LONDON—Synthomer has recently launched its "Asia Innovation Centre" (AIC) at Malaysia's iPark near Senai Airport, Johor Bahru.
The flagship facility spans more than 6,000 square meters and is fully operational, offering R&D services to the group's performance elastomers and functional solutions business units, Synthomer said in an April 1 statement.
The $8.5 million facility will provide support in nitrile innovation to "ensure Synthomer continues to stay at the forefront of nitrile latex product development and applications know-how," said Gan Boon Teck, VP and general manager of the performance elastomers division in Asia.
"Synthomer's business has been growing robustly with continual increase in demand from our customers over the past few decades. In view of that, we strongly believe that there is a need to further invest in research, development and applications support," he said.
The U.K. group said the technical center is the first phase of what it expects to be an ongoing investment in innovation in Asia. The unit will have a major focus on the NBR (nitrile butadiene rubber) business.
"In addition to expanding our pilot Dido lab reactor capacity, we are also investing in a new robotic dipping arm to more effectively mimic our customers' processes and accurately predict the behavior of our polymers," said Dr. Zhenli Wei, VP of innovation for the performance elastomers division at Synthomer.
In addition, Synthomer is working on a range of new product innovations at the lab, he added.