JEC Group have brought together the international community of composites leaders and executives in our Composites Circle as an unique networking opportunity to meet with both peers and future partners.
Last September 10, DSM celebrated the opening of a new sizing plant located in the Xinghuo site, near Shanghai, China. The new plant will produce a wide range of sizing and binder products under the trade name NeoxiI.
(Published on December 2007 – JEC Magazine #37)
The performance of a composite is dependent on many factors such as design, manufacturing technique, resin (thermoplastic or thermoset), and fibre reinforcement.
A critical component determining the fibres’ performance is the sizing (coating) that is applied to the fibre. In glass-fibre production, although the sizing layer is very thin and contributes to only about 0.5-1.0% of the weight, it plays a vital role in protecting the glass from breaking or abrasion, ensures compatibility with the resin matrix, and promotes desired properties such as strength, processing, colour, etc.
Working closely with customers
The operation of the new plant will enable DSM to work closely with customers in the Chinese and Asian markets and develop innovative, high-quality, reinforced glass-fibre solutions. It will also greatly benefit end users in industries such as automotive, wind power, and publicfacilities construction.
DSM Neoxil is fully dedicated to the glassfibre reinforcement industry. For over 30 years, Neoxil has been a world-leading brand name in sizings and binders for that industry, and is now taking 25% of global market share in this sector. DSM Neoxil is supported by sales managers based in Europe, China, and the United States. The combination of regional and global teams ensures that customer needs are understood, translated into chemistry and delivered as fast as possible. Global technical support is provided from the Neoxil Innovation Centre based in Filago, Italy.
Chinese and Asian markets
There are strong growth opportunities for sizings and binders in glass-fibre reinforcement in Asia, particularly in the Chinese market. The new plant will produce Neoxil products to the same high quality, safety and environmental standards that have made the brand a benchmark for fibre sizing emulsions, with improved services and faster delivery from which new and existing customers will greatly benefit.
In today's automotive and electronics industries, glass-fibre-reinforced parts continue to replace metal because of their superior advantages in weight and strength. As a result, China's glass-fibre industry has been growing rapidly since year 2000. It is expected to continue to grow at about twenty percent per year and it is anticipated that China will become the world's largest market for glass fibres in terms of capacity. Mr. Jiang Weiming, president of DSM China, believes that the new plant will reinforce DSM’s position as the global market leader in the development and manufacture of sizings and binders. The new plant opening is a testament to DSM’s ambitious plans in the fastgrowing Chinese market and fits closely with the objectives of the longterm strategy “Vision 2010 – Building on strengths”.
Composite-resin growth strategy by 2010
The Resins division is expecting €1,400 million (M) in sales for 2007, including €500M from the Composite Resins business unit, €800M from the Coating Resins business unit and €100M from DSM Desotech. According to the strategic plan unveiled by John van Osch, director of DSM Composite Resins, the business unit’s sales should reach €800M by 2010, i.e. a 17% yearly growth over the next three years. To achieve this objective, the business unit plans to generate:
In China, DSM produces and markets vitamins, antibiotics, coating and structural resins, engineering plastics, and fibre intermediates. The DSM Composite Resins business unit is the European market leader in unsaturated polyesters (UPE) and has its own pan-European distributor (Euroresins). UPE are used for the production of fibrereinforced plastics or non-reinforced filled products in end-use applications such as marine, leisure, building & construction, automotive and wind turbine blades.
Given the very high growth rates observed, particularly in the Chinese and Asian markets, the plan appears to be quite feasible. Together the division’s European entitie and the Asian entitie should generate €750M. DSM’s Neoxil business should generate €100M. The new production capacities inaugurated in Shanghai are part of this strategic plan, and should suffice to reach the objectives.
DSM also has a firm commitment to sustainable development and cares about the impact of its products and processes on the environment. For example in China DSM Composite Resins is supporting the wind turbine industry with resin products that are used in a fast infusion process and offers new products and technologies that are fast curing for all components. This means that there is no need for long post curing cycles, which significantly saves production time and energy. Accordingly, the company will ensure that global environmental standards are strictly adhered to in the new plant, as in all of its facilities.
JEC Composites Magazine: why do you invest in China?
JOHN VAN OSCH: We see strong growth opportunities for sizing and binder in glass fiber reinforcement in Asia, particularly in the Chinese market.
JCM: In your opinion, what is driving the composite market in China today?
JOHN VAN OSCH: The composite industry today is driven by the growth trends in infrastructure, this we see back in fast growing markets like windmills and tanks & pipes. Next to that we also see growth in consumer consumption that accelerates markets like marine and automotive applications.
JCM: Which sectors are to be explored in particular?
JOHN VAN OSCH: We focus on those applications which support China's growth and compliment our technology leadership position, targetting areas which will maximize our return in value.
JCM: Does your approach of the Chinese market differ from what you do elsewhere?
JOHN VAN OSCH: The new plant will produce Neoxil products to the same high quality, safety and environmental standards that have made the Neoxil brand a benchmark for fiber sizing emulsions for more than 30 years with improved services and faster delivery, from which our new and existing customers will greatly benefit.