BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Hempel has opened its first factory in South America, positioning itself to serve the rapidly growing South American market. Located north of the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, the new plant will manufacture paint for the marine and protective coatings market segments and will supply the entire South American market. The plant will allow for shorter lead times for customers and will enable Hempel to develop and customize products to meet local environmental legislation and standards. The 3,000-square-meter facility is one of three new plants scheduled to open around the world in 2012 and 2013. 

According to Lars Johansen, Group Vice President – Americas, the new plant is strategically located to best serve the market. “At the moment, we supply the South American market from our production facility in Singapore. The Buenos Aires plant will cut down lead times and streamline our supply chain. We’ll be better placed to serve existing and new customers in the region, as well as develop and customize products faster.”  

With a production volume of 10.5 million liters per year, the $17 million facility will employ 30 people by the end of 2012. The plant is designed for future capacity expansion and will supply the entire region with the complete portfolio of products within the marine and protective coatings market segments. 

The plant features the latest technology in paint production equipment, including conical dissolvers that enable very flexible production runs down to 20 to 30 percent of maximum capacity. To control the speed at which the powder is fed into the machine from the bags, a sonic system monitors the frequency generated from the dissolving process and adjusts the powder feed accordingly. To reduce emissions from the cleaning process, all the tanks are linked to a closed-circuit cleaning system, which is sealed during the cleaning process.