Learn how a producer of specialty chemicals optimizes the safety and reliability of polymer-emulsions manufacturing with the assistance of special eccentric disc pumps.
Any student can tell you that receiving a red mark on a project, test or report card is a bad sign, an indication that performance did not meet expected standards. Believe it or not, such a rudimentary grading system is also used to signify less-than-acceptable performance in the world of industrial manufacturing. Just ask Rob van Oostveen. “I only have one main KPI (Key Performance Indicator), and that is no loss of production,” explained van Oostveen. “Every time I have loss of production, I get a red mark under my name.”
Of course, any red marks van Oostveen receives have a much farther-reaching effect than a student’s failed math or science test. That’s because van Oostveen is the Maintenance Manager and a member of the Leadership Team for Organik Kimya’s facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Organik Kimya, with international headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, is a globally recognized producer of polymer emulsions and specialty chemicals for use in a wide array of industrial manufacturing processes.
In 2007, Organik Kimya opened its facility in The Netherlands, which is located in the huge Botlek chemical complex on Rotterdam Harbor. This facility most prominently produces polymer emulsions for the paint and coatings industry and for adhesive tapes, compounds that van Oostveen refers to as “sticky products.”
The manufacture of polymer emulsions is Organik Kimya’s most prominent business globally, with more than 250,000 metric tons (551 million pounds) produced a year, with 80,000 metric tons (176 million pounds) coming from the Rotterdam facility. Organik Kimya’s product portfolio includes more than 150 different types of polymer emulsions that are supplied to more than 1,000 customers operating in a total of 85 countries.
Staying Out Of Harm’s Way
“What we do is make polymers,” said van Oostveen. “We have emulsion vessels where we put together different types of monomers. From those vessels we pump to the reactor vessels where the monomers start reacting and forming polymers.”
Critical to the successful operation of the Rotterdam plant is not only that there are no production-halting breakdowns — which result in those pesky red marks on van Oostveen’s resume — but that all of the raw and finished products are always safely contained since many of them can be toxic or hazardous to both humans and the environment.
“Monomers are dangerous because they can be toxic and flammable,” continued van Oostveen. “The most important thing is if the pumps fail during the middle of an operation we have to get the monomers out because they can react and you do not want a lot of harmful materials sitting in the pump for a long time. Also, if we have too much maintenance on the pumps, every time we have to open the system with dangerous materials it can be harmful to people and the environment, so every time we don’t have to open a pump it’s better because you protect everyone and the environment.”
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