15 March 2001

Johnson Matthey Catalytic Systems Division has opened a new autocatalyst manufacturing facility at its main site in Royston, Hertfordshire. The new facility, part of Johnson Matthey’s global manufacturing network expansion, will increase the company’s European capacity by 3.5 million parts.

The £10 million plant will produce 3.5 million autocatalysts in its first year of operation. It will supply the European market alongside Johnson Matthey’s existing facilities in Brussels and South Africa. Demand in Europe, where autocatalyst sales are growing at a rate significantly faster than that of vehicle sales, now exceeds 30 million catalysts per annum. This demand is driven by the increasingly stringent emission standards worldwide, lead by Europe and the United States. These standards are resulting in the use of more catalysts per vehicle and an increase in demand for more technologically advanced catalytic systems.

Johnson Matthey commissioned AMEC to design, engineer and construct the 6300 square meter plant. The project, codenamed “Fast Cat”, was completed and in production in under nine months. AMEC’s project team worked with Johnson Matthey’s manufacturing and process technologists to re-develop the former site, which was a lamp shade factory, into a state of the art autocatalyst plant.

The plant uses a computer-controlled system to run the entire manufacturing process. The fully integrated production lines, designed with optimum scalability, enable the rapid transition of the latest generation of technology into full scale production of technologically sophisticated catalytic systems.

Source: Johnson Matthey