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50 Years On, On By Sam Angove Abstract In 1960 The Institution of the Rubber Industry (Malaya Section), the predecessor

of the Plastics and Rubber Institute Malaysia (PRIM), was formed and this conference marks its f iftieth anniversary. This paper is aimed at tracing the history of the PRIM, the Malaysi an (formerly Malayan) and the global rubber and plastics industries since then and a glance a t what the next 50 years might bring. At that time the Rubber Research Institute of Malaya was the largest research in stitute worldwide devoted to a single crop. Synthetic rubber (SR) production and consump tion globally had just overtaken natural rubber (NR) and represented 53 percent of the total c onsumption of 4.4 million metric tons. In 2010 the world consumption of rubber is estimated to be 22 million metric tons with NR being 43 percent of the total. Malaya was the largest producer of natural rubber, a position it held until 1992 . Today Malaysia is the top global producer of latex dipped goods and has a substantial rubber pr oducts industry sector including tyres and sophisticated products contributing significant expor ts. The Malaysian plastics sector really began in the thirties with small fabricator s. The first polymer producer was a small polyvinylchloride (PVC) plant. Currently the capaci ties for monomers such as ethylene, propylene and vinyl chloride total three million metr ic tons per year. Capacities for plastic resins are over two million metric tons per annum a nd include resins such as polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride, and engineering thermoplastics. Introduction Fifty years ago the Institution of the Rubber Industry (Malaya Section) the fore runner of the PRIM was founded. This paper explores what has happened since then globally, in Malaysia, and in the rubber and plastics industries. The words On, On have also have a signi ficant meaning as they are the clarion call of the Hash House Harriers, a social runnin g club, which was founded in Malaya in the nineteen thirties. The Hash has regular runs, every Monday in Kuala Lumpur, which are paper chases where a hare lays a paper trail, with false trails, and when the Joint-Masters find the proper trail they urge the runners (hounds) to f ollow them by shouting On, On . Fifty years back, at the finish of the run the hare used to provi de beer at his

expense. The Kuala Lumpur branch is today affectionately known as the Mother Has h as the Hash is now a global institution. The author of this paper has the privilege of being honoured by both these organizations, and as a former Joint-Master of the Mother Hash he has a Selangor pewter beer mug to prove it. The name 'Hash House' was the derogatory nickname given to the original Selangor Club (figure 1) by the British Civil Servants and businessmen who lived and dined there for i ts monotonous food. The club was then located close to and behind the present Selangor Club an d was demolished in 1964.

Figure 1: The Original Hash House (Kuala Lumpur) Circa 1938 In the year 1960 the Federation of Malaya was the number one natural rubber prod ucer whereas fifty years before South America, particularly Brazil, was the major producer. T oday, Malaysia is most probably ranked the third equal producer with a declining production. No w, Malaysia is the world s premier latex dipped goods manufacturer and has significant tyre, tech nical and general rubber goods sectors. In 1960 the rubber products industry was in its in fancy and dominated by tyre retreaders, small rubber goods and latex foam producers. Today the Malaysian plastics industry sector has some 1,500 fabricators producin g a wide variety of products and a plastic resin capacity of more than two million metric tons per annum. The 2010 consumption is estimated to be 1.8 million metric tons. Major Resin exp orts are Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polypropylene (PP). Certain sectors in the plast ics fabricator sector are globally competitive, namely stretch film, plastic bags and some inje ction mouldings for the electrical/electronics (E/E) sector. Fifty years ago the industry was in its infancy with a small number of fabricators and mainly used PVC and polystyrene. In September 1960 the Natural Rubber Research Conference which was devoted to gt he growing, production and use of natural rubber. Postage stamps were issued to com memorate this occasion (figure 2). There were some 300 delegates and founder members of t he PRIM gave papers including Per Neilsen, John Morris and Sam Angove. Figure 2: 1960 Federation of Malaya Postage Stamps

The Plastics and Rubber Institute of Malaysia (PRIM) Early in 1960 at a bungalow near the Sungei Buloh (now spelt Sungai Buloh) railw ay station a group of enthusiastic rubber men met and formed the Institution of the Rubber In dustry (Malaya Section). The founding members are shown in table 1. One of the major objectives was to run courses on rubber technology that still exist today, and is a major contribution by the Institute to the industry. In 1975 there was a merger of the Institution of the Rubber Industry and the Pla stics Institute in London which created The Plastics and Rubber Institute. Since that time the Mala ysian branch has been known as PRIM. In 1993 The Institute of Materials was founded in London through the merger of the Institute of Metals, the Institute of Ceramics and the Plastics an d Rubber Institute. Now this institute has become the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (I OM3). Hence since 1993 the PRIM has been an independent organization as it opted not to beco me part of the the Institute of Materials. Table 1: Institution of the Rubber Industry Malayan Section Founder Members (Partial List) Alan Ritchie Martin Collier Per Nielsen Sam Angove John Morris John Graham John Ramage Table 2 lists the presidents of the Institute since its inception. The longest s erving Presidents are Martin Collier, who was also a founding member and Dr Sekaran Nair, who both ser ved terms of nine years. The current president Chan Pak Kuen has served six years, making him the third longest serving president. He has also served as the honorary secretary and vice president (rubber). Table 2: Presidents Year(s) Name Company/Organization 1960-1969 Martin Collier Dunlop Malayan Plantations Research 1970-1971 John Morris Rubber Research Institute Malaysia 1972-1976 Peter Mitchell Linatex & Others 1977-1980 Yeo Ing King 1981-1990 Dr Sekaran Nair Rubber Research Institute Malaysia 1990-1993 Dr A Kadir Rubber Research Institute Malaysia 1993-1996 Sin Siew Weng Sin RubTech (previously RRIM) 1996-2000 Dr Abu Amu Rubber Research Institute Malaysia 2000-2004 Chan Pak Kuen Linatex

2004-2008 Prof Dr Nasir Universiti Industri Selangor, etc. 2008-2010 Chan Pak Kuen Linatex The list of presidents includes Peter Mitchell and Sin Siew Weng, who won the fi rst and second prizes worldwide in the first exam the Malayan section submitted candidates for the Licentiateship of The Institution of the Rubber Industry (LIRI) in London.

The honorary secretaries of the Institute are shown in table 3. The longest serv ing secretary was Dr Chan Boon Lye (11 years) who is closely followed by the current secretary Cha n Von Lian. The founding secretary Alan Ritchie has the distinction of having held the found ing meeting of the Institute at his house in Sungei Buloh. Table 3: Honorary Secretaries Year(s) Name 1960-1962 Alan Ritchie 1963 Sam Angove 1964-1965 John Morris 1966 Jock O Connel 1967 Tony Gorton 1968-1969 Sin Siew Weng 1970-1972 Hon Kok Kee 1973 Sin Siew Weng 1974 Leong KK 1975-1977 Lim Hun Soo 1978-1989 Dr Chan Boon Lye 1990 Dr Tung Joo Fai 1990-1992 Lim Hun Soo 1992-1993 Dr Abu Amu 1993-1995 Chan Pak Kuen 1995-2000 Dr Aris Ahmad 2000-2010 Chan Von Lian The honorary tTreasurers are named in table 4 and the current treasurer Or Tan T eng is the longest serving with a ten year tenure. The second longest serving treasurer was Albert Lim who served for 9 years. Table 4: Honorary Treasurers Year(s) Name 1960-1966 1966-1968 1968-1970 1971-1977 1978-1979 1980-1984 1984-1987 1987-1989 1989-1998 1998-2000 2000-2010 John Ramage John Molloy A L Ham Bien Hock Nien Ong Lay Mau Toh Chee Tiong (1983 Yap Kwang Tuck) Yap Kwang Tuck Dr Abdul Haris Hj. Hilmi Albert Lim Liw Wee Kun Lim Sum Teck Or Tan Teng

Originally there were not any vice chairmen/presidents as indicated in table , D r Md. Aris bin Ahmad has been the longest serving vice president (rubber) being in office over the last ten years. Fifty years on, the PRIM is celebrating the occasion by holding the Golden Jubil ee International Polymer Conference (GJIPC 21010) in which the author is honoured to present this

paper. Also the PRIM in partnership with the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association (MP MA) has launched its course for the Diploma in Plastics Technology which will start on 2 6 March 2010.

Table : 5 Vice Chairmen/Presidents Year(s) Vice Chairman Vice President VP Rubber VP Plastics 1983-1986 Dr Tee Tian Ting --19861990 -Dr Tee Tian Ting -19901991 -Wong Wai Suin -19911993 -Sin Siew Weng -19931995 -Dr Abu Amu -19951996 --Dr Abu Amu Dr TungJooFai 1996-2000 --Chan Pak Kuen Prof Dr Nasir 2000-2004 --Dr Aris bin Ahmad Prof Dr Nasir 2004-2006 --Dr Aris bin Ahmad Lee Eh Sin 2006-2010 --Dr Aris bin Ahmad Dr SimeonLow The World The world and Malaysian populations in 1960 and 50 years on are stated in table 6. Table 6: Global & Malaysia Population Year Global (billion) Malaysia (million) 1960 3.02 8.14 2010 7.0 28.5 2060 10.0 42.0 In the past 50 years the population of the world has more than doubled and the M alaysian population has more than tripled. On, On fifty years to 2060, is there a finite limit to the world population? The world in 1960 was experiencing the Cold War a confrontation between the Sovi et Union (USSR) and the Western nations allied with the United States of America which sp awned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Germany was split into two parts as w as Vietnam. The leaders of selected countries are shown in table 7. Table 7: Prominent World Leaders 1960 Country Name Position USA Dwight D. Eisenhower President UK Harold Macmillan Prime Minister Germany FDR Konrad Adenauer Chancellor Germany DDR Walter Ulbrich First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party France Charles de Gaulle President USSR Nikita Khrushchev First Secretary of the Communist Party Italy Fernando Tambroni Prime Minister of the Republic Amintore Fanfani China Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) Communist Party Leader Indonesia Sukarno President Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Shah North Vietman Ho Chi Min General Secretary of the Communist Party South Vietnam Nao Dinh Diem President

Table 8 shows the leaders today, 50 years on. The USSR has been dissolved, Germa ny and Vietnam are reunited. Today Korea is still divided as it was 50 years ago.

Table 8:Prominent World Leaders 2010 Country Name Position USA Barak Obama President UK Gordon Brown Prime Minister Germany Angela Merkel Chancellor France Nicolas Sarkozy President Russia Dmitriy Medvedev President Vladimi Putin Prime Minister Italy Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister China Hu Jintao President Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono President Iran Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad President Vietnam Nguyen Minh Triet President Most of the current leaders were unknown in 1960 and the leaders 50 years on, on in 2060 are impossible to predict. Malaya/Malaysia Table 9 describes some of the notable events that occurred in 1960. The Federati on of Malaya had 3 years of the nationhood after Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj, Prime Minister, d eclared independence on August 31 1957. Table 9: 1960 Malaya Notable Events Date Event 10 February Sultan Ismail was crowned Sultan of Johor 1 April The first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia Yang di Pertuan Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad died 14 April Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah became the second Yang di-Pertuan Agong 28 July The Chinese Hibiscus became the National Flower and was renamed Bunga Ra ya 31 July The second Yang di-Pertuan Agong declared the end to the State of Emergency in force since 1948. Victory parade held in Kuala Lumpur 1 September The second Yang di-Pertuan Agong died of a mysterious illness before his installation 21 September Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis was elected as the third Yang di-Pertua n Agong 26 September Natural Rubber Research Conference, Kuala Lumpur (5 days) 25 October The Royal Airforce officially handed over the Kuala Lumpur base to th e Royal Malayan Airforce Today Malaysia has developed and the state aims to be a fully developed country by 2020. The head of state the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidi of Terenga nnu. The Prime Minister is Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak, the son of Malaysia s second Prime Mi nister

Tun Abdul Razak.

Natural Rubber Natural rubber was first brought to the Malay peninsula in 1887 when eleven seed lings of hevea braziliensis were brought to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. These seedling s were from Kew Gardens, London and were grown from seeds collected in Brazil by Sir He nry Wickham with the objective to improve the flora of the Indian sub-continent whic h at that time was the crown jewel of the British Empire. By 1910 the first rubber plantation w as established. The first was the Tan Chay Yan Plantation which was set up in 1896 Malacca and c omprised 17 hectares. The plantation layout was established by Sir Nicolas Ridley, namely 12 0 trees per acre (300 per hectare) which is the guidelene still used today. Also he invented the half-spiral tapping method which is 30 degrees to the horizontal to cut the maximum number of latex vessels. Originally trees tapped in Brazil and Africa were slaughter-tapped The following testament is written on a memorial tablet at the Singapore Botanic Gardens: This is the original site where eleven seedlings of Para Rubber, Hevea Brasiliens is, were first successfully planted in 1877. These rubber trees gave rise to the birth of the P lantation Rubber Industry, first in Peninsular Malaya and subsequently throughout and the World Going back in time the world production of natural rubber in 1910 was 98 thousan d metric tons and the majority was produced in South America mainly Brazil (50 percent), and t he Congo (Belgian, French, Free State) in Africa (figure 3). Only 20 percent was produced in the Indian sub-continent and South-east Asia, namely Malaya, Indonesia and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The year marked the start of the decline of wild rubber production and the peak of t he African supply. Some ten thousand tons was Guayule rubber from Mexico. Less than ten per cent was plantation rubber. Figure 3: 1910 Natural Rubber Production Also, in 1910 Pickles (UK) suggested that natural rubber might consist of very l ong chains of isoprene units and Harries (UK) first prepared cyclized natural rubber. Fifty years on, in 1960 the global natural rubber production was 2.04 million me tric tons, some 21 times more than in 1910 (figure 4). More than 76 percent was produced in sout h-east Asia with Malaysia as the major producing country followed closely by Indonesia, and Thailand in

third place. African production was mainly from Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cam eroon, and Nigeria. South American production contributed a mere two percent of production. Figure 4: 1960 Natural Rubber Production Fifty years on, on , in 2010, NR production is estimated to be 10.5 million metric tons, only five times more than in 1960 but 105 times more than in 1910 (figure 5). South-e ast Asia (greater than 77 percent) is still the predominant producer, however the ranking s have changed. Malaysia lost the first place to Thailand in 1992 and now occupies the third equ al position with India. Indonesia is in second place with Vietnam fifth, China sixth and Africa s eventh. South America remains a producer but supplies only two percent of the total production . Figure 5: 2010 Natural Rubber Production

Synthetic Rubber The patent for the first synthetic rubber (methyl rubber) was issued one hundred years ago on 12 September 1909. Fritz Hofmann and his assistant Carl Coutelle produced an elasti c substance for the first time in the laboratory at Bayer. Continental, which was already an important rubber company, moulded the first automobile tyres out of the new material as early as 1910. Even the German Kaiser Wilhelm II had his car equipped with the new tyres and reportedly sent a telegram saying he was "extremely pleased". In 1910 S V Lebedev polymerized 1,3butadiene to give a rubbery material polybutadiene (now Butadiene Rubber or BR). In 1960 the total global synthetic rubber (SR) consumption was 2.45 million metr ic tons (figure 6). The forecast global consumption for 2010 is 12.8 million metric tons (figure 7), over 5 times more than in 1960. In 1960 emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber (eSBR) was the dominant type of synthe tic rubber consumed. The other rubbers in rank order were Isoprene Isobutylene Rubber (IIR or Butyl Rubber), Butadiene Rubber (BR), Chloroprene Rubber (CR), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR or Nitrile Rubber) and lastly Isoprene Rubber (IR or synthetic natural rubb er). Speciality rubbers are excluded from this analysis and the analysis for 2010. Figure 6: 1960 Global Synthetic Rubber Consumption by Major Types Fifty years on, by 2010 the spectrum of synthetic rubbers has changed significan tly as shown in figure 7. The major type is still eSBR but the rank order has changed markedly a nd new materials have been introduced. Now the rank order is eSBR, BR, IIR and Ethylene Propylene Diene Rubber (EPDM) equal third, solution SBR (sSBR), equal sixth IR and NBR and lastly eighth CR. Thermoplastic Rubbers/Elastomers (TPR/TPE) did not exist in 1960 but today there is a prolific development of new materials. This is a class of polymers that look, feel, and b ehave like thermoset rubber but are processed via standard thermoplastic techniques. Origin al concept was a material which exhibits rubber properties but with the fast processing speed o f a thermoplastic. The materials are mainly used in the plastics industry as they have soft-touch b ut high

compression set. The latter characteristic means that the materials are not suit able for dynamic applications such as car door seals. The estimated world TPE/TPV consumption in 2010 is estimated at 2.8 million metr ic tons. Growth is driven by replacement of competitive materials and over mouldings onto rigid plastics and metals (soft touch). Figure 7: 2010 Global Synthetic Rubber Consumption by Major Types Synthetic rubber (SR) surpassed natural rubber (NR) consumption 50 years ago. Ho wever because of the technological properties the ratio of SR:NR is expected to remain in the ratio 60:40. Malaysia Rubber Products Sector Some milestones in the Malaysian NR production and the Rubber Products Industry Sector are recorded in table 10. Table 10: Malaysia Rubber Industry Milestones Date Event/Company 1877 Hevea Brasiliensis seedlings brought to Singapore Botanic Gardens, Nicolas Ridley Curator) 1889 Ridley developed half-spiral tapping method 1896 Ridley founded the Rubber Plantation Industry: first commercial rubber plan tation Tan Chay Ann established at Bukit Lintang, Malacca 1910 Dunlop Malayan Estates Ladang GeddesRubber Estate was about 13,000 acres 1910 Rubber planted area: 2,180,000 acres 1921 Shum Lip Leong Rubber Works, Klang founded (technical and general rubber go ods) 1923 Krause developed concentrated latex by heating and evaporating off water 1925 Rubber Research Institute Malaya established 1926 Bernard Wilkinson founded Wilkinson Process Rubber Company (now Linatex) 1929 Dunlop invented the use of ammonia for latex preservation 1930 Revertex, Kluang formed to produce evaporated NR Latex commercially

1935 Bata (Malaysia), Klang founded 1938 Nam Bee Rubber Rubber Works, Petaling Jaya established (tyre retreading and custom mixing) 1939 Fung Keong Rubber Manufactory, Klang incorporated (tyre and tubes) 1940 Kinta Rubber Works established to serve the mining and compounding industri es 1950 Chip Lam Seng, Kanthan, Perak 1956 Choong Wah Hats & Rubber Goods Manufactory (now Swan Rubber Products (Ipoh)/CWH Rubber Products) 1960 Institution of the Rubber Industry Malaya Section (IRIM) formed, Sungei Bul oh 1961 Dunlop Malaysia Industries Bhd (DMIB) 1972 Heveafil, now the world s foremost manufacturer of extruded rubber latex thre ads established 1972 Goodyear Malaysia Berhad established, Shah Alam 1977 Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers Association (MPRMA) 1975 PRIM formed through merger of the IRI & Plastics Institute, London 1989 Silverstone Berhad, Kamunting, Taiping, Perak 1992 Malaysia lost its pre-eminent position as the world s largest NR producer The natural rubber producing sector was well developed by 1960, but the products sector was in the development stage. Some of the major companies which were operating at that time are shown in table 11. There were several small tyre retreaders and latex foam produ cers whose names have not been recorded. Table 11: 1960 Major Malayan Rubber Products Companies Company Shum Yip Leong Linatex Bata Nam Bee Rubber Fung Keong Rubber Kinta Rubber Works Choong Wah Hats & Rubber Goods Manufactory Lim Teck Lee which was founded before 1920 is probably is the oldest company inv olved in the rubber industry and still trade rubber compounding ingredients. Table 12 : 2010 Major Malaysian Rubber Products Companies Company Top Glove Corporation Kossan Rubber Industries Continental Sime Tyre Silverstone Supermax Gloves Terang Nusa Karex MAPA Gloves

Goodyear Malaysia Rubberflex Sumirubber Malaysia Chip Lam Seng Takaso Rubber Products

Rubberex (Malaysia) Bata (Malaysia) Everthrough Rubber Products Maxter Glove Manufacturing Smart Glove Heveafil Group Table 12 lists the major rubber products companies today. All of these companies have 500 or more employees and their sales are in the range of MYR 65 million to 1.2 billion . Top Glove is the world s largest rubber glove manufacturer with thirteen factories in Malaysia. Their global market share is in excess of twenty percent of the total world prod uction of 140 billion gloves per year. Also today, Malaysia enjoys several distinctions in the rubber industry. It is t he world's: Number one supplier of medical rubber gloves Number one supplier of foley catheters Number one supplier of latex thread and cord Fourth largest exporter of natural rubber Third equal largest producer of natural rubber Number 1 consumer of NR latex concentrate Eleventh largest consumer of all rubber Fifth largest consumer of natural rubber The estimated 2010 Malaysian total rubber consumption is 615 thousand metric ton s comprising 78 percent natural rubber and 22 percent synthetic rubber. The products slate (f igure 8) is dominated by latex dipped goods followed by tyres, general rubber goods (GRG), i ndustrial rubber goods and footwear. Figure 8: Malaysia Rubber Products 2010 Estimated exports of rubber products in 2010 are valued at MYR 12 billion compri sing latex products 60 percent, industrial and general rubber goods 12 percent and tyres 8 percent .

Malaysia Plastics Industry There are few available statistics of materials consumption fifty years ago wher eas such information is readily available today. Table 13 shows the global consumption of polyolefins (polyethylenes and polypropylene) in 1960 and 2010. These are the majority of pl astics used and the data may be used as a proxy for the total plastics. Table 13: Global Polyolefin Consumption (thousands metric tons) Polyolefin Type 1960 2010 Low Density Polyethylene LDPE) 570 18,500 Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) -20,800 High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) 130 32,250 Polypropylene (PP) 20 47,850 Total 720 119,400 (Source; Nexant ChemSystems) The data indicates that polyolefin consumption in 2010 increased almost 166 time s over the past 50 years. This compares to an increase in natural and synthetic rubber consumpti on offive times over the same period. Natural rubber production and consumption increased by twe nty-one times over the period 1910 to 1960. Some of the milestones of the Malaysian plastics industry are described in table 14. Lim Teck Lee who is a trader is the first recorded company and founded in 1910. Lee Huat Plastic Industries is the first recorded Injection Moulder of plastics was founded in 19 47 by Mr Chen Kow Fatt and is still run by his family. Fifty years ago two plastic companies were established namely Malayan Industrial Plastics Bhd, Ipoh (MIP) and Enhance Plastic Industry Sdn Bhd. Other companies established bef ore 1960 include Burkhill, George Kent, FK Iron Works, Melchers, Grief Malaysia and Lean Lee Trading. Table 14 : Malaysia Plastics Industry Milestones Year Milesone 1918 Lim Teck Lee founded (trading) 1947 Lee Huat Plastic Industries Bhd established (injection moulding), current operations started 1952 1951 Burkhill, Trading formed (compounding ingredients) 1951 George Kent founded (sold instruments since 1980 produces FRP Tank Panels) 1953 FK Iron Works formed (machinery supplier) 1958 Melchers established (machinery and equipment) 1959 Grief Malaysia founded (blow mouldings)

1959 1960 1967 1972 1973 1976 1989 1990 1991 2006

Lean Lee Trading established (film and bags) Malayan Industrial Plastics Bhd, Ipoh (MIP) started (PVC pipes) Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) founded Industrial Resins (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (IRM),Tampoii, Johor on-stream Malayan Electro-Chemical Industry Company (MECI) on-stream Enhance Plastic Industry founded (injection and blow moulding) Titan, Pasir Gudang cracker and polyolefin plants on-stream Toray Plastics (Malaysia), ABS plant on-stream Polyethylene Malaysia (joint venture between PETRONAS & BP) on-stream BASF Toray PBT plant on-stream

It is understood that the first plastic fabricator to be established was most pr obably Yong Kam Fook Plastic Industries which has recently gone out of business. The exact date is unknown but it preceded 1950. Malaysian polymers capacities are defined in table 15. The total capacity is ove r 2.3 million metric tons per annum. The largest plastic resin producer is Titan whose total c apacity exceeds one million metric tons per annum. There are two types of PVC produced namely th e suspension type (sPVC) and emulsion type (ePVC). Also two types of polystyrene are produced HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) and EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The more sophisticated mater ials made are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate), PET G (Modified Polyethyeleneterephthalate), NBR (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Rubber) Latex and PVA (Polvinylacetate). The current Supply/Demand situation is that LLDPE and HDPE ar e major imports and LDPE and PP are major exports. Table 15 : 2010 Malaysian Polymers Capacities (thousands of metric tons per annu m)) Company Location Product(s) Capacity PE Malaysia Kurtih HDPE/LLDPE 240 PP Malaysia PP 80 Titan Pasir Gudang HDPE 100 HDPE 200 PP 500 Tanjung Langsat LDPE 220 Petlin Kurtih LDPE 255 Vinyl Chloride Malaysia Kurtih PVC (s) 150 IRM Johor Bahru PVC (s) 30 MECI Prai, Penang PVC (s) 50 Kaneka Paste Resins Gebang PVC (e) 30 Idemitsu Pasir Gudang HIPS 230 BASF Pasir Gudang EPS 90 Eastman Kuantan PETG 30 Toray Prai ABS 330 Petrochemicals Malaysia Pasir Gudang HIPS 130 Toray BASF PBT Kuantan PBT 60 Revertex Kluang NBR Latex 40 PVA & Acrylic Emulsions Currently there are estimated to be more than 1,600 plastics fabricators and twe nty of the major fabricators are listed in table 16. Table 16: 20 Major Malaysia Plastic Fabricator Companies 2010 Name VS Industries Teck See Plastics Balda Solutions Malaysia Winsheng Plastic Industry

Meditop Corporation Greatpac SME Ordnance Scientex Packaging Film Ryoka Diabochi

May Plastic Hi_Com Tech See Beyonics Luster Industries Great Wall SPI Olastic Plastictechnic HIL ITW Meritex Nissei Technology The estimated Malaysian thermoplastic consumption in 2010 is circa 1.8 million m etric tons and the plastic type mix is illustrated in figure 9. Polyolefins dominate the demand with 63 percent of the total comprising polyethylene 43 percent and polypropylene 20 percent. En gineering Thermoplatics (ETP) represent eight percent of the demand with the Styrenic plas tics at 17 percent (Polystyrene 12 percent and ABS five percent). Figure 9: 2010 Malaysia Thermoplastic Demand by Type To illustrate the progress in plastics processing machinery over the past fifty years figure 10 shows a hand-operated injection moulding machine in operation in Malaysia in 196 0 and a state -of-the-art all electric machine. The machine on the left (courtesy of Lee Huat Pleastics) called the Monkey was in operation at in 1960. The Netstal machine on the right is mode rn all-electric model for Optical Discs. The types of products made are shown in figure 11. Packaging (38 percent) is the largest product group followed in rank order by Electric/Electronic Goods (E/E: 25 percent) and Housewares (13 percent). Exports of Plastic Products in 2010 are expected to be in excess o f MYR 10 billion. The major exports are stretch film and plastic bags which are in excess of sixty percent of the total exports.

Figure 10: Injection Moulding Machines 1960 and 2010 Figure 11: 2010 Malaysia Thermoplastic Products On, On A Glimpse into the Future 2060

Compared to the progress of the plastics and rubber industries over the past 50 years, namely increased consumption of 166 and five times respectively, what will happen in th e next 50 years? For rubber the future developments will primarily depend on the types of transportation and its dependence on the tyre or similar device. However with new and improved synthetic rubbers the dependence of rubber demand on the tyre industry could diminish as m ore new and or improved rubbers and application are discovered. Clearly compared to plastics , rubber is a

more mature product with lower growth but where are we now on its life cycle? Pl astics, because of its diversity of materials and applications, plus being a replacement for metals, ceramics and other materials is not so mature and the life cycle will depend new materials and applications plus further growth of the existing material/applications mix. With an increasing world population the future for rubber and plastics materials and applications appears to be secure as demand will depend on the growth of the population and s tandard of living. The major threats to this hypothesis are as follows: Alternative transportation systems which do not require tyres Miniaturization of products using plastics and rubbers Development of super materials (materials with outstanding processing and strength

characteristics which could easily replace existing materials) Environmental and recycling issues Natural rubber trees infected by incurable disease Some of these threats already exist for example Polymeric Light Emitting Diodes (PLED) and Flexible All-Plastic Electronic Displays which reduce or eliminate the use of pl astic frames and housings. On the other side there are many opportunities to keep the plastic and rubber in dustries competitive for example the following: Increased automation and improved machinery design and performance Improvements in design and hence performance of products New or improved synthetic rubbers (Metallocene Catalyst) New polymers (thermoplastics and thermosets) Improved compounds (nano-fillers) Natural rubber cultivated in large plantations for efficiency together with new tapping methods Continuing plastic replacement of metals & ceramics etc Developments in biodegradable Plastics Plastics from renewable resources (outside the food chain) New resin plant capacities: larger, improved technology and integrated from refi nery and cracker Some examples of innovations on the drawing board to reduce the threats particul arly to tyres

are described in the following paragraphs: Michelin Tweel The Michelin Tweel (from Tyre and WhEEL) concept is illustrated in figure 12. Th e benefits claimed for the Michelin TWEEL are as follows: maintenance-free easy mounting and dismounting puncture-proof longer wear resistance better distribution of pavement stress simplified manufacturing process

- reusable - improved Figure 12: Motorcycle

base structure for retreading shock and road hazard resistance Michelin TWEEL Concept

A motorcycle concept (figure 13) designed by students Tilmann Schlootz and Olive r Keller for the Michelin Challenge Design 2006. The flexible elastic tracks guarantees maxim um traction and easy steering even on the roughest of terrains. Figure 13 Motorcycle Concept Rubber Track Drive Circulus Concept Car Santosh Chawla entered his hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Circulus car (figure 14) w ith backwheel drive and one front wheel with spherical tyre based on the rolling ball us ed on a Dyson vacuum cleaner in the 2009 Michelin Challenge design contest. The spherical fron t tyre would be capable of turning 360 degrees which makes the car highly maneuverable.

Figure 14: Circulus Car Concept Laser Etched Tyre Treads The new tyre would be made from a standard moulding with some or no moulded trea d with the other tread pattern(s) being custom made to individual requirements or to match specific road conditions or performance (figure 15). The pattern would be cut using existing l aser technology. Figure 15: Kumho Future Tyre Technology Laser Etched Tyre Treads To conclude on a lighter note as 50 years ago man (Dr Frank Drake, renowned radi o astronomer) started the campaign to establish contact with aliens on other plane ts by sending out radio signals. Today, 50 years on there has not been any response, but the techn ology has been improved significantly to a technique called spread spectrum which smears signal s over a wide range of frequencies. There is a new radio telescope sending such signals and Dr Drake and his team are still looking. In the words of Winston Churchill never give in so that Dr Drake and the plastics and rubber industries, and the Plastics and Rubber Institute Malays ia will go On, On . Acknowledgements The author wishes to thank The Plastics and Rubber Institute Malaysia (PRIM), Ch an Von Lian, Chan Pak Kuen, The Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association (MPMA), Callum an d Caryn Chen (Lee Huat Plastics), Dr Phil Adams, Sean Angove and Malaysian Rubber Produc ts Manufacturing Association (MRPMA) for their information and or assistance in pre paring this paper.