AMI has issued a new edition of its database of compounders in Europe. Ami said that the improving European economy and continued penetration of plastic components in sectors such as the automotive industry and domestic appliances has helped to drive growth and investment in the compounding industry.
Germany remains the largest producer of compounds in Europe and is still a country which has seen investment to expand capacity. The pull of Central and Eastern Europe, like many other parts of the European plastics industry, has been a big draw for companies looking to capitalise on the cheap labour force and operating costs. Investment by the compounding industry in this region has also been driven by OEM manufacturing in the region for cars and domestic appliances. Towards the end of 2017 A. Schulman announced the addition of new extruders at its facilities in Poland and Hungary whilst European machinery producers have seen exports increase in 2017 with Poland and the Czech Republic both being in the top 10 for export markets.
Germany and Italy are the largest markets regarding production but even smaller countries have a noticeable compounding industry and the Benelux region has a reasonably large volume of production in comparison with the overall size of its polymer market as many international companies use it as a base to supply the European market. These countries also have substantial compounding operations operated by the polymer producers. Whilst integrated compounders account for only around 10 % of the companies operating in Europe, they are estimated to supply nearly half of all compounded polymers (excluding masterbatch). AMI’s database of compounders in Europe provides contact and production details on 720 sites producing compounds or masterbatches. AMI has also initiated the Compounding World Expo. This international exhibition for the plastics industry will have its premiere in Essen, Germany, on 27 – 28 June 2018.