With an open ear to customers’ questions and problems, ECO-NOVA responds immediately and find real solutions. The company sets itself high standards, in terms of quality and responsibility. This makes them pioneers in product strategy within Europe and globally.

Interview with Rudi de Leeuw, CEO of ECO-NOVA GmbH.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Rudi de Leeuw: This year, ECO-NOVA GmbH looks back on more than 30 years of company history. At our site in Schüttorf, in Lower Saxony near the Dutch border with North Rhine-Westphalia, we develop and produce innovative cleaners for industrial customers. Our ambition is to develop safe cleaning solutions that are free of hazardous substances and yet highly effective. We are not a chemist in the classical sense, but rather developers in the field of sustainable cleaners for industry.

In our production, we fill cleaners in ready-to-use containers of up to 1,000 litre. We help our customers solve cleaning problems and we are often part of the production process. Our core competence includes the recording of individual cleaning requirements and the development of a solution in close and personal consultation with our customers. On the way to solving a cleaning problem, we rely on existing cleaners and on the development of customer-specific formulations. We constantly adapt our cleaners to the needs of the market and our customers. Our aim is always to do without hazardous ingredients or to reduce them to a minimum.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

R.d.L: We supply our cleaning solutions to large industrial and commercial customers throughout Europe and act in an advisory capacity up to the development and production of a customised solution. In the development of new cleaners, we succeed in replacing established cleaners that contain hazardous substances.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

R.d.L: For us, it is not the product that is new, but the process for solving a challenge for the customer. We rely on existing recipes and formulas as well as on completely new product developments. Our products define themselves as new by solving cleaning problems that our customers have never had before. Similarly, it sometimes leads to the removal of an age-old problem with a cleaning solution that is already in our portfolio. We develop new products in close cooperation with our customers and suppliers.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

R.d.L: We develop and produce both solvents and aqueous cleaning concentrates. Our product portfolio ranges from alkaline, neutral to acidic cleaners. The common feature of our cleaners is the use of safe and natural raw materials.

The application areas for our products are very diverse. When developing our cleaners, we rely on safe and natural raw materials that offer excellent cleaning performance for the corresponding application areas. Our range includes solutions for many different types of industrial soiling. We have developed our cleaners for industries such as the chemical and raw materials industries or in the field of plastic and metal prefabricated parts. Our cleaners are also used in the packaging and food industries and we remove bituminous contamination, tar or asphalt in road construction, mixing plants or industrial product plants. Our experience in the various industries helps us to replace already established cleaners that require labelling with innovative cleaning solutions that contain no or only a few hazardous substances. Many of our cleaners are based on natural and safe raw materials. Many of our products are certified according to ISEGA or NSF.

Switching to our cleaners usually not only improves occupational safety for employees, but also reduces the environmental impact through fewer pollutants. In addition, the majority of our cleaners have no or very few VOC substances.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

R.d.L: The market has been in constant flux for over 30 years. For example, laws and regulations regarding the handling of cleaners or their ingredients change fundamentally. The industry is looking for sustainable and safe cleaning solutions and the demand is increasing. Competitors are pushing onto the market with a multitude of cleaners for the most diverse applications. However, we always try to look ahead and be one step faster than others. We rely on a compact company size and our functional teams work very closely with our customers. This way we guarantee a very fast service and can react within 24 hours.

The demand in the market for safe and effective cleaners is increasing. We take advantage of the market conditions and have positioned ourselves where customers looking for solutions for their processes find us as consultants, developers and producers.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

R.d.L: Checking the cleaning results as well as the cleaning processes has a very high priority in production and trade. It is therefore not surprising that many companies are looking for improved, ecological and symbol-free cleaners. We are experiencing strong demand in the area of hazard-free cleaners and strongly expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

R.d.L: Many industrial applications use cleaners that contain hazardous substances and therefore pose a challenge for safe and environmentally conscious work. Our products do not contain hazardous substances and at the same time have an enormously high cleaning effect. From our point of view, this is already an innovation. 

In addition, our products are used in industries that at first seem to suggest that the impurities prevailing there can only be cleaned with “sharp substances”. However, our cleaners have excellent cleaning properties for bituminous or asphalt contamination, are highly effective in cleaning polymer cracking in the masterbatch industry or dissolve dyes and pigments in the printing sector or roller cleaning. ECO-NOVA cleaners are certified for the food industry by ISEGA and NSF. The industrial application areas are very diverse and our cleaners are often a novelty when our customers use them for the first time.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

R.d.L: For 2023, we expect further growth of our company. We have restructured ourselves in the area of advisory services so that our clients are supported in all questions in newly established functional teams. We are responding to the changes in the market and expect that our clients will benefit greatly from the restructuring and that we will work closely together.