December 14, 2022
Investing in the Future of Latex Binders
Stephen Wilkes, Manufacturing Director, Latex Binders
As a global leader in latex binders manufacturing, Trinseo has more than 70 years of industry experience delivering cutting-edge latex binders solutions that bring our customer’s bold ideas to life. Our deep industry expertise and broad product portfolio are invaluable byproducts of these seven decades, but our long history also means that we must continually reinvest in the latest technologies to stay ahead of change and continue our growth.
At the heart of our global manufacturing facilities are polymerization reactors, which power our production processes. Over the past several years, we have been upgrading reactors in our global facilities to the latest technologies as part of our commitment to investing in the future of latex binders innovation as well as maintaining long-term supply security for our customers. This is an immense accomplishment given the complexity of executing a replacement without compromising our EH&S performance, all while simultaneously maintaining excellent supply to our valued customers.
With reactor replacements, there is no room for error. If the new technology isn’t installed “first time right,” this can cause significant implementation delays. Furthermore, the transition presents many potential safety risks that need to be managed, all while production continues. Whether they were isolating areas for crane movement or closing off sections for safety zones, our teams were crucial to the speed and success of our transition. I cannot praise them enough for dedicating so much time, energy, and resources to these projects and managing it without incident.
The success of these replacements would not have been possible without the world-class Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S) management system that Trinseo has built over the years. Our deep-rooted culture of continuous improvement and commitment to safety has led us to continuously rank in the upper echelons of our industry, achieving below-average injury rates and regularly awarding our sites the Triple Zero designation for achieving zero recordable injuries, reportable spills, or process safety events.
Protecting health and safety are among our highest-priority values and integral to everything we do. By living this culture of safety and relying on our rigorously developed safety procedures, our teams were well-equipped to tackle the detailed planning processes required to execute the upgrades successfully and without incident. Ultimately, this success meant we were able to continue servicing our global customers without interruptions while maintaining the consistent product quality our customers know us for.
By proactively investing in new reactor technology today, we can plan for the future and align with where the latex binders industry is headed in the decades to come. I am proud of our teams for handling these upgrades with confidence and cannot wait to see what the future holds as we continue to invest in our facilities and build on our EH&S programs.