Birdsboro, Pennsylvania – Arkema SA is expanding polyimide production in North America and Asia-Pacific.
Citing projected growth around the world in the sports, consumer electronics and automotive markets, the firm will expand its thermoplastic elastomer capacity at its site in Birdsboro, produced under the Pebax brand.
The company also will expand its site in Zhangjiagang, China, to increase production of its Rilsan brand polyamide, also targeting the sports, consumer electronics and automotive markets.
Financial details were not disclosed, but Erwoan Pezron, Arkema's global group president for technical polymers, said both expansions will total several million dollars. Both projects are projected to begin by the end of 2016 and be complete by the third quarter of 2017.
“Our goal is to be much more flexible in our manufacturing assets so we can be more reactive to customer needs,” he said. “(The expansions) will help us follow the demand of our customers in a number of growth sectors. We'll have more supply chain flexibility and be able to serve the region from the region.”
Birdsboro employs 60. Pezron said once the expansion is complete, the site will have the capability to produce up to 4,000 tons of Pebax. He cited two primary reasons for the added capacity. First, it is in line with Arkema's strategy to serve its regional customers from facilities all over the world. Second, the executive cited that some of the firm's US polyimide business is showing solid growth, highlighting the medical device, construction and automotive markets.