BMS invests in R&D for foam production

With the latest equipment for product development and the expansion of its production capacity, materials manufacturer Bayer MaterialScience continues to adapt to the needs of key sectors such as the automotive and construction industries. At its headquarters in Leverkusen, the German company has outfitted a technical centre for the advancement of premium foams with ultra-modern machines and systems. An additional production plant also was brought on stream there for coating raw materials, another global growth market. The total investment in both is more than EUR45 million.

"This allows us to supply key industries more precisely and with higher volumes of exactly the products they need," said CEO Patrick Thomas. "Furthermore," he added, "the company is expanding its competence in developing new applications and manufacturing processes for its materials in close collaboration with customers."

The rising mobility and urbanisation trends can be met with polyurethane foam, for instance to insulate buildings and refrigeration systems, or for components that make cars lighter, more fuel efficient and more comfortable. As a leading manufacturer of polyurethane precursors, BMS tests innovative solutions and processes at its new EUR10 million technical centre in Leverkusen. In the medium to long term, the company expects the global polyurethane market to continue growing at an average annual rate of about 5%.

Meanwile, the global market for coating and adhesive raw materials is also on a growth course, and will likely increase by an average of roughly 4% a year. To meet the rising demand, the firm is expanding production capacity for the precursors HDI and IPDI, which likewise are based on polyurethanes. The company invested a 18 months and EUR35 million in the construction of a newly commissioned multipurpose plant in Leverkusen that can produce either of the raw materials depending on demand. The process is said to be environmentally compatible and highly efficient.

"With the production facility and the new technical center, we have set the course for strengthening our leading position as a developer and manufacturer of premium, chemistry-based materials," said Thomas. "Despite the current challenges, such as high energy and raw material costs and rising global competition, we continue to have good prospects for long-term, profitable growth."

With 2012 sales of EUR11.5 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials serving segments such as the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2012, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,500 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.


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