Wacker, the Munich-based chemical company, has launched a mobile laboratory together with its long-term distributor IMCD in South Africa.
The so-called Wacker MyLab is housed in a 40-foot container at IMCD premises in Johannesburg and serves as a test facility for vinyl-acetate-ethylene (VAE) based dispersions and dispersible polymer powders for the paint, coatings and construction industries.
Wacker MyLab aims to develop region-specific solutions for the up-and-coming regional industry and offer technical support for daily businesses locally.
The decision to establish a mobile laboratory in Johannesburg reflects the rapid development of the construction industry in South Africa and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
To improve the building quality, there is a growing interest in new, higher quality construction materials and chemicals.
The Wacker MyLab in Johannesburg is an optimal facility for customer support in the region and combines local raw materials and construction methods with high-quality Wacker binders.
“Our goal is to find regional solutions that meet the individual requirements of our construction industry customers locally.
“With Wacker MyLab we are able to develop and test innovative applications that comply with the architectural tradition, natural resources and the local climate,” said Cyril Cisinski, Managing Director, Wacker Chemicals Middle East.
The state-of-the-art lab equipment provides detailed analyses for flow characteristics, such as tensile adhesion strength, compressive strength and linear shrinkage or the flexural strength of cured mortar.
Furthermore, the lab also serves the up-and coming South African and SADC paints and coatings industry.
Wacker MyLab offers, for example, the possibility to test the appearance, wet scrub, specular gloss and block resistance of paints and coatings formulated with VAE-dispersions.
The Wacker MyLab concept takes regionalisation one step further, strengthening Wacker’s technical expertise for local markets.
“Wacker MyLab will help us not only to transfer our extensive expertise in sustainable building materials, but also to increase awareness of the advantages and market prospects of construction chemicals,” added Mohamed Sanaobar, Regional Technical Director, Wacker Chemicals Middle East.
Wacker’s global network of technical centers also offers support by providing consulting services and conducting supplementary analyses.
Wacker in Dubai
Wacker set up a local subsidiary (Wacker Chemicals Middle East) in Dubai back in 2000 and has been operating its own sales office there ever since.
A technical centre has been available to regional customers and partners since 2002.
Five laboratories offer support for customers in the paints and coatings, energy, electronics, and construction industries in Middle East and Africa.
In 2009, Wacker moved to the ‘Dubai Silicon Oasis’ technology park: Spanning nearly 13,000 m2, the new location houses technical labs as well as the offices of Wacker’s subsidiary for the Middle East sales region.
In spring 2010, Wacker further established a local branch of its international training and competence centre, the Wacker Academy, at its technical centre Dubai.
From Dubai, the subsidiary serves customers from the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East and Africa.