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Bayer MaterialScience AG : 18 October, 2004  (Company News)
Under the slogan
On a total area of around 1,000 square meters, visitors will discover a wealth of new ideas, technologies, products, applications and service offerings. “At K 2004, we will be showing exactly what we can do,” says Frank Bertram, head of Global Marketing, Product Management and Innovation in the Polyurethanes Business Unit and overall manager of the Bayer MaterialScience stand. Items on show will range from thoroughly tried-and-tested products and applications and a broad portfolio of service offerings to revolutionary ideas and visions for the future. “We currently have around 2,000 projects in our innovation pipeline,” says Bertram. “This portfolio represents a sound basis for our future business success.” In addition, the company is set to focus in the next few years on expanding growth markets and improving efficiency.

With 2003 sales of EUR 7.5 billion and approximately 18,000 staff worldwide, Bayer MaterialScience is one of the mainstays of the Bayer Group. Every year, the company manufactures more than four million tons of polymers at 40 production sites around the globe. The portfolio is divided among the five Business Units Polyurethanes, Polycarbonates, Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, Thermoplastic Polyurethanes and Inorganic Basic Chemicals. These are joined by numerous subsidiaries and affiliates.

VisionWorks – central theme for K 2004 and for the future

“VisionWorks” is the new mission statement that shapes the entire trade fair concept of Bayer MaterialScience. It “translates” the name Bayer MaterialScience. “Material” stands for the materials the company develops, for new products and new markets – material for visions. “Science” represents the knowledge Bayer MaterialScience works with, and the company’s decades of experience. Combined with a global network of ideas, it provides the drive for innovative and sustainable solutions – visions that become reality. “If you distill the essence of this, it gives you our mission: ‘VisionWorks’,” says Bertram.

Mirroring the Bayer MaterialScience portfolio, which consists of an exceptionally full innovation pipeline, first-class technologies and a wealth of promising growth products, the trade fair stand is divided into the three areas “Best Ideas”, “Best Services” and “Best Practices”.

Best Ideas – the future on our radar screen

The Best Ideas area is central to the stand of Bayer MaterialScience. This is where the New Business team will showcase the company’s innovative ideas and visions, some of which extend far beyond the current portfolio, and which will make an important contribution to future business success. A revolutionary sound system that spells an end to loudspeaker cabinets has been developed by polyurethane specialist Puren in close collaboration with Bayer MaterialScience and Siemens. The sound is generated by vibrating surfaces known as soundboards, which are made from rigid polyurethane foam and built into walls, ceilings or floors. Regardless of whether the purSonic® system is installed under wallpaper, tiles or plaster, it always delivers superb sound quality.

In the quest to develop new, powerful and secure systems for mobile data carriers, Bayer MaterialScience has established the foundations for a holographic storage material. Coating a base material of Makrofol® ID polycarbonate film with a laser-writable special polymer creates a storage medium for saving data using holography. Although still visionary today, check card formats, memory sticks and even programmable keys with holographic film integrated for high-performance, secure information and data storage could soon become reality.

Smart Surface technology makes it possible for the first time to mold surface-luminescent plastic parts. The technology was developed in cooperation with the Swiss company Lumitec AG using materials from Bayer MaterialScience. Because the technology uses no bulbs or LEDs, the components are extremely durable and maintenance-free. The luminescent films are ideal for a large number of applications ranging from automobile interiors to illuminated interiors for ladies’ handbags.

In its efforts to develop innovative products, Bayer MaterialScience is also making increasing use of nanotechnology to manufacture materials whose properties have in some cases never been seen before. Dispercoll® S is an additive developed to lend one-component, aqueous adhesives a high initial wet strength. This allows joined parts to be processed immediately after joining, leading to significant advances in productivity.

Best Services – geared to practical needs and close to the customer

In the Best Services area, Bayer MaterialScience is showcasing its entire package of services which are so popular with customers. These include polyurethane systems houses, for example, which develop specific system solutions in close collaboration with customers. The Polyurethanes Business Unit is committed to expanding the global network of these systems houses. In the key regions, Technical Service Centers are available where customers can optimize their manufacturing processes under production conditions. The Thermoplastics Testing Center in Krefeld-Uerdingen is a modern service center whose team of experts is capable of performing more than 200 different plastics tests. Color Competence Centers worldwide provide support for customers coloring plastics based on various coloring techniques. More than 100 different colorations and special effects are available under the Fantasia™ brand. The Regional Service Centers, whose very name illustrates their proximity to customers, look after entire orders from start to finish. Finally, strong co-branding partners of Bayer MaterialScience are making increasing use of the “Made of Makrolon®” seal of quality to label their products. As a result, this high-tech plastic has now become a globally recognized brand.

Best Practices – tried-and-true quality

The Best Practices area focuses on tried-and-tested, established products and applications. One example of this is the construction of the roof for the Olympic Stadium in Athens, which was fitted with solid plastic sheets made of the polycarbonate Makrolon® from Bayer MaterialScience. The use of Makrolon® for automotive glazing is reaching new dimensions, with this material being used both for the approximately one square meter large front section of the smart forfour's transparent panorama roof, and also the panoramic louvered roof of the new A Class from Mercedes-Benz. Large-format bodywork parts made of polyurethane integral skin foam, which enable considerable freedom in design and boast high mechanical robustness, are also becoming very popular. This enables cost-effective production, above all in midsized series.

The new face of Audi, initially unveiled in the latest Audi A6, owes much to the large, single-frame radiator grille that connects the upper grille to the lower one to form a single trapezoidal unit. This component was produced using Makroblend®, which not only fulfills the demanding mechanical and thermal requirements, but also delivers an appealing Class A surface, a particularly important consideration in such an eye-catching design element. New aromatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) in the Desmopan® line, which exhibit high transparency even with thick walls, are ideal for manufacturing sports equipment with special optical effects, among other things. Their high transparency offers considerable scope in terms of decorative features and styling. Optical data carriers such as CDs and DVDs made of Makrolon®, raw materials for environmentally-compatible aqueous coatings and rigid polyurethane foams for insulating refrigerators are further examples of field-tested applications of Bayer MaterialScience products.

The Bayer MaterialScience portfolio is complemented perfectly by the expertise of the following subsidiaries, who are also exhibiting at the trade fair: Epurex Films GmbH & Co., Bayer Sheet Europe N.V. (both on the same stand) and Hennecke GmbH (Hall 13, Stand B 63). The new transparent, rubber-elastic film Walopur® VPT 4300 U from Epurex Films, for example, makes ideal “suspension packaging” for high-quality goods that need to be well protected yet remain visible when transported. The product range of Bayer Sheet Europe is being extended with the new Makrolon® multi UV IQ-Relax multi-wall sheet, which, alongside properties that reduce heat and thermally insulate, also lets through high amounts of homogeneous light, ensuring a pleasant ambience. When foam-filling refrigerator and freezer cabinets, the new flexible CoreFlex core-changing system from machine specialist Hennecke allows the inner supporting core to be changed in minimal time. It therefore contributes to a significant improvement in productivity when manufacturing refrigerator and freezer cabinets.
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