NEWS - Friday, June 7, 2002


Building A Better Xbox

Microsoft Xbox Game System Console Made Better With BASF’s Terluran(R) ABS Versatility; Global Supply Capability Are Deciding Factors in Material Selection MOUNT OLIVE, N.J., - Microsoft Corporation’s Xbox system is dazzling consumers of all ages by creating video games that "blur the lines between fantasy and reality." Equally as imaginative as Microsoft’s entry into the consumer console game market is the sleek, distinctive deep green Xbox console with a signature green "X" on the top and Xbox "jewel" in the center. What brings the Xbox console to life with the same intensity as the fantastic games it runs is BASF’s Terluran(R) acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), an injection-molded, impact-resistant engineering plastic. Terluran ABS provides both high-surface gloss and dull-matte surfaces, allowing designers to create single-component units like the Xbox to have an integrated, two-piece appearance. The excellent color consistency of Terluran ABS, based on proprietary BASF technology, meets Microsoft’s precise color matching and intricate design requirements. Microsoft presented its Critical Launch Supplier Award Fall 2001 to BASF in conjunction with the start up of Xbox production. BASF was recognized for its strong, global logistics network and commitment to meeting all of Microsoft’s resin supply needs -- from tool sampling and design validation to ramp-up and full production -- during the Xbox launch. "We selected BASF Terluran ABS because of its ability to match the specific colors and finishes we want for this exciting new product that is sweeping the marketplace," said Jim Stewart, Microsoft’s Manager of Design Planning for Xbox. "The cosmetic performance of Terluran ABS exceeded our industrial design team’s expectations, and has proven to process cost efficiently as well." The Xbox console is molded, manufactured and assembled for Microsoft by Flextronics International at its industrial parks in Guadalajara, Mexico, for the North American market, and Doumen, China, for the European and Asian markets. "BASF is a critical link in our supply chain," stated Chris Morton, Flextronics’ Vice President of Plastics Technology. "It takes less than eight hours to transform Terluran ABS into finished consoles." As such, the global needs of Microsoft also prompted its selection of Terluran ABS. BASF produces this engineering plastic at its world-scale, integrated manufacturing plants in Altamira, Mexico; Ludwigshafen, Germany; and Ulsan, Korea. "Our ability to globally supply Terluran ABS with the same superior consistency around the world, and provide the accompanying technical and customer support services 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year benefit our global customers like Microsoft and Flextronics," said Jay Kline, Group Vice President, Styrenics-NAFTA, BASF Corporation. "The convenience of doing business with BASF worldwide can be as vital an attribute to our customers as product performance."
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