RIM Polymers Industries generates growth through new products
Singapore based RIM Polymers Industries, part of the CEH Group were established in 2000 to manufacture and supply PU processing equipment to the fast growing industry across Asia Pacific. Since its establishment the company has sold more than 1000 units of machines and equipment and has expanded its business network through the addition of several new offices in China, India and Moscow. The business has 15 offices in China alone. The company manufactures some components in China, but builds the equipment at its plant in Singapore. In total the business employs some 120 staff worldwide.
A complete range for automotive
Through developments in manufacturing and design, their GMA branded equipment is the most widely used insulation installation equipment by the Chinese solar water heater industry. Through a long established relationship the company is a leading supplier to Korean automotive OEM, Hyundai, at its plants worldwide, especially for the production of steering wheels and also to Tier 1 manufacturers for the production of automotive carpet underlay, head rests, sunshades and seating foams. A new 4 component block foam machine has recently been sold to produce under bonnet acoustic insulation foam for Shanghai VW. The company also manufactures turn-key plants for glass encapsulation used in sun roofs as well as equipment for the complex production of instrument panels.
New developments drive growth in appliances
RIM Polymers has been very successful in helping to introduce 4th generation blowing agents to refrigerator manufacturer Midea, one of the largest Chinese appliance OEMs, producing nearly 14 million units annually. Other leading Chinese OEMs such as Hisense and Konka also use RIM Polymers wet end equipment for the production of refrigerators. The company has also had recent success in supplying equipment to Hisense in South Africa as well as to a commercial refrigerator manufacturer in Dallas, TX, USA.
The automotive and refrigeration sectors are two of the major end use industries for GMA equipment, with many leading OEMs, including German manufacturers buying this equipment. Innovation in design has helped to develop the business one example being the company’s new pre-mix technology to blend blowing agents and polyols. The new high pressure polyol pre-mixing and transfer equipment allows manufacturers to achieve considerable cost savings due to its speed, and reduction in the volume of polyol used. When used with the new 4th generation blowing agents, this technology has been found to improve the adhesion been the ABS shell of the refrigerator and the foam, as well as reducing the thickness of the rigid foam insulation required to meet the industry standards. This creates greater energy efficiency, allows a reduction in the thickness of the ABS as well as creating a larger internal volume by up to 10 %, without any additional costs to the manufacturer.
“Once the major Chinese appliance manufacturers saw how the equipment performed and realised the effects on their margins, they needed no more information before giving us an order. One manufacturer purchased 14 units in a single order”, Oei Han Tjing, Executive Vice President, explained. “We have even sold this equipment to BSH in China, the leading German appliance manufacturer. For us this was a real sign of approval that our equipment was of the highest standards in terms of performance and reliability”.
“Through our work with the World Bank and UNIDO we have also been involved in blowing agent conversion projects in the Middle East, Malaysia and Vietnam, helping appliance and panel manufacturers to convert to c-pentane,” added Steven Hoong, Deputy Sales General Manager. “RIM Polymers continues to innovate with new design some ideas are very simple. We have developed a line for head rest production where the carousel has been tipped through 180 degrees, thereby reducing its footprint on the factory floor.”
RIM Polymers also works with a US based company, IPM (International Pump Manufacturing) to supply a range of transfer pumps that are smaller and easier to use, especially within the confines of a spray foam rig, solving a long standing problem experienced by spray foam contactors. In addition, these pumps can handle highly viscous fluids of up to 20,000cps. This makes them suitable for use with natural oil-based polyols and the new range of CO2-based polyols.
South Korean OEMs such as Kia and Hyundai are now growing very fast in the North American market. Hyundai have five lines from RIM Polymers at their plant in Atlanta, GA, USA. With the expected growth in production from these companies, Oei Han Tjing, is extremely optimistic about the opportunities for his company’s equipment in the region.
“We have become very successful in Asia, during the past 10 years, but now we are looking at the North American markets, where we already have customers, in spite of not having a sales office or service base,” he said during the recent Utech event in Charlotte, NC, USA.