Bühler Partec's risk management system certified
Nanotechnology is one of the key technologies of the 21st century. It involves materials that are smaller than 100 nanometers or, to illustrate, approximately 5000 times smaller than a human hair. Currently, there are no uniform worldwide laws or regulations for the production or the application of nanoparticles. To identify possible risks at an early stage and take appropriate measures, Bühler Partec, a business unit of the technology group Bühler AG, has decided to introduce an internal corporate risk management system. The company is primarily concerned with gaining a comprehensive overview of strategically relevant developments on a regulatory and social level and ensuring that new insights from science and technology are continuously integrated into the objectives of the company's activities. For the first time the "Cenarios" system is being used at Bühler Partec. The system has been developed specifically for companies in the nanotechnology field in cooperation with TÜV Süd and the consulting firm Innovationsgesellschaft St Gallen. Among other features, it includes a standardised catalogue of requirements for certification. Bühler Partec is the first company in the world to have its own risk management system tested and certified by TÜV Süd according to these requirements. The certificate was officially presented as part of the NanoEurope industry trade fair in St Gallen, Switzerland, by Dr Ralf Schirmer, manager of the certification body at TÜV Süd.
As part of its risk management system, Bühler Partec systematically monitors and registers statements in scientific publications in the fields of nanotechnology and health, environment and workplace safety. In addition, societal and, in particular, regulatory developments are analysed and general trends in technology and the market are monitored. This ensures that new insights are acquired in a timely manner and integrated into the research, production and marketing of the manufactured products. Furthermore, all products and production processes are continually checked based on the available data. Moreover, a comprehensive risk assessment is carried out for each processed product. Bühler Partec is convinced that introducing a certified risk management system is a contribution to the effort to work with nanoparticles in a responsible manner and thus fulfil its responsibility to customers, employees and the environment.
Bühler Partec, a business unit of the technology group Bühler AG, specialises in processing and refining nanoparticles and manufactures ready-to-use nanoparticle dispersions for various industries. For example, applying a dispersion of this kind renders textiles dirt-resistant and easier to clean. Custom solutions from Bühler Partec are also used in the paint industry, where they increase the resistance of coatings and plastics.
TÜV Süd is a leading international technical service provider with the strategic business areas of industry, mobility, and people. Its teams of specialists are engaged in optimising technology, systems and know-how, and thus act as process partners, enhancing the competitive strength of our customers throughout the world.
Innovationsgesellschaft GmbH, St Gallen, is a globally active consulting firm in the nanotechnology field, with comprehensive services for risk management and monitoring solutions, as well as for issue management and communication.
Buhler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, especially technologies for producing foods and engineering materials. Buhler sells into over 140 countries and has some 6900 employees worldwide. In fiscal 2007, the Group generated sales of CHF 1770 million.