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Owens Corning and Bayer Corporation Announce Alliance to Promote SRIM and RRIM Composite Technologies to Global Automotive Market

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 02 August, 2001  (Company News)
The Automotive Solutions Business of Owens Corning and the Polyurethanes Division of Bayer Corporation today announced that they are forming a strategic alliance to develop advanced polyurethane/glass fiber composite technologies and accelerate their delivery to automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers.
The companies intend to pool complementary resources to develop advanced long glass fiber reinforced polyurethane technologies as 'next step' alternatives to steel and aluminum in structural automotive applications. Owens Corning and Bayer will also work closely with third party manufacturers/molders and engineering design companies to ensure speedy delivery of the advanced technologies to the global automotive industry.

'This alliance will bring together two companies with a common interest in driving growth and market share for composites in the automotive industry,' said Bill True, vice president of OC Automotive Solutions. 'Owens Corning is a proven leader in technology innovation, and a global leader in glass fiber and pre-form technology. Bayer is the largest producer of polyurethane raw materials in the world, and the technology leader in polyurethane chemistry and equipment systems.'

True added, 'OC Automotive Solutions is committed to meeting the needs of leading automotive OEMs by bringing together the expertise of the composites industry - from design through manufacturing - to provide a complete composites solution. This alliance provides Owens Corning and Bayer the opportunity to accelerate technological developments and speed delivery of those technologies to the market.'

'We have a long and successful history of working with Owens Corning,' said Martin Dawson, vice president of Bayer's Automotive Business. 'This alliance will provide the avenue to increase the use of composites within the global automotive market while delivering new, innovative design solutions based on the industry's need for lower costs, lighter weight and better performance. We have already demonstrated that composite technology is a viable alternative to traditional metal parts with our one-piece molded composite truck box being commercialized on the GM Silverado. While much lighter than metal and considerably more durable, the composite truck box offers both production line savings to the OEM as well as performance benefits to the end user. We see composite technologies replacing metal in many structural applications as the next step forward in automotive design.'

'Composite technology has come of age,' Dawson continued. 'As environmental and economic pressures continue to rise, we expect automotive designers to look much more closely at lightweight, strong composite technology as the material of choice for structural applications that previously were reserved for metal.'

True and Dawson pointed out that the alliance will position its resources to provide local design and development support to automotive customers worldwide. Owens Corning is in the process of developing plans to locate business solutions centers in both Detroit and Europe.

'The creation of European and Detroit-based business solutions centers will enable Owens Corning to mobilize its global resources to deliver world-class solutions,' True said. 'Bayer also has a Detroit-based office, as well as extensive Research and Development facilities in Pittsburgh and elsewhere,' Dawson added. 'The combination of our existing facilities and the new Owens Corning facilities will enable us to offer same-language, same-culture support to automotive customers in many countries. We plan to concentrate our initial alliance efforts in the NAFTA Region while the new Owens Corning facilities are being developed, but also support alliance efforts in Europe from affiliate facilities.'
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