Anything that relies on electronic function -- electric vehicles (EVs), mobile phones, computers, 5G base stations, industrial robots, data center servers -- produces functional heat. The 120+ employees at Henkel’s Brandon facility manufacture thermal interface materials (TIMs) in many formats to help move heat away from certain components to improve performance and reliability. Henkel’s thermal control formulations are so important that the site, which currently runs around-the-clock seven days a week, is doubling its size with a $30M expansion set to be completed by the end of 2023.
“Our work at Brandon has a big impact,” explains Matt Gedney, Safety, Health and Environmental Manager for Henkel at the Brandon site. “For example, our products are used throughout EVs – in the battery system, control modules and many other components – to prevent overheating. Quality is a top priority because the entire team appreciates the vital nature of the materials we produce.”
The Brandon, South Dakota facility manufactures a variety of thermal interface materials under the Loctite® and Bergquist® brands. These products are used in electric vehicle and high-performance electronics components including automotive displays, mobile devices, batteries and charging systems.
Established in 2009, Henkel integrated the Brandon site into its operational footprint after its 2014 acquisition of The Bergquist Company. The facility’s influence spans beyond end-product manufacture, as Brandon is also the primary supplier of a unique metal powder feedstock to other sites in the Henkel manufacturing network. A 35,000 sq. ft. expansion is underway and will house a state-of-the-art heat treatment process for metal conditioning – a technology integral to a next-generation EV battery innovation.
“The significant investment Henkel is making in Brandon will be game-changing for the automotive industry, and perhaps others,” shares Bruce Lear, Site Manager. “But we’re not just committing resources to automation and technology, we’re also investing in the environment. As part of the new expansion project, Henkel will pursue a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for this facility.”
IN THE COMMUNITY
Serving the local community is another priority for the Henkel Brandon team. “We provide funding and volunteer time to several local charities,” explains Shift Manager Dave Gabriel, “from the Humane Society to the Feeding South Dakota Food Pantry and an annual Angel Tree. One of the favorite initiatives among staff is ‘Rake the Town,’ an effort that removes yard waste and debris for residents unable to manage it themselves.”
DID YOU KNOW
The Brandon, South Dakota and Cannon Falls, Minnesota adhesives facilities are often referenced as sister sites. Several intermediate products are transferred between the two locations, and they work together to supply global adhesive customers and help them manage the thermal challenges of modern electronics.