The colours of success

24 Mexican managers visit J.W. Ostendorf
More than 500 million litres of paint leave the J.W. Ostendorf factory every year, and the standards for this are high. The family-run business based in Coesfeld has not only won approval within Europe for its research focus on “eco-efficiency”, but also with its Mexican guests. They gained an insight into low-emission production processes as well as new ideas for wall paints, varnishes and wood stains for which J.W. Ostendorf is the first ever company to be conferred the Blue Angel Prize within the scope of the German Sustainability Award.

Those who follow Technical Manager Dr. Hans-Joachim Weintz through the company will rapidly discern that it is well worth taking a look behind the scenes of the paint in-dustry. And what’s more, guests are given a warm welcome. “A regular exchange with experts from entirely different industries creates a climate of ideas that has yielded a number of new synergy effects for us,” emphasises Dr. Weintz. Take the food industry, for example: the family-run business established in 1948 resolved to apply its high pro-duction standards. J.W. Ostendorf is now the only paint manufacturer in Europe certi-fied by LGA (for its hygiene standards). For the Mexican managers, this is an excellent example of the success of a company that networks and exchanges with other indus-tries that are not directly related. Its innovative successes in networks even led to the company being conferred the award for the “Best Open Innovator” by the EADS Insti-tute based at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen.

Robots collect the prepared pots of paint from production and store them in the ware-house. Juan Francisco Muñoz Robledo, who is the commercial manager of a medium-sized automotive supplier from San Luis Potosí, followed the procedure closely: “I was particularly impressed with the degree of automation in production as well as with the hygiene standards there. Particularly high standards of orderliness and cleanliness have been set through the cooperation and exchange of experience with the food industry.”

As a pioneer in the development and marketing of water-based systems, the company has impressed for over 30 years now with the development of eco-efficient – so higher quality – and also healthier and environmentally-friendlier paint systems for DIY enthu-siasts. Agustín Esquivias del Riego, a chemical industry purchasing coordinator from Tamps, was also impressed during the tour. “One can only congratulate them, for the creativity in the approach to these aspects can be seen in many details throughout the production plant.”

How did the company gain its Blue Angel award for paint, and how did it achieve suc-cess? The paint manufacturer that employs around 800 people in Germany and abroad (many of whom have been with the company for many years now) was very open with its guests and readily shared information. The dash of colour in the German company landscape ended for the Mexican managers with a tasty meal in the Casino restaurant at the Coesfeld plant.

By Anja Thiede
Carl Duisberg Centren gGmbH, Cologne