6 February 2023

NGL: chemicals for precision cleaning

For more than 40 years, NGL has been formulating, manufacturing and marketing (mainly water-based) chemicals for use in surface preparation and cleaning in the precision industries. The company’s 70 or so employees all have the same goal in mind: to reduce the impact of cleaning processes on the environment and user health. An ambitious objective given the chemical industry’s ecological footprint!

The detergents and solvents made by this Vaud-based company can be used in numerous sectors. While 30% of the company’s turnover comes from the watchmaking industry, NGL’s advanced expertise also serves customers in the medical devices, cutting tools, jewellery, precision optics and ophthalmic sectors. “Our customers are the leading Swiss watchmakers, subcontractors in the jewellery industry and spectacles lens and frame manufacturers,” says Thomas Marchal, NGL’s Sales and Marketing Director.

NGL’s core business is detergents, its products catering for the high-added-value market segment. This came about because the company targets highly specific markets requiring fairly low volumes of solutions that meet complex technical requirements. In short, these are special materials subject to very high cleanliness standards. “Our calling card is our high-tech credentials,” says Thomas Marchal.

In the current climate of shortages and supply issues, NGL is working hard to offer its customers a more robust supply chain. It is committed to ensuring that they never run short of products and that it can anticipate and suggest an alternative solution whenever there is a change in the relevant regulations. Quality, reliability and expertise are the three words that best sum up NGL.

A move into the water treatment industry
Recently, NGL decided to diversify into water treatment technology. It now supplies installations that control water quality and treat industrial wastewater, eliminating various pollutants including dissolved metals. Specifically, the company is positioning itself between industrial plants and the wastewater system, treating pollutants that are not removed by wastewater treatment plants in urban areas. “By scaling our installations to meet the needs of our customers, we have plugged a gap, offering them the nearest thing to tailor-made facilities,” says Thomas Marchal.

With sustainability now the order of the day, NGL has a clearly defined sustainability strategy. Within the company, it is due to complete construction of a new and more energy-efficient building in the next two years. Until then, the company has set a goal of reducing its energy consumption by 20% by cracking down on energy losses (insulating hot water pipes and preparation tanks, upgrading lighting, reducing heating temperatures, etc.). But it is through their actions for their customers that they are making the biggest difference to the environment. By investing in R&D, NGL is able to make products that are increasingly sustainable and less toxic. The proof lies in the ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001 certifications that it is proud to have achieved.

Several major projects in the pipeline
NGL has plenty going on in the coming months. Alongside the construction of its new building, the company plans to continue rationalising its product ranges. “We are keen to maintain our quality and we never stop working at improving reliability. This means investing heavily in R&D and production and also working with our customers to improve their cleaning processes,” says Thomas Marchal. There’s no doubt that the immediate future is set to be a very exciting one for NGL, using a clever mix of innovation and traditional know-how to see through these new projects successfully.