We were delighted to demonstrate Triflex manufacturing quality first-hand to Makers senior team at Triflex HQ in Minden. The team enjoyed a tour to our automated production facility, seeing the high-quality complex processes that go into the products they use. In addition, the newly completed Technology centre provided insight into recent investments and developments to drive Triflex and the liquid waterproofing market forward.
You can read a report of the visit from Makers' perspective below.
Makers sample the new Triflex Xperience
Makers have been strong advocates of the Triflex Brand and for over 20 years have installed and recommended a wide range of Triflex products. In 2016 the Follmann Group outlined their desire to invest in new production facilities at their headquarters in Minden, Germany creating a 7800m2 fully automated production facility reducing production costs, times and adopting a flexible manufacturing process in response to Client demands.
The creation of the new manufacturing facility has seen the site have a capability of producing 45,000 tonnes of resin product per year and with the demand for both Triflex and Follmann Chemie products has seen the annual turnover of the Group reach 300 million Euros.
A desire to invest 10% of the turnover saw a substantive 30 million commitment with changes in energy use in production and processes reviewed together with upgrading the manufacturing production to create a more sustainable and cleaner environment both in production and external environmental areas.
Follmann Chemie operates in six production areas across its Minden site dividing its production processes between “mixing” and “polymerising”.
The Triflex motto is Gemeinsam gelöst which roughly translates into "Solve Together" and the Managing partner of Follmann, Dr Henrik Follmann firmly believes this to be true and sits at the heart of the family owned business.
“The key is that we create products that solve our Clients issues and we have to do this together….but to solve and create the right solution we have to develop, test and ensure that our Client can see and be involved in the process…”
Dr Henrik Follmann; Follmann Chemie
The desire to have close Client involvement and build brand confidence resulted in the construction of the Technology & Knowledge Centre. Construction started back in October 2020 and was completed at the end of 2021 becoming operational in May 2022. This multifunctional training centre covers some 12,000m² and has been designed to give the complete customer experience. The building consists of two storeys and has been designed to hold customer training courses, information events and company meetings. Theory rooms, practical application labs, test areas and sample rigs dominate the ground floor together with a 140 person auditorium as well as break out and meeting rooms on the upper floor.
The Technology Centre is used to demonstrate first hand new innovations and allow Clients and applicators the ability to trial and familiarise themselves with the products. Physical trials under test conditions provide key information for Clients to establish critical properties and satisfactory development and is used to test adhesives, water based inks and chemicals across the Triflex and Follmann Chemie portfolio.
As part of the staff welfare programme the building also boasts a fully enclosed five aside football come basketball pitch, together with a complete roof garden which harvests and stores rainfall for all the planting. The roof also houses a full entertainment area providing vistas across the surrounding area and a bird’s eye view of the nearby production facilities. The structure has also been used to demonstrate the capability of the Triflex waterproofing systems incorporating a complete photovoltaic generating system providing power to the building and its activities.
Establishing confidence is key and the starting point for the factory is the Quality Department. Producing 45,000 tonnes of finishes requires large volumes of ingredients whether it be for the mixing or polymerisation process with each component being tested prior to entry into the manufacturing process. Ingredients are either accepted or rejected and if rejected are removed from site without entering the sites manufacturing systems.
The factory tour took in many sensitive production areas, even outside some of the product lines Makers use but clearly underlines the chemical expertise Follmann and Triflex hold, especially in the areas of microencapsulation, polymerisation, printing inks and chemical adhesives.
“The site has been transformed and you can see the change in environment from the 30 million Euro investment, the production areas are spotless and the Technology & Knowledge Centre is spectacular, but some things never change and that’s Henrik’s passion for what he does. The last time we met was 17 years ago and his commitment has never waned. He firmly believes that partnership, based on co-operation to problem solve is very important which is underlined by their motto “ Solve together”.
Simon Lamb MD Makers
As part of the visit, Makers were guests of Triflex UK who arranged for us to sample the delights of Cologne. As well as the cultural visit to the Cathedral, we also attended the football match between FC Cologne and Borussia Dortmund.
The team at Makers would like to express their thanks to Tony Mills and his team for the hospitality and reception received in Germany who despite the bank holiday weekend took time out to make our visit most welcome. It was a great Xperience.