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Nov 24, 2021

KRONOS TITAN GMBH achieves 95% filter availability with Life Cycle Services agreement

Operating in Germany, KRONOS TITAN GmbH, a subsidiary of USA based KRONOS INTERNATIONAL Inc., is the largest producer of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) in the country. The produced TiO2 from the plant is used as high-quality pigment in paint and plastics with the Ilmenite ore sourced from a subsidiary mine in Norway. The plant has had a Metso Outotec Life Cycle Services inspection and maintenance contract in place for over 12 years for its filters, allowing it to shift its focus from maintenance to its ambitious production and efficiency targets.
The image is representative of a Metso Outotec filter but is not the exact one at the Kronos site
The image is representative of a Metso Outotec filter but is not the exact one at the Kronos site

In addition to the appointed mechanical maintenance, promising negotiations for an extended Electrical & Instrumentation coverage within the full-service contract are ongoing. The actual E&I maintenance challenges are being solved in close collaboration with the Kronos maintenance staff.

Production challenges

In 2005, the producer purchased a first PF 808 filter from Metso Outotec and relied on local service and parts to keep the machine running smoothly. A key driver for the purchase of the PF filter was the potential for improved process results compared to their existing VDF filter, especially in terms of a higher dry solids percentage for the filter cake and a lower wash ration.

Over the years the company has made a more concentrated drive towards increasing the overall efficiency of its operations, with the care and maintenance of its filters becoming an important focus. With any breakdown of the filter potentially leading to a complete stoppage of the plant with high associated production losses, the filter’s availability was considered critical to the plant’s operation. With pressure on the producer to reduce the value of capital it had tied up in parts inventory as well as shift the focus of its personnel to production, KRONOS TITAN GmbH began to explore options of a service agreement for its filters with Metso Outotec.

High filter availability and quick on-site support

In 2008, the producer signed a first Life Cycle Services (LCS) agreement with Metso Outotec. The agreement included consignment parts held in inventory, a program often paired with LCS but which is also available as a standalone Metso Outotec Inventory Solution (MOI). In addition to consignment parts, the LCS contract signed with KRONOS TITAN GmbH also included maintenance services as well as an equipment availability guarantee for its PF filter.

With the service contract in place at the site, filter availability of over 95% has been consistently reached and maintained. Since the initial contract, KRONOS TITAN GmbH has also added five additional Metso Outotec filters (FP models) at the plant in two streams, with all now covered by the LCS agreement.

The high 95% machine availability was reached thanks to the combination of OEM expertise in terms of maintenance and filtration process knowledge, combined with a culture of transparency and cooperation with the producer’s key service teams at the site. Metso Outotec has also provided process support for filter setup which has added additional value in terms of improved final product quality. The improvements worked on together with KRONOS TITAN GmbH have also resulted in the optimization and improvements for Metso Outotec products.

Stefan Stutzer, Sales Manager Germany, summed up the factors that have allowed the teams to achieve such strong results in terms of equipment availability. “It all comes down to the cooperation between our onsite teams and KRONOS TITAN’s personnel. We have regular meetings to discuss issues and solutions and hold thorough yearly reviews to identify and discuss improvement opportunities in how the filters are maintained and operated.”

Inspections and additional on-site services

Since the of the first LCS contract in 2008, the agreement has been expanded over the years to include the following elements:

  • Inspection and maintenance contract for the installed filters.
  • Filter inspections in accordance to the prescribed daily, weekly & monthly schedule
  • Two field service engineers permanently on site during the day shift
  • 24/7 On call emergency service support
  • A local workshop maintained at site and capable of performing alignment services for select pinch valves, drilling services, cleaning of many components as well as basic service work and repairs.
  • Local consignment stock of over 600 critical parts from simple O-Rings to complex hydraulic parts.

Overall, the producer has been satisfied with the availability of its filter presses and the level of service received. They have begun to investigate expanding the scope of the service agreement to also include the electrification and automation aspects of the equipment.

Additional information on KRONOS TITAN GmbH

KRONOS TITAN GmbH is a basic chemical company and markets titanium dioxide and iron salts worldwide. KRONOS TITAN GmbH is a subsidiary of the US company KRONOS WORLDWIDE Inc. from Dallas. The group operates six production sites in five countries around the world.

In Germany there are factories in Leverkusen and Nordenham, with additional factories in Norway, Belgium, Canada and the USA. KRONOS TITAN GmbH employs around 650 people in Germany and around 2,000 worldwide. In Norway, the subsidiary Titania A.S has its own mine, which supplies the raw material for the titanium dioxide production. KRONOS TITAN GmbH has been present in Leverkusen on the Chempark site since 1927. The parent company, KRONOS INTERNATIONAL Inc., produces more than 500,000 tons of titanium dioxide pigments annually, making it the fifth largest manufacturer worldwide.

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