FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany—Materials maker Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co. K.G. is having a busy 2017, adding a new production line in Germany later this year and another one in Malaysia by mid-2018.
At Fakuma, CEO Franz Hinterecker said the new capacity is needed to handle growth across several market sectors, including automotive, consumer, medical and industrial. Waldkraiburg, Germany-based Kraiburg can base its compounds on a range of different thermoplastic elastomers.
"We're seeing double-digit growth," Hinterecker said. "The important thing is for us to get the right fit for our customers. We can mix whatever they need."
Kraiburg recently commercialized a new line of Thermolast K-brand TPEs that officials said have excellent adhesion to EPDM. They're being aimed at automotive applications such as EPDM window trim and sealing profiles with molded TPE corner joints and end elements.
Hinterecker said the new materials also offer better processing and weight reduction compared to other products. Company officials said that the auto sector is the largest and fastest-growing market for TPEs.
Kraiburg also has developed soft-touch TPEs for the electronics market that can resist oils and creams when used in smartphone cases and wristbands.
The firm's new line in Malaysia is expected to create eight to 10 new jobs. Earlier this year, Kraiburg also opened a sales office in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to Germany and Malaysia, Kraiburg operates a U.S. plant in Duluth, Ga.
Kraiburg TPE was founded in 2001 as a unit of industrial firm Kraiburg Group. Kraiburg TPE employs 550 worldwide and posted sales of about $200 million in 2016.