Material makeover

High-tech polycarbonate from Covestro offers ideal material solution for network device

Makrolon 6487 polycarbonate housing
The white housing of the XBee® Gateway features Makrolon® 6487 polycarbonate from Covestro LLC. (Image courtesy of Digi International.)

Pittsburgh, June 1, 2016 — Manufacturers strive to meet the design and color requirements of their end users. When Digi International, a global provider of mission-critical machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT connectivity products and services, was producing a private label version of its XBee® Gateway, it received customer feedback about inconsistent coloring of the white housing. Digi turned to Covestro LLC for a different polycarbonate material that would satisfy customer requirements and enhance the product.

Covestro’s Makrolon® 6487 polycarbonate was selected due to its UV stabilization and ability to meet color requirements, both of which are important requirements for Digi and the XBee® Gateway. Other beneficial properties of this robust polycarbonate grade include flame retardance, durability and impact resistance. The medium-viscosity resin also offered processing advantages, such as easy release from the mold.

In addition to supplying the plastic, Covestro also offered valuable technical expertise.

“Covestro provided color matching support and was able to provide the specific bright white color the customer required with a pre-colored resin to ensure consistent quality,” said Brian Faul, business development manager, Central Midwest region, Covestro LLC.

The XBee® Gateway provides a low-cost, programmable solution to connect networks of XBee-enabled devices to IP networks. With a simple, open-source Python development environment, the gateway enables custom applications to run locally while interfacing across existing Ethernet/Wi-Fi/cellular networks for WAN connectivity to cloud-based software applications.

“We switched our product from another material to Makrolon® polycarbonate due to its UV resistance to ensure that the color would not degrade over time, even if exposed to bright sunlight from a nearby window or under fluorescent lights. Our choice was further solidified by the material’s availability, ease of moldability and proven performance,” said Matthew Larsen, lead mechanical engineer, Digi.

Makrolon® polycarbonate is a go-to material for manufacturers due to its remarkable toughness, good heat resistance, high dimensional accuracy and stability, according to Joel Matsco, industry segment manager, Covestro LLC.

“High-performance polycarbonate from Covestro has the performance properties technology manufacturers need to deliver products that meet technical standards and customer needs,” he explained.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro 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. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.

Find more information at or

Covestro Contact:

John Skabardonis, Phone: +1 412-413-5444

# # #

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. 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 Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: