IMCD SA grows 10-fold since entry into local market
Business’ contribution to key segments remains robust
IMCD South Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Netherlands headquartered group IMCD BV, has grown at least 10-fold since in 2006, when it first entered the South African market.
Now with more than 150 employees, a head office and three laboratories in Johannesburg, branches in Durban and Cape Town and nine warehouses across the country, IMCD South Africa is a leading specialty chemicals company in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The company remains focused on its strategy of providing innovative solutions to its customers across a broad spectrum of applications, mainly food ingredients, coatings, personal and home care, pharmaceuticals, constructions, industrial solutions, and advanced materials.
The company’s 2013 acquisition of Chemimpo (Pty) Ltd was instrumental in the growth of its polymers and additives products portfolio, solidifying its status as a key player in the plastics and rubber Industry in South Africa. Today, under the Advanced Materials Business Unit, IMCD contributes to key sectors of South African manufacturing sector with new cutting-edge technologies.
“The IMCD Advanced Materials team boasts decades of experiences accumulated in various industries and organisations. It is this experience and expertise that ensures that we meet customer needs when it comes to innovation and value creation. Our partners, such as DSM and Borealis, have also ensured that the business’ contribution into key segments remains robust, such in automotive, wire & cables and rubber industries,” says Senzo Msibi, Business Unit Manager of IMCD South Africa.
Contribution to automotive sector in SA
South Africa has the biggest automotive industry in the Sub-Saharan Africa, if not the whole continent (perhaps second to Morocco).
“IMCD Advance Material team is proud of its continuous contribution to this important sector of our economy, through the products of its long-standing partners. For several years, the team has been supplying advanced polypropylene compounds (mineral filled), which have been carefully designed for perfect injection moulding, under the brand name Daplen™,” says Msibi.
This range features properties that balance impact strength and stiffness, with good surface quality. Fibremod™, IMCD’s fibre reinforced polypropylene, is another brand that is synonymous with processing efficiency in the industry. The business supplies almost any possible components one can think of, such dashboard carriers, pedals & pedals carriers, pillars & trims, door claddings and map pockets, door modules, glove boxes and lower dashboard trims, tailgate claddings, to name a few.
Engineering plastics materials
Engineering plastics materials from IMCD’s business partner Envalior (former DSM), offer a wide range of materials such as polyamides, thermoplastic copolyesters, polyphenylene sulfide, and other high-performance products, covering a wide spectrum of automotive applications.
“Through the extensive product portfolio on mobility, the IMCD Advanced Materials can supply the customers in the manufacture of interior and exterior components, the e-powertrain, and under-the-bonnet components. The team is ready to introduce the next generation of innovative products, to support the industry as it evolves from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles,” Msibi says.
Wire and cables
“For the business to be making a meaningful contribution by supplying some of the biggest wire and cable manufacturers in the continent, is source of pride for the IMCD Advanced Materials team. Our energy portfolio covers products for high and medium voltage cable applications, semi-conductive products and low voltage energy transmissions and distribution. Through the Visico™, the cost-effective crosslinked polyethylene, in combination with the Ambicat™ catalyst, IMCD Advanced Materials has been a pillar of support meet LV energy demand,” Msibi explains.
IMCD’s advanced materials solutions to improve the transportation of energy from renewable sources over longer distances and to support the SA power grid include product grades such as Visico FR4451/LE4439, a UV-stabilized compound that is designed to meet the requirements of photovoltaic cables, as per the TÜV 2 Pfg 1169/08.2007 and EN 50618 specifications.
“The product solutions are not just limited to transmission and distribution, the latest innovative solutions enable the team to offer solutions for the storage of energy as well, enabling the customers to manufacture capacitor films and banks with very high breakdown strengths and low dielectric losses,” says Msibi.
In recent years, the IMCD Advanced Materials team have managed to blend its portfolio of specialty rubber additives with complimentary portfolio of polymers. Mainstay products such as the Antitack BTO 31LF and Kezadol GR (a magnesium stearate and calcium oxide preparation) are proving to be the best in class.
The business is also assisting its customers to optimise the cost of using an Antitack agent by introducing the Antitack HC 310 (a 100% active content) grade.
“This is a first for the market, as there’s still no other antitack agent of such concentration levels in SA. With this grade, customers will be getting more value for money in comparison to competing products in the market with less active content,” Msibi explain.
Since 2022, the product offering on the rubber applications has been broadened to much more that just additives, pigments, and auxiliary products. The team has added rubber polymers on its portfolio, thus able to supply customers with NR, SBR, BR, CR, CPE, CSM, FKM and NBR. Through its decades-long cooperation with Wacker Chemie, IMCD Advanced Materials has been offering VMQ/silicone rubber for years. The Elastosil™ product ranges are well established in the South African market, covering solid HCR and RTV grades in various shore hardness and cure systems.