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.