Anaheim, Calif. – Materials maker Trinseo SA now offers polycarbonate compounds in Asia.
The Berwyn, Pa.-based plastics, latex and synthetic rubber supplier announced the news Feb. 9 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West trade show in Anaheim.
Martin Lindway, the company's global medical business manager, said customers now can source medically equivalent compounds from Trinseo around the world — in North America, Europe and Asia.
“We have a unique position in the market,” Lindway said in an interview at the show. “This allows us to really put together a nice grouping of global products.”
That's important to Trinseo's medical customers because the sector is becoming more global. Some medical OEMs now introduce products in Asia or Europe before North America. Some are moving production to China, either in pursuit of lower costs or because of growth in the region.
Lindway also cited improving regulatory standards in China.
“That's a great sign, they're really trying to take the best of what they've seen around the world and implement that into their own device standards,” Lindway said. “That's a big game-changer for China. It will take some time to bring up the level of all the tiers of the device chain to the expectations of the government.”
Trinseo makes polycarbonate base resins in Stade, Germany, and in Ehime, Japan, at a joint venture plant run by Tokyo-based Sumika Styron Polycarbonate Ltd. Lindway said those two plants are basically identical, so Trinseo customers can source the same polycarbonate resin from either location.
With the new custom compounding announcement, now they can source identical compounds too, he said.
The custom compounding facility certified to produce medical resins is a Trinseo plant in Taiwan, Lindway said. The other Trinseo PC medical resin compounding facility is in Japan, which is a joint venture. Lindway declined to provide details about the plants' capacity.
At MD&M, Trinseo also announced that it is collaborating with two companies to help customers understand how various materials can work together.
The company worked with Henkel Corp. to test the compatibility of adhesives and plastic. Trinseo also worked with PolyOne Corp.'s GLS unit to highlight how Trinseo resins can work as a substrate with GLS thermoplastic elastomers in overmolding applications, Lindway said.
Trinseo spun off from Dow Chemical Co. in 2010, initially as Styron LLC. The company has been publicly traded since June 2014. The company posted 2014 sales of $5.13 billion; it is scheduled to release its 2015 results on March 3.