In our company, growth and sustainability go hand in hand. Nothing illustrates this better than the expanded plant that BYK USA opened in 2014 in Wallingford. It is ALTANA’s largest investment outside of Germany to date.
With the new manufacturing facility in Connecticut, the additives manufacturer has doubled its capacities in the U.S. Moreover, it is now closer to our customers. The plant has taken over the manufacture of almost 200 products that BYK USA had hitherto imported from Europe. “Thanks to the local manufacturing, we are now more flexible. We can react to inquiries faster. At the same time, we reduce our carbon footprint because overseas transports are significantly reduced,” says Dirk Plas, President BYK USA, summing up the advantages.
In addition, by 2016 BYK USA will have created around 40 new jobs, some of them highly skilled, in Wallingford. The first 22 new employees, including researchers and developers, engineers, as well as chemical operators and maintenance technicians began work in 2014.
“BYK USA helps position Connecticut as a leader in manufacturing in the U.S. That strengthens our global competitive position,” says Nancy Wyman, Lieutenant Governor of the state of Connecticut, which provided loans to subsidize the construction of the facility. “This expansion means more good jobs with good benefits for Connecticut’s workforce in an industry that has wages around 30 percent higher than average annual wages.”
“Another plus is the high level of automation of the new plant, which is a driver for sustainability, environmental protection and safety in the workplace,” asserts Plas. The Lieutenant Governor is convinced that “workplace safety and environmental protection are keys to a higher quality of life. They are an important factor for the state’s business climate.”
“With our state-of-the-art facilities all over the world, for example in Wallingford, we have taken responsibility for the environment and our surroundings. Our customers reduce their carbon footprint and at the same time we create a healthy climate for our employees and neighbors at the location.”
Dirk Plas, President BYK USA
The plant’s state-of-the-art equipment includes closed systems with a total of 18 tanks from which raw materials are fed right to the production vessels. This reduces the VOC emissions in the exhaust air. Elevators optimize the material flow. New filling stations facilitate workflows and prevent products from overflowing. A collection tank prevents chemicals from being released into the environment in the case of incidents.
A specially designed ventilation system ensures healthy working conditions in the manufacturing plant and reduces the risk of explosions. High capacity cooling towers plus the use of special thermal oil for heating and cooling of the reactors improves the site’s energy efficiency and also helps reduce emissions.
Most processes that had to be carried out manually in the existing plant are now automated. This applies to the entire process control. As a result there will be fewer off-spec batches, which improves quality and reduces the amount of energy needed for rework. Furthermore, the automated process reduces the risk of incidents.
“BYK USA helps position Connecticut as a leader in manufacturing, balancing the needs of business with environmental protection and comprehensive sustainability efforts.”
Nancy Wyman, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut