Coming to America: DirectSkinning technology creates distinct, luxurious products with customizable look and feel

Combines two materials in unique single-mold process, reducing steps and costs

Orlando, April 2, 2012 — DirectSkinning technology, now available in North America, is a new, one-step molding process that enables manufacturers to more efficiently produce parts with customizable color, texture and softness.

Developed jointly by Bayer MaterialScience LLC, Proper Group International and KraussMaffei, DirectSkinning technology combines conventional thermoplastic injection molding with reaction-injection molding in a single tool – delivering a hard polycarbonate blend substrate with a soft, ultraviolet-stabilized, scratch- and chemical-resistant aliphatic polyurethane self-skinning foam or polyurethane coating. By integrating polyurethanes processing into the injection molding machine, increased production efficiency and outstanding part properties are achieved. The ultra-low volatile organic compound DirectSkinning process also eliminates the need for painting and the associated overspray common to traditional in-mold painting. DirectSkinning technology is ideal for manufacturers in diverse consumer and industrial markets – for example, high-end cases for electronic devices, arm rests for seating, etc. – that are seeking a cost-effective, high-end product.

Previously, multiple steps were required to mold a hard substrate, such as polycarbonate, with a finish that felt soft. Conventionally, manufacturers would first mold the hard substrate and then load it into another piece of equipment where a soft finish was applied. DirectSkinning technology was developed to shorten this process.

"We're bringing this technology to market as a turnkey solution," said Ignacio Osio, demand creation manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, who points out this technology has already been proven in Europe. "Because we are offering a complete solution – materials, molds, molding equipment and expertise – OEMs in North America can feel confident integrating this process into their manufacturing operations."

DirectSkinning offers a system solution for premium quality surfaces from a single source. The overall manufacturing cell consists of components of the KraussMaffei product line, a CX 200-750 Hybrid injection molding machine with LRX 150 linear robot, and a RimStar Hybrid 1.2/0.9 polyurethane mixing and metering station with a high-pressure mixing head MK 5/8 ULKP-2 KKV-F installed on the injection mold and a reworking station for separating the gate points. These multi-component machines provide manufacturers with higher production efficiency.

Joe Grippe, vice president, Warren, Mich.-based Proper Group International, a leader in developing and manufacturing injection molds, said: "The DirectSkinning process offers a competitive advantage to manufacturers, as it produces a more complete product out of the same mold. Furthermore, by taking the traditional two-step process and simplifying it into a one-step process through DirectSkinning, the overall processing time is reduced, which translates into greater efficiencies and cost savings for manufacturers."

In response to an expanding North American market, KraussMaffei, the largest manufacturer of plastic processing equipment worldwide, recently announced a move to a 50,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Proper Group International's Warren, Mich., headquarters.

"Our strategic relationships with Bayer MaterialScience LLC and Proper Group International in North America provide a strong platform for rolling out the DirectSkinning technology, also known as SkinForm, to this market," said Paul Caprio, president, KraussMaffei Corp.

To learn more about DirectSkinning technology, visit the KraussMaffei Corporation (West hall (B) Booth 1503) during the NPE 2012 trade show being held in Orlando, Fla., April 1-5.

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,800 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2011 sales of 10.8 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience's 2011 sales in North America were $2.9 billion. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

Contact:

Bill Allan, Phone: 412-777-5200
E-mail: bill.allan@bayer.com

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's DirectSkinning technology, email PCinfo@bayer.com, call 412-777-7824 or visit www.bmsnafta.com.

For more information about Proper Group International, call 586-779-8787 or visit propergroupintl.com.

For more information about KraussMaffei's SkinForm process, call 859-283-4327 or visit www.krauss-maffei.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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