Many companies take part in chemical contract machining because of reduced production costs through economies of scale. It is also easier to hire an existing chemical plant than it is to build a facility and hire, manage and train a workforce. The hired firm, or subcontractor, is usually able to provide a wide range of chemical manufacturing and synthesis processes or they may specialize in a particular type of synthetic, organic or inorganic chemical.
The scientists, engineers and other technical personnel who work for chemical manufacturers are trained in such as organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, or biopolymer chemistry. Chemical contract manufacturers obtain the necessary starting materials, compounds and equipment in order to fulfill their end of the contract. Chemical contract manufacturing is widely used by practically any industry that requires chemicals for their processes, such as pharmaceutical companies, petrochemical companies, the plastics industry, waste water treatment and waste management plants.
Chemical manufacturing involves many steps and processes. The materials used may be raw or polluted and so they must be distilled and dried before they are mixed or blended with other substances. The mixture goes through purification, which may or may not occur depending on the properties of the specific chemical.
Certain components may be extracted from the chemical mixture. The product may undergo chemical synthesis in the conversion of raw materials into more usable molecules or it may go through catalysis, the process of slowing down or speed up reactions by adding a substance that will not itself be changed. For chemical manufacturing, large amounts of heat and energy are generally required. Before the manufacturing process even begins, however, the company interested in outsourcing requests quotes from various contract manufacturers.
After reviewing the job estimates from the interested companies, the hiring firm chooses one and they discuss the details of the arrangement. Usually the two companies enter into a contract of one to three years, though other lengths are often set as well. Depending on the reputation and financial stability of the companies, longer terms may be set. Chemical contract manufacturing is beneficial for both the manufacturer and the hiring company. The chemical plant is offered the guarantee of steady work and pay for the duration of the contract while the hiring firm saves on costs and stress.