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New production line for DVD R formats

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 19 April, 2005  (Company News)
Bayer MaterialScience AG, maker of Makrolon
Supplied by SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, the systems are designed for the economical mass production of high-performance DVD+R and DVD-R formats, and include extensive test and control equipment.

'This investment is our response to the increasing diversification of the market for optical media. While the classic audio CD/ROM still had roughly 80 percent of the market in 2000, this figure dropped to a third in 2004. In contrast, recordable and rewritable CD/DVD formats have taken over nearly half of the entire market,' explains Burkhard Reitze, head of Business Development for optical media in the EMEA/LA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa / Latin America).

Some 800,000 tons of polycarbonate were processed into optical media in 2004, roughly two-thirds of that in Asia alone. 'A lot of manufacturers in this region are currently investing large sums in ultramodern facilities for the mass production of sophisticated DVDs. Therefore, our new DVD R product line is primarily intended for process and process engineering support, as well as for customer training. In this way, we can react flexibly to the individual needs of our customers and position ourselves closer to them,' says Roger Lian, responsible for optical media in the Asia/Pacific region of Bayer MaterialScience's Business Development department.

The new DVD R facility in Leverkusen will likewise be used to strengthen ties to European customers by offering an enhanced service. In addition, it plays an important role in the research and development of optical media, because the Optical Disc Lab at Bayer MaterialScience headquarters has the periphery required to support such projects. 'It includes, for example, certified and accredited testing equipment. We also have access to extensive chemical and physical analysis technology. Thanks to close cooperation with experts in Production and Research, we can ensure optimum project workflows,' says Reitze. Another advantage of the location is that numerous manufactures of machines for optical media are based in Europe for historical reasons, and have long had a good relationship with Bayer MaterialScience. Research and development projects in Leverkusen include the engineering of formats with higher storage densities, and the optimization of new polycarbonate formulations for better processing and process engineering.

The third node in Bayer MaterialScience's global network of Optical Disc Labs is Pittsburgh, USA. Work here focuses on prerecorded CDs and DVDs, which dominate the US market for optical media. Alongside Shanghai and Leverkusen, Pittsburgh is also an important hub of contact to US-based developers of new prerecorded storage formats, such as the Blu Ray Disc and the HD (high-density) -DVD.
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