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POLYMER technology


PIMMS Group installs 2 400-ton injection moulding machine


New top-of-range moulding machine for Pioneer Plastics

Continental expands and rebrands

Compact Robotics develops automated woven bag solutions ALPLA ACQUIRES VERIGREEN PACKAGING



PETCO diversifying into multi-materials

Co-injection revolution 16


JEC Composites Innovation Awards 2021




Cover Aug/Sep21.indd 1





LEGO reveals first prototype brick from recycled plastic

2021/08/10 10:52

Brenntag Polymer Additives Brenntag BrenntagPolymer Polymer PolymerAdditives Additives Additives Brenntag Polymer Additives Brenntag distributes a range Polymer Brenntag distributes aa comprehensive range of Polymer Brenntag Brenntag distributes distributes comprehensive acomprehensive comprehensive range range ofof of Polymer Polymer additives embracing new and innovative solutions additives embracing new and innovative solutions additives additives embracing embracing new new and and innovative innovative solutions solutions Brenntag distributes a comprehensive range of Polymer between our suppliers and customers and upcoming between our suppliers and customers and upcoming between between our our suppliers suppliers and and customers customers and and upcoming upcoming additives embracing new innovative solutions trends in the market. This translates into tangible results trends in the market. This translates into tangible results trends trends in our in thethe market. market. This This translates translates into into tangible tangible results results between suppliers and customers and upcoming for our customers in a range of industries such as for our customers in a range of industries such as forfor ourour customers customers in in aThis range a range of of industries industries such such as results as trends in the market. translates into tangible for our customers in a range of industries such as • Automotive • Electrical & Electronics • Automotive • Automotive • Automotive • Packaging & Film • Packaging & Film Packaging • Packaging & Film & Film ••• Automotive • PVC PVC •• Packaging PVC • PVC & Film • Wire & Cable • Wire & Cable Wire • Wire & Cable & Cable ••• PVC • Construction Construction Construction • Construction •• Wire & Cable • Construction Additives are added

• Electrical & Electronics • Electrical • Electrical & Electronics & Electronics • Household Appliances • Household Appliances Household • Household Appliances Appliances ••• Electrical & Electronics • Medical Medical • Medical • Medical Appliances • Recycling •• Household Recycling Recycling • Recycling ••• Medical • Mining Mining Mining • Mining •• Recycling

• Mining materials such thermoplastic Additives are added toto materials such asas thermoplastic Additives Additives areare added added to to materials materials such such as as thermoplastic thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers and a can beneficial and thermosetting polymers and a can bebe beneficial at at Additives are addedpolymers topolymers materials such asbe thermoplastic and and thermosetting thermosetting and and a can a can be beneficial beneficial at at stages the polymer cycle. allall stages ofof the polymer lifelife cycle. and thermosetting polymers and a can be beneficial at allall stages stages of of thethe polymer polymer lifelife cycle. cycle. Some notable benefits ADDITIVES Some notable benefits of of ADDITIVES all stages of the polymer lifeADDITIVES cycle. Some Some notable notable benefits benefits of of ADDITIVES Some benefits of faster ADDITIVES • notable Products produced faster with fewer defects • Products cancan be be produced with fewer defects

Please in touch with additive related enquiries Please getget in touch with us us forfor anyany additive related enquiries Please Please getDelaporte get in touch in touch with with us for us 83 for anyany additive additive related related enquiries enquiries Dean 2474 Dean Delaporte on on +27+27 (0)(0) 83 603603 2474 Please get in touch with for83 any additive Dean Dean Delaporte Delaporte on on +27 +27 (0)us(0) 83 603 603 2474 2474 related enquiries 9117 Tel:Tel: +27+27 (0)(0) 10 10 020020 9117 Dean Delaporte on +27 (0) 83 603 2474 Tel: Tel: +27 +27 (0) (0) 10 10 020 020 9117 9117 Tel: +27 (0) 10 020 9117 Classifieds Aug/Sept'2021.indd 72

Products Products cancan be be produced produced faster faster with fewer fewer defects defects •• Inhibit degradation when products are subjected to harsh •• Inhibit degradation when products arewith subjected to harsh Inhibit • Inhibit degradation degradation when when products products are are subjected subjected to harsh to harsh • Products can be produced faster with fewer defects environmental conditions environmental conditions environmental environmental conditions conditions •• Inhibit degradation whenand products areextended subjected • Product failure reduced and lifespan extendedto harsh Product failure reduced lifespan Product Product failure failure reduced reduced andand lifespan lifespan extended extended environmental •• Optimization of mechanical; thermal; electrical flammable •• Optimization ofconditions mechanical; thermal; electrical andand flammable Optimization • properties Optimization mechanical; of mechanical; thermal; thermal; electrical electrical andand flammable flammable • Product failureofreduced and lifespan extended properties properties properties •• Optimization of mechanical; thermal; electrical and flammable • Enhanced aesthetics Enhanced aesthetics Enhanced Enhanced aesthetics aesthetics properties •• Facilitate recycling •• Facilitate recycling Facilitate Facilitate recycling recycling •• Enhanced aesthetics •• Compatible with many different types of polymers Compatible with many different types of polymers Compatible Compatible with with many many different different types types of polymers of polymers •• Facilitate recycling •• Food contact approvals Food contact approvals • Compatible with many different types of polymers Food • Food contact contact approvals approvals • Food contact approvals


PCS ad '017 04 (orig)-bleed.indd 94

2021/07/19 11:04

BY THE WAY Publisher & Managing Editor: Martin Wells ( Editor: Tessa O’Hara ( Publishers Assistant: Heather Peplow ( Financial manager: Lisa Mulligan ( Designers: Jeanette Erasmus Graphic Design ( Bronwen Moys Blinc Design ( Summit Publishing cc t: +27 (21) 712 1408 f: 086 519 6089 c: +27 (82) 822 8115 e: 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 GAUTENG Lowrie Sharp t: (011) 793 4691 f: (011) 791 0544 c: 082 344 7870 e: KZN Lynne Askew c: 082 904 9433 e: Printed by: Novus Print, Paarl Southern African Polymer Technology is published six times a year and focuses on these industries in South and Southern Africa. We welcome news, articles, technical reports, information in general and photographs about events and developments related to the plastics industry. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Plastics Converters Association, Institute of Materials or Association of Rotational Moulders either. Copyright: All rights reserved. ISSN number: 1684-2855 (ISDS Centre, Paris) Summit Publishing: CK 9863581/23 VAT reg: 4600187902

Plastics Institute

Association of Rotational

Plastics Converters

of Southern Africa

Moulders of South Africa


PET Plastic Recycling South Africa

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Institute of Materials

Compact Robotics has seen its automation systems for bulk bag loading becoming increasingly popular. The company was started in 2012 by Martin Bensch who had been involved in woven bag manufacturing before selling that business, Polisak in Brits, to one of the multinationals. Tasks like bulk bag loading were often managed manually before. Bensch says Compact’s systems enable manufacturers to increase product throughput and grow their businesses, in many cases actually needing more people – See page 18

East Rand hold-up a bad precedent

YOU would probably have thought the three machinery suppliers gathered at the security entrance at an East Rand converting business the other day were having a brief chat … except a firearm was pointed at the one man’s midriff, and there was little the other victim could do. The incident was over in moments, CCTV footage showed, with the two would-be guests’ mobiles and other valuables being taken and the assailant disappearing. Fortunately, neither of the victims was injured, although very shaken. This is probably not a unique event, in fact it’s becoming all too common, and it’s obvious that the work place is no longer a safe place in South Africa. And now that everybody knows, in SA and around the world, what people in the manufacturing sector already knew, that the police will do nothing when businesses are attacked by supposed striking workers and now disenchanted mobs of looters, it is time for businesses and employers to take special precautions to ensure the safety of staff and premises. For many small to medium manufacturers it would be impossible to recover from such looting and pillage, even if you are insured. From what we hear, few businesses in our sector were affected by the recent rioting and looting, which is a relief. (One KZN film manufacturer had the misfortune to be located alongside a warehouse and its premises got torched too). There has been a major disruption to supply chains, and manufacturers and brand companies are going to have to be very smart to avoid a repeat of this case and the insidious spread of crime into the workplace.

It’s actually difficult to get into SA Ironically, and in spite of the above, it’s very difficult to immigrate to South Africa. Not only do immigrants need to put up considerable sums of cash, they also need to employ people. We hear what is still really a rumour of one such case: a man by the name of Istvan from Hungary has set up an automotive component manufacturing business near East London and is operating. The company even has a board that is fully representative and … IF YOU HAVE meets all the requirements of the DTI SOMETHING TO SAY and Competitions Commission. Is this Look at the bright side: if you possible? We hope to find out. have some gem of wisdom to impart, please write to us at

2021/08/10 10:11



CONTENTS Find out more at


PIMMS Group installs 2 400-ton injection moulding machine


8 12 14

Continental expands and rebrands


New top-of-range moulding machine for Pioneer Plastics


Compact Robotics develops automated woven bag solutions


LEGO reveals first prototype brick made from recycled plastic

22 24 26

Engel co-injection revolution


‘Zero plastic’ doesn’t necessarily mean zero litter

ACD RotoFlo expands operations ALPLA acquires Verigreen Packaging

Clariter – a clean future begins now


PETCO diversifying into multi-materials




JEC – Composites Innovation Awards 2021


Dow – study to examine plastics circularity in Nigeria ON THE COVER: The Lego Group has unveiled a prototype LEGO® brick made from recycled plastic, the latest step in its journey to make Lego products from sustainable materials. See page 21.

2-3.indd 3

2021/08/10 10:12

COMMENT Shipping time – A full container of the RotoVetti show jumping components was recently dispatched by ACD RotoFlo of Johannesburg for Europe. Kudos to ACD and its partners in the project, developing products to the point where a business can begin to export and compete internationally is no mean feat, and there is a massive need for more of this in SA now. – See page 12

Some impressive projects underway …in moulding, material beneficiation and recovery



4 AUG / SEP 2021

Now Continental is expanding its expertise and service FTER a brief travelling sojourn in May, the to other polymers, which is very welcome in South Africa reimplementation of Covid-19 lockdown where a lot of specialized compound is imported, and in regulations clipped my wings, which some cases has even been flown in. was a big disappointment as travelling Another company which is forging ahead Rockagain had been both fascinating is Pioneer Plastics of Rosslyn, which has and uplifting. Many convertors and solid plan commissioned the big Rotoline roto moulding suppliers are coming up with novel machine it had purchased from the original needs to be in solutions to deal with – or at least South African buyer in late 2020 (page 16). place to justify cope with – the new realities. In order to justify the high price tag for such

4.indd 4

investment and equipment, one has to have a rock-solid plan Still, in this issue we have some in place to justify the investment, along with impressive articles. Pimms of Honeydew ability to fully the commitment and ability to fully utilise the kit. has been going about its business quietly utilise kit These are not things that happen easily, and we and effectively over the past two decades are well aware of this as there have been several (see page 6-7) and has ramped up to the point major manufacturing projects in our industry over the past where it has recently installed some very impressive few years which have failed. injection machinery, with one of its current projects being to There is also a lot of interest in the Clariter fuel-frommould large bins. Only a handful of convertors are involved plastic scrap venture in East London (page24). After in the production of such large mouldings in SA, so it’s the failure of the second big rPET recycling venture in encouraging to be able to report about a business with the Johannesburg, implementation of the Clariter technology determination to invest and implement its plans. could really be a shot in the arm for the We are also very happy to be able to give you a look industry and improve the plastic waste into what’s happening at Continental Compounders landscape in South Africa. in Durban. George Dimond and his team have been Plus there are articles from the industry at it for well over two decades and have built up their around the world which you could find of use, compounding operation to the point where they are particularly about design. We try to give you producing over 40 000 tons of material p/a, which is a LOT more each issue. for a compounder. Compounding material to customer spec requires continuous attention to detail and testing. Martin Wells, Publisher

2021/08/10 10:20

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2021/05/06 11:52


PIMMS Group installs

2 400-ton injection moulding machine

A 36kg shot weight and a 40 ton mould weight capacity CABLETECH Marketing has been busy recently commissioning one of the largest injection moulding machines in South Africa: a 2 400-ton Haitian Jupiter series injection moulding machine at PIMMS Group. This machine is capable of manufacturing a 36kg shot weight and has a 40 ton mould weight capacity. It is currently being used to produce 240 litre wheelie bins of various colours. Soon its production run will include trolleys, crates and pallets. PIMMS Group is a purposeful, innovative and multi-faceted company. With a focus on custom moulding and product development, it houses a worldclass injection moulding facility and three of its own sales brands which function in the fibre optics, transportation safety, and mining industries. Services include an R&D department, industrial designers, mould designers, a toolroom facility, injection moulding plant and large scale warehousing capabilities.

Increased production The capacity company’s PIMMS Group production has recently undergone capabilities range a merge of from 80 ton to 2 400 companies, a ton machinery with corporate identity passionate team of rebrand and an automation in the professionals, sales exciting expansion form of robots. and technically skilled of premises and staff. As plastic product machinery, increasing specialists, our focus is its production capacity innovation and quality processes,” to 30 injection moulding says Stephen. machines. The company’s production This year also marks its celebration capabilities range from 80 ton to 2 400 of 20 years in business. It was started ton machinery with automation in the in 2001 by Stephen Stanley, a tool and form of robots, conveyors and a central die maker by trade but entrepreneur at feeding system. heart, and has grown into a formidable organization. Stephen remains at its head as CEO, while Bronwynn Dreijer recently joined as COO, and Veronique Pierre Jurgens (Managing Director, Cabletech Stanley, an attorney by trade, as CCO. Marketing), congratulates PIMMS Group CEO Stephen Stanley on the successful “PIMMS Group has an amazing and

6 AUG / SEPT 2021

PIMMS Group CEO, Stephen Stanley with Veronique Stanley (CCO), Bronwynn Dreijer (COO) and Pierre Jurgens of Cabletech Marketing

commissioning of the machine

A river of plastic …

Monster machine! The 2 400ton Haitian injection moulding machine at PIMMS Group seen here producing wheelie bins. From left, Kobus van Niekerk (Production Manager, PIMMS Group), Victor Tshabalala (Shift Supervisor, PIMMS Group), Pierre Jurgens (Managing Director, Cabletech Marketing), Piet Rasmus Mapfumo (Maintenance Foreman, PIMMS Group), Stephen Stanley (CEO and owner, PIMMS Group), Duane van Zyl (Technical Manager, Cabletech Marketing) and Danie Snyman (Manufacturing Manager, PIMMS Group)

With its passion for growing and improving South Africa’s local manufacturing market, PIMMS Group is a company worth keeping an eye on as they continue to update and expand their facilities to ensure quick turnaround with European-quality standards. One of the few injection moulding facilities in SA able to produce large custom moulded products The 2 400-ton Haitian has certainly expanded PIMMS Groups’ capabilities making them one of the few injection moulding facilities in South Africa able to produce large custom moulded products. “The machine build ran for over a month from start to finish. Special mention goes to the project team, headed up by Danie Snyman, the company’s head engineer and factory manager,” Stephen adds. “PIMMS Group is ahead of its game and ready to assist with those large scale custom moulding projects.” The Haitian JU III Series, as developed based on Haitian’s extensive experience in sustainable research and development of two-platen solutions in the past two decades, has made significant improvements to the previous machine generation and provides

more advantages for many different moulding applications. The new design incorporates additional functions and user benefits which greatly enhance the machine performance and part quality. With flexible clamping unit to injection unit combinations, the machine can be tailored to specific or general moulding applications. The Haitian Jupiter Series provides a wide variety of combination possibilities in a compact footprint, which maximizes the usable space of the plants to the customers’ benefit. No matter large parts such as trash bins and logistics boxes, or high-precision automotive parts and high-tech parts with high surface quality such as white goods, JU III Series provides the best solution for customers.

AUG / SEPT 2021 7

Surely this isn’t possible … No sir, unfortunately, it is. Scenes like this play out in many rivers around SA and the world, with plastic debris held up on its way to the ocean, in this case near Cape Town. PlasticsSA sustainability manager, John Kieser, says they are receiving numerous calls to assist with clean-ups, but it is often just not possible to deal with the problems effectively. In many cases like this, the rivers pass by informal settlements where garbage collection services are not functioning. PlasticsSA was also recently alerted to a large quantity of shredded material that had been dumped illegally, where it was again difficult to identify the source.

Krones line likely to go to USA

ONE investment which will most probably not be happening is that rumoured about the restart of the Krones rPET recycling plant operated by Mpact Polymers in Wadeville. It appears the most likely outcome now is that the plant will be sold to the USA, with an American business which already operates a similar line from Krones of Germany expected to make an offer. If accepted, the equipment will make a return journey to the coast and then across the Atlantic. It appears the Mpact board felt they had already lost considerable capital with the project, which at the outset had appeared well-timed, and felt it was too risky to proceed.

Scott Bader celebrates 100 years!

SCOTT Bader is celebrating its 100th anniversary, as well as its 70th anniversary of being employee-owned. The celebration includes the installation of a sculpture representing the company’s journey so far, by metal work artist John Creed at Scott Bader’s head office Wollaston, UK. Scott Bader is also supporting several environmental initiatives to help protect and reduce its impact on the environment. These include donating to the World Land Trust’s (WLT) Buy an Acre Programme for a conservation project in Argentina and committing to the WLT’s Carbon Balanced Programme which places a pledge on the company to reduce its carbon emissions.


Continental expands and rebrands

Will increase total compound production to 60 000 tons a year The engineering polymers compound capacity will CONTINENTAL Compounders, the largest PVC compounder increase to as much as 10 000 tons a year with a wider in Sub Saharan Africa, is increasing its PVC polymers diversity of customised compounds for both local and compound capacity and will be installing a new line in August. international markets – from PA, PP, PC, ABS, highly filled According to the company’s product manager, Jason compounds and additive masterbatch. This will increase Agnew, the group’s compounding capacity is currently total compound production for the group to 60 000 tons around 44 000 tons a year and the new production line a year. – comprising machinery, automation and downstream equipment – will add another 6 000 tons a year of Diversity in product range to meet needs PVC compounds. and demands of the market The new line offers the opportunity to The PVC Continental Compounders owes much produce quick-to-market solutions and of its success to its founding members compounding allows Continental the flexibility to focus George Dimond and Rodger Petre. capacity is currently on key markets. Their vision has always been to The increased capacity will also around 44 000 tons supply superior quality products, assist in meeting local demand for driven by research and development a year and the new cable, footwear, and rigid injection and along with diversity in product range production line will extrusion grades of PVC. to meet the needs and demands of “Continental strives to be best in add another 6 000 the market. class in the compounding world. It is for Partnering with local and tons a year this reason we can export to 45 countries international suppliers has been one of in, Europe, South America, Australasia and the key differentiators and cornerstones Africa, delivering world class products,” says of the company’s success. It is for this reason George Dimond, Continental CEO. Continental is the preferred supplier of PVC compound to key local and major international players. New state-of-the-art compounding line for Continental Continental has also been involved in SAVA as a member Engineering Compounds from its inception and has achieved its Vinyl Dot every year Continental will also be adding a new state of the art so far: material compliance stewardship certification for compounding line to Continental Engineering Compounds 2019, 2020 & 2021. Its products are REACH and ROHS in October – a division that focuses more on niche compliant and Continental Compounders is committed to >> compounds. 8

AUG / SEP 2021


2021/08/10 16:22

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| FLEXIBLE EXTRUSION Construction, Mining and multipurpose industries

Continental Engineering Compounds offer locally manufactured compounds for Automotive and Industrial applications to meet your required specifications | MINERAL FILLED TALC & CALCIUM CARBONATE 20% to 50%

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Continental expands and rebrands << operating sustainably according to local and international standards. Covid-19 highlighted global supply shortages Also prompting Continental’s investment were the global supply chain shortages and delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The original scope of the group’s investment was thus brought forward to assist in terms of local supply to the industry. During the pandemic outbreak, Continental realised just how vulnerable its customers in SA and neighbouring countries were to global events and market fluctuations. The demand locally increased as more companies started producing products as importing became more difficult. The PVC supply chain was adversely affected by numerous force majeures on polymer locally and globally, but also on all core raw materials. Continental strengthened the supply chain with many global partners and navigated through the supply constraints to supply the market. “We value the strong global partnerships we have developed over the years with major suppliers of key raw materials. These relationships have allowed Continental the opportunity to pivot and adjust our strategy to the current circumstances and needs of the market,” comments Dimond.

“We believe that our investment in the expansion of our production capabilities places us in the ideal position to not only supply manufacturers in our country, but also export our products to the rest of the world. Our clients will now enjoy the benefits of shorter lead times, better prices, fewer disruptions and more flexibility when it comes to modifications that would better meet their needs.” “We will focus on meeting our customers’ needs while we continue to grow and develop strong, lasting partnerships with our agencies, our suppliers and customers,” Dimond adds. New look – one logo, one brand! Continental is also taking the opportunity to rebrand with a fresh new look as it seeks to align both companies with one logo and one brand. “The exercise has allowed the team to look at the past and draw from our experiences to understand where we are presently, and what sacrifices it took to get here. But more importantly, what we want to achieve and aspire to be tomorrow,” says Dimond. Despite the challenges of the past and current year, the company is excited and optimistic about the future.

‘Covestro Photon’ for the Solar Challenge Morocco 2021 IN line with its commitment to sustainable future mobility, Covestro is extending its sponsorship of Team Sonnenwagen Aachen until 2023. This includes funding for two new solar cars from the team of students from RWTH Aachen University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, arguably the toughest solar car race in the world.


This year, the race has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that couldn’t put a damper on the enthusiasm of the young designers: they developed the solar race car ‘Covestro Photon’ for this year’s races as well, which has now been virtually presented to the public and is set to take part in various races in the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region, among them the Solar Challenge Morocco 2021.

In the solar cars of the Sonnenwagen team, Covestro is testing innovative and sustainable materials under the extreme climatic conditions that typically prevail on such race tracks: very high UV radiation, high temperatures and mechanical vibrations while driving. In addition to partially biobased raw materials, the company also plans to launch recycled plastics in the next vehicle.

AUG / SEP 2021


2021/08/10 10:48

CapeTown +27 1 52678 7 Durban +2731 869138 1 NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS

The winning school was Mitchells Heights Primary, which amassed 1 519kg of recyclable waste

Ineos schools recycling programme in SA sees great results

environmental benefits of managing their waste – these The schools chosen to take part in this ‘Trash 4 Treats’ children will continue to keep their neighbourhoods tidy.” pilot were first briefed by a local recycling company, Waste Next year, INEOS plans to develop Trash 4 Treats and take Want, which would help to weigh and dispose of the rubbish its popular mascot Trashy to more schools in South Africa. collected. Rubbish mascot Trashy issued starter kits to each child to show what could and couldn’t be recycled.



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"!" ' ! & $ ! "!" * ") $ ! * ") $ ! ' ! & $ ! "!" ' ! & $ ! & ( * # ( ( $ (" * &( )$ ## & ( * # ( ( $ (" * &( )$ ## ! & $ % ! * "! % & - ! & $ % ! * "! % & ! & $ % ! * "! % & - ! & $ % ! * "! % & * (! ) % !%*(& + !% !% %*!, ) &( #& # * (! ) % !%*(& + !% !% %*!, ) &( #& # * (! ) % !%*(& + !% !% * (! ) % !%*(& + !% '% ! %% % "( $! '% ! %% % "( $! '% ! %% % "( $! !& # !% &" !& # !% &" '% ! %% % "( $! !& # !% &" !& # !% &" '(&,!% ! # &, (%$ %*) & +* % % '(&,!% ! # &, (%$ %*) & +* % % '(&,!% ! # &, (%$ %*) & +* % % '(&,!% ! # &, (%$ %*) & +* % % After the competition ended, the 13 094 children had INEOS has launched an exciting schools recycling programme !' &'$ $% , !' &'$ $% , !' &'$ $% , !' &'$ $% , )! % * #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) )! % * #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) )! % * #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) )! % * #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) "$& %& )"$ ! &" & $ ) & & "$& %& )"$ ! &" & $ ) & & "$& %& )"$ ! &" & $ ) & & "$& %& )"$ ! &" & $ ) & & collected 5 328kg of waste in just seven weeks. The total in South Africa called Trash4Treats. This was initially borne %& % % ! (" & ! "$ %& % % ! (" & ! "$ %& % % ! %& % % * * $+)* '(& +( (&$ ) * * $+)* '(& +( (&$ ) * * $+)* '(& +( (&$ ) * * $+)* '(& +( (&$ ) & % " " !! % '$ % ) ! ! & % " " !! % '$ % ) ! ! & % " " !! % '$ % ) ! ! & % " " !! % '$ % ) ! ! included 1 110kg && $ "!&$" "( $ of plastic. of ! % &("!% -!* Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s love of $ % !& !!"'! & & #$" &% South Africa, and $ % !& !!"'! & & #$" &% && $ "!&$" "( $ #"$&% #"$&% %'$ % &" %'$ % &" && $ "!&$" "( $ && $ "!&$" "( $ #"$ $ % !& !!"'! & & #$" &% $ % !& !!"'! & & #$" &% ! % &("!% -!* ! % &("!% -!* ! % &("!% -!* , #&'$ %* , #&'$ %* , #&'$ %* , #&'$ %* The % !%, )*$ %* , #+ & !##!&% winning school was Mitchells Heights Primary, which following a visit a couple of years back he decided to look into -!* -!* )*!$+# * #& # '(& +( $ %* % % *!&% # )*!$+# * #& # '(& +( $ %* % % *!&% # )*!$+# * #& # '(& +( $ )*!$+# * #& # '(& + -!* !& % *% -!* % !%, )*$ %* , #+ & !##!&% % !%, )*$ %* , #+ & !##!&% % !%, )*$ %* , #+ & !##!&% - ! ! !%& &'& "!% & "( $! - ! ! !%& &'& "!% & "( $! - ! ! !%& &'& "!% & "( $! - ! ! !%& &'& "!% & "( $! !& % *% !& % *% !& % *% amassed 1 519kg!%!*! *!, *& +/ #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) of !%!*! *!, *& +/ #& ##/ '(& + '(& + *) recyclable waste. how Ineos support educating local people !%!*! *!, *& +/ #& ##/ '( !%!*! *!, *& +/ #& ## , #( / % &$'# * % , #( / % &$'# * % , #( / % &$'# * % !* !* ) ( * % !%%&, *!, '(& )) * !* ) ( * % !%%&, *!, '(& )) * ) ( * % !%%&, *!, '(& )) * !* might ) ( * % !%%&, *!, '(& )) * * * young * about * , #( / % &$'# * % All the schools % '(& + *) -!* plan to continue ( / # &%* %* their involvement with the % '(& + *) -!* the value and importance of recycling waste in#$" &% )"$& '%& "( $ "! $ the community.#$" &% )"$& '%& "( $ "! $ % '(& + *) -!* ( / # &%* %* % '(& + *) -!* ( / # ( #$" &% )"$& '%& "( $ "! $ #$" &% )"$& '%& "( $ "! $ ) '! & ' % ) $ &$ &* ) '! & ' % ) $ &$ &* ) '! & ' % ) $ &$ &* ) '! & ' % ) $ &$ &* recycling local centre, which pays for the rubbish. Caroline Working with Caroline Hughes of INEOS!% !$'# $ %* *!&% ' SA!% !$'# $ %* *!&% ' and charity ) * 1 - * (! & ) % ) *& 1 - * (! & ) % ) *& 1 - * (! & ) % 1 - * (! & ) % !% !$'# $ %* *!&% ' ) * !% !$'# $ %* *!&% ' * -!## ) * -!## ) ) * ) * * -!## ) * -!## ) ) & $ & ! $ %&$' &'$ ! $" % ) & $ & ! $ %&$' &'$ ! $" % ) & $ & ! $ %&$' &'$ ! $" % ) & $ & ! $ %&$' &'$ ! $" % said the recycled , #&' *& * ** ( &%*(&# &, ( * plastic was * $ %+ *+( especially in demand locally. marketing [dot]GOOD, INEOS% -#/ +!#* *&(! ) * ran% -#/ +!#* *&(! ) * a pilot , #&' *& * ** ( &%*(&# &, ( * , #&' *& * ** ( , #&' *& * * % -#/ +!#* *&(! ) * * $ %+ *+( * $ %+ *+( % -#/ +!#* *&(! ) * * $ %+ *+( 1 #*1 #* 1 #* &+ consultancy &+ 1 #* #!**# !% &($ *!&% !) , !# # &+ #!**# !% &($ *!&% !) , !# # &+ #!**# !% &($ *!&% !) , !# # #!**# !% &($ *!&% !) , !# # #$" ' &% " #$" ' &% " ! !&" "'& $ ! ! !&" "'& $ ! #$" ' &% " #$" ' &% " ! !&" " ! !&" % $&# "! % $% #") $ % &*$ % % Cape $&# "! % $% #") $ % &*$ % % $&# "! % $% #") $ % &*$ % "$ #' "!%' "$ #' "!%' "$ #' "!%' "$ #' "!%' #& "! ) $ "# ! & & #& "! ) $ "# ! & & #& "! ) $ "# ! & & #& "! ) $ "# ! & & “Many of the teachers and children were amazed to discover challenge for 10 primary schools in the Western area % $&# "! % $% #") $ % &*$ % - ( #)& -&("!% &% )* ') * * -!## #!$!* * -!## #!$!* % && % && % && * ) '# %) * * ) '# %) ) '# %) *Cape ) '# %) , $ '(&,!)!&% &( % , $ '(&,!)!&% &( % , $ '(&,!)!&% &( % , $ '(&,!)!&% &( % what happens to - ( #)& -&("!% &% )* ') * plastic bottles that are recycled,” she - ( #)& -&("!% &% ) said.- ( #)& -&("!% around Town to collect the most plastic, glass, cans and % && * !$'&(*!% & '# )*! - )* *& '(&* * * !$'&(*!% & '# )*! - )* *& '(&* * * !$'&(*!% & '# )*! 1 $ )* ( '# % !) #)& !% , #&' 1 $ )* ( '# % !) #)& !% , #&' 1 $ )* ( '# % !) #)& !% , #&' *!, - )* $ % $ %* )/)* $ * *!, - )* $ % $ %* )/)* $ * *!, - )* $ % $ %* )/)* $ * *!, - )* $ % $ %* )/)* $ * * * 1 $ )* ( '# % !) #)& !% , #&' * * For Caroline and the team at INEOS, the biggest benefi t * !$'&(*!% & '# ) paper for a chance to win about €3,000. & !( $"! & !( $"! !& & $ * ! ! '%&$* !& & $ * ! ! '%&$* & !( $"! & !( $"! !& & $ !& & &( *a &( * '# )*! ) !% +)*(/ % - '# )*! ) !% +)*(/ % - '# )*! ) !% +)*(/ % - &' '# )*! ) !% +)*(/ % - &' &' &' ")% "$ & % # $ & "! " & "! ! ")% "$ & % # $ & "! " & "! ! ")% "$ & % # $ & "! " & "! ! ")% "$ & % # $ & "! " & "! ! has been a change in mindset. “Many of the children simply “The idea was to turn what is perceived as chore into a fun &( * &( * ! $") & ! $") & ! "$ " ) %& , ! "$ " ) %& , ! $") & ! $") & ! " ! * * * * * * * !#) -!## ( # ) !% * * !#) -!## ( # ) !% * * * * * * * * !#) -!## ( # ) !% * * !#) -!## ( # ) !% * '(& ))!% & ( / # # $ * (! #) (&$ '(& ))!% & ( / # # $ * (! #) (&$ '(& ))!% & ( / # # $ * (! #) (&$ '(& ))!% & ( / # # $ * (! #) (&$ didn’t know why rubbish was a problem,” said Caroline. habit,” said Caroline “And also to show the children that waste

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! " % ( +*+( * % ( +*+( * * -!## ))!)* !% (&-!% * -!## ))!)* !% (&-!% % ( +*+( * % ( +*+( * * -!## ))!)* !% (&-!% * -!## ))!)* !% (&-!% * ) * value.” * ) ) *&+) ) &+) &+) &# ) &# ) &+) &# ) !) -!## & #&% - / !) -!## & #&% - / &# ) !) -!## & #&% - / !) -!## & #&% - / “But the hope is that now – having seen the financial and has

AUG / SEP 2021 11

Trade. Trade. Trade. Trade. Create. Create. Create. Elevate. Create. Elevate. Elevate. Elevate. > > > >

Deep Deep Deep Deep insights, insights, insights, insights, deep deep deep deep impact. impact. impact. impact.

Thank You!


Meraxis Meraxis Meraxis Meraxis South South South Africa South Africa (Pty) Africa (Pty) Africa LtdLtd (Pty) (Pty) LtdLtd Johannesburg Johannesburg Johannesburg Johannesburg +27+27 11 455 2889 11 455 2889 +27+27 11 455 2889 11 455 2889 Cape Cape Cape Cape Town Town Town Town +27+27 21 556 7787 21 556 7787 +27+27 21 556 7787 21 556 7787 Durban Durban Durban Durban +27+27 31 816 9381 31 816 9381 +27+27 31 816 9381 31 816 9381

Meraxis Meraxis Apr/May'2021.indd Apr/May'2021.indd 66 80 66 80 Classifieds Classifieds Feb/Mar'2021.indd Feb/Mar'2021.indd


2021/05/24 2021/02/01 11:49 11:06

2021/08/10 10:48


ACD RotoFlo

expands operations

It’s ‘service, service, service’ at roto material supplier ROTO moulding material manufacturer ACD RotoFlo has embarked on another expansion drive involving the purchase of additional factory space totalling 2200m² that includes an additional 1000kVA of power supply which allows for future growth potential and expansion. The existing and new factory operations are within 800m of each other, which bodes well for ACD’s management and operation teams to continue their functions without interruption. The new facility also offers ideal loading/offloading facilities; additional warehousing space; an additional office complex which will house admin functions; extra yard space and a dedicated laboratory area. New plant and equipment at the Kya Sand company includes a series of highspeed colour compounding extruders and

12 AUG / SEPT 2021

Kibo, IGES to develop portfolio of waste-toenergy projects in SA THE share price of JSE- and Aim-listed Kibo Energy rose by more than 7% and 3% on the JSE and LSE, respectively, on 18 May, after the company announced that it had entered into an agreement with South Africa-based Industrial Green Solutions (IGES) to jointly develop a series of waste-toenergy projects in South Africa. The companies have established a Newco, in which Kibo will hold a 65% interest and IGES the balance, to deliver the projects. The parties have set an initial target of generating more than 50MW of electricity for sale to industrial users. The projects will convert plastic waste, to be provided by waste disposal

matched capacity milling (pulverising) machines. “Our lab will be equipped with a bi-axial rotomoulding machine in order to run various test trials to produce impact test specimens, prototype mouldings for customers and also develop RotoFlo’s range of equine products for the international market,” said ACD RotoFlo chief executive Clive Robertson. The newly installed plant will increase RotoFlo’s capacity of 1800 metric tons a month to 2200mt/month with well over 32 different colours. “As RotoFlo produces rotomoulding powder to order, we will be in a position to shorten our delivery lead times and switch

2200mt/ month with well over 32 different colours

operators, into syngas using a pyrolysis plant. The syngas will be stored on site and fed into gas engines to generate electrical power. Kibo said that the first project would be developed in four phases of 2MW each, with the first 2MW phase to be completed within 16 months.

ECIC expands offering for South African exports to Africa

SOUTH African manufacturers exporting to countries elsewhere in Africa will have access to additional insurance products that underwrite risk outside the control of the exporting entity. This follows a new mandate signed by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel that is slated to empower insurance company, Export Credit

The RotoVetti show jumping components have a high quality surface finish

over to different colours at a far more efficient rate. This all means good news to the market as RotoFlo strongly embraces the philosophy of service, service, service. “We fully understand the changes that have occurred since the Covid lockdown and have adapted our business according to the market during this time,” added Robertson. “We have demonstrated our ability to grow with the market from our start-

Insurance Corporation (ECIC), to support South African businesses in key priority sectors, as African countries prepare for increased trade and industrialisation following the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. The ECIC product offerings will now be expanded, providing product coverage to small and medium-sized enterprises and first-time exporters, who do not typically get access to such trade finance products. The new mandate will assist new exporters not only in mitigating the export risk, but importantly in de-risking businesses, allowing them to raise capital which can increase prospects of exports to other African markets, the DTIC posits. The export of goods to other African countries amounted to R346-billion in 2019, prior to the slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Far left: The acquisition of additional space is a big venture for ACD RotoFlo that has clear advantages for improved supply to customers Left: CNC aluminum moulds manufactured by Nico Hickley are being used to produce the RotoVetti parts

up capacity of only 300mt/month in 2012. We have invested heavily in our production facilities over the past eight years. Our production staff work on a 24/7 basis with the only shutdown over the annual Christmas period. We have evolved our maintenance procedures to a level that any serious breakdown can be rectified within a period of less than a day. Most repairs are attended to within the hour due to our extensive critical stock of spare parts and common components.” Recently RotoFlo experienced a Covid shutdown and had to implement its Covid strategy, which entailed shutting down its main factory, sanitising and bringing

in staff from the ‘clean factory’ to run the plant while the other shifts quarantined for the mandatory 10 days. All the company’s admin staff operated from home during the period. “We were pleasantly surprised how smoothly this entire procedure went without any interruption to our market place,” said Robertson. RotoFlo also sponsors and runs a team of show jumping horses. To this end, RotoFlo has registered RotoFlo International which has just started marketing the well-known RotoVetti show jumping components in Europe. Combined with this operation, RotoFlo has landed two horses in Belgium to

compete on the world show jumping arena. Former SA show jumping champion Kelly O’Connor is riding these horses under the RotoFlo brand. Carl Gliddon has been appointed to market the RotoVetti range and the new, soon to be launched RotoTrainer. Both the RotoVetti and RotoTrainer components are produced on CNC machined aluminium moulds of superb quality by Nico Hickley of Hickley Mould & Tool. RotoFlo recently shipped out a full container containing 575 RotoVetti sets (1150 units) to Europe

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 Colour Compounding Speciality PolymersAfrica Colour Compounding of of Rotomoulding 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 82 880 49764976 Clive Robertson +27 82 880 Contact: Contact: Clive Robertson clive@rotofl +27 82+27 880 4976 Michael Böltau +27+27 84 540 28962896 Michael Böltau 84 540 Michael Böltau tech@rotofl +27 84 540 2896 Andrew Robertson +27 76 101 7805 Andrew Robertson +27 76 101 7805 Andrew Robertson andrew@rotofl +27 76 101 7805 Chanda Mukuka +27 11 708 3361 (Tel) +27 11 708 Beverley Chanda Cooper Mukukasales@rotofl +27 11 +27 708 3361 (Tel) 11 708 19193361 (Fax)(Tel) +27 11 708 +27 87 721 1701 (Alt)1919 (Fax) Website: Address: 28 Hilston Road Website: Website: www.rotofl 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

AUG / SEPT 2021 13

Members of:

Agents for:

Mold In Graphic Systems®


2019/10/01 09:23


ALPLA acquires

Verigreen Packaging

Expands Alpla’s product portfolio in Africa

14 AUG / SEPT 2021

ALPLA Group, the global manufacturer of plastic packaging and recycling specialist, has acquired Verigreen Packaging of Durban, the specialised manufacturer of bottles and canisters for lubricants such as engine oils. The transaction was concluded on 7 July. Verigreen Packaging has a workforce of 25 at its site in Westmead, near the N3. “This acquisition is the perfect fit for our strategy,” said Mike Resnicek, managing director of Alpla’s Sub-Saharan Africa business unit. “It offers us an inroad into a market segment in which we have not been present in southern Africa until now as well as generating synergies for our existing customers and giving us opportunities to further diversify our portfolio.”

With the acquisition, The acquisition Alpla is increasing its involvement in the of Verigreen region. In 2017, it The RotoVetti show Packaging adds a acquired Boxmore jumping components Packaging, a plant in the country’s have a high quality regional market surface finish third largest city, leader in the manufacture of Durban, to the PET bottles, PET portfolio preforms and caps. A modern production facility together with a regional head office is currently under construction at Lanseria near Johannesburg. There is another production facility near to Cape city, Durban, to the portfolio. Outside Town. of Africa, the Alpla group already has a The acquisition of Verigreen Packaging wealth of experience in the production of adds a plant in the country’s third largest packaging for lubricants.

New Haitian 160-ton at IRP Engineering Plastics CABLETECH Marketing recently sold and commissioned a state-of-the-art Haitian Mars injection moulding machine at Lanseria-based IRP Engineering Plastics. The 160-ton Haitian eco injection moulding machine was commissioned at

IRP Engineering Plastics cc, established in 1987. IRP Engineering Plastics prides itself on being one of the largest market leaders in the Southern Hemisphere when it comes to producing engineering plastics, modular belting and conveyor components solutions to the food, beverage and packaging industries. “We are excited to commission this new Haitian 160-ton injection moulding machine, which now adds extra capacity to our injection moulding division. With further investment in new tooling and the introduction of a number of new

products to our portfolio, we needed to increase our capacity to handle the demand and keep our service levels at the high standards we are known for,” sad Nardus Gouws, IRP Engineering Plastics production manager. “Cabletech Marketing has been outstanding from start to finish, with a very high level of customer service from Lorraine du Plessis who led this project for us,” says Gouws. “IRP Engineering Plastics is very happy with our new addition, and we have already seen a substantial difference in efficiency. We already have plans to add more new machines like this in the not too distant future,” he added.

Darryn Kibble, Lorraine du Plessis (Cabletech), Nardus Gouws, Mnamie Mawiri (Mlex) and Kris Kibble

The Verigreen Packaging premises in Westmead, Durban; the company specialises in the manufacture of bottles and canisters for lubricants

The two companies have agreed not to disclose any details regarding the deal. About ALPLA Group ALPLA is a globally leading manufacturer of plastic packaging. Around 21,600 employees worldwide produce custommade packaging systems, bottles, caps and moulded parts at 178 sites across 45 countries. The high-quality packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils and lubricants. ALPLA operates its own recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland and Spain and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. Other projects are being realised elsewhere around the world.

Kainotomia Polymers achieves ISO certification KAINOTOMIA Polymers, a new contender on the block specialising in colour compounding and milling of LLDPE for the rotomoulding industry, has achieved its ISO certification – less than a year after it set up in Icon Industrial Park, Centurion. Owned and run by Albert Gildenhuys, the company was certified compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 during May this year by Alcumus ISOQAR. To achieve the ISO 9001:2015 certification, Kainotomia Polymers was independently assessed in its commitment and compliance in the following areas: • effective leadership and strategic direction; • a clear understanding of the role of the company in its local community and the wider economy; • customer satisfaction; • clearly defined and controlled processes; • mitigation of risks; • able to consistently evaluate and improve quality management system; and • provide quality products. “With this certification, we hold ourselves accountable to ensure we uphold the high standards our Customers have come to expect from us,” said Gildenhuys. ISO 9001 sets out the steps necessary to adopt a quality management system. It is designed to help organisations ensure they meet the needs and expectations of both customers and other interested parties, based on internationally recognised quality management principles set out by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

Owned and run by Albert Gildenhuys, the company was certified compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 during May this year by Alcumus ISOQAR. Pictured here are Jaco Krige, Pierre Venter and Albert Gildenhuys (back), with Gift Mudau and Elson Bebeza in front. AUG / SEPT 2021 15


New top-of-range moulding machine for Pioneer Plastics

The new Rotoline shuttle machine will give Pioneer Plastics more flexibility to excel even further in producing custom moulded products

Brings additional capacity to the factory PIONEER Plastics, known for its custom moulding, has added a Rotoline shuttle rotational moulding machine to its range of equipment. “The machine brings additional capacity to our factory,” explains Gary Wiid, marketing director at Pioneer Plastics. “It will contribute to improved production processes, which will increase our productivity. The nature of the Rotoline rotational moulding machine will allow us to run more efficiently through temperature control and other monitoring methods. The addition of the new machine will further allow us to increase day-time production using our state-of-the art solar system, which contributes positively to the reduction of our carbon footprint.” In short, the new shuttle machine will give Pioneer Plastics more flexibility to excel even further in producing custom moulded products. Although the company manufacture over 1 500 generic products, it can also manufacture almost anything, making Pioneer stand out from the competition. The capabilities of the Pioneer Plastics manufacturing facilities make it possible to produce complex products from as small as 10 litres to as big as 10 000 litres. 16


What makes custom moulding a specialised field is that it requires proficient expertise in design – mechanical and industrial – to create a functioning product from a prototype. “At Pioneer Plastics, it all comes down to superb quality products and excellent customer service. Our team goes the extra mile for our clients,” Wiid says. “And the addition of the new machine expands our ability to serve clients who require specific products. Our team lives up to our slogan ‘Anything’s Possible!’ because we care for our clients and their undertakings. What matters to us is that we produce quality products for our clients on time, every time.” Wiid explains that the industry worldwide is experiencing supply and lead time challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “As lead times get longer and importing becomes increasingly troublesome, the new machine and the extra capacity it brings to our factory mean that we can serve more clients while keeping lead times short. It will further support the local market as well as strengthen our export.

AUG / SEP 2021

2021/08/10 10:13


Compact Robotics develops automated woven bag solutions Systems have helped users grow their businesses COMPACT Robotics has used experience gained formerly in the production of woven PP bags to develop into a fully-fledged manufacturer of automated robotic solutions for the woven bulk bag market. Over the past decade it has transitioned to the point where installed capacity of its robotic systems is packaging over six million tons of a variety of materials annually. Compact Robotics’ founder Martin Bensch had got involved in the woven PP bag market almost by coincidence. In the early 90s he’d been working as a supplier of wood pallets and problems were being encountered with slippage that led to bag damage (bags were

falling off pallets during rail car shunting and other impacts). By coincidence, he met a supplier of woven bag machinery, Andreas Ulrichshofer, then representing Starlinger of Austria; just as woven PP bag technology was gaining traction in SA. Prior to that, woven bags were being imported, from Hungary and Turkey, amongst other places. They in turn partnered with Iqbal Tayob of Brits, North West, who had been manufacturing bags for onion farmers. The trio set up the Polisak bag-making business in Brits in 1996. Full production of woven PP bags commenced in 1999. The company later drew the attention of Afrikpack group (now Constantia Afripack

Bensch-mark – Martin Bensch has used his knowledge of woven PP bag production to develop downstream solutions for the automation of bag packaging solutions using robots from Yaskawa of Japan

Sacks), which it sold to in 2012. Threeyear restraint of trade clauses were applied to each of the three partners and Bensch was duly obligated to find new options. Realizing there was extensive unrealized value-add potential in the sector, Bensch began to research the opportunity to automate bulk bag packaging. Both bag filling and bag packaging systems were already available internationally, at considerable

SAPRO opens entries for SA’S Best Recycled Product

18 AUG / SEPT 2021

THE South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) has opened entries for the 2021 Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards.

According to Phil Sereme, General Manager of SAPRO, this biennial competition aims to raise awareness and showcase the wide variety of ingenious

products that are locally designed and manufactured using recycled plastics. “The event is a cornerstone of our strategy to grow the demand for plastic recyclate and helps to improve market acceptance of locally manufactured recycled plastic products. By acknowledging and showcasing the remarkable and inspiring range of manufactured goods that can be made from recycled materials, SAPRO encourages brand owners, retailers, converters and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice,” Sereme explains. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, this Palletplast were winners of the last competition held in 2019

Applications such as this, where the robot is loading a bulk bag from a conveyor, take the back-breaking labour out of the job and are far more predictable and reliable

expense however. Using a virtual ‘Yellow Pages’ strategy, Bensch fortuitously tracked down Dutch brothers Jeroen and Wynand Maaren of Mechaneer Robot Packing Systems of Johannesburg, a business which already had considerable expertise in robotic automation. Using Yaskawa robots from Japan, the first systems from Compact Robotics were fairly simple palletising solutions for the cement industry, and it’s steadily set the bar higher since. Its first big job was the design of a robotic cell to pack 50kg fertilizer bags into bulk sling bags, part of the aim being to move away from timber pallets and stretch wrap. Mechaneer designed and patented a mechanical

gripper that was able to meet all the requirements, and Compact has since supplied a range of these automation systems. The systems are supplied under the Compact Robotics brand, with Bensch handling sales. It has progressively entered new markets and now has an increasing number of its robotic cells in the fertiliser, cement, maize and other sectors. In many of the applications, bag packaging had previously been done manually, a time-consuming and energy intensive process. According to Bensch, besides making the packaging operation considerably easier, more predictable

and with less potential for bag damage, the introduction of the Compact Robotics systems has helped users grow their businesses. “We have found that, once the robots go in, the produce manufacturers are able to increase product throughput and in many cases have actually needed more people. It’s even a case of better jobs, as the hard labour required before is no longer necessary,” said the Cape Townbased but nationally active businessman.

of the Year Awards year’s awards ceremony will be a virtual event that takes place on 14 October. During the event, the recycler of the material, the manufacturer of the product as well as the brand owner will be acknowledged. Each category will have a winner and the overall winner will be awarded. “It is important for us to recognise and reward recyclers for creating new end-markets for recyclate that not only will continue to be in demand five years from now, but that also exhibit a “wow factor” resulting in people to start thinking differently about recycled materials,” Sereme explains. SAPRO has also revealed that various

new categories have been introduced for this year’s competition. The closing date for submissions is 15 September and entrants are required to deliver the actual, physical product along with the completed entry form, product description and two professional quality, high resolution digital images (minimum of 1MB in size) on a clearly marked CD or memory stick to Plastics/ SA’s head office in Midrand. Erema and Polyco have again come onboard as the two main sponsors for this year’s event, as well as to PETCO, the South African Plastics Pact, (facilitated by GreenCape), Packaging SA and Plastics/SA who are silver sponsors.

• For more information about the SAPRO Awards for Best Recycled Product of the Year, to download entry forms and rules as well read more about previous years’ winners, visit / • Alternatively email Phil Sereme on or call him on (067) 310 6999.

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LEGO Group reveals

The patent-pending material formulation increases the durability of PET to make it strong enough for LEGO bricks THE LEGO Group has unveiled a prototype LEGO® brick made from recycled plastic, the latest step in its journey to make its products from sustainable materials. The new prototype, which uses PET plastic from discarded bottles, is the first brick made from a recycled material to meet the company’s strict quality and safety requirements. A team of more than 150 people are working to find sustainable solutions for LEGO products. Over the past three years, materials scientists and engineers tested over 250 variations of PET materials and hundreds of other plastic formulations. The result is a prototype that meets several of their quality, safety and play requirements – including clutch power.

However, it will be some time before bricks made from a recycled material appear in LEGO product boxes. The team will continue testing and developing the PET formulation and then assess whether to move to the pilot production phase. This next phase of testing is expected to take at least a year. On average, a one-litre plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material for ten 2 x 4 LEGO bricks.

elements from bio-polyethylene (bioPE), made from sustainably sourced sugarcane. Many LEGO sets contain elements made from bio-PE which is perfect for making smaller, softer pieces such as trees, branches, leaves and accessories for mini figures. BioPE is not currently suitable for making harder, stronger elements such as the iconic LEGO bricks.

Journey towards more sustainable products The innovative process uses a bespoke compounding technology to combine the recycled PET with strengthening additives. In 2018, it began producing

Remote maintenance box Simple and secure solution for digitally maintaining and caring for system controls

Remote maintenance by motan – digital service no matter where you are (Image: motan group)

MODERN raw materials handling systems require complex controls to run efficiently. In the case of a problem or an update to the control, a specialised service person is usually required to get the system up and running again and to keep operational downtime to a minimum. However, in today’s challenging times, it is not always possible for qualified service personnel to be present when they are needed most. This is where motan’s compact remote maintenance box can be immensely useful in keeping a system running no matter where in the world – a simple and secure solution for digitally maintaining and caring for system controls. The box contains a powerful industrial PC with comprehensive software packages for remote access, debugging, analysis and logging tools for control and network components. All the tools required for configuration and administration are also included in the package as standard.

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first prototype brick made from recycled plastic The LEGO Group’s focus on sustainable material innovation is just one of several different initiatives the company has in place to make a positive impact. The LEGO Group will invest up to US $400 million over three years to 2022 to accelerate its sustainability ambitions.

Ingenious Oreo packaging hides cookies from kids Oreo has unveiled what it calls its ‘Thins Protection Programme”. The newly disguised packaging for its Oreo Thins cookies makes it look like anything but a package of tasty treats. The brand teamed up with other companies like Ford, Hanes, Green Giant, and Better Homes & Gardens to disguise the cookies as packages of Hanes t-shirts, a cookbook, cauliflower rice, even a truck manual. Oreo brand manager Sydney Kranzmann says the idea is targeted at adults, specifically millennial parents. “For years, parents have been telling us that children are stealing their Oreo Thins cookies, and we’ve seen many adults resort to hiding their cookies from other family members,” says Kranzmann in an email. “By tapping into a behaviour that our parent fans were already doing, the playful and clever campaign perfectly relayed the message that Oreo Thins are cookies for adults and provide a more grown-up snacking experience.”

– servicing your motan system control

motan’s remote maintenance box – security and service instead of difficulty and downtimes. (Image: motan group)

insight into the problem: quick scans and analysis can be run from any computer, errors can be isolated even in extensive networks and the source of the problem can be identified, making further measures quick and targeted. With the remote maintenance box, service reaction times can be significantly reduced and unnecessary operations can be prevented. Using the popular software “TeamViewer”, it is possible for any service technician to digitally access the system from any location in the world and troubleshoot potential problems. Unlike many other systems, motan’s remote maintenance box does not require complex activation and administration of firewalls, while providing the user with complete control: the connections for internal and external Ethernet are separate; the user can freely assign access authorisations. Finally, the remote maintenance box can easily be turned on or off by flicking a switch. • motan is represented by Greentech Machinery in SA

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Built into a compact wall cabinet, the remote maintenance box makes it possible to access all motan CONTROLnet controls remotely using internet or company-internal intranet. The operating language is determined according to the monitored modules, making it possible to operate the system from anywhere in the world. Instead of immediately having to deploy specialist maintenance or service personnel, the remote maintenance box can first provide initial

2021/08/10 10:15

NEWS Engel’s compact dual-platen technology contributes to excellent efficiency, among other benefits. Across all clamping force sizes, the duo speed is shorter than comparable injection moulding machines used in this field of application, which saves expensive shop floor space

5-gallon pails are universally used in North America for industrial, consumer and food products

For demonstration purposes, a transparent virgin skin material was combined with a black recyclate. The high content of recycled material thus becomes visible and the percent content more easily calculated

Co-injection revolution

Enables high, completely encapsulated recycled material content in production of pails and efficiency with short cycle times. The co-injection THE new co-injection process, which Engel has developed process provides similar cycle times as producing pails in in cooperation with Top Grade Moulds, enables high and conventional single-component injection moulding. completely encapsulated recycled material content in the Co-injection makes it possible to concentrate the production of pails, and is thus superior to conventional recycled material in the component’s core and encapsulate processes for sandwich injection moulding. it by a layer of virgin skin material. The virgin and recycled The new process demonstrated its advantages in the material are of the same type to ensure that the sandwichproduction of 5-gallon pails during the Engel live e-symposium moulded parts can also be recycled at the end of their 2021 from 22 to 24 June. Very short cycle times are useful life. HDPE is being used for the 5-gallon achieved in combination with the new Engel Copails; the recycled material here originates duo speed injection moulding machine. injection from post-consumer collection. Pressure to use recycled plastic materials is growing worldwide. Various makes it possible Highest product quality countries already stipulate the minimum to concentrate the The greatest challenge in sandwich recycled content for certain products. injection moulding is to achieve high recycled material in the In addition, many brands do not recycled content without compromising component’s core and want the dark coloured recycled core product quality or performance. One material to be visible at the injection encapsulate it by a focus of the development was therefore point. These trends have driven the layer of virgin skin on combining the two molten plastics in the development of the new co-injection pail mould without mixing them beforehand in material process. With a recycled material content the melt stream. As a result, the system switches of more than 30%, the 5-gallon pails complies between recycled and virgin material at the cavity with specifications calling for recycled content. injection point by way of a co-injection valve gate. Since the core and skin material fractions are strictly Very short cycle times isolated from each other in the production process, and Engel’s development partner is Top Grade Moulds from the core is encapsulated by the skin, including the injection Mississauga, Canada, a mould manufacturer specialising point, the new co-injection process also can be considered in packaging applications. The pail mould for the world for the food industry. premiere was provided by US pail manufacturer M&M Strengthening the use of recycled materials is one of the Industries from Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was used on essential prerequisites for establishing a circular economy an Engel duo speed injection moulding machine, which for plastics, which Engel is intensively promoting together Engel developed specifically to meet the requirements of with its partner companies. producers of pails and storage and transport containers. This new large machine type combines productivity • Engel is represented by Greentech Machinery in SA 22

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MARS 3 SERIES 600 – 33,000 KN






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Clariter – a clean future

CLARITER has created a revolutionary chemical recycling (upcycling) process that provides a large-scale solution for the worlds’ plastic waste problem. The technology accepts the majority of plastic waste streams, and not only helps to clean the planet effectively but also creates a strongly profitable business opportunity. Rather than recycling plastic waste into intermediates which require further processing, Clariter transforms it into three industrial, ready-to-use product families: oils, waxes, and solvents. These pure fossil-fuel alternatives are used as ingredients to make over 1 000 clean, everyday end- and consumer products. The footprint of Clariter’s process is net carbon negative and preferable to landfill, incineration and other pyrolysis-based solutions. The seeds of Clariter’s proprietary technology were conceived in 2003 by Professor Andrzej Bylicki, a leading role-player in European science. Since then, more than €36 million has been deployed, while a team of dedicated scientists and engineers have worked tirelessly to master Clariter’s revolutionary chemical upcycling technology. With a 300m2 pilot research & development plant in Gliwice, Poland, and a 15 000m2 industrial-scale plant in East London, South Africa, Clariter’s proven technology process involves

three stages: thermal cracking, hydro-refining, separation and distillation into fractions of different boiling ranges and properties. The products are then used by industry as ingredients to create a multitude of clean, everyday consumer end-products, e.g. paints, cleaners, inks, greases, polishes, and even surf waxes and candles.

Clariter South Africa Clariter’s plant in the Industrial Development Zone in East London, South Africa, was built in co-operation with the Industrial Development Corporation and produced its first product samples in June 2019. It is foremost a demonstration plant for the company’s partners, customers, and suppliers worldwide. The facility is experimenting with various plastic waste streams to address the highest standards of industry needs. Additionally, the plant is a training ground for staff with a research & development programme beyond the lab scale. Led by managing director Vuyo Sikwebu, the 60+ staff members are dedicated professionals, managers, and skilled personnel from both the public and private sectors, with substantial experience in petrochemicals, plastics, manufacturing and logistics. The Industrial-scale plant has been built flexibly, allowing Clariter to explore various process methods, instruments,

Lubrication solutions High-temperature, high-pressure processes in plastics manufacturing

PLASTICS are an ever-growing and significant industrial sector, meaning that plastics production, moulding and conversion operations need the support of high-quality lubricants to ensure long-lasting performance. While there are some general application lubricants that can work well in different parts of the plastics production process, in some cases, specialist functions such as hydraulic injection moulding and extrusion require carefully chosen lubricants to support their performance, says Callum Ford, national marketing manager at Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa. The prevalence of high-temperature and highThe high temperatures involved in plastics pressure processes in plastics moulding mean that lubricants need to be manufacturing necessitates the able to perform well in these environments 24


use of robust lubricants. “At LE South Africa, we work closely with our clients in the plastics industry to find the right lubrication solutions for different plastics materials and moulding processes,” he says. “LE has lubricants for both thermoplastic and thermosetting applications, as well as for compression, transfer, injection and blow moulding.” The high temperatures involved in plastics production mean that lubricants need to be able to perform well in these environments. Injection moulding In applications such as injection moulding, for moulding clamping units and injection units, LE South Africa supplies Monolec Hydraulic Oils or Multilec Industrial Oils for high performance under tough conditions. “Units using rotating screws or

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begins now catalysts, temperatures, and With a pressures for product development. It is a key 15 000m2 foundation for the rollout industrial scale of scaled-up facilities in various locations around plant in East London, the world – including waste by colour, shape or origin. The beauty of the wide Clariter’s technology South Africa. variety of plastic waste that Clariter uses as feedstock process involves thermal At the moment, is that it can be sourced locally. Clariter is in the process cracking, hydrorefining, Clariter’s solution enables manufacturers to produce of negotiation with a ‘green’ products that can be sold in their markets. separation and prominent South African With the model called ClariCluster, Clariter strives to distillation petrochemical player to support small and medium-scale businesses (SMEs) in build a Clariter full-scale plant local communities. The concept is also an important value around their facility. This would proposition for governments wishing to create new business mean that South Africa could become an exporter of ‘green’ opportunities within their country. petrochemicals in the near future. Additionally, it will bring many “Clariter is changing the story. Plastic waste is no longer a benefits, such as cleaning the country of plastic waste, opening problem but rather a valuable resource used to produce pure new high-qualified jobs, and boosting the economy from within. ingredients that create jobs, develop stronger communities, A key advantage of the Clariter technology is that it can and create a clean and liveable planet. This is a real paradigm accept a majority of plastic waste streams, even those with shift and a resource-efficient solution driving a circular the lowest value, mixed and problematic, and use it in a single economy in Africa and beyond,” says Sikwebu. feeding stream. This means that there is no need to sort plastic

for plastics manufacturing necessitates use of robust lubricants

spreaders to help plasticize the feed stock have gear trains and motors. LE’s 608 Almasol Vari-Purpose Gear Lubricant or LE’s 9920 Synolec Gear Lubricant will give the best lubrication protection under these severe conditions because of their extreme pressure characteristics, wear-reducing capabilities and excellent oxidation resistance,” Ford says.

Extrusion moulding In other plastics applications like extrusion, which require very high pressures to push the plastic through the die, manufacturing equipment must be well lubricated to minimize wear. “LE’s 608 Almasol Vari-Purpose Gear Lubricant and LE’s 9920 Synolec Gear Lubricants are outstanding for this application. Their stability, along with the extra protection of LE’s exclusive wearreducing additives, will result in longer gear and bearing life, and consequently increased production,” says Ford. “Whatever the plastic type or the moulding method used, it’s best to

Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa represents the LE brand in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. LE holds the rights to Southern Africa on the LE brand, recognised internationally as a specialist in lubrication. Through LE Incorporated, they are a member of a worldwide network of companies spanning Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, while LE Incorporated operates in the USA and covers North America including Canada, Mexico and the USA.


consult with a lubrication expert to ensure that lubrication will help and not hinder the performance of machinery at your plant,” he adds.

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Compression moulding In compression moulding, which produces large articles using simple designs and thermosetting plastics, the hydraulic press needs to be large enough to exert sufficient pressure on the plastic. Ford says that LE’s Monolec Industrial Oils, with their exceptional oxidation resistance and ability to keep a system

clean, will reduce downtime. Special additives and excellent foam resistance prevent pump wear and reduce ‘fade’ in the system.


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PETCO diversifying into multi-materials PETCO board chair, Tshidi Ramogase

Will ensure members remain compliant under new packaging sustainability laws SOUTH Africa’s PET plastic Producer Responsibility effective, efficient and non-onerous manner. They can be Organisation (PRO), PETCO, has announced that it is expected to join as few PROs as possible to meet their diversifying into multi-materials to ensure that its members compliance requirements.” remain compliant under new packaging sustainability laws. While the regulations allow producers to comply by The move comes as South Africa’s legislation moves establishing their own schemes, Scholtz said that there is from voluntary to mandatory Extended Producer no doubt that collective action – through multi-member Responsibility (EPR) amid increasing consumer PROs such as PETCO – will be more effective and governmental pressure on brands and cost-efficient than standalone schemes to ensure end-of-life solutions for their for most materials. Most plastic products beyond consumer use. Founded on the principle of voluntary producers are multiAccording to Section 18 of the EPR in 2004, PETCO is already largely National Environmental Management compliant with the new regulations material users. These Waste Act, producers must assume and better placed than many other producers can no longer responsibility for their products up to organisations to become fully choose only to focus their compliant, said Scholtz. and including the end-of-life stage of their product cycle. The deadline for “To remain relevant and competitive EPR activities on their compliance is 5 November this year. in this space, and to assist our largest or most visible members in achieving the more onerous PETCO’s view, which is aligned with pack format international best practice, is that the targets set by Section 18, we must producer for packaging is either the brand diversify,” she said. owner of products using the packaging, the Move welcomed by green economy advocates retailer in the case of house brands, or the importer of “The move by PETCO to include packaging components goods contained in packaging. not only speaks to the existing collection systems where Anticipate that participation in PROs will increase the packaging components of closures and labels are significantly generally collected along with the base packaging format, “As participation in EPR is no longer voluntary, we but also places a needed focus on these components,” anticipate that participation in PROs will increase said Dr Kirsten Barnes, a circular economy analyst at significantly,” said PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz. “Added to GreenCape – the secretariat for the South African Plastics this, most plastic producers are multi-material users. These Pact, a collaborative initiative to create a circular economy producers can no longer choose only to focus their EPR for plastics packaging. activities on their largest or most visible pack format. PETCO had already done extensive work in the design “Producers require a mechanism by which to meet for recycling space, she added. their EPR compliance obligations – for all the component “Packaging components may even render the whole packaging materials of their identified products – in a costbase format non-recyclable, and this expanded scope will 26

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allow further work to address this. Furthermore, packaging components may be discarded by recyclers whose systems are designed to handle the base format. “By including packaging components, the focus of the whole value chain must expand to consider design for recycling and the effective recycling of these packaging PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz components. It is our view that SA’s developing mandatory EPR system should increasingly see such inclusion of packaging components in other EPR schemes.”


Implications of Section 18 significant to brand-owners and retailers PETCO vice-chair David Drew, who is also the head of sustainability for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, said the implications of Section 18 were significant to brand-owners and retailers. “Ultimately, the success of EPR relies on the commitment of brand-owners and retailers and their contributions, both financial and non-financial, to the PROs they will entrust to ensure they remain compliant. PROs and the EPR schemes they implement require the buy-in of these key stakeholders to be successful,” he said.

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Starting with labels and closures According to PETCO board chair, Tshidi Ramogase, the organisation is already effectively involved in multi-material collections through collecting closures and labels as a necessary condition for achieving existing PET beverage bottle targets and is, therefore, best placed to establish EPR schemes for these products. “This is also aligned to global best practice where complementary packaging items such as closures and labels are generally included with the substrate that makes up over

80% of the product mass,” said Ramogase, who is also head of public affairs, communications and sustainability for CocaCola Beverages Africa. While PETCO is starting with labels and closures, Ramogase said that further diversification will be evaluated carefully based on the strategic fit and the needs of PETCO members. It is clear that ultimately larger multi-material PROs will evolve to better serve South African producers but how this will develop is not entirely clear. As required under the Section 18 notice, potential and existing brand owner-, retailer- and importer members will need to submit formal confirmation that they will be joining PETCO’s newlook EPR scheme for 2022. The EPR scope of work or priority products covered by PETCO was set to be finalised by 31 July, with the finalisation of membership to follow by 21 August.

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‘Zero plastic’ doesn’t necessarily Creates what is possibly Africa’s largest polyurethane systems house

WHILE it might sound like a noble pursuit, the reality is that ‘zero plastic’ doesn’t necessarily mean zero litter. According to Plastics/SA, the country’s waste is at a high risk of leaking into the environment, primarily due to the mismanagement of waste. “Unmanaged pollution due to inadequate waste management infrastructure is the root cause of our litter crisis – 34% of households in South Africa have no formal waste

collection. It is therefore illogical and naive to think that we’ll have cleaner communities because the straw carelessly tossed out of the car window was made from paper instead of plastic. Whilst we wholeheartedly agree that we need to eliminate all unnecessary packaging (regardless of the material) and reuse where possible, it is important that we take an evidence based approach to ensure we do not replace existing, fit-for-

purpose packaging with more harmful alternatives,” says Anton Hanekom, executive director of Plastics/SA. As the use of plastic has increased, so too have the environmental impacts associated with its production and disposal. These environmental costs have prompted some to argue that plastics should be replaced with alternative materials which may present fewer environmental challenges. “Although paper, steel, aluminium

SAPPMA forms three specialist standing committees Industry experts arrive at sound practical resolutions based on research, knowledge THE Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has formed three new standing committees within the organisation. Each of these committees have a specific area of focus that relates to the plastic pipe industry and are headed up by leaders who have many years of first-hand experience of the issues being faced on a daily basis. “SAPPMA is privileged to count individuals who are worldclass experts in their respective fields among our members. It therefore made sense for us to give these professionals the freedom and authority to head up specialist working committees that focus specifically on issues that directly impact the manufacturing and use of HDPE pipes, PVC pipes and the installation and fabrication of these pipes,”said Jan Venter, Chief Executive Officer of SAPPMA. “Through forming these new SAPPMA standing committees, we are able to better handle specific technical matters (such as standards, testing, application, etc.) and to arrive at sound practical resolutions based on research, knowledge and discussion. The underlying principle is making progress in terms of the understanding, application and monitoring of standards, while at the same time ensuring resolutions remain practical, understandable and economical,” he added. Small teams of experienced individuals make up the standing committees who meet in their own time and aim to arrive at resolutions within a reasonable time period. Apart from being in regular contact and consulting with the

SAPPMA management, they are expected to report back on their activities at the combined quarterly member meetings where their resolutions are heard before they become part of SAPPMA’s standards, rules and policies. 1. HDPE committee George Diliyannis, technical service leader at Safripol, is responsible for heading up the HDPE committee, supported by Lesley Geyser, QC manager and production planner at The Rare Group. Current areas of focus for this working group include addressing issues relating to the mixing and contamination of polyethylene, updating SAPPMA’s MFR document and addressing queries that relate to specific standards, i.e. SANS 21138 and ISO 4427:2019. 2. PVC committee Renier Snyman, technical manager at Sun Ace SA, chairs the PVC committee with the support of Tanya van Rensburg, production co-ordinator of Eurocelt. Issues that are currently being addressed by this working group include the SANS 967 (strap-on saddles), SANS 966-2 (HSIT alternatives), SANS 1601 (sockets and seals) and queries regarding pipe lengths. 3. IFPA (Installation and Fabrication Plastics Pipe Association) Renier Pieterse, director at Barona Pipelines and Fittings is responsible for heading up the IFPA committee that is currently working on a consultant’s document and training

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mean zero litter and glass could be viable in many consumer goods applications, studies which modelled the substitution of plastic with these materials have actually shown that in some cases, their environmental costs and impacts are up to four times higher than that of plastics,” Hanekom says. The same researchers have also proven that moving to a more circular economy by increasing the recycling of post-consumer plastics and minimizing

Evidence based approach ensures we do not replace existing, fit-for-purpose packaging with more harmful alternatives

landfilling, could deliver significant environmental benefits. In addition to dramatically reducing the environmental cost of plastics, effective waste collection and management also have direct economic gains thanks to job creation, recovered value of recycled plastics and recovered energy. “Apart from delivering significant social and environmental returns on investment, the environmental

benefits of increased recycling have been proven to outweigh the costs of pollution emissions and external waste management costs by at least 3.9 times”, Hanekom reports.

manual which will be made available to end-users and consulting engineers to enable them to call for the correct standards in tenders. They have also recently decided to remove the IFPA welder number from the welder certificates issued by Plastics|SA and to add a reference field for a weld qualification attachment (i.e. welder test piece certificate) instead. SAPPMA will be forming more standing committees in the future, depending on the need and with the mandate to look at specific issues beyond the current focus and scope, such as certification, for example. Because the issues they address go beyond the scope of only their members, the pipes body is inviting end-users and specifiers to also become involved in these working groups. “The new structure allows us to spend less time in discussions, but also creates an opportunity for a more homogenous and harmonised decisionmaking. SAPPMA is hugely grateful to the individuals who are heading up the committees and the rest of their task teams for freely volunteering their time and energy, in addition to their own workloads. We welcome every member’s active participation, as they help to influence decisions that not only have a direct impact on our industry as a whole, but also individual businesses. Together we are united in our passion for improving the industry through implementing best practice,” Venter said.


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SA prepares to celebrate Clean-Up and Recycling SA Week

“Like last year, we are one again advocating that South PLASTICS|SA is calling on South Africans to participate in the Africans be eco-warriors in their own neighbourhoods by annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA week from 13-18 September. picking up any litter on our beaches or strewn in streets, This year’s week will once again culminate in National rivers, streams or canals. Where community clean-ups are Recycling Day on 17 September and the International planned, we urge the organisers to adhere to safety Coastal Clean-Up Day/Let’s Do It World Clean-up protocols by limiting the numbers of volunteers Day on 18 September. participating, ensuring that participants wear Apart from raising awareness and Advocating their masks, checking that they maintain supporting clean-up initiatives by donating that South social distancing and that enough sanitizing refuse bags, gloves and other equipment stations are in place,” Steyn said. needed, this will also be the 25th year that Africans be ecoHighlights of the 2020 Clean-Up & Plastics|SA will be coordinating South warriors in their own Recycle SA Week included the launch of Africa’s participation in the International neighbourhoods the Inkwazi Isu (Fish Eagle Project) by Coastal Clean-Up Day – the world’s the KZN Marine Waste Network South biggest volunteer effort for ocean health. by picking up any Coast and the participation of Minister “Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week has litter Barbara Creecy, Minister of the Department of become a highlight on our country’s Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), environmental calendar. This annual public in a beach clean-up at Dakota beach, Umbogintwini awareness week is supported by all the packaging in KZN, where 697 bags were collected with a weight of over streams in South Africa and encourages citizens, 2.4 tons. corporates and municipalities to help remove all visible In the Cape Provinces, several hundreds of kilometres of litter from our country’s neighbourhoods and streets, rivers, the country’s coastline were cleaned in more than 72 audited streams, beaches and oceans,” explains Douw Steyn, clean-ups, while several more non-audited, informal cleanPlastics|SA’s sustainability director. ups took place during the week. Fifteen 4x4 clubs hosted Plastics|SA is hoping that this year will see a repeat of the their clean-ups, as did several diving groups who hosted huge success of last year’s Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week. underwater clean-ups. In the Cape Provinces, twenty tons Despite the fact that Covid-19 restrictions prohibited the large of litter were removed, separated and sent for recycling on groups at public clean-ups and gatherings that have become International Coastal Clean-Up Day alone! synonymous with this public awareness and volunteer effort, the spirit of camaraderie, positivity and willingness to make a • For more information about Clean-Up & Recycle SA week difference in our environment, definitely made this one of the and where organised clean-ups will take place during most memorable years. September 2021, visit 30

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Joint Austro-African research provides insights on circular waste management model in SA


We want those to create decent jobs for all skill levels, and be tied to a stronger domestic economy with lower environmental impacts.” Redevelopment of local infrastructure (eg. railroads) and using urban planning to encourage commuters to walk, cycle and use public transport were also identified within the study as possible ways to lessen carbon emissions. The research study revealed that South Africa’s socio-economic recycling rate, which refers to the ratio between the sum of recycled and reused materials to domestically processed materials, is just under 2% while ecological recycling, which refers to biological nutrients designed to re-enter the biosphere, is slightly higher at about 5%. Within a circular economy, both kinds of recycling are crucial.

sought to establish a list of materials used in South Africa for the span of a year, coupled with resulting carbon emissions and waste. Key findings show that the country is primarily export oriented, with a large proportion of exported materials being non-renewable, such as iron ore or coal. As countries seek to lessen their ecological footprint by lessening fossil fuel consumption, the onus is on South Africa to move from an export-oriented mindset to one that sees economic promise in the development of the nation. Professor Harro von Blottnitz from UCT’s Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment expressed it like this: “We want to see new businesses offering the services that the population needs and aren’t getting at the moment.

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A COLLABORATIVE study by research teams based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) set out to explore existing levels of circularity in South Africa’s economy. As global populations rise, demand for resources is set to reach dizzying heights yet the available resource supply appears as finite as ever. A circular approach towards the economy aims to supply burgeoning demand via sustainable means. It’s a consumption model that seeks to stretch the life of a product to its maximum extent by reusing, repairing and recycling, ultimately eliminating waste from the production chain altogether. The project, “Assessing economywide prospects for a more sustainable circular economy in South Africa”

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JEC Composites Innovation Have awarded 198 companies and 475 partners over the past 24 years

JEC Innovation Awards celebrate the fruitful cooperation between players of the composite community. Started in 1996, the JEC Innovation Awards have awarded 198 companies and 475 partners over the past 24 years for the excellence of their composite innovations. The JEC Innovation Awards reward composites champions, based on criteria such as partner involvement in the value chain, technicality, or commercial applications of innovations. Innovation is an essential part of this industry – it’s how we invest in our future. The top priorities for players in the composites value chain include product solidity, safety, and durability. That is why the JEC Composites Innovation Awards are more than just an awards ceremony. They are meant to inspire all participants, the whole industry and shed light on the excellent work carried out by the prize winners.



Development of an ultra-lightweight CFRP solar plane

Ultra-lightweight, high-strength composite structure for high-altitude, long-endurance flights To manage the operation of drones flying around the earth’s surface, monitoring from an aircraft in a highaltitude, long-endurance flight is planned and an electric aircraft was developed to demonstrate this potential. The aircraft had main wings with wide areas for solar cells, a large capacity battery, lots of monitoring equipment and is easy to transport on load. The need for weight reduction resulted in a fuselage based on a monocoque structure, with main wings a semi-monocoque structure. The front and trail edges of the wings have a skeleton structure composing of many

32 AUG / SEPT 2021

Toray Carbon Magic Co (Japan)

ribs and longerons and a resin film with solar cells applied on the wing surface. For convenience of transportation, it is possible to divide the fuselage into two parts and the main wings into three parts – each joint part adopts a plug-in holding structure retain their stiffness and are lightweight. Lightweighting was also achieved by making maximum use of composites, from major parts such as tail wings, nacelles and landing gears, to small parts such as brackets for onboard equipment. As a result, the total weight of the composite structure is only 35kg.

Key benefits • High-flying force, securing wide areas for solar cell, lightweight and stiffness • Short-term development that makes full use of simulation • Thin-walled and hollow structure for primary structure • Thin-walled composite frame for secondary structure • 35kg ultra-lightweight composite body

Awards 2021 winner

Celebrating the best achievements

Automotive & road transportation – structural

Ebusco 3.0 series of city buses

A groundbreaking and unique series of electric buses different Ebusco 3.0 variants. Hübers Verfahrenstechnik is the partner for the resin mixing and dispensing systems for epoxy resins for the RTM carbon beams. The Hübers system provides the desired quantity of degassed material with constant viscosity and highest mixing quality to the RTM tooling. 5M is the partner for pultruded 2D glass fibre profiles for both interior and exterior, both in monolithic and sandwich construction, consisting of specific reinforcement orientations and matrix system. Pultrusion allows for efficient and economic manufacturing for different longitudinal components in large volumes. For structural bonding of the various sub-components, Acralock adhesive materials have been selected. These are advanced two-component structural adhesives, designed to bond chemically to most surfaces and provide a permanent bond between high performance composites and other materials.

Pondus Operations bv (Netherlands)

Key benefits • 33% weight reduction • Operational life span of the bus beyond 20 years • 500km range on a single charge • Fully flat floor throughout the bus, increasing freedom of movement. • Reduced maintenance costs

AUG / SEPT 2021 33

For the Ebusco 3.0 series, multiple materials, processes and technologies have been combined from various partners in the field of composites. The Ebusco 3.0s are a showcase of multiple composite technologies and each individual technology contributes to the overall performance in terms of reduced cost and weight compared to conventional city buses. Ebusco is a Dutch company based in Deurne, the Netherlands. It is a pioneer and a forerunner in the development of fully electric buses and charging systems. Telene SAS has developed a revolutionary DCPD resin system which allowed short cycle times at lower pressures compared to conventional RTM, and allows for improved damage tolerance compared to conventional matrices. This resin system was selected as demonstrator for two body panels. Various load carrying carbon fibre beams are used in the body structure. For these beams, foam cores have been overbraided with dry carbon fibres on a Eurocarbon braider. The benefit of overbraiding is an automated, affordable, and repeatable process, which creates preforms ready for injection using RTM. Alba Tooling developed a dedicated PUR application system for the in-situ foaming of main body components. Grunewald is partner and supplier for RTM tooling for the carbon fibre structural beams. Multiple cavity RTM tooling has been engineered and manufactured to allow for the annually required number of parts to be produced for the


Automotive & road transportation – exterior


MINI John Cooper Works GP Carbon Spats First CFRP component in the world individualised with a 0.02mm paint film Without extensive body-in-white modifications, four fender enlarging carbon spats are used in the Mini Cooper JCW GP limited edition. For the fender concept a duroplastic (DP) epoxy CFRP outer panel is bonded to a PC-ASA thermoplastic (TP) inner panel. The major technical challenges are the different DP/TP thermal expansion and the high degree of production automatization (3min/spat). For the CFRP recycling material (random fibre mat) a new carbon appearance is brought about with HEXIStitch. The innovative textile developed together with SGL Carbon offers unique surface properties for visual carbon components. For the inner panel a PC-ASA injection moulding process is used. The MINI JCW GP offers the first CFRP component in the world individualised with a 0.02 mm paint film in a visual appearance.

Key benefits • USP: CFRP HEXI Stitch appearance • USP: Transfer basecoat technology (haptic-free)

Building, Construction & Infrastructure

ApATeCh (Russian Federation)

PCM span for railway bridges

New structural and technological concepts based on PCM Spans made of PCM are used for capital works on replacement of spans at railway bridges and overpasses, reconstruction (modernisation) of existing railway bridges and overpasses, as well as new construction projects. The span made of PCM is made according to the beam scheme (ride on top) on ballast-free plates also made of PCM. Fibreglass based on structural multiaxial fabrics and polymer binder based on vinyl ester fire-resistant resin were used in the manufacture of the span and ballast-free plates. Vacuum infusion and pultrusion of structural elements with subsequent integration of elements into a spatial structure were used in the manufacturing process. For the first time, infusion technology was used to manufacture the span of a railway bridge, which makes it possible to increase the durability of the structure, reduce installation time, service costs during the product life cycle, and acoustic and vibration effects on the environment.

• USP: Epoxy-CFRP/PC-ASA bonding • Lightweight

Key benefits

• Exterior part numbering

• Mobility of structures, possibility of multimodality during transportation\ BMW Group (Germany)

• Environmental friendliness during production, installation, and operation • Reduction of energy consumption in comparison with standard structures • Ability to reduce costs at the stages of modernisation or revision of the span. • Life cycle costs for the PCM span is 1.6 times less than reinforced concrete

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Equipment & Machinery Carbon Mobile GmbH (Germany)


Carbon 1 MK II Smartphone World’s first carbon fibre smartphone solves restrictive antenna, mechanical & thermal properties Carbon Mobile’s revolutionary HyRECM Technology (patent pending) process fuses carbon fibre with a complementary composite to unlock the material’s unlimited potential for connected devices. Carbon fibre is an electromagnetic conductor, which means that it will block radio signals, creating a Faraday cage, where rather than allowing signals through, it disperses them around the outer casing. For this reason, connected devices with carbon fibre are regarded as an impossible dream within the tech sector. The answer to this problem has been four years in development. The Carbon Mobile team, working alongside production partner Modern Composites, perfected a winning formula for the innovative HyRECM Technology. It is formed of two key elements. First, at 0.6mm a stack of three layers of tepex CFRP materials is fused with complementary radio-enabled glass fibre to create one continuous material that retains the incredible lightweight and robust properties of carbon fibre whilst ensuring signal capabilities. Secondly, to enhance signal capabilities, a silver inkjet antenna support system is embedded into the 0.6mm material. This ensures that any connectivity challenges are solved and a carbon fibre smartphone is as capable as any other. The result is a world-first carbon-fibre based monocoque smartphone that is not only truly connected but also incredibly thin, unbelievably light and produced with less than 5% plastic. Key benefits • Sustainable: Built with recyclable materials and less than 5% plastic parts • The lightest and slimmest smartphone available • Easily repairable monocoque design • A unique, futuristic yet timeless Bauhaus design • No compromise on spec, ensuring great performance for the user 36 AUG / SEPT 2021

CFRP-based robotised injection moulding machine A unique and flexibly moving injection moulding machine realised by the use of CFRP The core innovation of the ROBIN machining technology results from the combination of high-performance composite materials and functional lightweight design. The heart of the machine is the lightweight C-frame clampingunit, which achieves a previously unattained total weight of approx. 140kg for a complete injection moulding system. The patented C-frame consists of several carbon-fibre reinforced (CFRP) lamellae, each with a layer structure optimised for maximum stiffness and minimum mass. The CFRP lamellae can be adapted to the required cantilever arm length and clamping forces in a process-specific manner. To maximise the lightweight design of the system and still ensure the reproducibility of the process, elastic deformation of the CFRP brackets during the injection moulding process is deliberately permitted. The required positioning accuracy of the two mould halves is ensured by guide kinematics. Different configurations with clamping forces between 6 and 12 tons with cantilever arm lengths between 300 and 600mm can be implemented. Key benefits • Flexible manufacturing system • Individualised product design • Smallest plant and mould sizes • Economic production for small quantities • Easy integration into production lines Anybrid GmbH (Germany)


Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)


PU-based composite for offshore wind turbine rotor blades

PU-based composite for more productive offshore wind turbine blades Covestro PU resin offers high productivity and the possibility to design longer and lighter blades. By real-scale prototyping, Covestro and its partners demonstrated short production cycles with fast infusion and fast curing, resulting in significant savings in blade manufacturing. Computer modeling predicts a 100m PU blade to be lighter and more resilient than those made of epoxy. For its processability and final properties, Covestro PU resin enables the design of new blades for high annual energy production and low


levelised cost of energy. This resin may be enhanced by Trelleborg’s Frame® radar absorbing material. Its incorporation into low viscosity PU results in a system with excellent dispersion and high potential for development of composite parts. Cured samples were tested using a vector network analyser and a dual-polarised horn at frequencies of 1-12 GHz, which are of interest to offshore radar operators. The system offers a ~30 dB reduction in incident electromagnetic wave power compared to standard materials.

Key benefits • High productivity in manufacturing • Lighter, longer, more durable blades • Mitigating wind turbine radar interference • Low emission, high performance coatings • Potential higher AEP, lower LCoE

LUNARK Moon habitat Powered by solar systems, lighter yet more durable, enabling multiple relocations The moon habitat for two people is composed of 164 composite panels, organised in a foldable origami structure, and settled at the aluminium frame. The structural core used for the panels is 8mm ArmaPET Struct with a density of 250kg/m3. Armacell’s foam is based on fully recycled PET. As the skins, Refitech prepreg materials are used – high-quality twill weave carbon fibre (2 x 200g, 48% epoxy resin).

The folded volume enables more efficient transport accounted for only 2.9m³, with corresponding shipping dimensions 2.23 x 2.23 x 2.23 m and a weight of just 650kg. The inner insulation made of 9mm ArmaFlex Ultima creates a safe living area, providing a comfortable temperature of 20°C inside the habitat, with external temperature down to -45°C.

Armacell Benelux S.C.S. (Belgium)

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2021/08/10 15:31


Dow & others launch feasibility study to examine

plastics circularity in Nigeria

40 AUG / SEPT 2021

Will focus on implementation of scalable digital waste collection & recycling business model DOW and Empower, a Norwegian circular platform company which uses blockchain technology to track plastics waste, have launched a new study as part of an ongoing partnership, which will examine the feasibility of advancing fully circular value chains in Nigeria to help close the loop on plastics waste. The study, which will be part funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), will focus on the implementation of a scalable digital waste collection and recycling business model in Lagos, Nigeria. The findings will inform the long-term ambition of the partnership which is to digitize the local collection

points, recyclers, and waste streams, to ensure transparency and reliability of the process of tracking recyclable plastics waste and converting it into new sustainable packaging. The Empower digital platform – which uses blockchain technology to ensure the seamless tracking and monetization of plastics waste – provides cost-efficient collection of plastics waste, sorting at source, and local job creation both for waste pickers in the community and in waste management facilities. The study will identify opportunities to further incentivize the expansion of decentralized sustainable waste management systems,

Microcapsules enable self-lubricating plastics BECAUSE 23% of global energy consumption can be attributed to friction losses, components with reduced friction represent an important contribution to conserving resources and achieving climate protection targets. In the case of plastics, reduced friction can also reduce microplastics in the environment. With the development of microcapsules filled with liquid lubricants for plastics, the Potsdam Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and the Plastics Centre SKZ

in Würzburg are supporting these goals. Their self-lubricating plastics achieve up to 85% less wear. Whether it’s sliding doors, laminate, plastic gears or other moving components – there is a variety of applications where materials are subject to friction. Plastics manufacturers often incorporate solid lubricants into plastics to reduce component wear. However, there are only a relatively small number of solid lubricants suitable for plastics processing.

Plasticizers for PVC based on renewable & chemically recycled feedstock

Dow and Empower aim to increase local job creation both for waste pickers and in waste management facilities in Nigeria

that is communities managing collection, segregation and processing their waste locally, in Nigeria and Africa at large. Dow and Empower have been working together in Nigeria since 2020 to map and crowdsource the collection and sorting of plastic water sachets, which is a significant environmental problem across West Africa. The findings of the new study will assist in scaling up Project ReflexNG – a water sachet recycling programme Dow launched in Nigeria last year. The project aims to recycle over 300 million sachets, which would otherwise end up in the environment or landfill, into new applications. To date, the programme has provided an additional source of income for over 8 000 subscribers to the programme’s phone app which enables the coordination of collection and sorting of plastics waste around the city, over 200 waste pickers and has recovered almost 600 tons of plastic waste in total. This project is aligned to Dow’s global STOP THE WASTE sustainability target which will enable the collection, reuse or recycling of one million metric tons of plastic globally by 2030.

BASF now offers part of its plasticizer portfolio based on circular feedstocks. For this purpose, either renewable or chemically recycled feedstock is used at the beginning of the value chain instead of fossil resources. The alternative feedstock is allocated to the sales products according to a mass balance approach. BASF has launched biomass balanced (BMB) plasticizers based on renewable raw materials under the names Hexamoll® DINCH BMB, Palatinol® N BMB, Palatinol® 10-P BMB and Plastomoll® DOA BMB. Instead of fossil resources, the required amount of bio-naphtha or biogas is used. These materials are derived from organic waste or vegetable oils. Biomass balanced plasticizers have a lower carbon footprint than the conventional ones and help save fossil resources. Both, BASF’s mass balance approach and BMB plasticizers are certified according to REDcert2. With Hexamoll® DINCH CcycledTM, BASF additionally launched its trusted nonphthalate plasticizer based on chemically recycled feedstock. In the manufacturing process, BASF uses pyrolysis oil obtained from previously non-recycled plastic waste instead of fossil resources at the beginning of the value chain. The oil is supplied by partners as part of BASF’s ChemCycling™ project. The allocation to CcycledTM sales products is also done by using a third-party certified mass balance approach. The resulting products contribute to the recycling of plastic waste. without damaging the capsules. Only when friction occurs in the final component the capsules should break and release the lubricant. This allows the component to lubricate itself automatically”, explains Moritz Grünewald, researcher in the Materials Development Group at the SKZ Plastics Centre. “Our friction and wear tests showed a reduction in wear of up to 85% on plastic-steel pairings. Thus, components last significantly longer and generate less microplastic.” Based on these results, the material system is being optimized further for potential applications. The development is

now focusing on improved mechanical and thermal properties of the self-lubricating plastics. Numerous inquiries from industry highlight the need for novel plastics with optimised friction and wear properties. Microencapsulation technology has major advantages for companies in this regard: the wide range of liquid and advanced lubricants can now be used as internal lubricants with on-demand release properties. The project is accompanied by a committee that includes companies from all sectors of the plastics industry, lubricant manufacturers and microencapsulators.

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In contrast, there is a much wider range of liquid lubricants, some of which are more effective. In a cooperative effort, the two research institutes have succeeded in encapsulating liquid lubricants in such a way that they can be incorporated into polymers as functional substances and later develop all the advantages of a liquid lubricant in the component. “We managed to incorporate Fraunhofer IAP‘s microcapsules filled with liquid lubricant into thermoplastics using a twin-screw extruder. The challenging task was to mix the microcapsules with thermoplastics under high temperatures


Project STOP shows positive impact on plastic ocean waste in Indonesia

42 AUG / SEPT 2021

More than 133 500 people reached with sustainable waste management services in three coastal cities PROJECT STOP and its partners are celebrating milestones in preventing plastic leakage to the environment in Indonesia. From 2017 until end of 2020, the programme has brought waste management services to more than 133 500 people, built five material recovery facilities which will collectively process 150 tons of waste per day, and contributed to permanently preventing more than 8 123 tons of waste (1 118 tons plastic) from leaking into the environment. Once at full scale by end of 2022, Project STOP’s three current city partnerships will reach 450 000 people and permanently keep 45 400 tons of waste out of the environment, including 5 700 tons of plastic through more circular, economically sustainable waste management. Co-founded by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ in 2017, Project STOP works hand-in-hand with city governments to create effective circular waste management systems in high-need

Waste management services are essential for community health, as well as keeping plastic out of the environment.

areas of Southeast Asia. Project STOP supports cities with technical expertise to create circular waste management systems that achieve zero-leakage of waste, increase recycling, are economically sustainable, create new jobs and reduce the harmful impact of mismanaged waste on public health, tourism and fisheries. Today, Project STOP operates in three city partnerships, including the coastal cities of Muncar and Pasuruan in East Java, and Jembrana, on the northwest coast of Bali.

Covestro introduces 3D printing material made from recycled PET MATERIALS manufacturer Covestro has introduced its first material developed by the additive manufacturing business recently acquired from DSM: a glass-fibre filled recycled PET for 3D pellet printing. Made from post-consumer PET waste, Arnite® AM2001 GF (G) rPET fits Covestro’s vision for a circular economy. The glass-fibre filled pellet material brings structural performance to a part at a substantially lower carbon footprint than virgin material. Manufacturers can now make their supply chain more circular without the need to compromise on performance. The recycled PET has been optimized for 3D pellet printing. This technology, also known as fused granulate fabrication (FGF), allows for fast and economically viable additive manufacturing of large-size parts. Arnite® AM2001 (G) rPET’s mechanical properties and broad processing window makes it ideally suited for structural applications across a variety of industries, including pedestrian bridges, tiles for cyclist or pedestrian tunnels, architectural applications like cladding or partition walls, in- and outdoor furniture, small boats, packaging crates or tooling.

Researchers find possible solutions for hard-to-recycle plastics Requires 50% less energy than other technologies unique process to quickly break down these hardest-to-recycle plastics, known as polyolefins. Polyolefins account for 60 to 70% of all plastics made today. The UD-developed process can be done in just a couple hours at low temperature, around 250°. Importantly, the UD team’s method can treat a variety of plastics, even when they are mixed together, a plus considering the way recyclables are managed. The UD research team used a chemical process called hydrocracking to break down the plastic solids into smaller

carbon molecules, then added hydrogen molecules on either end to stabilize the material for use. Catalytic cracking is not new. Refineries have used it to convert heavy crude oil into gasoline for years. The research team’s method, however, does more than just break the plastic down. It also converts the material into branched molecules that allow them to be more directly translated into an end product. The catalyst itself is actually a hybrid material, a combination of zeolites and mixed metal oxides.

AUG / SEPT 2021 43

RESEARCHERS have developed a new method to convert single-use plastic waste into ready-to-use molecules for jet fuels, diesel and lubricants. It requires 50% less energy than other technologies and doesn’t add carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Researchers from the University of Delaware’s Centre for Plastics Innovation (CPI) have developed a direct method to convert single-use plastic waste to ready-to-use molecules for jet fuels, diesel and lubricants. The work, reported in a paper in Science Advances, focuses on using a novel catalyst and


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For which plastic products is biodegradation a sensible end-of-life option? SEVERAL million tons of plastic end up in the environment in the EU. Would the use of biodegradable materials made from renewable raw materials be a sensible option? Critics doubt that biodegradation is beneficial at all and rely on the extensive reduction, collection and recycling of plastic products. They also fear that biodegradable products could induce consumers to dispose of the products in the environment. In the project ‘BioSinn – Profiles of sensible biodegradable products’, experts from the Nova Institute from Hürth near Cologne, examined whether there are applications and products where biodegradation is a sensible or even the best end-of-life option. The selection criteria included collection of the products (or their leftovers), the separation of the products from other organic waste, or where material recycling is not possible, is not economically feasible or does not take place in practice. A further criteria was that by using biodegradable materials the

entry of microplastics into the environment be avoided. In several workshops, experts were able to identify 25 applications for which biodegradability was good and represented the best end-of-life option. In addition to the products that are used by consumers, lesser-known or inconspicuous applications have also been discovered that cause a large amount of plastic to enter the environment. The bristles of most urban sweepers are made of plastic, which wear out and remain irretrievably in the environment. Agricultural applications such as seed coating or flocculants contained in sewage sludge often consist of non-biodegradable polymers and are systematically introduced into the soil. The result of the project is a brochure for decision-makers from industry and politics, but also for the general public, with 25 product profiles and extensive background information on the subject of biodegradation.

An explanation is given for each product about what extent biodegradation is a sensible and feasible option and what technical substitution options there are for a more sustainable use of materials. Michael Carus, Managing Director of the Nova Institute, summarises the results of the BioSinn project: “It was surprising to find that these uses have a total volume of 1 million tons in the European Union – and most of them still end up in the environment in the form of nonbiodegradable macro and microplastics. Here, biodegradable products made from renewable raw materials could significantly reduce the impact on the environment. We hope, that our comprehensive report with 25 fact sheets will both significantly raise awareness of the problem and substitution possibilities, and stimulate appropriate political action.”

For the final report, visit

Plastic Energy collaborates with ExxonMobil on advanced recycling project PLASTIC Energy, a global company based in the UK and Spain, is collaborating with ExxonMobil on an advanced recycling project in France that will convert postconsumer plastic waste into raw materials for the manufacturing of virgin-quality polymers. Based on current plans, the project is expected to be one of the largest advanced recycling plants in Europe, with an initial capacity of 25 000 tons of plastic waste per year, and plans to scale up to 33 000 tons in the near future.

Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced recycling, specializing in recycling end-of-life plastics that would otherwise be destined for landfill, incineration or end up in the environment. The company’s patented, innovative technology transforms plastic waste into raw materials that can be used to create virgin-quality polymers. Plastic Energy and ExxonMobil have been developing plans since 2018. A final investment decision is expected in mid-2021 with startup anticipated in 2023. Under terms of the agreements with affiliates of ExxonMobil, Plastic Energy will build, own and operate an

advanced recycling plant adjacent to ExxonMobil’s Notre Dame de Gravenchon petrochemical complex in France. The plant will convert difficult-torecycle mixed plastic waste into raw materials that can be transformed into certified circular polymers and other high-value products at ExxonMobil’s petrochemical complex. The construction of this new advanced recycling plant will support the circular economy in Europe and will add to Plastic Energy’s growing portfolio of recycling units.

MAAG Group melt pump for production of bioplastic PLA Key feature is the reduced back-flow to lower the energy consumption HOW to handle plastic waste and the reduction of CO2 emissions are two of the most important topics our society will be dealing with for the next decades to come. MAAG Group has supplied its latest state of the art x6 class melt pump technology for the first fully integrated sugar-to-PLA (polylactic acid) plant in China. The plant is based on a Sulzer technology and key equipment for converting lactide into PLA. The lactic acid and lactide production is made from sugars (in this case out of locally grown corn). Not only is the plant reducing the

carbon footprint because of using plantbased resources instead of hydrocarbons, by using MAAG Group’s x6 class gear pump technology, the specific energy requirement is optimised even more. MAAG Group’s pumps are used in the polymerization reaction stage, making sure that the efficient Sulzer SMR reactors are working smoothly in all operating conditions. But they are also used in the devolatilisation stage, where, a minimum level is required when unreacted lactide is removed from the PLA melt to achieve a good product

MAAG Group vacorex® x class polymer extraction gear pump ideally fulfills modern polymer production processes which require polymer pumps that can discharge at high pressure despite very low fill level and high vacuum conditions in the reactor devolatilisation vessel

quality. In the last stage, MAAG Group’s melt pumps are used to build up the necessary pressure to process the melt through the downstream equipment, up to the underwater pelletizer. MAAG Group’s x6 class melt pump technology key feature is the reduced back-flow to lower the energy consumption. The x6 class melt pump helps to save up to 50% energy and reduces material recirculation in the pump of about 50%.

Polymer processes require booster pumps and polymer metering pumps that gently process both high and low viscosity plastic melt through the polymer processing system.

AUG / SEPT 2021 45


SABIC launches new recycled material made from ocean bound plastic SABIC has launched a new recycled material made from ocean bound plastic which has been recovered from oceanfeeding waterways and inland areas within a 50km radius of the ocean. The ocean bound material is mechanically recycled and converted into components for new consumer goods and electronics applications, such as TV remote controls and electronic razors. It has the potential to also be used in other industries in the future, such as automotive. Part of SABIC’S Trucircle™ portfolio

and services, the new recycled material is a Xenoy™ PC/PET compound comprising of a minimum 10% recycled ocean-bound PET blended with polycarbonate. According to an internal SABIC LCA Study, based on a resin grade comprising 20% recycled content, for every 1kT of product containing the ocean bound recycled Xenoy PC/PET compound, an equivalent of 24 million single-use 0.5 litre PET water bottles can potentially be diverted away from our

oceans, preventing them from becoming marine litter. The new material, part of SABIC’s engineering thermoplastics (ETP) product range, offers potentially significant reductions in carbon footprint of up to 7% and energy consumption of up to 11% compared to its virgin grade. It has good impact strength, processability and chemical resistance.

46 AUG / SEPT 2021

Carbios & Michelin take a major step towards developing 100% sustainable tyres MICHELIN has successfully validated the use of Carbios’ enzymatic recycling technology for PET plastic waste in its tyres. Carbios confirms the potential of its recycled PET to address all types of applications – from bottles to clothing fibres and now technical fibres. The validation of Carbios’ technology in Michelin’s tests, marks a new step towards 100% sustainable tyres. Carbios’ enzymatic recycling process uses an enzyme capable of depolymerizing the PET contained in various plastics or textiles. This innovation allows infinite recycling of all types of PET waste. It also allows the production of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable PET products, with the same quality as if they were produced with virgin PET. Conventional thermomechanical recycling processes for complex plastics do not achieve the PET high-performance

grade required for pneumatic applications. However, the monomers resulting from Carbios’ process, which used coloured and opaque plastic waste such as bottles, once repolymerized in PET, made it possible to obtain a high tenacity fibre meeting Michelin’s tyre requirements. The technical fibre obtained is of the same quality as the one from virgin PET, processed with the same prototype installations. This high tenacity polyester is particularly suitable for tyres, due to its breakage resistance, toughness, and thermal stability. Michelin is committed to achieving 40% sustainable materials (of renewable or recycled origin) by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Every year, 1.6 billion car tyres are sold worldwide (by all tyre manufacturers combined). The PET fibres used in these tyres represent 800 000 tons of PET per

year. When applied to Michelin – this represents nearly 3 billion plastic bottles per year that could be recycled into technical fibres for use in the company’s tyres. “In 2019, Carbios announced it had produced the first PET bottles with 100% Purified Terephthalic Acid (rPTA), made from the enzymatic recycling of post-consumer PET waste. Today, with Michelin, we are demonstrating the full extent of our process by obtaining from this same plastic waste, recycled PET that is suitable for highly technical fibres, such as those used in Michelin’s tyres,” said Alain Marty, Carbios’ chief scientific officer.


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Project to 3D print structures structures on the moon High-performance resin, combined with regolith material, to create 3D printing material BIEGLO Group (Hamburg, Germany), with its US subsidiary BARplast LLC, is supporting a project by Engineering Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal students to design and demonstrate the use of a 3D printer mounted on a lunar rover. Carried out in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and the Research Centre for High Performance Polymer and Composite Systems (CREPEC), the 3D printer will be printing structures mainly using in-situ resources such as regolith, a layer of

unconsolidated rocky material covering bedrock, as well as Bieglo Group’s high-performance thermoplastic polymer, Aurum. A combination of these two materials – regolith and Aurum – will be used to create the printing material mixture required under harsh lunar environment. Aurum is a high-heat resistant thermoplastic resin produced by Mitsui Chemicals Inc (Tokyo, Japan) and marketed and distributed by Bieglo in Europe and BARplast LLC in the U.S. Noteworthy features include high

temperature stiffness with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 245ºC – which Bieglo claims is the highest class of Tg of any thermoplastic resin – and excellent sliding properties. Aurum’s coefficient of expansion is also stable up to 245ºC and can be controlled at an equivalent level to aluminum. Aurum also exhibits resistance to radiation, and has a stable coefficient of friction and low friction wear, making it resistant to abrasion caused by lunar dust.

Research proves recycled composites can be used in new industry applications


AUG / SEP 2021

GROUND-breaking research being conducted by the National Composites Centre (NCC, Bristol, UK) is said to be proving that composites can be recycled at end of life (EOL) for use in new industry applications, providing solutions for the challenge of composite waste and reducing the environmental impact of advanced materials.

According to the NCC, the project has successfully extracted carbon fibre from two Airbus A320 vertical tail planes that had reached the end of their service lives, using a pyrolysis process. The reclaimed fibres will now be processed and configured into a fabric format that can be used with liquid resin composite manufacturing processes. The new material combination will be assessed and characterized for its mechanical performance, before being used to manufacture a wheelchair ramp against design criteria from the rail sector. The demonstrator is expected to show the crosssector application possibilities for EOL composites, with the learnings from this case study being taken forward and transferred to other products in sectors such as construction, rail, automotive and more. Carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) sections being extracted from an Airbus A320 vertical tail plane


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Global bicycle demand growth drives carbon fibre demand growth Experts are suggesting a 13.13% increase in the market for carbon fibre frames

THERE were 1.2 million bikes imported into the US in April 2021 (not including e-bikes), with an import value of $140 million – a non-trivial increase from the $131 million figure in March. According to a study released by market research firm Technavio (London, UK), there is a not-surprising and burgeoning demand for premium bicycles and, consequently, carbon fibre bicycle frames. Technavio found that in 2021 there

will be an increase of 13.13% in the market for carbon fibre frames, and it estimates that between 2021 and 2025 there will be a compound average growth rate of approximately 15%. That means a growth of 59.4 million bikes from 2021 to 2025. But while there is the increase in more expensive bikes in the US, Technavio finds that the greatest demand for carbon fibre frames is coming from the Asia-Pacific countries,

including China, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Technavio determined that in 2020, APAC countries accounted for some 42% of the global market share for carbon fibre frames and it anticipates this demand will continue. Reasons cited include rising disposable income in those countries; a rise in the number of young people in India; and more road and mountain bike racing occurring in the APAC region.

Solvay supports composites-intensive aircraft development SOLVAY is partnering with Italian urban air mobility (UAM) company Novotech and will provide access to its range of thermoset, thermoplastic composites and adhesive materials as well as dedicated technical support to develop the structure of the second prototype of Novotech’s hybrid Seagull water landing aircraft, due to fly late 2021. More specifically, Novotech selected Solvay’s aerospacequalified and NCAMP-registered MTM 45-1 and CYCOM 5320-1 resin systems. These two products have an aerospace pedigree system, Solvay says, with a large publicly available dataset, process flexibility and product forms required to enable rapid adoption and time to market.

According to Leonardo Lecce, CEO of Novotech, the Seagull is to be the first two-seater aircraft featuring carbon fibre composite components manufactured via automated fibre placement (AFP) rather than via manual processes. The composite-intensive Seagull is a hybrid-electric aircraft boasting an automatic folding wing system. It is also capable of both landing and taking off from lakes and sea thanks to its trimaran hull configuration, which is said enables a low-cost air-maritime mobility system. Novotech is already working on its next programme, a fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with Solvay as a key partner in the selection of composite and adhesive materials. This next aircraft will be able to carry four passengers, have a cruise speed of 150-180km/hour and a range of 200-400km, Novotech says.

Novotech’s hybrid Seagull water landing aircraft, due to fly late 2021


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New direct mould tooling technology for aerospace No traditional plug or mould pattern required

SWISS company Decision SA, part of the leading European composites consortium, Carboman Group, and a specialist in the development, prototyping and production of large composite structures, has launched a new direct mould tooling technology for aerospace. Decision’s latest tooling solution provides OEMs and manufacturers with short lead times for highly stable direct moulds for series production both in and outside of the autoclave at temperatures of up to 180˚C. Decision and Carboman recently delivered the first customer moulds using the new technology, providing a tooling glass prepreg, stainless-

steel backed direct female mould tool created for the series production of a Class 3 fairing to a leading European aerospace OEM. With no traditional plug or mould pattern required, Decision’s direct mould process starts with the group’s engineers selecting a material combination for the tool surface and support structure that will provide the optimum match between the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the mould and the composite part to be processed. The CNC machined composite face sheet is supported by a stress-relieved metallic or composite backing structure before final post curing and machining is completed.

The principal benefit of this novel approach, aside from removing the need for costly and time-consuming plug production, is the production accuracy delivered by the closely matched CTE of the mould tool and the finished composite part. Produced in an EN 9100:2018 controlled production environment, and with CMM checks before and after machining, the new direct composite tools have dimensional tolerances of +/-0.2mm. The available tooling dimensional envelope is currently defined by Decision’s 2 200mm x 6 000mm autoclave.

Rolls-Royce UltraFan aero-engine prototype


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ROLLS-Royce has started building its first UltraFan prototype engine at its DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK, and is expected to complete the prototype by the end of the year.

UltraFan, which the company says will be the world’s largest aero-engine and will contribute to sustainable air travel, features what will be the world’s largest fan rotor blades made from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The engine is the basis for a potential new family of UltraFan engines able to power both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, and to deliver a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine. Additonal key engineering features of the engine are include carbon titanium fan blades and a composite casing that reduce weight by up to 680kg per aircraft; and advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components that operate more effectively in high pressure turbine temperatures. Artist’s rendering of finished UltraFan engine prototype, to be completed by the end of 2021


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Containerized 3D printing robots for AM wind blade manufacture Project aims to demonstrate additive manufacturing of >100-metre-long composite wind blades with >25% reduced cost cranes. Cranes big enough for landbased, 100-metre-long blades do not exist. If the shipping containerized factory can be placed directly beneath the tower, then blade hoist and repair systems may be incorporated into the shipping container superstructure. Orbital Composites is offering a comprehensive solution showing a path to manufacturing and transportation cost reduction by more than 25%, increased throughput speeds and reduced labour compared to conventional blade manufacturing processes. Orbital Composites says it can also show how AM can enable a more than 50% reduction in new blade design lead times, allowing wind blade OEMs to introduce a large variety of site-optimized blades with higher efficiency and lower cost of energy (COE). Further, 100-metre continuous fibre structures may revolutionize another industry in the near future: rockets. This claim may be compared to the Saturn V rocket with 110.6-metre-tall and 10.1-metre-wide launch vehicles, or SpaceX’s current Starship plan, which call for a 122-metre-tall and ~10-metre-wide rocket. Both rockets are currently metallic.



This goal comes about due to several challenges the wind industry still faces. For example, with low-cost energy expected to reach 35% of global energy demand by 2050 (driven by wind blade cost reductions), optimal locations for onshore wind farms are forcing operators to build wind farms in harder-to-reach areas. In addition to this, blade transportation is often limited in the US to blade lengths between 53-62 metres by road and rail infrastructure, constraining future costreduction potential. A landmark study by the International Energy Agency (IEA, Paris, France) suggests on-site manufacturing as one of the disruptive technologies needed to continue to reduce the cost of wind energy. Shipping containers are the most versatile and lowest-cost method for global relocation. Mould transportation costs can be greatly reduced if 3D printing feedstock loaded shipping containers are being transported instead of mould surfaces. A mobile factory may also be the solution for crane use, particularly as offshore wind turbines are built bigger. The sheer scale of off-shore deployment vessels is an impressive feat, one unmatched by terrestrial

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ORBITAL Composites based in the US, will collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Maine to advance on-site, highthroughput manufacturing of wind blades with large-scale continuous fibre additive manufacturing via a $4 million grant from the US Dept of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Orbital notes that this project will also enable the demonstration/ potential validation use of its containerized 3D printing robots for wind blade manufacture. Orbital Composites says it has been pioneering its own accomplishments under its Mobile Robotic Additive Manufacturing with Continuous Fibre, a modular platform which uses a twelve-axis robot arm to enable AM of non-planar surfaces. Having already demonstrated thermoplastic and thermoset AM reinforced with continuous carbon and glass fibres, the company has a vision of eventually building large scale-up systems capable of printing entire wind blades greater than 100 metres in length. Currently, the system’s ORB OS software allows multi-robot collaboration as well.

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Some like it hot

52 AUG / SEPT 2021

Lanxess expands range of heat-resistant yellow pigments for high-performance polymers SPECIALTY chemicals company Lanxess has expanded its Colortherm Yellow pigment range for heat-resistant highperformance plastics. Two new inorganic yellow pigments are now available, namely Colortherm Yellow 5 and Colortherm Yellow 26. They are based on iron oxide and zinc oxide respectively and specially designed for cost-effective coloration in a temperature range of between 220°C and 260°C. With equally high colour strength at the same colour space, they offer plastics manufacturers and processors an excellent compromise between the best-in-class Colortherm Yellow 20 and Colortherm Yellow 30 products, which are heat stable up to 300°C. Plastics can now be used in applications that would have been considered impossible just a few years ago. As the use of technical plastics in high-tech applications becomes more widespread, the requirement profile for the pigments used for colouring is also growing. In particular, the heat stability of the colourants is becoming a decisive quality factor. In the case of

The yellow pigments of the Bayferrox and Colortherm brands from Lanxess are used for all common polymer materials as well as for engineering thermoplastics

organic pigments, high processing temperatures often lead to accelerated decomposition; but inorganic alternatives can be subject to colour variations at temperatures above 180°C. For reliable yellow colouring of high-temperature polymers, Lanxess offers the modular Colortherm Yellow product range. It comprises the iron oxides Colortherm Yellow 5 and Colortherm Yellow 20 as well as Colortherm Yellow 26, Colortherm Yellow 30 and Colortherm Yellow 3950 zinc ferrites. The range covers not only the colour spectrum of light, saturated yellow shades but also orange tones. Plastic formulations can thus be easily realized at processing temperatures of up to 300°C.

Covestro cooperates with carboNXT

to recycle PC composites

THE Maezio® brand of continuous fibrereinforced polycarbonate composites (CFRTPs) developed by Covestro are characterized by their extremely light weight, very high strength and exceptional flexibility of design. This means that waste generated during the production of composites also becomes a valuable raw material. However, because they consist of different materials that cannot be easily separated from one another, the recycling of composites is a challenge. Covestro is cooperating with recycling specialist carboNXT® on this. It has developed a process that allows the waste to be processed on an industrial scale. “We are very excited about this joint solution, as we cannot process the materials ourselves for technical reasons,” explains Lisa Ketelsen, head of thermoplastic composites at Covestro. “By recycling according to type at our partner’s plant, the raw materials can be

converted back into valuable products with similarly good properties as those characteristic of virgin materials. The recycling of materials makes it possible to use them again in other products. In this way, we save raw material resources and contribute to the focus on the circular economy.” Demand for such recycled products is high because they are valuable

raw materials, but also because more and more industrial customers and consumers are looking for more sustainable products. The project will now be further developed to market maturity by Covestro, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials and possibly other partners. It is part of a global strategic program with which Covestro is focusing all its energy on the circular economy.

The recycled polycarbonate composite is blended with new polycarbonate (the light blue granules) to form new plastic products (the black granules in front) which are tested before being launched on the market. The black test specimens, on which mechanical properties such as tensile and flexural strength are measured, serve this purpose

Sustainable wheelchair seat 75 million people worldwide in need of a wheelchair – 80% of them live in developing countries

require a cure time and temperature that is suitable and sustainable in warmer climates. The prototype seat pan was manufactured at the NCC using resin infusion. However, it has been designed so that wet lay-up can be used for lower skilled production. The flax can also easily be traded out for different engineering natural fibres for different locations, such as jute for Asia or sisal for South America, bringing the manufacture to local areas which cut down on shipping costs and upskills local people. Based on this material and manufacturing technique, the team altered the seat pan CAD developed by Motivation to support the load case of a 90kg user. They also added a cork core to provide form stiffness. The NCC team developed a low-cost tooling solution based on the shape and manufacturing method to help keep the cost of manufacture as low as possible. This new design is lighter than the plywood equivalent and provides greater physical support, both of which improve the quality of life for the user, providing reliable ‘built-in’ postural control and reducing the potential cost of care from hospitalisation.

SI Group, a leading performance additives company, will invest more than $50 million across three manufacturing sites in North America to install globally competitive main antioxidant capacity to increase its supply for this critically important and growing market segment. The new capacity is expected to come online in the second half of 2022. These projects are expected to create short-term construction jobs, followed by permanent manufacturing jobs once construction is complete. With projected growth in the polyolefins market in the US, the expansions will enable SI Group to increase its domestic supply to match growing demand, and further strengthen its position as a key partner to its customers.

Beck Automation opens new production site in Portugal WITH the expansion of their site in Barcelos, Portugal, Swiss-based Beck Automation AG is expanding their international production capacities and making a clear commitment to their activities in Portugal. Since 2016, the company has been manufacturing IML automation solutions in the north of Portugal. Due to the increasing demand, the management team decided to rebuild and expand the manufacturing site. On 3 000m², the Swiss IML specialist has built an industrial hall with 1 800m² of floor space for over 60 employees. All the systems that are manufactured at the headquarters in Switzerland are also built at the plant in Portugal. Interior view of the new manufacturing site in Barcelos, Portugal

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THE National Composites Centre (NCC) and Motivation have collaborated to manufacture a wheelchair seat pan concept made entirely from sustainable, green composite materials that could significantly improve the quality of life for disabled people in developing countries. Motivation, a global disability charity and social enterprise that provides wheelchairs, training and services to disabled people in low- and middleincome countries, approached the NCC for help in designing a new wheelchair seat pan concept that would be robust to cope with rough terrain, affordable to produce, and made from bio-based materials that could be locally sourced within those countries. Most importantly, the charity wanted to prove the concept of a new design that would offer a much more comfortable, lightweight, durable and hygienic solution. The charity currently produces wheelchair cushions made from polyurethane foam, which sit on either fabric ‘slung’ seats that are tensioned between framed sides, or a plywood base. These provide postural support and pressure management that is vital to wheelchair users. The prototype composite wheelchair seat pan can be moulded to the user needs to ensure a surface that provides long-term postural control and pressure management. A thin cushion is then added, replacing the sculpted PU cushions currently in use. Gurit flax fibre and Sicomin Infugreen resin were selected as the base materials to demonstrate the new design as they do not require high-cost manufacturing techniques. They also

SI Group making significant additives expansion in the US

WORLD NEWS View inside one of the new production lines for polycarbonate specialty films in Dormagen

Covestro expands film production in Germany Production with the most advanced technology COVESTRO has started up additional production lines for high-quality specialty films at its Dormagen site in Germany. The new coextrusion lines are designed to meet a rising demand worldwide. The project is part of a global programme to expand film capacity with a total investment of more than €100 million and was completed as planned despite restrictions due to the

coronavirus pandemic. The new lines will mainly produce multilayer flat films. These products, for example, play an important role in identity documents in order to embed security features and ensure the best possible protection against counterfeiting. They are also used in medical technology and car interiors. The competence centre in Dormagen

houses production, a technical centre for film processing, as well as a showroom and research laboratories. Covestro operates two other German competence centers for semi-finished products in Leverkusen and Bomlitz, as well as several competence centres worldwide.

DOMO fills product gap in black transparent laser welding DOMO Chemicals has developed a new product family PA66-based black plastics suitable for laser welding, a technology that is increasingly used in joining together thermoplastic parts – the laser transparent Technyl® STAR AF 219 V30 black LT. Laser welding is becoming one of the top cost-effective technologies to deep weld polymer materials together in many industries and is particularly used in the development of complex and small shaped plastic parts for the automotive market, electronic circuits, Internet of Things applications and consumer goods. The most relevant benefits of this technology include speed, flexibility, precision and 54 AUG / SEPT 2021

superior appearance. Additional laser welding is also a low dust technology, a key high performance for electric and electronic applications. Being such a concentrated heat source, in thin materials laser welding can be carried out at high welding speeds. Thicker materials can produce narrow, deep welds between squareedged parts. The Technyl® STAR AF 219 V30 black LT expanded product family will be important for the electric vehicle market where there is a growing demand for sensor boxes, cases and control units.

Black transparent laser welded application

Evonik – 3D-printable TPE

EVONIK and HP have developed a 3D-printable thermoplastic elastomer to enable breakthrough applications for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Evonik and HP’s new co-branded elastomer is a flexible high-performance specialty powder based on a thermoplastic amide grade (TPA) for 3D printing. The new ready-to-use material has been developed thanks to a long-standing industry partnership between the two companies and it is optimized for the HP’s industry leading Multi Jet Fusion™ technology. Evonik and HP’s new TPA powder is a flexible, lightweight-construction material distinguished by its very low density of 1.01 g/cm³ and a Shore A hardness of 91. The high-performance powder is excellently suited for production of functional high-tech 3D plastic parts — prototypes as well as series products — that call for high extensibility and energy return, such as sports equipment or automobile components. The powder enables fast, high-quality parts to be produced using HP’s Jet Fusion 4200 series of 3D printers, resulting in an efficient, reliable experience similar to that of HP’s branded PA12 polyamide. Furthermore, Evonik’s new TPA powder makes it possible for clients to 3D print real, usable prototype through production of elastomer parts fast, no tooling - straight to parts. Customers, including US-based rapid manufacturing partner GoProto, are already developing new innovative applications.

Evonik’s TPA ready-to-use material is excellently suited for production of functional hightech 3D plastic parts that call for high extensibility and energy return, such as sports equipment or automobile components

New corrugated tubing technology allows greater light-weighting SOLVAY and Maincor Rohrsysteme GmbH are pioneering a technique to manufacture a more flexible, extruded corrugated tubing with varying wall thicknesses and diameters. This advance will help meet new thermal management design challenges stemming from combining internal combustion engine and e-mobility. Ryton® PPS mono-layer extrusion grade Ryton® XE3500BL, has thermal stability up to 200°C (392°F), exceptional dimensional stability even at elevated temperatures and in harsh environments, mechanical strength, ductility, toughness, superior chemical resistance and is inherently flame retardant.

Bodo Möller Chemie takes over sub-Saharan market for Kraton Polymers WITH the key regions in southern Africa, the Bodo Möller Chemie Group has taken over the sales & distribution for the worldwide leading copolymer products of Kraton Polymers. Starting in April, the products and relevant application know-how will be available through Bodo Möller Chemie’s African presence in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Kraton polymers are used in numerous applications: in adhesives and sealants, coatings, consumer and body care products, in automobile manufacture and many other plastic products.

INEOS Styrolution celebrates 90 years of PS INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, is celebrating 90 years of polystyrene, a material that has significantly contributed to societal wellbeing for over almost a century. The road to the production of polystyrene was paved in 1929 with the first patents on the production of styrene monomer from ethylbenzene, and a year later for the continuous polymerisation of styrene monomer to polystyrene. The technology was perfected through 1931, when the first ready-to-use polystyrene was produced. Styrenic materials are used to make life-saving applications in the healthcare industry, including virus detection kits, respiratory devices, safety goggles and face shields to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. INEOS Styrolution is now focusing on advancing a circular and low-carbon economy by recycling styrenic materials including polystyrene and substituting fossil feedstock with either recycled or renewable sources in our production processes.

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New IML automation system for containers Reduces cost, improves productivity, enhances graphics, product appearance MULLER Technology, a global leader in tool making and automation technology for thin-wall plastic packaging, has launched an innovative in-mould labeling (IML) automation system for the production of 5-gallon containers that reduces cost, improves productivity, and enhances graphics and product appearance. Muller’s new IML system offers major improvements over standard pressure-sensitive and printed systems which are time-consuming and require double handling of parts. Label suppliers are predicting 40% growth in North America this year for industrial container IML with brand owners and moulders driving the demand. Muller’s IML technology enables container manufacturers to add to their product offering without any infrastructure changes, enabling them to maintain a small footprint and limiting costly scrap. The one-piece IML system which is less than 2.5 metres wide compared to competitive IML systems that are up to 4 metres wide. It fits conveniently into non-IML production lines, requires no adjustment in floor layout, and fits any injection moulding machine height. The IML system places the wrap-

around PP label into the mould, removes the container after moulding, and transports it to a visual inspection station. The container is then directed to stacking and handle assembly. Systems can be easily converted from 1-cavity to two-cavity to enable the production of 1- to 5-gal containers. Manufacturers often face the costly scrapping of a finished container due to label misalignment. A key feature of Muller’s IML system is digital label placement positioning which provides significant precision and detailed label placement versus standard, manually adjusted magazines. The system also has quick changeout capability from container size to container size and label to label. Rotating dummy mandrels allow label seams in different locations.

56 AUG /SEPT 2021

PP foam extrusion technology enabling lower cost and increased efficiency POLYPROPYLENE is a highly effective material, offering advanced mechanical properties and being well suited for reusing and recycling. To support the large-scale adoption of ePP, Sulzer Chemtech is launching a new and innovative production line. Developed together with raw material supplier Borealis, the resulting solution supports the end market efforts

towards more circular solutions and is expected to cut manufacturing costs by up to 60%. As opposed to conventional autoclave production methods, Sulzer Chemtech’s innovative system relies on extrusion with direct gas impregnation, offering an easy to implement alternative with a quick return on investment. Foam moulders, such as packaging manufacturers, can implement the compounding line to considerably reduce the costs associated with material supply, warehousing and intermediate transportation. As a result, companies can offer ePP parts at more competitive prices while supporting the adoption of easy to recycle polyolefin applications.

Additional benefits include having full control over the properties of the ePP, such as bulk density, closed cell content and bead size distribution, as well as maximum flexibility in fine-tuning the recipes. Also, the highly automatized process keeps maintenance requirements low and simplifies operations. Besides, the extruded beads can be subsequently easily processed with standard steam pressure in steam chest moulding machines to obtain moulded bead foam products with specific shapes. In addition, Sulzer Chemtech and Borealis are developing an alternative that can use carbon dioxide, supporting different customer needs and plant settings.

Reifenhäuser Group acquires air cooling ring specialist Kdesign

BOPE additives for agile & efficient response to new market trends

A CURRENT trend in the production of films for disposable packaging is moving from multilayer to mono-material concepts that are easier to recycle and have better mechanical and optical properties. Here, biaxially oriented polyethylenebased films (BOPE films) enable high-performance solutions that can be superior to conventional BOPP packaging films in terms of processing and cost efficiency. Tosaf has developed new additive masterbatches specifically tailored to the PE film orientation process. Currently, this portfolio includes slip, antiblock, antistatic and antifog additives. The ability to use them individually or in combination gives manufacturers high flexibility in meeting specific product requirements. Tosaf has worked closely with Brückner Maschinenbau, a leading manufacturer of film stretching equipment based in Siegsdorf, Germany, to validate the good processing properties of its new BOPE masterbatches. As these pilot tests have shown, films produced with them meet high optical and functional requirements without compromising mechanical properties. In addition, Tosaf has demonstrated the good processing properties resulting from the use of the new additives on one of the most advanced production lines available. The results also demonstrate the suitability of the new BOPE additives for the production of inline machine direction oriented (MDO) films, which are emerging as another strong production trend.

Low trauma, high moisture-permeable urethane adhesives TOYOCHEM Co, the polymers and coatings arm of the Tokyobased Toyo Ink Group, has released a new line of ‘Soft Skin’ polyurethane-based pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) designed to meet the growing demand for safe, low-trauma medical devices formulated for sensitive skin individuals. Suitable applications include surgical tapes and dressing films customized for the medical and healthcare fields. The new adhesive system offers high moisture permeability and low skin exfoliation for a pain-free removal or repositioning of the adhesive material. In addition, the new compositions do not contain silicones or other substances that may contaminate coatings lines or processing environments.

AS of April 2021, machine and plant manufacturer Reifenhäuser has acquired a majority stake in Kdesign GmbH, a global leader in the manufacture of air cooling rings and measuring systems for blown film extrusion lines. With this purchase Reifenhäuser Group, a specialist in extrusion technologies, expands its in-house expertise in cooling, controlling, measuring and calibrating blown films and will give its customers in this segment an even clearer competitive edge in the future. Kdesign remains an independent company within the Reifenhäuser Group and its business and customer relationships will continue unchanged. Joachim Lange and Richard Zimmermann continue to head the company as managing directors.

Songwon establishes new entity in China Songwon Industrial Co has established a new business entity in China, Songwon International-Qingdao Co, Ltd. The new organization will ensure that Songwon remains well-positioned to continue providing customers in this important strategic region with high quality products and service. Songwon also announced that the divestment of its shareholding in the Qingdao Long Fortune Songwon Chemical Co, Ltd. joint venture has been completed.

Total Corbion PLA enters engineering stage for new 100 kTpa PLA plant in France TOTAL Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, has kicked off the front-end engineering design stage for its new 100 000 tons per annum Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) plant in Grandpuits, France. The plant, due to be operational in 2024, will be the first of its kind in Europe. It would make Total Corbion PLA the global market leader in PLA, firmly positioned to cater for the rapidly growing demand for Luminy® PLA resins. AUG / SEPT 2021 57


Clariant’s virtual

Car Colour Configurator

Clariant unveils latest colour trend forecast for the automotive industry

CLARIANT, one of the world’s best known pigment producers, has released its new Automotive Styling Shades 2025 Trendbook, including an interactive digital version for the first time. The much-anticipated Trendbook highlights how globalization has made colour preference more uniform worldwide than it was 20 years ago, with white still the most preferred shade in 2020 rounding off ten years of uninterrupted dominance. Yet, as people around the globe look for joy, beauty and cultural sharing after the impacts of the pandemic colour is back in the air. The 2025 edition is focused on ‘colour meets culture’, exploring the inspiration and emotion that colour brings to


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How to meet the global need for carbon as a feedstock? THE chemical sector has a longlasting and increasing demand for carbon that is embedded in its products. Today, 450 million tons of carbon are contained in chemicals and polymers, mostly sourced from fossil resources. The free report Turning off the Tap for Fossil Carbon, shows how the demand is met today and could be covered by renewable carbon in the year 2050. In this new report, conducted by nova-Institute and commissioned by Unilever, the total carbon embedded in products from the chemical and derived material sector is examined on a global scale. This includes product groups like plastics, rubbers, textile fibres, detergents and personal care solutions. For the first time ever, the total global amount of embedded carbon is calculated, visualized and connected to the different feedstocks. Enduser applications are also investigated and depicted. The authors present a 2050 scenario is introduced that outlines prospects to transition from fossil to renewable carbon sources. Moreover, solutions for the highly interconnected chemical industry are illustrated together with supporting policy measures. The study can be downloaded for free at

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our lives and forecasting brilliant shades and metallic effects in a diverse range of colour families. These are Daily Relaunch – with mood lifting hues for the office commute, Value-based Culture – gentle colours for a peaceful and sustainable co-existence on the planet, The Fast and the Curious – shades that shout open-mindedness and selfconfidence, and Rainbow Bridge – bold colours that blaze a trail and refuse to follow the rules. For the first time, Clariant is launching a virtual version of the Trendbook along with the brand-new online and interactive Car Colour Configurator, offering customers a collection of 28 new trend shades for automotive coatings.

European cables market recovers AMI Consulting, experts in the plastics market, just published the new edition of its in-depth market report Polymeric Materials in the European Cable Industry 2021 that analyses the use of polymeric materials in the European cables industry. This niche but high-value market saw an increase of 2.8% per year between 2016 and 2019. During this time, the problems suffered by the automotive sector offset the growth seen across other applications such as renewables or telecommunications. In 2020, the industry was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the market has seen a strong beginning of 2021 and it is expected to reach pre-Covid levels despite the raw material sourcing issues faced across the supply chain early in the year. The future for cables in Europe looks bright as it is expected to grow at a faster rate between 2019 (pre-Covid levels) and 2025. Growth will be mainly driven by investment in infrastructure, construction and renewables. Polymeric Materials in the European Cable Industry 2021 quantifies the market and identifies its demand drivers, material selection trends, the regulations affecting, and the changes underway. The report also provides a historic snapshot of the industry’s biggest players and a site-by-site outline of polymeric material consumption. It provides an analysis of the past and an outlook for the future, based on 2016-2020 data and forecasts for 2021-2025.

2021/08/10 10:28



Wide range of qualitative plastic raw materials and chemical products.



Regular product availability


Extensive technical support Customer focused logistics and sales administration





SNETOR IN THE WORLD Specializing in distribution and sales of plastics and chemicals in Africa, North and South America and Europe, Snetor Group is present in more than 100 countries with 90 logistics platforms worldwide.


In figures: 300 employees 90 logistics platforms 30 offices


CONTACT US: E : T : +27 10 442 9399 Snetor South Africa - 138 Jan Smuts Avenue – 2nd floor - Parkwood - 2193 Randburg - SOUTH AFRICA


Plastic Pipe manufacturing sector An ailing and hugely challenged manufacturing sector BY MIKE SMART, PR. ENG., B.SC. (HONS) CIV. ENG., MSAICE

IN May 2021, the merSETA Plastics Chamber Research Report, ‘Improving the competitiveness of the Plastic Pipe Sector in South Africa’ was published with the objective “to identify the challenges to an ailing and hugely challenged plastic pipe manufacturing sector and make recommendations towards its strengthening”. It does not make pleasant reading for industry stakeholders. This for an industry identified and designated by government as a strategic economic development industry and an industry closely linked to the construction industry, also identified and designated by government as the ‘driver’ of South Africa’s post-Covid economic recovery infrastructure programme. The 103-page report examines and sometimes condemns the industry players throughout the supply chain – from raw material suppliers to the end-users. There are nine groups of ‘Overall Findings’ containing 21 specific items, three groups of ‘Overall Recommendations’ containing nine items and a ‘Conclusion’ which summarises the contents. It must be noted the assistance of industry associations Plastics|SA and SAPPMA were specifically noted. This article does not purport to provide a comprehensive critique of the report, but it is enlightening to highlight some of the salient points. Most of the report’s points have been the subject of previous ‘Pipe Matters’ articles in this magazine, but with an interesting, nuanced perspective of some, for example: 1. The reduction in infrastructural spending is not only caused by the allocation and redirection (theft) of funds but also a lack of capacity (skills) at municipal level hindering or halting the tendering process. 2. Training is not only required at artisanal level but also at managerial leadership level where a return to engineering skills and expertise is necessary in both manufacturer and customer. 3. There is a shortage of engineering skills and expertise in government to do repairs and maintenance, so it is not done. 4. In an industry “under pressure” wherein about 80% of pipe cost is raw material, the target for cost reduction is obvious – SAPPMA and SATAS, with a dysfunctional SABS, are the quality ‘policemen’.

5. To involve SAPPMA in pricing, as the report suggests, would not only contravene the Competition Act, but destroy SAPPMA’s status as an independent association of integrity and relegate it to just another ‘trader’ in the supply chain – its incorruptibility must be jealously guarded. The problems have been identified and stated repeatedly and the consequences numerated in a litany of misery. The report states the solutions, inter alia, are as follows: 1. Optimise the value chain by: 1.1 Improving quality control and quality assurance in the specification, manufacture and installation of pipelines. 1.2 Utilisation of digital systems and COAs as working, not ‘lip-service’, documents. 2. Implementing lessons learnt by: 2.1 Keeping value chains short. 2.2 Benefiting from ICT applications. 2.3 Adaptable organisations having better market responsiveness. 3. Strengthen and empower industry bodies by: 3.1 SAPPMA setting minimum prices for a month. 3.2 Utilising ECSA fee scale for tenders. 3.3 Industry benchmarking test facilities and access thereto. 3.4 Investing in modern machinery to improve innovation, production and competitiveness. The quality related items are currently being addressed by SAPPMA, SATAS, PESC Laboratory, Roediger Agencies, BS and other accredited organisations. If any of these organisations were to become involved in any commercial aspect of the industry, they would lose all credibility and probably suffer harsher penalties. However, it illustrates what has been stated previously in this column, SAPPMA must be given greater recognition and authority. All aspects of the plastic pipe manufacturing industry enumerated in the report are pertinent to the industry. However, it must be emphasised that it currently operates under depressed conditions and the situation will not improve until the largest customer returns to the market as the knowledgeable, exacting, demanding, controlling, consuming and commercially viable customer it must be – the government.

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Much to lose when

gender diversity

is not considered important Women bring a different dynamic to a business by addressing or resolving them with new thinking and innovative approaches


always seem to be ‘invisible’, and that’s the most fascinating WITH Women’s day in August, let’s bring up the elephant and often distressing aspect of the working life of women in in the room – of being a woman and a woman of colour, in patriarchal industries. the plastics industry in South Africa. When I was growing up in this industry, my peers and Let’s start with my role at Plastics|SA as the Training colleagues were mostly my age (Gen X) and were so Executive and the only executive at Plastics|SA with a accepting of my performing mould changes and setting technical background who started on the shop floor. I can’t machines that passing allen keys and torque wrenches to tell you how many times men in meetings don’t address me each other and wearing a dust coat and safety shoes was directly but would prefer to talk to my manager with regards as normal as tapping keys on a typewriter. We had a social to work related to the training division – or even for that club in those days and our MD, Chris van Niekerk, was matter, equipment that I need for my division. I have indeed a very fun loving person who kept us all been in the industry since 1989 on a bursary to together. We worked hard and we played hard study Polymer Technology from Megapak, Companies and life held the promise of a world wherein which was then part of the Sentrachem who significantly there was a significant role to be played by Group. However, in the eyes of so many invest in building a more a talented young woman in the plastics in our male dominated industry, I am flexible and empathetic industry who often ‘beat the socks off the probably assumed to be from an HR guys’ with her technical savvy! background because of my role. workplace nurture a Fast forward to 2021, and though our Though it was new to have a culture in which women industry has small pockets where women female on the shop floor in 1989 (also have equal opportunity are ‘considered’ equal, the general culture considering it was still during apartheid), and behaviour is not accommodating hat’s off to the men on the shop floor at that to achieve their for women to really be who they are, or to time who allowed and encouraged me to be potential participate and share their opinions and ideas. the best I could be. Here is where I must make Sadly, there is much to lose when gender diversity is mention of the late Reg Sutton and the late Hennie not considered an important aspect of industry growth and Swanepoel, whom I consider to be the mentors who development. Women bring a different dynamic to a business had a significant impact on my confidence. I am definitely not and that is undeniable, especially those who are able to get stereotypical as I have opinions and experience to back that up to the bottom of issues and challenges by addressing or and have no reservations about sharing those opinions, just as resolving them with new thinking and innovative approaches. I am doing right now. I also don’t have any inferiority complexes With women not having the support of school or childcare, linked to race or skin colour because of a very strong cultural and work demands still the same with no adjustments, identity rooted in the practice of yoga and meditation. are you aware that one in four women are probably It’s an important topic…this one…for the future of diversity contemplating what many would have considered unthinkable in this industry and for the future of younger women in this just six months ago: downgrading to a lower position, a industry and other manufacturing industries. Until men stop career change or leaving the workforce completely? greeting ‘the gents’ in meetings and overlook our existence, Companies risk losing women in leadership and future our voices should not be quietened. Many of us play women leaders, severely affecting any progress already significant roles in challenging the status quo by just being made towards gender diversity. who we are and the level of our contribution. Somehow we 62 AUG / SEP 2021


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MIDDLE EAST After decades of importing every drop of fuel, Israel has struck it rich, uncovering vast reserves of natural gas in the Mediterranean

‘Abraham Accords’ –

a giant step towards normalising relationships in the Middle East? Many different views on the reasons and implications of these agreements BY NIALL MARSHALL

LATE in the Trump Presidency there were several unexpected treaties signed between Israel and Middle Eastern Arab countries. Collectively referred to as the ‘Abraham Accords’ they normalised Israel’s relationships with the UAE and Bahrain as well as Morocco and Sudan. Notably, Saudi Arabia was not party to any of the agreements, but it did signal its approval by condemning the expected criticism of the agreements. There are many different views on the reasons and implications of these agreements. For some this is a giant step towards normalising relationships in the Middle East and bringing peace to the region. For others it is simply a transactional arrangement where the different parties each got something they needed for their own domestic benefit: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed normalisation agreements with Arab states to bolster his election campaign (he lost the election earlier this year); and the UAE will be permitted to buy 50 advanced F-35 Lightening II stealth fighters for $10.4 billion (also a win for the American Lockheed Martin company). Morocco had its territorial claims over the Western Sahara recognized by the USA in exchange for establishing relations with Israel and Sudan was removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism making them eligible for US Aid – although Sudan claims being removed from the list is unrelated to recognizing Israel. President Trump got a Middle East ‘peace treaty’ signed to bolster his election campaign (which he also lost a few months later). The Palestinians, who were not included in any of these discussions, did not get anything. Businesses in the UAE and Israel see immense opportunities around trade, investment and collaboration in areas such as health, technology, agriculture, and finance. For Israel, the UAE is a business and logistics gateway to the Middle East and Africa as well as a client for innovation and high-tech solutions. For the UAE, the agreement provides access to Israel’s know-how around growing food in the desert

and desalination technologies will allow local companies to adopt and develop products and expertise important to the region. DP World, the global logistics company that manages ports and other facilities around the world forecasts UAEIsrael trade could be as much as $5 billion per year. The Israeli chemical industry is based primarily on various minerals extracted from the Dead Sea and phosphate deposits in the southern Negev desert. In recent years Israel has discovered a massive gas reserve off the Mediterranean coast (as have Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus), but political disputes have delayed investments. The plastics industry in Israel is made up of many small and medium-sized companies and a few big companies. These big companies, which account for more than half the turnover in the sector, generally have large export markets and often have global subsidiaries. Smaller companies are more limited in terms of accessible markets and the availability of cheap polymer – both of which can potentially benefit from trade with the UAE. The strength of the Israeli polymer industry in the agricultural field will find new markets with similar climates and could even establish factories in the Free Zones with access to polymer from the other GCC countries not party to the Abraham Accords and access to these and other regional markets. Emirati plastic converters establishing plants in Israel could benefit from duty-free access to European markets in addition to the Israeli domestic market. While there are certainly some interesting opportunities from the signing of the various normalisation agreements, it is also clear that these do not really change the situation in the Middle East. Tensions between the Arab countries and Iran are not eased, but aggravated, by agreements with Israel and until a fair and just solution to the Palestinian issue can be found even improved economic and diplomatic ties will not deliver peace.

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The world’s plastics & rubber industry focuses on K 2022 in Düsseldorf NOW the deadline for registrations for K 2022 has been reached, it is clear that the interest taken by exhibitors in the world’s most important trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, to be held in Düsseldorf from 19-26 October 2022, continues unabated. “K 2022 will again occupy the entire fairgrounds,” rejoices Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, and goes on to say: “When talking to exhibitors we feel that there is an

enormous demand for personal exchange on a global level.” K 2022 will again welcome the who’s who of the international plastics and rubber industry to Düsseldorf. Some 3 000 companies from all continents have registered to exhibit their innovations in the segments raw materials, auxiliaries; emi-finished products, technical components and reinforced plastic products; and machinery and equipment for the plastics and rubber industry.

food & drink tech Africa 2021 cancelled

FOOD & DRINK technology (fdt) Africa, the premier trade fair for the processing, filling, packaging and logistics for Africa’s food and beverage industry, has been cancelled. Suzette Scheepers, CEO of event organisers Messe Muenchen South Africa, says the event, which had been scheduled to take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 2-4 November this year, will not go ahead this year due to uncertainty in the market and ongoing travel bans and restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PVC 2021 goes virtual

PVC 2021 is the world’s leading conference on vinyl and this year’s theme focussed on ‘Success and Innovation in the Circular Economy’ with an impressive line-up delivering a current, comprehensive and wide-ranging technical programme. A total of 60 papers covering seven technical sessions plus two keynote speakers and discussion opportunities in between were hosted at PVC 2021 from 10-12 May.

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K in Düsseldorf not only serves as the arena for forward-looking product innovations every three years but also underlines its exceptional positioning by addressing both the challenges of our day and age and of its industry, in particular. This is reflected above all by the three major guiding themes of K 2022, which are the circular economy, digitalisation, and climate protection.

UTECH Europe Conference in November

CANNON Group’s CEO Marco Volpato will deliver the conference keynote address at UTECH Europe 2021, the world-leading polyurethanes conference and exhibition taking place at the MECC in Maastricht, the Netherlands 16-18 November. The comprehensive three-day UTECH Europe 2021 conference programme will cover all areas of the polyurethanes industry including markets, sustainability, the latest developments in polyurethane science, innovation, legislation and regulation, as well as flexible foams, PU composites, energy efficient rigid foams, 3D printing, nano materials and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers). More details of the conference programme will be announced in the coming months. UTECH Europe is uniquely placed as the only truly international exhibition and conference for the polyurethanes industry and typically attracts visitors from over 80 countries around the world. When last held in 2018, the triennial UTECH Europe attracted over 200 exhibiting companies and a total footfall over three days of 10 113. Registration for the event is now open at:

Propak West Africa 2021

To see more information visit:

to compliment the live event continuing the positive steps to keep on innovating at the event. The conference programme this year has identified its theme as: Propak Sustainability Conference; Being Responsible. The organisers feel that with the much needed global effort to tackle climate change the responsibility to promote opportunities and educate on ways to limit the industries impact on the environment is something more prevalent than ever, especially as companies navigate their way out of the pandemic. 2021 will see the launch of the business matchmaking platform, Grip, to compliment the live exhibition and boost engagement levels for the exhibitors by providing the opportunity to access the full pre-registered visitor list coming to the exhibition. This will allow registered attendees to reach out and connect with each other ahead of the live event and help focus their attention on the key buyers for their sector, rather than wait for the buyer to come by their stand. It’s expected this will greatly add to the return on investment by ensuring no one is missed.

To register visit:

ICCM 23 – Intl Conf Composite Materials 30 July - 4 August Belfast, Northern Ireland PPXX Conference & Exhibition: 6-8 September Hotel Okura, Amsterdam, The Netherlands bio!TOY conference: 7-8 September Nuremberg, Germany: No-Dig Live 2021: 14-16 September Peterborough, England: Propak West Africa 2021: 14-16 September Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria Manufacturing, Robotics & AI Summit 16-17 September: Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Jhb


SEPTEMBER 14-16 will see the return of Propak West Africa, the region’s largest packaging, printing, plastics and food processing exhibition. With many looking to build on the momentum that is returning to the industry in the region, the chance to reconnect and meet with 3500 professionals over the three days cannot come soon enough. Visitor registration is now open, so be sure to sign up now and get all the exhibition news straight to your inbox. With exhibitions and conferences noted as a key driver for boosting the economy in Nigeria, they have been given special status in Lagos State to operate with larger capacity than other indoor events. This means that while a number of regulations remain in place, the opportunity for the business community to meet in September safely is achievable and stakeholders are looking forward to it. This year the exhibition will be returning with more than 80 companies booked, a strong multi-faceted conference programme and the introduction of an online business matchmaking platform

PU China/UTECH Asia Polyurethanes: 28-30 July Shanghai World Expo, China:

German Pavilion at CE China 2021 16-18 September: Guangzhou, China Chemical Recycling 2021: 27-28 September InterContinental Hotel, Düsseldorf, Germany AMI’s Plastics Recycling Technology: 20-21 Oct Vienna, Austria: Middle East Foam & Polyurethane Expo: 26-28 Oct: Dubai, United Arab Emirates ArabPlast 2021: 15-18 November Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Trenchless Asia 2021: 16-17 November Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: UTECH Europe: 16-18 November MECC in Maastricht, the Netherlands Manufacturing Indaba: 22-26 November Virtual event: Putech Eurasia: 25-27 Nov: Istanbul Expo Centre, Turkey: Int’l Morocco Food & Siema Expo: 7-9 December Casablanca, Morocco:


KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition: 16-18 Feb Durban Exhibition Centre:

Injection Molding & Design Expo: 16-17 March Detroit, Michigan, USA: K 2022: 19-26 October: Düsseldorf, Germany

AUG / SEPT 2021 67

Saudi Plastics & Petrochem: 21-24 Feb Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:


Arburg at Fakuma 2021 – ‘The best of both worlds’ Two worlds, one goal: Digitalisation and sustainability for more production efficiency TAKING place from 1-16 October, Fakuma is this year’s first big international in-person event for the plastics sector to be held in Germany. Arburg is preparing for a major appearance at the trade fair in Friedrichshafen. The focus will be on “The best of both worlds”: “arburgXworld” and “arburgGREENworld”. Arburg will be live and in person at stand 3101 in Hall A3, where trade visitors will learn everything there is to know about digital, sustainable and production-efficient plastics processing. “We can hardly wait to talk in person again to customers and interested parties. Our team is highly motivated and looks forward to presenting the many highlights live to the visitors,” emphasises Juliane Hehl, managing partner with responsibility for Marketing at Arburg. “The Fakuma has traditionally been of great importance to us. The visit to Arburg will certainly be an experience that trade

visitors will remember for a long time. With our pioneering spirit and focused strategy, we will show how plastic parts can be produced today and tomorrow, competitively, sustainably, and digitally interconnected.” Arburg puts a great deal of know-how into its customer portal “arburgXworld” and the development of new digital services and features that bring real added value, such as the “AnalyticsCenter” for process analysis. In future it will also be possible to integrate machines and peripheral devices from other manufacturers into the central platform. The sustainable production of plastic parts and their return into the recyclable materials cycle (Circular Economy) is illustrated by Arburg through innovative application examples. These include separation by type using a digital watermark (“HolyGrail2.0” and “CurveCode”) during production of IML

WPO & World Design Organisation project to tackle sustainable packaging

WPO (World Packaging Organisation) and WDO (World Design Organization) launched their first joint initiative following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year. The two organizations hosted a two-week virtual ‘World Design Challenge on Sustainable Packaging’ that identified sustainable solutions in packaging design from 24 May to 4 June 2021. This initiative worked in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, to address internationally relevant topics, including food waste and safety, sustainable packaging, circularity and

68 AUG / SEPT 2021

and espresso cups. A real eye-catcher are “green” sunglasses made of bio-based PA12 and produced on a sophisticated turnkey system. The Allrounder More series for efficient multi-component injection moulding will premiere at Fakuma 2021. Further highlights are the planetary roller screw drives developed and produced in Lossburg and the trendsetting Gestica control system. A total of nine machine exhibits will demonstrate innovate applications and processes at the trade fair stand. On view will be the efficient production of IML cups for the packaging sector, of blood tubes and 2k fluid housings for the medical sector, as well as the injection moulding of LSR mask holders and the industrial additive processing of LSR materials and original plastic granules.

education to help spur meaningful change at both the individual and industry level. The World Design Challenge on Sustainable Packaging aims to bring together professionals and researchers in the fields of sustainability and packaging design across different industries. Seven international teams will be appointed to develop creative solutions that best address the following seven key challenge statements. Expected outcomes of this initiative include shareable design-led solutions that can be extended to both packaging industries and other sectors, as a way to encourage waste prevention, engage and educate consumers and foster more sustainable business models.

bio!TOY conference on biobased plastics for toys THE second bio!TOY conference will take place on 7-8 September, in Nuremberg, Germany. The unique two-day event will once again bring together key players in the industry value chain, from manufacturers of bio-based materials to toy suppliers. 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 nonfossil-based materials. Important new development goals include, next to significantly lower CO2 emissions, increasing the use of recyclable,

recycled and renewable raw materials. The conference will address hot topics including: • What materials are available, what properties do they have? • What effects are associated with them? What are the advantages? • How can the goals and claims be secured? More than 20 presentations with a focus on suitable materials, application examples, and user experiences. In addition, experts will give background information on regulations, testing,

and certification, policy and funding opportunities. The conference will be accompanied by a table-top exhibition of business and technology leaders.

PLAST returns in 2023 PLAST-International Exhibition for the plastics and rubber industries will take place from 5-8 September 2023 at the Fiera Milano fairgrounds in Rho-Pero. Exhibitors originally enlisted in PLAST 2021 have already moved to ensure a place at PLAST 2023, confirming 30 000 square metres of exhibition space. Applications for new exhibitors will officially open in June 2022. The previous edition of PLAST, which took place in 2018, recorded over 1 500 exhibitors in a net space of 55 000m2 and drew in more than 63 000 visitors, with a significant increase in visitors from other countries. In keeping with tradition, PLAST offered operators a broad and varied technology showcase, especially as regards the core of the exhibition, i.e., the machinery, auxiliaries, and moulds for plastics and rubber processing. More than 3 500 different equipment was exhibited in six exhibition halls. This sector represents a major slice of Italian manufacturing, with a production value estimated by the trade association AMAPLAST at €3.74 billion in 2020, with exports accounting for some 70% of production. In keeping with previous editions, the content of PLAST 2023 will not be limited to machinery but range from innovative materials to cutting-edge production processes, and from high-tech finished products to personalised services.

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• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for BASF

on TPU Elastollan® Thermoplastic Polyurethane

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

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for CGFSE on FSE® Fluoroelastomers and Perfluoroelastomers

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

unfilled and filled compounds


Durban announced as the new host of Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) Dates rescheduled to 15-21 November 2021 THE second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) has been rescheduled to take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from 15-21 November. The Trade Fair was previously due to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 8 to 14 December 2021. This decision was arrived at after formal consultations with the Government of Rwanda, who indicated that logistical constraints related to the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely affected the progress of construction of a new facility to host the event. Relocating IATF2021 to Durban

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Chemical Recycling 2021 Conference

AMI, leading provider of market intelligence and events for the global plastics industry, will host the Chemical Recycling Conference on 27-28 September at the InterContinental Hotel, Düsseldorf, Germany. The two-day event will offer attendees the chance to update their knowledge on chemical recycling and fully understand the range of technologies, outputs, and concepts available as well as how they can help to meet local and national recycling targets. Presentations will look at technologies, outlooks, regulations and how the industry must work

saves us time on the calendar and will enable African countries and corporates, as part of their recovery strategy, to take full advantage of the Trade Fair, which is also an important component of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under which trading commenced this year. Welcoming the conference, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala said: “As KwaZulu-Natal, we are honoured to host this important gathering of the world as we implement our own Economic Reconstruction, Recovery

together to close the loop and bring about a fully circular economy that includes chemical recycling as a major contributor to increase recycling rates and lower carbon emissions. In addition to industry presentations, the conference includes opportunities for extended discussions and idea sharing. Delegates will be offered unrivalled opportunities to network, exchange experiences and learn through interaction with key representatives from all areas of the recycling value chain. This conference is a must-attend for anyone wishing to stay up to date on the latest developments in the dynamic market of chemical recycling.

and Transformation Plan. Our approach is to carefully balance the protection of lives against promoting and sustaining livelihoods. “Based on plans announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa on rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination programme in South Africa, we will be ready in November to host our brothers and sisters in Durban for this Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021),” said Premier Zikalala.

Manufacturing Indaba bookings open

BOOKINGS have opened to secure your virtual exhibition booth at the 2021 Manufacturing Indaba taking place from 22-26 November. The virtual event will connect industry stakeholders, foster dialogue, provide leading-edge information, promote investment and expansion, as well as facilitate business development around Africa’s manufacturing growth and development needs. Connect with manufacturing professionals at the Manufacturing Indaba, gain access to leading-edge innovation and knowledge, access manufacturing opportunities and grow your business.

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Nox MTB shoe made with thermoplastic composites

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Substitutes prepreg epoxy matrix carbon with carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites THE collaboration between Xenia Materials and Vittoria Cycling Shoes started a few years ago, when Edoardo Vercelli sensed the possibility of substituting the prepreg epoxy matrix carbon – used in the high-quality cycling shoes’ soles – with XECARB® carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites. After winning in Grächen (CH) 2019, Leo Páez cycled to another outstanding performance in his second World Championship title in Sakarya, Turkey. He was wearing Nox, the shoe specifically designed by Vittoria Cycling Shoes, an Italian company leader in the production of mountain bike cycling shoes. Nox’s sole is made entirely with XECARB 1-C30, a thermoplastic composite engineered and produced by Xenia Materials. The weight of the shoe is significantly decreased, and reaches the perfect balance between the necessary stiffness to transmit force/power on the pedals and the right flexibility that allows the best comfort on walking routes. The soles have been precisely designed to facilitate the

process of mud clearance and cleat connection, possible thanks to the wider shape of the cleat connection area. Xenia Materials is an Italian company, specialized in engineering and production of innovative polymer-based materials used for the most advanced and challenging industries. The company, located in Vicenza, incorporates an engineering team, which helps customers to develop high-tech components with a research and development department dedicated to product innovation.

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