LAKE LAS VEGAS, NEV. — Materials giant BASF Performance Materials is keeping innovation alive with new products and processes.
“Innovation is important, because customers can go to many different suppliers,” technical development director Mark Minnichelli said at the 2015 Plastics News Executive Forum, Feb. 4-6 in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. Parent firm BASF SE is based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with North American headquarters in Florham Park, N.J.
The firm's Ultrasim simulation software can be used with fiber-reinforced plastics to predict performance with higher accuracy, Minnichelli explained. BASF also has won recent design awards for its Emeco III navy chair — a two-piece injection molded design that uses Petra-brand recycled PET made from Coke bottles — and for a high-gloss, piano-black grade of Ultramid nylon that it developed for interior auto parts with Ford Motor Co. and concentrates maker Americhem Inc.
The Emeco chair was recognized at NPE 2012, while the Ultramid grade was honored by Automotive News — a sister publication of PN — in 2014.
Minnichelli also praised Bemis Manufacturing Co.'s use of Ultramid nylon in their Innova shopping cart design for Target Corp.
“It's important to know your customer and their environment and to understand their markets and future trends,” he said. “That will allow you to collaborate early.”