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Kuraray Extends Commitment to AspenTech's Engineering Solutions for Optimization of Polymer Production Processes

09/04/03
Leading Japanese manufacturer uses Aspen Engineering Suite(TM) solutions to reduce time-to-market and improve quality and efficiency at its global production sites

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 4, 2003--Aspen Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AZPN) today announced that Kuraray Co., Ltd, a leading Japanese polymer manufacturer, has extended its commitment to the Aspen Engineering Suite (AES)(TM) solutions with a new multi-year license agreement. Kuraray will expand the use of AspenTech's process modeling and optimization technologies at its global production sites, enabling the company to reduce time-to-market and improve the quality and efficiency of its production processes.

Kuraray is a global supplier of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), functional polymer and man-made leather from its plants in Japan, USA and Europe. The company has been utilizing Aspen Engineering Suite solutions since 1999, and has used the technology to significantly enhance its process development capability. Notable benefits have been achieved with the application of the AES Polymers Plus(R) process modeling solution, which has enabled the company to develop and optimize complex polymer manufacturing processes.

"Kuraray has standardized on AspenTech's engineering solutions as a strategic technology to help us achieve our goals of shortening time-to-market and improving the cost and quality performance of our processes," said Mr. Koichi Kushida, Senior Managing Director of Kuraray. "The enhanced modeling capability provided by Polymers Plus has increased our competitiveness by enabling us to identify optimal solutions at each stage of introducing a new process: in research and development, during process development and up to production in the plant."

By including AspenTech's engineering solutions as a key component of its polymer process development methodology, Kuraray has realized an extensive range of benefits. These include a significant reduction in process development time, increased production capacity, and accelerated new product development. When launching a new process, the solutions have also resulted in a reduced need for experimental data collections and plant measurements, ensured smooth scale-up and plant start-up, and helped the company obtain the target product on the first run.

The value of the solutions has been enhanced by close collaboration between Kuraray and polymer experts from AspenTech's AES services and development groups. For the past four years, Kuraray has based a number of engineers at AspenTech locations to work alongside specialists in the development of polymer process models.

"Polymer production processes are extremely complex and difficult to model," said David McQuillin, President and CEO of AspenTech. "The results achieved by Kuraray reflect the value that our Aspen Engineering Suite solutions can deliver, enabling polymer manufacturers to realize significant benefits throughout the lifecycle of their processes, from initial research through to full-scale production."

The Aspen Engineering Suite is an essential element of AspenTech's solutions for enterprise operations management (EOM) in the process industries. These integrated, enterprise-wide solutions combine engineering and manufacturing/supply chain technologies to help companies optimize the way they engineer and run their manufacturing and supply chain operations.

About Kuraray

Kuraray Co., Ltd is a major global chemicals and polymers company producing high-performance resins, fine chemicals, man-made leather, medical products and fibers. Established in 1926, the company has headquarters in Osaka, Japan, and employs around 7,000 people worldwide. Kuraray operates six major production sites in Japan, and also has plants in America, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. For more information, visit www.kuraray.co.jp.

About AspenTech

Aspen Technology, Inc. provides industry-leading software and implementation services that enable process companies to increase efficiency and profitability. AspenTech's engineering product line is used to design and improve plants and processes, maximizing returns throughout an asset's operating life. Its manufacturing/supply chain product line allows companies to increase margins in their plants and supply chains, by managing customer demand, optimizing production, and streamlining the delivery of finished products. These two offerings are combined to create solutions for enterprise operations management (EOM), integrated enterprise-wide systems that provide process manufacturers with the capability to dramatically improve their operating performance. Over 1,500 leading companies already rely on AspenTech's software, including Aventis, Bayer, BASF, BP, ChevronTexaco, Dow Chemical, DuPont, ExxonMobil, Fluor, Foster Wheeler, GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, and Total. For more information, visit www.aspentech.com.

Certain paragraphs of this press release contain forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For this purpose, any statement using the term "will," "should," "could," "anticipates," "believes" or a comparable term is a forward-looking statement. Actual results may vary significantly from AspenTech's expectations based on a number of risks and uncertainties, including: AspenTech's lengthy sales cycle which makes it difficult to predict quarterly operating results; fluctuations in AspenTech's quarterly operating results; AspenTech's dependence on customers in cyclical industries; adverse global economic conditions; AspenTech's ability to raise additional capital as required; the FTC's investigation of the Hyprotech acquisition; the outcome of AspenTech's restructuring plans; intense competition; AspenTech's need to develop and market products successfully; and other risk factors described from time to time in AspenTech's periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AspenTech cannot guarantee any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. Moreover, neither AspenTech nor anyone else assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any forward-looking statements. AspenTech undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

AspenTech, Aspen Engineering Suite, Polymers Plus and the aspen leaf logo are trademarks of Aspen Technology, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

CONTACT: Aspen Technology, Inc.
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peter.watt@aspentech.com

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