Rim Polymer Industries is based in Singapore. The machinery maker has been supplying lines to rigid foamers in Asia as part of the Montreal Protocol Agreement on climate change as well as selling equipment to car makers in China, Korea, India and the US. Simon Robinson visited the firm.
Machinery companies come in many different shapes and sizes. And offer different solutions to different sectors of the market.
RIM Polymer machines are sold under the GMA brand. ”Our biggest market is China, where we focus on the automotive industry and also appliance industry,” said Steven Hoong, Deputy General Manager (Sales).
Solar water heaters are also an important part of RIM's output, "we are one of the top suppliers in China," he said.
“In the appliance industry, the big customers are the Hisense and the Midea group. They are my key customers,” explains Hoong. In the past three to four years, RIM has developed new machinery for them. These are the firm’s three-in-one and four-in-one polyol pre-mix equipment.
Hoong explained that with the introduction of appliances blown only with Pentane, in 1993, there was no competitiveness between appliances, “so five years ago we started to introduce new equipment called three-in-one to our GMA range.” He added that this enables the base-polyol, the pentane and a third blowing agent to be blended together. With this system, the energy saving is improved along with the insulation value of the appliance,” he said.
It took people a long time to bring the blending process to market because, the market is very competitive and it takes considerable trust between the customer, materials supplier and the machinery maker. It also took the introduction of HFC-245 and for systems houses to test formulations.
“We were pioneers in supplying equipment which could do this,” he said. It was a challenging task for us to design the new equipment for the appliance industry. Hisense was the first group to give us a big order to convert their plants, now more than 20 of their plants used three-in-one systems in China.
The three-in-one system led to the four-in-one system, said Hoong. “Because the competition among domestic refrigeration makers is strong in China, Midea came to look for us.”
“They approached us for a joint development for the four-in-one equipment. The system uses polyol, pentane, 245 and LBA Solstice,” said Hoong. He added that the concept is flexible: “You could have two-in-one, three-in-one or four-in-one. We have patented our Polyol Premix Unit System designs.”
"Our orders are very good this year, we have had a 20% increase in our sales revenue." This is because RIM has been awarded a number of contracts for the phase out of HFC-141b for the sandwich panel & freezer industry.
“Under the UNDP programme, we are the first to convert a series of HFC phase out project in Malaysia. We have been awarded six projects by the UNDP and The World Bank has also awarded us several projects in Indonesia, and Vietnam for the phase out of 141b for the sandwich panel industry.”
Recently, RIM has also supplied equipment to companies in the Middle East for the replacement of 141b in rigid panels in continuous, discontinuous and block foam lines. RIM talks about turn-key solutions rather than lines or individual machines.
“Besides, we supply several new Hydraulic Discontinuous PU Panel presses to our client in Asean, who chose us due to the quality we provide,” said Hoong.