Expertise at the European Coatings Show
Under the motto “Our ⊕ in Expertise,” WACKER presented polymer and silicone products, as well as hybrid technologies, for the coatings, construction, adhesives and sealants industries at the European Coatings Show (ECS) in Nuremberg in March. With durable industrial coatings in mind, WACKER also showcased a new silicone intermediate, coating resins, solid resins and pyrogenic silica. In the construction sector, the focus was on facades, damp-proofing and long-term protection: composite dispersions enable bright colors and liquid hybrid polymers provide for water-impervious surfaces.
Groundbreaking Ceremony in Tennessee
In April, WACKER began building a fully integrated polysilicon-production site in the USA. During the official ceremony, attended by numerous guests from politics, business and local government, WACKER’s CEO Rudolf Staudigl, Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam broke ground on the large-scale project. The production complex, with an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons, is scheduled for completion by late 2013. At about €1.1 billion, this new site is WACKER’s single largest investment ever. Around 650 new jobs are expected to be created at the new site in Cleveland.
WACKER Wins Best Innovator Award
WACKER received Germany’s Best Innovator Award in the Chemical category for its sustainable innovation management. A.T. Kearney and German business weekly “WirtschaftsWoche” organized the competition, in which more than 100 companies participated. The Best Innovator jury confirmed that WACKER had introduced systematic processes and operated innovation management as a core area of expertise. Attended by Parliamentary State Secretary Ernst Burgbacher, the award ceremony took place at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Berlin.
Production Lines for High-Purity Silicone Elastomers
WACKER started operating several silicone elastomer production lines at its Burghausen site. The new production facility sets standards for the manufacture of high-purity silicones – it meets WACKER’s new Clean Operations Standard, thus satisfying quality and purity requirements usually found only in the semiconductor or pharmaceutical industries. The production lines encompass high-purity specialty silicones, encapsulation and coating compounds, as well as UV-activated silicones for medical applications, LED manufacture and electronics. Additional cleanroom capacity has been created at the site to comply with the especially high quality and purity standards for these products.
Behind the Scenes on Open Day
WACKER held an open day to comemmorate the International Year of Chemistry in 2011. Under the slogan, “A glimpse into our world,” visitors to the Burghausen, Freiberg and Cologne sites spent a day at the company looking behind the scenes. Over 20,000 visitors took the opportunity to explore the exciting world of chemistry during plant tours, experiment demonstrations and product presentations. 2011 was proclaimed the International Year of Chemistry by the General Assembly of the United Nations to highlight the accomplishments of chemistry and its contribution to the well-being of humanity.
Polysilicon Production Launched in Nünchritz
WACKER began producing hyperpure polysilicon at its Nünchritz site in October. Last fall, an initial group of deposition reactors at the new production complex ramped up production of high-quality polysilicon intended for sale. Overall, WACKER has invested some €900 million in these new production facilities – and created more than 500 new jobs as a result. The production complex utilizes highly integrated material cycles. Thus, manufacturing byproducts are reprocessed and then reused as basic materials in the value chain. This cuts costs, while conserving resources.
Pyrogenic Silica Plant in China
WACKER and Dow Corning Corporation inaugurated the second expansion stage of their joint pyrogenic silica plant in Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu province, China). This expansion stage, together with a siloxane plant, is a key facility of the Dow Corning/WACKER integrated silicone manufacturing site. The products are used, for example, in the construction, cosmetics, personal-care, energy and automotive sectors.
Closure of Semiconductor Production Facility in Japan
The Siltronic division is streamlining its 200 mm wafer capacities and intends to close its Hikari production site in Japan by mid-2012. Hikari’s production volumes are to be transferred to Siltronic’s 200 mm wafer plants in Singapore and Portland (Oregon, USA). To provide its Japanese customers with optimum service, Siltronic will continue to employ a local sales force and engineering support unit in Japan. Siltronic has a workforce of about 500 employees at Hikari. The goal is to implement the site closure in as socially responsible a manner as possible.
Procter & Gamble Honors WACKER Greater China
During an official ceremony in mid-December, WACKER Greater China was presented with the “Best Cooperation Partner Award 2011” by its customer Procter & Gamble. The US consumer-goods giant manufactures beauty, grooming and haircare products containing WACKER silicones at its Xiqing plant in Tianjin (northern China). WACKER Greater China received the award for its outstanding service and successful transfer of BELSIL® DM 300000 production to the Zhangjiagang site. This high-viscosity polydimethylsiloxane had previously been imported into China. Used in haircare products, it enhances the ease of combing dry and wet hair, for example.