Shanghai, China-Bayer MaterialScience hasset up a Global Footwear Competence Center (GFCC) in Shanghai, China, and saysthis centre "will spearhead the development of advanced materials andprovide technical support to the global footwear industry."
"China accounts for more than 60 percent ofglobal footwear production. In 2005, more than 7 billion pairs of shoes weremade in China, which is more than one pair of shoes for every person on theplanet," commented Peter Vanacker, head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit ofBayer MaterialScience, in a 19 Dec company statement. Vanacker explained thatthis decision to locate the centre in Shanghai reflects the importance of Chinain global footwear production, as well as Bayer's commitment to providetechnical support close to its customers.
"In addition, the footwear industry has tobe very closely aligned with changing fashion and lifestyle requirements. Thisrequires very short development and response times, and, therefore, we see theneed to be located close to both our customers and the market," the Bayerpolyurethanes chief added.
"Efficiency is a key target for thefootwear industry when it comes to investment costs, production costs andperformance," said Dr Thomas Braig, regional marketing director for BaySystemsMolded Parts & Elastomers, in the company announcement. "With ourpolyurethane systems for footwear, we can contribute significantly to anefficient coverage of all major footwear segments: Safety, fashion and casualshoes, as well as active and sports shoes," he added.
BMS's new footwear centre is located at thegroup's Polymer Research and Development Center at the Jinqiao IndustrialProcessing Zone in Shanghai. It is equipped with injection-molding machines forboth polyurethane and thermoplastic polyurethane applications, casting machinesas well as a pre-polymer and polyol formulation pilot plant, the company said.