Chemical Daily 2017

MEP Hexa Thailand is a manufacturing company of compounded resins as one of the leading companies in the Thai market with a low percentage of waste. With its efforts to improve relentlessly, it has served as a role model for other companies in the same industry. For example, while the economy of Thailand was not vigorous, many companies visited this factory to find out what made this company more profitable continuously.

The former name of MEP Hexa Thailand was Hexa Chemical Thailand that was founded in 1988. In 1993, the factory moved from Bangkok to Wellgrow Industrial Estate in Chachoengsao Province, which is the current location of the company.

The production capacity has been continuously expanded to support the work of Thai Polycabonate (TPCC) and Thai Polyacetal (TPAC), which are subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Engineering Plastic (MEP). There are eleven and sixteen twin-screw and single-screw extrusion lines, respectively.

Shareholder structure consists of Hexa Chemical 39%, TPCC 38%, TPAC 13%, and MEP 10%.

The company mainly produces the compounds for TPCC and TPAC, but we also have another group of products produced on behalf of Hexa Chemical. In addition, we produce products for other makers as well. We not only produce engineering plastics, but we also produce general and specific plastics, such as hygienic plastics, including plastics for small pieces of work used in applications requiring high precision.

The production capacity is 40,000 tons per year, but for this year, our planned production capacity increased to 45,000 tons.

The company’s extruders are made in Japan and connected by LAN cable system, which will record the data 24 hours a day. When a problem occurs, these recorded data will be used.

In addition, as the factory manager, Mr. Masanori Kaku, suggested that “we should avoid the risk of causing a problem of disruption during delivering raw materials to customers, such as car manufacturers, QA device manufacturers, and manufacturers of small pieces of work used in applications requiring high precision,” the company therefore has two extruders of same model to accommodate and get prepared in case of machine problems so that the production can be switched.

Collecting every spare part relies on the carefulness. For example, gear box is a very important part for an extruder, and if it is defected or damaged, the extruder will be inoperable for 9 months. Indeed, the company experienced a problem of defected and damaged gear box last year, but because we had its spare parts, we therefore could run the machine again only 24 hours after it was stopped.

The production process of some compounds has unique features, which needs a variety of raw materials mixed in a tumbler before they are released into an extruder. However, at our company, these raw materials are initially mixed in a mixer, and the resins will then be mixed with these initially mixed raw materials at the tumbler process. These steps are called “compounding” at our company.

At Hexa Chemical, we have a distribution technology to combine powdered raw materials together. Although this method is time-consuming, it is effective in making raw materials well distributed and homogeneous and in preventing the stratification of raw materials in each batch.

What the company primarily focuses on is that its extruders are connected by LAN cable system and monitored 24 hours a day. The data are recorded, collected and stored to prevent the recurrence of same problems. Hence, the volume of waste can drop dramatically; for example, the target of waste rate last year was 0.2. %.

The motto of our factory is “Our factory is showroom.”

The ideas derived from employee involvements and suggestions have been applied to cause the success and achieve the goals of organization’s improvements, which can in turn provide our employees the morale and encouragement to work with the organization. In addition, bonus is also another thing that makes these employees encouraged to work with the company.

We have planned to import new machines to replace existing ones in the near future, to speed up the extruders to increase their efficiency and capacity, and to improve the efficiency of logistics as well.

Now, the company has fully expanded its production capacity and machinery at its factory space. If the company needs to increase its production capacity in the future, it seems that long-term planning to accommodate such increased production will be a challenge for the company to get prepared.