Victrex adds new PAEK capacity; enhances processing presence

Polyaryletherketone (PAEK) Victrex (Thornton Cleveleys, UK) has commissioned the first production stream of its third PAEK manufacturing plant as it focuses on offering even greater security of supply to customers, as well as delivering complete solutions. The capacity increase is part of an expansion program valued at $138 million. The new facility for the manufacture of PAEK went into operation in the north-west of the UK during April.

New PAEK plant boosts supply capability at Victrex.

Recent investments have increased Victrex´s production capacity by 70% to more than 16 million pounds (7,000 tonnes) per year. Alongside its PAEK resin capacity, the world's leading PAEK producer has also continued its downstream investment in Aptiv film, pipe, tape and now medical components, enabling the company to differentiate from competitors by supplying complete solutions to customers rather than simply manufacturing materials.

The new PAEK plant serves as the backbone to develop core growth and future opportunities. With continued emphasis on the markets of automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics, and medical, the company has focused its pipeline on a smaller number of large opportunities. These include, for example, aerospace brackets, applications for mobile devices, orthopaedic knees, and oil/gas pipes through its partnership with Magma Global. Victrex recently identified the overall market potential for the high-performing thermoplastic PAEK as being over 176 million pounds (80,000 tonnes).

David Hummel, Chief Executive of Victrex, said: "We are continuing to move from being simply a materials manufacturer to a solutions provider. Our investment, not only in PAEK manufacturing, but in downstream capability, in know-how, in technical excellence, and research and development helps to further differentiate our company. Today, we are already able to fill gaps in the market by delivering semi-finished and finished components such as Aptiv film or medical applications. With the third production facility, we are in a position to offer sustained security of supply, which is, along with rigorous quality, critical to our customers."
Victrex continues to evolve and has further differentiated itself from competitors through investment in targeted research and development. The company operates technology centers at its headquarters in the UK, in Japan and China, the aim being to offer customers an even better service both globally and regionally. Victrex also plans to continue expanding its technological leadership. Earlier this year, the company announced a proposed Polymer Innovation Center in the UK, which will help to prototype and scale up future developments, enabling customers to test applications before full commercialization.




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