Rudolf Group offers innovative specialty chemicals for textiles
As global textile consumption reaches 93 million tonnes by 2015, consumers demand environment-friendly textiles. To keep up with this trend, manufacturers are using more biodegradable materials and sustainable manufacturing processes.
Specialty chemicals company Rudolf Group led the initiative by developing the market's first fluorine-free and durable water-repellent finishing for textiles - the BIONIC-FINISH RUCO-DRY ECO. As the product does not contain hazardous chemicals found in conventional water repellents, Greenpeace has commended the company in its report entitled "Dirty Laundry".
"We're offering a responsible alternative for textile manufacturers and brands," says general manager for Asia Dr Oliver Kusterle. "The Greenpeace report discusses a very critical subject and we're proud to be mentioned in it."
Offering a full range of advanced finishing chemicals for textiles, construction and other applications, the 80-year-old, family-owned company has production and application or research and development (R&D) facilities worldwide. This enables Rudolf Group to customise the chemical recipes developed by the R&D centre in Germany to satisfy specific client requirements tailored to local climatic conditions such as humidity and water quality.
"We believe in a global footprint with a very strong local touch," says owner and managing director Dr Wolfgang Schumann. "We need to be with our customers to optimise the way they use our products on their machines and support them to protect their environment."
Rudolf Group has formulated ultraviolet-protection and mosquito-repellent chemicals for clothing. The company is also working on water-based textile coatings, which require less complex machinery and produce fewer waste by-products than conventional solvent-based coatings.
Rudolf Group is investing in a new production facility in Pakistan and has collaborated with Atul in India to form Rudolf Atul. Thanks to its long presence in the Indonesian market, Rudolf Group is a well-recognised supplier to the country's textile industry and is also successfully expanding into the paint segment with the acquisition of a local polymer manufacturer. Rudolf Group's Southeast Asian business is further developed by its own technical staff in Bangkok supporting customers in the region. Rudolf Group also welcomes distributors for its water-repellent additives for paints and plasters as construction activities more than double across the Asia-Pacific until 2020.
"Asia is an important sourcing and production hub for us," Schumann says. "We'll have more full-fledged companies with a strong R&D backbone in the region in the future."
Rudolf Group is establishing a second factory on mainland China and is keen on partnering with local chemical companies that have an excellent sales network and complement Rudolf Group's technical expertise.