Fiber manufacturer Sateri, aiming to diversify its portfolio and maintain state-of-the-art manufacturing standards, has opened a new R&D Innovation Center.
The $48 million facility is housed in a new multistory building in Shandong, China, where Sateri’s 20,000-ton annual lyocell production plant is located. It features a 5,000-ton annual lyocell production line dedicated to pilot trials, and other best-in-class equipment imported from the United States and Austria.
Sateri said the center’s activities will initially focus on laboratory tests for pulp selection, new and differentiated fiber product development, and quality and productivity improvements in lyocell production. The center is also poised to explore next-generation textile fiber solutions and other related downstream innovation.
About 150 staff members will be involved in the center’s work. These include R&D scientists, professionals with material science and chemical engineering expertise, and specialists in fiber technical, production and operations.
“My team and I are proud to be part of Sateri’s first major R&D Innovation Center that consolidates our various competencies in one location,” Tu Jian Zhong, head of the centre, said. “This facility will be the lynchpin of our innovation efforts. We are eager to achieve breakthroughs that will not only enhance Sateri’s existing products, but also advance solutions in alternative cellulosic feedstock and closed-loop manufacturing. The company’s investment in this center is founded on a strong culture of continuous improvement and part of its long-term commitment to create value.”
Sateri is part of the RGE group of companies, which has committed to investing $200 million to advance next-generation textile fiber innovation and technology. In addition to lyocell, Sateri’s other environmentally sustainable products introduced this year include Finex, made from recycled textile waste, and StretchCosy in partnership with DuPont Sorona.
Sateri is one of the world’s largest producer of viscose fiber, a natural and sustainable raw material found in everyday items such as apparel, baby wipes and personal hygiene products. Its five mills in China collectively produce about 1.4 million metric tons of viscose fiber yearly. Headquartered in Shanghai, the company has a sales, marketing and customer service network covering Asia, Europe and the Americas.