Huntsman Polyurethanes Dedicates New Technical Center
At this location, Huntsman’s engineers and project managers conduct laboratory research and test new applications for customers in the adhesives, coatings, elastomers, automotive, furniture and footwear markets. The Auburn Hills facility is also the company’s automotive headquarters in the Americas region.
The new, 95,000-sq-ft facility provides much more space for special projects and overall customer technical support. “In terms of projects, we’ve grown dramatically in the past decade, particularly in the automotive business, where our FIBERIM® polyurethanes chemistry and ACOUSTIFLEX® sound-insulation technologies are being used to develop much larger car interior and exterior components,” said Allen Julian, Flexibles Business general manager. “Since we’re starting to prototype larger parts, the space requirements of the new equipment made it necessary for us to move to a larger facility,” he added.
In addition, the Auburn Hills facility won the “President’s Award for Responsible Care 2000.” This company-wide award salutes the most innovative Environment, Health and Safety program from the company’s locations around the globe. The facility’s ALERT! (Awareness Limits Employee Risk Taking!) program was selected for its innovative approach to increasing safety awareness. In total, 13 entries were submitted from other Huntsman sites.
Launched in 1997, ALERT! is a voluntary, employee-designed and managed program that focuses on reinforcing safe behavior and changing “at risk” work behavior, through careful observation and feedback sessions.
“When we started the ALERT! Program, we saw a need for improvements in the area of ergonomics,” said Evan Cheolas, senior development specialist and steering committee facilitator. Overall, the program has reduced employee accident and injuries, changed attitudes about safety, enhanced customer relationships and improved employees’ quality-of-life at work.