SABIC Steps-Up Specialty Thermoplastic Resins Fulfillment to Expedite Production of Critical COVID-19 Equipment
Two Chinese manufacturers swiftly received SABIC’s specialty engineered resins for the manufacture of much needed medical equipment.
Over the last several months, we have reported on a number of companies across the plastics industry—from resin suppliers and compounders to processors and OEMs—who have geared up to meet the needs for a variety of critical equipment exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. SABIC recently unveiled how it has taken extraordinary steps to expedite order fulfillment for its specialty thermoplastics resins from global customers that manufacture lifesaving medical equipment, from ventilators and defibrillators to auto-chemistry analyzers.
For example, the company swiftly supplied significant quantities of thermoplastics to two Chinese medical device manufacturers—Mindray and DIRUI. Despite shutdowns and exponential increase in demand, SABIC has worked to ensure fast and steady supply of desperately needed medical equipment to hospitals on the front lines.
Said Martin Tam, SABIC director of customer fulfillment, specialties APAC (Asia-Pacific region). “The coronavirus pandemic has spotlighted the critical role of material suppliers in the face of urgent demand for high volumes of medical devices, supplies and personal protective equipment. As a leading plastics manufacturer in the medical products supply chain, SABIC has risen to the challenge of supporting the healthcare industry during this difficult time. Our agility, seamless scalability and broad global resources are allowing us to do our part to reliably deliver the specialized materials needed for healthcare applications used to diagnose, monitor and treat patients.”
Here are details on meeting the specific product needs for the two Chinese companies:
▪ 10,000 Medical Devices for Italy
Mindray Medical International Ltd. is a global medical instrumentation developer and manufacturer based in Shenzhen. When Mindray received an urgent order from Italy for 10,000 units of its ventilators, defibrillators, monitors and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) machines, the manufacturer contacted SABIC for a range of its high-performance specialty materials. They included LNP EXL copolymer, internally lubricated LNP Lubricomp and anti-static LNP Faradex compounds, and Ultem resin, all of which were delivered to Mindray’s contract molder within weeks.
The company also urgently needed high-performance SABIC materials to produce 3000 pieces of medical equipment for two new hospitals being constructed in China. The SABIC team worked around the clock for two days to produce much-needed thermoplastics for Mindray, primarily for device housings.
Said Mindray’s procurement business manage Timmy Tong, “As COVID-19 cases spiked in China and Italy, we faced intense pressure to produce and ship essential medical equipment as fast as possible. SABIC went above and beyond to deliver the materials we required, in a very short timeframe, with the high quality and consistency we expected. Particularly in this crisis situation, our strong, longstanding relationship with SABIC is demonstrating its priceless value.”
▪ 1,000 Auto-chemistry Analyzers for China
DIRUI Industrial Co., Ltd., is a leading provider of high-quality diagnostic equipment and reagents in China, which also faced urgent customer requests for equipment to support COVID-19 care. In March 2020, the company requested expedited delivery of two grades of SABIC’s Noryl PPE resin to produce 1000 auto-chemistry analyzers for Chinese hospitals. The analyzers are used to measure patients’ kidney and bladder function, among other tests. Although SABIC’s Shanghai facility was shut down to contain COVID 19, SABIC quickly mobilized to manufacture, fulfill and supply DIRUI’s order.
Of the two grades of Noryl PPE resin, one provides dimensional stability and chemical resistance for the analyzer housings, while the other delivers the hydrolytic stability needed for the water channel.
Said DIRUL’s supply chain development manager Henry Chen, “We are thankful to SABIC for the tremendous job they did in fulfilling our critical order so that we could rapidly produce the auto-chemistry analyzers needed to help control the pandemic. We look forward to continuing our seamless and efficient collaboration with SABIC in the future.”
Conventional molding techniques are not effective with high-temperature materials. Molders need to be aware of certain conditions and parameters to handle problems sometimes posed by high-heat injection molding.
A new study shows how the type and amount of LDPE in blends with LLDPE affect the processing and strength/toughness properties of blown film. Data are shown for both LDPE-rich and LLDPE-rich blends.
Advances in materials, feedblock/die technologies, and winding can help processors develop more sophisticated cast-stretch products.