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How Important is China to Your Materials Suppliers?

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Look at what DuPont did.

 

Having a presence in China is not new for most major material suppliers—both resin makers and compounders such as BASF, Dow, ExxonMobil, PolyOne, and Teknor Apex to name a few.

 

DuPont, which is about to merge with Dow Chemical, has opened up its largest yet engineering plastics compounding plant in Shenzhen, China. Last month, my colleague Tony Deligio reported on the company’s “pre-announcement” of the new facility during the Chinaplas 2016 Media Day in late April.

 

Further expansion into China was a definite theme among materials suppliers at this year’s Chinaplas, according to Tony. “If they weren’t adding/expanding local production, they were adding/expanding local design/application engineering.”

In DuPont’s case, its journey in Shenzhen started 27 years ago. The old facility was shuttered and its production folded into the new state-of-the-art facility.

 

A variety of compounds are being produced at this facility based on Zytel nylon, Crastin PBT, Delrin acetal (POM), Fusabond resins, and Bynell adhesive resins, intended to serve the automotive, industrial, consumer, and packaging markets in China and the broader Asia Pacific region.

 

The facility boasts the latest compounding technologies and reportedly features a number of innovations to deliver high quality and increased productivity. For example, DuPont collaborated closely with its extrusion equipment supplier to create a production setup that is said to allow for faster transitions between different product families, resulting in greater asset flexibility to meet customer needs with shorter delivery cycles.

 

The largest extruders installed in the new facility, which is designed with further expansion in mind, are said to deliver a high volume output with increased efficiency. The Shenzhen facility also boasts a high level of automation—from silo to extruder, which further bolsters product uniformity and quality. Product packaging is also fully automated.

 

For more on DuPont engineering plastics, see PT’s materials database.

 

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