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The Rubik makes a comeback!

It’s from Rubik's and it is round! Yes, the 360 is the latest addition to the 3D puzzle cube invented by Hungarian Ernő Rubik in the 1980s. The new updated plastic 3D puzzle is known as 360 in reference to its spherical shape. And though it is transparent it is very much a Rubik’s, says the company!

Like the original Rubik’s cube it has six colours and is made up of three clear spheres, one on the outside and two inside, with six balls of a different colour. It also has a hole through which small balls can pass.

The objective is to shake or manipulate the balls through holes in the spheres into coloured compartments in the outer sphere. It is not as easy as it looks as the two inner spheres are weighted so they are constantly pulling towards their original position as the puzzle is turned. Just when you think you’ve got a ball in the right position, chances are the inner spheres will succumb to gravity. The company says solving the 360 requires logic challenge and skill to solve since you need to defy gravity!

Editor’s Note: More information is available on www.rubiks.com


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E-News Update
July 2009

BASF cuts jobs and moves ahead in growth markets

Reaching out to customers in Asia
German chemical plant on line
Yokohama goes orange
Taking advantage of Indian boom
Joint effort in bio-TPU


**ExxonMobil Metallocene PE in Flexible Packaging Seminar**
An Duc School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,  on Aug 6, 8 am - 12 pm, organised by the Vietnamese Packaging Association (VINPAS).   Please contact Keith Pey at
+ 65 97278422 to register.




Lead Feature

Leading the eco-friendly way

Auxiliary equipment producer Matsui Japan has recently been advocating its Factor 4 concept, a principle based on energy savings in factories. This was very much the essence of Matsui Asia’s, a subsidiary of Matsui Japan, exhibits at the recently concluded Interplas Thailand exhibition in Bangkok.
click here for full story


Company News

BASF cuts jobs and moves ahead in growth markets

German chemical company BASF will slash about 3,700 jobs by 2013 as part of its restructuring measures. Meanwhile, in China, it is expanding its downstream chemical project.
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Capacity corrections continue
While BASF and Dow Chemical are cutting back on polyolefins capacity, ExxonMobil Chemical is expanding its compounding plant.
click here for full story

Indonesian PP plant
PT Pertamina is putting up a new 250,000 tonnes/year PP facility at its Balongan complex in West Java, Indonesia.
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Borouge 3 on track
Linde has been awarded a US$1.1 billion contract by Borouge to build a 1.5 million tonnes/annum ethane cracker at its production site in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.
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HDPE capacity upped
Since it introduced its Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) technology, LyondellBasell Industries has installed, or is installing, 2 million tonnes of multimodal HDPE capacity.
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Altuglas reorganises PMMA business
Altuglas International is restructuring its PMMA sheet business in Europe by centralising extruded sheet production.
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Restructuring by Teijin leaves NatureWorks solo
US company Cargill has taken control of PLA producer NatureWorks, as part of Teijin Ltd's restructuring as a result of the global downturn.
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Celanese sells PVOH unit
Japanese company Sekisui Chemical has purchased Celanese Corporation’s polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) business for US$173 million.
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Sabic jv and compounding in China
Sabic’s joint venture petrochemical project with Sinopec has received approval while it contemplates PP compounding in China.
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Plastics trading over the phone
Though it had better trading volumes the first six months of this year despite the downturn, the London Metal Exchange (LME) is taking plastics off the trading floor next year.
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Octal maintains steady growth path
Despite the downturn, PET resin and sheet extruder Octal Holding says it is on course to becoming a US$1 billion company by 2011 and will triple its export volumes over the next two years.
click here for full story


Reaching out to customers in Asia
PEEK producer Victrex has expanded its technical centre in Shanghai, China, since it was launched three years ago.
Built in 2006 with an investment of US$2.5 million, AITC handles customer requests, such as improving the quality of PEEK polymer and prototyping. Over the last three years the UK-based company has added on a compression moulding machine for evaluating test samples, a coating laboratory that oversees prototype projects for coating products and a thermoforming facility for film products/APTIV films using PEEK polymers.


Materials News

Bottled water no more!
A remote town in south-east Australia has found its placing on the map by being the first in Australia (and maybe in the world) to ban bottled water!
click here for full story

Invista to focus on nylon grades
US Invista is entering the nylon engineering polymers business, with a consolidated product portfolio.
click here for full story

Dutch company fills the SMA gap
Dutch company Polyscope says it can fill the gap left by Nova Chemicals’ decision to discontinue manufacturing its Dylark styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) engineering resins.
click here for full story


Lighter heavy-duty bags
Heavy duty bags can be made thinner and lighter yet remain just as strong, with savings as much as 15% on raw material costs, says ExxonMobil.
click here for full story



Machinery News

Canadian company clings to success
Macro Engineering & Technology has sold three PVC cling film lines to an unnamed processor located in the Middle East.
click here for full story


Rapid buys Chinese company
Swedish Rapid Granulator is now able to offer a wider product range to Asian customers with its purchase of Chinese Avian Machinery.
click here for full story


Milacron to be sold to investors
US machinery group Milacron is to be bought by the investment group led by Avenue Capital Group and DDJ Capital Management.
click here for full story

VDMA’s autumn outlook
German plastics and rubber machinery association VDMA says that German plastics machinery sales are expected to stabilise in the next quarter.
click here for full story

Indian company extends compounding output
Extrusion machinery producer Steer says it has achieved what it says is a world record output of 900 kg/hour on its Omega H-40 twin-screw extruder.
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Exhibition News

Thai market buoyant
These may be tough times, yet some associations like the Thai Plastic Industries Association (TPIA) and the Thai Plastic Industry Club (PIC) say that the industry is still buoyant, especially in the domestic market.
click here for full story

Marking dates for next year
US-based iSmithers, formerly part of research organisation Smithers Rapra, is bringing the sixth international conference for the latex and emulsion industry to Amsterdam from 23-24 March 2010.
click here for full story

Much lower count of visitors for NPE
Against the backdrop of the current economic malaise and the H1N1 scare, the US NPE show registered 30% lower visitors, compared to the 2006 event.
click here for full story

PRIM celebrates 50 years
To commemorate its 50 year anniversary, the Plastics and Rubber Institute Malaysia (PRIM) is organising an international polymer conference next year. To be held from 16-17 March 2010 at the Sunway Resort Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the conference will cover both plastics and rubber topics. PRIM welcomes contributions of papers to be presented. Authors are required to submit a soft copy of an abstract of not more than 300 words via email to goldenjubilee@prim.org.my by 1 September 2009.

Rubber Journal Asia

Lanxess delays butyl plant to focus on new technology
Due to the global downturn, German chemical company Lanxess has put on hold its largest investment project to date in Asia, which is the EUR400 million butyl rubber plant to be built in Singapore.
click here for full story

Carbon REACH
A group of companies have submitted the REACH dossier for carbon black to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.
click here for full story

German chemical plant on line
Rhein Chemie has announced that its new compounding plant for rubber chemicals is now in full operation.
At the facility, which has been equipped with state-of-the art technology, the German company manufactures its Rhenogran product line. The pre-dispersed, polymer-bound rubber chemicals are used to manufacture rubber goods, such as sealing elements, hoses, belts and tires. The two main production lines already began operating last December; another went on line in May. Rhein Chemie invested some EUR7 million to build and house the new production systems and to modernise existing plant sections.

Yokohama goes orange
Yokohama Tire has started retailing its dB Super E-spec tyre, which is said to be the world’s first orange oil-infused passenger car tyre.
Composed of 80% non-petroleum based materials, the eco-friendly tyre mixes “sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to drastically cut the use of petroleum, without compromising performance”, said the company. It also said to improve fuel efficiency via a 20% reduction in rolling resistance and an Advanced Inner Liner that minimises tyre weight and reduces air loss to help the tyre stay properly inflated.

Taking advantage of Indian boom
US company Momentive Performance Materials has set up a facility in Chennai, India, bringing the number of the company's production plants to 27 globally.
Construction of the facility and application development centre started in June 2007. With an area covering over 15 acres and a manufacturing capacity to double from the current capacity, the facility has been created to address future expansion needs and underscores the long-term growth plans of the company in India. Products to be manufactured in the plant include silicone fluids and silicone elastomers.


. Injection Moulding Asia

Window of opportunity with large machine

German chemicals company Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has installed a 2,300 tonne Engel injection moulding machine at its PC car glazing research facility.
click here for full story



Husky promotes benefits of PET packaging
Husky Injection Molding Systems has developed an initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of PET as a packaging material.
click here for full story

Netstal offers used machines
Swiss manufacturer Netstal has bundled its organisation and processes for trading, overhauling and selling used machines under the brand of Original Netstal Revised.
click here for full story

Engel acts like a bank to offer loans
To help relieve the tight credit measures, injection moulding machinery maker Engel is offering a financing and leasing package in cooperation with Deutsche Leasing.
click here for full story

Ferromatik delivers large order to China
German injection moulding machinery maker Ferromatik Milacron has clinched an order for 14 machines from Hayco Manufacturing of Hong Kong.
click here for full story


Polyurethanes Asia      

Cutting costs in PU foaming
With the trend towards using carbon dioxide or CO2 as the physical blowing agent in flexible foam production, KraussMaffei supplies the systems for mass-flow regulated CO2 nucleation.
click here for full story


Joint effort in bio-TPU
Spanish producer Merquinsa and DuPont are working together to develop a renewably-sourced TPU.
Merquinsa already makes polyester and polyether TPUs (its Pearlthane ECO range) based on renewable resources. Under the new co-operation with DuPont it is using DuPont's Cerenol polyols as the soft segments in a new series of ECO TPUs. Cerenol is made from DuPont Tate & Lyle Susterra renewably sourced propanediol which contains 100% corn-derived material and according to DuPont has a consistent and reliable set of properties unlike soybean and other plant-derived polyols.


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