AKRON, Ohio, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A. Schulman, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: SHLM) announced today that it is working with customers, suppliers and other technical partners at two global innovation centers in Germany and Mexico.
The innovation centers are the recently opened A. Schulman Academy located in Kerpen, Germany (near Cologne), and the POLYnnova Group in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, one of the main industrial centers in central Mexico. These centers will enable the Company and its partners and customers to undertake research and development activities that are of shared interest.
"We are very pleased to have these opportunities to work so closely with some of our key customers and suppliers to address the very important need for market-driven innovation," said Patricia M. Mishic, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "Expanding these critical relationships will help align our global technology and product development efforts with the current requirements and emerging needs of our customers and end-markets. The symbiotic relationships and our joint commitment to innovation will enable us to bring new solutions to markets quicker and more effectively as well as leverage these solutions to additional geographies and markets with similar unmet needs."
Mishic continued, "I am very pleased to congratulate Thilo Stier, Technical Director for A. Schulman in Kerpen, Germany, and Miguel Waldo, Technology Manager for A. Schulman in Mexico, for providing inspiration for these new centers and bringing the key partners together, so that we may all benefit from the additional collaboration."At the A. Schulman Academy in Germany, participants will be able to combine research and innovation in plastics engineering and application technology with specific product developments and intensive user training. The Academy will provide access to state-of-the-art machinery and laboratory space. The customer-specific optimization of manufacturing processes will also be an important part of the Academy's training and development schedule. In Mexico, the POLYnnova Group is based on an open innovation model and manages the development of collaborative business projects through networks comprised of customers, suppliers, academic institutions and research centers. Initial areas of emphasis will be technology for agriculture and aquaculture materials, sustainable material technologies, and nanomaterials. About A. Schulman, Inc. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, A. Schulman is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins. These materials are used in a variety of consumer, industrial, automotive and packaging applications. The Company employs about 3,000 people and has 35 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of $2.2 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2011. Additional information about A. Schulman can be found at www.aschulman.com. Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements A number of the matters discussed in this document that are not historical or current facts deal with potential future circumstances and developments and may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or current facts and relate to future events and expectations. Forward-looking statements contain such words as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which management is unable to predict or control, that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements, and that could adversely affect the Company's future financial performance, include, but are not limited to, the following:
- worldwide and regional economic, business and political conditions, including continuing economic uncertainties in some or all of the Company's major product markets or countries where the Company has operations;
- the effectiveness of the Company's efforts to improve operating margins through sales growth, price increases, productivity gains, and improved purchasing techniques;
- competitive factors, including intense price competition;
- fluctuations in the value of currencies in major areas where the Company operates;
- volatility of prices and availability of the supply of energy and raw materials that are critical to the manufacture of the Company's products, particularly plastic resins derived from oil and natural gas;
- changes in customer demand and requirements;
- effectiveness of the Company to achieve the level of cost savings, productivity improvements, growth and other benefits anticipated from acquisitions, joint ventures and restructuring initiatives;
- escalation in the cost of providing employee health care;
- uncertainties regarding the resolution of pending and future litigation and other claims;
- the performance of the global automotive market; and
- further adverse changes in economic or industry conditions, including global supply and demand conditions and prices for products.