DSM Engineering Materials has upgraded and expanded its production site in Evansville, Ind.
In a news release, officials said the investment included significant improvements focused on technology and sustainability. They added that these steps will help DSM meet growing demand for next-generation high-performance polymers in a wide range of applications and will help drive the shift to a low-carbon, circular economy.
The 40,000-square-foot plant now integrates the latest production technologies and runs on 100 percent purchased renewable electricity.
The investment will help meet long-term increased regional demand for DSM materials, including Akulon-brand nylon 6 and 6/6, Arnite-brand PET/PBT, Arnitel-brand thermoplastic copolyester, EcoPaXX-brand nylon 4/10, ForTii-brand nylon 4T/PPA and Stanyl-brand nylon 4/6.
Officials added that the expansion is being driven by increasing customer demand for materials used in vehicle electrification and supporting infrastructure, along with lightweighting technologies in multiple industries.
Enhancements at the site increase DSM's ability to make sustainable bio-based and/or recycled-based materials. Those materials "were a key consideration" when planning the project, officials said. The business has made a global commitment to producing bio-based and recycled-based alternatives for its entire materials portfolio by 2030.
Variable-speed drives are used on all compounding lines at the site to reduce energy consumption, officials said. Facility controls lead to further energy reductions.
"Our investment in the latest production equipment has reduced energy consumption in Evansville and lowered our environmental impact, Engineering Materials President Roeland Polet said. "Through this project, we also aim to strengthen our business partnerships by continuing to invest in key areas of sustainable growth."
He added that the expansion "reinforces our focus on North America as a key growth market for our business."
Evansville Site Director Dave Miller said that investing in state-of-the-art technology "provides both short-term and long-term value."
"This investment also underlines our commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact in the long term," he added. "And by producing more bio- and recycled-based materials, we'll be able to help more of our customers do the same."
DSM Engineering Materials — including the Evansville site — is being sold to a newly formed joint venture between materials maker Lanxess AG and global private equity firm Advent International. That deal, valued at almost $4 billion, was announced in May.
DSM NV, based in Geleen, the Netherlands, is a global supplier of specialty plastics and chemicals. The firm employs 23,000 worldwide and has annual sales of almost $11 billion.