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A PET Christmas tree

It’s that time of year again when retail outlets battle for the best Christmas decorations. One shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, caught our attention because the decoration involves plastic bottles, which is a pet obsession of the industry! The Christmas tree on display in the main foyer of Bangsar Village II, an up-market shopping centre in suburban Bangsar, is made from 3,686 PET bottles that are strung up using almost 23 km of fishing line!
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E-News Update
December 08

> A PET Christmas tree


> US companies reducing costs through lay-offs

> Record year for DSM, but not without the bumps



Lead Feature

Malaysia sets up a plastics park to attract investors

Malaysia’s first fully integrated plastics park located within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) was launched recently by the Prime Minister of the country Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Spanning an area of 140 ha along the east coast of Malaysia, the Kertih Plastics Park (KPP) will tap the synergy of the nearby Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex (KIPC), where Petronas (the country’s national oil company) has invested RM70 billion to build oil, gas and petrochemical facilities over the last 35 years.
We spoke to Dato Jebasingam Issace John, CEO of ECER Development Council (ECERDC), to find out more about the project.

click here for full story


Company News

US companies reducing costs through lay-offs
In the light of poor economic conditions, Dow Chemical, Chemtura, DuPont and Sabic Innovative Plastics have announced restructuring plans to lay off around 19,000 workers globally to reduce their costs.
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Dow proceeds with investments in the Middle East
Even though Dow Chemical is making a number of reductions in its cost structure, it is not cutting spending at the expense of growth.
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Automotive materials suppliers take stock of falling demand
While French nylon producer Rhodia expects lower profits, American A. Schulman is restructuring its operations to lower its costs in the US and Europe and Arkema is temporarily closing production at its sites worldwide.
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Record year for DSM, but not without the bumps
It’s not just the American companies that have been affected by the slowdown with Netherlands-based DSM temporarily shutting down its plants and reducing its workforce by 5%.
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DSM Dyneema wins patent suit against Teijin Aramid

DSM Dyneema, inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema, the world’s strongest fibre, has won a victory before the European Patent Office Boards of Appeal.
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Huntsman merger called off with large payout
Huntsman has called off its merger with Hexion Specialty Chemicals with Hexion and its private equity owner, Apollo Management, to pay Huntsman US$1 billion, thus concluding a disagreement that has lasted six months. click here for full story

Indian market lure
UK-based Cinpres Gas Injection and US auxiliary supplier AEC are banking on the Indian market with new appointments. Cinpres has appointed Spark Technologies to undertake local sales and service support in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The company says that India accounted for 15% of its business in 2008, up from the single digit figure in 2007. AEC has announced the establishment of AEC Auxiliaries India in Pune and will offer its full product range including heating and cooling, blending and reclaiming, size reduction, automation and systems contracting.

Materials News

LyondellBasell launches proprietary technologies
LyondellBasell Industries has launched a portfolio of chemical technologies to produce a range of high-growth chemical products by efficient conversion of streams primarily originating from liquid crackers.
click here for full story     

High-gas barrier film
Mitsubishi Plastics has launched what it says is a super high-gas barrier film, which is a modified version of its Techbarrier SiOx vacuum-coated film that has been used in food, medical, pharmaceutical and industrial packaging since 1991.
click here for full story


Bio-compatibility of antimicrobial additive
Supplied by RTP Company in a masterbatch, Biosafe antimicrobial has been found to meet ISO10993-1 and USP bio-compatability standards in intracutaneous, systemic toxicity and cytotoxicity studies conducted by NAMSA.
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Making good of waste for FFS packaging
Researchers in the UK are working on improving the sealing in the form, fill and seal (FFS) packaging and the use recycled materials, thus reducing the amount of materials used by 13% or 39,000 tonnes/year.
Led by the University of Bath, Hayssen Sandiacre Europe, Amcor Flexibles Food and United Biscuits and the food and drinks research centre at Campden BRI, the £500,000 project is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA. In addition to reducing the amount of plastic used in the packaging, the research team is also investigating new sealing processes that can be used with the latest biodegradable materials.

Machinery News


Beer in PET bottles
French company Sidel has introduced what it says is the world’s first Combi machine dedicated to bottling beer in PET.
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Extrusion line for medical use

UK company Boston Matthews has introduced a new extrusion line designed specifically for the production of PS pipette tubes.
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Less energy required for extruding pipes

At a recent open house in Vienna, Austria, Cincinnati Extrusion presented its KryoSys extruder for pipes, with a shorter cooling section to reduce energy consumption by 30%.
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Processing SBC material on an EBM machine

Having launched its Styrolux 3G 46 in early 2008, BASF’s styrene butadiene co-polymer has been used by Kautex Maschinenbau to produce intricately shaped bottles on a extrusion blow moulding machine recently. According to Kautex, producing bottles with an integrated handle using this material is advantageous since the weld line can be formed without much effort. The SBC polymer also allows lower processing temperatures and shorter cycle times, than with comparable packaging materials, and weighs much less than PET or PVC, says BASF.

Nissei’s hybrids use lower energy
Nissei Plastic Industrial has recently developed six new hybrid machines in the FVX series, with clamping forces of 560 to 860 tonnes, that incorporate the X pump to render up to 45% lower energy consumption. The X pump combines servomotor drive technology and hydraulic drive technology and is said to be different from standard hybrid systems. By controlling the rotation of the servomotor, the motor provides driving power only when required (it stops when it is not required). The new FVX series is expected to create demand in the automotive, electric home appliance and container industries.

Exhibition News

Plastindia 2009 – bigger and better
The seventh edition of the Indian plastics show Plastindia, which is organised by Plastindia Foundation, will be held from 4-9 February 2009. We spoke to Arvind Mehta, President of the Plastindia Foundation, for an update on the show.
click here for full story     


NPE’s early visa and design competition call
Visitors and exhibitors who plan to visit the US to attend NPE 2009, to be held from 22-26 June at Chicago's McCormick Place, have been told to make visa applications well in advance of the event by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI).
click here for full story  

Chinaplas back to Guangzhou next year
The 20th edition of the Chinaplas show next year, to be held from 18-21 May in Guangzhou, is expected to be 37% bigger with 140,000 sq m of space. The event, which is endorsed by Euromap, rotates between Shanghai and the southern city of Guangzhou with the last show held there in 2007.
The organiser, Adsale Exhibition, says that early birds will enjoy free admission (waiver of the RMB20 admission fee) and other benefits.  Pre-registration for visitors is open at For more information on the show, visit the official website


Rubber Journal Asia


Lower carbon black sales next year
The sliding economy is affecting the rubber industry as well with Cabot projecting significant volume declines for the first quarter of 2009.
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Ace synthetic rubber technology
DSM Elastomers has started up the first run of Keltan EPDM production using the ACE advanced catalyst technology, which it first unveiled last year.
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Green rubber plants planned globally
Malaysia-based Green Rubber Inc, a member of the Petra Group, has announced plans to expand its capacity by building plants in the US, Middle East and Europe.
It plans to expand the annual production capacity of its recycled rubber compound to between 90,000 and 100,000 tonnes by the end of 2010. Speaking at a press conference recently, Petra Group CEO Datuk Vinod Sekhar said there were plans to build five factories, from the third quarter of 2009 to 2010, in the US, Middle East and Europe. Each plant is expected to have a capacity of 10,000 to 24,000 tonnes. Though Sekhar declined to reveal the current capacity, at present, the company has two facilities in Malaysia and another in the US.

Petrol-free tyres
Sumitomo Rubber Industries plans to start selling tyres manufactured with no petrochemical materials by 2013 in Japan. In June, Sumitomo Rubber launched in Japan tyres with a 3% petrochemical content, compared with 56% in its ordinary tyres. The remaining 97% consists of oil-free materials such as steel wires, vegetable oil, fibres from plant cellulose and natural rubber. The petrol-free tyres are priced 30% higher compared to ordinary tyres.

. Injection Moulding Asia

Mould & die systems: Why magnetic clamping systems?


Dutch company EAS Europe, a manufacturer of quick mould and die change systems in the injection moulding industry, says that magnetic clamping systems afford advantages that allow for an efficient production system.
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Polyurethanes Asia

PU conference to focus on emerging markets
It is not the start of the year and already the first registrations for the Utech Europe 2009 conference are rolling in, based on the line up promised at the conference to be held from 31 March-2 April 2009 in the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, the Netherlands.
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Optimised mixing heads
PU processing machinery maker KraussMaffei has introduced optimised versions of its mixing heads for the white goods sector, in response to the increasing use of pentane as blowing agent.
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PU solutions for the automotive and insulation sectors
At a customer symposium it organised recently, Bayer MaterialScience put forward various automotive solutions that are offered by its system solutions house BaySystems. One of these relates to noise reduction in a car using reaction injection moulding (RIM) to apply an initial heavy layer based on a Bayflex PU foam to the back of the fitted carpeting to soundproof the floor. The foam layer is produced directly in the finished component’s mould and adapts to 3D designs. A relatively thick layer of the Bayfit sound-absorbing PU foam system is applied on top of this to create the bottommost layer. This system that combines two different PUs is said to achieve greater sound absorption than conventional EPDM technology.
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Insulation also another area
Another example of the close cooperation between BaySystems and its customers is the air-conditioning system in the Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping centers with 1 million sq m of floor space. Trade Circle Technical Industries (TCTI), a leading local provider of refrigerated warehouses and vehicles, supplied a total of 70 km of thermally insulated pipes for the project. The jacketing is based on the Baytherm pipe insulation system from BaySystems.
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