Page 1

Issue 01 September 2011

the magazine

A successful cover story Our Innovation. Turn to page 22

0845 34 54 560

In this issue Because business is changing A new look for Plastribution Managing the supply chain Our product list Plastics design workshops

04 10 14 20 32

Mike Boswell

Plastribution Limited

Managing Director

PO Box 7743 5 Ashby Park CEVA House Ashby-de-la-Zouch Leicestershire LE65 1XY Tel: +44 (0) 1530 560560 Fax: +44 (0) 1530 560303 Email:

In this issue Because business is changing


Our expertise


Our innovation


Our process


So what next?


A new look for


Price know-how


Plastribution Product Portfolio


Your expertise


Supply chain know-how


You’re hired!


On yer bike


Product list


A successful partnership


Cardia demonstrates its global appeal


A night at the races


A new name for Domo Polypropylene


New Enzymoplast™ masterbatch accelerates biodegradation of plastics


Realising the Granic potential


Will HDPE be the new PP?


Solving the drop-test dilemma


That’s cool



Plastics Design Workshop


This magazine is printed using vegetable oil based inks on paper that contains fibre from sustainably managed forests. 

Enabling a multitude of benefits for film converters


Training know-how


Trend know-how


Design: voice

The Plastribution teams


Issue 01 – September 2011

Welcome to know-how As you will see in the following

two apprentices in recent months.

that our customers’ supply chain

pages, it has been a busy six

As you will read in this issue, our very

remains as secure as possible.

months in the world of Plastribution;

first apprentice, Lucy Hickling, is a

Turning to technical matters - there

we’re confident that your business

finalist in the apprentice category of

is further good news to report

will almost certainly benefit from

this year’s Plastics Industry Awards,

from this year’s Plastics Industry

many of these developments.

as well as gaining a place in the

Awards. The enclosed feature, on

Nation Apprenticeship Finals.

components for the new Lotus

It is fantastic to recruit such able and

Evora and the development work

This is the first edition of our new magazine ‘know- how’

enthusiastic young talent that will

we have done with Perei Group,

help secure the future success of our

clearly demonstrates the high level

business and continue to provide

of technical expertise we are able to

our customers with great service.

offer UK plastic processors. This project

know-how has been created to

We can also report on progress at a

deliver information, insights and

commercial level: Once again, our

opinion to our suppliers, customers

partnership approach towards our

Meanwhile our initiative to develop

and the industry as a whole. As

customers has been recognised by

a balanced portfolio of materials

well as taking form in the shape

the Plastics Industry Awards, with the

with greener credentials continues

of our new magazine, the term

selection of our work for a customer

to gain momentum. Having a

know-how will be used to visually

in Scotland as a finalist project

comprehensive range enables us to

identify other pieces of expert

for this year’s Distributor Award.

offer excellent advice both to plastic

has also resulted in our selection as a

information designed to support

finalist for this year’s Distributor Award.

processors and OEMs, allowing them

your needs which will be available

In a separate development, we are

to you through many different

also launching a monthly market

channels throughout the year.

report that should provide customers

There is no doubt that the

with useful information about what is

environment is moving up the

This includes advice on pricing and

happening in the polymers market

agenda and we want to play an

purchasing, market intelligence and

and why. Indeed, the inspiration

important part in ensuring a more

innovation, and new and exciting

for this report was the very positive

sustainable future for us all.

general news from the Plastribution

feedback received for a recent

staff. In this months know-how

pricing article in PRW, to which

We hope you enjoy this first issue

magazine we have placed particular

Plastribution made a significant

of know-how and find it useful to

focus on our evolved brand and


learn more about what we do

operational changes which you can read about over the following pages.

to select the most suitable solution.

here at Plastribution, and how it Finally we have news of a new

could benefit your business.

partnership with the Logistics On the personnel front, we have

Department at the University of


been extremely fortunate to recruit

Hull which will help to ensure

Mike Boswell


Issue 01 – September 2011

Because business is changing What we think is happening...

This is a new decade, an increasingly digital age, a new economy; global markets are shifting, prices fluctuating more violently. Business is changing and this includes the plastics industry. The environment is of major concern, logistics have evolved, product development is more rapid, producers and customers are interacting in increasingly efficient and yet changing ways, and pricing and technical information needs to be found instantly, allowing people to make deals in real time. Now. Yesterday.

We do not think that we can rely solely on the products we sell. Businesses need to be switched on

We want to evolve the distribution

and connected to their partners

model (02) to be supportive, sustainable

constantly. Because of this

and secure, using these market

we don’t believe that we can rely

challenges and developments to the

solely on the products we sell.

advantage of ourselves, our suppliers

We need to communicate the

and our customers – and that’s

additional benefits that help

exactly what we’ve started to do.

our business partners overcome market challenges – be they

We’re embracing these changes,

product led or price driven.

while at the same time working in

Plastribution is evolving to work in

ways to ensure that we continue

these new environments and in doing

to deliver the high levels of service

so we’re actively challenging the

that both suppliers and customers

perceived limited growth potential

are familiar with and deserve.

here in the UK today from the point of view of plastics distribution.





01 Traditional distribution model 02 How we see distribution






Issue 01 – September 2011

New Opportunities

The market continues to create more opportunity for ‘distributors’ through the reduced service offering, on-going consolidation and geographic relocation of polymer producers. We’re working to capitalise on this for the benefit of both our UK customers and ourselves.

We have evolved our brand

Our new look has been designed

Because business is changing and our

to galvanise both our own staff and

business partners need to see that we

our stakeholders, allowing us to

are acting to change with it, we have

engage with customers, suppliers

evolved our brand to one that clearly

and the industry more clearly.

reflects this.

You can see how this looks in practice on our new website and

We wanted to represent ‘how we

every other piece of communication

do business’ and communicate the

literature we use – brochures,

benefits this brings to both suppliers

product guides and even this

and customers more effectively. We

magazine, a more intelligent,

wanted people to see that we’re

informative and constructive

Customers are increasingly telling

working in the ways that we are

publication from the team here

us that they believe service is a

expected to, and our brand was

at Plastribution – we’ve called it

valuable part of supply, services such

felt to be one of the most important

‘know-how’. We hope you enjoy it.

as: - customer specific inventory,

vehicles we could use to do this.

fixed contract pricing, forward

What we learnt…

market information, flexibility to

We embarked on a journey to find

By going through this process, we

meet changing demand, technical

our true brand proposition. By re-

have come to believe that everything

support, logistics, training and

evaluating the distribution model,

we do well is founded upon three

a dedicated sales team that is

thinking about where we really sit in

core values – or pillars of support -

empowered to deliver results.

context to it and listening to what

and it is these that define how we

our customers and suppliers told us

work with our business partners, how

They recognise and believe that these

they cared about, we identified the

we work with each other and how

are the services that will allow them to

things that make us both unique,

we should look and sound. It is also

continue to do business successfully

special and important as a distributor

these that we will look to as we make

and are therefore the services we

in today’s climate. We also identified

decisions about how to build the

should be expected to incorporate

ways in which we could improve

business for the future. We believe

into our own business model in order


that it’s these things that make us both relevant and successful in our

to continue to give them the support they expect when they invest in us.

This in turn has helped us redefine

industry and the things that really

what ‘Plastribution’ really means

matter to our business partners both

on a commercial level and we

now and in the future. They are

have consequently been able

‘Expertise, Innovation and Process’.

to enhance our operational systems during this process.


Issue 01 – September 2011

Our expertise

We’re the employer of choice – which means we get to choose the best. Our expertise is something that all of our suppliers and customers know they can rely on - we’re known in the industry for a recruitment strategy that selects only the best people to work for us. If people leave, they often want to come back again. We’re the employer of choice – which means we get to choose the best.

Why does this matter? Ultimately this

Another area in which we are going

means we’re the best at sourcing

to apply our expertise, in ways that

materials, the best at identifying new

we hope will help, is in our new

markets and the best at managing

price report ‘price know-how’.

and advising on raw materials and pricing. Our people are the experts

When we listen to our customers,

and this is one of the key things that

we learnt that whilst some price

makes us work so well together –

surveys currently exist they are often

internally and externally. We also

difficult to interpret, use foreign

know this approach works allowing

currencies, and often use differing

Plastribution to become the UK’s

units of measurement. This was not

leading distributor.

helping those who needed easy

Having this talent pool available

to understand, up-to-the minute

and in place allows us to promote

Our new sales & marketing

accountability and trust through

communications will often refer to

direct personal responsibility to

this expertise –assuring you that you

You can read about this in more

every one of our staff. We trust them.

have the best people working for

detail on page 11. As well as

This means our people have the

you every time you speak to us no

being a useful tool we believe it

opportunity to protect and grow the

matter what the profile of the project.

showcases our commitment to

fortunes and future of our business,

information that was user-friendly.

transparency and efficient sharing

meaning that they genuinely care

To kick this off, every member of

of information – made possible

about the output, and ensure that

our team now has a ‘snapshot’

by our expertise in this area.

they continue to be the best at what

CV available online. As well as

they do at all times. We can refer to

providing more information about

ourselves as truly consultative business

the people you’re already working

partners to both our customers and

with you can now find out if there

our suppliers because of this.

are other people in our business that can help you in new areas.


Issue 01 – September 2011

Our innovation We’re known in the industry for being able to come up with the ideas that allow things to happen. We seek to innovate at all times. As a result, people come to us when they need to solve problems, when they need to know how to make something work or how to get something to market - it’s a big part of where our new strap line comes from - ‘lets make it work’. We’re known in the industry for being able to come up with the ideas that allow things to happen.

Our innovation case studies give

Innovation is at the heart of what we do. Case Studies We’ve implemented an industry first –

some great insights into what we can do to help you as either a suppler or a customer and how using us as a ‘distributor’ offers far more in terms of solutions provision than you may have thought possible.

‘Our Innovation, Case Studies’. These allow anyone who wants to read

We hope you have time to look at our

Because we believe that innovation is

about a wide variety of projects that

innovation case studies - watch out

absolutely fundamental to supporting

we’ve been instrumental in getting

for more examples of ‘our innovation’

the changes we’ve talked about we

to market – by applying innovative

both online and in future editions

will continue to apply this approach

leadership. These case studies, which

of know-how via our case studies.

to everything you ask us to do in order

can be downloaded from our new

We’re particularly excited about

to ensure we stay ahead of the curve

website, explain which producer was

our recent work with Lotus which

in this changing market. Furthermore,

involved, who the customer was,

you can read more about on page

innovation is at the heart of what we

what the main challenges were and

22 of this magazine – hopefully you

do. We will show evidence of this in

how we worked together in order to

will have seen the awesome car

our marketing communications so

deliver the end result.

in question – the Lotus Evora - on

that we can show people what the

our stand at Interplas 2011.

output of innovation really means.


Issue 01 – September 2011

Our process Su p

01 y pl Sales Executives

We want to tell everyone we work with about our processes, as we believe they truly set us apart from other distributors.

Sales Teams

we have a customer promise that we can back up. As a customer, polymer need, you have access to a team of professionals who know and

Internal Sales Representative

Sales Team

e ic

regardless of your size, turnover or


Our third core value and area of support is evident within our systems of working – we call this ‘our process’. Our processes have been developed carefully and are guarded and nurtured by our specialist teams, using our expertise and innovation in order to suit each different type of customer and supplier.

The difference this makes is that


Robust, intelligent, sustainable and unique

Customer Service Representative

understand your business – and, make it their personal responsibility to deliver

To support the communication of

continuous know-how and reliability in

how our processes work, we have

an intelligent way.

simplified the naming of our teams and defined more clearly the ways in

This not only makes our response and

which they work together. This will not

delivery times the best available,

change things for those who already

it also allows us to offer the best

work with us – we have always been

product support and innovation

doing this, but didn’t promote that

services – always there, always

fact as often as we could, until now.

available, always listening. You can read more about our teams

So, why did we define these processes?

Our promise to suppliers is that,

and how they really work in the back

because we appreciate that you

of this magazine on page 38.

need to trust us to reach into areas

Above all, we know that price,

of the market that you might not be

You can also contact Mike Boswell,

availability and flexibility are of

able to reach yourself, we ensure that

Managing Director on

paramount importance in our

we deliver this through a structure, for

industry. Because we work in different

local market approach, providing

more information.

ways with our partners dependent

up-to-the-minute market intelligence

on their needs, the ones that know

and sales management systems and

us regard us as both integral and

capability that enable us to become

indispensible because our processes

a reliable extension of your sales arm,

ensure that we always manage these

always delivering your products in

three things perfectly.

the right ways to existing, new and expanding product areas.

These processes are robust, intelligent, sustainable and unique. 01 Sales Teams structure


It’s this unique way of working, specially designed to suit everyone who deals with us, that really makes us different.

Issue 01 – September 2011

So what next?

Because we’re challenging the way people view how things can be done and what this means, we’re ultimately helping suppliers and customers get smarter, better and faster.

Because we’re challenging the way

To Plastribution, acquiring our market

people view how things can be done

leading position means having a

and what this means, we’re ultimately

responsibility, and the opportunity, to

helping suppliers and customers get

set the standards for our industry, not

savvier and more efficient.

just for the benefit of Plastribution, but for everyone else in the industry too.

We believe that taking this attitude to implementing processes that really

We hope you enjoy being a part of

work, always applying expertise and

the journey.

cultivating a culture of innovation in the right way, will not only change the

Plastribution – Let’s make it work.

way plastics distribution works here in the UK but also contribute to securing it’s future. We believe these are the reasons why Plastribution is now the UK’s leading distributor of plastics raw materials, delivering reliability, know-how and true business partnership to the worlds best polymer suppliers & UK customers.


Issue 01 – September 2011

A new look for In order to improve our service to customers we have completely redesigned our website. We haven’t simply applied the new logo, but comprehensively reviewed the whole structure to ensure a smooth user interface. A key part of the website is for us to feature photographs of each member of our team, so that you get to know the people that you are dealing with even better – after all you are entrusting us with the responsibility of supplying your raw materials; a key ingredient for your business success so we think that it is only fair for you to see exactly who you are dealing with! An important feature is the use of the IDES database to drive the product specifications that are available on the site. This ensures that the information provided is regularly reviewed and updates applied in a timely fashion, ensuring that you are using the most up-to-date information. We really hope that you enjoy using the new site, and look forward to receiving any suggestions for further functionality.


Issue 01 – September 2011


New polymer price report from Plastribution The objective of the report is to

available, the aim of this service is

create greater understanding of

to bring together the key factors

what is happening in the UK polymer

that influence polymer prices here in

market, form the basis of discussion

the UK, and a fundamental part of

for Plastribution with customers

the approach is to translate foreign

and suppliers, and also provide

currency based pricing into £ Sterling

information that our customers

at the prevailing exchange rate.

can use in the context of their own commercial relationships.

Important features of the report will include: -

The report will be published on a monthly basis. If you would

• Market overview

like us to directly email a copy

• Sector data (Polyolefins, Styrenics, and Engineering Polymers)

to your inbox then please send

• Supply and demand trends for individual polymer groups with relevant commentary

your contact details to: or subscribe by visiting

• Oil prices and any special factors affecting polymer feedstocks • Exchange rate and key UK economic data








Crude OilGBP/t Opec–Basket (EUR/t) (EUR/t) GBP/t Crude Oil Opec–Basket (EUR/t) (EUR/t)


Naphtha Spot (EUR/t)



Ethylene (C2) Spot (EUR/t)



Polyolefin Basket (EUR/t)



Nov–09 Jul–11











Nov–09 Month












Demand softened in August largely as a result of the holiday season. The anticipated call for price increases at the beginning of September failed to materialise, due to concerns about the global economic situation. The LDPE market remains structurally tight with global under capacity.


Supply remains quite tight, creating the impression of strong demand. Special offers are now unheard of and producers are eager to obtain increases. Middle Eastern material flows are heading in the direction of Asia, so any increase in demand will strengthen the position of the producers here in Europe.

Tel: +44 (0) 1530 560560


Naphtha Spot (EUR/t)


Propylene (C3) Spot (EUR/t)Propylene GBP/t (C3) Spot (EUR/t) GBP/t



Availability has improved over the summer months, but producers are eager to implement price increases in order to restore acceptable margins. Injection moulding grades remain in very short supply. Price increases are likely.




Ethylene (C2) Spot (EUR/t)


Polyolefin Basket (EUR/t)














price GBP/Tonne

This Autumn will see the launch of a new polymer price report from Plastribution.

Whilst a whole raft of data is already

PP is the softest of the key polyolefins which in part is due to the complexity of the grade slate. After a period of selling off excess inventories there is clear evidence that the high volume grades are starting to come into balance and speciality grades are likely to follow.

Other Polyolefins

EVA remains tight on the back of restricted VAM (Vinyl Acetate Monomer) availability and further increases are expected in Q3 when the quarterly monomer contract is settled. Availability has become slightly better as producers were able to rebuild some inventory over the summer months. mPP and Plastomers follow the ethylene monomer price trend.



Issue 01 – September 2011

The new Plastribution Product Portfolio It will also be possible for customers to download and print portfolios that are either process specific (e.g. injection moulding grades), application specific (e.g. medical polymers), or even market specific (e.g. ‘green materials’).

In addition to a brand-new,

specific (e.g. medical polymers), or

A5-format hard copy of the

even market specific (e.g. ‘green

Plastribution Product Portfolio,


which lists materials generically in alphabetical order and with both

Of course the Plastribution team is

manufacturer and brand name

always available to provide advice

indexes, the latest version of this

on all aspects of grade selection

essential guide to the extensive

including design, processing

range of grades available from

and properties. So please do not

Plastribution will also be offered as: -

hesitate in contacting us to discuss

• a USB Memory Stick

your specific requirements.

• a download from

Please remember that, despite our best efforts to do so, it is almost

Both of these electronic versions

impossible to cover every request

will be made based on Adobe PDF

for information on the website

technology with navigation features.

or through the new portfolios,

Moreover, the website will also

particularly as new developments

contain information on availability

are happening all the time.

- enabling users to determine if that particular grade is a standard

If you should be unable to find what

stock item or a custom order.

you require, just get in touch on the phone, email or through the website

It will also be possible for customers to

and, if your request is truly outside

download and print portfolios that are

our remit, we will do our utmost to

either process specific (e.g. injection

point you in the right direction.

moulding grades), application

Product portfolio

Version 1 – July 2011


Issue 01 – September 2011

Your expertise

Career opportunities at Plastribution As part of its strategic growth plan, Plastribution expects to recruit commercial staff who will be based at headquarters in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

Potential roles exist for:-

The successful candidates will have

Commercial Executives – Direct Sales

a desire to contribute to a successful team, whilst a professional approach is also considered essential.

Technical Sales Executives – Distribution Sales

Attractive remuneration packages will reflect both the

Business Development Executives

experience and potential of the successful candidates.

Sales Supervisors All applications will be treated

Internal Sales Representatives

in the strictest of confidence. No agencies please.

Customer Service Representatives If you are interested, please send Individual job descriptions are

your CV and a letter stating which

available upon request.

role(s) you are interested in to: -

The successful candidates will work as part of a highly motivated team dedicated to servicing the requirements of UK-based plastic processors and an outstanding portfolio of global suppliers.

Mike Boswell

The overriding objective in all of these roles is to win new business in a competitive environment by providing service excellence.

Managing Director Plastribution CEVA House 5 Ashby Park Ashby-de-la-Zouch LE65 1NG


Issue 01 – September 2011

supply chain

Managing the supply chain

Katherine White Product Director

During 2010, Plastribution entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Hull University to better understand its logistic and supply chain activities and the value they can create for its customers and suppliers. Know-how spoke to Katherine White, product director at Plastribution, to find out more.

KH: First of all, can you explain what

company, a graduate (commonly

logistics services. This is a pass/fail

a Knowledge Transfer Partnership is?

referred to as the ‘associate’)

measurement of goods arriving when

and an academic. The project

required by our customers in the

KW: A Knowledge Transfer Partnership

typically lasts between 1 and 3

quantity they have ordered and good

(or KTP) is a partially government-

years, depending upon the time

condition. Ensuring a high level of

funded programme that enables

required to deliver real outcomes.

OTIF is critical to our business success,

companies to improve their

and we strive for 100%. A key part of

competitiveness and productivity

KH: What is the focus of

our efforts to maximise OTIF is in the

by accessing knowledge and skills

Plastribution’s KTP?

area of supply chain management

within academic institutions. Its

where we ensure that goods from

overall aim is to help a company

KW: In short, to make sure our

around the world, supplied on

make a step change in an area

customers’ goods get to them on

variable lead-times can be made

that has been identified as a high

time: OTIF is a logistics acronym

available when our customers

priority. This is achieved by creating

for On Time and In Full, and is the

need them.

a three-way project between the

key performance measure for


Issue 01 – September 2011

KH: Why did Plastribution

our existing expertise in sourcing

KH: What will be the benefit of the KTP

instigate the project?

polymers from around the world.

to its suppliers and customers?

An initial approach was made to KW: In 2009 we started to consider

the University of Hull Institute of

KW: We expect that customers

the effects of the change in

Logistics which has resulted in a

and suppliers will start to benefit

geographical location of polymer

successful application for a KTP.

from our improved supply chain

production, which is resulting in

capabilities through both efficiencies

reduced capacities in Western Europe

KH: Who are the partners in

and an improved service offering.

and new polymerisation plants being

Plastribution’s project?

In particular we hope to be

built in the Middle East (close to

able to work more closely with

petrochemical feedstocks) or in Asia

KW: Key to a successful KTP is

suppliers to provide more accurate

(close to increasing demand). The

identifying both the academic and

forecasting information which in

potential impact of these changes

associate with the right expertise for

turn will mean better consistency

are highly significant here in the UK

your business. For our project we

of supply for our customers.

where there is a net deficit of polymer

have chosen to work with Professor

production of almost 2 million tonnes

Chee Wong from the Logistics Institute

KH: When do you expect

and once exports are considered

at Hull University and Lena Fleschhut,

to be able to report on the

imports exceed 2 million tonnes, and

who holds a bachelor’s degree in

outcomes of the KTP project?

any change in location of production

Business Administration and a master’s

will have profound implications on

degree in logistics and supply chain

KW: The project is still at an

supply chain length and complexity.

management. Lena manages the

exploration and analysis stage. After

supply chain project from within

a thorough review of our findings

After careful consideration we

Plastribution for its duration while

we will decide on the next steps

viewed that the challenges presented

Professor Wong regularly contributes

with regard to their implementation.

by these fundamental changes

with his own knowledge and

We expect to be able to report

in the supply chain were in fact

experience as an external resource.

the outcomes in early 2012.

an opportunity for us to build on

Lena Fleschhut

Supply Chain Project Manager


Issue 01 – September 2011

You’re hired! It has been a particularly successful year for Plastribution’s first apprentice - not only is she a finalist in the Apprentice category of this year’s Plastics Industry Awards, but she has also been hired as a permanent member of staff. On the basis of its very positive experience with Lucy, Plastribution is recruiting a further apprentice to support its ambitious growth plans. Lucy Hickling first came to Plastribution in September 2010 as an 18 year old as part of an intermediate (Level 2) apprenticeship qualification in Business and Administration provided by Loughborough College. In what was her first full-time role, she joined the company as a sales co-ordinator in a team covering the south east of England. One of the first tasks assigned to Lucy was a masterbatch project which involved her pro-actively seeking new business. Over the last twelve months Lucy has picked up several new accounts that will generate considerable new revenue for Plastribution and will consolidate its position as the


Issue 01 – September 2011

“As each customer has a key sales contact within their allocated team, we’re able to build a rapport with them that makes them feel genuinely valued. This means they have a level of trust in us that they don’t have with other suppliers” – Lucy Hickling

country’s leading plastics distributor.

Not only has Lucy achieved very

recruit talent that will support our

On top of the “new business”

high results in her work, but she

growth plans for the business and

project, Lucy also looks after over

has also achieved an impressive 5

Lucy certainly has the capability to

70 active accounts. Her

distinctions in her college assignments

develop a career with Plastribution.”

commitment and dedication to

to date. On top of this Lucy has

her sales role is appreciated by

undertaken a number of training

Lucy’s success as an apprentice has

colleagues at Plastribution, as

and development programs during

not only seen her becoming one of

colleague Katy Hawkins, internal

her time at Plastribution, including

the first females to be shortlisted as

sales representative confirms:

an induction course, product

a finalist for this year’s Apprentice

training and buyers course.

category at the PIA (announcement

“Lucy has very good communication

of winner to be made after

skills and has built up an excellent

Mike Boswell, managing director

Know-how has gone to press),

rapport with all of her customers in a

at Plastribution concludes: “Lucy

but has led to her appointment

short space of time. She has made

has already become an asset to

as a permanent member of staff.

an impact on our team by achieving

the business and is a respected

Moreover, it has encouraged

targets that are set for her by winning

member of our team. She has

Plastribution to take on a

new business and adding material

quickly learnt about our business

further apprentice at its Ashby

range to existing customers who

operations and gained a working

headquarters - Sarah Watson

hadn’t previously bought this type

knowledge of our products. Most

- of whom the company has

of material.”

importantly we have been able to

similarly high expectations! 17

Issue 01 – September 2011

On yer bike for a good cause...

Pete Tillin of Plastribution, along

and grew up, and back again.” The

Following their arrival there was a

with his two brothers and a good

first week of July was the timeframe

quick compilation of statistics for

friend, recently completed a 1,000

allocated for the arduous ride. The

the week: 1049 kilometres, 10 kg of

kilometre bike ride to raise money

brothers were joined by their good

sausage, 101 pints of beer , 15 bottles

for two charities, Macmillan Cancer

friend, Kelly Davey, whose stepfather

of wine, 20 hours of sun, 6 hours of

Support and Dorothy House, a local

has recently been diagnosed with

rain, 2 dams, 3 bridges, 4 ferries and

hospice, that had special significance

a cancer of the plasma cells.

4 very tired cyclists! (some of the

to their families. The exact distance,

aforementioned statistics may be

652 miles or 1049 kilometres, was

A quick check of the blog for their ride

more accurate than others?!) More

longer than planned and had the


importantly, at the time of going

equivalent vertical climbing to that

reveals that dehydration during the

to press, they had raised a highly

of the summit of Mount Everest. It was

heat of summer would never be an

commendable total of around £8,500

completed by Pete and his team

issue for these highly-tuned athletes:

overall with donations still coming

in a remarkable 39 hours and 35

“Day 0 (is that even a day) stopped

in. “We would really like to thank all

minutes of riding time at an average

for a couple of amber beverages

the people that have generously

speed of 16.5 miles per hour.

and are now (several hours later and

donated so far and for supporting

after watching a very eventful start

us on our ride,” says Pete.

“The inspiration for our ride was the

to the Tour De France!) finishing off

passing away of both of our parents

with a nice bottle of Barolo”. From

after long battles with cancer, and

then-on the days cycling principally

my brothers and I wanted to do

through Wales were marked by

something to say thank you to the

numerous culinary and drinking

wonderful people at Dorothy House

highlights, escapades with sheep,

for the care they provided to both our

road signs and mechanical faults on

parents and to repay the hard work

the trip to Ireland (by day 4), where

being done by Macmillan Cancer

the lads fortuitously noticed that they

Support not just in the UK, but around

were also at the source of Guinness

the world,” explains Pete. “The

(which they discovered to have

route we took was from Warminster

unforeseen revitalising properties).

(Wiltshire), where our parents lived for

A day off on day 5 preceded the

many years, to Carrickfergus (near

ferry to Liverpool on day 6 and the

Belfast), where our mother was born

journey home by the end of day 7.


“I wanted to do something to say thank you to the wonderful people at Dorothy House for the care they provided to both our parents” — Pete Tillin

Issue 01 – September 2011

Donations can still be made by the readers of know-how by following the links:


Issue 01 – September 2011

Product list Supplier


Brand Name

Engineering polymers













Apilon 52





Cyro XT

Clear Polymer







POM (Acetal Copolymer)




request for information on the website or



through the new portfolios, particularly as new



PA6 Prime




TPE – Highly Conductive

Preseal TPE

The Plastribution team is always available to provide advice on all aspects of grade selection including design, processing and properties. So please do not hesitate in contacting us to discuss your specific requirements. Please remember that, despite our best efforts to do so, it is almost impossible to cover every

developments are happening all the time. If you should be unable to find what you require,

Thermally Conductive Compounds Pretherm

just get in touch on the phone, email or through

Static Dissipative Compounds

Pre-Elec ESD






Raditer E




Radiflam B

PA6.6 Prime (Italy)

Radilon A

PA6.6 Prime (Germany)

Radilon A

CEVA House,

PA6.6 Industrial (Italy)

Heramid A

5 Ashby Park,

PA6.6 FR (Italy)

Radiflam A

PA6.6 (Industrial) Germany

Heramid I/A


Radilon D

PA6 Prime FR (Italy)

Radiflam S

PA6 Prime (Italy)

Radilon S

PA6 Prime (Germany)

Radilon B

PA6 Industrial (Italy)

Heramid S

PA6 Industrial (Germany)

Heramid I/B


Radilon S



Heramid B









the website and, if we really can’t help, we will do. our utmost to point you in the right direction. Plastribution Limited PO Box 7743,

Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1XY Tel: +44 (0) 1530 560560 Fax: +44 (0) 1530 560303



Plastribution Limited PO Box 7743, CEVA House, 5 Ashby Park,

Tel: +44 (0) 1530 560560

Email: sales@pla

Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1XY

Fax: +44 (0) 1530 560303


A3_Line_List.indd 1


Issue 01 – September 2011

Supplier Supplier

Material Material

Brand BrandName Name

Specialities Specialities

Material Material

Brand BrandName Name


Capilene Capilene


Capilene Capilene


Capilene Capilene


Ipethene Ipethene

Polyolefins Polyolefins PPPPRecycled Recycled

Aurapene Aurapene

Biohybrid Biohybrid

Cardia CardiaBiohybrid Biohybrid

Biodegradeable Biodegradeable Masterbatch Masterbatch– –UV UVStabilisers Stabilisers

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


Ducor Ducor

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –Universal Universal

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


Ducor Ducor

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –PVC PVC

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


ExxonMobil ExxonMobilPPPP

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –POM POM

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


ExxonMobil ExxonMobilPPPP

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –Polycarbonate Polycarbonate

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch

PPPPPlastomer Plastomer

Vistamaxx Vistamaxx

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –PBT PBT

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


Exceed Exceed

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –Nylon Nylon

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


Enable Enable

Masterbatch Agents Masterbatch– –Blowing Blowing Agents

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch


ExxonMobil ExxonMobilLLD LLD

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –Anti-static Anti-static

Colourtone ColourtoneMasterbatch Masterbatch

LLD LLDPlastomer Plastomer

Exact Exact


ExxonMobil ExxonMobilLDLD

Ionomer Ionomer

Iotek Iotek


ExxonMobil ExxonMobilHD HD


Escorene Escorene


Escor Escor


Innovex Innovex

Biodegradeable Biodegradeable Functional FunctionalPolymers Polymers

Enzo Enzo Exxelor Exxelor

Calcium CalciumCarbonate CarbonateCompounds Compounds Granic Granic Masterbatch MasterbatchSlip/Anti-block Slip/Anti-block

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch

Masterbatch MasterbatchColour ColourUniversal Universal

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch

Masterbatch Anti-block Masterbatch Anti-block

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch

PPPPCompounds Compounds

Thermofil Thermofil

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –UV UVStabilisers Stabilisers

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch

Masterbatch Agent Masterbatch– –Slip Slip Agent

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch


Sumitomo Sumitomo

Masterbatch Aids Masterbatch– –Process Process Aids

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch


Sumitomo Sumitomo

Masterbatch Masterbatch– –Flame FlameRetardant Retardant

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch


Total TotalPPPP

Masterbatch Agents Masterbatch– –Blowing Blowing Agents

Kafrit/Constab Kafrit/ConstabMasterbatch Masterbatch


Total TotalPPPP


Total TotalPPPP

Functional FunctionalPolymers Polymers

Modic Modic


Lumicene Lumicene


Total TotalMD MD


Total TotalLLD LLD


Total TotalLDLD


Total TotalHD HD


Total TotalEVA EVA

Functional FunctionalPolymers Polymers

BondyRam BondyRam

Styrenics Styrenics


Supplier Supplier


Kibisan Kibisan


Wonderloy Wonderloy


Kibiton Kibiton


Kibilac Kibilac


Polyac Polyac


Styrilic Styrilic


Rotec Rotec



HIPS Alloys HIPS Alloys

Total Alloys TotalHIPS HIPS Alloys


Total TotalHIPS HIPS


Total TotalGPPS GPPS

: ail:

09/09/2011 09/09/201109:0


Issue 01 – September 2011

Our innovation The cover story


01 Lotus Evora 02 Engine Cover for the Lotus Evora

02 22

A successful partnership

Issue 01 – September 2011

New business and a finalist entry for the 2011 Plastic Industry Awards

When Perei Group Ltd encountered

its heat, scratch and UV resistance

modifications made to the tool

quality issues moulding external

and surface appearance. As an

and the optimisation of processing

trim parts for the Lotus Evora they

alternative, Plastribution was able to

conditions. All parties are pleased

turned to Plastribution for technical

recommend PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss NTA-

with the outcome of the change

material and support that not only

1 from Evonik. Besides the established

to PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss NTA-1 and

provided them with a high quality

properties of PLEXIGLAS®, such as

production is now moving along

solution, but also placed them

good flow, high mar-resistance,

smoothly with very low reject rates

in a prime position to gain new

good weather resistance and good

(down to around just 3%). Plastribution

future business. The success of the

polishability, PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss

is able to hold local stocks of the

project has also seen its selection

NTA-1 offers the added benefits of

material for call-off by Perei.

as finalist for Supplier Partnership at

increased impact strength, good

this year’s Plastic Industry Awards.

heat deflection temperature under

“Plastribution had the best material

load and a superior brilliance, high-

for the job and the know-how

gloss (Class A) surface finish.

to make it work in this particular

With over 70 years of experience and innovation in vehicle lighting, Perei

application,” confirms Steve

Group is one of Europe’s leading

“We were initially asked by Perei if we

Bamber, operations manager at

companies in automotive lighting. It

could supply a piano black ASA, but

Perei. “Returns from Lotus are almost

is in this role that the company has

once we knew the application we

unheard of whilst our success in this

worked with Plastribution for the last

recommended PMMA,” recalls Iain

project has opened other doors for

three years as a supplier of polymethyl

Richmond, business development

us to supply plastic components

methacrylate (PMMA) resins for

executive at Plastribution. “The

beyond lighting for other premier

standard clear lenses for its products.

time we had previously invested

niche automotive manufacturers.”

Yet it was during Perei’s recent

familiarising ourselves with the

involvement in a new, non-lighting

Evonik product range meant that

Most recently, the success of the

project for the prestigious Lotus Evora

we knew that this was the material

partnership between Plastribution and

sports car that the company was

of choice for external parts at

Perei Group has been recognised by

able to draw from Plastribution’s

numerous OEM and we already

its selection as a finalist project in the

extensive polymer knowledge and

had experience of the material in

Supplier Partnership category of this

increasing product portfolio.

new applications for Jaguar.”

year’s Plastic Industry Awards. We will report on the awards evening - to

Perei had been requested by Lotus

Facilitating cooperation between

be held on 14 October in London -

to mould three parts - an engine

the development partners at Lotus

in the next issue of Know-how and

cover, A-pillar and washer cover - in

and Perei and material specialists

will let you know if Plastribution was

ASA, yet initial pre-production runs

at Evonik, Plastribution arranged

able to defend its title of Polymer

of the parts revealed significant

for material samples to be sent

Distributor of the Year.

problems with the material in terms of

for joint moulding trials which saw


Issue 01 – September 2011

Cardia demonstrates its global appeal The global appeal of biohybrid and

The new range of films meets the

with global brand owners and

compostable resins from Cardia

highest performance standards and

packaging companies. It is also an

Bioplastics Limited, exclusively

displays a unique satin feel, as Stellar

endorsement of Cardia’s capabilities

distributed in the UK by Plastribution,

Films Managing Director, Stephen

in respect of renewable and

is reflected by recent business

Walters, confirms: “The combination

sustainable plastics and packaging in

developments from around the

of performance, environmental

both flexible and rigid applications.

world. In Europe, the Finnish

profile and cost effectiveness made

packaging films supplier Wipak has

Cardia Biohybrid™ technology the

“Cardia is well positioned to benefit

recently introduced its own range

solution for Stellar Films product

from the trend towards sustainable

of sustainable food packaging films

needs. The unique texture of our

packaging,” says Dr Frank Glatz,

using Cardia Biohybrid™ patented

Biohybrid™ hygiene and medical films

managing director at Cardia

technology. The use of Cardia

gives our customers’ products that

Bioplastics. “It gives customers the

Biohybrid™ within the Wipak Group

plush, satin feel and appearance.”

choice of using sustainable Cardia

will enable food and medical

Biohybrid™ technology (less oil, lower

packaging customers to purchase

At the end of last year, Cardia

carbon foot print) or Compostable

innovative film products with reduced

Bioplastics announced its

technology offering (certified

dependence on finite oil resources

collaboration with Nestlé S.A., the

compostability to international

and lower carbon footprint.

largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods

standards) for their packaging

(FMCG) company in the world, to

or plastic product solutions. Our

Meanwhile, on the other side

reduce the environmental impact

materials are suitable for a broad

of the world, Melbourne-based

of packaging. The collaboration

range of packaging applications,

manufacturer Stellar Films has

is in line with Cardia’s strategy of

including flexible film, injection

released a new range of sustainable

working with global brand owners

moulding, blow moulding, foam,

films utilising Cardia Biohybrid™

who are looking for alternatives to

extrusion and coating applications.”

patented technology for the personal

conventional packaging. It is one of

Further information can be found

care and medical products industry.

several that Cardia has established



Issue 01 – September 2011

A night at the races “The safest way to double your

His colleague were in agreement

money is to fold it over once and

that he deserved to win, if for no

put it in your pocket” said an

other reason than he spent the time

American comedian from the

to understand how the bet worked!

early part of the 20th Century.

This individual, who has requested to

Ignoring this sound advice, the

remain anonymous, has been with the

Plastribution team set out on a warm

company nearly 15 years. Colleagues

evening in June to Uttoxeter race

had never seen him smile so much

course for its annual summer party.

or move so quickly when the Tote opened for him to claim his prize.

Form had been studied, known tipsters had been quizzed and

According to unconfirmed reports,

everybody had taken notice of the

his holiday in the Bahamas went well

Radio 4 “Tip of the Day” - although it is

and the new Merc drives beautifully!

fair to say not everyone went to these

Those who made the walk back to

lengths in choosing their favoured

the bus remarked that it seemed

horse. Others relied on the fool-proof

twice as long as when they arrived.

method of picking the silks that most appealed, or comparing horses

Maybe it was the drink, or maybe

names to long-lost, distant relatives.

it was the lure of an “interesting”

Ultimately it seemed to make little

Michael Jackson act complete with

difference which method was put

‘Thriller’ zombies. The short journey

into use as the results seemed very

home was eventually made and,

similar - regular and significant

despite a light shower of rain, it was

losses. As the evening progressed the

clear that everyone had enjoyed

combination of food and alcohol

themselves. In fact, only one group

did not appear to help the situation.

of people enjoyed themselves

The bets got bolder and methods

more than the Plastribution team

of horse (or donkey) selection got

- and that was the bookies!

more random. The losses increased! However, it should be noticed that not everybody lost out during the evening. One individual won on a hugely complicated “accumulator”.

“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket” - Kin Hubbard (American Comedian)


Issue 01 – September 2011

PANTONE 376 EC Process c59m0y100k0

PANTONE 301 EC Process c100m54y4k19

A new name for Domo Polypropylene With effect from 1 July 2011, Domo

“The change in name reflects our

friendly, non toxic, recyclable

Polypropylene B.V. of Rozenburg,

evolution into a stronger partner in

and used in the production of

The Netherlands – a joint venture

petrochemical products,” comments

packaging, textiles, films, housewares,

between Belgium’s Domo Group

Charles Liran, managing director

automotive, electrical appliances

and Israel’s Carmel Olefins – has

at Domo Polypropylene B.V. “Our

as well as many other applications.

changed its name to Ducor

core business, as a market oriented

The Ducor Petrochemicals’

Petrochemicals. The brand name

producer of polypropylene,

production site is located in

of the company’s polypropylene

remains unchanged however.

Rozenburg, the Netherlands, and

grades, distributed exclusively in the

We guarantee our customers a

has an annual output of 180kt

UK by Plastribution, will also change

flexible supply of a wide range of

per year of polypropylene using a

over the course of the third quarter

polypropylene products, which

Novolen gas phase technology.

of 2011 from Domolen to Ducor.

thanks to our strategic alliance with Carmel Olefins, will be extended

Further information on Ducor

Beyond the change in company

in the future to create further

Petrochemicals and its Ducor

and brand names, there will be no

development opportunities.”

polypropylene grades can be found

change in grade formulations (unless


specifically announced beforehand),

Ducor Petrochemicals produces a

manufacturing process or location.

versatile range of polypropylene

Accordingly, the Ducor and Domolen

homopolymers, block and random

grades will remain identical in terms

copolymers, manufactured in various

of nomenclature as well as their

standardised and customised grades.

chemical and physical properties.

Its products are environmentally



Aiming for excellence

Nucleated Clarified Controlled rheology Anti-electrostatic Anti gas fading Injection moulding Continuous filament Bulk continuous filament Specimen not broken Partially broken

Test Method

Ducor 1100H

Ducor 1184L

Ducor 1100L

Ducor 1102M

Ducor NQ10050

Ducor 1100N

Ducor 1101N

Ducor 1040N

Ducor 1040RC

Ducor 1101S

Ducor 1048TC

Ducor 3048TC

MFR 230°C / 2.16 (g/10min)

ISO 1133













T-Mod 23°C (Mpa)

ISO 527-2













ISO 180/1A

4,5 1,4

3,5 1,5

3.5 1,3

3,5 1,6

3,5 3

3 1,3

3* 1,5*

2,5 1,3

2,5 1,3

2,5* 1,5*

2,5 1,3

2,2 1,1

Melting Point DSC (°C)

ISO 3146













Vicat Softening T (°C)

ISO 306 VST/A50 (10N) VST/B50 (50N)

154 90

154 94

154 90

154 90

154 90

154 90

154 90

158 102

157 100

154 90

154 90

155 98

Density (g/cm³)

ISO 1183















N / CR




Staple, CF

IM, Caps & closures




TWIM with high transparancy

IZOD notched (kJ/m²)

23°C -30°C

N / AS

Additivation Application


* Charpy impact ISO 179/1eA(kJ/m²)

Caps & closures, general IM

Thermoformed packaging

IM, Caps & closures

Sheets, Cast film, Monofilament Strapping

Cast film, BOPP film, Thermoformed packaging


Issue 01 – September 2011

New Enzymoplast™ masterbatch accelerates biodegradation of plastics

Plastribution has further strengthened

has been tested and certified as

Enzymoplast™ products are many

its green portfolio of sustainable

compliant with the required directive

times less expensive than all other

materials with the addition of a new


biodegradable products making

and unique bacteria/enzyme-based

them a commercially viable option

biodegradation technology. It is the

The final biodegradable product

result of seven years of extensive

is 100% biodegradable and

research to develop a bacteria/

composts leaving no toxic waste.

“We are very excited about the ability

enzyme-based additive which

It also adheres to biodegradability

to supply Enzymoplast™ masterbatch

promotes a chemical reaction

and compostability standards

into the UK market exclusively through

within polythene to accelerate

EN13432 and ISO14855.

Plastribution,” concludes Narinder

the process of biodegradation.

which has so far not been available.

Bharj. “They will enable producers It is available in product form from

and OEMs a cost effective way to

The Enzymoplast technology has

Plastribution as the Enzymoplast™

reduce their CO2 emissions and

the ability to utilise polyethylene

masterbatch that can be easily to

protect their corporate image and

as a carbon source for micro-

added to PE-based plastic products

the environment by using nature

organisms to enable conversion

including LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE. It

to solve a man-made problem.”

of the polyethylene molecule

is suitable for applications such as

quickly and safely into carbon

refuse sacks, carrier bags, film, plastics

Enzymoplast™ is a trademark

dioxide, biomass and water,”

bottles and general packaging.

of Enzymoplast Tech Ltd.

marketing director at Enzymoplast

Products containing Enzymoplast™

For further information please visit:

Technology Limited. “Microbial

exhibit the same mechanical

breakdown is initiated where the

and optical properties as a

carbonyl group is found. These

product without the additive.

explains Narinder Bharj, sales and

functional groups are introduced into polyethylene during the photo thermal biodegradation process.” The formulation of the bacteria enzyme-based substrate used in the Enzymoplast™ masterbatch consists of 13 ingredients narrowed down to the enzyme, protein and bacteria compound drawn primarily from natural resources and medicinal plants which are sustainably sourced. This renders both the process methodology and technology non-hazardous and non-toxic. It 27

Issue 01 – September 2011

Realising ® the Granic potential The Granic® range of additive

60 tons per annum.” Thanks to

the processor to down-gauge the

materials, which are characterised by

its high natural mineral content,

thickness of the bottle neck without

their high calcium-carbonate content,

Granic® is less than 25 percent

sacrificing stiffness. “The overall

are already gaining the attention

dependent on oil for its production

weight saving per bottle is around

of UK plastic processors seeking to

and thus has a significantly lower

11 percent,” declares Green.

achieve greater manufacturing

carbon footprint than polymers.

efficiency. The additive can be

Moreover the price of Granic® is

A key property of Granic® is its

added to almost all types of

not only significantly lower than

ability to be loaded at high levels

polymers, including polyethylene,

purely fossil-fuel based equivalents

without any detrimental effect to

polypropylene or polystyrene

but is considerably more stable.

the processing method being used. This is due to Gestoras advanced

derivatives, at dosages of up to 60 percent depending on application.

A second UK company, in this case a

mixing technology, allowing them

Benefits of Granic® in moulded

producer of blow-moulded pill bottles,

to produce materials with ultra

parts include significant efficiencies

has also been quick to recognise

low melt flow resin carriers. This,

in terms of output and energy

the Granic® potential. During trials

coupled with their use of ultrafine

costs, in film applications the use of

conducted by the customer, an

treated calcium carbonate,

Granic can lead to improvements

addition rate of Granic® at 20

removes many of the historical

in mechanical performance

percent has led to a reduction in

barriers to filler use in polymers.

and production efficiency.

cycle time for each bottle from 10.7 to 9.4 seconds. “The improved thermal

Plastribution has been the sole

“One company, a manufacturer of

conductivity of Granic® meant that

distributor in the United Kingdom of

cling film dispensers made from high

cycle times could be reduced, as

the Granic® range of highly calcium

impact polystyrene, is looking to add

the moulding cools more quickly,

carbonate filled polymers, produced

up to 15 percent of Granic to the

whilst less heat input is required for

by Gestora Catalana de Residuo of

polymer to help improve the stiffness

processing in the first place,” explains

Spain, since the start of 2011. Further

and strength of the product, whilst

Chris Green. “For high volume

information on Granic® can be found

simultaneously reducing the thickness

products such as pill bottles, benefits


of the moulded sections,” reports

can result in not only a reduced cost

Chris Green, business development

per part due to the use of a lower

manager at Plastribution. “For this

cost material, but also significant

particular customer, the adoption

efficiencies in terms of output and

of Granic® will equate to an

energy usage per part.” At the same

approximate cost-saving of around 8

time, the reinforcing properties of the

percent versus the use of unmodified

ultrafine calcium carbonate granules

HIPS and a carbon saving of around

in the polymer matrix has allowed


Granic® Our product, your solution.

Issue 01 – September 2011

Will HDPE be the new PP?

Price Index HDPE 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1

HDPE Injection moulding grade


PPHP – Injection


PPCP – Injection

0.8 0.7 0.6 Apr - 11

Jan - 11

Jul - 10

Oct - 10

Apr - 10

Jan - 10

Oct - 09

Jul - 09

Apr - 09

Jan - 09

Oct - 08

Jul - 08


As illustrated by the graph above,

other polymers, is produced as a

alternative technologies

something interesting is happening

by-product, and the production

to produce propylene and

to the price of PP (polypropylene)

ratio of ethylene to other

techniques such as PDH (propane

relative to PE (polyethylene).

feedstocks can only be adjusted

dehydrogenation), metathesis, and

in a relatively narrow range.

FCC (fluidized catalyic crackers),

Historically, the price development

albeit at an additional cost.

of both materials has been similar,

Ethane is both plentiful and cheap

leading to a strong preference for

in the Middle East, whilst the

So the recent delta between PP

the use of PP because it can be

recent development of ‘fracking’

and HDPE looks set to continue

processed more efficiently (due to

(a technique developed in the

and, for plastic processors at least,

its superior cooling characteristics).

US to extract shale gas) has also

this could lead to a change in

HDPE (high density polyethylene), on

reduced the cost of ethylene in the

preference to achieve greater cost

the other hand, would normally only

US and, subject to ‘fracking’ being

efficiency. Whilst the economics are

find favour where the characteristics

approved in Europe, potentially here

complex - for instance, depending

of PP do not meet the requirements

too. Naptha, on the other hand, is

upon utilization it may be necessary

of the application (HDPE provides

expensive, meaning that ethylene

to invest in additional capacity -

higher rigidity and better low

and propylene produced by this

as a rule of thumb a 20 percent

temperature impact properties).

method has also become more

premium of PP price over HDPE

costly. So given that you have to

negates the cycle time penalty

So what is happening now to

process naptha to get propylene

associated with the latter, although

change the economics of material

and the ethylene produced by

each application will be different.

selection, and what is the likely future

this method has to compete with

trend? To explain this we need to

ethylene derived from ethane, it looks

Should you require any further

look at some of the fundamental

as if propylene (and other feedstocks)

information on either the substitution

changes that are taking place in the

will effectively have to cross-subsidise

of PP in existing applications, or

petrochemical industry and for us to

naptha-derived ethylene.

the adoption of HDPE in new

understand how the feedstocks for

developments, please do not

PE and PP are produced, and why.

The obvious outcome is that, due

hesitate to contact us to discuss

In the case of polyethylene, its

to these fundamental changes,

your specific requirements.

feedstock is ethylene, which is

polypropylene will become

produced ‘on purpose’ by either

increasingly more expensive when

cracking ethane or naptha. When

compared to polyethylene.

cracking naptha, propylene, the

Of course this price delta allows

feedstock for polypropylene and

the opportunity to deploy


Issue 01 – September 2011

Vistamaxx™ propylenebased elastomer helps get unique toys to pass key drop-test and onto store shelves in time for Christmas.

Solving the drop-test dilemma

The “Pack Away Garage” is a multi-

Toys and Electronics (Dongguan)

propylene‐based elastomer within the

featured children’s toy designed

Limited of Guangdong, China, had

impact copolymer before settling on

and developed by one of Europe’s

three options: adjust the production

a 15% Vistamaxx loading, with which

leading suppliers, Halsall Toys Europe

process, which was considered a

it comfortably passed the drop-test.

Ltd. (HTI). The garage is over three

priority, improve the ICP and, as

“Thankfully we didn’t need to modify

levels, with a helipad, gas station,

a last resort, modify the moulds.

the design of the tool as it would

car wash, ramps and car lift, as well

After numerous adjustments to

have been very costly, and there

as die-cast cars. Molded from an

the production process proved

would have been delays of about

impact copolymer polypropylene

unsuccessful, they approached local

four months in commercialising the

(ICP), the entire toy, which folds up

polymer distributor, Kin Sang Chemical

toy,” remarks Jonathan Stoneley,

into a compact tye-shaped carrying

Ltd. of Shenzhen, China, and

Halsall’s buying controller. “This

case, weighs 3kgs and measures

polymer manufacturer, ExxonMobil

innovative solution meant we

approximately 42cm x 38cm x 19cm.

Chemical for an assessment

did not miss the Christmas sales

of the material being used.

period.” Launched in the summer

As with all toys for the mass market,

of 2009, the Pack Away Garage

the garage was required to meet the

They proposed altering the formula

sold 80,000 units in Europe during

standards and safety requirements

of the impact copolymer by adding

the run up to Christmas that year,

of key markets, such as ASTM F963

ExxonMobil Chemical’s Vistamaxx

making it Halsall’s third-best seller.

(United States) and EN71 (European

propylene-based elastomer.

Union). Under ASTM F963, the folded

Vistamaxx can affect flexibility within

Further information on Vistamaxx™

case was dropped five times from

a part, increasing impact strength

propylene-based elastomer

six different directions at a height of

down to -20°C while improving

can be found at:

just over 90 cm, with the ICP failing

adhesion. In particular, dry blending

on the surface of the tire case

10 to 30% Vistamaxx with PP at

and in the internal support ribs. It

the injection moulding machine

became clear that the material

provides improved impact strength,

lacked the flexibility and strength

minimizing breakage and eliminating

to resist the high external impact.

the need for mould modification

The commercial launch of “Pack

or an increase in part thickness.

Away Garage” in time for the run up to Christmas was now in danger.

Ever Force tested different

HTI and the moulder Ever Force

concentrations of Vistamaxx


Issue 01 – September 2011

That’s cool! Recycled polystyrene from refrigerators available from Plastribution

A recycled grade of polystyrene (rPS

Total has sought to address this

65W) from Total Petrochemicals is

problem by developing the post-

now available to the UK processing

consumer, recycled grade of

industry through Plastribution. The

polystyrene sourced from refrigerators.

general purpose material, suitable for both injection moulding and

“We believe plastics can be recycled

extrusion, is produced from post-

several times and still provide value as

consumer refrigerator doors and liners.

a source of energy at the end of their lifecycle. To maximise this potential,

rPS 65W offers comparable properties

Total is developing new solutions for

to virgin polystyrene with a melt index

recycling plastics, including offering

of 6g/10 minutes, a flexural modulus of

new grades containing recycled

1750MPa, an Izod impact strength of 6

polymers. We also support the

kJ/m2 at 23°C and a VICAT softening

efforts of professional associations

temperature of 86°C. The pellet-

such as Plastics Europe to improve

shaped material is manufactured to

the end-of-life management of

match a consistent off-white colour

plastics,” says a spokesperson

and has a density of approximately

for Total Petrochemicals.

1.05 g/m3. Typical applications for the recycled grade of polystyrene

The addition of a recycled grade

include office equipment, household

of Polystyrene, backed by the

items and other injection-moulded

brand of a major petrochemical

items. The material is not suitable for

producer is another important

food contact and toy applications.

addition to Plastribution’s portfolio

For over last 25 years, high impact

of products with green credentials.

polystyrene (HIPS) has been the

‘Through offering a broad range

material of choice for refrigerator

of materials we aim to provide

liners and doors due to its lightweight

processors with the correct solution

insulating and protective properties.

to meet the increasing need of OEMs and retailers to provide

Unfortunately, once the

products to meet consumers

refrigerator has reached its end-

increasing expectations for more

of-life, the polystyrene becomes

environmentally friendly products’.

a waste material that companies must pay to dispose of.

For more information, please visit


Issue 01 – September 2011

Plastics Design Workshop proves a hit at pdm11

Dan Jarvis

Product Supervisor

During pdm11, Plastribution once

terms of materials and manufacture.

by Agentdraw. Finally, the third

more teamed up with injection

Three strong candidates stood out

candidate required the involvement

moulding technology group Engel

from the event held during pdm11,

of all three host companies on

and design company Agentdraw

as Dan Jarvis, product supervisor

material selection, tooling and

to provide show visitors with free-

at Plastribution, recalls: “The first, a

machinery for a new product.”

of-charge consultation on plastic

consultant to the plastics industry

product development. The Plastics

with several projects in the pipeline,

As well as co-hosting the Plastics

Design Workshops, held at dates

was very interested in our new range

Design Workshop event, Plastribution

throughout the year, are the

of sustainable materials. Since the

was once more an exhibitor at pdm11

opportunity for product designers

workshop the gentleman in question

at its new venue at the ExCeL Centre

to receive confidential, high-level

has been in touch with our sustainable

in London. The change in location

advice on material selection,

products manager and the

was certainly not detrimental to visitor

product design, tooling and

communication process is ongoing.”

interest in the Plastribution exhibit, as

manufacture. The next workshop

Dan Jarvis, representing Plastribution

is scheduled to be held during

“The second candidate was

at the show, confirms: “This year’s

Interplas 2011 (27th-29th September,

encountering more of a processing

show was better than expected

issue – the customer produces

for us. We took over 30 leads at our

electrical connectors using flame-

stand, all of which we would classify

Reflecting a concept first developed

retardant nylon but was having

as strong, and we are now working

by the Engel Moulders’ Group, the

issues with dimensional stability.

on a couple of bits of high volume

goal of the Plastics Design Workshop

Our input was to suggest different

business as a direct consequence

is to provide a forum for product

materials, including PBT, and to

of our participation.”

design groups to discuss their plastics

look at alternative nylon grades.

projects and their requirements in

Tooling advice was provided


Issue 01 – September 2011

Enabling a multitude of benefits for film converters

Availability in the UK through Plastribution, it allows converters to further enhance their business through more stable operations, improved film line output, film down-gauging, and simpler resin sourcing.

conditions. The ability of Enable

Resin sourcing simplicity

mPE to extrude at lower melting

Enable mPE is a single, unique resin

temperatures delivers extrusion

designed to replace LLDPE/LDPE

energy savings, promotes greater

blends - simplifying sourcing and

bubble stability, and leads to stable,

operations. Lowering inventory costs

worry-free operations.

by reducing the number of resins that

Extended output

need to be sourced, it eliminates blending complexity and costly errors.

Enable mPE facilitates faster

While Enable mPE technology is ideal

processing which increases film line

for film converters with LLDPE and

capacity. When replacing LLDPE-rich

LDPE mono-layer blown film lines, it

blends it’s possible to increase output

also brings value to multilayer blown

by up to 20% with no additional

film lines, especially large lay-flat

capital cost, resulting in increased

films requiring high melt strength,

revenue and the postponement

and cast film lines. Its broad range

of future equipment investments.

of benefits makes Enable mPE

Enable™ metallocene polyethylene

In some cases, polymer processing

suitable for an array of flexible film

(mPE) from ExxonMobil Chemical

aids can be eliminated, resulting in

applications including collation shrink,

offers an unprecedented

additional savings.

pallet shrink, cast stretch hand wrap,

combination of film processing and

lamination film, heavy duty bags

in the UK through Plastribution, it

Versatility with higher alpha olefin (HAO) performance

allows converters to further enhance

Enable mPE technology meets the

metallocene polyethylene

their business through more stable

performance needs of several film

(mPE) can be found at:

operations, improved film line output,

applications. While often surpassing

film down-gauging, and simpler

the mechanical performance

resin sourcing.

requirements of LLDPE-rich structures,

HAO performance benefits in a single, unique resin. Availability

Operational stability

and agricultural greenhouse films. Further information on Enable™

Enable mPE can significantly improve the toughness of LDPE-rich structures

Enable mPE has a broad operating

making down-gauging by more

window – on both LLDPE and LDPE

than 20 percent a possibility. Enable

equipment – that can withstand

mPE can open up potential new

fluctuations in manufacturing

applications on LDPE equipment.


Issue 01 – September 2011


Advancing the knowledge and skills of the injection moulding industry

thermoplastics, the sharing of

The perfect blend of theory and practice

its technical knowledge is a

The informative and entertaining

industry, the course provided me

second, fundamental element of

theoretical sessions, presented by

with the building blocks I required

Plastribution’s commitment to service

Plastribution, provide a brief history

to start to understand the injection

excellence. This is reflected by the

of polymers and an introduction to

moulding process,” commented

initiation of two training courses by

polymer chemistry. This introduction

financial controller Mark Dolby at

Plastribution aimed at advancing the

leads on to the profiling of polymer

the end of a recent course. “I think

knowledge and skills of its customers’

groups – including the commodity

understanding that it’s not always

process technicians and production

polymers such as polyethylene

about choosing the cheapest

and commercial managers from

and polypropylene, styrenics (ABS

materials is one of the key lessons

the injection moulding industry.

and polystyrene) and engineering

I took away from the course.”

Beyond the supply of high quality

polymers – by their properties and The first, a three-day course entitled

typical applications. With an eye on

For more information or to reserve a

Process Optimisation and delivered

the commercial benefits to be gained

place on the next “Injection Moulding

by plastics consultancy and training

by making an informed choice

for Non-Technical Staff”, course,

provider G&A Moulding Technology

during material selection, a practical

please contact Duncan Scott.

at its state-of-the-art premises in

exercise illustrates the component

Peterborough , combines theory with

cost savings achievable with a

Tel: +44 (0)1530 560560 or

practice in meeting the needs of

more technically capable polymer,

Mob: +44 (0)776 8716227

the processor wishing to obtain high

despite its relatively higher cost.

levels of accuracy and productivity from their production facilities.

In the practical sessions, covered by G&A, candidates receive an

More recently, Plastribution has

overview of the injection moulding

introduced a second course,

process, and some of the equipment

“Injection Moulding for Non-

involved, before undertaking a

Technical Staff”, which is held over

practical mould setting exercise

two days, also in conjunction with

themselves. The practical elements

G&A. “The purpose of this course

of the course help underline some

is to provide candidates, who

of the theoretical, material-based

most likely have a commercial or

information gained in the previous

non-technical background, with a

sessions, for example understanding

general understanding of injection

material data sheets for the correct

moulding materials, machines and

setting of barrel temperatures.

the processing of the polymers which will enable them to make educated

The course has been well received

decisions when specifying and

by those attending, who have

procuring materials,” explains Duncan

considered it a worthwhile and

Scott, sales manager at Plastribution

recommendable event. “Being

and presenter at the course.

completely new to the plastics


“Being completely new to the plastics industry, the course provided me with the building blocks I required to start to understand the injection moulding process”

Issue 01 – September 2011

Duncan Scott Distribution Sales Manager


Issue 01 – September 2011


Blending for success The trend towards customising

KH: Which technologies are

materials at the machine is becoming

available to plastic processors seeking

an increasingly popular approach to

to blend material at the hopper?

both reducing cost and optimising both processing and properties.

SH: Essentially there are four main options - hand blending, tumble

Over the last three decades, we have

blending, volumetric blending

witnessed masterbatch becoming

and gravimetric blending, each

the predominant method for both

with their associated advantages

colouring plastics and adding small

and disadvantages.

concentrations of additives and processing aids. More recently

KH: And these are?

processors are looking to blend

Sam Hill – Managing Director Summit Systems

additives such as Vistamaxx™

SH: In the case of hand and tumble

propylene-based elastomers and

blending, the labour cost and error

Exact™ plastomers, which can

rates only make it feasible for very

be used to modify the rigidity and

small production runs. In the case of

impact performance of polyolefins,

volumetric blending we need to look

and Granic® compounds with high

at what happens in the real work

concentrations of mineral fillers used

environment to assess its practical

as rigidity modifiers, productivity

value: The key to accuracy with

enhancers and extenders.

volumetric equipment is frequent calibration and correction of control

Whilst the advantages of blending

settings. Unfortunately, the time and

at the machine are clear, the close

attention to detail required to do this

control of this process is vital: in the

is rarely available to personnel on the

case of additive and colourant

factory floor and as a result processors

masterbatches, for instance,

often run without the correct settings

excessive dosing will increase cost,

risking their product integrity.

while in the case of plastomers and Granic®, incorrect dosing will lead to

When the masterbatch or additive

the properties of the end product not

amount added to the process is

meeting the required specification.

too low, the error is often visible and a correction to increase is

In recognition of this trend, Know-how

obviously made. however, when

spoke to Sam Hill, managing director

the material addition is too high,

of Summit Systems, about some of

the problem may not be visible

the practical aspects of blending:

and adjustments are not made. This results in high and excessive raw


Issue 01 – September 2011

material costs to our customers. This

Furthermore gravimetric blending

excessive material usage is almost

facilitates the blending of multiple

always a minimum of 10 percent

materials with different and/

and frequently much more. Indeed,

or variable bulk density.

excess masterbatch usage of between 20 and 50 percent is not

KH: Can you tell us about your

uncommon, resulting in inconsistent

relationship with Plastribution?

product quality, function and form. SH: Summit Systems have shared In contrast a gravimetric blender

success at the Plastic Industry Awards

solves the problem of incorrect

and worked together on a number of

dosage as it automates the job

projects for Plastribution customers. It

of calibration and correction by

is an important partnership in which

checking and adjusting the addition

we can provide practical support to

rate in every cycle. Details of the

Plastribution customers, ensuring that

potential savings achieved through

their innovative plastic raw material

the use of gravimetric blending

solutions can be realised within

can be found on our website at:

the production environment.

“It is an important partnership in which we can provide practical support to Plastribution customers, ensuring that innovative plastic raw material solutions can be realised within the production environment” documents/blenderbusinesscase.pdf

The relative merits of principal blending methods



Risk of Separation

Risk of Error

Capital Cost

Life-time Cost

Hand Blending







Tumble Blending







Volumetric Blending





Gravimetric Blending










Issue 01 – September 2011

The Plastribution Teams Earlier in this publication we explained that the journey we took to establish our new brand identity allowed us to also more clearly define how our teams work.

Direct Sales Team This team look after the needs of

Product Management Teams

larger customers where there is a

Three teams look after Polyolefins,

strong emphasis on price, availability

Styrenics & Specialities, and

and up to date market information.

Engineering Polymers. Essentially the

Normally specific requirements

teams manage the supply chain and

are discussed and these are then

handle the commercial negotiations.

matched to supply. Often product

This is the vital interface between the

is delivered direct from the polymer

Direct & Distribution sales teams and

producer’s plant or warehouse

our suppliers and there is extensive

directly to the customer. The

need for effective communication

Above all, we know that price,

Direct Sales team have the skills,

to ensure that price and availability

availability and flexibility are of

knowledge and market information

is optimised. The alignment of teams

paramount importance in our

to meet the requirements of a

to similar products enables the

industry. Because we work in different

commercially demanding market.

efficient dissemination of information

ways with our partners dependent

and ensures that up to the minute

on their needs, the ones that know

Distribution Sales Team

us regard us as both integral and

This team looks after the needs of

the organisation. The close proximity

indispensible because or processes

smaller and medium size customers

of the Product Management Teams

ensure that we always manage

who are often looking for a just in time

to the Direct Sales Team ensures that

these three things perfectly.

service across a range of polymers.

the commercial requirements of large

Normally goods are despatched

customers are effectively met.

Our teams and processes have

from Plastribution’s warehouse to

been developed carefully in order

the customer on a next day service.

for us to be able to do this so well -

Distribution customers typically

using our expertise and innovation

require higher levels of technical

in order to suit each different

service, in terms of materials selection

type of customer and supplier.

and processing advice. Extensive

It’s this unique way of working,

stocks and effective supply chain

specially designed to suit everyone

management enable this team to

who deals with us that really makes us

meet with customer demands for a

different. Here is a description of how

next day service. Front line technical

our teams work and what

support is provided by Technical Sales

they are called

Executives with technical expertise and backed up by the knowledge of Plastribution and its suppliers.


information is available throughout

Issue 01 – September 2011


Teach polypropylene cool new tricks. With Vistamaxx elastomers as a blend partner, polypropylene can perform in a whole new way. Vistamaxx™ specialty elastomers let you demand more from existing polypropylene applications – and might even lead you to new ones. This versatile portfolio of products can improve strength, softness, flexibility and clarity. Because they’re halogen-free and lighter weight, Vistamaxx specialty elastomer / polypropylene blends may be an effective alternative in PVC applications. How cool would that be? Fetch more information on

Vistamaxx™ specialty elastomers

M a x x i m i ze Pe fo r m a n c e

©2009 Exxon Mobil Corporation. The terms corporation, ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Chemical, our and its, as used in this advertisement, sometimes refer not only to ExxonMobil Chemical Company, a division of Exxon Mobil Corporation, but collectively to all of the companies affiliated with Exxon Mobil Corporation or to any one or more of them or their employees. Photos used in this ad may be representative of potential product applications only.

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Know-how magazine  

know-how has been created to deliver information, insights and opinion to our suppliers, customers and the industry as a whole. As well as...

Know-how magazine  

know-how has been created to deliver information, insights and opinion to our suppliers, customers and the industry as a whole. As well as...