RHI AG, the world renowned refractory supplier, has increased its production capacity in China by more than 20% to 270 000 t. In late September, a third tunnel kiln was successfully commissioned at the Dalian plant. RHI invested roughly €13 million, thus continuing its growth strategy in the BRIC countries. “With this capacity extension we are strengthening our position in the cement, glass, nonferrous metals and steel segments. We are cutting delivery times and increasing flexibility in production,” Manfred Hödl, COO of the Industrial Division, explains.
At its plants in Dalian and Bayuquan, RHI produces fired basic bricks, basic mixes, isostatically pressed products as well as magnesia carbon bricks and prefab components. Both plants are supplied with raw materials from RHI’s Aoding site to a considerable extent.
Apart from the 156-m-long tunnel kiln, the new plant in Dalian comprises crushers, mixers, two presses, packaging plants and warehouses. The tunnel kiln was completed two months ahead of schedule and is equipped with specially developed heat management. The entire plant was internally planned and built by an RHI team of some 100 people. Following a test phase in October, the first products will be delivered in November.
Refractories innovations for the basic industries have been developed at the Technology Center of RHI AG in Leoben for 50 years. In 1960 the centre was officially presented to the public as a research institute of what was then Veitscher Magnesitwerke. The initial team consisted of 42 people. Leoben was chosen because of its central location and close proximity to the plants in Trieben, Veitsch and Breitenau, but also because it is situated close to the University of Leoben and the steel industry. Previously the three plants had operated their own laboratories.
Today RHI is the global technology leader with 31 production sites on four continents and has concentrated its worldwide research and development activities in Leoben. More than 150 employees continuously work on the research and further development of existing refractory products and raw materials in state-of-the-art industrial laboratories and test facilities. RHI invests roughly EUR 20 million per year in research and development, an above-average amount in the industry. The federal and provincial governments provide financial support for the numerous research projects.
More than 500 patents and 1500 industrial property rights reflect these intensive research activities. The Technology Center Leoben has received multiple awards for the scientific papers of its research staff.
RHI celebrated this anniversary with current and former employees, partners, customers, and guests from politics and business at a ceremonial act on 15 October 2010. On the same day more than 200 students visited the Technology Center and gained insight in the work areas during a tour of the Technology Center where they learned more about RHI’s refractories world. The explanation that hardly any product used in daily life – from water glasses to mobile telephones – can be produced without refractory products was a revelation for the students.
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