COVESTRO / HAIER
Joint Chinese digitalisation lab with Haier / Qingdao appliances giant completes acquisition of Italian competitor Candy
German engineering plastics producer Covestro (Leverkusen; www.covestro.com) and Chinese household appliance manufacturer Haier (Qingdao, Shandong; www.haier.net) are setting up a joint laboratory at Qingdao for digitalisation of appliance production. Supported by the Haier Institute of Industrial Intelligence, the applied research facility will develop digital solutions for using polyurethanes in appliances.

The German PU and PC specialist is moving rapidly forward with the new digitalisation strategy it is developing in collaboration with external partners such as RWTH Aachen University (Aachen / Germany; www.rwth-aachen.de) and established companies from the IT sector – see Plasteurope.com of 28.11.2018. The ambitious end target, Covestro said, is to “establish a new benchmark for digitalising the chemical industry.”

With the development of digital solutions for the appliance sector, the former Bayer MaterialScience hopes to overcome the challenge of achieving a precise characterisation of PU components in fully automated production. The new lab will focus on finding innovative solutions for data collection and analysis, monitoring foam quality and process workflows. Overall, said Ulrich Liman, global head of R&D in the company’s Polyurethanes segment, the aim is to improve the foaming and manufacturing process as well as foam quality, while reducing manufacturing costs.

Covestro will contribute its comprehensive experience with polyurethane and foam technologies to the project, Haier its expertise in industrial automation and the analysis of large volumes of data. Under the name “COSMOPlat”, the Chinese appliances giant has launched what it claims is the world’s first industrial internet platform to let users participate in the entire process of transition from mass manufacturing to mass customisation.
Haier completes acquisition of Candy
Haier meanwhile has completed its acquisition of Italian appliance manufacturer Candy (Brugherio / Italy; www.candy-group.com), paying for the EUR 475m purchase in part through a listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – see Plasteurope.com of 16.10.2018. Haier said the acquisition fits perfectly with its strategy of attaining a leading position in all world regions. Candy, which incorporates Hoover, has seven manufacturing sites in Europe, Turkey and China and employs altogether 5,000 people.

In Haier’s estimate, the merger with the Italian group will give it a 15% share of the global market for household appliances, based on 2018 figures. In terms of revenue, the Chinese giant sees the combined company among the top five players in western Europe. A slot among the top three globally is targeted by 2022. Going forward, operations of the former Candy Hoover group will be managed Yannick Fierling, current CEO of Haier Europe.
04.02.2019 Plasteurope.com [241605-0]
Published on 04.02.2019
Haier: Hausgerätehersteller schließt Erwerb von Candy abGerman version of this article...

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