Asahi Kasei Plastics Invests $5 Million In New Compounding Line & Projects

  Asahi Kasei Plastics Invests $5 Million In New Compounding Line & Projects

Advanced Products Are Driving Growth In All Markets

PR Newswire

FOWLERVILLE, Mich., March 21, 2013

FOWLERVILLE, Mich., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Asahi Kasei Plastics North
America, Inc. announces they are proceeding with a $5 million investment in a
new compounding line and plant improvements to accommodate increased business
in all markets. A $3 million investment in a large compounding extruder and
peripheral equipment is in process and a $2 million investment in new projects
including plant upgrades is planned for 2013. The new equipment is expected to
be operational by the end of 2013 providing a 30% capacity increase for their
advanced line of Thermylene® brand specialty polypropylene products and a 10%
capacity increase over all product lines.

"This $5 million investment is in addition to the $15 million invested in the
last 5 years for new equipment and continuous improvement," said Prasad
Puttagunta, vice president operations, Asahi Kasei Plastics. "We are very
excited about the growth our company is experiencing – we are ahead of the
market recovery growth rate and many of the product development investments we
have made over the years are now paying dividends with increased business in
new areas," said Puttagunta. "The additional capacity will ensure that we
have a robust supply chain to support the growth of our customers."

"This is a very exciting time for us," said John Moyer, president of Asahi
Kasei Plastics. "We are continuing to increase capacity in our plant to
support business demand and we are receiving very strong support to pursue
expanding our business and production capabilities in other regions in North
America," said Moyer.

Asahi Kasei Plastics Expands As Business Grows Worldwide

"In 2012 we added staff in our manufacturing facility to be able to run 7
days a week, and the operations team worked on several projects to improve
utilization of the plant," said Puttagunta. "We also opened new sales offices
in Mexico and China and established distributorships in Brazil and Germany in
2012," said Ramesh Iyer, vice president commercial operations, Asahi Kasei
Plastics. In 2011, Asahi Kasei Plastics invested $5.5 million in a new
compounding line to increase capacity for their Leona™ and Xyron™ engineering
products and an additional line for expanded R & D services.

Award Winning Automotive Applications Are Driving Recent Growth

"Much of this growth is due to advancing our Thermylene® line and Leona™
line of products for cost-effective light weighting applications, for high
performance in automotive under-the-hood and structural and impact resistance
applications," added Iyer. "Interest in our new Thermylene® I Long Glass
Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene for impact performance is driving growth and so
is our new and advanced Leona™ resin (unique polyamide with 60% glass) to
provide a Class "A" surface without paint," said Iyer. Asahi Kasei Plastics
won the SPE® Innovation Award in 2012 for "Most Innovative Use of Plastics"
in the materials category for their new and advanced Leona™ used in the Ford®
Escape, Ford® Fusion and Lincoln MKZ air register vanes. In 2011, they were a
winner with the Chrysler Group LLC, in the Body Exterior category, with their
Thermylene® products in the Dodge RamBox® assembly.

About Asahi Kasei Plastics

This Michigan based subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Chemicals Co. boasts one of the
largest manufacturing facilities for the company outside of Japan.
Additionally, Asahi Kasei Plastics is the largest glass reinforced
polypropylene manufacturer in North America. With sales growing globally,
their unique product portfolio is solving complex engineering problems.

Asahi Kasei Plastics provides customized resin solutions globally. Their
product lines include THERMYLENE^® (polypropylene), LEONA™ (nylon 66, 66+6i),
THERMYLON^® (nylon 6, 66), TENAC™ (acetal) and XYRON™ (modified polyphenylene
ether – mPPE), STYLAC™ (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – ABS).

Thermylene^®, Thermylon^® are registered trademarks of Asahi Kasei Plastics
North America, Inc.

Leona™, Tenac™, Xyron™, Stylac™ are trademarks of Asahi Kasei Chemicals

You can learn more at

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Asahi Kasei Plastics          Intuit Group
Contacts:                     Media Contact:
Ramesh Iyer                   Teri Chouinard CBC, APR
248.895.0135                  810.797.7242
                              Joel Wiese

SOURCE Asahi Kasei Plastics

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