Plants: Trelleborg expands silicone moulding in US; Sekisui starts production of thermal interface materials in Netherlands

Trelleborg expands silicone moulding in US

Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical, part of Swedish polymer Trelleborg Group, has expanded its facility in Minnesota, US, which includes the addition of a 6,000-sq-ft ISO Class 7 cleanroom and enhanced silicone moulding and contract manufacturing capabilities.

The firm said that it invested in new machines and associated equipment to meet growing demand for moulded silicone products. The new auxiliary equipment includes a material mixing station, alcohol wash and tumbling machines, and packaging cell. Silicone storage capabilities in the cleanroom also have been enhanced.

“We have increased our capacity for silicone moulding while also refining the setup to leverage existing capabilities, such as the in-house tool room, to reduce lead times,” said Dave Pool, General Manager of the Delano facility. “The added space also enables us to expand our contract manufacturing capabilities to accommodate increasing demand for product development.”

In addition to silicone and thermoplastic moulding, the Delano facility supports assembly and secondary operations, in-house tool making, precision machining for micro moulding, and automation.

The plant is certified to ISO 9001:2016 and ISO 13485 and is FDA registered.

Sekisui starts production of thermal interface materials in Netherlands

Meanwhile, Japan’s Sekisui Chemical Group subsidiary, Sekisui Polymatech Europe, headquartered in Roermond, the Netherlands, has commenced production of thermal interface materials for automakers, battery manufacturers and producers of powertrains and chassis components. A total of EUR12.3 million has been invested in the company and plant to increase threefold the global production capacity. Furthermore, the company is striving to achieve revenue of EUR80 million in its thermal management business by 2022.

OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in Europe are developing large numbers of environmentally friendly vehicles such as electric and hybrid vehicles. It is anticipated that 12.5 million of these vehicles will be produced for the European market by 2025. This trend shows that the demand for heat-dissipation products for the lithium-ion batteries used in such vehicles is set to rise rapidly.

“Until now, elements for electric vehicles such as those for lithium-ion batteries have been made largely in Asia. Our focus is on local manufacturing,” says Makoto Sambongi, Managing Director of Sekisui Europe. The construction of the plant started in spring 2019, laying the foundation for efficient and sustainable production for materials such as heat-conductive greases tailored specifically to customer needs.

In 2018, Sekisui decided to enhance its production capacity by building a new plant for thermal interface materials in Roermond, the Netherlands, in addition to three existing production bases in Japan, Thailand and China.

The 1,977 sq-m European facility focuses on grease-type thermal interface materials. Aiming at a high-volume production, the facility has the capacity to produce material of around 1 million l grease for approximately 500,000 electric and hybrid vehicles.

Thermal interface materials are inserted between two components to improve the thermal coupling between them and are generally used for heat dissipation. The products do not only offer high thermal conductivity but are exceptionally wear resistant for dosing equipment and there is very little degassing from the product itself, says Sekisui.

The production facility in Roermond focuses on grease-type thermal interface materials, the CGW series, which can be individually adapted to customer needs. Particularly noteworthy in this respect are the characteristics of the CGW 2-component grease, which can be injected, formed, and compressed. Additional characteristics such as endothermic and electromagnetic absorbing can be applied based on a customer’s development request. For sheet-type thermal interface materials Sekisui offers development support functions which allow to adapt thermal sheets to OEM demands and processes.


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