Anaheim, Calif — Materials supplier Clariant International Ltd. is expanding its plant in Lewiston, Maine, installing a new compounding line to help meet growing demand for pre-colored medical plastic compounds.
The Swiss specialty company announced Feb. 6 that the new capacity for the compounds — supplied under the Mevopur brand name — will come on-line in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The new compounding line, built around a new 70 millimeter extruder, will be able produce larger batch sizes of 6,000 to 12,000 pounds or larger at a high rate, said the Muttenz-based company. The EN-ISO13485 (2012) certified site is also being expanded to improve process-flow and material-handling.
“The investment in the line is a few million [dollars] because it's also an investment in infrastructure,” Stephen Duckworth, head of polymer solutions for Clariant's health care segment, said at the UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim. “A high-throughput compounding line uses more raw materials per hour so you need the space to handle it. That's why we also need to expand our building.”
Production at the site will focus on materials such as polyolefins, ABS, polycarbonate and PC alloys as well as specialty resins like thermoplastic urethanes, and cyclic olefins.
Clariant's Mevopur materials are offered for applications in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.
The Lewiston plant, as well as facilities in Malmo, Sweden, and Singapore, are the company's three global sites for production of materials used in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.