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March 22, 2019by Jayhawk0

Fine chemical synthesis encompasses a broad variety of active ingredients and advanced intermediates used in downstream chemical manufacturing or formulation into end-products. Examples include glufosinate, an active ingredient in agrochemical herbicides for crop protection; and oxydiphthalic anhydride, a co-monomer for polyimides used in consumer electronics and aerospace.

While large, multinational producers focus on commodity chemicals, smaller, custom manufacturers specialize in niche fine chemical synthesis at deliberately lower volumes. When customers look to source and purchase these high-value goods on a regular, sustainable basis, which of these sales channels is best?

Fine Chemical Synthesis and Volume Requirements

Depending on volume requirements, exclusivity of the molecule, and perhaps certain contractual arrangements, customers may source fine chemicals (a) directly from the manufacturer or (b) via sales channel partners.

Local channel partners comprise virtual and physical distributors, as well as sales agents. These serve a vital role in the fine chemicals supply chain, providing the manufacturer with a host of competitive advantages.

The obvious benefit of local companies is that they speak the native language. They are integrated into the local culture which can put customers at ease. Response to quality, delivery, regulatory, and basic technical issues is simplified, with familiar contacts in the customer’s time zone often working the same daily hours. If customers have not planned their forecasts accurately, products are often available from local safety stocks. Sales channel partners provide market intelligence and can help shape the manufacturer’s regional strategy.

Customers appreciative of the value provided by local sales channel partners accept a higher price point for goods and services. In cases where larger volumes dictate direct business with the manufacturer, cost position can certainly be improved. Oftentimes, however, local service and support are the priority – particularly for high-value fine chemicals.

Occasionally, sales channel partners are mismatched with the customer base they intend to serve. Some customers may prefer the one-stop shop approach of large, multi-national distribution companies, almost rivaling the scale of the manufacturers they represent. However, others may seek out smaller, often family-owned-and-operated businesses that offer more personalized service and support, like a peer company relatable to the customer’s own business.  The right fit is critical to both parties.

Jayhawk Fine Chemicals products and services are available from these smaller, specialized sales channel partners to “channel” our business culture directly into local regions and markets.

Jayhawk: Empowering Customers with Fine Chemical Solutions

Jayhawk is a member of the global CABB network of fine chemical custom manufacturing partners, blending our global reach with a local mindset. Learn more about specialty chemical manufacturing at Jayhawk, or contact a member of the team directly if you have any questions.


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March 11, 2019by Jayhawk0

Pyromellitic Dianhydride (PMDA) is ideally-suited as a low-cost thermal curative for epoxy resins and as a co-monomer for polyimide synthesis. It was originally synthesized by a handful of Japanese and Western manufacturers including Daicel, DuPont, Du-Pont Toray, Jayhawk, Lonza, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. However, Pyromellitic Dianhydride has undergone a major shift in the manufacturing base and market dynamics over the past 5 years. China is now the major player, but volatility in raw material prices and other costs has led to a parade of suppliers challenging the security of supply decisions for customers.

Changes in the State of the PMDA Supply Chain

The traditional synthesis route uses Durene as the base raw material. Durene is tied to both petroleum and coal tar feedstocks.  It remains in demand for other downstream products, but pricing has ebbed and flowed over the years. The volatility of Durene and other essential materials has forced many of these familiar suppliers to exit Pyromellitic Dianhydride manufacturing. They have relinquished their positions to an influx of Chinese manufacturers eager to gain a foothold in the fine chemical space. Process safety, alternative synthesis routes, and product quality have created a bumpy road for these new entrants.

Today’s landscape for Pyromellitic Dianhydride manufacturing consists of approximately a dozen Chinese companies. These manufacturers supply tens of thousands of tons of high-quality Pyromellitic Dianhydride to the marketplace every year. However, Durene volatility remains an issue. Over the last 18-24 months, Pyromellitic Dianhydride pricing increased two- to three-fold. In some cases, supply was on allocation. Pricing has slowly but steadily declined in recent months, as more capacity has either been announced or already added by existing and startup suppliers.

How is an epoxy or polyimide producer expected to manage their cost position in the face of such volatility? When Pyromellitic Dianhydride pricing perilously approached that of more exclusive dianhydrides, customers were tempted to change formulations. Now that current pricing has subsided, these concerns have diminished, but customers remain uncertain about the security of supply and reliability on a single Pyromellitic Dianhydride manufacturer.

The answer lies in the qualification of, and sourcing from, multiple suppliers to leverage both pricing and availability of the product. This represents the new paradigm for Pyromellitic Dianhydride customers. Additionally, trading companies have stepped in to serve as a buffer to these sourcing challenges, offering value-added services including importation, custom-packaging and safety stocks.

Pyromellitic Dianhydride from Jayhawk Chemicals

Jayhawk offers Pyromellitic Dianhydride on a trade sales basis. Product quality is assured for reliable performance in a range of epoxy and polyimide applications. Ready access to inventory and a host of packaging options are available every day. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.


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February 22, 2019by Jayhawk0

The interaction between buyer and seller has been explored extensively in academic and commercial literature. Fine chemical custom manufacturing, a niche within the specialty chemicals space, doubles-down on this dynamic with a unique serviced-based offering.

Customer – Manufacturer Relationships Today

For fine chemical custom manufacturers, the focus is placed squarely on the customer relationship. Clients typically have extremely tailored, individual requirements to produce complex chemical intermediates and active ingredients. In these instances, the manufacturer acts as an extension of the customer’s own operations. They perform a critical role in scaling-up for new product launches, providing swing capacity for growth products, or taking on complete outsourcing for a mature product.

However, these manufacturers almost always offer a side portfolio of catalog products based on core competencies in custom chemical synthesis and unit operations. These products, perhaps not exclusive to an individual specialty chemicals customer, meet critical requirements for quality and security of supply. They may also serve the needs of multiple customers with known volumes and delivery schedules. The result is a complementary, sustainable, made-to-demand business.

This is all well and good, as the customer has been heard, their needs have been determined, and product orders have been satisfactorily fulfilled. But can this be taken further?

Optimizing Relationships in Custom Fine Chemicals Sectors

When we talk about customer insights, we mean the “Voice of the Customer.” Since fine chemical custom manufacturing is, first and foremost, a service business, asking a few simple questions can result in valuable customer insights. These can be as broad as the following:

  • What else can we do for you?
  • What other fine or specialty chemicals do you need?
  • Do you find it difficult to choose insourcing or outsourcing?
  • Are you wary of sourcing from unknown, distant suppliers?
  • Would you avoid suppliers that are limited to a website catalog offering?

This is the very essence of fine chemical custom manufacturing: relationships in which customers are listened to with intent. Sourcing challenges can be readily identified and customer insights gained, representing new opportunities to leverage and build stronger relationships that are rooted in mutual trust and respect.

So, the next time you expand your business at a customer, and a colleague asks how you did it, simply respond with “I asked.”

Custom Chemicals Solutions from Jayhawk

The Jayhawk-CABB partnership is one of the world leaders in fine chemical custom manufacturing. We are intuitively aware of the benefits of fostering mutually-beneficial customer relationships founded on dialog and transparency. If you have specific sourcing needs or are facing challenges in the specialty chemicals marketplace, we would be interested to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact a member of our team today.


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February 4, 2019by Jayhawk0

ChemCreations is a new service offering from the CABB network of fine chemical custom manufacturing partners. Envisaged as “Chemical Processes Delivered”, ChemCreations offers a modular approach to custom manufacturing services, well beyond that of traditional chemical suppliers. Now joined by Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation, ChemCreations is poised to solve the expanding challenges of developing complex active ingredients and intermediates for the agrochemicals and specialty chemicals industries.

Overcoming Challenges

Fine chemical insourcing and outsourcing demands vary significantly. Customers in this sector may require unique levels of support for route scouting, process research, process development, pilot production and eventual scaling to commercial operations.

Adopting a modular approach can provide the best possible cost position for these chemistry and manufacturing challenges.

ChemCreations delivers contract research expertise to help explore and evaluate potentially viable routes, establishing a valuable starting point for the client.

Process development teams realize the most efficient, safe, and sustainable methods of production, validating processes to deliver the most complete technical package possible.

Proof-of-concept support is provided by pilot plant teams, demonstrating scalability by performing low-volume production runs.

Finally, commercial custom-manufacturing teams transfer the process to full-scale assets for campaigns tailored specifically to the client’s growing needs.

These services can be mixed and matched to provide the right fit for each customer, offering a fresh approach and a clear value over traditional chemical suppliers.

Partnerships and Solutions

ChemCreations was launched to enable speed-to-production and improve the efficiency of implementation for clients developing the latest complex active ingredients and intermediates. The team’s scientific and technical skills are complemented by state-of-the-art synthetic and analytical lab capabilities, dedicated pilot lines, and commercial assets at numerous sites worldwide.

Our goal is to facilitate new production processes for our customers, by sharing the combined industry experience of some of the world’s best fine chemical suppliers. ChemCreations® offers a suite of modular solutions for tailored, cost-effective solutions.

Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation entered the CABB network in 2018, establishing a translatlantic partnership of fine chemical suppliers that has been leading global innovations in fine chemicals custom manufacturing for more than 15 years. We have the tools, skills, and experience to address the most complicated technical challenges while safeguarding our customer’s intellectual property. If you would like more information about our ChemCreations service, please contact a member of our team directly.


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October 22, 2018by Jayhawk

JAYHAWK is a global leader in specialty chemical manufacturing, with years of experience in producing custom fine chemicals for clients. We manufacture a range of products, from high-purity solvents to advanced chemical intermediates and active ingredients, with our complex chemical synthesis.

Specialty Chemical Manufacturing

When we talk about specialty chemical manufacturing, this can be anything from providing spare capacity to establishing a full-service sourcing partnership. The services JAYHAWK provide include process development, procurement, logistics management, and regulatory support.

Whether you require something as simple as distillation to recover raw materials, or a complex chemical synthesis, JAYHAWK can provide a cost-effective solution for these needs. Using an external specialty chemical manufacturer can allow clients to scale-up their manufacturing potential and speed.

When outsourcing specialty chemical manufacturing, clients want to ensure that the production requirements are met for a cost-efficient process. As an external provider, JAYHAWK can bring fresh expertise to client’s technology and meet chemistry requirements that might not be available within their own operation.

The chemistry and technology used by JAYHAWK include Alkylation, Heterocyclic synthesis, Halogenation, Grignard chemistry, Suzuki coupling, Azo chemistry, Phosphorus chemistry, Hydrogenation, and Formylation. This range of specialties allows us to provide solutions for a wide selection of customers, ensuring that their requirements are met.

At JAYHAWK, we pride ourselves on the relationship we build with our clients. We are extremely transparent about the services we offer and can often work as a satellite facility for your needs. Our range of multi-purpose plants come with the option to interconnect vessels and sections. We also have pilot plants available for smaller projects, qualifications, approvals, and proof-of-concept for commercial production.

Our analytic capabilities include GC, HPLC, ICP/MS, GC/MS, NMR, ion chromatography, potentiometric and Karl Fischer titration, and validated LIMS software. Our management system is fully integrated and is certified to ISO 9001, 14001, and RC 14001.

In addition to our services, JAYHAWK is extremely committed to ensuring our environmental impact is kept to a minimum. We undertake many practices including spill prevention, recycling, and waste reduction. This means our customers can be assured that their products were produced safely with minimal risk to the environment.

The list of solutions offered by JAYHAWK is growing consistently. If you would like some more information about our specialty chemical manufacturing solutions, please contact us.


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September 17, 2018by Jayhawk

Evonik Industries AG is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies. Its affiliate Evonik Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation offers a wide range of toll- and custom-manufacturing services based on extensive process development capabilities, as well as a broad portfolio of made-to-order products. Founded in 1941 in Galena, Kansas, Jayhawk entered the Evonik fold in 2001.

Acquisition of Evonik Jayhawk Fine Chemicals

On 30 August 2018, global investment firm Permira announced that a company backed by its fund had entered into a definitive agreement with Evonik to acquire Jayhawk for an amount valued in the high double-digit million USD range. Caspar Gammelin, Head of the Evonik segment Performance Materials, said:

Jayhawk has highly skilled employees, well-developed facilities and long-standing customer relationships. Under the new owner, these strengths can be leveraged even more effectively.”

Permira was founded in 1985 and now advises firms with a total committed capital of approximately €32 billion. The firm is renowned for successful capital investments into industrial companies with the objective of transforming their performance and driving sustainable growth. Following their purchase of the European fine chemicals company CABB, cooperation between CABB and Jayhawk is expected to generate significant future opportunities for both companies.

CABB and Jayhawk intend to form a strategic partnership to strengthen the competitive position of both companies and to symbiotically accelerate growth. Sebastian Hoffmann, Principal and member of the Industrials Team at Permira, said:

We are looking forward to successfully growing the Jayhawk business further. Together, CABB and Jayhawk will provide a seamless transatlantic product and service offering, which will benefit existing and prospective clients of both companies through a broader geographic reach and further enhanced custom manufacturing solutions.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of 2018. If you would like any more information about the new opportunities that the acquisition represents for fine chemical custom manufacturing with Jayhawk, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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August 6, 2018by Jayhawk

Today’s global economy is dominated by the consistent rallying cry of “unfair trading practices”. Economic policies in both the United States and China have changed dramatically in accordance with this mentality, forcing numerous industries into significant periods of uncertainty. The retaliatory nature of the tariffs being imposed has upset the global economic balance, including in the custom manufacturing and agrochemicals sectors.

Ostensibly, this tariff crisis arose as administrations attempted to revisit trade deals and level the playing field for industrial markets. Turbulence and disruption are now the new normal, with agrochemicals manufacturers and end-users suffering directly as a result. Reciprocal tariffs have crept into farming, most recently affecting American soybeans.

Traditionally, the Chinese market sources soybeans from the US, while the European Union (EU) trades for soybeans in the South American market. China has now redirected its attention to the EU’s traditional market, while the US and the EU have attempted to strike a new deal for soybeans. This saga continues, with American farmers and agrochemical end-users caught in the balance. The American administration has offered farmers an aid package to allay their concerns, but the future stability of the sector remains uncertain.

This unique crisis has migrated into the custom manufacturing industry, with more direct impacts on the synthesis of agrochemicals. The US sources raw materials for the synthesis of intermediates and active ingredients from countries including China, many of which may be subject to increased tariffs under the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Section 301 Action. The proposed list covers approximately 1,300 separate tariff lines and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process. USTR will then issue a final determination on the products subject to the additional duties.

The impact on fine chemical custom manufacturers remains to be seen. The complex synthesis of agrochemicals requires a wide variety of chemistries and unit operations that are the strength of nimble, well-equipped service providers. The threat of increased costs will place greater pressure on their role within the agricultural supply chain.

Custom Manufacturing Services and Agrochemicals from JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK is a leading custom chemical manufacturer with extensive experience in the synthesis of chemical building blocks, active ingredients, and intermediates for a range of agrochemical products. If you would like detailed information about creative sourcing options from JAYHAWK, especially in light of this current economic climate, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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July 9, 2018by Jayhawk

In recent years, the agrochemical landscape has evolved into a series of mergers and acquisitions as part of an overarching industry realignment. This agrochemical market shift has resulted in a significant reshuffling of assets and products, as the traditional “Big Six” agrochemical manufacturers consolidate to address earnings, costs, and innovation requirements. Changes to the established agricultural line-up of Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, DuPont, and Monsanto has created a new market landscape and new opportunities for external custom manufacturers.

Recent Significant Changes in the Agrochemical Sector

Environmentally responsible herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are necessary to improve crop yields and disease control for family and commercial farmers that support a global population currently estimated to reach about 9 billion by 2050. The “new” agrochemical lineup is at the forefront of the innovation and development of environmentally responsible agrochemicals to address the anticipated rise in global food demand.

Here is how the agrochemical sector has changed to reflect these ongoing concerns:

  • Bayer closed their acquisition of Monsanto in June 2018 becoming the new number one agrochemical manufacturer with approximately $27 billion in annual sales;
  • China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) acquired Syngenta in 2017 and the ‘new’ Syngenta became number two with approximately $17 billion in sales;
  • Dow and DuPont’s merger of their respective agro businesses created Corteva Agriscience which currently ranks number three at approximately $17 billion in sales. Corteva Agriscience will become a standalone business in 2019;
  • BASF announced the acquisition of certain agricultural assets of Bayer throughout 2017 and 2018 to become number four at approximately $7 billion in sales;
  • FMC is the new number five with approximately $4 billion in sales having acquired assets and a new product pipeline from DuPont as a part of the formation of Corteva Agriscience.

Agricultural companies optimize product portfolio manufacturing via the utilization of external fine chemical custom manufacturers. The complex synthesis of intermediate and active ingredients requires a wide variety of chemistries and unit operations that smaller, well-equipped service providers can deliver and, in many cases, at an improved cost position. As the agrochemical industry consolidates, reliance upon these external partners intensifies and helps secure their role within the agricultural supply chain.

Agrochemical Services from JAYHAWK

JAYHAWK is a leading custom chemical manufacturer with extensive experience in the synthesis of chemical building blocks, active ingredients, and intermediates for a range of environmentally responsible agrochemical products. If you would like detailed information about external manufacturing arrangements with JAYHAWK or our custom manufacturing services, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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June 18, 2018by Jayhawk

Supply chain security is one of the top priorities for professionally sourcing custom chemicals. Today’s fine custom chemical manufacturing landscape comprises numerous multi-step chemical synthesis processes. Building blocks and active ingredients vital to agrochemical, pharmaceutical, and other markets depend upon securely sourced raw materials and intermediates. These specialty chemicals are provided by custom chemical manufacturing vendors, whose role is paramount to the continued success of high-value blockbuster products. However, the security of the sourcing landscape itself is currently under scrutiny.

This article will explore some of the key concerns in the chemicals manufacturing supply chain in further detail:

Custom Chemicals Manufacturing Security: Key Issues

Whether a custom chemical or service is being sourced for application in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, or commercial sector, the first concern for any sourcing professional is cost. It is important to secure these products and services at the lowest price possible to maximize returns on investment and meet budgeting concerns. However, this has given rise to several security issues, including working with obscure custom chemical vendors in distant countries.

The current regulatory compliance sweep in China stands out as a recent example. The enforcement of new constitutional amendments on environmental responsibility have led to the overnight shutdown of custom manufacturers, or entire districts where a single manufacturer may be out of compliance with the latest policies. The question of price is now underlined by broader issues: availability; sustainability of supply; and mitigation of risk.

Alternatives have emerged through the ingenuity of custom chemical manufacturers that are focused on providing value through long-term partnerships. This has been enabled by a manifold of changed circumstances. An improving economic climate, and reduced energy costs – particularly in the United States – have afforded custom chemical manufacturers the opportunity to establish a reliable and secure supply chain with products and services available at competitive prices.

Fresh creativity allows for partnerships, with multiple sites or vendors affiliating to offer a full array of competencies, including: alkylation; azo chemistry; hydrogenation; halogenation; heterocyclic synthesis; Grignard chemistry; and other custom chemical manufacturing processes to produce the desired active or downstream product.

These collaborations between custom manufacturers are expected to become increasingly common in the coming years.

Custom Chemical Manufacturing Solutions from Jayhawk

JAYHAWK offers a wide range of toll- and custom-manufacturing services based on extensive process development capabilities, as well as a broad portfolio of made-to-order products. Accredited to ISO, Responsible Care® & cGMP/FDA standards, our teams of creative & technical experts deliver the quality, efficiency & cost improvements that customers expect from their own manufacturing operations.

If you would like any more information about custom chemical capabilities, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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June 8, 2018by Jayhawk

Active ingredients (AI) are the components of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals that express therapeutic, medicinal, or biochemical effects on living matter. Agrochemicals in particular encompass pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. They are formulated with inert or excipient chemicals, which either modulate an AI’s adverse effects or act as a delivery vehicle.

Understanding the biological activity of an active ingredient is integral to determining its viability and efficacy. The degree of an AI’s biological activity generally denotes a directly proportional relationship between dosage concentration and beneficial effects, with a common correlation between increased adverse effects and higher dosages.

How Are Active Ingredients Made?

Due to the exacting requirements and certifications required to produce and supply agrochemicals, every stage of the chemical formulation process must be tightly controlled. The active ingredients must be produced in multiple step, chemical batch processing facilities equipped to handle complex organic syntheses. There is no margin for error when it comes to fine chemical manufacturing for AIs, which is one of the reasons why increasing numbers of agricultural producers are outsourcing these ultra-precise, batch processes to fine chemical specialists across the world.

Synthesizing active ingredients requires a holistic approach with robust chemical manufacturing components to support processes comprising several sensitive steps. There are numerous chemistries that can be used for producing AIs for agricultural chemicals, including:

  • Grignard chemistry;
  • Heterocyclic synthesis;
  • Azo chemistry;
  • Suzuki coupling;
  • Alkylation;
  • Phosphorus additive synthesis.

This range of synthetic processes enables modern chemists to formulate active ingredients within distinct manufacturing parameters. These can then be compounded with adjuvants to dosage-specific ratios in accordance with the relevant certifications and requirements.

Active Ingredient Manufacturing with Jayhawk

Jayhawk is a world leader in fine chemical manufacturing, with extensive experience in producing chemical building blocks, intermediates, and active ingredients for agrochemical applications. Our facility is equipped to perform multiple chemical synthesis processes, and to act as a satellite for client-specific manufacturing.

Acquire chemical intermediates and active ingredients on a made-to-order or on-demand basis, or take advantage of our hands-on expertise. Our high purity solvents are routinely used in chemical synthesis procedures to form active ingredient precursors.

If you would like any more information about producing active ingredients at Jayhawk, please do not hesitate to contact us.