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ADRIAN, Mich. — Wacker Chemical Corporation, part of the global chemical group Wacker Chemie AG, is planning a number of concurrent expansion projects to support regional growth and demand for …
ADRIAN, Mich. — Wacker Chemical Corporation, part of the global chemical group Wacker Chemie AG, is planning a number of concurrent expansion projects to support regional growth and demand for silicones and HDK pyrogenic silica.
Triple digit million U.S.-Dollar investments in North America, including nearby Charleston, align with Wacker’s overall expansion strategy to add capacity in Europe and in Asia.
“Wacker is a leading silicone solutions provider, offering customers a reliable supply of materials, consistent quality, technical and customer support services and innovative technology,” said Dr. Ian Moore, Wacker Chemical Corporation Vice President Silicones.
“Wacker’s expansion strategy is designed to support continued growth in demand for silicone products, further increase customer satisfaction, and accelerate product development,” he added.
Moore, who joined Wacker in July 2017, and has over 30 years of global operations and commercial experience in the silicones industry, explained that growth in silicone’s demand is seen across all market segments, with stronger growth coming from the automotive and transportation, health care, and personal care industries.
In addition to capacity expansion, silicone elastomers, fluids, emulsions, and HDK pyrogenic silica demand necessitates that Wacker also employ significant resources to support our customers’ needs in growing their businesses.
“Wacker’s current investment strategy in infrastructure and capacity expansion in the America’s region will involve several coordinated projects,” Moore said. “Already looking at this past summer, we opened the Silicones R&D Center located in Ann Arbor, Mich."
"Having this 10,000-square-foot research and development center situated in the Michigan Innovation Headquarters (MI-HQ) facility complements Wacker’s business model of being close to our customers and close to serving regional market trends," Moore added.
He emphasized that construction is under way and scheduled to open in mid-2019 is Wacker's HDK plant in Charleston. When open, the plant will provide customers a regionally-sourced supply of pyrogenic silica, having an annual capacity of some 13,000 metric tons. Wacker has earmarked some $150 million for this investment.”
Complementing these projects, Wacker sites which manufacture silicone elastomers, fluids and emulsions, are planning to significantly expand production capacity through infrastructure development and investments in additional equipment.
Dr. Moore said that engineering planning for a number of projects is already underway. These plans include the addition of capacities for elastomers, intermediate production processes and further investment in antifoam compounds and silicone emulsion production.
Wacker’s leadership position in silicones manufacturing and technology is anchored in its 70 years of experience in developing new and advanced silicone products and innovative customer solutions
“Serving our customers’ needs today is certainly as important as serving their needs well into the future. The investments we are making today competitively positions Wacker in the Americas and positions Wacker as a globally leading chemical company for the coming years ahead,” Moore commented.
Dr. Moore closed by saying that silicone products have very unique properties, unsurpassed by any other polymer – their potential is virtually unlimited.
To emphasize this point, he said WACKER is already pioneering a novel technology, offering the first worldwide service for 3D printed silicone parts.
“Based at its Burghausen, Germany, facility, the facility is staffed by Wacker silicone experts who have developed the materials, including the software and hardware which is opening new application opportunities for silicones.
“Wacker is an innovative chemical company,” Moore added, “and we expect to continue to develop and supply products and solutions that serve our customers’ needs and the needs of their customers."
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