VOL 19 NR 2 APRIL / MAY 2021
S O U T H E R N A F R I C A N P O LY M E R T E C H N O L O G Y
IT DOES WHAT YOUR GRANULATOR CANNOT
VOL 19 NR 2
• Lumps / purgings / thick parts • High torque direct-drive • Tangential infeed means no pusher • Small footprint • Low energy consumption
Rigifoam group buys National Urethane Industries
APRI L / MAY 2021
• Robust design
‘Let’s plastic responsibly’ says Safripol
Aerontec launches foam processing plant
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Robatech launches new dimension in gluing
OF TE A)
Annual polymer consumption for SA rotomoulding industry grows 16.5%
Greentech: Requirements for production of tethered caps
Recycled plastic homes are heading to subSaharan Africa 38
The importance of fibre alignment in composites 48
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BY THE WAY Publisher & Managing Editor: Martin Wells (email@example.com) Editor: Tessa O’Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) Publishers Assistant: Heather Peplow (email@example.com) Financial manager: Lisa Mulligan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Designers: Jeanette Erasmus Graphic Design (email@example.com) Bronwen Moys Blinc Design (firstname.lastname@example.org) Summit Publishing cc t: +27 (21) 712 1408 f: 086 519 6089 c: +27 (82) 822 8115 e: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org KZN Lynne Askew c: 082 904 9433 e: email@example.com 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
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PET Plastic Recycling South Africa
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Show jumper, Kelly O’Connor, sails over a fence supported by the RotoVetti bollards. The bar can be easily dislodged, but can be filled with water or sand if required to remain stationary
Living your brand requires taking a leap!
LIVING your brand is part and parcel of life in the manufacturing sector. Enjoying the market success of the products your company manufactures generates enthusiasm and momentum. This happens unexpectedly, sometimes. Take the case of the RotoVetti show jumping bollards. These roto moulded containers come in a range of colours and interlock, ﬁtting together to create either hurdles or designated courses for the horses to follow around show jumping circuits. There was no guarantee of success when RotoVetti – which is a South African product moulded in SA too – was introduced in 2017, but the local show jumping community has responded positively, so positively in fact that Clive Robertson of ACD Rotoﬂo, the supplier of the roto material used to manufacture the bollards, has become a head-over-heals enthusiast and supporter of show jumping. RotoVetti’s ‘ambassador’ is Johannesburg show jumper and past SA champion, Kelly O’Connor, who is involved in the RotoVetti roll-out which, incredibly, is now going international with the establishment of RotoFlo International. Kelly and a small team are aiming to compete in Europe in the coming northern summer and have departed with their horses for a quarantine period in Mauritius before travelling to Belgium to compete at events there. Many of you, I think, will support them in this venture. Follow their story on the RotoFlo International and RotoVetti sites. RotoFlo is also busy tooling up for some other equine products that could ﬁnd their way to Europe. Carl Gliddon, Kelly’s partner, will be responsible for marketing RotoVetti and other related products. He has already received enquiries from Australia, New Zealand and the UAE. RotoVetti came about by applying some simple design techniques and a bit of out-of-the-box thinking by Clive and roto moulder, Nico Hickley. The moulds were then commissioned and built by Nico’s CNC tooling business, … IF YOU HAVE Hickley Mould & Tool in Johannesburg.
SOMETHING TO SAY Look at the bright side: if you have some gem of wisdom to impart, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUME 19 NR 2
APRIL / MAY 2021
CONTENTS Find out more at www.sapt.co.za
‘Let’s plastic responsibly’ says Safripol Safripol approves more than R100 million to upgrade Sasolburg plant
Kainotomia Polymers, sets up in Centurion
Rigifoam group buys National Urethane Industries
15 18 20
Polyoak celebrates Global Recycling Day
ACD RotoFlo expands operations as roto sector grows
24 26 28
Pioneer introduces ‘Igloo’ concept
GreenTech: Requirements for the production of tethered caps
Robatech launches a new dimension in gluing
Craft Plastics branches out Engel: Trends in automotive-parts manufacturing
Safripol signs Operation Clean Sweep pledge SA’S first plastics recycler signs Operation Clean Sweep pledge
HolyGrail2.0: moving to the next stage with Arburg
Aerontec launches foam processing plant
Market size to reach $131.6 billion by 2027
The importance of fibre alignment in composites
Tufflex commissions new extruder
ON THE COVER: DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics has expanded its high-performance AFFINITY™ GA polyolefin elastomers (POE) with the launch of bio-based AFFINITY RE. This solution has enabled Dow customer Henkel’s Technomelt SUPRA ECO line to achieve another milestone in both companies’ sustainability goals. Read more on page 39
comment The Safripol sales and marketing team were in fine form at the company’s Sustainability Conference in Johannesburg in March, including Riaan Saaiman, Karabo Kekana, Nhlamulo Chauke, Johnny Neri, Roshini Govender, Richard Archer, Marco Correia, Rani Appalsamy and Ntemi Smith
‘Let’s plastic responsibly’ ... we will need too
Safripol proposal is first real move by SA material manufacturers
4 APRIL / MAY 2021
P UNTIL NOW the word ‘plastic’ has been used as either a noun or an adjective, the former being obvious and the latter being to describe something that is artificial, but now it’s being suggested that it be used as a verb, as in Safripol’s ‘let’s plastic responsibly’ proposal.
The phrase was introduced at Safripol’s 2021 Sustainability Conference held in Joburg in March (see page 6-8). It is aimed at achieving an effective circular economy and sustainable solution for the material and hence for the industry too. Part of KAP Industrial Holdings group, where it is housed along with other major manufacturing and logistics businesses, and with annual revenues of over R7-billion, Safripol is a big player in the local economy and the leader in our industry. Safripol staff have been very active in beach and river clean-ups for several years, and energized many in the process, but the environmental problems keep on coming back at us. ‘Let’s plastic responsibly’ follows other initiatives in South Africa, such the Plastics Alliance and the Plastics Pact, and it’s hoped that the landscape will not become too cluttered, but it’s the first from the materials sector. The extent of R+D conducted in the industry in South Africa and globally is extensive, and some of these findings were on show at the
conference, such as research into why so few ice cream tubs end up in landfill, yet other tubs do, and that we should be designing for reuse and not just for recycling. Yet the impression is that the industry has come up with constant improvements to its product solutions in virtually every sphere, but the problems of plastic litter remains and if anything, are growing. It’s up to the industry itself to embark on this journey. In this issue we introduce the proposal and look forward to following the story. Demand reaches desperate levels Most if not all the material suppliers in South Africa have been receiving an extraordinary number of calls during these first few months of 2021, often from people they’ve never heard from before, such has been the demand for material. The shortages are an unexpected result of Covid-19 and very, very few convertors have had enough stock to operate as usual, so the situation is extremely challenging (see page 9).
We should be designing for reuse, not just for recycling
Martin Wells, Publisher
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Hestico donates machine to Plastics/SA for training
Grant Crosby-Emery and Andrew Murray, Plastics|SA technical trainers, are super impressed with the Maguire dosing machine (blender), which weighs and mixes four different materials (a four bin). It will be used to help with the practical training offered by Plastics|SA at its Cape training centre.
PVC stabilizers now in ﬂake from Sun Ace SA
SUN Ace South Africa recently ﬁnalized the commissioning of a new melt ﬂake PVC stabiliser plant in Jet Park. This plant more than doubles the manufacturing capacity of ﬂaked stabilisers in their South African operation. Offering ﬂaked stabilisers has multiple beneﬁts to PVC convertors such as, ease of handling, low dusting and superior dispersion amongst others. The new plant was designed based on the proven technology used by their Australian and Malaysian operations, and features some locally designed and supplied ancillaries. According to Alistair Calder Group Business Development Director for Sun Ace, this plant can produce both the traditional Calcium Zinc as well as Organic stabilisers and has great ﬂexibility. The investment in this plant was taken because of the good growth potential for PVC in Sub Saharan Africa.
ADD Resins liquidated
ADD Resins, a formerly leading supplier of materials to the composites sector, has been liquidated. Run by Stephen Beal, ADD had a relatively long history as a supplier of resins and reinforcement materials to the composites, paint and plastics sectors. It was the agent for leading brands such as Derakane epoxy and vinyl esters, which it represented for some 30 years; Jotun polymers for the paint sector; Ashland (adhesives, emulsiﬁers) and others. ADD’s head ofﬁce was in Sebenza, Johannesburg, and it had agents in the Cape and KZN. No-one seems to know what happened.
‘Let’s plastic Call for cooperation across the value chain at 2021 Sustainability Conference plastics are receiving today in social SAFRIPOL has developed a new media, and in society at large. Rapid sustainability clarion call – let’s plastic consumption, a throw-away plastic responsibly – which culture, and mismanagement of plastic seeks to encourage all who waste, has created an unprecedented use plastic products (virtually plastic pollution crisis. What is clear is everybody) to act responsibly and that in the midst of the challenges that aim to achieve a sustainable we face, there are a myriad outcome and an effective opportunities, but this ‘circular economy’ for requires mobilization of For the the entire value-chain. both the material plastic industry, “There has been and all users.
sustainability is no other deﬁning It premiered no longer a nice to time in history for the new dictum at the plastics industry have, but it is about its 2021 Safripol as we ﬁnd ourselves regaining our social Sustainability in today. As we license to Conference in March. navigate through operate Held at the Hilton in Covid-19, plastics Sandton, the conference are providing life-saving drew some 140 delegates, with personal protective equipment, the majority opting to participate via enabling safe packaging of fresh Zoom, due to Covid-19. Nevertheless, food, water, health-care products, and the estimated 60 delegates in delivery of other essential services,” attendance together with the Safripol added the Safripol statement. team, who one has to say were in ﬁne MC Michael Avery, ﬁnancial radio fettle, were treated to an astounding journalist (who was on duty at the array of research work into the use of 2020 Safripol conference too), set the plastics and the effect plastic products background to the show. have in the environment. “The war against plastics has eased The invitation laid out the during the lockdown and ironically background clearly: “As an industry, created an opportunity for the industry we cannot ignore the backlash that to recover some ground and focus on Gert Claasen (centre), technology and innovation executive at Safripol, has since his return from Dow in Europe some years ago been integrally involved in improving the public perception of plastics; he was very ably assisted in the organization of the 2021 conference by Dr Avashnee Chetty and Peta-Ann Lord
6 APR / MAY 2021
NEWS SAFRIPO Conference-.indd 6
responsibly’ says Safripol sustainability,” said Avery. “People are changing the way they work, act and behave,” he added, which has become clear over the past year. With this unexpected situation, the timing of the Safripol was opportune. The problems with Africa are relatively unique: the continent has the lowest rate of plastics recycling, but South Africa has one of the highest rates in the world. And, like the other continents, the growth in demand and supply of recycled material will continue to be outstripped by virgin material use. A new approach Developed along with Joburg-based Wolves marketing agency, the ‘let’s plastic responsibly’ initiative looks to approach the many problems created by plastic products in a different way. Wolves co-CEO Mick Blore gave an address, ‘Consumer Perception: How to Communicate Plastics in SA?’ in which he switched the debate around and suggested to the audience, who almost all were individuals involved in the plastic business, to look from another perspective and to try to understand how consumers and citizens may see plastic products. Perhaps the big problem is that most consumers know little? A survey showed that a large percentage (67%)
Dr Avashnee Chetty, sustainability manager at Safripol, and Safripol group CEO Nico van Niekerk. According to Nico, the main motivators for the conference were the goal of ensuring that “our industry remains competitive and is sustainable”. Avashnee says the group is working with partners in the industry aimed at getting alignment between all the players and sectors
of people believed they understood plastic recycling well, but when quizzed realized that they didn’t understand what was involved at all. The extent of research being conducted into the circular economy area is impressive. Previously we were familiar with research being conducted into design and applications for products, now the research is focused on what to do with the products once their usefulness has been expended. Most of the presentations were via Zoom, including those by Dr Hannah Jones of UK-based AMI, comparing chemical and mechanical recycling, where the former has not been exploited much in SA. The chemical option, where solvents are used to break down the materials, does offer some interesting potential and may become economical. Prof Harro von Blottnitz, an environment and process systems
Michael Avery, the Classic FM Business presenter, was ‘MC’ of the Safripol conference for the second year in succession and again impressed with his understanding of the many dynamics and challenges at play in the industry
Mick Blore CEO of Wolves Agency, which is involved in the ‘let’s plastic responsibly’ programme, says the campaign has been positively accepted, but there is still a lot to do in order to change perceptions and get a better environmental result
engineer at UCT, gave a presentation titled ‘Circular Economy Indicators: the Case of Plastics’ in which he looked at the industry’s carbon footprint. Although energy use of plastic products is surprisingly low, the fact that a large portion of the ethylene used in SA is sourced from the fuel-from-coal process, a major regional producer of greenhouse gasses, and the total carbon footprint is in fact high. In other presentations, Dr Pippa Notten of The Green House of Cape Town, dwelled on Life Cycle Assessments, which has now morphed into life cycle sustainability assessments.Linda Staib of Alpla in Austria compared HD and PET containers with rival materials such as glass and metal, where the plastic solution compared favourably in virtually all instances, though it did not compare the problem of plastics litter between >>
Dr Pippa Notten of The Green House gave an interesting presentation about LCAs (life cycle assessments), going into much detail on unusual applications such as whether it is sustainable to hand wash plastic containers before sending them for recycling, or not. Waste of water, waste of power to heat water and other factors are all relevant, and could even result in a negative environmental affect, she said
APR / MAY 2021 7
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NEWS Brenntag SA welcomes Crest on board
BRENNTAG SA’s amalgamation with Crest Chemicals has been made ofﬁcial. With effect from 1 October 2020, Brenntag South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Crest Chemicals (Pty) Ltd were integrated into one legal entity. Crest, based in Midrand, is a distributor and reseller of chemicals to a broad range of South African industries. Anthony Gerace, Brenntag group’s managing director mergers & acquisitions, commented: “We expect to realize cost synergies and convert cross selling opportunities by combining Crest and Brenntag South Africa since both companies have complementary product lines. In addition, Brenntag will beneﬁt from Crest’s mixing & blending capabilities, a service that is increasingly requested by customers.” Towards the latter part of 2019, Brenntag (Holding) BV had successfully purchased the remaining 50% shares of Crest Chemicals from Chemical Services Limited (AECI). Crest Chemicals had been a 50:50 joint venture between Brenntag and AECI since 2001.
Indication that big lost project may revive
SEVERAL big manufacturing projects which created much optimism have ﬂopped over the past few years. The plant, which is usually the most expensive part of the venture, is mostly auctioned off to defray costs and here the result is not often in the favour of the seller. It’s sad to see the dreams of the project founders being crushed but it’s still hats-off to them for having the vision to start the ventures. At the same time, it’s kudos to the individuals and businesses which purchase the assets of these failed ventures. Without them the situation would be even bleaker, and we have maximum respect for those who have the organizational abilities and access to capital to purchase the machines and moulds at what are often seven-ﬁgure sums, and at times way north of that too. And – what a relief? – we now hear that one of these big ventures is being turned around, over in KZN, where a product which had ostensibly ﬂopped is now back in production at a more steady pace. We hope to report about this one in our next issue.
‘Let’s plastic responsibly’ says Safripol << countries; and Nicky and Robert van Hille of the Moss Group outlined their research into the post-use applications of ice cream, yoghurt and margarine tubs (which vary considerably). The latter presentation created interest: trying to grasp why only one percent of ice cream tubs go to landﬁll after use while margarine tubs are slightly more likely to go that route and yet yoghurt tubs frequently end up in landﬁll, is just one example of what we don’t yet know. The Van Hilles suggested that it may be more important now to design for reuse than to design just for recycling. In case you think this is all pie in the sky, consider that over 10 000 tons in South Africa is used annually in the production of ice cream tubs alone, so the numbers are substantial. This was followed by a panel
discussion on the topic ‘How do we create value for plastics’ involving speakers from ARO, Unilever, Spar, the Dept of Trade and Industry, the Waste Pickers Association, SA Plastics Pact and CSIR, with host Avery chairing the chat session. Delegates were able to ask questions on the ‘Brella virtual event platform. The involvement of the DTI, which besides SARS and Environment Affairs, is the government department manufacturers most likely to be involved with, and the Waste Pickers group was especially welcome. Participants agreed that, when brand owners implement, the rest of the value chain follows, and so it may well be. In fact, for the brand companies as well as consumers – and convertors now more than ever – understanding consumer behaviour better may be very important for the industry going forward.
www.safripol.com Anton Booysen, manufacturing executive for Safripol Durban, who is now an integral part of the Safripol production team
Rose-tinted moment – Peta-Ann Lord and Avashnee Chetty received beautiful roses in appreciation of their efforts in organising the conference. The staff at the Hilton pulled out all the stops for the Safripol event, about the only negative was that the majority of the delegates opted to participate remotely by Zoom, which is understandable Anton Booysen, Ruann Wessels, Johan Vorster, Kumaren Naidoo and Marco Correia enjoyed hosting their company’s annual sustainability event
8 APR / MAY 2021
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Extreme shortage in material supply heaps pressure Invidious situation as suppliers get put on allocation, and convertors too COVID-19 has created many complications but one of the least expected was the effect the crisis would have on supply chains, a situation which has seriously affected polymer availability around the world as well as in South Africa. The slowdown induced by the lockdown from March 2020, saw material manufacturers reduce output as demand slowed, the slower petrochemical plant activity was at least partly the result of reduced demand for fuel, especially aviation fuel, which was cut by a multiple factor. Few had experience of this situation, of extended reduced plant activity, but the fact is that the polymer and resin manufacturers would have had no reason to operate at capacity during the lockdown. The fact that so many plant problems were encountered as the manufacturers ramped up again earlier this year appears to have affected virtually all the polymer producers. Petrochemical plants are highly complicated systems with both high temperatures and pressures, which appear to be better suited to run at optimum levels. Then the extreme cold weather from winter storm Uri which hit Texas in midFebruary led to plant shutdowns there, and it’s become apparent that the Texas Gulf petrochemical business is at the hub of the plastics industry in the West. That situation was further exacerbated by complications in the
Most if not all the material suppliers shipping sector. The latter business in South Africa have been receiving had faced difﬁcult conditions before an extraordinary number of calls from the lockdown, due to a large extent convertors seeking material, such has by over-capacity. Most if not all the been the demand. Several of the local shipping lines operating in the West importers are tied with global material as well as those servicing China and distribution and logistics groups, among the SE-Asia markets reduced activity, the most powerful organisations active having to decommission ships and in the industry (and the same applies retrench personnel. Shipping costs to virtually all industries) but even have rocketed since. internationally leading groups such as Wim Goebel of Rawmac, one of SA Ravago, Meraxis, Emeraude, Vinmar top suppliers of ABS, says per container and others have been on short-supply. costs have doubled, almost overnight, So not only have local convertors to about US$3 000. That has a been placed on allocation, so direct effect on the prices have the suppliers. convertors are paying. The It’s produced a These issues have fact that so diabolical situation, put considerable many plant problems where the suppliers strain on the ﬂow of were encountered as the have not been material imports, able to supply and then both manufacturers ramped their customers, Safripol and Sasol up again earlier this sometimes encountered year appears to have even their best plants problems affected virtually all customers. About which slashed local the polymer the only positive is plant output. Safripol that there has been CEO Nico van Niekerk producers increased demand for explains what happened recycled material, but even in the interview on page 10. the recyclers have not been able Factors beyond its control created to supply the suddenly increased the problems at Safripol, but the simple demand. And since hardly any of the fact is that it was not able to fully supply local recyclers, besides Extrupet, are its customers, an invidious situation for able to supply approved food contact any supplier. grade material, they would in any event Supply of PVC from Sasol virtually not be able to supply the bulk of the SA dried up earlier this year and supply converting industry, where packaging of its range of LD and linear has been amounts to some 55% of turnover. short too. APR / MAY 2021 9
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NEWS Manufacturers still reporting constrained supply chains
GLOBAL restrictions implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 have had a direct impact on manufacturing supply chains with constraints still evident across many manufacturing subsectors a year after the country ﬁrst went into hard lockdown, according to the Q1 Absa Manufacturing Survey. “South African manufacturers are reporting issues in the supply chain that are resulting in raw material shortage constraints negatively affecting their production processes,” said Justin Schmidt, head of manufacturing sector at Absa Retail and Business Bank in March. “Currently, a major problem globally appears to be the supply of shipping containers and vessels across routes, including to and from South Africa. Whilst manufacturers remain hopeful that this will be resolved within the quarter, the risk of successive Covid-19 waves around the globe and further lockdown restrictions is a major concern.” For the second quarter in a row, manufacturers highlighted raw material shortages as a serious impediment to activities. With the index currently at 57 points, this is the second highest number recorded since 1974. The index ranges between zero and 100, with zero reﬂecting no constraint and 100 a serious constraint. www.absa.co.za
ExxonMobil in showdown with activist investor
EXXONMOBIL is heading for a proxy showdown after activist investor Engine No. 1 formally nominated four directors to the board of the energy giant, which is facing growing calls to change its strategy. “We believe that Exxon’s board needs new members who have proven success positioning energy companies for today as well as tomorrow, and who are sufﬁciently independent from the current board to ensure a clean break from a strategy and mindset that have led to years of value destruction and poorly positioned the company for the future,” Engine No. 1 said in a statement. The investment ﬁrm has already called on Exxon to refresh its board, overhaul executive compensation, and invest in more proﬁtable drilling and clean energy. 10
NEWS SAFRIPOL-.indd 10
Safripol Sasolburg – home to Safripol’s HDPE and PP manufacturing plants, where circa 160kt of HDPE and 120kt of PP is produced annually
Market supply interruptions were not caused by Safripol’s own doing SAFRIPOL, which operates HD and PP manufacturing plants in Sasolburg and a PET plant in Durban, has for long been one of South Africa’s most reliable material suppliers, but the second half of 2020 saw a number of supply interruptions. We asked chief operating ofﬁcer at Safripol, Nico van Niekerk, what happened?
was reinstated, the whole complex had to be safely restarted and utilities restored before we could start-up the polymer plants. Both these interruptions, which were outside of Safripol’s control, caused signiﬁcant downtime and unplanned volume loss.
SAPT: The interruptions have SAPT: Nico, you and your team clearly affected your HD and PP have had a good record over an customers. Is it possible for the impact extended period and the Sasolburg of such incidents to be mitigated? plant has appeared to have had very NvN: Our Sasolburg facilities are, few problems, but there were three for all intents and purposes, sold separate incidents in 2020: out and there is no way that we what went wrong? can make up the production NvN: Yes, the volumes lost. The only We are Sasolburg operation alternative is to reduce benchmarking the traditionally is very sales. Normally during reliable and we Sasolburg operations the second half of are very proud of versus the best out December and early our track record. there and results January, sales in SA Unfortunately slow down, but this clearly indicate that we experienced year it did not happen we can compete operational so when the plants were with them outages in back online we were not November and able to replenish our ﬁnished December last year. In goods inventories. November we experienced a To mitigate against interruptions, water supply interruption that shut Safripol normally has about a month’s down the total site for a few days. inventory of ﬁnished goods. We have This interruption also affected other revisited our ﬁnished goods inventory companies that are supplied from methodology and we have adjusted the same municipal water ring main our standards – although this will system. Ultimately Safripol, together not make up for the loss of sales with other affected companies, but rather the timing thereof. The assisted the local municipality to reliability of infrastructure, in this case repair the affected line. On water and electricity, is not improving 30 December we experienced an and Safripol has put action plans in electrical outage. An Eskom pylon place to reduce dependency on these toppled over causing a complete and also to carry spares to effect shutdown of the Sasolburg-based repairs ourselves more efﬁciently chemical complex. As you can imagine, once the electricity supply when needed.
APR / MAY 2021
to upgrade Sasolburg plant SAPT: At least some converters have been put on allocation for material supply. What is the outlook for the remainder of the year for your iMPACT 100® and Safrene® HD grades and the Advance® and Safron® PP grades? Are some of the grades affected less than others? NvN: With the advent of Covid-19, Safripol, like many other industrial companies, pushed out mandatory statutory shutdowns. We will therefore have to shut down both the HDPE and PP plants in Sasolburg this May. We are managing supply of raw materials to converters as best we can given our own production interruptions, as well as the global supply chain challenges. Unfortunately, all Safripol grades will be in short supply until June/July this year. The good news is that during the shutdown Safripol will effect some plant changes that will increase the production capacity of some critical grades aligned with our ‘let’s plastic responsibly’ initiative. SAPT: Was the Safripol Durban PET plant affected at all? NvN: Yes and no. We experienced an electricity interruption on 30 December in Durban but supply was reinstated and no market related interruption was experienced as a result of the electricity interruption. That said, all the raw materials for our Durban PET plant are imported from the East. With the global supply interruptions that are experienced in many parts of the world, two of
our major raw material suppliers declared force majeure on us, and with the global shipping line challenges speciﬁcally from the East that were experienced from February, we had to shut down our Durban plant based on short supply of raw materials. The plant is back up and running now and with the support of our customers, the effect on the market was minimised. SAPT: It appears that most people in the industry (and citizens in general) are not aware of the complexity involved in running petrochemical and polymer plants smoothly: could you explain simply why these plants tend to play up from time to time? NvN: The mechanical and operational reliability of our facilities are favourably benchmarked against some of the very best in the world. We maintain and upgrade the facilities in a responsible manner. As noted earlier, the market supply interruptions were not caused by Safripol’s own doing. These plants are, however, complex and unforgiving – when you experience utility interruptions you have to shut them down in an uncontrolled manner which results in a tedious plant start-up process. Ideally, reliable infrastructure should be a given. That is not necessarily the case at the moment and, as reliable producers, one needs to solve infrastructure related issues too. SAPT: There has been some criticism that the Sasolburg plant is old and that this is the source of the problem. From our perspective, it appears that the plant
Chief Operating Ofﬁcer at Safripol, Nico van Niekerk
has been well managed throughout its life, that you have an effective technology partner in Lynondellbasell and have made on-going investment in maintenance and upkeep, but what would your reaction to the critics be in this respect? NvN: None of the said interruptions were due to a plant failure. We started to produce HDPE in Sasolburg in the early ‘70s; however, there is no trace of that plant left. We are benchmarking the Sasolburg operations versus the best out there and the results clearly indicate that we can compete with them. We have just approved more than R100 million to upgrade some of the equipment on the plant. We are conﬁdent that the plant reliability and the quality of the materials produced meet the requirements of the SA market and can compete with the best out there. www.safripol.com APR / MAY 2021
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Albert Gildenhuys, owner of Kainotomia Polymers Compounding Solutions
New compounding company, Kainotomia Polymers, sets up in Centurion
12 APRIL / MAY 2021
Specialising in colour compounding and milling of LLDPE for the rotomoulding industry KAINOTOMIA Polymers opened its doors in September 2020 in Icon Industrial Park, Centurion. Owned and run by Albert Gildenhuys, the company specialises in the colour compounding and milling of LLDPE into powders for the rotomoulding industry. The name ‘Kainotomia’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘innovation’. “We see innovation as one of the core pillars of all that we do, therefore the word ‘Kainotomia’ resonates with our values and what we stand for as a company,” says Gildenhuys. With over 15 years of experience, Gildenhuys has extensive knowledge of the latest process technologies and industry trends. His passion for the plastic industry was ignited very early on in his career, when he worked as an injection moulding operator. Since then he has built a well-established and specialised career in the industry. He broadened his expertise as a technical manager, where he was responsible for all technical LLDPE compounding and pulverization, and development-related work, including technical sales support to customers in the rotational moulding industry. Before starting Kainotomia, Gildenhuys was also involved in consulting key industry players in setting up their own production facilities and driving projects in which technical product development between the manufacturer and raw material supplier were required. He was further engaged with the sales and marketing of compounds and masterbatches. “I am passionate about polymer chemistry, manufacturing and related processes and believe I can make a meaningful contribution to the industry,” he says. Since September the company has grown from an army of one to 15 staff members. Testing and development were done during the last quarter of
2020 and products went to market in January, 2021. “Since then we have seen consistent growth,” says Gildenhuys. Technical expertise is at the heart of what Kainotomia does “Our aim at Kainotomia Polymers is to empower the polymer industry through innovative solutions and technologies. Our product is used extensively in the agricultural sector, as well as in the manufacturing of water tanks and sanitation products,” says Gildenhuys. Kainotomia works closely with its customers to find resolutions to challenging projects and to develop new materials for original applications. Technical expertise is at the heart of what the new company does and it continues to expand its R&D resources and machinery. “We believe that the future success of the polymer industry depends on companies pioneering new designs and suppliers developing new raw materials,” says Gildenhuys. “At Kainotomia we are committed to continuous improvement to help our customers fully exploit the potential of rotomoulding.” Recently, Kainotomia introduced 3910 KPCS, a 10MFI hexene co-polymer compound never seen before in South Africa. Gildenhuys says this product not only shortens cycle times but also reduces pinholes on the product surface. This allows for the rotational moulding of more intricate products with excellent surface finishes. The company’s product portfolio also includes standard LLDPE rotomoulding powders in a variety of colours and material specifications: • 3 935 KPCS is a hexene co-polymer LLDPE developed for the roto moulding process. It can be supplied as a UV stabilised or non-UV stabilised colour compound and is used in large water tanks, large www.kpcs.co.za
roto moulding products requiring high stiffness, sanitation tanks and agriculture products. Characteristics include high stiffness and impact strength, high rigidity, excellent ESCR, and good chemical resistance. 3 950 KPCS is a hexene co-polymer LLDPE developed for the roto moulding process. It can be supplied as a UV stabilised or non-UV stabilised colour compound. It is used in the manufacture of small to medium sized water tanks, storage bins, toys and traffic barriers, and sanitation and agriculture products. Characteristics include high stiffness and impact, strength, high rigidity, and excellent ESCR.
Part of the company’s offering also includes a toll manufacturing service for its customers. Kainotomia’s internal quality control test methods include: • P SD (Particle Size Distribution Analysis) - ASTM 1921 • M FI (Melt Flow Index) analysis ASTM D1238 • D ry Flow testing - ASTM D1895-96 • B ulk Density testing - ASTM D1895 • C olour Photo Spectroscopy CMC D65 • D art Impact testing - ARM standard The company is focused on developing, producing and supplying the best raw materials to the rotational moulding industry. Gildenhuys’ expertise in a range of areas including polymer chemistry and design, compounding, grinding, rotomoulding, colour matching, and customer service, are invaluable in achieving this. Kainotomia Polymers is also currently working towards becoming ISO 9001:2015 certified.
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Rigifoam group buys National Creates what is possibly Africa’s largest polyurethane systems house RIGIFOAM has purchased National Urethane Industries, including all its plant, lab and intellectual property, in the process creating one of the top polyurethane solutions supply operations in Africa. The transaction was completed recently, for an undisclosed sum. Like Rigifoam, National Urethane Industries (NUI) is a Johannesburgbased polyurethane systems house with a national footprint plus exports but with different specialties. Using PU feedstock, NUI is an already well
established manufacturer of ‘CASE’ products (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) for a wide range of applications. It uses the same source PU polymers as Rigifoam but is focused on different market sectors. Based up till now in Isando, NUI is an ISO 9001:2015-certiﬁed business that has been in operation since 1982 and has most recently been run by Donovan Slade. Established as recently as 2000, Rigifoam is South Africa’s leading supplier of rigid PU and
polyisocyanurate foam products from 32-80kg/m³ which are used chieﬂy in insulation applications in the residential, construction and industrial sectors. Rigifoam was established by Duncan Goldsmith and Michael Yacoby, who remain at the helm of the now expanded group So far only NUI’s admin team have moved over to the Rigifoam premises in Apex Industrial, Benoni, with the NUI production facilities and lab due to shift in due course. Gaining access to the NUI intellectual property was one
Offers rigid plastic packaging already optimised for recycling GLOBAL Recycling Day on 18 March presented an opportunity for Polyoak Packaging to explore the importance of recycling plastic packaging with employees. Polyoak hosted various internal workshops across its manufacturing sites in Diep River, Aeroton, Roodekop, KwaZulu Natal and East London to remind employees about the role of plastic packaging in a circular economy, and the relevance of separation at source to maximise recycling which helps create job opportunities, diverts valuable waste going to South Africa’s already overﬂowing landﬁlls and helps prevent plastic pollution. Polyoak managing director, Karl Lambrecht explains: “With Extended Producer Regulations coming into effect from 5 May 2021, we are fully committed to partnering with our customers to achieve the legislated recycling targets.” Polyoak’s rigid plastic packaging is already widely recycled. For example, HDPE beverage Karl Lambrecht, managing director of Polyoak 14
NEWS RIGIFOAM-.indd 14
bottles are the most recycled milk packaging in South Africa, with a recycling rate of 75%. These bottles are recycled into numerous useful items, including new bottles for personal and home care products, crates, bins and plastic bags. ‘Design for Recycling’ best practice Polyoak is well placed to advise customers on ‘Design for Recycling’ best practice. It is essential that plastic packaging is designed and adapted to give it the best chance of being circulated multiple times through our economy, by choosing materials that are widely recycled in practice and at scale in South Africa. The whole pack must be considered in terms of its recyclability, as even one component can limit or prohibit recycling of the whole pack. “Polyoak offers rigid plastic packaging that is already optimised for recycling. Furthermore, all our packaging carries accurate and legible material identiﬁcation codes (MICs) required to assist collectors and recyclers,” Lambrecht continues. Designing for recycling is also essential to create high quality feedstocks which can be included as recycled content in new packaging. Over 80% of PP tubs are re-used for other purposes once empty
APR / MAY 2021
Urethane Industries of the main attractions for the Rigifoam purchase. NUI will continue to operate as an entity under the Rigifoam group umbrella. Rigifoam also operates the Resichem and Lambdaboard business divisions, which supply different PU product solutions. Rigifoam and NUI were most recently in contact in 2019 when, between them, they purchased the plant and expertise of Kasodur, a Cape TPU
Michael Yacoby “aka world famous chemist” with Donovan Slade
and PU castings business which was exiting the market. Rigifoam bought the castings operation and set up what has since fallen under Rigifoam Cape while NUI bought the TPU (thermoplastic
polyurethane) business. Rigifoam has since departed from the castings area as that would have meant it would be competing with its NUI customers. www.rigifoam.com
Global Recycling Day Polyoak already offers bottles containing rPET and, provided there is a sufﬁcient supply of rPET, the company is well placed to assist customers in meeting the legislated recycled content target of 10% for PET beverage bottles in year one, as well as the SA Plastics Pact target of 30% by 2025. New tight head drum range Polyoak is especially excited about its new Tight Head Drum range made from virgin and recycled HDPE, available in sizes ranging from 100L up to 250L. This advanced multilayer technology now gives customers access to world-class quality drums that are fully recyclable
and can contain recycled content. This will signiﬁcantly contribute towards a circular economy. “It’s clear that EPR is our collective responsibility. It’s not just about supplying environmentally sustainable packaging. We need to motivate action through education and inspiration – every touchpoint is an opportunity!” Lambrecht adds. This was the thinking behind Polyoak’s internal programme of events to celebrate Global Recycling Day. Employees already separate their waste for recycling at all manufacturing sites. Water and energy optimisation programmes are in place and there is a continuous focus on reducing waste throughout operations. Polyoak’s Roodekop site in Gauteng has already achieved ‘zero waste to landﬁll’ status with learnings being shared across the business. Polyoak’s marketing and sustainability executive, Michelle Penlington explains: “SA’s National Waste Management Strategy highlights the importance of reducing waste going to landﬁll and eliminating plastic pollution. Therefore, our campaign aimed to educate and inspire households to >> Polyoak’s new multilayer Tight Head drum range is fully recyclable with the ability to contain HDPE recycled plastic APR / MAY 2021
NEWS RIGIFOAM-.indd 15
NEWS Polyoak celebrates Global Recycling Day << divert their organic kitchen waste and recyclable packaging from landﬁll, by learning how easy it is to make compost and recycle their plastic instead. Both streams are too valuable to waste!” Upcycling plastic packaging Recent research by Polyco and the Moss Group shows that over 80% of PP tubs are re-used for a myriad of other purposes, once empty. This ranges from freezing leftovers and using as a lunchbox, to storing stationery, toys and tools. “The widespread upcycling of our ice-cream, yoghurt and spreads tubs inspired us to explore additional reuses for our packaging that are practical and useful at home, school or work. This was the inspiration for our ‘Packaging Upcycling’ internal campaign launched on Global Recycling Day,” explains Penlington. Employees have been challenged to find ways of adapting Polyoak’s packaging in ways that may add value and reduce cost. Crafts from recycled plastic Recycling Day also presented a unique opportunity to show employees how entrepreneurs transform Polyoak’s recycled packaging into beautiful arts and crafts. Polyoak’s Diep River branch partnered with local Cape Town artist, Heath Nash, well-known for his pleated lampshades and ﬂowers made from folded die-cut panels
In celebration of Global Recycling Day, Polyoak hosted Langa based Our Workshop to inspire employees to get creative with its packaging
of polypropylene, much of which has been exhibited at numerous Design Indabas and galleries in London, Tokyo, Milan and Vienna. Today Heath heads up Our Workshop, known as ‘Guga S’thebe’ based in Langa, as a self-sustaining, free and supportive collaborative workspace that provides economic and creative stability through learning and skills development. Heath and his team facilitated numerous plastic craft workshops with Polyoak’s employees to highlight the entrepreneurial value and potential of plastic packaging. www.polyoakpackaging.co.za
Coca-Cola in SA launches payment platform to empower informal waste reclaimers COCA-COLA in South Africa and BanQu are rolling out an innovative payment platform to ﬁnancially empower informal waste reclaimers and buy-back centres in an exciting boost to the local recycling sector. “More than 60 000 waste reclaimers in SA who collect waste packaging perform one of the toughest, yet most important jobs in the circular economy and up until now, they have remained mostly invisible and unbanked,” says David Drew, director of sustainability for Africa at Coca-Cola Africa. “This innovative block-chain based solution provides a platform to ﬁnancially empower waste reclaimers and small buy-back centres across South Africa.” BanQu creates a permanent, personal record of the transactions for each waste picker, enabling them to demonstrate their earnings to access credit. It also enables 16
APR / MAY 2021
NEWS RIGIFOAM-.indd 16
cashless transactions that reduce the risk associated with cash to both reclaimers and buy-back centres and enables direct ﬁnancial support for waste reclaimers. By recording the contribution of the informal sector to the recycling value chain, the platform improves both understanding and recognition of the important contribution of waste reclaimers and buy-back centres. Coca-Cola selected BanQu as a partner based on the impact they have achieved to date and their track record with working with small scale farmers across Africa. Since the launch in mid-February the system has already registered over 300 waste pickers and recorded over 4 900 transactions totalling over 200 000kg of recyclables. The rollout builds on BanQu’s successes in other African countries and in Latin America. www.coca-colacompany.com
A GLOBAL LEADER IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF PVC STABILISERS AND METALLIC SOAPS
From pack to product creating the perfect PVC pipe and cabling
WE ALSO SUPPLY QUALITY MINING CHEMICALS XANTHATES | FROTHERS | COLLECTORS FLOTATION REAGENTS | NASH Suppliers of xanthates, frothers and collectors to the mining industry, including copper, gold, zinc, lead and other sulphide metallic ores. www.sunace.co.za/mining-chemicals
SUN ACE South Africa (Pty) Ltd | +27(11) 552 6200 | www.sunace.co.za
Sun Ace SA Plastics 2021.indd 1
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Tufflex commissions new extruder
18 APRIL / MAY 2021
Machine will be used to recycle HD rigid as well as LD flexible products TUFFLEX Plastic Products recently commissioned an extruder from Jiangsu Beier Machinery of China, supplied by Cabletech Marketing. Charles Muller, Tufflex MD, says the extruder – a PE/PP Agglomeration Double Stage Pelletizing Line – is expected to do around 200 tons per month of mostly LDPE. It has been set up in line with Tufflex’s wash-plant. Tufflex Plastic Products is a long established, innovative and focussed plastics recycling business situated within the industrial area of Germiston on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The company processes both postindustrial and post-consumer polyolefin plastic waste, the latter being washed in a state-of-the-art German wash-plant before being converted into pellets for supply back into the plastics converting industry. The company recycles polyolefins – LD/LLD, PP and HD. “We do, however, put a little bit of multilayer flexible film, which sometimes contains PET and other non-polyolefins, into our recycled plastic timber but quite frankly it is very small tonnage,” says Charles. “We have very strong demand for our range of recycled material; we know the market well and remain in a soldout position. Depressed pricing remains an issue due to lots of competitive activity and a perceived reticence to recover all the cost increases that the industry has faced over the last few months (wages, transport, electricity, spares, etc.),” he adds.
With the introduction of Section 18 EPR legislation, demand for good quality recycled materials is expected to increase. In addition to conventional recycling, Tufflex also produces a comprehensive range of recycled plastic timber which is used as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to wood in a variety of applications including outdoor furniture, pallets, fencing, dog kennels, scaffolding sole boards, dustbins and walkway decking. The company is also a proud member and supporter of SAPRO (SA Plastics Recycling Organisation). A multiple use primary extruder On the Beier two-stage die face cutter pelletizing line, the primary extruder SJ-120mm is equipped with a 90KW 800L agglomerator that is fed by a 600mm wide belt conveyor, which operates from its own ABB Inverter. The PVC belt conveyor has been equipped with a Sesotech metal detector from a German OEM supplier. Beier has built a multiple use primary extruder by adding a flake dosing unit, a CaC03 dosing unit as well as a masterbatch dosing unit on and around the feeding port of the massive 160KW primary extruder. The extruder is fitted with a continuous dirt filtering device which scrapes off any contaminated materials and discharges it before it extrudes into the secondary 150mm 37KW extruder with only a 10/1 LD ratio.
The secondary extruder has been fitted with a double pillar hydraulic screen changer for a 250mm diameter screening area. This hydraulic screen changer has a pressure sensor adapted to ensure no more than 35MPA is reached on the head of the secondary extruder, a great safety factor. After the second filtration process the molten material is then conveyed through a die head of which a 2.7mm diameter has been catered for and covered by high quality cast aluminum, ensuring cold water and a clean cut pellet on the die head. The downstream equipment is then followed by a conveying channel which cools down the pellet and sends it to the 5.5KW centrifugal dryer. After the drying process the material is conveyed to the vibrator where a consistent pellet is sorted and taken to the final stage of the storage silo. This extrusion line has been built to reach up to 450kg per hour based on PE, with a 5-8% moisture content and 250-280kg per hour based on BOPP. Beier has also equipped the twostage extrusion line with a Siemens PLC controller S7-12000 touch screen from which the entire line can be controlled.
Tufflex’s Melusi Ncube, Charles Muller (MD) and Peter Sifo with the new Beier extruder supplied by Cabletech
PLASTICS MAC HINERY JUPITER 3 SERIES 4,500 – 66,000 KN TWO-PLATEN
MARS 3 SERIES 600 – 33,000 KN
PLASTICS MACHINERY JENIUS 3 SERIES 3,600 – 33,000 KN
HYBRID ELECTRIC / TWO-PLATEN
ZERES 3 SERIES 400 – 13,800 KN ELECTRICAL
Office: +27 11 704 0824 | firstname.lastname@example.org 20 Amelia Lane, Lanseria Corporate Estate, Malibongwe Road, Lanseria
Web : www.cabletech.co.za
Classifieds Dec/Jan'2020.indd 72
Big performance in a tiny format –
Robatech launches a new Combine energy-efficient design and new electronics into a smart melter VISION from Robatech SA is a smart adhesive melter for the high-quality adhesive application of thermoplastic hot melt adhesives. Vision has one of the best ratios of melting performance to device length, and the innovative FlexPort and the advanced Smart Terminal combine energy-efficient design and new electronics into a smart melter for safe product gluing and cost-effective operation. Dominique Schlenk of Robatech SA cc says that Vision opens up undreamed of possibilities for installation and system planning. “Whether it be lengthwise
or crosswise installation, tight spaces, retrofits or placement as close as possible to the application head – Vision fits,” he adds. “Vision also achieves an outstanding energy balance. The innovative insulation around the melting tank effectively reduces heat radiation to the outside. Compared to Concept series melters, energy consumption is reduced by 20%.” Advantages of the system include the fact that it achieves system availability of more than 99% and ensures high process reliability. It is energy efficient with optional quality control and the FlexPort simplifies
planning and installation in systems. The Smart Terminal enables operating and status information available from a distance. The Vision also offers easy access to all maintenance-related components via a single door and thus reduces maintenance times. It is also safe to use – it offers superior protection against accidental contact during operation, maintenance, and commissioning. “Vision enables you to optimize your system as FlexPort gives users the leeway needed for ideal positioning to optimise the system. No matter where
20 APRIL / MAY 2021
Unique PET tray-to-tray recycling in a single extrusion step WITH the innovative MRSjump Extruder, Gneuss offers an optimum solution for post-consumer tray-to-tray recycling, which meets all requirements of completely circular modern food packaging. Recycling and decontamination with the MRSjump Extruder are possible in one single extrusion step without upstream or downstream material treatment steps. This opens up new possibilities for the recycling of tray regrind. If a circular economy is to be realised, it will be necessary to consistently recycle post-consumer thermoformed PET trays back into PET trays. Currently, extensive use is made of post-consumer PET bottle flake in the manufacture of PET trays but this supply of feedstock will continue to decrease. As part of the circular economy, PET bottle flake is increasingly recycled into new bottles. The recycling of regrind from postconsumer PET trays to new sheet for PET trays presents challenges for the
recycling process. However, the Gneuss MRSjump Extruder combines the high decontamination performance of the MRS degassing extruder, which has been well established over the past decades, with a viscosity boost: The MRSjump extrusion process does not necessitate any pre- or posttreatment of the input material, such as crystallisation or pre-drying of the recycled material or an IV boost in a solid state polycondensation (SSP). The simple set-up of the direct extrusion process avoids the combination of different material treatments prior or subsequent to extrusion and resulting interface problems, and thanks to the short process chain, the melt remains within a narrow, defined residence time spectrum. The thermal and mechanical stress on the material is kept low. This results in excellent mechanical and optical sheet properties.
The MRSjump Extruder can processes a wide range of input materials, from regrind from mono- and multi-layer trays to material combinations which would stick together in a conventional thermal pre-treatment process (e.g. sheet regrind from PET/PE, GAG, certain copolymers). • All Gneuss machines are available in South Africa via Gneuss agent in SA, Mike Day – 083 268 2596, email email@example.com
The MRS extruder screw with multi rotation section for efficient devolatilization and decontamination
Vision from Robatech SA is a smart adhesive melter for the high-quality adhesive application of thermoplastic hot melt adhesives
dimension in gluing or how Vision is positioned, the Touch Display is always in the right place, or you can even dispense with it entirely,” says Dominique. FlexPort is Vision’s fully insulated 45-degree connection area. Robatech’s heated hoses can be connected here at different angles and thus Vision can be positioned in a variety of ways and close to the application head. This shortens the required heated hose length. Coloured LEDs on the status display indicate changes in the operating status or the current filling level in the adhesive melter. Even from a distance, the operating personnel can recognize www.robatech.co.za
whether the melter is working optimally and when adhesive needs to be refilled. The 7-segment display indicates the current pump pressure and switches to the status code in the event of a malfunction. Using the current pump pressure display, the operating personnel can immediately draw conclusions about the reliable gluing of the products. Only if the pump pressure is correct, the correct adhesives quantity is delivered. The status code also makes it easier to recognize faults quickly. Basic functions
can be switched on and off directly using four function keys: WLAN, timer, temperature lowering, and pump. • Agents in South Africa are Robatech SA cc (Western Cape), Tel: +27 21 510 6903, firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL / MAY 2021 21
VISION THE NEW DIMENSION IN GLUING
Scan QR code and get to know Vision better
Ready for the next step? Then take advantage of Vision’s Smart Terminal and FlexPort. The energy-efficient processing of hot-melt adhesive also reduces your operating costs. www.vision.robatech.com
ACD RotoFlo expands operations Annual polymer consumption for the SA roto moulding sector grows 16.5% THE ACD RotoFlo Group, South Africa’s major rotomoulding polymer supplier, is expanding its operation and has acquired a further 2200m² of factory space and is busy installing new capacity at its Kya Sands operation. ACD already operates out of a 3200m² factory, so this expansion is substantial. The company supplies roto moulding powders throughout SA and to all neighbouring countries and further afield to countries throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. Started by Clive Robertson in 2012 with just 250 tons a month capacity, ACD RotoFlo has grown over the past eight years to over 2000 tons a month capacity. “Power is a never-ending issue in South Africa and even more so in Kya Sands. Because RotoFlo operates 24/7, we have installed over 1200KVA of generation plant to ensure minimal interruption in our manufacturing plants,” says Robertson. This strategy has ensured that RotoFlo has been able to keep up
with the market’s demands over the years and prides itself on its service to the industry. Over the years, RotoFlo has also adapted to the issues that continually arise, be they political, economic, labour or market growth. Rotoflo remains a member of ARMSA (the southern African roto association) and ARMO (the international organisation) and participates in rotomoulding activities around the world. “We are also ardent supporters of South African show Jumping as sponsors, competing over nine horses with top SA riders on board. Recently RotoFlo sent two top show jumping horses to compete in Europe with Kelly O’Connor, a past SA champion. They will compete in Europe under the RotoFlo International brand and slowly establish an SA base for young riders. RotoFlo also produces the rotomoulded equestrian RotoVetti which is marketed in South Africa and will now be offered in Europe from our Belgium base in Kessenich,” says Robertson.
Roto industry up 16.5% in past year Commenting on annual polymer consumption for the SA rotomoulding industry, Robertson says the past financial year has achieved some excellent results, with growth of 16,5%. The very positive growth figures are ascribed to a massive increase in demand for water storage units and tanks. “However, it was very disappointing that the number of water tanks that government indicated were needed did not reach anywhere near their figures due to a number of issues. We were horrified to learn of exorbitant mark-ups and costs for installing a lot of these water tanks. There seemed to be a very wide range of characters that got involved in tenders and installation contracts that were unknown to the water tank supply community. We find this most disheartening during a time of crisis, when the intentions of the rotomoulding industry were to rise up and demonstrate how we could serve the community.
50 000 45 000 40 000 35 000 30 000 25 000 20 000 15 000 10 000 5 000 0 1996
22 APRIL / MAY 2021
16,5% up – The increased tonnage consumed by the SA roto moulding sector over the past year, to end-February, to just under 45,000 tons is a notable achievement by the sector, in spite of the challenges posed by the Covid lockdown and over-stated demand forecast by government, the latter compiled by exhorbitant mark-ups for tank installation work
1996 8300 2000 9650 16%
as roto sector grows “However, we believe that the industry most certainly played its role in alleviating many water restricted issues, but there are still many more areas that are suffering water restrictions and the supply of water tanks would be one of the solutions in the short to long term – but funding is required to achieve this,” he adds. The SA rotomoulding sector is capable of manufacturing large tanks which can exceed 40 000 litres capacity. Continued demand for sanitation products Robertson says that there is continued demand for sanitation products in the form of ‘porta toilets’ and infrastructure. “These are also areas that the
rotomoulding industry is strong in. But once again, funding is required to generate momentum. The rotomoulding industry is fortunate in that it does not suffer the same issues that the packaging sector faces – most rotomoulded products have a long life expectancy and the polymers used in this sector are specifically formulated to last for eight years and longer in our harsh climate,” he comments. When rotomoulded products reach the end of their life they are generally recycled and used to manufacture products like dust bins and tanks that are used underground, including storage and conservancy tanks. “Rotomoulding can be considered an extremely environmentally friendly industry,” adds Robertson.
2003 17510 25% 2004 19700 12% 2005 19540 -1% 2006 23570 28% 2007
2008 24150 -2% 2009
2013 31100 10.36% 2014
2020 37350 6.7% 2021
With the exception of a few years, the local roto moulding sector has achieved consistent growth over the past two decades plus
APRIL / MAY 2021 23
RotoFloYourHoldings Supplier of Choice
Largest Supplier CompoundedLLDPE LLDPE in Sub Saharan Africa Largest Supplierof ofColour Colour Compounded in Sub Saharan Africa Largest Supplier of Colour Compounded LLDPE in Sub Saharan Africa Colour Compounding of Rotomoulding Speciality Polymers Colour Compounding of Rotomoulding Speciality Polymers ColourPulverising Compounding of Rotomoulding Speciality Polymers andSpeciality Speciality Powders PulverisingofofRotomoulding Rotomoulding and Powders Pulverising of Rotomoulding and Speciality Powders Agents forforPSD PP, LaPlastecnica LaPlastecnica Vents MIGS® Agents PSDRotoworx Rotoworx PP, Vents andand MIGS® Agents for PSD Rotoworx PP, LaPlastecnica Vents and MIGS® Contact: Clive Robertson email@example.com 82 880 49764976 Clive Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org +27 82 880 Contact: Contact: Clive Robertson clive@rotoﬂ o.co.za +27 82+27 880 4976 Michael Böltau email@example.com +27+27 84 540 28962896 Michael Böltau firstname.lastname@example.org 84 540 Michael Böltau tech@rotoﬂ o.co.za +27 84+27 540762896 Andrew Robertson email@example.com 101 7805 Andrew Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org +27 76 101 7805 Andrew Robertson andrew@rotoﬂ o.co.za +27 76+27 101117805 Chanda Mukuka email@example.com 708 3361 (Tel) firstname.lastname@example.org +27 11 708 Beverley Chanda Cooper Mukukasales@rotoﬂ o.co.za +27 11 +27 708 3361 (Tel) 11 708 19193361 (Fax)(Tel) +27 11 708 +27 87 721 1701 (Alt)1919 (Fax) Website: www.rotoflo.co.za www.rotoflo.co.za Address: 28 Hilston Road Website: Website: www.rotoﬂ o.co.za Hilston Road Kya Sands Address: Address: 28 Hilston28Road Sands Johannesburg Kya SandsKyaRandburg, South Africa Johannesburg Randburg,Randburg, Johannesburg South Africa South Africa
ACD RotoFlo ad '019 10.indd 78
Mold In Graphic Systems® www.moldingraphics.com
The ‘Igloo’ concept dwelling being developed by Pioneer Plastics
A large hole was excavated at the Pioneer site in Rosslyn to accommodate the big machine
Big roto machine ﬁnds new home as
Pioneer introduces ‘Igloo’ concept System is well suited for production of large panels A NEW project is underway at Pioneer Plastics, the roto moulding business in Rosslyn, where a large Rotoline machine is being commissioned for the purpose of manufacturing components for a new ‘Igloo’ concept housing solution it is introducing. The big machine, a USA-designed Rotoline machine built in Brazil, was purchased from an SA manufacturer which opted to exit the water tank market in 2020. A large hole was excavated at the Pioneer site in Rosslyn to accommodate the big machine, with the choice being made to go down rather than lift the roof. The large capacity machine, which uses a roto concept
not previously used in South Africa, is particularly suited for the moulding of wide sections and panels for the ‘Igloo’ dwelling. The accommodation concept is intended for use on construction sites or anywhere that temporary residence (and sometimes not so temporary) is required. Ease of transport to site or location is seen as an advantage for the relatively lightweight panels, with the plus that assembly can be achieved in reduced time (even as little as 20 min) as it simply involves the attachment of a series of hinges. At present Pioneer is testing the market, and it is possible that the Igloo could be used in economy housing too. www.pioneerplastics.co.za
Shine a light – rotomoulding in action SOMETIMES a rotational moulding application comes along and takes your breath away...Dansk Rotations APS in Denmark moulded these beautiful street lamps using Matrix Polymers’ Revolve XP9003 Polycarbonate grade. The crystal clear ﬁnish and design is one of the best uses of this grade we have seen, and the lamps are already in use in a town called Køge in Denmark. www.matrixpolymers.com
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Manufacturers in rotomoulding market keen on boosting sustainability quotient Adopting bioderivative materials, cost-effective products becomes priority THE growing use of new technologies and instrumentation such as 3D CAD (computer aided design) has helped companies in the rotomoulding market to develop cost-effective products at scale. Key applications where rotomoulding products ﬁnd widespread use are water treatment, agriculture, and construction industry. Emerging applications include automotive, toy making, and material handling. Sustainable production practices will likely shape the contours of the rotomoulding market in coming years, according to a report recently published by Transparency Market Research, a global market intelligence company, providing global business information reports and services. The global market is projected to clock CAGR of ~6% during 20202030, and surpass valuation of US$ 7.7 billion by the end of the period. The versatility of plastic rotational moulding is a key trend that will drive the demand in several applications where plastics are used.
The global market is projected to clock CAGR of ~6% during 2020-2030
Key ﬁndings of rotomoulding market study Against the backdrop of large outbreaks of Covid-19 especially in 2020, companies in the rotomoulding market have been consolidating
materials. Since rotomoulding involves intensive thermal processes, mostly poly-based resins have been used. New technologies have thus come to the fore to meet these operational challenges for manufacturers. In an attempt to meet the customization need of the manufacturing process, mould pressurization process has been extensively studied among researchers, for instance. In many new or emerging markets, particularly India, there is a proliferation of demands for custom-made rotomoulded products. The processing technique is widely being used in making products such as fuel tanks, chemical tanks, and thermoplastics for solid waste management applications. Also, the demand for rotomoulding with remarkable durability, colour-fading resistant, and brightness is gathering attention among their business buyers. The sheer pace of urbanization in some of the developing regions of the world has spurred the applications of rotomoulded products. Rise in governments’ investments on building public infrastructures in numerous emerging economies is also boosting the demand for rotomoulded products and a rise in demand for residential projects is a key trend bolstering the sales in the rotomoulding market.
APR / MAY 2021 25
their efforts in applications that need urgent attention. They are thus keen on offering rotomoulded products to customers to meet the applications of sewage treatment, medical sector, and trafﬁc management. The shift has helped them maintain their business agility and bottom line. Further, they are focusing on selling cost-effective products to their B2B clients. One of the key trends that have gathered steam among manufacturers of rotomoulding is the focus on developing sustainable products. Thus, the rotomoulding market has witnessing the demand for products made with biodegradable resins and use of more bioderivative materials. These will also help project the image of these companies as socially and ecologically responsible brand. Stakeholders are also investing sizably in plastic recycling infrastructure to this end. The trend will retain its lustre in coming years as well. However, there is a major challenge of the limited choice of raw
NEWS PIONEER-.indd 25
Bevan and Rachel Lambinon with Duncan Gray of Asiatech Marketing
Dedicated facility to produce plastic injection moulded fruit crates WITH a solid foundation, Craft Plastics, which started in 1994 in Gauteng, was built up with blood, sweat and tears. Director Bevan Lambinon has now been able to branch out both in his business offerings and his imagination. Craft Trading and Projects Pty Ltd was launched In February 2020 to facilitate the exponential growth of Craft Plastics which had always been a sole proprietorship. “Our largest project has been running for ﬁve years now and shows no sign of slowing down. We are manufacturing crates for South African fresh produce export and the demand
for South African fruit is massive. We pride ourselves on the quality of the product, the depth of our relationships and the authenticity in the way we operate,” says Bevan. Craft Trading & Projects now has a facility dedicated solely to producing the polypropylene injection moulded crates, and other smaller products, under a BRCGS compliance standard. Asiatech Marketing have supplied ﬁve Borche BS 320-III servo series injection moulding machines to Craft Trading & Projects.
Bodo Möller Chemie expands agreement with BASF in South Africa Resins and additives for the growing coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers industry BODO MÖLLER Chemie South Africa is expanding the exclusive sales & distribution agreement with BASF South Africafor resins and additives. Due to the further expansion of the successful partnership in the ﬁeld of dispersions for the coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers (CASE) industry, Bodo Möller Chemie is now further completing the offerings for local customers. The agreement applies to South Africa and all other countries in southern Africa. “The industrial use of CASE materials continues to grow in African countries. Owing to the exclusive and distribution
agreements with our long-standing partner BASF, Bodo Möller Chemie is reacting to the growing demand of local users,” says Florian Krückl, vice president global business management CASE & textile effects of the Bodo Möller Chemie Group. Coatings for the CASE industry are at the centre of the joint cooperation with BASF, and the focus here is on additives and resins. BASF is a long-standing partner of Bodo Möller Chemie, both companies supply an added value to one another. www.bm-chemie.com
BODO MÖLLER CHEMIE Engineer chemistry 26
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NEWS ASIATECH-.indd 26
Deep insights, deep impact. NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS
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Each machine#&"!)$"#!&& is #&"!)$"#!&& ﬁtted with a Mitex MDH 50 hopper loader, #$"'&%" #$"'&%" !!&""'&$! !!&""'&$! #$"'&%" #$"'&%" !!&""'&$! !!&""'&$! %%&& $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% %%&& $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% % $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% % $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% "$#'"!%' "$#'"!%' #&"!)$"#!&& #&"!)$"#!&& #&"!)$"#!&& #&"!)$"#!&& -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$!* %&& %&&Mitex -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$!* *"$#'"!%' )'#%) * "$#'"!%' )'#%) ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% “Duncan’s knowledge and willingness to assist is unfailing MVL-360 G single phase auto loader, and a-(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* Mitex -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$ %&& **!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* * )'#%) )'#%) **!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* *)'#%) )'#%) ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% * !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** * !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' * %&& * %&& !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** *%&& !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' and his partnership with Hanrah Gray is a great one to be a MMS-V50/20 volumetric dosing unit.*There are also three *&!($"! !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** *&!($"! !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** * !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** * !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* * * &(* * *'#)*!)!%+)*(/%- !&&$*!!'%&$* !&&$*!!'%&$* &(* '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- &' &' ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! &!($"! &!($"! &(*&(* '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- &' &' part!&&$*!!'%&$* of. !&&$*!!'%&$* He is so passionate about his ﬁeld and his expertise Mitex MIC-15 A chillers for mould cooling. &!($"! &!($"! !&&$*!!'%&$* &!($"! &!($"! !&&$*!!'%&$* !&&$*!!'%&$* &(* &(* '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- &(*&(* '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- &' &'&'!&&$*!!'%&$* ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! !$")& !$")& !"$")%&, !"$")%&, * ** *and ** *!#)-!##(#)!%* *!#)-!##(#)!%* &' says '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ !$")& !$")& !"$")%&, !"$")%&, ** * ** *!#)-!##(#)!%* *!#)-!##(#)!%* ofﬁ is invaluable,” Bevan. “Duncan’s exceptional service “Craft Plastics is still in it’s original ces, continues !$")& !$")& !"$")%&, !$")& !"$")%&, !$")& !"$")%&, !"$")%&, * ** * ** *!#)-!##(#)!%* *!#)-!##(#)!%* * ** * ** *!#)-!##(#)!%* *!#)-!##(#)!%* '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$
!" %(+*+(* %(+*+(* *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% **-!##))!)*!%(&-!% ) * ) &+) &+) &#) &#) !)-!##&#&%-/ !)-!##&#&%-/
!" %(+*+(* %(+*+(* *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% and endless knowledge has, and continues to, play a vital to produce plastic end caps and other products for the*-!##))!)*!%(&-!%
!" %(+*+(* %(+*+(* %(+*+(* *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% %(+*+(* *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% ** ) ) * *) ) &+) &+) &+) &#) &+) &#) &#) &#) !)-!##&#&%-/ !)-!##&#&%-/ !)-!##&#&%-/ !)-!##&#&%-/ role in taking Craft to the next level.” steel industry and retail suppliers, as well as to the humble Duncan Gray started in the plastics industry in 1989, furniture producer working from home,” says Bevan. and has based Asiatech Marketing in Centurion. Asiatech Craft Trading and Projects is family-owned and run and Marketing are the sole agents in South Africa for Borche Bevan says he intends to continue to extend and grow the Machinery Co Ltd and Mitex Automation Machinery Co Ltd. family for years to come. Bevan met Duncan Gray of Asiatech Marketing, through • Tel: Rachel 079 500 5686 or Bevan 084 552 5160
APR / MAY 2021
Trade. Trade. Create. Create. Elevate. Elevate.
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Trade. Trade. Trade. Trade. Create. Create. Create. Create. Elevate. Elevate. Elevate. Elevate. > www.meraxis-group.com > www.meraxis-group.com > www.meraxis-group.com > www.meraxis-group.com meraxis-group.com w.meraxis-group.com
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NEWS ASIATECH-.indd 27
2021/02/01 11:06 2021/02/01 11:06
Trends in automotive-parts manufacturing
28 APRIL / MAY 2021
Injection moulding technology will play an even greater role in the future systems, among others. ELECTROMOBILITY, autonomous “Due to the division of the electrical driving and connectivity are among systems and the increasing number of the major trends that are set to distribution boxes, compared to vehicles fundamentally change demands on with a classic combustion engine, vehicles and consequently on how they electric vehicles require a significantly are manufactured. higher number and, at the same time, a The body, the lighting systems, greater variety of connectors that the glazing and the interior are produced by injection must be thought of moulding. The same differently, requiring “Engel is very applies to cable entry new technologies. well positioned to seals. High-precision Injection moulding meet the new challenges. grommet seals technology, with its Innovative Engel are required for diverse options for technologies have already individual cables, process integration gone into mass production, which are injectionand automation, in the field of composites moulded from liquid will play an even silicone,” he adds. greater role in the as well as in surface These aspects of future. It enables technology & the circular economy lightweight construction connectivity. are increasingly coming to be combined with into focus. Sustainable functional integration and high mobility demands that even cost efficiency in mass production. components which are made of fibre The proportion of plastics in vehicles is reinforced plastic composites are increasing accordingly. returned to the materials cycle at the end Franz Füreder, vice president of of the vehicle’s service life. Engel also the Engel Automotive Business Unit has a viable solution to this challenge – in Austria, says electromobility is the Engel organomelt process enables clearly a driver in this topic. This trend the production of components all based is noticeable in the fields of engines, on thermoplastics. battery technology and electrical
“Engel is very well positioned to meet the new challenges. Innovative Engel technologies have already gone into mass production, in the field of composites as well as in surface technology and connectivity. In many cases, further developments now depend on the processors,” says Füreder. “We would like the market to be more forward-thinking and use the innovative products currently available, as this also accelerates development and increases the benefit for the companies earlier.” •E ngel are represented in South Africa by GreenTech Plastics Machinery
Unlock the true potential of your machine! Boost your performance with our applications team. You have in-depth knowledge of your product – our ENGEL application engineers know your injection moulding machine inside and out. Let’s team up to reach maximum effi ciency in your production with ENGEL’s new process optimisation service, performance.boost.
news Tethered caps are caps which remain firmly attached to the bottle after opening and during the product’s service life or life cycle
Requirements for the production
of tethered caps
30 APRIL / MAY 2021
The effects of the new EU directive for caps & closures production FOLLOWING the recent new EU regulation for caps and closures, manufacturers in the EU must ensure that any caps and closures they manufacture must be ‘tethered’ by July 2024 at the latest. Tethered caps are caps which remain firmly attached to the bottle after opening and during the product’s service life or life cycle. “Plastic closures and lids used for beverage containers are among the single-use plastic items most frequently found as litter on the beaches of the European Union. Therefore, the placing on the market of single-use plastic beverage containers should only be allowed if they comply with certain product design requirements to significantly reduce inputs of plastic container closures and lids into the environment,” reads the relevant part of the EU regulation. The regulation applies to the caps of all plastic and composite beverage containers up to 3 litres, but not glass or metal beverage containers with plastic closures or lids, or beverage containers intended for liquid foodstuffs for special medical purposes. The requirements for the design and function of tethered caps resulting from this regulation are currently still being defined and can be summarised as follows at the moment: • T he closure must be compatible with existing preform designs, openings and thread types
• Impact on the end customer should be • • • • • •
kept as low as possible, i.e. comfort of use should not be reduced C losures are compatible with existing filling equipment C losures are connected to the container throughout the entire product life cycle until recycling M aterials for the closures are not changed Impact on existing production lines should be minimised and output not reduced 1 5 times opening and closing of the cap without loss of function must be guaranteed T he connection between cap and container must withstand at least 25 N tensile force
Strategies for the production and design of tethered caps Jörg Leonhartsberger, Engel’s sales director for packaging, says that currently, two main production concepts exist to achieve the new requirements for the production of tethered caps: 1. With the ‘slit concept’, the cap is cut after injection – this has the advantage that current tools can continue to be used, but require an additional work step in production and significantly restricts the design scope of the cap. 2. With the ‘bridge concept’, a band is injected along with the cap, which requires new tools. The advantage
of this concept, however, is that no additional work step is required afterwards, greater freedom of design is possible for the caps and the injection-moulded connection between the cap and the band can withstand higher loads. There are also two dominating variants in the design of tethered caps: • T he ‘lasso design’ refers to caps that are connected to the bottle with a twopart band. The cap is connected to the upper band and the bottle to the lower band. This design is relatively easy to implement with existing tools, usually only the sliders need to be reworked. • T he ‘hinge design’, on the other hand, allows the permanent connection of cap and container by means of a hinge, which optionally also allows the cap to be fixed in a defined position. The use of existing tools is practically impossible. “Due to the high demand in the market, many manufacturers are expected to start with the ‘lasso’ solution first as the hinge design requires high investments in both time as well as financial terms due to the need for a new mould. In addition, the hinge design may require adjustments to the filling line and the feeding of the caps, resulting in further costs,” says Leonhartsberger. As a trend for the future, it is expected that in the course of the changeover
to tethered caps, many producers will consider switching from 1810/1811 cap types to 26mm caps. The advantage here is a possible reduction in cycle time and material usage. For the injection moulding machine, tethered caps require higher injection speeds and increased injection pressure, as the required cavity internal pressure will tend to be higher. The reason for this is the changed filling behaviour with an increased number of filling points on the TE belt. The necessary clamping force, on the other hand, will not increase with a change to a 26mm closure. “Engel’s new precision injection moulding, the Engel e-cap, is an electric precision machine that reduces production costs significantly using the fastest cycle times, optimum dynamics and exceptional efficiency. Product quality is boosted through totally clean production, and uptime is maximised through total reliability and outstanding service,” says Leonhartsberger. “No matter whether you produce caps
The Engel e-cap is the company’s high-performance precision machine tailored for caps & closures production
and closures for soft drinks, ketchup bottles or tetrapaks, the highest output rates and maximum machine availability are absolutely essential to guarantee profitable production. Our two fastest high-performance injection moulding machines – e-cap and e-speed – are both: highly dynamic sprinters, absolutely robust endurance runners and much more,” he adds. Engel’s highly dynamic electric drives combined with intelligent design make its e-cap and e-speed the fastest Engel
injection moulding machines ever. Cycle times are down to less than 2 seconds to enable the production of highly profitable caps and closures and similar products. Components are specially developed for plasticising HDPE with the lowest melt flow index; ensuring trouble-free processing of the material used the most in the caps and closures sector. •E ngel is represented in SA by GreenTech Plastics Machinery
APRIL / MAY 2021 31
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On the move Gary Grainger has joined Mould Base as full-time sales and technical support representative for Gauteng for the KZNbased but nationally active company. Mould Base supplies Yizumi injection moulding machines, Topstar robots (along with a range of ancillaries), mould bases (which is no surprise) Leshan blow moulding machines and other equipment. Gary had been with Victor Fortune SA, supplier of the Taiwan manufacturer’s range on injection and CNC machines. He has 27 years’ experience in the sales and maintenance of injection moulding machines. “He has heaps of experience in installing, troubleshooting and repairing these machines and is a welcome addition to the team,” said Mould Base MD Dave Moore. Wayne Dickson has joined Superthene Films, the Cape Townbased manufacturer of polyolefin-based cling films. Wayne was most recently
at Zibo Plastics in Blackheath, also a film extrusion business. He has spent virtually his entire career to date in film extrusion and pouch making. Superthene has been developing its cling films for about 20 years and has only recently begun to see its potential realized, mainly as a replacement for PVC cling film. Johan Burger has been appointed managing director of Polywrap of Blackheath, Cape Town. Johan joined Polywrap in 2016, prior to which he was at Mpact Plastic Containers. Polywrap is involved in a partnership with Pelmanco Recycling, which operates from across the road in Saxenburg business park (it processes LD, LLD and HD). Danie van Jaarsveld has been appointed director at Malta Recycling in Cape Town. He joined the company in 2016, prior to which he was in the auditing sector, which required a big adjustment. Malta, based in Parow Industria, is one of the leading recyclers
of polyprop and BOPP, in which category its patience and resilience over many years paid off in 2020 when it quite unexpectedly picked up market share following the exit of Transpaco Recycling from this niche sector. Jaco Smith has joined Orchem, the multi-material supply business that is part of the REDA Chemicals Group, a leading specialty chemicals distributor in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. At Orchem, Jaco ironically rejoins André Cornelius, the man who originally employed him at Carst & Walker, a company which Jaco spent close to 20 years with and of which he was most recently GM. It’s business as usual at Orchem and it’s now unlikely that Cornelius will hire Jaco for a third time. Jaco studied chemical engineering and his work experience to date includes stints at AECI, Dunlop Tyres and Continental Compounders. Orchem has offices in Durban and Johannesburg.
Coca-Cola in SA making a difference
32 APRIL / MAY 2021
Improving overall water-use efficiency in manufacturing plants, along supply chain WITH March being Water Month and reminding South Africans of the value of water and the need to protect and conserve our country’s water resources, newly appointed Vice President of the South Africa franchise at Coca-Cola Africa, Phillipine Mtikitiki, prioritised key sustainability issues, such as water stewardship. “Access to safe water remains a challenge in many of the communities in which we operate in South Africa and we, together with our bottling partners, have made it a priority to improve reliable accessibility to safe water, to protect our water resources and replenish the water we use back into nature,” said Mtikitiki. South Africa faces a number of challenges when it comes to water, but Mtikitiki says partnerships between government, the private sector, NGOs
and communities can help to improve reliable access to safe water and protect our water resources in a world affected by climate change. “We are improving the overall water-use efficiency in our manufacturing plants as well as along our supply chain, partnering with government and communities to assess, understand and drive effective, long-term water stress solutions and replenish the water we use back to communities and nature,” she says. When it comes to replenishing the equivalent of the water used in the making of its beverages, The Coca-Cola Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) focuses on replenishing water into nature in key watersheds by clearing alien invasive plants. These consume millions of litres of water each year, resulting in water shortages permanent loss to an
already stressed water system. Since 2019, RAIN has worked with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, World Wide Fund for Nature-South Africa (WWF-SA), Living Lands and the Endangered Wildlife Trust to clear 3 400 hectares in South Africa’s priority catchment areas, helping to replenish over an estimated 15 billion litres of water into nature over the next decade. The programme also provided employment and skills training for 389 women and young people in rural areas of South Africa. Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa’s (CCBSA) Coke Ville Groundwater Harvesting Project, provides access to water in certain water-scarce, remote communities with limited economic opportunities. This has taken place in the community of Tshikota, Limpopo, with five
qualification a few years ago. Tim’s career path has taken him from ArcelorMittal South Africa as a process control manager to Idwala Industrial Holdings as head of engineering and production of their Vereeninging plant. He then moved onto Idwala Industrial Holdings as national sales manager for the lime division. The role at PlastiColors as general manager will afford Tim further learning in manufacturing within the plastics industry. ‘’When Wayne first informed me of his intentions to emigrate I thought replacing him would be near impossible; we were very fortunate to find Tim,” says Michelle Fleming, Plasticolors Director . “He joined us in October last year and has already improved the efficiency of our production processes and reduced our turnaround time on customers’ orders. We look forward to having him as part of the PlastiColors family for many years to come.’’
had been involved with the group for 25 years, during which time she participated in what can only be described as a global programme by roto moulders to market their industry sector more widely. Her enthusiasm for roto moulding was infectious. Quite a number of people from the industry in South Africa visited Australia and New Zealand during this period, where local moulders were generally happy to discuss their experience and technology, so it was beneficial to the SA guys. ARMSA, the local association, also became more globally active during this time and hosted many international guests to South Africa as the global roto drive drew interest.
INTERNATIONAL It’s farewell to Leisa Donlan, outgoing director of the Australasian Roto Moulders Association (ARMA). She
with water stewardship efforts additional community access projects planned for deployment across Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape in March. The target is to deliver over 60 million litres a year by the end of 2021. Relief water also plays an important part of humanitarian operations to bring relief to drought-stricken communities. Since the beginning of the year, CocaCola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) has been working with local municipalities in water-stressed regions in the Northern and Western Cape, leading relief water operations to assist communities. This has been a lifeline for people in these communities that have, at times in the past few weeks, been without water for up to two days. Expanding on its efforts in the Namakwa and Karkarms district in the Northern Cape, CCPB is now working to provide water relief to Merweville, Laingsburg and Touws River. To date,
CCPB has delivered over 3 million litres of water using the tankers it invested in during the drought crisis to assist communities as well as providing specially produced Relief Water in 1L bottles. “We’re confident that through our water stewardship efforts we will continue to make a difference and protect this most valuable resource,” concluded Mtikitiki.
100 Cokeville water wheelers have been distributed in Tshikota Makhado community
The Cokeville solar borehole system pumps water through the filtration system and into a 5 000-litre storage tank situated on a 3M steel tank stand.
APRIL / MAY 2021 33
Metair group CEO Theo Loock has retired and been succeeded by Riaz Haffejee. The latter kicked off with the good news that the automotive components and energy storage business has resumed dividends after cancelling its 2019 payout due to Covid-19. Among the converting businesses owned either partly for fully by Metair are Automold (Durban/ East London), Hesto Harnesses (Jhb), Lumotech (Uitenhage) and Smiths Manufacturing and Smiths Plastics (Durban). Timothy Braithwaite has been appointed the new GM of PlastiColors following the relocation of Wayne Mollison to the UK at the end of 2020. After completing his BEng (Hons) in Environmental Engineering at the University of Pretoria in 2004, Tim has covered a range of roles, over several industries, from production and maintenance to HR and marketing. His enthusiasm and drive has seen him climb the corporate ladder to a very senior level in less than two decades. Tim further added to his management toolkit by successfully obtaining his MBA
Safripol signs operation clean Aligns with Safripol’s ‘Let’s Plastic Responsibly’ campaign SAFRIPOL, one of Africa’s leading polymer producers and marketers, has signed the Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) pledge, an international stewardship programme designed to prevent the loss of plastic resin (pellets, ﬂakes, and powders) and ensure that this material is kept out of the marine environment. According to Gert Claasen, technology and innovation executive at Safripol, the OCS pledge ﬁrmly aligns with their recently launched ‘Let’s Plastic Responsibly’ campaign, which encourages the responsible use of plastics. “From a Safripol perspective, it was important for us to pledge our commitment to Operation Clean Sweep as the entire plastics industry needs to work together to create an environment which is free from plastic pollution. The signing of the pledge demonstrates Safripol’s leadership and commitment in this regard, by putting mechanisms in place aimed at
keeping plastic resin out of the environment and ensuring that plastic remains a resource in the materials loop,” Claasen said. Safripol had already made a commitment to the OCS Pledge in December 2020 and commemorated this declaration by hosting their annual ocean clean-up event at the Umgeni River mouth and the Blue Lagoon beach in KwaZulu-Natal. The pledge was formally signed at the company’s Sasolburg operations on 19 February this year. Douw Steyn, Plastics|SA’s sustainability director, ofﬁciated the ceremony and presented an overview of the OCS implementation plan before conducting a walk-about through their facility to identify possible areas of improvement. Avashnee Chetty, Safripol sustainability manager, explained that one of the main reasons for plastic resin ending up in the environment, is due to poor waste management practices. This can be as a result of sub-optimal operations, poor
SAPPMA encouraging members to sign OCS pledge Ensuring pellets, ﬂakes, powders kept out of the marine environment THE Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has become the latest plastics industry association in South Africa to sign the Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) pledge. SAPPMA currently represents more than 80% of the plastic pipe manufacturers in South Africa. SAPPMA CEO Jan Venter, said it was important for the plastic industry to be committed to safe and responsible manufacturing processes. “We will be encouraging our members to sign the OCS pledge in their own personal capacities, but from SAPPMA’s side we wanted to go on record with our commitment to prevent pellet loss,” Venter said. He added that SAPPMA will be facilitating information sessions between Plastics SA (the ofﬁcial licensee of OCS in SA) and their members during the next few months. During these sessions, Plastics SA sustainability director Douw Steyn will be explaining the OCS implementation plan and the detailed toolkit that has been developed to assist companies to develop safe and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes and daily operations. 34
APR / MAY 2021
SA’S ﬁrst plastics
Recyclers play an integral part in the plastics value c TUFFLEX Plastics Products has become the ﬁrst plastics recycler in South Africa to sign the Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) pledge. Over the past 25 years, Tufﬂex has built a reputation for being one of the country’s most successful plastics recyclers. The company’s raw material division supplies recycled polymers to a large section of the local plastics industry and offers a toll recycling service to converters. Explaining the importance of making a public commitment to work towards achieving zero plastics resin loss during the conversion, manufacturing and transportation stages, Tufﬂex managing director Charles Muller said: “Recyclers play an integral part in the plastics value chain and therefore have the same responsibility as all other stakeholders to ensure that there is minimal leakage and spillage of granules and other unnecessary waste into the environment. Tufﬂex remains committed to being a responsible and environmentally conscious player within the plastics sector”.
sweep pledge housekeeping, poor bagging and storage practices, and losses suffered during transportation. To prevent this, Safripol has implemented many of the interventions suggested in the OCS toolkit, developed by Plastics|SA. Both the company’s Sasolburg and Durban facilities are ISO 14001:2015 certiﬁed, which ensures that optimal environmental waste management practices are implemented throughout its operations. Additionally, to minimise possible exposure to pellet leakage in their supply chain, Safripol also has emergency clean-up protocols in place with all its approved distributors to ensure that no resin is lost during distribution. “As a polymer and plastic pellet producer, we feel that this is only one of many steps the plastics industry as a whole needs to take to ensure we shape our world responsibly for the future. Zero resin leakage into the environment can only be truly realised Gert Claasen, technology and innovation executive at Safripol, and Douw Steyn, Plastics|SA’s sustainability if the entire value-chain is mobilised around this cause. director, signing the OCS pledge www.safripol.com
recycler signs OCS pledge
tics value chain
Charles Muller of Tufﬂex and Douw Steyn of Plastics|SA sign the OCS Pledge (Covid-19 masks were removed for photograph purposes)
AVIENT Corporation, a premier provider of specialized and sustainable material solutions and services, has launched Rejoin™ PCR masterbatch for polyoleﬁn packaging applications. Made with post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyoleﬁn as a carrier resin, Rejoin PCR masterbatch enables a 100% PCR bottle or part to be manufactured Until now, masterbatch has generally been made using virgin material as a carrier resin. This means that at typical let-down ratios, the ﬁnished product would contain 3 to 5% non-recycled plastic. With major consumer goods companies actively deﬁning sustainability goals of 100% PCR polyoleﬁn packaging, Avient has responded by developing Rejoin PCR Masterbatch in customizable colours and special effects. Rejoin PCR Masterbatch combines pigments and functional additives into a single solution without negatively affecting colour or mechanical properties. It can be added during production using standard equipment with little to no impact on processing, and allows for full recyclability of the end product. New Rejoin™ PCR Masterbatch can be used for polyoleﬁn packaging in a range of customizable colors and special effects
APR / MAY 2021 35
“Our management team and employees all feel equally passionate about keeping our environmental footprint as small as possible by managing the polymers we use responsibly and preventing any accidental release into the environment. However, we need as many companies as possible to join us in this charge. We challenge all other plastics recyclers to also take the OCS pledge – it quite simply is the right thing to do!” Muller addes.
New PCR masterbatch makes 100% PCR a reality for polyoleﬁn packaging
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EPR Strict fee targets per have tonne. been Strict targets have been and industry. large-scale recyclers. need to be met over the next five years. The new Section 18 regulations are athis welcome step forward informal waste pickers, small medium-sized informal collectors waste pickers, sm EPR will see an investment in collection infrastructure. Not only or post-industrial phase. Intensive consumer awareness working closely with government as process unfolds. We set set by Government, by Government, for yearly collection for and yearly recycling, collection that and recycling, that and The new Section 18 regulations areby a engaging welcome step forward EPR will see an investment in collection infrastructure. 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SUSTAINABILITY Bags of polystyrene collected for recycling
SA polystyrene industry
steps up to help clean the Hennops River Supreme Mouldings was ﬁrst organisation in SA to collect EPS
THE increased rainfall in Pretoria over the past few weeks has resulted in an increase of waste collection in the socalled ‘poly-island’ litter trap set up by the Hennops Revival NGO. Hearing about the large amount of polystyrene that was collected, the Polystyrene Association of SA and their members were quick to jump into action. Supreme Mouldings (a member of the Polystyrene Association of SA), reached out to Hennops Revival and offered to collect the polystyrene so that it could be recycled. They have committed to donate R1 to the Hennops Revival Project for every kilogram that they collect. At 3 metres high, the poly-island is so big that a person can easily stand on it. “The rain has made a bit harder to go into the water and do usual clean-ups around the river. However, we had to start cleaning it as soon as possible, because it gets very full, very quickly,” says Tarryn Johnston, founder of Hennops Revival. Despite the obstacles facing them, Tarry and her team says they managed to collect 480 bags of polystyrene. Hearing about the large amount of polystyrene that was collected, the Polystyrene Association of SA and their members were quick to jump into action. Earlier this year,
the Association made an urgent appeal to households and businesses for their used polystyrene. Demand continues to outstrip supply and recyclers ﬁnd themselves in desperate need of material that can be recycled into picture frame mouldings, skirtings, curtain rods, concrete bricks and various other applications. Gary Formato of Supreme Mouldings (a member of the Polystyrene Association of SA), reached out to Hennops Revival and offered to collect the polystyrene so that it could be recycled. The company houses a state-of-the-art recycling plant in Roodepoort, Gauteng where they recycle polystyrene into raw materials to produce a wide range of their architectural and decorative moulding products. “Supreme Mouldings was the ﬁrst organisation in South Africa to collect Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) materials. We’ve been committed to recycling since 2005 and see it as our duty as members of the community to ensure that we all play our part in defending the environment,” Gary says. Supreme Mouldings appeals to companies that use and accumulate EPS to contact them to collect the material for recycling. In return, they have committed to donate R1 to the Hennops Revival Project for every kilogram that they collect.
Recycled plastic homes are heading to sub-Saharan Africa Patented technology allows building elements made of 100% recycled plastic NORWEGIAN startup Othalo is launching low-cost modular houses made from plastic waste, set to make their debut in sub-Saharan Africa. The homes are designed by architect Julien de Smedt and are part of a collaboration with UN-Habitat – which focuses on building safe and sustainable cities. Around eight tons of plastic goes into each Othalo home, which could potentially be made using materials collected from the local area. As well as recycling waste, De Smedt has said this method could answer a shortage of building materials in parts of the world that are in dire need of housing. 38
The initial concept designs for the houses show blocky, two-storey buildings with covered roof terraces and balconies. De Smedt based them partly on existing structures found in fast-growing metropolises on the continent, such as Nairobi, echoing how they connect indoor and outdoor space and create ventilation and shade. Othalo plans to put the ﬁrst of these homes into production in 2022, estimating that there’s enough plastic waste in the world to complete
a billion houses using this method. As well as homes, the company hopes to use plastic for storage units, shelters, schools and hospitals.
APR / MAY 2021
In all, the annual capacity of the ALPLA recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to approximately 130 000 ton of PET and 60 000 tons of PE
€50 million a year for recycling Expansion and globalisation of recycling activities to be expedited between now and 2025
THE ALPLA Group is to invest up to €50 million a year on average between now and 2025 in further expanding its recycling activities. In particular, it plans to globalise its activities in the area of high-quality recyclates to close the materials cycle in as many regions as possible. In 2018, the ALPLA Group signed the Global Commitment of the New Plastics Economy (an initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation) and committed to spending a total of €50 million to expand its recycling activities up to 2025. ALPLA is now signiﬁcantly increasing this investment target. From 2021, an average of €50 million a year will be ringfenced speciﬁcally for recycling. Günther Lehner, chairman of the Company Advisory Board, stresses that the company will focus on high-quality application areas in new regions: “Our aim is to establish
a bottle-to-bottle cycle – including in regions in which the recycling of waste does not currently play a large part.” ALPLA moved into HDPE recycling in 2019 and this is being continued with the construction of a plant in Toluca, Mexico, which is scheduled to go into production in the third quarter of 2021. The company is also currently creating a PET and HDPE recycling plant in Thailand together with a cooperation partner. Capacities at the existing plants in Austria, Poland and Germany have been expanded over the past two years and just recently, ALPLA announced the installation of an rPET extrusion system at one of its own preform plants in Italy. In all, the annual capacity of the ALPLA recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to approximately 130 000 ton of PET and 60 000 tons of PE. www.alpla.com
Dow and Henkel bring sustainability to hot melt adhesives New AFFINITY RE is one of the ﬁrst bio-based high-performance polyoleﬁn elastomers on the market
industry and ultimately sourced from sustainably managed forests. Consumers, brand owners, regulators and the industry are demanding change. The use of biobased material in consumer goods and packaging has been identiﬁed as an important driver for sustainable sourcing and lever to reduce environmental footprint. With a leading position in sustainable solutions,
Henkel has anticipated these demands and believes in the necessity of driving change within the industry. This can only be achieved through close collaboration with industry partners along the value chain. The AFFINITY RE range consists of three grades with 100% bio-based content on a mass balance basis to optimize the carbon footprint of hot melt adhesives.
Hot melt in the tank
APR / MAY 2021
DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business division of Dow, has expanded its high-performance AFFINITY™ GA polyoleﬁn elastomers (POE) with the launch of bio-based AFFINITY RE. This solution has enabled Dow customer Henkel’s Technomelt SUPRA ECO line to achieve another milestone in both companies’ sustainability goals. As consumers demand more sustainable solutions from suppliers and brands, AFFINITY RE offers an alternative to fossil fuel-based products and can help to reduce the carbon footprint whilst delivering the same well-known performance as the entire AFFINITY GA range. To achieve this, AFFINITY RE is made using biobased feedstock such as tall oil – a byproduct created by the paper-milling
HolyGrail2.0: moving to the next stage with Arburg Using a digital watermark to separate plastic waste into homogenous types WITH its arburgGREENworld programme, Arburg is demonstrating its commitment to the circular economy and resource conservation. Work on innovative technologies for a closed-loop economy is forging ahead in collaboration with prestigious partners. These innovations include the ‘HolyGrail2.0’ project for separating plastic packaging into homogenous types via digital watermarks. The project has recently moved to the next phase and since September 2020 is being taken forward under the auspices of the European Brands Association AIM. More than 85 companies and organisations from every stage of the value chain are involved in the project. Of these, Arburg is the only manufacturer of injection moulding machines. “As early as the pilot project phase of HolyGrail, we were able to demonstrate the fantastic potential of the digital watermark technology based on the example of IML containers made from mono-material,” explains Bertram Stern, packaging and circular economy manager at Arburg. The digital watermarks are codes the size of postage stamps which are applied directly to the surface of a product or to its label but are not visible to end users and consumers. The individual tile patterns are created through micro-topological variations in the carrier material and multiplied to create a graph which resembles a mosaic.
‘Smart’ injection moulding machines from Arburg are able to process recyclates of varying quality. A packaging version of an Allrounder 820 H produced IML containers with digital watermarks
They create a ‘digital passport’ of which a fragment is enough to call up information about the manufacturer, for example, or about the materials processed and whether or not the packaging is suitable for food. High-resolution cameras built into sorting equipment read out the information from the digital passport. At supermarket checkouts or for end users and consumers, this information is read out by scanners or using an app on a mobile device. This technology provides a means of querying all kinds of additional information (including about availability, use or disposal, for example) throughout the entire service life of a product. Arburg has been working intensively for some time now to gain experience of the technology based on digital watermarks. In the pilot phase of HolyGrail, the packaging version of a hybrid Allrounder 820 H was able to produce pairs of IML containers made from bio-based PP in a cycle time of 5.8 seconds. An IML automation system inserted the associated PP labels from partner company Verstraete and removed the ﬁnished parts at the same time. The labels contained the digital watermarks. Information about the contents of the mono-material packaging as well as the use and disposal of the product could be queried via the corresponding app. www.arburg.com
New, more resistant materials for port fenders
APR / MAY 2021
With up to 50% recycled content THE Durpromat Project, funded by the Spanish Valencian Innovation Agency, is developing new materials to make ship-to-berth fenders that are more resistant to impact, UV radiation and the action of marine organisms. These new materials will be fully recyclable and made with up to 50% recycled material. They may also be used to make signage products, engines, footbridges and ﬁsh farms. Ship-to-berth fenders, currently manufactured with 100% virgin HDPE, are subject to a constant onslaught of impacts, marine microorganisms and UV radiation,
which trigger their deterioration and make replacement necessary. Aimplas, the Plastics Technology Centre, in conjunction with the Microbiology and Ecology Department of the Universitat de València, is participating in the Durpromat project, led by the industrial company Durplastics. In particular, the antifouling properties of HDPE will be improved through the use of environmentally friendly additives that comply with European biocide regulations. UV light and heat are the primary causes of fenders’ loss of properties.
Therefore, to increase the new material’s UV resistance and thermal degradation, work is being done to ensure that the material does not degrade by more than 30% and to improve its impact resistance by at least 20%. The new materials will also be 100% recyclable. www.aimplas.es
Tetra Pak introduces certiﬁed recycled polymers INEOS provides ﬁrst batch of attributed recycled polyethylene (PE) SWISS company, Tetra Pak, has introduced certiﬁed recycled polymers, becoming the ﬁrst company in the food and beverage packaging industry to be awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certiﬁcation. Its carton packages integrating attributed recycled polymers are now available for food and beverage manufacturers. This move marks a key step in Tetra Pak’s approach to circularity which includes: minimising dependency on fossil-based resources; responsibly sourcing raw materials; designing packages for enhanced recycling and reduced litter; and building partnerships to develop effective collection and recycling infrastructure worldwide. Alejandro Cabal, vice president packaging solutions, Tetra Pak said: “As signatories of the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment we have pledged to incorporate a minimum of 10% recycled plastic content on average across carton packages sold in Europe by 2025, subject to suitable food-grade recycled plastics being technically and economically available. Having worked closely with INEOS and RSB in the
past few months, we are now able to offer carton packages integrating attributed recycled polymers, further enabling the sustainability transformation of the food industry.” Using recycled material can contribute to increased recycling rates and make recycling more economically viable. But reliable sourcing and quality can be a challenge, due to the limited availability of food-grade recycled plastics in the market at present. With this in mind, Tetra Pak initiated a close supplier collaboration to explore using recycled polymers in carton packages and identiﬁed INEOS to provide the ﬁrst batch of attributed recycled polyethylene (PE). The global manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products is leveraging an advanced recycling process to convert waste plastic into high-quality polymers, replacing oilbased products with material featuring identical speciﬁcations and the same level of product purity as virgin plastic. Cabal added: “RSB certiﬁes that the attributed recycled polymers used in the caps, tops and/or coatings of Tetra Pak carton packages are produced sustainably. Being the ﬁrst in our sector to be awarded the RSB Advanced
Products certiﬁcation represents yet another milestone in our journey towards the world’s most sustainable food package: a carton that is fully made from renewable or recycled materials, is convenient and safe – hence enabling a resilient food system – is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral. Qualifying and providing assurance of mass balance claims is critical to ensure transparency and accountability within the system, therefore enhancing conﬁdence from the end-user perspective.” “There is a long way to go before plant-based and recycled polymers become mainstream. We are working with partners to further explore sustainable polymers, while we continue to assess the use of alternative plant-based products and recycled ﬁbre-based materials. Our long-term ambition is clear, for all our packaging to use renewable or recycled polymers, ending the extraction of fossil feedstock. Coordinated action and advocacy by multiple companies and other actors is required to support the transition to a low carbon circular economy,” Cabal concluded. www.tetrapak.com/en-za
Milliken joins drive to bio-based, biodegradable PHA polymers in single-use packaging Goal is to expand the application range of PHA
commercialization and adoption of PHA polymers through advocacy and knowledge sharing. Milliken will collaborate with other GO!PHA members to prioritize technical issues and explore ways to solve them by adapting existing high-performance Milliken additives or developing new technologies. “Milliken’s participation in GO!PHA supports our corporate sustainability goals by giving us a collaborative platform to tackle the challenges of ocean plastics and natural resource conservation,” noted Allen Jacoby, senior vice president, plastics additives, for Milliken’s Chemical Division. “Replacing traditional materials with bio-based, biodegradable PHA polymers can provide lower impact options for food service and ﬂexible packaging. We look forward to working with other GO!PHA members on enhancements that can make PHA polymers more appealing to product designers, converters and consumers.”
APR / MAY 2021
MILLIKEN has joined the Global Organization for PHA (GO!PHA) to help address the technical and market development challenges related to polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biodegradable biopolymers. Milliken will bring to GO!PHA its expertise in polymer chemistry to help improve the processing, performance, aesthetics and other important attributes of PHA. The goal is to expand the application range of this family of materials into more packaging applications. GO!PHA is a coalition of industry and academic stakeholders dedicated to advancing the development,
Aerontec launches foam processing plant
Aerontec’s latest acquisition – a massive new, ultra-fast foam cutting machine for rigid foams – the only one of its type in Africa
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Ultra-fast foam cutting machine for rigid foams – the only one in Africa AERONTEC Composite Technology has put the past couple of months to excellent use by expanding the business to include a new 520m2 foam processing plant in premises just up the road from its existing factory in Cape Town, which is also undergoing expansive renovations. The beginning of February saw Aerontec open its new PVC foam processing plant with the addition of a massive new, ultra-fast foam cutting machine for rigid foams – the only one of its type in Africa. The machine was bought through Swiss company, SKY Composites AG, who became shareholders in Aerontec a year ago. The foam processing plant is run by four Aerontec employees, with another two to be employed soon. The new foam cutting machine can cut PVC foam into sheets as thin as 2mm thickness, increasing in one-quarter millimetre increments up to maximum block thickness. Graham Blyth, Aerontec’s MD, says the company has been exceptionally busy with the demand from the local market for foam cutting and processing. Where typically boat builders had to wait up to 12 weeks for their cut and processed foam to be delivered from abroad, they now have a service virtually on their ‘doorstep’ which can deliver much faster. The majority of the rigid foam currently sitting in the new
premises is pre-sold, with some space left over for unsold stock so it’s immediately available when customers need it. Aerontec has also recently rented warehouse space to accommodate huge stocks of foam. One-minute cutting time “The new foam cutting machine can process a sheet of PVC foam in just one minute, compared to our existing old machine, which is also good, but takes about five minutes to cut a sheet of foam,” says Graham. “We’re the only company in Africa that can offer this service right now,” he adds. Aerontec is the official agent for Structural PVC Foam incorporating MYcell and FLEXcell, a new product only available since January from Aerontec. FLEXcell is a flexible core material with high toughness, impact resistance and high performing lightness, and is ideal for high-speed marine hulls. Graham comments that setting up the foam processing plant was a difficult and expensive undertaking. “For example, it was a huge investment in warehousing; the electrical connections for the high power 3-phase required by these machines was extremely expensive, and we also had to do extensive training to ensure operator safety,” he adds.
New foam drilling machine Aerontec has also invested in a drilling machine which makes uniform holes in the cut foam to aid the vacuum infusion and vacuum bagging process. The machines available to buy are massive and take up a lot of floor space as they are horizontally oriented, something Graham didn’t want. He solved this issue by getting together with local engineers, to build a prototype vertical drilling machine that occupies a third of the space. It works so well that Graham has ordered a second machine which should be installed by July. www.aerontec.co.za
The new foam cutting machine can cut PVC foam into sheets as thin as 2mm thickness, increasing in one-quarter millimetre increments up to maximum block thickness.
Aerontec MD, Graham Blyth with Lawrence Bhebhe, Aerontec’s chief foam cutting operator
Above: Aerontec has built a prototype vertical drilling machine that occupies a third of the space compared to the horizontal machines APRIL / MAY 2021 43
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Fibre reinforced composites market size
to reach $131.6 billion by 2027 Glass fibres segment held lion’s share in 2019, accounting for nearly three-fifths of the market ACCORDING to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global fibre reinforced composites market was pegged at $84.5 billion in 2019, and is projected to garner $131.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2020 to 2027. Rise in demand from the automotive and aerospace sector, use of fibre reinforced composites in the electronics and electrical industry, and demand from the construction sector have boosted the global fibre reinforced composites market. However, high raw material price hinders the market growth. On the contrary, increase in wind energy markets and emerging market for recycled composite materials are expected to open lucrative opportunities for the market players in the future. The Covid-19 pandemic hit the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries in an unprecedented way. As these are the prime end-user industries of fibre reinforced composites, the demand and
for nearly three-fifths of the market. sales declined during the pandemic. However, the carbon fibres segment is Several governments declared projected to register the highest CAGR lockdown and suspended manufacturing of 8.0% from 2020 to 2027. activities as well as banned international On the basis of resin type, the travel. thermoset composites segment Consumer spending patterns dominated in 2019, also changed during the On the basis contributing to nearly pandemic and customers of resin type, the three-fifths of the market. delayed purchasing new thermoset composites The segment of the vehicles to minimise thermoplastic composites spending, reducing segment dominated, is projected to register demand for new contributing to nearly the highest CAGR of automotives. The lack of three-fifths 6.3% during the forecast workforce and increased of the market. period. prices of raw materials The global fibre reinforced hampered the pace of composites market is analyzed construction of new infrastructure. across several regions with the market Major sports events scheduled in 2020 across Asia-Pacific holding the lion’s were postponed in 2021, which is share in 2019, accounting for around expected to affect the sale of sporting two-fifths of the market. In addition, goods. the region is anticipated to showcase The global fibre reinforced the highest CAGR of 7.4% during the composites market is segmented on the forecast period. basis of fibre type, resin type, end-user industry, and region. Based on fibre type, the glass fibres segment held www.alliedmarketresearch.com the lion’s share in 2019, accounting
Perseverance rover takes composites to Mars Composite structures played a large role in the rover’s successful landing THE largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world, Perseverance – and one that is supported by numerous composite materials and structures – touched down on Mars on 18 February after a 203-day journey travelling 293 million miles (472 million kilometres). Packed with groundbreaking
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technology, the Mars 2020 mission was launched in July 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. About the size of a car, the 1 026kg robotic geologist and astrobiologist will undergo several weeks of testing before it begins its two-year science investigation of Mars’ Jezero Crater.
Prior to its July 2020 launch, NASA’s team equipped Perseverance with a host of advanced structures, instruments and systems to ensure its success on the face of Mars. Composite structures have played a large role in the rover’s successful landing – and will continue to do so for
New carbon fibre PPA could replace aluminum BASF says that its Ultramid Advanced polyphthalamide (PPA) range now includes carbon-fibre reinforced grades with fillings of 20, 30 and 40%. According to the company, the new materials are suitable for lightweight parts that can safely replace aluminum and magnesium without loss in stiffness and strength and are electrically conductive. The reinforced materials also have high dimensional stability due to low water uptake, excellent chemical and hydrolysis resistance, high strength and modulus, BASF said. They can be used to make automotive structural parts for body, chassis and powertrain; pumps, fans,
gears and compressors in industrial applications; and components in consumer electronics. According to BASF Ultramid Advanced N3HC8 with 40% carbon fibre filling shows a better strength and modulus at 80°C (conditioned) than magnesium or aluminum, while carbonfibre grades reinforced with 20% carbon fibres are about 20% lighter than PA6 or PA66 filled with 50% glass fibres. “Our new PPA compounds with carbon fibres are the ideal metal replacement,” said Michael Pilarski, PPA business management at BASF. “Lately, we have seen safety issues at magnesium producers in different countries, which makes the supply
BASF’s Ultramid Advanced grades with carbon fibre reinforcement
rather unpredictable. Producing parts out of magnesium or aluminum also requires additional post-processing and tooling which increases system costs. Given the opportunities for 25 to 30% weight reduction with our new PPA grades, we can offer a safe, cost-efficient and high-performance alternative for parts traditionally manufactured from metal.” www.basf.com
A lightweight thermoset based on renewable raw materials LORENZ Kunststofftechnik GmbH and the Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe (IVW) have collaborated to find ways to make a thermoset composite with a lower CO2 footprint. The result is a weight-reduced semi-finished product based on renewable raw materials of organic origin. The reduction in density gives this new semi-finished product possibilities for use as a lightweight material in fields like
future endeavours. During its descent to Mars, for example, the landing parachute that was deployed – a vital aspect to touchdown, and the support of the rover’s weight – incorporates Teijin Aramid’s (Arnhem, Netherlands) high-performance para-aramid fibres in the parachute’s suspension cords and parachute riser. Further, the aeroshell entry vehicle that served as a heat shield to defend Perseverance against the intense heat during its entry descent to Mars’ surface
automotive manufacture, e-mobility and infrastructure construction. To improve the ecological balance, the company sources raw materials regionally within 500km for the expected commercialization of the project results. This sustainable plastic is flame-proof to UL 94 V0 4 mm HB and mould-resistant.
was built by Lockheed Martin and used carbon fibre/cyanate ester prepreg for the structural support. The prepreg materials have also found a home on the structural portions of the rover’s landing deck. Currently attached to the belly of Perseverance, the diminutive Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration that will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet using rotor blades that are constructed from carbon fibre and foam core.
Composite structures have played a large role in the Perseverence rover’s successful landing – and will continue to do so for future endeavours
APRIL / MAY 2021 45
World’s first carbon fibre smartphone HyRECM Technology unlocks the potential for carbon based composites in connected devices A smartphone that sets new standards for lightness, slim design and sustainability has made its debut on the market – the Carbon 1 MK II from Berlinbased start-up Carbon Mobile. “Designed and engineered in Germany, the Carbon 1 MK II reignites miniaturization and drives sustainability in connected devices by replacing plastics and aluminium with advanced composite materials for the first time”, says Firas Khalifeh, CEO of Carbon Mobile. The base material for the production of the housing is a thermoplastic composite from the Lanxess Tepex dynalite product range. It is reinforced with fabrics of incredibly fine 1K continuous carbon fibre filaments. “Our composite material, which we developed for extremely lightweight components subjected to considerable mechanical stress, does more than just allow exceptionally thin wall thicknesses. In fact, with its high degree of strength and rigidity, it also helps to make the housing very robust for day-to-day use,” explains Philipp Genders, Tepex expert in application development at Lanxess. “In addition, the matte-black carbon-fibres give the smartphone a truly high-tech look.” Despite their advanced properties for producing robust yet lightweight structures, carbon fibres behave in an
electromagnetic shielding manner. This means that they block radio signals, forming a Faraday cage that rather than allowing signals to pass through, instead disperses them around the outer body of the device. Connected devices with carbon fibre, for this reason have been viewed as an impossibility by the tech industry. Following four years of research and development, Carbon Mobile’s engineers have developed a revolutionary process to unlock carbon fibre’s potential for connected devices. The patented HyRECM (Hybrid Radio Enabled Composite Material) technology fuses carbon fibres together with a complementary composite material capable of RF signal permeation. To further boost the devices connectivity, a unique 3D-printed conductive ink is integrated into the carbon fibre structure. The result is the first ‘radio enabled’ carbon fibre based material. Applied for the first time in the Carbon 1 MK II, the new technology produces a robust carbon fibre-based housing structure that is not only incredibly thin and light, but also made from less than five percent plastic. Following the same construction principle as the load-bearing chassis of a Formula 1 car, the housing is designed as a monocoque, or ‘single shell’. As a result, it makes optimized use of the
Top: The base material for Carbon Mobile’s HyRECM Technology is a thermoplastic composite from the Lanxess Tepex dynalite product range. It is reinforced with fabrics of incredibly fine 1K continuous carbon fibre filaments Above: Designed and engineered in Germany, the Carbon 1 MK II from Carbon Mobile is the world’s first smartphone produced with advanced carbon fibre technology
extreme rigidity of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). This contributes significantly to the thin wall thicknesses and low weight of the smartphone and also enables miniaturization. That is because there is no bulky reinforcement taking up space on the inside of the housing. The cutting-edge monocoque design enables a device that weighs only 125 grams, a third lighter than conventional smartphones. At just 6.3 millimetres, it is also 25% thinner as well. www.carbonmobile.com www.tepex.com
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JEC Observer – new version THE JEC Group has published the new 2021 edition of the JEC Observer: Current trends in the global composites industry 20202025, written in collaboration with Estin & Co. JEC Observer is the annual barometer of the composites industry. 2020 has been an exceptional year, on account of the very nature of the crisis and its scope. The composites have suffered from the impacts of the health crisis and there are no signs
that indicate that it will be any different once this new crisis has abated explaining certain figures. Although the demand remains strong in some regions and some sectors. This new JEC Group publication is an updated global composites market study, which provides a forecast growth up to 2025. 2020 has been an exceptional year, on account of the very nature of the crisis and its scope. Impact on the composites industry has certainly been
felt and all regions and sectors of application were affected, with the exception of Wind, which continues to prosper. This 2021 JEC Observer also provides good reasons to think that better days are ahead with hydrogen stirring up growing interest and all dimensions of the environment – material, waste, processing, recycling – represent opportunities to be seized. The book can be ordered at www.jeccomposites.com/product/
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The importance of fibre formation – fibre alignment in composites Economic value is an obvious benefit of the hybrid technique When producing composites, placement is key. Here Lauri Turunen, product business owner at leading manufacturer of pultruded composites, Exel Composites, investigates the possibilities of fibre alignment in composite materials. When looking to invest in composite materials, potential users may assume that the fibres that determine the material’s performance can only be structured in a certain way. This could ring especially true for those who are accustomed to working with isotropic structures, such as those that make up steel and aluminium, where the material has identical properties in all directions, at any given point. Using materials with isotropic structures can be beneficial. Their unidirectional arrangement means that when a specific load is applied at any point, the material will exhibit the same strength, stress and strain. In many other instances, however, product engineers may not want their materials to possess an entirely uniform structure. In these cases, engineers should unlock the possibilities of composite materials. Bear the load When using composites, the way the material’s fibres are aligned impacts the mechanical performance of the structure. Composite manufacturers can place fibres in such a way that the finished product boasts a set of benefits that are bespoke to that application. But before a manufacturer begins designing the composite solution, they must thoroughly analyse its intended uses.
First, the load case of the material’s destined application must be defined. Determining the load case establishes the amount of force the material may be placed under, and which parts of the profile will receive greater or lesser loads. There are many questions to consider when thinking about the potential load of a composite application: Will the load be axial, or does the product need to transfer some torsional or shear forces? If the product is bent, in which direction does it bend? And what are the expected impacts of the product? Understanding the load case of the product means that the manufacturer can make sure the position of the material’s fibres reflects its required strength. If the end product will be placed under strain in certain areas, or if the shape of the profile has an impact on its load, then the alignment of the composite’s fibres can account for this. Alignment methods Once the main loads are known, laminate layup can be designed in a way that means fibres are directed to suit the composite’s mechanical needs. A laminate refers to the fibrous layers of composite that are joined to form the finished profile. When considering fibre alignment, it’s important to use what’s needed – and nothing more. Sometimes additional lamination is required to boost mechanical properties. For example, this may involve placing a thinner layer of carbon fibre on the top layer of the laminate instead of a thicker layer of
fibreglass. Carbon fibre is often hailed as a more expensive option, particularly when compared to fibreglass, but its high tensile strength and stiffness at a lower weight means that a thinner amount of carbon fibre can be used to keep costs low and maintain a high performance. Multiaxial, or woven, fabrics offer another alignment method. In these fabrics, the mechanical performance of the reinforcement is enhanced by stitching alternately oriented layers of unidirectional fibres together in such a way that the fibres themselves remain straight and do not ‘stretch’ under load. When forming a multiaxial fabric, producers can be precise with the fibre alignment, which can be placed in many different orientations, to give the material its strength and stiffness properties exactly where they are required. Other alignment structures may use pull-winding, a continuous composite manufacturing technique during which fibres are aligned helically in a spiral formation around the profile to create a mix of multiaxial and helical fibres. The advantage of the pull-winding method is in the fibre alignment possibilities of both the crosswise and longitudinal directions that enable a wider range of solutions, and even thinner profile walls, such as those used for tubing. In the mix Hybrid composites may also help product engineers make the most out of several types of fibre. Carbon fibre and fibreglass are commonly used in hybrid
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composites, although it is possible to produce a hybrid using a variety of other fibres – such as natural ones. By using a hybrid structure, the optimum ratio of both materials’ mechanical properties can be reached to cater for the needs of
an individual application. Economic value is an obvious benefit of the hybrid technique. Composites often have a reputation for their steep price, but the ability to mix more expensive carbon fibres with cheaper alternatives means that the fibre’s benefits can still be harnessed at a more friendly price point. What’s more, fibres like carbon fibre are strong, but inherently more brittle. By combining the fibres with a more flexible option, producers can improve the rigidity of the material and increase its impact resistance. Using continuous manufacturing techniques, Exel can produce a range of composite tubes with fibres that meet the exact requirements of the customer. Our hybrid tubes are manufactured using the same pultrusion and pullwinding processes and we work with you to recommend and design the
optimal solution for your needs, even if it means selling a less expensive product. Customers are often drawn in by reputation of carbon fibre, others are simply unaware of the fibre flexibility of composite materials. Assessing the customer’s needs is a key part of the process, especially as the structural possibilities of composites are so much more diverse than isotropic alternatives. Placement is also important in materials technology, although composites allow for far greater flexibility. By using composites instead of metals, product engineers can benefit from the many possibilities of fibre placement and create a solution that is cost effective, durable and bespoke to their needs.
www.exelcomposites.com APRIL / MAY 2021 49
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THESE trendy and designer chairs are made by the greatest designers. What they share is that they are all made of plastic.
Recycled PET bottles for the Thirsty chair
Companies are now producing items like Adirondack chairs from used plastic products such as bags, milk jugs and water bottles. US company, Belson Outdoors, for example, offers a Seaside Adirondack Chair that’s made from 100% recycled plastic.
With a seat made from 60 to 100 used PET bottles collected in China, the Thirsty chair is the first ecoresponsible creation from independent Dutch label Zuiver. Designed in collaboration with APE Studio, this lovely, minimalistic, lightweight yet strong chair is available in four colours, with or without armrests. The Thirsty chair demonstrates that recycled materials can also be aesthetically-pleasing. www.zuiver.com
HÅG Capisco Puls limitededition chair by Flokk This special-edition HÅG Capisco Puls from furniture makers Flokk is a chair made from recycled plastic sourced from discarded bits of snow ploughs. Originally designed in 1984 by Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik, the HÅG Capisco Puls is designed to hold the occupant in the upright and mobile posture of a horseback rider. Flokk has released a limited-edition run of 200 of the chairs made from recycled plastic gathered from snow plough markers – the brightly coloured plastic poles used to signal to the driver where the edge of the machine’s blade is positioned. A collaboration with Nordic research institute SINTEF led to an experiment to turn the discarded plastic objects into chairs. “We are living through a global trash crisis driven by mass consumption,” said Flokk vice president of sustainability Atle Thiis-Messel. “As one of Europe’s leading furniture manufacturers, our team of environmental experts and designers must be inspired to use waste around them as a resource to create beautiful long-lasting products.” 50 APRIL / MAY 2021
The bold Melitea chair Elegant, thanks to a polyurethane shell padded with fabric cushions, and its metal structure forming the legs and back support, the Melitea chair designed by Italian designer Luca Nichetto in 2019 for French firm La Manufacture, promises to be a new classic. www.nichettostudio.com
The ecoresponsible design of the Bell Chair The Bell Chair is a one-piece chair with an ovoid and elegant silhouette made of 100% recycled and recyclable polypropylene. Made using the industrial waste generated by Magis’ furniture production facility and the local automotive industry (North of Italy), it stands out through its contemporary look, versatility and strength. Particularly light (2.7kg) and stackable to make it easier to transport, it perfectly fulfils its designer’s objectives, namely “to develop a high-quality chair using the least possible material”. www.magisdesign.com
The fun Dodo rocking chair First there was the rocking chair, then the rocking horse, and now here comes the rocking bird! And the Dodo rocking chair looks great! Inspired by the iconic bird that became extinct in the 17th century, this creation by Finnish designer Oiva Toikka, famous for his collections of
glass birds, is made entirely of moulded polyethylene. Round and colourful, aesthetically-pleasing, playful and resistant, the Dodo has all the ingredients to become children’s favourite companion while remaining a beautiful indoor or outdoor decorative object.
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52 APRIL / MAY 2021
Artworks use plastic bags instead of paint NEW York artist Hugo McCloud has created a series of artworks that contain no paint or glue, only thousands of small plastic pieces cut from single-use bags and melted together to form a motif. The series, called Burdened, spans 31 original pieces created by McCloud while quarantining in his Mexico studio. To create the collages, which mainly depict scenes of labour, McCloud first traces them onto a wood panel before filling them in with the multicoloured plastic scraps. These are individually cut from plastic bags and layered on top of each other, much like individual brush strokes, before being fused together with an iron. “Due to the nature of the material and its thinness, you can always see underneath, so one colour applied on top of another creates a third colour,”
McCloud explained. The bags come from recycling yards and waste management companies, or else the artist picks them up off the street himself or reuses ones that were given to him while shopping. Often, their branding remains visible in the final art piece, acting as a reminder of the material’s former life and reinforcing its familiarity. The collages depict the movement of people and goods around the world, from workers transporting wares on their backs and bikes to refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat. In this way, the Burdened series is not just a commentary on the environmental impact of single-use plastic but also an exploration of how this ubiquitous material transcends class and geography.
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WORLD NEWS ALPLA UK to focus on regional PET recyclate
ALPLA UK, a subsidiary of the ALPLA Group, a leading plastic packaging company, will be cooperating with the British waste management company Biffa. With this collaboration, ALPLA will increase the proportion of British recyclate used in the United Kingdom to manufacture packaging for home care products. From May, ALPLA UK will source food-grade rPET plastic pellets from the Biffa recycling plant in Seaham, County Durham. The recyclate will be used for the manufacture of home care packaging. In February, the ALPLA Group announced that it would be investing up to €250 million in globalising its recycling activities between now and 2025 in order to close the materials cycle in as many regions as possible. Biffa invested £27.5 million in the plastics recycling plant which opened in Seaham in 2020 and can process the equivalent of 1.3 billion bottles a year. The company has set itself the ambitious goal to quadruple its plastics recycling capacity by 2030. www.alpla.com
BASF plastic additives plant in Italy
BASF has completed the newly constructed plant for the plastic additives business at its site located in Pontecchio Marconi, Italy. The stateof-the-art facility will deliver a wider range of NOR® solutions to support BASF’s leading position in the growing agriculture industry. Plasticulture, the use of plastic materials in agricultural applications, plays an important role in helping farmers enhance crop productivity and food quality in an increasingly difﬁcult environment. The novel BASF NOR® technology platform consists of a range of outstanding light and thermal stabilizers that are especially effective in plasticulture applications such as greenhouse covers, macro and small tunnels, nettings and substrate bags. www.basf.com
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European plastics Depending on type, materials currently cost 20%-50% more than at the beginning of 2021
East have outpaced those in Europe TURBULENCE on Europe’s polymer for months, which has redirected markets is hitting plastics much of the global ﬂow of processors in the Supply raw plastics from Europe region with full force. to Asia. Sufﬁcient quantities bottlenecks of granulate are Boosting prices for for materials are unavailable plastic granulate at and prices also endangering the an unprecedented have risen rate signiﬁcantly production of endThe combination of since the reduced supply and products made of beginning of the increasing demand year, with some plastics. is boosting prices for approaching all-time plastic granulate at an highs. unprecedented rate. Depending on Plastics Information Europe type, materials currently cost 20%(PIE) reports that production 50% more than at the beginning of bottlenecks for plastics and their 2021. This shift poses major economic intermediate products have in some difﬁculties for plastics processors, cases cut the quantity available by up who often have long-term contracts to half of the amount normally on the with their customers. Clauses for market. In Europe, polymer producers cost increases can only cushion the are currently dealing with 13 forces problems to a limited extent, due to the majeures, 11 system malfunctions, speed of price hikes. 22 slowdowns and 24 maintenance Supply bottlenecks for materials shutdowns. are also endangering the production At the same time, plastics goods of end-products made of plastics. producers face signiﬁcantly lower Isolated reports from the plastic imports from Asia, the Middle East packaging sector talk about limited and the US. Resin prices in the Far delivery capabilities.
Efﬁcient, durable THE American manufacturer of heavy-duty, zero-emission engines, Nuvera Fuel Cells, is now using BASF’s polyphthalamide (PPA) Ultramid® Advanced N to manufacture several components
APR / MAY 2021
– materials scarce & expensive hand for the discussions, 77% admitted that they were affected by turbulence on the plastics markets, and 44% said the impact has been either severe or very severe. Almost half of the end producers said they were facing production downtimes due to the shortage of materials. Little chance for improvement seems forthcoming: some 70% of plastics processors said the market situation will not normalise before the third quarter. Webinar participants from the plastics
Figure 1: European price index ‘Plastixx ST’ for standard thermoplastics, February 2020 to February 2021
and chemical production industries were even more pessimistic: 64% said market normalisation was due in the third quarter, with 29% saying it will take until the ﬁnal three months of 2021. There is, however, one consolation for plastics processors: Competing materials such as steel and paper are also currently struggling with difﬁcult market developments. And in many application areas, as the pandemic has shown, plastics are simply irreplaceable.
Almost half of producers facing production downtimes due to shortage of materials In early March, a webinar held by PIE’s sister publication Kunststoff Information, about the price and quantity situation provided insight into the current circumstances. More than 700 participants from across the plastics industry signed on to hear from experts and take part in a Q&A session. Of the more than 400 plastics processors on
Figure 2: European price index ‘Plastixx TT’ for engineering thermoplastics, February 2020 to February 2021
and safe for today’s fuel cell technologies Excellent thermal, chemical resistance, outstanding mechanical properties in its latest generation of 45 kW fuel cell engines. The fuel cell engines will be integrated into transit buses and delivery vehicles in China over the next three years. The components, such as manifold, thermostat housing, check valve, ejector as well as exhaust pipes, require stable material properties across varying temperatures. Ultramid Advanced N3HG6 shows excellent thermal and chemical resistance, outstanding mechanical properties, high impact strength, good dimensional stability and a stable long-term performance. As some of the components are exposed to a variety of media through the cooling water, air and hydrogen channels, the
PPA compound based on PA9T combines excellent chemical resistance with meeting the purity requirements for sensitive applications in fuel cells and electronic parts. Nuvera’s challenge for the E-45 fuel cell engine was to ﬁnd a lightweight solution to convert various parts from die-cast aluminum and high-temperature hoses into high-performance plastics to scale up fuel cell engines to mass-produced parts while maintaining performance and safety. For this, Ultramid® Advanced N3HG6 provides the safety and quality of the engine parts: It shows excellent stiffness and strength, a high toughness as well as a good wear and friction behaviour.
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APR / MAY 2021
Dow supports communication infrastructure in Eastern Ghana
DOW is supporting an information and communication infrastructure pilot to reach approximately 50 000 people in Eastern Ghana to support improved internet and data communications connectivity. Dow’s support will help to enable the construction of a renewable energy biomass power facility which will generate sustainable incomes for thousands of smallholder farmers locally. Through its local grantee, the Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF), Dow has enabled the construction of a WiFi network inclusive of hardware, software and deployment of technology to support two base stations and 18 hot spots to create an information and communication infrastructure pilot covering a collective area of about 15km radius within surrounding communities of the biomass power facility. The infrastructure allows approximately 50 000 people to connect to a WiFi network permitting affordable data communications and internet access. This project is a grantee of the Dow Business Impact Fund, which has been identifying and funding new projects around the globe that hold the potential to create signiﬁcant social impact since 2016. www.dow.com
Sepro UK marks 30th anniversary
Holland Colours oﬀers PET bottlers and drink brands more options Two new versions of acclaimed TasteGuard AA scavenger LOW dosing, enhanced recyclability and major reductions in scrap rate and energy consumption – Holland Colours is expanding its TasteGuard range of additives for PET with the addition of two new AA scavenger products: TasteGuard Liquid and the highly loaded solid TasteGuard Ultramax – the ﬁrst of its kind – along with the ﬁrst generation TasteGuard, can be combined with colours and additional functional additives as a one-pack solution. With the launch of TasteGuard Liquid and TasteGuard Ultramax, Holland Colours is offering bottled water brands new options depending on their market, sustainability goals, brand positioning, cost base and their suppliers’ production technology. During PET preform production, the molecule acetaldehyde (AA) is formed as a byproduct of PET. Although AA is a naturally occurring substance, it has a sweet taste and can cause an ‘off’ ﬂavour in applications such as bottled water. This is a particular problem for non-sparkling water. To prevent this from happening, AA scavengers like Holland Colours’ TasteGuard range catch the AA and prevent its migration into the contents of the bottle, thereby safeguarding the taste. PET bottle manufacturers and drink brands can switch to the new liquid TasteGuard without having to make any production line or other changes at all. And just like the ﬁrst generation solid TasteGuard, the new liquid version has less impact on colours or tints. Pushing the performance envelope, TasteGuard Ultramax offers a different set of advantages for bottlers and brand owners. For instance, whereas most solid and liquid AA scavengers are loaded at 40% (the ﬁrst generation TasteGuard already outperforms on this measure, being loaded at up to 50%), the new TasteGuard Ultramax is loaded at up to 75%. www.hollandcolours.com
IN April, Sepro UK, a daughter company of French robot maker Sepro Group, celebrated its 30th anniversary with the opening of an expanded sales and service centre in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Sepro UK has grown with its plasticsindustry customers into an important supplier of 3- and 5-axis Cartesian beam robots, and 6-axis articulated-arm robots, as well as automation systems. The new, 232m2 sales and service centre in Milton Keynes unites robot sales, service, parts, and robot-commissioning activities under one roof. The new facility also houses a Sepro robot training centre, complete with working Cartesian and 6-axis robots, where customer technicians can receive hands-on instruction in robotic programming and control. 56
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APR / MAY 2021
The cordless nibbler (right) is the perfect choice for working corrugated and trapezoidal sheets, and the cordless sheet shears are ideal for cutting ﬂat sheets. The housing shells and the upper and lower shells of the batteries for both tools are made from polyamide 6 Durethan materials from Lanxess
Smooth and nimble cutting through sheet metal Housing parts of Metabo cordless shears,nibblers made from polyamide 6 CRAFTSMEN understand the importance of lightweight, powerful and accurate power tools. Tailor-made high-performance plastics are the material of choice for the production of these tools. The SCV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless sheet shears and the NIV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless nibbler from Metabo are perfect examples for this. The Nürtingen-based manufacturer of professional power tools has added these devices to its range of cordless cutting tools. “The housing shells and the upper and lower shells of the batteries for both tools are made from our polyamide 6 Durethan materials. These injection moulding compounds enable the complex, compact and highly functional
housing parts to be manufactured in such a way that they weigh very little, are robust enough to deal with everyday tasks and are at the same time visually appealing,” explains Bernhard Stoll, expert in the use of plastics in electrical and electronic components at Lanxess. The black upper shell of the 18V battery, for example, is made from Durethan BKV50H2.0EF, a ﬂowoptimized polyamide 6 with a 50% by weight glass ﬁbre content. The high rigidity of the material also means considerable weight savings as a result of the thin walls. The low weight also improves the handling and balance of the tools. The lower shell of the battery is injection-moulded from Durethan BKV30Q. In addition to its
mechanical properties, it was the red colour, the high surface quality and the cost-effective processability that gave the standard compound the edge. By contrast, the slim and high-grip halfshells of the device housing are made from impact-resistant modiﬁed Durethan BKV130CS. Despite the 30% glass ﬁbre reinforcement, this copolyamide 6 also produces ﬂawless surfaces. They are coloured in a special Metabo green, which, together with the bold red of the lower battery shell, reinforces the tool manufacturer’s colour branding. Like the other materials, the compound is characterized by its high rigidity across a wide temperature range. www.durethan.de
Fresh milk in Amcor’s clear PCR/PET bottles is a ﬁrst in Argentina
is designed to drive consumers from aseptic packages to the chilled section of the grocery store. The breakthrough bottle follows the October 2019 launch of Mastellone’s shelf-stable, ultra-high temperature (UHT) white milk in aseptic, white-colored PET bottles also from Amcor. The container includes a 38mm ﬁnish and a HDPE screw cap from Bericap North America (a joint venture between Amcor and the Bericap Group). A key technical challenge was limiting light exposure and preventing damage to the product. To preserve the contents, a special barrier was developed to help extend shelf life.
APR / MAY 2021
AMCOR has broken new ground in the Argentine dairy market developing the ﬁrst fresh milk bottle made of transparent post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. The custom-designed 1-L container for leading dairy maker Mastellone Hnos, Buenos Aires, supports the positioning of the La Serenísima Original milk brand as a natural product while also delivering optimum shelf life and increased sustainability beneﬁts. Latin American dairy companies are increasingly using clear PET bottles to showcase freshness and premium quality. The cold-ﬁll bottle contains 20% PCR content and
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WORLD NEWS Dow, Interpolychem celebrate PacXpert Packaging Technology licensee agreement in Russia
DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics has licenced Interpolychem LLC, a leading converter and packaging producer in the Russian ﬂexible packaging market, for Dow’s PacXpert™ Packaging Technology. Under the brand name Kubber, Interpolychem will use Dow’s innovative technology to enable a ﬂexible and sustainable packaging alternative to conventional containers currently available in the Russian and Eastern European markets. It aims to produce 200 000 packages per month in both 5 litre and 10 litre sized pouches. Since its launch Dow’s PacXpert™ Packaging Technology has enabled 100 ﬂexible packs on shelves in a great variety of packaging applications, including automotive ﬂuids, paint, food and household products, like cereals, juices, shower gels and laundry detergents.
SABIC’s Specialties business on track to establish stand-alone operations
SABIC today has conﬁrmed that the establishment of its Specialties strategic business unit (SBU), as a separate, stand-alone business, which will remain owned by SABIC, is on track. While SABIC continues to monitor the business impacts of Covid-19, at this time it anticipates that the timing of the ‘go-live’ for the stand-alone operations of the group of companies embedding its Specialties strategic business unit (SBU) will be 1 November. The establishment of the standalone model for the Specialties SBU will bring additional value to its customers who depend on the Specialties business for its innovation expertise and highly differentiated Ultem™ and noryl™ resins, LNP™ compounds and copolymers.
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Milliken’s ColourDirection 2022 Six clear bright colours
IN 2021 care and respect are high on the agenda as we step out with a brighter attitude and deeper optimism for global change. As the world recovers from a fragile time of vulnerability people have an emerging conﬁdence that positive choices can make a difference in our daily lives, with care and respect high on the agenda. Milliken’s ColourDirection 2022 Emerging Conﬁdence offers brands a way to reﬂect these values, and society’s newfound optimism, channeling positive consumer choice with the hopeful imagery of bright and optimistic colours in product packaging. Milliken’s portfolio includes: • Liquitint™ customised colourants that combine dynamic colours with excellent processability for multiple applications including home and laundry care. Milliken’s Liquitint polymeric colourants offer solubility, compatibility, versatility and stability. These water-soluble and non-staining colourants are compatible with the most challenging active ingredients, including additives and higher perfume levels; • Liquitint Agro, advanced colourants for fertilizer. This range of non-staining liquid colourants provides a broad spectrum of colour options with low inventory requirements and easy blending; • ClearTint™ colour concentrates for NX® UltraClear™ polypropylene (PP) add vivid, transparent colour and are compliant with safety requirements for food packaging; • Reactint® polymeric colourants for polyurethane (PU) add appealing colour to products without affecting the physical properties of the material; • Milliken’s KeyPlast® line offers a spectrum of bright, high performance colourants for a multitude of polymer and resin systems. These include ABS, PET in transparent, food-contact applications, as well as other transparent amorphous polymers such as PS, PC and acrylic (PMMA); • KeyPlast RESIST™ is a spectrum of bright, high performance colourants, specially designed for colouring engineering polymers such as PA, PBT, PPA, PSU and other high-heat glass ﬁlled and ﬂame retardant resins and alloys. www.chemical.milliken.com
Imagine it. We colour it
APR / MAY 2021
SABIC meets local demand for protective products to help combat Covid-19 Increased production within its LEXAN™ polycarbonate portfolio SABIC is making a signiﬁcant contribution to the battle against Covid-19 through increased production within its Lexan™ polycarbonate portfolio. The focus of the production increase has been on innovative polycarbonate sheets and ﬁlms for a wide variety of highperformance products to help improving sanitation control and preventing infections. Lexan protective sheets and ﬁlms have applications across an extensive range of sectors that are experiencing particular hygiene and social distancing challenges during the pandemic. These include hospitals and medical
Krüger Aviation, Germany – Airplane seat dividers for protection from potential aerosols of neighboring passengers
clinics, care homes, dental practices, schools and kindergartens, retail and hospitality outlets, sports centers, reception areas and mass transportation, among many others. As testament to its global reach, SABIC has supplied innovative polycarbonate sheet and ﬁlm solutions to some of the world’s leading organizations, for some of the most demanding applications aimed at providing increased protection against Covid-19.
Brillant BusGlas, Germany – Supplies ECE-R43 certiﬁed retroﬁt partition panels made from transparent LEXAN™ or MARGARD™ sheet for virtually any public bus brand
www.sabic.com/sfs APR / MAY 2021
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WORLD NEWS Total Corbion ﬁrst world-scale PLA plant in Europe
Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, will build its second PLA plant with a capacity ramping up to 100 000 tons per annum. This expansion will make Total Corbion PLA the global market leader in PLA, ﬁrmly positioned to cater for the rapidly growing demand for Luminy® PLA resins. The new plant is planned to be located on a Total site in Grandpuits, France and to be operational in 2024. The total investment in this project is expected to be approximately €200 million and Corbion will continue to be the supplier of lactic acid. Luminy PLA resins are biobased and made from annually renewable resources.
Austrian invention becomes national standard for China
AS CHINA is modernizing its cement production, the government has also set up a national standard deﬁning types and speciﬁcations of bags used for packaging cement. One of the three bag types permitted in the Chinese Standard GB/T 9774-2020 Sacks for Packing Cement, which was ofﬁcially released in October 2020, are block bottom valve bags made of woven polypropylene tape fabric. This type of bag was invented in 1995 by the Austrian engineering company Starlinger & Co. GmbH and patented under the brand name AD*STAR.
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Installation of the 14 m high viscoSTAR SSP reactor
PET to PET increases capacity for food-grade rPET with new Starlinger line Produced regranulate can replace virgin PET at a rate of 100% THE Austrian recycling company installed another Starlinger bottle-to-bottle recycling system including SSP (solid state polycondensation) reactor at their production site in Müllendorf, Austria. It is also thanks to the new Starlinger pelletizing line that PET to PET is one of the most modern facilities in PET recycling worldwide. PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH recycled around 1.13 billion PET bottles (more than 28 200 tons of PET) in 2020, also due to the newly installed capacities. The company was able to increase throughput by 7.3% despite the Covid-19 pandemic with subsequent lockdowns and the price decline for virgin PET resin. The recoSTAR PET 165 HC iV+ bottle-to-bottle recycling system is the second line from Starlinger in operation at PET to PET. It has a throughput of 1 800kg/h and achieves excellent decontamination results. The produced regranulate can replace virgin PET at a rate of 100%. The solid state polycondensation in the viscoSTAR 180 SSP reactor at the end of the recycling process is critical for decontamination. It restores the mechanical characteristics of the recycled PET and increases the intrinsic viscosity to the level of virgin material. The PET recyclate is now food-safe and can be used for food packaging such as beverage bottles. More than 50 positive EFSA opinions, the US FDA as well as numerous brand owners in the food industry conﬁrm the extraordinary decontamination results of the Starlinger iV+ process. • The installation of the 14 metre high Starlinger SSP reactor in an enclosure attached to the production hall at PET to PET’s recycling facility was captured on ﬁlm: The spectacular scenes – partly shot from bird’s eye view with drones – can be watched in a video by clicking the following link: https://vimeo.com/502640873 www.recycling.starlinger.com PET to PET production site in Müllendorf, Austria
APR / MAY 2021
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SA needs to transition to a more data orientated & interoperable culture By Kirtida Bhana
62 APRIL / MAY 2021
Developing a winning business model is critical I WRITE this column whilst the ‘third wave’ is rearing its monstrous head, affecting the mood of the country and on not so subtle levels, the minds of the people. However, not at any point shall we lose sight of a future after Covid-19 and how different life will be once we leave the Covid-19 portal. Moving into the unknown space where the way we currently function can be gracefully fused with how we could function should we fully embrace future skills and futuristic opportunities should occupy our mind space. Blended approaches are what is required to smoothly transition to the hereafter with ‘hybrid’ being the operative word here. Life on the planet is taking on a more collaborative sentiment and the increasing need for data in smarter decision making as well as the need for South Africa to transition to a more data orientated and interoperable culture is a stark reality. Not just as a government but also as a business sector! Data is simply units of information collected through fieldwork, observation, interviews, surveys, experiments, focus groups, etc. and the need for the correct units of information is now more important than ever. Good data sets are made up of both quantitative as well as qualitative variables. The interoperability of these
currently isolated data systems is what would make collaboration evolve into a non-negotiable and then morph into an art form. Imagine how different life would be if we had access to the right information at our fingertips to make more accurate determinations of the real needs of consumers and non-consumers alike and/or stakeholders and in the bigger picture of citizens across all age groups, demographics, income brackets, skills, qualifications etc. Does it still make sense to duplicate efforts when it comes to research and research findings when information collected is probably the same yet the differentiator is how the information is used that determines the cutting edge. Should the money invested in research and data systems not be collaborative so that the information produced is used in finding more sustainable innovative solutions that are better for the greater good rather than the energy and resources fizzling out after the research report is produced? Innovation is the big buzzword right now and the key to a competitive advantage has been dependent on strategy in the last few decades, the key to a sustainable advantage in business may well begin with the Business Model. In 2003, Apple introduced the iPod with the iTunes store, revolutionising
portable entertainment, creating a new market, and transforming the company. In just three years, the iPod/iTunes combination became a nearly $10 billion product, accounting for almost 50% of Apple’s revenue. Apple’s market capitalization catapulted from around $1 billion in early 2003 to over $150 billion by late 2007. What or who’s holding your business back in terms of catapulting to success? I guess this question is a necessary one if you wish to push the envelope and charter new territories. To download a template go to: https://www.businessmodelsinc.com In 2015 Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owned no vehicles, Facebook the world’s most popular media owner created no content, Alibaba, the most valuable retailer had no inventory and Airbnb the world’s largest accommodation provider owned no real estate. Makes you think… doesn’t it? To learn more about developing a winning business model contact: Kirtida Bhana at Plastics|SA at email: Kirtida.firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile: 082 322 0117
The Ever Given blockage resulted in 422 ships being unable to pass through the Suez Canal for a week
Integrated supply chains cannot be replaced overnight
Ever Given saga demonstrates how seriously supply chains can be disrupted By Niall Marshall
demand for many products, there was an unexpected increase in demand for other things (eg. PPE). This meant that ships needed to be brought back into service which was made more difficult by restrictions on travel. However, increasing the number of ships in service is something which can, in principle, easily be done if there are enough containers. The next problem is not really about the number of containers, it’s where the containers are sitting. Containers sitting on ships waiting to dock and be unloaded are not available to be filled, and with Covid restrictions and limited numbers of people working at various ports, massive congestion resulted. Los Angeles became so congested that ships were sailing through to Panama Canal to discharge cargo on the US East coast. Reduced exports from Australia to China meant fewer ships sailing these routes and empty containers sitting in Australia and not being shipped back to Asia. Whereas containers typically had a two to three day turnaround at British ports, reduced staffing and lockdowns increased this to two to three weeks. Containers that would circulate between Asia and North America in six weeks are taking more than 90 days. Of course, over time with the increased number of sailings the situation will improve, stranded empty containers will be returned to the pool even if congestion and slow turn-around continues. An important variable is how long it takes to ship goods from where they are
manufactured to the market. Shipping time between Taiwan and Rotterdam can be reduced from 34 days to 25 days by taking a short-cut through the Suez Canal instead of around the Cape of Good Hope. It is also a preferred route for goods being shipped from Asia to the US east coast. This short-cut through the Suez Canal is used by about 50 ships every single day and approximately 12% of global trade passes through the canal every year. So when a 400m long 60m wide container ship carrying 18 500 containers blocked the Suez Canal for a week, it was a big deal! The Ever Given blockage resulted in 422 ships being unable to pass through the canal for a week (the backlog of those ships was cleared in five days). Ships that should have arrived at various destination ports over a week will now all arrive within days and so further port congestion is expected and will result in vessel delays. Empty containers will not be returned, and freight prices will increase. In the week that the Ever Given was stranded the cost of renting a ship sailing between Asia, the Middle East and Europe increased by 47%. Integrated supply chains cannot be replaced overnight. Even if manufacturing is on-shored to be closer to markets, raw materials will still need to be shipped across the seas. Perhaps the Ever Given was a ‘Black Swan’ event, but as the M/T Rumford shows, maybe it is important to reconsider safety stock levels in an unpredictable world.
APRIL / MAY 2021 63
ON Tuesday 6 April 2021, an oil tanker, the M/T Rumford, experienced engine failure. Within minutes the news was trending around the world. It was not the M/T Rumford that was news, nor was it the engine failure. It was where it happened: in the Suez Canal, less than a week after the container ship the Ever Given had been moved to the Great Bitter Lake after it had blocked the canal for six days. Suddenly the world was aware of the importance of the Suez Canal and super-sensitive to anything that might cause disruptions to global trade. Global supply chains run like welloiled motors, quietly driving trade behind the scenes, providing a critical but underappreciated service. Millions of containers are filled with countless products and these containers are loaded on to tens of thousands of merchant ships sailing between hundreds of ports delivering anything that is made on one side of the world to somewhere else in the world. Normally, containers circulate between Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia in a regular and predictable way, and ideally containers are filled for all legs of its journey. Unfortunately, these are not normal times. Global lockdowns resulted in economic slowdowns and decreased demand meant that the number of sailings was reduced, and ships were taken out of service. Except the economy didn’t slow down as expected. Despite the lockdowns, which did decrease
South Africa is getting its own back – unfortunately
An economy without a clean, wholesome, adequate, and secure water supply will not recover – it will, like plants, just die.
R33 billion per annum needs to be spent in each of the next 10 years to ensure water security
64 APRIL / MAY 2021
By MIKE SMART, Pr. Eng., B.Sc. (Hons) Civ. Eng., MSAICE
OVER the past two years several matters have been explored in this column which directly, or indirectly, affect the thermoplastic pipe industry of South Africa. Many of these topics, ranging from our spend on GFCF (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) in the first issue to the planned postCovid economic recovery plan in the last, are associated with the work that the industry’s association SAPPMA (Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association) is engaged upon on an ongoing basis. Their primary objective is to ensure the highest quality of thermoplastic pipes, pipelines and services are delivered to the industry’s customers. Because of the quality and suitability of thermoplastic pipes for a given application, for example PVC piping systems for domestic sewage conveyance and HDPE piping systems for mine slurry conveyance, plastic piping has achieved dominance as the material of choice in many applications. However, our problem now is what is going through the pipes … I will explain. Audits of water treatment and wastewater treatment plants are conducted periodically to assess their performance. According to the NW&SP (National Water and Sanitation Plan), 44% of water treatment plants and 56% of wastewater treatment plants are in a poor or critical condition – 11% are completely dysfunctional. This means the many South Africans are drinking, cooking, and washing themselves in their own waste – a new meaning to
“getting your own back”. This is because modern society has its own water cycle, similar to the natural hydrological water cycle, which includes waste or polluted water in its cycle. What is coming out of the municipal water supply system? Our wastewater is conveyed as water born sewage, in PVC sewerage piping systems that flow, generally under the influence of gravity, to the wastewater treatment plant, where the raw sewage should be treated to a predetermined level of quality and thereafter discharged to the nearest natural water body – river, lake, or dam. Raw water is abstracted from these natural water bodies by water treatment plants, where it should be treated to predetermined quality levels fit for human consumption and distributed as potable water to our people. Therefore, if the wastewater plant is dysfunctional and the water treatment plant is dysfunctional, what is coming out of the municipal water supply system? Probably not potable water fit for human consumption. Less than 50% of the water bodies in South Africa are currently considered to contain water of ‘good quality’ and we have ‘lost’ more than 50% of our wetlands. These are nature’s sources of water and natural water purification works, respectively. And nearly half the remaining wetlands are in poor condition. This in a country, classified as semi-arid to arid, that receives a
mean average annual rainfall of just 495mm, less than half the global figure of 860mm, where about 21% of our country receives less than 200mm per annum – water is precious in South Africa. It is projected by 2030, nine years’ time, we will have only about 60% of our water requirement available. After the raw water has been harvested, maybe treated, and then distributed, about 35% is lost nationally through our distribution systems that are in extremely poor condition – some critical. This loss is worth, as stated last year, about R2.7 billion per annum. The old distribution systems need replacing with reliable, 100-year lifetime, thermoplastic piping systems, as many countries are currently vigorously doing worldwide. However, the financial implication is of secondary importance compared to the loss of the critical national asset – water. To rectify the situation, it will take not only the commitment to do so, but substantial amounts of money. The government has stated their intention to do so, and funds have been committed. The 2021 NW&SP states R33 billion per annum needs to be spent in each of the next 10 years to ensure water security. Again, as stated a year ago, when the electricity goes off it is inconvenient; however, when nothing comes out of the tap the problems are of a different order of magnitude. An economy without a clean, wholesome, adequate, and secure water supply will not recover – it will, like plants, just die.
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Arburg at Chinaplas 2021: digitalisation, lightweight construction, efficiency Technology up close and hands-on: LSR processing, medical technology, Arburg Plastic Freeforming AT CHINAPLAS from 13-16 April in Shenzhen, China, Arburg is presenting its extensive portfolio for plastics processing in hall 10, stand J21. Arburg is focusing on the topics of digitalisation and resource conservation. Other highlights at the fair are the Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing and a smart Allrounder in the ‘Factory of the Future’. Arburg is presenting a LSR version of an Allrounder from the Golden Electric series to the international trade fair scene for the first time. The exhibit manufactures demanding lenses for the automotive industry. The turnkey system built around an Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric with a clamping force of 1,000 kN is equipped with a Multilift Select of Arburg and a six-axis robot, as well as a 2-cavity mould. With a laser, each component is marked with a DM code, which can be used to view the manufacturing data in the arburgXworld
customer portal. This ensures 100% traceability of each individual component. Arburg will also demonstrate the fully automated manufacturing of pipette tips. An Allrounder 470 H with 1,000 kN clamping force and a hot runner mould can produce 48 tips per 6-second cycle. The automation consists of three modules for removal, camera inspection and order picking. The picking module is able to automatically fill gaps resulting from rejected parts with good parts. Using fibre-direct compounding (FDC), Arburg will also demonstrate an economic and resource-saving lightweight construction application. A lateral feeder cuts glass fibre rovings into lengths before adding them directly into the liquid melt. The advantages of this innovative injection moulding process includes high material availability, a cost reduction of up to 40% and the option of actively tailoring component properties. In Shenzhen, a
LANXESS to hold Virtual Days EMEA LANXESS is hosting the Virtual Days EMEA from 19-23 April, where existing and potential customers can learn about new product developments, technologies and general industry trends at the online event. Lanxess experts from nine business units will lead a total of 27 online sessions on the topics of Construction and Coatings,
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Even in China, Arburg’s fair stand is a real crowd puller – as the company impressively proved at Chinaplas 2019
hydraulic Allrounder 820 S with 4,000 kN clamping force will produce test plates made of 30% percent PP reinforced with long glass fibres. A linear Multilift Select robotic system is responsible for performing the handling tasks. The plastic granules processed in injection moulding can also be used in Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF). At the trade fair, a Freeformer 3003X will combine two components and support material to create a functional component, using a hard/soft combination. The open system is also suitable for very soft and certified original materials, and is perfect for demanding applications, for example in medical technology and the automotive industry. www.arburg.com
New Mobility, Plastics and Sustainable Flame Retardants and Sustainability, and Consumer Protection Products and Specialty Treatments. Overarching industry topics such as the Circular Economy and the new EU chemicals strategy for sustainability will also be discussed. In addition, all participants can interactively experience the company’s product worlds on a virtual campus. www.lanxess.com
ChinaPlas: 13-16 April: Shenzhen, China www.chinaplasonline.com The Centerwave 6000 for online pipe dimension measurement in extrusion lines will be presented at Chinaplas.
ACM5 - 5th Intl Symposium Auto Comp 14-15 April: Virtual - Bristol, UK: www.acm5.org WAITEX: 20-22 April: Accra, Ghana www.waitex.com.gh drupa 2022: 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
The Purity Scanner Advanced detects metallic contamination inside the pellet as well as black specks and burns on the pellet’s surface.
Innovative measuring, control, inspection, analysis & sorting systems compressed air. For a 100% quality control during the extrusion of pipes, Sikora will exhibit the Centerwave 6000, a system based on millimetre wave technology. The device precisely measures the diameter, ovality, wall thickness, the inner profile as well as the sagging of the pipe. The measuring principle does not require any coupling media or calibration and is not influenced by temperature or the plastic material. The X-Ray 6000 PRO is a further highlight at the Sikora booth. It measures the wall thickness, eccentricity, the inner and outer diameter and the ovality of hoses and tubes. www.sikora.net
PLAST 2021: 22-25 June Milan, Italy: www.plastonline.org KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition 21-23 July: Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban www.kznindustrial.co.za PU China/UTECH Asia Polyurethanes: 28-30 July Shanghai World Expo, China: www.puchina.eu ICCM 23 – Intl Conf Composite Materials 30 July - 4 August: Belfast, Northern Ireland www.iccm23.org bio!TOY conference: 7-8 September Nuremberg, Germany: www.bio-toy.info International Composites Summit: 8-9 September London, UK: www.compositesuk.co.uk No-Dig Live 2021: 14-16 September Peterborough, England: www.nodiglive.co.uk Propak West Africa 2021: 14-16 September Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria www.propakwestafrica.com Manufacturing, Robotics & AI Summit 16-17 September: Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Jhb firstname.lastname@example.org AMI’s Plastics Recycling Technology: 20-21 Oct Vienna, Austria: www.ami.international/events Middle East Foam & Polyurethane Expo 26-28 October: Dubai, United Arab Emirates www.mefpu.com food & drink technology (fdt) Africa 2-4 November: Gallagher Covention Centre, Midrand: www.fdt-africa.com ArabPlast 2021: 15-18 November Dubai, United Arab Emirates: www.arabplast.info Trenchless Asia 2021: 16-17 November Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: www.trenchlessasia.com
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AT CHINAPLAS 2021, SIKORA will present its innovative measuring, control, inspection, analysis and sorting systems. At the Sikora booth, visitors can expect a comprehensive portfolio of devices for quality control, process optimization and cost savings in the pipe, hose and tube as well as plastics industries. For online inspection and sorting of plastic material, Sikora will showcase the Purity Scanner Advanced. The system uniquely combines an X-ray with up to three optical cameras so that metal inclusions with a size down to 50µm in the raw material can be detected. Black specks and burns on the pellet’s surface are detected by the optical cameras and faulty pellets are separated immediately after detection via
ARBURG Technology Days 2021: 7-12 June Lossburg, Germany: www.arburg.com
Propak East Africa 2021: 18-20 May Sarit Exhibition Centre, Nairobi, Kenya www.propakeastafrica.com
IFAT Africa, analytica Lab Africa, food & drink technology Africa set for Nov Co-located industry trade show to be hosted in November 2021 MESSE Muenchen South Africa, presenters of analytica Lab Africa, IFAT Africa and food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, are gearing up to present the three events in a mega co-located trade show at the end of this year. The three events, traditionally co-located to give industry stakeholders access to networking and markets across integrated sectors, have been rescheduled from mid2021, and will be hosted in South Africa in November. Suzette Scheepers, CEO of Messe Muenchen South Africa, says: “Out of an abundance of caution, we have postponed these trade shows from July 2021, to 2-4 November. This will allow us time to implement global best practice health and safety measures and design exhibition area layouts that enable in-person networking while still maintaining the required social distancing,” she says. Scheepers says that while virtual events
have proven beneficial in connecting delegates throughout lockdown, nothing offers the full-sensory experience required for business development and decisionmaking as exhibitions do. IFAT Africa, food & drink technology Africa and analytica Lab Africa, to be staged at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, will highlight the synergies and address the challenges across the water and wastewater, food and beverage processing, laboratory and analytical industries. IFAT Africa is the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling in Southern Africa, featuring solutions from around the world and a high-calibre forum programme addressing trends, challenges and solutions from the water, sewage, refuse and recycling sectors. A new highlight at IFAT Africa will be the Renewable Energy Zone – Powered by IFAT, which will present solutions and
opportunities across the key renewables sectors. These include solar, wind, hydropower, biomass and biowaste technologies and services. analytica lab Africa is the only trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics in South Africa. food & drink technology Africa (fdt Africa), presents food and beverage manufacturing solutions from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines. www.ifat-africa.com www.analytica-africa.com www.fdt-africa.com
Las Americas Polyurethanes event postponed
Drinktec postponed to September 2022
UTECH Las Americas, the only conference and exhibition dedicated specifically to the polyurethane and associated industries for Latin American markets, has been rescheduled to take place on 24-26 May 2022 at the Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City, Mexico. The event had been due to run at the end of June 2021. “UTECH Las Americas 2022 will provide the region’s polyurethane industry with the perfect opportunity to reconnect with industry associates, friends and colleagues, to renew business relationships and recapture lost opportunities,” said Debbie Hershfield, trade show director at organizer Crain Communications. www.utechlasamericas.com
THE drinktec advisory board and Messe München have taken a joint decision to postpone the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry until the fall of 2022. The new dates are 12-16 September 2022. This action was prompted by the international nature of the drinktec event. The decision could not be delayed given that industrial goods trade fairs involve extensive planning and complex high-tech construction work. Preparations and plans currently underway for drinktec 2021 and the integrated oils+fats event will now be seamlessly transferred to the new 2022 dates. www.drinktec.com
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Maag highlights high performance melt filter MAAG Group, a broadly diversified global solutions provider of pump & filtration systems, pelletizing & pulverizing systems, recycling systems and digitalization for use in the polymer industry is showing its latest innovations at Chinaplas 2021 in Shenzhen, China, from April 13-16. The highlight of the booth will be the ERF350, a high-performance melt filter for the filtration of heavily contaminated polymer feedstock. The filter is self-cleaning with a rotating, perforated drum, through which there is a continuous flow of melt from the outside to the inside. A scraper removes contaminants that are held back on the surface and feeds them to the discharge system. This enables the AP-AD-13.5x9.5.ai 1 16-Mar-21 3:01:53 PM
filter to operate automatically, without disruptions over long periods and without having to replace the screen. The advantages: ultra-low melt losses and good mixing and homogenizing of the melt. Another highlight in the MAAG Group booth is the PEARLO underwater pelletizing system for the highly efficient and flexible production of spherical pellets with throughputs of up to 36 000kg/h. Compact and modularly structured, it requires only a very small footprint. Electronically controlled EAC technology guarantees precise pressure of the pelletizing knives during operation, thereby enabling long runtimes free of interruptions with consistently high pellet quality.
Ettlinger ERF350, a high performance melt filter for the filtration of heavily contaminated polymer feedstock
In the same equipment segment, MAAG Group shows a BAOLI-3 third-generation dry-cut pelletizer for processing hard and soft materials. As with previous BAOLI® generations, the automated cutting chamber locking system enables fast handling while supporting operator safety. www.maag.com APRIL / MAY 2021 69
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With its numerous interactive apps and smart functions, the arburgXworld customer portal facilitates the daily work associated with injection moulding.
In the fully-automated production cell of drinking cups the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) SCADA system visualises all relevant process and quality data.
Arburg turnkey system sets new standards Assistance systems for filling simulation and regulated injection THE Hannover Messe Digital Edition 2021 from 12-16 April will see Arburg present a new turnkey system that is set to raise the bar in aspects of digitalisation, automation and the circular economy in plastics processing. The digital networked injection moulding machine produces drinking cups with a crumpled look. These can be visually enhanced inline and marked with recycling information that is specific to them. Not only that, but they are also 100% traceable. Digitalisation, automation and smart assistance systems are all tools that make it easier to work on and with injection moulding machines on a daily basis. Based on an electric Allrounder 370 A with a clamping force of 600 kN, Arburg’s exhibit will demonstrate a system that not only documents production processes seamlessly, but also enables them to run
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Renewable Materials Conference – online event THIS event will feature a unique concept to present all sustainable and renewable material solutions at one event: biobased, CO2-based and recycled. This time, the conference will be held as an online event only from 18-20 May, with 300 to 400 participants expected. There is a growing market demand for advanced and ready-to-use sustainable material solutions with a low carbon footprint – and fossil-free. As a response to this challenge, nova-Institute has decided to unite all relevant industries in the new Renewable Materials
smoothly, efficiently and reliably. The exhibit will use a single hot runner mould from Haidlmair to produce a crumpled PP cup. The handling work will be the responsibility of a new vertical robotic system, the Multilift V 20, with a 20kg load capacity and a transverse design. Once they are removed from the mould, the cups will first be sent for plasma treatment and then make their way to a digital printing station. This means that the product enhancement stage is integrated directly into the production cell. It is possible to choose from three different images on a tablet in order to print the crumpled surface of the cup. Once polished, the cup’s surface is also adorned with two DM codes: one containing the process data for traceability purposes and the other containing the material information with
recycling in mind. The Allrounder is equipped with an IIoT gateway as standard, providing a standardised form of networking. Software such as the Arburg host computer system or an ERP tool makes it possible to record and analyse production data in real time and significantly increases production efficiency and transparency. In this application, the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) SCADA system visualises all relevant process and quality data and merges it for specific parts. To achieve this, the injection moulding machine, automation systems and peripheral equipment – in this case, the digital printer – each send the relevant data to the ATCM. This makes every individual cup 100 percent traceable.
Conference (RMC). Over three days, participants get a complete overview of the latest renewable material solutions from a wide range of sustainable raw materials and technologies. www.renewable-materials.eu
goals include, next to significantly lower CO2 emissions, increasing the use of recyclable, recycled and renewable raw materials. The first bio!TOY conference, held in 2019, drew almost 100 participants. Building on this success, the organizers of the event will host the second edition of the bio!TOY conference on 7-8 September. Manufacturers of sustainable plastics and toy manufacturers will once again come together to share experiences, exchange information and build new connections. Planned as an in-person event, digital participation will also be offered. www.bio-toy.info
Sustainable plastic toys PLASTIC is by far the most commonly used material for toys. Yet widespread criticism of plastics has also left its impact on the toy industry. Major toy manufacturers such as Lego and Mattel have already announced plans to transition in the future to non-fossil-based materials. Important new development
Intra-African Trade Fair new date confirmed
COMPOSITES UK has created a new international event for the composites industry. The International Composites Summit will take place on 8-9 September in London, UK. “The International Composites Summit is our response to industry asking for a composite focussed show to support their growth as we move out of the Covid-19 pandemic, and for those based in the UK, the effects of Brexit,” said Claire Whysall, communications manager at Composites UK. www.compositesuk.co.uk/events/international-compositessummit
Propak Cape 2021 cancelled PROPAK Cape 2021 has been cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic. The show was scheduled to take place from 8-10 June at the Cape Town International Centre. Propak Cape showcases the latest technologies and innovation in packaging, food processing, plastics, printing, and labelling. The next edition of the show will now be held from 24-26 October 2023 at the same venue. “Although disappointed that the 2021 show will not go ahead, it is the right decision for all stakeholders involved. The safety and wellbeing of our exhibitors, suppliers, visitors and the industry as a whole continues to be of paramount importance to us,” said says Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions who organize the exhibition. “Having enjoyed over 20 successful years, Propak Cape is a proven trade exhibition that delivers results for those serious about growing their businesses. We now look forward to delivering another world-class experience in 2023.” “Exhibitions post Covid-19 will play an essential role in providing a fast-track to economic recovery. They will enable the all-important face-to-face connection between buyers and sellers, bring new products to market, drive innovation, forge partnerships, build brands and community, offer immersive experiences and provide intellectual content and educational opportunities through seminars and workshops,” says Charlene Hefer, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions.
THE second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) is now set to take place from 8-14 December in Kigali. African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Government of Rwanda have decided to shift the date of the continental trade fair, which was previously scheduled to hold from 6 to 12 September 2021, to allow for a broader roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines across the continent and ensure that the event is held under the most optimal health conditions. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, IATF2021 Advisory Council Chairman and former President of Nigeria, said that the new date would also give countries and businesses more time to prepare for IATF2021. “IATF2021 will bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and explore business and investment opportunities enabled by the single market created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to accelerate Africa’s integration and industrialisation agenda,” he said. Organised by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Rwanda, IATF2021 will play a crucial role in assisting and enabling businesses and corporates across Africa to share trade and market information and conclude business deals. It will enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and African economic integration. In addition to establishing a business-tobusiness and a business-to-government exchange platform for business deals and advisory services, IATF2021 will also operate IATF2021 Virtual, an interactive online platform accessible to all. It will also focus on Africa’s creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programmess. A conference will run alongside the exhibition and will feature high-profile speakers and panellists addressing topical issues relating to trade, trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, tradeenabling infrastructure, trade standards, industrialization, regional value chains and investment.
New international event for composites
UTECH Europe International Polyurethanes event rescheduled
APRIL / MAY 2021 71
UTECH Europe, the world-leading polyurethanes exhibition and conference taking place at the MECC in Maastricht, the Netherlands has been rescheduled to 16-18 November. UTECH Europe had been scheduled for September 2021. “We are committed to staging a vibrant UTECH Europe in 2021 to provide the polyurethanes industry with a muchneeded platform to recapture lost opportunities, identify new business opportunities and re-engage with industry associates, friends and colleagues,” said Debbie Hershfield, trade show director at organiser Crain Communications. www.utecheurope.eu
Plastics Unwrapped podcast DOW has launched a series of podcasts that explore the world of sustainability and plastics, through bite-sized episodes featuring a range of guest experts. Plastics Unwrapped explores key topics across each episode – from exploring the emotional responses we associate with plastics to what the future of recycling in Europe could look like. The brand-new podcast series dives deeper into the plastics industry and tackles topics such as how to combat the industry’s negative image, and designing with recyclability in mind. The ﬁrst episodes are available on all major streaming platforms, including: Episode One: Emotion vs Science – discusses how this plays out in today’s debate around plastics. The guests
discuss how we can balance the emotional response we all feel when seeing plastic waste, with a more logical, scientiﬁc approach when it comes to choosing materials. Episode Two: Bioplastics – discusses market growth for renewable feedstocks and how this ﬁts with the industry’s plans to reduce its carbon emissions. Episode Three: Designing for Recycling – tackles some of the key issues around recycling plastics. Why is it so difﬁcult? What is the difference between recyclable and recycled? Why do recycling rates change so drastically from country to country and even street to street? • The podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts
APR / MAY 2021
ALPLA’s new online shop for standard packaging PACKAGING specialist ALPLA offers a wide array of products, featuring more than 300 bottles, jars and canisters with volumes ranging from 10 millilitres to 13 litres, online at www.product-catalogue.alpla.com. The portfolio is continuously expanded and can be ﬁltered by product type, ﬁlling volume, neck type, material, shape and country of production. The website is designed in such a way that visitors can ﬁnd just the right packaging solution and request a speciﬁc quantity with just a few clicks. The interested buyer then receives a suitable quotation in next to no time. In keeping with the one-stop shop principle, ALPLA can also offer a matching cap upon request. “ALPLA is known for its custom packaging solutions. Until now, we have only occasionally
catered to the market for standard packaging. However, we do have a large number of standard products which could be of interest to many customers,” says Daniel Lehner, sales director Western Europe. ALPLA has already presented a product catalogue for its pharmaceutical division. This can be found at alplapharma.com and features packaging solutions for medicines in solid and liquid form as well as for sprays. A product range featuring more than 300 bottles, jars and canisters can be found at www.product-catalogue. alpla.com
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Recyclers take to twin screw compounding machinery
74 APRIL / MAY 2021
Specialising in colour compounding and milling of LLDPE for the rotomoulding industry ACCORDING to an authoritative report published in January by industry consultants, AMI Consulting, the fastest growing application for twin-screw compounding machines is in upgrading and recycling post-consumer plastic waste. The report looks at the market for twin-screw corotating compounding machines as used commonly for compounding engineering plastics, styrenics, polypropylene, TPEs and masterbatches. These machines range from outputs of about 100kg per hour up to 10 tons per hour with smaller machines being used to compound some of the highest performance polymers and the biggest machines used where compounders want to make batches of 200-500 tons at a time. While the largest machines are often used on lower margin compounds, the scale at which they operate often justifies investment in the highest standards of technical performance and automation. The best-known producers of these machines include Coperion, JSW, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Leistritz, but there are many more. A key success factor for many is strong local demand. In recent years strongest demand
has been in China where there are now a large number of twin-screw compounding machinery producers, some of which have started to export internationally. The fastest growing application is recycling which is expected to see demand more than double between 2020 and 2024. In this segment more than 50% of machines sold globally in 2020 were sold into China, reflecting the opportunity within China to upcycle low value waste. Measured by the value of machinery sales, Europe, however, is the largest market due to investors’ preference for buying higher output machines. The report segments the market by geography, application and machinery
size. Demand data is supported by AMI Consulting’s well-developed understanding of compounding markets. Profiles of the suppliers include detailed market share data. While Covid-19 slowed the market in 2020 recovery is expected to be rapid because of the emergence of new markets, geographical shifts in demand and pressure on compounders to invest in higher performance machinery in order to remain competitive. This report is aimed at assisting industry participants and investors understand the size, structure and growth of the market, anticipate change, direct resources, and proactively manage threats and opportunities. • For further information please contact Cristina de Santos; email@example.com or +44 (0)117 924 9442
www.ami.international Sales of twin screw compounding machines used for recycling in 2020
Connecting old and new
European market for insulation materials
ELECTRIC motor, hybrid, or fuel cell? It is still not clear which drive system will prevail; however, it is certain that future mobility will depend on innovative joining technology. Even today, a new car contains around 18kg of adhesives - from heat-dissipating protective layers for battery cells to lightweight chassis and crashproof windows. Where screws, rivets, or welds were used in the past, the automotive industry is now increasingly using adhesives. Ceresana has now examined the European market for adhesives for the fourth time: In 2019, a total of around 3.51 million ton were used. The market researchers expect sales generated with adhesives across Europe to grow by 0.5% per year until 2027.
WALLS and rooftops are becoming more and more intelligent, not only thanks to built-in electronics. A group of German Fraunhofer Institutes, for example, is working on programmable insulating materials made of shape memory polymers: high-tech foams are designed to change their shape depending on the temperature, i.e. to independently adapt the size and air permeability of their flow channels to the need for heating or cooling. Innovative materials for the air conditioning of buildings are in high demand: in industrialized countries, people are spending more and more time in closed rooms, while the demands on building materials in terms of environmental sustainability and fire protection are growing. Ceresana is now publishing its fourth comprehensive study on the European market for insulation materials used in the construction industry. A total of 233.2 million cubic metres were used for thermal and sound insulation in Europe in 2019, mainly mineral wool (glass and stone wool), polystyrene (EPS and XPS) and polyurethane (PUR / PIR).
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Eco-friendly splints make their debut in sports
As Woodcast is a natural and breathing material, the risk for irritated skin or eczema is minimized
Lightweight biodegradable material made from wood and biopolymers WOODCAST is a lightweight biodegradable material made from wood and biopolymers, originally developed to replace the plaster casts traditionally used in hospitals. The material, invented by the Finnish high-tech company Onbone, proved to be so versatile that it is now used in a wide array of usage areas, one of them being sports. Injuries of varying degrees happen all the time in sports. Many of them can be treated on site simply with supports of different kinds. The trouble has been that these supports are rigid, often uncomfortable and not very eco-friendly. Woodcast offers an easy-to-use method to make supports that are comfortable to use and so thin that they ﬁt also in shoes, for instance. “Only a hairdryer or heat gun is needed to shape the splint so that it ﬁts perfectly, and optimally supports the injured area or the area that needs support for some other reason”, says Jimmy Takki, CEO of Onbone. The material can also easily be removed or reshaped simply by warming it up again. To speed up the development of sporting solutions using Woodcast, Onbone has joined forces with the Finnish Olympic Committee and its team of athletes, doctors, physiotherapists and coaches. “Woodcast is not only about immobilizing and shielding broken bones or twisted ﬁngers, but also about preventing damages”, Takki says. “Many injuries can be prevented if the athletes use individually shaped, lightweight supports of just the right stiffness. There are many competing products of this kind, but unlike Woodcast, very few of them can be formed for an exact ﬁt or have such a large scale of different areas of use. Being made from wood and biopolymers, Woodcast is also environmentally sound.” Onbone has already developed a new type of ankle and wrist braces, but there is a vast array of other sporting aids that can be done with the material.
APR / MAY 2021
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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,...
Published on Apr 15, 2021
Summit Publishing - based in Cape Town, South Africa - launched SA Polymer Technology magazine in 2002 (then know by the title, SA Plastics,...