Chemetall's Chemicals Plant, Blackman Township, Michigan, United States of America


Chemetall, a chemicals manufacturer based in the US

Chemetall, a chemicals manufacturer based in the US, has engaged itself with various local companies in Blackman Township, Michigan, in order to bring online a new chemicals manufacturing plant. The company is aiming to expand its business within the regions falling under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new plant is built across an area of 200,000 square feet.

The new plant broke ground for construction in May 2011 and came online in October 2012. It will enable the company to develop up to 1,000 products for use in surface treatment in wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, steel and aluminium coil finishing, as well as for surface treatment on metals, trains and furniture.

The products will also be used in cleaning and sanitising of equipment used in the food industry. The total investment for the construction of the plant was $25m.

Location of Chemtall's new US plant

"The new plant broke ground for construction in May 2011 and came online in October 2012."

The plant is located at Blackman Charter Township of Jackson County in the state of Michigan. It falls within the SmartZone territory which is spread over 40 acres.

The selection of the site was motivated by the availability of a local work force and the encouragement from the local bodies of both Jackson County and Michigan.

The construction phase of the project provided about 200 construction jobs and the plant currently employs about 80 people.

Details of the chemical plant in Blackman Township

The advanced facility provides space for implementing administrative, manufacturing and warehousing operations. The facility also has a laboratory to carry out physical testing.

Certain equipment, such as bulk material-handling systems, bulk mixing vessels and bulk packaging lines, introduced at the production site will enable the plant to increase its production capacity and enhance the quality of the products made there.

The production site also features a semi-automated waste treatment system. The treatment facility is expected to reduce the amount of process wastewater at the manufacturing site by up to 90%.

Technology at Chemetall's Michigan facility

The various metal pretreatment process units present at the technical laboratory are a dipping plant, a spraying plant, a combination of dipping and spraying plant and a roll coater. Similarly, the coldforming processes involve the drawing of tubes, drawing of wires and cold extrusion.

"The company is aiming to expand its business within the regions falling under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)."

The company also implements various coating methods for automobiles, household appliances and several other construction industries. Certain coating methods such as electro coating and spray coating on surfaces provide protection from corrosion and prevent scratches. The process methods in coating are free from nickel and chrome.

Patented applications such as Androx, Oxsilan, Gardobond, Gardomer and Naftoseal are some of the innovations offered by Chemetall in metal surfacing.

One of the latest applications of the company is their patented Oxsilan, which is based on silanes. It can be applied as a substitute for zinc and iron phosphating, in passivation and prior to painting.

Key players involved with the chemicals plant

O'Harrow Construction, Comtronics and Hurst Electrics were some of the organisations involved during the construction phase. The land on which the production site is located was provided by the Blackman Township Local Development Finance Authority. The committee also provides Chemetall with a 50% exemption from real and property tax for a period of 12 years.

Marketing commentary and Chemetall's growth

Chemetall was part of Rockwood Holdings prior to September 2012. The company is headquartered in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, and employs about 1,900 people. The company currently has 40 subsidiaries and 22 production sites, and has been in the chemical industry since 1909. It currently boasts a portfolio which sees it produce more than 1,200 patented products.

The company has continued to grow at a rate of 12% per annum for the last decade.


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