Customers involved in the production of automotive leather were invited to the opening ceremony and gave them the opportunity to tour the laboratory and inspect the newly installed equipment. A celebratory dinner was held in the evening.
In 1992 the construction of the leather centre coincided with the introduction of the first widely successful water-based finishes developed around an innovative range of products. This time around Stahl’s highly respected automotive leather finishing products have moved into a higher gear thanks to the small and dedicated team working under the guidance of Mike Tomkin, sales and marketing director automotive leather finish and, since his appointment eight months ago, Hans Boot, group business director leather finish division.
The result is an impressive 330m2 extension with a free height of 4.2m to accommodate the large machinery needed to simulate a production line in a modern automotive leather tannery. The new machinery includes a GeMaTa roller coater and spray line fitted with both gas and infra-red drying facilities, as well as in-line crosslinking and a foam generator. A rotary press has also been installed.
As part of the work associated with the extension, a colour room, equipped with a spray booth, light cabin and other smaller items, has been installed within part of the earlier laboratory space. This provides additional facilities and support to the staff working with pigments and dyes.
Although the new extension is primarily dedicated to work associated with the high performance finishing of automotive leather, there will be a spin-off for all other leather finishing sectors. Knowledge gained in working in the automotive field will be of value to all other sectors and Stahl are in an ideal position for transferring this knowledge and experience to the whole of the leather industry.