By Liz White, UT staffRomans, France-French plastics processing group Courbis has opened a new production unit, Courbis Sro, at Trnava in Slovakia, as part of a continuing growth strategy-called '2008 road map.' The new production unit at Trnava will initially specialise in polyurethane processing, and will supply both the Slovakian market and a large number of factories in countries in central and eastern Europe, the firm said. (The picture shows Courbis' certificate for the National first price for innovation PME/PMI 2005, which the group was given by O&G French Suppliers Council, 13 Oct 2005.The 700-m2 plant, to be managed by Guillaume Clavel, will supply PU parts to fulfil the needs of a number of Courbis Group customers based in the region, the firm said. Courbis added that the location is at the "centre of the new industrial Europe-100 km from Vienna and 50 km from Bratislava." Mould design and production will initially still be carried out by other Courbis Group companies: design, stereolithography at Courbis Technologies, prototyping and resin moulds by Courbis Composites and sheet metal, aluminium and steel moulds by Courbis Industries. According to the French group, the modern production facilities at Trnava will also allow it to add a new product to the well-known Courbhane PU range. This is Courbhane K, based on methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. Courbis Sro will employ five people initially. Its equipment consists of a casting machine with three-component feed at 5 kg per min, plus a heating kiln-table. A trimming and sizing line plus a finishing shop complete the facilities. Courbis' strategy, developed in 2004, as a means of maintaining its position as the European benchmark in its field, establishing a reputation in the three major economic zones (Asia, Europe, the US) and becoming a key world player.The Group consists of eight separate companies, employing a total of 200 at three industrial sites-covering 21 000 m2. In France, there are five plants at Romans and two at Bourg-de-Péage, as well as the new Trnava location. Courbis was founded in 1964, and is now chaired by Hervé Courbis: its turnover has grown steadily to Euros 27 million with net profit of 4 percent in 2004. For 2005, Courbis predicts Euro 30 million turnover and 7 percent net profit. Some 20 percent of its products are exported. "