Arkema Inc. pilot plant
Arkema’s pilot plant in the Americas provides a hub for advancing technologies and processes.
The pilot plant fills the technology gap between a successfully demonstrated research concept and its practical implementation in a chemical facility. The pilot plant also works directly with plants and other groups to fine-tune their manufacturing processes and identify systems that can help facilities operate more safely.
A hive of activity, the pilot plant is responsible for demonstrating new technologies, creating design information for new processes, assisting plants in developing safe operating parameters and preparing customer samples for continuing product research.
The pilot plant helps to bring new Arkema products to market. When a research group or a business unit requests a specialty product or has a particular need, the pilot plant forms a team for the project from its staff of chemical engineers and technicians. The team normally works as part of a larger group (with representatives from business, product safety, management, engineering, etc.) to address all the issues that impact the project. The pilot plant’s role is to develop the safest and most efficient technology for production. Some of its successes in this area include developing processes to commercially produce Kynar® polyvinylidene fluoride resins, impact modifiers, stabilizers, Plexiglas® molding resins and organotin glass coatings.
The pilot plant is one of a number of similar groups within Arkema — each with its own area of expertise — that shares the role of piloting evaluations and technology development. Pilot plant staff is a mixture of engineers and operators. Often recent graduates, engineers may complete their first technical assignment in the pilot plant before moving to other technical positions.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to protect the worker from contact with chemicals. Where specialized chemicals are being handled, the pilot plant has assisted in creating the necessary safety information used to identify the correct materials.