This month's Spotlight Company is ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc.
ATOFINA's Birdsboro facility began
operations in 1971 as Rilsan Industrial, Inc. The company name was derived
from the trade name Rilsan® Nylon 11, after the river "Risle" which flows
beside our sister plant in Serquigny, France. Throughout our history, the
plant has been an important contributor to the Birdsboro and Berks County
economy. Today, our plant employs 94 people and annually contributes more
than $7 million to the region's economy.
As part of ATOFINA, the Birdsboro facility plays a key role in a business
that reaches throughout the world. ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc. (formerly Elf
Atochem North America, Inc.) was formed in mid-2000 as a result of the
merger between TotalFina and Elf Aquitaine, Elf Atochem's parent company.
Our plant is located in the fertile valleys of Berks County, about 50
miles northwest of metropolitan Philadelphia and little more than an hour
from the Philadelphia International Airport. Berks County boasts a
thriving and diverse manufacturing sector, whose members are drawn to the
area by its solid economic base and easy access to transportation. In
addition to its proximity to Philadelphia, Berks County's market area
places it 97 miles north of Baltimore and 125 miles southwest of New York
City. Overnight truck routes give Berks County access to 50% of the U.S.
population. The availability of skilled, productive labor at reasonable
wage rates has always been an added attraction of Berks County, whose
labor force is noted for its strong work ethic.
Birdsboro, the place we call home, was founded in 1740 and is rich in
early American history. Our address on Lincoln Road stems from the
location of the "Lincoln Homestead," just walking distance from the plant,
which was built in 1733 by Mordecai Lincoln, great-great-grandfather of
Our area also lays claim to the legendary Daniel Boone. The great American
frontiersman was born to Quaker immigrants on a large parcel of land that
is still known today as the "Daniel Boone Homestead." Now comprising 579
acres, including seven 18th century structures, the boyhood home of Daniel
Boone is a state-owned historic site which also serves as a wildlife
Our area is also home to the Hopewell Furnace, one of the finest examples
of a rural American 19th century iron plantation, founded in 1771 by
ironmaster Mark Bird. The Hopewell Furnace was designated a National
Historic Site in 1938.
The Birdsboro plant is situated in Exeter Township, one of the easternmost
sections of Berks County. This rapidly growing community with a current
population of nearly 20,000 boasts excellent schools and easy access to
Philadelphia's business district.
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The Birdsboro plant produces Rilsan®
Nylon 11 and 12 thermoplastic resins, which are known for their
outstanding chemical/abrasion/impact and moisture resistance, dimensional
stability and easy processability by a variety of markets. The automotive
and trucking industry is one of the major markets for Nylon 11 and 12.
They are used for fuel line tubing, fuel fittings, vapor lines, pumps and
air brakes. We also produce Copolymer Pebax® resins which are used in such
applications as cycling and sport shoes, watch bands, ski boots, golf
balls and other recreational products.
It is noteworthy that the Birdsboro facility and its sister plant in
Serquigny, France are the only producers of Nylon 11 in the world.
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Commitment to Safety and the Environment
Throughout the production and
distribution process, our plant keeps safety and environmental protection
at the forefront. In recognition of the importance of our employees'
health and safety, we have established diligent training and monitoring
programs. We're proud of the fact that, in early 1998, our plant completed
two years without an OSHA recordable injury, the first such accomplishment
in the plant's history. Several times, this plant has received the
prestigious "President's Platinum Award," presented by ATOFINA's president
to plants which set standards in safety excellence. We are also proud that
the Birdsboro plant has received multiple honors from both the American
Chemistry Council and the Manufacturers Association of Berks County in
recognition of its high achievement in employee health and safety. An
active Safety Awareness Team, comprised of employees from all areas of the
plant, is instrumental in fostering the safety culture of our plant on a
The Birdsboro plant participates in the ATOFINA Waste and Release
Elimination (AWARE) Program, with an active employee team that identifies
opportunities for eliminating waste in production. ATOFINA is also part of
Responsible Care®, an industry-wide initiative among members of the
American Chemistry Council. Through Responsible Care, our industry
demonstrates its continuing commitment to health, safety and the
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As a corporate citizen of Birdsboro,
ATOFINA supports a variety of local organizations and events. Through its
active Community Relations Team, our plant contributes financially to many
worthy causes, particularly those projects which benefit the youth of our
community. We are very involved in the activities of our local elementary
and high schools, and we strive to promote science and chemistry through
participation in National Chemistry Week events, science fairs,
sponsorship of educators in annual "Teachers, Industry and the
Environment" (TIE) workshops, and hosting a week-long session of the
ATOFINA "Science Teacher Program" for elementary school teachers during
the summer. Local science teachers spend a week studying experiment kits
with the help of a plant scientist. The program is designed to help
science teachers expand and enhance their science teaching skills.
A growing number of our employees are donating their time to improve the
community in which we work and live. We are especially proud of our
"partnership" with a local elementary school in a project called the
"Special Friends Program." In this unique program, some of our employees
invest their time as mentors to individual students once a week during the
school day to help meet their emotional, social and academic needs.
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1112 Lincoln Road
Birdsboro, Pennsylvania 19508