Expansions: Toray sets up ABS resin plant in Malaysia; Evonik/Uniotech set up 3D lab in China

Toray sets up ABS resin plant in Malaysia

Japanese resin maker Toray Industries says it has boosted its worldwide production and distribution capacities of its renown Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) resin transparent grade through its latest facility set up at Prai Industrial Park, Penang, Malaysia.

The plant set up at its new facilities at Prai has boosted Toray Plastics (Malaysia) Sdn. Berhad’s resin production and by 75,000 tonnes to 425,000 tonnes/year. Taking into account the ABS production output at the Chiba Plant in Japan, Toray Group is now capable of churning out some 497,000 tonnes/year of ABS to the worldwide markets.

The diverse Toyolac range produced by Toray includes transparent grades ABS, offerings improved anti-static, scratch and chemical resistance properties. To boost sales in its key Chinese and Southeast Asian markets and in anticipation of the rising demands from Europe, the US and India, Toray says it looks forward to increasing its worldwide production further, including the facilities in Malaysia.

Toray has made expanding globally in growth areas a central strategy under Project AP-G2022, its medium-term management program. The company accordingly aims to capture rising demand for transparent ABS resin and enhance supply stability by reinforcing collaboration between the Chiba Plant and Toray Plastics (Malaysia) TPM.

Evonik/Uniotech set up 3D lab in China

In other news, German chemical firm Evonik and the Chinese company UnionTech are jointly setting up a R&D laboratory for 3D printing technology in Shanghai, China. In 2020, Evonik acquired a minority stake in UnionTech through its Venture Capital unit and since then the two companies have worked together in a number of additive manufacturing projects.

With the capacities in material research, equipment & processes, and application research of the two companies, the laboratory aims to develop material solutions for industrial 3D applications. As planned, the lab will conduct photopolymer materials testing for application development. Some target markets include industrial manufacturing, electrical and electronic, consumer goods, medical care and other sectors.

“Evonik is committed to driving industrial-scale 3D printing as manufacturing technology across the entire value chain through ready-to-use material formulations.” said Toni Schreibweiss, Vice President and General Manager for High-Performance Polymers Asia Pacific at Evonik, “The close collaboration between material and machine manufacturers is essential to open up new 3D printing applications. With the joint lab, Evonik expects an accelerated market access for new photopolymer products, especially in the very fast-growing Chinese market. We will bring our expertise in materials development and come up with innovative and diverse solutions for customers in a faster and more efficient way.

Related: Expansions: Victrex to upgrade tech centre in China with a focus on 3D printing; Beck Automation opens new production site in Portugal

Founded in 2000, UnionTech is the market leader in Asia for ultra-large size industrial printers. The company develops and manufactures printers, supplies printing materials through subsidiaries and offers additive manufacturing as a service provider. “We envision the future of 3D printing technology as a shift from ‘prototyping' to ‘industrial-scale production,” where material innovation plays a crucial role. The establishment of the joint lab is expected to reinforce the partnership between the two companies. We plan to explore open innovation models, so as to better serve customers and contribute to the development of the industry.” said Jason Ma, CEO of UnionTech.

Photopolymer is a common 3D printing material featuring superior mechanical performance, high precision, and fast printing speed. With this material, the production of very complex workpieces is possible, which have a much smoother structure than with other 3D materials. Typical markets include automotive and aircraft manufacturers as well as industrial parts or special shoes. It therefore has a broad prospect for development.

Evonik recently launched a new product line of photopolymer for industrial 3D printing applications. The first three ready-to-use formulations of the family are all single-component systems and possess excellent mechanical properties such as stable printing performance and good aging resistance. It thus makes them ideal material solutions for industrial-scale production using stereolithography-based 3D printers, it adds.


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