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

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