The Production Site Witten introduces itself

30. October 2020

IOI Oleo GmbH is one of the leading European suppliers of oleochemical specialties, which are produced at our two production sites in Witten and Wittenberge (in this blog post, the Wittenberge site introduced itself).

IOI Oleo GmbH’s production site in Witten is located in a diverse, historically developed industrial area just a few kilometres north of the Ruhr river in the triangle between Bochum, Dortmund and Hagen. From here, our products find their way to countries throughout the world (more on the city of Witten).

The site in Witten has developed from its origin as “Märkische Seifen-Industrie GmbH” to a specialised chemical production site, at which more than 150 IOI Oleo GmbH employees manufacture products that are trusted worldwide under the IMWITOR®, MIGLYOL®, WITEPSOL®, SOFTENOL® brands. In 1905, Arthur Imhausen (Wikipedia article) (1885-1951) and Clemens Stallmeyer (1886-1972) took over the management of Märkische Seifen-Industrie and laid the cornerstone for the development to the present plant in Arthur-Imhausen-Strasse.

In the early stages, the focus was on boilers for producing soap; they were the reason for the acquisition of the production plant in Witten by Imhausen and Stallmeyer.  Over the course of time, additional plants in the area of fat chemistry were put into operation to manufacture the raw materials the factory needed for its soap production. They formed the basis for the development to the oleochemical site as we know it today with flexible, multi-purpose plants and variable batch sizes (4t-11t) for the production of high-purity special fats.

While, in the course of the plant’s history, products like “margarine from coal” were developed and manufactured there, today renewable raw materials from natural sources form the basis for products “Made in Witten”. These products are used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries and therefore require high standards with regard to effectiveness, environmental compatibility and toxicological safety. Our production processes have already been meeting the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) since 2005, for example for the manufacture of MIGLYOL® 812 N (MCT oil in API quality).

However, we would not be IOI Oleo GmbH if we rested on our history. In our R&D Team, the experience, knowledge and insight plus the direct customer feedback from our three sites flow into the development of solutions for tomorrow. For instance, customer samples are synthesised and product characteristics adapted to customer requirements in the new pilot plant − on a small scale (1-2 kg), as mini-plants (5-20 kg) or a scale of 150 kg Naturally, we continue our research, improve our products, optimise the manufacturing procedures and create innovative new solutions.

Environmentally conscious behaviour at the IOI Oleo GmbH sites is firmly anchored in our corporate values. We regard shaping technological advancement and a humane future in harmony with our environment to be our most important task. For us, environmental protection is not just a word but has a fundamental meaning – for the future of IOI Oleo GmbH and coming generations, with a modern production facility at a site that has a long history.

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Sabine Siebel

Dr Sabine Siebel is REACH & Regulatory Affairs Manager at IOI Oleo GmbH. From her workplace at the Witten Plant, she provides support for all IOI sites in Germany regarding regulatory matters. She studied Chemistry at TU Dortmund Technical University and received a doctorate in Bioinorganic Chemistry. Since completing her studies, she has been dedicated to the area of chemicals regulation as the strong network and the insight into the product world, from the initial development right through to the diverse applications by the customers, continues to fascinates her. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and loves using home-grown ingredients from her own garden in her dishes.