Malaysian exhibitors made a positive assessment of their participation at K 2016 in Düsseldorf. After 8 busy days with a total of 230,000 visitors, the world’s leading trade fair for plastic and rubber closed on Wednesday.
14 companies showcased their products and services at the Malaysian pavilion which was organised by MATRADE, the countries’ official agency for the promotion of trade exports. “Our exhibitors gave us an excellent feedback and reported numerous deals being concluded with customers from all over the world”, MATRADE’s Germany Assistant Trade Commissioner. Among the products offered were resins, foils, rubber metal compounds and plastic injection compounds.
Many of the exhibiting companies have been regular participants at the k-fair over the past years. “The K fair is the Olympics of plastic exhibitions, providing the best perspective of plastic innovation”, says Mr Kian, the founder of Heng Hiap Industries. Under the new brand name “Plashaus”, the company which is located in the Malaysian state of Johor offers raw material for the production of plastic items. “Our resins are 30% better and stronger than the prime material”, Mr Kian assures. Plashaus allows colour and properties customisation resulting in unique features such as anti-bacterial surfaces or fire retardant effect. Up to 70% of the companies’ output goes into export. Currently, they have some 20 customers in Europe, most of them from the Netherlands and many from Germany as well. According to Mr Kian, during K fair they were able to identify excellent new potential customers. “On seven out of eight days, our expectations were met or exceeded, providing us with very good quality leads.” The good experience the company made at the K fair affirmed their decision to continue showcasing their products at exhibitions around the globe, such as the Arabplas in Dubai in January or the Plastasia in New Delhi coming July.
KSK from Penang is another regular exhibitor under MATRADE’s patronage. The company is a good example of how Malaysian companies respond to changing market conditions. KSK has been producing and selling natural rubber since 1999. But with the world market prices for rubber constantly decreasing they had to find a way to add value to their product to absorb the reduced margins. Their solution is “Easy Mo”, a new rubber compound for producing shoe soles. “Shoe manufacturers can use our compound to build their soles without needing to add extra chemicals or oils. This saves them up to 8 production steps”, marketing director Vivian Lee explains. “Also, this prevents them from having to throw away natural rubber that proves inappropriate for their formula.” Another positive side effect of Easy Mo is its long durability while still in raw state. “You can store it up to one year before processing in comparison to other semi-finished rubber which lasts for only 3 days.” So far, KSK got very positive responds for their latest innovation from shoe producers and associations from Hong Kong and Portugal. With this tailwind achieved at K 2016, they plan to start production on a bigger scale in 2017.
It is no coincidence that natural rubber is one of the backbones of the Malaysian plastic industry sector. The South East Asian country is the third largest producer of natural rubber worldwide behind Thailand and Indonesia. Over the years, the Malaysian plastics industry has transformed from being manufacturers of low-end consumer products for import-substitutions, into manufacturers for high-end industrial applications and for the export-oriented sector. Today, the countries’ plastics industry is one of Malaysia’s key sectors. It registered a total sales turnover of RM 24.77bn in 2015 with exports rising to RM12.96bn in 2015 compared to RM11.94bn in 2014—hence, an increase of 8,5%. The packaging sub-sector is by far the largest accounting for 45% of total plastic consumption, followed by electronics (26%), automotive (10%) and the construction industry (8%). The main manufacturing processes involved in the plastics industry are injection moulding, pipes and profiles extrusion and foam moulding.
One of Malaysia’s key competitive edges is its capability to make use of high quality materials in combination with advanced technology and skills. This is especially relevant in the packaging sector as a reduction in weight will translate into lower production/transport costs and a lower carbon footprint. At K fair, Malaysian exhibitors like Adtech, Respack Manufacturing or Thong Guan Plastic & Paper showed protection films for industrial use, PE bags and high-end machine rolls for fully automatic applications. Apart from producing finished or semi-finished products, Malaysian manufacturers also offer their expertise in R&D. Adtech, for example, maintains an in-house laboratory for designing and customising any grade of film that suits the customers’ needs.