Düsseldorf / Germany, June 16, 2010 - With an extensive range of specialized, high-performance plastics, Ticona - the engineering polymers business of the Celanese Corporation - believes the time is ripe for growth. In recent months the company has further strengthened its broad product portfolio through strategic acquisitions. The expansion of its customer relationships, production capacities and service offerings worldwide has also contributed to the success of the plastics specialists.
In order to build its growth on a stable foundation, Ticona is relying on four keys to success: continuous expansion of the product portfolio, business growth in the core segments, innovations, and the development of activity in emerging countries. Some 70 percent of its business involves highly specialized materials, because the company works closely with its customers to develop applications that are individually tailored to their needs. Ticona also supports its customers with comprehensive technical service at the project level, including component design, tool layout, CAE simulations and the optimization of production processes. A business model that has been extremely successful so far - and one that has huge potential for the future, as there is more and more demand for specialized materials and technical support throughout the entire manufacturing process. In so doing, the Celanese subsidiary works together with companies from an extremely wide range of industrial sectors: its customer base includes manufacturers of electrical and electronic systems, consumer products, aircraft, motor vehicles and medical devices.
A strong portfolio
Ticona is continuously strengthening its broad spectrum of high-performance plastics. Over the past several months, the company has expanded that product portfolio through strategic acquisitions and partnerships based on strategic planning.
In the field of long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT), Ticona has added to its extensive product range through the acquisition of the Kaiserslautern-based FACT Future Advanced Composites & Technology GmbH from the Ravago Group in Belgium. In the future, the production capacities of the new Kaiserslautern site will enable it to manufacture not only the LFT product Factor® but also Celstran® LFT. Along with its extended product offering, Ticona expects to realize synergies through future collaboration and new customer relationships. This acquisition also expands production capacities in the LFT segment and strengthens the company's position in the area of structural components for the automotive industry for example.
Polyoxymethylene (POM), Ticona's core product line, is also being strategically developed: in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, for example, Ibn Sina - a joint venture of Celanese and Sabic - is building a POM production unit with a capacity of 50,000 tons per year. The plant will sustainably strengthen the Hostaform® POM business and is part of the company's effort to develop its activities in emerging countries.
In its liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and thermoplastic polyester (PCT) product lines, Ticona has added to its existing portfolio with the acquisition of the DuPont products Zenite® LCP und Thermx® PCT. This partial acquisition strengthens the company's presence in growth markets, especially in Asia, opens access to new customers, and offers the opportunity to improve production technologies.
All over the world, Ticona is working together with companies from a wide variety of business segments. Its core markets include electrical/electronic products, consumer products, medical applications and automotive construction. The plastics experts see these industries as a basis for stable growth in the future. As one of the key industries for the Celanese subsidiary, the automotive sector is particularly important to its future success. Ticona expects to see this sector recover from the setbacks it suffered due to the financial crisis, and believes that it will offer further growth opportunities, especially in emerging countries.
Trends and innovations
In close collaboration with its customers, Ticona is continuously developing new products and new applications. The company also provides global trend analyses to support its customers' development processes. In the automotive segment, for example, it has identified three major trends: fuel efficiency, enhanced safety systems, and increasing "electrification" of cars. Ticona already has experience with development and applications in all of these areas: its engineering plastics are ideally suited for use in various alternative fuel systems, reduce weight in vehicles - through metal replacement, for example - and are found in state-of-the-art safety systems and electronic components. In the medical sector, Ticona has been able to continuously develop new applications and innovative developments as well. Applications for high-performance polymers here range from orthopedic implants to inhalation systems. And Ticona's innovations and incisive trend analyses also benefit the electronic products business. The focus here is on the consumers' wishes and on the needs of the industry. That's why the plastics producer is already a major player in the field of "green electronics", supplying materials that offer low emissions, high temperature-resistance, dimensional stability, and functional aesthetics - the ideal ingredients for new developments. And the company will also continue to rely on innovation for growth in the future. Its existing range of highly specialized plastics is an ideal platform for developing new applications and introducing further modifications.
The worldwide demand for high-performance plastics and specialty polymers is growing. Ticona is especially interested in realizing its opportunities for growth in emerging countries such as China and India. Along with consulting and production, a local presence can be used to adapt applications to local conditions quickly in close collaboration with the customer.
In this way, applications that have already proven successful in the USA and Europe can also be introduced smoothly and rapidly in Asia. So the company is preparing itself for the anticipated increase in demand - and it's already starting from an excellent position.