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Markets & companies, Raw materials market

AMI undertakes process improvements to add capacity of attapulgite-based additives

Monday, 4 July 2016

Active Minerals International (AMI) is undertaking process improvements designed to expand capacity. The initiatives are aligned with increasing demand in AMI’s major markets and new developments in international coatings markets.

Active Minerals International undertakes process improvements to add capacity of attapulgite-based additives. Source: Bernd Kröger/Fotolia.com

Active Minerals International undertakes process improvements to add capacity of attapulgite-based additives. Source: Bernd Kröger/Fotolia.com

AMI’s process improvements involve a number of projects from debottlenecking to process efficiencies, such as mill feed automation, process flow changes and enhanced utilisation of state-of-the-art manufacturing data management software. In addition, existing classifiers are being upgraded to produce more paint grade products. Longer-term projects, supported by its mining reserves in the area, include expanded drier capacity allowing the company to meet the demands of global markets.

Increasing demand for attapulgite

While AMI's President Dennis C.Parker sites the rate of construction and infrastructure development in emerging economies as one factor increasing demand for attapulgite, he explains, "the strong interest in Active Minerals by international customers and distributors stems from the fact that paints and coatings professionals, from formulators to chief financial officers, recognise the world has only a handful of foremost authorities in attapulgite technology; and most of them are here at Active Minerals.”

Short lead times

AMI’s Director of Global Business Development, Jeffrey B. Carr, describes additional factors driving demand. "'Min-U-Gel' attapulgite customers are a priority for Active Minerals. We bring the highest quality standards, customer service, and supply chain management practices to bear on customers’ behalf. Our Quincy, Florida attapulgite operation serves our customers with more than 120,000 square feet of storage for bagged product, allowing us to ship from inventory and maintain short lead times, even during the paint market’s busy Spring season. In addition, being one of the top 100 exporters in the U.S. coupled with our strong logistic capabilities provides excellent service to our international customers.”

Ease of use

"Min-U Gel" thixotropic thickener and suspending agents are produced in a unique manner that makes Active Minerals International’s gelling grade products 10% purer than competing grades of gelling clays. Through a robust ISO 9001 registered Quality Management System and a dynamic continual improvement culture AMI has a well-proven track record of consistent quality and customer satisfaction. "Paint and coatings manufacturers prefer 'Min-U-Gel' products for their ease of use, consistent quality, and superior economy,” said Carr. "They function well as drop-in replacements to
competitive products or as partial replacements to other, higher-cost rheology modifiers, like cellulosic fibers.”

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