Styrolution may have a new CEO in Kevin McQuade, but it is sticking with its long-term Triple Shift growth strategy despite the corporate change.
At NPE 2015 in Orlando, McQuade said the firm “will continue to follow through” on Triple Shift, which is aimed to move the firm more into styrenic specialties, emerging markets and higher-growth industries, including automotive, construction, health care, household goods and electronics.
He added that, from a materials perspective, polystyrene “will always be an important part of our business,” but that Styrolution will increase its focus on ABS and specialty resins, which have had higher growth rates in recent years.
North American PS demand “looks good so far” in 2015 and could post growth of 1-2% this year, McQuade said.
Frankfurt, Germany-based Styrolution also is working to incorporate the Americas ABS resin unit of its parent firm, Ineos Group. Styrolution already made standard ABS grades. Ineos ABS makes ABS and a variety of specialty styrenics, including a market-leading position in styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN). Ineos became the sole owner of Styrolution in June when it bought out partner BASF SE’s 50% stake for $1.5bn (€1.38bn).
McQuade said that incorporating Ineos ABS “will allow us to bring one face to the [ABS] market.”
“We were strong in different markets,” he added. “There wasn’t a lot of overlap. Ineos ABS had a large SAN position that we didn’t have, so we can benefit from that.”
Styrolution’s product focus at NPE 2015 included these applications:
Automotive: Rear and front fascia brackets made from Luran S-brand ASA resins; interior and exterior decorative parts made from Novodur HH-brand ABS and Luran S with a hot-stamped film overlay; and metal-plated exterior applications using electroplatable Novodur grades.
Construction: New powdered styrenic specialties for use in products such as decking, fencing, railing and siding; irrigation and garden applications using Terluran-brand ABS; and foam board insulation made from PS.
Health care: Clear and flexible medical device applications, including drip chambers made from Styrolux and Styroflex SBCs; flexible medical tubing using Styroflex; and syringes and micro-syringes created from NAS-brand SMMA and Zylar and Clearblend styrenic copolymers.
Packaging: Flexible packaging made from Styrolux and PS, NAS and Zylar-based cosmetics containers, as well as yogurt cups and foam trays made from PS.
“Our customers in North America are still positive about the economy,” said McQuade, a 35-year industry veteran. “Lower gasoline prices help consumers have more money to spend, and lower oil prices are better for Styrolution in the long run by making polystyrene more competitive vs. other materials.”
By Frank Esposito