At its Gonzales site, BYK has primarily expanded its manufacturing capacities. As a result, the company can ensure its customers a rapid supply of highquality rheology additives for the next decade. Glenn West knows what is important.

“We are investing in the future here,” says Glenn West, head of BYK’s Gonzales site in Texas. Rheology additives are produced there. In most cases, they are special solutions that meet individual customer requirements. “For our customers, it is critical that our products are consistently of high quality. Our rheology additives are precisely attuned to their processes and often provide greater efficiency,” he says. In order to continue to deliver this added value in the coming years, BYK has implemented a strategic investment program of 70 million USD for the site.

Course for Future Growth
The planning and design work began about three years ago; construction work started in the spring of 2018 and is slated for completion in 2020. The core element is the expansion of capacity for BYK’s Garamite products to be able to meet the increasing demand, for example in the paint, coatings, and plastics industries. The rheology additives help to optimize the flow behavior of a wide variety of products.

BYK is increasing its production capacity by about 10,000 tons. The world market for Garamite and Organoclay is growing at about two to three percent annually. “With our capacity increase we can cover the market growth expected for the coming years. So we have set the course for our future growth,” explains the site manager.

BYK erhöht die Produktionskapazitäten für Rheologie-Additive am US-Standort Gonzales um rund 10.000 Tonnen, optimiert die Prozesse und investiert in modernste Automatisierungstechnik. Glenn West koordiniert das Expansionsprojekt.

State-of-the-Art Automation Technology
Processes have also been optimized to further strengthen the company’s competitiveness. BYK is achieving the capacity expansion through the use of cuttingedge automation technology – and is doing so with the same number of employees. A digital process control system is now being used. This allows the processes as a whole and at the individual process stages to be controlled individually.

“We here in Gonzales are very proud of these innovative technologies. This means our site is well equipped for the future,” says Glenn West. The company, thus, achieves a so far unrivalled degree of refinement of the minerals used. Sustainability and safety standards are also being improved. For example, a new wastewater treatment plant was installed, saving energy and costs and improving the CO2 footprint.

Next Generation Products
The new research and development facility is ALTANA’s new global competence center for rheology additives. It is where future customer challenges are already solved today and next generation products are developed. In this way, BYK in Gonzales has created the basis for opening up new customer groups and fields of application with new innovative solutions.

Says Glenn West: “The decisive factor is that we have more than 30 years of knowhow and experience in the field of rheology additives with our some 170 colleagues here. This is the best longterm investment we have to offer our customers.”