Solvay doubles down on process materials, kitting services

Following expansion of its Toulouse kitting capacity, Solvay says its kitting and process materials business is primed for growth.

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Following the news on July 26 that Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) is doubling composites kitting capacity at its Toulouse, France, facility, Nicole Richards, product line director for process materials at Solvay, tells CW that the company sees process materials and kitting services as a vital part of the firm’s strategy for serving the broader composites market.

The kitting services expansion in Toulouse, says Richards, was triggered primarily by increased demand from aerospace and wind customers in Europe for large, complex vacuum bagging kits for aircraft wings, empennage and wind blades. Solvay also provides kitting services and process materials out of its Santa Fe Springs, CA, US, facility.

The kitting and process materials business came to Solvay when it acquired Cytec in 2015. Cytec, in turn, got the business when it acquired Umeco in 2012.

Richards says the kitting legacy Solvay has inherited provides a good opportunity to interact with customers and, in many cases, provide technical and application support. “We thrive on any opportunity to interface directly with customers at their site,” says Richards. “It’s a chance for us to be in our customers’ operations and identify other areas of need or support.”

To that end, says Richards, Solvay recently signed a long-term extension of the lease on its Santa Fe Springs facility. She notes that there is much research and development work being done within the business to address trends of increased ramp rates and the manufacture of larger and more complex structures.

To meet that demand, Richards says, Solvay management is committed to investing in people, equipment and logistics beyond the Toulouse expansion, in those regions where demand exists. “We have the resources and opportunities to support business growth opportunities,” she notes.