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Material selection | product development


Selling custom polymers means getting in at the start of the design process. PolyOne’s Europe VP Holger Kronimus explains the company’s latest strategies for opening the door to designers.


One of the big challenges for any specialty polymer producer is to ensure potential customers are aware of what can be achieved using a material that is optimised to the task. That means getting in early in the design process, when critical project-defi ning decisions are be- ing made. Through its recently announced tie-up with French design innovation group Materiautech and the introduction of its own Invisio colour and design programme, specialty polymers group PolyOne believes it is opening up a direct path between its polymer experts and potential customers. “Polyone is all about innovative formulations – spe-


cial sectors and special applications,” says Holger Kronimus, vice president Europe at PolyOne and general manager of its Specialty Engineered Materials Europe business. “The important thing we tell our customers is to bring us in as early as possible in the design process because the earlier we come in the more value we can add and the more advantages we can give.” Kronimus says PolyOne is working hard to open a


door to the designers, prototypers and key engineering specialists within brand owners that drive and direct the product development process. The alignment with Materiautech is an example of that. “Materiautech is an association that is dedicated to plastic design and innovation. What they do is investigate and publish information about new technologies and innovations on the market,” he says. Most importantly, Materiautech supports its


technical information for designers with its own-devel- oped hands-on GEM samples. Designed with thick and thin sections and a number of different surface textures, these leaf-shaped samples allow product


www.injectionworld.com


Polyone sets its sights on designers


designers to move beyond talking about the properties and on to how the polymer actually feels. “The customer - it may be an OEM, it may be a


processor - comes along and says: ‘I don’t know much about plastics but I know I need something that conducts electricity and it needs good impact perfor- mance and a lot of bright colours,’” Kronimus says. “The experts at Materiautech then say: ‘These materials may be of interest.’ And they bring out the samples and it becomes a tactile discussion.” Part of the French Allize-Plasturgie, Materiautech has eight facilities across France and Italy and works with around 600 companies each year. Its GEM material database extends to more than 500 samples. Kronimus says Materiautech will give the company an additional route to reach out to designers and get across its message of tailored polymer solutions. “What we do is custom formulations. We want to give the customer an idea of what we can do, we want to inspire them and collaborate with them to develop a solution and to help them to be more competitive,” he says. PolyOne already has its own global network of 12


Main image: Custom


formulations require close development


collaboration to deliver the maximum benefi t


October 2013 | INJECTION WORLD 17


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