WACKER, the Munich-based chemical group, officially opened its Silicones R&D Center located in Ann Arbor, MI, today. In close proximity to WACKER’s Adrian, MI, facility, the new Silicones R&D Center is dedicated to support WACKER’s overall business and product development in North America.
WACKER’s new Silicones R&D Center is located at the co-work campus of the Michigan Innovation Headquarters (MI-HQ) in Ann Arbor, MI. It consists of labs for R&D and analytics and offers state-of-the-art lab environment for the development of new products dedicated to customers in the Americas. They will be operated by Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC), WACKER’s Adrian, MI, based subsidiary for North and Central America and the North Andean region of South America, and staffed with highly specialized experts in the field of silicone and polymer chemistry. Investments for equipment and interior construction measures were in the single digit million US dollar range.
At today’s facility opening, David Wilhoit, Wacker Chemical Corporation President & CEO, pointed out the major significance of the new R&D center for WACKER. “We have completed the necessary preparation work and installation of equipment for several labs focusing on research and development. Right from the start we are engaged in projects involving health and medical care, paints and coatings, electronics and personal care products, all of which are key industry growth segments, particularly for silicone-based chemistry”, Wilhoit explained.
According to Axel Schmidt, Wacker Chemical Corporation Vice President – Division Silicones, locating the Silicones R&D Center in Ann Arbor, MI complements WACKER’s strategic business model of being close to our customers and close to serving regional market trends. “With the Adrian, MI, manufacturing plant, the pyrogenic silica plant under construction in Charleston, Tennessee, and our SILMIX® custom compounding facilities located in Chino, California and North Canton, Ohio, we are able to offer customers leading-edge technology, product innovation and a broad range of silicone products”, Schmidt commented. “Our silicone research at the Ann Arbor R&D Center will be focused on developing advanced and forward-looking solutions in concert with regional trends that can be quickly brought to market. And importantly”, Schmidt emphasized, “our team of highly specialized R&D experts in the field of silicone and polymer chemistry will be offering customers long term technical assistance in support of WACKER’s future business growth.”
WACKER is among the world’s leading chemical companies in silicones technology. Establishing this Silicones R&D Center in Ann Arbor expands WACKER’s footprint in the USA, the second largest chemical market in the world, and furthers WACKER’s global network for research and development.