By Liz White, ERJ staff
Mannheim, Germany-Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH is building a new Euro 3 million plant for its Batch-Ready products at the group's headquarters site in Mannheim-Rheinau.
The chemicals producer is installing a modern powder mixing plant, dedicated to its custom-formulated Batch-Ready line and speciality products-largely used in the rubber-processing industry.
The building has already been converted, and we have started installing equipment and machinery,â€ with completion scheduled for January 2006," said Beate Gruber, head of engineering in a company statement.
As well as expanding Rhein-Chemie's capacity to 5 kilotonnes per annum from 2 ktpa, the company aims to improve the production process, and offer high product quality and maximum flexibility.
For the Batch-Ready materials, homogeneity of the blend used to produce the entirely dust-free products to specification,â€ is crucial, said plant manager Dr Giorgio MÃ¼ller. Eliminating dust makes a significant contribution to environmental protection and work safety," he added.
Rhein Chemie has developed a Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy method specifically for quality control of these batches. A simple, efficient cleaning process allows rapid and economical product changes, even for small volumes, allowing tight delivery deadlines, despite an enormous variety of custom formulations,â€ Rhein Chemie said.
The Batch-Ready concepts was launched in Europe in 2000, offering chemicals blended to individual customer needs-precisely weighed into low-melting bags for direct addition to a rubber blend on customer's premises.
"With this service, we convert chemicals into a user-friendly state. Our customers benefit from totally dust-free chemical handling and highly consistent processes, which in turn leads to significantly lower reject rates and lower costs, said Dr Thomas Kromminga, head of service technologies, in the company statement. Users get supplies just-in-time from a single source,â€ which eliminates time-consuming, in-house chemical management activities," added Kromminga.
Rhein Chemie is a Lanxess Deutschland GmbH subsidiary, which employs some 1100 people making over 80 ktpa of products for the rubber, lubricant, plastics and polyurethane industries.