AMAGASAKI, Japan—Covestro A.G. has stepped up its research and development efforts with a $1.63 million upgrade of its research center in Amagasaki.
The Innovation Center Japan, Covestro said in a Sept. 19 statement, has completed the upgrade to become a safer site, enabling closer collaboration with customers, particularly in the automotive and construction sectors.
The lab's optimized machine portfolio includes a "high output" polyurethanes press machine with a power assist device for larger PU panel prototyping.
The facility also features a PU spray foam room to evaluate its processing performance under hot (summer) and cold (winter) conditions.
A PU machine, a 600-metric-ton press that features robot assist, also has been installed to make larger auto interior prototypes, while a larger painting booth, which can control temperature and humidity, has been allocated especially for water-borne coatings.
The lab is further equipped with a 450-metric-ton, two-component injection molding machine and DirectCoatingDirectSkinning technology, to drive innovation within the coating, adhesive and specialties, and polycarbonates (PCS) units.
A "Customer Experience Center Lounge" has been incorporated in the lab to create value innovation in partnership with Japanese customers, according to Covestro.
The center, a Covestro-owned entity, started as the technical division of Japanese joint venture Sumika Covestro Urethane, which marked its 50th anniversary at the beginning of September. Covestro's polyurethanes and coating, adhesive and specialties business unit has been conducting technical research at the lab since 1971. The polycarbonates unit started its R&D operations at the site in 2009.
"The renewal of the Innovation Center Japan lab area will enable closer and more intensive cooperation with global leading companies in Japan," Covestro CEO Markus Steilemann said, celebrating the lab's inauguration with the Japanese team. "The joint innovation power is a main driver for our success in key industries."