A. Schulman Inc. (Akron, Ohio) will expand its compounding capacity with the addition of a new sheet molding compound production line in Germany. The new line will be operational by the end of 2017. Furthermore, in order to address increased demand from its European-based customers prior to operation of the new line, the company has opened an inventory facility in Slovenia.
The new production line will allow A. Schulman to produce its entire range of glass and carbon fiber sheet molding compounds in Europe, including its Quantum Engineered Structural Composites portfolio. Quantum products utilize glass and/or carbon fibers in combination with advanced chemistry systems to meet the most challenging application requirements in key markets such as automotive, aerospace and energy. The Company recently announced Quantum Forged Preg, its next generation composite material that utilizes continuous carbon fiber; designed for applications requiring exceptional strength and stiffness while maintaining high-end look and feel.
"The additional compounding capacity will address the continued growth in high-performance composites," says Frank Roederer, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. and Canada and Engineered Composites. "With this investment, A. Schulman is offering standard formulations worldwide with the level of high quality our customers have come to expect."
"This investment is indeed aligned with the expansion of our product portfolio, and in particular with our focus on offering carbon fiber Quantum technology in Europe to meet our customers' needs for light weighting," says Mercedes Alonso, managing director, Engineered Composites, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "With an output of up to 4,000 tons per year we are able to offer enough capacity for years to come."
Earlier this year, the company announced additional PPS compounding capacity at its Kerpen engineered plastics plant in Germany.
Editor PickGardner Business Index at 54.1 in January
The US composites industry looks as strong as it has since early 2015, with expectations the highest in years.