Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why Solution Dye?: Performance Advantages

Imagine your favorite pair of socks. What makes those socks so special? It could be the color, the fit or how soft the fabric is. Whatever the reason, you want those socks to stay in good condition as long as possible.

With the solution dyeing process, the quality and color of fabrics have a longer life for a range of textiles from carpet to clothing.

The solution dyeing process integrates colorants into fiber as it is being spun. As a result, the color is dyed throughout the fiber, locking it in. The process also has numerous environmental advantages such as saving water, energy, and chemicals.

Solution dyeing produces fibers that are extremely colorfast. Since the color is evenly spread throughout the fiber, it lasts longer, in contrast with post dyed fibers which are only colored on the surface. Let’s go back to your favorite socks. If those socks are blue, they will stay blue longer. Even after you walk through the house, outside and throughout your daily activities, you will not see the color wear away. Beyond apparel, this applies to carpet, synthetic turf and other outdoor fabrics which hold their color against UV light, perspiration, and cleaning chemicals. So for example, that awning will hold up against the harsh summer sun, and you can scrub your solution dyed carpet using harsh chemicals without losing the color.

What is the benefit to colorfast products if you don’t have consistency? With solution dyeing you achieve lot-to-lot consistency. Whether you produce 20 or 20,000 products, you can see the uniformity in every product produced.

There is no doubt that the advantages of solution dyeing speak for themselves. Like your favorite socks, your appreciation for solution dyeing will endure for a long, long time.

Aubrey Barto
Marketing Intern, Americhem Inc.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How Our Values Were Instilled by Our Founders

Sylvester S. Caldwell
Where does a company’s culture come from? Well in Americhem’s case, our culture came directly as a result of the values, ethics and ideals of our company’s founders. We are fortunate to have such great role models to look up to, and their core values and beliefs continue to drive the company to this day.

The first founder was Sylvester Caldwell. After working in his father’s wholesale grocery business in Alabama, Mr. Caldwell moved north to become an Akron, Ohio salesman for Thompson Weinman & Company, a manufacturer of fillers for the rubber industry. It was when Thompson Weinman closed its Akron office that Mr. Caldwell became an entrepreneur and started his own company in 1941 – The Caldwell Company – which was a manufacturer’s representative. His founding spirit guided the company’s growth when, during natural rubber shortages and rationing during World War II, his company began representing others, including makers of vinyl stabilizers, lubricants and pigments. Mr. Caldwell was the epitome of a true entrepreneur – he organized and managed his company with considerable initiative and risk, and lived to see it grow to new heights.
Harvey E. Cooper
The other two founders of our company were Dick Juve and Harvey Cooper. Having joined the company five years apart, in 1958, each acquired one-third shares of The Caldwell Company with Mr. Caldwell holding the final third. Mr. Juve became president and Mr. Cooper became vice president and in 1959, they changed the company name to Americhem and began manufacturing their own products. Coming from an era when corruption ran rampant in the business world, both of these leaders stood for ethics and the promise of keeping one’s word. Both were men of principle, honesty and compassion that were admired by many in the industry and community. Mr. Juve stated that if any customer ever offered Americhem bribes, the company would rather give up the business than fall prey to dishonesty and fraud. Mr. Cooper became famous for saying, “Profits are important and the fuel for the growth of Americhem, but honesty, trust and and integrity are more important.”
Richard H. (Dick) Juve

As the company grew, Mr. Juve and Mr. Cooper looked out for the best interests of their employees. They began weekly and later monthly meetings held (in good weather) under an apple tree behind the dock at the plant. They listened to their employee’s concerns, reviewed the company financials, and prioritized issues facing the company. They earned their employees’ trust and these meetings are still held to this day at each of our plants.

English scientist Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This is how I feel about the men who founded our company. The actions that they took, the courage that they exhibited, and the integrity that they instilled in the company go much farther than words can express, and stand as a living testament to their leadership in Americhem’s company culture.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem Inc.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Four Unique Stakeholders of Americhem Inc.

At Americhem, we still hold true to some of the original principles that were instilled in us by our company’s founders. Over the years, these main beliefs have helped guide us in difficult times and in prosperity alike. Its part of what we believe as a company; that we have certain obligations to four groups of stakeholders that help keep us in business. Without the support of any one of these groups, we can’t survive or grow. So, straight from our official Americhem Principles, let’s take a look at all four groups.

· Customers – We believe that our relationship with our customers should be a partnership, because when our customers are growing, Americhem grows too. We treat customers with respect and strive to solve their toughest challenges, whether or not those challenges are related to our products and services. We do our very best to provide our customers a superior product and a good overall value.

· Employees – We want Americhem to be a place for the brightest and most talented employees, and a place where they can enjoy long-term employment. In fact, 39 of our employees have been with Americhem for 30 years or more, with our top tenured employee serving 45 years. That’s over seven percent of our workforce that has 30 years of service or more. We respect the dignity of all of our employees and promote two-way communication, emphasize safety and expect and reward excellence.

· Suppliers – We also view our relationship with our suppliers as a partnership. Much like what our customers expect from us, we expect quality, service and value from our suppliers. We value our supplier relationships, because they often provide Americhem with innovation, technical support and competitive advantage.

· Community – As a corporation, we practice good citizenship by maintaining friendly relations with our communities, environmental stewardship, and helpful giving and community service. We also encourage our employees to contribute and participate in community service. It’s all about giving back to those who have helped make us successful.

Paying attention to these four vital groups has proven to be a successful formula for us over the years. As Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India said, “Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles.” That’s why we remind ourselves frequently of their importance at Americhem.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

President's Post- Planning

Fall is an exciting time for Americhem, the new fiscal year is upon us. We get to watch our months of preparation and planning come together to benefit the company as a whole. It really is invigorating to see the plans we have been working on come to life for 2015 and beyond, to have learned from 2014 and to push forward growing as a company.

It’s important to step back and assess your business, to check that you have the necessary tools to reach the company’s financial and operational goals. But above all, this is the time to work with your employees, making sure your employees are motivated in their work environment. This critical factor is key to a competitive advantage in the market place.
I am proud of what Americhem was able to accomplish during 2014, and I have high hopes for 2015. This year we received multiple technical certifications, presented a successful Color Trends program, doubled the size and capacity of our plant in China and rebranded our online presence.

However, Americhem is not immune to the trends of the economies around us. The key to business growth into a new year is being vigilant in how you respond to the macro-economic trends for the economies and markets you are working in. Finding balance in an up and down economy can be tough, but through thorough planning I believe it can be done. In the end, a plan is only as effective as its first day.

John Deignan
President, Americhem Inc.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Importance of Giving and Community Service

Americhem has been dedicated since its inception to being a good corporate citizen. Our founders believed in the caring for the community and giving to worthwhile causes, and that tradition has been carried down through several generations of Americhem employees over the 73 years we’ve been in business.

Our belief in altruism helps improve the quality of life for the residents of the communities that we do business in. According to Truist, a web-based corporate philanthropy platform, “By getting involved in causes that directly impact members of the local community…the company can actually improve the quality of life of those who make up the bulk of their consumer base and their workforce, both current and future. (Source)

At Americhem, we take this philosophy to heart. Some of our community service and giving programs include:

· Our Mansfield, Texas plant, which adopts a needy family every year around Christmas. Funds raised by the plant have gone to help pay a portion of the family’s mortgage, purchase the family’s childrens clothing and Christmas gifts, food, and other funds for the adults to use as they see fit.

· Our Concord, North Carolina plant raises money every year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, participating in the annual Walk for the Cure and other fundraisers. The goal is always to exceed the previous year’s giving.

· Our Suzhou, China plant has helped raise money for recent earthquake victims as well as supporting a variety of orphanages including Suzhou City, Xiangcheng, and Wuzhong District.

· Our Dalton, Georgia plant participates in a number of charitable events throughout the course of the year, including Feed-A-Family, food drives, blood drives, and blanket drives for homeless citizens. They even received the employee participation award for having the highest percentage of employees participating in planned giving to the United Way.

· Our Manchester, England facility has conducted a number of fundraising campaigns to benefit Springwood Primary School in Manchester. The school provides special education for students 2- to 11-years-old that have profound, complex and challenging needs.

· Our Liberty, North Carolina plant participates annually in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, and the plant holds nonperishable food drives at Christmastime.

· Our two facilities in our headquarters town of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have raised money and gifts for a wide variety of projects, including a current holiday toy drive to benefit Summit County Children’s Services, book drives for needy students, and an annual fundraising event to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital.

And for the second year in a row, Americhem is donating the money it would have spent on holiday cards and postage to a worthy charity. This year, it’s Heifer International, a global organization committed to ending world hunger and poverty.

Even more compellingly, our plants always take care of fellow employees in need, whether victims of house fires, natural disasters, cancer or other severe illnesses. It’s always refreshing to see the outpouring of support when a co-worker needs it the most.

So beyond making our communities better places to live, Americhem people believe in helping others in our workplace, communities, and the world. We are true believers in the words of American clergyman and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher, who once said, “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give, that makes us rich.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

At this time of year and always, Americhem has a tremendous amount of things to be thankful for. We know that you do, too. It’s been said that the only obstacle to being thankful is simply not observing with attention. We grow used to our blessings and we start taking them for granted, without realizing that they truly are blessings.

Well, in 2014, it has been an easy for me to notice the things that make me happy to be part of the Americhem family. In no particular order, they are:

-  I’m thankful for our company founders, Richard H. Juve, Harvey Cooper and Sylvester Caldwell, all of whom had vision for what a great company could become.

-  I’m thankful for the more than 500 Americhem employees and their families. It is a wonderful team to be a part of.

-  I’m thankful for our customers who continue to rely on us for high-quality products and services. I’m thankful for those who view our relationship as a partnership, since this is how we view our customers.

-  I’m thankful for our suppliers, another group with whom we form partnerships. I’m thankful for those who provide consistent quality and service that in turn makes our own products better.

-  I’m thankful for the communities that we do business in. They are eight wonderful communities around the world. I’m thankful for our employees in each of these locations that participate in community service organizations and that contribute to worthwhile charities to help make their communities even better.

-  I’m thankful for the favorable business climate Americhem has experienced in 2014. While no years are without their challenges, Americhem has thrived and made a profit, as it has every year since we've been in business in 1941.

-  I’m thankful that we’re a global organization and that we can learn from our employees around the world. I’m thankful for the different cultural traditions that, while different from my own, are nonetheless fascinating to observe and learn about.

-  I’m thankful to work for a company that has such a rich history. I’m glad that this history has been passed down from generations of employees and that the company is still rooted in its founding principles all these years later. I’m also thankful for the generations of employees who have, with their strong work ethic, set an example for us to follow.

-  And finally, I’m thankful for our company’s holiday policy, which allows those of us in the U.S. to enjoy a day off from work to be mindful of our blessings and to celebrate them with our families.

See, it’s easy if you try – try to observe with attention and be thankful. I wish all of our employees, communities, suppliers, customers and everyone else a very Happy Thanksgiving 2014.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem Inc. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Material Breakthroughs Lead to Best Performing Turf

The history of synthetic turf dates back to the 1960’s when Monsanto developed what later became known as Astroturf for the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, home of major league baseball's Houston Astros. The advent of domed, indoor stadiums and their inability to support a natural turf playing field soon caused the use of synthetic turf to spread throughout the major leagues and other professional and collegiate athletics. Back then, the turf fields were made from Nylon 6,6, and the filament was unforgiving and rough to players, causing frictional burns from falling and sliding on the surface.

This early turf soon gave way to the second generation of synthetic fields in the 1970s. This time, the material of choice was polypropylene (PP) and it was European companies that brought it to market in 1976. This shift saw the industry going to a longer, tufted filament plus the addition of sand infills, making the material more forgiving to the players.

In the 1990’s and through the present day, most turf fields around the world are made with linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). The use of this material was a breakthrough, and for more reasons than one. The LLDPE material was much softer and it “gave” better. It also featured greater traction than the previous generations of turf, which was supplemented by the inclusion of infills made of sand and recycled rubber. Most stadiums and fields in the world today use this third generation turf system. (Source)

The move to LLDPE fields was driven by safety of the players. These were not the “rugburn” inducing fields of previous generations, and players groups from all over professional sports supported these third generation fields. Instead of fighting against artificial surfaces, many of today’s players prefer synthetic turf for safety, aesthetics and duration of play on one field.

But what came along with the switch to LLDPE fields was quite surprising, and further supports the use of the material. When subjected to weathering testing, the LLDPE fields were able to hold their color longer - much longer - than the previous two materials (Nylon 6,6 and PP).

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, recommends 3,000 hours of accelerated weathering testing on turf in a QUV device to determine color hold. At Americhem, we’ve found the LLDPE fields can sustain 6,000, 9,000 and even up to 12,000 hours of xenon arc weathering testing and still retain their desired colors. Certain colors are better than others (reds are notoriously less colorfast, for example) and not all colors can hold up to the 12,000 hours of testing, but Americhem’s weathering studies go far beyond what FIFA recommends because we want to be able to make sound recommendations to our customers.

Americhem has released a synthetic turf color selector guide which contains cardwrapped samples of various colors of turf yarn, including greens and a number of popular logo colors. All of the colors recommended in the book can stand up to at least twice the FIFA mandated accelerated tests of 3,000 hours. It’s also in these longer tests that you can see the difference in failure mechanism between the LLDPE and the previous materials. So the material was developed to make life better for the players and, in the end, it also proved to be the superior material from a standpoint of longevity and reduced color fade.

Americhem has written a white paper on the subject of today’s turf fields and weathering. Please contact Scott Blanchard at to receive a copy of the white paper or to receive a copy of our turf color selector guide.

Larry Campbell
Americhem’s resident synthetic turf expert

Friday, November 14, 2014

We're Always Learning When it Comes to Weathering

One of Americhem’s core competencies has always been weathering. We help customers understand how their products are going to stand up to the elements, whether they’re used outdoors, like wood composite deck boards, or indoors, like commercial or residential carpeting. We’ve been at the forefront of weathering testing technology for polymeric products for decades, and we’re proud that we’ve helped establish some of the standard weathering tests that are used in various polymeric product industries.

When it comes to weathering, Americhem has a deep knowledge base, and we’re always learning. That’s why the results of a recent long-term outdoor weathering study were very interesting to us. We believe the results urge some caution on the part of building products manufacturers when using accelerated testing as a predictor of real world weathering.

Our researchers tested several polymeric compounds used in building products, including PVC, an enhanced PVC compound, some PVC blends and ASA. The samples were brown in color with lightness (L*) values between 35 and 65. Testing was performed by QUV accelerated testing devices with water spray capabilities (to simulated outdoor moisture/condensation exposure) in accordance with the ASTM D4329 standard. The length of the accelerated testing was 2,500 hours, which is a period determined to be most closely associated with a two-year outdoor exposure period. The outdoor testing was completed after two years at three sites representing three different climates: humid continental Ohio, humid sub-tropical Florida and arid Arizona. The exposed materials, both to accelerated and outdoor testing, were then compared to one another for each material.

For PVC, with typically poor weathering performance, the samples weathered equally poorly in accelerated and outdoor exposure. Enhanced PVC weathered well in outdoor trials at all three locations, but accelerated tests showed much more color fade than the real world trials. So if accelerated QUV testing results were given significant weight, the material which performed very well in the real world might never have been produced.

In PVC blends containing PVC and varying amounts ASA or acrylic, the correlation between accelerated and outdoor weathering was also quite weak. Additionally, the weathering performance was inconsistent between the three outdoor sites. We drew the conclusion that the materials in blends might not be fully compatible, forming two separate weathering phases. Finally, ASA was tested and found to be highly weatherable and well correlated between accelerated QUV testing and real world outdoor weathering.

What did we learn? We considered these to be the major takeaways:
  • Enhanced PVC and ASA are good performers and superior to PVC and PVC blends in weatherability.
  • Outdoor testing in end-use environments is vital, because accelerated weathering’s ability to predict performance is at least somewhat inaccurate.
  • QUV testing results are more apt to be accurate with single polymer compounds.

So, Americhem’s weathering experts are learning every day. The results of their work can have a big impact on the producers of polymeric building products, and we hope this insight can be of assistance to our customers. Americhem is working on a white paper which will be available soon that contains much more detail on this important study. In the meantime, to learn more about Americhem’s weathering capabilities visit our website.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why Solution Dye?: Environmental Advantages

English author and historian Thomas Fuller once said, “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” This quote brings to mind one of Americhem’s most sacred company principles, which is, “Be a proactive steward of the environment.” One of the ways we do this as a company is to promote environmentally friendly practices and manufacturing methods. One of our biggest company initiatives toward that end 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. According to the Color Masterbatch Technical Handbook, there are about 30 metric tons of PET fiber produced globally every year. Let’s assume that a third of those products will require color. In this scenario, if post dyeing is used exclusively, 99,000,000 gallons of polluted color effluent is produced. It brings to mind the African proverb, “Filthy water can not be washed.” And indeed, the industry must find a way to safely dispose of this effluent water, which is not an easy task.

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.

You can read more about the advantages of solution dye from Americhem global director of business development, V.G. Kulkarni, in his recent article in International FiberJournal.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dedicated to Carpet: Five Americhem Plants Dedicated to the Industry

Americhem’s dedication to the worldwide carpet industry is unequaled among manufacturers of color for solution dyed carpeting. We’ve been designing and making color and additive concentrates for the industry for nearly thirty years and our capabilities span a range of polymeric materials including nylons, polypropylene, polyesters and more.

Three decades is a long time. This experience exceeds that of all competing color concentrate manufacturers. We lead the industry in color control and color consistency, both lot-to-lot and within lots. We support the industry with the most personnel dedicated to carpet makers, including sales, technical, and customer service. We pride ourselves on being the most dependable carpet industry supplier in quality, service and communication with our customers. And we understand your manufacturing processes and maintain 11 high- and low-speed synthetic fiber spin lines in our facilities around the globe to assist in product development and testing without interfering with our customers’ production equipment.

No other masterbatch supplier has three manufacturing plants dedicated to the North American carpet industry. Did you know that Dalton,Georgia is home to more than 150 carpet mills and that more than 90% of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile radius of the city? That’s why Americhem has been on the ground with a plant in Dalton for over twelve years, and we’ve been serving the industry long before that. Our Dalton plant is a Center of Excellence for carpeting, with resources dedicated to manufacturing, product development and design. The plant also houses our fiber color design center, with thousands of card wrapped colors displayed in a room that serves as a giant light booth, including three different light sources: incandescent, daylight, and cool white fluorescent.

Our Concord, North Carolina facility is also dedicated to the carpet industry and serves as our Center of Excellence for nylon and polyester manufacturing technology. Established in 1989, this plant has served the industry ever since. Our Liberty, North Carolina facility was created with advanced material handling technology, enabling large runs of white, black and additive concentrates. Liberty’s lines are geared toward manufacturing campaigns of 10,000 pounds or more with the perfect combination of superior dispersion technology, end-product consistency, and cost effectiveness.

Outside of North America, our plants in Manchester, United Kingdom and Suzhou, China are also dedicated to the carpet industry. The Manchester facility serves customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the industry. The Suzhou plant serves customers in the Asia Pacific region and maintains pilot lines dedicated to carpet fiber that assist our customers in product development and testing.

It’s clear to see that Americhem is dedicated to the carpet industry worldwide. Let us know how we can benefit you with our technology, support personnel, pilot line technology and facilities dedicated to the industry.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem, Inc.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Value Engineering is Americhem's Most Important Additive

How does Americhem provide value? The answer lies beyond our color, additives, compounds and other world-class polymeric products. The heart of Americhem’s value is found in the bundle of value-added services that are wrapped around our products. We call it Value Engineering. It’s what helps set Americhem apart. Any supplier can make a color or additive masterbatch. But by partnering with Americhem, you benefit from our industry-leading expertise, our decades of experience, our problem-solving capability, and our ability to customize a solution exclusively for you.

What’s more, we don’t sell color matches. We engineer our products so that they will work best inyour resins, equipment and processes. All of our products are engineered to give you the best overall value when considering all of your requirements.

No other masterbatch supplier takes a more holistic approach to helping our customers succeed. We lead the industry in color control, color consistency and additive properties, but that’s only the beginning of our value engineering story.
It also includes:

  • The best service and technical guidance in the business. Right where you need us to be, with the availability of field and technical service at your location.
  • Testing Expertise. Whether it’s your products, your raw materials or competitive products, our analytical and physical testing labs can provide the answers you need. And our accelerated and outdoor weathering labs are world-renowned and can help prove that your products will weather and endure as long as you intend them to.
  • Customer product design. We have product development labs at all of our locations. They work to develop exactly the product you need to ensure consistency, performance, and the physical properties you desire. Our vDesign® web-based color and property software can help you design a product quickly, with the benefit of millions of possible colors and decades of Americhem expertise.
  • Pilot lines and product simulation. To fully understand your challenges and to help you bring new products to market faster and more cost effectively, Americhem has invested in numerous pilot lines to effectively simulate your processes. Not only does this aid in trialing color and additive masterbatches, but it also allows you to perform tests on our equipment without interrupting your workflow.
  • Color education. Through our Americhem U. series of educational classes, we keep you up-to-date on topics such as color theory, color trends, additive processing, color measurement and more. Rely on our experts to give you the information you need that will help you get your job done right.
You are at the heart of our value engineering model. Benefit from our approach and experience Americhem’s most important additive.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem, Inc.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Americhem Provides Education

Knowledge is power. At Americhem we believe that an educated customer is a successful customer. A key part of Americhem’s value engineering model is keeping our customers up-to-date on the latest trends, technologies and science behind color and polymer performance. Through our Americhem U. educational seminar series, we present important, helpful, insightful topics, for free, to let our knowledge base benefit our customers.

We conduct seminars on topics such as color theory and performance additives to keep our customers aware of information that can really help them in their daily work.

Americhem U. started as an internal program for our employees in the late ‘90s. It was initiated to create a learning culture that built the foundation for change, continuous improvement and performance development. Over the years, we have developed course curriculum, bench-marked other corporate education programs, and educated hundreds in our workforce on topics critical to our company’s success.

Several years ago, we opened this program to our customers in the plastics and synthetic fibers industries. We realized that our customers’ employees are eager for education that helps promote growth and development. Americhem U. courses provide necessary skills, knowledge and abilities that can help customers’ businesses grow. When customers learn skills promoted at these courses, both Americhem and its customers can contribute to problem solving, product development and service improvements which are the life blood of growing, vital organizations. They provide fertile ground for change and improvement.

We’re proud to help plant the seeds of education through Americhem U. We’re especially proud that our participants help determine future subject matter based on follow-up survey results. After all, we want to provide education that you can use. Together, we can tackle the challenges our organizations are faced with today and into the future.

For more information you can visit Americhem’s website or email Scott Blanchard at

Aubrey Barto
Marketing Intern, Americhem, Inc.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What is Solution Dye?

There are many decisions to make when you are looking to produce a top quality product. You want the best for your customers. When you think about things from your customer’s perspective, product and process decisions seem obvious. Who wouldn't want to have a more durable product? Who wouldn't want a product that is more resistant to fading? A product that stands up to stands up to harsh cleaners? A product that’s more environmentally sound? When it comes to synthetic fibers, the obvious choice is solution dyed fibers.

But what is Solution Dye?

Think of the difference between solution dyeing and post dyeing as the difference between a carrot and a radish. The radish represents post dyed fiber, which is dyed after the fiber is spun. In post dyeing, color only coats the outside of the fiber while the inside remains uncolored. This leads to rapid color fade. The carrot represents solution dyed fiber, where the fiber is colored throughout, clear to the very core. This prevents color fading and keeps your fiber looking newer, longer.

Yarn that is produced by the solution dye method has color that is added before the fiber is spun. As a result, these colorants become an integral part of the fiber. Solution dyeing can be used in multiple end-use applications: carpet, apparel, upholstery, outdoor fabrics, automotive fabrics and other high performance textiles.

In addition to the difference in quality, there are also outstanding performance and environmental advantages to solution dyeing. Which is sounding better, carrots or radishes?

For more information about solution dyeing visit Americhem’s website at, or leave a comment below with your thoughts and questions.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Material Suppliers Part of a Growing Trend at Fakuma 2014

Here at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, material suppliers like Americhem are part of a growing trend. The fair has developed from its roots as a plastics machinery exhibition when it began in 1981. According to P.E. Schall, the fair’s organizer, what started as a show based primarily on injection molding equipment has evolved to include suppliers of resins, compounds, molded parts and extrusion and thermoforming equipment among its 1,772 exhibitors. This is Americhem’s first time exhibiting at the show, and we’ve been pleased with what we’ve experienced.

The traffic has been brisk, particularly during the midday hours. Americhem has welcomed existing customers as well as new contacts throughout the first four days of the show, which closes tomorrow. What has surprised us is the amount of synthetic fiber producers and converters that have visited during the fair, whose primary audience come from the plastics industry. They have been receptive to the line of color and additive masterbatches that we have promoted, many of which have been newly introduced over the past year.

We’ve also welcomed writers and editors from various industry publications. Plastics News produced three English language show daily newspapers for the first time and Americhem’s products and services were featured in a full-page article distributed Wednesday. Senior reporter Frank Esposito has visited our stand on a couple of occasions and shared his observations with us. Esposito has interviewed numerous material producers scattered throughout the show’s twelve large halls, and categorizes the show as a big, busy fair with injection molding as the dominant process. However, he observed that there are not the overwhelming amount of visitors that characterize the K show, held once every three years in Germany, making the show a more pleasant experience for those who attended.

What initially has been considered a regional show primarily aimed at the three-country ‘DACH’ triangle of Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH), Fakuma has grown to include many visitors and exhibitors from throughout Europe, including the central and eastern regions, as well as a significant amount of companies based in North America. Asian visitors have not seemed as prevalent, but we have welcomed several throughout the first four days. The town of Friedrichshafen, with its picturesque location on the shores of Lake Constance on the Swiss-German border, is a big draw for visitors throughout the world. The region is characterized by beautiful rolling hills and the charming German countryside, including plentiful apple orchards, vineyards and livestock farming. This is in stark contrast with K show’s urban setting in Düsseldorf.

For our part, Americhem Europe Ltd. has been proud to make our debut at this year’s show, and we’ve considered the audience ideal for our plastics and fibers businesses. We offer a hearty thanks to all the visitors we’ve hosted and we look forward to participation in next year’s fair.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Environmental Themes and Record Attendance Characterize SPE TPO Conference

This week’s 16th annual Society of Plastics Engineers TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference was bigger and better than ever.  More than 500 people attended the conference, most of them representing molders, tier suppliers and OEMs in the automotive industry. The event, held annually in Detroit, has grown steadily over the last few years and seems to be outgrowing the current venue.

In addition, attendees included 15 media members from the automotive and plastics press. The media attendees even included Chinese and Spanish language publications this year. The exhibitors were also at an all-time high, with 72 exhibiting companies, including Americhem, occupying much more floor space than in prior years.

There were over 60 technical presentations given and several of the topics revolved around an environmental theme. IAC and Ford gave one of the initial papers on bio-based materials, and that conference hall was dedicated to environmental topics for the balance of the conference’s first day. Another key theme was lightweighting of polyolefin parts, and this topic continues to be a big focus in this industry as OEMs struggle to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. These topics were of specific interest to Americhem, as this week, our automotive manufacturing plant in Ohio is completing an ISO 14001 audit. This standard sets out the criteria for an Environmental Management System. More and more automotive suppliers are realizing the importance of this standard to their customers.

With the record attendance, the exhibitor hall was filled with Tier suppliers and OEM’s looking for suppliers who can help them solve complex problems and add value in the global automotive marketplace. For our part, Americhem’s booth was visited by most of our automotive customers. Our message revolved around Americhem’s color management capabilities. As a global supplier of automotive color masterbatch, Americhem helps OEM’s and Tier 1’s manage the variability of raw materials used in extrusion and injection molding technologies. With examples we can point to from our work with a large global OEM, we are able to demonstrate the color harmony that Americhem helps promote across different materials, plants, suppliers and geographies. The message is becoming more commonly understood and is gaining momentum within the industry.

It’s exciting to be part of the growing community that this conference represents. We certainly plan to keep our ear to the pulse of these SPE members and the tier suppliers and OEM customers they represent. We look forward to participating again in 2015.

Brian Kady
Market Manager, Americhem, Inc. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Color Trends 2015-2016

It’s amazing how many reactions color can evoke. It can convey a broad range of emotions. It can make things stand out from their surroundings. It can make people excited, or calm, or inspire them. It can make people do things they otherwise wouldn't do, or it can make them refrain from doing something.

At Americhem, we are very lucky to be able to help our customers represent color on an everyday basis. Each and every day, we ensure that our customers can convey the proper mood, say the right things and inspire their customers to use and purchase their products. As a marketing professional, I can’t imagine any concept that’s more exciting to market than color. You literally have the world’s broadest palette of options to choose from.

But on a more basic level, color itself speaks to us in indescribable ways. Author and poet Oscar Wilde put it this way, “Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

That’s why it was so exciting to attend Americhem’s September presentation of “Color Trends 2015-2016” in Dalton, Georgia. This event launched this year’s color forecast, and we couldn't have had a more attentive or inspired audience than the full room of carpet designers and other carpet professionals in attendance. Our color trends expert took the audience through six distinct palettes with hundreds of images from the worlds of art, nature, architecture, fashion, high tech gadgets, interior design and more. These images helped illustrate the fact that these colors will guide consumer preference in the years to come. You can read more about the palettes and the colors here.

But why are color trends so important to companies, designers and marketers alike? Research has proven that color is a huge driver of consumer decision making. According to the Seoul International Color Expo, when asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents thought that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products. In addition, according to research conducted by Xerox Corporation, 92% of people believe color presents an image of impressive quality, while 90% feel color can assist in attracting new customers.

Throughout our decades of existence, Americhem has staked our reputation on the power that color holds over all of us. That’s why programs such as our color trends forecasts can be so valuable in keeping industry professionals ahead of the curve when it comes to color choices. Color determines how people perceive your product and even your brand. We’re here to help you make good, informed choices.

If you’re interested in learning more about Americhem’s 2015-2016 color trends forecast, please contact me at

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem, Inc. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Positive Vibe at the 2014 Synthetic Turf Council Member Meeting

I had the pleasure of attending this week’s Synthetic Turf Council Annual Member’s meeting in San Antonio. The mood of the meeting was definitely upbeat. With 272 delegates in attendance, this was the largest STC member meeting yet. There has been a tremendous influx of new members lately, and that was evident in the attendees and at the new member’s reception. The STC regularly tweets news of new members joining the council, and it’s interesting to follow them on Twitter at @SynTurfCouncil.

This year’s keynote speech was from economist Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics. Beaulieu was upbeat about the future for those in the turf industry and the economy in general, as he predicted four years of solid economic growth through 2018. He did sound a note of caution about the skilled workforce, however, mentioning that finding enough skilled labor now and in the future could be a big problem. He also highlighted Mexico as a fertile ground for growth for companies involved in the industry.
Professor John Sorochan and Research Leader Adam Thoms of the University of Tennessee led an interesting discussion on turf safety. UT has more than five acres of turf for conducting studies with the aim of enhancing safety for athletes and others that play on synthetic turf. Much of their time is devoted to studying hardness and traction and the interaction between the two. One of the biggest issues continues to be heat buildup on turf fields and Americhem’s research scientists are continually working to combat this issue as it relates to pigments and additives in turf yarn.
David Dyas of BASF talked about polymer stabilization and explained how UV stabilizers are subject to interaction with other elements of turf fields. For example, crumb rubber and the thickness of the turf film can all help determine how long a field’s color will last before fading. Some companies are even experimenting with longer tufts on synthetic fields with the intention of eventually cutting them to reveal the “protected” layer of tufts below, which have retained their color.
All in all, this was a great meeting to participate in. Our customers in the industry are upbeat and business is good for them right now. One of our key customers is so busy that they are using contract manufacturing, in addition to their own lines, to meet demand for their products. San Antonio was a great venue for this meeting, as most of the participants stayed at the host hotel (the Hilton Palacio Del Rio) and the Riverwalk establishments close to it for dinner meetings and other interaction. We’re hoping that the good times continue for the industry and that, through hard work and partnering with one another, the next STC member meeting will be even bigger and more successful.
Marty Staten
Account Manager, Americhem, Inc.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Experience a world of color solutions with our new blog

I’d like to welcome you to Americhem’s new blog. This will be a platform where we can share knowledge on subjects such as color, plastics, and forging solid business partnerships. It will also be a place where we’ll learn as much as possible from you through your comments and questions.

Noted author, editor, and influential blogger Andrew Sullivan said that, “A blog is, in many ways, a continuing conversation.” That’s what I hope Americhem’s new blog will become. We’ll converse with you about things that we hope are important to you. At times, we’ll discuss educational topics. Maybe we’ll talk about our views on a current event or evolving technology. Other times, we might share information from industry tradeshows and events that you’ll be attending. Perhaps we’ll cover some events that you’d like to attend, but are not able to. We might even talk with you about some of our favorite things that we’d like you to check out.

No matter what we’re conversing about, we want to hear from you. Tell us about what you like and what you don’t like about our posts. Let us know if there’s something you’d like to learn more about. Share your problems that you’d like help in solving. We hope you will be open to this exchange of thoughts and feelings by means of blogging.

We’ll do our best to keep things updated on a regular basis. And we’ll pay attention to what others are blogging about. As writer and researcher George Siemens says, “Blogging is best learned by blogging… and reading other bloggers.” So let us know about your own blogs, your company’s blogs, or others in this space that blog exceptionally well.

In over 70 years in business, Americhem has learned a lot about the power of relationships. We’ve also learned the value of conversations that drive all participants to new heights. We’ve learned the importance of linking, connecting and communicating. We hope that this new forum will be a natural extension.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem Inc.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What is Americhem?

Americhem, Inc. is a global organization that specializes in custom color and additive masterbatch solutions. Americhem manufactures single pigment dispersions, color and additive concentrates and custom compounds that are only matched by the focused range of markets and applications they serve. Americhem’s sister company, Americhem Infinity Engineered Compounds manufactures custom compounded engineered thermoplastics, and is headquartered in Swedesboro, New Jersey. Americhem Inc. was founded in Ohio in 1941 and its global headquarters are located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They employ over 500 people worldwide and have eight manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and Asia. Americhem Inc. serves customers in over 50 countries worldwide with products for the plastics and synthetic fibers industries.