Economic analysts are pointing to the recession drawing to a close in Europe driven by fiscal and monetary stimuli together with relatively resilient growth in Asia and Latin America. However, having survived the recession thus far, plenty of challenges still lie ahead for the masterbatch industry. While companies have been looking to drive down costs and streamline operations during the downturn, the industry must also look to investment in new innovations and markets if it is to achieve a healthy future. Without that long-term vision, new business will be grabbed by other players or technologies as the economy recovers. Andrew Reynolds, Research Director at Applied Market Information has concluded a survey of customers of the masterbatch industry and will be presenting the results at the international conference, from 8-10 June 2010 at Cologne, Germany. Reynolds will describe the trends and developments in consumer manufacturing and the opportunities these offer for the masterbatch industry going forward.
Lego System is an end user of masterbatch in mass production and the Director of Polymer Technology will talk about the challenges. Dragon Rouge will outline changes in society and how this will drive future design trends.
Leading pigment producers will describe how to take advantage of new colour trends and effects for branded products. Eckart has new effect pigment preparations to drive efficiency in masterbatch production. In terms of carbon black, Columbian Chemicals is looking at the latest issues with PAHs and regulations. Merck will be describing functional pigments. The BASF speaker will focus on the packaging market, covering additive and pigment combinations as well as sustainability. Rockwell Pigments has an eco friendly bright orange product. Konica Minolta Sensing provides technology for colour management.
Additives are also highlighted at the conference including new developments from Chemtura. Pigment initiated nucleation and warpage of polypropylene can be overcome with nucleating agents from Milliken. In terms of UV resistance, Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) will describe additives for agricultural films. DuPont de Nemours will talk about non-migrating antistatic additives. BASF will examine heat stabilisation. Equipment suppliers will talk about optimising performance and cutting costs. Leistritz Extrusionstechnik has tested the dispersion and mixing characteristics of high volume and high torque twin screw extruders, while Farrel has looked at continuous batch mixing technologies for black/white masterbatch. Pelletising is covered by Automatik Plastics Machinery. Now is a critical time for the industry to meet at Masterbatch 2010 to exchange views and make sure that company strategy is in place to take full advantage of the improvements in the economy.