Corrected: Eastman Chemical to rev up innovation engine for strong organic growth - CEO

06 February 2018 23:22 Source:ICIS News

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined "Eastman Chemical to rev up innovation engine for strong organic growth - CEO" dated 6 February, please read in the 13th paragraph ... 6 OEMs ... instead of ... 60 OEMs. Please also read comments attributed to ... Lucian Boldea, senior vice president, Additives & Functional Products (AFP). A corrected story follows.

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based Eastman Chemical will seek to leverage its “compelling, innovation-based organic growth model” to generate over double the average growth rate of underlying markets in its specialty products business, and grow earnings per share by 8-12% annually through 2020, its CEO said on Tuesday.

“Our [research and development] R&D scale enables faster, more differentiated product development. We can crack problems that are not so simple – this takes analytical capability at the molecular level,” said Mark Costa, CEO of Eastman, at the company’s Innovation Day in New York.

“We are masters of integrating multiple technology platforms,” he added.

Eastman embraces complexity, as its seven technology platforms that can be applied across seven target markets creates an infinite range of solutions, providing competitive advantage, he said.

“Complicated is good in a specialty business because it is hard for our competitors to do it,” said Costa.

Eastman’s technology platforms are polyvinyl butyral (PVB), oxo derivatives, modified polyesters, cellulose esters/acetyls, hydrocarbon resins, insoluble sulfur and alkylamines.

And its target application platforms are transportation (20% of 2017 sales), consumables (18%), building and construction (13%), consumer/medical durable/electronics (10%) and animal nutrition/crop protection (7%).

In one example, Eastman in 2017 developed its Tetrashield protective resin systems for auto exteriors using its expertise in acetyls, polyesters and olefin derivatives, Lucian Boldea, senior vice president, Additives & Functional Products (AFP).

It was approached by auto original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Mahindra & Mahindra in India to solve the problem of fading paint and gloss on vehicle exteriors from weather exposure. Customers were demanding better performance.

A polyester coating typically offers excellent scratch resistance, chemical resistance, but not weatherability. However, Eastman started modifying polyester with other materials to achieve the latter as well.

Working with paint formulator Kansei Nerolac, within 11 months, it was able to provide a drop-in replacement that provided two times the gloss retention under tests replicating two years of exposure, Boldea said.

Eastman has since delivered its Tetrashield product to around 300,000 painted sports utility vehicles (SUVs), he said.

The company is now working with 10 paint formulators and 6 OEMs on Tetrashield, and also extending the product to industrial protective coatings that traditionally use epoxy resins, and metal packaging coatings in the food and beverage sector.

“Most exciting is metal packaging coatings for food and beverage cans, which use epoxy resins with BPA (bisphenol A),” said Boldea.

“We are making good progress, and this will have a more dramatic shift because the [metal packaging] sector is more consolidated. It’s early days but we’re very excited,” he added.

Overall, Eastman aims to boost its new business revenue from around $300m in 2017, to about $500m by 2020 with new product launches across multiple platforms. Eastman’s total revenue in 2017 was $9.55bn, up by 6% from 2016.

By Joseph Chang