Lanxess expertise in leather a Tanning Tech2 November 2004
Lanxess presented their speciality products for the manufacture of high-quality leathers under the motto 'Energizing Chemistry for Leather'. The focus was on new products for the wet end and finishing and on a new, efficient basis for a customer-orientated technical service. In this connection, Dr Bernhard Wehling, head of the leather business unit, stressed: 'Over the past few years, cooperation with our partners in the market in the field of research, production and marketing has already played an important role in enabling us to offer our customers attractive services.' Such models had proved highly successful, he added. As an example, he mentioned the partnership with Rohm and Haas Corp of Philadelphia, USA, under the terms of which Rohm and Haas are responsible for the research, development and production of a number of speciality chemicals, which are then marketed by Lanxess. Lanxess also have a sales cooperation agreement with Atlas Refinery Inc, Newark, New Jersey, USA, manufacturers of fatliquoring agents, an arrangement that has already proved successful in several countries. The specialists in the Leather Business Unit have many years of experience in all aspects of the leather manufacturing process. To ensure that customers derive maximum benefit from this collective know-how, it has been decided to pool the company's expertise in the dyestuffs sector and harmonise the product range worldwide. Since February 2004, Gustavo Adrian Defeo has had global responsibility for the technical marketing of the leather dyestuffs used in the wet end. A new dyestuff analysis laboratory has been set up in St Croce sull'Arno in Italy to support him in his work. 'I see it as one of my most important tasks to keep our technologists worldwide informed about new dyestuffs, international regulations governing their use and the latest developments in applied colour science that concern our branch of industry', explained Defeo. The applications development department in Leverkusen, which is responsible for finishing agents worldwide, will continue to handle dyestuffs from the Levaderm range which are mainly used in finishing. Product Development & Application (PDA) is a new organisational unit within the Business Unit which is designed to ensure fast and efficient customer service by combining the know-how of a research and development department with that of the technical marketing and applications development departments. PDA is headed by the experienced leather specialist Dr Wolfgang Wenzel. 'In the Leather Business Unit there has always been close cooperation between research and technical marketing', he stressed. 'Customer problems are not something to be tackled as and when we like. We need to be able to provide quick, target-oriented and customer-specific solutions. With the setting-up of the new Product Development & Application unit we have taken the first step towards pooling our scientific and technical expertise.' Product Development & Application will focus more closely on previously prioritised projects with the aim of developing new, up-to-the-minute products and optimised technologies for leather production. Close cooperation with the applications development department enables the company to test new developments under service conditions without delay. Only recently, around euro400,000 were invested in state-of-the art machinery for the applications development department, including a modern spraying unit with a high-performance dryer, a toggle dryer with expanding frame, a through-feed embossing machine and a buffing line with dust removal machine.