AXEL announces expansion across its 3 U.S. grease plants
AXEL, one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of lubricating greases in the U.S. with its companies AXEL Americas and AXEL Royal, announced that it is proceeding with an additional expansion and improvement plan across its three plants in the U.S.A.
This additional plant expansion at the company’s ISO-certified facilities is in response to recent industry developments and the significant production void created in the North American market. As a leading private label grease supplier in the U.S.A., AXEL is further investing to meet the additional requirements and growing demands of its existing customers in the short and medium-term. The company has been focusing its immediate efforts on critical products and its European facilities are also assisting in meeting the increased needs in the U.S.
At the Rosedale facility, a new mezzanine is under construction and the production floor is being expanded to host the company’s new stainless steel STRATCO Contactor, ordered in December 2020. The contactor, the only and largest ever built of its kind, will significantly increase the facility’s soap and grease-making capacity by an additional 20-30M pounds (lbs) per year, allow AXEL to manufacture new technologies, and provide more flexibility.
In addition, AXEL is installing two new finishing kettles which will increase finishing capacity by 12.4 million lbs. This includes a newly installed 45,000 pound line with mills and additional finished goods storage capacity. Both the contactor and new kettles will be installed simultaneously and will be operational in October 2021.
A second high-speed cartridge filling line for Rosedale has been ordered as well and will be operational by mid-October, allowing AXEL to double its current filling capacity.
At the Schertz facility, a new hot oil furnace increased the plant’s heating and production capacity. The entire plant has been re-piped and enhanced temperature and process controls, new mills, deaerators, and state-of-the-art filtration have been installed for optimal quality and production output. These investments significantly removed previous bottlenecks, resulting in better utilization, reducing cross-contamination, and improving quality assurance through greater control and accuracy over the processes and production batches.
The Schertz facility received an additional high-speed cartridge line, significantly increasing cartridge filling capacity. An additional four bulk storage tanks have been installed as well.
At the Tulsa facility, new transformers have been installed to accommodate new equipment energy requirements and increased production demands. The Tulsa facility was also fully re-piped in two stages. These improvements have resulted in reduced bottlenecks, improved process and temperature controls, and increased throughput.
The Tulsa facility also received a new high-speed cartridge filling line, significantly increasing the plant’s cartridge filling capacity. More bulk storage tanks are being added, as well as an improved process control system.
AXEL has also invested in and expanded its technical lab capabilities by purchasing critical equipment, including multiple Shell Roll Stability Test machines, multiple Raman Spectroscopy meters, and BVT-1A Bearing Vibration testers, and other various lab equipment.
In addition to all the capital upgrades, AXEL continues with many important organizational initiatives. The company has promoted and hired new personnel including plant, maintenance, and purchasing managers, controllers, quality control supervisors, and lab technicians. The significant investments in production capacity are being made in tandem with a continuous effort to identify, hire and train the corresponding grease manufacturing and support expertise.