DSM Engineering Plastics is reinforcing its focus on China -- what the company believeswill develop into the world’s largest engineering plastics market in just three to fiveyears.
DSM’s deal to swap its Xantar polycarbonate business with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.’sNovamid polyamide, which has officially been completed as of June 1, is also expected tohelp create more depth into end users especially in China and Japan.
Jayant Dhobley, president of DSM Engineering Asia Pacific, said the acquisition includesMCC’s nylon 6.66 business and manufacturing, as well as a number of patents in automotiveexterior and other applications areas. As part of the agreement, DSM has acquired Tai YoungNylon Co. Ltd. in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, with local polymerization capacities for nylon 6.66.
The transaction will strengthen DSM’s service to customers in auto, electrical, andflexible packaging markets, Dhobley said. He has been leading the integration of Novamidbusiness.
Speaking of DSM’s China expansion at the Chinaplas 2010 trade show, Dhobley announced thatthe company is establishing a materials research and automotive development center inShanghai.
The center will be located on the DSM Shanghai campus, which opened last year as the firstLEED-certified commercial facility in China.
The R&D center will be DSM’s biggest research center for engineering plastics outside ofthe Netherlands, according to DSM President Roelof Westerbeek. The first steps will becompleted by the end of this year, starting to help OEMs and tier-one suppliers withmaterial development.
Dhobley noted that China already is the world’s largest plastics market. He has been inhis current post since 2008, and has successfully steered and grown the business inturbulent economic conditions.
He first moved to Shanghai in 2002 from DSM’s India operation to be Operations Director-Asia Pacific. During the next six years, he was responsible for establishing green-fieldmanufacturing facilities in Jiangyin, China and Pune, India.
The Jiangyin compounding facility is a main manufacturing plant for Greater China and Asiawith expansion potential to fit 200 more employees, Dhobley said. The company also runs adevelopment center in Jiangyin for advanced material testing and characterization, whichDSM continues to invest in both hardware and expertise on.
The facility in Pune is running at full capacity, Dhobley told Plastics News, and thecompany is planning the next phase of expansion by the end of the year.
In order to meet China’s growing demand for environmentally friendly engineering resins,DSM introduced at Chinaplas bio-based high-performance polyamide EcoPaXX that is carbonneutral from “cradle to gate.”
The EcoPaXX product is designed for under-the-hood-applications, said Dan Bishop, marketingdirector – Compounds Asia Pacific. Although it’s still in early evaluation phase, keycustomers appreciate the value and the eco benefits it offers.
The company also touts Stanyl CR — a second generation halogen-free high temperaturepolyamide with high flow and Arnitel-branded copolyester for the consumer electronics andwire and cable industries. Both products have been commercialized in China with keycustomers, Bishop said.
In the electronics manufacturing business, the conceptual, design and engineering work canbe done anywhere in the world, but manufacturing is concentrated in China, he added.
DSM Engineering Plastics reported sales in 2009 of 648 million euros ($801 million) andemploys about 1,600 worldwide.
In China, Royal DSM N.V. overall is set to achieve sales of $1.5 billion this year, Dhobleysaid. The company expects its China growth to be two-to-three times the GDP growth rate,which hit 11.9 percent in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis.