Goldschmidt GmbH in Essen is a chemical company which operates within the city. This requires the plant to work to a very high level of safety and responsibility with respect to its neighbours and the surroundings. Goldschmidt has more than 1000 employees whose health and safety are at a premium, and the explosive nature of some of the material handled intensifies the need for care. Several thousand people depend on the factory's economic health and performance for their jobs and quality of life, requiring constant optimisation of the plant and processes used. An impossible challenge? Goldschmidt see it rather as an opportunity to demonstrate responsibility, and in doing so they set a example of safety in the workplace.
Goldschmidt's commitments to acting as a responsible partner towards the people and environment they work with are brought together in their program “Responsible Care“. This commits to a program of continuing improvement in the safety of the workplace. One aspect which has been put into practice for several years concerns the hose lines and fittings used on site; this prescribes the almost universal use of safety couplings and fittings, and these are now largely provided by RS. These transmission lines – the hoses and pipes for transporting fluids – can be considered as the veins and arteries of a chemical plant. Goldschmidt uses about 1200 pipes or hoses and twice the number of couplings. Each one is documented in the plant's central workshop, which for the last six years has been responsible for the specification and performance of all the transmission lines in the plant and for testing them for proper sealing, electrical conductivity, pressure resistance or conformity with the regulations applying to the particular type, such as the T002 data sheet of BG Chemie, the German employers' liability association. An example of the process of continuous improvement is the switch to ? ball swivel joints, which were first developed in cooperation between Goldschmidt's Care and Surface Specialities group and engineers from MSR and RS. The first units were put into regular use in Essen and the results showed a considerable increase in the lifetime of hoses, with a net cost saving.
More than half of the Eastern works section is an explosion-protected area, good reason to choose couplings with the highest possible safety rating. The sophisticated valve technology used in the Dry Disconnect Coupling TR ensures that hazardous material is safely isolated when a coupling is opened and that no leakage can occur.
Breaking the connection in an emergency
At the tanker loading station rail tankers are filled with liquid from above. Here, at the interface between production and transport facilities, Drydis Emergency Release Couplings Type ABV ensure that unexpected movement of the wagon cannot lead to an accident. At a predefined loading on the hose – far below the failure point – the coupling separates and safely seals the two ends of the joint.
Combination emergency release and dry disconnect coupling
These couplings and hoses are being prepared in a cleaning station before being used in the loading bay. The combination of TR dry disconnect couplings and TMA and TRA emergency release couplings provides the safety of a defined break point should a hose be overstretched and eliminates the risk of hose line rupture.
Protection against superheated steam
The SIC operation, part of the Care & Surface Specialities division, produces special types of silicones such as those which are used in cosmetic emulsion creams and lotions. Since production started in 2004 there have been no reportable accidents, thanks partly to the Dry Disconnect Couplings TD which are used to help protect staff from the steam at up to 7 bar pressure and 180º C which is used to heat the hose lines.
Longer working lifetime
In many parts of the works, such as the one shown here, hoses must be protected against damage from excessive bending or twisting. The patented RS Ball Swivel Coupling is specially designed to protect the hose, increase its lifetime and simplify handling.
Degussa. Goldschmidt GmbH in Essen
Facts and figures
Goldschmidt GmbH was founded in 1889 and is now part of the Degussa group, one of the world leaders in speciality chemicals with a total workforce of 44,000 and an annual turnover of nearly 12 billion Euro.
Goldschmidt is one of the largest industrial producers in Essen and employs about 1400 people. It is also the location for the company's Care and Surface Specialities group which manufactures specialized fats, oils and silicones. These are used in industry as raw materials and process additives for industrial and consumer products, and there is a second production location in Duisburg.