Müller Kunststoffe, a leading developer and manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomer compounds (TPE compounding) and the German branch of the Hexpol TPE group, has announced plans to expand capacity with an additional TPE production line.
The new line is expected to come on stream in Lichtenfels, Germany in the first quarter of 2014, increasing the company's TPE production annually by around 4,800 metric tons. The expansion will bring the capacity of the Hexpol TPE group, which also includes the Elasto businesses in Sweden, UK and China, to more than 65,000 metric tons. This most recent investment follows the opening of the group's Elasto China TPE production facility in Foshan in 2013, and the capacity expansion and technology investment at their sites in Sweden and the UK. The latest expansion may be seen as another sign of Hexpol TPE's ongoing striving for growth and its ambition to function as a key player in the TPE market.
The new line will increase capacity for the group's Lifoflex and Dryflex TPE compounds. Among the compounds in this portfolio are several fully customizable series, including halogen-free flame retardants, conductive compounds, adhesion grades for multi-component applications, food contact grades and compounds offering improved compression set performance.
In addition to the new production line, the investment also includes plans for the construction of a new 600 sq-m building to expand the technical center at Müller Kunststoffe's main Lichtenfels site. The technical center will be used for the development of customized thermoplastic elastomers including TPS, TPO, TPU and polymer blends. It will house the R&D, product safety, analytics and process technology departments for Müller Kunststoffe.
"Our specialty is tailored solutions delivered efficiently and quickly. We create bespoke products for our customers, they come to us with a problem and we solve it," said Georg Ender, managing director at Müller Kunststoffe.
The company is strongly focused on product safety and reliability. The new technical center and its specialist equipment will increase the company's capacity to perform diagnostic, processing and quality assurance testing,
The new building is scheduled for completion by September 2014. The center will include profile extruders, film extruders and various injection molding machines together with advanced polymer testing and analytical equipment.