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Editorial

Pilot Chemical Acquires ATRP Solutions, Huntsman Completes Expansion of Amines Facility, Arkema to Expand Photocure Resins Production

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – Jul 20, 2017

Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, INEOS announced that it will expand the production of oxo derivatives somewhere in Europe and four paint companies settled US Federal Trade Commission charges of deceptive emission claims. The British Coatings Federation was named “Trade Association of the Year” in the UK and Axalta gave insight into new e-coat technology at SURCAR. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away…

Pilot Chemical Acquires ATRP Solutions


Pilot Chemical Company has purchased ATRP Solutions, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The acquisition expands Pilot's proprietary technologies in the oil field chemicals, lubricant additives and paints and coatings markets. ATRP brings with it a highly trained staff of research scientists and a patent portfolio demonstrating years of ingenuity. “The acquisition of ATRP is an important step to ensure continued innovation at Pilot,” said Mike Scott, president of Pilot Chemical. "We are excited to become part of a highly regarded organization like Pilot," said Patrick McCarthy, CEO of ATRP. “Having Pilot’s support and resources will allow our team to improve upon its track record of technological discovery.”

Huntsman Completes Expansion of Amines Facility in Singapore


Huntsman has completed a 25,000-ton capacity expansion project at its world-scale amines facility on Jurong Island in Singapore, with plant capacity now totaling 50,000 tons. Approximately 50 employees and contractors work at the facility. The facility expansion is intended to help Huntsman meet growing global demand for specialty amines and to strengthen its position in amine technology. The project also included backward integration in the form of a purpose-built alkoxylation unit consuming locally sourced feedstocks to support the production of polyols and alkoxylates. “The completed expansion of our Jurong facility allows us to manufacture more complex and a wider range of polyetheramines in Asia,” said David Ming, Vice President, Asia Pacific Region for Huntsman’s Performance Products division.

Arkema to Expand Photocure Resins Production Capacity


Arkema has announced a project to expand 30% production capacity of photocure resins at its Nansha facility in China. This new production line will in particular help meet strong customer demand in Asia in the electronics, 3D-printing and inkjet printing cutting-edge markets. Arkema's Sartomer plant in Guangzhou serves the customer base throughout Asia in this rapidly expanding, high growth market of specialty UV curable inks, coatings and adhesives. Arkema announced the construction on its Nansha site south of Canton, China, of a new production line for UV, LED and EB (Electron Beam) photocure resins, which should come on stream early 2019. This new line will produce high performance photocure resins with innovative properties. Sartomer’s production sites and R&D facilities in Europe, Asia and the United States helps customers benefit from high quality technical support for tailor-made developments as well as responsive local logistics services.

Dow Opens New Polyurethanes Service Center in Romania


Dow Polyurethanes, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company has announced the opening of a new Polyurethanes Service Center in Romania, expanding an already strong network of more than 20 sites for production, development and technical service across the EMEAI region.

Located in Brasov County, the new center is equipped with technical and commercial capabilities to serve customers in Romania, Bulgaria and the wider Balkan region with high quality polyurethane materials. Further network expansion plans are anticipated later this year with a similar center due to open in Africa dedicated to support customer needs in the Middle East and Africa Region.

Speaking at the Brasov Service Center opening ceremony, Jon Penrice, Vice President Dow Polyurethanes Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI), said, "Our new Service Center in Romania represents another building block of our strategy to support customer growth through unrivalled technical service and the development of customized solutions geared to local market needs.”

“The new center will play a pivotal role in taking collaboration with our customers to the next level, by bringing local expertise and new capabilities that will improve response times and accelerate technology innovation.”

The new Polyurethanes Service Centers will help accelerate both existing and new opportunities in the Balkan, Middle East and Africa regions, and will improve the speed and efficiency of application development. It will provide customers’ access to laboratory and equipment capabilities and tailored technical service, including product demonstrations, prototype development and mechanical testing of final materials. Additionally, the centers will provide training opportunities for customers and have warehousing capabilities for several Polyurethane Systems.

Claudiu Tuncu, Country Leader Dow Romania and Bulgaria, commented, “Romania is one of the most promising and fastest-growing markets in Central and Eastern Europe. By opening the Service Center in Brasov, Dow reinforces its commitment to helping grow Romania’s economy further in areas such as infrastructure development as well as building and construction.”

“Moreover, Dow’s longstanding presence in Romania gives us the advantage of deep local knowledge and expertise in this market.”

DRB-Hicom Unveils New Automotive Paint Shop in Malaysia


DRB-Hicom Bhd, through wholly owned subsidiary Hicom Automotive Manufacturers (M) Sdn Bhd, has launched an RM230mil high-tech paint shop in Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia. In a statement, the conglomerate said this was part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its foothold as one of the preferred automotive assemblers in the region.

“The establishment of this high-tech paint facility will enhance our standing as one of the region’s most preferred component assemblers in the automotive industry,” said DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

Hicom Automotive, which has been operating in Pekan for the last 30 years and assembles various automotive marques and commercial vehicles, has successfully assembled nearly 500,000 passenger and commercial vehicles from 20 international manufacturers. These include the C Class, E Class, S Class and GLC Class, FUSO and MB Actros under the Mercedes-Benz banner.

DRB-Hicom said the newly-launched facility would allow it to double its production capacity to 50,000 units annually. This is because the paint shop can operate round the clock due to its cutting-edge technology that requires little human intervention.

“The new paint shop features a robotic paint system for the primer and top coating application; the feature that has allowed us to decrease production time by as much as 50% compared with the manual application method previously employed,” said Hicom Automotive CEO Ismail Pandak.

The paint shop also includes a 360-degree rotating pre-treatment electro dipping shuttle bay which allows the body-in-white to be fully submerged in the coating bath. This ensures a more efficient surface-material contact and minimizes paint wastage, which is a typical problem faced by the traditional vertical dipping process.

Syed Faisal, in his speech at the event, said the latest facility was part of the group’s commitment to ensure the company’s readiness to face the Industry 4.0 evolution.

“Industry 4.0 has seen the development of ‘smart factories’ around the world, as industry players innovate and improve their business processes to minimize cost without compromising development of the human capital,” he said.

“By increasing the technology involved in the production line, we are encouraging Warga DRB-Hicom to increase their technical knowledge and ensure their skills are on par with their international counterparts,” he said.

Cathay Industries Announces Personnel Changes


Cathay Industries USA’s CEO Kevin Miles announced the formation of a dedicated team of industry veterans to expand Cathay’s promotion and commercial growth in the coatings, plastics and specialties marketplace. The new team has a combined 130 years of pigment experience in color concept solutions.

Marty Hasson brings a background in chemical distribution, product management, pigment manufacturing and sales on an international basis. He has a reputation of customer satisfaction through his various roles at Kohl Marketing, Ribelin Sales, Elementis Pigments, Rockwood Pigments and Huntsman Chemical. He will focus on key account management in the coatings, plastics and specialty areas as national accounts manager – Coatings, Plastics and Specialties.

Craig Utesch brings both organic and inorganic pigment experience to his role as national distribution manager – Coatings, Plastics and Specialties. He has worked in textiles, pigments, and coating resins and has managerial experience at Milliken, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Ferro Corporation, Engelhard and BASF Corporation.

Burl Bowman has acquired knowledge through various roles at Hoover Color and will retain his responsibilities as the technical leader for the Umber, Siennas, Ochres, EnvironOxides & Cathay’s products manufactured in Hiwassee, VA. His new role as American technical manager – Coatings, Plastics and Specialties will allow customers to have a single point of contact for all product inquires.

Chuck Hoover will head this sales team. Hoover is a fourth generation “color man” and joined Cathay as part of the acquisition of Hoover Color in 2016. Over the years he has overseen technical, commercial and manufacturing activities. Besides continuing to oversee the Hoover Color – Division of Cathay Industries, Hoover has taken on the role of EVP for Coatings, Plastics & Specialties in the Americas.

Axalta Supports German Student Racing Team’s World Solar Challenge Entry


In an official ceremony on July 5, 2017, the SolarCar Team, made up of students from Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Germany, unveiled the design of their entry for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge - the thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser - which takes place in Australia from October 8 to 15, 2017. The solar car was painted by Axalta Coating Systems at its Cromax Training Centre in Bonn, Germany. The thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser is the culmination of a 15-year research and development process. This year, the Team comprises 58 students from mechanical and electrical engineering, mechatronics, IT, sustainable development, architecture, economics, humanities, e-mobility and many other fields.

To keep the overall weight of the car down, the thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser has a steel frame and a carbon fiber skin. Although the carbon is very lightweight, it is very porous, which makes it a challenge to paint it and keep the paint weight to a minimum. The SolarCar Team supplied Axalta technicians with a sample of the car’s carbon fiber a few weeks in advance of the painting. This allowed the Axalta technical team to test different combinations of coating layers to determine what would provide the best coverage and produce the most lightweight finish.

The result was the application of a universal, high-quality two component polyester putty to compensate for the slightly uneven substrate and to ensure good adhesion. This was followed by an acrylic-based variable two-component high solids filler for good isolation before finishing with the waterborne basecoat and fast airdry two-component high solids clearcoat. For the project, Axalta leveraged its experience coating production cars made of carbon fiber for some of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

“Axalta is passionate about supporting students and community engagement, and this project is the ultimate combination of our product technology, our extensive motorsports experience and our commitment to sustainability, which was of particular importance to the Team as they wanted to ensure sustainable materials were used. The clearcoat we used, for example, dries extremely quickly at ambient temperatures, yet delivers an ultra-smooth surface, perfect for reducing drag,” says Dirk Sauer, Technical Service Manager for Axalta in Germany, who oversaw the project.

Axalta’s support of the SolarCar Team reflects the convergence of the company’s product technology, commitment to motorsports, university relations program, and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Its participation in university racing teams enables Axalta to help students recognize not only the role of coatings in motorsports, but also the applied technology, engineering, and innovation that go into the company’s products.

The SolarCar Team hopes to win the prize for best design, an award the university has secured for each of its six previous World Solar Challenge entries.

AkzoNobel Planning Expansion of Organic Peroxide Capacity in China


AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business is working on plans to double production capacity at its organic peroxides facility in Ningbo, China, during the next two years.

A project to boost the capacity by 40% is already underway, which is expected to be completed by mid-August. The company is now considering a larger scale expansion which would increase current capacity by 100%. The site produces dicumyl peroxide (DCP), an organic peroxide used as a crosslinking agent in the manufacture of polymers.

“Demand for our products is growing rapidly and expanding our existing facilities provides a great opportunity to meet the needs of our global customers,” said Johan Landfors, Managing Director for AkzoNobel’s Polymer Chemistry business.“ This expansion will allow us to further grow in our market and solidify our position as the world’s number one producer of organic peroxides.”

DCP is a crosslinking agent used to produce a variety of polymers with exceptional durability. These polymers can be found in many different products, such as shoe soles, a market which has been growing in developing countries in particular. DCP is also used in polymers for insulating high-voltage cables, which are in growing demand to upgrade electricity networks and connect offshore wind parks and other sources of renewable energy.

“We are committed to our customers and to retaining our leadership position in the industries we serve, including organic peroxides,” added Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. “By continuing to invest in our existing operations and focusing on operational excellence, we will be able to provide reliable supplies to accommodate the growth of our customers.”

Opened in October 2016, the Ningbo DCP plant is the largest of its kind in the world. The multi-site employs approximately 500 people and houses operations for several of AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business units. AkzoNobel is also building a new organic peroxides plant in Tianjin, ensuring the company’s long-term commitment to the industry in China.

LANXESS Appoints Dowd and Guild as Distribution Partner for Material Protection Products


LANXESS Corporation’s Material Protection Products (MPP) business unit has appointed Dowd and Guild Inc. as its distribution partner for the Western United States, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and Wyoming effective June 1, 2017.

“We are very excited to extend our presence for the CASE market in the western U.S. with the great team and complementary portfolio of Dowd and Guild Inc.,” said Wilson Nova, Head of Sales for North America for the LANXESS MPP biocides business line.

“The addition of LANXESS MPP is a key part of our strategy to expand our product portfolio into the CASE market, and we are pleased to grow our relationship with LANXESS to include MPP in addition to the Inorganic Pigments group,” said Howard Guild, President of Dowd and Guild Inc.

Dowd and Guild Inc. just entered their 31st year in business. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, with a sales office in Cerritos, California, the company covers the western region of the United States with nine sales representatives and multiple warehouse locations.

LANXESS Material Protection Products business unit is a worldwide leading manufacturer of biocidal active ingredients and formulations for numerous applications, supported by a global technical and regulatory network. With an extensive portfolio of antimicrobial active ingredients, preservatives and disinfectants, LANXESS delivers customized solutions for many market sectors, including: wood protection, paints and coatings, construction, disinfection, water treatment, and the beverage industry.

UMC Appoints Pigments Division Manager


United and Mineral Chemical Corporation (UMC) has promoted Marty Towey manager- Pigments Division.

Towey will oversee the sales program for the daylight fluorescent and organic pigments.

He joined UMC in 2015 as sales pepresentative. Towey is known for his ability to be a team player and overcome problems during challenging times, according to the company.

Prior to joining UMC, Towey gained experience as an account manager for EMD/Merck, Sandream and Stan Chem and has been instrumental in fostering strong relationships with his customers, suppliers and distributors. With over twenty years’ experience in the effect pigments field, he is proven leader specializing in commitment to excellence for successful sales and marketing programs.

Hempel’s Epoxy Linings Range Enters European Market


Hempel’s new Hempaline Defend epoxy linings are now also available in Europe to protect steel and concrete tanks in challenging and highly corrosive environments. As a single coat system, they ensure assets are returned to service in as little as 24 hours without any reduction in performance.

Aimed specifically at the power and oil & gas industries, where safeguarding production uptime is critical, this new range of linings is a simple choice for heavy duty protection in aggressive environments, reducing the time an asset is taken offline for maintenance.

The range offers excellent protection for storage and process vessels against high temperatures and aggressive cargos, high-build single-coat system that allows a vessel to be returned to service quickly, 100% solids for a VOC-free and low-odor solution and the option of glass flake-reinforced products for tank bottoms.

In addition, Hempel will be launching its Hempaline Defend vinyl ester linings range in Europe later this year. These coatings are designed specifically for application in acidic environments, neutralisation areas and sumps.

Hempaline Defend epoxy linings were successfully launched in the Middle East and Southeast Asia last year.

Brenntag Publishes New Sustainability Report


Brenntag, the global market leader in chemical distribution, published its fourth report on its development and performance in the field of sustainability, i.e. its Sustainability Report for the Financial Year 2016. In this report, the company documents its activities and achievements in the areas of safety, environmental protection, supply chain responsibility, employees and social involvement. It is also a status report regarding the global sustainability targets drawn up in 2015. For the first time, consolidated full-year figures for Group-wide energy consumption and related CO2 emissions are also reported.

Steven Holland, Chief Executive Officer of Brenntag AG, comments: “Brenntag plays a leading role in our industry and has sustainability at the heart of our business. Our transparent reporting helps us to enhance our sustainability strategy in a targeted manner to make quantifiable progress. Our global data collection enables us to more effectively manage the important issues of energy consumption and CO2 emissions as well as to identify energy-saving potential throughout the Group.”

The Brenntag Group’s fundamental approaches, organizational structures and processes for managing sustainability issues are presented in the current report. Numerous examples from the operating units provide an insight into practical operations and show how sustainability is implemented in Brenntag’s regions worldwide.

Safety is of paramount importance at Brenntag and thus a core focus in this report. In the reporting year, the company made intensive efforts to achieve further improvements in its safety culture. The “Brenntag Enhanced Safety Thinking” program is a key component of this. It focuses on the safety-related behavior of employees and was successfully continued at all levels of the Brenntag Group in 2016, with a large number of activities, measures and training courses.

The successes of the past year also include being awarded gold status by the international rating agency EcoVadis. Brenntag’s sustainability management has thus been rated above average within its industry. On the basis of this achievement, in October 2016 Brenntag also became a full member of the “Together for Sustainability” initiative, which campaigns for responsible procurement of goods and services and for increased sustainability along the chemical industry’s supply chain.

Brenntag’s Sustainability Report for the Financial Year 2016 complies with the “Sustainable Reporting Standards” (SRS) of the internationally recognized “Global Reporting Initiative” (GRI). It is available in German and English as a PDF on the Brenntag website.

OCSiAl to Build World's Largest Nanotube Production Facility in Luxembourg


The Ministry of the Economy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and OCSiAl, the world’s largest manufacturer of single wall carbon nanotubes, have agreed to collaborate with regard to the construction of a nanotube production facility that will have an annual capacity of 250 tonnes. OCSiAl’s investment will total about 80 to 100 million EUR and the project is expected to generate up to 200 highly qualified jobs in R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing, maintenance and support services.

The Luxembourg government intends to grant OCSiAl a surface right on industrial land for the construction of the synthesis facility and an R&D centre for the development of nanotube industrial applications. Indeed, OCSiAl has already chosen a plot of land in Differdange proposed by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, as the site where this ambitious project will be realised. “Our choice for the location of the world’s largest facility was determined by the fact that Luxembourg is a highly industry-friendly environment and it is known for its strong commitment to assisting the development of the most innovative technologies. As OCSiAl’s corporate headquarters has been based in Luxembourg, the company is well aware of the high working standards and fast processing speeds when collaborating with both national government and municipality administrations. This kind of approach accelerates the development of new technologies”, said Konstantin Notman, CEO OCSiAl Europe.

Etienne Schneider, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, said “The implementation of the new OCSiAl production and R&D facilities in Luxembourg confirms that the Grand Duchy is a destination of choice for investment by international hi-tech companies and for R&D activities. This project is in line with our economic diversification policy, which focuses on the sector of innovative materials and on research-intensive activities, and I am confident that the new OCSiAl operations in Luxembourg will be a great opportunity to further enhance the recognition of our composite materials competence center.”

So far, OCSiAl is the only company that is allowed to produce and commercialize single wall carbon nanotubes in industrial volumes in Europe. In September 2016, its core product, TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes, became the first in that category to be registered under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations, thus taking the lead in raising the transparency of nanotube management worldwide and boosting their application in a wide range of industries.

In addition to the synthesis facility, OCSiAl intends to construct a centre for applied nanotechnology focused on industrial solutions for composite, elastomer and thermoplastic materials that will be based on the most cutting-edge nanotechnology achievements.

The company is continuing to contribute to applied science and is in close cooperation with more than 20 scientific centres in many countries, including the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) in Luxembourg, the Fraunhofer Society, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, German Institute of Rubber Technology (DIK) and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Germany, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Korea, the Moscow State University in Russia, Bar-Ilan University and Ariel University in Israel, and Rice University in the USA.

OCSiAl shares the commitment of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to developing innovative technologies and new materials of the future. The company is thus delighted to announce that The Future of Materials Summit: a New Age for Manufacturing, organised by The Economist Events and supported by OCSiAl, will be held in Luxembourg on 13–14 November 2017. The Summit will bring together leading manufacturers, scientists, technologists and policymakers for a discussion intended to illuminate the role of novel materials in the manufacturing industries of the future.

In other news, antibiotic-resistant bacteria colonize medical equipment. They are causing rises in the number of patients getting infected. A KAUST team is trying to reduce these numbers with a smart polymer...more about this

Hempel has provided its anti-corrosion coating to the new Queensferry Crossing. The coatings are tough and protect the bridge from coastal conditions and harsh Scottish climate. The bridge’s road...more about this

China’s latest generation of high-speed trains is creating a colorful golden blur across the country after AkzoNobel’s color expertise was called upon to create a special custom coating. AkzoNobel...more about this

And finally, SPGPrints has doubled the size of its digital ink production facility. The expanded facility is in close proximity to both SPGPrints’ research and development laboratories so that communication...more about this

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