DETROIT — Loctite Corp., a maker of adhesives for plastic parts, plans to open a new technical center in the Detroit area to showcase products.
The company, based in Rocky Hill, Conn., will launch the new center in the summer of 2000, according to Allen Forgach, engineering director for automotive technology.
The company plans to spend about $6 million on the building and equipment for the center, which will be about 35,000-40,000 square feet, Forgach said. The company is looking for sites in the Auburn Hills, Mich., area.
The facility will more than triple the size of Loctite's existing technical center in Troy, Mich., opened in 1990, and give the company added exposure to its automotive customers, Forgach said. The current site is 12,000 square feet.
``We were running out of room there for new products,'' Forgach said June 9 at the Automotive & Transportation Interiors Expo in Detroit. ``We didn't have the space to show our customers a lot of the new technology that we have available.''
The facility will include six laboratories, including ones for robotic dispensing and parts-curing, and an environmental stress-test area. Loctite also will showcase new products such as a fast-curing unit that allows adhesives to bond quickly to parts.
The company wants to boost its visibility as an automotive supplier. Loctite has built its reputation on providing adhesives for powertrain applications. But the company also makes bonding agents for other parts such as air bags, lighting and interior trim.
Loctite also is developing new adhesives formulated for thermoplastic olefins on interior auto parts, said Joseph Ballantine, automotive marketing director.
TPO and polypropylene parts in vehicles interiors typically need a primer to form a bond — a costly process, Ballantine said. Yet, parts suppliers would like to move toward TPO cover skins for interior components such as door panels and instrument panels.
The company plans to introduce a TPO adhesive — eliminating the need for a primer — by the end of the year, Ballantine said.
Competitor 3M Co. of St. Paul, Minn., recently introduced TPO bonding agents that also eliminate primers. The products include a new structural-plastic adhesive, DP-8005, a special tape and reclosable fasteners.