A. Schulman sets sights on specialty applications

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 6:30 p.m. ET) — A. Schulman Inc. (Booth 15000) is back at NPE for the first time in 18 years, and has brought along a host of material solutions for plastics processors.

“We’re a different company now than we were even four years ago,” Schulman Chairman, President and CEO Joseph Gingo said in an interview at NPE 2012 in Orlando. “We’re not doing as much commodity business and are focused on specialty masterbatches and similar products.”

He added that NPE “is a great way for us to connect with our customers.” Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman ranks as one of North America’s 10 largest makers of compounds and concentrates.

Schulman’s fortunes also are improving in North America. In its 2001 fiscal year – which ended Aug. 31, Schulman’s sales in the Americas grew almost 23 percent. Its operating income in the region grew 17 percent as well. The Americas’ market share of Schulman’s overall sales grew in 2011 for the first time in several years.

“The strategy we’ve had is not to shrink Europe at all, but our goal is to grow the Americas and Asia,” Gingo said.

He also described Schulman’s recent $63 million purchase of Elian SAS – a color concentrate maker in Oyonnax, France, as “a logical base” from which to grow business in the region.

“We had black, white and additive [concentrates] there, but not specialty color,” Gingo said. “This acquisition gives us entry to more than 1,000 customers.”

Schulman will continue to seek out further acquisitions of specialty firms such as Elian, he added.

On the product side, Schulman is displaying a number of applications using its compounds and concentrates. These include an RV hitch cover made of polypropylene-based Polytrope STR cap resins, but with the high gloss appearance of painted metal. The prototype on display can be used on a camper trailer and can replace metal or other plastics. It’s also available in medium-gloss or ultra-low gloss grades.

An automotive fuel tank using Schulamid-brand impact-modified compounds based on nylon 6/12 also is on display. The tank will be commercial next year on BMW 3 model vehicles. The material offers 40 percent higher heat resistance than competing materials and can accommodate smaller engine sizes.

Schulman’s also emphasizing its Surface Solutions materials line which, according to the company, “imparts visual impact, powerful shelf presence and global brand consistency” in rigid applications. In flexible packaging, Surface Solutions “provide design flexibility to control aesthetics, impart texture and tailor functionality of critical film surfaces.”

Examples of Surface Solutions on display at NPE include Papermatch-brand synthetic paper concentrates, PLA opacifiers and DUL matte compounds for polypropylene, polyethylene, PET and nylon.

Schulman’s overall sales for fiscal 2011 were almost $2.2 billion, up more than 27 percent vs. fiscal 2010.


Comments

A. Schulman sets sights on specialty applications

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

'Thermoforming has nearly limitless possibilities'

April 18, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Julie McAlindon of PolyOne Corp. speaks about the future of thermoforming and the integration of Spartech Corp.    More

Image

Ascend targets nylon for auto applications, opening propylene monomer unit in Texas

April 18, 2014 10:57 am ET

Materials firm Ascend Performance Materials Inc. is in full operation at its new nylon 6/6 compounding line in Florida and will break ground by the...    More

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

Lumena suspends trading, delays report amid claims of 'misrepresenting' financials

April 18, 2014 10:19 am ET

China Lumena New Materials Corp., which says it has the world's largest manufacturing capacity for polyphenylene sulfide resin, has suspended its...    More

PolyQuest spins off FiberQuest unit

April 18, 2014 10:14 am ET

PolyQuest Inc. has spun off its FiberQuest unit — which distributes polyester staple fibers and cotton — as a separate company.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events