FOCUS ON: A New Spin

July 1, 2007
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LANXESS Corp. opens new tech center.

Three North American business units of LANXESS, Pittsburgh, have been consolidated under one roof with the opening of the LANXESS Technology Center. The center features a variety of advanced technical capabilities and will help customers better use their chemistry.

The center hosts the North American labs for the Technical Rubber Products, Material Protection Products and Functional Chemicals business units of LANXESS.

The Technical Rubber business unit is new to the Pittsburgh facility. LANXESS is the largest producer of synthetic rubber in the world.

“We are committed to providing material solutions to support our customers as they continuously strive to improve the performance of their processes and products,” said Boudewijn van Lent, vice president of Technical Rubber Products, North America. “The Technology Center gives us the resources to do that here in Pittsburgh.”

The Material Protection Products unit offers a range of biocides for in-can and dry-film applications, including glues and adhesives. The new microbiology lab joins existing facilities in other regions of the world, and moves MPP closer to its goal of becoming a widely recognized solutions provider. Services conducted at the center include chemical analysis, microbial identification and challenge testing, efficacy level testing, advanced weathering capabilities, and industrial hygiene services. The unit has regulatory specialists who work with the EPA, FDA and state agencies to ensure that its products are properly registered and approved.

“With the Technology Center, we’re able to deliver high-quality service and continue to develop solutions that meet the needs of our customers and the industry as a whole,” said Udo Reigber, vice president of Material Protection Products, Americas.

The Functional Chemicals unit offers dyes and organic and inorganic pigments. The unit offers services including color matching or creation, troubleshooting colorant-related issues, temperature and light-stability testing, and reviewing delivery systems.

“The opening of this facility underscores our dedication to the industry,” said Thomas Brackemeyer, vice president of Functional Chemicals, North America. “We’re able to offer both existing and potential customers unmatched service and technical assistance.”

The technology center is part of the company’s U.S. headquarters building. It officially opened on March 2 and is home to eight technical employees. Four hundred employees work within the building.

LANXESS Corp. was formed when the Bayer Group combined most of its chemical businesses and large segments of its polymer activities. The company began operating as a legal entity in the United States on July 1, 2004.  In 2006, LANXESS employed about 1,400 persons in the United States.

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SIDEBAR: LANXESS President and CEO Honored

On April 18, LANXESS Corp. President and CEO Randy Dearth received the Pittsburgh Business Times Diamond Award, which honors the top 10 outstanding business leaders in western Pennsylvania.

Dearth was chosen as one of the top five leaders in the Emerging Business category, and the Times touted Dearth’s role in LANXESS achieving profitability just two years after its spin-off from Bayer AG.

“Although it may have been easier to continue to operate as we always had, this was the perfect opportunity to start fresh,” Dearth said at the awards ceremony. “So, with the best possible senior management team at my side, we led this new company in a new direction. And now, three years later, I’m pleased to say LANXESS is considered one of the most successful chemical spin-offs ever.”

Dearth’s colleagues praise his commitment to achieving success. By keeping employees involved in strategy, Dearth raised morale and created a positive mindset when media and employees seemed skeptical of the 2005 spin-off. LANXESS’ high employee retention rate at its U.S. headquarters is a testament to Dearth’s commitment to the employees and the company.

An independent panel of judges selected five winners in two categories: Emerging Businesses, classified as companies or organizations that are less than 10 years old, and Established Businesses, which are those that have been in existence for at least 10 years. Recipients were selected based on the following criteria: customer service philosophy; relationship with employees; community contributions; and influence on shaping the company’s products or services.


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