The Asia Rubtech Expo 2018, organised by the Indian Rubber Institute (IRI) in Bangalore from September 27-29, 2018, concluded with a call by experts to enhance the quality of products to international standards and bridge the skill gap in the rubber sector by training the new manpower entering the industry and reskilling the existing workforce.

Inaugural function

K J George, Karnataka Minister for Large & Medium Scale Industries, who inaugurated the Expo, said the state government is taking pro-active steps to create a conducive environment for the industry. He offered the full support of the government for the development of rubber and allied industries in the state.
Vinod Simon, Chairman of Rubber Skill Development Council, announced that the Central Government has announced a grant to support skill development in the rubber sector. Under this project, 250,000 personnel will be trained every year.
He said the human resource requirement of the MSME sector is projected to be around 150 million by 2022. Auto and auto components segment which includes a large number of rubber MSMEs has the highest human resource requirement of 35 million.
Arun K Bajoria, Director & President (International Operations), JK Tyre and Industries, said the Indian rubber industry is now growing at the rate of 7-8%, with the export growth touching 15-17 % in revenue terms.
Rubber is finding new applications in various industries. There are over 6,000 rubber products manufacturing units in the country and there is an imperative need to raise the quality of products to global standards, he added.
P K Mohamed, Chief Convenor of the conference, and Mr V K Misra, Chief Convenor of the Expo, spoke.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr R Mukhopadhyaya, Chairman of Indian Rubber Institute (IRI) announced that the first phase of the Dr D Banerjee Centre of Excellence being founded by IRI in Mysore will be operational by March 2019. Dr Arup K Chandra, Convenor-Technical, delivered the vote of thanks.

Conference theme

The theme of the three-day conference is Advancement in Testing Equipment, Measuring System & Automation in Rubber Industry. The conference focussed on the growing challenges of the automotive & rubber industries and discussed measure to address the critical parameters like tyre safety & comfort, material characterization & testing, forensic analysis, re-construction of formulation & design, simulation & modeling and automation in manufacturing.
The conference provided a platform for the world leaders in this field to share their views , knowledge and exhibit their latest testing/inspection equipment and rubber processing machineries with focus on automation and systems for manufacturing excellence.
Those who presented papers included Lewis B. Tunnicliffe (Birla Carbon, USA), Alan Bennetts (Bay Systems, UK), Stefan Dengler (SDS Systemtechnik, Germany), Aaron Ryba (Momentive, USA), Cristian Oprisoni (Rhein Chemie, Germany), Mike Hovey (Bartell Systems, USA), Aki Nurminen (Black Donuts, Finland), Aki Nurminen (Black Donuts, Finland), Tim Fisher (FACTS INC, USA), C. Jayachandran (ARDL, USA), Van Bogaert Philippe (Bogimac, Belgium), Jaeyoung Ko (Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (KKPC), Korea), R K Matthan (Vystar Corporation, India), S. L. Agrawal (Reliance Industries, India), K. Rajkumar (IRMRA, India), Tapas Ranjan Mohanty (Apollo Tyres Ltd.), Vivek Bhandari (Arlanxeo, India), Amol Patil (Bekaert, India), P.R. Sreenath (IIT Patna, India), Tirthankar Bhandary (HASETRI, India) etc.

Good participation

About 530 delegates from various part of India and abroad attended the deliberations. They included those working in the fields of Rubber and Allied Industries, R&D Organizations, Technical Executives, Quality Control Executives, Educational Institutions, Testing Laboratories, Product Testing Centers, Raw Material Manufacturers, Automobile Industries, Students of Polymer/ Rubber/ Chemicals, Research scholars etc.
Rubber Asia and Tyre Asia published by Asian Business Media (AMB) were among the Media Partners for the event.