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Asahi Kasei Plastics Invests $5.5 Million in Manufacturing, R&D

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Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. of Fowlerville said Wednesday it is investing $5.5 million in a new compounding line and laboratory equipment for reserach and development, new product development and improved customer support.

The expansion will accommodate increased business of its Leona (PA66 and PA66+6I) and Xyron (mPPE) engineering plastics product families. Production capacity will increase 30 percent with the addition of a new compounding line and peripheral equipment.

In addition to the latest state-of-the art equipment and technology, the $5.5 million investment supports 10 new jobs for skilled trades and support personnel. Asahi Kasei Plastics is also adding six new positions in sales, marketing and development to support growth opportunities.

This investment comes on the heels of a $3 million investment in 2010 to upgrade existing production lines to accommodate the growing business.

“Last year, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary and marked a 300 percent growth in business from when we started,” said John W. Moyer, president of Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. “Today, with this investment, we are focusing on the future which promises continued success thanks to our wonderful customers, employees and supplier network. We are very grateful and proud to be part of the U.S. manufacturing comeback and competing in the global arena.”

Added Prasad Puttagunta, vice president of operations: “We are not, like many companies, just recovering — we have recovered and are increasing our presence in numerous markets. Now we are ready to invest capital in our facilities to support the hard work and success of our sales, marketing, research and development groups. The growth we’ve seen in our new products market is supporting this investment and our next capacity increase is scheduled for 2012.”

Asahi Kasei Plastics provides customized resins worldwide to multiple markets. The Michigan based company is one of the largest Asahi Kasei facilities outside of Japan and is expanding sales globally, in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, India and Europe. They are in the top 5 percent of compounding companies in the United States and one of the largest glass filled PP (polypropylene) compounders in the world.

“Today, we have a unique product mix, between our engineering resins and glass filled polypropylenes, that no other compounder in the world has,” said Moyer.

Learn more at asahikaseiplastics.com

Asahi Kasei Plastics markets include automotive, commercial transportation, furniture, pool and spa, water treatment, electronics, and power generation, including performance polymers for electric vehicle batteries, solar panels and wind energy applications. 

Asahi Kasei Plastics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. of Japan. Internationally, Asahi Kasei has over 15.8 billion dollars in annual sales and nearly 30,000 employees.

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