With the opening of its 24th factory, the first in South America, Hempel will be better placed to serve the rapidly growing South American market. The new plant will mean shorter lead times for customers and will enable Hempel to develop and customise products to meet local environmental legislation and standards.
The new plant, located north of the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, will manufacture paint for the Marine and Protective Coatings segments and will supply the entire South American market. The 3,000 square metre facility is part of the ‘One Hempel – One Ambition’ growth strategy, and is one of three new plants scheduled to open around the world in 2012 and 2013.
According to Lars Johansen, Group Vice President – Americas, the new plant is strategically located to best serve the market. “At the moment, we supply the South American market from our production facility in Singapore. The Buenos Aires plant will cut down lead times and streamline our supply chain. We’ll be better placed to serve existing and new customers in the region, as well as develop and customise products faster.”
Construction began on 29 April 2011, and production trials are currently in progress ahead of the official opening on 16th February 2012. With a production volume of 10.5 million litres per year, the USD 17 million facility will employ 30 people by the end of 2012. The plant is designed for future capacity expansion and will supply the entire region with the complete portfolio of products within Marine and Protective.
The plant features the latest technology in paint production equipment, including conical dissolvers that enable very flexible production runs down to 20 to 30 per cent of maximum capacity. To control the speed at which the powder is fed into the machine from the bags, a sonic system monitors the frequency generated from the dissolving process and adjusts the powder feed accordingly. To reduce emissions from the cleaning process, all the tanks are linked to a closed circuit cleaning system, which is sealed during the cleaning process.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 20, 2012; Images: hempel