In response to growing concerns about the quality and safety of goods manufactured in China, GLS Corp. said that the company's plant in Suzhou, China, has achieved a new level of ISO certification for its medical-grade thermoplastic elastomers.
McHenry, Ill.-based GLS, a subsidiary of PolyOne Corp. that specializes in TPEs, made the announcement at Chinaplas 2009, held May 18-21 in Guangzhou.
In this market you have to differentiate yourself, said Rick Noller, GLS' director of global marketing. We've already differentiated ourselves with our products, but it's not enough.
The Suzhou facility's ISO 13485:2003 certification typically is associated with medical-device manufacturers, not materials suppliers. But with many of the quality and safety concerns surrounding manufacturing in China, GLS thought it would be worth going the extra mile, Noller said.
The firm aims to further develop its medically-oriented business. We've introduced a series [of TPE materials] for stoppers and syringe plunger tips, Noller said. We're trying to understand where there is a need and customizing our products.
As a compounder, GLS has a lot of flexibility in tailoring products for customers, he said: A lot of times what happens is [that] we learn about things from our customer that will spark an interest in a new application or use.
GLS also introduced a new line of halogen-free, flame retardant TPEs at Chinaplas.
The compounds are intended to provide an alternative to the traditional vinyl jacketing and insulation used in consumer electronics.
Regulations differ from region to region, but many manufacturers themselves were announcing they intended to make their products halogen-free, Noller said.