Inge GmbH is a world leader in ultrafiltration technology, a method that uses membranes to treat surface water, process water, tertiary effluent, and in water in reuse and desalination systems. Today we learn a bit more about this company with its Managing Director, Daniela Calleri.
Question - Firstly, we would like to know about your career path up to your current position.
Answer - I started my career at BASF with a special training programme for senior managers, completing a study programme and obtaining an MBA in Marketing and Business Management.
After that I held several positions in various divisions of BASF, such as Crop Protection and Oilfield and Mining Solutions, in several countries. Since May of 2013, I have been the Director General of Sales and Marketing at Inge GmbH, a company owned 100% by the BASF Group.
Q - What are the main business lines of the company, and how does it stand out from other competitors?
A - Inge specialises in ultrafiltration membranes, which we have patented, covering the entire life cycle of the product. Our research, development and innovation (RDI) department works on many projects to improve and develop new membranes to enable better water treatment. In addition to designing membranes, we manufacture, sell and provide support to our clients.
"Using BASF high-tech materials enables us to offer sustainable and highly profitable solutions"
We have several types of membranes, modules and systems, designed for different applications and different water treatments.
The main differences that make us unique and stand out from competitors are:
- In-to-Out ultrafiltration (UF) technology, the most effective and reliable alternative, better than Out-to-In UF solutions and conventional systems. The advantages of our technology are worth noting:
- A real ultrafiltration product, than ensures the removal of viruses.
- Greater chemical resistance, due to the material the membranes are made of, modified polyethersulfone (PES).
- The best protection for subsequent reverse osmosis (RO) treatment.
- Robust membranes, thanks to Multibore® proprietary technology.
- Service oriented approach, providing comprehensive support services to our clients before and after sales, technician training anywhere in the world, and the best UF systems design tool, Inge iSD.
- Quality 'Made in Germany'.
Q - As part of BASF, ¿what is the role of Inge GmbH?
A - Since Inge products are integrated within the chain of key materials of BASF, Inge is developing, producing and selling the best ultrafiltration technology in its class, for water treatment applications.
Using BASF high-tech materials enables us to offer sustainable and highly profitable solutions.
"Our innovations always come in a package: our best membranes together with the best know-how and the best service"
Q - R&D is key to compete in an evolving market such as the water sector. What technologies and solutions does Inge GmbH offer to meet this challenge?
A - As I said earlier, RDI is one of the key pillars of our company. Our RDI activities focus on three main areas:
- Enhancing the polymers (the raw material for our membranes) and the characteristics of the membrane.
- Optimising the design of the module and rack solutions.
- Improving treatment processes for each type of water to be treated.
In general, our innovations always come in a package: our best membranes together with the best know-how and the best service, to provide comprehensive support to our clients.
Q - As experts in ultrafiltration technology, what are the main challenges you face in this area?
A - We can summarise the main challenges as:
- Complex project structures with long development cycles, up to final implementation.
- The political situation in certain countries has a strong influence on economic development, and therefore, it also affects decisions and project implementation.
- Proximity with the client is the key to success. Inge is a true global player, with its own sales force in all important markets, supported by a solid technical team, and, of course, also supported by well-known partners and distributors across in the world.
Finally, being part of the BASF group provides financial security and security of supply to our clients and partners.
"The demand of water with a quality suitable for the intended use increases constantly"
Q - Could you highlight some of your company's significant projects in the water sector, in Europe and on an international level?
A - I would emphasise the success of the company in the past few years with large projects in key markets such as Asia, Middle East, China, and North America, showing that ultrafiltration is a key technology for all types of water treatment, today and into the future.
The following are noteworthy:
- Ghana (135 MLD, seawater desalination)
- Philippines (50 MLD + 180 MLD, surface water treatment)
- Jamnagar, India (456 MLD, process water after saltwater desalination)
- San José, United States (113 MLD, surface water treatment),
- Tuas3, Singapore (289 MLD, seawater desalination)
- Jazan, Saudi Arabia (105 MLD, seawater desalination)
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (17 MLD, process water after saltwater desalination)
In Germany our solutions have a high market penetration. We have loyal clients using our solutions, demanding high quality and services. We have facilities which are critical for our clients, where the reliability of the product and the service are essential. In addition, we have small and medium size projects for drinking, industrial and reuse water, and swimming pool applications.
Q - Finally, let us look at the future. What are the main challenges for your company?
A - The main challenge we face is political instability (including penalties) in many countries across the world. Companies whose business is project based, such as Inge, must face high risks, and therefore, need a balanced project portfolio to be able to handle those challenges.
Furthermore, we — Inge/BASF — have an optimistic vision for the future, given that the demand of water with a quality suitable for the intended use increases constantly and thus, companies offering competitive and sustainable solutions will have a great future.