The Sarlink operation, including employees, technologies, compounding capabilities, and sales operations on three continents, has now become part of Teknor Apex's Thermoplastic Elastomer Division. It will operate as a part of the larger group within the company, supplying products under the Sarlink brand and ensuring continuity of service to users of Sarlink TPV compounds, said Teknor Apex Vice President Suresh Swaminathan. At the same time, Swaminathan noted, the addition of the Sarlink business will expand the overall capability of Teknor Apex to serve as a single source for multiple compounds.
One example cited by Swaminathan involves the automotive industry, the largest market for Sarlink TPVs and one that Teknor Apex has long supplied with thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), vinyl, and nylon compounds. In the USA, sales and support services for automotive manufacturers will be continue to be supported through an office in the Detroit area, at Rochester Hills, MI, while drawing on synergies between the various business units"The Sarlink acquisition makes Teknor Apex the most diversified independent compounder of TPEs, with eight generically different polyolefin, styrenic, and TPV chemistries and strong positions in automotive, consumer product, industrial, medical, wire and cable and packaging markets, Swaminathan said. "This broad capability enables us to recommend only the very best TPE formulation for a customer's application and a back it up with experienced technical and engineering support.
Rolf Schrauwen, Sarlink global marketing director, noted that the continuity for existing Sarlink customers will be seamless: "As part of Teknor Apex, we will provide exactly the same high level of product quality and service that our customers have come to expect, he said. "The people, the products, and the Sarlink brand will not change and the company will continue to manufacture and offer the complete Sarlink product range. The same expert manufacturing people will operate the same compounding lines, drawing on the same raw material sources, and applying the same quality systems to the same specifications.
Also expanded with the Sarlink addition is Teknor Apex's global reach. The company now produces TPEs at five sites in the USA, two in Europe, and one in Singapore.
"The Sarlink product line brings a unique elastomer technology to Teknor Apex, unlike those of any other TPEs, including our own existing TPV products, said Sachin S. Sakhalkar, new business development manager for Teknor Apex. "Sarlink products exhibit exceptionally rubber-like properties yet provide the processing advantages of thermoplastics over rubber, including higher productivity, greater design freedom, and recyclability. Compared with most other widely used TPEs, Sarlink TPVs provide greater elasticity, resistance to flexural fatigue, stability at high temperatures, chemical resistance, and weatherability.
Sarlink TPVs have received approvals from automotive OEMs worldwide. They have also been used successfully in applications as diverse as wine corks, pipe seals, wire and cable, food containers, and other consumer and industrial applications.In addition, Teknor Apex UK Ltd. is installing a new compounding line for TPEs. The production line will be located at the facility in Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, and have a nominal annual capacity of 3,500 tonnes. It will be used to supply styrenic TPEs, including Monprene compounds for consumer and industrial applications, Elexar wire and cable products, and Tekbond bondable TPEs for over-moulding. An existing TPE pilot line at the same site will be used for R&D and small-lot orders.