MOSCOW (MRC) -- Milliken & Company is moving boldly to address anticipated market needs by expanding the facilities and capacity it acquired last March via its purchase of Germany’s Zebra-chem GmbH, according to SpecialChem.
Zebra-chem is a specialty compounder and chemicals company that makes additive and blowing agent concentrates for polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and engineering thermoplastics.
The expansion will enable Milliken to boost production capacity for the acquired Bad Bentheim plant by 60% by year’s end. Milliken plans to install new manufacturing equipment and hire additional employees at the plant, which will be renamed Birch I.
It also built a new warehouse, called Birch II, nearby. Milliken has been a trailblazer of sustainability for more than a century, and the company’s legacy of naming locations after trees is a tribute to that core company value.
“We are seeing very strong demand from several end markets where these products are adding value, and our customer base has welcomed our broader solution portfolio,” said Milliken sales manager Tugce Asici-van Houselt. “These facilities will continue to serve the global market, with a focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”
The viscosity modifiers and performance modifiers made at the German plant increase melt flow of recycled polypropylene (PP) resins with little to no loss of physical properties, enabling more recycled content to be used by the converters and brand owners without compromising overall performance. “Milliken is known for its sustainable innovation,” notes Wim Van de Velde, global vice president, of Milliken’s plastic additives business.
“We are excited to be able to leverage its leading position in Europe to help accelerate market solutions that improve and increase manufacturing with recycled plastics. This expansion signals that the market is clearly responding,” added Velde. The facility also produces solid concentrates that serve as chemical blowing agents for the production of foamed thermoplastics.
Milliken says it is on track to fully integrate the acquired operations during this calendar year.
As MRC reported earlier, in February 2022, South Plastic Industry Co. Ltd., (or SPI) leveraged its close, working relationship with additives supplier Milliken & Company to develop a clear, anti-fogging PP lid for its microwaveable food packaging. Using Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 clarifier, the two parties produced an UltraClear polypropylene (PP) resin that delivers on all the performance promises for ready-meal packaging, while also offering additional processing benefits. SPI also recently began using Milliken’s Hyperform HPN performance additives in its PP formulations, as well.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. The company creates coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children's art supplies.