Victrex ups capacity for PAEK by 70%

UK-headquartered Victrex has commissioned the first production stream of its £90 million third Polyaryletherketone (PAEK) manufacturing plant. The capacity increase at the third plant, is also a further foundation to progress Victrex’s pipeline of future opportunities, including seven mega programmes, which will help grow the company over the coming years.

Recent investments increase Victrex´s production capacity by 70% to over 7,000 tonnes/year. Alongside its PAEK resin capacity, the PAEK producer has also continued its downstream investment in APTIV film, pipe, tape and now medical components, enabling the company to differentiate from competitors by supplying complete solutions to customers rather than simply manufacturing materials.

The new PAEK plant serves as the backbone to develop core growth and future opportunities. With long term megatrends being supportive across Victrex’s markets of automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics and medical, the company has focused its pipeline on a smaller number of larger opportunities. These include for example aerospace brackets, applications for mobile devices, orthopaedic knees and oil & gas pipes through its partnership with Magma. Victrex recently identified the overall market potential for the high-performing thermoplastic PAEK as being over 80,000 tonnes.

David Hummel, Chief Executive of Victrex, said: “We are continuing to move from being simply a materials manufacturer to a solutions provider. Our investment, not only in PAEK manufacturing, but in downstream capability, in know-how in technical excellence and research & development, helps to further differentiate our company. Already today we are able to fill gaps in the market by delivering semi-finished and finished components such as APTIV films or medical applications. With the third production facility we are in a position to offer sustained security of supply, which is, along with rigorous quality, critical to our customers.”

The new facility for the manufacture of PAEK went into operation in the north-west of the UK during April. Over 1,000 tonnes of structural steel, more than 2,250 cu m of concrete and almost almost 30,000 m of piping were used in the plant’s construction. In addition, a new control room ensures the centralised management and monitoring of all three production plants.

Victrex operates Technology Centres at its headquarters in the UK, in Japan and in Shanghai, to reach customers both globally and regionally. Earlier this year, the company announced a proposed Polymer Innovation Centre in the UK, which will help to prototype and scale up future developments, enabling customers to test applications before full commercialisation.


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