For more than 30 years, Swiss surface specialist riag Oberflächentechnik AG – a company of Aalberts surface technologies – has successfully developed, produced and distributed process chemicals for the chemical and electrochemical coating of metals and plastics.
The high dynamics of changing technologies pose ever new challenges for metallic coatings in many applications. And these challenges have to be met by the developers and manufacturers of process chemicals. That is why riag has given high priority to their research & development and application-oriented chemical analytics departments from the very beginning. It is not for nothing that the company’s motto says “excellence in plating solutions”.
investment in laboratory capacities, personnel and premises
Following several months of construction work, riag opened its competence and service center itec in Wängi, Switzerland, at the end of 2020. Existing laboratories had been rebuilt and extended for that purpose. An adjacent building had been expanded to meet riag’s requirements and now accommodates – completely separated from the production and logistics departments – the administrative offices. At the same time, more space had been created for the research & development, chemical analytics, material testing and application technology areas which are now all in one location. With a merger of several competencies in mind, itec offers comprehensive services in the areas of chemical analytics/material testing. For both R&D and riag customers, material testing is a central itec service that guarantees process safety and quality. Due to the huge demand and with a view to the future, riag has created additional jobs in this area.
the advantages of an innovation cluster
Sustainability and environmental protection are of central importance to riag, which is why these topics have a strong influence on the development of new products. Taking into account both ecological and economical aspects as well as the creation of sustainable technologies, the newly created, increased capacities promote the strategic development of new products. The systematical replacement of harmful substances (SVHCs) by substances with a lower hazard potential is a clear objective that strongly increases the safety and sustainability of process chemicals for users.
Highest-level standards, innovation and premium quality across the entire supply chain are crucial factors for success in the international surface technology business, which is why the itec has been part of riag’s IATF 16949-certified management system from the very beginning.
Manfred Beck, CTO: “The now greater proximity between customers, market requirements and R&D further and immensely accelerates our in-house process steps. riag’s analytical laboratory uses both wet-chemical processes such as volumetry and photometry and special instrumental analytics (ICP-OES, IC or HPLC). When it comes to material testing, we rely on the current and widely standardized metallography, tribology and corrosion testing procedures and the respective equipment”.
Thanks to the new competence center itec, riag is now able to create dynamic working groups on site in Wängi which, depending on the respective requirement, include different specialists and disciplines in order to achieve the best possible result.