Company briefs: Endress+Hauser expands in Belgium, Chile; AkzoNobel completes $10M sulfur derivatives investment

Nov. 29, 2017

Company expansions and investments in the process industries

Endress+Hauser opens new building in Brussels, sales office in Chile

After expanding production and building a new plant in the U.S., along with opening new sales offices in Malaysia, France and Chile, the Endress+Hauser Group dedicated a new facility in Brussels. Endress+Hauser invested approximately 6.6 million euros in the new building in Belgium’s capital. The four-story, 3,600-square-meter building features an exhibition zone and offers 10,000-square-meter site offers room for future expansion.

Endress+Hauser also recently invested 5 million euros in a new building in Chile. The 2,300-square-meter facility contains modern office space, an auditorium, conference rooms, a training center and a calibration laboratory. The new three-story building was officially opened during a celebration attended by industry and government guests. The modern architecture reinforces the company’s goal of sustainability. Solar collectors help to produce warm water while photovoltaic panels supply electricity for the parking garage lighting. The Santiago-based sales center, created in 2000 and currently home to 44 employees, supplies customers in the primaries and metals, food and beverage, power and energy and chemical industries.  

In the groundbreaking image from left to right: Elvis Pidic (Bühler Architect), Johannes Wick (CEO Grains & Food), Carlos Martinez (Architect), Stefan Scheiber (Group CEO), Ian Roberts (CTO), Samuel Schär (CEO Advanced Materials), Andreas Herzog (CFO), Burkhard Böndel (Head of Corporate Communications). Image courtesy of Bühler

Bühler breaks ground on Innovation Campus

Completion of Bühler’s Innovation Campus in Uzwil, Switzerland, is expected for the first quarter of 2019. The innovation campus consists of two key elements: the upgraded technology labs and the innovation building. The new building will bridge the engineering and business world in the existing towers and the upgraded application labs. Every year, the company invests 4 to 5 percent of its turnover into research and development. The new building is intended to bring together Bühler’s network of partners, be they customers, startups, academics, apprentices, or suppliers, and create a link to the technology labs.

SONGWON commissions second production line for thermoplastic urethanes

As part of its global expansion strategy, SONGWON commissioned a second thermoplastic urethane (TPU) production line, to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company’s plant in Suwon, South Korea will be extended to increase TPU production capacity from 7,000 to 12,000 metric tons a year.  SONGWON specializes in TPUs, ink binders and adhesives for flexible packaging laminates. The company has established sales organizations in Asia, Europe and North America, and now plans to expand its global business by offering a broad portfolio of technically advanced, customized urethane products. The new production line will allow the manufacture of an extended range of TPU extrusion grades for wire and cable and film and sheet applications.

Image courtesy of LeMoyne

AkzoNobel completes $10M sulfur derivatives investment, completes China expansion project

AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business has completed a $10 million investment at its LeMoyne sulfur derivatives plant in the U.S., which supplies essential ingredients used in several major industries. Located in Alabama, the investment includes a 20,000-dry-metric-ton expansion for the production of sodium hydrosulfide (NaSH), which the company supplies to customers in the paper, leather tanning, mining and specialty polymers segments.

In other expansion news, AkzoNobel completed the €4.8 million expansion project at its surface chemistry facility in Boxing, China, significantly increasing the company’s regional product portfolio and reconfirming its commitment to the Asian market. AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals is now in a stronger position to serve customers in numerous market sectors, including cleaning, agrochemical, personal care (such as cosmetics), mining, fuel and lubes, asphalt and the oil industry. Prior to the expansion, the site was mainly dedicated to producing fatty acids, nitriles, amines and quaternary ammonium compounds for chemical intermediaries and manufacturers in the fabric softeners market.

SUEZ holds groundbreaking to enhance innovation for oil and gas industry

SUEZ broke ground on a new laboratory in Tomball, Texas, north of Houston, that is expected to open in mid-2018. In addition to continuing the research and development of specialty chemicals for the industrial segment, the new facility will expand to include further process innovation in the oil and gas industry, focusing on global upstream and downstream applications. The laboratory facilities increase SUEZ’s digital capabilities, allowing for greater support for diverse industrial customer base, the company said. The new laboratory also will provide industrial water, oil, microbiological, deposit and metallurgical failure testing to support SUEZ’s customers. In addition, the site will have an advanced technical training center for engineers and scientists — both internal and customer-oriented.

For the oil and gas industry, customized experimental simulation capabilities that closely mimic the field environment are being added and upgraded. New research and application development efforts will continue in process and water chemistry for oil and gas production, transport, refining and petrochemicals, emphasizing all unit operation support, failure and root-cause analyses. SUEZ is an environmental company that provides water and waste recycling services to the U.S. and Canada.

Jerry Morales (Mayor of Midland) Jon Stanton (Chief Executive Officer of Weir Group), Brent Hilliard (Midland Development Corporation Chairman) and Paul Coppinger (Weir Oil & Gas President). Image courtesy of Weir Oil & Gas

Weir Oil & Gas breaks ground on customer service center in Permian Basin region

Fort Worth-based Weir Oil & Gas broke ground on a 92,000-square-foot customer service center that will be located at the David Mims Business Park on Interstate 20 in Midland, Texas. The new center will reflect the company’s commitment to the Permian Basin region, consolidating three existing Permian-area service center locations into one central location. The facility is scheduled to open by 2019 and will offer pressure pumping and pressure control testing facilities, a central hub for field-service operations, office space, shop area and a warehouse. The facility will expand the company’s Permian Basin presence and meet growing customer demand.

DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers expands in Belgium

DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers, a business segment of the DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, increased production capacity at its Mechelen, Belgium, site to meet strong customer demand for DuPont Zytel HTN high-performance polyamide resin used in the automotive, consumer and electronics markets. With a high focus on quality and product consistency, Transportation & Advanced Polymers owns and operates world-scale polymerization and compounding assets at sites in major regions of the world where customers are located to ensure responsive local supply. The DowDuPont Specialty Products Division increased its investment at the Mechelen site to install a new production line that will begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2017.

SIMMONS EDECO opens operations base in Denmark

SIMMONS EDECO, a supplier of wellhead and valve maintenance, asset integrity solutions and onshore drilling services to the global oil and gas industry, opened its first base of operations in Denmark to support Scandinavian and Northern European customers. A recent contract awarded to provide wellhead maintenance services for wells in the Danish North Sea triggered the decision to expand into Denmark. The 6,000-square-meter facility is located in the seaport town of Esbjerg and is the company’s primary base of operations in Denmark, from which wellhead and valve maintenance services, refurbishes valves and maintenance equipment are provided. The facility also manages major and consignment stock to support customers in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

EcoCortec expands with new facility

Due to continuous increase in demand, EcoCortec, a producer of VpCI fims and bags, built a new plant facility in Beli Manastir, Croatia , which was co-financed by Croatian Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts within European Funds Programme. Launched eleven years ago, EcoCortec has become one of the leading producers of VpCI films in Europe and the plant provides one of the best corrosion protection solutions globally available, as part of Cortec Europe Group.  

Nett Technologies accommodates growth with move to new facility

Nett Technologies Inc., a Canadian emissions control manufacturer, will move to new, larger facilities on Dec. 15, 2017. The new Mississauga, Ontario location will accommodate the growing business and provide needed additional manufacturing space for the company’s diversified products lines. The new facility is 87,000 square feet, which is more than double the size of the current building, with enough land for a 60,000-square-foot expansion in the future. With almost 25 years of experience, Nett Technologies specializes in the design, development, and manufacture of pollution control solutions for today’s compression and spark-ignition engines for both the OEM and retrofit markets, such as advanced 3-Way catalytic converters, diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), diesel particulate filters (DPFs), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, silencers and many other emissions control solutions.

Rockwell Automation invests in AI for industrial automation

Rockwell Automation invested in The Hive, a Silicon Valley innovation fund and co-creation studio, to gain access to an ecosystem of innovators and technology startups with a focus on applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to industrial automation. Rockwell Automation’s goals include co-creating to solve customer problems, accelerating innovation and identifying new emerging technologies that can help its manufacturing customers improve business performance by bridging the gaps between plant-floor and higher-level information systems. The Hive, based in Palo Alto, California, identifies new AI-based opportunities with great growth potential. The studio also co-creates, funds and launches startups with substantial operational and technology support, based on those opportunities with growth potential.

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