Setting up the manufacturing and supply chain strategy for PVB resin – Eastman



Company Name / Department Eastman
Contact Person

Antonella Leone-Kammler

Location Ghent, Belgium
Study programme(s)
Community ESCF
Start Date February 2022
Housing arranged by company


Company Description

Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of chemicals, fibers and plastics materials found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA 

Project Description

Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) is a thermoplastic resin. PVB resin is extruded in combination with a plasticizer into a Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) film that bonds with glass under heat and pressure to form laminated safety glass. The interlayer sandwiched between the layers of glass is responsible for the enhanced performance properties of laminated glass. It is sold as refrigerated or interleaved rolls and is manufactured in a variety of formulations, colors, and thicknesses for use in laminated architectural, transportation and specialty glazings.
Given the current network configuration of the European sites, part of the PVB resin volume is stored at an external logistic provider located between the PVB resin manufacturing site and the PVB film extrusion site, due to capacity limitation at each of the locations. Managing the logistics flows involves non-value adding activities, time-consuming alignments between the resin manufacturing site, the extrusion site and the logistics provider, while generating significant inter-site logistics costs.
Following the closure of a US-based manufacturing site of PVB resin earlier this year, the European resin operations will increase the output in specific formulations. A new storage concept and logistic flow is required to improve efficiency and manage the complexity related to the multiple resin formulations and the requirements for the films extrusion. 

Goals of the Project

Objective of the project is to design a new logistic flow and storage concept to maximize PVB resins availability for the extrusion site, while addressing the complexity of the extrusion requirements (resin volume and mix). The flow optimization should consider aspects such as overall efficiency improvement, reduction/elimination of non-value adding activities existing in the current process and cost reduction vs. current logistic solution.


• Baselining of as-is process flow and related metrics (process performance, material volumes, costs, bottlenecks and sources of complexity)
• Definition of future target stock level and modelling of resin flow given production campaigns sequence in the PVB resin plants
• Identification of problematic process steps, bottlenecks, etc.
• Identification of options for revised resin flow and new logistics concept, accounting for future PVB resin volumes and key export flows to extrusion sites in the global manufacturing network
• Detailed description and evaluation of options, including flow performance and costs of proposed logistics solution
• Critical review of trade-offs between costs, complexity and service level of the shortlisted options
• Recommendation and rationale for the recommended option

Essential Student Knowledge

Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Operations Research


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