First detailed study conducted on wood-plastics composites

Exton, PA— The growing market for wood-plastic composites, largely spurred on by decking, has largely been fought against traditional decking products like pressure-treated lumber, redwood and other natural and synthetic product choices. More recently, composite decking producers have taken direct aim at one another to develop brand share within the category in addition to continuing to take share away from the traditional incumbent products due to a number of market and technical trends highlighted below.

Increasing Competition — In WPCs, the primary business battle has so far been focused on the market. Greater industry interest has developed to understand how products are formulated and made for adding value through product differentiation and for lowering product cost.

Need to Reduce Cost — Imported WPC products may soon be available at prices lower than domestic production can match. Lower costs can be achieved through adjustments in raw materials, formulations and changes in manufacturing processes.

Growing Demand for Better Quality — The WPC business is no longer just about supplying pent up demand. Dealers and consumers (i.e. installers and homeowners) are becoming more selective about the brands they prefer. Producers must reduce manufacturing variables to deliver the consistent high quality the market expects.

These trends require an in-depth review of the backroom operations of composite decking production - both formulating and processing advances taking place around the world. Principia Partners announced its latest multi-client on the subject entitled “Formulating and Processing Advances in the Global WPC Industry 2005.

This is the industry’s first study focused on the manufacturing side of this nearly $2 billion global market. The detailed study will leverage Principia’s well-established expertise in the subject, along with its ability to conduct technical evaluations and manufacturing cost assessments in materials-related businesses. The report will provide a complete perspective on developments in product formulation, processing advances, current and planned equipment systems tailored for WPCs, cost models under various production settings, and profiles of leading producers around the world.
In particular, the Manufacturing Cost Economics section of the report will pinpoint the cost for various manufacturing processes and highlight key drivers for cost advantage and/or disadvantage. These analyses will provide sufficient detail on manufacturing costs to improve business decision making and will complement detailed engineering analyses.
Principia’s previous studies on wood-plastic composites have focused on the commercial side, or storefront of the business; this study will focus on the backroom operations and what’s happening to drive product and process innovation and improve the cost economics of WPC manufacturing.

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