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Victrex has successfully commissioned the first production stream of its £90 million third polyaryletherketone (PAEK) manufacturing plant as it focuses on offering even greater security of supply to customers, as well as delivering complete solutions.
Victrex explains that the capacity increase is also a further foundation to progress its pipeline of future opportunities which will help grow the company over the coming years. It says that recent investments will increase its production capacity by 70% to more than 7,000 tonnes per year. Alongside its PAEK resin capacity, Victrex says it has also continued its downstream investment in APTIV film, pipe, tape and now medical components, enabling the company to differentiate from competitors by supplying complete solutions to customers rather than simply manufacturing materials.
According to Victrex, the new PAEK plant serves as the backbone to develop core growth and future opportunities. With continued emphasis on the markets of automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics, and medical, it has focused its pipeline on a smaller number of large opportunities. These include, for example, aerospace brackets, applications for mobile devices, orthopaedic knees, and oil/gas pipes through its partnership with Magma Global. Victrex recently identified the overall market potential for the high-performing thermoplastic PAEK as being over 80,000 tonnes.
David Hummel, Chief Executive of Victrex, said “We are continuing to move from being simply a materials manufacturer to a solutions provider. Our investment, not only in PAEK manufacturing, but in downstream capability, in know-how, in technical excellence, and research and development helps to further differentiate our company. Today, we are already able to fill gaps in the market by delivering semi-finished and finished components such as APTIV film or medical applications. With the third production facility, we are in a position to offer sustained security of supply, which is, along with rigorous quality, critical to our customers.”
Victrex reports that the new facility for the manufacture of PAEK went into operation in the north-west of the UK during April. Both in the construction phase and now during production, the top priority has been safety and protection of the environment. This is ensured by the relevant defined processes and regulatory approvals as well as the successful completion of necessary audits. In addition, a new control room ensures the centralised management and monitoring of all three production plants.
Victrex says that it continues to evolve and has further differentiated itself from competitors through investment in targeted research and development. It operates Technology Centers at its headquarters in the UK, in Japan and China, the aim being to offer customers an even better service both globally and regionally. Victrex also plans to continue expanding its technological leadership. Earlier this year, the company announced a proposed Polymer Innovation Centre in the UK, which will help to prototype and scale up future developments, enabling customers to test applications before full commercialisation.
Photo provided by Victrex.
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