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

Friday, January 20, 2017

International Builders’ Show Takes Orlando


Orlando was buzzing this past week as Design and Construction Week took place. This event includes the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

IBS was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from January 10 to 12. The show is hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and is a great opportunity for our building and construction team to visit our customers’ displays and to see the latest products, materials and technologies, many of which we have contributed to.

This year’s show was well attended and featured 1,500 exhibitors, 160+ education sessions and over 80,000 attendees. The entire event was filled with positive vibes.  Many booths infused the fun of Orlando with their products, featuring music and interactive displays.

The Building and Construction industry is investing heavily in new technologies and applications, trying to innovate and bring new products to market.  The sentiment from the show was “cautiously optimistic” about 2017 but very positive about continued growth in years to come. 

Our building and construction team was able to visit with many of our customers and discuss the future of the industry. Our annual attendance at the International Builders’ Show ensures that we will be able to anticipate customer needs and develop products to meet those needs.

Mark Juve, Business Director, Building & Construction


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Roughing It Never Looked so Good

Outdoor Retailers Take Salt Lake City by (Snow) Storm


Americhem made its first visit to the Outdoor Retailer’s Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City this past week. We wanted to learn more about how our solution dyed fibers and additives make it into thousands of fabric and plastic products displayed at the show. Though we don’t always know the exact items where our concentrates are used, it was obvious that there are a vast number of applications using polyester, nylon, polypropylene and other synthetic materials in the outdoor
market. A key customer and exhibitor has been encouraging us to attend this show for years, and we’re grateful that we took their advice this year.
The Outdoor Retailers show has two versions each year – winter and summer – and they have all been held in Salt Lake City for the last two decades. We spoke with show management to more learn about the relative size of this year’s event. Roughly 1,100 companies displayed, occupying more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space. Exhibitors filled every nook and cranny of the Salt Palace Convention Center, using the dedicated trade show space, but also meeting rooms, ballrooms, hallways and lobbies. Representatives for the Outdoor Industry Association, the show’s organizer, told us that the summer show is even bigger, as nearly 500 additional exhibitors take residency in several large semi-permanent tent structures on the convention center grounds. Although final attendance figures have not yet been released, the association expected roughly 22,000 attendees.
Everything that could possibly be used by an outdoorsman was on display here. Products using
synthetic fabrics included backpacks, tents, apparel (by far the largest category), sleeping bags and mats, pillows, ropes, wind shelters, and even dog accessories. In fact, this was the first trade show we’ve attended where dogs were part of the audience. They walked the aisles with their human counterparts, even wearing appropriate show credentials on their collars. In a nice promotion, some of these canines were up for adoption from a local shelter, and wore signs that said, “I fly home free.”
Innovation abounded in such products as flameless cooking systems, outdoor heating blankets, campfire control devices, and more. The show, with regular exhibition hours Tuesday through  
One of the many dogs that roamed the floor
of the Outdoor Retailers Winter Market 2017
Thursday, was kicked off by the All-Mountain Demo on Monday at a local ski resort. Visitors were able to use not only skis and accessories, but snowboards, snowshoes, winter camping gear, jackets, gloves, boots and more. Tuesday’s festivities included a fashion show featuring trends and the latest looks from the outdoor industry. Other events throughout the week included seminars, parties and receptions. The show also hosted the Outdoor Inspiration Awards, celebrating those that inspire and encourage others in their communities to enjoy, participate in and support outdoor activities and the outdoor industry.
The event was not without controversy. Peter Metcalf, founder of Black Diamond, a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, skiing and mountain sports, wrote an op-ed piece in the Salt Lake City Tribune entitled, “Time for Outdoor Retailers toLeave Utah and its Anti-Recreation Politics.” Essentially, Metcalf accused Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Utah’s congressional delegation of running an anti-public lands agenda, including withholding of funding for public lands, transferring ownership of U.S. lands to state ownership, and working to reverse President Obama’s designation of the Bear’s Ears National Monument in Southeast Utah on December 28.
This highly-charged column was the talk of local radio and TV newscasts throughout the week, at times counterbalancing stories about the economic impact the two annual shows have on the
Slacklining demonstrations took place on the show floor.
municipal and state economies. Metcalf called for the association to leave Utah “in disgust” when its contract expires in 2018. Metcalf was not alone in his criticism, as
Patagonia and other companies called for the same action. Gov. Herbert fired back, indicating that opposition to the Bear’s Ears monument was rooted in the process by which the designation took place. He asserted that state and local authorities were not consulted before the announcement, even though they are prime stakeholders.
This type of controversy has plagued the show before. In 2004, the association threatened to pull the shows out of Utah over a similar perceived threat to Utah’s public lands. In response, then Gov. Mike Leavitt worked with local governments to expand the Salt Palace in order to appease the association.
Beyond the politics, this show was a marvel to behold. Regardless of the controversy, it is apparent that the outdoor products industry is thriving. Its impact includes millions of jobs and billions of dollars in the U.S. alone. Its global impact is profound, as evidenced by a large contingent of international exhibitors. We look forward to attending the summer show to learn more ways that Americhem can bring innovation to an already innovative industry.

Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager
 

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Year in Review: Giving Back 2016

Happy New Year Americhem! We are proud to have given back in 2016 both in our local communities and on a global scale.

We are honored to be able to support several organizations this season. Throughout the year, Americhem’s facilities in the Americas raised money for United Way, while also donating food and other goods to families in need this holiday season. We set high goals, and strive to exceed them all while having fun and serving our communities. Our plants across the US host chili cook-offs with employees competing for the top cook title, food drives for local school children and entire days of service in hopes of bringing joy and an extra hand to our neighbors.

Our dedication to our communities expands to a global scale with our annual holiday card. In lieu of paying for printing and postage for our annual card, Americhem sent an ecard and donated all funds saved to UNICEF on behalf of our customers.

Americhem is proud to have a workforce so dedicated to making a difference. As one of our guiding principles, our employees strive to live the Americhem values in and out of the workplace. As an organization, we value those who go the extra mile. Lonnai Meraci of Vi-Chem was recognized this year at our annual Sales and Managers’ Meeting for her efforts to improve the lives of others.

When Lonnai Meraci first joined Vi-Chem in 2003, the company participated in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk. The walk gives the community an opportunity to unite and honor breast cancer survivors and raise awareness. The money raised helps the American Cancer Society fund ground breaking research, provide support and mammograms to those who normally would not be able to.

Since then, Lonnai has participated in the walk every year. She has taken the lead to pull 14 or more people to walk every year, and raised thousands of dollars. Her passion continues to build awareness and participation each year.


Americhem hopes to continue to work and inspire our employees, partners and communities to give a little extra in  2017!



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Celebrating Our 75th - A Special Honor

Americhem was proud to welcome Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio mayor Don Walters and director of development Diane Sheridan to their world headquarters last week. Mayor Walters issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 29, 2016 as Americhem’s 75th anniversary day in the city of Cuyahoga Falls. The proclamation read, in part, “…on behalf of all citizens, (I) congratulate them on this monumental occasion and express our sincere appreciation for the many civic and economic benefits that our community has enjoyed over the years due to the growth and prosperity of Americhem.”

Americhem owner and CEO Rick Juve and the company’s executive committee accepted the proclamation on behalf of over 800 Americhem employees around the world. The company was also recognized with a full page article in Plastics News covering the anniversary. The Summit County (Ohio) Council will soon recognize Americhem with a special commendation on their 75th anniversary.
 
Americhem receives 75th anniversary proclamation from the city of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Mayor Don Walters (fourth from left) presents the honor to, from left to right, president John Deignan, VP of human resources Diane Shields, senior VP and CFO Jane Hamrle, Walters, owner and chairman Rick Juve, VP and general manager – Americas Matt Miklos, director of research Wendy Shuttleworth and director of global supply chain Rod Manfull. Not pictured are Stanley Teoh, vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific; Thomas Weigl, vice president and managing director, EMEA, and Glenn Munshaw, director of global manufacturing. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Americhem’s 75th Anniversary: How Hard Work and Dedication Can Change Lives


After decades of innovation, partnerships and problem solving, Americhem turns 75 years old today. The progression from manufacturers’ rep to a fledgling manufacturing company to the global organization we are today makes for very interesting business history. In fact, you can compare Americhem’s history to a Horatio Alger novel. In those 19th century stories, impoverished boys rise up from their humble backgrounds to enter the middle class and its relative stability and comfort. In the same way, Americhem rose from its humble beginnings in 1941 as The Caldwell Company to a global corporation with over 800 employees and manufacturing locations around the world. Sylvester Caldwell, Caldwell Company’s founder, was displaced from his job at Thompson Weinman & Co. when its Akron office closed. This led directly to Caldwell forming his own company representing manufacturers of fillers for rubber.

Even after Caldwell Company was established, tough times lay ahead. As the U.S. entered World War II, natural rubber became scarce and was rationed, and Caldwell had to find customers outside the rubber industry. This led to the company’s first experience with colorants, which laid the foundation for things to come.

In the early 50’s, Richard H. (Dick) Juve joined the company. Juve was a self-made man who spent four years as a Marine Corps pilot in WWII, which had interrupted his college education at Penn State. Juve returned to finish college after the war. He made a name for himself within The Caldwell Company by spending much of his time evaluating PVC stabilizers and lubricants, including working nights and weekends. In 1958, Juve and Harvey Cooper bought one third shares of the company with Caldwell retaining the remaining third. Soon, a manufacturing plant was purchased and the company changed its focus to making color concentrates. In 1959, the company’s name was changed to Americhem, which it remains to this day.

These stories of men “pulling themselves up by the bootstraps” are embedded into the core of our company values and principles. To this day Americhem provides opportunities for hard-working employees to start here in any capacity and to move their way up through the ranks to the job of their dreams. This “rags to riches” mentality of Alger’s novels can be seen in the operations of our company on a daily basis and can also be seen in our company history which all Americhem employees share.

So happy anniversary Americhem! Here’s to the next 75 years of success, hard work and fulfilling dreams.

Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager