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Posted September 18, 2018

FRANKLIN, Wis.—Custom Fabricating & Supplies (CFS) recently completed a new corporate video. Produced by CI Design, the video provides an overview of the family-owned business and features a fun look inside its Franklin, Wis., facility. “Rather than a nuts and bolts explanation of what the company does, I am excited to show what is at the heart of CFS – our employees and customers,” says Henry Asik, VP of CFS.

In addition, a piece featuring the company’s new Delta Crusader precision rotary die cutting machine was also released. “The Delta takes us to the next level in our ability to produce component die cuts,” commented Brian Asik, national sales manager for CFS. The machine has capabilities that are sought after for intricate and precise component die cuts.
Both videos are available to view on the company’s YouTube Channel at http://bit.ly/CFSYouTubePR. CFS is an ISO 9001:2015 supplier of performance component die cuts, custom rubber molded parts, extrusions, and masking supplies for industrial applications.

Posted September 17, 2018

KINGSPORT, Tenn.—Eastman, a global advanced materials and specialty additives company, has introduced Tetrashield protective resin systems, a technology for coatings that enables chemical resistance while balancing hardness and flexibility. The company touts it as a polyol chemistry for coatings applications that can deliver durability through improvements in weathering, UV stability, and scratch and mar resistance.

Posted September 14, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Apel International Inc., also known as Apel Filters, plans to expand its facility at Bluegrass Commerce Park in Jeffersontown, Ky. The company plans to add 28,600 square feet to what is currently a 74,000-square-foot building, increasing the amount of warehousing and distribution space.

The new $2 million warehouse will include high-tech automated storage and retrieval machines. The company will add more than 20 employees and a third shift after the completion of this project. Apel Filters manufactures and ships custom and standard replacement cartridge filters, pleated bags, and fabric filters for dust collection.

Posted September 13, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J.—The Surface Treatment global business unit of BASF’s Coatings division, operating under the Chemetall brand, opened a new state-of-the-art laboratory at its 38,700-square-foot manufacturing and office facility in Queretaro, Mexico. The new lab will facilitate cutting-edge simulation and product development for the surface treatment industry, including analytical, application, and corrosion services.

Posted September 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On the 2-year anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has met its statutory responsibilities to release guidance and policy on confidential business information, a strategy to reduce animal testing, and a final mercury reporting rule. These actions will boost transparency and increase public confidence in chemical safety.

In addition to these milestones, EPA has diligently worked to implement the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years. It also released a systematic review approach for public comment to guide EPA’s selection and review of studies and provide transparency in how the Agency plans to evaluate scientific information.

Posted September 10, 2018

ATLANTA, Ga.—The Home Depot Foundation recently announced a $50 million commitment to skilled trades training over the next 10 years, as part of an effort to help fill the skilled labor gap. With a commitment to train 20,000 people, the Foundation says it hopes to make a dent in the 158,000 unfilled construction sector jobs in the US. In addition, it is establishing an advanced-level trades training program in partnership with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia.

Posted September 7, 2018

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—International Thermal Systems (ITS) has named Tom Stricker as president. Stricker joined ITS in 2015 as general manager of the metal packaging and parts washer product groups and brings more than 20 years of professional experience to his new role. In addition, the company has named Marshall Joas as general manager, Metal Packaging and Industrial Products Division, and Matthew Zea has been promoted to general manager of the Battery Division. ITS is a global manufacturer of thermal processing ovens, furnaces, and aqueous washers.

Posted September 6, 2018

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Ohio—Coventya has come up with a cleaner zinc-nickel process that minimizes the amount of breakdown product and improves cathode efficiency. The new process, Selective Separative System (3S), includes an inert micro-porous membrane in addition to an alkaline anolyte and a stainless steel anode, and this combination results in reduced cyanide generation and carbonate formation, as well as faster plating speed and less energy consumption. The very fine, porous membrane isn’t permeable to large molecules and also prevents the oxidation of organic compounds, therefore minimizing carbonate formation as well as reducing the consumption of organic additives.

Posted September 5, 2018

PARIS, France—JEC World 2018 reported a record increase in attendance at its recent event in Paris. The show welcomed more than 1,300 exhibitors and over 42,400 attendees from 115 countries. The event is geared to the composites industry. The show is conducted by the JEC Group, a global information and connection company that represents, promotes, and develops the markets for composite materials.

Posted September 4, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—OSHA has issued a direct final rule (DFR) clarifying aspects of the beryllium standard for general industry as it applies to processes, operations, or areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. The DFR clarifies the definitions of Beryllium Work Area, emergency, dermal contact, and beryllium contamination. It also clarifies provisions for disposal and recycling, and provisions that the Agency intends to apply only where skin can be exposed to materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

Posted August 31, 2018

DUSSELDORF, Germany—Henkel has introduced a new acid pickle cleaner for steel. Bonderite C-IC 182C metal cleaner is suitable for both hot- and cold-rolled steel, and can be used as a conventional pretreatment spray or on an immersion line. The phosphoric acid pickle is formulated to eliminate rust and oxide scale on laser-cut steel parts and features biodegradable surfactants that facilitate its disposal into waste streams. It can minimize rework, lower production costs, improve aesthetics, and potentially eliminate cleaning processes altogether for lightly-soiled substrates.

Posted August 31, 2018

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.—Chemark Consulting Group has named Colby Cameron director of corporate legal activities practice. Cameron has been a managing partner of Cameron & Mittleman LLP for the past 32 years. The company provides consulting services to the powder coating industry.

Posted August 30, 2018

SOUTH BOSTON, Va.—ChemQuest Technology Institute (CQTI), in partnership with Heraeus Noblelight America, has begun scheduling trials on its newly installed state-of-the-art, microwave-powered and UV LED wide-format curing systems deployed on its automated flat line. Customers can test new chemistries and curing processes using equipment and a line scaled to the production of durable goods. ChemQuest is a leading international business strategy firm in specialty chemicals. Heraeus Noblelight America LLC is a leading global manufacturer of industrial UV curing systems.

Posted August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Donald J. Trump has announced that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned. Pruitt had been under fire in recent months for allegations of improper spending of taxpayer money, self-dealing, and inappropriate use of staff.

Andrew Wheeler has assumed the duties of acting Administrator. Wheeler is a former lawyer and lobbyist for firm Faegre Baker Daniels, working primarily with clients in the fossil fuel industry, and is set to maintain Pruitt’s direction with the EPA.

Posted August 28, 2018

Powder Coating is heartbroken to inform our readers that we have lost a dear friend and staff member. Harry Myers, production manager of PC and our three sister publications, unexpectedly passed away in June. Harry was an integral part of our company for the past 20 years and will be incredibly missed by staff members, many of whom were lucky enough to call him a friend.

We send our condolences to the Myers family. Rest in peace, Harry.

Posted August 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited MPV Morganton Pressure Vessels North Carolina LLC, Marion, N.C., for exposing employees to fire, explosion, laceration, and struck-by hazards. The metal tank manufacturer faces proposed penalties of $101,800. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings.

An inspection of the company’s Bay Minette, Ala., facility found 10 serious and three other-than-serious violations, including exposure to fire and explosion hazards from an accumulation of combustible dust, laceration hazards from unguarded grinders, and struck-by hazards from unsecured propane tanks. The inspection was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for Combustible Dust and the Regional Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards.

Posted August 24, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems has acquired a state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility in Sacramento, Calif., to support growth in its North American Industrial and Refinish businesses. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Axalta is a leading global coatings company.

Posted August 23, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has awarded its 2018-2019 scholarships to students who are studying various subjects that can lead to a career in powder coating. The criteria for the awards include specific studies and projects relevant to powder coating technology, transcript/GPA, future goals, unique qualifications, and a letter of recommendation from their adviser.

This year’s Scholarship Program awarded $25,000 in total, which includes corporate donations. The following students were awarded scholarships: Alexis Corda, Purdue University; Maggie Sackse, University of Oregon; Alyson Sillin, University of Oregon; Alison Rohly, North Dakota State University; Hayden Castagno, Brigham Young University-Idaho; and Emily Chojecki, Purdue University. For more information on the recipients as well as the application process, visit www.powdercoating.org.

Posted August 22, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) recently distributed several awards to its members. Dr. James Lindsay is the recipient of this year’s NASF Presidential Award, which honors his years of contribution to the finishing industry and to the various organizations that support the industry. Jolie Zak, Scientific Control Laboratories, has received the Taormina Award for her years of service to NASF and other finishing associations

NASF also named three new fellows: Pat Gleason, Microfinish; Eric Olander, Electrochemical Products Inc.; and Bill Wiggins, Automation Plating Corp. Receiving awards of merit are Wesley Turnbow, EME Inc.; Manual Acosta and Lina De La Cruz, Control Electropolishing; Jim Miille, Chemical Solutions; the late James Sullivan, Schumacher Companies; Stacey Bales, Bales Metal Surface Solutions; Paul Frank, Asterion; and Maj. Robert Baugh, US Army. For more info, visit nasf.org.

Posted August 20, 2018

Oct. 2-4: KTA Basic Coatings Inspection Course. Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis Convention Center, St. Louis, Mo. Sponsored by KTA-Tator. Contact Debbie Morelli at 412/788-1300 ext. 187; dmorelli@kta.com; https://kta.com/basic-coatings-inspection-course.

Oct. 4-5: Powder Coating 101 Workshop. Hillsboro, Ore. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Oct. 9-11: Essentials of Chemical Engineering for Non-Chemical Engineers. Chicago, Ill. Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Contact AIChE at 800/242-4363; fax 203/775-5177; tinam@aiche.org; www.aiche.org.

Oct. 16-17: 2018 Intech Information Institute (I3). DoubleTree by Hilton, Philadelphia. Pa. Sponsored by Intech Services. Contact Chris Lord at 302/366-8530; fax 302/366-8602; clord@intechservices.com; www.intechservices.com/i3-2018.

Posted August 17, 2018

TAMPA, Fla.—The Electrocoat Association presented several awards at its Ecoat18 conference in Tampa this Spring. Chuck Gault, Max Coating, received the Best End-User Contribution Award, which is given to select electrocoaters who have devoted time and company resources to provide technical presentations at the conference.

Three other individuals received the Dr. George E.F. Brewer Award, considered the most distinguished honor given by the association. Dr. Brewer is generally credited with the original idea of electrodeposition of paint through his work and research during the late 1950’s while at Ford Motor Co. Through his initiative, the technology became more precise and the market expanded. This year’s award recipients were: James Gezo, PPG Industries, who received the award in the area of market promotion of electrocoat technology; Frederick Hess, UFS Corp., was honored in the area of application of electrocoat technology; and Jack Loren, Membranes International, received his award for development of electrocoat technology.

Posted August 16, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has released the first in a series of videos promoting powder coating technology to manufacturers. In the video, several original equipment manufacturers share the benefits they enjoy in using powder technology for their products. The video can be accessed at www.powdercoating.org. PCI is a nonprofit technical and professional association that provides information and education on powder coating technologies worldwide.

Posted August 14, 2018

BELLEVILLE, N.J.—Vac-U-Max has received ATEX Certification for three of its compressed-air-powered (nonelectrical) industrial vacuum cleaning systems for use in explosion-hazard environments. ATEX Certification requires a third-party review and full testing of equipment, not just the design paperwork. The testing organization, Intertek, Cortland, N.Y., is a Nationally Recognized Testing Lab (NRTL) as designated by OSHA. Successful testing resulted in a Type Examination Certificate in accordance with the latest revision of the EN ISO 80079-36 and EN ISO 80079-37.

The company received ATEX approval for three product ranges of compressed-air-powered vacuums: the CD Series for Combustible Dusts, FL Series for Flammable Liquids, and SR Series for Submerged Recovery applications such as reactive metal powders from 3D printing and explosives used in ordnance production. As a UL-certified designer and builder of control panels, the company is also in compliance with existing UL standards.

Vac-U-Max designs and manufactures industrial hygiene solutions and pneumatic conveying components and process automation systems for conveying, batching, and weighing of many types of powders and bulk materials in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical, and plastics industries. For more info, visit www.vac-u-max.com/vacuum.

Posted August 13, 2018

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio—Scientists based out of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Corrosion Prevention and Control Office, working in collaboration with Luna Innovations Inc., have developed a new corrosion and coating evaluation system that they say can accelerate coating materials’ performance evaluations. According to the researchers, the cost of corrosion control can be controlled by a better understanding of corrosion performance of materials put on aircraft.

The new evaluation system, known as CorRES, measures coatings’ ability to protect aircraft by using sensor panels that perform electrochemical measurements during corrosion testing. Unlike the more traditional visual-based testing alternative, the system records corrosion rate data throughout the course of a test and transmits the data to a base station for evaluation. In turn, this information reveals when a coating fails during a test.

The system uses sensing elements to measure free and galvanic corrosion, coating barrier properties, and environmental effects on coating materials. It can be used in both a lab environment as well as outdoor exposure site, which means that underperforming coatings can be eliminated from screenings earlier during testing.

Posted August 10, 2018

BRUSSELS, Belgium—The European Union (EU) has voted to approve a combination of quotas and tariffs on steel products to offset a feared influx of dumped steel after the US placed its own tariffs on incoming steel this Spring. The approach will involve a quota based on the amount of steel products imported into the EU in recent years, with a 25 percent tariff on any product imported beyond that volume. The tariffs are provisional measures while the EC investigates the effects the US tariffs are having on the market in Europe. The EU’s approach to the steel trade could then change depending on the results of that investigation.

The measures came at the behest of the European steel industry, which recently expressed concerns about the possibility of cheap Asian steel undercutting its competitive position in Europe. The US’ tariffs on steel imports went into effect over a period of months, affecting some Asian countries in March, and other countries, including Canada and the EU, at the beginning of June. Canada and the EU have since instituted retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Posted August 9, 2018

OTTOWA, Ont.—The Canadian government recently granted the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association’s (CPCA’s) request for an exemption from tariffs on US goods coming into the country, as language could be interpreted to include pails, cans, vats, and totes used by in-country paint and coatings manufacturers.

Since there is no Canadian manufacturer of these pails and cans, manufacturers based in Canada would face an increase of millions of dollars in higher input costs compared to equivalent products imported from the US. The tariff on US goods going into Canada went into effect July 1.

CPCA president and CEO Gary LeRoux noted that the North American paint and coatings industry is significantly integrated with a number of US-owned companies running manufacturing facilities in Canada, which are aided by crossborder supply chains. These tariffs could be the last straw for many Canada-based manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, already considering possible relocation to US jurisdictions with lower taxes, fewer regulations, lower energy and labor costs, ongoing exchange rate challenges, and other incentives for plant relocation.

Thanks to consolidation, almost half of all paint and coatings products sold in Canada are imported from the US, marking a nearly 15 percent increase over the last decade. The same consolidation has contributed to the closure of Canadian manufacturing plants, forcing many companies to move head offices to the US.

Posted August 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Department of Commerce has ruled that some steel products imported from Vietnam in recent years actually originated in China and were diverted through the second country in order to circumvent antidumping duties. In response to the practice, the department announced that cold-rolled and corrosion-resistant steel made in Vietnam with steel originally from China will be subject to harsh duties equal to those already imposed on Chinese steel. The new announcement cemented a preliminary ruling made in December.

Imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Vietnam rose by a factor of 40, from $2 million to $80 million per year, after China was hit with harsh duties in 2015 in response to what the US calls dumping of steel products. Cold-rolled steel imports from Vietnam rose from $9 million to $215 million per year at the same time.

Corrosion-resistant steel from Vietnam made with Chinese-origin substrates will face antidumping and countervailing duties of 199.3 percent and 39.05 percent, respectively. Cold-rolled steel from Vietnam made from substrates of Chinese origin will face antidumping and countervailing duties of 199.76 percent and 256.44 percent, respectively. These specific measures come in addition to the US general tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Posted August 7, 2018

FAREHAM, UK—Porvair Filtration Group has acquired Keystone Filter, a division of CECO Environmental Corp. (CECO). Keystone designs and manufactures filter cartridges and housings for the chemical process and other industrial markets. As part of the cash acquisition, Porvair has entered into a transition services agreement with CECO to transfer the business to its plant in Ashland, Va., over the next few months. Porvair Filtration Group is an international leader in the development and supply of high performance, innovative materials and solutions for applications in filtration and separation.

Posted August 3, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—OSHA recently released a new bulletin related to hearing loss, with special attention paid to ototoxicity. The new safety and health information bulletin, Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure, explains that certain chemicals known as ototoxicants can cause hearing damage and balance problems upon exposure. Noise at the time of exposure can exacerbate the problem in some cases, but ototoxicants can affect hearing even in environments without noise.

Ototoxicants occur in substances such as some solvents used in paints and in chemical stripping and cleanup. Ototoxic solvents include toluene, used as a paint thinner; ethylbenzene, used as a solvent in paints; pxylene, used in the polymerization of some polyesters; and methylstyrene, used in making plasticizers, resins, and polymers. Other substances, including lead and organic tin compounds, can also act as ototoxicants. Employers can limit workers’ exposure to ototoxicants by knowing what substances have potential ototoxic effects and by employing the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Posted August 1, 2018

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands—In the culmination of a process announced nearly a year ago, global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has announced the $12.5 billion sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

In the original announcement in April 2017, AkzoNobel detailed that the plan was to sell or list the chemicals business (which accounted for about a third of sales and profits) within the next year. At the time, analysts valued the division at approximately $9.9 billion, based on the company’s 2016 operating profit.

The separation of the Specialty Chemicals business has been discussed for some time, but the formal announcement was seen as a response to repeated attempts at a takeover by rival company PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa., which began in March 2017 and were at times contentious.

The transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions as well as relevant regulatory approvals. AkzoNobel acquired shareholder approval for the separation last November.

Posted July 30, 2018

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Global coatings manufacturer PPG has stated that it will be cutting more than 1,000 jobs in a restructuring effort that comes in the wake of rising raw material costs and the ouster of the company’s consumer brands from a major home-improvement box store. The projected layoffs were reported in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which notes that a pretax restructuring charge of $8,085 million will be recorded in the company’s second-quarter financial report. Most of that charge will go to employee severance and other cash costs. About 1,100 employees will lose their jobs.

The company said in the SEC filing that the move was brought on by a customer assortment change in its US architectural coatings business as well as sustained, elevated raw material inflation. PPG’s Olympic paints and stains were removed from Lowe’s stores in the first quarter of this year when the home-improvement giant inked an exclusive deal with The Sherwin-Williams Co. PPG later announced a new deal with Home Depot to sell Olympic products. Home Depot is Lowe’s primary competitor, and the largest home-improvement retailer in the US.

The layoffs will occur between now and the second quarter of 2019, and the company expects the restructuring to begin to pay off within two years.

As part of additional ongoing efforts to optimize its supply chain footprint, PPG has also confirmed plans to shut down a Houston plant. The closure will impact 52 jobs, and cuts will begin on November 30 at the facility, which will officially close February 28, 2019. All affected employees will reportedly receive severance pay based upon years of service. The plant is part of PPG’s architectural coatings business.

Posted July 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-President Donald J. Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for OSHA supports his continued efforts to assure safe and healthful jobs for the American people.

“The President’s budget provides a fiscally responsible framework to advance the Department of Labor’s mission of ensuring all Americans have access to family-sustaining jobs,” said Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor. “From addressing the skills gap through apprenticeships to prioritizing workplace safety, this budget reflects a strong commitment to the American workforce. It also includes important reforms to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to maximum effect.”

OSHA’s fiscal year 2019 budget request provides an increase of $6.1 million for 42 new Compliance Safety and Health Officers to continue the agency’s strong commitment to enforcement, and another $5.1 million for 24 Compliance Assistance Specialists and eight Voluntary Protection Programs staff to allow the agency to expand its training, outreach, compliance assistance, and cooperative programs.

Posted July 25, 2018

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands-In the culmination of a process announced nearly a year ago, global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has announced the $12.5 billion sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

In the original announcement in April 2017, AkzoNobel detailed that the plan was to sell or list the chemicals business (which accounted for about a third of sales and profits) within the next year. At the time, analysts valued the division at approximately $9.9 billion, based on the company’s 2016 operating profit.

The separation of the Specialty Chemicals business has been discussed for some time, but the formal announcement was seen as a response to repeated attempts at a takeover by rival company PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa., which began in March 2017 and were at times contentious.

The transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions as well as relevant regulatory approvals. AkzoNobel acquired shareholder approval for the separation last November.

Posted July 24, 2018

HARBIN, China-A research team based out of the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, led by researcher Ming Yang, has designed a self-healing coating that is reminiscent of the human epidermis, but with the strength of tooth enamel, which holds promise for both building coatings and biomedical equipment. The coating can help prevent scratches in a more dynamic fashion than traditional alternatives.

While this is not the first smart coating to hit the market, there is still a need for better self-healing materials. According to Yang, current self-healing materials and coatings are often soft and wear out quickly, resulting in issues with the management of the plastic waste. The team’s new design could help address these concerns by combining the flexibility of a soft coating with the resilience of a hard coating.

The trick is using artificial materials in nature’s way, noted Yang, with the multilayered structure acting as the key. The coating’s top layer is similar in toughness to tooth enamel, and yet the hard and soft layers are able to work in conjunction to create healing properties.

The coating shows promise in being able to protect both phone screens and buildings alike, and its bacteria-killing properties can also make it useful in the creation of biomedical devices. Moving forward, the coating manufacturing process will need to be made more efficient if it’s to go from lab to market. Yang predicted that a prototype could be ready in two years, with something more final launched in five years or more.

Posted July 23, 2018

Sept. 4: Paint & Coating Basics. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Melton Mowbray, Leicester, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact the PRA training team at +011-44-1664-501-212; training@pra-world.com ; www.pra-world.com/training.

Sept. 18-19: Powder Coating 202 Workshop. Amherst, Ohio. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Sept. 24-27: Process Safety Boot Camp. Chicago, Ill. Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). Contact AIChE at 800/242-4363; fax 203/775-5177; tinam@aiche.org; www.aiche.org.

Posted July 20, 2018

ESSEN, Germany-Evonik Industries and Siemens Corporate Technology, Berlin, Germany, have teamed up to work on a research project that converts carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals, using electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to power the endeavor. The project, known as Rheticus, is slated to run for the next two years.

Involving a team of 20 researchers total, some from each company, the project will use electrolysis powered by renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which will then be fed into a fermenter. From there, microorganisms turn it into chemicals such as butanol and hexanol, which could be used as feedstocks for products. The goal is to demonstrate that artificial photosynthesis is feasible.

The first plant is set to go onstream by 2021 at the Evonik facility in Marl, Germany, and the next stage could see the creation of a facility that has an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons per year. The new technology can reportedly serve as energy storage, and respond to power fluctuations while also stabilizing the grid. These plants can also scale to suit the needs of local chemical producers.

Rheticus will receive $3.48 million in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, as part of a nationwide endeavor to seek out new energy solutions.

Posted July 19, 2018

PITTSBURGH, Pa.-Global coatings manufacturer PPG has stated that it will be cutting more than 1,000 jobs in a restructuring effort that comes in the wake of rising raw material costs and the ouster of the company’s consumer brands from a major home-improvement box store. The projected layoffs were reported in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which notes that a pretax restructuring charge of $8,085 million will be recorded in the company’s second-quarter financial report. Most of that charge will go to employee severance and other cash costs. About 1,100 employees will lose their jobs.

The company did not indicate where the job cuts would occur, but said in the SEC filing that the move was brought on by a customer assortment change in its US architectural coatings business as well as sustained, elevated raw material inflation. PPG’s Olympic paints and stains were removed from Lowe’s stores in the first quarter of this year when the home-improvement giant inked an exclusive deal with The Sherwin-Williams Co. PPG later announced a new deal with Home Depot to sell Olympic products. Home Depot is Lowe’s primary competitor, and the largest home-improvement retailer in the US.

The layoffs will occur between now and the second quarter of 2019, and the company expects the restructuring to begin to pay off within two years.

Posted July 17, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Researchers based out of Ohio State University have developed smart paint, which is a coating that can help the vision impaired navigate increasingly complex urban spaces safely. The key lies in the connection between what is in the paint and the cane a person uses. Known as “smart paint for networked cities,” the coating is intended to be detected using a smart cane, a modified white cane that detects the unique coating and provides door-to-door guidance.

Ohio State University is working with a number of other institutions on the project, including the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) and Intelligent Material. OSSB has a collection of previous white cane technologies, which enabled researchers to test and refine what their own product would be capable of. Intelligent Material has worked with OSU for several years in integrating light-converting oxides into polymeric matrices for specific applications.

Smart paint that informs users they have reached their destination may take the form of horizontal stripes along sidewalks, while the paints themselves could also be grey or black or even invisible to sighted pedestrians, but would still be detectable by smart canes.

The technology also holds promise for helping airport ground traffic navigate. OSU researchers will be preparing for a proposal submission to the National Science Foundation at the end of this month. Currently, several acres of smart paint are applied throughout the city of Columbus.

Posted July 16, 2018

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.-California Polytechnic State University’s Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center (WCTC) recently completed a successful $1.1 million fundraising campaign to support an expansion that will nearly double its available lab facilities. The additional 2,100 square feet of lab and office space will be used to expand research and testing services and increase student enrollment.

The two-year campaign began in 2015 with a foundational gift of $100,000 from the Dunn-Edwards Corp. A generous donation of $500,000 from the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation raised the campaign above its initial goal of $1 million. Established by the late Stanley Wayne Ekstrom, president of Cardinal Paint & Powder, the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation promotes community efforts related to health, justice, and education, with an emphasis on programs that support the development and care of children and young adults.

Combined contributions from the Los Angles, Golden Gate, and Pacific Northwest coatings societies were crucial to the success of the campaign and totaled more than $200,000. Other key industry supporters include Kelly-Moore Paint and Horn Companies. Individual donations from industry professionals and Cal Poly alumni also played a significant role in exceeding the campaign goal.

The WCTC connects the university’s Polymers and Coatings Program to partners in industry. Through the center, Cal Poly offers intensive short courses, testing services, contract research, and other collaborative opportunities to the paint and coatings industry.

Posted July 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has met an important milestone and proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

Under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers provide a sustainable source of funding to defray resources that are available for implementation of new responsibilities under the amended law. These fees, to be collected from certain chemical manufacturers and importers, would go toward developing risk evaluations for existing chemicals, collecting and reviewing toxicity and exposure data and other information, reviewing Confidential Business Information (CBI), and making determinations in a timely and transparent manner with respect to the safety of new chemicals before they enter the marketplace.

EPA states that it is working diligently to implement the new law, the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years, and get the most modern and safe chemicals to market quickly in order to provide regulatory certainty for manufacturers and confidence for American consumers.

The fees rule is the final of four framework rules under the Act, incorporating input received at an August 2016 public meeting. Under the proposed rule, affected businesses would begin incurring fees on October 1, 2018, and small businesses would receive a substantial 80 percent discount on their fees for new chemical submissions.

Posted July 11, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, England-As part of a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Dutch company Hoekmine BV, researchers recently began modifying the color of some bacteria, which they say could pave the way to “growing” paints and coatings.

The study looks at flavobacterium, which is a type of bacteria that packs together in colonies and produces a vibrant color. That color isn’t made from pigments, but rather from the bacteria’s structure, which reflects light at different wavelengths. It’s those genes that the scientists experimented with.

The scientists took the genes and were able to mutate them into many different colors and hues, ranging from red to blue and vibrant to subtle. This success is a crucial stepping stone to developing a biodegradable, nontoxic paint. The researchers say that, from an applied perspective, this bacterial system allows them to achieve tunable living photonic structures that can be reproduced in abundance, avoiding traditional nanofabrication methods.

Posted July 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-OSHA has cited First Source Worldwide LLC for several workplace safety hazards that put employees at risk of injury. The company faces proposed penalties of $256,088.

Following an inspection of the company’s Dalton, Ohio, facility, OSHA issued willful citations for failing to install a fall protection system and failing to develop and implement a written permit-required confined-space program. The company was also cited for several serious and other-than-serious violations, including failing to develop safety procedures when performing equipment maintenance and servicing, failing to ensure employees have proper personal protective equipment, and failing to install machine guards on equipment.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance.

Posted July 6, 2018

UNION, Mo.-Gateway Extrusions, a leading national aluminum extrusion and finishing firm, has announced significant job creation at its Union, Mo., facility. With the recent expansion of its manufacturing facility, the addition of new production equipment, and growth in sales, Gateway has seen a 100 percent increase in staffing since late 2014. Currently, employment stands at 130 and the company is seeking additional workers from the area as the new equipment is ramped up to full production.

To ensure the company’s employees are well prepared to meet customer and company needs, Gateway has implemented several initiatives in addition to ongoing skills training, such as employee recognition activities and a mentor program for new employees.

Posted July 5, 2018

ADDISON, Ill.-Tru-Tone Finishing Inc., a family-owned provider of industrial electrocoating, plans to create 120 jobs as it establishes a facility in Lexington, Ky. The company offers e-coat, powder coating, and other finishing processes for a variety of industrial clients from its two existing locations in Addison, Ill., and Brownsville, Tex.

Tru-Tone will initially implement an e-coat metal finishing process to serve the surrounding region at an existing 70,000-square-foot building. That line is expected to open this summer, with powder coating capabilities added in 2019. Ultimately, the Lexington plant will operate three 35-employee shifts.

A large part of business will initially come from automotive suppliers but will eventually include a mix of general industrial clients. The facility will also offer some limited support activities, including part washing and finishing.

Posted July 3, 2018

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.-Charles Ross & Son Co., a leading manufacturer of specialty mixing, blending, drying, and dispersion equipment, has announced the opening of its online store. Visitors to the company’s flagship website, www.mixers.com, will see the new Buy Online tool prominently displayed in the banner. The website is designed for easy browsing and selection, with mixer features clearly outlined. Lab and production-scale devices are available for immediate purchase in a standard design, and many are ready to ship from stock.

Posted July 2, 2018

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-Engineers at the University of Maryland, College Park have developed a method that involves the compression of wood, which makes it stronger than most titanium alloys. The result is a strong, natural material that can be used as an alternative to steel in construction. Liangbing Hu, the leader of the research team, noted that the new treatment method made the wood 12 times stronger than natural wood and 10 times tougher.

The process begins with the removal of the wood’s lignin, which is responsible for making the wood brown and rigid. The wood is then compressed at 150°F, which packs the cellulose fibers closely together. As a result, any defects are also crushed together. A coat of paint is then added to extend the treatment process.

The research team discovered that when the fibers were pressed together, they could form strong hydrogen bonds. The wood was also five times thinner than it had been originally.

To test the wood’s strength, the team shot bullet-like projectiles at it. The projectiles went straight through the natural wood, but the treated wood stopped them halfway through. “It is both strong and tough, which is a combination not usually found in nature,” said Teng Li, the co-leader of the team. “It is as strong as steel, but six times lighter. It takes ten times more energy to fracture than natural wood. It can even be bent and molded at the beginning of the process.” The treated wood could be used in cars, airplanes, and buildings in any application where steel is used.

Posted June 29, 2018

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands-At its annual meeting in April, global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel approved the appointment of Nils Andersen to its Supervisory Board in the role of chair, replacing Antony Burgmans who is stepping down this year at the end of his third term. In addition to Andersen’s appointment, Byron Grote was reappointed as a member of the Supervisory Board and has also been reappointed for a second four-year term as deputy chairman.

Burgmans announced that he would be stepping down last July. The last year of his tenure was embroiled in dramatic back-and-forth merger talks with fellow coatings giant PPG. Burgmans played a controversial role in the talks and, at one point, an activist hedge fund that was in favor of the deal pushed to have Burgmans ousted as chair. Following his official announcement, a months-long hunt for Burgmans’ replacement ended in March, when the board announced the nomination of Andersen. Andersen is the nonexecutive director at BP and Unilever, where he serves on both companies’ audit committees.

Posted June 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-After leading the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for over 10 years, president and CEO Cal Dooley has announced that he will retire at the end of 2018 when his current contract expires. “It has been an honor to represent the American chemical industry during a time of historic growth and transformation,” said Dooley. “Today the US is one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in chemical and plastic manufacturing thanks to abundant domestic shale gas development and sound policy approaches. I am extremely proud of what ACC has accomplished over the past ten years, especially the passage of bipartisan chemical regulatory reform legislation.”

Dooley joined ACC in 2008 during a challenging and uncertain time for the US chemical industry marked by high energy and natural gas prices and a lingering recession. Concerns about chemical safety were high due to an outdated and ineffective regulatory system that abetted the rampant spread of misinformation about chemicals and changing consumer and marketplace expectations.

Under Dooley’s leadership, ACC implemented an integrated strategy comprised of aggressive federal and state advocacy, communications, coalition building, political engagement, and new programs to address the challenges facing the chemical sector. He also successfully positioned ACC and its members as instrumental to the bipartisan legislation known as the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act to modernize chemical regulations.

ACC says membership grew by 49 percent during Dooley’s term, in part through his innovative efforts to recruit more small and medium sized companies through introductory dues waivers and by providing them with extra support to comply with Responsible Care, the industry’s environment, health, safety, and security program.

Posted June 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-President Trump has released his proposed infrastructure plan, including $200 billion the administration says will spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments by state and local governments and private parties over the next decade.

The plan relies largely on state, local, and private investment, relying on federal funding to leverage more than six times as much new revenue from those sources. The proposal also looks to expedite project permitting, limit environmental reviews, and increase workforce development.

According to guidance released by the White House and the proposal itself, headed to Congress for consideration, $100 billion would be set aside for an Infrastructure Incentives Program, providing grants to states and municipalities for specific projects. Each grant would comprise up to 20 percent of the project cost, with states expected to generate new revenue to cover the majority of the cost of the work.

Grant proposals would be solicited from state and local governments every six months after the establishment of the program, and projects would be chosen largely on the basis of how the project will leverage new, non-Federal investment. Other criteria would include the dollar value of the project, evidence of improvements to efficiency in project delivery, plans to incorporate new and evolving technologies, and evidence the project will spur economic and social returns on investment. Any one state should not receive more than 10 percent of the funds available via the incentives program, according to the plan.

The proposed Rural Infrastructure Program would include $50 billion in federal investment, funds that would be distributed to state governors, who would decide how the money would be best used on infrastructure improvement. Another $20 billion would be allocated to the Transformative Projects Program, which would fund bold and innovative projects that may not attract private investment due to technical and risk characteristics.

A total of $20 billion would be allocated to expanding infrastructure financing, including $14 billion for existing programs. The remaining $6 billion would go to the expansion of Private Activity Bonds, money the administration says would provide tools and mechanisms for market participants to invest in public infrastructure. Another $10 billion would go to a new Federal Capital Revolving Fund, which would help with the purchase of federal real property in order to cut down on the long-term cost of leasing property.

The proposal includes language establishing a One Agency, One Decision protocol for environmental reviews on federal projects to streamline the process. The plan also calls on federal agencies to shorten the permitting process to expedite infrastructure projects. Also in the interest of expediting project starts, the proposal calls for two pilot programs that would have the potential to replace the current environmental review-the performance-based pilot and the negotiated mitigation program pilot. It also includes steps to increase federal support of workforce development programs, including expanding Pell grants and encouraging apprenticeship and career and technical education.

The plan is part of Trump’s proposed $4.4 billion federal budget for fiscal year 2019, a proposal that cuts the DOT’s discretionary budget by 19 percent from the 2017 budget. In addition to spending increases for the infrastructure initiative, the budget proposal increases defense spending by $80 billion compared with 2017.

The plan does not specify where the money for the increased infrastructure investment will come from, other than to note that a new fund would allow fees from energy development on public land would help bankroll infrastructure development on public lands.

In a statement, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) called the plan “needed and thought-provoking,” but said the organization “will seek changes to further improve upon the president’s concept.” In particular, the AGC is concerned that the plan does not address shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund, which has faced funding crises in recent years because it is based primarily on the federal gasoline tax, which has not been raised since 1993.

Posted June 25, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Weeks after the US Department of Labor announced it had corrected an error in the implementation of OSHA’s new electronic injury and illness reporting rule, confusion remained as to the status of employers in states with their own occupational safety plans. The Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rule went into effect partially in 2016 and fully in 2017 after repeated delays. Among other provisions, the regulation requires employers with more than 250 employees or smaller firms in certain high-risk industries to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data to OSHA. The data in question is already kept by employers but was not previously submitted electronically.

OSHA announced at the end of April that it had corrected the error, which had allowed employers in states with state occupational safety plans that had not yet adopted their own electronic reporting rule to forego submitting records. The agency said that it informed state plans that all employers they cover will be expected to comply with the rule for calendar year 2017, with a deadline of July 1, 2018, for reporting. Employers in states that already adopted such a rule, and those that do not have their own state plan, were required to report calendar year 2016 injuries and illnesses already. OSHA says employers in the states in question who were not required to turn in data for 2016 will not be made to retroactively report for that year.

The states that have not yet implemented their own electronic reporting rule are: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Some of these states have come out in opposition to OSHA’s contention that the rule applies regardless of the status of the rule in any given state.

The rollout of the electronic reporting rule was colored by numerous delays as legal challenges wound through the court system and the administration of President Donald J. Trump took office in 2017 and reexamined many of the new regulations put into place at the tail end of the Obama administration. The online Injury Tracking Application went online August 1, and weeks later was taken down again over concerns about security. The form went live again in October and reportedly no breach was found.

Posted June 22, 2018

Fischer Technology, Windsor, Conn., has announced that Craig Kuchta is the new representative and technical advisor for the company’s new sales and service facility in Itasca, Ill. Kuchta will be the field sales engineer for the office and support all sales, instrument certification, service, and application needs. He has more than 20 years of technical instrumentation sales and support of testing and measurement instrumentation products. Fischer is a leading specialist in solutions for coating thickness measurement, material analysis, microhardness, and material testing.

Posted June 21, 2018

Aug. 7-8: Powder Coating 101 Workshop. Dallas, Tex. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

Aug. 13-17: Introduction to Paint Formulation. Rolla, Mo. Sponsored by Missouri S&T Coatings Institute. Contact Missouri S&T at 573/341-4419; mstformulation@mst.edu; http://coatings.mst.edu.

Posted June 20, 2018

IGP Pulvertechnik AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland, has announced that Dean Edwards will be president and head of the company’s new North American operations. With more than 20 years of experience in the US market, Edwards will help integrate IGP’s Swiss technology and product offerings into North American manufacturing operations. IGP develops and produces powder coating systems for surface applications in architecture, transport, wood furniture, and related industries.

Posted June 19, 2018

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.-The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) has announced that its POWDER COATING 2019 Technical Conference and Tabletop Exhibition will be held April 1-4, 2019, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Orlando, Fla.

The four-day event will kick off with PCI’s Powder Coating 101: Basic Essentials Workshop, which includes a comprehensive agenda that covers all the basics of powder coating operations. With general sessions and concurrent technical programming, conference attendees will have access to a variety of powder coating information as well as personal interaction with suppliers. The tabletop display area will feature manufacturers, application equipment companies, system houses, chemical suppliers, and various services that support the powder coating industry.

PCI represents the powder coating industry, promotes powder coating technology, and communicates the benefits of powder coating to manufacturers, consumers, and government.