Rettenmaier UK Manufacturing offers a very specialised service, but one that sees it as the world leaders.
It is part of the JRS Group which operates across the globe, including in the US, India, China and throughout Europe.
The UK operation provides the binding agent for the top layer of road surfaces through the application of a waste paper additive. This is manufactured at Rettenmaier UK’s production facility, which is based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and is the first of its kind in the country.
The process sees Rettenmaier create pellets out of waste paper, which it supplies to asphalt sites. Once there, the pellets are added into a mix with road stone, which causes the paper to return to a fibrous state. Bitumen is then introduced and the pellets form the binding which stops the bitumen sinking through the road surface once the road has been constructed.
The Rettenmaier UK facility delivers the pellets to asphalt sites across the country, with 10,000 tonnes being delivered each year in the UK.
Given the scale of the demand, the manufacturing plant operates 24 hours a day for five days a week. This level of activity means there is a lot of Rettenmaier machinery that requires frequent cleaning. And it’s not just a case of making the place look tidy; a big risk at the Rettenmaier plant is from dust generated during the various production techniques used to make the paper pellets. Dust can be extremely hazardous when airborne and highly concentrated, with the risk of an explosion a real possibility.
In order to reduce the risk of a dust explosion, Rettenmaier UK staff were having to undertake a lot of manual cleaning, which was time consuming and not the most cost effective use of resource. The introduction of a Dustcontrol UK system would have a big impact on reducing these cleaning requirements.
Rettenmaier’s Production Manager, Sean Collinson, first came across Dustcontrol UK at an exhibition, where he was able to witness a demo system in action. Sean said: “We hadn’t envisaged a system that would take care of our dust issues and weren’t actively looking for one, resorting to standard cleaning techniques which were often time consuming and labour intensive. The exhibition was our first point of contact with Dustcontrol and, from there, our eyes were opened to what their equipment could do.”
Dustcontrol UK visited the Rettenmaier production facility, advising on the best approach to combat the dust issues specific to its setup. The Dustcontrol team determined that a central vacuum system was the right approach to allow for maximum extraction opportunities.
Having received the go ahead from Rettenmaier, the system was duly installed by the Dustcontrol UK team.
Despite already undertaking cleaning activities, Sean noticed the difference almost immediately. He said: “Prior to the implementation of the system we did enforce a good housekeeping policy, actively keeping areas tidy where necessary. However, there was sometimes the temptation amongst staff members to take short cuts, which would see them using airlines to blow dust out of certain areas. Whilst this would keep them superficially clean, it simply shifted the dust elsewhere without properly clearing it. The extraction system though, means dust is permanently removed.”
A big benefit to Rettenmaier was the reduction in the time spent cleaning: “Previously, the last hour of the day involved one of the three-man team on shift going around cleaning each area. With the Dustcontrol system in place though, this cleaning operation was reduced to just minutes and we were seeing areas being cleaned that we hadn’t even noticed were dirty prior to its installation.”
Sean added: “The other bonus was that, previously, if a member of the team had come across a messy area then they tended to leave it until the final hour of the shift before dealing with it. Now though, they simply switch the system on and problem solved. As a result the site is not only safer from the risk of dust explosion, but also visibly cleaner.”
With the system installed and the benefits firmly in evidence, Rettenmaier invested in additional Dustcontrol equipment and extended the central vacuum system throughout the production facility, ensuring that all areas were covered by its capabilities. With Rettenmaier UK being part of a multinational organisation, high ranking officials from its German head office regularly visit the factory to ensure it’s in keeping with the Rettenmaier standards. Since the implementation of the central vacuum system, the visiting senior staff have remarked on the high levels of cleanliness within the facility. Sean Collinson said: “German efficiency is renowned, yet even they were impressed by the high standards in our UK facilities, which is a great endorsement in my book.”
- Central Vacuum System
Rettenmaier UK & Ireland
Dustcontrol UK Ltd: