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Indian PET film giants build huge US plants

With an eye on fast-growing pharmaceutical and other packaging markets, two Indian plastics powerhouses are building major PET film plants in the United States this year. The moves are putting significant pressure on long-struggling domestic producers. DuPont, the major producer through a joint venture with Teijin, wants to sell its PET film assets, according to several financial reports.

Uflex Ltd., India's largest flexible packaging company, is building a $180 million plant in Kentucky with an initial target capacity of 66 million pounds a year.  Double that capacity is planned at the site.  Polyplex is building a $187 million polyester film plant in Alabama.  Initial capacity will be 66 million pounds per year, with additional capacity planned for 2015.

Traditonal US PET film producers are increasingly focusing on specialty applications in medical and other markets. 

And meanwhile Korean PET film giant SKC plans to expand production at its Georgia plant from three lines to 10 lines.  PET film production lines typically cost $50 million to $100 million and produce 22 million to 44 million pounds per year. SKC has not set a timetable for the expansion while the Uflex and Polyplex expansions are expected to come on line in the next 12 months.

"The implementation of the Kentucky project is advancing very fast," R. K. Jain, group president of Uflex Ltd. tells Plastics Today.  "Presently, the civil construction is going-on and the orders for the main equipment have already been placed. The project is expected to be commissioned by December, 2012." The main processing line of BOPET film is being sourced from a German supplier and has a width of 8.7 meters and line speed of 500 meters per minute. A high-barrier plasma enhanced metallizer is also being installed at the Elizabethtown, KY site, which will operate as Flex Films.

Total U.S. production of PET film in the last two years has been running around 430 to 435 million pounds per year. Almost that much-423 million pounds-was imported into the United States in 2010, according to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

History of red ink

From 2007 to 2010, U.S. producers of PET film finished in the red three years and made minimal profits in the other three.

That, plus the impending new capacity, is creating a scramble, particularly for industry volume leader DuPont Teijin, which has closed its South Carolina plant and  spent $175 million in a  reconfiguration of a plant at Circleville, OH, to produce  more profitable oriented fluoropolymer film for photovoltaic applications,

Moreover, DuPont has retained Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of its interest in DuPont Teijin, according to widespread financial reports. DuPont declined to comment on the subject to Plastics Today.

Mitsubishi Polyester Film announced a $20 million investment in its South Carolina facility that will be completed this year to target high-value PET film markets, such as optical displays and photovoltaics.

Domestic consumption of PET film has improved in the past two years, but still hasn't reached volumes from 2007.

Demand in two historically important markets, photographic paper and magnetic media, have shrunk dramatically. Floppy discs, a major user of magnetic media, are no longer made in the USA. But growth has been steady in packaging generally, and good in pharmaceutical packaging, according to producers. Other end uses growing at or above gross domestic product in the United States include industrial applications, photovoltaic, and electrical/electronic.

Indians firms target 'thin' film

The two new Indian-owned plants will produce mostly thin-gauge packaging film

Both commodity and specialty packaging markets are growing due to technology and changing customer

As domestic producers withdrew from the 48-gauge PET film market, Bemis was forced to buy from foreign sources at higher prices.

habits. Examples include cook-in bag films, flexible pouches, microwave tray film, pet food packaging, and medical packaging.

"Exploring new markets and investment destinations has been an ongoing process for us, as has been innovation in product development that has ensured long term relationships with customers globally," Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman of Uflex said in a press release.

The company's partial client list includes Unilever, Pepsi, Wrigley, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Gillette, Ranbaxy, Perfetti, Joyco, Monsanto, Pillsbury, Tata Tea, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Britannia, Dabur, Haldiram, Wockhardt, HUL, Parle Biscuit, and 3M.

DuPont Teijin, Mitsubishi, SKC America, Terphane, and Toray America primarily or only sell to the merchant market, while Bemis, Carestream, Kodak, and 3M primarily or only produce for captive consumption.

U.S. PET film producers have sought U.S. protection from Korean imports going back to 1991. Duties, in fact have been imposed. Fear of potential trade actions is spurring foreign producers to set up production in the United States.

The real issue, however, may be the aging of domestic PET film assets.

Polyplex makes this statement in its 2011 annual report: "While trade defense measures like antidumping and countervailing duties are on the rise in an increasingly competitive market environment, they are unable to address the inherent problems of unproductive assets operating in the developed countries producing regular films. With the ongoing gradual withdrawal of these large producers in the developed markets for commodity film grades, it has created opportunities for cost-effective producers like Polyplex to set up capacities in mature regions in order to make up for the vacuum."

That view is supported in an ironic insight in an ITC ruling on PET film that was released last year. One of the side effects of the PET film restructuring in the United States is that Bemis was forced to buy imports--at higher prices-to meet requirements

Bemis sided with Korean producer

"Purchaser Bemis described moving from 80% of its PET film purchases coming from U.S. producers in 2009 to 58% in 2010 and an anticipated 25% in 2011. It stated that it did so not because of the lower price of imports (adding the imports were more expensive), but because U.S. producers (including DuPont Teijin and Mitsubishi) had made a strategic decision to produce higher-end products rather than the 48-gauge PET film that it purchases."

Gary E. Michalkiewicz, manager, Raw Material Sourcing for Bemis, joined Kolon USA, a Korean PET film

Flex Films plant under construction.
importer, in opposing a continuation of the ITC's Antidumping Duty Order. The ITC ruled in their favor. The four companies that wanted to continue the antidumping ruling were DuPont Teijin Films, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, SKC, and Toray Plastics (America).

3M, which produces polyester films and bought PET film from Korea, was not a party to the action. 3M, which is a specialty player, makes PET film in St. Paul, MN; Decatur, AL; and Greenville, SC.

3M Specialty Film manufacturers more than 200 types of customized PET film products, ranging from 0.5 mil to 14 mil thickness, from optically clear to opaque. 3M innovations in film technology have created films with more than 600 layers.

Another major captive PET film producer in the United States is Kodak, whose primary imaging markets have virtually collapsed in recent years, leading in part to the company's decision earlier this year to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Kodak produces PET film in Rochester, NY. A small amount of its film is sold into the merchant market.

Production of PET film in the United States will be on the rise again, but you may need a scorecard to keep track of the players.

Indian PET film giants build huge US plants

Uflex Ltd., India's largest flexible packaging company, is building a $180 million plant in Kentucky with an initial target capacity of 66 million pounds a year.  Double that capacity is planned at the site.  Polyplex is building a $187 million polyester film plant in Alabama.  Initial capacity will be 66 million pounds per year, with additional capacity planned for 2015.

And meanwhile Korean PET film giant SKC plans to expand production at its Georgia plant from three lines to 10 lines.  PET film production lines typically cost $50 million to $100 million and produce 22 million to 44 million pounds per year. SKC has not set a timetable for the expansion while the Uflex and Polyplex expansions are expected to come on line in the next 12 months.

"The implementation of Kentucky project is advancing very fast," R. K. Jain, group president of Uflex Ltd. tells Plastics Today.  "Presently, the civil construction is going-on and the orders for the main equipment have already been placed. The project is expected to be commissioned by December, 2012. The main processing line of BOPET film is being sourced from a German supplier and has a width of 8.7 meters and line speed of 500 meters per minute. A high-barrier plasma enhanced metallizer is also being installed at the Elizabethtown, KY site, which will operate as Flex Films.

Total U.S. production of PET film in the last two years has been running around 430 to 435 million pounds per year. Almost that much-423 million pounds-was imported into the United States in 2010, according to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

From 2007 to 2010, U.S. producers of PET film finished in the red three years and made minimal profits in the other three.

That, plus the impending new capacity, is creating a scramble, particularly for industry volume leader DuPont Teijin, which has closed its South Carolina plant and  spent $175 million in a  reconfiguration of a plant at Circleville, OH, to produce  more profitable oriented fluoropolymer film for photovoltaic applications,

Moreover, DuPont has retained Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of its interest in DuPont Teijin, according to widespread financial reports. DuPont declined to comment on the subject to Plastics Today.

Mitsubishi Polyester Film announced a $20 million investment in its South Carolina facility that will be completed this year to target high-value PET film markets, such as optical displays and photovoltaics.

Domestic consumption of PET film has improved in the past two years, but still hasn't reached volumes from 2007.

Demand in two historically important markets, photographic paper and magnetic media, have shrunk dramatically. Floppy discs, a major user of magnetic media, are no longer made in the USA. But growth has been steady in packaging generally, and good in pharmaceutical packaging, according to producers. Other end uses growing at or above gross domestic product in the United States include industrial applications, photovoltaic, and electrical/electronic.

The two new Indian-owned plants will produce mostly thin-gauge packaging film

Both commodity and specialty packaging markets are growing due to technology and changing customer habits. Examples include cook-in bag films, flexible pouches, microwave tray film, pet food packaging, and medical packaging.

"Exploring new markets and investment destinations has been an ongoing process for us, as has been innovation in product development that has ensured long term relationships with customers globally," Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman of Uflex said in a press release.

The company's partial client list includes Unilever, Pepsi, Wrigley, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Gillette, Ranbaxy, Perfetti, Joyco, Monsanto, Pillsbury, Tata Tea, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Britannia, Dabur, Haldiram, Wockhardt, HUL, Parle Biscuit, and 3M.

DuPont Teijin, Mitsubishi, SKC America, Terphane, and Toray America primarily or only sell to the merchant market, while Bemis, Carestream, Kodak, and 3M primarily or only produce for captive consumption.

U.S. PET film producers have sought U.S. protection from Korean imports going back to 1991. Duties, in fact have been imposed. Fear of potential trade actions is spurring foreign producers to set up production in the United States.

The real issue, however, may be the aging of domestic PET film assets.

Polyplex makes this statement in its 2011 annual report: "While trade defense measures like antidumping and countervailing duties are on the rise in an increasingly competitive market environment, they are unable to address the inherent problems of unproductive assets operating in the developed countries producing regular films. With the ongoing gradual withdrawal of these large producers in the developed markets for commodity film grades, it has created opportunities for cost-effective producers like Polyplex to set up capacities in mature regions in order to make up for the vacuum."

That view is supported in an ironic insight in an ITC ruling on PET film that was released last year. One of the side effects of the PET film restructuring in the United States is that Bemis was forced to buy imports--at higher prices-to meet requirements

"Purchaser Bemis described moving from 80% of its PET film purchases coming from U.S. producers in 2009 to 58% in 2010 and an anticipated 25% in 2011. It stated that it did so not because of the lower price of imports (adding the imports were more expensive), but because U.S. producers (including DuPont Teijin and Mitsubishi) had made a strategic decision to produce higher-end products rather than the 48-gauge PET film that it purchases."

Gary E. Michalkiewicz, manager, Raw Material Sourcing for Bemis, joined Kolon USA, a Korean PET film importer, in opposing a continuation of the ITC's Antidumping Duty Order. The ITC ruled in their favor. The four companies that wanted to continue the antidumping ruling were DuPont Teijin Films, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, SKC, and Toray Plastics (America).

3M, which produces polyester films and bought PET film from Korea, was not a party to the action. 3M, which is a specialty player, makes PET film in St. Paul, MN; Decatur, AL; and Greenville, SC.

3M Specialty Film manufacturers more than 200 types of customized PET film products, ranging from 0.5 mil to 14 mil thickness, from optically clear to opaque. 3M innovations in film technology have created films with more than 600 layers.

Another major captive PET film producer in the United States is Kodak, whose primary imaging markets have virtually collapsed in recent years, leading in part to the company's decision earlier this year to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Kodak produces PET film in Rochester, NY. A small amount of its film is sold into the merchant market.

Production of PET film in the United States will be on the rise again, but you may need a scorecard to keep track of the players.

It ain’t easy being green: Industry experts talk green plastic packaging marketing challenges, opportunities

It ain’t easy being green: Industry experts talk green plastic packaging marketing challenges, opportunities

There seems to be little signs of a green hangover when it comes to sustainable packaging, as the segment continues to grow.

The global market for sustainable packaging is predicted to reach $142.42 billion by the year 2015, according to a report by the Global Industry Analysts.

While green plastic packaging is ripe with potential, industry experts discussed with PlasticsToday marketing challenges and opportunities for the sector.  

Education is key

Dennis Salazar, president and co-founder of Salazar Packaging Inc., writes about sustainable packaging on his own blog, Inside Sustainable Packaging. He said one problem the plastic packaging industry faces is that of consumer perception.

"We see this all the time, and there is no doubt that there is a segment of the population that is so 'anti-plastic' that they would not accept any form of plastic packaging product and is extremely skeptical of any green claims we may make," Salazar said. "Unfortunately, this is a problem with a long history and the only possible solution - education, will take even more time to correct this negative perception."

JoAnn Hines, also known as the Packaging Diva, is a freelance expert and consultant, specializing in the packaging industry. She said when it comes to sustainable and green plastic packaging; some consumers do not understand the message.

"Consumers are not being educated by companies about the differences between the various types of materials," she said. "The problem is the industry does not educate the consumer about what the packaging does, why we need it, and what you should do with it. There is a disconnect."

Hines said the industry must do a better job of getting in front of the consumer and educating them about sustainable packaging. One important way, she said, is reaching out to children at schools, and helping them understand what it means to recycle a package and turn it into other products, along with teaching them about how composting truly works.

Misleading claims

Many consumers are familiar with greenwashing, which is a term used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

Salazar said as some companies scrambled to gain its share of the green market pie, claims were exaggerated and, in some cases, facts were outright distorted in its messaging.

"There is no doubt some plastic packaging manufacturers have taken advantage of consumer ignorance to imply a level of greenness to a product that simply does not hold up under closer scrutiny," Salazar said. "In many cases, however, the greatest sin is the sin of omission and simply not providing all the information to the consumer to enable them to make an intelligent and informed decision."

One example he cited is when products are promoted as "biodegradable" without an explanation. How does a product degrade, under what circumstances, what happens to the plastic as it degrades, and how long will it take are details deliberately left out of some green marketing campaigns, he said.

Salazar said while he thinks this issue has improved domestically, the problem is much bigger than just American manufacturers.

He recently attended an International Housewares show, where about 90% of the products were made overseas.

"I am sorry to say that greenwashing is rampant and that we saw a number of products being sold as eco-friendly PETE or RPET but sure looked like PVC to me," he said. "In spite of third party verification and other policing efforts, as long as domestic importers conveniently turn a blind eye to misrepresented sustainability claims and focus on price, overseas manufacturers will continue to be free to make any claims they feel the U.S. market will buy and not be under any obligation to prove them." 

The importance of packaging design

When Biopac launched its new 100% compostable cup, the company wanted the package to do the talking.

The cup states in bold printed graphics, "I'm a green cup."

Mark Brigden, technical director at Biopac, said that it was important to get the message across to the consumer that they are drinking from a cup that is environmentally responsible.

"The raw materials used to produce the cups are renewable, unlike conventional plastics, and because it is difficult to differentiate bioplastics from petroleum-based materials, we thought that the messaging should inform in a clear, succinct way," he said. "The green cup is a perfect example where the packaging design is used to highlight the green message."

Hines said the package design is where companies can really become creative and original, and an innovative packaging design can even change an industry.

"Smart, intelligent packages are the ones that interact with the consumers and tell them about what the product is inside and also educate," she said. "Innovation can literally influence what we buy."

Salazar said he believes the goal should not just be about minimizing packaging by making thinner bottles, using less resin, eliminating redundant layers of packaging, and so on, but it is important to look at reusability as the first and most desirable design objective.

"For many legitimate reasons, including energy and water conservation, disposable, single-use packaging has to give way to products that are 'reusable by design,'" he said. "I think that reusability is a very desirable packaging feature and I am confident designers will step up to the challenge and continue developing packaging products with longer life cycles able to be used multiple times at minimal cost and less harm to the environment."   

Molex claims industry first with bioresin automotive connector

The 20-circuit, dual-row harness Stac64-e connector has also received USCAR-2 Standard Class II validation testing for mechanical, environmental and electrical performance characteristics for unsealed connector automotive applications. According to the company, "the bioplastic resin Stac64-e connector joins an existing portfolio of Molex Stac64 PCB connectors featuring a stackable, modular housing which can be ganged together into larger header assemblies, significantly reducing time-to-market by eliminating the need for custom tooling."

Among materials suppliers, Arkema (Colombes, France) has been active in developing a bio-sourced line of polyamides featuring polyamide 10.10, 11 and 12 with castor oil as the original source of renewable content. DuPont is another supplier whose forays into renewable sourcing with castor oil have found their way into automotive applications via the Zytel RS grades of nylon. Sebacic acid is the renewable content derived from the castor oil.

“Global focus on the conservation of energy and natural resources has raised the bar on automotive manufacturers. The automotive industry plays a pivotal role in advancing sustainability initiatives beyond bringing consumers worldwide more choices in energy efficient gas, electric and hybrid vehicles,” said Mark Rettig, global marketing director, Molex, in a statement. “A logical progression in this trend is connectors developed from renewable and plant-based resin.“

Molex is a provider of interconnect solutions for several markets including automotive, telecommunications, medical, lighting, and solar. The company was established in 1938 and has 39 manufacturing sites in 16 countries.

PlasticsToday expands staff

PlasticsToday has expanded its staff, adding a new senior editor, Heather Caliendo, and new digital content coordinator, John Clark. The move aligns with the online community's focus on better serving its global audience of plastics professionals.

John Clark returns to the Plastics division where he was previously managing editor for Modern Plastics Worldwide for six years, and managing editor for Plastics Group digital products for another two years. He attended The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lives in Denver, CO.

Heather Caliendo started her career as a journalist for The Journal Record, the daily business newspaper in Oklahoma. During her time at the newspaper, Caliendo wrote hundreds of cover page stories, with many of her stories featured on the national AP wire and FoxSports.com.  Heather graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's in journalism/mass communications, as well as a history minor, and lives in Denver, CO.

"PlasticsToday is committed to being the online resource for the global plastics industry and that commitment is reflected in these new hires. Enterprise reporting and dynamic management of our digital content are key facets of PlasticsToday's editorial strategy," stated Tony Deligio, content director of PlasticsToday.

PlasticsToday has a full portfolio of products for 2012, including its NPE 2012 Advisor, NPE Show Issue, and the continuation of its Extrusion Expert and Injection Molding Webinar Series, enhanced website, industry leading electronics newsletters, and more. UBM Canon serves the global $3.0 trillion advanced manufacturing sector via industry leading publications, shows, websites and more. The company is part of UBM plc (UBM.L) a global provider of media and information services for professional B2B communities and markets.

Kraton targets PVC replacements at NPE2012

Kraton Performance Polymers (Houston, TX) will feature its styrenic block copolymers or "SBCs" as PVC replacements at NPE2012 (April 1-5; Orlando, FL).

Kraton will show (booth 3900) new elastomers that replace PVC in medical and wire and coating applications at NPE2012. New higher flow SBCs are also replacing polyurethane and PVC-coated fabrics used in durable upholstery applications. Another PVC target is automotive interior slush molded soft skins. "Our slush molding manufacturing process is a PVC alternative that provides the automotive industry with a major technology and performance leap to address performance, system cost and environmental responsibility necessary to move forward and succeed," the company said in a press release.
 

Kraton sales for IV bags soar 91%

PVC replacements, particularly for medical applications, will be featured by Kraton Performance Polymers (Houston, TX) at NPE2012 (April 1-5; Orlando, FL).

Sales of its styrenic block copolymers or "SBCs" as a replacement for PVC in intravenous (IV) bags were up 91% last year.

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In a presentation Dec. 6, 2011 at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Industrials Conference in New York, a Kraton official said: "Phthalate plasticizers are used to make PVC soft but they can leach from finished products and create health concerns. Kraton also said that PVC has "limited recyclability" and is "unsafe when burned or incinerated improperly."

Those views are also increasingly embraced by healthcare organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, which earlier this year announced it will no longer use PVC for IV tubing or bags. Kaiser Permanente did not disclose the types of materials being used as replacements.

Kraton says its PVC-replacement material imparts softness, toughness and clarity, and is "environmentally friendly - 100% recyclable" and "plasticizer and chlorine free".

The specific material that Kraton is showcasing at NPE2012 (in booth 39000) as a PVC replacement is Kraton G Enhanced Rubber Segment (ERS) polymers. The ERS series is described as a technology breakthrough by Kraton because it "features unique softer rubber segment and precision tailored polymer structures. It also has improved compatibility with polypropylene. Clarity is cited as a specific improvement. The material also has a broad range of melt flows.

Syrenic elastomers generally are 40% to 50% more expensive than PVC, but Kraton said in its presentation that Kraton SBC represents less than 5% of the final product cost in IV bags. Polypropylene typically is only 15% to 20% more expensive than PVC. Kraton did not indicate the amount of SBC used to soften polypropylene.

The company reports on its Web site that it will soon have new blown film grades available for medical applications.

Kraton polymers are used as alternatives to PVC in the following medical applications:

  • Bags - Sterile and Non Sterile,
  • Bedding Products,
  • Compression Devices,
  • Diagnostic Equipment,
  • Gloves,
  • Intravenous Products,
  • Medical Film,
  • Patient ID Bracelets,
  • Plastic Wrap,
  • Respiratory Therapy Products,
  • Shower Curtains, and
  • Tubing.

Kraton will also show new elastomers that replace PVC in wire and coating applications at NPE2012. New higher flow SBCs are also replacing polyurethane and PVC-coated fabrics used in durable upholstery applications. Another PVC target is automotive interior slush molded soft skins. "Our slush molding manufacturing process is a PVC alternative that provides the automotive industry with a major technology and performance leap to address performance, system cost and environmental responsibility necessary to move forward and succeed," the company said in a press release.

Kraton says that adoption and penetration of SBCs into new applications and end-markets is leading to growth about double that for global gross domestic product.

"Kraton offers the most diverse and robust product profile in the SBC world," said Michael Oberkirch, vice president, Advanced Materials in the company's pre-NPE press release. "Our products compete against a variety of material alternatives including, but not limited to, TPV, TPU, PVC, TPO, PET, PC, PA, natural rubber, and EPDM-based offerings. Kraton polymers are highly-engineered and deliver recognized value by providing safe and viable alternatives to less efficient or less environmentally-friendly solutions."

Visteon exits automotive lighting sector; Indian concern takes over

(Van Buren Township, MI) is divesting its automotive lighting business to India's Varroc Group (Aurangabad).

The deal is worth $92 million in cash, with completion slated for the third quarter of this year. The business to be sold encompasses a wide range of exterior lighting products supplied to global vehicle manufacturers, including front and rear lighting systems, auxiliary lamps and key subcomponents such as projectors and electronic modules. With 2011 revenue of $531 million, it has operations in Europe, North America and Asia.

"This transaction allows Visteon to focus on our core climate and electronics businesses and our joint venture relationships, which are positioned for profitable growth and market leadership," says Donald J. Stebbins, Visteon chairman, chief executive officer and president. "We are pleased to be selling our lighting business, with its many competitive strengths, to a successful and growing company with 26 manufacturing plants and three engineering centers, where we think it will be an excellent strategic fit."

The Polymer Division of Varroc molds products such as instrument panels, HVAC and under-the-hood components, mirror components, air filter components and door trims for the automotive sector. The Electrical Division, meanwhile, looks after lighting systems and most recently acquired the European motorcycle lighting system market leader Triom Spa (Cambiano, Italian), with operations in Italy and Romania and sites planned for Vietnam and Indonesia to tackle the booming motorcycle sectors in these countries.-[email protected]

Honda in further motorcycle investment for Indonesia

Indonesian market leader Honda Motor (Tokyo) has unveiled plans for the construction of a fourth assembly operation for motorcycles in the booming Southeast Asian market of Indonesia, where units sales topped 8 million last year. With the typical motorcycle utilizing several kg of both PP and ABS, and some HDPE to boot, the latest investment is good news for local processors.

indon

Greenfield site for Honda's new Indonesian bike plant.

Local affiliate PT Astra Honda Motor's (AHJ, Jakarta) fourth motorcycle plant will produces scooter models exclusively with 1,100,000 units production capacity per annum. Scooters typically employ double the volume of plastic compared with conventional low cc-rating motorcycles. The new plant will boost Honda's capacity in Indonesia to 5,300,000 units in total.

This plant, which will be built in the Bukit Indah Industrial Park about 70 kilometers east of central of Jakarta, and operation is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2013. Honda's investment in the plant is valued at around $334 million. The new facility will employ the renewable power sources of wind turbines and solar for part of its energy needs. Automation will also feature prominently in the plant.

The motorcycle market of Indonesia is the world's third-biggest market next to China and India. Overall, a record 8.01 million units were shipped in 2011, representing 9% growth. For its part, AHJ sold 4.27 million units and increased its market share in doing so. For 2012, the overall Indonesian market is expected to be reach approximately 8.7 million units and AHJ is planning to sell around 4.8 million units. Honda's motorcycle production capacity in the Asia Pacific region currently stands at 11.5 million units.-[email protected]

battenfeld-cincinnati to showcase sheet extrusion tech at NPE2012

battenfeld-cincinnati USA (formerly American Maplan Corp.) will showcase its extrusion of high quality sheet for packaging (booth 911). In addition, the company will also introduce its new multi-touch roll stack. battenfeld-cincinnati’s 75-mm (3-inch) single screw extruder series has more than 150 lines installed worldwide. The extruders offer energy savings of up to 30%, shorter start-up and reversal times.

battenfeld-cincinnati multi-touch roll stackDue to short residence times, higher material melt quality can be realized. Output ranges from 400-2000 kg/hr depending on material and application, with higher outputs possible by adapting motor power and screw speeds. In North America, most extruders are in the middle output range and used for direct feeding of thermoforming machines, the company stated. Common materials processed are PP, PS and A-PET, but the battenfeld-cincinnati extruder series can also be used for ABS, PLA and other polymers.

battenfeld-cincinnati will introduce the new multi-touch roll stack system at NPE. Here, the sheet passes through a number of polishing nips. The first two rolls have a larger diameter for low deflection; the following rolls are smaller in order to enable the production of an even, stress-free sheet with quicker cooling side changes. The nip pressure between the rolls ensures that no air will be trapped between the rolls and the sheet, even at higher line speeds. This in turn leads to an optimal heat transmission and quick cooling for higher transparency and surface gloss, particularly in PP applications.

Due to its modular design, the multi-touch roll stack can be adapted to the expected throughput by adding more rolls. A conventional post-cooling unit is installed to ensure a low temperature for coiling. The first multi-touch roll stack has been in use in the field for a few months.