Expansions: Ensinger commissions new prepreg facility in Germany; New AkzoNobel powder coatings plant in Taiwan

Ensinger commissions new prepreg facility in Germany

Since 1966, Ensinger has been active in the field of engineering polymers and now covers a range of services from compounding and extrusion, injection moulding and stock shapes through to finished components. In the business area of thermoplastic composites, Ensinger added some years ago plates and components made from fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, predominantly for applications in the medical market.

Now, Ensinger has invested further in the field of composite materials; at the Cham site (Bavaria), a new facility has been commissioned for the production of thermoplastic prepregs. Ensinger’s range now encompasses thermoplastic, continuous fibre-reinforced semipregs and prepregs, organosheets and compression moulded composite plates from a wide range of material combinations.

Among the composite materials being produced by Ensinger at the new facility in Cham are thermoplastic semipreg materials (TECATEC CP). These single layer semipregs made from carbon or glass fibre fabrics are coated with thermoplastic matrix materials. The materials here range from engineering polymers such as polycarbonate and polyamides, to high performance plastics such as PEI, PEEK and PEKK. Alongside stock materials, its in-house compounding allows Ensinger to also address most customer requests.

Ensinger commissions new prepreg facility in Germany

Also new to the portfolio are thermoplastic prepreg materials (TECATEC IP). These are fully impregnated and consolidated, single layer plies made from carbon or glass fibre fabrics. With these prepregs, the full range of matrix polymers is available. In addition, Ensinger offers customised matrix and fibre combinations, fibre architectures or matrix materials on request.

Thermoplastic organosheets are multi-layer, fully impregnated and consolidated fibre composite materials produced from carbon fibre or glass fibre fabrics and a variety of matrix materials.

For applications in which the properties of unreinforced or short fibre-reinforced plastic stock shapes are insufficient, thermoplastic composite plates are an outstanding alternative. Ensinger offers carbon fibre-reinforced PEEK for medical applications, glass fibre-reinforced PEI and carbon fibre-reinforced PC and PPS as standard. Other material and fibre combinations, types of fabric or customised layer structures are produced on request.

Continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites are particularly suitable for use in the automotive industry, in medical technology, in engineering and in the oil and gas sector. For high-end applications in aviation, light and high-strength thermoplastic composites have now become indispensable. Sports goods such as bike components or winter sports equipment are an additional growth market for these modern composite materials.

New AkzoNobel powder coatings plant in Taiwan

Meanwhile in other news, more advanced powder coatings solutions will be available to customers in Taiwan now that a plant is being built by AkzoNobel in Chungli. The fully automated plant, which represents a EUR20 million investment, will have the increased production capacity to fulfill growing demand in the architecture, auto accessories, telecommunications, electronic components, furniture, domestic appliances, sports equipment and machine tools markets. It is expected to start operating in the third quarter of 2021.

Once operational, the new plant will bring the company closer to its overall energy and water sustainability ambitions. It’s expected to reduce energy consumption by 30%, increase the water reuse rate to 60% and achieve zero VOC emissions – in addition to creating a safer and healthier working environment.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainties to global markets,” said Fred Moreux, Director of Manufacturing for Asia at AkzoNobel. “Investing in a new plant in Taiwan at this critical time will help us streamline our supply chain while setting a new benchmark in the local paints and coatings industry.”

AkzoNobel’s multisite in Chungli already consists of manufacturing plants for powder coatings, decorative paints, packaging coatings and specialty coatings. The addition of this new powder coatings plant is leading Taiwan’s industry upgrade process to create significant production leverage and value.

“AkzoNobel has been in the Taiwan market for more than 40 years and is a known leader of its paints and coatings industry,” said Karen Yin, Director of Commercial Powder Coatings at AkzoNobel. “The new plant is driven by growing customer demand for tailored solutions and will consolidate our leading position.”


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