ERJ staff report (PR)
Houston, Texas – Styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) major Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. has officially opened a new pilot facility equipped to manufacture SBC-type materials in quantities ranging from 25 kilograms to 50 tonnes.
Located at the company's main manufacturing site in Belpre, Ohio, the facility will employ advanced process equipment to examine the potential use of “less traditional monomers and building blocks” in various applications, said Kraton.
“This new ability to generate developmental polymer and processing technologies also opens the door to applications and industries where traditional SBCs were unable to participate,” added a 26 June company statement.
The goal, said Kraton, is to capitalise on the existing plant's technical skills, talents and infrastructure and bridge the gap between laboratory and full-scale production within the development cycle. As well as speeding the delivery of developmental polymers, it will reduce reliance upon Kraton's commercial manufacturing plants for test runs, resulting in fewer type changes and improved utilisation of these facilities.
"We are accelerating our time to market and improving our supply chain capabilities, which enables us to meet the needs of our global customers. This new facility has garnered significant interest on the part of those customers and our development partners around the world," said Kevin Fogarty, president and CEO.
The new pilot facility and the existing Belpre manufacturing plant together have nearly 600 employees and contractors.