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Frost & Sullivan awards Victrex for its dedication to the automotive industry based on high-performance PEEK polymer solutions

Automotive industry profits from high-level technical PEEK polymer expertise, customisation and customer support during product development and deployment

LONDON, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent research on the automotive polyetheretherketones (PEEK) compounds market, Frost & Sullivan presents Victrex with the 2013 European Customer Value Leadership Award. Victrex has an extensive range of PEEK compounds designed to deliver improved performance in aggressive environments in the automotive industry. The premium VICTREX® WG™ family of products has successfully addressed a number of customer requirements such as higher efficiency and improved durability by offering a lower coefficient of friction and reduced wear, all of which remain critical in under-hood applications.

The company has been striving to enhance customer value through its relentless technical support, quality assurance, and product customisation. With a strong resin manufacturing capability to support its tailor-made offerings, the company leads the way within the European automotive PEEK compounds applications.

Replacing metals with plastics

Victrex's PEEK compounds have successfully replaced metal in the most challenging applications, as its development process involves a systematic approach that involves well-informed material selection, as well as design and development support. By partnering with customers and by offering consulting services in the development phase, subsequently solving production challenges as well as extending after-sales support, Victrex truly adds value to its clients' business.

"Owing to the dynamic regulatory trends aimed at reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency, automotive manufacturers are moving towards smaller engines with improved power output and higher efficiency transmissions," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Soundarya Shankar. "VICTREX® PEEK polymer thermoplastics are ideal in this environment, as they have been designed to withstand wide temperature ranges and sustain prolonged operating conditions. They also perform efficiently in aggressive environments resulting in reduced maintenance."

Victrex helps industry to put challenging applications into practise

In addition to offering new products, Victrex has been striving to deliver improved value to its customers. In automotive applications the lightweight and reliable high performance thermoplastics help to reduce costs and emissions, while increasing efficiency. The over-mouldability of VICTREX® PEEK polymers reduces the conventional assembling processes speeding up production and reducing system costs.

Furthermore, Victrex´s fully integrated resin manufacturing capabilities not only support product customisation but also strengthen technical know-how to help customers during development and deployment.

Victrex's close relationship with OEMs and component manufacturers in understanding material requirements has helped the company establish a strong customer base in the market. In addition, the company focuses on partnering with plastic moulders and extruders. Ms Shankar adds: "High performance polymer (HPP) compounds are used in critical applications for metal replacement. To facilitate a smooth transition from metal to plastics in critical applications Victrex is partnering with plastic moulders and extruders who have sound technical capabilities."

Reduction of processing costs and part-to-part delivery

Victrex's PEEK polymers have been designed to address the most stringent material requirements in the automotive industry. For instance, in a testing procedure, Victrex's PEEK polymers retained their original stiffness, tensile, and impact strength after 5,000 hours of use while competing high-performance materials, such as heat-stabilised polyamides and PA 46 grades showed degraded material performance after similar procedures. Furthermore, PEEK polymers can be used on standard injection moulding machines, thus helping customers reduce processing costs and part-to-part variability.

Victrex has a global team of engineers who support customers in handling production challenges and processing needs. It has a strategic customer support model that focuses on high-level customer engagement during product development and after-sales service programs.

Understanding the importance of timely delivery of products

"Another aspect in which Victrex has significantly differentiated itself from its competitors is its supply security. The company has a strong record of prompt supply, even during tough economic times, when there were significant supply shortages in the market," noted Ms Shankar. "This has been possible through a robust model for lead capacity management. Understanding the importance of timely delivery of products in the automotive industry, Victrex maintains a maximum lead time of five to seven days for standard products across the globe."

The company's continuous efforts to strengthen customer relationships by solving their design, development, and processing challenges have ensured success in the marketplace.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognises the company's inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Victrex

Victrex is an innovative world leader in high performance polymer solutions, serving a diversified range of markets from aerospace and automotive to electronic devices, oil & gas operations and medical devices. Every day, millions of people rely on products or applications which contain Victrex´s thermoplastic polymer solutions.

With over 35 years' experience, Victrex is the world's leader of high performance polyaryletherketone (PAEK) solutions such as VICTREX® PEEK, VICOTE® Coatings, APTIV® Film and VICTREX Pipes™. These materials offer an exceptional combination of properties to help OEMs, designers and processors reach new levels of cost savings, quality, and performance.

Victrex is investing in application and technology leadership to deliver new solutions to customers and markets. The company has continuously expanded its product range, applications and production capacity at its headquarters in Thornton Cleveleys in Great Britain, where the global production is located, too.

All Victrex material production comes under Victrex's ISO 9001:2008 quality registration. For its environmental management system at the British manufacturing site Victrex is certified according to ISO 14001:2004. The certificate covers the manufacture of VICTREX PAEK polymer compounded pellets consisting of polymers and fillers, from production of pellets to dispatch.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

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Contacts:

Beate Sauer
Marketing Communications Europe
Victrex Europa GmbH
T: +49 (0) 61 92 / 96 49 19
E: [email protected]

Kristina Menzefricke
Best Practices
Frost & Sullivan
T: +44 (0) 207 915 7862
E: [email protected]

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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