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Several Rubber & Plastics Giants Increase Presence in the Chinese Market

Despite the slowing economic growth, the Chinese market still has tremendous potentials. Several rubber & plastics giants are optimistic about the prospects of Chinese market. During CHINAPLAS 2016, Solvay, DuPont and Engel announced their plan to open experimental centers and increase their production capacity in China successively. Several rubber & plastics giants are building up their presence in the Chinese market.    

DuPont sets up its biggest mixing base in Shenzhen

DuPont said it’s building a new plant in Guangming New Area, Shenzhen to produce special plastics including Zyztel, Zytel HTN, Crastin, Delrin, Bynel and Fusabond and the plant is expected to put into operation in June this year. By then, the old plant in Shenzhen will be shut down.    

Philippe Hanck, Business Director for Performance Materials Asia Pacific, DuPont, though he didn’t reveal the production capacity of the new plant, said it was the company’s biggest mixing base worldwide and is “adopting the most advanced extrusion technology available so far.”   

“The new plant in Shenzhen is built for the future and still has a lot of land for future expansion. We expect half of its production capacity to be consumed in China,” said Hanck.  He added that China’s GDP growth might slow down, but the company’s business was not directly linked with the economic performance and packing and automobile business still had vast development space. He explained, “The Chinese market is after more high-quality packing technologies and the demand is soaring; the auto industry will use more turbo-charged engines for emission reduction, which will create more business opportunities.””   

Engel Increases Production Capacity of Shanghai Base    

To grasp the opportunity presented by the sustained growth of high-end IMM market in China, Austrian IMM producer Engel and its sister company Wintec has spent RMB 60 million increasing the production capacity of their production base in Shanghai, including increasing an extra 1,000 m2 office area and an 1,600m2 plant area which are expected to open in April 2017.    

Gero Willmeroth, Sales and Service President at Engel Machinery Shanghai, announced the expansion plan on the media day. He pointed out, “Our production capacity falls short of the demand in China, so we plan to increase it. We’ll add another heavy fabrication center in the new plant to produce IMM boards.”   

Currently Asia contributes about one quarter of Engel’s global sales revenue, about EUR 300 million, three times that (EUR 100 million) in 2012, and China is the biggest Asian market for Engel.     

According to Gero Willmeroth, despite the slowing economic growth in China, the high-end plastic machinery market is still robust. Engel still has a lot of potentials in China because Chinese manufacturers are pouring money into intelligent manufacturing to improve their productivity and efficiency, which is an opportunity for Engel.    

He added that even though Engel had not produced manipulators or other automatic equipment in Asia, it’s considering the option and China might become one of the production bases.  At the same time, Engel is expanding its facilities in Austria, which is expected to be completed in August this year.    

A. Schulman Launches Phase I Plant in Changshu    

American plastics supplier A. Schulman launched its Phase I plant in Changshu, Jiangsu, on April 28. With a total investment of USD 30 million, the plant is specialized in R&D and the production of color masterbatch, with the expected sales of about USD 150 million after it reaches the designed capacity.   It’s learnt that the company will expand rapidly in China and will accelerate the Phase II project. Its annual sales revenue is expected to hit USD 300-400 million. It has installed three new production lines in Changshu and plans to double the production capacity within two to three years and explore new areas of business, including the production of mixtures of color masterbatch and mixtures of engineering plastics.    

Solvay Opens APT Lab in Shanghai    

On the media day of CHINAPLAS, Solvay announced that its Engineering Plastics division would set up a dedicated APT lab in Shanghai. The lab will be put into use at the end of this year. It’s the company’s first APT (application property test) center outside Europe, intended to promote the application, development and verification of Technyl in automobile, consumption and electronic markets.    

“Building a dedicated lab in Shanghai will enable us to better respond to customer needs in China and even the whole Asia and thus to provide better services for auto parts suppliers at all levels and OEM in the region,” said Solvay Engineering Plastics General Manager Peter Browning.    

In 2015, the Asian-Pacific market contributed to 33% of the net sales of the company, with about RMB 10 billion coming from China. A new APT lab in Shanghai will complement the company’s existing facilities in Europe.    

APT Technyl Validation is a new service launched by Solvay Engineering Plastics, covers the testing of all sorts of parts and can help customers develop products that are up to the strictest criteria. Solvay’s APT lab in Europe is the Technyl Innovation Center in Lyons, France. It's equipped with a range of parts testing equipment for metal substitution, thermal management and fluid blocking.    

It’s learnt that the new APT lab in Shanghai will be equipped with testing equipment for metal substitution first, to be followed by testing equipment for thermal management and fluid blocking.



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