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Tag Archives: Gopi Sekhar
High Time for Modernization & Automation of the Rubber Manufacturing Industry from the Tree to SMR and Latex
Its the common consensus that it’s high time there was a tangible change to the existing approach to the Natural Rubber industry in Malaysia and the region. More than 50 years ago the first step into some level of automation with the implementation of the SMR process and standard, while it was and is a significant and lasting development but the industry reaching it has pretty much stayed the same, effectively labour intensive with grades based on dirt content.
In the words of a very wise man, the tree produces only one grade of rubber, pure and pristine, it takes considerable effort in order to introduce the dirt that then requires a grading system. Such things as automated tapping systems in the form of electical tapping knives, puncture tapping etc, poly-bagging, special containers etc have been around for decades but have been relegated to talking points and filing cabinets. It is reminiscent of the ungodly battle to get the SMR standard and process accepted, change seemed to be the enemy then, I believe it has been pretty much the same in recent times.
Latest offering from SRI boasting 100% Butyl Free SRI DVR Compound
Then when the same DVR Compound is added to Volume Medium grade Asian Retread Compound the results are interesting to say the least!The retention of properties is very exciting especially the EB% !!
With the significance of high Rolling Resistance and Heat Build Up in tyres being a direct measure of CO2 generation contributing to Global Warming its a particularly important factor in terms of sustainability in Commercial Vehicle and Passenger Car Tyres. The SRI DVR Compound is the first recycled content tested by global tyre manufacturers that does not impact adversely on Rebound Hysteresis test results which is a benchmark for Rolling Resistance and Heat Buildup in their tread compounds.
A significant milestone for SRI and I, we inked our term sheet with Agensi Innovasi Malaysia and QuestMark Group. An important step for us but marking the begining of our journey and the challenges to come.
The excitement at the prospect of moving ahead with greater momentum is palpable, the entire team is galvanized for the next steps.
A long journey for all of us, I am personally looking forward to publishing technical papers on our innovation and starting the process of introduction of SRI Compounds into the market, the Global Market.
I love my three young children immensely. So it’s hard for me to be fully rational about them. Of course they are the smartest, the best looking, and the most athletic. I’m not alone — all parents are irrational. We lose sleep worrying about things we can’t control and take pride in ridiculously small achievements we had nothing to do with.
SolarCity has made headlines for its unique business model. The company’s focus is on residential and commercial solar roof installation, and has spread its influence across the U.S. with great success. SolarCity has now received a $344 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to outfit military housing rooftops with solar panels. More..
The ultimate model which addresses all possible aspects of environmental sustainability in rubber recycling is still Devulcanization but should start right from the collection of tires. This means the starting point should be at the tire collection centers or in the US possibly at the landfills. Here we are not talking about solid waste management anymore but effectively managing a vital raw material in process.
Addressed properly the tires would not be dumped in the open but would be separated out between passenger car and commercial vehicle (truck) tires, making it possible to split up the feedstock into types ie. Mostly Natural Rubber (80/20) from Commercial vehicle tires and Mostly Synthetic (60/40) for passenger car tires. This important step also makes it possible to shoe horn in a step which could see the eventual removal of the Butyl inner liners by grinding or peeling off. The resultant by-products would be butyl scrap feedstock and butyl free scrap tire feedstock, an interesting and very significant change to the current situation.
MOVE WITH PURPOSE, COMMITMENT
We live in a world that has taken its bounty and blessings entirely for granted for a very long time. The most basic levels of reciprocation to maintain balance in our environment were ignored and we might have pillaged our way to a point of no return. The only option left beyond packing up and leaving mother earth is to do away with polluting processes and address sustainability in any and all our activities.
The challenge before us is to make sustainable activity in the form of greentech and applications related to the improvements in efficiency and energy conservancy, cost effective and profitable. Fortunately, we do have solutions that can go a long way towards mitigation. Some challenges require us to invent, others called for applying common sense and using existing Smart solutions.
It did not come as a surprise when Sekhar Research Innovations (SRI) Sdn Bhd won the cleantech innovation award from the international technology consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan. SRI’s devulcanising process, which is a closed-loop rubber recycling solution that can match the volume requirements of rubber manufacturing, is not only an environment-friendly process but also holds out great commercial value.
SRI, founded by the doyen of modern rubber technology the late Tan Sri Dr BC Sekhar, is a renowned R&D firm working on ecological reuse of end-of-life tyres and waste rubber to produce premium tyres.
It won the Asia Pacific award in recognition of its technology’s uniqueness that will have a defining impact on new products, applications, functionality and customer value. The technology transforms the recycling of scrap rubber into a volume-based and industrially scalable process, said SRI CEO Gopinath B Sekhar in an interview.
“Our solution provides for substantial economies of scale by having a modular, high-volume processing system that lends itself to a very high-level of consistency in performance,” he said.
“Further, our energy footprint is lower than any other available devulcanisation technology and we have zero discharge.”
This is the first time that an eco-friendly technology will be able to match the sheer volume of tyre wastes generated in a way that is economically viable without relying on subsidies.
“Frost’s innovation award was a welcome validation of our efforts and achievements thus far,” Sekhar explained.
The product from SRI, which was a start-up based in the Malaysian city Petaling Jaya and is currently engaged in commercialising its process by opening a production facility in Malaysia, is a viable recycling solution that can address the problems of scrap tyres globally.
Sekhar said the world produces tyres in excess of 1 billion units yearly valued at more than US$130 billion. But scrapping them poses a major environmental hazard because it is difficult to dispose end-of-life tyres. It has been found that the option of producing tyre derived fuel by incinerating them is a global public health concern. More…..