Müller Kunststoffe GmbH plans to increase production capacity for thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and extend its technical center in Germany.
The company is part of Hexpol TPE group, which also includes the Elasto businesses in Sweden, United Kingdom and China. The new TPE line is expected to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014 and will increase TPE production by around 4,800 metric tons per year, taking Hexpol's group capacity to more than 65,000 metric tons.
Hexpol said the new production line will increase capacity for the group's Lifoflex and Dryflex TPE compounds.
The group also plans to build a 600-square-meter facility to expand the technical center at Müller Kunststoffe's main Lichtenfels site. The technical center will develop customized materials including TPS, TPO, TPU and polymer blends. It will house the R&D, product safety, analytics and process technology departments for Müller Kunststoffe.
Hexpol expects construction of the new building to be completed by September. The center will include profile extruders, film extruders and various injection molding machines together with advanced polymer testing and analytical equipment.
Georg Ender, managing director at Müller Kunststoffe, said: "The production expansion and investment in technical resources is a result of our growth over recent years and will ensure continued fast and responsive customer support, as well as the development of new polymer combinations and compounds."
Hexpol said the investment in Germany indicates its "progress as a key and growing player in the TPE market." In 2013, the group opened Elasto's TPE production facility in Foshan, China, and expanded production capacity and invested in new technology at its sites in Sweden and the United Kingdom.