Lanxess Corp. is finding a bright and colorful future in Addyston, Ohio.
Pittsburgh-based Lanxess is in the midst of a $2 million renovation of its color center in Addyston. The project includes installation of new machinery and creation of new resources for customers.
``Since we consolidated into Addyston, the last step was to bring in color and make a customer friendly center that can meet our customers' evolving color needs,'' David Gingras said in a May 7 conference call. Gingras is head of North American sales, marketing and business development for Lustran-brand ABS and styrene acrylonitrile.
``We always had farmed out some of our own color testing work to a certain degree, but we had done just as much in-house,'' product portfolio manager Robert Shinn said. ``Now, we can work on new designs and new textures right here [in Addyston].''
New equipment installed at the center includes a pair of 100-ton injection molding machines and new color molds for automotive qualifications and other projects. A pair of twin-screw extrusion lines for compounding and additional film extrusion equipment already was in place. The site can produce samples in amounts up to 400 pounds.
Work at the center is focused on Lustran ABS and SAN, Triax-brand ABS/nylon alloys and Centrex-brand thermoplastic alloys.
Non-natural color products make up about 60 percent of Lanxess' total material output, but about two-thirds of that amount is in standard whites and blacks. Lanxess officials said they hope a renovated and expanded color center will increase its sales mix in more vibrant colors.
``We're getting requests for bright, deep, rich colors for sporting equipment and leisure crafts,'' Shinn said. ``Late last year, we added custom tinting for SAN, which can be used in tinted, transparent parts for lids and doors on laundry equipment. We're very good at what we do, and occasionally a customer wants to be more involved to see what we do and how we do it. Now we'll be more equipped to do that.
``Some of our work is pretty special. These are really hard [color] matches to come up with on some products,'' he said.
The expanded Addyston color center - which will be linked to similar Lanxess facilities in Germany, Spain and Thailand - will be more tuned in to smaller product runs and, as a result, will be more responsive to customer needs, according to Gingras.
In addition to automotive and appliance work, the 20-employee center will do development for products in such markets as lawn and garden, marine, construction, trucks and buses, and spas.
Lanxess is the North American arm of Lanxess AG of Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Lanxess employs about 2,000 and has annual sales of about $1 billion. Worldwide sales are about $9 billion.