Industry News

PolyOne Expands Asian Operations Amid Strong Business Growth

Published on 2002-10-14. Author : SpecialChem


PolyOne Corporation announced that it has embarked on a multi-phase expansion of its rapidly growing Asian business. The Company already has initiated improvements at its existing manufacturing facilities, and it has added a customer support laboratory in southern China.

PolyOne is seeing brisk customer demand in the region, which is enjoying an economic boom. For 2002, PolyOne projects growth of more than 30 percent in its Asian business, which totaled approximately $50 million in 2001. The Company's total capital investment in Asia will approximate $6 million in 2002.

PolyOne entered Asia in 1997, when it began manufacturing color concentrates in the Pudong technology park area of Shanghai, China. Since then, the Company has added compounding facilities for engineering polymers in Singapore and in Suzhou, which is near Shanghai. PolyOne also has formed a majority-controlled joint venture with color and additive concentrate producer Star Color in Thailand. These activities testify to the importance of the region to PolyOne's global growth strategy.

The first phase of the current expansion program is nearing completion:

  • Earlier this year, PolyOne opened a customer support laboratory and sales office in Shenzhen in southern China. The objective is to provide a speedier customer response on color matching and samples of color concentrate. The laboratory is equipped with two twin screw lines, and is staffed with experienced production and laboratory personnel who communicate with the Pudong manufacturing plant through data and video conference links. The two facilities work closely to expedite response. Samples of color formulations can be approved quickly because of proximity to customers, and then produced in Pudong.

  • In Suzhou, the first-stage expansion of the compounding facility is under way. The site produces a wide range of polymer compounds, including polyamide, flame-retardant polypropylene, and filled and/or colored polycarbonate or blends. Upgrades to existing lines and the addition of a new line will improve capacity and throughput, and equip Suzhou to manufacture a wider range of compounds, including thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). The technical team in Suzhou already has successfully introduced the first PolyOne TPE produced in Asia.

  • In Shanghai, work at the Pudong plant was recently completed. The site has more space for additional lines, a new office area and expanded laboratory space, including a large, state-of-the-art training room. PolyOne is planning further Asian expansions, with new equipment to be added in programs stretching into 2003. The Company also is evaluating construction of new manufacturing facilities

"The demand in some regions is such that in the next 12 months, we need to expand in both South China and in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)," said James Yuann, general manager for PolyOne Asia. "With some of our facilities we will reach the limits of what we can do, and we must consider alternative buildings."

Source: PolyOne Corporation

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