On April 16, Chinaplas 2021, the first post-pandemic international trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries, concluded. The mega exhibit was held for the first time in Shenzhen, a thriving city in the Greater Bay Area. With an exhibition area of over 350,000sqm, Chinaplas 2021 attracted the participation of 3,576 leading exhibitors from 41 countries and regions, and 152,134 professional visitors from 85 countries and regions. Amongst the visitors, 2,363 were from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and overseas.
"Both exhibitors and visitors were satisfied with the outcome of the event! This is a year full of uncertainties and challenges. Grateful that we have achieved such a satisfactory result through the collaborative efforts of all supporting parties!” said Ms. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., the exhibition’s organiser. “China’s economy continuous to see a robust recovery, with the first quarter’s GDP increased by 18.3 percent comparing to the same quarter of last year. Under the effective pandemic prevention and control measures together with the speeding up of the ‘dual circulation’ development, Chinaplas achieved success through the unlimited potential of China’s domestic market and the increased demand for high quality innovation technology.”
An assembly of cutting-edge technologies
To enable the participation of local and overseas buyers who couldn’t join CHINAPLAS in person, live streaming broadcast which has attained nearly 1 million online views was held. Technology development and innovative solutions were highlighted at the fairground, indicating the future advance development of the industries.
With the coming of the "dual carbon" era, "carbon neutrality" related exhibits were put under the spotlight. A large number of solutions for efficient production, energy-saving and emission reduction, biodegradable plastics, bio-based plastics, recycling technologies, etc., were the focuses of visitors at Chinaplas. Single-material solutions and post-consumption recycling (PCR) technologies in the packaging sector were also gaining momentum. There are growing demand for LCP for 5G application, low dielectric PP, PC modified materials, electroplatable PPS, etc.. Consumption upgrade inspires innovation; automotive lightweight materials and techniques together with smart surface decoration processes, such as IMD & IML and high sensory materials applying to AI cockpits were hot at the mega exhibition. With Covid-19, there is a rise in health awareness, which speeds up the advancement of medical technology. The new generation of cold chain packaging materials for vaccine, PEEK, COC materials, antibacterial and antiviral nylon 66 and melt blown materials to meet evolving needs were popular during the show.
In the machinery halls of the fairground, visitors were able to see plenty of impressive machine demonstrations, such as high-speed printing machines, ultra-high-speed thin-wall packaging machines, data management for intelligent injection moulding factory and remote control enhancing the production automation production, etc. Plastics is widely introduced to various downstream application industries, including electronics & electric, automotive, packaging, building materials, medical, sports and leisure etc., shaping a better and more sustainable future for humanity.
A series of concurrent events were held during the exhibition, namely "SciXplore Forum", "Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future", "Tech Talk", "Design x Innovation", “Medical Plastics Connect", the 2nd edition of "CHINAPLAS x CPRJ Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy Conference and Showcase", "Applications in Focus", and "The 8th China International Biodegradable Resin Seminar". All these events focused on specific themes which were found popular among elites in the manufacturing industries.
Davis-Standard supports critical sectors in Asia
For Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President - Business Development, Asia-Pacific of Davis-Standard, Chinaplas retains its importance as venue for the promotion of the company’s range of products and services for the Asian market. At this mega exhibition, Davis-Standard (https://davis-standard.com) highlighted its global aftermarket services and equipment technology for sheet, foam, thermoforming, pipe, profile and tubing, elastomer, cast film, extrusion coating and liquid coating. These capabilities support critical end-use segments in food packaging, medical packaging, tubing and automotive. Specific examples include electric vehicle battery packaging and separator film technology.
Mr. Sekaran Murugaiah, Vice President-Business Development,
When asked on how these products and services would benefit the Asian market, Mr. Murugaiah states: “Specific to China and Asia, Davis-Standard’s high-output systems for medical tubing, cast film, blown film and extrusion coating have been essential to medical and packaging applications. The company’s installed base continues to grow as do vertical opportunities in aftermarket upgrades and optimisation of lines to improve performance.” Current industry trends lean towards more efficient processing, reduced waste, and long-term sustainability to support profitability and better products – all of which Davis-Standard are meeting through its products. One example is the dsX flex-pack? 300S which was presented at the exhibition, a product is built at the Suzhou facility to meet the requirements of the Asian flexible packaging market. “Specific to Asia, we hope to introduce integrated Davis-Standard control systems that will enable processors to connect and communicate with multiple lines and service personnel simultaneously. This supports our efforts in advancing Industry 4.0 technology, and includes remote access for gathering information from equipment sensors for troubleshooting and maintenance. Our DS Activ-Check? system is a step in that direction,” according to Mr. Murugaiah.
FIMIC highlights automatic melt filter’s advantages
FIMIC SRL (www.fimic.it) exhibited for the first time at Chinaplas 2021 where its automatic melt filter attracted buyers’ attention. At the booth, Aria Chen, Regional Sales Manager (Asia) at FIMIC SRL, was quick to explain the benefits of the company’s automatic melt filter. “This technology is a relatively new technology to the plastic recyclers in China. So they were interested in knowing more details about the new technology and wanted to know how this technology could help them with plastic recycling business,” according to Ms. Chen.
Ms. Aria Chen, Regional Sales Manager (Asia), FIMIC SRL
The design of the FIMIC filter offers these advantages: easy operation and maintenance, for different types of material and contamination; low operational cost; reduced melt loss; less worker needed; affordable spare part; and flexible to work with different recycling extruders. As Ms. Chen explained: “This was the first time for FIMIC to join the exhibition. Due to the travel restrictions in many countries, this year’s edition attracted less overseas buyers. But it gave us a good chance to talk more to local customers and to understand their needs.” FIMIC, an automatic filtration system producer from Italy, has 26 years of experience in the design and manufacture of filter. Its innovative design has made its melt filter entirely different from those available in the market. “The market in Asia will be following the recycling trend and the regulation in EU soon. Plastic recycling is definitely the future,” Ms. Chen added.
Borouge shows off advanced PE solutions
Borouge (www.borouge) launched Anbiq?, its latest high performance linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) solution for flexible packaging applications at Chinaplas 2021 in Shenzhen. Produced using Borouge’s proprietary Borstar? bimodal technology and an advanced smart catalyst system, Anbiq features a unique combination of mechanical properties, sealing performance, easy processing and high clarity optics, and has demonstrated excellent, fit-for-purpose performance in a wide range of flexible packaging applications.
Mr. Eddie Wang, Senior Vice President, Asia North, Borouge
Borouge has recently obtained International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS and this achievement paves the way for the company to offer Bornewables?, a range of products made from renewable feedstock that will further expand its portfolio of circular solutions. With the growth in demand in China and other emerging economies for high quality and durable utility pipes that ensure safe operations and minimise losses during distribution, Borouge will be increasing the availability of sustainable material for water and gas pipes in the coming months. The company’s PE100 solution BorSafe? HE3490-ELS-H is ideal for large diameter and thick-walled pipe applications. Eddie Wang, Senior Vice President, Asia North at Borouge said, “Borouge is confident about China’s tremendous economic growth potential, and we have the ambition to further expand our business footprint, particularly in the central and west regions. We recently opened a new warehouse in Wuhan to increase our logistics capacity in Hubei and its neighbouring provinces to better serve our valued customers.”
ENGEL sees strong focus on digital solutions
ENGEL (www.engelglobal.com) experienced a Chinaplas with a positive mood that clearly confirmed the strong recovery of the markets. Visitor numbers and the number of conversations held with its customers were high in view of the fact that hardly any visitors from abroad were able to travel to Chinaplas this year, observed Gero Willmeroth, President East Asia and Oceania at ENGEL. But what came out as a top trend this year is the strong interest of visitors in digital solutions. “The demand for remote service, online support and AR troubleshooting is increasing. This trend is supported by the very rapid 5G expansion in China, which paves the way for these new possibilities,” according to Mr. Willmeroth.
Mr. Gero Willmeroth, President East Asia and Oceania, ENGEL
As Mr. Willmeroth explained, digitalisation is developing dynamically. Already today, all machine manufacturers are offering digital solutions as options for injection moulding machines – in varying degrees depending on the manufacturer. “Here, ENGEL has several new solutions in its development pipeline further increasing production efficiency as well as quality. In addition, we see that the demand for highly integrated production solutions, for example for multi-component injection moulding, is increasing.”
Tat Ming promoted intelligent machines
Tat Ming (www.tatming.com.cn) displayed a dual-mould 2TME123 injection moulding machine and an intelligent power meter iPM at the exhibition. At the HKPMA booth (funded by the HK government), Tat Ming displayed a TME110-S injection moulding machine to do over moulding on carbon fibre sheet material. For the 2TME123, the economical lives of old moulds with few cavities are extended, energy is saved (vs 2 machines) and space is saved (vs 2 machines), according to Kevin Tong, General Manager of Tat Ming Technology Co., Ltd. For the iPM, heater energy consumption is measured separately other than total machine energy consumption.
Mr. Kevin Tong, General Manager, Tat Ming Technology Co., Ltd.
The carbon fibre sheet demonstration showed the heating of the carbon fibre sheet for 40 s (50 mm from the infrared light), a cooling time of 70 s after injection, a cycle time of 123 s and automation by robots. The plastic material is PC and the application is the rear mirror case outside a car. This process is simpler than an earlier process using thermoset plastic which has an additional step of forming the carbon sheet material into shape beforehand in another process using another mould. According to Mr. Tong, “Energy saving has been a trend since the Gulf War which drove up the price of crude oil. Various technologies including servodrive, electromagnetic heating, radiation heating and space-age insulation material came to be commonly used.” Tat Ming’s machines are optimised to reduce energy consumption. Mr. Tong also disclosed that more models of the 2TME and the 5Gal (an earlier series dedicated to making 5-gallon preforms) are in the plan. The dual-mould technology will be extended to LSR injection moulding and to use electrical injection unit in the future.
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