Chemistry in the making

Chromaflo Technologies Africa managementChromaflo Technologies Africa recently opened its state-of-the-art production facility in Johannesburg and has big plans, not just for South Africa, but also Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chromaflo Technologies is one of the largest independent global producers of colourant, colour systems and related speciality chemical products to the coatings and thermoset plastics market. It is headquartered in Ashtabula, Ohio, USA.

Chromaflo has production facilities in the USA, Canada, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, China, and South Africa and a new production facility is currently being built in India. What makes this so strategically significant is that it has gained a wealth of knowledge accumulated globally and over many years and can share this expertise to constantly better its products and service delivery.

Chromaflo Technologies acquired the well-known Kreate Group in 2015. This created an opportunity for the Kreate Group to have access to the unrivalled financial, technological and knowledge assets within the Chromaflo global company. Gary Kelly, Managing Director, Chromaflo Technologies Africa leads the operation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the Chromaflo Technologies Group global buying power and new in plant technologies will result in benefits for current and potential customers in the future.

Apart from manufacturing pigment dispersions and colourants, Chromaflo Technologies provide custom colour matching services to assist with the development of projects involving paint colour matching for coatings and thermoset plastic applications. The colour matching process is conducted using formulation predictions generated by state-of-the-art electronic systems or, where required, by actual experimental colour matching in the laboratory using customer specific systems

Chromaflo Technologies’ continued focus on technology and product development have resulted in a wide-range of research and development services available to customers.

The analytical team at Chromaflo Technologies Global HQ can be accessed to provide assistance to customers in problem solving, failure analysis and product development, using a variety of instruments and scientific techniques to analyse materials. These techniques include molecular spectroscopy, chromatography, thermal analysis and physical materials science. Additionally, Chromaflo assists customers with their colourant challenges. Other common techniques used include SEM–EDS, ICP-MS and NMR.

Chromaflo Technologies’ UV solutions technology is a total system approach that provides superior UV stabilisation of composite materials and the conductive technology ranges from traditional carbon black to nanotechnology.

Chromaflo thickeners for composites are the next generation of magnesium oxide thickeners supported by an innovative breakthrough in quality control methodology, ensuring consistent performance using magnesium oxide dispersions.

The new world class factory based in the south-west of Johannesburg became operational in April 2015. Scott Becker, President and CEO of Chromaflo Technologies and John E Dry, Managing Director and Vice President of Chromaflo Asia Pacific celebrated this accomplishment during a commissioning ceremony on 28 April.

The facility has had a US$3.5 million investment from the Chromaflo Group to turn it into the facility that it is today.

The facility will allow for five-fold growth in volume output with one shift and includes both water-based and solvent-based manufacturing capability. The facility has a focus on operating within highly stringent health and safety codes including an extraction system changing the air in the factory six times per hour and a detection system which shuts down all machinery if solvent levels are too high. Additional fail-safe measures include an independent generator to ensure any loss of electricity due to power loss or load shedding will not stop the facility from producing material.

Chromaflo Africa has an aggressive growth strategy with an expectation to double revenues within 36 months. It will introduce new products to the market within Southern Africa, bringing benefits to new and existing customers. Chromaflo Technologies Africa has established a new management structure to ensure the growth could be managed to deliver to customer expectations. Furthermore, Chromaflo Africa will tap into the wider Chromaflo global sites including Australia and India to utilise specifically focused skill sets and aim to be the largest producer of colourants and pigment dispersions in Africa.

There are many ways to define sustainability, but when most people hear the word sustainable, they immediately think ‘green.’ Often the most important, long-term sustainability goal for businesses is having environmentally responsible products and practices and you will find that these are taken seriously by Chromaflo.

Environmentally sustainable practices can have long-lasting effects, from preserving the quality of essential manufacturing resources such as water, to reducing the energy consumption of production plants and office facilities.

Where it comes to products, in the past, it was common for paint and coatings companies to use environmentally hazardous chemicals, such as VOCs, in their industrial and architectural coatings products to achieve certain properties. But as technology has advanced, the industry, including Chromaflo, has introduced more sustainable options for pigments and additives, many of which deliver the same or better results in the final product. Some examples include low-VOC or zero-VOC products, UV-cure coatings, IR reflective technology or others that may help coatings companies and their customers with environmental stewardship.

Paint manufacturers can now ask Chromaflo to work with its lab technicians to help source materials that both minimise the presence of environmentally harmful chemicals in its products and meet customers’ product specifications.

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