On 5 December 2017, a celebratory ceremony at tremco illbruck in Bodenwöhr heralded a new era for the production of impregnated sealing tapes. In the presence of staff and guests, Ron Rice, COO of RPM, launched the new impregnation and drying line, which had been in the planning and construction stage for approximately 15 months.
The plant delivers significantly improved performance and is also much more energy-efficient than its predecessor. Another highlight of the event was the test wall for large window elements which is compliant with ift inspection standards.
The company will be able to use this to develop and test sealing tapes which are tailored to customer requirements with even greater precision within the in-house R&D department.
The impregnation system and test wall are part of the targeted investment programme in the German manu-facturing locations of Bodenwöhr and Traunreut – almost 10 million euros have been dedicated to this in 2017.
At the Bodenwöhr site in the Upper Palatinate region, pre-compressed and im-pregnated sealing tapes and window- and façade membranes are manufactured for the construction industry along with sealants for industrial use.
“The increasing demand for our system solutions and our ambitious objectives as a company require our plants to be continuously modernised and new capacities to be developed” said Reiner Eisenhut, CEO & Managing Director of tremco illbruck Group GmbH, in support of the company’s decision to make such investments.
“With the development of our German manufacturing locations, we are creating the optimal conditions to foster the growth we are striving to achieve in the coming years. Once again, we are demonstrating that we epitomise innovative and high-performance technology, solution- and service-oriented product develop-ment and system solutions.”
The highly efficient plant in Bodenwöhr was developed to manufacture almost the full range of impregnated illbruck sealing tapes – TP300, TP600, TP610, TP624 and also TP652, the premium multifunctional tape – and will increase the production capacity by more than 50%.
It enables all of the manufacturing stages for the tapes to be carried out in one process, from the raw foam through to the packaged roll.
The plant extends over two production halls. “With its 7-metre long open transportation track, it offers an incredible amount of scope for new developments in the future” said Stefan Fischer, the on-site production manager, looking into the future with a great deal of excitement.
Energy-efficiency and outstanding performance
The plant consists of an impregnation cabin with a new mixing facility to produce impregnating materials of the highest quality as well as a drying chamber. The drying technology delivers cutting-edge performance for its production output, energy usage and production data acquisition.
Although its drying performance is higher, the plant operates with a much greater degree of energy efficiency: the savings amount to a good 15% for gas and over 60% for electricity. "Energy-efficient, environmentally friendly plant technology is vital for a modern company", explained Walter Geyer, Managing Director of tremco illbruck Produktions GmbH.
The impregnated foam is conveyed onward in a continuous track format after going through the drying process. All of the other steps are fully automated, from laminating and cutting through to packaging and labelling the box containing the individual rolls of tape. Another positive: the cutting and packaging plant can also be controlled by an existing impregnation line.
“The increase in flexibility in production and the new set-up create the optimal conditions for the development of new products. In particular, it means that we are in a position to offer our customers products which are tailored to their needs from a single source” emphasised Reiner Eisenhut.
More efficient development of new products
Close cooperation and the development of innovative solutions in alongside customers are also a central focus of the second investment in Bodenwöhr, the testing area. This offers a test stand which is compliant with ift inspection standards for larger window elements plus space to cater for improved practical training sessions with clients and technicians.
From now on, sealing tapes, mem-branes and other sealing products for windows and façades can be tested on a realistic 2.7 x 2.8 m window/façade element for their resistance to driving rain and wind-tightness as well as their ageing characteristics and their compatibility – for example, with customers’ existing products.
Two additional test set-ups provide security when it comes to resistance against traction and shear force and against standing water, also providing resistance to tearing.
“With these high-quality installations, we are able to prepare our products meticulously for the practical inspections conducted by the ift as well as developing new, well-engineered solutions to international requirements” said Dr. Markus Komma, Head of Research & Development in Bodenwöhr.
“Here, we offer our premium customers key technical support to help them stand out against the competition. In turn, this will allow us to increase our market share in a highly competitive market.”