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The IDES Team
IDES no longer publishes plastics news to this site.
We invite you to visit our website for technical information about plastic materials.
The IDES Team
December 27, 2010 - Romulus, MI - Before TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers), there was thermoset rubber. But there was a need for a better type of product – one that could increase part production (lowering cycle times), offer lower weight, be easily colorable, be soft or rigid, be recyclable, be produced over other materials in a two shot process (overmolding), and contribute to lower part costs.
Enter TPEs in the 1970’s on a mass scale, soon to be followed by other soft elastomers that soon fell under the general category of TPEs – TPOs or thermoplastic olefins, TPVs or thermoplastic vulcanizates, TPUs or thermoplastic polyurethanes and dozens of new grades that were and are simply ‘alloyed’ products comprised of different components. And, soon thereafter were grades that could not only be injection molded, but also extruded, blow molded or thermoformed.
New Compounds, New End Products
Products started appearing on the market with a new look and feel, enabling manufacturers to upsell their wares to appeal to new markets – the venerable power drill comes to mind – the same basic drill innards over the years, but ‘reintroduced’ with new, visually-appealing grips. And then came new and better products for goods such as sporting equipment, automotive seals and
hoses, medical goods, appliance parts, window and glazing seals, wire and cable applications and hundreds of other products in dozens of markets. Thanks to TPEs, they not only looked better and could be processed better, but they performed better and offered a variety of textural and finishing options. Depending on the application and the product, they were softer or harder, more resistant to chemicals and oils, more durable, able withstand far higher and lower temperatures, and ultimately would and could last longer.
The advent of TPEs enabled designers, marketers and manufacturers to offer products with much broader options for design, including improved grip with built-in ergonomics, improved sealing, living hinges, noise and/or vibration damping and protection, and reduce scrap, among others. This was combined by improving product development cycle times, speeding up production cycle times, reducing materials usage and generally decreasing production costs.
More recently came bonding grades which maximized the potential of overmolding technology. This reduced or eliminated the need for adhesives or other mechanical interlocks to combine different materials, including grades that could be bonded onto many other polymers as well as many metals (and in fact, replaced many metals). With the ability to overmold onto a variety of materials, components now can easily and cost-effectively produced/molded into soft/hard material combinations, while all the while ensuring outstanding performance.
At the present time, there are numerous classes of TPEs. These are:
• Polyurethanes (TPU)
• Styrenics (TPE-S)
• Copolyesters (COPE)
• Polyamides (PEBA)
• Polyolefin Alloys (TPV)
• Polyolefin Blends (TPO)
The accompanying chart will give potential users an indication where each class is best suitable for applications depending on prince and performance.
Which TPE to Use?
Below are listed the advantages of each class of TPE. Using these guidelines, potential users can quickly and accurately narrow the type of soft elastomer best suited for their application.
Producers of TPEs are being pressured to not just meet product end use specifications, but to exceed them. While larger TPE producers are inclined to want to sell off-the-shelf grades, many suppliers and distributors, especially smaller independent ones, are more inclined to offer grades that precisely match or exceed the needs of the finished product. Thus, the designer, marketer or OEM that wants to get full value out of a TPE, should look to the supplier that can offer a full range of technical services.
Designers and manufacturers who haven’t yet “caught on” to the inherent short and long term benefits of TPEs are missing out on compounds that are expected to continue to grow in usage some 6% or more per year, with an expected total usage worldwide of more than 13 billion pounds. With pressures to not only cut costs and speed up design-to-part cycles, designers and at the very least, automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers can benefit by offering components that are lighter in weight, improve fuel economy, enhance performance, reduce system costs and improve recyclability. Newer flame retardant grades make products safer and less hazardous to the environment.
New Formulations, New Applications Continue to Contribute to Ongoing Success
Alliance Polymers and Services, LLC, with headquarters, warehousing, shipping and technical support in Romulus, MI, is a full-service warehousing, distribution, shipping and technical service organization dedicated to helping TPU and other elastomer marketers and processors with all their product and technical support needs. The company is owned and operated by two of the TPU and elastomer industry’s leading marketing and technical support executives, Roger J. Huarng and Stephane Morin, formerly with BASF Corporation. They work with a series of independent technical agents located in key cities and markets throughout the North American Continent.
For more information on their wide range of BASF Elastollan TPUs and other elastomers and technical services, contact: Marketing Department, Alliance Polymers and Services, LLC, 30735 Cypress Road, Suite 400, Romulus, MI 48174 Tel: 734-710-6700 Fax: 734-710-6715. E-mail: sales@apstpe. Web: www.apstpe.com.
December 15. 2010 - Florham Park, NJ - BASF will increase the price for Polyamide 6 and Polyamide 6,66 by $0.10 per pound effective Jan. 3, 2011.
This increase covers nylon polymer for spinning, monofilament, film, wire and cable applications, and neat resin for compounding.
Current market conditions and increasing raw material cost necessitate this adjustment.
For more information contact:
Tel: (973) 245-6288
BASF - The Chemical Company.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $17.5 billion in 2008. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, or to sign up to receive news releases by e-mail, visit www.basf.us.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000 employees at the end of that year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
December 14, 2010 - Heerlen, Netherlands - Royal DSM N.V., the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, today announces that it has reached an agreement regarding the sale of the remaining part of DSM Elastomers (DSM Elastomers) to LANXESS for € 310 million on a cash and debt-free basis. The intended sale is expected to close in the first months of 2011, subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and notifications.
The intended sale of DSM Elastomers, producer of EP(D)M rubber under the brand name Keltan®, is a result of DSM's ambition to focus on Life Sciences and Materials Sciences. DSM Elastomers no longer fits with this focus. Earlier this year, DSM sold the business unit Thermoplastic Elastomers (Sarlink®), formerly part of this business group, to Teknor Apex Company.
The price for the DSM Elastomers business represents an EBITDA multiple of roughly 6 based on the expected EBITDA of 2010. DSM expects to report a book profit of more than € 100 million as a result of the transaction upon closing. Approximately 420 employees will transfer to the new owner upon closing.
This announcement represents the final stage of the transformation of DSM that began with the divestment program DSM announced in September 2007 as part of its Accelerated Vision 2010 program. Previously, DSM finalized the divestments of DSM Agro, DSM Melamine, Citric Acid, Stamicarbon as well as its energy interests. Total divestment proceeds - including the proceeds from the intended sale of DSM Elastomers - are expected to be about € 1.2 billion.
Feike Sijbesma, CEO/Chairman of the DSM Managing Board, said: "The sale of DSM Elastomers completes our Vision 2010 strategy to become a focused Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company. This transformation has been achieved within our desired timeframe and at favorable conditions for our shareholders and employees. DSM has now entered a new era focused on driving growth and returns with enhanced earnings quality and confidence in meeting our medium-term targets."
"We look forward to welcoming DSM's professional EPDM team as well as its impressive assets to our core synthetic rubber activities," said Axel C. Heitmann, LANXESS CEO. "The transaction will also be an important step towards our goal of achieving roughly EUR 1.4 billion EBITDA pre exceptionals in 2015."
Nico Gerardu, Member of the DSM Managing Board and responsible for the Base Chemicals and Materials cluster, commented: "Despite very challenging market conditions since we announced our intention to divest DSM Elastomers, we succeeded in announcing this sale within the timeframe of Vision 2010, as originally planned. I am very pleased that LANXESS has agreed to become the new owner for DSM Elastomers as there is a great strategic fit. I would like to thank all DSM Elastomers employees for their ongoing support and substantial contribution to DSM."
DSM Elastomers produces a range of synthetic rubber polymers (ethylene propylene diene monomer or EP(D)M, under the brand name Keltan®. EP(D)M is used in many products, such as cars and other transportation vehicles, white goods, various industrial products and construction materials. It is also used as a motor-oil additive and waterproof covering for roofs. Production plants for Keltan are based in Sittard-Geleen (Netherlands) and Triunfo (Brazil). The business is expected to achieve sales of about EUR 380 million in 2010.
Today DSM will hold a conference call for the media from 08.00 AM - 08.30 AM CET and a conference call for investors and analysts from 09.00 - 09.30 AM. Details on how to access these calls can be found on the DSM website, www.dsm.com. Also, more information can be found in the presentation that can be downloaded from the Investors section of the DSM website.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,500 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.
DSM - the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences Company
Royal DSM N.V. creates solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance. Its end markets include human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrical and electronics, life protection and housing. DSM manages its business with a focus on the triple bottom line of economic performance, environmental quality and social responsibility, which it pursues simultaneously and in parallel. DSM has annual net sales of about €8 billion and employs some 22,700 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations on five continents. DSM is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information: www.dsm.com
December 13, 2010 - BASF’s specialty foam Basotect® is used in the unique oval-shaped Genexis Theatre at Fusionopolis, Singapore to provide effective sound insulation for optimal theatre acoustics and comfortable entertainment experiences. The flame-retardant Basotect panels are covered with black fleece and fitted behind approximately 400,000 timber beads which line the curved walls of the theatre. Fusionopolis is a research and development complex located at the One North Business Park in Singapore.
Basotect contributes to audio quality and clarity. Thanks to its open-cell and fine foam structure, the foam makes an excellent material for sound absorption of reverberations caused by multiple reflection of sound on surfaces. These reverberations can increase sounds making them louder than music or speech and thus obtrusive to a theatre audience. “Owing to Basotect's favorable combination of thermal and acoustic properties and due to the unique structure of the theatre, which consists of heavily lined walls, the lightweight and flexible Basotect was the most suitable and cost-effective solution for this project”, said S. Y. Ong, Managing Director, VI-SON Acoustics, the acoustic systems supplier of the Genexis Theatre.
Suspended between the two towers of Fusionopolis Phase 1, the Genexis Theatre offers a capacity of 560 seats which can be configured to various layouts or retracted completely to accommodate corporate functions and conferences. Designed by Arup and WOHA, the Genexis Theatre won a President's Design Award for Design of the Year 2009.
Basotect is an open-cell foam and has a unique range of properties. The base material makes it flame-retardant and abrasive; it can be used at up to 240° Celsius while retaining its properties over a wide temperature range. Because of its open-cell foam structure, it is light (9 g/l), sound-absorbing, flexible even at low temperatures and thermally insulating. Basotect can be found in numerous construction projects in Asia, including the National Aquatics Center (China), Hefei Grand Theatre (China) and in stations of Seoul's Metro Line 9 (Korea).
Additional information is available at www.basotect.com
December 9, 2010 - West Conshocken, PA - Victrex Polymer Solutions, a high-performance polymer, film and coatings manufacturer, has announced that it has helped Stratasys, a leader in prototyping parts, develop a finishing solution for its polyphenylsulfone (PPSF/PPSU) parts. When Stratasys wanted a faster, more cost-effective alternative to manually finishing PPSF/PPSU parts, it used Victrex APTIV™ film, to develop a thermoforming solution for surface smoothing. When compared to traditional finishing methods such as hand sanding, the new thermoforming process can reduce lead time by 75 percent and cost by 90 percent.
The company’s technology creates functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from a 3D CAD program using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. “Because PPSF/PPSU is a tough and durable plastic, it can be more challenging to finish with traditional means,” explained Jesse Hanssen, Application Engineer at Stratasys. Another traditional method for achieving a smooth surface is milling. However, milling would negate many of the advantages of the FDM process, Hanssen says. “In addition, to prepare for machining, time is needed for CAM programming and machine set-ups. Machining also requires that an operator oversee the process.”
With the company’s new thermoforming finishing process, a thin sheet of APTIV film is drawn onto the surface of the PPSF/PPSU part. “The film conforms to the part’s shape leaving a smooth outer surface,” said Hanssen. “We chose APTIV film because it preserves the mechanical, thermal and chemical advantages of PPSF/PPSU and adds value to the part.”
APTIV film is the most versatile, high performance film available, providing all the performance properties of VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer in a flexible format. APTIV film offers a unique combination of properties including high temperature performance, mechanical strength,
chemical resistance, electrical insulation, excellent wear and abrasion resistance, purity, radiation resistance, and low moisture absorption.
Smoothing a PPSF/PPSU part by using thermoformed APTIV film is a relatively simple operation that requires few modifications to a standard thermoforming process. “Essentially the APTIV film is formed directly onto the part which serves as the thermoforming mold,” explained Hanssen.
Once the PPSF/PPSU part is built, explained Hanssen, the supports are removed in preparation for thermoforming. During the thermoforming process, the PPSF/PPSU part is loaded into a vacuum forming machine along with a sheet of silicone-backed APTIV film. The film is heated to 140-160°C (284-320°F) and drawn onto the PPSF/PPSU part as soon as it reaches its forming point. As heat is applied, it will relax and become taut. Once the APTIV film draws tight, the vacuum is quickly applied and held until the film cools. “It conforms to the part’s shape while smoothing its surface,” said Hanssen.
For more information, please call (800) VICTREX or visit the Victrex website at www.victrex.com.
December 9 2010 - Bolton, Ontario – Husky Injection Molding Systems has been recognized with the Best Innovation Award by Coca-Cola China. Xiuju Luan, CEO, COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Limited and Dan Coe, Chief Procurement Officer, China Bottlers Procurement Consortium presented the award to Husky representatives as part of Coca-Cola China’s Supplier Sustainability Summit that took place in Shanghai from November 23-24, 2010.
The summit was attended by close to 150 representatives and allowed Coca-Cola China to present their 2020 Vision to suppliers, which focuses on addressing sustainability, environmental and social issues. The Best Innovation Award recognizes Husky for its support and innovation in working with Coca-Cola China on the development of various lightweighting projects.
“Husky has been a highly respected long-term supplier to our growing business in China. The Best Innovation Award presented to Husky was for the development of their EcoBase™ preform, which helped us to progress our lightweighting initiatives in China to another level,” said Dan Coe, Chief Procurement Officer, China Bottlers Procurement Consortium. “What I really like about the EcoBase preform is that it is both an advance on the sustainable packaging front, as well as a way to help lower the cost of our packaging.”
“We are delighted to have been honored with the Best Innovation Award from Coca-Cola China,” said Gerardo Chiaia, President, Husky Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Ongoing innovation is a priority for Husky and we are continuously looking at how to improve our products and services in ways that will better serve our customers’ needs and help them to be more sustainable.”
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. (www.husky.ca) is a leading global supplier of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry. The company has more than 40 service and sales offices, supporting customers in over 100 countries. Husky’s manufacturing facilities are located in Canada, the United States, Luxembourg and China.
November 30, 2010 - El Segundo, California - Cereplast, a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, compostable and sustainable plastics, announced today that it will participate as an exhibitor at the fifth annual European Bioplastics Conference to be held on December 1 and 2, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The industry-leading conference is hosted by European Bioplastics, an organization representing industrial manufacturers, processors and users of bioplastics and biodegradable polymers (BDP), and their derivative products. Over 380 participants from 27 different countries, including industry leaders and growth companies, will discuss topics ranging from technological innovation, new product innovation, evaluations of bioplastic consumer goods and recovery and recycling systems.
"We are proud to be a part of the fifth annual European Bioplastics Conference as we place a high priority on working collectively with the industry to help drive innovation and support growth in the bioplastics market," said Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc." Europe is an important market for bioplastics right now as laws banning the use of petroleum-based plastics across parts of the continent continue to gain momentum. These legislative efforts are steps toward helping protect and preserve the environment. We've seen a substantial surge in demand in Europe as a result of this legislation."
Cereplast will serve refreshments during their private event to be held in the Aristoteles room at the Hilton Hotel throughout the entire event. For more information, please visit the Cereplast booth located next to the Hilton Dusseldorf Conference Hall at booth #1.
Cereplast, Inc. actively manufactures proprietary bioplastic resins for use in products including tableware, cutlery, toys, healthcare and hygiene products, bottles and containers, bags, packaging, gift cards, printed displays, straws, pipes, conduits, and many other applications. The Company's advanced technologies include: Cereplast Compostables(R) Resins, which substitute petroleum-based plastics in single-use disposables and packaging; and Cereplast Sustainables(TM) Resins, which replace up to 70% of the petroleum content in conventional plastics used in a range of markets, including automotive, consumer goods, consumer electronics, medical, packaging, and construction.
About Cereplast, Inc.
Cereplast, Inc. (CERP 3.59, +0.09, +2.57%) designs and manufactures proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for petroleum-based plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with petroleum-based plastics. On the cutting-edge of bio-based plastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables(R) Resins are ideally suited for single use applications where high bio-based content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainables(TM) Resins combine high bio-based content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging. Learn more at www.cereplast.com. You may also visit our social networking pages at Facebook.com/Cereplast, Twitter.com/Cereplast and Youtube.com/Cereplastinc.
Safe Harbor Statement
Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "may," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting the Company and its operations, markets, product, and distributor performance, the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist actions, and U.S. actions subsequently; and other factors detailed in reports filed by the Company.
SOURCE: Cereplast, Inc.
November 30, 2010 – BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and INEOS Industries Holdings Limited (Lyndhurst, UK) have announced their intention to combine their global business activities in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as copolymer blends into a new joint venture called Styrolution. A letter of intent was signed by the two companies on November 29, 2010. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities.
BASF has previously announced that it will carve out its styrenics activities by the end of 2010 and transfer them into separate entities. The carve-out will continue as planned and as of January 1, 2011, BASF’s styrenics activities will operate as a separate company with the name Styrolution. INEOS has also announced that it is to acquire the other 50% shareholding in its 50-50 styrenics joint venture, INEOS NOVA, from NOVA Chemicals. Upon completion of the proposed joint venture with BASF, INEOS will transfer these activities into the new Styrolution group.
Expandable polystyrene is not part of the transaction. BASF and INEOS will retain their expandable polystyrene businesses. The SM/PS capacities in Ludwigshafen used to produce foam will also remain with BASF as well as the SM/PS business of BASF-YPC Co. Ltd., in Nanjing, China.
Styrolution will have a global presence and will offer significant benefits to its customers in the styrenics industry through enhanced efficiency, reduced costs and excellent service.
Based on figures for 2010, Styrolution is expected to generate annual sales of more than €5 billion. Company headquarters will be located in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. 50% of shares of the joint venture will be owned by BASF and 50% by INEOS. BASF will receive cash consideration following the completion of the transaction. The parties did not disclose any further financial details.
Roberto Gualdoni (54), who started his career at BASF in 1987, will be named CEO of Styrolution. In April 2010, Gualdoni became president of BASF’s Styrenics division. Christoph de la Camp (47) will become CFO of the new Company. De la Camp began his career with BP p.l.c. in 1994 and joined INEOS in 2005. He is currently the CFO of INEOS NOVA.
“The formation of the joint venture Styrolution together with INEOS is a further important step in our active portfolio management,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “It is our plan to create a leading player in the global styrenics market in terms of efficiency, safety, customer service, product quality and competitiveness. Therefore, the new joint venture with a sizeable partner like INEOS presents the best option to strengthen the business. Both partners complement one another with regards to their product and technology portfolio and global footprint.”
“The joint venture will deliver new opportunities for innovation and growth that will provide significant benefit to our customers,“ said Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman, INEOS Capital. “The world scale-assets will secure a sustainable and competitive business that is capable of meeting the long-term needs of a rapidly changing market. This is consistent with our long-term styrenics strategy.”
Excellent global position
BASF intends to contribute its SM, PS, ABS, SBC and styrene-based copolymers businesses in the joint venture. This includes production plants located in Germany (Ludwigshafen, Schwarzheide), Belgium (Antwerp), Korea (Ulsan), India (Dahej) and Mexico (Altamira). BASF employs approximately 1,460 people in its styrenics business and is expected to generate sales of more than €3 billion in 2010.
INEOS intends to contribute ABS production plants at sites in Germany (Cologne), Spain (Tarragona), India (Vadodara) and Thailand (Map Ta Phut) to the joint venture. Furthermore INEOS will contribute its SM and PS businesses to the joint venture, which includes INEOS and INEOS NOVA sites in Canada (Sarnia), the United States (Indian Orchard, Joliet, Decatur, Texas City, Bayport), Germany (Marl), France (Wingles) and Sweden (Trelleborg). INEOS employs an approximate total of 2,200 people in its styrenics activities and is expected to generate sales of about €2 billion in 2010.
BASF and INEOS will continue to operate as strictly independent companies until the completion of the deal which, subject to the approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities, is anticipated in 2011.
Styrene (SM) is an intermediate product. It is a colorless liquid that polymerizes easily.
Polystyrene (PS) is a thermoplastic resin that is used in many applications, such as disposable packaging, many electronic devices, large appliances such as refrigeration liners and house wares.
SBC (Styrene-Butadien-Blockcopolymer) is a thermoplastic resin as well, transparent and impact resistant. It offers applications with high optical appearance and is mostly used in food packaging applications and also goes into display packaging.
ABS (Acrylnitrile-Butadien-Styrene) is a thermoplastic resin, used primarily for aesthetic colorful parts requiring heat and impact resistance such as vacuum cleaners or power tools. Other major uses are found in automotive or as mobile phone housings as well as recreational applications.
Styrene based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) and blends (ABS/PA, ASA/PA, ASA/PC) are thermoplastic resins mainly used in various technical applications i.e. automotive, garden equipment, tools, appliances and Consumer Electronics, Communications Devices & Computers.
November 22, 2010 - Bayer MaterialScience has announced a price increase of USD 0.35 per kilogram on TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) resins effective December 1, 2010.
According to Bayer, the increase will affect all TPU products in the Asia Pacific region, including Desmopan, Texin, U-Flex and Utechllan.
This price increment is essential to ensure future levels of investment, research & development as well as sustainability in Bayer MaterialScience's business growth and service commitment to customers.