News Round-Up

Excerpt: Here are the news on plastics and packaging industry across the world

OPaL wins 'Best Brand' in plastics & polymers sector award

ONGC Petro additions Ltd. (OPaL) has announced its recognition as a 'Best Brand' in the plastics & polymers industry for the year 2019 by The Economic Times.

OPaL was felicitated with a certificate and a trophy at a ceremony held recently in Mumbai to celebrate excellence in plastics. Mr. Shashi Ramugade, DGM-Marketing, OPaL, along with his colleagues, received the trophy from Mr. Quaiser Khalid, IPS, IG of Protection of Civil Rights Branch, Maharashtra Police.

OPaL has been making significant headway in the polymer segment since its commissioning in 2017. OPaL's petrochemical complex in Dahej includes a dual-feed cracker with a capacity to produce 1,100-ktpa of ethylene, 400-ktpa of propylene along with polymerisation units and various associated units consisting of pyrolysis gasoline hydrogenation unit, butadiene and benzene extraction units. “Being recognised as a Best Brand by 'The Economic Times' in plastics & polymers is an acknowledgment of the stellar work OPaL has been doing in the polymer sector,” commented Mr. Avinash Joshi, Managing Director, OPaL.

Clariant forecasts color formulations synergizing with new mobility trends in Automotive Styling Shades Trendbook

CLARIANT, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, links past and future in the 2021-2023 Automotive Styling Shades Trendbook. The new guide predicts subdued alongside lively color surprises to match the unprecedented changes impacting mobility in the coming decade.

Launched at the European Coatings Show, the latest edition of Clariant's popular color inspiration and support resource also takes a bold step in terms of convenience and content to capture the imagination of its strong audience of followers within the automotive paint and coatings industry, and designers and trend analysts at OEMs.

Content-wise, viewers explore a historical journey of how and why color in cars has changed over more than a century, before traveling into the future to discover the influence of shifting mobility trends on color preferences for 2021-2023.

Bernhard Stengel-Rutkowski, Senior Global Technical Marketing Manager at Clariant, explains: “Recalling the car colors of the past reveals technology leaps, long-term trends and correlations that help us to make more plausible predictions about the future. Never before, however, did these predictions have to take into account such a staggering degree of disruption. Business models that have been valid for more than a century must cope with an unprecedented plethora of changes. Electrification and digitalization, urbanization, autonomous driving, car sharing, even totally new ways of driving on and above the ground, are likely to have an important effect on color in cars.” Challenging traditional formulation knowledge and taking advantage of synergies between new effect pigments and Clariant's organic pigments, the trend shades for the coming years are not only nice and colorful but tackle on-going obstacles in coatings formulation, too. For example, how to make dark cars detectable by LIDAR technology, how to create a color travel effect which works on white, or how to simulate a fluorescence effect under a UV-absorbing clear coat. Clariant's future color selections play with this high-speed movement towards a more urban and digital tomorrow. Energetic fresh colors leap off the page while other consumers will seek comfort in more understated hues. As an added extra, 2021-2023 Automotive Styling Shades Trendbook recognizes the industry's most widely-used red pigment - Pigment Red 254 – and the return of red shades since the turn of the millenium. The in-depth feature coincides with Clariant's pioneering launch of a more environmentally-compatible version of the pigment based on the renewably-sourced material bio-succinic acid. Samples coated with original paint in all the color shades complete the new Trendbook. “Clariant's color know-how is highly appreciated by paint suppliers to the automotive industry, as well as designers and trend scouts of industries which you wouldn't relate to cars at all,” says John Dunne, Head of Business Unit Pigments at Clariant. “As one of the few pigment producers spearheading trend color forecasting for this industry, our interpretations of how the changing world and emerging technologies will influence consumer color preferences in the next decade has become a solid base of inspiration and business decisions for our customers.” To download a digital copy of the 2021-2023 Automotive Styling Shades

Trendbook visit

India amends Hazardous Waste Rules, bans import of solid plastic waste

WITH effect from March 1, 2019, India has completely prohibited the import of solid plastic waste/scrap by amending the Hazardous Waste (Management & Trans-boundary Movement) Rules. This updates a 2015 ban, which was amended to allow plastic waste imports to continue in Special Economic Zones (SEZs), as well as by export oriented units (EOUs). After a ban was imposed by China a few years ago, India had emerged as one of the world's largest importers of plastic waste. The amendment was driven by the huge gap between waste generation and recycling capacity in the country and India's commitment to completely phase out single-use plastic by 2022. As per a study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), of the 25,940 tons of plastic waste generated in India day, over 40% (10,376 tons) remains uncollected in the country. 56% of plastic waste produced in India is recycled largely an informal sector activity that involves collection and separation of plastic waste. Large inadequacy in capacity of recycling of plastic waste leads to a chunk of such the waste remaining uncollected, causing substantial damage to soil and water bodies.

Lubrizol and Ashirvad Pipes launch BlazeMaster CPVC fire protection systems

ASHIRVAD, the world's largest selling CPVC pipes and fittings along with Lubrizol Corporation have announced the launch of their BlazeMaster CPVC Fire Protection Systems' - Specially formulated for Fire Protection Systems, BlazeMaster pipes and fittings by Ashirvad are made from chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and are fully approved for use in NFPA 13, BSEN 12845, IS 16088: 2012 Light Hazard applications in both new and retrofit construction. “Lubrizol's BlazeMaster Fire Protection systems have been installed around the world in high-rise buildings, schools, office buildings, hotels, and health care facilities. These millions of meters of piping have been instrumental in reliably helping to reduce fire damage and in protecting countless lives globally. We are thrilled that these advantages will be extended further to the Indian market through our partnership with Ashirvad Pipes,” explains Vince Misiti, general manager, TempRite Division, Lubrizol Advanced Materials. “Ashirvad is always committed to provide better solutions in fire protection to safeguard lives and properties of the communities we serve. To fulfill this commitment, Ashirvad is introducing 'Ashirvad Fire Protection Systems' as a new product category. BlazeMaster is one of the key offerings under it's 'Fire Protections Systems'. Ashirvad is planning to launch an array of new fire safety products in the plumbing segment in the near future”, emphasized Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Ashirvad Pipes Pvt. Ltd. “Our introduction of Ashirvad Fire Protection Systems segment in our product portfolio into the Indian market takes that mission another step further.” Ashirvad, in India, is the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of BlazeMaster pipes and fittings, that are made from the highest quality of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) which is specially formulated for fire protection systems and is fully approved for use in NFPA 13, BSEN 12845, IS 16088: 2012, Light Hazard applications. Additionally, BlazeMaster systems produced by Ashirvad Pipes are UL 1821 and cULUS listed, with Factory Mutual approved fittings. Ashirvad Pipes are the pioneers in providing world class solutions in the field of plumbing, agriculture, sanitary, high-rise and fire protection systems, with a production capacity of 2,00,000 M.T.p.a. Lubrizol, which invented and pioneered CPVC, introduced the resilient material into India nearly two decades ago. Since then, India's plumbers, engineers, builders and consultants have been reassured by the only material of its kind to be designed and approved to meet all global standards. Lubrizol has started manufacturing these world-class quality materials from a state of the art plant in Dahej, Gujarat since January 2016. “We are excited that, because of the simple installation process and competitive pricing, BlazeMaster pipes and fittings will be well accepted over metallic fire sprinkler systems in the market,” added Soumendra Mishra, Head-High Rise and Fire Protection Systems Solutions, Ashirvad Pipes. With a strong network of over 1100 distributors spread across the country, Ashirvad will bank on its reach to make BlazeMaster available for its customers.

Indian packaging industry to touch $72.6-bn by FY20'

THE market size of the country's packaging industry is expected to touch $72.6-bn by FY20 on account of rising population and income levels, according to a study by Assocham-EY. “India's packaging industry is expected to witness an outstanding growth during 2016-2021 period, and anticipated to reach $72.6-bn by FY20,” it said. The industry was worth $31.7-bn in 2015. “The growth is driven by key factors such as rising population, increase in income levels and changing lifestyles,” it said. The report noted that boom in e-commerce and organised retail will enhance the growth of plastic packaging and per-capita consumption in the years to come. Fast-moving consumer goods is one of the primary growing segments in the retail sector and is also one of the biggest end users of the packaging industry, it said adding that pharmaceutical is yet another major user of the packaging industry.

200-tpd Formaldehyde plant to come up in Bongaigaon

ASSAM Chief Minister Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone of 200-tpd (tonnes per day) formaldehyde plant to be set up by Assam Petrochemicals Ltd. (APL) at Boitamari in Bongaigaon District at a function held at Boitamari on March 5, 2019. The project, involving an approximate cost of Rs. 100-crore will be built on a sprawling 163 bighas of land and the construction will be completed within a time frame of 24 months. Besides the Government of Assam, Assam Gas Company, and Oil India Ltd. are the stakeholders of the project. Set up in 1971, APL has been engaged in the production of methanol and formaldehyde since 1976. The company is in the process of setting up a 500-tpd methanol plant at Namrup, Assam, as also a marketing terminal, at a cost of Rs. 15-crore, at Boitamari for managing the production of formaldehyde.

BPCL-Kochi Refinery's second petrochemical project to start in 2022

BPCL-Kochi Refinery is going ahead with its second petrochemical project to produce polyols at an investment of Rs. 11,300-crore. An import substitute, polyols are used in the production of polyurethanes used in diverse products such as automotive seats, mattresses and shoe soles. The project is expected to go on stream by 2022, according to Mr. Prasad Panicker, the company's Executive Director. BPCL is in talks with various global firms to finalise the technology for six different products. There is a huge demand for polyols and it is growing at 10 per cent per annum providing good scope for MSMEs to set up units in the complex, he added. The first petrochemical project of BPCL-KR constructed at a cost of Rs. 5,500-crore is all set to commence operations by the middle of the year. It will produce acrylic acid, acrylates and oxo-alcohol that are used in the manufacture of paints, super absorbent polymers, detergents, adhesives, sealants and solvents. The technology has been sourced from Mitsubishi, Air Liquide Global and Johnson Mathey Davy. The two projects are expected to facilitate Rs. 13,000-crore forex savings per annum for the country. With the completion of the second petrochemical project, BPCL-KR is expecting around 16 per cent increase in its turnover in three years. “We expect the turnover to increase by Rs. 10,000-crore to Rs. 70,000-crore by 2022 at the current level of prices,” Mr. Panicker said. BPCL-KR is slated to complete its fuel upgradation project to comply with BS-VI norms by February next year. The project cost is around Rs. 3,300-crore.

2nd AICON Petroleum & Petrochemical Conference: growing demand for polyolefins highlighted

THE growing demand for petrochemicals and India's rising import dependency were the key discussion points at the recently concluded '2nd AICON Petroleum & Petrochemical Conferences' in Mumbai. The conference addressed current challenges and areas of growth in the petrochemicals industry. According to Mr. Mayur Patil, Associate Director, CRISIL, polymer demand has grown in India at around 7-8% annually, mirroring GDP growth. CRISIL expects GDP growth to be between 7% to 8% over the next five years driven by strong economic fundamentals. “We expect stronger growth for polymer demand at 8-10%, which will in turn, drive petrochemicals demand,” he said. Speaking about trends in the polyolefins segment, he noted that polyethylene (PE) demand – especially HDPE and LLDPE – has grown at a steady pace over the last five years. Films drive demand in PE, accounting for 43% of the overall consumption, followed by blow moulding and raffia applications. Going forward, he predicted the HDPE and LLDPE segments to grow at a much faster pace of around 7-9%. India has traditionally been dependent on imports to the extent of 35-40% over the last five years for these products. With few capacities set to come on-stream in the next five years, he predicted the import dependence to continue. “We see imports as proportion of total requirement to be around 20% over the next five-year period,” he said. Polypropylene (PP) demand was estimated to have grown at a healthy 8.5% over the last five years, mainly driven by raffia, impact copolymers and injection moulding segments and CRISIL expects it to grow at a rate of 9-10% over the next five years. “India had been a net exporter of PP till 2017. Despite capacity additions by RIL and OPaL, the utilisation rates have remained on the higher side due to the strong demand growth. Going forward, capacity additions are seen with IOC at Paradip and HMEL at Bhatinda, which will add around 1.3 million tons. However, stronger demand growth will see utilisation levels reaching 90% levels and India's import dependence on PP imports increasing going forward. Imports as a proportion of total requirement will be as high as 25% by 2023,” informed Mr. Patil. As for PVC demand in the country, Mr. Patil observed that the pipes & fittings segment accounted for almost 75% of the PVC consumption. “Over last five years we have seen 6.5% demand growth for PVC, mainly driven by sectors like irrigation, water sanitation, urban infrastructure, etc., which in turn drives demand for the pipes & fittings segment. With increasing investments in these segments, mainly by the government, PVC demand is likely to grow at 8-10% over the next five years,” he predicted. India meets almost 55% of its PVC demand through imports and this is expected to continue due to lack of capacity additions. In aromatics, Mr. Patil predicted benzene demand to grow by healthy 8-9% driven by phenol and caprolactam segments. In toluene, India has been a net importer since most toluene gets diverted for more remunerative products like benzene as well as xylene, he said. “In most of these segments, strong demand growth is set to continue with capacity additions not keeping pace and import dependence set to continue,” he concluded. In his presentation, Mr. Parjanya Rao, Consultant, ICIS Analytics Consulting, pointed out that most investments in the olefin chain in India have come in the areas of polyethylene and polypropylene with very few in other derivatives. Speaking about the benzene derivatives scenario, he noted that in contrast to the global scene where most (around 51%) of benzene demand is accounted for by styrene, there is no styrene capacity in India. Most of the benzene is used by alkyl benzene, caprolactam, etc. “A unique feature of the Indian benzene market is that the country exports almost 70% of benzene production, but imports substantial quantities of benzene derivatives like phenol, MDI, styrene, etc.,” he revealed. Mr. Rao underlined the rising import dependency for petrochemical intermediates by 2025, and noted that the country would be entirely dependent on imports for products like EPDM, styrene, EVA, etc. The import value for these derivatives would go up to $11-bn by that year. Making a case for investments in putting up capacities for some of these derivatives locally, he noted that the gross margins for derivatives like ethanolamines, EPDM, EVA, PVC, etc. are much higher than the gross margins for polyethylene. Speaking about the reasons for investments not flowing into these derivatives, he noted that key reasons were the low volumes required in the country, access to technology, volatility, etc. He advocated a cluster-based model to justify the economics of putting up such a derivative unit by a refiner.

Hexane scenario

The hexane market in India was analysed by Mr. Anurag Saraogi, General Manager, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL). He informed that about 134,000-tonnes of hexane was sold in the country, out of which 53% was for edible oil extraction, 40% for polymers and pharmaceutical segments and 7% for chemicals (adhesives & sealants, etc.). Among domestic players, BPCL is the market leader in the hexane market, followed by HPCL. Pointing to the imports of around 83,000-tonnes of hexane into India, he noted that the lack of capacity expansions would continue to push up imports in the years to come.

Aramco may up investments in India

SAUDI Arabia's National Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, is in discussions with Reliance Industries Ltd. and others for expanding its business in India. “India is an investment priority for Saudi Aramco,” said the company CEO, Mr. Amin Al Nasser. “There is a lot of growth potential. We are looking at additional investments in India. We are in discussions with other companies as well, including Reliance Industries,” he added. He was speaking at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority's (SAGIA) Saudi Forum. SAGIA also announced the signing of four investment agreements worth more than $28-mn and 11 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) at the forum. The announcements cover a range of partnerships across strategic growth sectors, including energy and water, technology, arts and entertainment, healthcare, trade and investment. Stating that Saudi Arabia was happy with India's growing energy demand, Mr. Al Nasser pointed out that “800,000 barrels is exported by Saudi Aramco to India. We remain positive on our investment in India and we are working with our partners and they are assuring us that things are going very well.” Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are partnering for a proposed $44-bn oil refinery in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The project has run into land acquisition hurdles and the Maharashtra government has cancelled the land acquisition process initiated.

Borouge showcases advanced polyolefins at Indiaplast 2019

BOROUGE'S portfolio comprises a comprehensive collection of polyethylene and polypropylene materials for greenhouse and irrigation systems, consumer and industrial packaging, power grids and piping infrastructure. It also includes Anteo™, the company's latest polymer for flexible packaging applications.

A 20-year journey of growth

Borouge is commemorating 20 years of successful business and operates the world's largest integrated polyolefins complex in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. With an annual nameplate capacity of 4,80,000 tonnes, Borouge's fifth polypropylene unit PP5 is scheduled to come on stream in 2021, increasing its total annual polyolefins production capacity to 5 million tonnes.

In addition, Borouge has recently awarded three major contracts for the fourth phase of the Ruwais, UAE, petrochemicals complex expansion, which will include the world's largest mixed-feed cracker with 1.8 million tonnes Ethylene output. The three contracts were for the FEED (Front-end Engineering and Design) contract, PMC (Project Management Contract) and License contract associated with the mixed-feed cracker complex. The mixed-feed cracker will be the fourth cracker in the Borouge complex, and will have the overall capacity to produce olefins and aromatics using a variety of feedstocks such as Ethane, Butane and Naphtha. It will significantly enable the production of many petrochemicals building blocks, and contribute to achieving Borouge's growth ambitions as well as increasing long-term security of supply.

Growing with India

Tarmo Raudsepp, Borouge's Senior Vice-President for Asia South, said, “Indiaplast is an emerging platform for us to engage the industry, promote our products and identify new collaboration opportunities with our valued customers and the value chain in the Indian subcontinent. By working closely with our customers and partners, we hope to garner a deeper understanding of the specific challenges in this region to help us develop creative solutions which address these. With our ambitious growth plans, Borouge will be able to meet the increasing demand for polyolefins in India as well as our other key markets.” Borouge is also marking two decades of successful operations in India, and is keen to support the Government of India's national development initiatives by providing high quality, advanced solutions that address food safety, energy security, power reliability and crop efficiency to meet the needs of a rapidly-growing India. Sandeep Puri, Vice-President for Indian Subcontinent at Borouge, said, “Our innovative end-to-end plastics solutions effectively address India's economic and social development needs. For instance, Anteo™ enables the production of food packaging with superior seal performance, an important factor for consumers, convertors, brand owners and retailers looking to improve food freshness and hygiene. Our agricultural solutions also support the government's promotion of more efficient farming methods such as precision farming, which helps farmers to improve crop quality, increase yields and achieve higher profitability. With these and our other advanced solutions for the energy and infrastructure sectors such as low-loss power transmission and corrosion-resistant piping, Borouge is well positioned to ride India's current and future waves of growth.”

Solar EVA sheets attract anti dumping duty

MUMBAI-BASED solar manufacturer RenewSys' petition for anti-dumping (AD) duties to be applied to solar ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) sheets imported from east Asia has convinced the authorities, who will apply a tariff of $537-1,559/metric ton (Rs38,134-1.1 lakh). The harshest penalty – $1,559/metric ton (MT) – will be applied to sheets supplied from any Saudi manufacturer other than Saudi Specialized Products, which will see a $1,338/MT rate added to its shipments. A tariff of $1,529/MT will be added to Thai imports, apart from those manufactured by TPI all seasons, which secured a $1,141 rate. All Malaysian imports face a $953/MT levy and four rates were set for Chinese products. Hangzhou First Applied Material products will face a $665/MT penalty, Changzhou Sveck PV New Material will see $590/MT added to its shipments, Changzhou Bbetter Century Film Technologies will pay $537/MT and all other Chinese EVA sheets will shoulder an $897 charge. An investigation by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) – a unit of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry – found the imposition of a duty was required to offset injury caused by EVA sheet imports from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. However, having found imports from South Korea mostly comprised EVA resins – a raw material for EVA sheets – the DGTR excluded Korean products from the list of imports affected. The duty will be imposed for five years from the date of notification of the decision which will be issued by the government. According to the petition, there are only four solar EVA sheet makers in India: RenewSys India, Vishakha Renewables, Allied Glasses and Brij Foot Care. RenewSys is the largest and accounts for around 71% of domestic production.

No supply and demand gap

In its investigation, the DGTR found the “solar EVA sheets produced by the domestic industry and those imported from the subject countries are comparable in terms of physical and chemical characteristics; manufacturing process and technology; functions and uses; product specifications; pricing; distribution and marketing; and tariff classification of the goods … The two are technically and commercially substitutable.” EVA sheets are a polymer-based component used in the manufacturing of PV modules. They are used to seal in solar cells by supplying adhesive and cushioning functions. The sheets are one of the essential components that keep glass, cells and backsheets integrated and support modules mechanically during their service lifetime.

RadiciGroup starts “Operation Clean Sweep"- Zero plastic pellet and dust loss

DURING the past months, all the production plants of the RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers Business Area have signed a formal pledge to become an Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) Partner. The OCS is an international programme supported by industry associations all over the world and designed to prevent plastic pellet and powder loss into the environment. The special focus is on materials handling and transport operations, from the arrival of raw materials to the departure of semi-finished products to be delivered to customers. “The problem of the release of plastics into the environment.“ stressed Danilo Micheletti, COO of RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers, “is being tackled by our industry through awareness raising actions and initiatives designed and implemented over time, which require real commitment on the part of the companies involved in the value supply chain. Our Group has also taken on this challenge – which has reached global dimensions – by joining various industry association initiatives, one of which is Operation Clean Sweep.” Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is an industrial programme that involves the whole value chain, including transport and logistics. RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers has decided to join the initiative on a voluntary basis, incorporating it as part of the Group's Sustainability Policy. Indeed, RadiciGroup has long made the principle of sustainable development its business strategy by measuring and reporting on the environmental impact of its processes and products, in order to attain continuous improvement in all its business areas.

European injection moulding industry thrives as most markets recover

THE European injection moulding industry is thriving as most of its markets have recovered from the economic collapse which struck over a decade ago, according to a new study by leading industry consultants, Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI Consulting). In 2018 the industry value from virgin polymer exceeded EUR85 billion, an average growth of 3% p.a. since 2007, supported by growing polymer demand and added value opportunities, together with increased polymer prices. The industry is also taking increasing advantage of the use of recyclate feedstocks which added about 8% to the industry value in 2018. The versatility of the injection moulding process lends itself to serving an extremely diverse market portfolio with demand, in terms of polymer volume, being led by the packaging, automotive and electronics sectors. Each market faces different opportunities and challenges, particularly as the plastics sector and the applications it serves comes under increasing environmental scrutiny. Since AMI Consulting's prior report on the sector in 2014 all the key market segments have grown, with packaging exhibiting the most sustained growth whilst automotive has seen most robust growth in the last 4 years. Overall demand for injection moulding has seen an average growth of 1.6% p.a. in virgin polymer demand taking it above 12 mln tons in 2018. Injection moulding is the most fragmented plastics industry with at least 8,000 companies operating the process in Europe. These businesses range from being single site moulding operations (over 90%) through to multi-national enterprises with many moulding locations in Europe. The industry is attracting private equity investment and some companies are publicly quoted but about 95% of the businesses are family owned. The globalisation of the customer base is also attracting investment from outside of Europe, particularly to serve the OEMs in the automotive and electronics sector that have invested in the region. However, the fragmentation of the injection moulding industry and the plethora of markets it serves leads to an intensely competitive business environment in which there have been winners and losers. Since 2014 the total number of injection moulding sites in Europe has fallen, despite substantial investment in new sites in Central Europe. Companies have closed or consolidated mainly because of a shift of the customer base within Europe, its exit from the region or its decline in Europe due to inter-regional competition or technology progression. Within this context, many participating in the industry might be considered to be 'surviving'. About 17% of moulding sites participate in the industry as in-house or proprietary product producers, which may be considered to have more control of their own destiny, but the majority are custom moulders whose success depends on their selection of product focus and customer base. Many differentiate themselves by specialising in a single market whilst others spread their business across a range of customers in different sectors. The report identifies the few hundred moulders that process more than 10,000 tonnes of polymer per year and discusses those processing more than 15,000 tons in the context of the markets they serve. Together these companies represent approximately 58% of the total volume of virgin polymer processed by injection moulding.

SONGWON and SABO launch innovative light stabilizer system

SONGWON Industrial Group, the 2nd largest manufacturer of polymer stabilizers in the world and Sabo S.p.A., a world leader in the development and manufacturing of hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS), recently marked another milestone in their long-term collaboration. SABO's recently launched its innovative light stabilizer system, SABOSTAB UV216 which was especially developed for tough agricultural applications and offers the industry another solution with unparalleled performance. It also highlights the strong partnership between SABO and SONGWON. Under the existing distribution agreement between the two organizations, SONGWON will promote SABOSTAB UV 216 by building on the unique combination of SABO expertise and strong in-the-field support from SONGWON's Technical Service, Global Application Community and highly experienced sales team. The newest addition to SABO's Light Stabilizers' portfolio also furthers the companies joint aim and vision to be the polymer industry's supply partner of choice for delivering high performance products and innovative solutions. "Our newest light stabilizer system provides another opportunity for us to emphasize SABO and SONGWON's commitment to delivering added value to customers in the plastics industry. SABOSTAB UV 216 also takes us a further step forward in our journey to establish a global presence for light stabilizers," says Alberto Vischetti, Global Head BU Plastic Additives (SABO). Commenting, SONGWON's Elena Scaltritti, Leader Business Unit Polymer Stabilizers, said: "We are proud to have built such a strong, collaborative relationship with SABO over the years, and very pleased for the opportunity to promote this new product. Our partnership is going from strength to strength and is a fine example of how two market leaders can work together to introduce new solutions to the market. We congratulate SABO on their latest innovative achievement.”

LANXESS at the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering

Focus on new mobility and the substitution of polyamide 66

“High-Tech Thermoplastics for Future Mobility”: This is the slogan under which the High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit of the specialty chemicals company LANXESS will be showcasing at the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” in Mannheim. “Our focus this year is on new applications in electromobility and cost-effective alternatives to polyamide 66 compounds. We are also focusing on lightweight design with continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites and new solutions such as hollow-profile hybrid technology,” says Dr. Martin Wanders, Head of Global Application Development in HPM.

Electromobility – growing market

LANXESS set up the “e-Powertrain team” in response to the tremendous application potential of its polyamides and polyesters in the market for forms of new mobility. The team helps customers from the international automotive industry to choose tailor-made application-specific materials for electric vehicles. “We also support our partners throughout the entire development chain for their components, for example with engineering services for the component design like moldflow calculations, structure simulations and tests on finished parts,” says Julian Haspel, who heads the global “e-Powertrain” team. LANXESS sees a variety of important applications for its thermoplastics in the field of electromobility, including charging systems, inverters, electric motors, auxiliary systems (e.g. cooling pumps) and battery elements. Potential battery applications include cell holders, spacers, covers, module carriers and housing parts. Haspel: “Our thermoplastics are in many cases an alternative to conventional materials such as die-cast metals, for example in crash-relevant structural components of the battery. But there are also entirely new potential applications, for example with our electrically insulating but thermally conductive compounds.”

Support for substituting polyamide 66

LANXESS has recently observed increasing demand – mainly from the automotive industry – for alternatives to polyamide 66 due to the limited primary product capacities for this thermoplastic, which have led to supply bottlenecks and major price increases for compounds. “We are helping our customers to find alternative materials to secure a reliable and cost-effective supply and to minimize the technical risks involved in switching over to a new material. Our services include everything from innovative alternative materials and extensive service in aspects ranging from material data and application support to technical production support,” says Tim Albert, who heads a corresponding international team at HPM.

High-modulus polyamides for structural components

One example of a material innovation where polyamide 66 can in many cases be replaced is the new Durethan P (performance) polyamide 6 series. The products are extremely resistant to pulsating loads, even at the high temperatures inside the engine compartment. Their mechanical properties are similar to those of polyamide 66. “The substitution can usually be made using compounds with the same glass fiber content, which means that the components are not any heavier,” says Albert. At the VDI Congress, HPM will be showcasing from its product range two new examples featuring 50% and 60% glass-fiber reinforcement. Their high strength and rigidity make them ideal for the lightweight construction of battery components or other parts such as oil filter modules, chassis bearings, damper pistons and seats.

The future of the European automotive and plastics industries

LANXESS is also playing an active role in the congress program (The event is on April 3, 2019, at 9.45 a.m). Dr. Axel Tuchlenski, for example, who heads global product and application development at HPM, is one of the experts appearing in the panel discussion entitled “Innovations in the Automotive and Plastics Industry: Is Europe Running out of Time?”..

Nordson 'European Center Of Excellence' for BKG Pelletizers and melt delivery systems is now fully operational in Münster

AT a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Nordson Corporation celebrated the successful conclusion of a two-year project to build an extensive new facility to serve as a global hub for the company's BKG pelletizers and melt delivery components.

Located at a site that has been the longstanding home of BKG pelletizers, the new 14,380 sq.m facility more than triples the amount of manufacturing, R&D, and office space at the location and combines operations that previously were spread across four separate sites in the Münster area. The expansion includes an enhanced technical center for R&D and customer trials and a dedicated aftermarket center for BKG systems and EDI extrusion and coating dies. The aftermarket center provides European customers with consumables, spare parts, and rework and repair services and is designed to minimize order lead times and reduce downtime for customers.

“The new Münster facility will serve as a European center of excellence for polymer processing solutions,” said Nordson executive vice president John J. Keane. “For the first time, all of our Münster-area BKG activities are co-located, enabling us to reconfigure our operations to serve our customers more efficiently, help them reduce their operating costs, and enable them to take greater advantage of the synergies that exist among our product offerings.”

The Nordson investment in the Münster facility builds on a legacy that dates back to 1953, when the firm originally founded by Jan-Udo Kreyenborg built the first Kreyenborg screen changer. Nordson purchased the melt delivery and pelletizer businesses from Kreyenborg in 2013. The newly expanded Münster facility employs 339. “We have designed the new Münster facility with the goal of making Nordson an employer of choice,” said Godfrey M. Sandham, Nordson Polymer Processing Systems (PPS) vice president. “The modern office environment with its large open areas and new cafeteria were created to promote collaboration among our teams. At the same time, Nordson continually invests in employee training, and it has an ongoing program to support volunteer activities within the local community.”

A Unique Portfolio of Polymer Processing Components

Under the BKG brand, Nordson's PPS business manufactures pelletizing systems and melt delivery components such as screen changers and melt pumps. PPS brands produced at other sites in Europe, the Americas, and Asia include EDI polymer extrusion and fluid coating dies and Xaloy screws and barrels for extrusion and injection molding. “In many cases we can supply a combination of components that work together to optimize the customer's process,” said Mr. Sandham. “A recycler, for example, can rely on Nordson for pelletizers, melt pumps, and filtration systems, while a manufacturer of film or sheet can look to us for components ranging from screws and barrels to filtration systems and extrusion dies.” Nordson PPS is a single source for multiple components required by resin companies, equipment OEMs, recyclers, and extrusion and molding processors. “Our products and services are accessible worldwide on a highly localized basis to customers large and small,” said Mr. Sandham. “The new Münster facility is one of a number of centers of excellence that Nordson has created around the world to support Nordson PPS brands.”

Devan Chemicals joins Consortium addressing the Recycling of Plastic Materials

THE EU-funded Project, in which Devan Chemicals is a key partner, held a kick off meeting on 20-21 February 2019 at the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The project consortium, led by Belgian R&D centre CENTEXBEL, consists of 17 European partners from across the value chain including design, manufacturing, NGOs, and research and innovation. The focus of the consortium is on coated and painted textiles and plastic materials which are currently not recyclable. Ambitious plastic recycling targets of 50% have been set by the European Plastics Industry, and to meet these targets, smart solutions to enable the circular use of textile and plastic parts with multi-layer coatings must be considered. DECOAT has therefore been established to investigate triggerable smart polymer material systems and appropriate recycling processes. The solutions will be based on smart additives (like microcapsules or microwave triggered additives) that will enable the efficient of coatings and other finishes, activated by a specific trigger (heat, humidity, microwave, chemical) to permit recycling. Devan's specific role is in the development of microcapsules that will release its active core on application of a certain trigger (e.g. heat) at the end of life of the article. This active core material may be something that, for example, will promote the detachment of different coating layers (by separating them), opening the possibility for recyclability/re-use of the base materials. Different active core ingredients will be evaluated, and Devan will develop processes for each type of core ingredient and for each type of coating layer/matrix. The bold aim of the four-year project is to decrease landfill by 75% of coated articles that are presently difficult to recycle.

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