Best Practice in agitating applications
Tronox Pigments is the world's fifth largest manufacturer of titanium dioxide, the ultimate whitening agent, used in the form of pigment for the dye industry.
The optimistic slogan below is on a large white tank on the factory site of Tronox Pigments B.V. Below it the years 1960 – 2010, indicating that the company was one of the first chemical factories in the Botlek. For more than 38 years now the company has been applying many drives from SEW-Eurodrive in order to have the production process flow smoothly.
‘Our product is white, our future is bright’.
For this production process the following products are used: conveyor belts, mixers, conveyor screws and twist locks, which transport, process and dose white pigment.
Tronox is the fifth largest manufacturer in the world of titanium dioxide. The head office is in Oklahoma City (United States), but the company also has offices in Rozenburg, Perth (Australia) and Hamilton (United States). The factory in The Netherlands has about 250 employees in permanent employment.
White is the lightest color, but how does white become so white? Right, by titanium dioxide, the whitener par excellence. Tronox manufactures this whitener, in the form of pigment for the dye agents industry. These include three market segments that are important to Tronox: Paint manufacturers, the plastics industry and the paper (laminate) industry.
Titanium dioxide is extracted from titanium ore. It is used as pigment and is then called titanium white. This white pigment has the property that it reflects incident light excellently (96%). As a result, it looks bright white, it has a large coverage power and it also protects against sunlight. For that reason, titanium dioxide is used frequently in make-up products (and toothpaste) and in white paint, for example also in road paint. It is easily absorbed into water, plastics and binding agents. Titanium dioxide has largely pushed aside the older white lead and zinc white, which cover also well, but are highly toxic.
Titanium dioxide is produced according to an ingenious chemical process. In short: the titanium ore is stripped and cleaned, and with chlorine gas it's converted to titanium (IV) chloride. This requires a temperature of 900 to 1000 °C. The titanium (IV) chloride is then purified and oxidized with oxygen, leading to pure titanium dioxide as end product. Depending on the application, the pigment still undergoes treatments. Residues are re-used, for example iron as the basis of building material for the foundation of new roads.
Jaap Denkers, who works at the Repair department, supervises the external repairs, from request for quotation to the installation. He has been working for years with drives from SEW-Eurodrive. These are used in many applications, such as in agitators, of which there are over 50 located in the factory. In the tanks with a diameter and height of 4 m pigment is processed. Denkers: "Because we produce day-and-night a good service is crucial to us. Because of the good infrastructure here on site and the near location of SEW-Eurodrive fast deliveries are possible." The pictured drive is a FAF97DV180M4, a parallel shaft helical gear unit, mounted on a bearing ring for the benefit of an agitator.