Flexible packaging giant Bemis Co. Inc. is taking a look at Anobex-brand specialty resin — a potential replacement for the discontinued Barex resin line.
Anobex is an acrylonitrile methyl acrylate copolymer (AMAC) resin made by MSM Poly LLC of Wilmington, Del. The evaluation is being done by the Bemis Healthcare Packaging unit of Neenah, Wis.-based Bemis. Anobex is being considered as an additional packaging sealant for pharmaceutical and other challenging applications.
If the evaluation is positive, Bemis “will incorporate Anobex into its already strong suite of packaging options,” officials said in a Feb. 5 news release.
“With Anobex AMAC as a sealant in our high barrier laminates, we will target existing Barex applications that have not yet found a suitable alternative, as well as new applications,” they added.
Ineos Group in October 2014 announced it would end production of Barex polyacrylonitrile (PAN) resin at its only global plant in Lima, Ohio. Several materials makers rushed to fill the void left by Barex, which was known as a high-performance material in pharmaceutical and food packaging films.
Shortly after Ineos announced its plans to end Barex, several Barex customers in the pharmaceutical packaging market contacted Montesino Associates LLC — a Wilmington-based consulting firm — about finding a replacement material.
Montesino Managing Director Peter Schmitt then contacted plastics industry veteran Patrick Mickle about finding a Barex replacement. Mickle agreed that there was a continuing need for Barex — a decision that then led to the forming of MSM Poly. The AMAC material is being toll-produced for MSM Poly by Tiarco Chemical at a plant in Greenville, S.C.
Bemis employs 17,000 worldwide and posted sales of almost $4.1 billion in 2015. The firm ranks as North America's largest film and sheet producer, according to a Plastics News ranking, with related sales of almost $2.9 billion in 2014.