Plant Expansions: Modern Dispersions expands at two US sites; Lanxess inaugurates compounding facility in China

Modern Dispersions expands at two US sites

US-based supplier of thermoplastic compounds and concentrates Modern Dispersions Inc. has announced key capacity expansions at its Leominster, Mass. and Fitzgerald, Ga. manufacturing facilities, in response to market growth.

Modern Dispersions is adding a 133-mm twin-screw extruder and ancillary equipment to significantly increase production capabilities for engineered compounds and masterbatches at the Georgia plant. The expansion is currently underway and slated to come online in six months. The new capacity is in response to strong growth in a range of markets including automotive, electrical components, and electronics packaging.

“The new line gives us more flexibility, reduced lead times, and allows us to remain cost competitive as we strive to meet the supply needs of our customers,” said Jan Kozma, Vice-President of sales and marketing for Modern Dispersions. “We are constantly investing in our resources, including facilities and personnel, to service our customers more efficiently.

The company has also announced additional capacity for black masterbatches for polyolefins at the Georgia plant. The expansion is underway and the new production is expected to come online next year. It has also installated a 50-mm Steer twin-screw extruder for a new pilot line at its Leominster, Mass. plant. It says the new R&D pilot line will help it develop new engineering plastics formulations for nylon, polycarbonate, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins and support initial scale-up and pre-production needs. The twin-screw extruder will have a capacity of 1,500 kg/hr.

Lanxess inaugurates compounding facility in China

Meanwhile, in other news, German specialty chemicals company Lanxess has inaugurated its new compounding plant in Changzhou, China. The facility produces Durethan- and Pocan-branded high-tech plastics, especially for the automotive sector and the electrical and electronics industry.

“This facility was built to address several strategically vital markets,” said Hubert Fink, Member of the Lanxess Board of Management, in his speech at the opening ceremony. “In the automotive industry, lightweight materials become ever more important in new mobility. At the same time, the electrical & electronics sector sees an increasing need for best-in-class flame retardant, easy flow and easily processable grades.”

“With the new plant, we are responding to the trend towards the increased use of lightweight materials. We are committed to this long-term development,” said Michael Zobel, Head of the High Performance Materials business unit.

Intelligent production is a substantial highlight of the new plant. From batching, hot melting, mixing, cooling, granulating, pellet cooling to palletizing, the entire system is designed to be intelligent. For example, the batching system adopts multiple continuous loss-in-weight feeders to realise continuous production. The pellet processing system can conduct feeding and convey in a fully automated manner. The high-temperature plastic strands from the extruder can automatically enter a cooling bath for full cooling, before being sent to the automatic conveyor, and then to the pelletizer for granulation.

Lanxess says it equips all its new production sites with state-of-the-art technology, also with regard to environmental standards. To this end, the new plant incorporates various innovative measures in environmental protection such as state-of-the-art mixers with high performance and low energy consumption and efficient wastewater, waste gas and dust treatment systems to achieve a clean production process with low energy consumption, low material consumption and less pollutants.

The business unit High Performance Materials operates a global production network at the following locations: Dormagen (Research & Development); Krefeld-Uerdingen (PA 6 Polymerisation, Compounding); Hamm-Uentrop (PBT Polymerisation, Compounding); Brilon (Tepex Production and Development); Antwerp, Belgium (PA 6 Polymerisation); Wuxi, China (Compounding); Changzhou, China (Compounding); Jhagadia, India (Compounding); Gastonia, US (Compounding); and Porto Feliz, Brazil (Compounding).


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