Catacel vows to reduce prototype lead times 40 percent


Reaction technology company Catacel Corp. has launched an initiative to significantly reduce the time it takes to design and fabricate prototype reactors for its growing list of global fuel cell, industrial gas and process technology clientele.  Catacel is so serious about this initiative that it made this accomplishment one of five 2014 strategic priorities for which its management team is accountable.


“Development of prototype-structured catalysts and compact reactors is a very important line of business for Catacel,” says David Becker, Catacel vice president of manufacturing. “We are involved in a range of programs, from small test bed components to reactors for large fuel cell systems and hydrogen generators. The push for faster delivery has become very pronounced. We will intensify our focus on acquisition and development of the equipment, subcontractors, and plant resources and systems needed to accelerate design and fabrication schedules this year. Rapid technology development is a competitive imperative for our customers, so it becomes a strategic imperative for us.”

Becker developed a plan that includes LEAN manufacturing concepts, intensified project planning and other management disciplines designed to reduce lead time in the complex, close tolerance programs for which Catacel is known. “Catacel’s recent move to a larger facility provided a clean slate to lay out very efficient production lines and work centers,” Becker says. “That effort is already paying dividends, so we are confident that the focus on our prototype initiative will result in increased customer satisfaction with Catacel’s technology and value proposition — fast response with proven process intensification technology.”

Catacel designs and manufactures structured catalysts and compact catalytic reactors that utilize thin foil technology to optimize heat transfer, reaction surface area and gas throughput in a wide range of gas reforming, combustion, oxidation and separation applications. Catacel’s structured catalysts typically move heat into or away from a catalytic reaction with much higher efficiency than does the legacy technology, catalyst-coated ceramic media. Its reactor designs take advantage of this process intensification by being smaller, consuming less fuel and enabling operation under less severe conditions.

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© Johnson Matthey 2018