Thursday, June 22, 2017

Americhem Employees Welcome Summer with United Way

Americhem Employees at United Way of Summit County's Day of Action. | June 21, 2017As the first day of summer rolled in on June 21, 2017, Americhem employees from our two Ohio facilities rolled up their sleeves to participate in Summit County’s annual United Way Day of Action. Over 30 Americhem employees gathered at Hale Farm & Village to help clean stalls, chop wood, pull weeds and clean the houses on the historic farm.

Americhem Employees volunteer and Hale Farm & Village as part of United Way of Summit County's Day of Action. | June 21, 2017Hale Farm & Village is a 200 year old family farm nestled in the Cuyahoga Valley. The Hale family passed the farm to the Western Reserve Historic Society and since 1958, it has served as an outdoor living history museum.

United Way’s day of action mobilized hundreds of volunteers from dozens of local companies to work on a variety of health and human service projects.

For over a quarter of a century, Americhem employees have pledged time, money and effort to the United Way and its partner organizations at each of our locations in the U.S. Americhem employees are encouraged to pledge a portion of their paychecks to United Way and our corporate office
also contributes funds to the local chapters where our plants are located. 

Americhem is committed to serving our local United Way chapters across all plants and we believe that our commitment to United Way and other worthwhile charities is a great way to make our communities better places to live and work. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Five Ways You May Be Missing Value in Your Supplier Relationships

When seeking new supply chain partners, you typically have choices. It’s natural to consider factors such as product performance and pricing levels when deciding with whom to work and how to go about it. Are you overlooking value-added services that could take your product to the next level, though?

Whether you are still working through the viability of a new product offering or seeking opportunities to enhance your product, you may be missing out on extensive expertise that a supplier can offer if you do not know the right questions to ask. Unsure of where to start? Here are five value engineering focus areas in which a supplier partner could help you take your offerings from ordinary to extraordinary.

1. Research and development
While you may have some R&D capabilities in-house, a supplier like Americhem with specialization in polymeric research and product development can help you sort through color and performance testing. From idea inception to product commercialization, your supplier’s R&D department can help with applied research and development, color and raw material science, formulation and process design, and property modeling. They can even aid companies in their new product development goals.

Whether you could use help with rapid color design and prototyping or you want to test products without interrupting your daily operations, consider how a supplier could help. For instance, Americhem experts can collaborate with you on product requirements, then run pilot lines and process simulations ranging from molding (injection and injection blow) to extrusion (blown film, film and sheet, profile, composite board and siding) to synthetic fiber (spinning, false twist and air jet texturing, and knitting) and more.

3. Comprehensive testing
Suppliers may offer a variety of testing services to help you be confident in your product design, no matter where you are in the design and development process. Americhem, for example, offers:
Analytical and physical testing, including polymer composition and properties, polymer performance, dispersion quality and contaminant/impurity identification, predictive heat buildup, end-group and unreacted monomer analyses, and microscopy with ATR and ARO capabilities.
Weathering testing, including accelerated weathering and real-time outdoor weathering projects.
Quality testing to achieve lot-to-lot consistency, confirm product reliability, and set exacting targets and tolerances necessary to ensure adherence to a standard of excellence.

    4. Color design and forecasting
Suppliers may also provide guidance on color design, specifically, based on knowledge of cultural trends, fashion preferences and general color rules. Americhem has several color design centers throughout the world that customers can visit for hands-on work with package design or fiber design. You can test samples, assess thousands of samples and see special effects firsthand. Utilize Americhem’s proprietary vDesign® product design software or receive highly personalized in-person service—whatever suits your needs.

5. Continuing education
Trends, technologies and industry realities tend to shift quickly, and suppliers can help you stay up to date on the latest science behind color and polymer performance. Whether you seek subject matter experts out at global technical conferences and events or attend an Americhem U lunch and learn event, opportunities exist for you to learn more about factors that affect your business, but may not lie within your core competencies.

Value engineering is one of the many reasons that companies all over the world choose to work with Americhem to maximize their products’ market impact. You can learn more about their offerings at http://www.americhem.com/value-engineering.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Raising the Roof in Las Vegas


Commercial and technical representatives from Americhem’s building products team visited the InternationalRoofing Expo (IRE) last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. We’ve attended the last two shows and the market appears to be growing. One of our customers who has exhibited at the Expo for years said he thought attendance was up, probably the highest attendance he has seen at this show. Preshow exhibitor news confirmed that this was the largest Roofing Expo ever in terms of exhibit space, which was completely sold out. The show encompassed 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors, the most in the history of the 62-year show.

In addition to the trade show, the National Roofing Contractors Association holds their annual convention at the venue. Forty-four educational sessions were held on a variety of topics, many of which were approved for continuing education credits.

From our perspective, the most commonly displayed roofing was metal, steep slope roofing, both for commercial and residential properties. Steel and aluminum materials in these roofs are painted to achieve the desired aesthetic. These roofing systems are considered lighter in weight and more durable than their asphalt counterparts.

A couple of companies were geared towards residential steep slope and produced polymeric roofing. These products were injection molded, and fit into two categories: similar to cedar shakes and a slate-like appearance. The ability to create custom colors was touted by one of these organizations. Some of these materials had a different look, more like flexible cedar shake. Some of these products come with 50 year warranties, class 4 impact resistance and a class A fire rating.

From a standpoint of booth size, the top three were definitely GAF, Johns Manville and Firestone Building Products. Other sizeable players included Seaman Corporation and Carlisle Syntec Systems. There was a lot of equipment at this show, certainly more than last year. The most prominent group of these seemed to be ultrasonic welding equipment.

We learned a lot about the industry during our visit to IRE. Next year’s show moves to New Orleans, from February 6-8. Until then, Americhem will continue to innovate  on behalf of our roofing customers, leading the industry in color and natural woodgrain and other effects. Polymeric roofing has come a long way, and we’re proud to have taken part in its growth to this point.
Kelly Gager
Development Segment Leader – Building & Construction

Brian Cur
Field Service Specialist

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Americhem Supports by Participation in AAMA 80th Annual Conference


I attended the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) 80th annual conference in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. It was held from Feb. 12-15 and it attracted an excellent turnout of 360 attendees, one of the best attendance figures since I’ve been attending these events.

The conference consists of 1-2 hour sessions including council meetings geared toward window, door, skylight, curtain wall and storefront manufacturers. AAMA is a material neutral organization, so materials of all kinds are covered under their product umbrella. I sit on several task groups, which help set the standards for the window industry in areas such as thermal performance, insulating glass certification and code acceptance. Other committees include the aluminum materials council, the wall interface council and the residential products council. Building products manufacturers covet AAMA’s certifications and approvals, and the standards are some of the toughest in this industry. An awards banquet was held Monday night where the contributions and accomplishments of award winners was recognized.

There were a variety of good speakers at the conference, including Dick Doyle, head of The Vinyl Institute, who advocated the use of vinyl in windows and doors and also spoke of the institute’s lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. There were even speakers who talked about persuasive and selling skills, such as the role that body language plays in achieving what you want to achieve. The sessions were spirited and showed that the industry as a whole is moving forward in protecting home owners and commercial property owners with its research and certification programs.

For Americhem, this is a great opportunity to support the industry and to help AAMA achieve its goals. The top decision makers in the industry are present and this makes the event one of the most important that we attend each year. It’s also a great networking opportunity where all the important manufacturers in the industry gather in one place at one time. Color certainly plays an important part in the proceedings, as the vinyl materials council advocated switching to a CIE color system for its products. Americhem proudly manufacturers color and additive masterbatches that play a crucial role in architectural products. We enjoy bringing innovation to our customers, many of whom were in attendance at the conference. We also enjoy helping our customers attain AAMA certificiations. I look forward to representing Americhem at the AAMA conference for many years to come.

Rich Camacho
National Account Manager
Americhem, Inc.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Americhem U Back in Session


Last week, Americhem U kicked off its Winter/Spring season with a class on “Designing Color Masterbatches,” taught by Americhem color and synthetic fibers expert Roger Threadgill. It was nice to see Americhem U back in session in Dalton, Georgia, where we’ve been teaching color classes to industry professionals since 2011. During that time, we’ve taught 23 classes to almost 700 industry professionals focusing on topics such as color trends, color measurement, color tolerancing, weathering and polymeric additives.

This year, our classes are being held at a new location, the Dalton Golf and Country Club. Participants enjoyed the nearly hour-long presentation before networking with other professionals in the carpet and synthetic turf industries during a buffet lunch. We have found that this “lunch and learn” format helps educate while keeping up with the developments within the industry.

We learn much through our interactions with those who attend Americhem U classes. In fact, we survey participants at every class, and the subsequent year of classes is determined by those that we survey. We teach the classes quarterly in Dalton, semi-annually in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (near Cleveland) and, for customers of Americhem, we’ll even bring Americhem U to you at your plant or office. We’ve also instituted a series of Americhem U webinars that can be attended anywhere there’s a good internet connection.

Color is a complicated subject and it has a huge impact in the manufacturing arena. We pride ourselves on helping you to understand color’s many facets and how you can get color to help you sell your products, no matter what industry you’re in.

For more information, visit www.americhem.com/americhemu or contact me by posting a comment below.
 
Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Achieving ISO 14001: How Americhem Goes Green

We are excited to announce that we have recently received the ISO 14001 certification for our Suzhou, China, manufacturing plant. This standard recognizes our special focus on environmental management to ensure social 
well-being in addition to business goals.

“The certification of compliance with ISO 14001 recognizes that the policies, practices and procedures of our plant highlight our commitment to environmental protection,” said Stanley

Teoh, Americhem’s vice president and managing director for the Asia Pacific region. “With this certification, our customers can rest assured that our plant exercises the highest level of dedication to our environment through waste reduction, energy efficiency, green business initiatives, safe work practices and sustainable development.

Environmental responsibility is an integral element in Americhem's Company Principles. Our dedication has resulted in numerous successful programs to reduce waste streams and energy usage. Our ongoing objectives include: 
  • Utilizing our expertise in new product development to fuel the engineering of greener products
  • Developing more efficient end-to-end supply chains for less waste
  • Continually improving energy efficiencies in plants and offices
  • Implementing recycling programs for everything from drums and scrap metal to wood pallets
  • Planning extensively for spill containment and hazardous waste disposal
  • Ensuring all global regulatory and reporting requirements are met both within the US and abroad
One of our biggest company initiatives to encourage environmentally friendly practices and manufacturing methods is our promotion of the solution dyeing of synthetic fibers. With a solution dye process you not only see better quality, but the process preserves more natural resources.

Post dyeing is the process by which finished white yarn is colored with liquid dyes after the fiber is made.  This process leads to an extraordinary amount of water being used and a huge amount of that water being permanently polluted.

Solution dyeing, which adds the colorant from a masterbatch to the fiber as its being spun, presents a more eco-friendly alternative. No water is used during the solution dyeing process and very little water is used in the overall process.  It has been estimated that the overall water consumption in post dyeing is one hundred times greater than that of using masterbatch in the solution dye process.

Solution dye not only saves water during the process, it also saves energy. By combining fiber spinning and coloring into one step, the amount of energy used is considerably reduced. This one-step process also means that no additional equipment is needed, whereas the spinning and coloring steps in post-dyeing each require their own special equipment.

Americhem is continually improving our practices to encourage environmental sustainability, and we look forward to sharing these practices with our customers.

To learn more about Americhem’s dedication to the environment, read our Environmental Policy.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Americhem U 2017 Kicks Off with "5 Effective Ways to Control Color" Webinar

Our Americhem U educational series is in full swing with fresh topics including a new color trends forecast. The series features upcoming dates for our three part webinar class in addition to Lunch and Learn sessions in Dalton, GA, and at Americhem World Headquarters in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

Our first webinar, 5 Effective Ways to Control Color, took place on January 17, 2017 and featured an in depth look at controlling color in the manufacturing by color expert Rick Mathews.

Each session is hosted by an Americhem color expert well known in the industries the company serves including synthetic fibers, building and construction and automotive. Offering education on an array of topics, the 2017 Americhem U series includes:

Three Part Webinar Series:
           Topic: 5 Effective Ways to Control Color
           When: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:00-3:00 p.m.
           Missed part one of our three part webinar series? View it Here

           Topic: How to Make Better Color Decisions and Generate Less Scrap
           When: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 2:00-3:00 p.m.
           Click to Register

           Topic: Effective Color Design to Improve Your Products' Performance
           When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 2:00-3:00 p.m.
           Click to Register

Dalton, GA, Lunch and Learns: 
What: Designing Color Masterbatches
When: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 11 a.m. –1 p.m.
Why: Discover why design is a differentiator in the world of color and additive masterbatches. Explore the concepts of dispersion and rheology and learn why color design is key for end-product consistency and stabilization.

What: The Value of Using the CMC Tolerancing System
When: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 11 a.m. –1 p.m.
Why: Learn how the CMC tolerancing system helps ensure consistency and accuracy throughout the supply chain and from one batch of material to the next. Based on the color discrimination threshold of the human eye, CMC represents a significant upgrade from other color tolerancing models such as ΔE.

What: Fundamentals of Controlling Color
When: Thursday, May 18, 2017, 11 a.m. –  1 p.m.
Why: Unlock the secrets to controlling color in the manufacturing process. Identify and learn to manage sources of variation. Learn about communication of color standards and the proper use of standards and spectrophotometers. Also, learn the strengths and limitations of instrumental color management.

What: 2018–2019 Color Trends Forecast
When: Thursday, September 21, 2017, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Why: Realize the power of determining consumer color preferences with our annual color trends forecast. The unique color palettes help you achieve color harmony. Developed in partnership with a well-known fashion design house in Milan, our forecast will help you prepare for the hippest, hottest colors in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

All classes held at Dalton Golf and Country Club, 333 Country Club Way, Dalton, GA 30721

RSVP: Email Tracy Reilly at TGReilly@americhem.com

Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Lunch and Learn:
            What: How We See, Measure and Manage Color
            When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
            Where: Americhem World Headquarters, 2000 Americhem Way, Cuyahoga Falls, OH. 44221       
Why: Enjoy a full day of valuable, hands-on learning at Americhem U. Join us at Americhem World Headquarters for two insightful classes. First, discover the unseen aspects of color that drive product design. Learn how to choose the right color to perform in your product applications. Then roll up your sleeves for a hands-on color measurement workshop where you’ll learn to set meaningful color tolerances.

RSVP: Email Sydney Gardner at SGardner@americhem.com