Swiss specialty chemicals manufacturer Clariant has announced full year sales growth of 8% thanks to its acquisition of Sud Chemie. Without this purchase, growth was flat with prices offsetting lower volumes. Earnings fell by 4%. The financial year ended on December 31, 2012.
Borealis has acquired Dutch ethylene octene copolymer producer DexPlastomers from DSM and ExxonMobil who previously owned 50% each. Ethylene octene copolymers are described as being a new generation of low and high density speciality polymers with elastomeric properties and which are useful for combining with polyolefins. Two brands of these polymers are Exact metallocene plastomers and Stamylex octene polyethylenes. The DexPlastomers plant is located just 50 km from Borealis’s production site in Beringen, Belgium.
Messe Düsseldorf, organiser of the famous K show for the plastics industry, has announced three new developments for the show, which is being held this year on October 16-23, 2013, in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The three developments are: the fact that the exhibitors database is available online; the announcement that visitor tickets will be available for purchase online in March; and that an app for Android and Apple smart devices is available.
The German plastics and rubbber machinery association with the VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau), Germany’s engineering federation, has announced that sales of German plastics and rubber machinery were up by 6% in 2012 to reach a record €6.5 bn. The sales growth was better than forecast.
On March 1, 2013, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited UK plastics distributor and compounder Albis UK in Knutsford, UK. Albis is in the constituency the Chancellor represents in the Houses of Parliament—Tatton.
Also present were British Plastics Federation (BPF) president Philip Watkins and Director-General Peter Davis.
Albis UK's managing director Ian Mills had written to the Chancellor inviting him to visit the Albis site and also discuss the BPF’s initiative to raise awareness of the importance of the plastics sector in their discussion document, The UK Plastics Industry: A Strategic Manufacturing Sector.
The previous day, February 28, 2013, UK CAD/CAM software developer Delcam welcomed a number of senior UK government officials including the UK’s deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and secretary of state for business Vince Cable (pictured) to a demonstration of robotic machining technology at a UK manufacturing conference at the Hertitage Motor Museum in Gaydon, UK.
A nanotechnology seminar organised by UK government-funded networking group NanoKTN and the Nanotechnology Industries Association the will take place on March 19, 2013, at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, UK. The event will discuss developments in standards and regulations for nanotechnologies.
Concerns have been reported in recent months over the safety of nanomaterials in cosmetics and suncreams. In October 2012, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) issued a call for experts to look into the safety of certain nanomaterials.
On March 7, 2013, the NanoKTN held an event at the University of Leeds to discuss opportunities for nanomaterials. NanoKTN did not respond to a request from Medical Plastics News on whether there would be anyone available at this event to comment on safety concerns.
On March 20, 2013, German medical and drug delivery packaging expert Gerresheimer will present at the Pharma-Kongress Production & Technology seminar in Düsseldorf, Germany. The presentation will be about how companies can monitor quality during the production of prefillable glass syringes.
Dr Andrea Behrenswerth from Gerresheimer will be speaking about the important aspects of manufacturing these syringes, production monitoring equipment and how to prevent cracks in the syringe barrel.
Gerresheimer have also established a new design agency called Gerresheimer item. The initiative is designed to enable Gerresheimer to be involved in a device’s development from the initial conception stage. Item’s service portfolio includes market research and user surveys, IP management, design strategy and usability analysis, design optimisation for polymer processing, rapid prototyping, quality management and clinical studies and sample specimens.
Plastics and composites engineers will be gathering at the Forum de la Plasturgie et des Composites—the Plastics and Composites Forum—on May 30-31, 2013, at Disneyland Paris's Congress Centre in France.
Questions to be answered at the forum will include “A new industrial ballgame?” and “A godsend for the plastics industry?”. The questions refer to plastics and composites.
The UK’s Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), an industry association covering all types of materials, has launched an all-new industry affiliate scheme (IAS) to assist small and large enterprises with their materials queries. The scheme understands that companies may not have in house expertise to select materials for their upcoming product ranges and offers an array of benefits.
Eucomed, Europe’s largest medical device trade association, has recommended an alternative process to the scrutiny procedure proposed in the new EU medical device legislation, designed to replace the current Medical Device Directive.
The scrutiny procedure, proposed in late 2012, has been criticised for being too intense and at risk of stifling innovation while forcing up the cost of manufacturing. Eucomed have slammed the scrutiny procedure saying that it is “random, ineffective and does not contribute to patient safety”.
Eucomed goes on to say: “The proposed scrutiny procedure is inappropriate because it is a random sampling process of certain medical devices and the timing of the scrutiny occurs very late in the approval process—after the notified body has finished its assessment. The proposed measure creates a false sense of security and is essentially ineffective and inappropriate”. Serge Bernasconi, chief executive officer of Eucomed, confirmed: “The proposed scrutiny procedure is a needle-in-a-haystack approach which should be replaced by a systematic procedure that prevents the needle from landing in the haystack in the first place. Only then will we successfully increase patient safety and prevent unnecessary delays of medical devices reaching patients.” Eucomed’s alternative, known as the systematic control procedure, reportedly consists of five critical measures and is said to “more effectively achieve the common objective of increased patient safety”.
He outlined the suggested solution, as follows: “We suggest a systematic control procedure that makes sure we increase the safety of all medical devices, which is in the end the collective objective of all stakeholders. We look forward to continue our discussions with policymakers and other parties and are confident that patients in Europe will be the winner in the end”.
Together with Eucomed, under their newly merged banner of MedTech Europe, the European Diagnostics Manufacturers Association (EMDA) has published a blog to help about people understand why in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) need their own regulatory framework.
An earlier blog was published outlining what members can expect from MedTech Europe in 2013.
On March 12 and October 8, 2013, Belgium’s national research centre Sirris will be hosting two masterclasses on biomedical applications of additive manufacturing.
The first masterclass will focus on additive manufacturing for medical applications. The second will provide an insight on tissue engineering linked to additive manufacturing, including fundamental know-how of bio-printing and organ printing.
Scientists at the University of Southampton, UK, have created a new method to generate bone cells which could lead to revolutionary bone repair therapies for people with bone fractures or those who need hip replacement surgery due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
The research, carried out by Dr Emmajayne Kingham at the University of Southampton in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and published in the journal Small, cultured human embryonic stem cells on to the surface of plastic materials and assessed their ability to change.
Scientists were able to use the nanotopographical patterns on the biomedical plastic to manipulate human embryonic stem cells towards bone cells. This was done without any chemical enhancement.
The materials, including the biomedical implantable material polycarbonate plastic, which is a versatile plastic used in things from bullet proof windows to CDs, offer an accessible and cheaper way of culturing human embryonic stem cells and presents new opportunities for future medical research in this area.
Professor Richard Oreffo, who led the University of Southampton team, explains: “To generate bone cells for regenerative medicine and further medical research remains a significant challenge. However we have found that by harnessing surface technologies that allow the generation and ultimately scale up of human embryonic stem cells to skeletal cells, we can aid the tissue engineering process. This is very exciting.” He added: “Our research may offer a whole new approach to skeletal regenerative medicine. The use of nanotopographical patterns could enable new cell culture designs, new device designs, and could herald the development of new bone repair therapies as well as further human stem cell research.” The study was funded by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This latest discovery expands on the close collaborative work previously undertaken by the University of Southampton and the University of Glasgow. In 2011 the team successfully used plastic with embossed nanopatterns to grow and spread adult stem cells while keeping their stem cell characteristics; a process which is cheaper and easier to manufacture than previous ways of working.
Dr Nikolaj Gadegaard, Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow, says: "Our previous collaborative research showed exciting new ways to control mesenchymal stem cell—stem cells from the bone marrow of adults—growth and differentiation on nanoscale patterns. “This new Southampton-led discovery shows a totally different stem cell source, embryonic, also responds in a similar manner and this really starts to open this new field of discovery up. With more research impetus, it gives us the hope that we can go on to target a wider variety of degenerative conditions than we originally aspired to. This result is of fundamental significance."
The UK subsidiary of injection moulding machine manufacturer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has made five new appointments and has restructured to focus on two key application areas—packaging and precision.
Managing director of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Nigel Flowers explained: “Injection moulding equipment procurement can be a significant investment; there’s not only the cost of the system, but the industry knowledge and experience that customers are buying into, which is why we’ve created dedicated teams to ensure our customers maximise their return on investment.”
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s German headquarters has announced it has made two injection moulding machines available for mould validation and testing by customers. The machines have clamping forces of 1,600 and 10,000 tonnes.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) and manufacturing safety consultants SIMPL—Safety in Manufacturing Plastics—have launched a seminar examining health and safety in the plastics industry.
Taking place on April 24, 2013, at the Polymer Training and Innovation Centre (PTIC) in Telford, UK, the seminar will provide delegates with the opportunity to explore this topic and discover the best practice techniques and important guidance that can help their business.
UK-headquartered Ceram, a leading materials technology company for the medical devices industry, has published three new white papers, as follows: Regulatory Approval Testing of Hydroxyapatite—The Benefits of Using One Supplier; Synthesis Methods of Hydroxyapatite; and Polymer Basics: Structure & Properties.
The white papers are available for download from Ceram’s website.
Ceram has also launched a new blog on its website. Populated by Ceram’s team of experts, the blog will be offer an opportunity to get involved in some lively debate about materials, from the latest innovations and new regulations to what’s happening in the industry.
Pharmaceutical packaging specialist Schott announced the expansion of its range of analyses to include extractable and leachable testing.
Extractables and leachables are substances, which can be dissolved and released from the constituent parts—such as glass, metals, rubber, lubricants and adhesives—of the packaging materials that form the container system.
Testing determines whether there any possible interactions with the drugs from the container.
Hexagon Metrology has acquired its distribution partner Kompack GÉP in Hungary, establishing a direct representation in the country.
Kompakt has been a sales partner of Hexagon for 25 years. Going forward, the business will be handled through a newly formed legal entity, Hexagon Metrology Kft.
According to a survey conducted by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the leading trade association for chemical and pharmaceutical businesses in the UK, chemical businesses are showing great optimism for sale volumes in 2013.
The survey, which is conducted every quarter, saw a rise in confidence amongst business leaders in the industry as 46% now expect higher sales volumes while only 19% say they may see a decline.
Steve Elliott, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said: “In what will be a challenging year, I am confident that we will not only meet the challenge, but will show how our industry is underpinning growth”.
Elliott continued: “It is important that the chemical and pharmaceutical industry is recognised as key to the UK economy. We contribute £80 mn everyday to the UK economy, spend £5 bn each year on R&D, provide employment for over half a million people in well-paid jobs and we are the UK’s number one manufacturing exporter”.
Publicly funded UK industry networking organisation the HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has announced that the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, another publicly funded organisation, will invest up to £500,000 in feasibility studies to stimulate new business models supporting innovations in high value manufacturing. The Technology Strategy Board is seeking feasibility studies across the whole manufacturing lifecycle. Applications for the money are via a competition which closes on March 11.
The competition is open to enterprises of any size. A small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) can participate either as a single company or in collaboration with one other qualifying organisation, while large companies must participate in collaboration with an SME. Projects must be business-led. It is proposed that projects will be funded which are “preparatory to industrial research”. These are eligible for up to 75% public funding and the total project cost will not exceed £33,000.
In December 2012, the HealthTech and Medicines KTN accounced the establishment of Healthcare Technology Cooperatives (HTCs), UK hosptial-based groups of people working in collaboration with clinicians. The goal is to understand clinical need and support developments of new health technologies.
The winner of this year's Carl Zeiss Research Award, one of the most renowned honors in optics, has gone to Professor Anne L’Huillier from Lund University in Sweden.
L’Huillier is being honoured for her pioneering work in the field of high harmonic generation which has laid the foundation for the generation of atto-second impulses and enabled key advances in attosecond physics.
"Professor L’Huillier not only described the theory of attosecond technology, but also verified it experimentally”, stated the jury in announcing its decision. Her works enables further development and application of this technology.
Attosecond impulses can be used, for example, to observe the movement of electrons in atoms or molecules in real-time. This plays a key role in understanding general physical phenomena or chemical reactions at the atomic level. The promise of attosecond technology is to record ultrashort time-lapse movies from the inside of atoms and molecules.
1 attosecond (as) = 0.000,000,000,000,000,001 seconds = 10-18 seconds is a very short time: even light that travels at the unimaginable speed of 300,000 km per second moves less than one millionth of a millimeter in one atto- second—not even from one end of a molecule to the other.
The Carl Zeiss Research Award will be presented to Professor L’Huillier on Wednesday, 19 June 2013.
The developer of the world’s first artificial heart, SynCardia, has announced that a UK patient has been supported with the device for nearly 600 days—over 18 months. The artificial heart is a synthetic electronic device with a significant amount of plastics that is designed to pump blood around the body while a patient is waiting for a heart transplant.
Europe’s association for plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, Euromap, has revised its guidelines for comparing energy efficiency between various injection moulding machines. They now separate the guidelines into two parts—machine- and product-related consumption.
Euromap’s statement on the revision is as follows.
Energy efficiency has been an issue for the plastics and rubber machinery industry for quite some time. The EU Ecodesign Directive and, not least, customer demand for transparent and comparable energy consumption figures have brought fresh impetus to the subject.
The existing Euromap 60 on the determination of the energy consumption of injection moulding machines was itself an important step forward in open debate on the subject, but, despite the intensive measurement effort made, failed to provide the sought after comparability because factors such as the measurement parameters were not adequately defined. For that reason, the recommendation has now been thoroughly revised. In response to calls for comparable measurement results on the one hand and to take account of the variability of machines on the other, the recommendation has now been divided into two parts 60.1 and 60.2.
Machine-related consumption: The new version gives customers an opportunity to compare machines from different manufacturers on the basis of uniform parameters. It introduces an energy efficiency classification based on two test cycles that take the particular characteristics of fast running machinery and very small machines into account. Keeping the measurement effort required to a level acceptable to machinery manufacturers without the results losing any of their information value is an important consideration here. The efficiency classes identified serve as benchmarks allowing customers to make a pre-selection. Not least, the uniform classification enables increases in efficiency to be put across clearly, including to the political decision-makers.
Product-related consumption: In addition to the rough classification of injection moulding machines, the second part of the new recommendation offers the possibility of transparency in product-related energy consumption for the manufacture of individual injection-moulded parts to customer specifications (with specified materials, tools and machinery). The key parameter here is the specific energy consumption in kilowatt-hours per kilogram of plastic processed. To this end, a method of measurement with defined terms of reference is provided, together with a model for documenting the results. This will allow customers to include energy consumption in the machine’s life cycle cost calculation at the tendering stage.
Injection moulding machines just the start: A number of groups of experts are now working on recommendations for measuring the energy consumption of extrusion, blow-moulding and thermoforming machines. Because they involve different processes, Euromap 60 cannot simply be transferred to these machines. Following the positive experience gained with injection moulding machines, industry and associations are now advocating the development of high-quality energy measurement standards for such machinery too.
UK-based manufacturing equipment supplier Intertronics has announced a new partnership for 2013 with Liquidyn, a specialist manufacturer of high precision contactless micro dispensing equipment. As explained by Peter Swanson, MD at Intertronics: “The partnership with Liquidyn is a most valuable addition to our portfolio for dispensing of materials such as oils, greases, silicones, paint, flux and filled products, as well as adhesives. Once again as a company we are fulfilling the needs of our customers for high repeatability, high accuracy, high speed, robotic compatible dispensing systems at reasonable cost.” Flagship products in the Intertronics Liquidyn program are the P-Jet CT—a newly introduced high accuracy jetting valve for contactless dispensing of low to medium viscosity fluids at frequencies up to 280Hz—plus the industry proven P-Dot pneumatic system for jet dispensing of dots, beads and lines of medium to high viscous chemicals (including filled materials) in droplet sizes from 0.3 mm to 5 mm diameter, and at ranges of 2 mm to 10 mm.
US manufacturer of packaging integrity measurement instruments Mocon has appointed a new European business development manager for healthcare, Peter Schlösser. Peter was previously the product manager for package testing and gas analyzing with Lippke, a Mocon company based in Neuwied, Germany.
UK manufacturer of modular cleanrooms, Connect2Cleanrooms, has announced that it has completed a move to a new larger location in Lancaster, UK. The new site is over three times bigger than their previous building. Supplier and customer open days are planned for 2013.
Connect2Cleanroom’s online consumables division, cleanroomshop.com, has announced it has a new range of Azo disinfectants and detergents inlcuding wipes and a spray.
Polymer manufacturer Sabic has entered into an agreement with Swiss university and institute of technology ETH Zurich. Under the agreement the two parties will collaborate on research. In 2012 they entered into a similar agreement in the field of functional materials and nanotechnology.
On March 6-7, 2013, in Solihull, UK, a conference on the safe use of chemicals will take place. SafeCom is said to be one of the UK’s most prestigious chemical regulatory meetings.
Simon Robinson, technical director at organising company Safeware Quasar, said: “The SafeCom conference prides itself on featuring industry and regulatory experts who present key topics from the world of regulatory compliance. This gives delegates valuable information to assist with creating solutions and planning for regulatory changes over future years, and simply cannot be missed by those in the chemical industry.”
The organisers of the 12th Annual International PVC Conference, due to be held in Brighton, UK, on April 1-3, 2014, has issued a call for abstracts.
According to a report on Qmed.com the French government has issued new rules for advertising of high risk medical devices. Qmed sites regulatory consultancy Emergo Group as the source of the information.
The law will reportedly impact manufacturers of cardiovascular implants, intracranial stents, coronary stents and breast implants.
The new rules became active on January 1, 2013. Before starting a marketing or advertising campaign, companies that fall under the rule must obtain approval by submitting a copy of the relevant advertising materials to the relevant authotities.
If a medical device manufacturer doesn’t receive questions from the authorities within two months, it will be allowed to use those advertising materials. Once approval is granted, advertising is valid under the new law for up to five years. Significant changes in a company’s advertisements will require a new application.
Crain Communications, publishers of Urethanes Technology International magazine and organisers of the global family of the UTI conferences, have created a new conference on developments in sustainble polyurethane manufacturing. The conference, SusPolyUrethane, will take place on May 7-8, 2013, in Amsterdam, Holland.
The conference will focus on the following three processing areas—processes leading to pure basic building blocks, for further conversion into raw materials with reproducible properties; processes using various plant or animal sources to produce materials such as polyols with reliable characteristics; and the use of scrap from current production systems to yield raw materials for further use in the polyurethanes sector.
The UK subsidiary of Siemens will hold an event about its product lifecycle management (PLM) software on June 20, 2013, in Birmingham. A similar event was held in 2012 and was attended by over 800 delegates.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has issued a call for evidence to assess the impact of expanding REACH restrictions on cadmium and its compounds in plastic materials. Anyone who could be affected by a widening of this restriction, or who holds information on relevant uses of cadmium and its compounds in plastics, or on possible alternatives, was invited to submit comments before February 11, 2013, via an online questionnaire available on the ECHA website.
In particular, the agency seeks to identify any additional plastic materials—made in the EU or imported, for example, in consumer articles, and not covered by the current restriction—which might contain cadmium or cadmium compounds.
The call for evidence provides an opportunity for interested parties to express their views at this early stage in the restriction process. This information will assist ECHA's development of an Annex XV restriction dossier on the expansion of the restrictions on cadmium in plastics. The call for evidence does not replace the public consultation on restriction proposals prepared by ECHA, which forms a standard part of the restriction process and will take place later.
Antimicrobial technology specialist BioCote has launched a new Partner Portal, an online tecnnical information resource, to strengthen support offered to its partners.
BioCote supplies companies around the world with antimicrobial material solutions and advice, providing both additives and support to help manufacturers produce antimicrobial treated products.
The Partner Portal allows BioCote to share information and updates from within the industry as well as acting as a ‘shared hard drive’ to provide clients with the latest antimicrobial research papers, regulatory updates and environmental information. BioCote will also use the portal to support partners by providing sales support and materials to help them display the benefits of antimicrobial products to customers. After suggestions from partners the portal will also enable the management of product validation and certification including receiving downloadable product test results and scheduling appointments for upcoming test deadlines.
Marketing manager Matthew Dowd said: “We understand it is an investment for companies to integrate antimicrobial technology into their products. The addition of this service is an ongoing investment by BioCote to support our partners in taking their antimicrobial products to market. We are always investigating new ways to help them. The new site provides even greater benefits for partners, from being able to view their latest product test results to accessing regulatory support documents whenever they want and wherever they are in the world. This tool is unique and can be classed as one of the most comprehensive resource for manufacturers of antimicrobial products available.”
Austrian injection moulding machine maker Engel has announced a series of seminars to explain to customers what is possible with MuCell foam injection moulding. The technology has found most of its popularity within the automotive and construction sectors but there is growing interest from moulders supplying medical industries.
The seminars will take place on June 4-5, and November 27-28, 2013, in Schwertberg, Austria.
PlasticsEurope, the pan-European trade association representing European plastics manufacturers, has announced the appointment of Kim Michael Christiansen as regional director for northern Europe. Kim joined PlasticsEurope on December 1, 2012, and has succeeded Jan-Erik Johansson, who left the association at the end of 2012.
Kim Christiansen is an educated business economist with more than 20 years of experience from government departments, EU-institutions and trade associations dealing with environmental affairs, consumer affairs, corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Before joining PlasticsEurope he worked as a public affairs executive to promote the business climate for international companies and their globally branded consumer goods and business-to-business products and services. Kim is of Danish nationality, is married and with three daughters.
The owner of plastic processing machinery brands KraussMaffei and Netstal, KraussMaffei Group, has bundled its strengths and expertise for a stronger market presence in the UK and the Ireland market. As of January 1, 2013, the affiliate of Netstal UK was moved from Stone in Staffordshire to Warrington in Cheshire. Under the organisational umbrella of KraussMaffei (UK) Ltd an independent market presence of the Netstal, KraussMaffei and KraussMaffei Berstorff brands will be maintained.
On December 29, 2012, KraussMaffei group was sold to Onex corporation for €568 mn.
Univar, a leading global chemical distributor, announced today it has been recognised by the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) which has awarded it a distinction for high standards of health and safety at the 21st Annual Occupational Safety Awards 2012.
“Univar is committed to operating with integrity, and health and safety is an important part of that, so it is a great pleasure to be recognised by the NISO for our work in this area,” said Phil Hockaday, Univar’s environment, health, safety, and quality director EMEA. “Through our stringent EHS policy, procedures, and philosophy we work very closely with our staff, customers and suppliers, regulators, and local authorities to make sure we are not just meeting but exceeding government and industry requirements, raising the bar for the industry.”
In a move to expand its foothold in the German market, US medical device manufacturer Pioneer Surgical Technology has created a German subsidiary with offices located in Konstanz. The expansion positions Pioneer Surgical closer to its German surgeon and hospital customers by establishing a commercial centre that will be solely focused on this key market.
“Our strategy is for Pioneer Surgical Global Spine to be recognised as a market leader in providing innovative surgical solutions that benefit the patient, surgeon and hospitals around the world,” states Jim St John, executive vice president of Global Distributed Spine. “Our goal is to nimbly address individual market needs through a combination of dedicated personnel and customised product offerings tailored to the unique requirements of individual markets as substantiated by careful business analysis.”
German chemicals company BASF has increased its capacity for Ultramid B (polyamide 6) film product materials at its Ludwigshafen Verbund site by 21,000 metric tonnes per year in December 2012.
According to research recently published by UK-based AMI Consulting, polymer distribution accounted for 11% of polymer sales in 2011—equivalent to approximately 3 mn tonnes of resin and representing sales of over E6 bn.
Despite the impact of the eurozone crisis and volatile pricing and supplies, the sector has continued to grow and increase in importance within the polymer industry supply chain with sales through distribution channels growing ahead of the overall demand for polymer.
However, AMI reports that the sales growth is expected to be markedly slower for 2012 with distribution volumes increasing at half the rate compared with the previous two years. Furthermore, the distribution industry still has some way to go to recover the volumes lost during the 2008-2009 recession with 2011 sales more than 500,000 tonnes lower than in 2007.