Increased demand has led materials firm A. Schulman Inc. to double manufacturing capacity for masterbatch concentrates at its plant in Dongguan, China.
Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman has added equipment at the plant and will ramp up in volume over the next several months, officials said in a Dec. 4 news release. The new capacity will allow the firm to serve the needs of China's packaging and personal care/hygiene industries, they added.
Company officials added that Schulman also will expand its engineered plastics production at the plant by mid-2015 to meet the growing needs of the country's mobility and electrical/electronics markets. When both expansions are completed, the plant will have annual capacity of about 110 million pounds.
“These key investments in China are in line with our global strategy to focus on fast-growing markets and improve our capabilities to serve customers,” Asia Pacific vice president and general manager Derek Bristow said in the release.
In an interview with Plastics News in April, Bristow said that Schulman wants to grow the Asia Pacific region from 10 percent of worldwide operating profits to about 20 percent in five years. He added that the firm also is looking at expanding its capacity for color concentrates, either by adding lines in Dongguan or by setting up a new plant around Shanghai within two years.
Elsewhere in Asia, Schulman recently added three small color concentrates production lines at its plant in Malaysia, increasing annual capacity there by about 11 million pounds.
Schulman employs 3,900 worldwide and posted sales of more than $2.4 billion in its most recent fiscal year. The firm ranks as a leading compounder and concentrate maker in both North America and Europe, as well as a leading European resin distributor.