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In this Edition
March 2012
PRA April 2012
Electronic Issue

Now Available


Lead Feature

"Green" mobility trump card for Lanxess

Joachim Grubb, Head of the Performance Butadiene Rubbers Business Unit, Lanxess

With the current demand to incorporate "green" technologies in lifestyles and a need to protect the planet's resources, many companies are under pressure to introduce more eco-friendly technologies. German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess is taking this cue with its product line up for the tyre market, especially since tyres contribute to 24% of a vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions and up to 30% fuel consumption. The firm says its neodymium polybutadiene (Nd-PBR) rubber is a key enabler of greener tyres and it is building a facility for this in Singapore, its fifth global site.

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Company News

Packaging firm expands its reach
Australian packaging firm Amcor has bought Indian flexible packaging maker Uniglobe Packaging A$19.8 million and has also received approval to proceed with the acquisition of Australian compatriot Aperio for A$238 million.
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Huhtamaki to buy HK firm
Finland-based packaging firm Huhtamaki Oyj will acquire Josco Holdings, a Hong Kong-based disposable packaging manufacturer, for EUR67 million. The debt-free transaction is scheduled to clear next month.
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Styrolution pumps up capacity in Asia
Months after its birth as a joint venture between Germany-based BASF and UK firm Ineos, styrenics maker Styrolution is undertaking to upgrade its styrene copolymer facility in Germany, establish a 40 kilotonne/year-line for ASA in South Korea and expand its ABS speciality capacity in India to 110 kilotonnes/year. It will also cut its PS and styrene monomer supply from Ineos.
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Panasonic targets Japan for solar panels
Panasonic Malaysia will export a large part of its output from its RM1.84 billion solar panel factory in Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah to Japan. The fully integrated solar panel factory is slated to begin production of solar wafers, cells and modules in December.
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In Brief

Lucite scales up capacity
US firm Lucite International is making strategic investments to establish 150,000 tonne/year production of Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) at its Texas, facility. The company will also continue to produce MMA at its Tennessee facility, thus offering two plants to serve the American markets In addition, Lucite is progressing to commence production of Methacrylic Acid (MAA) at its Texas facility, in line with the significant investments at the site announced last year. The MAA unit will have a capacity of 23,000 tonnes/year.


Dow plans coating plant in the Mid-East
US chemicals maker Dow Chemical will invest in a new manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia that will make coating materials available in that country and for exports to markets worldwide. The facility will be located at the Jubail Industrial City. This investment will enable the company to reach its regional customers and realise its regional business objectives in a key growth market.




Materials News

Launch of speciality composites
Japanese firm Nippon Synthetic Chemical (Nippon Gohsei) will launch the first of a series of EVOH/specialty clay composites at the NPE show this year. Last year, Nippon acquired the license for the exclusive use of Spanish Nanobiomatters's O2Block Barrier additive in EVOH composites to improve barrier properties.
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Lighter PVDF foam for airplanes
Solvay Specialty Polymers has introduced a second generation Solef PVDF foam for the aircraft market. The product is a mouldable PVDF foam that is certified to be resistant to flame, total heat release, low toxicity on combustion products and reduced optical smoke density.
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Films to fly high in composites use
UK-based Victrex Polymer Solutions is partnering with US composites firm Umeco to release films made from its Aptive film. Vac-Pak is said to be the first PEEK film currently available as a release film for use in aerospace composite parts.
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Clariant opens Chinese pigment plant
Swiss chemicals firm Clariant has inaugurated its joint venture pigment plant, with Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry, in Dagang to support growing regional markets. The pigment preparations production plant has an investment of RMB120 million.
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Edible packaging made possible
A new edible packaging technology will allow people to eat and transport food without plastics. Called Wikicells, the bottle packaging encloses food and liquid in an edible membrane and has been developed by Harvard scientist David Edwards.
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Machinery News

Pallmann marks presence in China
Germany-based size reduction machine supplier Pallmann has set up its regional headquarters in Beijing. The office set up is opportune as early in February, the Chinese government released a new industrial directory for renewable recycling resources and technology, aimed to push the utilisation of renewable resources and recycling to meet the country's 12th five-year plan.
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Acquisition expands EDI's offerings
US firm Extrusion Dies Industries (EDI), a company of Bertram Capital, has acquired Premier Dies, a provider of slot coating and flat polymer extrusion dies. The firm says the partnership provides customers with a broader product portfolio and access to an expanded global sales and service network.
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Gloucester acquires IBC supplier
US extrusion machinery maker Gloucester Engineering, which is owned by portfolio company Blue Wolf Capital Fund, has bought IBC equipment supplier Future Design of Canada.
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Controller for medical systems
US firm Davis-Standard has developed a midrange controller called the DS-eVUE available on the company's new direct drive medical (MEDD) extruder, both of which will be displayed at NPE.
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Extrusion applications from foam technology
US firm MuCell Extrusion has acquired Dow Chemical's patented portfolio for flat sheet extrusion of polyolefin resins. MuCell has also signed a license agreement with Spanish firm EDV Packaging Solutions to utilise its expanded technology offering to produce foamed PP barrier sheets for food packaging applications throughout Europe.
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Exhibition News

Countdown begins for Chinaplas 2012
A mere two weeks from now, Asia's leading plastics and rubber trade fair will be opening its doors once again. Slated to happen in Shanghai New International Expo Centre from April 18 to 21, Chinaplas 2012 is expected to hit new high records this year. Covering a total area of 210,000 sq m, the show will feature about 100,000 visitors, over 70 technical seminars and 2,700 exhibitors originating from 35 countries.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

arburg 470H hidrive series

Compounds for LEDs
With the lighting market undergoing a dramatic shift from incandescent to LED light sources and a growth of 80% expected in the next few years, US compounder RTP has introduced thermally conductive compounds for replacing metal heat sinks and housings in LED luminaires.
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Haitian sells less but makes more
China's largest machine maker Haitian sold 27,000 injection machines in 2011, compared with 30,000 in 2010 but said the average selling price in 2011 increased 10%, thereby increasing its revenue to RMB7 billion, up 4% compared to 2010.
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Lightweighting automotive parts
German firms Bekaert, Voestalpine Plastics Solutions and BASF are working on the development of thermoplastic components that are reinforced with steel cord fabrics and produced by means of injection moulding.
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rowe E50 electric car

Teijin's auto R&D in the US
Japanese materials supplier Teijin has opened the doors of its Teijin Composites Application Centre (TCAC) in the US to support the development of automotive and other industrial applications of carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composite products.
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Engel to expand Austrian facility
Austrian injection moulding machinery producer, Engel will expand its headquarters in Schwertberg with an investment of EUR12 million to meet increasing order volumes of its machinery around the world.
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DOE funding for predictive engineering
Opportunities abound for predictive tools developers as the US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity to finance the development of predictive engineering tools for injection moulded long carbon fibre thermoplastic composites.
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Ritemp to be expanded into medical sector
Australian Ritemp Technologies's evaporative cooling technology for moulds will be applied by US firm F&S Tool in tooling for the medical market. This designation provides commercial advantages for F&S clients to collaborate with and develop application solutions using the patented Ritemp cooling technology.
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Electric cars becoming less green
Long touted as clean, zero-emission alternatives to vehicles powered by fossil fuels, electric cars are now at the risk of being tainted, especially with the Japanese government's plans to reactivate idle nuclear power plants for electricity supply
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Foam moulding for lighter aircraft and cars
MuCell microcellular foam moulding is expanding its use into aircraft cabin interiors, while its use in Volkswagen's latest Golf car has reduced the weight by 500 g with a reportedly 20% lower moulding cycle time.
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