Ascend will exhibit at K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany

Focus on driving eMobility, sustainability, and growth at stand 6A07 from 19-26 October

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Ascend K 2022
Ascend to focus on driving eMobility, sustainability and growth at K 2022.

Ascend performance materials previewed some corporate updates and highlights in advance of K 2022 at a recent press conference in Rotterdam. Under the theme of ‘Advancing Together,’ Ascend outlined the ways it is helping customers solve some of the most pressing technical challenges globally.

Advancing sustainability. Together.

Ascend is committed to executing its sustainability strategy built around the pillars of empowering people, innovating solutions, and operating without compromise. The company has made a public commitment across a broad range of sustainability goals, including the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030.

Toward that goal, the company continues to invest significant capital across its manufacturing locations to utilize a greater percentage of renewable energy and the reduction of emissions. It recently installed cogeneration units at its plant in Decatur, Ala which reduced the overall environmental footprint by 80%. The company’s advances in the area of cogeneration contributed to its second consecutive win in the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Initiative of the year.

Ascend also announced it will begin using bio-based feedstock and outlined its plans to achieve ISCC+ certification for its products throughout the nylon chain. By 2023, the company will offer bio-based acrylonitrile, hexamethylene diamine, and polyamides.

“We have a dedicated and growing team working throughout Ascend, helping us advance sustainability across every facet of our company,” said Chris Johnson, Ascend’s director of sustainability. “Our commitment to sustainability extends far beyond our fence line. We’ve implemented a Design with Sustainability in Mind process for our products to ensure they have sustainability benefits.”

Johnson touted Acteev as an example of a product with sustainable benefits because of its long-lasting and durable odor-fighting properties.

SK Capital, Ascend’s parent company, recently appointed Anne Kolton, former executive vice president for sustainability at the American Chemistry Council, as chief sustainability officer to oversee sustainability initiatives at each of their companies.

Advancing engineered materials. Together.

As a fully integrated producer of durable materials, Ascend has a unique ability to tailor polyamide polymer chemistry and global compounding expertise. These traits combined with deep application engineering and end-market knowledge, allow the company to serve a wide variety of customers, including those focused on eMobility, electrification, connectivity, renewable energy, and packaging through its expanded portfolio. Among the highlighted products were –

  • Vydyne Thermaplus – A new technology platform of high-temperature, high-ductile PA66 for fasteners; designed as a smarter replacement for PA46.
  • Starflam flame-retardant polyamides – A full portfolio of UL yellow card-certified FR materials designed to meet a variety of performance requirements.
  • HiDura – A growing portfolio of long-chain polyamides for consumer goods and connectors, as well as copolymers for films that make packaging more durable.

Dr. Steve Manning, senior director for engineered materials, also expanded upon the company’s string of recent acquisitions.

“Since 2018, we have added six manufacturing facilities globally,” said Dr. Manning. “Each one not only brought us closer to our customers but also brought us unique capabilities, from the flame-retardant materials from Eurostar Engineering Plastics to masterbatches and recycling from Poliblend and EssetiPlast.”

The company has also established technical centers in Detroit, Suzhou, and Fosses, and announced plans for a hexamethylene diamine plant in Lianyungang, China, increasing production of a key precursor for PA66.

Advancing eMobility. Together.

Ascend’s e-range is a combination of the company’s manufacturing capabilities, product portfolio, and application development expertise. Ascend’s dedicated eMobility team, which was founded in 2018, has been providing the e-mobility market with high-performance solutions focused on safe power infrastructure, a secure and comfortable ride, and reliable thermal management.

With a portfolio of high-temperature, hydrolysis-resistant, and flame-retardant materials, Ascend has worked with leading manufacturers on critical applications to improve the performance and safety of electric vehicles.

Ascend’s team of eMobility application development engineers and polymer scientists created a novel solution to dampen noise, vibration, and harshness in electric vehicles. EV motors produce vibrations at 10 times the frequency of internal combustion engines, making standard automotive under-the-hood dampening materials less effective.

Vydyne AVS is a new engineered material effective at dampening high-frequency vibrations at the motor, which translates into an 80% reduction in cabin sound pressure.

“Ultimately, the success of EVs relies on overcoming the barriers of adoption,” said Ian van Duijvenboode, senior director for eMobility at Ascend. “We are focused on improving the passenger experience while simultaneously creating solutions that reduce complexity and weight.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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