NPE '18: Plastic additives in 'sweet spot' between demand and growth

09 May 2018 04:15 Source:ICIS News

ORLANDO (ICIS)--Cabot is seeing demand and growth in all its applications across the US, Europe and Asia, putting the US specialty chemicals firm in what a company representative said on Tuesday was a 'sweet spot' for business.

“I can’t remember in all three regions, every application growing like they are today,” said George Haines, global market segment manager for plastics at Cabot. “Everything is coming. This is a great place to be in, but it’s hard to keep up.”

He made his comments on the sidelines of this year's National Plastics Exposition (NPE).

Though cost savings was previously the biggest focus from customers, Haines said that since the previous expo, the story has changed.

"If you ask today, the biggest thing is supply," he said. "Because demand has been really, really strong."

The challenges involve balancing product line management, logistical management, delivery and the customers needs between tech requirements versus budget, he said.

“It starts all the way to the end-user,” he said.

"They’re getting more demanding on performance, and that trickles down. They want better colour. They want better mechanical properties. More and more of it.”

The company recognises upfront with customers the technical risks that won’t work, and cost risks, he noted.

“Let’s say they want a certain part that has slightly higher black colour, and no sacrifice in mechanicals. We’ll test it.”

Sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE2018: The Plastics Show takes place on 7-11 May in Orlando, Florida.

(recasts with company representative)

By David Haydon