aeration and liquid exchange are automatically introduced during the ageing process during a relaxation test. This means that an optional aeration can be introduced in the container as well as liquid exchange, without the rig being moved, thus doing away with the risk of any movements affecting the test results. The new system, that is an addition to Elastocon’s existing stress relaxation system for continuous measurements, is called ALE (Aeration and Liquid Exchange) test. This system has a new rig with a propeller for mixing in the air in the liquid as well as stirring the liquid in the container to certify an even distribution within the container. New liquid can be pumped in at the bottom and out in the upper part of the container. Both in/outflows are controlled via a new control box that has both a PLC touchscreen and flowmeter. A continuous test system can be used to measure automatically the same test that is performed with a discontinuous test system, and with several advantages. Studies made have shown that both HNBR and FKM, two common materials that are used in O-rings for sealing in vehicles, will have different results while testing in the new equipment, compared to the traditional equipment. This result is interesting especially for manufacturers manufacturing materials used in environments with both air and liquids present.


There are two different ways of testing stress relaxation: continuous and discontinuous method. Why change the liquid? he traditional way to test stress relaxation in liquids is in a closed container where both the liquid and the material sample are aged simultaneously. For some long term tests, it is quite common to change the liquid after a certain time interval. This has been the only way to conduct the test in liquids. During the ageing process, most often in elevated temperatures, both the material and the liquid will degenerate/age and lose its initial features. In a closed container, the amount of oxygen is depleted after some time. These parameters cause the sample to be stored in a degenerated environment that is too often far from the actual environment where the material is going to be used. Hence, the test results will not show the actual values to be expected while using the product in the environment it is intended for. As already mentioned above, this has until now been handled by changing the liquid during certain time intervals, with the risk of jeopardising the test results when handling the liquid change. This is not the ideal way to test in liquids. Let’s take an example, where the sealing is used in an oil system in a vehicle. In the vehicle, the oil will pass through the rubber and it will introduce air, together with oxygen present during the movements. Then, from time to time, some additional oil will be added to the system and at some point more or less all the oil in the system will be changed. This means that in a vehicle, there will be a mixture of new oil, old and degenerated oil and oxygen in the air. In a closed container, there will be no air and only degenerated oil, and when the liquid is changed, there will be new oil and air that will degenerate, thus ending up with the same degenerated liquid. Traditionally, there will be a cycle (from new to degenerated) of the liquid that is not as stable as the liquid passing through the rubber in the actual product usage environment.


Features: • Non-volatile liquids only • Only for stress relaxation in compression • On the new bracket on the rig additional samples can be aged in the exact same environment while the relaxation test is performed. Samples that can be used for tensile testing, hardness testing or anything else required. Either five small dumbbell shaped samples (eg. ISO 37-2) or O-rings, or three bigger O-rings, can be mounted on the bracket at the same time • Option to use the liquid exchange or not, and to set the speed for the same • Option to use the aeration or not, and to set the air flow for the same • Option to use the stirrer or not • The new rig is designed to be used with Elastocon’s optional cell ovens for stress relaxation tests, also together with the two ovens with cycling temperatures as options (up to 200°C) 4

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Rubber Journal Asia Gloves

Cleanroom disposable gloves: technology advancements Cleanroom disposable gloves market players

other hand, vinyl gloves are believed to be the most uncomfortable products owing to their rigid nature. However, the future of nitrile gloves is expected to be more promising for the immense comfort level they assure. Today, many suppliers combine advanced nitrile-based manufacturing technologies to blend the sensitivity of rubber latex material, with the protection level of nitrile for cleanroom gloves to get the best of both worlds. This most popular technology used to make cleanroom disposable gloves is known as the tripledip coating technique. It results in paramount glove strength and durability.

are embracing advanced technology to ensure the gloves provide comfort and act as a barrier for contaminants, according to this report by Big Market Research.


alidation of any cleanroom glove used in a particular industry is undoubtedly a lengthy and demanding procedure. In an extremely regulated commercial environment, the requirements for these gloves have now changed say research analysts at Big Market Research. Industry experts eyeing the growth opportunities, share, and size of the cleanroom disposable gloves market explain that 20 years ago the standard gloves used for PE packaging were accepted in the cleanroom. Likewise, vinyl gloves were highly popular in the microelectronic sector. However, concerns over contamination issues posed by these gloves were responsible for their disappearance. Meanwhile, the practice of using surgical gloves in the pharmaceutical sector remained popular in the aseptic environment.

“…the future of nitrile gloves is expected to be more promising for the immense comfort level they assure….” Why nitrile is everyone’s favorite atural rubber latex products have been used across different cleanroom environments. Attributes such as flexibility of this material offers weavers the dexterity they need to perform the activities with great precision. However, despite the comfort level, rubber latex presents risks. Approximately 6% of the world’s population suffers from latex sensitivity, resulting in latex allergy, dermatitis, and other skin problems. Constant exposure to latex can also result in Type 1 reaction, which is often life threatening. Today, many pharmaceutical companies plan to implement several latex-free regulations to avoid the risk of allergies and contamination. Moreover, in the microelectronic sector, an extremely high resistivity of latex gloves tends to create a risk of ESD, which can cause damage to products and costs more than the yearly expenditure on gloves. This has, thus, opened new avenues for nitrile gloves, which are believed to be the best alternative to natural latex gloves as the synthetic material eliminates the constant risk of latex sensitivity. Nitrile not only reduces the electrical resistivity but also is known for its capability to lower the risk of ESD and offers a better protection from chemicals over natural rubber latex. The advantages of nitrile gloves over latex explain why cleanrooms are gradually moving away from the application of latex products. However, there are still some that prefer latex for their cleanroom applications.


Glove materials used in a controlled environment opular materials used to make cleanroom disposables gloves include vinyl, chloroprene, rubber latex and nitrile. While vinyl is known for being static dissipative, clean, and affordable, rubber latex has a perfect cost ration than any other available material. Nitrile is used for its attributes, such as perfect puncture and chemical resistance, than rubber latex, particularly with solvents. Materials used to make gloves directly influence the comfort level of the user. For instance, rubber latex products are considered highly comfortable. On the


Today, advanced nitrile-based manufacturing technologies blend the sensitivity of rubber latex material, to get the best of both worlds

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Gloves Another company on the list is Ammex. This Seattle-based glove dealer generates about US$90 million each year. The company enjoys s 50:50 partnership with several firms in China. Another company that has made inroads in the industry is Shield Scientific that has embraced advanced technology to manufacture cleanroom gloves. The company’s Shieldskin Xtreme series is branded different from all the other products available in the market. While many companies brand their products as ISO class 4, Shield Scientific challenges the paradigm of how classification of products for airborne particulates is associated with cleanroom disposable gloves. According to many industry experts, it should be left to the users to decide their comfort zones.

Industries experiencing increased demands echanical hazards have created a greater demand for cleanroom disposable gloves worldwide. This need is associated with the management and the handling of several rough as well as hazardous substances, which often abrade, can result in a cut or deep wound, such as metal sheet, masonry blocks, and others. The usage is, however, not associated with moving the machinery or different parts. Whether you are involved in an activity that requires total immersion, or a mere splash of a substance that can cause irritation or burn is classed as a chemical hazard. Meanwhile, the exponential growth in the contamination control technology has created a place for rubber gloves. Ironclad need for cleanliness and hygiene is fuelling growth of the cleanroom disposable gloves market.


Cleanroom gloves enjoy high margins worldwide leanroom gloves are subject to very high margins but their potential for growth remains robust. Business verticals such as semi-conductors and electrical and electronics have a high requirement for these gloves. Many medical glove manufacturers also produce disposable gloves for cleanrooms, since the material used in a controlled environment is developing rapidly. Besides the demand for cleanroom gloves made from vinyl, nitrile, and latex is growing. Apart from being thin, these products are disposable and are listed in accordance to ISO to denote the compatibility level. According to a study by the Scottish Society for Contamination Control, the cleanroom glove segment is highly critical while curbing contamination issues in the semiconductors, disk-drive, and several other technology-driven industries. The research outlines that these gloves are among the most popular and are highly expensive, too. The study further highlights how technology plays an eminent role in the formulation of these gloves. A strong demand in the sector from the food & beverage and

Prominent leaders in the market ne of the most prominent companies that operate in the cleanroom disposable gloves market is Malaysia-based Top Glove. Established in 1991, it was recently listed on the Singapore stock exchange. This renowned manufacturer of rubber gloves has a production capability of about 45 million gloves/year; operates 25 production units located worldwide and exports gloves to more than 190 countries. In a statement to Nikkei Asian Review, Lim Wee Chai, the Executive Chairman/Founder of Top Glove, said, “We are not afraid of business or hard work— we are afraid of no business and no work.”



“…the cleanroom glove segment is highly critical while curbing contamination issues in the semiconductors, disk-drive, and other technologydriven industries….”

Top Glove, the world’s largest producer of gloves, was listed on the Singapore stock market recently, allowing it access to further funds for expansion

Lim now controls almost 30% of the company, while his foreign shareholders own less than 30%. The Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad highlights that the Singapore listing has finally broadened Top Gloves’s merger as well as acquisition plans. 6 AU G U ST 2 016

Rubber Journal Asia Gloves

“…with pressure on margins, companies are working to curtail costs…”

automation sectors, which demand protection for staff using hazardous c h e m i c a l s , u n h ygienic s u b st a n c e s, a n d reac tives , is an tic ip ated t o k eep t h e f u t u r e o f t h e m arket robus t. Recent challenges faced by disposable cleanroom gloves ven with the positive projections, many ma n u f a c t u r i ng u nits h ave s hut their processes o v er t h e pa st f o ur to five years . When Safeskin M e di c a l a nd Scien tific , a unit of K imb er ly Cl ar k C o r po r a t ion bas ed in T hailand , c losed it s f a c i l i t y a n d di splac ed abou t 3,000 em p loy ees it s e n t sh o c k w a ves in th e c leanroom d is p osab le gl o ve s i n du st r y.

charge without causing any damage t o sensit ive t ools or machines used dur i n g t h e manufact uring process. The most po pul a r o n es are nit rile g loves t hat have a low elec t ro st a t i c volt ag e. Cust omisat ion is anot her area where disposable gloves market players are f o c u s i n g on. G iven t hat machinery is hig hly f l exi bl e and specialist s are involved in t he p ro d uc t i o n process, many companies are able to o f f e r b espok e product s t o serve requiremen t s i n t h e short est possib le durat ion. Besides, manufact urers are also b roa d en i n g t heir current consumer b ase, for exa mpl e, a s hard drive companies are becoming e x t i n c t , suppliers are now serving t he t echno l ogydriven industries that include the fl a t - p a n e l sector, solar panel, and display man u f a c t u r e r s . Business verticals such as the pharm a c e u t i c a l industry are also creating a greater d e m a n d for cleanroom gloves. Looking ahead, big brands anticip a t e h i g h e r y ields t his y ear, part icularly from hea l t h c a re cust omers b ased in t he US and Euro pe, w i t h t he Nort h American reg ion project ed t o enjoy t he st rong est g rowt h in 2016. W i t h n ew technologies adopted by prominent m a r k e t play ers, t he cleanroom g loves indust ry i s ready to experience a bright future i n a n o t h e r five to six years.


Last year, Ansell announced further initiatives to drive performance improvement as part of its on-going strategic focus on operating efficiency

A n o t h e r g l o ve manufacturer, Australia-based A ns e l l , e n j o y s high s ales from its m ed ical g loves bu t a t t h e sa me tim e is c utting bac k bec ause o f a d e c l i n e i n sales of its gloves in the local m a r k e t . T h e c o mp any’ s p red ic tion th at a recent a c qu i si t i o n w o uld im p rove the s ales figure d i d n o t h a ve a pos itive effec t. Wh at’ s m ore a l ar m i n g i s t h e d ec lin e in s ales in A s ia Ansell’s gl o ve s b u si n e ss in A s ia Pac ific and c ount ries l i ke T u r k e y a n d Ru s s ia. T he s ud d en s lowdown i n m i n i n g o pe r a tions has als o d ec reas ed t he d e ma n d f o r o c cup ational gloves . A fter losing a b i g c h u n k o f i t s business, the company finally d e c i de d t o t r a n s fer its m anufac tu ring p lant offshore.

To browse complete report, visit cleanroom-disposable-gloves-market To browse similar reports, visit materials-and-chemicals-market-report Contact details: 5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland, OR 97220, US Direct: + 1-503-894-6022 Toll Free: + 1-800-910-6452 Fax: +1 (855) 550–5975 Email: Website: Blog:

Competitive landscape results in new technologies r e ssu r e o n margins is und oubted ly o n t he r i se . T h u s, man y c om p anies are work ing to c u r t a i l c o st s by in c reas ing the ec onomies of s c a l e , a u t o m a t i ng p roc es s es , and s tream lining t he co m pl e t e ma n u fac tu ring p roc es s . S o m e o f t h e new offerings from glove ma n u f a c t u r e r s in c lud e th os e with ex tremely low s u rf a c e r e si st a nc e, whic h help the elec tro st at ic


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