Friedrichshafen, Germany — Materials maker A. Schulman Inc. is boosting production capacity throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman opened a masterbatch concentrates plant in Cerkezkoy, Turkey. The plant employs 50 and has annual production capacity of 17.5 kilotons (38.5 million pounds).
"We see Turkey as a way of getting into the Middle East," Rolf Behringer, Europe Middle East and Africa sales director, said in an Oct. 17 interview at Fakuma. He added that Schulman previously had supplied its customers in Turkey from sites in Europe.
Also in October, Schulman began test production of its massive joint venture compounding plant in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The plant eventually will have annual production capacity of 100 kilotons (220 million pounds) of polypropylene compound capacity, Horst Klink, EMEA performance materials vice president, said at Fakuma.
The formal start of the Yanbu plant is set for January, he added. The project is a JV with Saudi resin maker National Petrochemical Industrial Co.
In September, Schulman opened a massive new production line making primarily white color concentrates in Givet, France. The new line, with annual production capacity of 45 kiltotons (100 million pounds), is one of the largest such lines in all of Europe, Behringer said.
A total of six new production lines for color and additive concentrates were installed at Schulman plants in Poland and Hungary earlier this year. The European masterbatch concentrates market is growing at an annual rate of 3 to 4 percent, according to Behringer.
In January, Schulman plans to add a new line making sheet molding compounds with carbon fiber content at its plant in Hamburg, Germany.
Product highlights for Schulman at Fakuma included:
• A silver metallic product range for automotive and household appliances.
• Schularec grades, a new concept that fills the demand for recycled materials.
• A complete product range of low-emission solutions for interior automotive applications.
• Icorene 9005 polyamide for use in rotomolded automotive tanks.
• Lytex styrene-free sheet molding compounds.
• Schulamid nylon 6 and 6/6 carbon-fiber-reinforced compounds.
Schulman was recently named an official compounder for use of glass bubble additives made by 3M. Klink said the 3M materials can reduce product density by 10 percent.
Schulman posted sales of $2.5 billion for fiscal 2016. The firm ranks as a leading compounder and concentrates maker in both North America and Europe and as one of Europe's leading resin distributors.