Thornton Cleveleys, UK - Victrex Polymer Solutions, the world leader in high performance polyaryletherketones, has announced plans to increase production capacity by around 70% for its VICTREX™ PAEK polymers reflecting confidence in the growth potential for global demand across a wide and growing range of applications in the transport, industrial and electronics sectors.
This new capacity will add 2,900 metric tonnes (MT) of polymer output annually and will come on stream in early 2015. Total annual production of VICTREX PAEK polymers after completion will then stand at more than 7,000 MT per annum, an increase of around 70% on Victrex’s current capacity of 4,250 MT per annum.
The increased capacity further reinforces Victrex’s policy of providing exceptional security of supply at a time when many other polymer manufacturers are struggling to meet customer demand. Victrex has a solid track-record of investing in capacity ahead of demand, creating an enviable secure supply position for its existing and new customers especially when market conditions create accelerated demand and growth
“In our industry, speed of response is vital to satisfy market demand,” said Roland Reber, Managing Director of Ensinger GmbH. “As our key supplier for PAEK polymers, Victrex has been an important partner in helping us to achieve our customers' needs, on time to exacting requirements. This announcement further reinforces Victrex’s capability to meet these critical aspects.”
This new capacity investment follows recently reported sales results for Victrex’s financial year ending 30th September 2012. Sales volumes for the full year ended at 2,904 tonnes, a new record, which combined with a strong, and vital pipeline of future applications, supports this key investment decision.
This record-breaking performance provides the backdrop to the decision to invest in the design and construction of this new, standalone and independent third Victrex plant to be located at the company’s headquarters in the UK. In addition, to support this expansion of production of VICTREX PAEK polymers, Victrex will also invest in uprating its integrated supply chain for the key raw material for the manufacture of PAEK polymers.
"Offering a consistent, reliable supply of high quality PAEK polymers ready for shipment to meet our existing and new customers’ needs both today and in the future is an integral part of our strategy and focus,” says Tim Cooper, Managing Director at Victrex Polymer Solutions. “Our existing and new customers today and in the future can be confident in our ability to meet their needs for PAEK polymers on time and in full.”
Victrex continues to grow its share in key market segments where its PAEK-based materials are deployed in a wide range of applications, helping its customers and end users to meet their burning unmet needs. For example, one critical challenge facing the Transport sector centers around enhanced fuel efficiency and reduction in CO2 emissions. With these key requirements as the backdrop, aerospace and automotive engineers specify lightweight, strong and versatile Victrex PAEK polymers to help reduce both weight and noise, and provide increased reliability with no compromises in the safety performance of their products. This material specification is further supported by business and purchasing managers who value the security of supply and integrated supply chain offered by Victrex for these long-term, high volume application platforms.
“In the aerospace industry, long-term stability and security of supply in our supply chain is vital,” says Eric Rushbrook, General Manager, Amphenol PCD. “We therefore look very closely at all of our key suppliers’ production capacity and quality control measures to ensure product availability and consistency and to enable us to meet our customers’ demands both now and in the future. Victrex provided us the further assurance we need from one of our key suppliers due to its vertically integrated supply chain.”
End users are in turn confidently offering longer warranties, lengthening the time between services and shutdowns, and reducing/eliminating costly product recalls, leading to reductions in overall system costs partly due to some of the key features of Victrex PAEK polymers that include high temperature performance, strength and stiffness, wear and chemical resistance combined with ease of processing.
The offshore oil and gas industry is challenged to exploit reserves of oil and gas at increasing depths and hence higher operating temperatures and pressures. They require high performance materials to meet these needs and offer enhanced durability, longer life, longer up times, lower maintenance, and increased reliability. Victrex PAEK polymers offer superior performance compared with the incumbent materials used and are able to withstand high pressures and temperatures as well as offer excellent resistance to abrasion, permeation and chemical corrosion. In fact, Victrex recently announced their newest product line VICTREX Pipes™ which are extruded light weight pipes and tubes that can be used in oil and gas recovery.
Other new developments at the Company include composite structures that use innovative materials, such as high performance VICTREX PAEK polymers and APTIV™ film, and they are gaining popularity among design engineers to help reduce weight and systems costs through parts consolidation to help a wide-range of industries meet their needs today and in the future.