PolyOne designs and colors its global strategy

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: May 23, 2013 4:09 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2013 4:45 pm ET

Image By: PolyOne Corp. PolyOne, Xindao and XD Design worked together to create the Sunshine Solar Charger, a flower-shaped array of five solar cells that can charge cell phones and digital tablets.

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Design, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations PolyOne Corp.

GUANGZHOU, CHINA — PolyOne Corp. officials at Chinaplas launched a new color and design services business, highlighted recent applications of some of its products — from biopolymers to PET packaging additives — and discussed the firm's two recent major acquisitions of ColorMatrix Corp. and Spartech Corp.

Design once again is providing a cornerstone for strategic development for the $2.99 billion compounder and specialized polymers provider. At a May 20 media event, PolyOne unveiled its new InVisiO color and design services, which the firm said aims to help brand managers and designers evaluate color and design alternatives to accelerate the product development process. Tailored to private labels and brand owners, the service also can "strengthen brand equity and build marketplace excitement," according to Fernando Sanchez, [Luxembourg-based] global marketing director for PolyOne Color and Additives.

The name InVisiO is drawn from three components. Sanchez described the following aspects of those elements:

  • Insights — color forecasts and trend predictions, market studies, and design possibilities with different materials, colors, textures and forms;
  • Vision — the interaction of color, texture and special effects within a product's design, color portfolio management, and color consulting and development expertise;
  • Intelligent operations — help with finding the best liquid or solid colorant for a given application, and design development via 3-D prototyping, tooling, testing, process optimization and operational support.

The company launched a related website (www.invisiocolor.com) the week prior to Chinaplas, and also rolled out a new, downloadable iPad application. It said InVisiO services are designed to support markets from packaging and electronics to appliances, consumer goods, and building and construction.

And it noted that customers who use these new services also will have access to the 12 PolyOne Innovation Centers around the world. One of those — at the company's headquarters in Avon Lake, Ohio — invested last year in 3-D printing capabilities, and the firm intends to install 3-D printers in more of its innovation centers going forward, according to Mark Crist, PolyOne's Asia vice president.

PolyOne's design centers and InVisiO service fit in nicely with the IQ PKG (www.iqpkg.com) group it acquired via the Spartech purchase. An integrated, in-house design service, IQ PKG aims to create innovative package designs that enhance the price-value relationship of customer's products, with a focus on aesthetics, functionality and sustainability.

In another design-focused effort, PolyOne highlighted its global collaboration with the Dutch firm Xindao and its Shanghai-based design studio XD Design. The three companies worked together in China, Europe and the United States to boost the content of renewable resources within the new XD Design Sunshine Solar Charger — a flower-shaped array of five solar cells that can charge cell phones and digital tablets.

The team ended up developing all the molded casing components for the charger from a custom-developed reSound biopolymer, which Xindao estimates will reduce the carbon footprint for the product by as much as 35 percent compared with alternative materials. The firm previously used ABS resin for the casings.

Ryan McSorley, head designer at XD Design, said: "We want our end users to have fun interacting with these products. We also want the chargers to be long-lasting, and as sustainable as possible." Based in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, Xindao has won seven of Germany's Red Dot design awards, and maintains design and manufacturing resources in China.

Also on May 20, PolyOne's ColorMatrix subsidiary launched AmoSorb Plus, a high-performance oxygen-scavenging additive for PET packaging. The product is said to enhance container clarity with the aim of helping customers achieve aesthetic and recyclability goals. Because it is based on a previously approved technology, AmoSorb Plus does not require the regulatory approvals of a completely new material.

The product is a crystallized PET-based concentrate with a built-in catalyst to promote oxidation. Colormatrix says it offers product protection for non-carbonated foods and beverages such as teas and fresh fruit juices for up to six months or longer, depending on the container design.

Speaking to the $486 million acquisition of liquid colorants specialist ColorMatrix in late 2011, Crist said the operations were "easy to integrate" into PolyOne. He noted that the two firms had only about a 5 percent overlap in customers in the color business, between ColorMatrix's liquid colorants and PolyOne's color masterbatches. The transition was eased by the fact that ColorMatrix was "truly global," even before the deal, Crist said.

He also commented on PolyOne's $393 million purchase last fall of compounder and sheet extruder Spartech Corp. That business, which brought $1.2 billion in revenue to PolyOne's top line, has been rebranded as Design Structures & Solutions (DSS). The former Spartech was primarily a North American business before.

"With PolyOne's global footprint," Crist noted, "we see an incredible opportunity to take their [… solutions …] and exploit them on a global scale." That said, there is still much work to be done in North America, he said, before the DSS technologies can be aggressively expanded abroad.

The Spartech deal officially closed only in mid-March, so Crist — who also is PolyOne's VP of global key accounts – said they have had to wait before they could start addressing demands from customers outside of North America for access to the unit's thermoformed sheets.

As for the perception that acquiring a sheet thermoformer would vault PolyOne into competition with some of its processor customers, Crist acknowledged that "conventional wisdom" would lead one to believe that such a deal would be fraught with conflicts of interest. But, in fact, he said, "we found very little overlap, and more synergies than conflict."

Finally, Crist hinted, PolyOne is not done being the aggressor. "We are not stopping our acquisition hunt after Spartech," he said. "This is an attractive area."


Comments

PolyOne designs and colors its global strategy

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: May 23, 2013 4:09 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2013 4:45 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Barington may force a vote for Omnova board at annual meeting

January 28, 2015 3:52 pm ET

It looks like the battle between Omnova Solutions and an activist investor is heading to a vote.    More

Image

PolyOne sees sales, earnings per share climb, profit decline

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm ET

North American compounding leader PolyOne Corp. posted record adjusted earnings per share in 2014, even as the firm's sales saw modest growth and its ...    More

Image

China XD to catch up on Sichuan project

January 28, 2015 2:41 pm ET

Automotive compounder China XD Plastics Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CXDC) has been working on its fourth production base in Nanchong, Sichuan province since...    More

Image

Sika opens negotiations to acquire Axson Technologies

January 28, 2015 12:17 pm ET

Specialty chemicals maker Sika AG has entered into exclusive negotiations with Axson SAS management and shareholders to acquire its epoxy and...    More

Image

Citadel opens second compounding facility in China, near Shanghai

January 27, 2015 3:22 pm ET

Citadel Plastics Inc., the American manufacturer of thermoplastic and engineered composite compounds, has opened its second facility in China, outside...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events