Acheson Colloids Huron Plant to Close

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Henkel last week informed the 89 employees at Acheson Colloids Port Huron, Mich., plant that the site will close at the end of 2010, due to severe underutilization and some equipment becoming obsolete. The plants products include lubricants and lubricant application equipment.

Acheson Colloids solid lubricant additives are dispersions containing graphite, molybedenum disulfide, PTFE or boron nitride. The dispersions are used in gear oils, conveyor chain lubricants, greases, engine oils or treatments compressor oils and other heavy duty industrial lubricants.

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Keena Toth, Henkel communications manager, said the plant had seen a significant decline in production volumes, and now employs less than half the number it did in 2008. Much of the production will be transferred to Henkels Delaware, Ohio, plant, with smaller portions moving to a handful of other sites, Toth told Lube Report. We wanted to make the announcement as early as possible for the employees benefit. The company notified employees on Aug. 4.

Toth noted that some of the technology at the facility has grown obsolete. There are a lot of advancements in technology available that can allow Henkel to produce some of the products using smaller equipment and less space, she continued.

The plant produces a variety of metals products, said Toth, including specialty coatings, process lubricants and lubricant application equipment for the electronics, automotive, aerospace, appliance, medical, metalworking, diecasting and display industries. Display industries refers to shelves and racking systems for industrial uses.

Henkel completed the acquisition of National Starch, including lubricant and additives supplier Acheson Colloids, in April 2008. Acheson was part of National Starchs electronic materials business. Toth stated that Acheson Colloids became a brand of Henkel after the acquisition.

Dsseldorf, Germany-based Henkel is a global supplier of adhesives, sealants and surface treatments to the metals industry in the metal forming, packaging, steel and coil segments. The companys industrial products portfolio includes metalworking fluids, rust preventives, stamping fluids and lubricants for aluminum and steel food and beverage can manufacturing.