The company have recently invested in a new manufacturing line of tpu, purchasing four new machines to make pellets/granules of the product. They have also reinforced production capacity for acrylic and urethane binders.

According to operations director Miguel Carceller one of the major advantages of Quinn is that unlike other companies, they are able to polymerise, ie produce their own base materials rather than having to buy them in from elsewhere. The fact that they make bases means they can customise them for particular products and also are not dependent on anyone and, therefore, have their own supply. This is also more economic.

For example if a client asks for a pu with certain characteristics it can be tailor made (as long as this is financially viable). Quinn are the only company that make tpu in Mexico.

Their high-tech plant just outside León has an installed capacity of 1,000 tonnes per month and production for leather finishing accounts for 300 tonnes/month.

Speciality finishing products for leather include acrylic binders, pu binders, mixes of pu acrylic and modified compounds. In addition to control and application laboratories at the site near León, there is a further R&D facility located in Mexico City to ensure confidentiality. Carceller strongly believes that R&D is where the future lies.

As an extra service to clients, Quinn carry out a range of tests including Maeser and flex testing at no additional cost. They are specialised, focused, truly a service company.

The footwear sector has been a very important focus for the company including production for footwear finishes and adhesives using tpu – thermoplastic and polyurethane. Polymers for injection into soles of sports shoes is considered a strong project for the future. They have also developed a new system involving tpu for soles of casual shoes.

Main markets for finishes for leather are located in León, Guadalajara and the various countries of Central and South America. Quinn have expanded the sales of their adhesives for footwear to Asia in the past two years. Today they are taking finishes for footwear and leather to Asia where they have representatives who have their own warehouses and technicians.

Innovations for finishing leather include Thermocoat, part of a family of filling products designed to add value to low quality third or fourth grade hides. The product is exported to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil and Mexico.

Although the leather and footwear chain is still the most important area of Quinn’s business, throughout their history they have kept up to date with the evolution of the leather industry in Mexico. Two years ago the company decided to proactively target other sectors as markets.

Having begun to focus on finishes for leather and footwear, Quinn now produce chemicals for a total of eight different sectors including coverings for textiles and hats, as well as industrial and marine use in addition to adhesives for footwear.

Quinn had already been involved in these other markets to a much smaller extent. For example they have recently developed new more ecological products for the local hat market. There are a large number of hats produced in the area and these used to be treated with a solvent covering. The new product is water based and, therefore, much safer. This product also has potential for future application in the paper and textile industries.

Minimising impact on the environment is a high priority for the company, for instance water consumed is recycled within the plant. Employee welfare is a further priority and all staff receive frequent health and safety training as well as a staff canteen with menus prepared by a dedicated nutritionist.

The company employ 200 people and are formed from three sections: R&D (4% of revenue is dedicated to R&D), manufacture, and sales & marketing. Quinn aim to offer an integral service to the leather footwear chain from leather finishes to adhesives.

The plant has its own group of firefighters among the staff. Also, high levels of automation in processes mean that out of 200 staff, 160 are highly skilled technicians.