Kuraray and T-Park break ground for new construction project

New production plant for special TROSIFOL automotive glazing films to be ready for operation at the end of 2013 At its Troisdorf location, Kuraray Europe GmbH is investing some EUR 20 million in a new production line for TROSIFOL films and a new warehouse.

The construction of this fifth production line in Troisdorf will increase capacity in the automotive film sector to a total of 10 million square metres from the beginning of 2014.

In the presence of a large number of TROSIFOL employees, the official ground-breaking ceremony was collectively performed by Ralf Eschrich, Head of the TROSIFOL Division in Troisdorf, Dr Matthias Gutweiler, Managing Director of Kuraray Europe GmbH (Hattersheim, Frankfurt), Frank Rückersberg, Managing Director of T-Park GmbH, Markus Mers, Managing Director of Bolckmans GmbH, and Klaus-Werner Jablonski, Mayor of Troisdorf, on the industrial estate site on Wednesday.

The new production building is being erected on the site of the old packaging store within the core zone of the industrial estate. The site is such that a second production line can be optionally built at a later date. A new central raw materials warehouse is being built in the immediate vicinity in order to ensure a continuous supply of raw materials to all production lines at the location.

Since February 2012, an internal project team has been working on the implementation of various measures associated with the construction of the new film production line. Until its scheduled commissioning in November 2013, many project steps will have to be accomplished. Part of the new production plant earmarked for PVB automotive glazing films will be equipped with clean room technology. “In this sensitive area, the meticulous observance of cleanliness will later be essential,” explains Dr Detlef Hanning, the project manager responsible for the new plant. “Those who work here have to change their clothes first and cannot simply move back and forth between the various parts of the plant. Staff assigned to the new film winders in the clean room have to follow precise instructions so that the film exhibits the demanded quality at the end of the process.”

A pleasant sight as well

While the technology inside meets the highest standards, the outer façade and entrance area will impress with an attractive appearance. KEG wishes to be able to welcome its customers and visitor groups in a suitably designed entrance area of the building.

Concurrently with the technical and structural preparations, staff are currently being recruited to run the plant in three shifts. Interested members of the existing workforce have applied through internally published job vacancies, although the team will also be bolstered by new staff taken on from outside. A total of 18 new employees will be contracted at Kuraray in Troisdorf. Some of them will replace staff who have previously worked on other lines. “The new plant will be operated by staff who will rotate rather than have a fixed workplace,” explains Dr Holger Stenzel, TROSIFOL Production Manager. It is intended that each employee will be able to work in all parts of the plant and step in for workmates absent due to sick or holiday leave. “With an extensive and multi-stage training strategy, we want to prepare our staff for this new challenge,” Stenzel adds.

Quality as the yardstick for everyone

A “zero defects” strategy will be decisive for future success at Kuraray, and not only when working on the new film production line. “Automotive customers will not tolerate even the tiniest defects in the film as these show up in the windscreen,” says Andreas Karpinski, Automotive Product Manager. “If we want to prevent complaints, we have to work defect-free from the outset. This starts with the quality of PVA and PVB raw materials and continues through to punctual deliveries to our glass customers.”

“To achieve this massive boost in output, Kuraray has to increase its supply of raw materials accordingly,” Dr Matthias Gutweiler and Ralf Eschrich explain.

Equally high are the expectations of the client T-Park GmbH, the owner and operator of the industrial estate, and its general contractor Bolckmans GmbH. For its part, T-Park GmbH is investing EUR 2.3 million in the first new building and making TROSIFOL available. Bolckmans, the contracted builder, already has plenty of experience of the industrial estate. The firm from the Lower Rhine is currently erecting production, storage and logistical space and an office complex with total floor space of roughly 12,000 square metres for Natumi AG and a warehouse and multi-purpose building for SIKA-Trocal GmbH in the immediate proximity of the new TROSIFOL production plant.

Frank Rückersberg is also optimistic: “We’re delighted with this investment in the future of the industrial park in Troisdorf. We’re also very gratified by the renewal of Kuraray’s tenancy until 2028.”

The new building will be 75 metres long and 24 metres wide. It is to be completed in May 2013, after which the construction of the new production plant will get underway.

Background to TROSIFOL

TROSIFOL® is one of the leading manufacturers of PVB film for laminated safety glass worldwide. TROSIFOL products are used in applications for automotive and architectural glazing, and special films are used for durably encapsulating solar cells in the photovoltaic industry. The primary material for all TROSIFOL films is polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Since the launch of TROSIFOL in 1953, ongoing research and development have formed the foundation for TROSIFOL's success.

TROSIFOL is a division of the Kuraray Corporation domiciled in Tokyo, Japan, the world's market leader with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), one of the key raw materials for TROSIFOL PVB films.

Kuraray Europe GmbH has installed an integrated and externally monitored management system that satisfies the requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 with the supplementary demands of the automotive industry ISO/TS 16949:2009, an environmental management system conforming to DIN EN ISO 14001:2009 and an occupational safety and health management system conforming to BS OHSAS 18001:2007. www.trosifol.com

Background to Troisdorf Industrial Estate

Troisdorf Technology and Industrial Estate (T-Park) covering an area of about 478,000 square metres and including 233,000 square metres of built-up space is a forward-looking industrial and commercial estate perfectly served by rail, road and air links. As part of a longstanding industrial site whose history stretches back to the 19th century, the T-Park is today an ideal location for production, warehouses, offices and research. For production and research companies in the plastics sector, the T-Park offers ideal conditions. Over 60 companies with a total of roughly 2,000 employees have found a home in the T-Park. Attracting new companies is part of its growth strategy. Firms engaging in plastics production and processing and from the automotive and construction industries will find in the T-Park the ideal infrastructure and a perfect setting. Keystone T-Park Verwaltung GmbH assists companies in all aspects of taking up residence here.

Further information: www.technologiepark-troisdorf.de

600450 Kuraray and T-Park break ground for new construction project glassonweb.com
Date: 7 December 2012
Source: www.trosifol.com

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