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BASF is redefining the future of the footwear industry - First global footwear innovation center in Taiwan

Petrochemical industry | 11 Aug 2020 IST | Polymerupdate.com
- New facilities to strengthen BASF’s global network of Footwear Development Centers
- I nteractive shoe exhibitions, a biomechanics laboratory and manufacturing facilities to increase performance in shoe design
- Interactive areas allow brands and manufacturers to select shoe materials and improve manufacturing processes

BASF opened the doors of its first global Footwear Innovation Center in Taiwan , an important center for footwear manufacturing in Asia. The BASF Footwear Innovation Center is located in the shoe production facility of the strategic partner Longterm Concept (LTC) in Changhua, Taiwan, and will bring together shoe experts, manufacturers and designers to jointly develop a new generation of shoes.
The 650 square meter center offers an impressive atmosphere in which BASF can support various brands in driving the transformation of shoes. This unique facility showcases BASF’s revolutionary footwear materials, innovative culture and the latest technologies from LTC to create shoes that meet innovative footwear design requirements.

“Taiwan is Asia's hub for many shoe manufacturers and can look back on a long history with a powerful network of designers. Differentiation is the most important prerequisite for being successful in the shoe industry. We are committed to continuous innovation and collaboration with our customers. The Footwear Innovation Center offers customers in the shoe industry an intense and collaborative experience to jointly develop innovative components, processes and solutions, ”said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Performance Materials, BASF. "In addition, the center offers our strategic partners and customers direct access to advanced technologies and high-performance materials in one place and thus helps them to be successful in the shoe market."

Global collaboration and material innovation help brands unlock the growth potential for shoe solutions

The combination of LTC's latest shoe manufacturing technologies with BASF's materials expertise enables the brands to address common operational challenges, optimize manufacturing processes and increase efficiency. The new facility will also test and refine material innovations within a shorter timeframe, as well as explore concepts on a global scale. A previous collaboration between BASF and LTC on the X-Swift - a sports shoe that uses five of BASF's advanced material innovations - was also made possible by a fully connected LTC shoe production facility.

Offer of shoe material and manufacturing solutions under one roof

The Footwear Innovation Center will also have a biomechanics laboratory where scientific tests will be carried out to develop new shoe solutions that increase performance and comfort, and improve athletic performance.

The Footwear Innovation Center comprises three main areas:

The Design Zone - an interactive exhibition space with high-performance materials and artwork that inspires the shoe design process. In this area two of the high-performance materials from BASF are shown.Haptex ™, a low-emission synthetic leather that does not contain solvents and offers design freedom and production efficiency for shoe upper leather. Freeflex ™, a thermoplastic polyurethane fiber (TPU) made with Elastollan ® , opens up unlimited design potential for knitted shoe uppers.

The functional zone - a zone that encourages visitors to develop future-oriented shoe solutions for industry. It is characterized by a wide range of materials such as Elastopan ® and polyurethane (PU) solutions, which allow extensive options for customer-specific adaptation, excellent technical support and thus lead to the next level of performance. Infinergy ® , the expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) that is revolutionizing the running shoe industry, is now available for safety and street shoes. Forward AM, a BASF brand specializing in 3D printing, manufactures the materials Ultrasint ® TPU powder and Ultracur 3D ® EL UV resin, which is ideal for 3D shoe printing due to its strong shock absorption and rubber-like elasticity.

The Creation Zone - an inspiring zone in which existing design work is presented in order to encourage the generation of ideas and the creation of groundbreaking shoe solutions. It also shows a sports floor series made from Infinergy SP, a special E-TPU brand from BASF, and a fully impermeable PU structure certified by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF). The center has state-of-the-art software for shoe design, in-house computer-controlled machines for mold construction, automated PU injection machines and upper material knitting machines, which open up new possibilities for shoe design.

“The opening of the Footwear Innovation Center is a milestone for the footwear industry in Taiwan and Asia that aims to connect brands, manufacturers and designers. This will accelerate the adoption of the latest footwear technologies and materials to better serve the industry, ”said Smith Shih, president of Longterm Concept Industry Corp.

BASF has three other Footwear Development Centers in Italy, the United States and Thailand. The Footwear Innovation Center will also complement the expertise and skills of the Product Development Center in Shanghai and Nansha in mainland China.

Via the Performance Materials division of BASF

The division Performance Materials BASF combines all the know-how of BASF on innovative, custom plastics under one roof. The corporate division operates in four major industries worldwide - transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods - and has a solid portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Close cooperation with customers and a clear focus on solutions are essential factors for profitability and growth. Distinct competencies in research and development form the basis for the development of innovative products and applications. In 2019, the Performance Materials division achieved worldwide sales of € 6.06 billion. Further information online: www.plastics.basf.com .

About BASF
Chemistry for a sustainable future, that's what BASF stands for. We combine economic success with protecting the environment and social responsibility. More than 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work to contribute to the success of our customers from almost all industries and in almost every country in the world. We have grouped our portfolio into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. In 2019, BASF had worldwide sales of € 59 billion. BASF shares are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the USA.
Note: This story has not been edited by The Polymerupdate Editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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