Ludwigshafen, Germany – For the footwear market, BASF has opened new development facilities in the US and Thailand, launched an innovation-centre project in Taiwan, and expanded an existing development centre in Italy.
The investments will couple the expertise of its process engineers, footwear specialists and technicians with the latest technologies and machinery, said a BASF press release issued 1 July.
These facilities “will serve as a global platform to formulate and test new material innovations, refine processes and evaluate concepts in large-scale production environments,” said BASF.
The US unit, in Wyandotte, Michigan, is a 2000-square-foot lab, equipped with advanced footwear machinery for outsole, midsole and unit sole developments.
Activities there will include new material testing and prototype production via polyurethane direct injection moulding. The latter technology also features in the new facilities in Italy and Thailand.
To open in 2020, the BASF ‘footwear innovation center’ in Taiwan is intended to further strengthen its capabilities and customer co-development approaches in Asia Pacific.
Citing BASF developments, such as its Infinergy high-rebound polyurethanes for mid-soles, Andy Postlethwaite, senior VP, performance materials Asia Pacific, promised “more exciting innovations in the future.”