Site shutdown

Flexsys, the subsidiary of materials and specialty chemicals company Solutia, is to close its manufacturing facility in Ruabon in Wales.


‘Our Ruabon site makes three product lines for which the market is over-supplied due to emerging competition from Far Eastern producers,’ said Jim Voss, president of Flexsys and senior vice president of Solutia.


‘Despite the significant steps our Ruabon management and employees have taken to improve the position of the site, it is unfortunately no longer competitive,’ he added.


Once Flexsys ceases its manufacturing operations at Ruabon at the end of the year, it will no longer participate in the market for the three product lines currently manufactured at that site: Santogard pre-vulcanization inhibitors, Perkacit, which is used as a secondary accelerator in the rubber vulcanisation process and Flectol and Flectol, which protect against oxidative ageing.


But it’s not all doom and gloom. Earlier this month, the company announced that its Saflex division was to expand its Polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resin manufacturing operations at its plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. The expansion will add 12,000 metric tons of annual capacity, which is planned to come on-stream in early 2009.


PVB resin is the key raw material used in making PVB sheet, which Solutia markets under the Saflex brand name. The expansion of the resin manufacturing operation will help feed the plant’s Saflex PVB sheet manufacturing operations, which have increased their collective output by approximately 50 percent over the past few years.