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DSM aims to grow its engineering plastics business in Asia

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 10 December, 2003  (Company News)
Over the next five years, the main strategic cornerstone of global growth for DSM Engineering Plastics is forecasted to be Asia.
Currently, approximately 15% of DSM's global engineering plastics business is in Asia, and the company aims to increase this share significantly over the next five years.

Significantly, DSM Engineering Plastics, a business group within DSM Performance Materials, has identified a number of key factors to help achieve this medium-term success across Asia, and in particular in China.

Comments Sales and Marketing Director, Jan Waninge, “The forecasted year on year overall market growth rate for the engineering plastics market in Asia is 25%. Set against this, DSM aims to exceed this growth rate through the implementation of a number of strategic initiatives. These are: customer support infrastructure; technical performance; and commitment to markets in Asia and in particular China.”

To provide a responsive service for China customers, the company has just increased capacity at its state-of-the-art manufacturing and compounding plant at Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province.

Explains Jan Waninge, “We foresee a large growth in demand for engineering plastics in China, and the recently increased capacity at our compounding facility in Jiangyin, will help to meet this demand. We currently employ approximately 200 staff across Asia, including more than 100 in our China compounding facility.”

As well as serving the domestic China market, DSM's Jiangyin facility also supplies materials to the rest of Asia. The facility produces Akulon polyamide 6 and 66, Arnite thermoplastic polyester, and Stanyl polyamide 46 materials, both for the domestic China market and also to support the increasing export to other markets in the Asia Pacific region.

To maintain and drive technical excellence across its products, DSM has also opened a new Regional Research and Development Centre for engineering plastics in Jiangyin. The facility has state-of-the-art equipment to test and characterize materials, and enables grade and applications development to be carried out.

Continues Waninge, “By offering this expertise locally, we will be able to help customers in China and Asia to implement their new product development programmes in a technically advanced and timely fashion. The facility is an integral part of our growth strategy for China and Asia, and will enable us to stay at the forefront of technical development.”

DSM compounds engineering plastics locally in China, India, Japan and Singapore. This provides the proximity to the key markets for reliable supply, short lead-times and flexibility when needed.

With DSM’s joint ventures for the production of Caprolactam in Nanjing and polymerisation of polyamide 6 in Xinhui, DSM is fully backwards integrated in China in the highly important polyamide 6 supply chain. Together with other strategic sourcing agreements in China, the company has the capability to act as a competitive local supplier in the China market.

Says Waninge, “We look upon our geographical spread as an advantage, and endeavour to support and add value to our customers, wherever they are based.”

In China, both the compounding facilities and the new Regional Research and Development Centre represent a competitive advantage for DSM logistically, as well as a demonstration of the company’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market. To support its domestic customers in China, DSM operates sales centres in Shenzhen and Beijing, as well as at its Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai.

Further illustration of DSM’s commitment to engineering plastics in Asia is its history in the region. The company has been present in Asia since the late 1980s, through its Stanyl business. The purchase of the Akzo Engineering Plastics business in 1992 further reinforced this commitment, resulting in the wholly owned business unit of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific being established in 1998. Today, the company has sales and service facilities across Asia, including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, Korea and India, and manufactures in China, India, Japan and Singapore.

Says Roelof Westerbeek, Business Unit Director DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific, “The existing industry infrastructure in the Asia region is solid, and is developing well, arguably better than other competing geographical areas such as India and Eastern Europe. We see China as a major manufacturing and design centre of the future, with top class engineering resources and capabilities on tap. The advantages to our customers of local Chinese manufacture and technology support include reduced downtime, faster response, and better applications support.”
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