Products, processes and systems for the leather industry
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is showcasing its products, processes and systems for efficiently manufacturing leather for a wide range of purposes at the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE). This will be held in Shanghai, China, between September 4 and 6, 2013. The trade show presentation will focus on the beamhouse. LANXESS is introducing a new technology and service concept that is specifically designed to the many and varied requirements of cutting-edge production processes in this process step. “There is great potential for innovation in this area in particular, and we intend to harness this for our customers. In the future, we will provide tailor-made product solutions and technical expertise under the new Peltec brand,” says Dr. Matthias Hüttl, head of Global Product Management Preparation & Tanning in the LANXESS Leather business unit.
“We are confident that integrated solutions such as our Peltec concept will provide more efficiency, sustainability and quality in the beamhouse, giving our customers competitive advantages and opening up new mutual business opportunities. This includes best-in-class products, processes, expert advice and on-site technical service worldwide, of course,” says Dr. Markus Eckert, head of the LANXESS Leather business unit.
Peltec innovation, service, quality, sustainability
As part of a relaunch of the beamhouse range, LANXESS has optimized the relevant products in all four areas of application soaking, unhairing/liming, deliming and bating. This has been achieved by using product characteristics based on standardized measuring processes. “This ensures that the tanner has an important and objective guide to help him choose the products that are most suitable for him,” says Hüttl. You can find more detailed information in the new brochure “PELTEC the missing piece for your competitive edge”, which can be requested free of charge by sending an email to leather[.]lanxess.com.
Products for soaking, for example, are designed to ensure that hides and skins are fully and rapidly rehydrated. With liming, on the other hand, the focus is on removing hair and non-collagenous proteins. The newly developed products ensure significantly improved process design, particularly from an ecological point of view.
At the deliming stage, LANXESS places significant emphasis on products with good buffer capacity and a high lime solubility number. Finally, in the bating process, bioengineered pure enzymes with a precisely defined spectrum of activity and property profile ensure an exact, specific breakdown of proteins and fat. In this way, tanneries benefit from a reliable bating process, while also further improving the quality of the leather.
X-Zyme biotechnology at its best
LANXESS will be showcasing a real innovative leap at ACLE the
X-Zyme process. This enzymatic beamhouse process has been developed in an exclusive partnership with Novozymes A/S, Bagsværd, the Danish world market-leader for enzymes. Using just two microbially produced enzymes in soaking and liming can considerably increase the quality of the hides, reduce the amount of waste and significantly improve the efficiency of the entire process. For example, the soaking enzyme Peltec X-Zyme S provides excellent results after just 4-6 hours, but even longer soaking times are possible without the collagen being attacked.
The second enzyme in the system, Peltec X-Zyme U, combines the advantages of conventional unhairing methods it allows production of clean and completely unhaired hides, while at the same time significantly improving wastewater values by reducing the amount of chemicals used. “Trials with customers have also shown that the process developed in partnership with Novozymes is also very robust on production scale. It makes it possible to cost-effectively produce pelts of very high quality,” says Hüttl.
Proven in lab scale means proven in practice
All of the technical equipment required to replicate the complete leather manufacture process on a pilot or semi-industrial scale are available at LANXESS’ two technical centers in Leverkusen, Germany, and Changzhou, China. This includes the beamhouse process steps. “Our technical centers put us in a position to conduct trials also at our sites on a scale that is relevant to practical needs and not just at customers’ premises. And it is these trials in particular that are crucial to reliably meeting the often very specific requirements of tanners,” Hüttl explains.
Along with constructing the production facilities, installing state-of-the-art application technology was a key component in developing the Changzhou site. LANXESS has invested a total of approximately EUR 30 million in research, technical and production facilities for leather chemicals at this site. The investment in both production and service is a reflection of LANXESS’ strategy of focusing on attractive growth markets. China is a cornerstone of this global growth strategy, not least in terms of the leather industry. In Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao), LANXESS achieved sales of over EUR 1 billion in 2012. There are approximately 1,000 employees at 11 sites, representing all 14 business units.
You will find more detailed information about products and services for the leather industry on lanxessleather.com/.
The Leather business unit belongs to LANXESS’ Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales of EUR 2.2 billion in fiscal 2012.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 9.1 billion in 2012 and roughly 17,400 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 50 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).