Bayer MaterialScience AG has announced the opening of two new Shanghai facilities, responding to a growing demand for customized products among China-based polycarbonate companies.
The Leverkusen, Germany-based firm introduced the two facilities - the Customer Interface Center and the Color Competence Center - during Chinaplas 2008 in Shanghai.
``China is already the largest market in the world for the polycarbonate industry, and our customers are increasingly sophisticated in their needs,'' said Rainer Rettig, senior vice president, Asia Pacific for BMS's polycarbonates and advanced resins division.
The two centers are designed to help customers coming to Bayer with a product idea, however vague. At the Customer Interface Center, located at Bayer's research and development center in Shanghai, the company operates development projects in conjunction with customers to find suitable materials and production processes. Products are tailor-made to meet specific requirements such as heat or impact resistance as well as designing the optimal mold and process for the product. Customers are then provided with sample products to take home.
At the Color Competence Center, Bayer works with customers to create a desired color for their product and then sample products can be made in-house.
Rettig said he sees the two centers benefiting all of Bayer's customers, but emphasizes their use in consumer electronics.
``This is a fast-growing market - even faster than in the past, because there is constant reapproval of material.''
In the past, a single cell phone might be used for several years, Rettig pointed out. Today, however, the technology is updated quickly and consumers discard their phones at a much faster rate.
Bayer also is paying close attention to a growing sustainability trend in China and throughout the world. Companies are pressured from many directions with rising costs and environmental concerns.
``Our customers are looking for more and more efficient solutions,'' said Holger Warth, vice president of business development polycarbonates for the Asia-Pacific region. The new centers, he said, can help provide them with the knowledge they need to develop the solutions they are looking for.