WEST CHICAGO, ILL. — Clariant AG has opened ColorWorks North America, a site that's intended to bring color into the early stages of plastic product and packaging design.
The new ColorWorks site — one of several around the world — occupies the second floor of the firm's concentrate manufacturing plant in West Chicago, Ill. Clariant officially opened the center with a customer event in West Chicago on Sept. 19.
ColorWorks calls the facilities “co-creation center.” They offer highly specialized color creation service and are tailored to the creative development needs of brand companies. The centers are aimed at helping companies accelerate new products to market and use color more effectively to cultivate brand recognition and value.
The West Chicago center covers more than 6,000 square feet and has a significant competence in packaging, but is able to serve any market, including automotive, appliance and household and consumer goods.
The opening of the new center is the result of almost three years of planning and renovation. It represents a major investment by Clariant in support of customers in the U.S. and Canada, officials said in a Sept. 20 news release.
“We're exploring new approaches to helping designers, brand owners and OEMs bring new products to market faster, more efficiently and with a greater likelihood of success,” Clariant Masterbatches North America marketing head Peter Prusak said in the release. “Clariant pioneered the ColorWorks concept and now, in this new facility, we can take it to the next level.
“To my knowledge there is no other resource like it in North America,” he added.
The West Chicago center has six full-time employees and includes several pieces of processing equipment — such as injection molding and blow molding machines — as well as access to Clariant's color library and three-dimensional digital prototyping.
Since the West Chicago plant produces color and additive concentrates in both pelletized and liquid form, officials said this unbiased approach means the ColorWorks center can develop solutions in any form that the customer prefers.
Clariant is based in Muttenz, Switzerland. The firm operates 11 business units and posted sales of about $6.6 billion in 2012.