Orlando, Fla. — At a busy NPE2018, PolyOne Corp. still found plenty of time for dating.
The Avon Lake, Ohio-based materials firm hosted a speed-dating-style press event at the show, having its executives go from table to table to meet with the media to discuss different product launches.
PolyOne's Performance Products and Solutions unit "is bringing something new to the lighting market" with its Resilience-brand LS PVC materials for LED lenses, said Don Wiseman, president of the unit. The material can be used in most aspects of lighting.
PolyOne's Geon-brand PVC compounds are finding homes in parts that need chemical resistance after being sterilized multiple times per day, Wiseman added. Geon FX compounds remove the need for painting in appliance parts such as dishwasher consoles.
In advanced composites — a product area where PolyOne has made three recent acquisitions — PolyOne materials are being used in air cargo containers, where they offer better fuel economy because of their lighter weight, according to National Sales Manager Brad Schmidt.
These composite materials can be based on several resins, including polypropylene, nylon and polyester, which is used in the firm's new Hammerhead marine panels. Hammerhead panels offer 50 percent weight savings vs. wood in marine applications, Schmidt said.
PolyOne's Specialty Engineered Materials unit is benefiting from licensing long-fiber compound technology from Electriplast Corp., according to unit President Michael Garratt. The material is being used in automotive applications and consumer electronics as well.
The firm's new FireCon-brand chlorinated polyethylene material can withstand extreme conditions and is finding a home in jacketing and other wire and cable applications, Garratt added.
PolyOne Distribution, one of the largest resin distributors in North America, has grown by moving beyond its initial base of custom injection molders, according to Scott Horn, president of the unit.
"We're not just getting the material for our customers; we're helping them run it," he said. "Now we're helping them select the material."
As a distributor, PolyOne benefits from not preferring one type of material over another, Horn said.
"We communicate across all markets," he added.
PolyOne Distribution is seeing increased interest in materials used in wearables and other home health care applications, said Paul Adair, unit marketing and customer operations director.
"Regulatory approval for health care is a long process," he added. "We can understand customer needs a little better."
In its Color, Additives and Inks unit, PolyOne has introduced Lactra-brand SX UV barrier additives, which can be used in concentrates to extend the shelf life of liquid products such as long-life milk by blocking light, said Mark Crist, unit president.
The firm's OnColor-brand Brilliant concentrates are also being used to make metallic-looking parts without flow lines. In these areas, they can function as paint replacements, Crist explained.
Materials made at recent acquisitions IQAP and Comtek also already are being made at other PolyOne locations, he added.
PolyOne also has seen recent success from its IQ design labs, according to Cathy Dodd, marketing vice president for the company. In some cases, PolyOne designers have been able to convince customers to switch from materials that they've been using for several years, she said.
The labs "can help customers make good decisions in the design process and to make good economic decisions as well," Dodd said.
PolyOne ranks as North America's largest compounder and concentrates maker and as one of the region's largest resin distributors. The firm posted sales of just over $3.2 billion in 2017, up almost 10 percent vs. the previous year.