BASF has opened a new 5,000-square-metre facility at the Innovation Campus Shanghai, in which the company has brought together under a single roof its Automotive Application Center and the Process Catalysis Research & Development (R&D) Center.
At the inauguration ceremony on March 12, the company presented a range of locally-developed innovations addressing important market trends to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and enhance performance, in addition to launching an innovative waterborne coating system.
The building and facilities, representing an investment of approximately €34 million, were completed after a 15-month construction phase. On top of safety measures, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system has been integrated with an off-gas treatment facility installed on the rooftop of the building to remove VOCs such as hydrocarbons, solvents, and organic-based odours from the spraying process. The building also has an advanced wastewater treatment system for the Process Catalysis R&D centre to treat process wastewater and to remove industrial effluents.
“At the Innovation Campus Shanghai, we are continuously enhancing our R&D capabilities in advanced materials, chemical process engineering and catalysts by integrating new technologies and building our teams,” said Dr. Harald Lauke, President, Advanced Materials & Systems Research and Research Representative Asia Pacific, BASF. “We have invested nearly €180 million here since 2012.”
The new Automotive Application Center, equipped with a state-of-the-art spray booth for electrostatic applications, a physical testing lab, and a 3D robot that can not only simulate nearly any situation on a paint line anywhere in the world but also actually apply automotive coatings, even on three-dimensional objects such as car doors and bumpers. The expanded capacities also feature laboratories for sustainable painting applications.
The new Process Catalysis R&D Center will focus on the development of new process catalysts to meet the specific needs of BASF customers in the Asia Pacific and complements BASF’s world-scale process catalyst manufacturing site, located in Caojing, Shanghai.