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VitasheetGroup, Europe's largest manufacturer of custom-made extruded sheet and films, has opened a Research and Development Centre at its Julich-Kirchberg plant in Germany.

The company says it has invested in the centre to help customers avoid the costly and potentially risky business of undertaking R&D in isolation. R&D can be tailored to a customer-driven, partnership-based, or end-market focused approach, depending on requirements. A key component will be the creation of a comprehensive knowledge bank accessible in clients' preferred languages.

The experimental pilot manufacturing facility is said to be ideal for small runs, allowing quick turnarounds with minimal wastage. Testing and development capabilities include a multi layer pilot co-extrusion line, vacuum forming equipment, controlled atmosphere testing and a range of analytical equipment.

Graeme Smith, head of product development, commented: "The centre offers a unique opportunity for our clients to test ideas for new products on a micro scale, using the facilities to fast-track extrusion and forming. The viability of the finished products can be assessed within a very short time, and any necessary adjustments made where appropriate, avoiding costly mistakes."

VitasheetGroup says that as the facility is being run as part of its business, not as a profit centre, costs for using it are not directly chargeable to the customer.
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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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