Reflecting the growth in composites in Asia, the lectures and show will be based on 3 themes:
Aeronautics MRO (Maintenance Repair Overhaul), Electric cars, Wind-powered energy.
The whole subject of automation will be addressed across the board both for small-run, high technology structures and for parts for the mass market. Last but not least, raw materials, resins and fibers, will receive a great deal of attention in this region known for its high requirements, with a special focus on composites made from plants.
Stimulated by the sharp economic growth and rapid urbanisation in the emerging markets of the Asia-Pacific region, the increase in demand for advanced composite materials has remained very steady. In 2010 world production of composites increased by almost 5% to reach 8 million tons. The Asia-Pacific region alone represents 38% of total volume, mainly due to the unprecedented growth in the Chinese and Indian markets.
According to the annual survey of the composites market carried out by JEC, which with 250,000 users worldwide is the largest organisation representing the composites sector, Asian production should reach 43% of global production of composites by 2015.
"The composites market is growing fast in most developed regions around the world, which in large part is based on industrial development in Asia", says Frédérique Mutel, President and CEO of JEC. "The market is increasingly in demand of advanced composites for a wide range of applications. We believe composites will see sustained growth in the construction, aeronautics, automotive, wind-power and EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) sectors in Asia over the next five years. "
JEC Asia will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in Singapore June 26-28, 2012. Last year, the show attracted over 7,000 professional visitors from 51 countries, 76% of them from the Asia-Pacific region.
"The high attendance of professionals and decision-makers from Asia convincingly demonstrates that JEC Asia is the only professional event that can bring in everybody in the regional composites value chain", adds Mrs. Mutel. "Following the previous four sessions, JEC Asia 2012 will highlight the latest technologies, the technical content and the innovative approaches that are making the news in composites, also offering a unique platform for exchanges of information and exploiting new commercial niches."
Malaysia has been selected as country of honor for JEC Asia 2012 based on various criteria, in particular the rapid growth potential of the local composites market, and the solid network established between the worlds of science, technology, R&D, teaching and industry. Over the last 15 years JEC has developed lasting contacts with a large number of professionals and organisations in the Asian composites industry. With the selection of Malaysia as the country of honor in 2012, JEC Asia 2012 seeks to promote the products, technologies, research and professional skills on which current developments in composites are based in Malaysia.
"This year we will be emphasizing our partners from the world of education and research in order to encourage the dialogue between industry and the composites end-users, as well as to promote the extraordinary advantages of the new composite materials", explains Mrs. Mutel. "The Asian composites industry is increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of its production, and this year, JEC Asia has set itself the target of analyzing the market for biocomposites, which is an environmentally friendly solution. In this field Malaysia is making a large contribution."
With new environmental regulations requiring a reduction in CO2 emissions in all industrial sectors and with producers being encouraged to adopt sustainable concepts, biocomposites are enjoying strong demand.
JEC Asia 2012 will be presenting a range of innovations in biocomposites, emphasizing especially the rapid commercial expansion of natural fibers used to replace traditional glass and carbon fibres. Natural fibres can improve the environmental compatibility of composite materials, especially biocomposites, at a reasonable cost. All these developments are already emerging in Asia today. For instance, the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota is speeding up the incorporation of biocomposites in its production vehicles.
JEC Asia 2012 will also be putting the spotlight on various important composite innovations for the automotive sector. The JEC annual survey shows that composite materials today represent almost 6% of the weight of vehicles. This penetration level is likely to rise since advanced composites can help car manufacturers to significantly reduce the weight of their vehicles, thereby reducing manufacturing costs.
"JEC Asia 2012 will showcase extremely varied innovations in materials, such as composite structures strengthened with long fibers that are currently revolutionizing car manufacturing", stresses Mrs. Mutel. "It will also be showing how these composite innovations can be adapted to the Asian market."
The rapid industrial development of the Asia-Pacific region is also stimulating demand for process automation solutions that will help the improvement of manufacture, especially high added-value applications in the aerospace and wind-power sectors.
JEC Asia 2012 is fully focused on automated solutions, and will be presenting the very latest process automation solutions that can help the industry in Asia to optimize costs, enhance productivity and improve the quality of their products. In the wind-power sector, for example, manufacturers of wind-turbines worldwide are increasingly using robots to reduce the costs of blades by up to 40%, so that wind-powered energy can, in the end, become more competitive than hydroelectric energy.
"While only 30% of production processes in Asia were automated in 2001, regional market penetration of automated production solutions has reached 64% in recent years but is expected to increase approximately to the European or US automation levels, which are 85%" states Mrs. Mutel. "Automation is a powerful engine for technological progress in the composites industry, and JEC Asia 2012 will be offering Asian visitors a platform for finding out about the latest solutions for incorporating automation in composite production processes".
"Advanced automation technologies also allow companies in Asia differentiate themselves by adopting more complex production methods."
JEC Asia 2012 will highlight new automation possibilities for manufacturing processes that involve composite materials, and 35% of the exhibitors will be presenting equipment, machines and software solutions for process automation.
JEC Asia 2012 will be welcoming major specialists and global decision-makers from the composites sector, who will be sharing their expert knowledge at user forums and in the Innovation Awards program organized as part of JEC Asia.
Composite innovation is at the very heart of JEC's activities, and the JEC Asia Innovation Awards are a platform designed to present and reward the best and most value-creating composite solutions in various user sectors. Each year the award-winning innovations are selected according to criteria of technical excellence, exemplariness in the partner chain, commercial potential and originality.
JEC Asia 2012 will also host the fifth Innovative Composites Summit (I.C.S.), and educational program that offers forums and technical conferences about the latest innovations in the various application sectors of the composites industry.
The I.C.S. will present the latest solutions for incorporating automation in composites production in order to upgrade to mass production.
The I.C.S. traditionally contains an economic conference in which the composite markets of the main Asian markets are presented.