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Company

Innovation is the key for sustainability

Philosophy

Minea is clear about the criterion that it is simply better to prevent than to cure. We believe that INNOVATION is the key to SUSTAINABILITY.

Chemistry is a relatively recent science that began in Europe 200 years ago and has since been a source of wellbeing and comfort for the human being. Detergents have brought about a revolutionary change in human health. Habitual use of soaps has favoured the disappearance of skin diseases and contagiousness —above all in children— and this has meant that Europe has gone from 100 million inhabitants to 300 million, thus increasing average life expectancy by 30 to 50 years.

For decades, these processes were used without taking the environment into account, and they were often highly pollutant.

Based on the knowledge that there will only be a damaging effect if the amount and concentration of the chemical substances reach a certain level, Minea works:

  • On designing cleaning products and detergents that perform their function optimally and with minimum toxicity for human and environmental health, minimising the environmental impact of detergents.
  • Carrying out an exhaustive selection of the raw materials to make up our products.
  • Replacing certain ingredients for more appropriate substitutes, examining them based on their specific properties and the use intended for the product. Using renewable raw materials wherever possible.
  • Products that are degraded until the substances are innocuous and/or do not remain in the environment.
  • Products for which energy requirements mean minimum environmental and economic impact.

The ideal of a sustainable product is to design the formulation for the cleaning to be done, taking into account the kind of dirt, type of water, working circumstances, waste treatment, etc., and making the product to measure. Our activities are aimed at achieving maximum satisfaction for our clients and our products are designed to obtain the best results in cleaning and hygiene, protecting people’s health and safety, at each stage, in an eco-efficient way.

Historia

The activity was started during the mid-1940s in a little warehouse next to the farm called “Mas del Pont Tort”, located at 24 Carrer Pla in Girona, Spain. As many soap tablets were manufactured as could be from the permitted ration of olive pomace oil, which was stipulated and controlled by the country’s government. There were many restrictions in all sectors in those days.

But it was not until 16 September 1949 that the company was officially constituted at the same address:

During this first stage, it only made soap tablets and —later— soap flakes for laundry to meet the needs of the sector at that time. Here we find its first star product: “El 2 DE COPAS”.

Shortly afterwards, development work began on formulations for powdered detergent as, with technological progress in washing machines, soap tablets and flakes were becoming obsolete.

MINEA QUIMICA organises its sales team.

At the start of the 1960s, the legal and fiscal structure of our company was finally defined:

– The first statutory modifications.
– The first registered trademarks: MINEA, FERRONET.
– The first extensions to the original building.

The company extensively developed its range of “WASHING POWDERS”, aimed at covering the industrial laundry market. The original soap tablets were left behind. For the launch of these products, MINEA incorporated a distinctive characteristic that would accompany this stage of in-depth research and be used as an advertising gimmick: an extravagant doll-like figure to present and accompany the famous “POLVOS MÁGICOS MINEA” (Minea Magic Powder) in its second generation.

The range of liquid detergents was reinforced and became more technical, especially for the textile industry, dry cleaners, institutional use, etc.

MINEA was resized with the main goal of diversifying and competing. We equipped ourselves with an ETHOXYLATION PLANT —with cutting-edge technology for the time and the first in the country— for making two basic ranges of products, entering the field of the first Fine Chemicals:

– Creating sulphonated detergents.
– Manufacturing ethoxylated surfactants for supplying other companies.

This plant had several chemical reactors using vats of ethylene oxide, from which we obtained surfactants. For a short period of time, MINEA QUÍMICA supplied some of these raw materials to other manufacturers in the sector.

In parallel, MINEA positioned “MINEA FERRONET” as a star product within the nautical sector: a product for eliminating rust which was difficult to beat as regards efficiency.

As a consequence of competition from MULTINATIONALS and of technological progress, MINEA progressed more in the process of diversifying its product portfolio, and surpassed itself when it came to manufacturing ethoxylates and sulphonates. These required really significant constant technical research and specialisation, and they also required financial resources that MINEA did not have at that time. It was leading technology and a choice was made to develop diverse product lines, targeting sectors such as:

– The shipping sector: the shipping range featuring “MINEA FERRONET”.
– Laundry and dry cleaning: liquid detergents.
– The industrial sector: hand gel and its evolution, “GEL MECÀNIC”.

The experience acquired during the earlier stage would be decisive when it came to mixing the appropriate raw materials in the just proportions: products were obtained that were clearly differentiated from any belonging to the competition.

In the 1990s, MINEA hired a team of chemists and set up what would be its Research and Development Department, with the aim of learning more about our products and of improving their formulations and applications in different industrial environments.

Having products that were more and more eco-friendly. The ideas behind this were:
– Not polluting any more than necessary.
– Finding the maximum concentration of the products.
– Avoiding the use of plastic drums and packaging.
– Avoiding the most damaging active materials.

Ultimately, during this decade, MINEA became aware of the importance of respect for the environment. MINEA’s main contribution was made through the “CM System”.

CM SYSTEM- CONCENTRATED PRODUCTS: Using the “VENTURI DOSING UNIT”, we could mix a chemical formulation with the water, which led us to obtain a simple formulation product but one that already had ecological principles: not incorporating any more active material into the end cleaning product than that which was really required in each circumstance. Its application in this first stage would be for the hotel sector.

The new millennium brought the second generation of the CM System, the“CM-2 System”.

The first applications of the CM System would soon be surpassed. Its limitations became apparent: the impossibility of formulating for the industry on account of being able to mix only one formulation —concentrated as that may be— limited the field of application and the products that could be obtained were simple and quite basic formulations. The demands of the diverse industrial sectors require more complex cleaning product formulations, in which several different active ingredients are combined. In order to penetrate these markets, MINEA QUÍMICA carried out research on how to get past the limitations of applying the CM System in the market.

All of this was incorporated into our second-generation CM System: CM-2 SYSTEM. This system allows different concentrated formulations to be mixed to obtain an end product that is as complex as desired.

The applications for this substantial improvement multiplied:

– Food industry: alkaline or acidic foam products find their ideal application in the meat industry.
– Car industry: degreasing pieces in the component industry.
– Graphic industry: cleaning inks in specialist machinery.

Parallel to the CM-2 SYSTEM gaining trust and gradually being incorporated into large companies, another important stage opens up for MINEA in research and development in all areas:

– Continual improvement of the CM-2 SYSTEM: the basics of what will be the future CM System are established. More automation and more personalisation so that different products can be obtained from one single machine.
– A new range of high-quality lines are created for one of the sectors where MINEA has the highest presence: the nautical sector.
– Small improvements to formulations: the appearance on the market of new eco-friendly surfactants and solvents allows MINEA to successfully modify some of its products to make them even more efficient and 100% respectful of the environment at the same time.

At the start of the decade, due to the appropriate size of the company, its accumulated experience and well-defined products with proven efficiency, MINEA’s position in our market area is strong. The Spanish recession begins and we have one firm motivation: growth.