Bayer, Conforce announce strategic partnership for composite flooring, racking
The focus of the agreement is Conforce's ECO-FLOR polyurethane composite flooring and racking system for marine containers.
Bayer MaterialScience LLC (Pittsburgh, Pa.) announced on March 9 that it has signed a definitive agreement establishing a strategic partnership with Conforce International Inc. to further develop and produce Conforce’s line of EKO-FLOR composite polyurethane flooring and racking systems for marine containers.
Conforce’s EKO-FLOR cs-4 modules are engineered to create a cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternative to tropical hardwood and other wood-based flooring. EKO-FLOR cs-4 flooring modules weigh approximately 18 percent less than similar plywood modules. They are also highly resistant to the typical maintenance problems that plague wooden floor modules such as rot, mildew and insect infestation. EKO-FLOR cs-4 flooring modules also feature a tough, performance-extending wear layer jointly developed by Bayer MaterialScience and Conforce.
Working closely with Conforce, Bayer MaterialScience LLC has developed a proprietary polyurethane system that delivers the enduring performance characteristics Conforce sought for its new EKO-FLOR cs-4 flooring module system. Bayer MaterialScience will provide value-adding ongoing global product supply and technical support such as advanced design and material analysis, efficient production practices and other technical know-how to all Conforce manufacturing locations from its global BaySystems network of 30 polyurethane systems houses located throughout six continents.
Both companies expect that key customer evaluations resulting from ocean-going trials will be completed during the third quarter of 2009. Upon successful completion of the trials, they anticipate receiving orders for shipments in 2009 and 2010. Beginning in the second quarter of 2010, they plan to fulfill orders for EKO-FLOR cs-4 modules from a new Conforce facility to be established in China.
Jerry MacCleary, Bayer MaterialScience LLC senior vice president, Head of Polyurethanes North America Marketing and Business Development, said, “We see the development of EKO-FLOR technology as one of our key growth projects and are committed to bringing Conforce our technology, expertise and global BaySystems network of polyurethane systems houses in order to make the commercialization of EKO-FLOR a success.”
“This partnership with Bayer MaterialScience LLC better positions us to execute on a global scale,” added Conforce president and CEO Marino Kulas. “We are confident that by combining the vast global resources of Bayer MaterialScience LLC with our EKO-FLOR innovation, we will be able to redefine the future of the container industry.”
The partnership will also provide valuable support for EKO-FLOR ms-1 racking modules, a composite panel system designed specifically for use in special application ship containers. Conforce recently began production of EKO-FLOR ms-1 racking modules to fulfill its first order. According to Joseph DeRose, Conforce vice president of product development, "Bayer MaterialScience LLC made a significant contribution to the commercialization of EKO-FLOR ms-1 racking modules by organizing equipment design, processing and product testing resources that were able to support our technology.”