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commissions third food-grade line


Sun Ace, Symphony team up to distribute antimicrobial additive

Perspex SA upcycling Rush Recycling plastic & aluminium separates aluminum layers from ABS, HIPS Banbury & Hubron powering Black Masterbatch success www.sapt.co.za

Clariant expands pigments lab for African market


SA plastics industry navigates Covid-19 by embracing change


Dow Packaging Innovation Award winners


Our Winning Formula Sets Us Apart ELASTOMERS


ACM CR EPDM Epichlorohydrin FKM HNBR HTV Silicone IR NBR NR PVC/NBR Blends SBR & BR

ABS Acetal Additives Composites CPE CSM EVA HIPS & GPPS Nylon PC PVC TPE & TPV TPU



Aluminas Antimony Products Blowings Agents Carbon Blacks Flame Retardents Hydrocarbon Resins Magnesium Oxide Masterbatches MC & PE Waxes Mineral Fillers Peroxides Process Aids Rubber Chemicals Silanes Silica Sulfur Zinc Oxide

Machinery Other Services Release Agents Release liners Spares

ANCHOR CHEMICALS Batch Off Bonding Systems Coated Powders Factice Masterbatching Process Aids Toll Mixing




Cape Town

Port Elizabeth

(T) 011 489 3600 (F) 011 489 3601

(T) 031 313 8500 (F) 031 313 8516

(T) 021 506 4598 (F) 021 506 4561

(T) 041 3999 529 (F) 041 3999 401


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MARS 3 SERIES 600 – 33,000 KN






Office: +27 11 704 0824 | info@cabletech.co.za 20 Amelia Lane, Lanseria Corporate Estate, Malibongwe Road, Lanseria

Web : www.cabletech.co.za

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2020/11/17 09:56

BY THE WAY Publisher & Managing Editor: Martin Wells (martin@summitpub.co.za) Editor: Tessa O’Hara (tessa@summitpub.co.za) Publishers Assistant: Heather Peplow (heather@summitpub.co.za) Financial manager: Lisa Mulligan (lisa@summitpub.co.za) Designers: Jeanette Erasmus Graphic Design (jeanette.erasmus@lateraldynamics.co.za) Bronwen Moys Blinc Design (bronwen.clarke@gmail.com) Summit Publishing cc t: +27 (21) 712 1408 f: 086 519 6089 c: +27 (82) 822 8115 e: tessa@summitpub.co.za Postnet Suite 42, Private Bag X16, Constantia 7848, Cape Town, South Africa Unit 8, Bergvliet Village Centre, Cnr Hiddingh & Children’s Way Roads, Bergvliet 7945

www.sapt.co.za GAUTENG Lowrie Sharp t: (011) 793 4691 f: (011) 791 0544 c: 082 344 7870 e: lowrieplasticsmedia@absamail.co.za KZN Lynne Askew c: 082 904 9433 e: lynne@summitpub.co.za Printed by: Novus Print, Paarl Southern African Polymer Technology is published six times a year and focuses on these industries in South and Southern Africa. We welcome news, articles, technical reports, information in general and photographs about events and developments related to the plastics industry. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Plastics Converters Association, Institute of Materials or Association of Rotational Moulders either. Copyright: All rights reserved. ISSN number: 1684-2855 (ISDS Centre, Paris) Summit Publishing: CK 9863581/23 VAT reg: 4600187902

Plastics Institute

Association of Rotational

Plastics Converters

of Southern Africa

Moulders of South Africa


PET Plastic Recycling South Africa

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Institute of Materials

One of the Yizumi machines being commissioned at the Groupe SEB plant in Egypt … and it doesn’t look too different from a plant in Elandsfontein. We are noticing that some of the SA machine technicians (experts) are proving increasingly popular for installation/commissioning jobs across Africa. The machines need to be in full operation from switch-on, and the guys are good at doing that

Nurdles continue to persist, but still no outcome MOST of us in the industry will not have taken the problem of ‘nurdles’ washing up on beaches too seriously, as we know the pellets are not toxic, but the matter has certainly persisted in the public media. Part of the problem is that no-one wants to take responsibility, which is hardly surprising as it’s difficult to deal with pellets that flow with ocean currents. But the authorities that be in South Africa have responded, headed by Plastics|SA’s environmental team, and although the supplier of the material has not been identified (we do know who the company is), it is understood that an insurance claim was to be honoured, that being most likely to have come via the shipping agent. Better still, a marine survey group was commissioned to search for the sunken containers, of which it is rumoured there were four – and was even provided with coordinates for the likely scene of the overboard incident. Although the surveyor tasked with the job is highly experienced at marine work, mainly for diamonds, nothing has been found.

It’s Yizumi to Egypt for Mould Base on installation job

DAVE Moore of Mould Base had an unexpected assignment in Egypt in January when he was contracted to commission a number of Yizumi injection moulding machines for the local plant of Groupe SEB of France. SEB manufactures several internationally leading domestic utensil brands and, amongst others, operates an injection moulding plant in Alexandria, a short distance from the Med. The eight-day mission, which included the set-up of robots for each of the Yizumi units, was definitely a test for Mould Base. According to Moore, the machines arrived at the plant the day before he did (which in itself was fortunate) and he was surprised and impressed by the helpfulness and skills of the staff at Groupe SEB Egypt, many of who were degreed personnel. Moore, who was involved in manufacturing before starting Mould Base 10 years ago, has commissioned a fairly large number of the Yizumi machines but doing so in a foreign country was potentially far more challenging. Each of the Chinese-built machines went into full production … IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY virtually from switch-on, a feather Look at the bright side: if you in the cap for Mould Base. have some gem of wisdom to impart, please write to us at tessa@summitpub.co.za

2021/02/16 10:54




CONTENTS Find out more at www.sapt.co.za

6 8 10

Banbury & Hubron: Powering Black Masterbatch success across SA


Cape recycler Pelmanco installs biggest Erema yet


Sun Ace, Symphony team up to distribute antimicrobial additive


Rush Recycling separates aluminum from ABS, HIPS

18 20

Inkulu installs own power generation plant


Husky introduces the UltraShot Injection System


Danone takes on challenge to provide Covid-compliant desks


OMYA & Idwala form a new company in SA


40 42


Impact of Covid on converting industry still being assessed

Dow Packaging Innovation Award winners


43 58 61

Luca, a small 100% sustainable electric car


polybutylene terephthalate compounds

• Innovatively compounded engineering polymer solutions to achieve versatile properties • To include colour, UV, flame retardant and any other required stabilizers/additives • Most compounds are exclusive to customers • We offer polymer selection and mould trials on a proprietary and inclusive basis

Nylon substitute We also supply the Nylon substitute Poketone™ from Hyosung Chemical of Korea.

62 Composite Plastics cc Allan Paterson, 082 886 6058 allan@compositeplastics.co.za



polyphenylene sulphine for high-temperature applications

Poketone includes a range of abrasion-resistant resins with enhanced impact strength, chemical and hydrolysis resistance, making it an ideal replacement for many PA 6 and PA 66 applications

3D-printed prefab homes aim to disrupt construction market

Covestro sustainable cast elastomer solution for offshore industry


Whatever formulation you require we supply, irrespective of volume or complexity … including

Sicomin sponsors solo kayak crossing of South Atlantic

Waste picker’s success story receives national kudos

polythalamide for metal replacement




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Perspex SA success in upcycling plastic & aluminium layers




Extrupet commissions its 3rd food-grade line

polyamide (co-polyamide and partly aromatic)

ON THE COVER: TOMRA and Borealis have started their advanced mechanical recycling demo plant in Lahnstein, Germany, the result of a partnership that marries chemistry with technology for unsurpassed results. Read more on page 56

Craig Paterson, 083 680 9793 craig@compositeplastics.co.za www.compositeplastics.co.za

2021/02/18 11:20

COMMENT New retail solution – Many things are different in the Covid situation and will quite possibly continue to be; one of the most obvious of which is home deliveries. The writer suggests the industries we serve quite possibly have a head start in this respect, as convertors and fabricators have been packing moulded goods and taking responsibility for delivery for years already, in our case mainly to other business … but we may need to be smart to get an advantage from this ability PHOTO: AMI INTERNATIONAL

It could be more important than ever to

care for customers first


Worry is more about what won’t happen


FEB / MAR 2021


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LARM bells are going off all over the place, not for what is happening … but for what quite probably won’t happen: namely the expected market slump that will result from the Covid induced recession.

And here in South Africa, the recession from the slowdown is likely to be felt more harshly than anywhere else. Businesses in the market we are involved in, the plastics and rubber converting and composites fabrication sectors, have incredibly already proven that they can survive extremely challenging conditions. Some have had to downsize or diversify, but have kept going. We are obviously dependent on the general economy, but there is reason to take a little confidence from what has happened to date. We have heard of casualties and, according to Plastics|SA, an estimated 17 business have shut since March 2020 (see report inside). It’s unfair to say that any of these businesses might have had to shut anyway, on the basis that they were in trouble before Covid, because there is little doubt that the pandemic so far has been one of the most challenging situations ever for business – it would have been easier to operate and trade even if it had been a war.

The casualty figure is probably higher than that, as it’s difficult to get stats on this. It’s not a requirement to tell anyone when you are going out of business (other than, hopefully, creditors) but it is in our estimate probably less than 2% of the market. But tough times almost certainly lie ahead and about all we can do is care for our customers and employees, in which respect it will be easier also to comply with Covid precautions. It has to be said that customers come first: if you lose customers you will have to lose staff too, it’s that simple (knowing about this might help to motivate some people). New solutions will be required and, let’s be honest; developing plastic components is one of the quickest-to-market options available. It’s going to be difficult but it’s also going to be interesting. And, not that you can bet on this, I would most certainly put money on many of the businesses in our market to survive, and possibly even thrive.

I’d put money on many of the businesses in our market to survive

Martin Wells, Publisher

2021/02/16 13:10


From pack to product creating the perfect PVC pipe and cabling

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15/02/2021 20:24

2021/02/16 09:05


Extrupet commissions its 3rd food-grade line Packaging design is imperative to the whole circular economy EXTRUPET commissioned its third food-grade line in January and now has three operational food grade rPET lines. SA Polymer Technology spoke to Harjinder Kaur Jutley (Jiney), Extrupet’s sales coordinator. How has the installation of your third food-grade line been going? Jiney: Wow, what a journey! The start of lock down, at the end of March 2020, brought with it the arrival of our new Starlinger reco STAR PET 165 HC iV and all installation plans had to be pushed back to the end of the year while lockdowns around the world took its course. We thankfully justified the arrival of the engineers from Europe over December 2020 and as of the end of January, have been running the new line. Much has been said about the flagship PhoenixPET® brand that has grown into an rPET we believe is now used commercially in 100% mineral water applications. Do all three of your food grade lines use the same technology? Jiney: With the new Starlinger line, we now have one Vacurema line and two Starlingers, all making food grade rPET. Our total capacity now is just under 3000 metric tons per month. The certification levels are remarkable, from BRC to ISO, FDA, EFSA, GRS – what is the driving force behind a PET recycler being so focused on quality? Jiney: Thank you, I think many of these requirements have come directly from our multinational partners that have global standards in place. We have been blessed to work with such wonderful partners over the last two decades and the quality standards are the output of these collaborations. Have you seen the recycling space change much with the advent of the pandemic? Jiney: We have seen pressure placed on the supply of raw materials, due to slower economic activity; however, we did prepare in advance for this and thankfully are in a good position to keep our three lines running well into the future. The quality of the feedstock has become very important. We notice that when brand owners do not take a relevant position on how their packaging will be reused or recycled in a South African context, it hurts the whole value chain. What do you mean by relevant position? Jiney: There needs to be an understanding of what is relevant in the specific geography that you are doing business in. Our reality in South Africa is that most of the raw 6

FEB / MAR 2021


material we use originates from landfill. Therefore, brands need to understand when packages are designed, how their packs will be collected from landfill and ask if there is value in the chain to make sure they are actually recycled. But anything can be recycled surely? Jiney: Unfortunately, that is not the case. From a ‘green washing’ perspective, anything can be recycled yes, but from a practical repurposing perspective, unless the packaging is designed well enough in advance, the packs are doomed to an end-of-life on landfill or in our oceans. For instance, Sprite bottles are now clear instead of green; brand owners have taken the correct steps to ensure that bottles are designed better for greater recyclability. Coloured bottles have a limited use and are harder to recycle. Although bottle design is progressing, the same cannot always be said about the labels on the bottle, that’s another challenge entirely. Extrupet challenging ‘alleged’ benefit of recycling shrink sleeves labels Do you have an example of this? Jiney: There are many, I am sad to say, for example PVC and PET shrink sleeve labels cannot be recycled in South Africa. In fact, they cause real problems on our line if these slip through our system. But it is not just that, brands need to understand the circular nature of their choices. Extrupet is constantly challenging the ‘alleged’ benefit of recycling shrink sleeves labels. It simply doesn’t exist in South Africa or anywhere else in the world. Post-consumer recycling faces huge issues when processing PET bottles with PET or PVC labels. Polyolefin wraparound labels are the preferred option as there is less adhesive, again reducing issues at the point of recycling. In an ideal world, no label would be perfect! We are fighting hard to change this perception and along with PETCO, are educating the industry – both convertors and brand owners. However, it starts at the very beginning with packaging and bottle design. The design is imperative to the whole circular economy and that’s something the entire value chain needs to be aware of and definitely a part of. A great example of companies making a change, and looking to improve recycling rates is Ribena. They have redesigned the sleeves on their plastic bottles, which as an end result will prevent down cycling and ensure more bottles are collected. I think that it’s important to have the courage to talk about real solutions that are relevant to your geography and economy. Standing up for what you believe does not always make you popular, but it is still the right thing to do. www.extrupet.com

2021/02/19 09:49

Our PhoenixPET family is expanding ®

Extrupet’s additional Starlinger reco STAR PET 165 HC iV means we become part of an exclusive 3000 MT per month name plate capacity solution provider. Two Starlingers, one Vacurema and every ton globally certified.

Better for the environment and our economy. Putting the future in your hands. Product of

Proudly associated with



Our accreditations


Food Grade Plant

Contact: 011 865 8360 | Email: info@phoenixpet.co.za | Website: www.phoenixpet.co.za


Perspex SA success in upcycling plastic and aluminium layers from post-consumer Tetra Pak cartons

8 FEB / MAR 2021

Fully recycled material made into promotional retail display shelving PERSPEX South Africa has successfully assisted in developing a closed loop recycling system in which it recycles the plastics and aluminium in Tetra Pak packaging and extrudes this into sheets of PolyAl that are used to manufacture retail displays. Tetra Pak has recycled the bioplastic cap (biodegradable) and cardboard (recycled into paper pulp) components of its packaging for several years. However, the polyaluminium component (14% plastic, 5% aluminium) could not be separated and was downcycled into single-use items destined for landfill, like car floor mats, plastic pens, and flooring/decks. They then approached a multinational retail and design company, Barrows, with a view to finding a way to recycle the polyaluminium and use it to fabricate promotional retail display shelves that could be recycled and fabricated again.

And that’s where Perspex SA came into the picture. Barrows partnered with Perspex SA to develop a fully recyclable material fit for this purpose. Partnerships were then forged with a well-known packaging company that was looking for an improved recycling solution for their cartons. Why Perspex SA? Perspex SA’s manufacturing facility is based in Port Elizabeth. Adrian Kemp, a director at Perspex SA, says we believe in doing the right thing and therefore recycling has always been an important strategic focus for the organisation. “At Perspex SA, our purpose is to create value for all stakeholders. Our customers

Coca-Cola introduces bottles made from 100% recycled materials

Safripol joins SA Plastics Pact NOVEMBER last year saw Safripol sign the SA Plastics Pact and become the first resin producer signing up to work collaboratively towards a circular economy for plastics in South Africa. “We believe that through value-chain partnerships, a circular economy for plastics in South Africa can become a reality. As a polymer producer, Safripol has an important leadership role to play towards driving the circular economy for plastics in South Africa, and we need like-minded organisations to work together towards this goal. Let’s plastic responsibly,” said Nico van Niekerk,CEO Safripol. Dr Kirsten Barnes, SA Plastics Pact Project lead said Safripol’s commitment to increase its proportion of polymer produced from renewable resources, as well as an R&D focus on chemical recycling for the SA market was commendable.

FEB / MAR 2021 9

are 20% more cost effective, give know that we are creatively inspired a 37% carbon saving, and are fully and solutions driven,” says Kemp. recyclable into sheets again, with zero “When we were originally approached waste to landfill. by Barrows, we were faced with a Kemp says that Perspex SA is also very tough scenario. The packaging in discussions with the DTI about the customer had tried various recycling recycling technology, with a view to avenues with the ‘PolyAl’ material working with them to alleviate South but had never succeeded in finding Africa’s waste issues. a solution for large volumes of the material. Smaller injection moulding More about Perspex SA products were successfully done, Perspex South Africa has been but no solution met their volume the market leader in requirements globally.” the supply of quality Kemp says the brief Perspex SA is Perspex cast that Perspex SA was now manufacturing acrylic products given was to work 10mm thick sheets to Sub-Saharan only with the carton of PolyAlly which the Africa for over 60 waste, and to years. The head produce flat sheets customer finishes office located in that could be formed and forms into flatpacks Johannesburg, into a useful product, which are then South Africa, both printable and assembled into the forms the hub aesthetically pleasing. display shelves. of operations. An “Initially we faced extensive national many challenges, including footprint includes sales a bad odour during extrusion. offices and warehouses in Cape After 18 months of trials for different Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, settings, multiple lines and different which also houses the extrusion finishes, we launched PolyAl which manufacturing facility at which the is manufactured under license for PolyAl sheets are fabricated. this specific customer for a 12 month Their comprehensive product period. We are now manufacturing range includes Extruded Acrylic, 10mm thick sheets of PolyAl which PETG, PC, Multiwall Polycarbonate, Barrows finishes, forms into flatpack, Alupanel® and LED solutions, all of and assembles into point-of-sale retail displays. These finished retail displays which are sourced from reputable can already be seen in stores around international manufacturers, and the country”, he adds. locally manufactured ABS, Acrylic The benefits of the PolyAl display Capped ABS, HDPE, PP, high impact shelving includes the fact that they polystyrene,high density polystyrene, are reusable and require up to 90% thermoplastic polyurethane and less corrugated board than traditional thermoplastic polyolefin. temporary displays. They are www.perspex.co.za customisable with adjustable shelving,

Coca-Cola Company in the US has introduced a new 13.2oz bottle made from 100% recycled plastic material. The new bottle will be available first in the company’s biggest and most iconic brand: Coca-Cola®. The company said that in the US, the 13.2oz, 100% rPET bottle (excluding the bottle’s cap and label) will roll out across additional sparkling beverage brands nationwide. In 2018, the company pledged robust World Without Waste goals to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030, to make 100% of packaging recyclable by 2025 and to use 50% recycled material in bottles and cans by 2030. Coca-Cola Company aims to inspire everyone to join in reducing waste, with the largest on-package messaging effort by the company to-date. Each 100% rPET package will feature on cap messaging, as well as a ‘Recycle Me Again’ message on the label to encourage people to take action and recycle their bottles so that they can be remade into new ones, supporting closed-loop recycling systems and circular economies.


Banbury & Hubron: Powering Black Masterbatch success across SA Hubron will go the extra-mile to tailor products to specific customer needs BANBURY and Hubron will be celebrating their 24th year of partnership this year, having come together in 1997. The collaboration has been a catalyst for success and expansion in South Africa, with thousands of tons of Hubron’s Black Masterbatch being used for a large variety of applications. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of Black Masterbatch, Hubron has been delighted to bring their historic wealth of experience to the South African market through Banbury and serve the demands of polymer-based industries. Hubron’s partnership with Banbury was built on the shared vision that the customer should always come first. Alongside their excellent customer service, Banbury has a team on the ground that are ready to lend their commercial and technical support to both existing and potential clients throughout the country. Banbury’s local stock ensures that the demands of your supply chain can be met with immediate and prompt delivery. Consistency is key for Hubron and providing the customer with a product that they know and trust is their upmost

priority. Since Hubron’s inception in 1934, maintaining consistency in their product lineup has been at the forefront of decision making, a fact which remains true today. Throughout their partnership with Banbury, Hubron has supported the supply of excellent and high quality Black Masterbatch with frequent commercial and technical visits to South Africa. The benefits of these visits are not only felt by the Banbury team, but also the customer, leaving them safe in the knowledge that their supply is of the highest quality. Hubron is aware of the demands of its clients and their extensive range of Black Masterbatch has been used in a variety of applications such as food packaging, construction, automotive, consumer goods and agricultural applications. Each of these applications has unique and stringent technical requirements, a demand which is met by the flexibility of Hubron’s product range. It is in this range of products that the experience held by Hubron becomes apparent, as each polymer lives up to the lofty standards set by the rest of the lineup. Whatever the application, Hubron is up to the task.

Since Hubron’s inception in 1934, maintaining a consistently high quality product line has been at the forefront of decision making, a fact which remains true today. Hubron understands that some applications require an extra touch that can’t be found in their regular product lineup. Matching the standards set by their excellent customer service, Hubron will go the extra-mile to tailor products to specific customer needs. They work with clients every step of the way to ensure products not only meet Hubron’s own demanding standards, but also the high expectations of the customer. The adaptable and flexible product lineup of Hubron is bolstered by their tailor-made conductive compounds and masterbatches, as well as grades for pipe, film, compounding, fibre, sheet and moulding. The array of products is available across South Africa for immediate delivery from Banbury.


FEB / MAR 2021



2021/02/15 16:26

ebrating Celebrating 24 Years of 24 Celebrating 24 Years of Years o Celebrating 24 Years of ck Masterbatch Black Masterbatch Success. Black Masterbatch Success. Su Black Masterbatch Success.

the world’s leading one ofworld’s suppliers the world’s of Black leading Masterbatch, As one of the leading suppliers ofBlack Blacksuppliers Masterbatch, of Black Masterb As As one of the world’s leading suppliers of Masterbatch, as collaborated Hubron successfully has collaborated with Banbury successfully for over Hubron has collaborated successfully with Banbury for Hubron has collaborated successfully with Banbury for over overwith Banbury for o des, bringing adecades, wealth of experience a and wealth high of two decades, bringing a wealthofofexperience experience and high twotwo decades, bringing abringing wealth and highexperience and high lor made quality black and tailor conductive made masterbatches black and conductive for for masterbatche quality tailor made black andconductive conductive masterbatches quality tailor made black and masterbatches for cross South delivery Africa. across South Af rica. delivery across South Africa. delivery across South Africa.

k available ••for Local immediate stock delivery available f rom for Banbury’s immediate warehouses delivery f rom Banbury’s ware Local stock available for immediate delivery from Banbury’s warehouses • Local stock available for immediate delivery from Banbury’s warehouses •• Full technical support available fromavailable Banbury cal support available Full technical from Banbury support f rom Banbury • Full technical support available from Banbury •• Extensive Black Masterbatch rangevariety with a wide variety of with polymers Black Masterbatch Extensive range Black with aMasterbatch wide of polymers range a wide variety of polyme • Extensive Black Masterbatch range with a wide variety of polymers •• Grades for Pipe/Film/Compounding/Fibre/Sheet/Moulding Pipe/Film/Compounding/Fibre/Sheet/Moulding Grades for Pipe/Film/Compounding/Fibre/Sheet/Moulding • Grades for Pipe/Film/Compounding/Fibre/Sheet/Moulding

Banbury today: ury today: Contact Contact Banbury today: Contact Banbury today: +27 16 365 6760 0 +27 16 365 6760 +27 16 365 6760 info@banbury.co.za y.co.za info@banbury.co.za info@banbury.co.za 93 Springbok Avenue, U.B.A.D. Avenue, U.B.A.D. 93 Springbok Avenue, U.B.A.D. Industrial Park Randvaal 1961 93 Springbok Avenue, U.B.A.D. k Randvaal 1961 Industrial Park Randvaal 1961 Industrial Park Randvaal 1961

banbury.co.za banbury.co.za hubron.com


Classifieds Feb/Mar'2021.indd 80



hubron.com 2021/01/19 10:46


Cape recycler Pelmanco installs

biggest Erema yet Sets new standards for the recycling of materials that are difficult to process PELMANCO, the polyolefins recycler based in Blackheath near Cape Town, has recently installed its biggest Erema system yet. Established in 1992, Pelmanco has installed a series of Erema systems over the years, starting in 2003, as it steadily increased volume throughput, and the commissioning of the new system in November last year is evidence that the company’s output continues to grow. The Intarema® 1310 TVEplus’ patented extruder system sets new standards for the recycling of materials that are difficult to process, such as heavily printed films or very moist materials. This is made possible through ultrafine filtration, thorough melt homogenisation and high-performance degassing, all conducted in a single step.

12 FEB / MAR 2021

Optimised triple degassing Initial degassing in the Erema preconditioning unit takes place through preheating and pre-drying the material. The optimum screw design – tuned to the material to be processed – enables reverse degassing in the preconditioning unit, thus relieving the degassing zone of the extruder. Gas inclusions in the melt are removed in the extruder degassing zone, and only thoroughly melted, filtered and homogenised material can pass the degassing zone of the extruder. The proven basic principle of TVEplus® technology is that

melt filtration takes place upstream of extruder degassing. As a result, end products can be produced with the best quality and the highest possible recyclate content. Technical benefits include enhanced material intake, greater flexibility and higher throughput rates thanks to Counter Current technology; optimised triple degassing with the preconditioning unit ensures highly effective degassing of the filtered melt; reduced shearing before the filter improves filter performance; greater homogenisation efficiency downstream of filtration and upstream of degassing enhances the subsequent degassing performance and improves the characteristics of the melt; and innovative, patented additional technologies for the preconditioning unit. The Intarema® 1310 TVEplus’s compact design saves factory floor space, and it is extremely easy to use, thanks to Erema’s ‘Smart Start’ principle. The ecoSAVE® feature reduces energy consumption by up to 12% as well as production costs and CO2 emissions as a result. According to Pelmanco CEO Jan Rabie, the project was virtually a plug-and-play experience: “The only problem we had was getting the machine out of the containers - I don’t know how they managed to fit it in so tightly.” Possibly forewarned by prior experience, where machines have moved inside containers during transit, and been damaged, the Austrian manufacturer may have taken a no-risk approach to ensure safe delivery and made sure there was zero chance of any movement during shipping. Erema machines process estimated 14,5 million tons of material annually By the way, Erema has supplied over 6 500 of its recycling systems internationally which process an estimated 14,5 million tons of material annually, so it’s safe to say that by now they know their stuff. Pelmanco, founded as Plastic Engineering & Laminating Manufacturing Co (just as well they abbreviated the name, The new laser filtration system from Erema, installed on the new line, automatically purges print ink and other contaminants
















Top right: The proven basic principle of TVEplus® technology is that melt filtration takes place upstream of extruder degassing. As a result, end products can be produced with the best quality and the highest possible recyclate content



New line – The new line from Erema, an Interema 1310 TVEplus® system, at Pelmanco in Saxenburg business park, is its most sophisticated recycling system to date. The company previously installed Erema lines in 2003, ‘08 and ‘16 and, according to CEO Jan Rabie, the new acquisition has taken production to a new level



shew!), recycles low-density, linear and also HD film. It sources a cross-section of materials including post-consumer scrap and supplies three main grades, black, smokey and clear, with the latter achieving the best prices. It supplies a number of customers around SA and the neighbouring states and, according to Rabie, most of its customer relationships have been of long-duration. There has been interest from a few new customers since the exit from the recycling sector last year of Transpaco Recycling, but apart from that, the market has been quite consistent for the company. www.pelmanco.co.za

FEB / MAR 2021 13


Top Left: Much of the incoming material at Pelmanco arrives in a clean state and washing is not required, a big advantage for the recycler





Sun Ace, Symphony team up to distribute antimicrobial additive effective against Coronavirus

14 FEB / MAR 2021

99.9% virus reduction within one hour of contact with plastic film SYMPHONY Environmental Technologies Plc has recently signed an agreement with Sun Ace in South Africa to promote and distribute its d2p range of additives, which uses antimicrobial technology proved to be effective against viruses, including Coronavirus. Tests carried out at the Institute of Biology at Unicamp University in Brazil, confirmed a 99.9% virus reduction within one hour of contact with a plastic film containing d2p. The d2p antimicrobial is a versatile product which Sun Ace will be marketing to various sectors including cling film and plastic pipe producers, flooring companies, PVC compounders, medical companies, and the food packaging industry among others. The agreement is a perfect fit for both companies as Sun Ace are successful at building strategic alliances to develop efficient and cost-effective products. Likewise, Symphony continues to expand and develop its product range and believes that d2p technology gives Sun Ace a lot of scope to work with. It

covers a suite of technologies which are compatible with a large range of applications in the plastics industry. “We very much look forward to working with Sun Ace in Southern Africa and to developing and expanding the number of products which can benefit from d2p technology,” said Symphony’s CEO, Michael Laurier. Sun Ace group business director, Alistair Calder added: “We are excited with this agreement. The d2p technology is in line with our ongoing strategy, where we market, manufacture and sell chemicals to various industries. We touch the lives of millions of people every day.” Range includes concentrate & masterbatches Symphony’s d2p range comprises concentrates and masterbatches which can be incorporated in a wide variety of plastic and non-plastic products, giving them protection against many different types of bacteria, fungi, algae, moulds, rodents and insects, and against

What is d2p antimicrobial? d2p AM 97000 is a plastic technology that destroys microbes. The active ingredient is an organic chemical substance, tested against bacteria (both Gram (+) and Gram (-) types), fungi, (yeasts, moulds, mildew), and algae. Independent test results, carried out according to ISO 21702-19 found a virus reduction of 99.9% in one hour. Symphony’s d2p 97000 masterbatch can offer antimicrobial protection for plastic, latex, nitrile, rubber, silicone, paint, lacquers and inks.

corrosion and fire. d2p products also include odour, moisture and ethylene adsorbers as well as other types of food-preserving technologies. Symphony has also launched d2p antimicrobial household gloves and toothbrushes, and is developing a range of other d2p finished products for retail sale. Symphony has a diverse and growing customer-base and has established itself as an international business with 74 distributors around the world. Products made with Symphony’s plastic technologies are now available in nearly 100 countries and in many different product applications. Symphony itself is accredited to ISO9001 and ISO14001. Sun Ace South Africa was founded in 1996 with technical services and started manufacturing in 2003. The company produces PVC stabilisers and a range of metallic stearates. Multinational company Sun Ace, dates back to 1940, and has 17 operations in 12 countries. How does it work?

The active substance crosses the phase-barrier at the surface of the product, and biochemically deactivates the microorganisms – preventing them from replicating, and ultimately destroying them. The antimicrobial effect against bacteria derives from the ability to disrupt membrane-transport by blocking the proton pump that energises the transport mechanism within the microorganism. Incorporating the active substance in finished products is achieved during the manufacturing process by using d2p masterbatch at a low addition-rate of 1–2% by weight. The active substance is stable in the substrate and will last for the lifetime of the product. It will not affect the mechanical, optical, chemical or physical properties, so the product will behave as normal.


CRPM commission Arburg Freeformer 3D printing system Will focus on applications in biopolymer research for special cases where titanium is not suitable and we need to find alternatives. The aim of the biopolymer research is to create bioresorbable implants that are absorbed by the body over time and replaced by the patient’s healthy, living bone tissue.” Els says biopolymer research is new for the CRPM. “At this point we are familiarising ourselves with the system and its operation. We have a lot of experience when it comes to titanium printing (since 2007) but this is a new field and application for us.” “While we are busy with the biopolymer research, we will continue to service customers in the additive manufacturing market with prototypes and end use parts directly printed from injection moulding pellets from materials such as ABS, PP and TPE,” he adds. The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) supported the establishment of a Medical Device Additive Manufacturing Technology Demonstrator (MedAdd) at CUT that funded this particular system. • Hestico are the agents for Arburg in SA

Kagisho Wolf, Project Engineer at CRPM, monitors the new Arburg Freeformer 300-3X


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HUHTAMAKI has completed the acquisition of the majority of the business of Everest Flexibles, a privately-owned flexible packaging manufacturer in South Africa. The annual net sales of the acquired business is approximately €40 million and it employs approximately 460 people. The business was acquired for an enterprise value of €58 million. The deal was paid partly in cash and partly in shares, as the sellers of Everest entered into a joint venture also with Huhtamaki’s Flexible Packaging, Foodservice and Fibre Packaging operations in South Africa. As a result, the sellers of Everest now own 30% of all Huhtamaki’s activities in South Africa. The joint venture structure allows Huhtamaki to improve its B-BBEE rating and subsequently competitiveness in South Africa.


THE Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT), recently commissioned an Arburg Freeformer 3D printing system. The machine was commissioned in July 2020. “The Arburg Freeformer 300-3X is able to print from injection moulding pellets and even though the system will service customers that have specific material requirements other than what we currently offer, the main aim of this technology is focussed on applications in biopolymer research,” says Johan Els, operations manager at the CRPM. “We are currently producing medical implants directly in titanium by means of metal additive manufacturing (3D printing). There exists a need, however,

Huhtamaki completes acquisition of majority of Everest Flexibles

Sasol sells share in USA high-density plant SASOL has sold is share of the Gemini HDPE plant in Texas, USA, to Ineos, which had been its partner in the joint venture. It realized $404-million (R5,9-billion) and said the deal was settled through a combination of cash and ‘release from debt obligations’. The transaction was completed on 31 December. Gemini is a toll manufacturer of bimodal high-density polyethylene products located within the Ineos Battleground Manufacturing Complex in La Porte, Texas. Sasol has been Ineos’ partner in the venture for the past six years. It said the cash proceeds will be used to repay near-term debt obligations. The disposal is part of Sasol’s strategy to reduce debt and refocus its operations around its core chemicals and energy businesses so it can enhance cash generation, create more value for shareholders and ensure the sustainability of its business, it said. FEB / MAR 2021


2021/02/18 17:32


Brian Fetting with the core of Rush Recycling’s production team, Albert Gwaza and Sibusiso Nkqayi, at the company’s plant in Wadeville

Rush Recycling separates aluminum from ABS, PP

16 FEB / MAR 2021

Foil separation system has potential to fill important market need RUSH Recycling, which specializes in the separation of aluminium foil from thermoformed plastic sheeting, has put its plant into operation in a venture that has the potential to be a first for South Africa. Based in Wadeville, Johannesburg, Rush is a startup venture by Brian Fetting which is recycling material which up until now has gone to landfill in bulk. It is processing high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) and ABS production scrap from a number of Gauteng dairy container manufacturers and separating the container material and aluminium foil or paper using a technology that is still gathering market traction. The process involves separating the plastic sheet from which the yoghurt or other dairy product containers are thermoformed and the aluminium foil or paper used to seal the contents (that is to say that it is not recycling the containers themselves). Even though only a small portion of the total material used is actually metal, neither the production scrap or the containers themselves were being recycled for exactly the reason that the aluminium or paper could not be separated. The foil separation system in use was originally developed by one of the waste management groups, which had based its design on similar models used in Europe and the Far East. A fairly substantial quantity of the substrate material (foil heatsealed on to HIPS or ABS) had been built up at the waste business’s yard, but after

as the metal component prevents the separation system processed the processing). 30 tons surprisingly quickly, the machine The company at first operated from was left to gather dust. the East Rand but moved to That was where Fetting Wadeville in mid-2020 to be entered the picture. Having Fetting’s closer to its customers, spent his career to date in plastic container advantage has been which are essentially dairy businesses and production, mainly of the fact that he is potentially other plastic larger sizes, Fetting familiar with the convertors which had been obligated supply the dairy sector, to start again. He polymers at play or for that matter founded Rush in the container any manufacturer Recycling, as an manufacturing processing polymers offshoot of his daughter which are sealed to metal Robyn’s, Rush Packaging process. substrates. The technology business, in October 2019 operates optimally where … just in time for the new the polymer and metal are joined by business’s growth pangs to run into the heat sealing, but Rush has also trialled Covid-19 induced economic contraction, substrates where the foil is attached by a dismal time for any new venture. adhesive unsuccessfully, and one of But besides Rush’s committed staff, the goals presently is to overcome this Fetting’s advantage has been the fact that challenge too. he is familiar with the polymers at play At this stage Fetting is involved in in the container manufacturing process, extending Rush’s footprint and improving and specifically their behaviour in relation efficiencies so it can push greater to metal. volumes through. Plans are underway to The machine employed was designed secure materials used in pharmaceutical by Joburg injection moulding fundi Karl packaging (blister packs, ointment tubes, Seidel and built in China. According to etc) and aluminium coffee pods. It is selling Fetting, the system can separate ABS the resulting materials – the recycled or HIPS from aluminium foil as well as polymer materials and metal fraction – into paper from metal foil. If successful, and a variety of surprising applications. the pointers at this stage suggest that this will be the case; the technology will fill an Brian Fetting: 082 329 8570, important market need (large volumes of brian@rushpackaging.co.za plastic containers are not being recycled

Strong presence: KHS in the growth region of Africa and the Middle East Market zone makes up 15% of KHS’ total sales KHS provides quality made in Germany and local service teams on the African continent and in the Middle East. In doing so, the Dortmund systems supplier scores both with global key accounts and small and medium-sized companies and startups. We talk to Markus Auinger, executive vice-president for Market Zone Middle East/Africa, and Jörg Thomas, managing director of KHS South Africa. What significance does the market zone of Africa and the Middle East hold for KHS? Auinger: This market zone makes up 15% of KHS’ total sales. The region is the most important market for us with regards PET lines in particular, thanks to the strong growth in this segment. Unlike empty cans, PET is readily available throughout the whole of Africa – and PET systems require much less capital than glass lines as the sum of investment is lower. Small and medium-sized startups thus focus on PET, allowing them to generate turnover very quickly.

Which particular challenges does the region pose? Auinger: To understand the challenges presented by our market zone, you have to bear in mind that on the one hand

– take the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Mauritius, for instance – it includes some of the richest countries in the world. On the other, it also has most of the world’s poorest nations. We have to constantly adapt to changing situations and come up with new ideas. It’s therefore all the more important that we’re always accessible for our customers at a local level. Which types of machine are in particular demand in Africa and the Middle East? Thomas: In our market zone we do about 95% of our business in turnkey lines – unlike in sales regions such as the USA where up to 50% is attributable to single machines. Auinger: While non-alcoholic soft drinks in cans and PET bottles are chiefly consumed in the Middle East, on the African continent returnable glass bottles for carbonated beverages have a long tradition. This is clearly changing: in North Africa and the Middle East, for us we see a rapidly growing market for still water in PET bottles. Combined with the increasing demand for soft drinks in the Sub-Sahara, the PET container segment here now has a market share of about 80%.

Which strategy has KHS adopted in this market zone? Auinger: In 2013 the decision was made to strengthen our sales regions and build up technical expertise and capacity on a local scale. In the same year we founded our own regional centre in Kenya. Since then we’ve been continuously checking where branch offices or service hubs would be prudent in line with our market development and then establishing them. In 2016 we split the market zone into six clusters, each of which is managed by a regional centre. Thomas: The aim of these regional hubs – apart from sales organization – is to transfer our local service knowledge to the KHS Group’s entire product portfolio. This allows us to provide proximity to the customer and establish a level of expertise in the region which enables local teams to also install and commission our machinery besides just servicing it. Part of our strategy of regionalization is training, this offered not just to our own employees but also to many local customers. We’ve already opened a KHS training centre in South Africa to this end. East and Central Africa are to follow, so that by 2022 we’ll have a training structure in place that covers the entire continent. www.khs.com

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How has KHS’ business in Africa and the Middle East developed over the years? Thomas: KHS enjoys an excellent reputation here for good reason. After all, we were the first engineering company to sell filling systems on this continent. We opened our own branch office in South Africa as early as 1971. Some machines have been in operation for over 30 years – and are still running round the clock six days a week. On average our installed base is about 17 years old. The machines are serviced by KHS engineers and we can supply the necessary spare parts, regardless of how old the machines are.

KHS in Africa – Made in Germany plus local service teams – with this, KHS scores both with global key accounts and SMEs and startups.

How do the requirements of bottlers here differ from those in other regions? Auinger: Our customers need more advice on project planning and implementation. In Africa and the Middle East we’re seen as a guarantee for the success of the beverage producer. This explains why turnkey lines are procured instead of single machines: with these, the responsibility for the functioning of the technology lies with a single source. Our customers also require much more support with the maintenance of their plant technology.


Inkulu installs own power generation plant

18 FEB / MAR 2021

Big diesel V16 motors pack more than enough punch INKULU Plastic Pipes has gone up a gear, literally, with the commissioning of its own electricity generation unit – involving two powerful V16 engines manufactured by MTU Friedrishshafen (Maybach diesel engines) who’s parent company is Rolls Royce. The engines are supported locally by MTU South Africa. This will now enable INKULU PLASTIC PIPES to continue operating in the event of power outages. Hammarsdale-based Inkulu decided not to mess around and went for solid and reliable diesel power and invested in these Gen sets. The implications of load shedding

Stage 2 and upwards, mean that it is not possible to even think of starting up the large bore extruders. The control systems supplied by Smart Gen SA has enabled the seamless transition of power to the extruders from Eskom to gensets and back again. Factory manager Paul has reported no stoppage / trips on any equipment during load shedding transitions, ensuring uninterrupted production. Pipe extrusion is a slow process and for Inkulu, which manufactures pipe up to 1200mm Ø, power outages due to load shedding lead to costly and unnecessary waste

Clariant expands pigments lab for African market Significant investment supports growing regional demand for locally produced, sustainable colourants CLARIANT Pigments has expanded its new state-of-the-art pigments’ laboratory in Krugersdorp near Johannesburg. To be officially opened and inaugurated in early 2021, the new facility will service the emerging Middle East and Africa paints and coatings market, forecasting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 3% (2020-2025). In a significant commitment to its business in South Africa, Clariant’s investment in the laboratory, which has taken more than 12-months to complete, will increase local value-added colour

support services to the coatings industry across Africa, Turkey and the Middle East. The new facility also offers increased local employment opportunities and in-house skills development training in colour technologies. “Previously, we were only able to supply pigments as raw materials, but we are proud to now be offering a full spectrum of value-added services including customized colour solutions, colour matching services or the development of own colour recipes to create an unlimited number of shades, for example tinting systems. To complete our services we also offer technical marketing and after sales support,” said Rossitza Dimitrova, Clariant business unit pigments head of technical marketing, Middle East and Africa. Product offerings include pigments and pigment preparations that are lead free, contain low Volatile Organic Compounds and are free of Alkylphenol ethoxylates.

These include the following ranges:  ostatint™ 500 and Colanyl® 500, binder•H free pigment preparations for decorative coatings •H  ostatint A 100, a range of solvent based pigment preparations with high pigment loading and good rheological properties for industrial coatings •H  ostafine®, aqueous binder-free pigment preparation range for water based wood coatings for wood stains and glazes •H  ostatint A 100-ST, highly-transparent pigment preparations for solvent based paint systems for industrial coatings to add appeal to wood, glass, coil and metallic effect coatings, e.g. computers, consumer goods. “In South Africa there is a growing demand for both locally produced and sustainable colourants and at Clariant Pigments we can now better serve the local and regional coatings industry with innovative and sustainable ranges of colourant solutions,” said Piers Kure, Clariant business unit pigments head of sales, Sub Sahara, Africa.

Clariant’s newly equipped laboratory in Krugersdorp, South Africa

Inkulu Plastic Piping MD Gabriel Reddy and factory manager Paul du Preez take a breather after commissioning the generators, which include two Mercedes 16V engines. This is a meneer of a system capable of generating about 3.2 MVA that can run the Hammarsdale pipe extrusion business’s entire plant, including recycling and lab, during power outages

Kick in The emergency back-up of 3,2 MVA current (each of the V16 motors produces 1,6 MVA) is a big relief

for Inkulu. The generators are used during load shedding so the company is no longer totally reliant on Eskom. The engines are synchronised to kick in immediately when planned load shedding takes place but are on continuous ‘standby’ so – in the event of something unforeseen happening – it will switched on automatically in under 60 seconds. The engines are run once a week for short periods to ensure reliable performance, meaning they can kick in at any time, day or night. Gabnik Electrical, James Holder 079 490 4598 Havilah Systems, Jim Freemantle 083 631 2734 Smart Gen SA, Stephen Amos 083 652 2300


Even the radiators for the diesel motors are substantial pieces of equipment

Inspired Solutions

FEB / MAR 2021 19

and production interruptions. It enlisted the expertise of contractors Gabnik Electrical, operating out of Cato Ridge in KZN James Holder (079 490 4598), along with partners Havilah Systems Jim Freemantle (083 631 2734) and Smart Gen SA Stephen Amos (083 652 2300) in the big capex project. The project unfolded during the course of last year with the engines being purchased in May. With Inkulu MD Gabriel Reddy taking a keen interest, the ‘new’ plant was up and running by November, Just in time one might add to counteract the power outages over the New Year period.


Impact of Covid on converting industry still being assessed The virtual halt in industry growth has challenged even companies who invested in plant wisely

20 FEB / MAR 2021

HERE we talk to Anton Hanekom, director of Plastics/SA, about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has and is having on the plastics, composites and rubber industry sectors. Stats are not easy to come by, but almost all the convertors and fabricators as well as suppliers have been finding the situation extremely challenging. Do you have stats for the impact Covid-19 has had on the plastics converting sector? According to reports on ENCA, South Africa’s manufacturing industry has contracted at a rate of 49.4% year-onyear during the nationwide lockdown, which limited economic activity to essential services. StatsSA reported that motor vehicle production dropped by 98% and basic iron and steel production shrunk by 65.4% while the production of petroleum, chemical products and rubber and plastic products fell by 41,5%. Manufacturing production decreased by 49.4% in April 2020 compared with April 2019. Fortunately, food and beverage production was regarded as an essential service and was therefore less impacted, declining by 19.4% at the time. It is important to highlight that the plastics industry did not try to leverage the pandemic in order to push the demand for plastic. This can be seen in the overall consumption of plastics in South Africa that has reduced over the last 20 months. Even looking at the 15% growth in the last 10 years, it is less than

the population growth of 19%. Instead, we believe the pandemic did increase the demand for health and safety equipment made from plastic – thereby demonstrating the benefits, impact and importance of plastics in our modern lives. Although visible waste did increase in volumes during the lockdown, owing to the fact that waste management services were not delivered as regularly as usual, we did not record an increase in the overall packaging consumption due to Covid-19. The net effect has been a huge reduction of between 10 to 20% in packaging waste: the reduction in take-away food had a major impact on take-away containers, small cooldrink and water bottles and cutlery; people made fewer trips to the shops, which resulted in less carrier bags. Much more home cooking and baking was done and less small, conveniently portioned, pre-packaged food items were sold. The South African packaging industry did not experience an increased demand for packaging. What sectors are being most affected? The low economic activity further aggravated the situation. Because consumers were buying less, fewer products were being manufactured. This of course also means that we also have a drop in the amount of recyclable products entering the waste stream. Big sporting events, festivals, and political and other rallies are not happening or are happening without spectators. The products, not just packaging, that were sold at these events have just not been in demand.

At the same time, however, we have seen an increase in the growth of the agricultural sector, and specifically in the use of juice bottles, although the use of water bottles has reduced. The cosmetic sector has remained stable, while the motor and construction sectors are down. Consumers are more uncertain about the future and that directly affects their purchase decisions. We continue to see fluctuations on a daily basis and it is therefore difficult to provide accurate and clear answers. Plastics are an intermediary to the other economic sectors and are affected by their performance and demand for their products. Demand for plastic products is therefore affected by which sectors are allowed to operate. With no alcohol sales taking place, the demand for crates will go down, but then there is a bigger demand for juice bottles. Have there been business closures and, if so, do you have figures? This is difficult to determine. Information we have received from industry indicates that at least 17 convertors have closed down over the past year. Some of these companies may have been in difficulties before the start of Covid and one could thus say that their closure was not directly related to the pandemic. It is also true that many companies over-invested in prior years for growth, which then did not materialise. These convertors are finding it very difficult to sustain themselves. Many companies have moved to short-time over the past year in response to demand for their products. These convertors and staff have obviously been negatively affected by the impact of Covid.

Safic-Alcan extends partnership with Orion Engineered Carbons in SA

Have there been staff retrenchments and, if so, do you have figures? The same as above. It would be difficult to give Covid-19 the blame for retrenchments in the industry as many convertors were already in economic difficulties prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. Information we received from industry indicated that an estimated 588 people lost their jobs in 2020.

One possible solution could be for these providers of delivery services to wait for the packaging and take it back with the same service that delivers it. This could provide the opportunity for re-usable and more durable packaging options like crates and bins. Many of these products are imported and the importer needs to declare its packaging and pay local waste management companies and service providers to manage it on their behalf.

Consumers are more uncertain about the future and that directly affects their purchase decisions

It appears that packaging convertors have in some cases been doing better than before, as on-line shopping has become popular: is this a trend now? During the past year, we have undoubtedly noticed a dramatic increase in the use of delivery services such as Takealot and other home deliveries. These services rely heavily on packaging to protect their products. We believe that this trend will continue, not only because there is no certainty when the Covid-19 pandemic will be completely over, but also because consumers have made a mindshift towards opting for the safety and convenience of using home delivery services. From the plastics industry’s point of view, we see there is a great opportunity for our products, but also for us to engage with these service providers to educate them about recycling and their extended producer responsibility obligations.

Are you expecting the industry to shrink for the past year? The industry shrunk by 2.5% from 2018 to 2019 and we expect to see a similar trend for 2020. Some sectors will continue to grow and will show good results while those businesses that provide input products for other sectors will continue to be sluggish – for example, products used in infrastructure as very few infrastructure projects are being implemented.

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SAFIC-ALCAN has entered into an extended distribution agreement with Orion Engineered Carbons in South Africa, effective 1 January 2021. The extended distribution agreement covers specialty carbon blacks and rubber carbon blacks, for applications such as mechanical rubber goods, coating and ink systems, polymers and other special applications. The Safic-Alcan Group and Orion Engineered Carbons have already a long-standing and successful partnership in Europe and this agreement comes after a further extension a couple of years ago, in Benelux, Germany and eastern Europe. “This is a new step in our cooperation with Safic-Alcan. With this further agreement we underline our commitment to the carbon black customers in the South African market and are confident that the excellent service offered by Safic-Alcan is ideally suited to the performance of our products,” stated Udo Engels, vice president sales EMEA, Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH. “We are delighted to further extend our long running partnership with Orion Engineered Carbons, a global leader in engineered carbon blacks. We are confident that this new agreement will further strengthen our relationship with Orion and will allow us to enhance our product portfolio and product offering in South Africa and thus to satisfy a wider range of customers,” concluded Philippe Cenreaud, managing director rubber and plastic and Yann Lissillour, managing director CASE and Industrial specialties, for Safic-Alcan Group. www.orioncarbons.com


Husky introduces the

UltraShot Injection System Breakthrough injection moulding technology designed to increase overall part design freedom and speed-to-market HUSKY Injection Moulding Systems recently released the UltraShotTM Injection System. This innovative, next generation melt delivery and control system eliminates the deficiencies of traditional injection moulding processes and creates unique value and opportunity for producers by making it possible to mould the perfect part at scale, with unmatched quality. “With the UltraShot Injection System, we are re-engineering the injection moulding process. We are breaking down the barriers of traditional injection moulding processes to achieve higher levels of capability, control and overall part design freedom,” said John Galt, president and CEO, Husky Injection Moulding Systems. “The UltraShot Injection System is a game changer and provides better control than anything else in the industry. This approach is especially important now with massive, increased demand and speed-to-market, especially in the medical market, for example, where production risks and scalability are critical.” Higher cavitation scalability with faster speed-to-market The UltraShot Injection System’s advanced injection control technology enables risk-free scalability with flawless part capability. Identical system behaviour for each injection circuit provides process condition consistency with cavitation scaling. A predictable process from pilot to high cavitation – scalable to 128 cavities – enables producers to maximize cavitation without negative performance on balance or shot-toshot variation. Brand owners can accelerate from prototype to high 22

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cavitation production qualification, thus greatly increasing speed-to-market. Part design flexibility and freedom The UltraShot Injection System enables brand owners to produce unconstrained, highly functional and validated parts, economically, where conventional injection moulding processes cannot. This revolutionary cavity filling control and process optimization overcomes traditional constraints of pressure, L/T and difficult-to-mould resins. This enables part lightweighting for resin and process time savings and provides resin selection flexibility. Ultimately, this means greater part design freedom, opening up endless possibilities for brand owners looking to take plastic part designs to the next level. Compared to conventional hot runners, melt in the UltraShot Injection System experiences fewer high-pressure injection cycles, thus preserving the original resin properties. This leads to lower mould-in stress and better mechanical and optical properties in the moulded part. With this technology, you get the best physical properties for your moulded part. Powered by the Altanium® Mould Controller, the UltraShot Injection System provides highly advanced process monitoring and control for injection moulding. The Altanium process control provides repeatability and traceability for part dimension consistency, perfect balance and a more stable process. Providing digital analysis creates a measurable discipline around the moulding process and gives customers full control and trend analysis of various processes resulting in improved, lower risk operations.

The UltraShot Injection System’s advanced injection control technology enables risk-free scalability with flawless part capability

Breakthrough technology The melt delivery system is the heart of the injection moulding process and is essential to mould cell performance. The UltraShot Injection System masters part filling in a way that provides part design freedom, while reducing risk and improving part quality and speed of mould qualification. With ‘Husky Inside’, producers ensure that the centre of their system performs optimally, every shot. It offers unmatched OEE and increased productivity, at a reduced footprint, resulting in lowest total part production cost. It is the perfect fit for medical, technical packaging and consumer electronic part producers looking to scale up, implement more efficient process control, address competitive marketplaces, and reduce risk, scrap, waste and cost. www.husky.ca

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2021/01/21 08:50


SA plastics industry navigates

Must now focus on economic growth, job creation, a cleaner environment NOTHING could have prepared the plastics industry in South Africa for the unexpected challenges and changes that tested its mettle in 2020 – as individuals, but also collectively as an industry and a society. “What was of utmost importance, was how our industry navigated this unexpected and unprecedented journey,” said Anton Hanekom, executive director of Plastics|SA. “We acknowledge every company in “This our industry that fought to survive and ‘can-do’ spirit succeeded in keeping their doors open in that is fuelled by a order to protect the livelihoods of their passion for what we do staff. We salute every manufacturer who was willing to embrace change and who we are, is and adapt, almost overnight, in order exactly what will drive to meet the demand for protective the plastics industry gear, medical equipment or sanitisers. forward and to “Thank you to our Board members for greater heights! expert guidance, and to each and every staff member who tenaciously ensured that it was business as usual. Bravo to our intrepid and passionate training teams who adapted materials to offer plastics training programmes online. Thank you to our

sustainability and marketing teams who continued to walk the talk through their activities. “This ‘can-do’ spirit – that refuses to give up – but instead is fuelled by a passion for what we do and who we are – is exactly what will drive the plastics industry forward and to greater heights!” he added. He added that the plastics industry now needed to focus on economic growth, job creation, and a cleaner environment with a developing circular economy in the packaging waste industry. The pandemic also disrupted the ongoing negative onslaught against plastics, said Jeremy Mackintosh, Plastics|SA chairperson. “The benefits of our materials in protective gear, medical equipment and packaging soon became evident as the virus wreaked havoc across the world,” he said. Much of the economic damage was caused by the lockdown of economies worldwide and the tussle between saving lives and saving livelihoods eventually had to tip in favour of the latter. “Thankfully, most manufacturers of essential products were spared the worst. The plastics raw material sector was affected, with a drop in volumes, but we seem to have been largely spared by the essential nature of our industry and the lifting of elements

Danone takes on challenge to provide COVID-compliant desks to schools


FEB / MAR 2021

Desks from recycled plastic aid ECD schools with social distancing DANONE has taken on the challenge to provide COVID-compliant desks to seven ECD schools, five of which are based in Ekurhuleni, the metropolitan in which its production facility is situated. What makes these desks unique is that they are made up of recycled yoghurt tubs and cups. Converting waste into resources addresses a social need in two ways: the immediate one is that of providing much-needed desks to help adequately In terms of the social distancing guidelines published by Department of Social Development, these ECD centres can now ensure that their young learners are kept at least one metre apart

space out children and secondly, it helps Danone fulfil its commitment of no waste to landfill by 2030. Through this one initiative this year, the yoghurt manufacturer will transform 19 tons of waste into school desks. “The equivalent of 914 of the Nutriday 1kg tubs go into making the desk frame and 245 of the yoghurt six-packs go into the top, to make this beautiful strong, durable desk,” says Henk van der Hyde, Danone’s sustainability manager. The desks will be distributed between 27 January and 15 February as part of Danone’s Day One campaign: focusing on the first day back to school. The desks are designed under the supervision of an occupational therapist for children aged four to six and are not only a safe place to learn how to read and write, but to eat as well. In terms of the social distancing guidelines published by Department

of Social Development in June 2020, these seven ECD centres can now ensure that their young learners are kept at least one metre apart. Throughout the year, Danone has committed to recycling and donating a further 270 of these desks to additional ECD schools around Gauteng. This campaign is a fantastic example of innovation in the sustainable space as it not only implements recycling and upcycling practices, reducing waste, but provides much-need resources to children and facilities in need. “We hope that our commitment will encourage others in the industry to make collective progress towards ensuring that all plastic packaging is fully recyclable and recycled,” added van der Hyde. The Day One campaign is a kickstart to a broader movement in which more partners contribute to the initiative. www.corporate.danone.co.za

NEWS DANONE-.indd 24

2021/02/15 16:24



Covid-19 by embracing change

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FEB / MAR 2021





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Meraxis Meraxis South South Africa Africa (Pty) (Pty) LtdLtd Johannesburg Johannesburg +27+27 114552889 114552889 Cape Cape Town Town +27+27 215567787 215567787 Durban Durban +27+27 318169381 318169381

Classifieds Feb/Mar'2021.indd 80 NEWS DANONE-.indd 25

2021/02/01 2021/02/15 11:06 16:24


At the signing of the JV were (front from left), Jacques Steyn (vice president joint ventures & business development Middle East & Africa) and Natasha de Lange (general manager Omya Idwala SA). Back from left, Piotr Nowak (who has since left the company) Harald Pfaller (CEO region greater south & east of Omya) and Wayne Brown (MD of Idwala)

OMYA & Idwala form a new company in SA

26 FEB / MAR 2021

For the distribution of calcium carbonate and specialty chemicals in Sub-Saharan Africa. SWISS company Omya International “As a leading supplier of high-quality AG and South Africa’s Idwala Industrial calcium carbonate products and one Holdings Ltd have formed a new of the largest distributors of specialty company in South Africa, Omya chemicals worldwide, we are very Idwala SA, offering a one-stop-shop excited to significantly expand both our experience for their customers and chemical products portfolio and principals. The new company our geographical presence will have access to a in South Africa. Idwala, high-quality and broad whom we have been portfolio of calcium The new carbonate and company will strengthen enjoying successful cooperation with specialty chemical Omya’s position in the for many years, is products. growing South African the right partner Omya Idwala market across all segments for us in this SA will offer a development”, full range of local building on Idwala’s said Harald Pfaller, Idwala products expertise and local CEO region greater and imported knowledge. south & east of Omya. Omya products, Wayne Brown, MD complemented by a of Idwala, added: “We are large portfolio of specialty delighted to begin the next steps chemicals and with strong technical in strengthening our calcium carbonate application support service. The new and chemicals distribution business company will strengthen Omya’s in our home market. Having combined position in the growing South African our forces with Omya we will become market across all segments building an even stronger partner to our on Idwala’s expertise and local customers and suppliers in South knowledge. Africa.” Idwala is a world-class, marketOmya Idwala SA has offices in leading producer and supplier of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape limestone, lime and calcium carbonate

Town with further planned expansion of its sales network in the near future. Omya is a leading global producer of industrial minerals – mainly fillers and pigments derived from calcium carbonate and dolomite – and a worldwide distributor of specialty chemicals. The company provides a wealth of product solutions to customers across multiple industries, such as construction, printing & writing, technical polymers, packaging, food, personal & home care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, forestry, water and energy. Founded in 1884 in Switzerland, Omya has a global presence extending to more than 175 locations in over 50 countries with 8 000 employees. www.omya-idwala.com

Classifieds Feb/Mar'2021.indd 68

2021/02/16 12:25


Sepro completes redesign of its Success range

THE Sepro Success Line has been completely redesigned and will be available in a 5-axis version, making best-in-class technology more affordable and more compact. Having demonstrated a prototype of a general-purpose 5-axis robot, the Success 22X, at K2019, Sepro Group has now finished the redesign of the entire range, which can serve injection moulding machines from 20-700 ton. For more complex applications, Visual 2 controls the different peripheral equipment: conveyors, even complex ones, for palletizing parts and distributing interleaves, insert moulding or even a sprue cutter station. The units can be optionally equipped with a two-axis servo wrist co-developed with Yaskawa Motoman, to create a five-axis Cartesian design that brings both flexibility and economy to the market. Ben Cockram of Plastic & Chemical Trading, the agent for Septro robots in South Africa, says he has sold many Success Robots as they are “extremely well liked” in the industry. “We have already supplied several with the 2-axis servo wrist action. In principle a 2-axis servo wrist (5-axis robot) is capable of all the range of motion and control associated normally with an industrial 6-axis robot. Plastic & Chemical Trading with Sepro have trained technicians who are available for local sales and local support. Success units were the first truly affordable robots to offer enhanced capabilities Originally introduced in 2011, the Success Range has become Sepro’s best-selling robot family. For the first time, the speed and precision of three-axis servo operation became available to moulders with simple pick-and-place applications and simple downstream operations. Success units were the first truly affordable robots to offer enhanced capabilities, with all of the quality and reliability for which Sepro is well-known. In addition to aesthetic changes, the latest Success robots have an extended standard demoulding stroke and, for the first time, a long-demoulding (LD) configuration that adds 200mm to the stroke. In certain


NEWS SEPRO-.indd 28

FEB / MAR 2021

applications, this can allow a robot of a given size to serve a higher-tonnage moulding machine. In some models, the maximum horizontal stroke has been lengthened, and a telescoping vertical arm is also available to extend that movement by as much as 200mm. Sepro engineers also have returned to the use of cam follower bearings for linear motions of the new Success robots. Developed and patented by Sepro some years ago to handle the heavy payloads and long strokes on the large robots, they are now standard on all Cartesian robots. The three largest robots in the Success Range are available in a five-axis-servo ‘X’ configuration that adds speed, flexibility and user-friendliness compared to threeaxis robots with pneumatic wrists.

Full-servo wrist on Success Line X previously only on more technological robots The full-servo wrist on Success Line X robots is a feature previously found only on more technological robots, including the Sepro 5X Line of small and mid-size robots, and 7X Line of large robots, both of which feature a two-axis servo wrist developed in partnership with Stäubli Robotics. Claude Bernard, product marketing director at Sepro, said: The all-servo wrist can be easily adapted with simple digital commands, guaranteeing greater flexibility and faster production changeovers – approaching Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) methodology. We believe this represents the future of Cartesian robots.” Unlike pneumatic wrists, servo motors have positional sensors that allow the robot to know exactly where the wrist – and gripper mounted to it – are positioned at all times. In fact, the robot can move in all five axes at any time with complete control. This allows the robot to complete complicated motions. Thus, it becomes easier to extract a large, complex part with minimal clearance between mould halve or tie bars, or to position parts for secondary operations. At the same time, it becomes possible to use simpler end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), since the servo wrist more easily compensates for minor misalignments. Many of these complex part-manipulation tasks have historically been assigned to six-axis articulated-arm robots. However, because they are a Cartesian or linear robots, the five-axis Success X robots offer faster intervention into the mould space for shorter cycle times, while delivering the flexibility inside and outside the mould otherwise associated with an articulated unit. Set-up and operation are highly intuitive and programming was designed to fit the unique needs of injection moulding. • Plastic & Chemical Trading cc is the distributer for Sepro robots in SA www.plastrading.com


2021/02/15 16:31


Successful fishing line bin project expands its footprint 386 bins installed at various locations around the country

FEB / MAR 2021


NEWS SEPRO-.indd 29 Classifieds Feb/Mar'2020.indd 96

the first 20 bins placed in partnership with Overstrand Municipality. It was through the partnership with Plastics|SA and the support of other conservation agencies such as CapeNature, SanParks, non-profits and concerned communities that the project has grown in leaps and bounds with 386 bins installed at various locations around the country. The goal is to eventually have 500 bins installed and to expand the project into Mozambique. Where possible, the collected fishing line is recycled into bush cutters line. The fishing line bins that need to be replaced are also not sent to landfill but donated to the African Snakebite Association for use by the snake catchers. Similar bins have also been created for the collection of straws or earbuds and bottle tops – other major plastic pollutants on our country’s beaches.


The goal is to eventually have 500 bins installed and to expand the project into Mozambique

SOUTH Africa’s success with preventing discarded fishing line from ending up in the oceans or on beaches by using fishing line bins made from off-cuts of PVC pipe, is resulting in more than 77 new bins being manufactured for installation at beaches around the country ahead of the National Water Week campaign for 2021. The fishing line bins stand 60cm high and are erected at beaches around the country as repositories for used, discarded monofilament fishing line. Off-cuts of PVC pipe (donated by MacNeil Plastics) are used to create a uniquely shaped bin with a U-Bend end-piece that prevents the lines from being blown away. The Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Project was initiated by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and officially first launched along the Gansbaai shoreline in 2010, with


2021/02/19 11:18 08:20 2020/02/10


Safripol winner of 2020 CAIA Responsible Care Initiative of the Year SAFRIPOL in partnership with PETCO have been chosen as the winner of the prestigious 2020 CAIA Responsible Care Initiative of the year award for the Corporate Social Responsibility category. At CAIA’s first ever virtual awards ceremony, the Bophelo recycling project, was recognised for its grassroots impact in improving the lives and livehood of community members in Ermelo, while making a positive improvement to the environment. Through the joint sponsorship between Safripol and PETCO which comprised infrastructure worth R500 000, Bophelo Recycling (Pty) Ltd is today a fully fledged buyback centre for all types of recyclables collected from informal settlements, households, and schools, in and around Ermelo. Since the joint investment, the centre has more than doubled its output PET recycling volumes from 4 tons in 2018 to 9.5 tons in 2019. Bophelo Recycling has also made a significant contribution to job creation in Ermelo, whereby it now employs 11 permanent employees and 20 part-time waste collectors, who assist with sorting and buying of recyclable material.

Vesconite polymer bearing materials made with solar energy System produces 65kWh at peak, with the inverter supplying 60kW to the factory’s extrusion department POLYMER bearing material producer Vesconite Bearings intends to take advantage of South Africa’s high levels of solar radiation to power some of its most power-hungry processes. The company has already installed the first phase of its solar project, comprising 14 strings of 18 x 350W Canadian solar panels and a 66kW Schneider Electric inverter. The system produces 65kWh at peak, with the inverter supplying 60kW to the factory’s extrusion department, which makes its proprietary Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube wear-resistant selflubricating hollow bars and rods.

As such, three quarter of the department’s electricity needs of 80kW/h, are provided for during peak sunlight hours, with a smaller proportion of the department’s electricity needs being catered for from dawn and after 12 noon. “This is a 60kW on-demand grid-tied system,” explains extrusion head Marius Du Plooy. “This means that the inverter is synchronised with the municipality’s

30 FEB / MAR 2021

Pyrotec celebrates 55th anniversary AS Pyrotec celebrates it’s 55th anniversary this year, Rowan Beattie, the company’s managing director, reflects on the long history of this privately-owned and managed business. Pyrotec has always been an innovative, forward-thinking, and proudly South African organisation that has built a strong reputation for its expertise in industryleading, on-pack product identification solutions and an extensive range of coding machinery and labelling equipment. The company is also well known for its software that ensures product integrity, optimises coding activities, helps secure centralised data management systems and label tracking systems, and detects and combats counterfeit activities. “We have come a long way since

trading in the 60s and 70s,” says Rowan. “Our business has seen the rise and fall of the economy, the turn-around of our country’s political position, the introduction and explosion of technology, massive shifts in consumer expectations, and most recently a global pandemic. Through it all, we believe that we have remained steady in our approach to change, and have delivered on our promise of quality, trust, and innovation,” he adds. With Pyrotec’s growth and its focus on innovation, its brands have evolved to include Pyrotec PackMark, the company’s machinery division; Pyrotec PackMedia, which offers innovative on-pack, informational and promotional solutions; as well as Pyrotec PackLink and Pyrotec Finance.

In March 2019, once again showing its appetite for growth and innovation, Pyrotec PackMedia unveiled a first for the African continent with the ground-breaking purchase of a Durst Tau 330 RSC eightcolour digital label press and finishing machine. This state-of-the-art equipment shows Pyrotec’s continuing ability to identify niche markets and its agility to embrace technology as changing markets demand. ‘The sound relationships we’ve developed over the last 54 years between staff, suppliers and customers are based on our shared values. We’re proud of our achievements, our experience and our history, as well as our ability to remain focused on innovation and provide service and product excellence well into the future,’ Rowan concludes.



Vesconite Bearings has already installed the first phase of its solar project, comprising 14 strings of 18 x 350W Canadian solar panels and a 66kW Schneider Electric inverter

1 Boon Leat Terrace, #08-03, Harbourside Building 1, Singapore 119843 TEL : 65-6778-4633 FAX : 65-6778-9440 E-Mail : sales@nisseiasb.com.sg

Classifieds Apr/May'2020.indd 80

since energy is needed for the barrel heaters that melt the polymers; the screw drives that propel the polymer material through the extruders; and the digital control systems. However, the location of the company in sunny South Africa, with more than 2,500 hours of sunshine a year and solar-radiation levels of between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 per day is a clear benefit. “This is one thing that small businesses can do to save money, make themselves less reliant on Stateprovided electricity, and reduce their impact on the environment,” says Leger.


FEB / MAR 2021 31

supply and we use what we produce during day time,” he notes. Unfortunately, the municipality in which Vesconite Bearings is located does not allow energy producers to sell excess power back to it. It is not yet cost effective to use storage batteries, so the full energyproduction-capacity of the solar system is not harnessed and the company is investigating how to expand the usage of the system. Vesconite’s CEO, Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, is pleased that the company has been able to harness the power of the sun for its extrusion processes and will soon have ‘Produced by Solar Power’ stickers printed for the company’s extrusions produced during the ‘solar shift’. Extruders tend to be power intensive

Unit 2 The Shields, 33 Victoria Link, Route 21 Corporate Park, Nelmapius Drive, Irene Ext.30, 0062, 0157, South Africa TEL : 27(12) 345 4924 E-Mail : sales@nisseiasb.co.za

2020/06/15 11:11

OPINION Queuing for water was a reality that many South Africans had to tackle during the height of the water shortage


WHILST the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) applauds and supports the idea behind the SA Government’s annual National Water Week campaign for 2021 (15-22 March), it is clear that its focus and impact should stretch much further than merely educational purposes. More than ever before, it needs to stimulate authorities into action. As we all are aware, South Africa is a water-scarce country. The mean average rainfall for our country is only 495mm per year – compared to the equivalent world figure of 860mm. Roughly 21% of our country receives less than 200mm precipitation per annum. This puts us 139th out of 177 countries. When looking at the estimated amount of available water, the figure for South Africa is less than 2 000m3 per person per year, compared to 15 000m3 in the USA. Dr Anthony Turton, professor in the Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State, predicts that South Africa will need 1.6 times the amount of water than will naturally be available by 2030. In the long term, South Africa is in a serious water crisis There can be no doubt that in the long term, South Africa is in a serious water crisis. Whilst it is a fact that we experience multi-year droughts in certain parts of the country, other factors, which are humanly induced, exacerbate the problem. These include major pollution of water sources and wetlands, uncontrolled mining activities and ageing or insufficient infrastructure in most urban areas. The result of this toxic mix is the following: • More than 50% of South Africa’s wetlands, known as nature’s water filters, have been lost. Of those that remain, 33% are in poor ecological condition. • There are more than 900 municipal treatment plants in the country. Unfortunately, most of them are poorly maintained and badly managed. According to the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan that was released in 2018, 56% of waste water plants and 44% of water treatment works are in a poor or critical condition, and 11% are completely dysfunctional. Three quarters of the water pumped back into rivers by municipal treatment plants have not been properly treated and contain harmful pathogens. • Due to pollution, only 47% of our water bodies have good quality water, compared to Zimbabwe that currently sits at 76%. • More than a third (about 35%) of the properly treated water that is finding its way back into distribution systems is lost due to theft or leakage due to poor infrastructure. This amounts to approximately 1 660 million cubic metres per year. All of these factors are overarched by poor management of resources, corruption and lack of funding. 32

NEWS SAPPMA-.indd 32

R33 billion per year for the next 10 years will be required to achieve water security The government’s National and Sanitation Master Plan states that R33 billion per year for the next 10 years will be required to achieve water security. South Africans are very aware of the current electricity crisis we are dealing with in the country, and regular power cuts or load shedding has become a regular occurrence. Not many people realise, however, that there is a definite interdependence between water and energy. Water is required to generate electricity, while a large portion of electricity is used to pump and distribute water. The cost and availability of electricity at present is therefore a big stumbling block to desalinate sea water, which anyway would only be economically available in coastal areas (estimated at 2 kWh/m3). An interrupted water supply will be catastrophic and clearly a totally different ball game. The impact of having no access to clean drinking water for a number days on end is almost unfathomable, but is a very real possibility. Make water and sewage infrastructure the high priority it deserves Plastic pipe is dominant in secondary water distribution and SAPPMA represents more than 80% of all certified pipe produced in SA. We take our responsibility of ensuring that the piping systems used in our country’s water distribution are designed, produced and installed in the best possible manner and in accordance with international and national standards, to ensure a long-term and leak-free life. SAPPMA therefore urgently appeals to Government to make water and sewage infrastructure the high priority it deserves. The Department of Water and Sanitation is the custodian of water resources in the country and has the constitutional mandate to protect, develop, conserve and properly manage our water resources in a sustainable and equitable manner and for the benefit of all people. The only way this can be done properly and effectively is by addressing the widespread pollution of rivers and wetlands and intervening in the mismanagement of municipal water and sewage treatment plants. We urge the Department to ensure they only appoint people who the necessary engineering skills and experience into positions of authority and allow the private industry to form partnerships with the public enterprises so that we can secure our water supply for future generations. www.sappma.co.za

FEB / MAR 2021

2021/02/15 16:32

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sales@inkuluplastics.co.za 2021/02/12 09:08


Dow Packaging Innovation HENKEL AG & Co KGaA’s Social Plastic Ecosystem, in collaboration with Plastic Bank, have earned top honours in the 2020 Packaging Innovation Awards by Dow that recognise breakthrough packaging achievements in design, technology, sustainability and user experience. To create a new line of sustainable cosmetic packaging, Henkel conducted a pilot programme that uses recycled materials from Plastic Bank, a social enterprise which aims to stop plastic waste from entering the ocean and provide economic opportunities for people in extreme poverty. Since its launch in 2018, Henkel has produced and sold 15MM bottles made from recycled plastic across Western Europe. The 2020 Packaging Innovation Awards hosted by Dow is now in its 32nd year and is the industry’s longest running,

independently judged packaging awards program. The judging panel consists of professionals from around the world in a wide range of fields, including design, engineering, retail, converting and academia. Award winners represent the most innovative packaging breakthroughs in categories ranging from food and beverage to personal care with a strong focus on sustainability and the circular economy. The judges evaluated more than 175 entries from companies around the globe. Entries ranged from personal care and health and hygiene, to food and beverage and industrial innovations. In addition to the Diamond Award, the judges also selected three Diamond Finalists, six Gold Award Winners, five Silver Award Winners, two Honourable Mentions for Emerging Applications and one Honorable Mention for Advancements in Industrial Distribution systems. The full list of winners includes:

Diamond Winner Social Plastic Ecosystem

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Henkel AG & Co KGaA in collaboration with Plastic Bank

As part of its commitment to a circular economy and against plastic waste in the environment, in 2017 Henkel became the first global consumer goods company to partner with Plastic Bank. The joint goal is to reduce plastic waste in the oceans while improving the lives of people in poverty – especially in countries that lack waste management infrastructure. At dedicated centres, the local population can return collected plastic waste and exchange it for money, goods or services. This material is then integrated back into the plastic value chain as Social Plastic®. Since the start of the collaboration, Plastic Bank opened additional collection centres in Haiti. Furthermore, Henkel helped the organisation to establish a supply chain to ensure the collected plastic waste can be processed, recycled and integrated back into the supply chain. The partnership continues to focus on two aspects – further increasing the integration of Social Plastic® in the company’s product packaging, and scaling up Plastic Bank’s global footprint to prevent plastic waste in oceans or waterways while providing

opportunities for people in need. The partnership – backed by Henkel’s Beauty Care and Laundry & Home care businesses – will support Plastic Bank in further enhancing the availability and integration of Social Plastic® as a resource for packaging. Through establishing an additional collection ecosystem in Egypt, adding more than 400 dedicated collection centres, Plastic Bank expects to reach an additional collection capacity of up to 5 000 tons annually, which corresponds to up to one billion bottles over the five-year period.

Award winners Gold Award Winners FitMe® Matte + Poreless Foundation ProAmpac in collaboration with L’Oréal, Maybelline

Maybelline’s FitMe® Matte + Poreless foundation reimagined an e-commerce packaging solution to go with their traditional rigid glass bottle that would be a minimally packaged, more functional, on-the-go pouch suited for e-commerce retailers. The flexible spouted pouch is flatter, reduces the packaging by more than 90% versus the current glass bottle, gets all the product out of the package and ships more product.

Mama Silage Bag Packaging Industries Limited in collaboration with Policy and Market Options and SNV Netherlands Development Organization

The Mama Silage Bag is a breakthrough in silage storage for smallscale dairy farmers in Kenya who typically experience up to 40% of fodder waste through mould development. Mama Silage Bags have been designed to minimize material use and maximize functionality through high-performance polymers that offer excellent puncture resistance and high elasticity for manual compaction and extreme handling. The bag also provides farmers with a reusable alternative to the otherwise single-use storage method.

Kimchi Easy Carry Pouch CJ Cheiljedang

CJ Cheiljedang designed the Kimchi Easy Carry Pouch to package the traditional Korean food it produces, which naturally releases gas as it ferments and requires a cable tie or clip to control the gas release. The pouch features a two-ball handle and has a new maze structure to stabilize gas emissions. The innovation was designed to also reduce plastic usage by 15% compared to the previous design and is completely recyclable because it doesn’t contain any cable ties or clips.

Award winners represent the most innovative packaging breakthroughs in categories ranging from food and beverage to personal care with a strong focus on sustainability and the circular economy. FEB / MAR 2021 35


Gold Award Winners Mexico Yoghurt Cup Danone in collaboration with Goplas

The Mexico Yoghurt Cup features a flexible bottom that activates at sea level to prevent deformation with altitude change. The sealed bottom wall also helps to spoon out the full contents. Danone previously experienced issues with yogurt cups collapsing during distribution due to changing altitude, resulting in food waste and profit loss. The use of polypropylene and cardboard, rather than polystyrene, ensures the thermoformed innovation is aesthetically pleasing, durable and recyclable.

Oxi-free High Barrier Green Grain Coffee Packaging Parnaplast in collaboration with Interpack Packaging Solutions

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The Oxi-free High Barrier GreenGrain Coffee Packaging helps optimize coffee packing and preservation during transportation. It features an innovative neck and bag structure that allows for easy filling and sealing even for small packaging businesses. The package also includes a durable nine-layer film which creates an oxygen and water vapour barrier, ultimately preserving green graincoffee and reducing waste.

Veja Specialists Redesign Reckitt Benckiser Brazil in collaboration with Guala Dispensing, Narita Design, Logoplaste Brasil, Alpla and Flexoprint Labels

The innovative household cleaner spray trigger reduces the complexity of trigger variations around the globe in addition to being metal free and reducing plastic by 13% compared to the previous version. The smooth ergonomic design provides an enhanced user experience with ‘real pre-compression’ technology that allows a consistent spray, resulting in two times more power than the previous design.

Silver Award Winners GripTop antislip bag

UPM Raflatac Forest Film™

Flexinnova kft in collaboration with Foltrade kft

Featuring spatial microstructure and elastomeric materials, the GripTop antislip bag provides the desired friction parameters for selected surfaces without compromising appearance. Additionally, the GripTop antislip bag has a comfortable level of coefficient of friction (COF) and withstands dust and moisture levels that can impact heavy duty industrial packaging.

UPM Raflatac in collaboration with UPM Biofuels and Vellamo®

UPM Raflatac developed the first polypropylene label material called the UPM Raflatac Forest Film™ in partnership with UPM Biofuels. Forest Film is based on UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100% wood-based solution from crude tall oil, a residue from pulping process. Forest Film holds ISCC PLUS certification and helps the value chain to reduce CO2 by 66% compared to standard fossil based polypropylene solution. This innovation is now in action in Vellamo® - Ice Age Water Ltd´s premium water bottle.


Cummins recognises TRB for pandemic efforts


TRB’s composite battery enclosure

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TRB LIGHTWEIGHT STRUCTURES (TRB) has been recognised by renowned powertrain manufacturer Cummins Inc for its ongoing efforts to minimise the disruption caused by COVID-19. TRB has been named as a recipient of a 2020 Cummins COVID-19 Outstanding Supplier Award, acknowledging suppliers that have gone ‘above and beyond’ to support Cummins throughout the global pandemic. The challenges caused by the spread of SARSCoV-2 around the world have led to significant disruption to supply chains and travel. Despite this, TRB was able to set up a new high volume production facility in the USA during the pandemic, and begin supplying Cummins with multiple critical battery components for electric vehicles. Cummins praised the company for its commitment to hit key milestones and meet delivery schedules throughout the crisis, as well as its open communication and efforts to produce key personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS in the UK.


Farewell to Roger Cockram, after over 60yrs in industry Mr Consistent was always calm and unrushed ROGER Cockram, one of the longest serving members of the plastics industry in South Africa, passed away on 5 January at the age of 83 – he had been active in the industry for over 60 years. Born in 1937 in Shillong in British India to a father who was an officer in the Gurkhas and a mother who had been a renowned sculptress in Paris in the 1930s, Roger ended up in Africa after his father decided to take a look around after the Second World War. South Africa was the land of his maternal ancestors (de Wet), and when the ship to England stopped in at Durban, they decided to stay. They fell in love with Natal and founded a Jersey herd on the farm Summerfield near Greytown. Raised a farm boy, he went on to study agriculture at Stellenbosch University. Unfortunately the family lost the farm so, on graduation, Roger started out in the packaging industry in the late 1950’s at Metal Box in Cape Town as a management trainee, selling metal packaging to the food canning industry. He then transferred back to Durban where he started his long relationship with the plastics industry. Working freelance, he acted as an agent to Hermann Stiegler (founder of Hestico) and sold his first Eckert and Ziegler (later KraussMaffei) machines.

In the 1970s he moved to Johannesburg and started working for Bordic Sales with Peter Borain (father of the famous model and muse to Calvin Klein, Josie Borain) selling raw material. The company bought Halogen Distributors in the late 70s and introduced the Toshiba moulding machines into the country. With the collapse of the rand in 1984, Roger was forced to sell the business, and it went to Frans Bendig of Adron and eventually, in 1989, he started Plastic & Chemical Trading working from the dining room table. The business, P&CT, was recruited by KraussMaffei to be the German machine manufacturer’s agent in SA in 1996. That year he was joined by his son Benjamin and two years later Matthew joined to form a machinery supply business for which Roger worked until his death on 5 January. Roger was a pioneering member of the Plastics Federation and served several terms as president of the Plastics Institute and chairman of SAMPLAS (South African Machinery Suppliers Association). In these early years the industry was like a family co-operating closely. The members of the industry felt themselves to be pioneers and innovation was the order of the day. The meetings at the Federation were great get-togethers of rugged individuals with an industry to build.

GPS wins award

Bert Green starts his own venture

Kevin Govender of GPS Plastics of Durban recently received an award for excellent community service and development from the KZN International Business Association, presented here by Vivian Reddy of Edison Power, who was guest of honour.

BERT Green has left Joluka Plastics in Midrand after seven years there and ventured out on his own, establishing Aries Plastics & Consulting. The company supplies plastics machinery and auxiliary equipment, and Bert consults to the industry when needed. While at Joluka Plastics, Bert was factory manager, responsible for 12 equipment lines comprising injection moulding machines and profile extruders manufacturing systems for reinforced concrete and brick structures in the construction industry. • Bert can be contacted at 079 371 5508 or at e-mail: bertgreen24@gmail.com

Extrupet chairman passes on EXTRUPET chairman, Laju Chanrai, passed away on 7 January. He was the founder of the Extrupet Group and had been Chairman since its inception in 2000. He was an exceptional human being whose guidance and stewardship of Extrupet group activities yielded the growth it has seen over the last 20 years. 38

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Sicomin sponsors Ocean X

on 6 700km solo kayak crossing “Working with Sicomin and Aerontec has been and Phil Southwell great. We’ve got fantastic and Ocean X’s builder, Dylan materials for the build that Soares de Melo are more sustainable than traditional epoxies and we’ve (local composite specialists Further had brilliant technical Composites), with a support from the package of Sicomin materials. Aerontec team As Kohler will paddle too.”

Working with South African distributor, Aerontec SICOMIN, a leading formulator and supplier of epoxy resin systems and high-performance composite solutions, is sponsoring extreme paddler Richard Kohler’s epic solo challenge. Working with its South African distributor, Aerontec, Sicomin has provided GreenPoxy bio-based resins, adhesives and epoxy fairing compounds for the build of the unique 8m Ocean X craft that Kohler will paddle. When former Team Shosholoza America’s Cup sailor Richard Kohler takes on a challenge he certainly thinks big. In February, he will leave Cape

Town and attempt to paddle, solo and unsupported, 6 700km to Salvador in Brazil, crossing the South Atlantic in his custom designed torpedo shaped kayak, named Osiyeza (from ‘The Crossing’ by Johnny Clegg & Savuka). Aerontec’s Andrew Parsons first became involved in the project in 2020 and was able to support Kohler, working alongside designers Richard Bertie

alone and unsupported, his kayak needs to provide shelter and be capable of carrying all of his provisions for a two to three month trip whilst also being light enough for

The impact of COVID in the composites industry New market survey reveals 50% of respondents changed materials suppliers to cope with supply chain issues THE ongoing epidemic of COVID-19 that has been affecting the world’s economy since last year has had a tremendous impact on many major industries, including aerospace and automotive, at the heart of the composites industry. Although the outlooks seem uncertain for the latter, the composites industry has remained resilient and shows strong adaptability during this crisis. JEC Group mandated Explori, an audience listening platform, to perform a survey* among 1,500 international respondents in May and October 2020 to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on their company. Many industrials are looking forward to the future with much optimism. Here are some takeaways.

• • • • • •

One out of every two companies remains optimistic about the future. A very resilient and robust industry although an economic downturn. On a global scale, the composites industry has managed to resist much of the impact of COVID-19. 64% of companies are operating at 76 to 99% of their capacity, showing a positive sign of recovery. Half of the respondents have shown concerns over business opportunities. The crisis has pushed them to reinvent themselves to support production capacities and avoid downturns. Only 25% express concerns regarding innovation and R&D. Their main objective is to turn to more investment in R&D to innovate in the future.

Change of supply chain strategy to avoid relying on external providers The survey revealed that 50% of the respondents changed materials suppliers to cope with supply chain issues. Many have changed their foreign providers to turn to local ones to avoid supply chain delays, and 70% plan to remain on the same path in the future. 40


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conventional blades

of South Atlantic a solo paddler to keep moving through ocean swells. Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® 33 laminating system has been used for a lightweight full carbon and PVC foam sandwich construction, with SR7200 epoxy adhesive used for all structural bonding of the kayak’s components. “For the South Atlantic crossing, Ocean X needs to be strong, light and efficient. Working with Sicomin and Aerontec has been great.” commented Kohler. ”We’ve got fantastic materials for the build that are more sustainable than traditional epoxies and we’ve had brilliant technical support from the

Aerontec team too. I can’t wait to get started now and show everyone what this new design can do.” As well as taking on the physical and mental challenge of this huge open ocean crossing to prove to himself that it can be done, Kohler is also using his trip to raise funds for the charity ,Operation Smile. Active in 34 countries for 35 years, Operation Smile has helped millions of children and adults born with a cleft lip and pallet, providing access to specialized medical care, and changing lives, one smile at a time. Sicomin and Aerontec are proud to

Also, 25% of the companies have switched their production to manufacture healthcare production. 30% of them will continue in this sector.



Scott Bader resins, gelcoats & adhesives in superyacht ESTABLISHED in 1982, Gulf Craft is a major manufacturer of luxury yachts and leisure boats ranging from 9 metres up to 53 metres. Scott Bader and Gulf Craft have been working together since 2007. Launched in November 2020, the Majesty 122 is the third 37-metre superyacht manufactured by Gulf Craft using Scott Bader’s advanced composite and adhesive materials. Named Happy Days, it is the first Majesty Yacht from the Superyacht Series to feature a fully enclosed luxurious sky-lounge. The Majesty 122 is a stunning example of Gulf Craft’s build quality and Scott Bader’s high performance materials. It was built using Crystic vinylester resins, Crystic gelcoats, Crestabond and Crestomer structural adhesives, Crestafix bonding pastes and Crestamould matched tooling systems. Scott Bader and Gulf Craft have been working in partnership since 2007 to manufacture their world class range of superyachts.




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Future perspectives and problematics One out of two companies are optimistic about the evolution of the situation within the next 18 months; this is consistent across regions, companies’ types, and sizes. 50% of respondents considered entering a new activity sector; sustainability and renewable energies being main ones. Renewable energy, sports and health sector, marine, building, railway, and defense are considered to be in the top five new sectors to enter into in the future. 50% consider that innovation is critical to enter new markets and new manufacturing processes. Innovation sources via universities and startups will remain stable whatever the region. The top three innovation drivers are reducing cost, competition concerns, and new customers’ needs. For composite part manufacturers, the three innovation drivers are production cost reduction, competition, and also applying for scientific advances. The full survey available upon request.

support such an immense voyage and wish Richard fair winds and flat seas. Kohler is currently carrying out final preparations to Ocean X and is planning to set off at the end of February or as soon as the COVID 19 situation in South Africa allows. • Kohler’s journey can be followed on his Instagram channel: richardkohleradventures and on the Sicomin channel: greenpoxy.

www.scottbader.com www.gulfcraftinc.com

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Currently, Mighty Buildings constructs its housing solutions, like the pictured Mighty Studio accessory dwelling unit (ADU), and sells directly to consumers in California


prefab homes aim to disrupt construction market Material & technology will unlock productivity needed in construction to address the housing affordability crisis CALIFORNIA startup Mighty Buildings’ award-winning prefabricated building production process relies on largeformat 3D printing, UV-curable resins, digital design and automation. The recipient of the 2020 CAMX Unsurpassed Innovation Award, Mighty Buildings Inc was founded in 2017 with the goal of disrupting home construction using large-format 3D printing, advanced materials and automation. As of early December 2020, nine homes have been built – six installed at their final sites and three more in production – with more than 20 additional contracts lined up. Currently, Mighty Buildings offers six models: four smaller ‘Mighty Mods’ ranging from a 32.5m2 studio to the 65m2 Duo B/I, which are built at the company’s production space and then installed on-site via crane; and three, two- to three-bedroom ‘Mighty Houses’ which are built as panels that are shipped and assembled at the construction site. Custom projects can also be accommodated for larger projects with developers/builders. Might Buildings’ team was inspired by innovations in UV-curable resins. A project developing 3D printing ‘pens’, which deposit small amounts of a resin gel onto a surface and then solidify it with UV light was the idea behind Mighty Buildings who expanded this type of product to a much larger scale and transferred it to the construction market, to not only speed up the construction process and improve the sustainability of the process, but to also open up new 42 FEB / MAR 2021


ways of designing buildings. The result is a printing material called Light Stone Material (LSM) and a 3D printing process called Photo Activated Component Extrusion (PACE). This proprietary printing material and technology which allow Mighty Buildings to UV cure an extrudable gel that cures quickly enough to be able to support its own weight, unlocking the ability to print unsupported spans and organic shapes. UV-curable resin The original version of LSM is an unreinforced thermoset resin (Mighty Buildings calls it a composite, in this case meaning a mixture of resin with a UV initiator and other proprietary materials). This unreinforced resin enables building single-story buildings, but ultimately, Mighty Buildings plans to go bigger and taller – up to 3-5 floors and taller – with the help of fibre reinforcement. A version of LSM reinforced with continuous glass fibre has been developed, and internal testing has shown that 3D-printed structures made with this material are “able to achieve a maximum ultimate load similar to that of a comparably-sized, steel-reinforced concrete beam, with more than four times less weight and an ultimate tensile strength that is nearly 20 times higher.” LSM is also water and fire resistant, highly energy-efficient and is said to be the first UL-certified 3D-printed building material. 3D printing and assembly Production of each prefabricated

building requires, in broad strokes, four steps: 3D printing, quality control, post processing and assembly. Automation plays a large part each step of the way. In addition, currently, Mighty Buildings is working with MSC Software to develop its own digital simulation and modelling platform, working toward 100% digital fabrication. The company plans to use this platform to simulate every step of production before the build to reduce production costs and speed the process, eliminate quality control issues and enable late-stage changes. The PACE 3D printing process is designed for large parts, zero waste and speed. It involves extrusion of an LSM gel at room temperature and polymerization via UV light at the end of the printhead. The PACE system boasts a print volume of 3.4 x 8 x 4 metres. With the help of robotic arms, cured parts are inspected via 3D scanning and thermography, and then each structure is moved into a robotic finishing cell for post-processing. Depending on the project, this may involve milling the exterior surface to simulate a stonelike or brick finish, spraying on paint, and pouring polyurethane insulation foam layers into wall interiors. Finished modules are then transported and assembled at the construction site. Mighty Buildings’ current process takes about two to three weeks start to finish to build a house. The company’s ultimate goal is to build an entirely 3D-printed module from start to finish in less than a week. www.mightybuildings.com

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Ready to roll New carbon fibre wheel uses tailored fibre placement and custom presses to minimize waste, improve scalability CARBON fibre wheels offer a range of benefits by reducing rotational inertia and the combined mass – known as the unsprung mass – of a vehicle’s wheels, suspension and other directly connected components not supported by the suspension. This reduction in rotational inertia and unsprung mass, which can be as high as 50%, typically results in faster acceleration with less effort, reduced braking distance, improved handling due to better contact with the road (mechanical grip) and reduced road noise. But the price tags on carbon fibre wheels – both hybrid and all-composite – have kept them out of reach of many consumers. ESE Carbon Co (Miami, USA) makes carbon fibre wheels available for a broader segment of the driving population. The company has added a five-axis CNC precision machining team, advanced structural composite parts capabilities, tailored fibre placement machines and robotics to automate production. The company aims to release its E2 line of one-piece, one-cure all carbon fibre composite automotive wheels in 2021. Weighing only 7.7kg, ESE’s wheel is capable of supporting vehicles up to a 3 084kg gross vehicle weight rating. ESE’s wheel is created using tailored fibre placement technology (TFP), which the company says allows fast-paced, high-volume manufacturing of carbon fibre components with good mechanical properties. TFP works

by arranging fibre bundles, positioning them where they are needed for structural performance, and stitching them into position on a compatible base layer. The procedure is used in place of the conventional approach of cutting woven fabrics to a required shape. ESE uses industrial-grade carbon fibre and TFP technology to stitch plies, creating preforms of near net shape. Areas of fabric that would have to be cut out in traditional laminate design are simply left unstitched. ESE claims the technology has allowed the company to reduce plies by up to 50%, thereby creating a simplified layup process and minimizing waste. Carbon fibre waste was reduced from around 40% with traditional carbon fibre fabrics to less than 10% by adopting TFP. One of the most significant cost savings for ESE’s wheel comes from these layup improvements. The reduction in plies improves efficiency and reduces layup time by nearly 50% and more parts per mould can be made each day. The company selected Huntsman Advanced Materials’ Araldite for its epoxy resin system. According to Huntsman, the system offers low viscosity for faster injection speeds, fibre wet out and ease of processing, as well as flexibility to adjust to different mould conditions and cycle times. With Araldite, ESE says it is able to enhance production rate and increase the rim strength, even at elevated temperatures to which wheels are exposed during braking. • Courtesy of CompositesWorld

High-quality mass production composite canoes

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COBRA International in Thailand, one of the world’s largest OEM manufacturers of composite goods for water sports, recently shipped the first 36 of its composite canoes to ARE Tahiti. Cobra has collaborated with leading outrigger canoe brand ARE Tahiti to mass produce its new OC-1 canoe, ‘Mana’, featuring a closed deck on which the paddler sits on top of the hull. Available in two models; a hybrid version weighing 12kg, using an 80:20 mix of E-glass and carbon fibre reinforcement fabrics, and the PRO model – a weight optimized, ultra-light, full carbon version that weighs just 9kg. A master model formed the basis of the mass production tooling and two sets of composite hull tooling were taken from the master plug allowing a build rate of up to 50 OC-1 canoes per month. For the lay-up and construction process, Cobra’s high-performance PVC foam sandwich windsurf board construction was used. Vacuum consolidated epoxy wet layup was used for the mix of woven and stitched biaxial reinforcements.



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Waste picker’s success

Project improving the lives of Ermelo community

WHEN Johanna Leshabane launched Bophelo Recycling in 2007 after being retrenched, little did she know that her dream of fighting unemployment in her community would evolve into an award-winning business. Today, with 11 full-time staff and 20 part-time waste pickers, the waste buy-back centre collects 36 tons of recyclable PET plastic from informal settlements, households and schools in the Ermelo area. This equates to a 79% increase in total collection volumes since inception. Polymer producer Safripol and the national industry body for PET recycling (PETCO) have together provided Leshabane with supporting recycling infrastructure worth R500,000. The joint contribution included, among other things, a shipping container, electricity supply, trailer, roofing structure, trolleys, signage, fencing and branding, as well as training and mentoring support. The support has helped stimulate job creation, economic growth and development in the area, and, as a result,

Bophelo has recently received national acclaim. The acclaim, in the form of the Responsible Care Initiative Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category, came from the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA). It recognises the impact the project has made on improving the lives and livelihoods of Ermelo community members while making a positive difference to the environment. “I feel so blessed and very honoured,” said Bophelo owner, Johanna Leshabane, who attributed her success to PETCO, Safripol, her staff, and the community members, schools and companies which allowed Bophelo to collect their waste. “I couldn’t have done it without all these people,” she said. Despite the business being negatively affected by Covid-19, Leshabane said she planned to grow Bophelo even more in 2021. “I’d like to branch out into another town so that we can create jobs in other rural settlements and teach more people

Joago, the watch riding the sustainable wave

A bank card

THE story of Joago begins with two friends who went surfing in Bali in 2018 and discovered white sandy beaches littered with rubbish and crystal-clear waters overflowing with plastic waste. Upon returning home, the two surfing enthusiasts were left with only one desire: to do something to save the oceans they love so much. To do this, Pablo Garat and Jose Ruiz first organised waste collection efforts on beaches in Bali, Mexico and Senegal, but quickly came to the following conclusion: why not collect this ocean waste and use its potential to give it a second life, by transforming it into valuable objects? This is how Soleos, Eos and Terra were born. They are three elegant watch models designed in a sustainable way from marine plastic waste, recycled stainless steel and Pinatex, a material made from the fibres of pineapple leaves that were to be discarded. The Joago watches are nonetheless high-quality technical products that run on solar energy and are waterresistant – depending on the model – to a depth of up to 100m. And this is precisely one of Pablo and Luis’ goals: to prove that it is possible to manufacture high-quality, sustainable and even luxurious products from waste and recycled materials. 44


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story receives national kudos how they can start their own recycling business,” she said. Avashnee Chetty, Safripol sustainability manager, said the project demonstrated that “real change is possible in the lives of the most vulnerable when it is driven at grassroots level, and when community members are engaged as both partners and leaders. “This project is embedded in the local community, and it is only through joint partnerships of this kind that real impact and sustainable social change can be achieved. Safripol is extremely proud to be associated with this project,” Chetty said. PETCO collections and training project manager Belinda Booker said the training and mentorship of waste pickers was “critical to improving their working conditions and that of their surrounding communities, while simultaneously keeping our environment clean. “The PET recycling sector has an important role to play in contributing to the transformation of the South African economy. Few issues are more important,” said Booker.

Johanna Leshaban

made from recycled PVC





AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is participating in the EcoFILLink project to reduce the environmental impact generated by ink containers used for digital decoration of ceramic tiles. Waste from plastic containers contaminated with ink-jet inks currently amounts to 500 tons per year and a volume of 10,650m3. Recycling these containers is a problem due to their complexity and the dirt released on contact with water, since 5% of the ink remains adhered to the container internal walls. The EcoFILLink project aims to implement eco-design strategies in packaging and waste management and several eco-design techniques will be implemented to make packaging reusable at least five times. To this end, the packaging will be redesigned to improve interior washing, and internal functions will be included to maximize emptying by 2 to 5%. FEB / MAR 2021

SINCE early June last year, the Spanish BBVA bank has been distributing a bank card made from PVC to holders of a youth account. This makes it the first banking institution in Spain to issue recycled plastic cards. Following the conclusions of a study showing that 93% of people under 30 believe that all their cards should be sustainable, BBVA has chosen to initially target youth account holders, a more sensitive section of the population that is aware of environmental issues and the importance of protecting the environment. It is no coincidence that BBVA has opted for recycled PVC. After a year of in-depth studies on life cycle analysis, carbon footprint, in short, the environmental impact of the different materials considered, the bank finally chose this recycled plastic created from the production scraps of several industries, such as the automotive, construction and packaging industries. The first cards launched were made of 86% recycled plastic, but the bank is committed to providing 100% recycled cards by the end of the year. The initiative will be extended to other countries in which the bank has a presence (South America, Mexico, United States, Turkey, etc.). The offer, which is currently targeted at young people, should also be extended to all account holders. As a result, more than half a million recycled PVC BBVA cards were expected to be put into circulation before the end of 2020, and their number should increase rapidly in the years to come. According to the Nilson Report 20181, around 6 billion plastic bank cards are produced each year.

Reducing environmental impact of ceramic ink containers


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Covestro sustainable cast elastomer solution for offshore industry CO2-based cardyon® products partly replace fossil raw materials

Covestro offers a sustainable cast elastomer solution for the offshore wind power industry. It is based on a precursor of the cardyon brand containing CO2. The elastomers show the same good properties as petrochemical-based products

COVESTRO has developed a sustainable cast elastomer solution that enables the offshore industry to reduce its environmental impact and carbon footprint. The polyurethane elastomers are based on so-called cardyon® brand polyols, which contain CO2 and offer the same good performance as corresponding petrochemicalbased elastomers. A new technology from Covestro makes it possible to produce these precursors from carbon dioxide in a proportion of up to 20% by weight, replacing some of the fossil raw materials used up to now. In its search for a more sustainable solution for the offshore industry, moulding company Polarttech opted for a Desmodur® elastomer system containing cardyon polyols.

This cast polyurethane elastomer offers the following advantages: • The part produced with this system shows very good hydrolysis resistance, as expected from such an offshore application, and is more durable than other elastomers such as rubber. • The polyurethane system enables the production of elastomers with high-performance or even better mechanical properties such as tensile strength and tear resistance than corresponding conventional cast polyurethane systems made from fossil raw materials. • The solution offers the possibility to reduce the carbon footprint and dependence on fossil raw materials. www.covestro.com

Kirn office task chair takes sustainability to a new level Made primarily from ECONAMID, 100% recycled polymer feedstock AS the design and plastics industries strive towards a circular economy, Orangebox, a workplace design company focused on innovation,


FEB / MAR 2021


has launched a new office task chair designed for sustainability and to be 99% recyclable at the product’s end of life. The Kirn, fabricated using DOMO’s Econamid® polyamides, provides great comfort while being truly environmentally smart. Developed from recycled post-industrial textile fibres, Econamid polyamides provide significant sustainability credentials compared to virgin polymer-based solutions. DOMO’s distribution manager Andrea Rizzo says, “By using unique fibre feedstock, monitoring our energy consumption and using renewable energy sources, we have managed to produce this topquality ‘green’ range of

products. Econamid can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 97% vs virgin plastics and offers significant water savings in production.” The comfortable Kirn offers an improved range of seat height. The intuitive design and the soft-touch fibres have been engineered to provide continuous, hard-wearing three-dimensional support for all shapes and sizes. In addition to product longevity and material efficiency, the architecture and engineering design of the Kirn has resulted in a simpler product, made from fewer parts, and using less material. At the end of its working life, the chair’s material selection and design for disassembly will allow 99% of it to be recycled, with its large parts carrying material identifier marks. www.domo.org

2021/02/15 16:34

SABIC expands PCR engineering thermoplastics PCR levels of initially up to 30% RESPONDING to calls from major brands in the consumer electronics business and electrics and electronics (E&E) industry as a whole for more sustainable materials, SABIC’s engineering thermoplastics business is expanding its portfolio of Cycoloy™ and Lexan™ resins containing high levels of post-consumer recycled material (PCR). Typical applications for the portfolio will include consumer electronics and accessories such as chargers and adapters, printers, copiers and laptop housing. The new PCR material is blended with the virgin material to create compounds with PCR levels of initially up to 30%. According to an internal SABIC LCA Study, these compounds offer potentially significant reductions in carbon footprint of up to 25% and in energy consumption of up to 30% compared to

A TPE for sustainable cotton swabs Kraiburg TPE supplies thermoplastic elastomer


1.5 million single-use cups replaced with 30,000 reusable lightweight cups BOREALIS is spearheading an innovative new pilot to test the advantages of a double-closed loop reuse and recycling system, leading the transition towards a more circular economy of plastics. ‘Borealis Closes The Loop’ sees Borealis and its value-chain partners replace the 1.5 million single-use cups used annually at four of its Belgium sites with 30,000 reusable EcoCore® cups. The pilot first reduces the weight of plastics through these extremely lightweight cups, then reuses them to maximise their lifetime before seeking to recycle back into cups. By using a double-closed loop, the pilot aims to make reuse schemes more sustainable and economically viable. Replacing 1.5 million singleuse cups with 30,000 reusable cups, weighing 15g per cup, results in a material saving of 4.2 tons of single-use plastic per year. Lightweight and durable EcoCore® foamed cups are individually tagged with RFID chips so the reuse cycle of each cup can be traced. This digitalisation means the system can be further optimised, for example analysing how many cups have been used and potentially reducing the number in circulation. When cups are removed from the reuse loop (for example due to wear and tear or damage), they move on to the material recycling loop.



Borealis eliminates single-use cups with double-closed loop system

FEB / MAR 2021

EVERY day, 1.5 billion cotton swabs are produced worldwide, each to be used only once. And that’s where LastObject’s mission began: the Danish company aims to promote the ‘zero waste’ movement and supply reusable, hygienic cotton swabs. They have already sold more than 500,000 LastSwabs to customers all over the world. LastObject’s reusable basic and beauty cotton swabs use Thermolast® M, a compound from Kraiburg TPE, for the tip. The compound provides adhesion to polypropylene and polyethylene, high abrasion resistance, weldability and freedom from animal ingredients. It is processed using injection moulding and extrusion. The rigid stick is made of polypropylene. The case is made of recycled ocean waste plastic (OWP) from the Danish company Zeaplast. The entire product is moulded by AMP, a well-known Danish injection moulder.

virgin material. SABIC hopes to be able to offer materials with PCR content of up to 60% in 2021. The compounds and their properties will be tailored according to different industry requirements. The extended range of materials will contain PCR polycarbonate coming from applications such as five-gallon water bottles and optical media. Such products are made with clear polycarbonate, and they are easy to obtain, sort and clean. SABIC are also investigating use of PCR polycarbonate from end of life automotive applications such as head-lights and dashboards. www.sabic.com


2021/02/15 16:35


Novel meat packaging

from mixed post-consumer postplastics DRIVEN by a shared vision of sustainability and strong collaboration, DSM, SABIC, Cepsa, Fibrant, and Viscofan have together created a multi-barrier casing for meat products made via advanced recycling of post-consumer plastics. Produced by Viscofan, the newly developed sustainable casing consists of several layers of different polymers. DSM Engineering Materials supplies the high-performance certified circular polyamide (PA) Akulon® CRC-MB, and SABIC supplies the high-performance certified circular polyethylene from its Trucircle™ portfolio of circular solutions. Both products are based on used and post-consumer plastics which would otherwise be discarded as landfill or lost to incineration. Using advanced recycling, the used plastic is converted into new feedstock, which then enters the

production chain to deliver new virgin-quality materials. The high-performance certified circular polyamide Akulon CRC-MB is produced through a strong value chain collaboration involving a range of partners applying a massbalancing approach. Firstly, SABIC produces certified circular benzene, based on materials produced via feedstock recycling of mixed-used plastics, which is used by Cepsa to make certified circular phenol. Fibrant then uses the phenol to produce certified circular caprolactam EcoLactam®, which is provided to DSM to produce its certified circular polyamide. Finally, Viscofan combines the certified circular polyethylene and polyamide to produce the multi-barrier film used to create casings for a variety of meat products. www.sabic.com

Luca, a small 100% sustainable electric car Honeycomb structure of recycled PET LUCA is the name of a small, sporty yellow electric car made entirely or almost entirely from plastic waste from the ocean and recycled materials. This initiative, born at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, is led by the TU/Ecomotive team, a collective of 22 students. Its aim: to demonstrate that waste is valuable and can be used to make objects as sophisticated as cars. Their concept car project, first unveiled last December, quickly became a reality as it took them less than a year to create it and make it functional. The small yellow concept car is equipped with a frame made of a honeycomb structure of recycled PET. This structure is covered with a ‘skin’ made from flax fibres impregnated with recycled polypropylene obtained from plastic waste recovered from the ocean: a complex and innovative composite which, according to researchers, gives it surprising rigidity and durability.

The car’s body is made from recycled ABS, and the finish is achieved using a yellow-coloured film rather than paint, which can be easily removed and recycled at the end of its life. The interior is just as original: it also contains a good amount of recycled waste. The cushions of both seats are made from coconut hair and horsehair, while the suede-like fabric covering them is made from recycled PET. The small two-seater car has an electric powertrain, featuring two electric motors that allow it to reach a top speed of 90km and give it an impressive range of around 230km. All in all, the Luca is particularly lightweight, weighing in as it does at just 360kg. Although the little Luca looks great, it may never hit the road. Instead, the TU/Ecomotive team is demonstrating the potential of plastic waste, recycled materials and new biological materials in this bold, environmentally friendly concept car. In the near future, those materials could find their way into the automotive industry and, why not, other industrial sectors. As Wouter Winant, Technical Director at EconCore, a leader in the thermoplastic honeycomb core industry and partner of Team Luca, sums up: We are delighted to support the TU/Ecomotive team because we share similar values in terms of using technology to produce sustainable products and minimise waste. Through innovation we can create much more sustainable solutions and the Luca car project demonstrates this in a very smart way. 48


FEB / MAR 2021


2021/02/15 16:35

Advancing a circular economy for plastics in Africa Dow, Mr Green Africa expand partnership to tackle plastic waste in Kenya MR GREEN Africa will extend their partnership with DOW to help fight the plastic waste challenge in Kenya and advance a circular economy for plastics in Africa. The partnership was officially launched in November 2019 during Dow’s Project Butterfly™ event to raise awareness of the plastic waste issue, influence positive behaviour and invest in solutions in waste disposal and recycling initiatives. The collaboration has so far enabled Dow and Mr Green Africa to drive positive change in communities in Kenya where a lack of waste infrastructure has led to plastic waste ending up in rivers and informal dumps, as well as creating a market for flexible plastic packaging enabling an additional source of income for workers in the informal waste sector. By incentivizing waste pickers with a higher, stable income and establishing sorting centres that allow waste pickers to bring plastic waste in for payment, and then enabling this waste to be processed in recycling centres, the partnership has not only created a new market for flexible plastic waste, it has made sorting materials more effective in the region. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 30 tons of flexible plastic waste – which would not have been collected previously as it is deemed harder to recycle due to it being a more complex material than rigid plastic – is now processed through Dow and Mr Green Africa’s waste stream every two months in Kenya. The second phase of the partnership marks an important advancement in ending the inequalities in recycling infrastructure in Kenya and will see Dow and Mr Green Africa bring on a brand owner partner to close the loop by enabling the use of the

The collaboration has so far enabled Dow and Mr Green Africa to drive positive change in communities in Kenya, as well as creating a market for flexible plastic packaging

recyclable flexible packaging in a packaging application and the unrecyclable portions in innovative end-uses. Additionally, over the COVID-19 period, the project pivoted to using technology to enable residential collection via a brandnew app which has been developed by Dow’s technical team and is being deployed locally by Mr Green Africa. Through the app, consumers can sort and separate their plastic waste in their homes more effectively, before scheduling it to be collected by Mr Green Africa from their doorstep, who will then process it through the plastic recycling system. The app has been successfully piloted in several households in Nairobi, so far, with plans to roll it out further in 2021. This partnership is aligned to Dow’s global STOP THE WASTE sustainability target which will enable the collection, reuse or recycling of one million metric tons of plastic globally by 2030. By 2025, across sub-Saharan Africa, Dow aims to; recover at least 5 000 tons of plastic waste annually; have flexible packaging included in the recyclable waste stream – not just rigids and PET which are used to make many common household items like beverage bottles, clothing and carpet fibre and are easily recognizable to waste pickers – and take valuable waste plastic back and recycle it to use in new applications, giving it a second life. www.dow.com

PepsiCo targets 100% recycled plastic bottles in Europe PepsiCo has set a new goal to reach 100% recycled content in plastic Pepsi bottles sold in its nine biggest European markets by 2022. PepsiCo estimates the move will prevent 70 000 tons of virgin plastic use annually The company will source 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) to house its range of Pepsi drinks. Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece and Spain will switch to 100% rPET in 2021, while France, Great Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg achieve the milestone in 2022. In most of these markets, packaging for brands beyond Pepsi will also be transitioned. PepsiCo also owns 7Up, Mountain Dew, Lipton Ice Tea and Mirinda. PepsiCo recently announced that it had allocated $200m from its first green bond to initiatives to improve the sourcing of recycled PET across North America. Competitor brands which have already debuted 100% recycled bottles include Nestle-owned Buxton and Lucozade Ribena Suntory. FEB / MAR 2021



2021/02/16 09:14

WORLD NEWS The synthesised shape memory polymers are processed on special reactive foaming equipment. ©

Fraunhofer IAP

Programmable insulation materials

50 FEB / MAR 2021

Foams made of shape memory polymer change their shape depending on temperature design and by a thermomechanical treatment. INNOVATIVE insulating materials made of shape memory Researchers at the three Fraunhofer Institutes IAP, ICT polymers are being developed and tested by the Fraunhofer and IBP are developing insulating materials with Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP, for Chemical programmable material behaviour based on such shape Technology ICT and for Building Physics IBP within the memory polymer foams. Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable “We are developing autonomous insulation Materials CPM. The high-tech foams are to be Programmable systems with switchable air permeability. used as functional materials, for example in materials are the field of construction. shape- and function-dynamic Depending on the temperature, the insulating The air conditioning of enclosed work, materials, material composites material changes its shape, e.g. the diameter of the flow channels and thus, also the heat recreational and living spaces is of or surfaces whose internal transfer. At low temperatures, for example, great social importance in industrialized structure is such the flow channels are closed and have an countries. On average, people spend more that the material properties insulating effect. When heated, the channels than 80% of their time in these areas. and behaviour can change open up and air can flow better through them. Today, insulation materials represent reversibly following a programme. This is particularly interesting for applications in an important technological solution to this which outside temperatures change significantly. problem. Insulation makes both ecological and In our project, we have developed demonstrators for economic sense, because insulating materials save actuator elements for rear ventilation of the outer facade of significantly more energy than is used in their manufacture. a single-family house. This is a thermally switchable gap An additional improvement in the energy balance is possible between the outer layer and the supporting structure of the through the use of bio-based raw materials, but also through building,” explains Dr Thorsten Pretsch, who heads the shape insulating materials with programmable property profiles. memory polymers working group at the Fraunhofer IAP. Programmable materials are shape- and function-dynamic materials, material composites or surfaces whose internal Insulating materials for industrial applications structure is such that the material properties and behaviour At Fraunhofer IAP, the programmable high-tech foams are can change reversibly following a programme. This is synthesized and the technologies for programming the achieved by permanently programming a material’s response property profiles are developed. The temperatures at which to a signal such as a change in temperature into the material the shape changes later occur, are already defined in the structure. The response behaviour can then be externally synthesis. For the optimal formulation of the foams, on triggered so that programmable materials automatically adapt the one hand the monomers are selected and the reaction to changing conditions in a predetermined way. conditions are adjusted, and on the other hand suitable Foams made of shape memory polymer, e.g. polyester additives or fillers are added, for example to influence the urethane urea, can also exhibit such actuator functionality. foam structure. The use of bio-based raw materials is also The dimensions of flow channels adjacent to or within the considered. foams can be changed due to the switching capability. In order to be able to produce large quantities of insulating Accordingly, warm or cold air flows through the foam or the material for industrial applications, the Fraunhofer ICT is flow channels in a correspondingly good or bad way. At which developing processes for scaling up polymer synthesis. In temperature and in which direction the reversible shape addition, the samples are subjected to non-destructive testing change occurs can be determined in advance by the system

Amcor adds face masks to healthcare product portfolio

using micro computed tomography. At the Fraunhofer IBP the heat transfer is evaluated in application-oriented tests. The mechanical properties are characterized and simulations for concrete applications are performed. “Our simulations of a ventilated facade of an apartment building in Madrid show that with the switchable insulation materials the operative room temperature could be reduced by 2.5°C in the summer months or up to 46% of the energy for cooling could be saved”, explains Prof Dr Martin Krus from Fraunhofer IBP. The project to develop programmable insulating materials was launched on 1 January 2018, when the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials was born, and has been running ever since. The researchers are also looking for new applications for the unique functionalities of shape memory polymer foams. www.fraunhofer.de/en/institutes

World’s first nonwoven made with certified circular PP

Mikael Staal Axelsen, Group CEO Fibertex Personal Care and Innowo Print and Mette Due Søgaard, QA & Sustainability Director of Fibertex Personal Care at the Aalborg site, exploring ISCC Plus certified nonwovens


Canada Plastics Pact launched

The Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) was launched in January, bringing together key players to collectively work towards ambitious 2025 goals that they could never achieve on their own. More than 40 partners have joined the Canada Plastics Pact, representing diverse parts of the plastics value chain. The CPP will build on significant work that is already underway to reduce plastics waste, and will grow over time. Together, partners will rethink the way they design, use, and reuse plastics, charting a path toward a circular economy for plastic by 2025. Canada is the latest country to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network, a globally-aligned response to plastic waste and pollution. In line with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for plastic, the CPP facilitates innovation and knowledge sharing, and drives collaborative action and solutions tailored to Canada’s unique needs and challenges.

FEB / MAR 2021 51

SABIC is collaborating with Fibertex Personal Care, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of spunbond nonwovens for the hygiene industry, to create a range of nonwovens using high-purity recycled plastics from SABIC’s Trucircle™ portfolio. This will be the world’s first nonwovens range based on recycled plastics in the hygiene industry. The material is part of SABIC Purecares™ portfolio of polypropylene for personal hygiene applications. The certified circular PP material is created from post-consumer mixed plastics that have been broken down into their molecular building blocks and then re-polymerized to create virgin plastics. It can be adopted in downstream processes, without compromising convertibility, product properties or performance of the final product. Pictured here are Mikael Staal Axelsen, Group CEO Fibertex Personal Care and Innowo Print and Mette Due Søgaard, QA & sustainability director of Fibertex Personal Care exploring ISCC Plus certified nonwovens.

IN THE wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amcor Rigid Packaging (ARP) is expanding its healthcare product portfolio to include general-purpose face masks. After piloting the assembly for employee use, ARP expanded production to support its customers. “Our teams quickly rallied, establishing the necessary skills, capability and expertise to assemble face masks,” according to Greg Rosati, Vice President of Healthcare for ARP’s Specialty Container business. “After first addressing the health and safety of our employees, we identified an opportunity to extend the offering to support our customers who have similar values and safety protocols in place.” The face masks meet general purpose-use requirements with a triple layer consisting of a non-woven inner and outer layer, and a melt-blown middle layer. ARP has made a significant investment which includes the installation of an assembly line, infrastructure modifications, inventory of production materials, and related costs for design, quality, and packaging. www.amcor.com


Cleaner chemistry, deliver brighter look

52 FEB / MAR 2021

Milliken’s new Hyperform HPN 909ei offers one less SML for food-contact applications DESIGNED for use by thermoformers, Milliken & Company’s Chemical Division’s latest high-performance additive for polypropylene (PP) homopolymers delivers an excellent balance of physical properties and superb aesthetics - all enabled through cleaner chemistry. Hyperform® HPN® 909ei checks all those boxes, and more, as this formulation also addresses an important aspect for safety reassurance in the European Union. Tailored specifically to minimize migration, especially in food-contact applications, this new grade of Hyperform has one Specific Migration Limit (SML) less than the previous generation product. A lower number of SMLs means there is one less substance that must be monitored and tested for, reducing customers’ compliance burden. With this simplification, the reassurance of safety is even stronger. This is vital, given that this type of PP homopolymer is typically used to thermoform drink cups and lids, food packaging, and trays. Traditional nucleating agents require customers to sacrifice impact to gain greater stiffness. Hyperform HPN 909ei, however, delivers improved stiffness (flexural modulus) while maintaining the impact performance. It also provides isotropic shrinkage (similar shrinkage in both directions, thereby reducing warpage) and a higher heat-deflection temperature, which offers improved heat resistance vital for hot-fill and microwaveable applications. It also helps to override the nucleation effects of pigments, thereby reducing design complexity.

Hyperform HPN 909ei achieves all this without sacrificing aesthetics. It yields products with excellent optical properties, including lower haze, reduced yellowing and an overall cleaner look. This can further enhance sustainability by allowing end users to replace other resins in various applications with highly recyclable polypropylene, with its low overall carbon footprint.


Arburg acquires AMK – investing in future of electric injection moulding machines AMK has been Arburg’s development partner in electric drives for decades ARBURG’S entrepreneurial families Hehl and Keinath have acquired AMK Arnold Müller GmbH & Co KG and with it the Drives & Automation division from 1 January 2021. The company will operate under the new name of AMKmotion GmbH + Co KG in future. The AMK Group, which is based in Kirchheim/Teck, is one of the international technology leaders in the electric drive technology, control technology, industrial automation engineering, and automotive sectors. AMK has worked closely with Arburg as a development partner in electric drive systems for more than two decades. This combined effort has contributed significantly to the success story of the electric Allrounder injection moulding machines.

“We are very confident about this important acquisition,” commented Michael Hehl, managing partner and spokesman of the Arburg management board. “This underlines the importance of electric injection moulding machines, whose share in our portfolio has been growing steadily for years and still has plenty of potential for the future.” Acquiring the important AMK division is intended to give Arburg access to its expertise and influence on future development work. This will enable pioneering refinements to be made even more quickly and efficiently to the drive systems of the electric Allrounders. By acquiring AMK Arnold Müller GmbH & Co. KG, Arburg Partners Juliane Hehl, Michael Hehl and Renate Keinath (from left) are investing in the future of electric injection moulding machines. AMK products ensure that the Allrounder 820 A, like all other electric Arburg injection moulding machines, is highly productive and efficient.


More clarity for radar sensors Ultradur® RX absorbs & reduces signal noise, increasing safety in road traffic housings. In addition, the new material shields the sensitive electronics in the housings against disturbing electromagnetic waves from other vehicles. The different grades of the new Ultradur® RX series are products designed for absorption and reduction of interference radiation in the range of 76 to 81 GHz. Since the absorption properties depend on geometric conditions, the suitable material must be selected for each application - the new Ultradur RX portfolio offers an ideal solution for any circumstance and is now commercially available.

Ultradur offers an exceptional protection for sensor housings. In addition, the new material shields the sensitive electronics in the housings against disturbing electromagnetic waves from other vehicles




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FEB / MAR 2021 53

THE development of new technologies for the automotive industry focuses on comfort and the safety of passengers. Chemistry has already made a decisive contribution to this and will also play an important role in future mobility challenges. In addition to electromobility, automated driving is a crucial building block for the mobility of tomorrow. Closely linked to this development is the increased use of sensors. With Ultradur® RX, BASF has now developed a modified polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) specifically for radar sensor applications in vehicles. Thanks to its good resistance against media such as splash water, oils or salt, Ultradur offers an exceptional protection for sensor


Demand for Erema PET recycling technologies continues to grow

In total, Erema was able to deliver 42 plants with a total capacity of 643,000t/a within one year between October 2019 and October 2020

54 FEB / MAR 2021

Total capacity of all Erema PET recycling machines sold to date is 2.6 million tons per year THE recycling of PET bottles has gained worldwide acceptance over the past 20 years and has become a model for the circular economy in plastics. This development has been driven forward by Erema’s bottle-to-bottle innovations. The Austrian recycling machine manufacturer has set new standards in this respect time and again, particularly with their Vacurema technology, which is the heart of the new Vacunite process. As a result, PET bottles with a high recyclate content – a feature indicated clearly on the label – are now an increasingly common sight on shop shelves. The demand for Erema’s innovative PET recycling technologies is growing worldwide across the entire PET segment. “Despite declining sales of beverages due to the Corona pandemic and a tense situation in the recycling industry accounted for by the fall in the price of virgin material, interest in our PET recycling technologies remains high,” reports Christoph Wöss, business development manager at Erema Group GmbH. One of the reasons for this is the advanced technologies that combine high product safety, stable processes and cost effectiveness. Another reason is that all well-known brand manufacturers, policy makers and society in general are now committed to making plastics recycling and the circular economy work. The EU has set out its position on this topic with targets for recycling quotas and minimum recycling levels in PET bottles.

Erema estimates the total capacity of all PET recycling machines sold to date for various applications at 2.6 million tons per year, with the recent trend pointing clearly towards large-scale systems processing 2,000kg/h upwards. A recycling system installed in Mexico this year is outstanding in this respect. It consists of two Vacurema BASIC T machines with a throughput capacity of 4,000kg/h each and Solid State Polycondensation (SSP). “The customer is planning an annual production of up to 60,000 tons of food contact compliant rPET. These are the largest systems we have ever built, but our order books already have an order for an even larger one,” says Wöss. Erema is particularly satisfied with the market success of the innovative Vacunite technology, which redefines the benchmark for performance in bottleto-bottle. In just under two years, the energy-efficient system, developed in cooperation with Polymetrix, has already been sold to 13 customers worldwide. The Vacunite process combines vacuum and nitrogen technology, ensures maximum decontamination efficiency and, with the best rPET colour values, also ensures that higher proportions of rPET are possible in the bottle end product. The right recycling solution for every PET application Growth is driven by more than the positive development of the bottle-tobottle sector. Processing PET flakes

directly into preforms (flakes-to-preform) or film in a single processing step – made possible using the Multi Purpose Reactor, which can be installed as an upgrade to existing film extrusion lines (bottle-to-sheet) – and especially into recycled pellets for the textile industry (bottle-to-POY) also boosts demand in this segment. In total, Erema was able to deliver 42 plants with a total capacity of 643,000t/a within one year between October 2019 and October 2020. This is roughly equivalent to the total capacity of all PET recycling machines sold from 2011 to 2018 and shows that capacity is continually increasing while highlighting Erema’s position as an innovator and market leader. Research and development In order to develop and implement closed-loop systems comparable to the bottle-to-bottle cycle for other types of packaging, Erema is involved in various research projects such as PET2PACK and CORNETPolyCycle. PET2PACK is working on the development of PET rigid recyclates that are approved for use in food packaging. CORNETPolyCycle focuses on the development of a test strategy for the comprehensive safety assessment of plastic polymer recyclates that will pave the way for recycled polyolefins and polystyrene to be used in packaging with direct food contact. www.erema.com

TF-BOPE three products

Wide range of tenter frame BOPE films from Dow PE-based films enable downgauging, alternative to BOPP and BOPET DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics has introduced a wide range of tenter frame, biaxially-oriented polyethylene (TF-BOPE) for linear low, medium and high density packaging films. This offering has been developed through a joint value chain effort, combining Dow’s INNATETM TF80 technology with the production know-how and experience of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast, leading producers in PE and BOPP, and the processing knowledge of machine manufacturer Brückner Maschinenbau. These solutions enable customers to use printable, tough, stiff and visually appealing BOPE films to produce resource-efficient, mono-material packaging that is designed

for recyclability. Dow’s TF-BOPE-based solutions for oriented films are already commercially available in Asia-Pacific and appreciated for their remarkable appearance, and puncture and impact resistance. Applications range from downgauged frozen food films, to triplex laminates without BOPA, and duplex PE-based laminates used for home and personal care pre-made pouches. Customers of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast can now work with a range of tested TF-BOPE films suitable for flexo- and roto-gravure printing, including:

• tough, high-clarity films for downgauging, • co-extruded films and laminates, • s ealable, medium stiffness films for highspeed flow-wrap applications, • increased density TF-BOPE films with remarkable stiffness and improved thermal resistance, used as a substrate for barrier deposition and as an outer film in PE-based laminates. www.dow.com

State-of-the-art plant for post-consumer plastic waste sorting & advanced mechanical recycling Demo plant will produce ready-for-market fully formulated polymer pellets The state-of-the-art plant processes both rigid and flexible plastic waste from households. And unlike many current recycling plants, it will produce the advanced solutions necessary for use in high-demanding plastic applications in various industries, including automotive and consumer products. With high purity, low odour, high product consistency and light colour fractions, these Borcycle™ M grade recycled polymers will meet customer quality requirements across the value chain. The purpose of this demo plant is to generate material for brand owners and converters to qualify, validate and prove fit for use in their highly demanding applications. Technical success will set the groundwork for a commercial-scale advanced recycling plant. “At P&G we are making packaging with the ‘next life’ in mind to help drive a more robust circular economy. We must


increase the supply of high quality recycled plastic to enable the industry to deliver on this vision,” says Gian De Belder, Procter & Gamble (P&G) technical director, R&D packaging sustainability. “The innovative new approach that TOMRA and Borealis are taking shows potential to step-change both the quantity and quality of PCR available for our brands, and help us to achieve our 2030 goal to reduce our use of virgin plastic in packaging by 50%, or 300 kilotons annually. Early tests of the material looks very promising!”

FEB / MAR 2021 55

TOMRA and Borealis have started their advanced mechanical recycling demo plant in Lahnstein, Germany, the result of a partnership that marries chemistry with technology for unsurpassed results. “We are proud to have initiated one of the most advanced mechanical recycling plants when it comes to post-consumer polymer waste. This will become an important enabler as we accelerate the transformation to a circular economy in the years to come, and we are excited to be a part of this pioneering project,” says Volker Rehrmann, executive vice president and head of circular economy at TOMRA. “This plant embodies the principles of the EverMinds™ platform founded by Borealis, which seeks to innovate plastics circularity through collaboration,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis executive vice president polyolefins, innovation & technology and circular economy solutions.


Energy savings with styrenics polymer tailored for 3D printing INEOS Styrolution has released the results of the PolySLS project, which is focused on developing a new energy saving styrenics based material for additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing. The project has been able to show that significant overall energy savings of up to 67% have been achieved when taking the entire life cycle of a new styrenics polymer compound into account compared to using traditional Polyamide 12 (PA12). A direct energy saving of 25% was achieved from the 3D printing equipment when using the new styrenics polymer, resulting from lower process temperatures and shorter heating and cooling phases. This also improved the time needed to complete printing jobs, with processing times 7.5% shorter than with PA12. The purpose of the PolySLS project was to develop and test a new styrene based polymer compound for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). A particular focus of the project was on researching energy and material requirements. www.ineos-styrolution.com

MAAG Group supplies Ravago with system components & controls

The Swiss-based MAAG Group has been contracted by Belgian company Ravago to install a new line for the recycling of polyolefins. MAAG Group is supplying the line as a complete plant system, all from a single source - including the control technology. The control system comes from XANTEC Steuerungs- und EDV-Technik GmbH, which MAAG Group acquired in 2020. The Ravago contract affirms the Group’s strategy of boosting its activities in the field of digitalization and Industry 4.0, offering customers intelligent, agile and competitive solutions. The focus of Ravago’s diverse operations is on plastics production, especially recycling and compounding. Ravago produces 1 000 000 tons of plastics annually, at 30 locations. www.maag.com 56 FEB / MAR 2021

For the first time, Covestro has coloured polycarbonate plastics in RAL colours. Here you can see samples in 15 trendy colors of the RAL Colour Feeling 2021+ matrix

15 Trendy colours for polycarbonate Covestro cooperates with RAL to present trend colours of the RAL Colour Feeling 2021+ system THE colour matrix RAL Colour Feeling 2021+ is an important guide to the colour trends that will determine the product, industrial and architectural design of the future. In cooperation with RAL, a leading provider of colour standards, Covestro has introduced 15 trendy colours of this matrix in its polycarbonate plastics. This is the first time the versatile plastic has been coloured in the colours of a RAL colour fan. RAL was founded in 1925 and introduced the first industrial colour standard, which became widely accepted as an accurate colour reference. As a provider of colour matching services, the company today offers comprehensive colour tools and solutions for a wide range of industries and sectors. “As an internationally recognized colour matching system, RAL offers professional colour cards for industrial design applications that require the highest level of colour accuracy,”

said Dr. Christopher Stillings, vice president and global head of colour & design in the polycarbonates segment of Covestro. “As one of the leading polycarbonate suppliers, Covestro is not only a pioneer in the research and development of material technologies, but also has strong colour and design teams worldwide. Our collaboration with RAL underlines the precision that our polycarbonate materials provide for colour matching.” Even the same colours in different materials lead to subtle changes in the visual experience. To ensure accurate and fast colour matching, Covestro’s colour and design centres in Italy, Thailand, India and China worked together with RAL on solutions and completed the matching of the 15 trend colours within just one month. In September last year, Covestro used the RAL colour codes for the first time in the company’s two CMF trend reports for the automotive as well as electronics and appliance industries.



The road to hell is paved

with good intentions BY MIKE SMART, PR. ENG., B.SC. (HONS) CIV. ENG., MSAICE

THE government’s recovery plan will, according to the government, be ‘driven’ by infrastructural development. The ‘fuel’ required to ‘drive’ this ‘vehicle’ is money. We know, according to the Government’s own National Development Plan, South Africa suffered a “lost generation of infrastructure development” – their words. The term ‘infrastructure’ includes all GFCF (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) activities, such as the construction of roads, pipelines, harbours, airports, hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, universities, public amenities and buildings. Unfortunately, much of the ‘fuel’ has been used for other purposes, many of which are being identified by the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into State Capture. Corruption globally costs about $2.6 trillion per annum, of which the private sector accounts for about $515 billion, or about 20%, per annum. The total figure for South Africa is not yet known, but one thing is sure – it will amount to billions of Rands. The trouble with these enormous sums of money is that we have become inured to these colossal numbers. To put them into perspective, consider the following. If you count continuously and sequentially up to one million, in units of one, it will take about six days. One million seconds is about 11.5 days. A billion is one thousand million, one billion seconds is 11 574 days, or about 31.7 years ago (1988) – what were you doing then? A trillion is a millionmillion, one trillion seconds is 11 574 073 days, or about 31 710 years ago (29 690 BC). These mind bogglingly large numbers are casually bandied about and we have become inured to their magnitude. In 2020, the global thermoplastic pipe market was worth about $2.8 billion and by 2025, at CAGR of 5.2%, will be worth $3.6 billion. This figure includes countries that do not have a backlog of infrastructure like South Africa, where we must exceed this growth figure by a substantial amount to address the accumulated lack of service delivery. SAPPMA (Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association) regularly commission LHA to conduct a survey of the South African pipe market and report on same. The latest report is not pleasant reading for members of the thermoplastic pipe manufacturing industry or South Africans in general. Graph 1 shows the catastrophic effects the reduction in spend on infrastructure has had on the construction industry and the knock-on effect on suppliers to the industry.

Graph 1: Infrastructure Expenditure Trends 2014-2019 120 115 110 105 100 95 90 85 80



Total B&C GFCF

2016 Building GFCF



PVC Pipes

HGPE Pipes

2019 GDP

LHA Graph reproduced with kind permission of SAPPMA

As stated previously, the National Development Plan (21 May 2007) of the Office of the President refers to a “lost generation of infrastructure” and notes that in 1990, 30% of GDP was spent on GFCF (infrastructure), but by 2007, it had decreased to 19% of GDP – it is currently about 6% of GDP. The pipe market reduced by 15% in 2014 and has not recovered yet – six years later. If the recommendations contained in the plan are acted upon and infrastructure receives the priority and funds promised by the government, the industry may recover. The PPPFA (Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act) resulted in a positive development for the thermoplastic piping industry with a directive from National Treasury, effective 16 September 2019, that local production and content will be given preference for pipeline projects – a step forward. In the first Pipe Matters, Apr/May 2019, the continuing demise of great South African construction companies and thermoplastic pipe manufacturers was lamented. This could have been prevented if the infrastructural spend of 30% of GDP had continued from 1990. Imagine South Africa now if the 30% of GDP spend on GFCF (infrastructure) had continued every year for the last 30 years; water harvesting, treatment and supply; sewerage collection, treatment, and recycling; roads, stormwater, housing, hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, harbours, airports, and public amenities. This is not a Utopian dream, merely the way wellgoverned democratic countries conduct their affairs, look after the welfare of their citizens, and ensure continuous improvement in prosperity. The thermoplastic pipe industry is poised ready to assist in the delivery of services to our people. The question is – is the government? FEB / MAR 2021



2021/02/16 09:09


Hitting the nail

on the head Identify needs/insights to find a solution


The insights gained from customers is the key to a great solution to the challenge.

1) Primary Needs UNPRECEDENTED times have taught us many BIG 2) Secondary Needs lessons and re-humanisation should be Learning 3) Latent Needs Outcome No.1 post-pandemic. The general trend towards technological advancement and digitalisation is finally The below table will assist you with writing Need Statements: in conjunction with finding more responsible solutions and outcomes. Five Guidelines for Writing Need Statements It takes an astrological conjunction Guideline Customer Statement Needs Statement – Right Needs Statement – Wrong between Saturn and Jupiter to bring 1. “What” not I would like my iPhone to The thermostat can be The thermostatis this cosmic shift in consciousness. “How’’ adjust my thermostat. controlled remotely without accompanied by a requiring a special device. downloadable iPhone app. The attitude is no longer ‘solutions to challenges’ without a care in the world 2. Specificity I have different heating and The thermostat can control The thermostat is cooling systems. separate heating and cooling versatile. as to the consequences. Life on the systems. planet demands more responsible 3. Positive not I get tired of standing in The thermostat can be The thermostat does not behaviour and the consumer lens has Negative front of my thermostat to programmed from a comfortable require me to stand in front program it. position. of it for programming. refined telescopically making them more conscious about the products and 4. An Attribute I have to manually override The thermostat automatically Anoccupant’s presence of the Product the program if I’m home responds to an occupant’s triggers the thermostat to services in which they invest their hardwhen I shouldn’t be. presence. automatically change modes. earned cash. Big Brother is watching 5. Avoid “Must” I’m worried about how secure The thermostat controls are The thermostat must be with a newly calibrated moral compass! and “Should” my thermostat would be if it secure from unauthorized secure from unauthorized Previously, I talked about a deep dive were accessible online. access. access. into the lives of the people for whom Emeritus, MIT Design Thinking Notes Summary, 2019, p.15 you are designing a solution. Just to recap: As part of the Remember, there are three main customer segments for the interview and observation stage comes the sharing with the fieldwork: full design team allowing the information to synthesize into 1) Mainstream customers group knowledge. This phase requires thoughtful analysis, 2) Lead users critical thinking, problem framing, the need to identify 3) Extreme users patterns, to determine priorities and to translate the research The insights gained from these customer segments is the into actionable insights. key to a great solution to the challenge. Your lead and extreme This is the DEFINE phase where you unpack and users must be included in your fieldwork because they will be synthesize your empathy findings into compelling needs and the ones who probably lead you to your innovative solution. insights, and scope a specific and meaningful challenge. Whilst in that process never forget to explore your hunches. This is where the actual problem you are striving to address I leave you with this quote until next time: “Look up at the finds definition. This phase is critical to the Design Thinking stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what process because in order to generate real solutions, you you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. must be able to reframe the problem integrating the new Be curious.” Steven Hawking insights from your fieldwork. • To learn more about planning field work for a particular Only once the needs/insights are correctly defined will the challenge and writing field reports or extracting and writing solution concept ‘hit the nail on the head’. This is perhaps needs statements from field work contact: Kirtida Bhana the point at which to share some pointers about identifying at Plastics|SA. Email: Kirtida.bhana@plasticssa.co.za the needs and writing them correctly or mobile: 082 322 0117 Three types of needs identified from the field report are: 58


FEB / MAR 2021

2021/02/15 16:23


Recycling becoming more important in the Middle East Currently only about 4% of post-consumer plastic waste mechanically recycled BY NIALL MARSHALL

IT is reported that the GCC countries are one of the highest of multi-material products, for example, metallised and printed multilayer film packaging made from different and waste generators per capita in the world. I am not sure incompatible polymers, adhesives, pigments and inks. if this is true, but as issues around ‘climate change’ and In all cases there is an economic cost. With virgin ‘circular economy’ become more prominent, the high levels polymer being at historically low prices, recycled polymer of plastic waste, or more accurately plastic litter, means is often more expensive. During 2020 the price of recycled that recycling is becoming more important in the Middle bottle-grade PET in China was around $1 000/ton, whereas East. And the issues related to polymers being reusable are virgin PET was only $500-600/ton – a crazy situation critical for the sustainability of the petrochemical industry. that resulted in ‘fake-recyclate’ being offered in markets Europe leads the way when it comes to ambitious specifying packaging containing recycled material. environmental goals and regulations, and it probably also The development of a recycled polyolefins leads the way when it comes to separating and market in the Middle East is also hampered collecting plastic waste. Not all plastic is recycled The by the requirement in most GCC countries in Europe; thousands of tons of plastic waste development of a that plastic packaging is bio(oxo) is exported to countries such as Malaysia, degradable. Undoubtedly there are recycled polyolefins Indonesia, and Vietnam. applications where bio(oxo)degradable The Middle East is a large producer of market in the Middle East plastic is preferable to litter, but it polymer, and the polymer producers are is also hampered by the limits the potential applications where all very aware of plastics being seen as a requirement in most GCC recycled material containing the bio(oxo) villain in climate change and the demand countries that plastic degradable polymer can be used. for the elimination of plastics from certain packaging is bio(oxo) Apart from mechanically recycling markets and especially in ‘single-use’ polymers or using the high calorific plastic degradable. applications like straws and packaging. While waste as energy (either for electricity generation the importance of plastics in medical and food or in kilns) the goals of the circular economy can packaging in a world dealing with a pandemic has also be achieved via chemical recycling. In chemical forced many countries to rethink broad ‘single-use plastics’ recycling the plastic waste is used as an alternative to oil or bans, no-one doubts that important green economy issues gas as a chemical feedstock. Depending on the polymer, will regain their prominence in future. Polymer producers, chemical recycling could be via a chemical reaction such especially those with plants in Europe, are investing in as hydrolysis or depolymerisation, or could be via pyrolysis complementary recycling businesses and launching postand gasification followed by catalytic cracking and reforming consumer recycle-containing grades. – similar to what is done in an oil refinery. Recycling in the GCC is not highly developed One advantage of chemical recycling is that it can, at Only about 4% of post-consumer plastic waste is mechanically least theoretically, handle mixed polymer waste. Practically, recycled, possibly another 10% is used for energy and the large variations in feedstock would make it challenging to balance is landfilled. There are several reasons for the low run a plant stably but there are semi-commercial and pilot levels of mechanical recycling, including the difficulty of technologies already converting 10 000tpa of plastic waste collecting and sorting plastics. Some polymers, such as into chemical feedstocks in Europe and North America. PET or HDPE bottles, are relatively easy to collect, sort and As the world increasing looks at sustainability and circular recycle into quality recyclate. More challenging are mixed initiatives, developments in chemical recycling will become polymer waste streams from municipal garbage collections. more important. With its large petrochemical plants it makes These can generally separate polyolefins from other polymers sense that the Middle East investigates and invests in to produce a lower quality (and inconsistent) recycled chemical recycling, in a very real sense becoming both the cradle and the grave, and the cradle again, of polymers. polymer blend. But even more challenging is the recycling FEB / MAR 2021



2021/02/15 16:23


5G roll-out gains pace, with help of high-performance plastics Super-fast technology will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026 THE coronavirus pandemic appears to have not slowed down the roll out of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, and high-end polymers continue to play a key role in building out the infrastructure needed to realize the benefits of these ultrafast data networks. See first-hand some of the amazing technologies that are helping to enable the widespread adoption of the amazing lightning-fast networking technology at Chinaplas 2021 from 13-16 April, at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Centre in China. Ericsson, one of the world’s biggest provider of telecom equipment, just issued a new report, revising upward yet again their estimates for the number of 5G mobile phone subscriptions around the world by the end of 2020 to 218 million. The Swedish networking giant, whose equipment goes into a lot of the hardware needed for 5G, predicts that this super-fast technology will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026. Materials suppliers are working diligently to develop the resins and compounds needed to accommodate the high heat, durability and transparency specifications required in 5G-related printed circuit boards (PCBs) and base stations. Clariant says its phosphorus-based flame retardants from the Exolit® OP and Exolit EP lines have all the right characteristics for supporting the necessary properties in high-speed,

high-frequency PCBs and making the 5G standard a reality. Available both as liquid processable product (Exolit EP) and very fine powders (Exolit OP), their high content of phosphorus, which can also be synergized with other flame retardants, gives them high efficiency at low doses. With their high thermal stability, they are suitable for lead-free assembly and packaging of electronics, and able to ‘stand the heat’ when 5G transmission runs hot. Kaneka Corp has developed Pixeo™ IB, a super heat-resistant polyimide film for high-speed, high frequency 5G. Pixeo™ IB reduces the dielectric loss tangent in high frequencies down to 0.0025, the global best level for polyimide film. This makes possible the handling of 5G millimeter wave zones, which can realize high-speed communications. Toray Industries Inc has created a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film that maintains the polymer’s dielectric characteristics, flame retardancy and chemical robustness while remaining thermally resistant at 40°C. The Tokyobased firm says the new film resists deformation and is dimensionally stable near its melting point. In flexible printed circuits for 5G applications, the film is said to cut transmission losses of communication devices at high frequencies and stabilizes high-speed communication across temperature and humidity spectrums. Dow Inc recently introduced a one-

Energy from Waste virtual THE Energy from Waste Virtual conference from 10-12 March, will focus on critical issues facing the industry. •H  ear from policy makers in the UK and Europe on plans for resources and waste management. • Examine the investment environment.  lastics – the increasing removal of plastics from the waste stream •P will have a profound effect on the sector. What does this mean for the future? •R  DF – the range of factors impacting the RDF sector are 60 FEB / MAR 2021

part, thermally conductive gel developed to dissipate high amounts of heat away from sensitive electronic components. DOWSIL™ TC-3065 Thermal Gel easily fills gaps due to its excellent wetting ability and can replace fabricated elastomeric thermal pads that may fail to protect electronics from the high heat associated with 5G’s greater power densities. SABIC says it plans to boost global production capacity for its specialty Noryl SA9000 polyphenylene ether (PPE) resin used in high-performance printed circuit boards that require copper-clad laminates (CCLs) used in 5G base stations. This latest expansion, which builds on 2019 increases, will nearly double regional production in Asia and increase overall Noryl SA9000 resin production in Asia tenfold vs. 2018 levels. The expansion project is currently under way in India, with completion expected by year’s end, the Saudi company says. Meantime, SABIC also says its portfolio includes other specialized materials for 5G base stations, terminals and mobile devices, including LNP™ compounds and copolymers, Ultem™ resin, and NORYL™ resins and oligomers. These materials are said to address major industry challenges such as improving heat management and radio frequency (RF) performance, reducing weight, and cost and raising production yields. www.ChinaplasOnline.com

considerable. What are the effects currently, and what are the longterm directions for the industry? • Plant revamping – plant operators discuss projects to improve operation and reduce downtime. •C  CS – discuss funding, operator experience and an outline of the UK’s first proposed CCS system based on a waste to energy plant in Teesside. With a range of highly interactive sessions, discussions, debates and round tables, Energy from Waste Virtual 2021 provides time and space to explore the issues and connect with key people throughout the global waste to energy industry. www.efwconference.com

Pack Passion Week 2021 The second virtual PETnology conference Focus 3 Blowing, filling, capping: Two-stage, onestage technology; extrusion blow moulding, thermoforming, bloc concepts and secondary packaging; bottle design & bottle decoration.

Focus 1 The packaging and filling industry: Will discuss production between pandemic and market demands, PET market dynamics, the packaging of the future, and the voice of the market (the brand owners‘ perspective).

Focus 5 Caps and closures, decoration and bottle design: Tethered caps & closure development; decoration and bottle design; design for recycling; digital printing

Focus 2 Injection moulding: Technologies, trends and challenges for preform and cap production; material drying (virgin, rPET, flakes).

Focus 4 Material, recycling, sustainability: Ways to improve collection, sorting and recycling; materials, additives, colour and trends; PET & PEF; mechanical, chemical & bio recycling.

Focus 6 Quality & IT processes & factory planning: Preform, cap & closures, blow moulding, filling www.packpassion.com

Africa Energy Indaba Exhibition: 1-5 Mar Virtual: www.africaenergyindaba.com Pack Passion Week: 9-11 March 2nd Virtual Petnology conference www.packpassion.com Energy from Waste: 10-12 March Virtual from London www.efwconference.com Specialty Packaging Films: 23-25 March Virutal: www.ami.international.com/events ChinaPlas: 13-16 April Shenzhen, China: www.chinaplasonline.com ACM5 - 5th Intl Symposium Auto Comp 14-15 April: Bristol, UK www.acm5.org IMPC: 18-22 April Cape Town: www.impc2020.com WAITEX: 20-23 April Accra, Ghana: www.waitex.com.gh


AS ONE of the first major international packaging conferences since the pandemic outbreak, Pack Passion Week 2020 set a strong signal for the industry - 690 participants from 49 countries. Pack Passion Week 2021, from 9-11 March, will see presentations on three consecutive days between and packaging enthusiasts from around the world will again have the opportunity to participate in the conference. Focus topics will include:


drupa 2021: 20-28 April: Virtual www.drupa.com The Renewable Materials Conference 18-20 May: Cologne and online www.renewable-materials.eu agrofood & plastprintpack MEA 18-20 May: Virtual: www.virtual-mea.net Propak East Africa 2021: 18-20 May Sarit Exhibition Centre, Nairobi, Kenya www.propakeastafrica.com ARBURG Technology Days 2021 7-12 June: Lossburg, Germany www.arburg.com Propak Cape: 8-10 June CTICC, Cape Town: www.propakcape.co.za No-Dig Live 2021: 15-17 June Peterborough, England: www.nodiglive.co.uk PLAST 2021: 22-25 June Milan, Italy: www.plastonline.org food & drink technology (fdt) Africa 13-15 July: Gallagher Covention Centre, Midrand: www.fdt-africa.com KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition 21-23 July: Durban Exhibition Centre www.kznindustrial.co.za

ICCM 23 – Intl Conf Composite Materials 1-6 August: Belfast, Northern Ireland www.iccm23.org

FEB / MAR 2021 61

PU China/UTECH Asia Polyurethanes 28-30 July: Shanghai World Expo, China www.puchina.eu


Learn, network and discover Africa Energy Indaba will host a series of key events THE Africa Energy Indaba, from 1-5 March, the 13th annual event, will be hosted virtually given the impact of the pandemic and to ensure the safety of all participants. Africa is a continent endowed with untapped human capital and significant conventional and renewable energy resources that can be deployed to design more sustainable energy systems if barriers to trade and regional integration can be overcome. Energy leaders see decentralised systems, digitalisation and trade barriers as the three main critical uncertainties. Action priorities revolve around economic growth, energy efficiency and renewable priorities. The Africa Energy Indaba will host a series of key events

“Energy leaders see decentralised systems, digitalisation and trade barriers as the three main critical uncertainties. Action priorities revolve around economic growth, energy efficiency and renewable priorities.” aimed at learning, networking and discovering. Africa Energy Indaba Conference – The Africa Energy Indaba remains the continent’s most esteemed energy summit. The conference has demonstrated invaluable initiatives in fostering significant business liaisons, forging gateways for stakeholders into new markets and exploring challenges and opportunities to promote innovation in energy operations. All these factors pave the way for accelerating economic growth in Africa, however, the conversation needs to factor in the impact of Covid-19 on this leading market sector. Africa Energy Indaba Exhibition – Meeting and engaging exhibiting companies to facilitate doing energy business. The

62 FEB / MAR 2021

International Conference on Composite Materials 2021 marks the first time that the International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM) will be held from 1-6 August in Ireland, in the historic city of Belfast. It is appropriate that Belfast, with its rich pioneering and engineering heritage, should be chosen to host ICCM 23. The birthplace of Lord Kelvin and home to John Boyd Dunlop,

Belfast was a global powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, becoming Ireland’s pre-eminent industrial city, where the RMS Titanic was built in what was then the world’s largest shipyard. It is home to the oldest production aircraft manufacturer in the world, Short Brothers, which was founded in 1908

and purchased by Bombardier in 1989. The pioneering technology for the manufacture of the highly-integrated resin-infused composite wing, used on the Airbus A220, was developed here. Today, Belfast is a vibrant, modern and increasingly multicultural city with a solid high-value manufacturing base and an entrepreneurial spirit. Titanic Belfast is a visitor attraction opened in 2012, a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built


exhibitors are supported by using our meeting platform to host one-one-one meetings to finalise dealflow. Africa Gas Forum – Gas resources have been identified in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Already, several governments in sub-Saharan Africa are actively pursuing programmes to grow their gas economies through the development of industrial and transport gas markets, in conjunction with gas-to-power programmes. If planned facilities are completed, gas could become the dominant fuel for generating power in Africa. World Energy Council Forum – The WEC Forum offers a timely opportunity to reflect on the challenges of investing

in Africa in the wider context of the global energy transition and the emerging social issues and impacts agenda, whilst also engaging with the Council’s new insights on innovation, integrated policy path finding and scenarios. Nuclear Forum - South Africa is currently the only country on the continent with commercial nuclear power. However, Africa has an active nuclear science and technology sector, including several research reactors, and significant government interest in starting commercial nuclear programmes. IPP & PPA Conference – Many African countries view IPPs as a way to address the burgeoning shortage of power supply and this is one of the rapid growth markets to be discussed and explored for the continent. IPPs remain essential to electrify Africa and an understanding the PPA framework is crucial to developing IPPs. • Email info@energyindaba.co.za or visit africaenergyindaba.com

FEB / MAR 2021 63

AP AD-A4-NEW Dates.ai 1 19-Jan-21 11:07:25 AM

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for BASF

on TPU Elastollan® Thermoplastic Polyurethane

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for Elastron on TPE, TPV Elastron® SEBS and EPDM/PP

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for C








CGFSE on FSE® Fluoroelastomers and Perfluoroelastomers

• Distributor for Weifang on Weipren CPE • Suppliers of EPS, Various Grades • Engineering Polymers • Polyolefins • Reworked and Repaletised Materials • Official distributor for Politem on PA6, PA66 ®

unfilled and filled compounds

2021/01/19 11:25


5th International Symposium on Automated Composites Manufacturing Bristol host to some of the most exciting composite R&D programmes in the world THE Fifth International Symposium on Automated Composites Manufacturing will take place in Bristol, UK from 14-15 April. The Symposium brings together academia and industry to explore the hot topics in advanced automated composites manufacturing. The conference will be jointly hosted by the University of Bristol – one of the world’s top 100 universities and the National Composites Centre, home to the UK’s worldleading capabilities in automated composites R&D. Bristol is host to some of the most exciting composite R&D programmes in the world and the ACM5 will be supported by a range of well-known industrial partners. The programme of talks is based on abstract submissions that are peer-reviewed by members of the Local Organising Committee and the International Scientific Committee. The objective of this ACM5 is to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion on the latest development in

64 FEB / MAR 2021

NPE2021 cancelled as in-person event THE NPE2021 trade show, scheduled for 17-21 May in Orlando, USA, has been officially cancelled as an in-person event due to COVID-19 health concerns. The Washington DC-based Plastics Industry Association – which produces the show – made the announcement. “We place the health and safety of our members, exhibitors, staff, and the attendees as its highest priority,” the association said. “After consultation with medical and legal experts, our Officers of the Board, the NPE executive committee, exhibitors, and the association

automated composites manufacturing. The topics include but are not limited to the following: • Automated fibre placement of preimpregnated and dry fibre reinforcements • Automated manufacturing of composite structures with very complex geometry • Thermo forming/stamping • Fibre steering and variable stiffness composite structures • Sustainable manufacture • Design for Automated Manufacture of composite structures • Advances in materials designed for automated manufacture • Process and equipment development and optimisation • Automated NDE and Quality assurance • Virtual manufacturing environments and digital technologies • Workforce education and training in composites manufacture www.acm5.org

membership, the Board of Directors decided, and we are announcing, the cancellation of the in-person components of NPE2021…due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. After extensive review, it has been determined that it is not possible to hold the planned event and also provide a safe environment at that time and location, and therefore we must cancel the in-person show.” “While we are disappointed by the circumstances that led to this decision, we know that the plastics industry is strong and resilient,” the statement continued. “Over the past ten months, it has been leading the transformation of manufacturing processes and

supply chain operations that deliver medical equipment and supplies to pharmaceutical companies, medical supply manufacturers, and healthcare workers, protecting first responders and frontline workers against the coronavirus.” At this time, the Plastics Industry Association has not announced whether or not there will be a virtual NPE2021 event. The biggest plastics fair in North America, NPE is held every three years. The most recent staging of the show in 2018 featured 2,181 exhibitors and drew 56,034 confirmed registered attendees.

Arburg Technology Days 2021: June event extended by two days! Exciting agenda: hands-on technology, Efficiency Arena and personal contact

At Technology Days 2019, Covid was not yet an issue (see photo). This year, a new visitor management system will be in place to guide the invited audience round the company. The event has also been extended from four days to six and will now run from 7 to 12 June 2021.

Following the success of Virtual for all Africa in November 2020, with a VDMA pavilion of nine exhibitors, VDMA and fairtrade are continuing their cooperation for Virtual for all Middle East Africa, taking place from 18-20 May. “For many years, VDMA has been supporting our member companies in their Africa and Middle East business with a wide range of activities,” outlines Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery. “These include market fact-finding trips and participation in trade fairs in the form of German pavilions. Since this is hardly possible at present, we are pleased that we have agreed with fairtrade on their very innovative virtual event concept. In the form of a VDMA pavilion, we can thus offer our members an excellent presentation of their products and solutions at Virtual agrofood & plastprintpack MEA 2021”. The award-winning event platform already used for Virtual for all Africa will be complemented by a mobile app that will bring notifications regarding appointments between exhibitors and attendees directly to the smartphones, helping to ensure that agreed B2B appointments actually happen. www.virtual-mea.net

Propak Cape in June PROPAK Cape will take place from 8-10 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Propak Cape Specialised Exhibitions is hosting the highly successful trade event of Cape Town. This event will invite the exhibitors from different regions to showcase their wide range of the innovative and technically sound products, equipment and services with environment sensitive advancements and attract the visitors by providing special schemes and offers and establish new business relations by interacting with each other. www.propakcape.co.za


FOR over two decades now, Technology Days has been synonymous with hands-on technology and personal contact – both of which can only be experienced at a live, in-person event. To ensure it can deliver this unique industry event to the invited audience in a way that is Covid-secure, Arburg has decided to extend the Technology Days 2021, which had already been postponed until June: it will now run for six days in Lossburg, Germany, from 7-12 June. Arburg Technology Days has been a constant in the plastics calendar since 1999. A decision was taken back in September 2020 that, in light of the on-going Covid pandemic, this year’s event would be pushed back from its traditional March slot to early summer. Nothing about the concept itself, which has been a successful one for more than 20 years, will change. Technology Days 2021 will once again be all about ‘hands-on technology combined with personal contact’. However, this year the invited audience will have to register in advance. Attendees will be separated into small groups, each with an individual advisor, who will take them on a tour round the company at a specific time. The wide, open spaces at Arburg head office mean there is plenty of room to present a large number of interesting exhibits while maintaining the necessary distance. Machines, turnkey systems, and digital products and services are spread out throughout the Customer Centre, the Arburg Prototyping Centre, the Efficiency Arena, the Training Centre and the assembly halls. The Efficiency Arena, focusing on arburgGREENworld and arburgXworld, is sure to be very popular once again in 2021. A range of application examples relating to the circular economy, conservation of resources, digitalisation and the customer portal will be on show too. www.arburg.com

Virtual agrofood and plastprintpack MEA

Arabplast to go ahead in November

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ARABPLAST, the Middle East’s premium international trade fair for plastics, petrochemicals, packaging & rubber industry will attract global industry players with an aim to reinforce brand image and forge international alliances Reigning supremely for over two decades, Arabplast will embark on its 15th edition from 15-18 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event will offer international and regional exhibitors a common ground to showcase their products, revolutionary innovations, processes and practical solutions, advanced analytics and cutting edge technologies as well as commercial and operational capabilities from the world over. Companies from around the world have secured a strong foothold in Dubai, the focal point in the GCC & Mena region for commerce and trade. Sign up early and secure a prominently envious place, visit www.arabplast.info or email rasheed@alfajer.net


Customised technical innovation,

boost in polymer production capacity are driving the global palletisation films market A new report from AMI Consulting published in December 2020 quantifies and analyses the global palletisation films market and examines the most recent industry dynamics. In the last 30 years, palletisation films have been one of the success stories of the global plastics and packaging industry. Strong demand from a wide range of customer industries, combined with a real competitive advantage against other forms of pallet stabilisation, has resulted in sustained growth in the developed, more mature markets and accelerating growth in other regions. The 2020 edition of AMI’s Palletisation Films – The global market report is the result of an extensive research programme, providing a detailed independent assessment of this industry in times of uncertainty as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report quantifies demand and production of pallet stretch wrap, shrink hoods and stretch hoods in each world region with a five-year forecast. It

examines polymer demand and inter-material competition as well as the industry structure and latest developments of major global palletisation film producers. The market has matured in Western Europe and North America (USA in particular), resulting in lower growth rates and a strong focus on customised technical innovation. Higher growth rates are projected for the markets of Asia & Australasia, Africa, and even Central & South America despite the economic struggle the key countries like Argentina and Brazil have been enduring. These promising growth rates mean great opportunities to all industry players in these regions. What is required are robust and sustainable strategies to exploit the growing market potential. For further information please contact Hanne Jones, business unit manager, elena.mozzato@ami.international, +44 (0)117 924 9442 www.ami.international


FEB / MAR 2021

Total Corbion PLA outlines most favourable end-of-life options for PLA bioplastics TOTAL Corbion PLA has released its whitepaper outlining its position on the preferred end-of-life options for PLA bioplastics. The whitepaper also clarifies where PLA products and applications can significantly contribute towards the circular economy. “While the benefits of bioplastics have been known for a while, there are still questions throughout the supply chain on how best to dispose of them after use”, explains François de Bie, senior marketing & supply chain director at Total Corbion PLA. “This position paper is intended for all interested parties throughout the value chain in order to inform not only on the best disposal routes for PLA bioplastics, but also to guide how best to design new products for optimal end-of-life solutions”, de Bie continues. Compostability is an end-of-life option that should only be used for

specific applications and can help to efficiently manage the biggest fraction of the municipal waste stream: bio-waste. Industrially compostable plastics can help to separately collect organic waste, divert larger volumes of bio- waste to organic recycling and reduce conventional plastic contamination in the bio-bin, ultimately reducing microplastics in compost. In other words: compostable plastics should offer a co-benefit such as increasing the amount of food waste collected to be composted, or reducing the amount of fossil plastics ending up in the food- and garden waste. In Europe, only 16% of the theoretical potential of food waste that is generated is captured. Compostable plastics can play a crucial role in helping to tap into this untapped potential. The whitepaper also states Total Corbion PLA’s position that mechanical and chemical

recycling should become viable, economically feasible and commonly used end-of-life solutions for PLA-based products. Prime examples of relevant applications include trays, bottles and drinking cups. Total Corbion PLA is committed to developing the recycling value chain together with specialized PLA recycling companies to stimulate demand for rPLA, thereby increasing recycling rates for PLA-based products. Total Corbion PLA uses this paper as a platform to pose the open invitation for parties throughout the recycling value chain to collaborate together to close the loop for PLA recycling. • To download the paper, please visit the Total Corbion PLA website www.total-corbion.com/downloads.


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TPE-based midsole adds more spring to stride of new running shoe

The new ANTA running shoe

Teknor Apex, ANTA collaborate on high-resilience midsole ONE of the world’s largest sportswear companies, ANTA collaborated with Teknor Apex to develop a high-dampening midsole construction incorporating Monprene® TPE for a new line of running shoes. The midsole is a thick layer between the insole and outsole that is typically composed of a soft cushioning material. The companies carried out 40 000 running impact tests to identify the optimum solution that delivered the best rebound performance over extended periods of time. The key property for this performance is rebound resilience, a measure of the energy returned to the runner in comparison

with the energy applied for deformation of the midsole upon the impact with each of the runner’s strides. While standard midsoles on the market achieve 50% rebound, according to ANTA, this new midsole achieves a rebound of 70%. The reserved energy is transformed into running power, enabling the runner to go for longer distances. According to Teknor Apex, the customized Monprene is a 60 Shore A TPE that provides wrinkle-resistance, low compression set, tear resistance, and kink resistance. It exhibits excellent elasticity and remains flexible at low temperatures. www.teknorapex.com

Freudenberg’s new Active Range offers the right solution for every type of sportswear

Sports textiles made from recycled PET bottles FREUDENBERG Performance Materials Apparel is best known for its popular comfortemp® thermal insulation. Now the sustainable manufacturer is expanding its product portfolio for the sports and outdoor market. Freudenberg now also offers highly elastic and breathable inserts and tapes for all types of sportswear in the Freudenberg Active Range. The highlight – most of the products are made of at least 70% recycled polyester. Freudenberg recycles around seven million used PET 68

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bottles every day, making it one of the largest recyclers of used PET bottles in the whole of Europe. There are also products in the portfolio made of 80, 90, or even 100% recycled polyester. Thanks to their highly developed adhesive polymers, selected products in the range are outstandingly suitable even for complicated and difficult-to-process outer fabrics. This is ensured by a special technology used to apply the adhesive mass to a backing material. www.freudenberg-pm.com/en

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Office Cell: +27 66 250 1937 • admin@mgmwtrading.co.za Log Road Unit No. 17 • Roodekop Industrial Area • Germiston


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Office Add: No.67, 6th Avenue, Xincheng Industrial Park, Dinghai District, Zhoushan City Post code: 316023 Tel.: ++86-580-8806008 8806009

Fax: ++86-580-8806010 Email: lyzon@hitech-china.net ciplas_mchy@yahoo.com.cn

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Summit Publishing - based in Cape Town, South Africa - launched SA Polymer Technology magazine in 2002 (then know by the title, SA Plastics,...


Summit Publishing - based in Cape Town, South Africa - launched SA Polymer Technology magazine in 2002 (then know by the title, SA Plastics,...

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