SABIC Innovative Plastics today announced that it is adding state-of-the-art specialty polypropylene (PP) compounding to its Bay St. Louis, Miss. site in the first quarter of 2011. The site will use its existing infrastructure and adopt new processes to produce SABIC PP compounds and SABIC STAMAX long glass fiber-reinforced PP composites.
Adding specialty PP to the site's compounding capabilities enables the company to provide a broader range of high-performance materials to its customers in North America and to help satisfy demand for specialty compounds - which is a market recovering fast from the recent downturn. Investment in this highly automated and technologically sophisticated process supports SABIC Innovative Plastics' commitment to meeting both automotive OEM needs for lightweight, high-performance materials that can significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions vs. competitive products, and non-automotive needs in key segments such as fluid handling and appliance.
"Plastics are becoming more familiar to automotive designers and the percentage of PP compounds used in today's cars is increasing," said Gregory A. Adams, vice president, Automotive, SABIC Innovative Plastics. "The Bay St. Louis facility is ideally located to quickly supply our customers in the NAFTA countries. Our expanded compounding capabilities will strengthen our ability to deliver some of the most comprehensive and innovative material solutions to address the changing needs of today's car designers."
"Our customers' success is the linchpin of our success," said Leon Jacobs, PP global business director, SABIC Innovative Plastics. "We have very strong relationships with automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers that are founded on trust, teamwork and co-development expertise. An important component of these relationships is our ability, as a leading global player, to ensure flexible and reliable supply and the capacity expansion of our key automotive materials in Bay St. Louis will help us respond quickly to the dynamic and changing needs of the industry."
High-performance Products for Diverse Automotive Applications
SABIC PP compounds are the materials of choice for a growing number of global OEMs and tiers for producing bumper fascias, instrument panels (IPs), door panels, interior trims and other important automotive applications. The market demand for SABIC STAMAX composites is growing due to their outstanding combination of excellent strength, dimensional stability and high flow for thin-wall structural parts. SABIC STAMAX materials support the design of applications that combine lightweight with functional integration for such components as front-end modules, IP carriers, door modules, tailgates and seating systems.