“Remarkable Indonesia” is the slogan developed by the Indonesia Investment Trading Board to promote this country of 246 million. After spending several days in Jakarta (pop. 14MM), we can attest to some remarkable facts about the local market for thermoformed packaging.
At ProPak 2013, we learned that water cups are single largest thermoformed item in the region. European suppliers like Gabler, Bosch-Sprang, Illig and WM have been active in South East Asian markets for some time and have established tilt mold technology as the preferred solution for high-speed, high-volume requirements of the local beverage market.
Thermoforming companies in Indonesia are cranking out hundreds of millions of these containers, primarily in PP and APET, though we did also see some examples of white PS, too.
As was the case at the K Fair in Dusseldorf, we spent a lot of time talking about how to select the best type of HYTAC plug assist material for a particular project. Many of the formers and toolmakers we spoke to were familiar with B1X so they were very pleased to learn about the improved characteristics of XTL. Plug geometry and surface finish continue to be two critical components for part quality and material distribution. With high ambient temperatures year-round in this tropical zone, having the ability to provide stability in the thermoforming process with good plug assists is a critical component for success.
We also saw several Chinese and Taiwanese OEMs, many of whom were running product on tilt-mold machines. While it is clear that a large quality gap remains between the European and Chinese technology, according to some people we spoke to, there are over 200 Chinese machines in operation in the region. That is a lot of tools – with plugs, of course! – for a lot of cups for a lot of thirsty people.