Bayer expands Polymer Research & Development Center facility in Shanghai
Bayer MaterialScience steps up customer focus
Wednesday - September 6, 2006 - Shanghai - Bayer MaterialScience AG today celebrated the inauguration of its newly expanded Polymer Research & Development Center (PRDC) facility in Shanghai, China, in the presence of high-ranking representatives of the City of Shanghai, many customers and the Boards of Management of Bayer AG and its subgroup Bayer MaterialScience.
With the expansion, the PRDC has become Bayer MaterialScience’s first facility in Asia Pacific to host technical development and research facilities for its four business units operating in the region under one roof: Polyurethanes; Polycarbonates; Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants; and Thermoplastic Polyurethanes. Each of these business units will have the full capacity to provide technical service, new application development, as well as training for staff and customers.
“This expansion of our research and development activities in one of our key markets shows the importance we place on partnership with our customers,” said Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Bayer AG. “The enlargement of our applications development center will allow even closer cooperation in the interests of our customers and their specific needs here in China.”
Dr Hagen Noerenberg, Bayer MaterialScience’s Chairman of the Board, noted that the PRDC now hosts some of the best equipped laboratories for Bayer MaterialScience globally. “The clear aim of Bayer MaterialScience in setting up the PRDC is to set new standards of service in the industry by actively influencing new materials development, and the use of such materials for innovative applications, keeping in mind the requirements of the markets in both China and the Asia Pacific,” he said.
As part of the expansion, two buildings and a warehouse extension with a gross floor area of close to 5,000 square meters were added, more than doubling the center’s previous floor area. Currently, more than 100 staff already work at the PRDC, and this number is expected to grow.
Reflecting the company’s commitment to continuously invest in the latest and most state-of-the-art facilities available, the PRDC now includes equipment for the production, application and testing of coating formulations, as well as a climate chamber that is capable of simulating climate conditions from the Gobi desert to the South Asian tropical forests.
At the PRDC, Bayer MaterialScience also offers a wide variety of services to optimize the design of ready-for-use parts, from headlamps to mobile phone casings, by means of simulation and development programmes such as computer-aided engineering (CAE).
The PRDC already is equipped with the high-tech ‘Streamline II’ processing technology for the manufacture of recordable DVD media (DVD-R) and clean room laboratory facilities, to help customers optimize the process engineering involved in the production of DVD-Rs using Makrolon®. The Streamline II system is designed for economical mass production of high-performance DVD+R and DVD-R formats, and includes extensive test and control equipment.
The Shanghai-based PRDC works in coordination with Bayer MaterialScience’s other technical and research and development centers around the world, enabling the efficient flow of information and expertise for the benefit of its customers located in China and across the Asia Pacific.
At the PRDC, the team of experienced technical service engineers and laboratory assistants work in close coordination with Bayer MaterialScience’s technical centers in Japan, the US and Germany, to develop customized solutions for a broad range of industries. One example is in the area of composite materials for use in the automotive and transportation industry. The PRDC already works closely with various internationally-renowned car manufacturers and car-parts suppliers to develop specific requirements for use in extensive applications, ranging from seats to instrument and body panels, and from steering wheels to coatings materials.
“We are able to transfer technology from our other centers to PRDC, and then from the PRDC to the market. This is an effective way of supporting the customer and creating a demand for quality materials,” Ralf Busch, Site Manager for PRDC, said on the occasion of the inauguration.
The PRDC was first established in 2001, and was one of the first facilities set up by a foreign enterprise to focus on technical service and development efforts in Shanghai.
With 2005 sales of 10.7 billion euros, Bayer MaterialScience AG is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience employs approximately 18,800 people at 40 production sites around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.
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