Agricultural Films Helping to Feed the World

Ag film in Europe map 2014High performance plastic films play a key role in global food production

AMI, Bristol, 21st July 2014 – AMI Consulting, a division of Applied Market Information Ltd., has just published a new report on the Agricultural Film Market in Europe 2014 analysing the latest trends in the use of silage, mulch and greenhouse films, along with developments in technology, innovation, supply chain and post-use plastic waste management.

In order to feed a global population which is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050, food waste needs to be eliminated, distribution of food improved and food production increased. At the same time agriculture faces challenges due to changing economic and environmental trends including climate change, biofuel expansion, slowing agricultural yields, rising meat demand and ever increasing calorie intake from a growing global middle class. It is estimated that by 2050 about 70 per cent of the global population will be urban, compared to 50 per cent today.

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Plastic Pipes: Complete Database Now Online from Conference Website

The Plastic Pipes Conference Association (PPCA) has a new website that will provide technical and commercial information for the plastic pipe industry worldwide. As of today, the association has published an online database that contains all of its papers since the first 1970 conference in Southampton, UK.

Over one thousand papers are included in what represents a major resource for the world of plastic pipe technology. This collection of presentations covers a wide spectrum of subject matter that ranges from highly technical aspects to valuable insights into the business forces that continue to drive the industry forward. It includes landmark reference projects, novel applications, installation methods and design, environmental issues, technical standards and testing, new systems and prototyping, raw materials and additives, scientific advances, no-dig solutions, manufacturing expertise as well as industry and trade aspects.

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New Nanomaterials Promise a Sustainable Future for the Tyre Industry and the Transport Sector

Geneva, August 4, 2014 – According to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the use of new nanomaterials in tyre production could help foster the sustainability of the tyre industry and reduce the environmental impact of vehicles, if the potential environmental, health and safety risks of the technology are managed carefully.

WBCSD welcomes the OECD report entitled Nanotechnology and Tyres: Greening Industry and Transport, which highlights the potential of new nanomaterials whilst analysing the challenges for their safe and sustainable introduction in the tyre industry. The report was originally proposed to OECD and supported by the Business and Industry Advisor Committee to the OECD (BIAC) through the Tire Industry Project (TIP) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

New nanomaterials offer promising avenues for future innovation, which can contribute to the sustainability and resource efficiency of the tyre industry and of the transport sector. They have the potential to decrease tyre rolling resistance (improving fuel consumption and CO2 emissions) and lower wear resistance (increasing tyre lifetime) while maintaining wet grip and existing safety levels.

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Plaskolite, Inc. Strengthens Product Offerings Through Acquisition

Plaskolite, Inc., the largest U.S. manufacturer of continuously processed acrylic sheet products, announces the acquisition of the mirror sheet product line from SPECCHIDEA s.r.l. of Torino, Italy.

Through a series of strategic acquisitions and significant investments, Plaskolite, Inc. has grown to be the industry leader.

Acquiring SPECCHIDEA’s mirror sheet business further strengthens that position. “Our dedicated leadership team continuously searches for opportunities to further strengthen our position as an innovative leader in the industry,” said James R. Dunn, President of Plaskolite.


France is Roaring Back!

This is a first time in the French industry. During the week of Bastille Day, the GM Devellopement group, based in Saint Etienne and specialized in precise technologies and mechanics earned three official labels.

After getting the ISO9001 norm (different requirements confirming the management and quality of the realizations and processes) in 2013, both companies MECAMO and MECATEC meet the requirements of the norm EN9100 and EPV, or so called Entreprise du Patrimone Vivant (Company of the Living Patrimony). This alliance of distinctions is unique! This is first time in the world for a company to own these three labels, what is even more exceptional is that two companies from the same group meet these requirements.

MECAMO is a company specialized in the production of mechanical components. MECATEC is specialized in drilling and optronic assembly. These two little companies from the Rhône Alpes region offer their technologies and their know how to the most important decision-makers.

But what do mean these two labels?

The EN9100 norm is an intercontinental one, (Americas, Europe, Asia), insuring the quality for the aeronautics markets, weapons, and spatial. This accreditation is given by the French government. This milestone is delivered through the OASIS (Online Aerospace Supplier Information System), a new database of suppliers owned by the IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group). The main goals of this agency are to ensure the processes, their improvement, risk analysis … in order to ever deliver more security and warranty to builders and users.

The EPV label is a sign of recognition from the French Government settled to distinguish companies displaying a strong know how and craftsmanship, applied as well to industrial sectors. This label is delivered by the French Minister of Economy Mr Arnaud Montebourg, and by Mrs Carole Delga as well, secretary of state responsible for business and craftsmanship. The workshops honored are wisely selected and pointed out for a strong management of precise and rare craftsmanship, based on traditional roots and limited to a dedicated territory.

A new page turns in the French Economy, a new dynamic is launched. This dynamic will surely success, marrying know how, technology and quality.

The GM DEVELOPPEMENT group and its branches MECAMO and MECATEC open the gates and build officially the bases of the French renewal.


Solar Markets Test Endurance of Polymer Materials

Photovoltaic panels have been used for decades in outer space powering remote satellites and are now reaching long service records on earth, which gives scientist the opportunity to see just how well the materials and modules have performed during their predicted lifespan. The rise of renewable energy is now unstoppable with around 28 per cent of Germany’s electricity supply in 2014 coming from green sources. AMI will be bringing together global experts on solar module polymer materials to discuss the optimal solutions for vital components such as encapsulants, backsheets, adhesives and sealants, at Polymers in Photovoltaics 2015. In terms of economics, the module manufacturing industry is wary of overcapacity in the markets and the situation will be reviewed by Stefan de Haan of IHS.

Potential induced degradation is one of the sources of concern in solar modules and Hanwha Q Cells has studied the occurrence and the influence of encapsulant materials. From India, Renewsys has looked at the cure of encapsulants, while in China Guangzhou Bothleader Electrical Materials has examined the effect of the crosslinking agent on the properties of the EVA encapsulant. There are new EVA encapsulants in production from Encapsulantes Valor Anadido of Spain. Researchers at Ofi, the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology have compared the performance of different encapsulants and the ISFH in Germany has evaluated encapsulation materials for module-level processing. Polyolefin encapsulants are being marketed as the next generation of materials and Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello has data on performance improvement of modules using polyolefins.

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EPDA Remembers Rudi Klepsch

dipl.-ing.-rudolf-klepsch_span8EPDA is saddened to hear of the passing of Dipl. Ing. Rudolf Klepsch, who passed away on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, at the age of 72 after a long and serious illness. Mr. Klepsch, or Rudi as he preferred to be known to his friends and colleagues, was the general manager of EPDA member company Zell-Metall GmbH and director of IAPD member company ZL Engineering Plastics, Inc.

Rudi served as a president of the EPDA Board of Directors and as a founding member, was integral to the early success of the organization. A special Award of Merit was presented in his honour at the 40th Anniversary EPDA Conference in 2013 to recognize his dedication to the association.

Rudi was an innovator, and was renowned for pushing the limits to challenge the technical boundaries of semi-finished plastics. This pioneering spirit led to the development of several breakthroughs, such as the first functioning oil filled cast polyamide, the first co-extruded rigid ABS/PMMA sheet and the first nano-particle filled POM and polyamide semi-finished products. There were a number of dimensional breakthroughs, such as the first 1200mm width cast nylon sheet, the first 500mm thickness POM sheet and the list goes on.

With five children and seven grandchildren, Rudi was a committed family man, but such was his lust for life he also found time to follow his other passions such as diving and wind surfing. In fact for the latter, Rudi competed in the wind surfing World Championships in the late 1970s and managed to combine his two passions with the development of an expanded cast nylon used in the manufacture of wind surfing boards!

Our thoughts go out to his remaining family.


Quadrant EPP – AG Award 2015

Quadrant AwardQuadrant EPP – AG will confer for the sixth time the coveted International Award for Academic Excellence on 30 January, 2015. The competition is open to graduates who have written a doctoral thesis in the subject field «Materials and processes related to engineering and high-performance plastics and composites» and have received a PhD in the period from 1 October, 2012 to 30 September, 2014. Applications must be received by 30 September, 2014 to be considered.

The members of the academic jury who will evaluate the entries are on the staff of internationally acclaimed universities or institutions, have many years of experience in the field of materials and polymer sciences, and supervise numerous doctoral candidates annually. The event will take place at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.

The launch of the international Quadrant EPP – AG Award is intended to reward academic excellence and to foster talent worldwide. Quadrant EPP – AG also aims to make a contribution in building a bridge between industry and academia. Since the first Quadrant EPP – AG Award took place in 2005, the number of applications as well as the internationality of the entries developed very encouraging and the quality of papers submitted rose continuously. For more information, visit www.quadrantplastics.com.


EPDA President’s Message: Annual Conference Update and Important Association News

Welcome to the latest EPDA Newsletter and my opportunity to update you on all things EPDA-related. The EPDA Board started the year with four key objectives:

  1. To host a successful, educational and enjoyable annual conference
  2. To appoint a new Association Management Company (AMC)
  3. To appoint a new Vice President to the Board
  4. To finalise terms to allow the continuation of the alliance with IAPD

Annual Conference 2014

The 41st Annual EPDA Conference was held in Malmö, Sweden, and post-conference survey feedback gave a glowing report of the event from all aspects. I covered the event in detail in the June message, and can confirm that the first objective was achieved.

SAS Event Management

The EPDA Board is delighted to confirm the appointment of SAS Event Management as the new AMC for EPDA. The experienced team, headed up by Victoria Armstrong, will assume full responsibility for EPDA with effect from 1 November, 2014, and in the interim ASI will continue to provide management services as normal, with Jackie Driss Laurent your main point of contact. Full details about the SAS team will be communicated towards the end of October, and I look forward to welcoming them at our 2015 conference. Objective two complete.

Board Evolution

In May, the Board welcomed two new members to the team, in Lari Hahtonen and Stefan Willing. I am delighted to confirm that after a positive five months of working with the close-knit team that Lari, from distributor member Aikolon Oy, has volunteered to stand for election as Vice President for a one year term from the 2015 AGM, with a view to standing for election to President in May 2016. To facilitate this, both Steffen Oellers and I will stand for election in May 2015 for one final year in our current positions as Past President and President, respectively. From the 2016 AGM we will revert to the normal protocol of a two year term and in the interim the Board will continue to work on the future leadership. Objective three complete.

IAPD Alliance

There is positive progress here and a meeting is to be held with members of the IAPD Executive Committee at the IAPD Convention in October to finalise terms for 2015 and beyond. Attendees from EPDA will include Stefan Willing, Lari Hahtonen and me. I am confident that objective four will be achieved.

Planning for 2015: The 42nd Annual EPDA Conference & New Manufacturer Showcase

With the four key objectives for 2014 covered, thoughts move to 2015 and beyond. I am pleased to be able to confirm that the 42nd Annual EPDA Conference is to be held at the Pullman Skipper Hotel, Barcelona, from the 11-13 June, 2015. Remember that from 2015, each and every distributor member has a complementary delegate at the conference included in their annual dues, and the Board hope that all members will make the effort to join the event. Plans are also under way to facilitate the new Manufacturer Showcase, where all manufacturer members have the benefit of complementary facilities to showcase their products and services. These changes represent a real opportunity to add value to the EPDA Conference for all attendees. Please block your diaries now, and come along to experience Barcelona’s old world charm and Gaudi architecture making it one of the top tourist destinations in the World – the perfect host for our 2015 conference.

On 25 November, 2014, a Board meeting will be held in Zurich, hosted by Manufacturer member Quadrant EPP AG, where along with the formalities of the meeting, the programme for the Barcelona conference will be concluded. We will also discuss new initiatives focusing on developing the EPDA membership for the longer term.

Other Business:

Congratulations go to Crystal Roberts, Deputy Executive Director ASI, and her fiancé Brent, on their recent engagement. Many of you will know Crystal from her sterling work at our annual conference, and flowers have been sent on behalf of EPDA. I am sure you will all join me in wishing them a long and healthy future together.

Thank you to those of you who responded to the Q2 2014 State of the Nation survey, the results of which will be posted to the Members Only area of the website shortly.

You may also be interested to know that a copy of the 2014 AGM minutes has been posted to the Members Only area on the website.

Finally, I would like to send my condolences to the friends and families of two long standing members who passed recently, Alois Gruber Sr. and founding member, Rudi Klepsch. Our thoughts are with you.

It has been a busy 2014 so far, and there is still plenty of work to do in the final quarter. I wish you every success and I hope you find the remaining articles of this newsletter of interest.

My best regards

David Ladyman
EPDA President


Amari Plastics PLC Officially Opens Belfast Centre with Open Day

Amari Plastics PLC, the Surrey-headquartered distributor of plastic sheets, films, rods, tubes and roll media, recently held an open day to mark the official opening of its new Belfast centre, Amari Plastics Northern Ireland.

The centre, the firm’s first base in Northern Ireland, was officially opened on 9 September by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon, who also unveiled a commemorative plaque. The open day was attended by 16 different suppliers and close to 40 customers. Suppliers at the event included Mactac, 3A Composites, 3M, Rochling, Bostik Adhesives, Madreperla, Reddilight, Twinplast, Kernow Coatings, Nova Aluminium, Brett Martin and Jain Industries.

“Many Amari staff and customers travelled long distances to attend and were rewarded with suppliers willing to impart knowledge and practical support,” said Amari Plastics managing director Andy Carroll.

“The number of customers coming to the event showed that the market in Northern Ireland for plastic products is hungry for knowledge and has a great desire to take on new products and ideas.”

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