With the application of rubber and plastic more and more widely, rubber and plastic machinery is becoming more and more intelligent.
In response to the advent of smart manufacturing and the rise of global environmental protection awareness, machinery manufacturers are actively introducing and moving towards Industry 4.0, and each leading manufacturer is developing a unique smart manufacturing system. Rubber machinery and equipment manufacturers should make every effort to move towards intelligence, automation, and high precision. Only by developing in the direction of customization and customization can we have stronger international competitiveness.
Overview of the Global and European Rubber and Plastic Industry
In 2018, the global plastics market reached approximately US$540 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4%. It is estimated that the market will reach US$721.1 billion in 2025. The growth momentum comes from the fact that many auto parts have been changed from metal materials to lightweight plastic designs. At the same time, it can reduce the weight of the car body, and can increase the efficiency of fuel use, and achieve the purpose of saving fuel. In addition, other industries, including packaging, medical, and other consumer goods, also use plastics instead of metals due to the advantages of plastics such as cost, lightweight, and antibacterial. Therefore, the demand for plastic products has risen, and the output and market size has also increased.
In terms of tonnage, the global output of plastic products in 2018 was about 359 million tons, an increase of about 3.2% compared to 2017, indicating that the demand for plastic products in packaging, construction, automotive, medical and other application fields is on the rise. Among them, the packaging industry accounts for the highest proportion (about 40%), followed by the construction industry (20%), consumer goods for people's livelihood (15%), and the automobile industry (8%).
As far as the EU alone is concerned, the output of plastic products in 2018 fell by about 4%, from 64.4 million tons in 2017 to 61.8 million tons in 2018. At the same time, 29.1 million tons of plastic waste were collected. Since 2006, it has increased by nearly 20%, and 32.5% of collected waste has been completely recycled, 42.6% has been incinerated for power generation, and the last 24.9% has been recycled. In addition, the recycling rate is increasing year by year, and landfill waste is decreasing year by year. It can be seen that the plastic reduction policy in the EU region has led to a decline in plastic production, and the public's awareness of environmental protection and recycling has led to significant growth in waste treatment and recycling in the EU region.
The plastic industry is one of the important manufacturing industries in Europe. There are nearly 60,000 plastic manufacturers in Europe, most of which are small and medium-sized enterprises, employing more than 1.6 million employees. The overall market size is 360 billion euros, creating a trade surplus of 15 billion euros in 2018, and its 2018 plastic product output is about 17% of the global output (359 million tons). Making it the third-largest plastic product production area in the world the second largest region is the North America Free Trade Area (NAFTA), and Asia is the world's largest producer of plastic products. Accounting for 51% of global production, about 183 million tons, of which the product comes from China (accounting for 30%), Japan (accounting for 4%), and the rest of Asia (accounting for 17%). Compared with 2017, it can be found that the production of plastics in the Asian region has gradually increased, but plastic production in the EU has a tendency to decrease.
Overview of the Global Rubber and Plastic Machinery and Taiwan Rubber and Plastic Machinery Export
In 2018, the total global export volume of rubber and plastic machinery was about 33.5 billion US dollars, a decrease of 0.2% compared with the same period in 2017. There was no significant increase or decrease, and it remained at a certain level. The top 10 exporters were Germany, China, Japan, and Italy. The United States, Taiwan, France, Austria, South Korea, and the Netherlands accounted for about 20.0%, 13.0%, 8.0%, 7.4, 5.0%, 3.4%, 3.0%, 2.7%, 2.2%, and 1.4% of the total export value respectively, while the top 7 large exporting countries account for nearly 60% of global exports, with an export value of nearly 20 billion.
Germany is the world's largest exporter of machinery, with an export value of approximately US$6.44 billion, accounting for nearly 82% of the EU's export value of rubber and plastic machinery, and the export of rubber and plastic machinery is growing steadily every year. Among the top 10 exporting countries in 2018, only Austria's exports declined, and the rest all grew or remained flat. The demand for plastic products has grown, and it has driven the demand for machinery and equipment. Taiwan is the sixth largest exporter of rubber and plastic machinery in the world. In 2018, the export value reached US$1.15 billion, which was the same as the export value of the previous year. The exporting countries were China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Thailand according to the export value. The top three major exports of Taiwan's rubber machinery are injection molding machines, with an export value of about 250 million US dollars. Accounting for about 22% of the total export value, followed by extruders, with an export value of 140 million US dollars, accounting for about 12% of the total export value. Followed by hollow molding machines, amounting to 93 million US dollars, accounting for about 8.0% of the export value.
In 2018, the global import value of rubber and plastic machinery was about 25.5 billion U.S. dollars, of which the United States, China, and the European Union were the top three importers, and the import value reached 3.4 billion, 3.38 billion U.S. dollars and 1.9 billion U.S. dollars respectively. Compared with the previous year, the import value They have increased by 0.45%, 14.4%, and 12.2% respectively. It can be seen that the demand for rubber and plastic equipment in China and Europe is also rising. As far as the EU is concerned, Taiwan is the fifth largest source of equipment imports in the EU. Although in 2018 The import volume was only 88 million US dollars, it did grow by 46% compared with the previous year, and the market share has gradually increased from 3.5% in 2017 to 4.6%. It can be seen that with the development of Taiwan's smart rubber and plastic machinery, as well as peripheral automation facilities the equipment can provide the demand for the whole plant output of machinery and equipment in Europe. In terms of German imports alone, in 2018, Germany’s import value was 1.63 billion, which was about 86% of the overall EU import value. Due to geographical relations, Germany’s equipment importers came from Europe, and the top 5 importers were Austria, Italy, Slovakia, China, and the United States, and the top five importing countries accounted for about 60% of the total amount.
Overview and Development Trend of the Global and German Rubber and Plastic Machinery Industry
With the increasing demand and output of global rubber and plastic products, the output value of global rubber and plastic machinery is increasing year by year. In 2018, the output value of plastic machinery reached about 36.8 billion euros, an increase of nearly 12% compared with 2017. Among them, the top three production regions are the European Union, China, and the United States, accounting for 42.3%, 31.1%, and 7.1% of the global output value respectively. The European region is led by Germany, with an output value of 21.5% of the global total, while China is both Asia and the world's output value champion, with an output value of more than 11.4 billion euros. Although in recent years, Germany has fallen behind China, which accounts for more than 30% of the world's output value, ranking second. In terms of export value, Germany still has a large lead over China. Germany has a strong performance in the export market with high-priced models. In contrast, although China's export volume is high, its sales are still dominated by low-price products.
Germany has always been famous for producing and exporting precision machinery and equipment, and it is the same in the field of rubber and plastic machinery. The output value of rubber and plastic machinery has grown with the global demand for rubber and plastic machinery, and it is the export value of rubber and plastic machinery has been maintained for many years. The number one country has a steady increase in exports every year. In 2018, the output value of German rubber and plastic machinery reached 7.9 billion euros, growing for three consecutive years. Since the start of Sino-US trade in the second half of 2018, the global machinery industry has been sluggish, and new purchases of equipment by enterprises are suspended for now. The European Parliament has officially passed the long-discussed plastic ban bill. Disposable plastic products, including straws, tableware, cotton swabs, etc., will be completely banned in EU countries in 2021. The passage of this bill has also driven countries in recent years. Plastic reduction measures and environmental protection campaigns have been gradually promoted. Under the atmosphere of the plastic ban issue in Europe and the rising awareness of global environmental protection, the demand for plastic products continues to grow. The implementation of a circular economy, including the performance upgrade of mechanical equipment, the use of recycling equipment, and the application of recycled raw materials are all industrial development trends.
Smart Rubber and Plastic Machinery for Industry 4.0
The development of smart machinery has always been the development trend of various types of machinery and equipment in recent years. Smart machines with a human-machine interface and the ability to collect production data and adjust production conditions by themselves are common, and the data collected by production is provided in each production. To achieve the most suitable production conditions and stable product quality, and through remote control, management monitoring, or predictive maintenance. To solve customer manufacturing defects, improve the equipment utilization rate and improve defect rate, or meet customer needs at any time adapt production processes to the rapidly changing consumer market. Today, rubber and plastic smart machinery includes automatic monitoring of the flow rate, pressure, and flow rate of plastic raw materials during injection during the production process, and automatically corrects to the optimum production conditions to achieve stable product quality. In addition, it also integrates equipment through its smart service software. The data from the upper sensor makes production management more visualized to achieve rapid response to production errors, prevent maintenance downtime, and even predict maintenance frequency to increase the utilization rate of mechanical equipment. From the smart stand-alone machine, smart production unit, smart manufacturing, and smart service. By collecting parameters such as viscosity, temperature, and pressure during production and uploading them to the cloud, it can remotely control and troubleshoot for customers at any time, and provide production condition parameters for reference.
System Integration Unit of Smart Manufacturing
Continuing the development of smart machinery, continue to expand peripheral automation equipment, including automatic feeding, automatic robotic arm gripping, automatic mold change system, automatic transmission, packaging, and storage. Through system integration, it becomes a smart production unit and achieves a smart chemical factory for smart manufacturing. In terms of electronic products, small audio products are currently produced, and the automatic assembly, transmission, and delivery of each component from injection to the product are all completed in one work cell. In terms of optical products and medical supplies, the all-electric injection equipment is emphasized to be clean energy-saving features. The concept of an intelligent production unit can integrate several automation equipment and stand-alone intelligent machinery to complete production.
Recycling Concept of Circular Economy
Sustainable development and recycling of circular economy are still the core concepts of rubber, plastics, and manufacturing in the future. Mass-produced packaging plastic products or containers have a product life of less than one year, and even a few days will become plastic waste. Therefore, to reduce the generation of waste or allow the product itself to be naturally degraded or recycled, circular economy products The design method emerges spontaneously.
Plastic raw materials can generally be divided into three types, petrochemical raw materials extracted from petroleum, biodegradable biomass raw materials, and recycled raw materials from recycled plastic waste. At present, except for the relative unpopularity of biomass raw materials, the two are generally used in combination according to different proportions to achieve the purpose of reducing costs. Biomass raw materials, which emphasize biodegradability, are currently being used and gradually popularized. Although it is biodegradable, the most efficient recycling method is industrial composting, which can be decomposed within half a year, but if it is thrown away randomly. PLA does not have perfect material properties. It is only widely used because of its production cost, which is lower than other biomass materials, but its cost is already 2-3 of petrochemical raw materials. No matter what kind of plastic raw materials are made of plastic products, they must be properly classified and collected to be recycled more efficiently.
After the raw material enters the plastic equipment, it will become a semi-finished plastic product or a terminal plastic product. At this time, manufacturing efficiency can be achieved by so-called smart machinery. Because of the collection and analysis of production data, the most suitable production conditions can be generated, regardless of energy, raw materials, and defective products. The production can be effectively controlled and managed so that the use of raw materials is more efficient, and the scraps or defective products in the production process can also be recycled and granulated through plastic recycling equipment, converted into recycled raw materials, and recycled raw material end.
After the plastic semi-finished products are processed and assembled or the end products enter the consumer market, they are used in packaging, construction, automobile, medical and other fields. At this time, the product cycle is different from the design and application of plastic products, which is less than one year. It can be as long as 50 years. At this time, it is necessary to rely on the living habits of the people and the government's policy of promoting classification and recycling, and rely on maintenance and reuse to extend the product service cycle, but it will eventually end up in plastic waste. Proper classification and effective collection are the cornerstones of plastic waste recycling. Only plastic waste that has been sorted and collected has the opportunity to be recycled. The waste can be directly recycled after sorting, cleaning, crushing, and drying through plastic recycling equipment. Granulation or re-granulation after modification, can be used again to produce plastic products. Although the secondary raw materials of re-granulation, the mechanical properties, including tensile strength and impact properties, are lower than those of the original petrochemical raw materials, and the appearance quality It is not as good as before, the color is yellowish, but according to the application of plastic products, mixing with petrochemical raw materials in different proportions can reduce production costs and reduce the use of new raw materials continue the cycle.