BREMEN, Germany—Acmos Chemie K.G. recently appointed Ralph Lopez to the position of general manager and vice president for its newly formed rubber division.
"This new role highlights a key strategy by Acmos to focus more deeply on the rubber market," Lopez said.
"Acmos has been involved in the rubber market for many years, but has been known to the industry as the 'polyurethane mold release experts.' Our rubber team will work to expand this general thought about Acmos to the excellence technical service and capabilities we have in the rubber market."
Bremen-based Acmos is an international leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of release agents and related process chemicals for the polyurethane, rubber and plastics industries. Lopez will lead Acmos global rubber efforts from North America and resides in Cincinnati.
He brings more than 30 years of specialty chemicals and mold release experience. He retired from Illinois Tool Works in 2017. Lopez said he then consulted for about a year, primarily with Acmos.
"I realized I was not really ready to retire so I began searching for a company that could utilize my extensive background in the rubber market and specialty chemical industry," Lopez said.
After meeting the Acmos team in Germany and understanding their vast R&D capabilities, he said he realized this would be a good fit for both him and CEO Klaus Semmler.
"We are very pleased to announce that Ralph Lopez is joining our global Acmos team," Semmler said. "With his vast market experience and his managing skills, he will definitely support our demanding global growth strategy."
Lopez worked with ITW for 14 years, managing a handful of companies, including Franklynn Industries.
"Franklynn was known as the technical expert in the non-tire rubber market," Lopez said.
"I was fortunate enough to have had a great team surrounding me and we did fantastic work in the rubber market."
Prior to ITW, Lopez worked for General Electric and Chevron Oil in their specialty chemicals divisions in sales, operations and senior leadership roles.
"I think the progressive roles I've held at these prior companies has provided me with an excellent foundation to run the rubber division of Acmos Chemie," Lopez said.
With more than 1,000 products and many applications, Lopez said the company's short-term goal is to focus on rubber applications that provide significant value for customers.
"The primary applications we are initially focused on include seals and gaskets, anti-vibration and belts," Lopez said.
"Increased productivity and reduction of scrap in these applications has a big payback and return on investment for customers thanks to the elastomers utilized and processing time.
"Additionally, our short-term goals involve setting up channel partners that are capable of delivering the value of our products."
Looking long term, Lopez said, "we will leverage the full technical capability of Acmos Chemie to become the go-to company in the technical rubber market, just as they are now in the polyurethane market."
He added that more than 25 percent of Acmos Chemie employees are involved in research and development and technical service.
"My vision for the Acmos Rubber Division is for us to be the mold release leader in the rubber market," Lopez said. "We will accomplish this through our technical capabilities and service with our global network of highly trained engineers."