The Business Unit Surface treatment specialises in the hot-dip galvanising of steel and the application of protective powder coatings to galvanised steel, steel, aluminium and stainless steel. The combination of hot-dip galvanising and powder coating provides the most durable protection in the fight against corrosion of steel and ensures that the material looks good. The Business Unit Surface treatment can hot-dip galvanise and powder coat large, wide and heavy materials. Small steel components are hot-dip galvanised in the centrifuge galvanising plant.
The lockdown measures also affected the production levels and revenue for the Business Unit Surface treatment. Capacity utilisation was at a lower level, as a result of which margins also decreased slightly. During the year, however, recovery did occur. Initially, the flexible shell of employees was phased out, but at several locations it was rebuilt during the year.
With the motto ‘Reliable and Fast’, all employees are committed to delivering the added value that Rotocoat customers expect. It is nice to see that customers recognise this as well.
Two zinc baths were replaced in 2020. It is expected that these new zinc baths will last at least three years longer than we are used to now, and gas consumption will also drop, which is in line with ROTO’s sustainability ambitions. In 2020, investments were also made in a new hot zinc spraying installation that further expanded the range of services.
Streamlining of operational processes contributes to efficient business operations, which means that Rotocoat will hold its own in the difficult covid year 2020. The challenge remains to continue to meet customer demand reliably and quickly, even in a declining construction market. The late effects of the covid outbreak, but also the effects of the nitrogen discussion and the PFAS problem are already visible in the construction market and are still expected in the late cyclical building sector.
In the first quarter of 2021, the biennial customer survey will take place again. The results are used for continuous improvement.
At the top of the sustainability agenda is the use of gas for the galvanising process. In order to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions, the use of fossil fuels will have to be reduced, but as yet, there is no good alternative to heating zinc up to 450° C. Partly for this reason, innovation is high on the agenda.
“ By offering specialist training, Rotocoat remains an attractive employer.
An ageing workforce and the observation that young people are not queuing up to do the relatively heavy work requires innovative HR management. Ageing and sustainable employability, absenteeism and safety remain HR spearheads. For example, innovative ideas such as the use of exo-skeletons to reduce the workload are being tested in pilot projects. Rotocoat also offers education and specialist training to provide Rotocoat employees with tools and to remain an attractive employer.
For the Heerhugowaard location, plans have been made to replace the pre-treatment and at the same time implement several sustainability measures to reduce the impact on people and environment. The renewed production location is expected to be operational at the beginning of 2022.