A hidden champion from the neighborhood

The Kempen coater Rhenotherm offers patented quality
Rhenotherm ensures that sweets can be made, that pastries become crispy and do not stick, that water is saved in airplanes, that wind turbines rotate and that electric cars can drive and be charged.

“Rhenotherm does not produce components, but rather coats them as a contract coater in such a way that their useful value is increased many times over. We ensure that the use of intelligent coatings, for example made from Teflon®, has an economically beneficial effect on entire production processes and sometimes even makes them possible in the first place,” explains Managing Director René Wilden.

The Rhenotherm DNA was created when the GmbH was founded in Krefeld in 1977 as a specialist company for fluoroplastic coatings. 25 years later, the company moved to the commercial area at the water tower in Kempen. “Initially, the focus was on coating systems that correspond to the legendary Teflon® pan,” reports company founder Dr.-Ing. Volkmar Eigenbrod, who shares management with Ingo Guhl, René Wilden and Burkhard Dauenheimer.

“At its core, the success of Rhenotherm is based on a rather coincidental retort result from a chemist in a US laboratory in 1938. The chemist experimented with fluoropolymers and produced a white, wax-like miracle powder,” explains Dr.-Ing. Own bread. The product would later triumph around the world under the name Teflon. Eigenbrod, who was a qualified engineer at the time, was fascinated by the pan coatings product area. His entrepreneurial instincts were awakened. “Teflon has a lot more on the pan. The methodology is worth its weight in gold for the industry in many areas,” reports the Rhenotherm founder.

From the nugget “Teflon”, Rhenotherm, which now has a workforce of 80, has developed high-performance coatings for demanding industrial applications. The start-up from back then has become a market leader in the field of surface technology. Thanks to a coherent company concept, the globally active company is now a hidden champion. Since 1985 it has been divided into two companies: Rhenotherm Kunststoffschichts GmbH for larger parts such as drying cylinders in the textile industry; as well as Rhenotherm Mini Parts GmbH for smaller parts in the area of ​​dry lubrication, for example for various rubber components.

“We operate in many different areas of coating technology,” says managing director Ingo Guhl. Firstly, this is the classic non-stick system derived from the frying pan; secondly, dry lubrication to improve the sliding properties of components; thirdly, corrosion protection, which is particularly effective in the chemical industry and offers protection against highly aggressive substances; and fourthly, plasma coating. “This process means, for example, that adhesive tapes cannot stick to the coated surface,” explains Burkhard Dauenheimer.

The heart of the constant development that drives Rhenotherm and enables the development of individual solutions for industrial customers is the research laboratory. “This is what sets us apart from our competitors,” emphasizes René Wilden. The Rhenotherm laboratory team led by Dipl.-Ing. Christina Hensch has received six patents to date. “Using the analysis methods available, we can make targeted changes to paint systems and determine their effects. We are currently working on PFAS-free coatings, among other things,” says the chemical engineer.

The profound knowledge of the advantages of the PTFE material group, the development of innovative coatings as well as entrepreneurial foresight with a dynamically grown company network have meant that Rhenotherm is now in its 47th year and is at home with its services on all continents. The printed circuit board industry with big players in chip production relies on the know-how from Kempen, as do the chemical, petrol, hydrogen, circular economy, energy, lifestyle and automotive sectors.