Derivados del Fluor, S.A.-Bayer Hispania

1993.09.08 / 1997.06.30-Derivados del Fluor (subsidiary of Bayer Hispania). ( Maintenance and Utilities Plant manager. Ontón-Castro Urdiales (Cantabria). German multinational, which produced Inorganic Fluorochemicals. Sector: Inorganic Chemical.Turnover € 55 Mio. Managed employees: 175 persons.


Description of the company

Chemical company, which produces for the following sectors: petrochemical, pharmaceutical, nuclear energy, food, ceramics and electronics, among others.

Reporting to the Technical Director. In direct charge of all the maintenance area managers (4) and the utilities plant manager. Fully responsible for the result of both functions, being double, depending on the referred area:

(1) To guarantee the operativity of the 8 plants of the site, according to the department budget.

(2) To ensure the needed fluid supply to the other 7 plants, so they could operate correctly, at the right cost.

Main challenges

It was about replacing Maintenance and utilities Plant Manager who had been dismissed in a complicated environment of plant shutdowns and cost overruns versus budgets, which had caused the company’s first historic losses.

Solutions adopted

  1. Computerize the department, enhancing the existing and underused maintenance software.

  2. Design of a cost control system and Work Orders to have the cost for each OT immediately.

  3. Change of fixed cost (own personnel) by variable (subcontracted).

  4. Setup of the Preventive-Predictive Maintenance department -> purchase of a data collector system for vibrations, and of all the necessary equipment for the inspection of pipes and tanks and other dynamic and static devices, as well as the supportive software.

  5. Purchase of a new ammonia condenser for the power plant, since it was the cause a large part of the factory shutdowns.

  6. New ammonia-marine water condensation system for the power plant.

  7. Design and implementation of an automatic data collection system in the plant, to capture and analyse incidents in real time.


  1. In four years, the 8 plants went from stopping once a month to being 18 months without stopping at the time of my departure.

  2. We reduced our own staff from 47 people to 12, and costs were reduced from 30% to 14% on turnover, despite the fact that it remained stable during the time I was working at Derivados del Flúor. We use a powerful maintenance management software for all this.

  3. We change the concept of safety at work: talks, videos, accident investigations. The work was correct only when it was safe. We dropped from 18 accidents (9 with sick-leave and 9 without sick-leave) to 1 without sick-leave in 3 years.

  4. Through an ambitious investment plan to reduce the excess energy of the power plant, we reduced them by 15%, changing the technology of condensers, exchangers, mechanical seals of pumps and compressors, etc.

Experiences learned and / or consolidated, added to previous roles

  1. Team motivation. They had lost the reference with everything that happened.

  2. The value of mutual loyalty. I made them believe in them, and they more than gave me back the trust that I placed in them.

  3. Leadership in troubled times. We had to improvise a lot, especially in matters of materials, which we did not know, and since we were the only plant in Spain that made our product, we had no valid references.

  4. Technique. The plants had a very large park of machinery and a large number of technical problems.

  5. I kept learning from others, and at the same time, I had to teach

  6. I learned my first concepts of prudence and to have full responsibility for important numbers and many people.