Clariant’s Business Unit Leather has now fully completed their new technical centre, officially inaugurated in October 2002. The Guangzhou Technical Centre or GTC will assume the role of the main technical service centre for the Greater China region. GTC functions will include application R&D, training and technical assistance for tanners in Greater China. The facility also houses the sample distribution centre for China. This investment represents Clariant’s commitment to the leather Industry in China.

The GTC is located 25 minutes north of Guangzhou, adjacent to the new airport currently under construction and due to open in October of this year. The GTC’s laboratories, offices and sample facilities are under one roof in a three floor building covering 2,400m2.

The first floor comprises a machinery area where full size tannery machines are installed and include, on the wet-end side, sam-setting, shaving, vacuum drying, toggle drying, and staking.

The finishing machine section boasts a hydraulic press, rotary press, polishing machine, glazing jack, buffing machine and dry drum. The finishing laboratory consists of two spray booths, forward and reverse roller coaters, foam machine and airless and conventional spray guns.

Half of the second floor houses the main offices, physical testing lab and meeting and training rooms. The other half floor contains the wet-end lab, which is equipped with ten Dose drums and two banks of Dose dye matching vessels.

The third floor accommodates the sample distribution facility where full time staff decant and pack samples for customers throughout China.

The main function of the GTC is to provide application R&D and technical assistance to Clariant’s customers in the Greater China region. The mission is to supply market-oriented solutions to tanners’ problems in the shortest possible time.

The GTC is staffed by a team of dedicated laboratory and product line technicians in order to meet the ever growing demands of their customers.

Clariant’s future plans for China include more capacity at the Tianjin Factory for syntans and acrylic resins. A new regional laboratory will also be established this year in Wenzhou and a new automotive testing and finishing laboratory is planned for Shanghai next year. The establishment of more regional laboratories over the next few years is also being considered, for example in Hebei, Fujian & Sichuan. In the meantime, the GTC will also add more drums and spray booths this year to cope with the increase in development demand.