The coronavirus pandemic appears to have not slowed down the roll out of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, and high-end polymers continue to play a key role in building out the infrastructure needed to realize the benefits of these ultrafast data networks.
Ericsson, one of the world’s biggest provider of telecom equipment, just issued a new report, revising upward yet again their estimates for the number of 5G mobile phone subscriptions around the world by the end of 2020 to 218 million. This is a sharp increase from their forecast of 190 million this past June, which itself was an increase from an earlier estimate. The Swedish networking giant, whose equipment goes into a lot of the hardware needed for 5G, predicts that this super-fast technology will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026.
Additionally, the Consumer Technology Association’s “U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast” predicts that 5G-enabled smartphones will contribute $43.8 billion in revenues in 2021, up 296% from this year. CTA’s research further suggests that U.S. shipments of 5G-smartphones will hit 65 million units by the end of 2021, and reach 173 billion by 2024.
Even so, most agree that 5G technology will impact our lives and many industries well beyond mobile telecommunications. It will help to enable safer autonomous driving, advance augmented reality, facilitate factory automation, enhance tele-medicine, and revolutionize the entertainment industry by, for example, allowing users to download high-definition movies in seconds.
Materials suppliers are working diligently to develop the resins and compounds needed to accommodate the high heat, durability and transparency specifications required in 5G-related printed circuit boards (PCBs) and base stations. Here are just a few recent developments:
Clariant says its phosphorus-based flame retardants from the Exolit® OP and Exolit EP lines have all the right characteristics for supporting the necessary properties in high-speed, high-frequency PCBs and making the 5G standard a reality. Available both as liquid processable product (Exolit EP) and very fine powders (Exolit OP), their high content of phosphorus, which can also be synergized with other flame retardants, gives them high efficiency at low doses. With their high thermal stability, they are suitable for lead-free assembly and packaging of electronics, and able to “stand the heat” when 5G transmission runs hot.
Kaneka Corp. has developed Pixeo™ IB, a super heat-resistant polyimide film for high-speed, high frequency 5G. Pixeo™ IB reduces the dielectric loss tangent in high frequencies down to 0.0025, the global best level for polyimide film. This makes possible the handling of 5G millimeter wave zones, which can realize high-speed communications.
Toray Industries Inc. has created a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film that maintains the polymer’s dielectric characteristics, flame retardancy and chemical robustness while remaining thermally resistant at 40°C. The Tokyo-based firm says the new film resists deformation and is dimensionally stable near its melting point. In flexible printed circuits for 5G applications, the film is said to cut transmission losses of communication devices at high frequencies and stabilizes high-speed communication across temperature and humidity spectrums.
Dow Inc. recently introduced a one-part, thermally conductive gel developed to dissipate high amounts of heat away from sensitive electronic components. DOWSIL™ TC-3065 Thermal Gel easily fills gaps due to its excellent wetting ability and can replace fabricated elastomeric thermal pads that may fail to protect electronics from the high heat associated with 5G’s greater power densities.
SABIC says it plans to boost global production capacity for its specialty Noryl SA9000 polyphenylene ether (PPE) resin used in high-performance printed circuit boards that require copper-clad laminates (CCLs) used in 5G base stations. This latest expansion, which builds on 2019 increases, will nearly double regional production in Asia and increase overall Noryl SA9000 resin production in Asia tenfold vs. 2018 levels. The expansion project is currently under way in India, with completion expected by year’s end, the Saudi company says.
Meantime, SABIC also says its portfolio includes other specialized materials for 5G base stations, terminals and mobile devices, including LNP™ compounds and copolymers, Ultem™ resin, and NORYL™ resins and oligomers. These materials are said to address major industry challenges such as improving heat management and radio frequency (RF) performance, reducing weight, and cost and raising production yields.
So, as the 5G revolution gets into full swing, rest assured that plastics suppliers are at the forefront, helping to make it happen.
150,000+ Visitors Joined the Journey of Innovative Plastics & Rubber Tech
On April 16, Chinplas 2021, the first post-pandemic international trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries, has come to an end in the Greater Bay Area. It was the first time that Chinplas was held at Shenzhen, PR China, and the result was remarkable! With an exhibition area of over 350,000sqm, Chinplas 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., organizer of Chinplas.
“China’s economy continuous to see a robust recovery, with the first quarter’s GDP increased by 18.3% 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, Chinplas achieved success through the unlimited potential of China’s domestic market and the increased demand for high quality innovation technology.”
“Compared with the Guangzhou edition of Chinplastwo years ago, the number of local visitors has increased by 23.46%, exceeding our expectations. The drop in the number of overseas visitors was anticipated, and was sufficiently understood by most exhibitors.”
“To enable the participation of local and overseas buyers who couldn’t join Chinplas in person, we proudly presented live streaming broadcast which has attained nearly 1 million online views! We felt closely the passion of the exhibitors and visitors, the vitality of the plastics and rubber industries, and the enthusiasm of the industry practitioners.”
Assembled a huge amount of cutting-edge technologies
After two consecutive years of technology development and advancement, a significant number of innovative solutions were launched 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 Chinplas. 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 Chnplas. With regards to 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 molding factory and remote control enhancing the production automation production, etc..
Innovation never stops. Transformation has no limit. 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.
Outstanding results won praises from both exhibitors and visitors
Due to the pandemic, exhibitors and visitors reunited after two years since the last edition of Chinplas held in Guangzhou in 2019, making this “face-to-face” large-scale event even more precious for all participants. People in the industries learnt, explored, inspired and improved here. Visitors not merely broadened their horizons and refreshed their knowledge, but also discovered resources & technologies and expanded business network. Many exhibitors signed new orders with visitors at the fairground. Exhibitors and visitors are generally satisfied with Chinplas
Ms. Zhao Xuemei, Brand Manager, Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co., Ltd., “The Yizumi booth was immensely popular throughout the 4 show days. This surprised us a lot! We believe this fully demonstrated the strong industry influence and charisma of Chinplas. Even in difficult times, the organizer still adheres to their original motive for promoting the development of the industries, to provide exhibitors with a platform to present the latest technological achievements and to facilitate industry exchanges.”
Ms. Wang Huaqian from Nordmeccanica Machinery (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., “Despite reduction in the number of overseas visitors as compared to previous years due to the pandemic, local visitors came with clear targets and objectives. We have received just as many inquiries and orders at Chinplas as in previous years. Both the pre-show organization and the post-show results were very satisfactory.”
Ms. Eve Cai, China Marketing Manager of HP Indigo Digital Printing Division of China Hewlett-Packard Co., Ltd. said, “From online orders to workflow automation, from environmentally friendly materials to successful business model demonstrations to customers, HP Indigo and our partners together with some successful customers have showcased end-to-end solutions for digital flexible packaging. Meanwhile, we also connected to the Singapore demonstration center for cloud-based equipment presentation. The sharing from HP Indigo customers and partners has attracted great attention from potential customers; seemingly received an endless flow of visitors.”
Ms. Jessica Chen, Marketing & Communications Director, Amcor (China) Holding Co., Ltd., “Not only a large number of upstream suppliers like us, but also a great amount of active participations from the downstream brand owners and their teams have participated in Chinplas. As far as for Amcor, Chinplas is not merely a good opportunity to showcase products, but also an excellent platform to enhance upstream and downstream communications in the flexible plastic packaging industry. From the total numbers of visitors and exhibitors, we can recognize that China’s economy remains strong in the post-pandemic era, serving as a ‘booster’ for many multinational companies to continue exploring business opportunities in China and invest into the Chinese market.”
Mr. Reus Wang, Marketing Manager of Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd., “Although number of overseas visitors has dropped sharply due to the pandemic, the quantity of local visitors has significantly increased and reached a record high. Material solutions are evolving and enhancing, advancements in the automotive lightweighting and degradable plastics fields are apparent! In addition to the promotion of environmental protection policies, how to thoroughly achieve ‘emission peak’ and ‘carbon neutrality’ are adequately worthy of our further exploration.”
Mr. Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director of Sales and Service, Arburg said, “The Chinplas trade fair was a great success for us. The number of visitors to our booth was consistently high! They came to us with specific projects and presented us with their task parameters, all are very interesting and with great future potential.”
Not only exhibitors showed their appreciation, visitors were also impressed by the fruitful trips.
Mr. Lin Conglong, Senior Engineer of Fuyao Group, “I bask in different achievements every time I visit Chinplas Chinplas 2021 makes me even more impressed. As an automotive manufacturing related company, I am able to find materials and equipment of the era at Chinplas, for instances, carbon fiber, continuous fiber, etc. which can achieve materials lightweight; environmentally friendly materials such as low VOCs materials, pray-free, two-platen machine and bi-colour machine, etc.. The understanding of existing technology and development trends allows our company to enhance independent research and development capabilities. Thanks to Chinplas for providing an accessible, efficient communication platform that leads everyone to shape the future together and catch up with our dreams.”
Mr. Wen Chunli, Equipment Department Manager of Shenzhen Chuangwei – RGB Electronics Co., Ltd., “We look for HIPS/PC/ABS and other raw materials, as well as injection molding machines, material-feeding machines, robotic arm, mold temperature machines, shredders, central feeding systems and other equipment. Steam-heated injection molding, gas-assisted injection molding, foam molding and water-aided injection molding are all at the forefront of the industries. Here at Chinplas, we can fully understand the market trends and products, which provide a good reference and guidance for our equipment selections.”
Fang Liuying, Vice General Manager, Southern Packaging Co., Ltd., “Chinplas 2021 totally demonstrated the technical strength of China’s intelligent manufacturing. Industry 4.0 digital production and 5G technology industrial applications enabled the realization of unmanned factories and remote control. Whereas, green and recycling closed-loop technology has become more and more mature, supporting the national environmental protection development. On the other hand, technological breakthroughs in the medical and health industry have created new growth points for the company. These technologies have refreshed us and opened up a new direction for the development of packaging companies!”
Mr. Zhang Baofeng, Vice President Assistant of China Lesso Group Holdings Ltd., “At Chinplas, we visited a lot of advanced injection molding machines, extruders and other equipment and materials, which will greatly improve our product quality and production efficiency.”
Mr. Emil Lau, Manager of Tooling & Technology Group of Philips Respironics Medical Products (SZ) Co., Ltd., “This visit is purely out of my expectation. I did not expect that there were so many exhibitors, especially with materials that we were interested in, e.g. liquid silicone molds, injection molding machines and feeding system. It is absolutely brilliant to be able to collect all of the relevant information at one go! Chinplas eally takes the lead in driving the development of the plastics and rubber industries!”
The official live streaming of CHINAPLAS also received plenty favorable comments from our visitors. Many online visitors reckoned that watching live streaming helped them understand industry trends & innovative application areas and obtained a wealth of new product information. The official live streaming platform has received nearly 1 million views from Pakistan, India, the United States, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries and regions. If you would like to review the interviews of big-name exhibitors, displays of cutting-edge technology exhibits and expert guided tours, you can simply click here or scan the QR code below to watch the live streaming..
CHINAPLAS moves to Shenzhen for April 2021 debut
The 34th edition of CHINAPLAS has been rescheduled to April 13-16, 2021, at a new venue –– Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center. This will be the first time for CHINAPLAS to be held in Shenzhen. The trade fair will alternate between Shenzhen (odd years) and Shanghai (even years) in the future, continuing to empower upstream and downstream plastics and rubber companies to uncover greater opportunities in the new phase of China’s economic development.
|CHINAPLAS online press conference|
Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., organizer of CHINAPLAS 2021, held a press conference at 20:00 (Beijing time) on June 23, leveraging online video conferencing tools for the first time to virtually communicate and interact with more than 100 Chinese and international media. During the press conference, Mr. Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale, Ms. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale, and Ms. Norris Chu, Project Director of Adsale, announced the latest updates about the trade show, shared word of emerging developments from a new starting point, and discussed post-pandemic opportunities in the plastics and rubber industries.
|100+ Chinese and international media joined the press conference|
Focus on Greater Bay Area’s geographic advantages
“Shenzhen combines China’s enormous market potential and its unique geographic advantages, and the upcoming CHINAPLAS will help to position the plastics and rubber industries to seize new growth opportunities,” Ada Leung said.
- Unparalleled advantages of domestic market – Impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a deep recession. Facing downward pressure from foreign trade, China’s State Council is redirecting the economic focus from export to a domestic-demand-driven model as the new normal. China’s 1.4-plus-billion population and 400-plus-million middle-income consumers represent the largest such grouping in the world, with consumption potential unmatched by any other economy. The expansion of China’s middle class has created tremendous potential for consumption upgrading. In recent years, some labor-intensive and low-end manufacturing work has shifted to other countries. The impact of COVID-19 is reshuffling the global economy and triggering major changes in manufacturing supply chains. China is repositioning itself in the global value chain and climbing toward the higher-end with high-tech products increasingly flowing from China to overseas markets, including such items as communications equipment, high-speed rail systems, and drones. Driven by research and innovation, industries continue to reform and upgrade, in turn increasing the demand for innovation and smart manufacturing in the plastics and rubber industries. In addition, China is actively responding to plastics pollution, accelerating green and sustainable development, and creating market demand for much-needed recycling and green technologies.
- Greater Bay Area, major upside for the industries – The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area is the largest bay area in the world, accounting for 0.6% of China’s land area, 5% of its population, and 12% of the national Gross Domestic Product. Its GDP is expected to reach 28.9 trillion RMB (about US$4.09 trillion) by 2030, ranking among the top 10 economies in the world. The “9+2” cities” are accelerating their coordinated development, building a vibrant world-class city cluster, and stimulating new economic momentum. The Greater Bay Area is not only an international center of scientific and technological innovation, but also the most concentrated region for plastics processing in China. Plastic products output within the nine cities reached 11.17 million metric tons in 2019, representing more than 13.6% of the national total (second only to Zhejiang Province) or 83.4% of Guangdong Province’s total output. The region’s huge market, together with its abundant resources and strong innovation, will help to further advance the plastics and rubber industries.
- Shenzhen at full throttle – Shenzhen was made a Pilot Demonstration Area in 2019, as well as being one of the core engines of the Greater Bay Area. In 2018, the total industrial added-value of the Greater Bay Area reached 2.82 trillion RMB (about US$399 billion), of which Shenzhen accounted for the lion’s share of 32.3%. “Technology + Innovation” is Shenzhen’s business profile, with more than 3 million companies located there, including Huawei, ZTE, Tencent, DJI, BYD, TCL and other industrial leaders. In 2018, Guangdong Province invested 270.47 billion RMB (US$38.3 billion) into R&D funding – the highest in China – and Shenzhen was the leading city within Guangdong.
Embrace post-pandemic opportunities
Over the years, China’s plastics and rubber industries have laid a solid foundation and built strong resilience and continuity into the economy. Combined with continually emerging new trends and opportunities, all signs currently point to a positive outlook. In the first quarter, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, business shutdowns, the Chinese New Year off-season and other factors, China’s plastic products output dropped 22.9% from the same year-ago period. Production resumed in April in an orderly way, and industries’ supply chains gradually returned to normal operations. In April, the year-on-year decline in the total output of plastic products narrowed, achieving a recovery of 8.6% from the previous month. In the battle against the pandemic, plastics played a key role in the production and supply of vital healthcare materials, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and medical facility construction.
The pandemic also fueled the rapid growth in demand for take-away service, fresh meal delivery, express delivery, convenience foods, household electronic product, medical supplies and fitness equipment. The post-pandemic era is seeing the acceleration of next-generation 5G wireless technology, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, high-end medical products, antibacterial and antimicrobial surfaces for use in everything from cars to appliances, and more. Demand is expected to remain strong for new materials and technology, including those for key medical applications, safe and protective packaging, and digital production –– as well as for recycled and recyclable materials.
5G is the frontrunner when it comes to the “new infrastructure”. CHINAPLAS 2021’s new rotation to Shenzhen has the unique advantage to help companies in the plastics and rubber industries to seize opportunities in this fast-growing infrastructure space. Shenzhen is actively building a world-class 5G industrial cluster, and is home to a complete 5G industry chain of globally competitive enterprises such as Huawei, ZTE, and more. The resources related to this concentrated cluster are helping to accelerate 5G application development. As a high-tech, high-quality and high-value trading and technology platform that caters to the latest market trends, CHINAPLAS 2021 will enable industry players to respond swiftly to market needs and stay ahead of the curve in a dynamic environment.
Debut in the Greater Bay Area
“In addition to the favorable outlook of the Greater Bay Area, CHINAPLAS’ decision to move to Shenzhen also takes into account the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, an ideal venue for a world-class trade show,” notes Norris Chu. “We’ve been doing a field assessment and multi-party evaluation since the center launched in September 2019. Its 400,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space can alleviate the constraint of booth area we experienced in Guangzhou and support CHINAPLAS’ long-term growth. All of the 19 exhibition halls feature column-free structures and are located on the first floor, very suitable for displaying large-scale machines, and easy for visitors to navigate. The advanced hardware features and supporting services will provide exhibitors and visitors a very convenient and refreshing experience.”
|The fairground is situated at the heart of the Greater Bay Area.|
The Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is situated at the heart of the Greater Bay Area. It is located in the center of the city cluster and close to the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, well-connected to the Hong Kong International Airport. Sea, land and air transportation are readily available in all directions and routes, and the industrial cities in the Pearl River Delta are closely linked. It is particularly worth noting that this is the world’s first exhibition center with full 5G coverage. Chinese and international exhibitors and visitors will be able to experience eye-opening intelligent and innovative services, such as dining, navigation, parking, and so on.
“CHINAPLAS+” Online + Offline New Trade Services Experience
In addition to a new fairground experience, CHINAPLAS 2021 will also leverage an “online + offline” strategy to unlock new trade services experience. As advanced deployment of digital technology is a trend embraced by all industries, CHINAPLAS is also accelerating the integration of online and offline show experiences. The organizer is pleased to be launching “CHINAPLAS+”. For online experiences, CHINAPLAS has successfully held nine webinars on hot topics during the pandemic, building a cloud communication bridge for industry players. The organizer soon will be introducing an online business matching service, extending the value of matching demand and supply online; during the show, the organizer will partner with Chinese and international media to provide live streaming of the trade show and facilitate online interaction. For offline experiences, the organizer will host new technical seminars and publish materials such as “FEATURE: RESUMING PRODUCTION” prior to the show, whereas international forums on industry trends, Tech Talk, thematic events on hot topics will be organized during the show to create a seamless integration between online and offline activities and transform a four-day exhibition to a 365-day, non-stop communication platform.
Dig deep into the new potential of the Asian market
While based in China, CHINAPLAS, the International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, has a strong influence throughout Asia. In 2019, the show attracted 163,000+ visitors, 22.8% from overseas – of which 70% were Asian visitors. Asia is the world’s most dynamic region with unique advantages. It accounts for more than half of the world’s population, features an ever-expanding middle class, continually upgrading consumption and technically advancing industries, and growing demands for plastics materials and machinery. The exhibition will continue to deepen its focus on the Asian market through multi-faceted promotion to fully tap the unlimited potential of the market.
With “New Era· New Potential· Innovation for Sustainability” as the new theme and slogan, CHINAPLAS 2021 will take over the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, from April 13-16 next year, with more than 3,600 global exhibitors occupying a world-class exhibition area of 300,000 sqm. We hope you can join us, along with visitors from different enduser markets of plastics and rubber industries from around the globe, to explore the countless materials innovations and technology developments in this exciting new location and venue.
See you in Shenzhen next year!
 The “9+2” cities refer to the 9 cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing; and 2 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macao.
Radici Group and Atalanta, together for Bergamo
Radici Group and Atalanta take it to the pitch, but this time it is a match for solidarity. The two Bergamo-based companies have decided to support the temporary field hospital that the Associazione Nazionale Alpini (National Association of Italian Alpine Soldiers) is building in the premises of Bergamo trade fair, with the aim of responding to the Coronavirus emergency.
Specifically, RadiciGroup and Atalanta will contribute by purchasing all the necessary tools for oxygen supply destined to 200 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.
“We have decided to take part in this project – RadiciGroup and Atalanta announced in a joint statement – because it embodies the ‘made in Bergamo’ spirit at its best. The Alpine soldiers (famous for their hard work), are one of the symbols of the Bergamo province, which traditionally values work. It is an initiative that comes from this territory destined to this territory, and for this reason we proudly want to be part of it”.
Once again this project is coordinated by the Accademia del Tennis per la Solidarietà (the Academy of Sports for Solidarity). This charity association has already provided the Hospital “Bolognini” of Seriate, near Bergamo, with a mobile HR-CT with the support of fifteen local companies, among which RadiciGroup and Atalanta.
This HR-CT is essential for diagnostic in-depth analyses for patients showing breathing problems related to the Covid-19. In this way, the new temporary field hospital will take some pressure away from the hospitals of Bergamo currently overwhelmed.
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