Changhua, Taiwan – BASF SE has opened a global ‘footwear innovation centre’ in Taiwan to expand its cooperation with key footwear manufacturers and develop “revolutionary” materials for the industry.
Located within the footwear manufacturing site of its strategic partner Longterm Concept (LTC) in Changhua, the innovation centre will bring professionals, manufacturers, and designers together to co-create new-generation footwear, BASF said 11 Aug.
The centre will combine LTC’s footwear manufacturing technologies with BASF’s material expertise, to address common operational challenges, optimise manufacturing processes, and improve efficiencies.
Among other things, the facility showcases BASF's Freeflex thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fibre made with Elastollan TPU for shoes uppers.
Additionally, it features Elastopan (PU) solutions and Infinergy, expanded TPU for high-performance footwear, as well as elastic materials for 3D printing of shoes.
The the 7,000 square-foot centre also includes “state-of-the-art” footwear design software, in-house mould-making machines, automated PU injection machines, and upper knitting machines that enable new shoe design possibilities.
According to BASF,facility will be able to test and refine material innovations within a shorter timeframe and evaluate concepts on a global scale.
“Taiwan is Asia’s hub for many footwear manufacturing firms and has a longstanding history with a powerful network of designers,” said Andy Postlethwaite, SVP Asia Pacific, performance materials, BASF.
The German chemicals supplier, he said, will help strategic partners ‘differentiate’ their products, by offering them “direct access to advanced technologies and high-performance materials in one place.”