Covestro AG has stepped up its research & development (R&D) efforts with a half-a-billion-yen ($4.6 million) upgrade of its research center in Amagasaki, Japan.
The Innovation Centre Japan (ICJ), said Covestro in a Sept. 19 statement to PNE, has completed the upgrade to become a safer site enabling, closer collaboration with customers, particularly in the automotive and construction sectors.
The lab’s optimized machine portfolio includes a “high output” polyurethanes (PU) press machine with a power assist device for larger PU panel prototyping.
The facility also features a PU spray foam room to evaluate its processing performance under hot (summer) and cold (winter) condition.
A 600-tonne press PU machine with robot assist has also been installed to make larger auto interior prototypes, while a larger painting booth, which can control temperature and humidity, has been allocated especially to water-borne coatings.
The lab is further equipped with a 450-metric ton two-component injection molding machine and DirectCoatingDirectSkinning (DCDS) technology, to drive innovation within the coating, adhesive & specialties (CAS) and polycarbonates (PCS) units.
A “Customer Experience Centre Lounge” has also been incorporated in the lab to create value innovation in partnership with Japanese customers, according to Covestro.
The center, currently a Covestro-owned entity, started as the technical division of Japanese joint venture Sumika Covestro Urethane, which marked its 50th anniversary at the beginning of September. Covestro’s polyurethanes and coating, adhesive and specialties business units have been conducting technical research at the lab since 1971. The business unit polycarbonates started its R&D operations at the site in 2009.
“The renewal of the Innovation Centre Japan lab area will enable closer and more intensive cooperation with global leading companies in Japan. The joint innovation power is a main driver for our success in key industries,” said Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, who celebrated the lab inauguration with the Japanese team.