Exporting chemicals to Europe, tolling is a valid option

In the world of common day a lot of large and small international companies choose deliberately for toll manufacturing of their chemicals when they expand their business to Europe. Toll manufacturing is also known as tolling, contract manufacturing or blending/mixing services. There are many well known advantages such as ability to focus on the core business, no need for investments, flexibility of production costs, reducing regulations compliancy et al.

For these reasons tolling is in many situations the preferred solution even if you have a proprietary product (intellectual property considerations) because in tolling non disclosure confidentiality agreements are standard practice, assuring you that your formulation stays your formulation.

Exporting your chemicals to Europe

The market

The EU is a strong economic and political union of 28 member states and over 500 million people. The EU has built a single market, developed common policies, liberalized inter-country travel and launched a common currency shared by 19 countries. The EU is the world’s most integrated market.

REACH legislation

If you are planning to export to Europe, you have probably heard about REACH. REACH, (Regulation EC 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), is the EU regulation on chemicals and their safe use. REACH makes industry responsible for managing risks that chemicals may pose to health and the environment, and for providing relevant information to users along the supply chain. The REACH system is managed and controlled by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which manages the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction processes that apply to chemical substances throughout the EU.

REACH affects virtually every industry from automotive, aerospace, plastics and cosmetics to aluminum, household cleaners, computers and textiles. REACH applies to all categories of chemical substances manufactured, imported or used in the EU, with only a few limited exemptions (for example food). REACH also applies to chemicals contained in preparations and in finished products (so called articles).

Classification and labelling requirements

REACH requires that EU manufacturers and importers classify and label all substances subject to registration and authorization, and submit this information to the EU Classifaiction and Labelling Inventory, a database managed by the European Chemicals Agency. Classification and labeling rules are governed by the CLP regulation on the classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures. For more information, see the CLP pages of the European Chemicals Agency’s website.

Choose tolling when entering the EU market

When you choose for toll manufacturing of your chemicals at a local tolling company in Europe you are able to reduce your regulations compliancy risks (REACH, ISO 9001, ISO 14001,  et al.). In many cases a specialty toll blender is already compliant with current regulations such as safe labelling, transport and hazard regulations. This is of course even more important when dealing with hazardous (and non-hazardous) products as chemicals.

Next to the regulation compliancy risks it is many times also financially very attractive to produce your chemicals locally, in close proximity to your customers, in stead of shipping “water” overseas.

Key factors to choose for tolling

But what are the key factors one should consider when starting a toll manufacturing agreement with a tolling company:

  • Strong EH&S track record: A strong environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) track record and history of regulatory compliance. Many factors have to be taken into account for this such as certifications (SEVESO regulations, ISO 9001, ISO 14001). For the EU market REACH compliancy and an extensive track record of handling REACH matters is of utmost importance.
  • Product Quality: extensive and broad knowledge about chemistry, preferably a toll blender has its own laboratory with a wide range of equipment. A tolling company should be able to meet the quality standards you desire.
  • Responsiveness to requests for information; a toller should act swiftly and promptly
  • Reliability of supply
  • Security: make sure you choose for a tolling company that has a track record of working confidentially
  • Financial stability. This is especially very important when dealing with long term supply agreements

Always remember, a tolling partnership can be a wise business decision but companies most really have to think thorough what their expectations are and choose a contract manufacturer they can work with to meet manufacturing needs, both today and tomorrow.

 

AD Productions B.V.

Interested in to know more about how toll manufacturing could improve your bottom line? AD Productions, based in the Netherlands, is a strategically located toll services company close to the port of Rotterdam and Antwerp. Contact AD Productions today via contact, by phone at +31 (0) 167 526 900  or visit our toll blending services page.

3 FAQ about Toll Manufacturing

Toll manufacturing/blending also known as contract manufacturing or contract blending is a service whereby the production of (complex) chemical products is outsourced to a third party company (blender). Nowadays it is a common service for chemical companies, from global conglomerates through to regional and specialized suppliers to reduce production risks. You supply the formula and the toll blender scales up your formula, blends it to your specifications and then packages the product and delivers it to your or (when specified) directly to your customer.

FAQ 1: Does the toll manufacturer provide the ingredients/raw materials to blend or do I?

This dependents on your own specific needs. Some companies wish to outsource the complete process of producing chemicals, including purchasing of ingredients/raw materials, others choose to provide the ingredients themselves. A good toll manufacturer adopts its way of working to your business needs.

FAQ 2: Will my formula be safe when choosing for toll blending services?

No doubt about it. A toll manufacturer should welcome NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with business partners to ensure absolute confidentiality.

FAQ 3: How about regulations compliancy?

Toll manufacturers that produce for the top 50 chemical companies are often already compliant with current regulations, meaning that you are able to reduce your regulations compliancy risks (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, REACH et al.).

AD Productions

AD Productions offers toll manufacturing & blending services to help you formulate, blend, package, and/or private label your powder/liquid chemical products. We have some of the most advanced chemical blending equipment at our ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified plant and can produce compliant with REACH and Seveso III regulations. Therefore we are one of the most up-to-date toll blending companies in the EU.

For more information contact AD or visit or toll blending services page.

 

Improve your bottom line with Toll Manufacturing

Every company wants to improve their bottom line and share holder value. Outsourcing is a hot topic nowadays to achieve this goal. Main reasons to start outsourcing are focus on the core business, hiring expertise and operating more cost efficiently. This can be perfectly achieved when choosing for toll manufacturing/ custom manufacturing.  In this article you read how.

You could start early in the product lifecycle with involving a toll manufacturer. A skilled toll manufacturer is capable to take a project from piloting phase and scale-up to full production level.

5 reasons why companies choose for toll manufacturing:

• “We have a knowledge gap in expertise necessary to scale-up productions”
• “We do not have the specialized equipment required and do not wat to invest in it”
• “We want a short time to market”
• “We do not have enough production capacity or storage”
• “We know meeting regulatory requirements is hard and costly for this product”

Continue reading to discover how it can profit your bottom line.

Next to the cost efficiency argument, there are a lot of other advantages to start toll manufacturing. For example; at this moment you ship your chemical products overseas, a costly thing, probably producing locally at a toller is more cost efficient.  Other example; the demand for your product is decreasing, this makes it less efficient to dedicate your own production plant to it, but you still have an acceptable demand for the product. This is mostly the last phase in the product lifecycle. Instead of making the decision to stop or continue with inefficient production levels at your own production plant, toll manufacturing could be your solution to improve the bottom line. In the start up phase of a new product the same reasoning could apply, when volumes are still relatively low it could be interesting to use a toll manufacturer, in the mid section of the product lifecycle when volumes increase you could do it at your own plant.
Other advantages is that because of the experience a toller is able to produce at a much higher quality and consistency.

 

Market for Toll Manufacturing

The market for toll manufacturing continues to grow, key segments with growth are the fine and specialty chemical industry.  Market research of AD International indicates that a short time to market, financial advantages (less capital costs and more efficient production) and focus on the core business are top drivers for outsourcing to a contract manufacturer.

To summarize, toll & custom manufacturing and repackaging services can provide your company with the opportunity to decrease costs, increase profits and offer better products to your customers to improve long-term business relationships. Using it strategically in your product lifecycle it can definitely improve your bottom line.

One last side note to mention. When considering  toll manufacturing, it is important to see it as a partnership. The toll manufacturer should offer you confidentiality, reliability, regulatory expertise and timely production deliverables. Signing a non-disclosure-agreement (NDA) is common practice.

 

AD Productions B.V.

Interested in to know more about how toll manufacturing could improve your bottom line? AD Productions, based in the Netherlands, is a strategically located toll services company close to the port of Rotterdam and Antwerp. Contact AD Productions today via contact , by phone at +31 (0) 167 526 900  or visit our tolling and blending services page.

Chemicals outsourcing: what are my options?

When deciding to outsource your chemicals it is crucial to choose the outsourcing method that best suits your company needs.

 

The most frequent varieties of chemical outsourcing are:

  • Licensed manufacturer – chemical products manufactured under a long-term licence. The manufacturer buys raw materials on own account and bears risks of selling finished products.
  • Contract manufacturer – manufacturer acts as agent, producing chemical (end or sub) products for the principal who guarantees to buy outputs. The agent bears risks of buying and stocking raw materials/components.
  • Toll Manufacturer – Principal buys the raw materials/components although these usually pass direct to the agent. Buying and selling risks lie with the principal.The advantage of outsourcing is that chemical enterprises can focus their efforts and time on research and development, new markets, and building key relationships with customers while the outsource partner can completely focus on improving the production methods and processes.

Want to discuss if outsourcing could be interesting for your business? Contact AD Productions today!

The struggle for pretreatment between raw aluminium and paint

Abstract

It is well known now that some well described Qualicoat pretreatment procedures are very critical in obtaining good adhesion of powder coating and sufficient corrosion protection.

Proper etching/pickling to remove the most sensitive Aluminium top layer and sufficient rinsing are two of these important pretreatment steps.

Even though job coaters are following Qualicoat procedures most of the time when adhesion or corrosion issues occur the failure can be found in the pretreatment steps and not in the conversion bath or in the powder coating cycle. It seems that the newly developed Cr (VI) free conversion coatings are less forgiving than former chromate conversion coatings.

AD Chemicals and her customers are working closely together to determine the critical pretreatment steps. Pickling, racking and rinsing procedures can be optimized to guarantee the best performance possible with Cr(VI) free conversion coatings.

In this presentation we will discuss some factors that might influence the quality of your powder coated aluminium.

 

Introduction

Each powder coating line has it´s own challenges. You have to be aware of the best processes prior to the painting of Aluminium objects. Companies often think that it is an easy step to switch their traditional Chromating process to a Chrome (VI) free process. Unfortunately this thought is a big misunderstanding. The starting point must be that a pretreatment line with chromium (VI) is not the same as a chromium (VI) free pretreatment line.

Our opinion is that previous pretreatment lines based on Chromium (VI) had possible processing problems, but the reactivity of the Chromating process had the ability to eliminate the possible defects that occur. The whole pretreatment industry is convinced that Chromium hexavalent has unique properties. Properties like self-healing, corrosion characteristics (For example filiform corrosion) will belong to the past after the sunset date for Chromium (VI) applications in 2017. This radical change requires a different view to the pretreatement lines and it’s chemicals products. “The struggle for pretreatments between raw aluminium and paint”.

The ultimate goal is to work with Chromium (VI) free pretreatments while maintaining the quality properties between Aluminium and paints. Also to meet the required specifications of Qualicoat.

First let’s focus on the variables of the pretreatment line and the quality of the Aluminium.

Concerning the quality of the Aluminium, an assessment of the quality is essential. However, jobcoaters have no influence on this question. They are depending of the Aluminium quality which they received from their sources. The only thing the jobcoater can do is to ask for a quality certificate of the Aluminium or a certificate of analysis of the formation of the Aluminium. Only the structure of the pretreatment line and the chemicals is in control of the jobcoater.

For example: Structure of a Pretreatment line(spraying), chromium (VI) free application

  1. Degreasing /Acid pickling >1.0 g/m2
  2. Rinse
  3. Rinse
  4. D.I. Rinse
  5. Chromium (VI) free pretreatment

 

Stage 1: Pretreatment tunnel, Pickling phase

Due to the increasing demands from Qualicoat (for example, sea-side > 2 g/m2), the pickling rate (etching-rate) has to be increased in the pickling (etching) phase. This means that you have to increase the aggresivity of the chemicals in the pickling phase. Important note is that when there is a stop in the line speed aluminium profile will be exposed by wet pickling solution and aggressive acid vapor. This “pollution” can dehydrate on the Aluminium surface. It is highly recommended to use a water curtain in case of an outage, as this will prevent acid drying effects. Experience has shown that dried-acid residues on the aluminum surface will not be removed totally in the rinsing phases. Residues can be a possible influence for the chromium (VI) free pretreatment. The formulation of the acid pickling is also a factor to prevent acid drying problems. AD Chemicals monitors it’s formulation at costumers to prevent undesirable effects. Other important items to prevent undesirable effects are good maintenance of the spraying nozzles, temperature, spraying pressure, contact time and the build up of the Aluminium content in the pickling solution.

Stage 2 and 3: Pretreatment tunnel, 2x normal rinse (tapwater)

The both rinsing phases are very important. The difficulty in these phases is that the rinsing water reaches all shapes and surfaces. Especially the seams of insulated profiles have to be rinsed well. In the seams acid residues stick and the rinse water flows over the pollution, this effect results in a minimum mixture with rinse water. The temperature of the rinse water is recommended to 18- 20oC, lower temperatures of the rinse water result in more viscous water and the rinsing effect will be less. The quality of the rinse water will be controlled by pH and conductivity.

Stage 4: Pretreatment tunnel, D.I. rinse water

The best rinsing quality will be if the conductivity is < 30µS and with a pH between 4,5 and 6,0.

At these parameters the risk of contaminations on top of the aluminium surface is minimized. This phase is highly important because any pollution can influence the last phase, the chromium (VI) free pretreatment phase.

 

Stage 5: Pretreatment tunnel, Chromium (VI) free pretreatment

The chromium (VI) free preatreatments of AD Chemicals are based on a precipitation reaction, where the conversion layer will be made. This layer is a cross linking layer for organic coatings. The thickness of this layer is very important. A layer that is too thick, results to bad adhesion and will be humidity sensitive.

A layer that is too thin, influences the adhesion at the bending tests. By guaranteeing the parameters like conductivity, pH and concentration, the chromium (VI) free layer can be assured. There are several types of chromium (VI) free pretreatments available for Aluminium. The most common types are based on the reactive groups titanium/zirconium (marked named by chromium free pretreatments) and chromium (III). All those Chromium (VI) replacements confirm the 1000hours Salt Acid Spray, corrosion resistance test requirements of Qualicoat.

 

One very important question bothers AD Chemicals:

“Is the requirement of 1000 hours corrosion resistance which Qualicoat prescribes enough?”

AD Chemicals doubts this statement of Qualicoat. When you only focus on the 1000 hours corrosion resistance, that has been described in the past, Qualicoat is right. However, the corrosion resistance of chromium (VI) based pretreatments fulfills the 2500 hours. This was a fair value for Chromium (VI) based pretreatments on Aluminium. AD Chemicals has investigated their chromium-free systems on the corrosion resistance of 2500 hours and compared it with the traditional chromium(VI) systems.

Internal research shows that the chrome free pretreatment of AD Chemicals precoat CR-FREE A-021, that has been approved since 2003, achieved a corrosion resistance of 2500-3000 hours.

Recently, the latest products of AD Chemicals (Precoat TVL & Precoat COLOR) also achieved the 2500-3000 hours corrosion resistance.

So AD Chemicals goes for long corrosion resistance!!

By proper process optimizations and pursuing the parameters and variables with fine chemicals, Chromium (VI) free pretreatments are perfect replacements of Chromium(VI) based pretreatments.

 

THE CHROME-FREE PRETREATMENT

It is well known now that some well described Qualicoat pretreatment procedures are very critical in obtaining good adhesion of powder coating and sufficient corrosion protection.

Proper etching/pickling to remove the most sensitive Aluminium top layer and sufficient rinsing are two of these important pretreatment steps.

Even though job coaters are following Qualicoat procedures most of the time when adhesion or corrosion issues occur the failure can be found in the pretreatment steps and not in the conversion bath or in the powder coating cycle. It seems that the newly developed Cr (VI) free conversion coatings are less forgiving than former chromate conversion coatings.

AD Chemicals and her customers are working closely together to determine the critical pretreatment steps. Pickling, racking and rinsing procedures can be optimized to guarantee the best performance possible with Cr(VI) free conversion coatings.

In this presentation we will discuss some factors

that might influence the quality of your powder coated aluminium.

Introduction

Each powder coating line has it´s own challenges. You have to be aware of the best processes prior to the painting of Aluminium objects. The starting point must be that a

The ultimate goal is to work with Chromium (VI) free pretreatments while maintaining the quality properties between Aluminium and paints. Also to meet the required specifications of Qualicoat.

First let’s focus on the variables of the pretreatment line and the quality of the Aluminium.

Concerning the quality of the Aluminium, an assessment of the quality is essential. However, jobcoaters have no influence on this question. They are depending of the Aluminium quality which they received from their sources. The only thing the jobcoater can do is to ask for a quality certificate of the Aluminium or a certificate of analysis of the formation of the Aluminium. Only the structure of the pretreatment line and the chemicals is in control of the jobcoater.

For example: Structure of a Pretreatment line(spraying), chromium (VI) free application

  1. Degreasing /Acid pickling >1.0 g/m2
  2. Rinse
  3. Rinse
  4. D.I. Rinse
  5. Chromium (VI) free pretreatment

 

Stage 1: Pretreatment tunnel, Pickling phase

Due to the increasing demands from Qualicoat (for example, sea-side > 2 g/m2), the pickling rate (etching-rate) has to be increased in the pickling (etching) phase. This means that you have to increase the aggresivity of the chemicals in the pickling phase. Important note is that when there is a stop in the line speed aluminium profile will be exposed by wet pickling solution and aggressive acid vapor. This “pollution” can dehydrate on the Aluminium surface. It is highly recommended to use a water curtain in case of an outage, as this will prevent acid drying effects. Experience has shown that dried-acid residues on the aluminum surface will not be removed totally in the rinsing phases. Residues can be a possible influence for the chromium (VI) free pretreatment. The formulation of the acid pickling is also a factor to prevent acid drying problems. AD Chemicals monitors it’s formulation at costumers to prevent undesirable effects. Other important items to prevent undesirable effects are good maintenance of the spraying nozzles, temperature, spraying pressure, contact time and the build up of the Aluminium content in the pickling solution.

Stage 2 and 3: Pretreatment tunnel, 2x normal rinse (tapwater)

The both rinsing phases are very important. The difficulty in these phases is that the rinsing water reaches all shapes and surfaces. Especially the seams of insulated profiles have to be rinsed well. In the seams acid residues stick and the rinse water flows over the pollution, this effect results in a minimum mixture with rinse water. The temperature of the rinse water is recommended to 18- 20oC, lower temperatures of the rinse water result in more viscous water and the rinsing effect will be less. The quality of the rinse water will be controlled by pH and conductivity.

Stage 4: Pretreatment tunnel, D.I. rinse water

The best rinsing quality will be if the conductivity is < 30µS and with a pH between 4,5 and 6,0.

At these parameters the risk of contaminations on top of the aluminium surface is minimized. This phase is highly important because any pollution can influence the last phase, the chromium (VI) free pretreatment phase.

 

Stage 5: Pretreatment tunnel, Chromium (VI) free pretreatment

The chromium (VI) free preatreatments of AD Chemicals are based on a precipitation reaction, where the conversion layer will be made. This layer is a cross linking layer for organic coatings. The thickness of this layer is very important. A layer that is too thick, results to bad adhesion and will be humidity sensitive.

A layer that is too thin, influences the adhesion at the bending tests. By guaranteeing the parameters like conductivity, pH and concentration, the chromium (VI) free layer can be assured. There are several types of chromium (VI) free pretreatments available for Aluminium. The most common types are based on the reactive groups titanium/zirconium (marked named by chromium free pretreatments) and chromium (III). All those Chromium (VI) replacements confirm the 1000hours Salt Acid Spray, corrosion resistance test requirements of Qualicoat.

 

One very important question bothers AD Chemicals:

“Is the requirement of 1000 hours corrosion resistance which Qualicoat prescribes enough?”

AD Chemicals doubts this statement of Qualicoat. When you only focus on the 1000 hours corrosion resistance, that has been described in the past, Qualicoat is right. However, the corrosion resistance of chromium (VI) based pretreatments fulfills the 2500 hours. This was a fair value for Chromium (VI) based pretreatments on Aluminium. AD Chemicals has investigated their chromium-free systems on the corrosion resistance of 2500 hours and compared it with the traditional chromium(VI) systems.

 

Internal research shows that the chrome free pretreatment of AD Chemicals precoat CR-FREE A-021, that has been approved since 2003, achieved a corrosion resistance of 2500-3000 hours.

 

The following reaction takes place on the surface:

When there is a good etching in the way that all the oxides are removed of the surface and the alloys are complexed then the layer is ready for the interaction with our PRECOAT CR-FREE. So there will be a interface bonding between our precoat and paint.

By proper process optimizations and pursuing the parameters and variables with fine chemicals, Chromium (VI) free pretreatments are perfect replacements of Chromium(VI) based pretreatments.

precoat chrome free pretreatment qualicoat