DARMSTADT, Germany – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has opened a new application laboratory for the Performance Materials business sector in Shanghai, China. The expanded Technology Application Network China (TANC) underscores the company’s leading position in pigments and functional materials. It marks the continuation of a 20-year commitment of supplying materials and application technology services to China and Southeast Asia.

The new, expanded application laboratory at the Jinqiao site in Shanghai’s Pudong district is the first application laboratory in China that Merck KGaA has launched to deliver comprehensive, customized services for its products and to seek and foster creative collaboration with customers for new applications and formulations. This collaboration began in 1998 with the opening of the first site at Fudan University in Shanghai, based on the example of Merck KGaA’s Customer Support Center. The TANC initially focused on print applications, with three expansions over the years leading to additional application fields ranging from plastics, coatings and cosmetics, to dispersion paints and powder coating technologies, to quality control and cosmetic testing. China is one of the fastest growing markets for the company’s pigments and cosmetics businesses.

The underlying TAN (Technology Application Network) is a global unit with more than 100 employees in central competence centers who provide market regions with technical consultation and access to application technology laboratories. Within a split of a second, information can be transmitted from one site to another via a global network, allowing the sites to benefit from each other.

Thanks to expansion of the TANC in Shanghai, Merck KGaA can meet the growing number of customer requests for close collaboration and technical consultation on the entire product portfolio of pigments and functional materials and on how to integrate these products in new technologies. This includes the use of pigments in high-temperature ceramics, RGB printing and waterborne coatings. In addition, more and more customers are expressing a wish for local training, which made sense to establish a customer experience center for workshops in a creative environment and with good connections to a lab.

The TANC’s core tasks are to evaluate R&D materials according to customer specification, develop demo tools and steer their production, scientifically support products with lectures and publications, provide training for employees and customers, and perform supportive work for quality control and production. “The new TANC boosts our capabilities for supporting China and the surrounding region,” said Friedhelm Felten, Executive Vice President and Head of Pigments & Functional Materials. “We’re pleased that we can now offer our Chinese customers even more capacities to make their customers’ color dreams come true – from automotive coatings to printing, architecture and cosmetics. Furthermore, we’re expanding their possibilities by providing technical services for functional materials, such as for laser marking or security applications.”